Arguing with a narcissist

When arguing with narcissist it is important to know that you will never “win”, they will argue in an incoherent way and you will be left wondering “what just happened?”. They are deliberately destructive in their approach and are in the argument to win.

Here are some of the techniques that they use:

  • They negate everything that you say (even when it isn’t an argument),
  • So you say something like “my fried Mary is going to Greece on holiday next week”, they will reply “no she isn’t she is going to Spain”.  They say it with such certainty that you start to question yourself, even though you know that the narcissist has never met Mary.
  • They assume superior knowledge to you on absolutely everything even when it is blatantly obvious that they haven’t got a clue what they are talking about. For people who are so image conscious it is surprising that they don’t mind looking idiotic in this situation.
  • There is absolutely no point in accusing them of wrong doing because they are never wrong and will never admit fault. It is likely to make them defensive, aggressive and more determined to “win”.
  • Narcissists will never talk to you, they always talk at you, so you are never going to be able to make that connection and they will fire off one ridiculous statement after another.
  • They will use the hamster wheel effect, which is that they will argue round and round in circles without ever getting anywhere. This is done to frustrate their “opponent” (and all conversations with narcissists are competitions) and you will just give up because it is clearly a futile conversation.
  • They will hop from topic to topic. You could be talking about a domestic issue that needs to be resolved in a hurry and they will suddenly say “well you made us miss the flight to Paris three years ago!” “What?”
  • They will talk at you in a really condescending and patronising tone which implies that they are seriously wondering if you are bright enough to follow the “conversation”. If you get angry with them for not sticking to the point they will tell you to calm down and not be so emotional.
  • They will accuse you of things that they are doing. So they will accuse you of having an affair (because they are) and when you say “I was thinking that you might have been having one” they will go on the offensive and say “you are just saying that because I accused you first”.  They are big into projecting their shortcomings/faults on to you or other people.
  • They have a cycle of being reasonable and being completely hypocritical and unreasonable. This is very difficult because you never know which version of them is going to turn up.   This allows them to take the opening move like in a chess game  giving them the upper hand because you always hold back to see who is showing up
  • Never expect an apology there is no way that the narcissist will admit to any wrong doing, which means that there is no point in asking them to be accountable for their behaviour.
  • Use “we” instead of “you” because this will sound less threatening to them and more likely to bring the argument to a speedier close.
  • Don’t be provoked into taking their bait. They will try to escalate the argument simply because they find it fun and love the drama.
  • Pretend to take their excuses seriously in a way that they know you don’t such as “yeah right”, this is a very narcissistic thing to do because you are saying the right words but your tone and body language will let them know that you don’t believe them.
  • These conversations are exhausting and futile so get out of there as fast as you can


Narcissistic Rage

Narcissistic rage is a manipulation tool that is used by narcissists to frighten, silence, hurt or break their “opponent”.  It can flare up in seconds and is often used against children or innocent people.  It is not genuine anger it is a tool narcissists use to get people to do what they want them to do. It starts off like a dog growling, the message being “I am only growling now, but this could escalate in to a full blown attack if you do not back away”.

Narcissistic rage occurs when the narcissist perceives s/he is being personally “attacked/threatened” by someone or something else. Their rage can be expressed through verbal abuse, physical abuse or by storming off.  An outburst can happen every day, several times a day or every few months but the person who is in contact with the narcissist will never know when it is going to happen, so they are constantly on high alert and will often make huge self-sacrifices to prevent expressions of dissatisfaction escalating into full blown rage.  The sacrifices that other people make to appease the narcissist pleases them because it means that they get to control others.  After a narcissist has had a raging outburst they will be unwilling to discuss the source and appropriateness of their reaction.  When the narcissists self-image is challenged in any way it will nearly always lead to narcissistic rage, if they are in public they might postpone it, but it will emerge at a later date. Narcissistic rage is a reaction to” narcissistic injury”- a perceived threat (a “threat” to a narcissist can very often be something that someone else would not even notice) to their self-worth or self-esteem because it is so fragile the defend it in a totally exaggerated way.

