Why Are Narcissists So Abusive and Why Do They Get Away With It?

Why Are Narcissists So Abusive and Why Do They Get Away With It?

Narcissists make you feel like you’re worthless and act like they’re better than you and everyone else. They emotionally and psychologically abuse you and then pretend you’re crazy when you react like a normal human. Sound familiar? 

If so, you’re not alone – narcissists have a way of keeping you around for decades and still abusing you. 

Consider the following facts about narcissists. 

  • Narcissists can be charming, but they hide a sadistic and aggressive nature.
  • They aren’t as confident as they seem.
  • Narcissistic personality disorder manifests in grandiosity, selfishness, and lack of empathy.
  • Narcissists are manipulative, egotistical, and often cruel. 
  • They get a feeling of superiority by making others feel inferior.

Why do narcissists often get away with their abuse?

Narcissists are experts at using emotional and psychological manipulation to get you to do what they want and to gain control over you. This makes them feel more secure, and when you become their primary source of narcissistic supply, it gives them a sort of emotional dumpster. 

When you consider the typical narcissistic abuse cycle, it’s laser-focused at getting you “addicted” through trauma bonding. 

Narcissists use cognitive empathy to make you feel special –  like you are the most important person in their world. But they don’t have any emotional or compassionate empathy, so they have no problem tearing you down. 

They also know how to make you feel unimportant – like you’re worthless, insignificant, and unimportant. 

Intermittent reinforcement leads to trauma bonding

They will alternate their “good” treatment with their “bad” treatment – and this leads to you constantly striving to get the “good” treatment. It becomes your primary focus in the relationship. 

So, the narcissist has your full attention, and anytime they’re bored, or you don’t do what they want, they attack you (the devalue phase) and often discard you repeatedly.

And the moment they think you’re about to give up on trying to get their “good” treatment, they will give you a little bit of validation to keep you hooked. 

You’re elated and committed to staying longer as a result.  This is called intermittent reinforcement – and it’s exactly why and how narcissists often get away with their abuse.

Sound like your life? Here’s help. 

Here’s Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery 

 

How to be Cool, Calm and Collected When Narcissists Push Your Buttons

How to be Cool, Calm and Collected When Narcissists Push Your Buttons

“You could be a really great and fabulous person, but if your method of communication with a woman doesn’t trigger her physical attraction by “pushing the right buttons,” you will only ever be “just a friend” in her eyes.” ~Sahara Sanders

If you have ever dealt with a malignant narcissist, whether diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder or not, you already know they’re especially skilled at pushing your so-called buttons.

Worse, since narcissistic abuse involves gaslighting, the narcissist often INSTALLED said buttons – or at least solidified them and rearranged them.

So, a narcissist who is your parent likely did the so-called installation of your buttons – also known as your triggers.

And if you’re dealing with a narcissistic partner or close friend, this person became aware of the “buttons” or the triggers you had initially and then exploited them.

By doing so, they also learned the “layout” of your buttons; by now, they can push them in their sleep. 

Why Narcissists Push Your Buttons

Narcissists become very knowledgeable about who we are and what makes us tick. They also know what to do when seeking a reaction from us – and perhaps more frustrating, they get narcissistic supply from driving you crazy. 

They NEED narcissistic supply to feel alive; they are emotional vampires

For the record, emotional vampires are incredibly toxic people who drain us of our energy. Not all emotional vampires are narcissists, but they’ll all leave you feeling empty and emotionally exhausted.

They are like parasites who intentionally provoke our emotional reactions, allowing themselves to feed off our emotions, energy, and resources.

So, until you can finally go no contact and end the relationship with the malignant narcissist in your life, you’ve got to learn some new techniques to deal with it.

What to Do When the Narcissist is Pushing Your Buttons

So, how does a person with a reasonable amount of emotional intelligence deal with a narcissist?

Start with these tips on what you can do to remain cool, calm, and collected when the narcissist pushes your buttons and is waiting for a reaction.

