People such as malignant narcissists, psychopaths and those with antisocial traits engage in maladaptive behaviors in relationships that ultimately exploit, demean and hurt their intimate partners, family members and friends.
Here are 10 tactics these toxic people use to silence and degrade you;
1. You imagined it, which distorts your sense of reality, to the point of not trusting yourself.
In order to establish reality, you should write things down or tell someone that you trust, this way you won’t feel like you are loosing your mind.
2. Blameshifting, when a person is unwilling to see his or her own shortcomings and uses everything in their power to avoid being held accountable for them. They will blame everyone, but themselves.
It’s important to cut ties and end interactions with toxic people as soon as possible so you can get centered in your own reality and validate your own identity.
3. Conversations, will go in circles if you disagree or challenge them. They will disorientate you and get you off track. They do this in order to discredit, confuse and frustrate you, distract you from the main problem and make you feel guilty for being a human being with actual thoughts and feelings that might differ from their own. They thrive off the drama.
Cut the interaction short as soon as you anticipate it escalating and drawing your energy.
4. Thoughts and Feelings, Narcissists weave tall tales to reframe what you’re actually saying as a way to make your opinions look absurd or heinous. They often presume they know what you’re thinking and feeling. They chronically jump to conclusions based on their own triggers rather than stepping back to evaluate the situation mindfully. They act accordingly based on their own delusions and fallacies and make no apologies for the harm they cause as a result. Notorious for putting words in your mouth, they depict you as having an intention or outlandish viewpoint you didn’t possess. They accuse you of thinking of them as toxic.
Simply stating, “I never said that,” and walking away should the person continue to accuse you of doing or saying something you didn’t can help to set a firm boundary in this type of interaction. So long as the toxic person can blame-shift from their own behavior, they have succeeded in convincing you that you should be “shamed” for giving them any sort of realistic feedback.
5. Criticism, the difference between constructive criticism and destructive criticism is the presence of a personal attack and impossible standards. These so-called “critics” often don’t want to help you improve, they just want to pull you down and scapegoat you in any way they can. Even after you’ve provided all the evidence in the world to validate your argument or taken an action to meet their request, they set up another expectation of you or demand more proof. The goal posts will perpetually change and may not even be related to each other.
Don’t get sucked into changing goal posts. If someone chooses to rehash an irrelevant point over and over again to the point where they aren’t acknowledging the work you’ve done to validate your point or satisfy them, their motive isn’t to better understand. It’s to further provoke you into feeling as if you have to constantly prove yourself.
6. Threats, Narcissistic people feel very threatened when their excessive sense of entitlement, false sense of superiority and grandiose sense of self are challenged in any way. They are prone to making unreasonable demands on others, while punishing you for not living up to their impossible expectations. Rather than tackle disagreements or compromises maturely, they set out to divert you from your right to have your own identity and perspective by attempting to instill fear in you. To them, any challenge results in an ultimatum and “do this or I’ll do that” becomes their daily mantra.
If someone’s reaction to you setting boundaries or having a differing opinion from your own is to threaten you into submission, whether it’s a thinly veiled threat or an overt admission of what they plan to do, this is a red flag of someone who has a high degree of entitlement and has no plans of compromising. Take threats seriously and show the narcissist you mean business; document threats and report them whenever possible and legally feasible.
7. Name-calling, when they can’t think of a better way to manipulate your opinion or micromanage your emotions. Name-calling is a quick and easy way to put you down, degrade you and insult your intelligence, appearance or behavior while invalidating your right to be a separate person with a right to his or her perspective. Rather than target your argument, they target you as a person and seek to undermine your credibility and intelligence in any way they possibly can.
It’s important to end any interaction that consists of name-calling and communicate that you won’t tolerate it.
8. Conditioning, they condition you to associate your strengths, talents, and happy memories with abuse, frustration and disrespect. They may even isolate you from your friends and family and make you financially dependent upon them. In time to become afraid of doing the very things that once made your life fulfilling. If you learn that you can get validation, respect and love from other sources besides them, what’s to keep you from leaving them? A little conditioning can go a long way to keep you walking on eggshells and falling short of your dreams.
9. Boundaries, they continually try and test your boundaries to see which ones they can trespass. The more violations they’re able to commit without consequences, the more they’ll push the envelope. They suck their victims back in with sweet promises, fake remorse and empty words of how they are going to change, only to abuse their victims even more horrifically.
They try to press the emotional reset button, reinforce your boundaries even more strongly rather than backtracking on them.
10. Jokes, they enjoy making malicious remarks at your expense. These are usually dressed up as “just jokes” so that they can get away with saying appalling things while still maintaining an innocent, cool demeanor. Yet any time you are outraged at an insensitive, harsh remark, you are accused of having no sense of humor. This is a tactic frequently used in verbal abuse.
It is important that when this happens, you stand up for yourself and make it clear that you won’t tolerate this type of behavior. End the interaction immediately.
At the end of the day they love to have complete control over you in whatever way they can. They isolate you, maintain control over your finances and social networks, and micromanage every facet of your life. Yet the most powerful mechanism they have for control is toying with your emotions. The more power they have over your emotions, the less likely you’ll trust your own reality and the abuse you’re enduring.
Knowing the manipulative tactics and how they work to erode your sense of self can arm you with the knowledge of what you’re facing and at the very least, develop a plan to regain control over your own life and away from these toxic people.
This article (10 Methods Narcissists, Sociopaths And Psychopaths Use To Silence You!) was originally created and published by Its All About I and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and Its All About I.info. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, all hyperlinks within the article to remain intact and this copyright statement.