Mara's Musings

Moments from a Mid Life Crisis
Life | Relationships

When A Narcissist Threatens to Self Destruct

January 29, 2018

The Narcissist, Suicide and Manipulative Control

This is a blog about suicide, or more specifically, people who threaten suicide in order to get what they want. Now suicide is not a trivial matter – if someone is obviously distressed and talking about killing themselves one is quite correct to be concerned and try to get the relevant help for that person.  If this is you or someone you know, get help, do it now! Genuinely mentally ill people will talk about killing themselves, it is a commonly held misconception that most of those people who threaten it won’t go on to do it, in actual fact most people who commit suicide have mentioned it more than once before doing so.   That is what makes the use of suicide threats in order to control others or to gain their sympathy even more abhorrent.

I have lost count of the number of people who have come to me in the course of my life wanting to leave a relationship only to have that person threaten to top themselves.  Now, I’ve been on the receiving end of that myself so I know it is really unpleasant and as much as you may try to rationalise it out, you still think, ‘what if’? And wonder if you would have blood on your hands.  I actually had someone stand at the edge of a cliff once and threaten to jump off.  I left him there.  He didn’t jump.  After this all further threats failed, I  mean, I knew he wasn’t going to do it.  Why kill yourself if you won’t be around to gain the benefits of manipulating and controlling the other person? And even better, get what you want, play the victim and get lots of sympathy from those around you.

Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are great places to watch people and I am an avid people watcher, I also love to figure out what is motivating others (I even turn that insight on myself occasionally too, although some would say not often enough!)  If someone threatens suicide on social media there will be a huge flurry of attention.  The problem is that people only ever see what is in front of them and they don’t really look for trends.  This is a real boon to someone intent on manipulating others and on appearing to be a victim.  And they do it over and over again.

I have literally had people on my social media feed who threaten suicide on an almost bi-monthly basis, and always because someone has given them a boo-boo on their feelings by not doing what they want them to do.  This is particularly the case with interpersonal relationships, where one person kicks over the traces and then gets pissed off because the other person finally has enough – cue whining about how hard done by they are and threats of suicide.  And then all the usual people chip in with what a wonderful person they are,  how they deserve so much better, and what a complete cunt the person who has upset them really is.  Even if the object has distanced themselves, they will use any means possible to get the news through that they *really are* going to do it this time.

So what did I do?

Initially, I took the suicide threats seriously.  I took the person to get help.  He got help.

The suicide threats continued, so I looked for a trend.  Sure enough, when I tried to break free, the old suicide was back on the cards.  So eventually I stopped responding.  I gave him the number for the Samaritans every time he did it.  When I stopped responding, he stopped doing it.  Obviously, he could have topped himself and harsh as it sounds ultimately that was his choice, and there was little I could really do to stop that.  Frankly,  from their viewpoint, there really is no point of not being there to see your attempts to manipulate and control pay off.    I honestly believe that most of these manipulative dickheads are far too full of themselves and far too selfish to put themselves out of our misery.

So I look at these repetitive, ‘oh, someone has been mean so I may as well kill myself’ posts and fight the urge to ask if they want a knife, a rope or some arsenic.  But that’s because I am a bad person and probably a narcissist’s worse nightmare.


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  1. Very familiar with this particular game, Mara – and had it played in front of me numerous times before I finally got away from the individual concerned. Deeply manipulative – and now, like you, I look at trends, on line and in ‘real’ life! This may mean I am a cynical old curmudgeon – or simply that I have finally seen through one of the Narcissist’s Tricks of the Trade.

    Well said, anyway! xxx

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