5 Disturbing Ways Narcissists Use Social Media To Terrorize You
Social media has been blamed for breeding narcissists, but the fact of the matter is, narcissists have always existed. Social media has just given them an extra tool to terrorize people. Here are five ways malignant narcissists– those without empathy and with an excessive sense of entitlement – use social media to exploit, manipulate and destroy their victims:
1. To triangulate.
Social media is a veritable playground for malignant narcissists. It gives them easy access to multiple victims and the ability to manufacture love triangles in covert, insidious ways. In order to understand how and exactly why narcissists use these platforms for such petty power plays, it’s essential that we remember that they tend to be insatiable in their attention-seeking and their desire to create harems of people who adore them. They will, of course, deny that they are doing this – and it’s easy to convince anyone who is suspicious of their behavior that such a focus on their online behavior is “crazy.”
For example, observe what a self-confessed gaslighter told BBC news when asked about the role his gaslighting played in covering his tracks on social media:
“Paula was extremely intelligent, but I was aware that I was leaving traces of infidelity in the digital world, on social media,” says Greg. He said he made jokes over a period of time pointing to her ‘obsession’ with social media, making her feel that she was suspicious in an unhealthy, even ‘crazy’ way. “I deliberately used demeaning language to make her lose confidence in her reading of the situation, of my infidelity. She was ‘paranoid’, she was ‘crazy’, she was ‘full of drama’. I’d say this all as jokes. But they would build over time, and she then started to believe.”
– Megha Mohan, Cheating and manipulation: Confessions of a gaslighter
Now, it’s certainly possible for someone lower on the spectrum of toxicity to aggravate their partners with their lack of discretion and loyalty without meaning to; sometimes garden-variety jerks or cheaters are not even fully cognizant they could be caught. However, true, full-fledged narcissists create love triangles deliberately in order to provoke their significant others. They enjoy seeing their reactions to their despicable behavior. They trespass the boundaries of their relationships frequently and with malice, with the intention of skirting accountability and with callous disregard for the feelings of their victims.
Narcissistic partners can flirt with numerous people by sending them messages on Facebook, inappropriately commenting on their photos with sexual or obscene messages for all to see, ‘following’ a number of shady accounts, as well as posting photos of themselves with exes, crushes, and people with whom they’re having affairs, all under the guise of them being ‘friends.’ Should their victims ever call them out on their strange behavior, the narcissist will then gaslight the victim into thinking he or she is going crazy.