I am currently dealing with a narcissistic person who is my sister-in-law and ex friend. Her taunts, lies, and the ton of stuff she did to embarrass me is driving me crazy. I am getting frustrated and fed up with her and her nonsense. Can you all give me some advice on how to deal with this person?
5 Tips to Survive the Holidays with a Narcissist
by Annie Tanasugarn
Life with a narcissist can be stressful. Add the holidays into the mix, and having a narcissist around can be downright overwhelming. In true narcissistic fashion, they will compare your decorations to the neighbour’s house, your food to their friends’ cooking, and your holiday décor, to what’s trending on social media. Gifts from narcissists can be bland, inappropriate or completely useless, and if you look anything less than outrageously grateful for what they got you, then be prepared a pity-party where they’re playing the victim for everyone to see. Navigating the holidays with a family or friend who’s narcissistic can be very uncomfortable, and dampen the festivities of what should be a bright and cheery time of year. So, how can you navigate the holidays with a narcissist and still have a joyous time? Here are 5 tips to help make your holidays bright (even with a narcissist around):
Set and Maintain Firm Boundaries:
Boundaries are important for everyone, but especially critical if you’re dealing with a narcissist. If you’re having a narcissist over for holiday dinner, be prepared for them to arrive late, complain about the food, victimize themselves, and to make everyone’s happy time, well, less happy. If dinner is to be served at 5pm sharp, then keep to your schedule and maintain your boundaries. If they are late to dinner after you’ve already advised them of when dinner will be served, then serving dinner later to accommodate a narcissist is not an option – especially when other guests arrived on time. Keeping to your schedule will help keep you on track, and will establish necessary boundaries that you won’t (and shouldn’t!) accommodate their whims or dramatic stories about why they’re late (again) for another holiday dinner.
Water off a Duck’s Back:
Narcissists will be narcissists. This includes them complaining that the mashed potatoes are lumpy, the dinner rolls are stale, the champagne is flat, or your decorations are ugly. Be prepared for their insults, their half-assed, backhanded compliments and their stories that make them out to be a victim. Again. You may even hear the same story from them for the umpteenth time where they’re villainizing someone while playing a martyr. If you prepare yourself ahead of time for this inevitable part of having a narcissist over for the holidays, it will make your holiday less stressful. Ignore their insults and backhanded compliments, don’t feed into their martyrdom and give yourself space (boundaries!) because they are who they are, and they aren’t going to change – whether it’s the holidays, or not.
This little word has the biggest impact for your sanity, your peace of mind, and for the joy the holidays (should) bring. By disengaging from a narcissist’s drama, you are re-engaging with your own self-worth and self-identity. You are not their insults. You are not their backhanded compliments. You are not the villain in their victim stories. By mentally and emotionally disengaging, you are taking your power back – and making your holidays a little brighter. To disengage, you can mentally tune them out when they start in with their shenanigans, or you can walk out of the room and run to grab something from another room (towel, silverware, favourite serving platter, etc). This can buy you a few precious moments to take a few breaths, and re-centre your energy.
Have an Escape Route:
Narcissists are notorious for going into a narcissistic rage over minor things: they spilled soup on the tablecloth; they arrived late and blamed it on a slow driver; they chipped their nail polish getting out of the chair. The list goes on in how seemingly unimportant issues can trigger a narcissist’s temper, and proceed to dump on the holiday joy. If you can’t cut the visit short by using an excuse that you have another engagement, then try redirecting the conversation by asking them to find a DVD for the kids, or to turn the holiday music on. Giving them a simple task may not stop their bad mood, but it can buy you some time to redirect your own energy and disengage from their drama.
Self-care is an important part of healing, remaining healed, and in strengthening your personal boundaries. After the tension from the holiday party is over, set some time aside for a hot bath, a glass of wine and a good book, a brisk walk in your neighbourhood, or some other activity that can help you decompress and get back on track. Journaling is also an excellent activity to jot down your feelings and thoughts, especially after an emotionally charged day!
Planning ahead for the (inevitable) drama that a narcissist will bring to the holiday party can help you navigate the storm unscathed and make your holidays more joyous and less stressful.
