A clinical psychologist has uncovered the most common expressions narcissists use to manipulate others – especially when it comes to their relationships.
Perpetua Neo from Singapore claims they are all narcissists work with similar methods, so the tactics they use to win their targets are often identical.
“It’s like they’re reading from the same manual, even though no one is giving them that manual,” she said Insider. “They’re programmed almost the same way.”
All people have narcissistic traits to some degree, but it is estimated that about one in 200 people in the United States has narcissistic personality disorder.
Perpetua Neo, from Singapore, has revealed the tactics narcissists use to reel in their target
Perpetua, who works with victims of narcissistic abuse, has laid out the phrases that should ring alarm bells during the three main stages of an emotionally abusive relationship
It is also important to note that there are significant gender differences when it comes to the prevalence of the condition.
Studies suggest that about 75 percent of diagnoses are in men, according to recent figures.
Perpetua, who works with victims of narcissistic abuse, has laid out the phrases that should ring alarm bells in the three main stages of an emotionally abusive relationship: the idealization stage, the devaluation stage, and the discarding stage.
1. The idealization phase: Beware of ‘love bombing’ during the early phases
Love-bombing is when someone showers their new partner with romantic gestures, artfully painting a picture of the bright future they plan to share, often when they’ve only known each other for weeks or even days.
Perpetua told the publication, “Anyone who tries to do it too fast early on is actually speeding up the intimacy, and that’s bad news.”
“Anyone who has to do that is suggesting they’re doing something scary.”
She said relationships with narcissists will change very quickly.
Perpetua shared that these are the phrases that should ring alarm bells when said in the first few weeks of a new relationship:
- “You are my soul mate.”
- “I’ve never met anyone like you.”
- “You understand me so much better than anyone.”
- “It’s fate that we met.”
- “I’ve never felt this way about anyone.”
- ‘Am I your only friend? You’re my only friend.’
- “We don’t need anyone else.”
- “You are so kind, creative, smart, beautiful and perfect.”
- “We’ll be together forever.”
2. The Devaluation Phase: The narcissist’s true self will emerge once the victim is addicted
Those in relationships with narcissists should be prepared that the honeymoon period will be short-lived.
Insults and criticisms will be introduced shortly but will be seamlessly interwoven with the compliments to make their victim believe the relationship is still worth it.
The offender still wants to keep his partner aside, but will take steps to undermine him and thus lower his confidence and self-esteem.
The offending side still wants to keep his partner aside, but will take steps to undermine him during the devaluation phase (stock image)
As a result, this will eventually make their significant other think that any wrongdoing is their own fault.
The perpetrator will play to their advantage and take every opportunity to exploit their perceived superiority and undermine the other person, leaving them in a constant state of stress.
Red flag sentences during this period include, but are not limited to:
- ‘You’re crazy.’
- “You’re too sensitive.”
- “No wonder no one else likes you.”
- “My friends hate you, but I always defend you and support you.”
- “You’re so insecure.”
- ‘What is wrong with you?’
- “Am I not more important to you than your friends?”
- “Your tears don’t work on me. Why are you crying?’
- “You’re so manipulative.”
Another major sign will be that narcissists will try to devalue everything their victim enjoys, including their hobbies, interests, and even their friends.
But if called out during this stage, they will usually explain their behavior away by deviating and instead scapegoating a third party.
In these moments, they will often portray themselves as victims, claiming that any unwanted behavior is a result of how they were treated in the past by their parents or exes.
3. The Throwaway Phase: The offender is likely to tire of the victim
It is during this last stage that insults from a narcissist will be the worst.
As they prepare to end the relationship, they will likely make a last-minute attempt to emerge victorious from the emotional wreckage.
Some of the most shocking sentences in this case are:
- “Everyone hates you.”
- “You are a bad person.”
- “No one else will ever love you.”
- “I’m the best you’ll ever have.”
- “Have fun being alone for the rest of your life.”
- “You did this to yourself.”
Thinking about this, Perpetua said the only way to truly rid yourself of a narcissist is to leave for good.
Otherwise, “you’ll just be kept on your toes and bend further back like a dancing monkey,” she said.
“And nothing will ever change – it will only get worse.”