The Psychological Control Associated with Narcissistic Abuse
by: Todd Doyle, International Author of Healing the Shattered: Surviving Narcissistic Abuse
Psychological control is a form of abuse that involves the manipulation and exploitation of the victim’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in order to control and dominate them. Psychological control is often a key component of narcissistic abuse, as narcissistic individuals are characterized by their lack of empathy, their inflated sense of self-importance, and their tendency to manipulate and exploit others for their own gain.
Some common tactics used by narcissistic individuals in the context of psychological control include:
Gaslighting: This involves manipulating the victim’s reality and making them doubt their own perceptions and thoughts. The abuser may deny or contradict the victim’s experiences, or they may manipulate the evidence in order to make the victim doubt their own reality.
Triangulation: This involves using a third party to manipulate the victim’s emotions and to keep them off-balance. The abuser may use a third party to manipulate the victim’s thoughts or feelings, or they may use them to create drama and confusion.
Blame shifting: This involves shifting the blame for the abuser’s actions or behaviors onto the victim, making the victim feel responsible for the abuse. The abuser may also deflect blame onto others in order to avoid responsibility for their actions.
Emotional manipulation: This involves manipulating the victim’s emotions in order to control and dominate them. The abuser may use tactics such as love bombing, intense emotional experiences, and emotional appeals to manipulate the victim’s feelings and to keep them emotionally invested in the relationship.
Isolation: The abuser may isolate the victim from their friends, family, and support systems in order to increase their dependence on the abuser and to further control and dominate them.
The effects of psychological control can be serious and long-lasting, including:
Low self-esteem and self-worth
Difficulty trusting your own perceptions and thoughts
Difficulty setting boundaries or asserting yourself
A constant need for approval and validation
Feeling isolated or disconnected from others
Difficulty making decisions
Depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues
If you’ve experienced the psychological control associated with surviving narcissistic abuse you may want to consider Todd Doyle’s Healing the Shattered: Surviving Narcissistic Abuse for more information.