This is something I did not know, but it would have been nice if I had known it when I was young. When I think of it, it is pretty obvious. I fell for it hundreds of times without realizing it..... My H, the traveling salesman. H's threats are always coated with sugar. People who act "too charming" now get on my nerves because I have been conditioned to expecting ulterior motives after a "charming" episode with him.
From the book, The Gift of Fear: "Charm is another overrated ability. Note that I called it an ability, not an inherent feature of one's personality. Charm is almost always a directed instrument, which, like rapport building, has motive. To charm is to compel, to control by allure or attraction. Think of charm as a verb, not a trait. If you consciously tell yourself, "This person is trying to charm me," as opposed to "This person is charming," you'll be able to see around it. Most often, when you see what's behind charm, it won't be sinister, but other times you'll be glad you looked."
I have re-worked some of the things included in The Gift of Fear to impart some info I found in it: When your intuition senses there is something that is "not right but can't put a finger on it", it is hard to know what your intuition i telling you. When someone is threatening your well-being, how do you respond? The strategy of “watch and wait" is usually the wisest first step, but people frequently apply another management plan: engage and enrage. We all have a natural urge to do something dramatic when we are threatened or harassed. Here are some tactics of living with a person with Narcissistic traits and listening to your own intuition:
- Listen to your intuition.
- Our intuition fails when it is loaded with inaccurate information. Sort out what is your truths and what are his truths. Accept that sometimes people lie.
- With denial, the details we need for the best predictions float silently by us, unseen and unsued.
- The resource of violence (and defiance) is in everyone – all that changes is our view of the justification.
- Safety justifies a seemingly abrupt and rejecting response from time to time. Saying "no" or insisting on your own truth and needs is a small cost compared to your sanity and integrity.
- Charm is almost always a directed instrument.
- Never show fear when threats are made. Threats are rarely spoken from a position of power, and it is the listener not the speaker who decides how powerful a threat will be.