Being targeted by people with PD's/toxic people...

  • 18 Replies
  • 3302 Views
*

StitchWitch

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 186
Being targeted by people with PD's/toxic people...
« on: December 04, 2017, 06:24:43 PM »
It's been awhile since I posted here but I find myself in a bad situation with someone who I thought had been a friend.

I met this woman through a political activism group. She seemed very intelligent, had a gentle and very chilled out demeanor, and was well spoken. Over the course of the past year, I've begun to realize she is far from my original impression. She was very interested in me because I am a graphic artist and she was running for local office. As you can imagine, she began asking me to donate campaign art, volunteer time, etc. As time went on, her requests became more frequent and urgent. She'd often message me late at night (like 10pm; I'm a bit of a night owl so I didn't mind at the time) asking me to make a poster for an event. On one such occasion she asked me to recreate someone else's campaign sign and add her name to the bottom.

For those of you not familiar with art and copyright laws, when an artist creates something, as soon as it's completed the law considers this work copyrighted. So, in essence, she was asking me to plagiarize someone else's art. I haven't even finished my BS in Digital Design -- I graduate in the spring -- so I am quite new to my industry. I am not currently employed either so asking a colleague for guidance was out of the question. Personally, I thought it was a gray area because it was campaign art so, despite that "pit of the stomach" feeling that this was wrong, I consented after she put a whole lot of pressure on me to do it for her.

She gave me a pixelated graphic to work with so I had to create the whole thing from scratch, matching colors, fonts, shapes, etc. It took me about 6 to 8 hours all told and when I presented it to her, telling her I'd saved it in a high resolution format for printing she got very rude with me saying she didn't care how I made the graphic and not to bore her with the dry details. It stung to say the least. Since this wasnt by far the first time she'd asked I dropped everything to come help her, I began to suspect there was something wrong. She began giving my phone number to her staffers and they pestered me for weeks, asking me to donate every available hour I had free to help canvass for her. I am in school full time and during this period, I was taking several my upper level courses which are quite involved and very technical. I explained this and they did not relent. I stopped answering the phone.

Finally, she confronted me. Why wasn't I helping? At this point, I'd come to the conclusion she had a PD of some sort. She displayed always/never thinking as well as always seeming to need to be the center of attention. (Every single photo I've seen of her with groups of people, she is literally in the center of the photo). At this point, I tried enforcing some healthy boundaries which she refused to acknowledge or honor and I began giving her the cold shoulder. That was three months ago.

Very recently, I began talking to other friends within my community and she came up in conversation. My other friends signaled that they, too, had some bad experiences with her and, as we shared our stories, it became clear to me she definitely has a PD of some sort.

Then yesterday happened. She started bullying and trying to discredit a friend of mine on his own facebook page. I stood up for him and she employed some really heavy gaslighting and, after about 12 hours of posting all manner of insults, misdirections, and, often, really bizarre (magical thinking) kind of stuff, she tried to claim both my friend and I were "out to get her" and insinuated she may get a protective order against us.

She's taken to stalking me on facebook. Commenting on many of my friends' posts right after I do (we run in the same circles), trying to intimidate me or outright trying to get people to unfriend me. Quite frankly, I am flabbergasted. All I did was post a mild disagreement with her and she goes off the deep end and jumps the shark.

The reason I wrote this post is that a lot of these types of people (I can think of four people in the last decade) who have befriended me, used me, treated me abominably, abused me, and then wouldn't let me get away. I'd avoid them and they just wouldn't leave me alone. Because of this, I have a difficult time trusting people and making friends.

And for reference, I have anxiety disorder and chronic depression which stems from PTSD/childhood abuse from both parents. I'm in therapy, on meds and, until yesterday, was making some *serious* progress. I think I coped well yesterday, my wife said if this same thing had happened a few years ago, she was certain I'd have not been able to cope. That gives me hope but I'm tired of being targeted by PDs. Has anyone had any success in spotting them early and avoiding them? Or have any tactics that might help me disengage without causing them to go completely bat-poop insane sending flying monkeys at me?

Thanks for listening as it were. It felt good just to type this all out.
I don't negotiate with emotional terrorists!

