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A GLOSSARY OF TERMS RELATED TO NARCISSISM

A GLOSSARY OF TERMS RELATED TO NARCISSISM

ACON

Adult Children of Narcissists

BAITING

A narcissist loves to provoke a reaction from you, especially in public. They will provoke you into responding in an angry or emotional manner. (Your angry response is further evidence of your unbalanced state of mind).

BLACK SHEEP

The black sheep is blamed for just about everything that goes wrong within the dysfunctional family. They can’t do anything right. Their achievements are not recognized by the narcissistic parent and are swept under the carpet.

BOUNDARIES

Boundaries are a code of conduct or an unwritten set of rules which we consider to be reasonable behaviour from those around us and our response when someone steps over the line.

CLOSURE

Closure in a normal relationship involves open and honest communication about what has gone wrong, you then wish each other well, say goodbye and move on. After a relationship with a narcissist ends you are left with so many questions and no answers. It feels like the book has been closed before the story has ended. We cannot expect any form of closure from the emotionally immature narcissist who is completely lacking in empathy, and has no regard for your feelings. The only closure in this type of relationship is the closure you give yourself.

CO-DEPENDENT

The individual characteristics vary from person to person. Some of the more common characteristics would include trying to avoid making decisions, preferring to rely on others. Co-dependents are often perfectionists who tend to put the needs of others above their own, which results in them feeling needed. Unfortunately, co-dependents often stay in relationships that are emotionally destructive or abusive.

COUNTERING

A narcissist will dismiss or nullify their target’s thoughts, feelings or experiences and make them feel that they are wrong to hold such feelings or thoughts.

COGNITIVE DISSONANCE

Cognitive dissonance occurs when one holds two or more contradictory beliefs or values at the same time.

Sometimes people hold very strong beliefs and when they are presented with evidence which opposes those beliefs, they find it impossible to accept this evidence. Dissonance is often strong when we go against our own moral standards, for example, if someone believes that they are a good person and goes ahead and does something wrong or bad, the feelings of guilt and discomfort are known as cognitive dissonance.

DUPLICITY

Deception by speaking or acting in two different ways to different people about the same subject. Dishonest behaviour.

DISSOCIATION

Dissociation from mild to moderate is a detachment from reality, usually in the case of abuse. It is a defence mechanism.

DISCOUNTING

A target of abuse is denied the right to hold their own feelings. For example, being told that you are much too sensitive or have no sense of humour, thereby invalidating your reality.

EMOTIONAL ABUSE

Emotional abuse may be referred to as psychological violence or mental abuse, which involves subjecting someone to behaviour which may result in psychological distress or trauma such as chronic depression, stress, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

ENABLER

An enabler is someone who, by their action or inaction, encourages or enables a pattern of behaviour to continue, or removes the consequences of bad behaviour.

FALSE GUILT

False guilt is guilt that someone places on themselves because of their perceived failures or inadequacies. If they have not broken a ‘moral law’ and feel guilty, this is known as false guilt.

FALSE FLATTERY

Narcissists love to be admired and receive compliments, so they assume that everyone needs this too. They will tell you that you are special, no one can understand them like you do and put you on a pedestal. I’m not saying that you are not special but don’t be fooled by their compliments. They are all part of the game!

FALSE SELF

The narcissist creates a false image of his or herself. This image is not a reflection of their true character. They will display this image to impress and mislead others, knowing that their real self, the person who they really are, is not likely to impress anyone. This false image is not likely to be maintained for a lengthy period of time.

FALSE VULNERABILITY

The narcissist often pretends that they need you. This makes you feel good about yourself, an important part of their lives. You are important to them for as long as you give them the attention they need, but replaceable when you don’t.

FLYING MONKEYS

Flying monkeys are people who have been convinced by the narcissist that he or she is the real victim. They inflict further harm on the real victim by submitting to the narcissist’s wishes and demands. They may threaten, torment, discredit or add fuel to a smear campaign by spreading lies and gossip.

