namaste everybody, Lisa a romano the breakthrough a life coach and today I
wanted to talk about narcissistic triangulation and why narcissists need
to triangulate in the first place so that we can understand and why I think
it’s important that we take some time to consider why triangulation is so huge
for narcissists is because alice is making a bunch of noise in my office
right now she’s just getting comfortable so that’s the groaning you hear Alice
anyway so it’s important that we understand that triangulation goes hand
in hand with narcissism and narcissistic rage narcissistic projection and all
that goes along with dealing with a very unhealthy personality who is extremely
shame-based and is doing everything that they possibly can to deflect from
anybody ever being able to see past the mask and they will use just about any
any tactic necessary to prevent anybody from seeing their flaws and so I just
did a video if you haven’t seen it on self-acceptance oh you might want to
check that out because kind of dovetails nicely into this idea healthy people
accept that they have flaws and they accept that they’re human and they know
that humility is part of the human experience and they learn to heal their
shame they identify that shame is is not necessary guilt can be very helpful and
that it helps us shape our behavior in the future so I know that I was a very
reactive young mom I was 23 when I had my son what did I know
and I was had very low self-esteem and I was severely codependent so really below
the veil very reactive you know just thinking if I did everything right then
everything’s gonna if I was good and I was a doormat and I took care of
everybody then life somehow would work out you know that was mixed in with a
lot of the my indoctrination from growing up as a Catholic being told that
I should worry more about others and then myself and my mother used to say to
me you should be ashamed of yourself right whenever I didn’t act accordingly
and so we we as healthy people are understanding that you know guilt can
help us shape our behavior so if I realized that I was over reactive and
very you know it was just an overreacted young mom I can feel guilt about that
about my behavior and that guilt can help me change my behavior in the future
that’s awesome but we’re learning that shame is not us
shame shame comes from the outside it’s an experience from outside it’s related
to family secrets it’s it’s related to what’s going on in our child’s at home
that we can’t work out and we feel terrified that people are going to know
that there’s mental illness in our family or our mother or father committed
suicide or our brothers on drugs or i’ont committed suicide or whatever
right so we’re so afraid of these truths that have nothing to do with us right
and many of us carry this shame so we’re healthy people are understanding like
okay shame is happened to me someone made me feel shame it’s like someone
gave you a sweater I call it the SOS the sweater of shame and as you heal and
become more above the veil you become more conscious like I can take this
fricking sweater off anytime I want to because it’s not my fault that I have
this shame nobody should shame a child and a child should never have to carry
the weight of the world on their shoulders alone there should always have
been someone there attuning themselves the child making them feel better and
helping them understand their circumstances I don’t need this sort of
shame anymore but when it comes to narcissistic personalities their shame
is so deep and they are so defensive that they deflect and they project
because they can’t get to that space of what happened to me you know they can’t
and they don’t want to they have no desire to go there right so healthy
people who have been wounded go there it hurts like hell trust me been there a
few times you know I’m still dealing with myself you know and what’s happened
but we’re all working progress right so healthy people are able to go there and
heal their shame and and recognize the shame is not made with
something that happened to me you know and as difficult as a process as it is
and anybody has ever taken my 12-week breakthrough coaching program
we’re digging you know we’re getting in there we’re just we’re scrubbing the
walls of the soul and you know we’re trying to figure out what happened and
it’s tough stuff but people who refuse to take that journey who are defensive
and and deflect all the time and project who never get to that that core of what
is at the root of their anger and their rage and their disappointment in life
right they end up staying stuck and they end up blaming people for why they feel
the way they feel so so why does a narcissist
why does try any triangulation go hand and hand with a narcissist in my humble
opinion I am a Cho in my humble opinion triangulation goes hand in hand with
narcissistic abuse because the narcissist has got to make sure they end
up on the top so if a narcissist is in a relationship with you and they do this
all wherever they go in my opinion so if a narcissist is at work right in a work
setting a narcissist can act like he is that his partner’s best friend but
behind his partner’s back you know he’s talking about the partner in the break
room you know Ralph is a nice guy but you know he had a nervous breakdown
about you know six years ago yeah you know his poor wife you know he’s a
handful I mean on the surface he looks like a
great guy he’s so easy to deal with but you know the reality is he’s got so many
problems and you know you know I’m doing my best to like you know drag him along
like you know keep him going and you know I’m gonna take him out next Friday
and make sure that you know you know he’s okay meanwhile Ralph is fine
Ralph’s a hundred percent fine routes 110% fine Ralph has no issues whatsoever
but let’s say the narcissist name is Mark you know mark is making sure that
if there’s ever a fall with Ralph that mark ends up on the top
