The title of this blog post comes from a query in my blog stats’ search terms…
The stats for my blog have been falling recently…
which is logical, normal, natural, and expected considering that I’ve been taking a (self-ish) break. While I have narcissistic tendencies like we all do, prone to having its personal drama and such, and an ego prone to getting bent out of shape like origami (pretty… wish I could do origami, but… some things aren’t meant for you to master, they’re meant for you to appreciate when others master it)…
If I was a Narcissist that dip in my blog’s online traffic would most likely scare me… but it probably wouldn’t scare me away, more likely the scare I got from it would send me into panic overdrive in an effort to get back what I was apparently losing…
I’d do more of what I did to get attention in the first place (which may or may not work to get more new or renewed attention, but I’d be convinced that I was the one in control and in charge of things working so I wouldn’t allow for variables and life’s inconsistencies, hiccups and random happenings – that shit is scary)…
which is something worth keeping in mind if you’re trying to scare a Narcissist away from you.
If a Narcissist is ready to lose you, they will let you go far more easily than if a Narcissist is not ready to lose you.
A Narcissist dead set on keeping ahold of you will do anything to have things never change no matter what your side of the story is – their side of the story is the whole story as far as a real Narcissist is concerned,
A Narcissist who is kind of hoping you’d just go away, disappear, will be ready to work with you to scare them off… as long as it works with their persona and story…
However if they think you’re deliberately trying to get rid of them, this will offend their ego and they’ll get vengeful… even if they’ve reached that point where they wanted to discard you but just hadn’t figured out how to do it in a way which made them the good guy.
They like being perceived as the good guy…
via SMBC comics
OMG I love this comic series!!!
just as you do. Some things you do… Narcissists do it too, and, I know, that’s not something you want to hear (Narcissists don’t like to hear it either… unless it suits their narrative – and they’ll keep what you want to hear and don’t want to hear in mind when in seduction of you mode… and when in destruction of you mode).
for a visual reference point see the TV show Girls, season 6, episode 5 – Gummies – where, according to IMDB, ‘Marnie does a less-than-stellar job of being there for a grieving Ray.’ That’s a spot-on summary. This scene between Marnie and Ray shows a typical Narcissist, Marnie, who is bored to death because she’s doing something which isn’t something she wants to do, making her boredom obvious, but she gets snarky when confronted, by Ray, about it. Her parting words are “I’m not a bad person” or something along those lines (Narcissists often say things like this when confronted – their perceived image, persona… that’s all that matters. Basically she was only ‘being there for Ray’ because social rules dictated that a good person would behave this way… so to achieve her goal of being a ‘good person’ in the eyes of society she’s doing what society views a good person would do, she’s going through the motions and backing that up with rhetoric, but she’s not really getting any immediate reward out of it so it’s boring, she’d rather be doing something else, and when Ray challenges her fake behaviour she gets defensive, has a billions excuses, blames him indirectly and directly, and eventually seizes the opportunity he gave her to get the eff out of there… while still hanging on to the notion that she’s a good person. He’s the bad guy for grieving, for being real, authentic in the moment and not indulging, supporting, her fake-friend behaviour.
I love this TV Show. Say what you will about Lena Dunham (which everyone seems to do, often negatively), it doesn’t change the fact that she’s extremely talented and very perspicacious when it comes to portraying narcissistic behaviour and the story around and behind it. Want to understand why people are narcissistic or Narcissists, her show is very insightful.
Her show is ‘sponsored’ by Judd Apatow who (is a genius) also produces ‘Love’ another excellent TV show (which features one of his daughters, who has an awesome role, which she plays beautifully, as the child of narcissistic parents who have trapped her in a narcissistic business both personally and professionally) which contains Narcissists and narcissistic behaviour. In season 2 of this show there’s one character who goes to his therapist… a therapist who actually encourages the character to be narcissistic, stalk his ex-girlfriend because he should ‘mindfully’ (this trendy pop psychology hot topic jargon du jour is used very acerbically and observantly) go after the love he deserves even if the object of his affection does not want to have the children he’s decided he deserves to have with her because he’s ready to own that kind of accessory and status symbol of life.
