I linked to Shahida Arabi’s excellent “Five Powerful Ways Abusive Narcissists Get Inside Your Head” in my Sophia’s Children post on “When Withholding is a Toxic Tactic” (part of the ongoing Resources for Empaths & Sensitives Series).
But it’s so relevant on a number of levels, reflecting some of the less savory interpersonal dynamics that are considered normal in our interpersonal experiences at home, at work, in the community — and even moreso with a variety of research studies showing a disconcerting rise in Narcissistic behavior over the last 10-15 years.
And Narci (Etc.) tactics are well-honed and very, very effective.
They can leave even the most centered, confident, skillful, aware, and ‘successful’ people feeling spin-cycled, fogged-out, confused, upset, ashamed, and ultimately, a mere shell of themselves (as one Narci-abuse survivor, in our conversation, phrased the effects of being in a relationship with such a person).
As Carrie Barron, M.D., writes in her Psychology Today article aimed at those who were targeted by Narci-Abusers:
“Recent findings indicate they take pleasure in successful manipulations. Putting down unsuspecting, soft-hearted souls in their midst is a sport.”
In hindsight, those who became Narci-prey and were thus Narci-manipulated end up wondering, often with no small degree of internalized self-judgment and shame, “How the heck did that happen?”
Dr. Barron continues: “The transformation of a hopeful, can-do enthusiast into a dismal, wary withdrawer is a form of soul murder. But to those thus violated, take heart. Understanding the complexities of what/who you were dealing with might make you feel better.”
Even people who encounter some of the classic Narci-Abuser behaviors and tactics — if not full-tilt Malignant Narcissists or Socio/Psychopathic types — at work, at home, or in their communities (or online, for that matter), can benefit immensely from recognizing the tactic, becoming more aware, and stepping into more empowered choice rather than unconscious puppet-reaction.
So I wanted to share a couple of other links highlighting Shahida’s work from her Self-Care Haven blog.
She spotlights some of the specific toxic-tactics that, while normalized in a ‘tough love’, bully-centric culture, are actually abusive and harmful.
So it’s wise to have a look and be better able to recognize them as they come up, which gives us the option of practicing into more healthy, self-and-other respecting ways of relating (or choosing to disentangle from chronically disrespectful relationships).
I particularly appreciate that Shahida includes ‘Triangulation’ in her list of toxic-tactics to recognize, along with other common toxic-tactics like ‘gaslighting’ and ‘Hoovering’ (part of the recognized ‘stir and repeat’ Abuse Cycle), as Triangulation a common ploy and yet not as frequently noted.
Find another of Shahida’s Narci-Awareness posts here: 20 NarciPath Tactics to Be Aware of (and awareness is empowering)
Check out Shahida’s most recent Self-Care Haven post: 5 Powerful Reality Checks for Survivors of Narci-Abuse.
Thanks to Shahida, and to you, my very dear and much-appreciated readers and fellow empaths and Sophia-kindred-spirits!