Did a Narcissist Puppeteer Create YOUR Reality?

narcissist-puppetThe narcissist is a Master Puppeteer who has the amazing ability to turn unwitting humans into his own personal puppets. If you happen to be his partner (a.k.a. The Person Who Loves Him), the narcissist will basically create and shape your reality to suit his purpose and you’ll become a puppet before you even know it. You’ll become fanatical about performing the puppet dance for slivers of peace but you’ll never get any. It’s all about control and no one knows control better than the narcissist himself.

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Even during the initial love-bombing stage, the narcissist covertly trains the target. By behaving in certain ways, he will train you to do things his way and to feel the things he wants you to feel so that he can get away with whatever he wants. He will do this through the use of narcissistic tools such as silent treatments and other passive-aggressive punishments, great sex or the withholding of sex, chaos campaigns, and secrets, secrets, secrets. Puppet-making is a process that takes much expertise to end up with a worthy puppet. For the victim, insanity is all but ensured.

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To create a puppet from an unsuspecting target or partner, a narcissist must successfully manage down the relationship expectations of this person so that, as time passes, the partner expects less and less and the N gets away with more. Now, the narcissist isn’t naive (or stupid) enough to think that there will never be repercussions from his puppet-in-training (PIT). Creating puppets – or just one very “special” puppet – tests the patience of even the staunchest, most polished narcissist because it’s often met with resistance by feisty targets (like ourselves). In as much as we eventually do became puppets,  we DID buck the system when we felt controlled. When this happened, the N probably carefully chose a reaction that kept us on the trajectory while tricking us into thinking we’d “won”.

For instance, N’s have been known to intentionally behave so suspiciously about something that it causes a fight with his PIT. He’ll even do this to the point of getting kicked out or dumped even….and then he’ll wait. Soon, he might call or text in an “attempt” to make up, all the while knowing that the PIT, who is feeling empowered, won’t have any part of it. The narcissist smugly accepts his punishment and basically goes suddenly silent. This is on page sixty-two of the Puppet-In-Training Manual.

During the silence, the narcissist may do nothing more than hunker down with a stopwatch, counting the minutes, hours, and maybe days until you fall into step. (Is this possible, you ask? Actually no, not really). What he’ll likely do is take advantage of the free time to hook-up with the ex before you, the girl from high school on FB, or a couple from the swinger site he frequents. Fully aware that the rewards of his patience would be plenty, he will simply hang in there.

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For this particular point in the puppet making process, the narcissist will use passive-aggressive tactics that suit his purpose such as disappearing or giving the silent treatment and/or cold shoulder. As you’ll notice, all three of these punishments involve no accountability on his part because, for all intents and purposes, he simply stops speaking. The funny part is that while the PIT thinks she’s doing the punishing, it is actually her that is being punished! The intention, of course, is that you – the puppet – will feel crushed and rejected and finally see the error of your ways. Ultimately, he’ll never have to explain anything. You’ll become so anxious at his silence that you will forget all about the suspicious behavior that started it. YOU will say you’re sorry. This process will repeat until you are the perfect puppet. You see, the narcissist always follows a very pathological relationship agenda where your suffering is his reward for a job well done. And it works every time.

narcissist-puppeteerYou see, when the Narcissist Puppeteer has graduated you from PIT to puppet, then the fun really begins. He then doesn’t have to fake a thing. With a trained puppet to “love”, he can break promises, cheat, lie, triangulate, and get away with murder and there will be no consequences. These are all characteristics of narcissism that can never be changed. The cycle of puppet training continues throughout the relationship and repeats effortlessly for the narcissist. As a victim of this type of manipulating abuse, we almost lose our minds.

Don’t be a puppet for a narcissistic lover. Don’t be a puppet for anybody. If you feel controlled or tricked or gaslighted over anything by anybody, recognize that you are viewing a big red flag. To win, always be aware and willing to back out of a bad deal. Puppets don’t win…they just stay puppets.

