Do you have a friend, family member or work for a boss who is a narcissist… if so hold on tight because sooner or later you are going to be in for a very bumpy ride. We all know someone who cannot pass a mirror without inspecting themselves or the person who turns getting ready to go out into an art form. I am not talking about these people. There is nothing wrong with a healthy narcissistic streak. What I am referring to here is the 10% of the population that display borderline or fully blown narcissistic personality disorders.
What is narcissistic personality disorder…?
-Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem and a very disturbed individual. The narcissist is crazy because they hate themselves but they want everyone else to love them.
-Narcissists feed off of the discomfort of their victims. That’s how they get their kicks. The more uncomfortable, confused and anxious the person feels the stronger the narcissist becomes. Think about it this way… normal People chew gum… narcissists chew people and split them out.
-The word narcissist comes from the Greek mythological character Narcissus who fell in love with his own reflection in a lake. He finally pined away when he realised that the object of his desire did not exist outside of himself.
-The narcissist has a very complex personality. They are self-centred, self-absorbed and self-obsessed human beings. Under the charming exterior they have all the feelings of a shark. They never do nice things they do calculated things. If they give someone a compliment it is strategic. If they do anything for anyone it is planned so that they will benefit. They pretend that they are relaxed but they are far from it. Everything to them is about scoring points and winning… at all cost. The narcissist may come across as if they care about people but they don’t…all they want is to come across as the hero, the savour or the martyr.
-The narcissist does not like it when someone is more successful, more talented, younger or thinner than them. Other people’s success stories takes the focus off of them.
How to spot a narcissist
The DMS-IV is the bible were all known mental disorders are listed. The DMS-IV list the narcissist personality disorder traits as:
-Has a grandiose sense of self-importance. They love what they call ‘high end’ and designer stuff.
– Narcissist are preoccupied with their success, power, brilliance, beauty.
they believes that they are “special” or “gifted” and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people.
-Requires excessive admiration, flattery and compliments.
-Has a sense of entitlement. They treat people as their property.
-They have no filters. When a narcissist has a temper tantrum it is epic.
-Just like psychopaths they have no empathy or feelings of others.
– Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of them.
– They can be arrogant, rude and abusive behaviour.
-No matter what happens the narcissist is always right they will never back down or say sorry.
-The narcissist has a Jekyll and Hyde personality. Their public face is charm itself, but they are quite the opposite in private.
How the narcissist works
The narcissist is a predator and they use Gaslighting as one of their techniques to get their victim into their web.
Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse used by narcissists in order to instill in their victim an extreme sense of anxiety and confusion to the point where they no longer trust their own memory, perception or judgment.
The intention is to, in a systematic way, target their victim’s mental balance, self-confidence, and self-esteem so that they are no longer able to function in an independent way. The term “Gaslighting” comes from the 1944 Hollywood classic movie called ‘Gaslight’. The film is a twisted tale of how the perpetrator uses all sorts of manipulative resources to let his young wife think she is going crazy so that he can have her institutionalised and get her money.
The 3 stages of Gaslighting
The first is the “idealization stage” or the honeymoon period. The narcissist chooses a victim. In the beginning the narcissist gives the victim a lot of attention and seeks to become their best friend. This is part of their plan so that the victim drops their guard. All information disclosed is stored by the narcissist to be used later. They want to know everything about their victim. They admire them. They mirror them. They even put the victim on a pedestal. The narcissist is charming, generous loving, charming, and flirtatious, energetic, exciting, and great fun to be with. The victim falls under their spell.
In this stage the victim’s falls from grace is a hard one, they cannot seem to do anything right anymore; the narcissists admiring words turn to criticism, everything the victim tries ends in a negative effect, and they find themselves devalued at every turn. The narcissist uses offensive language… name calling…uses the silent treatment…withholds information…lies…ridicule and blame. They will even try to break down the victims support structure by criticising the victim’s friends and family. Totally confused, the victim has idea what is happening, and they become stressed, unhappy and depressed with the situation. The narcissist gaslighting is now at its peak, and there is no reasoning with them. Confused by the narcissist’s bizarre behaviour, the victim works harder and harder to please their abuser in the hope of getting the relationship back to where it was in the start, when it felt safe. The narcissist despises who their supply person has become; they view them as powerless, inferior and worthless victims, but at the same time, their worthless prey is providing them with a bountiful amount of narcissistic food. Therein lays the paradox; the more the victim shows their distress, the more they become narcissistic food for the abuser, and the more important and powerful the abuser gets to feel.
The discard stage
In this phase, the game come/h3s to its final conclusion. Once the narcissist has sucked their victim dry, their ardor for the game dampens because in their eyes they have won the contest, and the fun is over. By this time, the narcissist is totally indifferent to any needs or wishes that the victim may have, in effect they no longer exist in their mind.
How to survive a narcissist
-Whatever you do no not react and do not argue. Narcissist feed of your reaction. The more confused or dismayed you appear the better they feel. Your reaction is their food. The more uncomfortable you feel the better they feel. To the narcissist disordered way of thinking your uncomfortableness is a demonstration of your weakness and their strength. The narcissist get off on your misery. So if you want to swim with a shark…swim faster or do not bleed
-Try on to be alone with a narcissist. Stay in a group so that you do not get singled out.
– Trust your judgement if you feel there is something wrong go with your instincts.
-If the narcissist is a friend or family then you need to establish boundaries. The narcissist doesn’t see you as an equal they see you as property and they will take all sorts of liberties.
-If the narcissist behaviour is extreme. You will need to ask yourself what exactly you are getting out of this relationship. It is important to have people around you that respect and support you. A narcissist will never be there for you. Never!
– Do not try to take on a narcissist…you will fail as their only point of reference is themselves. Avoidance is the best strategy.
-Finally don’t let someone change who you are so that they get what they need. Work on yourself esteem so that one day you can finally tell the narcissist in your life to get lost!