The Ten Tells Of Triangulation



Triangulation is a staple manipulative device in our arsenal. Triangulation is a convenient way to describe an affair, having a bit on the side, flirting, playing away, investing in a new prospect, having a form of distraction, a plaything and so on. The reality is that triangulation offends the principles of why two people are in a relationship and is a method of manipulation which is used to gain fuel, cause confusion and exert control. The principle reason that we engage in it is because we are able to derive two sources of fuel from two different appliances. Sometimes the fuel is doubly positive and others both positive and negative. This is edifying and invigorating. You may be triangulated with a person or an object. There may be triangles operating within triangles. Triangulation provides fuel but also allows us to generate confusion and engage in distraction tactics whereby you and the other person attack one another, failing to realise (or perhaps not wanting to be seen to realise for fear of being regarded as losing out) that is us that has caused the triangulation. Usually you will not be aware that you are being triangulated with the other person. It is easier to keep you and the other person separated and we enjoy our time with them and then our time with you. We draw fuel from you both and neither of you know about the other. We see no problem in behaving like this. We are never accountable; we are entitled to do as we like. We do not distinguish between you because you are just appliances to us and therefore entirely interchangeable. Before we decide to up the ante and reveal your opponent to you, thus heightening your reactions and responses, you may actually be able to ascertain that you are being triangulated as there are certain tells which exist. These are more obvious amongst the Lesser and Mid-Range of our kind as they may lack the higher function to remember things that they have done or said and occasionally slip up, thereby revealing the tell. If you confront us with this tell we will spin some yarn, persuade you that there is nothing in it, this person is a friend, there is a glitch with the ‘phone, somebody else did it, you are imagining things, you are over-reacting and in our time-honoured fashion we will deny and deflect and even go on the attack if need be in order to protect our investment in both you and the other person. If you do see these tells, do not challenge us about them. You are only giving us a chance to draw fuel from you, confused you and worm our way out of it. If you see these tells you now know what they mean. You are being triangulated.  Here are ten of those tells.


  1. Our mobile ‘phone will have duplicate messages. We send the same message to you and the other person, often within seconds of the first message.
  2. We will buy you a duplicate gift having already given it to you a week or so ago.
  3. We will tell you something that we have already told you before, more or less word for word.
  4. We will make reference to something you said even though you have not said it (it was the other person who said it).
  5. We will make reference to something we apparently did together which you will not remember. (This is because we did it with the other person).
  6. We will call you by someone else’s name.
  7. You may hear us say things under our breath such as “She wouldn’t do this” or “she would agree to do it”.
  8. We will fail to acknowledge you doing something for us thinking it was done by the other person, for instance a surprise gift.
  9. We will remark we don’t want to do something again even though we have never done it with you. (We did it with the other person).
  10. We will ask a question which is out of context. For instance, asking how your dad is recovering when there is nothing wrong with him. (It is of course the other person’s dad who is ill).

49 thoughts on “The Ten Tells Of Triangulation

  1. Wounded says:

    Is it possible that he will triangulate a primary and her friend by drawing the friend into the relationship, pit them against each other in subtle messages and then devalue the primary while seducing the friend?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      We would never do something like that and drive a wedge between two good friends, what a terrible thing to suggest. The friendship between two best friends is sacrosanct.

      Damn right we would do that.

      1. Jenny says:

        Hi, I have been no contact for 18 months I fled my home town,, from the start he has been asking my best friend if she has heard from me, just recently he has uped his visits and is now taking her out for days, I know there is nothing sexual going on, he is using her for information and she using him for what she can get materially ! I still trust her not to tell him anything but it hurts she would do this after she has seen what he did ! Is this triangulation is he still trying to control me ? Should I also break contact with her ? You are the only person I trust to give an honest answer { ha ha } Very confused !

        1. HG Tudor says:

          1. Triangulation to provoke you but also gather information about you.
          2. You should either have nothing to do with her (best outcome) or be very sparing in your contact with her and tell her nothing about what you are doing, never talk about the narcissist and give no reaction when she mentions him.

