Narcissists, Facebook, & Cell Phones – Oh My!!

narcissists-facebook-cell-phonesHow on earth did narcissists and sociopaths ever pander their diabolical wares before the invention of cell phones, Facebook, and other forms of social media? For those of us who’s relationship with a narcissist dates back, say, 13+ years, I think it’s safe to say that narcissists back then, sans the gadgets, were much tamer, far more cautious people with far less tools and strategies for making us nuts. Back then, it simply wasn’t as easy for the narcissist to be a narcissist because to be the best narcissist ever, a narcissist has to have weapons and there simply weren’t that many to be had. Narcissists can not be narcissists on brain power alone; they must have toolsweapons of mass destruction…options for making us insane. Back then, the N, of course, didn’t know what he was missing but you can bet he knew that he was missing something. Living in a society that’s basically driven by love and emotion and not having any extra ways to pretend that he/she had either one must have been difficult indeed. Back then, the victims, even while shocked at the weird passive-aggressive behaviors, simply thought this guy was just more of an asshole than the last guy.

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But then came the cell phone and then came social media, giving the world of narcissism and sociopath a rocket-blasting boost that is still going strong. Yup, narcissism evolved right along with technology at a dizzying pace. And while the narcissists of the world thought they’d died and gone to heaven, the people who dared to love them thought for sure that this was hell on earth.

Narcissists & Cell Phones

Narcissists use cell phones to hurt you by continually playing what I call The Cell Phone Game. The Cell Phone game, in a nutshell, refers to any narcissistic antic that revolves around the narcissist’s cell phone that gives you anxiety. In other words, if you’d be willing to give anything (and I mean anything at all) to have just one cozy hour alone behind locked doors with your guy’s (or gal’s) cell phone, then I’m 100% sure your N plays The Cell Phone Game.

For example, the N will use his phone as a tool to exacerbate your anxiety during certain phases of the silent treatment. First, of course, unannounced and unexpectedly, he suddenly goes silent (Phase 1). THEN, he uses his phone in a variety of ways to extend the chaos and make you crazy (Phase 2): 1) when you start power-calling his phone to find out what’s up, he deliberately lets it go to voice mail – for weeks at a time, 2) you text frantically and he doesn’t respond, 3) he allows his voice mail to fill up so that you know he isn’t even listening to your messages, 4) he blocks you from both calling and texting, 4) he changes his phone number (the ultimate rejection and my ex’s favorite!), 5) he gets a brand new phone with a new phone number (only you won’t discover this until he comes back), 6) after a long silence, he suddenly rings you with just two short rings, leaving no message, and then won’t pick up when you call back – ever, 7) he changes his voice message to something that just makes him sound single, 8) he turns the phone off so that it goes right to voice mail forever, or 9) he lets his minutes run out so that you don’t even know if he even has a phone.

And even while the two of you are technically “together”, the narcissist can still use his phone to torment you by 1) being very secretive about what’s on it but acting like whatever is on it is no big deal (and you’re delusional!), 2) freaking out every time you even go near it, 3) appearing to conveniently have left it somewhere else whenever he comes to your house, 4) appearing un-phased by the fact that, when he is with you, his cell is mysteriously silent, and 5) pissed as hell that you even thought to bring that up! His cell becomes the perfect tool for creating plausible denial and, thus, one of the most effective ways of managing down your expectations of the relationship

And, finally, the narcissist will use his cell phone texting finesse as his favorite way to hoover or as his favorite way to accuse you of something ridiculous when you least expect it. When it comes to creating narcissistic ploys and tactics to use involving the cell phone, the sky’s the limit!

