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The Covert Narcissist

The Covert Narcissist

No one would believe that the man who sits in church with his family every Sunday, is a monster behind closed doors with the family that looks so perfect on the outside.

No one would believe that the ‘doting’ mother cheering on her child in the school gala, had been yelling and belittling her daughter minutes beforehand.

Who would believe that the friendly local grocer who chats happily with his customers has been giving his wife the silent treatment and not acknowledged her existence in weeks?

Who would believe that the lovely charming ‘lady’ at the top of her profession, trampled on anyone who stood in her way on her rise to the top?

The closet narcissist is a great pretender, hiding who they really are with expertise.  The covert narcissist puts on such a convincing display of being a loving, kind person in public but to those who know them personally, to those closest to them, they are selfish, manipulative, exploitive and anything but the loving and kind person that they purport to be.  They know that if they displayed their true colours in public, they would lose the recognition, respect and admiration that they so desperately crave.  Perhaps their ability to fool the outside world, makes this type of personality one of the most dangerous.  They worry about being found out.  They are deeply envious knowing that they can never be the person that others believe them to be.

The great pretender

The covert narcissist is a con artist who lacks the confidence of the overt narcissist.  They need constant attention moving from one relationship to another in order to avoid being alone.  Time spent alone often leads to depression when their needs are not being met.  Narcissistic supply is vital to their well-being.

Your value in the narcissist’s life will depend on your usefulness.  When you are no longer regarded as useful or you challenge them about who they really are, you will be cast aside without a second thought as if you never existed.  Your reputation will have been discredited so that you will never be believed.

Scott Barry Kaufman (Psychologist) explains…

“While the overt narcissists tended to be aggressive, self-aggrandizing, exploitative, and have extreme delusions of grandeur and a need for attention, covert narcissists were more prone to feelings of neglect or belittlement, hypersensitivity, anxiety, and delusions of persecution.”

The traits of the overt narcissist can be obvious often being displayed quite openly but in contrast, the traits of the covert narcissist can be very difficult to spot.  Below are some signs that you may be dealing with a covert narcissist…

  • Always plays the victim wanting your sympathy
  • Quiet Smugness/Superiority
  • Self absorbed
  • Extreme selfishness
  • Constant craving for acknowledgement
  • Passive aggressive
  • Judgemental and critical
  • Lacks empathy
  • Highly sensitive being unable to handle criticism
  • Difficulties with relationships
  • Gets bored easily
  • Switches off rather than listen intently to others

It can be difficult not to get sucked in to a narcissist’s web of deceit and feel sorry for them when they play the victim card.  The narcissist is looking for a reaction from you. Don’t feed the monster!  When they fail to get their desired reaction from you, they will take a step back and look for their supply elsewhere.  Be aware of the traits before it’s too late and don’t let yourself be controlled by someone whose ultimate goal is to control not only your mind but your life.

Written by Anne McCrea
Empathy…  A Rare Gift

Empathy…  A Rare Gift

Some may see it as a gift, to love from the heart with a love that runs deeper than the lowest abyss of the ocean but that kind of love is open to the deepest of hurt.  When you have got that extra special gift inside of you, you leave yourself open to the most unimaginable pain. When you can love someone so much and the love you give out is thrown back, the betrayal cuts more than words can ever express.  That’s the kind of love that only ‘special’ people can fathom.  If you are that sort of person, well, you’re rare in this cruel world we live in today.  This is the sort of world where people just seem to want to use and abuse and not really give a damn who they hurt as long as they get what they want.  Sometimes this world seems so alien to people like this and it is, but would you have it any other way?  Would you really want to have a cold heart?  Would you swap your caring heart for one of stone, so cold that it can never experience a loving meaningful relationship of any kind.

dont-let-your-gift-be-your-downfall

You’ve got a gift that those cold hearted people envy.  Yes, they’re jealous of you.  You have got something they want but can never have.  You’re sensitive, you’re kind and you understand.  That’s something to be proud of because that’s something that this world needs more of.  Your shoulders are strong.  You’re there if someone wants a shoulder to lean on.   You’re there if someone needs your compassion, your understanding and above all, your strong sense of loyalty.  Yes, that’s another rare quality in this world today so don’t you ever doubt yourself.  You’ve got that something about you that makes you the person others turn to when they need support, when they need to unburden themselves with their troubles.  And being the person you are, you never fail to deliver.  That’s what makes you a cut above the rest.

