Me, Myself, and I. At its core narcissism is very simple because it solely operates on the principle that the narcissist’s needs come first and foremost!
Me, Myself, and I. At its core narcissism is very simple because it solely operates on the principle that the narcissist’s needs come first and foremost! There is no ‘you’ in the relationship other than your physical presence and being a servant that must ‘supply’ them with what they came for and THAT is it!
From my Book – Greg Zaffuto – Author – From Charm to Harm and Everything else in Between with a Narcissist!
It is NOT just simple selfishness it is profound, delusional, and self-serving selfishness the manner in which a narcissist manipulates the world around them to serve their MANY needs. But the key feature of narcissism is that the principle is the very basis of their personality – better yet it is their COMPLETE persona. They tell “themselves” about what happens in every aspect of every situation that crosses their delusional mind. This includes how the Narcissist construes events, how they construe other people, how they construe themselves. Whatever they creatively invent OR “feel” becomes fact with them and then it becomes written in stone. So, what is convenient for them to believe about something is what they believe. It’s a make-believe world of a child with all of their toys laid out in front of them and they play with them in any manner they want to, and rule over and control these toys AND even smash them. It is their fantasy world where everything is an object that they control to meet and feed the fantasy that they create. One toy doesn’t mean any more or less than any other toy – in fact none of them have a particular meaning other than to serve the child.
Clinically it goes like this; their sense of reality is driven pervasively and fundamentally by their personality needs. It is all about imposing their wishes, actions, and perspectives on all aspects of reality. They will even get married and start a family, but in reality it is all part of the illusion they create to serve them. They have no respect for the sanctity of marriage as an institution, nor even the family they create, it was all a need at that time and they used it to their advantage. They are a big out-of-control and abusive LIE!
It also means that narcissists can be profoundly charming. If you have something they want, even if it is just being a good “listening audience” then they can be great fun. The problem comes when normal reality (or our needs) conflicts with their reality of the narcissist’s NEEDS comes first. This is where the phrase “omnipotent” comes from. They are the king or queen of the world, they create it, rule it, govern it, and if you dare break OR question any of their rules or laws you are subject to imprisonment, and punishment. Push them too hard and you may end up in a guillotine about to have your head taken away from you, or better yet abandonment from their world.
Sadly enough in their kingdom they chose subjects to serve them in personal ways. They create “their” version of Narcissistic love that can best be described as creating a relationship that they will allow you to love them if you serve their delusions completely and ask for nothing in return. It is nothing even near love, but surprisingly enough they write a love story for each and every target and act it out to capture the heart and trust of the person they are exploiting. Suddenly, they become utterly unreliable, their promises mean nothing, and companionship means nothing. The basis of the relationship is deception through lies, betrayal, harsh manipulation, constant punishment, and annihilation of the person they allowed to serve them. It is as if they have a general code and standard — their needs come first and we are tricked into this world and then we are discarded because our needs will and do become apparent as they naturally would in any relationship.
If you try to call them out on any of this, you will find that you can never really reach them. They live in a self-policing fortress of these self-serving needs. Everything gets construed to fit these needs. The first person they lie to is themselves, so in their mind they are utterly sincere in their actions because they make up the rules or laws – or better yet it is a huge con job built on lies that requires complete compliancy from us. Every event, their actions, your actions, just get redefined to maintain the delusional principle that their needs comes first or me, me, me and never you, you, you! They cannot see themselves for what they are because it is a “false/fake created self” and they live in a fortress to protect this image or “their reality”. Exposure would define them as a liar and abusive person not only to the world around them, but to themselves – and that is what they fear the most. They don’t believe there’s anything wrong with them so they don’t see the need to fix it – whatever problems they encounter are always someone else’s fault.
There is no reality, including in what words and actions mean, this is what makes Narcissists so destructive, and so disorienting to deal with. The hardest thing to realize is that they do not think as you/we do. Behaviors and words which you would normally construe in particular or normal ways simply do not have the SAME status and meaning you think they do, because the principle of their needs comes first and trumps everything, including how they construe events, you and themselves. They are simply not operating on the same reality principle you/we are.
Narcissists have huge self-esteem issues in that they sacrifice almost everything (and anyone) to shore themselves up and hide it behind a fake mask that they wear. There is nothing else there (like reality and a real personality) to support anything else but this delusional mask.
