So, you’ve found yourself under fire again, the victim of yet another apparent smear campaign – courtesy of a toxic narcissist, of course.
The everyday average person can’t imagine what it’s like to experience a smear campaign at the hands of someone they love – and that’s because, in general, people who love you would never consider such behavior.
If you look up “smear campaign” in the dictionary, you’ll find that the political version of the term matches up with the narcissistic one: “a deliberate attack on somebody, by spreading an untrue and unpleasant rumor about them, or by making an accusation intended to damage their reputation.”
And contrary to popular belief, a narcissist who stoops to the level of creating a smear campaign is not crying out for help; rather, s/he’s crying out for attention and, in many cases, for a new source of supply.
That’s because it doesn’t work the same way as a “normal” person’s mind does. See, most people feel empathy for others in their lives, and they’d never want to hurt someone they love. But narcissists don’t really see others as people who are on the same level; to them, to put it bluntly, you are not a person.
That’s because, according to Robert Hare, PhD, “their information, including emotional information, is scattered all over both brain hemispheres – it takes too long or the brain to retrieve and process information, and the entire process of socialization becomes so ponderous that ultimately, it fails.”
Living with a narcissist puts you in a tough spot: you sort of forgo the simple pleasures in life. Rather than taking fun strolls down memory lane and laughing together, you’ll find yourself feeling like you’re literally sleeping with the enemy.
It’s like the very stuff that makes life worth living becomes forbidden to you – and as you watch those in healthy relationships have normal, healthy interactions with their love ones, the pain can become even more intense.
But as always, you smile as you die a little inside, bit by bit, each time your voice gets silenced…each time you are blamed and shamed for reacting to your narcissist’s emotional and verbal abuse.
Sadly, this behavior is entirely normal for toxic narcissists. See, they are people psychologists group in with the Cluster B personality disorders – and these types are known to pathologically lie, gaslight and run smear campaigns on their victims.
While the narcissist is capable of understanding that causing social harm, damage and general invaliation of your fundamental human rights is wrong, it doesn’t stop him/her – and they also continue with lying and manipulating people and trying to gaslight them, knowing it is morally wrong.
But though they recognize the moral wrongness, they equally show no concern about it as they actively work to recruit flying monkeys – people who (wittingly or not) do the narcissist’s bidding.
So, what does a smear campaign look like?
So, for example: a narcissist might run a smear campaign on a friend or even a spouse by making up rumors and stories about their target’s mental health (or lack thereof). This way, when or if their victims try to speak out or get help (or even support) with the abuse, the victim’s credibility has been undermined in advance.
The narcissist will point out that the victim is behaving exactly as s/he predicted, and will use the victim’s natural response to this outrageous smear campaign against him or her.
Worse, a narcissist actually sort of “gets off” on this kind of stuff – the idea of “getting away” with something gives them something to feel excited about. They have absolutely no empathy for anyone else, and they only show feelings of remorse if it becomes necessary to do so – as in, if they get caught.
As the victim spirals through the pain and emotional torment of being publicly humiliated and experiencing the deepest depths of shame, betrayal and general invalidation, the narcissist feels no sadness or remorse; rather they find themselves feeling physical, emotional and psychological pleasure. The narcissist will project whatever image might suit their needs at the moment on to the target, and they use this to self-stroke their ego.
It’s a bit like emotional masturbation, which they accomplish by manipulating other people’s relationships and creating situations in which they can triangulate people.
Then, they lie about one of their sources of supply to the other and they end up feeling very powerful, at least for a moment.
And these days, one of the easiest and most effective ways to covertly bully a victim is through social media. This might begin subtly at first, as in sharing “pointed” memes and quotes, or it might be more overt, as in directly calling out the victims on social media.
This usually involves some perceived offense in which the target stands up for him or her self and is rewarded with a big old case of narcissistic injury.
And even harder to swallow is the fact that narcissists will often claim to be victims of their own kinds of abuse – and they’ll play the injured party while they torment their targets secretly.
And, when a kind-hearted person takes pity on the poor, injured narcissist, as they inevitably do, the narcissist feels validated and immediately understands that they’ve found a new potential target – or at the very least, a new flying monkey.
