Use Guilt & Pity Ploys

guilt and pity ploys

Narcissists play on your vulnerabilities, fears, and compassion by using guilt and pity ploys. They gain your trust by making believe they loved you. Their ploys may include threats to end the relationship, ignoring you (giving you the cold shoulder) or some other form of “punishment.” Narcissists generally find it easy to guilt you into getting what they want because of your kind, empathic, or “eager to please” nature.

One of my favorite Authors said it this way:

Some narcissists play the martyr. They will play the “woe is me” routine. They list all the sacrifices they have made for you. Some even muster up tears because they are so unappreciated.
Don’t be fooled by this manipulative behavior. They are trying to get you to excuse their bad behavior.

When you don’t, you are accused of being cold-hearted, uncaring towards your poor parent who is feeling so badly.

Tina Fuller – It’s my turn

Narcissistic Parents Answers Facebook Page.

Has your narcissist ever used this pity ploy:

  • If you loved me you would…
  • I work so hard for this family and you never….
  • After all I have done for you

Another wonderful author is Dr. Martha Stout who was on the clinical staff at Harvard Medical for 25 years and wrote the Book”The Sociopath Next Door

After listening for almost twenty-five years to the stories my patients tell me about sociopaths who have invaded and injured their lives, when I am asked, “How can I tell whom not to trust?” the answer I give usually surprises people. The natural expectation is that I will describe some sinister-sounding detail of behavior or snippet of body language or threatening use of language that is the subtle giveaway. Instead, I take people aback by assuring them that the tip-off is none of these things, for none of these things is reliably present. Rather, the best clue is, of all things, the pity play. The most reliable sign, the most universal behavior of unscrupulous people is not directed, as one might imagine, or our fearfulness. It is, perversely, an appeal to our sympathy …

More than admiration – more even than fear – pity from good people is carte blanche. When we pity, we are, at least for the moment, defenseless, and like so many of the essentially positive human characteristics that bind us together in groups … our emotional vulnerability when we pity is used against us by those who have no conscience.

The combination of consistently bad or inadequate behavior and frequent pity plays, Stout continues, is the closest thing to a warning you’ll ever get that you are being manipulated by a sociopath.

Dr. Martha Stout


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