11 Ways Narcissists Will Try To Manipulate You

11 Ways Narcissists Will Try To Manipulate You


Hopefully, in your life, you will avoid ever having to deal with narcissists who try to manipulate you. If, on the other hand, you suspect you are affected by someone with this behavior, it’s important to recognize their clever (but hurtful) tactics.

Narcissists have several traits, but above all, a narcissist is selfish. They are motivated by what is best for them, not what is best for you, and it is unlikely that you will ever be able to change that about their nature. Removing yourself from a narcissist’s influence is sometimes the best thing you can do to protect your mental and emotional well-being.


11 Ways Narcissists Will Try To Manipulate You

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1. Triangulation

Narcissists believe that they are always correct, and to prove this, they will bring in a third person whom they have already convinced to support them. This is clearly unfair because if you had known that there was an evidentiary hearing, you would have brought witnesses of your own. Narcissists often get away with their wrong opinions through the smokescreen of having plenty of people on their side.


2. Devaluing

You may have once seemed to be everything the narcissist wanted you to be, but now it feels like they hate the very things they once said they liked about you. This is a way that the narcissist manipulates you into believing that you need to be even more than you are in order to please them. If you internalize this, you will feel that you have little worth. In reality, you deserve more and should not allow yourself to be devalued by anyone.


3. Aggression

Researchers studying narcissistic personality traits as they relate to aggressive behavior say that narcissists show strong associations with overt aggression, verbal aggression, and the inability to control their behavior or emotions. Do not get into an unsafe situation with a narcissist. Make sure that you protect yourself from falling victim to the abusive tendencies of a narcissist. Again, you deserve better.

Although physical aggression is easy to see, psychological aggression is harder to identify. These are the traits of a psychological abuser according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline:

  • Intimidating you or making you feel afraid
  • Threatening you
  • Using denigrating language
  • Withholding emotional, physical, or financial support
  • Controlling your access to friends and family
  • Controlling your behavior
  • Pressuring you to do things that you don’t want to do

If you are fearful for your safety, get to a safe location and call 1-800-799-7233 or visit thehotline.org for resources and help to recover from a domestic violence situation.


4. Shaming

Belittling others and making them feel less valuable is one way a narcissist will try to manipulate you. If they can make you feel ashamed for your appearance, lack of education, or social class, then they feel better by comparison.



narcissist manipulation

5. Playing victim

The attitude of “I can’t win with you” is one of the narcissist’s tactics. By playing victim, the narcissist is forcing you to console them and help them justify their inflated ego. Don’t back down from your stance, otherwise, you are implicitly allowing the narcissist to get everything his (or her) way.

6. Inappropriate behavior

Researchers studying the everyday behavior of teenage narcissists say, “Narcissists do indeed behave in more extroverted and less agreeable ways than non-narcissists, skip class more (among narcissists high in exploitativeness/entitlement only), and use more sexual language.” These people are likely to embarrass you in public and make you apologize to others for their behavior. By doing so, you are supporting the ego of the narcissist by being their lackey and smoothing things over, making it easier for them to continue getting away with unacceptable behavior.

7. Monopolizing conversation

A narcissist believes that everything should be about them, so don’t be surprised if they weren’t listening to you. Not only that, but the narcissist immediately turns the topic back to themselves and cuts you off when you are speaking, but will not tolerate it if you cut them off.


8. Projecting

Whatever it is that you accuse the narcissist of doing, they reflect and blame you for it. They project their behavior onto others because they believe they themselves are flawless.

9. Brainwashing

Have you found yourself doing things you don’t want to do for a narcissist? This is another form of them manipulating you. Somehow, they used a ploy to get you to obey their command in spite of your not wanting to.


10. Gaslighting

Gaslighting is an insidious tool used by psychopaths, sociopaths, and narcissists. This tactic makes you question your own sanity. For example, they may insist that you’re the abusive one, that you don’t listen to their feelings, and that you are bringing them down, while verbally and emotionally abusing you in the same conversation. They may even get physical with you, but if you turn your back on them they will insist that you are disrespectful.

11. Verbal aggression

Yelling and using insulting language is another way a narcissist will try to manipulate you. Again, the tactic is to make you feel small and fearful. Stay strong in the face of this kind of bullying behavior. Keep your voice calm and at a normal volume; ask the narcissist to do the same. If they do not change the way that they are speaking to you, refuse to talk to them.



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