Narcissistic Manipulation Tactics

In the world of personal relationships, there exists a rather unsettling phenomenon known as narcissistic manipulation tactics. This article delves into the various methods employed by individuals with narcissistic tendencies to control and manipulate those around them.

From gaslighting to playing on someone’s insecurities, these tactics can be incredibly harmful and damaging. Let’s explore these strategies and gain a deeper understanding of how to identify and protect ourselves from them.

Narcissistic Manipulation Tactics

Narcissistic manipulation tactics are a set of strategies and behaviors employed by individuals with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) to control and manipulate others for their own benefit.

These tactics are aimed at gaining power and dominance over their victims, often causing emotional and psychological harm. It is important to be aware of these tactics so that you can recognize them and protect yourself from falling prey to them.


Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic that involves making the victim question their own reality, memory, or sanity. The narcissist intentionally distorts facts, denies events or conversations, and redirects blame to make the victim doubt their own perception of reality.

This tactic undermines their confidence and makes them more dependent on the narcissist for validation and guidance.

Love Bombing

Love bombing is an intense and overwhelming display of affection, attention, and flattery that the narcissist uses to charm and manipulate their victim. They shower the person with love, gifts, and compliments to create a sense of emotional dependency and attachment.

The narcissist’s goal is to quickly establish control and gain the victim’s trust and admiration.

Narcissistic Manipulation Tactics


Hoovering is a manipulative technique employed by the narcissist to draw their victim back into a relationship or interaction after a period of estrangement or discard. It is named after the vacuum cleaner brand Hoover, which is known for its ability to suck things back in.

The narcissist may use sentimental gestures, promises of change, or emotional manipulation to rekindle the victim’s emotions and maintain their control.


Triangulation is a tactic used by narcissists to create a sense of competition or rivalry between two or more individuals. They manipulate the victim by involving a third party, whether real or imaginary, to evoke jealousy, insecurity, and distrust.

This tactic allows the narcissist to control and manipulate the dynamics of relationships while reinforcing their sense of power and superiority.

Narcissistic Manipulation Tactics


Projection is a manipulation tactic where the narcissist attributes their own negative traits, intentions, or behaviors onto others. By projecting their own flaws onto their victims, they deflect attention from their own faults and maintain a false sense of superiority.

It can be difficult to recognize projection, as the narcissist may vehemently deny any wrongdoing and accuse the victim of being the one with the negative traits.

Silent Treatment

The silent treatment is a manipulative tactic where the narcissist intentionally ignores, withholds communication, or gives the cold shoulder to their victim. This tactic is meant to gain control, manipulate emotions, and punish the victim.

By withdrawing their attention and affection, the narcissist makes the victim feel anxious, insignificant, and desperate for their approval and attention.

Silent Treatment


Guilt-tripping is a manipulative technique used by the narcissist to make their victim feel responsible, guilty, or ashamed for not meeting their perceived needs or expectations.

The narcissist uses emotional manipulation, threats, or other tactics to make the victim doubt themselves and believe that they are at fault. This tactic aims to control and manipulate the victim’s behavior by exploiting their sense of empathy and desire to please others.

Smear Campaigns

A smear campaign is a tactic employed by the narcissist to tarnish their victim’s reputation and credibility. The narcissist spreads false rumors, gossip, or lies about the victim to discredit them socially or professionally.

This campaign aims to isolate and weaken the victim by destroying their relationships and support networks, leaving them feeling alone, vulnerable, and unprotected.


Isolation is a manipulation tactic that involves the narcissist actively cutting the victim off from their friends, family, and support systems. By creating a sense of dependence and control, the narcissist aims to weaken the victim’s self-esteem and prevent them from seeking help or escaping the toxic relationship. This tactic reinforces the narcissist’s power and control over the victim.


Devaluation is a tactic used by the narcissist to diminish the victim’s self-worth and undermine their confidence. They belittle, criticize, and devalue the victim’s thoughts, feelings, and accomplishments, making them feel unworthy and dependent on the narcissist for validation.

This tactic erodes the victim’s self-esteem and fuels the narcissist’s sense of superiority and control.

Understanding these narcissistic manipulation tactics is crucial in protecting yourself from falling victim to their harmful effects. By being aware of these tactics, you can better recognize them and take steps to safeguard your emotional well-being.

If you suspect that you are being manipulated by a narcissist, seeking support from a professional therapist or counselor can provide you with the necessary tools and strategies to overcome the impact of these toxic behaviors.

Remember, you deserve to be in a healthy and respectful relationship where your needs and emotions are honored and valued.

Don`t copy text!