The other type of emotionally unavailable man is unavailable due to his relationship (or relationships) with another woman (or women). These guys are never really committed to a woman. They don’t see any relationship as necessarily permanent, including marriage - even if they give lip service to being “deeply committed” to the woman they are with at the moment.
In truth, however, they don’t truly value their intimate relationships or take them seriously, because they are merely “playing,” even though engagement or marriage hardly seems like something to “play” at. They don’t take their relationships seriously because on some level - even if subconsciously - they know they can find someone else who will get involved with them if their current affair ends. What else would cause someone to repeatedly play his future like a crap-shoot without really fearing the outcome?
…It is probably because women keep attempting to get close to him that causes him to keep moving from partner to partner or to keep adding partners. He is uninterested in experiencing or is unable to experience deep feelings of connection with anyone. CHECK!
…What is dangerous about emotionally unavailable men is that they are not authentically emotionally responsive. They are emotionally avoidant.
…Some of these men may have a sexual addiction that fuels their pursuit of rapidly revolving, superficial relationships. Perhaps his sexual addiction takes the form of chronic and compulsive pornography use, a pattern that will diminish a man’s normal human responsiveness.
… be aware that [this type of man] will come across to you as a devoted father and husband or as an upstanding citizen of his community. Never discount the possibility that your emotionally unavailable man may have multiple hidden lives (always the case if he’s engaging in clandestine extramarital affairs) as well as being an emotional predator. For example: emotional unavailability, plus life he keeps hidden from you, his wife or his girlfriend, plus the keen sixth sense of an emotional predator, plus a sexual addiction - help these pathological men thrive at attracting serial superficial relationships.
If he is a sexual addict as well he will have a hidden life of endless porn watching, masturbation, voyeurism, and even using prostitutes. Many times these men will cover their perversions with heavy involvement in community politics, their church or synagogue or doing volunteer work. And they will make sure this cover is very visible so no one suspects.
Sexually addicted predators will not stop at you, they will go after your friends as well. They think nothing of telling your friend that you mean nothing to them and that you are possibly “imagining” the relationship. They will tell their wives the same things about you or any other woman they know insisting “she’s jealous of us and is obsessed with me.” They are masterful jugglers of time and people.
…a woman’s availability itself is a deciding factor… “any port in a storm” will provide adequate distraction from the reality of his life.
Womanizers also look for women who will believe their stories about their home life. Very few of them tell women how happy they are at home, how wonderful their wife is, and how they just really want to have extramarital sex with no strings attached. No, that usually isn’t the story line. The story line goes: “No one has ever really loved me, and certainly not my wife. She nags… doesn’t appreciate me… hates sex…”
Women take this hook too often. …they will be able to make him “finally feel loved… listened to… appreciated.” His need is not “once and for all to be loved” as much as it is to get laid, be amused and be distracted.
A womanizer may be highly verbal about his relationships. He may share personal information in such a way that women mistake his sharing for emotional intimacy… He knows well enough that women are empathic to tales of empty and sad relationships…
An interesting point is that almost every woman who told us her story about getting involved with an emotionally unavailable man said it happened at a time when her self-esteem was low. [She] was coming out of a relationship situation that had damaged her self-esteem (such as being abused or even going through a divorce). Women accept far more during times of low self-esteem than they do when their self-esteem is sound. A belief that she doesn’t deserve a whole, satisfying and healthy relationship is a reflection of how low her self-esteem is. If a man gives a woman who suffers with low-self esteem a little attention… then too often she willingly falls [for him].
The emotional predator is as bad as it gets. He qualifies as the pinnacle of poisonous and pathological… He could, in fact, be called the “emotional psychic.” That’s because it’s his ability to intuit and sense a woman’s emotional vulnerabilities that places her at risk. Webster’s defines predatory as “having a disposition to injure or exploit others for one’s own gain"; it defines predator as “one that preys, destroys or devours.” That’s a good summation of this man. Who but the most pathological among us would set out to exploit, prey on, destroy or devour?
He will hone in on your vulnerabilities and read you. If he likes what he reads, he will follow up by luring you into his scary and dangerous life.
Predators have a natural ability for reading women who are lonely, needy by nature, emotionally wounded or vulnerable. The predator also has his antennae up for women who… have unfulfilled needs in their lives. …he figures out how he can squeeze into the vacant space in your life and what you need to hear in order to allow this to happen.
…[they] “sense” which woman will make the best target for them. They don’t know why they have this gift or how they acquired it. …they have been working women over since childhood. A predator’s intuitive sixth sense is untaught. …an adult’s skills can’t compete with his abilities to scam, con and conquer.
…emotional predators also fall into the mentally-ill category, usually under the diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder. Most also have hidden lives. When you couple a predator’s natural instincts with a lifetime of skills honed by successfully conning, exploiting and injuring women, you have a man who is nothing short of extraordinarily smooth and capable of horrific dangerousness.
Predators’ motives vary. But you can be sure a predator wants something from you. That is the entire reason for the relationship. …There is something in you that he wants. Maybe “all” he wants is your utter adoration or for you to exalt his ego. …Maybe wants what you can provide to help establish his image so he will marry you (’good family man’). Or maybe …he’s most interested in the pursuit and conquest of a woman… If he is a sexual predator, you are a target, whether it be for consensual sex or rape - depending on whichever way it plays out or whatever mood he is in.
A predator does not “need” the relationship. Early on… the predator is deliberately romantic. Predators are shifting chameleons who can be all things to all women. Predators are smooth as silk. …predators are listeners who will give up very little information until they are sure it will align with your history. …His selection is based on his need and your vulnerability. He knows it’s a matter of matching need with need. The more he knows about your needs, the better he can meet them.
He has a nose for vulnerability, so women who have unmet needs “smell” especially good to him. He seeks women who need men who can “sense and know” them on almost a spiritual level. Since he is good at this, he will appear to know you well - and quickly.
They like women who had absent fathers, angry mothers or neglectful and abusive husbands. Knowing that many women are trained to believe that people are basically good at heart, predators will present themselves as men of honor and virtue…. But because he is a chameleon, he will listen closely to see if you also need a mentor, an adviser on some topic, a spiritual leader, or a male friend.
During counseling sessions I’ve had with men who are emotional predators, some have verbalized their targets. One said,
“I look for naive women. I like a certain vulnerability to her - that she trusts humanity without asking for proof. Maybe she’s been hurt a lot so there’s a “woundedness” to her. That vulnerability makes them believe you, because they need to believe you.”
“I like the women who have been pounded down by men and those with childhoods that weren’t so good. They are particularly easy.”
It is important to understand that each predator has developed his own unique style. He has a “type” or two of women he prefers because with those types he has mastered the approach, the dating, and the ‘end.’ He doesn’t have to think very hard if he just uses the profile he’s had success with. One predator may prefer recently divorced or divorcing women because he succeeds at playing that angle with them.
… these guys can show a woman they definitely “get it.” They show you all the attention that the jerks you’ve been with haven’t. They say all the right lines that the men in your past could never verbalize. They are brilliant and insightful about what you need. They seem to know exactly every pain you have suffered.
With more skill than a carnival psychic, the emotional predator can hone in on your every need, sympathize with you in such a way so that you believe you’ve met your long lost soulmate and sweep you off your feet… He’s… more insightful than a therapist. He “knows” you the way no one else ever has.
This guy moves FAST. He’s got to - before you figure out what his M.O. is. Every woman should be suspect of the relationships that seem to be traveling in the fast lane on the super-highway of emotional intimacy. A predator needs to keep you so euphoric with compliments and lover’s talk that you aren’t listening, or paying attention. He is dripping with sincerity and clinging to every word you say. A predator wants to consummate the relationship with you right away, because time is against him.
To move the relationship along and be indispensable to you, he must act helpful, comforting and generous. Since he is working against the clock, he must find out what you need and then meet that need.
While listening to you and observing you, he will glean a lot of information about your hobbies, interests, spiritual beliefs and value systems. He is the original identity thief. He uncovers and uses for his own purposes everything he can about what makes you - YOU. He will find you amazing, beautiful, bright and talented - like no one he has EVER met before. He will align how he portrays himself with your needs and also your interests until you feel like you are looking at your twin.
Finally, another way predators succeed with women is by preying on their compassion. Once a woman is in the grip of a predator, anything can happen.
[Once a woman sees their stories] for the crock they are and bust them for their fake opinions with them, they will try and turn the table and make it seem it was the woman who had emotional problems!
He is too good to be true - He is soft-spoken and polite, he is kind and loves women, he is respectful, he doesn't come on too strong FOR THE FIRST FEW MEETINGS ONLY. He's always on the lookout for a patsy, but he's in no hurry as there's always another one around the corner so he'll take his time in coming on to you.
He'll be there more and more frequently - gazing at you with puppy dog eyes; wanting to know everything about you, asking your advice, making it look like you are getting to know each other and forming a bond.
He will put himself in the best possible light - including lying through his teeth about his ambitions, activities, hopes and dreams.
