I’ve adapted the list* below to fit the purposes of my blog.
Over this past weekend, I dealt with someone (a long ago friend I’d recently gotten back in touch with) who used 4 of these 5 tactics. She used all but #4 below, though she may have lied as well; I can’t prove anything. It amazed me how she absolutely refused to address the issues I’d brought up. She used anger, defensiveness, diversionary tactics, projection and stonewalling. She steadfastly refused to address my very direct questioning, which was done in writing. I was amazed at how I could not get through to her no matter how direct and respectful I was. She simply kept up the abusive and diversionary tactics. I realized that I’d been charmed and used.
We as survivors and thrivers after narcissistic and abusive relationships must constantly be on guard against being too nice and too forgiving. We must watch for telltale signs of all the points listed below.
In the end there was nothing to do but walk away from the situation and the person. It made me a bit sad because of our past history, but there was no other choice. It’s amazing how little we end up caring when we face up to what’s really going on. We are not these people’s salvation, nor are we their keepers in life. Successfully dealing with an abuser means disengaging from crazy-making situations. — JoyfulAliveWoman
How Your Abuser Might React to Being Questioned About their Behavior
When you confront your abusive friend/relative/significant other/employer/co-worker/neighbor/acquaintance about their abusive behavior, there are 5 things that you can usually expect:
- Anger – They will likely get angry at you for daring to question them.
- Defensiveness – They may try to blame you for their behavior, or try to make you think it’s your fault.
- Diversionary Tactics – They may try to make you feel guilty for confronting them about their treatment of you (or their behavior in general), or accuse you of being jealous. They will usually also turn the tables by accusing you of the same things you brought up (that’s called Projection).
- Lies – They may lie to you (this can and often does fall under Diversionary Tactics)
- Silence – They may simply clam up and refuse to talk about the abuse.
The above are all Primary Tactics of the Narcissist – learn them well, especially if you are currently entangled with a Narcissist — and especially if you are a Highly Sensitive Person and/or an Empath. Highly Sensitive Persons are not necessarily Empaths, though they can be. (There is specific criteria for being an actual Empath.) How To Stop Attracting Abuse from a Narcissist
The original list below, from which the above is adapted, is very helpful. Anyone dealing with Narcissism can see that there is a lot of narcissistic stuff going on with chronic cheaters (I’m not referring to the person who for other more valid reasons chooses to stray from a monogamous relationship).
*Here is the original list, taken from How the Cheater May React to Being Questioned about the Affair, by Ruth Houston, Infidelity Examiner for Examiner.com:
When you confront your spouse or significant other about his infidelity, there are 5 things you can expect:
- Anger– He may get angry at you for daring to question him about the affair. He may also get angry with himself at himself for getting caught, or get angry with the person, or persons he suspects of telling you about the affair.
- Defensiveness– He may try to blame you for his affair, or make try to make you think it’s your fault that he cheated.
- Diversionary Tactics– He may try to make you feel guilty for spying on him or for asking him about the affair, or accuse you of being jealous. He may also try to turn the tables by accusing you of cheating on him.
- Lies– He may lie to you for one or more of the reasons discussed in the article entitled 9 Reasons a Cheater Will Lie About His Affair.
- Silence– He may simply clam up and refuse to talk about the affair, at all.