The Most Devastating Tactic in the Narcissist’s Tool Kit

On a daily basis, the narcissist provides his victim with endless opportunities for misery, pain, and frustration. From petty defiance and his refusal to meet the basic human needs of his spouse, to blaming his every failure on her and projecting all his garbage onto her… the crazy-making circus of the narcissist is in full swing.

This destructive, not to mention toxic, pattern of behavior makes for endless days of wishing you could simply sprout wings and fly away, or possibly just be lucky enough to slip into some kind of coma, where this never-ending, insufferable bullshit just doesn’t exist. But, alas, these daydreams never come true so, you’re left to deal with the daily onslaught of despair-inducing tactics completely conscious. Bummer.

The one upside is that, after a while, you come to expect the daily misery. Anger, resentment, and depression are absolutely normal for the staus quo. It becomes “just the way life is”. Nothing less. Nothing more. Until… you start to get fed up. Your survival instinct kicks in, and your emotional brain starts to shut down in defense against the constant pain of rejection and disregard. You withdraw from the narcissist. You stop giving him the almighty supply that he needs to survive and, of course, this makes him take notice.

While the narcissist lacks empathy, he does possess a skill called “cold empathy”. This is the ability to read the subtle, nonverbal,  emotional cues of others  of the people around you (like empathy) but, instead of processing the information received in order to establish or maintain a connection with the person you are ‘reading’, the narcissist can only see the emotional cues of others as it relates himself. This ‘cold empathy’ helps the narcissist to determine which of his nasty tactics. he ought to be using in any given situation, to try and exert the greatest amount of control.

His cold empathy skill alerts the narcissist to the fact that you’re fed up and shut down, long before you’ve even realized for sure that that is, in fact, what’s going on with you, and he unconsciously acknowledges that drastic measures will have to be taken before he loses his life-giving supply. And so… something strange begins to happen.

You notice that the narcissist is acting – well…nice. He tells a joke, and you laugh with him. He says something insensitive but, before you can even open your mouth to protest, he is sincerely apologizing for his thoughtless comment, and are you ok?  You’re taken aback. Where did THAT comes from?, you wonder. You’re immediately suspicious…as you well should be…but his kindness and new-found sensitivity persist throughout the day.

Something inside of you softens a bit.

If you knew better, you’d run while you still had life in you to do so… but you don’t know any better, so you climb into bed at the end of the day, and instinctively reach for your mate. He wraps you up in his arm and caresses your back, and your shoulders, and your face. You sigh and close your eyes. A small smile playing on your lips. He whispers in your ear, “I’m so sorry…for everything. You’re safe now. I love you.”

For the first time, in you can’t even remember how long, you really, truly, DO  feel safe…

Oh…you poor thing. How I wish I could spare you what is about to come.

The next day, or so, is a whirlwind of love and kindness and romantic moments. You can’t remember ever being this happy before. The narcissist has transformed into the soul mate you’ve longed for your whole life. It seems as though your dreams have all come true, and you’re floating through your days in a heady bliss.

But then, the dark clouds start to gather above, and the narcissist’s facade slips. An insensitive remark, but this time no apology- no understanding. Little by little, over the course of the third day, the narcissist’s loving mask is completely torn away, and you’re face to face with the same malicious, spiteful, and petty man you know all too well.

Your heart splinters, and shatters inside your chest. The pain so acute, you’re sure you’ve possibly collapsed a lung, or are having a heart attack. Every last bit of joy and light is sucked from the world and you’re plunged into a dark void unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. You reach out to the narcissist- show him the tears he’s caused you to cry- but he just turns his back, indifferent to your anguish, and walks away.

There is nothing left for you to do but scream in utter despair. Why? How could he do such a thing? How could anyone play such a cruel trick on another human being? Is he evil?

You try to get angry… you want to rage against the narcissist’s foul trick- just pack your bags and get the hell out. But you’re feeling too hopeless. Trapped. Lifeless.

What’s the point? Everything you loved and held dear was gone now…never even existed in the first place. Why even bother doing anything? And as you resign yourself to life in the dark, by the side of your narcissist, he realizes that his plan was a success. You won’t be leaving him anytime soon. Not as beaten down as you are now.