His seduction techniques are often subtle and well-practiced - It will seem he did nothing to seduce you until you look back and analyze it. He sat and stood close to you, he brushed against you, but it didn't seem to be on purpose.
He suddenly "Turns on the Charm" and turns up the heat - Once you're hypnotized by his sweetness and modesty and respectfulness, he will pounce on you one night and turn into a Mr. Hyde. It "just happened." This is the critical moment to run away, don't let him touch you. He'll leave you breathless wondering what exactly happened. He'll turn on all the charm full force and you'll be wanting him from then on, yet wanting some breathing room. You won't get any. Ever. It won't bother you at first - you'll think he's attentive and ardent.
He starts using the lines technique - Once you're "seeing" each other, he'll be a real swain, discussing how amazing this new relationship is, how different you are from any woman he ever met; and he'll talk about your remarkable beauty and how "alike" you are. He will talk about your "resonance" and describe all the awful women he knew before who didn't want a good man - who wanted someone to abuse them.
All of this is meaningless talk. He uses the same lines on every woman.
He will whine and even shed tears - if you say you have other things to do, other people to see, or want to be alone after seeing him 8 days in a row. He enjoys being abused, so if you scream at him it only makes him feel more secure. He got used to fighting all around him as a child and he equates fighting with love.
He'll start demanding that you "prove your love" - You have become nothing but his prop. He has become your jailer. The key is: he demands CONSTANT proof of your love.
He will "seem" to accept your decision to break up - As the months roll along and you are tired of his constant presence, begging, whining and having unreasonable control of your life, you will decide to break up with him. He will then agree to back off, give you some space, and try to do better.
He'll tell you he has "changed" - No matter how many times you break up with him, he will call you to tell you that he needs you, that he has changed, and he will say it all in a calm voice as if he respects your decision to come back or not. His game is to stay away just long enough that you forget his annoying traits and miss the good parts. But if you agree to even one meeting it will be back to daily visits and demands for constant pampering again.
Getting Rid of the Bastard
The only way to get rid of the emotional blackmailer is when he has found another victim to be his patsy. He will already be courting her while seeing you (he is juggling two or more women per day).
Once he has the new person in his thrall and has nothing to lose by losing you, he will drop you like a hot potato.
He prey's on sympathy, and lives to control - his purpose is to have many women in his control - perhaps one for money and one to scream at him, and both for companionship. He gets a high from controlling people, because as a child he had no control over anything and frequently felt abandoned. This is why the more women who feel sorry for him, listen to him, go out with him, the better he feels and behaves. However, he is telling each of them the same thing: they are the best, the most beautiful, the most like him, he wants to spend the rest of his life with ONLY THEM.
The character of the Emotional Blackmailer
Everything he says or does is for gain. He does nothing for the sheer joy of it, or because he likes people or wants to build a relationship: he is looking ahead to what he can get out of the person: sex, housekeeping, emotional support, someone to listen to him spin his tales of woe, what have you. Loyalty or faithfulness are not in his nature.
He will become vicious and even violent if he is crossed, contradicted, found out, exposed or denied what he wants. It looks exactly like the tantrum of a five year old. That is still his emotional age, although he has the smooth moves of a Casanova down pat.
How Do You Extricate Yourself from the Emotional Blackmailer?
One way out is to cut off all contact. Even email may put you back in his control if you get back into the same pattern of doing what he wants when he wants it. He is a master manipulator who will prey on your sympathy for him as a human being.
Any time spent reasoning with him is wasted - he doesn't hear a word you say. All arguments are circular. If you discuss codependence, he says it doesn't exist, that it's a psychobabble word for two people caring for each other. If he has no answer to your logic he will remain silent and wait for you to shut up, then start with his argument again.
After you have cut off contact, he will stalk you for a while if he doesn't have a replacement lined up yet, but this will cease because it isn't fulfilling enough for him. He NEEDS feedback, anger, someone to scream at him. Any kind of attention pleases him - he is a true masochist who would enjoy being slapped. If you catch him? He will accuse YOU of stalking HIM!
Another way to ditch the Emotional Blackmailer is to turn the tables on him. A man who is so good at manipulating is also easily manipulated to do whatever you want IF you do it the right way. You can be rid of him within a few weeks without avoiding him by doing the following:
Exhibit jealousy and make it clear that you won't share him with anyone else, and you expect to spend the rest of your life with him and have exclusive rights over him. This will make him feel suffocated for a change and he will be eagerly stepping out on you while claiming he wants only you.
Lose interest in doing anything you used to do for him or with him; stop taking him seriously; don't listen to his rants about his job; ridicule his ideas, act bored and make it clear you see him only as a useful decoration. Tell him to grow up, tell him you are well aware of his manipulative games but you like him anyway and demand he be faithful to you. This will scare him and make him step up his efforts with the other women, and he will soon be out of your life.
A Final Note:
Healthy, non-manipulative men:
Don't tell you that you're "the best"
Don't use the lines "if you really love me", or "prove you love me by doing this for me"...
Don't put down their girlfriends or wives (former or current), even mildly
Respect your right to have other online friends
Share all their information with you: address, phone numbers, job, etc. They don't mind if you double check on them for your own safety!
So, at bottom, the nature of the narcissist is the nature of a predator who preys on his own kind. The importance of that fact cannot be overstated. The brain of a predator just does not relate to the living soul of its prey. If you don't believe this, just watch PBS. Watch the behavior, and look into the eyes, of predatory animals while they're making a kill. There's nothing there. They are like machines at that moment. They must be, or they couldn't do it.
In other words, Nature has equipped them with hard-wired circuitry in the brain that takes over the moment prey is sighted when they are hungry. It suppresses what we could observe in that animal only a minute earlier while it was playing with its siblings or a waving leaf on a twig, tenderly nuzzling its offspring or mate. Perhaps it was even grieving over the death of a member of the pack. But that's all gone the moment it sights prey while hungry. Then suddenly it's a killing machine. It likes killing. Nature has endowed it with a taste for killing as necessary equipment for its survival. It even considers killing fun. Which is why we sometimes see in nature killing made sport: Chimpanzees (who don't eat meat) will gang-up on and attack a monkey, cruelly tearing it to pieces and having a blast over its heart-rending cries. Killer whales sometimes play with baby seals like a cat plays with a mouse. Wolves sometimes bring down and eviscerate prey they feed on the guts of till it dies and then walk away. Sorry, that's just the truth.
Humans are animals too and have that same predatory mode. Nature endowed us with it as hunters. It's in everyone. But in narcissists and sociopaths something has gone haywire. They go into this mode against their own kind. And they are permanently in this mode against all their own kind. Why? Because they don't view themselves as of our kind. They are of a superior kind. They think we are here to feed them, just as we think cattle are here to feed us. Correction: we do (or should) treat cattle humanely. We don't relate to them as objects like narcissists relate to us = like we relate to bugs or plants.
Compared to us, narcissists are gods. Alien beings. They can't help it. They are not to blame for feeling this way. Today the prognosis is poor. There is little sign of any real success in treating these people. Those who commit prosecutable offenses are repeat offenders — such as pedophile priests, sexual predators, and serial killers. They get this way as children and demonstrate it by torturing animals or murdering other children on a whim. Though they can't control their temptations, they CAN control their conduct. And this is what competent psychiatric care can really help them with. It can show them better ways to deal with their problems, making them resistant to temptation. In fact, I think it could build in some TRUE self-esteem to counterbalance their self hatred. (Lifelong treatment would be necessary to maintain it though.) And a lion tamer can walk into the lions' den. But they are still wild animals, so he can never be sure they won't give in to the temptation to attack the prey tantalizing them beyond their power to resist. We don't morally condemn those lions for being lions.
And the only thing more stupid and useless than morally condemning narcissists for being narcissists is trusting them. Don't tempt them. Just because a pedophile priest has behaved for the last five years doesn't mean he won't finally lose it and eat another altar boy. Indeed, it's cruel to tempt him daily thus! You wouldn't wave a bottle of whiskey in front of an alcoholic, would you? I don't see what's so difficult to understand about this. Talk therapy and/or punishment isn't the answer with PREDATORS.
We must do whatever it takes to minimize or eliminate their access to vulnerable prey as targets of opportunity. Period. For ever. Indeed, these people will thank us for it. Consider how many of them deliberately get themselves caught just to stop themselves.
Let's get a clue already and stop dangling bait before their eyes. There are many ways to do this: prison isn't the only one. For example, don't let him teach school or be a police officer. Don't give him power over his fellow employees. Don't elect him to be President for Life. Don't let him live off his parents till they die. Don't follow him on a purge to cleanse himself in the Holy Land. And if he steps over the line whack him, so that he thinks twice before doing it again.
And, especially, let's stop passing this curse from generation to generation by subjecting children to narcissistic parents. It takes the consent of the non-narcissistic parent for that to happen. So, just because your mother or father put up with it doesn't mean you should. If we began protecting the next generation today, this accursed cause of a vast amount of both the told and untold human suffering in this world would be gone in 50 years.
