They Spin our Reality
Disordered people can’t deal with the reality of their behaviors. On some level they may realize how hurtful they are or how inappropriately they behave, yet they are unable to accept any kind of major flaw in themselves. So disordered abusers spin our reality to protect their delusions.
Projection, a commonly used defense mechanism, serves that purpose. In projection, a characteristic of themselves that they find unacceptable is projected onto us. The most frequently projected characteristic is mental illness or disorder. “I’m not a sociopath. You’re the [crazy, irrational, mentally disturbed, narcissistic, etc.] one.”
Another common defense mechanism is blame shifting. “It’s your fault this happened because [fill in the blank].” Their rationalizations can be elaborate and far-fetched but their convictions are firm. Attempting to disprove them will get you nowhere, or worse, confirm your guilt in their eyes. Bystanders, who cannot fathom that someone they like and respect would deviously craft a convincing blame shifting scheme or be making it all up, are easily won over by the sociopath.
- Absence of Self-Scrutiny
- A Narcissist Taking Responsibility? Never!
- Rationalizing Psychopathic Traits
- Twisting of Meanings and Verbal Traps
- Sociopaths always attack the messenger.
- Why is it so hard to hold psychopathic abusers accountable?
- Abusers are never accountable.
A strategy common to all abusers is called DARVO.
Deny the abuse, Attack the victim, and Reverse the roles of Victim and Offender.
This is roughly how it can be done (ad absurdum for emphasis):
You are stupid.
Are you accusing me of being stupid!?
You are accusing me of making accusations!
…but what you said was rude and untrue.
More accusations! And you are calling me a rude liar!
Why did you call me ‘stupid’?
You are harassing me.
I want an explanation. Was it something
I told you to leave me alone! Stop harassing me! Look, everyone, I am being victimized by that evil person for no reason!
Do you recognize this scenario?
Please leave a comment and share your story!
- Denial and DARVO (SalemWitchHunt.wordpress.com)
- DARVO (changingminds.org)
- Narcissistic Personality Disorder (PsychopathResistance.com)
- Narcissists Provoke People,
Then Blame Them
- Baiting & Bashing (PsychopathResistance.com)
- Stonewalling or The Silent Treatment (SalemWitchHunt.wordpress.com)
- The 5 Senses of Abuse (larkkirkwood.wordpress.com)
- Being Manipulated By A Pro … The Narcissist (nakiafleming.wordpress.com)
• • •
Legal and Moral Considerations
Isn’t it wrong to expose someone by name—even if they did cause harm?
If you are asking this question, you should also ask yourself if it is right for an abuser to get away with hurting people. Concealing an abuser’s identity is protecting them from consequences for their actions and enables them to continue preying on unsuspecting victims.
Isn’t it against the law to publish the name of an abuser?
No, it isn’t. The rule is simple: just stick to the truth. You may also publish their picture on the Internet as long as you own the copyright. Still, caution is advisable. You should be able to verify all of your statements that even remotely could be construed as defamatory. Refrain completely from insults and name-calling.
A bully may threaten to sue you for libel to intimidate you, but in reality, a defamation lawsuit would not be in their interests because their own actions would then be fully exposed and scrutinized in court. Also, the burden of proof is on the party claiming libel. They don’t have a case unless they can prove that what you published is both defamatory and false. A lawsuit can take many years and become very costly, too.
You will become a threat
You are not at fault if the truth about an abuser’s behavior damages their reputation. From a bully’s egocentrically warped point of view and sense of entitlement; everything is your fault. Count on being accused of slander, libel, and probably all sorts of other crimes if you speak up. They may be scary in their denial; playing the victim role and acting out indignation, hurling accusations, and vilifying you while manipulating other people to turn against you and support their vengeful schemes. It’s all a game to them. A self-righteous, hateful, and remorseless schemer can cause you a lot of harm—but they don’t have the law on their side.
Consider the consequences
No one has the right to abuse you, and you are always entitled to defend yourself and to speak about what was done to you. However, it is up to you to decide what to do. You’ll need to examine all aspects of your situation and weigh your values against an estimated cost in personal suffering for asserting them. Read about cases similar to your own for valuable insights and warnings to heed, and educate yourself about psychopathy and libel laws to gain confidence and make a better informed decision. Most importantly, consider all possible consequences of ‘going public,’ especially danger to the life and well being of yourself and your loved ones.