They rage in two ways: they erupt like a volcano getting very heated very quickly.  This can include just randomly ranting and raving, a very personal verbal attack or sometimes even physical (usually in the form of shoving and poking, but it can be much worse) or they can be passive-aggressive. The passive-aggressive reaction includes the silent treatment, sulking and behaving like a whipped dog, like they have just been “attacked” in a most offensive manner.  False weakness and vulnerability are two weapons that narcissists will often pull out of their arsenal if they think that open aggression will not work.

Do not confuse genuine anger with the narcissistic rage. Anger is a natural reaction when exposed to provocation. Anger usually occurs from a rational cause and dissipates when one is able to express it. The fuming rage the narcissist feels is different from the anger that people usually feel; it is irrational and severely blown out of proportion from an often insignificant remark or action.

Narcissists need constant admiration, attention and compliments. They live with the illusion that they are perfect and that other people revere them. That makes them dependent on other people to keep their self-esteem high or at least at an acceptable level for them. Therefore, any challenge, mildly negative remark, or disagreement from another person is considered criticism, rejection and even mockery. They can get upset about the most inappropriate things.  For example, they could say that a two-year old behaved in a certain way to deliberately provoke them, or that someone did something to annoy/hurt them when the narcissist was the furthest thing from their mind.

Causes of Narcissistic Rage

  • Narcissistic always expect more from others than they are prepared to give themselves. This means that they often place unrealistic demands on their partners, children or colleagues. Narcissists rarely make sense, but in a fit of rage they become completely incoherent, so the other person is left thinking that there is no point in engaging in an argument with them.  This in itself lets the narcissist think that they “won” the argument and permits them to continue to feel superior to all those around them.
  • If a narcissists imperfections are pointed out to them, their whole projected image of themselves comes under threat. They might lash back with pure aggression or they might look devastated as though you just crushed them under foot.  If they do the later it is highly likely that they will seek revenge on the person that “attacked” them at a later date.  This can be done by a smear campaign on the person’s character or some sadistic/vindictive act.
  • When a narcissists false persona or projected self-image comes under threat in some way or another their reaction will be excessive and usually explosive. They will say and do things to others that would send they themselves into conniptions.  However, they do not take personal responsibility for what they say or do to others and they do not mind hurting others and/or reducing them to tears.
  • Narcissistic rage is always irrational, infantile and acted upon with impunity. The rage that the narcissist expresses has nothing (or very little) to do with the other person, it is as a result of very low self-esteem, a strong sense of shame and a fragile image of themselves that they project and feel that they have to protect as though their lives depended on it.
  • Narcissists are unstable people and it will never be more obvious than when they are raging because there is no logic and very often no apparent reason for their violent outbursts. After they have exploded they will feel superior and their sense of being in control/stable will return.
  • After they have vented their spleen, gone off in a huff they can come back 15 minutes later and behave as though nothing had happened and will be offended if anyone should mention it to them. They will go on the offensive if the person who they were rude to acts hurt or confused.  They merely wave it off.
  • The insincerity of their rage is often shown up to be what it is if they are roaring insults at someone and then another person walks into the room who they want to conceal this side of their personality from, then suddenly they become all sweetness and light, their rage is on a switch that they can turn on and off in a second. Genuine rage takes much longer to process, hours and sometimes days.  Not so with a narcissist it takes a second because there is absolutely nothing genuine about it


50 traits of narcs

About us


Abusers Characteristics

Acronyms in narcissistic literature

All  dysfunctional families are alike

Authentic Vs False self

Bad babies

Betrayal Trauma





Can Narcissists love?

