We Are Raised to Be Victims of Narcissists

When a person finally figures out what they were/are involved with they often say they feel broken, crushed, don’t know who they are or what they believe in. Their world has flown off its axis and they are free falling into a black oblivion, they feel stupid, foolish, weak, naive, pathetic.

It is not just the narcissist’s lies that make us feel uncertain about everything, when we once were certain about most things and confident; it is that everything we were raised to believe about the world was challenged and used against us. Of course we are lost and don’t know which way is up and everything looks so bleak, we have nothing sacred any more, nothing to believe in. 

How we raise our children does nothing to prepare them for the day they meet a narcissist, in fact we teach them how to be the perfect victim. We head out into the world thinking that every one is basically playing by the same rules.

 Lets look at a few of the things we instill in our children, priming them for the narcissist. 

Don’t be a tattle tale – Who hasn’t said that to a child? I ran a day care and there was always one tattle tale in the group who tattled on everyone for every little thing they did wrong. They are a pain in the ass. (sorry they are) But we need to put a disclaimer on “don’t be a tattle tale”, we need to tell our kids that it is ok, in fact it is imperative that they tell when someone is hurting them, and we don’t ask “Well, what did you do to make him treat you that way?”  The narcissist has mastered the art of talking badly about a person without looking like he is, James had perfected it by starting to say something and then cutting himself off as if to say, “No its not right, I can’t tell you what she did.” Then the other person says, “Tell me, I won’t tell anyone, you need to get it off your chest.” Then he says something like, “I should have been firmer with her, or “I shouldn’t have let her get to me”, “It was my own fault for trusting her,” So it appears he is taking the blame and the person listening is assuring him it isn’t his fault and tada!!! Tell a few key people and then sit back and let them do the dirty work for you. All the while the victim is sitting at home, silent, not wanting to make the narcissist look bad or not wanting to look like a tattle tale.

Good things come to those who wait – Patience is a virtue as long as you aren’t being controlled by another person who is punishing you by withholding what they know you need. The narcissist is famous for dangling the carrot in order to get people to do what he wants and has no intention of ever coming good on his promises.

Honesty is the best policy– Honesty is the best policy but just because you are honest and ask for honesty back does not mean you will get it. Narcissists will lie to you about everything, even when it makes no sense to lie AND will use your honesty against you.

Treat others as you would want to be treated – Again, great in theory if everyone operated on that principle but they don’t. The narcissist loves people who live by that rule, because when they treat you like crap you treat them even better trying to show them how you want to be treated but what you are showing them is they can treat you like crap and you will stick around for more. You expect them to be faithful so you give them no reason to think otherwise. While you are sitting at home proving your love for them, they are out screwing everything they can and cutting you to shreds to justify it. Nice.


Play fair – or in other words, play by the rules. The narcissist keeps changing the rules and we keep running in circles, jumping through hoops and trying to play fair and by the rules but it is impossible because he keeps changing them.

Share – the narcissist LOVES this one, He tells us we are being selfish to not let him have the things he wants and the last thing we want to do is appear selfish or stingy, so he takes everything he can, anything you own is his for the taking until we realize that it is one way, we aren’t sharing, we are continually giving, handing over our hard earned money, homes, vehicles, life savings and we are getting nothing in return.

Forgive and forget – along with that comes, don’t hold a grudge. We teach our children to say they are sorry and they should accept the other person’s apology. We don’t teach them what a true apology looks like. Sorry, is not an apology if they are blaming you, you don’t have to accept blame for another person’s actions. And forgiveness does not mean you have to stay with that person, or continue being their friend, you can forgive and walk away. In the narcissist’s mind when he is forgiven he expects to be immediately absolved of his sins, a clean slate, never to be mentioned again even though he goes out and does the same thing again he expect to be forgiven again, because he was forgiven for the same thing last month it can not be brought up. Forgiveness to a narcissist is a ticket to keep doing whatever it is he did, forever more. To forgive a narcissist is to accept the behavior, you have to walk away, they give you no choice. 

If you can’t say something good about somebody say nothing at all – We are taught it is wrong to talk badly about someone, especially someone we love, so we don’t tell when they do horrible things to us. They on the other hand have no problem talking badly about you and if you have done nothing wrong they will make up something.


