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

NPD - ELizabeth Bowen

If you’re searching online for information about Narcissists, Narcissism, Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), Narcissistic parents, being a Child of Narcissists, an ACoN – Adult Child of Narcissists, being in a relationship with a Narcissist, being a Victim of a Narcissist, How to Play the Narcissist’s Game and maybe win, How to Piss a Narcissist Off (which is one of the most popular search terms in my stats), or any other variation on the theme, you will be inundated with results.

The subject of Narcissism is trending, a Hot Topic.

The internet is bursting with information about it, from professionals, experts in the field, and from people like me who are sharing their experiences and working their way through them publicly.

Why share your private story publicly?

If your particular Narcissist has managed to isolate you and surround you with people who are on their side, then the chances are that there is no one with whom you can discuss your situation. The times that you have tried to perhaps open other people’s eyes to what is going on have been met with disdain, disbelief, and dismissal. Maybe you’ve even been accused of being crazy, until you begin to wonder if it is true. You may well feel like you are going crazy, that’s what living in the reality created by a Narcissist can do to a sane mind.

So speaking up and out about your experience is a necessary part of breaking free from the prison of silence of your isolation.

Doing it on the internet can be the best place to do it.  You can be anonymous if you choose, you can share things with millions of strangers which you would never share with those in your offline life, and doing it publicly allows you to connect with others who relate to your experience, can share their experience with you too, and can offer support and encouragement.

The internet’s good side is a wonderful community.

understand:explain

There is also a not so good side to it. A land filled with people wearing the mask of anonymity who get their kicks out of being nasty to others in one form or another.

Someone the other day left a comment on one of my Narcissism posts accusing me of being a Narcissist.

The accusation of ‘Narcissist’ is very popular, and you don’t need any qualifications, expertise or proof to use it.

The comment was silly, just someone amusing themselves, however they did have a serious point. I could indeed be a Narcissist. If I had NPD, would I know it? Not only would I probably not know, I’d probably be very adamant that I didn’t have NPD. Chances are I might even be very certain that everyone except me was a Narcissist, and I might even blog about it. I might even consider myself to be an expert on NPD… if I was a Narcissist there would be no ‘might’ about it, no doubt, Narcissists do not know how to doubt themselves, they don’t self-reflect they self-project, and I’d probably think everyone else who wrote about NPD did not know what they were talking about.

For me in particular, being the child of Narcissists (according to me), the issue of whether I am also a Narcissist is always there. Be it a question which I ask myself or which others wonder about me.

Being the child of Narcissists is in some ways like being the child of smokers, alcoholics, or actors. A child learns about being human from those who surround it in its formative years, it absorbs the behaviours, mannerisms, and influence of those in its immediate environment. When you’re exposed to something on a regular basis, you pick it up by osmosis.

However there are other aspects which come to bear upon who you become as you grow up, and we are always in the process of becoming, evolving, changing.

Recently while reading an article about growing up in a Narcissistic Family, I wandered down to the comments section and spotted a question by a mother asking – Am I the one with NPD or is it my daughter who is the Narcissist? I was intrigued by the question, partly because it appeared to be from someone who genuinely was open to perspectives on the matter, who wanted feedback, and was aware of the possibility that the problems which they were having with their adult child might be due to their own behaviour.

But as I read further, as people replied to this comment trying to be helpful and considerate towards the commenter, the mother went from being one who seemed to want to solve a problem, to one who simply wanted sympathy and support for their view of the situation – which was that they were a wonderful mother who had been cursed with a Narcissist for a child. Her words grew more and more critical of her daughter, listing her daughter’s faults, flaws, bad deeds, and crimes against the mother, interspersed with more and more complimentary words towards herself, some completely random and out of context, and others all about how much she had sacrificed and done for her daughter even though she didn’t have to do any of it, all proof that she was a perfect mother with a deeply flawed child.

I have to confess that I wasn’t reading it with impartiality because at some point this mother reminded me of my mother, and the sort of thing she would say about herself and about me. In fact for a second I wondered if it was my mother. It wasn’t but it could have been.

This mother’s adult child had, like me, gone No Contact with their parent. The mother could not understand nor accept this. She wanted to break the barrier and impose her version of reality on her daughter without any respect or regard for her daughter’s version of reality or view. She admitted to hounding the daughter, stalking her on social media, looking for a way to re-establish contact, even though the daughter had made it clear that she did not want contact. She termed all of her own behaviour as being the reasonable actions of a distraught parent of an unreasonable child.

Now I could be completely wrong about this mother and her daughter. I don’t know them or their story. I simply read a small snippet of it… and it stirred my own story which at the moment is quite vivid in my mind due to recent events.

I probably should not do this, but I am open to feedback (although not all types of feedback, I am very human)… and the article is excellent, especially for those of us who grew up in a Narcissistic family – The Narcissistic Family Portrait by Karyl McBride, Ph.D. [Update: This link leads to an error page, here is a new link for the same article – The Narcissistic Family Tree]

I haven’t written about NPD for a while, at least not like I used to. There are several reasons for this. One of them being that I’ve become more aware of how many people with NPD are writing about NPD. Something I read a while back disturbed me… so I retreated into silence, mostly because I was worried what I might say and the consequences of it. If you’ve had a relationship with a Narcissist, you’ll know that fear and how it works. I’m also dealing with the consequences of the main Narcissists in my life which has taken a lot of focus away from other things. I am however putting into practice everything I’ve learned about dealing with Narcissists. It’s working, but it takes a lot of energy, patience, and self-control.

Sometimes I think (when I’m in a more negative frame of mind) that the rise in public awareness of Narcissistic Personality Disorder is more of a problem than the disorder itself. With so many people diagnosing others with it, discussing it, and discussing ways to deal with people who are Narcissists, things have become more complicated rather than less complicated.

Especially now that more Narcissists are writing about Narcissism and Narcissists.

If you want to know how to spot an online Narcissist, I have yet to find any article which tops this one – Online Narcississm: Writers with NPD by Thomas Swan.

CZBZ of The Narcissistic Continuum is also a great source of information for spotting online Narcissists and she relates a deeply personal experience of Narcissists in Forums in this superb post – Part Two Online Narcissists: A case study called PuppyGate. She is very well-versed in the way of the Narcissist, and she learned it the hard way, the way that most of us, unfortunately or maybe fortunately (I’m never sure), seem to have to learn about those with NPD.

For those of you who don’t think that Narcissists ever ‘Play the Victim’… I guess you’ve never met one who does… but when they do, they do it better than real victims, because they play to an audience, and every word and action they use is designed to elicit the sympathy and loyalty of the audience. The audience has been enlisted as heroes to save the Narcissist in distress. Your reward for rallying to their support and rescuing them?… usually you get to victimise their ‘evil villain’ of the moment and you get to help them destroy that person who has for ‘plausible’ reasons been dehumanised. In other words, this person has said ‘No’ to the Narcissist and no one says ‘No’ to a Narcissist, so they need to be destroyed and wiped off the face of the internet and the Earth.

power - bell hooks

What better way to destroy someone who has annoyed the Narcissist than for the Narcissist to claim they are a victim of a Narcissist and then ask all of us who’ve also been victims of Narcissists to help them to destroy this ‘evil’ person who is a non-person now that they’ve been identified as that super villain known as a Narcissist. Why question the victim and their claims. Let’s just all fight the monster together. Because that monster represents all the monsters in our lives who’ve made us feel powerless, who’ve turned our goodness into badness, who’ve frustrated us, made us homicidal when all we wanted to be was compassionate, who’ve taken advantage of our giving nature and used our empathy and sympathy against us.

Narcissists like to be a part of what is popular, trending, a Hot Topic, what everyone is talking about and paying attention to, and then they take it over and become Captains of the Popular Ship.

They tend to see themselves as experts in the matter, know more than anyone else about the subject, and dismiss or steamroll over others – especially if those others are getting the attention which the Narcissists want for themselves. They also tend to be very certain about what they are saying… which can be viewed by the unsuspecting eye as confidence and expertise. It’s all very black and white to them. And they make it black and white for us too. It’s their way or their way, no other way exists.

Things are getting very confusing – confusion is Narcissistic territory. As long as we’re confused, they have control over us. They can pretend to clear our fog of confusion… yet what they’re actually doing is using it against us and to their advantage.

Putting a label on something can help to clear the confusion. It can turn the unknown into the known. Knowing that someone who has been making your life difficult is a Narcissist can bring what was blurry into sharp focus. Then by researching the subject you can learn how to process what has happened and find ways of dealing with NPD and those who have it, and help yourself to heal your trauma.

But what if the information which you are using to heal yourself comes from someone who is a Narcissist?

Narcissists accuse others of being Narcissists all the time. Narcissists also claim to be victims of Narcissists, which is not necessarily a false claim as birds of a feather often flock together.

Narcissists often partner up. They share many of the same goals, and often share a similar version of reality. If they fall in love with each other, the union can be similar to those portrayed by Hollywood. A meeting of two charismatic beings which emanates the kind of energy that seems magical, fated, and supernatural. While they are caught up in their love for each other everything is blissful. Perfect love. When things go wrong and they fall out of love, the drama is intense.

Narcissists often prefer the drama to the bliss because then they don’t have to share centre stage. And they get to play their favourite role in their favourite story – The Hero versus The Villain. The storyline usually draws a large audience and captivates them. It’s like one of those plays where the actors mingle with the audience and draw them into the drama. The audience participates by cheering the hero on, supporting him or her, and booing the villain, attacking him or her.

Getting other people involved in their drama is a specialty of Narcissists, it is a source of food for them, and supplies them with the energy, attention, and feelings of superiority and importance which they crave and need to keep going.

All of this is something which you will find if you come across the website or blog of a Narcissist who is sharing their experience of being in a relationship with a Narcissist and claiming to be the victim of a Narcissist.

There are other things you will also find therein.

The language and expression of a Narcissist has a distinctive signature.

Male Narcissists tend to be aggressive, extremely confident, and their language is designed for powerful impact. They are the classic Alpha Male and they brandish their maleness with style. They are the Man that all men want to be. They also tend to be misogynistic. They hate women, the hate can be subtle or overt or both. They have a knack for tapping into the frustrations of gender interactions. They play upon the frustrations men feel towards women, and the way other women feel towards women. Women will find them as fascinating as men. Men will often admire them for standing up to women and feminism and so on. And women will often try to please them to become one of those special females which they don’t hate. A misogynist hates all females, but a man with NPD will use your vanity that he doesn’t consider you one of those females he hates to use you… often against other females. They aim to seduce you, whoever you are, whatever gender you are. Sex is power to them and they are superior to everyone regardless of gender.

truth:fiction

Female Narcissists tend to be alluring, confident with their power, and their language is designed to seduce both male and females. They use their sex as power. They can be feminists or sirens, or both and so much more. They often blur sexual lines and gender roles in a way which is mesmerising. They flaunt their femininity to the max. They are what women long to be. They also tend to be misandrists. They hate men. They don’t particularly like women either. They see other women as competition for the men who are their pawns, their knights in shining armor to their damsel in distress if they’re playing that part. They will often say something along the lines of – women don’t like me because men like me. However women give good sympathy. So they play upon the way women feel about men, their fears and hopes, and gender frustrations to win them over. They aim to seduce you, whoever you are, whatever gender you are. Sex is power to them and they are superior to everyone regardless of gender.

There is a certainty about them and their claims which has no doubt to it. Since most of us struggle with doubt and all its variations for all of our lives, someone without doubt taps into our desire to be invincible in some way. We wish we could be as confident as they are… we don’t realise the price we have to pay for our wish to come true.

They will come across as being very confident that they are a victim of a Narcissist and that the other person is a Narcissist – and their Narcissist will not just a regular Narcissist, low on the spectrum of the disorder, but they will probably be the worst one ever, off the high end of the spectrum. They are also very sure that they are not to blame for anything and that the Narcissist is to blame for everything.

This taps into our rage, which we often keep suppressed even when we are bold enough to admit to it… we’re always a bit diffident of the power of our anger, fearful of what it might do to us and others if we set it free. So they use our fears to lure us in and give us a safe way to express it… one which may save us from the consequences of unleashing such a powerful emotion. They want that power for themselves, to use it for their own intentions.

Most victims of Narcissists have a lot of self doubt and often blame themselves for what the Narcissist has done to them. A portion of the blame does indeed belong to the victim, this blame can be turned into personal power which can be used to heal and eventually move on. We need to accept that our behaviour may have made us vulnerable to a Narcissist. Perhaps we wear rose-coloured glasses, which isn’t a bad thing unless you’re wearing them while looking at a Narcissist. Sometimes our strengths make us weak, at least where Narcissists are concerned. But we can adjust our vision… as long as we don’t let another Narcissist adjust it for us.

But a portion of the blame also belongs to the Narcissist. And learning to give to the Narcissist what belongs to them, even if they will never accept it, is a necessary part of the healing process.

There is also a portion of the blame which belongs to society – we live in a Narcissistic Society which encourages the Narcissistic side in all of us.

We can all be Narcissistic. Narcissism is a phase of human development. It is natural and healthy. Being Narcissistic and being a Narcissist, having NPD, are very different things. Most people who are Narcissistic, will not be Narcissistic all the time. Narcissists, those with NPD, are Narcissistic all the time.

No one knows how to suffer and profit from their suffering like a Narcissist.

If you’re reading a blog powered by a Narcissist, pay attention to their language, and what they’re seeking from you as the reader.They need you more than you need them… this can be a tempting feeling. This person needs you.

Do they want sympathy, do they want you to feel for them, perhaps even forget about yourself and your problems because theirs are so much worse than yours.

What is the comments section of their post like, do they ignore their commenters, do they only reply to those who butter them up, do they dismiss people who challenge them, do they listen to their commenters and reply accordingly or do they talk about themselves and their problems, moving away from what is shared to what they want to share and what they want.

This isn’t always a sign that the blogger is a Narcissist.

Most victims of Narcissists suffer from varying degrees of PTSD. They may not feel comfortable engaging with others. They may be nervous and scared of the opinion of others, even if those opinions are positive and supportive. They may not be able to tell the difference between a compliment and a criticism – not unlike a Narcissist but for different reasons. Being in a relationship with a Narcissist shatters your confidence, and disrupts your ability to socialise and understand social cues and interaction. A Child of Narcissists is always wary of social situations. We’re used to being criticised and often hear compliments as a prelude to a criticism as when a Narcissist compliments you, it’s always a terrible trap. Accept a compliment from a Narcissist and you end up destroyed and in a personal version of Hell on Earth.

Pay attention to how you react and feel to their writing. Is something off, but you’re not sure what it is so you dismiss it as being your fault and not theirs. Maybe you misunderstood what they were saying. Does their writing style change – Narcissists often plagiarise the work of others, they don’t see it as stealing, they simply take what they want and it becomes theirs – but they do regularly accuse others of stealing from them.

You may also find that the NPD blogger is a part of a clique of other NPD bloggers – it has a very different feel to the support given in the community of bloggers who write about their experiences with those with NPD. It’s a clique and not a community. They’re the Popular group, superior to everyone else. Anyone who disagrees with them is out.

encouragers wanted

The problem is that when Narcissists write about Narcissists, about their experience of being in a relationship with someone with NPD, is that the people whom they are writing about are not necessarily Narcissists at all. They’re just people who managed to piss off a Narcissist, either by simply saying ‘No’ to them, by refusing to be manipulated or used by them, by rejecting them in some way, going No Contact rather than waiting to be Discarded, perhaps in every way, and who has now become the target of the wrath of a Narcissist’s wounded ego. If you piss off a Narcissist, they will obsess over how to destroy you, you can’t be allowed to exist. You can’t be a witness to their failure… they never fail. They are in control and perfect. They are a superior race.

They are not monsters, they just seem that way… don’t fight them as though they are monsters, it feeds their ego and fantasy. The mythological, supernatural, fairytale world is their territory… the human world is our territory, they are afraid of our world. It’s too ordinary, flawed, imperfect, and real for them. On our ground… they shrink in size and become nothing more than a scared, miserable and distorted child who has never had the courage or the ability to grow up.

If you’re a blogger writing about your experience of Narcissists… you will attract Narcissists to your blog. Some will attack you, some will demand your sympathy. Learn to spot the Narcissist. You’re not fighting them… you’re healing yourself. Take care of yourself.

As for whether I’m a Narcissist blogger… that’s for you to decide.

If I am, don’t bother telling me… I won’t listen and you’ll only be frustrated.

If you’re a Narcissist who wants to tell me everything I have said in my posts is wrong, and you feel the need to also enlighten those who relate to what I write, those you seem to feel the need to call stupid and expect them to appreciate this… don’t bother commenting, I won’t listen and you’ll only be frustrated.

You see… when dealing with a Narcissist, I’ve learned to behave exactly as a Narcissist behaves. If you dish it… I hope you like the taste of your own dish. And yes… I’m dishing it so I’d better like the taste of my own dish!

speaking with a Narcissist

 

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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, including the ‘victim narcissist’) – 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.

Articles about NPD:

Maybe It’s Them, Not You: How to Handle a Crazymaker by Kimberly Key

Narcissism Revisited by Paul Lutus

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

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.

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, 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’s post of Puppygate.

 

Blogs about NPD:

Narcissism and the Fruit of Suffering

Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed

The Narcissistic Continuum

NarcRaiders

Emerging from the Dark Night

NPD Recovery – also check out her Youtube – NPDRecovery Youtube

New blogger about NPD who is just venturing into telling their story, please be gentle and supportive – It Started With the Rolling Stones

In the Net! – Stories of Life and Narcissistic Survival

The Narcissist’s Son

 

 

Info on Passive-Aggressive, ‘victim’ playing Narcissists:

Passive-Aggressive Narcissists are Eternal Victims

The Passive-Aggressive Narcissist

Covert Narcissists Play the Martyr Role

Two Types of Narcissists – Vulnerable and Invulnerable

Self-loathing and Narcissism: Are You the Eternal Victim?

Energy Theft: Toxic Forms of Shame and Guilt

Narcissists Who Cry: The Other Side of the Ego

Narcissism – Living Without Feelings

 

Woundology:

Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can by Caroline Myss

What is Woundology?

Don’t Play the Victim Game

The Line between Victims and Abusers

 

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. If you think you are dealing with a narcissist who claims to be a victim of a narcissist (and who may be accusing you of being a narcissist) this may help to elucidate that complicated scenario. Please check it out, it’s very informative.

 

I’ll add more later… if you want me to add a link to your site, please use the comments section to do so (please note if your link is accompanied by telling me I’m an idiot, and/or my readers are stupid, I’m very human, and very protective of my readers and commenters, and I’ll just ignore you).

If you want to share your story, please feel free to do so. If this is your first time commenting, the comment will be held by WordPress until I approve it. Don’t worry.

I do reply to most comments. It sometimes takes me a while. Please be patient and try not to take it personally… I’m a bit slow sometimes and often distracted (my default setting).

There are some regular commenters who interact with other commenters (sometimes before I do). They know what they’re talking about and I love them very much. This is a place where we help ourselves and each other at the same time. Relationships flow both ways. Feel free to interact with other commenters if what they have said has touched you in some way (which is not rude).

Please be considerate of others… but also of yourself.

Thank you, and thank you for sharing!

457 thoughts on “When Narcissists Claim to be Victims of Narcissists – Who is the Narcissist?

    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      The first time I came across Dr Tara J. Palmatier was through reading the comments section of a blog post on The Narcissistic Continuum – http://n-continuum.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/blogduggery-part-two-this-is-not-okay.html – wherein the blogger, CZBZ, wrote about a shrinkformen writer plagiarising her posts on that site. Dr Palmatier dealt with the problem directly, personally, and rather well considering that her own reputation and the repute of her site was sort of on the line. She admitted to having been fooled and sorted things out. That’s not always a common practice so it stood out.

      I didn’t bother checking her out further because she mainly seems to deal with romantic relationships with narcissists and that’s not my area of personal interest. I did think it was interesting that a woman was running a site which in theory was aimed at men – that was about it where my thinking about her was concerned.

      Later on a regular commenter on my blog asked me to watch one of Dr Palmatier’s videos on the subject of narcissists. This commenter found that video helpful in their particular story with their narcissist (that’s something which I tend to keep in mind – if someone finds something helpful then it must have merit).

      I have to admit that I’m not patient when it comes to watching videos, especially ones where someone is talking and lecturing the viewer – I grew up with a narcissist mother who loved to give lectures which I was forced to endure or else… as an adult I tend to skip lectures if I can. I only got a few minutes in to watching it before giving up on it – there was too much intro, including ego stroking between people – it was a combo affair between ‘narc bloggers’ – who were witch-hunting narcissists (turning narcissists into Bond villains) and using narcissist to elevate themselves. I can understand the impulse to witch-hunt narcissists (I grew up on watching Bond films so I also get the Bond villain thing), but that doesn’t mean I want to listen to that kind of rhetoric and buy into it, and I can understand the tendency to elevate the self compared to ‘narcissists’ or some other ‘villain’ but that doesn’t mean I want to build my castle on those kind of shifting sands (it’s the sort of thing narcissists do and want everyone else to help them do too).

      The subject of narcissists is a popular trending hot topic and so a lot of people (professionals and otherwise) are going to weigh in on it (including narcissists and those who are narcissistic). If someone creates a ‘healing/self-help’ system which works for you then research it, use it, go with it. If someone writes an article which helps you understand your own story then it has merit (even if they may be dodgy). If their system is anathema to you, then ignore it and move on – if they’re a narcissist/sociopath/misogynist/misandrist/etc then you’re best off ignoring them and their system – unless paying attention to it is helpful to you in a sort of reverse psychology kind of manner.

      You could try to fight it/them and get others on board with your fight and plight against this person and their work, but is that really how you want to use your energy and time, and is it really how you want others to use their time and energy. If you’ve had experience of narcissistic people then you know that fighting them is the same as loving them as far as they’re concerned… as long as they have your undivided attention they don’t really care whether you love or hate them. In fact they often prefer it when you hate them and wage a war against them because then they know they have your undivided attention, and that you’re passionately committed to them (if you want to annihilate them then they must be ‘special’ to you and have made a deep impact on you).

      Narcissists pass on the narcissistic wound to others – non-narcissists pass on healing. Sometimes the lines between those two are blurred…

      When I come across someone whom I think may be a – “psychologist/blogger/misogyny exploiter” – I tend to not spend too much time thinking about them (I’ve spent enough time thinking about those sorts of people and they’re a distraction from what I should really be focusing upon).

      I came across this recently –

      – and it sums it up for me.

      I’m old enough to have been caught up in the rise of the self-help movement as well as the new age movement, and buy into it hook, line and sinker (especially sinker). I went to a lot of ‘workshops’ run by narcissistic people who were using ‘helping others’ as a platform to create a pedestal for themselves to make a fortune and to become idols.

      These two documentaries are worth watching if this sort of thing interests you:

      Kumare – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1865425/

      Three Miles North of Molkom – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1173922/

      However, I would add, don’t waste your personal life time worrying about those kind of people existing, doing what they’re doing, and don’t make it your personal battle to expose them to others – as others may benefit from them even if they’re narcissists/exploiters to you. Focus your time and attention somewhere far more productive – like on yourself. Those people whom you may want to expose as ‘frauds’ don’t care about you, so why care about them, especially if caring for them takes care away from you and those who truly matter – like those who do care about you, those who are not ‘frauds’, and those worthy of your support and admiration.

      I don’t think about Dr Palmatier until someone else asks me to think about her. Tbh, my mind is too lazy to do it even when asked to do it. She seems okay, but that’s probably just a lazy way of saying – I really don’t want to go where you might want me to go with this.

      I grew up with narcissists… I’m done fighting windmills.

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      1. Thank you for your response. I found it, and the posts of yours that I read to be very intelligent, insightful, and helpful.

        I know I wasn’t asked to defend myself, and I don’t need to – but I’d just like to say that I’m not a narc hunter/exposer. I know that will not be received well by people, so I don’t bother – and who needs a narcissist angry at them?

        I just happened to read this woman’s post right before I read your post, and wanted your opinion. Thanks for that. They seem to have a theme of hatred rather than compassion. Her post brought up some hurt and angry feelings – and targeted two of my demographics with that hate. I personally don’t gravitate around hateful words, even if there is anything positive to be gleaned from it because I think hate is an impedence to anything helpful.Of course it is the reader’s choice. Hopefully the reader is aware of manipulation.

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        1. Thank you 🙂

          I was concerned that my reply was a bit OTT. In some ways what I wrote to you was more for myself, reminding myself of something I’ve learned (and hope has actually sunk into my rather thick skull). I had a scare awhile back (which I wrote about in a post somewhere) where I saw myself becoming a ‘witch hunter’ against narcissists – the scary part was that my behaviour was very narcissistic. My ego was on a bit of a trip which was akin to a crusade. I took a time out after that to review and self-reflect. The way I write about the subject shifted after that (or at least I think it did), focusing less on the narcissist and focusing more on how a narcissist affects us and what that means for us personally.

          I can relate to the question you asked. I have come across people who have placed themselves in a position of power, authority, ‘guru’ status in the self-help arena (and in the narc awareness community) who have set off my ‘narc’ alarm bells. Like you I’ve noticed a juxtaposition between what they say they’re doing and what they actually seem to be doing, how they perceive themselves as coming across and how they come across (perhaps just to me) – eg. they’re advocating compassion or empathy but they actually seem to be doing the opposite.

          Many years ago when I was into the whole New Age movement I went to a workshop wherein I witnessed a ‘self-help guru’ be foul to their assistant during a break – they were preaching love, compassion, etc, to their audience, in their work, in the workshop I was attending, with a beatific smile on their face, but they weren’t doing it in their own life, behind the public facade scenes (during a break in proceedings when they thought no one was watching them).

          If you read an article and it sets of your triggers, alarms bells, screams ‘watch out for this red flag’ at you, makes you wonder who is the narcissist in the equation, then trust your impression, instinct, intuition – it doesn’t matter if others seem to love this person, trust them, listen to their every word as though it was heaven sent. It’s worth keeping in mind that there are narcissists who think they’re victims of narcissists and they tend to gravitate to people who tell them what they want to hear – which is rhetoric that supports their view and version of reality.

          A site which promotes anger and hatred tends to be one that attracts and is supported by those who need to be angry and hate but also need to view that anger and hatred as righteous and justified – perhaps by painting it with a veneer of empathy and compassion. The readers of that site may be going through that phase of recovery which requires that kind of affirmation and support at that time and will move on when they’ve got what they needed, perhaps later wondering why they ever liked that kind of teaching and teacher. If you’ve been repressed and kept things suppressed for a long time… people sometimes go to extremes to balance themselves out.

          It helps to remind yourself that you’re not responsible for others – especially those others whom you don’t know personally. If someone else is an adult then they are responsible for themselves – they can look after themselves the way that you can look after yourself.

          When we spot something which others may not have noticed we do get posed the dilemma of – should we speak out or keep quiet?

          If you read something which to you is misleading, manipulative, promoting things which are anathema to you – those may be things which others perceive otherwise. Do you speak out or keep quiet? I think in this particular case with this particular person – they seem to have influence and following and perhaps caution is required, as those who may be loyal to them may not be the sort of person whose attention you want or need to attract. If someone asks you what you think about them, share your view but be cautious about it if you’re doing it online and don’t know the person who is asking.

          Always trust your impressions, they are good and right for you. They help you with your own personal story. Sometimes that story requires that we go our own way, swim in the opposite direction from others – it’s worth self-reflecting about that if it inspires doubt, but don’t let that doubt undermine you.

          This woman’s writing is not right for you, and knowing why they’re not is helpful – knowledge is power, and wisdom is knowing how to use the knowledge and power. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi there, I’m very grateful for this site I found this morning, and what you have covered. I went online today searching Narcissism and what to do when someone accuses me of having this disorder. I am a single dad, in the sense that myself and my son’s mother are not together. We share custody 50-50 and when he is in my care I do it on my own.
    For years the mother has suffered from post-natal depression, our son is now 7, and while I know 100% within myself that I wish for her to be happy and free in the mind, I have always been accused of not caring one bit. This is one trait that they have identified and matched up with what they think is wrong in my head. I get told by them that I am unwell, nuts, etc. And while it has been the mother who in fact has been clinically diagnosed with mental disorders, I could never mention that. I hate anyone feeling low about themselves because of something I have said or done to them, directly or indirectly. So for years I have heard what kind of person I am from these people, but in reality I have made so many different friends in these years, who have allowed themselves to see me for who I am, as opposed to the people who don’t actually see me in everyday life doing normal things. I believe they have spent so much time being adament I’m this and that, all the while I’m continuing to grow as a person and becoming so far away from what they think. When I first knew them I was 20, and was definitely in a messy stage of my life. I was all over the place for a while. This ended a few years ago though. I’m 28 now and feeling so much like my normal positive self that people knew me to be for the first 19 or 20 years of my life. I wanted to be open minded about this. I didn’t want to be a classic narcissist in denial about being narcissistic. After reading your blog all morning, I am thinking now that maybe I am a victim of a narcissist, who is forming troops around them to help solidify her stance with me? I get accused of not caring about anyone but myself, not having empathy, not seeing the world the way everyone else does, blaming the world etc. Over the years, these are the very traits I have noticed in my ex, but I have not once brought it up to hurt her or to prove who is better than who etc. I would really appreciate some feedback, some thoughts on what I could do to help the situation myself? Thank you!

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Going by what you’ve shared of yourself and the way that you’ve expressed yourself – you’re not a narcissist. But you already know that.

      If you’ve behaved narcissistically in any way, have narcissistic traits, that’s not unusual or cause for concern. All humans can behave narcissistically and have narcissistic traits. Narcissism is part of the human psyche and isn’t always unhealthy.

      It’s easy to doubt ourselves when others keep hammering a point home to us. When others are adamant that they know us and who we are better than we do, we sometimes end up wondering if perhaps they’re right and we’re wrong about ourselves. Especially if the opinion of those people matter to us – which they would in an intimate relationship.

      Being in your 20’s is a tough time. Life with all its gory details and complications hits you full on. Somehow people expect you to suddenly become a fully functioning adult, but becoming an adult takes time and experience – the kind of experience which comes from living your life, acting out, trying things out, exploring options, discovering who you are by perhaps being different people, and maybe not being as good or as together as you’d like to be or as society says you should be.

      We ‘grow up’ in our own time, but others may not be understanding of that where anyone but themselves is concerned, especially if they’re relying on us to be who they want/need us to be for them and we’re not doing things like being ourselves the way they want us to do it.

      You could definitely be a victim of a narcissist. From what you say of your ex she does sound as though she’s being very narcissistic – accusing you of being a narcissist, accusing you of ‘not caring’ and dogmatically sticking to her accusations is very narcissistic. However if she suffers from depression, post-natal depression (which can continue long after it has begun), if she’s been diagnosed with a personality disorder, then narcissistic behaviour may be a part of that without her necessarily being a narcissist (having NPD). BPD has many overlaps with NPD. Depression can make someone narcissistic. Pain and suffering tends to make people narcissistic.

      Depression (including post-natal depression – which may turn into full time depression) may make a person feel as though no one cares for them and if they’re looking to a significant other to provide caring, give them emotional sustenance and nurturing during a time when they may not be open or able to receive it, they may conclude that the problem is you and not them because they’re not thinking logically. Their mind is perceiving the world around them and the people in it through a heavy, dark and distorted lens. They’re not doing this deliberately it’s a symptom of their condition. Depression is a very serious and difficult condition to deal with both for the person who has it and those who are close to them. There is not much you can do for them yourself, they have to do it for themselves but they may not seek or accept the help that they need.

      But just because a significant other suffers from a serious condition does not give them the right to accuse you of being a narcissist, bully you about not being caring, using others to gang up on you, and making you feel bad about yourself.

      If someone accuses you of something, it’s worth considering the accusation and doing some self-reflection – which you have done and which isn’t something a real narcissist would do. A real narcissist’s version of taking an accusation seriously and self-reflecting is to ask someone else if they think they’re a narcissist and do it in such a way that the other person is cornered into saying ‘No, of course not!’.

      Your focus at this time should be on yourself (this is not narcissistic, or at least this is healthy narcissism at work) and on the welfare of your child – and it sounds as though you care deeply about your child, so you are not someone who does not care.

      It’s a case of being accused of not caring by someone who

      a) probably thinks they care too much but who mainly only cares too much about themselves because if they cared about others they wouldn’t spend so much time telling others what is wrong with them and telling anyone who will listen how much others don’t care for them.

      b) is overly sensitive about themselves which they think means they’re empathic when they’re actually not empathic they’re hyper-sensitive about themselves.

      c) doesn’t care for themselves and is looking for someone else to fill that void for them and no one can fill that kind of void for anyone else.

      You have definitely been at the receiving end of the behaviour of a narcissistic person, so it’s worth exploring what it means to be the ‘victim of narcissistic abuse’ because whether the person is a narcissist or very narcissistic ‘narcissistic abuse’ still applies.

      Whether she’s a narcissist or not is another matter entirely, if she’s been diagnosed by a professional they should have caught the narcissism (but this isn’t foolproof especially where as a narcissist is good at fooling people, including professionals).

      You are not a narcissist, so put that concern to rest and focus on things which help you rather than which hinder and undermine you.

      There are certain battles which can’t be fought head on, logically, or which can be won through reason. If you’re dealing with a narcissistic person accusing you of things which you haven’t done and of being who you are not they’re not interested in the truth or reality, their version and side of the story are the only thing they’re interested in, and those who believe them and side with them are also not interested in seeing anything other than what they’ve chosen to see. You win this battle by living your life, being yourself and letting your actions speak for themselves with those who are interested in seeing and knowing the truth and reality.