*

TheInvisibleWoman

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 43
Re: Being targeted by people with PD's/toxic people...
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2017, 09:44:54 PM »
Hi - it sounds like you might want to pat yourself on the back because you have spotted it - it's about learning to trust your instincts. Tough to explain to others who don't know.

I've been preferred scapegoat to a lot of people who I have no contact with whatsoever (I'm housebound!). I don't think they single you out - they must try it on with everyone. Didn't twig my neighbour for 10 years til he started shouting at me one day for something he had caused. I was even sitting in my wheelchair at the time - wow, shouting at a crip. What a guy! I was proper grey-rocking at the time. Sat back and smiled to myself as he revealed his true nature. Last year I made him desserts every fortnight cause his wife had died. Guess he forgot all about that.

You called it and you were right.  :applause: Now step away from the narc - it's not you, it's them. They're going to go flying monkeys - that's what they do. Jt's their job. Your job is to fix your boundaries and know when to withdraw. Sounds like you're getting the hang of it  8-)

*

pit_bull

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 141
Re: Being targeted by people with PD's/toxic people...
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2017, 11:22:19 PM »
I don't have any advice, but I keep my personal relationships down to a minimum. I have coworkers, family members and church members but there are very few people whom I'll have a private relationship with.

Have you ever worked on your boundaries? I'm guessing you have.

*

clara

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 949
Re: Being targeted by people with PD's/toxic people...
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2017, 12:21:22 PM »
Yep, you got used and when you finally pushed back, she wasn't expecting it and went off the deep end.  NPDs will do this reliably--it's part of their pattern of behavior.  If nothing else works, they will try to shame you into accommodating them again.  They will "tell people" and send their flying monkeys.  Fortunately, they don't restrict this behavior to a handful of people, or now and again.  It's constant, and eventually affects most of their relationships (with those not totally in denial or fully co-dependent, i.e., most people).  No one is truly immune.  And this is what makes their doing things like stalking people on facebook so childishly obvious.  It doesn't take much to suss them out--I've seen them on friends' facebook postings and while often the comments are benign, it's also weird that they feel the need to comment every single time.  It's obviously obsessive and stalkerish and all it takes are willing eyes to see it. 

Call her out.  When she posts garbage, simply reply that it's not true.  Let her reveal herself to everyone.  She's going to implode so let her.  Don't rise to any of her bait.  She feels she "wins" if you do.  Remind yourself, over and over and over, that it's her, not you

And it's okay not to trust people.  Sometimes we're made to feel like we're committing some sort of sin by being that way, but we've learned it via a lot of hard knocks and no one has the right to say we should behave any differently.  Trust has to be earned, not automatically given just because the other person requests it.  When you start feeling a bit lonely, ask yourself if you'd feel better with a PD back in your life.  In my opinion, being alone is way preferable!

*

Hazy111

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 924
Re: Being targeted by people with PD's/toxic people...
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2017, 03:02:36 PM »
I think another thing your story proves, a lot of PD people get attracted to running for political office  :roll:

*

Dinah-sore

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 789
Re: Being targeted by people with PD's/toxic people...
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2017, 08:22:43 PM »
Wow, don't they say that there is an unusually large portion of NPD people who gravitate to politics? I found that interesting as I read your account. I love how she is making herself look unstable before her campaign.

I am sorry though for what this has cost you. I think you are a good friend, a good support, a good help. You gave too much. I relate. I do that too. Because of my past too. I have a hard time saying no. But no is your friend. No can also show you who your true friends are.

I am so sorry though for the stress this has caused you. You might want to block her on social media so you can't see what she is doing, it might be triggering you. <3 Best wishes.
"I had to accept the fact that, look, this is who I am. I have to be who I am, and all of us have a right to be who we are. And whenever we submit our will, because our will is a gift, our will is given to us, whenever we submit our will to someone else's opinion a part of us dies." --Lauryn Hill

*

NoVoice357

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 338
Re: Being targeted by people with PD's/toxic people...
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2017, 03:31:25 PM »
I look for red flags when I meet new people. It takes time to get to know someone well and trust them. PDs prey on people who are reliable, ready to help others and who will succumb to demands which are considered unacceptable by people with strong boundaries. They test you. If you succumb to their unreasonable demands, they know they can take advantage of you and they will take as much as they can. The more you give, the more they take. PDs see other people as objects, not as human beings. An 'object' belongs to them and so does everything this object has. This is why they feel entitled to all your resources (money), your time, your work and they want you to do all kinds of things for them (usually for free) whenever they want, no matter if they are legal or not. They are not accountable. If something goes wrong, they make other people responsible for their actions. They cannot take criticism and blame others for everything. If you see through them, they start a smear campaign against you. Understanding NPD, having strong boundaries, learning to say No and being assertive is crucial when dealing with PDs and protecting ourselves.