  2. Gail Bartell says:

    My ex husband would drink too much alcohol and make a comment, I want to have kids with her. At the time I didnt realize he had already got her pregnant after he paid 3500.00 to have her tubes untied to get her pregnant. Another incident was taking me to see the singer Amy Grant. He had taken his girlfriend already. After the concert, he wanted me to stand in line to meet Amy Grant. I knew then she had done that and wanted me to do the same thing. I was disgusted with the name Amy Grant from then on. Giving me items she didnt want and him telling me they were items he bought me when they werw used. Taking my refillable razors to give to her when i just purchased them. He bought 2 sets of shot glasses i saw when he went on vacation with his brother. It hurts your self worth and betrayal is not an issue with them. A comment may be said with no true feelings saying im sorry i never meant to hurt you. The next day is dening the whole affair and im crazy. It is constant circle of lies but its all my fault. I was always at fault. Counseling wouldnt work because he manipulate things to make me the blame.

  3. A. Brown says:

    Do you not agree the triangulations can be any victim-victim relationship, not merely romantic? For instance, a N husband who withholds pocketchange from a teenage child, whereby he ’causes’ the mother to “beg” for assistance. The N then ‘blames’ her for his withholding the money. Now you have a mother who’s upset, because of frustration and degradation, who’s potentially (at least partially) resentful with the son because she ‘must’ beg for ‘his’ unneccessary money. Concurrently, you have a child who is frustrated with his own thwarted attempts to procure funds, but also his mother’s inability to provide, and her powerlessness with her thwarted attempts. It’s a recipe to have their frustrations misdirected at each other. Meanwhile, Mr. Narc is gobbling up supply from both sources. Yes?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I agree.

  4. Sail Away says:

    I discovered after the fact, he cheated with another woman when we were just at the end of the love bombing stage. Devaluing began right after that. I was truly at my happiest and he seemed like he was too. We were not fighting or arguing. I was compliant and in love.

    Why would he do that? Was it unrelated to me? Something to do with his own supply or her?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It was because your fuel began to dip so he began to cast his net for your replacement and you happened to learn of him doing this, as exhibited through his infidelity, at the end of the love bombing. Often people do not realise that it is happening.

      1. Sail Away says:

        I swear my fuel did not dip. I was more in love with him than ever–adoring etc. I thought maybe it was because he really had no true feelings for me. Or his own boredom? But he was still promising travel, love, a baby etc.

        Unfortunately I didn’t connect the dots and realize the infidelity until months later. He still doesn’t know I know and it’s futile to tell him. As you know.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          I am sure you did not think your fuel did dip SA, but of course it is not your opinion that matters in such an instance. You at least have grasped the futility of challenging him about it.

  5. gameover says:

    Why do they target married women who are going through a rough time-weak period in life, and later go back to a previous girlfriend they lied to you about? They keep telling you they desire you and yet hardly speak to you while openly sharing their relationship with the old girlfriend they said they did not want before. When you’re honest about how much it hurts and you don’t think he feels any pain in how much he is hurting you, he says he understands and he would feel the same way. Makes you feel special one night and then silence the next day??? Really…it is so painful. He pursued and pushed for the relationship love bombing and seemed so genuine in his future faking then said he said he had to do the right thing and give her ‘a chance’??

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello Gameover, such targeting occurs because that person is highly susceptible to being charmed and is also likely to provide excellent fuel. The fact that the person is married allows for triangulating opportunities as well. Yes it seems so genuine, but this push and pull behaviour is entirely typical of our kind. It is done because it allows us to maximise control and confusion which in turn heightens the provision of fuel. I’d recommend you read Manipulated, Devil’s Toolkit and Fuel to get a further handle on why these behaviours are engaged in. You should not be concerned that you are confused by it, virtually everybody who has experienced those behaviours is confused by them. We do it by design.

  6. Clary says:

    He told me they had the bald balls to tell me it was all in my head when they’re clearly zeroes to the left going backwards not to the right but backwards literally

  7. luckyotter says:

    HG, are you going to approve my comment?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Calm down over there! Indeed I have.

