New Quora Space for Narcissism and Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Information, Support and Answers

New Quora Space for Narcissism and Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Information, Support and Answers

The QueenBeeing Team is pleased to announce the launch of a brand new way to get support for understanding the narcissist in your life and facilitating your own recovery from narcissistic abuse.

Introducing Decoding Narcissism

A New Quora Space for Narcissism and Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Information, Support, and Answers

This new space offers a new platform for survivors of narcissistic abuse to connect and to get answers to their questions related to their toxic relationships, the psychology related to their own struggles along with the psychology and makeup of the toxic people in their lives. It is a place where we collect, curate, and create a comprehensive collection of the best questions and answers on narcissism, narcissistic abuse, narcissistic abuse recovery, and all of the related topics. Additionally, the Decoding Narcissism Quora Space offers support from our narcissistic abuse recovery experts, coaches, and support team, along with fellow survivors of narcissistic abuse.

What is Quora?

In case you aren’t familiar with it, Quora is a popular interactive Q&A site that also offers a really solid app for your favorite device. Here is a bit more information from Quora’s about page:

Quora’s mission is to share and grow the world’s knowledge. A vast amount of the knowledge that would be valuable to many people is currently only available to a few — either locked in people’s heads, or only accessible to select groups. We want to connect the people who have knowledge to the people who need it, to bring together people with different perspectives so they can understand each other better, and to empower everyone to share their knowledge for the benefit of the rest of the world.

How It Works

Our Quora Space offers a simple and easy place to ask and answer questions related to narcissism, narcissistic abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, psychology, codependency, and other related topics. To join, just join and/or sign in to Quora and go directly to our Quora Space, Decoding Narcissism. 

Is the Decoding Narcissism Space a Support Group?

While there is a support element since you can ask questions and get answers, our Quora Space cannot be considered a support group as it is not private and is focused more on knowledge and information than emotional support.

Please note: This is space is public and questions cannot be made private. We suggest that you use a pseudonym if you want to hide your identity on this site. Unlike our other support groups, you are not required to apply for membership and your questions and answers can be seen by anyone. Still, you are also welcome to just join and follow the space so you can keep up with the latest in decoding narcissism. 

Prefer a private online narcissistic abuse recovery support group?

Check out the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support System, which includes our SPANily narcissistic abuse recovery support groups and Angie Atkinson’s YouTube community, along with our off-Facebook support site, MySPANily.com, and now, our newly launched Quora Space Decoding Narcissism.

What can you expect when you join Decoding Narcissism on Quora?

Quora offers a clean, simple interface that can not only be easily used on your computer but your favorite device as well. It is super-easy to search and find what you want to know, and if for some reason your specific question isn’t already on Quora, you can just add it and get the answers you need. PLUS: if you feel so inclined, you can answer questions asked by others.

Visit our Decoding Narcissism Quora Space and try it out here.

Narcissists and the Karpman Drama Triangle

Narcissists and the Karpman Drama Triangle


See Video on Narcissists and the Karpman Drama Triangle – AKA The Narcissistic Drama Triangle

A male narcissist I used to know once admitted something to me that left me a little shocked: he said that whenever he felt like he was being shown up in a conversation, he would quickly change the subject. He would start talking about something he knew he could use against them – something that could hurt that person. It was his way to sort of take back the attention or “win” the conversation. I found this admission shockingly insightful and sadly stereotypical of narcissists in general.

Karpman Drama Triangle and Narcissistic Manipulation

Let’s talk about the Karpman drama triangle, what it is, how narcissists use it against you, and what you can do to cope.

We all know that narcissists love to create trouble and drama in the lives of the people around them. They enjoy watching you squirm in the wake of their emotional destruction because it makes them feel like they’re able to control and manipulate you. They twist things to their own advantage, and this is true whether we are talking about someone you work with or someone with whom you’re in a romantic relationship. It’s even true for your parents if they’re narcissistic.

Narcissists are odd in that they crave your attention, even though as far as you can tell, they don’t seem to like you very much. While the level of attention they require might vary from person to person, and depending on what type of narcissist they are, in most cases, they are happy when they have the spotlight. Ths is true whether they’re getting attention for positive or negative reasons, unfortunately.

At times, the narcissist will intentionally create drama in order to get you to react to them. Your reaction offers them narcissistic supply. Of course, there are times that they’ll be kind to you one minute and cruel the next. They suddenly become someone you don’t recognize – that whole Jekyll & Hyde thing.

What is the Drama Triangle?

The drama triangle is a concept first documented by Dr. Stephen Karpman back in the 1960s. At its most basic level, the drama triangle outlines three different roles, including the victim, the persecutor, and the rescuer.

