By Shalena Moore
In today’s society, on social media sites such as Instagram and Twitter, it’s easy to toss around the word ‘narcissist ‘ but many people have no idea exactly how a true narcissist operates.
Narcissists are better at mastering manipulative communication, taming themselves, and appearing as if they’re the victim. This is why it is very important to slow down and learn these traits before you find yourself stuck in a sinking ship with one.
1. They Communicate To You Ambiguously.
Narcissists as friends, lovers, and acquaintances tend to be underhanded whenever they’re in communication with their targets. They’re very skilled and calculating in terms of what they choose to say.
This includes what they choose to reveal about themselves to you and the types of remarks they make about your life, situation, artwork, job, or anything that you share with them.
For instance: The narcissists will tell you that they couldn’t stop staring at your picture the other day but they won’t necessarily confirm if it was because it was nice looking or not.
While you are in the stage of getting to know them or in a period of truce, they are careful not to say anything to you that will not only make you feel good, but that they think they will be kicking themselves for later.
They are very sneaky in the way they handle their communication, specifically to targets or people who may be able to help them reach their goals.
2. They Are Passive Aggressive.
The narcissist is very calculating. It should come as no surprise that narcissists are very clever when it comes to manipulative communication.
These types of narcs are very passive aggressive in every way possible but mostly when it comes to ripping their targets apart.
They might make a nasty remark after every move you make but because they don’t say your name, they make it hard for you to say anything about it without looking paranoid.
This is very clever on the narc’s behalf because if you do end up confronting them about it, you will end up looking like the crazy one and that is exactly what most of them will accuse you of.
The other reason why narcs are passive aggressive is because they don’t like to face their bad deeds. Narcs like reading and hearing good things about themselves, so when it comes to a conflict they may have potentially started, they don’t want to deal with it.
It’s not that they don’t have the time for it, they don’t want to make the time for it because they have a really hard time dealing with deep-seated issues that have been bubbling in their subconscious for awhile.
In a situation where a narcissist is trying to push your buttons by making smart remarks about everything you do in your life, never respond. Responding only gives them the fuel they desire to keep going.
When you respond, they know they’re getting to you and if you respond directly, they will accuse you of being paranoid or crazy.
Although they make smart remarks quite frequently about some mystery person and it happens to be so convenient each time, they will never try to see your point of view, objectively.
It’s not that they can’t be objective but that they’d rather not be objective because to be objective would mean that they have issues.
3. They Are Hypocritically Paranoid.
Narcs have fears of opening up to others in fear that others will try to use certain information against them. While this may be true in life for many individuals, the narc is truly seeing his or herself in others and does not want to run the risk of being beat at their own game.
If their target becomes just as passive aggressive as they are, the narcs will respond either ambiguously or directly. Narcs hate doses of their own medicine.
This is because the narc is secretly very sensitive and has an annoying sense of entitlement. Narcs believe they are being wronged because they see the portion of themselves they reject in their target.
This creates a character that believes he or she is entitled to make snarky remarks and the narc expects those remarks not to be returned.
When they are, all hell breaks loose. The narc is hypocritically paranoid of others and often won’t put too much trust in those who seem like potential targets because they fail to see that it is themselves they are facing, instead of the target.
They are paranoid of the very thing that they are. Yet, they will spend every breath they can calling a target paranoid because they’d prefer not to see how passive aggressive and nasty they are to them.
4. They Are Opportunistic.
Everybody wants to be successful and plenty of people value high status but the narcissist takes this to another level.
They will make sure to reach out to anyone they deem worthy, due to their status, such as celebrities or someone who seems accomplished to them and they will brown nose until their noses turn black.
For example, if there is a celebrity the narc doesn’t particularly like, yet feels they can get in touch with to help their clout, they will pretend to like this celebrity in order to gain status and then exaggerate their relationship to that celebrity and seek bragging rights in order to validate to themselves and the world that they are on that same level.
What most would deem as small accomplishments, the narc brags as if it is a large, universal accomplishment. This isn’t just a normal braggart but the narc also uses bragging as a weapon because he or she thinks it will get to the target.
Again, the narc sees themselves in the target, so the target appears to be competitive. Other ways the narcissist seeks opportunities is by plotting against innocent acquaintances, friends, family, or lovers during the time the two are in communication in order to climb higher up the ladder.
If the target and the narc both know the same circle of high status individuals, the narc won’t hesitate to throw the acquaintance or friend under the bus to gain the trust of the high status individual(s).