      You’re allowed to make mistakes, not be perfect, be a bit of a dick sometimes – all humans are prone to these things, it’s how we live and learn from living. Our mistakes can be our greatest teachers if we’re willing to admit to them and learn from them.

      Be gentle with yourself, don’t judge your early 20’s self too harshly (if others did and do, well, I guess they’ve never been human or like to forget their errors by focusing on those of others).

      Best wishes!

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  2. (English is not my first language, so please forgive me, if it is not PC, I say what I can, but not always what I want)

    This was an excellent read, thank You very much for taking the time to write and research it. I was raised by a narcissistic mother. And thus know the feel. I always called her my psycho-vampire. She sucked all joy and energy out of me. I was always exhausted, emaciated after being around her.
    I think, like with most other “psychological abnormities” it takes one to recognise one. I went no contact from 16 on and left home, my husband tried to reconsile us, because he did not understand what she was, knowing him at my side, I agreed to invite her to our wedding. It did not go well for her. Because my friends and his family did not let her take over the day. After that we went minimal contact for the rest of her life. She continued trying to punish me for having “ruined her life”, having taken away her fathers love etc.. by destroying all my childhood toys she found in the celłar, all the photoalbums she could get her hands on by ripping out the ones showing my father etc… Calling me, blaming me for evrything. I changed my phone numbers, she found the new ones, calling my bosses etc… Before she died, she asked to see us again, the hospital told me there was so much hate in her, they thought it was best I left her alone. So I did go in, on purpose. I told her I forgave her for having been a lousy mother, and that I regard us both as free from each other now. And I left. It was mean of me, yes. One should never try to upset a soul before she leaves the body. But I wanted her to know, she had no more power over me. Yes I wanted her to die knowing she had failed destroying me. I never visited her grave. She is the main reason why I decided never to have children on my own. They say it always skipps one generation, my grandmother and my grandfather were the only reason why I grew up relatively sain. But hard. I take no shit from anyone anymore. If someone doesn’t like the way I think or live, it is their prerogative, but it is mine to end those relationships hurting me. And I am afraid to end up becoming my mother. Because I think I have inherited some of her traits, or they rubbed off during my childhood. So I guess it is like being an alcoholic, you fight that urge every day. My mantra has become: I am not my mother! I am the master of my emotions! I am in charge! I am me!

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    1. Thank you very much for sharing 🙂

      Don’t worry about being PC – this isn’t a blog which aims to be PC. Shout and let it all out 🙂

      On reading your story, frankly I think you behaved very graciously with your mother considering your history. If my mother was in hospital dying I would probably ignore her and not visit her because… narcissist mothers never stop being narcissists. They’re angry and in pain and pass that on at every opportunity, being on death’s door doesn’t soften them or make them any more aware of anything. I think that how you handled the situation was exactly how it needed to be handled and I feel that you see things that way too. For once it was about you and what you needed. Her time was up.

      Those who haven’t grown up with real narcissists will never understand that and we need to accept that they don’t get it – perhaps it’s good that they don’t understand what we do as it means they didn’t have parents who were narcissists.

      When my father died a lawyer i hired to deal with my mother tried to mediate a reconciliation between us because he fell for my mother’s side of the story. I said no, thanked him for his concern, and waited. Not too long afterwards he regretted falling for her side of the story and actually asked to be removed from the case because he couldn’t handle her antics. That wasn’t my first rodeo but it was his first. Sometimes we have to patient with those who don’t know what we know and appreciate their innocence… while also appreciating our lack of that kind of innocence.

      From my own experience of finding my mother in myself – you will find your mother in yourself, but you are not your mother, you will never be her, never could be her even if you tried to be her, so be gentle with yourself when you find traces of her in yourself – it’s not her, it’s you. I see it as traits which we picked up, a bit like we inherit physical features, but what we do with them doesn’t have to be what our parent(s) did with them.

      Narcissists hate themselves and build everything they do on the hate they have for themselves. They hate their children because they see their children as being parts of themselves. So the real thing to tackle is having ‘hate for ourselves’, and we can do that by accepting who we are as we are – somethign which a narcissist can’t do. In some ways integrating the traits in ourselves which remind us of our narcissist parent, by accepting them and understanding them (the traits), we undo what our narcissist parent did to us – which was to make us want to hate ourselves as they hated themselves.

      You are in charge, but being in charge doesn’t mean mastering your emotions by controlling them or yourself, it simply means being aware and mindful of what’s going on with you and relaxing into it. It’s okay to be emotional, it doesn’t = being your mother. You’re not an ‘alcoholic’ just because your mother was (you’re not a narcissist just because she was and finding narcissistic traits in yourself does not make you a narcissist like she was), her addiction is not yours to fight. Narcissist always try to pass their wound onto to us and make us responsible for healing it, they make us think their wound is our wound – but it’s not our wound to heal so we can’t heal it.

      You’re you – enjoy being yourself and relax into it, let yourself be who you are without the fear of being who you are not and never will be. You’re not her, so when you find things in you which remind you of her – they’re not her, they’re you so be gentle with them, be gentle with yourself.

      Take good care of yourself!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank You for taking the time to read and answer me.

        I see what You mean, and I understand and agree with you. Those who never knew narcissistic parents, might find it hard how I choose to have no contact with her to find the time and place to heal. I accept that.

        But when they try to blame me and give me a bad conscience, by quoting biblical verses to me, I tend to get easily annoyed with them and cut them out of my life as well. I sometimes just don’t feel like explaining myself over and over again.

        I like what You say about not being too hard on myself. I think I do choose, what side of her I want to nurture within myself and what side needs to be starved. Also what I meant with the alcoholic thing is, its not over after one detox. We will always have those triggers, that can set us off and catapult us back into our childhood, once we accept that it is a lifelong day to day thing, it gets easier to handle. At least it did to me.

        And the positive side of my childhood is, I became very independent and strong. I think, so did you. But I understand that not all of us were that “lucky”.

        And I got my lucky epiphany about my mother, during a classic StarTrek episode (I know 🤓🙄) about a creature killing off miners, so they called Kirk and his merry men to kill it, then Spock does his Vulcan mind sharing thing and learns that the creature is only trying to protect its kids (some spheres, that the miners broke because they thought there might be something valuable in it) they learn that the thing was there thousands of years before them and actually helped them excavate the shafts, only when they started killing its kids it defended itself. (An allegory on my parents marriage and why he left)

        I was 11 years old, and remember it striking me: there are always two sides of each story, so before believing my mother on how every one besides her hated me and wanted to hurt me, I started asking questions and observing to be making up my own mind.

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        1. I totally understand cutting people out of your life if they’re interfering in your business – which is really none of their business – especially if they don’t make any effort to understand your side of a story and all they want to do is feel good about themselves by making you feel bad about yourself. There is absolutely no reason why you should put up with people who are forcing their views upon you, and there is no reason for you to explain yourself to them, particularly as the sort of people who tend to need us to explain ourselves also tend to be the ones who aren’t interested in the explanation. If you find yourself having to explain yourself over and over it’s usually because the other person is not listening and has no intention of ever listening, they just want to talk at you, lecture you, etc.

          Sometimes people do want to understand, and an interaction with them is very different. Even if they have no experience of narcissists, they usually have had some bad experience with someone which can help them relate to the situation.

          I love the story of your epiphany! I also got insight into my own life and my parents from watching TV. It can be very insightful because of the imagery used which taps into the subconscious way of communicating. Allegories tend to explain dynamics better because they create a story out of something within the psyche and give it a shape which is easier to grasp.

          My mother did something similar to me as your mother did to you, and it was a long while before I was able to see that her side of the story was just one side of it. Mind you, my father wasn’t any better than her – but finally seeing his side of the story did help. I think being able to see both sides of our the story of our parents’ relationship helps us to make more sense of our own story because it gives us insight into why they did what they did to us to a degree. And sometimes it shows us the stories which we’ve absorbed/inherited and are playing out.

          It’s strange, I’ve spent so many years mostly only seeing the negative side of being a child of narcissists, but there definitely is a positive side to it. It’s a blessing in disguise in some ways. We just need to allow ourselves to see how much we’ve gained rather than focus on what we’ve lost. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

        That sounds like a good plan as narcissistic traits are natural and normal, can be healthy, and are a part of humans being human. Being a narcissist (having NPD) is very different from occasionally being narcissistic. Non-narcissists have a variety of other behaviours and traits and aren’t solely narcissistic – when they are being narcissistic there’s usually a logical reason for it, sometimes it’s due to feeling good about ourselves, and sometimes it’s our way of giving ourselves a boost when we feel bad about ourselves. Anxiety often leaks out in narcissistic behaviour, so shrugging it off may help to ease the anxiety. Being happy (and passing the happiness on) is a great idea!

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        1. Thank you , your comment about passing the happiness on was an interesting one and made me smile. Maybe because in my eyes one can’t go without the other X

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    2. I just came across your site today after reading about narcissism and NPD for many months.
      I’d like to say I like your various perspective on the subject and you certainly take a wider picture unlike many other bloggers on this subject.

      I am fairly recently out of an emotionally abusive relationship which completely discombobulated me ! More than anything I was so completely confused as to how I could have got myself into that situation!

      Having had some time to reflect I realised I can turn this into a healing situation and I was in fact looking at a narcissist with rose tinted glasses on …so I shall remember to take your advice there! lol

      I still am brewing with anger and despair many days a week however I am regaining my confidence and vigor for life slowly. I am pleased to have found your community as there are very few with whom I can speak with about this experience.

      The fact that you have put the time into understanding and expressing how people with NPD came to be the way they are is refreshing and necessary. Unfortunately it is not their fault and I do feel terribly for them to be trapped in an empty void unable with no sense of self.

      Looking back I have had a few relationships of varying kinds on this spectrum which led me to research to understand myself so that I no longer attract these life sucking people into my world.
      Yes I have been too nice…yes I give people too many chances..my compassion for their past hurts made me too forgiving for hurtful behaviour towards me. Whether I am an empath , a codependent ,a love addict I know to take some space from relationship and give to myself as I give in relationship with someone else.

      I look forward to further reading from your site.
      Thank you 😀

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      1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

        You’re absolutely right about being able to turn this into a healing experience. Making the decision to do that is part of how you regain your power in a situation which may make you feel powerless.

        Looking at a narcissist through rose-tinted glasses happens. It is encouraged by the narcissist because they want to be that rose-tinted person and will present themselves to you as your ideal – they long to be the ideal, the idealised and idolised person. They hate who they are and long to be redeemed by love, by admiration, by the reflection of them which they see in the mirror of you – their sense of self comes from others, they ability to self-reflect relies on others to do it for them. Being able to see the best in someone, to envision the ideal is one of the wonderful traits which humans have, and with people who aren’t narcissists this can be a mutually beneficial and inspiring aspect of the relationship.

        In fact many of the things which we do and have done which get us into trouble of the narcissist kind are good when they’re done with people who are not narcissists. They only become a real problem when done with narcissists – narcissists can make everything that is good about being human, about you, become something which is bad about being human, about you – this is not a reflection on you, on being human, but more a reflection of the wound which goes with NPD. They pass their wound onto you in many ways… and for many reasons, one of which is they hope you’ll heal what ails them for them, but that can’t be done.

        The anger and despair, acknowledging it, feeling it, understanding it, is an important part of the process of healing from a relationship with a narcissist. In some ways it’s an opportunity to get to know our ‘dark’ side. All our shadows, issues, nightmares, etc, come out of hiding and haunt us until we figure out what they have to share with us about our personal story and history. It can be harrowing to discover all this darkness within, but a lot of it isn’t ‘dark’ at all, its misunderstood light. It’s bits and pieces of us which somewhere along the path of life we grew to see as being shameful, not allowed to be expressed, not something which was socially acceptable. The primal instinct, the natural urges which ‘civilisation’ finds a bit wild and therefore threatening.

        We’re told to smile… sometimes we don’t feel like smiling. Sometimes a smile is not a friendly sign, it’s hackles shown.

        Your compassion, niceness, ability to forgive, etc, these are great traits to have. They are strengths, but they become weaknesses when dealing with a narcissist because for a narcissist such things are weakness.

        I’m not a fan of labels such as ‘codependent’, ‘love addict’, ‘enabler’ and such. They are worth exploring, and the literature and theories about them are worth reading, however those terms are not your identity, and those traits have a flip side which is a normal and natural part of relating to others and which can be beneficial – cooperation, partnership, nurturing, support, etc. The ’empath’ label is a pet peeve for me mainly because quite a few of the narcissists I have known use it to describe themselves and to project and transfer their problems onto others, blaming others for their emotions and pain and justifying it using the ‘I’m an empath ergo I know what you’re feeling better than you do’ – I’ve had that happen more than once with a narcissist and there’s no way to argue with a narcissist once they’ve adopted that tactic and identity. I prefer the term ‘intelligent empathy’ because it is about consciously working with your natural empathy – something which narcissists don’t seem to be able to do, it’s a blind spot for them which goes with the disorder.

        There’s a psychologist who coined a new term recently – Personal Intelligence – which is a rather interesting concept. More about that can be found here – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-personality-analyst/201404/how-high-is-your-personal-intelligence – and here – http://personalintelligence.info/the-theory-of-personal-intelligence/

        There’s a certain irony in the approach which I’ve taken towards narcissists in as much as I was taught by my narcissist parents that I had to understand them – a typical demand which narcissists have of those with whom they have relationships. You have to be ‘understanding’ of them and they’re highly sensitive about this, if you show the slightest sign of not putting them first in your life (and disregarding yourself in the process), of not letting them get away with what they’re being and doing (even though they never let you get away with similar things), of not being sympathetic, compassionate, empathetic towards them (like they are with you), they get very upset and lash out (and see their lashing out at you as justified, even righteous).

        A large portion of my anger came from the hypocrisy and double standards of the relationship – part of easing the anger in the latter stages of it came from realising the reasons behind the hypocrisy and double standards of a relationship with a narcissist.

        So a lot of my approach to narcissists and NPD is actually inspired by narcissists and NPD. Some of it comes from what they taught me directly and indirectly. My father in particular was a follower of the philosophies of people like Sun Tzu where ‘knowing your enemy’ is a prime directive. Knowing the narcissist helps not only to understand them and the shit that they do, but it also helps to understand the ‘shit’ that you did while under their influence. Understanding narcissists helps us to understand ourselves in our relationship with narcissists and narcissistic people.

        But before you can get to the ‘understanding narcissists’ portion of healing, you need to understand more about yourself and a lot of that comes from going through the 5 stages of dealing with healing from narcissistic abuse which are almost exactly the same as the 5 stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

        The most important part is self-acceptance. That requires using your compassion, empathy, understanding, niceness, etc, towards yourself. Be gentle with yourself – that is a very healing experience 🙂

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  3. Hi
    I found this very useful. I’m in a relationship with a passive aggressive man. We have been married for 14 years and I have had a lightbulb moment. What concerns me is whether or not I am the problem. I ask him to do certain things around the house and he either forgets or does them poorly. We end up arguing about everything, everything is taken as a criticism by him. I am wondering if i should be more understanding? More patient? My mother refuses to believe I am justified in leaving him. I found myself trying desperately to convince her of all his short comings until I realised that I don’t want to turn everyone against him I just want my mom to understand that I feel dreadfully unhappy. I told her that I know she think I am a narcissist and her reply was “we all have traits of narcissism” she has in the past told me that she thought maybe I have borderline personality but I can’t because she knows I am empathetic. I have recently been diagnosed with ADHD.
    My husband is the nicest guy to everyone else and there is a side to him no one else sees and my mother refuses to believe exists. We have separated now, he flies in and out for work and the next time home I am going to stay at my moms while he is home so he can be with our boys. He messaged me to say he is coming home early to go to a car show. He has never come home early in the 5 years working away he has a set schedule. Not for birthday or even when I cried down the phone begging him to. This time I have to leave the house when he is home he is coming home early so I have to leave the house and find a place to stay for longer. I asked my mom what she thought and she said maybe he wants to spend more time with you. But I’m not going to be in the house?!? So am I delusional? Am I actually the one that is a narcissist and can’t see it? Things like I nag him to do chores they aren’t done right etc could be his PA or are my demands too high? I do everything in the house pay bills etc but not to be controlling but because he doesn’t want to and when I have tried to get him involved he has not paid the bills. So again is this me being controlling or him forgetting etc.
    Please help!

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      From what you’ve shared it doesn’t sound as though either you or your husband is ‘the problem’ or ‘the narcissist’. You’ve been together for a long time and over time issues have built up and reached a breaking point which neither of you seems to be able to mend. This is a fairly common occurrence in relationships which sometimes leads to a dissolution of the relationship.

      The real ‘problem’ seems to be that you feel dreadfully unhappy. The kind of unhappiness which you’re feeling is not one which either your husband or your mother needs to understand as much as you need to understand it. What is at the root of your unhappiness. What would make you happy? Or at least what would ease the burden of your unhappiness and make it less dreadful?

      Your mother has her personal reasons for thinking you should stay rather than leave your husband, perhaps that’s what she did in her relationship with her husband when she reached breaking point – previous generations were taught to stay married once married even if they were miserable in their marriage. Put up with each other for the sake of the children – was one of their reasons. But if two parents can’t stand each other that’s not a particularly good environment for children to grow up in.

      I realise that your mother’s opinion is something which has value for you, but your relationship with your husband is not really her business. Just because you’re staying with her while your husband spends time with your children and you discuss your relationship with him with her does not give her the right to tell you what you should or should not do with your life – it’s your life not hers.

      She is right about the fact that ‘we all have traits of narcissism’ – having traits of narcissism is as healthy as it can sometimes be unhealthy. it’s normal and natural for all humans, we tend to be more narcissistic in an unhealthy way when we’re suffering and in pain, but being narcissistic does not mean we’re narcissists. NPD is a very different thing from being narcissistic. Her remark that you may have Borderline Personality Disorder should be disregarded. It seems to be a strange trend these days to assign disorders to people just because those people are being human.

      Some of the issues you have with your husband are ones which crop up regularly in husband/wife relationships and male/female relationships. This one – “I ask him to do certain things around the house and he either forgets or does them poorly.” – is almost as old as humankind and has reached ‘battle of the sexes joke’ status. Men have jokingly said that they do the household chores which women ask them to do badly so that women won’t ask them to ever do that again. And that if women want men to bother with household chores then they need to applaud them every time they do something which women do all the time. Husbands have their own version of the issues which wives have. These issues have been called the ‘bugs’ which can ruin a perfectly good relationship.

      For the most part these sort of ‘petty’ issues can be sorted out, usually by spouses agreeing that they’ll always have these issues and it’s a regular part of being married. In some ways we’ve inherited these issues from the generations before us and modern times haven’t really done much to make them less of a thing. However if these issues become unbearable, then they’re not the real issue they become where the real issue leaks out.

      Nagging is rarely a good thing to do in a relationship. No one likes to be nagged. I’m sure you don’t like being nagged either. And often those who nag don’t like having to nag. Nagging can be a sign of other issues leaking out through the nagging, such as not feeling heard, not feeling appreciated, and also anxiety. Unhappiness may express itself that way too.

      Most relationships require a divvying up of responsibilities – partnership is often about deciding who is going to do what job. Some jobs are ones no one wants to do and require bargaining about who does them and what they get in return for doing them. With regards to paying the bills – your husband may feel that he is involved in paying them by earning a paycheck, but he leaves the actual payment of the bills to you. That sounds like a fair arrangement, but if you find it unfair then you need to figure out what you’d consider to be fair and works a new arrangement out which is fair for both parties. Perhaps this is another area which has become an issue due to a bigger issue which is leaking out through it.

      It sounds as though you feel as though those close to you don’t understand you, don’t hear you or see you. They want you to fulfill a role for them regardless of whether you want to have that role or not and you get little in return for doing it. When this happens you need to understand, hear and see yourself. Figure out what it is that you really want and need and then find a way to give to yourself what you keep hoping others will give to you.

      When it comes to our happiness – others aren’t responsible for that, we are, but sometimes we think it’s someone else’s responsibility to make us happy perhaps because we feel as though it’s our responsibility to make them happy.

      ‘we all have traits of narcissism’ applies to others as well as you.

      My advice to you would be to rely less on others for their opinion of you and your life and to spend more time finding out what your opinion of you and your life is – and how that’s affecting you and your life.

      And if you want to know what your husband thinks and feels – ask him about himself, don’t ask your mother what she thinks he’s thinking or doing.

      I would recommend reading up on ‘relationship dynamics’ rather than ‘narcissists’, researching things which will help you rather than things you may end up using to hurt yourself. There’s nothing wrong with you, you’re a human who is unhappy – that’s actually rather normal and natural for humans. It’s a starting point for figuring out who you are and what you want, need, would like for yourself.

      This is a series of articles which might be a place to start:

      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anger-in-the-age-entitlement/201508/how-end-the-fight-you-cant-remember-why-you-started

      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anger-in-the-age-entitlement/201509/the-dynamic-thats-poison-any-couple

      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anger-in-the-age-entitlement/201509/intimate-relationship-dynamics-iii

      By exploring the issues we have in relationships we often find solutions to problems we’re having with ourselves. Sometimes we’re hard on others because we’re being hard on ourselves. Sometimes we’re demanding of others because we feel others are demanding of us, or because we’re demanding too much of ourselves. We may feel we’ve disappointed them and this may make us feel disappointed in ourselves, which may make us expect more of them setting them up to disappoint us. Empathy is connected to self-compassion. To be empathic we need to understand ourselves. To be patient with others we need to be patient with ourselves.

      Relationships are complicated for many reasons and everyone struggles with making things work out with others. Our relationships with others are intrinsically linked to our relationship with ourselves.

      https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199403/soul-mates

      Perhaps what you really need right now is to stop trying to figure out what’s ‘wrong’ and focus more on what’s ‘right’. Maybe the separation from your husband is exactly what you need for yourself right now.

      Take care of yourself and let others take care of themselves.

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  4. My husbands mother and father are narcissist. It was hell living with them. I decided to leave them because I was losing myself living with them. My husbands behavior suddenly changed after my decision. He started behaving just like his mother. All the years with him I felt something was wrong with him but never thought him to be narcissist. But lately he has been criticizing me in front of family which forces me to think he is a covert narcissist. I really dont know whether I m leaving him to suffer or saving myself. Also I have a 2 year old n if thr r chances that he is a narcissist i dont want to take any chances with our safety. As you have suffered like my husband can you tell me would you criticize someone who loved u in pressure of your family if at all u believed that someone truly loved you.

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Living with your in-laws is always a bit tricky, even when they’re great people and it’s a happy situation, because your spouse is placed in the weird position of an adult living with their parents (which society doesn’t really accept these days, although it used to be quite a normal practice in the days of yore, and society’s judgment adds to the problems of the situation), and they may revert to old family dynamics from before they were an adult because they’re still the child of their parents and family dynamics die hard.

      If the family is narcissistic then that’s what tends to dominate, because it’s always the narc’s way or the highway in a narcissist family, and your spouse may ‘side’ with his parents against you because that’s what he learned to do as a child to survive his family. He may not even be aware that he’s doing it, or he may be aware but it overrides anything else.

      Narcissistic families tend to isolate themselves from ‘outsiders’ and being married to the child of narcissists does not make you an insider. You will become the default scapegoat because the narcissist parents will see you as having ‘stolen’ the affection, the attention, and control of their child (their possession).

      If your spouse used to be the narcissist family scapegoat he may revel in the new scenario where finally he isn’t the scapegoat and someone else is (even if that someone else is someone he loves and who loves him – he may not be able to resist the temptation of living out this new experience where he isn’t the target, and where he is the one throwing darts at the target).

      He may not necessarily be a narcissist himself, that is always hard to determine when it comes to children of narcissists. All children absorb the ways of their parents, and certain stressors trigger those ways to become dominant.

      If your spouse was the ‘golden one’ of the narcissist family then siding with them against everyone else is his default position when he’s with them.

      It is very difficult for a child of narcissists to break free from their narcissist parents, especially if they’re living under the same roof. Even when they do break free from their family residual issues may lie dormant waiting to rise up and cause them to self-destruct (which includes ruining their relationships with loved ones).

      There is nothing you can do for him if he’s not ready and willing to do it himself. You did not ‘leave him to suffer’. So clear your mind of that concern. When you left he could have left too, choosing his life with you over his life with them. That is a choice he has to make for it to make a difference – you can’t make that choice for him, especially not when narcissistic dynamics are part of the equation.

      You did what was right for you – saving yourself (and your child). And what you did by leaving is really the only option where narcissists are concerned, especially if you don’t want to be destroyed bit by tiny bit by them. Narcissists will chip away at you until there is nothing left of you.

      In answer your question – would you criticize someone who loved u in pressure of your family if at all u believed that someone truly loved you?

      This is definitely possible when your family is narcissistic and you are the child of narcissists. It falls into what is known as ‘fleas’ in the lingo used to discuss narcissists and their effects on others. However it does not excuse his behaviour it only explains it, and it does not mean you have to put up with something that hurts you just because he’s a child of narcissists.

      I finally went No Contact with my parents when I saw the effect they had on my partner through me. It was the short sharp shock I needed. It was one thing for them to do that sort of shit to me, I was used to it (those who’ve grown up with narcissists are used to dealing with narcissistic abuse and may not realise how it affects others through them), but it was a completely different thing for them to do that to someone else through me. I was lucky to be able to go No Contact with my parents. It’s not an easy process and may get worse before it gets better. I didn’t need to rely on my parents for anything nor did I live in the same community as them – there are many extenuating circumstances to consider.

      For more on the effects of narcissist parents on their adult children I recommend reading this – https://www.reddit.com/r/raisedbynarcissists/comments/1p1uag/help_i_think_i_am_a_narcissist/ – and checking out the threads on that forum.

      You made the right choice for yourself and for your child. Self-doubt will continue to cause you to question yourself, that’s part of life and being human.

      Take care of yourself!

      Like

  5. So, Im familiar with the buzzwords and I may have an understanding of some of them that I think I can recognize in my life.
    I don’t know if I’m the problem? And does asking that question make me a “victim” in my thinking?
    I know I want better. I know my contrabutions and what I’ve could have done better in many areas of my life. But is it Self preservation or bad inner dialogue? I could list many things that could portray my spouse in a negative manner and look for validation.
    I feel like I have made decisions in my my life that were for one common goal. Recently I’ve realized that the perceptions of the goal may be different than recently thought. I feel like I can recognize traits that have evolved either out of lack of knowledge , conscious or unconscious choices to provide a stress free atmosphere for the home.
    How do you know if the environment that you’ve lived in has enfluenced all aspects of your life, from raising children, working, and friendships?
    Where does the accountability for each persons action start and stop? (Other than the obvious?)

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      You asked in depth questions, the sort which are part of what comes across as a healthy inner dialogue. They are the type of questions which are worth asking and exploring.

      The answers aren’t going to be necessarily straightforward and you may find that there are multiple answers, perspectives and ways to go when trying to answer them. The internet in particular is a hive of discussion about relationships, full of theories, ideas and analyses of them both from professional studying them and people sharing their stories of success, failure and the in-between. No one else can really answer your questions for you because they only know what works or doesn’t work for them. What you’ll get from others is optional perspectives – whether those perspectives are right or wrong for you depends very much on your individual situation and experience.

      Some people will be very much in the camp of – everything that is wrong and went wrong is the other person’s fault. Some will be more self-blaming. And then there will be those who see it as being a mix of their fault, the fault of the other, the fault of all those others who are a part of our relationships (past partners, parents, society, the media, environment, culture, etc) who have an influence on us.

      You do not sound as though you’re a ‘victim’ in your thinking.

      Be careful about being too hard on yourself, it’s an easy thing to do when trying to figure out the issues which arise when examining relationships and our part in them, especially if your personal tendency is to take responsibility (because someone has to and sometimes it’s simpler to take it all on yourself because waiting for others to do so may leave you hanging in limbo).

      We can swing from being hard on ourselves, listing things which could portray ourselves in a negative manner (validating our suspicions that we’re the ones who made a mess of things) to being hard on others, as you pointed out when saying – I could list many things that could portray my spouse in a negative manner and look for validation. Your spouse can do the same thing with you and may well be doing that as when a relationship breaks down our first line of self-defense tends to be to protect our own image and destroy the other person’s image. This is fairly normal and natural, isn’t necessarily bad or unhealthy, as long as it doesn’t become our only approach. We all build up stress and frustration and in some ways this tactic helps us to release those so that we can think a bit more clearly after getting stuff out of our system.

      We all project and transfer onto others issues which we have – we do that with the good things about ourselves too, often applying our own qualities to others without necessarily double-checking whether they have those qualities or not, and whether they express them the way that we do, whether they have the same values that we do.

      This series of articles is worth a read:

      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anger-in-the-age-entitlement/201508/how-end-the-fight-you-cant-remember-why-you-started

      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anger-in-the-age-entitlement/201509/the-dynamic-thats-poison-any-couple

      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anger-in-the-age-entitlement/201509/intimate-relationship-dynamics-iii

      And this article, based on a book by the author, is also worth checking out – https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199403/soul-mates

      When we enter into a relationship with someone we make a ‘contract’ with them, and part of that includes thinking that we’re working together towards a common goal which we both hold dear. At first we may be on the same page about what we’re doing, what our relationship is about, but things, ideas, and people ‘change’ over time, life takes us on detours and throws challenges at us – maybe our original circumstances change and become different, such as a change of career or working conditions, the loss of a job or quitting a job to start a family, etc – and if we don’t check whether we’re still on the same page we may not realise that the goal we’re still working on isn’t the one our partner is still working on.

      There are many variables which can alter the course of a relationship. For instance if you have children, both of you may experience the impact of having children differently, and the children themselves bring their own story to bear upon your personal story. And of course there are all those others who have a say in your life, who sometimes are subtle influences and sometimes are invasive ones (other people often think they’d be better at living your life than you are, and even if they’ve made a mess of their life it doesn’t mean they still don’t think their interference in your life isn’t justified).

      There’s a lot to consider, and if one of those things to consider includes ‘is my partner or am I a narcissist’ then things get even more complex to figure out.

      Even if you think your partner is a narcissist, and that what is wrong with the relationship is them and their issues, their NPD, there is still your part in ‘enabling’ them and their disorder to work out.

      In a relationships the ‘accountability’ starting and stopping point can fluctuate and be hard to define.

      I live in the UK and recently there was a ‘vote’ which has caused all sorts of conflict to arise between two ‘factions’ (the country isn’t neatly divided between those two factions, which adds to the confusion and repercussions of the moment). I read an article which said that at the end of the day ‘voters’ never blame themselves for the consequences of the results of their ‘vote’, they blame the government, they blame others, they blame life for not working out the way they thought it would. When things go wrong no one wants to be responsible for being the cause of it going wrong and we look for scapegoats but we don’t want to be ‘it’. If the consequences of this vote goes horribly wrong it’ll be hard to find anyone who admits to having voted for it, and conspiracy theories about the vote being rigged will become the order of the day.

      The same can happen in relationships. No one wants to bear the brunt of causing the problems in it. Those willing to bear the lion share of the accountability may end up feeling bitter about it, and more problems will arise from that.

      It helps to own the fact that humans are a mess, that includes us and the other person in the relationship, and chances are what we’re doing may be what the other person is doing too in some form or another. If we’re too hard on ourselves we pass that on to others – if we’re gentle with ourselves we pass that on too, which allows for intelligent empathy to ease the burden.

      Sometimes you need to allow yourself to be a ‘victim’, to acknowledge that you may feel that way, and may think that way (or a part of you does), because the acceptance of that allows you to move beyond being a victim to doing something about the situation. Just keep in mind that victims may become a victimiser when trying to sort things out, but this isn’t necessarily a role in which you’re stuck, at any point you can take another road, choose another option – there are always options even when you’ve chosen a path.

      Keep doing what you’re doing, asking questions, having conversations with yourself, researching and seeking alternative perspectives. You’ll find your way through this in your own time and manner.

      You have influence too 🙂

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  6. Hello! I need your help here… After my description of my dynamics with my ex / present boyfriend, a friend suggested I looked up for narcissistic personality traits, which she thought were consistent with what I had told her. After watching some videos and reading about it, I came to the conclusion that these descriptions were very accurate… While researching thought I thought of the possibility that I was flipping things around and projecting my own character onto my boyfriend… That maybe I was unable to accept criticism, not that he was belittling me in a mean-full way, for example… It seems to be complicated to know if he’s just overly, aggressively, reacting to my narcissistic behaviors or if he’s being successful in turning the situation on me, as a narcissistic person does so well, hence justifying his violent attitudes…

    This comment might be too vague for you to be able to answer me with a fact, but I would like to hear if this sounds familiar to you and in what way.

    Thank you, Sara

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    1. Hi and thank you for sharing 🙂

      Your comment isn’t too vague. It reflects the quandaries which arise in relationships, and if you add to that the issue of narcissism, things can get a bit confusing.

      Most of what we experience in life is subjective – seen from our perspective. We tend to see other people through the filter of ourselves, which is why it is a good thing to self-reflect on anything which we see in other people and ask the question – is it them or is it me?

      Relationships can help us to get to know ourselves better through exploring projections and transference and all the other aspects of relating, and the better that we know ourselves the easier it is to understand others and to work things out in relationships.

