Friday, March 21, 2014

What is Ambient Abuse?

I'm constantly learning new things about malignant narcissism, even though I've been "studying" it for a number of years. Ever since a female sociopath, posing as a friend, managed to infiltrate my life and many of my personal relationships, I've had an interest in this disorder. This week, I learned of a new term called "ambient abuse."

It turns out that this is the same thing as "gas lighting," which is a very horrible way that malignant narcissists toy with you, by playing mind games that make you doubt your perception of things, and, in extreme cases, can even make you question your sanity. They often combine this with "hinting." This involves a very subtle suggestion they anticipate you will follow through with. It could be designed to cast you in a bad light, in an attempt to undermine you.

For example, the narcissist might have prepped a third party to expect you to approach them, with a suggestion. They then attribute a nefarious intention to what you're going to suggest. Then, they drop a hint to you, that encourages you to make this suggestion.

They don't come right out and ask you to do this. But they let you know, for one reason or another, that they can't do it themselves. Being the nice person that you are, you volunteer for the task. But, by doing so, you are walking right into their trap.

Narcissists have an almost superhuman ability to manipulate situations, to their advantage. No one can understand this unless they've had first-hand dealings with a malignant personality.

So, even though I consider myself fairly up on the lingo associated with personality disorders, the term "ambient abuse" was a new one to me.

Flickr photo by Eden Sweden


  1. Never heard that term either - ambient abuse - but it describes perfectly how my own baby sis been manipulating me her whole life. I realized totally as late as last year that she's hinted things to me and to others ABOUT me, and to me about others, and been doing all these little games to create friction between us for years and years.

    It's so bizarre cause there can be this person who I really get a good connection to and everything is great, and then after my sis been doing her little tricks they seem to totally loath me! It's so broken my heart and there is nothing REAL for me to point at, in many cases. Only a hunch, a feeling, like those things you mention above.

    She HAS asked me to speak to others on her behalf, but to NOT mention she's asked me to. Perhaps the other person and her had had a row on the issue, and I have no idea, and me then bringing it up then turns that person against me? They might not tell me anything more then just reply shortly and brush me off, so if my sis told them that I was nagging on her, harassing her, on this issue, and me then taking it up with the person, would CONFIRM that I was the one on my sis back about it, while I had nothing to do with it, only trying to help my sis out!

    So yes, this is so deeply devious, this game of "ambient abuse". :((

  2. It never ceases to amaze me how sneaky and manipulate those with strong narcissistic traits can be. But once you become aware of that, the narcissist seems to lose her power over you.