It is a ONE WAY STREET and a dead end with a Narcissist! Let’s Put this Together – Narcissism 101. Knowledge and education is vital to starting out on your journey to recovery – OR – great for a brush up course to remember where we came from and where we NEVER want to return to!
It is a ONE WAY STRET and a dead end with a Narcissist! Let’s Put this Together – Narcissism 101. Knowledge and education is vital to starting out on your journey to recovery – OR – great for a brush up course to remember where we came from and where we NEVER want to return to!
From my Book: Greg Zaffuto – Author – From Charm to Harm and Everything Else in Between with a Narcissist
A relationship with ANY Narcissist is a one-way street, and you will travel in that direction for as long as you are driving on THEIR highway of life. You can never change their direction and inevitably that direction always leads you to a ‘dead end.’ There is no YOU in this relationship and NEVER will be!
Narcissists are masters of deception, manipulation, betrayal and lies. They drive their “reality” home through bullying, brute verbal force and emotional abuse. A Narcissist clings to their prefabricated/phony belief system no matter how many times they are confronted with evidence to the contrary. In fact, the more wrong they are, the greater the manipulation and outrage they will display. If you challenge a Narcissist’s point of view, lies, distortions, unfounded accusations, etc., just watch how the discussion turns into a one-sided argument with drama, denial, chaos, re-writing history, theatrics, threats, silencing and even punishment very quickly. So let’s review the techniques one more time to pull all of the facts together and drive the point home!
Narcissism 101 – a quick reference guide to explain some of the tools in the Narcissists arsenal to succeed at extorting supply and abusing their target/victim.
- Avoidance Tactics! When you present facts that contradicts a Narcissists belief, they will flip to another tangent or change the subject or even make up some sort of accusation against YOU, then use it against you to counter or divert your questioning, etc., etc. – organized CRAZY MAKING on the Narcissists part to avoid facts or truth. While you are still defending your original point and why it’s valid, the Narcissist annihilates or assassinates your thoughts (because you’re making sense) and distracts you by jumping to another topic that’s completely out in left field. The result WHAM – that wily and shrewd Narcissist has side tracked your whole thought process and somehow you are the one being interrogated and your original question or thought has gone up in a puff of smoke to the heavens and it will never return OR BE VALIDATED with a response – EVER!!
- Silent Treatment! It can start by the Narcissist blurting out these two words – SHUT UP! When you try to explain your feelings or point of view, you will be silenced or even told to, “shut up!” Narcissists are psycho bullies and will bulldoze your words or thoughts right into the trash heap. When you challenge them they believe if they ignore you, or stop you from speaking the truth like it doesn’t exist, sort of like a small child who closes their eyes to “make you go away.” After all they have the mentality of a three year old child. They can’t handle the smallest truth and they go to great lengths to deny and obliterate it by overpowering the target/victim and always gaining control – as well as shooting the messenger too!
- Name-Calling or making fun of you. This is the last resort of psycho bullies, such as Narcissists. Because they can’t honestly or intelligently defend their position or their behaviors, they resort to emotionally-based personal attacks. It’s another distraction technique that sidetracks you from the original point of contention by disorienting you and putting you on the defensive. They intend to hurt your feelings with some sort of a ‘snarky’ comment to hurt you and that they do without a care in the world.
Calling a person names doesn’t prove any point it’s merely an attack AND cruel and meant to divert you by causing you pain. Walk away with dignity and respect without internalizing whatever cruel insult the Narcissist has tried to wound you with. Life is not a playground for Narcissists to act out in defense of their “damaged inner self” so they can control, overpower and knock everybody else down to the ground in defense of their out-of-control and perverse lifestyle.
- Projecting. Narcissist project by accusing their targets of things that they themselves are actually guilty of. I can remember those times when I was accused of having multiple affairs, or using sex sites to find anonymous partners, or the most confusing comment that I was having affairs with married partners and how horrendously wrong this was. I would shake my head and my jaw would drop to the ground. I KNEW THE TRUTH that I didn’t do any of this, but at the time I wondered why and where this Narcissist was getting this perverted information. So push the “forward button” to the present and now I know the truth that these WERE the things this Narcissist did to me in the shadows. Projection makes them feel “OK” about their lies, betrayal and any other dark things they are doing. They just cast them onto us, distort our reality by making us guilty of what they are really doing then somehow this makes it OK that they do what they do that is so destructive to us. They JUST DON’T CARE who they may hurt with their perverse life because they are totally directed by their neediness and out-of-control lifestyle – AND THEY ALWAYS ACT ON IT.