It is better to give than receive – It does feel good to give, I have always enjoyed giving more than receiving but when you are the one doing ALL the giving it starts to not feel so good any more. When it is expected you start to resent the fact that you never get a Christmas gift but you don’t want to complain and sound selfish. The N will be more than happy to point out how self centered you are if you do mention it. After all if you really loved them you would want them to have the things that make them happy.

God answers prayers – We feel deserted by God because we keep praying for the man was fell in love with to return. God won’t give us things he knows are bad for us just because we prayed for it. He is waiting, he will be there once you are free of the N. God can perform miracles but even he has limitations; changing the narcissist into a loving caring person is even beyond God’s powers. 


17 thoughts on “We Are Raised to Be Victims of Narcissists

  1. Great post Carrie! Looks like we were all raised to be N food! The thing is I have no idea HOW normal healthy , living parents would raise their kids any other way. I guess, as you have always said it takes education re PD’s , to make children aware these soul suckers exist to begin to make any kind of head way in protecting our children. And even then……….it looks bleak I am sorry to say. I don’t know what the answer is truly. I guess our job after surviving one, or 2 or 3, is the educate our children about what exactly happened in our life, share our experience , like we do here. Give it a name, don’t sweep it under the carpet as we sometimes tend to do when we don’t want the kids to think bad about the N. Explain that there are ppl in the world with bad intentions. Explain that there are ppl that will hurt you and not care. Emphasize that if something feels wrong then it IS wrong for them. Give little girls more real life “heroines” instead of “princess, fairy tale stories” of real, strong women, read biographies to them.

    I believe a world w/o N’s is not possible at this point, but how our children react to them refuse to interact with them is a definite possibility.


    1. Ellie, thank you and I agree, I think we are stuck with N’s in the world and we have to learn how to deal with them or recognize them so we don’t have to deal with them. I think it should be taught in school, about the age kids start to date, in business class, humanities class, science class, whatever. I think school counselors need to be more aware of narcissists and the damage they do. Just more education and awareness. More people speaking out about their experiences.
      Breaking the silence is the only answer.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. All the old platitudes end up in so much dysfunction!!!
    You’re compassionate, then devastated………………How about this one: “I don’t believe in evil so it can’t hurt me”


    1. Gabrielle, your example “I don’t believe in evil so it can’t hurt me” is a lot like my mom’s “Don’t tell me….what I don’t know can’t hurt me”
      Thanks for your input


  3. “Dangling the carrot.”

    Boy, howdy.

    The woman I mentioned in the support forum thread, who claimed to be an N victim, today revealed through her messages that she is actually an N.

    She dangled the carrot of getting to see her in front of me for the two weeks I spent in her city, but actually delivered but once, for one dinner. Meanwhile, I kept my schedule open, hoping to hear from her, and missed chances to see many old friends, while she gave me the silent treatment. Today, she sent messages that attempted to at the blame-shifting game.

    Ironically, it’s the very reading I did about NPD, so that I’d be better able to support her, that let me recognize her game.

    Fortunately, I only lost three months to her.

    My heart goes out to all of you who have suffered so much more.


    1. DKWhatToDo, I am sorry but not surprised. So many times the narcissist will complain about their ex and twist the truth around so that their ex was doing to them what in honesty they were doing to their ex. They always take the victim role. Isn’t it ironic that because you were looking to help her you found the information you needed to help yourself. Yes you are fortunate that you only lost 3 months, please keep it that way and don’t allow her the chance to sneak back into your life. I am sure she will pop back into your life and try to suck you back into her web. Be strong and stay no contact, move forward knowing you dodged a bullet!
      Glad I could help.


    1. Bamboozled, my ex used to say we were raised differently and he just could not handle my dysfunctional way of viewing things. He was far to healthy and thought he could help me but he just could not deal with it. It was not my fault, I couldn’t help the way I was raised, LOL


      1. wowww, projection!!!!
        *he* knows he wasnt raised properly… he knows theres something wrong with them… he just has to look at his sister… now she lies a lot yes… buttttt, in some ways, shes the most honest of them all! which, is really really sad. i really feel for her, shes the scapegoat… acts out the dysfunction so everyone else can appear perfect… i would love to tell her, hey, its not your fault, they did this to you… but. well its not my place, or my problem for that matter!


