Are Narcissists Insecure?

Are Narcissists Insecure?


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When I was just getting started in my business, I decided I needed to do some local networking. I’d heard it would be good for the business, so I did some digging and started looking at small business groups on meetup.com.

I felt so lucky when I quickly found a local small business meetup that was happening just a short distance from my house.

At the first meeting, we were each invited to briefly introduce ourselves and explain our business. When it was my turn, one woman looked up sharply like she’d been stung by a bee as I started to talk about my business. She caught my eye and I smiled at her. At first, she just stared, but then I saw a small smile form on her face. I felt relieved and went on.

After the introductions, we had lunch. I went over to say hello to the woman, and she seemed really friendly. She was a gorgeous, charming and seemingly very successful woman. She seemed to be someone I could really learn a lot from. She said she’d been in business for years (though in hindsight, I realize that she didn’t really explain her business when given the chance and was pretty vague about it). Still, she seemed quite successful. She talked the big talk. And as far as I could tell, she was walking the big walk. She drove an expensive car, had an expensive bag, and had those expensive shoes with the red soles. You know the ones I mean. And her jewelry! I could tell it was all real – a stark contrast to my costume knockoffs.

Well, I was on the hunt for a mentor, and she seemed like a perfect fit! She was confident, attractive and seemed quite intelligent. She asked me a lot of questions about my business and offered little snippets of advice that seemed legit. At the end of the meeting, she invited me to meet her for lunch the following week.

The day we met for lunch, she asked for more details about my business, which I happily shared. Then, much to my delight, she was telling me all about her upcoming executive board meeting. She said they were considering investing in other local small businesses, and that if I played my cards right, they might invest in mine.

Of course, I was over the moon! I practically worshipped her – I wanted to BE her! And since the lady promised to bring me up at this upcoming meeting, I started to pull together all sorts of documentation and information about my business.

The next day, I emailed the information as she had asked, and I waited for her to get back to me after her meeting. But then she went silent. I was a little sad, but figured maybe my business just wasn’t up to snuff for this executive board.

I understood – after all, I had just started my business and wasn’t super successful yet. And there was a stark contrast between my business and hers – she, at that time, was clearly well beyond me, it seemed. I counted myself lucky for the time we had spent together and moved on. I mean, she had an EXECUTIVE BOARD. All I had at the time was me.

But a couple of months later, I noticed that she’d created a brand new Facebook page. She had just launched a new business it seemed – and when I started looking into it, it turned out that her business was eerily familiar. In fact, it was like she literally copied the business plan and structure that I had outlined for her months ago.

I was shocked and angry. I was confused. I reached out to her and asked what she was doing. She told me that I was mistaken, that it had been her idea the whole time. She said that the business plan I had submitted to her was a joke, and THAT was why she’d gone silent. She subtly tore me down, implying that I was stupid to think that someone like HER could possibly take an idea from someone as small-potatoes as ME.

Of course, when I pointed out that she had literally done everything I’d put in the business plan, she got offended and screamed at me, telling me she was tired of people always accusing her of stuff like this. She called me jealous and immediately blocked me. Then, from what I heard, she started talking to our few mutual connections about how I thought I owned my niche and how she practically invented me anyway. It went on from there.

What I missed was that her apparent confidence was more like grandiosity. I missed that she had used me to get an idea for a short-lived business. I missed that this was a pattern with her. I missed that she only liked me while I was actively worshipping her, and I didn’t expect her to attack me the way she did. I missed all the red flags.

Later, I would learn that I wasn’t the only person she had done this to – apparently, several people who had been part of the group at different times had experienced the same thing. I learned that her fancy bag, car and shoes were thanks to her wealthy husband. And that she was a bored stay-at-home wife  (no kids) who had too much time on her hands. And as for her stealing all of my business? I admit I worried for a minute. After all, she had a lot more money than I did and as far as I could tell, would be far more successful than I could. But I didn’t have to worry for long because after failing to become immediately successful, she moved on to someone else’s idea. (Plus, if we’re being honest, she was trying to be someone she just wasn’t.)

Was she a narcissist? I don’t know. But she certainly behaved like one in certain ways. Let me explain what I mean.

