Does the Covert THINK they are Being Nice?

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No.

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Does the Covert THINK they are Being Nice?
« on: December 07, 2019, 07:26:01 PM »
I've had a spell of realizing longstanding patterns with a longstanding "friend". There have been lengthy fallings-out over the years, based on escalation and culmination of some major boundary-breaking event, my walking away, and eventually due to proximity and mutual friends, we cross paths and she acts like she has changed, says she's truly sorry for x, y or z, and I've tended to believe her and give it another try.

THIS time, I have since learned all of this stuff and had so many realizations about family, that I cautiously allowed her back in to see if her proclaimed changes and attitude were different.

Sure enough, things again escalated and culminated in a boundary-bashing event. Now, I'm actually seeing the red flags I missed or chose to "keep a boundary" about. Many of these things are very covert, but it feels like to me there is an entitlement there. An assumption that she "knows" and feels the need to "impart wisdom." Sometimes it's so covert as to be certain invites or offering "helpful" opportunities to make money. I saw all of this as thoughtful and nice until after the big event. Now I'm seeing it ALL as part of the scheme..the personality, I guess.

Do THEY actually think they are being nice? I think she does, but that's no longer good enough for me. And I feel it's probably pointless to engage in any sort of conversation about it. She is pushing me to, and it is just repelling and repulsing me to the max.

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Bloomie

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Re: Does the Covert THINK they are Being Nice?
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2019, 11:55:47 AM »
No. - I wonder... if this friend adjusts their behavior and claims to have changed to draw you back in and then returns to covertly manipulative or entitled behaviors there seems to be some awareness that they are crossing the line. What narrative they create in their minds for themselves around not respecting you is impossible to know for sure.

It must be really frustrating to be experiencing this again.
"If you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer. If you focus on the lesson, you will continue to grow." Dr. Caroline Leaf

Bloomie 🌸

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clara

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Re: Does the Covert THINK they are Being Nice?
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2019, 12:22:42 PM »
You give an inch, they take the mile.  I honestly don't know if they have a genuine concept of "nice."  To them, being nice seems a tool they use to get you back into their life to the point where they can manipulate you.  They can be superficially nice to people who don't really matter to them, because they can mimic social conventions (same as any of us can) but when it comes to a PD you have a history with, them being nice to you is often a red flag that something's up.  It's a shame, but you really can't trust them.  It's almost a type of bait-and-switch.  They lure you back in, then spring their true agenda on you.  And sometimes that agenda is simply to find someone they can feel superior to (because of how much smarter etc. than you they think they are).  Nothing is really up front.   

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No.

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Re: Does the Covert THINK they are Being Nice?
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2019, 02:34:37 PM »
Yes, y'all all have it exactly. Now that she did this outrageous thing that I don't notice her doing to other people (but maybe she does), she is assuming that my reason for backing away is that I am upset about that one thing. She even said I'm just misinterpreting it. Which, no I'm not.

But anyway, it's really more about the pattern I'm recognizing. Even in the first conversation where she was being sooooo nice and supportive, she said something like "you're just perfect the way you are"..sounds nice, but a.) who says I need her approval, and b.) that's the opposite of what it is now.

It seems this imparting knowledge whether positive or making suggestions is something that escalates and turns toxic over time. Who is she to tell me what I should be doing? I don't do that to her! And in fact, she was going on about her weight and fitness (I am a certified personal trainer), and when I said I can help set you up with a program if you like, she got defensive and said "no, I'm VERY resistant to people telling me what to do." I never mentioned it again, but she does.

Things like that, I now see as a little covert tactic to establish superiority over me. I can't offer to help with my expertise, but she can impart knowledge on things she is NOT expert on. She does have a higher education than me, and is very smart in some areas, but so am I. I used to would fall for that and not think a thing of it, but now it is glaring red flags. So, I guess I'll just let her think I'm overly sensitive about this one thing and be done with it. I think she wants to suck me in to some conversation, but as I've seen in the past, it seems like drama manufacture.




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No.

