Introduction to Narcissism
This information is a purposeful broadcast.
What is Narcissism? Narcissism is an unhealthy focus on self that affects others in unhealthy ways. Everyone to some extent is narcissistic. Most people 'want the good stuff' and from a psychological point of view: everything we do is for some emotional 'payoff' - in order to feel better about ourselves and life.
The definitive quality of healthy narcissism is obtaining self-gratifying results in ways that don't damage other people, whereas unhealthy narcissism works from the mindset: "I win, and I don't care if you lose," or, "Your loss is my win." Narcissism is self-absorption coupled with destructive behaviour, and is a world-wide epidemic.
Internet searches for narcissism is literally exploding, thus more people are discovering, researching and asking questions about narcissism. There is a desperate need for this information.
Narcissist Personality Disorder is a Cluster B mental disorder, and is categorized in this cluster alongside others such as Histrionic Disorder and Borderline Disorder (just to name a couple.)
Narcissism is known to be a construction of a false self, and therefore the individual will exhibit behaviour that is pathological (not real) in nature. I believe any individual who is not comfortable within their own skin - therefore disconnected from their 'inner peace' - can develop narcissistic characteristics.
How Do Individuals Deal With Inner Pain and Emotional Insecurity?
External factors such as race, class, income status or religion place no importance as to whether or not an individual will be narcissistic. It is an 'inner-self' issue.
There are three broad types of people living with inner pain and emotional insecurity (which applies to the greater community):
- The ones that wear a mask, 'suffer in silence' and don't want to burden others,
- The ones that wear a mask, and steal energy from the world to feel better, and
- The ones that take off the mask, take responsibility for their emotions, work on themselves and improve life 'from the inside out.'
No-one is perfect and this is totally understandable! However the damage of narcissism (point two) is extremely evident.
I am astounded by how many people exist who are in (or have had) relationships with individuals who are atypically narcissistic. Many argue narcissistic behaviour is more commonly found among the male population, and absolutely there are also many females who are insecure, 'creating a mask' and manipulating people (to their detriment) for their own self-benefit.
Without diminishing the experience men suffer at the hands of a narcissist abuse, two essential facts stand out:
Genetically, men tend to act out jealousy, insecurities and vengeance
more violently than most women, and women will tend to act more
co-dependently and hang onto their dysfunctional partners
(regardless of the damage) longer than most men.
Statistically, women are at greater risk than men for narcissistic abuse.
Essentially women, who are more inclined to be the caretakers and empaths of society, will tolerate and hang on to narcissistic relationships more than men will (generally). Women tend to be 'fixers', and can feel compelled to 'sort out' issues, whereas the average man is not particularly compelled to 'fix' a woman who constantly demands attentions and acts in childish, aggressive and immature ways. Sadly, however, there are many 'good guys' out there who are more nurturing, who take on trying to please and look after their partners very seriously - and who consequently hang on much longer than they should.
Another distinction, which makes women traditionally more susceptible to narcissistic abuse, is: they are biologically and genetically engineered to have a focus on 'the one', and will try to make painful relationships work, whereas most men have a greater capacity to think in terms of 'there are other opportunities available'.
The Statistics of Narcissism
There are no firm statistics available in regard to the frequency of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Psychologists state that 1% of the population is diagnosed with NPD, and that 75% of the cases in therapy are men. This 1% statistic is gathered only from individuals diagnosed in therapy.
Most narcissists aren't in therapy, and even if they are, may not be diagnosed as NPD. Psychologists freely admit this, as well as the frustration and impossibility of working effectively with NPD's.
By definition, narcissists severely lack humility and will avoid admitting there's something wrong with them at all costs. Most narcissists in therapy are forced there by the courts, or have arrived for 'other' reasons such as alcoholism or a divorce. They usually don't show up to deal with 'narcissistic' behaviour. If narcissism is confronted, most narcissists will discredit the therapy and leave. The remaining ones will only do a few sessions at most.
I estimate that up to 16% of society is severely narcissistic. This is almost 1 in every 6 people. I believe this is a much more accurate assessment. What is frightening is: narcissists are extremely emotionally insecure (despite the outer charisma) and seek love partners frenetically. Most narcissists are very successful in hooking people into relationships. When you read on you'll understand how this is achieved.
I believe the root of domestic violence is narcissism, and until society as a whole understands and heals this malignancy every part of our world suffers. What takes place in the world starts within the home.
The Real Cause of Narcissism
Why has narcissism permeated our world?
The answer: Because we have not evolved (as a world society) to understand the necessity to create an authentic emotional self.
To be 'at one' with ourselves, life and others is a very spiritual experience...
To not be 'at one' is a hellish experience - this state is where narcissism is born.
Every Act of Abuse Is Born From
Emotional Pain, Fear and a Need to Control.
When we are 'at one' there is no need to take, harm, maim, manipulate or lie.
Narcissism is not a mental condition. It's a spiritual / emotional condition.
We've all been taught 'me versus you' and 'survival of the fittest'. Society's lack of authentic emotional training left us with the belief that 'it's weak' to be authentic and real.
A narcissist feels terrorized at the thought of vulnerability (being emotionally honest), and develops a pathological false self to guard the unresolved emotional wounds.
The narcissist and many other individuals haven't realised that establishing healthy boundary function and living truthfully in self-honouring ways keeps us safe, and grants the freedom to be real, navigate our lives with authenticity, self-love, self-esteem and self-respect - whilst making decisions that work for the greater good.