Here’s another area where narcissists are especially interesting – at any given moment, they can and will play any of these three roles interchangeably as it serves them to do so. That means that you’ll never know exactly which role they’re going to play in any given moment. It means you don’t know what to expect from them. And, since you’re so used to walking on eggshells, you might not even really know how to respond at all.

All three roles will exhaust you, but the narcissist will find them strangely exhilarating. The entire dynamic of this kind of drama is incredibly toxic. Whether you’re healthy, you’re codependent or you’re a narcissist, it can be difficult to get out of the cycle once you’re in it. Certainly, you will feel the need to escape, but you won’t always feel like you can do that – and this is especially true when there is a narcissist involved.

Most narcissists have a tendency to hold onto drama and negativity like a dog with a bone. This is demonstrated in the Karpman drama triangle.

Karpman Drama Triangle: Definition of Roles

The Victim

The victim will see the situation at hand as though everything is happening to them. They will feel helpless and like they have no power. They think they have no ability to change their own circumstances. They need someone to rescue them. They desperately want validation of the fact that their problem is unsolvable, and they are not looking for actual solutions. They just want you to feel sorry for them.

The Rescuer

The Rescuer seems like they really do want to help the victim feel better, do better, and solve the problem at hand. But what you’re really dealing with here is someone who is acting as if they want to help, but who is really more concerned about everyone being aware of the fact that they are rescuing the victim. The narcissist plays this role because it gives them plenty of attention and narcissistic supply. Unfortunately, they’re not always actually helping – rather, they’re putting on the mask of a helper in order to get attention.

So within Karpman’s drama triangle, the rescuer position is always held by someone who is letting people know they’re trying to help, but they’re really there for that attention. By being the rescuer, the narcissist also holds a certain amount of power over you. Anytime they do (or promise to) solve a problem for you, it will be done with strings attached. This way, the narcissist gets even more benefit from the situation.

The role of the rescuer seems to focus on the anxiety of the victim. It is problem-focused, rather than solution-focused. It is specifically geared at keeping you powerless and preventing you from getting your needs met. It keeps you from actually getting the solution to your problem, so while you might initially feel relief when the offer of help comes through, it’ll be short-lived.

The Persecutor

The Persecutor could be a person or even a situation that is actually causing the problem to the victim in the triangle.

How to Deal with the Karpman Drama Triangle When a Narcissist is Involved

Your primary goal is to get out of the triangle, so that begins with awareness – being aware that it’s happening and that you’ve become involved. Then, you have to recognize your own role in the triangle, which in most cases, you chose or were assigned without realizing it.

Often, as codependents and narcissistic abuse survivors we all into one of these roles unintentionally. Most likely, we do this because we have experienced this ongoing cycle throughout our lives, often beginning in childhood. It’s like an old habit, almost.

The drama triangle will leave you feeling confused and lost.

Once you’ve gone through the idealization or love-bombing phase of a relationship with a toxic narcissist and you’re in the devalue phase,  you’ll find yourself spinning into one of these situations.  You’ll have no idea what you did to deserve this or what you’ve done wrong, so you’re always trying to get back to what you thought the relationship was in the beginning. When you can’t, you blame yourself – because as far as you know, you might be the problem. You don’t know that you’re dealing with a narcissist (until you do), so you just think you’ve done something to upset or anger them.

Karpman Drama Triangle and Narcissist Manipulation Tactics

The narcissist uses certain tactics around the drama triangle, such as guilt-tripping and even pretending they’re going to save you, but then persecuting you for actually asking for help. They might also act like they’re your victim and that somehow you’ve negatively affected them by needing help.

All of this is then combined with the intermittent reinforcement that keeps us hooked on the narcissist – alternating verbal abuse and praise, comfort alternating with tearing down and devaluing you. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself making excuses for the narcissist’s behavior.

More details on the Karpman Drama Triangle are included in this video. 

 

 

What is a covert narcissist?

What is a covert narcissist?


Prefer to watch or listen? See video here to learn more about identifying a covert narcissist

When I was younger, I had a thing for a certain type of guy. I was seriously into these “dark and disturbed” types. The rebel without a cause. The guy who wrote poetry, who was probably a starving artist of some kind, and who hated the whole world and like 99 percent of the people in it. He would always have some cause he was super passionate about, and often called people “zombies” or “sheep.” He wasn’t super friendly and being the codependent I was, I would take pleasure in finding this kind of guy in dark corners of parties or other gatherings, and sort making it my mission to get inside his head and make him like me. We would end up having these deep, intellectual, and philosophical conversations that left me feeling like I’d had some sort of religious experience. I’d always be all googly-eyed, thinking that he “saw me” and that we were connecting on some deep level. The only thing was that after an initial couple of meetings, I’d always be left feeling like I’d been duped, but I couldn’t quite figure out why.

