7 Things You Can Say To Trigger a Narcissist’s Anger

7 Things You Can Say To Trigger a Narcissist’s Anger


(Prefer to watch or listen? See video on YouTube) 
Making a narcissist angry is a skill that doesn’t require much practice, but figuring out how to avoid their ridiculously overblown reaction to anything you say, think, or feel? Well, that takes some real strategy. There are plenty of documented reasons for this, but it all begins with the fact that narcissists tend to have inflated, but outrageously fragile, egos.

If you’ve ever been in a relationship with a toxic narcissist, then you already know that there are plenty of things you can say to anger a narcissist. You can even just look at them the wrong way and tick them off pretty good, right? And my guess is that you already know how easily narcissists can fly off the handle.

And, if you’re anything like I was before I healed, you’d like to avoid this as often as you can. After all, when a narcissist is enraged, they will fling insults at you, digging deep and actively poking at the things that hurt you the most. They want you to feel bad about yourself in that moment, and on some level, they are projecting their own emotions on to you. Let me explain.

The concept of narcissistic rage plays a big part here. See, narcissistic rage is what we see when a narcissist knows they’re wrong but won’t admit it, or when they don’t get what they want, or when people don’t treat them differently or more special than others. It can also happen when a narcissist’s sense of entitlement is threatened – and basically, anytime things don’t go their way. They get inconsolably angry in an attempt to bully or coerce you into giving them what they want. And, when this doesn’t work well enough, they’ll often switch to a similar tactic where they slip into victim mode. We’ll talk more about that part later.

You might also be aware that your average narcissist is far from rational, especially when they feel insulted, belittled, minimized or in any way attacked. This can feel pretty ironic, given that they actively insult, belittle, minimize and attack the people closest to them.

In any case, though, if you’re dealing with a narcissist, you probably want to avoid saying the things that are guaranteed to upset them, at least if you want to avoid the drama and upset that goes along with making a narcissist angry.

7 Things You Can Say To Trigger a Narcissist’s Anger

Here are seven things that you can say to a narcissist to trigger their anger.

1. “I am so impressed with that skill someone other than you has that you also have…”

Complimenting someone else on a skill or talent that the narcissist is going to go over like a lead balloon, especially when you do so without also acknowledging the narcissist’s own talent. And heaven forbid you should do so without somehow implying that the other person’s skill is in any way superior to the narcissist’s (or that it isn’t actually inferior if we’re being honest). Narcissists are insanely jealous by nature because of the fact that they are so insecure. So, if you were to ever compliment someone else for having such talent in something that the narcissist also has, that not only makes them angry but also makes them feel as though you have personally and directly insulted them. No kidding. Even if what you say is benign and you are not comparing them to the person you are talking about in any way. Narcissists have to believe they are the best and the very best at what they do, even if there is obvious and documented evidence to the contrary.

2. “The food at the restaurant you chose just isn’t for me…can we try something else next time?”

You can never tell a narcissist you don’t like or want something THEY like or want. I remember this exact situation with my ex. He would literally get offended when I would not enjoy the same food or movies or whatever that he did. I’d always think to myself,
“Geez, it’s not like you MADE the food or the movie or whatever.” But like all narcissists, he took everything personally. And that’s the thing. Narcissists need you to agree with everything they say, think and feel, and if you don’t, you’re wrong and also doing something they see as offensive. The narcissist expects you to follow their path no matter what – or at least the path they’ve laid out for you. If you say you don’t want to do something they want you to do, or you don’t like something that they like – that will definitely make them mad. Why? Because narcissists need to be in control, which means they expect you to want and like the same things that they do. Otherwise, you can expect a bunch of illogical and overblown narcissistic rage.

3. “I need to go to the doctor or the salon, or I need to take my medicine, or I need to do anything at all that involves self-care.”

