Narcissist tricks of their trade - you are being manipulated
Reactive Abuse: How the Narcissist controls you through emotional abuse. Have you ever freaked out, defended yourself, and bit back only to be told you are too sensitive? Or you were bewildered because you were not expecting a person to say or do what they just did. It may have been unexpected or out of character for them, till now. As the dust settled, you felt confused and bewildered because you didn’t understand what had just happened. There’s a chance a narcissist deliberately targeted you. They saw you enjoying yourself, or they were no longer the centre of attention, so they flipped it into a negative. To add insult to injury, straight after they cajoled a reaction out of you, they told you it was your fault they said or did what they did.
Toxic people will push you to breaking point with relentless emotional, psychological, and verbal abuse. Their goal is to get you to snap so that they can prove how “unhinged” you are. Then this will back up their smear campaign about you, which started months back without your knowledge. Gossip like you have a temper and are emotionally unstable and prone to lying, manipulative behaviour and outbursts. I had a boyfriend that did this. He was charming to me, and our relationship was terrific in every way. Unbeknown to me, he was going around telling our friends that I was unhinged, always spending his money.
Six months into the relationship, he showed his true colours and was often toxic to me in public or privately. He would tell me how fat I looked just as we walked out the door for a dinner date with friends. He would create an argument at home, inferring that the friends we were about to meet had commented on how they noticed I was very emotional and paranoid, or often very defensive, unnecessarily. Of course, I would become upset and paranoid, which led me to mention this to the friends in question. I would apologise for making them feel this way about me, and my partner had pointed out how I had made them think, for which I was sorry. The more I tried to explain, the deeper I dug my grave. This would back up his smear campaign and make me look emotional, paranoid, and unhinged, reinforcing what he had previously said to them. It would also make me look like I was being manipulative and needy. He would have spent months pre-planning and laying the toxic foundations amongst our friends and family. One time, while sitting at the dinner table, I reacted to a passive-aggressive remark sharply, only for him to say, “See what I mean?” The whole table went quiet, and I was flabbergasted. I realised later he had set me up. He did this in the company, and when we were alone together. I would explode and act out of character, and he would act all cool and calm, asking me what my problem was. This is known as Reactive Abuse. Innocently asking a question or implying something that would make you seem stupid. Examples of Reactive Abuse “Innocently” asking you a personal or triggering question, condescendingly talking to you, usually quietly so no one hears. (They love doing this in the company of others) You eventually lose your patience after hours of this passive, underhanded covert behaviour, and kick-off. Behold, you look the fool, too much to drink or a nutter.
Countering everything you say, then acting shocked when you get frustrated
Saying something unkind or derogatory, followed with,
“I’m only joking” God, you are so sensitive! Telling you how to do something, like reverse, change a light bulb. Knowing damn well you got this.
Offering to lend you money, then in public ask for it back. You later find out he told everyone in that public circle that you are constantly scrounging from him.
Phone you, then cut the call short, saying they will call you straight back. Then you don’t hear from them for days/weeks and can’t reach them if you try.
Shaming or mocking you when you cry, rage, or slam a door in response to the abuse (you just fell into the trap!)
Constantly cutting you off when you are talking to them, talking over you, running you down, and implying you are stupid. (this is to undermine you, and break you if you are confident)
The main reason for them doing this is for narcissistic supply. Control can come into it as well. It is your reaction to them goading you, they look for. The more dramatic, more people watching, the more they know they can get to you, wind you up, and control your reaction, mood, or behaviour, the better the fix. Your adverse reaction will be used against you and presented as evidence for that smear campaign they had already created months before when you were happy being love-bombed. They can tell everyone witnessing these pre-thought-out toxic scenarios. See what I mean? She is crazy. All I do is love her, and this is how she reacts. Anything that puts you as the perpetrator. They know precisely what they are doing. You might wonder why a person would go to so much trouble. It is all to do with power, control, ego, hedonism, sadistic supply, small dick syndrome or my personal favourite; mummy didn’t love me. The narcissist is all about control. If they feel they have control over your emotions and your reactions, and they can trigger you at any time, this makes them believe they have control over you. Remember to be stoic, never react, let it go over your head, and punch the pillow when you are home alone. If they are telling you not to do something. Like, “Don’t go telling people I have had a go at you, I know what your game is.” “You just want to smear my name” - they are projecting on you what they are actually doing behind your back. You will probably feel terrible that this person, the love of your life, friend, boss, or mother, thinks this way. So, you deliberately do not tell a soul. You want to prove your loyalty and how wrong they are. In the meantime, while they are banking on you not telling a soul, they are doing precisely that. They are going around telling anyone that will listen what you are doing to them, what in truth they are doing to you. It’s crazy, but it is very genuine and hard to prove, legal, clever, and often used in the law, bullying tactics at work, dysfunctional families, politics, competition in promotion/sales, and relationships. What is reactive abuse? So reactive abuse is when a narcissist or a toxic person deliberately triggers you into reacting to their abuse. They do or say something obnoxious, and you react; they act innocent and ask you what your problem is. You then end up looking like the abuser a lot of the time because people only see your reaction, not their deliberate, behind-the-scenes, covert abuse. Narcissists love shock value because of the drama it evokes. Reactive abuse is a real thing, so be aware of it. It is not teasing, you are not too sensitive, and it is not alright to make you feel like you do. To combat it is to stop reacting. It’s that simple. Every time you react, you are reinforcing their technique by confirming it works If anything, have compassion for how dysfunctional they really are. Narcissists only know drama and abuse. Narcissists like a game. If they can’t get a rise out of you at first, they’re going to try different tactics. I hope this short blog has helped, please check out my www.sybella-loram.medium.com blog for more details on narcissistic abuse spiritual and mental health information on a more approachable level. Thank you for reading Sybella L Loram FdA