GAS-LIGHTING

Gas-lighting is a manipulative tactic where a mentally healthy individual is subjected to conditioning behaviour so that they doubt their own sanity. The target starts to believe that their perception of reality is false. The narcissist may simply deny saying something didn’t happen when in fact, it did, telling you that you heard wrong or lie about an event or situation. Over time a victim starts to think they are confused and going crazy. They come to rely more and more on the narcissist to keep them right.

GOLDEN CHILD

The golden child can do no wrong, will be encouraged to do well and be given the best of everything. The narcissistic parent will celebrate even their most minor achievements whilst their faults and failings are swept under the carpet. This child may receive special treatment for being the perfect child and for doing everything that their parent wishes.

GRANDIOSITY

An unrealistic sense of superiority. A grandiose narcissist sees themselves as better than others and views other people with disdain.

GREY ROCK

Grey rock is a term used to describe your behaviour when trying to cut contact with a narcissist. The aim is to be utterly boring so that the narcissist no longer sees you as good supply and subsequently disappears. Grey Rock differs from no contact in that you don’t avoid the narcissist. Instead you keep contact, albeit to a minimum, but keep your responses so extremely boring that the narcissist will see you as a poor source of supply. Your aim is to blend into the background, become  insignificant and be as boring as you can possibly be. Talk about the most boring topics you can imagine such as ironing, doing the laundry or how you enjoy watching paint dry. No-one wants to be in the company of boring people and the narcissist is no different.

HOOVERING

The term hoovering, derived from the Hoover vacuum cleaner, describes how a narcissist attempts to suck their victims back into a relationship. They will use every trick in the book to get you back under their power and control. Hoovering often takes place after you have left them or after a period of the silent treatment. They promise to change their behaviour or say that they have already changed dramatically.

INVALIDATION

Invalidation is a manipulative tactic used to get a target to believe that their thoughts, opinions and beliefs are wrong, unimportant or don’t matter.

LOVE BOMBING

Love bombing is a term used to describe the typical initial stages of a relationship with a narcissistic personality, in which the narcissist goes all out to impress their target with flattery, holidays, promises of a future together, having the target believe that they have met their perfect partner, their soulmate.

MIRRORING

A narcissist will mirror what they see in you from your mannerisms to your dress sense, your behaviour and your likes and dislikes. They basically become just like you.

NARCISSISTIC INJURY

A narcissistic injury can be described as any perceived slight, threat or criticism, whether real or in the narcissist’s imagination, which they view as an insult, an act of rejection or disagreement.

NARCISSISTIC RAGE

Narcissistic rage is a narcissist’s reaction to a narcissistic injury, usually a rather aggressive response which may be likened to a child’s temper tantrum. This outward display of rage is normally directed towards whoever the narcissist feels has been the cause of their hurt. On occasion, the rage can be directed towards themselves, where they take the criticism and turn it inward, so they feel a sense of shame and depression.

NARCISSISTIC SUPPLY

A narcissist is lost without narcissistic supply. They need supply like a plant needs water. Supply consists of attention, admiration, respect, adulation and even fear. However, it should be noted that a narcissist can draw on negative supply such as detestation and hatred. Without these vital nutrients of life, the narcissist will become dysfunctional.

NO CONTACT

No contact is put in place by a victim to give themselves time to recover. It is not, in any way, like the narcissist’s silent treatment. A narcissist who initiates the silent treatment is doing so as a punishment and to exert power and control.

No contact is a self-imposed set of rules whereby there will be absolutely no contact with the toxic person. (No texts, no emails, no phone calls, no snooping on social media). It has been likened to building a wall between you and a toxic individual. You will not care or even be aware of what happens on the other side of this wall.

(Minimal contact is advised in circumstances where one has to co-parent with a narcissist).

PROJECTION

A narcissist is an expert at projecting their own character flaws or bad behaviour onto others.

