Things Narcissists Do

Things Narcissists Do…



It’s not their fault. Not EVER. It’s always your fault. His fault. Her fault. To a narcissist, it’s not their fault they hurt you, it’s your fault for being hurt-able. If your feelings are hurt, it’s not their fault; it’s your fault – for having feelings. (You may be told that you’re “choosing” to feel bad about the hurtful things they’ve done, and that it’s the wrong “choice”.) If caught doing something insensitive or selfish, they will tell you they “had to” do it because of someone or something else. If you imply that anything is their responsibility, they give you excuses and lies, and often, if those fail to work, they will finally make it clear that the bottom line is they simply don’t care because they don’t have to, and the fact that you care is just unnecessary or wrong. From their perspective, you shouldn’t care — you should get it right like they do, and be more like they are. Uncaring.


Narcissists lie to make themselves look good. They lie to get out of emotional responsibility. They lie to manipulate. They lie to gain influence. They lie out of habit. Life is a game to narcissists – a game they have to think they’re winning – and truth is one casualty in their game plan. The only time a narcissist has any interest in telling the truth is when it will serve them or cost them nothing to do so. The rest of the time, they don’t consider it necessary or important to be all that honest. Honesty can impede their self-gratification and compromise their powerful persona, and they don’t like that. To narcissists the truth is frequently “flexible” and optional. There’s no such thing as an honest narcissist.


Narcissists have to make themselves feel bigger by convincing themselves others are smaller by comparison. They’re no strangers to being condescending, snobby, clique-ish, elitist and superior; however, they may be very good at hiding their disdain to prevent a loss of popularity, which narcissists know brings them power. Narcissists with money look down on the working class. Narcissists in the working class look down on those with more money. Educated narcissists dismiss the opinions of those who have no degree. Narcissists with no degree claim educated people don’t actually know anything. Whatever narcissists HAVE (or think they have) is what they use to look down on others WITH. No-one else’s background, appearance, values, political persuasion, school, preferences, religion, way of life, profession or opinions are ever any good or worthy of their respect unless they themselves value and/or possess the same. If you think or choose differently from a narcissist, you’re “wrong”, and they’re “right”.


Narcissists literally have two faces — their real face and their stage face. And neither is anything like the other. Which one you see will depend on how long you’ve known them. Narcissists can be very charming and know how to gain favor. Anyone who doesn’t know a narcissist well will tell you the narcissist is one of the greatest people they’ve ever met! They believe this is one of the most intelligent, kindest, most interesting, funny, agreeable, most attractive, talented or accomplished people ever. They may wish they themselves had it so “together” or were so popular. However, anyone who knows that same narcissist better (family members, longtime coworkers, etc) will tell you the narcissist is one of the most horribly frustrating and toxic people they know, and the mere mention of their name makes them feel uneasy, angry, frustrated or otherwise unhappy. Being the only one who is experiencing a narcissist’s real face, while all other family members or coworkers can still only see the narcissist’s stage face is a very lonely, painful and frustrating place to be. Thankfully, the number of people who can see through the facade tends to increase with time.


If you dare to question a narcissist or request things like healthy boundaries and honesty, you’re going to become public enemy number one. The “Mr. or Ms. Wonderful” mask immediately comes off, and there is no level they will not stoop to in order to “punish” you. They have myriad ways of attempting this; some are covert, and some are open and obvious. The narcissist has a seemingly inexhaustible obsession for making people who cross them “pay”. Once they set their sights on you, you’re a permanent enemy, and their seething spite will feel as intense years down the road as it did when it first began. The length of time they can keep up the full intensity of their hatred for you and their campaign to exact revenge is absolutely dumbfounding to non-narcissistic people.


Many mentally disordered individuals project frequently. Narcissists, however, are some of the most actively and severely projecting people encountered. Ever full of accusations and criticisms, the most crazy-making thing about most of the narcissist’s claims is that YOU are doing exactly what THEY are doing. (Projection.) Have they just lied to you? Well, you’re about to be called dishonest. Are they cheating you out of an opportunity? You’re going to get the finger pointed at you for being sneaky. And you can’t say a word to them about something hurtful they have done, because that makes you an abuser – of them. You can’t give them anything but glowing feedback without their raging at you, but you’ll be the one constantly criticized severely and then called freakishly oversensitive if you show any feelings about it. And if they say so, it’s law — you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Narcissists are allergic to healthy boundaries and fairness. If you question the insensitive things they do or put any limits whatsoever on their bad behavior, you will be targeted for social, professional, or personal obliteration. Whatever narcissists perceive to be your psychological or situational “weak spots” will be their prime targets. For instance, if the narcissist knows that your greatest fear is social ridicule, that will be the main focus of the smear campaign. If he or she knows that recently, you made a mistake for which you feel guilty, that will be used against you. Narcissists know that the more effectively they can pinpoint your insecurities or flaws, the more successful they will be in eroding your confidence and your influence. And if they manage to do that, they stand a good chance of getting back the power they planned to do whatever they pleased with before you “got in their way”.

