Today s topic is looking at some of the more common tactics that are used by covert or vulnerable narcissists. Tactics that are used to control, manipulate, coerce, to guilt and shame, abuse their victims.
Before I begin, remember when it comes to dealing with a narcissist, particularly when we’re dealing having some kind of contentious interaction, more often than not dealing with three different variations of the same person. First of all, they are justified. Secondly, they are innocent. Thirdly, they are victimized. But one way or another, when you’re dealing with a narcissist, regardless of where on the spectrum they are, they are never responsible for their own behavior, and they are certainly not responsible for the impact their behavior has on other people. The expression I often use is, “They wet the bed and they blame the blanket.” Let’s look at some of those coercive tactics. and in no particular order.
The first is “I’m too ill, too weak, too helpless to accept any responsibility for my words or my actions.” This can sometimes take the form of performing outrageous illnesses, exaggerating injuries, or openly crying in front of their victims.
Sometimes there may be a genuine health condition or maybe a genuine physical condition, but it tends to get milked to the nth degree, especially when they’re called out on something. Either that, or they just milk it in order to control others. Remember, unlike their grandiose counterpart, who is very resistant to criticism and can become aggressive, intimidating, or even threatening, the vulnerable narcissist is highly sensitive to criticism and tends to play the victim. They react; they behave as if they are very wounded and helpless. I often think of this as “don’t shout at me.” I’m not very well.
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