I think it's fair to say the world would be a much better place without narcissists in it. And it's probably fair to say the narcissists would disagree with this. To them, in their twisted minds, the world revolves around them, and everyone else is just there for their gain and to be used as pawns. Because of this mindset, they will do whatever they want to others, use and abuse people as a means to get them what they want. And they do all of this without any feelings of guilt or remorse.
Having a relationship with these people, no matter the relationship, be it a romantic one, work or family connections, it is one of the most challenging and painful situations you can go through. Below are 3 of the top tormenting textbook things a narcissist will do to you, no matter what the relationship is.
This can be one of the hardest ones to pinpoint, prove or even notice is happening to you. The main goal of gaslighting for a narcissist is to gain complete control over you. This horrible form of abuse will have you lose trust in yourself and your mind. It helps the narcissist confuse you so that you lose sight of what is happening and how they are hurting you. This gives them the upper hand because when you start to doubt yourself, you rely on them further, they end up convincing you that they are the only ones you can rely on.
This form of abuse also enables the narcissist to have you believe that you are the problem and not them. To implement this tactic they will lie to you, pretend that certain things didn't happen, you misheard things, or you took things up the wrong way. They also have no problem rewriting history or situations, and changing facts about things. All done to make you think your views, thoughts, and recollections on things are incorrect, thus planting seeds of doubt about yourself. Making you lose trust in yourself.
At the start of any relationship, be it platonic or romantic, the narcissist will put you on a pedestal, shower you with affection and non-stop compliments. They will want to spend lots of time with you, tell you how amazing you are, how there's nobody else like you, they may even shower you with gifts. In a very short time, they will have you convinced that they care so much about you, more than anyone else. But beware this will all change, and change very abruptly.
With no warnings or signs that something has happened, within an instance, they will completely change their tune towards you. They will go from telling you how amazing you are one minute, to telling you all that's wrong with you and making you feel worthless. They go from putting you on a pedestal to knocking you off it in a blink of an eye; they will become mean and cold towards you. A narcissist does this to put you in a vulnerable state, and you question what you have done wrong to cause this sudden change of heart in them. This move makes it harder for you to move away from them as you will try to get back the person they were at the start, or try and change yourself so that they will be the person they were with you at the beginning.
To a narcissist, people are nothing more than tools to be used for their gain. They sometimes involve others to help them terrorize you, unbeknown to the third party that this is what's happening. If they want you to feel insecure for example, they might tell you a friend said something about you. They might casually drop in hints that you are inadequate in comparison to your friends or family members. All planting seeds of doubt within you and making you feel self-conscious while chipping away at your self-esteem.
They thrive on seeing you second guess yourself so that they can lower your self-esteem and make you feel worthless as much as possible. Using other people is the best way for them to do this. When they involve other people, especially those close to you, they have instilled doubt in you. It creates a great diversion away from them being the bad guy.
Narcissists are charming, flattering and charismatic, but don't be fooled by these charms; they are masters of manipulation. They know precisely how to take your power away, and they do whatever it takes to make that happen.