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Re: Does the Covert THINK they are Being Nice?
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2019, 02:38:30 PM »
Oh, another thing she keeps doing is telling people at get-togethers that we have been friends for _____ years, which does not include the YEARS of falling out over her condescending behavior. I feel when she does this it's manipulative.

There's other things too I won't go into, but it's just the overall pattern. No longer compatible.

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clara

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Re: Does the Covert THINK they are Being Nice?
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2019, 11:42:17 AM »
The weird flattery is one of the things that stuck out before I learned to recognize a NPD for what they were.  It's like they would go out of their way to find something to flatter me on, often just making something up because it could come out of nowhere (i.e., not something related to what was going on in the moment, rather something random) and since I have always been suspicious of flattery, it was an easy red flag for me.  Unfortunately, I couldn't understand what was behind that flattery, and assumed it was an attempt to get me to like them.  Which, in a way, was kind of flattering because it seemed they wanted my approval by giving me theirs.  It made them seem vulnerable, or at least relatable.  And in a non-NPD, that would likely be the case, but no, because of their PD it was actually a manipulation.  Tell me how great I was in order to keep me around, then proceed to tell me how great they actually are--much better than I could ever be--in order to let me know where I really stand, and to try to seek their approval once more, to lock into a dysfunctional dynamic with them.  Building me up would always result in tearing me down ("for my own good," doncha know?!) and I would leave the encounter feeling used and abused.  It's an easy cycle to see now that I've learned to step back and observe it in real time, but it's still a (hard) learning process.

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NumbLotus

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Re: Does the Covert THINK they are Being Nice?
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2019, 11:49:12 AM »
Flattery means a LOT to an NPD. What feels cheap to the rest of us - a few flattering words - they crave deeply.

Some people give back what they get, so it could be a way to set up a relationship where they prime the pump to get flattery.

They think in black and white so they are looking for that golden person, the one who really "gets" them. (Read: provides supply). So at the start of a relationship, they are optimistic that you might be that person. They flatter and get supply in return, whether it's return flattery or other positive energy. (Supply).

Of course eventually it all falls apart.
Just a castaway, an island lost at sea
Another lonely day, noone here but me
More loneliness than any man could bear

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Hazy111

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Re: Does the Covert THINK they are Being Nice?
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2019, 12:54:55 PM »
Yep, youre being played and you see through it. Normal people dont act like this . PDs do though.

I had a sort of friend like this years back. I got to know him through people who i used to work with and still socialised with now and again. I had left and he had rejoined the office where he had worked years before. We had similar interests (football team, history, etc), but there was a hell of a lot of strange behavior. On a one to one basis he could be good company but soon as there was a crowd he acted like i barely knew him and i got to know a very disturbing back story from where he worked.  Why he had been forcibly transferred to another office. Its about the time i started to understand PD and narcissism and this guy was ticking a lot of boxes. I was edging away from him and then i learnt he was organising a sort of anniversary party for "himself" for all the years of service by the same employer. It was like a leaving do, but he wasnt leaving! in a central London pub that he had hired . All very bizarre. I was invited but didnt attend. I sort of knew it was supposed to be a kind of "love in " for him.

I heard from others he had taken it very badly,as he told everybody (not me) i was attending and was his best mate??!! I was expected to make a speech!   :stars: My name was mud. It was the beginning of the end of our "friendship".  He stopped contacting me afterwards and it came as a great relief. :roll:


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No.

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Re: Does the Covert THINK they are Being Nice?
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2019, 01:23:40 PM »
Yes, yes, and yes. Thank you all for helping me confirm what I thought I was seeing.

Where the topic of my Nm is heavy and depressing, I kind of feel this topic is light and makes me happy to realize my instincts were right all long, but I was trained and brainwashed not to listen or be allowed feelings and instincts. I see it now, Yay!

I do think this long-time "friend" has in a way groomed me. We were young when we became friends, and I did think she was awesome at the time. But I remember the cycles now, similar as are presenting themselves now.

One thing that really strikes a nerve in me is sort of this sing-song way she talks when she is imposing herself. Kind of like "i'm being positiiiive"... as well as the "spiritual" language cliches and platitudes that now make me want to barf (because I know they are gaslighting and self-righteous).