Written by Annie Tanasugarn
About the Author:
Annie Tanasugarn is a Published Author and Researcher on Trauma Recovery; Personality Disorders and Interventions; and Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is a Behaviour Analyst with over a decade of experience in the field of Autism. Her interest and research in the field of ASD prompted her interest in researching correlations between high-functioning ASD and personality disorders. She is the owner of www.theautismanalyst.com which is an online resource for families embracing Autism or other special needs. Annie is a free spirit who has a passion for coffee, travel, jogging, the mountains and most importantly, her family
My narc ex husband is dating a now EX friend of mine. That is betrayal enough (by the friend) but now she’s pushing in on my kids’ lives. Ever since my ex and I split, he has continued to violate boundaries. He has shown up at my family functions at the holidays, and my family unfortunately won’t turn him away. Other than my mom and sister, they either “don’t want to get involved” or think I should just “rise above for the sake of the kids.” Most recently, he took the kids for halloween, and the girlfriend went along. They showed up at 2 of my uncle’s houses and WENT INSIDE. Not just knock-knock, trick or treat. Went in and hung out. I find that super inappropriate (plus, who wants to hang out at their new boyfriend’s ex wife’s family’s house???) I’ve tried talking to my family with no luck. I’ve tried talking to the ex narc, obviously with no results. I’m so hurt and angry. How would you handle?
THE EFFECTS OF BEING RAISED BY A NARCISSIST?
By Annie Tanasugarn
You learn hypocrisy is the norm. Do you remember that old saying? ‘Do as I say, not as I do.’ That mind**** becomes your mantra. When you’ve heard it a thousand times growing up and witnessed the hypocrisy of the person who spoon-fed it to you, you learn not to trust yourself or others. You fear everyone. You become conditioned to listen to people’s words while overlooking their deeds. Narcissistic parents, family or caregivers may hide behind religion, putting their best foot forward publicly to uphold their fake image of being a God-fearing religious person whilst calling another churchgoer a son-of a b**** under their breath in the parking lot for taking their spot.
You learn that image is everything. Your sole purpose is to please the unpleasable. They don’t care about your opinion. To them, public image is everything and a reflection on them. Who gives a shit if you just got beaten with a belt and can’t sit down now? You sit. You fake a smile. You wipe the blood off the fat lip they gave you and you psyche yourself up and act like you’re ok… because if you somehow embarrass them and the fraud they pretend to be in public, there’ll be a shitstorm to deal with, again in private, away from witnesses, away from help.
Your worth and your value doesn’t exist. Repeated verbal abuse and devaluations are daily ‘conversations’. You become a verbal and physical punch bag for them, conditioned to believe that you’re so unlovable. You’re mocked, belittled and blamed for everything that has gone wrong in your parent or caregiver’s life. You carry the cross for their lack of accountability.
You’re held captive. As an abused kid, you’re often too embarrassed to have friends. You fear being hit or insulted in front of them so you stop trying to make friends. Neighbours keep a strict balance between being neighbourly and just distant enough to turn a blind eye to the screaming, crying and sounds of leather hitting bare skin coming from your room. Common with abusers is the sense of power and control that they exert over their target. This rings true for kids who rely on their parents for everything, reinforcing the power they have over you. So the eleven year old child’s world is reduced to just them and their abuser, no friends, no family and no support… Game on for the abuser. Captivity includes being a puppet to your abuser, smiling when you want to cry, dismissing anger and faking happy when you wish you could tell them to f*** off. Instead, you keep it all inside because the last thing you want is another beating.
You keep an extensive array of ‘masks’ to wear. Because of the abuse, you’ve learned what emotions are acceptable in public or around other people. Your narcissistic parent has used a lethal combination of negative reinforcement, positive and negative punishment and fear conditioning to turn you into a complete neurotic mess that includes what are acceptable masks.
You as the dutiful straight A student.
You as the perfect Catholic in church.
You as the respectful child to elders.
You as the mannerly kid around strangers.
You as the obedient child to your parent (s).
This is another form of control that keeps you held captive under your narcissistic parent’s thumb. What you’re learning to do is to fake your way through life and to never ‘out’ your abuser. What you’re learning is to dismiss and not recognize your own emotions or the emotions of others. Emotions are unacceptable (except the pre-approved masks from mom or dad). So you become completely disconnected from emotions. Ironically, or not, this disconnection makes the abuse you suffer somehow easier to tolerate. Tossing emotions out the window in exchange for a mask to wear actually helps soften the blow from the verbal assaults and physical beatings. It’s almost as if the masks become functional to the abused child. The problem with wearing the masks comes later in life, when you want to experience true love with your partner but push them away because you don’t have a matching mask to wear for love. What the f*** is love? The problem comes when you are so enraged and depressed and don’t know how to ask for help because there is no matching hat in your closet to wear. The problem comes when you realize you’re only existing and have pushed away any one you cared about and can’t function around people – there’s no pre-approved mask for this.