1. Try Ross Rosenberg’s Observe, Don’t Absorb technique.

Learn how to use the technique from Rosenberg himself in this video

2, Use the gray rock method. 

Maybe you already know how to use the gray rock method, but if you don’t, watch this video for tips, techniques, and best practices.

3. Treat Them Like a Toddler.

3, Treat them the same way you’d treat a toddler who needs a nap. Yeah, I’m serious. Narcissists tend to have the emotional capacity of a toddler, so treat them in kind. This video will explain exactly what I mean and how to deal with narcissists with toddler-level emotional intelligence

 Please note: These techniques are meant to be temporary measures to get along – and most survivors can only tolerate this behavior for so long before it causes longer-term damage.

On the plus side, when you regain control of your feelings, something else happens: you’re no longer being manipulated by the narcissist. Instead, it’s as if those buttons now activate themselves—you’ve re-wired them!

If you don’t have a plan to leave the narcissist, you might want to start thinking about it. Here’s a resource to help you start planning your escape

More Resources for Dealing with and Understanding a Narcissist

These resources might also interest you if you struggle with a difficult narcissist.

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today

Narcissists Play These 5 Weird Games With You & It Makes Living With Them Hell

Narcissists Play These 5 Weird Games With You & It Makes Living With Them Hell

Have you ever found yourself Googling stuff someone has done to you and running into something that led you to suspect someone in your life is a narcissist?

Is someone close to you generally cruel, unfair, manipulative, and painfully clear to you or others in ways that don’t make sense?

Identifying Narcissistic Behaviors and Characteristics

While other unifying characteristics aren’t as obvious, the way that narcissists affect your life almost appears to be from some kind of ‘narcissist playbook.’ no different in how they will impact your life. 

A narcissist is a person who is defined by egocentricity, self-centeredness, and grandiosity.  Learn more about narcissistic traits.

The narcissist may or may not be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, a Cluster B Personality Disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention, and a lack of empathy for others.

A narcissist’s behavior can be difficult to deal with because it can be very irrational and manipulative. Sometimes it can be very subtle, especially when dealing with a covert narcissist. This, of course, confuses their victims.

5 Crazy-Making Behaviors of Narcissists

If you are in a relationship with someone who has narcissistic tendencies, some of the behaviors I describe here may seem familiar to you. Narcissists are not the easiest people to be around. Some of the signs of a narcissist are obvious.

For example, you know if someone is arrogant, demanding, has an inflated sense of self-importance, and a lack of empathy, they’re demonstrating narcissistic traits.

Has someone in your life caused you to start Googling things that led you to suspect you’re dealing with a narcissist? Are you the target of cruelty, unfairness, and manipulation by someone you suspect could be narcissistic?

Do you keep repeating the same mistakes in relationships that hurt you but don’t seem to teach you anything?
You’re not alone in feeling frustrated by a lack of change in your relationships, even though you try to fix everything and make amends.

Here are five common behaviors displayed by narcissists that might seem bizarre at first glance but illustrate some very telling red flags about the true nature of your relationship (and the person you’re dealing with).

What to Know If You’re Preparing to Leave a Narcissist

If you have been thinking about leaving a relationship with a narcissist or you’ve already left, it can help to know what is likely to come next.

  • Narcissists may try and drive their partners into denying the truth that the relationship is over, and many do whatever they can to thwart and hurt their former partners, including things like stalking, intentionally shaming you threatening your safety and actively gaslighting you.
  • They may engage in hoovering through love bombing to try to suck you back in.
  • Hoovering can be any behavior that draws you back into the narcissist’s web –  positive or negative.
  • They may also retaliate by hurting you emotionally or physically attacking you, and worse. 
  • Failing this, they’ll start a smear campaign and gather their respective flying monkeys to help facilitate the rumors they’re spinning about you. All to play the victim and get more narcissistic supply.
  • Remember that once they’ve passed the love bombing stage, narcissists tend to be limited in their ability to be emotionally responsive due to their limited capacity to feel anything other than cognitive empathy.
  • In the case of some ‘lower level’ narcissists, they don’t even mean to hurt you as much as they do. They cannot feel in ways other than how they want others to feel, so they will cling and try anything else to get what they need.
  • Malignant narcissists, on the other hand, are more likely to attempt to destroy you intentionally.
  • Either way, you must stay safe, and the best way to do that is to ensure that you don’t miss a single detail.