Lack of Emotional Intelligence Training created:
- The Martyr / Co-dependent: "I lose you Win", and
- The Narcissist: "I win you Lose".
Our new world can now create "I win, everyone wins" mentality, and it's time this awareness and training took place.
The Pain, Shock and Trauma of Narcissistic Abuse
Narcissistic relationships are tragic and can lead to significant demise. Many people die from this version of love, or at the very least spend years, if not the rest of their lives, emotionally, mentally, financially, physically and spiritually crippled.
I'm passionate about releasing this information for educational purposes so individuals may identify this personality disorder and know they aren't going mad. Prevention, disconnection and recovery require becoming very clear about what narcissism is. All young people should be educated before dating to become empowered and aware enough to avoid highly damaging narcissistic relationships.
Importantly, I will state narcissistic enmeshment and damage can occur in any relationship in life. It could happen with a parent, a child, a friend or a business partner. This article is not just about love relationships.
The information I'm writing about in this article relates to high-level narcissism. I am intimately familiar with this form of narcissism. Even though this information may seem extreme it is important to understand that narcissism is sometimes exposed gradually. The effects of narcissism can initially be very subtle and deeply insidious. It sneaks up on you and permeates and pollutes every aspect of your being. Victims of narcissism are significantly poisoned, and recovery requires a virtual exorcism of the disease and the psychic vandalism that could continue for years. Fortunately there are quantum solutions, that can significantly reduce contemporary recovery time.
It Can Happen to Anyone
If you begin to feel confused in love, and have strange vague feelings that something isn't right, don't simply rationalise and shake these feelings off. I did. I bought into the diversions, the excuses and the cover ups. It won't start off for you as high-level inappropriate behaviour. Of course it doesn't – because you would never commit to the relationship if it did! Be aware, very aware – that if you feel uneasy, or at times sense darkness or something 'not right' about someone – investigate and look deeper.
This is why it's very important to be level-headed during the initial 'getting together' period, in order to create safeguards against narcissists. If a narcissist decides you're a target, he / she will seek to enmesh you in a relationship quickly and powerfully. Level-headed people who take their time, and aren't feeling the 'need' to have all of their love desires fulfilled instantly by a 'knight in shining armour' or a 'dream princess', absolutely have the right idea. Unfortunately I, like many others wasn't one of them. I'd had failed relationships before. I wanted to feel loved, safe and adored. I wanted the loneliness to end. Even though I was powerful and together in so many areas of my life, this was a 'gap', an insecurity, for the narcissist to enter.
If you're in a relationship with a true narcissist, by the time the personality disorder is obvious, you're hooked, empty and exhausted (it happens bit by bit without you realising) and powerless to create boundaries and protect yourself. In my case by the time the horrific and monstrous personality fully appeared I was watching my own demise with the exits closed. He'd displayed warning signs of abusive behaviour to me previously. I discovered some of his lies previously. Because I didn't want to shatter my dream of the most glorious and magnificent man loving me, I lied to myself. I made excuses for him. I kept defaulting back to the image he portrayed when I first met him. He created the persona of the perfect man for me. He appeared as everything I thought was my life partner. I didn't want to admit his ingenious façade wasn't true. I didn't want to face the fact the man he pretended to be showed no resemblance to the man he really was. My self-deception took me to a level where I very nearly didn't escape.
By the time I did, I was so broken, severely damaged and suicidal that I doubted I would ever recover. I lost out disastrously and had to rebuild my life almost from scratch. I did, and it took every resource and every ounce of strength to do it. I had to find the solutions that I now know work powerfully, bit by bit. My purpose now is to prevent other individuals having to experience the soul-shattering devastation I did, and to assist their recovery when they do.
I am not the only one…not by a long shot. As a healer connected to a large global community I know how common abusive and controlling relationships are. It's my theory that every person has been in an abusive or significantly disempowering relationship or knows someone who has. The problem is we turn our back on peoplewho are being abused. We rationalise they should know better, and how could they do it to themselves? We get sick of the whining and complaining when we know they willingly put up with more of the same.
I used to be one of these judgemental women. I had empathy but was secretly appalled by people especially women who were being verbally and physically abused or living with pathological liars, criminals and chauvinistic unsupportive men who treated them poorly. I couldn't for the life of me understand why on earth they couldn't leave, and when they did why they would turn around and go back.
I'd always walked away from abuse and said "No." I knew my deservedness! Why couldn't other people stand up and be as strong as me! Well low and behold, an individual like me who is mentally and emotionally strong and resourceful and thought I had my life under control became one of these abused women, powerless, emotionally crippled and mentally deranged. And yes, I also didn't leave, and when I finally did, kept caving in and going back, I became what I despised about women. So much for my righteous indignation…
Traits of Narcissism
Therefore please take note of the following examples and personality traits of narcissism. Be honest with yourself. Can you see warning signs? The point I am making is it could happen to you, or maybe you are unaware that it is happening to you...
Why is narcissism so detrimental to relationships? The answer: because narcissism is a condition of separation, distrust and 'me versus you'. Such states make a relationship (which requires by definition: teamwork, trust and co-operation) impossible to sustain.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder is more common than you think. It's identifiable firstly by understanding certain individuals struggle with humility. Have you loved a person who is never wrong, never sorry and believes it is always someone else's fault? Have you ever experienced an individual who's non-accountable for their behaviour and doesn't learn despite the mayhem and pain they produce? Have you witnessed an individual who has no tolerance for the slightest criticism, even when given constructive advice? Read further because this person may well be suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Maybe you're starting to see this behaviour, or can relate it to an ex-partner.
