Anyone who’s ever experienced a narcissistic partner, friend, or member of the family is acquainted with the sorts of manipulation and gaslighting tactics these individuals use throughout the holiday season. Here are six manipulation methods narcissists use throughout the holiday season to look out for. Remember to set boundaries and interact in self-care during this time if you happen to experience any of those: you should not obligated to spend the vacations with anyone toxic to your well-being.
Deliberately being the Grinch or attempting to sabotage your joy during holiday festivities.
Having corresponded with 1000’s of survivors who’ve been in relationships with narcissists, there’s a transparent pattern of how narcissistic people are likely to act throughout the holiday season. The holidays appear to trigger rage and entitlement in a narcissist because they aren’t any longer the focus; people feel fulfilled, joyful, and validated by the cheerful gatherings and the events they’ve with family members, which implies the narcissist feels slighted and entitled to attempt to destroy your festivities. Unless they’re in a phase of affection bombing you, they’ll often unleash their rage on their dearest and nearest, including their romantic partners, relations, or close friends who they’ve made a goal. That means they’ll deliberately sulk throughout the holiday season, deflate your joy, and try and destroy special events through crazymaking arguments or hypercriticism to get you to associate the vacations with their emotional abuse. Their negativity and pessimism are literally manipulative since it is designed to unsettle and gaslight their victims. For example, it’s common for the narcissist to impress their romantic partner before a visit to their respective families so their partner comes off because the sullen, “crazy” one although they were legitimately provoked. The narcissist then gets to play the charming guest at the vacation party while ruining this big day for his or her partner.
Creating love triangles or triangulating you and pitting you in one other unhealthy way against someone they know you’ve got a conflict with.
Perhaps it’s your toxic mother-in-law, an ex, a possible love interest, or a toxic friend, acquaintance, or malevolent co-worker, however the narcissist will spend their time attempting to pit you against each other and can experience duping delight as they stir drama throughout the holidays. They might “casually” discuss visiting an ex during what’s imagined to be a romantic holiday vacation. Or, if it’s not a romantic interest, they could gossip about you to that person, or tell that person you said something you didn’t, just in time to start out a fight and a conflict between you two during what’s imagined to be a peaceful holiday. They will use any existing feuds to ignite these flames and put a damper in your holiday cheer, as you spend more time fixated on their manufactured triangles quite than on leisure.
Giving you the silent treatment or stonewalling you.
The holidays are imagined to be about joyful communication and well wishes, however the narcissist knows that is the proper time to treat you to the silent treatment and stonewalling because such a manipulation tactic will leave a much bigger impact throughout the holidays. That is why some narcissistic partners or relations disappear or begin to withhold and withdraw emotionally during this time, because they know their disappearance and coldness might be felt on an extreme level during what was imagined to be a festive season.
Purposely ensuring they get you gifts you are not looking for, when you spend time and care getting the proper gift for them.
You should not materialistic for wanting a thoughtful gift and even gesture from a partner or member of the family. This has nothing to do with spending money and all the things to do with empathy, reciprocity, thoughtfulness and consideration. A narcissist doesn’t want you to be pleased throughout the holidays, which is why they’ll got down to disrupt even the essential niceties of gift-giving by providing you with the alternative of what you wish, even if you happen to’ve gone out of your approach to discover a gift that is agreeable to them and their needs. For example, let’s say you buy wonderful gifts for the narcissist and their relations and produce an exquisite cake to their Christmas celebration, and also you’re excited to open your present out of your (narcissistic) better half under the Christmas tree. When the narcissist asked you what you wanted, you told them specifically and so they made it seem to be they’d get it for you. Instead, you open your present and it’s a pair of socks in a color they know you hate. This is only one example, but there are numerous ways they’ll purposely disturb and upset you by increase expectations, only to enjoy your disappointment and horror. This can occur with gestures, as well, in other contexts besides relationships. For example, because of envy, jealousy, and scapegoating, a hardworking worker might not be invited to the corporate’s Christmas party, or a loyal friend could also be excluded from a narcissist’s holiday celebration.
“Hoovering” you back into the connection with seemingly heartfelt apologies or provocative statements.
If you might be coping with a narcissistic ex-partner throughout the holiday season, it’s quite possible they’ll reach out to you during this time in a seeming gesture to wish you a superb holiday and even to impress you. The purpose of such a greeting just isn’t care or thoughtfulness, but quite to reestablish control. Even if this person is not any longer in your life, they need to be sure that you’re still considering of them so that they can re-awaken memories of past toxic holidays you spent with them in addition to the abusive dynamics of the connection. Some may go up to now as to attempt to trigger you with absurd messages like, “Hope you’re having a superb holiday! Me and my latest partner are having a blast!” or, “I’m really sorry for all the things. Can we talk?” Rest assured that if any of that were true, they’d not be texting an ex or would have modified their ways an extended time ago.
Weaponizing social media.
Social media is a strong way narcissists attempt to create love triangles and provoke throughout the holidays. That is why it’s best to depart it alone throughout the holiday season and never be pulled into the crazymaking of the narcissist. Whether it’s the narcissist suddenly announcing an engagement or posting covert quotes that appear to reference your relationship, some pull all of the stops to attempt to grab your attention online during a celebratory time, especially in the event that they sense you might be pleased and at peace without them or have moved on to a latest partner. Don’t fall for the trap. You need to benefit from the holidays and also you need to be at peace, free from toxic people.