Common myths/facts

Communication techniques

Core Beliefs

Emotional Incest

Emotional rape

Emotionally unavailable people

Emotional Vs physical abuse

Family System


FOG – Fear, Obligation and Guilt

Food and drink


Global Intelligence


Golden child

Good Child syndrome



Grey rock

Grief after a narcissist

Home page

How narcissists redirect anger

If you apologise to a narcissist


Institutional grooming explained

Jealousy and Envy


Laziness and parasitical nature

Leaving a narcissist

Love bombing


Manipulation on the trot


Narcissistic communication techniques

Narcissistic description words

The damaging effect of shame in narcissistic parenting

Narcissistic body language

Narcissistic Vs normal parents

Narcissistic father

Narcissistic giving and receiving

Narcissistic Hallmarks

Narcissistic parents

Narcissistic siblings

Narcissists and critical thinking

Narcissists and criticism

Narcissists and Integrity

Narcissists and Morality

Narcissists and misogyny

Narcissists and parental alienation

Narcissistic rage

Narcissists and secrets

Narcissists and the happiness of others

Narcissists and the outside world

Narcissist are attracted to empaths

Narcissists don’t know you

Narcissists friendship and loyalty

Narcissist’s love

Narcissists in brief

No contact

What they say Vs what they mean

Not everyone has a conscience or the ability to empathise

Notes to lawyers/mediators

On making mistakes

Parental wounds


Passive aggressive behaviour

Pets and narcissists

Respect for narcissists


Sense of humour and being teased

Six main fears of narcissists

Some signs when someone has negative intentions

Table of contents

The look and feel of narcissistic abuse

The scorpion and the frog

The silent treatment

Toxic love

Traits that narcissists look for


Verbal abuse forms

What is physical abuse without contact

When you erect boundaries with a narcissist

Where abuse by females is different

Why narcissist are like young children



Toxic Love

Toxic Love

The main qualities of all toxic people are that they are:

  • Very judgmental of others and have little or no self-awareness. They will happily strip someone else’s reputation or self-esteem, it is very often the things that they criticise in others that they are guilty of themselves.
  • They live off drama and will drum it up whenever and were ever possible. If you share some vulnerability with them in confidence, they will tell everyone, embellishing the story for dramatic effect.  Why let the truth get in the way of a good story?  If they can weave their way into it for dramatic effect, they will.
  • They will only talk to you when they want something from you. This might be a favour, a job that they want you to help them with (as in do for them), money or support in some argument that they have got into and they are trying to elicit sympathy for themselves.  This is a one- way street and they will be quite annoyed if you thought that you could count on them.  That is not their job it is yours!
  • They keep family/social secrets from you, so that you do not send that “congratulations on your 50th anniversary” card they will also “forget” to mention an informal celebration where invitations are by word of mouth only and you find out about it after the event. Of course they will say “I told you about it”, which is gas lighting because they know very well that they specifically and deliberately did not.
  • They say nasty things about another person and the then attribute it to you. So, if they want to say something nasty to someone’s face they say “Mary thinks that you are …” or “Peter is convinced that you did…”
  • They are never always abusive (unfortunately, it would be so much easier to spot if they were), there is just enough positive reinforcement for you to forgive them again and again making excuses for their behaviour like they are having a bad day or have a problem. Eventually you realise the pattern.

It is for the above series of toxic behaviour patterns that many people seek therapy. However, toxic love brings this type of toxicity to a much deeper level.

Love like narcissism is on a spectrum at the high end of the spectrum is unconditional love.  Unconditional love is only really appropriate for babies and children.  Emotionally healthy adults do not look for unconditional love from another adult because they were taught to love themselves as a child and do not seek to be that enmeshed with another person, they don’t try to extract the emotional support that they never received in their own childhood from an external and inappropriate source.


At the low end of the spectrum is toxic love, toxic love in words looks like “I need you, you’re useless, take care of me, give me everything that you have got and I will always try to force more out of you than you want to give – as proof of your love for me, but I will never love you back because I do not know what love is or means”.  In addition, “I will measure your “love” for me in relation to how much pain you are prepared to take from me.”


The word “love” is used very frequently by people who have absolutely no idea what it means to have a communion or healthy communication with another person.  They see attention as “love” and they mistake the attention buzz for something more meaningful than temporary gratification or as a means to get their needs satisfied whether it is “emotional”, financial or sexual.  This type of “love” is based in fear rather than any desire to truly and authentically connect with another person.

