27 Survivors Reveal The Sickest, Most Twisted Thing A Narcissist Did To Manipulate Them
Played mind games with listening and hearing.
“He would bait me. I would say something and he would say “What? I didn’t hear you!” so I would talk a little louder. Then he would repeat the same thing. I talked a little louder, then he would put his hands over his ears and say “See, you are always picking on me and bullying me!” He would then walk out and give me the silent treatment.” — Patti
“Mine would say “I can’t hear you, you speak too low, speak a little louder.” Then, when I would repeat what I’d said a little louder, he would yell at me, saying, “You don’t have to yell. Why are you yelling?” — Carmen
“When he’d talk to me he would leave out a word here and there, mouthing the words but no sound coming out. He had me thinking I was losing my hearing.” —Pauline
“Said I mumbled and called it ‘drizzling the cheese.’ Then, when I repeated myself more loudly, he would say I yelled it and became angry.” — Crystal
Subjected me to covert put-downs about my body.
“He’d make jokes and insults about my weight. He’d even take small jabs that were small but you just know he’s insulting you on the sly.” — Sharron
Gave me intermittent praise followed by put-downs.
“By repeating a pattern of put-downs followed by a period of how great I am. Screwing with my mind and keeping me unbalanced so that I never know what to expect.” — Angela
Screwed my friends and screwed me over.
“He would screw my friends… and I would not have a way to prove it other than the intense energy and awkwardness between the two. To the point where my friends couldn’t be around me or talk with me.” — Angie
Pathologized my emotions when they were actually valid.
“Being made to feel I was at fault for being unsupportive and jealous when actually my suspicions were correct and I was totally being lied to.” — Sarah
Used what he knew would hurt me as ammo, stonewalling me and threatening divorce during every argument.
“The sneakiest way he manipulated me was with extreme psychological warfare, gaining my trust and then exploiting it. In the beginning, anytime we’d get in an argument, he would quickly just threaten to divorce me, even while I was pregnant. I read so many marriage books that said never to utter those words during an argument. It shocked me how easily he said it. I believed that all couples had problems, so I believed we had to work it out and never take it to that level. I told him he should never use the term “divorce” in a fight. I told him it really bothered me, and I even wrote it on a piece of paper and made him sign it, saying no matter how upset we were, we’d never threaten the other with divorce. He signed it and said how sorry he was, and how much he loved me and could never stand to lose me.
After he found out how deeply it affected and hurt me when he said it, he used it to torture me. It was like his ammo. He’d say it repeatedly in almost every argument, even though he signed that paper. He was lying so much and never there for me, yet made me feel crazy and horrible if I ever brought anything up. Then, we’d argue and he’d say, “You just want to fight don’t you?!” If I cried or got mad, he’d again threaten divorce, then he’d say “I don’t know why you’re getting upset, you’ll never do anything about it anyway!” referring to the pact we made. It was taunting to an extreme level, it made me feel so worthless.
But he never filed for divorce. When I finally had enough and found the strength to file for divorce myself, I ignited a narcissistic rage I never could have possibly imagined. Every single thing that I’d ever shared with him became his twisted warfare against me. Every single person I’d ever had a falling out with became his new best friend. Every person and thing that was near and dear to my heart he tried to take away to destroy me, all while portraying himself as the victim. Every single time I tried to stand up for myself he’d come back 10 times harder to abolish the truth.” —Hope
Gaslighted me and isolated me.
“Gaslighting: he would change the story of what happened a couple days later, in an attempt to look better. He also kept telling me my family were all narcissists, to get me to not trust them, and cut off my support there. And he said our relationship problems were all my fault. I believed him for so long. It was easier because my brain was so foggy, so I depended on his.” — Tamra
“He would casually admit to his misbehaviors – having online accounts, collecting naked pictures, responding to craigslist ads etc. Then, he would either deny it when I asked to talk about it or he would just sit there and stare at me or he would say he never said that and that I was just making things up. He would disappear for days at a time and lose his shit and say I made things up.” — Eddie
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