Narcissists do not see you as an actual person. Rather, you’re an extension of them, as far as they’re concerned. That’s why, if you express to a narcissist that you are in dire need of self-care, and it goes against their plans and wishes, you can expect the narcissistic rage to show its ugly face. If they haven’t decided that you need whatever form of self-care you’re talking about, they’ll see it as selfish and unnecessary. The only time they might NOT behave this way, in this case, is if showing some kind of humanity might benefit them – as in they have something else to do during that time or they are going to get some benefit out of being nice to you at this moment. It’s never about YOU, but always about them – and since they have no empathy whatsoever, they don’t care if you need a break or time to yourself. All they care about is that they are not going to have the narcissistic supply they need if you were to take care of yourself at a given time. How dare you have needs when they need you, right?

4. “So, my friends and I are going to hang out … or my friends are going to come over…”

The narcissist does not want you to see your friends, and if you attempt to do so, you can fully expect that they’ll drop some rage on you. Why should this be the case? Well, it all goes back to the narcissist needing to be in control of you. That, and the fact that if you are seeing your friends, two things might happen – one, you might actually have some emotional support that could result in your getting stronger and therefore more able to see that they’re actively psychologically manipulating and abusing you – and two, you might not be there if they happen to want or need something fro you. And if you have the nerve to tell the narcissist that you want to see your friends or family without them? They expect you to be there for them, and only them as you are not allowed to have time in your schedule, space in your life, or energy for anyone else.

5. “It’s not all about you, you know.”

Because of course it always IS all about the narcissist, right? It’s almost funny when you think about how self-centered a narcissist can be. But when we are talking about the toxic type of narcissist who is prone to psychological abuse, it’s less funny and more alarming. Telling a narcissist that it’s not all about them is just like saying to them that they absolutely do not matter. For example, let’s say it’s your wedding day. Your best man or maid of honor is your best friend, and your narcissistic mother has a problem with this person for some reason (probably because they take away from the narcissistic supply you give your mother if we’re being honest, but anyhoo…). For weeks, your mother has complained that you won’t remove this person from your wedding party. She doesn’t even think they should be invited to your wedding. After all, why would you do that to HER? Doesn’t she matter? She guilt trips you and says things like, “Oye, you’re killing your mother!” Normally, you’d totally cave, just to shut her up. But gosh darn it, you think, this is my WEDDING day, and I want my best friend with me! And now, on the big day, your mother texts you that she’s not going to make it to your wedding since you obviously think your friend is more important than she is. Oh, and since your BFF is so important, she adds, you can have them pay for the part of the wedding your mother promised to pay for.

6. “Wow, you’re really playing the victim here…”

Ever try to call out a narcissist on the victim act? If you have, then you know exactly what to expect: they will absolutely act as though you’ve just pooped in their cheerios. In other words, they’ll ramp up the narcissistic injury factor. See, when a narcissist gets upset, hurt, or offended about being treated like a normal person, or when they don’t get special treatment or favors, or literally anytime they don’t get what they want – they default to the victim mode. Often, this tactic is used in combination with narcissistic rage to get what they want from you. In the case of calling them out and pointing out this tactic, you can expect them to make you feel so bad about yourself that you’ll be begging them to accept your apology – and while you’d be considered the victim of psychological abuse in this situation by any logical person who knew the whole story the narcissist will use this as a way to tell everyone how much you have hurt THEM – and the worst part is that you might even believe them if they’ve gotten good enough at reading you and pushing your buttons by this point in the relationship.

7. “Have you considered changing this about yourself?” or “Could you maybe try it this way instead?”

Basically, anytime you have the nerve to criticize a narcissist, you’re playing with fire. As you know, narcissists are incredibly insecure and because of his, they cannot and will not accept criticism in any way at all – not even constructive criticism.  Even if you were gentle about it. EVEN IF THEY ASK YOU FOR IT! For example, if they’ve written a speech for work and ask you to listen to it before they present it. “Give me your honest thoughts,” they’ll say. “I promise, I won’t get mad. I just want you to tell me the truth!” But if you say anything other than, “OMG, that was so perfect! You should change nothing!” You’re in trouble. The way the narcissist sees it, you are still knocking them down. And if the speech doesn’t get them plenty of kudos at work the next day, watch out! Then they will blame you for NOT sharing whatever it was that they feel they didn’t do right. It’s sort of a double-bind situation if you think about it. Another example: Let’s say you don’t like the soup they made. They’ll expectantly watch you take the first bite and say, “So, what do you think?” If you tell them that the soup is a bit bland and needs more seasoning, you might as well have spit it back in their face – they’re going to be offended and react accordingly. They’ll either tell you that your taste buds are broken, or that you’re just plain stupid (or something of that nature) – or they’ll see it as an attack on their very soul. So what does this mean? Sadly, it means you have to lie to a narcissist sometimes in order to avoid rage.