      Sometimes in relationships it isn’t easy to answer a question like – is it them or is it me – with a definitive answer like – it’s definitely them – or – it’s definitely me – because it can be due to the combination of you and them.

      From a purely theoretical perspective – both you and you boyfriend could be narcissists. It’s not a mutually exclusive issue, not necessarily an either/or scenario. However most people have narcissistic tendencies, and therefore finding narcissistic traits and behaviours in a person does not = that they’re a narcissist. Many of those traits and behaviours are common in all of us to certain degrees, and tend to be more pronounced when there are frustrations, pain, anxiety, and such. We all tend to justify our own ‘bad’ behaviour and condemn the same behaviour in someone else. We all tend to play the – turn things around onto the other person – game, especially when we’ve been caught or feel guilty about something.

      From a personal perspective, based on what you’ve shared – you don’t sound as though you’re a narcissist or being particularly narcissistic. Asking the sort of question you have asked is not common for narcissistic people to ask. Very narcissistic people tend to think there is nothing wrong with them and the problem is the other person.

      It’s a good idea to review your part in the relationship as this can be helpful for you and for your relationships with others.

      Once you get into conflict with someone close to you things can spiral from there and get nasty – without either of you being narcissists. When people get hurt they tend to hurt others, and it can become a way of relating where everyone gets increasingly hurt and keeps hurting the other person, and no one knows how to stop what has started. Once communication becomes angry and hurt, once it becomes blaming, it can stay that way.

      The thing which stands out is that you mentioned – his violent attitudes. Not sure what you’re referring to by that and that would need clarification.

      Do you mean that he is violent with you? If he is, then narcissist or not, that’s not something you should put up with from anyone, male, female, family, lover, friend, etc. That includes verbal, psychological and emotional violence, not just physical violence. And if someone is being violent with you – that is not your fault. If someone has accused you of provoking their violence towards you – that’s a classic excuse of abusers, and even if you find that you may have pushed them when you shouldn’t that still does not make their violent behaviour towards you your fault.

      We can all get pushed to our limits, get angry, feel violent – most people control this aspect of being human and take a time out to calm down, don’t take it out on others.

      If you mean that he gets angry, but does not act on his anger towards you – then he needs to learn to deal with his anger in a way which doesn’t intimidate and frighten you, and you have the right to call him out on it. But you might do better to give him a time out when he gets that way, and discuss it with him later when he’s calmed down. People who are angry tend to lose the ability to think clearly and reason, and often say stupid and horrible things in the heat of the moment. Question is – does he learn anything from it or just keep repeating the pattern? If he apologises afterwards, does he act on the apology and sort out the problem or is the apology just a buffer between one angry outburst and the next one.

      The friend who introduced you to the possibility of him being a narcissist or very narcissistic, do they know your boyfriend or did they go off what you described? Either way, if what you’ve read so far about narcissists rings a bell for you, keep researching the matter and clarifying the issue for yourself. If he is a narcissist or very narcissistic then nothing will change in the way that he is, and even if he isn’t, this may just be the way that he is.

      It can take awhile for us to really know someone, and if we’re thinking about having a long term relationship with them we need to be sure that we like them as they are. It’s worth taking your time to get to know them and review how you feel when you’re with them. Once the honeymoon phase of love wears off what keeps people together is a bond that can withstand being around someone when they’re at their worst not just when they’re at their best. A long relationship means you’re going to be with someone when they go through shitty experiences in life which may bring out the shitty side of them. It helps if you find their shitty side something you can deal with. If you can like them even when you don’t love them. If their shitty side scares you… best rethink the relationship.

      This is an interesting psychological insight into relationships through a series of articles –

      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anger-in-the-age-entitlement/201508/how-end-the-fight-you-cant-remember-why-you-started

      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anger-in-the-age-entitlement/201509/the-dynamic-thats-poison-any-couple

      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anger-in-the-age-entitlement/201509/intimate-relationship-dynamics-iii

      A question for you – How does this boyfriend make you feel about yourself?

      Like

  7. I really appreciate this information, and I’m certain that my brother is telling everyone I am crazy and maybe have NPD, but in this situation I have no doubts about who is the NPD sibling!
    It has taken me decades to come to this realization, even though others saw it long ago. My “protector” status was so unshakable that it was impossible for me to see the truth. Until I saw how it was effecting his own family. That broke my heart. So it is strict No Contact. I have hope that eventually they may come to see the truth of their sad situation.
    It is earth-shaking when one first learns of NPD and sociopathy and is able to clear-mindedly check off symptom after symptom, example after example. It seemed at first completely bizarre that I could have PTSD. I was never in battle, for heaven’s sake! I have a nice life! But then I read about it and remembered my husband reassuring me, “You are safe now. You are safe.”
    Perhaps the most freeing moment was when I realized I didn’t care what he said about me, or what anyone else thought or said. I know my own mind. I know my own heart. I am not perfect by any means, but I am NOT crazy. It is a hard recovery, one that will likely go on for the rest of my life. However, I have no hesitation in saying that the recovery is nothing at all compared to the burden of believing the lies.
    Best wishes to all those who are struggling.

    Like

    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      That is an excellent observation about the burden of believing the lies. The recovery can be tough at times, but it also yields liberating moments such as the one you described. When you make a new realisation it can sometimes feel as though your entire perspective on your life story changes, and what you thought was real is suddenly unreal.

      Keep doing what you are doing, trust yourself, and take good care of yourself!

      Like

  8. I can relate so much. I have a Narcissist for a mother who I overheard on the phone yesterday telling someone that my father is a narcissist. My stomach turned in anger but I contained myself and walked away so that I wouldn’t hear anymore of the vile lies that come out of her mouth. My father was far from perfect, and he knows his mistakes, he feels guilty for them and has apologised a hundred times for them without excuses and is a completely different person to the man he was when I was a child. My mother on the other hand, blames him for her behaviour, even for hitting me as a child or makes excuses for her behaviour without ever accepting responsibility and owning her mistakes when confronted. She is always the victim in everyone’s eyes and it makes me physically sick. I’m always looking internally to work through the issues I’ve been left with from the trauma of my physically and emotionally abusive childhood. I’m overly critical of myself and accept blame and responsibility for other peoples mistakes to avoid conflict and this is something I’m working really hard to recognise and fix because allowing people to walk all over me it’s destroying me. I often wonder if I’m a narcissist for blaming and being angry at my narcissist mother, my brain knows it’s not my fault but I always feel guilty on the inside if I ever snap or say mean things to her or about her. I think the difference between a narcissist and the non-narcissist is recognised by the sincerity of their apologies. If apologies are completely absent from the equation or the word sorry, is followed by the word “but”, then you’re not sorry. Explaining why someone else is a narcissist is so difficult without being perceived as one because in most situations, there are two sides to a story, in the case of a narcissist, there is only one side. There doesn’t have to be a triggering event, or a negative action or reaction from the true victim that leads to the narcissists behaviour. They’re just horrible for no reason so people wonder what you did to make them act that way. Even when you haven’t said or done anything wrong, they can make you feel like you’re a horrible person that just murdered a puppy.

    Like

    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      There’s nothing like eavesdropping on a narcissist to open the eyes to their shenanigans.

      I once listened in on a phone conversation between my father and his mistress discussing what a brat I was. Why was I a brat? Because I was a child acting up and out due to being caught in the crossfire of my father, his mistress and my mother – all of them did not give a shit about me other than to use me to get at each other. My mother was using me, winding me up, to fight her battles for her – she was a covert narcissist who played the damsel in distress, a routine designed to get others to do her dirty work so she can stay virginally clean. My father used me to get back at my mother and he’d get mad at me when I refused to be used – which was usually what made him call me a brat. My father’s mistress played nice with me, but hated my guts because I existed and my father often used my existence to excuse why he didn’t divorce my mother and marry her (or something like that).

      If you have a narcissist in the family, it can create a giant mess for everyone, bring out the narcissistic tendencies of people who aren’t narcissists, and involve so many other people in it that it becomes a soap opera. It’s very confusing to grow up in that environment as you’re a pawn in a very long con.

      There is always a reason why a narcissist is being horrible, but it isn’t always logical – that’s why it is so hard to figure out, and why people don’t see it and only see the results of it, the reactions, and ripples.

      If you say ‘No’ to a narcissist in any way, shape or form – and that “No’ could be you saying ‘Yes’ but for the narcissist it sounded like a ‘No’ to something they wanted – then as far as the narcissist is concerned you did murder a puppy and you’re a horrible person.

      We do end up sounding like the ‘narcissist’ when trying to explain a narcissist to someone else – it’s an intensely frustrating dynamic, particularly when the real narcissist can accuse everyone else of being narcissists and somehow people believe them. They know how to tell a story which people will believe, they know how to make the uncomfortable comfortable and the poisonous edible.

      The most important thing for a child of a narcissist to learn is – allow yourself to make mistakes, be human, and sometimes be an a-hole – we often end up not allowing ourselves to do anything which reminds us of what our narcissist parent did. We don’t want to be anything like them. This is an impossible ideal to live up to, and it can make us vulnerable to being walked all over by others.

      Certain aspects of narcissism are healthy, but when you’re a child of a narcissist you tend to view any hint of narcissism in yourself as being unhealthy.

      You can be narcissistic without being a narcissist. And being narcissistic isn’t always a bad thing to be.

      Next time that you notice yourself allowing someone to walk all over you – ask yourself what is stopping you from stopping them. Deal with the problem scenario by scenario rather than trying to deal with it across lots of different scenarios. Bring the problem down to a smaller size, a bite size, or you’ll paralyse yourself with the enormity of it.

      This is a book which helped me – http://andywhiteblog.com/2015/06/23/going-mad-to-stay-sane/

      Also very helpful was a series of books written by Pema Chodron, she’s a buddhist but her teachings are more about being human and dealing with life’s challenges, I particularly appreciated her concept of – Start where you are.

      “Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” ― Pema Chödrön

      And this is an interesting article worth checking out – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-legacy-distorted-love/201205/it-s-all-about-me-recovery-adult-children-narcissist

      Start where you are. Deal with yourself in the now – rather than trying to solve the problems of past you and future you. Catch yourself in the act and investigate the act in the moment. If you’re being overly critical with yourself – try to not be overly critical of your overly critical self, find out what it is you’re actually saying to yourself through the overly critical inner dialogue. Have a conversation with the critical self, and track the critical back to its origins.

      Children of a narcissist often absorb without realising it the wound of their narcissist parent. The wound of a narcissist is a very critical entity.

      Don’t just focus on what’s ‘wrong’ with you – pay attention to what is ‘right’ with you too. Such as in your comment you show a talent for logic and understanding – these are assets in life in general and are particularly useful for dealing with the abuse suffered at the hands and mouth of a narcissist parent. However these skills often get labeled as problems, these rights get tagged as wrong, because when you use logic and understanding around a narcissist it scares them so they make you afraid of what they fear.

      Narcissists can make the best of us seem like the worst.

      Take good care of yourself, and be gentle with yourself. Give yourself the time you need to figure things out.

      Like

  9. Thank you. Thank you for a clear, concise break down from a slightly different perspective. Everyone here can post because we are all on some level dealing with a NPD or a BPD with Narcissistic traits. I’m one of the many. Stuck in the throws of a horrible divorce with a beautiful 2 year old daughter being used as a pawn. Heartbreaking? Absolutely. Worthy of sympathy? Naw. Everyone has their own story. We need to be grateful for well written informative literature/articles such as this. We need to take our power back and keep them in this world where we can fight for our rights against a distorted child. What I really appreciate though is that you include that we all have narcissistic traits. It’s true. It’s part of life and a direct result of our society. We all use this crazy tool called the internet to dial in some knowledge from time to time and you have helped achieve that. So without anymore fluff…I guess I’m just trying to say thank you. Best wishes to you.

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  10. Oh wow! Everything that was written there rings so true through my lifetime experiences… I was brought up in that type of dynamical environment and attract the opposite sex demonstrating a lot and even more of what you have described there. I didn’t know I could ever attract from my core pain yet born with a nature to care and help others and even educate myself of this types of subconscious attractions… Even when the head tells you what’s going on, the heart doesn’t want to believe and strive in hope to see the dynamic change. But now in hindsight and still very sad that I could make a relationship turn good. I’ve had to accept, how could I? When I can’t even fathom their ways of thinking and operating. The damage now is I find it very hard to trust…. But even if I do pour my heart out to people I hardly know.. I really don’t let it bother me much if I have been disappointed by them… Because I have overcome the painful experience even worse prior. So perhaps I’m now cynical but more realisticly I surely need to find sources of love to restore me back to good health. Much love to those that have experienced similar things, i relate to you heart to heart. And i guess at this point we are survivors.. 💞💞💞💞

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  11. This is such an amazingly insightful article. Amid the sea of narcissist support sites, there are certainly those who are more concerned with being properly revered than creating awareness. I appreciate this cautionary tale & hope that your readers will heed this warning.

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  12. Thank you…it was a struggle to be told by my ex gf that I was a narc…controlling..manipulative…my thoughts and actions..motives..and heart said diffrnt..I askd my close persoanl friends..my accountability partners..mx professionals..it just did add up…the more i hear it from her the more i startd to believe it…talk about a death spiral..i questioned and selfreflectd almost to an obsessive point…your blog post and citations(used to incr3ase my depth of knowledge) hit a cord with me..ty. As a male..affirmation breathes life into me..and constant criticism and distorted thinkn from my ex gf took the air out of me..tytyty…i am able 2 move 4ward now..ty

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      When you’re not a narcissist and you get accused of being a narcissist it can be devastating because you take it very personally and doubt yourself to the marrow of your bones. The very traits and behaviours of your non-narcissistic self get used against you. What is positive about you gets turned into a negative.

      When a narcissist decides that you’re a narcissist they can be relentless, when they have a grudge, that grudge never lets up.
      They’re a crusader out for justice, only their justice is anything but justice. They will use anyone and anything to win the battle they’re fighting. If they can use you against yourself, they will do it – anything you said to them, shared with them, any vulnerability you allowed them to see when you thought you were with someone you could trust will be turned into a weapon used against you.

      Your self-questioning and self-reflection are actually proof that you’re not who she accused you of being, but these can be the knives with which you stab yourself once you’re caught in the vicious circle that ensues from being unjustly accused. Once they’re hell-bent on turning you into who they have accused you of being, it can be very difficult to confirm to yourself that you’re not who they are telling you that you are. They seem so certain while you are riddled with self-doubt.

      Once a narcissist decides who you are they steamroll you, flatten you with it. It takes an enormous effort and amount of strength to resist it.

      The female narcissist is in some ways far deadlier than the male narcissist because they have the female stereotype on their side. They’re far harder to identify as narcissists as they tend to be covert narcissists more often than not. They tend to play the victim and give the role of victimiser to their actual victim. Once they’re in that position they can leave you feeling powerless and confused – you’re trapped what is known as the narcissist fog.

      The good news is that you held onto your true self even when you doubted yourself, and you’ve seen through the fog even when it was at its thickest – these are invaluable assets to have. Build on these. You’re stronger than you know and than you may feel. Even at your lowest you never gave up. When you hit rock bottom you found your core. She may have cracked the surface but she did not break you.

      There is much more material these days written by men who have experienced female narcissists. A couple of blogs you might be interested in reading:

      http://andywhiteblog.com/ – the author of one of my favourite books, he’s personally experienced a relationship with a narcissist.

      https://thenarcissistsson.wordpress.com/ – he’s the son of a female narcissist, and has also had other relationships with female narcissists.

      https://apensiveheart.wordpress.com/ – he writes about being married to a narcissist. Very insightful.

      When a narcissist devastates us, our perspective of who we are, our lives… when it all falls apart… somewhere in the debris we find ourselves. It can be not dissimilar to the proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes. Pay attention to what gives you life when you feel like death warmed over, and credit yourself with your rise from what seemed like a grave.

      Take good care of yourself!

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  13. You’ve said that you’ve refrained from writing about narcissism lately because you’ve realized that there are so many others who write on the subject. Please don’t let that discourage you. I know from being raised in a family full of them that you know just what you’re talking about and you write about it well. It’s not an easy concept to elucidate. Those of us who have been through it, suffered for it and wondered if we were the crazy ones appreciate your insights enormously. Please keep writing.

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  14. After 26 yrs i realized my whole family is sick
    my intuition and conscience always told me , even as a kid , what did i wrong , they even made up there on story’s and i was telling the truth

    Im doing self therapy like 3 years now… Shirnks here dont know or dont care abouth narcism.

    So my story is ,

    My youngest sis was 6 when she turned narc
    I was 4 years old and saw my old man punching her in the face over and over
    When both me and my sis where punished by facing the wall for like 20 mins
    Like that was not enough , he just had to grab her and kept atacking her

    After that fase my sis always blamed stuff on me , even if i did not started it , i was the guilty 1
    But still , I think its better i got the beatings then my sisters

    My mom was very strict to my sisters and me but girls dont like a mother like that
    To me she was kind in her way when i was alone with her
    She always complained abouth her chilhood and i need to be happy for what i receive

    I developed or was born ADD but this is what i think and its possibly true
    I always had better scores at school then my sisses and the narc sis made her university
    While i had to listen 2 my parents what to do in school , so i didnt to anything after 7th grade and i stopped when i was 17 yrs old
    I didnt like to be a carpenter like my dad

    I was young and stupid i know , eveyrtime i do a homestudy it fails because i live with my headvampire in the same house where i am raised
    If i work after a couple weeks or months , i have to stop , i cant handle my dads doing
    HE demand half my pay and he is a stalker and like to decide whats best for me

    yeah right !

    My mom left when i was 16,17 …my dad told a bunch of lies abouth her like she is a whore , but she just has a black heart now and my mother told me he never ever gave her what a girl needed and if he did it was to make her feel bad
    She just stayed for the kids , but she is manic or borderline

    I always had my oldest sister a little bit but she turned narc when i was 19-21
    1 day i lost my last sister

    At age of 21 i seen my life saving account and my dad robbed it empty
    And i was saving most of the allowance i was receiving while i was doing chores for the money

    He only gave it to benfit to others he cared abouth me

    He beated me till i was 20 , i always try’d to stop him before but i failed , but 1 day i was stronger , I just kept pushing him away and told him to STOP and stop everything he was doing

    Like the coward he is ,he ran away and turned the hole family against me again ,not just my sisses , the aunt, the cousins , everybody!

    at age of 22 i became a drinker , i abused it very hard
    a gallon of beer was usaly enough , but most of the time it was more

    I did a bit of harddrugs but i stopped it after 3 months in the weekends , i had study abouth it when i was in 6th grade so i decided to drink beers because they live longer

    After a 2 years they gave me serlain or Zoloft called in UK ,should be the same medication
    This made me drink only 4 cans per day and after 2 years of taking them i went even more crazy , my narc sis found out what i was taking and i was receiving the oposite of therapy
    Serlain and frozen foods are a bad combo for my guts
    it kills it slowly
    So my dad decides to freeze everything , to get me i geuss

    When i was like 8 i had an accident , fell of a slide , instead of taking teh stairs i took the slide to go up and it was like 20 feeth high
    WHat i had was a hole in my stumache , and that made me hungry till age 21 , the hole closed when i grown up
    They feeded me like hell with bad foods to keep and make me fat
    They enjoy it

    When i was 25 i stopped Serlain and decided to fitness , i did that for 2 years , i was getting happy
    Till 1 day i lost a job because the boss of my departement is a possible narc and she made me suffer aswell ,,, no JSA and paying back 6 month of pay

    My social worker to help me fix this is also a possible narc or working together with my dad , she even kicked me 6 months from my income
    My dad had to feed me , he retired , so i could not fitness no more and he gave me the oposite food wich i need for killing my depressions , he made me feel worser then ever ,after i told him he was a sick sociopath narc
    This was very bad

    They trying to put me in a mental hospital now the social worker and the narc dad

    I dont go outside , i lock myself up in my room , i had bad friends nobody would like or ever give there daughter 2 if they know who they are , i left those arround 25 , they drug girls and do raping like you would not believe i found out arround the time i left and they doing it from the ages of 12-13 , they are sick in there heads and get away with it
    She either becomes a whore or she does not know it because she was sleeping or slightly drugged to be turned on

    only have 1 friend i somethimes see , but he has his daughter and girlfriend to look out to , i know him 25 years now

    anyway i could go on and on , i was to stupid to tell the narc hes a narc and i maybe avoidand and behind my back they watchin videos abouth personality disorders and they having he hardest laugh of there lifes

    And they dont realized they making fun of themselfs

    What should i do ? i cant go to court they need my dads income and he refuses to give it while i make up a lie to get it papers
    Cops dont do anything , i cnt proof the stalking and it will be turned against me ,, like always
    i never used violence and sometimes i think its the only way but it wont help

    What should i do ?

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      I don’t know what you should do.

      However I think you do know what you should do.

      You’ve been dealing with this all of your life and therefore are an expert in the matter.

      What do you think you should do so that you get what you want from this, and also get out of this while getting what you need from it?

      If you need your dad or your mom, then you may have to pander to their crazy to a certain degree, not provoke them to be worse than they already are.

      If you don’t need them – them you need to get as far away from them as you can. Which is easier said than done.

      I do understand the sense of being cornered and wanting to use violence to free yourself, but society as it is rewards those kinds of solutions by putting you behind bars. It doesn’t matter to the justice system if your parents are assholes who drove you to kill them, or another kind of violence, due to their constant abuse. That kind of abuse can be hard to prove, and all that will be seen is how you reacted to it. So, you are right, violence sometimes seems like the only way but it won’t help.

      What do you think would help you, and is there a way for you to get that kind of help.

      When dealing with narcissists it can be difficult to think logically, but logical thinking is vital.

      Find a way to use them to get what you need to free yourself – what would that be?

      Like

      1. I dont need them both or my sisses ,They are jalous and putting me down and i am the only 1 that been acting normal but still they damage me hard so i sometimes am not , My only option is a mental hospital and a bunch of therapy i actuly dont need , self therapy and studying is far more effecive and we dont get any sympathy from professionals when we start talking about narcissists to them ,Because the majority of them have a significant level of narcissistic traits themselves. Possibly an occupational trend..But they do help with job and a new home ,maybe i should lie ? or keep the word narc to myself? i know atacking them wont help because a narc has the same values and rights as humans , just because they look like us, but they realy are not inside , they have no feelings only shame

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  15. Great post! I got involved with a vlogger/blogger who was on the rise. I remember meeting her and she always gushed how wonderful her husband was and took great offense if people didn’t see them as a magical relationship. She would freak out with jealous if she thought anyone was attracted to her husband yet become furious if they weren’t.

    The second time I met her she shared incredibly intimate details and told me “You’re the only one I’ve EVER told these things to.” Of course, I puffed up and felt like a hero at that line. Soon she got involved in the you tube community and found new friends. The other vloggers were very similar to her and she said they were the first people she had ever met that made sense to her.

    I should have known right then something was up. As her vlog grew in popularity she played the victim often, screaming with outrage when other places used her photos. She would demand her followers attack the offender for her. She often would go on purges on her Facebook page, ridding the “unworthy” and blocking them for things she took offense too.

    She made a post on her blog about her nervous breakdown in a changing room because she could not fit in the jeans. Then spent an hour locked in there while her husband tried to get her to come out. When I first met her, before she ever had a following on her you tube channel, she told stories of all these people who had taken advantage of her charitable self. She was the victim of their unfair abuse. They were always painted as very bad and herself as very good. A hopeless heroine who was victimized for being to generous.

    Her husband was her hero who is 100 % loyal. She self-publishes comic books now about how wonderful he is and how magical their relationship is. Her followers are die-hard loyal and will attack anyone who posts a negative review. The attacks on the honest critic are always the same they go “She is a sweet girl. How dare you attack her!”

    She ran a kickstarter that was successful and has posted non-stop on twitter about how everyone loves her. She doesn’t say “loves us” — as in her husband and her — or even loves her work. No, it’s that everyone loves her. Then gushes that she is unworthy of their money and love because she’s just a simple girl.

    Her followers love being her hero.

    I guess I should not even look at her twitter, but narcissists really do their mark.

    When she turned on me, it was for a slight. She waited for months to get revenge and attacked on a very special day sending a list of things that was labeled with numbers. She attacked that I liked history, when she thought talking about history is stupid. She felt I am not passionate enough and she only wants passionate friends. This despite the fact that one of her top toadies is a “housewife” who has no career under her belt.

    It goes on.

    But it’s not just her.A lot of the you tube community she is involved with secretly backstab each other. There was one really popular vlogger who made a video destroying another one. Now her followers continue to attack the other. But the one she attacked is also a narcissist. A NDP person victimized an NDP person.

    It is so cliquish and I guess I was lucky to get off light. But so much of what you posted fits what goes on in the vlogger/ blogger world. It seems to make these Narcissists more crazed. They live off the high of their followers, but seem to need more every time.

    Thank you for posting.

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      The world of social media is very suited to the narcissist style of interaction. It gives them the perfect vehicle to be whoever they want to be, to live out their fantasies about themselves, to control how they are perceived, and to create a reality out of nothing. We basically have to trust that those we meet online are who they say they are as fact-checking can be difficult, especially if someone is using an alias – which many people who write about narcissists do and it’s logical for them to do so. However social media also presses all their buttons and triggers all of their insecurities. In some ways it’s actually easier to spot a narcissist online than it is to do so in RL, but then again people sometimes behave narcissistically online because the medium may make them feel that they have to be grandiose, larger than life and alter themselves and their story, their reality, to attract attention.

      Quite a few people have shared stories similar to yours about their run-ins, especially on forums, with online narcissists who claim to be the victim of narcissists. It’s most often the Covert type of narcissist who does that and they tend to believe their own hype which means they’re very adept at selling it to others. Most victims of narcissists tend to be plagued with self-doubt about their experience, whereas a narcissist has no doubt at all. That lack of doubt can be appealing to others, particularly during the aftermath of a relationship with a narcissist when we’re vulnerable, searching for answers, for support, and for a safe haven where we can share our fears, worries, the intimate details of our pain and hurt, our story with those who in theory should understand (and finding people who understand what it is like to be in a relationship with a narcissist can be hard in our RL social circle). We’re looking for a heroic figure to guide us through a tough time in our lives… and narcissists often appear to be heroic saviours as that’s one of their favourite fantasies, and their fantasies are more real to them than reality, so they live out their fantasy and we buy into it because we need it. And once people have invested themselves in believing a narcissist it can be hard to back out or back down.

      Questioning is a healthy thing to do, it’s one of the things which brings healing, it’s also often the start of our healing journey when we’ve been caught up in the crazy version of reality of a narcissist, as not being allowed to question is one of the hallmarks of a relationship with a narcissist. Someone who is genuinely helping others to recover from their experience of being in a relationship with a narcissist would encourage it. Of course no one likes to be challenged, it’s a very human reaction to balk at being questioned and perhaps react defensively, and a question which is challenging could trigger personal issues, but non-narcissists don’t tend to start a witch hunt against a person who questions them, non-narcissists can fight their own battles and usually don’t see a battle in every interaction which isn’t going the way they want it to.

      Narcissists often turn nasty due to something innocuous – what triggers them to turn on you can be so ordinary that it is naturally confusing. They attack and you’re left reeling at their reaction because it is rarely if ever logical. How did they go from friend to foe so quickly? Why did they turn on you over something which you’d never turn on someone for? You didn’t do anything… and yet they’re behaving as though what you did was the worst crime ever committed.

      I have to admit that when I first started exploring NPD using the internet I was naive about it. It did not occur to me that I would find narcissists writing about narcissism (although when I started looking the subject up online Sam Vaknin was one of the few people writing about it at the time, and he is open about being a narcissist) and their experiences of being victims of narcissists.

      I think what woke me up from my naive bubble was this post – http://narcissistschild.blogspot.co.uk/p/beware-these-sites-1.html

      I’d come across results from the site mentioned in the post, but I dismissed them because I shied away from joining groups (partly because friends had shared their bad experiences with forums). Then I had a couple of run-ins with narcissists who claimed to be victims of narcissists, and it shocked my eyes open. Considering that one of the narcissists in my life – my mother, played the victim all the time, you’d think it wouldn’t shock me, but… I guess we’re always hoping that the narcissist in our life is the exception.

      AT the end of the day, experiences like the one you had are worth having even though it can be painful and horrible. You have come out of it wiser and more sure of your own perception, knowing that your ability to question is a valuable asset in your life. She’ll go on doing what she does, building her house of cards and finding people to help her keep it from falling down. You saw through it and got out – this is a good sign for you.

      Keeping an eye on what she does, looking at her Twitter, etc… this isn’t as unhealthy as it may seem. Sometimes we need to observe a narcissist from a safe distance to allow who they are and what they do to sink in. It takes times for our minds to process things, and for us to understand our experience. Watching her still at work now that you can see through her is informative for you.

      And narcissists are fascinating even if the fascination they have for us is a bit grim. Sometimes we have to see, and keep seeing, with our own eyes what they do, how they do it… we’re hoping to figure out the why of all of it, including why we fell for them for awhile. Figuring that out helps us to figure out our own story, as our relationship with others reflects our relationship with ourselves which influences our relationship with others. And watching others fall for what we fell for… it gives dimension to our own experience.

      Take good care of yourself, and be gentle with yourself. Healing from an experience with a narcissist is a journey into new areas sometimes through old paths 🙂

      Like

      1. Thank you so much for your reply. I love your insights into things. You move me to think of what I had not considered before.

        I think narcissists are very good at appearing fascinating. The same way Fool’s Gold deceives us. Dig a little deeper and they’re aren’t what they seem. In fact, I feel like they aren’t that interesting underneath the shiny exterior they present. They just learned to put on a flamboyant display to catch people’s attention.

        They’re great at advertising themselves. They’re like used car salesman who convinces you to drive off in a car on cinder blocks. Then when you realized you’ve been deceived, they turn around and act like they were the victim.

        I think people with real substance don’t need to advertise so much. But they know how to hurt and it’s our shock that they could hurt and would do it, that for me keeps me fixated. I want to build a better defense to keep the narcissists out, but let the good folks in. However, it feels like narcissists are master of disguise. No sooner does one say “this is how you detect a narcissist” then a narcissists swoops in and says, “that’s not me. I’ve been a victim. Here put me in charge”.

        I’ve come to realize that while the narcissists I encountered all looked so fascinating, at heart they were just a lot of hot air.

        I really appreciate your words. It’s very comforting for me. You speak like someone who truly knows what it’s like.

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        1. You’re right, narcissists are great at advertising themselves, and sometimes we buy what they’re selling because it looks good and we didn’t know we wanted it until they told us we did, and sometimes we thought we wanted it and only realised after we bought into it that it wasn’t what we wanted.

          May you get what you wish for and want what you get – gypsy curse.

          Sometimes we have to learn things the hard and painful way, those lessons tend to reach us more deeply and make us take stock of ourselves in a way that changes us.

          I grew up with narcissists and watched from behind the scenes as they sold dreams to dreamers, ideals to idealists, and perfection to perfectionists. The easiest dream, ideal, perfection, to sell is the one which someone wants you to sell them. You’re basically selling to them what they’ve already sold to themselves long before they met you.

          Building a defense against narcissists may end up locking people who aren’t narcissists out more than it keeps the narcissists out, and it’ll lock you in. Hide in an ivory tower and a narcissist will probably be the only person stubborn enough to break down your defenses because they really want the treasure you’re hiding and keeping from them. Non-narcissists will knock, maybe, and then feel rejected because it takes you too long to answer their knock as you have too many locks on the door.

          Some of the articles which try to explain why a narcissist is attracted to you blame you for the narcissist’s attraction, albeit while saying it’s not your fault. They stress things like that you may be too caring, too empathic, perhaps you have co-dependent issues, or you’re too trusting. All these things are viewed as a negative when it comes to narcissists, and narcissists are viewed as seeking people with these traits out like some missile seeking its target. Maybe a few narcissists do that, but most narcissists are attracted to you for the same reasons non-narcissists are attracted to you – try to stop being attractive to narcissists and you may end up putting those who aren’t narcissists off from you too.

          To stop attracting narcissists you may have to stop being who you naturally are. That doesn’t seem like a good solution.

          It’s easier to stop being attracted to narcissists than to stop attracting narcissists. That can also come with complications, because maybe what attracts you to narcissists is due to something you’re developing in yourself, which ultimately will be positive for you but it has negative aspects during the time that it is working itself out within you.

          Maybe you have a dream for yourself, and while you figure out what that dream is, all its parts, and how to make it come true for you, you find yourself gravitating towards those who seem to be living your dream, or who seem to have components of your dream within them.

          Yes, narcissists adapt, and tend to adapt who they are quicker than non-narcissists because they’re always in survival mode whereas non-narcissists aren’t, and they’re always readjusting who they are to suit popular opinion – non-narcissists tend to go with being who they are and sticking with it.

          Narcissists also have access to all the information on narcissists which non-narcissists do, they keep tabs on trending topics – narcissists are a trending topic – and narcissists are far more concerned about being thought of as a narcissist than non-narcissists are. Call someone who isn’t a narcissist, a narcissist, and they’ll probably just shrug it off while thinking that you’re a bit of a dick, but that’s okay because they’ve been a dick too (they have empathy for the vagaries of human behaviour). Call a narcissist a narcissist and… they’ve probably accused you of being one before you get the chance to do it to them because they’ve been watching you closely and saw the danger coming, prepared themselves for it and already have a defense strategy which is usually an offensive one. They’ll lie on the floor in a puddle of fake blood with a knife in between their chest and arm and pretend you stabbed them before you even considered stabbing them, and they’ll advertise what you did to them really loudly so that others can attack you on their behalf and anything you do to defend yourself will be proof that you’re a narcissist because they read that narcissists do that.

