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Home » The Narcissist’s Playbook: A Checklist of Their Most Common Tactics

The Narcissist’s Playbook: A Checklist of Their Most Common Tactics

    Narcissism is a personality disorder characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, a constant need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. Narcissists have an excessive sense of entitlement and believe they are superior to others. They often have a grandiose view of themselves and seek constant validation and attention from others.

    Identifying narcissistic behavior can be challenging, as narcissists are skilled at manipulating and deceiving others. However, there are certain characteristics that can help you recognize narcissistic behavior. These include a lack of empathy, a sense of entitlement, a need for constant admiration, and a tendency to exploit others for their own gain.

    The Narcissist’s Playbook: An Overview

    Narcissists use a variety of tactics to manipulate and control their victims. These tactics are designed to keep the victim under their control and to ensure that their needs are met. Some common tactics used by narcissists include gaslighting, love bombing, triangulation, projection, silent treatment, hoovering, discarding, and victim playing.

    Gaslighting: The Art of Manipulation

    Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which the narcissist seeks to make the victim doubt their own reality. They may deny or distort the truth, make the victim question their memory or perception of events, and make them feel like they are going crazy. Gaslighting is a powerful tool used by narcissists to gain control over their victims.

    Recognizing gaslighting behavior can be difficult, as the narcissist is skilled at making their victim doubt themselves. However, there are some signs to look out for. These include constant lying or denying of facts, making the victim question their own memory or perception of events, and making the victim feel like they are going crazy.

    To protect yourself from gaslighting, it is important to trust your own instincts and perceptions. Keep a record of events and conversations to refer back to if you start to doubt yourself. Surround yourself with supportive and trustworthy people who can help validate your experiences.

    Love Bombing: Showering You with Affection

    Love bombing is a tactic used by narcissists to manipulate and control their victims. It involves showering the victim with excessive affection, attention, and gifts in order to create a sense of dependency and loyalty. The narcissist uses love bombing to make the victim feel special and loved, while also ensuring that they are dependent on the narcissist for their emotional well-being.

    Signs that you may be a victim of love bombing include feeling overwhelmed by the amount of attention and affection you are receiving, feeling like the relationship is moving too quickly, and feeling like you are constantly on an emotional rollercoaster.

    To protect yourself from love bombing, it is important to take things slow in a new relationship and to set boundaries. Trust your instincts and be wary of someone who seems too good to be true. Remember that healthy relationships are built on mutual respect, trust, and communication.

    Triangulation: Playing People Against Each Other

    Triangulation is a tactic used by narcissists to create drama and chaos in their relationships. It involves playing people against each other in order to gain control and power. The narcissist may manipulate others by spreading rumors, gossiping, or pitting people against each other.

    Recognizing triangulation can be challenging, as the narcissist is skilled at manipulating others. However, there are some signs to look out for. These include feeling like you are constantly caught in the middle of conflicts or drama, feeling like you have to choose sides, and feeling like you are being used as a pawn in someone else’s game.

    To protect yourself from triangulation, it is important to set boundaries and refuse to engage in drama or gossip. Surround yourself with supportive and trustworthy people who will not participate in the narcissist’s games. Focus on your own well-being and avoid getting caught up in the narcissist’s manipulations.

    Projection: Blaming Others for Their Own Faults

    Projection is a tactic used by narcissists to avoid taking responsibility for their own actions and to shift the blame onto others. They may project their own faults, insecurities, and negative traits onto their victims in order to make themselves feel better and to avoid facing their own flaws.

    Recognizing projection can be challenging, as the narcissist is skilled at deflecting blame. However, there are some signs to look out for. These include feeling like you are constantly being criticized or blamed for things that are not your fault, feeling like you are always on the defensive, and feeling like you are constantly walking on eggshells.

    To protect yourself from projection, it is important to trust your own instincts and perceptions. Do not internalize the narcissist’s criticisms or blame. Remember that their behavior is a reflection of their own insecurities and flaws, not yours.