Many people stay in unhealthy relationships because they are afraid either of losing their “security” within the relationship or from fear of loneliness and vulnerability.  Long relationships are considered to be successful ones, but very often it is because both parties feel trapped that they stay together.

The dominant emotions in a toxic love pattern are insecurity and anxiety.  This does not only apply to adults it also applies to children of narcissistic parents.  They can never feel that they are safe, they are never relaxed in the relationship and never feel like they have a home that will always be there for them.  This is because their parents will make sure that their children understand that their acceptance with in the family is determined exclusively on how well they serve their parent(s).  They live in fear of what the consequences might be if they misbehaved (unknowingly) in some way, so they mostly try to be as invisible as possible.

Both adult to adult and parent child toxic love relationships are typified by cycles of highs and lows.  Just when the adult or child is convinced that the person that they love doesn’t love them, they are given brief moments of bliss where they feel completely accepted and an integral part of a very important relationship but then the mistreatment, the abuse, the lies and the manipulation start all over again and they are left wondering what they have done and where did that person that they loved so much just yesterday disappear to and why?  Did they do something wrong?  Should they try harder?

There are some signs that indicate that the relationship that you have is toxic whether with another adult or with a family member:

  • You are constantly second guessing yourself and doubting your own reality. You will probably have been told that you are “too sensitive”, so you question whether you are over reacting or not.
  • Denying your own feelings, telling yourself “it’s not that important, it was only a dinner to celebrate something for me that they didn’t show up for, I  need to let it go”
  • You continually try to “make things better” between you, working hard to make things “right” and are constantly checking to see “how things are going”.
  • Constantly apologising for things that you did or didn’t do or taking responsibility for things that you are not responsible for.

The very definition of a relationship is that  a person can relate to you, show empathy, support and compromise.  We do not merge into one person but I am who I am and you are who you are and we can relate to each other in the whole form of who we are and our relationship develops we both grow from the mutual experience.

Healthy love vs toxic love looks like:

Healthy Love

  • Gives the space and respect for the two individuals to grow and be themselves
  • Celebrates the other person and gives space for that person to grow and develop
  • “Permits” and celebrates the other person’s interests, friends and respects their other relationships without trying to be completely involved with them.

Trusts the other person, without feeling that they have to monitor their behaviour.  They expect the other person to behave in a responsible way.

  • Knows compromise, problem solves together and works together to find a mutually acceptable solution
  • Can see and appreciate the other person’s individuality, they can see the other person’s soul
  • Can embrace all aspects of reality, both the highs and lows. There are no no-go areas for discussion or exploration
  • Allows both parties stand as an individual and their moods are not determined by outside influences or the other person’s “stuff”.
  • There is a healthy concern and investment in the other person without suffocating or trying to control him or her.
  • Permits the other person personal space to be alone or with others
  • Is not in constant competition with the other person and does not have to feel “better than”.

Toxic Love

  • Has an obsession with the relationship and a determination to force it into what “it should be” with a total disregard for the other individual
  • Tries to clip the wings of the other person, stifle their development to ensure security, maintain a comfort zone and resist all change
  • Tries to control all other relationships the other person has such as family, friends, work colleagues, interests, social life and career choices
  • Has no trust, tries to control, pathologically envious, dismissive of relationships with friends and family members
  • Is a power/control dynamic it seeks drama and discord, not solutions. It is manipulative and often cruel
  • Tries to turn the other person into what they want them to be using shame and blame as their primary tools
  • Is based on how things “should be”, not how they are. There is a tape playing in their head that over rides or rewrites anything unpleasant or uncomfortable
  • Expects that the other person will take responsibility for and rescue them when things don’t go according to how they “should be”
  • Is where one person is enmeshed in everything that the other person does. They take independent action and as a personal insult and try to draw that person back into their orbit
  • Cannot be alone, is clingy demanding and invasive
  • Needs to feel superior to the other person at all times and will go to lengths to tell them so





Love Bombing

Love bombing is a term that was invented to describe how narcissists lure their potential target into their narcissistic orbit, it has absolutely nothing to do with genuine love, it is a manipulation technique that narcissists use to make their potential target feel like they are adored, admired and exciting so that the person thinks that they think that they are the most important person in the narcissist’s world, that the narcissist is head over heels in love with them.

