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Narcissists are not psychotic - but when they rage, they can seem to be, and really, they might as well be.
Narcissists are completely aware of facts and about what is real and what is not. They also understand the words you are saying when trying to dispel their warped version of certain events or situations. And even when they vehemently claim things happened differently than you say - trust that is not how they feel or think on the inside. They remember things just fine - but will stand firm just for the sake of being contrite and to gleefully watch you react and waste your energy trying to present facts. Where they are hoping to exhaust you emotionally and mentally until you finally concede to their version of facts.
The problem is… they don’t really care about what is true or what the facts reveal. They truly don’t care about reality. They don’t think that the truth is important. They don’t think that YOU should think that the truth is important.
When they rage and act out, they are almost always angry about something else which they cannot control or acknowledge or express without revealing themselves for who they truly are all about.
Hence they look for a different reason for their rage to be released - one that is consuming them on the inside - so they always look for something that will allow them to create some type of chaos. Often this entails starting an argument out of the blue to release their pent up hostility.
Even if all they can come up with is criticizing you over something mundane. They need the drama as it affords them the needed opening to fly off the handle as well as throwing you off guard.
For example - the Narc will suddenly start yelling at you for leaving your keys on the table, or buying 2% milk instead of skim milk “every single time” even though “they specifically told you "for months" to not do that. Then when you try to inject some logic or proof that which they are claiming is just not true they seize that as another opportunity to gaslight you as your emotional reaction is the necessary fuel they need to feel a revitalized affirmation that they still have control over you and how you will feel and react.
We are talking about a Narc's ego being so overblown that it is literally pathological. Narcissist’s egos are so inflated that they actually think that they have the right to declare what reality is to others. Regardless of whether or not it is actually true or even with ample of proof contradicting what they are so adamantly professing to be true - you will never win the argument with a Narc.
For every Narcissist - the universe revolves around them and exists only for them! So for them there is no valid reason why they cannot tell you with omnipotent authority what is real and what is not!
Actual facts hold no merit or value. So don't be pulled into a rabbit hole by a Narcissist that is setting the trap for you.
It is quite clear cut! For Narcissists they believe they have the right to re-write reality whenever they want because they feel entitled to do so and also because skewing the truth serves them and them alone.
Another reason to remember - refrain from reacting and if you must respond refrain from giving an answer that the Narcissist is looking to sink their teeth into.
Learn to use the words "WHATEVER" or "IF YOU SAY SO" and then just leave it be cause whatever you say will never accepted by a Narcissist looking for an altercation.
Individuals who meet the specific criteria of Narcissistic Personality Disorder under the DSM-V truly believe they are perfect, superior over all others and that the universe revolves around them. Their sense of self-entitlement is equally remarkable when compared to normal people without this form of personality disorder.
To validate their grandiose perception about themselves - they are in constant pursuit to exert power and control over others just so they feel in charge over everything and everyone around them.
They are also driven by the pleasure principle that Freud dubbed the ID - where they will act on impulse to get what they want when they want it. This begs the question why would a Narcissist ever agree to change their manipulative and abusive behaviors? Especially when such caustic behaviors yield them a continuous fuel supply with instant gratification, repeated validation of their super-inflated ego and often affords them with secondary and tertiary benefits.
In short - Narcissists who are born void of the ability to feel empathy towards others - truly have no incentive to change. The only time that a Narcissist might concede to seeking out professional help to modifying their destructive and harmful narcissistic behaviors is when they are faced with a threat or ultimatum that makes them feel they are not in control. Meaning if someone pressures them to enter therapy they may acquiesce but not because they truly want to change. Instead entering counselling often happens when the Narcissist is out of options and they need to buy time, regain trust in others and prevent losing something or someone they are unprepared or unwilling to let go or forfeit in the present time. Of course, when that someone or something has served their purpose and the Narcissist has no further need for them they have no issue or trepidation to discard them at a whim and to return to their former Narcissistic ways that serve their needs.
Remember, the most prominent qualities of someone with a narcissistic personality disorder or narcissistic tendencies is that they are very stubborn and steadfast in their views of the world, themselves and others around them. They tend to be single-minded, often believing that they are never in the wrong. They also hold the innate ability to morph to their surroundings - just like a chameleon changes color to blend in to their environment to get closer to their targeted prey.
Just remember when you first encountered the Narcissist in your life - what was their behavior like in the beginning and when did things start going off rail? Many survivors of Narcissistic abuse can recall that In the beginning their Narcissist was almost everything they ever wanted in a friend. in a partner, in a boss, or a colleague. But soon after when they started to feel more comfortable in accomplishing winning others over - they started to act differently than the persona they presented in the beginning.
Nature vs Nurture: Are Narcissists Born or Molded by External Factors / Situations?
There are different degrees of narcissism a person may possess or project. While some people might exhibit Narcissistic behaviors or tendencies periodically that does not immediately imply that they also will automatically meet the necessary criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder in the DSM-V. We all have had our moments where we may have acted in a shameful or selfish way when we felt hurt or threatened by someone or something. But soon after most of us may have felt guilty, remorseful and ashamed after things cooled off - prompting us to regret our actions after the fact and even apologizing to the party we hurt inadvertently or intentionally in the heat of the moment.
Not so for Narcissists that were born without empathy. They are inept to feel remorse for what they have done or how it made someone else feel. The only time a Narcissist experiences remorse is when their hurtful actions turn against them.
For example - a Narcissist blows their stack and physically assaults someone where the police get called and arrest the Narcissist for the assault. At that time the Narcissist may feel a twinge of regret for hitting someone. But not for the reasons one would assume. All a Narcissist regrets is that they got caught and that their freedom will come at a price. They have no empathy or regret over injuring someone else or able to appreciate how the injuries they caused may impact the injured party. Some may suddenly put on a good show at the scene of the assault or in the courtroom - but on the inside all they are aiming for is to influence / control the outcome of the trial. (While believing that the injured party had it coming to them for disrespecting them in some way or attempting to invalidate their superiority complex.). Malignant / Sadistic Narcissist will also likely feel regret to the extent of regretting that they did not hurt the victim even more.
