The one thing that narcissists absolutely love to do, is to play horrible mind games and pull nasty tricks on their victims. They are always looking to torment their victims mentally and emotionally, and revel in the fact that their victims are going through hell.
Even though they have various tricks up their sleeves, there are 8 special tricks narcissists like to play to manipulate their victims perfectly.
Here Are 8 Tricks Narcissists Play To Manipulate Their Victims
1. Being fake is what they do best.
Narcissists are experts when it comes to being superficial and fake. Initially, they will make you feel that you are the center of their universe and the apple of their eye. They will work very hard to draw you in, make you feel like they know exactly how you are feeling, and no matter what, they will always be there for you. Narcissists will count on you to make yourself vulnerable and the moment you do, they will pull the rug from under your feet.
Suddenly, they will behave in ways that will make you feel that you do not know them at all. If you are going through a rough time in your life, they will make you feel worse about yourself by constantly talking about how good their lives are, and how everything is absolutely perfect. Narcissists might not tell you negative things on your face, but they will try everything in their power to make you feel inferior, humiliated, and like a total loser (which you are not!).
2. Running around in circles is their forte.
If you have ever had any experience of dealing with a narcissist then you would know how they behave when you start to realize what they are up to. The moment you ask a narcissist to take responsibility for their actions and call them out for it, they will start running around in circles AKA does anything but introspect. Moreover, they will try to pin it on you by dropping the ball in your court.
They will deny, project, blame, and shame their victims constantly to save their own skin, so as not to be held accountable for their pathetic actions. Many victims tend to forgive the narcissist by making excuses for them (they might be having a bad day, they are not themselves, it must be my fault, they have a hard past, etc.), and that is exactly what a narcissist looks to achieve with their tricks.
The best way to handle them is to continue calling them out on their behavior and make them feel that you know exactly what they are up to. After a point, they won’t be able to take it anymore, and they will either leave you or try to punish you. Either way, you will know their true nature and be better off without them in your life.
3. Calling their victims crazy.
This is one of the most common tricks narcissists play to evade consequences of when you have realized their true nature. If you pull them up for their questionable behavior, demand answers, or expose them for their wrong deeds, they will instantly try to pin it on you by calling you crazy. Narcissists will try to gaslight you to no end by acting as if they have no idea what you are talking about and will vehemently deny that something actually happened.
Narcissists tend to say the following things when they are exposed:
- You don’t know what you are saying.
- You are confused.
- You are wrong because that never happened.
- You are making things up.
- You have an overly active imagination.
- You are crazy and you need help.
- You always overreact.
- You love to fight and are always looking to quarrel.
By doing all this, narcissists try to make their victims feel defeated, underconfident, and perpetually confused about what the actual truth is.
4. Indulging in meaningless conversations.
There is one thing you need to remember when you are dealing with a narcissist – they will never have a mature conversation with you! If you try to have a thoughtful and important conversation with them, they will talk about things that are absolutely meaningless and nonsensical.
This is one of the many tricks narcissists play in order to prevent you from holding them accountable or challenging them in any way. They will beat around the bush, ask you stupid questions, project, and gaslight you to get you off-track. They will go on and on about things that are not even remotely related to the discussion you are having, just for the sake of trying to make you feel wrong.
Even if you argue with them for 15 minutes, after a point you will chide yourself for even wanting to resolve things. You will start to feel guilty for bringing up the topic because you will try to rationalize everything by telling yourself, that the fight would never have happened if you had never brought up the topic in the first place. And this is exactly how a narcissist will want you to feel.
5. Intentionally misinterpreting your opinions.
In a narcissist’s world, no one can be right except for them and no one can be smarter than them. They suffer from an immense sense of superiority complex, and sometimes even God complex. The fact that they can be problematic and toxic human beings is something that they just cannot fathom. So, when you put forward your opinion which is different from theirs or when you disagree with them, they will intentionally misinterpret that and make you out to be the problematic one.
They will treat all your emotions and opinions (doesn’t matter how justified and genuine they are!) as proof of you being irrational and also address them as character defects. Even if you do something as simple as letting them know that they hurt you, they will instantly turn that around on you and say “So, you are saying that I am a bad person? Fine, I will keep my mouth shut from now on!”. Do you now understand how they play with their victims?
By using this technique they put down and invalidate your emotions, make you feel like your emotions are unimportant, and also make you feel guilty for your right to have simple emotions and thoughts.
6. Making generalizations to invalidate emotions.
Some narcissists are extremely intelligent, and they know exactly what they do. But then some narcissists are intellectually lazy and overly narrow-minded. In other words, they have tunnel vision. They refuse to accept when someone has an opinion entirely different from theirs and also that there might be another perspective and angle to something. The concept of the difference of opinion is hard for them to comprehend.
They will also put labels on their victims, without even trying to understand what the victim is going through. For example, if someone suffers from an anxiety disorder and they talk about this with their narcissist, guess what they will do? They will instantly dismiss and undermine their anxiety disorder by saying stuff like “It’s nothing”, “You are just too sensitive”, “You are a scaredy-cat, that’s why you feel like this”, “What reason could YOU possibly have for being anxious?” and better still, “It’s all in your head. Don’t think too much about it.”
The only way you can protect yourself from this is by holding onto your feelings and your truth, and by attributing these demeaning statements to a lack of education and illogical thinking. This might not change the narcissist for the better, but at least you will be able to protect your mental health.
7. Deviating from the topic.
Another one of the tricks that narcissists play for manipulating their victims, is they quickly change the topic or deviate from it when it becomes too uncomfortable for them. The moment they realize that are being called out for their problematic and insensitive behavior, they will deviate from it by trying to put the spotlight on their victims. For example, if you question your narcissistic parent for their insensitivity, they will bring up a mistake you made 5 years back, and then go on and on about how they never gave you a hard time about it.
Instead of trying to change their bad behavior, they will use all your mistakes against you to win the vicious game they play. Even if your mistakes are minor compared to theirs, they will exaggerate it to a large extent and make you feel horrible about yourself.
8. They resort to abuses and name-calling.
When a narcissist realizes that they are trapped and there is no way they will be able to save their skin, they resort to abusing their victims. In a narcissist’s universe, anyone who defies them in any way causes a narcissistic injury which then leads to narcissistic rage. This narcissistic rage is caused by their flawed sense of superiority and an enormous sense of entitlement.
When they are unable to manipulate or brainwash you, narcissists take to using abusive language against you. They know extremely well that name-calling is probably the best way to humiliate you, degrade you, and hurt you. They will attack your intelligence, your physical appearance, how you live your life, and also how you are nothing without them.
Narcissists’ inability to understand and admit that they are wrong and toxic is what makes them pull all these remorseless tricks. In their own eyes, they are literally perfect, and if anyone criticizes them, then the other person becomes the toxic one. Dealing with people like this is mentally, emotionally, and psychologically draining. So, the moment you feel like you have someone like this in your life, cut ties, walk away, and never look back.