They flood you with all kinds of communications that are available to them, it could be phone calls, text messages, emails, messages on social media sites, flowers and other presents. This is most common in potential romantic liaisons but it can also happen with new platonic relationships too.  The narcissist will constantly compliment you and you will feel flattered by all of their attention and will be lulled into a false sense that the narcissist is really besotted by you.

When the narcissist is physically around you they will listen intently to everything that you say, hang on your every word, feign interest in the things that you are interested in or hold important.  They will seem like they are really in touch with your feelings, dreams and values and that they really want to get involved in a committed relationship.  Attention blasting would be a more accurate term.

You might feel a little uneasy about this as it can feel over the top, exaggerated or too good to be true.  This is because it is, there is nothing sincere or balanced about this type of behaviour.  It is being done as a means to an end.  To have you give them narcissistic supply.  You might even feel like you are not giving enough back if you do not mimic some of the narcissists behaviour, in fact the narcissist will let you know (albeit subtly) that you need to give more and so this type of behaviour will become normalised to some extent.  The intense listening and mimicking that the narcissist does is just a ruse that they employ to harvest information about you so that they can and will use it against you at some time in the future.

While as the target of love bombing you might feel flattered there will also be the inevitable nagging feeling that you are being preyed upon and the endless attention and interrogation about what they were doing and who they did it with, will often feel suffocating and infantile as no adult usually pries into the life of another adult with such intensity.  It simply isn’t healthy.  “Light hearted stalking” might also occur at this stage, they could be waiting for you outside your work with a bunch of flowers or they might know that you are going for a drink with some friends and turn up at the bar where you have told them you will be “because they just happened to be in the area too”.

The level of attention might even garner envy or admiration from friends and family and they might comment on how lucky it is to be held in such high esteem.  It is very confusing for you t because your gut will tell you that something isn’t quite right but all the evidence/advice will mitigate against them.

As a result of all of the information harvesting that the narcissist did, they will have been able to find out exactly the sort of person you are is looking for in your life and will   metamorphosize into that person.

It is at this stage that you let down your guard and let the narcissist into your life.  You will not see the lying, cheating or the parasitical nature of the narcissist at this stage because you simply don’t know them well enough.  You will not notice that they narcissist expects you to do everything for them and will give back only the very bare minimum to stop the whole relationship from falling apart (at the beginning).  However, like an infant the narcissist will push the boundaries to see just how much they can get away with and unless you hold your ground those boundaries will be pushed without limits.  Trying to get them to co-operate or contribute financially can feel like more effort than it is worth, it might be met with narcissistic rage (a ploy used to get their target to back down) or it might make you feel like you are being a terrible nag because you have to keep asking the same thing over and over again.  This is a typical narcissistic strategy, to make you out to be something negative for something that they will or will not do.  They flip their faults onto you, and narcissists while highly sensitive to any sort of criticism, will have absolutely no hesitation in calling other people horrible names, telling them who and what they are in a very negative way.  Because they do it to everybody you may think that it is just bluster, it is not.  It is a deliberate ploy to break your spirit.  No matter how strong you are if you are constantly given negative feedback about everything that you say and do, it will eventually break you down (not you, anyone)

The narcissist will constantly tell you how fantastic they are themselves and how amazing the relationship is, how great you make them feel and that they have at last found their soul mate.  There are two things that you will notice at this stage and those are that the narcissist will move in for “the kill” very quickly, that is that they could start to talk about moving in together on the second date.  The other this is that you will feel that you don’t feel as strongly as the narcissist does about the relationship and in some way you will feel badly that you just cannot see it, that there must be something lacking in you.  This is all part of the grand design.

