It’s when you talk and you get only grunts in response. Nothing that actually indicates the narc has heard you or understood you – just a pause and a breath.
He’s just waiting until it’s his turn to talk again, after all. He could care less what’s happening inside your head – he only wants to know that you’re there for him.
If you think back, you might remember that, if you asked him (or he volunteered) how he felt about you, he always said things like:
I love the way you make me feel.
I love how you always listen.
I love that you’re always there when I need you.
I love how you take care of me.
See how there wasn’t really anything about YOU PERSONALLY there?
And it’s not that you should really care or even feel offended – I mean, it’s just the narcissist’s “way” right?
Well, that would be the case if you didn’t seem to catch the narc appearing to genuinely connect with other people when he’s more of a brick wall when it comes to understanding YOU.
He will be nice to them. He will seem to have empathy for them and if you dare to even bat an eyelash the wrong way in regard to those people? He will tell you HOW THEY FEEL! And still, when it comes to you, the narc seems to have a blind spot, as far as you can tell.
But then you start to wonder. What’s so bad about me? Am I really as (insert insulting lie here – crazy/lazy/ugly/bitchy/stupid, etc.) the narc says I am?
And once he does, the happiness you hope he’ll find will never quite arrive. Because the more you try to become perfect for a narcissist, the more he loses respect for you.
Over time, he will have you believing that you’re not even an actual human who even deserves to be treated with even the most basic dignity. And you will find yourself acting in kind as you desperately seek to justify it to yourself with thoughts of personal change and self-sacrifice.
You rack your brain on ways YOU can change in order to elicit change from him.
But here’s the thing – none of that will matter unless both people are willing to give.
You can only change so much without any reciprocation at all. Compromise means two parties come to mutually agreeable resolution in which both parties get what they want. Otherwise it’s just you giving and giving and him taking. Feel me?
Now it’s your turn – what do you think? Is validation one of the biggest things you’re missing when it comes to your relationship with a narcissist? Are you forgetting who you are? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments and let’s discuss it.
Do you know someone who presents as a shy or introverted person, but who is actually a narcissist? You might be dealing with a covert narcissist. Covert narcissists are those who will often use the “poor me” act – also known as narcissistic injury – as one of their primary ways of manipulating their victims.
What is a covert narcissist?
A covert narcissistis someone who demonstrates a very subtle, but equally toxic form of narcissism that is exhibited by someone with a more introverted personality. Covert narcissism is characterized by grandiose fantasies and thoughts, perception of entitlement, and a general sentiment of being better than others – but unlike grandiose narcissism, those affected by covert narcissism can seem shy and introverted. They may also be self-loathing in a more obvious way than other narcissists. These qualities make it more difficult to identify a covert narcissist.
I’ll offer you a look inside the head of a covert narcissist that might even make you feel a little sorry for him/her – but it’s the truth. The untrained eye might see this kind of narcissist as a pushover or a sweet shy person, but in reality, they’re the hardest kind of narcissist to sniff out – the covert kind. I’ll not only share personal experiences, but I’ll give you the nuts and bolts on how a covert narcissist works and on how to identify one. In this video, I’ll give you the 411 on how to identify a covert narcissist and what to watch for when dealing with one.
One of the things that I hear so often from narcissistic abuse survivors is that they just don’t know who they are anymore. During and after your involvement with a toxic narcissist, you lose yourself – and when you sort of “wake up” from the FOG of it all, you might find yourself lost or spinning – trying to grab hold of something to get a glimpse of yourself again.
Well, let’s start here – look at where you’ve already been.
You can better understand yourself and your life by examining your past. Your present can be directly attributed to your past, just as your future is determined by the beliefs, thoughts, and actions you take in the present.
It’s important to avoid living in the past, but you can still use the past to your advantage. Understand how your past has influenced the person you’ve become:
1. What was your childhood like? How did your parents treat you? What was your experience like at school? Did you have a lot of friends? Did you go to church? How did you use playtime?
