Unmistakably Toxic: 4 Qualities Shared by All Malignant Narcissists

Unmistakably Toxic: 4 Qualities Shared by All Malignant Narcissists

Narcissists are the worst kind of abusers because so often, even the very people they’re abusing aren’t aware of it – in fact, that’s the very nature of their favorite manipulation tactic, gaslighting.

So many people are in these situations and because they are being so heavily manipulated, they really believe that they are the ones with the “issues” – when in reality, they’ve just been horribly gaslighted by one of these people.

It’s crazy-making, to say the least.

What is a Malignant Narcissist?

In general, when we talk about a narcissist, we’re talking about someone with a high opinion of him/herself. But when it comes to toxic relationships and narcissistic abuse situations, the term refers to a toxic, verbally (and sometimes physically) abusive person who may have narcissistic personality disorder. The malignant narcissist is officially defined as someone who has narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) along with various antisocial features, paranoid traits, and ego-driven aggression. They may also exhibit an absence of conscience, a psychological need for power, and an inflated sense of self-importance and entitlement. However, very often people who should be or might be diagnosed won’t be labeled as such. This is due to the fact that they’re unlikely to see a psychologist unless they’re forced to legally, or in some cases, as an attempt to maintain control over or connection to someone in their lives who threatens to leave due to narcissistic abuse.

What Qualities Are Shared by All Malignant Narcissists?

While there are various types of narcissists and they exist at various levels of toxicity, there are four basic traits that every narcissist has in common, according to a 2013 study published by Kamila Jankowiak-Siuda and Wojciech Zajkowski. In a narcissism-focused study, the researchers were able to define the following traits as being shared among all narcissists, despite various other definitions and forms of narcissistic personality disorder. It didn’t matter if they were a covert narcissist or a grandiose narcissist – or one of the many other types of narcissists that we’ve currently defined.

 

All narcissists have these qualities

4 Traits Shared by All Narcissists, According to a 2013 Psychology Study

The qualities that are shared by all narcissists, regardless of classification, include the following.

  1. Selfishness
  2. Disregarding other people
  3. Being self-centered
  4. Lack of empathy

Interesting, right? I thought so. Would you add any qualities to this list? Would you disagree with any?

What’s the #1 Quality Shared by All Malignant Narcissists?

In this 4-minute video, I’ll explain the single quality that is the tipping point into malignant narcissism and exactly how to identify it.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? Could you be in a relationship with a malignant narcissist? Are you dealing with narcissistic abuse in a toxic relationship? Take this narcissistic abuse self-assessment test today and find out. 

Get Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery 

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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Rewrite Your Story After Narcissistic Abuse: This is where you begin (and pain ends)

Rewrite Your Story After Narcissistic Abuse: This is where you begin (and pain ends)

Travel deep inside yourself without the baggage of conditioning. Be an explorer, have patience and eventually your true nature will surface. You will return from your journey with fresh skin and you will approach each day with a wonderful sense of wonder and bliss. ~~Marco R. Capristo

Figure out who you are after narcissistic abuseWhether we recognize it or not, most everyone’s habits and behavior are a result of some form of conditioning – and for those who have experienced the painful and all-encompassing abuse that a narcissist is known for, the conditioning hasn’t always been in our best interest. 

Related: Are you in a relationship with a narcissist? Find out. 

It begins when we’re small children–our parents’ opinions of us begin to help us form our own perceptions of ourselves. If we’re cursed with narcissistic parents, our perceptions are skewed, twisted…often, plain wrong. 

That’s because children are sponges – they absorb everything in their environment, including and especially the opinions of their parents and other prominent people in their lives. 

If they tell us we’re beautiful, we believe that we are–but if they tell us we’re horrible and sick, we’ll believe that too.

And it doesn’t end there–add in the opinions of your teachers, siblings and friends…and later those of your spouse, your bosses and coworkers, neighbors and don’t forget that lady at the dry cleaner’s last week.

All of this “conditioning,” left unchecked, can sometimes add up to a very negative self image–especially if you don’t know that you don’t have to accept it.

And, we become what we perceive–we are what we believe we are.

Here’s the thing, friend. I’ve been saying this for years, and I don’t mean to nag. But please, take just a second and really focus on this next sentence. 

You don’t have to accept someone else’s judgment, perception or opinion of you.

You get to write your own story.

 You feel me? But seriously, go back and read it one more time if you need to – it’s that important. And, while you’re at it – tweet it out to your friends. 