How to ensure you can safely leave the narcissist if you live with them

Start by thinking ahead – spend a little time watching the PLAN (Planning to Leave A Narcissist  videos. Download our free guide to a safe escape from a shared home with a narcissist and other free resources there.

  • The PLAN ensures a safe departure and leaves you no room for failure.  
  • Each video is designed to both support and validate you as you’re preparing to leave, each video covers a different aspect of what you need to consider before, during, and after you’ve left the narcissist. 
  • Plus, you’ll get a printable plan to leave, including a planning guide workbook and a planning timeline.
  • Also included are a to-do list, and checklists of must-have items and important paperwork you need to gather up and make copies of before you go, if possible.

Learn more about narcissists and their insecurity in this post.

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today

 

Are you ready to get safe support and validation from your QueenBeeing team and your fellow survivors?

Then there’s only one thing left: get the app now!

Get the app now!

 

The Insecure Narcissist: Example

The Insecure Narcissist: Example


(Watch video on YouTube)

When Insecurity Looks Like Extreme Confidence: A Narcissistic Example

When I was just starting my business, I decided I needed to do 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.

The Idealization

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 as I spoke, 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.

The Facade is Cast

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 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.

I was on the hunt for a mentor, and she seemed like a perfect fit! She was confident, attractive and seemed quite intelligent.

The Private Meeting On the Pedestal

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!

It was a lot like when I almost interviewed Sam Vaknin, but she was more covert than he was in her narcissism. She came to me as a would-be mentor, and I ate it up like so much cake.

And since the lady promised to bring me up at this meeting, I started pulling together all sorts of documentation and information about my business.

Being Ghosted

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.

She had literally ghosted me.

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 our time together and moved on.

I mean, she had an EXECUTIVE BOARD. All I had at the time was me. 

The Shocking Truth

Then, a couple of months later, I noticed that she’d created a brand new Facebook page. It seemed she had just launched a new business – 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.

The Direct Discard

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. In hindsight, I realize that was straight-up gaslighting.

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.  I had been officially discarded.

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. (Sounds a  lot like a smear campaign, no?)

It went on from there.

Lessons Learned

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.

The Pattern of Abuse in Toxic Relationships

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 she was a bored stay-at-home wife (no kids) with 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. Learn more about narcissists and their insecurity in this post.

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today

How the Narcissist Hits Rock Bottom (And What You Can Do to Deal)

How the Narcissist Hits Rock Bottom (And What You Can Do to Deal)

When it comes to people with narcissistic personality disorder, it seems like the only thing you can predict is unpredictability. What happens next when they hit rock bottom?

What can you expect? What can you do – and how can you deal with and overcome their treatment during this unpleasant narcissistic cycle?

If you’re currently involved with a narcissist or are about to get involved with one – you’ll want to hear this.

This video will give you all of the answers you need when it comes to recognizing, understanding, and overcoming the narcissist’s rock bottom moments.

What is narcissist rock bottom?

You might call a narcissist who has found rock bottom a collapsed narcissist. In general, narcissists hit rock bottom when they are able to no longer manipulate, exploit and abuse others. 

In other words, narcissist rock bottom is what happens when the narcissist finally realizes that their abusive behavior will not be tolerated any longer, that what they have done has gotten out of control, or that they’re about to lose everything.

Unfortunately, it is typically later rather than sooner. It can take many years of ongoing manipulation and abuse before they hit rock bottom. Often, it happens when their closest sources of narcissistic supply go away, whether by their own choice or otherwise.

Why do narcissists hit rock bottom? 