UPDATED POST FROM 06/16/2013

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Zari Ballard, EzineArticles Basic Author

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47 Comments

  • Frank

    September 1, 2016 at 11:41 pm Reply

    This is very accurate fo my experience. She was a colleague of mine and very flirty I knew she had a boyfriend so i was cautious even though she started it all, but i thought a fourty year old woman should be mature enough to handle her private business.
    In the long run she became more and more nice towards me as she became more confident. However she was extremely paranoid if i did´nt greet her the right way when i met her, she would give me the silent treatment for a week. It happened several times because i wqas talking to someone else or simply because she gave me the creeps plus I did not want to run after a woman with a boyfriend.
    I felt like i was on Cesar Milans show: The Dog Whisperer and i was learning to become “calm and submissive”. The harder I tried, it actually worked but at what expense?
    Till this day I have no idea if she wanted me to be her new boyfriend or i was just a little snack. I have heard there should be an idealization phase with pornosex but I haven´t seen any of that.
    She would not even walk over to me and talk to me. I always had to do that which i found extremely humiliating.
    It all ended when I got fired from the job when I had not seen her in two weeks the fog cleared. The last time i saw her was at the christmas party. she stared at me like a little sad puppy, I sent her an angry face back, then she went over to another colleague and gave her a lecture about how sad and pathetic i was for coming onto a woman with a boyfriend, even though she was the one that started everything.
    I have not really missed her even though it is eight months since I have seen her for the last time but I fear that if i met her she would still hold power over me. I can easily recognize 8 out of 9 points from the DSM IV about NPD personality disorder and i can´t really say anything positive about her except she´s pretty to look at, but I still think about her, way to much for my own opinion even when i have to go through her hometown i get the creeps, it´s a bit like having a stone in your shoe that won´t come out.

    • Zari Ballard

      September 25, 2016 at 4:43 pm Reply

      Frank wrote…I felt like i was on Cesar Milans show: The Dog Whisperer…Till this day I have no idea if she wanted me to be her new boyfriend or i was just a little snack This made me laugh right out loud! You are not alone in feeling this way:)

      Hi Frank,

      You sound as if you have a handle on it and the best thing to do is just keep her out of your sight. Duck around buildings if you have to in her hometown but the longer you can keep this from happening (running into her) the less chance you have of falling back under the evil spell. We all think about these jerks way too much but in the end I believe that our picture of the monster is much clearer because of it.

      All you need to know is that this woman was nothing nice and keep moving forward. You deserve to be happy and there’s no time to waste!

      Zari:)

      • Frank

        October 10, 2016 at 7:29 pm Reply

        Thanks for your comments.
        I am still split about her, a part of me wants her and another part says LEAVE it, but i have long since realized that nothing good will ever come out of her.
        It is a bit like a drug habbit. You want the drug, but you know it is not good for you and eventually it will destroy you.
        I can only imagine a life being calm and submissive waiting for the final discard must be worse than death.
        Somehow i would like to see what life together with her could have been like This was bad enough but i would like to see what i have missed, at least so my doubt could be gone.

  • Stronger

    August 2, 2016 at 2:20 am Reply

    Hi Zari
    I’m 2 months NC and still constantly having those WTF moments when it dawns on me how much I was manipulated.. I discovered some really disturbing and upsetting things about the N at the end of our relationship but sometimes like today it’s a small lie that really takes my breath away.

    Before we were in a relationship and he was my boss, I was going through a rough patch and he handed me an envelope with a poem he had written about his daughter when his marriage broke up. I’d kept it and remembered about it when the CD was really bad. It wasn’t a brilliantly written poem, but it was full of emotion and really touched me. Surely a N couldn’t have written it?

    So I went looking for it and put a couple of lines into Google, all the while thinking it must be his poem, only to find it on several sites attributed to an American lady. He’d just taken out the americanisms!