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Narcissists & Facebook

Judging by the sheer volume of letters and comments that I receive detailing scenarios of narcissistic behaviors that happen to involve Facebook, it’s clear to me that this particular form of social media has become the ultimate narcissistic playground and weapon of choice. Facebook is to a narcissist what a baseball field is to a baseball player or an ice rink to a hockey player or a basketball court to an LA Clipper. Facebook is a stomping ground for narcissists and sociopaths. It’s a place where they can shine and also shine people on. A narcissist will, among other things, find victims to target via Facebook (or be somewhere where potential targets can find him), juggle multiple relationships simply by blocking and unblocking certain victims at certain times, idolize, devalue, and even discard his victims via Facebook, create smear campaigns against victims to make himself look good, and deliberately post pictures of his newest target, professing his “love” for this person just a few short days after crawling out of his “girlfriend’s” bed never to return.

Facebook is no place for you to be if you are truly serious about maintaining no contact. In fact, blocking the ex via phone, text, email, and other avenues of social media while still checking on his life via Facebook constitutes breaking no contact even if you’ve made no contact. No contact is about you – not the narcissist – and, thus, it’s imperative that you understand the futility of stalking via social media. Doing this does nothing more than compound the anxiety that you are already feeling. Some will even tell me that they can’t help themselves but we all know this isn’t true because the truth is that we’ve always had the power to stop it. I’m telling you that you’ve always had the power and you must believe me!

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Understand that NOTHING – and I mean NOTHING – the narcissist does is ever random. NOTHING! So, when he dumps you or you dump him and he shows up on Facebook boasting about a new target and acting all in love, this is a deliberate act – a strategy! We forget that the narcissist knows us as well as we know him and probably even better (because that’s been his job, after all). He knows that you’ll check for him on social media eventually because he knows your habits. He knows you will do it and he’s going to make fucking sure that you have something to see that provides a big fat jolt of familiar anxiety.

At any given time during the first year of no contact or a break-up, checking an ex on social media will immediately set you back – even if you think you can handle it. It’s been almost two years for me and I still won’t do it. The success of going no contact and your overall recovery depends solely on your intention. Once you actually block his number (so he can’t call or text) and block him on Facebook and on all of your social media, the relief you feel will be amazing. It’s a relief that comes from never having to wait for anything from this guy ever again. No more waiting for a call and stressing you’ll miss it. No more waiting for a text and checking every five minutes. No more checking the caller ID in the middle of the night. No more checking email and social media for some snarky message or sickeningly phony-sweet hoover. Without having to wait and hoop-jump and wait some more, you’ll have so much time to be you that you won’t know what to do with it. And you will be able to do whatever you want whenever you want.

You will be free…and the journey from that moment forward is all yours.

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58 Comments

  • Kim

    November 11, 2017 at 1:46 pm Reply

    I had full access to his cell phone. I just never could get to the one he didn’t think I knew about. The one I found the receipt for and for the activation. He was a truck driver, so I am sure it was hid in his work truck. The work truck he knew I could never get access to.

  • Kat

    October 25, 2017 at 8:28 am Reply

    Ah this article so relates to my narc ex and the way he uses social media to get my anxiety going but I’ll start from the beginning.

    I had only been with my ex for 7 months but it was very intense from the get go and the ending was messy. We got into a relationship 11 days after meeting each other. When we had our first date, he told me a lot of very personal things about himself – that he is a Freemason, that his ex fiance cheated on him and that he tried to kill himself years ago (I know, why did I give him a second date) but now I realise it was to paint this picture of him that he has always been the victim and to show me he would never put me through hell because of what he has been through.

    In this 7 months he has broken up with me twice, the first time around he was so apologetic and in his words he “wanted to give me another chance” – even though his narc mother called me names and he was being a drunken prick (yes, he was an alcoholic as well which caused a lot of our fights) but this break up – which I think was the Grand Finale was different because he has blocked me off everything, had told mutual friends he is happy to be rid of me and that I’m insane and the last time I saw him he was so cold and disconnected. When he tried to break up with me a month ago he went from crying because he was scared he was going to lose me to 4 days later telling me he doesn’t love me and that he wants me out of his life to 2 days later sleeping with me to another 2 days later being so disconnected and saying he doesn’t care if he doesn’t see me again. I tried calling and calling to get closure but all he has done is tell me to never contact him again and he has avoided me and for about 2 weeks now so I’ve left him alone because I’ve realised I don’t want to waste anymore energy on him.

