I’ve written this blog to help you. The poor soul; who thinks, like I did, that you are savvy and living life with integrity according to your own moral compass. For those who think themselves confident with aspirations and a plan of sorts for their life and what they’d like to do with it. This is for you.
Here is a simple guide to the signs that you’re living with the worst kind of manipulator; a Narcissist. If any of these ring a bell. Leave. Life should not be this complex. It’s not love; it’s control. And worse than that the offender is incapable of love and you’re merely a pawn in the game of their life. An expendable pawn too. Because if it isn’t you; it’ll be another. Equally drawn in by the carefully constructed character they’ve honed over the years based on what works. And with each new victim the patter will commence; to first build you up into something you simply can’t sustain, then they’ll surgically deconstruct the real you until there’s nothing left. If successful you will become but a nodding dog, a semi-smiling robot playing the essential part of ‘back-up’. This is an important role in a Narcissist’s life; to corroborate the endless lies, along with providing 24/7 attention, adoration, platitudes and doing exactly what you are told. By this time your agenda has been rubbished, you’re needy and difficult; always the ‘worst’ (insert***) they’ve ever come across.
Once ensnared to the point of submission the Narcissist will slowly unravel whilst binding you in, tighter and tighter. Like a snake with a mouse; you’ll not be able to breathe and your support system should by now be long gone. Ironically they will have been ‘seen off’ by you in accordance with the Puppet Master’s ruling that it is odd that you need them. If you’re lucky this new docile iteration of ‘you’ will now be really irritating to them and they’ll start to tire and look outside of the relationship for fresh meat. Unfortunately if you’ve got children together this might start closer to home and at this point you MUST find a way to rise up and take control; for their sake if not your own.
There is only way to win in this situation and it begins with listening. This type of person seeks drama, negativity and blame; oh how they love to blame. They’ll put down their best friend, their parents and family but the most acerbic assessment is reserved for their ‘ex’. Most recent being the ‘worst’; they’ll compare you favourably to them, you’re so very special and nothing like them. They’ve never known anything/anyone like you. They know you deeply; better than anyone, even yourself. They ‘get’ you; understand the ‘real’ you. True fantasists; they’ll concoct ‘unique’ ways that you’re magical together. Whilst peddling this myth they’ll also systematically pull apart ‘your ex’ and by proxy your former life, whether you’ve discussed them or not.
A first class manipulator can feign empathy like a master. Drawing you in; encouraging openness, ‘go on tell me, I’m interested, I understand you’; during this moment anything you divulge will go on file in the manipulators head. At some point later this will be regurgitated, re-packaged and fired at you; at close range for maximum impact. This applies to those who you love; who’ll also be used to syphon information from; then rebranded to apply specifically to you and casting you in the most negative light. Literally your own support system can be used to bring you down.
This person is everything they accuse you of. They reflect back onto you every negative, destructive and damaging element of their personality until you own it. Their appetite for attention is unbridled; they’ll stop at nothing to engage anyone in their game. From the little old lady at the bus stop, the bar tender, young, old, male or female, that’s not the point. The point is to get from them what they need. This can include drama, validation, confrontation, flattery and more. And if you’re with them at the time you know that your needs are secondary to this engagement. You might be in a hurry, need the toilet, feel unwell, be late for work; the Narcissist doesn’t care, the blinkers are on, game is up and empathy and understanding for their ‘partner/friend/child’ no longer exists. Often the game will include you; whether you like it or not. You’ll be drawn in to corroborate truths, to be made fun of, used as a scapegoat perhaps. You may even have to observe outright flirtation which if questioned is diffused with a lecture regarding your insecurity and jealousy before reminding you just how ugly those traits are.
A Narcissist has no boundaries or filter. They are overpowering; physically; the level of their voice and strength, emotionally; by giving you no peace and invading your personal space, mentally; by nit-picking and creating the same exhausting and time consuming scenarios then insisting you talk about it, not to mention endlessly hogging the spotlight. A Narcissist lives for interaction and reaction; negative or dramatic is preferable. Faced with a worthy adversary they become defensive, angry and/or aggressive but not before they’ve tried to laugh or physically goad you out of it. If you don’t find it funny; what is your problem? Then a considered list of all the reasons it is your problem, why and who they could make contact with in that moment to substantiate this. Or there’s the ‘I’m sorry I’m just trying to have fun; do you remember fun?’ Equally peachy; ‘babe is there something wrong with you; seriously I’m here for you, you seem down, depressed, your face is sad and a bit difficult to look at?’ Followed by ‘I know what he/she did to you; the way they treated you, sure the negative things they said could be true; but not always, you do have good days…’.
One of the worst things to contend with I found were the never-ending contentious conversations about the same thing/issue/situation. I say conversations eventually I would call them ‘word salad’s’, ‘circular conversations’, ‘regurgitated venom’ or ‘verbal diarrhoea’. ‘Wordy- bollocks’ if you will. Either way it will drain your life force and sap your soul. Narcissistic talk is complex; veering off on a tangent, random and difficult to follow. This is deliberate; to catch you on the back foot, keep you off balance and therefore susceptible to their influence. You may even fear you’ve developed a hearing issue; ‘can you hear me?’ ‘Is your hearing okay’, ‘HELLO….’. That and nothing is ever their fault. Oh other than the tiny, insignificant thing you’ve definitely not complained/ or care about; like ‘babe I’m really sorry I’ve been placing the cushions weirdly on the sofa, it’s not fair to you and I should know better’ just to later proof their ability to ‘take responsibility’. Yet not for the actual mentally damaging, coercive and controlling mind games that play out day-in, day-out; for they are most definitely not their fault.
First way to break free from this; is it to no longer engage, for it is the reaction which is key to perpetuating the drama and the drama is essential fuel for the Narcissist. It is this fuel that keeps the fires burning; the fires of discontent, anger, irritation, condemnation and righteousness. For they are flawed people; for whatever reason, entitled, spoiled and embittered. So without the ability to be introspective and actually take responsibility for their actions; or at least understand why they behave as they do and how it impacts on those around them, they cannot be helped. Therefore you must leave.
On the other side of this madness; upon breaking free and running for the hills, you’ll experience a freedom, peace and absolute contentment you’d never imagine possible. There is life after the Narcissist and if you learn nothing else; it’ll be that you’re stronger than you ever thought.