They will go to any lengths to avoid being held accountable for any wrong doing and will blame others for the very things that they do themselves. The main objective is to make themselves feel superior, displace responsibility and place it on the shoulders of their unsuspecting target.

PROTECTION GUARANTEE

They may promise to keep you safe from the world. This may make you feel dependent on them for your own safety.

RUMINATION

Rumination can be described as a chain of repetitive thoughts which focus your attention on the symptoms of your distress, personal loss, depression and/or anxiety. Instead of focusing on solutions, your focus is drawn to the possible causes and consequences. Healthy alternatives to rumination are positive distractions, things that take your mind off your problems.

SCAPEGOAT

The scapegoat is someone (or group of people) who is unfairly blamed for the wrongdoings, failures, mistakes and faults of others. A child in a family may be singled out and subjected to unwarranted negative treatment.

SELF ESTEEM

Self-esteem is the overall judgement one holds about their own self-worth, including pride in oneself, self-respect and self-assurance.

STRINGS ATTACHED

There’s a reason for everything a narcissist does. If they do something for you, they will remind you somewhere down the line. They will want something from you in return.

TRAUMA BONDING

This term comes from a real-life hostage situation where several of the hostages became emotionally attached to their kidnappers (The Stockholm Syndrome). Trauma bonding is a misplaced loyalty where a victim is emotionally bonded with their abuser and finds themselves unable to leave an unhealthy or dangerous relationship. The victim remains loyal to someone who has betrayed them time and time again.

TRIANGULATION

Narcissists thrive on chaos. They provoke rivalry and jealousy between people, creating triangles to boost their own ego.

VULNERABLE NARCISSIST

The vulnerable narcissist has a very low self-esteem and is constantly on the look-out for proof of their worthiness. This type of narcissist hides behind a mask which masks their deep- seated feelings of insecurity and self-doubt. They are haunted by fears of rejection and abandonment.

Written by Anne McCrea

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

Amazon UK

Amazon US

GASLIGHTING

GASLIGHTING

The term Gaslighting originates from a 1938 play “Gaslight” and its 1944 film adaptation, in which a husband tries to make his wife believe that she is insane by using manipulative tactics.

A narcissist will use a very effective, persistent form of psychological abuse known as gaslighting to gain power and instil confusion and anxiety in their target.

Gaslighting is an insidious process that occurs over a period of time, resulting in the person being gaslighted questioning their own reality and/or sanity.  They will no longer feel that they can trust their own judgement and memory.  When someone’s recollections of events are constantly put in doubt, it is inevitable that they will wonder if their own version of events is indeed correct.  Their self-esteem and confidence will plummet, and they will start to believe that they can’t function independently, finding it difficult to make decisions.  Anyone is susceptible to this form of abuse, which is akin to brainwashing.

How is this achieved?

Snide comments and a little lie here and there will more than likely go unnoticed.  As time passes, these will escalate and even the smartest, mentally stable person can fall prey to such manipulative tactics.  They will find themselves being reminded of their shortcomings and weaknesses so that they feel there is something wrong with them and they become so grateful to have the narcissist in their life.  Lies become the norm so that they have no idea what are lies and what is the truth.  When lies are so utterly convincing, they will inevitably doubt their own perceptions.

‘If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes accepted as the truth.’

To add fuel to the fire, the narcissist who is trying to wear you down will throw in a little praise now and then.  Now you are more confused.  You must have got it wrong.  They’re not so bad after all.  It must be you getting things twisted.

The intermittent put downs and praise increases your anxiety and stress.  You’re walking on egg shells in an attempt to please, but whatever you do, it’s never quite right.  They will continue to ridicule you and point out your flaws.  You find yourself always on the defensive and apologizing when you’ve done nothing wrong.  In your mind, you must have upset them, so it must be your fault!