that people like oh my god poor mark because he has to he has to make a claim
against you right he’s building up a case against you or building up a case
against Ralph in the in the event that there is an issue he cut mark ends up
looking like he’s the guy on top so narcissists are always collecting flying
monkeys whether we know it or we don’t but it is a very common common trait you
have let’s say you’re married to a narcissist and you know behind your back
he’s calling his family and he’s he’s talking to his friends he’s even calling
your friends he’s my ex-husband did this my ex-husband called my friends called
my mother hung out with my brother talked to my father and in one breath
was saying to him your daughter’s like she could have been a rocket scientist
she’s amazing there’s nothing that could have could have held her back but to me
he was calling me name saying that I was a flake saying that I was crazy saying
things like even your mother thinks you’re crazy which means you had a
conversation with my mother about me behind my back which means you pulled
her into our life and into our conversation right or just into our
experience triangulation so this is a very common thread and it’s amazing when
you see it right you know they have to triangulate because they’re concerned
that if anything they’re always thinking ahead whether it’s on whether it’s
conscious or unconscious they’re always making claims against our the people so
that they always look like the victim so in my humble opinion narcissistic
triangulation is the norm narcissists are always collecting flying monkeys and
it doesn’t matter if it’s at work it doesn’t matter if it’s in the doctor’s
office it doesn’t matter if it’s in a relationship with a friend or
relationship with a spouse their agenda is to make sure that they look like the
victim very very important and we have to be prepared because
and this is what happens to us like in my case you know I was the codependent
and I never went to my family about my ex-husband because I wanted them to see
him as a nice guy you know I wanted to make them proud
you know I also knew that if I went to my parents and told them I think to sum
up with this guy they wouldn’t have believed me because
he spent so much time convincing them that he was awesome and because I was so
codependent and I was worried about not looking perfect and I was worried about
being judged for being unhappy I was taught that I wasn’t allowed to be
unhappy and how dare you you’re selfish for being unhappy I never told anybody
about my ex-husband I kept it to myself so I was not collecting flying monkeys I
wasn’t triangulating and then what happens when the roof blows off and the
floor gets pulled out from underneath you you go to talk to your friends and
lo and behold you discover that your husband or your boyfriend or your
girlfriend has been talking to them about you the entire time and so when
you go for support nobody believes you nobody understands you and when the
smear campaign starts you feel like you swallowed a grenade like what just
happened you review the agenda is to stay above you and right so I can’t have
an open conversation with you I have to stay above you right and I don’t know I
don’t want to resolve this with you because I am the victim and I want to
make sure that I remain the victim so I have to stay above you so that’s also
another another key idea to keep in mind and that’s why narcissism involves
triangulation and that’s why when relationships end there is there are
smear campaigns because it’s been happening when you didn’t even realize
it was happening behind your back there was a collection of smear complaining
monkeys there was this collection of things happening that you weren’t even
aware of and you know we have to if if we have been woken up in a relationship
with the narcissist you know we realize we’ve been in a relation
with the narcissist you know unfortunately we have to expect that the
smear campaign is an inevitable aspect of ending that relationship because they
can’t just go away they can’t just end the relationship
they can’t just ride off into the sunset and start another relationship and say
wow what did that past relationship teach me know narcissists must destroy
you they are aggressive they are hell-bent on destruction and the more
you come at them the more they’re gonna try to annihilate you right angry stuck
below the veil of consciousness reactive and totally believe they are the victim
and so when you take all of this into consideration you will take into
consideration the shame that they’re trying to run from right and how anger
sometimes can prevent can make them feel safe right so if I make you the bad guy
I never have to look at me and if you’re the bad guy and you’re crazy
then whatever wisdom comes out of your mouth possibly I can deflect because
you’re crazy and you’re no good and so I never have to let what you have to have
you have to say penetrate my soul and crack the mask so then I never have to
deal with the tremendous shame that’s inside of me
so sometimes anger and rage is like a shield and that prevents narcissists
from actually able being able to actually deal with their shame and then
if you understand that they must remain the victim then you also have to you
also can understand why they triangulate and what the purpose is of it and the
reason I like to do these types of videos is because once you understand
the the agenda once you understand the mechanics once you once you understand
why a narcissistic personality would take this on then it’s easier for us to
step step away from it you know it’s really really mind-blowing when you find
yourself in a relationship with the narcissist that you’ve cared about and
the relationship has ended and you just go to work the next day minding your own
business like wow it sucks you know I can’t believe this person was this