You learn conditions of worth = love. Who you are as a person doesn’t matter, it’s all about your accomplishments and how good you make your narcissistic parent look. You become like a trained seal that is thrown a fish for reinforcement each time you’re good.
You aren’t taught life skills and have to figure them out on your own. This dynamic totally sets you up for failure. As an abused kid, your life is not typical or normal. If you’re held in captivity, you may not be allowed to date, have friends or experience what most kids do in childhood or adolescence. You learn that feeling sad for not getting asked to the prom is met with your abuser making you feel better by buying you a supersize burger and fries and a shake to wash it all down. Now you’re depressed and fat! Abuser 1 – Kid 0. You don’t say, ‘No,’ because you were not taught to make healthy choices for yourself. You weren’t taught how to make friends and you don’t want them meeting your abuser anyway. You weren’t taught how to have self-respect because your personal boundaries were always violated. You weren’t taught how to use a washing machine to wash your clothes at 13 years old keeping you that much more reliant on your abuser. You weren’t taught how to balance a check book or open a bank account. You were verbally attacked as ‘spoiled’ for being fully reliant on your abuser, which is just what they wanted.
You go with what is familiar in your adult relationships. If you are a survivor of severe trauma as a kid, you often become more empathetic and emotionally sensitive adult. You now seem to attract the same type of people around you in adulthood that abused you in childhood. It’s not your fault but you don’t know how to get off the merry-go-round. You’re sick of the abuse and long for a loving connection, but your intimate relationships have been a mix of those with NPD, ASPD and Dark Triads who promised you the world but discarded you and bounced to the next victim they had waiting in the side lines.
You now recognize you want better for yourself. You deserve better. You begin the road to recovery. It’s painful but it’s enlightening. Self-awareness always is. You care about yourself. For once in your life, you’re owning it, crushing it, getting your voice and respecting yourself.
This article was written by Annie Tanasugarn.
Annie Tanasugarn is a Published Author and Researcher on Trauma Recovery; Personality Disorders and Interventions; and Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is a Behaviour Analyst with over a decade of experience in the field of Autism. Her interest and research in the field of ASD prompted her interest in researching correlations between high-functioning ASD and personality disorders. She is the owner of www.theautismanalyst.com which is an online resource for families embracing Autism or other special needs. Annie is a free spirit who has a passion for coffee, travel, jogging, the mountains and most importantly, her family.
Childhood was dark and extremely traumatic. I witnessed things no child should ever see. I was in year 5 when I had my first anxiety attack. I went through life hiding my nerves. I was so self conscious and timid I was afraid.
My father was abusive in just about every way. The onslaught of verbal abuse was relentless every day. Occasionally he’d flip and we would all wear bruises for a few days.
My mother took the brunt of his abuse, we would hide in our beds pretending to sleep. We knew the sounds, a slap meant black eyes a thud was bruised ribs the sound of her being choked. We didnt need to see it the sounds told us all. We knew what we would wake to see the next morning.
My mother the victim, she passed it on. In ways she never knew were wrong. She screamed at us from the moment we awoken. Poor mum she was always so broken.
We had a sacred place where we were all free. At night to us children she would read. We would huddle and listen to her story telling. She bought the book to life, she was always so animated so happy and free. This time of night we were a family. Dad stayed away! Fear was forgotten we were free to enjoy life.
I was a teen when my mother fled the scene. We were abandoned she needed to leave. She was tired torn and beaten. She just vanished one night, never came home from work. Dad called the police it was terrifying. Seeing them search her belongs checking her clothes looking for signs of her wanting to leave.
Her picture was in the papers and on the tv. She had vanished no one had seen. 4 days later the police came again. They told dad to prepare for the worst she had vanished without a trace. Rumors flooded the little town of her leaving with a stranger that evening.
Dad tracked her down, found her hiding with friends. I’ll never forget it was the only time I had seen him cry. He hugged me and gave permission to shed a tear. Father, brother, sisters and I went to see her in another state.I’ll never forget when we had to choose. Stay with mum or return home with dad. The boys left the girls stayed.
I felt abandoned I felt betrayed. As much as I wanted to I just couldn’t stay. Dad needed someone to help him through these dark gloomy days.
