The Narcopath Mocks Your Family Ties
The power of suggestion and triangulation are two of the most powerful tools in the narcopath's bag of tricks, and never underestimate her proficiency in their use.
Many narcopaths mock the family of their partners. The narcopath and the malignant narcissist sees your family, other people important in your life, in the same way she sees everyone: as tools, toys, or obstacles. She will use or treat the people in your life in much the same way as she treats you, and make no mistake, if they resist her control, she will remove them from your life.
She will cause you grief when you have plans with your family. By her negative and sarcastic remarks to time you spend with your family, she is putting the suggestion in your mind that your family is not good for your relationship. She cannot abide the idea that your attention would go to someone else. It doesn't matter that if you are spending time with your kids. She will constantly interrupt and interfere with any quality time where she is the center of your attention. It doesn't matter that you haven't seen your parents in a long time. It doesn't matter who has died or who is dying. It isn't about them.
Understand this clearly, the narcopath does not see people in the same way the rest of us do. To her people are simply part of the environment. Some are resources; some are in the way; some are just there. The only real thing the narcissist wants from people is their admiration. Your family should fall down at her feet and worship. If they do not worship her, then they are competition for your worship of her. She may actively seek to stop you from gathering with them. She may be cruel or obnoxious so they will stay away. If she can't control them, she will stop at nothing to remove them from your life. She will fabricate events where she is the victim of some cruelty of one of your family members to keep your attention on her. In this triangulation, she is the victim (a favorite role), your family member is the villain, and you are her protector.
She hates being reminded that there are people who know some of her secrets and failings. She hates the assumption of relationship and rights that family has. She hates the fact that some people refuse to be twisted by her manipulations. She holds your family in contempt and demands that you do the same. She ridicules and makes fun of your family in order to remind you that she is superior to your family. She convinces you that you are better off without them. She mocks the love and loyalty of your family. She never misses an opportunity to remind you of their failings. She constantly fabricates scenarios where she claims she was insulted, disrespected, ignored, used, or treated badly by your family to cause distance and hard feelings where there once was none. She will use her own children in her efforts to prove to you that your family is not the people you believe them to be. How does she accomplish this?
Power of Suggestion
Have you ever had someone say, "You don't look well" or "You look tired," and then ask, "How you are feeling?" If so, you probably said, "No, I'm fine" and then secretly looked in a mirror to see if your face really did look sick or tired. Then, a few minutes later, you started thinking... "Man, I do feel a little tired."
This is the power of suggestion, and it is one of the most powerful manipulative psychological tools known to man and should never ever be underestimated. The narcissist uses the power of suggestion to plant the thought in your mind that your family is bad; that your family mistreats you; that your family doesn't care about; that your family doesn't want you to be happy; that your family is trying to come between the two of you & that your family only wants to control you. She plants the thought in your mind again and again until you actually believe severing ties with your family is your own idea.
The emotional and mental abuse that a narcissist inflicts on her victim is based on the subtle power of suggestion which leaves one believing an idea or thought is his own. To make the power of suggestion work, the narcopath must convince you from the beginning that she is your soul mate. To accomplish this mission, she makes sure in the very beginning of your relationship she creates a false self which is built up from a collection of simple and subtle pathological lies - lies which make her seem angelic and builds her a reputation of being 'as good as gold' resulting in the belief that 'she would never do anything to hurt anyone'. And she will fabricate entire conversations to reinforce in your mind that she is perfect. As an example, she tells you she heard a rumor of someone they know cheating on their partner they may then make statements such as "how could they do that to him/her? That's disgusting" making out that they wholly disagree with such behavior.
However, this is often only to fool you into believing that they would never be capable of doing such a thing themselves yet in reality the lie is usually a cover to hide the fact that the narcissist is doing, or plans to do, exactly that - they seek to appease. These subtle lies go on and on, building up over time, gradually pulling the wool over your eyes, leaving you blind to the narcopaths true hidden self.
All she needs do is constantly drop hints to control you through the mere power of suggestion and - BOOM - you are thinking or doing exactly what this manipulator wants. You may as well be a hand or foot of hers. It won't happen this quickly. Most people reject any suggestion that their family is bad, but the power of suggestion that your mother isn't who you think she is without telling you this directly will eventually impact your belief system. These are reinforced with lies about things your mother did that hurt her feelings. She begs you not to say anything because she doesn't want to cause problems, so you file it away. Every time you have a disagreement, or you catch her in a lie, or you don't treat her right, your mother's name is somehow brought into it, slowly building up resentment in your mind. This process repeats itself over and over again until you hate your own mother.
Still not convinced? Ever had someone tell you that a dental or medical procedure "will really hurt," that a test "was really hard," or that a new boss "is impossible to deal with"-and then had those scenarios play out just as predicted? Turns out, those early suggestions probably shaped your reality.