Being an empathetic person can sometimes be a lonely place.  Because of your kind and forgiving nature, toxic people may see you as an easy target, someone who they can manipulate and who will forgive them time and time again.  You want to help others even when they have shown a dark side of their character, even when they have hurt you to your very core.  You feel you can fix those disordered souls who must have been so damaged that they can’t feel the love that you are so willing to give.  Oh, my friends, you can’t.   No matter how much you try, they’re not going to get it.  They’re not like you and they never will be.  They’ve not got what you’ve got.  Within the husk that was once their soul, lies a void that can never be filled.   Compassion, empathy and love are words that they will read about but will never fully understand.  Their emotions are stunted.  They’ve got stuck somewhere in their childhood and will never develop into the mature feelings that you have been blessed with.  Yes, sometimes it hurts like hell to be so caring, to be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and feel their pain but that makes you who you are.  You’ve got a heart of gold.  By all means, be forgiving, but to a point.  Some of us give too many chances but we’ve got to know when  enough is enough, when to draw the line and when that line is drawn, make sure that it can never be crossed.

Your kindness may be a magnet for people who will take advantage of that very quality that they don’t possess.  Don’t let your gift be your downfall by giving your everything to those who don’t deserve or appreciate it.

Written by Anne McCrea
Do You Warn The Narcissist’s Next Target?

Do You Warn The Narcissist’s Next Target?

Many people want to know if they should warn their ex partner’s new target and let them know exactly what they are letting themselves in for.  Most kind hearted people don’t want to see others going through the same sort of pain that they, themselves, have endured.  They feel that by warning the narcissist’s new target, they will be believed and the new partner will kick them to the kerb and move on with their life relatively unscathed and forever grateful.  Think again.

focus-on-you-and-your-recovery

The general consensus of opinion is to leave them to it.
The narcissist is one step ahead so by the time you find out about their new partner, they have been spreading lies about you being the crazy ex…  How you don’t want to let them go and will do anything to keep them.  By contacting the new partner, you will likely confirm the narcissist’s accusations that you are the obsessed,  insanely jealous ex.  They do not want to and will not see the evil that hides behind the fake persona.  Instead of driving them apart, you will probably strengthen their relationship.  The new partner will sympathise with the narcissist who has endured such a difficult relationship with a psycho!

Let’s go back in time to when you first met the narcissist.  How would you have reacted to words of warning from one of their previous partners?   Would you have believed the words of someone who you believe to be crazy when all the evidence points to the contrary?  We all know that when you first meet a narcissist, they fool you with their charm and charisma.  You have no reason to doubt they are not your perfect partner. You’re a match made in heaven and nobody is going to tell you otherwise.

Let’s not forget that the narcissist is a pathological liar who is well practised in the ‘art of lying’ and they will, more than likely be believed.  You, on the other hand, will come not come out of this situation smelling of roses and will likely suffer further heartache as a result of your good intentions.

It’s difficult to think of your ex skipping off happily into the sunset with their new love.

Please remember, it’s not going to be a happy ever after scenario.  They haven’t changed.  Their new partner is blinded by rose tinted glasses. They will get the same treatment as you did a little down that road to their blissful lives together, maybe even worse.  Now is the time to stop thinking of everyone else and focus on you and your recovery.

Written by Anne McCrea
Sense Of Entitlement

Sense Of Entitlement

Narcissistic Entitlement

As normal people progress from childhood and adolescence into adulthood, most leave behind the childish temper tantrums, the stomping feet, yelling and crying, to get what they want and develop a more mature and refined manner.  They learn patience and understanding and with maturity, learn that not everything will go their way all of the time.  Sadly, people with narcissistic personality disorder cannot be considered ‘normal’ by any stretch of the imagination and never seem to move beyond their childish ways believing that the world evolves around them.