    Strangely, this hurt me as much as finding out about the awful things he’d got up to. I was being manipulated long, long before I realised and he wasn’t capable of the feelings I’d always assumed he had. So I’ve written my own poem in response to express the excruciating pain of the CD. I’ll never send it to him, so I’ll post it here if I may.

    I love you
    I hate you
    My head is full of you
    Why did I let you push my boundaries
    To the limit?

    I love you
    I hate you
    My head is full of you
    Why, even though I know your mind game,
    You still win it?

    I love you
    I hate you
    My head is full of you
    Why won’t you leave my head alone
    For just one minute?

    I love you
    I hate you
    My head is full of you

  • smiler

    May 23, 2016 at 10:01 am Reply

    Thanks Zara. I was in an emotionally abusive relationship when I met him. My knight in shining armour (felt so right, realised this was due to childhood wounds I never even knew I had although I always knew something was missing in my life). My questions finally answered: So a few times I ended it but on the final one I was not so sure if this was him in control of a game as I was broken.So it was the puppeteer after all. He raped me, he had control of me, he made me ill. He made me do things I would never do by manipulation and emotional control. This narc made out he was single until: I found out he had a partner and a 3 month old baby, he told me that she did not want their child on fb so she came off it (as he said she did not want the baby on it) but he then said shortly later that they had both decided (take it he decided) to do it, he was trying it on with someone when his wife pregnant, he was joining groups and trying it on verbally and through social media with girls, it makes me laugh now as I said was he thrown out of his other group for chasing women and he said no they were chasing him and he could take no more yeah yeah!! Intuition is great. I should have listened. He knows he is a narc as he had him dressed as dracula on his fb account with blood out his mouth (vampire) no sign of girlfriend or baby. Also he has a shark tattoo on his left upper arm. He (44 yrs old) hates the fact he is not tall and has a squint nose looking for narc supply he uses it. He has a squint lip and also I know he has a twin sister. I called him a leach and he said many times I was clever. Thought this may have been my education but actually it was because I was telling him off and questioning him. He wanted unprotected sex. He even lied about speaking to a nhs councellor I recommended as she is not available for him in his area. He has another child and ex partner who he used to get sympathy out of me. It was lies that he had won custody and gave the child to the mother). I found out where he lived, how much he bought his house for and he was surprised. I told him his partners name and child’s name. I think he was surprised. I went round his home area at the end telling him I wanted to see his decking, he said to stop it as this was scary stuff and he did not want me near his house. I told him to get outside because I was there. He came out in a rage but he never saw me (saw him in rage twice). So I left it at that then a month later I see him flaunt another girl by him, he tried to make conversation. No way so I sent him a pic saying narc and all the things they do. He was not in touch again until recently he messaged me on a number I did not recognise so I said wrong number and blocked him. I took him off my fb account pretty early in the so called relationship much to his disgust. I then saw him again and he tried to speak, no thanks. I did not look at him at all. I had no clue what was going on. I knew it was not right and my intuition was screaming beware but did I listen, in the end yes. That is when the fog began to lift, my life came back so much better and I continue to recover. I cannot believe how I was sucked into this Web. I was clever right enough I got rid off him. No contact is a must. No friend card if he offers. You are in charge of you no one else. I have learnt from this (was planning my suicide) that I will never put up with people/things like this again. I come first and I am in control of me. Yes it is horrible to think he continues to do this with others (have proof) also that he is still with his partner (I just pray to God she is safe and the child). He told me he was married. Indeed he was and I know her name and more (he does not how that). So he did tell one bit of truth. I did get 1 thank you from him: for not going to pick his partner and child up to take them to where he was meant to meet me. These are personality disordered people that won’t change because they don’t want to. We cannot fix them. Don’t be anywhere near them as they are so very toxic. Get to councelling, domestic violence groups and a trusted friend is great too. So we can all get caught out but we can learn from this and now this is ALL my life. Healing to you all. X
    Ps I don’t recommend you approach ur narc like I did in the end. You have to be safe. I was at all times.

