Narcissistic Chaos – Creating Turmoil on Purpose

narcissist-chaosThe narcissistic lover with a narcissistic personality will create chaos and turmoil on a regular basis (and on purpose) to keep you in a heightened state of anxiety. He/she will do this even when things are good – and especially when things are good – so that you least expect the kick to the curb. This is why the silent treatment always catches us off-guard, sending us into a tail-spin trying to figure out what happened. Creating chaos is one of the oldest narcissistic tactics in the book (next to the silent treatment, of course) and it is absolutely intentional.


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Everything that a narcissist does is done with the purpose of keeping you on your toes, afraid of his next move, wondering what he’s doing or not doing. You’re forever hoping he’s not doing what you’re imagining he’s doing (which, of course, he is!) and you may turn to super-sleuthing to prove yourself wrong or right. Super-sleuthing, because we feel desperate to find answers, often becomes an obsession, making it impossible for us to focus on anything else.  Combine that feeling with the fact that we usually aren’t sure what we’re even looking for – now that’s a recipe for emotional disaster! Again, this is all completely in line with the narcissist’s pathological relationship agenda.  Again, it is absolutely intentional.

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This subtle creation of narcissistic chaos is a passive-aggressive, manipulative type of behavior and it gradually becomes an everyday occurrence when we’re involved with a narcissistic partner. The point of the behavior is to get us to react in the exact way that we do. In fact, inducing these reactions is a very effective way to condition us to behave according to his/her pathological agenda. Narcissistic chaos could include starting a fight for no reason at all, Kissing you good-by and then not calling for days, or accusing you of the very thing that you’re fairly certain he’s doing. Creating passive-aggressive chaos is a powerful and effective way for narcissists and sociopaths to manage down our expectations of the relationship until we are perfectly willing to accept nothing more than crumbs.

READ  Getting Over the Narcissist One Small Choice at a Time

Victims of this type of emotional abuse always feel in a state of heightened anxiety. We eventually have trouble focusing on jobs, children, friends, etc. It’s a terrible way to feel and it’s all part of the narcissistic lover’s plan to control you. We become entirely different people than we were prior to meeting the narcissist and those around us find the changes not only noticeable but disturbing as well. Make no mistake – our appearance to others is all part of the narcissist’s plan as well and he/she will no doubt use this later when describing us as psycho to justify his own behaviors. And around and around it goes.

The more you suffer, the more he knows you really care and the bigger rush he gets….

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  1. I agree with the chaos element, also not only will they be highly chaotic, they may well blame YOU for creating chaos and be the ones to accuse you first. The chaos they create is not born of normal frustrations or strong emotions but cooked up. And I don’t believe it’s a narcissistic trait any more than a purely psychopathic one. Psychopaths tend to have lives with outlandish levels of drama and chaos in their past or present.

    It’s a psychopathic trait.

    And can we please avoid constantly referring to narcissists or psychopaths as always male? I find the traits to be every bit as common in women, particularly in the chaotic dimension used as a weapon, as opposed to just being due to negligence (which can also be a psychopathic trait).

    • Sorry Alan, I’ve already stated my apology to the guys for the gender use in this article. I’ve also written a book specifically for the guys called When Evil Is a Pretty Face. As for my articles, I’m simply not going to constantly refer to narcs as he/she, his/her, etc. when I write. It breaks the flow of the content and, besides, I speak from my own experience and I’m a girl and he was a he.


  2. It’s so reassuring for me at this time to read about other’s experiences so I feel obliged to share mine with you in case it helps and because I’m also at the denial stage where I’m blaming problems on myself instead of seeing my ex’s naracissim.

    7 years ago I fell in love with my ex. He was a married man with a 12 month old child. I didn’t pursue him but him me. He showered me with attention, texts, contact etc for 12 months and although I tried to break it off on several occasions he always persuaded me that he couldn’t live without me so I kept going back to him. The relationship at this point was mainly on an emotional level. Eventually he left his wife (I never once told him to leave) and child and took our relationship to the next level. It was kept secret for almost two years and during that time he left me a couple of times to see if he could fix things with his wife but always came back to me. I feel for him deeply and although I knew the situation was wrong I truly believed that we were meant to be together but that timing and circumstance had made it difficult for us. This is what he told me.

    We made our relationship public and immediately moved in together. We had been planning our life together for such a long time that to be able to act it out felt like the best thing that had happened, we felt so deeply in love with one another.

    Two years down the line and we were still going string although I felt he had become distant from me and I felt a bit insecure but we always put it down to the stresses of his work and him struggling to cope with being away from his child.

