5 Things Narcissists Do To Convince Victims To Come Back
2. Intermittent Reinforcement
Remember when things were really wonderful at the beginning of your relationship? Before everything went to sh*t? When you were their world, their sun, their stars? Before every single thing you did irritated them? It’s those memories that a narcissist will draw upon to hook you back.
Imagine a dog that gets kicked by its owner 95 percent of the time, but the remaining 5 percent, they get cuddles and treats and love. The dog will tolerate the kicking because of the memory of how wonderful it was when they had moments of being truly loved, and just like a narcissist will treat you like crap most of the time, they might gaze at you adoringly now and then, marveling at how gorgeous you are, and how they really don’t deserve someone as amazing as you are.
This technique is especially effective if you have low self-esteem, because the little blips of kindness are like oases of hope in what is otherwise a wasteland of sh*te. If and when those moments happen, remind yourself of the overwhelming ugliness that happens the rest of the time, and how those fleeting moments really don’t make up for how horribly they treat you. Print out abusive text messages and emails and hang them on your wall for instant reminders, if you need to.
3. Promises Of Change (Lies Lies Lies)
The person you dated, but have mercifully been free from for a while, suddenly emails or texts you to let you know that they’re in therapy.
They’ve realized that they need help. They want to change. They’re taking steps to do so, and one of the things they want to rectify is how horribly they’ve treated you.
…and there go your heartstrings, because you did care about this person fiercely (and possibly still do), and they’ve just prodded on that soft spot in your heart that always hoped (prayed, dreamed) that they would wake to their potential and be the person you always knew they could be.
The thing is, they know full well how effective this hook can be, which is why they use it. It’s a crock of sh*t, of course, but it’s a damned good manipulation tactic because it appeals to your empathy and compassion.