Another really insightful TV portrayal of a Narcissist and narcissistic behaviour can be found in the TV series – Hand of God – this one has nothing to do with Judd Apatow (as far as I know), but if anyone is an expert on Narcissistic Personality Disorder and the kind of order it prefers – the high idealism, the intense perfectionism, the disregard for being human, the delusion, illusion and worship of image – it’s Hollywood. Season 2 of Hand of God shows a Malignant Narcissist rising out of his ashes like a phoenix and making everyone regret both their loyalty to him and their disloyalty. A Narcissist always makes everyone pay… and the payment is never enough… because…
A real Narcissist is always trying to evade, escape and avoid their own demons… and those demons are both hungry and thirsty! They’re particularly thirsty for attention!
Scaring a Narcissist is easy…
A typical Narcissist is scared of… pretty much everything, and they go to great lengths to obliterate the fear factor, often reacting (or overreacting) in a manner opposite to how non-narcissists would react to a similar fear… which is why they often confuse and confound those unfamiliar with the Narcissist Way.
They’re not logical… the illogical is their home territory (which they often cover in a heavy layer of ‘this is logic’ make-up and fight hard to make the illogical the real new logic)…
Is cheating morally wrong by Ryan Pequin
I love this comic by Ryan Pequin. Why? Because it hits a certain personal spot…
funnily enough the main Narcissists in my life (who are my parents – they’re narcissists according to me, according to them they were heroes more so when others called them villains) always taught me that cheating was not only morally wrong but wrong in every possible way if I was the one doing it… but if they did it it wasn’t cheating, it was very clever, superbly intelligent, a game of life chess move to win the game, necessary because everyone else is a cheat and if you want to win you have to join them to beat them, and so on.
and yet a lot of what they do can be understood using logic, as long as you’re not too rigid with it, loosen your logic, rationale, and reason parameters up… and get yourself out of the way (which can be a difficult thing to do – but often is most needed when dealing with a Narcissist. They will use you against you and get you to help them do that).
The thing is, what scares a Narcissist is often what scares you too… just not quite the way it scares them.
They fear embarrassment, humiliation, social spurning, disapproval, criticism, mistakes, eff-ups, weirdness (unless special snowflake approved), freakery (unless lauded by the masses), and all the other complementary contrary to popular approval add ons and apps which go with those…
They’re plagued by similar things to you, but unlike you they are far more aggressive, defensive, proactive, prepared to go on the offensive…
Those people who start off online conversations with no introduction other than – here’s your typo, what you’ve done wrong, said badly, are wrong about, need to be criticised for being bad and wrong about…
they may not be real Narcissists but the narcissistic tendencies are strong in them, the dark force is at work and it’s kicking you before you kick them… they’re kicking you before you kick them… all is fair in social affairs when ego is in charge…
they’re terrified of being found to be lacking as humans, to be failing as heroes, to be far from perfect examples of the ideal set by society – those chasing the rainbow and its pot of gold (which had better be real gold and not some philosophical abstract version of it! They only accept that version if it has been pre-approved by pop-scientists, pop-psychologists, and other popularly held beliefs of the five second minute of this ADHD society and its mores which it uses to judge shit and people and stuff – don’t say shit and stuff because this robs your point of pointage).
excerpt via – Psychology Today: The Narcissist’s Dilemma by Leon F. Seltzer
This author and his Psychology Today blog is chock-a-block full of excellent info and insights into Narcissists
The quickest way to scare a Narcissist is to be real.
To expose your warts, your wrinkles, your scars and not be ashamed of them (thus they can’t be used to silence, shame, use or blackmail you), instead you shrug them off as though those things are normal, ordinary, not worth making a fuss about, or starting some socially important movement about (and thus you’re a hero for the underdog – a favourite role for certain types of narcissists) which you can sell by the real sweat vial at overpriced costs to those trying to pretend they’re into what’s real (but it actually disgusts them, repulses and scares them… they only fake like it because others seems to accept it, and they want others to accept them, more than that… and for that and morethan that you have to faux-like what you hate).
To be genuinely authentic (not hipster faux-boho rustic urban chic authentic which is anything but at least these days it seems to be…). You’re a piece of wood freshly severed from a tree, with splinters, sticky sap, insects and rot. You smell… real and sniff it with glee because you can’t buy that kind of earthy, firey, watery, airy, as it happens, just out of the oven of life…
Narcissists like to be prepared, present them with something they aren’t prepared for – a real you in the moment who hasn’t given them advance warning about what you’re going to say, do, be…. and they’ll need a time out to research it and absorb, steal, cheat the answers from over someone else’s shoulder.
