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Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse: Shattering The Illusion

Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse: Shattering The Illusion

Extract from Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse: Shattering the Illusion

(Available now on Amazon)

In an ideal world, we would live and interact with kind, considerate folk who have our best interests at heart.  Sadly, that is a far cry from the world we live in today.  There appears to be an increase in people who are simply out for themselves, people who are controlling and demanding, people who put their needs before those of anyone else, and people who refuse to play by society’s rules.  They trample on anyone on their way to the top.  There are those who need constant attention and admiration, who will put others down to elevate themselves, those who will cause unimaginable pain to those closest to them and show zero empathy, shame or remorse.  This world is full of people who will lie, who will destroy someone’s reputation, because in their twisted minds, they believe somehow that they deserve it.

Unfortunately, many of these people fly under the radar, hiding their true colours behind a false identity, a false self. To the outside world they appear charismatic and charming, but behind closed doors, they are hostile, manipulative and exploitive. These individuals may appear normal, but they are con artists and master manipulators, who are often believed by those around them.  This type of personality frequently displays an air of grandiosity and arrogance, but behind the false exterior there often lies a vulnerability and such a very fragile ego, an ego that is so very easily dented. If you are the one guilty of a ‘crime’, as they see it, you will pay and pay very dearly.  Nothing will ever be their fault.  No matter what goes wrong in their lives, they will never self-reflect and admit to the possibility that they may be to blame.

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Being Alone Doesn’t Always Mean You’re Lonely

Being Alone Doesn’t Always Mean You’re Lonely

Being alone has a power that very few people can handle.’
Steve Aitcheson

‘People think being alone makes you lonely, but I don’t think that’s true.  Being surrounded by the wrong people is the loneliest thing in the world.’
Kim Culbertson

In the course of my work on the Facebook page and website I have found that many people who have been subjected to abuse prefer to be alone for much of the time.  They are fed up with a world full of people who are all out for themselves with no regard for how their behaviour or words affects those around them.   People who are happy with their own company are not necessarily anti-social.  They simply choose to be alone rather than subject themselves to fake people and back stabbers.

‘There’s a difference between loneliness and being alone.’

‘If you make friends with yourself, you will never be alone.’
Maxwell Maltz

When you have been deeply hurt by someone, you often find that you distance yourself from people in order to protect yourself.  If you don’t let people get too close, they can’t cause the same type of pain that you’ve experienced in the past.  It’s a form of self-preservation.  Although these people may be described by some as loners, they are just quite content in their own company.  Unlike a narcissist who can’t abide being alone due to the lack of narcissistic supply, these people don’t need others in order to make their lives complete.  They don’t need to be in the spotlight.   These strong individuals can survive and thrive alone or with a small, tight knit circle of friends and / or relatives. 

To become a part of their inner circle is not an easy accomplishment.  They tend to be very selective when it comes to letting people get close.  Due to their learning experience from their past, they often develop solid, strong boundaries.  They’re not going to let just anybody become a part of that circle until they’ve been vetted!  If you are lucky enough to find yourself accepted into their inner circle, you’ve probably found one of the most trustworthy, solid, loyal friends that you’ll ever find.  These people are the rare gems of humanity that sadly, one doesn’t come across too often nowadays.

They’ve gained knowledge and wisdom from the rough paths that they have travelled.  They have had their struggles but survived each and every stone that life threw at them and they became stronger as a result.  They understand life’s problems because they’ve been there.  They’ll be your rock when you need someone to lean on.  Just don’t betray them.  They can spot a fake a mile off.  That’s a road well-travelled and they’re not going down that route again.  Once they’re done, they’re done and so, my friend, are you.

Written by Anne McCrea

Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse, Shattering the Illusion is now available on Amazon.

No Contact

No Contact

When all else fails, sometimes the only option for a target of abuse is to cut all contact with a toxic person. If someone is bringing more unhappiness into your life than they are pleasure, this may be your last resort. I appreciate that this is not possible for everyone, for example when you have children with a toxic personality. In this case, your best option may be to impose limited contact where all interactions are kept to an absolute minimum and in writing when and where possible.

No contact is quite simply a set of rules that you impose on yourself to help you and aid recovery. These rules are NOT put in place with the intention of hurting anyone. The only one who suffers if you break those rules is yourself. Going no contact with an abusive personality is giving you the best possible opportunity to recover from abuse.

What exactly will no contact entail?

  • Do not text.
  • Do not make or receive phone calls. (If they ring you from an unknown number, hang up when you hear their voice).
  • Do not respond to emails.
  • Block them on social media.
  • Avoid looking at photographs. (Looking at photographs will keep their memory alive in your mind. It is like opening a wound and not letting it knit together and heal. Close that photo album for the time being).
  • Do not snoop on Facebook or other social media. (You don’t need to know what they are doing or who they are doing it with).
  • Do not meet up.
  • If you pass them on the street, look the other way.
  • If they leave you an email, don’t read it.
  • Avoid going to places where you might run into them.
  • If you happen to work with them, keep to the rules when and where possible. Keep communication on a business level only.

Let the abusive personality know that you are severing contact and ask them not to contact you in any way. They may not respect your decision but the ball is in your court now. Show no emotion. You are in control. When a narcissist realises that you are now no longer under their control, they may eventually give up and stop trying to make contact with you.

Keep these rules in place for as long as you need to, until you are fully recovered or perhaps for all eternity. Some people have let their guard down only to find that breaking no contact has taken them right back to where they started. If there is absolutely no benefit to you for breaking no contact, why would you? The vast majority of toxic people are not going to see the light and change who they are. If you put your hand in the fire once and got burned, why would you do it again to see if it still hurts?

Above all, protect yourself and don’t let a toxic person back into your life to hurt you all over again. The past is a place of reference. Learn from it. Grow from it but don’t dwell on it. There is a reason some people should be regarded as an unpleasant memory. They have no part to play in your future.

Written by
Anne McCrea


Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse, Shattering the Illusion is now available on Amazon.



(In a nutshell from a narcissist’s point of view)

When you first become entangled with me, you will always belong to me.  You become mine, my property, to do with as I see fit.  Your opinions, hopes and dreams are immaterial to me.  You need to stop thinking of yourself and put my needs above all else.  Give me all your time, attention and admiration or there will be hell to pay.  Your hell, not mine.

In the beginning you were the centre of my world.  Soon I will be the centre of yours.

You will learn to accept my version of the truth.  I will never be responsible when things go wrong, and believe me, they will.  It’s inevitable.  Don’t expect me to ever accept blame.  It will never be my fault.  I don’t make mistakes.  Instead I will shift the blame on to you each and every time.

I will manipulate you into thinking the way I do.  I will control your mind and your free will, so that you start to think that you no longer have a mind of your own.

You will become so confused that you start to doubt your own reality, your very sanity and the ability to trust yourself will be slowly eroded.

I know who is good for you and who is not.  If your friends and family are not on my team, you will be urged, manipulated and eventually forced into discarding them.  When you have isolated yourself from your friends and family, you will be completely at my mercy, having no one but me, to turn to for support.

I will read your mind.  I know what you are thinking even when you don’t know yourself.

I am above the law.  Normal rules apply to everyone else, not me.  What was once yours, now belongs to me.  What is mine, is mine.  If I want something I will have no qualms in taking it.  Borrowing is another word for permanent possession, mine.

I will control your happiness or lack thereof.  You will not be happy unless that happiness is brought about by me.  I will control your moods so that my shame becomes yours.

Do not set boundaries.  I will see those as barriers to be torn down and crossed and I will succeed.

Do not ever question me on where I am going or what I am doing.  You have no right to know.  Never criticize me for my behaviour.  My behaviour is always above reproach.  If you can’t accept that, then you have no place within my fold.

Whatever you do for me will never be enough.  You could have done more or have done better.  That’s just the way it is and will always be.  Don’t expect gratitude from me.  I will always be dissatisfied with your efforts.  When you see my dissatisfaction, you will try harder and harder to please me and do a better job next time.  I am pulling your strings and you don’t even know it.  To see your never ending struggle to please me amuses me for a time.  I deserve special treatment, you couldn’t rise to the challenge and failed to meet what was expected.

The goal posts never remain static.  They will be moved again and again to meet my   unreachable expectations.

I will continually put you down so that you are no reflection of who you once were.

If I move on or if you leave me, I will show you how insignificant you were to me, as I move on to someone else as if you never existed.

