11 Examples of Narcissistic Triangulation in Relationships

Have you ever been the sufferer of a triangulating narcissist?

Triangulation seems like that a part of calculus you daydreamed by way of in highschool.

However understanding the definition of triangulation in psychology is one thing to be taught whereas absolutely alert. 

You’ve possible been a part of triangulation abuse sooner or later in your life. 

It’s one more conniving device for a narcissist to make use of towards folks, and it may come out of your lover, mum or dad, or colleague. 

It’s worthwhile to know each angle to tear down narcissistic triangulation when it occurs to you once more.

What Is Narcissistic Triangulation?

Triangulation might be constructive, reminiscent of bringing in a 3rd social gathering to mediate an issue or get a second opinion throughout a well being scare.

However that’s not what we’re speaking about right here.

Narcissist triangulation techniques may also be referred to as “dividing and conquering” or “taking part in each ends towards the center.”

As is the trademark of any phrase related to a narcissist, it’s the motive that makes it sinister. 

Management: When narcissists understand they’re shedding management over a sufferer, they’ll usher in a 3rd factor to create concern and anxiousness. Like puppet masters, the narcissist will get a recent ego provide by controlling two folks and reaping the submissive, and praising the rewards of their actions. 

Manipulation: The narcissist needs to control either side by controlling all communication between the 2 events. This isn’t a three-way dialog. It’s two one-sided conversations pitting events towards each other. 

Superiority: A narcissist loathes and loves weaknesses concurrently, so once they can simply and habitually manipulate folks at will, it additional fuels their ego and allows their ongoing battle to be the focus.

This dynamic isn’t nearly relationships like courting or marriage. Narcissistic household triangulation is a tactic an ego-driven mum or dad can use to regulate kids or companions by pitting everybody towards one another.

What Are the three Components of a Triangulation Relationship?

You’ll be able to take a look at the narcissist triangulation jealousy cycle like a courtroom state of affairs. There’s the prosecutor, protection, and decide/jury.

The distinctive factor is that in narcissistic triangulation, the manipulator can rigorously craft their position as any of the three parts to achieve the higher hand. 

Prosecutor: This individual points costs and accusations and bends the desire of the opposite two events to see their model of actuality. This position is assumed when a narcissist leads a smear marketing campaign towards their sufferer.

Protection: That is when a narcissist performs the sufferer and is rather more frequent with covert or weak narcissists expert at being a sufferer or self-deprecating. You’ll typically see this when a narcissist is near being uncovered and must recruit some “flying monkeys” to take their aspect. 

Choose/Jury: A narcissist on this position would be the “savior” between two conflicting events in a chaos he created. This dynamic is commonly created when the narcissist will get bored or wants extra provide whereas preserving all events separate.

LIFE HACK: For those who’re making an attempt to determine who’s main the triangulation, take a ten,000-foot view to see who’s getting essentially the most consideration or profit. 

Why Do Narcissists Triangulate?

Narcissists lack empathy, feelings, and limits. They’ve achieved this by constructing a facade of superiority and entitlement as a coping or protection mechanism.

Their lives concerned constructing a “provide” of people that feed the ego and assist the flimsy facade of grandeur. 

Triangulation Begins with Boundaries

As soon as a provide individual is onto the narcissistic tendencies and pushes again, the narcissist can’t face the embarrassment and transparency of their weaknesses and manipulation. 

If their very own expert exploitation of an individual begins to wane, they’ll usher in a 3rd social gathering to create cognitive dissonance or battle, making the provision individual submissive or reliant on them. 

Understanding Narcissistic Provide

It’s vital to do not forget that a narcissistic searching for consideration is usually a triangle in itself.

They both need to break down another person to make themselves look higher, create reliance on their info or consideration by two events, or maintain everybody in a state of tension, desperately searching for the stability the narcissist is controlling. 

Am I a Narcissist if I Triangulate? 

First, a narcissist won’t ever surprise if they’re a narcissist as they lack self-awareness that any guidelines or labels apply to them.

As a mentally secure human, you’re more likely to be a sufferer of triangulation or search the useful rewards of the method to realize a constructive end result.

The distinction is that narcissists triangulate for a self-serving end result that hurts others. 

Do All Narcissists Triangulate? 

All narcissistic are able to utilizing any tactic to regulate their provide and refocus consideration and accolades on them.

Not all triangulation has narcissism at its roots, however all narcissists are well-skilled at triangulation. 

11 Examples of Narcissistic Triangulation in Relationships

The problem with understanding narcissistic triangulation is that a number of different psychological well being and character problems mimic this fashionable tactic.

