This is what you will find in a narcissist’s bag of manipulative tricks.
This list was written by Patricia Jones Harris.
Common narcissistic behaviors:
Mentally abusive behaviors:
Rage – This is an intense, furious anger that many times will come out of nowhere. It startles and shocks the victim into compliance or silence.
Gaslighting – Narcissists will lie about the past, making their victim doubt their memory, perception, and sanity. They will claim and many times give evidence of the victims past wrong behavior further causing doubt and confusion.
The Stare – This is an intense stare with absolutely no feelings behind it. The stare is designed to scare a victim into submission and is many times used along with the silent treatment.
Silent Treatment – Narcissists punish by ignoring. Then they lets their victim “off the hook” by demanding an apology even though she isn’t to blame. This is to modify her behavior. They also have a history of cutting others out of their life permanently over small things.
Projection – They dump their issues onto their victim as if she were the one doing it. For instance, narcissistic mental abusers may accuse their spouse of lying when they have lied. Or they make her feel guilty when he is really guilty. This creates confusion.
Twisting – When narcissistic spouses are confronted, they will twist it around to blame their victims for their actions. They will not accept responsibility for their behavior and insist that their victim apologize to them.
Manipulation – A favorite manipulation tactic is for the narcissist to make their spouse fear the worst, such as abandonment, infidelity, or rejection. Then they refute it and ask her for something she normally would reply with “No.” This is a control tactic to get her to agree to do something she wouldn’t.
Victim Card – When all else fails, the narcissist resorts to playing the victim card. This is designed to gain sympathy and further control behavior.
Emotionally Abusive Behaviors
Withholding – Withholding love, affection, empathy, and intimacy
Countering – This is when the partner expresses a thought and the abuser immediately counters that view with his/her own without really listening to or considering it.
Discounting – When the abuser discounts the partner’s views or thoughts, tells the partner those ideas are insignificant, incorrect, or stupid. The abuser may even discount the partner’s memory about the abuse itself.
Blocking and diverting – When the partner wants to discuss a concern, the abuser changes the subject and prevents any discussion and resolution.
Accusing and blaming – The abuser will accuse the partner of some offense. The abuser may well know the partner is innocent of the supposed offense, but this tactic serves the purpose of putting the partner on the defensive rather than seeing clearly the behavior of the abuser.
Judging and criticizing – This serves to weaken the partner’s self-esteem and increases their looking to the abuser for validation.
Trivializing – This is when the abuser minimizes something that is important to the partner, such as a concern about something the abuser has done.
Undermining – When the partner wants to do something positive in her/his life, the abuser becomes threatened and tries to stop the partner. It may be an overt command, or it may be trying to subtly convince the partner why it’s a bad idea.
Threatening – This can include threats of divorce, of leaving, of abuse, or other threats of actions that would hurt (not necessarily physically) the partner or someone the partner cares about.
Forgetting – This includes the abuser ‘forgetting’ about incidents of abuse, which undermines the partner’s reality. The abuser may also ‘forget’ about things that they know are very important to their partner.
Ordering – Treating the partner as a child or a slave; denying the independence of the partner.
Denial – Similar to discounting, although here the abuser outright denies his/her actions. This discounts the reality of a partner.
Abusive Anger – When the abuser becomes enraged to the point of frightening the partner. This rage often is caused by incidents that a non-abuser would consider insignificant.