Think about your best and worst experiences. How have those influenced your life? Did you have a bad experience in gym class that turned you off of sports? Were you bullied? Did you become a scientist because you received a lot of recognition for your success in high school science classes?
2. Make a list of your biggest failures. Choose the top 10 failures and leave the others alone for another time.
3. Why did those challenges occur? Where did you go wrong? Did you fail to make a wise decision? Did you give up to quickly? Did you act without thinking or without enough information?
Examining your failures is an excellent way to prevent them from reoccurring throughout your lifetime. Repeating mistakes is par for the course.
You can do better! Examine your mistakes so you can avoid them in the future.
4. Make a list of the things you don’t like about your life. Maybe you don’t like your job, your house, or your physique. What happened in the past to lead to those negative circumstances? What mistakes did you make that caused these situations to arise?
Can you see how a few changes could lead to a big difference in the future?
What are the likely outcomes if you fail to change today?
5. Examine the major components of your life. A few examples include: finances, family life, social life, and health. Look at your present circumstances and then look to the past and find the roots of your behaviors and beliefs that led to your current situation.
For example, maybe you don’t save money because your parents never saved money. Maybe your mom was always raiding your piggy bank and saving money seemed like a futile effort.
Now that you know the cause of your belief, show yourself how these circumstances don’t apply any more. Give yourself permission to make the change you desire.
6. Consider your relationships – narcissistic and otherwise. Why did you choose your spouse? Do you not have a spouse at all? Is this by choice? How have your childhood and past relationships affected your current relationships?
7. Choose to let go of the things that are holding you back. Striking out at the league championship in fourth grade is not a good reason to shy away from the spotlight. Let go of the negative things from the past that are tainting your present and your future. Each day is a new day. The things you do today that don’t make any sense aren’t random.
Your past has had a huge influence on the person you’ve become. While it’s not wise to live in the past, it is smart to examine your past to gain a better understanding of your present situation and the person you’ve become. Use your past to your advantage and then let it go – it’s the only way to move forward! So, what do you say?
Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section and let’s discuss it!
In case you’re wondering what it feels like to be love-bombed by a toxic narcissist, I’ve complied the answers of 28 anonymous members of a private support group for narcissistic abuse survivors. Please notice the patterns and take appropriate care to keep yourself safe in your current or future relationships.
My ex (a narcissist) said things that were really negative about his ex and I totally fell for the tactic. It totally blew me away when he completely flipped into a different person once I got to know him.
After he got fired from his job and because I had his fancy car he left at my place (even though I had a car and my mother’s car) and I had to leave truck driving school to go get him in OKC. When I got there, he unloaded his truck, clothes etc. And when we got back to my house he unloaded his belongings into my closet and just ‘moved in’. Then the ‘shaping me’ started happening and he just took over the household. My mother and daughter were still living with me. Because I was so stressed out from working/ going to school and taking care of mom; at the time his taking over was welcomed by me. But of course as I look back, I see now what he was doing.
He kept the most recent ex in the forefront. His words: she was psycho, bi-polar, lier, cheater, abandoned him, and thought she might kill herself. He wouldn’t completely block her because he didn’t want to be responsible if she did hurt herself. He brought her up all the time and upset and hurt me terribly. I just realized yesterday that he was using triangulation. All those traits he described were his own. He also told the same stories over and over about the exes. They were all just horrible women according to him. I now think he was in contact with the most recent ex the whole time. I have no evidence and never caught him cheating but he was always quick to accuse me of cheating and lying, which as we know usually indicates that they are doing it themselves. I was suspicious and came so close to spying on him on his FB account and phone but couldn’t bring myself to do so. I think I feared what I would find.
Blaming all his problems on others, saying they’re mentally ill, childish, incompetent, negative. phony. Arrogant attitude, condescending toward others who are different than him, or anyone who doesn’t agree politically or any other way. Feels entitled to special treatment in most situations.
