Wondering how to avoid being manipulated by narcissistic people? The answer is far simpler than most Narcissistic Abuse victims ever expect. The trick is to educate yourself about the red flags and warning symptoms a person has a Cluster B personality disorder and then learn to observe and make mental notes rather than electing to personalize and react.
When a Narcissist, person with Borderline Personality Disorder, or a person who ticks high for having a Machiavellian personality type inclined to using and abusing people targets their victims, what they all tend to do is to ask lots of questions about their target early in the relationship.
Then, they size targets up for ease of use and abuse.
So many people with C-PTSD spend years… decades even… struggling to make sense of all the horrible, cruel, and manipulative things narcissistic people tend to say. Emotionally abusive people will seek out those who don’t have a mean bone in their body then get themselves off psychologically and emotionally by abusing them in some way.
It is a giant con game they play, compulsively attention-seeking. Their key aim is having total emotional, psychological, physical, spiritual, sexual, and ultimately financial control of their victims.
In order to avoid being manipulated by them, the only real way to do it is to completely limit and avoid personal contact. All sources of inroad to have news of them delivered by Flying Monkeys to a victim’s ear should also be limited.
Pretending the image of the person a victim loved, cared for, or at one time respected is deceased is a helpful coping strategy. Mourning the loss of the idea of the relationship ever having been actually real truly can help a Love Fraud victim recover their sense of emotional sanity and self when it comes to dealing with breaking free from the psychological addiction to interacting with toxic people.
In romantic relationships where a victim has been brainwashed into believing that the person they are “in love with” is anything but a play-actor, breaking up can be hard to do. But once the light bulbs come on about a Narcissist’s true personality type and habit patterns, many Love Fraud victims are quickly able to pull themselves psychologically together.
Believing that a person who love bombs you to win your affection treated you incredibly well at the beginning of a relationship is no accident. The Abuser goes to great length typically in the first six months or first few years of a relationship to make their targeted mark feel “special”.
From day one, they make it seem like you are perfect for one another. They employ a tactic called MIRRORING — reflecting back to a con mark exactly what is likely to make them feel the most loved, in sync, and appreciated as valuable.
By pretending to love or like things their marks do, they very quickly win over a targeted mark’s affection. It’s totally common to find out weeks, months, or years later that while an NPD person was spending the evening or weekend with one person (telling them they are the love of their life and claiming soulmate status) that they were also telling upwards of 20 or 30 other prospective Narcissistic Supply Sources the very same thing.
Why? Because narcissistic people understand that playing the numbers is oftentimes advantageous.
Keeping doors open to new relationships around the world, they will do or say whatever it takes to cause marks to feel simpatico with them as well as remain impressed. One person they target might be a hippie — so they will pretend to have liberal tendencies. The moment they meet a person of interest to target who is a conservative and guess what? Magically, they are die-hard capitalists who claim to support conservative agendas at the polls.
If you love coffee, they love coffee. If you drink wine, they drink wine. If you are a Rum and Coke drinker, they are a Rum and Coke Drinker. If Tequila floats your boat, they are ready with lemon and a salt shaker. If a prospective Love Fraud target drinks tea, they will show up with some rare brand and a long story about its origin — pretending at all times to be a lifetime drinker who is as fascinated with the ritual of drinking hot or iced beverages as their target.
Love Rock and Roll? The car stereo will be playing all the right classics.
[They plan it.]
Love Blues? It’s all they listen to, magically.
[It’s a set-up… a staged trick to impress a potential target and make them feel comfortable with the narcissistic or NPD predator.]
Into classical music? Imagine that — they have some playing in the background when you arrive at their house. But don’t mind them. They will rush to turn it off, apologizing while claiming that to listen to it is their secret hobby.
Love Mexican food? They will brag about making the best tacos, seafood enchiladas, or immediately insist on taking you out to their favorite hole in the wall place for fajitas.
Into Italian cuisine? Suddenly they are part Italian with a “La Nonna” somewhere who used to make them the best pasta sauce you can imagine.
Like the heat? They love it, too. Want more AC? They cannot get the house cold enough for them, either. Both are laughable when and if the NPD person shows obvious physical signs of discomfort but won’t admit it to their significant other.