I reserve the right to come back to you when I see fit.  You will receive me with open arms as I come back into your life for a while.  Nothing in life is permanent.

If I lose control over you, I will control how other people see you.  I will let people know how you hurt me and they will believe me because I have already sowed the seeds.

Never cross me.  I will never forget and I will never forgive.  I will get my revenge.

I win, you lose.  That’s just the way it is.

Remember that you are nothing without me.  You need me.  I do not need you.

Remember that the narcissist needs somebody, anybody more than you do.  They cannot survive without their supply.  When you realize this, you’ll know that the only one being fooled is themselves.


Written  by Anne McCrea


Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse, Shattering the Illusion is now available on Amazon.

Narcissism / Mobbing in the Workplace

Narcissism / Mobbing in the Workplace

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.

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.

If a narcissist is in a job that they cannot do very well, they will resent their co-workers who can do the job so much better and these feelings of ‘someone being able to do the job better,’ will give the narcissist a valid reason to target them.

The person being bullied may feel intimidated, offended and unjustifiably criticized. The workplace bully abuses their co-workers motivated by their own insecurities and selfishness. Their desire to succeed is foremost in their minds. In order to achieve their goal they will trample on anyone who they see as competition. Bullying in the workplace can take many different forms such as:

  • Discrediting someone’s reputation with lies and gossip.
  • Sabotaging a colleague’s work.
  • Isolation / ostracism.
  • Refusing to answer their telephone calls or emails.
  • Being regularly undermined.
  • Failure to provide the necessary information, equipment, tools for the task in hand.
  • Withholding important information such as deadlines, meetings and social gatherings.
  • Threats of job loss.
  • Being rude and talking down to colleagues.
  • Stealing and then accusing others of the theft.
  • Having your right to training or promotion denied.
  • Verbal abuse.
  • Unfair treatment.
  • Reacts to criticism with denial and blame shifting.
  • Moves on to a new target once their present target has left.

Mobbing is an insidious form of psychological abuse committed by a group of people and has devastating consequences. Studies have proven that people in a group will behave in a manner that they would never do alone. Normal common decency is cast aside and someone who was once a valued member of a group, is shunned and ostracised. The person is excluded from work meetings, social events and their very presence is not recognised. They are often falsely accused of wrongdoings and find themselves the subject of gossip and slander. People find themselves being attacked by their co-workers, superiors and subordinates. Over a period of time, possibly weeks or months, this form of abuse will chip away at someone’s dignity and their self-respect. We have to remember that human nature dictates that we have an inherent need to belong. Although the scars left by this particular form of abuse are not visible, they are long lasting and more painful than physical wounds. Long term ostracism often results in alienation, low self-esteem, depression and physical illness. Shunning is an act of aggression which can have deadly consequences on the target. There will be those in the workplace setting who may not take an active role in bullying a target but they cannot shirk responsibility for their inaction. Their failure to take a stand, their lack of integrity and their inaction has enabled the abuse to continue. The longer their behaviour continues, the harder it is to bring it to an end. Suggestions for those who are being bullied or harassed:

If the problems cannot be sorted out informally talk to…

  1. Management
  2. Human Resources (HR) department
  3. Trade union representative

If harassment continues most countries provide legal action through employment tribunals. It is not advisable to turn to your abusers for their approval. Choose to be in the company of people with morals and integrity, people who have whatever it takes to stand up against the crowd, to stand up for honesty and human decency. Abuse is often directed at one specific target and may go unnoticed by management and colleagues. In some cases, management may be at the helm of the abuse in an effort to force the target to resign.

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 and 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.

The narcissist boss will obtain narcissistic supply by denying their workers their entitlements. Don’t expect them to abide by rules or regulations. Normal rules and regulations don’t apply to them. A good boss will have respect for their workers and should quickly notice if there is someone been bullied in the workplace.

Possible signs of bullying may include:

  • A drop in the standard of an employee’s work for no obvious reason.
  • Long term sick leave due to stress.
  • Employee seeking early retirement.
  • Succession of people leaving employment unexpectedly.

Some employers will not acknowledge that there is a problem in the workforce and fail to address it as they should, and may even try to conceal it. They should note that a happy workforce is a productive one and that failing to address bullying may have a profound effect on the business as a whole.

