Why do narcissists downplay your worth?

Why do narcissists downplay your worth?

Have you ever wondered why narcissists have a way of minimizing everything you do, say, think, or feel?

Narcissists are never generous with praise unless they’re using it as a way to manipulate you. In general, once they get past the love-bombing phase of the relationship, narcissists have a way of never doing or saying anything to make you feel good about yourself. 

If you feel like you have to work a little harder to earn the praise of a narcissist, it’s not because they’re harder to please or discriminating in their approval. It’s because they have reached the “devalue” phase of the toxic relationship. 

What is the devalue phase of the toxic relationship?

Devaluation is what happens when a narcissist tears you down emotionally, insults you (outright or covertly), and makes you doubt yourself and your self-worth. This is done as part of the cycle of abuse and when effective, it can cause you to believe you don’t have a chance of finding someone better, or that you’re not worthy of love or consideration.

The narcissist will often use devaluation to keep you from leaving by implanting such ideas in your head. Alternatively, some narcissists don’t even recognize they’re doing it since it’s part of the standard cycle of abuse. It can happen to a “thing” just as easily as a person when a narcissist is involved.

Why does the narcissist downplay your worth?

Narcissists downplay your worth and highlight their own accomplishments, in part because they want to keep you feeling inferior, but it’s more complicated than this. In fact, narcissists use their “false selves” to mask their deeply profound insecurity and often use this tactic to sort of boost their own ego.

It’s all about making sure they have control over us and keeping us feeling less than them so they can get what they want out of life while using our goodwill as leverage against us when needed.

In other words, they need to feel that they are above you, that they are superior to you in every single way.

What does it mean when the narcissist compliments you?

Do you sometimes feel that when narcissists do compliment you or praise you it is not genuine? Well, you are right. It isn’t. As a matter of fact; narcissists downplay the worth of those with whom they wish to gain favor.

If we are on their good side (during the idealization or love-bombing phase), then we will get compliments from them about how wonderful we are doing at work or school or even in our personal relationships.

Sometimes when narcissists compliment us, it is done so in a way that makes us feel inferior or lesser than them – or it’s about impressing someone else who overhears the compliment. The other reason a narcissist might compliment you outside of the love-bombing phase is to take credit for your work or efforts in some way.

Explaining by Example: The Narcissist at Work

In order to understand this behavior better; let us consider an example of how someone with narcissistic personality disorder might behave in a work environment. The narcissist will often claim credit for various projects even if he or she had nothing to do with their completion or success.

They will brag about their accomplishments and compare them favorably to others’. At the same time, he or she will also put down coworkers and subordinates who may have made similar contributions but not received as much recognition as they did.

Narcissists like to make themselves seem better than everyone else around them, especially if these people have something that the narcissist does not have (money, power, fame).

So, when a narcissist compliments you, it is not because of your worth, beauty, or talents. It is to get you under their authority so that they can use your talents for their own good.

Learn more about narcissists and the devalue phase of the toxic relationship

In this video, I explain the devalue phase in detail and offer tips on how to deal with the narcissist who is actively downplaying your worth. 

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today

 

 

How I Stopped Being Controlled by a Narcissist

How I Stopped Being Controlled by a Narcissist

Growing up, I was always “under my mother’s thumb,” as in, she was, as far as she was concerned, in control of every aspect of my life: my activities, thoughts, feelings, ideas – everything. And this didn’t end when I grew up and moved out. In fact, it continued until I was 35 years old.

The Day I Went No Contact

In fact, I was 35 the day I went no contact with my mother. Before that, for my entire life, I had felt this deep, profound sense of obligation to her. She made sure of it.

I learned that her feelings, thoughts, and ideas were more important and more “real” than mine. She taught me that I needed to keep her happy and that I wasn’t ever good enough because I couldn’t be, say or do whatever it was she thought I should. It never seemed to matter how hard I tried, either. Even as a dang adult.

But that day, everything changed. See, I had recognized that she had betrayed me, in an unforgivable way that I could never have imagined. It woke me up and fast.

Something Broke Inside Me

The very moment I realized what she had done, I almost physically felt something break inside of me – that seemingly indestructible cord of obligation that had always been there and had always caused me to bend to her will – it broke.

In one single moment, I lost the ability to care how she felt. And more than that, I lost the fear of her. She had always intimated that if I stopped doing what she wanted, or refused her too many times, she would abandon me, and then I’d have no one. I lived in that fear for 35 years.