Most people who get involved with a malignant narcissist do eventually decide to break away. At some point, they sense that, to survive as a person, they must. This often takes a very long time, but that is no reason to say that they are gluttons for punishment. A glutton for punishment never breaks away. So we must be careful not to judge too quickly. Denial is a powerful thing, and it is instinctive in traumatic situations.
Though I am less prone to denial than most people, I had an unforgettable experience with it many years ago. I was on a flight from Paris to Rome, and the security was much tighter even than it is today. Everything got X-rayed and thoroughly hand searched, including your person. You probably would not believe me if I told you all the things that happened without me allowing myself to know what was going on.
The more reality tried to impose on my consciousness, the more into a haze I went. I was in the boarding line for three hours before I gave in and looked up at the sign that said this flight was ultimately bound for Tel Aviv. My heart landed in the pit of my stomach. The people in that endless line behaved differently than Europeans. After nine days in Paris, it felt good to be among people like this, whom I felt must be mostly Americans. But now, for the first time I let myself see and looked around. Their hushed, almost whispering voices were not speaking English. And every twentieth man was bearded and dressed as an orthodox Jew.
But even that did not bring me out of denial. I kept whistling in the dark, to think this was probably routine and that there was no danger. The loaded plane then baked on the runway for several hours — I lost track of time. I didn't come out of denial until long after the cargo hold had been emptied, all the baggage re-searched by hand, and reloaded. Not once, or twice, but three times.
Denial is a slippery slope, so even that did nothing but accelerate me deeper and deeper into it. That's because every time a thought acknowledging reality managed to form, you quickly repressed it in denial to keep whistling there in the dark. I didn't come out of it until the plane had sat on that runway for so long you thought terrorists were in the cockpit and negotiations were underway. Not till the silent tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife and everybody was about to explode. (You were afraid to move or talk, for fear that everybody would attack you and tear you to pieces with their bare hands, thinking you were a terrorist.) The teenage girl in the seat behind me threw up for sheer fright and was comforted by two old men.
Then a young mother held up her one-or-two-year-old son at arm's length, obviously in some silent gesture that all understood. She made him giggle with delight for us. The center of all that silent attention, he held out his arms to be an airplane for us. To this day, whenever I recall that moment, I utterly break down into sobbing tears.
It changed my life. At the time though this vision just stunned me. Back into my senses. That's because I suddenly realized that people wanted to kill this child for being.
As if stuck by a hot poker or something, I turned around with a little voice in my head angrily asking, "Why? Where are they? Where are the bastards?" It was as though a gigabyte of understanding downloaded all at once. "Humph," I thought, sitting back in my seat, "Figures! They're hiding! Cute! But I'll be damned if I'll be afraid of the people I can see!"
Why did I think that? Because when I came to my senses I noticed someone's invisible finger on my button and snatched back control of my mind. That's why I suddenly could think straight enough to know whom to hate.
I am too ashamed to share what I had been thinking before that, as half-formed thoughts repressed just would not stay down, despite my denial, and kept surfacing to consciousness on me. But I will say that the terror tactics had me fearing those innocent people around me, not the unseen terrorists.
To this day, I am both ashamed and amazed at how backwards terror had made me think. Because they were dangerous to be around, the other passengers were the "dangerous" ones in my mind, not the unseen terrorists. What a toxic thought. Imagine how it made me view them.
And there is a very short step between fear and hatred. One takes it in a heartbeat.
Terror made me want to distance myself as far as possible from every Jew on the planet. And if there had been a terrorist in sight I would have wanted to kiss his feet, trying to suck up by showing him that I hated Jews too.
Yup, I was blaming the victim, viewing the targets of terrorists like Canadians and Europeans view Americans today. Yup, if we saw a bunch of sheep blaming the attacked one while making excuses for the wolf and even being friendly with him, we'd know they're crazy. But terrorized human beings NEVER fail to do just that.
Sure, those stupid sheep think that if they suck up to him, he'll like them and not eat them too. But we know that's too stupid for even a dumb animal to think. Yet, terrorized human beings NEVER fail to think just that.
I liken this crazy, backwards thinking to the true story of some children caught on a railroad trestle bridge when a train came. Observers said that, if they had done the natural thing — if they had run to the nearer end of the bridge, away from the train — they would have reached safety. But like deer in an automobile's headlights, their terror made them all run right into the onrushing train.
Truth is stranger than fiction, eh? That's how backwards terror makes people think, and narcissists use terror tactics.
Terror isn't fright. Terror is a darkened state of mind. Terror is your head buried in the sand. Indeed, the very word terror comes from the Latin word terra, which means "earth" and comes from this ancient figure of speech. Terror is that underground state of mind otherwise known as denial — fear of facing facts. In terror, you're on automatic pilot, acting on thoughts you repress to the level of the subconscious. Therefore, those thoughts can be absolutely absurd without your realizing it.
So, beware denial. It's a dangerous state of mind. A narcissist's shock tactics and terror tactics drive you into it. But don't go there. People in denial don't think straight. They think and do the most inexplicable things because denial compels them 180 degrees in the wrong direction. If I had not been deep in denial I would not even have boarded that plane.
The way narcissists (and psychopaths) interact with others makes them extremely potent manipulators. How potent? So potent that their powers of manipulation are spooky and seem downright magical.
How does the way they interact with others make them such expert manipulators? Because practice makes perfect, and they have been practicing the art of manipulation in every interaction since birth.
Indeed, in playing to the mirror of your face, that's what they're doing, isn't it? Manipulating you. Everything they say and do is entirely for effect, to get the reaction they want from you. That IS manipulation.
They're regulating, manipulating your reactions. But you aren't like them. Your reactions come from within. So, what are they ultimately regulating and manipulating? Your thoughts. Manipulation is mind control.
Manipulation is a subtle thing. So subtle that we are usually unaware of being manipulated, unless the manipulator blows it and breaks the spell. So, manipulators are putting thoughts into our heads that we think are ours. A very dangerous thing.
Since a narcissist isn't acting on normal human premises, since all he is doing is playing you for the reaction he wants, truth is irrelevant. Truth or lies — it's all the same to him. Whichever works. Usually that's lies.
It would be more correct to say that there is no such thing as truth to a narcissist. Because there is no such thing as truth when playing Pretend. That's why narcissists and psychopaths beat lie detector tests. (In fact, so do many people from "shame" cultures where lying to save face of oneself, one's family, one's tribe, and one's religion is considered morally necessary and expected.)
Psychopaths are known to get so good at manipulating people that, by the time they're teenagers, they routinely fool and manipulate mental healthcare professionals, judges, prison officials, parole boards, and social workers who know they are psychopaths, are on the lookout for attempts to manipulate them, and should be immune to manipulation.
It isn't a matter of intelligence: it's a matter of practice, experience. This is because most of what transpires in interaction happens too quickly to think it through.
In playing to the mirror of your face, the narcissist receives a steady stream of your feedback to the steady stream of words and body language he sends. He continuously reacts to every nuance of it in "real time," if you will. A sideways glance from you might make him alter his choice for the next word in the sentence he is saying. Or his facial expression or tone of voice. Or it might make him take a step closer to you.
So, no matter how cunning a manipulator is, he isn't consciously analyzing your every slight reaction and fine-tuning his act to it. I say that because he can't be. That would be impossible, because no one could think that fast.
He must be relying on a lifetime of experience at this game, reacting habitually in certain ways to certain things he observes in you on the fly. In other words, this manipulation must be rather like the act of hitting a forehand in tennis.
You cannot consciously think your way through the stroke. Too many things are happening too fast. In fact, you will botch your stroke and be lucky to even connect with the ball if you try to consciously think your way through with "Watch the ball ... bend your knees ... keep your arm straight ... keep your head still ... step into the shot ... et ad infinitum." Well, that's exaggerating a bit, because there are only about 100 instructions I could list for hitting a forehand ;-)
You can't think that fast. No one can. So, you must practice that stroke enough under varying conditions to program the unconscious centers of the brain to execute it virtually automatically. When you net your shot or hit it out (provided you note how far off the shot was), your "program" is revised to get the bug out.
This phenomenon is called Natural Learning. It's how we learn to walk and talk.
That "program" isn't just a fixed set of muscle commands from the brain. It's an interactive program like a computer program. Because no two forehands are the same. Yet the more you practice, the better your forehand program, and the more effectively it faithfully produces a good forehand under widely varying conditions. You have only to make the major decisions, such as where and how to hit the ball: speed, spin, and placement. But Natural Learning is so powerful that even tactical decisions become virtually automatic in advanced players. Hence the best players in the world do very little conscious thinking while the ball's in play.
The power of Natural Learning is also illustrated by comparing experienced drivers with young drivers. Young drivers have no experience, so they must think their way through problems. Result? Crash. But with the same problem an experienced driver has no problem. He or she spontaneously makes an intuitive, instinctive move faster than the speed of thought. Result? No crash.