For some reason I’ll never understand they tried again and we were family let’s play pretend. Our days were bleak we wanted this no more. A few years later he finally walked out the door.
I was lost destroyed I couldn’t take anymore. I began to write about demons in the night. I grew my hair I wore a cap. I hid my face. I never wanted anyone to look into my eyes and see the pain inside.
I was just a boy I was 17 my world was dark and gloomy. I had no direction no desire to be. Along comes my angel she was here to save me. The year was 1993.
Her presence was glorious, she was amazing. She was to much for someone like me. Something drew her to me. Some of my pain I allowed her to see but never the demon lurking within me.
Typical teens we lived in each others pockets. I learned so much about her, I found her deepest darkest pockets. A father who didn’t care and a mother who struggled living on welfare.
My story and pain I never did share. I couldn’t because I couldn’t recall what was there. My mind so black, memories blank. Like scratch art a few lines of color were all I could see. The darkness so empty my mind tricked me.
We were 21 we got engaged. For some reason I lost my identity. I was now her fiance, I was no longer me. Inside me I felt so empty. A pain a misery I began fighting each day. My demons fed on this rage.
I dare not speak of my feelings so bleak. I was so tired. My feelings and insecurities dismissed. I looked for alternatives, the demons I kissed. My emotions I buried, I dismissed.
My demons take over, an outburst of rage! They would break free, of their cage. My worst nightmareI was now living. My existence I begin questioning.
The guilt would eat me alive, tryng to make it up I’d strive. This was the cycle for years to come. My demons lurking bringing me undone.
I fell into depression, such a horrible retrogression. I was isolated myself, I felt I had no worth. My baby doesn’t love me she won’t hold and hug me. I struggle to the couch and sit there. Finally she comes to me, my tears were there for all to see. I swore never again! My bike was no longer my friend.
As I fell into a see of black. The love of my life on me she turned her back. Distracted with her own thoughts of marriage a surprise wedding she planned. In her mind this was to be so grand.
I’ll never forget that day walking in to that room. TV camera in my face a radio DJ and all asssume. I had no choice I didn’t know what to say. I said sure yeah I love her why not ok.
As I walk through the room filled with people all here for her on this day. My dad I abuse telling him they have betrayed. I suit up so we can wed that day.
My anxiety goes nuts, with my new ring I play. No speach prepared I didn’t know what to say. The words came out I felt so stupid and useless that day. My dream wedding taken away. My mother and sisters absent.
I sat at the bar with my best mate who refused to be my best man. We drank really fast, my emotions he tried to calm. He could see the storm brewing within. He knew my demons were lurking.
On our wedding night I gave her a fright. I told her she had betrayed that day. From that moment I began to decay. I isolated myself I ignored my phone. I would say no don’t visit I wont be home.
For 8 years I hid in this virtual place. I found someone new, with her I hope a new love to replace. I planned my escape, I was out the door. Boxing day we would be no more. Christmas day I lay in bed then the wife’s voice messes with my head. Merry Christmas I’m pregnant. The new found friend I never went and met.
My world was no more, my heart was torn my heart pierced by such a big thorn. I built with rage I was trapped stuck inside a cage.
I stay at home and care for my son. Its during this time with him I finally fall in love. We had so much fun he kept me alive. For a year now I had just wanted to die. I hid my sadness I hid my pain. In the shower my tears of shame. What is wrong with me I’d ask, lost in this darkness I wear a mask.
The end of 07 we come alive. Finally I have life inside. Then in the new year a surprise I find. Social media, context hidden from view. My world turned so blue.
Yes I broke the damn rule. I felt betrayed destroyed and shamed. For weeks she lied and said it was the voices inside. Nothing was going on. I’m jealous untrusting it’s all in your mind your crazy.
Then finally she breaks me and says yes I was looking for attention I wanted more. I was broken destroyed and doomed once more. I asked her to leave she wouldn’t go. I wouldn’t leave my children’s home.
I lost my shit my lid I did flip. The trauma and depression came to the fore. My anxiety was uncontrollable. I was me no more. This wasn’t an outburst a moment of rage. This time the demons were here to stay.
I was so abusive I felt so betrayed she wouldn’t go she insisted she stayed. I went to the doctor seeking help. It was a mutual friend I reached out to who I would well.
I told the wife she burst out in jealousy and rage. My demons freed from their cage. To her I stopped talking. Every night I began walking. The drugs just weren’t working.