I knew a male Narcissist that BOASTED about his sexual prowess. This Narcissist was married with children and his wife was expecting another child. One night the Narcissist went out with some friends in a car and they ALL engaged in acts of sex. When I responded in disbelief, this Narcissist said “what it wasn’t really sex (as in the conventional method) and my wife didn’t know about it, and she was pregnant.” When I explained that IT WAS SEX and that his wife would have been horribly hurt if the truth ever came out – plus she was pregnant – and the whole situation was just wrong – he shrugged his shoulders and just didn’t care. This was this Narcissists WHOLE outlook on life. He said that she never knew and it was all innocent as far as he was concerned. If you would do the exact same thing to a Narcissist they would have you arrested, thrown in jail, have congress hear their allegations, and probably have you removed from the country.
- Narcissists have a perspective of people AND the world around them and that is all-or-nothing, good versus evil, or basically everything is in black-and-white terms. They have no capacity for context so you either see things their way or you must be destroyed as the enemy, imprisoned, punished and SILENCED. You can’t respectfully agree to disagree EVER. Any criticism, difference of opinion, accountability issue, or challenge to their “authority” is seen as a threat and will be treated as such that you will be devalued and destroyed. It doesn’t even have to be something you have said, it can come right from the Narcissist’s interpretation of any given situation and it can become a perceived threat that they will react to. Somehow a situation becomes YOUR fault when you have NOTHING to do with it and/or it is innocent. For example a smile from a stranger, a phone call from a tele-marketer, or your phone ringing and you just don’t answer it, etc., etc. Their vivid little minds contort these simple situations into us having affairs, or whatever delusional belief they come up with. Quite simply the Narcissist reacts to the world in a constant defensive manner. Oh and the clinical word for this is “splitting.”
- Smear Campaigns and Back-Stabbing are probably the most destructive to our lives. The Narcissist utilizes this tool in a manner to cause the most destruction they can. It’s never enough for the Narcissist to act out against us or only disagree with and despise us for most everything. Everyone else in the whole world must also hate you and see how wrong you are, or how mentally ill we are too – this includes family, friends, co-workers, and any other person you have contact with like the preacher at your church, doctor, local policeman, educators, etc. Narcissists attack your ethics, integrity, sexuality and manufacture the most ridiculous stories/lies and basic nonsense in order to destroy your reputation. The slander and gossip can be done in such a way that it looks like the narcissist is filled with compassion for you. Unfortunately, the bigger the lie, the more gullible people seem to become and they tend to believe it. You are damned if you do or damned if you don’t in this scenario. If you defend yourself you seem guilty, if you don’t defend yourself you seem guilty – SO YOU SEEM GUILTY of everything they have said!
Furthermore — Narcissists are manipulative psycho gossips. They eagerly listen to and spread slander. They are self-righteous finger-pointers, always accusing others of being bad. Narcissists can make their gossip sound virtuous, but destroying people’s integrity isn’t a good deed by any means. The Narcissist will badmouth others but embellish his/her slandering with words like “love” as well as use Christianity and concern that requires the Narcissists prayers to help the POOR victim that the Narcissist is back-stabbing to death. The narcissist wears a halo above their head to help keep that mask from slipping – but a halo does not change the spirit in which slander is done – to control, manipulate, triangulate as well as to divide and conquer.
Narcissists are character assassins. A narcissist has a trail of trashed good names and careers in their wake. The Narcissist will have even told you horrendous and terrible lies about the people in his/her own immediate family, etc.
- Gas-lighting is a term that is derived from an old black and white movie where a character tried to make their spouse believe they were going crazy or insane. The Narcissist LOVES gas-lighting to make their target/victim seem crazy or insane. They may deny things they’ve said and done and accuse you of the same to make you believe that you are forgetful, or delusional. They may hide things like your car keys and tell you how forgetful you are. They will also twist a grain of truth about most any personal situation and turn it inside out or into a huge distortion until you seriously doubt your own sanity and look like the crazy person when you try to defend yourself. For instance they will accuse you drinking too much when you possibly have a glass of wine with dinner, but they exaggerate and embellish the situation as if you NEED that wine or forget that you had 3 or 4 glasses when there is no truth to their exaggerations. Along the same lines, if you don’t get along with someone, the narcissist will say, “I get along with him/her just fine.” The Narcissist will have nothing but praise for that person. Likewise, if you got really bad service at a restaurant, the narcissist will say, “They gave me excellent service.” The narcissist praises the other or responds with the opposite because it reflects badly on you and well on them. Lastly they will say that other friends or people have CONCERNS about you and have commented on various occasions as well.
