Malignant Narcissism is not about an everyday variety of selfishness or just dealing with a jerk, but better described as a pathological and all-consuming selfishness that interprets into emotional abuse with ANY person a Narcissist has ANY type of connection or relationship with.
From my Book: Greg Zaffuto – Author – From Charm to Harm and Everything Else in Between with a Narcissist
This abuse is NOT limited to ‘love’ relationships only. Narcissists can be family members like a mother/father, brother/sister, boss/co-worker, friend/relative or anyone for that matter. Emotionally abused targets/victims are often victimized by more than one person as well because they have only learned or known this dehumanizing abuse all their lives. They internalize that something is wrong with them and that they deserve this kind of abuse, and then resign themselves to their fate. Targets/victims may not reach their potential in their personal or professional lives because they always must stand in the shadow of their abuser(s) – and that is all they have ever known in the case of Narcissistic parents. They learn to live in the shadows without knowing why – and that why is the debasing control from abuse at the hands of a Narcissist.
Victims of Narcissistic abuse often appear uncertain of themselves, constantly seeking clarification that they have not made a mistake or misheard something. Their confidence becomes so low that they have trouble making simple decisions, questioning and re-questioning things. This is a result from the emotional/psychological abuse used by Narcissists to instill confusion and anxiety in their victim to the point where they no longer trust their own memory, perception, or judgment. This is skillfully guided by the Narcissist and it clouds reality with leading statements like “I never said that”, “You are crazy”, or “you are imagining things.” The Narcissist will even step up the game by reinforcing these statements by backing them up with statements from friends, co-workers, or relatives that agree and ARE genuinely concerned.
Narcissists think they have a right to abuse and punish you just for being who you are and that would be a “normal” functioning and LOVING human being. Narcissists get what they want from life and people through bullying, intimidating, extorting, abusing, and manipulating everything they can from people. They just have a natural propensity for a loathsome and negative attitude towards other people because they are VERY insecure and envy people and life, and their response is to take goodness away and create the same misery and chaos that rules them and extort people. They have no problem seeking us out and extorting our lives and THEN creating horrendous lies – it makes them feel superior to get away with such travesty. Let us also not forget the denial concerning the betrayal and manipulation they used to gain our trust, abuse our empathy, and make us believe they loved us in a manner to create a relationship as well as a future. This was there way of opening the door to our hearts and minds to ABUSE us and they are/were very aware of all their actions. Again, cause and effect!
The Narcissist abuses or attacks as part of their agenda and he/she attacks all prey they can. They trap their prey just like a predator to create an unfair advantage over them and then with the “agenda” of achieving supply they devour what they can from us – they never pick a fair fight – IT IS ALL SMOKE AND MIRRORS. They are bullies, period that use lies and manipulation while hiding in the shadows to avoid being exposed by the light of the truth! REMEMBER THIS – they can control themselves in public, but they abuse behind closed doors when nobody, but their target is present. That is a huge indicator that a Narcissist is VERY aware of their actions and keeps their abusive ‘self’ well hidden. So, the process is cognitive, or the Narcissist is ‘thinking’ about what they are doing based on consequences, to protect themselves from exposure. They know what they do is considered horrendous and dehumanizing to the people they attack – so they cleverly create an incredibly positive and fake ‘Narcissist mask’ in public that makes them out to be the next best thing to a saint, and they blame and shame the rest of the world for their sins. They are rationally thinking about their abusive actions and know if they are ever exposed, they would be considered DANGEROUS or even criminals. SMOKE and MIRRORS a cognitive process that is really cause and effect. The MASK that covers the truth!
They create scenarios to discover your weakness or fears and store them away to manipulate you later. They do not use language as communication, it is for hiding, deflecting, avoiding, masking, & manipulating because their charm is completely false. They take pride in their own righteousness and rightness. They attempt to belittle any version of reality that conflicts with theirs. They NEVER believe they make mistakes even when they proof is right there in front of them. They have an innate inability to feel, process or truly understand shame from the negative and hurtful things they do to others – they can only blame and apply fault to everybody else. Contradict them a few times and you will feel their out-of-control narcissistic rage.
Their conversations and interactions are not meant to enlighten, but to confuse, intimidate, control, and consistently create drama. They are a huge VOID, working to get whatever they can from you – basically they extort life and lives. They expect you to lend a listening ear and give them complete approval. They use emotional withdraw and silencing to create guilt, compliance, and control. They will betray personal information and secrets to feel more powerful. They will manipulate and use flattery or protests of their innocence (crying, pleading, and begging) like a stealth weapon to achieve their agenda and get their way. They will use verbal skills to block or deflect accountability for their perverse and out-of-control lifestyle and sift blame onto YOU. They impact lives negatively but miraculously escape exposure even appearing to have some positive effect and you end up the negative aspect of the relationship with them.
OK – YOU CAN BEAT THIS! You have the ability to unlearn what the Narcissist has conditioned you into believing about yourself. That old saying “A horse can be led to water, but they can’t be made to drink it” – well let’s change that a little bit and say, “A horse can be led to water and taste it, drink it and swallow it – BUT it can stop drinking it, walk completely away from it and not only find a better watering hole BUT greener pastures and other fully functioning horses.” You must do this so that you are not stuck in a fog of lies that will only guide your life in a negative and destructive direction. What the Narcissist has internalized in you can be EXTERNALIZED. Move yourself away from any level of this abuse by knowing that you and only you can change and find normality and the reality of a better life. Say no to the Narcissist, say no to the messages in your head that say you are not worthy, SAY NO TO THE ABUSE. Those negative words and debasing actions are only a curse/spell that the Narcissist casts out on the world and it cannot stick if the Narcissist does not have you under his/her spell. Once you have the education that enables you to see the very truth about this abusive Narcissist, you can remove yourself and break the spell. You have the power to govern your own will and what you will do with your life. You must take all of that power AWAY from the Narcissist and give it back to yourself. Yes of course no-contact – but when you must have minimal contact use the truth to really see the evil that is standing in front of you and disengage in your mind from any thought, words, or actions they send your way because they are like bullets from a gun and meant to harm! Greg