How To Stop Narcissistic Triangulation? You may have this feeling where you constantly feel that you are being used and manipulated in the form of comparisons. You feel like the third wheel in the conversations whenever you are dealing with a narcissist.
Have you come across someone who constantly compares you with someone else? This typical tactic of comparison is a manipulative tactic, that is termed as “Triangulation”. This tactic is used by manipulators or someone suffering from a mental health disorder like narcissism.
Triangulation is one of the commonly used tactics by bullies, as they are tyrants who would purposefully bring up other people in their party reference while having conversations with someone to make them feel bad about themselves and also gain an upper hand if it is a problematic situation that is being discussed.
Let us know more about Narcissistic Triangulation,
What is Narcissistic Triangulation?
It is a manipulative tactic used by narcissists when they are one of the parties, trying to win against their competitor by trying to draw in a third party or third person to change the trajectory of the problematic situation.
The goal of triangulation is to be the deciding factor or derivating person who becomes someone of true importance by making a critical situation in a dispute situation.
Triangulation may or may not be done on purpose, whereas narcissistic triangulation differs here, as it is done on purpose with intentions. Individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder use consistent and unchanging patterns of triangulation that may include some major roles. These roles are in context with a narcissist’s characteristics and desire to win the third party in order to win the argument or disagreement.
These major roles are discussed below,
The Victim – Narcissists would present themselves as the victim here. They would present themselves as someone who is being taken advantage of and someone who is helpless.
The Rescuer – Narcissists would take the role of a rescuer just to present the final verdict and smoothen things over. They would also take the responsibility to support the party they are siding with to make them feel guilty.
The Persecutor – Narcissists acts as the initiator for blaming, attacking, and using aggression and criticism to highlight the wrongdoer.
Triangulation can happen in friendships, relationships, familial relationships, or even at workplaces. So what to do to stop the Narcissistic Triangulation? This article will uncover tips to protect yourself from narcissistic triangulation.
How To Stop Narcissistic Triangulation?
Narcissists gain control over the situation by using triangulation by siding with the victim and acting as the mediator who is able to change the situation for the victim by winning over the argument. They may also use triangulation to gain control over others and also to gain attention and adoration. So it is important to stop this toxicity to maintain real relations. Here are a few ways to stop this,
Address their behavior through a direct conversation
While conversing with a narcissist, make a habit of being as direct as possible. Look them straight in the eye, and have a respectful tone of voice. Be natural and gentle, and then slide into the phase that their communication style is not healthy.
This will ensure that they are well aware of the fact that their strategies are not going to be working anymore. Here are a few examples of assertive replies,
- “Comparison with other people is not going to make our relationship any healthier, so let us focus on that.”
- “It seems like you always compare me with your friend’s wife. But everyone is different and talented in their own ways, so the comparison might not be appropriate.”
Spotting the signs of Triangulation
If you know exactly what is going on, you may be combative and ready to react proactively. Triangulation includes praising others while putting you down and this can be done by anyone a family member, a partner, a friend, a a colleague. So try to identify hurtful, rude, and qualifying comments from people who might try to use triangulation to make you feel less worthy in the moment.
Spotting a triangulation can be done easily. When someone is constantly praising others despite any situation especially to make you feel low or lesser, degrading your achievements by comparing those with others, attacking your self-worth and self-importance, and so on. These can be a few signs to consider to spot triangulation.
Change the subject
When you feel that you are being compared with others or a third party may soon be entering your conversations, then this is the time to switch subjects but smoothly and effortlessly without making it obvious. Start a conversation that may serve a common interest for both of you.
The best that Narcissists can easily be distracted is when you show some interest in them by asking a question related to them. You can just put in a random question or provide some random fact that is unexpected at the time. This will put the narcissist in a state of bolt, and they might even forget what they were discussing with you. For instance,
- “Hey, what was your business idea that we were brainstorming last week?”
- “Do you know they are opening a new chain of restaurants of our favorite cousin across the street?”
Build a strong support network
When a narcissist tries to constantly lower your worth, by comparing you with others, make sure that you are having healthy, positive, and motivating conversations with people around you. To do so you might need a strong support network of people that may include your friends, family, colleagues, or anyone that you can rely on.
