What is Doublespeak: Overt and Covert manipulation in conversation
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What is Doublespeak: Overt and Covert manipulation in conversation

Doublespeak is both an overt and covert conversation control tactic where the speaker (as an Abuser) deliberately chooses to use euphemistic, ambiguous, or obscure language while engaging in conversation. A drug addict suddenly has a “substance abuse problem”. A serial cheater becomes a “sex addict”, never held accountable for lies told to a spouse that signify entitlement issues related to Narcissism — not something sexual in nature at all. It’s choosing to use the phrase “put to sleep” to avoid having to discuss death or the process of pet euthanasia. It’s calling a prisoner of war a detainee when and if they are being held in Guantanamo Bay without ever having the opportunity to defend themselves legally. When doublespeak of used for loving, kind, and gentle reasons — such as when a lady excuses herself to go powder her nose without feeling compelled to announce to the restaurant that she’s got an upset stomach and will be a few minutes while needing to use the facilities — it’s a dangerous practice (due to slippery slope risk). But it’s not something being done in such a way that a person who uses it as a civil expression is trying to hurt or mislead anyone in such a way the speaker expects to gain by bullying or misleading. Then, it’s a verbal conversation tactic that by nature is inherently psychologically and emotionally abusive.

That’s why is crucial for victims of Narcissistic abusers to understand that when a Flying Monkey (acting as an Enabler) or a person with Cluster B personality uses doublespeak techniques, they do so to control and manipulate another person. The key to understanding situational ethics with regard to the use of doublespeak is to define the speakers intent. Because a man holding up his hand and asking people to report how many fingers he has — then telling them they are wrong if they say five because technically speaking it’s four fingers and a thumb — has a conversational agenda, once physically designed to meet or exceed attention-seeking, power, and control needs.

People who use doublespeak gaslight pervasively. It’s no secret or mystery why a selfish, self-centered, self-aggrandizing, manipulative, pathological liar and control freak would choose to master its use as a skill.

It’s done to provoke while avoiding taking personal responsibility for antagonizing or baiting. It’s done to mislead a listener into believing things are a certain way while avoiding having to accept the consequence of a person jumping hastily to conclusions that will lead them intellectually and emotionally astray. It’s saying something one way, they feigning innocence while claiming to mean another. It’s basically the root of anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law, a place whose legal system is wrought with narcissistic abuse and abusive law practitioners who lead the charge to incite litigious behaviors each and every day.

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A truly offensive statement made by a speaker will be called a preemptive strike. A cheater will cheat first and blame an innocent spouse, claiming the victim is at fault for the transgression or is themselves cheating. A cheater will be the first to express jealousy when they themselves are the only person even remotely inclined to be unfaithful — or an innocent spouse who finds evidence of their partner cheating will be told they are irrational and accused of acting out irrationally in a jealous rage.

Does the cheater know that the claims they make about the wounded spouse are in no way situationally appropriate? Absolutely. That’s the key element present in the use of doublespeak — noting that a person gaslighting with intent to deceive or emotionally dis-regulate their partner is working on conning a target for selfish personal gain.

But most of all, doublespeak is a covert speaking tactic used by competitive speakers to control, deceive, and mislead other people into making hasty generalizations (when used as a weapon employed as a conversation tactic). Its a stonewalling tweak that mixes crazy talk on the part of a speaker with an attempt of the listener to functionally clarify things — to the point the listener loses his or her cool and ends up feeling, looking, or acting incredibly frustrated.

Whether a narcissistic speaker is getting off on minimizing, rewriting history, or simply is throwing poop into a fan to see what will blow back into the room and stick on a target, using doublespeak as an argument tactic [meaning discussion not yelling] reflects the nature of the speaker. The listener who reacts to speech choice is not ethically bound to the conversation with regard to morality in the same way.

Doublespeak leads victims to the believe that life is hopeless, trapped in and around cruel and psychologically untrustworthy competitive speakers. It is language deliberately designed to mislead, sometimes for polite reasons but most oftentimes used in ways that harm other people. It’s always enacted with presumptive entitlement on the part of the speaker, a person who strives to control other people’s thoughts or emotions about themselves or any given subject.

