When it comes to the types of people in our lives who are simply not good for us, narcissist manipulators rank among the top most toxic of all. They’re the individuals who care only about themselves and who stop at nothing to get exactly what they want. As such, a narcissist will always selfishly place their own needs, desires, and emotions first when making decisions and they won’t think twice about using people for their own advantage. They are relentless in their quest for personal power and success which is why they’re so manipulative, deceitful, and bad to be around.
If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to deal with a manipulative narcissist then you should be well aware of just how exploitative and driven they can be. By knowing their tactics and how they operate, you can counteract the negative effects of their behavior and protect yourself. Here are 7 ways in which narcissists manipulate and use others to their advantage:
1. They Play the Victim
Narcissists love playing mind games and pretending to be a victim is one of their favorites. They get more attention and pity from others when they lead them to believe they are sick, in trouble, or need help. When you feel sorry for them you’re more likely to want to help them out, and that’s exactly what they want. They also use this tactic as a way to justify or excuse their terrible behavior. Also, by turning your focus away from all the negative, deceitful things they’ve done, they make you less guarded and therefore more open to even more manipulation on their end.
2. They Use Aggression and Intimidation
One thing that all narcissists use is scare tactics. They employ everything from subtle, underhand threats to tongue lashings to overt physical violence in order to bully others into giving in and bending to their will. More often than not the intimidation is psychological and emotional in nature. They might keep you from seeing family and friends or always put you down and verbally assault you because it makes them feel dominant and in control.
3. They Downplay Your Accomplishments
When you first meet a narcissist they often hide their true colors and come off as actually quite charming. They compliment and build you up just so they can tear you down later. When that happens it’s as if a switch gets suddenly flipped and all of those kind words go out the door. They will devalue your accomplishments and pride so that you work extra hard to regain their favor and please them.
4. They Guilt You Into Thinking Everything is Your Fault
They blame you for all of their bad behavior along with all of the trouble and repercussions it brings with it. No matter what the facts or situation may be, it’s inevitably your fault.
5. They Only Talk About Themselves
It’s a dead give away you’re dealing with a narcissist when all that the person talks about is anything and everything related to them. They have nothing good to say about anything else and can drone on endlessly about themselves. When you do finally get a word in and switch the topic, they will steer the focus right back to them as if they didn’t even hear a word you said in the first place.
6. They Use Triangulation
This is when a narcissist, you, and one other person are all involved in a triangular mind game of sorts. The other person is brought in by the narcissist after they have been led to believe that you are in the wrong or the problem. Basically, by pitting you and a third party against each other the heat is taken off the narcissist, as is any blame, and they get off scot-free. The other person will also stand up for and support them and this feeds right into their need to be liked and perceived as right all the time.
7. They Never Change
Once a narcissist, always a narcissist. They will continue to act shallow, manipulate, and deceitful until the day they die. There is no medicine or cure for them, therapy is ineffective as well. Their issues are rooted deep in their minds and ingrained in their personalities. Even after you’ve removed them from your life, they will simply move on to their next unsuspecting victim and start ruining their life.