Updated: Aug 19, 2018
There really is only one simple rule to remember about your Narcissists vocabulary. For them the word love = use. It’s so simple I will say it again. When they say “I love you” what they are really saying is “I use you.” “I will love you forever” means, “I will use you forever.” (Only realize they don’t generally stick around for forever.) Everything else they say to you is lies to support the ultimate lie that comes out of their mouths, is that love to them equals “USE.”
Now, once you have been discarded by your Narcissist, there is a whole new vocabulary you will need to understand. In no particular order let’s begin.
· Supply – A narcissist is lost without narcissistic supply. They need supply like a plant needs water. Supply consists of attention, admiration, respect, adulation and even fear. Without these vital nutrients of life, the narcissist will become dysfunctional.
· Discard – what they do to you when they have used you up, generally without warning, or any obvious reason, other than you are the problem.
· Discounting - Verbal abuse, usually in the form of jokes
· Hoovering - The term, hoovering, is derived from the Hoover vacuum cleaner which describes how a narcissist attempts to suck their victims back into a relationship. They will use every trick in the book to get you back under their power and control. Hoovering often takes place after you have left them or after a period of the silent treatment. They often promise to change their behavior or say that they have already changed dramatically.
· Empathy - The capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference, i.e., the capacity to place oneself in another's position. (Classic first sign you are with a narcissist. They do not have any empathy for anyone.)
· Trauma Bonding - Unhealthy, or traumatic, bonding occurs between people in an abusive relationship. The bond is stronger for people who have grown up in abusive households because it seems to be a normal part of relationships.
· Ruminate - Contemplation or reflection, which may become persistent and recurrent worrying or brooding – what you will do after you have been discarding and don’t understand why.
· No Contact - People who have been abused by a narcissist may choose to cut ties altogether with that person. Typically people who end up going no contact have had their boundaries violated in traumatic ways that eventually push them to shut down all communication with the narcissist.
· Triangulate - an indirect form of communication where one person (usually the narcissist) acts as a messenger between two other people. Or it can be a direct form of communication where one person attempts to draw in an accomplice, to gang up against a third party, to further their agenda.
· Grey Rocking - Grey rock is a term used to describe your behavior when trying to cut contact with a narcissist. The aim is to be utterly boring so that the narcissist no longer sees you as good supply and subsequently disappears.
· Cognitive Dissonance -Cognitive dissonance occurs when one holds two or more contradictory beliefs or values at the same time. Sometimes people hold very strong beliefs and when they are presented with evidence which opposes those beliefs, they find it impossible to accept evidence to the contrary. Dissonance is often strong when we go against our own moral standards, for example, if someone believes that they are a good person and goes ahead and does something wrong or bad, the feelings of guilt and discomfort are known as cognitive dissonance.
· Boundaries - Boundaries are a code of conduct or an unwritten set of rules which we consider to be reasonable behavior from those around us and our response when someone steps over the line.
· Invalidate - Invalidation is a manipulative tactic used to get a target to believe that their thoughts, opinions and beliefs are wrong, unimportant or don’t matter.
· Gas lighting - This is a form of psychological abuse in which narcissists systematically undermine other people’s mental state by leading them to question their perceptions of reality. Narcissists use lies and false information to erode their victims’ belief in their own judgment and, ultimately, their sanity.
· Devaluation - Because of their emotionally primitive perfect-or-worthless thinking (stuck at the developmental level of a young child) and their insistence on unattainable perfection, narcissists in relationships (with partners, family members, or friends) nearly inevitably become disillusioned. And because they lack a moral compass (again, like the stunted children they are), they do not hesitate to express their disappointment in a range of devaluing hostile behaviors, including judgment, belittlement, and rage, if not outright abandonment. (Case in point - his "pet" name for me was "Butterball," because I am short and carried some extra weight.)
· Flying Monkeys – anyone who enables the Narcissist
· C-PTSD - This stands for Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a condition common in narcissistic abuse victims, as well as in people with NPD. C-PTSD includes a wide range of disabling symptoms, including some or all of the following disturbances:
generalized fear, anxiety, and agitation;
nightmares and/or night terrors;
self-destructive behavior; and
Remember – education is the key to taking back your life and your power. You need to fully understand how they manipulate you to think you are the problem, and you have no value. Someone who lacks any empathy does not have the capacity to love. This is not a complete list of all the terms, but the most used terms you will find in your research.