5 Ways the Narcissist in Your Life is Scheming to Destroy You Right Now

By Kim Saeed | Contemplating No Contact

Nov 28
Narcissists destroy good people

Can I be straight up with you?  Narcissists destroy good people.

If you have reason to believe that your partner is a narcissist, your future and your health are in grave danger.

Over the last three and a half years, I’ve read many hundreds of stories depicting how the lives of victims of narcissistic abuse were destroyed. I’ve also worked with hundreds of clients in every imaginable situation, and I’ve seen firsthand what happens when one continually gives the narcissist the benefit of the doubt.

I know you were raised to believe that goodness always prevails, to turn the other cheek, and to help those you love who are in need, but when it comes to narcissists, those beliefs will bring you crashing down in a heap of flames. 

Narcissists are extremely good at making you believe they are on the mend, that they will treat you better, and that they’ve finally had The Divine Epiphany.  You know, the one where the angels parted the clouds in a glorious moment of melodic, celestial descension, touching down and instilling divine insight into the narcissist’s brain, revealing how much they need you in their life and how sorry they are for all the pain they’ve caused.

But, it’s all a scheme to destroy you.

In particular, there are five narcissistic behaviors and schemes that really bother me. If you’re struggling to detach from the narcissist, to resist their hoovering, or are feeling fed up with yourself for the number of times you’ve forgiven them, chances are it’s because you’ve bought into one or more of these schemes.

Let’s jump in…

Scheme #1 – They successfully accomplished their recent hoovering mission and now the two of you are rekindling your love and vowing your unending devotion to one another.

If the narcissist recently wedged their way back into your life, you may be feeling particularly blissful, especially if there is a special occasion coming up or a holiday is drawing near.  Perhaps you feel so utterly wonderful that you are excitedly making plans for your next vacation. 

The reason you feel euphoric right now is because the narcissist likely promised to give you all the things you need to help you feel emotionally safe.  This has released high levels of dopamine in your brain. In fact, it’s not only that the narcissist is back in your life that has you feeling so ecstatic, it’s the anticipation of an improved future with them that’s sustaining your biochemical high.

This scheme is part of the narcissist’s hurt and rescue mission.  They may have “rescued you” after a recent silent treatment or your discovery of their affair partner, but they are secretly planning to push you off the cliff again soon.  This hurt and rescue process is how they maintain your symptoms of trauma bonding and cognitive dissonance.

If you’ve recently let the narcissist back in after a stint of exceptionally good hoovering, prepare yourself for what’s coming.  

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Scheme #2 – You recently found out they’ve been seeing someone else, and their response was to disappear off the face of the earth.

Of course, the whole time they’re gone, you obsess 24/7 over what they are doing with their affair partner, going down checklist of all the possible reasons they cheated on you.  Ultimately, you feel so unattractive and uninteresting, you begin to idolize the narcissist and embark on all the things you’ll do to improve yourself and win back the narcissist’s love.

When the Narcissist eventually returns following their crippling silent treatment, you will be emotionally defenseless and more prone to accepting their offensive behaviors in order to avoid their leaving you again.  It may even lead to your pleading, apologizing, and begging the Narcissist not to leave, even when you have done no wrong.

This scheme is designed to trigger your abandonment wounds and destroy your self-esteem.  Over time, your abandonment wounds will run so deep that you may eventually accept their having another lover and put yourself into the role of The Fallback.  In this way, the narcissist can extract copious amounts of supply from you because you’ll do anything to keep them in your life as you engage in the humiliating “Pick Me” dance. 

Don’t let yourself fall into anxiety and depression by thinking there’s something wrong with you. Narcissists do this to everyone, so try your best to not take it personally.

Scheme #3 – You’ve been talking divorce with the narcissist and they say you should avoid lawyers and save your money. 

They may even go so far as to write up an agreement with you, making it appear they are willing to be reasonable and give you your fair share during the separation. 

Typically, narcissists don’t play fair when it comes to divorce.  In the beginning, they often pretend to be fair and civil, but it’s only a matter of time until you discover the truth. 