The narc will speak very ambiguously to the target, not show any concern or disdain for what the target is saying, only for the target to find out later, that the narc has suddenly pulled back and stopped speaking to them.
Later on, the target may find out that the narc has gone to the person of high status and sold them a juicy story in the form of a favor about the friend or acquaintance, in order to gain the person of high status’ trust.
There is no limit to how low they will stoop for status and clout.
5. They Are Constantly Seeking New Information About You.
Narcissists like to know and get close to your friends, family members, acquaintances, and anyone you deal or have dealt with for two reasons – to gain the trust of those who know you and to get as much information as they can on their target.
These types of narcissists creep behind the scenes, asking family members, lovers, and others about their target.
Most might resort to masking this as concern for the target or literally creating fake accounts to write the target’s friends and family under. They won’t even hesitate to resort to Googling the target’s name, frequently, seeking more information to use against the target, later.
These are the types of people who begin to befriend your old friends, especially the ones they know they can get the most information from.
This gives them an adrenaline rush. It is the most fulfilling to a narcs when they feel they’ve found their, “ah-ha!” details about you or what they deem as your secret life.
They will then provoke you and taunt you until you finally strike out at them, then they will run a smear campaign of lies and twisted half-truths to those you know, those they know, and strangers.
They will post all of their researched information about your personal life in attempt to “expose” your private life because you are the one who is the “bully” who needs to be dealt with… not them.
They literally become obsessed with you, so to speak.
6. They Are Never At Fault.
If you are ever expecting an apology from a narcissist, you will be waiting for a lifetime. To put it quite frankly – It ain’t happening.
Narcissists believe they are never at fault and it’s always you. Not only do they believe that you’re always the problem but they will always try to convince everyone around them that you’re always the problem.
The catch is, as long as you’re around and not kissing their butt, you always will be the problem because you are the target. (Aren’t you special?)
Don’t ever make the mistake of going to a narcissist in order to get an apology. You will leave more frustrated than when you came. If they are the victim now, they will be the victim later.
Leave and never look back.
7. They Project Their Bad Traits Onto You.
Because the narcissist is unable to deal with his or her own deep-rooted insecurities, honestly and thoroughly, they will project them onto you.
This means they will accuse you of all of their bad character traits and of doing what they are doing. It’s true that we all have a little bit of hypocrisy in us but these narcs give hypocrisy a whole new meaning.
For example, if the target gets a new job and everyone is congratulating the target, the narcissist will make passive aggressive remarks about how certain people should humble themselves, instead of being happy for the target or just simply staying quiet.
This is because the narcissist is jealous of the target. However, the narcissist will turn around and call the target jealous and will claim the target doesn’t know how to be happy for others.
This is very frustrating to the target because the target knows that he or she is indeed, not that way.
However, narcs truly believe these delusions and will even go as far as to tell others that the target is exactly how they truly are.
8. They Only Use Logic If It Makes Them Look Good.
These narcs would rather not use logic when it comes to their target because then they would have to logically piece together why they do what they do when it comes to the target.
As a matter of fact, in order to have an adult conversation to hash things out, it takes a great deal of logic to figure out where things went wrong. So it’s no wonder why the narc seems illogical in the eyes of their target – it’s because they are.
The only time they’re willing to use logic is when it makes them look good in the eyes of those around them.
9. They Are Chronic Liars Seeking To Ruin Your Reputation.
“Those who envy you will speak ill of you in hopes that others won’t find you so appealing.”
No other quote embodies the character of the narcissist better than that one. Narcissists will lie about anything to make their targets look foolish in front of peers or the general public.
The moment where it is their target against them, they are in fight or flight mode and will lie about whatever they deem necessary to save their image.
They are highly obsessed with how they appear to others so publicly bashing them by name, really gets under their skin.
They retaliate by telling lies they can’t back up or half truths to make their target look irrelevant or insane.
10. They Lack, Dismiss, Or Distort Evidence.
Most of the time, when a narc is called out for something they’ve been doing, they try to turn the story around and accuse the target.
A lot of times, this works because the narc makes sure to accumulate lots of acquaintances so they will have lots of people who trust their word.
However, from the target’s point of view and the blatant truth is that they almost have no physical or substantial evidence to back up most of their claims.
So, instead of posting evidence or answering all of the target’s legitimate questions, they resort to playing the victim and most almost always resort to calling their target insane or distorting evidence and facts to make the target look less worthy of being paid attention to.
If the target happens to have psychical and substantial evidence, the narc will find a way to twist it and say the target either put it there or they simply won’t address it at all and continue working hard at silencing the target by making them look insane to their peers.
