Narcissists charm their targets as an enticing lure and effective tool to keep you from examining the potential costs and toxicity of the relationship until you’re HOOKED.
The Vanishing Act
After promising you and previously showing you an inordinate amount of attention and availability, he/she suddenly DISAPPEARS. With no acknowledgment or contrition, they accuse YOU of being selfish and needy when you become upset over their sudden unavailability.
The Set Up
Having solicited your ideas, opinions, thoughts and feelings on EVERY subject under the sun they hold this in their arsenal for future uses. They’ll first ask for your opinion and contribution, yet when you give it, they shoot you down with criticism, deference, and a million reasons your idea won’t work.
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
In the beginning they’ll seize every opportunity to become your hero. They’ll be overly protective when people are unkind to you, they’ll tell you they don’t know what they’re talking about. They’ll say you’re a superstar; you’ll believe it. Before you realize it, they take every opportunity to tell you how you bring bad things upon yourself, how you deserve these negative criticisms because you’re just so __________ (fill in the blank).
Adding Insult to Injury
They’ll show up unexpectedly, with the most sweeping grand gestures of love & begging for your forgiveness. You second guess yourself & feel obligated to extend your benefit of the doubt. Ultimately though, nothing, including your forgiveness and understanding is EVER enough to bridge the huge chasm between his unstable thoughts of what a good person “would or should do” vs. what comes natural for him to do. It’s all about him, yet again.
Like the president of the debate club or judge with gavel in hand, the narcissist invites you into conversations that if not an endless soliloquy, becomes an argumentative and highly competitive conversation about nothing. No matter WHAT your response, even if its to IGNORE THEM, fight back, plead, scream, give in, or shut down – the narcissist is impervious, oblivious and this will always end in it being your fault, your flaw and evidence of how emotionally unstable, “YOU” are.