Isolation is another one of their ploys.  When they have succeeded in isolating you from friends or family through, yes, you’ve guessed it, more lies, you will feel that you have no one you can trust except the person who you can trust the least, the narcissist. You are insecure and in a weak position, just where they want you, confused and isolated.

The manipulator may relate a story, leaving out certain information.  When they convince their target that they told them specific details of which the victim has no recollection, they will start to think that they are losing their memory and their mind.

The gaslighter will question their target’s sanity to just about anyone who will listen.  If there comes a time in the future when the target should decide to talk to others about the narcissist’s abusive tactics, why should anyone believe them when they know that this person is unbalanced and unstable?  Remember that the narcissist is such a convincing liar, and often appears to be so very charming in public, that their ‘listening ears’ find no reason to doubt them.  Who do people turn to for the right information?  Certainly not the person being gaslighted.

Typically, in this type of relationship, the person who is being manipulated will defend the behaviour of the abusive personality.  They often feel embarrassed and ashamed and blame themselves for the narcissist’s behaviour.  ‘If I hadn’t done……., he wouldn’t have behaved the way he did.’   ‘She doesn’t really mean it.’

Once the target recognizes what is happening it is vital for them to understand that they will never stand on safe ground around this person.  It is like walking on shifting sand.  The narcissist will never take responsibility for their behaviour.

Anyone who has been subjected to this form of abuse will almost certainly need counselling to build themselves back up to who they once were.  A strong support system will work wonders.  The feelings of self-doubt and low self-esteem will pass.

Written by Anne McCrea

(From Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse, Shattering the Illusion, now available on Amazon)

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Stalking

Stalking

We all have a right to feel safe as we go about our daily lives. Stalking is a crime and should not be taken lightly. Serious cases of stalking may result in a target living in a state of fear, having to leave their home or work or in extreme cases, death. Justice systems in many parts of the world have failed in identifying and managing the risks involved. Why? A lack of awareness and understanding of what goes on inside the mind of a stalker and inadequate training.

Sadly, victims are often let down by the criminal justice process with their reports not taken seriously and dealt with accordingly.

Stalking is a very much an underreported crime yet, it has a tremendous impact on those who have been the victim of such a crime.

Stalking may be described as unwanted and obsessive attention by a person or persons towards another person. This may include following or spying on their target or monitoring them by any means including social media. This may directly or indirectly communicate a threat to the victim or instil fear or distress onto their victim.

The most common form of stalking may be considered obsessional, where the stalker is a former partner who will not accept that the relationship is over. This is usually preceded by some form of abuse within the relationship and is often practised by people with a personality disorder and those with controlling personalities. This particular type of stalking is reaching epidemic proportions in today’s society and is unfortunately, not always taken seriously by law enforcement agencies.

It should be noted that stalking is not restricted to romantic relationships but may include friends and co-workers.

Why Do Narcissists Stalk?

Have you spotted them lurking near your place of work or your home? Are they invading your privacy? Normal people accept when a relationship is over and don’t show up at places where they expect you to be. You were once under their control and they want to keep it that way. They feel entitled to your attention, the narcissistic supply they obtained from you and the power they had over you. One of a narcissist’s biggest fears is losing control of someone who they once had complete control over. The fact that you have called, ‘time’ on your relationship is of no significance to them. You were once their puppet to be played with as they saw fit and they still want to have control of those strings. Their envy of you being able to enjoy life without them often becomes pathological. They are envious of the qualities that you possess that they know they can never have, such as your empathy, high morals and integrity. Your rejection of them cuts them to their very core. ‘How dare you reject me… I’m the one who does the rejecting… If I can’t have you, no-one else will.’ Just because the relationship is over, doesn’t mean that their need for control has ended. This is not all about power and control, but about ‘ownership.’ Even if the narcissist has moved on and found another person to control and dominate, they don’t want to see you moving on wanting to be a big part of your life for all of your life.

