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

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

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

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

Consider the following facts about narcissists. 

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

Why do narcissists often get away with their abuse?

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

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

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

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

Intermittent reinforcement leads to trauma bonding

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

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

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

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

Sound like your life? Here’s help. 

Here’s Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery 

 

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

 

 

New Research Reveals the ‘Dark Core’ of Personality: The D Factor

New Research Reveals the ‘Dark Core’ of Personality: The D Factor

Dark Core of Personality Defined: New Study Exposes the D Factor in Dark Triad Qualities

Psychologists define ‘the dark core of personality’ – D-FACTOR Egoism, Machiavellianism, narcissism, psychopathy, sadism, spitefulness, and others are among the traits that stand for the malevolent dark sides of human personality. As results from a recently published German-Danish research project show, these traits share a common ‘dark core’. So, if you have one of these tendencies, you are also likely to have one or more of the others. In this video, I outline the study and explain what it means to you. Read the full study here.

Psychopaths 101: All Psychopaths Are Narcissists, but Not All Narcissists Are Psychopaths

Psychopaths 101: All Psychopaths Are Narcissists, but Not All Narcissists Are Psychopaths

Why are psychopaths so good in bed? What makes them so strange? Recently, we covered psychopaths and how they became psychopaths, plus how psychopaths differ from narcissists and sociopaths, as well what to expect from sex with a psychopath.

We also covered the diagnostic criteria for a psychopath and some important stuff about the psychopathic personality.

In this video, I’ve compiled all of this information into one convenient place.

Helpful Books for Dealing with a Psychopath

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Natural Born Killers and Gus Fring: Examples and Definitions of Psychopaths

Natural Born Killers and Gus Fring: Examples and Definitions of Psychopaths

We all know that there are a number of conditions that are commonly co-morbid with narcissistic personality disorder, and over the next several weeks, we’re going to dig into each of them in depth. This week, we’re talking about psychopaths – and we’re going to cover a number of factors in depth – so be sure to subscribe if you haven’t yet so you don’t miss one of this series.When I say the word “psychopath,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind for you? If you think of a serial killer or other kind of criminal who is sort of a society “outsider,” you’d be with the majority of the population.

But you may or may not know that you could also be married to one – or be the child or employee or sibling of one. It turns out that psychopaths are hiding among us in plain sight – and while we may assume that we could spot one, the truth is that they can be quite undetectable to the average person.

One example of a psychopath that I used in a recent video was Gus Fring from Breaking Bad, and more recently the AMC spinoff called Better Call Saul. He’s someone you’d never suspect of being a psychopath when you first meet him – he works as the fair-minded, soft-spoken owner of a small chain of successful chicken restaurants who is unfailingly polite and doesn’t seem like he could hurt a fly. But when you see him kill someone with zero regret in his face and clean himself up without one ounce of apparent nervousness, you realize what you’re seeing.

What other examples can you think of in television or movies of characters who represent psychopaths? Share your thoughts in the comments – I may use them in a fututre video.

So what are the traits of a psychopath? We’re going to start with how a psychopath is diagnosed, using the Hare Psychopathy Checklist to highlight the diagnosable traits. developed by Dr. Robert Hare, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia. Hare has taught and conducted research for more than forty years, with most of his career dedicated to the study of psychopathy.

How the Psychopath Checklist Works

There are 20 items on the checklist, some of which include: superficial charm, a grandiose notion of self-worth, the need for stimulation and impulsiveness, pathological lying, the ability to manipulate others and a lack of remorse and empathy.

In order to determine someone is psychopathic, doctors assign a score to each item, between zero and two points depending on whether a person matches each trait. This gives the highest-level psychopaths a top-out score of 40. To give you a bit of perspective, in the United States, one must score a 30 to be diagnosed a psychopath, while in the UK, you can be diagnosed as a psychopath with a score of 25.

Interestingly enough, many researchers say that psychopaths seem to have a significant amount of charisma and that they tend to have the ability to draw people in – or at the very least, to intrigue them. This is probably at least partially to their ability to charm people and manipulate them.

Another reason may be that psychopaths are often acting and mimicking normal reactions. Studies on psychopaths have found that psychopaths also do a lot of mirroring and straight-up lying to make people like them more.

Empaths May Recognize a Psychopath Better Than Someone Else

For empaths and other people who are tuned in, there are signs that can be recognized when it comes to narcissists – they tend to exhibit fake emotional responses, and we may notice them slipping up by having a weird tone or inconsistent body language. I think that relates to the fact that while they can mimic emotions and seemingly normal reactions – but they can’t actually understand them.

When it comes to psychopaths and their genuine emotions, you can expect them to be, at best, shallow and usually brief. Oh, and they definitely always have an ulterior motive for letting you see them.

They work to make you like and trust them, and they are good at it. They will charm them by telling them little insignificant secrets (which are often lies) and they’ll offer to help them out with stuff – favors around the house or loaning them money, for example, in order to gain their trust. Later, they’ll use these favors against them – either to make them do favors in return or in some cases, to get them to help manipulate someone else.

So that’s one of the qualities of a psychopath – they tend to have a shocklingly sharp way of manipulating other people and often take pleasure in doing it.

How Narcissists and Psychopaths Differ

Like narcissists, they often also have that air of superiority about them – but unlike narcissists, it’s often hard to see through it since they don’t really require any sort of validation outside of their own opinion.

Also like narcissists, they lack remorse and empathy – but unlike straight-up narcissists, they feel emotion only on a shallow level. Narcissists are absolutely not empathetic, but they feel their OWN emotions quite deeply.

Like many psychological conditions, there can be a spectrum of psychopathy, and on the most extreme end, the psychopaths could care less if you live or die – and it’s here where you find the most violent of the criminal psychopaths, including those who torture and murder people.

The full 20 criteria, includes: glibness and superficial charm, grandiose sense of self-worth, pathological lying, cunning/manipulative, lack of remorse, emotional shallowness, callousness and lack of empathy, unwillingness to accept responsibility for actions, a tendency to boredom, a parasitic lifestyle, a lack of realistic long-term goals, impulsive, irresponsibility, lack of behavioral control, behavioral problems in early life, juvenile delinquency, criminal versatility, a history of “revocation of conditional release” (ie broken parole), multiple marriages, and promiscuous sexual behavior.

This brings me to the question of the day: do you think you know someone who is a psychopath, or have you ever met anyone? What made them stand out for you? Share your thoughts in the comments section and let’s discuss it!

That’s all I’ve got for you today – but one last point I want to make: psychopaths are BORN, not made – and while their environment could certainly have an effect on their level of violent behaviors, their chemistry could be more powerful than their environment. Next time, we’re going to discuss how one becomes a psychopath in more detail.

 

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