Narcissistic Tactics (It’s All Smoke & Mirrors)

narcissist-smoke-and-mirrorsEverything a narcissist/sociopath says or does is a trick of smoke and mirrors – a narcissistic ploy – intended to distract from the reality of what he’s really up to. If you pay careful attention instead of reacting to his/her behaviors, you can turn these ploys into your advantage.

Many of us already know that the old joke – How can you tell a narcissist is lying? Because his mouth is moving – is nothing short of the absolute truth. Everything a narcissist does and everything he/she says is a fabrication in some way….a sleight of hand, a devious magic trick…used by the narcissist to distract us from what’s really going on. These tricks are also used to manage down our expectations of the relationship so that we expect less and less and he gets away with more. You may be familiar with the narcissistic tactic of gas-lighting where a narcissist or sociopath diminishes the truth of a victim’s own words to make her feel crazy or to convince her that she’s overreacting and/or delusional. You may be familiar with triangulation where the narcissist uses passive-aggressive means to make you feel jealous about every little thing. Simply put, no matter what the victim is thinking, the narcissist will tell her it wrong, wrong, wrong when the truth of the matter is that her intuition is ALWAYS spot-on.

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You can easily turn the narcissist’s ploys into your advantage. If you want to know exactly what your narcissistic partner is up to, simply listen and observe:

  • When a narcissist partner is being nice, it’s typically because he has a devastating discard or, at the very least, a silent treatment planned for you in the very near future. When a narcissist can catch us off-guard, he gets the most bang for his narcissistic buck. It’s no fun hurting his victim if she knows it’s coming. So, beware of narcissists bearing niceties.
  • Whenever a narcissistic partner accuses you of something, it’s because that is exactly what he’s up to at that moment in his life. If you pay attention to this, you will see that it is fool-proof. Oftentimes, we’re too busy getting hysterical over a narcissist’s ludicrous accusation to stop and and listen to exactly what he’s saying. And while an N will never admit to a wrongdoing, he will, in fact, accuse you of what he happens to be doing. Quietly consider every accusation as an admission and do your investigation from there. Trust me, it works.
  • Whenever a Narcissist unexpectedly feigns sickness or throws a fit and stomps off in the middle of a heated conversation or attempts to otherwise distract you from the topic at hand, it’s likely that you’ve just said something or alluded to something that he’s guilty of. His immediate behavior is nothing more than a distraction reaction. Keep this in mind for the next time it happens…what was the last thing you said??.
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When you’re involved with a someone with a narcissist personality, nothing – and I mean nothing – is as it seems and everything is intended to be a distraction from the real thing. When you get that nagging feeling that something is very wrong behind the scenes, don’t doubt yourself or allow him make you feel that you’re being delusional. When he starts creating narcissistic chaos and turmoil, look beneath the actions to see the actual truth that he’s hiding. When it comes to the N, you’re first instincts will always be right.

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Once you realize the smoke and mirrors antics for exactly what they are, you are well on your way to knowing exactly what this monster is up to during any given moment. Turn his narcissistic ploys into your advantage. Like children, narcissists will always give themselves away. In essence, a narcissist will “tell on” himself by accusing you of what he’s really doing behind your back. The more you know what he’s up to, the more likely you’ll be able to give up the need for closure and go no contact without falling apart from the get-go.

You must learn to read between the narcissistic lines.

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67 Comments

  • Flying Dutchman

    August 1, 2017 at 5:04 am Reply

    “Whenever a narcissistic partner accuses you of something, it’s because that is exactly what he’s up to at that moment in his life. If you pay attention to this, you will see that it is fool-proof. ”

    Thank you so much for all you have posted. And also specifically this, as it has helped me a lot.

    Allow me to expand on this, as I have discovered a narc-trait very closely tied to this. It might even be just the other side of the same coin.
    If, through all the manipulation (gaslighting) you are being subjected to, you do address certain undeniable(*) facts, yet are careful not to address the “plausible deniable” FACTS, they will sooner or later blurt out you are accusing them of exactly those things that are plausible deniable and you carefully avoided exactly for that reason.
    You know it’s true, you know you do ‘accuse’ them of it, which is more like you have bought them red-handed rather than an accusation.
    (*) But you have already learned that with a narc there is no such thing as ‘undeniable’.

    In such cases, don’t fall for the trap. The narc is simply FURIOUS that they haven’t had the opportunity yet to show off all the “plausible deniability manipulation”/gaslighting they had in store and/or so carefully prepared, which will get them nowhere as long as you keep your mouth shut.
    All that investment they made in conjuring up a plausible deniability will have NO return on investment AT ALL, and it drives them insane. So they’ll play every trick in the book so at last they can spew their insidious manipulative ploy.

    So if they accuse you of you ‘secretly’ accusing them of something THEY HAVE ALREADY DONE, which you indeed ‘accuse’ them off but where wise enough to NOT bring it out in the open, you might as well take the as an admission of guilt indeed.

    And you best walk away from any confrontation about it.

    • Zari Ballard

      August 2, 2017 at 10:39 pm Reply

      Hi Flying Dutchman,

      I had to chuckle at this: So if they accuse you of you ‘secretly’ accusing them of something THEY HAVE ALREADY DONE, which you indeed ‘accuse’ them of but were wise enough to NOT bring it out in the open, you might as well take the as an admission of guilt indeed. See how crazy it all is??? A normal person might look at that statement and go “WTF?” but I bet everyone here (myself included) knows EXACTLY what you mean! HaHa! Thank you for elaborating…it is all so true…

      Zari xo

      • Flying Dutchman

        August 3, 2017 at 6:21 am Reply

        “See how crazy it all is???”

        I’m starting to getting there, but I’m pretty sure I will never be able to fathom just exactly the depth of the craziness.

        And I’m working on feeling OK with that. Which I find a laborious task. The work you have done on that is helping me. So thank you again.

  • Nicole senior

    December 30, 2016 at 12:54 am Reply

    I was seeing a narc for 6 months it finsihed in Feb this year nd he turned horrible while I felt broken. May I add he got sober up until this Christmas week and guess who he calls …..me. And guess who feels strong enough and told him to do ….me. #feelingproud

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