During the love bombing stage he exhibited extreme jealousy. We lived 100 miles apart. I had met a couple girlfriends for a drink. Now by this time I had bonded to him. There was constant texting and fb chatting. He knew I was meeting them…he was texting me the whole time I was with them and called…phone in my purse trying to visit, he called and I didn’t hear my phone. When I checked my phone and called him, I was interrogated as to where I was, what I was doing. What am I doing at a pub on a Friday night…why was I still there…must be more to it than meeting the girls…he was going to jump in his car and come there. I ended up crying and feeling guilty for doing nothing wrong. My girlfriends were not happy with him making me cry, etc. But I defended him because I thought his behavior was a result of how badly he had been treated by his exes. OMG…really!
We were talking about romantic relationships and he said “I don’t think I’ve ever really loved anyone before…….I don’t think I ever really invested in anyone else”. Yet he had been in two long-term relationships, one was an engagement. I thought he was just emotionally very immature at the time.
He said in what I thought was a joking way “I’m very good at taking things…..at receiving things” (meals, cleaning up after him, stuff he didn’t want to be bothered with as a single adult). We both laughed out loud – I thought he was laughing because we both realized the absurdity of that way of being and how no one could really be like that. In hindsight, a billboard couldn’t have been a bigger sign.
He came back from a rare family visit that included his sister. He was outraged at how she behaved, constantly talking about herself, refusing to help prepare food or clean up anything, behaving as if everyone were there to act as her audience and make sure her wine glass or coffee cup was never empty. Went on and on forever about how he’d try to bring up a topic and she would in seconds steer the conversation back to herself. Not sure why I think I should have seen this as an early red flag – guess it was more of a moment before I was convinced he’s a narc when I thought maybe he was getting some clarity about his own behavior since he described to a T a female version of himself and how much he couldn’t stand it.
He got kicked out of a program for school and said it was because the woman who ran it was sexist. Got fired from two jobs because someone didn’t like him. Asked me for clean urine for job drug screening. I gave it to him more than once. I feel so stupid reading that. Cannot believe how far I went to please my abuser.
I’d only had 2 very casual afternoon dates with him. I was out with a bunch of friends, and was dancing with a guy. He walked into the bar, and wigged out, then got in his truck and peeled out of the parking lot. The guy I was dancing with wanted to know if that was my boyfriend, and I told him no, I was just barely getting to know him. He told me to watch out for that guy, his reaction was overblown. How I wish I had listened to him!
In the beginning our dates would start with breakfast go on through lunch and we would end up spending so much time together we would then have dinner together. I thought it was because he liked being with me so much. Turned out he was a chronic over eater as well as a Narc. He always looked for an excuse for his behavior.
I had no experience with this type of person, so I didn’t know what love bombing was. He wanted to get super close, super fast. He said “I think I love you” very early on. And the kicker………..I couldn’t understand why a single guy with a truck would trade it in for a family sized van. This happened 3 months after I met him. I was divorced with 2 little kids at the time. I didn’t even allow him to meet my children for about a year…………but he told me later the van was purchased with my kids in mind. After 3 months???
He said God sent him to me. That he prayed specific for a woman like me and one that’s been hurt and he could love them so Much as he has so much love to give, and truly their kids as his own. My kids dad is alcoholic and was hurtful to them growing up, and he said God sent him to bring healing to my kids and be the dad they never had. He then worked on them. Also writing me poems all the time.
My N told me that all his exes are not as classy as me. He swore that he wasn’t dating his ex when we met. But I later found out that was a lie. He cheated on her with me and dumped her like a hot potato. I should have seen this as a major red flag. But he said he fell in love with me and his relationship with her didn’t matter to him anymore because she had no ambition in life. Of course he was looking at my family and the money I would inherit.
