Whatever the gaslighter/narcissist is or whatever he is doing, he will assign those characteristics or behaviors to you. It’s done almost to comedic effect – if it wasn’t so potentially damaging to your career. At work, your gaslighting/narcissistic boss will write on your performance review that you are always late. However, you are punctual to a fault – it’s your boss who consistently shows up late. Your coworker accuses you of hacking into their laptop – however, you have seen him lurking around your laptop when he thought you couldn’t see him. Your kleptomaniac cubemate is constantly accusing you of stealing things off her desk.
In a relationship, the gaslighter/narcissist will constantly accuse you of cheating. He will check your phone, barrage you with questions when you are 30 minutes late from work, even have you followed. You have given no signs that you are cheating, yet your gaslighting/narcissist partner brings up your supposed cheating all the time. However, as is the case with many gaslighters/narcissists, they are actually are doing the cheating (McNulty and Widman, 2014). When you confront the gaslighter/narcissist about his cheating, he turns it around on you and says you are accusing him because you are one really doing the cheating. The gaslighter/narcissist continues his game of projection- now using it as a strategy to deflect from being caught. Continue reading “Projection: A Gaslighter’s Signature Technique”→
Whenever a narcissistic person feels threatened, they will call you the things that they themselves are as or are afraid that others see them as. And then they will try to stalk you, slander you, or discredit you. They will try to sabotage and destroy you. They will start a smear campaign and attempt character assassination. In their mind, frighteningly, you have become their mortal enemy.
They also have no problem doing all of it preemptively and calling it defense.
So if you privately call them out, set healthier boundaries, or end the relationship, they may be afraid that you can see their flaws, or that you will tell others what kind of person they are. Whether you do that or not is not important to them. Because in their mind the mere possibility of it is a good enough excuse to label you as an enemy. And because a narcissistic type of person has little or no empathy, they may imagine that you will behave as they would in these situations. If they would lie, or more likely are already lying, they will accuse you of lying.
And so they will do all these things just because they think you are somehow trying to or might hurt them. They also will accuse you of the very things they themselves are doing.
Results of a psychological evaluation of Donald showed him to be a stable individual without any mental disorder. Psychological testing showed him as “wanting to avoid antagonistic confrontations” and as “somewhat more forgiving than the average child custody litigant.” Moreover, his scores did “not suggest any particular tendency to dichotomize people as being for him or against him.”
Results of a psychological evaluation of Marcia were somewhat equivocal. On the positive side, testing showed that she was empathic, had a high degree of self-control, had a well-controlled temper and demonstrated no significant potential for antisocial behavior. However, test scores showed, “When she feels threatened, her ideas may be oddly connected and possibly difficult to follow.” Testing also indicated “persisting difficulties in being able to forgive and forget.” Marcia was able to hold a highly responsible professional job and was able to take care of regular tasks of daily living. She was, however, manifesting symptoms of a “paranoid personality disorder.”
The idea of identifying a syndrome or mental disorder to explain the actions of extreme malicious behavior by parents during divorce arose from examples of vindictive parents in clinical and legal cases. Some of these behaviors include burning down the house of an ex-spouse, falsely accusing the other parent of abuse, or purposely interfering with planned parenting time.
In one particular example that could be called an instance of malicious parent syndrome, a mother told her children they could not afford food because their father had wasted all their money. In another, a parent repeatedly misinformed the other parent about school activities, so that the parent could not participate in the child’s school life. In all of these actions, the intent is to harm the other parent.
Research repeatedly finds that typical highly-dissociated (“fragmented”) people were subjected to extreme neglect, abuse, abandonment, or other trauma as young children. Their nurturance deprivations were profound. The great majority of us don’t have anywhere close to this degree of personality splitting – and do have some.
In their introduction, they acknowledge that being viewed as a victim can lead to a loss of esteem and respect. But, they continue, in modern Western societies being a victim doesn’t always lead to undesirable outcomes. Sometimes, being a victim can increase one’s social status. And justify one’s claim to material resources.
Beyond measuring responses to questionnaires, they also had participants play a game. Basically, it was a coin flip game in which participants could win money if they won.
Researchers rigged the game so that participants could easily cheat. Participants could claim they won even if they didn’t, and thus obtain more money.
Victim signalers were more likely to cheat in this game. The researchers again found that these results held after controlling for ethnicity, gender, income, and other factors.
Regardless of personal characteristics, those who scored higher on dark triad traits were more likely to be victim signalers. And may be more likely to deceive others for material gain.
The researchers then ran a study testing whether people who score highly on victim signaling were more likely to exaggerate reports of mistreatment from a colleague to gain an advantage over them.
Still, alongside victims, there are social predators among us. In whatever milieu they find themselves in, they will enact the strategies that maximize the rewards of material resources, sex, or prestige.
People with dark triad traits will tailor their strategies to obtain these benefits, depending on their social environments.
Today, those with dark triad traits might find that the best way to extract rewards is by making a public spectacle of their victimhood and virtue.
The scales listed below were used in the correlation comparisons. Descriptive statistics for the scale scores and scale internal reliabilities are reported in the previously-published papers using these datasets (Austin and O’Donnell, 2013; Austin et al., 2014; Austin and Vahle, 2016).
This set of 40 trait-descriptive adjectives provides scores on the Big Five dimensions of Neuroticism (N), Extraversion (E), Openness (O), Agreeableness (A), and Conscientiousness (C). Responses are on a five-point scale indicating how accurately the adjective describes the respondent, with end points very inaccurately, very accurately.
This 60-item scale assesses the personality dimensions of Honesty-Humility (H), Emotionality (E), Extraversion (X), Agreeableness (A), Conscientiousness (C), and Openness (O). Responses are on a five-point scale with end points strongly disagree, strongly agree.
This scale has 16 forced-choice items assessing grandiose narcissism.
Hypersensitive narcissism scale (Hendin and Cheek, 1997)
This 10-item scale, assesses vulnerable narcissism, with responses on a five-point scale with end points strongly disagree, strongly agree.
Levenson self-report psychopathy scale (Levenson et al., 1995)
This scale assesses primary (16 items) and secondary (10 items) psychopathy in general population samples, with responses on a five-point scale with end points strongly disagree, strongly agree.
Results are reported for total scores on the 144-item TEIQue (Petrides, 2009) and the 30-item TEIQue-SF (Petrides and Furnham, 2006). These measures have a 7-point response scale with end points completely disagree, completely agree.
The higher on the Dark Triad, the more alternative partners there were that were closer to the participant’s ideal mate preferences than their current partner, which was associated with decreased relationship satisfaction. This study contributes to our understanding of how the Dark Triad relates to mating psychology. These findings also highlight the utility of employing a Euclidean algorithm to understand associations between individual differences and relationship outcomes. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40806-017-0122-8
In two online studies (total N = 1215), respondents completed personality inventories and a survey of their Internet commenting styles. Overall, strong positive associations emerged among online commenting frequency, trolling enjoyment, and troll identity, pointing to a common construct underlying the measures. Both studies revealed similar patterns of relations between trolling and the Dark Tetrad of personality: trolling correlated positively with sadism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism, using both enjoyment ratings and identity scores. Of all personality measures, sadism showed the most robust associations with trolling and, importantly, the relationship was specific to trolling behavior. Enjoyment of other online activities, such as chatting and debating, was unrelated to sadism. Thus cyber-trolling appears to be an Internet manifestation of everyday sadism https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2014-05437-001