person like you know I love this purse you know and but you’re going you mind
your own business you’re going about life and taking care of yourself and
doing your Epsom salt baths or whatever you know hold it onto your crystals
going for some Reiki whatever floats your boat and then BAM out of nowhere
you get hit upside your head with some news of a smear campaign minding your
own business and here comes the smear campaign or you decide to meet up with
some girlfriends and talk about why you broke up and you know by the look on her
face she’s like that’s not what I heard what do you mean is that what you heard
and then you find out that your husband and your boyfriend or whatever has been
talking to your girlfriend the whole time that you’ve been with them right it
is devastating and it can make you feel so alone and I can tell you as someone
who has been accused of so many different things by my ex-husband and
his family and even some friends I can tell you that it makes you feel like you
have you are three months old you know you have been dropped off in the middle
of the Brooklyn Bridge and they’re attractive trailers coming at you you
know the helicopters with machine guns hovering over and it’s dark you know
it’s not gonna rain and you’re this 3-month little old baby on this bridge
and oh my god you know it makes you feel so powerless and so helpless and like
the world is coming to an end but hold on and know that the more you hold onto
yourself in the less attention you give this situation you are pulling your
energy from it remember what we focus on grows right and so imagine that this
isn’t an energetic ball his energy or her smear campaign whatever it is is an
energetic ball and your job is to pull as much energy and drain as much energy
from it as possible so that it can dissipate and shrink so the less
attention you give it don’t look on Facebook don’t talk to the friends
who’ve been pulled in you don’t have conversations about what’s going on
deliberately pull your attention from it in the meantime up your self-care very
very important and so dodging it with namaste namaste and also know you know I
also teach your Law of Attraction class and
this question always comes up like I thought I was doing better how could I
have tracked this into my life and you know I’ve done so much healing work how
could this happen to me again you know and then they start to feel bad
sometimes members feel bad that this has shown up right that this abusive
relationship has shown up with this conversation has shown up and I thought
I was doing so much better so just a little bit about that what is within us
that needs to be healed will eventually come to the surface and when it comes to
a certain comes to the surface that’s a that’s our opportunity to heal it so
that we can move forward so we’re always trying to I think anyway in my humble
opinion iMHO I think what we’re trying to do is
evolve and to leave old paradigms behind so that we can create new paradigms and
move and accelerate forward on our spiritual journey and so while something
is still active inside of us it could be the fear of what other people think
about us it could be leftover shame from childhood right it could be a pattern in
ourselves the I know for me after I got divorced I attracted three narcissistic
relationships one was worse than the other and these were criminals hello I
didn’t know that I eventually figured that out but seriously this was serious
stuff and what I had to look at was I was the common denominator so what was
coming up from me right what was coming up for me was eventually I realized I
was ignoring some red flags that my inner guidance was was sending me
signals and I was saying no I was rationalizing them away and so that’s
why after the last relationship I was like I’m not ignoring red flags anymore
because what I do hell breaks loose and so that’s what I came that’s that’s what
I attracted into my life because I want truth and I want growth and so here I am
asking for growth and when you ask for growth you will be presented with what
needs to shift and as long as we stay clear as to the goal for our humanity or
for our souls journey as long as we understand we’re here to transcend the
old and we don’t freak out what it shows when it shows itself like when we find
out someone stole money from us so we find out someone’s lied to us it’s been
it’s it’s now part of our experience because it’s sort of like a layer of
skin that’s now at the surface that we need to slough off right and that’s an
awesome thing so try not to get caught up thinking that because it’s in our
experience it’s a bad thing because time and time again
I mean I’ve coached probably thousands of people personally as well as through
my coaching programs and what is showing up is this idea that every time a
conflict is resolved abundance shows up whether it’s abundance of light energy
or abundance of healing energy so don’t allow the linear brain good bad up down
left right Democrat Republican fool you into thinking or believing in this
illusion that this is a bad thing if something’s showing up in your
experience is painful that’s a good thing because it’s an opportunity to
heal it and to shift and to become a more abundant light activated body being
person soul person so it’s all good as long as we don’t allow our minds to tell
us that it’s not good and so there are definitely tools that we can use on the
road as we’re learning to heal ourselves and here our lives like the 1 2 3
process you can look up look up the 1 2 3 process on my channel there are so
many tools that we can use so you can also check out codependent now what it’s
naughty what you’re programming I have a ton of resources and a ton of life
skills that you can use to help you manage when chaos comes up so I hope
that this this video has helped you understand why trying why narcissists
triangulate and what you can do to get out of get out of a head of it if you