The most massive (and initially devastating) realisation that's necessary to assimilate, in order to pull away and create authentic love, is that the narcissist is incapable of genuine love and empathy. His / her purpose for creating a love relationship is for two reasons. Firstly to secure narcissistic supply (attention), and secondly to have an outlet to project his / her internal pain and torture onto. People who are hooked and 'hang on' make the perfect subjects to abuse.
Additionally many narcissists are very 'loose' and struggle to do the necessary tasks in life, such as be accountable for bills, and play by the rules. Love partners or family members who have good integrity, ethics and are solid citizens grant them the safety net of survival in society. Narcissists believe that being accountable and 'solid' makes them disgustingly 'normal'. Mundane tasks that don't offer narcissistic supply are avoided and even resented.
Have you ever been in a relationship with an individual who demands your attention incessantly and becomes depressed, sulky and even full of rage if your attention goes elsewhere? This is one of the earliest warning signs of a narcissist. Please understand healthy adults do not behave in such a way. This is where people who know the difference turn their back and walk away; they know that any person ringing them 10 times a day and demanding attention is not well. Unfortunately many individuals, as I did, can mistake (or delude ourselves) that this high need for attention means we're loved, missed and adored, or maybe we felt wrong in leaving or speaking up, as a result of our own deficient boundary function. Please be assured, this is not love; it's the deadly calling card of the narcissist.
The classic bully is an archetype of the narcissist. The bully is a person who takes their own needs primarily by charm or intimidation. To the outer world this person may appear incredibly assertive, confident, charismatic, powerful and self-assured. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Narcissism is a grave condition of insecurity and desperately feeling unloved and unacceptable. An individual with Narcissistic Personality Disorder inherently believes they are 'damaged goods' and fears other individuals will discover the truth: that they feel powerless. Thus the narcissist invests a great deal of energy into 'gaining the upper hand', to hide feeling vulnerable, insecure and broken. When they are getting what they want, the charm is flowing and plentiful. When the charm doesn't work the intimidation begins. Narcissism is categorised as an unhealthy level of self-absorption and a lack of empathy regarding how their insecure, aggressive and damaging behaviour affects the world around them.
Sadly, when many individuals realise that the narcissist is insecure and isn't reassured, they try harder to love this person. Additionally the narcissist blames his her behaviour on something that you are or aren't doing, and a hooked person we may try to 'do it better' or 'get it right'. Your increased efforts to love and fix the narcissist only lines you up for more abuse.
The narcissist pathologically believes he / she is a God; yet knows people are needed as a 'mirror' (feedback) in order to know he / she exists. The narcissists inner landscape is dead without attention, yet conversely he / she despises being reliant on attention from anyone 'inferior' (which is everyone). The more you grant the narcissist attention / efforts / energy, the more he / she will want to punish you for being dependent on you. Be very clear being needed by him / her is not love.
A Profound Lack of Self Love
In the myth of Narcissus, the hero fell in love with his own reflection. On the surface it may seem he was madly in love with himself. But look deeper. He was in love with his reflection. This reflection was not his true self. The very fact he fell in love with the illusionary part of himself meant he was not capable of loving his true self. To escape these disowned 'unacceptable' parts a narcissist scripts and creates an image of himself / herself that he / she can tolerate.
This image is a grandiose version, a version that is admired, adored and respected by and in control of others. He / she needs to be unique as the narcissist hates to be one of the crowd or 'normal'. In order to maintain this image the narcissist will go out of his / her way to be noticed, admired and liked by others. The narcissist is very capable of procuring admiration by offering his / her skills and services and boasting about talents and accomplishments. To glean praise from others he / she will appear very caring, helpful and generous. This is initially, and only to people who are not in his / her common and familiar life. Thus an individual connected with a narcissist long term is confused and very misunderstood by the acquaintances who proclaim that 'what a great person', when living with a 'street angel / home devil'. Interestingly many of these acquaintances will be temporary and short lived. As soon as the narcissist is not receiving the initial praise and recognition he / she craves, the relationship will dry up, or the narcissist will disappear fearful that the individual will discover the truth. In many cases the relationship being based on 'false currency' (non-genuine giving) simply doesn't survive.
It's virtually impossible for a narcissist to 'hang out' with people in normal and relaxed ways. If he / she is not the centre of attention the narcissist feels either 'dead' (manically depressed) or intense feelings of rage. The narcissist needs the stimulus of narcissistic supply as a constant drug, and long-term relationships cannot offer this. Acquaintances and associates that he / she can charm, dazzle and impress are perfect sources. Narcissists feel the need to be out in life mining fresh sources regularly. This is why when things seem relaxed and serene with the narcissist for a few hours, he / she will either create mayhem (by attacking your weakest points), or have to take off into the world again for his / her drug.
I recall times with my ex-narcissist, that he would pathologically lie and create stories that related to my 'weak link' of being accused of giving other men attention. We would be sharing a day together, and everything was calm, and then he would tell me (whilst driving home) that there was a man in the corner of a store that I couldn't keep my eyes off. It always worked, I would become incensed, outraged or go into total despair. This would inevitably occur after a few hours of just him and me when he couldn't mine supply from the outside world. Now I know I wasn't going mad - there was no man there, he made the whole thing up in order to trigger me off and gain narcissistic supply!
Maybe you can relate to being 'attacked' at the mark that hurts you the most. Maybe the pieces are starting to come together for you...