During the initial stages of my own divorce and custody proceedings with my Ex, I fell for the “we don’t need lawyers, let’s save money” trap and showed up to our first hearing alone, expecting that we would settle things between ourselves and the Judge.  My Ex showed up with an attorney and they had secretly written up a divorce agreement, springing it on me about three minutes before we went before the Judge.  I had two minutes to examine it.  It seemed fair enough, so I signed it.  Big mistake.  It was so vague that the attorney I later retained wondered how in the world a Judge would sign off on it. 

Of course, it was intentionally vague to give my Ex various freedoms and as little accountability as possible. 

Another trap they’ll spring on you is calling you greedy or that if you’ve been a stay-at-home mom and/or homemaker that you don’t deserve anything, or – the all-time whopper – they’ve had The Divine Epiphany and discovered they don’t want to divorce you, after all. 

Narcissists want you to believe you are a greedy gold-digger so they can waltz away with everything.  In fact, they truly believe you don’t deserve anything and will do all in their power to keep from splitting assets, paying alimony, or paying child support.  If they see you’re not backing down, that they may have to split the joint property, or pay you any kind of support, they will again pretend to have had an epiphany (yet will continue their affairs behind your back). 

If you can, get a good attorney and a Private Investigator.

Read:  Breaking No Contact Can Hurt You in Court

Scheme #4 – Buttering you up and then asking you to give them money or enter into a financial commitment with them.

I’ve lost count of the number of people I’ve worked with who have been financially devastated because they gave in to the narcissist’s seemingly genuine requests to give them a loan, start a business together, open joint accounts, and/or buy a house or vacation home together.  

They may have loaned you money or paid for a big-ticket item at some point to make you believe they are generous, but it was only to instill in you a sense of obligation in preparation for the debilitating shaft you’d get from them later. 

Another scheme that falls into this category is their asking for your support while they are unemployed. These schemes are all designed to “break the seal” in the area of financial matters so they can take shocking liberties later, such as:

  • Getting loans in your name
  • Taking out a second-mortgage on your home without your knowledge
  • Not paying IRS taxes, resulting in your possible confinement in jail
  • Expecting you to pay for everything while they save their own money for themselves
  • Forcing you to get all the utilities and insurances in your name so you’ll have to pay for them all

…and so on and so forth. 

If you’ve been having problems in your relationship and believe your partner is a narcissist, it would be in your best interest to avoid mingling your finances in any way

Scheme #5 – Just when you think you have made the narcissist happy, they pull the rug out from under you.

The ultimate indicator that the narcissist has gained complete control over you is when you are consumed entirely with making them happy. 

From the very beginning, the narcissist has groomed you to relinquish everything that is part of your personality: the way you dress, your interests, your friends, your family, even the bond you have with your children.  In fact, you may be so consumed with making the narcissist happy, you’ve barely noticed that everything that has been dear to you is slipping through your fingers like quicksand. 

The narcissist achieves this by grooming you to anticipate their every need.  No longer do you care about your appearance, your plans for the future, or the state of your career (other than to lament that those things are lost causes, anyway).  All you care about is making sure you’ve appeased the narcissist in order to win their approval. 

However, the very nature of narcissism decrees that you, as their target, can never feel satisfied or safe in knowing you’ve made them happy.  Therefore, the very moment you feel pride in knowing you’ve accomplished something they’ve made clear is required to stay in their good graces, they will pull the rug out from under you.  

This is often described as their “moving the goalposts”, “the never-ending prospect of redemption”, and the almighty “no-win situation”.

Not only does this result in your becoming an excellent source of supply for them, it will lead to the destruction of your mental and physical health, leading to Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome. Additionally, I’ve read countless stories of targets who’ve had to go on psychotropic medications, who developed certain cancers, who lost their cognitive functioning, developed IBS, developed fibromyalgia, lost their adrenal function, or, shockingly, committed suicide.

In fact, I have symptoms of chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and lowered adrenal functioning myself. 

The good news is that you can turn it all around.  When you’ve eliminated the risks you can control, you can dive in and start clearing your path to healing.  If you hit a road bump or make a mistake, brush yourself off, learn something useful from it… and then pick yourself back up for another round.

Because that’s what survivors do.

Are you ready to make that leap?

Learn how to “Navigate the Narcissist” during the holiday season.  Grab your download below!

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and prepare for a better holiday season in spite of the Narcissist!

