All Narcissists Have a Hidden Agenda 

Narcissistic people are charming and gregarious, so they can be pretty captivating. They can work the room and win over a crowd, making them seem ideal partners.

At face value, the narcissist appears rather appealing. They have an enchanting degree of charisma and a million tales about how superior and accomplished they are.

The problem is that you cannot take a narcissist at face value. Beneath the surface and the facade they present to the rest of the world is a hidden agenda. This agenda promises to leave you wounded if you allow it.

What Is On the Narcissist’s Hidden Agenda?

So, what sort of things are on the narcissist’s hidden agenda? You can bet that some or all of the objectives below make the list. 

#1 Achieving Validation and Praise

The narcissist may present themselves as being a genuine person, seeking a committed relationship. In reality, this isn’t what they’re after.

If a narcissist welcomes you into their life, it’s because they see you as a source of narcissistic supply. This is the term reserved for people willing to serve the narcissist, comply with their every demand, and feed their ego. 

Your only role in the narcissist’s life is to shower them with attention and feed their belief that they are superior to those around them. Narcissists rely upon this attention and admiration for their very survival, and they will go to great lengths to get it.

Because the narcissist is seeking endless validation and praise, they’re probably getting it in multiple places. So, don’t convince yourself that you’re the only significant other in their life.

#2 Maintaining Control 

Narcissists have an intense need to have control over others. Asserting dominance helps them to maintain their inflated ego. It also reinforces their superiority complex and helps them avoid shame and self-doubt.

Throughout your interactions with a narcissist, most of their behaviors will center on their need for power and control.

They will maintain this control through manipulative tactics, such as insulting you to make you feel inferior, gaslighting you into believing you’re crazy, and giving you just enough attention to keep you hooked, only to withdraw it whenever they see fit.

#3 Reputation Management 

Narcissistic people need to maintain a positive reputation. They want to appear confident, accomplished, and self-assured. 

If anyone knew who the narcissist was on the inside, the narcissist would be devastated. They will do anything to avoid appearing vulnerable and weak, so they can’t let anyone know how inadequate they feel beneath the surface.

To maintain their perfect public image, the narcissist will be sure to exaggerate their achievements and boast about their successes. At the same time, they will minimize their flaws and make it clear that they are superior to those around them.

They may even downplay the accomplishments of others to make themselves feel better. They will also play the victim whenever they’re accused of wrongdoing so they never look like the bad guy. 

#4 Exploiting Others

Narcissists view other people as objects for their use. They don’t have much empathy, so they will feel no remorse about taking advantage of you for their benefit. 

The narcissist will invite you into their life because they view you as someone who can meet one or several of their many needs.

They might use you to obtain money or recognition or to advance in their careers. They might promise you will return the favor, but they never will.

A narcissist might also pretend to want a relationship with you, but it’s only because they have a hidden agenda: taking what they can from you. 

Once the narcissist is done with what you have to offer, they will move on, feeling no remorse for having exploited you. 

#5 Using Triangulation 

When a narcissist pursues you, they may be using you as part of a game called triangulation. This occurs when the narcissist uses a third party as a form of manipulation.

Consider this example. The narcissist is having conflict with their significant other, and they want the person to become jealous. They might start pursuing you, and using you to triangulate with their partner.

They might tell their significant other how much they love them or even claim they think their significant other is wrong. Convinced that this third party agrees with the narcissist, the significant other’s self-esteem will take a hit. 

The ultimate goal of triangulation is manipulating interactions within a relationship by using a third party. Introducing a third party into a relationship allows the narcissist to appear as if they have the support of another person. 

Triangulation can also be used to make others feel jealous. Ultimately, the third party creates a sense of insecurity, guilt, or confusion, which makes people more likely to give in to the narcissist’s demands.

For instance, if a narcissistic man tells his girlfriend that a female friend agrees with him, the girlfriend may feel jealous. Worried that the female friend may become her competition, the girlfriend complies with whatever the narcissist wants. 

Why Narcissists Use Hidden Agendas

People with narcissistic traits rely on hidden agendas. They wouldn’t make many friends if they were straightforward about their intentions.

Furthermore, because narcissist struggles with genuine empathy and don’t care much for the needs of others, they have a hard time establishing authentic social connections.

Rather than present their true self to the world, the narcissist pretends to be caring and kind. They may even promise you the world, but they have no intention of delivering on their promises. 

Underneath it all, the narcissist has a hidden agenda that revolves around boosting their ego, obtaining praise and admiration, and manipulating others for their own advantage.

The narcissist must do these things because their very survival relies on external validation. Internally, they are fragile, empty, and unsure of themselves.

Obtaining recognition and exerting control over others makes the narcissist feel superior, protecting them from feelings of inferiority that lurk beneath the surface. 

Seeing Past the Hidden Agenda

Dealing with a narcissist sets you up to fall for their hidden agendas, but you can protect yourself.

First, look for patterns. Does this person seem to dominate every conversation, always pointing out their achievements? Do they constantly ask you for favors but rarely offer to help you?

If the answer is yes, you’re probably dealing with a narcissist. In this case, you can be sure they have a hidden agenda because all narcissists do.

You might become aware of their patterns if you’re in a relationship with one. Maybe your gut tells you something is off, but you don’t want to accept it.

Don’t waste your time giving the narcissist the benefit of the doubt. They’d never waste their time for you, and you deserve to surround yourself with people who are transparent about their intentions. 

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