There are some misconceptions going around that have the potential to be dangerous to unwitting victims of a narcissist.
Twenty years ago no one had even heard of a narcissist and a psychopath was someone depicted as running the Bates Hotel.
I had heard of Narcissist, the fabled guy who fell in love with his own reflection, but he was a joke, not to be feared.
After leaving my ex I was determined to figure out what happened to me and warn others.
There really wasn’t much information out there about narcissists and what I could find was vague and didn’t seem like my ex. One of the reasons I had fallen in love with my ex was the fact that he wasn’t a braggard. I had dated egomaniacs before and they never lasted long. I could not stand a guy who had to put a price on everything, interrupt people and be the center of attention. You know the guy, the one telling off color jokes at the top of his lungs, the used car salesman stereotype, the sleazeball leaning against the cigarette machine with his shirt undone to his navel with a gold chain and hitting on all the women. I never understood how they got women.
Or the guys in the gym who can’t walk past a mirror without flexing, or the highschool jock who has girls flocking at his feet. No fear of me ever falling for someone like that! As for a guy controlling what I wear, who my friends are, or when I go out; that was downright laughable!!
I was reading a post on a victims of a narcissist support site and some woman was saying she has learned to co-exist with her narcissistic husband. According to her, she knew exactly how to “handle” him. When I hear anyone say they know how to “handle” a narcissist and they can co-exist peacefully, I know one of three things is going on,
1. they are not with a narcissist
2. they are deep in denial
3. The narcissist has not revealed his true colors yet
She was defensive and told me she had done lots of research and knew what she was talking about. She related a story of a friend who’s husband was so selfish he filled the garage with all his “toys” and the wife could not park her car in the garage in winter and said, she would never presume to tell this friend to leave her husband and find someone better.
I would hope the hell not!! If that is the worst the woman has to deal with she should consider herself lucky.
This woman has a very warped definition of a narcissist!! Narcissists are NOT benign!!
It seems to me calling someone a narcissist has become the “in” thing to do. Everyone who has had a bad experience of any kind, been rejected by a man, or been with an inconsiderate man, is quick to label them a narcissist. The self righteous, “I am woman hear me roar” women will tell you they know how to deal with a narcissist. They tell a man what they think, they never let a man walk all over them. They aren’t a doormat.
Let me be very clear, narcissist is NOT the new age term for asshole.
If you sleep with a man even though he refuses to commit, you are making a conscious decision to have sex with a man without a commitment. If a man is honest enough to tell you, “I don’t love you”, “I don’t want a commitment”, “I don’t want to ever get married” believe him! Don’t assume you are going to win his love by being a doormat.
If a man falls out of love with you, it’s gonna hurt, but it happens, deal with it, it does not make him a narcissist.
Now, what does make him a narcissist?
The DSM 5, used to diagnose personality disorders, says at least 5 of these symptoms must exist:
A grandiose sense of self-importance
A preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
A belief that he or she is special and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people or institutions
A need for excessive admiration
Interpersonally exploitive behavior
Envy of others or a belief that others are envious of him or her
A demonstration of arrogant and haughty behaviors or attitudes
In a proposed alternative model cited in DSM-5, NPD is characterized by moderate or greater impairment in personality functioning, manifested by characteristic difficulties in 2 or more of the following 4 areas  :
It still sounds rather obscure and benign if you don’t fully understand how these traits manifest themselves.
Besides, by the time a victim goes looking for answers to “what the hell is happening?” They are in so deep it can be almost impossible to safely leave the relationship.
Any normal halfway intelligent woman wouldn’t date a narcissist if they saw him without his mask on the first date or two. When you meet the narcissist he is nothing like the description above, in fact he probably seems the exact opposite.
It isn’t even possible to describe how to a pick a narcissist out of the crowd or say what kind of woman they are attracted to because they morph into the victim’s perfect partner. They don’t have a “type” of woman, every woman they meet, regardless of age, looks, economic status, or religious beliefs is assessed for their value to the narcissist. Not every woman will fall for them but that is of little consequence to the narcissist because he has so many women in various stages of falling for his act he always has one or two ready to step into the role of his main supply.
He will use women for whatever he sees of benefit to him. One might provide a roof over his head, another could give him prestige, or a desired job, it could be simply a sexual relationship.
The one thing all the women will have in common is they will all think they are special to the narcissist and that he is totally in love with her alone. They will all think they know him better than anyone else and not have a clue who he really is. Most women find out exactly how little they knew about him after the relationship ends.
Before we go any further, let me clarify some misconceptions about narcissist. The mental health professionals can’t even agree on many aspects of narcissism. There is controversy about how dangerous they are, if they can be “healed” and how someone becomes a narcissist.
Some quick facts:
Not all narcissists were abused as children. I believe many of them were simply because they were narcissists and the parents were trying to teach them right from wrong. There can be numerous children in a family raised by the same two parents in the exact same way and one of them will be a narcissist and different from birth, always lying, breaking rules, blaming their siblings, getting in trouble in school etc
Brain scans have been done that prove narcissist and psychopath’s brains never develop the ability to feel empathy or guilt. Consequently, they can not be healed, not with therapy or by your magical love.
