Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Vilifying the Victim

Neurotics hate to think of themselves as the injuring party and would rather carry the burden of abuse than see themselves as an abuser. Disturbed characters know this well. So, when they want to take advantage, a good one-two punch is to play the victim and then vilify the real victim.

Neurotics, being who they are, are very vulnerable to the ploy of vilifying the victim. When a neurotic individual finally gets up enough nerve to confront a disturbed character about their behavior, within minutes the disturbed character is generally able to turn the tables and cast the victim of the hurtful behavior in a bad light. In my book, In Sheep’s Clothing [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK](?), I give an example of a mother who finally had to confront her aggressive child’s increasingly disruptive behavior. When she did, the child launched a verbal barrage that included: “You’re always saying bad things about me” and “You act like you hate me.” As conscientious as the mother was, she then began to wonder if she actually hadn’t become too critical lately and if indeed her behavior might truly look to her child like she hated the child. She never stopped to think that if the child actually believed that she never had a good thing to say and that she actually hated her, then there would be absolutely no point in the child’s pointing out those things, because such words would have absolutely no impact on a woman with a heart of stone. It never occurred to her that the child must instinctively and deeply know that she actually cared quite a bit and that her conscientiousness was her biggest vulnerability. In other words, it never occurred to her that her child knew exactly what to say and do to manipulate her. It also didn’t occur to her that by allowing the child to continually use those tactics to manipulate her, she was helping to ensure that the child would continue resisting accepting the principles of responsible conduct she was trying to instill in her. Continue reading “Vilifying the Victim”

Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Playing the Victim

Most of the time, when the manipulator casts themselves as a victim, they don’t really see themselves as victimized, they just really want the other party to see them as wounded, injured, or suffering in some way in order to elicit sympathy, cloud the picture about just who is the victimizer and who is the victim, and otherwise impression-manage the real victim.

This is the eighth article in a series on behaviors which disturbed characters frequently engage in that not only keep them from becoming responsible but also serve as effective ways to manipulate others.

One of the things the disturbed character knows very well about relatively well-adjusted or “neurotic” individuals is that they hate to see someone else suffer. Not only that, they hate it more to think of themselves as the cause of someone else’s suffering. That’s why playing the victim role is such an effective tactic. Especially when they’re confronted about their own malicious behavior, disordered characters will try and turn the tables by trying to get you to see them as the injured party. The eminent researcher Stanton Samenow calls this “taking the victim stance.” Continue reading “Playing the Victim”

Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Understanding the Predatory Aggressive, Part 2

Disordered characters, especially predators, don’t really want us to know who they really are. They tell us what they think we want to hear so that we will think them more like us.

Research continues to demonstrate how different the Predatory Aggressive Personality is from most of us (see “Understanding the Predatory Aggressive Personality”). Some recent research even suggests that the brains of individuals diagnosed as having psychopathic or sociopathic personalities operate very differently from the brains of normal individuals.

Some areas of the human brain are particularly involved in the production of emotion, in responding to emotionally-charged situations, and in the recognition of material that carries emotional connotations. Other areas of the brain are more specifically involved in language, and there are particular portions of these areas that are very involved in the recognition of words and their meanings.

One relatively recent study exposed both normal individuals and psychopaths to words (flashed before them visually) that were thought to be either emotion-neutral (i.e., having no significant emotion-evoking character) or emotionally-charged in some way. Words for inanimate objects like door or shelf would be examples of emotion-neutral words. Words that typically involve human activity and emotional interplay such as marriage, divorce, loneliness, etc., were considered emotionally-charged.

Normal individuals experienced activity in the brain associated with language and recognizing word meaning when they were presented with emotion-neutral words. The brains of psychopaths behaved in a similar way when they were presented with the emotion-neutral words. But when the emotionally-tinged words were displayed, the activity in the brains of the psychopaths was very different from that of normal individuals. In the normal individuals, brain activity occurred both in the areas associated with language processing and word meaning as well as the areas involved in emotion. In the brains of the psychopaths, however, there was no activity in the areas typically associated with emotion. It was as if the brains of the psychopaths processed information that has some emotional impact on most of us as if it had the same quality as an inanimate object. Continue reading “Understanding the Predatory Aggressive, Part 2”

Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Understanding the Predatory Aggressive Personality

Predatory Aggressive Personalities (i.e., psychopaths or sociopaths) consider themselves superior to the rest of the human race. They view individuals with inhibitions rooted in emotional bonding to others as inferior creatures and, therefore, their rightful prey.