What it all comes down to is that since narcissists are virtually incapable of normal human emotional behavior, they must manufacture joy and happiness by taking a rather sadistic pleasure in being the predatory creatures they are.
Even if they’re directly confronted with actual facts that invalidate their lies, narcissists will hold on to those lies. Worse, the longer the smear campaign continues, the more committed the narcissist becomes and the more outrageously he will behave.
So how can you deal with a narcissist who is actively smear campaigning you?
Honestly, while exposing the narcissist to the people in his life may help some of them to get a clue and stop allowing themselves to be his narcissistic supply, it’ll only temporarily slow the narcissist down.
In fact, it’ll give him or her the proper fuel s/he needs to get his next supply on the line – his very own savior. Because, of course, in his version of the story, you’ll be just the crazy bitch who was so mean and hateful to him and who tried to make his family and friends hate him.
You feel me? It’s a cycle.
It’s not worth it – it will only further serve to make you miserable.
If you’re still dealing with the narcissist, you can try this tip.
If you’re stuck with the narcissist because you’re co-parenting, or because he or she is your boss or mother-in-law and you just can’t go NC for some reason, the best response is to use the gray rock method – in which you literally don’t react at ALL.
But the best solution to deal with smear campaigns is this.
The best and only solution to dealing with this kind of person and remaining or becoming happy in your life is to take back your power and choose to create the life you really want, with or without the narcissist – most likely, without. Going no contact or low contact is statistically the most successful way to do it and the only “sure-thing” kind of answer you can find.
What do you think? Have you ever been the target of a smear campaign? How did you handle it? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section and let’s discuss it. You never know who your story could help!
This is the first of many in a new video series I’m launching in celebration of my 2000th YouTube subscriber called “Go Ask Angie.”
In this series, I’ll respond “off the cuff” to questions, comments and concerns sent to me by my YouTube viewers, readers from my QueenBeeing.com site and those who reach out in other ways, such as by email.
Today, I’m covering a YouTube comment from a self-proclaimed narcissist, YouTuber Maxamus101 (https://www.youtube.com/user/Maxamus101) on the video “Beat a Narcissist at His Own Game” – see it here:
“When I am ready to date again, it would help me to know what you mean exactly to ‘raise your standards’?”
Anyone who isn’t already in a relationship might be in search of that perfect someone that they can imagine building a life with – both men and women. When you’re waiting for Mr. or Mrs. Right, you sometimes start to think the opposite sex is just far too picky.
But, if you’ve been in a toxic relationship with a narcissist, the abuse you’ve experienced has left you damaged and maybe unsure of what you really want in a relationship. Personally, I have some basic deal breakers for any relationship, including my current marriage, and they are as follows:
1. Don’t hit me or intentionally hurt me physically. 2. Don’t cheat on me. 3. Don’t hurt my children.
It might surprise you to know that when it comes to deal breakers with dating, men and women are surprisingly alike in what turns them off (and what won’t lead to more dates). Knowing this can help you avoid a dry spell – and, if you’re willing to raise your own standards, it can also help you avoid getting stuck to a narcissist again.
So, what sorts of issues are red flags for potential future mates? Let’s start there – some basic Dating 101, if you will. You might already know this stuff, and that’s okay. It never hurts to have a quick refresher, right?
Communication is Key
Not knowing how to communicate on a date is something that a lot of women just don’t want to put up with, such as not being able to talk clearly and not knowing the basic difference between commonly misused words.
To men, this might seem too picky, but to women, a man that doesn’t know how to communicate from the start, including with their eyes, it won’t get any better as the relationship progresses.
Women do put more of an emphasis on communication than men do because this is how women relate. A deal breaker with communication is a man or a woman who is obviously the star in their own world – ahem, this is also a sign of narcissism.
These kinds of people might talk so much that it’s hard to get a word in edgewise. While a man or woman want to find out about their date, give them the condensed version of yourself, not your life story – and on the flip side, you shouldn’t expect a guy to tell you everything on day one. It’s not normal behavior, despite what the narcissist might have led you to believe.
During a date, you don’t want to focus on the bad stuff. Someone that you’ve just met or are just now starting to get to know doesn’t want to hear all about the job that you hate, or the terrible day you’ve just experienced – and, quite honestly, they’re not going to necessarily enjoy hearing about your narcissistic ex. That’s more like seventh date material, if you understand what I mean – and focusing for too long on any negativity from your past isn’t healthy anyway.