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(21) comments

[…] can we begin the work of healing and banishing self-sabotaging behaviors.  Unfortunately, due to the traumatic nature of narcissistic abuse, many targets get stuck in repetition compulsion rather than exiting the relationship and moving on […]

Reply
Anonymous March 4, 2017

Workplace NPD . I worked for a NPD
supervisor. After months of ptsd from the previous boss it was only then that I began to realize that something was off with the new boss.

After a few months of my head literally spinning non stop – I was confused, stopped attending mass, I avoided my family, I worked out everyday, and was an emotional mess. It was then that I met my saving grace; a psychotherapist in passing. I described occurrences re this new boss and that is when I was told I was working for a narcissist.

I researched the heck out of. I began to apply
text book survival for the most part. It was so text book it was scary. Every tactic or action by the NPD came to fruition. Another saving grace is that I have the support of management who is over the NPD.

After two years if this abuse I was recently re-assigned, by upper management, along with a few others in my group, by their decision. God’s intervention. I hung in their with her because I knew I would pay for it if asked to leave, it would have to be on her terms. Well, it was on neither of our terms.

It has only been about two weeks. I’ve prepared to apply for a promotion. I learned, of course, invaluable leadership skills from her but I paid the price along the way.

Once I figured out the game plan I continued to feed her ego which carried me the end.
I desperately need to heal. I am on a different floor and she has come, by that I know of twice, I was able to avoid her.

I am frightened of when I do run into her. As I saw her from the back side, when I did avoid her, I stopped dead in my tracks and my heart sank; I turned around a left. It truly took me back what impact the sight if her had on me. What really bothers me is when I did not know what I was dealing with I did not set boundaries and when I did she still violated them, and I allowed it. She had a sexual overtone with me but was more flirtatious. Played games re texts, would rub my hair and hold my hand.

I made a lot of mistakes at the start BUT I documented the most important ones. I could have easily reported her to HR but I did not. My long term goal was to not ruin my career.

I moved @ two weeks from her to leave on my terms prior to the official move date. Then I make stupid move to “justify” the goodbye; I write her an ego letter to stay my “final” goodbye. To me it was healing but the reply was short and sweet, “nothing has changed”. I was a wreck, I left work early, I was crying, confused, and depressed. An onslaught of all my emotions.

I wished I would have found You sooner because God knows I have researched the heck out of this topic. I need to heal but how
when I still work with this person.

I found you by looking up how to heal…and come across your message to STOP it and move on in order to heal.

I am not her supply right now and I have avoided her and I kinda know I may fall for her games when she does come back around.

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Anonymous February 25, 2017

Reading your articles I get anxiety an a lil bit afraid of what the next one will say. I’ve been living that life for years an saying a lot of the things I am now reading . I always feel like anytime I start to be successful or turn my life in the rite direction he throws a wrench in an always seems like anytime he an would start talking an actually getting along for a extended amount of time ( few weeks good for us) I would feel good an all sudden he would get mad over nothing an end it.
I am now seriously trying to recover an make my own life better for myself an my kids. Its been 4 weeks successful an I can honestly see positive results in my life although I am scared of him destroying or trying to destroy me an how I feel an I’m heading in rite direction finally. Only taken ,6 years ( since I .moved out) for me to realize an see that I wasn’t crazy the whole time. I want to get better but I feel like I have so many emotional issues I am gonna carry around for the rest of my life.

Reply
    Kim Saeed February 26, 2017

    Hi Anon,

    Thank you for stopping by. While there are many articles on the site about narcissists and their behaviors, there are also many about healing and moving forward…several of which have been posted recently. I invite you to spend some time exploring the site as you’ll find many articles related to healing and recovery.