Basically, depending on which part of the Narcissistic spectrum one lands on - will be a good indicator if actual change in behavior is a possibility. The higher up on the Narcissistic spectrum one lands - the more unlikely will they change their narcissistic ways. Except for perhaps changing the behaviors not because they want to experience a non-Narcissistic life. Rather they will go through the motions and use their therapy to mimic empathy and behave like normal people expect them to - so they can later blindside them all over again.
So the next time your intimate partner who meets the DSM-V criteria for a Narcissistic Personality Disorder promises to change for the better and even agrees to enter therapy - think twice and evaluate the sincerity of their offer / agreement to work with a licensed therapist. Remember changing one's behavior needs motivation and acceptance of one's inadequacies. Something that a true Narcissist is incapable of acknowledging - especially when they believe they are always right and they need others to dance to their tune and not the other way around.
Humor is an Abuser's Best Line of Defense. Here's how Narcissists use humor to hurt others.
First: They careful plan how to say something that they know will hurt, erode and demean the other person's self-confidence. Second: They are quite cunning and calculative cowards who hide behind humor to twist things around to further gaslight their target after they dare to call out the Narcissist on their covert personal attack disguised as a joke.
Think about this....Ever play a joke or say something funny to a Narc about their looks or their actions? Something that you truly said in jest without any malintent?
However instead of them seeing the humor - they immediately went on the offensive and attacked you immediately back? Where you suddenly found yourself in a firestorm being verbally belittled or told something that was sure to hurt your feelings?
Most survivors of Narcissistic abuse would have experienced this and can relate to it as their Narc consistently failed to appreciate their humor and definitely were unable to tolerate any sarcasm or slight against their ego.
WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS?
We need to first accept that Narcissists are NOT some fragile and injured bird on the inside. They also do NOT suffer from lack of self-esteem. Instead - they hold a very high sense of perfection and sense of self-worth where they find YOUR HUMOR as a direct threat to that which they believe about themselves to be true and that which they hold dear to their very existence.
NACISSISTS TRULY BELIEVE THAT THEY ARE PERFECT & SUPERIOR OVER EVERYONE ELSE.
An egotistical self-absorbed image of perfection that they adore and will not allow anyone to diminish, tarnish or attack in jest or otherwise. Especially not by someone they view as inferior...which for the most part is how Narcissists view everyone else. But yet they of course Narcissists feel entitled to intentionally diminish others at a whim - whenever they feel the need to hurt someone else and knock them down a notch or two as a sweet reminder of who is in charge in that relationship.
Goes to the Narc's motto - "DO AS I SAY NOT AS I DO!" The best way to counter an attack disguised in humor is not to react whatsoever - as that is what the Narcissist is gunning for. They say hurtful things to get the other person to react and to go on the defensive, affording them with yet another the opportunity to create a contentious interchange that allows them to put their target down even more with new negative comments, false accusations.
Once their target reacts - that becomes the fuel that every Narcissists wants and needs to reassert their power and validate their control over another person. So armed with this knowledge and insight how and why Narcissist use humor to attack another person...- next time the Narcissistic person in your life (e.g., a partner, family member, colleague at work, etc..) uses humor to insult you - see that attack as YOUR VALIDATION that at that exact moment your Narc abuser is feeling threatened by you and looking to reassert their control over you by getting you to react just as they expected you.
So next time your Narcissist sets the trap - resist falling into it. This entails for you to hold back on the temptation to fight back or to call the Narc out at that very moment. Side stepping the field mine is not a sign of you being weak - rather strategic and intent to disarm the Narcissist who is waiting in glee to see you confirm through your actions that they were able to get you upset and on the defensive.
So instead - learn to walk away or just fluff of the jab to let the Narc know their efforts to upset you failed and they are inconsequential to your existence. By not providing the reaction and argument the Narcissist was hoping to get from you - will deny the Narcissist the opportunity to use you as their narcissistic fuel supply which needs constant replenishment.
But if you absolutely need to respond try to use this famous saying that often works as a charm and infuriates a Narcissist:
Just say nonchalantly without engaging any further: "Oh sorry you find that dig at me amusing. But who am I to explain to you why you are so wrong."
Narcissism is best understood when one looks at this Personality Disorder as a spectrum. Meaning there is overlap in Narcissistic traits. To help you gain a better understanding of the different narcissists - approach this form of personality disorder as categorized into 3 Main Types:
Each of these 3 Main Types is then divided into Sub-Type 1 and also Sub-Type 2. Each of these labels is contingent on what methods a Narcissist frequently uses to control and abuse their target.
Lastly - some Malignant Narcissists are also strictly Sadistic in nature - landing them the label of being a Sadistic Narcissist while the Vulnerable Narcissist can be strictly an Inverted Narcissist where their subtle pattern of repeated narcissistic abuse is not as readily recognized by others but can be just as - if not more emotionally and mentally devastating on their targeted victim.
Sometimes survivors of Narc abuse start to wonder and believe that they too may be a Narc. (Especially when their Narcissistic abuser has tried to project their own narcissistic behaviors onto their victim to get them to start question themselves, their own actions, their feelings, etc.. A crafty tactic which also shifts the attention away from the actual Narcissist who in the process avoids being held accountable for their own wrongdoing and harmful actions.)
With that said - it is of value to explore why this self-analysis phenomenon happens for many survivors of Narc abuse and why assuming / concluding they too might be a Narcissist is not a sound or valid conclusion for most.
What happens during consistent / persistent Narc Abuse exposure?
The victim develops an auto-response reflex where subconsciously they are able to turn off their feelings and emotions towards others - especially during some conflict or when they feel attacked or threatened by someone. (Ability to turn on / off one's emotional responses is also not limited just towards one's Narcissist but can also be experienced when dealing with others whom one perceives as being a threat, abusive or hurtful.)