  • Michelle

    April 5, 2016 at 8:59 am Reply

    Hi Zari

    Thanks for the response, it’s just what I needed!!
    Firstly, I purchased your book and I must say that’s what’s got me through these last few weeks. I’m still NC and he hasn’t contacted me either,. Tbh I’ve got no inkling whatsoever to contact him – what for him to reject me all over again – no thanks!!

    What I didn’t say last time was the fact that I called him out on being a NARC last time I got back with him, and you know what he did?, he did an online test and it said that he was borderline, although I don’t believe he answered the questions as honestly as he could have.

    Anyways it’s almost 5 weeks NC and I must say I’m feeling better everyday. The fact that I’m no longer on social media or look at his has helped me enormously. So if anyone is thinking of having a peek, my advice is DON’T DO IT. It will only set you back

    I’m just dreading the day when he does get in touch, but I’ve been reading your hoovering techniques, and although he has used a lot of them in the past, I’m ready and waiting for anymore inventive one’s he comes up with. Like deaths in the family etc. I wouldn’t even respond to those after how he has treated me.

    I try to keep as busy as I can by going out with friends, redecorating the house and just having some me time. Having someone there who poisons your mind and makes you feel like absolute shit all the time is not conjusive to a loving relationship. I realise I was in love with an illusion, it wasn’t real, that’s what’s getting me through.

    Once again Zari thanks for the advice and I’ll keep you posted on how I get on.

    One thing I do know is I will NEVER be in this situation EVER in my life…Thank you xx

    • Zari Ballard

      April 8, 2016 at 5:25 pm Reply

      Hi Michelle,

      I know it’s in my book but when I started calling my ex a narcissist AND a sociopath, I later would discover that while he’d been playing on my second computer here (where I had, of course, installed software that recorded his every keystroke! LOL) he’d been googling all about narcissism, fascinated with his own disorder! Towards the end, I saw that he was actually googling things like “narcissist cheats on girlfriend”, “when girlfriend finds out narcissist boyfriend cheats”…can you believe it!!! They’re all the same!

      As for staying busy, you are doing the right thing! As I always say, you must pass the time because time must pass.

      Thanks for sharing, sister:)

      Zari xo

  • Michelle

    March 15, 2016 at 1:49 pm Reply

    Hi Zari – this is my story. I started talking to my N online, I fell in love with his sense of humour and his personality. We met and it turns out he was married, by then I was already hooked. There were many red flags that I foolishly chose to ignore, like the fact that he felt that he’d married ‘beneath him’ (his very words). He called his wife ‘thick’ ‘stupid’ ‘fat’ to name but a few. said she never cleaned the house and they hadn’t slept together in 6 years (which turned out to be true).

    In a nutshell he swept me off my feet very quickly, apologised for things he didn’t need to. He also came across as being very naive and too honest for his own good, telling me things that made him look stupid to be frank but that endeared me to him more. He’s a lorry driver and he’d ask a question in his mind about whether he was going to marry me and then count the sheep in the passing fields for the answer – as you can imagine the sheep always answered a resounding YES. I thought it was strange but twee at the same time.

    He wanted to leave his wife almost immediately but I was cautious, mainly because my previous relationship was also a N (although I didn’t know it at the time. We had a few arguments which always resulted in me begging for the relationship to continue. In the meantime his wife found out about us and he left her. it caused a lot of trouble within his family and most of them inevitably took her side. She called me to say that he was a compulsive liar. When I asked him about this he said ‘of course I’m a liar I’ve been conducting an affair for the last 12 months, which again I foolishly accepted. I did catch him out on a couple of silly lies early on and he’d twist and turn and rattle on for hours that I just couldn’t be bothered anymore.

    He left me quite a few times and always said it was the guilt about leaving his wife and teenage daughter that caused it – or me. He even went to see a councellor to help him cope with the guilt he was feeling.