    Warmly,

    Kim

    Reply
D Smith January 17, 2017

I have been married to one of these emotional vampires for 5 years and we have 2 kids. We had been drifting apart for a couple of months, and I was really missing him. I wrote him a love letter to tell him how I still loved him very much and wanted to reconnect. I got no response at first, and then he said he wanted to wait to talk till after the weekend. We sat down on a Monday night (Oct. 4th) and with our 4 year old daughter in his lap, he tells me he no longer has feelings for me and thinks we should call it quits. All the while, tickling and playing with her. I was devastated to say the least and dumbfounded that he would use our child as a shield! I had to leave the room to prevent her from seeing me fall apart. When I had regained some of my control, I returned to my spot on the sofa where he continued to basically tell me what a disappointment I was to him. I shut him down and let him know I’d had enough. The next morning I asked him if he wanted to try to fix our marriage. I have no desire to go back was the response I got back. 5 years, two kids, and my life was what he stole from me, and now he’s controlling how much I get my children. He has kept most of their clothing at his house because he sees no reason to split them evenly when I’ll only have them a couple of days a week.

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    Kim Saeed February 27, 2017

    Thank you for sharing, D. I am sorry for what you are going through as it’s definitely harder when children are involved. Speaking of which…I don’t know anything about your custody or financial situation, but if you suspect this guy is a narcissist, your children would be better off with your having primary custody instead of the other way around. Reason being is that children who grow up under a narcissist’s care typically grow up to develop either narcissistic or codependent traits. They need the non-narcissist parent as a role model and to provide an emotional buffer. In spite of how great a parent they may pretend to be, their abuse does not stop with their children.

    Reply
    Lost February 27, 2017

    I am going through the exact same thing. My ex took me to court and now has full custody of my daughter and can control when I see her. He keeps taking me back to court. I don’t know how much more I can take.

    Reply
John Trujillo January 11, 2017

Wow I am soooo glad my brother was with one of these hearless souless people. He finally left her after her bringing him down to nothing. He started looking into Narscassim and learning a lot. We spoke about his many many arguments with his ex and what she would say and do. One of them is “this discussion is over”. I realized that my girlfriend of almost 3 years says the same thing. Of course there are many more things like constantly breaking up and how everything was my fault. If I’d only done this and only done that BS. I was almost 170lbs and now down to 130lbs. Sooo much stress smh. They NEVER lose sleep or worry about the relationship. Only what you don’t do for them. Finally my girlfriend and a buddy of mine went out this New Years. She talked to him openly about sex and things I won’t mention. That night I took care of her being that she was drunk. The next morning she asked if I was happy. I told her that I wasn’t happy at all. After I spoke to her about how someone who loves someone will be there through thick and thin. Of course, she didn’t hear a word. I also let her know that she doesn’t love me and NEVER will, she will never love anyone. She started packing and I walked away and let her. She is now my ex and will never enter my life again. I blocked her from all means of communication. I will rebuild and never let anyone in my life like that again.

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Anonymous December 26, 2016

I left the narcicist that I was dating after an attempted attempted suicide and untold amounts of abuse. and The only thing that helped me get over that “souless creatures” was a trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina…obsession gone!!!

Reply
Sarah Greene December 8, 2016

Thank you! I was a “target” for almost 6 years, but with all the Houdini acts the actual time is half that. The only time I really fell in love for the first time, and his name was ironically appropriate “Rob” and he attempted to murder my soul. I used terms like: backup girl, Houdini,007,jekyl & Hyde,hit & run. He broke up right before every holiday,my birthdays I spent alone. I could barely function and I was strong but he just about broke me. I went back 50 times. I was blamed. But worse was no one ever challenged him. He convinced everyone I was crazy. I’m so glad he is a high school dropout no potential for ever running for any political office with that kind of power. Is been the biggest struggle of my life and I thought I had lived challenging life growing up my mother left me when I was 3 I was raised by a terrible alcoholic father. But this was by far the worst thing I’ve ever lived through and only by the grace of God and my perseverance not to give up on myself now and the love of my son that I am here today. I had no idea there was a name or a syndrome or support for being exposed to this kind of person I spend days reading everything I could read about this it’s given me strength to know I’m not alone. I was so embarrassed alone and nobody seemed to care or understand the depth of Despair this man put me through and I refuse to accept responsibility because all I ever did was love him. Now that I can sit back and reflect I’m so proud of myself I did it I survived and I am stronger than ever and I’m glad that I opened my heart and was not bitter and I’m still not bitter. But make no mistake I am far smarter and this will not ever happen to me again. Thanks to everyone that is posted information about the narcissist end of Psycho narcissist of which was my experience but once I found out there was a label it saved my life and that’s my intention is to spread the word about these men and women who destroy people’s lives and thanks to all of you who were apart of saving mine. I truly believe there needs to be support groups just like they have for everything else this is an epidemic. And I truly believe we need to get this message to the younger girls and boys when they are young so they will know what they need to look for to avoid this life changing I’m not trying to be too traumatic devastating chain of events that could lead to suicide terrible medical conditions which I suffered. I don’t seek revenge I seek knowledge and this is where knowledge is power and it empowers me.