Communication during a date means communicating with the person with whom you’re on the date. It doesn’t mean that this is a fresh avenue for you to spill all of your resentment and heartache about the person who was in your life before him or her.
If you bring your ex into the conversation, it can be an instant deal breaker because it shows that you haven’t worked through feelings about that former flame. No one wants a preview of the excess baggage you’ll be bringing along if they date you.
It also shows that you’re inconsiderate. It’s a deal breaker to use someone you barely know as a sounding board about the lost loves in your life. You might feel that you’re connecting, while the other person feels like they should be charging you a therapy fee.
Work through your issues about your ex before you move on to dating someone new. See a real therapist and make sure all of your issues with that situation are resolved prior to you dating someone else. You’ll be doing yourself a big favor.
Most people know how to be polite. Some don’t. If you don’t know how to be polite, that can be a deal breaker. If you haven’t mastered basic table etiquette, then you need to learn before you hit the dating circuit.
First, don’t put your elbows on the table. Don’t slouch down so far in your chair that it looks like you’re practically resting on your neck. When it’s time to eat, don’t share your food in open-mouthed chewing with the other person.
It’s rude and disgusting to look at someone else’s chewed up meal. These are deal breakers – especially for women. Don’t slurp your food, push your food onto your fork with your fingers, don’t burp, don’t blow your nose and don’t pick your teeth when you’re on a date.
If you get a bite of something that tastes terrible, don’t make a show of spitting it out. Discreetly remove it in with a napkin. If something is out of reach, ask for it, don’t reach across the table and grab it.
One of the biggest issues that’s a deal breaker among both men and women are dates that get on the cell phone. If you text or take a call during a date and it’s not an absolute emergency, you can bet you’ll probably never get another date.
It’s rude to pay attention to someone who isn’t even there via a cell phone. Being rude to others (including the waitress or waiter) around you on the date is a deal breaker. If you’re out with your friends, treating them rudely is also a deal breaker.
Your date will end up wondering if that’s how you treat other people, if you’ll start to treat him or her that way as well. Under the heading of being impolite is not having a tolerance toward people who have different religions, are from different cultures, are a different race or have different sexual preferences.
Being small minded or making bigoted or racist comments is a deal breaker. It’s rude and offensive. It’s also not polite to expect your date to like all the same things that you like.
Just because you like a certain style of music doesn’t mean she will. And to expect someone to give in to your tastes is a deal breaker. Instead of looking for someone that is exactly like you when it comes to preferences, learn how to explore the differences.
It can be a deal breaker to be sarcastic or to make fun of something that your date finds interesting. It makes you look mean and bullying to make fun of someone just because they’re into things that you’re not.
Not Taking Care of Your Appearance
Surprising, men and women aren’t looking for someone who doesn’t have any flaws. But both sexes do look for someone who takes pride in his or her appearance. This can range from clothing choice to hygiene habits.
When you show up for a date, even if it’s a casual date, you should always look your best. Those worn sweatpants might make you feel comfortable, but to your date, they say that you couldn’t be bothered to put forth much effort.
Save the around the house clothes for around the house. Don’t wear a pair of shoes that could be worn when cleaning out the garage or mowing. Don’t wear shoes that don’t fit the occasion. An example of this is wearing high heels for a beach walk.
The shoes are out of place and will only tell your date that you’re trying too hard to impress. Be careful going too bold. That bright Hawaiian shirt might look great on a vacation, but on a date, it’s better to choose clothes and shoes that blend in and save the wilder choices for a later date.
A deal breaker in both men and women is showing up for a date without having spent some time on personal hygiene. If you can’t be bothered to brush and floss your teeth, it’s better that you stay home.
Poor hygiene habits can also be a deal breaker. These include things like wiping your mouth on the sleeve of your shirt after eating. Or coughing up phlegm and then spitting it onto the ground.
Take care of your smile. It’s one of the first impressions that you’ll make on someone else when it comes to dating. A big deal breaker for men and women is pretending to be something you’re not online or through text messages, then showing up in person and you look and act totally differently.
