If you’re in a toxic relationship with a malignant narcissist, you probably feel like you’re on an emotional roller coaster.
Do ever feel like you can’t control your emotions, or are you worried because your feelings have been all over the place for years?
You might be dealing with intermittent reinforcement as a form of manipulation from the narcissist in your life.
What is intermittent reinforcement?
Intermittent reinforcement is a pattern of callous treatment mixed in with random bursts of affection. This behavior may lead you to believe the narcissist loves you, but in reality, it’s just another way they manipulate you.
In other words, the narcissist (whether they’re a grandiose or a covert narcissist) gives you the illusion of being loved and cared for by behaving in a loving way between intermittent bursts of abuse.
Worse, intermittent reinforcement can leave you confused and disoriented since it’s unclear why the narcissist has “rewarded” you. This devastates your self-esteem as you realize that can never do or say enough to please the narcissist.
It’s part of the cycle of trauma bonding and why we get so stuck in toxic relationships. If someone in your life has NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) or at least recognizable traits, you might be used as narcissistic supply.
The narcissist might be generous with gifts, compliments, or praise to get their victims to trust and depend upon them.
Unpredictable and random acts of affection are followed by cruel behavior, but the cycle continues as though nothing has happened.
In this episode, Angie Atkinson will explain how to recognize signs of intermittent reinforcement in a toxic relationship with a narcissist and what you can do to deal with it.
Above all, remember this: We’re all humans. We all make mistakes, and we all hurt each other at times; it’s what makes us human, but that doesn’t excuse how someone treats you.!
If you find yourself in a cycle of abuse, do something about it. You don’t deserve to be treated like this!
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