Are You a Magnet for Narcissists?

Please Note: You can skip whatever part you are not interested in – I’m assuming you’re interested in a part of this as you’re reading it – and go straight to whichever part you are looking for. PART ONE indulges my need to understand NPD due to my being the only child of two Narcissists. PART TWO is my experience of what attracts Narcissists. PART THREE is my experience of  what having a relationships with a Narcissist means for the person who is a magnet for Narcissists like I am. PART FOUR is a bit of a rant about Narcissists and what I’ve learned about myself and self expression due to repeatedly attracting them and learning shit from them.

I read a blog post the other day written by a woman who became alarmed that her propensity to attract Narcissists was a sign that she herself could be one. She had applied the relationship rule that we attract others who express who we are subconsciously, our shadow self, our unclaimed parts. That we project ourselves onto those with whom we have relationships and they reflect us back at ourselves.

PART ONE

I understand her alarm at the possibility that attracting Narcissists means she may be one. If you do a search for information on Narcissistic Personality Disorder the results are ugly. Whether the information comes from a mental health professional or a victim of a Narcissist, the picture portrayed of the disorder is The Picture of Dorian Gray. If in a moment of clarity, and they do have them, a Narcissist were to suspect that they had NPD, what they would read would be too awful to accept and they would retreat back into their disorder to protect themselves from the very wound they became a Narcissist to escape.

It doesn’t help that many people confuse Sociopathy with Narcissism. The two conditions have similarities, but they are not the same. Narcissists are mostly unaware of what they are doing. Sociopaths always know exactly what they are doing. Narcissists manipulate others because they need to control their reality, and others are part of their constructed reality, it is partly conscious, they do think that they are very clever, but it is largely subconscious. A Sociopath is always conscious. Narcissists do have feelings, much of their behaviour stems from a need to not feel what they are feeling because their emotions are those of a young child, frightening, huge, uncontrollable, and they never learned how to process and deal with their emotions because the Narcissistic wound occurs during the phase when children learn to do so. Sociopaths do not feel, their wound occurred before the emotional nature developed.

Sociopathy occurs before the Narcissistic phase of development, and is usually the result of an infant undergoing abuse the likes of which most of us do not want to imagine. It has also been linked to early brain damage. The trauma which creates a Narcissist is very different from the trauma which creates a Sociopath.

A large percentage of Narcissists are created by one or both parents invading the fragile boundaries of a young child and pushing the emerging identity out of the body and replacing it with their own. They project themselves into the child and the child becomes them, losing touch with themselves and their real identity, which is why a Narcissist can change their identity easily, discarding one for another, because they have no fixed identity of their own. This kind of abuse is often unseen by others, as to the outside world the parent or parents of a Narcissist appear to be very loving, perhaps too loving, over-protective, sacrificing everything for the child. Parents who think that their very young child is a genius and who do everything in their power to nurture that genius, pushing the child to fulfill its potential often at the expense of the child having a childhood, run the risk of creating a Narcissist.

In some ways you could equate the Narcissistic wound to a country which has been invaded, the original inhabitants, the natives, are rounded up by the invaders and exterminated or exiled to an inhospitable, uninhabitable, part of the country. The invaders call themselves settlers and proceed to build a home in this new land, yet without any visceral connection to it all they see is the potential therein, the fertile fields which can be farmed until every nutrient is removed from the ground, the abundant wildlife which is hunted to extinction, the resources, the ore, the gold, the oil, removed from the earth, every inch exploited without thought for the consequences of the exploitation, because it doesn’t matter, once this country is empty of value, the settlers will unsettle themselves and move to new territory, repeat the cycle, because they have no real roots in this land. They have a homeland, but they choose for whatever reason not to live there, perhaps because they are unwelcome there and don’t feel a sense of belonging anywhere. The Earth is a temporary home.

Those who inflict the Narcissistic wound which creates a Narcissist never claim responsibility for what they have done. They did their very best, obviously the child was a bad seed and a bad egg. Either that or they never see the bad side of the Narcissist and tell their child that the world just isn’t prepared to accept such a superhuman being.

They do what they do to their child because they can and because they think it is good for them, and they tell themselves that they do it for the good of the Narcissist. They know better. Because those who create Narcissists are always in a position of power over the person, the child, who is made into a Narcissist, and they abuse that power, consciously sometimes, but often unconsciously. They often believe they are doing what is best for the child, and for themselves, but they often think they are sacrificing their good for the future of the child. They are noble in their quest. They often feel that they are harnessing the potential of the child, which the child will spend years wasting while being a child, while having a childhood, and which the child might waste as an adult too.

The Narcissist creator wants control of another’s life because they could live it better than the person to whom it belongs, because they feel that they have wasted their own life in some way and are angry about it. They need redemption, a second chance… and they take it, because they believe that you can make your own dreams come true by seizing whatever opportunity is available, even if it means kicking someone else, a child, out of their own body, and taking that body and mind over. The sacrifice will be worth it.

If you’re going to hate a Narcissist, spare some hate for those who created the Narcissist. Those who wounded a child so deeply that the child grew up to spread that wound around, and inflict the pain of the wound onto others. They did not do this to themselves. They did not wound themselves. Why would anyone do that to themselves, especially not a child. Human beings are designed by nature to avoid pain. We only hurt ourselves and others when we are already hurting.

There are a lot of Narcissists in our world, psychologists have come to the conclusion that we are living in a Narcissistic society. So the chances are that all of us will attract a Narcissist, maybe more, at some point and have a relationship with someone with NPD. This could be a boss, a colleague, a friend, a lover or a partner.

There are some traits which are particularly attractive to Narcissists, and if you display these traits you will be more prone to being a magnet for Narcissists. Many of the traits which Narcissists find attractive are the same ones we are encouraged to develop to be socially acceptable. They vary slightly with gender.

There is a myth that those with NPD are predominantly male. In my personal experience I have met more female Narcissists than male ones. I think the reason that there seems to be fewer female Narcissists than male ones can be explained by society’s behavioural excuse system – stereotypes. All women are crazy. Thus a female Narcissist is less likely to be seen as having NPD and more likely to be labeled as a woman being stereotypically crazy, prone to irrational emotional outbursts, and emotionally manipulative, in other words, hormonally challenged. Female Narcissists also tend to be very sexually aware, often displaying what is known as sexually inappropriate behaviour, and will do things which will turn a man’s brain to mush. Thus men are less likely to realise that a woman has NPD. Other women will label such a woman with names which will be put down to envy and jealousy. A female Narcissist will often have few if any female friends, and she will be rather proud of this often stating boldly that she prefers men to women. A female Narcissist also makes very little distinction between seducing a male and seducing a female. Seduction is a very useful tool, people who are no longer thinking with their minds are easier to manipulate, and less likely to notice what you are doing. If they come to their senses, their embarrassment will protect the Narcissist. They will blame their own weakness, be ashamed of their own desire, and not blame and shame the Narcissist. The Narcissist will be gone before that penny drops, if it ever does.

PART TWO

So what does a Narcissist find attractive in others:

1/ Niceness. A willingness to compliment others and a reticence to criticise. A tendency to promote the positive traits of others and to overlook anything which might be negative. A desire to put the pleasure of others before your own. You make the needs of others your priority over your own needs. To please. To do what others want to do. A need to be liked and a horror of being disliked.

This is attractive because Narcissists need an endless supply of reassurance that they are wonderful, intelligent, talented, gifted, beautiful, and the most amazing person you have ever met. Their self image is a balloon which is constantly deflating and they can’t blow it up themselves, they need others to fill it with air for them. This is what is primarily known as Narcissistic supply. If compliments are withheld a Narcissist will have a tantrum because they are panicking due to the deflating balloon. Thus Narcissists will surround themselves with Yes men and women who are too afraid of them to ever say No. If you ever say No you will be discarded and bad mouthed to the other Yes men and women. An example will be made of you to discourage mutiny in others.

2/ Self Control. The tendency not to want to bother others with your problems. To handle your own shit privately on your own. To not burden others with your issues, your feelings, your needs, your emotions. Self reliance and self sufficiency. Not only do you handle your own shit, but you’re very good at handling the shit which belongs to others. A parental figure. A hero or heroine.

This is attractive to Narcissists for several key reasons. They are often looking for a parental figure. Their true self was replaced by one or both of their parents, and this relationship in their formative years created the template for their relationships in their adult years. They also seek to be in control, they are control freaks, but they never feel that they are in control even when they appear to be. They live in fear of losing what control they believe that they have. So someone who appears to them to be a master of self control is someone they want to absorb into themselves. They want to become you, and they will often do a Single White Female (even if male) identity theft on those they want to become. To them this is how an identity is created. Through shape-shifting mimicry. This trait is also attractive because they feel safe in the knowledge that someone who is in complete control of themselves will not make any demands on them. That you will not ask them to shoulder any of your problems. They admire this. Anything they admire, they want. They also feel that your shoulders are big enough to take on all their problems and that you will solve them for them, take care of them, and, most importantly, that you will take their wound out of them into yourself and heal it for them. This is an identity swap contract of sorts, you take everything from them that they don’t want and deal with it, and they take everything from you that they want and thus they can create the perfect identity for themselves.

3/ Empathy. The ability to know what others are feeling without others telling you. To meet the needs of others before others know they have those needs. To pick up subtle hints and to cater to them.

Many Narcissists believe that they are very empathic. This is because they have huge unexpressed emotions which they experience as being outside of themselves, thus belonging to others. An empath has fragile boundaries. Narcissists have no boundaries. There is no difference between them and others. Others are an extension of themselves. Because the Narcissistic wound occurs at the stage when a child is still in a symbiotic relationship with mother, with father, with the world around them and they have not yet learned to differentiate between self and other. Thus their emotions in their eyes are the emotions of others. The main reason Narcissists find empathic people attractive is because those with a high level of empathy absorb the emotions of others easily and are often open to taking them on and into themselves. Empaths are also reluctant to give their emotions to others because they are aware of the inner pain and confusion this can cause and so they are very considerate to the point of self-sacrifice. Narcissists have a god complex, so someone willing to sacrifice themselves on the alter of the Narcissist’s self-image is very desirable and pleasing. They can give you their rage, their pain, their hurt, their wounding, their darkness, and any other emotions they are too afraid to feel, which they can’t deal with, process or release, and thus they are free to not feel a thing and thus proclaim themselves a god or goddess.

PART THREE

So now that you have an idea of why you attracted a Narcissist, what they seek from the relationship, and what they get from being with you. The gifts you give them. And since all relationships are a two-way street. The question is, what does a Narcissist give to you?

What do you really get from having a relationship with a Narcissist? Why were you attracted to them? Not the conscious reasons, such as the fact that most Narcissists are very charming, larger than life, and usually swoop into your life on a chariot of fire, sweep you off your feet and carry you off into a wonderful fantasyland for a while. Stop blaming yourself for falling for them, they are irresistible. Stop raging at them for having ruined your life, abused you, and made you feel worthless, and thank them for it. Sound weird? Wrong? Let me explain…

1/ You’re too nice. Your niceness is a lovely trait which many people find wonderful and attractive. You enjoy being nice. It has many perks. BUT. It is not all of you. You have a fierce side too. We all do. The Narcissist abusing your niceness is there to inspire you to claim your darker side. The side which you may be being too nice to express and thus you’re not tapping into all the power within you.

A really good book to read, which I highly recommend and which helped me enormously is – The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker. In it he outlines why being too nice can cost you your safety, your life and your sanity. And how balancing out your niceness with fierceness, doesn’t take away from the joy of being nice, but adds to it. Be nice, but learn to protect your right to be nice with a fierce dragon who burns those who want to take advantage of your niceness. Learn to say NO with the same enthusiasm with which you say YES.

2/ You’re too controlled. Your self control is admirable, but if you’re overdoing it, then you’re a prisoner of it. Learn to let go and let loose.

One of the things which really annoys me about some of the advice given about How Not To Attract A Narcissist is that it mostly relates to controlling who you are. Stopping you from being you, because being who you are is dangerous to yourself. Rubbish. There are a lot of Narcissists in this world, you’re going to bump into them, and if you have to live in fear of who you attract, and the solution is to be less of yourself, to control self-expression more than usual… that sucks as a solution. In fact being more of yourself is the real solution. Because then, even if you do attract a Narcissist, you will scare the crap out of them and they’ll run away in awe, or stick around and not mess with you.

3/ You’re too empathic. Your empathy shows you your connectedness with others. Empathy is a very valuable trait. However you need to strengthen your fragile boundaries between you and others.

Empathy should not make you weak, but stronger. If it is making you vulnerable to others, then shut it down for a while, focus on yourself, find your emotions, learn to recognise them so that you can differentiate between yours and those of others. Your emotions have a very personal marker. Listen, focus, and get to know that marker. Then, once you know it, open yourself up again, but remember you can shut your open boundaries any time you need to. You are not responsible for the emotions of others. Personal responsibility and accountability is key, and very healthy. If you allow the emotions of others in to you, to your awareness, that is your responsibility and you are accountable for that. What you do with your sensory knowledge is your responsibility. You can learn to control your empathy without becoming heartless and losing the joy of having such a beautiful gift. It takes time, practice, making mistakes, and having empathy for yourself too. That is compassion. If your empathy excludes you, it is incomplete. Start with yourself, then work your way outwards.

PART FOUR

Narcissists absolutely hate authenticity. They do not know how to be authentic, and they long to be authentic, burn and yearn for it, but they can’t be it, so they hate it. It is kryptonite to their superman/woman self/non-self.

Their main tools of controlling others are blame, shame, criticism, censorship, and anything else which makes another person adapt their self expression to suit others. They encourage political correctness, politeness, social niceties, and compromise in others to suit them. They use emotional blackmail to get you to willingly do what they want you to do. The prize for your subordination is that they may use you again.

So. Speak your mind. Express your emotions. Smile when you’re happy, frown when you’re angry, cry when you’re sad. Don’t say you’re fine if you’re not, say exactly what you are really feeling. Ignore their attempts to shut you up. If they have a tantrum, scream louder if you want to, or walk out and leave them to it, but don’t let their display of grandiose and overwhelming emotions stop you from expressing yourself.

They are not a child, don’t treat them like one, and don’t become their parent.

Don’t be sensitive to their needs if it means being insensitive to your own. They are not, no matter what they tell you, sensitive to your needs in any other way than to use your needs against you to manipulate you.

Put yourself first, because what they want is for you to put them first, and to put yourself last or even better forget about yourself completely.

You being you, all of you, uncensored, is a frightening and horrifying monster to a Narcissist. Because you are being real, and real people scare the shit out of Narcissists. They are not being real, they know that they are not being real, even if most of that knowledge is buried in their subconscious and they think that they are very real. They think everyone else is as fake as they are, in fact they think others are more fake than they are. They are their reference point for the world. They can’t express genuine emotions, or voice their real thoughts, and they apply this to others. They don’t actually know how to be real, and the very thought of it scares them. So when you are real and genuine, it stirs up the real person buried deep within them, and they live in fear of their real self because they don’t know who their real self is, it is unknown, and the fear of the unknown chills them to the marrow. This fear of their real self is the spur which governs their entire life, and all of their subsequent behaviour is an attempt to escape and kill this real self off, and replace it with an idealised self of their own creation.

The ultimate lesson and gift that a relationship with a Narcissist gives you is this… Be yourself, all of you.

What is a Narcissist – someone who doesn’t know who their real self is. What attracts a Narcissist to you – they think you know who you are and they want you to teach them how to know who their real self is. What do you get from a relationship ship with a Narcissist – the ability to see what not being yourself can do to you and to others.

The ultimate goal of a Narcissist is to be superhuman. To escape being human. The purpose of life is to be human. If we were not meant to be human, we would not be having a being human experience. The purpose of death is to be super human. As in we cast off the mortal, human being, coil and that’s that… the bit afterwards depends on your beliefs.