You like boats? They love boating. Do you like camping and Redneck Riviera adventures with four-wheelers and dirt bikes in murky swamps or buggy forests? If they are seeking to win your attention and favor they simply cannot join in fast enough in an attempt to blend in with their targeted mark’s social group.
Their goal is the total social domination of their victim. After all, once they have the interest of a mark, what better way to ensure continued Narcissistic Supply than to convince their partner’s friends they are one of the gang.
Who would possibly tell a victim who is situationally being abused in private to leave that great guy or desirable trophy girl? After all, the Narcissist or narcissistic person is always so charming, funny, and delightful in public that when and if a Narcissistic Abuse victim comes forward with a complaint about how they are treated in public all the “friends” and Flying Monkey family member who have gotten to know the false self-presented by a Narc is highly unlikely to believe the victim.
Figuring out that smear campaigning against a victim started sometimes years or decades before a victim of domestic abuse ever comes forward is oftentimes the final straw for an abuse victim. Waking up to the reality that a Narcissist has been dropping hints to friends and family sometimes for years that the abused person is somehow too demanding, psychologically unstable, being unfaithful, or is not to be trusted is absolutely one of the most traumatizing life experiences an abuse victim could possibly suffer socially and psychologically.
The damage the Abuser does to a person’s sense of self and emotion is so complex that it’s almost too painful to describe. But the re-traumatization and victimization of an abuse target by their own friends and family after the fact are so much more painful and scarring to endure that in most cases, people who have been abused suffer a lifetime of toxic shame, social anxiety, and compulsive heartbreak — betrayed by humanity, not simply their Abuser.
For that reason, nearly any Cluster B personality expert who advocates for victims gives the very same advice to those who have developed C-PTSD, PTSD, or have been targeted. Go NO CONTACT as soon as it is humanly possible with any person or peer group who actively abuses, and cut ties with any of their abuse Enablers or Flying Monkey supporters.
The reason most people with Cluster B are so successful keeping Narcissistic Supply sources on the hook for ages thinking about them, worrying about the Abuser’s needs and mental health status, and giving away the best years of an abuse victim’s life to these predators is that they simply know how to scam the faith and trust of good people. Narcissistic people are all about vanity, grandiosity, egocentrism, attention-seeking, and self-indulging in whatever activity gives them physical sensations or rushes of pleasure.
For some, doing something like telling a huge, complex lie and having other people buy their sob stories or stories about their grandeur gets them off emotionally. For others, it might be lying about something trivial and insignificant, and getting away with it might flip their psychological “turn on” switch.
Those NPD people who have sadistic streaks or who are passive-aggressive tend to engage in providing something called “intermittent reinforcement” to their targeted victims. Constantly engaged in playing mind games, they will say the most wonderful things to a victim alternated with the meanest and lowest forms of degrading and humiliating insults and accusations.
The typical result of alternating being loving and cruel (or even physically abusive) with a victim is — oddly enough — that a target, seeking to win back the favor and replicate the love-bombing sensations they felt will do all they can to please the Abuser.
The victim will do 100% of the heavy lifting (emotionally speaking) in a relationship. As the balance of power tips in favor of the Narcissist, their Love Fraud targets — people who were told they were loved, honored, valued, respected, liked, esteemed, and cherished but aren’t — the victim ends up doing nearly everything both for the relationship and the Narc with little to nothing coming back reciprocally on the Abuser’s part.
Expect to see positive reinforcement dry up to the point that the only time a Narcissist shows kindness is when and if they want something. If being nice does not get them what they want? No big deal to them. They will turn their personality on a dime and become a wild cross between the possessed demon child Reagan in the “Exorcist”, Atilla the Hun, and Napoleon after someone makes an angry midget joke in earshot but behind the Emperor’s back.
And yes — that goes for women as well as men. Narcissism is not gender-specific, and truly — aside from obvious differences like women having an easier time seducing men by doing things like posing for sexually suggestive pictures while scantily clad — if a person has NPD, it does not matter if they are your mother, father, sister, brother, lover, grandparent, or just some jackass with a Road Rage temperament. All are prone to follow the power and control wheel dynamic all the Al-Anon and Domestic Violence support groups internationally share with their clients.