Brainwashing and other forms of debilitating mind control tactics are routinely employed by people guilty of entitlement thinking. Any person who lies or pathologically lies to deceive or manipulate others is a social predator who uses other people based on the inherent presumption they are entitled — typically arising from an egocentric belief pattern they have seen role modeled by stronger predators since childhood that leads them to the errant belief they are in any moral way justified to do it.

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Stonewalling passively, the aggressive person chooses to use circular arguments to exhaust and confuse their target. They give a statement (implying by conversation alone there is some attempt at rational discourse) but what they offer is irrational, bullish, illogical, rooted in Covert Narcissist passive-aggression, and is absolutely rude in every way.

Invalidating by using techniques like doublespeak is only the start of a verbally abusive and psychologically controlling person’s campaign against a preferred scapegoat, target, or victim. To be told that a traumatizing event happened is in itself a validation of sorts, even when someone blame shifting to avoid taking responsibility for harm they cause chooses to blame the victim or ridicule them for being “too sensitive’ while attempting to victim shame in order to avoid accepting public, moral, or social consequences. Such is the life of a gaslighting victim — without hope of being treated in such a way that experiences or emotions are validated, they are shamelessly bullied and tormented into thinking they are the root cause of the attacks, blaming themselves as victims because Narcissists and their Flying Monkeys [Enablers] lie, taunt, deny having done anything to provoke, and compulsively psychologically seek to dominate.

Doublespeak is a form of gaslighting. A toxic person using double speak tactics will say one thing, then claim to mean another. If they are really striving to deceive, upset, and manipulate, they will use situational advice for one situation and cross-apply it illogically to another event, situation, or argument… knowing full well it’s a shifty, time-wasting, verbally and psychologically abusive trick designed to bait a target into losing their gray rock cool and reacting by showing frustration as their primary emotion.

If a healthy person uses doublespeak, they may just be being polite or using the politically correct terms socially appropriate to a situation. Understanding that a man who excuses himself from the dinner table to call Washington or go see a man about a horse is a common form of doublespeak can help victims remember intent matters. A man politely excusing himself to the bathroom is not the same malevolent character who tells his wife that a cheating scandal is all in her head when he comes home too disinterested to romantically engage… when and if he’s been actively cheating and just returned from an exhausting vacation with a clandestine mistress or group of narcissistic peer playmates.

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Gaslighting techniques are ruthlessly employed, acted out without mercy, by people who love nothing more than time wasting and attention-sucking the life out of people. They are used by people who strive to provoke others into actively engaging with them in endless debates, “begging the question” argument styles, and worse in the hopes of keeping a target flustered and debating needlessly in senseless, circular arguments.

Enacted as a ruse used to addle and confuse a targeted victim into growing so frustrated with an irrational speaker they become visibly shaken, people who gaslight their targeted victims are clever, divisive, and covert in their cunningly malfeasance actions. It’s a sad sort of person who feels compelled to use gaslighting techniques and double speak to gain attention, one most likely to have a narcissistic temperament at best. At worst, such debate tactic use can easily be seen as a provoking attempt to dominate conversations using mind control techniques.

The technique known as gaslighting first came to represent people who manipulate and lie to hurt a target after an early black and white film by the same name tackled the tough issue.

Gaslighting, as the game of a predator that derives sensations of pleasure from and get cheap thrills from getting away with,  is solely played to amuse a bored sadist. Sadists are people who choose to deliberately and maliciously act like a predator because hurting other people or witnessing their pain gives the psychologically sadistic predator pleasure.

It a favorite game taught to budding sociopaths by Malignant Narcissists and other stronger people with even more toxic personality disorders. If you see an adult encouraging this behavior in children, immediately remove the youngsters from their care or control. The person is doing nothing but deliberately teaching them how to abuse the same way a lion teaches cubs how to slay their dinner.

People who are experts in doublespeak tend to be enablers as much or more than having Narcissistic Personality Disorder or some other comorbid issue like Borderline Personality Disorder or Alcoholism as well. They are the Flying Monkey folks who enable abusers and delight in sitting on the sidelines to watch people gyrate in emotional pain.

