Charming narcissists turn on the charm for one of two reasons. They might simply crave your attention and admiration. But they also might just have plans to take advantage of you. In either case, the reason they succeed in manipulating you is the same. Victims simply confuse interest with caring.
Relationships naturally grow in strength, depth, and wholesomeness in the absence of character disturbance. And when our most important relationships are solid, we can expect the makings of a healthy community. It all starts with character.
Relational aggression is a big problem these days. And those out to harm you or your relationships can be overt or covert about it. Skilled covert-aggressors can even use surrogates to defame you or undermine your relationships. That way, they leave no “fingerprints” of their evildoing. Why do they do it? We used to think they came from a fearful, insecure place. But we now know they simply lack empathy.
Brash and vulgar narcissists naturally offend us. So, we naturally want to keep our distance and watch our backs. But charming narcissists are in some ways more dangerous. Like I say in In Sheep’s Clothing, dealing with them can be like getting whiplash. You only fully realize who they are and what they’ve done to you after the fact.
A manipulator can be so confident of someone’s likely response that they don’t hesitate to show their hand. But most of the time, manipulators get their way by hiding their true agendas. They’re out to win, dominate, and control, but don’t want to appear so. They cloak their aggressive intentions in a variety of clever tactics. And these tactics produce the “gaslighting” effect.
Crafty covert-aggressors know how to make you doubt. In your gut you feel they’re trying to play you. But they can have you feeling like you’re a fool for thinking so. You question your judgment. You can even question your sense of reality and your sanity. In a nutshell, that’s the “gaslighting” effect.
Gaslighting Gaslighting has become a popular term these days. It was borrowed from the the suspense thriller play and movie Gas Light. Its plot involves a conniving husband who tries to make his wife think she is losing her mind. And he does this in part by making subtle changes in her environment, including causing the episodic … Continue reading Manipulation and the Gaslighting Effect
Aggressors can easily have you emotionally on the run. But you gain power when you hold ground. The best way to do that is to keep emotion out of things and judge and deal with behavior only.
Loving relationships can promote character growth, that’s for sure. But when someone has significant character disturbance no amount of loving care alone can fix things.
It’s not enough to just to be willing to admit the truth. Many folks will do that, especially after they’ve been caught lying. Rather, it’s more important to truly revere the truth. A solid character knows the value of the truth – its power to heal, to empower, and to free. But it’s always a choice to embrace the truth – a choice truly decent characters freely make.