A report in Cosmopolitan Magazine offers ten very insightful points into the psyche of your everyday, average narcissist – and if you keep these in mind when you’re dealing with one, you’ll find yourself feeling much more in control of the situation.
2. The reason they’re so fragile and insecure on the inside and mean and hateful on the outside goes all the way back to childhood. Though researchers believe there might be a genetic component, the truth is that the way a child is raised has a great deal to do with how they turn out.
There are two ways to “create” a narcissist – by denying a child unconditional love so they never feel comfortable in the emotional love, or to totally go the opposite direction and overindulging, overpraising and underdisciplining the child – making them believe they’re overly special.
This would indicate that the term “happy medium” could apply to good parenting (My note)
3. Kids who got big responsibilities at early ages are more often narcissists than those who didn’t, whether it was direct responsibility such as for a sibling or indirect such as for the emotional health of a parent. This leads to their adult selves always seeking approval and trying too hard, never allowing themselves to just “be,” rather requiring to be the center of attention.
4. A narcissist desperately needs to feel superior to everyone around him, because inside they don’t feel like they’re good enough. And they react with contempt to anyone who seems to have something they lack.
8. If you must confront a narcissist, do it carefully – they respond best to “empathic validation,” Cosmo says. So you should always “affirm the relationship first before you share anything that doesn’t feel right,” said a psychologist interviewed by the mag. “For example, if it’s someone you’re dating, say to them: ‘I care about you a lot, so when you don’t listen to what I’m saying, I feel like I’m nothing in your eyes,’ instead of ‘Why don’t you ever listen to me?'”
About the book: Do you find yourself giving all you’ve got and people still want more? Do you sometimes do without what you want or need in order to keep the people around you happy? Are you afraid to deal with confrontation and do you often find it easier to just go with the flow in order to keep the peace?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be a people pleaser. Many people pleasers are also very empathic people, who are especially attractive to toxic types who love to take advantage every chance they get.
In this book, you’ll learn how to stop feeling the need to make everyone else happy and start figuring out what makes you happy, personally, and really – not someone else’s idea of what’s supposed to make you happy,
9. The only thing that might motivate a narcissist to change is having a meaningful consequence for their bad behavior. For example, a healthy narcissist might avoid cheating on a spouse in order to preserve the relationship, because “if the consequences are high enough, they might start to reevaluate their actions.”
10. No matter how intelligent and together a narcissist is in other ways, they are emotional toddlers. Cosmo’s experts both noted that the best way to deal with a narcissist who is raging is to consider them like you would a two-year-old who is throwing a tantrum, and that most of that is just their way of “putting on a show.” Both agreed that as long as you’re not in physical danger, you have to pick your battles and decide what you will and will not tolerate, and then make your choices accordingly.
So, you’ve found yourself under fire again, the victim of yet another apparent smear campaign – courtesy of a toxic narcissist, of course.
The everyday average person can’t imagine what it’s like to experience a smear campaign at the hands of someone they love – and that’s because, in general, people who love you would never consider such behavior.
If you look up “smear campaign” in the dictionary, you’ll find that the political version of the term matches up with the narcissistic one: “a deliberate attack on somebody, by spreading an untrue and unpleasant rumor about them, or by making an accusation intended to damage their reputation.”
And contrary to popular belief, a narcissist who stoops to the level of creating a smear campaign is not crying out for help; rather, s/he’s crying out for attention and, in many cases, for a new source of supply.
That’s because it doesn’t work the same way as a “normal” person’s mind does. See, most people feel empathy for others in their lives, and they’d never want to hurt someone they love. But narcissists don’t really see others as people who are on the same level; to them, to put it bluntly, you are not a person.
That’s because, according to Robert Hare, PhD, “their information, including emotional information, is scattered all over both brain hemispheres – it takes too long or the brain to retrieve and process information, and the entire process of socialization becomes so ponderous that ultimately, it fails.”
Living with a narcissist puts you in a tough spot: you sort of forgo the simple pleasures in life. Rather than taking fun strolls down memory lane and laughing together, you’ll find yourself feeling like you’re literally sleeping with the enemy.