Can you relate? Let me ask you: Have you ever met someone who seemed to be sort of an introvert – they might have been a little shy, and might have even talked about how they were a highly sensitive person or even an empath, but the more you got to know them, they also seemed to kind of show a weird sense of selfishness and low-key egocentricity?

If so, you might have been dealing with a covert narcissist. This is what we call someone who is sort of an “incognito” narcissist. They might act like an introvert as far as most people can tell. People who don’t live with them might even assume they ARE an introvert – just a little shy, maybe a bit too sensitive.

Think you’re dealing with a covert narcissist? Take the covert narcissist test and find out.

How do you Identify a Covert Narcissist?

So, how can you tell someone is a covert narcissist? What are the signs and how are they different from introverts and “regular,” more overt narcissists?

Well, that’s exactly what we’re talking about – how to identify covert narcissism. And, we’ll cover the traits you will see in a covert narcissist.

Covert narcissists are also often referred to as vulnerable narcissists, closet narcissists, and introverted narcissists. This is likely due to the fact that they don’t appear to have much self-confidence, as opposed to their overt counterparts. They are the eternal damsel in distress or the martyrs of some oh-so-noble cause.

What is a Covert Narcissist?

In a nutshell, a covert narcissist is someone who has narcissistic personality disorder (or might, if they’d ever go see a psychologist for a diagnosis), but who doesn’t seem to have the obvious grandiosity factor. They don’t always seem to act as self-important as the more overt narcissist. They don’t appear to feel like they’re better than everyone – at least not before you know them well.

They appear to be vulnerable and oversensitive, which will often manifest in their behavior as hostility and defensiveness. They will be the one who is quietly looking down their nose at you, judging you and everyone else around them harshly and often unfairly.

Covert Narcissist vs. Overt Narcissist: The Similarities

They do have a few things in common with overt narcissists, including:

  • A huge sense of (often unearned) entitlement
  • Grandiose fantasies about their life
  • Willingness to exploit others to get what they want
  • Seeking power and control
  • And of course, the trademark lack of empathy.

But how does a covert narcissist differ from an overt narcissist?

Covert Narcissist vs. Overt Narcissist: The Differences

Unlike the overt narcissist, the covert narcissist will not necessarily display narcissistic behavior that is immediately recognizable. You might even think they’re an empath because they seem so modest, so sensitive and so very unsure of themselves.

While they will have the standard grandiose fantasies for their life – all of which are sure to be unrealistic and self-centered, not to mention ridiculously over-inflated, they will believe that their dreams are unrealistic and unattainable. They will blame the world for somehow holding them back, but secretly believe they are a fraud. You see a lot of “imposter syndrome” in people like this.

Ironically, the covert narcissist will even feel guilty for wanting what they want, and somehow this inner conflict leads them to suppress most of their true feelings.

This leads to the inevitable for a covert narcissist: their inner conflict translates into outer behavior, such as:

Covert Narcissists Play the “Poor Me” Game

Your average covert narcissist spends a lot of time feeling sorry for themselves. They practically invented narcissistic injury. But why do they do this? Why does the “vulnerable narcissist” play the “poor me” game so well?

It all comes down to one thing: covert narcissists hate themselves. In fact, they seem to believe that it is possible to hate yourself BETTER.

Though they continue to demonstrate the behavior they loathe, the covert narcissist is powerless to control their thoughts – and their deep inner conscience is NOT okay with the person they are (or have become).

Unlike their more overt counterparts, covert narcissists actually judge themselves more harshly than anyone judges them. And on a deep level, more harshly than they judge other people (at least those outside of his immediate inner circle).

Either way, while they seem to be outwardly unconcerned with the world, they certainly have quietly high standards for their lives. But these may be outside of “normal” high standards. For example, the covert narcissist might be broke, but he might claim that this is because he doesn’t believe in capitalism, and then he will feel superior to anyone who he considers a sort of “servant to their jobs” or who wants and obtains things of monetary value.

So, they will quietly stick to this unreasonable standard to the best of their abilities, happy to secretly look down their nose at the people they deem “lesser” or otherwise inferior to themselves.

For example, let’s say the covert narcissist is a passionate but broke musician who plays exclusively in basements and backrooms, and who does so because they claim they want to stay true to their art and they don’t want to “sell out.” And one evening after a gig, a record executive comes up to them and asks if they have a demo because they think they might be able to get a recording contract. The covert narcissist at that moment is likely to jump at this opportunity – because who doesn’t want a chance to be rich and famous?