An example of this is a girl who pretends to be into things guys like just to impress the guy. Or a guy who says he has washboard abs, when it’s really more like a beer belly. What both sexes really appreciate is a person who’s honest with them right from the start.
Don’t lie about your body type, your looks or your hobbies just to get someone interested in you. When the truth comes out, it will only backfire. You want to date someone who likes the real you, not some fictional person who doesn’t exist.
Certain habits can also make your appearance less than desirable on a date. Someone who smells like cigarette smoke can be a deal breaker to some people. People who drink more than their limit on a date are a turnoff, too.
Unresolved Personal Issues
Every person in the world is going to have some emotional wounds given to them by life experiences. Most people go on to get through this issues by working them out or seeking the advice of a counselor.
Having experienced personal problems is nothing to be ashamed of and is normal. However, dragging these issues around with you, especially on dates is when it becomes a problem.
Personal issues that are deal breakers involve things like not being able to let go and move on from anything that hurt you emotionally and springing that upset on your date. Your date doesn’t want to hear about the times your former friend stole money from you or skipped out without paying rent.
He doesn’t want to hear about daddy issues. She doesn’t want to hear about your issues with your mom or your dad. Or your siblings. Or your neighbors. If those things are still eating away at you, it’s a sign that you need to deal with them rather than date and talk about them.
Your date doesn’t want to hear about a list of problems that were someone else’s fault. It makes you sound whiny and immature. If you have a personal issue that’s driven you to try to deal with it through the development of an addiction, that’s a definite deal breaker.
Having an addiction with drugs isn’t something that’s fair to expect another person to have to deal with, especially someone that you don’t even know that well. It puts too much on them emotionally.
If you have an addiction with drugs or with alcohol, take care of it and get well before you seek a relationship. An addiction can introduce a level of upheaval into a relationship that can add a lot of drama.
When there’s an addiction, the person that you’re dating never gets to know who you really are because the addition can mask that. People with an alcohol or drug addiction can often have varying mood swings and that’s not a good way to begin a relationship.
Not Being Dependable
A deal breaker among men and women is dating people who don’t know how to keep their word. These people are often flighty. They’ll say one thing and mean another. Sometimes, they can be prone to mind games.
Men and women are looking for someone who has a solid character. They know that if you’re not dependable, as the relationship develops, when they need someone, you won’t be the one they’ll be able to call.
It’s a deal breaker because a person who isn’t dependable has all kinds of excuses for his or her behavior. Why they didn’t show up when they said they would. Why they blew you off, why they couldn’t pay for a meal they promised to pay for.
These people are often not financially stable and they’re looking for someone they can lean on. Being someone who can’t take care of himself is a deal breaker. Both men and women want someone who is independent and knows how to keep his word.
A man or woman who has a life that’s out of control isn’t someone that anything can be built with because that person can’t be trusted. Without trust, there can’t be a healthy relationship.
Someone who’s too clingy isn’t someone who can be depended on. This is because the other person in the dating relationship will constantly have to reassure the clingy one, constantly have to feed their need for reassurance and company.
Signs of being clingy include always wanting to know who you’re with and what you’re doing. The person could be afraid that you’re leaving them behind. A dating relationship needs to be a two way street.
Each person should have a circle of friends as well as friends they enjoy seeing as a dating couple. It’s important for each person to have outside interests in a dating relationship and this includes different friends.
When you have separate interests, it can help a dating relationship stay fresh and seem more interesting. Don’t allow yourself (or the other person) to lose their identity and friendships just because you want to spend more time together.
Being Too Familiar Too Fast
When you date someone, there are certain physical boundaries that shouldn’t be crossed unless it’s clear that the other person is open to the contact. On a first date, you should have and expect personal boundaries.
Treating someone like they’re an old friend that you can hang all over is going to make the other person uncomfortable. While this is usually a dating deal breaker that’s more common in the way that men behave, women are also guilty of this one.
Part of the problem is because dating has become more like a checklist. People are trying to see if the other person fits the bill physically. This means that he or she is trying to figure out if they’re compatible – if they’re a good fit.
Though it’s important to date someone that you’re physically attracted to, dating isn’t a supermarket where you can go in and start rubbing and touching to see if you like what you see.