Be yourself. All of yourself, the good and the bad, the light and the dark, the positive and the negative. Embrace it all into one. Only you know who that is and how to be you. That’s your gift. That is what makes life worth living. And don’t forget you’re a human being… mistakes are a part of that, make them, learn from them, regret them, and be kind to yourself, even when you’re not.

Just a very long thought.

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If you would like to know more about Narcissistic Personality Disorder please visit:

Update 2017 – I should really go through the links below and update them, but some things are better left as they were. However I have recently come across an excellent blog (which also has a Youtube channel for those who prefer the spoken word, and the author of the blog has written books for those who prefer books).

This is the blog – Knowing the Narcissist

This is his Youtube channel – Knowing the Narcissist – Youtube

The author is a Narcissist – he states this in his bio, but before you run away, pause a minute, many victims of Narcissists have claimed to have found healing and help in their recovery through reading his posts (read the comments on his posts). I find his posts to be informative. In his posts he explains the Narcissist from the perspective of a Narcissist, and the Narcissist’s victims from the perspective of a Narcissist (and he gives detailed information about the different types and levels of Narcissists) – this is often what is missing for those trying to heal themselves after Narcissistic Abuse.

He is also rather patient, compassionate, and understanding for a Narcissist. Please be respectful – do not go there to bash a Narcissist, he is not your Narcissist.

Everything below this update are old links, some are still active, and maybe one day I’ll re-check them out. Thank you for visiting. Take care of yourselves. Best wishes.

Narcissism – Living Without Feelings – A very long and detailed analysis of NPD, which explains how someone develops the disorder, what goes on behind the facade, how the disorder affects the individual who has it, and its effects on others, and so much more. If you want to understand NPD, this is an excellent article. Comprehensive and insightful.

Narcissism and the Fruit of Suffering– the blog of my favourite author, whose book Going Mad to Stay Sane helped me to figure out and explain many aspects of my own experience with narcissistic parents, especially my tendency to be self destructive.

Out of the Fog – Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) – an excellent resource for information on NPD. There is also a forum.

The Narcissistic Continuum –  There is also a forum, for those seeking support, advice and information.

Let Me Reach with Kim SaeedAn inspirational blog about NPD and how to heal and empower yourself.

Narcisismo PatologicoAn NPD blog in Italian. Thoughtful and insightful.

Raised by Narcissists – a forum for children of Narcissistic parents

How to Handle a Crazymaker by Kimberely Key, M.A.

The Vampire’s Bite: Victims of Narcissists Speak Out by  Leon F. Seltzer, Ph.D.

The Narcissistic Family Portrait by Karyl McBride, Ph.D.

Why Some People Will Never Learn by Jeremy Sherman, Ph.D.

Narcissism Revisited by Paul Lutus

NPD Recovery – also check out her Youtube – NPDRecovery Youtube

Surviving the Narcissistic Parent: ACoNs (Adult Children os Narcissists  – a superb account of what it is like to be the child of a narcissistic mother, also applies to a narcissistic father.

Nasty People

Selfishness and Narcissism in Family Relationships & The Drama Triangle by Dr. Lynne Namka – different ways to view and understand the effects of growing up with a narcissist, being in a narcissistic (abusive/unhealthy) family or in a relationship with a narcissist.

How to Recognize and Handle Manipulative Relationships by Preston Ni

7 Things You Need to Know About Narcissists, From A Psychologist’s Perspective by Dr. Kelly Neff

6 Signs of Narcissism You May Not Know About by Leon F Seltzer Ph.D.

Games Narcissists Play by Alexander Burgemeester

Five Powerful Ways Abusive Narcissists Get Inside Your Head by Shahida Arabi

5 Signs You’re Being Played by a ‘Victim’ by  Thomas G. Fiffer – This is an excellent article about covert narcissists. Covert narcissists prefer to play the victim (sometimes they play the role of victim of a narcissist).

 

UPDATE: I just came across this excellent article – Narcissistic Victim Syndrome: What the heck is that? by Christine Louise de Canonville – about a new term – Narcissistic Victim Syndrome (or Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome) – which psychologists are trying to have recognised. It relates to those who are and have been victims of narcissists. It is an in depth look at the traits and behaviours of victims of narcissists and the process of recovery from narcissistic abuse. If you suspect that you may be the victim of a narcissist but are unsure this may help you to figure things out. If you are a victim of a narcissist you may find this article and other articles on this site useful and helpful. Please check it out, it’s very informative.

 

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Worth reading if you’re thinking of telling a narcissist that they have NPD:

Is There a Cure For Narcissism? by Kaleah LaRoche

How to Talk to a Narcissist by Bill Snow

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Narcissists in Fiction:

Honest Science vs. False Friend: A Contrast Study of Temperance Brennan and Angela Montenegro  – This is an interesting post examining two characters on a popular TV show (the Narcissist as a TV & film trope is very common), one of which could be perceived as being a Narcissist but isn’t, the other is a Narcissist but may not be perceived as one (because Narcissists are focused on how others perceive them thus they are better able to manipulate their image and control how others view them). Like the person who wrote this, I find the character of Angela Montenegro intensely annoying and distressing (I have been known to shout at the TV when watching this show when her character appears and does her ‘thing’) because she is very narcissistic yet gets away with it, everyone makes excuses for her (including the resident psychologist who is supposed to be very clever) and thinks she’s lovely, very ’empathic’. Episode 6, season 5 was particularly explicit in showing Angela’s Narcissism and I got intensely angry about how it was handled). This episode reminded me of CZBZ of The Narcissistic Continuum’s post of Puppygate – Part Two Online Narcissists: A case study called PuppyGate.

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A couple of related posts:

Being A Child of Narcissists – Breaking the Silence

When Narcissists Claim to be Victims of Narcissists – Who is the Narcissist?

An insightful guest post about NPD:

The story of a relationship with a Narcissist: I Am Not Special by Hope

573 comments

    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      I wouldn’t say ‘most narcissists are women nowadays’ so much as it’s more a case of female narcissists no longer flying under the radar and getting away with their narcissistic tendencies being explained away by female stereotypes – oh, she’s hormonal, emotional, sensitive, and being dramatic because of it! No, she’s a narcissist!

      People are no longer dismissing and explaining away the signs of narcissistic personality disorder in females the way they used to, and a covert narcissist isn’t so covert anymore.

      Like

  1. I enjoyed reading this long article. Thanks for writing it. It gave me an understanding of what attracted the narcissist to me. I possessed those gifts mentioned. Because they lack them they are attracted to those traits. But they want to destroy them since they cant have those traits. Their inability to express their real/authentic emotions and thoughts also baffled me while i was married to the N. Sometimes blaming a woman she didn’t know how to reach her man might be unfair if its not understood she’s dealing with a narcissist. Its only a person who has dealt with a N closely that can understand the feeling.

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    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Those who haven’t experienced a narcissist up close and personal find the experience difficult to understand and find it hard to accept the stories told by those who have had a relationship with a narcissist – those who have experienced it find it difficult to understand too and often find their own stories to be confusing. It takes time to figure things out – the important thing is to give yourself the time and space to do it.

      Take care of yourself, be gentle with yourself!

      Like

  2. Thank you for sharing , I ran away from an engagement and reading this article I can see my ex was a narcissist and got me a lil piss ,few days ago when I figure out 2 of my ex’s had Narcissists traits in them , googling I found you article. You point out so well that isn’t hard to understand . Thank you so much for your words .Now I know what I have to watch out and been fully aware will make things easier to whom I will let in from now on in my life. 🙂

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  3. Shit ! 100 percent spot on ! I have a narc mother and keep attracting female narc friends – I am empathic, self controlled and kind. Thank you for this article as I have recently attracted yet another one. Much appreciated !

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    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Society in general is rather narcissistic. For the last few decades everything being all about – me me me – has been encouraged and this has caused an issue for relationships (amongst other things – consumerism as it is now is very narcissistic). When two people who are – me-me-me-ing – meet and expect the other person to worship at their altar both sides are going to end up thinking that the other person is the narcissist.

      Hopefully with the increased awareness of the narcissist issue, and with so many people researching it and informing themselves – maybe the tide is turning and we’ll all self-reflect a little bit more, rather than use what we read to label everyone as a narcissist and write them off because of it. Narcissism is a very human problem.

      Like

  4. This is by far the best article I have read on this topic. You have given the topic the attention and authenticity it deserves. A narcissist’s broken- humanness is at once human, if you understand the source, and inhuman, when you see the outcome. The perpetrator and the victim are pathetic in this bizarre dance of dependence. From your article, I learned a lot. What I was able to best see was how both the narcissist and the victimized empath lack authenticity in the way they relate to each other. The narcissist suffers from an inauthentic non- self and the victimized empath suffers from an inauthentic over-giving, over- good, overly eager to please persona.
    I am deeply grateful to you for sharing this article.

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    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Recently there have been more articles written and shared online addressing the symbiosis between empaths and narcissists which are an interesting read.

      This is one of the most intriguing opinions on that which I have read recently – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anxiety-zen/201508/shy-sensitive-introverted-and-narcissistic – it was of particular interest to me because it uses MBTI (a system which relies upon us answering the questionnaire which determines our type honestly) and a couple of narcissists who I have known were certain that they were INFJ’s (it’s considered one of the ‘rarest’ types, hence it’s attraction for a narcissist).

      Quite a few of the narcissists I have known identify themselves as empaths and consider the empaths in their lives to be the narcissists. The boundaries always get blurred when a narcissist is involved, and it’s not always as clear cut as we’d like for it to be. Exploring the areas where the lines between self and other get blurred can be insightful.

      My own ’empathy’ was actually encouraged by my narcissist mother because if I ‘felt for her’ then I would put my own feelings aside and focus solely on her needs and wants, her feelings, her emotions. So there is much to be explored in connection with such matters.

      The more we understand ourselves, know ourselves, the more we can understand our relationship with others, and others. Sometimes a relationship with a narcissist makes us go deeper into ourselves, makes us self-reflect, and can be the catalyst which makes us understand ourselves (and thus understand why we got involved with a narcissist).

      Being human is an adventure of sorts, and that kind of adventure can take us into strange and new places 🙂

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  5. I love your article. As I read it i could think back to a number of people in my life that fit this bill, including someone in my current work environment. I will admit that I do see some traits of narcissistic behavior in myself in the descriptions. I wonder if observing and acknowledging these traits somehow makes it a little better. I see it in me and I see the damage it causes in others and that gives me some self awareness to try and not damage others while still protecting myself.i have often wondered why I attract damaging people. This likely has something to do with it. Definitely material to discuss with my therapist. Thank you!

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    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Not being able to find any narcissistic behaviour or traits in ourselves is far more unusual than finding those things. When we’re hurting, in pain, suffering, feeling insecure, and maybe thinking life is picking on us we tend to become narcissistic and may lash out without meaning to hurt others, cause damage to them. Of course sometimes it’s how we share how we feel with others – by passing the feeling on. If someone makes us angry we may take our anger out on someone else… only to regret it later and wish we could take it back, have a do-over.

      Most people when they behave narcissistically don’t mean it, they’re just having a really bad day (sometimes for longer than a day). And most people tend to understand that even if they got hurt because of it. We all know about cutting others slack because we need others to cut us slack too.

      Being narcissistic and being a narcissist (having NPD) are two different things even when sometimes they appear to be the same.

      We all protect ourselves and sometimes hurt others while doing that – those hurt others sometimes help us to notice what we’re doing and take stock of ourselves, self-reflect, maybe find another way of dealing with our issues and vulnerability.

      Empathy is informed by self-compassion. If we’re being hard on ourselves we tend to be harder on others or become too soft on others (and open the door for narcissists to walk in and make us their home base). If we’re gentler on ourselves we tend to be gentler on others (but strangely enough we may prove to be less attractive to narcissists because they can’t use our own issues against us).

      I wrote this post awhile ago while I was trying to figure out my own story, since then I’ve discovered some rather interesting things – like the fact that one of the reasons I was so attractive to ‘damaged people’ of the narcissist kind was because my own damage made me suppress any narcissism in myself (including the healthy type of narcissism). I’ve tested this theory out and by being a bit more accepting of my own narcissistic tendencies I actually seem to have made myself less attractive to narcissists.

      Some of the things we hide in our inner darkness aren’t as awful as we fear they’ll be, sometimes they’re rather lovely in a weird way. Sometimes the things which we think are ‘wrong’ with us is actually something that is ‘right’ about us.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Awesome post, especially the part about being yourself. I agree with what attracts a narcissist and what to do about. However, having a disability can complicate things. You are even more of a target and it’s harder to fight back.

    I am a teacher at a elementary before/after school program. I have a narcissistic coworker that has been after me since day one. I am nice, self controlled, and empathetic, sometimes to a fault. What makes it harder is I have a disability. I have sensory issues, processing issues, social anxiety, and difficulty with emotions among other things.

    What is your opinion on dealing with a narcissist when you have a disability?

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    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      I have dyslexia – in some ways this is actually a rather useful ‘disability’ to have when it comes to dealing with narcissists, it makes for quite a good lie dectector. However before it was useful it was a hindrance because it creates a lot of self-doubt/confusion. When narcissists used to tell me that I misunderstood them – misunderstanding people is something which happens with dyslexia – I tended to err in favour of them and assume that I had misunderstood them rather than accept that I had understood them and they were changing their story – and to change it they needed me to doubt myself.

      These days, when I know I’m dealing with a narcissist, I tend to use my dyslexia in my favour. Tell a narcissist that you have dyslexia and they tend to assume that means you’re ‘stupid’. If they think you’re stupid they tend to underestimate you, and you can use their opinion of you against them. Being ‘stupid’ around a narcissist is rather effective and fun. Deliberately misunderstanding them can drive them nuts and make them leave you alone.

      If you have something like Asperger’s you’re actually better equipped for dealing with narcissists because you’re more logical and less likely to be manipulated by all the subtle ploys they rely on. They use a lot of subtle social cues to mess with people – missing those social dues is useful. They use emotional and sensory cues to – so if you have trouble picking up on those it’s for the best when it comes to a narcissist.

      Social anxiety is a bit trickier because most narcissist suffer from this and a portion of the way they behave is due to them trying to cover up their social anxiety, and they tend to gravitate towards those who have social anxiety because they feel more comfortable around us as they see social anxiety as less threatening to them. It’s not actually as social anxiety can make you more insightful about social dynamics, you’re a keener observer of human nature.

      So perhaps rather than see your disability as a ‘disability’ when it comes to dealing with your narcissist, perhaps a shift in perspective can make it an ability that gives you an edge over them. Don’t be afraid of using it on them in a blatant manner. If your narcissist is picking on you, bullying you, making you uncomfortable, just pull the ‘disability card’ out on them and use it to shame them.

      Those with disabilities tend to do their best to not make their disability noticeable to others, partly to show others that we’re not hampered by it, that it is not who we are and that they don’t have to treat us differently from others because of it. We do our best to be as ‘normal’ as possible and to make others not notice that we may be ‘different’. With a narcissist this can work against us and the opposite tactic may work in our favour.

      If the narcissist had your disability they would be using it like it was the best ability in the world.

      I met a narcissist who had just been diagnosed with dyslexia (in late adulthood) and their focus was on how they could use it to get perks in their workplace and use it to manipulate their work colleagues. I was horrified by their attitude (I’ve known I was dyslexic since childhood and I don’t ‘use’ it to get ‘perks’ or to manipulate work colleagues) but they were jubilant, for them it was a carte blanche to behave as they pleased and make others pick up the slack for them.

      Sometimes the best way to get a narcissist to stop going after you is to use them against themselves and make them want to avoid you or be ‘protective’ of you because being protective of you makes them look good. Your disability may be the key to doing that because the narcissist won’t want others to see them as a schmuck for their treatment of a ‘disabled’ person. So rather than seeing it as a disadvantage, flip your perception and see it as an advantage where they’re concerned. They would if they had it so give them a taste of their own medicine.