I could never have imagined (nor would I have believed) that she would stoop so low to hurt me. I cannot even come up with the right words to describe the way I felt – it was almost like the time I was running in the dark as a kid and tripped over a branch, knocking the wind out of myself. I felt like I had the wind knocked out of me.

Soul-Twisting, Ugly Rage

But then, I got mad. Well, not just mad. After years of being a people-pleasing, self-hating codependent, I was filled with blistering, blinding rage.

You know, the kind of soul-twisting, screaming, ugly rage that comes up from deep inside and nearly forces you to take swift action. The kind that causes you to get crystal-clear on what you want and what you deserve real quick. I was filled with what I now know is justified rage. I was indignant. And in that very instant, I was done. I went no contact and I have not looked back.

But it wasn’t so simple. My mother wasn’t done yet. She had been in control for 35 years and she wasn’t about to give it up without a fight. First, she got very angry. Then, she told a lot of lies about me and spread malicious gossip to everyone in the extended family, as well as to some of her friends.

And later, she’d end up publishing my name in her little work newsletter, asking people to pray for me and my “mental health issues.” After that, I heard through the grapevine that she was playing the victim, telling everyone how she had absolutely no idea why I wasn’t talking to her “after all she had done for me.”

“She’s always looking for attention!”

She minimized and invalidated me and justified her feelings by saying things like, “She’s always looking for attention.”

In fact, I was doing the opposite: I was looking for peace. I wanted nothing else from her. But a few months after I went full no contact, I heard that she planned to send my brother over to my house during the holidays to straighten me out. The plan, according to the grapevine, was that he would just show up without calling. I nipped that one in the bud.

But why did she play all these little mind games? I suspect it was for one simple reason: because she was no longer able to control me. See, narcissists don’t like to lose control over any source of narcissistic supply. And when they do, they have some fairly predictable ways of reacting. Nearly every manipulative thing a narcissist does can be broken down into a pattern if you look for it.

Read more: How does a narcissist react when they can’t control you anymore?

Do you think your mother is a narcissist?

Take our free toxic mother self-assessment here to gain some insight.

Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support & Resources

If you feel you need additional help and support in your narcissistic abuse recovery, look for a trauma-informed professional trained in helping people who are dealing with overcoming narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships. Depending on your particular situation, you might benefit from Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Coaching, or you might do better with a therapist.

You have to decide what to do from here – if you’re not sure, start with my free Narcissistic Abuse Recovery quiz. With your results will come recommended resources for your situation. It’s free. Are you looking for more personal support? You might like to join one of our private small-group coaching sessions, or you might prefer to check out our one-on-one narcissistic abuse recovery counseling and coaching sessions. 

Resources & Support for Adult Children of Narcissists

More on Narcissistic Mothers

More Free, Helpful Information & Resources to Help 

Gaslighting and Revenge in Narcissistic Abuse

Gaslighting and Revenge in Narcissistic Abuse

You’ve probably wondered what a narcissist thinks about – and, if you’re anything like me, who told them they could TREAT PEOPLE THIS WAY! You might wonder if it hurts their feelings when someone corrects them or “bests” them.

(Do they even really have feelings?)

Or, what your ex was thinking when they started dating you? The fact is that narcissists are relentless liars. And they have no shame.

They will take extreme measures to tell you exactly what they want you to hear without any regard for the truth. Their main concern is only getting their desperate need for narcissistic supply met.

What is Narcissistic Abuse?

Narcissistic abuse is a way of relating to others involving the exploitation, blatant manipulation, and control of others in order to meet the abuser’s own needs. It can exist in a relationship between any two people, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or type of relationship.

Narcissistic abusers are often difficult to spot and even harder to leave. Whether or not they have been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder isn’t as important as whether or not they have narcissistic traits and behaviors.

For example, a narcissistic abuser can be charming, charismatic, and fun at times – and they can turn on a dime and become your worst nightmare. However, thanks to their powerful ability to project, deflect and play the victim, narcissists are rarely confronted about their behavior.

Of course, this is possibly due to the fact that they frequently surround themselves with enablers (AKA flying monkeys) who don’t want to believe that anything is wrong. 

The effects of narcissistic abuse can last for years after the relationship has ended and may lead the survivor to develop complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD). C-PTSD from narcissistic abuse differs from PTSD caused by experiences such as car accidents or military combat in that it involves re-living or re-experiencing rather than avoidance or numbing of memories. 

