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Can You Manipulate a Narcissist? — 3 Comments

  1. Hi Skylar, long time since I’ve been here but here I am again! This time it’s my daughter who is involved with a narcissist ….I think. I have spent the past few years being unsure tbh. He’s so ‘nice’ & so passive. I actually thought he was on the spectrum but now after getting to know him & witnessing that ‘Niceness’ slip, I am leaning more towards Narcissism. I suppose what Im asking is how can you tell? Like indisputably?! He is either on the spectrum or a narcissist or maybe a bit of both. Whatever he is he’s very clever. I know I now sound like Ive answered my own question but Im still not sure. Quick history; my d met this guy at work & he ‘pursued’ her as his marriage was falling apart. He told my d that his ex had cheated on him & that he knew this because he had installed cctv without her knowing & recorded her bringing some man home. He has kids. No boundaries with them & the eldest is the golden child. He treats her like another wife; whispering and sniggering together ….it’s weird. But then he presents as so lovely. Verykind, loving, helps in the home, doesn’t try to be in charge. Is it possible for a narcissist to act passively?It doesn’t seem to fit. I mean my daughter is a ball breaker but it doesn’t matter what happens an theres been lots of drama rama, he quietly gets his own way; every time. I know its probably very difficult for you to answer definitively but I need help. There have been severe times when my d has threatened to leave because of all the drama & somehow he worms his way back in. Im exhausted with i all and so worried about my d and my gd who he is bringing up to be the new golden child it would seem …..

    • Hi Strongawoman! I’m so happy to hear from you, although I’m sorry about your daughters situation.

      We’re often told that we can’t put a label on people we haven’t met. In fact, the American Psychiatric Association even made a rule called “The Goldwater Rule” which states that mental health practitioners are not allowed to give a professional opinion about public figures whom they have not examined in person, and from whom they have not obtained consent to discuss their mental health in public statements. This rule has protected many public figure narcissists from becoming poster children.

      I pretty much go with the old adage, “If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…”

      Yet, we don’t actually have to call it a duck. When we say it waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck, anyone can come to the conclusion that it probably is a duck or a duck impersonator.

      The manipulative behaviors you describe are red flags. For me, the surveillance on his wife and the fact that he’s still married, are huge red flags.

      You want indisputable proof that he is a narcissist, and you’ve provided indisputable descriptions of narcissistic behavior. The behavior is the problem, not the label, so I think you have your answer.

      I think that many people are concerned about “over-diagnosing” narcissism because narcissistic behavior is so commonplace today. TV and social media shows us people who manipulate and who are attention addicts but also charming. It makes those traits seem normal to us. I think that narcissism is the “other” pandemic.

      I guess the question is: What can you do about your daughter’s predicament? He isn’t going to change and she’s probably hooked on the drama by now.

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