Because men are usually bigger, taller and have more physical strength, being too hands on can make a woman feel uncomfortable, intimidated and sometimes can cross the boundaries into sexual harassment.
Never assume it’s okay to touch someone else. Instead, make sure that you have a clear okay before you do. It’s not just the physical where a date can get too familiar. Being too familiar too fast can be a deal breaker when it comes to emotions, too.
When a person starts pushing for emotional depth that hasn’t developed yet, this can turn people off. An example of this is when a couple just start dating and by the end of the first week, one party is ready to move in together, to be exclusive, or already talking about being in love.
This is usually a sign of a deeper emotional problem that should raise red flags. Though it’s not easy to date in today’s world, there are plenty of good men and women looking for that special someone. Figure out what your deal breakers are and try to find someone who suits your personal preferences!
In case you’re wondering what it feels like to be love-bombed by a toxic narcissist, I’ve complied the answers of 28 anonymous members of a private support group for narcissistic abuse survivors. Please notice the patterns and take appropriate care to keep yourself safe in your current or future relationships.
My ex (a narcissist) said things that were really negative about his ex and I totally fell for the tactic. It totally blew me away when he completely flipped into a different person once I got to know him.
After he got fired from his job and because I had his fancy car he left at my place (even though I had a car and my mother’s car) and I had to leave truck driving school to go get him in OKC. When I got there, he unloaded his truck, clothes etc. And when we got back to my house he unloaded his belongings into my closet and just ‘moved in’. Then the ‘shaping me’ started happening and he just took over the household. My mother and daughter were still living with me. Because I was so stressed out from working/ going to school and taking care of mom; at the time his taking over was welcomed by me. But of course as I look back, I see now what he was doing.
He kept the most recent ex in the forefront. His words: she was psycho, bi-polar, lier, cheater, abandoned him, and thought she might kill herself. He wouldn’t completely block her because he didn’t want to be responsible if she did hurt herself. He brought her up all the time and upset and hurt me terribly. I just realized yesterday that he was using triangulation. All those traits he described were his own. He also told the same stories over and over about the exes. They were all just horrible women according to him. I now think he was in contact with the most recent ex the whole time. I have no evidence and never caught him cheating but he was always quick to accuse me of cheating and lying, which as we know usually indicates that they are doing it themselves. I was suspicious and came so close to spying on him on his FB account and phone but couldn’t bring myself to do so. I think I feared what I would find.
Blaming all his problems on others, saying they’re mentally ill, childish, incompetent, negative. phony. Arrogant attitude, condescending toward others who are different than him, or anyone who doesn’t agree politically or any other way. Feels entitled to special treatment in most situations.
During the love bombing stage he exhibited extreme jealousy. We lived 100 miles apart. I had met a couple girlfriends for a drink. Now by this time I had bonded to him. There was constant texting and fb chatting. He knew I was meeting them…he was texting me the whole time I was with them and called…phone in my purse trying to visit, he called and I didn’t hear my phone. When I checked my phone and called him, I was interrogated as to where I was, what I was doing. What am I doing at a pub on a Friday night…why was I still there…must be more to it than meeting the girls…he was going to jump in his car and come there. I ended up crying and feeling guilty for doing nothing wrong. My girlfriends were not happy with him making me cry, etc. But I defended him because I thought his behavior was a result of how badly he had been treated by his exes. OMG…really!
We were talking about romantic relationships and he said “I don’t think I’ve ever really loved anyone before…….I don’t think I ever really invested in anyone else”. Yet he had been in two long-term relationships, one was an engagement. I thought he was just emotionally very immature at the time.
He said in what I thought was a joking way “I’m very good at taking things…..at receiving things” (meals, cleaning up after him, stuff he didn’t want to be bothered with as a single adult). We both laughed out loud – I thought he was laughing because we both realized the absurdity of that way of being and how no one could really be like that. In hindsight, a billboard couldn’t have been a bigger sign.
He came back from a rare family visit that included his sister. He was outraged at how she behaved, constantly talking about herself, refusing to help prepare food or clean up anything, behaving as if everyone were there to act as her audience and make sure her wine glass or coffee cup was never empty. Went on and on forever about how he’d try to bring up a topic and she would in seconds steer the conversation back to herself. Not sure why I think I should have seen this as an early red flag – guess it was more of a moment before I was convinced he’s a narc when I thought maybe he was getting some clarity about his own behavior since he described to a T a female version of himself and how much he couldn’t stand it.