          Best defense against narcissists is sometimes no defense at all. Just be yourself. Be aware, mindful. Pay attention to your instincts and intuition – you’ve known narcissists, so you know what they’re like and how they make you feel, use your knowledge from your experiences to inform you. Get to know those you’re attracted to beyond their facade, take time to ask questions, listen and observe. If they seem too good to be true… do some fact checking. Keep it real, keep it grounded in reality.

          Don’t worry about being fooled, worry about taking too many precautions because you’re afraid of being fooled. There is no shame in being fooled. You’re human, prone to making mistakes – mistakes are okay to make, and once you know you’ve made one you can work from there to sort things out.

          So if you find yourself once again in the company of a narcissist, it’s okay, figure it out and then make your exit. Don’t alter who you are due to being afraid of them, they’re not worth it. And you may miss meeting some great people because you’re trying to protect yourself from those not great people.

          Enjoy living your life and being who you are, don’t make narcissists the reason why you curb your enjoyment 🙂

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  16. I just learned that my mother and my Sister are narcassit and my Brother is borderline. I thought it was me. Like I was to blame for their behavior. A perfect example would be that my I confronted my Mother about her not returning any phone calls in regards to my Grandmothers health. I just moved to another state and instead of reaching out to my Mother she calls me because my Mother never answers the phone. So I have to ask my friends to check on her. I text her to let her know what was going on, no response but days later she send me a message on Facebook to inform me that a company that I use to work for was being closed down. I am 5 months pregnant haven’t heard from her, she doesn’t call on my other 2 kids birthday, and if I get a big promotion she shares it on facebook to her friends as if we talk. “I love my daughter, so proud of my daughter.” and I haven’t talk to her in months and not for lack of trying. The other day I said something to her about it. She denied it. She said she was sorry if YOU SEEM to think that I don’t talk to YOU but I work a lot and I am giving you YOUR space because I know YOU are pregnant and busy with YOUR family. I almost thought it was my fault for saying anything. I mean I am busy and it does seem like an apology right? No! It’s excuses, admission of guilt, and blame. I talk it out with my Husband and he said I am not imaging it, she doesn’t call. Luckily, I have my him to talk things out with or else I would be bat sh*! crazy right now. These people make you think you are losing it.

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Narcissists do tend to make it seem as though they’re the sane ones and everyone else is crazy. That’s how it seems to them, and how things seem to them is all that they see. They’re adept at making their version of reality the loudest one, usually because they’re shouting about it from the rooftops rather than quietly discussing things in a normal manner. And since they drive everyone around them crazy, they make their version of reality come true.

      From a certain angle you’re actually lucky that your mother doesn’t return your calls. My mother used to call me every day at an hour which suited her, and she’d talk non-stop for what seemed like the whole day. When she was done talking she’d hang up, because she was very busy and didn’t have time to waste listening to me talk about my boring life. If I couldn’t talk to her (in other words listen to her talk) because I was busy (something which I was never allowed to be when she needed attention) or if, even worse, I didn’t answer the phone when she called, I would get a long lecture about what a terrible daughter I was to the wonderful mother that she was.

      Don’t expect a narcissist to ever see your side of a situation, or to see anyone else’s side. There is only one side of any story and that is their side, and their side of the story is the whole story. They are chronically incapable of grasping the existence of anyone else, and they can’t see anything other than what they want to see. Their universe revolves around them, with them as the god of it, creating reality as they go around in a very small circle.

      So, your mother thinks she’s a great mother – and as far as she is concerned she’s great, she proves it to herself by posting on Facebook how proud she is of you, and on her Facebook posts she probably gets the validation she needs (through Likes and people making people-pleasing comments on her posts) which confirms to her that she is a great mother. Doesn’t matter to her that she’s actually not a great mother at all, and you can prove it with more than just a Facebook post. She can’t accept not being who she has decided that she is, and that is a mental block which becomes a great wall of China for a narcissist.

      It’s natural for a child (even when adult) to want their parents to behave responsibly, and to be a good parent even if we know they suck at the job. Trying to get a narcissist parent to be a genuinely good parent is a Sisyphean task – it’s never going to happen and you’ll keep getting frustrated by it.

      You’re never going to be able to get your mother to be any other way than the way she is now and has always been. I know you need her to help with your Grandmother, but if she hasn’t helped with your Grandmother before then she’s never going to do it no matter what you say or what you need, no matter how logical you present your case to her – if she doesn’t want to do it, she’s not going to do it and she’ll have a whole load of excuses/reasons why she can’t. The more you try to get her to do it, the more resistance you’ll get from her. She may be paying her mother back for something that goes way way back to her own childhood experience – most narcissists are stuck in a childhood trauma which caused their narcissistic wound, and which they keep repeating. How much do you know about your mother’s relationship with your Grandmother, with her own experience of being a child?

      This is an article worth reading, it explains the possible origins of narcissists – http://energeticsinstitute.com.au/narcissism/

      The best you can do is exactly what you’re doing and have done – you’ve tried to sort things out in a logical and reasonable manner, and now you realise that the healthy approach doesn’t work with someone who is a narcissist. You’re not the crazy one, but you may feel as though you are when dealing with the narcissists in your life.

      Make sure you take time outs from dealing with them and spend time with people like your husband. Healthy people are a haven for children of narcissists, they let us know that we’re not the ones who are mad, and that the way of the narcissist is not the right way.

      This might be helpful if you want to try and get through to your mother – http://www.psytalk.info/articles/narcissist.html – it’s advice from a psychotherapist about how to talk to a narcissist. You have to talk to them on their level rather than try to get them to talk with you on yours. They’re a bit like a spoiled child who won’t eat their greens, and you can’t use logical arguments to get them to eat them, you have to make them want to eat them and often because of a fantasy reward they’ll get if they do.

      Take good care of yourself!

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    1. I liked reading your article..I admit it made me uncomfortable- in a good way, as I don’t believe there is a partner/spouse of a true narcissist that has not questioned the ..”is it you.. me…both?” Scenario. In my opinion, the behavior of narcissists (whatever the type–cerebral,etc) towards their partner is a constant, subtle attempt at tearing down the self esteem of their target. It is a given that they would then question their participation in the abuse, and perhaps even emulate the narc qualities. I think there might be an over emhasis in the article of your perception of what a narc victim is, vs how it actually manifests, when there are different too many personality dynamics involved to make that type of assessment. I think you might be missing the nuance of the ‘victim’ personality.

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      1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

        I agree that my view of what a narc ‘victim’ is isn’t well-rounded, this is a personal blog and my posts tend to be written from my personal perspective and experience. Which means I miss out many variables. And also means I may be writing under the influence of a stressor, a trigger, which I was in the case of this post.

        After years of being NC with both of my parents, they came crashing back into my life in a way that was filled with complexities which I wasn’t prepared for. I’d managed to finally be fairly narc free, and suddenly I was drowning in their chaos again as though I’d never left those stormy and turgid seas. I often work things out by writing posts, what I write helps me to see what’s going on with me under the surface.

        The concept of ‘victim’ has played out in many ways in my life, but not in all ways. Or at least, I’ve noticed certain ones more than others.

        The one which still rankles, the one which came to the fore when I wrote this due to recent events, and may come out in what I’ve written, is how many times I fell for my mother’s ‘damsel in distress’ routine, and rushed to save her ‘victim’ self from some ‘victimiser’ only to be rewarded for my gallant knight efforts by being turned into a dragon from which someone else needed to save her.

        She was doing this again, and even though I wasn’t falling for it, others (upon whom I was depending for a resolution of her new crisis) were because they’d never dealt with her kind of crazy before, so they took her at face value, and then realised her face wasn’t what they had thought it was, and I was footing the bill for their training in matters of the narc kind, as well as having to listen to their complaints about it even though I’d warned them about over and over until I was blue in the face.

        I understood their inability to see her as she was, and therefore become a victim of her drama, and make me one again by proxy. I’ve been there, done that more than I care to recall.

        That particular scenario of my mother playing the damsel in distress was brought painfully to my attention (even though I was aware of much of it before then) when a friend of my mother’s pointed out to me that my mother had been telling people how mean I was to her to garner their sympathy and possible succour (or sucker) – this friend had been witness to the other side of the story, had watched me being protective of my mother often to my own detriment and doing my best to ‘save’ her from all the villains in her life, and the friend decided that enough was enough and that I should perhaps reconsider being so loyal to someone who was stabbing me in the back. Also this friend saw a knife in my mother’s hand coming for their own back.

        Problem is that my mother had programmed me to never allow myself to be a ‘vicitm’ unless she needed to portray me that way for her own story – such as when she was telling everyone how mean my father was to her – it added drama and sucked more people into her tale if he was also mean to his child, because then she could play the mother who was telling this tale to save her child, and she could circumvent those times people wondered why she didn’t just leave my father if he was so mean to her. He wasn’t a peach so it was easy for her to tell that story and make it believable… he told those kinds of stories about her too.

        My mother literally taught me as a child to never cry, complain, or do those things which children do when in distress (because those things annoyed her or triggered uncomfortable memories for her of her own child self who she didn’t really like due to how she was treated by her parents… so the victim thing gets passed along and changed as it does so).

        Being a victim is as complex as it is to be a victimiser, and the lines between the two are often blurred. Someone who victimises others may have been a victim, may still be a victim. Narcissists don’t become narcissists because it’s a good way to be. And victims of narcissists did not intend to be victims, and may take an age to see themselves that way as they’re often strong, capable people who would not let someone take advantage of them, but then the narcissist came along and before they knew it they ended up in a place which is very uncomfortable in many ways and for many reasons. It is often the hardest thing to do to admit that you’re a victim of a narcissist because you just don’t want to see yourself that way – as you’re not a victim in any other way in your life.

        What I do on here is share my story, my version and view of what I’ve experienced (sometimes I write in a way which comes across as impersonal – that’s partly a result of being the child of narcissists, you get detached from yourself and end up talking as though you’re not really here), and I appreciate it when others share theirs as it gives a more rounded view of a complicated issue.

        If you would like to give a more rounded view of the types of victims of narcs which I have missed, please feel free to do so. It would be most welcome. Since writing this post (which I have to admit was a bit of a rant) it has had more views than I expected a personal post to get, that’s the internet for you and the subject of narcissists which affects so many people, and what you share on here may help those who like you are seeking something which I did not include. If you have links to other post or articles please feel free to share them.

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  17. It’s really interesting what u wrote.. I feel I need to share something related to NPD , I am suddenly realizing that i might have been a narcissist all my life and thinking that I am a victim and everything now is making sense, it hurts like a bitch but it’s making more sense.. I am too self absorbed , I’ve been isolating myself because i am too occupied with myself and fixing myself , i either see myself superior to people so i dont hang out with them or inferior to others whom i see as a threat so i dont hang out with them as well..My mother has always commented that I am a narcissist and i think i am better than everyone else because i undermined all doctors and any authority figure and used 2 say they know nothing.. My ex b.f stopped talking to me because he said i made up an entire plot to became him seem like the bad guy so i can have a reason to hate him and for my friends to see him as the villian , I didnt see it at that time but he may be right. it just hit me 3 days ago when my bestfriend told me i cant trust ur advice anymore when you talk 2 me it seems that u want to tell something to urself through me ..and i just realized i only care and love myself and i never really cared or loved anyone else..My mother sounds alot like urs lol

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      All humans can be narcissistic, as narcissism is natural and normal, and can be healthy. With NPD what is natural and normal takes a detour into disorder and becomes unhealthy, usually due to a trauma experienced during the narcissistic phase of development.

      This is a very good article about narcissism, and goes in depth into how NPD may develop – http://energeticsinstitute.com.au/narcissism/

      If you have a mother similar to mine then the conflicts and confusion such a parent would create for your child self, during your formative years, could lead to becoming narcissistic. Being narcissistic is a reaction to pain, a coping mechanism.

      Not everyone who is narcissistic has NPD or is a narcissist.

      This is worth reading – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201204/it-s-fine-line-between-narcissism-and-egocentrism

      Your ability to self-reflect and take into consideration what you have been told about yourself by others, how you affect them, would suggest that you don’t have NPD. Those with NPD rarely if ever listen to feedback and take it to heart enough to look at themselves with a willingness to face themselves honestly and openly. It sounds more as though you’ve been through a very narcissistic phase (if this period coincides with being in your teens and early 20’s then it is a fairly normal way to be during that time) and you’ve had enough of being that way. It all depends on what you do now that you’ve come to this realisation, and have this new perspective and awareness.

      Whatever you decide to do, remember to be gentle with yourself. Things hurting like a bitch can indeed be the kind of reality check we need, and can clarify what was confusing. Lots of AHA moments to be had. Just don’t be too hard on yourself, if you have a tendency to try and fix yourself you may try to fix this too, and sometimes things don’t need fixing so much as understanding them as they are.

      It can be fun to discover a new way of being and relating, and it can change how we experience ourselves and others. Making amends to those we’ve hurt can also be surprisingly enjoyable as you get to know people in a deeper way.

      Remember that you’re human and so is everyone else – I’m sure your friends aren’t saints either.

      Best wishes!

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  18. This is frightening to read as my husband has suffered from depression for 2 years and he displays a lot of behaviours that describe passive aggressive narcissism. However I display lots of narcissistic behaviours which I have been trying to control. It’s left me in a position where I don’t know if I’m being emotionally abused or emotional abusing 😖

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      All humans can behave in narcissistic ways and have narcissistic traits. Narcissism a natural phase of human development and it is normal and healthy. It can become unhealthy due to trauma, pain, stress, and in extreme cases it can develop into NPD (this usually happens in childhood). There is a big difference between being narcissistic and having NPD.

      This is an article which explains Narcissism in depth – http://energeticsinstitute.com.au/narcissism/

      Living with someone who is suffering from depression can be very difficult for everyone involved. Depression is still a much misunderstood condition, and people sometimes go for years having it without being diagnosed with it, and getting treatment can be a long and challenging journey. It can be exhausting, very stressful and painful for the person who has depression and for their loved ones.

      Those with NPD do suffer from depression, and there has been quite a bit written about this in recent times. However those with depression can appear to be very narcissistic to others as they are caught up in themselves, stuck inside their own private hell, similar to those with NPD – but they don’t have NPD. Depression can drive those who have it to extremes of behaviour, and can also drive those who care for them to their own extremes.

      I would be careful about diagnosing yourself or your husband, you’re in a very vulnerable place and things can seem overwhelming, terrifying. I recommend seeing a therapist and getting a professional perspective on the issue of emotional abuse and whether you are being emotionally abusive or emotionally abused. You may find that it is neither one nor the other, and more a case of intense exhaustion and personal pain due to living with someone who is suffering from depression.

      It might also be worth joining a local support group, as being able to discuss your experience in a safe environment can ease stress and fears, and hearing the stories of others who share a similar experience can put your own experience into a more manageable perspective.

      Please be careful when reading posts on the internet. This is a personal blog, not a professional one. I am just a person sharing their story and trying to figure things out. I am not a mental health professional, if your are concerned about emotional abuse please consult a professional.

      Take care of yourself!

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  19. I get so tired and I feel like a piece of trash thrown in the street. Narcs like to make you think that something is wrong with you when you call them out on their bs. They don’t fight fair and shut down conversations when it doesn’t go the way they want. All the narcs always tell me how kind I am and how I am easy to get along with, but they get upset when I am assertive. They try to bully me into submission. And when I open up to them they use the information against me, for leverage. This makes me very sad. You try to just go on, only to meet another one. I feel like a speed bump in the road of life.

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      I can relate to what you’ve said. I used to feel like a piece of trash tossed away (with strings attached), but then there’d be times when I’d suddenly go from being a piece of trash to being some lucky coin they’d found on the street.

      Narcissists change their minds all the time, and therefore change our roles in their stories to go with it. One minute we’re not worth anything, the next minute we’re very valuable, and that cycle just goes around and around in the rut that they’re stuck in taking us with it.

      It took me a long time to notice what went with those times they treat you like trash versus those times they treat you like treasure, as sometimes the trash/treasure scenario has only a fine line delineating which one you are in the moment. It can change within one breath they take. It also changes the second someone else weighs in. If they’ve just trashed you and someone else sees you as a treasure – BAM! the narcissist suddenly values you again, even if they still suspect you’re trash they can’t let anyone else have their trash and so suddenly you’re a treasured-trash item.

      I saw it as being a broken toy which the narcissist keeps in a box of broken toys because they don’t want anyone else to play with those toys even if they’re done with them. They don’t want anyone else looking at their broken toys or ‘fixing’ the toys because then others might see that the only thing which is broken is the narcissist.

      It takes us awhile to stop taking everything personally because they convince us it is all about us… so we end up hating who we are, trying to ‘fix’ ourselves, and all sorts of other inner turmoil ensues, it takes time to realise that when you’re with a narcissist – it is all about them. They’re passing their wound onto us hoping to heal it by making it our problem. And all about them is in constant flux, hence the constant mind games and mess.

      You need to learn to flip it around, which can be tough when exhausted.

      You’re not trash, you’re not a speed bump, or a broken toy, and the reason you keep meeting narcissists is because you’ve got something very valuable about you which they want – their ways of trying to get it suck… sucks the life and joy and energy out of you.

      The one thing we get from the hell and damage they inflict is a chance to get to know ourselves better, which makes us appreciate ourselves more, but it takes time and hurts sometimes to do that. It’s a healing kind of pain – it lets us know where we need to apply care to ourselves.

      Take care of yourself. Be gentle with yourself. Get to know yourself well – that’s kryptonite to narcissists.

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  20. I often write about my nex in my blog and he has moved not and I never heard from him in eight years. That is good. He has never went out of his way to destroy me. I have wondered if I was the narc or if it was all a misunderstanding but then I read stories by other narc victims and they also question themselves or wonder if they were the narc. I have blamed myself because I felt I was dumb enough to enter the relationship and should have broken up way sooner and also broke up when I had the chance too while we were in it. I don’t get very many viewers in my blog and I hardly ever get comments, I only had two comments so far, but that is okay. I am only writing to share my thoughts, not to get popular or praises or have people feeling sorry for me and giving me sympathy.

    My nex on the other hand had contacted me twice after he went silent on me when I got a new boyfriend so that tells me he didn’t think I was the abuser or he wouldn’t have contacted me. In fact I had always felt confused why he was all of a sudden back when he had ignored me all that time so therefore I was not able to break up with him.

    I used to talk to my parents all the time on the phone and would wait when he was at work or in a store to talk to them because he liked to listen to what I say and want to know what they are saying and he would get nosy and also upset with me. So talking to my mother about my nex this year gave me reassurance that this was not all in my head and I am not exaggerating or making it up because she remembers the arguments in the background between me and my nex, me calling her one day and crying and then hanging up abruptly because he was coming to the car, and she told me his son was a snot to me and my nex would tell me “he is right.”

    Also an interesting thing is when we would go and pick up his son when he would have his week with him and then also to drop him off when the week would be up, we always had to meet in a parking lot and she was always with her boyfriend, never alone with their child. That makes me wonder now if there is something I never knew about my nex that happened in their relationship.

    He also played the victim and told me how abusive she was to him and how she lied in court and how she is playing games and how she won’t let her daughters talk to him on the phone and how she won’t let their son talk to him. I have no idea if she was really abusive or if she just retaliated before she finally had the courage to leave him. I have tried to reach out to her on Facebook but couldn’t find her so I will never know for sure.

    Also another thing that is different about my nex is, he really loved his kid and he was like a friend to him so he wanted full custody of him so he was fighting fighting fighting fighting.

    I say what he did was pretty mild compared to the worst stories I have read online by victims who were abused by their narcissists. At least he discarded me so I was lucky he let me go and he was just gone just like that like I don’t even exist in his life. He didn’t have NPD, he was a covert narcissist which is not widely recognized. In fact you wouldn’t even see them in the NPD criteria. It took me eight years to figure this all out. But sometimes I also wonder if anyone has ever thought I am the abuser but i guess that is normal for anyone when you wish to share your story on line and blog about it or do posts about it on forums.

    The irony thing is you wrote about narcissists talking about being with another narcissistic, my nex did the exact same thing except he didn’t say she was narcissist. I don’t think he even knew the term and this was 2007 so there might not have been many blogs about it then and posts even though I had heard the term then but knew nothing about it. I never looked it up or even read about it until this year.

    There are things I wonder about them like are they even aware what they are doing like are they aware they are being manipulative, are they aware of their gas lighting, so they even know of their own games they are playing, are they aware that they are insulting people? Or are they so oblivious it’s a wonder why they rarely change and are always the victim? Then I wonder mmm am I the narcissist and then I keep reading that if you keep questioning if you are or not you’re not one because a narcissist wouldn’t even question it. But yet I have seen some admit online they are one so at least I know some of them do have the self awareness so I think a narc not questioning if they are or not might be a myth.

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      The view that narcissists are less likely to ask if they’re a narcissist is based in part on psychologists stating that those with NPD don’t tend to go into therapy (at least not for NPD) because they don’t usually think there is anything wrong with them, they tend to see any problems they have as being caused by others and they are more likely to think that everyone else has a disorder, that everyone else is a narcissist and has NPD, and needs therapy.

      However that view that narcissists never ask if they’re a narcissist came before narcissism became such a trending hot topic online. With so much information on the internet about NPD, narcissism and narcissists, with so many people interested in it, discussing it, and aware of the concept that – narcissists don’t tend to ask themselves if they’re narcissists – and using that concept as a criteria to identify a narcissist, things have changed.

      Narcissists have access to all the same information which non-narcissists do about NPD and narcissism, and they’re adept at altering their surface behaviour, adjusting their persona, to suit what is popular. It’s all about appearances, how others perceive them.

      A narcissist interested in the information about NPD would pay close attention to the criteria used by people to identify a narcissist, they would study it, observe how it is being used, and they would incorporate it into their persona making sure that they say and do all those things that a narcissist doesn’t say and do, avoiding those things that a narcissist does say and do. They would make sure that they had an audience to witness them ‘not being a narcissist’, and to hear them ask – Could I be a narcissist? – and they’d make a point of adding that – a narcissist would never ask that question – using articles they’ve read to support them, stressing that ‘experts’ agree that this is proof that they couldn’t be a narcissist, and then they’d get those listening to confirm that as a fact for them.

      They would probably also use someone else as an example of what a ‘real’ narcissist is like, and compare themselves with this other person – demolishing the character of the other person while building their own character up. They tend to use a – this is a bad person and compared to them I’m a good person, ergo I’m all good – method of persona maintenance.

      It’s all about perception, controlling how you appear and how others see you – therefore nowadays narcissists are more than likely to ask if they’re a narcissist and do it publicly. They might even use it as an opener in a conversation about narcissism, especially if they have accused someone else of being a narcissist, as they would want to preempt the possibility that they’d get accused of being the narcissist, so they would bring it up to get there first and remove it as a threat to their image. They would use the fact that they’d asked that question to prove to themselves and others that they couldn’t be a narcissist because a narcissist would never ask if they were a narcissist. However the way they would do it would differ from the way a non-narcissist would do it. They’re not genuinely asking the question, they’re not self-reflecting, they’re simply putting on a show for an audience to prove to themselves and others that they can’t possibly be a narcissist if they ask that question.

      So the criteria is not reliable as a sign of whether someone is a narcissist or not. What is more reliable is the manner in which the question is asked, how it is being used, the context of it, and the motivation behind it.

      The question itself is about self-reflection. Self-reflection is not something that a narcissist does, they tend to use others as a reflective surface and they manipulate scenarios to get the reflected image that they want.

      A narcissist asking if they’re a narcissist is not asking it as part of self-reflecting, they’re not asking themselves – am I a narcissist? – and genuinely wondering about it, truly worried about it, concerned about their behaviour and their effect on others, willing to face reality, wanting to find out, investigating and exploring the issue to find a real answer. They’re simply doing what they always do, telling others what they want to hear, putting on a show, working on how they appear and creating an illusion.

      Narcissists can be aware of their own narcissism, but the self-awareness tends to be fleeting. Like moments of sun peeking through cloud, and it usually leads to a reset. Whenever they’re forced to face something not pretty about the picture they paint of themselves, and expose the face behind the mask, it makes them feel very vulnerable and they tend to reset themselves. They often disappear for awhile, then come back as though nothing happened. The awareness gets lost as they repeat their usual pattern. They’re very consistent in their patterns.

      Overt narcissists tend to be more aware of their behaviour, and may not worry too much about being perceived as a narcissist – some narcissists quite enjoy being a villain.

      Covert narcissists tend to be less self-aware, prefer to be a hero, a damsel in permanent distress. Some psychologists refer to Covert narcissists as ‘vulnerable’ or ‘sensitive’ narcissists. They tend to believe their own illusion and the persona they’ve created, they’re the ones most likely to vote themselves least likely to be a narcissist as they see themselves as a Highly Sensitive Person, empathic to a fault, all things they know don’t fit the criteria for NPD, and they often take those pop-psychology tests online to prove that. If a Covert narcissist asks if they’re a narcissist it usually ends up with them discovering that they’re not after much drama and many public displays of intense concern that they might be.

      For more on the different types of narcissists you might find this article interesting, it’s an in-depth perspective on Narcissism – http://energeticsinstitute.com.au/narcissism

      You’re absolutely right not to focus on your blog’s stats. Bloggers who are narcissists are usually obsessed with their stats as they need an audience to measure their own worth. Blog stats aren’t a measure of your blog or of you, they’re simply a piece of software. Write and share your story because it is what you need to do for yourself, and listen to your own story, healing, recovery and anything else you’re looking for is inside of you and not outside of you. When you listen to your voice telling your story you touch the heart of your self.

      Like

      1. My nex tried to be in control of how others see him and he also didn’t want to be a control freak so he didn’t stop me from doing things or force me to do things but he did it in a way where I felt I had to do it so i still felt he was controlling. Like you wrote, they adjust their behavior, change so they won’t fit the narcissistic box. I am realizing he only changed how he did it when he got that accusation of being a control freak and I do suspect he has been accused of it or else he wouldn’t have said it. And he cared way too much what people thought and for a while I just thought it was his anxiety and OCD but now I realize that was him being a narcissist. My husband cares what others think too but he doesn’t get controlling about it. He is also a private person but he doesn’t get controlling about it like my nex did. You definitely learn the difference when you realize someone you knew was a narcissistic so them having low self esteem or jealousy or being self conscious had nothing to do with their behavior and that is not typical behavior for people who are jealous or self conscious or care what others think and worry. So that means you can stop weeding out people who get jealous or have low self esteem, etc. because your ex or ex friend were narcissist or your parent. For years I thought that is what people with those things did what my nex did. I thought it was normal behavior for that, especially the black and white thinking. And I did read that they tend to work in management and being a boss of a company and that was my nex alright and he was considered a cold hearted boss and people who do the hiring actually like that. I was surprised because from what I had read, you usually get fired for such behavior but not him, instead bosses had always liked it so they would train him to be manager and after that he started to only take management positions where he could be in control.

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        1. One of the gifts narcissists give us is the ability to recognise the difference between a healthy way of relating and an unhealthy one. Thanks to the nightmare you went through with your nex, you have a personal point of reference which shows you what a great relationship you have with your husband. So, ultimately you win. Your nex is off still creating mess wherever he goes, still stuck in his cycle of behaviour, while you’ve moved on and are in a happy relationship. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  21. Hi this is my first ever reply on internet…. somehow or other I felt the urge to post a reply…..I am in such a mess….dont know how to come out of it.i have been a victim of a narcissisic and violent person for the past six years and it sucked my life out of me…I became almost like a zombie ….and then to come out of it I started depend on someone and he also came out the same characteristics. ..and eventually I became a mother of a child …once I got sure that I am again caught up in another one..i felt very depressed. .had suicidal tendency …got scared and cryed a lot…then slowly I started reading the facts in internet…then my horror I found out almost everyone beside me is narcissist ..either abuser or victim. ..and it left me so sad and perplexed. ..I just cant think of anything else…now I started wondering whether I am also one of them or why did I attract so many n people in my life.then with this note I started working on me….building up my courage, not meeting the narcissist need and chossing my own decisions. though I am very alert as anytime he could cause me great harm but mentally I became confident…pray for me

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      It sounds to me as though you’re experiencing the PTSD which comes from being in a relationship with a narcissist. It can be very subtle at times, and if you’ve been in a long relationship with a narcissist the symptoms and signs of it can go unnoticed because you’ve become used to them.

      This is a post about that on a blog which discusses the effects of being in a relationship with narcissists – http://letmereach.com/2014/02/01/ptsd-in-the-aftermath-of-narcissistic-abuse/

      Wondering if you’re a narcissist, seeing signs of narcissism in everyone around you and believing that you’re surrounded by narcissists, are normal symptoms when you’ve been in a relationship with a narcissist and experienced narcissistic abuse. It causes hyper-vigilance and over-sensitivity. Everything hurts, and everyone seems to be a threat to safety. The effects of being caught in the skewed reality of a narcissist can destabilise all sense of perspective, logic and balance, and can create all sorts of confusion, depression, exhaustion, and bleakness.

      Working on yourself, as in getting to know yourself better, is very good the step towards healing and recovering from your experiences. Our relationship with ourselves influences our relationship with others, and is also the most important relationship in our lives. Be gentle with yourself. Give yourself plenty of time and space to figure things out and work through your story, understand who you are and what you have been through.

      And be careful not to try to fix what isn’t broken – if you do attract narcissists this does not mean that there is something wrong with you, it often means there is something very right with you. Narcissists are often attracted to our qualities, talents and natural abilities, the problem is that what they love and admire about us is something they want to own, and when they find out they can’t take it from us they start to hate the things they loved, envy what they admired and then they set about dismantling us until they’ve wrecked it all and leave us feeling like a hollowed out wreck.

      You’ve been battered and bruised, are in pain, but underneath it all you’re a strong and vibrant being and you will recover, and come out of it all wiser and healthier.

      Have you joined a support group or are you seeing a therapist, these can be helpful in building confidence and in recovery. It’s important to connect with people who understand what you’ve been through, to tell your story and feel acknowledged, heard and supported. It can help reduce the isolation which comes from having been sucked into a narcissistic nightmare. You are not alone.

      Please take good care of yourself!

      Like

  22. “So speaking up and out about your experience is a necessary part of breaking free from the prison of silence of your isolation.”

    Thank you for this! I’ve posted some of my story on a few sites in the past year, and every time I do, I worry that I’m dwelling too much on the past and indulging in self-pity. I am torn between thinking I should grow a spine and just move on with my life; and thinking that I’m going through a process of understanding and learning that may take a while. I feel weak, worthless, selfish, and a loser who doesn’t have the strength of character to make something of my life – and then I remember that this is what my mother always told me.

    I was raised by a malignant narcissist mother, but I had no understanding of what she was as defined in some of my recent reading. In my mind, she was evil – a demon with a massively bloated ego that she kept hidden behind a very charming and attractive persona. But thank God for the internet! The understanding I’ve gained has meant so much. There are other people out there who’ve been through what I’ve been through! Knowing this, I am much less alone than I was 2 years ago, even though there is no one in my private life who I can tell these things to.

    I left my mother and my twisted family behind about 3 years ago (prior to discovering all this wonderful information on the internet), which I believed I had to do. I was deeply sick of events always twisted to make me out to be the bad guy. I wanted out of my tiny crippled little existence living in a state of cringing shame, humiliation, and anxiety. It took years to accept that my mother deliberately and maliciously molded me into that person – no one is born that way. I finally realized it would never change and I couldn’t fix it. I could only leave, and I thought the world would be horrified that I had done such a selfish thing. I was amazed to discover that many victims of narcissists go No Contact! I am confident I made the right decision, even though the isolation and loneliness is hard sometimes (I’m very introverted). I feel I better equipped now to deal with narcissists in the future, as I have unwittingly drawn them to me in the past. Knowledge is strength for sure.

    Narcissism is much discussed in the media these days. I’m glad that this is so, because it’s helped me; but I can imagine that people will be wrongly labeled and vilified. I have a tendency now to see malignant narcissism everywhere, but I am wary of it – I find myself thinking of people I’ve encountered in the past as narcissists. I believe a woman I work with is a narcissist. But I don’t really know – I have only my own experience to inform my belief, and no training. I’m trying to make sense of it all, and don’t want to inflict harm while I flail about during this process. I hate a witch hunt, and don’t want to contribute.

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      I think you have made the right decision, it comes across in your words, in how you express yourself. There’s an undercurrent of strength, quiet confidence and personal power which shines through, which is always a sign that you’re on the right track for yourself.

      One of the things I found out from my own experience of going No Contact from my family was that even though I knew it was the right thing to do I would go through periods of intense self-doubt and confusion. Those were less about the decision I’d made and more about all the things which had been suppressed and hidden coming to the surface.

      When we’re stuck in the relationship with our narcissist parent we often cut ourselves off from our feelings, thoughts, knowledge. It’s a coping mechanism, as well as being what is demanded of us by them – our life has to be all about them, not about us. When we sever ties with the narcissist all those feelings, thoughts, and the knowledge which we had denied ourselves come rising up, we reconnect with the denied parts of ourselves, get in touch with all that we’d lost touch with, make life about ourselves (which is a very bizarre experience for a child of a narcissist) and it can be overwhelming to our system.