    Whenever we argued he would go on and on for hours about how my anger (at what he’d said or done) that was the problem, he convinced me so much so that I paid £350 for anger management classes!!!

    He even went back to his wife in the early days and told her that I was a drug dealer, a tramp and a horrible person (he told me this) AND I STILL WENT BACK. He’d drill into my head what a lovely decent man he was and that everyone likes him, which did seem to be true as he was always the life and soul of the party whenever we went out.

    He’s also a BIG drinker, he says he works hard and plays hard, which is true as he works 70 -80 hours a week, but he still expected me to pay my way whenever we did anything together. Every single argument we had would result in me either apologising or feeling totally confused. Let me just say here that I’m no shrinking violet and that I always gave as good as I got (which was ALWAYS the crux of the problem).

    Nearly every time we went out together would end up in a fight which of course was always my fault. He once told me that he’d got chatting to some women in a pub when he was out with friends and told them how horrible I was to him and that they’d told him to leave me , and I STILL WENT back.

    I’d tell him about what a bad day at work I’d had and mention my horrible boss or a coworker and he’d be understanding at the time, but then in an argument would say that I don’t even get along with the people at work. Said I was a horrible grandmother because My grandkids aren’t with me every weekend, the list goes on and on.

    Anyway the last few times he’s left I decided not to beg him back and hey presto he was always back although each time has got longer, at the beginning it was a day, then a few days, then a week, then 2 then 3, anyway last august he ended up renting a flat, but begged to move back in with me. He’d signed up for 6 months and I told him that we’d see how he went after the 6 months, suffice to say, the last fallout resulted in him buying a house, but still insisting that his ultimate goal is to rent the house out and move in with me.

    He’s never been very sex orientated, if I’m honest he was a bit boring in the bedroom and said that I was sex mad – which I certainly am not. What I couldn’t understand is that he watches loads of porn on the internet WTF is that all about??

    We had a big fall out in new year which resulted in me ending it, In was so fucking determined too. I lasted nearly 7 weeks in which he attempted the hoovering, texting to ask if I’d been trying to text him, that he missed me you get the drift.I ignored it, and then a few days later something happened and I was stuck and I called him, he seemed so genuinely pleased that I’d got in touch but I told him that I only got in touch as I was desperate for his help at the time. I ended up getting drunk and sleeping with him.

    The ironic thing is Zari that I’d already been on your website and it had honestly gave me the motivation and determination to stay away for good and I was back to square one.

    It lasted the whole of 2 weeks, we went out last week, we went back to his flat, we were happy and laughing, I went to the bathroom, and somehow the buckle on my bag had caught his shower screen and it shattered into a million pieces, In was stood there in shock not knowing what had happened, he gave me a horrible look like I’d done it on purpose and we started arguing and this resulted in him dragging me out of his flat in the middle of the night blind drunk, I’m ashamed to say that i drove the 4 miles home, although it had sobered me up, I was most certainly over the drink drive limit. The next day I called him for the rest of my stuff and he answered by saying he wants nothing more to do with me and we’re finished. He even acknowledged that he knew that the shower screen had been an accident, when I responded with the fact that id been dragged out of his flat by my hair in the middle of the night he ignored me. Not that I was bothered, he left all my clothes in a bin liner on the seat of his car saying with a note saying he can’t cope with ME and that we’re finished.

    I changed my mobile number and my landline number at great expense and am determined that I will NEVER go back. I realised that I’d left my hearing aid at his flat, but knowing that he was away working and that he knows how much I need it that he would post it to me, after a week (last Friday) I emailed him and asked him to post it, he never replied, so I got my son in law to call him, well he was all sweetness and light to him saying that he would drop it off on Saturday or Sunday, he never came on Saturday and I knew that he goes to the pub on Sunday all day, so my daughter text to see whennhe was dropping it off. He replied that he’d dropped it off and that the shower screennhad cost £110!!

