YOU are OK (never doubt this) – the many symptoms of dread, defeat, anxiousness, etc., that you experience in a relationship with a Narcissist are purposely inflicted upon YOU. So important to understand that this abuse STARTS from the very first day you encounter a Narcissist. The devaluation has NOTHING to do with YOU and everything to do with how they will always devalue EVERY person they meet. We must also understand that we are there for a reason and conned/trapped into their agenda – and that is as a source of supply. Along with that are the MANY tools that are associated with the abuse like gaslighting that can and will harm a person emotionally and psychologically. There is never a REAL issue with a solution with a Narcissist – it is always and only the creation and continuance of the issue to maintain the chaos and control! A little education on the subtle, slow effective day to day gas-lighting tactics of a Narcissist that disables our LOGIC, spirit and self-esteem. Narcissists are gatherers of information that they will distort it in every possible way to DAMAGE and destroy their targets/victims confidence and self-esteem or basically erasing their victim’s personality!
From my Book: Greg Zaffuto – Author – From Charm to Harm and Everything Else in Between with a Narcissist
The Narcissist has successfully developed deceptive and shrewd communication skills/actions that basically invalidate and manipulate our own perceptions about ourselves and distort all logic and reasoning – this is called gas-lighting and it renders OUR communication with them useless because they are looking for that reaction from us to further diminish us. All interpersonal communication becomes twisted, and an opportunity to make us feel invalidated, wrong and basically worthless. This within itself is often overlooked (the subtle abuse) but it is as dangerous as any of their other tools in the arsenal of Narcissistic abuse! DON’T ENGAGE with them!
Here are some of the tactics that the pathological Narcissist uses to control you, confuse you, make you believe you are crazy and of course to hurt you and take you down and keep you there.
They attack your EMOTIONS at every possible level they can! The abusing (Narcissist) plays on your fear, guilt, compassion, values, or whatever they can to “push your buttons” to get what they want – again this could be negative or positive or a range of “I love you” to “I hate you.”
Basically they weaponize words as well as use the familiarity they gained from CHARMING us into trusting them to seek out our weaknesses. Very tricky creatures — using their well placed words to gain our hearts and trust first and then they sneak into our heads afterwards to seek out our secrets, fears, and insecurities and weaponize those to use against us.
They are very unpredictable with their day to day responses, be it drastic mood changes or their sudden and out of the blue emotional outbursts. They will react in an inconsistent manner or differently at different times to the same behavior from you the ‘stable/normal partner.’ They will tell you one thing one day and the direct opposite the next or perhaps they like something you do one day and hate it the next. You are purposely put here and in a state of constant confusion OR abused with unpredictable responses and made to feel crazy trying to relate to the pathological and purposeful inconsistency (chaos and gas-lighting!).
This behavior is damaging and it puts you on edge or walking on “eggshells.” You are always waiting for the other shoe to drop, and you can never know what’s expected of you – that is the plan!. You become hyper vigilant, sensitive, confused and controlled waiting for the other person’s next outburst or change of mood – YOU DON’T EVER KNOW WHAT TO DO, SAY, OR HOW TO act so you constantly stay in this state of confusion and basically exist as a shell of the person you were – the one that HAD a real personality, as well as loved and lived a normal, fun and loving existence. They take that and play with it, manipulate it, destroy it and alter you so what is left isn’t a person, it is a prisoner of their abuse. It is control to keep you constantly disabled.
They will verbally assault you to exert their power to gain CONTROL over you. Be it making fun of us, belittling us, criticizing us, name calling, screaming at us, threatening, constant and excessive blaming, making us the brunt of their delusional and perverted humor using sarcasm and humiliation. ALL OF THIS is done CONSISTENTLY in an effort to erode your sense of self confidence and self-worth. The Narcissist wants to control your every action and dominate you. They must have control over all people to basically hide the truth of WHO THEY ARE – and will resort to whatever works tp maintain that control over their targets/victims. There is never an issue with a solution – it is always and only the continuance of the issue to maintain the chaos and control!
Unreasonable expectations and demands are put onto you so you feel like you have to ALWAYS put YOUR needs aside to tend to their needs and you always feel incomplete with your own PERSONAL needs as well as participation/interactions in this relationship or connection to them (if it is a ‘love’ relationship, friendship, co-worker, family, etc., or any and all of the above) – somewhere you are LOST in all of this. You are basically TOLD or manipulated into what you must to do or else it is wrong and the situation will fall apart, so you just give in. But no matter how much you give, it’s never enough. You are subjected to constant criticism, and you are constantly berated because you don’t fulfill all of this person’s needs and you could NEVER fulfil the Narcissists needs.
Living with someone like this is tremendously destructive to your psyche and anxiety provoking, causing the abused person to feel constantly confused, frightened, unsettled and off balance. THIS IS WHAT PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE IS! The other person may deny your perceptions, memory and very sanity which again makes you begin to think you are crazy or losing your mind (again gas-lighting.) Narcissists are always making you reflect upon your weaknesses (real and imagined) and pointing them out and also making you believe you are losing it or you have many issues all in an effort to take you down as low as they can. That is tough and shrewd manipulation that a Narcissist uses to win this war they have with people and life. It is like being in a maze that constantly shifts and changes and you just keep wandering around looking for that door that takes you out and back to a peaceful reality – you will never find it until you kick those walls down and get out of the endless maze of abuse!
A Narcissist doesn’t acknowledge individuality or even like other people (remember we are just objects to use.) Along with this premise the Narcissist doesn’t care about being liked – THEY DEMAND to be admired, feared, and favored, (as well as completely extorting their targets to get supply.) They don’t care about getting along with people, and a Narcissist is no more capable of considering the consequences of their actions than a rock would. There is no consideration for anybody or anything with a Narcissist and nothing is ever about whatever it REALLY is, instead it is always all about their omnipotence, superiority or ego instead or their fake façade. They HAVE to exploit EVERY single interaction with us to gratify THEIR needy ego at your ego’s expense or even DESTRUCTION. There’s no end to it. It’s exasperating and you never get through that brick wall a Narcissist throws up in front of you constantly, so always remember how much time you have tried to break down barriers to “fix” things. Everything would just bounce back to you as more blame and shame from the Narcissist. It was a relationship that was meant to deny you every bit of gratification or any “giving” from the Narcissist and instead “taking” every bit of gratification (supply) they could for their vast needy void.
This abuse is akin to being a prisoner of war with brain-washing, gas-lighting, extreme manipulation of facts, or psychological terrorism. Some of those areas that become affected are; our attention span, our day to day memory, how we process things in our daily life, our long/short term memory, how we see and hear things AND our logic and reasoning abilities. AGAIN, this is basically brain-washing in an effort to slowly but methodically break us down and render us useless as an independent thinking and speaking being – Narcissist do not allow individuality because they are cruel dictators. This is what describes the abuse, and this is what is damaging to the target/victim’s well-being as far as it concerns the psychological abuse that is imposed on you/us. The most striking aspect of this is that it is dealt to us in a slow and insidious manner like being around a slowly leaking and poisonous gas that has no apparent smell so we don’t know the danger we are in because we take it in slowly and when we finally realize, the damage is already done.
The effects of these techniques persist even after the Narcissist has left the relationship. In fact, the influence of their mind control can last for years and it is surprisingly frequent that a narcissist will contact a previous target/victim and the target/victim will happily start up the relationship again, thinking that this time will be different, because the Narcissist has promised this – well they will only step up the game to trick you and drag you back into the abuse! The ONLY way is to go NO/minimal contact by DISCARDING this toxic Narcissist comp0letely from your life – from there you CAN begin healing to get back to a healthy life. Greg