You can also reach out to therapists or counselors who are experts to guide you and help you from narcissistic abuse. Find a safe space for you and be vulnerable with them, and not with the narcissist. If you express how you are impacted by their manipulation the narcissist would try more to suppress you. So find a good support system. You can also,
Join a support group or a community or meet people who may provide ways to fight against abuse and acknowledge you with ways to cope with narcissistic abuse especially. Such experts can help you heal from the trauma.
Keep a hotline number or a fire brigade in the form of a person on whom you can rely around the clock anytime.
Maintain a Journal about the narcissist’s effect on you
Journaling may always help in resolving the emotional turmoil that you may be facing due to the narcissist’s constant manipulation in the form of triangulation. Writing down or journaling your true feelings and being vulnerable with your words can help to release a lot of stress.
If you provide yourself time, you may soon forget what the narcissist might have said about you and you may be able to let go of all the hurtful things that might be bothering you. Keep a habit of maintaining a journal until you are able to remember good things about yourself and are able to release all the stress and negativity that may be filled inside of you.
Cut off communication entirely if needed
When the toxicity surpasses the average level of tolerance, then it is time for you to cut off contact and communication with such a person. If all conversations with them are just comparison and competition then it may be the time to let go of such a person. Step aside, take a deep breath, and ask yourself, “Is this relationship worth all the trouble?”
Walking out of such an abusive relationship is one of the best ways to handle the abuser and the manipulation. Just look at all the red flags and seek your way out of the abusive relationship. Do not endure the pain and manipulation and hurt just let go of the relationship and be happy.
The no-contact rule is one of the best methods to get rid of the person you no longer wish to include in your life,
Going No Contact with a narcissist includes no physical contact,
- No contacting or staying in touch
- No calls, texts, and no connections through social media
- No casual meetups or encounters
- No more being friends with them
- No more exchanging gifts
- Not even meeting them through the mutual social group or gatherings or even family
Talk to a Therapist if required
Seeking help from professionals like therapists, taking healing therapies, consulting, and discussing the issues with experts can help out a lot in such matters. Constantly being a part of narcissistic abuse may confound you to that particular thought processes and ideas so seeking help from experts may open many ways to cope with narcissistic abuse which may help you to change your thought processes and perceptions.
- Seeking help from a professional may provide emotional stability to you.
- You may able to get past all the abuse in the form of triangulation and build healthy relationships in the future.
- A therapist can help you build a healthy relationship with yourself too and help you to overcome traumatic past.
Setting boundaries can help you maintain your emotional well-being in the first place. It is not possible entirely to stop the narcissist from manipulating you, but it is absolutely possible to remind them of the boundaries now and then. Setting boundaries means clearly discussing what behavior is acceptable and what is not. Stick to your boundaries and do not let them manipulate you.
Narcissists fear consequences. Thus they would think twice before comparing you to others. This also means that you are being clear about what you will and will not tolerate from the narcissist. It is important to communicate these boundaries clearly on verbal terms and also in written format if required.
Walk away from the conversation
If you simply refuse to be a part of the abuse, they cannot force you into it. Walking away from toxic conversations that include comparison, would provide you a polite exit. Do not be rude instead find some polite excuses like attending a phone call, running an urgent errand, meeting a friend, or running late for an important conference.
- Once you start feeling irritated and feel the attack, make an excuse and leave.
- Doing so the narcissist will realize that they are not the only people in your life and you got other important people and things in your life.
- If you are unable to escape the conversation try to change the topic by saying, “Look at the time, it is so late”, or “Just pop in some important information about some event or happenings.”
Staying calm in the moment
Not engaging in any kind of arguments, discussions or disagreements may entirely close the topic off or at least subtle it down to some extent. Responding in a non-emotional, calm, and composed way can really beat their game. Showing them that their behavior is not going to affect you, may save you from all the drama and trauma.
Before reacting to anything that a narcissist might accuse you of or compare you to someone, take a deep breath and try to calm yourself down. This will give you time to think about how to respond and respond in the best possible way rather than reacting impulsively and adding more to the already ongoing toxicity. Keep your emotions under control when dealing with a narcissist.
Remember that dealing with narcissists and their manipulative tactics is never easy. Thus dealing with triangulation requires you to believe in yourself, be self-aware, and prioritize and protect your well-being. Also, make sure to protect your emotional and mental well-being.
Make sure to surround yourself with positive and uplifting friends around you.
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