Five Ways a Narcissist Comes Unglued


The angry outburst of a narcissist is like a two-year old temper tantrum. It appears out of no where, creates an unnecessary scene, and shocks others into inaction. It is the ultimate in selfish behavior as everything immediately becomes about them and what they want. Just like a child, a narcissist cannot tell the difference between what they need and what they want. The two things are exactly the same and as such an angry rant is sparked by both.

There are five main reasons for a narcissistic temper tantrum:

  1. Shattering their fantasy – Two year olds think imaginary, not logically. Narcissists also have a distorted perception of reality where they are all powerful, beautiful, knowing, authoritative, and right. Any shattering of that fantasy is met with immediate anger.
  2. Revealing their insecurity – At the heart of every narcissist, is a deep rooted insecurity that causes shame or doubt such as abuse. Most of the displayed grandiosity is an effort to cover up that insecurity. But the second it is revealed, the narcissist becomes angry in order to deflect the shameful image.
  3. Challenging their superiority – All narcissists view themselves as being superior to others in appearance, intelligence, and/or influence. Any challenge to that image is met with swift retaliation and competitive reactions. They must win at all costs even if the damage is a lost relationship.
  4. Seeking attention – Just like a two year old, some narcissists have learned that if they can’t get positive attention, negative will do just fine. Narcissists crave daily doses of attention, affirmation, affection, and admiration. When they don’t get it, they react aggressively.
  5. Embarrassing moments – Narcissists take pleasure in embarrassing and humiliating others. They are famous for saying, “I was only joking,” and expecting others to be OK with the derogatory comments. But when others do the same thing back, the response is a severe backlash.

There are four ways a narcissist expresses anger:

  1. Aggressive – This can be instantaneously in the form of verbal lashings, throwing objects, threats of harm, yelling, being argumentative, unyielding in opinions, repetitive speech, twisting the truth, and intimidation.
  2. Suppressive – This type of anger is expressed as giving the silent treatment, ignoring problems or people, playing the victim, complaining about physical aches, being resentful without ever saying it, alienation of family members, and hiding money. Sometimes this anger later expressed in an explosive manner.
  3. Passive-aggressive – This is a more sneaky from of expression though sulking, gossiping, sarcasm, back-stabbing, agreeing to a person’s face but then refusing later, charming those they hate, setting others up for failure, procrastinating, gaslighting, and guilt-tripping.
  4. Violent – When other forms of anger fail to get the point across, some narcissists will escalate to carrying out threats of violence on self or others or being intentionally abusive.

Instead of becoming defensive or attacking back at a narcissist during the next temper tantrum, try using the opportunity to study their methods. Narcissists like to do the same thing over and over especially when it has already proven to be effective. Being able to anticipate a blow-up is the first step in learning how to counteract the attack.

Christine Hammond is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a National Certified Couselor who lives in Orlando and is the award-winning author of The Exhausted Woman’s Handbook.

10 Things I’ve Learned About Gaslighting As An Abuse Tactic


Gaslighting is the attempt of one person to overwrite another person’s reality.

There’s a good chance that you now know more about gaslighting than most therapists.

And that is really unfortunate, because if you have experienced gaslighting, it’s going to be really hard to untangle it yourself.

Unfortunately, you may have to, and I want to tell you that you are not alone.

Let me share my experience. Here are ten things I wish I’d known at the beginning. Let’s do this together.

1. Gaslighting Doesn’t Have to Be Deliberate
About the fifth time I called a close friend of mine on the phone, gasping for air, asking “Am I a monster?” he finally said, “Emma, he’s gaslighting you.”

What the hell is gaslighting? I thought.

Wikipedia told me that it came from an old movie, where the main character makes changes in the environment and then insists to his victim that she is simply imagining these changes.

Whaat? I thought. My partner isn’t doing that. I could not imagine him plotting and manipulating my environment or our interactions to make me feel crazy. He’s a human being who is hurt, who I keep hurting. It’s me, not him.

Unfortunately, the first definition I looked up was woefully inadequate. Gaslighting does not require deliberate plotting. Gaslighting only requires a belief that it is acceptable to overwrite another person’s reality.

The rest just happens organically when a person who holds that belief feels threatened. We learn how to control and manipulate each other very naturally.

The distinguishing feature between someone who gaslights and someone who doesn’t is an internalized paradigm of ownership. And in my experience, identifying that paradigm is a lot easier than spotting the gaslighting.

Gaslighting tends to follow when intimidation is no longer acceptable.

I believe that gaslighting is happening culturally and interpersonally on an unprecedented scale, and that this is the result of a societal framework where we pretend everyone is equal while trying simultaneously to preserve inequality.

You can see it in the media constantly.

For instance, every time an obvious hate crime is portrayed as an isolated case of mental illness, this is gaslighting. The media is saying to you, What you know to be true is not true.

Intimate partner violence wasn’t seen as a serious crime until the 1970s. So, did we, in the last forty years, address the beliefs that cause intimate partner violence? No.

But now if you abuse your partner, you’re usually considered to be a bad person. So what do you do, with all the beliefs that would lead you to violence, if violence is no longer an acceptable option?

You use manipulation, and you use gaslighting.

2. Manipulation and Gaslighting Are Distinct Behaviors
Maybe a better way to put this is that gaslighting is a type of manipulation, but not the only type.

Manipulation usually centers around a direct or indirect threat that is made in order to influence another person’s behavior. Gaslighting uses threats as well, but has the goal of actually changing who someone is, not just their behavior.

It’s important to recognize that gaslighting and garden variety manipulation are not the same.

Both will degrade your self-esteem, but gaslighting, when effective, will actually damage your trust in yourself and your experience of reality.

3. Gaslighting Doesn’t Always Involve Anger or Intimidation
The book The Gaslight Effect refers to a type of gaslighting called glamor gaslighting.

This is where the gaslighter showers you with special attention, but never actually gives you what you need. They put you on a pedestal, but then they’re not there. In fact, they may get angry at you when you need a shoulder to cry on.
It becomes difficult, after a while, to identify why it is that you feel so alone and hollow.

In another type of gaslighting, the gaslighter is always transformed into the victim. Whenever you bring up a problem, you find yourself apologizing by the end of the conversation.

For me, these were the worst exchanges.

Every gaslighter/gaslightee relationship is different, but for me, there was a very specific pattern. I would say something to him. He would have a very strong emotional reaction to it, far above what I would have anticipated. I would backtrack to try figure out what I had said and how to make it better.

He would accuse me of inconsistency when I backtracked.

I would try to explain that I was adjusting to try to communicate best with him, because clearly I was failing.

He would tell me that my inconsistency implied that I was lying.

I would say, “No, no, I know I’m not lying. Maybe I just can’t remember it right.”

“It seems I can’t trust your memory,” he would say.

We would never return to the original issue. I usually ended up crying hysterically.

4. It’s Normal Not to Be Able to Remember What Happened
This, more than anything, is something I wish I had known.
It was a secret I kept, that fed my self doubt and guilt for years after I left. I used to black out. I remember conversations where I would start standing in the kitchen and end up in a ball on the floor.

Just days after it happened, I wouldn’t be able to remember what happened in the time in between. I wouldn’t even be able to remember what the conversation was about. My abuser accused me of abuse while I was with him – and then publicly for years after.

It’s one of the reasons I left  –  because I couldn’t figure out what I was doing or how to fix it, and I couldn’t bear the thought that I might be abusive to someone. I’ve ripped my memories apart, trying to figure what it was that he experienced. What it was that I did.

And I have found some things in me that needed to change, as all people who look deeply at their abusive tendencies will find. But I couldn’t, in my own memory, find what it was that he saw in me.

I could not find the narcissist. I could not find the vicious manipulator. I could not find the home wrecker. But I had black spots in my memory. Completely black. And I wondered ,  Is that when it happened? Is that when I abused him?

Losing spots in your memory makes it very plausible when someone tells you that they cannot trust your memory. It makes it very plausible when they tell you that you are abusive.

