Knowing the Narcissist : Why Does The Extent of the Narcissist’s Manipulations Vary?
He said he would marry me but he never did. He met the new woman and within a year they were married. Why her and not me?
I talked to his last girlfriend and she said he had beaten her up many times. That did not happen to me though.
I did not get much of a golden period, but I can see on his Facebook he is posting pictures of flowers he has sent her and other gifts. Why didn’t I get that?
She often talks about how wonderful my sister is, but never talks about my achievements.
He always talks about all the places he went with his ex but he never takes me anywhere. Why did she get all that and I do not?
Doubtless you will recognise comments such as these or variations of them. Why do we, as narcissists, behave in different ways with those in our fuel matrix? What causes this distinction in treatment. There are several factors but they all lead to one outcome which I shall explain to you further in this article. Let’s look at the factors :-
- Your status in the fuel matrix. It is important to establish where you sit within the fuel matrix. This can be easy enough to ascertain but often is not and therefore you can address this through What’s My Place in the Fuel Matrix?Your position in the fuel matrix reflects the importance of your provision of The Prime Aims and as a consequence the higher you are in the fuel matrix (as a general rule) the more varied, sustained and intense the manipulations (both benign and malign) will be.
- Whether you are painted black or white in our eyes.
- Where you are in the dynamic with the narcissist. Are you at the outset of seduction of an intimate nature? Have you been embedded and thus remain in the golden period as the Intimate Partner Primary Source? Are you on the shelf as an IPSS?
- What is the nature of your interaction with the narcissist? Are you interacting at all? Are you providing Pure Fuel, Challenge Fuel or Wounding?
- How large and accessible is the narcissist’s fuel matrix? Does the narcissist have other options besides you, how accessible are they and to what extent will they satisfy The Prime Aims?
- Perception. You may perceive (through the warped lens of Emotional Thinking) that there is a considerable variance in behaviour, but you need to revisit this and look for evidence. You may perceive that he is ‘always buying’ your replacement gifts, but is her really. You are likely to find, when looking at from an evidential point of view that he has only bought gifts two or three times, but your emotional thinking took hold of your narcissistic trait of envy and used it against you to suggest there was a lot of gift buying going on, so that you would continue to engage with the narcissist as a consequence of this envy, annoyance and/or sadness.
- Consider also instances where the basis of your comparison is information fed by the narcissist, him or herself. The narcissist tells you he went to Rome, Paris, Budapest, Copenhagen and so forth with his previous girlfriend whilst you get Bognor Regis Butlins. But do you have any evidence that he took her to these places? Are there pictures of them in these locations for instance? Remember, the narcissist will say and do anything in order to maintain control and saying things is the easiest, fastest and most efficient method available. I have lost count of the number of times I have stopped people during consultations and asked “How do you know this?” and they respond with “The narcissist told me.” I then explain that this cannot be relied on and therefore they must seek independent evidence. Often they do so and later confirm to me that the narcissist lied. These lies will be used in relation to benign and malign matters also. Accordingly, your perception may also be affected by the lies of the narcissist so you are led to believe that a different victim was treated better or differently when in actual fact they were not.
All of these factors influence the degree to which the narcissist manipulates you but what do they all lead to ultimately?
The extent of the manipulation is linked to the necessity to exert control over the appliance.
Take for example a tube of toothpaste. If the tube is full of toothpaste, you do not have to exert much pressure on the tube to get what you want, namely the toothpaste. A gentle squeeze and out comes the minty, plaque attacker. Conversely, if the tube is nearly empty, you have to squeeze from the very edge of the tube, possibly rolling it upwards in order to coax the last of the toothpaste out of the tube and onto your toothbrush. Comparatively, this takes a lot more effort to achieve the same outcome – toothpaste on the toothbrush.
Similarly, the outcome we want is control. Control over you and others.
If that control can be achieved with a gentle squeeze then this is what happens. If we need to obtain that control through more concentrated effort, with a sustained and intense squeeze, then this is what happens instead.
We must have control and because the circumstances that both
- Threaten our control in the first instance ; and
- Threaten the assertion of control
can and will vary considerably, then so does the type of manipulation applied, the extent and intensity of that manipulation and the effort applied to apply it.
Of course, in certain instances we may decide that the tube of toothpaste is no longer working at all and throw it away. Or that it is too much effort to squeeze those last drops of toothpaste out and we can pick up a new tube of toothpaste nearby far easier. Again, the achieving and maintenance of control will vary dependent upon circumstances.
If you are easy to control, then the variance and intensity of the manipulations (both malign and benign) will not be extensive because it is not necessary. We hate having to do more than is necessary, indeed, we nearly always avoid such a situation.
If you are far harder to control then the assertion of control might be through a wider range of manipulations and of a greater intensity. In some instances the effort is applied for a period of time but the cost proves too great so some of our kind will apply control by rejection (it might be a silent treatment or disengagement) and will turn to a different appliance to provide the Prime Aims instead.
He said he would marry me but he never did. He met the new woman and within a year they were married. Why her and not me? Because you could be controlled without the necessity of marrying you. It was necessary to marry her to gain control.
I talked to his last girlfriend and she said he had beaten her up many times. That did not happen to me though. Because in order to control her, he had to beat her up. In order to control you, he did not need to.
I did not get much of a golden period, but I can see on his Facebook he is posting pictures of flowers he has sent her and other gifts. Why didn’t I get that? Check the perception and if it is accurate then he has sent her all of these gifts because he needed to do so to gain control. It was not necessary with you.
She often talks about how wonderful my sister is, but never talks about my achievements. Because it is more effective to gain control over you by triangulating you with your sister and not giving you praise, than it is to praise you. (For all you know, your sister may be making precisely the same comment!)
He always talks about all the places he went with his ex but he never takes me anywhere. Why did she get all that and I do not? Check the evidence and if it is accurate then it was necessary to take the ex to these places to gain control. It is easier to triangulate you by mentioning them to control you, than it is to take you to these places to gain control.
It is all about the control.