When playing to the mirror of your face, that must be what a narcissist is mostly doing — relying on a lifetime of experience that allows him to react instinctively to every bit of feedback he gets from you. That's how he fine-tunes your reactions into the feedback he wants. Rather like turning the knobs on a short-wave radio.
This is manipulation. And it's occurring faster than the speed of thought, because a narcissist has had so much constant practice at drawing the look he wants that most of his "moves" are virtually automatic.
This is why, I think, narcissists seem like machines with their knee-jerk reactions to things. But those reactions aren't knee-jerk reflexes: they are learned through experience to the point that they become habitual as second nature.
This is also why, I think, we tend to overestimate the intelligence of narcissists, psychopaths, con artists, and other manipulators like dictators who con their way to power. We think they must be brilliant to be so manipulative. But even a stupid narcissist I knew was extremely manipulative. Their skill is the fruit of constant practice at manipulation in every human interaction.
But it doesn't pay to underestimate them, either. That same practice makes them extremely observant and perceptive. Over time that will improve their intelligence, at least some aspects of it.
In fact, they are much more observant and perceptive than they seem. That's because all they're interested in is what they can use. So, though they block out much, what they do choose to see, they see very well. They are interested in your reactions, not you. So, they probably are more aware of how you react to things than you are. But the only information about you they're interested in is what that can use to exploit you. The rest they filter out of consciousness = forget.
So, never think that you are too smart to be manipulated by a narcissist, psychopath, or con artist. You aren't. And you surely can never beat one at his own game.
That's nothing to be ashamed of. It just means that you are an innocent who hasn't spent his or her whole life practicing the black art. So, you won't win that game.
It wasn't till I went no-contact with a narcissist for months that I realized a narcissist is like a disease. Here I was, feeling better. I had been so used to feeling badly that I didn't even realize I was feeling badly anymore. A few months without any interaction with a narcissist and - poof - I'm a new woman!
That's a tough thing to say but true. It's because of what narcissists use you for.
And that's the bottom line: they don't relate to you: THEY USE YOU.
Like any parasite uses its host. Life with with a tick or tapeworm is unwholesome too. Life with bacterial or protozoan parasites is unwholesome. Parasites feed on you and that makes you sick.
There is no cure but to get rid of them.
Otherwise it's like trying to live with hookworm. Drop by drop the constant bloodletting WILL increasingly weaken and sicken you. You are not indestructable. You will eventually die of it.
The narcissists I have known (and quite a few that I have heard about as well) all seemed to instantly perk up like a predator the moment someone was trapped in a situation where they would have to take whatever abuse the narcissist dished out. The moment they sense that, look out. Mr. Hyde comes out.
Over the next few weeks I'll give some anecdotal examples. Here's the first one.
An old narcissist ran a stop light at the end of the block he lived in and hit another car. The driver was unhurt, and like any sensible person, his first concern was to see whether the driver who had hit him was hurt and needed help. On seeing that the other driver, too, was unhurt, most people's anger at some idiot running the middle of a red light and hitting them broadside would start to show. But this driver, presumably on seeing that the idiot was an old man, actually seemed to feel sorry for him. He was very polite and forgiving about it, probably fearing that the State of Wisconsin would take away the old guy's driving license.
Now of course when you have an accident, you must render aid, you must call the police, and you may not leave the scene. In other words, you're trapped. You must just stand there waiting for the police and take whatever abuse this old narcissist dishes out.
That was enough to turn old Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde. The old narcissist blew up and dished out the crass abuse he normally dished out only to people trapped with him behind closed doors. But here he was, in public, in broad daylight, raging at a stranger on the street. The stuff he said was just wild and normally would get any man's block knocked off by the man he was talking like that to.
But, since the offender is old, you must bend over for it. You don't dare even yell back at him or give him a shove to get him to back off out of your face. Because he's old and people are idiots, YOU will be the evil one if you do anything to make him stop spitting and raging two inches off the tip of your nose. Because society gives old people a license to abuse anyone younger.
The laws of common decency don't apply to the aged, and old narcissists capitalize on their license to abuse at every opportunity.
People coming to that intersection didn't see the accident. All they see and hear is the old guy yelling as though HE is the offended party and making it sound as though the other guy was at fault.
This little story is one of the few I know of with a happy ending though. The police officer wasn't fooled. He drove up behind the old guy and saw and overheard. When the old guy turned around and saw the cop – presto chango! – suddenly the Bogey Man Monster was gone and in his place stood a meek and mild poor old man who wouldn't hurt a fly. You know, the old mask switch.
In one split second. A face change so instantaneous that no normal person could pull it off. How intimidating and contemptuous this old narcissist made himself seem to someone he could abuse with impunity, and how sweet and charming he made himself seem to a cop.
Maybe if you have never seen this transfiguration, and if you don't think about what it means, you don't know what it means. But if you have ever seen a narcissist do this, you know what it means. You have felt what it means punch you in the gut. It means that you are dealing with a devil.
You got a glimpse of Old Two Face with his mask off. But there he is now one second later. Beelzebub mocking you from behind that "Poor-little-old-me-wouldn't-hurt-a-fly" mask he now has on.
As I remarked in a comment yesterday, that ain't mental disease: that is just plain diabolical.
And what "provoked" this narc attack? Did the narcissist feel threatened in any way? Was he slighted in any way? He should have been grateful that the other driver was so kind and forgiving, but instead he took this as a sign of weakness and attacked.
It's about time the professionals started making observations instead of divinations. If they do, they will find that what "provokes" a narc attack is nothing but vulnerability.
As in any PREDATOR.
And you can't get stupider than to refuse to believe that some people ARE predators. They attack you to eat you, not because you have provoked them in any way. They target easy prey, not people who offend or threaten them in any way.
The deadheads who can't wrap their minds around this fact should just read the daily newspaper, duh. Don't tell me that people who attack total strangers, like serial killers, rapists and child molesters, are retaliating aganst any perceived threat or offense. Don't tell me that they are poor and NEED what they are stealing to survive. Don't tell me that ANYONE who abuses a CHILD does, or is retaliating against any perceived threat or offense. And show me a malignant narcissist, and I will show you someone who never misses a chance to hit on a child. Just look at the kind of things they do to THEIR OWN CHILDREN. Some folks need to wake up and smell the coffee about malignant narcissists.
One must be willfully blind to unknow that camouflaged predators do live among us.
And of course the narc later makes excuses, saying he was just retaliating against some perceived offense. Narcs are pathological liars, duh, and everyone knows it. So, what kind of fool believes them when they say this without evidence to back it up?
What's more, they lie to themselves as much as they lie to others, so they probably repress knowledge of what they're doing, twisting things to rationalize their unprovoked attacks on others. Only in moments of unwanted self-awareness do they know better. But they instantly repress such knowledge the moment it surfaces.
They don't do what they do for reasons. They do it just to do it. Whenever they think they can get away with it, that is.
You will never be cured of contact with them if you don't face this unpleasant fact about them. They don't love you. They don't love anyone. They can't.
Lamb, you are as lovable as can be, but the Wolf doesn't love you. He doesn't dare let himself love you, or he'd starve. Correction: he does love you – for lunch.
Speaking of teachers, here is something all students and parents should know.
Narcissistic teachers (and weak teachers) use something I call "scapegoat discipline." Believe it or not, they actually target a kid in each section at the beginning of the year. This kid is the selected class scapegoat. Whenever the teacher isn't getting what he or she wants, they start yelling at the scapegoat for something.
The reason is simple: Only one kid gets abused, so the others and their parents don't care.
But all kids are intimidated by the show. In other words, the teacher abuses one kid to control the others. Simply by making an example of the scapegoat.
This is nothing rare. Every schoolyard bully does the same thing. Every brutal dictator does too. The Jews served Hitler in this capacity for example, just as the Christians served Nero.
The abuse of the scapegoat escalates to shocking levels, just the most vicious looks and snarling and contempt you ever saw - way over the top. Truly, anyone who witnesses it should think Teacher belongs in a padded cell, but incredibly these smooth talkers get away with it, year after year.
Of course the kids hate these blow ups. But who do they blame for them? Not the teacher. They are afraid of the bully teacher, so they suck up to him or her. They have nothing but admiring praise for him or her. They blame the scapegoat for always doing something to set the bully off.
So now the scapegoat is a pariah, on top of it all. Anyone who blows that off is devoid of empathy. Kids kill themselves over stuff like that. It ain't no minor matter. And every adult who knows of it is morally obligated to protect any child from it.
It ain't good for your unabused child either. It sucks him into the ganging-up on the scapegoat, which he will have to project his shame for. It teaches him to blame the victim and suck up to bullies. So ALL parents should be concerned when they discover this happening to ANYONE in one of their child's classes.
The gradebook can be evidence in some cases. For, at least in one case I know of, the bully teacher would actually mark the scapegoat on the seating chart the first or second day so she could remember whom to target.