      It’s also worth noting that narcissists in the workplace often zero in on the person they see as their biggest competition for the attention of others. Your niceness, self-control, and empathy has probably made you popular amongst your other work colleagues and students – that is something which your narcissist wants for themselves. Narcissists often choose their ‘targets’ based on who they admire and want to be – this is something which often baffles their ‘targets’ and they may miss this detail because it seems odd – why would anyone want to be you (especially when you may sometimes wish that you weren’t you – a common human humility issue).

      Treating a narcissist like a child is often a useful tactic, as they are stuck in their childhood (in the narcissistic phase of human development).

      This is an article worth reading – http://www.psytalk.info/articles/narcissist.html – it gives advice on talking to a narcissist.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, never thought of using my disability against her. She tends to use it as ammunition. Plus her behavior has become more stealthy and she tries to get others in on it. My other coworkers initially didn’t like me, fell for the stereotypes. I have a great relationship with them now after I disclosed. My boss has been awesome from the start.

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        • Narcissists will use anything and everything about you as ammunition. They’re looking for the chink in your armor, a way to get under your skin, what you care about, the thing which will get a reaction and rise out of you. They poke and prod you until they find something which gets to you, then that becomes the button they push repeatedly.

          One of the tactics I’ve learned is when a narcissist finds a button to press which gets to you – work on making friends with whatever issue it is that you have with yourself, make it your ally rather than your internal enemy. If it no longer gets to you then there is no reason for them to keep pushing it.

          There are several reasons why narcissists do this. If they hit you where it hurts you can’t ignore them. It gives them a power rush. It makes them feel less insecure, gives them a sense of superiority, a feeling of being in control. They’re doing to you first what they’re afraid of having done to them. They’re bored, need drama, and this creates the sort of drama they thrive on. They’re in pain and hurting others alleviates their pain. Mainly though they’re passing their narcissistic wound onto you – what they do to you was done to them which is where they learned how to do what they do.

          Narcissists were hurt very deeply by someone who had power over them when they were children during the narcissistic phase of human development. Often they had a parent who picked on them constantly, was always pointing out their flaws in a humiliating manner, was pressuring them to live up to some impossible ideal of who the parent wanted them to be. They learned to be ashamed of who they were and as adults they pass that shame onto others, do to others what was done to them.

          This article explains the narcissist’s wounding in depth – http://energeticsinstitute.com.au/narcissism/

          Whatever a narcissist does to you is not about you as much as it is about them. Their actions tell you their story. If they pick on you, tease and taunt you – this is what was done to them, this is how they’ve learned to relate, this is what they’re afraid of happening to them, this is what motivates them to do to you what they are doing.

          The ‘stealth’ part of it is more pronounced in a Covert narcissist – Covert narcissists need to take others down while appearing to be the ‘good’ guy. They’re the ones who tell you an ‘awful truth’ about yourself ‘for your own ‘good’ because they’re a ‘good person’. They whisper nasty somethings into people’s ears about you to undermine you in the eyes of others, but they’ll do it in such a way that they appear to ‘be concerned about you’ – one tactic is to ask others if they know what’s ‘wrong’ with you because they’ve tried to be your ‘friend’ but you don’t seem to like them. They often play the ‘victim’ of you card.

          All narcissists use stealth as a self-protective device to cover their tracks, to not be hit by the backlash, the consequences, of their actions. If they start a ‘whispering’ campaign, chances are others won’t recall who started a rumour about you all anyone will remember is the rumour or they’ll simply see you differently without being mindful of why they do.

          Narcissists play the – Lets you and him fight – game a lot. They basically start ‘fights’ between other people by poking and prodding them until they get a rise out of them.

          Link to the original explanation of this game – http://www.ericberne.com/games-people-play/lets-you-and-him-fight/

          Link to a workplace explanation of this game – http://www.kellevision.com/kellevision/2009/03/lets-you-and-him-fight-in-the-office.html

          If she’s doing this using your disability you’re in a stronger position than she is because using someone’s disability against them is something which society frowns upon, and since your coworkers had to make the conscious effort to move beyond their own misconceptions they’ll be more likely to disapprove of what she is doing. They like you – and that is valuable. It’s also something she probably doesn’t understand because narcissists often don’t get what it means to like someone. The simplest aspects of human relationships baffle them, and they tend to operate from a position of disliking everyone.

          The fact that your colleagues and your boss like you is probably something which is pushing her buttons. Your disability, since she’s focusing on it, may be symbolic to her (whatever it is about us which a narcissists focuses upon represents something about them to them). Narcissists have this obsession with being ‘perfect’, they are terrified of having ‘flaws’ and of people finding ‘flaws’ in them, they’re convinced people will only like them if they’re perfect (this comes from childhood) and she may see your disability as a ‘flaw’ and may be perplexed and envious that you are liked even with your ‘flaw’. She will never understand that being ‘perfect’ is a ridiculous ideal for a human to have and that the pursuit of it is self-destructive, and that our ‘flaws’ are sometimes the best part of us because that’s where our individual inner light shines the strongest.

          Whatever ‘flaw’ a narcissist finds in you usually points to one of your greatest assets, and one of your best weapons of self-defense against a narcissist.

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          • You described her perfectly. I understand the psychology. It’s just hard to deal with the actual thing. I will definitely apply this when I see her again this new school year. Thanks again. Keep up the good work.

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    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      When a narcissist uses the legal system to continue their war against you it can be one of the most stressful experiences a human can go through. It’s a harsh and hard lesson which teaches you not to expect the justice system to actually be just.

      Narcissists know how to manipulate systems (and that includes the psychological, social, emotional and thinking systems which people use).

      For a narcissist every interaction is a game of chess and they’re usually several steps ahead of you, predicting your moves using your own regular behaviour against you – you can use your own regular behaviour to derail their plans and gameplay but that does require knowing your own behaviour well and knowing their behaviour well too, then guesstimating how they’re planning on using you against yourself which can be a taxing thing to do and if you’re already exhausted from everything they’ve put you through it can be too much to do.

      However your exhaustion can be an asset – sometimes exhaustion can give us clearer insight into what really matters to us, and can help us opt out of the never-ending chess game with a narcissist because we’re fed up of playing. When they drive us to the edge – that edge makes us ‘dangerous’. It may cause us to behave ‘out of character’ which a narcissist usually doesn’t factor in, they expect us to do what we always do so not doing what we always do can knock them off their ‘in control’ pedestal and put us in a more powerful position. Sometimes you have to think outside of your own ‘box’ of self and not be your usual self – your usual self is something your narcissist uses against you.

      It’s also worth keeping in mind that most narcissists don’t tend to think that the legal system applies to them, so they’ve probably taken some illegal shortcuts – if you can find those you can perhaps use them to put pressure on them.

      Best wishes and take good care of yourself, don’t underestimate the power which you have over them – if they’re obsessed with you, you are the one with the power (which is one of the reasons they’re obsessed with you).

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  7. Wow. Awesome. Thank you! I’ve been learning about this stuff for two years. This is the most helpful article I’ve read.

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  8. Awesome, awesome piece. Very helpful! Getting out of a 10 year relationship. The signs of his NBD were there and I missed them.

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  9. being too nice can cost you your safety, your life and your sanity…..Be nice, but learn to protect your right to be nice with a fierce dragon who burns those who want to take advantage of your niceness. ” That’s exactly what i learnt from my relationship with a narcissist. And i actually didnt realise it until I read it here. Thank you for your insights

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  10. Reblogged this on dawns-ad-lib.com® and commented:
    Sometimes referred to as “tbe crazy train”, etc..
    I realize this post is not literally food 😉
    And its also not a pleasant/positive subject. Even worse…awareness of “what we think about grows inside of us”, etc., (laws of attraction)…
    This means I’m aware of all of the above…read it, post it, then move on
    ➳ RUN

    Staying positive and being on the right path is great…but unfortunately most of us know (via relatives, friends, etc..) people like this. So yeah.. i certainly dont focus on this; i simply throw it at the wall and see what sticks as to know what is out there, around us. BUT not hang around it. That #toxic subject again. Well….some long list relatives… ya know.

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  11. Omg! I recently was in a six month relationship with someone who I believe is a narcissist (with a Messianic complex ). He ended the relationship a little over one month ago, yet he continued to email and text me claiming to alledgedly want to see how I was doing. ??!! All manipulation! He said goodbye to the love relationship and claimed to stick around to preserve our “friendship”, yet his emotional and psychological abuse, refusal to acknowledge or process his feelings, and verbal manipulation clearly indicated that we have different definitions of friendship. Our final contact was yesterday in which he asked me if this is “goodbye”. I replied, “Yes. Go with God”. I am SO DONE with his cowardly attitude toward feeling. Yes, life can be excruciatingly painful and challenging for all of us at times, but how selfish of him to demand that I be so much less of myself so that he can temporarily feel better about himself! Yes, I was very angry. I couldn’t believe that I got duped again!

    You see, my mother is a narcissist. My (deceased) ex-boyfriend was a narcissist. Two of my current co-workers are narcissists. And, seven months ago, I attracted yet ANOTHER narcissist???!!! As a sensitive being, I felt emotionally and psychologically raped for four decades!!! What the hell???!!!!!!! Why was this continuously happening to me?

    ……. 🙂 This morning, I find myself at peace and smiling as I read your article. 🙂 Having read a lot of material on narcissism, for the first time EVER, I felt empowered when you encouraged me to continue to be real/authentic (speak up for myself and FEEL whatever I feel unapologetically)! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! With all of my being: thank you. 🙂 My Soul is touched having received such deep validation of my existence and purpose in Life. Though I knew that feeling and authentically experiencing each moment are healthier ways to live, I subconsciously questioned myself and deeply needed the approval of others since I was five years old (as my mother demanded that I be less “emotional”). One could say that I attracted narcissists because of my South Node in Leo’s need for constant approval and assurance, astrologically speaking. Whatever the reason, I am actually grateful. For my sensitivity is not in vain. Love, fully experiencing one’s emotions, and sensitivity with healthy, strong boundaries have important roles in the human experience. I fully accept my value/worth/role. Thank you for allowing Spirit to flow through your words in this article. Now, I genuinely pray for my mother and all others who are so broken as to be so fearful of feeling.

    ….. I’m happy today! Joyful! No longer afraid (as I was yesterday) to meet new people. 🙂 Please keep blogging. You’re helping to facilitate much healing. * Pranam * 🙂

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    • Thank you very much for sharing 🙂

      It can be a long journey far away from ourselves before we get back home to ourselves and realise that it is okay to be as we are. It’s more than okay, it’s who we are meant to be.

      You’ll probably always keep attracting narcissists, they see the beauty in you and want it for themselves, but just because they’re attracted to you doesn’t mean you owe them anything (that is something they think comes with their attraction).

      Who you are will also attract people who are not narcissists, and those people will give you an authentic type of approval, the kind which truly nurtures, supports and encourages who you are.

      Look to the North Node in Aquarius – enjoy being freely yourself, and embrace spirited rebellion.

      Take good care of your beautiful self!

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    • This is the wisest and most humane post on this matter I have found so far. Thank you whoever you are.

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  12. But do we not all have a dark side? even in trying to defend ourselves and others we are bound to violence to whatever end, the tools of manipulation and deception etc,(war) is the root of all these traits not the choice to be good or bad? in that good and bad is a conception that we uphold and is born of the mind, so do we not have a choice in the way we choose to live our lives? we are born dormant and we live and learn everyday which shapes us but does that not mean that when we choose to become something other than our primal selves we made a choice and that choice whether for good or bad grows from that root and becomes personality as we live and learn from the world and ourselves in turn, and if that root is nowhere but inside us can we not change ourselves by guidance from the concept of good and bad.

    To be good is a choice, as is bad, and if that choice to be good or bad has not been made, does that not mean that we are still in our primal instinct but with a personality shaped around it and thus sits on a weak foundation, so if in terms of traits, understanding it once it has been learned, and using it more than once in your life is practice, do we not choose which traits we become experienced in by choice, and is dictated by the principles and how we choose to live after we have made that choice…and are those that have not made it who’s personalities are a manifestation of the primal self they themselves unaware, or not in control of there own projection onto the world in that they have not shaped themselves, but are affected by the world and at the root the foundation which holds everything together not solid, for example a war party goes through a village and destroys it slaughtering and pillaging, the child that hasent made the choice to be good or bad is affected by the world and his personality will grow from a root that is unguided, and the projection that the child will make is based on survival which in itself has no identity, no feeling, no remorse, no heart, to breed with a mate, to eat because the stomach demands it, to kill is of no consequence, but can he change? can he find the root and change his path.

    We can sit in the void, silence, peace, neither good nor bad, but when we project ourselves unto the world is it not without reason in every move we make? but even bad can be good which is our dark side the necessary evils which safeguard our lives from those who wish to destroy them, and so it is suppressed, tucked away until it is absolutely necessary to unleash, to defend ones home, to safeguard the helpless, to protect the liberties and rights that we uphold as a family to live a good life in peace, these principles are wielded by the mind, and tempered by the heart, the ability to act on our beliefs, and the ability to be unwavering in our faith whatever it may be.

    Reflecting on this if good and bad are a concept, is the choice ultimately not to choose good or bad or stay primal, but to choose to grow, do we choose to grow and assert control, or is it the lack of growth for a primal instinct that is only sharpened by the world around it, if a primal instinct requires no feeling other than its own desires, to fall prey of the mind and stomach for which the body itself takes form in order to survive in the world, what is that very break from that instinct and being human, or is there not a break at all but suppression, or is it non existent…I believe we can change, but second chances are rare, I used to have no control, prone to anger, deceit, theft, substance abuse, violence…it was feeling that changed me, it hit me like a bag of bricks, from that moment i felt change, the ability to choose who i wanted to be, building my ego from the ground up, realizing the only true possessions we own are ourselves our mind, the materials in this universe that make us are all temporary, our bodies, our tools, the earth, and the sun, but it is the very essence of our life, that spark that is sacred, life itself is divine, you find it in all beings, from a cat to a person and that, that is worth fighting for, that is worth dying for, the tools of deception, manipulation, destruction are tools in themselves but for what purpose are they used, to protect lives, or to destroy…personally when i look at a person, the way they act is an indicator to whether they chose to be good or bad, but there are so many variable its nearly impossible if not impossible to know where they truly stand, as a result i distrust people because i know what i am capable of and that they are too, but i choose to be good because i care, i like to have fun, i like to laugh, i like to learn, seeing others happy brings me joy, seeing others in misery makes me sad to say the least, empathy, to enter ones shoes it hurts, you look at history it hurts, yes when i watch war movies like band of brothers and such there are moments that a tear almost forms when im alone, a rush of numbness like you are sinking that takes a little of your heart to know the cruelty of this world, >food for thought.

    Personally i used to be as cold as ice, observing others and learning that a hard exterior is strength but there was no heart, most of the people around me you can see there ill intentions in what they do which in itself were for greed, harm, personal desires regardless of the cost of others etc and you could say it rubbed off a little at the time, feeling diminishes when you let your ego take your heart, but when i couldn’t take it, i retreated, i didn’t like who i was and where i was going if i decided to continue which would be bad since it was at the time i was rotten, i looked into a lot of history in search of philosophical things, ideal, ways etc the most curious was the samurai of feudal japan, and many insightful quotes, they are equally humble as they were ferocious in battle which didn’t make sense at the time, as the world around me and the way of life in the western world loosely speaking is very outward, and there was a quote that went along the lines of it it was feeling that makes one strong, not anger and ill will or something like that, no longer did i put up with all the bs that i was prone to, i am no longer violent at unless its absolutely necessary, i wish no harm on others, i wish to teach those who do not understand something and not put them down because they made a mistake or do not know, i do not steal from others and would rather rot on the street, i will help those in need, i will lie sometimes as it can be better than the truth, i will sacrifice myself for others as my life in exchange for another is the one gift, that is my one true possession i have to give, it is not my anger that makes me strong, but the love for which fuels my fight, we are all family, the worlds suffering hurts more than any blade and it does take a toll on you, ill only fight if its absolutely necessary as even a punch to the head can kill dislodging the brain, dignity and respect come from the heart, even if i have an enemy i believe they can change, i know they’re was a time when they were good, but still we must respect that life even if it must be taken…i just thought id unload a bit to show myself as an example but in person and relations i wouldn’t go into detail at all, ever… but to me it is important, my beliefs are mine and mine alone to show, i may seem cold and withdrawn by having little to say and a rough complexion i may not seem interested when you speak but i listen to every word, observant and am aware of my surroundings at all times, because i fear the wrath of people but know if the time comes, to turn that fear into courage and do the right thing…the train car shooting in Toronto, 6 cops without tasers? 6 cops untrained in hand to hand combat? he couldn’t shoot his legs out? did the guy really deserve to die?…honestly looking into history and the ways and teachings there is little to learn of European peoples as its always just conquest and wars, the good people are rare, the Asian history and peoples can be just as bad but they’re are so many insightful lessons to learn from its insane, i wish the world could not have evil and we can be happy all the time and put our guards down once and for all but a guard is essential to survive and so peace we must treasure, until we are forced to take action, i do believe we can change, but not those who decide to be bad “you cannot wake someone who is pretending to sleep” so i guess we should just try to be happy when we can right.