11. They Keep Flying Monkeys.
The term ‘flying monkeys’ describes close friends, lovers, or family members of the narcissist or acquaintances with herd who believe every word the narcissist says and helps to smear your reputation and your name.
Most of the time, the flying monkeys are innocent at heart but they can help in doing just as much damage to your reputation as the narc does because it makes it harder for the target to look credible.
Most of the time, targets try to get the flying monkeys to open their eyes but soon they realize the flying monkeys were way too loyal to the narcs or to fixed on the hype the narc has created, to even care to look at the other side of the story.
The truth is, one who is in a position of a flying monkey wasn’t isn’t enough to look at both sides to begin with. When the target tries to send the flying monkey evidence or please in a reasonable manner to them, most of the time, it backfires and the target ends up on both the narc’s and the flying monkey’s bad side.
Since the narc is all about status and showmanship, this makes narcs feel as though they “won” and by this time, the target is overwhelmed, buried, and wants to go into isolation.
12. They’re Always In A Competitive Mindset.
The narcissist is always seeing the target as either some type of challenge that needs to be overcome or they are subconsciously threatened and feel the need to feel more accomplished than the target.
When it comes to the former, the narc is, in a twisted way, sort of correct. From the narc’s point of view, the target looks like a mirror of the narc’s insecurities (although the narc is unaware of this) and those are the things that need to be dealt with.
If the target gets something accomplished, the narc will make subtle remarks to try to downplay it. The narc loves when the target fails and will subtly taunt the target’s failures. It gives their hearts joy.
On the other hand, if the narc is insecure about the target, he or she will see the target as trying to be competitive.
Most of the time, the target is minding their own business and reaching the goals they want to reach because that’s who they are and what they truly want but the narcs is concerned with reaching higher goals and being more accomplished than the target.
The narc accuses the target of trying to compete but the narc is the competitor. In reality, no matter how much the narc accomplishes, they will always feel a sense of inferiority because they are never dealing with the real problem.
13. They Will Steal Your Identity.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, except when it’s coming from a narcissist.
If you’ve ever been in a relationship with a narcissist, they probably started imitating your likes and dislikes when you first met. This was done to manipulate you into thinking that you two had found your soulmate in one another but of course, you later found this to be an err of judgment.
In budding friendships, things work a little different. The narcissist sees something they like in the character of the target. The target may be logical, sweet, individualistic, progressive, and independent and the narc may lack all of those things.
Yet, the narc will claim to be all of those things although it’s clearly lacking in their personality. As soon as you know it, they are talking about the same exact things you have been talking about since before you met and the time they’ve been observing you.
You talked about progressive ideas, then they start talking about progressive ideas. You talked about your love for ice cream, then they start talking about their love for ice cream and so forth.
The devil is in the details and the joker is in the timeline. The narcissist takes the traits they see in you as good and applies it to themselves, while assigning their bad traits to you. This is the projection, again.
Because the target may get frustrated with this behavior, they will attempt to call the narc out on it but before they do that, they should keep in mind that the narc will only accuse the target of being the copycat.
It doesn’t matter if you give dates, post screenshots, or try to refresh the narc’s memory, you will never win. You’re the copycat and that’s the end of it.
When it comes to their targets, they only operate on a selective memory that suits themselves. As soon as you know it, you will find yourself looking at yourself in a dirty mirror and there is nothing you can do about it.
Their ice cream loving, progressive ideas preaching selves are in their glory while you are feeling totally violated, drained and silenced into isolation.
14. They Will Never Want To Solve Anything With You.
Last but not least, if you are expecting to solve anything with a narcissist, forget about it.
They will never be interested in having an honest, logical, and adult conversation with you unless it makes them look good in front of others or you kiss their behind and only admit the role you played in the situation, without demanding any answers from them.
They are scared of speaking about the past unless it’s you spilling all of your guts out to them because they are at fault, there. No matter what evidence you have or what logical idea you bring to the table, they will never own up to their ways and especially not directly to you.
Even if they’ve dealt with someone who made the same mistakes as you’ve made, they will still claim you to be the biggest thorn in their side at the end of the day.
Please, save your energy and don’t even give them the time of day. If you are online, stay away from their social media pages or anything to do with them. If they work at your job, just keep a calm, cool, and collected demeanor and realize that their actions are more about themselves.
You can’t change others but you can change yourself. If they cross the line and do something illegal, you then, have the right to go to the authorities.
Other than that, never confront a narcissist directly and try not to respond to their subtle insults and passive-aggressive remarks.