The Narcissist’s Twist – Why it’s Always Your Fault
This post could have been titled “The Narcissist Trap – part 2“, as their method of orchestrated lies and misleading fabrications is used as damage control in the event that they are exposed. Thereby becomes part of the trap that the narcissist has long ago calculated to use against you.
The effectiveness of this calculated succession of malicious gossip and lies is paramount in the way that they trap you into submission and perhaps instill fear in order to keep you quiet. The end game is of course, to destroy you in order for them to look good.
I have lot’s of experience over the course of many years being on the receiving end of such vile behavior. Some of it was scapegoating, which I was aware of but didn’t understand why. The worst was what was discovered recently and is the reasoning and motivation for this website.
There can be many reasons why a narcissist will want to employ these destructive tactics against your character, depending on the individual and the cause of the narcissist wound and scar. They can range from jealousy, resentment, knowing dark secrets, feeling threatened, or even having an innocent disagreement.
Whatever the reason, the victim of a smear campaign often finds himself isolated and even ostracized by family and people who you had thought to be close friends.
Worse still, by the time the victim finds out about the betrayal and back-stabbing, the damage has been done. What’s more is that you may not have a single clue, as I still don’t, as to what’s been said about you to undermine your credibility.
Your character has been assassinated and you don’t even know why! This scenario can play out within a matter of hours, as was experienced by me and led me to the discovery of the true nature of this sister who had a history of such betrayals, however stealthy in the past execution.
This pathological need is why they must lie about anything and everything. They seek out those persons who will listen and believe ‘their truth’ , and then use the subjects loyalty to feed and grow the lies.
Naturally, the victim would want to understand the sudden twist of perception, and you find that no one believes you. You are left looking as the crazy and delusional one.
Welcome to the world of the Narcissist Twisting the truth and playing the victim.
To the narcissist, concealment of their wound becomes the driving force behind their entire life’s existence and projection to the public. Their life becomes scripted and rehearsed with acute studies of personality and character traits of those who they had selected to emulate as the replacement for their severely wounded ‘true’ self.
This observation has been verified time and again within my own personal involvement with a severely disordered family member.
The great failure on my part was not realizing or being aware of the wound(s) that had occurred that caused this moment of “arrested development” in the narcissist sister. To me, the constant persona changes through her adolescence and early adulthood were nothing more than her personal desire to become a faux socialite. To the observers that were close, she took on a phony and pretentious sire of superiority.
In and by itself, the scripted personality that the narcissist sister was perfecting could have been utilized as normal self-training. With it, perhaps her destiny could have been greatness which was honestly achieved through hard work and focus on real accomplishments that were beneficial to others.
Instead, the entire family had wedges on discontent driven between them which led to a breakdown in cohesion. At the time this was happening, I hadn’t a clue as to why, or what the motivation was, or even an understanding of manipulation.
I did know that it bothered me and I expressed concern and bewilderment about the sudden turn of dysfunction. Not just toward myself, but toward our father, also.
Narcissists always play the victim and they manipulate those around them for their own gain. To the narcissist, everyone is fair game to be used as a pawn in their strategy of self aggrandizement. They are some of the most poisoned people you will have the misfortune to meet.
They are unable to live in the real world; their reality is too painful for them to accept.
As a defensive strategy, they delude themselves that their reality (false self) is real , and the real (true self) just doesn’t exist for them. Reality sets in when the narcissist’s scar is poked, exposing them to their internal shame and danger of discovery. This is when stories are told, and they become the victim.
Then comes the fabricated alternative life and story line to events that have taken place
People who are normal and healthy use a mindful approach to deal with events as they unfold in life. They face life’s challenges and continuous obstacles in stride and take responsibility for their actions, success or failure.
A narcissist is incapable of doing this. Everything that is wrong will always be everyone else’s fault but theirs.
Narcissists have a pathological need to be correct on all matters, large and small. This pathological need is why they must lie about anything and everything. They seek out those persons who will listen and believe ‘their truth’ , and then use the subjects loyalty to feed and grow the lies.
The narcissist will cast themselves as the good person, who fights for everyone and does no wrong, when in fact the malevolence in their core is causing the pain.
Narcissists love to project, plain and simple. A good example is when a narcissist tells you that someone has been abusive to them and spreading lies, you’ll then know for sure, that it is in fact the narcissist who has done this, not the person they are talking about. There can be no concept of self-defense in the mind a narcissist.
That is, if they don’t get exposed by you first.
I would do this only if you are not dealing with a malignant narcissist or sociopath, as this can be dangerous.
I know from personal experience just how dangerous these souless losers are. You are now enemy #1. However, they will continue to lie to others about you and play the victim in this drama.