Fact is, you can be whomever and whatever you choose. All you have to do is believe that you can–really believe it. I mean, feel it down to your bones. And then, believe that you’re receiving it, that you’ve already received it. Own it–because it’s yours if you want it.

Bliss Mission: Choose Your Own Story

9316349-77549111_23-s1-v1Today, I challenge you to take a look at the people around you–those you love, those you like and even those who present certain struggles. Remember your childhood, and the people you spent time with during that time.

Now, think of all the perceptions they had about you. Your parents? Your friends? Others?

Then, think about you. Have you adopted someone else’s opinion of who you are? Or have you constantly struggled against it? Do you feel guilty for being who you are, because you haven’t become what someone else wanted you to become?

Read also: Gaslighting, Love Bombing and Flying Monkeys

Most of us can identify with this feeling on some level, I suspect, but most especially those who have been negatively affected by a narcissist’s gaslighting and abuse in relationships. 

This next part is the hardest part of all, so I hope you’re sitting down.

It’s time to begin to release the negative self-perceptions you’ve held on to for years.

Related: Do you believe what you think you believe? Rediscover yourself after narcissistic abuse. 

BREATHE! This is going to FEEL very difficult, but once you realize how much better your life is going to be, you’re going to wonder why you’ve waited so long. Are you ready for this? 

It’s finally time to let go of every disapproving look, veiled insult and rude comment.

It’s time to wash away the well-intentioned but misguided attempts to save (read: change to fit someone else’s idea of perfect) your soul, your sense of fashion and your sense of justice.

I know what you’re thinking. Probably something along the lines of “Yeah, sure, and how would you propose I go about THAT?” Well, you know me – I’ve got an answer. 

And, if you know me well, you know that it works – because it’s how I survived my own narcissistic abuse situation. 

Try this.

Today, every time you have a negative thought about yourself, take notice and change your mind. 

Cancel the thought, and intentionally replace it with an affirmation of your true desires. So, if you t9316303-77549111_23-s1-v1hink to yourself, “I am always late,” notice it. Then, mentally cancel the thought and affirm, “I am always on time.”

Perception is everything, people. And you can change yours at will. 🙂 Good stuff, yes? I think so. I’ll leave you with a final thought to get your wheels turning as you begin to release any negative perceptions you’ve held about yourself.

“The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”~ Carlos Castaneda

Do not allow the simplicity of this tip make you doubt its power – this is one of those things that WORKS – changing your perception intentionally, and with a little practice, not only will you see results fast, but you’ll soon realize how much control you really DO have over your own life. 

Are you ready to rewrite your story? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section, below! Let’s talk about this. 

 

Toxic Narcissism in Relationships: Top 10 Warning Signs You’re Being Gaslighted

Toxic Narcissism in Relationships: Top 10 Warning Signs You’re Being Gaslighted

“Narcissism falls along the axis of what psychologists call personality disorders, one of a group that includes antisocial, dependent, histrionic, avoidant and borderline personalities. But by most measures, narcissism is one of the worst, if only because the narcissists themselves are so clueless.” ~Jeffrey Kluger

What is Gaslighting?

Gaslighting is an ongoing form of manipulation that causes you to doubt what you see, hear and experience; in fact, to doubt your own perception of the world around you. Often used by toxic narcissists, it’s a type of brainwashing that can cause you to lose your entire sense of self. Repeatedly experiencing gaslighting will destroy your self-worth and cause you to question reality.

Where does the word Gaslighting come from?

The word gaslighting comes from Gaslight, a 1944 American film, adapted from Patrick Hamilton’s 1938 play Gas Light, where a husband tries to persuade his wife to believe that she’s insane by causing her to question herself and her reality.

What Does Gaslighting Look Like?

It can be hard to detect gaslighting from outside the relationship. It is insidious, oddly subtle and emotionally/psychologically debilitating to the victim. During gaslighting, the toxic person makes declarations and allegations which are typically based on deliberate untruths and intentional efforts.

How can you tell if you’re being gaslighted?

If you’ve ever had a friend, family member or co-worker who is a narcissist or who suffers from narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), chances are you have been the victim of gaslighting, which is a manipulation technique they often employ to get what they want.

“Those who engage in gaslighting create a reaction — whether it’s anger, frustration, sadness — in the person they are dealing with,” writes Yashar Ali in a Huffington Post article. “Then, when that person reacts, the gaslighter makes them feel uncomfortable and insecure by behaving as if their feelings aren’t rational or normal.”

While the signs you’re being gaslighted may seem “obvious” to some people, the fact is that when you’re being manipulated by a narcissist, you can’t always see the proverbial forest for the trees.

