Narcissists Destroy Who They Cannot Control
Narcissists Destroy Who They Cannot Control

In a world where toxic relationships continue to plague countless lives, it’s crucial to understand the sinister mind games that come into play. One significant aspect of this is the power play waged by individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). These narcissists destroy who they cannot control and dismantle the lives of those they can.

In this insightful blog post, we’ll shed light on narcissism and its manipulative tactics while guiding you through ten ways in which narcissists seek to destroy their targets.

By recognizing these patterns and empowering yourself against emotional manipulation, you’ll be better equipped to break free from the iron grip of narcissistic abuse and lead a healthier life.

Key Takeaways

  • Narcissistic behavior is characterized by a sense of entitlement, lack of empathy, and desire for control over others.
  • Understanding the control patterns characteristic of narcissistic behavior can help protect oneself from emotional manipulation in everyday interactions and relationships.
  • Narcissists use a range of manipulative tactics to destroy those they cannot control, including devaluation, gaslighting, silent treatment, emotional manipulation, triangulation, smear campaigns, isolation and social sabotage.
  • Breaking free from the hold of narcissistic abuse requires setting boundaries, recognizing warning signs and seeking outside support from trusted individuals or professionals.

Understanding Narcissistic Behavior And Control

Defining Narcissism

Narcissism, at its core, is an inflated sense of self-importance and entitlement. It’s a personality trait often characterized by excessive self-admiration and a constant need for admiration from others.

This form of self-absorption stems from deep-rooted insecurities combined with low emotional intelligence and empathy levels. A person exhibiting strong signs of narcissism may struggle to genuinely connect with others on an emotional level.

Identifying Control Patterns

Understanding control patterns in narcissistic individuals is crucial to recognizing their toxic behavior and protecting oneself from emotional manipulation. To help identify these patterns, consider the following:

  1. Excessive need for admiration: Narcissists crave praise and validation to maintain their inflated sense of self-worth.
  2. Domination in conversations: They tend to monopolize conversations by talking excessively about themselves and disregarding others’ opinions or feelings.
  3. Manipulation through guilt or fear: They often use guilt-tripping tactics or instill fear to make others comply with their demands.
  4. Lack of empathy: Narcissists usually exhibit an inability to see things from another person’s perspective or empathize with their emotions.
  5. Jealousy and possessiveness: They may display excessive jealousy over romantic partners, friends, or family members, attempting to control those relationships.
  6. Inflated sense of entitlement: Narcissists often expect special treatment or privileges without any justification.
  7. Attention-seeking behavior: They exhibit a need for constant attention and will go to great lengths to receive it, even if it means sabotaging others’ happiness.
  8. Frequent bouts of anger or rage: Known as “narcissistic injury,” this occurs when a narcissist perceives an insult or threat to their ego, resulting in emotional outbursts.
  9. Habitual lying and deceitfulness: They create alternate realities through lies, manipulation, and deceit for personal gain.
  10. Unwillingness to accept responsibility: Narcissists often blame others for their own failings instead of taking responsibility for their actions.

By understanding these control patterns characteristic of narcissistic behavior, one can better protect oneself from the power play employed by individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder in everyday interactions and relationships.

The Link Between Narcissism And Control

Narcissism and control are deeply intertwined in a way that can be both harmful and insidious. At the core of narcissistic behavior lies an overwhelming need for control, stemming from a deep-rooted sense of entitlement, insecurity, and an inflated self-image.

For example, consider a narcissistic manager who micro-manages every aspect of their team’s work. This controlling behavior is driven by the belief that they alone possess the knowledge and expertise to complete tasks correctly.

Simultaneously, it serves to keep subordinates dependent on them for approval or guidance – thus reinforcing the narcissist’s perceived position of authority and boosting their sense of importance.

Unfortunately, this dynamic often leads to toxic relationships where victims find themselves struggling against emotional manipulation tactics such as gaslighting or silent treatment in order to regain some semblance of personal autonomy.

How Narcissists Destroy Who They Cannot Control

There are 10 very common ways how narcissists destroy who they cannot control:

  1. Devaluation
  2. Gaslighting
  3. Silent Treatment
  4. Emotional Manipulation
  5. Triangulation
  6. Smear Campaigns
  7. Isolation And Social Sabotage
  8. Blame Shifting And Projection
  9. Discarding And Replacing
  10. Love-bombing And Idealization Followed By Devaluation

#1. Devaluation

Devaluation is a critical component of the narcissistic power play, where the narcissist attempts to undermine and diminish their victim’s self-worth. The devaluation phase often follows a period of idealization or love-bombing by the narcissist.

