Narcissists, Triangulation and Impossible Choices
WRITTEN BY SAVANNAH GREY
Savannah Grey is a Freelance Writer, a Hypnotherapist, Consultant, Sports Fanatic, and Philosopher and has a degree in Psychology. She is the founder of http://www.esteemology.com, a website dedicated to educating and healing survivors of abusive relationships.
Invoking jealousy, creating drama and forcing their partners to make impossible choices are just a few of the ways a Narcissist gets his fix and maintains control.
If a Narcissist can make you feel insecure and be the center of attention at the same time, they are creating their ideal scene for maximum payout. In their mind, to have more than one person wanting them, fighting over them, shows them that they are important, desired and worthy. It doesn’t matter that they have set the scene and created these false scenarios that pit one woman, or one man against another. Initiating jealousy and drama is their agenda. It gives them a perverse sense of superiority. It’s your pain for their pleasure.
It accomplishes a number of things. First is feeds the monster. The beast inside that feeds off of attention, admiration, love, affection, money sex, control, pain…. Second, it creates the persona that they are in high demand. Third, it lets them know they have options. It alleviates some of their anxiety, because they know they are not short on supply.
They don’t care that their behavior will hurt you. They don’t care if it makes you feel insecure or even if it is detrimental to your relationship. These acknowledgements are so beyond them and clearly show a very serious lack of empathy.
What a Narcissist knows is that in these situations it’s typical human nature for us to get angry with our competition. It doesn’t matter that they are the ones that have caused the acrimony. Narcissists are such skilled manipulators and phenomenal liars that they can usually spin it so that their behavior is everyone else’s fault.
What a Narcissist fears most is abandonment. These behaviors are really about controlling others . They don’t want their partners to leave them, not because they care about them, but because they need someone, anyone, to be there, caring about them, fussing over them. Rather than create a stable, happy relationship, based on trust, kindness and reciprocity, they prefer deception.
The other type of triangulation is forcing you to make impossible choices, such as choosing them or your children, them or your job, them or your family, friends, opportunities…. which sets you up for an inevitable downfall.
If you don’t choose them you will surely invoke Narcissistic injury which will cause strife in your relationship. It will also be ammunition to be used against you, again and again in the future. The moment you don’t choose them your stock falls and you get moved to the soon to be discarded list. It is a slight they will never get over and they will never forgive. Choosing something, anything over them is a cardinal sin in their eyes and gives them complete autonomy to do or say whatever hurtful, painful thing they want to you, because you have just given them ample justification, regardless of how unreasonable and ridiculous their request.
If you do choose them they will see how easily you succumbed to their will. They will lose respect for you. An example would be to force you to choose them over your children and once you do they will hold it against you and think, “What kind of a mother chooses someone over their children?”
You may think they want your compliance, but too much of it is a definite turn off. If you’re sitting there thinking – if I say no, they get upset and if I say yes they get upset too – you’d be right. Either decision you make is wrong. It’s a lose, lose scenario for you.
My ex and I were days away from our engagement party. He was making a big fuss about me inviting my brother. He was threatening to cause a scene if I dared to choose my brother over him. My brother had done nothing to him, absolutely nothing. My brother didn’t even know that my ex felt so much animosity towards him. The indiscretion or injury was all in my Narcissist’s head.
If I didn’t invite my brother it would cause a rift between my brother and I that I would never be able to mend. My Narcissist didn’t care about that. He needed me to show him that he was more important to me than everyone else. He needed to dominate, cause rifts between me and my loved ones. He needed to show that his will was the only thing that mattered and he wanted everyone to know it.
The most incredulous thing about that experience, looking back, is that a few weeks after this happened he cheated and left me for his married co-worker. He was looking for a fight, a reason to call it off and make it all my fault. He didn’t care about the damage it would do to my relationship with my brother. All he was thinking about was his agenda and what pawn pieces to move. To this day I am still taken aback by the total lack of empathy and the magnitude of his selfishness.
Narcissists always want you to prove to them how much you care, how much you are willing sacrifice and how willing you are to put them first. This type of behavior is an obvious red flag. Healthy relationships do consist of some compromise, but the giving isn’t always so one sided. Someone that loves and respects you doesn’t feast off of your pain and they wouldn’t ask you to choose between them and someone or something that you really care about. Never blow up your life for someone that wouldn’t cross the street for you. Don’t pack up your life to move to another town to be in a relationship with someone that you only know through part-time, long distance correspondence. In rare occasion it might work out, but the vast majority do not. If your partner requires you to give up your children to be with them, that is a sacrifice that you cannot make and know immediately that this person is not for you.
Love is a miraculous thing when it’s right. When love isn’t right it’s – controlling, manipulative, selfish, unkind, and jealous. When you spot your partner trying to create triangulation that should be your line in the sand that tells you it’s time for you to make your exit.