But then, once they take the time to put together a demo and send it to the record exec, the guy either never respond or realizes he was more intoxicated than he thought that night and tells the narcissist that the deal is off. This sends the narcissist into a spiral of self-loathing.

And, of course, anytime the covert narcissist fails to meet these so-called “standards” and behaves in any way that their inner critic deems bad or not desirable (by, in this case, agreeing to “sell out” and sending the demo, rather than snubbing the commercial industry that they’ve always claimed to hate), they’re back to square one: hating both themselves and the “zombies” or “sheep” who caused them to fall off-track.

Now, they hate the industry, and especially the music executives who they say always want to commercialize everything. They even justify their rejection by saying that the exec in question just didn’t get their music because it is somehow above their level of understanding.

Later, they might even make up stories about how they were offered a record deal and turned it down because they wanted to avoid becoming a sellout. 

Why the Covert Narcissist Lives with Self-Hate: Distorted Self-Awareness

It all boils down to one thing: a covert narcissist understands on some level that their self-inflating ideas are not quite realistic – at least on some level.

So, though they continue to have narcissistic thoughts and even occasional external behaviors, they are always holding himself to a very high standard. They spend their lives competing with the one person they’ll never be able to beat: themselves – or some version of that.

At the same time, they are incapable of openly accepting blame or responsibility for anything that isn’t positive, and in fact they relate any such admission to weakness and “badness” of other people – which, most likely, is because of the angry kind of envy that psychologists say is involved in the creation of any narcissistic behavior.

The Covert Narcissist is a Perpetual Victim

The covert narcissist is often mistaken for an introvert or a shy person because to the untrained eye, they appear to be a pushover who is generally unassertive. They see themselves (and others see them) as victims or as people who aren’t able to obtain what they should have or deserve. People who don’t really know them may say things like, “oh, they’re just a big teddy bear” or “oh, their bark is worse than their bite!”

They will also:

  • Have outrageously adolescent daydreams about being a big famous something-or-other
  • Have feelings of being worthless, countered by feelings of being different, separate or “better” than other people
  • Have a somewhat questionable grip on reality, leading to personal guilt and self-hate.
  • Claim to be “a little OCD”
  • Call themselves a perfectionist

What do you think?  Any of that sound familiar to you?

Are you concerned that you might be a covert narcissist?

If you’re worried you might be a covert narcissist, but you thought you were a highly sensitive person (HSP), please check out this video: Covert Narcissist vs Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) Being Sensitive – The Psychology. It will explain the difference.

Question of the Day: Have you ever met a covert narcissist? How could you tell? What characteristics do you think most clearly identify the covert narc? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section, below this video.

158 Signs You’re the Victim of Narcissistic Abuse

158 Signs You’re the Victim of Narcissistic Abuse

Could you be the victim of narcissistic abuse? If so, what can you do and how can you tell? Well, that’s exactly what we’re talking about today  – signs that you’re the victim of narcissistic abuse (see video on YouTube).



 

What is narcissistic abuse?

Let’s begin today by briefly defining narcissistic abuse. In a nutshell, narcissistic abuse is officially defined as the intentional construction of a false perception of someone else’s reality by an abuser for the purposes of controlling them. It involves a sort of constructed reality in which the narcissist manipulates you emotionally and psychologically over a long period of time.

It can be difficult to figure out that you’re dealing with narcissistic abuse because it can be very subtle and pervasive. It took me personally 35 years to recognize it. So how do you know if it’s happening to you? Well, I’m here to help you with that. Please grab a pen and a piece of paper, or open up a note on your phone. As you read through the signs that you’re a victim of narcissistic abuse, go ahead and make a tick mark for each one that resonates with you.

Signs You’re Dealing with Narcissistic Abuse

Find out if you are being emotionally abused by a narcissist by asking yourself the following questions.

Does someone in your life:

  1. Act like you don’t matter to them?
  2. Act like you’re faking it if you’re sick, or even say it out loud?
  3. Act really jealous and possessive sometimes?
  4. Always expect you to take care of their feelings, but never concern themselves with yours?
  5. Always heart or love photos and videos of people of the same or opposite sex (whatever they’re into) on social media?
  6. Always hide their phone from you?
  7. Always make you wonder if you’re crazy?
  8. Always push and cross your boundaries?
  9. Always seem to kick you when you’re down?
  10. Always threaten to end your relationship?
  11. Become angry or sullen if you don’t go along with their demands?
  12. Become excessively pushy or forceful about sex, or even hurt you during sex?
  13. Become overly critical of everything about you when you don’t do what they want?
  14. Behave in ways that cause you to make excuses to others for them?
  15. Belittle your accomplishments?
  16. Blatantly lie to you about yourself and expect you to go along with it?
  17. Call you lazy when you’re not feeling well and can’t keep up with your usual schedule?
  18. Cause damage and/or give away/steal your personal property?
  19. Cause you to apologize for things you shouldn’t apologize for?
  20. Cause you to become anxious about confronting them about literally anything?
  21. Cause you to lose interest in life?
  22. Cause you to not want to do things you used to enjoy?
  23. Compare you to others?
  24. Compete with you over silly things?
  25. Completely ignore you when it’s convenient for them?
  26. Consider themselves the “boss” and insist on making all the decisions in your relationship/family/life?
  27. Constantly threaten to abandon you?
  28. Disappear for hours, days or longer without explaining why?
  29. Dismiss your pain if you’re hurting (emotional or physical)?
  30. Do things they know make you uncomfortable?
  31. Drink excessively or take drugs, and then blame their awful behavior on alcohol, drugs or their own history of abuse or tragedy earlier in their life?
  32. Embarrass you in front of friends or extended family?
  33. Expect more of people than is appropriate? (For example, getting upset if the mailman forgets their birthday?)
  34. Expect you to ask for permission to do stuff, as though you’re a child?
  35. Expect you to get over it when any tragedy happens in your life?
  36. Feel entitled to spending your money?
  37. Feel entitled to your attention and UNCONDITIONAL respect, regardless of how they treat you?
  38. Feel like they have the right to control your money?
  39. Forbid you from doing things?
  40. Force you to account for your time when apart from them?
  41. Get angry at you for things you can’t control, such as someone liking your photo on social media?
  42. Get excessively angry without warning or over tiny things?
  43. Get upset if you need to spend money on things for yourself, your kids or the house when they want to spend it on themselves or their own needs?
  44. Ghost you sometimes?
  45. Give you the “silent treatment” when you don’t do what they want?
  46. Go “dark” and not answer you or return your texts when they’re away from home?
  47. Go into your social media accounts and question everything?
  48. Go through your mail, hack your email or Facebook account or go through your personal belongings?
  49. Harass you when you’re away from them because you have to be somewhere (such as work or school)?
  50. Have a lot of so-called friends on social media they seem to flirt with?
  51. Have rules that you’re required to follow, even though they never told you this and you’re an adult?
  52. Have secret dating profiles or social media profiles you’re not supposed to know about?
  53. Have the whole “Jekyll and Hyde” deal happening – where one side of them seems charming or even sweet and loving, while the other is mean, spiteful and downright hurtful?
  54. Have weird sexual issues?
  55. Humiliate you in public or in groups of people?
  56. Isolate you and prevent you from spending time with friends or family members?
  57. Leave you hanging when you’re counting on them?
  58. Lie about you to others?
  59. Look through your phone at will?
  60. Make a point of telling you how unattractive you are or of pointing out your flaws?
  61. Make everything “all about them?”
  62. Make excessive and unreasonable demands for your attention, even to the detriment of your other responsibilities?
  63. Make threats about how they will “ruin you” or otherwise cause trouble for you at work, to your family or to others?
  64. Make you afraid or unwilling to talk about yourself?
  65. Make you afraid to make a decision without getting their approval?
  66. Make you afraid to tell them your feelings, or to express your feelings at all?
  67. Make you do things that you feel are unethical or morally wrong?
  68. Make you do things you don’t want to do?
  69. Make you doubt your sanity?
  70. Make you dread spending time with them?
  71. Make you feel completely worthless?
  72. Make you feel guilty for anything and everything?
  73. Make you feel jealous by complimenting and flirting with others in front of you?
  74. Make you feel like hurting yourself sometimes?