They can’t deal with spontaneity… it scares the crap out of them, they can only deal with it when they have time to learn what it is, what it means, and how to fake it and control it at all times.
the sort of comment a narcissist will make online or in RL is similar to the middle one in this example… it shows fear in its aggressive form – if a narcissist is being this type of aggressive with you, you’ve most likely pushed one of their fear factor buttons, triggered a taboo area… if you can weather their drama storm, and not people-please them because their aggression frightened you, you’re on your way out with them because they can’t control you and your crazy natural wild self.
To scare a narcissist away you may have to put up with a certain amount of self-scaring.
The difference is yours most likely will energise you as you begin to wrestle back the personal power you’ve given away… as you let go of the paranoia and fears the narcissist in your life has passed onto you… playing upon what was already there.
If you want to scare a Narcissist away from you…
it may take a bit of time…
especially if you’ve invested in attracting them (you didn’t mean to do that, no need to explain unless you really feel the need to do so to clarify things with yourself, you thought you were attracting someone else… you thought who they were pretending to be was who they were… oops… it happens… not your fault… except a little bit is your fault, but semantics and such),
and if they’ve invested themselves in their attraction to you, who you represent for them, are going to be for them (like a hero who saves them from the impossible scenario from which they can never be saved or the dumping ground for what they want to set on fire and turn to ash which has nothing to do with them), and other roles they need you for…
they need you more than you need them… and when they’re in that mode they’re like a particularly clingy virus (of body or of computer), and trying to scare them off may scare them to cling harder to you.
They may fight back because… reasons… that are unreasonable. Like… you’re testing them with your scare tactics and they need to win this test, get the best marks…
They’re the romcom hero who never gives up when you say no… even when you point out that this romcom trope is rapey, a stalker, creepy and eff off…
But persevere… as they do and one of you will end up being more stubborn – if you’re being true to yourself, you could win this!
Sometimes the best way to scare a Narcissist away from you is by using the things which scare you about and away from yourself, others, life, and making friends and allies with them…
What scares Narcissists away from me is… that I blurt stuff out and then leave it there in a blurted mess.
No effs given (I give them but only to those who don’t need them)…
What attracted them to me was that I know how to clean and clear that kind of mess up…
and they need that from others…
they need to know you can clean up each time they make a pigsty so they can pretend it never happened…
what if you just left it there…
enjoy the mess!
A delightful read and insightful too, thanks! (I also love the “real” as irrational, spontaneous, mushy, dorky, scary, breathtaking, daunting, mysterious, emotional, and discomforting as people can be). Great quote by Chishala Lishomwa!
Thank you very much 🙂
I love how they always try to appear as the good guy, this is so true
Thank you 🙂
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There’s no insufferable narcissists around here. Only the non-needing-to-be-scared-off good kind. 😉
Fantastic post. 🙂 I was constantly reminded of how I “scared off” my ex-narcissist. I didn’t think of it that way at the time – I just wanted my life back and was pretty much ready to employ anything to lever him out. Money was his weak spot but he still had to show me (in spades) his injured, fractured ego, including alternating death threats with begging. I did feel sorry for him (up to the point where I had to report him to the police) and sincerely wished him a good life, but my life had to come first.
The Leon F Seltzer piece is interesting and really describes my ex-narcissist right down to his socks. I also find the brain studies about how the environment causes certain genes to be switched on or off – leading to particular behaviours as adults – absolutely fascinating.
Thank you 🙂
I think it’s worth keeping in mind that we’re sometimes our own worst enemy when it comes to narcissists, that what we think they’re doing to us is actually what we’re doing to ourselves because of our own hidden/latent N tendencies which may need to come to the fore, be developed or something like that. It’s that whole anima/animus/shadow projected onto someone else which needs to be owned by the projecter for the puzzle to be solved and for us to get our ‘closure’.
Maybe everything is an equation and we need to stop waiting for someone else to solve it for us. Maybe there isn’t just one ‘right’ answer.