Narcissists crave power and control like an alcoholic craves their favorite drink. Narcissists NEED to have the people around them feeling weak and unempowered – this way, they’re malleable so that they’re easily controlled. 

But when these people walk away and stop doing what the narcissist wants before they’re ready for it, the narcissist’s biggest fears are realized. 

A narcissist’s lack of capacity for empathy and emotional depth, paired with a desperate need to feel validated and congratulated by others, will often result in their demise.

They will do just about anything to feel significant and special – so much so that they may lie, cheat and manipulate to get their own way.

So ironically it is their desperation for significance and validation which ultimately serves as the catalyst for their narcissist rock bottom. 

What scares a narcissist?

As often as a narcissist threatens, directly or indirectly, to abandon you, you’d think they were perfectly secure in their ability to remain surrounded by sources of narcissistic supply – as in, people who love, admire, and serve them as needed.

But the truth is that while abandonment is probably the most human fear one can have, narcissists aren’t immune.

In fact, if we’re being honest, they’re probably pretty normal this way.

With that being said, the difference between a narcissist’s fear of abandonment and that of the average person is that a narcissist will actively abuse and manipulate the people around them in order to control them and keep them in their place.

How do the narcissist’s fears coming true lead them to hit rock bottom? 

Fear of abandonment comes to fruition when you walk away from the narcissist. Now, don’t expect them to recognize this right away – but it’ll relieve some of the tension for them initially – even just the idea that they’ll be able to openly meet new people can be a huge thrill. 

At first, they will feel free and some version of happy – but then one day (maybe even the same day the relationship ends), they’ll remember something that you used to do for them, and they’ll want that back. 

If your resist (and I hope you do – read this about how to avoid the hoover maneuver), the narcissist attempts to navigate their remaining relationships – often not even personal ones, they grow frustrated and angry.

What does the narcissist experience at rock bottom?

You might think that when a narcissist hits rock bottom, they will finally see the light and realize how awful they truly have been – and you’d hope they’d be SO SORRY for this abusive behavior they’ve been serving up all these years.

As amazing as that would be, it’s rarely the case. Instead:

  • They will probably feel like their world has been turned upside down and they have no idea how to fix it.
  • They may become depressed and experience symptoms of anxiety-like panic attacks or insomnia.
  • They may also lash out at others for no reason at all.

Whatever happens, you can expect them to be acting extremely erratic and unpredictable as they expertly play the victim.

The Narcissist’s Backup Plan

Before the narcissist knows it, you’re off living in a totally cute place that’s a little too far to just drop in. And, you’ll have the nerve to want your privacy, which won’t be tolerated if they are still part of your life. 

Eventually, they begin to guilt and shame the few people who remain close to them, seemingly doing their very best to push your emotions aside. This, combined with a lack of narcissistic supply, culminates in the narcissist’s idea of actual hell. 

So, the moment any source of narcissistic supply refuses to comply with their wishes or orders, the narcissist has lost control of that person and therefore has no influence over them anymore.

And that’s one of the narcissist’s OTHER biggest fears: that they’re so insignificant that no one cares what they say, do, think, or feel. 

This right here is exactly what causes them to tend to need a backup ‘source of supply’ (since they can’t be alone), so they very often attempt preemptively replace a source of supply.

Unfortunately, it can be one of the most dangerous times for you. Because a narcissist who has hit rock bottom may feel as though they have nothing left to lose. They don’t even have the narcissistic supply they need to function – so their desperation can lead them to lash out.

The narcissist eventually hits rock bottom and they feel unbearable sadness, grief, or remorse because they can’t continue the way they are going anymore. In order to keep this grief or pain at bay, they will stoop to any level. 

The Narcissist’s Rock Bottom Patterns

When the narcissist finally hits rock bottom, there is a predictable pattern that emerges. This pattern is so predictable that it can be used as a roadmap for how to deal with the situation.