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    • Thank you very much for sharing 🙂

      I posted the third of the three almost identical comments which you made as I saw that you’d added more to it which gave it a personal and informative extra. The reason why comments don’t show up immediately on my blog is due to the settings. I moderate comments which means that ones from a new commentor on the blog are kept in a sort of limbo until I approve them. I try to approve them as quickly as possible. That sounds weird, online lingo can offer a strange perspective.

      I agree with you on many of the points you made.

      I definitely think that we all have a dark side and that the dark side isn’t always a ‘bad’ thing to have or to express. It exists for a reason or it probably wouldn’t exist, but that’s open for debate all all things are. Whether we understand what the reason for a dark side existing is or not doesn’t always matter where the human experience is concerned. You are spot on about us interpreting things from our perspective and then seeing it as the way it is (perhaps confirming it by finding others who agree with our view). We do that a lot with the concepts of right and wrong, good and evil – often assuming that what we see as good is also right, and what we see as evil is also wrong, but those who came before us throughout history have warned us repeatedly that good is not always right and evil is not always wrong – the road to hell, etc.

      I also enjoy exploring history to better understand this time, and our place in it, my place in it. History opens the eyes, both outer and inner, to a world of experience that is both the same and different from what we know now. Not so long ago what we now consider to be normal would have been viewed as something the devil created. And we safely (from our time in the present with all its ‘luxuries’ and not having to deal with the past and its grime) judge our ancestors for the crimes they committed in the name of gods, good and such, and often think – we’d never be that way or do that – but we rarely get to find out what we’d do if we had been them, there.

      I’ve relied on my own dark side to get me through experiences which a ‘light’ side would not have dealt with as well. The times when the ‘light’ side has tried to deal with similar situations have often ended up with the dark side needing to come to the rescue and clean up a fine mess. The villain was the hero. I’ve used those experiences to get a grip when I think someone else is a villain – what if they think they’re a hero, what if they may actually be a hero?

      Why are we so obsessed with villains and heroes, anyway?

      And I’ve also had times when I’ve chosen to embrace the cold as ice attitude. I recall as a teenager admiring those who were that way and wanting to be like them, and wondering why it was so difficult to do it. It’s not easy being that way, but it may appear to be – appearances are sometimes all we use to make up our mind about someone or something.

      Many years ago when I was a teenage girl, I met an older teenage guy whose first words to me were – stay away from em, I’m a bad guy. I was perplexed because the circumstances in which we met meant that I wasn’t going to be able to spend much time with him anyway. I just wanted to thank him because he had just come to the rescue of some small kid who was being bullied by his ‘friends’, so that didn’t equate to ‘bad’ to me. We chatted, he was easy to be with because he didn’t have the usual pretensions people have when they’re trying to prove how ‘good’ they are, and that was that… but that wasn’t really that as I’ve never forgotten him and what he taught me about people and how we and others view them and ourselves – and what influence that has.

      I wrote this post while trying to figure something out, which is what I do with all of my posts. Sometimes we need to see things in terms of black and white, where lines aren’t blurred as they are in real life… but the lines between black and white are blurred no matter how defined we want them to be because we don’t necessarily agree on what is black and what is white, and perhaps that’s a good thing which sometimes appears to be a bad thing.

      You mentioned looking into feudal Japan – fascinating subject. I came to it by way of reading the work of James Clavell (which is a bit of an odd route to get there. I’ll never forget the rats from King Rat. That was after feudal times but those times still had an influence on later generations and on fictional works about such things), and also from another angle which was a family history one.

      I think that ultimately we have to figure things out for ourselves by immersing ourselves in the experience of being, living, and everything that entails. We each are separate and part of a collective, being aware of what others see is informative, but how it informs us depends on how we have chosen to be informed, and how we are still choosing… the choices keep presenting themselves to be assessed. Awareness of that varies, kind of like batteries being included or not.

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  13. I left a comment a couple of weeks ago, but I think it got lost.
    I wanted to say thank you for this extremely helpful blog post.
    I have been a narcissist and a narcissist magnet all my life, but I’m now changing and understanding things, especially thanks to information and ideas in personal blogs such as this one.
    I won’t go into my own history since I’m at a point where it is truly and thankfully becoming history.

    I wanted to mention that I especially liked your analogy comparing the narcissistic and blindly insensitive invasion and takeover of the child/person with the hostile invasion and blindly self-righteous takeover of land from indigenous people. This made me reflect that narcissism is built right into our ancestry, history, and society. In fact, I’m pretty sure narcissism in some form is the core problem afflicting the human race.

    Thank you again for your time and research, all these helpful links and recommended reading, your sensitivity to this subject and your excellent presentation of your material. 🙂

    Like

    • Thank you very much for sharing 🙂

      My apologies for your previous lost comment. There’s a glitch in WordPress which sometimes causes genuine comments to end up in the spam folder – there’s a lot of spam on the platform which the spam filter removes and sometimes it accidentally puts comments from real people in there. Thank you for commenting again.

      I really appreciate what you’ve said. I’m not always compassionate or considerate towards ‘narcissists’, particularly when I’m caught up in my own pain and the anger it tends to trigger. I’ve written quite a few rants about narcissists on my blog, mainly when I’ve been stressed out by something directly or indirectly connected to my mother. However in those moments when I’m a bit more lucid and can take a step back from my personal issues and story, I can see more clearly that something like narcisssism is an issue which affects us all because the narcissist’s wound is something all humans can relate too (even when we think we can’t).

      I’ve been very narcissistic myself, and there have been times in my life when I definitely fit the label of narcissist. I’ve been hurtful and at times really horrible. I’ve learned the hard way to stop making excuses and to just own up to it – it strangely seems to make things easier even though it sometimes feels like the hardest and worst possible option.

      I like to keep the option that I may be a narcissist open. It keeps me grounded.

      With those in my life who I consider to be narcissists (mainly my parents), I can see why they have behaved the way they have – they were reacting to their own deep pain, grief and wounding. Something which is very human and part of the experience of living and being. I agree with you, there is a history to it which goes beyond us, which came before us, and also permeates society. It’s not just us as an individual.

      The way you express yourself does not come across as narcissistic, so if you were truly a narcissist then kudos on what you have been doing to change, and thank you for being brave to admit it online especially at this time when there’s so much anger towards those who may be narcissists. There have been times when I’ve been worried about the witch hunt against narcissists. I understand it, it’s an accumulation of fear and frustration, but it’s not a solution. The solution lies in a different kind of understanding, one where we all work together and realise that we’re all connected, and that we all have a responsibility in the problem.

      What you have shared is inspiring on so many levels.

      Take good care of yourself, best wishes!

      Like

  14. Wow, I cannot thank you enough for this. Going through a divorce after 14 years of marriage to a narcissist, then the 2 times I risk a relationship I am devestated repeating the same mistake. The most resent one I have finally left with a very strong expression, using strong language relating to my feelings, instead of being politically correct. It feels good. the one thing that really helped is that everyone tells me I should not be so nice I should hold back, in other words be less of who I am. I love the idea that I am more and I should just work on letting the dark side out a little more. There are much more in this post that I find extremely helpful THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU !!!

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    • Thank you very much for sharing 🙂

      It took me ages to figure out to be more me than less of me to solve things. I’m still learning that lesson, but it’s getting less painful and beginning to be fun. Each time I express myself freely, it’s slightly scary but I’m usually pleasantly surprised that the world hasn’t imploded (something which my narcissist parents made me suspect would happen if I was just me as I am. Narcissists have a way of passing on their delusions of grandeur, their wound, and yet when we take those on we feel anything but grand).

      I’ve found that the narcissists I attract don’t find me as attractive as they thought I was since I’ve been voicing my thoughts and being less tactful. It’s weird, we grow up being told to be polite because that’s how you get along in life, but sometimes being ‘rude’ gets you more respect. Rude as in still considerate of others however not wiping out who you are to suit someone else… which ends up not being good enough as far as narcissists are concerned.

      Keep doing what you are doing and letting who your are shine, you may still attract narcissists (they love shiny people) but you’ll also attract those who respect who you are and encourage you to be more fully yourself. Enjoy your dark side, it’s not the enemy and can be a personally powerful ally when needed 🙂

      Like

    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      I have felt the same way, and have wondered why, wracking my mind to find out what it was that I was doing or did which attracted this sort of person, I even thought that maybe I was somehow turning ordinary people into narcissists (which was a bit of a narcissistic thought to have, exposure to narcissists can do that to the mind).

      It can feel like some sort of cruel cosmic joke, a puzzle we’ll never figure out, some fate we have to live out and put up with. We often look at it from a skewed angle (one that can be caused by the narcissist who needs our view to be skewed), which makes it look complicated but in some ways it’s simpler than it seems.

      The down low is this – you’re naturally attractive, and so you attract narcissists. They’re not the only women you attract but narcissists are more aggressive and proactive than others when they’re attracted to you.

      People who aren’t narcissists can be quite shy when they find someone attractive, so they might be subtle about their attraction, afraid of rejection or worried about other matters which we all worry about when we’re interested in someone. Narcissists aren’t shy about going after those they find attractive, in fact they can be so bold that it sweeps you off your feet before you have a chance to look too closely at them, they’re quick to elbow others out of the way to get what they want. When they want you, they turn their charm on full blast, and that makes them attractive to you – it can also blind you to the dark and flawed side of the perfectly ideal person they’re showing you to win your heart and mind over. You may believe that you’ve found your ideal person… it takes awhile to find out that they’re anything but ideal.

      Want to know why you attract them – look at yourself, your natural abilities, your personality, who you are as you are.

      Narcissists are always on the look out for the best and brightest, they seek people who shine because they’re treasure-hunters, seeking treasures to collect and absorb into themselves. If you’re rather awesome, then they want that awesome – at first they do it in a pleasing manner, but later on they bring out the claws and the crazy (and by then you’re in too deep so you get very hurt).

      You can’t stop attracting narcissists, you’d have to change yourself to do that and that’s not a healthy thing to do, but you can learn to recognise them before you get too caught up with them, and look beyond them at the others you’re attracting. It also is worthwhile examining what attracts you about them – that can be a very insightful exercise which can yield a release from that kind of ‘luck’.

      Take care!

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  15. I love my narcissist. I can’t help it. I see the fragile side to him. His unwillingness and inability to express emotions and yet still I love him because he needs love. There is no physical relationship between us but I talk to him via texts on a daily basis. Sometimes he does take advantage of my feelings by trying to cross my boundaries but I don’t allow him and he sulks and ignores me for days at end but eventually he returns because I have an insurmountable amount of love for him. I feel like this love can cure anything but its so hard at times. Like now. I’m on a silent treatment break. Lol!! Its amusing sometimes that he does this over and over again to me and now I see its because his real self is sooooo bruised. Idk what made him this way. Idk what hurt him so badly and idk if he’ll ever let me in but I hope he does one day.

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    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      The fragile side of the narcissist is one of the ways they hook us and keep us hooked (not necessarily deliberately). They can seem so beautifully broken, if only we could love them enough to make it all better, but love can’t fix that kind of broken no matter how strong the love is because of the nature of the narcissistic wound.

      For more on the narcissistic wound, I highly recommend reading this article – http://energeticsinstitute.com.au/narcissism/

      And when dealing with a ‘vulnerable’ narcissist, this is also worth reading – http://goodmenproject.com/ethics-values/5-signs-youre-being-played-by-a-victim-fiff/

      Love with them is a never-ending quest, the kind which exists in fairytales and heroic legend. They’re looking for a hero to save them, but sometimes they end up siding with the dragon against the hero.

      Best wishes! Take good care of yourself.

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  16. Oh I just thought of something kinda genius I could do….I doubt I’d risk trying this, but I bet it would work…lol

    I could make him think I want nothing more, than to live here with him. That way he will think the best way to punish me, is to kick me out!

    lol and the whole time my goal was to leave. I don’t like being deceptive with people though, so I doubt I’d ever stoop to that level. Actually I’m sure I won’t. No way I could so something like that. But the thought seemed entertaining enough to post here, for those who are capable of lying to people like that, you could maybe try that to get out of your nightmare situation.

    Because I know from what I’ve read on narcsissits, they love revenge…and never get over the thought of it. (Or it takes years and years before their “fire” dies down) so I worry if I move, he will try to make up lies to get me in legal trouble or something crazy like that)

    So if he thought he was already punishing me by kicking me out, maybe that would be enough. And then I’d get my wish. lol I guess being honest has it’s drawbacks too. But no way I could lie like that, even if it meant for me to get out of the situation. I can tell a white lie, but I don’t have the ability to deceive someone to the point of making them think something that is totally untrue. That is just evil in my opinion (Even though here it seems justified…my heart tells me it is still evil) and I wouldn’t be able to do it.

    So I by no means, recommend anyone to do this. It’s either you are capable or you aren’t.

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    • I’ve had this idea too when people say their narcissist won’t leave them alone – this is when they’re not living together but after a break-up. So why not pursue them? Their need for power and control means that they’ll always do the opposite of what they think you want. If you pursue them – bet they’ll drop you in a hot minute!

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  17. I was wondering if anyone could help me with some advice on how to handle a serious situation. I recently got involved in a nightmare. I live with a crazy Narcissist, who refused to repect my boundaries and he forces himself on me whenever he pleases. And when I told him “No” I had to go to sleep, he didn’t accept that for an answer…and seemed to get even more enraged, but he covered it up as best as he could. I can see right through him so I know exactly what he is doing. I recently moved into the house with him, so I am stuck here now…but I CANNOT live like this. It’s just way too much for me to handle. Words cannot desribe what this guy does to me. Of course he is never physically violent (one of the most telling “positive” traits of a narcissist) but he does get enraged and I got scared he would kill me one night, I almost called 9/11. All because I was asleep and I didn’t answer his calls. He flipped out.

    So, now I need to get out of here asap, before he flips out again. But I worry he may try to make up lies about me if I move. Because that’s really the only thing he could do at that point to hurt me or try and ruin my life.

    So, I was wondering what is the best way to go about telling him? Should I just move without giving notice? Or should i give notice and just be polite as possible as to why I need to move?

    My goal is to NOT offend him again. But it’s impossible most of the time to NOT offend a narcsissit. That’s the thing, they force you into imppssible situations so you have no choice but to offend them..

    So I worry it may be inevitable. If I tell him I need to move, he is going to be offended because he wants me to be by his side at his beck and call. If I don’t tell him I am moving, and just leave, that might make him even more mad. So, i don’t know what to do…please help,if anyone has any suggestions, I greatly appreciate it.