A Flying Monkey may tell you the company is “downsizing” rather than being honest. Downsizing means firing. The hatchet man who does the firing does so while acting like a Flying Monkey at the behest of a narcissistic corporate employer. How a company handles letting people go is up to them — but companies who must downsize for real reasons (rather than to lump labor duties unfairly onto lowly labor workers so that owners and shareholders can reap higher profits) treat current, soon to be former, and previous employees with dignity. They treat people who work for them or who have labored for them with respect. They help them transition financially and socially into new positions within their own company or other organizations. They do not simply make an announcement there will be job cuts while claiming they are downsizing in an attempt to dupe people into thinking better of management for making tough choices about who goes and who stays in a corporate environment.

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The same thing is true of domestic abuse enablers. Telling a child that it is okay for a parent to rage because they had a tough day is nonsense. Claiming a person who engages in narcissistic abuse of other people is in any way entitled is just plain abuse; using doublespeak to minimalize or trivialize witness or victim experience is crazy. Someone getting out of the wrong side of bed in the morning does not excuse bad behavior in a toddler any more than it does in an adult, but how often have we all heard an elder tell us to simply stay out of the way of a person who acts abusively — as if somehow providing them space without needing to be held accountable for their caustic behaviors will make everything psychologically and morally speaking okay?

Doublespeak can be used to hide negativity, to make politically less offensive statements, or be used to offend greatly. The intent of the speaker, the level of covert use and misuse of phrases,  and situational ethics all contribute to the gray area debates surrounding the use of the tactic… but doublespeak use in and of itself is never a tactic employed that cannot be discerned as right or wrong. Based on the intention of use and the reward to the speaker, the use of doublespeak to lead or mislead a conversation can be made.

If a person you know uses doublespeak to deliberately annoy people or to win conversations by exhausting their target with functionally useless, non-productive, time wasting debates, recognize them for what they are — abusive people. Once you wrap your head around the fact that people with Cluster B personality disorders are ALL abusive, egocentric, compulsive attention-seekers willing to do anything to get you to spend even five more minutes of time listening to them or engaging in intellectual debate, it makes things easy.

If a person linguistically is abusive, walk away. Refusing to engage in foolish debates is one way to go gray rock around abusive people while setting healthy conversational boundaries; it is a Narcissistic Abuse recovery technique that can really help alleviate guilt on the part of the People Pleasing listener who understands that it’s a choice the listener makes when and if they agree to actively or passively participate in competitive conversation.

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In a contemporary McWorld where ethnic cleansing is the politically correct verb to describe the goal of committing genocide, talking with young people about proper word use — as well as linguistic abuse — is socially appropriate. Speaking with Narcissistic Abuse victims interested in recovery to let them know they are not crazy or overreacting when people say one thing but mean another is a civic responsibility all humans living in the 21st century should actively be doing every day with pride.

If all you need to do is go to the bathroom, why not say so politely? Bottom line, by limiting the use of doublespeak in daily vocabulary choices by habit, one can create a life in which the people they choose to speak to and actively engage with are more apt to tell the truth in all situations and circumstances.

Why?

Because they are the kind of morally responsible individuals who strive to improve themselves on a daily basis. They are the kind of souls who strive to discover truth and share knowledge and facts about the universe while striving to become men and women of good character — namely the kind that resist the selfish impulse to save face or psychologically manipulate other human beings by indulging in the creation and promotion of  white lies.

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DISCLOSURE: The author of this post is in no way offering professional advice or psychiatric counseling services. Please contact your local authorities IMMEDIATELY if you feel you are in danger. If you suspect your partner, a loved one, co-worker, or family member has a Cluster B personality disorder, contact your local victim's advocate or domestic violence shelter for more information about how to protect your rights legally and to discuss the potential benefits or dangers of electing to go "no contact" with your abuser(s). Due to the nature of this website's content, we prefer to keep our writer's names ANONYMOUS. Please contact flyingmonkeysdenied@gmail.com directly to discuss content posted on this website, make special requests, or share your confidential story about Narcissistic Abuse with our staff writers. All correspondence will be kept strictly confidential.