Another friend reaches out. The wife knew her, she has a spouse. I expose my new found confident. 2 days later here we go again. Jealousy and rage I can’t contain.
Finally we are done. She tells the world of the demon I become, she never says how it all came undone. Her innocence she claims and my demons are to blame.
I now know I suffer from PTSD, depression and anxiety. Now I feel the pain of parental alienation. I now tell my story to give her justification. I thought I was weak for falling to demons sobleak. Now I see my biggest demon isn’t inside, next to me it sat in plain sight it would hide.
I now hold my head high and feel I have achieved. I danced with the devil she had seduced me. I danced to her tune to the beat of her drum. Yes I was abused under her thumb.
Now I am free I fight for me. To dance with the devil was my destiny. My story you are witnessing. My story I am confessing.
The ideal family consists of a group of people we can depend on, people who love us, nurture and care for us, people who offer their guidance and support as we go through life, people who we trust. Family is the most important influence in the life of a young child. We usually think of family as blood relatives but sadly not all blood relatives have our best interests at heart. Some of the most toxic people we know may share the same DNA.
A dysfunctional family background often leads to a child believing that their opinions, needs and desires are unimportant and meaningless. As they mature they often lack confidence with low feelings of self-worth. Depression and anxiety are commonplace. Adult children from a narcissistic family need support to make them understand that they are not inadequate and to help them develop healthy self-esteem and build strong and healthy relationships.
In the toxic family neglect and abuse are often a daily occurrence. This family may look good from the outside but it’s a different story for those who live within this dysfunctional family dynamic. Everything is about image. The narcissistic parent will likely put on a display in public and be seen as generous, personable and charming whereas behind closed doors they are abusive and controlling. The house where abuse takes place, whether mental or physical, will never be a home. Talking about their issues is forbidden. (Let’s just pretend everything’s perfect.) Family members who thrive on drama, negativity, jealousy, criticism and denigration will never make a child feel good about themselves. Children from narcissistic families rarely grow up to be close to their brothers and sisters in later life. They have often been pitted against one another in their childhood. Unless the child holds the position of the ‘golden child’ within the family unit, they will be seen and not heard, blamed and shamed. Nothing they ever do will be good enough and they’ll soon learn that their value depends on their achievements, how they can make the family look good and not for who they are.
Signs that you are dealing with toxic family members
- They are verbally or physically abusive.
- They make you feel that you can never do or say anything right.
- They gaslight you. (Sometimes described as ‘psychological warfare’ gaslighting is an insidious process of mind games that occur over a period of time resulting in the person being gaslighted questioning their own sanity and/or reality unable to trust their own judgements.)
- Lack of empathy.
- They play victim to circumstances they create.
- You feel uncomfortable when they’re around.
- They put you down more than they lift you up.
- They use personal information against you. (Information you gave them in confidence.)
- They try to control you.
- They are judgemental. (Justified criticism is healthy but constant criticism will destroy anyone’s self-esteem.)
- You feel like you are walking on eggshells so as you don’t upset them.
- They have anger issues. (Explosive rages.)
- They exhibit passive aggressive behaviour. (Invoking the silent treatment for some perceived slight will create tension and uncertainty.)
- There are endless and unnecessary arguments. (Disagreements are normal. Frequently provoking and initiating arguments is not.)
- They try to isolate you from your friends or other family members. (Once isolated, you become easier to control with no one to turn to but the abuser.)
- This person uses manipulation tactics for personal gain. (Exercises unscrupulous control or influence and emotional exploitation over another person.)
- They spread malicious gossip. (They turn people against each other creating jealousy and disharmony.)
- They make you unhappy and feel bad about yourself. (You may be convinced that there is something wrong with you and that everything that goes wrong is your fault.)
How do you deal with toxic family members?
The worst thing you can do is do nothing. By doing nothing you are giving them the impression that their behaviour is ok. Your mental and physical well-being may suffer as a result. Stop giving up a part of yourself to keep the peace and please someone who is impossible to please. Behaviour such as the behaviour mentioned above, will drain you emotionally. Something that I hear so very often is, ‘I wish that I had done something sooner,’ and ‘If only I’d known that this wasn’t normal. I thought all families were like this and I blamed myself.’ For your own sake, establish boundaries sooner rather than later. You teach people how to treat you by setting healthy boundaries.