    At this point I am thinking, to just tell him politely as possible, stroke his ego until I do move, and then just hope for the best and hope he parts peacefully. I never did ANYTHING to this guy for him to hate me, but he is a psycho (narcissist) so when I requested my private boundaries, he flipped out. Then the next night I ignored his calls, and he flipped out again….far worse. Thought my life was in danger. Since I live in the same house as him, I could hear everything through the walls. Screaming like a mad man, banging stuff around like crazy. (All because I was asleep, it was late at night. The guy expects me to hang out with him, whenever he wants) I am actually suprised he was able to control himself and not come and bust the door down to my room.

    The next night he came into my room and put me through some mental torture, as I’d describe it. I won’t go into the details but I willingly accepted it, because I knew if I offended him again, things would get even worse. So i had to endure about 2 hours of mental torture that night. Luckily the past couple of nights he has found a new energy source, so I have gotten a break (Thank god!) must be a higher power watching over me because I literally cannot handle the abuse he is doing. Even though he does it in subtle ways sometimes, I notice all of it. I usually can see through people pretty well, but I’ve been fooled several times, when i first meet the person, they seem so nice and normal, you can’t even tell they have something wrong with them. They are excellent at covering themselves up at first…so I have to learn to avoid people who seem too nice in the future. But I don’t want mean friends…lol so there is a fine line I guess, sometmes it’s hard to tell, even when you know what the red flags are. I am a genuinely nice person, I don’t fake it. I just have loads of empathy for people (I read the article on this website and now I see why i always attract narcissists…..I am going to have to be a little bit “Less nice” I guess in the future, so this crap doesn’t keep happening.)

    Well sorry to bore you with all the details, I am just hoping someone could give me some advice. I just have a bad feeling if I tell him I’m leaving, he might try to do something crazy…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have investigated a number of cases involving a narcissist killing those close to them. You may be able to see through him but that does not make him completely predictable.

      The cycle path is somewhat predictable in that he will kill in the commission of a crime or for personal, financial gain. The narcissist on the other hand the least a twisted ones will sometimes kill for no discernible reason. We have all seen the shows on Dateline and ID channel. Those around them never expected it and never saw it coming.

      #N-Searcher

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    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      My suggestion if you want advice is to seek out a local support group for those in abusive relationships.

      For more on that – http://womenshealth.gov/violence-against-women/get-help-for-violence/safety-planning-for-abusive-situations.html

      This is an abusive relationship. Him forcing himself upon when you have clearly stated that you do not want to be with him is non-consensual sex which qualifies as rape and is therefore physical violence. His rages are mental and emotional abuse with the threat of physical abuse.

      You mentioned in your other comment using reverse psychology – as in trying to get him to kick you out. This can work on a narcissist, but it is complicated and can make things more difficult than they already are. You need to know your narcissist really well to use it, and even then it might backfire, especially in a scenario like the one you’re in because narcissists are possessive. Trying to get them to dump you is a tactic that people sometimes use, but it works mostly only in dating or friendship scenarios when you’re not living with the narcissist. If you’re living with a narcissist it is less likely to be effective.

      Your narcissist thinks he owns you now that you’re in his house. He has decided who you’re going to be for him, you are there to fulfill his needs, and his rages are due him not being able to control you.

      Since you’ve only recently moved in, the chances of convincing him to kick you out are slim.

      Narcissists are control freaks, once they have power over you, they’re not going to let go of it easily.

      You need to assess him and the situation carefully before you decide on a plan of action.

      His rages and everything he says and does inform you about what his needs are – a narcissist’s needs are a driving force for them. Everything they say and do is always all about them, never about you. The fact that he gets upset when you are not available for him when he needs you means this is a big issue for him. It points to an intense fear of being alone, abandoned.

      Narcissists do not under any circumstances ever like being rejected in any way shape or form. Which I think you are aware of and is partly why you haven’t yet left already.

      You also need to be assess yourself, and be honest with yourself – this is very important when dealing with a narcissist. They can be very intimidating, can confuse you, and twist things around – you need to have a firm grasp and focus on yourself, on who you are and what you want.

      If what you really want to do is leave, get out of there, then you need to confirm that with yourself and decide what you are willing to do and not do. Then you need to make an exit plan and stick with it.

      These are two links to information on exit plans:

      http://roogirl.com/13-tips-on-how-to-get-out-of-an-abusive-relationship/

      http://www.wikihow.com/Leave-an-Abusive-Relationship

      If he doesn’t want you to leave he will try every trick in the book to make you stay, which includes threatening you, and possibly trying to detain you. If you leave and he wants to get you back, he will hound you.

      As well as an exit plan you will need a safety plan for what happens after you have left.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/18/safety-after-leaving-abusive-relationship_n_5840826.html

      With narcissists sometimes the simplest option is the best one. So, if you want to leave, leave. Pack your bags and go. Do it when he’s not around. Have a safe place to go. Turn your phone off. Don’t hesitate, don’t warn him, just do it.

      If you want to tell him you’re going to move out, be prepared for a tantrum and all sorts of antics.

      For more on how to talk with a narcissist – http://www.psytalk.info/articles/narcissist.html

      Make sure you have a friend (who can handle a potentially volatile situation) with you when you inform him of your plan to leave, as this can alter a narcissist’s behaviour, keep them in check. If you do tell him in advance, don’t give him time to stew and think about it. Make the timing between telling him and leaving short. Make sure you have a support system in place especially if you’re worried about him getting aggressive or trying to stop you.

      Don’t let the concern about him spreading lies about you stop you from leaving. Narcissists lie all the time about everything and everyone, and themselves. You can always do damage control afterwards, it’s better than being stuck with him because you’re worried about what he’ll say if you leave – what he’s saying to you now is not something you should force yourself to endure because of what he may say later. And he may already be spreading lies about you, narcissists always do. It’s a damned if you do and damned if you don’t scenario.

      There is one option which could bridge the need to leave and the need to tell him – You could lie to him. The lie has to be simple and believable. Invent a situation which requires that you leave, one which he can’t argue with because it would make him look bad if he did and one where he can’t tag along with you.

      Do you have any relatives or friends whom he doesn’t know personally, and who would be willing to help you (they will need to know the situation – you need to inform them you’re exiting an abusive relationship) by making up a story such as – suddenly becoming very ill, or in trouble, and therefore need for you to visit and stay with them for awhile. It has to be something which explains why you’re taking all your belongings with you – unless you’re willing to leave most of your stuff behind and perhaps never get it back.

      It’s important to gauge what you are willing and not willing to do.

      Please be very careful, and get professional advice from an organisation such as The National Domestic Violence Hotline, who can offer support and help you figure out an exit plan and safety strategy.

      Take care of yourself.

      Like

  18. I can’t tell you how helpful and encouraging this post is for me – thank you so much! I previously read this post, but came back to it with a bit more clarity, which only time can provide. Although I am still a bit bitter, now is the time to take this guidance to heart, to help me make the step forward… I apologize in advance for how long this comment is. Just like for so many others, this is as close as I can get to closure.

    My situation is nowhere near as abusive, destructive, or painful as those who have had to endure with parents, spouses. I never knew much about personality disorders until earlier this year, after I found myself working closely with an individual who, based on his behavior and own admissions, I suspect to be somehow a “Cluster B” personality.

    Although he is not my manager, he is a relative of our company’s Chief Operating Officer, and he has great influence on her. He was a new employee, I’m considered a more senior representative, so I assisted him a bit in the beginning, we became workplace friends, and then the ‘love bombing’ began. As a fairly suspicious guarded person, I always knew it was BS, and ridiculously laughable. I even called him on it, telling him that he didn’t have to constantly compliment me to secure my help/friendship. But I wasn’t exactly sure of his agenda at first. Later it became obvious – he wanted my attention (and others’ too!). He is married but his wife travels constantly for work, which provided him with too much free time to seek his ‘fix.’ I actually felt a bit sorry for him and how he was so desperate for attention… He often acts like a lost little 5 year old, and of course that is also probably part of his ploy. I wouldn’t say I was attracted to him exactly but something came over me that is not typical for me and drew me in…

    After a few months, in addition to constant and over the top flattery and favors/gifts/attention, I noticed the following additional traits: preference to have a ‘harem’ of female friends; probing personal questions (thankfully I didn’t reveal too much); shallow/feigned expressions of emotion/concern/interest; excessive texting (which, while was initially appropriate and my husband was always aware, I am ashamed of not stopping this until his texts became increasingly sexually graphic/frequent/aggressive; I deeply regret not stopping this as soon as it started); untruths/inconsistent statements; ‘triangulation’ (he was forever trying to make me jealous which was bizarre); new/changing ‘all-consuming’ hobbies/projects; blowing ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ (ignoring me at times, which actually was a psychological relief but still confusing); desperate for my compliments/recognition; odd & almost incomprehensible ‘monversations’ or ‘monologues’ that would go on and on about his personal interests and sounded like boasting (much like a little kid will brag about his big bike and baseball card collection); mirroring and, eventually, attempts to manipulate and control me and get in my head. He acted like he was trying to have an affair (which is what my husband thought), BUT he was not acting in a manner consistent with a man who wanted to cheat on his wife. It was weird, like nothing I had ever seen. In any case, I am grateful my husband trusts me and knows me very well!!

    Besides the sexually graphic emails, it was the mirroring and attempts to control/manipulate me that made me the angriest. In meetings, he would actually mimic my posture/gestures. Maybe others can brush this off with a chuckle but I was pissed off and decided to ‘fight back’ (without showing it to our superiors, of course) by twirling my hair, picking up my hair/making a bun (gestures the average heterosexual man would NEVER do in public). I also positioned myself at meetings so he couldn’t observe me and I ignored or refused his demands/commands (which were absurd and fairly harmless, but annoying nonetheless).

    I have to admit – as ‘tough’ as I can be, it was very painful and humiliating to think someone who initially seemed like a friend would do these things to me, to try to target and use me. Everyone else at work seemed oblivious. He is such a ‘nice guy.’

    There was about a month in which I became very concerned of possible retaliation if I didn’t play his game, especially a ‘smear campaign.’ I love my job and don’t want to leave the company. So, I focused on doing the best job I could at work, was outwardly friendly/complimentary/helpful to him (mostly an act), and made many screen shots of his inappropriate and lewd texts. I didn’t plan to share these unless I had to, though I was fully aware of my rights to report the behavior if necessary.

    I thought I could handle this situation, but I soon realized that interacting with him too much felt unhealthy for me, so I extracted myself from him, didn’t respond to his many invitations (some of which were very bizarre), and the texts subsided. His behavior improved as I gradually limited my time with him (almost as if he was ‘mirroring’ my behavior). However, he still exhibited somewhat clingy and odd behavior and indicated that he missed our earlier interactions and chats. I tried to find a diplomatic way to thank him for behaving appropriately, and I believe he got the message, but at work he still visits me several times each day, to get his FIX. I don’t know if he ‘devalued me’ to others, but he has made a couple snarky comments to me.

    It wasn’t until about 6 months after it all began (and way too much reading), that I considered that he probably has a mixture of types of narcissism – sometimes grandiose and somatic, but mostly compensatory/shy/vulnerable, even appearing anxious/sad at times. This was pretty much confirmed last week when my manager asked me privately how he was doing/if I thought he was feeling overwhelmed… Reading between the lines: I realized that she thought he was ‘fragile’ and there was the expectation that I assist him. But I do NOT want to help or interact with someone who is trying to use me, no matter to whom he is related (though I didn’t say this to her). This is what brought me back to this post – how do I continue to work closely with this individual without letting him use me or try to get in my head?

    Re-reading the last two parts of your post helped immensely. I finally realized and accepted what this situation taught me about who I am, my own traits, and how important it is for me to be my own authentic self, even while being ‘nice’ to all different types, including those who may have disordered personalities (even those who have influential relatives). I am working on strengthening my boundaries and not being so available to others when it doesn’t feel right, allowing for my own mistakes along the way. Two and half months ago I signed up for a self-defense class for women and discovered how important it is to feel ‘fierce.’ I confess I’ve read way too many articles on narcissism, but yours was the best in getting me to the place where I’d like to be. I may not be totally there yet but I will be, and most importantly, I am very grateful to be who I am. Thank you for listening.

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    • Thank you very much for sharing 🙂

      It sounds as though you have a very good handle on the situation.

      Don’t be too hard on yourself for allowing things to go where they did with him, narcissists have no boundaries and they can’t see other people’s boundaries, and when they’re in charming pursuit mode they can convince you to cross your own boundaries. It’s easy to get caught up in their way of doings things, and it takes awhile to snap out of it. It’s like an overly enthusiastic child bubbling over with their joy for doing things you shouldn’t do and going where you shouldn’t go, and their manner can be infectious. Congratulate yourself on recognising things when you did and dealing with them as well as you have.

      A narcissist in the workplace can sometimes be much more challenging than in a personal relationship because of the dynamics involved in the workplace. In a personal relationship you have more freedom than in the workplace as to how to deal with the narcissist. This situation is particularly tricky because of his familial connection with your COO. It’s a delicate scenario, which you have been handling like an expert in diplomacy.

      I would hazard a guess that your COO was somehow manipulated into hiring this family member, perhaps due to the whole ‘fragile’ routine which you’ve mentioned that he does. Maybe he’s a family problem, and it has fallen upon the shoulders of the responsible members to find a place for him in their businesses.

      I would also guess that your COO chose you as his workplace keeper because she trusts you, knows how responsible you are, and she has probably shared her admiration of you with him which is why he has latched onto you the way he has and is mimicking you. Narcissists only tend to mimic those they hold in high regard, and he probably holds that view because your COO does. He needs to impress her, and because you impress her, he’s decided to become you.

      The mimicry is very irritating. They usually have no idea that they’re doing it. It’s like a child with an adult they admire such as a mother or father. It’s best to ignore it, especially as it’s quite a good sign where narcissists are concerned. It means they have a crush on you and that means you’re in a position of power as they’re in awe of you.

      Since from your description, he’s not an overt narcissist, the bullying-aggressive kind, he hasn’t so much ‘targeted you to be used’ as gravitated towards a person who has power, influence, is successful and is admired. He wants to be you. Hence the mimicry. He wants the respect which you get from those you work with, he wants your confidence in your ability, and he wants the power and success which you have, but he doesn’t want to do the hard work that you do to get it, which is why he needs you to do it for him.

      From what you said about your recent meeting with your COO, I would say that she is concerned possibly about a pattern he may have done at his other workplaces, and that him being ‘overwhelmed’ made be a codeword for self-destruction of some sort. She may be expecting him to flake out at some point. Certain types of narcissists have a pattern whereby they get stuck into something for a short span of time, they put everything they have into it, then it all gets too much for them and they abruptly ditch it. If his relatives have made him their responsibility, he may have done this before and she may be hoping that this time he’ll stick with it, which is why she’s recruiting people like you who she knows she can rely on.

      If you could get her to open up about why she hired him, there’s probably a complicated story behind it. However, it’s probably best not to know what the story is or have her confide in you as it will involve you even further in the situation and place you an even more complex position. You’ll be expected to help her be an enabler, which is something that you have experienced already due to him latching onto you, but it hasn’t become an official position and you’ve managed to extricate yourself from it.

      You asked – How do I continue to work closely with this individual without letting him use me or try to get in my head?

      First, you’re already handling the situation really well.

      Polite detachment, distancing yourself yet keeping it friendly. Firmness with a smile. A benevolent yet stern parent to a child. Narcissists are best viewed as children and treated that way, only unlike children they never learn and never grow up.

      This is a good article – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ambigamy/201405/why-some-people-will-never-learn

      Awareness is always key when dealing with a narcissist. The research you have been doing about narcissists, and the observations you have made of him, are invaluable. You know almost everything you need to know to handle him in a way which suits you.

      This is worth a read – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolution-the-self/201311/6-signs-narcissism-you-may-not-know-about

      The methods you’re already using are good. Setting clear boundaries, making sure he knows where the line is and that he won’t get anywhere with you by crossing them. Quietly ignoring him when he’s trying to drag you into a something in which you don’t want to participate. Being polite yet distant.

