2. “I met them the last time we were broken up!”
“I swear I’m not in love with him/her. It just so happened that I met them last time you and I were broken up and now they won’t leave me alone. I’ve tried!” or “I was only with them because I felt you weren’t totally invested in me.”
Reality – This humdinger is an attempt at having you sweep their infidelity under the rug in hopes that you’ll forgive them for “just being a human who wants to find love like anyone else.”
It’s also the perfect opportunity for them to triangulate, gaslight, and make themselves appear sought after while further wrecking your own self-esteem. You may interpret the situation by thinking “They’re being unfaithful because I’m not desirable enough, the new person is probably much more confident than I am and the narcissist likes that, or I blew it by breaking up with them and now my chance at true love is slipping through my fingers.”
This scenario is fabricated by the narcissist for the sole purpose of putting you in a situation where you become fearful that you’re going to lose them – motivating you to do whatever is humanly possible to keep their affections. What you don’t realize during these episodes is that this pattern will be repeated in numerous ways because narcissists, especially those of the somatic and histrionic ilk, are always in various stages of relationships with other people – further, it’s entirely possible that your toxic partner met the “new” person long before your last break-up.
3. “Can we just be friends?”
They were unfaithful and you found out or they openly admitted to an affair and left, saying they were in love with someone else. You heard all the reasons why you could never be an ideal partner for them. Months, weeks, or even mere days later, they came back with a sob story of how they cannot choose, they made a mistake, and don’t want to live without you. In the middle of the discussion, he or she turns, gives you a pensive look and says, “I know we can’t be together, but I care about you a lot and don’t want to lose you completely. Can we just be friends?”
Reality – Let’s be friends for the narcissist means let’s be friends — with benefits.
Don’t fall for the “let’s be friends” ploy. Doing so will land you straight in La La land, where you will spend months, if not years, tolerating their multiple sex partners, disappearing acts, and your making monthly visits to the doctor’s office to ensure you haven’t contracted an STD. It’s easy to believe the Narcissist when they come around pretending to have second thoughts about the whole thing when, in fact, they’ve realized someone else would eventually try to win your heart and that sure as hell isn’t going to happen if the narcissist has anything to do with it!
It’s also a wonderful façade for their public image, considering how “admired” they must be to be able to maintain friendships with past partners. Just imagine their chorus line during the smear campaign, “Yeah, I just stayed friends with her because I felt sorry for her, even though she’s telling everyone how abusive I am”. Voila! The Good Samaritan in action!
4. “I knew you weren’t right for me”
After your heroic efforts at absorbing the narcissist’s explosive outbursts and smoothing spackle over the gaping holes in your relationship, the narcissist “ends things” by smugly announcing “I knew you weren’t the right person for me.”
Reality – This trick seems counterintuitive because, on the surface, it seems the narcissist is discarding you, but in most cases, this move is a ploy to keep you in the discouraging cycle of trying to prove your worth and “win back” their love. So, you strive to redeem yourself, resurrect the relationship, and hope for a positive outcome.
You toe the line. You become the poster-child for obedience. You hold out for the golden days to reappear.
But what are the narcissist’s thoughts regarding the resurrection of the relationship?
The narcissist isn’t feeling grateful that the two of you have reunited. As far as they’re concerned, your herculean mission to win them back is proof of their supremacy and magnetic desirability.
In the narcissist’s mind, your operation to win them back is because you are clearly dependent on them emotionally – and the narcissist will seize on your feelings of vulnerability and fragility to the fullest. Following a mechanical reconciliation phase, they will immediately seek to manipulate and exploit you.
5. “I’m sorry for hurting you and I vow to make it up to you”
This is a favorite ruse used globally by narcissists of all types (the general exception being the cerebral narcissist). That’s because the narcissist’s partners are typically of the cooperative, empathic, tolerant, altruistic, and forgiving type and the narcissist has no qualms about exploiting these traits to the nth degree. When the narcissist shows up with flowers, jewelry, and tears (on bended knee for effect), his or her compassionate partner turns into putty, forgetting all wrongdoings and imagining a better future, which usually includes growing old together and holding hands while walking through the park.
Reality – Unfortunately, the narcissist’s thinking is entirely different from yours in regards to reconciliation. Their thoughts are usually centered on how they are going to hook up with the side-supply now that you’ve thrown a monkey wrench into their routine by demanding to be treated with respect.