Aggressive Personalities include the Unbridled Aggressive, who is frequently in conflict with the law; the Channeled-Aggressive, who generally limits ruthlessness to non-criminal activity; the Covert-Aggressive, who cloaks their cruelty under a veneer of civility and manipulates others in the process; and the Sadistic Aggressive, whose principal aim is to demean and injure others:

But by far the most pathological aggressive personality is the one I prefer to label the Predatory Aggressive Personality. All of the aggressive personalities are among the most seriously disturbed in character of the various personality types, and the Predatory Aggressive Personality is the most seriously character disordered.

Many labels have been given in the past to the personality type I call the Predatory Aggressive. The term psychopath was used in the early 20th century but was later more commonly replaced with the term sociopath. Recently, the term psychopath has regained popularity. But because I think personality is best define by an individual’s “style” of relating to others, I think the term predatory most accurately describes the interpersonal modus operandi of these individuals.

Through the years, several opinions have been offered about what lies at the core of this most serious personality disturbance. Cleckley noted that their extraordinary difference in makeup from most people, especially with respect to matters of conscience or qualities long thought to comprise the “soul” of humanity bordered on an almost psychotic level of difference. Hare points out that their lack of capacity to feel emotionally connected to or bonded with the rest of humanity is at the root of their “callous, senseless, and remorseless use and abuse of others.” Continue reading “Understanding the Predatory Aggressive Personality”

Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Success At Any Cost

The warning signs of involvement with someone who may be afflicted are as follows:

  1. Success At Any Cost. A close inspection of past relationships may show a failure to treat people kindly for the promise of a grandiose, yet superficial success. Beware of flaunted expenses, especially if there are a lack of people to share in the enjoyment.
  2. Narcissists may be hypersexual, often in relation to power and control. Incest is frequently reported as well as a lack of regard for partner and boundaries.
  3. Incessant Blaming. Lack of personal responsibility is a key sign.  Often a narcissist will play ‘the victim’ even when he/she has hurt someone else.
  4. Violence. Since their ego is so fragile to begin with, any criticism received feels like an attack.  They fight back much harder than what is doled out.  Someone who uses violence frequently, demonstrates lack of impulse control and may also have multiple addictions.
  5. Manipulation. Pitting people against one another for the ultimate goal of loyalty is often used by narcissists. In this case, loyalty often means isolation.

If you are involved with someone who has these traits, most professionals advise leaving. There is no treatment for narcissism and statistically the outcome for change is low.  The longer someone stays in a relationship with a narcissist, the worse they feel. Continue reading “Success At Any Cost”

Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Sadism

Sadism is taking pleasure in humiliating someone or causing them pain.

The DSM-5 lists sexual sadism disorder as a condition that involves sexual arousal linked to the idea of causing a non-consenting person unwanted pain. But sadism itself is not a mental health diagnosis, nor is it always sexual.

People with sadistic tendencies may:

  • enjoy hurting others
  • enjoy watching others experience pain
  • derive sexual excitement from seeing others in pain
  • spend a lot of time fantasizing about hurting other people, even if they don’t actually do so
  • want to hurt others when irritated or angry
  • enjoy humiliating others, especially in public situations
  • tend toward aggressive actions or behavior
  • behave in controlling or domineering ways

Some experts suggest that sadistic behavior helps set NPD and malignant narcissism apart. Narcissism often involves self-centered pursuit of desires and goals, but people with NPD might still show some remorse or regret for hurting others in the process. Continue reading “Sadism”

Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Unpacking Malignant Narcissism

Malignant narcissism refers to a specific, less common manifestation of narcissistic personality disorder. Some experts consider this presentation of narcissism the most severe subtype.

It isn’t recognized as a formal diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). But many psychologists and mental health experts have used this term to describe a specific set of personality traits.

According to Campbell’s Psychiatric Dictionary, malignant narcissism combines characteristics of:

Read on to learn more about malignant narcissism, including common characteristics, how it compares to sociopathy, and whether it’s treatable. Continue reading “Unpacking Malignant Narcissism”

Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Malignant Narcissists Ruin Relationships

If a malignant narcissist has infiltrated your social circle, expect some pain if you’re her target. Notice I say “her.” That’s because female bullies use what’s known as relational aggression. This involves placing everyone in a very compromising position of either being on her side or not. Not going along with the program will be done under the thinly veiled threat of becoming the next target. Faced with this choice, most people buckle, especially if they have children. That’s because they don’t want their children left out of the various activities organized by the narcissist.