A sense of entitlement :

  • Having an unrealistic belief that one has a right to have, do, or get something.
  • The expectation or belief that you deserve special treatment / privileges.

Someone with narcissistic personality disorder has an unbelievable sense of entitlement.  They are ruthless in their quest to ensure that their needs are met, which are more important than those of anyone else.  Woe betide anyone who stands in the way of the narcissist and their goal.  They don’t appear to have any sense of shame when it comes to trampling over others in order to achieve their desires.ruthless-in-their-quest

During conversations in public, the narcissistic personality feels entitled to interrupt when other people are talking.  After all, it’s difficult to be the centre of attention when other people have taken centre stage.

In their minds they need to get what they want, when and how they want.   What happens when they sate their appetite?   It won’t be enough…they’ll crave more.  The narcissist is never satisfied because the goal posts are always moved.

The word, ‘compromise’ is not a word in the narcissist’s vocabulary.  Someone with such an acute sense of entitlement doesn’t want to meet anyone half way and will push the boundaries until they get their own way.  Rules don’t apply to them.  It’s their way or the highway.

To normal people this kind of behaviour comes across as incredibly selfish, and it is.  The needs of those around them are of little or no consequence and are pushed to the bottom of the queue.  Sometimes a narcissist can come across as a generous, kind and gentle soul, usually at the outset of a relationship.  Don’t be fooled.  Their apparent kindness and generosity are a ruse, created when there is something in it for them.  They give in order to get.

Written by Anne McCrea

Can A Narcissist Change?

Can A Narcissist Change?

 


The leopard cannot change its spots.  A leopard may conceal itself in its surroundings but if you look closely enough,  you’ll eventually see them so well camouflaged.  I consider a narcissist to be not unlike the leopard in that he or she may remain hidden for a time,  but if you give time, some time, their failure to blend in and hide their true colours, becomes impossible.

The subject of change is open to debate.  It is a question that has been asked time and time again.  It is a difficult question and one that there is no straight forward answer to but I will give you my opinion and please note, this is my own personal opinion.

I believe that generally, no, these people do not change.  We are told by many professionals that they cannot change, it is their personality, it is their essential nature, it is who they are.  Change would involve the person with NPD recognising that the problems lie within themselves, having a conscience, learning to empathise.  ‘Can anyone learn to empathise?’  Empathy is described by the Cambridge English Dictionary as, ‘The ability to share someone else’s feelings or experiences by imagining what it would be like to be in that person’s situation.’  Feelings are emotions that define who we are.the-leopard-cannot-change

If someone looks at themselves in the mirror and doesn’t like what they see, they may resort to cosmetic surgery.  They may go for a face lift or a nose job in order that they may get to like the reflection that they see staring back at them. Does a narcissist like what they see in the mirror?  Most of the time I would think that they do but they don’t take a close look.  They live in denial.  They know that if they look too closely, they will see themselves for who they really are.  Rather than their delusional image of their superiority being shattered, they take a step back from the mirror.  They don’t want to see what’s really there.  By having blind spots, they can carry on regardless, fooling themselves that when relationships don’t work out for them, it’s always someone else’s fault.  Never their own.

Are there exceptions?

Yes, I believe that there are.  Everyone in life has their difficult times and we learn to deal with life’s problems and move on.  What happens to a narcissist when their problems become so overwhelming that they wonder, ‘Could this be me?  Could I be the one that has a problem?’  When every relationship that they have in their lives bites the dust, some may have this wake up moment.  Most won’t, blaming everyone else for their own failures.  Change is an inside job.  They need to want to change and sadly the majority never feel the need to change.  The road ahead would be a very difficult journey, trying to change who they are, trying to change a lifetime’s beliefs and behaviours.  Can it be done?  If they have reached that point in their lives where they don’t like what they see in the mirror, where they realise that their strength will come from change and not control, then maybe, but don’t count on it.

