Narcissistic individuals exhibit harmful and manipulative behavior patterns that can damage others and cause many emotional issues and distress.
Interacting with a narcissist is an emotionally exhausting endeavor. Their persistent tendencies to inflict harm and manipulate others can slowly break people down. From their insatiable need for control to their impaired ability to empathize, narcissists use many tools to inflict pain on those around them.
By understanding the psychological motives underneath the behavior, individuals can gain valuable insights into why narcissists do what they do. Join us as we delve into the underlying reasons behind the actions of narcissists and gain a deeper understanding of why they destroy the people in their lives. Together, we can gain knowledge and develop strategies to navigate the complexities of dealing with a narcissist.
Why do narcissists always want to destroy you?
It’s because they have an impaired or undeveloped self. Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder possess a distinct psychological makeup that sets them apart. Their harmful thoughts and behaviors can be attributed to various factors such as genetics or upbringing.
Notably, the extent of narcissism can vary among individuals, with some displaying more pronounced and intense symptoms than others exhibiting milder traits. This makes every situation unique; there is no one size fits all for narcissistic behavior.
Here are some of the psychological reasons that a narcissist always wants to destroy you:
Narcissists may seem strong, but they are very fragile inside. They attempt to hide their vulnerability and control everything around them, including people and their emotions. They can’t handle any signs of weakness and often use harmful defense mechanisms. When feeling vulnerable, they may act maliciously without considering the consequences.
Individuals with NPD are filled with a lot of shame. This shame causes feelings of inadequacy which has to be hidden from themselves and everyone else, no matter the cost. As a result, they struggle to accept blame, take responsibility, or handle criticism, even when it is meant to be helpful. Instead, they demand unconditional treatment and validation from others.
They often use an attitude of superiority to hide their feelings of inferiority. They often display arrogance, criticism, and disdain towards others, including specific groups they deem inferior, such as immigrants, racial minorities, individuals from lower economic classes, or those with less education. Similar to bullies, they belittle others to elevate themselves.
Narcissists have an inherent need to convince themselves and others of what amazing human beings they are. They often brag about what they perceive as exceptional qualities and are attracted to people they see as having high status. Being around these people reinforces their grandiose self-image.
They have difficulty connecting with themselves and feel empty inside on some level. Despite their self-praise, they fear being unlikable. They constantly seek attention and admiration to boost their fragile self-esteem.
- Lack of Boundaries
Narcissists often struggle to abide by the boundaries set by others. They see others as extensions of themselves, ignoring their emotions and needs. They prioritize their desires, disregarding the harm they cause to others, even being cruel without remorse.
Aggression is often used to protect themselves and keep others away. They see the world as hostile and respond with aggressive actions and words. This aggression can lead to narcissistic abuse. Vindictive narcissists seek revenge to regain power and restore their pride when humiliated. They want to defeat those they see as their enemies.
They can’t handle others’ success and feel inferior when someone has what they want. They see life as a competition, so others’ achievements make them feel like failures. Competitive narcissists may retaliate against those who threaten their superiority.
Seeking constant validation and lacking emotional connection, they exploit and drain those around them. Understanding these motivations and tools is essential for protecting oneself from narcissistic individuals. To better understand what causes these traits in a narcissist, please visit our previous article titled Why Does Narcissism Exist At All? Is It Real?
What tools do narcissists use to destroy you?
They employ manipulative schemes to make their intended victims fall apart and bend to their misguided will. The repertoire of an individual with narcissistic personality disorder contains a wide variety of selfish tools which they use to destroy their victims emotionally.
By being aware of the schemes of narcissists and understanding how they strive to undermine your self-esteem and self-worth, you can learn to protect yourself from their destructive influence and navigate the terrain of narcissistic relationships with greater clarity.
Let’s dig deeper into the narcissists’ toolbox and how they use these tools to destroy their unfortunate targets emotionally:
Narcissistic individuals often believe they are never wrong. When confronted with their mistakes, they become defensive and may try to make you doubt your memory and reality. This manipulative technique is gaslighting. Gaslighting will slowly wear somebody down, manipulating their perception of reality. Combined with other forms of narcissistic abuse, it can lead to a condition known as narcissistic abuse syndrome.
At the beginning of a relationship, the narcissist may shower you with gifts, give tons of affection, and give the idea that they love you. This is called love bombing. While commonly associated with romantic relationships, love bombing can occur in other social contexts such as friendships, the workplace, and families.
Narcissistic triangulation is the act of involving a third party in a dispute for personal gain. This manipulative tactic is not limited to specific relationships but can occur in friendships, romantic partnerships, and even with narcissistic parents. It is also prevalent in workplace settings, where supervisors or colleagues use a third party to influence their desired outcome or divert attention from their actions.