When you think of a narcissist, you don’t think of someone who is insecure. In fact, they often seem to be exactly the opposite of insecure. After all, narcissists are known for being vain and self-centered. They often demand your attention. They want to be admired and they feel the need to monitor the amount of respect you give them. They exaggerate their achievements and they seem like they only care about themselves. And we all know they manipulate people to get what they want.

And, as I’m sure you are well-aware, narcissists are boastful and they exaggerate their self-importance. They also don’t acknowledge that anyone else has needs and wants, and feelings, thanks to their extreme lack of empathy. They seem to literally believe they are the center of the universe. Sound familiar?

And the other thing that narcissists refuse to do is to be reflective and dig within to become self-reflective. In fact, they are threatened by that idea and will avoid it at all costs. God forbid they should catch a glimpse of their true selves! It would destroy them.

Are narcissists insecure?

So you may be asking yourself whether narcissists are insecure. The short answer to that is, yes, they are very insecure – even though it often seems otherwise. (To be fair, covert narcissists often seem a little – or a lot – insecure. But most narcissists seem to carry around some level of insecurity with them.) Let’s break it down further as to how they are insecure.

The Narcissist’s Need To Boast Is What Makes Them Insecure

Someone who is secure will not have a need to brag about their accomplishments. Those who are sure of themselves are modest and really don’t like to show off. However, as you see the narcissist must make it known that they have the best car on the block, or the biggest house on the block, or the fanciest clothing and so on. While it might seem that it’s all about showing off, the sad truth is that they do this in order to validate their struggling self-worth.

Narcissists Put Others Down Intentionally

Anyone who is secure will always treat others with respect, and if they don’t like someone, they will just not associate with them in any way at all – or keep it at a polite minimum at the very least. However, as you know the narcissist is known to brag and boast in addition to putting you down. They want to make you feel inferior and that they are “better” than you. They need to make you feel inferior because it helps them to feel better about themselves. This is another indication of insecurity – after all, people with a relatively healthy self-image don’t need to stand on the pain of others in order to feel good about who they are.

Narcissists Don’t Care About The Wants And Needs Of Others

Narcissists don’t care if you are missing out on something or not getting what you need. This is due to their extreme lack of empathy. However, they care VERY MUCH about their own wants and needs. In fact, they seem to ONLY care about themselves getting what they need. If you think about it, you can probably think of a time where an adult behaved like a child when they didn’t get what they wanted – maybe more often than not, if you were dealing with a narcissist. This also shows some deep insecurity within them because they fear they will miss out on what they want and need. And this is why they do not hesitate at making sure they don’t miss out at the expense of others.

Their Need To Control Others Is A Sign Of Insecurity

It is a known fact that narcissists are controlling and that is why they utilize manipulation tactics such as gaslighting and other forms of abuse. Anyone who is secure within themselves will never resort to manipulation with the exception in rare cases where they feel they had been wronged and need to be compensated for understandable reasons. Psychologists tell us that they feel the need to control people around them as well as their environments because they often feel like they have no control over other parts of their lives. They become master manipulators as a result, and that all stems from insecurity.

Narcissists Cannot Handle Criticism

No one loves to be criticized. However, if the criticism is constructive, then you accept it gracefully even if you don’t put what is suggested to use. However, narcissists fly off the handle when they are criticized and this is due to the fact that their fragile self-esteem is threatened when that happens. That’s because narcissists tend to be triggered anytime they feel their vulnerabilities have been exposed. They will react in an angry fashion, often clapping back to the person giving them criticism with a passive-aggressive response, or even by mocking them. This humiliates the one giving the criticism and they feel rejected. The narcissist does this to take the heat off themselves and to attempt to “level the playing field,” as in, protect their fragile ego by putting the focus back on the person who dares to criticize them.

Bottom line? High self-esteem and narcissism are not the same thing. True confidence in oneself is not narcissistic. The biggest difference is that when you have actual self-esteem, you are more likely to focus on things like healthy relationships and being happy, while narcissists fail to do this because they genuinely do not care how others feel. Rather, they want to know what people can do for them. Plus, they’re always trying to validate their self-worth – and when you have actual self-esteem, you don’t need to do that all the time.