My personal opinion is that there is a possibility of change for those on the lesser end of the scale. Their behaviour may be modified for a time but I believe they tend to slip back into their old ways over time.   Just how long that time will last remains to be seen.

Dr. Lynne Namka, says that people with severe narcissistic traits have limited emotional intelligence – and tons of psychological defenses – standing in the way of recovery, being unable to see the depth of their pathology as to know their shortcomings would send them into great shame which would trigger depression.  I would go along with this train of thought believing that there is little hope for the more malignant narcissist. I have yet to read of someone such as this changing for the better over the long term.

Written by
Anne McCrea

Forgiveness…Should We Forgive?

Forgiveness…Should We Forgive?

We often read that we should forgive the narcissist in order to be free and move on with our lives.   I’m not so sure that I agree with this.  Forgiveness is a personal thing.  It’s one thing to forgive someone who shows remorse for their words or behaviour, is genuinely regretful and makes an effort to make amends and change their behaviour.  It’s a different story altogether when someone intentionally hurts you, even takes great delight in doing so and doesn’t give a damn how they make you feel.  Narcissists know exactly what they’re doing.  Why would someone with such evil intent deserve our forgiveness?   In their twisted logic, they maintain control and a sense of pride in their despicable behaviour.  They may force themselves to apologise for their behaviour if it’s to their own advantage but there will be zero sincerity.

more-for-the-forgiver

Without any semblance of remorse from someone who has wronged us and hurt us deeply, feelings of bitterness, hatred and sometimes revenge often bubble to the surface even within a person who is generally of a forgiving nature.  I believe that in most cases, these feelings will pass in time.

I know that this is such a debatable topic but when we forgive someone who is not sorry for their behaviour, are we not giving them the green light for more of the same?

I know that many people will say that forgiveness is necessary so that we do not become weighed down by bitterness and hatred.  I am often asked if I have forgiven my ex partner.  The answer to that has to be no, and to be completely honest, I don’t think that I ever will.  He doesn’t deserve my forgiveness and I know that I am not burdened with bitterness or thoughts of revenge.   I am relieved that he is no longer a part of my life.  There is a special place in hell for people like this.  The devil is looking forward to the day that he joins him.

I know there will be those who will disagree with me and say that the Bible tells us to forgive and that may be so, but then there are verses such as this one…

Luke 17.3
Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.

I think we all need to do what’s right for ourselves.  Some people will say that forgiveness does more for the forgiver than the forgiven.  I think the jury is out on that one.

Written by Anne McCrea
Narcissism and Ostracism in the Workplace

Narcissism and Ostracism in the Workplace

A good boss will have respect for their workers.  There’s a big difference between a firm hand and an iron fist.  Employees can be motivated by being valued and encouraged rather than being motivated through fear.  This is what separates the good boss from the bad.

Narcissists pretend well.  They often appear to be charming and considerate but it’s the covert put downs and subtle digs that often go unnoticed by many.

We know that the narcissist likes to have control and attention.  There are certain occupations which tend to attract the narcissistic personality such as:

  • CEOsA firm hand
  • Surgeons
  • The Clergy
  • Police Officers
  • Lawyers
  • Journalists
  • Chefs
  • Politicians

Narcissists don’t think that normal rules of decency and morality apply to them. They have no qualms in intimidating and harassing their employees or co-workers and making their lives miserable.  Taking credit for another’s work, blaming others for their own mistakes, outbursts of rage, jealousy when other workers are better or smarter than they are themselves, are all commonplace.

When things go wrong, don’t expect the narcissist to accept the blame.  It’s not going to happen.  It’s got to be someone else’s fault.  You may think because you are efficient at your job and have great results, that the narcissistic boss will be thankful.  They won’t.  It’s a reflection on them, you work for them, they trained you to do the job.  Your outstanding contribution will all be down to them so don’t waste your time trying to convince them otherwise.

Don’t be fooled into becoming ‘friends’ with the narcissistic boss or co-worker. Their view on friendship is totally different from a normal person’s understanding of what friendship really is.  If they are being friendly, it is because they want something from you.  If you are of no use to them, they don’t want your friendship.  Don’t go down that route.  Save your friendship for those who deserve it.