This type of behaviour is psychotic practiced by someone who is clearly delusional, jealous and likely insecure. A stalker can be dangerous going to extreme lengths to hold on to someone who they are afraid to let go of. They don’t want you to move on and find someone else.

Even after you’ve blocked them from social media, the narcissist will likely follow you by creating fake accounts or by recruiting their flying monkeys to do their dirty work and report back on what is going on in your life. (Like a spy in the sky, they want to know what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with.)

How do you respond to the narcissistic stalker?

You have got to set firm boundaries and let your stalker know that you will not tolerate this form of harassment. Let them know that you will have no hesitation involving the law and that you will report them to the appropriate authorities if necessary. If they fail to recognize and abide by your wishes to be left alone, call the police.

No contact is vitally important when leaving a relationship with a narcissist.
When all attempts at making contact with you have failed, a narcissist may use your children as a means of getting the desired result.

Stalking is perhaps best understood by both the stalker and their victim with friends, relatives and law enforcement often not taking the situation seriously, sadly sometimes, with tragic results.

Written by Anne McCrea

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

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Helpful links

Stalking Resource Center

Crown Prosecution Service – Stalking and Harassment

 

Responding to a Narcissist’s Silent Treatment

Responding to a Narcissist’s Silent Treatment

Turn the Game Around and Play it Better

Have you ever found yourself being ignored by someone and you have no idea why? A narcissist will deliberately ignore their target in order to cause harm, often encouraging others to do the same (Ostracism).

What have you, the target done to deserve being ignored?

More than likely nothing of any significance. A narcissist will react to any perceived slight, real or imagined with any punishment that they deem fits your crime, the silent treatment being a favourite in their arsenal.

We all have an inherent need to belong. To be shut out especially by those we love, is debilitating even to the strongest of people. By being ignored or ostracised, we are left feeling worthless with our self-esteem at an all-time low.

The narcissist will express their disapproval by shutting down, withdrawing any love or affection, refusing to communicate and denying their target any explanation. Why?

Avoidance, control, disempowerment and / or punishment, punishment for some perceived slight that their target is completely unaware of. They know how they are making the other person feel but in their sick and twisted mind, they believe that somehow they deserve it. Their emotional maturity is typical of a five year old child who sulks and storms off until they get what they want.

(Don’t confuse the silent treatment with no contact which is a process undertaken to protect ourselves, to give us time to heal and recover, not to punish or hurt anyone).

How does a narcissist expect you to react?

A narcissist wants the target of their abuse, and be in no doubt their silence is abuse, to reach out, plead and beg for their very existence to be recognised. Responding in such a way will give the narcissist their much needed narcissistic supply. The narcissist will read all your texts and emails and will get a tremendous amount of satisfaction from them. Oh, how it makes them feel important! It is perfectly normal, for a target of this form of abuse, to reach out in an attempt to resolve the situation. Your phone calls will likely go to voicemail, your texts or emails will be ignored. All your attempts at communication will be met with a deafening silence.

This passive aggressive behaviour is usually a repetitive form of emotional abuse which the narcissist will practice time and time again with each episode of silence often lasting a little longer than the one before. This is intentional manipulation which conditions the target for future mind control.

What these people do not anticipate is your knowledge of their twisted mind games. They don’t expect you to know how to play these mind games better than they can. Instead of crawling back to them, let them crawl back into whatever hole they have created for themselves and give them a taste of their own medicine.

How do you play a narcissist and play better?

Don’t give them their desired result. Don’t beg and plead to be recognised. Let their silence teach you something. Let this deadly silence teach you that you can carry on without them. Use this period of silence as a time to re-evaluate your position. Don’t waste your time trying to figure out what you’ve done wrong. I know you want answers but don’t chase them for any. They know that by not getting an answer from them, you will likely start blaming yourself. You’ll apologise when you’ve no idea what you’re apologising for and try to do everything right this time, until the next time. Don’t play into their hands.