The narcissist will constantly monitor you to see how well their manipulation is working.  Their exaggerated language is deliberate so that even if you don’t return the complements in exactly the same lavish language that they use you will feel obliged to accept it and return some of it.  When the narcissist sees that their ploy is working they will simply raise the bar, or push the boundaries.  You might feel that it is all moving too fast (because it is), but the narcissist has to move fast for fear of losing you or for being found out for being the insincere fraud that s/he is.  The narcissist will give a running commentary on how amazing and brilliant the relationship is going, how friends are jealous and will categorically deny any “let’s slow down” or other caution comments that you might make.

It is worth noting that the narcissist will not ask you how you feel and if you express doubts the narcissist will just flip it back on you with a comment that will be designed to make you feel that the fault is with you.

Once they have hooked you with their charm and flattery you will only then begin to realise what the narcissist is really like.  They will have already have started to erode your confidence and self-esteem.  This doesn’t happen overnight, it is done on a very slow almost undetectable way, so that you might just think that the narcissist is being sloppy with the language that they use, but they are not.  Their put downs will get stronger as the narcissist sees that they have eroded your willingness to defend yourself, eventually it will end up as undisguised abuse, except when they are in public and then the narcissist will perform like the perfect partner.

It is important at the love bombing stage to listen intently to how the narcissist describes other people, especially their exs.  They will probably oscillate between how amazing they were in bed etc. and how they didn’t understand the narcissist.  The first comment is to try to make you feel inadequate, and the second is to make you feel like they really need you.  This contrast creates confusion and that is their intention and you will start to doubt yourself and what you think/feel and in this state of confusion you will be much easier to control.  That is what it is all about for the narcissist is control and power.

A narcissist has to try to make you invisible because their own self-esteem is so weak, that they have to diminish everyone around them for the fear that if another person shines even slightly, that they will just disappear completely.

It may sound like the narcissist is a great strategist, but this is not the case.  Think of the spoilt child that makes their nanny’s life hell, well it is the same thing with a narcissist.  It is not sophisticated as their behaviour is infantile.  The reason that most of us don’t see it coming is because adults simply do not behave that way. 



Narcissistic Hallmarks

  • Constant weird lies, a narcissist will lie even when the truth would serve them better
  • Narcissistic rage, they will get into a red faced fury over the slightest little thing. This is a trick they learnt when they were toddlers to try and push their boundaries with their care takers.  They are still testing to see how much they can get away with even as adults
  • Any attention is better than no attention, even negative attention is “good” for them.
  • No one’s ideas, achievements or successes are ever as good as theirs even though there is no physical evidence to support their claims.
  • They are constantly “saving the day”, even if they were not there.
  • They don’t mind their own business, interfering in other people’s dramas makes them feel alive
  • They minimise or make a mountain out of a mole hill depending on whether it is something inappropriate that they have done (minimise or don’t acknowledge in any way) or something that someone else has done “to them”.
  • Will betray anyone or anything at any time, they have absolutely no sense of loyalty or integrity.
  • They backstab, go on smear campaigns and maliciously gossip about others for their own personal gain, or for entertainment.
  • The main motivation of a narcissist is to gain power by controlling people they will do this through lies, splitting up relationships, manipulation, money, charm – the list is very long.
  • They can be charming one minute and turn into a bullying thug the next. This flipping in a matter of moments is a controlling mechanism they use.  This type of behaviour is abusive and aimed at causing confusion and instability because you are never really sure who is going to turn up
  • Once they get a better offer they will discard you without a backward glance.
  • The narcissist violates boundaries: physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and financial.
  • At work narcissists are very difficult to work for (narcissists don’t do work with), They are bullies and liars in the work place as in their private lives.
  • They can completely contradict themselves in a very short space of time and not seem to notice
  • They will constantly break their promises and make it sound like you “made” them do it
  • Completely in appropriate reactions to other people’s pain or problems but also their success and happiness (it annoys them)
  • Will try to come between you and other people and try to be “more important” than you in your relationships, even intimate ones
  • They will try to extract any material resources you might have (even by criminal means) with absolute ruthlessness and show absolutely no remorse.
  • Exhibit absolutely no shame when they have been caught doing wrong.
  • They do not listen and try to stop you talking about yourself (unless they are trying to harvest information about you, to use against you)
  • They will hunt through your private stuff opening letters, reading texts and email.
  • They might stalk you to see where you are going and who you are with if you are in a “relationship” with them, even a friendship
  • They think that everyone is profoundly interested in their opinion about just about anything, irrespective of content.
  • Will constantly offer unsolicited advice (and will get angry if you politely reject or ignore it)
  • They are very judgemental of you and everyone else, will make wild suppositions on little or no evidence
  • They will deem that most people are less intelligent, beautiful, popular and talented than they are (on absolutely no evidence)
  • They will suck up to the rich and powerful people they know in a totally shameless and sycophantic way
  • They just love to name drop
  • They will tell you why you shouldn’t feel or think in a certain way
  • They project their motives and intentions on to others
  • They feel like they are above the law as they are special people
  • They do not argue logically so you never get anywhere with them and they can easily change their mind mid argument
  • They inappropriately assume knowledge or intimacy with others far too quickly or take a haughty superior attitude without anything to back it up
  • They can be late for meetings or not show up at all if it doesn’t suit them, but would get into a red hot rage if someone did the same to them.
  • They will lie about their accomplishments or compliments that they claim others have given them.
  • They will very often be dismissive or very rude to serving staff or people he/she does not deem important.
  • They think that everyone else is weak and inferior, that they are always superior and that must always be acknowledged that must never be forgotten
  • They thing that you have no freedom to think independently, I am the only one who knows what is what
  • They think it is everyone else’s job to take care of their needs and feelings. Others are not allowed to have needs or feelings.