  1. Good for all of you for leaving. My creap narcissist husband lives in my home which I OWN OUTRIGHT before I knew him. He makes $26.00 an hour full time and I make $12.00 and I only manage to get 4 days a week work. I pay all the groceries gas utility bills property tax house insurance ect.. With $700.00 every 2 weeks and my over due credit cards. My aging father helps me too. My husband is in debt he says because of me and his helping with all the bills. We were separated for a yr and he’s been back for a yr and hasn’t paid a dime and he’s saying I made him broke paying all the utilities and house bills since he came back. My father and I have been paying all the house bills food etc. He has $15.00.00 to blow. What does he do with it all but spend it on his sluts and smoking but it’s ALL MY FAULT. And he won’t leave and I’m trying to kick him oht


  2. I divorced a narcissist five years ago and I am remarried now to a normal person. I have interim full custody of my daughter now because of her boyfriend’s verbally abusive behavior and she still does not get it. She refuses to give our daughter her property that she asked for (sports equipment and the like) and she rebels by not answering emails about normal and important issues. So, I decided that it was just easier to block her out completely. If something is needed she knows how to reach me and other than this there is no need to converse. The economic depravity of a child is sickening but you know what? It is just stuff and it will cost a little bit of money in contrast to a lot of strife to get the child some of her property back.

    I may file for child support later but for now… I just cut all communications off and it feels very nice.


  3. Yes!! Every single one. He told me during an extremely rare ‘apology’ for his latest rage/verbal abuse that his anger has negatively affected every single relationship in his life, “except for those that don’t really know me.” There it is, from the mouth of an emotional vampire. Of course when questioned that he said that, he outright denied it. In court no less. He has two distinct facades, and a long string of ‘crazy’ exes. Wife, bosses, roommates. He’s the most jealous man I’ve ever known, even down to being jealous of my natural abilities. Everything is a competition. He is never at fault. To admit fault would be certain death for his ego. And projection? Wow I now see just how much b.s. he was into, the accusations out of the blue at me is exactly what HE was doing!

    So glad to know I’ll never have to walk on eggshells again, no more fight or flight, no more crazymaking! Recovery isn’t easy, but it is full of hope. It took being drug into his darkness for me to see just how bright the world can be! And No Contact!!!!!


  4. Narcissists are broken, diabolical and evil people. And if there’s a hell, they are the FIRST ones to enter its gates. They are soul less creatures and if you have a hint or clue about them, RUN, do not walk away from them. I consider them DAMNED SOULS. I’ve married one for over 34 years and he has tried to destroy my faith and well being through psychological, pahysical, financial and emotional abuse. I wish I never met him but it was not until Mel Gibson the actor was publicized about this condition that I had a LIGHT come on the define what I had been dealing with in my life and marriage relationship. This is to warn others of how destructive and dangerous these people really are. So now it’s up to you to make a WISER and SAFE CHOICES in partners.


  5. yes this is deaf Cindy Larsen!


  6. I have a very awkward relationship with an in law. Since the common bond a family member died ten years ago an interaction between us leaves me feeling mad . Her late father was a,spiritualist and recently in church she stood up and said she had the gift of discernment. This was at a concert. I couldn’t get out quickly enough. A mutual friend expressed doubts Bout her mental health. If I have had discussions with her I have invariably disclosed facts I wish I had not revealed. I end up wondering whether she or I or both are mentally deranged. Post Christmas this year was the worst. I attended Christmas lunch for the sAke of two younger family members, but the Christmas toast over the Pinot Noire not forgetting the dear departed in length, including grandparents, but forgetting living family members who are usually present left me feeling cold. Talks of the Shakespearean play Cymbeline with its character Posthumus Did little to help. On leaving before another meal she was lighting a taper for the candles and said she wouldn’t give me a hug in case she caught my hair on fire. Ironically ally, as I write I am starting to laugh hysterically which is probably good because at the time it felt awful. I was prey to the most awful nightmare that evening and I don’t usually remember dreams. I dreamed of strange things to do with no electricity and my levitating in the dark towards the ceiling. And it was only saying vein creator spirit’s that brought me back to wakefulness although at that point I was beginning to believe in dark powers _ my Scrabble board seem to becoming something else and the little black soup bowls with the lid she had given me for Christmas looked like miniature cauldron. I do not drink alcohol and I didn’t see any mushrooms. It was so good to get back to the world of work the next day. Which one of us is the mad one? Or maybe we both are.