To say a narcissist is crazy-making is to say the very, very least. What it all comes down to is that saying these kinds of things that you say to a narcissist will absolutely trigger their insecurities – which is exactly why they get angry so easily. And since they have the emotional capacity of a toddler, you can expect them to react in kind. Ultimately, what it means is that you must always censor yourself with a narcissist if you want to avoid their anger. You cannot express your needs, wants, and opinions without facing the consequences – so consider this the next time you have to deal with one of these toxic people.

Now, if you’re interested in knowing more about things you can say to anger or upset a narcissist, check out this post about things you can say to destroy a narcissist.

Question Of The Day: Did you recognize any of the statements I listed today as things that would anger the narcissist in your life? And what would you add to my list? Share your thoughts, share your ideas, share your experiences in the comments section below this video, and let’s talk about it.

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New Quora Space for Narcissism and Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Information, Support and Answers

New Quora Space for Narcissism and Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Information, Support and Answers

The QueenBeeing Team is pleased to announce the launch of a brand new way to get support for understanding the narcissist in your life and facilitating your own recovery from narcissistic abuse.

Introducing Decoding Narcissism

A New Quora Space for Narcissism and Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Information, Support, and Answers

This new space offers a new platform for survivors of narcissistic abuse to connect and to get answers to their questions related to their toxic relationships, the psychology related to their own struggles along with the psychology and makeup of the toxic people in their lives. It is a place where we collect, curate, and create a comprehensive collection of the best questions and answers on narcissism, narcissistic abuse, narcissistic abuse recovery, and all of the related topics. Additionally, the Decoding Narcissism Quora Space offers support from our narcissistic abuse recovery experts, coaches, and support team, along with fellow survivors of narcissistic abuse.

What is Quora?

In case you aren’t familiar with it, Quora is a popular interactive Q&A site that also offers a really solid app for your favorite device. Here is a bit more information from Quora’s about page:

Quora’s mission is to share and grow the world’s knowledge. A vast amount of the knowledge that would be valuable to many people is currently only available to a few — either locked in people’s heads, or only accessible to select groups. We want to connect the people who have knowledge to the people who need it, to bring together people with different perspectives so they can understand each other better, and to empower everyone to share their knowledge for the benefit of the rest of the world.

How It Works

Our Quora Space offers a simple and easy place to ask and answer questions related to narcissism, narcissistic abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, psychology, codependency, and other related topics. To join, just join and/or sign in to Quora and go directly to our Quora Space, Decoding Narcissism. 

Is the Decoding Narcissism Space a Support Group?

While there is a support element since you can ask questions and get answers, our Quora Space cannot be considered a support group as it is not private and is focused more on knowledge and information than emotional support.

Please note: This is space is public and questions cannot be made private. We suggest that you use a pseudonym if you want to hide your identity on this site. Unlike our other support groups, you are not required to apply for membership and your questions and answers can be seen by anyone. Still, you are also welcome to just join and follow the space so you can keep up with the latest in decoding narcissism. 

Prefer a private online narcissistic abuse recovery support group?

Check out the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support System, which includes our SPANily narcissistic abuse recovery support groups and Angie Atkinson’s YouTube community, along with our off-Facebook support site, MySPANily.com, and now, our newly launched Quora Space Decoding Narcissism.

What can you expect when you join Decoding Narcissism on Quora?

Quora offers a clean, simple interface that can not only be easily used on your computer but your favorite device as well. It is super-easy to search and find what you want to know, and if for some reason your specific question isn’t already on Quora, you can just add it and get the answers you need. PLUS: if you feel so inclined, you can answer questions asked by others.

Visit our Decoding Narcissism Quora Space and try it out here.