More info: Exposing an Abuser
It’s important to understand that people on the narcissistic spectrum simply do not tolerate criticism, difference of opinion, or when certain others don’t subordinate and show the reverence they feel entitled to. These personality disordered individuals can be bullies who aspire to positions of power and influence from where they can control others, penalize those they feel offended by, and use their thespian talents to attract admirers and supporters. Some members of this flock are eager to take action against anyone who annoys the central figure. With a coveted position in the inner circle as a contributing motivator, they see an opportunity to act out aggression with a show of ‘moral righteousness’ that will secure the leader’s approval and a rise in the group’s esteem.
Many human problems are difficult to address effectively without insights into group dynamics and the significant roles often played by the personality disordered. On their own, complaints about the values, policies, and behaviors of others, including statements about how they ‘should’ be or act, just don’t broaden our understanding, lead to change, or offer any viable method to improve the human condition.
Posted on April 8, 2015 by Dana in Explaining Narcissists
Word Salad, also often referred to as Narc Speak, is a nonsensical mix of words, phrases, or conversations and is traditionally (and clinically) associated with a person who has Schizophrenia, Dementia, Logorrhea (a communication disorder of the brain), Schizophasia, Receptive Aphasia, or brain injuries.
In the context of Narc Speak, the word salad is a combination of intentional manipulative conversational techniques that are designed to frustrate, confuse, and erode the sanity of the victim by getting them to question their perceptions of events, as well as their own judgment in general. Narc Speak most commonly happens when the victim confronts the Narcissist with their behavior, although if the Narcissist is using these techniques to gaslight*, word salad can happen at any time.
The ten most common techniques of word salad in the context of Narc Speak are:
- Denying their own bad behavior, and instead, focusing on the victim’s.
- Continue reading: Word Salad and Narc Speak
*Gaslighting is a form of mental abuse in which information is twisted, spun, or selectively omitted to favor the abuser, or false information is presented with the intent of making victims doubt their own memory, perception, and sanity.
Why is it so easy for an abuser to get away with it and so difficult for an abuse victim to be heard?
The typical serial bully is a Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde personality type (male or female) who has put considerable effort into establishing and maintaining a respectable and credible public persona. Bystanders may believe they know him well, that he is a genuinely righteous person, and that he couldn’t possibly be capable of the malicious behavior he is accused of. Unable (and probably unwilling) to imagine that they have been deceived, their logical conclusion is that the accuser is the antagonist, acting out inexplicable malevolence. With derogatory implications about his target’s mental state, lack of character, or foul motives, the abuser fuels this role reversal. Feigning moral indignation and playing the part of the victim, he encourages supporters to see the real victim, who is attempting to be heard, as the abusive one.
Dr. Vaknin explains: “Even the victim’s relatives, friends, and colleagues are amenable to the considerable charm, persuasiveness, and manipulativeness of the abuser and to his impressive thespian skills. The abuser offers a plausible rendition of the events and interprets them to his favor. Others rarely have a chance to witness an abusive exchange first hand and at close quarters. In contrast, the victims are often on the verge of a nervous breakdown: harassed, unkempt, irritable, impatient, abrasive, and hysterical.”
“Confronted with this contrast between a polished, self-controlled, and suave abuser and his harried casualties, it is easy to reach the conclusion that the real victim is the abuser, or that both parties abuse each other equally. The prey’s acts of self-defense, assertiveness, or insistence on her rights are interpreted as aggression, lability, or a mental health problem.”
Dr. Sam Vaknin, Narcissism by Proxy
Three cognitive strategies have been identified for when people deny, discount, or dismiss occurrences of abuse and for turning away from effective steps to stop it and hold abusers accountable:
Reflexively dismissing all evidence as questionable, incomplete, misleading, false, or in some other way inadequate.
Using euphemism, abstraction, and other linguistic transformations to hide the abuse.