You’re not going anywhere… you’ll stay right where you are and continue to feed the narcissist his supply, like a good little girl.

In the back of your mind you wonder what the hell happened to you? How did things get this bad? And the answer is…

You’ve been love-bombed.


Hi. I’m Story Lynne, (a.k.a. The Narcissist’s Wife). Nice to meet you. I’m the mother of 4 amazing kids, the (soon-to-be-ex) wife of a narcissist, and the author of this blog. I’m also a teacher, a healer, an intuitive empath, and Angel Card Reader.
I love fairies, angels, the color pink, anything sparkly, and Legos. (the Elves are my absolute favorites). I also love fixing cars, building shit, and shooting my bow (as in, bow and arrow).

7 thoughts on “The Most Devastating Tactic in the Narcissist’s Tool Kit

  • Joy

    I truly feel as im dieing after ive been out months. My heath is so bad. These things are demonic.. I faught a demon and omg im tired..psychopath covert narc.. I cant feel.

    • So many people don’t get just how severely psychological/emotional/verbal abuse can physically affect the victim. And I’m so sorry you’re struggling so much.

      You said that you are no longer with your narc? If you are free, then GOOD FOR YOU! I know it can be truly heinous to get through this pain, and I know you’re exhausted…. BUT, sister, I PROMISE…
      It doesn’t last. It does, eventually, end.

      Taking care of yourself is ABSOLUTELY VITAL!! A large part of the pain of leaving a narcissist is actually a real PHYSICAL addiction. (True story!) It’s uber-important that you;

      1- Get 6-8 hours of sleep every night (preferably at the same time, every night)

      2- Eat healthy food. Lots of fruits and veggies. Tons of water to flush out all those toxins!

      3- Take a daily multi-vitamin. Plus, Melanie Tonia Evans recommends adding healthy doses of magnesium, zinc, and fish oil. (which helps to reduce “cravings”)

      4- Get Moving- It doesn’t matter if it’s exercising at the gym, going to the grocery store, hanging out with a friend, or whatever…. just get out of your house, in the sunlight (powerful depression fighter), and around people.

      5- Pamper yourself- Be gentle with yourself. Journal your feelings. Get all those emotions out of your head/heart and onto paper. Just get it all out… burn it if you want but, just do NOT let it fester. Although, feel free to keep a list (or separate journal) of all the shitty things your narc did…. that way you have something handy to reference if he comes a-hooverin’…..

      6- Go ahead and throw yourself one hell of a pity-party…. let yourself grieve….. but put a time limit on it. After that, you vow to yourself that you will suck it up, and move forward with life. Promise yourself that this truly fucked up experience is going to make you a better person for having had to endure it. Promise yourself that you did NOT suffer through all this pain for NOTHING. Somehow, the experience will make you better. Choose NOT to allow this horrible experience to break you…but, to break you open…. and allow you to expand into a stronger, wiser, more loving & compassionate, more confident, and magnificent, badass warrior goddess. (I mean, cause, that’s what you are anyway….. just sayin’)

      Not only will you be able to look back, one day (I hope), and see that this was one of your greatest opportunities for growth but, also…. standing up, and dusting yourself off- continuing to live your life with joy and passion…. being unafraid to love again, even!….. and refusing to let the Narcissist make you bitter, resentful, or fearful….

      Well….. that will just eat the narcissist up inside, like you wouldn’t believe. (Such a great way to make them suffer…since, we all know how much they hate to lose)

      Hang in there. I know you can get through this. You are not alone. And, if you’re on Facebook… send me a message and I can add you to my secret support group on there. No one will know you’ve joined,or be able to see what you post, or anything… the women in there are amazing, and loving, and well…. supportive!

      ~The Narcissist’s Wife

  • Brooke

    This was my life!! After reading this, I feel like you were watching. I did it until I couldn’t anymore. It was excruciatingly hard. So glad to be free of him.

    • I’m sorry you suffered for so long. I’m glad you’re free now, though. And, I think, sometimes ‘giving up’ isn’t really giving up, as much as it is us… finally ‘giving in’ to our own right to be free from abuse.
      Which is a very, VERY good thing.

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