    I can’t believe after what he did to me that he was only bothered about the fucking shower screen. I has a little peek on his twitter account which he is addicted to and what I saw made me feel sick, he was listing pics of young girls (no older than 18) his daughter is 23, he’s 50 years old. Acting like he doesn’t give a shit, I told him the last time we fell out that I didn’t look on his twitter account, I’m ashamed to say In was obsessively on it, as he says he was with mine. I have now deleted my twitter account and will not look again. I KNOW for a fact he will be in touch although the last time was 6’weeks this time it will be inevitably longer. I HATE the man with a passion, I’m wishing alsorts of horrible things to happen to him, I’m thinking maybe I’m as bad him. I wish I could just forget about everything but it’s hard. Its been 11 days now and some days I feel so optimistic and others I just cry, I can’t believe what a monster he turned our to be.

    • Zari Ballard

      April 4, 2016 at 4:54 pm Reply

      Hi Michelle,

      I’m sorry it has taken me so long to respond…I am running way behind with everyone. If nothing has changed since you wrote your post, you are doing all the right things. Blocking him so that he can’t contact you and staying far away from social media (even to the point that you have to delete accounts) is all correct! It is all we can do on our end to keep the separation in place.

      Understand that the internet is filled to the brim with narcissists… and Tinder and all the dating and social sites are the biggest playground for these creatures. On the Net, these guys (and girls) can be whatever and whoever they want to be and they get very good at it. If you can, please read my book When Love Is a Lie because it will confirm and validate your entire experience.

      You must realize that you have done nothing wrong…he is the ultimate predator and he will never ever change. Continue to keep your distance and do not ever respond to any attempts – even via proxy – of communication from his end. Your feelings will go up and down…this too is perfectly normal. The trick is to work through it because the day will come when you will feel better and stay that way, I guarantee it. I just wrote an article about that very thing right here.

      Stay strong and write anytime, sister!

      Zari xo

  • Elena

    March 6, 2016 at 9:27 pm Reply

    Oh man–my life story for 8 years. It’s like the puppet master has a training manual from Hell itself. It’s really a game changer though when you–the little dancing puppet– starts to do their own jig–like buy a house, move away, set boundaries, enforce boundaries, go no contact etc. etc. When I did these things–the perspective completely changed and I had a vantage point in which to watch the evil ways the puppet master worked. Cut those strings and run! It is the only way back to a sane reality and any hope for a fulfilling life. Pawn the shit they gave you (or maybe keep something as a reminder of the hell you lived) and choreograph your own dance. It has taken me a year and half to do this (more like 2 months for each year I was with him) but I like my new dance. No one tweaks those strings but me and I feel like at age 50, I am finally starting to live. Wouldn’t trade it now for anything in the world and Zari this blog has been a huge part of cutting those strings and not returning to the entanglement. Never could thank you enough for all the hours you have spent pouring your heart into a site to help those you don’t know.

    • Zari Ballard

      March 14, 2016 at 5:03 pm Reply

      Hi Elena,

      Thanks for writing and it’s my privilege to help. Everyone deserves happiness in this world and there’s no time to waste! I love how you say that you’re starting over at 50 and wouldn’t trade it for anything. That’s very inspirational for me. I’m turning 54 in two weeks and things, just in the past month, have really opened up. It really worried me for awhile…I started to think “What’s left?”. Then, it’s as if there was this turning up of something…I feel very happy. Thank you for saying that.

      Choreograph your own dance is right! Life is too short, people. It’s up to us to make things happen.

      Write anytime, sister!

      Zari xo

      • Tyker

        April 30, 2016 at 10:20 am Reply

        how can i speak to you

        • Zari Ballard

          May 1, 2016 at 5:45 pm Reply

          Hi Athea,

          I responded to your request on the 29th explaining how to go about booking a consultation. I’d be happy to speak with you, girl. Check your SPAM folder…maybe the email went there. Here’s the link to the consultation page though…..and I’ll contact you again right I after I get notified. Let me know if there are problems.

          Zari xo

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