5 Things Narcissists Deliberately Withhold To Torment You


There are five things that narcissistic people will deliberately withhold not only to torment you but also because withholding these things props up their false sense of superiority, serves their sick need to feel and be seen as better, and gives them the upper hand—in their mind, anyway. That is what I’m covering today. Let’s do it!

Compliments and Praise

Narcissists will withhold compliments and praise, including normal, healthy, and appropriate interest in you and what you’ve got going on in your life. They withhold compliments and well-deserved praise, validation, or any kind of approval even when it is absolutely warranted. This is actually one of the most glaring red flag indicators that you’re dealing with a person with a destructive narcissist personality pattern—in other words, a toxic predator. No matter how well they may present, their inability to clap for you when you’ve clearly earned or deserved it is a red flag. Their inability to share in your success or joy is often due to their pathological envy as well as their need to maintain control and the illusion of superiority. Healthy relationships naturally include the expression of happiness and excitement for the other person’s accomplishments or good fortune, enhancing the quality of the relationship. Narcissists, however, do not like giving praise to others, especially when it’s warranted, unless it serves them somehow. For example, they may engage in excessively praising you at the onset of the relationship when they’re love bombing you, but once they feel they’ve got you where they want you, they’ll begin withholding interest in you and your achievements. It’s how they keep you down there and themselves up here—in their own mind. They do this by refusing to recognize events, accomplishments, or milestones that are worthy of celebration and failing to acknowledge the things that make you happy. Meanwhile, they will quite sadistically, I might add, deliberately give praise to someone else in front of you for no other reason than to hurt your feelings and further demean you. This is narcissistic triangulation, meant to unsettle and destabilize you in the hopes of making you feel undeserving and less than. This withholding tactic is intended to hurt you deliberately. In the context of an emotionally abusive relationship, withholding healthy praise, validation, and interest is a deliberate strategy used to cause the target to feel needy, obsessed, or desperate, as the person being emotionally and psychologically abused scrambles to understand what has changed since the initial love bombing stage. Narcissists will even go so far as accusing you of fishing for compliments or using attention-seeking behavior when you question their strange and utterly hurtful withholding behavior. In fact, these are exactly the words they will use to paint you as crazy and irrational or not okay somehow for having the normal human desire to be seen, heard, understood, validated, loved, supported, and encouraged by those closest to you. Imagine that. So don’t mistake it for something it’s not just because it’s passive and subtle. It’s abuse, friends, straight up.

Affection and Attention

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