Have you ever felt like you were going crazy in a relationship, even when you knew deep down that you were being reasonable? Thanks to narcissistic enablers who use manipulative tactics to get you to doubt yourself and make you feel dizzy, an off-kilter feeling is likely. Unlike regular enablers who simply empower narcissistic behavior, these enablers adopt the narcissist’s abusive playbook. From gaslighting to triangulation, coercion, and more, they work hard to make you feel like the problem. But you’re not crazy – they are. Stick with me to unpack their tactics so you can see their games for what they are and stop falling for the manipulation.

What Are Narcissistic Enablers?

These are the people who constantly make excuses for the narcissist and go out of their way to please them. Narcissistic enablers often adopt the narcissist’s abusive tactics to defend them, like gaslighting, coercion, triangulation, and projection.
gaslighting fight

Gaslighting by Narcissistic Enablers

Have you ever wondered if you were the one who was truly at fault in an abusive relationship? Narcissistic enablers often engage in gaslighting tactics to make you doubt yourself and your experiences.

Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation where the abuser makes you question your own perception of events. Narcissistic enablers will lie or deny things that really happened to make you doubt yourself. For example, they may insist that a hurtful comment “never happened” or was “just a joke.” Over time, the cumulative effect of this manipulation can make you feel like you’re losing your grip on reality.

A comment on Quora mentions;

The narcissist wants to be an enviable, impressive, exceptional being, but without those who feed and enable such a false perspective, the narcissist’s so-aspired image of themselves implodes, and collapses.

They Tell You You’re Overreacting

When you try to address the narcissist’s harmful behavior, the enabler will insist you’re overreacting or being too sensitive. They claim the narcissist didn’t really mean what they said, or that you misunderstood their intentions. This makes you question your own judgment and perceptions.

They Defend the Narcissist

Rather than validate your concerns, the enabler will make excuses for the narcissist’s actions and blame external factors for their abuse. They may say the narcissist is under a lot of stress at work or had a difficult childhood. This implies you should be more understanding and patient with the narcissist’s behavior.

They Distort the Truth

Narcissistic enablers will lie or manipulate the facts to make you seem like the unreasonable one. When you recall specific instances of abuse, they will deny these events ever happened or twist the details to shift blame onto you. Over time, this persistent distortion of truth causes you to distrust your own memory and ability to discern reality.

They Project Blame Onto You

In a disturbing twist, the enabler will accuse you of the very same abusive behaviors exhibited by the narcissist. They may call you selfish, manipulative, or claim you always have to be the victim. This projection is meant to deflect blame from the actual abuser and leave you questioning if you are the narcissistic one.

The tactics used by narcissistic enablers are just as damaging as the narcissist’s direct abuse. Recognizing these manipulative behaviors is the first step to reclaiming your confidence and breaking free from their control. You deserve to be in healthy relationships where your thoughts, feelings, and experiences are validated—not constantly second-guessed.

According to the book (Gas)lighting Their Way to Coercion and Violation in Narcissistic Abuse: An Autoethnographic Exploration” published by the University of California Press;
Narcissistic abuse is a hidden form of abuse and remains under-recognized in society and within the helping professions, partly due to victim difficulties in articulating the manipulative behaviors they have experienced. Though research focusing on narcissism is extensive, there is a distinct lack of research into the abusive behaviors individuals with severe narcissistic traits use against others and subsequent victim experiences.


Narcissistic enablers are adept at using coercion to maintain control over their victims. They may threaten to withhold love, money or other necessities to force you to do what they want. For example, an enabler may threaten to kick you out of the house or cut off your allowance if you don’t comply with their demands. These threats are meant to instill fear and obligation in the victim.
triangulation and spreading rumors


Triangulation is a tactic where the enabler manipulates people and relationships to gain power over the victim. The enabler may tell lies or spread rumors about the victim to turn other people against them. They also pit people against each other to make themselves seem like the reasonable one. For instance, an enabler may tell their friend that the victim is unstable or violent in order to gain sympathy and allegiance. This undermines the victim’s support system and credibility.

Victims of narcissistic enablers can become trapped in a vicious cycle of abuse as the enabler takes on the manipulative tactics of the narcissist. The enabler, in turn, recruits others to help carry out their campaign of control and abuse. Breaking free from narcissistic enablers requires establishing boundaries, limiting contact, and building a strong support network of people who validate your experiences. Seeking counseling or therapy can also help address the emotional scars left behind by coercive control and triangulation.

The tactics of coercion and triangulation are meant to make victims doubt themselves and become increasingly dependent on the narcissist and their enablers. Through counseling and maintaining your boundaries, you can overcome their manipulation and abuse. Surrounding yourself with people who truly care about you will help to undo the damage caused by narcissistic enablers.

How to Deal With Narcissistic Enablers

Don’t Engage or Argue

Narcissistic enablers are masters of manipulation and distortion. Trying to reason with them or convince them of the truth is pointless. They will twist your words and use your reactions against you. The best approach is not to engage or argue. Remain calm and detached, and don’t take the bait.

Set Clear Boundaries

Be very clear and consistent with your boundaries. Tell the enabler their behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. If they continue to harass or abuse you, limit contact or cut them off completely. Don’t feel guilty about protecting yourself. Narcissistic enablers rely on your empathy and goodwill to get away with poor treatment.

Seek Support

Connect with others who understand what you’re going through. Talk to a therapist or join a support group. Having a strong support system will help validate your experiences, keep you accountable, and provide encouragement. You don’t have to deal with narcissistic enablers alone.

Don’t Expect Change

Narcissistic enablers are deeply entrenched in their unhealthy patterns and unwilling to change. Hoping that one day they will wake up and apologize or make amends is unrealistic. Accept that you cannot control them – you can only control your reactions and response. Make your peace with their behavior and focus on surrounding yourself with people who treat you with kindness and respect.

In summary, the keys to dealing with narcissistic enablers are: stay detached, set boundaries, build your support network, and accept what you cannot change. Don’t engage in their games or fall for their manipulations. Take care of yourself first – that is the one thing you can control.


Don’t let anyone make you question your own reality or feelings. Trust your gut, stand your ground respectfully, and disengage from toxic dynamics.

You deserve healthy relationships with emotionally mature people who empower you to be your best self.

Life’s too short to waste time with those who would dim your light.