When I was in the dark about who and what I was dealing with, I discovered that in order to step out of the dark and into the light, I needed to learn the narcissist keywords. When I did not know the narcissist keywords, I often found myself being victimized again and again. It was extremely frustrating and embarrassing. It takes time, effort and focus to memorize all these keywords.
Just recently I had someone repeatedly undermine, blame shift, stonewall, and gaslight me. There are moments when it still takes me a few minutes to catch it. Over the years I have learned how to direct and allow open communication, even when someone is angry. In this particular situation, I figured out they were triggered by something my friend said to them, I was able to view the whole situation from a more positive perspective. They were gaslighting me because they felt threatened by my friends insensitive comment. The truth is, my friend was triggered by her behavior towards me. I was calm and relaxed. I had the situation under control, yet some of my friends feel the need to protect me.
I could tell the woman I was speaking with was stuck in angry. The last thing I wanted to do was throw gasoline onto the fire. But since my friend was triggered by the woman and wanted to put her in her place…harsh words went flying. They were both now in a lower vibration place that did not allow open communication. The keywords below are from my book, The Undetected Narcissist.
What is Love Bombing? This is the first secret weapon that most people do not understand fully. Love bombing is the practice of overwhelming someone with signs of attraction, affection, and adoration. Examples of love bombing include flattering comments, tokens of affection, love notes left for you to find, flowers and other gifts, and over the top comments of how they just want to spend all their time with you. They know how to make you feel good and special as they talk about your future together; they mirror back to you what you are seeking in a loving partner. You might think you have met your soul mate and that you feel at home in their arms. They can send you pictures and text messages several times a day, often giving you excessive amounts of attention. They do their best to insert themselves into your life by showering you with love bombing tactics. This all might seem “normal,” but it is designed to get you to spend more time with them, instead of giving you the necessary space you need to make clear minded decisions about this new relationship.
Love bombing is a designed form of manipulation to get you to spend more time with the person engaging in it and less time with others, such as your friends and family members. Further, when a friend or family member does not like them and can see what they are doing to you, the narcissist might try to get you to side with their overly needy behaviors and turn you against the other people in your life. The covert narcissist (CN) might appear to behave in a childish manner by getting jealous of your friends and family members; they might get jealous when you give attention and affection to anyone who is not them.
What is Hoovering? Hoovering is a technique that was named after the Hoover vacuum cleaner because the narcissist is basically finding a way to “suck” the person back into an abusive relationship. Hoovering is designed to regain control over their victims through manipulation tactics that target the victims’ emotions, soft spots, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities. A perfect example of hoovering would be when a narcissist wants something from you such as attention, validation, money, companionship, or sex; you push them away and they do their best to suck you back into the relationship.
Narcissists are fundamentally addicted to attention from others, and I believe that is why they love to create drama because they get to be the star. One attempt of sucking you back into the relationship could be the NC will make empty promises of wealth, success, fame, popularity, and status if you continue a partnership with them. What they are doing is trying to repair the relationship by hoovering you into giving them a second, third, or fourth chance, after the fact that they screwed you over.
You might have heard someone say that he or she is a sweet talker. This is the same as hoovering. A narcissist can sweet talk you into going down memory lane. If you started dating again, the narcissist might say that you were better off with them. The narcissist can make you question your potential suiters, claiming that they will not take care of as good as they did. You cannot make it without their financial support. The narcissist can also pretend to forget that you just broke up. Acting as if nothing is wrong and claiming, “we already talked about it.” When, you did not talk about it. The narcissist is just misleading you and creating a false narrative of what really happened, so they can sweet talk you into staying together.
What is gaslighting? Gaslighting is when someone is manipulated by psychological means into questioning their own sanity, reality, and truth. Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse because it is the act of manipulating a person by forcing them to question their thoughts, memories, and events; this is the start of the devaluing stage. The narcissist will try to spin the truth and make you appear as the crazy person, instead of taking responsibility for their past bad behaviors, actions, or events. The CN might act childish and insult you to make themselves feel better; they might pout, sulk, give you the silent treatment, belittle you, force you to question yourself and chastise you for questioning yourself, or say unkind comments to your face or behind your back. Gaslighting is a technique where they want you to be confused and question whether you were being overly emotional or irrational at the time. The narcissist needs to spin it such that they appear to be the victim.
Another way a CN does this is by deflecting the real issue at hand. The CN cannot accept responsibility for hurting your feelings, therefore, they must spin the truth. When you question them, they feel attacked and will ignore your feelings of betrayal or rejection, any time you doubt them, they play the victim. The end game in gaslighting is to make you feel bad, so you do not end the abusive relationship. The narcissist will also take it a step further and try to convince others that you have a distorted view of reality, so they will appear the victim; this is a form of triangulation—they are the victim, you are the abuser, and whomever is willing to listen will be put in the role of the rescuer.