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

Written by Anne McCrea

Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse, Shattering The Illusion is now available on Amazon.



Triangulation can be described as manipulation tactics in which one person will not communicate directly with another person.  Instead they will create triangles where they draw in a third person to relay information to the second.

In romantic relationships the narcissist will have you believing that they are the most desired person on the planet.  They delude themselves and tell you stories of their desirability.  They will surround themselves with their enablers, their ex-partners, and quite likely, your successor.  You feel flattered that you are the one who has gained their attention amongst all of their admirers.

One of the ways the narcissist manufactures situations in which they appear to be in such high demand, is to triangulate.  They will create triangles where they will turn people against one another, creating jealousy and rivalry.  Creating jealousy and rivalry does two things. Firstly, it brings about feelings of insecurity in the narcissist’s partner who will feel that they may be replaced. As a result they will try harder to please the narcissist to prevent this from happening. Secondly, the narcissist will gain narcissistic supply when in their deluded mind they feel both desired and in control of this twisted dynamic.

Triangulation can take place in any type of relationship.  In dysfunctional families children can be pitted against one another by a manipulative parent or a parent may try to get the support of one of their children against their partner.  In normal relationships drawing a third person into a disagreement can be helpful and beneficial.  However in a dysfunctional relationship, this tends not to be the case.  The third party often feels pressured into taking sides.  They may be manipulated into becoming part of a conflict that they have no desire to be a part of.

Pitting people against each other is known as, ‘Splitting’ in psychology.  If the narcissist is getting bored in the relationship or believes that their target has sussed them out, they will spread malicious gossip behind the back of the real victim, in an effort to tarnish their reputation.  This often takes place before the relationship comes to an end.  A narcissist will portray themselves as a victim and their target as unbalanced, even crazy and will blame them for the very things that they have done themselves.  Sadly, they are often believed by the listening ears who fail to listen to two sides of a story and pass judgement accordingly.

Written by Anne McCrea



Your Life, Your Rules

Boundaries have been described as a set of limits or rules which a person decides are reasonable with regard to how other people should behave towards them. These conclusions are made upon personal opinions, beliefs, likes, dislikes, upbringing, experiences and social learning. They work in two ways, both inward and outward; how you expect others to interact with you and how you interact with others. It may take time to find the right balance, so they are neither too weak nor too strong.

Boundaries are an important component in any relationship and may differ from person to person. We’ve all met the person who just has to invade your personal space and gets a little too close for comfort. Whilst close proximity is acceptable with some people, with others, it’s uncomfortable to say the least.

We need to decide what is acceptable in our lives and what is not. Normal, healthy people know not to cross the line. They’ve got a reasonable idea when not to intrude. Narcissists, on the other hand, don’t possess healthy boundaries and have no respect for yours. They don’t like you setting boundaries and putting limits on their behaviour. However, they have an uncanny way of pushing you to your limits for their own amusement, to create friction or maybe just to relieve their boredom. Boundaries are all about cooperation, a word which appears to have been omitted from the narcissist’s dictionary. Setting boundaries with a narcissistic personality is not a one off thing. Expect it to be something you will need to address over and over again. It is possible to set boundaries with a narcissist but you will need to stand strong and show a little fighting spirit. Communicate your wishes firmly and directly and don’t let them push your buttons. Say your piece and walk away or end the conversation if you have to, but leave them in no doubt that you mean what you say. Learn to say, “No,” or “That doesn’t suit,” and mean it.

Setting parameters is something we should all be doing. First and foremost, it is taking care of yourself which is an important part of your wellbeing. Never let anyone make you feel guilty for setting your standards. In close relationships, communicating your needs to your partner should not make you feel uncomfortable. If they get angry with you or go against your wishes, they’re not giving you the respect that you deserve. They are the one with the problem, not you.

Healthy boundaries include ‘alone time’ and time to spend as we see fit, with friends and / or family and we should feel free to keep those relationships alive.

A dysfunctional family background often leads to a child believing that their opinions, needs and desires are meaningless. As they grow up, these children need support to make them understand that they are not insignificant, to help them develop a healthy sense of self and form healthy relationships in adult life unafraid to set boundaries as to how they should be treated.

