- Se'Lena Wingfield, Ph.D.
Triangulation: The Toxic Tool of Narcissistic Manipulation
Triangulation is a tactic that narcissists use to manipulate and control others by involving a third person or object in a relationship dynamic. The narcissist will create a sense of competition or jealousy between two or more people, with the ultimate goal of enhancing their own sense of power and control. Here are some reasons why narcissists use triangulation:
Attention and validation: Narcissists crave attention and validation, and triangulation allows them to receive it from multiple sources. By involving a third person or object in the relationship dynamic, the narcissist can create a sense of competition for their attention and affection, which makes them feel more important and desirable.
Control and manipulation: Triangulation allows the narcissist to exert control and manipulation over others. By creating a sense of competition or jealousy, the narcissist can pit people against each other and manipulate their behavior to suit their own needs and desires.
Emotional manipulation: Narcissists use triangulation as a way to control the emotions of others. By involving a third person or object, the narcissist can create an emotional response in others, such as jealousy or anger, which they can then use to manipulate the situation to their advantage.
Divide and conquer: Triangulation can also be used by narcissists as a way to divide and conquer a group or relationship. By pitting people against each other, the narcissist can weaken relationships and create a sense of chaos, which allows them to maintain control and power.
Overall, triangulation is a tactic that narcissists use to manipulate and control others in a relationship dynamic. It allows them to enhance their own sense of power and control, while creating a sense of competition and chaos among others.