Ostracism in the workplace is more common than the overt type of bullying and is perhaps the most evil of all, often destroying a target’s self-esteem.

Indefinite ostracism has been described as ‘social death’ (by Boehm, 1986; Williams, 2007) because it severed social connections necessary for survival.

This has a dramatic impact on the person being targeted who is being shunned and has absolutely no idea why they’re being picked on.  They have done nothing wrong and if no one says or does anything, it escalates.  The target is isolated and alone, when they walk into a room, others leave.  They are frozen out, left out of conversations, finding themselves sitting alone in the crowded work restaurant.  Everyone in the office is asked if they would like a coffee but the target is ignored.  They have become invisible.  Social rejection hurts and sadly often results in long term effects.  Everyone has an inherent need to belong. Being made to feel that you are not worth knowing and not being acknowledged can bring even the strongest amongst us to our knees.  The negative impact of ostracism may last for years after the event with a target experiencing long term health problems as a result.  History has shown us that some people who have been ostracised in school, college or work, have been so damaged as a result, that they have snapped and gone on to seek revenge by embarking on killing sprees.  Some have sought revenge on those who they believed excluded them whilst others have killed at random.

Workplace bullying and ostracism are unacceptable.  Management need to address and enforce anti bullying policies and take bullying seriously, because it is serious.  People who believe that bullying and ostracising someone is acceptable in today’s society need to be taught how their behaviour can have disastrous consequences to not only their target but to other people who are not even remotely connected to the situation.  Ostracism may be difficult to prove because it is subtle.  Education on this subject should be included in our children’s schools but let us not stop there.  Let us educate the judiciary, law enforcement, health professionals and legislators to make the perpetrators of bullying and ostracism a criminal offence punishable by a deterrent that makes people think twice before embarking on their despicable campaign.

Written by Anne McCrea

Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse

Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse

This page has grown rather quickly over these past few months.  I always say to people not to expect others to understand unless they have been there.

I’ve been there.  I’ve been there and I’m back stronger than ever before.  With your help we are reaching almost 20 million people worldwide, educating and raising awareness about the despicable behaviour of narcissistic personalities.

Like many of you the term, narcissism was something that I had heard of but did not fully understand until I had the misfortune of becoming involved with these toxic individuals.

After the tragic death of my husband I became involved with a man who I had known as a friend for a few years.  At first he was charming, considerate and everything that I thought a man should be.  After a few months the cracks started to appear, ever so subtly at first.  Looking back, I can now see those ‘red flags’ which at the time, I didn’t realise just how significant they were.  Little things like talking down to the waiter, speaking badly of just about everyone from his son and granddaughter to his neighbours and acquaintances.  I don’t think there was anyone in his ‘circle’ who didn’t receive a bashing from his barbed tongue.  I was subjected to the silent treatment every few months, lasting weeks at a time.  I could never really figure out why.  At the time of my husband’s death, he was like a rock for me.  After a period of ‘the silent treatment’ when my father was dying five years ago, he became that rock for me once again.  He was never physically abusive with me but he had been with his ex-wife.  How do I know this?  He told me in such a way that made me believe that she somehow deserved it.  Foolish, I know, but that was all part and partial of the twisted mind games he played.  Looking back I wonder if this was a warning to behave and follow his rules.  Possibly!  I wish I had known then what I know now.  I would have walked away much, much sooner.

We parted for the last and final time three years ago.  It has been a difficult journey but one that I know was absolutely necessary.  This page has helped me and I know from your comments and messages that it has helped so many of you.  It is heartening to know that something good has come out of such a difficult period of my life.  During this past three years I have made many new friends and rekindled many old friendships.  I have been surprised at the number of people who have said to me that I am so much better off without this man in my life.  I certainly know that I am.  It’s strange, but at the time, you don’t see just how unpopular the person you are involved with really is.  People don’t tend to be honest at the time by telling you what they really think probably thinking that you will either not listen or you will find out for yourself in time.  Since I walked away from this toxic relationship, not one person that I have spoken to, has a good word to say about him.  Am I surprised?  No, not now, but I probably wouldn’t have listened if they had told me their honest opinions whilst I was in the midst of a toxic whirlwind.

Unfortunately whilst recovering from this relationship and studying narcissistic personality disorder, I found myself in another situation where people were not as they appeared to be.  My horses were stabled at a yard close by.  After catching one of the people who ‘runs’ the yard, (I use that term lightly) trying to steal from me, I called them out on their behaviour, having written proof.  Their true colours certainly came out in the wash.  Lies and a smear campaign followed.  The owner of the yard knew the truth and stood by me and I thank her for that.  How did I deal with this situation?  I moved my horses to another yard where, I am glad to say the people are much more pleasant and above all, honest.  Sometimes cutting contact with toxic people is the only answer.

I have learned a lot over the past few years.  I have learned that some people who I thought were decent, honest people, were anything but.  I learned not to tolerate toxic behaviour from anyone.  Life is too short to put up with that sort of negativity.  I’ve learned that it’s not my job to fix those people.  Their problems are their misfortune and they will have to deal with those themselves.  No Contact is your winning move

My main reason for starting this page just over a year and a half ago was to spread awareness about the subject of NPD and the devastating consequences of being involved with a narcissist in one way or another.  The text below is the original article that I wrote some time ago.

A relationship with a narcissist is a roller coaster ride with many highs and lows along the way.  There is no happy ending.  I would describe the aftermath as a plundering of your heart and soul.  After being subjected time and time again to endless silent treatments, I knew that I had to walk away to save me.  I still loved the nice side of the man but sometimes love is not enough.  To those of you who are not familiar with narcissism I will enlighten you as to some of the traits of narcissism which appears to be on the increase in today’s society.

Many experts use the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association, to diagnose mental conditions. This manual is also used by insurance companies to reimburse for treatment.

DSM-5 criteria for narcissistic personality disorder include these features:

  • Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
  • Exaggerating your achievements and talents
  • Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
  • Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people
  • Requiring constant admiration
  • Having a sense of entitlement
  • Expecting special favours and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
  • Taking advantage of others to get what you want
  • Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
  • Being envious of others and believing others envy you
  • Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner

One of the most reliable ways for a narcissist to feel good about themselves is to invalidate, devalue or denigrate others.  They routinely put their own needs before those of anyone else, frequently even those of their own children and loved ones.  They ‘use’ them to their own advantage and when they are no longer needed, they are unceremoniously discarded.  To the outside world the narcissist may appear to be successful and charming, but to those closest to them, the mask slips and the evil behind the mask is revealed.

How do we, as a partner or spouse, get sucked into this nightmare?  For several months or so, the narcissist will pretend to be everything you ever wanted.  They will shower you with attention and affection and make you feel like you have met your soulmate.  Then when you are hooked, they will reveal who they really are.  You will see a dramatic change in their behaviour.  They will start treating you badly, lie, cheat, manipulate, humiliate you and give you the ‘silent treatment’.  You will have no idea why.  You have been brainwashed.  People with NPD are master manipulators.  Your will try to figure out what happened and to do everything in your power to restore the relationship.  By this stage your self-worth is somewhere in the gutter and you feel like a failure.

Why do people put up with this?  Years spent with a narcissists will alter anyone.  People who were once strong become weak, nervous and anxious and they don’t see it happening.

Eventually, most targets of a narcissistic personality will have that ‘wake up’ moment when they will see through the exasperating dishonesty and the crazy making behaviour.  They learn that there is no reasoning with these toxic individuals.  They never hold themselves accountable for their monstrous behaviour.  They are never wrong.  Nothing is ever their fault.  They will blame you for the very things that they do themselves.  They cannot be fixed.  You cannot unseat their deep hatred and shame.  They envy everything they see in you because they know that they can never truly feel and love in the way that you can.  They are emotionally stunted.

You will not change them.  Not recognising these facts will lead to your own self destruction.  Emotions are a very powerful phenomenon.  The invisible scars run so very deep and take a very long time to heal, for some, a lifetime.  The betrayal by someone who you thought loved you is like a stab in the very core of your being.