Being Kicked When You're Down
No matter what the outer world initially sees, the narcissist's depth of empathy and support is sadly non-existent. If there is no 'pay off' of constant admiration the support towards you (which was initially over-the-top plentiful) becomes unavailable. In fact the narcissist has to spend so much energy mining attention for himself / herself, the resources to give genuinely (without agenda) to others simply don't exist.
If you have a person in your life who is incapable of being supportive, and in fact becomes depressed, angry and even abusive when you have a bad time or require assistance, you may be shocked to realise this individual is narcissistic. Narcissists are the classic 'fair weather people' to individuals they're familiar with. If you have no energy to grant the narcissist, you are of no use, and he / she finds it deplorable to give of himself / herself to you. In fact when you're 'down' and require support, and the focus of attention is off the narcissist, he / she may punish you mercilessly for not making it 'all about him / her'. When receiving such abuse the dehumanisation is soul-shattering.
Manic Mood Swings
It's important to understand the narcissist is not always nasty and can be truly delightful. This makes this condition very confusing. When the narcissist is feeling full of recognition and getting what he / she wants from life you could not imagine a happier more delightful, funny, loving and charismatic person. This is part of the manic depressive condition caused by narcissism. When the narcissist Is high in life, he / she is high on 'narcissistic supply', the false currency (energy mined from the outside) that fills the narcissist full of good feelings and 'self-worth.'
This 'feed' lifts him / her out of the depression of a damaged and tortured self. Because this feeling 'full' is in stark contrast to the narcissist's natural state, he / she feels euphoria and great relief. The narcissist feels power-ful (rather than power-less) and makes the most of these feelings. No different to an alcoholic or drug addict who has hit the apex of the binge or the hit. This state is precarious and temporary. When the high reaches its peak the dangerous low is close behind. Narcissism is bi-polar in its intensity. Many people who have lived or are living with an individual who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder know the sudden lows that come after the highs. Sometimes within minutes of being a 'fun-loving delight' the individual becomes dark, moody and angry. The mood is like a black ink that permeates everything surrounding it. Then the 'walking on broken glass' and the inevitable abuse begins.
Lack Of Responsibility For Own Feelings
The narcissist has an inability to take responsibility for his / her bad feelings. For the narcissist to acknowledge he / she is 'down' is terrifying and means admitting feelings of emptiness and powerlessness. Psychologically this spells emotional and mental annihilation. The narcissist's false self is his / her survival, and quite literally the narcissist will lose everything in his / her life (and even physical life) before giving up the desperate grip on maintaining the facade.
Inevitably the narcissist's 'bad feelings' are someone else's responsibility, because he / she cannot claim these feelings as his own. "I'm feeling bad, therefore it must be your fault" The bouts of battering and blaming another individual (often the love partner) continue until the narcissist has been able to mine another hit of narcissistic supply (the much needed drug of attention).
The narcissist, who has denied his / her true damaged self, operates in two main dimensions:
1. Pulling compliments and attention (even negative attention if positive attention is not forthcoming) to feel more important and worthy, or
2. Projecting anger and pain outside of himself at the closest person / people.
The projection is a psychological phenomenon whereby the narcissist will see his / her own disowned parts as the individual he / she is attacking / criticising / demeaning / abusing. The victim of the abuse will literally 'become' to the narcissist all the aspects of himself / herself that he / she is disgusted by. The narcissist will accuse this person of being inconsiderate, deceptive, uncaring and untrustworthy. The enemy within has become the enemy without.
So whichever mode the narcissist is working through in order to try to feel healthy, the same criterion applies. The narcissist is incapable of sustaining his / her own energy. The narcissist has limited if any resources to supply his / her own 'good' feelings and just as few resources to work through and transform his / her own 'bad' feelings. It is always someone else's job. Can a narcissist survive on his / her own? The answer is 'No'.
Narcissists will seek narcissist supply. If a narcissist is forced to do time alone, without supply, he / she will become virtually suicidal, and will put the pathological self to work, and do anything in order to hook up a source of supply again. The primary targets for this supply reside in the world in general, and the secondary source, which also supplies the depot for him to demean, discredit and torment, are love partners. Inevitably compliants (people pleasers / nice people who see the good in everyone) who have poor boundary function are gravitated to as easy targets. Especially if they have resources that the narcissist can mine, and are intelligent and attractive enough to improve his / her status and image. A compliant will act co-dependently and give and give of themselves to the narcissist. They also have a high level of tolerance to the childish, immature and aggressive behaviour.
Co-Dependents Make Easy Targets
Compliant co-dependents believe in unconditional love. They will tolerate being damaged and feel sorry for the other person, yet in reality co-dependents are terrified about laying boundaries and taking control of their own lives. Boundary function is imperative protection against a narcissistic individual. Co-dependents love so much it hurts; whereas their self-development lies in learning to love themselves enough to stop the pain. When a co-dependent teams up with a narcissist (and many do) they will have their scant boundaries disintegrated and end up tolerating behaviour and abuse that they never thought they would. They will try again and again to prove their love, devotion and loyalty to the narcissist, all the way to their self-demise. Why is this exercise futile? Because the narcissists who cannot accept themselves (and have deep self-loathing) can't accept love, intimacy and commitment from another, and are powerless to grant and sustain these commodities with another. It's an impossibility to give inner resources that simply don't exist.