Don’t underestimate the destructive power of a pathological narcissist. Narcissism is a profound distortion of one’s sense of self. A narcissist’s life is endlessly about gaining “narcissistic supply:” attention, success, wealth, power, control, sexual conquest, and more. They seek to be fed; nothing is more important. This drive is so powerful that narcissists will gleefully betray those closest to them when it suits them.
When it come to the protection of their delusional facade, they have no boundaries which won’t be crossed. Totally without scruples or a moral compass, the pathological narcissist will destroy anyone who threatens their false self and sense of superiority.
That includes everyone and anyone, including blood family. I know this all to well.
Another example is they will claim their loved one has been cheating on them, you can bet the truth is the narcissist is the one who has been cheating. I know this example to be without doubt in at least two of the marriages that the inspiration of this site is guilty of.
Whether it be an accusation of infidelity, general dishonesty, theft, hacking or stalking, or a myriad of other illusion ed offenses toward the target, you can bet that it is, in fact, what narcissist is doing.
Just know whatever the narcissist is saying to you about the other person, is exactly what the narcissist is doing. Plain and simple.
The seed of discontent has been planted. They are now the victim and now they will continue to feed the lies, so that seed may grow. You will hear things such as, “Look what they have done to me, all I did is love them” or “I’m the good person here, why are they doing this” or the most tired of examples has been “I can’t believe…, after all I have done for you”.
Strings Attached to Everything
Perhaps the most annoying of the traits that a narcissist will use to gain power and control over you will be using fear, guilt, shame to extract absolute loyalty toward the narcissist.
Any favor, no matter how petty or large, will never be done out of heart. Something as small and insignificant as making a sandwich for your enjoyment will have strings attached. Like many other examples used here, I use this as an actual experience.
For well over two years I had the sandwich figuratively thrown in my face whenever a demand from the narcissist wasn’t heeded. And a small loan that was overlooked became a crime of the century.
The narcissist doesn’t forget these small tokens of kindness as most normal people would. We normally adapted people would give and do favors and never begin to think something is owed to us in return. We simply do them out of our heart and move on.
To the narcissist, there is no ‘giving from the heart’, but rather any such act of kindness will soon be exposed as just that – an act. They may, as in my experience, come to you with a list of favors that had been done for you and decide that it’s time for payback. The list might include things that were incredibly petty and distant that there was no memory of them, leaving you flabbergasted, at best.
What the list of inflated values won’t include is anything you’ve done for them. Of course, you’re not counting and keeping track because it goes against the very core of your beliefs, nor do you throw anything up in their face, as they do. If pushed, maybe you’ll struggle to remember something, only to be viciously mocked by the nasty narcissist.
This is part of the trap that the narcissist sets for you. You’re beginning to see that there is no winning with facts and logic. You are caught up in an emotional web of irrationality and fantasy.
Flipping the Story
At his own pace which is calculated and orchestrated, the narcissist will develop a story of their own choosing. The dramatic climax might come at the end much like that of a movie, bringing all of the bullet points together at the end. They do this for dramatic effect and for your pity.
Being nothing less than bullies, narcissists will find a potential victim and attempt to bully them through manipulation, testing the potential target for weakness or strength. They are on the hunt for another source of Narcissist Supply.
Remember, a narcissist is essentially an ‘empty shell’ that exhibits itself as ‘human’ re pleat with emotion and character traits that have been mirrored, or emulated from the supplier.
Out of jealousy, resentment, shame or a multitude of other triggers, they try to get an emotional response from the target, the angrier the better. The narcissist needs this emotional response in order to fill the emptiness of their ‘true self’. Without this fuel, they regress to the infantile or adolescent point of their original wound, leaving them with the very insecurities, shame, guilt, anger that they try to escape.
This cycle of feeding frenzy is lifelong, as they’re stuck inside of their own nightmare.
Don’t underestimate the destructive power of a pathological narcissist. Narcissism is a profound distortion of one’s sense of self. A narcissist’s life is endlessly about gaining “narcissistic supply:” attention, success, wealth, power, control, sexual conquest, and more.
Their response can leave an observer shaken and upset, even traumatized by the reaction of a grandiose narcissist. If the narcissist is overt, their reaction can be violent and physically threatening.
The covert narcissist will have a much different tone and response to the rejection. Instead of an outward ‘in your face’ attack, they will harbor the ‘crime’ of the rejection and calculate an underhanded attack against you.
Because you are a normal and healthy person who doesn’t harbor grudges, you rand against a bully, covert or overt. Then the torpedo attack happens out of the blue leaving you devastated.
Story flip goes here. The roles are reversed and the targeted person becomes the bully. The victim bullied the narcissist and is a troublemaker. They will deny any aggressive behavior, and claim that the victim is being too sensitive, lying or seeking attention.
