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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39 Comments

  • Jane

    January 27, 2017 at 5:26 am Reply

    I have been through this. Roller-coaster ride from hell. Cell phone aND Facebook torture exactally as you described. He recently announced a new relationship on fb and all his friends and family show great enthusiasm and support and I feel like dying
    I have never felt so much pain and anxiety. How could he be so evil. It’s not fair he does not deserve to find happiness after destroying my life. Im broken.

    • Zari Ballard

      January 31, 2017 at 1:34 am Reply

      Hi Jane,

      Please know that he is not any “happier” than he was with you. It just doesn’t work that way. Please read this article because it will explain what I mean and provide an answer that you may be looking for. Social media is a killer and if you stop looking, the pain will fade. Anybody can create the perfect life on FB but it is NEVER as it appears. Believe me, I have seen this prove true a zillion times. Inevitably, this girl will find her way to my website like you and others have. I guarantee it.

      Please read through all of the articles here. I have tried to cover every topic about narcissism possible and you will likely find some answers (and validation) about your situation. Do not be broken, sister. You deserve to be happy!

      Zari xo

  • Juls

    January 4, 2017 at 3:21 pm Reply

    Met him last year, my close friends brother, intellectual, so not the usual type you think of as a narc, so beware this type!!!He asked me to get engaged within 4 weeks and allowed me choose any engagement ring, spent lot of money on it, booked a holiday and weekend away, it wasnt the money, I really genuinely liked him, he was funny and clever, he had been married and had been separated 4-5 years and had a GF during this time, so thought it was safe ha ha ….he bought me a car, took me out for dinner, we started decorating his house so I could move in, and quickly problems occurred, red flags, triangulatiion, played off against his two kids (aged 16 and 18), then started see his temper, his rage started showing more and more so we went to Relate, but all my friends liked him, everyone liked him, he could be utterly charming, but every occasion, eg valentines day, easter, birthdays, new year, xmas, bbqs everything would get ruined….he would flare up and Id walk out as he would be so horrible to me, I wasted all of 2016 on/off the worst roller coaster of my life, and he had already bought our wedding rings in first three months we met!!! Cancelled wedding, read a letter his ex wife wrote about him and it didnt hit me until only a few weeks ago how bad he really could behave. He had caused all sorts of financial problems, stolen, lost jobs etc…anyway, me being so caring and loyal (stupid ) accompanied him to see a psychiatrist and what did the stupid Psch do? Opened and read out the letter I had marked highly private and confidential, detailing the issues!!! We split up for a month and he threw all the sentinmental stuff at my door, as I had moved out. He talked me round and we gave it one last shot only for him to do exactly the same things within 24 hours of promising not to, so after a final two weeks we split up……oh yeah and he triangulated with this ex GF who kept popping up every 9 months, I think they are now together…its making me feel sick to the pit of my stomach. Ive been hacking his email so it has made me crazy, and am now seeking help for myself.

    • Zari Ballard

      January 14, 2017 at 11:55 am Reply

      Hi Juls,

      Well, he sure sounds like a typical narc to me! He is a full-on player…he’s nothing nice and never was.I am sorry that you are going through all this. All of us here know about that roller coaster ride all too well. It’s hard to wrap our head around, girl, but once we “get it”…that he just is what he is and he’ll never change and that he never loved us any more than he loves the person he was with before us and after us…we can finally mentally break free.

      If you’d ever like to talk about it, I do provide phone consultations and they work wonders. It’s very validating to speak with someone who completely gets it. I can help you break free from the pain and get started on your own happiness. It’s all about changing your perspective and YOU CAN DO IT:)

      Stay strong and I’m here if you need me….