It’s like the very stuff that makes life worth living becomes forbidden to you – and as you watch those in healthy relationships have normal, healthy interactions with their loved ones, the pain can become even more intense.
But as always, you smile as you die a little inside, bit by bit, each time your voice gets silenced…each time you are blamed and shamed for reacting to your narcissist’s emotional and verbal abuse.
Sadly, this behavior is entirely normal for toxic narcissists. See, they are people psychologists group in with the Cluster B personality disorders – and these types are known to pathologically lie, gaslight and run smear campaigns on their victims.
While the narcissist is capable of understanding that causing social harm, damage and general invalidation of your fundamental human rights is wrong, it doesn’t stop him/her – and they also continue with lying and manipulating people and trying to gaslight them, knowing it is morally wrong.
But though they recognize the moral wrongness, they equally show no concern about it as they actively work to recruit flying monkeys – people who (wittingly or not) do the narcissist’s bidding.
What does a smear campaign look like?
So, for example, a narcissist might run a smear campaign on a friend or even a spouse by making up rumors and stories about their target’s mental health (or lack thereof). This way, when or if their victims try to speak out or get help (or even support) with the abuse, the victim’s credibility has been undermined in advance.
The narcissist will point out that the victim is behaving exactly as s/he predicted, and will use the victim’s natural response to this outrageous smear campaign against him or her.
Worse, a narcissist actually sort of “gets off” on this kind of stuff – the idea of “getting away” with something gives them something to feel excited about. They have absolutely no empathy for anyone else, and they only show feelings of remorse if it becomes necessary to do so – as in, if they get caught.
As the victim spirals through the pain and emotional torment of being publicly humiliated and experiencing the deepest depths of shame, betrayal and general invalidation, the narcissist feels no sadness or remorse; rather they find themselves feeling physical, emotional and psychological pleasure. The narcissist will project whatever image might suit their needs at the moment on to the target, and they use this to self-stroke their ego.
It’s a bit like emotional masturbation, which they accomplish by manipulating other people’s relationships and creating situations in which they can triangulate people.
Then, they lie about one of their sources of supply to the other and they end up feeling very powerful, at least for a moment.
And these days, one of the easiest and most effective ways to covertly bully a victim is through social media. This might begin subtly at first, as in sharing “pointed” memes and quotes, or it might be more overt, as directly calling out the victims on social media.
This usually involves some perceived offense in which the target stands up for him or her self and is rewarded with a big old case of narcissistic injury.
And even harder to swallow is the fact that narcissists will often claim to be victims of their own kinds of abuse – and they’ll play the injured party while they torment their targets secretly.
And, when a kind-hearted person takes pity on the poor, injured narcissist, as they inevitably do, the narcissist feels validated and immediately understands that they’ve found a new potential target – or at the very least, a new flying monkey.
What it all comes down to is that since narcissists are virtually incapable of normal human emotional behavior, they must manufacture joy and happiness by taking a rather sadistic pleasure in being the predatory creatures they are.
Even if they’re directly confronted with actual facts that invalidate their lies, narcissists will hold on to those lies. Worse, the longer the smear campaign continues, the more committed the narcissist becomes and the more outrageously he will behave.
So how can you deal with a narcissist who is smear campaigning you?
Honestly, while exposing the narcissist to the people in his life may help some of them to get a clue and stop allowing themselves to be his narcissistic supply, it’ll only temporarily slow the narcissist down.
In fact, it’ll give him or her the proper fuel s/he needs to get his next supply on the line – his very own savior. Because, of course, in his version of the story, you’ll be just the crazy bitch who was so mean and hateful to him and who tried to make his family and friends hate him.
You feel me? It’s a cycle.
It’s not worth it – it will only further serve to make you miserable.
If you’re still dealing with the narcissist, you can try this tip.
If you’re stuck with the narcissist because you’re co-parenting, or because he or she is your boss or mother-in-law and you just can’t go NC for some reason, the best response is to use the gray rock method – in which you literally don’t react at ALL.
But the best solution to deal with smear campaigns is this.
The best and only solution to dealing with this kind of person and remaining or becoming happy in your life is to take back your power and choose to create the life you really want, with or without the narcissist – most likely, without. Going no contact or low contact is statistically the most successful way to do it and the only “sure-thing” kind of answer you can find.