A fitting analogy might be, the schoolyard loudmouth who stomps on your foot and tells the teacher that you stepped on his. Narcissists are bullies, cowards, and liars.
One of the most sinister overt patterns that the anti-social narcissist will use is gaslighting. It’s probably their favorite, as the effects can be thoroughly destructive with the effects possibly being lifelong, and causing much grief and turmoil within the targeted victim.
It is a psychological trauma that is very similar to brainwashing. On the extremes, it can lead to suicide and even homicide.
Gaslighting is a very complex method, however simple it may seem once you become familiar with the meaning. I’ll write extensively about gaslighting and the horrendous manipulations that causes many adverse effects of the targeted victim.
Gaslighting, an elaborate and insidious technique of deception and psychological manipulation, usually practiced by a single deceiver, or “gaslighter,” on a single victim over an extended period. Its effect is to gradually undermine the victim’s confidence in his own ability to distinguish truth from falsehood, right from wrong, or reality from appearance, thereby rendering him pathologically dependent on the gaslighter in his thinking or feelings. -Reference Encyclopedia Britannica
A gaslighting campaign against a target might include variety of verbal techniques to undermine your reality and portray you as being the messed up person.
- Discrediting you by making other people think that you’re crazy, irrational or unstable.
- Using a mask of confidence, assertiveness, and/or fake compassion to make you believe that you “have it all wrong.” Therefore, eventually, you begin to doubt yourself and believe their version of past events.
- Changing the subject. The gaslighter may divert the topic by asking another question, or making a statement usually directed at your thoughts, e.g. “You’re imagining things—that never happened!”. “No, you’re wrong, you didn’t remember right.”. “Is that another crazy idea you got from your (family member/friend)?”
- Denial and avoidance. By refusing to acknowledge your feelings and thoughts, the gaslighter causes you to doubt yourself more and more. For example, “I don’t remember that, you must have dream t it!”. “You’re lying, I never said that.”. “I don’t know what you’re talking about”. “You’re changing the subject.”
- Twisting and re-framing. When the gaslighter confidently and subtly twists and re frames what was said or done in their favor, they can cause you to second-guess yourself—especially when paired with fake compassion, making you feel as though you are “unstable,” “irrational,” and so forth. For example, “I didn’t say that, I said _____” . “I didn’t beat you up Johnny, I just gave you a smack around the head—that’s what all good fathers do.”. “If you remember correctly, I was actually trying to help you.”
The best defense against a sustained gaslighting campaign is being true to your core beliefs and solid on your foundation. Even then, the self doubt and lack of confidence that was purposefully manipulated onto you may very well follow you a good portion of your life. As happened to me.
The narcissist often starts a smear campaign long before a relationship comes to an end. They plan ahead knowing that none of their relationships end well, so when that time comes, they have already persuaded friends and basically anyone who will listen to them, that their target is unstable. They lie, spread malicious gossip and twist the truth in an effort to destroy their victim’s character and reputation.
Abusers often use other people to do their dirty work for them. They will use third parties to abuse their target. Because this form of abuse is indirect, it results in them looking like an innocent party and the narcissist has “plausible deniability”. Another term for this is “Flying Monkey”.
Maintaining their image is paramount. They’ve done this their entire life and are well practiced in manipulating and controlling people.
Smear campaigns are often initiated within the family unit. The narcissist alienates their target from family members once again by lies and gossip. The narcissist recruits other family members, who become enablers to help ostracize their victim.
Anyone who is seen as a threat to a narcissistic personality within the family may be considered a target. For example simply being a younger sister deemed more popular than the narcissist, or who has shown to be more qualified professionally, is enough to make them a target of a smear campaign. The victim in these circumstances may find themselves being bullied, isolated, blamed, or ostracized by their family, none of which they’re guilty of or aware of.
Make no mistake; the narcissist knows their target is a good person. They know exactly how they are making their target feel by their betrayal. They simply don’t care as long as they, themselves, come out of the situation smelling of roses. Some will take great pleasure and feel a sense of power by simply knowing that they are the cause of another’s pain and emotional distress. By their manipulation, they are in control of their target’s emotions and of their relationships with others. They display absolutely no remorse or shame in the psychological harm and trauma that they cause to their victim.
All of these techniques are insidious, cruel and can permanently destroy the target of narcissist abuse. What’s more, is that the targeted one was the innocent one all along, he was only a perceived and not real threat to the attackers.
Since anti-social personalities are without guilt, remorse, shame, or conscience, they can go about their distorted lives walking undetected among us. Time and again, their victims will be left in a place of misery and confusion.
I was one of them.