Narcissist: The Passive Abuser

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Narcissist: The Passive Abuser

By Tigress Luv, The Breakup Guru

Passive abuse is just so precisely planned, so psychologically twisted -- so mentally extreme -- that it's hard to explain. And even harder to fathom if you've never experienced it. Being passively abused by a narcissistic partner doesn't occur because the victims allow it; it occurs because its victims aren't even aware of it. This is a form of abuse of which all too often goes unrecognized and unchecked until the damage has already been done.

Passive abuse by a narcissist is often unrecognized because the abuse is so cleverly delivered -- and deliberately disguised -- that a trusting partner often doesn't distinguish it as abuse -- until it's too late. The deceptive abuser is so adept at delivering the abuse that it oftentimes only becomes evident as abuse once its victims have already suffered through its consequences.

Passive Narcissist Abuse may include:

* The narcissist displaying indignation or feigning hurt feelings by your actions or your lack of observing or acknowledging their alleged 'good deeds' ("I try to make you happy but you never are and I feel like such a failure. It hurts me deeply, and I don't know what to do anymore.") Controlling you through manipulating your sympathy or guilt is a form of abuse. Beware the crocodile tear -- especially when their 'claims' of what they have done for you, or how they feel, don't actually match up to any real-life examples. * Giving the impression that you have simply misjudged or misunderstood them or their intentions ("I wasn't trying to steal money from you; I wanted to buy you these pretty sapphire earrings that I saw ... that I thought would go great with that blue blouse you have ... you know, that blouse that I love you in ... and isn't that your birthstone ... but I was just a few bucks shy. I thought I could slip the money out and then back in before you would even notice it was gone.")

* Shunning, excluding, ostracizing or the 'silent treatment' / Emotionally unavailable. Making you feel invisible.

* Subtle insults, sometimes disguised inside a compliment or 'wrapped up in charm' ("You have such pretty eyes, too bad you hide them behind all that mascara." ... "My mother made the best pies; a lot of women I know have that knack for baking ... but yours are good, too.")

* Disinterest, indifference, detachment and dispassion in you or your life. Making you feel unimportant. Apathy

* Disregard for you, your feelings, your friends, your wishes, and/or your family. The abusing narcissist treats you as if you were an object or a thing.

* Neglect, rebuff, rejection or ignorance to your romantic, emotional, or intellectual wants, needs, or desires

* Revulsion, repugnance, disdain or aversion to you, your looks, your abilities, your methods, your friends

* Disappointment in you, your looks, your actions, your accomplishments or your lifestyle

* Gaslighting / Mind games. Making you feel unbalanced, confused or incensed. Denial and reversal ("You're seeing things again ... I didn't do any of that, I swear. But I did see you do it, honey. Maybe you should rest for a while. Can I get you any medications or a cold cloth for your head?")

* Projection. Accusing you of the very same behavior that they, themselves, are more guilty of doing. If how they describe you of being, or accuse you of doing, more fits their actions/behavior than it does yours, then that's projection.

* Unaccountability. Blaming you for their bad behavior/failures or appearing confused by your reactions or accusations ("What are you talking about? I didn't ruin the engine by gunning it; you're the one that put off the oil change for two weeks that one time last winter! Remember?")

* Finding insults and reproaching innuendos in even your most innocent comments. Most narcissists display this 'persecution complex' when they are with someone who knows them well. I call it a 'guilty conscious' (the hidden narcissist's self-awareness) LOL. If you go out of your way to sugarcoat everything you say to avoid a huge rage by the narcissist, then this is abuse. But sometimes it doesn't matter what you say, or how you say it -- which leads us to...

*....Twisting your words or changing the subject

* Pushing just the right buttons to nudge you over the edge and then accusing you of being (or behaving) childish, crazy, embellishing or out-of-control, especially when they -- at the very same time -- appear to remain calm, in control, and 'unfazed'. This abusive tactic is uncannily effective in the middle of an intense argument. ("See! I am the sane, rational one here. You're just a delusional, raving, psycho nut, like everybody says.")