The target seems selected on basis of vulnerability in the cases I know of. He could be a kid from the wrong side of the tracks. Maybe she's a wallflower. Maybe he has been in trouble with the school before. Maybe a kid with no father and drunk for a mother. Whatever.
Weak teachers who use scapegoat discipline always impressed me as slipping into it rather than plotting it. They don't act so terrorizingly crazy when they get mad either. They are just trying to blame their incompetence on having a section "stacked" with "bad kids," so that the constant uproar coming from their door ain't their fault.
They will often target two or three kids in a section (instead of one) to take all the blame. Scapegoat discipline just passes the blame though, it doesn't establish discipline, because the weak teacher can just scream. She can't terrorize anyone. So, the gross unfairness just provokes more disrespect of her than it deters.
Their dependence is the dependence of any parasite on its host. This dependence is the very essence of their so-called "relationship" with you. It is the relationship you have with a tick or disease. That's all there is to it. Nothing for YOU in it at all.
They truly are emotional vampires and probably are the type storytellers had in mind when they invented the story of the vampire. They NEED your blood/suffering. They feed on it. They will die without it.
Why? because it's the only thing that makes their existence bearable. Just look at what lowdown, dirty, rotten things these gutter slimes have done through life. Wouldn't the memories haunt you to the point that you couldn't stand yourself? A character of white trash put it succinctly in a movie about racism once when asked why he treated black people like dirt: "Because if you ain't better than a n*****, you ain't better than nobody."
Narcissists are doing the same thing. Down in that gutter they need to feel better than somebody else. It's the only thing that can make them happy. Because it's the only thing that makes them feel good.
About themselves. For awhile.
As a drink is the only thing that makes an alcoholic feel good. For awhile. No booze – they get to feeling worse and worse until they are dying for a drink. They WOULD die for a drink. They would die for just the few minutes release from feeling so bad that drink will give them.
Same thing with the heroin addict.
Narcissists must constantly resist falling into the abyss - awareness of what a lowdown thing they are. How? By playing a stupid and irrational mind game: they think they raise themselves out of that gutter by tearing someone else down and walking all over that other person.
Ah, what a high they get! They thump their chest and give a Tarzan yell. That's just Tarzan's way of saying, "Look Ma! Ain't I grand?"
They are sucking that person's lifeblood. They are feeding on it. They are bleeding him or her of self-respect.
That's how they get self-respect, by stealing that which belongs to others. For, what they do is so despicable that, for sheer shame, they'd otherwise have to kill themselves. As one narcissist herself put it to me, she'd be one of those suicides who doesn't even leave a note.
So, they play this game to fight off awareness of what a contemptible thing their conduct has made them. It's what keeps them alive = from killing themselves. It's how they live.
And of course doing this just gives them more shameful conduct to bury that way. It's a vicious cycle.
Now, of course, this neediness of theirs, this parasitic dependence on their host, isn't grand. So this fact of their existence constantly challenges their delusions of grandeur.
That's where being a Projection Machine come in. They ward off awareness of their humiliating neediness by projecting the semblance of it off onto their host.
I know one who blew me away some years ago with "but then maybe because I'm so gosh-darned independent I just don't understand people like that."
My jaw hit the ground. She was 40 years old and had never left the nest. She never paid rent. She made more money than her father but never even bought or paid for her own food and toiletries or cigarettes. Yet in her narcissist eyes, she was so gosh-darned independent. The suckling pig didn't need her parents: in the Land of Pretend, THEY needed HER!
Now is that crackpot thinking? Or is that crackpot thinking?
Therefore, never underestimate the power of a narcissist's upside-down and backwards brain to warp the real world into a work of fiction that twists thinking and perception a full 180 degrees!
In fact, here's one bit of advice I will give: notice these farces. They're hilarious. A sense of humor goes a long way toward healing. It also keeps you from falling under the spell of these crackpots.
I gave another example a few days back in How to Kill Your Sister and Get Away with It.
The narcissistic teacher is desperate for attention. Hard to believe, but true: even being a teacher doesn't fulfill her need for attention.
Yet her ego won't allow her to call her sister for someone to talk to. But though she has tried many baits, she can't sucker the sister into calling her or having anything to do with her (though they live across the street from each other). So the pretext of "helping the needy sister" is the only pretext the narcissist's ego will let her call her sister on. Get it? That way the narcissist doesn't need her sister, the sister needs her.
And so the narcissist must dissemble to hide her need for attention. She must make it seem as though the sister is the needy one, the one who needs someone to talk to. For years, she has tried to sucker her sister into reestablishing a close relationship with her. Presumably, the result would be the same as historically it was: the N never condescends to call her sister, but plays her sister like a fish on the line to call her. Then, she doesn't even let the sister get one sentence out about why she is calling: the narcissist has already launched into a three-hour monologue.
So, who's the one who needs someone to talk to. Or "AT", I mean?
Games, games, games. That's all narcissists do is play stupid games like this. Narcissists ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS blame the victim by protray the victim as asking for it and even liking it. They always claim that their victims have a martyr complex.
Clue: the martyr complex is thinking you are underappreciated. Oh, woe is you, because things don't get done, or get done right, if you don't do them. So you do, do, do for everyone all day long. And nobody appreciates how you sacrifice for them. Oh, woe is you.
That's the martyr complex, and it has nothing to do with abuse. Nobody wants abuse. How can sensible people believe such a bizzare assertion? Indeed, they refuse to believe known facts that are far more believable than this absurdity. What? Do people just love to believe the bizarre?
This absurd claim that the victim wants it is most shocking in the case of rape. When are people going to learn to quit playing the fool for him or her every time a narcissist opens their mouth?
Narcissists do everything possible about the material circumstances of the relationship to make YOU seem like the needy one and THEM seem like the independent one.
For example, women, beware any man who tries to get you pregnant before marriage. Or, even immediately after marriage. That's a patented trick of these spiders to ensnare you in a web.
Both men and women, beware of any lover who can't stand your family and friends around. Another patented trick to isolate you. The narcissist picks fights on the sly and then comes running to you whining about how mean your family or friend is to him or her. They come running to you telling you that your mother or father or sister or brother or friend said this or that.
Do you hear a snapping sound? That's your lifelong relationship with that friend or family member breaking. You will never know that the narcissist is lying, because you have taken the bait and will stop communicating directly with that friend or family member. That is housebreaking, my friend, otherwise known as con artistry.
Know it when ANYONE has come between you and others and is cutting off direct communication between you two. No one who does that is ever up to any good.
Before you know it, you are isolated and alone in the world. At that spider's mercy. Because you are dependent on the narcissist alone for all that we get out of human companionship.
That ain't nothing. Human beings need love and appreciation. We need it like we need the air we breathe. But if a narcissist has isolated you from the rest of the human race, so that you depend on the narcissist alone for all these things, you are in trouble, baby.
The narcissist is doing that to cut your ties to other important people in your life. Like a cowboy, or a pedator, he is just cutting his target out of the herd. He wants you dependent on him alone for human companionship.
Then all he need do is toss you a scrap now and then. Otherwise, he can do anything he wants to you, and you won't leave.
Yet another example, again one that usually applies to women. So, he got you pregnant several times already. How gallant that he says to quit your job and that he will take care of you. Don't do it, lady! This is another patented tactic of narcissists and other spousal abusers.
When he has burned all the employment bridges behind you, the honeymoon will be over. You'll feel trapped in the web this spider has woven and feel dependent on him.
But in my experience and judging by what I've learned from others, that feeling of dependence on the narcissist is more perceived than real. It's largely due to projective identification = what the narcissist says and does to make you FEEL like a worthless wretch who NEEDS him.
Yes, of course, if you are dependent on the narcissist's income, you are dependent on the narcissist's income. But does that dependence come close to the absolute dependence of this vampire on you for a daily drink of your blood, which he cannot live without?
To him or her, you are nothing but a rat they keep for this purpose - you know, for a vampire's "transfusion" every so often.
This is similar to the phenomenon known as "the kept" woman." Just as some men pay a lot of money to support a "kept woman" for someone to have sex with, narcissists will spend a lot of money to support a woman kept to abuse.
Any drug addict will pay whatever it costs to maintain a constant supply so he is never without a fix. This doesn't make narcissists not niggardly. In all other matters, they are niggardly to the hilt. But when it comes to spending whatever it takes to keep someone handy to abuse, they show how desperate they are. No price is too high, because they NEED that constant fix.
So don't let these pushers get you hooked on their money, life in the fast lane, or anything else they can try to buy you with. It will make you feel dependent on them.
And don't fall for their efforts to brainwash you into thinking YOU need THEM. It's nothing but projective identification.
You CAN walk away, in almost every case.
I'll never forget the moment I realized this. Here I was, clinging to a narcissistic abuser for dear life. I'll never forget where I was and what had just happened when the little voice in my head said, "You need THAT?"
No I didn't. I immediately went out and bought new door locks.