Here is how they operate:

  • “No one is allowed to have an opinion that differs from mine”
  • “You must agree with everything that I say, but I can criticise, degrade, mock and sneer at the things that you say”
  • “I can stop speaking to you on a whim but it will turn nasty if you decide to stop speaking to me.”
  • “I can disown you and say vile things about you behind your back but you must always be loyal and faithful to me”
  • “If our rift ends (when I am ready) you have to take me back is though nothing had happened and it must never be mentioned again”
  • “I can vent to other people about you but you must never criticise me to anyone or I will turn nasty”
  • “Your friends are my friends, but my friends are my own and I will do my best to keep you from getting too close to them (they might prefer you).”
  • “I can falsely accuse you of doing thing that you never did and you are not allowed to make me a liar by defending yourself”
  • “You are not allowed to tell the mean things that I really did do to you, you must cover it up and keep it secret.”
  • “You are never allowed to complain (it is boring) that is my job
  • “You are never allowed to confront me about anything, I am the only one allowed to be confrontational.”
  • “I can offend you deeply but you are not allowed to get upset, if you make the slightest criticism of me I will be deeply offended and insulted (and will probably react with rage).”
  • “I am the only one allowed to have feelings (even if they are very limited in scope).”
  • “I am the only one allowed to get angry, you must pretend to be content (not happy because happy is annoying) all of the time.”
  • “I can lie about you to make you look bad, you must lie about me to make me look good.”
  • “I can say anything that I like, you are only allowed to say things that you are sure will not offend me.”
  • “I can do what I want you can only do what I want/would like you to do.”
  • “You must always, always put my needs and wants before your own.”
  • “You must call me regularly to see how I am, I will only call you when I want something or I am bored.”
  • “You have to respect me, I don’t have to respect you and I don’t.”
  • “I never have to apologise to you, you have to apologise to me for everything even things that you did not do”
  • “You must never out shine me”, if you do something kind that they think they should take credit for, they will claim it if they can (without making any effort), if they realise that they are going to have to take some action they will muscle in and try to push you away.”
  • They will ridicule your relationships with other people, even if they have never met that person and have no idea of what they are like “I am the most important person in your life” (even if you do not see them very often)
  • They will accuse you of exaggerating their abuse and completely deny that it “was that bad”, completely devaluing your response to their abusive behaviour
  • They will heap lavish compliments in public and attack you at home for the very thing that they were complimenting you about in public
  • They will say “I only want what is best for you” (narcissistic parents do this as well as partners), but will destroy any thing that you try to create or build. They will clip your wings where ever and whenever they can.  If they cannot sabotage your efforts they will take credit for them for themselves “I always told her/him that s/he should do that”, “I introduced them”.
  • They will assume superior knowledge of your friends and relatives even if they have never met them. They will say things like “well of course Lucy was always very neurotic” !!  They don’t know anything about this person, but they will pass comments that are said with such certainty and confidence that you start to believe that they might know what they are talking about.
  • When you are exhausted from all of their abuse they will call you lazy and unreliable because you cannot function in a healthy way around these toxic people
  • If they are trying to contact you and they cannot get in touch, they will call relentlessly, text message (feigning that they are concerned about your wellbeing), email and even call into your place of work. They can make up to 200 attempts to call you without thinking that they may be a little invasive.  Even though you may not have heard from them in months, they will be furious that you are not available to take their call