But just because periodically one may suddenly find themselves feeling indifferent or starting to feel numb or just nothing towards someone else during a conflict is hardly the same as being void of empathy all together as is the case with all Narcissists. We also need to remind ourselves of the key distinction - and that while normal people may be able to turn on/off their empathy levels towards others - Narcs do not have that luxury or opportunity.
The only thing that a Narcissist knows how to do is to mimic empathic emotional responses to fool others into believing that they are capable of having them.
So next time you find yourself suddenly feeling nothing towards someone else (e.g., someone whom you perceive as being hurtful, aggressive, or threatening to your inner peace - recognize it as a normal autonomic response to years of your past abuse. It is your subconscious self-defense mechanism that is kicking in to help guard / shield you from feeling hurt all over again, or being disappointed or disillusioned).
In time, and once the years of past abuse are properly processed and the hurt and pain is finally released - one will be better equipped to reclaim a healthier and balanced approach in the way one responds to future conflicts that might arise or challenging people one encounters.
As your healing journey continues for you - embrace and validate your feelings and emotional responses for what they represent - which are far and different from narcissistic behavior.
Eventually every Narcissist ends up either lifting their mask of betrayal or dropping it all together and their current victim either catches a glimpse or gains a full view of the true monster that has been dwelling behind the illusive mask all along.
For the victim - it is a terrifying and yet surreal experience as their mind and heart feel torn and unprepared to digest that which they just found out about their Narcissistic partner (or family member).
Many also find it difficult to process that the person whom they loved and believed in and with whom they have shared their life up to this point is nothing like the person standing in front of them. Memories, life experiences shared - suddenly feel negated while simultaneously remaining part of a shared history.
For others once the Narcissist's mask drops they have a bittersweet and surreal emotional reaction. On the one hand, their past suspicions that something was amiss become validated and a deep sense of relief sets in. On the other hand, some victims experience immense sadness and grief from losing all that they thought and felt and believed to be real and true about the person is negated in a flash.
Reconciling the loss of the person that in reality never existed is harder on some than others - where psychologically many cannot readily process the new information they gained that the person they fell in love, trusted and gave it their all is nothing but the dire opposite. So instead some will try to forget or simply ignore the dire reality - holding out hope that the person they thought they knew will miraculously reemerge and stay for good.
However the contrary is true.
The monster behind the mask is the REAL deal and the Narcissist dons their mask well for as long as they need to to achieve what benefits them and them alone.
If a Narcissist happens to accidentally drop their mask of deception - they will quickly readjust it to resume the emotional con until the next time their mask will slip. Every time the targeted subject gains another glimpse of the Monster dwelling behind the mask - it leaves them in a further state of confusions and disbelief that the Narcissist feeds off of.
For the Narcissist this becomes a game. Similar to the game "Now You See Me ...Now You Don't". They truly relish watching and feeding off their victim's emotional reactions, mental confusion trying to process what they have seen. Giving the Narcissist further opportunities to skew the victim's sense of reality and to start doubting themselves and their sanity. This serves the Narcissist well as it provides them with added fuel supply by revalidating they have the power and control to mislead their victim and holding out hope that the Monster they saw is somehow not real.
One needs to recognize and understand that by not walking away from the abusive relationship at the first glimpse of the monster rearing its ugly face from behind the mask - only makes the Narcissist become more confident and emboldened about their prowess. The narcissistic abuse then only intensifies over time and the Narcissist will move on and discard the victim without trepidation once the victim no longer serves a purpose. For the Narcissist ending the relationship is non-emotional and without any feeling or compassion. They readily move on with a new unsuspecting subject whom they have assessed as ready to be taken in by their mask of deception while the Monster behind it lies in wait.
Understanding Narcissism through type identification is helpful but we also need to be careful to not get bogged down with labeling and associated definitions as Narcissists are slick and often morph to their surroundings on a dime.
Hence it is always best to stick with some basic rules in how one deals with and responds to ANY Narcissist trying to exert control over their targeted victim.
4 BASIC SAFEGUARDS AGAINST NARCISSISTIC ABUSE:
For more information about dealing with Toxic Individuals, Narcissists consider joining our private Facebook group: Recognizing Toxic People & Abusive Relationships
This online support group is a fellowship comprised of survivors of Narcissistic Abuse and those who may still be subjected to the caustic emotional and mental abuse by a Narcissistic partner or a family member. Group members also share their experiences in confidence with others who have gone through similar experiences. The group is administered by RemedyBlox' founder who shares her knowledge and practical advice as well as links to other resources that help empower members and gain needed validation of what they are going through is real abuse that warrants protecting oneself against to protect their sanity and overall wellbeing.
Not in the sense that Normal people experience jealousy.
Narcissists are envious people - they won’t get jealous because you have a new partner or that they still love you and you just shot down any chance for a reconciliation.
Rather they are merely resentful that your life is going well WITHOUT THEM IN IT! They also hate the idea your new partner might be more successful, more handsome/prettier than they think you are worthy of. They also hate the idea you are actually experiencing happiness and peace that they can no longer sabotage or destroy at a whim using their famous Narcissistic tricks of their trade. After all, in their world - you remain their property - where they feel entitled to do as they wish - destroy, discard or keep around whenever they need a new dose of fuel.
So if your ex-narc suddenly tries to pop back into your life after you have moved on with someone new - do not fall into the mind trap that they are sincere in wanting you back.
So what is the best way to respond to when a Narcissist presents you with a a crappy, thoughtless or useless gift?
WHAT NOT TO DO:
1.) Do not give off or share the innate emotional reaction of upset or disappointment you feel - as that is exactly what they want to see and hear you express so that they may feel empowered from knowing they were able to Gaslight You (e.g., bring your innate normal gut reaction into question and simultaneously assert blame that you do not appreciate the little things in life they do for you because you are self-absorbed, hard to please, blah blah blah....)