    He would put me down so much, he would call me names and apologise then do it again, he never cared about what I had to say he would always put the focus on himself, always on his phone, never paid attention to me, always craved power (that’s why I think he has blocked me). The whole time he kept saying “for me to be with you, you have to go on anti depressants and go to therapy” which I did to make this work when now that I have had time away from him that I’m not the problem and that he is! He is the one that never got over his ex – he even cried about it one of the last times I saw him.

    I’m just really glad I got out of this – yeah he has blocked me off everything but thank goodness because I don’t want to see what he is up to. I just look to the future and what if we lived together and he came home drunk one night and we had an argument, he probably would have hit me. He has been really close to many times.

    In your article, you said blocking them so you’re not waiting around for them anymore is the best thing you can do. So I’m going to do that! He’s hoovered me before and I won’t let him do it to me again. Although I don’t think he will. His mask finally came off and I saw him for who he really is.

    • Zari Ballard

      November 12, 2017 at 11:36 pm Reply

      Hi Kat,

      Block this guy and never look back. Hate to say it but the fact that he’s a Freemason is reason alone to stay away. Nothing good about that very secretive and highly immoral “brotherhood”. Do it for the good of your life and for your future:) Wishing you all the happiness in the world. You are doing the right thing…

      Zari xo

      • Kat

        November 13, 2017 at 5:24 am Reply

        Hi Zari,

        Thank you for your kind words! I found out a lot more about him.. that him and his friends bullied his ex, he had a coke habit and he’s been writing a lot of nasty stuff about me on Facebook. He also has a dating profile now and his photos are so deceiving. Photos of him being sporty when really he doesn’t train anymore and is an drug addict lol.

        But yes the Freemason thing was a big warning sign. Lol yes, “brotherhood”.. he tried to explain it to me without revealing too much, something so dark about it!

        But yes I’ve been narc free for a month now and I’m feeling great!

        Kat 🙂 xx

        • Zari Ballard

          November 18, 2017 at 3:57 pm Reply

          Awesome Kat! Wow…so grateful to hear that. Keep up the great work…one day at a time. (And yes, pitch black darkness behind the you-know-what…LOLOL…yikes!)

          Stay strong, sister:)

          xo

          • Kat

            November 20, 2017 at 11:02 am

            Haha yes!! Never trust those types of people. I just feel sorry for the next woman that falls in his trap. It has been a really up and down experience but I know soon enough he will be completely out of my system. Thank you for this blog sister. Breaking up with a narc isn’t easy and it’s great to having all this support xx

          • Zari Ballard

            December 3, 2017 at 3:58 pm

            Back at ya, sister:) xo

  • Shay needs to get over him

    October 3, 2017 at 1:38 pm Reply

    I am very new to this whole thing but I believe my friend ( sometimes bf I guess). is a narcissist. I met him in June and he seemed like the sweetest person, almost perfect. I fell in love by accident because I have several male friends but nothing serious. He was just different then the rest. It seemed like a relationship. He said he fell in love as well. He was my only sexual relationship after almost a year of celibacy. The connection was amazing. I could definitely feel the love just from a hug or being snuggled up to him.

    THEN he started accusing me of being a liar and sleeping with everyone. He’d flip over silly things. Then he’ll ignore me. I started to feel very drained. I constantly had to reassure him that no one slept over at my place. Then he’d video chat so he could see what I was wearing and if anyone was home with me. If I didn’t text back immediately or answer the phone he would accuse me and get mad then ignore me. He ignored me for almost a week and treated me very cold because he said it sounded like I was performing oral sex while I was on the phone with him. It’s like he’s attacking my character. I had to admit someone was at my home to make everything better. I lied just to make him stop ignoring me. Then he called me that same day like nothing happened and we had the best make up sex. It’s very weird and childish. I started to walk on egg shells to minimize his mood swings. I realized I was changing to fit him. He’s asked me for money and I’ve given it but he hasn’t given me a thing. I’ve notic d he lies about a lot of things. I found out about another female so I’ve been trying to leave him alone but it’s hard. He’s tried to show me her picture but I refused to see it.