Are You Being Gaslighted?

Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic narcissists use to control someone and make them feel crazy. It doesn’t matter how great a relationship you have with your partner or spouse; as long as there’s abuse and manipulation, your relationship isn’t healthy.

Gaslighting occurs when someone tells you that what you’re experiencing isn’t authentic or not genuine, in other words causing the victim to question their feelings, instincts, and sanity.

Does this mean that you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship? Not necessarily. You could have a great relationship, but both you and your partner could have issues like low self-esteem or depression that make emotional abuse more likely (and more difficult to spot). Read more in Toxic Narcissism in Relationships: Top 10 Warning Signs You’re Being Gaslighted

Are you worried you’re being gaslighted? Take the Gaslighting Self-Assessment right here and find out for sure. You’ll be directed to resources that will help you in your current situation.

Can’t Go No Contact?

First and foremost, you need to know that nothing you do will force the narcissist to change. They will only change if it benefits them.

You must understand that this person does not have the same morals, emotions, or feelings as ordinary people. These people cannot be around a good and decent person or have friends who care about them.

They are only after one thing in life, and that is control. They can never be satisfied with what they have accomplished because there will always be someone out there that they think has more than whatever they have at the moment.

One way or another, they will get it from you even if you give it to them willingly. Unless that is, you know these 10 Easy Steps to Torture a Narcissist Into Submission.

Do You Want Revenge on the Narcissist?

Listen, if you were ever to feel like you want revenge on the narcissist in your life, trust me when I tell you that you are FAR from alone. But is it worth the trouble?

The truth is that whether or not you’re a narcissist’s target, interacting with them can be exhausting (to put it mildly). That’s why it’s essential to keep the upper hand and ensure that they are the ones chasing you – not the other way around.

It doesn’t even have to be anything drastic – act interested in their lives, but not to the extent that they think they can manipulate you.

Narcissists may have many problems, but remembering how to handle them (and how NOT to manage them) can be extremely rewarding—for both parties involved. Read more in How to Play the Narcissist’s Game (And Beat Them At It).

Toxic relationships have a huge effect on survivors’ lives. They affect every aspect of the survivor’s life and can destroy the survivor’s self-esteem, sense of self-worth, confidence, and trust in their own judgment – as well as their ability to relate to other people.

Trust Your Gut

Trust your instincts, always. When it comes to the narcissist, you, unfortunately, need to be on guard at all times. If you have a gut feeling that something is wrong, it probably is.

Take action: confront the narcissist (if safe to do so), call the authorities, alert family members, tell other people about what’s going on – do whatever it takes to get out.

The quicker you can get away from the narcissist, the more easily you can recover from their atrocious abuse. Learn everything you need to know about going no contact at our No Contact Support Center and visit our PLAN (Planning to Leave a Narcissist) Resource Center here.

Want to better understand why narcissists are what they are and what you can expect from them? Learn more about the narcissist’s cycle of abuse.

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today

Online help is readily available for survivors of narcissistic abuse. Here are some options to begin healing from narcissistic abuse right away.

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What happens when the narcissist knows you’ve figured them out?

What happens when the narcissist knows you’ve figured them out?

Have you ever felt like you knew too much – that the narcissist’s façade wasn’t as impenetrable as they would have liked it to seem? There comes a time in every narcissist-victim relationship when the victim becomes aware that their partner is not at all who they “signed up for.” That instead of being compassionate and understanding, loving and kind, the narcissist is actually a selfish, deceitful person who is not only a pathological liar but one who lacks emotional and compassionate empathy and operates from that perspective.

If you’ve been through this the way that I and every other survivor of narcissistic abuse have, this realization rips down many layers of your world since until that point everything had been seen with rose-colored glasses. Almost as if someone has awoken from a dream into reality. You end up having to sit down and figure out if you REALLY believe what you think you believe.

What happens when the narcissist knows you’ve figured them out?

If you’re dealing with someone who has narcissistic tendencies, you might suspect they have narcissistic personality disorder. And there might be a big part of you that hopes that if you just TELL the narcissist what you have figured out, they’ll be happy to go to therapy and resolve the issue. Anyone in narcissistic relationship recovery has probably hoped for this at one time or another. But the reality of narcissistic personality disorder is not so simple. In this video, I’ll fill you in on exactly what you can expect when the narcissist learns that you’ve figured them out.

