There are three main characters in a narcissist’s love triangle. Each with very specific masks they must apply:
1) You: Unlike the normal shame felt during a cheating relationship, the narcissist actually goes out of their way to ensure you know about their infidelities, without ever admitting to them. This involves openly flirting with others (often over Facebook), bragging to you about all of the people who want to sleep with them, and calling you crazy & jealous when you react accordingly. The mask is covert, ambiguous, condescending, pseudo-concerned, and always trying to keep you doubting the relationship.
2) The New Target: Unlike with you, the narcissist is not interested in torturing the new target yet. Instead, they use your pending self-destruction to lure in the next victim, the “favorite”. As they watch you fall apart, it is easy to point at your desperate texts and evoke sympathy from the new target about how crazy you’ve gotten. The narcissist will put the new target on a pedestal, explaining how much happier they feel now. The new target will feel elated, being the one to save the narcissist from their supposedly abusive partner (you). The mask is innocent, sympathetic, pity-filled, and very flattering.
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