      Zari xo

  • Tali

    November 23, 2016 at 9:47 am Reply

    OMG same boat I’m in… I’ve been with this man since 2014.I lived with him almost two years got pregnant he was abusive mentally, when ingot pregnant he left to another state due to issue with here… he told me he be back only came back when baby born , he stay a week left out state… he made a fb call Me told me so I added him he blocked me right away and said he not going start arguments and my page was fake just so he didn’t have add me , he has so many woman friends he comments back fourth with them are incredibly disrespectful … he tells me why am I’m lurking on his page when I comfort him and he even ignore me text block me from calling hinge can only call me WHAT A MIND GAME .. SOMEONE TOLD ME ABOUT HIM TALKING TO A WOMAN ON FB AND I DID MY HOMEWORK AND HE WAS TALKING TO HER I ACTED LIKE HUSBAND AND HE FELL FOR IT MADLY TOLD ME HE WAS HAVING SEX WITH HER….

  • Belladonna

    August 14, 2016 at 5:38 pm Reply

    These readings are so accurate and validating Thank you and Bless You Zari and all commenters. I just went 8 months with a male narcissist and finally called police todaynted . I prinversation thread and FB thread and all mails. he promised his new supply “total transparency”. She and I met me as we spent a day at she and her jection filled discard. . The next day he began the devalue and total projection discard began began to barrage me with emails and fb messages. I think he didnt have my number bAfter the last devalue/discard/gaslight combo, he I found him in bed with this person three days ago and yet he was sending me false apology/fake epiphany messages for two weeks. I told him that I would need a witness this time (5 previous discards). He kept begging for complete forgiveness with no accountable effort/work and vowed that he was alone and celibate. He was triangulating I begged him to do something different/heroic or just leave me alone. Anyhow, I went to his home and saw a strange car. I had the key but his garage and entrance was open. I climbed the stairs opened the door and there they were naked and sleeping. The last dicard was the day after this Saturday beach house visit. He was really excited about going (one of the few ‘plans’ he ever kept…he was always cancelling last minute)The Friday evening before we had perfect sex to Echo and the Bunnymen followed by him telling me sex with me was the best he’d ever had to telling me Sunday, I was gross and how dare i expect gratuitous sex when his shoulder hurt. I just wanted to lay with him even just a lazy Sunday morning for an AM cuddle. His reaction was so odd. He had this blank look on his face and the week following was me crippled with his texted insults, He was blowing up my phone! This was followedby vehement apologies. i suggested, cant we ever just fizzle to a friendship? Why the insanity?? He invited me to a real rocking jam and even gave me a setlist so I can look up lyrics and sing along. I called him only two hours later and his tone…that tone. He uninvited me and was waiting for me to blow my top. I didnt. I did no contact for a short time then he wished me a Happy Independence Day(USA) said he missed me. I invited him to a free outdoor concert of a mutually fave band and he said that I was putting his back against the wall, forcing expectations on him etc. He began WORSE verbal deep character insults a and he said i was a pig, not that desirable and there were two people who wanted to date him….Fasd to being caught with the hostess. I am not conceited but daily I am tol I am some type of complimentary adjective, I look like Cher etc. She was just so marmy nothing in common whereas he told me how I was his “ilk” his forever partner”,,,total texbook lovebombing. I was in shock and clueless as to where on earth her bf beach house renter boyfriend was. I was in shock, stern and calm (strange because I am type A and Sicilian) I was gray rockish I suppose but totally aided his OBVIOUS planned triangulation. I just asked her if she knew that daily he had been sending multitudinous apology messages professing his love and deep need to “reset” and she was blank I was looking for a pen and paper to scribe my cell # if later when he lie to her later shed seek the truth. I foung her in two seconds on FB she had liked nearly each of his photoshis d . I left them to their morning eventual morning sex (while I was denied weeks before). His reaction was shocking and unexpected. He raced to my town a fe towns awaymy home where he hadnt visited in four months. barraged me with hoovering messages like never before. My reaction, I didnt get it and I had to call the police. The officer took his time and read and snapped photos of parts of the dissonant dialogue ranging from love bombing/hoovering and called him overode all my narcs smearing and told him its done…..I feel so weird, free? I havent cried and hope this is the end….thank you for reading, sharing and VOCABULARY and TERMS to articulate it all xo

    • Zari Ballard

      August 14, 2016 at 10:02 pm Reply

      Belladonna wrote…i suggested, cant we ever just fizzle to a friendship? Why the insanity?? LOLOLOL….Well said! That is so funny…We can only wish, right?