What You Need To Know About The Narcissist’s False Self

What You Need To Know About The Narcissist’s False Self

If you’ve ever been in a relationship with a narcissist or a toxic person of any sort, you might have some experience with seeing the narcissist’s false self – and with being aware that there is a difference between the person the narcissist shows to the world at large and the one that lives at home behind closed doors.

Prefer to watch/listen? See Narcissism: False Self on YouTube.

Narcissists can be really tough to spot – and there are a number of reasons for it – one of which is the fact that they’re not really showing you their true selves – at least not at the beginning of the relationship during love-bombing (also known as the idealization phase).

But if you stick around long enough for them to become comfortable with you, a shocking and upsetting thing happens: their mask comes off and you see the true face of the narcissist. And believe me – it’s not pretty!

Today, let’s discuss the narcissist’s false self, how it develops and exactly what you are supposed to do with this information.

The Narcissist’s False Self Begins in Childhood

When you are born, you express yourself through instinct. On so many levels, that is your true self. Your instinct is to live which means you need to be fed, changed, and cuddled every few hours. There is no such thing as a perfect parent, but if your parents did the best they could and cared for you properly, then you would be showing your true self or authentic self.

But narcissists never show their true selves. In fact, they are living through what I’d call their false self.

Now don’t get me wrong here – just like you, the narcissist was born expressing themselves through instinct as well. But if they were not nurtured properly and were denied the things they needed, then they’d develop their false self and that is how they show themselves.

That happens because when an infant is not given what they need and are not nurtured the way they need to be nurtured, they are on their way to not being authentic in any way at all.

It is possible that one of their parents was a narcissist and in that case, their needs would not be met. They would be given responses of disapproval over and over again. If the child attempted to show their authenticity, it would be shot down.

On the flip side, maybe they were too indulged and never had proper discipline and balance. That can be damaging as well. Either way, along the way, their authentic self was replaced by an artificial persona. As they grow up, they begin to build a false set of relationships that are all based on a facade they show.

Learn more about how a narcissist develops and what attachment style has to do with it. 

What Purpose Does The False Self Serve?

The false self is a protective mechanism that protects narcissists as children from feeling their dependency needs that were unmet. So, the false self blocks feelings of shame that the narcissist had from only having conditional love from their parents. It is also a way to prevent them from remembering any trauma or shock that is associated with being abandoned, neglected, or abused.

What Are The False Self Characteristics?

Those who are living through their false self can appear charming, well-mannered, and polite. Some part of you may see through this as their facade does not reveal who they really are – but it is easy to fall for this facade, even for the most intelligent people. Their false self had stopped them from feeling any type of empathy at all as all they cared about was having their own needs met, which never happened during childhood. And you can see how narcissists show their false self. That is because their authentic self is dead, empty, and there is nothing to offer.

Now you have an understanding of why narcissists have an inflated ego and can be abusive if they don’t get what they want and need – as in if they don’t get narcissistic supply. Now you also can see how the narcissist goes into fits of narcissistic rage when they are threatened with having their supply taken away or are rubbed the wrong way. And now you understand why they are insecure and how they would never allow their true selves to come out because it puts them to shame otherwise.

Why There’s So Much Confusion in Toxic Relationships

Because the narcissist nearly always hides behind this sort of “armor” that is the “false self,” they manage to fool you from very early on.

Your first impression of the narcissist was likely a very good one; that’s because he or she showed you only the best parts of themselves when you met – they constructed a series of qualities and traits that are those they present to the outside world.

This, along with their grandiosity and need for attention, can make it very difficult to see who they truly are – you’re stuck deciding whether you’ve really got the sweet and charming love you signed up for, or whether the wool was pulled over your eyes and the real him or her is actually the toxic, abusive, insulting and manipulative narcissist you’re dealing with in real life.

Of course, this leads you to a serious kind of mental torture that causes you to literally be at odds with yourself – we call that cognitive dissonance.

Cognitive Dissonance in Narcissistic Abuse

Cognitive dissonance is form of psychological stress or discomfort that happens when you simultaneously hold two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values. Often affects narcissists as well as their victims at different times and for very different reasons. So basically, when you’re dealing with cognitive dissonance, you are, for all intents and purposes, actively trying to reconcile the illusion you were initially presented with the person you have now got to deal with.