However, once the victim becomes attached to them emotionally or psychologically, they begin to withdraw these gestures gradually. The narcissist may start finding faults in everything that their partner does, criticize them relentlessly for small things like how they dress or speak; thereby casting doubt on every aspect of their lives.

This undermining causes immense pain for the victim and can leave long-term trauma if left unchecked.

#2. Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a common tactic used by narcissists to manipulate and control their victims. It involves making the victim doubt their own reality by denying or distorting facts and events, causing them to question their sanity and memory.

The effects of gaslighting can be severe, leading the victim to feel confused, helpless, and isolated. It can also impact their ability to trust themselves and others. For example, an abuser might tell their partner they never said something hurtful when they did say it, leaving their partner feeling as though anything they remember could be wrong.

#3. Silent Treatment

When dealing with a narcissist, the silent treatment can be one of the most damaging tactics used to establish control over their victim. The silent treatment is often used as a form of punishment or retaliation, leaving the victim feeling isolated and alone.

Narcissists use this manipulative technique in various ways. For example, they may suddenly stop responding to messages or phone calls without any explanation or warning.

The effects of being subjected to silent treatment can be devastating for victims. It erodes self-confidence and self-esteem, causing them to question everything about themselves while creating an environment where they feel guilty for not knowing why their tormentor is ignoring them.

#4. Emotional Manipulation

Emotional manipulation is one of the most damaging tactics used by narcissists to control and manipulate their victims. It involves playing with a person’s emotions, often using guilt, fear, or shame to make them feel responsible for the narcissist’s behavior or feelings.

Narcissists are master manipulators who know how to push people’s buttons and exploit their vulnerabilities. They use emotional manipulation as a way to maintain power and control over those around them.

Over time, emotional manipulation can lead to psychological trauma, anxiety, depression, and even physical health problems such as high blood pressure and chronic pain.

#5. Triangulation

Triangulation is a tactic used by narcissists to create drama and manipulate those around them. This involves bringing in a third party into the relationship dynamic, usually to cause tension or jealousy between two people.

For instance, a narcissistic partner may constantly talk about an ex-partner or flirt with someone else in front of their current partner to make them feel inferior or insecure.

Narcissists thrive on attention and control, and triangulating others helps fulfill these desires while also maintaining their delusional sense of power over both parties involved.

By creating chaos and confusion in relationships through triangulation tactics, the narcissist keeps their victims off-balance and unable to gain footing within the relationship dynamic.

#6. Smear Campaigns

Narcissists will often engage in smear campaigns to “win” against those who they perceive as a threat or challenge to their power. They use lies, rumors, and half-truths to create doubt about the victim’s character while portraying themselves as the innocent party.

For instance, a narcissist may spread false information about an ex-partner or coworker through social media or word-of-mouth. They may even go as far as contacting mutual friends or colleagues to exaggerate negative details.

The result is that the victim feels helpless while everyone around them sides with the narcissist without considering their perspective.

#7. Isolation And Social Sabotage

Isolation and social sabotage are common tactics used by narcissists to control and manipulate their victims. The narcissist may deliberately try to isolate their victim from friends and family, often by creating conflicts or spreading rumors about them.

They may also actively seek to undermine the victim’s relationships with others through lies, exaggerations, or even threats.

This can have a devastating impact on the victim, who may feel increasingly alone and unsupported. It can also be difficult for them to recognize what is happening as they are often caught up in the narcissist’s web of manipulation.

#8. Blame Shifting And Projection

Blame shifting and projection are two of the most common tactics used by narcissists to maintain control over their victims. Blaming others for their own actions, or projecting their negative qualities onto those around them, allows narcissists to avoid taking responsibility for their behavior and manipulate others into feeling guilty or ashamed.

For example, a narcissistic partner may accuse their significant other of being unfaithful when in reality they are the one cheating.

In addition to protecting themselves from accountability, blame shifting and projection also serves as a means of emotional manipulation. By constantly attributing negative characteristics to someone else, it undermines that person’s self-worth and encourages them to doubt themselves even further.

Breaking free from this kind of abuse can be incredibly challenging but recognizing these patterns is crucial in moving forward towards healing and recovery.

#9. Discarding And Replacing

Narcissists are notorious for discarding and replacing people in their lives when they no longer serve a specific purpose. This behavior can be painful for those involved, as the narcissist often makes it clear that they have found someone “better” or more advantageous to associate with.

They might suddenly stop communicating with the person they have discarded, refuse to take their calls, or even block them on social media.