If you’ve ever been in a relationship with a toxic narcissist, you know how painful and traumatic it can be for an adult. Imagine how it would feel if you were a child – and if it were all you knew.
You probably are already aware that narcissistic parents refuse to respect or even acknowledge their children’s desires.
If you’re co-parenting with a narcissist, for example, you may watch him or her promise your kids the world, in order to get what he/she wants from them, and then refuse to honor the promises. He may even directly blame the kids for his refusal, such as inventing a reason to punish them.
The kids of a narcissist are often forced to miss out on events like birthday parties, little league games or other activities that are important to them in order to accommodate the narcissistic parent’s wishes.
And before long, if you’re co-parenting with a narcissist, your children will learn that what they want is just not important.
When Your Mom or Dad is a Narcissist: What the Kids Deal With
For a child of a narcissist, the intense rage alternating with the guilt and occasional public display of affection are combined with trying to do whatever the narc parent wishes to appease him. Unfortunately, it never works that way and the child will always ultimately fail to meet his standards of perfection.
This leads to the child constantly being told she’s a complete failure. She grows up without the ability to make her own choices, and she may become socially awkward, having trouble with setting boundaries.
Worse, the child of a narcissist will often fall to a line of successive abusers, as she has no notion of normal behavior and of what to expect from relationships.
She will believe that her feelings of being taken advantage of are her own fault. She will think she’s oversensitive (that’s what the narcissist tells her when she has a legitimate concern). She also feels that she somehow deserves the abuse and so has no option but to tolerate it, as everyone would do the same to her.
No good parent wants her child to experience these things. So how can you be sure you’re co-parenting with a narcissist? Check out these signs and see if you might recognize someone you know or love.
When his children fail to live up to his expectations, he severely punishes them.
Incapable of empathy, so will rain down toxic criticism and disapproval on children, even when they are good. That’s partially because the kids have their own feelings and personalities (which are separate and different from the narcissist’s), so they are never good enough.
Wants total control over his/her family. Expects children to become copies of himself, which he considers the measure of perfection.
Often causes kids to grow up with severe guilt and incredibly low self-esteem. May even cause them to become narcisists themselves.
Maintains two separate “identities” – one to the “outside world,” which includes even extended family, and another to those who live within the circle of influence (or the home).
Appears to outsiders to be a great listener, generous with time and money, charming, etc. But within those inside the home, a narc parent will be dismissive, ignoring and/or directly cruel. May also play mind games.
Covert narcs will seek attention with very subtle moves, often glaring at her targets across the room or kicking them under the table to get them to stop hogging the spotlight. Overt narcs will be more obvious with their attention-seeking behaviors – sometimes even openly interrupting or causing a scene when it’s not all about them.
Takes behaviors and misbehaviors of children as personal compliments and attacks on his or her Self – because as far as a narc parent is concerned, her children are simple extensions of herself. Is often over-dramatic and is heard saying things like “I can’t believe you would do this to me…” when disciplining children for normal childhood mistakes.
Sees his children, as well as everyone else, not as people who have own personalities, needs and feelings. but as merely objects that exist only to serve his purposes.
Gaslights children and spouse, intentionally undermining their senses of self and invading boundaries. This may manifest with subtle criticism, or it may be more direct.
For example, a narc mother whose daughter made the cheerleading squad might try to live virtually through the daughter, especially if she herself wanted to be a cheerleader and never made the squad.
She could do this by being incredibly controlling and overbearing, requiring her daughter to practice excessively and building discipline into cheerleading fails.
Alternatively, she might go the other direction and cast doubt on her. (“You only made the team because they felt sorry for you.”) Or, she might predict failure on the endeavor – but cloaked in concern. (“Are you sure you want to do this? What if you break your neck?”)
Believes that spouse and children don’t deserve to choose their own boundaries and will actively challenge and overstep them.
Behaves as though children and spouse are possessions which don’t have valid thoughts and opinions.
Becomes indignant and/or denies it if you ask them to discuss these behaviors.