      It’s important to keep things polite, because an offended narcissist is a real pain in the butt, more so than one trying to seduce you or who needs your help constantly. Polite does not mean bending over backwards for them or sucking up to them. It just means saying please and thank you, and smiling in their general direction, and wording things in a way which they can accept. So when you say no, say it in a manner which makes them feel satisfied to receive the no. They are incredibly sensitive to rejection, but you can distract them with a positive when trying to get them to embrace a negative.

      This is a good article about how to talk with a narcissist – http://www.psytalk.info/articles/narcissist.html – and this is a good insight into the behind the scenes of narcissists

      One thing which I think would be helpful for you in reducing the stress of this situation would add confidence in your position. If you’re afraid that he might somehow manage to compromise your position in the company, that fear will handicap you in dealing with him, and he’ll pick up on it at some point as narcissists have an uncanny instinct about fear (it’s their strongest emotion). Right now he sees you as confident and he finds that fascinating, he’s in awe of you, so he’s afraid of you at this time. You can use that to keep him in line. You need to remind yourself of who you are and what you can do, your own ability, skills, power, success and that you earned your position in the company and are respected and admired.

      Self-confidence is a powerful ‘weapon’ against narcissists, it can put them gently in their place without needing to say or do anything, and they may even be happy about being put in their place because they’ll admire you for your self-confidence and be rather afraid of getting on your bad side.

      This is an article which is excellent, especially if you’re prone to being hard on yourself – http://www.psychologymatters.asia/article/305/move-away-selfesteem-make-way-for-selfcompassion.html

      Don’t focus too much on the ‘bad’ side of the mistakes you have made with this narcissist, or on the shameful aspect of feelings like humiliation, or pain. Learn from the experience, and use what you have learned as information. Humiliation is actually very useful as it provides insight into the narcissist, they’re terrified of being humiliated, are equally afraid of making mistakes, and much of what they do is to avoid and escape feeling pain. Use how he has made you feel to inform you about his own experience of himself – narcissists tend to displace their wound onto others, we get distracted by feeling the pain of it and sometimes miss the information which it gives us about them.

      Everything they do to you is all about them, not about you. When they ‘use’ you it shows you where they have a weakness, where they lack a skill, where they lack self-confidence, where they are powerless. Their manipulations are an attempt to cover up what they’re missing, and they use others as children use their parents. So when they’re afraid they hide behind someone else, when they can’t do something they get someone else to do it for them, when they don’t know what to do they mimic someone else who looks like they know what to do, when they don’t know what to say they steal someone else’s words or get someone else to do the talking for them.

      If you haven’t already read it, this is in my view the ultimate article about NPD (it is quite difficult to read due to the formatting) – http://energeticsinstitute.com.au/narcissism/

      In many ways narcissists are really lonely frightened children who feel surrounded by giants, and much of what they do is a desperate attempt to become giants themselves. They’re afraid of being crushed, of being insignificant, of being powerless. So they spend their lives trying to get power to become powerful. The power they’re after depends upon their social environment, but most often it’s – money, success, status, love. And they’re trying to fast track it.

      The vulnerable/covert type of narcissist desperately wants to be loved and admired, but they have no idea how that is achieved because they can only see the surface of things. So he sees you being admired (ergo loved) by your colleagues, that’s what he wants for himself, and his mind thinks it’s because of the way you sit, move, the way you talk, what you do, and he copies it. He also figures that if he can get you to ‘love’ him then everyone else will love him too, and then he will be happy. He doesn’t really understand how things actually work. His ‘fragility’ is one of the ways he’s found gets him ‘love’ – the giants don’t crush him because they feel sorry for him, and they do all sorts of things for him because of it.

      The important thing to be aware of is – you’re a giant.

      You’ve got this, trust yourself, cut yourself some slack, and relax, you’re going to be better than fine.

      Btw, self-defense is a brilliant idea and a great self-confidence builder, especially if your teacher also passes on the philosophy which goes with it.

      Take care of yourself!

      Like

      • Words cannot express how much I appreciate your taking the time to respond, and all the wonderful information, encouragement, and expert perspective and insight. You point on several things I had not considered but I need to. SO VERY helpful!! I followed your advice this week (especially “Polite [and yet firm] Detachment”) and so far so good!

        Like

  19. This has moved me to tears and I do not cry very often.
    Thank you ,thank you..for the last nine months since I had my ex removed from my house I have felt emotionally stuck.
    I’ve had good days bad days but a lot of guilt and blame of myself for being a massive idiot for having 2 young children with this illusion and not giving them a healthy father and basically sleep walking into the same relationship as my parents (I had an unhappy childhood) It has taken me years to realise what I’ve been dealing with and thank god for the net .I’ve read so much stuff some good some that makes u scared to leave the house…your article puts something that makes u feel so broken and sad into a more understandable manner that gives u hope and lifts your broken heart from the confusion and makes u realise not everyone is out to get you.
    Peace and love xxxxx

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    • Thank you very much for sharing 🙂

      I know the guilt and the blame, and the shame of being ‘fooled’. The real idiots and fools… it’s the narcissists and people like that, because they had it all and they effed it up. They had love and spoiled it.

      We can end up being much worse to ourselves than the narcissist (or anyone else who has hurt us that way) ever was because we feel we should have known, should have seen, especially once it becomes obvious to us, we wonder why we couldn’t see it before. If we’ve been through something like this before, then we get even angrier with ourselves. We beat ourselves up, call ourselves names, put ourselves down, abuse ourselves, and that is partly what keeps us stuck. There’s a part of us that feels we deserve to suffer for causing ourselves to suffer. We punish ourselves for being human, for believing in love, for hoping, for caring, for making mistakes, for living, breathing and being.

      Healing from this kind of relationship is similar to the 5 stages of grief – Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and finally Acceptance. The anger is sometimes the hardest aspect because we’re angry for so many different reasons, and sometimes we’ve been suppressing that anger for a long time.

      We feel we’ve betrayed ourselves, and it’s hard to trust ourselves again.

      Acceptance takes time, but the journey we take through our pain to get to it is worth it. What you’ve been through is showing you how incredible you are, how strong, how resilient, and how deep you are. It’s a way to get to know yourself and bond with yourself. Your relationship with yourself is the most important one you’ll ever have, and it influences all your other relationships.

      Your children may not have a healthy father, but that’s okay, they have an awesome mother. You don’t have to be perfect, all you need to be is yourself. All they need from you is love, and to show them that it’s okay to be human, make mistakes, experience life however messy it gets. They’ll be fine, and so will you.

      As for being broken, that’s how we shed an old skin which was too small and tight, and we emerge from the pieces with a new kind of wholeness.

      There are many wonderful people in this world, people like you, and they’ve had their hearts broken, have been confused, have experienced pain, they know the guilt, blame and shame, and they still believe in loving and being loved.

      Give yourself plenty of time to emerge from all of this at your own pace. Take care of yourself, be gentle with yourself, you’ve been through a lot – treat yourself the way you would treat a friend who had been through it.

      Like

    • What a fantastic, insightful and helpful article. Most people hurt by an narcissist spend all of their time a) not understanding the person and b) not forgiving themselves or the person. You have explained perfectly the reason why that person has come into your life, a reason a season and a lifetime.

      Like

  20. Very thoughtful article which brought me great insight and comfort. First one I’ve read on this topic that allows me to be me. Thank you.

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    • Thank you very much 🙂

      I keep learning that lesson, how important it is to just be yourself, and how challenging that can sometimes be, but it’s a challenge worth taking on!

      Best wishes!

      Like

  21. Thank you lots for this post! I so needed it now. Found this from google. I am the magnet for narcissist. Not for selfish people, they dont like me for my overload of nicesness. But yes, narcissist like that. I related to most of this or every point. And I also noticed the improvements i have made past years. It’s been a rough ride indeed. Of course I have thought why the hell do i need these people in my life and why dont I learn, but now I know. It has made me tougher and I dont walk with rosecoloured glasses anymore. As it’s been said, I have learned to be more Me.
    Weird enough. Huh, yes so thank you for this post and I will continue prosessing this thing. It’s not about them only, it’s 50% about us who are these magnets. Shit. Maybe on day i will be able to change the sides of this magnet.

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    • Thank you very much for sharing 🙂

      Keep doing what you’re doing, trust your journey through life and the way you live it. Sometimes we attract those we’d rather not attract because they teach us valuable things about ourselves.

      Keep learning to be you, it takes time to let it all out and feel comfortable about it.

      Best wishes! Take good care of yourself!

      Like

    • Thank you very much for sharing 🙂

      Sometimes we keep repeating a lesson, not because we haven’t learned from it but because we have learned and we need to see our progress, and the only way to really do that is by finding ourselves in the same situation. The situation may be the same, but we are different, sometimes the difference is just a small shift. So each time a lesson repeats, see it as an opportunity to not only learn some more, have a refresher course, but also to notice the changes, to see what you have already learned in action. And remember to give yourself kudos for what you have learned, it’s important to encourage and support yourself.

      I still attract narcissists but less frequently than I used to because I’ve changed some of the things I used to do which made me attractive to narcissists. Those changes have been about just being more me, and it’s fun. Before that I tried being less me and that only made me more of a magnet for narcissists, and it was not a fun way to be.

      Being yourself attracts other people who are also being themselves. Being yourself can also deter narcissists, it is something which still surprises me. I’m still learning.

      Your niceness is always going to be attractive, it’s an attractive trait, and not just to narcissists, other nice people find niceness attractive. Enjoy your niceness, and the benefits of it, and if you find it has attracted a narcissist show them your self respect, the tough and strong side. Know your own value and let them know you know your own value. Narcissists tend not to understand niceness, they don’t realise that people who are nice are genuinely that way, and that it is a powerful way to be. Nice people tend to be very strong people.

      Take good care of yourself, and let who you are shine!

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    • Thank you for this article! I would like to rephrase one point in particular..I would say not that narcissists are terrified of their real self, but rather that they are terrified of the consequences of being their real self. The message they were given as a child was that it is absolutely unsafe to be their real self. As a child/ infant is completely dependent upon its caretakers for survival (life and death!) there is a residual terror of losing one’s very life. There experience also the original terror of losing one’s self–this actually DID happen to them.

      Like

      • Thank you very much for sharing 🙂

        Have you read this article, its formatting makes it quite hard to read, but it is very good – http://energeticsinstitute.com.au/narcissism/ – it explores in depth the roots of NPD, the different types of narcissist, and the childhood causes of it, including the sort of trauma which you have discussed.

        “The Narcissist by definition over-identified with becoming the “good child” as a chosen way of creating safety for itself. The Narcissist adapted and became the split false self “good child” and then worked continually to craft image and story as their reality. They built up a facade and an idealized image of self to get love, approval, or just to remain safe from punishment, rejection or abuse.

        Such children may end up with any number of trauma based mental and personality disorder issues, due to the intensity and recurrent attacks by the parent on themselves. They may not be physically safe with this parent.

        The critical parent or the demanding parent who wants perfection and absolute obedience of the child “out of love” will tend to use damaging parental messages to the child. Such parents will be seen reminding the child what is wrong with it, how it “got it wrong”, how the child is stupid and needs to try harder, and how the child must be punished for its failures.

        The child may receive messages its body or its impulses are bad, ugly, sinful, or some shaming construct. Here is the hatred that comes from love and here is the shadow side of love which if not dealt with in the parent will wound the child and create the basis for its self-hatred.” – Richard Boyd

        The message they were given as a child, is also the one they pass on to their children. They repeat with their children their own wounding, as my parents did with me. In the case of my parents, they also grew up in Europe during WWII.

        I agree with you that it is important to understand what is going on with them, as this helps us to understand how they are with us.

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  22. After reading a lot in the past few days about NPD, this is by far the most enlightening and touching article. I googled “high maintenance friend” which is what I have always called her (for 33 years) and now realize she is most likely NPD. I have heard the frightening stories of her childhood where she was not allowed to attend a high school football game and was told by her mother that because she wanted to go to the game, she was a slut. Her father did not allow her or her sister to ever cry for any reason. Her and her sister are estranged because she started dating her sister’s ex-husband!

    We have been on and off friends for years, I moved (thankfully) and we did keep in touch and a couple of times went on vacations together, which were an absolute nightmare! Then the last couple of years we have been very close, although thankfully living four hours apart from each other. I attended her ten year cancer-free party, then she attended my 60th birthday party (which she totally took over the kitchen and everything else – I let her but it made me crazy). She will keep me for HOURS on the phone. When I try to say I have to go, she gets pouty or pissy.

    So this latest blow up was the end, it happened a couple of weeks ago. She offered to let me stay at her house while in town for a high school reunion and to see my kids. But things turned ugly when she wasn’t the center of attention and she began complaining about me wanting to actually spend time with my kids. My daughter thinks she is very wierd anyway (about 4 years ago my daughter and I stopped in to see her when my daughter was pregnant and she (the NPD) raised her shirt to show off her reconstructed boobs. Talk about a shocker – no warning – just lifted the shirt. My daughter has never forgotten that lol).

    Anyway, we had a big argument and I left without her to see my son who lives about an hour away since she was pouty and said she would just stay home. I said good! I was glad! When I got back she was drunk as a skunk (as usual) and so pouty and whiny it was how a small child would behave. She scooted her chair all the way across the room and turned her head so as not to face me and continued to wail. FOREVER! I was flabbergasted. I wanted to get the hell out of there but it was dark and I can’t see well at night. The next morning I was preparing to leave (on schedule) and it was tense and as I was loading my suitcase, I opened the flap and it hit the wall behind and knocked down her mother’s framed needlepoint of a cat. I felt really awful, apologized and told her it was an accident, which it was. She was in the other room when it happened. I offered money, to help clean up, to pay for a new frame, she wouldn’t hear of it.

    Then when she finally sent me all the 250 photos she took at my reunion (which no one asked her to take and several friends came up to me to say she was being very annoying), I knew she would make an issue of giving up possession of those photos. She was very much in control of them and I needed them so I knew she would really get off on that! She did finally send them about a week later, then texted “well I’m glad you get all the credit.” I totally lost my cool and emailed her saying things I had been keeping in for YEARS.

    A few days later, I of course sent a very heartfelt apology for losing my cool. A week went by with no contact which was fine with me, I just wanted to clear my conscience, and she called last night, with the smuggest attitude ever! Announcing loudly that there will be some groundrules! She will allow no more cussing from me. Really? That is my huge crime…that is all she could come up with. Oh the other horrible things I did were I used her as a hotel, even though she invited me, and I only wanted to see my kids, even though that was the purpose of the trip. And I didn’t say thank you more than once for the time she drove to my house after announcing on a Friday she was coming, I of course said yes, after all, she was very upset about her married boyfriend whose wife is dying of cancer, and she needed me, right? Anyway, she offered to buy groceries if I would agree to let her come. Which I did. So my big sin was that I didn’t thank her for buying the groceries MORE THAN ONCE. I DID thank her when we went to the store. And she acknowledged that. But she requires MULTIPLE thank you’s and strokes of the ego you see.

    But when she let it slip (she was drunk) that she told her mama (age 80) that what happened to her precious needlepoint was that I was mad and knocked her needlepoint off the wall intentionally, my brain split in half! I came unglued, then she denied saying it. I told her she was a liar and mean and I did not want a mean friend and hung up on her. This was yesterday afternoon. I have been a basket case over this! Last night I did get some relief by talking about this to an old friend who knows her and still works with her. Believe me, she totally understood what was going on, because she knows her. But I awoke this morning at 4 am filled with rage and anger and wrote a scathing, cruel email that said everything under the sun because I want it to END! She will tell everyone how mean I am and how I have mistreated her I’m sure. But everyone knows her and they won’t buy what she is selling I’m sure. And I DON’t CARE! I’m done. Whew, that felt wonderful!