Here is a free cognitive dissonance toolkit I put together that will help you work through this if it is happening to you.

How Cognitive Dissonance Works Against You in a Toxic Relationship

In a lot of cases, in order to cope with this mess, you start trying to improve your SELF. Instead of recognizing that you’re dealing with a toxic person, you find yourself desperately trying to change yourself into something the narcissist seems to want and need. You blame yourself for their bad behavior – and that’s partly because they tell you it’s your fault. On the other side of the coin is the simple fact that some part of you KNOWS you can’t change the narcissist, but you care about them and you want to make it work. You DO know that you can change yourself, and so you go about the business of doing that.

Here’s the thing. In reality, some part of you must also recognize that you’re not the problem here. In fact, you’ve done nothing wrong and if you did, it was probably simply a reaction to the narcissist’s abuse. All you’re doing is trying to keep your relationship together, and on some level, you’re just subconsciously trying to uphold that initial impression you had of the narcissist – the image of his or her false self that is challenged during the inevitable devaluation phase.

Narcissistic Abuse and the Discard Phase

By the time you get to the discard phase (which, sadly is also inevitable with a narcissistic person – the cycle, like the beat, goes on), you’ll be treated to glimpses of the truly ugly face of the narcissist – the one that spews out the cruel and painful poison that causes you to lose all faith in yourself faster than you can say boo.

You become painfully aware of the coldness, the callous indifference that leads to what feels like absolute torture to you.

While your first reaction is that everyone has a bad moment and this can’t be who they really are, the truth is that this is probably the closest you’ll come to actually seeing the narcissist’s REAL self.

This is about the time you recognize that the amazingly charming or engaging or otherwise awesome person you got involved with in the first place is gone – and suddenly you see this horrible contempt that they seem to have developed for you. And when you realize they felt that way all along, your heart breaks a little more, if that’s possible.

But what you have to realize here is that none of this is your fault. In reality, narcissists are not capable of feeling genuine love or empathy for anyone else – they just use people to meet their own selfish needs. Once they exhaust one source of supply, it’s on to the next.

Don’t let yourself believe in the magical connection you once thought you had – it was just a part of the whole narcissistic abuse cycle – an illusion, just like the narcissist’s identity.

How to Deal with the Narcissist’s False Self

So now that you know all of this, what do you do with it? Well, you start picking up the pieces of yourself, and you begin the healing process.

In this video, you’ll also find a portion of a previous video attached to help you do exactly that. Remember this: You aren’t to blame – you were simply used as a pawn in the narcissist’s game. You are going to go forward, and when or if you can, you might want to go no contact (or low contact, if you’re forced to deal with them – say at work or as a co-parent).

Additional Resources for Understanding the Narcissist and the False Self

If you are looking for a deeper understanding of the narcissists’ false self and how it develops, watch: 4 Attachment Styles (How Attachment Theory Explains Narcissists and Codependents in Relationships) 

And a few more videos that you might also find helpful!

Question of the Day: What have your experiences been when it comes to the narcissist in your life and his or her identity? Share your thoughts and experiences with me in the comments section below this video. Let’s discuss it.

 

The #1 Thing a Narcissist Will Never Do

The #1 Thing a Narcissist Will Never Do


What is the #1 Thing a Narcissist Will Never Do? Validate You. Watch Video.

One of the most difficult parts of dealing with a narcissist for me was the constant invalidation of my feelings, my thoughts, and my emotions. Since my first narcissist was a parent, I would develop some serious personal issues as a result of it. I remember feeling like anything I said or thought or felt was somehow less relevant or less real than what other people said, thought or felt. I literally felt like I was not even a “real person” – or at least not as real as everyone around me.

In fact, if I’m being honest, it wasn’t until about 10 years ago that I really, fully recognized myself as a whole person rather than a watered-down extension of someone else. Yes, it sounds silly, but it’s true. I really think that the hardest, most painful part of growing up that way (and later, marrying another narcissist) was that constant invalidation.