    Just recently I decided to try no contact because he’s controlling, insecure, jealous, and a liar. He called me back to back then popped up at my place and knocked on the door really loud. I opened it and asked what was going on. He looked at me, got in his truck, and drove off. I called him and asked why he was asking that way. He said I played too many games and a man was there then hung up on me. I texted him that I’m not going through this. You’re bring disrespectful and some other not nice things. He said ok, don’t call me again. Two days later I called and his number has been changed. I’m upset it’s changed. I want to go to his job and confront him but that will just help his ego. Instead I’m leaving it alone. A huge part of me misses him though and I’ll be happy when the love I have for him fades away.

    • Zari Ballard

      November 3, 2017 at 4:28 pm Reply

      Hi Shay needs to get over him,

      I love the story of him at the door – my ex was just like that. He pound on the door and when I finally opened it, he’d stomp down the stairs, get in his truck and drive off! LOL Talk about GAMES….AND he would change is number. It’s truly awful and manipulative behavior.

      Believe me, the love will fade. All it takes is time. If you get a chance, please read my book When Love Is a Lie because it will sound like your life on every page. Life is way too short for all this nonsense. Wishing you the best…

      Zari xo

    • PrincessTee

      November 8, 2017 at 12:54 pm Reply

      Wow this sounds like my on and off again guy. Very weird he gave my the first silent treatment within two weeks of meeting. And was very insecure about everything. He was a liar and was supposed to help me with an investment but Instead spent my money on outings with Friends. He tell me he’s done for good when i confront him about anything. Then Id miss him and go back and he’d accuse me of seeing other guys then we’d be back on for about 3 weeks. Then he’d disappear again. Unannounced. Id text him and no answer and my messages left unread. Then I’d try NC and go back. He would eventually respond once he thought i was gone for good. This last time i found out that I’m not the only one and confronted him. He’s blocked me but left one outlet open. I’m guessing so that I would use I️t to come crawling back again. I don’t even know what I miss about him. I’m just attached to nothing really. I really want to move on. It’s been going on for a year and a half. My heart literally aches with anxiety especially first thing in the morning. Therapist here don’t take narcissists abuse serious. I’ve never been with anyone who shoes this type of weird behavior. He would randomly respond to my texts with the middle finger or calling me out my name. I want to text him on the outlet he left open for me. He has already stalked me online from this backup page he has which is still open. I know he left I️t open on purpose. I’m so confused.

  • Trying to Move On (But It's So Hard)

    July 10, 2017 at 8:42 am Reply

    It happened April 27, 2017. It was so sudden and painful, the way he so coldly dumped me.

    Pathetically, we’ve broken up a few times before, usually from me getting sick of silent treatments and being ignored, me blowing up, him saying maybe we should “just be friends,” and then me exploding and saying it’s over.

    This time, I was feeling him pulling back. I suggested maybe we take a break if he was feeling like he needed space. He quickly agreed and said we should take a month. A month! When it was over, he called me to say it was over. I felt like I had been dealt a death blow. I wrote him the next day begging him to not do this, crying through an hour of texting back and forth. We talked again a few days later, but his voice was as cold and dead as a robot’s. “It’s over. This is best for both of us. We have to move on.”

    I know I can’t go through this any more. This relationship had gone on nearly six years, with break-ups during that time that lasted from three-to-nine months. Think about that–our last break-up was for nine months, and I stupidly answered his FB Messenger text that simply said, “Hi.”