Additional Insight Into the Psychology of Narcissistic Abuse 

When it comes to narcissists and the psychology of narcissistic abuse, there is a LOT to unpack. In addition to the codependency factor, it can help to understand the way the narcissist’s mind works as a result of their narcissistic personality disorder or narcissistic tendencies. In addition to the points made in the video, keep the following in mind.

Narcissists Keep You Off-Balance to Control You

Narcissists are experts at keeping you off balance. They do it by going from blissful to angry, from affectionate to critical, from loving to distant – all at the drop of a hat and without warning. Do they do this on purpose, or is something else going on? That will often depend on a couple of factors: where they fall on the so-called Cluster B spectrum, and how intelligent they are. Plus, some studies suggest, how prominent the “dark triad” traits are in their psychological makeup.

In fact, while they do seem to have a common “narcissist playbook,” one of their favorite games to play with their victims is to throw you off balance by intentionally doing what you won’t expect. In other words, you can expect the unexpected from a narcissist.

If the narcissist knows you’ve figured them out, they will likely react in one of two ways:

  • They may try to become even more charming, flattering and seductive than before. The narcissist will be desperate for your attention, for your admiration, and for your love. They want to convince you that nothing has changed even though it is painfully obvious that something has. Narcissists are a lot like drug addicts in this way: when their narcissistic supply is cut off, they’ll do anything to get more.
  • They may try to go back into “stealth” mode and make up for the lost time. They will act like everything is fine and that there’s no need for concern on your part. But this phase won’t last long either because they have left a trail of broken hearts and devastated relationships behind them. If the narcissist tries this tactic, be on high alert for gaslighting and other techniques used to create confusion and doubt about what happened.

Why do narcissists act the way they do?

  • Narcissism is a defense mechanism that is meant to deflect hurt and rejection. It’s a way of saying, “See, look at all these great qualities I have! You should really be glad to be in my presence and love me. So why aren’t you?”
  • Narcissists survive on attention and positive reinforcement from others. They are highly sensitive to criticism of any kind and are unable to cope well with the feelings of shame it creates for them.
  • When a narcissist gets upset, their feelings get hurt quickly and easily because they lack an empathetic inner voice that we all have that helps us regulate negative emotions.
  • They are easily triggered into feeling self-pity or devolve into narcissistic rage (a very intense reaction).
  • Their extreme sensitivity makes them prone to rage when they aren’t getting the attention they desire or aren’t made out to be the center of attention. While at times it may seem as if they are overreacting, this is provoked by a myriad of factors on the inside that we are not privy to – factors like shame, envy, and more. One way of coping is for a narcissist to resort to blame-shifting tactics so that their ego and false self can be preserved.

Behind the Narcissist’s Mask (False Self)

Let’s take a peek at the narcissist’s “true self,” which is usually only revealed to those closest to them and anyone else with whom they have serious conflict.

When the narcissist’s mask falls away, the matrix of mirrors it provided to the outside world disappears. This can mean the narcissist sort of “reverts” and becomes a less evolved version of who they could be.

While the narcissist may seem quite self-assured, the truth is that their own trauma has likely led them to be secretly afraid of their true self being revealed and either attacked – or perhaps more painfully, completely unseen and ignored.

The narcissist has been sort of “feeding off” the emotional energy (and narcissistic supply) of you and anyone else who was unlucky enough to be close to them for so long precisely because they kept everyone at arm’s length while presenting their false persona to those around them.

The minute they felt that you might have the ability to see through their lies, or that their facade started to show cracks, the narcissist realized that in some way, you were the enemy to their false self. This made them feel entitled to actively and regularly dump their emotional garbage on you, which nearly inevitably leads to more intense and painful emotional damage for you.

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today

Online help is readily available for survivors of narcissistic abuse. Here are some options to begin healing from narcissistic abuse right away.

 

INFJs are the majority of narcissistic abuse survivors – WHY and what you can do to heal

INFJs are the majority of narcissistic abuse survivors – WHY and what you can do to heal

Did you know that a large percentage of narcissistic abuse survivors happen to resonate with the INFJ personality type (from the Myers-Briggs Personality Test)? Based on several polls and a lot of research I did back in 2020, I can tell you it’s true.

Are you an INFJ who has been traumatized by a narcissist and you don’t know how to recover from the abuse? INFJs are highly intuitive and empathetic creatures which makes them prime targets for narcissistic abuse. INFJs have a tendency to ignore their own feelings as well as put other people’s needs above their own. We live in a world that praises selflessness and can make you feel bad if you place your needs first, and INFJs are especially sensitive to this.