Projection is a defence mechanism commonly observed in narcissistic individuals, where they attribute their negative behaviors or emotions to others when they are unable to control them. In such cases, the person projecting their narcissism often accuses their target of engaging in the same actions they are guilty of.
Playing the Victim
Narcissists often play the victim to gain sympathy and attention after engaging in harmful or vengeful behaviors. They use persuasion, projection, and cognitive distortions to confuse outsiders about the actual reality.
A smear campaign is a tactic frequently employed by narcissists to manipulate and control others. It entails spreading false or exaggerated information about someone to tarnish their reputation, credibility, or relationships. The narcissist may resort to gossip or painting the target in a negative light to win support or sympathy from others.
When individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) feel treated unjustly, they often respond with vengeful behavior. In a workplace, if a narcissistic individual is passed over for a promotion, they might retaliate against the colleague who got the promotion.
Guilt-tripping is a manipulation tactic used to convince others to take action based on feelings of pity or remorse. It can be challenging to recognize this behavior, especially if you are unfamiliar with the person or their manipulative tactics.
Narcissists engage in a behavior known as hoovering when they attempt to “win back” someone they have disagreed with or broken up with. Similar to the initial love bombing phase, hoovering involves using tactics such as showering the person with gifts and compliments. The narcissist does this because they fear losing control over the other person or desire to regain their attention.
Suppose you are in a relationship with an individual with narcissistic personality disorder. In that case, it is imperative to understand all the techniques they may use to try and destroy you. By doing so, we can regain control, maintain our self-esteem and self-worth, and break free from the destructive influence of narcissistic manipulation.
How do you stop a narcissist from destroying you?
You should walk away if possible. The best way to protect yourself from a narcissist is to not be around them. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible. If the narcissist in your life is a coworker or family member, you may need to use other coping methods to deal with them.
Safety and well-being should be your top priority when dealing with a narcissist. You should educate yourself about narcissistic personality disorder to better understand their behaviors. By gaining a better understanding, you can develop a proper strategy for dealing with the narcissistic person in your life.
Once you understand narcissistic personality disorder, you should focus on building healthy self-esteem and practicing self-care. This will make you more resilient and able to handle the emotional roller coaster of a relationship with a narcissist.
You need to establish clear boundaries and enforce them consistently. Communicate these boundaries clearly and concisely, letting the individual with NPD understand which behaviors will not be tolerated and what consequences will result from these boundaries not being respected.
Engaging in calming practices and preparing for challenging conversations can help you remain composed. They love getting a reaction from you; the best way to combat this is not to react. Altering yourself at will is crucial in dealing with a narcissist.
Remember, you don’t have to go through this alone. Focus on building healthy relationships and expanding your support network. This will provide you with people to talk to when things get bad. They have probably been through something similar and can offer guidance and support.
Narcissists are infamous for making false promises. If the narcissist promises something to you, such as saying they will change, you need to be clear about your expectations and enforce them. If you let the narcissist get away with not keeping promises, they will continue to do so.
If things seem unmanageable on your own, you should seek professional help to maintain the relationship with the narcissist in your life. The mental health professional will be able to provide insights into the narcissist’s behaviour and advise you on their order of action to take care of your emotional well-being.
Dealing with a narcissist can be emotionally draining and challenging. Their harmful and manipulative behavior patterns can cause significant distress and damage to those around them. Understanding the underlying psychological motives behind their actions is crucial in gaining insights into why they seek to destroy others.
Narcissists exhibit various destructive behaviors due to vulnerability, shame, arrogance, grandiosity, entitlement, lack of empathy, emptiness, lack of boundaries, aggression, and envy. These motivations drive them to hurt and control others, often using manipulative tactics to achieve their goals.
Awareness of narcissists’ tools to destroy their victims is essential for self-protection. Gaslighting, love bombing, triangulation, projection, playing the victim, smear campaigns, revenge-seeking, guilt-tripping, and hoovering are among the tactics narcissists use to emotionally manipulate and undermine their targets.
While the best course of action is often to distance oneself from a narcissist, it is not always possible, particularly in cases where the narcissist is a coworker or family member. In such situations, establishing clear boundaries, educating oneself about narcissistic personality disorder, building self-esteem, practicing self-care, seeking support from trusted individuals, remaining calm, and enlisting professional help can help a narcissist.
Remember that your safety and well-being should always be the priority. You have the right to protect yourself and establish a healthy and balanced life, free from the negative influence of a narcissist. By prioritizing your happiness and seeking support, you can navigate the complexities of dealing with a narcissist while protecting your emotional well-being.
A resilient writer who has emerged from addiction, depression, and anxiety with a renewed sense of purpose and a powerful voice. His journey has shaped his writing, allowing him to explore the complexities of the human condition intimately. Also blogging about mental health at www.medium.com/@Patrickmeowler