* Condescending, shaming or giving the impression that they are humoring 'addle-brained' you. Talking to you as if you were an incompetent idiot, a lowlife, or a child

* Not supporting you or your ambitions and dreams, or acknowledging you or your accomplishments or achievements. Dismissing what's important to you

* Talking behind your back or betraying you; turning others against you. Which also brings us to...

*....Emotional infidelity (sharing affection, kindness and intimate conversations with others, especially if they are withholding this same kind of intimate affection from you, or revealing intimate details of your private life together to another). Emotional infidelity also includes emotional bonding with others.

* Lying to you and lying about you. Lying even when the truth would save them. Lying throws you off balance, and puts you on the nerve-racking 'policing end' of a relationship. You never know when to relax and to trust or to believe in your partner, and you soon begin to either just believe everything or disbelieve everything. You feel embarrassed in front of friends and casual acquaintances as you're never quite sure what lies the narcissistic abuser has fabricated about you (to them). Being made to feel constantly tense, full of doubt and mistrust, and embarrassed in front of others is a form of passive abuse.

* Not validating your feelings, concerns, or emotions. Making fun of your reactions to any negativity, or not giving you the right to be angry or upset, or to have an opinion that doesn't positively reflect back upon the narcissist. Narcissists don't give their partner's the right to be agitated. Suppressing and concealing powerful emotions can lead to resentment, depression and physical illness. Also, this brings us to...

*....Grievance 'flipping'. Turning every grievance or complaint you have about them right back to you, thereby removing any negative focus on them. Whenever you voice what is troubling you, the passive, abusing narcissist will counterattack you with a criticism they have against you, or point out something wrong with you or something that you do that is irritating or annoying. The subject of your grievance against them never gets resolved because they point the finger right back at you and you suddenly end up on the defensive end of the discussion. This is a classic narcissistic abuser's move. ("So what if I flirted with a few other people at the party? I mean, just look at you! People were laughing at you because of that horrible outfit you wore! What were you thinking?! Talk about being embarrassed; I was flirting with people just because I didn't want anyone to know I was with you!") Check and mate.

* Constantly changing and unreliable; giving mixed messages. The ground under the victim's feet is unstable. Nothing is safe, nowhere are they rooted; they live in constant fear. Oftentimes they feel vulnerable, targeted and preyed upon. There is no stability in their lives as the narcissist and his behavior is completely unpredictable; the irony to this is that this instability makes the victim more and more dependent upon the narcissist as the one 'stable' thing in their life.

* The narcissist goes from putting one high upon a pedestal... to devaluing and demonizing them in the blink of an eye. The victim is left emotionally reeling from this sudden crash and often tries to figure out what he or she has done wrong. The narcissist has treated them as if they were an object -- void of life and emotion, feelings, thoughts and love. The victim feels discarded and exploited. The abusive narcissist has built them up only to tear them down. It's all a game to stroke his ego. Unfortunately, when the narcissist does this he does it by devaluing and demonizing the victim. This stage can be so intense as to drive some victim's to suicide, and -- in the very least -- it destroys self-esteem and the victim's ability to ever feel safe and confident in any future relationships.

As you can see from the above list, passive abuse can be administered in many especially subtle or undetectable methods. All these passive abuse tactics are meant to make the victim feel like 'they' did something wrong; are somehow flawed; are 'bad'; are crazy; or are somehow deserving of punishment. They are delivered to the victim in such a way as to disguise the abuse, or cover up the abusive actions of the narcissist. The victim is often gas-lighted and made to feel off-kilter.

The passive abuser quite frequently will also use the 'victim card' to disguise his or her abuse.
What this means is that the passive abuser often tries to come off as being the true 'victim' in the relationship -- or rather, as the one who is really being abused.