But it’s normal to lose your memory when you’re being gaslighted. In fact, it is one of the signs that you should look for. It’s a good sign that it might be time to leave.

5. There Are Distinct Stages (And These Stages Can Progress After the Relationship Is Over)
A gaslighter doesn’t simply need to be right. They also need for you to believe that they are right.

In stage one, you know that they’re being ridiculous, but you argue anyways.

You argue for hours, without resolution. You argue over things that shouldn’t be up for debate  – your feelings, your opinions, your experience of the world.

You argue because you need to be right, you need to be understood, or you need to get their approval.

In stage one, you still believe yourself, but you also unwittingly put that belief up for debate.

In stage two, you consider your gaslighter’s point of view first and try desperately to get them to see your point of view as well.

You continue to engage because you’re afraid of what their perspective of you says about you.

Winning the argument now has one objective :  proving that you’re still good, kind, and worthwhile.

In stage three, when you’re hurt, you first ask, “What’s wrong with me?”

You consider their point of view as normal. You start to lose your ability to make your own judgements. You become consumed with understanding them and seeing their perspective. You live with and obsess over every criticism, trying to solve it.

Looking back, I see that I was deep in stage two when I left the relationship. However, I continued to try to have a friendship with him for months after. I longed for resolution, understanding, and forgiveness.

And when I finally went no contact, instead of healing, I actually moved into stage three. I didn’t understand, nor did I know how to solve, the gaslighting that I continued to do to myself after the relationship was over.

If I could go back and give myself one piece of advice, it’d be to go no contact immediately for at least a year. And maybe that’s what other might need, too.

It’s really, really hard. It’s hard because it may still feel like that understanding and resolution is right around the corner. It’s hard to let go of that.

But think: You don’t have to yet. Just commit to a year. 
Because anyone who isn’t abusive won’t punish you for the space you need to heal.

And when I say “no contact,” I mean complete no contact. Distance yourself from mutual friends. Block your gaslighter on social media. Ask your friends not to give you any new information about them unless it directly pertains to your safety.

Fuck anyone who says you are being unreasonable.

You need this to heal, and you need the space to learn how to stop gaslighting yourself.

6. There Are Distinct Traits That Make You More Susceptible to Gaslighting, But They Can Also Be Super Powers
There are three tendencies that will pull you into a gaslighting exchange. These tendencies are the need to be right, the need to be understood, and the need for approval.
Additionally, certain traits – such as being empathic, being a caretaker, needing to see your partner in a positive light, and being a “people pleaser” – might make you more susceptible.

But I would strongly urge you to not go in and try to crush these wonderful things about you.

You care strongly about your ideas, and about other people. You want to understand and be understood. You care about your effect on other people, and you’re willing to change to accommodate the people around you.

And ironically, your gaslighter probably told you that you were selfish and cruel and oblivious. And then perhaps your therapist told you that you need to stop caring so much because it draws you into abuse. What to do?

Empathy is important. It’s important for all of us. It makes me angry when people tell me that my empathy is a weakness. My empathy is a super power. My desire and ability to empathize kept me locked into a cycle of abuse, yes. But my desire to empathize wasn’t the problem.

The ability to hear criticism and then to change yourself for the better based on that feedback is also a fucking super power. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. My problem was not my willingness to change, but my willingness to change for the wrong reasons.

Change should make you bigger. It should increase your tank of self-love. It should make you stronger, clearer, more directed, more differentiated, and more compassionate.
The pain of growth is different than the pain of destruction. One will fill you with love and pride, even when it’s hard, and the other will fill you with shame and fear.
No one should use shame or fear to try to get you to change. When they do this, they’re not asking for change – they’re asking for control.

7. You Know What Your Truth Is – You Always Have, and You Always Will
Your gaslighter doesn’t see you.
You are a shadow standing to the side, trying not to attract attention, while they showers their image of you with love and attention. And no matter how much your mind is in knots, you know this to be true.

You know the space you occupy, even if you hate yourself for it. If you look back, if you look inside, you will see that you always knew that something was wrong.

It may feel like you lost your core. But it was always there.

The alarm system always worked. You just learned to stop listening to it. You have not lost as much as you think.

8. The End Game Is Not Confrontation, It’s Non-Engagement
A really common trope I see in movies and literature is the survivor who confronts their abuser. They confront them years later, and in that moment show themselves and their abuser that they don’t have to be afraid anymore

I crave that catharsis, because I am afraid. But I can never address that fear through confrontation. I can only address it by confidence in my ability to set and enforce my own boundaries.

When you engage in any way, you tell your gaslighter and yourself that your reality is up for debate.
Your reality is not up for debate.

If you’re like me, you’ve had a million conversations in your head, and it’s those conversations that are killing you. Your reality is not up for debate. You don’t have to rehearse for a conversation that you will never have.

It’s ridiculous when someone tries to tell you who you are, what you feel, what you think, what you intended, or what you experienced. When it happens, you should be angry, puzzled, or maybe even concerned for them.

You might stop, stunned, and ask, “What would make you think that you could know what’s inside of me? Are you okay?”

Instead, many of us will find ourselves trying to reach understanding.

No, that’s not what happened, that’s not what I felt, that’s not what I feel!

And this is a reasonable response – to a point. But if the goal of the conversation is to exchange power, and not to exchange understanding, you will never, ever, ever win.
R3

I would like to propose that one solution to feeling less susceptible to gaslighting is to learn how to identify the objective of a conversation.
A conversation with the purpose of mutuality should not make you feel afraid, ashamed, disoriented, or confused.
You don’t have to figure out what it is they’re doing, you only have to figure out what you are feeling. You only have to know when mutuality is no longer the objective, and learn how to stop engaging when that happens.

Try:
  • “We’ll have to agree to disagree.”
  • “I don’t like how I feel right now, and I want to finish this conversation later (or never).”
  • “What?”
  • “You’re trying to tell me what my experience is, and I’m not okay with that.”
  • “Don’t contact me again.”
“Communicate, communicate, communicate,” right? “You can solve anything with enough communication.”
That might be a mantra, but it’s wrong.

You can solve a lot of things with communication, so long as the objective of both people is understanding. But the minute someone tries to replace your experience, it’s time to stop communicating, at least on that subject.

9. You Must Confront the Threat
Every gaslighting exchange exists under the shroud of some kind of threat. For my relationship, the threat started out as disapproval, then it was the relationship that was threatened, and eventually the threat escalated to his own life.

I had no ability to confront or resist the gaslighting until one by one, I confronted the fears that these threats produced in me.
I grieved. I spent a week in bed and cried over everything I had poured into the relationship. One by one I tried to internally break my attachments to the things that made me feel trapped.

I cried over the immense shame I felt and tried to build the strength to be able to hold it. First I grieved the family that I wanted so much to be a part of. Then I grieved my relationship with him. Finally, I questioned whether it was right for him to make me responsible for his life. It wasn’t easy.

And it was another six months before the relationship ended. But when I realized that I didn’t want to be in the relationship anymore, I had already internally confronted the threats that were waiting for me – and as one by one they came out in full force, I was able to put one foot in front of the other and walk out the door.

10. Gaslighting May Be Amplified in Families, Poly Relationships, and Other Groups
It’s hard to stand firm when one person is trying to replace your experience, but when they have a chorus of supporters, it is nearly impossible. There is a reason why cult abuse can lead to a complete breakdown of someone’s personality.

Group manipulation and abuse is devastatingly effective.

I can’t easily explain the level of shame and fear that a group you’re deeply invested in can produce with a coordinated attack. We need to be very careful of this in poly groups so we do not exploit this power or unwittingly enable abuse.

I know there is a lot of shame tied up in ending a relationship, and no one wants to be the bad guy. But we all owe it to each other to not participate in relationships where anyone’s self esteem is being degraded.

It doesn’t matter whose fault it is, and it doesn’t matter whether or not it is fair. There are bigger things at stake here. Let’s not punish each other for doing the things we need to do to be healthy.
***
For more information on gaslighting, or to get support if you or someone you know is being abused, visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline or call 1-800-799-7233.


6 Ways That Empaths Sabotage Their Relationships


What are 6 common ways that empaths land up sabotaging the relationships around them through their natural behaviors and actions?

Being an empath is not easy – you basically live your life experiencing your own feelings, as well as the feelings of most of the people around you.

On a day-to-day basis just the feelings alone can be enough to drown you, and any extra stress can quickly send you over the edge – yet, we seem to be good at creating extra stress unwittingly, especially in our relationships.

What are the common mistakes that empaths make that sabotage their relationships?

1. Thinking for your partner
This could also probably be labeled having the fight in your own head.
You know what I mean right? You’re upset with your partner and you start ‘venting’ or ‘practicing’ what it is you plan to say to him or her, and you land up having, and resolving, the fight inside your head, without any partner participation at all.

Yes, you do feel better, but your partner has missed out on the benefit of the process, and you substituted what you wanted to hear, your ideal responses, for what your partner would have actually said. Over time, this leads to a lot of disappointment, because you’re remembering promises and agreements that were never actually reached in the relationship, only in your head.

2. Speaking for your partner
In the same vein, as empaths we have a tendency to compensate and speak for the other person.
You know how that goes; it starts with a thought like, “Okay, so he battles to ask for help and he sounds down and like he needs love. Let me stop what I’m doing and go and give him love so that he feels better.” Yes you’re fulfilling your purpose and being a good person, but you’re also teaching the other party that they don’t have to communicate their needs, you’ll always be able to see inside their heads.

Over time you will also get resentful that you always have to stop everything to look after this person’s needs, fostering anger and irritation in that relationship, even though it is you that is the catalyst: you’ve created your own obligation to stop what you’re doing and meet this person’s immediate emotional needs.

3. Looking after your needs
At the same time that you’re talking and thinking for your partner, as an empath you tend to carry the load for meeting your own needs within the relationship.
So instead of going to your partner or friend for help, you keep on carrying them emotionally, and you carry yourself – not allowing the other party to look after you.

You don’t ask for advice or assistance or let people know when you’re down or low because of two reasons: first you have created a habit of only relying on yourself, and second you expect people to be able to see and interpret for themselves that you are low. It’s what you do after all.

4. Compromising your needs
Once the emotional load of the relationship, the other person and your own stuff becomes too much, you compromise on the easiest place to compromise – yourself.
In order to save time you only focus on the relationship and your partner or friend, neglecting your needs and ignoring your system. Over time you forget all these small compromises and you just feel the heaviness of the burden. This usually vents in an explosion of, “Nobody cares about me or my needs.”

The sad truth is that it’s us who always compromise our own needs.

5. Not expressing yourself
A long-term effect of compromising your needs is that you stop expressing your needs altogether.
It’s like manifestation, in order to get what you want from the Universe, you have tell the Universe what it is that you want and focus on it intently. So many empaths feel that their needs aren’t met in their relationships, and equally as many of us are guilty of not telling people what we want or what is going on with us.

What is going on with us is a big one here, because we don’t take the time to explain ourselves either: we’re too busy understanding the other person you see? For someone who is not an empath, the sudden mood swings and ups and downs, especially when they seem to be caused by nothing, can look really scary and confusing.

6. Breaking your boundaries
The last unhealthy behavior that empaths exhibit in relationships is around boundaries
. When we’re pressed to do something that conflicts us, our DIY programming kicks in and we have the fight in our own head – most often choosing to cross the boundary internally on our own. Do this enough times and you’ll feel like you’ve walked miles for the other party’s benefit, while they have absolutely no inkling of the level of sacrifice you’ve made for them.

Finally, boundary breaking leads to anger: anger at myself because I’ve crossed my own internal boundaries or anger at another that has crossed my boundaries. Each time you allow your boundaries to be crossed, another little bit of unexpressed anger builds up. Over time this accumulates exponentially and you land up fuming with the person and hating them for walking all over you

Childhood Roots of Narcissistic Personality Disorder


It’s estimated that up to 6% of the US population has narcissistic personality disorder (narcissism for short), which is more common in men and has its roots in childhood. Extremely resistant to treatment, this severe mental illness leads affected individuals to create chaos as they harm other people. Before discussing how demands for support of ego and desires can go off the rails, let’s start with an overview of pertinent normal child development

Small children are naturally selfish as a normal part of development in which they work to get their needs met and can’t understand other people’s needs and desires. Then as teenagers, kids are still typically self-centered as they struggle for independence. 

As opposed to self-centeredness that should gradually decline, children need to develop healthy, lasting levels of self-esteem to be able to protect and care for themselves while caring about others, to resist dangerous influences, and to stay connected to family and society. Healthy levels of self-esteem indicate a child’s belief that he or she is loved and worthy as a person in the family and in society, and thus doesn’t deserve and is more resilient to mistreatment. In a nutshell, self-esteem isn’t self-centeredness because it doesn’t lead to putting oneself first to the detriment of other people’s needs and rights.

Typical childhood self-centeredness must change to pave the way to mental health in adulthood. To grow up able to function well in families and society, kids must gradually gain both the ability to see other people’s viewpoints and empathy for other people’s suffering. So, healthy kids should gradually show sincere signs of caring about the well-being of others. Not developing empathy while growing up is a warning sign of developing a serious personality disorder as an adult, including the narcissistic type.

How do people with narcissistic personality disorder (narcissists for short) act? Besides showing lack of empathy (as judged not by words but by actions), narcissists filter information and react on the basis of effect on their egos. Their actions reflect grandiose beliefs of superiority and uniqueness as well as their need for admiration and worship. 

Narcissists are arrogant and preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited self-importance, success, and power (including that they alone can do something) and exaggerate their accomplishments and popularity. They exploit or take advantage of people for personal gain including feeding their egos and thus require excessive admiration. They pit people against each other to get what they want—they divide people to conquer and gain power over them. They manipulate others by influencing emotions like fear and anger, and with threats and lies. Another manipulation technique used is redefining reality by repeatedly fabricating fiction and arguing about it as if it were fact  (such as presenting alternative facts), which leads listeners to question their own understanding of reality. Victims often experience a “twilight zone” sensation that is accompanied by anxiety. 

Narcissists make others miserable and get aggressive with people who won’t give them the agreement, admiration, and respect they feel entitled to, expecting automatic compliance. 
These traits are often found in dictators. Like most personality disorders, narcissism is very difficult to treat because people affected aren’t able to understand that anything is wrong with them and thus are not motivated to change.

A narcissist is toxic to situations and people, except perhaps to an inner circle of supporters—at least for as long as they continue to support the narcissist’s agenda. 

Now let’s go back to youth. Preteens aren’t developed enough to manipulate and given that teenagers are typically self-centered, clinicians are reluctant to diagnose narcissistic personality disorder before age 18. Still, you might notice one or more of these warning signs in teenagers indicating risk of developing narcissism:

  • persistent bullying behaviors such as making fun of, threatening, degrading, or scapegoating people (including parents and other adults)
  • persistent need to win no matter who is hurt
  • persistent lying to benefit oneself (will lie about lying, turn lies into someone else’s fault, deflect accountability by attacking messengers who point out lies)
  • egotistical view of extraordinary self-worth
  • preoccupation with getting own needs met over other people’s
  • entitled attitudes which lead to acting as if they deserve special treatment and to get whatever they want, no matter the circumstances
  • aggressive responses to being criticized, wronged, or upset
  • repetitively blaming others for bad outcomes
  • and being much more competitive than cooperative.

If your child or one you know behaves this way, you can save your family and society from harm by focusing on doing the following: 

  • teach empathy
  • value character traits like honesty and kindness over being tough or dominant
  • change entitled attitudes and stop entitled actions
  • squelch greed (say, “You’re acting selfishly and that’s not okay”) 
  • insist they put other people first routinely, remembering that actions speak louder than words (narcissists often say they are doing something to benefit others when they are really doing it for themselves)
  • build healthy self-esteem (low self-esteem can also lead to entitlement and using others to support one’s ego)
  • don’t allow false blame of other people for one’s own problems and failures.

Also avoid parenting styles linked to developing narcissist personality, such as neglecting, indulgent (spoiling with privilege and possessions, and promoting entitled attitudes) and cold, overcontrolling authoritarian methods which insist on perfection, winning, and toughness from a child.

On the flip side, you can also help teens and young adults learn to recognize narcissists so they can avoid their toxic harm or survive it. A necessary foundation for this is the ability to think critically about what someone says or does, which starts to develop during adolescence

Critical thinking skills help us tell lies from truths and determine when someone is manipulating to take advantage of or scam us. Parents and mentors can help teach these empowering life-skills that protect against deception by con artists and abusive bosses, friends, and partners. 

You can give your child life-long protective gifts of healthy levels of self-esteem and critical thinking skills while squelching entitlement and narcissistic traits to benefit you, your child and family, and all of us. And don’t forget that there is no shame in seeking help to get it done—seeking knowledge and help is a sign of strength, not weakness.


Source-https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/warning-signs-parents/201701/childhood-roots-narcissistic-personality-disorder

3 BEST-KEPT NARCISSISTIC SECRETS THAT WILL MAKE EVERYTHING CLEAR


You realize you’re in a war, right?

Ok, so maybe no actual firearms or tanks are involved, but you are definitely in a bloody battle for your sanity.

I hate to dredge up the painful reality of it all, but your toxic, self-absorbed partner is using the three best-kept secrets used by narcissists world-wide – against you!  Secrets that, when used proficiently, can bring other human beings to their knees – regardless of status, intellect, education, or material wealth.

…dirty secrets that can (and often do) result in their unsuspecting partners becoming so broken and dysfunctional that they lose everything – careers, children, homes, licenses (such as those required to perform as doctors, attorneys, and therapists), bank accounts, and worst of all, their sense of self.

Below, I offer an insider exposé that will have you screaming, “Victory!!”  – or at the very least, make everything clear so that you’ll feel empowered to detach from the madness, reclaim your good judgement and reason, and move towards your new life.

  1. Narcissists will not appreciate anything you do to accommodate and placate them.
I know you work hard to please your partner.  I sure did, back in the day when I was “green” narcissistic supply.   I could go into the hellish details of all I did for him and his family, but I’ll spare you.

Narcissists want you to believe that even your best efforts are not good enough.  The reason they do this is so they can keep you scurrying about for their approval, but never quite receiving it.  Before long, you’re doing the work of three people, yet not being acknowledged for it.

Maybe they really liked the chocolate cake you made them last year for their birthday, but after that, each time you made it for them, there was something wrong with it.

Or perhaps, once upon a time, they said you looked pretty when they picked you up for a date, but ever since then you can’t seem to dress right, the colors you wear are all wrong, you’ve gained weight, etc.  Why can’t you just dress like the new secretary at their job or the new CEO who always looks so sharp? 

Do you work two jobs, keep the house clean, pay most or all of all the bills, take care of their errands, and/or cook dinner most nights, but never receive even a simple nod of approval?

This cruel tactic works in two ways – 1) it ensures you will be willing to do whatever they ask at a moment’s notice (hoping they’ll show some sign of appreciation), and 2) destroy your confidence and self-esteem as you develop the belief that nothing you do is ever good enough.

Even if you are highly successful in your professional life and have friends and family who’ve always appreciated what you’ve done for them, the narcissist doesn’t want you to feel any pride or sense of accomplishment – because if you did, you might realize they are using you and consequently decide to do something about it.

“Blow, blow, thou winter wind Thou art not so unkind, as man’s ingratitude.” ~ William Shakespeare

Want to know if your partner’s a narcissist?  Stop catering to their excessive demands and see how they react.

  1. Narcissists DO know exactly how to reel you in

Narcissists truly do have a sixth sense when it comes to snagging people into relationships with them, and it doesn’t have anything to do with their target’s status, wealth, or intelligence.  
These toxic individuals are able to detect vulnerability and loneliness in others.  Generally, these states of being originated in childhood and/or early adulthood and were intensified through unsuccessful relationships and life events.

Narcissists and other predatory types can detect vulnerability in people through visual and auditory cues such as facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice.  People who feel vulnerable often avoid direct eye contact with others, tend to look downward a lot, speak in softer voices, and/or are overly nice and accommodating upon first meeting them.

Even if a potential target doesn’t display the above behaviors, narcissists can alternately determine if a person is a good target through other behaviors and traits such as:  high levels of trust, compassion, cooperativeness, and tolerance (traits which they gleefully concede they can take advantage of).

They then use their target’s vulnerability to reel them in, and also to keep them enmeshed in a toxic relationship through psychological manipulation which targets their victim’s emotional wounds and destroys his or her self-esteem.

“What we don’t resolve, we often repeat” ~ Sigmund Freud3

If you’ve been hurt in the past and/or have a history of choosing partners who end up being detrimental to your well-being, know that this cycle can be broken through committing to yourself and your recovery.

  1. Silent treatments work best after you’ve isolated yourself from your friends and family

Once the honeymoon/love-bombing phase begins its dismal decline, the narcissist then starts blaming your relationship problems on your outside influences, which may include:  parents, grandparents, siblings, other extended family, exes, best friends, and even children.

After the isolation stage has been successfully implemented, silent treatments can be employed with maximum benefit to the narcissist.  After ensuring you have no emotional support, the narcissist can then criticize you without bias.

This is the same technique that was used in North Korean POW camps[1].  It was not uncommon for a soldier to wander into his hut, go in a corner, sit down, pull a blanket over his head, and die within two days.

Despite minimal physical torture, the death rate in the North Korean POW camp rose 38%, with half of the soldiers dying simply because they had given up.

How did this happen?  The “ultimate weapon of war”.  One that your Narcissist uses against you quite regularly.

The North Koreans’ objective was to “deny men the emotional support that comes from interpersonal relationships.”  To do this, the captors used these primary tactics:

  • Withholding all positive emotional support
  • Criticism

They used negativity in its purest and most malicious form.  The soldiers had nothing to live for and lost basic belief in themselves and their loved ones, not to mention God and country.  
The North Koreans had put the American soldiers into a kind of emotional and psychological isolation, the likes of which had never been seen.

Aside from the silent treatment, does the simple act of walking through your house to go to work seem to induce a psychotic rage in your partner?  They want you to feel sorry for being alive.  To be so overly anxious that you feel you’re always one minute away from tragedy.

“The sadistic narcissist perceives himself as Godlike, ruthless and devoid of scruples, capricious and unfathomable, emotion-less and non-sexual, omniscient, omnipotent and omni-present, a plague, a devastation, an inescapable verdict.” ~ Sam Vaknin2

If your partner punishes you by regularly utilizing the silent treatment while being overly critical on the days they are in your company, you can be certain he or she is a sadistic, malicious narc-type who doesn’t deserve your devotion, empathy, or compassion.

How to turn it all around
While there’s no way to turn it around with your narcissistic partner, there is good news…though it will require making some hard choices.
Perhaps, as a result of this part of your life, you will completely turn your life around for the better.

Maybe you will become more successful and find the perfect, non-disordered partner for you.
Perhaps this experience will allow you to tap into other areas of your life – allowing you to become more creative and fulfilled.

Maybe this happened so you could free yourself from your past and your wounds, and vow to never let another person to mistreat you…
But, it all requires detaching from the narcissist in your life.  Once you’ve done that and created some distance from the relationship, you can move forward towards healing and see that black clouds often do have silver linings.

COPYRIGHT 2016.  KIM SAEED AND LET ME REACH
Written by one of the greatest  Kim Saeed
This article originally taken from https://letmereach.com/2015/09/03/3-best-kept-narcissistic-secrets-that-will-make-everything-clear/