Well, I met him when I was 18 and he was 20….not a fully hatched N yet. The first sign of something wrong was the lying….more exaggerating and embellishing stories. After noticing a few I called him on it. He actually was kind of shocked and seemed mostly unaware that he was doing it or more likely that it was noticeable. I told him that one of our friends said to me that he had embellished a story…that people were noticing and gave him a few examples. We talked and he actually seemed like he wanted to change and actually did change for quite a while. It was years before I saw a ramp up of lying creeping in.
Mine was still seeing a shrink to get over his ex. I didn’t know this until my stepfather saw him there. He said he was closing the book on his last relationship. To butter me up he said, “I told the shrink I had met you and I loved you. Then the shrink asked me what I loved about you. I said everything”. Today I know that it truly meant:” I don’t love her in any shape or form. I am triangulating her with my ex.”
He told me he was divorced. Eight weeks later he slipped while talking to his mother in front of me complaining that she hadn’t signed the papers yet. So, yes they were separated but he knew I would never date a married man. I made that clear to him. He lied right from day one. And I had known him for almost 30 years. He lied so that I would compromise my moral standards. I should have bolted that very day. I was fuming but bought his next lie “I love you so much I just couldn’t tell you, I didn’t want to lose you”. Oh man, that would have saved 7 1/2 years of more crap.
Yeah…I actually called his wife to make sure it was really over and that she was ok with me dating him. She was. She tried to warn me but I believed his lies. She and I are friends now! So sad. So very sad.
He told me stories of how he did so many important things for people. he was never appreciated. I saw sighs even tried to break it off .He didn’t have friends no relationship with his grown sons. he cried told me not to do it. I knew he was broken. yet I loved him. I saw the pain, felt it.
One of his grown sons told me how he tried to kill himself because of his father’s bullying and that I should leave him asap as he would destroy me. I had massive red flags from the very beginning but was very vulnerable having just left a very abusive relationship and him being the only friend who supported me.
we actually argued often in text before we even met. I just had to win him over bring him into the light. I was taken into the dark. I always knew. He would gas light me all the time, i would tell him he was trying to justifying his bad behavior, I was right I just didn’t know the terminology. who knew there could be people so broken. I was broken heart broken from the loss of my husband to this horrific disease. I also kind of enjoyed that he was so opinionated as my husband didn’t speak with his disease. I needed a friend a safe place to lay my head, I laid with the devil. Deep breath. I will still take from this. He took me to a different place from where I was in the loss of my husband. I was devastated. See I’m a widow with a breathing body the shell of the most wonderful man I have ever known.
There was no one in his life he loved as much as he loved me, not even his children. …to name a few. Oh yes, he loved me by the end of the first week, and was making plans for our future by week three. He asked me to move in with him by the second month and by the end of the third month the devaluation phase began.
He had us both put GPS tracking on our phones so we could see where we were. He insinuated himself into every area of my life in a short time and said I love you within a couple weeks. He acted like everything about me was the greatest thing. He said and did all the right things.
Usually a comment will be made on which there is both a positive and negative slant from his perspective: “you’re such a good mum (positive) and then “I’m never going to come before your children am I? (the negative for him…the warning sign for me).
Looked at me like a dog in heat. Very strange. Second date, big display of ego and grandiosity coupled with rude hospitality once the friends crashed out date. He left me sitting and worked the uninvited crowd of drunk males. At this point I wanted to escape… His charm and ability to brainwash me existed from the beginning.. I normally would have stood up, said in outa here and left. Something immobilized me, he felt familiar..