find yourself in the middle of it and how important it is to just remove your
energy from it and just just let them just let them burn out because I mean
when you ignore a narcissist like that makes them crazy when you set a boundary
that makes them nuts like they they can’t handle it right and so what will
happen is they won’t be able to contain the
narcissistic rage and I know that sounds crazy but hear me as long as you do what
you can to maintain your energy and you just allow this little Tasmanian devil
to spin out what’s gonna happen is the flying monkeys you know family members
your friends whatever they’re gonna start to see what’s really behind the
mask which is destruction which is annihilation which is the opposite of
love and letting go and abundance right and so try to keep this in mind the next
time you’re dealing with this or if you’re dealing with this and know that
ultimate self care ultimate self empathy can definitely ease the pain of having
to survive a narcissistic smear campaign you’re not alone I’ve survived one or
two in my life so know that you’re in good company and everything’s gonna be
fine just love yourself because you are enough now I must say I bow to the love
and the light that is absolutely in you and for anyone who’s interested in my
membership site you can check it out at HTTPS dot dot slash slash Lisa – a dash
Romano dot Micah jabra.com I have a bunch of programs and video lessons and
audio lessons and meditations and downloadable files including a copy of
the road back to me and some of my best-selling programs not the 12-week
and not the master class but other programs are actually in the in the
membership site as well and so just check it out and let me know what you
think bye for now
Today I interviewed Debbie Mirza, author of a new book called The Covert Passive-Aggressive Narcissist, available on Amazon. In this video we are talking about the traits of covert narcissists, how they differ from overt narcissists and what’s the best defense against covert narcs.
A covert narcissist cares about what others thing of them.
A covert narcissist is very subtle in their manipulation.
They are not broadcasting their grandiosity.
Are often pillars of the community. Often have good jobs. Money is very important. Image is very important.
A covert narcissist can turn overt during the discard phase. And some people can be a mix of covert and overt. At some phase the mask slips and they reveal themself.
Overt narcissists are more impulsive. The covert is more premeditated.
Going to therapy with a covert is the worst idea because that is their training ground. Often the therapists is impressed with a covert narcissist and not see through them. Therapy tells them where all the cracks in their mask is so they can fill it in.
A covert narcissist can appear vulnerable and in-touch with their feelings.
They can bring up past girlfriends to triangulate.
#1 Defense: you can trust yourself. You are your most accurate barometer. Pay attention to your body.
Here are the 20 diversionary tactics toxic people use to silence and degrade you.
Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic that can be described in different variations of three words: “That didn’t happen,” “You imagined it,” and “Are you crazy?” Gaslighting is perhaps one of the most insidious manipulative tactics out there because it works to distort and erode your sense of reality; it eats away at your ability to trust yourself and inevitably disables you from feeling justified in calling out abuse and mistreatment.
.. In order to resist gaslighting, it’s important to ground yourself in your own reality – sometimes writing things down as they happened, telling a friend or reiterating your experience to a support network can help to counteract the gaslighting effect. The power of having a validating community is that it can redirect you from the distorted reality of a malignant person and back to your own inner guidance.
One sure sign of toxicity is when a person is chronically unwilling to see his or her own shortcomings and uses everything in their power to avoid being held accountable for them. This is known as projection. Projection is a defense mechanism used to displace responsibility of one’s negative behavior and traits by attributing them to someone else. It ultimately acts as a digression that avoids ownership and accountability.
.. Instead of admitting that self-improvement may be in order, they would prefer that their victims take responsibility for their behavior and feel ashamed of themselves. This is a way for a narcissist to project any toxic shame they have about themselves onto another.
For example, a person who engages in pathological lying may accuse their partner of fibbing; a needy spouse may call their husband “clingy” in an attempt to depict them as the one who is dependent; a rude employee may call their boss ineffective in an effort to escape the truth about their own productivity.Narcissistic abusers love to play the “blameshifting game.”.. Narcissists on the extreme end of the spectrum usually have no interest in self-insight or change. It’s important to cut ties and end interactions with toxic people as soon as possible so you can get centered in your own reality and validate your own identity.
.. 3. Nonsensical conversations from hell.
If you think you’re going to have a thoughtful discussion with someone who is toxic, be prepared for epic mindfuckery rather than conversational mindfulness.
Malignant narcissists and sociopaths use word salad, circular conversations, ad hominem arguments, projection and gaslighting to disorient you and get you off track should you ever disagree with them or challenge them in any way. They do this in order to discredit, confuse and frustrate you, distract you from the main problem and make you feel guilty for being a human being with actual thoughts and feelings that might differ from their own. In their eyes, you are the problem if you happen to exist.