2.) Do not ever thank a Narcissist for a crappy gift they present to you. Remember - if you thank them to be polite or to keep the peace - what you are in fact doing is acquiescing to how the Narcissist views you - and that is YOU DO NOT DESERVE ANYTHING BETTER. (Take comfort and draw strength from reminding yourself that this NARCISSISTIC PERSON does not deserve you and is out to destroy the sense of self-worth (however small that it may be after years of abuse) which you may hold about yourself. Trust that you deserve better than the Narcissist standing in front of you is prepared to give you - and this gift is just a means to rob you of your life's joys and happiness.
3.) Refrain from asking the Narcissist why they bought or made you the gift that is questionable, offensive or insulting to you which was given to you as a deliberate slight against you as a person. Remember there is NOTHING that the Narcissist can say to undo the initial innate disappointment and upset you felt when you received the gift from them. So best to save your breath and energy to ask them about what they were thinking or why they did so - because any explanation the Narcissist will offer is to get you to question yourself even more and also to dismiss / devalue the valid innate emotional reaction you felt when handed the shoddy present. Also - attempting to share your emotions or to convince the Narcissist of why they hurt or disappointed you will only satiate their ego knowing they successfully undermined your happiness.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:
1.) Smile and even force yourself to chuckle and appear amused at the audacity with which the gift was selected and presented to you. WHY? Because that is NOT the intended reaction the Narcissist was expecting to get from you. So right there by giving off an emotional reaction different from that which the Narcissist was gunning for - you effectively extinguished the Gaslit Inferno they were hoping to see ignite to feel empowered over you.
2.) Act with indifference towards the useless and even offensive item the Narcissist gave to you. Refrain from appearing happy or sounding upset about that which the Narcissist presented you or the manner that they went about it as if they were handing you some priceless artifact.
3.) Prepare yourself mentally for the Narcissist repeatedly asking if YOU LIKE the gift. The more they ask and the more insistent they get - the more it demonstrates how your lack of your emotional reaction towards the gift is upsetting to them. After all the Narcissist was convinced that they would be able to use their skill and plan to get you to become upset and hurt. So instead of giving them that satisfaction - Just SMILE without saying anything and act as if you were un-phased by their present. Your smile will let the Narcissist know that their plan failed and that they do not have the power to control how you feel or what you say.
4.) When the Narcissist becomes persistent - demanding you tell them if you like the gift - or even if they suggest / offer to get you something else if you do not like their questionable gift. That is them trying to force you to start talking about how their present to you made you feel. So avoid becoming baited - they have no intention of returning the gift. Instead simply reply with: "I am happy that you stayed true to form by getting me this gift."
5.) If the Narcissist persists to offering to exchange it - JUST REPLY: "Nah ...that won't be necessary. "
Leave it at that and refrain from explaining yourself or elaborating further. Do not even speak about if or how you will be able to use that gift.
6.) If the Narcissist still persists to try and engage you into a discussion about the gift or demand from you to explain what you meant by that comment - that they stayed true to form.
Simply Reply: ""Ahw ...you can be so adorable when you fail to realize that I gave up a long time ago to hold any expectations about what you give me or don't."
...Then just smile and change the subject by asking if they also want a slice of your birthday cake, or excuse yourself that you need to make a call to share your special occasion with a family member / friend / coworker. If you do make the call - do not say anything about the present your Narcissist gave you as they will be keenly listening to hear what you felt - so they get their fill. Keep your talk light, bubbly as if you had no worry in the world.
7.) Also leave the gift where you received it. The Narcissist will often lay in wait to see what you will do with it. They might even suggest you put it on (if it is clothing,) or to taste it if it is a food item, or to display the item if it is something for the home. In that case - just respond sure maybe later. (This helps remind the Narcissist again that you hold the power and control over the situation - where you will determine what YOU will do and not do with the gift.)
8,) By next day take the gift item from where you left it and place it in some obvious shabby container then place it somewhere out of the Narcissists ready view (e.g., placing it inside a storage cabinet or in the Garage). Whatever you do DO NOT THROW THE PRESENT INTO THE GARBAGE CAN (not yet at least). The Narcissist is hoping to see the gift thrown into the garbage by you - so they can feel validated that YOU HATED THE GIFT and that they were able to successfully disappointed you and cause you to feel upset.
9.) When the Narcissist asks you where you hid/put the gift item they gave you trust that they already looked through the obvious places around the home to find it but had no luck finding it.
When this happens consider saying the following: "Hmm.. funny I don't recall at the moment where exactly I put it. Maybe its in the storage closet or in the garage."
This will prompt them to go looking for it...only to find it tucked away in a place they did not expect to find it in. Where once again they will realize that despite their efforts you were the one who controlled the situation and held the power they thought they had over you.
FINAL TAKE AWAY: It is common for normal people to feel unnatural when it is suggested to withhold their emotional reactions and to say things in a way that is basically opposite to how one truly feels. However - if you want to protect yourself from falling into the emotional and mental trap the Narcissist has set out for you - then you need to start speaking and acting with impact to reclaim your power and take back control over your life.
However - when one feels unsettled with how to respond and act around a Narcissist who is trying to gaslight them or is playing mental games - then the only other options remaining are the following:
Manipulation is another skillful way that toxic people use and rely on to pressure and control others into doing something that they either don't feel comfortable in doing or would normally not concede to doing but are guilt tripped into it by obligation, coercion or some skewed sense of duty or fear.
To learn more about how to recognize covert and overt tactics manipulative people use and how to cut the strings of this form of abuse please CLICK on TAB below to view article.
Not all Narcissists are sexual deviants. However - all sexual deviants do display an antisocial personality disorder (e.g., Narcissism, Psychopathy and/or Sociopathy) where the abuse they subject onto their targeted victim(s) takes on the most destructive and vile form of physical pain, emotional harm and mental control.
To learn how narcissists use sex to control, demean and destroy their targeted partner - CLICK on TAB below to access the full article.