Are you dealing with a toxic narcissist?

Find out when you take this quick narcissism test, or get some help from one of our coaches. We also have narcissistic abuse recovery support groups and tons of helpful freebies to help in your narcissistic abuse recovery.

When You Feel ‘the Shift’ in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

When You Feel ‘the Shift’ in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery


Throughout the course of my recovery from a toxic relationship with a narcissist, I have found myself experiencing several shifts in mindset – moments where it felt almost like some sort of switch had been flipped – where I suddeNly understood things differently and recognized that I had been wrong all along in some way or another. Each time, I found myself evolving and growing in new ways.

For example, I have told you the story of how, after a profound betrayal by my toxic family, I almost literally felt something break inside me. That was one of those moments.

A couple of years later, I found myself in a very unexpected moment of anger one day. Through the process of my inner child work, I had managed to recognize that I wasn’t the complete waste of skin that I had been led to believe I was. You would think that would make me happy, and it did, eventually.

But when I recognized how much of my life had been wasted believing that I was worthless – and that it was directly caused by the fact that I had allowed other people’s opinions of me to become my own opinion – and on some level my own reality?

I was incredibly angry. I felt, perhaps for the first time in my life, what I call justified rage. That moment would lead to another one of those “light switch” moments where my perception was suddenly shifted and I launched into a whole new period of personal evolution.

And then there was the birth of my oldest child – which led me to have a shift in my understanding of my relationship with my father, for reasons I won’t go into today. The birth of my youngest child, and only girl, caused a different shift in me – it led me to recognize a connection with the generations of women who came before me.

And it made me start digging into my family history and genealogy – because since I couldn’t feel connected to my mother, I felt the need to feel connected to the other women who came before me in a whole new way. I could go on for hours about the little “shifts” that have led me to this particular point in my personal development and evolution, but I won’t.

Today we are here to talk about you and your own personal evolution. We are discussing The Shift vs. Profound Metamorphosis in Our Evolution after narcissistic abuse.

I found this quote a while back. It reads:

“As you are shifting you will begin to realize you are not the same person you used to be. The things you used to tolerate have now become intolerable. Where you once remained quiet you are now speaking your truth. Where you once battled and argued you are now choosing to remain silent. You are beginning to understand the value of your voice and there are some situations that no longer deserve your time energy and focus.” ~Unknown

It spoke to me on a soul level. In fact, I did realize I wasn’t the person I had been before. And I was no longer tolerating the same crap I once did. And clearly, I am now speaking my truth.

I had also stopped bothering to argue with people who would refuse to hear or understand me – I was saving my energy and my voice for things and people that actually DO deserve my time and focus. People like YOU.

Here’s the thing -THIS is why I do what I do. Because even if you’re not ready to say goodbye to the problems (or problem people) in your life, you will personally shift as you learn about what you’re dealing with and as you’re learning about yourself.

The shift thing, though – that’s real. And maybe I never even considered it a shift before. Maybe I saw it as something fancier – a metamorphosis or a profound transformation.

But it all begins with this one thing – it’s a shift. A shift in your mindset. A shift in your thought patterns. A shift in your personal awareness and a shift in the deepest part of your soul. It’s a shift in your energy. Yes, it becomes a metamorphosis. YES, it turns into a profound transformation. But without the shift – well, it never begins, does it?

As you shift, you become less and less tolerant of things that tarnish your energy and corrode your life – and over time, you raise your standards. Slowly but surely, you grow in confidence and understanding of yourself. Bit by bit, step by step.

If you’re in a toxic relationship with a narcissist at this time, you find that before long, you KNOW you have to change if you ever want to be happy and to grow. But once that shift is underway, a powerful and sometimes shocking thing happens. You SEE the problem, and you KNOW the solution. Things have never been clearer!

Now it’s time to shine because you are about to create something better. Something new. Come hell or high water, you will start taking care of yourself as your mother SHOULD have, and you will become your own fiercest advocate. And this is when, even when it seems impossible, you figure out a way to make the obvious solution become a reality.

THAT is the shift, right?