        1. Bamboozled, that is like James sister also. She is the black sheep but she speaks the truth, she is the one that encouraged me to leave James and she is the one that filled me in on a lot of the lies he had been telling me since day one of the relationship. He set her up many times to take the fall and throw them off his trail. I feel sorry for her too.


  4. Amen! I raised my son saying that he can “tattle” about anything and everything.. The last thing I wanted was him to stay silent if someone had hurt him in any way. When he was very little I just told him to tell me everything and that ‘tattling’ wasn’t wrong and even if it was something silly, I still thanked him for telling me. I knew one day he’d be a teen and I’d be begging him to talk to me so I gave him an open door from day one. Crazy how our society tells kids it’s wrong to ‘tattle’ all through the school years and suddenly they hit junior high and we all wonder why there is a bullying problem and kids are suffering in silence and then, God forbid, some are taking their own lives because the pain was too much to bear alone. Even the kids who were not the victims of the bullying and stood on the sidelines watching didn’t want to say anything because they, too, were conditioned not to tell on anyone! Tattle on, I say! And tattle on that narcissist! Thank you, Carrie, for ‘tattling’ on JC with your blog and thereby tattling on narcissists everywhere. Abuse thrives in silence so let’s all keep speaking out. 🙂

    Oh, and I just thought of some beliefs that I was raised on that kept me stuck with the N…’you reap what you sow’…’love conquers all’…and ‘it takes two’…while those two things are true in the right context, they simply don’t apply with a Narc. We were not reaping what we had sowed…we did not deserve to be treated poorly for treating someone nicely. You cannot conquer narcissism by loving the narc more and more…they only use it against you. It takes two to make things work but only one to ruin things.


    1. anon, good for you! I too always had open communication with my son, I always listened to his side and allowed him his feelings and he has always been honest with me and come to me with his problems. He grew up to be a confident (not arrogant) man who treats women respectfully but will not tolerate any woman mistreating him. I am continually amazed at how together and level headed he is. But I was raised in a home where kids were not listened to and weren’t allowed their feelings and I was not going to raise my son like that. I got flack from my family for the way I raised Kris but he turned out pretty dang good.
      You are right, it takes two to make it work but one can ruin a relationship. His mom had said to me that I had to admit my faults in the relationship, it is never one sided. I told her that if the relationship is based on lies from day one there is no way the other person can be help responsible for the relationship failing. How can they? they weren’t dealing with a real person.
      Thanks for your input!


  5. Your post came just in time. Just when I thought the dust was settling I open my email and there was an email from a phone number….I put my glasses on to clarify and Yep. He figured out a way to ‘get me’. I never thought of blocking emails from a phone number! Oy Vey! It’s always something. If only the N could harness his creativity and energy of doing evil into doing good there would be world peace.

    And it was all there. The abuse, the lies, the mind games, the circles…it was all there. Delete delete delete but not fast enough to delete it from my brain. I sat on the edge of my bed. Do I cry? scream? how do I stop the pain and the ANGER and the confusion that I knew was wrong and I couldn’t keep it from flooding my brain. I paced the room, sat down, stood up, went downstairs opened the fridge, closed the fridge, back upstairs.

    I turned off the lights and turned on my meditation CD and I thought “if this is as bad as it gets, I’ll get through it”. But the anger was almost unbearable. This morning it’s better. The phone number is blocked on my emails. He must not be getting all the attention he wants and so he found me. All I can think of is “why can’t you just die?”


    1. Pamela, ^5, you did it, you made it through!! awesome!! way to work through it and way to block the sob. I have been there pacing, not knowing what to do with myself, it is a horrible feeling. But you did the exact right thing. I love that, “if this is as bad as it gets, I’ll get through it” it’s true and you did.
      Proud of ya!!
      Big Hugs


    1. LivBySurprise, Good one!! Yeah, words can’t hurt me……..one of the biggest lies we tell children. and that is why verbal abuse isn’t taken seriously, it the abuse doesn’t leave visible scars and bruises it isn’t abuse. Words leave much deeper scars that some times never heal.


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