Psychological Tricks Narcissists Use to Make You Obsessed With Them

Dating Narcissists

Narcissists have an uncanny ability to draw people in and keep them hooked. Their charm can be intoxicating, but the methods they use to maintain their grip can be manipulative and damaging. Understanding these psychological tricks can help you recognize and protect yourself from their influence.

Love Bombing: The Ultimate Charade

At the start, a narcissist will shower you with attention, affection, and compliments. This “love bombing” phase feels like a whirlwind romance where you are the center of their universe. The intensity is thrilling, making you feel special and deeply connected. However, this isn’t genuine affection—it’s a calculated move to reel you in.

Mirroring: The Perfect Reflection

Narcissists are adept at mirroring your likes, dislikes, values, and desires. They create an illusion of compatibility by becoming a reflection of you. This trick makes you feel understood and appreciated, but it’s just another tactic to make you dependent on their presence.

Triangulation: Stirring Up Competition

Triangulation involves introducing a third party into your relationship to create jealousy and insecurity. By mentioning ex-partners, flirting with others, or comparing you to someone else, narcissists keep you on edge. This tactic makes you work harder for their approval, reinforcing their control over you.

Gaslighting: Twisting Reality

Gaslighting is a sinister form of psychological manipulation where the narcissist makes you doubt your own reality. They deny or distort facts, making you question your memory, perception, and sanity. Over time, this erosion of self-trust leaves you increasingly reliant on their version of events and, ultimately, their control.

Intermittent Reinforcement: The Push and Pull

Narcissists often use intermittent reinforcement to keep you hooked. They alternate between affection and withdrawal, kindness and cruelty. This unpredictable pattern creates a sense of instability, making you crave their approval and work harder to regain their affection.

Projection: The Blame Game

Narcissists often project their own negative traits or behaviors onto you. If they’re cheating, they’ll accuse you of infidelity. If they’re lying, they’ll accuse you of dishonesty. This deflection tactic not only shifts the blame but also keeps you defensive and off-balance.

Devaluation: Breaking You Down

Once a narcissist feels secure in their control over you, they begin the devaluation phase. The compliments and affection are replaced with criticism, belittlement, and emotional abuse. This tactic breaks down your self-esteem, making you feel unworthy and dependent on their approval.

Future Faking: Empty Promises

Narcissists are skilled at making grand promises about the future to keep you invested. Whether it’s about marriage, travel, or shared dreams, these promises create hope and keep you engaged. However, these promises are rarely fulfilled, serving only to string you along.

Hoovering: Sucking You Back In

Even after you try to break free, narcissists employ “hoovering” tactics to pull you back into their orbit. They might apologize, promise change, or play on your emotions with memories of the good times. This tactic exploits your vulnerability and hope for change, making it difficult to move on.

Isolation: Cutting You Off

Narcissists often isolate their victims from friends, family, and support networks. They may do this subtly by sowing doubt about others or more overtly by demanding all your time and attention. Isolation increases your dependence on the narcissist and makes it harder to leave.

Recognizing these psychological tricks is the first step toward breaking free from a narcissist’s grip. Remember, genuine love and respect don’t come with manipulation and control. If you find yourself caught in a narcissist’s web, seek support from trusted friends, family, or professionals to regain your independence and self-worth.

Need more guidance? Book a call with a member of our team today.

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