It can be an indication of immaturity or poor adaption abilities. 

1. Triangulation Whereas Courting

A narcissist can create an inflated sense of desirability by making a pretend or discovering an actual individual to make the sufferer really feel like they’re about to lose one thing. 

Even when the narcissistic conduct feels uncomfortable to the sufferer, the imbalance of triangulation creates a stronger want to maintain the connection going, even with apparent pink flags. 

The manipulator also can use this tactic to get a provide sufferer to submit earlier by pitting one towards the opposite. 

2. Triangulation Whereas Married

Narcissistic companions get bored simply, and the monotony of married life can breed triangulation. They do that to make a partner strive more durable to please or cease a partner’s suspicions of dishonest. 

For instance, he might join with a former girlfriend and allow you to learn about it. For those who get upset, he says you’re being ridiculous whereas indicating how enticing he finds his former flame.

He leads the previous girlfriend to consider he’s genuinely concerned with her whereas mentioning what an incredible spouse you’re. Now he has each of you on the hook.

The manipulator also can use the third individual to again up their model of an occasion or notion of a state of affairs. 

3. Triangulation as Dad and mom

A narcissistic mum or dad can’t provide unconditional love as most individuals perceive it. They lack that bond with a toddler and see their little one as one other device to construct their shallowness. 

They will manipulate the kids into seeing them because the “solely mum or dad who cares” or the “enjoyable mum or dad” whereas the opposite mum or dad should take a second-hand position.

The poisonous mum or dad will shut down any effort by the opposite mum or dad to be seen as a hero or favourite.

4. Triangulation as Divorced Dad and mom

The one factor worse than marrying a narcissist is divorcing one. The narcissist will use the kids as a weapon by offering managed and restricted info that sways their opinion of the opposite mum or dad. 

They will additionally make the kid desperately search their approval by having them take part within the communication chaos.

Kids can really feel compelled to share unfaithful or hurtful info with household and pals, which turns extra folks towards the sufferer. 

5. Triangulation as Mates

It’s frequent for the “Imply Women” state of affairs to unravel after we’re in center faculty or highschool, the place the alpha teenager makes use of her minions to maintain her dominant social place. 

Narcissists don’t mature sufficient to develop out of this, they usually’ll create a way of rigidity with a brand new buddy or previous classmate to make a buddy extra loyal to them.

They could additionally share damaging lies the third social gathering allegedly stated to make the sufferer really feel extra indebted to the narcissist. Since so many individuals keep away from battle created by triangulation, each half leans into the narcissist for a recent provide of ego.

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6. Triangulation as Colleagues

The identical conflicts can brew in workplaces, meant to make a colleague really feel extra fashionable, highly effective, or dependable.

This works particularly nicely when a brand new worker is introduced into the triangle, as they aren’t conscious of the continued narcissistic techniques. 

If a brand new worker is instructed everybody makes enjoyable of them for staying late, they are going to depend on the narcissistic for assist, go away work earlier, and thus change into much less of knowledgeable risk. 

7. Triangulation as Workers

Narcissistic bosses like to see their workers battle for his or her consideration, so as a substitute of making a aggressive office, they pit workers towards each other.

Workers afraid of shedding their job or standing are a lot much less more likely to confront each other, making the boss management battle, alternatives for development, and job safety. 

Narcissistic bosses also can use company workplaces because the scapegoat for shrewd or hurtful enterprise selections. They could even persuade an worker that Human Sources isn’t going to take heed to their complaints. 

8. Triangulation as Siblings

Siblings are already, by design, going to compete with one another for his or her mum or dad’s consideration, however narcissistic mother and father will use this to their benefit.

One little one might be handled as a favourite who at all times will get what they need to maintain the opposite kids from making an attempt to get the identical stage of consideration. 

Sadly, when a mum or dad depends on this tactic, the sufferer little one can do nothing to make them completely happy. Because of this, the “golden little one” also can reap the reward of extreme reward and change into a narcissist. 

9. Triangulation in Households

Have you ever ever had a member of the family who is continually referred to negatively?

All the household appears to have turned towards them. When narcissistic triangulation is on the heart of this, one member of the family controls the narrative with ongoing examples of unhealthy conduct. 

Cognitive dissonance creates a facade the place though our favourite aunt appears cool, sufficient members of the family whisper behind her again. “Straw-manning” is a tactic utilized in triangulation to magnify claims. 

10. Triangulation at Church

Narcissists love the belief, forgiveness, and caring nature of the church-going crowd.