Just to be clear, when I say invalidation, I mean emotional invalidation, which is when someone rejects, ignores or judges everything you say, think or feel. For example, when I was in second grade, I noticed that I could draw better than some people. I told my mother that I wanted to grow up and become an artist, and she told me in no uncertain terms that I could not do that because artists don’t make any money. Of course, this is just one of many examples I could share, and it probably sounds pretty harmless.

But here’s the thing – when we’re talking about narcissistic parents, this is an ongoing issue that starts pretty much the minute you can talk. And even when you’re involved in a romantic relationship with a narcissist for years, it can deeply affect you. See, despite what a lot of people think, invalidation is actually one of the most damaging forms of emotional abuse, and this is especially true when it is happens repeatedly over the course of time. Not only can it make you feel like you’re not a real person or like you’re a little crazy, but it’ll leave you feeling constantly confused and full of self-doubt.

On the other end of the spectrum here is validation, or accepting and recognizing that someone’s thoughts and ideas are worth hearing, understandable, and legitimate. It doesn’t mean unconditional acceptance of ideas or thoughts – it means that you don’t automatically assume that someone has nothing of value to say. It means accepting someone as a real person who is not less worthy or valuable than yourself.

And, even though someone who isn’t a narcissist (a “normal” person) may disagree or have a difference in opinion, they can still recognize the value in the thoughts and opinions of other people. Plus, a “normal” person is likely to make an attempt to understand people. They will try to look at even “abnormal” behaviors from a place of empathy – it’s basic human nature to try to see the other person’s side of things.

However, when there’s a narcissist involved, we’re not exactly dealing with “normal,” are we? Instead, we’re stuck with a walking, talking human-like being who seems to have a giant hole in their soul. A narcissist isn’t capable of true empathy, so it only makes sense that you can’t expect them to validate you.

Invalidation is a Hallmark of Narcissistic Abuse in Toxic Relationships

In fact, as it turns out, invalidation is one of the hallmarks of this kind of emotional abuse.

Sadly, there’s a simple reason, in my opinion: the narcissist sees you as a possession, an object – a thing. You are simply an extension of the narcissist, according to them. If they saw you as equal to themselves, it would shatter their grand illusion (the way they deceive themselves into thinking they’re better or more important than everyone else in the world).

Well – that, and because it’s yet another way the narcissist gaslights you and keeps you tightly in place in the narcissistic supply chain. Between the gaslighting, the narcissistic rage and narcissistic injury, and the flying monkeys of it all, you can become overwhelmed to the point that you completely lose yourself. And the truth is that all of the name-calling, verbal cut-downs, and narcissistic control that you deal with could all be placed under the umbrella of invalidation.

How do you recognize invalidation from a narcissist?

If you haven’t ever taken the time to watch for it, you might not even recognize that you’re being invalidated by a narcissist. If you’re anything like I was, you’re likely to assume that YOU are the problem, rather than your abuser. But it’s so important to recognize when it’s happening because it is essentially the #1 way that narcissists actively tear down your core self in order to keep you feeling off-balance, confused, and plain old not good enough – all of which, sadly, makes you easier to control. It is my goal to help you to take back your life, though, so I want you to see it when it’s happening, or at least to be able to recognize it in hindsight because essentially, it is one more way the narcissist lies to you and gives you the wrong idea about who you are – one of the most difficult parts about going through narcissistic abuse. If you want to recover, you first have to recognize it, right?

Signs a Narcissist is Invalidating You

So, in order to help you recognize it in your own life, here are some examples of what invalidation looks like.

1. During a Conversation

If you’re having a conversation with a narcissist, you might notice that when it’s your turn to talk, you get only grunts or a couple of words in response. Nothing that actually indicates the narcissist has heard you or understood you. Maybe even just a pause and a breath. You might even notice that they are just waiting until it’s their turn to talk again. They could care less what’s happening inside your head – they only want you to hear what they have to say. It doesn’t matter what you think or feel, as far as they’re concerned, because they see you only as an extension of themselves with nothing of value to share.

2. How the Narcissist Feels About You

Have you ever asked a narcissist how they felt about you? More specifically, have you ever asked what they like or love about you? Or did they ever volunteer that information to you? If you think back, you might remember that they 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.
  • Etc.

