One of the most common tactics of a narcissistic abuser is that of playing the victim. It's a highly-effective tactic that evokes the empathetic emotions of potential targets -- and it works. Sadly, most victims of intimate partner violence are loving, trusting, generous with themselves, and are high on the empath scale. These are all traits to be admired, traits that should be emulated far and wide. Yet, sadly, they can also be exploited.
When a target first meets an individual who seems honest and trustworthy, it’s comforting and feels natural to believe stories of his victimhood. Even though an abuser’s tales are typically riddled with stories that amount to slandering those who supposedly mistreated him, his resentful negativity and harsh tone tends to be lost on the enraptured target, who longs to comfort her poor, mistreated new partner. She feels she can be the partner he always dreamed of. After all, they're a match made in heaven!
But wait a minute! Step back, and assess.
What's really going on? Is this authentic (it may be), or is it a tactic (it may be)?
I'm Jenny duBay, a domestic abuse survivor and now advocate. My degree is in Christian theology with a concentration on spiritual direction, and my vocational emphasis is on helping those who have suffered from domestic abuse to heal and reclaim their true selves.