Boundaries can be likened to a fence around your home which clearly defines your property. Without those fences confusion will arise. Some people may cross your boundaries from time to time with your consent. However, there shall be those who disregard them and enter uninvited with harmful intentions. That’s when you need to reinforce your boundaries, build a wall and close the gates.

Written by Anne McCrea

Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse, Shattering the Illusion is now available on Amazon.

Red Flags Of Toxic People

Red Flags Of Toxic People



Not all toxic people are narcissists but we still need to keep these people at arm’s length and not be drawn into their toxicity.


There are often red flags that we should never ignore which can tell us a lot about a person.  How many times do we see something at the start of a relationship and ignore it thinking it was a ‘one off?’  By the time we see the next one, we’ve almost forgotten about the first!  Please keep them logged in your head.  One or two instances may not indicate that someone is truly toxic but when these little red flags are waved in front of you time and time again, they become a massive warning sign of a treacherous path ahead.


  1. This person makes you feel on edge.  You can’t really put your finger on the reason but you’ve no doubt there’s something not quite right.
  2. They are rude or talk down to the waiter.
  3. They get too close far too soon.  Love doesn’t normally work that way.  It takes time for bonds to form and love to grow.
  4. They are charming to the point of being beyond the realms of normality.  Trust that old saying, ‘If something appears too good to be true, it probably is.’
  5. They tell you of how their previous partners cheated, lied, were crazy etc.  They play the victim and have got you feeling sorry for them.  It wasn’t their fault.  Yes, you’ve got it…  They are the common denominator.  They are likely to be the one with the problem.
  6. They have a short supply of genuine friends.  Friends don’t usually hang around toxic people for lengthy periods of time.
  7. You do most of the talking.  They do the listening, figuring you out, knowing your likes and dislikes so they can pretend to be the person you want them to be.  However, once the relationship is established, they switch to talking about themselves which of course is a much more interesting subject!
  8. They criticise your friends and family hoping to create the division that will eventually lead to your isolation from everyone you once held dear.
  9. Although critical of others, they can’t stand a taste of their own medicine, being extremely sensitive to any form of criticism.
  10. You find yourself being compared to ex friends, ex partners and family.
  11. They rarely have anything good to say about anyone.
  12. You feel you have to walk on eggshells around this person.
  13. They demand most of your time.
  14. They hate to be alone.  They need people to provide them with their much needed narcissistic supply. Perhaps being alone allows too much time for self – reflection.
  15. They don’t respect your boundaries.
  16. They use passive aggressive behaviour, such as the cold shoulder, stonewalling and the silent treatment for some perceived slight.
  17. They have an uncontrollable rage / anger.
  18. Pathological lying.  They lie even when there’s absolutely no need to and truth would be a better option.
  19. They never accept responsibility for their faults or accept blame for anything untoward.  Nothing is ever their fault.
  20. This person causes chaos where there was once peace and calm. (Divide and conquer).
  21. They lack morals yet expects yours to be high.
  22. They insult you and if you are offended, they tell you that you’re being much too sensitive.
  23. They suggest what you should wear, how you should do your hair… Once again, this is all about control.
  24. They show their true colours to you whilst maintaining their ‘charm’ to the outside world.
  25. They lack empathy and are either unable or unwilling to put themselves in someone else’s shoes.
  26. They are constantly seeking compliments.
  27. This person has a grandiose view of themselves.  However, underneath their grandiosity, may lie a low self-esteem.
  28. They think that they have the ability to know what you are thinking. Only you know that.
  29. They are envious of others’ possessions and / or accomplishments.
  30. They like to be the centre of attention, expecting your praise for minor achievements; expecting their needs to be met, after all, they are much more important than yours.
  31. This person is a serial flirter.
  32. They show no remorse.
  33. If they treat you badly, you must have done something to deserve it!
  34. They have a strong sense of entitlement.
  35. They are jealous of close relationships that you may have.
  36. This person possesses the most fragile of egos.
  37. They acts like they are above the law, rules don’t apply to them.
  38. They rarely apologise, and if they do, it’s either insincere or in their best interests to do so.
  39. They believe they can only be understood by high achieving important people, like themselves.
  40. They are in good form one minute and in bad form the next.
  41. They hold grudges / hatred for a lifetime against those who they believe have wronged them in some way.
  42. They are preoccupied with their image, always wanting to look good in front of others.
  43. They don’t express genuine emotion.

