The chameleon-like narcissist shows multiple faces to the public, each one more duplicitous than the last. They blend in easily to any social groups they are a part of. But there is one catch: there is usually a target they like to zoom in on, usually because they possess the perceived qualities of empathy, compassion, integrity and coveted resources. Narcissists are pathologically envious of anyone who dares to outshine them or steal the spotlight: whoever presents a threat must be extinguished. Their light must be dimmed, in only the covert fashion the narcissist knows how to employ.
Unfortunately for that target, he or she will become privy to the true self behind the narcissist’s mask. This is a terrifying, yet revealing experience that both alienates and enlightens the victim. This form of covert abuse can take place in romantic relationships, familial relationships, the workplace, even within law enforcement. It can take place in any context where a narcissistic person is able to manipulate someone else.
So how and why does the narcissist get away with it? There are several reasons which I explore below: