You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Actions speak louder than words. If you’ve been following this website, you know that narcissists’ actions and words rarely align. So, let’s connect these two ideas: Actions should speak louder than words, but when actions and words don’t align, what is their true intent? The only way to know is by looking at their actions. In this article, I want to break down some common actions that reveal the true nature of a narcissist and translate what those actions really mean. Hopefully, through this process, you’ll find the closure you seek.
One common behavior of a narcissist is gaslighting. They love it; it’s one of their favorite tools. But what does it really mean? When somebody is gaslighting you, they’re essentially saying, “I only care about you as long as I can control you. I need to control your thoughts, your feelings, your emotions, and your behavior. If I can’t, you’re of no use to me. This brings me to the next point: somebody who’s gaslighting you will only keep you around as long as you’re useful. They’re gaslighting you for a reason. They’re getting something out of it. When they can no longer control you, you’ll no longer be useful to them. If you’ve experienced this with a narcissist in your life, it’s time to consider whether you want that kind of person in your life—someone whose only goal is to control you.
Another behavior you’ll often encounter with narcissists is devaluation. In the stages of a narcissistic relationship, you have the idealization phase, sometimes referred to as love bombing, followed by the devaluation phase. This phase is ever-present in any serious relationship with a narcissist. The translation for that is, “I am worth more than you; I am valuable, and you are worthless. Of course, I want to emphasize that this is absolutely not true, but that’s the message they’re conveying—that they’re better than you. Devaluation aims to make you feel less valuable, and unfortunately, it’s often effective. However, when we break it down and recognize that someone is deliberately making us feel this way, it becomes easier to separate ourselves from that feeling. Just imagine if someone said these words to you: “You’re not worth as much as I am; I am more valuable than you. Would you want that person in your life? Would you allow them to speak to you again?
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