We’ve all had toxic people come in and out of our lives at some point. Some of them we didn’t realize that they were so toxic until they were completely gone and we were surveying the damage. We often find ourselves wondering how it was possible for us to ignore the warning signs, but that’s because they were so good at manipulation. Narcissistic manipulators are probably the worst kind of people to have sneaking into your life. If you have suspicions that you may have encountered one, here are the signs so you can tell for sure.
The one thing about narcissists, is that they’re self-obsessed and lack empathy towards others. They love nothing more than worming their way into someone’s life and leeching off them like a parasite.
But the dangerous thing about narcissists is they will never be satisfied with what they’re receiving from you. They will always want more and more, and will eventually drain you like some kind of emotional or financial vampire.
While it’s clear that if you want to avoid this kind of drama, you should just stay clear of a narcissist. But that’s easier said than done. Spotting them is a lot harder than one would think, because they’re so good at manipulation and getting into people’s lives.
If you suspect that you’re falling victim to the manipulations of a narcissist you need to sever ties with that person immediately. But first, you need to be sure that the person in question truly is a narcissist.
Here are the common traits shared by narcissists everywhere:
1. Playing The Victim
One of the easiest and most common ways that a narcissist will get themselves wrapped up in someone’s life is to play mind games with that person. And the mind game that is most common, is to play the victim of any situation.
In short, they will exaggerate or make up situations so that people will feel bad for them. If a person constantly has a new problem, and that problem always conveniently happens to be whenever they want something paid for or provided to them by someone else, then that’s a classic sign of narcissistic manipulation.
Interestingly enough, narcissists may not always be consciously aware that they’re perpetuating this behavior. Part of their victimization is convincing themselves that they are right to engage in their negative behavior.
2. They Frequently Become Aggressive And Intimidating
If a narcissistic person can’t immediately get what they want, then there’s a chance that their behavior will become predictable – be it aggressive or intimidating or a combination of both.
This behavior can either be in the form of subtle threats or full-on verbal/physical attacks. However, more often than not, the narcissist will refrain from violence at the beginning, in order to continue to manipulate someone.
But over time, the aggression and intimidating can escalate as the victim becomes more used to it. It’s like the old fable about boiling a frog in water – if a frog is dropped into boiling water it will immediately jump out, but if you turn the heat up ever so slightly, the frog won’t realize the temperature change until too late. Don’t let yourself be the frog.
3. They Insult Your Achievements
At first, a narcissist will appear to be impressed by your career, or the things that you are proud of. But over time this will change – probably because they can’t stand to not be the center of attention.
After you’ve been lulled into a false sense of security, they will start to pick away at your sense of self-esteem, starting with little insults about the things that make you feel accomplished.
This can also take on the form of the narcissist insulting the things you do for them. Instead of being grateful, they will undermine your efforts to make them happy and point out where you went wrong or where you weren’t “good enough.”
4. They Make You Think That Everything Is Your Fault
This is another form of victimization, only for this instance, the narcissist will lead you to believe that you’re the one causing all the problems and you’re making them the victim in all this.
A classic identifier is when something goes wrong that is beyond your control, the narcissist will still blame you anyways for the situation.
Even if you try to point out that you’re not at fault, the narcissist will not accept the explanation. Instead, they will twist around the facts so that you’re convinced you’re in the wrong and causing their distress.
5. Everything Revolves Around Them
One of the easiest ways to identify a narcissist is to take note of what they talk about. If they’re a narcissist, then the topic of conversation will only ever be them. It’s one of the few traits that is easy to spot as you just need to keep an ear open.
When narcissists are talking about themselves, they will often do anything to keep the focus of the conversation on them. That means that they usually will be quick to shut down any attempt that you make to switch to another subject. So keep listening, you will be able to hear it. And if you do, run!