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11 Things Narcissists Do When They Begin To Lose Control Over You


lose control

Divorce is already a challenging process, but when you're divorcing a narcissist, it can become even more complex and emotionally draining. Narcissists have a strong need for control and validation, and when they sense they're losing that control, their behavior can escalate. Understanding the tactics they may employ and their patterns of behavior can help you navigate the divorce process more effectively and protect your well-being.


Here are 11 things narcissists do when they lose control:

1.Gaslighting Tactics: Instead of outright denying events, narcissists may subtly twist the truth or selectively omit details to make you question your own memory and perception. They might use phrases like "I never said that" or "You're exaggerating" to subtly manipulate your understanding of past events or current issues.


2. Blame-Shifting: Rather than overtly blaming you for the divorce, narcissists may imply that you are responsible for the problems in the marriage. They might say things like "If only you had done this differently", "You are such a bad parent”, or “It’s clear you’re still the problem," shifting blame onto you. Most of the time these blame shifts are a projection of their own internal struggles and insecurities to avoid accountability. 


3. Financial Deception: Instead of blatantly hiding assets, covert narcissists may engage in more subtle forms of financial manipulation. For example, they might suddenly claim to have less income than they actually do, take a lower-paying job, conveniently forget about certain assets, or undervalue property to reduce their financial obligations.


4. Smear Campaigns: Rather than openly attacking your character, narcissists may make subtle comments or insinuations designed to undermine your credibility. They might make backhanded compliments about you to others, convince others to see you in a negative light, engage flying monkeys to spread the word and make posts on social media about how abusive you were to them.


5. Covert Parental Alienation: Instead of openly disparaging you to the children, narcissists may subtly undermine your authority or influence behind your back. They might indulge the children's wishes excessively when they're with them, subtly undermining your rules and authority without directly badmouthing you. They may even spend excessive amounts of money on the children attempting to buy their affection and convince them how great of a parent they are. They may even spoon-feed them lies that you are the reason for the divorce and why everyone no longer lives under one roof. 


6. Legal Maneuvering: Rather than engaging in obvious legal warfare, narcissists may use more subtle tactics to prolong and complicate the divorce process. For example, they might repeatedly delay proceedings by requesting extensions, filing unnecessary motions, or dragging their feet on providing required documentation or attempts at mediation.


7. Cruel Sabotage: They see you leaving them as a huge blow to their ego and their resentment may boil over. They may attempt to make you “pay” for leaving them by contacting your employer to get you fired, getting people in your community to cut you off and isolate you, and destroying your belongings and reputation by attempting to turn your friends against you. 


lose control

8. Stealthy Hoovering: Rather than overtly trying to win you back, narcissists may use more subtle tactics to keep you emotionally hooked. They might send you seemingly innocent messages or reminders of happier times, subtly trying to evoke feelings of how great they are to you only to flip the script days or weeks later when they don’t get their way. They may also use Spyware to hack your social media, email, or phone conversations or use air tags to track your whereabouts. You’ll discover this because they eventually will tell on themselves through the slip of the tongue about the information you did not confide in them about or you’ll find the air tag. 


9. Intentional Stonewalling: Instead of outright refusing to cooperate, narcissists may use more passive-aggressive forms of stonewalling. They might delay responding to messages or requests, conveniently forget about important deadlines, or give vague or evasive answers to your questions.


10. Escalate Fear: Instead of openly escalating abusive behavior, narcissists may resort to more covert forms of intimidation or control. For example, they might make subtle threats or insinuations about what could happen if you don't comply with their wishes, leaving you feeling anxious or on edge. Living in a state of fear or showing the narcissist you fear them is where you’ll lose your control. Rather it’s best to operate from your values, provide logical and concise communication, and show zero emotion. This is where you’ll remain in your power. 


lose control


11. Sneaky Triangulation: Rather than openly involving third parties, narcissists may use more covert tactics to manipulate relationships and alliances. They might subtly plant seeds of doubt or suspicion in the minds of mutual friends or family members, doctors, teachers, or therapists to subtly influence them to take their side without directly involving them in the conflict. Additionally, they may make excuses as to why their parents or new spouses need to be CC’d on all communication. This is generally a sign of low confidence and they need to feel powerful by creating a 2 against one mentality.


Divorcing a narcissist can be an incredibly challenging and emotionally taxing experience, but understanding the behaviors they may exhibit when they feel their control slipping can empower you to protect yourself and navigate the process more effectively. Surround yourself with a supportive network, seek professional guidance, and prioritize your own well-being as you work towards reclaiming your independence and moving forward with your life. For further support, reach out for coaching services


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