*

NotFooled

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 382
Re: Being targeted by people with PD's/toxic people...
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2017, 03:47:53 PM »
The reason I wrote this post is that a lot of these types of people (I can think of four people in the last decade) who have befriended me, used me, treated me abominably, abused me, and then wouldn't let me get away. I'd avoid them and they just wouldn't leave me alone. Because of this, I have a difficult time trusting people and making friends.

I know how you feel.  I'm starting to feel I'm better off with no friends and just stick with casual acquaintances.  I tend to attract people with mental disorders into my life.  I tried to help out a co-worker recently and it ended up just blowing up in my face.  This person I friended on fb because we had similar views in common.  Now I'm starting to think she is emotionally unstable.  I feel like I just can't win.

But at least this time the friendship didn't get to deep before the realization set in.   

I guess it's a learning process.

*

notrightinthehead

  • Host Member
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 3810
Re: Being targeted by people with PD's/toxic people...
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2017, 03:48:15 PM »
Your own words:

"It stung to say the least. Since this wasnt by far the first time she'd asked I dropped everything to come help her, I began to suspect there was something wrong. "

You know. You have got the arial. You get the signal. Just start trusting yourself.
I can't hate my way into loving myself.

*

StitchWitch

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 186
Re: Being targeted by people with PD's/toxic people...
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2018, 12:48:44 AM »
Hi - it sounds like you might want to pat yourself on the back because you have spotted it - it's about learning to trust your instincts. Tough to explain to others who don't know.

I've been preferred scapegoat to a lot of people who I have no contact with whatsoever (I'm housebound!). I don't think they single you out - they must try it on with everyone. Didn't twig my neighbour for 10 years til he started shouting at me one day for something he had caused. I was even sitting in my wheelchair at the time - wow, shouting at a crip. What a guy! I was proper grey-rocking at the time. Sat back and smiled to myself as he revealed his true nature. Last year I made him desserts every fortnight cause his wife had died. Guess he forgot all about that.

You called it and you were right.  :applause: Now step away from the narc - it's not you, it's them. They're going to go flying monkeys - that's what they do. Jt's their job. Your job is to fix your boundaries and know when to withdraw. Sounds like you're getting the hang of it  8-)

Yeah, I am glad I recognized it when I did. I got busy with the holidays and things proceeded from annoying and toxic territory to OMG, creepy stalker town. I think I am getting the hang of it, I just wish I had Spiderman's Spider sense except it detects PD's at ten paces.

I know how you feel.  I'm starting to feel I'm better off with no friends and just stick with casual acquaintances.  I tend to attract people with mental disorders into my life.  I tried to help out a co-worker recently and it ended up just blowing up in my face.  This person I friended on fb because we had similar views in common.  Now I'm starting to think she is emotionally unstable.  I feel like I just can't win.

But at least this time the friendship didn't get to deep before the realization set in.   

I guess it's a learning process.

Feeling like I just can't win is something I've experienced in every single instance of having a PD friend. And yes, I completely agree, this is a learning process. I subscribed to the no friends for quite some time after the aftermath of the last PD I was friends with. It got to the point that I had no contact with other people but my own family and I forgot how to have conversations and/or make small talk. In short, I don't recommend it. Like others have said, trusting your own instincts and walking away when you realize you're faced with a PD is better than keeping everyone away. I hope you're able to trust people again :hugs:

So the new information...

I shut her down, put her messages on mute, and went about my business. After two weeks, when she realized I wasn't going to reply, she started commenting on mutual friend's posts in a really passive aggressive way to show she could still "get to" me. I, in turn, blocked her. I figured a cold, hard boundary would be the end of it. Noooope.

She's since started making sock puppet accounts to use to spy on me and she's been spreading lies about me to anyone who'll listen. Granted everyone who knows me knows she's full of it.