    It got so bad that over Easter I left him for two weeks as it felt like he simply didn’t want me around and I was struggling to cope with it and becoming a needy insecure mess. We got back together and all seemed ok but he was still different.

    Two months later, on the eve of his 40th birthday I revealed to him that I had planned a surprise trip to away and we were leaving that evening. He didn’t seem too excited and I went upstairs to pack, when after an hour or so he told me that he couldn’t go away with me and that he was leaving me. I was devasted. Initially I begged him to try to sort things out. He was my soulmate and I was his. We were best friends, we work together, had the most passionate relationship even after 4 years together. Him and his child we my world.

    He told me I needed to move on with my life so eventually I was forced into non contact, although I still worked with him but it was all done by email only and remotely.

    After spending a while recovering I started to get stronger and then I began getting odd texts, calls and emails from him. I tried not to think too much of them but they seemed to be out of the norm after a break up and telling someone to get on wit their life!

    Almost 3 months later and we met up. I felt stronger again and thought that we needed to be in contact again for the sake of the working relationship. We went for a meal and later in the week he poured his heart out to me and was crying saying he’d made the biggest mistake of his life and wanted me back.

    I was elated! He confirmed what I thought that he’s been so stressed with work etc that he’d blamed it all on me and pushed me away as he thought I was the cause. My happy ever after was back. He promised me he would get his divorce finalised and told me that he wanted to marry me and promised that would happen. I said I needed it.

    Over the next 15 months I slowly started to discover that he had left me previously because he had been cheating on me with an ex. Every time I confronted him about what I had found he gave me another set of lies to satisfy what I had found but each time it didn’t make sense until I found out more of the truth. I reacted very badly to this and said a lot of awful things to him but tried to understand that he had lied to protect me.

    But he still wasn’t divorced and was now refusing to marry me as he said our relationship wasn’t strong enough. We went to couples counselling but he refused to empathise with the trauma I had been through and just wanted to sweep everything under the carpet rather than help me deal with things.

    He has openly admitted that he thinks needing people is weak and that he spends his life managing people and situations to his gain and that he boxes things up in his head.

    Things got so bad and I felt so insecure that 2 months ago I ended the relationship. I still wanted him but desperately needed him to see what he was doing. Initially he wanted us to get back together but back on his terms, and I know that the day after he left he had set up various online dating profiles.

    After 3 weeks of trying to win me back he went quiet. I found out that at that point he has started up a relationship with a new woman and he’s showering her with gifts, taking her away to hotels we used to go to and she has stayed at our house in our bed. The pain, shame and embarrassment I feel at how easily he has replaced me with another woman is awful. It’s even more insulting that this new woman appears to have a lot of traits that he used to belittle in other people when we were together.

    I have yet again begged he takes me back but yet again he is adamant that it’s over.

    I am slowly starting to heal and have gone non contact again but once more he appears to be putting tentative feelers out via email, facebook etc to see if I’m still there for him.

    The confusion I feel is awful as I still feel like he is the love of my life. I am seeking therapy to help me address any issues I may have brought into the relationship so that if he comes back to me I can fix things, but at the same time I believe he has problems which he won’t address. He pushes any perceived ‘problems’ in our relationship back onto me. But I still want to see the good and believe that I could be the one to change him. He doesn’t talk to anyone about his ’emotions’ besides me and the physical attraction we both still feel is overwhelming. I know he still feels both of these things as he has told me and shown me in the last week or so. We are best friends and share friends and had a lovely life together.

    Would love to hear what anyone reading thinks of my situation.


    • Hi Jean,

      I know that it’s been awhile since you’ve written and I’m still catching up. So sorry! I hope that you have moved on with your own life and left this womanizing narcissist once and for all. You are obviously a very forgiving and caring woman but I do feel that you are in denial of what and who this guy is. I understand that perception is reality but I believe that your perception is way off.

      First of all, this guy is a cheater extraordinaire. He left his family, girl, and that was THE BEGINNING of the relationship. Since then, it has basically been the same. He cheats behind your back, you find out or he is forced to admit it, and then you break-up. And the cycle repeats. Where is the lovely life? How is he your best friend? That’s not how someone treats his best friend. Narcissists – and, yes, he’s a big one – can be NO ONE’S friend, best or otherwise. And it doesn’t matter how attracted you are to each other – if it mattered to him, he wouldn’t be having sex with someone else. I was with my ex for 13-years, thought he was my best friend too, had a phenomenal sex life. He still cheated and played games and I had to realize that I was no more important to him that the next girl or the one before me. I was just the most convenient. And this is how he sees you, believe me.

