9 Ways How Narcissists Turn People Against You

A narcissist’s work is never complete until they’ve made you feel completely isolated from everyone around you. From good friends to close family and all in between, it’s as if they hold a powerful magnet, pulling people away from you and leaving you feeling alone. You wonder what you’ve done wrong.


Because narcissists love control, they want to appear the victim while you fight your way through another, seeing the cracks they’ve caused within you.

It’s frustrating. It’s hurtful. It’s unjust.

Check out these nine ways narcissists turn people against you.

#1 The Smear Campaign

When a narcissist feels threatened or rejected, they often launch smear campaigns to tarnish your reputation. 

They do this by spreading lies about you, causing other people to fall into the trap of believing what the narcissist is saying and questioning the person you are. 

Imagine how capable they are of creating these wild half-truths, using their warped imagination to set up a narrative others don’t hesitate to take as gospel. 

These will always paint you negatively, undermining any credibility you’ve worked hard and honestly to achieve. 

This tactic keeps you isolated and locked out of your usual social circles. It will make you want to fight back and justify yourself, but sometimes, that can make you look even worse to them.

#2 Acting the Victim

Narcissists are game masters at playing the victim to gain and retain sympathy and support from others. They will say whatever it takes for their audience to lap up every lie, twist, and discredit. 

They are verbal artists who want to paint a picture to all who will listen. Do they care what you think? Of course not! If they did, they wouldn’t be a narcissist in the first place. 

Many will see you as the aggressor and the narcissist as the innocent party. This tactic distracts attention from their immoral and painful behavior and allows everybody to find fault and problems with you.

#3 Encouraging you to criticize others

If you criticized everybody else, how long do you think it would take word to get around and leave you known as the troublemaker? 

Narcissists have no problem putting words into your mouth and coaxing you to say unkind things about other people if it makes you feel as though you’re part of an important conversation.

The problem won’t stop there, as the narcissist will report back to who you spoke of, blaming you for all the wrong things said.

#4 They Offer ‘Sort of’ Truths

Narcissists treat the truth like an elastic band – it can bend and stretch in many ways. If you meant well, the narcissist won’t portray it that way to others. If your truths are light and kind, they will tarnish them so that you come off worse. 

They can infer what you ‘really meant’—even if you refute these claims. These mind-boggling skills will turn people against you as they lose trust in your words and actions.

#5 By Exaggerating Your Flaws

We all have flaws, but a narcissist loves to know yours, and they love to dig even deeper to really get to the nitty-gritty of your imperfections. It’s uncomfortable, and sometimes those really covert narcissists will play on your insecurities because they know how terrible it will make you feel. 

They don’t care – they will go over and over your flaws until they are blue in the face, because with every word comes the -albeit incorrect – knowledge of others that you aren’t the person they thought you were.

You’ll be shocked how many people bite this bait and really change their opinions of you, especially if they spend a lot of time with the narcissist in question.

#6 The Blame Shift

The blame shift is akin to taking something they’ve done wrong and literally handing it to you instead so you don’t have to hold it. 

Why would they do that? They don’t have any sympathy for you and don’t wish to hold onto something so negative and detrimental to their image. 

There’s a hook narcissists sometimes find themselves on, and a way to get off it, is to swap themselves with you. As long as their reputation is kept safe, that’s all they care about. 

Using this tactic to turn people against you normally works, as it is great at gaining anger and negative momentum in their inaccurate reports of you. 

#7 The Gossip

Narcissists feel most at home surrounded by people who cling on to every word they say. Being in the center of a gossip circle is their idea of heaven, and they do it because it allows them to point out all the faults and flaws of others, leaving them looking like perfect citizens. 

It’s comforting to a narcissist to use people like you as a target for their slander. They do it because then they don’t have to talk about themselves or point out their mistakes or flaws – of which there are plenty!

Narcissists want to gain – and they gain well from speaking ill of others. If that’s you, you will receive a knock to your reputation for their temporary gain. 

#8 By Way of Reactive Abuse

Imagine being so calm and collected, then being pushed and prodded until you finally react. Narcissists are professional pushers, getting you right to the edge with their hurtful words and actions before you turn around and say enough is enough. 

Who would be at fault now?


The narcissist raises their hands in a hapless shrug, “See? I told you so.”

Suddenly, people nod and see that the narcissist is right in the first place. And there you are left – looking like the bad guy.

Reactive abuse is dealt by using your perceived weaknesses. Maybe you aren’t great at something, or you aren’t happy with an aspect of yourself. 

Remember, to everyone else, they don’t see the 999 times the narcissist baited you, they only hear of the 1 time you retaliated. 

#9 Triangulation

When a narcissist brings two people together to pull them apart again purposely, it is known as triangulation.

They see the friendship going well and don’t like it, generally because the connection makes them even more jealous or insecure than they were to begin with, and it simply has to stop. 

The narcissist will turn the third person against you eventually, seeking ways to invalidate you, and leave you feeling in a high state of anxiety or tension.

This can be done in friendship or family circles, so if there is a narcissist in your life, maintaining a level of caution around them is vital if you want to avoid isolation. 

If you feel yourself being more and more isolated from those you care about, ask yourself if you are dealing with a narcissist in your life.

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