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.
- Sign up for our free email newsletter service that includes a free guided recovery experience via your inbox.
- Start your narcissistic abuse recovery here with our free narcissistic abuse recovery support system and program.
- Think you might have C-PTSD, but you’re not sure? Then, take our free C-PTSD Self-Assessment.
- Join one of our free online narcissistic abuse recovery support groups!
- Join one of our private small coaching groups!
- Get private, one-on-one narcissistic abuse recovery coaching or counseling.
- Get a therapist who will work with you online. Check out our guide to finding a therapist or psychologist who understands narcissism and narcissistic abuse.