Spend even ten minutes arguing with a toxic narcissist and you’ll find yourself wondering how the argument even began at all. You simply disagreed with them about their absurd claim that the sky is red and now your entire childhood, family, friends, career and lifestyle choices have come under attack. That is because your disagreement picked at their false belief that they are omnipotent and omniscient, resulting in a narcissistic injury.
.. 4. Blanket statements and generalizations.
Malignant narcissists aren’t always intellectual masterminds – many of them are intellectually lazy. Rather than taking the time to carefully consider a different perspective, they generalize anything and everything you say, making blanket statements that don’t acknowledge the nuances in your argument or take into account the multiple perspectives you’ve paid homage to.
5. Deliberately misrepresenting your thoughts and feelings to the point of absurdity.
.. Let’s say you bring up the fact that you’re unhappy with the way a toxic friend is speaking to you. In response, he or she may put words in your mouth, saying, “Oh, so now you’re perfect?” or “So I am a bad person, huh?” when you’ve done nothing but express your feelings. This enables them to invalidate your right to have thoughts and emotions about their inappropriate behavior and instills in you a sense of guilt when you attempt to establish boundaries.
This is also a popular form of diversion and cognitive distortion that is known as “mind reading.” Toxic people often presume they know what you’re thinking and feeling. They chronically jump to conclusions based on their own triggers rather than stepping back to evaluate the situation mindfully.
.. Notorious for putting words in your mouth, they depict you as having an intention or outlandish viewpoint you didn’t possess. They accuse you of thinking of them as toxic – even before you’ve gotten the chance to call them out on their behavior – and this also serves as a form of preemptive defense.
.. Simply stating, “I never said that,” and walking away should the person continue to accuse you of doing or saying something you didn’t can help to set a firm boundary in this type of interaction. So long as the toxic person can blameshift and digress from their own behavior, they have succeeded in convincing you that you should be “shamed” for giving them any sort of realistic feedback.
6. Nitpicking and moving the goal posts.
The difference between constructive criticism and destructive criticism is the presence of a personal attack and impossible standards. These so-called “critics” often don’t want to help you improve, they just want to nitpick, pull you down and scapegoat you in any way they can. Abusive narcissists and sociopaths employ a logical fallacy known as “moving the goalposts” in order to ensure that they have every reason to be perpetually dissatisfied with you. This is when, even after you’ve provided all the evidence in the world to validate your argument or taken an action to meet their request, they set up another expectation of you or demand more proof.
.. The goal posts will perpetually change and may not even be related to each other; they don’t have any other point besides making you vie for the narcissist’s approval and validation.
.. By raising the expectations higher and higher each time or switching them completely, highly manipulative and toxic people are able to instill in you a pervasive sense of unworthiness and of never feeling quite “enough.” By pointing out one irrelevant fact or one thing you did wrong and developing a hyperfocus on it, narcissists get to divert from your strengths and pull you into obsessing over any flaws or weaknesses instead.
They get you thinking about the next expectation of theirs you’re going to have to meet – until eventually you’ve bent over backwards trying to fulfill their every need – only to realize it didn’t change the horrific way they treated you.
.. their motive isn’t to better understand. It’s to further provoke you into feeling as if you have to constantly prove yourself. Validate and approve of yourself. Know that you are enough and you don’t have to be made to feel constantly deficient or unworthy in some way.
..7. Changing the subject to evade accountability.
This type of tactic is what I like to call the “What about me?” syndrome. It is a literal digression from the actual topic that works to redirect attention to a different issue altogether. Narcissists don’t want you to be on the topic of holding them accountable for anything, so they will reroute discussions to benefit them. Complaining about their neglectful parenting? They’ll point out a mistake you committed seven years ago. This type of diversion has no limits in terms of time or subject content, and often begins with a sentence like “What about the time when…”
.. A discussion about gay rights, for example, may be derailed quickly by someone who brings in another social justice issue just to distract people from the main argument.
.. that doesn’t mean that the issues that are being brought up don’t matter, it just means that the specific time and place may not be the best context to discuss them.
.. Don’t be derailed – if someone pulls a switcheroo on you, you can exercise what I call the “broken record” method and continue stating the facts without giving in to their distractions. Redirect their redirection by saying, “That’s not what I am talking about. Let’s stay focused on the real issue.” If they’re not interested, disengage and spend your energy on something more constructive
.. 8. Covert and overt threats.
Narcissistic abusers and otherwise toxic people feel very threatened when their excessive sense of entitlement, false sense of superiority and grandiose sense of self are challenged in any way. They are prone to making unreasonable demands on others – while punishing you for not living up to their impossible to reach expectations.