Of this man, who I gave six years of my life to I will say that I was devoted to him, loved him with all my heart, yet he almost destroyed me.  Now when I think of him I feel no hate, no pity, nothing, zilch, love – not an ounce.

He is 70 now, and I think that he will get what he deserves in life, a lonely old age, being on the receiving end of what he gave to others all his life.  Time stands still for no one.  Over the course of time lovers lose their allure, philanderers lose their touch, looks fade and true character is always revealed to those who have learned to see.  Time brings the narcissist closer and closer to being average.

In order for a narcissist to change they need to admit to themselves that their behaviour and treatment of others is not acceptable.  This will not happen because the narcissist is never wrong.  Compassion and empathy are considered weaknesses.  The narcissist may fake both of these qualities if and only if there is something in it for them.

Narcissistic abuse is insidious in that it is almost always covert and often indirect.  This type of abuse is carried out subtly as narcissists go to great lengths to avoid being seen in public as abusive.  This Jekyll and Hyde behaviour can inflict great harm on a target.  People find themselves walking on eggshells in an effort to avoid further conflict.  A narcissist doesn’t look for compromise or a relationship in which everyone can be happy.  They are looking for POWER AND CONTROL.

All in all the narcissists as they age will have had a string of failed relationships and lost friendships.  Family will avoid them unless there is something in it for them.  Sadly their children often turn out the same.  The old saying, ‘the apple does not fall far from the tree,’ is very true.  They cut a lonely figure in a decaying body, their loneliness is brought about by their own doing.  Some might say that this is poetic justice.

The man that I was involved with has already lost a daughter who he has not spoken to in years.  She doesn’t realise how lucky she is.

Forgiveness?  Forgiveness does more for the forgiver than the forgiven.  I don’t think that it should be universal.   If there is absolutely no remorse and the person intends to continue abusing others and behaving badly, then I personally do not think they deserve to be forgiven.

It has taken me a long time to get to where I am now.  The devastation caused by their betrayal and knowing that you meant absolutely nothing to these toxic individuals will take you as low as you can possibly imagine.  Getting yourself back to who you once were will take a lot of hard work and soul searching but you can get there with the help of true, genuine friends, people who will listen and not judge.  For some people, that may involve counselling.

The past nine years have been difficult at times.  I lost my husband, my father, my mother, one of my horses and two of my dogs.  I fell in love with someone who I thought was the man of my dreams only to find out he was the stuff nightmares are made of.  I’ve met people since who showed me their true colours.  They are no longer a part of my life.  Lastly, there was the smear campaign.  All the little minions who believed the lies are long gone.  The people who really know me know the truth and that’s all that matters.

I have come out the other side wiser and much stronger than I ever was.  You can too.  Have a little faith in yourself.  Time has a way of healing even the deepest of scars.

Written by Anne McCrea

Mayo Clinic Staff, (Nov 2014), Mayo Clinic: Narcissistic Personality Disorder, [Online], accessed Mar, 2016.

 

The ‘Spidercist’

The ‘Spidercist’

In nature, the spider is almost the craftiest of them all, for it will seek out a path well travelled to lay a trap for its unsuspecting victim.  Spinning a web of the finest thread, the spider awaits prey to fly around the corner, so oblivious to the web’s silk which is so fine that it can almost be invisible.  As prey hits the web, the spider feels vibrations of movement and rushes out toward its prey, injecting a paralysing venom to halt the new victim’s efforts of escape before slowly wrapping it in a cocoon of silk.

Spidercist's Supply
The once easily recognisable creature now looks a far cry from its once proud self.  For any nature enthusiast who ever looks closely at a spider’s web, many of the prey are indistinguishable from one another once they’ve been wrapped by the spider, yet they could be vastly different creatures.

The spider in some ways is a good analogy of a narcissist.  Unwittingly, the victim comes into contact with the web of a narcissist, which like long tendrils can hamper your attempts to escape.  Once the narcissist knows you are stuck in their web, they quickly and proficiently inject you with some of their poison to make you feel there is no way out.  And to make matters worse, you become part of that web as the spider wraps you in silk to ensure your captivity.

