On the face of it, narcissists seem to be able to swan through life, charming and confident, without a care in the world for the trail of destruction, chaos and heartache they leave in their wake. They have little remorse, and nothing appears to be able to halt their unstoppable march toward further emotional devastation of anyone foolish enough to be conned into caring about them.
This is a fallacy, however. Meet what is referred to as Narcissistic Collapse.
Continue reading “Narcissistic Collapse”
Psychological games narcissists play
If you question them, they make excuses and tell you why it’s not their fault. If it’s not their bad past, it’s something you’ve done.
You made me angry. You shouldn’t have said that about me in front of your friends.
Whatever it is, they’ll find reason to blame everything or everyone else, but them.
Or they might just disappear. They may go into a rage, throw things or smash their fist into a wall and then walk out the door. You won’t see them for a few days and will wonder:
What have I done?
They’ll reappear and it will be as if nothing has happened. If you bring it up, you’ll be at fault for trying to create a problem in your relationship. Continue reading “Psychological games narcissists play”
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: Continue reading “Why Do People Believe Narcissists Rather Than Their Victims?”
It’s supremely ironic. Narcissists are notorious for ruthlessly manipulating others to gain strategic advantage over them. Yet they’re exceptionally vulnerable to being duped themselves because of their powerful psychological defenses, which—if recognized—can be vigorously used against them.
To adapt a common expression: “The bigger they [think they] are, the harder they fall.”
That is, most pathological narcissists are secretly plagued by self-esteemdeficits originating in childhood and masked—or defended against—by rather primitive illusions of grandeur and an overblown sense of superiority and entitlement. And this need for others to admire them, to shore up the weak foundation of their carefully concocted persona, is what ultimately makes them so vulnerable to others’ words and behavior. If they’re so sensitive and angrily reactive to anything resembling criticism, it’s because of their deep-rooted insecurities. (And here, see my Psychology Today post: “The Narcissist’s Dilemma: They Can Dish It Out, But . . . ”, 2011.) Continue reading “The narcissist’s self-serving defenses can end up making them defenseless.”
What is denial? More importantly, what is Denial — the psychological term for openly denying have done, thought, or said something to another human being (especially in such a way that it provokes a triggering response from a target).
To bait or provoke then wait for a response is considered antagonistic; it is a truly offensive move (pun intended) on the football field of life, aggressively initiating an attack on a rival before they have even been informed that they are expected to participate in game playing the abusive personality already — while striving to dominate while attention-seeking — already started.
Narcissistic people who are Covert Narcissists by nature are those the most likely to have first used denial as a way to avoid taking personal responsibility for things, but Sociopathic predators are likely to have figured out how effective of a tool it can be to use as a brainwashing technique.
Source: Narcissistic people use denial as a brainwashing technique
Self Absorption Creates a Lonely Life
Some clients come to see me after being left by their partners. I’ve had several men crying on my couch because their wife has left them and they don’t know why. I figured out within five minutes of meeting them -they were unable to see things through others’ points of view and were so self-absorbed that they could not give of themselves to family members. Unaware and in denial, they believe that the problems in the family were always the other person’s fault. Projecting blame and not taking responsibility always keeps them in victim mode unaware of how they contribute to their own problems.
No one is as fascinated by themselves as the narcissistic person. Guess what? Self-absorption is so boring to everyone else. A study showed that narcissistic people could keep new friends for about four months. New friends found them exciting at first a then got tired of their only thinking about themselves. Of course selfish people are able to keep codependent people around them who give them their narcissistic supply-that fix of attention and compliments that they require. Continue reading “Self Absorption Creates a Lonely Life”
Denial is listed as an immature developmental defense along with delusion, distortion and projection in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV of the American Psychiatric Association. People who are not open to hearing information and criticism about themselves can become Masters of Denial. There is no end to what they can make themselves believe for their own benefit.
One man who identified himself as an ex-abuser describes it this way in his article The Three Horsemen of Denial. Here are the three main ways we lie to ourselves:
We minimize the damage we’ve done
We rationalize our actions
We justify ourselves in doing them.
Continue reading “Denial and Other Common Narcissistic Defenses”
The first thing to note is that what you’re doing right now are not the actions of a pathological narcissist.
Victims of abuse when awakening from the fog, pursue information and seek to raise their understanding of what has happened to them in order to heal.
It is a proactive step taken to address the very real harm they have experienced, to heal and to rebuild their lives.
And it is no lackadaisical, half-hearted thing, is it gorgeous one?
It can in fact become all-consuming for a time.
Why do you think that might be?
It is such a deep-seated need because of the magnitude of the suffering you have borne. Because of the trauma. It is sense-making in action.
You will not find a NPD’d individual on this same journey. Continue reading “Denial does not look within”
‘Am I the narcissist??’ is the feverish question that haunts many when working through the wounds of narcissistic abuse. In ‘How you know you’re not the narcissist: Your proof’, this question was addressed.
Recently a great question was asked ‘I get all that stuff in the article, but what if it all resonates because I’m completely in denial about who I really am and I’m the narcissist?’
This follow up article gives you more tools to answer this maddening question. It is so important that you do resolve it. Releasing yourself from the looping thought pattern where you question yourself, over and over again, is necessary to move forward in your recovery.
Without acceptance of the reality that you are NOT the abuser, you are the abused, you remain stuck. Continue reading “Am I in denial? Am I the narcissist?”
When the narcissist is confronted with a lie, he will instantly create plausible deniability so that doubt is cast on the very facts/evidence laid out before him (or her!). Within seconds, a narcissist can spin a story to cover a story to cover a story, intentionally confusing the accusing partner who has typically taken great pains to present evidence that couldn’t possibility be denied. It’s amazing how they do it and it’s even more amazing how we fall for it or accept the lie that covers the lie. But this is how the narcissist gets a free pass in everything he or she does.
To create plausible deniability is a narcissist’s tactic – a defense mechanism – for automatically kicking back the insinuation that he would even ever consider doing whatever it is you’re accusing him of doing. It matters not that evidence of his betrayal is front and center. Evidence and fact mean absolutely nothing. Evidence, in fact, will piss him off.
What are you talking about? You’re delusional.
That’s right..just keeping bring up the past!
Now you’re just making shit up. I think you’re bi-polar.
Now I know why nobody likes you. You’re a liar!
I think you need to get professional help. You’re paranoid.
Oh…and let’s not forget the silent stare (which says all of the above and more).
Continue reading “Plausible Deniability is the Narcissist’s Free Pass”