WHAT IS SEXUAL VIOLENCE?
Sexual Violence is any unwanted, forced, tricked or coerced sexual activity.
There are many different forms of sexual violence, such as rape, incest, date / acquaintance rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, unwanted sexual touching, voyeurism, and many others.
ROOTS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE:
There are many beliefs about why sexual violence occurs in our society. It is often seen as a criminal Justice problem, a public health or a social problem. It is all three and most of all it is a community problem.
The issue of why sexual violence occurs is very complicated. Yet it is clear that it occurs as a continuum of beliefs and actions. And at the base of the continuum are individual beliefs and social norms which allow sexual violence to occur.
The sexual violence continuum is an attempt to explain how our norms and beliefs allow for an environment where sexual violence can occur.
For more information - CLICK on TAB below to access the comprehensive illustration of sexual violence progression and the impact on the victim.
Great video on how Narcs serve up the "WORD SALAD" to drive you literally insane ....AND what YOU can do to better protect yourself!
WORD SALAD: Describes the pattern of manipulative communication style a Narcissist relies on to bait you into defending yourself against their nonsensical claims so the energy you expel serves them as the much needed Narcissistic supply. You will also find yourself feeling somehow responsible by the end of the discussion for something you did not even do - even start feeling sorry for them for reasons you cannot explain.
A Narc's word salad serves up skewed information and incorrect facts to get YOU to question your own memory so that you are left even more confused, frustrated than before.
Since empathic people are truth seekers - the Narc will also manage to get you to continue to obsess after the discussion is over - to make sense of something that is illogical for you to process or disprove to the Narc.
So if next time a Narc tries to serve you a WORD SALAD just tell them you lost your appetite and leave it to them to finish the dish themselves:)
To access the video - - CLICK on TAB below..
Gift giving by Narcissists holds a totally different sentiment for them.
First there is the: "LOVE BOMBING"
This entails in the beginning of the relationship / courtship where the Narcissist tends to shower their targeted victim with elaborate and spur of the moment presents. (LURING THE NEW PROSPECT INTO AN EMOTIONAL / MENTAL TRAP - SO THE VICTIM COMES TO BELIEVE & EXPECT SIMILAR SHOW OF AFFECTION & ATTENTION IN THE FUTURE.)
This is captured in the video - CLICK on TAB below to watch the video.
However while love bombing is part of a manipulative tactic - there is more that underpins the narcissist's motivations!
This pattern of gift giving usually morphs soon after the courtship phase where the Narcissist's gifts become increasingly "most strange - low quality - low value" and the recipient is often left to scramble to figure out a plausible rational explanation as to why the Narcissist would have given them that type of a present. However, the targeted individual continues to hold out hope - wanting to believe that next time a gift will be presented to them it will be something they like, can use and reflects some thought and effort on the part of the Narcissist.
This type of subpar gift giving by the Narcissist is just another means to force the intended recipient to express gratitude for basically being insulted.
While the video speaks to this - what the presenter does not elaborate on is that this form of Gift Giving is two fold creating the perfect Gaslighting storm and a NO WIN SITUATION for the TARGETED VICTIM so as to serve the Narcissist with the desired fuel.
FIRST: The gift they given is for all intense and purposes deliberately selected or made to be crappy and insensitive in nature while attempting to force the victim to accept and show gratitude by thanking the Narcissist for disrespectful and insulting. It also forces the victim to agree out loud - attesting that they agree with the Narcissist's view of them being undeserving and unworthy and are content with the crappy gift that has been given to them.
HOWEVER THERE IS ANOTHER PART (not mentioned in this video):
The Narcissist is using the insignificant and insulting present to ruin the mood of the special event for the targeted victim. The Narcissist is very attune to the fact that their victim is feeling excited and thrilled about the special event they are celebrating. The Narcissist also knows the their target is brimming with anticipation of what type of present(s) they might be given to make the celebration eventful (e.g., their birthday or an anniversary, Christmas, etc..).
But for the Narcissist - that is the perfect time that they can dash and ruin the moment for the victim by evoking emotions of upset and disappointment including counting on the victim to question THEMSELVES why they are so unworthy to receive a present that is so insensitive, meaningless or even hurtful.
WHY DO NARCISSISTS DO THIS?
Because the Narcissist is creating the perfect opportunity to turn an important event that should be filled with joy into something that will upset and destroy the moment for the target. For example - If the Narcissist knows that their partner is in recovery from Alcohol they will present them with a $5 bottle of wine. So not only will the recipient feel confused and hurt why the Narcissist went out to get them wine knowing they no longer drink alcohol. But in addition - to add salt to the wound they will also present them with a cheap bottle of wine to indirectly imply that is all they wanted to spend.
The Narcissist has both angles covered. Either the individual will be forced to thank them (for the insult) to keep the peace and not ruin the celebratory event. (OR) If the target speaks up - then an argument will ensue where the event is ruined. Either outcomes serve the Narcissist very well - as both reactions afford them with the opportunity to launch an attack aimed to demean the targeted victim and accuse them of being ungrateful, materialistic and full of themselves where nothing is good enough for them. Basically launch a full blown attack to Gaslight their victim whom they proceed to accuse to be high maintenance and unable to appreciate the "simpler and more thoughtful things in life".
A typical strategy that allows the Narcissist to deflect away from what they have done (e.g., malicious pre-planning to create the perfect storm that places the focus away from them and instead directly on to the VICTIM'S REACTION).
But if the Narcissist does not get the reaction they were gunning for where the intended victim does not take the bait - and instead thanks the Narcissist for the crappy gift to avoid making a scene and further ruining the special occasion. Then that serves the Narcissist equally well - as the Narcissist feels triumphant that they got their intended victim to acquiesce and accept the intended message the gift delivered - that the victim is unworthy to receive anything special or of value. Securing a WIN - WIN result for the Narcissist who is left feeling victorious and able to achieve the intended outcome.
