10 Red Flags of Narcissistic Manipulation to Look Out For

It is best to be cautious of people who may be trying to manipulate you. Narcissists are driven by their own self-interests, disregarding the needs of others. Even when they come off as charming, narcissists can harm your psychological and emotional health. Recognizing a narcissist’s strategies and distancing yourself from them is vital in order to protect your mental and emotional well-being.

Narcissists are all about self-interest and their own desires. They do not take into account the needs or opinions of others, and it is almost impossible to change them. It is important to be aware of this destructive behavior in order to protect your mental and emotional health. If you fear that you are being influenced by a narcissist, it’s essential to remove yourself from their influence as soon as possible.

This might be the only way to safeguard your well-being and keep yourself away from harm. Fortunately, with an understanding of their manipulative tactics and keen observation, you can often identify narcissists before they become too close. Knowing how to recognize them is key to avoiding any potential damage they can cause to your mental health.

What causes Narcissism?

Narcissism is a personality disorder that affects an individual’s sense of self. It is believed to be caused by several factors, including genetics, environmental influences, and childhood experience. In most cases, narcissists are individuals who have grown up in an environment where their needs weren’t adequately met or they were excessively praised for their achievements. This can lead to the development of an inflated or grandiose view of themselves and an overestimation of their own abilities. Over time, these feelings result in behaviors like a lack of empathy for others and an inability to take responsibility for one’s behavior.

Here are 10 Ways Narcissists Will Try To Manipulate You


Narcissists are experts at manipulating the truth and making people second-guess themselves. One of their most used tactics is gaslighting, which is when they deny facts and reality, making you question your own perception of reality. It’s a form of psychological abuse because it slowly erodes your trust in yourself and your judgment. It can leave you feeling confused, frustrated, scared, and helpless. As a result, you may start to rely on the narcissist for guidance, allowing them to maintain control over their relationship with you or other people in their life.

This isn’t necessarily intentional or malicious; some narcissists may genuinely believe that they know better than everyone else and thus feel entitled to take charge. However, it’s essential to recognize this pattern and not accept it as normal behavior so that we can protect ourselves from being manipulated by those who might have ill intentions.


Narcissists use guilt as a tool to gain control over someone. They will make you feel guilty for anything and everything, even if it’s not your fault. This tactic is often used to put you down or make you feel dependent on them, reducing your sense of self-worth. This can make it very difficult to stand up for yourself in any situation and give the narcissist more power over you. Feelings of guilt can be particularly dangerous in relationships as they can limit our ability to assert ourselves and have healthy boundaries.

It can be tempting to try and appease the narcissist with promises we may not be able to keep just so we don’t experience their wrath, but that isn’t an effective solution. If such manipulation is going on in your relationship, it’s important to take back control by making sure you know that whatever they say or do is not your fault and that you are allowed to stand up for yourself.

Blame shifting

Narcissists tend to shift the blame onto other people whenever something goes wrong. It’s never their fault; it’s always someone else’s. No matter how minor or serious the situation may be, they will take no responsibility for their own actions and instead point the finger at someone else. This is a toxic coping mechanism that allows them to deflect from any failures in their life and avoid taking responsibility for any mistakes they make.

It can be very frustrating when dealing with a narcissist because it makes communication extremely difficult as it becomes impossible to have meaningful conversations if one person refuses to acknowledge any wrongdoing on their part. If this is happening in your relationship, then it’s important to remember that you don’t need to accept this behavior and should have boundaries in place to protect yourself.

Playing the Victim Card

Narcissists are experts at playing the victim. They will frame themselves as the aggrieved party in any situation, even if it’s blatantly clear that their actions or words have caused hurt to someone else. This allows them to dodge responsibility and justify any behavior they deem necessary. It also makes it hard for others to stand up against them and hold them accountable, allowing them to feed off of attention and sympathy from those around them.

Playing the victim is a way for narcissists to maintain power and control over others, which can be damaging for both parties involved. If you find yourself dealing with such manipulation then it’s important to remember that no one should be expected to take on anyone else’s problems without getting something in return. Having boundaries in place can help protect you from being taken advantage of.

Isolation Tactics

Narcissists will go to great lengths to maintain control over someone they consider their possession. This can include cutting off connections with anyone or anything that challenges the narcissist’s power or control over you. They may try to limit your access to resources, friends, family, and other important people in your life in an effort to keep you close and under their authority.

They may also attempt to manipulate the way you think, feel, and act by feeding you false information and distorting reality in order to make themselves look good while belittling or disregarding your own opinions and feelings. It’s important to remember that no one has the right to control another person or dictate who they associate with. Having clear boundaries and communicating them effectively is key to standing up against manipulation from a narcissist.

Emotional Blackmailing

Narcissists are masters of manipulating emotions in order to get what they want. They often use fear, guilt, and shame as tools to force compliance from another person or to cause them distress. They may threaten retribution if their demands aren’t met, such as withholding love, security, or support. They may also guilt-trip the other person into doing something against their will by convincing them that it’s for their own good.

It’s important to recognize these tactics so that you can identify when someone is trying to manipulate you and stand up for yourself without feeling guilty or ashamed. You have a right to protect yourself and your well-being – no one else has the right to make decisions on your behalf.

Love bombing

Narcissists are often masters of manipulation, and they use many tactics to gain control over someone. One such tactic is the overwhelming display of affection early on in the relationship. A narcissist will shower compliments and express strong emotions in order to make the other person feel safe and secure. But once they’ve gained your trust, these displays of affection can fade away or even become hostile as the narcissist seeks to maintain their power and control.

It’s important to be aware of this dynamic when engaging with a narcissistic partner, as it can be easy to get swept up in these false feelings without taking a step back. By recognizing these patterns and arming yourself with knowledge, you can protect yourself from falling victim to a manipulative relationship.


Narcissists are experts at creating chaos and confusion within relationships. One of their favorite tactics is to pit two individuals or groups against each other in order to cause conflict. The narcissist may subtly or overtly stir up tension between the two parties, sowing the seeds of mistrust and making them distrustful of one another. This creates an environment of fear, chaos, and confusion that makes it easier for the narcissist to manipulate those involved and gain control over them.

It’s important to recognize when someone is trying to do this so that you can protect yourself from falling victim to these dangerous tactics. By being aware of the signs of manipulation and strengthening your boundaries, you can safeguard yourself from getting drawn into a manipulative relationship or situation.

Silent Treatment/Withholding Attention

Narcissists often use silent treatment as a form of punishment for something that wasn’t satisfactory to them. They will refuse to talk or give any kind of attention in order to make the other person feel anxious and insecure. This is designed to create an environment in which narcissist can manipulate their partner by making them feel guilty or broken for displeasing them.

By understanding this dynamic and refusing to succumb to it, you can protect yourself from getting drawn into a manipulative situation. It’s important to recognize when someone is doing this so that you can set clear boundaries and refuse to be manipulated by these tactics.


Narcissists are experts in blaming others and manipulating the narrative in order to deflect their own bad behavior. They will often accuse others of being selfish manipulators while they themselves are the ones engaging in manipulative tactics. This is a clever tactic designed to make people feel guilty or ashamed for standing up for themselves, and it can be difficult to recognize when someone is doing this.

It’s important to be aware of these tactics so that you can protect yourself from getting drawn into a manipulative relationship or situation. By recognizing the warning signs and setting clear boundaries, you can safeguard yourself from becoming vulnerable to these dangerous tactics.

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