The more narcissistic a person is, the more likely they are to strive to impress a target. Once the target is impressed, their aim is to secure their Narcissistic Supply source’s attention.
Love bombing is the tactic used first in a new relationship. Mirroring liking or loving all the same things… rushing to intimacy sexually or emotionally… posing as a “Soul Mate” or “Twin Flame” like that character actor on “The Mentalist” running a con, pretending to be psychic. All are brainwashing and mind control tactics used by Machiavellian predators on unsuspecting victims to foster a sense of camaraderie and create enmeshment.
Once a victim starts paying more attention to their manipulator than to themselves, their career, their personal needs, their friends and family, and feels LOVED, safe, and secure — that’s the exact moment the Narcissist or a narcissistic person starts pulling the rug out from under the feet of their mark.
The psychological abuse tactic of building someone’s self-esteem and confidence, then starting to devalue them after a period of idealization is no accident. It’s a deliberate tactic, a war strategy for dominating other people socially and emotionally. It’s a game played like a long con by a romantic strategist.
Women with NPD are told to play hard to get by their narcissistic mothers and toxic fathers. They are encouraged to do things like withholding affections to get what they want from a mate — or worse… to tease, lead people on, and string along a variety of men with the promise of someday showing them with romantic attention or affection.
Young men are encouraged to “play the field” and “trade up”. Once they hit 40, the standing joke is “it’s cheaper to keep her” (referring to a wife isolated at home who tends to all the menial chores and housework for their mate). But trading her in for two twenty-something mistresses behind her back is enabled by every single person in a Cluster B person’s peer group or private social circles.
Both men and women with NPD are prone to keeping their love interests completely in the dark with regard to their real private lives and emotions. So are narcissistic or toxic parents who routinely lie to their own mothers, fathers, brother, and sisters throughout the course of their lifetime then sell the same totally false, calculated tales of themselves while emphatically lying to their own offspring (especially ramping up lying to them once they reach the age of being adult children).
Narcissists persistently strive to keep nearly everyone they know triangulated and unable to compare stories. Exes will be kept off-limits from new partners with revenge obsession and Abuse by Proxy will be highly encouraged. Family members and in-laws will be told wildly varying stories in an attempt to keep them apart or from liking one another. Co-parents will be alienated from children. Stepfamily members will be told whatever lies are necessary to ensure they never in a million years would consider reaching out to or trusting a former friend, estranged relative, or the person who caught on to their tricks and hands-down filed a restraining order to ensure full well they could not deny being rejected by a victim as a person of interest or a suitor.
The best way to avoid being manipulated by a Narcissist is to understand that they view absolutely every social interaction competitively rather than collaboratively. What that means is, if their lips are moving they are probably lying.
Not interacting socially with them or anyone who knows them is the fastest way to heal and avoid ongoing traumatization. Going NO CONTACT is simply not the same thing as stonewalling or pulling a disappearing act, either.
When it comes down to staying in a long-term relationship with a Narcissist, it’s committing passive suicide at best. Breaking things off with them completely and not allowing them to use DNA or nostalgia to manipulate your emotions is highly advised.
If you lie down with dirty dogs, you might catch fleas. But hanging out with a Narcissist virtually guarantees social devastation of your personal or professional reputation as well as the total destruction of your self-confidence with regard to being able to judge other people’s character.
And that sucks big time for Narcissistic Abuse victims. It’s the one emotional reaction in an abuse victim their attacker’s seldom if ever intend — causing people extreme social anxiety, terrified that their instincts led them to trust a con artist, pathological liar, or abusive Narcissist.
If you have gone no contact with a Narcissist and their toxic peer group, it’s awfully hard for them to continue manipulating you. But decide for yourself — when the pain of staying becomes greater than leaving, you will have your answer about whether or not you want to stop living a life enmeshed with narcissistic people and toxic thinkers.
Seriously — when it comes to real emotion, they are nothing more than sycophants with a covert agenda to use and abuse the people they trick into believing they (meaning the Narcissistic themselves) are enamored.