- Withholding. This is my addition to the ‘clinical list’ of traits. Basically it is the Narcissist’s way of utilizing classical conditioning with their targets. Withholding covers an array of areas where the Narcissist can AND will withhold something to elicit a response to CONTROL the target/victim, both positively or negativity. Be it withholding the truth in any given statement or situation to cause confusion or deflect from reality or even withholding sex from the relationship to confound or confuse the target/victim. It is all done in a manner to CONTROL. In the game of abuse control is power and that is what the Narcissist NEEDS to be able to extract supply from us as well as stay in command of the situation (their ability to abuse to extort what they can.)
- RAGING AND ACTING OUT! The Narcissists level of outrage, vindictiveness or emotional withdrawal is in direct proportion to how accurate you are OR you are starting to realize ALL OF THE TRUTH and they know they are BUSTED. It is more like the Narcissist rises to the situation with more vivid attacks – raising the volume and not the logic. The Narcissist will either talk over YOU, or shout at you to wear you down with emotionally-charged statements and attacks over and over again until the Narcissist drowns out all reason or you pass out from the sheer exhaustion of it all. When all else fails PUNISHMENT and or the silent treatment until you submit and apologize for your “offense.” Perhaps they will slip out for a few days and arrange time with other supply and taunt you with that!
- Narcissist process or filter out so much of their disordered life and actions through Blaming and Shaming. They blame us for everything that is wrong and then they never have to consider how they contributed to and caused the issues and their own unhappiness. They shift all the responsibility onto us so now WE look like the bad and crazy one in an effort to shame us into submission. After years of their manipulation, brain-washing and manipulation we begin to actually believe that most if not everything is OUR fault. This is the psychological terrorism aspect of the abuse and it makes the target/victim feel unworthy!
- The BIG BLAME THEORY. Narcissists are the VICTIMS of the WORLD. When a Narcissist is called out for their bad behaviors and dishonesty (accountability), they will play the “woe-be-me” victim. They will plead their case of how THEY were unjustly wronged, as well as claim they’re being unfairly attacked for “standing up for the truth” and having the “courage” to speak out against THEIR abuse and saying we were the abusive one in this relationship. This and the smear campaign is how the Narcissist defends their indefensible behaviors with what I call the “BIG BLAME THEORY.” This allows them to avoid exposure and walk around UNNOTICED to find the next target/victim to extort and abuse. You will find them preaching at their pulpit and telling whomever will listen just how they RAN from abuse, and how good they are and to learn through their experiences and “love is just around the corner”. Nonsense love is NEVER just around the corner after you have been abused – you just don’t walk away from the abuse to enter into another relationship because the destruction is extensive and at every level of your life.
- Triangulation or Divide and Conquer. This is the process of isolating you from your friends and family. Narcissists accomplish this by putting themselves in the middle of your relationships and making you out to be bad to a friend or family member – and then doing an about face and convincing you that the same family member or friend is gossiping about you behind YOUR back (divide and conquer.) Often, narcissists glibly sneak bad ideas about others into your head. They do this by chipping away at that person’s image subtly and relentlessly every time they mention him or her.
Narcissists are psychologically and emotionally abusive psycho bullies that extort normal and good people for “supply”. Supply is what they take from us that they can’t get from being whom and what they are so they shape shift into an amazing person or fit to embellish our lives – “love bombing”. They lack empathy so this PROHIBITS them from any reality as far as it concerns loving another human being or being in a growing relationship. There is no relationship with a Narcissist because they do not allow any person to express or be an individual while in their presence. They attach themselves to our lives to extract everything they need to function normally (as well as every other thing they can take) – things they can’t possibly achieve on their own because of their disordered lives and delusional manners. Narcissists objectify their targets/victims as well as psychologically terrorize them to gain complete control. This is why I use the strongest term for how they extract their supply – THEY EXTORT supply from their targets/victims and hate them in the process as well. This is abuse from day one when they “love bomb” or trick a target/victim into trusting them so they can open that wound up in our hearts and keep it open until they have taken everything we have and then they search for other supply to extort. They torture their targets/victims psychologically as well as make them feel as much pain, shame and blame as if in an effort to make us one of the “walking dead” like they are. This is a hideous abuse that causes long term psychological damage to people, families, organizations and all life in general. To coin an old phrase, “Just say No” – that is NO CONTACT and be free again! Greg