    Silent Treatment: Punishing You with Silence

    The silent treatment is a tactic used by narcissists to manipulate and control their victims. It involves ignoring or withdrawing from the victim as a form of punishment or control. The narcissist uses the silent treatment to make the victim feel guilty, anxious, and desperate for their attention.

    Recognizing the silent treatment can be challenging, as the narcissist is skilled at making the victim feel like they have done something wrong. However, there are some signs to look out for. These include feeling like you are constantly walking on eggshells, feeling anxious or guilty when the narcissist is silent, and feeling like you have to constantly apologize or make amends.

    To protect yourself from the silent treatment, it is important to set boundaries and refuse to engage in the narcissist’s manipulations. Focus on your own well-being and surround yourself with supportive and trustworthy people who will not participate in the narcissist’s games.

    Hoovering: Reeling You Back In

    Hoovering is a tactic used by narcissists to regain control over a victim after they have discarded them. It involves reeling the victim back in with promises of change, love, and affection. The narcissist uses hoovering to keep the victim hooked and to ensure that they can continue to manipulate and control them.

    Recognizing hoovering can be challenging, as the narcissist is skilled at manipulating others. However, there are some signs to look out for. These include feeling like you are constantly being pulled back into the relationship, feeling like you are constantly on an emotional rollercoaster, and feeling like you are unable to move on from the relationship.

    To protect yourself from hoovering, it is important to set boundaries and cut off contact with the narcissist. Focus on your own well-being and surround yourself with supportive and trustworthy people who will help you stay strong.

    Discarding: Throwing You Away

    Discarding is a tactic used by narcissists to punish and control their victims. It involves abruptly ending a relationship or friendship without any explanation or closure. The narcissist uses discarding to make the victim feel worthless, rejected, and abandoned.

    Recognizing discarding can be challenging, as the narcissist is skilled at making the victim feel like they have done something wrong. However, there are some signs to look out for. These include feeling like you are constantly walking on eggshells, feeling anxious or guilty when the narcissist is silent, and feeling like you have to constantly apologize or make amends.

    To protect yourself from discarding, it is important to set boundaries and refuse to engage in the narcissist’s manipulations. Focus on your own well-being and surround yourself with supportive and trustworthy people who will not participate in the narcissist’s games.

    Victim Playing: Playing the Victim to Gain Sympathy

    Victim playing is a tactic used by narcissists to manipulate and control others. It involves portraying themselves as the victim in order to gain sympathy, attention, and support. The narcissist uses victim playing to deflect blame, avoid taking responsibility for their actions, and manipulate others into feeling sorry for them.

    Recognizing victim playing can be challenging, as the narcissist is skilled at manipulating others. However, there are some signs to look out for. These include feeling like you are constantly being guilt-tripped or manipulated into feeling sorry for the narcissist, feeling like you are always on the defensive, and feeling like you are constantly walking on eggshells.

    To protect yourself from victim playing, it is important to trust your own instincts and perceptions. Do not internalize the narcissist’s guilt-tripping or manipulation. Remember that their behavior is a reflection of their own insecurities and flaws, not yours.

    Protecting Yourself from Narcissistic Abuse

    Protecting yourself from narcissistic abuse is essential for your well-being and mental health. It is important to set boundaries and refuse to engage in the narcissist’s manipulations. Surround yourself with supportive and trustworthy people who will help you stay strong.

    Seeking help and support is also crucial if you are a victim of narcissistic abuse. Reach out to friends, family, or a therapist who can provide guidance and support. Remember that you are not alone and that there are resources available to help you heal and move forward from the abuse.

    In conclusion, understanding narcissistic behavior is key to protecting yourself from narcissistic abuse. By recognizing the tactics used by narcissists, such as gaslighting, love bombing, triangulation, projection, silent treatment, hoovering, discarding, and victim playing, you can take steps to protect yourself and regain control over your life. Remember to set boundaries, trust your instincts, and seek help and support if you are a victim of narcissistic abuse.