There is also a THIRD ELEMENT (not mentioned in this video) how Narcissists use gift giving to exercise continued control over their victims:
When a Narcissist gives a crappy / thoughtless or even an insulting gift (e.g., weight watchers book, a stick of deodorant) they are sending the message that there is something wrong with how the victim looks where areas of improvement are needed. But in reality these types of gifts are intended to chip away at one's confidence. They are also working on grooming their victim and to condition them to "do better", "be better", "behave in a certain way", etc.. just to meet the Narcissist's expectations as well as relinquishing control to them.
Basically instilling in the victim that gifts are a reflection of reward for their past behavior. Leading the victim to come to the belief that their subservience to the Narcissist is expected and shall only be rewarded in the future if they do as they are told and is expected of them.
What many fail to realize is that more often than NOT this is an unattainable goal and serves to benefit only the Narcissist who continues to dangle the carrot that next time things will be better. This is another form of controlling the victim moving forward which often works like a charm for at least awhile. The Narcissist also relies on the initial courtship phase to serve as a reminder for the targeted victim that things can return to the way they used to be in the beginning - when the Narcissist showered them with presents that made them feel special and important.
Some Narcissists are also known to give a meaningful / elaborate gift sporadically and out of the blue following a period of crappy and insensitive gift giving. However they do so - NOT BECAUSE THEY WANT TO EXPRESS LOVE OR TO MAKE THE VICTIM FEEL SPECIAL & APPRECIATED.
Rather the Narcissist will usually revert to elaborate over the top gift giving only when the Narcissist fears they are at risk of losing their targeted victim - who is becoming disheartened and basically disinterested in playing this game and holding out hope that things will change for the better. So the Narcissist being true to form of wanting to feel the power to change how someone feels about something - they will do what they do best - surprise their target with a spur of the moment present to grab the targeted victim's attention and also change their mood and the way they perceived something earlier. However the over the top present the Narcissist might give is not reflecting a show of love or care. Rather to pull the targeted victim back in - and getting them to believe that things have changed and returned to normal. Soon after - only to blindside them again with another low quality cheap present that will reopen old wounds and hurt the victim all over again.
Gaslighting is a common tactic that Narcissists rely on to create an emotional firestorm in their intended targets - who often find themselves:
If you have felt this way in the past only with a particular person and still are uncertain what is going on - then you might be experiencing Gaslighting techniques by a Narcissist.
Gaslighting is harmful because it promotes anxiety, depression, and with enough frequency - it can even trigger a nervous breakdown.
Review the following tell-tale signs to see if you are a victim of gaslighting and how to recognize gaslighting tactics.
15 COMMON TELL-TALE SIGNS OF SOMEONE GASLIGHTING YOU:
GASLIGHTING TECHNIQUES ARE OFTEN SUBTLE & SERVE TO UNDERMINE YOUR REALITY & INTEND TO PORTRAY YOU AS THE DISTURBED & CRAZY ONE.
So pay close attention if someone does the following:
These are just a few examples of Gaslighting tactics that leave the intended target feeling uncertain and emotionally spent.
A good rule of thumb for anyone experiencing this type of repeated emotional storm is to ask themselves if they are feeling this way with other people or just with a select individual. If the latter applies - more often than not the culprit is deliberately manipulating and it is time to take affirmative action to safeguard one's mental and emotional state from this form of abuse in the future.
The narcissist’s willingness and ability to change is in direct proportion to their likelihood of changing.
If you are dealing with a Narcissist it is best for to stop looking for ways on how to change them. Instead you have 2 Options:
When one is dealing with a narcissist it is crucial "NOT TO FALL FOR THE FANTASY THEY CREATED"
Narcissists can be very magnetic and charming. They are very good at creating a fantastical, flattering self-image that draws their targeted victim(s) in. Human beings are typically attracted to someone who appears confident and presents grandiose aspirations. For those who already come into the relationship with a sense of low self-esteem, the more seductive and alluring the narcissist will appear. It’s easy to get caught up in their web, thinking that they will fulfill our longing to feel more important, more alive. But it’s just a fantasy, and a costly one at that as those who survived their narcissist's abuse can attest.
Your needs won’t be fulfilled (or even recognized). It’s vital to remember that narcissists aren’t looking for partners; they’re looking for obedient admirers who validate their sense of entitlement and superiority over others. Your sole purpose is to tell them how great they are to prop up their insatiable ego. Your feelings, your needs and desires never matter and do not figure into the Narcissist's equation.
For the narcissist they continuously look for ways to use and hurt other people. If the narcissist lies, manipulates, hurts, and disrespects others, he or she will eventually treat you the same way or even worse over time. So avoid falling into the trap of believing that you are somehow are different and that the Narcissist will spare you from such disrespectful and harmful exposures. Your relationship with a Narcissist exists on borrowed time. And it is not if but when they will turn on you as you have seen them turn on others.
Now some individuals become intoxicated by the Narcissist in their life - where they refuse to see them for who they really are and will make excuses for their bad behavior or minimize the hurt they cause. What folks need to realize is that denial will not make the bad behaviors magically disappear or feel less painful over time. The stark reality is that narcissists are very resistant to change, so the true question you must ask yourself is whether you can continue to live in the eye of the emotional storm indefinitely.
IMPORTANCE OF FOCUSING ON ONE"S OWN DREAMS:
Instead of losing yourself in the narcissist’s delusions, focus on the things you want for yourself.
SETTING HEALTHY BOUNDARIES:
Healthy relationships are based on mutual respect and caring by both parties. However since narcissists lack empathy and are incapable of expressing true reciprocity in any of their relationships - leaves one feeling used, hurt and their needs unmet.
It isn’t just that Narcissists are unwilling to change - they truly are not capable of it.
They don’t see others or you in the same way that you see other people. Their view of the world is ego-centric.
They don’t listen what others or you say them. They hear what they want to hear and the rest is dismissed as verbal dribble by someone they have no respect or consideration for.