.. Rather than tackle disagreements or compromises maturely, they set out to divert you from your right to have your own identity and perspective by attempting to instill fear in you about the consequences of disagreeing or complying with their demands. To them, any challenge results in an ultimatum and “do this or I’ll do that” becomes their daily mantra.
If someone’s reaction to you setting boundaries or having a differing opinion from your own is to threaten you into submission, whether it’s a thinly veiled threat or an overt admission of what they plan to do, this is a red flag of someone who has a high degree of entitlement and has no plans of compromising. Take threats seriously and show the narcissist you mean business; document threats and report them whenever possible and legally feasible.
Narcissists preemptively blow anything they perceive as a threat to their superiority out of proportion. In their world, only they can ever be right and anyone who dares to say otherwise creates a narcissistic injury that results in narcissistic rage. As Mark Goulston, M.D. asserts, narcissistic rage does not result from low self-esteem but rather a high sense of entitlement and false sense of superiority.
The lowest of the low resort to narcissistic rage in the form of name-calling when they can’t think of a better way to manipulate your opinion or micromanage your emotions. Name-calling is a quick and easy way to put you down, degrade you and insult your intelligence, appearance or behavior while invalidating your right to be a separate person with a right to his or her perspective.
Name-calling can also be used to criticize your beliefs, opinions and insights. A well-researched perspective or informed opinion suddenly becomes “silly” or “idiotic” in the hands of a malignant narcissist or sociopath who feels threatened by it and cannot make a respectful, convincing rebuttal.
Rather than target your argument, they target you as a person and seek to undermine your credibility and intelligence in any way they possibly can. It’s important to end any interaction that consists of name-calling and communicate that you won’t tolerate it. Don’t internalize it: realize that they are resorting to name-calling because they are deficient in higher level methods.
10. Destructive conditioning.
Toxic people condition you to associate your strengths, talents, and happy memories with abuse, frustration and disrespect. They do this by sneaking in covert and overt put-downs about the qualities and traits they once idealized as well as sabotaging your goals, ruining celebrations, vacations and holidays. They may even isolate you from your friends and family and make you financially dependent upon them. Like Pavlov’s dogs, you’re essentially “trained” over time to become afraid of doing the very things that once made your life fulfilling.
Narcissists, sociopaths, psychopaths and otherwise toxic people do this because they wish to divert attention back to themselves and how you’re going to please them. If there is anything outside of them that may threaten their control over your life, they seek to destroy it. They need to be the center of attention at all times.
.. Narcissists are also naturally pathologically envious and don’t want anything to come in between them and their influence over you. Your happiness represents everything they feel they cannot have in their emotionally shallow lives. After all, if you learn that you can get validation, respect and love from other sources besides the toxic person, what’s to keep you from leaving them?
.. 11. Smear campaigns and stalking.
When toxic types can’t control the way you see yourself, they start to control how others see you; they play the martyr while you’re labeled the toxic one. A smear campaign is a preemptive strike to sabotage your reputation and slander your name so that you won’t have a support network to fall back on lest you decide to detach and cut ties with this toxic person.
They may even stalk and harass you or the people you know as a way to supposedly “expose” the truth about you; this exposure acts as a way to hide their own abusive behavior while projecting it onto you.
Some smear campaigns can even work to pit two people or two groups against each other. A victim in an abusive relationship with a narcissist often doesn’t know what’s being said about them during the relationship, but they eventually find out the falsehoods shortly after they’ve been discarded.
Toxic people will gossip behind your back (and in front of your face), slander you to your loved ones or their loved ones, create stories that depict you as the aggressor while they play the victim, and claim that you engaged in the same behaviors that they are afraid you will accuse them of engaging in. They will also methodically, covertly and deliberately abuse you so they can use your reactions as a way to prove that they are the so-called “victims” of your abuse.
The best way to handle a smear campaign is to stay mindful of your reactions and stick to the facts. This is especially pertinent for high-conflict divorces with narcissists who may use your reactions to their provocations against you. Document any form of harassment, cyberbullying or stalking incidents and always speak to your narcissist through a lawyer whenever possible.
.. Your character and integrity will speak for itself when the narcissist’s false mask begins to slip.
.. 12. Love-bombing and devaluation.
Narcissistic abusers do this all the time – they devalue their exes to their new partners, and eventually the new partner starts to receive the same sort of mistreatment as the narcissist’s ex-partner. Ultimately what will happen is that you will also be on the receiving end of the same abuse. You will one day be the ex-partner they degrade to their new source of supply. You just don’t know it yet. That’s why it’s important to stay mindful of the love-bombing technique whenever you witness behavior that doesn’t align with the saccharine sweetness a narcissist subjects you to.
