November 29, 2013

Triangulation and Passive-Aggressive Behavior in Narcissistic Famlies

Setting healthy boundaries requires direct statements and clear communication. Narcissistic families commonly have a skewed, ineffective communication style called “TRIANGULATION.” Instead of the mother talking to the daughter, the mother may express her thoughts and feelings—usually negative and criticizing—to another family member in the hope that he or she will tell the daughter. Then the mother can deny that she said it, although the message somehow got out there anyway. This triangulation in communication is PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE and is an expression of the sentiment “I will get you back, but not directly to your face.” Many families, unfortunately, communicate in this dysfunctional manner, but narcissistic families are the poster example.

H/T: Karyl McBride, Ph.D.
Photo Credit: Pinterest

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