Co-dependents recover themselves by embracing self-love, self-acceptance and self-validation and realising that the narcissist is totally incapable of granting this. As I painfully discovered, my need to be known by the narcissist as a good person, who was trustworthy and who did genuinely love him, nearly took me to my death. My need for this provided him with the ammunition to keep putting the hoops up higher and higher, and he gaining the drug of attention by watching me trying to jump through. The goal I was aiming at was never real or available.
My greatest lesson and gift out of this exchange was to take on my real mission: grant myself the love, validation and acceptance of 'who I was' rather than attempt to receive it from sources who reflected back my lack of love for self. This was a journey of true humility and self-ownership that finally gave me the hope that I COULD work on me and create the life I deserved. As such I embraced it full-heartedly. I actually had no choice. If I didn't I wouldn't have survived, and at the very best I would have stayed a victim tormented by 'what had happened to me'. My self-journey gave me relief, healing and a purpose to life.
People with healthy and powerful boundaries and self-identity don't get taken in for long by narcissistic individuals. Why not? Because these people have healthy limits; they know and back up what they will and won't put up with in their life. When the narcissistic glamour wears thin and the true personality is revealed, individuals with healthy boundary function will remove themselves from the abusive, childish and inhumane behaviour. If you have attracted a narcissist in your life, like me you didn't (or don't) have healthy boundary function. I was fortunate enough to take responsibility and empower myself with this awareness. Like so many women that have fallen prey to abuse – I'd never previously learnt what healthy boundaries were. I needed the narcissistic experience to realise this.
The Child That Didn't Emotionally Grow Up
You may have noted the word 'childish' being used to describe narcissism. Narcissists are angry children in adult bodies. Severe damage from the birth family is generally perceived by the narcissistic child / adolescent. Alternatively narcissism may set in as a result of a child being given too much entitlement, for example being spoiled by an over-bearing and controlling mother who idolises the child. Interestingly, other children in the same family may go through similar abandonment, disappointments, smothering and abuse but not develop the lack of empathy, lack of emotional awareness, self-denial and delusions that the narcissist does.
The narcissist's emotional maturity development has become paralysed somewhere between the age of five and seven years of age. Narcissists don't have the ability to have 'observing ego', therefore they are prone to 'knee jerk' reactions that are aggressive, abusive, violent, and vengeful that emotionally stable and healthy adults simply don't do. The narcissist doesn't learn how his / her behaviour affects others people, despite the people he / she loses, or the disasters created.
There is always a justification or an excuse for the behaviour. The classic narcissistic admittance of bad behaviour is: "I did it because I was angry" and the narcissist truly believes this is reason enough, regardless of the damage, distrust and consequences created. Empathy is non-existent toward the severely damaged individuals lined up during a tirade. Trust me it's not personal: sadly narcissists simply don't have the inner resources to feel anything but their own pain.
Narcissists feel rage if their sense of entitlement is curbed. The narcissists motto is 'I want and I will take". The world to them is a place to mine. Like a child who cannot hear the word 'No', narcissists will help themselves to whatever they perceive as narcissistic supply. Depending upon the type of narcissist (somatic – sexual, or cerebral – intellectual) this will include attention, accolades, recognition, friends, time, sex, possession, money, power etc. etc. Narcissists have no respect for boundaries that are between them and the bounty that they believe is theirs for the taking, and they will manipulate, charm, discredit and confuse anyone that stands in the way. Narcissists are con-men, and often thieves.
The Art of Manipulation
Interestingly narcissists are highly intelligent and extremely street cunning. They've been expertly hiding their damaged emotional self and navigating life with acute perception and mental analysis of their environment. Many narcissists know exactly how and when to appeal and what manipulative tactic is going to work best in which situation. High level narcissists are incredibly intuitive, manipulative, criminally minded and very dangerous.
A narcissist can size up another individual, lure them into 'trust', and ascertain their weaknesses very quickly. Narcissists will get close and encourage you to share your innermost thoughts and secrets. Women, I have to admit, are extremely easy to disarm for full disclosure. Little do they know, that the narcissist is gathering intelligence to threaten you with, torment you with and manipulate you with at a later date. Beware of sharing your life story with anyone until you really get to know them!
Narcissists work to a win/ lose strategy. They are parasitical in their approach and will take from outside sources and people whatever is necessary to sustain their false image. Narcissists work from a paradigm of self-absorbed entitlement. They believe their world is positioned to serve their insatiable needs. Many an individual who has connected to a narcissist has been sucked dry emotionally, mentally, physically and financially. No matter what is given it is never enough. The demands and expectations escalate and the narcissist is rarely content, appeased and fulfilled. If he is it's only brief respite before the next surge for power and domination.
The need for 'artificial energy' (taking from 'the outside' in order to create self) is a bottomless pit. Dr. Paul Dobransky explains that the myth of vampires was originally modelled on the human pathological narcissist. Dr. Paul also describes narcissism in terms of astronomical science. He explains that when celestial bodies elevate to a level not self-sustainable they create vacuums around them which feed off and destroy surrounding celestial bodies. All of these metaphors make sense. Anyone who has been in love with a narcissist will testify that the experience left them lifeless.
"The World Owes Me"
Many narcissists have a very loose and unaccountable life. Rules and regulations mean conforming to society and being 'normal' and the narcissist Is horrified about being non-unique. This leads to a precarious life of attaining image, status, possessions, objects and attention regardless of consequences. There is limited compliance to the needs of individuals, groups, businesses or government when the narcissist is operating from his / her entitlement agenda.
