Emotional Manipulation with Narcissistic Abuse
by: Todd Doyle, International Author of Healing the Shattered: Surviving Narcissistic Abuse
Emotional manipulation is a common tactic used by narcissistic individuals in abusive relationships. It involves the use of manipulation tactics, such as gaslighting, guilt-tripping, and emotional blackmail, in order to control and dominate their partners.
Narcissists are very polished and practiced emotional manipulators. It’s their primary tool used to extract that supply. They use emotional manipulation to devalue then discard their victims. It’s part of the cycle of narcissistic abuse that they perpetuate against each one of their victims. If they couldn’t emotionally manipulate, then they couldn’t succeed with their plans of extracting supply from their targets.
While they are predatorial, they’re very often methodical at plotting out how they’re going to extract supply from their victims. Emotional manipulation is just one tool but it’s one they love to use.
One common tactic used by narcissistic individuals is gaslighting, which involves the abuser manipulating their partner into questioning their own reality and memories. This can be done through lying, denying, and exaggerating events, as well as through the use of mind games and manipulation tactics. The goal of gaslighting is to make the victim feel confused, paranoid, and unsure of themselves, which allows the narcissistic individual to maintain control and dominate the relationship.
Another tactic used by narcissistic individuals is guilt-tripping, which involves making their partner feel guilty or responsible for their own negative emotions or actions. This can be done through statements such as “You’re the reason I’m upset,” or “If you really loved me, you would do this for me.” The goal of guilt-tripping is to make the victim feel responsible for the abuser’s behavior and to manipulate them into doing things that serve the abuser’s interests.
Emotional manipulation can also take the form of emotional blackmail, which involves the abuser threatening to harm themselves or others if their partner does not do what they want. This can be done through statements such as “If you don’t do this for me, I’ll hurt myself,” or “If you leave me, I’ll ruin your reputation.” The goal of emotional blackmail is to make the victim feel responsible for the abuser’s actions and to manipulate them into doing things that serve the abuser’s interests.
Emotional manipulation can have serious consequences for the victim, including low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. It is important for those in abusive relationships to recognize the signs of emotional manipulation and to seek help and support from trusted friends, family members, or professionals. If you or someone you know is experiencing emotional manipulation, there are resources available to help you escape the cycle of abuse and regain control of your life. It is never too late to seek help and to make the decision to leave an abusive relationship.