      1. luckyotter says:


  8. revengestar says:

    *taking notes*
    go on

  9. deedee244 says:

    H.G, In regards to # 4 and 5, does the Narc do this because he really is confused about “who” he was with?….or is he intentionally trying to provoke suspicion and jealousy?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      With the lesser there will be a tendency to suffer a blurring of identities. With the greater narcissist it is done on purpose.

  10. Roger Heffelbower says:

    So easy to become entangled in the Toxins toxic Triangulation when they persistently and passionately tell you that their ex or estranged spouse has NO interest in emotional or physical intimacy for years. And with great idealization, passionately proclaim that they have never experienced intimacy unto the depths that YOU had provided them! Please allow this to be a additional “red flag” moment for you to truly discern the Truth of that particular proclamation or the desperate Toxicity of it! For it is usually the latter. I wish you all the very best in your personal journey toward liberating yourselves toward mutually healthy love relationships, far removed from the bondage of our past.

    I really appreciate your posts of support within our community of friends here. Along with HG, you all have helped me to strengthen my stanz of recovery and well-manage my codependency-to-rescue issues.

    For once we have journeyed-back far enough and attained the impact and understanding of our own individual childhood emotional trauma, I believe that THAT is when we begin our first step toward our new journey unto full recovery with a little help from our community of friends like YOU! Thank you! God bless you all!

  11. Yo says:

    11) he starts “bring home” ideas which he got from conversations with that 3d person. Tge opinion he starts to express (as if it was his own) can be totally opposite to what he expressed 2 days ago…

    And it looks like in reality he does not have sn opinion.. just act as a transmitter.. without abalysing why he told opposite thoughts 2 days ago..

  12. Apparently, my subject matter in such instances only proved my guilt and only further served to reinforce his disapproval of my tolerated crimes and weaknesses. My comments that were “proof in themselves”… it showed in his body language and tone as he displayed his strong disapproval of “the facts” presented.

  13. That too I guess…he just believed my statements “proved” what he knew to be true.

  14. susan anderson says:

    HG – What is your Victm’s “shelf life” for idealizaton. My Ex told me 3 months was a typical ‘shelf life’ for a woman before she became a pain in his a**……

    Do you have a similar thought process or do you believe it varies, depending on fuel source….What is the longest idealization time you’ve experienced with one woman?

    PS – I read that you called one of your Ex’s “IT”…lol I hate to laugh but since it’s not my situation I see the craziness from a different lens. WHY did you call her IT? Was it a pet name or was this while you devalued her…And what possessed you to even THINK to call her “IT”? (laughing but truly curious)

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello Susan,
      It depends on the provision of fuel. Longest idealisation was over a year.
      I called her it because I knew that it would upset her depersonalising her like that because she revealed to me during the seduction that she had been called that at school by a teacher who bullied her. I took this course of action because she needed to be punished.

  15. Was this just gaslighting at it’s best?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You’ve got it

  16. HG..
    I recognize things here over the years in many relationship dynamics, but I just realized strangely, that I have had this used against me, but kind of in reverse…
    I dont get it?

    “We will make reference to something you said even though you have not said it (it was the other person who said it).”
    Only in my case… I will make reference to something we spoke of and will be told that I told someone else that…I never said that…we never spoke of that

    “We will make reference to something we apparently did together which you will not remember. (This is because we did it with the other person).”
    I would make reference to watching a movie together etc and be told that we never saw that…I must be thinking of someone else…some other guy?!

    “We will fail to acknowledge you doing something for us thinking it was done by the other person, for instance a surprise gift.”
    I will say thank you for something and be told I never was given it by them?! I must be mixing them up with someone else…

    “We will remark we don’t want to do something again even though we have never done it with you. (We did it with the other person).”
    I will remark I disliked or loved doing something and be told I must be confusing them with someone else…

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thats gas lighting and also triangulation you with an imaginary competitor to suggest that you have been unfaithful in some way to both gain fuel and to flush out your suspected infidelity.