      It’s all about what they can get away with. This game will never get old for him – he will seduce and discard you until the end of time if you allow it. Please, if you can, read my book When Love Is a Lie because you will see yourself in it everywhere. My story is your story. I also provide phone consultations so consider that as well. I’d hate for you to continue to waste your time. There never was a lovely life, girl. It’s a charade while he cheated. He doesn’t have “feelings” for you or he wouldn’t be doing what he is doing. Moreover, he is NOT fixable, nor does he care to be. And as much as we’d like to think it’s possible. he is not the exception to the narcissistic rule. I hope that you will open your eyes and see him for the narcissistic MF that he truly is.

      Stay strong!


    • men like that really annoy me. I can’t really understand why they would do this, what do they think, the grass is always greener? They don’t see that they are the problem and whoever they are with they bring that problem with them, so it always ends the same. I think you have to push him to the edge of your life because it’s going to do you a lot of harm to be messed around like this.

      • Hi Alan,

        They do it because they are narcissists. These aren’t normal guys. Everything they do is all about what they can get away with…they don’t care about anyone or anything. When you’re a normal person, yeah, it’s hard to wrap your head around it!


  3. How can you leave when you have two small kids? I’ve been isolated from the little family and friends I have left and have been made to feel like I’m dependent on him.

    • What’s keeping you – do the kids love him and you don’t want them to miss him or is it just that you feel you can’t manage? I’d say take the leap. You’ll find you’re already doing everything alone anyway and he is excess baggage, nothing more. Things can only improve without him. I’m just a reader btw, but I stayed with my narc ‘for the kids’ and have come to regret it. I’m now looking at leaving – but that’s 6 years damage done. Please, save yourself any more wasted time, just go! Enjoy life 🙂

  4. All the comments describe exactly the current relationship that am in. I knew all along that something was amiss and could not put my finger on it. We never discussed anything about me and my career or even my kids everything is about him. I’ve been in this for 4yrs in which he will disappear for 6-8 mnths and come back as if nothing happened. He is a Professor by profession and will blame it on his busy schedule. What I have realised is that he is a secret alcoholic, very very cold no emotions whatsoever, very insecure and jealous, very sneaky I have never met his friends or family, the only person I have met once is his so called son which I think he is lying about (ex girlfriend’s) and he even lied about his real identityand does not know that I know. He disappeared again last May and reappear in December and invited me to his new apartment which he gave me the keys. In March this year he went overseas for a month and lost his phone while he was there. While he was gone I fixed the apartment bought stuff and so on. A month after his return he started accusing me of having an affair with a security guard of the complex and I got pissed off and left. Everytime before he disappears he creates a chaos/arguments accusations of some sort and after that he’s gone. He never called to check how I was doing or anything, but am used to his silent treament I was kind of expecting it to happen. Until this day he hasn’t called. My question is: Will he ask if I should bring back the keys or what its been 4mnths now. I am gettin ready to move on and start NC. I have moved places and he doesn’t know, am tired of this nonsense I refuse to go on like this and I have never experience anything like this. Before he disappeared we hardly had sex and I could see he was punishing me for being honest about his behavior. I enjoyed reading all the comments good to know that am not paranoid or just imagining things. Awful indeed.

    • Hi Mimz,

      I apologize for taking so long to get back to you. Your story sounds very much like my own. If you haven’t read my book When Love Is a Lie, please do. It’s a cheap read from Amazon and you will resonate with every word on every page. My ex, too, would disappear and then reappear often with a brand new apartment and new promises to boot. What that’s all about, of course, is that they reappear to us while leaving someone else behind. Hence, the new phones and apartments. And then, when they’re ready to go back from whence they came, it all happens in reverse. It’s BULLSHIT.

      As for his keys, toss them in the trash or stick them away or whatever you feel like but don’t send them to him or drop them off and, no matter what, why worry about it? If you’ve moved, then he can’t find you. Change your phone number or BLOCK him as well. Make it impossible for him to contact you for those keys. It’s likely he doesn’t even live in the same place or won’t be for much longer anyway. In his mind, those keys are an excuse to always keep you in the loop. He fully expects you to be wondering what to do with them. Don’t buy into it.

      Stay strong and read the book…you’ll think you wrote it!

      Zari xo

    • Um, there are quite a LOT of NPD women out there. This article is very discriminatory. Narcissistic women destroy families, kids and men, causing many men to commit suicide specifically because articles like this make it sound like ONLY MEN are narcissists. The traits are the same, whether male or female.

  5. Narcissist are an awful species. But the narcissistic sociopath is even worse. These people have not an ounce of empathy, care, concern, love for anyone but themselves. They don’t care who get hurts, dies or destroyed. As long as they get their way. Soullous humans they are