Narcissistic Abuse Through Manipulation

“You are permitted in times of great danger to walk with the devil until you have crossed the bridge.”
Bulgarian Proverb


Sam Vaknin, a narcissist, shares a view on manipulation:
“One of the favourite tools of manipulation in the narcissist’s arsenal is the disproportionality of his reactions. He reacts with supreme rage to the slightest slight. Or he would punish severely for what he perceives to be an offense against him no matter how minor. Or he would throw a temper tantrum over any discord or disagreement however gently and considerately expressed. Or he would act inordinately attentive, charming and temptingBehind every manipulation is a loss of sense of self. A need to control a world of chaos. Intimidation, threats, cajoling, good deeds, seducing. The ways are many, the goal is the same.”

How can someone be happy, sad, moody, thoughtful, kind in the presence of a manipulator? Those are emotions, real and alive.  They do not serve the purpose of the narcissist. They show the narcissist he is not real, not like others. There is nothing we know of human emotion within him that mirrors our human emotions.  So he manipulates those closest to him to prove his existence and his power.

If I am manipulated by one with evil intent, someone who manipulates to increase money, ego, or self worth at my expense, I have to find a way to stop it.  I would not sit and watch this happen to someone else so I cannot watch it happen to me.

If a narcissist doesn’t see his universe as providing what his innate sense of entitlement says is due him, he will manipulate ruthlessly to get what he wants or whatever his objective is.

If you feel like you can’t be heard, if you are afraid of being put down, if you give in when you don’t want to and feel powerless to change, if you lack assertiveness, if you are blamed all the time and told you are responsible for what is wrong, you are being manipulated. If you feel like a victim or martyr, you are being manipulated.


You can change your behavior and your reactions. This will change the manipulator. It takes two to make the manipulation work. If you empower yourself to change, you can stop the manipulation.


You already have! Here, you are gaining information. That’s the key to change. Learning to recognize the manipulators and their tactics is the first step. Learning what your personal attributes are that makes you vulnerable to manipulation and understanding manipulation techniques and how to respond is the next step.

Ann Bradley


  1. I’m going through a separation with intended divorce. 14years together, 13 married. My heart is broken. I had no idea my entire relationship was a lie. I was replaced 7 days after he moved out, (that i know of, she could’ve been there the whole time) and discarded after I stood up and demanded he get counseling for his rage. He says i did this. I kicked him out. It’s my fault. We have 2 children together.

    • I’m so sorry you are going through this. Broken hearts mend but getting there isn’t always easy. Find the words that help like: I’m better off without a damaged man. If you’re going for custody make sure and not put him down too much – the facts often speak better than emotions. Best to you, Ann

  2. I’m living with a person that controls everything I do. He always acusé me of doing everything wrong. He tells me I do nothing for him no matter how much I try to plz him is never good enough. I want to get out but he has me how he wants it. I spend all my money on his house I don’t have anymore money. I have merchandise but no money anymore and even though I stop working because he told me to work on his home meaning help him to rebuild now he wants me to pay for his home too , unfortunately he even make me have sexual relations with him when I don’t want to and on top of all I have a daughter I can’t just leave on the street with her I’m so stressed out

    • I feel your pain. Welcome to the world of disturbing realizations. The narc wants everything you have and it will indeed never be enough. My narc would also “move goalposts” to keep me in a constant state of confusion. He even tried to get me to quit my job. I thought all of these things happening to me were just my inability to be compassionate with a unique, “quirky” individual but, believe me, your overwhelming confusion is no “accident”. Tread lightly while inside the storm but envision yourself outside of the turbulence and try and make an exit strategy without becoming overwhelmed. I’m still trying to heal which is not possible in the middle of the chaos surrounding the narc. I never thought I’d be in this situation and am constantly struggling to remind myself that it is not my fault that this person is abusive. I was not prepared to acknowledge this form of abuse and still find myself on guard despite being surrounded by genuine loving relationships currently. Please stay strong. This is the first time I’ve tried to put anything into type so I hope it isn’t any more confusing than the topic at hand lol.

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