See how there wasn’t really anything about YOU PERSONALLY there? Rather, the focus is all about what you DO for them, not who you are. That is because the narcissist only cares about what they can get from you – what you do for them – not who you are as a person. As always, it’s all about the narcissistic supply.

Here’s the hard part – and it seems counterintuitive – but you have to figure out a way to not take it personally. Don’t get me wrong – I know it hurts, and it certainly IS a personal attack. But it’s not ever really about you. It’s really about the narcissist’s own shortcomings.

I want to tell you that you shouldn’t really care or even feel offended – I mean, it’s just the narcissist’s “way.” That is how they treat everyone, right?

Well, that would be the case if you didn’t seem to catch the narcissist appearing to genuinely connect with other people when they’re more of a brick wall when it comes to understanding YOU. That brings me to my next point, number 3.

3. Connections to Other People

I can’t tell you how many times, in tears, I literally asked my ex-husband, “Can you please just be nice to me?” Being with a narcissist can feel very lonely at times. And it is so frustrating to watch your abuser be nice to other people when they can’t even be polite to you, much less kind. Worse, they will seem to have empathy for them, while being completely heartless to you. 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 narcissist seems to hold tightly to this apparent 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 narcissist says I am? Do I really deserve to be treated this way? No one else in my life seems to think I’m that bad. Why this person? If you’re there, you’re on the right track.

Why the Narcissist Invalidates You

See, by devaluing and disregarding you with those subtle little behaviors, the narcissist gets something out of it: you, emotionally devastated and behaving like the good little narcissistic supply they need.

But if you think this is going to improve how you’re treated, you are sadly mistaken. See, once you’ve been properly molded into the ideal person the narcissist wants, you’ll hope that they will finally be happy with you. And while you might not notice that you’re more concerned about their happiness than your own (which is a problem in itself), you figure if you don’t make any “mistakes” and you do what they want, it’ll all be okay. But sadly, the happiness you hope for will never quite arrive – and if it does, it’ll be fleeting. That’s because the more you try to become perfect for a narcissist, the more they lose respect for you.

Narcissists Want to Devalue and Destroy You

Over time, they 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 them. 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 a mutually agreeable resolution in which both parties get what they want. Otherwise, it’s just you giving and giving and them taking and taking until they completely drain you.

And my friend, you deserve better. You are just as important as anyone else in the world. Your thoughts, your ideas, your experiences – they are valid, they matter and they are worth hearing. Please, don’t forget.

Question of the Day: 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 below this video, and let’s discuss it.

Narcissists and the Karpman Drama Triangle

Narcissists and the Karpman Drama Triangle


See Video on Narcissists and the Karpman Drama Triangle – AKA The Narcissistic Drama Triangle

A male narcissist I used to know once admitted something to me that left me a little shocked: he said that whenever he felt like he was being shown up in a conversation, he would quickly change the subject. He would start talking about something he knew he could use against them – something that could hurt that person. It was his way to sort of take back the attention or “win” the conversation. I found this admission shockingly insightful and sadly stereotypical of narcissists in general.

Karpman Drama Triangle and Narcissistic Manipulation

Let’s talk about the Karpman drama triangle, what it is, how narcissists use it against you, and what you can do to cope.

We all know that narcissists love to create trouble and drama in the lives of the people around them. They enjoy watching you squirm in the wake of their emotional destruction because it makes them feel like they’re able to control and manipulate you. They twist things to their own advantage, and this is true whether we are talking about someone you work with or someone with whom you’re in a romantic relationship. It’s even true for your parents if they’re narcissistic.

Narcissists are odd in that they crave your attention, even though as far as you can tell, they don’t seem to like you very much. While the level of attention they require might vary from person to person, and depending on what type of narcissist they are, in most cases, they are happy when they have the spotlight. Ths is true whether they’re getting attention for positive or negative reasons, unfortunately.

At times, the narcissist will intentionally create drama in order to get you to react to them. Your reaction offers them narcissistic supply. Of course, there are times that they’ll be kind to you one minute and cruel the next. They suddenly become someone you don’t recognize – that whole Jekyll & Hyde thing.