Turning away: ‘I’m not involved,’ ‘There is nothing I can do about it,’ ‘I have no authority, jurisdiction, power, or influence,’ ‘This is no concern of mine,’ etc.
|Stonewalling is a tactic commonly used by bullies wanting to control, humiliate, and frustrate a target who attempts to resolve a conflict through reasonable discussion or negotiation. Accusations of mental deficiency, harassment, and even bullying, are other typical methods of asserting dominance, intimidating the target, and discouraging objections to the abuse from both victim and bystanders. To the insightful observer, these behaviors reveal the bully’s true motivations.|
Also possibly of interest:
The serial Church bully…..sounds a lot like this.
Sociopaths Recruit Minions PsychopathResistance.com
Bullied to Death PsychopathResistance.com
Present a sociopath with a documented allegation and he will quickly turn on you, denounce you, and tell others that you are “disturbed,” “unstable,” “irrational,” or something equivalent. Anyone who does not accept his version of reality and fall for his brainwashing will be kicked out of the circle and then wildly disparaged by the remaining members.
- See also:
- The Smear Campaign—Trademark of a Sociopath
- Abusers are never accountable.
- Spin, Projection, and Blame Shifting
- Sociopaths and Their Smear Campaigns LoveFraud.com
- Slander Tactics
- Kill the Messenger
Learn to identify their tactics!
Dr. George Simon, author of In Sheep’s Clothing—Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People, presents this list of 14 tactics that manipulators use to get you to do what they want. He points out the importance of recognizing that these tactics are offensive moves employed by the covert-aggressive to either maintain a position of power, gain power, or remove an obstacle from getting what he wants. You’ll be better equipped to deal with manipulators if you are familiar with this list of tactics and able to identify them when you encounter them:
- Denial – playing innocent, refusing to admit they have done something harmful.
- Selective inattention – playing dumb, or acting oblivious; refusing to pay attention to anything that might divert them from achieving their goal.
- Rationalization – making excuses or justifying their behavior, often in very convincing ways.
- Diversion – changing the subject, dodging the issue, distracting us from the real problem.
- Lying – deliberately telling untruths, concealing the truth, lying by omission.
- Covert Intimidation – intimidation through veiled threats.
- Guilt-tripping – using the conscientiousness of their victim against them to keep them self-doubting and anxious.
- Shaming – using subtle sarcasm and put-downs to make the victim feel inadequate, unworthy, and anxious.
- Playing the Victim role – playing the innocent victim to elicit compassion.
- Vilifying the Victim – making the victim the “bad guy”; pretending he’s only defending himself.
- Playing the servant role – disguising their personal agendas as service to a nobler cause.
- Seduction – flattering and overtly supporting others to get them to lower their defenses and be trusting.
- Projecting the blame (blaming others) – shifting the blame, scapegoating.
- Minimization – a combination of denial and rationalization, “making a molehill out of a mountain”.
- Video interviews with Dr George Simon
- 7 Social Hacks For Manipulating People—
- George Simon—workshops on manipulators and character disorders (cryingoutforjustice.wordpress.com)
When friends and family remain neutral about abuse and say that both people are responsible in a conflict, or that both need to change, they are actually colluding with the abuser and making it harder for the victim to seek support.
What a dumb idea; that in every conflict both parties are always at fault. Another idiocy is the belief that it is morally wrong to ‘choose sides,’ even in abuser/victim situations. How can it be morally correct to watch someone being abused and do nothing? Abusers will use our misconceptions to their advantage.
- Taking Responsibility (cpsmenacetosociety.wordpress.com)
Sociopath a.k.a. Psychopath
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If you’re new to the site, check out our article 30 Red Flags of a Manipulative Partner to learn the warning signs of charming “soul mates”, emotional abusers, pathological liars, and manufactured love triangles.
The number one giveaway for recognising a potential psychopath is an organised, on-going, vicious, histrionically-engineered and surprisingly personal smear campaign.
IT IS NOT CRITICISM. IT IS NEVER BACKED UP
WITH EVIDENCE OF SUBSTANCE. ONLY HYSTERIA.
The male and female psychopath are obsessed with character assassination and vindictive, almost psychotic vengeance based on fictional events surrounding an individual whom they perceive as an ‘enemy’ …
Most of the time, we don’t even know a smear campaign is going on until it’s far too late. When psychopaths are staging your replacement and downfall …