Then she had 10 flying monkeys sign a letter--a formal complaint to the local political party we both belong to--in an attempt to have me thrown out. Wow. I wrote an 11 page rebuttal and her plan kind of blew up in their collective faces because several of her minions were kicked out instead.

Then she started showing up at activism events I signed up to go to. She tried getting me to go off alone with her I guess in an attempt to drag me back in. Thankfully, I had another friend at the event and told her she could say what she wanted in front of my friend. She talked around the issues, tried blaming me for everything and I reiterated what I told her before I blocked her: "I don't hold any ill will toward you but I do not want to be friends. Leave me alone." She kept on talking to my friend while I tried my best to ignore her. (I had to employ some breathing techniques I learned in yoga but stayed cool and calm and did not reengage her)

In the wake of that incident (now two weeks ago) she and her flying monkeys had my facebook account locked down for harassment.  :unsure: She's also sending text messages to my friends telling them she fears I am a danger to myself and that she feels like it's her place to get help for me. In essence, she wants to have me hospitalized and/or committed. She also mentioned she's looking for the command my wife reports to (my wife is in the military) so she can file a formal complaint with them about me.

This has, in short, become incredibly frightening and I'm considering hiring a lawyer.  :sadno:
« Last Edit: February 04, 2018, 12:50:27 AM by StitchWitch »
I don't negotiate with emotional terrorists!

*

smutpedler

  • New Member
  • *
  • 14
Re: Being targeted by people with PD's/toxic people...
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2018, 10:49:19 AM »
Hi Stitchwitch

I can definitely relate to some of your experiences. I've recently got away from an NPD housemate and business partner; there's been a ridiculous amount of drama including flying monkeys and sock puppet facebook accounts. Not quite escalated to the point of trying to get me committed but my mental health has been called into question publicly.

I know it's hard but the best thing you can do is to stand tall and show the world you are not unstable and/or a danger to yourself nor anyone else. Remaining calm and objective is hard in the face of these assaults but it's really the best thing you can do.

To give a personal example; I once had a relationship with a BPD girl and she went to the police when it ended. She had an absolute myriad of accusations ranging from me sitting in my car outside her flat to harassing her with 300 phone calls. I was arrested and told I was going to be held on remand until my court date as I was a "high risk of domestic violence". I maintained my cool with the police, despite how angry some of her lies made me hearing them, and I supplied things like my phone records to prove those 300 phone calls were actually 3 (and only because I wanted a phone charger back!). They allowed me out on bail and then dropped all charges a few weeks later, even leaving notes on the offence to say they believed her account was almost entirely fictional. The point is; had I reacted to the horrible lies she made up in her statement; I'd have simply played into her hands. I'd have looked unstable and angry AKA a "high risk of domestic violence".

From reading the while thread I get the impression you may have told this friend about your childhood issues/PTSD. She will be using this to try and hurt you. Your problems are but crack in your armor to this person. It my sound trite or cliche but growing a thicker skin (a layer of chainmail) will really make all the difference. You can't stop them nor control them; the best you can do is weather the storm as best you can.

*

Thru the Rain

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 629
Re: Being targeted by people with PD's/toxic people...
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2018, 01:19:39 PM »
You mention the possibility of hiring a lawyer.

I can tell you I have never regretted consulting a lawyer when I was uncertain of how to proceed. A consultation with a lawyer can help you understand what rights you have, and what actions you can take - all information you can think about before taking any action at all. 

In other words, hiring a lawyer doesn't necessarily mean taking any action (legal or otherwise) at all. But having more information in such a frightening situation may give you some peace of mind.

*

StayWithMe

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 778
Re: Being targeted by people with PD's/toxic people...
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2018, 03:51:12 PM »
Before paying for a lawyer, I would take the same information that you will give them and pass it on to other appropriate third parties.   Plus if she is capable of stalking people, she does not sound like someone who will serve the public properly.  Imgaine her bad mouthing people and undermining other elected officials, civil servants and the general public when she does not get her way .......

And just in general, when it comes to volunteering, you are only required to do what you promised to do.  Even then, some people will say that you can break a commitment whenever you want ...... (I had this debate in an assertiveness training class once,  I realised that the instructor didn't like me after wards.)  I do think building up a reputation for reliability is a good thing.