What is the Drama Triangle?

The drama triangle is a concept first documented by Dr. Stephen Karpman back in the 1960s. At its most basic level, the drama triangle outlines three different roles, including the victim, the persecutor, and the rescuer.

Here’s another area where narcissists are especially interesting – at any given moment, they can and will play any of these three roles interchangeably as it serves them to do so. That means that you’ll never know exactly which role they’re going to play in any given moment. It means you don’t know what to expect from them. And, since you’re so used to walking on eggshells, you might not even really know how to respond at all.

All three roles will exhaust you, but the narcissist will find them strangely exhilarating. The entire dynamic of this kind of drama is incredibly toxic. Whether you’re healthy, you’re codependent or you’re a narcissist, it can be difficult to get out of the cycle once you’re in it. Certainly, you will feel the need to escape, but you won’t always feel like you can do that – and this is especially true when there is a narcissist involved.

Most narcissists have a tendency to hold onto drama and negativity like a dog with a bone. This is demonstrated in the Karpman drama triangle.

Karpman Drama Triangle: Definition of Roles

The Victim

The victim will see the situation at hand as though everything is happening to them. They will feel helpless and like they have no power. They think they have no ability to change their own circumstances. They need someone to rescue them. They desperately want validation of the fact that their problem is unsolvable, and they are not looking for actual solutions. They just want you to feel sorry for them.

The Rescuer

The Rescuer seems like they really do want to help the victim feel better, do better, and solve the problem at hand. But what you’re really dealing with here is someone who is acting as if they want to help, but who is really more concerned about everyone being aware of the fact that they are rescuing the victim. The narcissist plays this role because it gives them plenty of attention and narcissistic supply. Unfortunately, they’re not always actually helping – rather, they’re putting on the mask of a helper in order to get attention.

So within Karpman’s drama triangle, the rescuer position is always held by someone who is letting people know they’re trying to help, but they’re really there for that attention. By being the rescuer, the narcissist also holds a certain amount of power over you. Anytime they do (or promise to) solve a problem for you, it will be done with strings attached. This way, the narcissist gets even more benefit from the situation.

The role of the rescuer seems to focus on the anxiety of the victim. It is problem-focused, rather than solution-focused. It is specifically geared at keeping you powerless and preventing you from getting your needs met. It keeps you from actually getting the solution to your problem, so while you might initially feel relief when the offer of help comes through, it’ll be short-lived.

The Persecutor

The Persecutor could be a person or even a situation that is actually causing the problem to the victim in the triangle.

How to Deal with the Karpman Drama Triangle When a Narcissist is Involved

Your primary goal is to get out of the triangle, so that begins with awareness – being aware that it’s happening and that you’ve become involved. Then, you have to recognize your own role in the triangle, which in most cases, you chose or were assigned without realizing it.

Often, as codependents and narcissistic abuse survivors we all into one of these roles unintentionally. Most likely, we do this because we have experienced this ongoing cycle throughout our lives, often beginning in childhood. It’s like an old habit, almost.

The drama triangle will leave you feeling confused and lost.

Once you’ve gone through the idealization or love-bombing phase of a relationship with a toxic narcissist and you’re in the devalue phase,  you’ll find yourself spinning into one of these situations.  You’ll have no idea what you did to deserve this or what you’ve done wrong, so you’re always trying to get back to what you thought the relationship was in the beginning. When you can’t, you blame yourself – because as far as you know, you might be the problem. You don’t know that you’re dealing with a narcissist (until you do), so you just think you’ve done something to upset or anger them.

Karpman Drama Triangle and Narcissist Manipulation Tactics

The narcissist uses certain tactics around the drama triangle, such as guilt-tripping and even pretending they’re going to save you, but then persecuting you for actually asking for help. They might also act like they’re your victim and that somehow you’ve negatively affected them by needing help.

All of this is then combined with the intermittent reinforcement that keeps us hooked on the narcissist – alternating verbal abuse and praise, comfort alternating with tearing down and devaluing you. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself making excuses for the narcissist’s behavior.

More details on the Karpman Drama Triangle are included in this video. 

 

 

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