So if you find yourself feeling like you might be a little crazy (part of the whole gaslighting technique)—or even if you’re aware that it’s happening and want to recognize it as it happens—understanding the signs can be the first step to making your life a little better.

When you’re aware of the behaviors that cause your narcissist to engage in gaslighting, you can react differently and change the course of the outcome. So what are the signs you’re being gaslighted?

Top 10 Warning Signs You’re Being Gaslighted

1. Your Fears Are Used Against You

Many narcissists are very charming, at least when they want to be. Often, they will listen to every word you have to say and file away any vulnerabilities you reveal for later use.  For example, if you told a narcissist you felt insecure about your weight, they might later make discreet pokes at it, or in a romantic relationship, make comments about others who are thinner than you are – in any case, they’re out to feel “better” than you, and to tear down your self-esteem so you don’t think you can do better than them.

2. You Don’t Know Your Own Mind

Some narcissists will claim to know what you (or others) are thinking—and if you deny that your mind’s working the way they believe it is, they might just secretly think you’re lying. They might make a face or a gesture to indicate it—or in the most extreme cases of NPD, they might actually tell you that you’re lying—and even accuse you of lying to YOURSELF. Because of course, as narcissists, they can’t be wrong.

3. You Don’t Know What’s Normal

If you are regularly being told that things are normal when, deep down, you know for sure they are not, you’re likely the victim of gaslighting. For example, say your toxic boss asks you to blatantly lie to a client about the safety of an item. When you refuse, you might be told that ALL employees lie on behalf of their employers and that if you don’t want to be a team player, maybe you should find another position.

4. You’re “Diagnosed” With Major Issues

When a narcissist is lying or manipulating a friend, coworker, or loved one, and isn’t getting their way, they may turn up the intensity by questioning your sanity. You might be called paranoid, stressed out, too sensitive, or even hormonal.  They might even tell you that you need therapy or meds to get through it. Again, it’s all about being in control.

5. You Doubt Your Own Beliefs and Perceptions

You’re told that what you know to be true is not real. For example, if your narcissist mother tells you that your significant other is a loser and that you need to dump him, after a while, you could start to believe it and might even end up sabotaging the relationship because you begin to question your own judgment, thanks to regular conditioning during visits, phone calls and emails with her.

6. You Can’t Remember Anything Anymore

The narcissist is infamous for selective memory; that is, they will deny that he said something that upset you if you confront him on it, or they will promise to do something and later tell you that it never happened. They might also use creative language to downplay their own behavior and act as though your reaction is totally out of line. 

7. You Lie to Keep the Peace

You aren’t a liar by nature and you don’t lie to other people in your life. But due to the extreme stress caused by upsetting or angering the narcissist, you might find yourself at least bending the truth a little in order to avoid the verbal/physical abuse that is sure to follow any discussion or situation that is against the narcissist’s “rules.”

8. You Stop Trying to Be Heard

As humans, we are programmed to share our experiences and thoughts with the people in our lives. But when you’re dealing with a narcissist and there are signs you’re being gaslighted, you eventually might just give up. You stop talking about yourself around the narcissist, and depending on the depth of your relationship with him or her; you might even stop talking about yourself altogether. Then one day, when someone asks you a question about yourself, you’re stumped. You might even forget HOW to talk about yourself.

9. You Start Thinking Maybe You Really Are the Crazy One

The intensity of a narcissist’s manipulation tactics can really get to a person. And when you are looking for a solution (AKA a way to just END the disagreement or argument), you might just convince yourself that the narcissist is right – that there are things you could be doing better. And maybe you start to think that maybe their behavior WAS a logical reaction to your mistakes. Maybe you are the one who owes them an apology. And when you apologize, they eventually (probably) accept your apology, only to later throw your “bad behavior” back in your face when it serves them to do so.

10. You Are Depressed

As a narcissist wears you down with repeated and consistent manipulation and controlling behaviors, you may become depressed and anxious. You will constantly question yourself and feel generally hopeless. If you’re in this situation, you might feel exhausted from the roller-coaster ride the narcissist has been taking you on – and you might even think you’re just a little oversensitive (thanks to the NPD manipulation tactics to which you’re being subjected.) You get confused and start to feel disoriented. And thanks to all those references to your paranoia and memory issues, you’re likely to seek help for depression rather than the actual problem – the gaslighting narcissist in your life who is subjecting you to narcissistic abuse in a toxic relationship.