Doing one poster for her does not obligate you to create an entire campaign and at a moment's notice. 

Learn to say no and with certainty.  Learn also when it's good simply to say nothing.  Simply to let phone calls go to voicemail and so on. 

I think communication skills can really make a difference in relationships.  But also to remember, communication isn't just about talking.

One last thing, can you give us an example or two about the passive aggressive behavior of her you have found online.  Ihave had that feeling as well.  But of course, to a third party, they will tell you that you are paranoid.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2018, 08:00:54 PM by Latchkey »

*

HeadAboveWater

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 292
Re: Being targeted by people with PD's/toxic people...
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2018, 08:04:18 PM »
Ugh, I am so sorry that you have been targeted by this person. I am sure that it felt absolutely awful when she started making threats about seeking a protective order.

I can relate to your desire of wanting to screen for these toxic people. I have recently come to the realization that they have been a part of my life for many years and that I don't want repeat cycles of difficult relationships.

One thing that is helping me is to treat all new friendships like dating after a difficult break-up. I am hopeful but cautious. While I want to share my interests with new people and spend time with them, I don't commit to very much in the early days. I've met new people in group settings by inviting them to situations where multiple people will be hanging out at someone's house, a coffee shop, or a bar. When scheduling one-on-one meetings with new friends, I make sure that it's time-limited, not an unstructured afternoon of hanging out. I also set some cautious boundaries around what I am willing to do with new friends. I don't volunteer with organizations they belong to; I don't lend money; I don't commit to regular routines like working out together; and I don't sign up for recurring classes or events with new acquaintances. Nor do I immediately share my social media contacts with new people. It becomes much easier in that way to distance myself if my gut tells me that something isn't right. While it can feel cynical at first, taking things slowly hasn't cost me any new friendships. After I've known someone for a few months to a year and seen how they treat people in different settings, I start to relax a bit.

It's particularly hard when you feel depressed and anxious. You probably want and need a positive network of supportive friends. I'm wishing you strength and patience as you try to find good people who will help you to be your best.

*

StayWithMe

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 778
Re: Being targeted by people with PD's/toxic people...
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2018, 11:08:26 AM »
One thing that is helping me is to treat all new friendships like dating after a difficult break-up. I am hopeful but cautious. While I want to share my interests with new people and spend time with them, I don't commit to very much in the early days. I've met new people in group settings by inviting them to situations where multiple people will be hanging out at someone's house, a coffee shop, or a bar. When scheduling one-on-one meetings with new friends, I make sure that it's time-limited, not an unstructured afternoon of hanging out. I also set some cautious boundaries around what I am willing to do with new friends. I don't volunteer with organizations they belong to; I don't lend money; I don't commit to regular routines like working out together; and I don't sign up for recurring classes or events with new acquaintances. Nor do I immediately share my social media contacts with new people. It becomes much easier in that way to distance myself if my gut tells me that something isn't right. While it can feel cynical at first, taking things slowly hasn't cost me any new friendships. After I've known someone for a few months to a year and seen how they treat people in different settings, I start to relax a bit.


I think your cautiousness is well worth it.  I've been dealing with situations that have gone bad as well and I am trying to figure a way to identify them in advance avoid them.

For example, I was friendly with a woman I met through a social circle.  She knew I did event management so she started sending me e-mails about event management activities are around town.  Since I didn't ask her to do so and these days forwarding an e-mail to someone takes nearly zero time and zero money (unlike the olden days of having to photocopy and mail something), I didn't say anything to her about it until she called.  I guess that should have been my first clue since the call was otherwise nothing more than chit chat.

At the time, I was living in a big city that had lots of exhibitions, sometimes simultaneously.  So this same woman called me the week before an exhbition was taking place that she informed me of.  She asked me if I was going and since I knew she was casting about trying to find a new career I assumed she was asking me to to meet up with her on one those days. 

I told that I was not going to the exhib that she had mentioned.  I tried to dignify her efforts by saying that I had been to it before and it is interesting but there was a marketing exhib that had some interesting breakout sessions that I was going to instead.  She feigned interest in what these sessions were about and as I was reading the session titles I noticed that she was talking over me.  So I stopped talking and then she said "and what does marketing have to do with event management." 