He got kicked out of a program for school and said it was because the woman who ran it was sexist. Got fired from two jobs because someone didn’t like him. Asked me for clean urine for job drug screening. I gave it to him more than once. I feel so stupid reading that. Cannot believe how far I went to please my abuser.
I’d only had 2 very casual afternoon dates with him. I was out with a bunch of friends, and was dancing with a guy. He walked into the bar, and wigged out, then got in his truck and peeled out of the parking lot. The guy I was dancing with wanted to know if that was my boyfriend, and I told him no, I was just barely getting to know him. He told me to watch out for that guy, his reaction was overblown. How I wish I had listened to him!
In the beginning our dates would start with breakfast go on through lunch and we would end up spending so much time together we would then have dinner together. I thought it was because he liked being with me so much. Turned out he was a chronic over eater as well as a Narc. He always looked for an excuse for his behavior.
I had no experience with this type of person, so I didn’t know what love bombing was. He wanted to get super close, super fast. He said “I think I love you” very early on. And the kicker………..I couldn’t understand why a single guy with a truck would trade it in for a family sized van. This happened 3 months after I met him. I was divorced with 2 little kids at the time. I didn’t even allow him to meet my children for about a year…………but he told me later the van was purchased with my kids in mind. After 3 months???
He said God sent him to me. That he prayed specific for a woman like me and one that’s been hurt and he could love them so Much as he has so much love to give, and truly their kids as his own. My kids dad is alcoholic and was hurtful to them growing up, and he said God sent him to bring healing to my kids and be the dad they never had. He then worked on them. Also writing me poems all the time.
My N told me that all his exes are not as classy as me. He swore that he wasn’t dating his ex when we met. But I later found out that was a lie. He cheated on her with me and dumped her like a hot potato. I should have seen this as a major red flag. But he said he fell in love with me and his relationship with her didn’t matter to him anymore because she had no ambition in life. Of course he was looking at my family and the money I would inherit.
Well, I met him when I was 18 and he was 20….not a fully hatched N yet. The first sign of something wrong was the lying….more exaggerating and embellishing stories. After noticing a few I called him on it. He actually was kind of shocked and seemed mostly unaware that he was doing it or more likely that it was noticeable. I told him that one of our friends said to me that he had embellished a story…that people were noticing and gave him a few examples. We talked and he actually seemed like he wanted to change and actually did change for quite a while. It was years before I saw a ramp up of lying creeping in.
Mine was still seeing a shrink to get over his ex. I didn’t know this until my stepfather saw him there. He said he was closing the book on his last relationship. To butter me up he said, “I told the shrink I had met you and I loved you. Then the shrink asked me what I loved about you. I said everything”. Today I know that it truly meant:” I don’t love her in any shape or form. I am triangulating her with my ex.”
He told me he was divorced. Eight weeks later he slipped while talking to his mother in front of me complaining that she hadn’t signed the papers yet. So, yes they were separated but he knew I would never date a married man. I made that clear to him. He lied right from day one. And I had known him for almost 30 years. He lied so that I would compromise my moral standards. I should have bolted that very day. I was fuming but bought his next lie “I love you so much I just couldn’t tell you, I didn’t want to lose you”. Oh man, that would have saved 7 1/2 years of more crap.
Yeah…I actually called his wife to make sure it was really over and that she was ok with me dating him. She was. She tried to warn me but I believed his lies. She and I are friends now! So sad. So very sad.
He told me stories of how he did so many important things for people. he was never appreciated. I saw sighs even tried to break it off .He didn’t have friends no relationship with his grown sons. he cried told me not to do it. I knew he was broken. yet I loved him. I saw the pain, felt it.