People will tell you narcissists aren’t dangerous. But recent research is showing otherwise. All psychopaths are narcissistic. They say narcissists don’t murder people, only psychopaths do that. If they both display the exact same traits how does a lay person distinguish between the two. A narcissist is just a psychopath who hasn’t killed yet.
There are three personality disorders that are considered the most dangerous; psychopathy, sociopathy, and narcissism. The reason they are so dangerous is because they are the only disorders that lack a conscience. Think about it; without a conscience what stops a person from doing whatever they want whenever they want. Most of us have been so angry at someone at some point in our lives that we thought, “I could kill the bastard”; but we don’t! Because we know our conscience wouldn’t allow it. We may see something we like and think, “I really want that”, but we don’t steal it because we would feel too guilty, or we would think Karma would get us, or God, or we know how we would feel if someone stole from us. A narcissist doesn’t have those filters. He wants it, he takes it, without any guilt, in fact he feels entitled to take it.
Therapy doesn’t help a narcissist, except to help him be better at being a narcissist. Counselling only provides the narcissist with more information he can use to manipulate his victims and improve his acting skills.
Narcissists will tell you that they aren’t dangerous or even that evil. I have been told by narcissists that I am describing a psychopath, psychopaths say I am describing a sociopath or narcissist, the sociopath says, “Not ME! You are talking about narcissists!
One of the leading traits of a narcissist is that they are pathological liars. Why would you believe anything they say?
I heard a long time ago,
“If a narcissist’s lips are moving, he’s lying.”
Which is another reason therapy doesn’t help them and why therapists don’t agree on the cause, motives, and severity of narcissism; they never get a straight answer from the narcissist.
They are academy award worthy actors. They knew at a very young age they were different than everyone else, so they learned to imitate the emotions of those around them in order to fit in and go undetected. They learned that acting the way they wanted got them in trouble and worked against them. They are usually highly intelligent so figure out they get much further if they pretend to be like everyone else. That is where upbringing plays a major role in how they present themselves, and some are more sophisticated than others.
Look! I don’t really care what label you put on them, there is a type of person out there in the world destroying lives and they all follow the same m.o. The Diagnostic Manual wants to put narcissists, psychopaths, and sociopaths under the same classification and call them Antisocial Disorder.
People want to break it down even further to Malignant, Covert, Cerebral, and Somatic Narcissist. As far as I am concerned, we give the narcissist far too much attention as it is. A narcissist is a narcissist is a narcissist.
We go looking for answers so we can put our experience, the narcissist in a nice little box and file it away. We think if we can figure out how the narcissist ticks and why he does the things he does, it will help us heal, give us closure.
We think he can give us answers for why he wants to destroy us, the one who loved him unconditionally. Because we do have a conscience, empathy and guilt, we know that for us to treat people that way we would have had to have something truly horrible happen to us. No one acts that way without reason.
You are wrong, narcissists treat people that way without any justification…..because they are narcissists. They know they “hurt” people, but without the ability to feel empathy, hurt, is just a word. Love, is a word they use to manipulate their victims, they have no idea how it feels to truly love someone. In order to truly love someone you have to feel empathy.
Now don’t go crying for the narcissist, feeling sorry for the poor guy who will never know how it feels to love and be loved, doomed to live a lonely loveless life and die alone.
The narcissist actually feels superior to the rest of society. He sees feelings as what makes people weak, it is the thing that enables him to victimize so many people. Why would he want to be like his victims? He thinks his victims are stupid and weak so deserve to be used by him. Every time a victim forgives him he is more disgusted with their gullibility to believe his lies yet again!
So how can you protect yourself? You don’t want to be suspicious all the time. If they are such good actors how on earth can you know until it’s too late? It’s really very simple.
They all seem perfect at first. Not perfect for everyone, but perfect for you.
They think you are perfect, where have you been all their life? They have never known love like the love they have with you.
They push for sex early.
It’s a whirlwind romance. Him rushing to live together or get married. Talking about having kids etc.
He will try to get you to quit your job, move to a new town somehow make you dependent on him.
He usually keeps you away from his family somehow. They are vicious addicts, have always abused his good nature or they don’t like you.
He will point out how disrespectful your kids are to you. How your family doesn’t appreciate you. He just wants to protect you. You are always taking care of everyone else. There probably is a smidgen of truth to it too.
All his ex’s were psycho bitches that are out to get him and destroy him. He will forbid you to talk to them because they will try to turn you against him.
You will discover some lie early on and he will down play it, beg forgiveness and promise it will never happen again.
He will more than likely have money tied up somehow and will try to borrow a bit until the big payoff comes through. He will have money to wine and dine you at first though. He is getting it off some other sucker.
He might have questionable work ethics or credentials.
Often he is new to town so has no long term friends you can meet, he becomes friends with your friends.
Sex is intense and frequent, at first.
Then, all of a sudden, like a switch went off; he is moody, critical, flies into a rage over nothing and you are shocked, don’t understand what you did wrong. He might disappear for days at a time. He will pick a fight and not call or answer your calls for days and then pop back into your life like nothing happened.
If you try to break up with him, he will cry and beg you to give him another chance but things quickly go back to him being moody and angry all the time.
None of this is normal behavior and this is when you exit stage left and cut off all communication. You can NOT talk to him because he will put doubt in your mind. Trust your gut that is telling you something is not right.