Your boundaries are a set of limits or rules where you decide what is acceptable and what is not. They’ll differ from person to person. Normal healthy people know not to cross the line and should have a reasonable idea when not to intrude. On the other hand, the narcissist personality, will have absolutely no respect for the boundaries you set. They have an extraordinary knack of pushing people to their limits for their own amusement, to create friction or drama or to test you. Setting boundaries with a narcissist will not be a one off thing. Expect it to be something that you will have to address time and time again. Communicate your wishes firmly and directly and don’t let them push your buttons. Remain resolute and leave them in no doubt that you mean what you say or things will go back to the way they were before.
Healthy boundaries include ‘alone time’ and time to spend as you see fit. Never let anyone make you feel guilty for setting standards. If they get angry with you for setting standards, they’re not giving you the respect that you deserve. They are the one with the problem, not you.
Some people will never respect the boundaries you set and will not change their behaviour. If they don’t respect your boundaries you may need to examine what position this person will play in your life. You may find that you need to create some distance between you and family members. You are not being selfish or demanding, you’re simply practising healthy self-care. Not every toxic person needs to be cut out of your life but sadly sometimes, someone may be too toxic to you for you to justify keeping them around.
You can’t change the past but you can take control of your future. It’s not easy distancing yourself from family but sometimes this is the only answer and absolutely necessary. The key is in the intent. You’re not doing this to intentionally hurt or punish someone but to protect yourself so let go of the guilt.
When you cut out toxic people from your life, they will often turn the story around and blame you for the conflict. Hard as it may be, ignore their behaviour. Those people who believe their lies and pass judgement without proof, may be best avoided too.
Never give up on your own emotional and physical health by tolerating disrespect and abuse by a toxic family member. Sharing the same bloodline simply means you are related but it doesn’t make you family, love does.
Written by Anne McCrea
Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse, Shattering the Illusion, now available on Amazon
My almost 16 year old daughter is refusing to return to her dad’s house due to his emotional and narcissistic abuse. She has been in counselling for 4 years and cannot take anymore abuse. My daughter at her young age realises the toxic dad she has and I am proud of her for standing up for herself. She has used the tools and techniques her counsellors have given her, yet when she wants no contact from him, the court punishes me.
It is so frustrating when judges force children to be in a toxic environment and that my daughter doesn’t have a voice.
Her dad filed contempt paperwork and he completely blames me for her feelings and emotions.
What advice do you have and are there are any cases/references I should use in my declaration?
My attorney is good, however my ex’s attorney is a master liar and the judges love him.
I have a new managing director at my work. His transition is complete and the old MD has left. I was the first employee along with the MD so the both of us built the company to 10 employees. And I did everything from accounts, HR, office admin.
So five months down the track of the new managing director he shows and has shown so many traits of being a Narcissist.
It started off by questioning everything I did and micromanaging me, making, requesting changes to his ways. He would give me instructions that I would complete, he then was conflicting of his instructions and I started to become confused. Any reminders or ideas I gave he takes as criticism and the ideas he would grab as his own.
On researching and speaking with psychologist I am finally understanding why he is like this. It’s been suggested that I am a threat to him. All the workers look up to me and they approach me for things and suggestions etc. as they always have for the past four years.
Before actually realising his condition I would stick up for myself and correct him which I now understand makes things worse.
I’m having a meeting with him that he has called to outline my tasks and responsibilities and I know this has come from an email I sent before realising the traits about ways to improve our communication to avoid confusion etc. I know he will turn things around and make things my fault as he has done so often and now I know how to deal with a person like this I can’t be defensive and stand up for what I know is right. I would like to Ask the Audience. In this meeting I’m having “How do I act, respond? I’ve never dealt with someone like this before and in normal cases I would defend myself stand up for what I know is right. But on researching I’m not going to be able to do this.
I’m going to have to be blamed ashamed accused and take it all.
How do I react when this happens? Do I sit there and nod, agree with him, ‘yes sir!’
I’m extremely nervous about the whole thing and suffering anxiety that I’ve never had before.
Any advise would be appreciated.
What about if you were verbally and emotionally abused.. got out as fast as you could but got pregnant and then the narcissist lied… dragged you through mud… hired expensive lawyers and deceived everyone even professionals and me – the victim was not believed. In fact he turned it around to make it seem like he was the victim … sad day and sad news today.. I have lost faith in humanity!
