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Narcissists are individuals who have a personality disorder known as Narcissistic Personality Disorder. This disorder is characterized by selfishness, dysfunctional relational patterns, and in many cases, emotionally abusive tendencies.

If you’ve never encountered a narcissist, consider yourself lucky. For those of us who have, we know firsthand the damage they can cause in our lives. One of the most difficult aspects of dealing with a narcissist is their manipulative behaviors. In most cases, they can be very good at masking their true selves until it’s too late.

Unfortunately, one aspect of their behavior and manipulative tendencies is the fact that they are quite good at turning the tables on their victims. And if you don’t know what you are looking for, you likely won’t even realize what is happening. Here are 8 ways narcissists turn the tables by playing the victim.

They Gaslight You

Narcissists work to undermine the perceptions of their victims through gaslighting. Put simply, throughout their relationships with their victim, they will make small remarks and even big ones. At first, they may just say things like, “You are too sensitive,” or, “Well, you are kind of crazy.” You might even think they are joking with you. Eventually, once they have convinced you that maybe you are crazy, they will begin flat out lying to your face. This behavior can ultimately lead to making the victim believe that they are crazy, which is extremely harmful.

They Live in Denial

Narcissists don’t just lie to everyone else, they lie to themselves. They are so skilled at distorting the truth, that oftentimes, they believe the lies they tell. That’s another reason why they are so believable because they usually genuinely believe their lies.

They Lie

A narcissist does not mind lying. They will do whatever they have to do. to obtain the result that benefits them the most. They will lie, and then lie to cover up their lie, and then lie some more. You could catch them in the act, and they would still lie.

They Distort Reality

Narcissists do not live in the same reality as everyone else. Their version of reality is ever-evolving and always changing to suit the narrative that benefits them. All the way down to their personal, almost everything about them is a distortion of the truth.

They Project

If you catch a narcissist doing something harmful and call them out, be prepared to have them turn it around on you. Even worse, is that they will often do this, even if you have said nothing to them. For example, a narcissistic boyfriend will likely accuse their partner of cheating, because they feel like if they are doing that, then their partner must be too. Of course, this also applies to narcissistic girlfriends.

They Shift Blame

Narcissists have a hard time accepting responsibility for their actions. It’s just not something they are usually willing to do. When it comes time to, they often tend to say things like, “Well, if you wouldn’t have done _________, I wouldn’t have done that to you. So really, it’s your fault.” Blame-shifting removes them from having to take responsibility for their actions.

They Use Your Sympathy Against You

More often than not, narcissists are attracted to highly empathetic people. The reason is, that people who have high levels of empathy are more likely to be sympathetic to the narcissist, no matter how badly they behave.

They Use Triangulation

Perhaps one of the most useful tricks a narcissist uses to turn the tables is triangulation. For example, if you and your narcissistic partner got into a fuss and you broke it off with them because you started to realize what they were about, they will run to your friends and family to drag you down. Rather than acknowledging they have done wrong, they will try to make it appear as though you are the narcissist, not them.