Confusion, Cognitive Dissonance, Deceit and Malignant Narcissist’ Abuse. Tactics Malignant Narcissist Use to Abuse Their Targets

Confusion, not knowing what is truth or fiction, real or imagined can destabilize you an make you more susceptible to future deceit and abuse.  That’s why Malignant narcissists love to confuse you with mixed messages. It destabilizes you and makes you a great target for their abuse. 

In psychology, this tactic is called cognitive dissonance. An example, an abuser acts compliments and showers someone with compliments at work, gives them great projects and or jobs with perks then attacks them and comes back and says, but your a great guy and I would never fire you, then goes then attacks them again. The romantic narcissists acts lovingly, love bombs, then abuses, then comes back and acts more loving, this confuses the target. What is real. When someone makes promises you something, makes a commitment then pulls it back it affects your ability to trust. You don’t know how to act.  You can clearly see in the article that the Republican representatives are being abused by Trump’s use of cognitive dissonance.

This is a dangerous situation as confused abuse victims will let their abuser do awful things in hopes of getting the sweet love they got before.

One of the key methods of emotional abuse employed by people with narcissistic tendencies is the generalized concept called cognitive dissonance. What this abuse tactic does is create in the target a sense of unreality, confusion, and a mind-set of not trusting his or her own perception of the situation. Leon Festinger (1957) was one researcher who studied the theory of cognitive dissonance. Essentially, cognitive dissonance occurs when humans experience a state of holding two or more contradictory thoughts or beliefs in their cognition at one time. The result is a state of anxious confusion and a desire to reduce the resultant overwhelm and unbalanced perception.

A simplistic, condensed example in a toxic relationship: an abuser professes love and divines a marriage date with his or her partner. The partner is courted, romanced, and ultimately falls in love with the abuser, not knowing that the abuser has ulterior motives (i.e., not staying in the relationship). The partner envisions wedding details and enjoys the courtship, flowers, and being placed on a pedestal. The abuser then suddenly makes a comment denying that he or she said anything about getting married. He or she goes on to say that the partner is “crazy” for thinking that. Blame is then projected upon the partner, and the partner is dizzy with confusion, recalling that, indeed, his or her significant other did discuss wedding bells and a future together.

The partner then experiences a state of cognitive dissonance—a hazy unreality of confusion. Such emotional abuse renders the target confused and reeling with heartache that the pace of the relationship has slammed to an abrupt halt, in addition to feelings of betrayal and being blamed.

Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at