Triangulation is a narcissist abuse tactic which typically takes the form of verbal abuse used to foster contention, fear, or mistrust between two parties. The narcissist tries to control the conversation in hopes of creating a rift or separation between the two parties, and at times, this rift can be so extreme, that the two parties no longer speak to one another and end their relationship. The narcissist might lie to one person by saying a false truth about the other person’s feeling or thoughts about them. Not everyone who engages in this tactic is a narcissist, however. We have seen this behavior displayed in teen dramas as well as on reality shows. All it takes is telling one person one thing about another and then reporting a different story to the other person. When employed by a narcissist however, they are taking advantage of the faith and good will of the listener by appearing to be the supportive confidant.
What is Splitting? Splitting is all or nothing thinking. A person who displays black and white thinking is likely to get tired of you if you do not meet their demands. When they find a new target or love interest, they will glorify that new target, making them their best friend, even though they are simply a pawn, like a love interest who is “finally the one,” or their “soulmate.” However, when that love interest fails to comply with their wishes or orders, fails to pay them enough attention, or does not submit to their dominant, aggressive, and calculated nature; they had better watch out. They are soon to be discarded, pummeled, and left burning in the ashes. It is all about a cycle of power and control.
What is Stonewalling? Stonewalling is a common abuse tactic used by narcissists and social predators to psychologically control and manipulate their victims. The narcissist will refuse to converse or hear rational communication in favor of protecting an irrational position. The person who is stonewalling you will refuse to communicate with others or yourself—they do not care about your point of view, your feelings, your thoughts, or even finding a gray area to agree to disagree. This stonewalling technique is designed to be in your face verbally and emotionally and qualifies as psychological abuse. You do not matter; you mean nothing to them.
What is the Silent Treatment? The silent treatmentis a secret weapon the narcissist will use when you start to question their actions, behaviors, words, and treatment towards you or another person close to your inner circle of friends and family members. Someone told me that the best explanation of “the silent treatment” is withholding affection. For example, this person told me to think of my son’s father as a drug dealer; he gave me all the free drugs—gifts, love, and affection—and I became addicted. When I got mad or questioned his actions or behavior, he would cut me off cold, stopping all forms of affection, including the love bombing techniques that got me addicted to him in the first place. This left me confused about what I did wrong.
This form of abuse makes the narcissist feel powerful and in control. They can make you feel invisible and leave you starving for their attention again—like Stockholm Syndrome, where victims develop feelings of trust and affection towards their captors. You will tend to seek approval and validation from your abuser, rather than flee from their abuse.
People who are passive aggressive often seek to dominate other people emotionally and psychologically. Withholding affection and giving the silent treatment is their way to force you to live by their rules. You are denied validation, and, in their minds, you do not exist unless you become submissive and allow them to dominate and control you.
What is Undermining? Underminingis a form of abuse commonly practiced by covert narcissists. The best way to describe a CN is that they are competitive thinkers with a passive aggressive streak. They are always better than you and they will quickly try to put you in your place. Most people have witnessed what it is like for someone to undermine another person. When a person is trying to undermine another, what they are striving to do is erode any confidence, trust, or faith within the individual—the goal is to damage and weaken the victim socially, politically, or within their circle of friends or family members.
You might have experienced these undermining techniques from a controlling family member or parent. You might have a manipulative lover, a few toxic friends, or even a tyrannical employer or coworker.
Undermining can be used to lessen a person’s position of power or authority by insulting someone’s intelligence, skills, and status within a company. Undermining can be used in disagreements about previous or current events, and gradually, over time, it’s intended to chip away at you and reduce your confidence, self-esteem, and who you are as an individual. It can also be done insidiously in ways you do not even notice, all while you are constantly reminded by the narcissist that they hold the position of power and control.
What is Narcissist Baiting? Baiting is the deliberate act of annoying or provoking someone into extreme emotions. What the narcissist is doing is deliberately taunting you to get a response from their offensive attack. Here is an example: for their own amusement, the CN will pretend to ask you for help with the underlying intention of ridiculing or shaming you in the end.
What is Narcissist Provoking? Provoking is like baiting, but there is a difference; provoking occurs when the narcissist knows your triggers. They will set a trap so that you will lose your cool in a wide variety of ways, either in a private setting or publicly. They are doing it to make you mad and they will get a rush if they are able to get you to breakdown and cry; their goal is to get you to crack.
What is Coercive Control? Coercive control is used in a relationship to instill fear and compliance. It is a form of mistreatment and a way to manipulate and control the target. The good news is there is a pattern, and therefore, learning the red flags to coercive control is important.
The abuser might throw away some of your clothing or personal property, especially if you had an item from a previous lover. The abuser might put a loaded gun to head and threaten to kill you. You might even experience frequent sexual assault, and the abuser often threatens to harm you and your child.
When it comes to obsessive monitoring, your partner might order you to exercise daily to stay slim for them and monitor your weight and diet. He could control your wardrobe and not allow you to leave the house if you are not dressed the specific way he or she prefers. They might install spyware on your cell phone or other digital devices, or put a tracker on your vehicle, cell phone, or hide one within your purse.
What is a Pathological Liar? A pathological liars tend to be an expert at gaslighting. They lie to and about other people to strategically manipulate their target with the hopes of gaining social advantage. They do this to obscure the truth and to attain or maintain control over another person’s emotions. A pathological liar lies so often as an attempt to make themselves feel important in the eyes of another; at times they lie to an extreme because they want to thrive and be respected by others. On the flip side they want to ruin your life or want your existence erased, by emotionally killing your soul.