I lived in a garden apartment complex in high school, when I met him and learned he lived about 3 blocks away. During the love bombing phase, we would walk around the neighborhood at night for hours, talking. He walked, mostly, and I was the sympathetic ear. He shared how dysfunctional and cold his home environment had been. (One thing he had witnessed less than 10 years old, was his dad raping his mom). One night, it was super cold, and our relationship was still new. We went into the little hallway that goes between the buildings, which either leads down to a laundry facility or out to the back, where the garages were. We both crouched down against the wall and the floor….he at one wall, me at the opposite one. Now, mind you, everyone at our school always gave him a wide birth in the halls…he was angry, so he was somewhat feared. And as I said before, I loved this, because he chose ME! Being an unpopular girl, this inflated my ego. So, there we were in the little hallway, and I had a black wool calf-length coat wrapped around me. He stopped sharing about his troubled past, and said through a puff of his cigarette, “If you don’t quit standing there looking so hot, I’m gonna rape you.” I said, “Go ahead.” Sick or what? He did not follow through, mind you.
Early in our relationship, one one sunny day, I was supposed to call him at a certain time. I was late calling him, because I went to the supermarket briefly with my mom. Yes, this was my bad, but it was a small and fixable infraction. However, I’m sure it triggered his abandonment issues from his past. So, I got home. He called me, acted all dramatic and foreboding, said, “I’m sending Fred [his stepfather] to come pick you up; we have to talk.” I was full of trepidation, didn’t know what to expect. Got to his house, went to his room [his two younger sisters were present] and he sat across from me. His jaw was clenched and his nostrils literally FLARING with anger. Looked at me with total fury, like a father would look at his child if he just caught her shoplifting $1,000 worth of merchandise. He said he was breaking up with me. I was devastated, wasn’t “done” with this relationship. I tried to look formidable, stand my own ground, but I couldn’t help but notice that with his nostrils flared, he looked like an angry bull. And it was hot. And I told him EXACTLY that, word-for-word. And this disarmed him, and he chose not to break up with me. Yes, quite sick.
Something I always found uncomfortable, was that I was so into him, I mean…..I fell for him hook, line and sinker. He treated me like a trophy on a shelf. He wanted me to move in his social circles, but he was always across the room, lost in the crowd, smoking, laughing, drinking beer, and I was always sitting there on the couch, along the wall, making small talk here and there, but mostly, waiting for him to remember I was present. He’d always come over to me about every 45 minutes or so, smile, ask if I was having fun, give me a peck on the lips, and pounce away again.
Narcissists have a way of really reeling in their victims, and it usually begins the moment you meet them. They’ll work hard to create an intoxicating bubble around you, presenting only false selves. They will do whatever it takes to win you over – and you’ll fall for it, hook, line, and sinker – even and sometimes especially when you technically should “know better.”
But once you’ve committed to this person, it’s usually too late. You’re already found yourself caught in their web of lies that nearly eliminates any chance of you leaving them. Worse, the lies they tell during the “honeymoon” phase can be very strategic – or the narcissist could just be infatuated with you. Either way, they appear as if they care deeply about your welfare. In reality, this is what love bombing is all about.
What is love bombing?
Love bombing is an intense, overwhelming whirlwind experience of being romantically pursued by another that includes overtures of grandiose, idealized love and devotion. These displays may consist of poetry, flowers, cards, and gifts—even marriage proposals or fraudulent offers of “forever” love. Love bombing is also called idealization. It usually happens during the initial stages of a relationship with a narcissist, when they attribute exaggeratedly positive qualities to the self or others. It’s the first part of a larger cycle of abuse.
What is the cycle of narcissistic abuse?
The cycle of narcissistic abuse is a pattern used by a narcissistic personality disorder, psychopathic, or sociopathic person to entrap their victims into giving them narcissistic supply. Unfortunately, the more they are given, the more narcissistic supply they feel they need. And the more intensely they are loved (or hate), the more shame is exposed, triggering greater and greater fears of destruction that ultimately result in narcissistic rage. For the most part, victims will experience four main phases, including the idealization phase, also known as love bombing, followed by the devaluation and discard phases. Thus, this cycle of abuse is a pervasive pattern of alternating idealization and devaluation.
How can I tell if I’m being love-bombed?