Oh, dear.  My opinion of that woman went completely down the tubes and I asked myself what on earth did I do that made her think that I was some sort of life coach client of hers. 

I know this scenario is different from that of StitchWitch in terms of severity, but I think the common thread is 1) trying to size up people and 2) identifying the ways in which we relate to people that apparently lead us down a path in which that person believes that they can dominate us.

How do we prevent this?  And how do we manage it when it does happen?




*

StitchWitch

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 186
Re: Being targeted by people with PD's/toxic people...
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2018, 06:21:48 PM »
Hi Stitchwitch

I know it's hard but the best thing you can do is to stand tall and show the world you are not unstable and/or a danger to yourself nor anyone else. Remaining calm and objective is hard in the face of these assaults but it's really the best thing you can do.

To give a personal example; I once had a relationship with a BPD girl and she went to the police when it ended. She had an absolute myriad of accusations ranging from me sitting in my car outside her flat to harassing her with 300 phone calls. I was arrested and told I was going to be held on remand until my court date as I was a "high risk of domestic violence". I maintained my cool with the police, despite how angry some of her lies made me hearing them, and I supplied things like my phone records to prove those 300 phone calls were actually 3 (and only because I wanted a phone charger back!). They allowed me out on bail and then dropped all charges a few weeks later, even leaving notes on the offence to say they believed her account was almost entirely fictional. The point is; had I reacted to the horrible lies she made up in her statement; I'd have simply played into her hands. I'd have looked unstable and angry AKA a "high risk of domestic violence".

From reading the while thread I get the impression you may have told this friend about your childhood issues/PTSD. She will be using this to try and hurt you. Your problems are but crack in your armor to this person. It my sound trite or cliche but growing a thicker skin (a layer of chainmail) will really make all the difference. You can't stop them nor control them; the best you can do is weather the storm as best you can.

Unfortunately, yes I confided in her my PTSD and childhood abuse and, yes, she's using that information against me. I'm quickly learning to grow said tougher skin and this entire thing has been one giant lesson in being more cautious and careful who I befriend.

My therapist and I have been working to build up my resiliency to this kind of thing. And, since writing the original post, I can say that I have made huge strides in not letting what she does--which is completely irrational and not something I can control--bother me. The thing I'm most proud of is being confident in who I am and what I'm about and knowing that nothing she can say or do that will change that fact. If people believe her, it's not my problem and not the end of the world.

One thing that is helping me is to treat all new friendships like dating after a difficult break-up. I am hopeful but cautious. While I want to share my interests with new people and spend time with them, I don't commit to very much in the early days. I've met new people in group settings by inviting them to situations where multiple people will be hanging out at someone's house, a coffee shop, or a bar. When scheduling one-on-one meetings with new friends, I make sure that it's time-limited, not an unstructured afternoon of hanging out. I also set some cautious boundaries around what I am willing to do with new friends. I don't volunteer with organizations they belong to; I don't lend money; I don't commit to regular routines like working out together; and I don't sign up for recurring classes or events with new acquaintances. Nor do I immediately share my social media contacts with new people. It becomes much easier in that way to distance myself if my gut tells me that something isn't right. While it can feel cynical at first, taking things slowly hasn't cost me any new friendships. After I've known someone for a few months to a year and seen how they treat people in different settings, I start to relax a bit.

It's particularly hard when you feel depressed and anxious. You probably want and need a positive network of supportive friends. I'm wishing you strength and patience as you try to find good people who will help you to be your best.

^^^ I think you hit the nail on the head, HeadaboveWater! This is definitely something I can see working and working well. After this ordeal with this particular PD, I started doing something similar to what you mentioned without really realizing it. Mostly, I've been meeting new people for coffee in public places and keeping the actual meeting short and structured to a specific topic.

