December 20, 2012

Bait and Switch Maneuvers

Bait and Switch Maneuvers: The narcissist's charm is an enticing lure, and an effective tool, as it may keep you from examining the potential costs of the relationship until you're hooked. Let's take a look at some specific examples of this subtle but classic bait and switch maneuver so that you can gain a clearer perspective on the dynamic in your own relationship with a narcissist.

The vanishing act. After promising you his unalloyed attention, he becomes unavailable. With no acknowledgment or contrition, he accuses you of being selfish and needy when you are upset about it.

The setup. Having solicited your ideas and input with seeming enthusiasm, he proceeds to assassinate your response and annihilate your self-esteem with demeaning criticisms.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Seizing the opportunity to be your hero, he will be abundantly protective when others are unfair to you. But he will have no compunction about cutting you to the quick with his harsh and lordly tones if you dare to interrupt him or question his opinions.

Adding insult to injury. He will show up unexpectedly with a truckload of roses, making you feel disposed to forgive his cloddish behavior of the past few days. You reciprocate with acts of love and appreciation, but, ultimately, nothing is ever enough for his chasm of instability, leaving you grinding your teeth between guilt and exasperation. It's all about him again.

Devil's Advocate. Like the president of a debate club or a judge with gavel in hand, he invites you into a conversation that, if not an endless soliloquy, quickly becomes argumentative and highly competitive. No matter what your response~ignoring him, fighting back, pleading, or even giving in~he is impervious.

Do any of these maneuvers sound familiar? If all of them do, don't despair. Remember, the narcissist maintains very high, unrelenting standards for himself, and for those who orbit his stellar magnificence. Narcissists have an extremely high need for recognition, approval, control, victory, and acknowledgment of their extraordinariness. They have these needs because of a fiercely flowing inner current of shame, emotional loneliness, and mistrust. Self-righteous behavior is merely a plug in the emotional dam.

H/T: Disarming the Narcissist

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