      It can be disorienting to no longer live under the oppressive regime of the narcissist parent. We’re so used to living in their version of reality, having to deal with them making everything all about them, that not living in it can feel frightening. We’re basically starting from scratch, learning about the world and life in a new way without the crazy rules and views of the narcissist. We can finally be who we are and not who they want us to be for them. At first it is an amazing feeling to be free of them, but then we realise that we’ve cut ourselves loose from the only reality we’ve ever known and we’re drifting in a world which is unfamiliar – that’s when we may find ourselves gravitating to other narcissists because that type of person offers us the safety of the familiar, the patterns we’re used to, the uncomfortable comfort zone.

      There’s a strange emptiness which comes with going NC which tends to hit us after the euphoria of finally breaking free from the narcissistic prison wears off. It’s a bit like surfing on a wave and then getting knocked off the board, falling into the water and getting spun around, not sure which way is up and worrying about drowning.

      It takes awhile to adjust, to accept our newfound freedom and all the pros and cons which come with it. Letting go and moving on is both easy and hard. Some parts of it will feel natural, some will be things we’ve always longed for and now we finally have them (which can be both wonderful and weird – we’re not used to getting what we want or being able to give it to ourselves), and some things can feel worse in some ways because we have to deal with all that we have put off dealing with due to not being safe enough before to do so.

      One of the things which helped me was something I read in a book by Thomas Moore awhile ago – he mentioned that when we feel safe, that’s when fears we’ve suppressed come out of hiding and ask us to face them. One of the fears which often comes up after freeing ourselves from a narcissist is one of identity – they’ve been telling us who we are for so long and the identity they’ve given us usually isn’t a pleasant one (the narcissist needs us to be the opposite of who they are trying to be, so we’re a villain or useless nobody so that they can be a hero and an important somebody), and we have to face the fear that we may be who they’ve told us we are or, worse still, that we’re not at all who they’ve told us we are for most of our lives and we accepted that for far too long.

      Children of narcissists are used to being hard on themselves, pushing themselves aside for others, dismissing our own stories, forcing ourselves to let go and move on, unheard and unseen. Learning to be gentle with ourselves can be very challenging. Respecting our needs is something which we think is a crime… but it is anything but that.

      The introversion, the loneliness and isolation can seem harsh at times, but it is an intrinsic part of the healing process.

      Give yourself plenty of time to figure things out in your own way. Let yourself emerge from within gradually, trusting instinct and intuition. You’re going to be fine, sometimes you’ll know it and sometimes you won’t. Sometimes you’ll be on top of the world and sometimes you’ll be buried by the weight of things. Sometimes the world will be full of wonderful people and sometimes it’ll seem populated by narcissists. You’ll swing from extremes until you find your own sense of balance. Much of what we go through is about getting to know ourselves, our rhythms and flow, we get to know it by experiencing all of its facets.

      You have a very good understanding of things, and that will grow and evolve. Give yourself kudos, keep doing what you are doing, and take good care of yourself.

      Like

  23. Confused, so confused
    I came here by googling ” am I a narcissist?) it’s been 7 years in a relationship with my husband that at one point almost drove me insane. He told me it was over a month ago when I didn’t agree with him in an argument and with help from a therapist I’m learning to just move on, learning how unhappy I am. After thanksgiving he said he wanted to talk about us and I said ok. We went to breakfast today when he went on and on about how selfish I am and he also said he thinks I am a narcissist. I honestly get so confused when we talk that I just don’t know what to say, I always end up taking responsibility and saying I’m working on changing he said that he doesn’t think I’m a bad person but I have problems …… Then he says look I went house hunting for us and we are supposed to look at this 6 bedroom home oh and I’m also getting a new car am I crazy ? How did we go from divorce, to all my flaws to a new home n car? I can’t tell if I Am a narcissist I just know I can’t fall back into the trap of pretending everything ok… How do I distance myself , it’s like I’m addicted to feeling shitty or am I sick and need help ?

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  24. Lately I’ve been researching some issues I’ve had regarding my family. My mother has always displayed signs of being a Narcissist, or maybe it’s me. I don’t know 😦 I am completely confused with what is going on. Am I the Narcissist? Is my mother? Are both of us?! As I was reading a post clarifying the symptoms, I found that some did describe me in my lowest of moments. So I’m quite afraid that something might be wrong with me and how I can fix it? I’m only 16 so I can’t go to get therapy.. well.. without my mother calling me crazy. She has a huge disdain for therapists. I’ve found an amazing guy that is good for me and I don’t want to ruin our relationship with my problems. Maybe someone here is a psychologist and they can help me? I’m very overwhelmed and trying to figure out everything has only made it worse 😦

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      If you’re finding narcissistic behaviour in yourself, please be sure to cut yourself a lot of slack when researching the issue (reading lists of signs, symptoms and criteria, etc) and don’t diagnose yourself with a worst case personality scenario. Having narcissistic behaviours and traits is something all people have, and in most cases it does not equal being a narcissist (having NPD).

      Lots of people can be narcissistic, most are not narcissists.

      In our lowest moments we can all be narcissistic, especially when confused and in pain, you need to balance your perspective with who you are in your non-lowest moments.

      You sound as though you’re considerate and caring – not something a narcissist is or does.

      You’re human, so expect to make mistakes and for life to be messy. There is nothing wrong with you that needs fixing. Your age will have bearing on what you’re experiencing now, being 16 is a complex experience, it’s a threshold between childhood and adulthood, and it can suck sometimes because you’re neither one or the other. Your mother may be having a hard time adjusting to you no longer being a child over who she has complete control, and you may find yourself butting heads with her over many issues as you define your independence. Her disdain for therapists could be because she’s been to one and didn’t have a good experience or it could be because she’s afraid that you seeing a therapist might reflect badly on her (that is a narcissistic view, but not necessarily due to NPD – everyone can have ego issues).

      If you would like more info on narcissist mothers these are useful sites:

      https://theinvisiblescar.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/surviving-the-narcissistic-parent-acons-adult-children-of-narcissists/ – very good post, describes what it is like to have a narcissist parent accurately

      http://www.narcissisticmother.com/ – info on narcissist mothers, describing the different types and how they affect their children.

      https://www.reddit.com/r/raisedbynarcissists/ – this is a forum for children of narcissists, and you should read this post on the forum – https://www.reddit.com/r/raisedbynarcissists/comments/1p1uag/help_i_think_i_am_a_narcissist/

      Does your school have student counselors? If they do you could try that route therefore by-passing your mother. Or you could put your wish to see a therapist to your mother in a way which she would encourage. This is quite an informative post about trying to convince your parents to let you see a therapist – http://counselingmn.com/parenting-teenagers/how-to-tell-your-parents-you-want-to-see-a-counselor/

      Don’t worry about your amazing guy, he’s human too, so he’s probably got problems too. Maybe you can help each other figure things out together.

      Take good care of yourself!

      Like

      1. I had some difficulty finding my comment I had placed earlier this week, so I decided to make a new reply. Thank you so much for the e-mail and the information your provided! I found it extremely useful and I bookmarked the pages you sent me.

        As for some of your suggestions, there was a few problems. First, I do not attend public school like I would like to 😦 So I have no access to a school counselor, unfortunately. But I’m still working on finding a way to see a therapist in a way that my mother would be approving of. That part seems to be proving difficult, though.

        But I have decided that as soon as I turn 18, I will be seeing a therapist because narcissism isn’t the only thing that has effected my life, in fact, many things have. I spoke with my boyfriend on this matter, and thankfully, he is very understanding and is trying to help me out through all of this. I joined some support groups in hopes that I it might help me. Whatever all these issues I am having are, I don’t want them to influence the people I love or any children I might have in the future so the sooner the better lol

        Thank you very much for your reply and support! It was very nice seeing it appear in my email amiss the advertisements haha I will remain open minded to any help I can get from anyone 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. TY 🙂

          You sound as though you have a good grasp of yourself and your situation, your mindfulness will go a long way to helping you sort things out. I know you’re worried about affecting those you love (including your future children) with your issues, and the fact that you’re concerned about this shows a deeply caring and insightful quality. You and your loved ones are going to be fine.

          While you’re waiting to get a therapist, just keep doing what you’re doing, and get to know yourself – you sound really lovely 🙂

          Best wishes!

          Like

  25. I met my ex online. When we met I wasn’t in the best place in my life. 8 year relationship with two kids involved, ended very nasty. I used send as a coping mechanism because I didn’t have to commit and it made me feel wanted. It was a long distance relationship with us seeing each other every two weeks. I felt I had met the man of my dreams because I had never felt so close to someone and he made me feel like I was the best thing the ever happened to him. Sending me texts and flowers, showering me with love. I had never been so happy.

    I feel that I am a co dependent person due to the fact I lack boundaries. I do not like anyone to think badly of me. I still kept in contact with some men that I had been with before I met my ex. I still needed closure with issues as well with a couple of them. I never met these men, only via text and phone calls. I never disclosed this to him due to the fact that I had seen the he was still giving his ex money and a few other women he had been communicating on a not just friend level. He found out one day when I lied about a text I had meant to send to my kids father went to him instead. I told him that it was for my niece due to the fact he didn’t like how I handled things with him, I didn’t want him mad. He then persisted I give him the password to my phone company. I did and that was the end of the fairy tail.
    He is a genius at computers and took all the numbers, found out who they belonged to, and made color spreadsheets of phone calls and texts. He interrogated me for days, months, over a year. Wanted to know what the conversations were, my feelings for them, he would even tell me what I did or thought. I was demeaned and put down so much that when he would back me into a corner with his assumptions I gave in. I admitted to so many things I didn’t even do and when I combated it later on it made worse. No, I didn’t admit it at first because I knew I did wrong but I also new he was doing it to. Which does not condone my wrong. It got to where he went back 8 years of my life and questioned me about every guy on my Facebook and phone records from before I even met him.
    I would lash out at him and call him names because I wanted him to hurt like he was doing to me. After he found out I was talking to men I changed my number and never did it again. He never stopped. I would see emails to his ex. Be with him when numerous woman called and he would say it’s nothing and I deserved it because I was a liar. If I didn’t tell him the truth he could do whatever he wanted. He went to someone else on this last birthday. We broke up right after mine and he sent me a trash can as my present, granted I did say I needed one, but on my birthday? He took his son to California this past April and after that week I was nothing. He had a new woman and gave me the silent treatment for a while. I begged for him to come back but he blamed me for it all. I did see him throughout that relationship, we would meet in hotels when he flew to me.
    I know I did wrong too, I know I talked about him, but I always tried to seek help because I didn’t know if it was all truly my fault or not. I threw things and yelled and cut him off during arguments. I was verbally abusive to him when I got angry when I was pushed to that point. I feel so confused, lost, helpless. I call back to back to him sometimes trying to get him to acknowledge that he did me wrong too. He hangs up on me and blocks me from everything and then eventually will unblock me from one thing to communicate. When he gets mad again or doesn’t like what I say I’m blocked again. I could never do that to someone. I know I need therapy but I can’t afford it. He says I don’t go because I’m not honest. I need advice on if this is what I get because of what I did or if he is a narcissist?

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      I don’t think things are as simple as – “if this is what I get because of what I did or if he is a narcissist?”

      From your description of the relationship, both of you did things which are not particularly healthy for a relationship, that does not mean that either of you are narcissists, or deserve what you get because of the way you behaved. You’re both human and behaved as humans sometimes do, especially when emotional, in pain, confused, or because of past hurts and complex relationships with others.

      Relationships are always complicated, especially the one we have with ourselves which influences all our other relationships.

      Therapy does seem to be a good way to go, particularly as you’ve mentioned that you would like to do it, and you said that you entered this relationship shortly after the end of a long and painful 8 year relationship.

      If you can’t afford to pay for a therapist, perhaps a support group might be an option, or maybe there is a non-profit therapy organisation in your area. Have you tried searching for free therapy, counseling or support groups in your locality?

      This is quite a good site for looking for both therapists and support groups based on location – https://groups.psychologytoday.com/rms/

      This site is for finding therapists – http://www.goodtherapy.org/

      Right now I would advise focusing on yourself, your recovery and healing. Take care of yourself, work on your relationship with yourself.

      Best wishes.

      Like

      1. I wasn’t fully honest about it all back then and I wanted advice on my end as well. I lied a lot in the beginning, during, and after. I lied about what I drove, how much money I made, even when we met online I told him I was down for a bachelorette party when I was dating someone else. I would lie about things I should have never lie about, for instance, I lied about being at work when I was really home. Lie about when I was out with friends saying I was at their house but was out with them at a bar. Things that anyone would think I was being sneaky and cheating because I would think the same of them. I don’t know why I do it either, when I’m not doing anything malicious or really wrong I lie to avoid conflict or anyone thinking bad of me. I lack boundaries and can be used easily. Am I the narcissist in this? I have made bad mistakes and cannot fix it as hard as I try in which I don’t blame him at all. I am not really sure what I’m asking for in this, guess a little advice from a outside perspective.

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  26. Thank you for this article. It is intriguing, to say the least. I usually don’t reply on blogs or to articles online, but my current situation, I think, warrants it. My wife of 18 years has decided I am an abusive narcissist. She never accused of this to my face, but none the less, this seems to be her conclusion. I am concerned about whether or not this is true, and I have sought to understand this through Internet research. With a last name as uncommon as ours, it was not long before I found her comments on various blogs and support groups seeking support.

    As I looked through these support groups and the way they spoke of their relationships, especially how quick they are to advocate the immediate termination of relationships, I began to grow concerned that my wife would take drastic measures. It seems, according to the Internet, that I show some of the signs, but don’t we all? I see the main difference being that I am not detached from others’ emotions, but I don’t let others’ emotions rob me of my own. (I recognize you’re hurt, but so am I) If I am truly what the Internet says a narcissist is, according to these people I am unsalvageable with no hope of change (should just be discarded?) it seems these people just feed off of each other’s anger.

    We have both struggled with alcohol in the past. We do not drink at all anymore. We have said hurtful things to each other in the past, but not anymore. I have made many positive changes, am far from perfect. Yet, she has had a history of, and I guess still continues to, talking to her and my family and her friends behind my back, always painting herself as the victim and me as the monster.

    The thing is, I don’t think I’m a monster. I think I’m a man who has been very patient with a wife and mother of our children who has not been very good at either of these roles. I used to try to speak with her about these things, and she would promise change or placate me for a while but go back to her old ways. Then speaking with her became harsher and turned into arguments. She would turn on the victim card about how bad I made her feel. I guess I am a better arguer than her because she would have excuses that were easy to pick apart as being just that — excuses. She resented that and claimed I was twisting her words.

    So am I an abusive narcissist? I think I’m more like a husband who has become tired of a lazy wife. I’m the one who gets up to make breakfast on the weekends for the kids. She sleeps in (sometimes to obscene hours, like 3 or 4 p.m.). She makes us late to important family events to the point where we often have to take separate cars, especially if it’s something the kids have to get to. If i complain, I’m a horrible person and off we go to Facebook Messenger or text message to tell people how horrible I am. She is so secretive with her cell phone, I have no real idea what she is saying about me, but the things I have stumbled across by accident point to this. We argue, and I have a hard time taking criticism simply because there is so much fault that is attributable to her acts of commission or omission. My fault seems to be in pointing out hers when she provokes me.

    How do I know if I am the narcissist? Who can diagnose this? We are in marriage counseling with a LCSW to supposedly save our marriage while she secretly is researching how to grey rock me, whatever that is. Do I need to see a psychiatrist or psychologist on my own?

    Sorry if this seems rambling, but it’s late and I’m kind of emotional.

    Like

    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Sorry for the delay in replying.

      First of all you’re spot on about all humans being narcissistic. Narcissism is a phase of human development which we all go through and therefore we all have narcissistic traits and behaviours – this is healthy, normal and natural. Since narcissists have become a hot trending topic the focus online has been mainly on unhealthy narcissistic behaviour and traits, the ‘negative’ aspects of narcissism, and people tend to only discuss the worst of it.

      There does seem to be quite a bit of confusion over the difference between someone who is being narcissistic and someone who has NPD, with quite a few not really caring that there is a difference, and it does appear to have gone down the road where everyone is now being accused of being a narcissist by others.

      Forums can be supportive and helpful, but they can also become a place where triggers are rife, anger gets stirred and directed towards negative ways of dealing with issues which need to be dealt with more logically – such as through therapy with a professional. They do at times seem to inspire a certain pack mentality (which seems to verge on a Witch Hunt), and quite a few people have reported bad experiences similar to the ones which CZBZ on the Narcissistic Continuum has written about. Those with NPD can use forums too and do.

      You don’t come across as a narcissist. The way you express yourself does not have the markers of someone with NPD. You don’t sound particularly narcissistic either. Overall you sound like a human being who is exhausted from dealing with a stressful situation and complex relationship which has reached an impasse.

      Since you are in marriage counseling, you could ask your LCSW about this matter as it would be relevant to the counseling, especially if your wife has decided that you’re a narcissist. Has your wife been diagnosed with depression or an anxiety disorder – laziness and sleeping late can be signs of depression or being drained by dealing with anxiety. Your LCSW might be able to either answer your question about narcissism themselves or recommend a course of action. It might be an idea to see a therapist on your own as this will give you your own private place to figure things out and find answers to the questions which you have. If you do decide to see a therapist make sure they have experience with narcissism and NPD.

      Please take good care of yourself, and be gentle with yourself – don’t diagnose yourself, or let your wife diagnose you, with narcissistic personality disorder, consult a professional (and make sure they have expertise on NPD).

      Like

  27. I have read your article because my ex has accused me of being the narcissist pretending to be the victim and my doctor is throne who told me what a narcissist is because I blamed myself for everything and if I had just been good enough and had done this or that then he wouldn’t have treated me like this. I had asked this is a question manys time during my therapy sessions because if I am I do not want to hurt anyone the way I have been. I don’t want others to live in fear and hide and I want to face my sicknesses so I can heal. I have my faults and I have been rude and at times mean and hurtful but then ai feel awful and spend much time asking for forgiveness. I spent many years avoiding (avoidance is big I don’t like to fight but that is what ended up happening for way to long) I fought to have a voice and was made to feel like I wasn’t worth anything. That fog is real and if my ex wants to call me a narcissist then so be it. I am exhausted from my relationship to this person and have learned that my healing starts with me. God help me if I ever hurt anyone this way. I get very frustrated with the statement made to me about me being selfish for the fight and healing I have been through and will go through for a very long time. I am learning everyday and if I question myself to make sure I don’t do this to anyone else I will. Ok I am rambling but that being said. I want to heal and be whole and to know I can help someone else then I will. This is something that is my goal to make sure I am my voice and I am alive. For so long I felt I had neither. So if he calls me a narcissist to make himself look better then so be it but I will keep moving forward and keeping myself in check everyday.

    Like

    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Sorry for the late reply.

      These days with so many people aware of NPD and narcissists the accusation of ‘narcissist’ gets used a lot. Narcissists in particular like to use the accusation quite liberally. Non-narcissists tend to be far more careful about labeling someone else a narcissist.

      If your ex is calling you a narcissist, then the best tactic is to shrug his accusation off, like you said – if he wants to call you a narcissist, then so be it.

      Narcissists will accuse others of all sorts of things, and there is absolutely no reasoning with them about it. They’re not interested in the truth or logic, working things out or anything other than pandering to their own ego issues. They accuse others to make themselves feel better, to shift the blame, to pass on responsibility, etc.

      Keep doing what you are doing to heal. Be gentle with yourself, give yourself time to work things out at your own pace. You’re going to be fine, you can hear the strength coursing through you in your words.

      Take good care of yourself, and don’t worry about being selfish – that’s a healthy way to be sometimes.

      Like

  28. Hi,

    Firstly, thank you to the author of this blog. To the comments above mine, I shall read later.
    I came to this site because for days I have been self-anaylsing whether or not I am Narcissistic, and my wife a victim. Time and how I generally talk (long winded, round the houses, examples, details, etc) will not permit me to tell my story at this time.
    But I can say this. I think she (the wife) has Narcissistic ways, and so do I. Both of us had Narcisisstic mothers to some extent.
    I have ALWAYS examined my heart and motives. Always. Always looked at my pain and hurt and emotional outbursts and asked “why can’t you control yourself when you FEEL like your buttons are being pushed”.
    There is a LOT I can say about my wife, how she behaved, her emotions, comments, tone, social circle/standing, etc, etc.
    But I doesn’t change anything.
    I want to admit her, publically, again, that I knew what she was before we dated. People warned me against her. They warned her of me (I am an intuitive, sentitive person – but also very confident, self-assured, and talented/creative). I genuinely feel, and people, and she, would say I am so wonderful and this and that, I should make more of my abilities and whatever. I DON’T have to say I am a real man. People see it and feel it. I am charming. I am considerate. i am a giver of my mind, emotions. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I am honest. I apologise first.
    I am not perfect. i shout, I argue (actually, when she left 4 months ago with our 3 children, after me telling her 18 months prior, that I can see this is the beginning of the end but I will not leave our kids again, I will stick this out for their sakes, but I shall wean off of them as I know our legal sysatem, and the way you have always been calm, calculated, the victim, never swear at me or call me names, everyone will “know” that I am an abusive person and you did well to put up with all those years – 11 years).
    In our premarital counselling (we were both dedicated Christians at the time) she….what am I doing. I can’t help but try to defend myself.
    I feel like I’m the crazy one.
    Yes I’ve hit her when she said the most hurtful things – threats of calling the police. Actually, it wasn’t threats. It was “I love you so much. If I didn’t, I would’ve called the police every time you call me names and swear at me. You are abusive. But I don’t”. That made my blood boil. i’d go from 0-100. Sometimes I’d see it coming a mile off and deal with her and tell her she’s being manipulitive and antagonising, and the situation would diffuse. Other times she would “act out”, I mean like a spoilt child, and I would say “No. I’m not doing this with you. You wanted me to be strong and not get emotional, and I’m trying, but you are pushing buttons on purpose. So I’m going for a walk, and if you want we can sit and talk when I’m back. When I get back, she would apologise.
    I recognise we are both broken children. Both to blame and also both victims of our parents.
    But…and this is huge for me…I’ve ALWAYS wanted to talk and work through our problems, fights, disagreements. ALWAYS took the lead as a husband and a dad – like “honey, we said we’d leave a t 7 to get the kids to bed. Let’s go”…30 mins later she’s still talking. So I snap “We’re going. Let’s go!”. For the children’s sleep and growth. Not for control of her. Not for anything other than “she does not think about anyone except herself).
    I’m doing the thing I said I wouldn’t.
    It’s hard. I am a mess. Since I met her I have not been myself (22yr old, she was 24.).
    She lies all the time. I NEVER lie. EVER.
    When I watched “Gone Girl”, I didn;t even know what the movie was about. When I saw her driving in the car and saying she set him up I got soooo scared. I have the ability to think like that (I tested as an ENTP on MBTI, not a cold one though, a very sensitive one). But I knew my wife could do that to me and not bat an eye.
    I continue to examine myself, and its hard to not “play the victim card”.
    I’m just tired. Real tired of fighting.
    I am very competitive. Love to win – but honest and play fair. I am not a gloat. Or a show off.
    But now….because I hit her, because I shout, because everyone of our then mutual friends have seen me “take charge”, because I discipline my children and don’t give them sweets EVER because of their teeth (now 10, 8 and 2. I mean when they were toddlers). Because I DECIDED a Gina Ford sleep routine would be best for them, and us, and help raise healthy children. I WAS the controlling parent.
    I tell you. I could write for aaaaaages.
    I don’t say ANY of this to get support or praise or approal.
    Its doesn’t matter what anyone sees or thinks.
    I am saying all this, in a very haphazard way in the hopes that SOMEONE will read it and say “F*&K ME!! I thought I WAS THE ONLY ONE!!”.
    If one person gets encouraged to know they are not crazy. That they are not the SOLE perpetrator.
    If one person says “NO!”. I refuse to be controlled by ANYONE; and has inadvertently now “PROVEN” they are control freaks. Then know you are not alone.
    When the judge at my divorce and custody hearing tells me news I don’t want to hear, which I have already prepared myself for. I shall appeal, and then accept the consequences of my choice to date and marry a broken girl and take risks that I could “change” her, and that “she would love and understand and help me become a better man and husband and father”, and it backfired.
    Now all I can do is wait to see my kids again.
    Is be there for them. want her back. As twisted as it sounds. I have NEVER been so hearkbroken, even when my dad killed himself when I was 18. Yes, that hurt a LOT. And my mum did NOT help. Did NOT look at her role or actions that hindered him.
    I moved out in order to get HIM out. He didn’t come with me. 4 months later he was dead.
    THIS pain. My current situation. The pain of knowing 3 children COULD if I and my wife are not careful, turn out to repeat our very mistakes.
    I have always wanted to work together. I always communicated “what do you want to do. What do you think”. I get no answers or preference, so we run with my plan. Then I get blame for failure. Or being harsh. Or brutally honest.
    She NEVER could be in a team with me. Never trusted my leadership, maverick, against the grain (or rather against social norms for the sake of social norms – eg, i don’t dress perfectly, go for best job/money, am not driven to impress people, etc),
    I don’t trust or put the responsibility of society to raise my children. I/we did it ourselves. Teach them good morals and hard work. And love and forgiveness.
    But NOW. NOW she gets all the credit for their intellect and talents.
    Now they are the poster child for Home education in the Uk, so to speak. That came from ME pushes. Not taking BS from her.
    Now we have to work as a team to comply with court orders.
    I do not have high hopes andymore. But I hope I will not get angry if she messes with the kids time with me.
    Sorry for going on and on and on.
    David Pritchard (real name, because I wanted to say it. I am ashamed of the wrong I have done, but not ashamed of who i am).

    Like

    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      You’re definitely not crazy.

      What you have been going through is the sort of situation which can make anyone feel like they are going or are crazy. Confusion, volatile emotions, pain, years of pent up issues, frustration, a sense of powerlessness, loss of control, the stress of having to deal with a difficult break up after so many years together, and being separated from your children which you love and have always been their protector, all of these can cause the mind to feel as though it is fracturing as it finds it hard to reconcile so many conflicting thoughts and feelings.

      I know you said that you did not come here for support, but I do think you might find a support group helpful because it can offer you the chance to tell your story which can clarify matters by getting things out into the open rather than swirling around inside of you. When you’re caught in the middle of chaos it can be overwhelming. If you’re used to being in control, responsible, taking care of everyone else, the strong one, it can takes its toll on your sensitive side which may crack under pressure.

      Talking with people who understand what you’re going through because they’ve had a similar experience can make a big difference with the crazy-making aspects in the way that you mentioned – that you’re not crazy, and you’re not alone.

      It can also give you the information you need to figure your particular situation.

      There’s a support group in London – http://www.thelondonnarcissisticsupportgroup.co.uk/#!about/cdz4 – which has had good feedback. It’s worth checking it out.

      You might also find this blog of interest – https://apensiveheart.wordpress.com/ – it’s written by a man going through a divorce with a narcissistic wife. He has written about the complexity of still loving someone who has caused you so much pain.

      All humans can be narcissistic, especially when we’re caught up in our own pain and trauma. The narcissist behaviour acts as a protective barrier between us and our buried fears. It’s the brave face we put on which then becomes a permanent role, it’s the person we would like to be because they’re in control. We play the part until it falls apart because we can’t keep it going anymore.

      Being narcissistic is different from being a narcissist (having NPD). Those with NPD don’t have the ability to self-reflect, to face themselves and review what they’ve done, how they got to where they are, or take a long hard look at themselves with the intention of understanding, making changes, amends, coming to terms with the complexity of being human.

      Be careful when examining yourself that you are not too demanding of yourself or too hard on yourself. Be sure to cut yourself a lot of slack and be gentle with yourself. Self-compassion is important.

      Take good care of yourself.

      Like

  29. Great article.. Thanks for your insights and for posting. After reading several websites, I kept thinking that the person complaining about the Narcissist sounded a lot like one..this was on several websites … I thought it was just me. I eventually had to stop looking it up.
    Yea, Although I still walk through the valley of the shadow of death…meaning I still live with my Narcissist… I have spoken outward to people, to gain support and help. It helps a little, but in my experience it also has isolated me too. Thanks again for the article.. I’m gonna share it all over…

    Like

    1. Thank you very much 🙂

      A rule of thumb I tend to use when trying to tell whether someone who is complaining about a narcissist is a narcissist themselves or not is in the way they express themselves.

      Narcissists tend to be blamers, everything is always everyone else’s fault, and they put a lot of effort into justifying that and excusing themselves from any responsibility. They embrace the role of victim, and may get so comfortable with it they’ll get angry if someone tries to take it away from them. They tend to be on the defensive, and are overly sensitive about themselves while insensitive towards others. They don’t tend to self-reflect or question themselves or their view. Their story tends to be more dramatic than anyone else’s (and you may wonder if they’re competing for a narcisisst’s victim of the year award). They’re often self-righteous and are invariably the hero of their tale (fighting demons and dragons).

      Non-narcissists tend to do the opposite, they more often than not blame themselves, and may make excuses for the narcissist even when their narcissist has treated them with extremes of abuse, as they’re trying to be fair even when they’ve been unfairly treated. They are not comfortable being a victim and want to heal themselves, and will do what is necessary to recover. They always appreciate help, but tend to be shy about asking for help. They tend to be sensitive towards others, while often insensitive towards themselves. They also tend to use the language of self-doubt, questioning themselves, self-reflecting. Their story tends to be played down, and it takes awhile for them to reveal the full extent of what they have been through. They always tend to be worried about others, and don’t want to bother or upset people with their problems.

      There are variations based on what phase a person is in – the anger phase can make everyone sound like a narcissist. However, narcissists are always angry, and don’t tend to ever move out of that phase. With non-narcissists, the anger phase can be cathartic, go on for awhile, but eventually they level out, they don’t want to stay angry, they just need to vent because they’ve been keeping it all in.

      When sharing your story with others it can be difficult to express yourself without ending up sounding a bit crazy, especially if those to whom you are talking don’t have experience of a narcissist. Even if they know your narcissist they may have only seen the good side, the public persona playing to an audience.

      There is also the matter of who you are speaking to and whose side they are on. Narcissists are adept at getting people on their side because they know which buttons to push to keep people under their control. This is instinctive behaviour for a narcissist, they don’t actually have to think about it, they’re always doing it. Their default setting is survival, and they never relax or feel safe.

      If those you are talking to have an idealised view of your narcissist, or you, or just of people and relationships in general, then what you tell them could cause cognitive dissonance or be experienced as an uncomfortable reality which they don’t want to know about. It could also trigger issues of their own which they may be keeping hidden.

      There are many reasons why others aren’t necessarily open to receiving the information you share with them. It can be isolating to speak your truth. It’s also a good way to find out who your real friends are, and upon whom you can rely for support. So, keep doing it, keep speaking out, it’s an important part of the process, just be aware that some will flee – some of those who flee may come back once they’ve had some time to think about what you’ve told them.

      Narcissists confuse everyone, and they sometimes confuse others through us when we try to tell our story. Just keep at it, with the awareness that no everyone is going to accept it or understand. There are those who will. This is important for you to do it, as it frees you from keeping it all inside, and can help clarify matters for you.

      There are some good articles online for those who are still with their narcissist, to help with continuing to live with them.

      This is one I really like – http://www.psytalk.info/articles/narcissist.html – it explains methods of communicating with narcissists, and is interesting.

      This is one I can across recently – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sense-and-sensitivity/201209/acceptance-is-key-dealing-narcissist – I liked that it discussed accepting that the narcissist is a narcissist. It makes a difference to our approach when we accept what they’re like and that they’re never going to change.

      This is a very good article as it explains narcissism and the narcissistic wound in depth (however the formatting makes it a bit hard to read) – http://energeticsinstitute.com.au/narcissism/

      Take good care of yourself.

      Best wishes!

      Like

  30. Hey there! Not sure my story qualifies as “narcicist-themed”, but it something that makes me suffer and I would like to share with you in order to get some help.

    I am in my late twenties now and I`m the youngest of three children (me, my sister and my brother). I have a tough relationship with my sister who is the middle child and a little more than 5 years older than me. She is a good person I feel and she has helped me a lot too. But it is all good only while things are going according to her rules. My sister is the type of person who always gets what she wants. Being clever and sly, sometimes she can act like a real shark and manipulate people. She is convinced she knows best and that her way is the right way, and she will not shy away to tell you how wrong you are doing things because she is doing that for your benefit. If necessary, however, she also has good acting skills and a great ability to victimise herself. I remember once she when was in her early thwenties she locked herself in the bathroom and treatened to commit suicide because parents did not allow her to do something she wanted to. My parents love her, of course, but they have not had an easy time with her…

    She seeks approval and appreciation. She would buy or get something and then ask others to admire it (Look! It`s such a great dress. Isn`t it a great dress?). She is also social butterfly, who enjoys being in the center of attention and does not feel uneasy to throw a sarcastic joke if she wants to make fun of someone in the goup she does not find so bright. Anyways, sometimes I wish I was her friend, but not her sister, because it is her nice side she demonstrates to friends, but me, I get the ugly one too, of course.

    I am quite different from my sister. I am more introvert, I let other people live and hope they let me too. I dont go demanding thins from people and I will not bust balls to get what I want. I dont like confrontation, however I dont want to be treated like a fool either. I dearly love my parents although I do not agree to everything they do. My parents say I was an easy child, always smiling and cheerful. I guess the problem between my sister and me started already back then. But the biggest fall out happened quite recently.