Why is it so hard to tell the difference between a love bomber and someone interested in you on a healthy level? The fact is that on the outside, a love bomber and a healthy person who has fallen in love might appear to be pretty similar. But some subtle differences are often overlooked when we are under the spell of new love.
What kinds of things do narcissists say during love bombing?
Below are their answers – as you look through this list, I want you to think back to the beginning of your relationship – do you see a pattern, too?.
53 Lies Narcissists Tell When Love Bombing
Narcissists in love-bombing mode seem to tell some pretty common lies meant to throw us off the scent of what’s happening in the relationship. By learning to spot these red flags, you can better protect yourself from falling victim to their manipulations and behaviors. **Trigger warning: These are actual statements from toxic narcissists shared with me by real survivors of narcissistic abuse.**
“You seem like the type of person I would want to marry someday.”
I never wanted children until I met you.
It’s all you – all the time. (Because I have no friends.)
My exes are all crazy bitches. (The same narc asked at the end of the relationship: “Is it okay to still visit for sex after our divorce?”)
Your mother/sister/father/brother is messed up! I hid out in the other room while they were here because they gave me a bad vibe.
How dare you put your kids before me?
You don’t love me! Only your children.
The day after, he had been drunk the night before. There was never an apology for his bad behavior, but he would always ask, “do you still love me?” And, of course, I would shower him with the reassurance of how much I loved him.
“I just want to be with someone who wants to be with me for the same reasons I want to be with them.”
You’ve never met anyone like me.
“I love you” (a few days to a few months).
“I will die without you.”
“I will do anything to get you back. Please tell me you love me.”
“Can I take the condom off? You know I will take care of you.” (3 days before, he discarded me for his new victim. Probably because I said no and wasn’t going to take him back without him becoming a decent human being.)
“You remind me of my mother.”
“The only way I’ll ever leave you is in a pine box.” (And left three days later, for a month, before coming back.)
You’re all mine now, and I’m not letting you get away!
“God sent you to me.” (a couple of days in)
Oh, I never used to yell this much before my ex-wife… (and other irrational or jealous statements/accusations)
I’ve never loved anyone as much as you before. I couldn’t live without you now.
How much do you love me? (I was asked this almost daily ).
Will, you always love me (again almost daily when he wasn’t giving silent treatment ).
Why do you love me?
You love me more than I do you!
I think you’re a good investment!
I wish I met you 30 years ago. We’d have been so successful.
So, when’s the wedding? (2 weeks in)
I just suddenly fell in love with you (the day after seeing my new house ).
You’re perfect for me.
No one will ever love you as much as me.
I don’t need anyone but you.
You’ve made me happy.
My wife was cold and hated sex.
My wife didn’t talk to me.
My wife has issues.
“I did everything to save my marriage” (I didn’t know about his 2-year affair, which he was still in when he forced himself into my home, saying he’d left his wife for me, and I couldn’t refuse him and make him homeless. So we weren’t even going out together. He was just a friend through work!)
“I know how wonderful it can be when two people truly love each other share the same goals.”
The narcissist made various graphic statements regarding my anatomy.
It could have been anyone, but no, it was me and no one else who was the perfect one for him.
He knew I was his soulmate.
He knew from the first time he saw me that I was the one for him.
He never had as intimate a relationship with anyone before me.
Sex has never been this good with others
“I’ve never been love like this”
“You’re my dream girl!”
“I don’t know what hit me.”
That was the first time I called a woman on my phone. It has been so long.” (7 months to be exact, but with hookers in between that and meeting me.)
“When I went out with my friends, I would not talk to any other women… Until I met you. You’re amazing.”
“I don’t do violence.”
“We are like soul mates, aren’t we “
“Where would I be without you?”
“I’ve never been with a girl as pretty as you.”
Okay, now it’s your turn. How many of these phrases sound familiar to you? What would you add to our list?