  75. Make you feel like you need to always prioritize them above yourself?
  76. Make you feel like you need to earn their love or loyalty?
  77. Make you feel like your opinions are not worth hearing or expressing?
  78. Make you feel like your reality is twisted?
  79. Make you feel like you’re always sort of “on guard” and hypervigilant of their moods?
  80. Make you feel like you’re constantly on edge?
  81. Make you feel like you’re living in limbo?
  82. Make you feel like you’re not allowed to say no?
  83. Make you feel terrible every time you spend time together?
  84. Make you feel ugly, stupid, or otherwise unsavory?
  85. Make you feel uncomfortable about spending time with friends, other family members or anyone else?
  86. Make you feel unheard?
  87. Make you forget who you are?
  88. Make you go without things you actually need, like food and personal care items?
  89. Make you hate going on vacation?
  90. Make you regret your accomplishments instead of lifting you up when you do something good?
  91. Make you responsible for maintaining the relationship while also making it feel impossible?
  92. Make you the scapegoat for all the arguments or problems in the relationship?
  93. Make you wish you were dead?
  94. Make you wonder if you’re even a real person?
  95. Make you feel like you’re always “walking on eggshells” or living with constant stress, anxiety or generally in fear?
  96. Manipulate you with the constant threat of mood changes and impending rage?
  97. Minimize your feelings or act like your feelings aren’t important or don’t matter?
  98. Never apologize to you unless they’re trying to get something from you?
  99. Not concern themselves with your needs, ever?
  100. Pick you apart?
  101. Play games with your head? Tell lies in order to confuse you or blame you for something you didn’t do?
  102. Play the “poor me” game anytime they don’t get what they want?
  103. Pressure you to use alcohol or other drugs, even when you say no?
  104. Refuse to admit wrongdoing, or if they do, it’s only if they can blame it on someone else?
  105. Refuse to allow any privacy?
  106. Refuse to allow you to access your money or family money?
  107. Refuse to allow you to work, if you want to?
  108. Refuse to be nice to you?
  109. Refuse to get a job and require you to pay for everything while they do nothing?
  110. Refuse to make plans with you or if they do, cancel them at the last minute?
  111. Refuse to post photos of you together on social media?
  112. Require you to do things for them, such as housework, laundry or other kinds of support without reciprocation of any kind?
  113. Ruin all the holidays for you?
  114. Ruin your birthday every year?
  115. Ruin your day when they’ve had a negative experience outside of you?
  116. Ruin your plans every time?
  117. Say overly critical things about your body and appearance?
  118. Say really mean things to you and when you get upset, claim they were joking?
  119. Say they know what you’re thinking, even when they clearly do not?
  120. Say things that don’t make sense and get angry when you point this out?
  121. Say things to intentionally confuse you?
  122. Say you’re mad at them when you’ve shown no indication of this and then get mad at you for not admitting you’re mad?
  123. Seem to find reasons to rage at you even when you do everything right?
  124. Seem to have double standards – as in, they’re allowed to do what they want, but you aren’t allowed to do what you want?
  125. Start arguments with you and others in your life through gossip or other forms of manipulation?
  126. Steal or hide money from you and/or your family accounts?
  127. Take control of everything in your life?
  128. Take credit for anything you do that’s good or that’s recognized by someone else?
  129. Take out their anger about other things on you?
  130. Take your paycheck?
  131. Tear down your friends?
  132. Tell or imply to others that they are interested in them when they are in a relationship with you?
  133. Tell or imply to others that they are sexy or otherwise attractive?
  134. Tell you how to dress, directly or indirectly?
  135. Tell you no one else will love you or that you’re unlovable?
  136. Tell you that you’d be nothing without them?
  137. Tell you they know you better than you know yourself?
  138. Tell you you’re too sensitive all the time?
  139. Threaten to hurt themselves or YOU if you threaten to leave?
  140. Threaten to hurt themselves when they don’t get their way?
  141. Threaten to take your children away from you, if you have them?
  142. Threaten you with physical harm or make you feel afraid of how they will react when you speak or act in general?
  143. Triangulate you with other people in your life, pitting you against one another?
  144. Try to control every second of your day?
  145. Try to get revenge on you if you make them angry?
  146. Try to pit your kids or other family members against you or each other?
  147. Try to steal your thunder (as in steal your spotlight anytime the attention is on you)?
  148. Use religion to belittle and/or control you?
  149. Use your insecurities against you?
  150. Withhold affection in order to punish you?