  • If you go out with friends alone, they will call you on a false pretence to listen to background noise to make sure that you are where you said you were going to be.
  • They threaten to leave to make you unsure of the relationship (i.e. try harder), but also to try to make you beg them to stay.
  • They will constantly let you know that they are superior to you in every way (without any evidence what so ever) and will knock your confidence relentlessly.
  • They have absolutely no mood control. They will flip in to a rage one minute and thirty seconds later act as though nothing had happened.
  • They might be raging at you when someone else walks into room they will be as sweet as honey to you
  • They try to destroy your happiness/success when they can. If you go away with other people and come back with pep in your step, they will destroy your happiness by guilt tripping you for abandoning them “I was so lonely/depressed without you, please don’t leave me like that again”
  • If you need/want them to do something for you, they will refuse because they will see that as you taking advantage of them (no matter how inconsequential the request)
  • They use the word “love” as leverage to control. They say “I love you”, what they mean is that they have put you in a situation where you have to be very sensitive to their needs because they “Love you”, but they are completely indifferent you your feelings, it is not about you, the relationship is exclusively about them.
  • They gossip endlessly about other people, but are absolutely furious if they find out that someone has been gossiping about them.
  • They are especially prone to professional jealousy and no matter what they do or what you do their job is always more important than yours
  • They will constantly interrupt conversations that you have with other people to bring any conversation back to them.
  • They will negate everything you say (no matter how ridiculous) in order to control.
  • If you say you are going to do something (no matter how minor), they will tell you to do it a different way or not to do it at all.
  • They ruin celebrations that aren’t about them by sulking, fighting, pretending to feel sick or just being rude to everyone.
  • They can make appropriate comments but their facial expression and body language will let you know that they are completely insincere. It is possible that a victim will think that they had other things on their mind at the time but the reality is that they are not pleased when other people are happy or successful.
  • They will try to make their partner jealous by glorifying all of their previous relationships, implying that the one that they are in is substandard and you need to work harder on making it better.
  • Narcissistic parents do the same thing by shamelessly showing favouritism for one or more child, to make the ones who are neglected jump through hoops to try to belong and please them.
  • Their acceptance of you is always conditional on “how well you are performing for them.”
  • They make their victims become very secretive because any doubts, insecurities or mistakes you have/made will be constantly used against you.
  • They are very quick to tell you who you are and what you should do with absolutely no evidence because that is who they want you to be on that particular moment on that particular day. It changes all the time.
  • Their advice will set you up to fail.
  • They are full of advice about how you should change and what you should do but they don’t need to change a thing themselves because they are just perfect the way they are.
  • Their constant lies a peppered with nuggets of truth, designed to make you question yourself.
  • They don’t trust you because they believe that everyone is like them.
  • They are always right and if questioned in any way (even in jest) will bristle with self-righteous indignation.
  • They are quite happy to call you really rude names but if you say something like “I didn’t like what you said about” they laugh at you, will storm off in a huff at the sheer audacity for suggesting that the was something less than perfect about them.
  • If their victim starts to get stronger and grow in confidence, they will up their game and try even harder to wreck their confidence and self-esteem. They will do this ether through sheer aggression or by playing the victim.