What is a Narcissist Cover-Up? A cover-up is an attempt to conceal evidence of wrongdoing, embarrassing information about the narcissist, incompetence in performance, and/ or hiding the truth. A narcissist will hide the truth from a target because they believe they can avoid punishment, deflect guilt or responsibility, or avoid criticism.
What is Narcissist retaliation? People who are retaliatory are the types of people who are constantly trying to come out on top. They will put you down if they feel you are a rival or a threat to them publicly, romantically, socially, or personally. What is Narcissist Obfuscation? Obfuscation is defined as: “the act or an instance of making something obscure, dark or difficult to understand.” The psychological definition is, “the act of willfully hiding information or facts from a targeted mark is known as narcissistic abuse. They can socially manipulate and control other’s emotions, correlated actions, and thoughts.”
What is blame-shifting? Blame shifting is an overt narcissistic abuse tactic to accuse the target unjustly of being personally or lawfully responsible for the moral choice(s) the narcissist makes. The narcissist is choosing to avoid personal responsibility. They believe they are superior and more dominating than others and can do nothing wrong. The narcissist will point fingers and gaslight people for their own actions or despicable behavior.
Now I am sure most people have witnessed another person blame shifting another person to get out of trouble; the difference is the average person does not blame shift all the time. A narcissist does it all the time because they believe they can do no wrong.
What is a narcissist dog whistle? A dog whistle is something only the abuser and target will understand. Only the target hears it because it is based on something deeply personal and specific; it can be related to something that happened in the past that the two of you experienced together—something you did, something you said, or something about who you are as a person. It is a very twisted way of saying you are not good enough and you better watch out.
From my own personal experience, a dog whistle is a direct threat and warning. It is a sign that the narcissist is plotting something against you or is reminding you of your place in the relationship. The narcissist believes they are superior, clever and that you mean nothing to them.
What is narcissist grooming? Grooming is a specific tool that predators use to gain the trust of a target. When a predator is grooming you, it is because they want something from you. It could be sex, morally questionable behavior, money, or something else. You can be groomed into doing sexual acts or doing things you “normally” would not do. You can be groomed into finding other targets for the narcissist to groom. This happens often within cults and other religious organizations, and is a tactic frequently used by sex traffickers.
There are many different forms of grooming that a narcissist may engage in: you can be groomed into silence because the fear of their threats makes you freeze with fear; you may keep silent about the abuse for fear of death or bodily harm to yourself or someone you care about.
A narcissist can groom a new person into believing a story they spun about a specific person or event. The CN will groom this new person so they will behave and react in a specific manner when they meet the target person the narcissist had turned them against. The new person might threaten, belittle, disrespect, humiliate, and/or get in your face because the narcissist has groomed them into hating you, even though they did not hear the other side of the story.
What is collusion? Collusion is when a narcissist secretly aligns with friends, family members, or various others to pervasively smear the target. They strive to self-promote and socially destroy the target’s personal, professional, and social reputation.
What is a flying monkey? A flying monkey is when the narcissist finds someone else do the bidding for them. The term flying monkey was coined after the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz because the monkeys were under the spell of the Wicked Witch of the East. They did her bidding against Dorothy and her friends.
This narcissistic tactic is commonly used upon friends, coworkers, and family members of the victim. The narcissist will request that you spy on them. They can convince you to spread gossip to other friends and family members, while painting the narcissist as the victim and their target as the perpetrator.
Flying monkeys can be your friends, family, coworkers or the narcissist’s friends, family, or coworkers before you got to have your side of story heard. The narcissist’s goal is to maintain the illusion of power that they have over you. Therefore, the narcissist will employ the use of third parties, through which they will attempt to continue to control and manipulate you.
What is Plotting? Plotting is when the person is secretly making plans to carry out an illegal, unethical, or immoral act intended to harm their target victim. A few examples are when a narcissist can plot to steal or ruin your friendship(s). They can plot to ruin your life, take away your child, cause you mental or emotional pain, and become friends with one of your enemies. When a narcissist is plotting against you, I would do your best to read between the lines. They enjoy dropping little hints, which is how they bait you for the big event they are plotting against you, because a narcissistic person is quite concentrated on others because their thinking is split—you are either benefiting them or hurting them. Therefore, the narcissist is the one who will be constantly lying, pretending to be your friend, and plotting against you. In the plotting scheme, a narcissist will do their best to sabotage your hopes and dreams and create triangulating relationships that benefit them. They will plot various ways to abuse, cheat, and harass you.
I hope this image above makes you laugh. All these narcissist keywords can make anyone depressed. I do advise everyone memorizing these narcissistic keywords. Watch one of the movies I have suggested in my book. Then try to match the keywords with various events. The faster you can spot the traits and behaviors, the faster you will a choice to be either REACTIVE and strung along or OBSERVERANT. When you are observant, you have a choice. I have written more about various keywords in other blog posts. When you read the different blog posts, it might expand your understanding of your current situation.