If a narcissist sees that they are not getting their desired response, this particular period of silence is likely to come to an end. However, bear in mind that if a narcissist believes this particular form of manipulation isn’t effective as far as you are concerned, they may switch to some other manipulative tactic.

Respect yourself enough to know that someone who loves you would never treat you in such a contemptuous manner. People who love you don’t withhold love, they give it. People who love you have your back. They don’t stab you in it.

When someone gives you the silent treatment, return the favour, walk away, close the door and lock it behind you.

Written by Anne McCrea

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

Amazon UK

Amazon US

What is emotional Abuse?

What is emotional Abuse?

Emotional abuse may be referred to as psychological violence or mental abuse, which involves subjecting someone to behaviour which may result in psychological distress or trauma such as chronic depression, stress, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Emotional abuse can be just as devastating as physical abuse, sometimes even more so. How do you know if you are being emotionally abused? The answer is in the way a person makes you feel as a result of their behaviour. If someone controls your life, puts you down and creates feelings of low self-worth, you are being abused. If someone is stopping you from being yourself, expressing yourself or isolating you from your friends and family, you are being emotionally abused.

Examples of emotional abuse include:

• Aggressive behaviour towards you.

• Controlling behaviour.

• Criticism.

• Making you feel bad about yourself.

• Isolating you from friends and family.

• Name calling.

• Being made to feel guilty.

• Giving you the silent treatment.

• Financial abuse.

The aim of an emotional abuser is to gradually chip away at your self-esteem and independence so that, in time, you become a shell of your former self. Eventually, you may feel trapped with no way out of the relationship. You may feel that you can’t manage without this abusive person in your life. You can, and you will with the correct help and support.

Written by
Anne McCrea

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

Amazon UK

Amazon US

What to expect if you decide to stay with a narcissist

What to expect if you decide to stay with a narcissist

Some people feel for one reason or another that they will remain with their abusive partner, parent or other family member. Despite overwhelming advice that leaving an abusive personality is the best thing one can possibly do for oneself in order to enjoy a normal peaceful life, some find that they cannot walk away. I have been in touch with so many people over the years who have stayed with an abusive partner for maybe thirty or forty years, clinging to the hope that somehow this person will change for the better. Their hopes and dreams were shattered when time revealed there was no improvement in behaviour. Sadly the only changes they witnessed were that the behaviour got considerably worse as they aged.

The best advice that I could give anyone is to create as much distance as you can between you and a toxic individual. Do not engage with them on any level.

Don’t stay with a narcissist because you feel obligated to do so. It is not selfish to think about yourself, it is absolutely necessary.

For those brave souls who wish to remain in close proximity with a narcissistic personality be prepared for the challenges that you will inevitably face as you share your life with these individuals. Keep your expectations low and be prepared for a rough ride.

By all means, set your boundaries but rest assured, the narcissist will disregard them and cross those lines time and time again.

Give up the idea of living your life on your terms. Familiarise yourself with the term, ‘double standards’. There will be a set of standards you will be expected to live by. However, these standards will not apply to them. You will be expected to live your life as the narcissist sees fit and abide by their rules. You will lose your individuality as you strive to achieve the impossible… i.e. making them happy. As most of us know, we are responsible for our own happiness. We cannot rely on others to do that for us. However, a narcissist doesn’t see things that way. They need your endless attention and admiration so that they can feel some semblance of contentment for short periods of time. The narcissist will get bored relatively quickly and you will find that you are not doing enough to ensure that these snippets of contentment last for long.

Invest in thick soled shoes or boots to protect your feet from sharp edges as you constantly walk on eggshells, tip toeing round this person so you don’t upset them with a casual glance, remark or dare I say, disagreement.

Lose yourself as you serve your master or mistress. Your friends will disappear as after all, you cannot be loyal to two masters so they’re not really going to have a place in your life any more. No doubt, you’ll be told what bad people they are so you’re really much better off without them. Your isolation will ensure that you have no one to turn to when you need a shoulder to cry on.

