They represent 2 to 3% of the population … But they are frightfully dangerous, and you may know some without even knowing it!
Toxic individuals, such as narcissistic perverts, psychopaths, and people with antisocial traits and a manipulative tendency can subject others to the worst psychological abuse, whether in a friendly or romantic relationship. or professional.
This is a very an important subject, which it is crucial to talk about: many people fall, victim, to such individuals, without even knowing it, because their strategy of manipulation is precisely to make believe that the problem comes from the victim and that there is no psychological abuse! A vicious circle, you will understand, from which it is very difficult to escape.
In fact, so-called “toxic” individuals use a host of psychological ploys to gain control over others. Even though some of these behaviors can be adopted unconsciously by “healthy” people, the big difference is that narcissistic perverts attempt to manipulate others, and become experts in this field.
Gaslighting (or gas-lighting)
Gaslighting is a mental manipulation tactic that comprises distorting or distorting the narrative of events in such a way as to make the victim doubt their memory, their own sanity, and what they saw/listened to / felt. Concretely, this goes through insidious little assertions such as “It didn’t happen like that” “You imagined everything” “You are mad/mad”, “You pass yourself off as a victim” … abuser can deny with incredible aplomb the facts that have yet unfolded (as if it was the victim who was “mad”), but this can go as far as staging strange events to disorient the victim and make her really doubt her sanity.
This is probably one of the most pernicious forms of manipulation because it will slowly erode your sense of reality, gradually swallow up your ability to believe in yourself, and therefore lead you inexorably to doubt yourself and the legitimacy of denouncing that you are the victim of mental abuse, psychological violence or ill-treatment.
Mental projection (scapegoat strategy)
Projection is the manipulators’ defense mechanism. This is a hallmark of these people: they categorically refuse to admit or even perceive their own faults, cannot take responsibility for their actions. So they can do and say anything and everything to avoid being held responsible. This is where the mental projection comes in: the person with the negative behavior, rather than admitting it, will shift the responsibility and assign it to someone else. Basically, it’s as if this burden is too hard for them to bear, too heavy for them to bear, and they are throwing everything back at you and blaming you! It is a reaction that allows the manipulator to let go of his guilt and unconscious shame of himself. We must not forget that these people are often sick themselves.
The victim thus becomes a kind of scapegoat, an expiatory doll that the manipulator uses by accusing him to unload this weight. The latter thus avoids having to encumber himself with a sense of responsibility and a sense of morality, for this he will need his victim to take this responsibility on her and especially that she feels very guilty, that she experiences shame, to reassure.
Concretely, a person with a mythomaniac tendency will accuse you of lying and disguising reality. A woman who experiences a pathological feeling of dependence and jealousy may accuse her husband of holding onto her too much and suffocating him. A co-worker will say that you are inefficient and that you are useless, to justify his own drop in productivity.
Endlessly deflect the conversation through fallacies and fallacious arguments
Sometimes one can be tempted to face problems through a good conversation, to find a common solution in a spirit of compromise. If this is the ideal behavior to have with a “normal” person, with a narcissistic pervert or other manipulators, expect to fall from the top; sometimes it’s hard to admit it, but you can never have a real conversation.
If you have the misfortune to attack them, the manipulators use elaborate stratagems, using cognitive biases, sophisms, and other arguments with fallacious logic which allows them to “win” all the debates, to always have the last word. – even if I’m wrong. (petition of principle, ad hominem argument, false dilemma…). They will do anything to discredit you, to frustrate you, to confuse you until you have completely lost sight of the initial problem. Do not seek, in their eyes, you will always be the reason for all problems.
There is only one solution, and it is radical: Realize that toxic people don’t argue with you, they argue with themselves while using you as an outlet. If you try to reason with them, you give them something to grind on and you only make things worse for you. It’s about realizing that the problem isn’t with you, it’s with their behavior. Move on, stop trying to argue and reason with them, you will only waste your time and energy.
The straw man strategy is not only the specialty of narcissistic perverts since it is also widely used in … politics. It’s actually about misrepresenting or absurdly exaggerating your own thoughts and feelings. By distorting what you say in a way convenient for the other person, your argument becomes more easily attackable. The difference is, narcissistic perverts, push vice to the point of making you look bad, making you feel guilty, and preying on your emotions.
For example, if you try to say that you are not happy with the way this toxic person is treating you, their reaction might be to make you say something you did not say, such as “So I am a person. mean, is that what you think?” or “Oh, so you’re perfect eh?” when you have only expressed your legitimate feeling hoping to find a solution.
Ultimately, this behavior ends up completely invalidating your right to have and express thoughts or emotions, which is obviously serious. To make matters worse, it instills a feeling of constant doubt and guilt, whenever you try to set boundaries and boundaries that you shouldn’t cross.