A few weeks later I began to notice how good I was feeling. I was astounded by the fact that, while I was with the narcissist, I had gotten so used to feeling bad, that I wasn't even aware of feeling bad anymore. But now, when I began to feel good, I realized how bad a case of hookworm anemia makes you feel.
Indeed, when you get rid of a parasite, you are getting rid of a disease.
A narcissist has no proper relationship with herself. She unknows the self inside and identifies with something external, her projected image, instead. Hence, NPD has often been called a "disorder of the self."
Now THAT'S a pretty important relationship to foul up. If you don't relate to yourself, how can you relate to anyone else?
Narcissists don't. They relate to other human beings as objects. You know - objects, things to use and ab-use for self-serving purposes. Things that have no rights, no right to be even. Things that have no feelings. Tools.
Until that fact sinks in, you just don't "get" malignant narcissism. You keep acting on the premise that the narcissist has some feelings for you, some conscience. And that premise is all wrong. Based on it, nothing makes sense. Hence you keep pinching yourself and wondering whether it's you or the N that is crazy.
The more I see, the more impressed I am by how a narcissist relates to the world around her. These are just my observations, but they are based on a lifetime of experiences fit together like the pieces of a puzzle - for what that's worth.
It's like she goes around with an artist's pallet and paintbrush in hand, painting over reality here and there, almost whimsically and on the fly, to make it more to her fancy or liking.
I think this is a lot like little children do as their minds and personalities begin to take shape. Their mind becomes a playground. They discover how it can be used to "alter" any reality they don't like. They tend to get carried away in flights of the imagination like Alice in the Looking Glass Room.
To us in the real world, the world Alice is in there behind the Looking Glass looks like this one. But beyond the edges of the glass (our look into her life) nothing is the same as in the real world. (More on this in the book.) In fact, Alice says that it's as different as can be.
She made it that way in flights of reckless fancy, often on a whim, just to make her world more interesting and exciting than the real world.
This reminds one of all the reckless experimentation with LSD and other mind-altering drugs, especially during the 1970's.
Fortunately, children normally attain the Age of Reason, when they develop a preference for truth and reality. Partly, they learn to fear the terrible power of the mind to alter perception and delude itself. Partly, they want to grow up and live in the real world like older kids and adults do.
They still daydream and take off on flights of the imagination. But they clearly distinguish between dreams and reality now. For example, they won't insist that you set a place for their imaginary friend at the table anymore.
The more I see, the more I suspect that narcissists never really made it to that point. From time to time they will say something that betrays their presence in some strange other world.
Ms. Painter does the same thing with the people in her world. She paints over them to make a work of art of them, one more to her liking. In doing so, she reduces them to caricatures. Pay close attention to the way she talks about others, and you will see that.
I am constantly struck by how similar these characterizations are to those of a novelist. In a novel, you don't want your secondary characters and minor characters to distract attention from the main characters, so you deliberately draw what we call "flat" characterizations of them. Caricatures. Often called "cartoons," because they have no depth.
To keep them from being bland and boring, you spice up the hero's sidekick with some eccentricity that makes him entertaining. In fact, in novels where attention is on the plot or whodunit, even the main character (e.g., Inspector Poirot) may be little more than a cartoon with some entertaining idiosyncrasies.
Notice that this is what a narcissist makes of the people she talks about. They aren't people; they are characters. There's a difference, you know. They aren't even realistic characters with depth; they are cartoons, caricatures.
She may describe a person as a "Kris Kringle" one day and as a "b****-slapper" the next though.
Because she is an artist, you see, CREATING and EDITING these cartoons on the whims of fancy, reducing human beings to them.
If you ask her about these people, you will find that she actually knows nothing about their character. How could she? She gets 100% of their attention without giving back any of hers. So, how could she have noticed anything about their real character?
All have but bit parts in an autobiographical work of fiction that is all about her.
Of course the narcissist is shallow too. How could she not be shallow? She doesn't identify with the real person inside; she identifies with the image she paints of herself. Another mere character, not a real person.
This is why a narcissist will be a Nazi one day and a socialist the next. She is just another character she creates. So, she can change that character any time the story isn't going the way she wants.
And she does everything possible to make the world reflect her fantasy. Her fantasy about you. (Through character assassination.) Her fantasy about the past. (By pathological lying.) Her fantasy about herself. (In con artistry.) She couldn't possibly have greater contempt for truth.
I am often amazed at the cavalier attitude of some clinicians and bystanders toward malignant narcissism. They seem so concerned about how they SOUND that they have no concern left for what they're saying. Indeed, one wonders if these people ever hear themselves.
They are so busy trying to sound like nice people that they utter utter nonsense. The cruelty of narcissistic abuse is lost on them. It strikes no chord of empathy in them. They hear about it and just mouth-breathe as if to say, "What's so bad about that?"
Obtuseness is invincible. They talk like it's a mere irritation or aggravation. They say we should make nothing of it and not be angry over it. For, the simpletons cannot think morally and therefore must have a list of dos and don'ts as a cheat sheet to distinguish right from wrong.
Fortunately, good therapists would never tell you to repress your feelings. They would tell you that there are times when you have an obligation to get angry, and that failing to is sometimes the morally reprehensible thing to do. Just as failing to fight is sometimes the morally reprehensible thing to do.
But they aren't saying that to SOUND good, so they aren't as loud as the phonies are.
You can read what you need to know about malignant narcissism in the comments here. Those by the children of narcissists.
They are anonymous, so they have no motive to lie, and the stuff they tell that their abusive parent did to them is too bizarre to be made up. It isn't the kind of thing anyone would make up. In fact, it's antithetical to the kind of thing a person would make up. You can see that. It rings true louder than the Liberty Bell.
Read these accounts of narcissistic abuse and weep. Read back through.
I really want people who think that narcissistic abuse is no big deal to do that. And those who think that narcissists are not bad people and will be fine if you just give them a hug, a musical instrument, and a puppy.
These narcissist sympathizers who say that their victims shouldn't abandon the poor narcissist, because that will make poor little him or her so saaaaaaad (to be without a host to parasitize) - people who say that need a lesson that will teach them where to place their misplaced sympathy. Let them be told they are dirt every day in every way by someone close to them for 20 or 30 years. Let them have their reputation, career, and marriage utterly brought to ruin by character assassination. THEN let's see if they still think it's nothing.
Then let's see how well THEY are handling the life they've been dealt.
Thinking it's funny to force your child to do something you warn him in advance you will beat him for? Have you ever heard of anything more perverted and sadistic than that?
I have it from a narcissist herself that mental cruelty is her game.
Rushing your husband's funeral so that one of his children misses it? After you DROVE him to suicide? People who hear that without it twisting their guts have an empathy problem themselves.
Which must be why they are so callous that they just don't see what's so bad about narcissists.
And then the narcissist immediately shacks up with somebody else to give the knife in his or her kids a twist. That one not only appears in the comments here, I know of that happening once myself. In fact every narcissist I have known who lost a mate immediately (as quickly as fleas abandon a dead rat in search of a new host) hopping into bed with somebody else.
That should be a clue about something to clueless narcissist sympathizers. A clue about what other people are to a narcissist.
Driving people to drink? Driving people to suicide? No big deal? I'll wager that many, if not most, people driven to suicide are driven by a malignant narcissist. That's absolute power over someone = the power to make them kill themselves. I know of three narcissists who did this and fortunately succeeded only in driving to drink, and a third who I think did it and did succeed in driving a teenager to suicide.
Not murder? Not WORSE than murder?
Narcissists do this as lightly as you step on a bug. That's what human beings are to them.
And in treating human beings as subhuman beings, they are treating them inhumanly and failing to recognize humanity. Which means they don't know humanity when they see it. If they were human themselves they would recognize and respect the image and likeness of humanity in human beings.
That's what becoming God has done to them. It was a big fall.
If the abundant evidence about psychopaths is any indication, some narcissists come from happy homes. As for those who don't, hey, if they got even with the parent who abused them, that would be natural. But they deify the abusive parent (as soon as they out of his or her clutches) and take it out on the nicest, lovingest, most vulnerable and defenseless prey they can find.
Come on, everybody knows what that means. They are BAD people. I don't care if it's against your political religion's doctrine to admit that. It's true.
Narcissists are known for making the most mild mannered, gentle, patient, kind, and unassuming people livid with anger. They are known for making people who never hate hate them with a passion.
Jeez, do you suppose there could be a reason for this?
This is just common sense. Let the phonies (on the Web and in the clinics) find some new issue to sound holy on and quit making a farce out of this one. Let them find fault to condemn where it is, instead of where it ain't.
It was about this time of year when a narcissist went away to college as a freshman at the colossal University of Wisconsin in Madison. The next thing her family knew, she was a different person.
She had always been your good, clean-cut, all-American kid in high school. Got good grades. Went to Mass with her parents every Sunday. Was a cheerleader. Took part in athletics. Never touched drugs. Had a steady boyfriend who was himself a clean-cut all-American kid.
