Silly Me

The past few days I’ve been reading about and watching videos on manipulation tactics and dark triad and cluster B personality traits. Whenever I catch a whiff of gaslighting and crazy-making situations I always go back and review pertinent information as a refresher because it still catches me off guard when manipulation happens. I’ve become complacent believing I’m more aware and savvy than I am, thinking I know enough to avoid such characters and situations. I let my guard down and go back to trusting and believing what people say about themselves and fall for the way they present themselves. I take them at face value, trusting until something happens to show me otherwise. I forget to be wary and skeptical. Silly me.

I’ll always have to be wary due to my upbringing, it’s hard to reprogram your early social conditioning completely, so I have to be gentle and forgive myself and not hold it against others because people with these personality traits are not aware of them, can’t see that they have them and therefore can’t help it. So the best thing to do when encountering people who are manifesting dark triad, cluster B personality traits that are causing harm and confusion is to disengage and decrease contact or go no contact.

I’ve had many years of frustrating experiences and now know that you can’t get through to them and it’s a waste of energy to even try. I also know that it’s futile to try and understand their twisted logic, I’ve hurt my brain trying to make sense of many crazy-making situations over the years but it’s impossible because they only make sense to the manipulative, immature person. I’d have to be inside their heads in order to figure it out.

People can have maladaptive personality traits without having a full-blown disorder, it’s more of a spectrum and there can be a mix and match aspect where they won’t fit neatly into a category. And we all have times where we may display some of these defensive behaviors, but it’s a matter of degree and intensity and how much disturbance it causes. People with cluster B personality traits will deflect, deny, twist it around, gaslight, and manipulate so you can not hold them accountable. They’ll have you doubting your reality when you try. The narcissists can be quite charming, charismatic, intelligent, and are often in positions of authority due to their ability to deceive, coerce, exploit, manipulate and control along with low empathy, low anxiety, egocentricity, grandiosity, feelings of superiority and entitlement.

It takes a strong sense of self and healthy boundaries to be able to navigate encounters with manipulative people. It can catch you unawares and possibly insidiously ensnare you before you know what’s happened. That’s how people wind up in abusive relationships for years enmeshed by coercive manipulative tactics and trauma bonding. There can be emotional/mental abuse without overt violence so it’s hard for the person who’s being abused to concretely identify the manipulative coercive controlling behaviors as being abusive.

Fortunately, there is plenty of free, factual, informative information these days online and in countless books. Every situation varies, so sometimes it’s difficult to identify some of the manipulative tactics because the abuser causes you to doubt your reality. You begin questioning, is it just me? Am I too sensitive? Maybe I’ve got it all wrong and you try to placate the abuser and you end up apologizing when it was they who caused all the problems to begin with.

The people with difficult personality traits often have many good, attractive, helpful qualities too which causes even more cognitive dissonance and confusion. How could someone so lovely also have aspects that are so diametrically opposite like an unpredictable Jekyll Hyde aspect to them? Sometimes you can learn to navigate the difficult traits so as to avoid too many difficulties, or you can maintain a distance and strong boundaries if the episodes of expressions of difficult traits are infrequent then it may be tolerable. Each case is different, it depends on if the benefits outweigh the risks and how invested you are in the relationship, if you believe you can come out the other side relatively unscathed and if there are no fundamental values deal breakers involved.

https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/unreality-check-cognitive-dissonance-in-narcissistic-abuse-1007144

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed all of this information and there’s more research that’s been done and even better information available.

I’ve been watching some of these videos… Dr. Ramani on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9Qixc77KhCo88E5muxUjmA

Here are some other helpful websites

https://www.thriveafterabuse.com/

https://outofthefog.website/

https://kimsaeed.com/blog/

https://selfcarehaven.wordpress.com/

Michelle Miyagi
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