Covert NPD "friend" testing my boundaries

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Oscen

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Covert NPD "friend" testing my boundaries
« on: December 03, 2019, 09:36:12 PM »
In the beginning of March this year, I called out a friend who I'd noticed trying to manipulate me.

I don't feel like he actually took on board what I said though - it was all a weird mix of him flip-flopping, saying he was open to improvement... but really, I shouldn't have said it this way because it hurt his feelings... etc.

I figured that it just proved he was a manipulator, and a full-blown covert narc too.
I took on board what he said and I said I was sorry for the way I'd gone about it - but not the content.
For me that was goodbye, and I thought we'd left it there.

Anyway, he sent me a text today out of the blue, 8 months on, just saying hi, how are you, it's been ages... etc. Hmmm.

So I replied to the text - something like "it's been a while because I wan't happy about how you used criticism to deflect the issue we had in March. Best let sleeping dogs lie".

Anyway, you don't dump a narcissist, do you? They dump you.

Then followed about a 10-text barrage (with the occasional interjection from me) of him convincing himself that I was the bad guy, he was the good guy, I was the one trying to get him to be my friend, he was the one saying no, etc. I saw his flip-flopping for what it was - a pathetic attempt to reframe reality and dodge accountability.

He tried to shame me too - said that he usually tried to forget and move on from this kind of stuff, but if I needed more time that's cool... except that it wasn't cool, he was suddenly having a bad feeling about it all (guilt, perhaps..?), and maybe I was right about letting it stay sleeping. But I got it that I shouldn't be feeling the way I'm feeling about all this, right?

Oh, and he's really hurt. Aww. Now, that was the one thing that did pull my heartstrings - really (not sarcastic here - he found my vulnerability). Still, what about my feelings, huh? The ones he was shaming me for even having..?

Anyway, I said there was no ill will, we've had good times together, just have different expectations. Several times. With him escalating his attempts at manipulation between each text. Finally, he fired 4 off in a row and blocked me. Another manipulative "friend" who I decided to no longer tolerate blocked me recently too, so I feel I've got experience with this now.
Always immediately after they send a parting shot. Can't let you have the final word.

Dunno what he expected. I must've really been a pushover a year ago. No longer.

The flip-flopping is the weirdest bit - never noticed it before, but actually, manipulators just have no consistency.
Their thoughts don't match their words don't match their actions - hell, their words don't even match their other words! In the same sentence!
Sod that.

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clara

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Re: Covert NPD "friend" testing my boundaries
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2019, 11:33:00 AM »
It's part of their "keep throwing until something sticks" approach to conflict resolution.  They have to find something, anything, to blame on you in order to absolve themselves for their own bad behavior.  It's always all your fault and always will be, and logic and reason be damned.  And what makes it worse--they expect you to fall for it.  They can't understand that someone might see through them because they're just so gosh darned clever!  I once had a NPD friend proudly tell me that no one really knew him.  He was wrong.

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Oscen

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Re: Covert NPD "friend" testing my boundaries
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2019, 12:45:14 PM »
And what makes it worse--they expect you to fall for it.  They can't understand that someone might see through them because they're just so gosh darned clever!

So very, very true.  :yeahthat:

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Wilderhearts

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Re: Covert NPD "friend" testing my boundaries
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2020, 11:22:52 PM »

Oh, and he's really hurt. Aww. Now, that was the one thing that did pull my heartstrings - really (not sarcastic here - he found my vulnerability). Still, what about my feelings, huh? The ones he was shaming me for even having..?

If this person has NPD, and he sounds like he does by the "PD explosion of abuse" that you described in that barrage of texts, he's not hurting in the way that you would be hurting if a friend thought you had been awful.  He's not suffering because he's grappling with an uncomfortable reality that he's been a bad friend, or a bad person, and he's not struggling with cognitive dissonance that comes from realizing your actions and values don't line up, and will you ever figure out how to be the person you want to be?  He's not hurting for any of the reasons you would be hurting if the roles were reversed and you learned you had hurt a friend or lost a valuable relationship.  This is not grief or guilt, and it's not contrition.

He's hurting because he lost his plaything and source of fuel, and without it he's empty and full of chaos and pain and insecurity, because that's all that pwNPD have on their own when they're left without external praise and validation.  pwNPD see themselves as only worth what they get.  So if they're not "winning" from your friendship, if they don't have you in their pocket (and you can be sure that they see you as an object), they feel their lack of self-worth and they respond with rage and abuse, just like you experienced again. 

I think it's important for you to understand this, because they have no respect for you empathetic or sympathetic nature and will use it against you.  Have you read anything on HD Tudor's website, and how pwNPD prey on others' empathy, and see it as a weakness that they can exploit? 

I pity the people with PDs who have attacked me like that - they have a miserable existence.  I can look at them and think "that's sad.  You're sad," but I'm beyond being moved to compassion for them.  And quite honestly, when I have shown true empathy to pwPDs when they actually needed it, I've never received so much scorn and derision.  Your friend probably doesn't know how to be on the receiving end of genuine empathy because it's beyond his comprehension.

We need to have boundaries around our empathy too.