In a family dynamic, a malignant personality will pit one person against another. This can have very dire emotional consequences for people who grow up in such an atmosphere.

The aftermath of malignant narcissism is a lonely spot. But there’s good news too. Once you regroup, you learn how to avoid such situations in the future. If another narcissist enters the picture, you are apt to spot the subtle and sometimes glaring warning signs. Awareness offers protection, as I’ll explain next.

Continue reading “Malignant Narcissists Ruin Relationships”

Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Watch Out for These Predators

The malignant narcissist in your life may not be serving time in jail. Technically, this dangerous predator hasn’t broken any laws. Or, perhaps she did, but just wasn’t caught.

Although it’s illegal to harass someone, you’d have a very hard time proving that’s what happened. Adult bullies are very good at covering up their misdeeds. This is how they manage to destroy people, and still maintain a mask of saintliness.

They have a number of ways to accomplish their nefarious plans, and they usually succeed. Eventually, their impulsive nature gets the better of them. But, until that happens, they get away with outrageous antics.

How do they do this?

One of their favorite tricks is bullying by proxy. Instead of attacking directly, they recruit a team of flying monkeys. These little primates take turns doing and saying obnoxious things, in an effort to make a target come undone.

Because so many hands are involved, a target can never lodge a complaint. If she tried, it would sound ridiculous, since she’d be pointing her finger at so many people. Anybody who heard this would, naturally, assume she was the one with the personality disorder, instead of taking a good look at the real culprit.

For all of these reasons, mentioned above, malignant narcissists are every bit as dangerous as many of the folks safely locked away. In fact, they are more fearsome because they live and walk among us. Usually, they appear perfectly normal, until you get to know them better.

Continue reading “Watch Out for These Predators”

Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

 Why Relationships with Malignant Narcissists are Incredibly Dangerous

Dealing with a Malignant Narcissist:

Being in a relationship with a narcissist – whether a romantic relationship, a platonic relationship, or a family relationship – will always be difficult on the victim, but in most cases, steps can be taken to adjust the narcissist’s behavior and make the relationship better for both parties.

However, relationships with malignant narcissists are exponentially more dangerous and damaging than relationships with less extreme narcissists.

The difference is in the awareness: while most narcissists are somewhat unaware of the pain they are causing, malignant narcissists feed off of it, actively seeking to increase it at every turn.

The typical narcissistic cycle of abuse consists of four steps. These are:

– Feels threatened: The narcissist feels threatened due to an upsetting event – any form of disrespect, abandonment, neglect, rejection, or disapproval. They obsess over this event over and over again.

–  Causes abuse: They take out their negativity and disappointment on their closest and easiest victim through abuse. This abuse can be emotional, spiritual, verbal, financial, physical, sexual, or mental, and its primary goal is to intimidate and trigger the victim at their most vulnerable areas.

–  Plays the victim: Once the abused individual tries to fight back, the narcissist will switch roles and play the victim. This causes a second bout of abuse to the original victim, who is now manipulated into believing they 1) they deserved the initial abuse, and 2) they are wrong for attacking back. They end up agreeing with the narcissist after being guilt tripped, and even apologizing and begging for forgiveness.

– Becomes empowered: The narcissist wins, and the feelings of threat from the first step become replaced by feelings of empowerment. They renew their sense of superiority and feel stronger and better than ever before.

The typical narcissist will engage in every step of the abuse cycle step by step, as each step justifies and explains the next.

This is why most narcissists do not understand their wrongness, and believe everything they are doing is justified.

However, what makes a malignant narcissist so dangerous is that they do not follow the abuse cycle at all. Rather, they feed off the knowledge that they are actively causing pain to their victims.

They have no cycle that can be broken with certain methods and techniques – a malignant narcissist is simply on a path to see how far they can go before a victim will force them to stop. If the victim never addresses their abuse, it will simply continue until they are completely broken down, or worse. Continue reading ” Why Relationships with Malignant Narcissists are Incredibly Dangerous”