Malignant Diversionary Tactics (5)

    Post 22 of 195

    Following in the series of malignant diversionary tactics used by malignant and toxic people, here are a few more strategies used to distract and confuse their victims.

    Nonsensical conversations

    Circular conversations to disorientate and gaslight are a common diversion tactic of narcissists to confuse and discredit you. They aim to distract you from the main issue, to frustrate and tie you up in knots. Raise any topic that conflicts with what they think, and you generally end up wondering how the argument began, or even what it’s about. A nonsensical argument might sound like,

    “I’d like to change my car”

    “I can drive any car I want. You should get a Mazda”

    “I might get a Ford”

    “Henry Ford didn’t invent the production line he stole the idea from my great, great grandfather only idiots believe the lies”

    “Fords are a nice car. Hold on a minute, what do mean your great…”

    “What do you know about cars? You’re so useless you can’t even clean the bathroom properly…and another thing I’ve a degree in geography!”


    “The Bible’s not true either. I saw a movie once that had Charlton Heston in it as Moses. That proves it.”

    “I only said I was thinking of changing my car”

    “Shut up, stop arguing with me!”

    A circular argument on the other hand is when someone just keeps making the opposite point to whatever you say until they are making the same point you made originally. You end up arguing against yourself while they feed off the energy from the contention.

    An important thing to remember is that when toxic people begin to talk nonsense they are really arguing with themselves. They just want to feel a sense of superiority over you. They feed off you struggling to make sense of their ridiculous statements and counter points. Don’t feed them. Instead use the energy to cut the conversation short and recognise they are the problem, not you.


    This tactic involves bringing in the views and opinions of outside parties that agree with the toxic person and disagree with you. It is a way of them validating themselves while they invalidate you through the opinions of others they claim agree with them. “Other people think that…”, “Dave said that…”, “They all feel…”, “Karen noticed that…” and so on. The aim of this tactic is to leave you feeling insecure and doubt your own experiences.

    Malignant people love to use triangulation to evoke uncertainty, jealousy and insecurity. They report back what others say about you, even if it’s a lie. They want to divert your attention from their abusive behaviour, have you focus on their sense of superiority or victimhood. In their minds, if you believe others say things that agree with them then surely you must be wrong.

    Recognise that if you are being triangulated then so is someone else. Narcissists play people off each other. Just because they have told someone a version of events that suit them, doesn’t mean that person agrees with them. They just claim they do. You can seek your own validation by speaking honestly to others outside of their influence.

    Smear campaign

    When a toxic person is unable to control you, or how you see them, they will try to control how others see you. They portray themselves as the victim and you as the toxic one. They destroy your reputation in the hope that you won’t have any kind of support network. They may even stalk you or those close to you on social media trying to expose you. The exposure is a way to destroy you while hiding their own behaviour. A common threat they use is, “What if your friends/people you work with knew what you were really like?”

    They create stories about you or those close to you. Stories that depict you as dysfunctional and aggressive. They will pre-empt you telling others about them by claiming you are so toxic they fear you may accuse them of the very things they actually did. They will even use your reactions to the abuse as a way of confirming that they are the victim.

    Smear campaigns sometimes begin when the relationship is still active. Some people don’t find out about what’s been said about them until after the relationship has ended.

    If you feel you are the victim of a smear campaign be mindful of how you react. Keep a record of any kind of harassment, gossip or stalking. Seek appropriate advice on what to do about stalking and slander. Remember, your character will speak for itself. Toxic people can’t keep the mask up for long. Sooner or later people see them as they really are.

    More malignant diversionary tactics to be aware of from toxic people to follow in the next article.

    This article was written by sentientcounselling