The drive behind the vindictive narcissist’s drama
In Dr. Burgo’s view, all Extreme Narcissists “create and consciously defend a false self-image to escape from shame,” and they are thus prone to refute facts that don’t support their self-image, distort events and experiences, and tell all manner of lies. The vindictive narcissist has the same core impulse—defending him or herself against shame—but the need to triumph makes truth irrelevant. As Dr. Burgo puts it, the vindictive narcissist has a “distorted, defensive view of reality” and believes the lies he tells. Winning is all that matters.
His insight permitted me to see that I had been dealing with a vindictive narcissist during protracted and completely unnecessary litigation to obtain a divorce. I now realize in hindsight that you have to be prepared—if you find yourself facing off against one of these people— because there will be no middle ground, no reasonableness, no mediation, and no negotiation. It will be hand-to-hand combat whether you want it or not and you must be prepared. The only other choice is to fold your tents and disappear.