Question of the Day: How many of these signs resonated for you? What would you add to this list? Share your thoughts, share your ideas and share your experiences in the comments section below this video, and let’s talk about it. 

More Resources for Survivors of Narcissistic Abuse

 

Are you being catfished? Take the quiz!

Are you being catfished? Take the quiz!

After you go through narcissistic abuse and you finally get yourself free, you might find yourself looking for love through a dating app or an online dating website.  And you wouldn’t be alone!

In fact, according to an October 2019 study, 30 percent of US adults say they’ve used a dating app. Of course, this varies by age and sexual orientation. For example, 48 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds say they’ve used a dating app, as opposed to 39 percent of those between 30 to 49 and 16 percent of those over 50.

The study also found that people who identify as part of the LGBTQ community are, on average, roughly twice as likely to have used such an app or site.

Also of note: sadly, only about 12 percent of Americans say they’ve been in a long-term, committed relationship as a result of these dating apps and sites.

Catfishing is officially defined as a deceptive activity in which someone creates a fake social media identity in order to target a victim for abuse, fraud or attention. The term was popularized by documentarian Nev Schulman in his 2010 documentary called Catfish, in which Schulman describes his own catfishing experience. Catfishing is sadly too often experienced by unsuspecting victims who are looking for love on dating sites and dating apps.

Experts say that the motivations for people who catfish include some form of revenge, loneliness, curiosity and even boredom. Others may catfish in order to financially abuse their victims. Your average catfish is not only a compulsive liar, but may also have the intention of hurting you in some way. They might also have really low self-esteem, feel alone and/or unloved and have a history of abuse. And in some cases, they might even feel like they are somehow “outside of society,” as in they’re not accepted.

Sound familiar? If not, take a look at the indicators of narcissistic personality disorder. You’ll find some similarities, for sure.

Related: How to Spot a Toxic Person on a Dating Site (See Video Here)

About one in 10 dating profiles are fake, studies say, and women are twice as likely to provide false information about themselves than men (though men aren’t underrepresented among catfish of the malicious nature). The motivations of women in many cases may be less about hurting someone and more about feeling insecure, but not always.

And of the people who have used dating sites, more than half said that someone they dealt with seemed to provide false information about themselves, while 28 percent said they have been harassed or at least made to feel uncomfortable, but someone they talked with through an online dating site or app.

So, how do you know if you’re dealing with a catfish on an online dating site or app?

Take this “are you being catfished?” quiz and find out right now.

Related: Dating After Narcissistic Abuse (See Video Here)

Coronavirus Stay-Home Order Presents Unique Challenges for Narcissistic Abuse Victims

Coronavirus Stay-Home Order Presents Unique Challenges for Narcissistic Abuse Victims

While the idea of “sheltering in place” is meant to keep us safe and help our communities flatten the curve of the coronavirus that is threatening our population right now, there is one part of the population that may be in more danger than ever – and which continues to suffer in silence despite growing awareness of its concerns.

As it turns out, not all of us are truly “safe at home.” While everyone is talking about domestic violence victims, not many people are mentioning those who are suffering from emotional and psychological abuse at the hands of a toxic partner or family member – often referred to as narcissistic abuse.

In combination with the stress and cabin fever that most of us are experiencing, narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships is making life even more unbearable for literally millions of people.

In fact, according to Narcissistic Abuse Awareness Day founder Bree Bonchay, more than 158 million people are affected by narcissistic abuse in the U.S. alone.

“We must not get to the end of this public health emergency and look back on it as a period when a ‘secondary’ predictable disaster was allowed to happen,” said End Violence Against Women Coalition Director Sarah Green in a statement.

Why is the stay at home order so dangerous for people in toxic relationships?

Most abusers need to feel like they’re in control of everything in their lives, including and maybe especially their partners and children.

And, according to what Katie Ray-Jones, chief executive of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, told the New York Times recently, the hotline has seen a spike in calls from victims of abuse who need help.

“We know that any time an abusive partner may be feeling a loss of power and control — and everybody’s feeling a loss of power and control right now — it could greatly impact how victims and survivors are being treated in their homes,” Jones said, adding that she expects to see both the intensity and frequency of abuse escalate, even if the number of victims doesn’t increase during this crisis.

The fact is that even healthy couples are going to feel the pinch when they’re spending 24/7 together with no hope for relief in the foreseeable future. But when it comes to a toxic pairing, things get even more difficult.

Living with a Narcissistic Abuser

Life with a narcissistic abuser is never easy. But the current state of our society intensifies the abuse for a number of reasons.

For example, during “normal” times, a victim of narcissistic abuse is often grateful for the times they (or their abuser) can be away from home.

Whether it’s going to work, or running the kids to their various appointments and practices, going to the gym or meeting up with friends, the toxic partner and the victim are normally separated for at least some of the time during the week.

These little breaks offer sweet relief from the ongoing emotional torture, manipulation and mind games served up by the abuser. In so many ways, they make life tolerable, even if the victim isn’t happy.

But thanks to the current shelter-in-place order most of us are dealing with, home is far from safe for victims of narcissistic abuse as more time together means more opportunities for verbal, emotional and psychological abuse.

Real Narcissistic Abuse Victims & Survivors Speak

I asked members of my online support groups how they are doing during this difficult time, and their answers were shockingly poignant. Their names have been changed to protect their identities.

“Every morning is like waking up to a really bad version of ‘Groundhog’s Day’ that I can’t escape,” says Mallory, who is still living with her abuser. “Every morning, you have to push yourself to be grateful for life itself, pray for the strength to survive this period of time and plan your escape.”

Becky, a nurse, is currently in lockdown with her abuser, though she had been making plans to leave before the shelter-in-place order had been announced. But then, she says, “we got into an argument and he punched a door. He broke his hand and now he needs surgery.”