In order to preserve your health and your sanity, keep your distance from toxic people and their flying monkeys as far as humanly possible. There are generally two sides to every story. There is the truth and then there is the toxic person’s version. Their version rarely comes close when it comes to the truth and their flying monkeys or enablers pass judgement without listening to both sides of the story. Be patient. No one can hide from the truth for ever.


Written by
Anne McCrea
Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse, Shattering the Illusion is now available on Amazon.
The Empath and The ‘Wounded Narcissist’

The Empath and The ‘Wounded Narcissist’

The cause of NPD is not known but there are many theories which include…
  1. Over valuing as a child
  2. A learned behaviour
  3. Genetics
  4. Abuse in childhood

The cause is most likely complex with the possibility of more than one factor being at the root of this disorder.

Some believe that the narcissist has come from a place of pain, that he or she has been subjected to unimaginable pain and as a result, they have taken on  a certain set of behaviours in order to deal with their past.  Many people have been subjected to abuse and yet have found strength within themselves to not let their past dictate their future.

The Empath And The Wounded NarcissistLet us take a look at when the ‘wounded’ narcissist meets an empathetic person.

An empath is a giver who wants to help.  They take on another’s pain and internalise it.  They are full of compassion believing in the good of humankind.  They have the ability to put themselves in another’s shoes and try to make things better often at the expense of their own wellbeing.  On the other hand, the narcissist is a taker, sucking others dry for their own benefit and to hell with the consequences or who may suffer as a result (as long as it’s not them).  It may be a match made in heaven for the narcissist but it’s a match made in hell for the empath.

Empaths tend to think that people are inherently good failing to see that there are some people who don’t possess such qualities as empathy and kindness.  It’s hard for them to realise that some people are out for what they can get with absolutely no good intentions whatsoever.  They fail to set boundaries as to what is acceptable and what is not.  A narcissist will seize this opportunity to take advantage of their kind and forgiving nature.   Their aim will be to exploit and manipulate the empath by any means necessary.  The narcissist has mastered the art of deception and will employ well practised devious and underhand methods to exert their influence whereby they will eventually gain control not only of their targets mind but virtually their every move.  This type of psychological abuse is a gradual process whereby the person being targeted has absolutely no idea that such wheels have been set in motion.  Their objective has been to love, to help and to soothe the pain that the narcissist has so convincingly made them believe has been a part of their past.  Let us not forget that narcissists are pathological liars often portraying themselves as the victim where the opposite is true and they are, in fact, the perpetrator.

Can these two personalities find an equilibrium?  That, I’m afraid is highly unlikely.  Over time the target of this insidious abuse will get worn down.  Just like a carpet that gets constantly trod on, its’ once beauty and soft touch are now lacklustre and barren of fibre.  They will get fed up with constantly being blamed when things don’t run smoothly.  They’ll get fed up with being the only one fighting for this relationship.  Sometimes this process takes years but eventually most realise that there is a point of no return.  It’s either sink or swim.  As a captain of a ship performs his last duty by ensuring the safety of the passengers and crew before saving himself, the person seeking freedom ensures the safety of their children and loved ones, before jumping overboard and swimming for the shore.  Some may think that they can remain on-board and hope that the ship will remain afloat but often the damage is too severe that sailing on to the sunset is not an option.

Abandoning ship is not failure.  It’s not defeat.  It’s taking positive steps to overcome a situation that has become unsustainable.  Remaining in an unhealthy relationship with such a toxic personality is likened to signing your own death warrant.  Psychological abuse takes its toll on your health, not only your mental health but your physical health.  It’s not selfish to take over the reins and start looking after yourself.  You have a choice, to stay and be subjected to more of the same or give yourself a new start, a new life free from mind games and control.  The choice is yours and the journey ahead will be rough at times but worth it.  Calm seas never made a good sailor.

For those dealing with family members who display this type of behaviour, the advice by experts is the same.  Distance yourself from the dysfunctional personality in order to gain peace and normality in your life.

Written by Anne McCrea
Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse, Shattering the Illusion is now available on Amazon.
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