As a bonus, being a part of a church group provides the glowing notion to the neighborhood that this individual is a God-fearing and good individual. 

Narcissists can management the narrative, funds, and actions with whisper campaigns and pitting two parishioners towards each other or the church leaders to get their method. 

11. Triangulation on Social Media

Triangulation doesn’t at all times should contain an individual. It will probably contain a set of circumstances exterior actuality.

Since social media is already aggressive and triggering at its core, a narcissist can create a way of approval with pretend accounts or posts that don’t join on to them. 

They will additionally choose particular posts that may make you are feeling unhealthy for them, take care of them, or make you extra adamant about reaffirming your deviation. 

How Does Triangulation Abuse Affect Companions and Households?

As with every type of narcissistic rage, triangulation could make folks really feel off-kilter, anxious, depressed, and determined.

Victims continuously internally ruminate between the reality, the notion, and the data supplied. At greatest, it will possibly make you query your self.

At worst, it will possibly create a lifetime of psychological well being struggles.

Kids: Triangulation is particularly onerous on kids who don’t have a strong sufficient place to talk up, have a primal want to belief those that take care of them, and are nonetheless maturing by way of their setting. It will probably create a lifetime of people-pleasing habits or attachment points that make them extra weak to narcissistic abuse sooner or later. 

Households: The foundation perception that “household takes care of household” is one cause narcissists in households get away with a lot. We are inclined to overlook or underplay these techniques believing the member of the family has our greatest pursuits at coronary heart. Belief points and insecurity thrive on this setting, which impacts future relationships. 

Companions: Narcissistic companions not solely threaten our sense of self however may cause excessive duress as mother and father see their kids change into pawns within the sport. Since narcissistic abuse begins with love bombing and adoration, we typically don’t know we’re dancing with the satan till It’s method too late.

How one can React to Narcissist Triangulation

Because the narcissistic is taking part in all sides of the courtroom, reply in variety.

Whereas these steps aren’t simple for the typical individual susceptible to narcissistic abuse, it’s additionally a self-awareness-building train that may profit you for years to return.

The Fact and Solely the Fact

Have you ever ever heard a prosecutor say, “I really feel unhealthy I’ve to do that case”? No, as a result of they take away emotion from it. Search for the reality and solely the reality from all events.

Convey context and perspective to each bit of data you’re given. Ask your self: 

Am I reacting from a spot of logic or feelings?

Do I’ve all of the info? 

What about this example feels manipulative? 

State Your Case

Anybody abused by a narcissist needs they’d completed issues in another way. Normally, that’s as a result of they saved quiet or have been emotionally pushed into submission.

This poisonous individual is aware of their victims will run from battle, in order that they create it to regulate us. 

If a narcissist is aware of you usually tend to confront battle than run from it, they’ll be much less possible to make use of triangulation on you. Nevertheless, they’ll nonetheless use different, more practical types of manipulation. 

Collect Proof

You’ll must know all sides of the story as a substitute of simply believing one supply of data.

It will probably get tough if the narcissist has already satisfied others, so you will need to simply get the info and never depend on passionate or emotional pleas from others. 

How one can Cease Triangulation in Households

Triangulation ought to be prevented in household settings, even when it doesn’t have narcissistic foundations.

Whether or not a cherished one makes use of this technique to keep away from, deal with, or allow battle, it’s a sample that ought to be shut down at each try. 

Acknowledge It: Not everybody realizes they’re triangulating, or at the least aren’t doing it to harm folks. By giving it a reputation and displaying how every individual is impacted, an emotionally responsive member of the family can alter their conduct. A narcissistic member of the family won’t. 

Don’t Play: For those who refuse to play the sport by taking your self out of the equation, you’ll be able to’t be used as a pawn or fall sufferer. For those who really feel your self being triggered by a triangulation, stroll away. 

Be Constant: You’ll be able to’t draw the road together with your narcissistic mom however then be part of the triangulation between cousins. A narcissist will see there’s a gap of weak point and proceed to probe at it. 

Train Children: As an alternative of creating youngsters take one more aspect in a battle, educate them to face challenges straight and respectfully whereas setting a great instance with your individual conduct. 

Ultimate Ideas

We are going to all face or have confronted triangulation in our lives, and realizing the hallmarks of manipulation vs. decision will make us higher ready when a narcissist weaponizes it. 

As with every wholesome relationship tactic, set agency boundaries that you just gained’t speak behind folks’s backs or enable others to affect your choice with out info and proof. We relaxation our case. 


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