Abusive cycle – This is when there is an oscillation between destructive and constructive behaviour. A narcissist is not always destructive towards people, especially if they want something such as attention, material goods or to make a good impression to their ever present mental audience.
Accusations This is when a narcissist will tell another person, in a very forceful way, who they are and what they have done. So it can be accusing them of anything from lying, infidelity or of being lazy, even when it has absolutely no grounding in reality. “You always/never…” or “You are so…”
Alienation – This is when a person is deliberately cut off from the rest of a group, this can occur in a family, a group of friends or in the work place. It can happen by keeping “secrets”, non-disclosure of information that would not be withheld in a healthy dynamic or by deliberately ignoring the wishes and requests of an individual.
Blaming This is when someone or something is always responsible for creating a “problem”, denial of personal responsibility and making it someone else’s “fault” rather than trying to find a solution.
Bullying The act of forcing another person into a situation, through force and/or threats, who is in a more vulnerable position either physically, socially, financially or emotionally.
Co-dependency This is when a person enables dysfunction in others, the most common form is an excessive reliance on other people for approval and identity.
Cognitive Dissonance is the mental disharmony or discomfort experienced by a person who holds two or more incompatible or contrary beliefs or values at the same time, or encounters confusion about what they “know” is true about themselves versus what the narcissist is telling them is “true”.
Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) is a series of symptoms that arise from prolonged stress from being exposed to narcissistic abuse (but can also be found in people who were held hostage, prisoners of war and survivors of religious cults). Symptoms can include emotional flash backs, being triggered by past experiences, nightmares and panic attacks.
Counter dependency This is when an individual refuses to become attached or relate to another person.
Cowardice This is when a narcissist lacks courage to face pain, difficulty, commitment, perceived danger etc.
Denial Believing or pretending that something painful, shameful or traumatic event never happened. So they cannot learn from their mistakes because they do not admit that it happened.
Disassociation is the detachment from emotional experiences, when reality gets replaced with a revised or reframed version of events invented by the narcissist.
Emotional abuse Any systematic behaviour focused on a person by another which creates fear, shame, guilt or a sense of obligation.
Emotional blackmail A system of manipulation through threats, punishments and lies to control an individual’s behaviour.
Emotional flashbacks This is where an individual involuntarily relives something that happened in the past as though it were the present, it is not really a clear memory, more like a sensation. Flashbacks can be traumatic, but they can also be happy and can be triggered by any of the senses.
Empath is a sensitive person who has the ability to sense someone else’s feelings and emotions, listen to them without feeling sorry for them. Someone who is in touch with their own feelings so that they can identify with others.
Enmeshment is a relationship between two or more people in which personal boundaries are porous and unclear. That is that there is a fuzzy line between where one person starts and the other one finishes.
Flying monkeys This is when a narcissist will lie to, manipulate and coerce selected individuals to isolate, alienate, punish and control a chosen target.
Gaslighting This is when a narcissist will play tricks on an otherwise mentally healthy person to make them think that they are going crazy. They do this by denial of an individual’s reality through lies and manipulation.
Golden child A golden child is when one child in a narcissistic family of origin is selected by one or both parents to be given preferential treatment. This child “can do no wrong” in the eyes of the parent(s), despite any evidence to the contrary. S/he will be given a disproportionate amount of resources in terms of attention, finances and inclusion with otherwise neglectful parents.
Grey rock Grey rock is a technique to use when you do not want to get involved with the drama of a narcissist. What this means is that you do not seek their approval, but you do not give yours either. You remain emotionless, cool but not cold. If they say something like “you are a such and such”, “you never loved me” etc. All you say is “I am sorry you feel like that”, “that is not my experience”. Keep it as “dry” as you can and walk away as soon as possible.
Grooming is when a narcissist manoeuvres a person into a false sense of connection, dependence and trust so that they are much more vulnerable to accepting (or not initially noticing) future abusive behaviour.
Hooking This is when the narcissist goes on an active campaign to get the attention and often resources of a target. During this cycle they are charming, generous and attentive. The target is lulled into a sense of security with the narcissist, but when the target is hooked the narcissist moves onto the devaluation stage.