But in Madison, with no parents around to see what she did, she went wild. You name it – drugs, sex, riots – she was into it. Didn’t go to class. Partied all the time. Hopped into bed with anyone. As for Sunday Mass – she never went once. When her sister came to visit and expected to go, she announced that she didn’t believe in it.
She didn’t offer any explanation or relate her thoughts and reasoning on this. She just bit off the matter glibly by saying that she didn’t believe in it, period.
All within less than six weeks of coming out from under her parents’ roof.
A typical narcissist’s transfiguration. It was like she suddenly was a different person. And The people at school who knew her now wouldn’t have recognized the person she had been just a few weeks earlier.
Anyone not born yesterday knows what happened. Since she could get away with bad behavior now, she did. Instantly she went wild. There was no gradual degeneration of her moral standards. Instead, they simply proved to be nonexistent. She thus proved that she had been a total phony before.
This equates with the frequent report that a narcissist goes wild after the death of a parent who exerted some control over them.
And there’s a warning in it. It means that the only rein on a narcissist is what they think they can get away with. That can and does change with circumstances over the course of life.
And when it does, you may get a nasty surprise. You may suddenly see your narcissist doing abhorrent things you never dreamed him or her capable of.
Simply because the only rein on a narcissist is what they think they can get away with. They have no moral restraint whatsoever. So, when external constraints are removed, look out.
This may explain why powerful narcissists seem worse. They may not be worse: it may be only that they can get away with worse, so they do.
This particular narcissist felt so uninhibited that she took a psychotic break when one of her roommates tried to talk some sense into her. Older students from elsewhere on the floor came running and literally held her down in what they later described in terms that remind one of an exorcism. They then took her to see her older sister in another town the next day, warning the sister that something was wrong with her.
Glibly the narcissist explained it all away to her family by saying that one of the girls’ cousins had slipped her LSD.
What she didn’t tell them is that she had begun a campaign of telling everyone in Madison horrible lies about them to make people feel sorry for her, in an effort to get some rich people who owned a bar on campus to adopt her.
So don’t assume that your narcissist’s assault-weapon mouth won’t be turned on you. Pay attention to what he or she tells you about others and know that he or she is going around saying as bad or worse about you, no matter who you are.
Quite a few years ago, I saw a documentary on TV about batterers. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of the program or the expert being interviewed, but what he said I think is self evident to anyone who has ever tried to communicate with an abusive person.
What was it? He pointed out that in arguments between the victim and the batterer (not beatings, just arguments), the victim always argued circles around the batterer, beating him hands down. I mean she whupped him.
They actually captured examples on film, from counseling offices and even from cameras placed in the home.
This should be no surprise. Of course she whupped him to shame. Reason was 100% on her side. He either had to concede her points or be totally irrational and blow back a wall of gibberish and bullshit at her, like a character in a Monty Python skit.
Any fair and rational judge of the debate must award the victory to her, by pinning him on every point.
If you live or work with a narcissist, you know that all you ever get is fallacious arguments from them.
But we get so used to the irrational blather of these people that we grow tired of fielding it all and blasting it by exposing it for the nonsense and gobbdygook it is.
So we need to remind ourselves now and then that the way people use language can be a red flag.
I know of a narcissistic administrator who ordered his charges to do despicable and even illegal acts while remaining unaccountable simply by issuing these orders in the Biblical language of Babble.
What is it? It’s confused language, language that confuses things with what they ain’t. I have given examples of this before, like confusing patriotism with nationalism to make patriotism sound like a vice.
If you examine Babble closely, you see that it is nonsense, language as literally meaningless as the babbling of baby. Just noise. Blather.
Nonetheless, listeners get the message the babbler intends from it. How? Through the power of suggestion. And, as they say, Never understimate the power of suggestion.
It’s bullshit, in other words. What writers call gobbledygook. The chief tool of propagandists. A way of saying things without really saying them. A way shooting a sentence through the forest without nicking a single tree. A way to confuse the listener enough that he or she misses the absurdity in what you say.
It works because we are in the habit of fixing other people’s English on the fly. We must, because we all make errors in speaking even our native language on the fly. We start out a sentence one way, see it won’t work, and change some crucial grammatical element like the number of subject or the subject itself mid-sentence. Our listeners follow what we’re trying to say and correctly interpret the sentence anyway.
Experiments have shown that listeners naturally fill in words you leave out, without even realizing that you have left them out. They correct nonsensical phrases to make sense of them.
When, for example, Radar O’Reily rushes in crying, “Major Hoolihan went to get married to Japan!” we are but momentarily thrown overboard and instantly fix his sentence to “Major Hoolihan went to Japan to get married!”
Next time you’re listening to someone, pay attention to how many times you think, “Huh? Oh, he actually means this” or “He actually means that.”
That’s great. But when a particular person requires you to do too much of that, look out: it’s no accident. It just someone blowing a wall of blather at you.
It’s full of extraneous gobbledygook that makes it hard to follow what they are saying. Characteristically, these people put so many miles between the subject and verb, interrupting the thought with everything but the kitchen sink, that by the time your poor cerebral software gets the verb, it has forgotten what the subject was.
You are supposed to get confused and think, “Well, I don’t understand it but it must make sense.”
No it need not make sense! Run a logic check on everything people say before you let it into your head.
The administrator I mentioned above wasn’t nervous at all before an audience. To the contrary, he was in his glory. And he was perfectly capable of speaking perfect English to an audience when he wanted to. But when he wanted to avoid responsibility for what he was saying, he mangled his sentences; he left words and whole phrases out; he started sentences over so many times in the middle of one that there was no way to make English out of that gibberish. And don’t even get me started on the hints and innuendo. His charges understood exactly what he was telling them to do, though any direct quotes you could have supplied law enforcement authorities were nothing but innuendo and incoherent gibberish.
We see this now even in writing. It’s politically incorrect to expect even the most basic standards in email. Blowhards exploit this green light. When educated people, even writers and editors, cannot get through a sentence of email without some unbelievable spelling or grammatical error, or way-off misuse of a word, look out. They are doing that on purpose, to make it seem as though they typed this with blazing speed and cannot be held accountable for making sense or meaning what they say.
Why? Well, because this is email, Baby. And you know the rules of political correctness about email: we babblers can throw up smokescreens, confuse the issues, cloud the issues, sidestep the issues, and utter Nimrodean nonsense as freely in email as we do in speech. And it’s against the rules for you to call us on it. Ha-ha!”
And that’s why the victim blasts every argument of the abuser to smithereens. All she has to do is take his blather one piece at a time and say, “Huh?” exposing it for what it is – bullshit and irrational absurdity.
Narcissists and other abusers never do have a leg to stand on. Reason is never on their side. They never have even a single legitimate point to make. The wall of blather they throw at you is just an attempt to conceal that. It’s like the inky cloud an octopus exudes to conceal its escape route from a predator.
That’s why communication with a narcissist is impossible. Communication is another thing on that long list of things that the poor babies call “threats” to themselves. So, communication with them is impossible simply because they block it, throwing up this wall of flak to prevent anything you say from getting through.
Being mentally little children, who feel small and insignificant in a world of giants, narcississts likewise are always on the lookout for an opportunity to make themselves feel important. Like little children they play "Pretend."
For example, I know of a man whose first family moved out on him, and, when another woman and her children moved in, they were overjoyed at the sight of the swingset and the basketball hoop. You could tell those poor kids had nothing and suddenly felt rich.
But letting their delight in these things show was a big mistake. The jerk suddenly stopped mowing back by the swingset, so that the weeds grew so tall around it they couldn't play on it. And he started parking old junker cars underneath the basketball hoop.
It was so obvious -- because that was the only part of the lawn not mowed, and there was no need to park those vehicles right under the basket. Those boys often looked wistfully at it, but I never heard them ask if they could play.
I'm sure I know why they didn't.
Been there. Everyone who's ever lived with a narcissist has.
My mother told me about about a man many years ago, whose sons worked hard all week on the farm (back in the days when they chopped wood, milked cows by hand, and plowed with horses). They had to come and ask him every Friday evening for a little money to spend at the local dance. And he always took off on a long walk out in the fields to make them chase him all the way out there for their pay.
I used to call it playing "Keep Away." Psychologists call it "witholding."
By witholding whatever they know you want, narcissists make themselves feel important. If you are observant of little children, you'll notice they do the same thing. For example, a child can be bored with a toy and about to leave it lay -- till she notices that some other child wants it: then she plays Keep Away.
Never forget that: the narcissist you are dealing with is full grown but every bit the three-year-old, and not a sweet one, either. He or she is case of arrested development, a person still living in that childish world of make-believe where everything is "Pretend." Pretend you're grown up by putting on Mom or Dad's clothes and play-acting "grownup." Pretend you're important by play-acting like you are.
It's a power play too, of course.
I know a woman in whom it's a knee jerk reaction: whenever someone says "Will you...?" or "Can I...?" the first thing out of her mouth is, "You'll have to wait." However long you can wait, she will make you wait longer.