      Hi Belladonna,

      You’re such a good girl…I hope you are absolutely free of this jerk:) Your post perfectly depicts the mind-boggling insanity. They LOVE the chaos so no, it can never fizzle to a friendship (I love that and you’ve now inspired me to use it as a topic for a post soon!) Sometimes taking a drastic measure is all we can do in hopes that not only does it keep HIM away but US away from HIM as well. Block this guy so he can never contact you again EVER. All avenues…social media, email, text, whatever it takes.

      Thank you so much for sharing and come and share often. Recovery from narcissist abuse is a team effort and that’s why we’re all here. This blog community is filled with the most awesome people. Stay strong and know that we’re all here to support you!

      Zari xo

    • Lucy

      October 14, 2016 at 6:23 am Reply

      I didn’t have FB when I escaped after a viscous rage incident. I went no contact i was in shock & needed Valium.
      He was big on FB & connected to my family here so produced his new partner with a week to show me via my family he was blissfully happy. A year later I got FB he began to hoover me with flattery on my photo, claiming he’d changed, was ill, as well as various insults about me mixed in.
      I asked him to stop messaging now he’s in this faux blissful relationship. He ignored my request & sent me our romantic photos, cute pictures etc.
      I blocked him during a silent period & he raged on email accusing me of being childish. This continued for two years, last week he sent me an official friend request which I ignored so he withdrew it & has blocked me. The hypocrisy is mind bending considering I had no right to block him and received some really nasty insults after doing so.
      I’m hoping he has blocked the mutual connections too. They are a menace on the internet & chest with ease by ‘liking’ the targets posts & being ‘humourous’
      They are all over dating sites being humble & selling their wares. Online provides a perfect medium for two dimensional people because it is two dimensional.

  • Vicki Martinez

    August 2, 2016 at 5:58 pm Reply

    Thank you for taking the time to read my sadness.

  • Vicki Martinez

    August 2, 2016 at 5:53 pm Reply

    I am going through this now. He went silent again , no word, no explanation, no nothing. He has done this sadly many times in the past. Like before I apologized, I cried on his voice mail, I wrote pleadings, etc… He has a fake Facebook page, with many female contacts, and has his buddies as contacts as well. One of his Friends (blocked me)????:(.
    I have read all his comments with other women. When he said he would call me ,he would be contacting his female friends on Facebook. I set up a fake Facebook page so I could have some contact and thought he would be pleased. Our contact lasted a week. Prior to that it had been the silent treatment about two month. His cell went dead and he said he had not paid his cell bill?. If I had not set up the Facebook page , he would not have contacted me. Now on (IM) he won’t contact me either he has gone very silent. He won’t tell me what’s going on. When we did had contact durning that week, I ask him questions he tells me not to ask him so many questions. I am num as to what I read, it describes him. Yet i don’t want to believe it. All this time I am just num I want to hold to some hope he will contact me , but I know he won’t . He is in love with some girl on Facebook and wants her to come to the USA. I am so hurt, it hurts to cry.

    • Marie

      February 24, 2017 at 1:34 pm Reply

      Vicki… I know it’s a long time comment but I read this now… I wanted to say to you that I was exactly at the point you described…. the silence… the fake fb page to maintain a “contact”…. and also to see how he talks with others (… but he knew that it was me in a week… and I was more ashamed than ever..;-)… some days before the silence, he just told me on chat “well… I never wanted you to be in love with me… it’s all complicated and I can’t feel the same… I will meet another woman soon (he was chatting with this “friend woman” since some months)…. He succeeded to give me subtly enough elements on her to lead me to do researches and find out who it was… bla bla bla…I contacted her and learnt a lot about his shit… ( eg. He invited her to his place – another country- at the very moment when he invited ME too…?!?…probably if I’d have accepted his invitation, he would have “scheduled” her and me at different moments…?!? wtf ?!?…

