Please bear in mind that not all narcissists are psychopaths, but all psychopaths are narcissists.
Psychopaths/Naricissists all use "shock tactics" , why? because they work! that's why, it enables the psychopath to get what he wants from his victim(s)
They shock you by reacting to a situation in a way that spins your head ,for example: like seeing an apple fall up a tree would or going to shake the hand of someone and they bend down to tie their shoelace at that precise moment you have reached out your hand.
This is to disarm and confuse you pretty much in the way a robber would hit his target on the head before he robs them of their property.
You are for all intents and purposes, intellectually incapacitated, perplexed. the you try and figure out what's "just happened" you are disarmed, because you don't know what is going on. Your mouth hits your chin and you think there must be some sort of misunderstanding, a mistake. So you try to make heads or tails of it and try to smooth it over.
The next thing you know , you have been run over by a speeding freight train. This is called a "Shock Tactic"
Shock tactics prove that seeing isn't always believing, because afterwards you wonder if you imagined it, or think you span must have missed something.
The psychopaths behaviour was so bizarre that you cannot believe it happened especially when he seems to normal a few minutes after the incident.
Denial - that is the typical reaction. to act like it didn't happen. That's what normal people do when they can't get their minds around something. In this case, it's a big mistake, because that is exactly what the psychopath/narcissist wants.
Then it never happened, you see. His crazy behaviour never happened. Really. He never abused you. Really.
Never forget for a moment, that the narcissist "isn't all there": he lives in the Looking Glass, the Land of Pretend, where acting makes it so. Truth has no relevance in that world. It doesn't even exist. The next day he acts like it didn't happen. That's his way of saying, "let's pretend it didn't happen" When you play along and act like it didn't happen, it didn't happen & thus the narcissists slate is clean, and he's not a crackpot.
So it's no wonder that narcissists like shock tactics when they discover how well they work at getting people into denial and Acting Like It Didn't Happen
This is especially true when they hear idiots commenting "Look, today he's acting like nothing happened. Well, okay, he has a terrible temper, but he's basically a good person, because see? he doesn't carry a grudge" the narcissist thinks "Give that idiot an award!"
The Three Elements To A Narcissists Shock Tactics
Perversity in the strictest sense of the word, is , "throughly twisted" In other words, perverse behaviour is not just odd, aberrant , or off course: It is backwards or upside down, the antithesis of what would be appropriate.
A perverted reaction to something shocks us, it is the opposite of what we expected. It also disarms us, because, in our interactions with others, we act with a view to the reaction we can expect in return. For example, you don't tell someone you love them to make them mad at you. If this is the first time you have told that person you love them, you might not know what to expect, but anger isn't one of the possibilities you have in mind. So, when the narcissist reacts with anger, you are stunned!
Usually we do know what to expect , and when we are wrong, there is normally some logical reason for it. for example: Sometimes we get an unexpected reaction because we didn't see the action from the reactor's point of view.
Yet certain behaviours are so universal that we know what to expect even from a stranger with a different language and culture. Or even from an animal. For example: showing love evokes affection. Doing a favour evokes gratitude, appeasement evokes peace.
When you try to bring peace to a situation by appeasing the narcissist, he will spit back in your face and rage at you
When you show love to the narcissist , he will push you away
When you do a favour for the narcissist he will not acknowledge it .
The narcissist reacts with hatred , resentment and aggression instead of reacting in what should evoke: affection, gratitude, and peace.
He is vicious, violent (physically or verbally) he is like a child who cannot restrain his own behaviour. The only reign on it is what he thinks he can get away with. So , behind closed doors with his family or a lone employee, he goes over the top in wanton meanness. It makes him feel as unbounded as God.
Lastly, "the element of surprise". His temper flares in a fraction of a second and unexpectedly, for some anti-reason.
The narcissists shock tactics are a device, that's all. This type of reaction is called "An Insult". An insulting reaction for example: You throw water on a fire to put it out...only to have it flare up into a raging fire that vaporizes the water.
In other words, an insult is a blow back reaction, one that flies in the face of the stimulus. A narcissists perverted reactions to things are insults, and they do insult you, they work!. For example: you try to appease him when he gets mad about something, instead of cooling off he does the opposite and flies into a rage over what you just said and attacks you all more vehemently.
The narcissist cannot help but discover at an early age that normal people are taken aback by such absurd behaviour.
Why do narcissists do this? there is only one reason: he wasn't angered by anything in the first place. That is, his anger wasn't a defensive reaction to anything you did. If it were, he would cool off when you try to appease him, because his purpose is achieved. He takes your attempt to appease as a sign of weakness and revs up his engines, getting much madder. His objective is to run you over.
Narcissists are amoral, so since shock tactics get them what they want, they use them. That's really all there is to it. Nothing deep, smart or fascinating about it. Even a dog learns to growl and act ornery if it gets what it wants that way.
The moment you deviate from the narcissists script, he snarls like a dog, in other words: the moment you start acting like his equal or as though you deserve anything. His sudden surliness at such moments is just his way of saying "don't go there." as if he were herding stray cattle back in the right direction. Play along, say or do nothing that contradicts his lies and delusions. it's hard enough to believe them, and you are hurting him if you are not helping him believe them.
Let's say the narcissist has gone off about something. You try to smooth it over by saying, "Oh , come on. Let's not fight. I didn't mean anything by that, really. i'd never want to hurt you"
He gets madder and madder yet.
Why? because that isn't what he wants you to do. You still are not playing along with his script in Pretend. You didn't admit any wrongdoing. What you said to appease him doesn't appease him because it doesn't reflect on him as grand and on you as a guilty , despicable thing.
The narcissist is a mental three-year-old who knows only one trick: "Throw a temper tantrum whenever people aren't doing what you want them to do, and keep throwing it until they get it right"
People are perplexed by off-the-wall reactions to things, they cannot imagine why anyone would do that. Even seeing it happen doesn't quite make them believe it because it's too crazy to really have happened so we go into denial about it.
Normal people would never degrade themselves by behaving in this childish manner, they don't realize that the narcissist is different - a being with a towering ego and zero self respect , who therefore is not above behaving childish, irrationally, or insanely on purpose..... just to get his way with you.
Because he never has to know he's doing that. He can forever not know he's doing that. That's what his Magical Thinking Machine is for.....Playing Pretend.
"I have all the characteristics of a human being: flesh, blood, skin , hair; but not a single, clear, identifiable emotion, except for greed and disgust. Something horrible is happening inside of me and I don't know why. I feel lethal, on the verge of frenzy. I think my mask of sanity is about to slip"
Gareth Edward(s) Rodger
Masks Of Sanity is an online blog offering advice, support and education for those who have fallen victim to the Psychopath/Narcissist. (NPD)
We explain why Narcissists behave the way they do, how they operate and how you can protect yourself from the Narcissist in society, in the home and online!
You can find my own personal experience with a psychopath in the links on the right. I have a very personal understanding of the Narcissistic Personality Disorder and I am proof that there is hope after abuse!