Reply
Grace December 6, 2016

Thank you Kim for this website. Your story and advice has help me through a divorce with a narcissist. I am much better than I was years ago. My ex-narc has remarried and from what I understand now putting the new wife through the devalue phase. They really don’t change.
I’ve since met someone. It’s been a year in the relationship. I feel spiritually connected with him. We care about each other. Some of his ways concern me. At times, he won’t communicate. I don’t feel he has narcissistic ways but I don’t understand why he just shuts down. Maybe I am overeacting from my past? I appreciate any advice.

Reply
Salena December 2, 2016

I feel like I’m drowning, after almost 2 years I still find every day hard !!! I can’t even explain to you, because there are no words, I feel dead inside after years of being abused by him, all I can do is take one day at a time and only hope I can recover and hopefully be happy again, but I don’t think I’ll ever be the same person I once was !!!

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    John Trujillo January 12, 2017

    Hang in there Selena. They go after good people like us. We won’t be the people we once were because we learned of these heartless ones. Sad for them because they will never feel the love like we do. All we can do is take it one day at a time. Fortunately it’s been since morning of Jan 1st and I blocked her from everything she can contact me from. So you’re not alone. We have to rebuild ourselves, which makes us stronger. Stay positive and everytime you think of the bad past, change that channel like you do with your tv. It is not easy but keep on working on it. What helps me is keeping busy bumming with my kids and family. I wish you the best and never give up!!!

    Reply
Xterminate December 1, 2016

I am back at square one, but I know I can do this. Went no contact for 2 1/2 years and one day I got a text thibking I was strong enough to respond.

Said everything I wanted to hear. That he was different and knew what he needed to do to make things right this time.
He was married now with a kid, but he always wanted me and was going to leave her after the holidays… she left him before he got the chance to leave her and the tables turned. He then was no longer lovebombing me and all the sudden he loves his wife and kids and wants to work things out with them

I have read that you would become the other woman if you went back I guess I just wanted to believe he was the exception. The sad thing is I left him and had my dignity and now I experienced the one thing I was trying to avoid

It is all just a game. I know he doesn’t love her nor has he ever loved me. It is something I just need to learn to accept.

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Tammy November 29, 2016

Feeling stuck!!!

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Lcherie November 29, 2016

Only we understand this type of human. They’re unreal

Reply
    Funnerthan December 4, 2016

    Yes, most people would never understand. However, the operative word is “most”. In reality, once you begin studying the dynamic fellow and former sufferers seem to start showing up. I’ve even learned to identify a couple people stuck in the cycle who are not ready to address their reality. I get to plant the seed of truth and then leave them to their own. The term “keep toxic people out of your life” resonates stronger and stronger with progress and education!

    Reply
    Kristin December 17, 2016

    They’re from hell. Soulless. I can’t imagine what they must’ve gone through growing up to become the way they are… Mine was also a heroin addict…which is an extremely narcissistic drug to do in itself. So it was like an EXTREME NPD who was addicted to shooting up narcissism. I’m still trying to escape his gravity.

    Reply
Trish November 28, 2016

Kim your comments are the truth – they will do anything. Continue to change the rules/game only to gas light you then go silent. The damage to our souls feels irreparable and has a long dark soul searching journey.

Even after 2 years of no contact. Some days the anxiety monster of not feeling safe raises it’s ugly head. But the anxiety monster, other self doubt and destruction are far and few between. The wisdom, insight, self love and internal light is now and continues to grow stronger and brighter.

Trish

Reply
    Anonymous November 29, 2016

    Amen Trish we just have to keep our heads held high as we know “we are survivors”.

    Reply
    Anonymous November 29, 2016

    You said it all!! I wonder if they’re even human🤔😒

    Reply
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