One of his grown sons told me how he tried to kill himself because of his father’s bullying and that I should leave him asap as he would destroy me. I had massive red flags from the very beginning but was very vulnerable having just left a very abusive relationship and him being the only friend who supported me.
we actually argued often in text before we even met. I just had to win him over bring him into the light. I was taken into the dark. I always knew. He would gas light me all the time, i would tell him he was trying to justifying his bad behavior, I was right I just didn’t know the terminology. who knew there could be people so broken. I was broken heart broken from the loss of my husband to this horrific disease. I also kind of enjoyed that he was so opinionated as my husband didn’t speak with his disease. I needed a friend a safe place to lay my head, I laid with the devil. Deep breath. I will still take from this. He took me to a different place from where I was in the loss of my husband. I was devastated. See I’m a widow with a breathing body the shell of the most wonderful man I have ever known.
There was no one in his life he loved as much as he loved me, not even his children. …to name a few. Oh yes, he loved me by the end of the first week, and was making plans for our future by week three. He asked me to move in with him by the second month and by the end of the third month the devaluation phase began.
He had us both put GPS tracking on our phones so we could see where we were. He insinuated himself into every area of my life in a short time and said I love you within a couple weeks. He acted like everything about me was the greatest thing. He said and did all the right things.
Usually a comment will be made on which there is both a positive and negative slant from his perspective: “you’re such a good mum (positive) and then “I’m never going to come before your children am I? (the negative for him…the warning sign for me).
Looked at me like a dog in heat. Very strange. Second date, big display of ego and grandiosity coupled with rude hospitality once the friends crashed out date. He left me sitting and worked the uninvited crowd of drunk males. At this point I wanted to escape… His charm and ability to brainwash me existed from the beginning.. I normally would have stood up, said in outa here and left. Something immobilized me, he felt familiar..
I lived in a garden apartment complex in high school, when I met him and learned he lived about 3 blocks away. During the love bombing phase, we would walk around the neighborhood at night for hours, talking. He walked, mostly, and I was the sympathetic ear. He shared how dysfunctional and cold his home environment had been. (One thing he had witnessed less than 10 years old, was his dad raping his mom). One night, it was super cold, and our relationship was still new. We went into the little hallway that goes between the buildings, which either leads down to a laundry facility or out to the back, where the garages were. We both crouched down against the wall and the floor….he at one wall, me at the opposite one. Now, mind you, everyone at our school always gave him a wide birth in the halls…he was angry, so he was somewhat feared. And as I said before, I loved this, because he chose ME! Being an unpopular girl, this inflated my ego. So, there we were in the little hallway, and I had a black wool calf-length coat wrapped around me. He stopped sharing about his troubled past, and said through a puff of his cigarette, “If you don’t quit standing there looking so hot, I’m gonna rape you.” I said, “Go ahead.” Sick or what? He did not follow through, mind you.
Early in our relationship, one one sunny day, I was supposed to call him at a certain time. I was late calling him, because I went to the supermarket briefly with my mom. Yes, this was my bad, but it was a small and fixable infraction. However, I’m sure it triggered his abandonment issues from his past. So, I got home. He called me, acted all dramatic and foreboding, said, “I’m sending Fred [his stepfather] to come pick you up; we have to talk.” I was full of trepidation, didn’t know what to expect. Got to his house, went to his room [his two younger sisters were present] and he sat across from me. His jaw was clenched and his nostrils literally FLARING with anger. Looked at me with total fury, like a father would look at his child if he just caught her shoplifting $1,000 worth of merchandise. He said he was breaking up with me. I was devastated, wasn’t “done” with this relationship. I tried to look formidable, stand my own ground, but I couldn’t help but notice that with his nostrils flared, he looked like an angry bull. And it was hot. And I told him EXACTLY that, word-for-word. And this disarmed him, and he chose not to break up with me. Yes, quite sick.
Something I always found uncomfortable, was that I was so into him, I mean…..I fell for him hook, line and sinker. He treated me like a trophy on a shelf. He wanted me to move in his social circles, but he was always across the room, lost in the crowd, smoking, laughing, drinking beer, and I was always sitting there on the couch, along the wall, making small talk here and there, but mostly, waiting for him to remember I was present. He’d always come over to me about every 45 minutes or so, smile, ask if I was having fun, give me a peck on the lips, and pounce away again.
For some especially charismatic narcs, that blind self-faith becomes pretty contagious. That’s because we’re programmed to only detect lies that are blatant – and since most narcissists actually BELIEVE their own bullshit, they can be very convincing. To them, their twisted perceptions have become real – so real, that they seem to be actual truth.