Even the so-called normal relationships in our lives can suffer from misunderstandings and miscommunications, but when someone starts using the manipulation tactics involved in gaslighting, chances are they might also be a narcissist – and if you’re going to maintain a sense of self, you’ve got to start making some changes in your life.

Do you recognize any of the signs you’re being gaslighted as part of your reality?

Could this be gaslighting by a narcissist?

Gaslighting is common tactic used by most narcissists. It is a pervasive and highly-effetive tactic meant to manipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity. Try this gaslighting test to find out.

Are you dealing with gaslighting in relationships?

 

515ILMy93HL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Have you ever been the victim of gaslighting? How would you tell a friend to handle a toxic relationship that involves gaslighting? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section, below! (Feel free to comment anonymously if you prefer).

 

 

 

More Help: Here is a video playlist packed with information to help you understand and overcome gaslighting.

Are you married to a narcissist? 12 easy ways to know for sure

Are you married to a narcissist? 12 easy ways to know for sure

How do you know if you’re married to a narcissist? How can you tell if your spouse is a narcissist, or if they’re just unwittingly submitting to their own trauma? Can they heal, or is your marriage doomed to be toxic forever? Married or not, if you’ve ever been in a sexual or romantic relationship with a narcissist, you might already understand that they often seem to be more interested in sex and pleasure than actual emotional intimacy.

It isn’t quite that simple, though, because some narcissists – specifically those of a more covert and/or cerebral nature, actually tend to reject sexual experiences, and are less likely to cheat on a partner – but more likely to slide under the radar of even their own victims.

Narcissists, Intimacy and Sex in Marriage

In fact, narcissists and those diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) “are more likely to philander and dump their partners than people who view important parts of a relationship,” according to psychologist Ilan Shrira.

“Narcissists have a heightened sense of sexuality, but they tend to view sex very differently than other people do,” said Shrira, whose 2006 study appears in the current issue of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. “They see sexuality more in terms of power, influence and as something daring, in contrast to people with low narcissistic qualities who associated sex more with caring and love.”

That’s why some narcissists tend to bounce from one relationship to the next—and most often, the relationships don’t last long and they don’t involve much emotional intimacy.

Lack of Emotional Intimacy and Connection in Toxic Relationships

“Even when they’re in a relationship, they always seem to be on the lookout for other partners and searching for a better deal,” Shrira said after the study. “Whether that’s because of their heightened sexuality or because they think multiple partners enhance their self-image isn’t entirely clear.”

Narcissists typically have an inflated sense of their own level of importance and they expect people around them to admire them and cater to them.

They often appear to have an overblown ego and can be very charming if they choose to be.

12 Signs You’re Married to a Narcissist

According to authors Steven Carter and Julia Sokol in their book Help! I’m in Love with a Narcissist, there are ways to know if your significant other is a narcissist.

@coachangieatkinson##topsigns You’re ##marriedtoanarcissist ##narcissisticabuserecoverycoaching ##toxicrelationships ##toxicrelationshipcheck ##queenbeeing ##npd

♬ original sound – Angie Atkinson

They are as follows:

  1. It feels like you’re the one doing most of the “work” in the relationship.
  2. Your partner does things to sabotage the relationship and prevent it from moving forward—but doesn’t want to let you go either.
  3. Your partner could have a history of troubled relationships and/or addictions.
  4. Your partner has episodes of excessive and often unjustified anger— sometimes even infidelity—and he or she somehow makes it all your fault.
  5. You feel emotionally exhausted, often completely drained, by how hard you have to work to make or keep your partner happy.
  6. The relationship is mostly focused around your partner’s interests and activities. When it’s not, there will be an ugly argument or outburst.
  7. You feel controlled or manipulated by your partner’s moods to the point that you might feel like you’re walking on eggshells all the time, a slave to his or her whims.
  8. You might find yourself covering up, explaining, or apologizing for his or her behavior.
  9. Your partner might make one-sided decisions that impact your safety and well-being.
  10. You might feel unsafe by some of the actions your partner takes.
  11. Your partner will refuse to see your good intentions, always blaming you for every situation, always making you admit you’re wrong, even when that’s not the case.
  12. You sometimes find yourself desperately trying to remember the times when your partner showed love for you, acted like you could do no wrong—often this is in the early parts of the relationship.

Narcissistic Abuse in Marriage: Recovery Support & Resources

If you feel you need additional help and support in your narcissistic abuse recovery, look for a trauma-informed professional who is 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 totally free.

More Free, Helpful Information & Resources to Help 

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