Narcissistic abuse is what a person in a relationship with someone that meets the criteria for narcissistic (NPD) or antisocial (APD) personality disorder experiences. The potentially crippling, life long effects of narcissistic abuse on a partner’s mental health form a cluster of symptoms, not yet included in the DSM, known as narcissist victim syndrome.
Narcissists and sociopaths use language in specific ways, with a specific intent to take another’s mind and will captive. The term “emotional manipulation” should be reserved for narcissistic abuse, to avoid risks of falling prey to a narcissist’s ploys to hide themselves, blame-shift and mislabel those they victimize as narcissists.
NPDs and APDs are masters of disguise, and narcissistic abuse is a form of thought control, a specific use of language, designed to emotionally manipulate another person into handing over their mind and will, and thus their thoughts, desires, agency as possessions for the narcissist’s personal gain.
NPDs and APDs use language specifically designed to get their victims to:
- Question their sanity
- Mistrust those who support them, i.e., family, parents
- Feel abandoned, as if only the narcissist cares
- Feel worthless
- Give themselves no credit for their hard work
- Doubt their ability to think or make decisions
- Disconnect from their own wants and needs
- Give in to whatever the narcissist wants
- Devalue their contributions
- Obsess on their faults or mistakes
- Ignore or make excuses for narcissist’s actions
- Spin their wheels trying to gain narcissist’s favor
- Obsess on how to make the narcissist happy
- Idealize the narcissist
In present day circumstances, these disordered personalities have advanced their methods with scientific studies on how to emotionally and mentally devastate another person, more often a partner in a couple relationship, to exist in altered mind and body states of powerlessness and helplessness — at least temporarily, until they wake up and come out of the fog.