  7. anonymousWhat2do

    Every word of this describes the marriage I am in to a T!!! It is my life daily stuck in the game of my narcissiats husband. I feel guilty calling him that and terrified at the same time because if he knew I was even reading this he would make me pay beyond believe. Now the question is how do I improve the situation?? What can I do to make the interactions with the narcissists better?? I do not want to be divorced and dishonor God. I also have to protect my children!!!!! What can I do to protect my children from this horrific abuse and myself? My Narcissistic husband is great at his show and words in public.. he knows how to manipulate the court/everyone/he uses God too.. his mom is his number one fan and I believe a bit of a narcissist too. I do not want to talk badly about them… I need a solution to this Big problem!!! What do I do!!


  8. Aside from the “Smear Campaign” aspect of the NPD personality, which is due to us still being together,this describes my wife of 12 years perfectly.
    I feel sorry for her because I see that she lives a miserable existence. I can only imagine that she will never know true, internal peace and happiness. Her life will be filled with constant worry, uncertainty and anxiety.
    She came very close to breaking my spirit but I am too strong for that. This strength was my asset but also my liability. I’m a natural problem solver and what better project than a narcissist. I was so out of my league dealing with her. I’m not out of my marriage yet but I’m working on it. I owe a better life to myself and my kids.


  9. I was married to a narcissist for 30 yrs. I knew there an issue with him, i just didnt know what it was until recently. Signs…needed admiration constantly. Lies… Affairs.. Had everything a man would want but was never enough. Always looking for something better. Couldnt handle money…excessive spender. We divorced after 30 yrs. he was having another affair. Said i was a strong woman and didnt need him. His girlfriend was low income and admired him. He said i didnt look up to him enough. That just really bothered him. 6 months before her he told me he was happy with me and our marriage. Happier than he had ever been in his life. Always flip flopping. I never knew what kind of mood he would be in each day. If i caught him doing something wrong he would punish me. He would go for 4 to 5 days without talking to me or be mean if he had to. Punishing me for calling him out on his actions. Always telling me that he had never cheated on me. I now know there were several times. I walked on eggshells always trying to keep him happy. He took 30 yrs. of my life. He hasnt spoken to anyone in the family since he left. Not even the kids. Its like we never were a part of his life. No remorse….I just wish i knew yrs ago what i know now. Hind site is 20/20.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 7 years for me now and two kids. I was 17 when I met my husband and he was 26 at the time. He has had a affair on me which he denies to this day says I make it up… I caught him with her! I get punished for his wrongs and If I ask him about his day he gets angry.. we talk about what he wants when he wants and I agree with everything or its trouble!!! When I met my husband I greatly admired him… over the years with all the abuse I lost that and he knows I don’t and tries to punish me daily! Its amazing to me howuch this article and your story sound just like my life!!


  10. Sounds like my sister and my estranged daughter!!


  11. Don’t forget to add the long term insidious and covert manipulation called Gas Lighting.

    I left my NARC abuser over a year ago. He is a cop too. I did it without family or friends, no support system once so ever. Of course I was the crazy one, no one could possibly believe that he, “a cop and good man”could have done the horrid things I was telling them. My family still thinks I have some serious mental problems. In reality, I do, I suffer from PTSD. PTSD isn’t a psychiatric condition, it’s the reaction to incomprehensible things that have been DONE TO ME. He’s had over 20 years to hone his skills. To use covert interrogations on my kids and self. MY only defense is educating myself. Two years of reading EVERYTHING I could get my hands on. Internet, library and psychology text books. I’ve closely observed my NARC’s behavior. I’ve learned how to set him off when I need to be left alone. I’ve learned to “feed the pig”, an analogy I came up with. Feeding his bottomless pit of the need to be adored, complimented endlessly, being told his ideas and accomplishments are genius. I feed the pig to redirect or distract him from behavior that’s effecting my boys. He has no idea he’s being manipulated. I’ve never in my entire life spent my time and energy on manipulating another person, this doesn’t come naturally to me. I just educated myself. He can’t win if he doesn’t know he’s at war with a woman who’s had MORE than enough. The courts are a joke, attorneys are useless.