Many narcissists have a superior image to the uninformed: fancy clothes, cars, homes and accessories, (or at the very least they expect to be recognised for their capabilities if results are not yet attained), however scratch just under the surface and there is a literal minefield of disasters waiting to happen. Narcissists consistently attract problems and severe consequences into their life. Life is chaotic and often disastrous.
Inevitably the narcissist cannot maintain the falsely constructed image. Much of the image may have been acquired by deceptive (even criminal) means whilst refusing to 'play by the rules'. Ego driven immediate gratification is the name of the game. When attention toward lack of credibility, precarious debt, manipulating others for self gain or 'loose cannon' behaviour arises the narcissist suffers an intolerable narcissistic wound to his / her already severely damaged self-esteem. Any assistance or notification of the problems is a major insult and all lengths of denial, manipulation, aggression, intimidation, blame-shifting or pathological lies are used as defence mechanisms to cover up or avoid the scrutiny.
The narcissists doesn't feel shame regarding his / her behaviour or the losses or damage created for others. The narcissist is merely terrified about being cut off from the objects (people are included in this category) that constitute narcissistic supply.
Pathological Jealousy, Lies and Insecurity
One of the most obvious symptoms of high level narcissism is intense jealousy and severe sexual perversion and insecurities. Narcissistic behaviour can incur verbally and physically violent (and even murderous) jealousy, and extreme degradation of the opposite sex. Male narcissists are misogynists. They desperately seek women yet inwardly despise them. These men are totally turned on by extreme sexuality yet are perversely disgusted by attractive female attributes, believing women are promiscuous, sexually manipulative and attention seeking. The male narcissist will often play out a deep subconscious 'mother-revenge' by running his female partner into the ground. He will destroy her self-esteem, femininity and sexuality piece by piece.
Narcissistic women are often 'man-haters' who unconsciously may be driven to punish men for the wounds they suffered as children from their fathers.
Another symptom of narcissism is pathological lying. Purposeful lying is narcissistic and is born from a need to manipulate in order to control. This characteristic began at a very early age. The narcissist never matured to the level where he / she accepted essential emotional truths: lying creates distrust and separation with others. It destroys relationships.
To be honest (and therefore vulnerable) terrifies the narcissist. He / she fears this will equate to being controlled by others. The narcissist needs to uphold lies so people don't discover the truth of who he / she really is. The narcissist finds comfort in not being pinned down, and not being accountable. More lies are necessary to cover up a previous lie. The pathological lies become malignant and the high-level narcissist scripting an illusionary life begins to believe his / her own versions. This is why pathological lying is so hard to detect, and may even pass a polygraph. Additionally the narcissist doesn't suffer a guilty conscience. The narcissist believes he / she is entitled to lie. It's the only way the narcissist knows how to operate in a world of 'me versus you' without the emotional resources to trust. The tragic thing is: narcissists genuinely believe everyone else thinks and feels exactly the way they do. They don't trust anyone. The narcissist makes sure he / she gets you before you can.
Trying to Monitor the Narcissist in Order to Survive
One of the major arsenals in the narcissistic repertoire of weapons is a condition inflicted on people known as 'repetitive compulsion disorder'. A victim of narcissistic projections and behaviour can become seriously psychologically confused and deranged, often to the level of a total psychotic or suicidal breakdown. This of course grants the narcissist the ability to mine attention (you being deranged because of me makes me 'special' – that helps me feel 'alive') and he / she will continue to project malicious abuse.
Repetitive compulsion disorder occurs because the narcissist is a bag of tricks. He / she is spontaneous, erratic and totally unpredictable. When connected to a narcissist you don't know what to expect. He / she may tell you one thing and then do another. Something you discussed and agreed on two hours ago will be dismissed, it's as if you never had the conversation. The idea the narcissist had yesterday has changed in preference to something else today. What he / she agreed to do for you he / she won't even admit to having discussed. Something that you thought was a normal everyday function of responsibility is intolerable to him / her. The narcissist offers to be reliable one minute and totally lets you down the next. He / she will twist and turn facts and create imaginary allies to back up "I'm right and you're wrong". The narcissist will tell intricate and explicit lies to hit your weak points.
You shake your head in bewilderment because you couldn't fathom an adult lying in such detail unless it was the truth, and what's more the narcissist doesn't care who he she degrades, damages or discredits in the lies. Guess what? The major enemy that the narcissist discredits to his family and colleagues is you. He / she will muster sympathy and attention from all that will listen regarding the 'intolerable suffering' of his / her relationship with you. Before you know it the narcissist has isolated you, and is turning everyone against you, and has you distrusting all the people that were dear to you.
When connected to a narcissist you feel a heightened state of anxiety. There is no ability to feel safe under these conditions. A great deal of focus is placed on the narcissist. Good attention or bad attention it makes little difference. The narcissist is receiving attention: and to him / her this creates importance. The narcissist feels powerful in the knowing that he / she can affect another individual to such a degree. The narcissist also knows he / she can now control you, because the more you focus on what the narcissist is or isn't doing the more you lose your Identity, pastimes, friends, family and life. Before you know It your boundaries have crumbled and you have lost all self-resources, energy and power to identify the behaviour, pull away and protect yourself. The more powerless you feel, the more the narcissist believes he / she is powerful. The more isolated you are from the outside world, the more he / she becomes your everything. Before you know It you're suffering Stockholm complex. There is a danger that you will become manically attached to the narcissist, and barely function In the outside world. The very people and things that may provide support and comfort are dismissed, and all you may be trying to cling on to is the narcissist.