They often have to make you beg or grovel too.
When they see your eyes light on something you want, they look at it and see nothing but a stick to use as leverage on you. It's the Teeter-Totter Game, to make you pray to them for it.
Just think how awful it must be to have to constantly do crazy stuff like that to kill the pain of that deep, down wretched self-concept you must constantly flee into denial of. If they didn't cruelly hurt others, I would feel sorry for them.
Moreover, most of them had brothers and sisters who went through the same thing in childhood but didn't turn out that way.
There are many different types, but if any of these sound familiar to you, "red flag" them.
Married - The most common type of Player is without doubt the "married" one, but who never tells you he is married. "red flags" to look for - won't give you his home phone number only his mobile (or none), won't give you his address, can only chat to you during the day ("red flag") is talking to you from work rather than from home.
Married, but - 'wife neglects me, no sex life left, should never have married her, can't leave because of kids/ family/ religion' , etc. "red flag" in most cases the only type of relationship you will have will be a "dead end" one. He's looking for a freebie!
Mr. Blowhard - definitely a "red flag" - all he wants is an audience to listen to and believe his bogus stories of danger and bravery, or he has a promising career, brilliant future etc., but all snatched away from him due to an accident or serious injury. He needs your sympathy, and when you get tired of listening, he'll just move on to find a new audience.
Hit & Run Player - another "red flag" usually the guys just practicing or fine tuning their chat up lines. You will probably receive love poems, links to the most romantic places on the net etc. Very easy to believe they really love only YOU.
Body Surfers - These guys are easy to spot. The broach the subject of sex early in the relationship. - They are only looking for sex … phone sex, cyber sex, pictures, videos or real sex.
The Globe Trotter - Single/married players who travel for a living. They usually have a laptop as well as access to computer at home/work. They are looking to find women who live "on their appointed rounds" (easy to find doing an advanced search of profiles). They them IM or e-mail you saying they are intrigued by your profile etc., and how much in common you seem to have. After they have you chatting a few times amazingly they will happen to be in your area next week and could they come and see you. Once hooked they can add you to their visiting list (saves spending lonely nights in an hotel!!).
Mr. Big - They usually own their own business (they use that as "bait" which we are meant to translate as "I'm a good catch". Or they may let it slip early in the relationship that they own their own business, or they claim to be a lawyer, a doctor or other highly-paid professional. Now think about it. The same as us women, men want to be loved for themselves, NOT their assets so this man needs a "red flag" too. Can you really believe that a real Professional man would have the time to hang around in chat rooms.
The Sympathy Dog - He gives you a long sob story and then everyday there is a new crisis in his life. All he wants from you are daily "pity parties" - just don't fall for it.
Then we get onto the more serious Players,the real Con men who can cause you enormous emotional distress, harassment and stalking.
The Control Freak - He will also have a sob story and use your sympathy to manipulate you to get his own way. Stories you might hear - has a bad heart condition, or needs a kidney transplant, has cancer but it's in remission. These supposed afflictions are for the purpose of "control" .. whenever you step out of line, the following reaction will occur: you added to his depression and he's feeling suicidal, he starts getting chest pains, he has to go on dialysis, the cancer comes out of remission. Using your feelings of guilt, he will quickly have you back under his thumb again.
The Guilt Trip Player - If you don't fall for his MO which he has worked so hard on, then he will throw a temper tantrum. You will probably receive an e-mail from a supposed friend/relative informing you he committed suicide, implying it was over you of course. Then this friend/relative will keep contact with you for weeks to come with details of the funeral and how devastated the family is etc. Or you will be told he was in some terrible accident and is dying (and you are supposed to feel very guilty about how you treated him. (Shame on you! LOL)
The Freeloaders - This type of player is looking for financial support. He will woo you and then suggest something like "I love you too much to take you away from your family and friends, but I am prepared to move nearer to you." "Could I stay with you for a bit to check out the housing situation/job situation etc.". Big "red flag" comes to stay with you, has no money, alcoholic, drug addict says he'll change if you will just stick by him, help him out for a bit financially. Once in your home - you will have a real job to get him out again.
The Cyberpaths (Online Sociopaths) - These are the worse of the bunch…. This type always looks for the easy to bait, vulnerable women, widows, newly divorced, women recovering from a recent heartbreak etc. They lurk, using different screen names, in the widows, divorced, Al-Anon or mature chat rooms (40's, 50's 60's) or school reunion sites, political sites or "married but"..... They start out romancing you like a player does, but it's for an ulterior motive; they become obsessive and then they become the online harasser, the stalker, smear you on their way out … or worse.
Also a Cyberpath, the Emotional Hitchhiker - They generally look for their "sheep" in rooms that involve emotional support widows & widowers, divorced etc. (really sensitive vulnerable people). They will start out as being this great and wonderful guy who has also been widowed or divorced and is in a lot of emotional pain. They will use two different screen names (pretending to be two different people) - one who is a man falling in love with you: the other, a man who just wants your friendship. After they have you madly in love with them, then they will fake their own death. You will receive an e-mail from a family member or friend informing you he: died in a car accident, sudden heart attack etc. Then, using their other screen name, they will hear first hand of your reaction: hear all you grief and complete devastation, getting a complete "high" from your emotions. OR they may tell you they just found out they have cancer, terminal - of course and drag it out for six months or se, getting daily "highs" from your sympathies and your heartbreak. When the "highs" start to falter, then you will receive notice of their "very painful" death.
The reddest red flag is perverted behavior. Leave out the sexual connotation: I use that word perverted because it means "thoroughly twisted" or "turned backwards." Any act can be perverted. Perverted behavior is the extreme opposite of what is called for. This is behavior that goes against nature, behavior that makes you want to pinch yourself.
In other words, it's a surprise, a shock, the last thing you expected.
Like maybe everyone in that classroom was sitting up straight with all eyes riveted upon Teacher and you could have heard a pin drop. Ka-BOOM! He flies into snarling rage at some kid he won't identify as though that kid just flipped him the bird or something.
Or maybe you've been dating him for six months, and he has been saying from day one that he wanted you marry him. You finally tell him you love him. Ka-BOOM! He gets mad and tells you that you don't love him. And demands that you wear your hair a different way. If you really love him, you will, you know.
In my experience, afterwards you are unable to say what the blow-up was even about. That isn't normal. When you have an argument with a normal person, afterwards you can say what it was about.
Though such off-the-wall flights into rage are the most memorable instances of perverted behavior, they aren't the only kind. In fact, other kinds are more telling.
For example, take a situation that has a nearly irresistible pull on the heartstrings. Imagine that some person in the room is suffering great grief and sorrow and breaks down into tears. Seeing that affects normal people like gravity, attracting them to that person to comfort her or him. But what does a narcissist do? The exact opposite. Remember, she must deny attention to that person, and she can't stand to see anyone else give attention to that person. So, you'd think anti-gravity was impelling her out the door on the far end of that room as she hurries out jabbering cheerily about everything BUT what is going on.
That's what I mean by "perverted" reactions to things — weird, backwards reactions to things. Behaviors that make you feel like you just stepped into The Twilight Zone and need to pinch yourself.
It's always a sign that a person is dangerous in some way. Perverted behavior is characteristic of psychopaths and malignant narcissists. Normal people rarely exhibit perverted behavior unless under extreme pressure to do so, and even normal people are dangerous at such times. For, that's when "normal" people all look the other way to allow things like the Holocaust while pretending that they don't know what's going on.
Inappropriate laughter is an example of perverted behavior. I'm not talking about the inappropriate laughter that sometimes comes from a nervous or self-conscious person, or from people under a great weight of fear, pressure, or sorrow. That's a release, and we understand it. I'm talking about inappropriate laughter that makes you wonder where it came from.
For instance, when the Challenger (space shuttle) exploded on take-off, we saw it live on television. As with the 9/11 Attack, the networks replayed the spectacular footage every two minutes while shocked America got the news and gathered around television sets. One narcissist I know of was so in need of getting his stunned co-workers' attention off the TV and onto himself that he put on a comedy act, parodying what the victims were saying to each other as the rocket plummeted into the sea. Though his fellow workers were scared to death of becoming the object of one of his persecutions, they were shocked at this chilling display of inhumanity and could manage only nervous laughter at the creep's attention-getting jokes.
That happens only when the victims aren't regarded as human beings. Either because they have been demonized by dehumanizing caricatures in propaganda or because the laugher is a psychopath or narcissist.
Other examples of perverted behavior are:
· reacting with contempt to what should evoke sympathy · reacting with aversion to what should attract · reacting with anger to what should please (such as finding some mysterious offense in an attempt to suck up) · getting angrier in reaction to what should appease (Narcissistic Rage)
In short, whenever you see a backwards reaction to something, believe your eyes and ears. Accept this behavior's perplexity and know what you know — that there is something seriously wrong with that person. And don't forget about it tomorrow when he's Dr. Jekyll again. Read more!
"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!