Understanding That It’s Not About Me, But It’s About Them- A Narcissistic Tactic

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One of the most devastating things a narcissist does to their target is to instill a mindset in them of, “It’s always my fault.” Through gaslighting and consistent, derogatory remarks, a narcissist convinces a target that the target can do nothing right. As a result, the target learns to believe that any adverse event is related to their failure to meet the narcissist’s standards, much less be a decent human being. Here is an explanation of each narcissistic tactic they use to destroy a target’s confidence and self-esteem slowly.


Gaslighting is a form of abuse in which (most often) a narcissist tells lies to alter the victim’s reality. For example, common gaslighting phrases are “I didn’t say that” or “I can’t talk to you because you’re an idiot” or “That didn’t happen.” As the object of the narcissist’s deceit, a target begins to feel crazy and unworthy of existing. Self-esteem and self-confidence plummet. The target may begin to isolate because, after all, they believe no one believes them or much less admires them. Finally, they start to accept as true the narcissist’s lies and manipulations.

Passive aggressiveness

Narcissists are skilled at making subtle putdowns, backhanded compliments, or using the silent treatment. All of these manipulations tell a target, “You don’t matter.” And the victim begins to feel like they don’t. Many survivors report feeling like they couldn’t stand up for themselves because why would it matter. They feel worthless, unlovable, and far less than enough.

Ghosting and the silent treatment

These can fall under passive-aggressive techniques, certainly, but they happen so frequently they need their own category for addressing.

A narcissist uses the silent treatment to tell a target that you don’t matter enough to be addressed. The narcissist will often be in a social or work setting and speak to everyone around them. At home? They don’t even glance at the target. It’s demeaning and sinister.

Ghosting is in this same category. Ghosting is when a person stops communication of all types without warning. Targets feel like they’ve done something wrong or don’t matter enough to be addressed or acknowledged when this narcissistic tactic is used.


The angrier a narcissist grows, the more their target concedes. Again, this goes back to taking power away from the target while the control and influence grow.


Both overt and covert, they use this narcissistic tactic to instill more doubt into their victim’s mindset. Triangulation is when a third party is brought into the mix. For example, a partner may compare you to their ex-boyfriends or girlfriends and speak about them as if they met a standard that you cannot meet. It’s undermining, and the target feels less than and diminutive.



Understanding That It’s Not About Me, But It’s Abo...
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Sunday, 05 December 2021

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