Hoovering This is what can happen when a person tries to break away from or limit contact with a narcissist. It is the action of a narcissist to try to suck a person back into giving them narcissistic supply. This can be done through presents, flattery, faux remorse (if they think that they have done something to upset you) or social invitations. This is a temporary phase until they know you have been pulled back in.
Image weaving This is when a narcissist participates in certain activities to improve their public image. For example, they could make a big donation to charity, this is not done from a sincere place of concern about the people/animals who would benefit from the money, but from how the narcissist thinks it makes them look.
Isolation This is when a narcissist will deliberately and intentionally set out to isolate a person from their family, friends and support network. This is a controlling technique to make their target easier to abuse.
Intimidation This is when a person uses non-verbal threats both tacit and implicit to control another.
Invalidation A narcissist will use this technique to prevent a person from expressing themselves, to encourage that person that their feelings, thoughts, values, beliefs and even factual knowledge is incorrect, inferior and worthless.
Manipulation This is when a narcissist will coerce an individual(s) into acting in a way that serves a hidden ulterior motive.
Mobbing Is another term for “flying monkeys” (see above)
Narcissistic injury is when the narcissist feels that their self-esteem or self-worth have been threatened in some way. When their true hidden self has been revealed in some way (real or imagined) by someone.
Narcissistic rage Is when a narcissist will fly into a rage over a seemingly unimportant issue. This is not “real” rage, although it feels like it because they violate the other person’s boundaries. It is a tool that the narcissist uses to control another person. It is not real because they can get really angry in seconds and if someone who they want to impress enters the company they can become “sweet natured” with the same velocity. A narcissist will expect the person who they raged at only minutes before to pretend it never happened.
Narcissistic supply This is when a narcissist will go after other people’s resources. In general it comes in the form of attention (both positive and negative attention seems to work for them). However, they like the attention to come in the form of favours, care taking, presents and inclusion in social situations. They do not like intimacy and will become aggressive or dismissive if you try to bring the “relationship” to that level.
Objectification This is when a narcissist treats people like objects for their personal gratification and not like sentiment human beings.
Parentify This happens in a narcissistic family of origin, where one or both parents force their children (even from as young as two years old) to always put their emotional and other needs before the needs of their children, no matter how unwilling or frightened the child is to do this.
Passive-aggressive behaviour is when someone engages in the indirect expression of anger, it involves behaviours to “get back” at someone without the other knowing that they are “acting out” their anger in a veiled manner.
Projection This is when a narcissist takes a situation, a personality trait or a problem that causes them discomfort and attributes the “blame” to someone else. So they will accuse you of something that they do not want to take responsibility for themselves.
Reframe This is when a narcissist takes an event out of context and changes the meaning of what happened by putting a spin on a situation so that it works out to their advantage.
Sabotage Narcissists do not like it when other people have healthy relationships, good careers or are socially popular. They can sabotage by a smear campaign on your reputation, try to destroy your confidence by sneering and deriding any creative endeavour, destroy valued possession from a previous life or try to lower your self-esteem.
Scapegoat This is when one child or individual is singled out to take undeserved blame or treatment, this child is the polar opposite to the golden child in a family.
Silent Treatment This is when a narcissist literally refuses to talk to or engage with someone who has “upset them”, the upset can be real or imaginary, the silence is used as a manipulation tool to insult and control their target in an infantile way.
Smear campaign This is when a narcissist will start to spread rumours about another person to destroy their reputation. This can happen if you are separating from a narcissist, or if they feel like they have been injured in some way by someone. They will tell lies, make false accusations and generally manipulate as many people as they can to “see” things from their jaundiced view. This can create paranoia the person on whom the smear campaign is being carried out will feel the hostility but will not know why and it is not based in reality.
Testing This is when a narcissist repeatedly forces another person to demonstrate or prove their love or commitment to a relationship. So they will constantly ask if you love them, rather and will say things “if you really loved me you would..”, or the more passive aggressive version “John gave Mary a beautiful necklace” and will look at you expectantly!
Triangulation This is a technique that is used to stop direct and frank communication between two people. Like the name suggests, the narcissist will put themselves in the middle so that they can edit the exchange of thoughts and feelings between two or more people through lies and selection of information shared to serve their own goals.
Triggers are current events that provoke a traumatic memory from the past and upset you all over again, either at a conscious or unconscious level.