A narcissist is aiming to crush the personality of their victim. They don’t want people around them who are critical, opinionated or in any way in the frame of mind to challenge them. They want their victim to feed them the Narcissistic Supply, which means they get attention, admiration and appreciation. Even if it is false, the narcissist doesn’t care. They want their victim to be a puppet on a string, so they are in total control.
To build their victim the way they want them, they have to break them first. Every bit of independent thinking, personality quirks and specific traits need to be eliminated, so the narcissist can then start building up their ‘perfect’ companion.
The breakdown process is gradual. Bit by bit, the narcissist will throw their critical comments at their victim, push them to behave the way they want and undermine their confidence.
Some manipulation tricks the narcissist will use:
- They will contradict every opinion you voice.
- They might say you are contradiction yourself.
- And they will put you down by calling you names.
- They will laugh at what you are saying.
- They will ignore what you tell them.
- Their reactions are unpredictable.
- They’ll get angry about your normal behaviour.
A victim of a narcissist has no self-esteem and no confidence. They have been made so insecure that for everything they do, they look to the narcissist for confirmation. And they all start walking on eggshells. Being careful not to upset their narcissist, wanting to do it right because the punishment is cruel and always uncertain about the outcome. Because the narcissist will change the goalposts whenever they feel like it.
Gradually the narcissists get into the head of the victim, forcing them to act the way they want them to. It is such a gradual process, that most victims only notice when they are well into it.
Narcissist techniques: What can you do to stop this process of breaking down confidence?
Recognise undermining behaviour
First of all, recognize that someone shows narcissistic tendencies and is undermining your confidence through some or all of those manipulation tricks mentioned above. A clear sign that something isn’t right is when you feel uncomfortable in the company of this person and you notice you are swaying between fear and hope. Fear for their negative response and hope you got it right.
Check out if you are dealing with a narcissist
A narcissist can’t deal with being challenged or getting it wrong. One way of quickly knowing you are dealing with one is disagreeing. Their reaction will give you the feedback you are looking for. If you are dealing with a narcissist, the will be unreasonable and unwilling to discuss.
Start making notes
Note down events and situations. Your objective description will give you the facts. When you are in the moment it is easy to be taken over by emotions, such as fear, which will make you doubt yourself and belief your narcissist.
Narcissist techniques: Start building your confidence
Start trusting yourself and your view of the situations by consulting your notes and stepping away from your emotions. What are the facts? When in doubt, check with friends.
Make a decision
How do you want to handle your narcissist? Are they staying in your life? Can you step away?
If you have a narcissist in your life and want to learn how to deal better with them, my best selling self-help book ‘From Victim to Victor – Narcissism Survival Guide’ will give you insights, tools and techniques. Available from Amazon.
Feeling it would be helpful to talk about your situation? You can book a FREE coaching call with me via this link.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 July 2020
I read this book in a few days. It is clear and easily understandable, with easy to follow tips on how to deal with a narcissist and improve your own situation. I highly recommend the book.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 17 August 2020
I found this book so insightful. I read it in 2 days and could relate to so much of what Mariette was saying about her upbringing and experiences. It was so helpful for Mariette to go through a checklist of a narcissist as it confirms what you may suspect or already know about the narcissist in your life… If you have been a victim of a narcissist you would never want anyone else to have to go through this horrendous life-changing experience and this is one of Mariette’s goals with this book. It is so inspirational as Mariette gives the reader great advice on what you can do to take back control and keep you sane and safe. I loved it and would highly recommend this book to anyone struggling with a narcissist. Life does get better without them in your life!