They say that the worst kind of evil is evil that masquerades as good -- and never is this more evident than in passive abuse. In this case, the worst kind of abuse is abuse that masquerades as being the 'victim'. The worst kind of abusive partner is the passive abuser who disguises the abuse by assuming the identity of being the actual victim. This tactic is often used (and 'overused') as a defense tactic in high-profile murder trials. The accused will somehow turn the event around and make themselves out to look as though they were the actual victim of the crime, and that the deceased was the one that was evil, mean -- and, well, deserved to die. According to these narcissists, the world should feel sorry for them -- the perpetrators of the crime -- for having to endure the deceased victim's abuse.

Three such cases that immediately jump to my mind are Casey Anthony; the brothers, Lyle and Erik Menendez; and Jodi Arias. Oh, and a couple of other cases just popped into my head -- Susan Leigh Vaughan Smith and Aileen 'Monster' Wuornos. All claimed to be the actual 'victim' in the case. All pulled the 'poor-me' card. This 'twisting-of-reality' somehow makes the innocent victim of abuse feel like they are the one that is the actual abuser and the real problem. There's nothing quite like being abused -- or being driven slowly insane by a narcissist -- and then also being made to feel like you are the evil perpetrator of it all. Some victims even go as far as to apologize to their abusers, falsely believing they have been the giver of the abuse, and not the receiver.

It's hard to recognize abuse when someone you love or care about is playing the 'poor me' card. If your partner treats you poorly or makes you feel bad by performing the role of being the injured party, the sufferer, or the damaged one -- or if they falsely claim to be mistreated, persecuted, exploited, nagged or pressured by you -- then trust me when I say that you are being passively abused.

Of course, not all abuse from a narcissist is passive. For instance, their rages. Narcissistic rages are loud, forceful, assertive and very frightening. We have not mentioned their rages here, because we do not believe the rage is 'passive'. However, putting one in 'fear' of having to endure a rage if they do not 'behave' in a certain manner, is passive abuse. I hope you understand the difference.

It's also helpful to bear in mind that narcissists -- and abusers -- - choose victims that they think they can easily manipulate, control, or dominate. This means they choose gentle-hearted, trusting, good people.

If you find yourself on the defense more than the offense, you may be with a narcissistic passive abuser. As with both the narcissist and the abuser, my advice to you is the same. RUN. FAST. AND FAR.

For more information on surviving a narcissist read my digital reports about my own, ten-year experience of living with a narcissist here, at my narcissist advice website, Breaking Up With Your Narcisist

Surviving a Breakup with a Narcissist

Free CSS TemplatesBreaking up with a histrionic narcissist? Be prepared for the battle of your life! While you are an emotional basketcase, he is as Cold as Ice! While you are left holding down the fort and dealing with the real-life responsibilities, he walks away from everything leaving you to mop off his stage and pay his bills. He will punish you in ways you couldn't possibly have ever imagined...

....and not even acknowledge it to himself! Why? Because he's off charming the socks off of new women as if your years together didn't even exist!

The narcissistic ex continually acts in abusive, bewildering and confusing ways. He is not above committing destructive acts. When the breakup becomes a reality, it is likely that his 'false persona' will completely disappear all together and you will most likely experience the most hurtful of behavior from him. He is completely lacking in empathy, and - since he is not receiving any admiration from you anymore - he will dismiss you and discard you as worthless to him, consequently dropping any fake front that he once fabricated in order to keep you in the relationship. Click here to read our 'Breaking Up & Dealing With a Narcissist' downloadable pdf ebooks brought to you by Tigress Luv.

Read more details on getting over and recovering from a narcissist in downloadable PDF's

About the Author

Design Blog Tigress Luv, the Breakup Guru, has been writing about breakups, relationships, abuse, infidelity, CP, and narcissism for years. You may read more of her articles at Tigress Luv or Read some of her ebooks on narcissism here.

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