‘Manipulative, abusive, controlling people and the weak people who are afraid of them, their enablers and flying monkeys who blindly follow them… will say and do almost anything to keep you quiet. You are going to get labelled as crazy, angry, jealous and hateful, to name but a few, when you stand up to them and call them out on their behaviour. Be strong. You can handle this. The truth is always revealed to those who have learned to see.’
Let’s look at what is meant by manipulative behaviour;
Psychological manipulation can be described as exercising unscrupulous control or influence and emotional exploitation over a person or situation with the intention of gaining power and control at the expense of their target. A world-renowned expert on manipulators, Dr George K. Simon has cited three necessities to successfully manipulate someone:
1. Concealing aggressive behaviour and intention.
2. Understanding the psychological shortcomings of a victim in order to determine which method will achieve the best results.
3. An uncommon degree of ruthlessness, having no reservations about inflicting harm upon their unsuspecting victim.
Who do they target? Anyone can be a target of an emotional manipulator.
• Empathetic, kind and easy-going people who try to avoid conflict. These kind and considerate people are likely to forgive the narcissist time and time again for their monstrous behaviour.
• The independent, accomplished person will be a great source of narcissistic supply once they have fallen under their spell.
The narcissist has mastered the art of deception. Although their intentions may initially appear to be honest and sincere, their ultimate goal is to deceive, exploit and manipulate. Whatever the relationship with the manipulator, be it parent, spouse, partner, sibling, child, friend or co-worker, this relationship is unbalanced from the beginning. Their aim is to, by any devious means necessary, gain control of your mind, resulting in you becoming an unwilling participant in their schemes. How can any such connection not be doomed from the outset?
Narcissists are known to be very observant at the start of any relationship. They listen intently as you reveal details of your past, your feelings and vulnerabilities, to use this information against you for their own gain.
Narcissists are adept at distorting the truth. Manipulators are often compulsive and pathological liars. They will twist events, things you’ve said or done, turn them around, and maybe add a few lies so that their version becomes a far cry from reality. Of course, their target is left feeling confused and full of self-doubt.
Manipulative people will often play the victim to circumstances they have created. They lack accountability for their words or actions and twist the situation round to blame you.
A common form of manipulation is that of turning people against each other, creating jealousy and disharmony. They talk behind backs spreading false information so that people become distrustful of one another. Splitting, as this is sometimes called, puts the narcissist in a position of power.
Passive aggressive behaviour is common. They go between being pleasant one minute to refusing communication the next (the silent treatment). Their target is left reeling, wondering what they have done wrong when in fact, the answer is, absolutely nothing at all.
Explosive rages and personal attacks and criticism are another favourite tactic. They are relentless in their pursuit of grinding you down until they get what they want. Your emotional health and well-being are of little importance.
Targets of such insidious manipulation unintentionally give up a part of themselves to keep the peace and please someone who is simply impossible to please. Unfortunately, once these twisted individuals succeed in taking advantage of your kind and forgiving nature, they are likely to repeat this behaviour over and over again until you put a stop to it once and for all.
We all have the right to be treated with respect and set boundaries as to what is acceptable behaviour and what is not. Learn to be assertive. You have the right to your own opinions and values and the right to express these without being put down by someone whose moral values are sub-standard to say the least. Never be afraid to say, ‘No’, and don’t feel guilty for doing so.
Remember that someone who feels the need to manipulate others has failed to mature emotionally. Although they may appear to be strong and in control, there are often underlying insecurities and self-doubt. What you see is not what you get. Their dysfunctional behaviour is likely to tumble over from one relationship to the next. They absolve themselves from any responsibility in their continual failed relationships. Narcissists’ failure to hold themselves accountable for their behaviour is in complete contrast to them holding you accountable for yours.
• Do you feel you are constantly walking on egg shells around this person?
• Do you feel as good about yourself as you once did?
• Do you feel taken for granted?
• Do you feel that whatever you do, it’s never enough?
• Is it always you who is doing the giving and them the taking?
• Are you losing friends, acquaintances without knowing why?
• Are you subjected to their passive aggressive behaviour?
• Does this person try to tell you how you should think or feel?
• Do you feel that it is all about their needs whilst yours don’t matter?
• Do you feel pressured into doing things that you are not happy with?
If you have answered ‘Yes’ to some of these questions, it may be time to re-evaluate what part, if any, you want this person to play in your life.
‘Make today be the last day that you care about people who have shown you that they don’t.’
Written by Anne McCrea
Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse, Shattering the Illusion, now available on Amazon