Before long you may start manically checking up on the narcissist, ringing him / her constantly, crying, pleading and trying to gain comfort and support from the narcissist. When this cycle intensifies he / she has you controlled. The narcissist can treat you appallingly and you mat stay attached to him /her trying to win the narcissist's love, protection, honesty and support. Please understand what is so frightful: by association Is women especially see their love partner as their 'rock', their support and their backbone - and this is soul-destroying when you believe the very person destroying you is this man. Welcome into the deadly capes of Count Dracula where the cruelty, contempt and malicious delight begins.
To further explain repetitive compulsion disorder: scientists have conducted experiments with lab rats proving this condition. A rat is given a button sequence to extract pellets and quickly works out how many times he needs to nose push to receive a meal. The number of pushes may be altered daily and the rat will work out the number required. If, however, the button is changed to random the rat becomes agitated and frenzied. He will repetitively push and push the button scattering pellets all over the floor, and ignore all other distractions in his cage. Why? Because his sense of stability is threatened. The same occurs in narcissistic relationships. Individuals become hooked to the narcissist because emotional stability is unobtainable. They go in harder trying to create a 'set result.' This is why poker machines hook people. Many people become severely addicted to narcissists, 'pushing the button' all the way to their emotional, mental, physical and spiritual bankruptcy. Morbidly and dangerously they become so empty and powerless that they can barely perceive a life without the narcissist, and spiral into a deep dark pit. In essence the victim feels and becomes the annihilating depression that the narcissist avoids by feeding off his / her energy. The narcissist has taken your light and you have become his / her darkness.
"But He / She Was So Wonderful..."
Be very aware that in the 'honeymoon period' of love the narcissist will be an absolute delight, for a period of weeks or even months. A narcissistic relationship commonly starts as a 'whirlwind romance' if he / she decides you are desired as a partner, you'll be wined, dined, seduced, bought and wooed. You'll be so 'in love' that you won't be able to see straight. Take note of the expression 'too good to be true.'
If you're at all suspect retain your interests, and make sure you implement them in your life. Take any new relationship 'slowly', get to know the person, and look out for an abnormal need for attention.
Have opposite sex friends and see how the narcissist reacts. Is he / she emotionally secure enough to allow you to direct your attention to other areas of your life apart from him / her? I promise you a narcissist won't be able to tolerate you retaining interests and granting attention to people other than him / her. Have firm boundaries and make sure you don't drop everything for him / her, and run to this person's side every time they want to see you.
Look out for discrepancies. If he / she brags about his accomplishments and credentials please check with people who have known this person long term. Ascertain his / her history in regard to stable employment, credit ratings and friendships.
What is this individual's relationship track record? Does he / she still have healthy and appropriate contact with past relationships? If a male ask his opinion in regard to chauvinism, and the way men treat women. What are his feelings regarding verbal and physical violence to women and jealousy? Does he have a loving relationship with his mother? How does he feel about trust and respect for a partner?
If a female what is her attitude towards past relationships. Is she toxic about them? What are her relationships with friends and family like - especially her father.
Be vigilant to sexually inappropriate behaviour toward you, such as early questioning of your sexual past, or if he / she starts to treat you as an image or an object. Is this person capable of gentle and caring love making, or does he / she seem detached and aggressive? Does he / she call you names that refer to your sexual parts? Make this person wait for sex, and don't get lured into bed with anyone that you haven't established a meaningful and respectful relationship with first.
Becoming The Object of Destructive Love
Narcissism is the ultimate experience of objectification. To this type of person you are not a person with feelings. You are a source of narcissistic supply, and all shows of love, affection and empathy are constructed to lure you as this source. Ultimately you are not a person, you are a 'thing' to feed off and sustain his / her existence. When you finally leave the narcissist, or when he / she has discarded you (because you know what the narcissist is and hold it up to him / her, or the narcissist has destroyed you to the point where there is nothing left to gain, or you don't supply him / her with enough narcissistic supply) the narcissist will find another source and another and then another. The cycle doesn't end. This can feel devastating – but I promise you it's not personal. The narcissist is what a narcissist is.
Just like the vampire who has to destroy every person it needs to sustain itself, the narcissist lives this perpetual nightmare of bleeding dry everything and everyone in order to exist. Again and again he / she faces his / her worst horror story; being unlovable and abandoned. Unfortunately narcissists often have to end up old and unable to secure supply before they truly get to face their demons with no hostages to offset the truth. Yes, they do suffer incredible anguish when their sources of supply abandon them, but they will always seek fresh sources that are available. This is why it is so imperative to increase education and a greater consciousness so that eventually narcissists will not be able to procure supply. This is when this dreadful evil will end.
According to most psychological experts the narcissists eventually end up destitute, broken, and alone. The people and objects they want cannot survive long term in their presence. It all does catch up with them. Karma eventually has it's say.
Leaving and Healing Narcissistic Abuse is Necessary to Experience Real Love
So there you have it, vital information in regard to high level narcissism. Do not use these extremities as an excuse for allowing narcissistic behaviour, by telling yourself, "This person is certainly not all of those things". Be aware aspects such as high level needs for attention, jealousy, control, isolation, verbal and physical abuse and pathological lying are narcissistic and unacceptable.