    My history I believe contains several NPD’s which I am figuring out now. First hubbie (6 years) was physically abusive (may have been BPD). I suffered from (diagnosed) PTSD for at least 20 years after that one, nightmares of him chasing me, etc. Second hubbie (12 years) was passive aggressive, cheater, emotionally vacant. Third rebound hubbie (2 years) major passive aggressive and fourth rebound (9 mos-cheated on me-met him at AA) was most definitely NPD, same childlike behavior witnessed. So when I saw my girlfriend do it I remembered that. Anyway, this article made me see that I AM on the road to recovery! I get it. I am married now for 8 years to a wonderful man and we have a very healthy loving relationship. It took some work the first couple of years, but I can feel myself healing. I think that is why the last two years with this girlfriend have been so maddening is that I FINALLY GOT HER NUMBER! And I let her know it. I started calling her on all the little snide comments she would make. She did not like that, and would always deny that she meant it in the way I took it. Whatever.

    I feel great.

    Like

    • Thank you very much for sharing 🙂

      From your description of your friend she does sound like a narcissist.

      It can be difficult to tell if someone we know is a narcissist or not, because even when we’re aware of NPD, we’re not looking for signs of NPD in people, and because narcissistic traits can be found in all of us as it is a natural part of being human. When we spot the so-called ‘Red Flags’ of a narcissist, we may dismiss them, make excuses, understand that sometimes people are selfish, a bit crazy because life can make all of us a bit crazy at times, we may blame ourselves for what happened because perhaps we weren’t on our best behaviour either, we cut others slack because we need slack cutting from them too. We want to like, trust and get along with people. We try to see the best in those we know and love, even when they’re at their worst, especially if the relationship is a long one.

      It can take a while for us to realise that someone we know and love is a narcissist. When that realisation dawns on us, we may go through a period of not wanting it to be true, of doubting ourselves and our diagnosis, but it can also suddenly clarify everything which has been confusing us about our relationship with someone. It can be liberating, and upsetting simultaneously.

      The story you shared reminds me of an incident which actually inspired me to blog about narcissists. A few years ago I had a friend who, like your friend, turned a small incident into a major drama. In my case I had only known this person for a short while. They sent me an email with a link to something, and because I had only just learned about my father’s death, I was offhand in how I replied – my reply sparked a major drama, and since I wasn’t in the mood to put up with anyone else’s drama at that time I didn’t do my usual placating, people-pleasing, and pushing my stuff aside to cater to their stuff. I met their drama with my own drama. I told them that I couldn’t deal with their drama and they needed to shut it because my drama was more important to me. They knew my father had just died and I had already asked them to give me some space to deal with my own issues. But when you’re dealing with a narcissist, they don’t give a toss about what’s up with you – like your friend couldn’t accept your relationship with your children being more important than her.

      Sometimes we need the shock of a big drama, meltdown, everything coming out into the open, for us to acknowledge what’s going on, how we really feel, and who we are actually dealing with.

      In my case I suddenly realised that this friend was behaving just as my mother had always behaved, and that opened up all the old wounds I’d been ignoring – I’d been NC from my parents for a while and the distance had dulled the wounds but they were still there as I hadn’t dealt with them properly. This incident allowed me to finally face a lifetime of dealing with narcissists. It’s not a pretty experience, and you may have to see an ugly side to yourself, but it is very healing to let it all out, to finally acknowledge what we’ve been suppressing… if we allow ourselves to see what gets stirred up.

      Narcissists have a way of making us feel as though we owe them for being in our lives, they can be addictive to know, they convince us that we’re the problem, they make us feel grateful for putting up with us, and so many other things. We end up giving them our power, giving them power over us, so a situation where we snap and refuse to put up with them anymore can make us aware of our own power, our worth, and what’s been going on not just in the present but also in the past.

      Sounds to me as though you’ve reached your tipping point, and you’re ready to bravely and strongly face your own story, honour it and yourself, and not put up with anything or anyone that doesn’t respect you.

      Kudos! It is an amazing release, and it takes a lot of guts to embrace the experience. The euphoria of finally being free, voicing your truth, seeing things as they are, is empowering and an incredible rush. It can sometimes give way to a bit of a downer when the first flush of freedom begins to wear off, so be gentle with yourself, keep researching and exploring your story. Make sure you have a support system in place to be there for you when you need it, to encourage what you are doing. Make sure you have reminders to hand just in case you start to forget, it is human nature to forgive and forget and sometimes this is not what we should be doing – the amount of times I’ve gone back to the narcissists in my life because time has passed and I begin to soften in my resolve… and they return all nice and let’s kiss and make up… ugh… so take precautions to strengthen your stance and quest to be free. Remember that you now have not just her number but the number of all narcissists thanks to this experience.

      Take very good care fo yourself, you deserve to be free and own that healing!

      Like

      • Thank you so much for your response. I am feeling better already…at least at this particular moment lol. Still having trouble sleeping, my brain won’t shut up!

        Like

        • Thank you 🙂

          A noisy brain is sometimes the best kind of brain to have, give it a listen, see what it has to say, maybe it’s just happy… a happy brain can be very chatty at all the times!

          Like

          • So almost a week since I hung up on my NPD friend, and I haven’t slept good all week. I go from being very angry to being very sad. Tapes play in my head, our conversations. I beat myself up for the way I handled it – which was to hang up on her then write a scathing email to end it, telling her everything about her that was frustrating, impossible, strange, etc. I called her on everything that I had been holding inside. This week I even drafted another apology email, which I did not send. I know that would only start the whole ball rolling again. I feel bad for telling her off. I feel bad for the way it ended. Such a long friendship. My gut instinct is to call her and say “sorry” again. That is just me. But I’m sure if I did that, I would be even angrier due to her reaction. Which would not be to say sorry too and say let’s make up. It would be to beat me over the head with faults that are exaggerated or made up so she doesn’t have to admit any wrongdoing. And I have never claimed to be perfect, I always admit when I’m wrong and say sorry. I do lose my patience with her frequently, because of her strange behavior and snide put-downs that she won’t own up to. During our three hour phone conversation last Sunday where I let her rail on me, I did call her out on certain things, gently. When I brought up things she did, she said “I’ll own that,” but the words I’m sorry were never spoken. She said it like it was no big deal, but me wanting to visit my kids which she knew about was an unforgivable sin. But she made a huge deal about the frame falling off the wall. Like I had physically attacked her mother. When she even admitted she knew it was an accident. I don’t mean to ramble on, basically what I’m saying is I’m having a hard time letting all this go. Letting the friendship go. I do miss her – the good things. Gee maybe I should think of what the good things actually are. Hmmm. When I think of that evening in her kitchen with her bizarre child-like behavior, I know I could never continue the friendship. But still I am just so sad.

            Like

            • It sounds as though you’re dealing with it logically, even though it is a very emotional experience. If you find yourself beating yourself up about it have a conversation with yourself. Talk things through with yourself. It’s important to remind yourself why things came to a head, as this will keep you focused and keep things clear.

              You’ve known your friend for a long time, so there will be a period of mourning the loss of the friendship. Let yourself grieve, it’s healing to do that.

              Remembering the good times is good, but don’t let those memories obscure the present, what happened recently, especially her attitude about you visiting your children and how she turned it into a drama about herself. Don’t forget the incident with the frame. If this is how she always is, she’s not going to change, and after the last interaction you had she will never let you live it down because she can hold it over you and emotionally blackmail you with it. That’s not a healthy relationship.

              When you’re a caring and kind person as you obviously are, it can be hard to deal with those times when you show your anger. In some ways maybe what upsets you most about this situation is that you stood up for yourself in a way which is out of character for you. So saying sorry to her may be more about making amends with yourself for being angry, for saying things you would not normally say, and for sticking to your guns about what had happened rather than let her railroad you. It’s important to keep it in context – she brought this out in you. She pushed your over the edge with her behaviour and treatment of you, and she has made it clear that she is never going to apologise to you for anything because she thinks she’s the victim and nothing is her fault. She brought out your dark side, that’s something which narcissists tend to do to people, they’re very adept at bringing out the worst in us.

              There are times when we have to accept our own dark side, the role it plays in our lives, and the fact that sometimes it is there to protect us, even when it makes us uncomfortable. If you say sorry to her, it probably will end up with you feeling much worse rather than better.

              This friend is not being a good friend to you, she sounds abusive and manipulative, she sounds like a narcissist, and if you give her an opening back into your life she will keep behaving as she has always behaved, and it may get worse due to recent events. Narcissists never forgive or forget a slight, perceived or real. They never let anything go and they make you pay for it forever.

              She will keep going on about the frame until you admit to her version of what happened, and then she will never let you forget what you did – she’s not the least bit interested in what actually happened as she prefers her dramatic version of it. That frame incident also shows you the sort of thing which she would do – she is the one who would deliberately knock a frame off of a wall to hurt someone if she was annoyed with them. Narcissists often accuse others of doing to them what they would do to you, and because that’s what they would do, they have no concept that not everyone behaves as they do.

              You did the right thing in standing up for yourself. It may have been ugly, and you may have said some bad things in the heat of the moment, but remember why that happened, and keep in mind that your anger was valid and justified. She pushed all your buttons until you exploded, narcissists do that and they get off on the drama and thrill of it. She most likely enjoying every minute of this, and may be waiting for you to come crawling back to her so she can take it to the next level of friend-torture.

              These are a few links to articles you mind find helpful:

              http://healthylivinghowto.com/1/post/2014/03/7-smart-ways-to-deal-with-toxic-people.html

              https://emma75love.wordpress.com/2015/07/09/addicted-to-a-narcissist-how-to-break-free/

              https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/counseling-keys/201403/how-handle-crazymaker

              http://www.psychedinsanfrancisco.com/energy-theft/

              http://lightshouse.org/lights-blog/false-apology-fake-apology-fauxpology#axzz3kLWpBP4r – this is worth a read just in case your friend decides to say ‘sorry’, narcissists tend to use false apologies.

              http://thenarcissisticlife.com/games-narcissists-play/

              Take good care of yourself, and give yourself time to recuperate, don’t try to force yourself to do anything until you are rested and ready. If you still want to apologise to her, you can do it later, there’s no rush.

              Surround yourself with those who know you and love you and can offer support.

              Trust what you know!

              Like

              • I guess one for the textbooks lol. Last night I was shocked when my phone rang and it was my “friend”. After emailing her two apologies around August (see my previous posts), on Christmas Day 2015 I texted her and said “Merry Christmas, I love you.” Of course I got nothing. Then I moved on. Then on January 4, 2017, I get a phone call, which I did not answer. Thank God my husband was sitting next to me. We started talking about it. I said I thought maybe something bad had happened like one of her parents died or something. I was already in my mind planning out my response to her. He set me straight though. I thought she would leave a message but she did not. Then I thought maybe she would send an email. Bingo. An email with the subject line “Happy New Year” with no message. I did open the email but did not and will not respond. My husband and I talked more about it. He met her and lived with me all through the craziness so he does not think it’s a good idea to contact her and he thinks she is bad news. So she knows I opened the email which probably gave her something, but with no response I believe I can say I’m done here. Just couldn’t believe she called after all this time just to say happy new year. Like everything in the past never happened!

                Like

                • Thank you for sharing 🙂

                  It is indeed textbook narcissist!

                  And it is always hard to believe that they could do what they do no matter how much experience you have of them doing it to you, to others.

                  Are they that oblivious? Does the past somehow not register? Do they truly not recall what happened before? Does NPD come with some sort of amnesia?

                  Glad to hear you have a supportive husband who is there to give you grounding, hold you down, when the narc tries to sweep you off your feet and carry you somewhere you don’t want to go. You may know you don’t want to go there but… it can be so hard to resist. Your ship will get smashed on the rocks when the siren calls, but it’s hard to not let the mermaid’s song turn your mind to mush.

                  She is doing classic narcissist. Keeping things mysterious so you have to investigate, contact her and once you do… she knows you’re still hers to play with, that she is still the queen of you and of your pleasure and pain.

                  Why do they do it? Hard to tell. Sometimes it seems as though they really have blanked out everything which came before. I’ve watched my parents do this to me and to others over and over and sometimes they do it seconds after they’ve destroyed you. One minute they go all scorched earth on you and the next minute they’re offering you a cupcake with a candle on it, wishing you a happy birthday and smiling like nothing happened, like they hadn’t just told you they wished you were dead because they blame you for everything bad in their life and if you died you’d take all the bad away with you.

                  The closest I’ve ever come to understanding it is viewing them as permanent 5 year olds, not real 5 year olds but twisted ones who have been that age for many years. One minute you’re they’re best friend in the entire universe, then you’re they’re worst friend ever and best enemy, then you’re they’re best friend ever again.

                  There’s a film which hit the nail on the head for me, it’s a South Korean horror film – Hansel and Gretel – about children who are looking for the perfect parents to live with them as a family in the perfect house. These children have been children for perhaps centuries and were badly abused orphans when they were actually children.

                  Her knowing you opened the email… leave it at that. She’d do that to you and leave you hanging, waiting, waiting, waiting… she’ll understand it far better than if you tried to explain things.

                  Take care of yourself!

                  Like

  23. Thank you for clarifying everything swirling under the surface of my life. I’m married to a “covert” or “vulnerable” narcissist and suspect my father was also a narcissist. I’m just starting to read and learn, but so far it’s like what Emily Dickenson said about real poetry–that when she reads it it feels like the top of her head has been taken off. I’m paraphrasing. But that’s what it feels like. Like I’m completely naked and just learning some truth in the world that’s been hidden from me so far. Thank you for expressing sympathy for the narcissist in your deacription but also for not sugar coating the damage he or she will do.

    And thank you for the bibliography and resources. I’m an academic and I can dive into this list… It feels familiar lol.

    Like

  24. Beautiful article with a fresh perspective. Thank you for writing it!

    I always thought hiding a piece of myself was the only way to protect myself from the narcissists in my life, but your analysis has inspired me to express myself more whenever I’m forced to be with the Ns. Who would have thought that authenticity can actually be a weapon?

    Wishing you the best!!!

    Like

    • Thank you very much 🙂

      I also thought hiding was the best way to protect myself from the narcissists in my life, and I think there is value in doing that, the tactic does work and is useful. However I took it too far, shut myself off from everyone, never shared anything about myself with others, and it became harmful to me. It made it difficult for me to form healthy relationships, and it also seemed to attract narcissists to me because my silence was an empty space they could fill with their words. I was a blank canvas for them to paint their own pictures upon me, because I was afraid to just be myself and be open.

      I keep learning that lesson about being authentic, and it’s an intriguing one to learn, as well as being rewarding and rather fun. When I share myself as I am, I tend to repel narcissists, and attract healthy relationships.

      Being authentic feels really good, which boosts natural confidence, and gives a different kind of protection from narcissists.

      Still though, if I know I’m with a narcissist I will use the tactic of keeping things to myself because I know they’ll just take it and try to break it, but I’m no longer shy about speaking my mind with them and being myself. I just don’t share myself with them in the same way that I do with others because there’s no point.

      Take good care of yourself, and have fun being yourself! Best wishes to you too!

      Like

  25. Thank you for this very insightful article. I’m glad I discovered your blog. 🙂 I suspect, but am not sure, that both of my parents are narcissists. Maybe I don’t know enough about the disorder yet, because I find a few things confusing.

    For example, narcissists don’t know their own self.
    I do a lot of introspection and I’m amazed sometimes at what I discover about myself that I didn’t know before. I have the feeling my identity is fluctuating and that I also pay too much attention to what other people think in allowing some parts of my identity to develop or not. I’m also afraid and very hurt by (perceived) rejection. If I show a vulnerable side of me to others and they don’t respond well, I feel intense shame which I find very discomforting. The trouble is, I tend to be vulnerable to people who are likely not to respond well, thus reinforcing the shame and that it’s not ok to be me. I guess by reading your article I just wondered if I could have a narcissistic wound. I was a sensitive child and my intense emotions where always dealt with very harshly until I felt that there was something innately wrong with me and that it was not ok to be ‘me’ or to feel anger or indignation.
    Now I spent a lot of time in solitude and I’m feeling constantly disappointed with others. I have the impression that I give a lot, but to be honest I think I also give in order to receive praise and validation. I need others for my self-worth and maybe that also is a form of narcissistic supply.

