9 Common Behaviors of a Narcissist

9 Common Behaviors of a Narcissist


Today, I want to give you 9 common mind games that narcissists will play with you. By examining the kind of interactions that you have with other people, you can use these 9 traits as red flags if you’re dealing with a narcissist.

#1: Gaslighting.

I have a whole article on what gaslighting is exactly, but it’s essentially where the narcissist will try to get you to minimize your experience or pretend as if that experience never happened. You’ll bring up something, and the narcissist will absolutely contradict you. He’ll say that never happened. He’ll lie, he’ll manipulate, he’ll do whatever he needs to do in order to cover up the things that have happened. This is done so that you doubt your own memory, your own perception, your own understanding of how it happens, so that you believe that you can’t even trust yourself.

Recommended Book: Becoming the Narcissist’s Nightmare: How to Devalue and Discard the Narcissist While Supplying Yourself- By Shahida Arabi.

#2: Negative Humor.

The narcissist will use negative humor in such a way where it seems harmless, especially if it’s in front of other people. Regardless of what he does, the blame always comes back on you. You’re not being funny enough; you take things too seriously, and things like that. In reality, this happens all the time and it really wears down your self-esteem.

#3: Projection.

Narcissists will take whatever they are doing and accuse you of doing it. This is one of the most common things that narcissists do. You’ll have no interest in doing the thing that they’re accusing you of, or it’s something so outrageous that it just is such a crazy accusation. But this is what the narcissist does to take blame and attention off of him and put it onto you, making you look like you are the one in the bad light.

#4: Pretend Ignorance.

They’ll do something that they know is hurtful, wrong, or even illegal, and then when they get caught in the act or even afterwards, they’ll pretend that they didn’t even know that that’s what they were doing. They’ll essentially play dumb in order to get away with their bad behavior.

Recommended Book: How To Kill A Narcissist: Debunking The Myth Of Narcissism And Recovering From Narcissistic Abuse (A Guide To Narcissistic Abuse Recovery And Healing From A Narcissistic Relationship)

#5: Guilt Tripping.

This is usually done in a passive-aggressive way. You’ll feel bad for doing something that’s totally normal or even scheduled ahead of time with the narcissist. But he’ll make it seem as if that was all your idea, that it was something that you wanted to do, and so you owe him something in order to make up for whatever it was that happened.

#6: Playing the Victim.

This can be done in many different ways. One way is that they’ll say, “You know, I can’t even help it because I had a bad childhood,” or “I was raised a certain way,” or “I was never taught a healthy relationship.” They’ll make all sorts of excuses in hopes of drawing you closer in so that they can again suck more energy from you. Narcissists are energy vampires and they have to constantly have that supply coming in from outside of themselves because they can’t make it internally.

When they play the victim, they’ll make you feel as though somehow you are responsible for their current situation, and you have to help them, or you have to supply the energy that they need or say the words that they need, whatever it might be. And now you’re somehow responsible for getting them out of this situation that they probably put themselves into.

A Book: Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men.

#7: Silent Treatment.

This is one of the most common tools a narcissist will use because they want to pull you deeper into the relationship, they want to draw you closer. When there’s a silent treatment, you begin to doubt if maybe you did something wrong, maybe you were too harsh, maybe you set too firm of boundaries. It’s a ploy to get you to start doubting yourself, questioning your own behavior, questioning your own sanity, and it’s also tying that link to the narcissist and making it an even stronger bond.

#8: Constant Criticism.

This is especially when you’re the superior one in the relationship, when you have more going on for you, when you are firmly established in your job or with your family, when you have a set group of friends. The narcissist will especially begin to criticize those things that are your key strengths, the things that you are most proud of in your life, your key accomplishments, and things like that. It will never be good enough. The narcissist does this so that you become more hinged on his opinion of how things are going than the reality of how things are going.

The narcissist wants you to depend on him completely, and so he’ll start tearing down these things that are outside of him, whether that’s your education, your job, the number of friends that you have, your parents if you’re close to them—the things that you love the most about your life. The narcissist will begin to pick away at those things strategically. It really goes after the things that are dear to you, and this is again all completely strategic. The narcissist knows what he’s doing.

Recommended: Healing from Hidden Abuse: A Journey Through the Stages of Recovery from Psychological Abuse.

#9: Throwing a Tantrum.

The narcissist can do this by raising his voice, making extreme hand motions, or even including physical violence. But the narcissist will get to a place where he doesn’t have to do a lot of this, where he’s able to just give you a look or do one certain gesture. You’ll just instinctively know what that means. This is all a form of control and manipulation to get the narcissist to a place where you completely depend on him and you react to whatever he does. He sets the tone for the relationship and the day, even every moment, and you respond. You react to what he says instead of having your own internal grounding. This is the ploy of the narcissist.

I hope these 9 traits have helped you understand how a narcissist behaves and some behaviors that you need to watch out for, especially if you suspect that you are in a relationship of one kind or another with a narcissist.

Read More: 7 Things Narcissists NEVER Say.

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