Maybe you recognise some narcissistic traits within yourself. Of course everyone can at times (when feeling empty, unloved and insecure) act narcissistically. The difference is: individuals who are self-aware and have done the inner work on themselves don't keep operating in self-absorbed patterns that clearly don't produce happy and healthy results. They learn. They take responsibility, stop blaming everyone else, apply humility, heal their wounds and amend their behaviour. Then, and only then, can they create a true sense of self with integrity that aligns with life principles that do work. The truth sets us all free, and an authentic life of sustaining and taking responsibility for our own energy is the only formula that creates true and durable results. In order to fulfill our divine right to have a great life we all have to examine and embody principles of self-healing, oneness, cooperation and trustworthy teamwork rather than utilise actions of blame, suspicion, distrust, manipulation and 'me versus you'.
All of us need to understand that we have to become an authentic source to ourselves. Other people can say and do and behave the way they want. Good and evil exist in the world and its helpful to accept that, and naive and immature to resist this and be dismayed by it. If anyone is evil that's their stuff. The real question is: Who are we in relation to this? No-one is responsible for providing you with your happiness, safety and well-being it's your job.
When co-dependents realise this (as I had to) no longer do we cling to people and try to change them against their will. We accept who they are, take responsibility for ourselves and move on, an do the work on our own inner healing, so that we can align with people and situations that do have the resources to add to our already established sense of self-love and self-respect. Then we create real love, happiness and fulfillment. The experience of being in love with a narcissist clearly doesn't. If we (the good people) all did take responsibility for ourselves, do you think that evil would be able to operate?
Please don't think I'm discrediting the pain and the process you'll need to be supported with in order to get to this place. What's happened to you is horrible, and absolutely you need to grieve, release the pain and heal. Quanta Freedom Healing can assist this greatly.
Alcoholics and drug addicts may display high levels of narcissistic behaviour. If the addiction is cured so may the personality disorder. True narcissists have the condition embedded in their psyches and the condition of Narcissistic Personality Disorder is known as untreatable. Narcissists simply don't think and feel like normal humans do. They relate to, and even thrive off the feelings of fear, pain and rage, and they have completely switched off the capacity to feel love and empathy. At some point in their life this was a choice created for self-defence (usually in childhood). The problem is: these functions are so severely arrested it would take incredible and continuous input to create the neurological pathways for these feelings to be genuine. Narcissists can mimic these emotions (for effect in order to secure narcissistic supply) but cannot genuinely feel them.
Don't be fooled into thinking that the narcissist wants to feel these feelings. He / she actual feels superior because he / she doesn't and believes this is a pathetic weakness in others. The narcissist believes living without these feelings grants a winning edge. The more you try to help him / her 'feel' the more the narcissist will degrade and demean you.
I am yet to discover (through credible research or experience) any narcissist who has the humility and emotional strength to confront themselves genuinely and durably. Narcissists are extremely fragile psychologically and emotionally. They're literally terrified about facing and dealing with their inner demons. For this reason narcissists rarely attempt therapy, and if they do they don't follow through with treatment. Additionally the narcissist's omnipotent dialogue is continually discrediting the therapist as incompetent, a fool and a phony (at the very least). The narcissist is lead and mentored by no-one, and anyone who is trying to have a say as to how he / she should be, is a target for contempt.
If you're trying to deal with a narcissistic relationship or are struggling to recover from one, it is imperative that you seek healing solutions and the reclaiming of yourself (please see the Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program). I am blessed through facilitating my own recovery to now assist women with their creation of a powerful self-identity.
The narcissistic experience truly can be an astounding recovery of liberation, empowerment and creating self-love, self-esteem and great boundary function. I believe the narcissistic abuse experience is a 'make or break' deal. You either stay shell-shocked, agoraphobic, lifeless and racked with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (a common occurrence with narcissistic abuse), or you become healed, empowered and an individual with great inner resources, healthy boundary function and incredible trust for yourself in life. My experience was transformed from an illusion of love to the most powerful experience of creating my True Self. Ironically having my life-force 'destroyed' has led to my life becoming the most fulfilling reality I could ever imagine. My career and life have blossomed to spectacular levels as a result of this experience. Everything I lost, I'm re-creating tenfold.
I now give and receive love and connection on a phenomenal and real level. I respect and back myself, and every aspect of my life is filled with decency, loyalty, love and truth. Life is serene, real, supportive and empowering. My life continues to fill with the self-awareness, individuals, events, success and gifts that reflect my new permanent truth. I no longer hook into aspects of life that I try to create my 'self' from that are unhealthy. I leave them alone and put my focus on what feels right, true and real. My previous co-dependent self used to struggle with this long before I experience narcissistic abuse. No longer do life and people dismay me, frighten me or exploit me. I now create my reality authentically.
You too can turn it all around… I have helped thousands of people from over 50 different countries make this empowering journey, and discover life at this level… all because the narcissist brought them to their knees. If we're all really honest with ourselves, we know that we'd received disappointing 'sign posts' of pain previously, it's just that the narcissist ended up being the whooping huge billboard that left us with no-where to go, except to 'meet ourselves' and be forced to love, heal and create ourselves. This is all about coming home to ourselves – the place we'd never really committed to before. I promise you it feels like relief, it feels great, and its where the true magic begins.
You too are welcome to join this journey…and I would love to show you what life is like on the other side of this holocaust - where the pain ends and the joyous and real creation begins.
Recovery from the psychological, emotional, mental and spiritual abuse of narcissism is imperative for an individual to put themselves and their life back together. Specific healing and procedures do produce the results necessary for an individual to create an empowered life where they will not be susceptible to narcissistic abuse again. In many cases the recovery from narcissism has been necessary for an individual to outgrow co-dependent childhood scripts of poor boundary function and victimisation.
Love, happiness and success are possible after suffering the effects of narcissism.
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