To divert is to reroute or change direction of something. A traffic pattern is diverted due to construction or a car crash. Your attention can be diverted from your work due to an interruption, like a phone call. By the same token, Narcissists can divert attention off of themselves by using a number of tactics in their arsenal.
Why Narcissists use diversion
Narcissists use diversionary tactics because it is the prime way that they can get out of accepting responsibility for their actions. It goes back to what I talked about in my last blog, Why Narcissists Never Hold Themselves Accountable. It is simply because they cannot and will not admit any wrong doing.
Examples of diversionary tactics
All the above examples divert or shift attention away from the Narcissists and onto you. The Narcissists will say or do anything they can to make it out like it’s all your fault. No matter what the situation or circumstances, the Narcissists need to press upon us that their misery in life is because of us. They had a bad day at work? It’s our fault. They failed a class in school? It’s our fault. They can’t hold down a job? It’s our fault.
Now that I know about diversionary tactics, it’s easier for me to spot when my NX uses any of the diversion tactics he whips out. Perhaps the Narcissist in your life sees that you are getting too close to the truth about them. They will use the diversionary tactics of gaslighting and projection to take the pressure off of themselves and toss it back to you.
Whenever you seek to challenge the Narcissists, they will quickly change the subject by twisting your words around. Say you call them out on recent bad behavior. They will answer you with a question like, “Well, what about the time when…..?”
My NX used this diversion tactic perfectly back in May 2012 when I visited my children. My daughter was 6 years old at the time. My mother had come with me to see the children. We were sitting in the living room playing with some of the children’s toys. My NX says the word “bastard” and when I glared up at him, he diverted the mistake onto my daughter. He said, “Remember that one time you said a bad word? We don’t say bad words anymore, do we?” He deflected his mistake onto her!
Narcissists will instill fear in us when we dare to disagree with them. In their eyes, their word is law. What they say goes. When we have a differing point of view, they shut us down by telling us that we haven’t seen what they have or done what they’ve done, so we aren’t as enlightened as they are. They use threats and intimidation to bully us into submission. It’s all so we don’t question their “authority” on whatever topic is being discussed.
And when they can’t think of anything better to say or do to manipulate or intimidate us, they resort to name-calling. In my experience, it’s a Narcissist’s last resort when they aren’t getting the results they wanted – which is to control, manipulate and bully us. They think that name-calling is an easy diversion tactic to distract us from calling them out on any wrong doing. My NX would frequently call me “idiotic” or “stupid” if I dared to express an opinion. He’d call me “childish” if I acted silly with the children. He’d call me “fat” if I had an extra helping at dinner. He’d call me “lazy” if I wanted to relax on the couch to watch a show with the children.
Narcissists use diversion tactics as easily as breathing. It comes so easily to them. It’s how they survive. They need to keep the attention off of themselves so no one finds out the truth about them – that they are evil, manipulative soul-suckers who aim to destroy the lives of their targets.
What has been your experience with diversion tactics? Comment below. And as always, I appreciate you for sharing your stories with me.
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Greetings, my warrior survivor friends! Welcome to my blog. I'm Julianna, the owner and creator of this site. Check out the My Story section to read about why I started this blog. Thanks for stopping in. And feel free to comment on any post, share your own thoughts and stories. I would love to hear from you!
The Top 10
Here you will find my most popular posts for easier discovery.
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The Fake Apology
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Emotionally Abusive Behaviors
Going No Contact: A List Of What To Do And What Not To Do
An Open Letter To All Survivors Who Just Got Out Of An Abusive Situation
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The content of this site is told from the blog author/owner's personal experience of dealing with a male Narcissist. Narcissists, psychopaths and sociopaths are both male and female, and come from all walks of life. Furthermore, the content contained herein is not intended to be a replacement for medical or legal counsel. This blog's sole purpose is to provide support to those who have endured Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse.