Updated: Aug 20
I thought it is understood that you are my prey. You don’t get to have a say.
Many people think of excessive self-love when they think of Narcissism, but, in truth, they are driven by deep-seated self-loathing. They spend their lives masking it with arrogance, self-obsession, and self-adulation. They idealize and devalue themselves just as they do unto others. It is rather an unrequited self-love doomed by self-rejection. The only way to numb this painful reality is by way of projection.
Criteria according to the DSM:
•Has an inflated/grandiose sense of self-importance
•Is preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
•Believes that he or she is “special” and can only be understood by other special or high-status people
•Requires excessive admiration
•Possesses a sense of entitlement
•Takes advantage of others
•Envious of others or believes others are envious of him/her
•Behaves in an arrogant, egotistical, or haughty way
•Exploitative and manipulative
•Mostly emotionally and mentally abusive, but physical, financial, sexual, or spiritual abuse is not beyond them.
•They engineer and feed off drama
•Never gives credit unless for personal gain
•Lack of responsibility and accountability
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Types of Narcissists
Narcissism is a wide spectrum that ranges from a few mild traits to a full-fledged disorder. Most are closet bisexuals. If their orientation causes them deep shame, they deflect it through abusing others. They tend to have a marked disdain for women, and use them as beards, and to exert control.
This type of narcissist is the most malicious, and closely resembles sociopaths and psychopaths. They tend to be overt, but they can also be maliciously covert. Other narcissists may cause harm out of necessity, but malignant narcissists would cause harm for their own amusement.
•Overt/The Grandiose type
This type is outspoken, visibly grandiose, overtly aggressive, directly nasty and disrespectful, and has no qualms about clearly expressing their self-admiration. They are often flamboyant, loud, and in love with the spotlight. They are overtly shameless, despite their deep-seated shame. Overcompensation is in full drive with the overt type. When they are female, they are often diagnosed with Histrionic personality disorder; however, despite the similarities, some differences set them apart.
Things they might say:
•Look at my beauty. Have you seen anyone this gorgeous?
•Everyone thinks you are crazy. You’re not very smart are you?
•I am way smarter than you can ever be.
•You have a wild imagination. None of this ever happened.
•I never said this. I have never done that! (this can be said while they are doing the thing they’re denying)
•I am the best at this. They’re just envious of me.
•Your apology is not enough. You have to drop to your knees, kiss my hand, and ask for forgiveness.
The cerebral type is concerned with his intellect rather than his physical desires. They collect medals, certificates, and accomplishments, or simply fake them. They may be talkers, but not doers. They brag about their sexual conquests, when, in truth, they barely have a sex life. Many of them are asexual. They will only engage in sex to influence and control, but once they reach their end goal, they will be repulsed by any show of intimacy and will withhold it from their partner. To them, physical intimacy is used as a weapon, a tactic, or a bargaining chip, when they have to. They may get married and have children as a cover.
A cerebral narcissist spent a decade posing as a surgeon and worked in high profile hospitals. Many patients would die under his knife. Hospitals would let him go quietly, because they wanted to avoid lawsuits, and neglected to warn other hospitals. By the time he was caught, he had a lot of blood on his hands. When asked how he pulled it off for so long, he said, “I read a lot.”
This one is often preoccupied with sex, and it is their end goal. They use people and feel entitled to their bodies. They translate any form of attention as an invitation for sex. They believe everyone desires them, including those, who are not interested. Those, who reject them, will be lied about, and they will play games to prove to others that they are being chased by them. They manufacture situations to prove the other person’s obsession with them. These are the types obsessed with their muscles; you see them flexing, working out, consuming muscle enhancing products, flaunt their cleavage, wearing revealing clothes, and seducing anyone in their path without discrimination.
• Covert/Inverted Narcissist
This is the most dangerous kind because they know how to cover their tracks, and no one sees their abuse but you. This one is passive-aggressive and is much more frustrating to deal with than the overt narcissists. They use the silent treatment, stonewalling, manipulation, but will make sure there is nothing you can hold against them. Those around you will think you are the abusive one, while they are too kind to leave you. Some people call this type the Vulnerable Narcissist; I call them snakes and hyenas based on the way they operate.
Things they might say:
•I am such a loser. Oh, I just like to keep myself humble so all this admiration I get from everyone doesn’t get to my head.
•Oh my god, I have to do everything myself to save the day.
•I feel bad for my friend. His girlfriend keeps flirting with me, and I don’t know what to do about it.
•Everyone thinks I look like (insert name of a really good looking celebrity)
•I’m fine, don’t worry about it. (followed by sulking)
•I’m sorry you feel that way/Sorry, you feel hurt.
•You shouldn’t feel this way. You should be glad.
•It’s ok, you’re uptight.
•Oh, wow! And I thought my ex was crazy.
•I’m pretty sure everyone else treats you like shit.
Covert Narcissists want to get a rise out of you, so the best thing to do is not get defensive. Better yet, get them out of your life. If you have to deal with one, keep it superficial and love them from a distance.
Note: Each type of Narcissist will behave like the other types sometimes. Once you expose a covert narcissist, they will become overt with their abuse towards you, but continue to hide it in public.
“There was no negotiation with him. How dare you think you’d be anything more than a sounding board, a punching bag, and a beautifying mirror for his reflection?”
All narcissistic relationships are a means of getting narcissistic supply. Whether they want your attention, money, body, resources, or social status, it is all about what they can get, and for how long they can get it without having to reciprocate. Narcissists will only do favors when it is in their best interest and will make seemingly faithful friends to those in high places to solidify their place with them for personal gain. This is the main reason it can take a long time before someone believes your horror stories about him because they have the most powerful already in their pocket.
Flying monkeys are people the narcissists use to build an army of abuse so to speak. These are the ones, who are either loyal to the narcissist, or unsuspecting people, who have no idea they are being used. They help the narcissist abuse you by proxy, and they also help with the smear campaign he will launch against you. Never trust any of the narcissist’s flying monkeys, because you won’t know who is reporting back to your abuser, and who is pretending to be your friend to get information.
Into the FOG: Fear. Obligation. Guilt.
Narcissists of every type create a mind fog by instilling fear, drowning you in obligations, and endless guilt trips. They cause much confusion and keep you too exhausted to understand what they’re doing to you. No matter how openly hostile a narcissist is, you will still have a hard time winning an argument or be able to hold them accountable for anything. Evidence doesn’t mean anything to them.
Here are some ways they create FOG:
•The dead stare: done deliberately to scare you and usually comes out of nowhere. So you’re not sure what you did wrong so you just stop doing everything.
•They will rush you to do them an urgent favor, will speak really fast to create anxiety in you, and don’t give you space to think, much less say no.
•Their emergency becomes your emergency.
•If you do manage to say no, the guilt will be laid on you thick. Whether it’s by stonewalling you, giving you the silent treatment, excluding you from something important to you, or simply failing to do anything that you were relying on them for.
•They use severe punishments that rarely fit the crime, which is not a crime at all. Maybe you declined to get physical too soon, couldn’t help them with something, or anything minor, and they will make sure to let you think you can rely on them for a serious emergency, and they bail on you in the last second. This includes serious health hazards.
Warning: Narcissists are known to drive someone completely out of their wits to the point of pushing them to suicide, and when the victim does actually attempt it, the narcissist leaves the premises knowing there is a high chance the victim would die.
What we can learn from Narcissists
In everyone, there is a teacher. When you extract the lessons from the worst among us, then it wasn’t a total waste.
•They teach us to love ourselves.
•They remind us of who we don’t wish to become.
•We often find our self worth at the bottom of abuse.
•They remind us of our own power. They don’t gravitate towards the weak.
•They let us know what makes us great by what they try to destroy.
•We learn how ugly selfishness truly is.
•We learn to appreciate good people.
Mirror Neurons: Biological Empathy
The human brain has mirror neurons. These neurons reflect the extent one feels an emotion for another. They replicate your emotions towards someone else and reflect them back to you. So, if you feel scorn, hatred, or disdain towards someone, you will feel those towards yourself just the same. If you observe someone else’s emotion towards another, you will create the same emotion just as much. Our bodies produce the neuro-chemical states of mind inside us. It’s impossible for a human being to seek to intentionally hurt another without hurting themselves. Furthermore, we cannot observe something without being impacted by it. As mentioned earlier in the book, the observed changes from one observer to another, but the observer is impacted by the observed just the same. A mirror neuron is a neuron that fires in the one, who acts and the one, who observes the action. The neuron "mirrors" the behavior that we observe in another, as though the observer is the one acting.
The Broken Mirrors of Narcissism
A narcissist’s eternal hostility can be largely due to them inflicting pain upon others consistently, and, as a byproduct, upon themselves.
Empathy Check Point:
The Narcissist is plagued with a perpetual lack of fulfillment. They may experience some happiness, but they are always dependent on external things for validation. Without others’ affirmations and applause, they feel nonexistent. Their internal world dominated by doom and gloom. They are the third degree burn victims, suffering arrested development, forever feeling unheard and unacknowledged. It’s challenging to empathize with these human hyenas, but we can relate to their pain. A personality disorder is not an excuse to cause harm, and no one needs to tolerate it. But empathy can help us set boundaries, and collectively put an end to glorifying nasty behaviors. Much like children, they will continue to cause harm when left to their own devices.
Observe without being taken in. Once you've seen and once you've learned, avert your attention and they will pine away.
In the next episode on narcissism, we will address the survivors:
You are not an object to be evaluated, a doormat to be hoovered, or trash to be discarded.