The Triangulation Associated with Narcissistic Abuse
by: Todd Doyle, International Author of Healing the Shattered: Surviving Narcissistic Abuse
Triangulation is a form of psychological abuse in which the abuser involves a third party in the abuse dynamic in order to manipulate the victim’s emotions and to keep them off-balance. Triangulation is often used by narcissistic individuals in the context of abusive relationships, as it allows the abuser to control and dominate the victim by manipulating their reality and their emotional state.
During triangulation, 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. The abuser may also use triangulation as a way to deflect blame or to avoid taking responsibility for their actions.
Triangulation can take many forms, including:
Involving a third party in the abuse dynamic: The abuser may use a third party to manipulate the victim’s emotions, to create drama and confusion, or to deflect blame.
Comparing the victim to others: The abuser may compare the victim to others in order to make the victim feel inferior or to create feelings of jealousy and envy.
Creating a triangle of conflict: The abuser may create a triangle of conflict by involving a third party in the abuse dynamic, causing the victim to feel confused, off-balance, and emotionally drained.
The effects of triangulation 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 suspect that you or someone you know is experiencing triangulation in the context of a narcissistic abusive relationship, it is important to seek help and support. It is important to recognize that the abuse is not your fault and that you deserve to be treated with respect and kindness. It is also important to seek help from a trusted friend or family member, a mental health professional, or a domestic violence resource center. Remember that no one deserves to be abused, and it is never too late to seek help and to break the cycle of abuse.