As we go through the healing process, we learn first that we have the problem, then we understand the “mechanics” of it.

Eventually, the psychology, the behaviors and at some point, it all comes together for us and we recognize the depth of it. Then, and in my opinion, ONLY then, can we really begin to evolve – to shift – and to become the truest, fullest versions of ourselves.

 

Going No Contact with Narcissist Mother

Going No Contact with Narcissist Mother

See full video.
Narcissistic abuse recovery story on going no contact with narcissist mother. I’m briefly sharing my story on how I finally went no contact with my narcissist mother (and why) as well as offering advice and tips on how to get through going no contact and how to rebuild your life afterward.
Read the full story as mentioned in the video.

Can Gaslighting Be Unintentional?

Can Gaslighting Be Unintentional?

Today, we’re going to talk about narcissists and gaslighting and whether or not it can be intentional. If you’ve ever had a friend, family member or co-worker who is a narcissist or who suffers from narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), chances are you have been the victim of gaslighting, which is a manipulation technique they often employ to get what they want.

(See video here)

In case you’re new around here, let me define gaslighting for you. Used by most narcissists, gaslighting is a pervasive and highly-effective tactic meant to manipulate you by psychological means into questioning your own sanity. Or, in layman’s terms, gaslighting is when a toxic person intentionally messes with your head to make you doubt your reality and your sanity. And, if you haven’t already guessed, gaslighters make you feel crazy because they act like your reactions to their abuse are not rational.

But is it intentional? Are narcissists and other toxic people using gaslighting on purpose? Do they think about it first, or is it just in their nature? Do people who are utilizing gaslighting tactics even know they are doing that?

Can gaslighting be unintentional?

In the examples I gave, do you think that the gaslighting was done on purpose or by nature? Were the narcissists I  talked about calculating or was this just the way their minds work? Well, let’s discuss that. It could go one of two ways.

In some cases yes, a narcissist can be well-aware of what they’re doing. Maybe they don’t call it “gaslighting,” but they have studied you and long-practiced the strategy and how it works in order to manipulate others. It is all about gaining control. The ones who intentionally manipulate and do so in a calculated, focused way tend to be more intelligent as well as higher on the cluster B spectrum. They’re more likely to qualify as sociopaths and psychopaths.

However, in other cases, there are abusers and narcissists who utilize gaslighting tactics without even realizing it as well.

In those instances, they are still wanting to gain control to manipulate others, and when that happens, gaslighting is one of those tactics they use. But that does not mean the gaslighting is intentional. It just comes with the territory. In many cases, children who were raised by narcissistic parents or one narcissistic parent would have learned those tactics along the way by watching what the parent does. It can just be their nature, or a learned behavior. It might look like a bad habit.

For example, if the parent had an addiction and they did not want the children to tell anyone about it, they would use gaslighting tactics to keep the child quiet. This would involve some form of manipulation by the parent. Another common gaslighting tactic that toxic parents use is that they do what they can to alienate the child from the other parent. Especially when the parents are separated or divorced as they will depict the other parent as the ‘deadbeat’ even if that is far from the truth.

The worst part is that oftentimes children who are abused and manipulated sadly repeat history. Some realize that they need to break the cycle so they don’t do that to their children. This can ensure that the toxic legacy doesn’t continue. But those who do pick up those tactics will be more likely to be manipulative towards others even if they are unintentionally gaslighting. They still are doing it to get what they want. And whether or not the manipulator is aware of gaslighting, they both are a pathological way of cruelly manipulating the mind to get what they want. They don’t care if you get hurt in the end.

Bottom line: it is true that gaslighting can be unintentional. But remember this: that does not make it any less problematic than those who are intentionally doing it to you.

The best way to deal with gaslighting is through the gray rock method. You can learn more about the gray rock method right here

How Narcissistic Abuse Changes You

How Narcissistic Abuse Changes You


(See video on YouTube)

If you were raised in a healthy home with loving parents, then chances are you would have been well-rounded and balanced. If your parents were neglectful, abusive or absent, you might be struggling to find yourself, at the very least. You might also be living with a form of post-traumatic stress disorder that significantly affects your everyday reality.