What is an INFJ Personality?

The INFJ personality is known to be a compassionate, intuitive leader and is considered one of the rarest Myers-Briggs personality types. But when this highly sensitive and creative personality becomes a victim of narcissistic abuse, the devastation can be enormous.

According to 16Personalities.com, “An Advocate (INFJ) is someone with the Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging personality traits. They tend to approach life with deep thoughtfulness and imagination. Their inner vision, personal values, and a quiet, principled version of humanism guide them in all things.”

Quick Facts on the INFJ Personality

  • They are genuinely good-hearted people who connect quickly with others.
  • They often find interest and support in helping other people more than themselves.
  • They want to help and make a difference, which makes them an ideal target for manipulation.
  • INFJs value deep, heartfelt relationships.
  • They focus on a few special people in their lives and are intensely loyal and protective of them.
  • INFJs great strength lies in the intensity of their feelings, which they use intuitively to understand other people.
  • Their unique combination of traits makes INFJs natural advisors or counselors.
  • People value their insight and willingness to listen to others.

Why are INFJs the majority of narcissistic abuse survivors?

While every single personality type is susceptible to being a victim of narcissistic abuse, the most common profile of narcissistic abuse victims is INFJ. But why? For one, INFJs are givers by their very nature, and when they fall in love with someone (or are infatuated), their first instinct is to give everything they have to make that person happy.

INFJs are externally focused.

INFJs are wired to respond instantly and to take swift action to soothe any sort of negative emotion the narcissist may show – their goal is to prevent the narcissist (or anyone else they interact with) from feeling uncomfortable or unhappy in any way.

They will bend over backward to ensure the emotional safety of anyone they love. This makes them prime targets for narcissistic abusers, who are known to lack empathy and only concern themselves with their own emotions and needs. Plus, many INFJs may have develoed this particular personality type due to their own childhood trauma.

INFJs are sensitive and intuitive.

INFJs are highly intuitive, which is an asset in many situations. It’s often the quality that leads them to choose counseling as a career. But it’s also the quality that’s most likely to lead them into abusive relationships. INFJs are so attuned to other people’s feelings that they’re often taken advantage of by narcissists and sociopaths.

They can be easy targets for emotional predators because INFJs tend to trust people too easily and believe that everyone has good intentions. This tendency toward being trusting and giving isn’t a character flaw — it’s just part of being an INFJ personality type. And it can be a trap if you don’t learn how to navigate relationships more effectively.

INFJs struggle with seeing their own value.

INFJs are not always good at taking care of themselves. They can be overwhelmed by their own pain and are so used to putting other people first that they have a hard time letting themselves take a front seat in their own lives. So when an INFJ endures narcissistic abuse, it can really knock them down hard. The self esteem of an INFJ can take a real hit after being treated so poorly.

Many INFJs describe narcissistic abuse as having the rug pulled out from under them in some way. The dream they had for their life is shattered and they find themselves lost and confused with no idea where to turn next. Even if you’re familiar with personality disorders, the effects of narcissistic abuse on an INFJ can still be devastating because it attacks their very core being – everything that makes them who they are as a person. It’s like a parasite that burrows into your brain and takes over your mind, convincing you that you will never, ever be enough.

How can INFJs recover from narcissistic abuse?

When an INFJ is dealing with narcissistic abuse, it can be extremely damaging to their self-esteem and confidence. The narcissist has spent months or years filling their head with negative thoughts, telling them that they are bad, unworthy, and need to be fixed.

As outlined in my DUO Method, the first step in treatment is to recognize that there is a problem. There may be some denial involved because the INFJ has been subjected to constant criticism and manipulation by this person. When the INFJ realizees that they are being abused and that the abuser has no regard for their feelings or their needs, they’ve already taken the first step toward narcissistic abuse recovery.

The next step involves learning how the abuser thinks and operates so that they can spot the red flags before they get into another toxic relationship, as well as learning how you got into the relationship in the first place and what you can do in the future to protect yourself from similar situations.

It is important for INFJs to develop a strong support system during this time and seek out other people who understand what they are going through. Therapy and narcissistic abuse recovery coaching can also be helpful in teaching them how to set boundaries without feeling guilty or ashamed of themselves.