They don’t recognize others or you as someone who exists outside of their own needs. That is why narcissists regularly push and violate the other people's boundaries when they feel like it due to their absolute sense of entitlement.
For example - a narcissist has no issue ignoring your right to privacy. They are known to snoop, take things that do not belong to them without asking, opening your mail and reading your personal correspondence. They also eavesdrop on conversations, come by uninvited, and inject themselves into conversations where they readily offer their unsolicited opinions and advice which they expect (even demand) to be heeded especially if the other person does not want to. Narcissists have no qualms dismissing other people's opinions and even telling them what they should be feeling or thinking about something.
It’s important to recognize these violations for what they are, so you can begin to create healthier boundaries as well set and identify consequences to them that you will need to follow through on if you want to protect yourself from their intrusive and hurtful behaviors.
HAVE AN EXIT PLAN IN PLACE:
If you have a long-standing pattern of letting others violate your boundaries, it’s not easy to take back control. But it is possible and attainable. It all starts with a mental mind shift where instead of acquiescing to fail you set yourself up to succeed.
First, carefully consider what is important to YOU instead of what you think is important to the Narcissist in your life. What are YOUR life goals? How will you be able to achieve them - systematically and realistically. Remember to give yourself time to make progress by hitting the identified goal posts. In your plan make sure you also identify potential road blocks and likely obstacles you can expect and how you will need to overcome them.
SELF-REFLECTION QUESTIONS TO ASK ONESELF:
Consider a gentle approach. If preserving your relationship with the narcissist is important to you, you will have to tread softly. By pointing out their hurtful or dysfunctional behavior, you are damaging their self-image of perfection. Try to deliver your message calmly, respectfully, and as gently as possible. Focus on how their behavior makes you feel, rather than on their motivations and intentions. If they respond with anger and defensiveness, try to remain calm. Walk away if needed and revisit the conversation later on when things have calmed down.
Don’t set a boundary unless you’re willing to keep it. You can count on the narcissist to rebel against new boundaries and test your limits, so be prepared. Follow up with any consequences specified. If you back down, you’re sending the message that you don’t need to be taken seriously.
Be prepared for other changes in the relationship. The narcissist will feel threatened and upset by your attempts to take control of your life. They are used to calling the shots. To compensate, they may step up their demands in other aspects of the relationship, distance themselves to punish you, or attempt to manipulate or charm you into giving up the new boundaries. It’s up to you to stand firm.
Lastly - work on how you respond to the Narcissists. Remember that emotional reactions are their fuel supply. So learn to respond instead of reacting emotionally and this usually entails refraining from taking things personally.
Narcissists are wired to protect themselves from feeling inferior. They do not like to feel ashamed or guilty of their wrongdoings and will always deny their shortcomings, cruelties, and mistakes. Often, they will do so by projecting their own faults on to others. It’s very upsetting to get blamed for something that’s not your fault or be characterized with negative traits you don’t possess. But as difficult as it may be, try not to take it personally. Their behavior has nothing to do with you. It really is all about them and finding new ways to keep you playing their game.
Don’t buy into the narcissist’s version of who you are. Narcissists don’t live in reality, and that includes their views of other people. Don’t let their shame and blame game undermine your self-esteem. Refuse to accept undeserved responsibility, blame, or criticism. That negativity is the narcissist’s treasure trove.
It also will do you no good to argue with a narcissist or present evidence to proving them wrong. While it may be one's natural instinct to defend oneself when attacked unfairly there is nothing you can say or do to get them to concede. So don’t waste your breath. Simply tell the narcissist you disagree with their assessment, then move on without further elaborations or explaining yourself. Remember. anything you say can and will be used against you during that argument or later on when you least expect it.
YOUR BEST LINE OF DEFENSE - KNOW & BE TRUE TO YOURSELF
The best defense against the insults and projections of the narcissist is a strong sense of self where you refrain from doubting yourself. When you know your own strengths and weaknesses, it’s easier to reject any unfair criticisms leveled against you.
Let go of the need for approval. It’s important to detach from the narcissist’s opinion and any desire to please or appease them at the expense of yourself. You need to be okay with knowing the truth about yourself, even if the narcissist sees the situation differently.
Look for support and purpose from others instead of from the narcissist in your life. If you’re going to stay in a relationship with a narcissist, be honest with yourself about what you can and can’t accept and then find ways to tolerate that which you have come to expect from them. A narcissist isn’t going to change into someone who truly values you, so you’ll need to look elsewhere for emotional support and personal fulfillment.
Learn what healthy relationships look and feel like. If you come from a narcissistic family, you may not have a very good sense of what a healthy nurturing and supporting relationship entails. Be aware that the narcissistic pattern of dysfunction may feel comfortable to you but regardless of how familiar it may feels it is still harmful to you. So look for a reciprocal relationship where will start to experience healthy emotions from being respected, listened to, and free to be yourself without judgment or ridicule.
Spend time with people who give you an honest reflection of who you are. In order to maintain perspective and avoid buying into the narcissist’s distortions, it’s important to spend time with people who know you as you really are and validate your thoughts and feelings.
Make new friendships, if necessary, outside the narcissist’s orbit. Some narcissists isolate the people in their lives in order to better control them. If this is your situation, you’ll need to invest time into rebuilding lapsed friendships or cultivating new relationships.
Look for meaning and purpose in work, volunteering, and hobbies. Instead of looking to the narcissist to make you feel good about yourself, pursue meaningful activities that make use of your talents and allow you to contribute.
WHEN & HOW TO LEAVE A NARCISSISTIC RELATIONSHIP
Ending an abusive relationship is never easy. Ending one with a narcissist can be especially difficult as they can be so charming and charismatic—at least at the start of the relationship or if you threaten to leave. It’s easy to become disoriented by the narcissist’s manipulative behavior, caught up in the need to seek their approval, or even to feel “gaslighted” and doubt your own judgement.