In either case, if you happened to end up in a relationship with someone who turned out to be a toxic narcissist, or even who had been diagnosed with  narcissistic personality disorder, then you would have had to endure their abuse. And if you were in that relationship for a long time, then you might feel like you’ve lost yourself – or like you’ve never really known your true self at all.

That is due to the fact that narcissistic abuse changes you. It changes who you become. It changes what might have been a happy, confident, secure person into someone who doubts their worth and their value every day. It takes away your ability to have a healthy, full life and causes you to hyper-focus on it as you try in vain to resolve it, repeatedly, over and over again.

What happens during a relationship with a toxic narcissist to lead to these changes?

You’re probably wondering exactly which parts of this kind of relationship will lead to this metamorphosis. I’m going to walk you through some of the most common feelings and experiences that lead to the loss of self in a toxic relationship.

You go through these ups and downs. One week, you might be feeling elated because you’ve finally figured out the exact right thing to say to this person. You rehearse it in the mirror. You go over and over it in your head. You know that THIS TIME, it’s going to work. THIS TIME, the narcissist will finally see the light and become the amazing person you know they can be – or at least, see you for the decent person you are.

When the conversation happens, you are ready and on point. You say all the right things and you think you might see a spark of understanding that will ignite a fire-storm of positive change in the relationship.

You finish up what you’ve got to say and you pause, looking expectantly at the narcissist, hoping that look on their face is one of comprehension and realization. The pause feels like a full minute before the narcissist begins to speak.

And when they do, you feel yourself utterly deflating. You hear the same old responses. The same narcissistic rage, and when you don’t respond to that, because you’ve learned the gray rock method and you understand that reacting emotionally will only further encourage them to act out? They pull out the old narcissistic injury card. You know, the “poor me” act? Yep.

And it is at this very moment when you realize, for the 547-thousandth time, that this person will not change. That there’s nothing you could possibly do or say to be enough for them, to get them to wake up and see this person standing in front of them, just asking them to love them. And you mentally resign yourself to one of two things. Either you realize that you’ve got to leave, or you realize that this is now your life.

So, how does a relationship with a toxic narcissist change you?

Well, it’s simple. Narcissistic abuse causes brain damage and brain damage of any type changes you. There are three significant parts of the brain, including the amygdala, hippocampus, and the cortex.

The amygdala is the area of the brain that is known as the ‘fear center’. Each time you become scared or anxious, that area is activated. It also keeps the memories of the abuse in it and each time anyone talks about it, that activates the amygdala. the abuse you had endured is what caused the fear center to keep activating. And the constant activation of the fear center will cause it to increase. This can lead to mood disorders and anxiety disorders.

Then there is the hippocampus which is the area of the brain that stores short-term memories (which it then converts into long-term memories). The hippocampus dictates how and when you can learn anything new. However, uncontrolled stress will shrink the hippocampus. So, as you might imagine, the constant stress you’re dealing with when you’re in a toxic relationship with a narcissist will it to shrink. This leads you to struggle more with learning new things in addition to being extra forgetful.

And finally, there is the cortex of the brain. This is the area of the brain that is located right behind the eyes. This is the area that is in charge of planning, making decisions, attention, and memory. The cortex also shrinks the same way the hippocampus does when you are under too much uncontrolled stress. This causes decision-making tp become a challenge. Your attention span gets shorter. You’re far more likely to deal with depression. You might be dealing with apathy, meaning you just don’t feel like you can do anything at all – that feeling of being just stuck. And you stop caring about yourself. You might even stop showering or brushing your teeth. Self-care becomes a thing of the past.

So, now you know why you might have previously been successful, and took good care of yourself, and wanted to contribute something to society – but after enduring narcissistic abuse, you found yourself being a shadow of what you used to be. And now you know that there is a scientific explanation of how the abuse changed you.

But the good news is that the brain can be retrained. And there are things you can do on your own at home to actually start to sort of “rewire your brain.” That is thanks to neuroplasticity.

Take a look at this video for more information about neuroplasticity and how it works. 

Want more? Gain insight into your own recovery with one of our narcissistic abuse recovery quizzes and assessments.

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