Again, this is what makes dealing with a narcissist so disorienting, since there is no real meaning, or even a factual basis to rely on. There is no consistency in the relationship beyond their needs (which can, of course, change – even from moment to moment). They even can change their source of supply from moment to moment or have more than one relationship going on. Words and actions do not have the meaning that would be commonly or normally ascribed to them. If you would confront them about a situation like one of their affairs they will simply lie and deny it. There is never the motive to change themselves because the harm is generally inflicted on others but they don’t even consider what another person would feel no matter what harm they may cause them by their actions. They seem to lack any mechanism to stop them from acting on their every whim as if they are totally-out-of-control to feed their empty void. Nothing has any value to them beyond satisfying themselves not even their own biological children.
The most prevalent thing that narcissists do is contradict themselves. They will do this virtually in the same sentence, without even stopping to take a breath. When you ask them which one they mean, they’ll deny ever saying the first one, though it may literally have been only a few seconds since they said it – really, how could you think they’d ever have said that? You need to have your head examined! They will contradict FACTS. They will lie to you about things that you did together. They will misquote you to yourself. They will outright lie about everything. If you disagree with them, they’ll say you’re lying, making stuff up, or are crazy. This all boils down to their methods of debasing us to protect their delusional world through manipulation, betrayal, gas-lighting, brain-washing, backstabbing, smearing and every other clinical word ascribed to them. It is basically how they control their victims and basically push them to the edge of insanity!
They are the classic emotional vampires who cannot see themselves in the mirror while being profoundly disorienting, and infuriating to deal with. The extent to which they do this and the self-delusion involved with a Narcissist is staggering as well as the reality of your relationship with them. Do they really think that you/we do not remember what happened? Apparently not. But to sum it up, there is no ‘you’ as an actual-person in all this, there is merely whatever picture of you that fits the needs of the narcissist at any given moment. Test them and they will debase you and punish you severely.
Second, there is no ‘what actually happened’ either, there is merely what the narcissist wants to “remember” as having happened. Which means there is no conversation to be had, or no meaningful interaction EVER. There is nothing beyond the narcissist’s delusional representation of what they decide is reality to them or what they need to manipulate a person to get what they want. The narcissist’s armor of self-delusion means that nothing will ever get through, not in the ordinary course of events. So nothing useful will come out of it either. It is a losing battle trying to resolve conflict with them because they are equipped with an arsenal of tools to make you a prisoner of their delusional world and you must serve them accordingly or else!
This makes interacting with a narcissist more like an unfortunate happening or more of a personal and unnatural disaster than a fulfilling personal interaction in any meaningful sense as far as it concerns the ‘human condition!’ What compounds the situation is that they are biologically like us – they even speak, act and look like the rest of us. So, and I mean A BIG “SO” – at many levels we have accepted what they said as mattering to the point of our very demise. Then again, they are a person after all and we trusted them especially if they were a person who was emotionally important to you (us) and we have never dealt with such dishonesty and delusion at this level before or were educated in the inner works of a Narcissist – so a big ‘oops’ to that. So, with that in mind it is very disorienting to have to constantly figure out what they say and do because WHAT THEY SAY AND DO does not have the real and ordinary meanings and consequences as what we say and do. In simpler words, we strived to find reality or something about them that we could believe so we justified way too much reaching out to find that normalcy once again – the one we knew when they were charming us to death. Narcissists are the direct opposite and profoundly undermine our reality, as well as our trust in ourselves and others. Basically, we fell into the trap of the abuse and slowly but surely were brainwashed to accept the lies, the blame and shame, and every other insidious thing they did just for being a real person and nothing more. That is not an easy thing to reason out – but then again we will ‘get it’ with a good dose of knowledge, education, time, and the truth.
Narcissists do not have a REAL working personality quite the same way other normal people have because the narcissist creates a façade that is ‘personality like’ but not real by any sense of the word. That is the first, last and hardest lesson of dealing with a Narcissist– they do not think as you/we do. Sadly, it was a destructive lesson we learned and paid for dearly. How could we have done better without the knowledge we learned after the abuse. I guess we should have run away the first time we had doubts or red flags, but we didn’t because we just didn’t quite get it until we finally got it! It didn’t make us a bad person, it harmed us but we are the same loving and awesome person we always were. We must get back up, brush ourselves off, spend some quality time with ourselves, educate ourselves, and let the truth be our guide to see we had no part in deserving this abuse – we unfortunately were the next target/victim of the disordered Narcissist. No/minimal contact! Greg