5 Ways Narcissists Find out Your Weaknesses and Vulnerabilities

5 Ways Narcissists Find out Your Weaknesses and Vulnerabilities 5 ways narcissists find out your weaknesses and vulnerabilities
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A narcissist will exploit your weaknesses and vulnerabilities to get their needs met. They are always on the lookout for your weaknesses or the easiest way to slide into your life. Some of these vulnerabilities include lack of boundaries, unhealed wounds, deep insecurities, or anything that makes you susceptible to manipulation.

They portray a picture of a charming, attentive, and trustworthy person in the beginning of the relationship, only to turn against you later on. All along, they try out various variables and tactics that will make you subjugate to them. They are masters at using what’s already inside you or what you believe about yourself to maintain their dominance over you. The process of uncovering your weaknesses and vulnerabilities is called “fact-finding,” and you may never know when it’s being executed, as they are quite sneaky. They come to you like a Trojan horse only to exploit you later.

Just like poking a beehive can stir up the bees and lead to a painful sting, fact-finding by a narcissist can uncover your vulnerabilities and lead to emotional pain and manipulation. That’s why it’s important to know some of the “fact-finding” tactics they use so that you can keep yourself safe from their manipulation. Just as you would stay away from a beehive if you knew it was there, you should avoid engaging with a narcissist if you sense that they are trying to fact-find and exploit your weaknesses.

In this article, I am going to share with you the 5 tactics a narcissist uses to expose your weaknesses and vulnerabilities.

1. Testing Your Boundaries

A narcissist will often test your boundaries to see how far they can go. They may ignore your needs or pretend not to hear you, just to see how much you tolerate. They may make harsh jokes or inappropriate comments just to see how you would react to them.

They may disrespect your values or invade your personal space. It’s more like a burglar who is cautiously and smartly looking for a way to break into a house without triggering the alarm. They test your boundaries to see if you can say no or if you can let one slide, or if you can assert your voice. Actually, if you constantly assert your voice or say no, they may give up on you.


But the moment you let that one slide or you ignore it, is the moment they find that your boundaries are scanty. It will be done so sneakily, and you will not realize that you’re lowering your boundaries until you get to the point where your self-esteem is so low, or you lack the inner strength to keep and uphold those boundaries. You get to the point where you don’t even know your boundaries anymore.

2. Gaining Your Trust

A narcissist will typically present themselves as trustworthy, charming, and supportive in the beginning of the relationship. They will carefully listen to you and show interest in your life and experiences. They will also mirror your desires and interests, making you think that you have found a soulmate. Additionally, they will pretend to be supportive and understanding, aiming to gain your trust and make you dependent on them. This vulnerability will make you open up to them about your personal stuff, including your unhealed wounds, weaknesses, secrets, and even nudes.

You may believe that by being vulnerable, you are building and strengthening the bond you have with them. However, the narcissist is gathering this personal information during the love bombing stage so that they can use it to manipulate and devalue you later on. You thought they were your savior, only to realize they are your worst nightmare.

3. Asking Probing and Personal Questions

Once they gain your trust, a narcissist will ask your personal questions to gather more information about you. They may genuinely appear to want to know you better, but their core intention is to understand your weaknesses and vulnerabilities. They may inquire about your past, your family, your likes, or dislikes. These probing questions encourage you to share more about yourself. They may seem innocent, but they are designed to gather crucial information that will be used against you later on.

4. Playing Victim

A narcissist may also play victim in order to expose your vulnerabilities, narcissists often portray themselves as victims to elicit sympathy from you or others. If you have a “fixer” mindset, you may feel sorry for them and want to take care of them, even sacrificing your own priorities in life for their sake. They have also learned that they can play the victim card to escape taking ownership for their inappropriate behaviors and actions.

When they play the victim, they are gathering information to see if they can use your sympathy and compassion to manipulate you. For example, if they lie about being hurt in a past relationship, you may offer them a shoulder to cry on or even a new relationship because you feel sorry for their lonely soul.

5. Mirroring Your Desires and Superficialities

Money is a great tool for control, and it is often viewed as a sign of stability and happiness. We have been conditioned to measure the quality of life or a relationship by superficial things, which is a vulnerability that a narcissist can easily exploit.

A narcissist may use their money as a reward or punishment system. They may offer you financial gifts and luxuries early on in the relationship, greatly improving your living standards, taking you to places you’ve never been before, buying you expensive gifts, or making grand gestures that will be forever etched in your memory. They may promise you a future filled with pearls and diamonds. They may even get you a job or pay your debts and bills.

They may use money to create situations where you become fully dependent on them financially, or they may make you feel forever indebted to them. When you feel indebted to someone or feel that you need to reciprocate, you become vulnerable to exploitation. Financial dependence and focusing on superficial aspects of life can make you vulnerable to a narcissist’s manipulation.


A narcissist is skilled at what they do, and they will use all the tricks in the book to get what they want. It is great to be aware of these tactics, but awareness alone may not be enough to keep you away from their deceit. You may never really know what’s hitting you unless you’re fully aware of your conditioning and unhealed wounds. That’s why the best way to always protect yourself is to work on resolving those things that consciously (superficiality) and unconsciously (unhealed wounds) make you susceptible to manipulation.

Once you work on those things, you will have more depth in life, and no one will be able to use you. No one will try to win you over by using shallow words of admiration or things like money. By working on yourself, you will feel whole and be okay with yourself. It’s the point where you deeply embody your boundaries without letting your vulnerabilities be used against you.

Lastly, your vulnerabilities or weaknesses are not who you are, and they are meant to be transcended. You’ve picked up all of them from your upbringing or past experiences. Do not beat yourself up for having them but look at them as things that you need to work on so that you can reconnect with your true self.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these toxic patterns, then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.

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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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