That’s why they will do anything it takes to be in the spotlight, whether that be positive or not.
Psychologist Stephen Karpman discovered in the 1960’s that narcissists participate in a “drama triangle”, meaning they are always either a victim, a persecutor or a rescuer.
So what’s the issue?
Narcissists flip between these personalities incredibly quickly, meaning their victim is never quite sure which version of the narcissist they will encounter.
Have you ever had a friend who you always felt like you were walking on eggshells around?
Psychologist Perpetua Neo says narcissists want you to feel this way.
“You’re always walking on eggshells, [so] you never know how to respond,” Psychologist Perpetua Neo told Insider.
“So let’s say they are playing the victim, and you’re responding with empathy — they will flip to persecutor. So you know there’s no way you can win, even if you’re not playing to win, or you’re not even playing,” she added.
One way the narcissist will manipulate their victim is through “love bombing”, which is the process of bombarding a new relationship with excessive attention, and showering the victim with gifts and positive reinforcement, only to take it all away.
It works. The victim often internalises blame, and wonders what they did wrong. The brain purposefully focuses on the positives, so it is important to be wary.
“Know they are going to tug at your heart strings,” she said. “These are all manipulations,” Neo told Insider.
But don’t panic, there are signs that the person you are in a relationship with is a narcissist that you can spot almost immediately.
Bullying expert Shahida Arabi wrote for Mamamia that there are five signs of a narcissist.