    I think things took a certain course some three years ago, when I got a job offer and moved abroad. It was my first real employment and I have kept it ever since, because it is well paid and stable. For me it was a big change finally being able to afford my own life. I know that my sister was also aiming for this type of employment, but she never managed to pass the tests. But dont get me wrong, she also lives abroad, has a prestigeous job and is happily married. Her husband is a lawyer and she has a cute little three year old.

    For almost a year I was struggling to manage my new challenging job and a distance relationship. I was quite a mess to be honest! I did long hours in the office, barely had time for household management and travelld to spend weekends with my boyfriend. Apart from that I did my best to also see my sister and parents, all of whom were living in a different country in Europe. The first grand argument took place when my sister came to visit me for birthday party of a friend. The next morning I was going to the store to buy stuff for breakfast and she accused me of being selfish, because I had not thought of her and her family coming and had not done shopping before. That whole thing of course escalated…She was trying to guilt-trip me, saying how I had changed, how I had been a better person before, how I was selfish and materialistic now, how I was only thinking about my own life, how I had never offered to come baby-sit for her, how I never paid for her in a restaurant (absolutely not true), how I would never take charge to organise something together etc.

    Mind you, when I told her that I have been having a really stressful period and managing a distance relationship, it was no argument. Just like the fact that she had never herself asked me to baby-sit for her, but she expedted me to offer it. I said I could not read her mind and that the offer is always extended from my side, as long as she makes arrangements with me. I was really hurt by that and I could not believe that she honestly thinks something like that about me. It is really hard proving her wrong, a battle with her is futile, because she is always right and pushes you into corner. It left me feeling like a piece of crap and I thought, ok, I have to change something.

    Guess what? My efforts have never been enough. I tried to visit more often. I made sure I bring something with me too. I was helpful. You know, the little things people do for each other. Well, it did not…Later on I had a serious surgery (borderline cancer laparoscopy, 4 hours, bad heart-rate drop after OP), but she would belittle the experience I went through by saying that I should get myself together and that this is nothing in comparison to birth she gave. As I did the surgery in her city, I spent a couple of days with her to recover and our mother came to help out. I felt the tensions rise and when talking to my father on the phone I said I would not stay too long because I did not want to a burden. Second day after surgery she suggested we should go out for a walk.You can imagine, I was still in pain and could barely walk, all I did was sleep to recover strength. When my boyfriend arrived some days later, me and him went outside for the first time. Eventually that same night my sister and her husband just announced that they are going to the movies, as all of us are there to babysit their boy. That was unexpected and it made me upset that they are leaving at a time like that and would not even be back for a dinner together. A little later everything exploded again and I was called unthankful, egoist who did not care for her (not going for a walk with her but with the boyfriend), that I never help her with the child, never even bring the kid a chocolate and that other people also think that way. She said that my care for her does not result in actions, and asked me to list what ever have I done for her. I dont keep books on that, of course. Impossible to defend myself and not let her make me feel like the worst person in the world.

    A little calmer period came. I was keeping more distance because I felt more comfortable like that. Horrible thing to say, right? I was terrified to think about being in contact with her, because I was afraid of doing something wrong again and that I would not be able to defend myself against her attacks. I moved in and spent a lot of time with my boyfriend who is to become my husband soon. He is the most positive and generous person I have met, and even he said that this will for ever be a losing game for me. We both spent a lot of time travelling because we want to enjoy the time before we have children. Another attack came from my sister, but I stood my ground. After that she apologised.

    And just recently again she attacked me because I would not give a little thing to her that would not mean anything to her but would mean a lot to me. Irrespective of my visits and efforts, she just isolated in her view the negative things and painted me all black. Me and my fiance went to spend holidays with my sister and her family. We went there to spend some time with them. They could use our parking, pool, beach access and everything. But as my sister`s husband left earlier and we stayed with her and the little one, things got sour on her side. So during the last argument she said I had come to only enjoy my own vacation and not a vacation with her, that I had never even spoken or spent time with the 3 year old nephew (I wonder who it was then playing in the water or holding his hand), that the child had been absolutely her responsibility etc…

    I mean there are so many unfair things, I cannot enlist them. I did not want to let her damage me again and I defended myself. But I just dont know what to do, this is so hard..How do I live with that? Sometimes I wish she would leave me alone for ever and that it would be easier to tell her that she has a point and I am a terrible person and she can take it or leave it. Having a child is difficult, I understand. But it is her and her husband who are having the child, not me. I do not have to life a life as if I had a child. I think she is spiteful because she sees me doing a lot of things she cannot afford to do now with the kid. And of course I can and want to help with the little one, but she has to communicate to me what and when she needs. I have many other friends with kids and I have never heard them impose such demands or reproach their family members the way my sister does with me. And then again, I think she just despises me, thinking I got everything easy in my life. She wants to have control over me and when she realises she does not, she tries to make me feel guilty.

    Like

    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      From what you’ve related of your sister, including the way that she affects you, she sounds as though she is a narcissist. Your story is definitely qualifies as Narcissist-themed.

      I did some searches to see if I could find an article which could be helpful to you in this situation, as coping with a family member who is a narcissist can be very difficult, stressful and complicated.

      Most articles which give advice on dealing with Narcissists tend to strongly advise going No Contact and severing all ties with the narcissist, but when the narcissist is a member of your close family, and the rest of your family is not narcissistic, then going No Contact can be counterproductive and cause more suffering.

      This is a good article, and is clearly written with focus on the person dealing with the narcissist rather than on the narcissist:

      http://thenarcissistatwork.com/2013/04/the-sibling-narcissist/

      I particularly liked this part:

      “The Golden Rule of Relationships is: “You can only change yourself.” That means don’t even think about trying to change your sibiling. They of course will try to change you. They’ll violate your boundaries, anger you, betray you and drive you insane IF YOU LET THEM. So don’t. Sound impossible? Yeah, we know. It feels that way too. However, there things you can do to make it easier, in addition to the tips listed above:

      Learn to emotionally detach from your sibling. This may require a psychologist or counselor’s help, but it will be worth the heartache it will save you down the road. Learn to separate out the narcissist’s projections from yourself. Any failings or dark feelings they harbor in their own hearts will be projected onto you. By making you the problem instead of themselves, they can feel better about their dysfunction, if only for a short while. Don’t let that happen.”

      It’s important that you realise that the way your sister treats you has nothing to do with you, it is part of the disorder which she has. Narcissistic Personality Disorder makes the person who has it blame everyone else for their pain, their frustrations, their anger, their disappointments, etc. They lash out at others because they’re miserable, and misery desperately needs company. They want what you have, and they are angry that they’re envious of you because they want you to be envious of them, therefore if they take what you have for themselves then you’ll be envious of them as they are envious of you. If they can’t take it from you, they try to stop you from having it – if they can’t have it, then neither can you.

      A narcissist will indeed despise you for having success, being loved, being intelligent, talented, anything which comes naturally to you and all those things which you’ve worked hard to get. Even if they know you’ve worked hard and have been through hell to get what you have, as far as they are concerned you’re somehow blessed with good fortune and they hate you for it. They will also hate you if you’re ill, especially if it is the kind of illness that gets you attention, love and sympathy from others.

      They are completely unable to understand how destructive they are, how mean and horrible they can be, even when they know they’re being awful to you, they still don’t get it, because they’re too caught up in themselves, in the drama going on inside their heads – which is often delusional and so far detached from reality that it’s difficult for us to understand how on earth they could come up with the stories which they do.

      NPD usually starts in childhood, and narcissists tend to be stuck in the fantasy world of a child, in some event which they experienced as traumatic to their safety and security. They’re like twisted children, furious at the world because they’re hurting, expecting everyone else to do something about it, make it all better for them, but nothing anyone does for them ever makes it better. They never stop being angry at the world for not being the way they want it to be inside and out.

      There is absolutely nothing you can do to get through to her. She will never be able to see your side of the story or accept any other perspective except the warped one in her mind. She is the way that she is and it is rare for a narcissist to change the way that they are. It can happen, but it requires for them to realise that they have a problem and only they can solve it. Narcissist tend to accuse everyone else of having the problem.

      As the saying goes – NPD is the only condition where the patient is left alone and everyone else gets treated.

      However you can do certain things for yourself which will make dealing with your sister less painful for you. It will take time to get your own system into to place, and she will notice the changes you make and try to get you to go back to the way your relationship was – because what you’ll be doing is shifting the balance of control in the relationship. She’s the one who calls all the shots at the moment, you need to create a protective barrier around yourself which will diminish her control over you, your reactions, your emotions, and your mind. It’s not going to be easy, but you’ve already made a start, so build on that.

      One of the best things you can do for yourself is to stop putting up with her behaviour for the sake of keeping the peace, appeasing her, catering to her. Now, of course, if it’s at a family gathering, she will triangulate, use everyone available to force you into a compromising situation, to gang up on you, and try to control you using others. She seems to particularly like using her child to manipulate you – a narcissistic parent always uses their child to get attention and garner sympathy, and behaves as though being a parent is an impossible burden, and they’re a martyr who should be sainted for giving birth. She will continue to do that unless someone puts their foot down. Her husband doesn’t seem to do that, and neither do your parents. But you have and for a moment she backed off.

      “Another attack came from my sister, but I stood my ground. After that she apologised.”

      Build upon what you have discovered from doing this. This is the way to handle her. She may be older than you in life years, but inside she’s still about 5 years old, and she’s an angry, envious, spoiled, tantrum-throwing tot. You have to play the parent role and set boundaries, be strict, firm, and don’t let her antics get to you. She’s going to get annoyed with you no matter what you do, everything you say and do will always be wrong – so do what you want to do, do what is right for you.

      It’s damned if you do and damned if you don’t all the way with a narcissist, so you might as well choose to do what suits you.

      You’re actually the one with all the power in your relationship with her, she confirms that with everything she says and does, she’s obsessed with you, she needs you more than you need her – but don’t mistake that need for anything other than desperate hunger which is never satisfied (which is why nothing is ever good enough or enough). She will eat you alive and eat everything in your life, and it still won’t be enough.

      Yet she is more afraid of you than you are of her – however that can be hard to see because of the intense anxiety which narcissists inspire in us.

      You might want to look up articles about PTSD associated with a relationship with a Narcissist.

      You seem to have a clear perspective on why your sister behaves the way she does with you, why she has chosen you as her target. Trust what you know. You are right.

      At this time in your life you have a very special event coming up. Congratulations on your engagement! You sound like you have a truly wonderful relationship with your boyfriend, he sounds like a great partner to have by your side.

      If you’re having a wedding with family attending, she will attempt to make it all about her. Give her a distraction which will keep her too busy to mess things up on your day.

      This is an article which offers advice on how to talk to a narcissist:

      http://www.psytalk.info/articles/narcissist.html

      Point 3 in the How to get what you want from a narcissist section might be useful where your wedding is concerned:

      “Persuade the narcissist that he or she will derive something significant from doing what you want.

      It is important to determine whether the other person’s narcissism is primarily invested in beauty, intelligence, strength (meaning power or influence), or independence. As a rule, one of these will be far more significant than the others.

      Begin your request by finding a way to validate the narcissist. Admire his or her appearance, use of brain power, display of strength or control, or the adherence to principle. Make sure the narcissist has heard and accepted the compliment before proceeding.

      Link what you want to the narcissist’s preferred attribute.”

      Don’t let her ruin your wedding, or anything else – you’re the one who has the choice in the matter of whether you let her ruin things or not. Attitude makes a big difference when dealing with narcissists. The less you allow what they do and say to get to you, the better things will be for you.

      This is an article worth checking out, it’s not about narcissists, it’s about looking after yourself, being compassionate towards yourself:

      http://www.psychologymatters.asia/article/305/move-away-selfesteem-make-way-for-selfcompassion.html

      I like the end bit – “Simply, instead of beating yourself up or showering yourself with positive sentiments all the time, try to be kinder to yourself. You deserve it!”

      This situation will take time to sort out, as it has been going on since you were a child. It will take you awhile to figure out how you want to handle things, what works best for you, as there are many aspects to consider.

      Be gentle and kind with yourself, and take the time to acknowledge how you feel, what you know, what you need and wish to happen. It helps to get it all out of your system in a manner which allows you to see things clearly for yourself.

      Take care of yourself, and enjoy the love and life you have!

      Like

  31. I’m concerned I’m broken and am a narcissist as well. I’ve had a highly intelligent and well educated friend on Facebook for some time who I’ve grown to admire and adore for 4 years now. She constantly posts about narcissists and her parents being narcissists, and she posts articles warning her Facebook friends of the warning signs. We also happen to both be vegan and animal activists.

    My mother was an extremely troubled woman and she was a very tortured soul. I never had a female confidant I could speak to. My father… that’s an entirely separate issue entirely and I’d rather not go there… but one evening I messaged this woman and confided in her. I told her that I feel so much pain over how we treat the planet and the non-human souls that have a right to live in peace. I told her it’s made me dislike my own species in a way… it’s made me angry at humanity.

    Things were never the same since then. I posted on her Facebook wall a couple days ago, and she completely ignored it. She never would have done that before. I deleted it. I messaged her and asked her if I could fix what was broken. I asked her what happened and if I’d done or said something.

    She replied and told me somewhat coldly that it’s hard to get close to her and that I’m deactivated from Facebook sometimes (which I am), and that she won’t bother with people like me.

    I sunk. I took time to reply. I told her I deactivate due to having a friend list of 1700 activists and my newsfeed being so tragic and occasionally needing a break for my emotional well being. 😔 I apologized for any actions of mine that may have made her wary of me and I let her know I respected and appreciate her.

    … I was blocked that night.

    She posts constantly about narcissists and how to avoid them. Am I a narcissist? I’m terrified I’m a narcissist. 😭

    Like

    1. Good lord. I posted this on my iPhone and should have proof-read it before hand. I’m sorry for the iPhone auto-corrects that are anything but auto-corrects. :/

      Like

      1. No worries about autocorrect’s miscorrections. I’m impressed that you wrote what you did on your iPhone, I find typing on the phone too fiddly. 🙂

        First off, if one or both of your parents is a narcissist, then you should read this – https://www.reddit.com/r/raisedbynarcissists/comments/1p1uag/help_i_think_i_am_a_narcissist/ – it addresses the issue which children of narcissists often have about whether we’re a narcissist too. That forum has many interesting threads to explore too.

        You’re not broken. You’re a human being, being human is complicated, we all have many sides to us, and much of who we are is a mystery which we uncover over the course of living, and life experiences bring them to our attention. It takes awhile to get to know ourselves, and there is always something new to discover. Sometimes we feel broken, but we’re not, we’re just messy – all humans are messy. Relationships, living life, it’s all messy. Sometimes the mess is beautiful, sometimes it’s ugly, usually it is a bit of both.

        From the sounds of it, you’ve had a confusing and painful childhood with parents who dumped a lot of their crazy onto you, made you feel unsafe, made things unstable for you, and you did your best to survive, figure things out, keep yourself intact, deal with life on your own without protective guides. You’ve made the best out of a difficult situation, and you’re still working things out, trying to heal, which takes time and is a gradual process.

        We can’t figure it all out at once, our brains would melt from information overload.

        A child who grows up with difficult parents ends up creating coping mechanisms. These are very helpful to us when we are children, but sometimes they can become problematic later on in life when we’re an adult because we’re operating on an old system and not everyone knows our story enough to understand what we’re doing. Sometimes we don’t know what we’re doing either because we’ve blanked out the reasons why we do them. Bit by bit we piece things together. We ask questions and then search for answers.

        Be sure to cut yourself slack, be gentle with yourself.

        Feeling pain because of the way humans treat this planet is natural, and frankly anyone with a heart, a conscience, awareness, is going to find it painful to witness the shit we do to our home, and to all the other beings who live here. We’re an irresponsible race, we always have been – we cut down all the trees and then wonder where all the trees have gone – and as much as we’re becoming more aware of it, that awareness can be fleeting due to human nature being the way it is. Most people don’t really like other people, it’s difficult to like other people. It’s difficult to like ourselves.

        Sometimes what we don’t like about others is also what we don’t like about ourselves, and what others don’t like about us is what they don’t like about themselves.

        One question – This friend on Facebook, does your relationship with her in any way resemble your relationship with your mother, or perhaps with your father? Are you repeating a pattern from childhood?

        Going by what you’ve shared about your interaction with her, and about her – it sounds as though her issues are making her overly protective of herself, and she reacted due to her own fears.

        Since she’s posting about narcissists, and she is particularly focused on ‘red flags’, noticing warning signs and using them to protect herself from narcissists, she’s probably rather paranoid, she may be afraid that she attracts narcissists, and she may be hypervigilant in the way that children of narcissists tend to be, and therefore is looking for signs of narcissistic behaviour in everyone with whom she interacts.

        If you’re looking for signs of a narcissist, you’ll find a narcissist in everyone you meet, as all humans have narcissistic traits and behaviours – that does not make us all narcissists, it makes us human. Some people see narcissists in everyone, except themselves – narcissists in particular tend to do that.

        Now, I don’t know her side of your interaction, so I can only go with what you’ve told me. Based on what you’ve related, especially on how it affected you, I would wonder if perhaps she was what she is so afraid of others being. I would review her behaviour and compare it to the warning signs of narcissists.

        1 – She liked you when you were giving her admiration and adoration, stroking her ego.

        2 – She doesn’t like people getting to know her. She wants to control how she is perceived by others.

        3 – She went cold on you after you shared yourself openly with her, talked about yourself instead of her.

        4 – She ignored you without explaining herself or giving you any reasons. You no longer fit into the role she had given you.

        5 – She made you explain yourself, then used it to dismiss you. She needed to blame you for her behaviour.

        6 – She makes you feel as though you have to apologise for being yourself. She made you feel bad about yourself. It’s your fault she’s treating you this way.

        7 – She blocked you and that’s that – you have been discarded. You are no longer useful to her.

        8 – She has left you with the impression that she has decided you’re a narcissist, and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it because she has cut you off. She has created this image of herself as an authority on recognising narcissists. She’s the decider about who is a narcissist and who isn’t.

        These things taken separately could just be a case of a human being a messy and sometimes badly behaved human, however, if you take them all together – she’s behaving like a narcissist.

        With regards to why you sometimes deactivate your Facebook – lots of people who are very busy on FB occasionally deactivate their accounts, and their friends usually understand, especially once it is explained in reasonable terms as you did.

        The way you behaved does not make you sound like a narcissist, it sounds like you’ve been dealing with someone who may be a narcissist, or is very narcissistic because they’re so caught up in their own drama and pain that they’re rejecting others based on intense fear.

        CZBZ over at The Narcissistic Continuum has written a lot about online narcissists, and quite a few other bloggers have mentioned that they’ve come across narcissists online who post about NPD without realising they have it.

        Check out this post and the 21 signs of online Narcissists – http://n-continuum.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/21-signs-of-online-destructive.html

        Points 8 & 9 are particularly relevant:

        8) No Apology Offered

        Apologies are an admission of fault so you won’t get an apology from a narcissist. Not even a tiny concession that maybe they overreacted and misinterpreted what they thought you really meant deep down inside where your inner bitch resides, when you merely wrote back, “I liked your message.”

        “Oh yea? What do you MEAN by that? Are you insulting my intelligence? Are you making fun of me? You are, aren’t you! Don’t think I can’t read between the lines!”

        TIP: This person is not a safe friend.

        9) Apologies Demanded from Everyone Else

        On bended knee. With a lashing. Think Inquisition. Think Entitlement.

        It’s an excellent post!

        Please be gentle towards yourself, and take some time to review what happened from a different perspective, I think you’ll find that comforting and clarifying.

        You’re not broken, and if someone makes you believe that you are… take another look at them. Nobody is perfect, but some people like to pretend that they are and they use others to prove it to themselves. They will often break people just to prove it.

        Take care of yourself, you sound like a really cool human, and if I had an FB, I’d friend you (and not worry when you went on a deactivation vacation) 🙂

        Like

  32. I really hate to think I am a narcissist. Sometimes I probably am. I’m wondering if fighting fire with fire is maybe what’s going on with me, others and maybe you. In order to escape, in my opinion, my life threatening marriage to a, narcissist, I had to become one and stop feeling sorry for that sad little boy who must have had a traumatic childhood and see him for the monster he was/is to me. I had to be selfish and stop feeling his pain. I needed to feel my own pain and identify the source. Internet research helped me identify it, and helped me stop blaming myself and beating myself up over it. Two wrongs don’t make a right, or do they?

    As for a parent looking for sympathy and support for labelling an adult child a narcissist because they got cut off, renders me almost speechless. ALMOST. There is a real danger to people who are victims of narcissistic abuse. I see no danger in being cut off by someone–your own child or not. It speeks more to the child’s fear of a monster, a child trying to heal and quit pitying the scared, ignorant narcissistic “child” she unwittingly enables in her mother just by mere contact. Sounds like the kid is fighting fire with fire, narcissism with narcissism.

    Like

    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      What you’ve described doesn’t sound to me as though you’re a narcissist at all. A real narcissist wouldn’t express themselves the way that you have, and definitely would not be concerned about whether their behaviour was narcissistic. Those most likely to self-diagnose themselves as possible narcissists are those most likely not to be narcissists, but who may have been exposed to a narcissist for a long time.

      You might find this particular post interesting – https://www.reddit.com/r/raisedbynarcissists/comments/1p1uag/help_i_think_i_am_a_narcissist/

      It is directed at adult children of a narcissist, but it can also apply to anyone who has been in a relationship with a narcissist.

      When we have a relationship with someone, and that someone is a narcissist, they have a knack for bringing out the ‘worst’ in us. They have a way of infecting us with their wound, because that’s part of their disorder. They’re trying to make others take on all of their problems so they don’t have to be responsible for them. If you accept being the bad guy, being the villain, being the one who has the problem and is wrong, then they can be the good guy, be the hero, be the one who doesn’t have the problem and is right.

      Sometimes that ‘worst’ which they bring out in us is the only way to protect ourselves from what they are doing to us, because they don’t understand anything else and nothing else works when we’re trying to deal with them. If we don’t want to keep being their victim, scapegoat, then we have to harden our hearts and barricade our minds, give them a taste of their own medicine. We can’t afford to keep being non-narcissists with them because they take advantage of our humanity as they don’t have it and see it as a weakness, a way to get under our skin and manipulate us. They make everything about them, and that includes us.

      This is an article worth reading if your narcissist has a tendency to play the victim – http://goodmenproject.com/ethics-values/5-signs-youre-being-played-by-a-victim-fiff/

      And this is also worth reading, it’s written by a narcissist and is posted on a psychology blog by an author who writes a lot about the effects those with personality disorders like NPD have on others – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stop-walking-eggshells/201311/the-lament-lonely-narcissist – it shows how a narcissist makes themselves out to be the victim and turns everyone else into the victimiser, even when they are aware that they’re a narcissist they’re still not aware of it.

      The ‘selfishness’ which you ascribe to yourself isn’t the ‘bad’ kind of selfishness. It’s not the kind which real narcissists have. Having a degree of selfishness is actually normal, natural, healthy.

      This is also worth a read – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201204/it-s-fine-line-between-narcissism-and-egocentrism

      Narcissism is a natural and normal phase of development for all humans, and there is such a thing as healthy narcissism. If you identify narcissistic traits and behaviours in yourself, these may be healthy and not unhealthy. All humans can be narcissistic, and can express an unhealthy form of narcissism, especially when we are in pain, pain is a very narcissistic experience, however, that does not make us narcissists. NPD is a very distorted form of something which is natural. Real narcissists, those with NPD, do not have the capacity to be mindful, self-reflective, productively conscious, of their own behaviour, nor are they concerned about how this may affect others, they do not experience empathy the way that people without the disorder do.

      This is a humorous take on interacting with a narcissist, which as actually not as funny as it seems – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6xU_CPE310

      When dealing with a narcissist, we sometimes have to act in ways which feel wrong to us, out of character, not the way we would normally behave. But a narcissist does not behave the way that normal people behave. They do not respect us, our boundaries, therefore we have to go the extra step to do that for ourselves. If you’re naturally caring, empathic, try to understand others, cut them slack, get along with them, maybe make concessions for others, compromises, etc – In a relationship with a non-narcissist, this will be mutual and appreciated. In a relationship with a narcissist, this will not be mutual, and will not be appreciated. Narcissists see selflessness as stupid, it’s a treasure chest left unguarded for them to loot. They don’t respect others for being respectful and considerate, they see it as something they deserve to be given, but they don’t give it in return, they can take advantage of it instead.

      Sounds to me as though you’re doing what needs to be done to take care of yourself. That’s not selfish or being a narcissist. If you don’t take care of yourself, who will?

      Sometimes two wrongs do make a right, if one wrong is righting another, and the end result is positive, then it can work.

      Take good care of yourself!

      Like

  33. Thank you for writing this. In order to heal my sanity I find myself googling narcissism just to read someone elses experience and it is comforting, strangely. It has taken years to make sense. The greatest benefit is discovering how to take off the rose colored glasses — its hard!! Hopefully wont have to deal with it again directly but i have attracted several in the past. Im so glad to be aware now. Thank you this is one of the best Ive read and no way do i think you are a narcissist!! 🙂 i know the type now!

    Like

    1. Thank you very much 🙂

      I don’t think I’m a narcissist either, but I like to leave that possibility open. It’s healthy self-questioning, and a source of self-reflection, for me. And being aware of narcissistic tendencies is informative.

      I think many people do seek out the shared stories and experiences of others, as the stories of others help us to figure out our own experience and story. Reading the stories of other adult children of narcissists has definitely helped me. In fact it was through reading the blog of someone with a mother like mine which helped me to admit that my mother really was a narcissist. Up until then I kept trying to dismiss and deny it, hoping it wasn’t the case.

      The stories of others also give us support, encouragement, useful information, and let us know that we’re not alone, and that we’re not as crazy as we may feel.

      Wearing rose coloured glasses is a useful thing to do in life. It can be beneficial, for you and for others, to see things with optimism and idealism. However, you’re right, there are times when we need to know when to take them off. Especially if we’re in the company of a narcissist.

      Awareness is important, and once you have it, especially if you have an experience to go with it to be your personal point of reference, you’ll be protected by it. You know the signs, and that will make all the difference.

      Narcissists may always be attracted to you, in some ways it is a compliment as they tend to be attracted to people who have a certain something which they admire. They are adept at spotting the strengths and special qualities in others. If you have a natural talent, an ability, a gift, a spark and shine, they’ll see that as special and they’ll be drawn to you because of it. The things which attract narcissists also attract lots of lovely people too, so the trick is learning to spot who is a narcissist and distancing yourself from them, while enjoying the lovely people who are attracted to you, and enjoying being yourself, letting who you are naturally shine without fear.

      Trust yourself, your instincts and intuition to warn you, and rely on your experience to guide you. You know the type now, and you know the dangers, so you can now protect yourself from the crazymakers in this world.

      Take good care of yourself, and best wishes!

      Like

  34. Lately I have been wondering if I am a Narcissist or just been married (now divorced) to one for too long. My guard is always up with him. My insides never feel right and the idea of trusting him seems impossible. I want to because we have a son together, and he sadly has custody of our son one weekend a month and holidays every other year.
    But, he lies. Constantly. He goes through women monthly, some of who have contacted me and asked me about him when they felt like something was not right. My answer to them was always” if it doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t”. To go into full detail about the awful things he did when we were married and through our divorce, seems to be a waste of time and not really my place. I would say “RUN RUN RUN and don’t look back!!”, but then I know I would just seemed like an ex scorned and that’s not helpful for anyone.
    After another DUI, and job loss ( which was of course not his fault and his boss was an a**hole for firing him due to DUI) he picked up one day and left my son and I after moving us to a state hundreds of miles from friends and family just 4 months prior. We have not seen him since until this year when he demanded to see our son and a judge granted very limited visitation. So after a year of seeing life clearly, being happy and moving on because I went no contact, I am now involved with this man once again. And my sanity is slowing slipping as he has my son for 10 days and took him out of state.
    I have tried to “be cool” as he would like it. Every time I let my guard down and try to have a decent relationship with him that has trust and respect, something happens where I am brought back to reality and I only have myself to blame. The way he can get me from 0-100 on the rage scale is not only scary, but impressive. It is a talent of his to take wonderful sane women and make them “psychos”. ( He says this about every girl that ever contacted me and his ex ex wife, and any girl he is no longer seeing, including our nanny…that’s for another time).
    Today was no exception.
    He asked if our son needed anything for school and that he wants to be a good dad. I asked him to get a few items on the school list, a new backpack and shoes for school. I was very specific as to what was needed. He took that as buy whatever my child wanted and not what was required. Today, I had to tell my son that the shoes were not able to be worn to school and that they needed to be returned as well as his backpack because it was not allowed. So now I made my son unhappy because I would not let him choose what he wanted and my ex is not taking any responsibility for his part. The manipulation is so subtle, but I see it now more than ever. And of course he says I am a bad mother because I won’t let my son ” be happy” This coming from a guy who picked up and walked out without a word and has had my son for about 48hrs. I threatened to call the police, fly to the state he is in and take my son home. Which is crazy. I know. I am sure my son is not in any”real” danger, but I know what is happening to him. My ex is always in the room when I have called, prompting him to say things. And it was so clear when my son told me how much he loves his new shoes and was wearing them ( after his dad said he would return them and get a the right color), in a voice where he felt like he was defending his dad and keeping him out of trouble. My son is 5. And already feeling the need to play his part, which is not what I want for him.
    My reactions to this have me wondering if I am also a messed up as him? Today after speaking with my mom, I realized that ripping my son from his dad and making a scene was not the best way to play this game. It would only give fuel to my ex and his claim that I am not a good mom and I was not letting my son be happy. So I stayed put. And have come to the decision to let him keep the shoes and backpack, but go and buy the ones he needs. I also have learned that I will not ask him to do anything else. He will always say his efforts are not good enough and that there is no pleasing me.
    Funny how that happens. I knew better. But as we do with the N’s in our life, we always hope for the best. A change. The person we wish they wanted to be. And that’s how we end up hating ourselves for being so foolish, so dumb and then resentful. And the cycle continues.
    Sorry for the long post. I just have not been in this place in a long time and needed to sort out the invasion of my head space.

    Like

    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      You don’t come across as a narcissist at all, but I do understand the urge to ask yourself that question, it comes with the territory and is worth asking as long as it is asked gently, self-reflectively, and with the intention of finding clarity in a confusing experience. You’re not a narcissist, a narcissist wouldn’t wonder about that the way that you have, and take it to heart the way that you have. They may ask the question, but they won’t use it to become more aware of themselves and their own behaviour.

      If you have lived a long time with a narcissist then some of their behaviour will rub off on you. Especially if your narcissist has managed to isolate you from other people, which they tend to do as they need to control everything and everyone, and the easiest way to do that is to keep you confined in an environment over which they have complete dominance.

      They try to maintain control over you even when you have separated from them, and one of the insidious ways they do that is through ‘pawns’. When you have a child with a narcissist, that child is a ‘pawn’ in their battle with you. My parents did this regularly, I was piggy in the middle.

      He may genuinely care for your son, however he may not be able to resist the temptation to use your son to get at you. You have adopted the most logical tactic for dealing with it. Don’t rely on him to do anything practical for your son, right now he wants to be your son’s best friend, and since narcissists are eternal children they are very good with actual children, at least with getting children to side with them – the dynamic is of two brothers of about the same age having to put up with a strict parent who is a party pooper – that’s your role.

      My father used to do that with me, he’d play the game of – let’s you and me gang up on your mother. In my case my mother was also a narcissist, so for me it was a lose/lose situation. However you are not a narcissist, and once your son adjusts to the change which has happened in your family dynamic, he’ll be thankful that you’re his mother who has rules which bring stability and offer a safe environment for him to just be a child who has a lot to learn about life and needs a real adult in his life. His father may seem fun to him right now, and your son may be acting up a bit as the split will have been upsetting to him, but as he gets used to the new dynamic, he father’s childishness will get old, especially as your son grows older.

      From the sounds of it, you have a good handle on the situation, and should keep relying on yourself, trust yourself – you’ve got this! Keep doing what you’re doing and that includes reviewing what you’re doing to improve it for your benefit.

      A narcissist will always repeat their cycles. They are very set in their ways. But you don’t have to repeat the cycles with them, you can gradually ease yourself out of them. It will take time as once they’ve included you in their repetitive patterns they keep trying to keep you in them. Bit by bit you’ll get out – don’t rush things, or put added pressure on yourself.

      You’re definitely not as messed up as your ex, in fact you don’t sound messed up at all, you just sound human, which is normally and naturally a bit messy. However your ex will mess with you, and will cause messes for you. Therefore if you find yourself getting caught up in a drama which doesn’t need to be a drama do exactly what you did – pause and review it. Narcissists create drama, and their dramas often suck us in and before we know it we’ve called SWAT. Once we react to their created drama with upset and add to the drama, then they know how to get at us, what to do to provoke us. Staying calm is the best way to deal with a narcissist’s drama, but it can be a challenge because they keep pushing your buttons until they find the one which makes you upset.

      I want to repeat – you sound as though you’re handling this really well, so trust yourself!

      As for the women who call you about him – your advice to them is good, and frankly you’re handling it with great aplomb. It’s a rather weird situation to be placed in and the fact that you want to be helpful rather than a scorned ex, when really you’ve earned the right to be a scorned ex if you feel like letting off steam, is admirable. You have a great deal of empathy for others. Remember to save some of that for yourself!