    Anyway, this is something which worries me a lot, that certain wounds I experienced as a child won’t be able to be healed no matter how hard I try.

    Like

    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Certain wounds take a long time to heal, but sometimes it’s not so much about healing the wound as it is about having the wound and what it inspires in us – it’s not all bad, pain can be the spur which makes us better. And our wounds can help us to understand the wounds of others, prompt us to be more compassionate in our relationships.

      What you’ve shared about your introspection, your fears, vulnerability… is beautifully expressed, and really normal and natural. It is something which many people feel inside but often hide from others. We tend to think everyone else is okay, and we’re somehow not okay.

      A fluctuating identity is what identity does, it changes as we do, adjusts to new things we learn, new experiences, new understanding, it is never static. Our lives are a continuous becoming. How identity develops is a bit topsy turvy, some things develop quickly, others don’t and need more time, everything balances out, then tips this way and that depending on what we’re learning in life.

      Being afraid of rejection – being aware of this is a powerful thing to know as everyone is afraid of rejection, perceived or otherwise. We’re all afraid that somehow we’re going to be found to be lacking, not good enough, not attractive enough, not intelligent enough, etc… and when someone sees that fear and gently eases it, what a feeling! Next time you feel it when around others, look at those others and watch carefully, you’ll see them feeling it too no matter how well they hide it behind a facade of confidence.

      We also all feel that vulnerability when we share something important to us with others – we’ve basically just ripped our heart out of our body and handed it to someone, what will they do with our heart? When we feel that vulnerable, we’re also hyper-sensitive and may see rejection or find disappointment because of it. If you consider it from the viewpoint of the person with whom you’ve just shared your heart… if someone handed you their heart, would you know how to deal with it in a way which didn’t leave them wishing they hadn’t shared it with you. It can be awkward on both sides of the equation, both sides vulnerable and afraid of disappointment or disappointing.

      And if what you share is connected to a sense of shame in any way, then you might be too subtle about how important this is to you, and the other person might not realise what is happening and might inadvertently not handle it with due care.

      I’ve experienced a lot of what you describe, I am intensely shy so I’m often awkward around others, and the best way I’ve learned to deal with it is by being more understanding of the other side, of other people, and less focused on my side, on myself. Other people are going through what you’re going through in one way or another, we’re all looking for someone who will just hold our hand and tell us we’re okay, everything is going to be fine.

      If you grew up in a harsh environment, it can be difficult to realise that others can be gentle, that others don’t want to hurt or disappoint you, that others often feel bad when they find out that they’ve hurt you when that was the last thing they wanted to happen. Some people are just a-holes, but most people aren’t, even some of the a-holes are only being that way because they’re afraid and being aggressive about it.

      Others need encouragement, praise and validation too… the more you give it, the more you get it. It’s weird… sometimes what we want most, we have to give it before we can get it, and when we give it, we give it to ourselves by giving it to others. Life is a strange experience.

      If you’re in any way at all wondering if you’re a narcissist, stop, you’re not, you’re human and being human is tough, hurts like hell, but is also a source of sweetness too.

      You’re okay, you’ll be fine, be gentle with yourself and take care of yourself 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        • I accidentally replied to a later post, but wanted to reach out. Please consider reading about Narcissists and fleas if you are worried about actually being a narcissist. As well, author Brene Brown is a shame researcher who has the gift for helping you connect with your authentic self despite the shame. Highly recommend her books. It’s hard, but the journey of self-discovery for adult children of narcissists is worth it. This is an excellent blog for doing just that. You can do it, but be kind and gentle with yourself.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Thank you very much for sharing and caring, KT 🙂

            I removed your other comment after I saw that you mentioned in this one having placed it accidentally elsewhere. I hope that’s okay, let me know if it isn’t.

            Take care of yourself and be gentle with yourself too!

            Like

  26. What a fantastic article, this answers so many questions.

    I have been dating a single woman with NPD for over 18 months on and off. We are not really close and she never really showered me with love and attention, she took the more seductress and mysterious route instead. She knows exactly what she wants and is extremely manipulative.

    She has no empathy whatsoever, my problems are irrelevant, non existent, my father has cancer and yet she said nothing when i told her, she just changed the subject !

    When she has a problem then she will not share it, i desperately want to help but she will ignore me or go NC for days/weeks sometimes. This is her form of punishment. Over time she has determined my greatest weaknesses and plays on this to her best advantage.

    Its the silent treatment that is so very painful, it is frequent and there is never a reason ! I want to just walk away from her but i can’t, i care too much !

    For the first time i can now see that maybe i am not just another sad victim with poor social awareness, maybe i can drag myself out of this crazy situation !

    Thankyou

    Like

    • Thank you very much for sharing 🙂

      You’re definitely NOT “just another sad victim with poor social awareness”, and you know that, especially deep down, even if things have gotten confusing superficially – that’s what happens when you’re in a relationship with a narcissist.

      Not being able to let go or break free, etc, is normal, natural, even when you know they’re a narcissist, and you’re not alone in this quandary. Narcissists have a way of getting us hooked on them, getting under our skin, inside our minds and hearts, and keeping us addicted to them, sometimes caught up in trying to help them.

      This blog has many posts related to that – http://letmereach.com/ – they’re mostly written from a female perspective dealing with a male narcissist, but it’s easy to read them from a male perspective dealing with a female narcissist.

      Female narcissists in particular have a way of… getting away with being narcissists without being labeled as such, due to social stereotypes… they also have a way of appealing to the knight in shining armor within both males and other females. Even if they’re not playing the damsel in distress but are playing the seductress.

      I had a female narcissist friend who played the siren… luring both males and females (including me) onto the rocks with her beautiful song… and dance.

      Narcissists manipulate instinctively, and aren’t always aware of the extent of their manipulations. It varies from narcissist to narcissist as to how aware they are of what they’re doing – Covert narcissists tend to be oblivious – they’re innocent of all charges. Overt narcissists are more dialed into what they’re doing – and may be guilty of charges but let others pay for it.

      The ‘silent treatment’ is a tricky issue. Some narcissists do it deliberately, some don’t. It can be a side effect of the narcissist feeling exposed and going into hiding.

      There’s an excellent article about this – Narcissistic personality disorder: Rethinking what we know by Giancarlo Dimaggio, MD

      This is also an excellent article about the hidden side of narcissists – http://www.energeticsinstitute.com.au/page/narcissism.html – it’s one I personally find to be excellent, and explains NPD and how confusing it is to those who have it and those who have relationships with those who have it.

      Relationships are always complicated, add NPD to the mix and things get very twisted – please be gentle on yourself!

      You might find this blog worth exploring, especially this post – https://apensiveheart.wordpress.com/2015/05/24/the-two-opposite-sides-of-knowing-about-narcissism/

      Keep researching and figuring things out for yourself, ultimately it’s about what you learn about yourself by opening yourself up to others, by risking having your heart broken… the heart needs to be broken sometimes to finds it’s passion.

      You’ll be okay… trust yourself, let yourself grow from the experience, even if it hurts like hell… it’ll all make sense one day and the whole picture will reveal itself.

      When a narcissist sets their sights on you – ask yourself what is it they see. They tend to only latch onto people who have something valuable within them – what is it that is valuable within you, and can you see it?

      Like

  27. Reblogged this on seeingwithbutterflyeyes and commented:
    “The ultimate lesson and gift that a relationship with a Narcissist gives you is this… Be yourself, all of you.” This is my main character’s epiphany: when we encounter the Nothing, we realize that we are a whole Something, and must be that something, light and shadow included.

    Like

  28. God , I dont know how to thank you for this article. I book marked it immediately i started reading it. I particularly liked the part where you say “Stop raging at them for having ruined your life, abused you, and made you feel worthless, and thank them for it”. As hard as it is we victims of Narcissist abuse have to reach to a point where we ask our selves the hard questions. Like why did he chose me. If we never reach that phase trust me we shall attract another and another until we are ruined. Personally I have decided to let my 5 year marriage go in order to save myself and children from their Fathers narcissism. We share 2 kids

    A little about my me I am well educated from a rich family many people say Iam beautiful and I have a good Job He is from a poor family He does not have a college degree but has a certificates in his line of work and he is also very religious and every body knows him as a kind religious person ……….. every body apart from those that stay with him. He is gainfully employed

    When i read part three I felt like you knew me (the old me) and were stating facts about me . Here is a break down

    You’re too nice: For me I was touched by the poverty in their family complete with terrible stories about childhood. Oh i wanted to change things for them in any way i could ………..may be rescue them. I could also have had selfish motives……. I dont know may be I thought saving him and them could earn me a life time of his loyalty. Any way the result was a sense of entitlement that was so high it was ridiculous. Like this one time he presented me with the budget for roofing the moms house , I gave 75% and instead of a thank you he asked me why i should give just part of the budget……….”.this money can not complete the job”

    You’re too controlled: Being a female in a male dominated career kind of trained me to hide my feelings. I cant afford to break down so i maintain a straight face even when hurting. so i guess i took the same thing home. With him for example i was not allowed to fall sick….it was like a crime and he would dissapper every time i needed him.

    He would be doing the work of God. Spreading the good news visiting the sick in Hospital any thing to make him stay away from this sick thing at home (me). I mean I am supposed to be taking care of him how dare I fall sick who will service him. So i had learned to handle things my self fall sick go to hospital heal and continue service without burdening him………………I mean he is already burdened with his issues i dare not add another

    You’re too empathic: Getting absolved in his issues left me no time to acknowledge and take care of my own. My children were also missing the best of me.

    Ladies I beg you please listen to your instict. May be I can add a little something that I feel saved me. When i was being raised my father always ephasised the need for financial independence from a spouse. He knew we would get his inheitance and he did not want it messed up by outsiders. Any way si when i got married i did not do the joint account thing. I also bought a house in my names. y salary was going on a separate account and so was his…………………….I honestly think i woukld be bankrupt if we had mingled the finances.

    The ladies that come to this blog could already be victims but some may be havig suspisions Either way even if you are marrying an angel I beg you have a clean and good independent identity. You lose nothing. If he turns out to be a narc at leat you only lose him other wise you could lose him, your job abd your money and that my friends is a total disaster.

    I have healed accepted my part in what happened and I am ready to move on. Thank you and I hope I dint take too much of your blog space.

    Like

    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      We really do ‘live and learn’…

      We can’t always know what’s going to happen or why it happens. Yes, some of it lies buried within us, and compels us, hard to be aware of everything… we can only do what we do and then try to sort that out as best as we can. Learn from it and move on to the next lesson.

      And we can’t always know who is right for us or wrong for us in a relationship. Sometimes someone who seems so right turns out to be very wrong later on… but perhaps it’s just what we needed. Who knows. We figure things out as we experience them.

      Finances and money tend to be a big issue in life, and narcissists make even more of a deal about that kind of thing than the rest of the world does because they often stake their identity on it. If your identity is tied into your finances… then it’s a big issue however you approach it. And it becomes an issue in all of your relationships.

      You’ve learned a hard lesson, but have come out of it with some treasures (especially your kids). Keep going, see what happens next, where you go from here. Life is an adventure, and there is a lot of good in it… the bad helps to define what is good.

      Best wishes!

      Trust yourself and take good care of yourself!

      Like

  29. wow amazed. im an only child i believe i have a bit of narcissism, but believe me i dated a narcissus for 5 year’s and always wanted to understand him. i new y he was like that but i didn’t know there was a name for it. I lost myself completely people always told me i had changed since i dated him. at the end i still forgive because everything starts during childhood. This post needs to be shared a million times. Thank you

    Like

    • Thank you very much 🙂

      All humans have a bit of narcissism, it’s a natural part of the human psyche and development, and in a balanced dose it is healthy for us. It’s part of how we define ourselves as an individual. A narcissist has too much narcissism.

      It can take a long time to realise that someone is a narcissist (even with being aware of the term for it) because much of the way they are seems normal, they can also be very charming, and when you love someone you make excuses for a lot of what they do.

      You might find this article of interest – https://relationshipedia.wordpress.com/2015/05/13/the-4-most-common-narc-sadistic-triangulation-tactics/ – I liked the addition in each section of a healthy relationship scenario compared to the narcissistic one.

      Sometimes we lose ourselves, and in a relationship with a narcissist it is an easy thing to do because they take over, often without us realising what is happening. But we don’t stay lost forever and when we find ourselves again, we’re stronger, wiser and have learned a lot from our experience.

      Take good care of yourself!

      Like

  30. Thank you so much. You are a very talented writer, by the way. This was beautifully and concisely written and very helpful!

    Like

  31. Thank you so much for this article which deals with NPD from so many angles. It took me two years to finally “cut off the supply” to a narcissistic man I had dated for only 8 months and who broke up with me but never really let go of the leash. It’s extremely hard to have a clear view when you’re so in deep in this type of relationships, and when you’re an empath.
    When someone you trust and love puts you on a pedestal and praises you and tells you they’re afraid of you because you’re so nice and so perfect —well, that is the most powerful and subtle way to censor you. I regained my voice and hope I’ll never let anyone muffle it again.
    Having a relationship with a narcissist was the closest to dating a vampire.

    Like

    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Once a narcissist has a relationship with you, you become part of their identity, part of their reality, part of them. There’s a popular advice quote which advises surrounding yourself with the sort of people who you want to be – a narcissist takes that literally, because their identity relies on others. They often choose people based on that person representing an ideal way to be for them – they want to be who they think you are (their version of you is often very limited for you, and thus censors who you actually are). Then they set about trying to absorb who you are into themselves. But they can’t become you, and this causes a schism for them which often triggers them to switch from being nice towards you to becoming nasty. Or they leave you because you’ve come to represent their own failure for them. Whatever the scenario, it’s all about them. You exist only for them. They can’t actually see you as a real person.

      This is an excellent article, one of the best I have ever read, which explains in depth the psychology of a narcissist – http://www.energeticsinstitute.com.au/page/narcissism.html

      And this is an interesting article about the relationship between an Empath and a Narcissist – http://clearreflectioncoaching.com/the-empath-and-the-narcissist

      Empaths and narcissists both tend to have loose boundaries between self and other, the lines between self and other get blurred. Empaths tend to push themselves aside for other people, put other people’s welfare first, are aware of the needs of others and try to cater to them, which for a narcissist is the ideal partner. Narcissists push themselves into other people, project themselves onto you, pass on their wound, everyone becomes an extension of them, with them being the one and only person who matters. They are a bottomless pit of need and they are looking for someone to fill their every need. This can be very confusing for an Empath because by allowing the narcissist so much access to you, you become the narcissist – or at least you become the parts of the narcissist which the narcissist does not want within themselves. They are trying to take the good bits of you as theirs and give you the bad bits of themselves which they don’t want. So you become the embodiment of their wound. Which is sometimes why a narcissist will leave, as a way to leave their wound behind. It’s your problem now, they’re free – but they aren’t really free of it. The leash works both ways.

      The best way to clarify the confusion caused by a relationship with a narcissist is by clarifying what is you and what is them. Setting clear boundaries between self and other. This can be a slow process because certain aspects of them may be connected to other parts of you. A relationship with a narcissist can be the spur which inspires us to get to know ourselves better, more intimately, find our own true voice, stand up for ourselves, define ourselves, understand our own story – the one which came before the narcissist, and which includes attracting and being attracted to a narcissist as that is part of our story too.

      For instance, an Empath is not just born that way, they’re often made that way by early conditioning, experiences and relationships.

      It can be a very profound and life changing experience to be in a relationship with a narcissist. The curse of it holds a blessing, just as pain can be an ally to let us know what is hurting and needs healing. It’s greatest gift is finding out just how strong and powerful you are.

      Keep doing what you are doing, building on what you have learned, trust yourself and take good care of yourself 🙂

      Like

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