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13 Weird Things Narcissists Do To Manipulate Their Victims

13 Weird Things Narcissists Do To Manipulate Their Victims

It doesn’t matter if you’ve had a toxic relationship with a narcissistic ex or you’re still involved with someone suffering from NPD – either way, you know very well that there are some behavior patterns every narcissist follows.

Yes, all of them are individual people, but strangely, there are some weird things narcissists do that are common to all of them.

I’m not talking here about their individual personality traits that have nothing to do with their disorder. I’m referring to some strange things that characterize them.

Each one of these habits or actions can serve as a bulletproof sign that you’re dealing with a narcissist and can help you save yourself in time.

This ultimate list of weird things narcissists do digs a little deeper beneath the layers of their personality and goes beyond some things you might expect to experience from someone like this.

Let’s get into it.

Artificial intimacy

When you meet a malignant narcissist for the first time, his goal is to get to know you better. He is not doing it because he’s genuinely interested in your life.

It’s all a part of his narcissistic abuse tactics that start right away.

In fact, this person wants you to expose your vulnerabilities. He wants to know all of your weaknesses so he could use them against you later on.

However, it would be too weird if he asked you deeply personal questions right away – you’d see through his intentions and his plan would fail at the first step.

That’s why he uses reverse psychology techniques on you. Instead of openly snooping around your life, he is the one who starts to confide in you first.

Once he does this, you begin to trust him more. You feel like he’s someone who will keep your secrets and won’t take advantage of you letting him in.

In this way, someone with a narcissistic personality disorder creates artificial intimacy.

The same goes for love bombing. He pretends to care about you more than anyone else before him, so you have no other choice but to give all of these emotions in return.

Consequently, most narcissistic toxic relationships move at an enormous speed.

Before you know it, you’re already seriously involved with this person and basically, you don’t even know when and how it happened.

You feel incredibly close to your narcissist and get the impression that you’ve found your long lost soulmate.

You feel an emotional connection you’ve never felt before and that you could trust this man with your life, even though things are nowhere near that.

Made up identity

Another one of the weird things narcissists do is pretend to be someone they’re not. You see, deep down, every narcissistic person is perfectly aware of their true selves.

In fact, they struggle with insecurities and rarely accept their real personalities. Instead, they do everything in their power to hide their imperfections.

That’s why a narcissist will make up a new identity in order to impress his victim.

He knows that you would never fall for the man he really is, so he needs to impersonate someone else just to get under your skin.

Be careful because these people are usually compulsive liars, among all other mental disorders they suffer from.

Therefore, their victims usually take a lot of time before getting to the bottom of their deceptions.

No, a person suffering from NPD won’t give you a fake name. They’ll probably tell you the truth regarding some basic data about themselves.

However, they’ll completely disregard certain information they don’t find appealing. They’ll hide their failures and, most importantly, they’ll do everything in their power for you not to see their dark side.

When you first meet someone like this, you think that he is too good to be true. You can’t believe that you’re so lucky to cross paths with such a perfect person.

Nevertheless, a narcissist’s personality is actually a blend of different people.

It’s not rare for them to take over the things they like about their friend’s and family’s past and present them as their own personal history.

The worst part about all this is that once you do find out that you’ve been lied to, it’s usually too late.

You’re already trapped in this narcissistic relationship and you love this person so much that you forgive them for their misdeeds from the beginning.

Related: 52 Manipulative Things Narcissists Say In An Argument

Smear campaign

A large amount of narcissistic supply lies in the narcissist feeling better than his victim – doing everything in his power to make you feel like he is above you in all ways possible.

Basically, what these people look for is approval. They need you to idealize them and in order to achieve that, they have to put you down first since that is the only way for you to be beneath them.

That is exactly why they often do something called a smear campaign, spreading negative propaganda about you just to ruin your reputation – yet another one of the things weird things narcissists do.

A narcissist will talk trash about you to your friends, family, and coworkers. He will do his best for all of them to lose all respect for you.

During this time, he will use lies and manipulations. He will wisely spread rumors about you, all with the final goal of making others think bad of you.

This way, a narcissistic person destroys your credibility. People stop considering you reliable and your word loses all of its weight.

Consequently, even when you try looking for help from others – once you try escaping this mental prison he’s put you in – you keep finding shut doors.

Even when you try telling people that he’s an abuser, nobody actually believes you since their opinion of you is already tainted.

At the end of the day, you have no one else but your narcissist to turn to. And that is exactly what he wanted to achieve all along.

Besides, this is his way to prevent you from making any progress in life. A way of his control over you.

After all, how can you hope of getting the promotion you need so you could gain your financial independence if your partner’s made sure your boss and coworkers consider you irresponsible or even a thief?