      My mother used to have to deal with my father’s discarded lovers, and some of them had been rather mean to my mother while they were his lover of the moment, then after they found out what it was like to fall out of his favour, suddenly things were different. One of them was angry at my mother for not warning her about my father. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

      Usually I recommend links to those who comment on my narcissist posts, I kind of feel you have this covered and are handling it brilliantly.

      Make sure you have a good support system for those times when everything gets too much for you – you do have to deal with things on your own, but it’s good to know there are people who have your back should you need to just relax and let everything out. It is always stressful dealing with a narcissist, more so when you have a child with them.

      This is a good blog, the blogger, Kim, has a child with a narcissist and writes about her own experiences as well as giving support and advice – http://letmereach.com/

      This is a good resource about all aspects of NPD – http://outofthefog.net/Disorders/NPD.html

      This is an interesting overview of certain games narcissists play – http://thenarcissisticlife.com/games-narcissists-play/

      And sticking with games people play, this is worth a read – http://www.ericberne.com/games-people-play/ – most of the games people play are described in the sidebar. This is a game which narcissists often play – http://www.ericberne.com/games-people-play/now-ive-got-you-you-son-of-a-bitch-nigysob/ – turning a nothing into a monumental something and using it to justify a raging fit.

      Take good care of yourself, you deserve it!

      Like

    2. I feel sorry for anyone who has been married to a narcissist and for those who have had narcissists for parents. That has to be a special kind of hell.
      N-Searcher

      Like

      1. There is a series of humorous memes online, as well as websites which highlight ‘first world problems’, such as that there is no wifi somewhere, or a phone’s battery has died, no one ‘liking’ a post on FB, or Starbucks getting your coffee order wrong, things like that, and when you think about many of the small things which upset us and make us feel as though our day is ruined, our life is over, and then you think about world problems such as not having running water, droughts which devastate crops, not having basic medical care, governments in league with businesses which try to charge you for rainwater, the sort of challenges which the people who live in a war-torn country have to face… it kind of puts things into perspective.

        It shows that even if you have everything which humans aspire to have, there is no guarantee that you won’t suffer, as suffering seems to be an intrinsic part of the human experience, and also the experience of the planet. Every human experiences their own version of hell on earth. Sometimes the form it takes is a relationship with a narcissist.

        You’ve experienced that, and maybe you weren’t married to your narcissist or had them as a parent and had to grow up with them, but the hell is an equal opportunity kind of hell. Some people only need to spend a couple of weeks with a narcissist to suffer intensely, and for that suffering to last a lifetime.

        It’s a weird kind of suffering because a lot of it is intangible. It’s emotional, mental, abstract. It can also be physical, but the physical accompanies the mental and emotional pain. And some of the physical suffering may be so subtle that no one can see it. On the outside your life can look good, you too can look fine, you may have the accessories of someone who really should not feel like they’re in hell and really should not be suffering, but on the inside it looks like a hurricane or a volcano laid waste to an island.

        Ultimately it’s about what we do with our own suffering. Do we pass it on like narcissists do (and they do suffer, which is a large part of why they make others suffer) or do we choose to learn from it and try to turn it into inspiration, healing, and wisdom.

        Like

  35. Thank you for this article. My ex husband believes me to be a narcissist and claims to be my victim of abuse. It is hard for me because looking at the way narcissists treat people and have this belief that they are better than others, I do not see me in that at all. Did I wrong him? Sure at times, but he wronged me too. We both played roles in the destruction of our marriage. He has been relentless in speaking out and exposing my condition that I know I do not have to the point of viciousness. Its my understanding that a lot of us will display these traits at one time or another, but does that make you a narcissist? If I lied about something one time, a big lie, does that make me one? It’s so disheartening to me. I don’t know how to make this person who is so bent on destroying me, see that I made some mistakes. Im human. And how can he be the only one to see it in my entire life? I am a kind hearted person and most people know this about me. Yes I have hurt people, but I’ve never felt good about it. So he chalks it up to a mask and being fake. He’s hell bent on exposing me for who I really am in his mind, when I am being who I am and that person is not a narcissist. I wonder why I even care to give his opinion any thought? But it bothers me. I was glad to see this article, I felt a little relieved to see that maybe I’m ok. Thank you.

    Like

  36. Often when mothers point out narcissistic daughters it’s a giveaway, as they tend to be made by parents. My mother is not a narcissist but my father was. My sister if not an out and out narcissist (I hesitate to actually say she is as it is hard for me to come to terms with) exhibits a lot of narcissistic traits and I find her very difficult indeed to negotiate. She was the golden child and I was the scape goat. Golden children often are ‘given everything’ but there is a high price to pay. So someone who says this about their own daughter could indeed be a narcissist but so could the daughter she is now complaining about.

    Like

    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      I agree, the lines can be blurred, and there can be more than one narcissist involved in a story, especially in a family dynamic which has a narcissist as a parent. Children absorb their parents’ behaviour from the get go, and may behave narcissistically without necessarily being narcissists – so it can get very confusing to tell who is actually a narcissist, if anyone.

      I recently came across a blog written by an ACoN, who also has adult children, and at one point they accused one of their children of being a narcissist, and did so repeatedly in detail, which after everything they had said about their own childhood and their adulthood suffering due to their narcissist parents seemed a bit off to do. The child they accused of being a narcissist could do no right, meanwhile their other child could do no wrong – which echoed the golden child/scapegoat dynamic. It caused me to wonder if they were a narcissist, one who was a victim of narcissist parents who was passing on the family wound without realising it, which happens. It can be very difficult to break the pattern, and just as hard to see it – requires a lot of introspection and self reflection, a willingness to become aware and then use the awareness to change the habits passed down from parent to child.

      Relationships are intensely complicated without the narcissist factor, add that and it becomes even more confusing. However we learn a lot through relationships, and sometimes the worst ones inspire us to grow and change if we can, willing to face our fears, own up to mistakes, develop empathy, and realise that no one in this world is perfect, we’re just all messy humans.

      Narcissists find it very hard to be human, they tend to expect themselves and others to live up to some high ideal of perfectionism.

      This is one of the best articles I have read on the roots of NPD – http://www.energeticsinstitute.com.au/page/narcissism.html

      And this is a book which helped me enormously to in untangling my own story – http://andywhiteblog.com/2015/06/23/going-mad-to-stay-sane/ – it’s not specifically about NPD, however it captured my family dynamic succinctly.

      Take care of yourself!

      Like

    2. I want to stated a girl who came from a narcissistic family. I was able to slowly put together the whole sordid story over time as she related the stories to me and as I saw what she was like.

      Her father was a coach of a major college basketball team. He was straight up N! He thought he was Hemingway, all the way to taking African safaris with his wife and writing a book which was essentially the same as the Rolling Hills of Africa by Hemingway. These books were professionally printed and hard bound. And only a few of them Were made one for each member of the family. I saw the book and read it. It was unreal. The family members didn’t give a damn about the book.

      I met the mother. It looks like she was also a narcissist. The older brother was classic. He met some gal who was religious so he decided to become religious and become a pastor of a church. Oh man – what a joke.

      Now my girl was apparently the one who was singled out to be the runt of the family because she was the one who was the most caring. So this warped, sadistic family wrecked her for life.

      During the year that I tried to go out with her, she had checked herself into the psych ward of the hospital where she volunteered at… Three different times! She stayed in there for as long as two weeks at a time! Unreal.

      Of course she had married a narcissist when she grew up. Another rich, controlling guy. The court had forced him to pay her monthly as a penalty for the damage that he did to her. Oh man and she was a real case, she would go out and buy new clothes and turn around and give them to her so called friends.

      She did not drive, she rode bikes which she would leave sitting outside of her apartment unlocked. And they were always getting stolen. She had had a bad experience trying to learn how to drive, something her dad had done so she never did learn. When she was younger she was a championship diver. But her dad put her down in such a way that she gave that up. No way would she be allowed to be a star. She was in her 50s by the time I knew her. She was prescribed list of pharmaceuticals like you could not imagine. her shrink was always changing her off of this that and the other dosage of psychotropic meds. The list was incredible and always changing it was like she was some kind of a guinea pig or something.

      What was particularly detestable, was that her dad many years ago had chosen To end his life The same way Hemingway did. He went into the family room and close the door, sat in his easy chair and blew a hole through his head with a 45. I think my girl was a teenager back when that happened. The family let her walk through the door without telling her of the bloody mess that awaited for her to see.

      Like

      1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

        That’s an insightful story, clearly shows the passing on of wounds within families, and the forms our attempts to deal with them take. My guess would be that the woman’s father escaped into the fantasy of being Hemingway because of his own experience with his parents, and his parents probably were passing on what had been done to them and their means of coping with it.

        My favourite poem:

        This Be The Verse

        They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
        They may not mean to, but they do.
        They fill you with the faults they had
        And add some extra, just for you.

        But they were fucked up in their turn
        By fools in old-style hats and coats,
        Who half the time were soppy-stern
        And half at one another’s throats.

        Man hands on misery to man.
        It deepens like a coastal shelf.
        Get out as early as you can,
        And don’t have any kids yourself.

        – Philip Larkin

        Like

      2. That’s a helluva story, Chuck. Maybe her family was quintessentially perfect and not narcissistic at all. Maybe she committed herself to the wacko shack because she was just nuts & narcissistic herself. Sounds like a more likely scenario when one person is that outnumbered by “narcissists”. Surprised she didn’t come to that epiphanic realization while institutionalized, they tend to do what they can to “help” their patients by prodding them to accept responsibility for their own screw ups, can’t blame the family, right?

        Like

  37. Reblogged this on Lucky Otter's Haven and commented:
    One more great article from a fantastic blogger about narcissists who claim to be victims of narcissists…and then write about them. How to protect yourself in the blogosphere and identify who’s really a narcissist…and who is not.

    If you blog about narcissists you will, sooner or later, probably be accused of being a narcissist. Don’t take it too personally. Just learn how to be wary and protect yourself.

    Blogging about narcissism can be very crazymaking indeed.

    Like

    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      This is the first post on my blog on which you commented back in 2014 when you’d just recently created your blog and were just tentatively treading the NPD blogger waters.

      I’ve noticed that you often post articles or links to articles on your blog which have been featured on other blogs that discuss NPD in their posts. You most recently posted a link to an article (which I think is brilliantly spot on) by Thomas Swann which I referred to in this post – https://anupturnedsoul.wordpress.com/2014/01/19/online-narcissists-does-the-blog-you-follow-belong-to-a-narcissist/ – which The Narcissistic Continuum elaborated upon in this post – http://n-continuum.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/21-signs-of-online-destructive.html

      The more we share, the more we learn.

      You might find this one worth your attention as it ties in with identifying online narcissists – http://n-continuum.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/feature-article-by-sandra-l-brown.html – especially those narcissists who write about NPD and who may pose as victims of a narcissist who have found some miracle cure to help others. It is from the ever brilliant Narcissistic Continuum, which I know you know as being a great resource for all matters pertaining to NPD.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think I know what you’re saying in your first point–that I should link directly to the blogger’s article instead of a link on my blog discussing the article. It’s true I do that, I will try to watch that habit.

        Like

        1. I’m confused now…

          Always do what you feel inspired to do on your blog, it’s your blog! Do what you do and the rest is whatever it is 🙂

          Sharing is the way we connect people to the information for which they are searching… and they connect to us. I was sharing posts which you might find interesting, as to what you do with that… it is always up to you!

          Liked by 1 person

  38. I disagree that narcs don’t know who they are. My mother is a classic malignant narcissist, and did what she did when nobody was looking. When people were looking, especially people who she wanted to impress, she changed her tactics. There were times when I called her on her pathetic childishness, like the time she attacked my sister for the christmas present she was given when she was 19 that she didn’t like. My sister had asked for a square faced watch. My mother gave her one and she didn’t like it. My mother used this as the excuse for why she didn’t bother with christmas presents any more. Apparently every time she gave somebody a present they hated it. It took me a long time to realise that in fact, she didn’t ever bother to get anyone anything they liked. She would ask what you want and on purpose go out of her way to make sure she only gave you an approximation of what you wanted. Like the time I asked for a Womble toy when she went on a trip to London and she came back with a Womble hand puppet. It was essentially half a womble toy. It wasn’t what I asked for and she knew it, but if I had seemed less than enthusiastic she would have crucified me and renewed her martyr’s voice bemoaning the fact that she could ‘never get it right’. It is a classic narcissist ploy and is also a form of gaslighting.

    Anyway, the point is that she knew what she was doing, and one christmas in the middle of her berating my sister again on the same issue, I told her to shut the hell up. It had been 20 years at this point and she moaned about this every christmas. Well the look on her face reminded me of my dog when I tell her off for something she knows she wasn’t supposed to do. It was shamefaced, but at the same time there was that sly little smile of self-awareness which tells me she knows exactly what she is doing and even enjoys being told off beause she gets a perverse pleasure out of harassing her adult children for non-issues. She gets away with it, and when she doesn’t it gives her the opportunity to attack me behind my back for being too mujch of a goody two shoes.

    They know who they are, they just don’t want to have to examine themselves too much, or actually change because they are getting a payoff for it.

    I am afraid that if you are a narcissist, you know it. Too many online narcs know who they are and trumpet the truth to others with glee (Sam Vaknin comes to mind – although he is also apparently a psychopath and this at least has been proven and filmed by experts).

    I don’t find it very comforting to read you asking others to assess your narc status. If you are then get the hell off the internet, if you aren’t then please reassure your readers that this is so. I have had enough mind games.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the self doubt Ursula feels is the one most abused/neglected children feel. A very potent combination of brainwashing and projection from her “loved” ones still going on: they tell you you are the bad person and if they tell it often enough you will believe it. And then you read up and realise they aren’t all that perfect either and you doubt everything. I do not feel I can assure anyone on whether or not they are narcissistic, my parents might well be and it took me long enough to figure that out 😛

      Also if Ursula is not sure whether or not she is a narcissist then your demands are meaningless. I think we are all tired of mind games but the sad and horrible truth is life is not always as simple and easy as we wish it to be. I guess it comes down to whether or not *you* think Ursula is a narcissist, how she makes you feel. If she is in your eyes, follow your own advice and get the hell off this site (<- this is not said with malice, just reframing your own quote) and if she isnt in your opinion you can reassure yourself.

      I agree with you half heartedly about narcissists/abusers/neglectors knowing who they are. I think a part of them knows, just as you aptly described. Like a small child they misbehave, trying to get attention because all attention is good attention. This part I think they are aware of but try very hard to deny. Hence all the blame shifting, invalidation, projection and gaslighting.
      Like a small child they do not fully understand the consequences of their actions nor that other people have feeling or that they could make the decision to work on making their interactions with other people more positive for everyone involved. Again like small children they do expect everyone else to do the work for them. (Ironically just like you expected Ursula to do all the work concerning her status as a potential narcissist and how that has an impact on you.) This part they are not aware of as far as my experiences are concerned. They feel entitled to that if anything.

      I do not know about your experiences, your mother sure sounds as if she at the very least tells herself she enjoys the havoc she causes. Sometimes I get that with my mother too. But usually she plays the victim and feels sorry for themselves. I think a part of her is very much aware how life could be so much better but she absolutely refuses to do the work to get there and thus wallows in her misery. Her choice, and what a miserable one at that. Seeing her as someone who for all her efforts to refuse to be accountable in the end pays a most horrible prize has helped me greatly to not demonise her.

      Just a stray thought: that self aware smile of your mothers. When I see that on the face of mine I always wonder if a part of that smile isn't just a smile of a small child being insecure. (then again I am autistic, reading emotions on peoples faces is NOT my forte. But oh even more mindgames, people like us are doomed to see the worst possible thing at every corner. But we do so because with the ones who made us that way it is usually true.) Because in the end my parents are the immature ones between the three of us. Seeing their behaviour as this of small, confused and in a way innocent children has been eye opening for me. A bit like this young boy who wants to play with a young girl and pulls her hair.

      Tho by no means does that justify their actions. They are grown ups. It is their task to get their cauliflower together. Their confusion has LONG overstayed its welcome and they don't do anything productive to work on it. IMHO they still have earned every painful experience they brought upon themselves. My mother goes on and on and on about how painful it is to loose her child (me through very very LC) and by now I think it serves her right for not considering how painful it is for said child to loose the entire family through her machinations. Same with my father, who may not talk of his emotions all that much but he has disowned me for causing too many tears. I think that's very rich coming from someone who forced me not to cry mine for decades. Young children learn not to do hurtful things to other people to get their attention and grow up. If they don't and this does go on long enough that's them being a pitiful excuse for a member of our species.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. You are very welcome. I think many of us do not have words because we where never taught these things. Its very very hard to learn it all on ones own but my idea was if we pool the little nuggets each of us has learnt maybe it will approach something resembling a healthy outlook in life. You know being more than the sum of individual parts. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    2. You know, part of me wants to agree with your observation of your mother as a narcissist; however, with as little of an example as you gave, I have to question it. Is it possible that your mother didn’t know EXACTLY what you or your sister wanted? You said your sister wanted a square face watch and your mom bought her one, but she didn’t like it so your sister threw a fit. You wanted a toy and she got you the hand puppet version of it, perhaps she truly didn’t know the difference but she remembered the name of the toy.

      You want an example of what you are describing? Here’s a several, I was given jewelry with this long elaborate story about what kind of stones were in it and where it came from and it turned out that it wasn’t anything like that at all and probably was just grabbed for $5 at a gift shop somewhere, most likely as a guilt gift for selfishly leaving the country and forgetting about the life behind at home. Another gift was a customized wine glass and bottle of wine after it was known that I wasn’t drinking. And my personal favorite, a box in a box in a box, etc. (there were a lot of boxes and duct tape lol) with a ring inside. After MANY conversations about engagement and marriage I was simply told that the ring was what I thought it was. A clever bastard he was, he didn’t actually lie, but leave the true meaning (or lack thereof) to the imagination, then tell everyone that I’m crazy for saying I’m crazy and so convincingly everyone played along. I found out YEARS later. This was from 3 different people and has happened on numerous occasions, some because they were gifts given by liars, others as payback for past gifts I had given that weren’t up to par. (Admittedly I am really bad with gifts, but not in a malicious way). Much like Ursula, I am going to let you draw your own conclusions about me and the differences between my experiences and yours and I’m not going to say anything else about that matter.

      Which brings me to this…why would you want Ursula not to let her readers decide if they believe she is a narcissist or not. If she admitted that she was one, would you be able to believe her or any of her posts? If she said she wasn’t, but she appeared to you that she was, wouldn’t you still think she was untrustworthy because why would a true narcissist admit that they were one. Or perhaps, as mentioned above, maybe she is unsure herself and so would like the opinion of others to weigh the thoughts of the majority. Either way, whether she openly declared herself as something or not, her readers and you are going to make their own determinations off what they read anyway. If you do not wish to think for yourself, staying away from the internet is probably an option you should look into because there are all sorts of untrustworthy things, you never know who you’re really talking to. I could be your neighbor for all you know, right? Disclaimer: if smoke starts to pour out of your ears, walk away for a bit. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      I have to admit that when I read your last words telling me to get off the internet, I had a bit of a flashback to my experience of being a child of narcissist parents who were consistently telling me in one form or another to stop existing. I was not allowed to be myself, I had to be who they wanted me to be, say what they wanted me to say and do what they wanted me to do or else! But even when I was who they wanted me to be, said and did what they wanted from me, it was never good enough and always annoyed them, because even giving them what they wanted didn’t please them. You can never please a narcissist, but they make you think you can as that keeps you under their control. It’s always a quest to win their love and approval – but what about what they give you for all your efforts?

      Your story of the Womble has echoes within it of trying to please a narcissist. They want a Womble, you get them a Womble, but that’s not the Womble they wanted. No matter what you do, you are always destined to fail. That sense of failure keeps you under their thumb, keeps you trying to please… if they allow you a win, they might lose you, lose their control over you, so they can’t risk it.

      Children of narcissists absorb a lot of their parent’s narcissism, it’s what children do, they learn by exposure, osmosis, from their parents whether they want to or not, and can behave narcissistically without necessarily being narcissists themselves.

      Because I am the child of two narcissist parents, I can’t be certain whether I am or am not a narcissist. I can think that I am not a narcissist, but just because I think I am not, does that make it so?

      Many narcissists don’t think they’re narcissists. Quite a few narcissists think other people are the narcissists and that they are not the narcissist. More so nowadays with NPD being such a hot topic, part of popular consciousness and an ‘IN’ accusation and label to apply to people who have pissed us off, aren’t being who we want them to be and so we accuse them of being a narcissist. Once we’ve labeled them ‘a narcissist’ and labeled ourselves ‘not a narcissist’ we can them use it to manipulate them and others for our own benefit.

      Would your mother admit to being a narcissist? If she is anything like my mother, it would be the last label on earth she would allow to be pinned on her, and she certainly wouldn’t pin it on herself. And if you accused her of being a narcissist, would she just accept it and tell you – you know, you’re right, I am a narcissist! – or would she be more likely to turn it around and decide that you were the narcissist? My mother fits the criteria for a narcissist, for a narcissist mother (which you can find on blogs like this one – http://www.narcissisticmother.com/ ) perfectly, however as far as she is concerned, she is a saint, a martyr, a victim and everyone else is the problem, not her.

      My mother is what is known as a ‘Covert Narcissist’. Someone who believes they’re the good guy and that everyone else is the villain.

      My father was an ‘Overt Narcissist’, he was more aware of being manipulative, and because he was more aware of being that way he would never have told people ‘Hello, I’m a Narcissist’ unless it served a purpose for him to do so. He usually told people what they wanted to hear, and most people prefer for others not to be narcissists, so why would you tell them that you are.

      As you pointed out, you want me to tell you who and what I am to make you feel better, either way. To comfort and reassure you. If I say I’m a narcissist, you can hate me without worrying about it and gladly wish for me to cease existing. If I say I’m not a narcissist you can trust me without worrying about it. Is that really how it works?

      Isn’t one of the biggest complaints about narcissists the fact that they reassure people that they’re the good guy, dress themselves up as knights in shining armor and heroes out to save the world, comfort others with pretty lies dressed up as truth, tell others what they want to hear, and it’s only much later when you’ve invested yourself in the relationship that you find out that they’re not a good guy at all. That they’ve been lying to you. That they’ve brainwashed you and now you have to untangle yourself from the mess.

      If you consider that my saying – think for yourself and decide for yourself whether I am a narcissist or not – is a mind game, and you’re sick of mind games, then just ignore my existence. It’s easier than asking me to kill myself off for you. You don’t have to inflict me or my blog on yourself. This blog is a tiny insignificant speck in a giant internet full of all sorts of people sharing themselves on social media, the same people who inhabit this planet, and they’re not going to stop being themselves just because you don’t like them the way that they are and don’t want them to exist in your world. If things worked that way, humans would be extinct by now, or maybe the world would be only inhabited by narcissists… or just one narcissist who survived the narcissist versus narcissist war.

      I prefer to let others decide who they think I am, rather than telling them that they have to believe who I think I am. I know who I am, so I don’t need others to confirm it or otherwise. I like it when people allow me to do the same with them, and let me take my time to get to know them and figure out for myself who they are, who I think they are. It can take a lifetime to really get to know someone, and just as long to get to know ourselves. It can be a pleasurable experience, and doesn’t have to hurt. And we don’t have to hurt others just because others have hurt us, humans tend to share their pain that way, inflict it on others so others can feel how they feel. We all feel pain. All nature does. But humans also share other things, such as a need to be free to be ourselves, and to be accepted as we are… not as others want us to be for them.

      Take care of yourself. Best wishes!

      Liked by 2 people

  39. I’m confused…you say this about narcissists who might dismiss people who challenge them and such…

    “If you’re reading a blog powered by a Narcissist, pay attention to their language, and what they’re seeking from you as the reader.They need you more than you need them… this can be a tempting feeling. This person needs you.

    Do they want sympathy, do they want you to feel for them, perhaps even forget about yourself and your problems because theirs are so much worse than yours.

    What is the comments section of their post like, do they ignore their commenters, do they only reply to those who butter them up, do they dismiss people who challenge them, do they listen to their commenters and reply accordingly or do they talk about themselves and their problems, moving away from what is shared to what they want to share and what they want.”

    And then you go on to say that, essentially, anyone who dares to challenge you or enlighten others will be ignored. Finished with the excuse that you are able to act like a narcissist because you have dealt with them…

    Doesn’t that only stand to place yourself on the same level as narcissists?

    I’m probably a bit of a narcissist too. I’m not judging, but your words don’t match, which is ironic with all the advice you are dispensing.

    Like

    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      You’re right, the bit at the end is very narcissistic and it’s supposed to be as it was a deliberate attempt to show the possible attitude I would have and the way I would probably behave if I was a narcissist blogger.

      There are some very good posts on other blogs and websites about online narcissists.

      I think the one by Thomas Swann – http://hubpages.com/hub/Online-Narcissism-Writers-with-NPD – is brilliant, it is very clear and concise, and he gives excellent pointers for spotting the kind of narcissism which may be that of a narcissist.

      CZBZ of The Narcissistic Continuum has several very informative posts on her blog about online narcissists.

      The one I included in the post – http://n-continuum.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/online-narcissists-case-study-called.html – shows the behaviour of a Covert Narcissist on an online forum for victims of narcissists. Covert Narcissists are more likely to seek sympathy for their problems, and they expect others to make their problems a priority. The problems of others will be dismissed as less important than the Covert Narcissist’s issues.

      There’s another one which is very interesting (including the comments where the story evolved even further) – http://n-continuum.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/blogduggery-part-two-this-is-not-okay.html – it’s about a narcissist who plagiarised some of CZBZ’s posts, and published them on a site which was aimed at helping people recover from relationships with narcissists. This story shows more the behaviour of an Overt Narcissist, therefore they were not seeking sympathy, but to be a ‘guru’. An Overt Narcissist tends to display more of the common traits associated with Narcissists.

      There’s a clever piece of writing which is worth a read, it’s a ‘love letter’ which expresses what a narcissist seeks from others – http://thoughtcatalog.com/john-w-howell/2013/05/a-narcissists-love-letter/

      It’s quite hard to spot a narcissist in person, online it gets slightly trickier because people can at times behave more narcissistically online than they would offline. Blogging in an of itself is rather narcissistic, as is most social media. People often wear masks and exaggerate online. They may indulge online in being who they are not.

      The best way to figure out if someone is a narcissist or not is to get to know them. Ask them questions, listen to what they say, look at what they do, observe them. Many narcissists will actually tell you they are a narcissist, not necessarily using the word ‘narcissist’, although a few do, but in some manner which might stand out and which we often dismiss until later when it hits us – they told us!

      Listen to your instincts and intuition. Pay attention to how you react to them, how you feel. You’re the best detector for who other people are for you. Trust yourself!

      This is a good article – http://goodmenproject.com/ethics-values/5-signs-youre-being-played-by-a-victim-fiff/

      If you suspect that a blogger may be a narcissist, ask yourself why you think that, outline your criteria and then doublecheck. Be sure to take into account the context. For instance if someone is very stressed out or in pain, they may sound more narcissistic than they may actually be when they are not stressed or in pain. Narcissists are often always stressed out and in pain. They may alternate between stress/pain and euphoria, being euphoric and then crashing headlong into some drama, usually the fault of someone else who stole their sunshine away from them. They usually always have some drama going on in their lives, they can create one out of thin air.

      You might find this interesting – not my post but the one I linked to in this post by someone who said they’re a narcissist – https://anupturnedsoul.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/how-to-piss-off-a-narcissist-without-even-trying/

      Each narcissist is different and expresses their NPD differently, but there are consistencies which most narcissists express. I like to observe the comments simply because narcissists are often very careful in their posts, but not so careful in their replies to comments. If they don’t reply at all, I wonder why, as the comments are a part of the social element of social media. But of course some people may be too busy, too shy, or something which isn’t necessarily a sign of being a narcissist.

      When I first started blogging comments terrified me, now I love them and write novels in reply 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I am going to be impolite and butt in. My intentions are to be helpful, so I hope you won’t mind or even appreciate it. Actually I think there is a very distinct line between narcissism and what Ursula wrote. (Thus I harbour the suspicion that *someone* here accepted blame a little bit too fast, maybe? 😉 We’ve all been there.) Narcissism would usually not only entail not listening but blaming the other person in turn, making them feel bad. If I understand narcissism right, then narcissists don’t just not listen and walk away. They use it to get attention, play victim, spread rumors, make it about them in a rather counterproductive way…

        Everyone has a right to their own opinion. This is Ursulas blog, accusing her in a hurtful way is a rather sorry way to introduce yourself to a stranger on the internet on their own page and says more about yourself than about the other person even IF you might have a point when it comes to the bone of contention. It’s perfectly alright to just accept that you can’t please everyone and ignore the people who are just here to start a war. (Which is why comments on my blog are moderated by me incidentally 😛 ) It’s much nicer to focus on productive comments and write novels to support each other 😀 I also think that if you politely pointed out that you disagree with Ursula’s view and cited proper reasons for your disagreement (because I said so is not a proper reason…) I am pretty sure the reaction will not be quite THAT dismissive.

        That’s one of the things I learnt on my journey already: I have a right to be dismissive if I am not treated with respect. That’s not selfish, rude or narcissistic, but rather it’s simply healthy to not give hurtful people like this the time of the day. This has confused me for the longest time as well and I still battle the toxic shame that comes with it.

        Personally I also try not to enslave myself to the labels one encounters online. Who cares if they are a narcissist if for some reason their advice on how to peel a mango actually does help me? Same with emotional advice. The tricky thing here is that in these areas narcissist are MUCH more likely to lead us astray and we are MUCH less likely to realise that this mango is now not only not peeled in a more effective way but rather became poisoned somehow.

        What helps me spotting this is reading other peoples stories about their interactions with all sorts of abusers/neglectors and how what the abuser/neglector did was wrong. I am learning about their techniques and try to spot them but not be paranoid, which is still a massive work in progress and a detour from the route healthy people presumably take: check how they make you feel. If they make you feel bad, do not make it a part of your day, your life, your thought habits. I assume like MANY other survivors I had my connection to my inner life forcefully severed and I did actively work on that myself because this did at one point protect me. Now however I am … disconnected and need to find roundabout ways to do the same thing. It has turned from armour to a boulder tied to my leg, holding me back big time. By reading how abusive techniques affect other people I can begin to assume how I might be feeling if I were connected to that part of me. I can also see how their behaviour IS wrong and how it is NOT me who is to blame and shame.

        The trouble with interactions with formerly unknown people both online and offline is that everyone can have a bad day or make mistakes once in a while. Thus coming back to what Ursula said: you need to get to know them a bit more, see if there is a pattern. For me so far the biggest red flag is refusing to be accountable and the biggest… uhm white flag? green flag?? positive sign is when people listen and show that they care in their response. (Caring about how what I said affects them is not caring, this lesson was brought to you by my mother 😛 )

        I hope this helps clearing the confusion of Jane. I still struggle very much with what is emotionally healthy and “correct”. For me there is often this rampant blame involved, courtesy of my upbringing and one can not even use this blame as an indicator that what one does is actually the right thing, because at some point you will feel bad about something because it actually is a bad thing to do or say. sigh -.-” But I hope what I worked out concerning how to respond to criticism is healthier than what I used to do and helps not only Jane and Ursula but other “seekers” as well 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

          All comments are open for discussion, as long as people are considerate of and respectful towards each other, as best as humans can be, especially online 😉

          I love what you’ve said, you have a wonderfully logical mind which blends with your heart. I think you’re more connected with yourself than you see yourself as being, and the more I read of what you write, the more I see that – but that is an outside perspective.

          Being ourselves is always complex, and what others see of our depths is like looking at the ocean, we can feel it has more to it than the eye can see. And sometimes we look at ourselves as though looking at the ocean, as though we are not ourselves, sensing there is more but being unsure of how much of us is on land and how much is swimming.

          I slipped into some poetic stuff… I was actually going to say something else. There you go 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          1. It’s very hard to describe the disconnect I feel from myself. I have read a lot and by that I know how to express even that which I do not actually feel. I developed a very profound expertise at appearing as normal as possible, after all that was one of my parents prime obsessions. Who cares if they spawned a child potentially clever enough to make major contributions to solving some of humanities biggest problems. That’s not normal, hence needs to be punished…

            I merely think I should feel that way if that makes sense… An educated guess from all my reading. For me it always seemed my rational side and my emotional side are both very fierce, now that I think of it I remember my perceptions from my teenage days about these two being locked in a very bloody battle. I did not feel any more then than I do feel now but I don’t think it’s natural or healthy (or dare I say it normal) to feel that little. Especially as gifted people often are known to be very emotional and autistic people have surprisingly often extreme abilities when it comes to matters of the limbic system.

            I see how you can see an ocean but some of it is as fake as they come ( a good fake always emulates something real in order to be less discernible) and the remainder … is largely the ocean of my cognitive abilities which everyone sees at first glance. I am so tired of being treated like a circus animal for being smart. I get how its unusual for everyone to meet people like this but you know I spent time with myself rather often. It does get old… And the few droplets of the actual ocean of my emotional inner life that you see… are nothing more than a muddy lifeless puddle. Given my academic skills are truly impressive I can understand how people could see that and not realise it’s not even close to the whole thing. I am assuming it’s rather flashy from the consistent reactions I get. As so often flashy effects expertly conceal the lack of substance. That is not to say my rational life does not equal substance but if you have only facts and facts and more facts and no emotional compass to sort through them even not talking about how much else you must be missing it gets rather disturbing.