      My psyche exploded at that time… really… I went through Hell … I was alone in a foreign country (I was just on a “new start” from a difficult past life )… I went crazy… at the edge of suicide…had no place, no home anymore, … zero energy left and a so damaged brain that I couldn’t even think

      Now… almost 2 YEARS after (well… I was hoovered aaall along and accepted to see him twice for 4 days each…- for me, it was important in the detachment process, the fb stalk, the meetings,… because I saw more and more what kind of shit he was… each wound, every sharpened word from him helped me to detach as at the same time, I was continuously learning about NPD…)… the only interest I have when now and then I think about his fb is to search a mean to crash it …:-)… I know that he would be very touched by the loss of his social tool and the effort and time to invest to rebuild his shit.

      It’s the only fantasy that I keep for him…:-)

  • Diana

    August 1, 2016 at 9:03 pm Reply

    I need help before i loose my mind or do something stupid!

    • Zari Ballard

      August 4, 2016 at 5:23 pm Reply

      Maybe you need to book a consultation to talk to me. Don’t do anything stupid. It’s not worth it – not for a narc, girl!

      Zari xo

    • Barb

      August 16, 2016 at 8:54 am Reply

      Diana… You are not alone coming to this site was your step to understanding the madness. I just found came across this to understand and process my own nightmare, to make sense of what will never make sense. I met a man last year that I have mutual friends with. We all hung out, went on his boat he’s funny but I didn’t want anything. Buy then… He started coming to events that I go to with a mutual friend of his, and he never goes to them. I was out to dinner with a friend, I posted on Facebook he shows up I didn’t see him at first. He says look to your left and he’s there. I ignored it we were friends. He would tell me about this women he was seeing and I met her a few times out with other people. I saw her at a bar by our house and she tells me cares for him, what do I think if him. She wants him to be happy and she’s not leaving her husband. Crazy! So May comes and he’s asking me out but I said I don’t want any part of this and he said he wasn’t seeing her anymore. So I gave him a chance… We were hanging out with all our friends, having fun, he was very sweet caring and thoughtful but he said he couldn’t give me 100% because his feelings for her didn’t go away. After reading a lot this is triangulation I think! So last week he came from work out of town told me he was meeting her Thursday and he would see me Friday for breakfast which he did. He then told me she contacted me on Facebook and wanted to talk. So we talked. She said she wanted to be honest and had affair and doesn’t want to hurt anymore people. She said the guy I was with that I was just a convenience.
      I said have you been honest with your husband.
      So I did something that I don’t know if people would agree with. I called the husband since everyone was being HONEST. He was in shock but he also knew he asked if it was him and gave me his name. He said he new but they were going to counseling and she was to have no contact. He was not mad at me but thanked him for not being played any longer. As for the guy I was dating he blames me and as told his friends what I did and he’s not to be blamed for anything. They look at me like I’m crazy so I can Imagine what he told him. He came by house on Saturday middle of the night, I went out to my car and there was a container on the car the next morning for something I made for dinner. Weird! Since he went no contact blocked me from his phone and Facebook. I talked to him that day stopping by his house but he just kept telling what I did wasn’t right to come between his family, and no responsibility for what he did.
      I want this nightmare to end, it’s going to be hard since we have some friends the same.

  • Floridian Mermaid

    July 28, 2016 at 6:09 am Reply

    Oh Lord, this all sounds EXACTLY like what I dealt with for 2 or 3 years. It was utterly EXHAUSTING!!! And I have the distinct feeling that he is still stalking me online after two years of No Contact.

    https://floridianmermaid.wordpress.com/2016/07/07/the-face-of-narcissistic-personality-disorder-the-creepy-facebook-stalker/

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