How do you expect your friends to give you a shelter once you finally decide to leave him and go no contact if your partner’s made sure they consider you a liar or abuser?

How can you start the process of narcissistic abuse recovery if you have no one to help you out?

Holding grudges

Let’s face it, all of us are resentful from time to time. Some things seem completely irrelevant, but you can’t force yourself to forget them or to forgive the ones who did you harm.

That said, narcissists are champions of holding grudges. They have a memory of an elephant and never forget something that’s hurt them, even if they act like they accept someone’s apology.

In fact, the problem is that a narcissist’s ego rarely allows him to show anyone that he is heartbroken or emotionally damaged. He will often act like someone hurting him isn’t such a big deal.

However, he will only behave in this manner in the beginning. On the other hand, as soon as the first disagreement arises, he makes sure to mention something from the past and to reopen old wounds.

The same goes for romantic relationships. A narcissistic person is ready to bully his partner for years about something they did ages ago.

He will rub some things you were sure were bygones directly on your nose every time you two get in a fight.

This man has no capacity for forgiveness. He doesn’t accept apologies and always remembers every time his feelings got hurt.

Double standards

On the other hand, a narcissist will rarely remember the things he’s done to his victims, which is also a red flag that you’re dealing with a sociopath.

These kinds of people usually have double standards. They have one set of rules for their victims, another one for the rest of the world, and the third one for themselves.

A narcissist sees himself as privileged. He is the best of the best and a God-given creature.

Therefore, he is allowed to behave however he wants. He is entitled to do certain things nobody else does.

This person sees himself as royalty while everyone else is just his servant. The world revolves around him.

These people lack empathy and think they have the full right to do whatever they want, without taking other people’s opinions or feelings into consideration.

Not only that, due to his lack of empathy, a narcissist always manages to justify his bad actions.

He finds excuses for his toxic behavior and doesn’t have trouble forgiving himself, since he doesn’t have the ability to observe things from your point of view.

In fact, he expects the rest of the world to be tolerant of his actions as well. According to him, whatever he does, he always deserves a pardon.

On the other hand, he is extremely judgmental when it comes to others – especially when it comes to his romantic partner.

Everything you do is observed through the microscope. Your every mistake is dissected, discussed, and analyzed to the core.

This man holds you accountable for all the wrong choices you’ve ever made. On the other hand, if he happens to do exactly the same thing, he doesn’t go so hard on himself.

In fact, he expects understanding and gentle treatment, despite him never giving the same in return.

Being a chameleon

Another one of the weird things narcissists are capable of is to transform into whoever they want. And no, I’m not talking about this in a good way.

Of course, one’s adaption skills are quite significant – they give you the possibility of hanging out with different people and chase away one’s fears.

What I’m trying to tell you is that most of the people with NDP are actually skilled actors, which can be extremely dangerous for your relationship.

After all, whenever you hear about cases of domestic violence, you think of yourself – that the abuser seemed like a nice guy and you can’t believe the accusations against him.

You wonder how this sociopath in disguise tricked the entire world into considering him a high-value man, even though he can’t be further from one.

Well, narcissists are usually chameleons. They don’t go around acting like abusers since they’re extremely careful about their reputation and the public image they present.

Instead, at first sight, these people are usually perceived as the kindest and the most polite human beings you’ve ever met.

They’re masters at putting on a mask of a decent man and pretending to be someone they’re not.

However, when they come home, they usually turn into real-life beasts. A narcissist knows that his victim is head over heels for him so he doesn’t have any more need for false pretenses.

Now, he is safe to show you his worst sides. Nobody could ever connect these two personalities with each other – and there is exactly where lies their magical ability.

You know how there are some parts of you you simply can’t hide, even if you tried? Some aspects of your personality that always swim to the surface and you can’t control it?

Well, that is where you’re similar to the rest of the world.

On the other hand, while a narcissist is trying to win you over, he has such a strong sense of self-control that he can hide whatever he wants about himself and reinvent the person he is.

Annulling the other person

As it was already stated, another one of the symptoms of their disorder is that narcissists think of themselves as most important in the world.

They expect others to see and know how special and one-of-a-kind they are.

According to them, the entire universe revolves around them. They’re always the number one priority and everyone else comes behind them.

While this may seem nothing but a case of high self-esteem, it is actually a part of their mental disorder and a trait that causes trouble in all of their relationships, including romantic ones.

What I’m trying to tell you is that when you’re in an abusive relationship with someone suffering from NPD, you cease to exist as your true self.

According to his views, you’re no longer an individual with your own personality, best friends, family, interests, dreams, fears, hopes…

Instead, your only role in this world is that of his romantic partner. You were sent to this world to please him and as a tool for him to get what he wants.