The problem is however, that a web can only support so much weight, and, like a narcissist, a spider can become greedy and use its web to engulf as many people into their world of deceit that the foundations begin to stretch.  The spider tries to keep tabs on everything in the web, but sometimes there is just too much going on that the spider will begin to make errors.  Errors such as letting their true nature show; having a web too big that they just can’t control it anymore.  But sometimes it just takes the smallest outside influence like a gust of wind to come along and tear down everything the narcissist has tried to create.

The web of deceit slowly stretches and falls apart.  Some of the victims have been encased for so long that escape seems almost impossible whilst others have only just touched the web that escape is so close on the horizon.  But webs are sticky. Sometimes trying to muster enough strength to break free is near unreachable.  Some victims may escape the web only to get stuck on another thread of silk.  But for those at the centre of the web, there are many threads to cross and therefore many chances to become stuck.

The point of this analogy is, if you have found yourself caught in that web, it won’t be a downhill ride to freedom, it’ll be an uphill struggle to shake free of your bonds.  And even then, there’s every chance you’ll stumble along the way and find yourself stuck in another trap.  Never lose faith in your ability to escape, for once that is gone, all that is left is the ever consuming deceit of the narcissist, and if you’re not careful and hasty, the narcissist might shackle you in their cocoon.  As each layer of silk is wrapped around you, the light of the world around you and the freedom it represents grows ever more dark until you’re left on your own, in the encompassing black of darkness.

Written by Steven McCrea

 

The Smear Campaign

The Smear Campaign

THE NARCISSIST’S SMEAR CAMPAIGN

Narcissists use a calculated (and effective) series of lies and gossip to deliberately bring their target down and make themselves look good.  Why?  There can be many reasons such as you seeing them for who they really are, to discredit you should you decide to expose them, jealously, a relationship coming to an end, not giving the narcissist enough attention or a simple disagreement.  The victim of a smear campaign often finds themselves isolated and or ostracised by family and people who they once thought of as friends.

By the time the victim finds out about the back stabbing and betrayal, it’s too late, the damage has been done. No one believes them.  Their credibility has been undermined, their character assassinated.  The narcissist has painted a dark picture of their target and any denials only add fuel to the narcissist’s version of events.
 Smear Campaign
The narcissist often starts a smear campaign long before a relationship comes to an end.  They plan ahead knowing that none of their relationships end well, so when that time comes, they have already persuaded friends and basically anyone who will listen to them, that their target is unstable. They lie, spread malicious gossip and twist the truth in an effort to destroy their victim’s character and reputation. Maintaining their image is paramount.  They’ve done this before and are well practised in manipulating and controlling people. Practice makes perfect and sadly they are often believed.

Smear campaigns are often initiated within the family unit.  The narcissist alienates their target from family members once again by lies and gossip.  The narcissist recruits family members, (who become enablers) to help ostracise their victim.

Anyone who is seen as a threat to a narcissistic personality within the workplace may be considered a target. Simply being more popular than the narcissist is enough to make you a target of a workplace smear campaign. The victim in these circumstances may find themselves being bullied, isolated or ostracised by their work colleagues.  They may find themselves being blamed for failures, poor performance or inadequacies, none of which they’re guilty of.

Make no mistake, the narcissist knows their target is a good person.  They know exactly how they are making their target feel by their betrayal.  They simply don’t care as long as they, themselves, come out of the situation smelling of roses.  Some will take great pleasure and feel a sense of power by simply knowing that they are the cause of another’s pain and emotional distress.  By their manipulation, they are in control of their target’s emotions and of their relationships with others.  They display absolutely no remorse or shame in the psychological harm and trauma that they cause to their victim, unless of course, they are caught.

What can you do about it?

If you have evidence of defamation of character through false accusations, seek legal advice.

Libel is a published false statement that is damaging to a person’s reputation; a written defamation.

Slander is the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation.

Written by Anne McCrea