For example, if your narc mother knows that you love to cook, she may pretend she doesn’t when you mention something about it. But if you confront her and remind her how you won that cooking contest you entered last year, she instantly reminds you that she’s always telling people that you’re a great cook.
May actually tell people about your accomplishments, but only to make herself look good and to get attention.
Envies the good things that others have, but won’t admit to wanting those things and won’t attempt to get them. But if anyone else does something to improve their circumstances, may call them selfish and entitled.
For example, if the narc mother of an adult learned that her daughter bought her first brand new car, she’d shake her head and murmur something about the dangers of new car ownership and how much insurance must be costing by now, rather than simply saying “wow, congrats honey!” or something else that is in any way appropriate.
Never likes people “for real,” even though she may have a huge social circle. There are few people she will speak very well of, and she’s not really emotionally close to anyone. The people who they do seem to like are often their admirers and/or those who don’t ask much of them.
Vain, but maybe not how you’d expect. For example. while she may not be openly flashy or stylish, a narc mother is very concerned about what people think. So, if she had to choose between “keeping up appearances” or protecting her kids? She’d definitely go with the former.
Can’t deal with other people’s strong emotions. May instantly bristle when someone, even her child, comes to her with an emotional problem – or any strong emotion at all. Behaves as though the emotions of others are a burden and may even try to make them all about her and/or steal the “spotlight” of any issue.
For example, if her child is getting a risky surgery, she will focus more on how it’s affecting her, rather than the child – and will suck up as much attention and pity as possible in the process.
Will make it all about how upsetting this is to her, rather than the fact that her child’s life is at risk. (Will still, of course, appear to be the perfect parent with an appropriate amount of concern to all of the “outsiders” in her life.)
Expects people to wait on him/her – and expects not to reciprocate. May make statements such as “I work for a living, after all” or “Must be nice to sit around here and do nothing while I work my ass off for you!”
Are you co-parenting with a narcissist? What are your best tips to cope? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section, below. Let’s discuss it.
Narcissistic abuse can KILL YOU! Do you think I’m joking? Maybe being a little dramatic?
Listen, we all know how hard it can be to live with, work with or really be in any sort of relationship with a toxic person, and this is especially true in the case of relationships with narcissistic people.
Narcissists have a lot of major issues, right? One of the most perplexing is how horribly mean they can be to the people closest to them. It seems like own self-esteem is so low that they are often “on a mission” to destroy the self-esteem of everyone else in their path – this includes, of course, their favorite source(s) of narcissistic supply. But as if this drama weren’t enough, being a victim of narcissistic abuse leaves you with yet another (much more sinister) issue to worry about.
Narcissistic abuse and the trauma related to it can really negatively affect your health, and in certain extreme cases, can literally kill you. But before we talk about how narcissistic abuse can kill you, let me explain what I mean when I use the term “narcissistic abuse.”
What is Narcissistic Abuse?
Narcissistic abuse is a type of relationship abuse that is committed by a malignant narcissist (or someone who is or would be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder) and someone close to them, often a spouse or partner, a child or other family member, or a close friend. In some cases, narcissists will also abuse coworkers, subbordinates, neighbors and service people too.
Narcissistic abuse is hard to detect in many cases, as from the outside, everything might seem perfect. In fact, even in the mind of a narcissist’s victim, it can seem that the problem isn’t with the narcissist at all, but with the victim’s shortcomings and failures. In reality, this is so common because narcissistic abuse involves subtle manipulation, pervasive control tactics, gaslighting, and emotional and psychological abuse.
7 Side-Effects of Narcissistic Abuse That Can Kill You
So, we’ve established the fact that that narcissistic abuse can cause a lot of problems – both emotionally and physically. If you want to stay healthy, you need to know what you’re dealing with. Perhaps recognizing how seriously this pervasive kind of abuse can affect your life might help you find the catalyst you need to get out of an abusive relationship with a narcissist. I hope it helps you to at least see that you’re not being dramatic when you feel abused by the narcissist in your life. It’s not as harmless as it seems.
Here are seven side-effects of narcissistic abuse that can literally kill you.