Recovery from narcissistic abuse really sort of begins when you stop blaming yourself for what happened. You may feel that the narcissist was right about you all along, but when you’ve finished the second phase in recovery, you’ll understand the psychlogy of what happened and you’ll see the patterns around them.

Finally, the INFJ will overcome narcissistic abuse by ending or minimizing the relationship in their lives before evolving into the best possible version of themselves.

INFJs: Questions to Ask Yourself After Narcissistic Abuse

  • What are your personality strengths and how do they relate to narcissism?
  • When you were being abused by a narcissist did you get caught up in the narcissist’s web of lies and manipulation? If so, what did it feel like?
  • How did you deal with the narcissist’s flow of constant criticism during the relationship and now that it is over?
  • How do you handle working through your feelings of self-blame, guilt, shame, and not feeling good enough?

Can an INFJ be a narcissist?

Can an INFJ be a narcissist? It’s possible, though unlikely, that an INFJ personality type can be a narcissist.  First, we have to consider this: Since Narcissists really haven’t manifested any original, true identity (and since they tend to lie to even themselves), any Myers-Briggs Personality Test result would (or at the very least) could be false. Narcissists won’t or can’t see any true insight into their false selves.

The truth is that their actual identity is comprised of “borrowed” personality traits, hobbies, choices, and frustrations from other people in their lives. There’s not a lot of substance. Narcissists usually aren’t capable of self-reflection – and don’t forget: they lie – to themselves and everyone else. With all of that being said, here is what you’d see if narcissism manifested in each of the 16 personality types – watch this video.

Communication Struggles for INFJs After Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

Many INFJs find themselves struggling with communication folloing narcissistic abuse. Part of this is because they might be (or have become) more introverted due to their abuse. Some of the issues that introverts have when communicating with others are due to the very definition of being an introvert.

INFJs are silent perfectionists.

Due to perfectionistic tendencies, introverts frequently don’t speak up, even when they have something to say because they fear it won’t be insightful enough or it will come out all wrong.

INFJs might neglect phone calls.

You much prefer to text or email because you can skip the small talk and it’s socially acceptable with those forms of communication. But phone calls… shudder! You find yourself procrastinating making important phone calls or returning calls, even to those you love. You have to feel energized enough to be an enthusiastic participant in the conversation, which can cause you to put off making calls, even if they are vital.

INFJs prefer to fly solo.

Because you need to think before you speak and because you need to have silence while you ponder, you find it challenging to participate in the conversation when there are comments and ideas flying everywhere. You may feel like you can’t gather your thoughts well enough to contribute to the conversation.

INFJs are overwhelmed and exhausted by large groups.

When you have to be around a lot of people, especially if you don’t know them, you feel exhausted fast. One reason for this is because it involves a lot of small-talk, which doesn’t come naturally to introverts. Putting out that much effort wears you out.

In fact, working in groups can be even worse for an introvert than small-talk. When you must rely on others to communicate in ways that aren’t comfortable or understandable to you, it’s a real challenge to complete the project. There’s also the issue of your perfectionism too. Because of your practice of thinking through every possible issue and solution, you are committed to only turning out perfection… but others in the group don’t often care as much about this as completion, or they have a very different perception of what “perfection” is.

INFJs can feel lonely in a crowded room.

Introverts often feel left out of a rapid conversation, whether it’s at a party or a work conference. This often occurs because, by the time you determine what you want to say and the best way to say it, the group has moved onto a new topic. You can easily feel left out and lonely during these discussions – more so than if you were actually alone.

INFJs CAN Recover From Narcissistic Abuse

Many INFJs are able to rebound from abuse and go on to have happy and fulfilling lives; however, there is no “road map” for recovery. Abuse is difficult for everyone, and for INFJs it can be especially hard because of their tendency to overlook their personal needs in favor of being selfless and accommodating.

The key to understanding the process for INFJs is realizing that we are dealing with an abuse of power. It is because of immature, unfulfilled expectations of what romantic relationships should be that the narcissist tries to take control. Whether it’s because they were not treated with the love they expected when they were younger, or whether they are simply incapable of truly loving anyone else, the narcissist is only capable of meeting their own needs.

What’s important to remember is that you are not alone, and that you can work through your pain. The first step is recognizing the abuse for what it is. From there, you need to learn how to love yourself again. Below are some additional resources to help you get started on your narcissistic abuse recovery.

Get help with narcissistic abuse recovery right now.

Are narcissists demons from hell?

Are narcissists demons from hell?