.. slowing things down with people you suspect may be toxic is an important way of combating the love-bombing technique. Be wary of the fact that how a person treats or speaks about someone else could potentially translate into the way they will treat you in the future.
.. 13. Preemptive defense.
When someone stresses the fact that they are a “nice guy” or girl, that you should “trust them” right away or emphasizes their credibility without any provocation from you whatsoever, be wary.
Toxic and abusive people overstate their ability to be kind and compassionate. They often tell you that you should “trust” them without first building a solid foundation of trust. They may “perform” a high level of sympathy and empathy at the beginning of your relationship to dupe you, only to unveil their false mask later on. When you see their false mask begins to slip periodically during the devaluation phase of the abuse cycle, the true self is revealed to be terrifyingly cold, callous and contemptuous.
.. Genuinely nice people rarely have to persistently show off their positive qualities – they exude their warmth more than they talk about it and they know that actions speak volumes more than mere words.
.. To counter a preemptive defense, reevaluate why a person may be emphasizing their good qualities. Is it because they think you don’t trust them, or because they know you shouldn’t?
.. 14. Triangulation.
Bringing in the opinion, perspective or suggested threat of another person into the dynamic of an interaction is known as “triangulation.” Often used to validate the toxic person’s abuse while invalidating the victim’s reactions to abuse, triangulation can also work to manufacture love triangles that leave you feeling unhinged and insecure.
Malignant narcissists love to triangulate their significant other with strangers, co-workers, ex-partners, friends and even family members in order to evoke jealousy and uncertainty in you. They also use the opinions of others to validate their point of view.
.. This is a diversionary tactic meant to pull your attention away from their abusive behavior and into a false image of them as a desirable, sought after person. It also leaves you questioning yourself – if Mary did agree with Tom, doesn’t that mean that you must be wrong? The truth is, narcissists love to “report back” falsehoods about others say about you, when in fact, they are the ones smearing you.
.. To resist triangulation tactics, realize that whoever the narcissist is triangulating with is also being triangulated by your relationship with the narcissist as well. Everyone is essentially being played by this one person. Reverse “triangulate” the narcissist by gaining support from a third party that is not under the narcissist’s influence – and also by seeking your own validation.
.. 15. Bait and feign innocence.
Toxic individuals lure you into a false sense of security simply to have a platform to showcase their cruelty. Baiting you into a mindless, chaotic argument can escalate into a showdown rather quickly with someone who doesn’t know the meaning of respect. A simple disagreement may bait you into responding politely initially, until it becomes clear that the person has a malicious motive of tearing you down.
.. Remember: narcissistic abusers have learned about your insecurities, the unsettling catchphrases that interrupt your confidence, and the disturbing topics that reenact your wounds – and they use this knowledge maliciously to provoke you.
After you’ve fallen for it, hook line and sinker, they’ll stand back and innocently ask whether you’re “okay” and talk about how they didn’t “mean” to agitate you. This faux innocence works to catch you off guard and make you believe that they truly didn’t intend to hurt you, until it happens so often you can’t deny the reality of their malice any longer.
- .. Provocative statements,
- hurtful accusations or
- unsupported generalizations, for example,
are common baiting tactics.
16. Boundary testing and hoovering.
Narcissists, sociopaths and otherwise toxic people continually try and test your boundaries to see which ones they can trespass. The more violations they’re able to commit without consequences, the more they’ll push the envelope.
That’s why survivors of emotional as well as physical abuse often experience even more severe incidents of abuse each and every time they go back to their abusers.
.. In the abuser’s sick mind, this boundary testing serves as a punishment for standing up to the abuse and also for being going back to it. When narcissists try to press the emotional reset button, reinforce your boundaries even more strongly rather than backtracking on them.
Remember – highly manipulative people don’t respond to empathy or compassion. They respond to consequences.
17. Aggressive jabs disguised as jokes.
Covert narcissists enjoy making malicious remarks at your expense. These are usually dressed up as “just jokes” so that they can get away with saying appalling things while still maintaining an innocent, cool demeanor. Yet any time you are outraged at an insensitive, harsh remark, you are accused of having no sense of humor. This is a tactic frequently used in verbal abuse.
The contemptuous smirk and sadistic gleam in their eyes gives it away, however – like a predator that plays with its food, a toxic person gains pleasure from hurting you and being able to get away with it. After all, it’s just a joke, right?