A new friend of mine recently told me that she doesn't friend people on social media that she hasn't met first in person. I've also been employing this tactic and, I've got to say, this has really helped. With regard to the situation and the PD I spoke of in my original post, this was the main reason IMHO things went the way they did. She had months to read through all my feed (and apparently take screenshots galore) meanwhile presenting herself as a nice person. After the first time I didn't agree with her on something, she tried frantically to change my mind. That was a huge red flag for me. It wasn't a big deal yet she went to great lengths to convince me it was a huge deal and that I should side with her. In short, some very black-and-white thinking was going on there and it was after this encounter I really started paying attention to everything she did. I think if I'd just met her in person a few times and not been social media friends, maybe I'd have been safer and maybe she'd never had stalked me. Or, at the very least, I'd have figured it out sooner and she'd have less of my private information saved to her hard drive. At any rate, several lessons have been learned.

I know this scenario is different from that of StitchWitch in terms of severity, but I think the common thread is 1) trying to size up people and 2) identifying the ways in which we relate to people that apparently lead us down a path in which that person believes that they can dominate us.

How do we prevent this?  And how do we manage it when it does happen?

I can definitely see the common thread. Sizing up people is difficult especially when, in our cases, we were dealing with persons with PDs. They often appear normal, even charismatic, and kind when you first meet them. That's what duped me about this individual. She was a former educator, she was well educated herself, and was very kind at first glance. That disarmed me and allowed her to start digging through my past, so to speak, getting me to open up more and more so she had "dirt" to use against me should I get out of line.

I think how we prevent this is being far more cautious like HeadAboveWater mentioned. Give each new relationship with an acquaintance a huge honeymoon period if you will and keep our cards close to our vests. Anyone with a PD won't last that long, after a few months of interactions, they out themselves because they think they've got you hooked.

As far as managing, we have to actively maintain good, solid boundaries. And, if someone crosses said boundaries, we need to firmly tell them that they've crossed said boundary and that it wasn't cool to do so. People who genuinely care and do not have PDs will immediately comply. In short, anyone who won't respect your boundaries, IMHO, doesn't respect you or your needs.

I don't negotiate with emotional terrorists!

*

eternallystuck

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 384
Re: Being targeted by people with PD's/toxic people...
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2018, 12:57:54 AM »
StitchWitch I can really relate

Unfortunately I've attracted a ridiculous amount of these over the years & I think only in the last year have I felt comfortable in staying alone for a while...until I come across someone who feels safe/well rounded who I feel is worthwhile pursing. It took me a long time! But I think I kept making that mistake for a reason...it was like someone above was saying....you are codependent becos of ur anxiety...you need to learn to be comfortable on your own before you can make rational, sensible decisions about who to let in. When were not comfy with ourselves we act in haste & get stung pretty quick.

Like many empaths/SG's I have often let my anxiety/fear of abandonment get in the way & jumped head first into friendships being quite naive...trying to avoid being alone (the shame!) & deal with pd foo thoughts....not taking a step back. This relates to loneliness from FOO but I've realised it doesn't do me much good to be reliant on the idea that 'some, crappy, conditional company is better than none'..now I'm the opposite..being alone is sometimes more healthy & peaceful. I like going for a walk on my own & being able to breathe...no 1 letting me down...no underneath looks/comments or confusing signals...no nasty surprises, shocks or last min cancellations! Plus I've had way more time to read, do art & grow my online store. I've found when I do want to socialise now I'm way more picky..I'm like ok you're new, you wanna go out...but are you a nice person- do we share the same morals aswell as interests? I've realised alone time doesn't have to be this shameful bad thing...it can be really healthy, productive and renewing... hell it can be necessary

I don't have much great advice to give, as I myself have been trying to learn this for the longest :rofl:! But here are the some of the things I've learnt to look out for with new people........

Consistency.....are they hot & cold? Are they only in touch when it benefits them/is convenient for them? How often do they pop up to ask how you are? Is the topic of the convo always about an event/plan...are they interested in you or just someone to accompany them on things THEY like? E.g could u JUST meet up for a coffee & general life chat? Do they cancel last min a lot...do they respect your time/other commitments? If not ...distance yourself & see if they get the picture, don't be immediately available for flakes/users like I have 1million& 9 times :upsidedown:. Quite often I've jumped to it with people with unreliable people...at some point they thought 'she needs me more than I need her' & the onesidedness amplified

How they act in front of others....big giveaway but I've found this is a slow cooker... it takes time to see how people behave around different groups. So now I don't gush over people who I've only seen around a handful of people. I've found N's can be very charming to you on your own or with a familiar face but very belittling of you if they are trying to impress someone new they perceive to be more useful/important to them. Their loyalty is always altering according to their needs. I have definitely changed my opinion of some ppl after seeing how they treated me/acted in front of a new set of people.