My favourite thing about brain studies is that we’re using brains to study brains… what could go wrong! It is fascinating though 😉
Oh yes – you’re very right. I became aware of the fact that I did a “fight fire with fire” narcissistic turn during my divorce and even before that. A good friend who’s also a therapist pointed it out, took that risk. I’m not proud to say that I initially jumped all over her (she forgave me 🙂 ).
I enjoyed reading your response to MaraExplores and the link as well. 🙂
Sometimes the way we find out who is a ‘real’ person in our lives and who isn’t so ‘real’ is through interactions like the one you had with your good friend who is also a therapist. Relationships come with all the mess which is part of being human, and they help us gain self-awareness, which is a very messy business even though it sounds so clean and tidy when it is being marketed, and self-awareness comes with a certain amount of resistance – like jumping down the throat of those who offer it to us. She forgave you because she’s probably done exactly what you did when a ‘home truth’ was brought home to her. Mind you, fighting fire with fire is sometimes the only way to put out a fire, and we need to learn to do that even if it’s not our preferred tactic – maybe we need to know we can do it, that we have it as an option if push comes to shove, and that gives us ballast.
Very insightful post. That explains a lot of what I experienced. I think there is some measure of this in all people, but with narcissists they really do stand out by how confused they are by certain rules.
They seem to need a rulebook of friendship and “decent” human behavior to teach them how they should be acting so they don’t stand out as lacking. I’ve seen that panicky look they get when they don’t know what they should be feeling.
It’s so clear now, but I didn’t recognize it with my most devastating narcissists. She was also a very successful blogger and became terrified when her stats dipped and would wear herself out trying to bring things back up. She would make excuses to her fans whenever there was a dip on her channel or her blogs.
She invented this reason that You Tube was not counting her views, ‘it’s freezing them’ she said. Then she claimed she broke her comments on her wordpress site and couldn’t fix it. She swore up and down that she was so bad at technology there was no way to fix it and that she had contacted wordpress, but they coudn’t help her.
It was all lies. I think she couldn’t stand the idea of stagnation.
Thank you 🙂
When I first ventured into social media one of the things which puzzled me was how much time, effort, and attention experienced users spent on ‘followers’ who had ‘unfollowed’ them or on those who hadn’t followed them yet. This is particularly in your face on Twitter. I always wondered why the ‘unfollowers’ or others who remained elusive were deemed more important than all those who were still following, who were there and happy to be there of their own free will.
Why is what we’ve ‘lost’ or think we’ve lost or have yet to gain so much more attention getting from us than what we have right here and now?
Why are we haunted by those who don’t like us, don’t love us, or who don’t know we exist? Why do those who love us, like us, know we exist, are there for us through it all, have to wait around while we chase after that which evades and escapes us?
I still haven’t figured this out, but if you factor in general societal narcissism it sort of makes more sense.
Things like Youtube are great for sharing, and discovering… all social media is great for that, and as long as we stay focused, remember that people are people and do what we do (and we can all be fickle online because it’s the playground of the mind), and don’t get caught up in seeing people as objects, as numbers, as stats, as points proving our value… then the system works and is logical.
The moment we lose focus and start using things like social media as self-esteem counters, then we’re entering a world of hell and probably dragging others along with us for the ride.
I thought it was interesting that Tim Berners-Lee spoke out recently and asked people to participate in creating a more balanced internet (the main impetus was mainly trying to get us to help tackle the whole fake news issue together) – https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/mar/11/tim-berners-lee-web-inventor-save-internet – his vision for his creation and what we’ve done with it… we’re still learning 😉
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“They’re the romcom hero who never gives up when you say no… even when you point out that this romcom trope is rapey, a stalker, creepy and eff off…”
This made me laugh. My co-worker is this way w me. No matter how many times I say no or ignore him, he either thinks I’m playing a game or he thinks he’s being cute by pouncing on me and pestering to “be friends.”
Thank you for sharing 🙂
Some people see the word ‘No’ or being ignored as a challenge rather than what it is. They rewrite rejection into a fairytale quest to win the heart of the reluctant, with them in the role of the hero who conquers all.
And since there are those who do play games, who use ignoring as a come-hither and whose ‘No’ doesn’t mean exactly that, confusion may set in and grow roots.
You may have to be more bold in making your point, but try to make it something a rejection-reluctant hero can actually hear and accept without losing face. Which may be hard to do. For some the boundaries of others mark out where the grass is greener.
Take care of yourself!
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