The point is that this type of person will never acknowledge you or your emotions, which is also a form of narcissistic abuse.

Whenever something is going on with you, he has something more important everyone needs to pay attention to.

For example, when you talk to this person about your problems or tell him you’re feeling bad, he’ll never put any energy in trying to help you.

Instead, he’ll immediately turn the tables and make it all about him. He’ll start talking about a similar situation he was once in, or connect what you’re going through with something he experienced.

Either way, the point is that he annuls his victim. He tries to erase their individuality and his final goal is their spiritual murder.

Stalking and spying

The creepiest thing about being involved with a narcissist is his possessive and jealous nature.

And we’re not talking of the normal jealous because someone cares for you a lot and obviously can’t stay immune to picturing you next to someone else.

With a narcissistic personality, jealousy is part of their disorder and it usually goes beyond your comprehension.

The core of their possessive behavior lies in two main things: a desire to control and trust issues.

First of all, these people have an uncontrollable urge to always be in control regarding all aspects of their and your lives.

They deny your right to privacy and things as boundaries and personal space don’t exist for them.

Secondly, we all think that the rest of the world is just like us. Therefore, a narcissist knowing that he can’t be trusted, expects everyone else, including you to be the same.

That’s why he usually engages in things such as spying and stalking. Yes, you heard it right: This is not just something you only see in the movies.

A detailed narcissist will choose his potential victim long before he actually approaches her for the first time.

He’ll spend some time stalking her and trying to collect as much information about her as possible.

This stalking continues after your break-up as well. He follows your every move, obsesses over your social media posts, and even bothers your closest ones.

When it comes to spying, it usually takes place during your narcissistic relationship and often includes techniques and equipment you don’t even know exist.

Don’t be surprised if you find out that your narcissistic partner has put cameras all around your apartment or found a way to listen in on your phone conversations.

These are the people who will hack your social media profiles, snoop through your phone while you’re sleeping, or even get someone to intentionally flirt with you just to check your fidelity.

The worst part is that you don’t have to give your narcissist a reason to doubt you in order for him to start behaving like this. It’s just a part of who he is and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.

Projective identification

A common narcissistic personality trait is called projecting. In fact, projective identification is their number one defense mechanism.

No, they don’t use this projection as a way to defend themselves from you since you’re not the one attacking them.

Instead, they use it to protect themselves from their own urges and hidden parts of their character.

At some level of their consciousness, narcissists know who they are. They know that they have at least some negative parts of their personality.

However, they do their best to escape those aspects of themselves. In fact, they repress it to the point that they start pretending that they’re not there.

Nevertheless, the problem arises when a narcissistic person starts accusing his victim of having those impulses he tries to hide about himself.

When a narcissist projecting his bad qualities onto someone else and starts to hate them for having these imaginary traits.

Basically, if your narcissist is an abuser, this is something he can’t accept about himself.

Therefore, it is likely that he might accuse you of being abusive, even though he is the only one showing violent tendencies in his behavior.

The same goes for fidelity. If your narcissist is unfaithful, it’s not uncommon for him to accuse you of the same. If he hates himself or you, he’ll constantly accuse you of hating him, and so on.

The blame game

Another one of the weird things narcissists do so well is play the blame game.

A big problem with these people is that they literally have no sense of responsibility, which is also a red flag that you’re dealing with a psychopath.

According to them, they’re never guilty for anything happening to them or around them.

In fact, when they’re in a relationship, the other person is always responsible for everything going downhill, while they’re the ones who should be praised for the relationship’s successes.

Narcissists don’t know how to apologize sincerely.

In fact, even when they at some point act like they’re ready to take responsibility, they turn the tables soon enough and make you look like the bad guy in the story.

Even if a narcissist gets physically violent with you and has no other way of getting back into your life but to own up to his mistakes and promise he’ll never repeat them again, don’t expect to get a real apology.

Instead, he’ll probably try to blame you for provoking him. You were either too loud, you didn’t know when to stop arguing, or you told him something you knew would trigger him.

The same goes for infidelity as well. Even if you catch him red-handed and he has no other choice but to admit his error, he’ll use reverse psychology and make you guilty for his actions.

He might tell you that he had doubts about your fidelity or that you weren’t giving him enough attention. Practically, either way, you made him do it.

A narcissist has this need to always be the victim of every possible situation. He’s not mature enough to stand any kind of judgment or to take responsibility for his actions.

Instead, for him, it’s much easier to shift the blame to others and pretends to be perfect.

However, the problem arises that after a while, his victim starts to believe him.

He brainwashes you into thinking that you’re always the only one guilty, which makes it almost impossible for you to leave the cage he’s put you in.