How they talk about others close to them- Do they belittle, degrade, mock someone who does a lot for them/genuinely cares for them? This is a massive red flag....why are they still keeping them around if they have such lil respect for them? Its a matter of time before they do the same to you

Boasting- are they constantly gloating about their money etc or fawning compliments with fake insecurities 'i.e I'm so fat!' when they're thin or 'I'm so stupid!' when they're highly academic. They want their ego stroking..I also had a friend who always made me pay through the taxi app cos she couldn't 'figure it out' insert excuse xyz, even tho she had 2 science degrees....watch out for that helpless 'do it for me' childlike behaviour ..quite often it leads to demands/manipulation

EXPRESSIONS- god I have ignored so many dead giveaways in this department. Side-eyes, smirks during times you're visibly stressed. Looks of contempt, jealousy when u have good news etc...I think our gut instinct rarely lets us down in this area, but we often want to ignore it

Competitive behaviour- one upping you etc. Overly career focused people- i.e they don't really do friendships without career benefits/some skill or contact of yours they can extract. I've found N's treat friendships like networking, which is fine to an extent, but I think its odd to only befriend people who can give u a leg up

I think perhaps you are a very giving person, which is a lovely quality but unfortunately N's love to suck givers dry. I am also a giver &well intentioned..but I've learnt when to cut back & realise when its unreasonable/ not appreciated. For example I had a friend that regularly made me wait 2hrs waiting for her....I realised part of the problem was me ACTUALLY waiting 2hrs for her :doh: :doh: Again I think that was not wanting rock the boat..& I was eager for company so at some point passively accepted that. With new ppl I think we have to be clear from day 1 what were not accepting & withdraw efforts if they don't adjust their behaviours


*

Adria

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1211
Re: Being targeted by people with PD's/toxic people...
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2018, 12:51:14 PM »
I have had similar experiences in support groups or volunteer groups. For some reason people like to single me out, act like my friend, and then try to bully me.  I had an interesting bout of it within a church group. The pastor was a woman and ran a ladies class. After the first class, she walked over to me and said, I would like to counsel you one on one.  I didn't know what to make of that, but I was in a bad place at the time with my family as I am the SG. I agreed. Wow, did that get weird fast.  She tried to usurp total control over me. I emailed her a letter thanking her for her services, but I decided I wanted to handle things on my own. Got weirder until I had to write her a very harsh letter telling her to leave me alone. She didn't want to go away. It actually became very unnerving. Why she chose me, I'm not sure.

Here is a piece of advice I received years ago from my narc sociopath sister on situations like this:  Always watch out for the first person in any setting that is overly friendly or wants to go to lunch, etc. Since, I started recognizing this, I have steered clear and feel I have saved myself a lot of grief.

*

Orthocone

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 272
Re: Being targeted by people with PD's/toxic people...
« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2018, 10:08:33 PM »
Such good advice here, so I can't add anything except that I agree that the overfriendliness of some people is a big red flag.  It's never happened to me though.  My bullies mostly start out wanting to mess with me in real life, but then I don't really have anything most people want from me so maybe that's why.  However, a new manager at work has been trying his best to bribe, manipulate, etc. me into working more hours and make the fact that he wanted to be a GM and have all that responsibility my problem.  It's becoming quite comical that he just keeps trying.  He was quite nasty and aggressive when I first met him, so I don't think very highly of him.

Online on the other hand, I can definitely relate because I recently left a forum I frequented for years (used to be a very supportive place) because of similar behavior.  If you want to know what happened, I can tell you in a private message, but long story short, this poster baited me for like two weeks, and something she posted about a kid who had committed suicide due to bullying was what finally worked and I told her off on two different areas where she was baiting me.  Of course made herself look like the victim.  Every single thread would go into
"all the crap she's gotten" on that forum.  That's only one example of many bad experiences I've had online.

Oh and recently I called out my apartment management online for posting fake reviews about how great it is to live here, so I'm waiting for the fall-out of that.  It's quite exhausting to live in a world full of people like this.  IDK if it ever becomes easier.