A malignant Narcissist, psychopath or even those with severe antisocial traits indulge in manipulative behavior intended to exploit and demean their partners and/or family members. The one on the receiving end usually ends up hurt and with a distorted version of reality. This happens because a narcissist/sociopath will use all the diversionary methods to deflect blame and make the other person feel responsible for it.
Awful as it is, one could keep him/herself protected by such people by looking out for the below traits and walking away from it:
1. Gaslighting- the reality
This manipulative tactic aims to degrade your sense of reality by making you question your own sense of judgment. Being repeatedly told that something we saw didn’t really happen that way, that we imagined it, and/or that we are plain wrong in our opinion wrecks havoc to our mind.
Once you lose the ability to trust your own decisions it becomes absolutely easy for such a person to stop you from calling out their psychologically abusive behavior.
2. Projection – of their own shortcomings
It’s a way of avoiding blame for their own deeds by brushing them off on others. This happens when a person is unwilling to acknowledge their own mistakes and do everything in their power to blame it on someone else.
We all have done this at some point of life, however the truly malignant people project their own mistakes on others in a manner that could be called toxic. You become the reason their life is in shambles, and they walk away scot-free.
3. Misrepresentation of others thoughts
Such people will deliberately misrepresent your thoughts and feelings in such an absurd manner that it will look like a character flaw.
Reframing your words into something toxic that makes you look bad would lead you guilt on your part. Your words are regularly misinterpreted according to their own perception, not considering yours at all.
They put words in your mouth, making you look cruel and insensitive.
4. Changing subjects, shifting accountability
When you discuss a topic they don’t like, or one that portrays them in a bad light, such people will swiftly change the topic. In order to evade their accountability they will either point out your past mistakes or drag in a totally unrelated topic to gain leverage.
5. Calling names, all the wrong kinds
‘Narcissistic rage’ as a term defines the anger such a person has when faced with an argument they cannot discuss logically. Their high sense of superiority makes them resort to name calling to criticize your beliefs and opinions since dragging you down as a person is easier than arguing with well crafted thoughts.
6. Bringing in other’s opinions to triangulate any argument
Many a times such people will bring in the opinions of others who aren’t even remotely related to the conversation in order to validate their abusive behavior. This is done so that you start doubting your own stand since according to them if more people support their point of view, it makes them right.
7. The need to control
The best way devised by such people to maintain power over you is isolation. By isolating you from your family, friends and the world in general, and by manipulating your emotions they gain power over you. This fuels their need to erode your sense of self and make your life toxic.
The only way to fight this negativity is to have power over your mind and emotions. The more in touch you are with your reality, the better equipped you are to face such negativity in life.