Narcissists use destructive defense mechanisms like gaslighting and blaming to avoid their feelings of shame and inadequacy. Their behaviors are manipulative, selfish, and abusive, and they avoid taking any responsibility for their actions. Instead, they'd rather blame you for everything and make you feel like you're the problem.
Narcissistic abuse can include emotional, mental, verbal, physical, spiritual, sexual, and financial control and abuse. Their abusive behaviors tend to escalate over time, especially if they sense they're losing control over you. Narcissists are also master manipulators. If you find yourself beginning to question your perspectives, feelings, or sanity, this is a clear indication that you're being manipulated. There are many forms of manipulation and control, and it's important to become aware of them:
- Emotional blackmail: this includes verbal warnings, threats, intimidation, and punishment. This form of manipulation is used to provoke fear, obligation, or guilt in you, and is often referred to as "FOG".
- Gaslighting: this tactic is used to make you distrust your experiences and perceptions of reality. If you begin to question your sanity this is a good indication that a narcissist is gaslighting you.
- Competition: narcissists often compete with others to gain advantage over them. They will one-up you, make you feel guilty about your success, or act jealous when you succeed. Rather than celebrating your success, a narcissist will try to bring you down to make themselves feel superior.
- Sabotage: narcissists will interfere with your endeavors or relationships for the purpose of revenge or personal advantage.
- Isolation: narcissists gradually isolate thier victims from family and friends to gain more control. If you find yourself feeling isolated because your partner has a problems with your family and friends, this is a good indication that you're being manipulated, isolated, and controlled.
- Exploitation and objectification: narcissists will take advantage of you for their own personal gains without regard for your feelings or needs.
- Lying: persistent deception is used to maintain control and to avoid responsibility.
- Withholding: narcissists will withhold money, sex, communication, or affection.
- Neglect: narcissists ignore the needs of others and will only give something in order to get what they want from you.
- Privacy invasion: narcissists ignore boundaries by looking through your personal things, phone, or mail, and deny your physical privacy by stalking, tracking, or following you.
- Character assassination or slander: if a narcissist can't control you, they'll try to control how others view you.
- Violence and rage: this includes blocking you from leaving, physically restraining you, slapping, pushing, pulling hair, throwing things, or destroying your personal property.
If you're experiencing any of the above it's important to get outside support to understand what's going on, to rebuild your self-esteem and confidence, and to learn how to protect yourself. Don't fight this battle on your own, help is here. You deserve better...