The use of different threats and blackmail
The problem with toxic people, mind manipulators and other narcissistic perverts is that they will endlessly threaten you, hold you, hostage, without (necessarily) going through physical violence. It is much more treacherous and above all, difficult to recognize as a real form of violence than someone saying to you “do this or I’ll blow your ass.” Don’t let that happen, just because you’re not physically threatened doesn’t mean you aren’t a victim of violence! Mental abuse is a very real form of violence, which unfortunately we recognize less often.
Don’t be fooled, associations exist to help you. The first and most difficult step is to realize that you are a victim of psychological violence. And contrary to what some people try to make you believe, giving credit to your story is just as important as it is to someone who is physically abused.
Be careful, because we are going to tackle something that really falls under the big mind fuck. Toxic people can in fact slowly condition you so you end up mentally associating all your strengths, your talents, all your beautiful memories, and all the happy moments in your life with suffering, frustration, unhappiness. How do they do this? By insinuating daily, in an innocent way, attacks on qualities, character traits, or things that you idealize, which define you or which you take as a model. By placing these hidden associations with you, without you even noticing it, they slowly change you and over time teach you to hate yourself.
They will ruin your parties, your vacations, destroy the goals you set for yourself, the distance you from your family and friends to make you dependent on them. And through an almost Pavlovian reflex, narcissistic perverts will “train” you to reject or be afraid to do the things that made your life pleasant and rewarding, they will gradually disgust you with everything you love, all this so you direct your full attention to them.
They’re afraid of everything you can love about other than themselves, and anything that can come between them and the control they seek to exert over you. Your happiness is all that they cannot have, that they cannot control, so they seek to destroy it, out of jealousy, or to manipulate you.
Public lowering campaigns
If a person with a toxic or manipulative tendency fails, despite their best efforts, to change the way you see yourself, they will seek to control and change the way other people see you. For example, in front of witnesses, they may suddenly change their behavior and start playing the martyrs, so that – ironically you pass for the toxic person! It can go a long way. They can even end up harassing your loved ones in order to “expose the truth” about you. Paradoxically (but not that much if we keep in mind the projection mechanism mentioned in point 2), this exhibition allows them to create a facade to hide their own abusive behavior, and above all, to automatically discredit you if you try to denounce or talk to your loved ones about what is happening to you!
It is also a “preemptive strike” to smear your reputation with the only people who could support you and help you deal with it, to sabotage your potential aid network. This makes you feel alone, with no one to believe or support you. If this is the case and unfortunately for you, your manipulator has already sabotaged your family and emotional surroundings, you can turn to anonymous call centers, see a psychologist or even go to specialized associations to help you. Explaining your problem to professionals who know about it (and who will believe you) can be the best way to get expert, personalized advice if you feel alone in the world.
Bringing in the opinion (real or supposed), the perspective or even the threat of a third party: this is what the principle of triangulation is all about. This ploy is most often used to validate the abusive point of view of the toxic person while invalidating the victim’s legitimate reaction to the abuse.
Narcissistic perverts love above all to involve one or more people from their personal entourage (work colleagues, friends, ex-romantic partners, or even family members) to provoke jealousy, uncertainty in you. They can also use the opinions of others to validate their point of view.
It is a human reflex, well known by rhetoricians: during a discussion, the one who wins the favor of the public or the witnesses of the scene has “won” the argument, whatever the quality of his sound. argumentation., if everyone else (who’s in the room) agrees with him, that must mean you are wrong, right?
To get out of this trap, remember that you are first and foremost dealing with a MANIPULATOR. This other person is probably being manipulated by him (maybe he is even using you too, without your knowledge, to triangulate this other person, pitting you against each other for the better. check both!). To deal with this, defeat him using his own weapon against him. Try to confront it in the presence of someone who supports you and whom you completely trust!
A permanent control of the smallest aspects of your life
Toxic people love to maintain control over others and will do anything to gain and maintain that control. It’s the idea that haunts them. For this, they are ready for anything: isolate you, establish permanent control over your finances, over the people you hang out with, what you read, where you go … They seek to manage every facet of your life and leave you with nothing. free space for you to develop. And yet, the most powerful tactic they have to control you is to play with your emotions!
It is to better control you they invent conflict situations from scratch, to destabilize and weaken you. It is to better control you they erase themselves emotionally, to shower you with love and care afterward if they feel like they are losing control of you. And it is because of all of this that they endlessly vacillate between right and wrong, and you can never have psychological stability or any certainty who this person really is, what they are feeling, and what that she thinks.
There you have it. The list is far from exhaustive and applicable to every individual, but it may have the merit of giving you an overview of what a toxic person is, and how to fight it.
The more control such a person has over your emotions, the more difficult it will be to escape and even realize what you are going through. Knowing the manipulative tactics of these people can help you define the problem you are facing, develop a strategy to take back control of your own life, and avoid toxic individuals in your everyday life.