Depression is common in narcissistic abuse victims. During a toxic relationship, the narcissist will emotionally batter you. This will lead you to begin to feel worthless. Plus, the narcissist will abuse you to the point that you can’t stand dealing with anyone else’s emotional issues or concerns. This, along with a few other factors, will eventually isolate you from your friends and sometimes even your family. Isolation only gives you time to think about all the things that are wrong with you – of which of course, the narcissist is happy to remind you. This leads you to doubt yourself on literally every level, which causes you to go into a deeper depression. And depression, on its own, can lead to so many other issues.
Anxiety is another big issue for narcissistic abuse victims. The constant emotional abuse and psychological torment narcissistic people inflict on those closest to them cause a victim to live in a constant state of being alert (or even alarmed), and this can lead to extreme episodes of anxiety and panic attacks. Low self-esteem is pretty common in victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse. The side-effects of the lack of confidence combined with the ongoing emotional torture lead you to live in constant fear.
Stress is a part of everyone’s lives, but it can be brutal and excessive for someone who’s dealing with narcissistic abuse. And due to the nature of narcissistic abuse, victims aren’t not likely to take the steps necessary to avoid some of their stress, which combined with all of the other effects of ongoing psychological abuse, causes their anxiety to build.
Weight gain is very common for narcissistic abuse victims. A lot of narcissistic abuse survivors find they struggle with their relationships with food during the abuse and even in narcissistic abuse recovery later. I personally still struggle with this one on occasion. Of course, for anyone, gaining too much weight can cause life-threatening health issues, such as heart problems, sleep apnea, diabetes, and a host of other illnesses. And in most cases, it can further reduce your self-esteem and even lead to most other symptoms on this list.
In some cases, we make an intentional choice to lose weight. But while some people gain weight as a side effect of narcissistic abuse, others tend to develop different eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia. So, rather than overeating, they binge and purge their food or starve themselves, whether as a coping mechanism or in an effort to maintain a figure acceptable to their abusers. Unfortunately, the health complications associated with these eating disorders are as significant as the ones associated with being obese, if not more so. If you are struggling with an eating disorder, it really is life-threatening. I’m asking you personally to please get help immediately. You can call this Helpline for support, resources, and treatment options, and according to the organization’s website, “helpline volunteers are trained to help you find the information and support you are looking for.”
While some narcissistic abuse victims may find themselves addicted to food or shopping (and both of these can cause devastation in their own ways), others end up with more dangerous addictions. For example, some survivors end up being addicted to gambling, or sex. And then, there are the many who end up being addicted to alcohol, street drugs, or even prescription drugs. These addictions are common for narcissistic abuse victims as they often feel the need to sort of “numb out” during and after abuse episodes. Some say they get high on these drugs and live that moment in time in a different world where they have no cares and no problems. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always end well. Some addicted victims end up brain-damaged or even dead if the addiction isn’t dealt with in a healthy way. If you are struggling with an addiction that could risk your life, please don’t feel ashamed of yourself. I totally understand how you could end up where you are, and so does every other survivor of narcissistic abuse. What’s important now is that you do not give up on yourself, because you have a chance to live again.
Start by getting help with your addiction. SAMSHA (US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Association) has a free helpline you can call if you’re struggling with an addiction or even with mental health issues. Here’s the phone number: 1-800-662-4357 According to the website, “SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders,” and the service offers “confidential free help, from public health agencies, to find substance use treatment and information.”
In addition to the brain damage that can be caused by certain addictions, most long-term narcissistic abuse victims experience a form of brain damage that results in some C-PTSD symptoms. Another common issue that could be related to the brain damage caused by narcissistic abuse is fibromyalgia and some related conditions, such as chronic pain and certain autoimmune issues. Trauma bonding is a also major factor in the structural changes the brain goes through during ongoing abuse.
These are only a few of the major health issues that narcissistic abuse can cause. I want you to ask yourself: is this toxic abuser worth your health? And without your health, what do you have left?
Please remember that you do not deserve to be abused. You do not deserve to have your life put at risk every day, nor do you deserve to have your health chipped away, bit by bit, by someone who genuinely does not care about how you feel, and who doesn’t believe that you are even a whole person.
Get help with your anxiety and PTSD or C-PTSD symptoms!