The narcissist devours people, consumes their output, and casts the empty, writhing shells aside. — Sam Vaknin
The most common image people have of a narcissist is that of a snobbish, aggressive male or a self-appearance-obsessed female. Even though these features are closely associated with narcissism, this is just half of the picture. The other half is just as hideous.
Narcissists look like everyone else. He/she might be someone extremely well-spoken, smart, confident, charming, intelligent, and witty. They cannot be identified in one fleeting glance. You have to get to know them deeply, have to get down to play their game, have to surrender to their power and then you will realize, what toxicity you have exposed yourself to.
Narcissistic abuse is spreading like an epidemic just under our noses. People have come up with their traumatic and heartbreaking stories to talk about how they have survived the abuse. Anyone – you, me or someone close to us, can become the victim of narcissistic abuse if they possess something which a narcissist envies.
It can range from material things, talents, and achievements to reputation, fame, and security. All they want is you to never be content and happy. Because that bugs them. They want the best of everything, and to achieve this end, they can go to unimaginable heights or descend to hellish depths.
They believe that they are entitled to everything wonderful in their lives.
And, other people around them, should always sacrifice, compromise their own needs and wishes to cater to theirs. If you fail to do so, they will be constantly controlled with a number of manipulative techniques that they are armed with or they will simply be dropped. Either way, it’s a win-win situation for them. It’s their way or the highway.
Relationship, as you can already imagine, with such a person is bound to be toxic. There will be a constant power struggle, manipulation, aggression, violence, infidelity and mental torture that will someday leave you completely devasted, drained and destroyed. Your life will never be the same again.
You will emerge out to be a whole new person, either stronger and rebellious than ever or vulnerable, damaged and broken in all aspects. Unfortunately, the second option is more probably going to happen.
The bad news is, a narcissist does not come along with a tag.
But you can always take precautions. The good part is, when you look closely, you will notice a number of obvious signs that you are trying to get along a narcissist and that abuse are surely going to follow.
Here are 7 very common signs that you are being manipulated by a narcissist:
1. They Monopolize conversations
I call it “owning the conversation”. They are basically conversation hackers.
Here, I will provide you with a sneak peek into a conversation with a narcissist:
“Hi, how have you been?”
“Hi. I am doing fine. What about you?”
“Ah! Life is at it’s best now. Tomorrow I am flying off to Los Angeles to join my dream job. Even though I was quite sure of my prospects, but you can never tell right?”
“Umm…Ya. You are right. You…”
“Bunk. I knew I would get it. Tell me more about how things are going with you.”
“It’s all fine. I have been sick for a few days now.”
“Oh! Don’t tell me. The previous week was disastrous for me. I got down with viral fever and it didn’t seem to leave me.”
You see, how the conversation is entirely centered around them and their concern. They don’t even care if you are interested to listen or not. Every time the other person is about to make a point, the narcissist will somehow turn up with another ‘very urgent’ topic to talk about. Often the urgency is nothing but that of control and attention.
A narcissist loves to be attended to. And if you are naturally a good listener, congratulations, you are officially the narc’s best friend now. They will make perfect use of your ability to their advantage.