A deliberate suggestion can influence how well people remember things, how they respond to medical treatments, and even how well they will perform and behave, according to research by Maryanne Garry, Robert Michael, and Irving Kirsch. The reason, they say, is attributable to something called response expectancies. This means that the way we anticipate our response to a situation influences how we will actually respond. In other words, once you expect something to happen, your behaviors, thoughts, and reactions will actually contribute to making that expectation occur.
If you expect something to happen-if someone or something suggests to you a specific outcome-your expectations of that outcome play a major role in its occurrence. The expectation or suggestion alone, often unconsciously, changes your behavior and your responses to help bring into reality the outcome you are expecting. The power of suggestion is a guilt trap, an 'I told you so' just waiting to happen.
The problem is of course intent. If a suggestion is made that something terrible will happen, to you or something you care about, your subconscious mind subtly assigns a despair emotion before you file it away. You forget about it because it has no rational context, so it never comes up. But then later when the terrible thing happens your conscious mind reactivates the otherwise orphaned memory. Without knowing why, you feel you 'should have known.' Suddenly you feel regret and guilt about a terrible thing you had no way to rationally foresee and were not a party to.
Why is this important? The despair diminishes or even blocks the 'will to action' primary emotion. You will be paralyzed with guilt, and off-balance. This is when your toxic partner reaffirms the belief with a look, or a comment like, "I told you so".
Malignant narcissists & narcopaths are masters at manipulating people through their emotions, beliefs, attitudes and perceptions, and unfortunately, most people are trusting by nature and are easily duped into buying into their crap. All those memories you shared with her in the beginning of your relationship are used in subtle ways until you start to believe them. For example, you told her about the time your mother was supposed to bring snacks to your class and how she forgot, and how embarrassed this made you feel, and you add that the next day she came in with all sorts of treats and how the teacher let y'all have a little party, and how awesome your mother is. This information is filed away, and a few months down the road, she tells you a story about something that happened at her daughter's school, and the story is eerily similar to the one you told her. She tells you how horrible that mother was to do whatever it was she did, and she can't imagine EVER doing anything like that, and then she starts talking about what's for dinner. What has she done here? She's implanted in your mind that the mother you love and would do anything for really is bad.
The power of suggestion is the use of small statements that at the time seem harmless. For example, you all are visiting your parents, and she isn't the center of attention, she may text you, "gotta feel the love in this house, right?" You're not exactly sure what she's talking about, but you reply, "yea". These aren't big huge pronouncements. They are little sarcasms, little jabs that you don't really focus on, but said repeatedly, they become a part of your subconscious memory. She criticizing your family and friends while telling you she's not like that, until one day, you believe she is the only one of value that you can count on. For the power of suggestion to work, it must be subtle and repeated, until YOU believe it, and believe that this is YOUR belief. The power of suggestion is an insidious form of abuse because the abuser just stands back and proclaims she had nothing to do with the problems between him and his family. Your toxic partner will recruit others to help her destroy your family. She will do this same thing with anyone she feels is a threat to her control over you, and you will never suspect her of intentionally destroying your relationship with your family.
The Power of Suggestion & Psychological Warfare
Your expectations affect your behavior. Suggestions affect your expectations. These suggestions can be deliberate or non-deliberate. If you are in a relationship with a toxic person these suggestions will always be planned and deliberate to influence your actions in a way that benefits them, not you. Losing the support of your family and close friends is a perfect example.
The only way to protect yourself against these psychological strategies is to develop strategies of your own. Make early observations. When anyone makes a suggestion that triggers a memory or response in your mind, ask questions. Observations and questions control your focus, which control your expectations, which control your beliefs and behaviors. You may not overturn the beliefs in other people's heads, but it will make sure that the negative beliefs your toxic partner is trying to get you to believe will never take root in your mind.
Examine their past - Don't be afraid to ask tough questions about their past, not only of them but previous friends. It doesn't need to be a job interview. Ask to see photo albums. Ask about old cars. Previous houses, towns. Narcopaths love to brag so make it about how great their things and awards were. This takes some time but this should yield research-able leads about their entire life.
Observe their behavior when in public and in public. Watch how they interact with co-workers. Narcopaths compete but never cooperate. It's always a battle for power even if the battle is an inch at a time.
Listen to what they say to others and about others. Do they get offended over nothing. Do they seem to be a person who can "dish it out, but not take it"? Listen to how they describe people. Do they classify people by their day to day choices and decisions or by what they do and who they answer to.
Does he/she play mind games with their children or others? They love the power of suggestion. They will tell a target they are going to do something evil to them. Then they will distract them or say it was a mistake or joke. Later it turns out it was quite intentional when the evil thing actually happens. But now the target also feels responsible, and is less likely to retaliate.
If you don't believe this could happen to you, think again. Family, friends, possessions, finances, identification, thoughts and emotions are all eventually stolen from you, leaving you in a position with no resources and no-one to turn to for help. You won't realize it until it's too late.