Did someone tell you that narcissists are demons from hell? More importantly, did you believe them? Do you think that the apparently evil and painfully destructive behavior exhibited by someone in your life is the result of demonic possession?

If you’ve ever considered the possibility that a narcissist might be an innocent person who has been possessed by an ugly, malignant demon from hell, and you’re looking for advice on how you can go about exorcising those so-called demons – stick around. I hope I will be able to help you understand what’s going on and how to deal. But first, we have to answer the question at hand.

Watch this video to get the answers you need.

Are narcissists possessed by demons? 

Are narcissists really just people who have been demonically possessed? I’ve heard this question asked more than once, and in many iterations, and based on my own opinions, experiences, and research, the short answer is “no.”

The more detailed answer is based on an alternative perspective that narcissism is part of the human condition and can be defined through a more scientific lens and that, for the most part, it is developed in childhood, starting as early as the moment you’re born. Let me explain.

Are these demonic behaviors?

Depending on your personal beliefs and whether you’re reading this article from a literal or metaphorical perspective, you might feel bothered by one or both of these perspectives. Still, I thought it was important to note both points of view here. So please consider the following perspectives with an open mind.

POV: Narcissists are evil, demonic creatures from hell. 

Or, at least possessed by one. Narcissists can be mercilessly horribly mean to you, to the point that you can literally feel like they’re crushing your soul, right? You have to wonder how they could be anything else? No human is capable of this level of remorselessness, are they?

And if you really consider this from the perspective that narcissists are possessed by demons, then you have to ask yourself how they could possibly be responsible for their behaviors.

What purpose might the demon have for your torment?

Why YOU? You might be finding all kinds of reasons for your torment in your mind; things that God has apparently done to you or sent your way because you were bad, or not good enough anyway, and which you deserve as punishment. You might be even living your life with the expectation that you’re going to remain that way forever – marked, ruined, not enough, too much – whatever. But what if you could consider an alternative perspective?

POV: The seed of pathological narcissism is planted early in childhood.

Why YOU? What are the logical, scientifically-plausible possibilities for the origin of pathological narcissism in the human condition? My own experiences and research, along with published psychology research, have helped me to understand that (as seems to be confirmed by Attachment Theory, there are some really logical conclusions we can make about how narcissism develops and what causes it.

From this perspective, I’d like to propose that these behaviors are less demonic and more indicative of their own psychology, most often developed early in childhood.

Narcissism can be a direct result of attachment style.

So, from this perspective, starting the day you’re born, your core psychology and personality development begin and will depend at least partially on how your first few hours and days with your birth mother go. There are various theories on this, and some scientists insist that while a healthy attachment style can be developed when the birth mother isn’t present or able to emotionally connect with the baby, it can be more complicated. Others agree that unless the experience is especially traumatic, it could be repairable but only with the right kinds of therapy and self-work. (To be fair, most narcissists won’t even attempt the work required, much less accomplish it.)

Why should you care about what causes narcissism to develop?

I always find that if I can understand the mechanics and the basic logical structure of why someone is behaving in any given way, then I can logically deduce WHY they treated me that way, or acted like that, or did some other thing that directly affected me, directly or otherwise.

For most of us, understanding how a person’s behaviors are connected directly to their childhood and upbringing might help us arrive at the logical decision that we’re not cursed by God or being attacked by a demonic spirit.

Instead, we’re dealing with a damaged, broken person who, no matter how much we’re willing to give up to help them and fix them somehow, we will never be able to save.

Can narcissism be cured?

I think narcissism could be healed in theory. But in reality, I honestly believe it’s highly unlikely that a narcissist could successfully stop being a narcissist. It would begin by obtaining a qualified therapist, the narcissist must, with an open mind and genuine willingness, be willing to commit to intensive, psychosocial therapy in which they work with a therapist to learn how to:

  • CHOOSE to change of their own volition, and do a lot of deep therapeutic work with a qualified therapist to uncover the trauma that caused their disorder.
  • Unpack, work through and process their emotional and psychological baggage in order to overcome their core wound and heal.
  • THEN, work on habit-changing and behavior modification, plus consider meditation, coaching, and/or relearning on how to live and behave from the perspective of a decent human being who has genuine emotional and compassionate empathy.

So, while it’s theoretically possible, I’ve never seen it happen, nor heard an accurate account of it having happened, narcissists seem to have a really hard time creating any meaningful change in their behavior.