  • The narcissist’s life will begin to crumble under the weight of their own lies and deceit.
  • This collapse may occur because of something external like losing their job or a major financial setback or some other traumatic event in their life.
  • It could also happen because they have become so absorbed in their own self-image that they cannot see reality any longer – they live in a world of illusion created by their own ego which is beyond their control.
  • As they begin to realize that they are no longer able to maintain this illusion, they become increasingly agitated, depressed, and angry until they reach a point where there is nothing left but rage at themselves for being so stupid as to believe such obvious lies about themselves as well as rage at those who duped them into believing these lies were true.

Should you support a narcissist who is at or near rock bottom? 

Believe me, I get it – as an empath, you naturally want to support someone in pain, especially when it’s someone you love or loved so deeply.

But listen to me, don’t do it. Not this time. Hear me out.

As much as helping them would serve some codependent part of yourself, the narcissist is likely to cruelly reject your offers for help. This will make you feel rejected – again- and that’s going to do a real number on not only your self-esteem but also your psyche – triggering would be putting it mildly. 

Personally, I don’t think you owe them any of your time or support, but if you must give it to them, try giving them space and let them know when you’re available if they want to talk about anything (without pressure!).

Just because they’ve hit rock bottom doesn’t mean that things are going to change – not for long. 

In the end, you can only change yourself and your reactions to narcissistic abuse. You will never be able to control their actions.

However, the more you understand what makes the narcissist tick and how their behavior affects you, the better equipped you will be to deal with their antics when they come knocking at your door.

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today

When You Can’t Go No Contact; Other ways to Stay Sane

When You Can’t Go No Contact; Other ways to Stay Sane

What’s the best way to deal with a narcissist in a toxic relationship? To go no contact, of course.

But what if you can’t go no contact?

It’s hard to imagine, for some people, but the truth is that not everyone has the ability to leave or go no contact with the narcissist. At least not right away.

Maybe they’re in your family, or maybe they’re your boss. You may be financially dependent on them, and leaving them would mean financial ruin for you or your family.

It’s possible that you’re dealing with financial abuse – or any number of things that might stop or slow you down when you try to leave the narcissist. 

Heck, it’s also possible that you’ve tried going no contact with them in the past and it didn’t work out—maybe they stalked you, harassed you, threatened to hurt themselves if you left them, or worse.

So how do you deal with a narcissist when you can’t go no contact?

If this is the case for you, it can be incredibly difficult to find a way forward when someone is holding power over you in one way or another. But there are things you can do to help. Watch this video for additional information on dealing with a narcissist when you can’t go no contact. 

Try these simple tips for getting through the day without letting the narcissist’s tactics get under your skin:

Journal or Keep Notes So You Don’t Forget What Really Happened

Keep a journal of everything that happens with this person. Write down every interaction, every word spoken between the two of you (and any witnesses), and anything else that comes up as relevant information about how this person operates in their relationships with others.

This will help build up a body of evidence that backs up your claims against them if necessary (for example: if they threaten to sue).

Create a Support System

Get support from friends who understand what’s going on and have been through similar situations before—they’ll know what resources might be available to help. Alternatively, consider joining a narcissistic abuse recovery support group or getting coaching. 

Build Strong Boundaries

Give yourself permission to set boundaries. If you don’t want to talk about something or spend time with someone, that’s okay!

You don’t have to do what other people want or expect from you just because they think it’s “normal.” You are allowed to have your own preferences and values.

Recognize and Label Gaslighting and Other Manipulative Tactics

Learn how to recognize gaslighting tactics when they happen so that you know when the narcissist is trying to manipulate or control you. Learn how to call them out on their behavior so that they don’t get away with being abusive.

Ignore the Guilt Trips

Don’t allow yourself to be manipulated by guilt-tripping (e.g., “You’re always leaving me alone!”) and pity-baiting (“No one cares about me!”). Focus on your own needs rather than those of others—and remember that your needs are just as important as anyone else’s.

You can’t pour from an empty cup, as they say.

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today

Pin It on Pinterest