    Unfortunately, I’ve been obsessing too long over him this time. I’m devastated. I’m in mourning. I’m dealing with depression. I’ve been doing my best to distract myself, but my spare time seems to be spend reading about narcissists and passive aggressives, and how to get over them.

    I’m devastated because I truly believed him when he said there was no one else. He even said during our final phone call that “there is no one else” Which I thought was a weird thing to say. But after all my reading, all my re-thinking time lines and conversations and messages, all my piecing together — aka, all my TIME WASTING! — I realize he was probably going back to the supply who had cut him off for a year or so. And that’s why I had him for so long this time around.

    Like you said, I’m just as much to blame with this. I HAVE been wondering what is wrong with me or what happened in my life that I kept trying to make this work. If I had walked away five years ago and said, “Wth is wrong with him?!,” I’d be a much healthier person today. But five years ago, just when I was thisclose to ending it, he did the “all in” move. Charming. Attentive. Responsive. And I fell for it. Now, I just get disgusted and angry with myself for believing it — and going back as many more times as I did.

    I finally blocked HIM on every platform possible a month or so ago. It was rather freeing for a moment, but really just so sad. All that time wasted hoping and dreaming and being part of something pretend that someone else let me think was real. Because he said over and over how real it was. “So real it’s unreal ” was how he put it. He was “in for the long haul.”

    I am beyond looking forward to the day when I wake up or go to sleep, or drive or garden or workout or grocery shop or sit on the beach or do ANYthing and NOT thinking of him. I will get there. But this part of the journey is like standing at the bottom of a gravelly pit, with dirt sliding out from under me every time I get a little footing.

    • Zari Ballard

      July 14, 2017 at 6:46 pm Reply

      Hi Trying To Move On,

      I know I sound like a broken record but consider booking some time with me or at least reading my book. You CAN get over this without all of the suffering. You WILL feel joy again. We’ve all been there and I know it feels as if you will never feel normal ever again or stop pining for his nonsense. But the truth is that it just takes being proactive and changing your perspective about what happened…seeing it (and him) for what it’s really all about. It doesn’t do any good to be “disgusted” with yourself after the fact…I can’t tell you how many stupid one or two word texts pulled me back in to the abyss after weeks of silence. Eventually, it all must end…and it will….sometimes, though, it helps to have a support system on your side that knows exactly what you are dealing with. Recovery is a team effort, sister…

      Zari xo

  • Chloe

    May 26, 2017 at 10:11 pm Reply

    Help, my boyfriend of 5 years is a narcissist. All your posts are near enough spot on and make me shudder with what I’ve had to go through. The phone issue and him cheating is what I’ve found out over the last few months has been going on the whole time, I can’t handle it! I’ve left and come back over 20 times since I’ve been with him. But when I leave he bombards me with all these love tricks to get me back and he wins. This time I really think he has changed, he’s given me full use of his phone, changed his Facebook status to us being in a relationship (although I’m not sure if everyone can see that), changed his eating to healthy, says he loves me everyday……but I’m confused and know he goes back to that silent treatment every time. Can he change? I work with him, live with him….how could I have not known!! Please help I don’t know what to do anymore I’m so confused!

    • Zari Ballard

      June 12, 2017 at 12:11 pm Reply

      Hi Chloe,

      I took the initiative of removing your last name from the post…you never know! Anyway, no they don’t change and I suspect this time is going to be no different. Mine too would step it up sometimes, giving me full pass to his stuff in an attempt to win my trust but after everything he’d already done, what did it even matter? The truth is that if he could change, he wouldn’t be a narcissist. Narcissists know right from wrong, they just don’t give a shit. It’s all about what they can get away with. You’ll have to see what happens, of course, but after five years of that crap, he’s probably only gotten better at hiding it. Now I’m not saying that narcs can’t be “good” for awhile but is just a while good enough. We should never settle for anything in this life and these jerks will waste our time until the END of time if we allow it. Keep eyes in the back of your head during this miraculous “change” is all I can say. I’ve never known a single one to change. Ever.

      Zari:)

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