“I’m isolated, immunocompromised, and now get to deal with how horrible he is when he is on pain meds and recovering from surgery. I’m still working out how I am going to cope with this,” she says, but adds: “I’m a nurse so I feel like I have an obligation to help another person in need, regardless of my personal relationship.”

Alica, who is still stuck in the situation with her abuser, says that this situation has helped her see that she really needs to get out of the relationship.

“I was doing a lot of avoidance and (kept thinking to myself) ‘well, maybe it’s not so bad’” Alicia says. “Now I see that I need to take some responsibility and do what’s best for me.”

Isolation is Already an Issue for Narcissistic Abuse Victims

It’s also important to remember that psychological abuse often involves isolation from outside friends and family members.

The fact is that most victims of ongoing emotional and/or psychological abuse already have to deal with being isolated by their abusers – whether directly or indirectly.

This may come in the form of directly forbidding the victim to socialize or visit with certain people. Or, in some cases, it may seem to be the choice of the victim.

This happens when the abuser makes visiting with others so uncomfortable (during visits or afterward by harassing the victim for something that happened during the visits) that the victim just gives up and self-isolates from those people.

“I’m grateful every day that I’m not with my covert narcissist husband,” says survivor Marea R. “I don’t know how I would survive (this stay home order) if I was still with him.”

Even abusers who don’t live with us can be an issue during this time, as explained by narcissistic abuse survivor Reece R., who told me, “I don’t even live with my narcissist dad, but he was harassing me literally because of the virus. He was using it as an excuse.”

Children and Toxic Parents

Children are especially at risk of emotional and psychological abuse during this time, as one survivor, Bob, who left his abusive wife six months ago, explains.

“My children complain that she carries on like the lockdown rules don’t apply to her,” Bob says. “Of course they don’t – not rules that stop her getting out and getting the adoration and attention she needs in order to breathe.”

He added that his kids are worried about what this means for their health.

“My 13 year old actually said ‘it’s like I have to parent my parent.’” Bob says. “It’s so difficult to discuss with them in an age-appropriate way how they could deal with this – so difficult to find constructive advice that isn’t ‘your mother is a raging narcissist.’”

The Health Risks Associated with Grandiosity

Many survivors report that the narcissistic abusers in their lives are completely disregarding the shelter-in-place order. For example, one support group member, Natalie, who isn’t living with her abuser, says he has not taken the quarantine seriously.

“He continues to go out in public, go shopping and do everything else he can as if life is normal,” Natalie says. “It’s like he thinks he’s too good to catch this illness; it’s very selfish…it really shows his grandiosity to think that it’s OK for him to go on doing everything that he is not supposed to do during the quarantine without regard to anybody else, even his elderly parents.”

Beware the Quarantine Hoover

Narcissists and other toxic people are known to return to abandoned partners repeatedly in a move the narcissistic abuse recovery community has deemed “the hoover maneuver.”

Named after the famous vacuum cleaner company, hoovering is what we call it when the abuser tries to “suck you back in” after the discard.

This can be drama-related, or it can be an attempt to reconcile the relationship. It may also be an attempt to get you to break no contact.

As Danielle, a recovering survivor of narcissistic abuse explains, “I let my narcissist back in and he was so kind and sweet.”

She believed he’d changed because of his love for her, she says, noting that he even wanted them to live together, buy a home and get married in a couple of years.

“I fell for it,” she says, adding that one day, he called her and after a random conversation, it was like a switch had flipped.

“Out of the blue, he told me if I was fat like I was before he met me, he would not like me,” she says. “Then I knew to run.”

Danielle reports that she did exactly that and has currently been no contact for two weeks.

“I’m not interested in ever talking to him again,” she says.

Loneliness is no reason to get back into a toxic relationship!

Another survivor, Mattie, says that the pandemic has made it harder to resist the hoovering.

“His hoovering has never been so attractive and his love bombing has never been more needed,” Mattie says. “Being trapped inside like this, away from society is killing me. Maybe things are different for introvert survivors of narcissists – but as an extrovert, I can’t stand this.”

Getting lonely is hard for an extrovert, and Mattie says that her ex offers her “a bit of reprieve from this isolation.”

Michelle, another survivor, says her ex is actively hoovering.

“I am handling it,” she says. “It is the normal in and out energy.”

Michelle says certain affirmations have been helping her get through the tough moments. Her favorites?

“What you allow will continue”
“Forgive yourself first.”
“If they show you who they are, believe them the first time.”

Are you in a toxic relationship during this difficult time? Here are some resources to help you.

 

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