How does insecure attachment lead to narcissistic abuse?

Narcissists are insecurely attached. They frequently switch between idealizing and devaluing their romantic partners and they are often unable to empathize with others. This pattern of behavior suggests that the narcissist’s personality is organized around an insecure attachment style, often called “anxious-ambivalent” by attachment theorists.

Here’s how this works:

  • Insecurely-attached people tend to feel uncomfortable in relationships because they are never quite sure if their partner will abandon them.
  • This uneasiness stems from the fact that they have trouble trusting that their partner really cares about them, so they monitor their partner’s behavior for signs of emotional betrayal. But this monitoring comes at a price: it means that the insecurely-attached person has less time to focus on his or her own emotional needs and less emotional energy to spend on other people.
  • This can lead to a vicious cycle of self-absorption, fear of abandonment, and further withdrawal from the relationship.
  • It can also lead to a perverse sense of entitlement, along with the expectation that one partner should meet all of the other’s needs while giving nothing in return – which is part of why narcissists can be so abusive towards their romantic partners.

In a nutshell, narcissists are insecurely attached because they were raised by emotionally distant parents. Narcissism is the emotional defense of choice for people who have learned to associate love with pain. The goal of narcissistic abuse is to control, manipulate and dominate another person by any means necessary.

This is what happens when you respond to hurt with more hurt. The narcissist makes you feel small so they can feel better about themselves. When you react by pulling away, the narcissist finds another way to keep hold of you through triangulation or manipulation. When you react by confronting her, she gaslights you into believing that everything is your fault. Remember: Narcissistic abuse is not personal; it’s a reflection of how the abuser feels about himself or herself.

Why do narcissists have so many failed relationships?

If you think about the typical narcissistic abuse pattern, it’s pretty easy to expect that they have or will eventually have a history of failed relationships, romantic and otherwise.

When they’re in love bombing mode (also called the idealization stage), you will notice narcissists develop a knack for saying what is on your mind before you can say it – you start feeling pretty sure they’re meant for you. Your one true soulmate, you hope.

As they get to know you, narcissists seem to develop a sophisticated way of keeping you (and anyone else they victimize) off-balance and confused. This helps them play on those emotions, without remorse, and to twist your personality and really your entire reality into a grayed-out shell of what it could be. All of this in the name of serving their own needs.

Worse, when those who they victimize can’t leave as soon as we want to, we end up being emotionally traumatized and psychologically damaged. And while it would be easy to say that narcissists are drama-filled demons from hell, the truth is that they’re just humans who, like us, have been deeply affected by the traumatic events in their lives.

So, narcissism isn’t their ‘fault?’

For a small percentage of narcissists, there are other causes for pathological narcissism, but for most, it all started with something traumatic that happened to them during their childhood. Their trauma has just manifested differently than ours.

They, like all of us, want to be loved and accepted and to belong somewhere. But deep down, they are well-aware of their flaws, at least on a subconscious level. This leads them to believe that they’re broken, flawed, or otherwise not good enough. Just like you and me, they also often suffered trauma that destroyed the person they might have been – but while you may have become a people-pleasing codependent, the same kinds of trauma might have led to their personality disorder.

If we take a closer look at the lives of relationally avoidant people, we can see that their role models and parental figures in childhood were selfish and hurtful. They were either exploited by others or neglected in favor of the other parent. This childhood experience leaves them with deep emotional wounds, which make them feel unloved and unworthy.

Should you pity your narcissistic spouse?

Ultimately, there’s a pretty big chance that if you’ve found yourself entangled with a narcissist in a toxic marriage, you’ve had your share of childhood trauma too. If you’re starting to pity the narcissist at this point, you might also be feeling guilty for any and every questionable thing you did, said, thought, or felt in the relationship.

Or, you might be considering relenting and/or begging them to forgive you. But don’t feel sorry for them just yet; despite the fact that narcissists are human (not demons as some well-meaning gurus claim), they behave in ways that make them seem positively evil.

If you’re a little further along in your narcissistic abuse recovery, you might be well-aware of the fact that there is a certain amount of choice involved in the way a person chooses to treat the people closest to them, at least on some level, in any conscious person who is relatively functional in society. Remember that there is a certain amount of choice involved in the way a person chooses to treat the people closest to them, at least on some level, in any conscious person who is relatively functional in society.

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today

Online help is readily available for survivors of narcissistic abuse. Here are some options to begin healing from narcissistic abuse right away.

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