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            1. The world inside of us is in many ways for our eyes and everything else only. Others are rarely able to see this inner world, just as we are rarely able to see their inner world. No one ever truly sees anyone else. We sometimes think we do, but that’s just thinking doing its thing. We sometimes feel we do, but that’s feeling doing its thing. We may catch glimpses, but they are fleeting and prone to being interpreted until we lose the insight.

              If you look at someone, mostly what you see is what they allow you to see, with maybe a bit of this and that leaking out where there are cracks and holes in the facade. Many fake it, to make it, to fit in, to appear a certain way. The reasons for this are ones which we all share, one way or another. Those who fake it, well, to fake something you have to embody it to a certain extent and the fake has an element of real in it, and can sometimes become more real than what the person faking thinks is real or fake about themselves.

              Fake a smile, and you may not use all the muscles involved in a real smile, but you do have to use some of the real smiling muscles, so some of it is real. Even if it is just a physical action – we’re tied into the physical. Emotions are often caused by chemicals in the brain or body.

              So when you’re ‘acting’ at being normal, some of it is real, because being ‘normal’ is a collective illusion. Most people who appear ‘normal’ are ‘acting’ at being ‘normal’. However some people are better at ‘acting normal’ than others, because they believe their own act, believe they are normal, that normal exists, believe in the collective illusion as a reality.

              You’re never going to be that good at ‘acting normal’, not because of any deficiency in you but because you grew up with narcissists and they made you very conscious that everything is a pretense – nothing you see is real. But what is real – is the pretense real?

              What is this feeling you seek which you think you don’t have. Is it real or an illusion? Why do you think that who you are as is isn’t as it should be. From where is your information coming? Your mind? The mind is prone to error, even if it is a genius. How do you know that you feel little? What is your litmus test? Compared to whom and to what? Can you verify your sources as accurate? What is healthy feeling? What is natural?

              One of my favourite quotes from a character, a fictional character on a fictional TV series, is this one – “Well that’s just faulty logic postulated on imperfect data collection. What if you only catch people who make mistakes? That would skew the figures, wouldn’t it?”

              Most human theories about what it is to be human, to be healthy, to be normal, natural, to be… are postulated on faulty logic skewed by personal bias, and often childhood trauma of one sort or another. Having a perfect happy childhood with perfect parents can be as traumatic as having narcissist parents who f*** you up because they’re f***ed up.

              What if you had no criteria to make any judgments about yourself or others, no ability to compare and summarise, what if you were the beginning and end, the very first human from which all theories of being human would spring? What if you were the only human being in the world – what’s healthy and normal now?

              Of course these are just mind trips to play with oneself, sometimes to get to know oneself, and maybe accept oneself as is. What if you could just accept yourself as is.

              But they’re interesting exercises which can open up a whole new avenue to explore… or not.

              What makes you appear flashy? Is it you or is it others? And if it is due to others… why do they make you appear that way? If you’re missing something, are they missing something, and have they found it in you? And what is this missing thing, why such focus on it when there is so much which isn’t missing? We have a lot, each and every one of us, why are we so focused on that which we do not have rather than on what we do have?

              Maybe it’s just atoms chasing something through us… who knows, what is it to know?

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  40. I’ve done nothing but read on this since I “discovered” it a month ago. So much information out there and it’s still mind boggling. I’ve been taking a closer look at me and trying to figure out how I ended up with a narcissist. Some hard truths have come home for me. 1) This was not my first narcissist. I was involved with another over 10 years ago. I came out of that barely alive. Then I buried the worst of it and that was that. 2) I am a lot like my latest narcissist. Granted I don’t go out looking to inflict random pain on my loved ones, or stay up late thinking up ways of manipulation, but I do have some deep rooted unresolved wounds that probably made me susceptible to the charms of the narcissist. Like calls to like, sometimes.

    I’m in no way saying I’m a narcissist. (I wouldn’t admit it if I was, would I? Haha.)
    But I realise that something wounded in me drew this person to me and me to him. His buried and unresolved pain/wounds make him a narcissist. My own unresolved pain and unhealed emotional wounds made me easy pickings for him. So I’m going inward now and trying to reacquaint myself with those ignored, buried, unhealed wounds. I can no longer ignore them. They will be addressed. As hard as it may be, they will be addressed.

    Do you think pain calls to pain?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      All humans are narcissistic, narcissism is healthy, natural and normal. It’s when it becomes dominant as it does in NPD that it becomes unhealthy for the individual with NPD and those who are in relationships with them. So finding narcissistic behaviour and traits within yourself is not a sign being a narcissist, it simply means you’re human.

      The willingness to explore the narcissistic side of yourself, your wounds, and the reasons why you have been attracted to narcissists is brave and very worth doing.

      Does pain attract pain?

      I think it does, and it can do so in a positive manner as much as in a negative way. For instance, people join support groups to find others who have the same pain as they do, others who will understand them and their pain because they have it too, and they can offer validation, acceptance and connection in a way that those who do not have that pain can’t do.

      Those who have been in a relationship with a narcissist often find that those who’ve not been subjected to the behaviour of a narcissist do not believe them when they share their story. Their pain gets dismissed, making it more painful. In this case finding others who share a similar pain is a way to find healing.

      So the pain may attract people to each other, but they’re after more than just a pain to pain connection, they’re looking for a way to heal their wound. And this is also what a narcissist is doing, but they do it differently.

      Whereas you are seeking to heal yourself, to go inwards and get to know yourself, to face whatever lies within (which is never as awful as we think it’s going to be), to understand your wounds and figure things out for yourself, using research and information, yet also your own self knowledge… a narcissist goes outwards and seeks for someone else to do that work for them, to heal them miraculously with a magic pill, with their love, etc. They are like a child in an adult’s body trying to find a parent who will make everything better for them. That can come across as very appealing, the wounded child in them tugs at everyone’s heartstrings. That wounded child turns very nasty when the miracle cure in the form of another person does not heal them. They blame everyone else for their pain, therefore everyone else is responsible for healing it.

      This is an excellent article on Narcissism, Narcissists and on the wounds which cause NPD – http://www.energeticsinstitute.com.au/page/narcissism.html

      This is also worth a read, it discusses narcissistic behaviour – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201204/it-s-fine-line-between-narcissism-and-egocentrism

      People sometimes find narcissists attractive because they offer others the chance to be ‘special’, to save them, to be their hero, to be the only person in the entire universe who truly understands them and who will be their everything. They make love seem like something from a romance novel, a fairytale or a film. It’s only after the happily ever after bit fades that the true nature of the contract people have made with narcissist becomes clear. When they told you they wanted you to be their everything, they mean for you to give up your life for them.

      Our wounds may keep us in a relationship with a narcissist, because we transfer onto them what we feel, we sympathise with their pain because it is our pain too (or so we think) and we give to them what we would like for us. By helping them to heal their pain, we think it will heal ours too. However their wounds never heal, and therefore ours can’t either, and ours deepens because they will use our wounds to keep us attached to them, if we get better we might abandon them and that can never happen, so they keep our wounds fresh, just as theirs is always fresh.

      There is something else to consider while exploring hard truths, and that is that the similarities between you and your latest narcissist may be due to transference from the narcissist to you. It is remarkably easy to become unhealthily narcissistic when you’re around a narcissist for a long period of time, they have a tendency to bring out the worst in people and you may find yourself behaving as they do, mimicking them without realising it and thinking it’s you. Mimicry is a human social skill which we use to connect with those with whom we socialise, however with a narcissist it means we mimic their narcissism. If they like to gossip and bitch about people, you’ll eventually find yourself doing that with them, if you’re exposed to them for a while you may find yourself doing it when you are not with them too because you’ve picked up a bad habit from them and it has become a part of you – it’s you but it is not you.

      In the NPD information circles this is often known as FLEAS.

      This is a quick guide to it from a site which has loads of info about NPD – http://outofthefog.net/CommonNonBehaviors/Fleas.html

      This is some more info about FLEAS from a blog which deals mainly with healing from romantic relationships with narcissists – http://letmereach.com/2014/03/02/the-shocking-truth-staying-with-a-narcissist-may-give-you-fleas/

      Keep doing what you are doing, be gentle with yourself, and trust yourself.

      Best wishes!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I teared up a little reading your reply. Thank you. Thank you so much for this and for the links. The struggle is real, but I’m willing to go the distance and be gentle with myself along the way. 🙂

        Like

      2. First, thank you for the article “When Narcissists Claim to be Victims of Narcissists – Who is the Narcissist?” This is the first time I’ve found something on this topic of quality. I’ve identified my wife as a covert narcissist over a couple of years ago now. She’s the type that portrays herself as the idealistic wife to family and friends, but eats you alive behind closed doors. It’s clear to me now, how she over the years has used her health, our wealth, and safety to control everything in my life. They are all plausible arguments when given in the name of safety and how it effects her.

        I made the mistake early on of calling her out on being a narcissist in hope she would seek help and change. I was right in one respect, she started studying NPD, and now I’m the one who is the narcissist. It’s maddening! I still question it today. The paradox of being a narcissist and not being able to see it leaves me doubting myself.

        Her life is falling apart. Drinking problems, we’re in a financial meltdown because she will not work anymore, and legal issues. I’m being pulled into the black hole of her bad behavior. I’ve even been arrested for domestic violence now for pushing her away from me after she hit me in the face while raging. Yet, I haven’t found the strength to leave. I have my crutches: Our two kids, the good times, our house and land and even the respect I have for her family.

        I know others may never understand why I will have to make this choice. They have not seen what I have seen and they cannot perceive the destructiveness and the deep level of despair.

        Like @songofsavannah I have taken the path of self understanding and becoming centered. Which only pisses your narcissist off even more as they see the strength building in you and your resistance to their mind games beginning to strengthen. Which forces them to behave even more off kilter, resorting to more and more primal behaviors and even violence. Thankfully for me I’ve been journaling, recording outbursts, and taking photos for years because of her escalating level of threats.

        She’s hurting and scared and hurting people hurt people.

        Why do I not take action?

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

          Why do you not take action? – I see that as a rhetorical question.

          You did take action – but you’re in a relationship with a narcissist rather than a non-narcissist.

          Taking action is relative and subjective.

          You called her out – had she not been a narcissist the results of that action of yours would have been different and you would not be considering it a mistake at this time.

          Accuse your significant other of being a narcissist…

          1 – when they are not a narcissist, but may be behaving towards you as one, or you may perceive their behaviour that way, and… they’re most likely to get very angry, get defensive, take the offensive, but they will calm down at some point and take stock, self-reflect (as you have done), try to see your side of the issue, try to work things out. A non-narcissist will try to see your side of the story, meet you halfway, figure things out in a way which works for both of you, even if they think you’re being unfair to them. They care about your side of the story and relationship. They care about you. It’s not all about them.

          2 – when they are a narcissist, and… you’ll end up being the one who is the narcissist, victimising them rather than the other way around. They don’t care about your side of the story, even if they say they do, they can’t do that, their side of the story obliterates yours, consciously and unconsciously. Their concept of fairness is weighted heavily towards them – all towards them (but they need to look like they care about others so they pretend their view is balanced and fair towards others).

          Where a relationship with a narcissist is concerned, taking action is always a difficult thing to do. Whatever we do, we’re probably going to get screwed by it.

          That includes our own ability to screw with ourselves by being aware of the paradox – a narcissist doesn’t know they’re a narcissist, so maybe we’re a narcissist.

          The rule of thumb for dealing with the paradox is – if you’re willing to entertain this notion deeply and self-reflect upon it on your own – you’re not a narcissist. If you’re willing to explore that you may have narcissistic behaviour, which you identify and attempt to understand and perhaps redress – you’re not a narcissist. You’re human.

          All humans have narcissistic tendencies – some of which are actually healthy. Some unhealthy. Non-narcissists can discern the difference and can work with both. Non-narcissists know we’re all a bit messy.

          Narcissists strive for control of messy – messy is anathema, at least for them.

          A narcissist may do the whole – am I a narcissist thing – but it will not break the surface or cause real self-reflection to occur, it will be done in a way which is shallow and causes others to deny it for them to support their persona of being a non-narcissist who proves that by wondering if they are a narcissist and gets others to reflect them back at them the way they want the reflection to be.

          When a non-narcissist asks – could I be a narcissist – they’re open to what answers may come even if they’re afraid. They let others answer as others genuinely want to answer even if those answers hurt.

          When a narcissist asks – could I be a narcissist – they’re manipulating their audience, and aren’t the least bit open. Their fear drives their need to be in control. Others are not allowed to answer as they genuinely want to answer – and the answers will reflect the others knwoing that they’re walking on eggshells and retribution for truth is a breath away.

          Your self-doubt in this matter is actually an ally and a strength.

          Why haven’t you left your narcissist? So much easier said, imagined, than done. Especially if you have children with your particular narcissist. You love your children – for a narcissist, that’s a weakness which they will use against you and against your children.

          A narcissist has a very different kind of ‘love’ for their children than a non-narcissist does.

          I’m a child of two narcissists – read that as an object which they owned and used as they pleased, especially as a weapon against each other. Problem with their use of me as a weapon was that they were both narcissists. Had one of them not been a narcissist – I’d have been a more effective weapon when either of them used me as such.

          Try to leave a narcissist who has no intention of letting you leave, and your attempts to leave them will become how they keep you trapped.

          If you come across anyone who doesn’t understand why you have chosen to stay rather than leave, who criticises your choice rather than gets what a complex situation you are in, then it is best to ignore their lack of empathy, their opinion and… It may denote a lack of experience with a real narcissist. Or it may be a sign of something else.

          People sometimes think they’ve been in a relationship with a narcissist, and overcome such a thing by certain easy steps. If they find it easy, then it should be easy for everyone, and therefore they have no sympathy or empathy for those who find difficult what they found to be easy. They discarded their narcissist… hmmmm… and their narcissist let them discard them… hmmmm… Was their narcissist, really a narcissist? Or was their narcissist not a narcissist, but someone dealing with one?

          There’s a male blogger who has been sharing his very difficult break up with a female narcissist. You might find his blog worth exploring. His posts are deeply insightful – https://apensiveheart.wordpress.com/

          Another male blogger, whose mother is a narcissist, and who has had relationships with other female narcissists – https://thenarcissistsson.wordpress.com/

          Men in relationships with female narcissists share their stories more infrequently – female narcissists are often Covert Narcissists, and therefore harder to recognise as narcissists, and harder to deal with. The female Covert Narcissist will blame her partner for all her problems, she is a saint, he is the villain – he is the narcissist. Due to gender issues… a male may get burned at the stake. The female narcissist has less work to do, she just cries ‘he’s a narcissist’ about her partner and the man gets hanged, drawn and quartered.

          The Covert narcissist is the type of narcissist most likely to study NPD, get involved in it, and decide they’re the victim of a narcissist. They’re also the type most likely to blog about it, go on forums about it, prove their victimhood, and they are also most prone to coming up with miracle cures for dealing with the narcissist in your life – 3 Easy Steps to getting rid of a narcissist and making your life perfect.

          Don’t worry about what others do, have done, and whether you’re doing it or not. Focus on yourself, on what you’re doing, not doing, on how your perceive that. Figure things out for yourself, figure your own particular story out. Do what you need to do – it may not be what you want to do… work that discrepancy out in a way which works for you.

          Trust yourself, take care of yourself, be gentle with yourself.

          Being human is hard, being a human dealing with a narcissist… the difficulty quotient just went up massively – You’re playing the video game of life on Hardcore Mode.

          Cut yourself lots of slack. You’ll ‘act’ when you’re ready to do so, if it is right for you to do it.

          Liked by 1 person

  41. “They won’t listen, and it will only leave you feeling frustrated.”
    How well I can relate to the feeling! Up until 2 weeks ago, I was flundering in the deep end of frustration trying to put a finger on what was going on in my relationship with a person whom I didn’t realise at the time, had NPD.
    I remember saying to a friend in frustration, “He’s a fiend!” because that was the only vocabulary that came close enough to explain what I was feeling about this person at the time. Soon after that, the person in question wrote me a message accusing me of “attributing any narcissistic quality out there no matter how small the justification” on him. I figured he must have been told about me calling him a fiend (the person I said this to was a mutal friend). Anyhow, he was righteously affronted and went on to list all his positive qualities (as per his opinion) in the message.
    Yet what caught my eye and sparked my interest was his reference to “narcissistic qualities”. So, I prompty looked it up and the rest, as they say, is history. This person actually gave me a clue to what and who he is! How mind blowing is that? I didn’t know about NPD before this. I was busy calling it ‘fiendish behaviour’ because I couldn’t, for the life of me, understand how any normal sane person could be so difficult, so deliberately malicious, so calculating, so obtuse and so unfeeling!

    I know better now. I spend 9 months trying to talk to a wall and get it to understand me. I’d have had better luck trying to herd cats, no doubt! So I’ve taken the first step towards detaching… I’ve put up a wall of my own. A higher wall. I can no longer see the offending wall on the other side. I’ve blocked it out and gone no contact. One step at a time, right?

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Narcissists often tell you exactly who they are, it can slip by unnoticed, but if you notice it can set you free from the confusion. They often give us what we need to get away from them – which is the opposite of what they’re usually trying to do.

      The good news is there is a lot of information about narcissists which can answer your questions and clarify all those things which just didn’t quite sit right or add up. Or which you thought were somehow your fault.

      The bad news is, narcissists have access to that information too, and will use it to turn the tables against you for their benefit – they do this more by instinct than due to being the evil geniuses that they are sometimes portrayed as being or seem like they are. They aren’t as clever as we think they are, but they’re not stupid either.

      Much of their manipulation and calculated moves are not as deliberately thought out as they seem. A portion of it is, but a significant portion of it is bluffing which somehow works out for them, mostly because people who aren’t narcissists are trusting that others aren’t that way either.

      Much of what they do does defy logic. Why would anyone do that – is a question which is often asked about pretty much everything they do. Why would anyone make something as beautiful as love into something so terrifying and complicated. Because they have so many issues connected to a deep and ever painful wound and they tend to pass it on, while trying not to feel a thing.

      This is a very good article, if you want a bit of a peek into how a narcissist comes to be one – http://www.energeticsinstitute.com.au/page/narcissism.html

      It is very much a case of one step at a time, being gentle with yourself along the way. Trust yourself. Don’t worry if you stray, you’re human, let yourself be human and know that you’ll be fine. Focus on looking after yourself and taking good care of your heart and soul.

      Bets wishes!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for your encouragement. Heaven knows I need it. This whole NPD is still new to me and I’m still reeling from all the information and all the ‘clicks’ going on in my head as I read and learn more on it. The greatest relief, I think, is learning that I’m not as flawed as he made me out to be. I’m ordinarily a confident person, comfortable in my skin and more or less aware of what my strengths and weaknesses are. But this person somehow managed to get me to a point where I started to doubt my own character! The crazy bit is, he accused me of doing this to him! He said, “you’re not going to make me into someone I’m not! You’ve been saying all these things about me lately and you’ve made me start to doubt myself and I won’t have it!!”
        And I actually felt guilty about it too and tried to placate him! I could weep. But I won’t. He send a message asking for some money he had given me. I wasnt even aware I was supposed to pay it back. But I guess right now he’s gonna use just about any excuse to vent out his anger and get back at me for leaving. I’ll give him back the money, then sit back calmly and see what he comes up with next. This is the 5th day, and I’m now more convinced than ever that leaving was the best thing for me. It actually gets easier by the day to come to grips with it. And it’s a comfort that there are sites such as yours and forums where I can learn more about this and share my experience with others who have been through similar situations. It’s great to put a name to it… but it’s even better to know that I’m not to blame for the way things were, and I’m not alone in this.
        I like the way you express yourself. I caught myself smiling a couple of times there 🙂

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        1. Thank you 🙂

          My perspective can be a bit quirky. I grew up with narcissists, learning to laugh at their ways is a useful tactic.

          Sounds like you have a good gauge on the situation, so keep trusting yourself, following your instincts – those are invaluable when dealing with a narcissist. They’re very adept at getting people to second guess themselves and then make bad decisions due to doubt and simply being a regular human being. Most humans like to give other humans the benefit of the doubt – you can’t do that with a narcissist or they’ll take advantage of it. They can’t help themselves. And neither can you help them, but they do try to help themselves to everything you have.

          Things like confidence is sweet nectar to them. Your comfort in your own skin is something a narcissist never feels, so he would have found this incredibly attractive about you.

          If you can give a narcissist what they want when you want them to go away, it can ease the separation because then they have no hold over you. Narcissists will use anything and everything to keep a hold of you if you’re the one who does the leaving. So how you handled the money issue was ace! You’ve got this, keep doing what you are doing!

          Let who you are re-emerge from the experience, stronger, wiser, and shining 🙂

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  42. Real victims are narcissists too, everybody is narcissistic and speaking for myself the greatest thing about therapy was learning that the narcissistic story I had told myself as a child in which I was responsible for some traumatic events was a lie I had told myself was the best of days. All of us are narcissistic we all invent our own story. Whether we have narcissistic tendencies to a clinical degree is different but I’d rather be with the NPD who seeks treatment than the ‘normal’ narcissist who doesn’t see their own narcissism. But it was interesting reading your perspective as I am writing on Neptune currently the symbol of the narcissistic ideal, and story 🙂

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      When Neptune was in Capricorn it sort of coincided with the rise of narcissism in society. It’s kind of interesting that now Neptune is in Pisces, the collective consciousness has become aware of narcissism as an issue, and that the issue is a hot topic and popularly discussed. I’m intrigued to see how you approach it.

      Have you had a personal relationship with someone who has NPD?

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      1. No I had a traumatic childhood and I have been in therapy which has resolved a lot of issues for me but the most important thing I learnt was although the events are real it is the narcissistic lie we create around them being about us being unloved, evil, bad etc even bad karma has that narcissistic ring to it. Actually being forced to realise that it wasn’t me it was parents who were young with issues and couldn’t cope – all of which had nothing to do with me made me think of how narcissistic we all are and how nobody discusses what this does to us. Zizek has a joke about the patient that runs back in when he is cured because the chicken doesn’t know he is not a seed and that summed up my life for a long time I couldn’t understand how to get over it because I knew I wasn’t a seed I never knew that the chicken had to know too. Which I think is a major problem for all of us because it is the chicken (unconscious) that keeps the narcissistic myth alive and stops us moving on and until the chicken knows we are not a seed it doesn’t matter what we do, we will not feel any better about ourselves. So I want to make it broad going into history etc as narcissistic myth with some facts added it is the story we make up about ourselves as nations etc but we are all narcissistic and we all need to see our narcissism to deal with it because it is dangerous for all of us not to see it. 🙂

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        1. There is a difference between being narcissistic and having NPD, similar to the difference between having illusions and being delusional. And in some ways similar to the difference between why the myth of Echo and Narcissus was created, what it was once meant to convey, and what we now use it for since someone decided to call narcissism after the myth. The word narcissist once referred to those who were vain, nowadays its meaning has changed, and it is usually used to refer to someone with NPD. Time moves stories on and evolves them, changes meanings and how we use them.

          All humans have narcissistic tendencies because narcissism is a natural trait, and phase of human development. It is healthy and can also be unhealthy for us. Just as Neptune in astrology can have a positive expression or a negative expression. A transit of Neptune can help you to realise your dreams, inspire creativity or it can cause you to get lost in a fog, unable to tell what is real and what is unreal. And just as with Neptune’s slow movement, awareness about narcissism and all of its facets and aspects, will take us time to understand because it is not just one person’s view of it, but everyone’s view of it which needs to be brought into focus – we create the understanding together, collectively.

          Intellectual understanding/information can be acquired fairly quickly, like Mercury, however that kind of understanding only goes so far and so deep, and can sometimes make things more complicated rather than clarifying it. The mind needs to understand the rest of the body of being. The kind of understanding which is knowing/wisdom takes time to absorb and process, it needs to be integrated within the fabric of being, and often needs an experience similar to a Saturn transit, or a Pluto transit to help the process of stripping away and seeing what lies beneath, within, the core self, of life.

          As you found for yourself, the process takes time and goes through many stages. Each stage evolves into the next when you are ready. It can’t be forced.

          I hope you’ll share the link to your article 🙂

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          1. PS Neptune does not bring fog it is the planet of narcissism which is fantasy and illusion but also disillusionment that aspect of us is always there Neptune just brings it to the fore and forces us to deal with how we have been facing things some turn to alcohol and drugs some create fantasies but behind it all is the narcissistic myth of the child who cannot separate who they are from the narcissistic reflection they created as a child and Yes NPD is a medical condition caused by narcissism at its worst but society at all levels has as it was coined in the 60’s ‘pathological narcissism’ we are a consumerist society and consumerist societies are pathologically narcissistic.

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  43. anupturnedsoul I wish I had the opportunity to meet you face to face, shake your hand, give you a hug or simply say thank you while looking into your eyes for writing this page on narcissism. Best wishes and peace and love.

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  44. So. I’m not sure how far off my “story” is from others. I’ve read some here and a lot of quotes on other websites of people who have been through this because I just needed answers and they are comparable enough to compell me to share and hope I can gain some insight I, for some reason believe, so desperately need. And that statement alone made me question like the mother in your article, “Am I the narcissist? Or is he?” I’m also open to the idea that we both are. I am a mid twenties(ish) female and he is an early thirties(ish) male if that helps put anything into perspective.

    Really, it all began 3 years ago when he asked my boyfriend for my number after my boyfriend shared a picture I had drawn for him. He wanted me to design a tattoo for him. Him being my boyfriend’s cousin, I said sure. It was harmless back and forth talking at first.

    At the time my boyfriend and I were trying to gain custody of my 3 oldest children and had/have one of our own. This is the only rationalization I can come up with (narcissistic?) for being “vulnerable” enough to start answering his questions and telling him my “secrets” as he termed them. I don’t even remember the sequence of events or remember getting to the point where I was ok telling him about my childhood sexual abuse or that I engaged in sexual behavior with my younger sister as a child. I remember it being difficult at first because before I told him nobody else ever knew. But he made me feel comfortable in telling him. Just about anything. And I’ve come to the realization that now, today, it’s so much easier to share that information with just about anybody. Because he has abandoned me (narcissistic trait?) I swear I feel the need to have someone else accept my secrets the way he did. And surprisingly many men do and it doesn’t sit with me like I think it should. I then feel either remorse that I shared the information and really shouldn’t have or that it’s still not him. He’s still giving me the silent treatment.

    Well why’s he doing that (this time)? My best guess is that I allowed him my personal information. THEN taking it further and letting him know I was not sexually pleased with my boyfriend, (narcissistic?) He did ask. And believing that he could give me what I needed without me leaving my boyfriend who I was afraid was a key factor in getting my kids back and keeping our son in the house (narcissistic?) I dove into an “emotional” affair. His words were stimulating. His “promises” to do better than his cousin were arousing. But I kept putting off meeting him in person. For 3 years nearly it has/had been purely texting. Hardly ever talking on the phone. And he insisted I don’t tell my boyfriend. He got me to roleplay as his sister. He tried to get me to tell him I loved him. I said no. That was a brief but torchorous silent treatment. I think I said no because he said it was on a no strings attached basis and that he was just my distraction. Or is it because I’m narcissistic?

    I still have not met him in person and the last time we talked is so confusing. The most confusing of every “episode” or phase as I call them. He told me one of the things he hated most were liars. And he said he didn’t like social media. He didn’t have Facebook because it breeched his privacy and just got people in trouble. So while talking to him on KIK I noticed he had a peculiar last name (obviously not his) and being into etiology I wondered if it was a real or seldom used last name. I entered it into Google and browsed the results realizing it wasn’t a common last name and was going to ask him about it. I thought I’d try Google first because I never knew what was ok to ask him and what wasn’t and figured I’d rather find the answer myself than risk making him mad again. Well. Before I closed the page out I noticed I skipped right passed the first result which was a Facebook profile that had his user name on KIK as the first name and that same last name. I thought, “That can’t be a coincidence.” Not only was I thinking oh joy he probably lied to me after I deeply respected him for appreciating honesty but I thought I better let him know because if I found it innocently then so could anybody else he was talking to on that app and I know how he values his privacy. So I thought he’d be pleased when I told him. Quite contrary. First he denied it was him. Ok. Just letting you know. Then it went to calling me a liar, telling me I posed as fake women (including my sister) on KIK and telling me I was a stalker which was his number one no-no. Huh?? Where did THAT come from? I thought by that point he had said he wasn’t mad that I never came to meet him in person. But that’s the only thing I can think of on why he would say those things. By the way, the Facebook profile is his. My sister took it upon herself to find “proof”.

    And up until today and I really hope today was the last day I’ve been trying to talk to him. He left me with no answers. I’ve bled my mom’s and sister’s ears out with nonstop grief over this. She said stop trying. You’re feeding his ego. But really mom? I was no saint in the situation either. And just have an overwhelming need to make it right. Even if it’s to come to a mutual understanding of what happened and to stop the “affair”. A resolution. I came clean to my boyfriend. Out of revenge because he told me not to and wouldn’t talk to me or because it was the right thing to do? I don’t know. I’m second guessing everything. And I cannot completely rule out that I’m narcissistic! I did some of those things for selfish reasons. I used people for my own pleasure. Or at least tried to. In the very least maybe I’m borderline.

    I did call and make an appointment with my counselor. I have no choice. 3 years of this has been insane. There’s probably so much more I could share just to be sure because details can be important but really it’s about the same. Same song and dance over and over. My apology was not enough. He’s still ignoring me. Blocked me even. I’ve had the thought that he found a new distraction and I’m no longer needed. Which would be somewhat hard to stomach (I don’t think anybody really likes rejection per se) but doable. But I can’t even get confirmation. He won’t even give me that.

    Are either of us narcissistic and how can I move on? If Im on the higher end of narcissism then I fear for my son. We never got custody of my oldest 3 due to different reasons. I get 2 visits per year with them which is tough on me (and them) but my boyfriend has been working on his problem of being a pathological liar and perhaps the problems are deeper than I thought but I just never saw them because I was so preoccupied with all “this”. How could I not have seen that neither of us are fit to raise him if that’s the case? He’s my only child out of 4 that I have full time with me. He’s so susceptible and young. Only 2 years old. If there’s an opportunity for a better chance at a normal upbringing and life, its now.

    Help? Thoughts?

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      The whole – Who is the narcissist – issue is very complicated for many reasons, the main one being that all humans are narcissistic. Narcissism is a natural phase of human development, and is healthy. It can also become and be unhealthy. The line between healthy narcissism and unhealthy narcissism is blurred, especially in relationships because how we see ourselves and how others see us causes problems in clarity of perspective.

      A certain amount of egocentricism and narcissism is normal – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201204/it-s-fine-line-between-narcissism-and-egocentrism – in all of us. We’re all prone to being focused on ourselves, our needs, our wants, our problems, our pain, how we see the world, what we think reality is, etc. We all have a tendency to want others to be as focused on what we are focused upon. We all want to be the centre of someone else’s attention as we are for ourselves. To a degree. Sometimes we make others the centre of our attention, and we expect them to appreciate it, and perhaps do the same for us. When they don’t we may decide that they’re a narcissist – and they may feel the same way about us.

      This is just being human in a world full of other humans being human. The point at which such things tip into personality disorder can be hard to tell at times, even if psychologists and other experts draw out guidelines.

      On paper a narcissist can be diagnosed by a set list of traits – http://outofthefog.net/Disorders/NPD.html – but in person someone with narcissistic personality disorder can appear just like everyone else. Sometimes they appear better than others, because they tend to put more effort into how they appear to others. Their appearance is everything to them and they control it and try to control others too, how others perceive them.

      The main difference between someone who has NPD and is a narcissist, and someone who does not have NPD but may be behaving narcissistically is awareness and self reflection. Those with NPD rarely if ever ask themselves if they are narcissists. They do not tend to ask themselves – am I a narcissist, and what can I do to change the way that I am behaving and how it is impacting those whom I love. They certainly don’t tend to worry about how their behaviour is affecting their children and consider making changes to improve themselves and the impact they are having on their children and those close to them.

      If you haven’t already, I would recommend watching the film and TV series Catfish – as they both explore online narcissism, deception and why people do it. If you’re concerned about someone you’ve met online, the series gives you tips about dealing with your concerns.

      We all get caught up in relationships and dynamics which may not always be good for us or others. If we’ve had a traumatic experience in life, especially in childhood, especially involving deeply wounding abuse, and we haven’t dealt with all the repercussions of it, how it has affected us, then we may find ourselves repeating abusive patterns. Therapy and support groups can help us to understand ourselves and our patterns of relating and relationship better, which can help us to work through and face ourselves, accept ourselves and our stories, and help to heal ourselves, create a more nourishing and nurturing experience.

      Sometimes we can’t get closure with someone else, but we can take the lack of closure and use it to inspire us to find a different kind of closure within – perhaps what has happened needed to happen to inspire you to look more gently and starkly at yourself and at your relationships with those who are close to you.

      Perhaps asking yourself if you’re the narcissist is about exploring the behaviours which make you ask that question and seeing what is uncovered by looking there with a desire to make positive and healthy changes, ones which are good for you and for you nearest and dearest. We all make mistakes, it’s a part of being human and living life, it’s what we do with our mistakes that make the difference to us and others, what we learn and how we progress.

      Moving on could be about taking what you’ve learned from this relationship with this guy and applying it to your relationships with your children and your family.

      Hope this reply makes sense, I’m a bit under the weather at the moment.

      Take care of yourself and those who are closest to you in the here and now – and watch Catfish (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catfish:_The_TV_Show).

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