Emotional blackmail

Narcissists are the biggest blackmailers in this world. No, they’re not the ones who will kidnap your loved one and ask for ransom (although you shouldn’t put it past them.)

Every narcissist uses emotional blackmail as a successful tool against his victim. You already know that they choose who to attack very carefully and scrutinize their victims before approaching them.

Well, it’s quite unlikely that a narcissist will pick a heartless victim with a lack of empathy. They don’t choose selfish people with high self-esteem.

Instead, they’ll always focus on empaths with insecurity problems. Therefore, if a narcissist is involved with you, he is perfectly aware that you’re an emotional person who is mostly led by her feelings.

So, he uses this trait of yours against you. He threatens you, has anger outbursts, and does everything in his power to intimidate you every time he doesn’t get his way.

At the end of the day, you start to feel fear, obligation, and guilt – often referred to as FOG.

No, this man doesn’t care that you’re no longer with him out of your sincere love for him, he uses FOG to manipulate you into staying with him.

Emotional blackmail doesn’t only happen when you try leaving your narcissist.

He also blackmails you when you decide to share your side of the story with someone in an attempt to liberate yourself from his chains.

Their threats differ from one person to another.

While some narcissists tell you that they’ll turn your life into a living hell if you don’t do what they say, some threaten to make a huge scandal or drama and embarrass you in front of everyone.

There are also those with more serious blackmail strategies. The ones who threaten to physically harm you if you leave them or promise to hurt themselves if you walk away.

Naturally, when this group is in question, you can’t help but feel FOG.

You’re afraid that your narcissist will turn his threats into reality, you feel obliged to be with him since you’re the only one who can prevent him from doing something bad, and at the end of the day, the overwhelming guilt prevents you from turning your back on him.

Consciously, you know that he wouldn’t do anything to hurt himself. However, there is always that tiny voice in the back of your head, wondering: “What if he really goes through with it?”

You know you couldn’t live with such a huge responsibility – you’d still consider yourself guilty for his actions, instead of realizing that this is a person who has a personality disorder and needs help.


When you watch fairytales or cheesy soap operas, you see that the bad guy is prepared to do whatever it takes just to make a problem for the main character.

They go behind their backs and resort to the unimaginable.

Of course, you assume that this only happens in the movies. After all, who would go that far and through all of that trouble just to ruin another person’s life?

Well, when you get yourself involved with someone suffering from narcissistic personality disorder, you see that all of these intrigues are in fact quite realistic.

The fact is that narcissists often behave similarly to movie villains. They pretend to love you, but are actually doing everything in their power to sabotage you in all ways possible.

They’ll give their best to destroy all of your other healthy relationships. They will spread gossip about you to your best friends, play double games, and lie in every chance they get.

The same with work.

Your narcissistic partner is capable of hiding important mail from you, literally breaking your computer that you need for your project, or anonymously calling your employer to complain about your work.

Trust me, the evil stepmother from all those fairytales has nothing on a narcissist who is determined to sabotage his victim.

However, he doesn’t do this only when you try to go no contact and leave him.

In fact, a narcissist behaves like this during your relationship since it’s his way of forming stronger emotional codependency.


Gaslighting is one of those weird things narcissists (and other people) do that you’ve probably heard of.

Long story short, gaslighting means playing with your head and mental health, which is something narcissists get a kick out doing and another one of the symptoms of their disorder.

It’s a tactic every narcissistic person uses in attempts to control your world.

You see, for a sociopath like this, it’s not enough to have absolute control over everything going on around you, he wants to be in charge of all events taking place inside of you as well.

When he gaslights you, a narcissist brainwashes you into believing him more than you believe your own eyes, ears, and instincts.

He makes you think that his perception of reality is the only one you should trust and follow.

For example, when you’re being gaslighted, your abuser will often accuse you of imagining things, for overreacting or exaggerating, which of course impacts your mental health.

However, the suffering doesn’t end there. In fact, he will probably try to convince you that some things didn’t happen the way they did, even though you were there to experience them.

A malignant narcissist spins the facts and interprets them in a way that suits him best.

This is especially true when it comes to you complaining about the treatment you’ve been getting in your toxic relationship.

At the end of the day, you’re not in an abusive relationship, you’re being too sensitive, or you’re too weak. He is not unfaithful, you’re the one who is overly paranoid or jealous.

Naturally, at first, you don’t believe him. However, after a while, your narcissist skilfully manages to distort your reality.

After some time, you start to feel lost and wonder if you are really the crazy one.

By gaslighting their victims, narcissists actually do their best to mentally exhaust them to the point where they have no strength left to confront them anymore.