Wrong. It’s a way to gaslight you into thinking their abuse is a joke – a way to divert from their cruelty and onto your perceived sensitivity. It is important that when this happens, you stand up for yourself and make it clear that you won’t tolerate this type of behavior.
Calling out manipulative people on their covert put-downs may result in further gaslighting from the abuser but maintain your stance that their behavior is not okay and end the interaction immediately if you have to.
18. Condescending sarcasm and patronizing tone.
Belittling and degrading a person is a toxic person’s forte and their tone of voice is only one tool in their toolbox. Sarcasm can be a fun mode of communication when both parties are engaged, but narcissists use it chronically as a way to manipulate you and degrade you. If you in any way react to it, you must be “too sensitive.”
Forget that the toxic person constantly has temper tantrums every time their big bad ego is faced with realistic feedback – the victim is the hypersensitive one, apparently.
.. So long as you’re treated like a child and constantly challenged for expressing yourself, you’ll start to develop a sense of hypervigilance about voicing your thoughts and opinions without reprimand. This self-censorship enables the abuser to put in less work in silencing you, because you begin to silence yourself.
“You should be ashamed of yourself” is a favorite saying of toxic people. Though it can be used by someone who is non-toxic, in the realm of the narcissist or sociopath, shaming is an effective method that targets any behavior or belief that might challenge a toxic person’s power. It can also be used to destroy and whittle away at a victim’s self-esteem: if a victim dares to be proud of something, shaming the victim for that specific trait, quality or accomplishment can serve to diminish their sense of self and stifle any pride they may have.
.. Malignant narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths enjoy using your own wounds against you – so they will even shame you about any abuse or injustice you’ve suffered in your lifetime as a way to retraumatize you. Were you a childhood abuse survivor? A malignant narcissist or sociopath will claim that you must’ve done something to deserve it, or brag about their own happy childhood as a way to make you feel deficient and unworthy.
What better way to injure you, after all, than to pick at the original wound? As surgeons of madness, they seek to exacerbate wounds, not help heal them.
If you suspect you’re dealing with a toxic person, avoid revealing any of your vulnerabilities or past traumas. Until they’ve proven their character to you, there is no point disclosing information that could be potentially used against you.
Most importantly, toxic abusers love to maintain control in whatever way they can. They isolate you, maintain control over your finances and social networks, and micromanage every facet of your life. Yet the most powerful mechanism they have for control is toying with your emotions.
That’s why abusive narcissists and sociopaths manufacture situations of conflict out of thin air to keep you feeling off center and off balanced. That’s why they chronically engage in disagreements about irrelevant things and rage over perceived slights. That’s why they emotionally withdraw, only to re-idealize you once they start to lose control. That’s why they vacillate between their false self and their true self, so you never get a sense of psychological safety or certainty about who your partner truly is.
Dr. Sebastian Gorka, chief strategist for the MAGA Coalition and former deputy assistant to President Trump, told SiriusXM hosts Steve Bannon and Raheem Kassam on Wednesday’s Breitbart News Daily that Roy Moore’s victory in the Alabama Senate primary “changed American politics.”
.. For me it’s a reassertion of sovereignty and a reassertion of democracy, where the wishes of the people are actually expressed in a way that the money and the influence of the establishment totally fails.”
.. “When you look at, what’s the latest count? $30 million spent by the Swamp. For the local people’s voices just to reject that attempt by the establishment to hijack that primary, I think it really, truly is a revolutionary moment in American politics.”
.. “If you think that the Swamp is going to give back our nation without a fight, then you’re sorely mistaken.”
.. this isn’t just about the lobbyists. It’s not just about the people on Capitol Hill. The Swamp – I don’t like the phrase ‘Deep State’; I like the phrase ‘the permanent state’ – is also largely about the bureaucrats who just think they know better than anybody else,” Gorka said.
.. When you’ve got somebody who’s a GS-14 who thinks, ‘Nope, I’ve been here for 20 years, I’m going to be here after the president leaves, and I know better, and I’m just going to do my own thing,’ that’s what we have to fight as well – the idea that there’s this entrenched political elite that’s not just politicians, but also bureaucrats that think they know better,” he said.
.. Gorka agreed with Bannon’s critique that too much of the Republican consultant class thinks big campaign money is the only necessary ingredient for political victory.
“They think the politics of personal assassination, of political assassination and triangulation, is it,” Gorka said. “They’re just going to throw more money at it. They don’t need to convince you of anything. They don’t need to argue their policies. They just wish to destroy you. They just don’t get it.”
.. “As long as they don’t understand that, we are going to win every single time because you cannot buy Americans.”