If you’re codependent, your desire to be loyal may trump even your need to preserve your safety and sense of self. But it’s important to remember that no one deserves to be bullied, threatened, or verbally and emotionally abused in a relationship. There are ways to escape the narcissist—and the guilt and self-blame—and begin the process of healing.
This starts with educating yourself about narcissistic personality disorder. The more you understand, the better you’ll be able to recognize the techniques a narcissist may use to keep you in the relationship. When you threaten to leave, a narcissist will often resurrect the flattery and adoration (“love bombing”) that caused you to be interested in them in the first place. Or they’ll make grand promises about changing their behavior that they have no intention of keeping.
Before you actually take the brave steps to leaving a Narcissist - write out all the reasons why want to leave them. Be honest with yourself and write out clearly why you need to end the relationship. This list will serve you as the much needed anchor to keep you rooted in your goal to leave and will help you to counter what the Narcissist will tell you to suck you back in. Keep your list somewhere handy, such as on your phone, and refer to it when you’re starting to have self-doubts or the narcissist is laying on the charm or making outlandish promises.
Seek support. During your time together, the narcissist may have damaged your relationships with friends and family or limited your social life. But whatever your circumstances, you’re not alone. Even if you can’t reach out to old friends, you can find help from support groups or domestic violence helplines and shelters which are listed on this page as your starting point.
REFRAIN FROM MAKING IDLE THREATS OF LEAVING
Making empty threats to gain the Narcissist's attention in hopes they will listen up and take you seriously does not work on Narcissists. The best approach is to accept that the narcissist won’t change and when you’re ready, simply leave without looking back. Making threats or pronouncements will only forewarn the narcissist and enable them to make it more difficult for you to get away when you rally do want to.
Seek immediate help if you’re physically threatened or abused. Call 911 in the U.S. or your country’s local emergency service.
ONCE YOU HAVE LEFT THE NARCISSIST
Leaving a narcissist can be a huge blow to their sense of entitlement and self-importance. Their huge ego still needs to be fed, so they’ll often continue trying to exert control over you. If charm and “love bombing” doesn’t work, they may resort to threats, denigrating you to mutual friends and acquaintances, or stalking you, on social media or in person.
Go NO-CONTACT. Meaning you will need to cut off all contact with the narcissist. The more contact you have with them, the more hope you’ll give them that they can reel you back in. It’s safer to block their calls, texts, and emails, and disconnect from them on social media. If you have children together, have others with you for any scheduled custody handovers.
Allow yourself to grieve. Breakups can be extremely painful, whatever the circumstances. Even ending a toxic relationship can leave you feeling sad, angry, confused, and grieving the loss of shared dreams and commitments that did not come to fruition. Healing can take time, so go easy on yourself and turn to family and friends for support.
Don’t expect the narcissist to share your grief. Once the message sinks in that you will no longer be feeding their ego, the narcissist will likely soon move on to exploit someone else. They won’t feel loss or guilt, just that never-ending need for praise and admiration from a new conquest. This is no reflection on you, but rather an illustration of how very one-sided their relationships always are.
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In Febryary 2019 - we created this private & confidential group on Facebook for both men and women who are struggling with a particular difficult relationship with someone they know or are involved with (e.g., intimate partner, family member, neighbor, someone at work, etc..) who is causing them some form of undue hardship or being abusive.
This group is a closed group to offer all members the value of posting openly about their personal ordeal for the benefit of gaining added insights and support from feloow members who have gone through or are going through a similar abusive relationship. Insights and information shared in this group is intended to help members learn not just how to survive but how to thrive after gaining their freedom from their abuser that was physically, emotionally, mentally, sexually and/or financially abusive or who is refusing to leave them alone after the relationship ended.
The administrator of this group is is Remedy Max (founder of RemedyBlox) where in addition to moderating the group activities she offers emotional support as well as identifying critical patterns in destructive behaviors, how to recognize toxic relationships so members can identify and validate their experiences. She also shares practical tools to help group members mitigate against future risks and harms while instilling self-confidence and empowerment to alleviate real and perceived fears that can prevent some from making the necessary changes in their lives.
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The following list of Facebook groups and other social media platforms we are proud members and we recommend for any individual that has been or is currently abused by a narcissist in their life.
These forums offer a confidential group setting where survivors of Narcissistic abuse can share their personal experiences openly with fellow group members who have gone through similar abuses. This collective affords members to finally gain the needed validation that the narcissistic abuse they have been subjected to is real and is not a figment of their imagination as narcissistic abusers tend to convey to their victims. Group members also have gain access to valuable resources that have helped others to protect themselves against further Narcissistic abuse.
By connecting with others who have gone through similar experiences and their account of success stories is empowering and affords many with the needed inspiration and renewed hope that there is a better life waiting for them to explore once they make the brave decision to break free from the Narcissists in their life looking to control and abuse them.
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Our team of subject matter experts deliver various public presentations at community events and public forums for members of the general public as well as for special interest agency groups on the topic of Deviant Personality Disorders and Safeguarding Against Narcissistic Abuse and other types of toxic relationships.
The goal of these public educational platforms is to open the dialogue about this form of insidious form of abuse committed by individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorders and toxic individuals who may be an intimate partner, a spouse, family member(s), friend(s), or even someone that one lives next to or works with - whose narcissistic traits can devastate an individual on various fronts.
Audiences learn about how these abusers target others for their own self-serving pleasure and personal benefits and gains without feeling any concern, remorse, regret or empathy for others.
These public presentations also help offer survivors of narcissistic abuse with much needed validation to help them recognize that which they endured was not a figment of their imagination nor their doing. They gain the needed perspective into what makes Narcissistic Personalities tick, how to avoid falling into their masterful manipulative traps as well helping them to recognize Narcissistic behaviors and traits in others before becoming emotionally, psychologically, physically, sexually and/or financially harmed or exploited.
Members of the general public also learn about the Yellow & Red Flags that Narcissistic Personality Types raise and how they can mitigate their risk exposures to better safeguard their personal safety and mental health against these skillful puppet masters.
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