15 Manipulation Techniques Narcissists Use To Get Inside Your Head

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Manipulation is a tool that narcissists use to control others, and it can be incredibly subtle. Many people don’t realize they are being manipulated until it’s too late.

Narcissists possess a remarkable ability to use their victims and infiltrate their thoughts. They skillfully employ charm, charisma, and intelligence to exert control over others.


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Gaslighting is a manipulative technique used by narcissists to make you question your reality. It involves twisting the truth and making you doubt your memories, feelings, and perceptions. A narcissist will use gaslighting to make you feel crazy or unstable so that they can maintain control over you.

Love Bombing

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It involves showering their victim with love, affection, and attention in the beginning stages of a relationship. They want to make you believe that you are the most critical person in their life and that they can’t live without you. However, once they have gained your trust and love, they will start to manipulate and control you.


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Triangulation is a manipulative tactic employed by narcissists to instigate feelings of jealousy and competition between two individuals. They often do this by talking about an ex or making you feel insecure about your relationship. This tactic is used to make you doubt yourself and become more dependent on the narcissist for validation and reassurance.


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Narcissists often use projection to avoid taking responsibility for their actions. They will project their negative traits onto others, making it seem like they are the victim instead of the perpetrator. This can be incredibly confusing and damaging for the victim as they start to question their intentions and actions.

Gaslighting by Proxy

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Gaslighting by proxy is when a narcissist uses other people to manipulate their victim. They often spread lies and rumors about the victim, turning others against them and making them doubt themselves. This not only isolates the victim but also makes them feel like they are going crazy.

Playing the Victim

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Narcissists often play the victim to gain sympathy and manipulate others into feeling sorry for them. They will twist a situation to make it seem like they are the ones who have been wronged and use this as a way to control and manipulate others. This can be especially damaging in relationships, as the victim may feel guilty and responsible for the narcissist’s feelings.

Silent Treatment

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The silent treatment is an insidious tactic employed by narcissists to inflict emotional abuse upon their victims. Deliberately ignoring or ceasing communication leaves their targets bewildered, wounded, and starved for attention. This calculated behavior serves as a means of control and manipulation, as the victim becomes desperate to break the silence and earn the narcissist’s validation.

Smear Campaigns

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Narcissists will often use smear campaigns to ruin their victim’s reputation. They will spread false information or exaggerate the truth about their target, causing others to view them negatively. This can isolate the victim and make them feel like they have no support system, giving the narcissist more power and control.

False Flattery

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Narcissists are masters at using compliments and flattery to manipulate others. They often praise their victim excessively to gain their trust and work them into doing what they want. However, this praise is insincere and only used as a tool for manipulation.


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Guilt-tripping is a common tactic used by narcissists to make their victims feel bad for not meeting their expectations. They often use phrases like “I thought you loved me” or “If you really cared, you would do this for me.” This can make the victim feel guilty and responsible for the narcissist’s emotions, giving them more control in the relationship.


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Once a narcissist has gained control over their victim, they will often start to devalue them. They may criticize and belittle the victim, making them doubt their self-worth and become more dependent on the narcissist for validation. This can be a form of manipulation to keep the victim under their control.


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Brainwashing is a more extreme form of manipulation used by narcissists. It involves coercing and manipulating the victim into believing their distorted reality. The narcissist will use fear, guilt, and isolation to break down the victim’s sense of self and make them entirely dependent on the abuser.

Name Calling

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Narcissists often use name-calling as a way to make their victims feel small and inferior. They may call them derogatory names or use insults to chip away at their self-esteem. This can be subtle yet damaging, as it makes the victim more susceptible to the narcissist’s manipulation and control.


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Narcissists may also use aggression and intimidation to manipulate their victims. This can be physical, emotional, or verbal abuse that is used to control and instill fear in the victim. It can also be used to make the victim feel like they have no choice but to comply with the narcissist’s demands.

Emotional Manipulation

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Narcissists employ emotional manipulation as a strategy to exert control and influence over their victims’ emotions. Through tactics like guilt, fear, and pity, they undermine the victims’ confidence in their feelings and needs.

Consequently, victims find themselves in a perpetual state of anxiety, constantly tiptoeing and striving to appease the narcissist. This relentless cycle takes a heavy toll on their well-being.

Overall Effects of Narcissistic Manipulation

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Narcissistic manipulation can have long-lasting effects on victims, including low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and even PTSD. Recognizing these techniques and seeking support is crucial if you find yourself in a relationship with a narcissist. Remember, you are not accountable for their actions and deserve to be treated with utmost respect and kindness.

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  • Sharon

    Sharon is a dynamic contributor to the Frenz Hub writing team, integrates her expertise in business information technology with her love for reading, blogging, traveling, and volunteering, adding depth to her articles.

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