One example of this tactic is when a narcissistic partner abruptly ends a long-term relationship, leaving the other party feeling devastated and confused. The narcissist may then quickly move on to another relationship without any regard for their former partner’s feelings or well-being.

#10. Love-bombing And Idealization Followed By Devaluation

Narcissists use love-bombing and idealization tactics to lure their victims into a false sense of security. They shower them with attention, gifts, and affection in the beginning stages of the relationship.

However, once they have gained control over the victim, they switch gears and begin devaluing them.

Victims can soon find themselves feeling inadequate or like they can never meet their partner’s high standards. The narcissist will often withdraw emotionally when challenged by their victim making it increasingly difficult for them to leave without enduring a turbulent emotional roller coaster ride in fear of abandonment from both sides: one being abandoned by the narcissist, and two abandoning hope for healing if you stay in such toxic relationships.

Breaking Free From The Power Play

To break free from the power play of a narcissist, recognizing the warning signs and detaching from unhealthy relationships are crucial steps towards emotional independence.

Learn more about overcoming the toll of narcissistic abuse and moving forward with confidence in our upcoming section.

Recognizing The Warning Signs

If you suspect that you are in a relationship with a narcissist, it’s important to recognize the warning signs. Here are some key signs to look out for:

  1. They constantly seek attention and admiration from others.
  2. They have a grandiose sense of self – importance.
  3. They lack empathy for others and often exploit them for their own gain.
  4. They become angry or defensive when challenged or criticized.
  5. They have a pattern of lying or exaggerating their achievements and abilities.
  6. They have a tendency to manipulate and control those around them.
  7. They have unstable relationships that often end in dramatic and tumultuous ways.
  8. They may hold grudges or seek revenge when they feel wronged.

By being aware of these warning signs, you can take steps to protect yourself from falling victim to the destructive cycle of narcissistic abuse.

Detaching From Unhealthy Relationships

Detaching from unhealthy relationships is crucial for those who have been in the grasp of a narcissistic abuser. It can be incredibly difficult to break free from the emotional manipulation and control, but it is possible. Here are some steps to take when detaching from an unhealthy relationship with a narcissist:

  1. Cut off all contact: This means blocking them on social media, email, and phone calls. Do not respond to any attempts at communication.
  2. Seek support: Talk to friends or family members who understand what you are going through, or consider joining a support group for those who have been in similar situations.
  3. Focus on self-care: Take care of your physical and mental health by getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising regularly, and seeking therapy if needed.
  4. Set boundaries: When interacting with the narcissist (such as in co-parenting situations), set clear boundaries and stick to them. Don’t engage in arguments or allow yourself to be manipulated.
  5. Practice the “grey rock” method: This involves being uninteresting and unemotional when interacting with the narcissist, giving them no fuel for their drama.
  6. Recognize red flags: Be aware of warning signs that may indicate that the narcissist is trying to regain control or manipulate you again.
  7. Stay strong: Remember why you decided to detach from the unhealthy relationship in the first place, and remind yourself of your worth and value as a person.

By following these steps and taking time for self-reflection and healing, it is possible to break free from the power play of a narcissistic abuser and move forward with confidence and emotional independence.

Overcoming The Emotional Toll

Dealing with a narcissist can have long-lasting emotional repercussions. Their manipulative and abusive behavior can leave their victims feeling shattered, helpless, and traumatized.

The first step is acknowledging the abuse and realizing that it was not your fault. Next, it’s important to seek support from friends, family or professional therapy. Breaking free from a narcissistic relationship is never easy but setting boundaries using strategies like the Grey Rock Method can help minimize contact and re-establish emotional independence.

Moving Forward With Confidence

Breaking free from the clutches of a narcissist is no easy feat. It takes time, effort, and a whole lot of courage to move forward with confidence after being subjected to emotional abuse and manipulation for so long.

Setting boundaries is another vital aspect of moving forward with confidence, as it helps you gain control over your emotions and prevent manipulative behavior from affecting you.

Embracing emotional independence by focusing on personal growth, finding new hobbies or interests, spending time with friends/family can also be useful in restoring your sense of self-worth and building resilience against future attempts at control or abuse.


In conclusion, the power play of narcissists can be devastating for those who fall victim to their manipulative tactics. Understanding the destructive behaviors of a narcissist is crucial in breaking free from their control and reclaiming your independence.

By recognizing warning signs, detaching from unhealthy relationships, and setting boundaries, it’s possible to move forward with confidence and overcome the emotional toll of narcissistic abuse.

Remember that you are not alone, and there is help available to support you in your journey towards healing.