Posted in Malignant narcissism is a personality disorder

Malignant narcissism is a personality disorder

The Role of the Enablers

There’d be no such thing as narcissistic abuse if it weren’t for the enablers. These are the folks who sit on the sidelines and watch someone else being whipped. They could step in, and demand that it stop. They have the power to do so. All it takes is for one or two courageous souls to say “no, this is not okay.” But, for various reasons, enablers elect to remain “neutral.”

The narcissist depends upon these weak-willed comrades. Abusing someone isn’t any fun if it’s only a party of two. With a crowd, there’s unlimited potential for drama. The narcissist can pull a lot more strings that way.

If it were just the abuser, and her target, it wouldn’t be worth it to carry out a full-fledged hate campaign.

So, the narcissist works to get others to turn on the target. The collective betrayal, which comes from the camp of these enablers, is even more devastating than the primary source of abuse.

Targets, especially if this happens at work, or in a social setting, watch as, one by one, the people they thought were their friends, slink away as the battle intensifies.

Not taking a stand to stop someone from being hurt doesn’t absolve you of guilt. On the contrary, you become an active participant, whether you consider yourself one or not.

Some enablers even take it a step beyond, and switch from idling in neutral to all-out support of the morally disordered person. They may even turn into “flying monkeys” who carry out small attacks, in order to stay on the bully’s good side.

Enablers are Not Innocent

Why People Become Enablers

It’s probably a safe bet that most enablers act out of weakness rather than malice. However, this doesn’t excuse them.

That’s because enablers have a lot of power. The abuser relies upon them not to back up the target. Before any attacks begin, a morally disordered person will carefully plan the battle. This can take months, or even longer, before direct hits are launched.

Only if it’s clear that there’s an excellent chance of decimating a target, does the warfare begin. If there’s a solid support system, the abuser won’t make a move.

This means the enablers are the variable, which can either make or break a plan, and the narcissist knows this. That’s why so much effort is put into creating chaos and confusion. This makes it easier for the enablers to rationalize their position. They may even begin to believe the target is getting the treatment she deserves, and that she did something to warrant the narcissist’s extreme reaction.

Enablers and Self Interest

Enablers are guided by self interest. So, they choose not to help the victim.

In a social setting, such as in a neighborhood full of young mothers, a woman might worry about her own social standing. She doesn’t want to be the next victim. She also wants to ensure her children aren’t ostracized.

Narcissists are serial abusers. Once they eliminate one person, they find someone else to kick around. This is the unspoken threat that keeps enablers in line. The fear of ending up as a target is palpable and overriding.

Onlookers are Afraid of the Bully

Why People Fall for the Lies

Some enablers don’t help because they have swallowed the stories concocted by the narcissist. But this doesn’t entirely let them off the hook.

That’s because we’re not supposed to listen to gossip in the first place. If someone is painted in an unflattering light, we should stop the conversation dead in its tracks and then insert a kind word on that person’s behalf. It appears as if an enabler neglects this important step. Instead, they listen to the lies being spread.

The fact that some people believe these tales says little about your character, but volumes about theirs. First, because they listen to gossip, they encourage this vice. They provide a comfortable ear for the tale-bearer. They also suspend their ability to think critically, and to form their own opinions about someone. This is whyenablers are not so innocent. They’ve made a choice to support the abuse, even if they don’t see it that way.



Currently studying Psychotherapy , Cognitive psychology, Biological psychology, Counselling psychology and CBT. I believe in truth, honesty and integrity! ≧◔◡◔≦

7 thoughts on “Malignant narcissism is a personality disorder

  1. Reblogged this on | truthaholics and commented:
    “That’s because we’re not supposed to listen to gossip in the first place. If someone is painted in an unflattering light, we should stop the conversation dead in its tracks and then insert a kind word on that person’s behalf. It appears as if an enabler neglects this important step. Instead, they listen to the lies being spread.”


  2. This hit me so hard. My ex was abused by his narcissistic mother, because he spent more attention on his new gf (me) and I made him realize some things that she did wasn’t quite morally right. He was 22 and still under full control by his mother so I naturally encouraged him to become independent.

    It didn’t take long until lies were spread about the both of us and he lost all of his social network. I was THE only person that stood up to her. I wrote to her, I spoke up about the truth and listed everything that had happened for all of his friends and family to see and they still didn’t believe us – all this while still keeping it respectful towards her. Despite that the things she came up with were ridiculously bad excuses, they just figured she was being maternal and somehow shrugged their shoulders at her actual acts of physical violence + threats thereof. But the one time he has enough and tells her to fuck off he never hears the end of it and everyone in his life practically turned their backs at him and told him to apologize. Apologize for what? It makes me so angry still.

    This took such an extreme toil on him, me and our relationship. A lot of mistakes were made because of what we were forced to go through thanks to her, which ultimately led to our break-up – and not for a lack of love or desire to be together either. Apparently these days he is friends with all these people again and from what I understand they didn’t even apologize. I don’t even think they fully comprehend what he went through and what they did to him yet to this day. It’s unbelievable he would just take them back, after everything we went through together. I feel it almost as a personal insult, because even though he was the one being abused it felt like I was right there, going through it with him.

    Since we don’t have much of a relationship anymore, I don’t even feel like I can bring this up. I don’t know all the details and it’s not really my place… He’s not himself anymore, I know whatever friendship they have is extremely shallow and he just keeps to himself, avoiding everyone and everything in life. I don’t want to hurt him or make it all about me. But really though, wtf? How should I accept or defeat this feeling of betrayal?


    1. Impressed by your integrity. You handled the situation with honesty and care. The damage was done before you arrived: Narcissists dismantle the normal working machinery of a family. You deserve better.


  3. I have recently been separated from my husband because of his need to control me in every possible way. I had no idea until recently that for over ten years he has been going to visit my adult children and has completely turned them against me. I was told nothing to give me any reason to think this and now it’s too late. How do I defend myself of ten years or more of me being talked about and so much said to convince my own children to have nothing to do with me. They won’t even speak to me period, and I am now being forced to relocate so he has no way to find me and I will never see my family again. I am just sick with a feeling of such emptiness and so helpless because I cant do a thing to change any of this.


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