The first interaction catches you off guard. The toxic person tells you everything you want to hear, or at least everything they think you want to hear. They might tell you something or show you something that gives the illusion that they have something of value to you. This could be something you need or something you believe that you are missing in your life. This is what gives it value. The toxic person never intends for you to grasp this with your own hands. From the beginning their intention is to hold it in front of you as you chase after it for the rest of the relationship. It is no different to dangling cheese in front of a mouse as it runs forever on a wheel. This is known as the "love-bombing phase". There is no real love and nothing of value. It is all an illusion, a simulation. Whatever it is that they hold of value is nothing more than a tool to lure you in. They will make you believe that in time you will receive this cheese. You will receive their love, their respect and admiration. Everything you saw in the beginning, is what you will soon have with them. This is what they want you to think. Times goes on. You may soon realise that they are no longer the same as when you first met. The cheese is nowhere in sight. You find yourself putting up with a lot of their BS. Things you never saw in the beginning. The exact opposite of what you thought they were about. They will emotionally and psychologically abuse you to make you feel weak and vulnerable. They will use manipulative tactics to make you believe that they really are what they say they are. You may become aware of what they are trying to do to you and you may take a step back. You might not talk to them as much, you might avoid answering their calls or seeing them in person. In the toxic person's mind, they are thinking "my pet is escaping". They can see that you are no longer tolerating their BS. Now they know that if they want to keep you, they cannot continue with the same behaviour. But at the same time, they are thinking "how can I simply stop abusing this person and using these manipulative tactics on them?". They need to do this. It is providing them with gratification. It is providing them with narcissistic supply and they cannot live without it. If they cannot simply end the manipulation and abuse, the only other option is to continue the original conditioning process. So they will bring back the love-bombing phase. They will show you bits of what you originally want to see. In reality, this couldn't be further from the truth. It is nothing more than an illusion, a simulation. After the original conditioning process, they found a way to lower your standards and make you believe that is ok to settle for less than you really deserve. If anything, you deserve more after putting up with all of their BS, the mind games and abuse. So they bring back the love-bombing phase. They make you believe that they're really about it, but nothing is actually happening, you're not progressing in any way. It's only natural that you are going to see through their illusion, you're going to see who they really are. And the real them isn't about any significant. Once you have seen through their illusion and mind games, the narcissist sees you as a lost cause. They realise that there is nothing they can do to convince you that they are high quality, high value people... like they made you believe in the beginning. They know that you know the truth about them. You can see behind the mask. You have lifted the wool that they pulled over your eyes. This is where it becomes very dangerous, for you. The narcissist is thinking in their minds... "You're not going to believe in what I'm showing you. You can see the real me, why should I bother trying anymore?". From this point on, they are going to do whatever it takes to tear you down. You haven't done anything wrong, but you have seen through their BS and this hurts them. They will sabotage your friendships, any potential relationships, anything that involves you doing better than them. And they won't stop there. You saw through them, you saw the real them. You have to pay for that. Now any steps you make to progress in any aspect of your life will be met by them trying to prevent or destroy it. Now there is nothing you can do right. Even though you are exactly the same as you were in the beginning of the relationship, suddenly everything you say is criticised and everything you do is wrong. They will emotionally and psychologically abuse you, coercively manipulate you, become fixated on your emotions and do anything they can to make you feel nothing but negative emotions. They want you to believe that you are the problem. They want you to believe that you are worthless and not good enough for anyone or anything. And in their minds that's exactly what you are. You have no value to them, because you saw through their illusion. There is nothing you can say or do to fix them. You cannot get their original personality back, they never even existed. It was nothing more than an illusion and now you are left with who they really are. You need to leave this relationship as soon as you can. Cut contact, make it impossible for them to contact you and never look back. This is the only way that you can avoid their toxic behaviour. They will abuse and manipulate you, but then expect you to believe that you are the problem. If you were the problem, you would be the aggressor. You would be the one using the manipulative tactics and abusing them. So how could you have ever been the problem? These toxic people are the aggressors in every situation they encounter in their lives, but they can never see it. They are too emotionally immature to accept responsibility for their actions. They are in denial, doing everything they can to dodge shame because they are shame-based individuals. Emotionally healthy people know how to deal with these emotions. The narcissist doesn't know how because they've lived their lives never accepting responsibility for anything that they do, they don't self-reflect. They prefer to blame-shift or project their issues on to you. If you never accept responsibilities for your mistakes, you can never learn from them. You can never grow as a person. And that is why you should have no hope for them. They have no will to change. So realise that you are not dealing with someone of like kind. You are not dealing with someone who is capable of understanding. You are not dealing with someone who wants a resolution. You are dealing with a person who wants to cause chaos, drama and dysfunction. The narcissist does not want peace, they do not want happiness, they do not want an understanding. If they really wanted any of that, you would have seen it by now.