    Be safe, be strong, BE SMART


  12. My husband is a narcissist. He finds my wreaks spots and uses them against me. He is incredibly abusive behind closed doors and in public he ruins my name by calling me crazy to others and my family and friends. I am the only one who see this abusive face. If I don’t let him play his physiological games on me he won’t buy me food to eat or give me sex or touch or social talk. I’m not allowed to work so he can control the money and he then calls me lazy because I am not working. I got out of the car recently because he was verbally abusing me in the car. I got a ride home with a kind couple and he was mad at me He said I abused him!!!!! I’m secretly looking for a job and when I get one he is gone. He won’t even buy me my hormones for me. I’ve had a total hysterectomy and have to take them. He says there is no money for them. But he smokes a pac of cigarettes a day. And there is no money for them. I am so afraid of him. He needs a physiatrist but he puts it on me and says I’m the crazy one because I yell at him all the time! Of course I’m going to yell at someone being abusive to me!


  13. I am a registered nurse so you know I’ve read, and cognitively understood many things that I’ve read, but NEVER have I read such an article of perfection as this. If we touched down on narcissistic behavior being a true diagnoses with a true ICD9 CODE in my psych clinical and theory (of course this was in the 80’s) I absolutely do not remember it. I spoke with a Psychiatrist friend about narcissistic behavior and he said “you better watch them. They think they are the star/lead in a play and everybody else is merely a lowly character. Well put Dr. HARWOOD! I have never in my life encountered a more miserable, bitter, frustrating, aggrivating, bewildering, hurtful, agressive, controling, abusive, lowdown, with such feelings of entitlement, as this ULTRA narcissist person I met five years ago. It took a long, long, long while to get this person out of my life because it’s like you said, THEY ARE THE ONES THAT ARE WINNING AND THEY WILL DO WHATEVER NECESSARY TO WIN, WALK ALL OVER YOU DURING THE PROCESS, THEN JUST LIKE YOU SAID, PROJECT IT RIGHT BACK ON THE VICTIM. If the victim/person is already vulnerable, insecure, depressed and anxious it makes recovery extra hard. You used the word “UNCARING”…how about “NULL AND VOID OF ANY CONSCIOUS OR FEELINGS WHATSOEVER. This is perfectly written and I am blowing this as large as Office Depot can make it, to post on my wall to remind myself that I am not worthless, the deceptive or aggressive one, livng a lie, a worthless nurse, a dredge on society, etc. And I am way more stable than he will ever. Trouble is, a lot of psychological, both verbal, emotional and financial abuse went on after an almost catastrophic event (home invasion, shot twice, paralyzed but better now) while working on PTSD, drpression and anxiety, I’m now working overtime to pull myself back together. I am elderly and he was supposed to be my caregiver/supporter, etc. (THIS TRULY BORDERS ON ELDER ABUSE) But as you said, he quickly learned my weaknesses, that I have a very poor self esteem, a kind, giving heart, and although I know this person was on the brink of insanity, I still continue to wonder why I allowed myself to be be treated like this for so long. Especially since I am a very strong, independent woman with above average intelligence. I dont get it sometimes! Thanks for the beautiful, informative, affirmative, hit-the-nail-on-the-head article. I’m searching out more of your writings. So glad I ran across this. Thanks again.


  14. Silvio Šarunić

    hi there Ana :) ..great web site! :) … I had abuse relationship with my (now) ex. She was control freak, she put me down, she try to isolate me from my friends, and when we broke up, I was try to “fix” all that situation,i loved her and she just keep and keep to put me down, she try to humiliate me, pointing on everything she knew about my life…. she was passive aggressive person and she couldn’t manage her emotions and reactions. She broke all of my presents to her, our pictures , photos, etc etc….It was 9 month since we broke up, and I am still healing myself from that one year relationship… i went to terapist to talk to someone, and last month i start to read more about narc personal disorder..and borderline too.. my ex got that all in one big package… so my question is: any advice how to heal faster :) from narc relationship.


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