      1. Oh god…that sounds right. It was all said with such condemnation.

        1. HG Tudor says:


          1. On reflection..It was often even added. We all know I’m faithful, honest etc, that is not in question here. Everyone knows that. It is also a fact that we all know that you have always been a terrible flirt and draw in everyone’s attention etc…

      2. On reflection..It was often even added. We all know I’m faithful, honest etc, that is not in question here. Everyone knows that. It is also a fact that we all know that you have always been a terrible flirt and draw in everyone’s attention etc…

    2. 1jaded1 says:

      Mine did that too. Really? Like I wouldn’t remember. I did that with the other guy. Ugh.

      1. Ugh… indeed, 1jaded1

  17. luckyotter says:

    Triangulation seems to take a lot of thought and premeditation to carry it out. Is it more of a knee-jerk response in a narcissist, where you just automatically go through the steps to triangulate against a victim (sort of like a trained monkey) because that’s all you know how to do, or is it really something that is carefully thought through and you could choose not to do? Maybe for a lower functioning (lesser?) narc, it’s more of a trained-monkey thing, but for a higher functioning one, it’s planned out with care. Does that sound about right, HG?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello LO, yes it is. The Lesser will do it by an instinctive reaction. You aren’t doing what is required so he or she will turn to another and draw them into the equation.
      “Look at me playing with this new toy, you are rubbish toy.”
      We of the Greater kind plan and scheme this triangulation so it is far-reaching and more affecting.

      1. luckyotter says:

        I thought so. Does that mean a Greater actually has a better chance of being treated, because they can choose not to use and abuse others and are more likely to be self-aware? If so, that’s ironic because they seem to be the more sociopathic, malignant type of narcissist.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          I wouldn’t necessarily know about treatment as that is not my preserve. I don’t think there is a better chance with either. The Lesser does not think there is any need for treatment as he knows no different. The Greater does not think there is any need for treatment as he sees nothing wrong with what he does (although he knows other people see it as wrong) but moreover he will be able to manipulate treatment and furthermore he takes enjoyment from what he does, so why change that?

          1. luckyotter says:

            Good point!

  18. Hahha totally !!

    And number 6 how he loved this one.

    He was triangulating me with my ‘friend’ and would call me by her name in front of her (she was also an N) and lapped it all up. When he first started doing it, it hurt.

    I went NC when I came back he started doing it the other way round, he was now devaluing her!

    When he does it now, I don’t care at all, I laugh in a flirty manner and tell him, ‘I love it when you call me by x’s name, it’s very flattering, she is beautiful blah blah blah’

    He very rarely does it now.

  19. nikitalondon says:

    I find very useful these articles on how to identify triangulations, or being made feel inferior. Great work HG. 😘😘

  20. Cara says:

    There are whole photo albums of my sisters & I (as young children) dressed in identical outfits…I realize my mother didn’t do it because it was cute, but rather because we were interchangeable.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Spot on

  21. susan anderson says:

    The physical signs, too….Shaving the ‘area’ again (he must keep appearances) and working out at the gym bc he is depressed (time to be with her, maybe walk for 10 minutes because he loses no weight nor does his physique change).

    Silent treatments through provoking fights

    Getting angry over an already agreed term or condition

    Waiting until the very last moment to see you – he needs room for her, now

    Sex is different. As is his kissing, his words (she and he had different verbal exchanges but you dont know why hes talking the way he is)

    Clothing changes

    Angered easily

    She is getting closer to him and so hes falling in love

    The signs are everywhere….and then hell drop you a week after mowing your lawn, giving you flowers, telling you that you are the kindest and most amazing woman hes ever known (this seems pretty common – this quick act of morality and generosity)

    This is great. Ive seen all of your signs above…. I pray I dont have a disease…so far so good, though.

    1. Mimi says:

      Hi Susan, how are you? This is just want happened to me mowing the lawn, leaving gifts, (b-day and christmas). Fixing things outside when i was not home.. then nothing, no sign of him! Why??? I know you said many times the ow will get the same cycle of abuse; but it so hard to believe she will. He makes it seem like she is the one.. Do you really think every woman does eventually get discarded by the N. It surely happened to me more than once with him. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you Mimi

      1. HG Tudor says:

        Yes it does. Nearly all my former primary sources were discarded by me.

  22. TheFlowerandRock says:

    Good post in its partial hermeneutical approach of triangulation.

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