Let go of any idea that your thoughts, needs and wishes will be respected. Your emotional well-being is not of their concern. They will never feel your pain as you struggle to make sense of the hurt they cause you as a result of their cruel words and actions. You are more than likely just being too sensitive.

Grow accustomed to their anger and absorb their rage and expect to bear the brunt of these uncontrollable episodes.

Learn to forgive them their misdemeanours over and over again but don’t expect them to forgive yours.

As your life slips by, try not to dwell on the past, on the ‘what ifs’ or the ‘ could have beens’. Try not to think of how much better life would have been if you had walked away all those years ago. It was your decision to stay with someone who will never appreciate the sacrifices you made for them.

Written by Anne McCrea

 

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

Amazon UK

Amazon US

NARCISSISTS LOVE TO SPOIL SPECIAL OCCASIONS

NARCISSISTS LOVE TO SPOIL SPECIAL OCCASIONS

Maybe it’s a holiday you have been planning for some time and the narcissist knows just how much you have been looking forward to the break. Maybe it’s a reunion for your closest friends or a special birthday party. Whatever the occasion, the narcissist will do their utmost to make sure that it doesn’t turn out to be as special as you had hoped. They want you to share in their own misery.

They don’t like to see others happy unless of course, they are the cause of such happiness. Happiness seems so alien to them. Why should you experience joy when they rarely feel fulfilled? Why should they have to put up with being in the company of your friends or family? They are simply jealous of your close friends or the close relationship you have with members of your own family. They know that they haven’t and never will have that close bond with anyone. If the celebration is a birthday party or graduation celebration, they don’t want someone else receiving all the attention that should be directed towards them. Perhaps if they look dejected, everyone will feel sorry for them and turn their attention where it belongs. The narcissist will do anything in their power to sabotage the occasion.

As your holiday fast approaches, don’t be surprised if the narcissist picks a fight with you, and cancels the holiday at the last minute. They may have just found your replacement. Should you find yourself on holiday with a toxic person, and you are doing your best to make the most of your time, they are going to hate to see you enjoying life. They will go all out to ensure that the holiday will go downhill from there on. They will make a condescending remark just to dampen your spirits, or provoke an argument, basically anything to bring your mood down to a similar level as their own.

Whilst on holiday, you may be directing all your attention on making sure the kids have fun. Isn’t that what normal parents do? Don’t forget this person is far from normal. They want your attention, so they may resort to huffing and bad behaviour to get it. Any attention is better than none.

You want the narcissist to enjoy the holiday or special event, so you try your very best to draw them out of their mood, but no matter how hard you try, nothing seems to work. You feel like they are making you suffer for your efforts to make them smile and be happy. It is like they see you as an enemy, and certainly treat you like one. Only a sick and twisted individual would get some sort of pleasure from ruining holidays and other important events.

What can you do to avoid the narcissist spoiling special events?

Remember that if you are having a good day the narcissist will do anything to spoil it. They want to make the day memorable for all the wrong reasons. Don’t give them the opportunity. Let them be miserable, let them drown in their pool of negativity and self-pity. Carry on and leave them to it. Enjoy yourself and let them be. If they happen to come off with some disparaging remark, just respond with something like, ‘Fascinating,’ or ‘Interesting,’ and go and do your own thing and above all, enjoy the occasion.

Now that Christmas time is upon us, there is of course the chance that the narcissist will do all in their power to make it a memorable one. They may decide not to show up. Great! There will be more for everyone else. If however, they decide to grace you with their presence, there just may be a silver lining. If things don’t go to plan, the turkey is overcooked and the narcissist is so busy doing everything in their box of tricks to be the centre of attention, who is ever going to notice if the turkey isn’t perfect?

Written by Anne McCrea

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

Amazon UK

Amazon US

 

Stop Blaming Yourself

Stop Blaming Yourself

How many of us have blamed ourselves for staying too long? Many of us saw red flags at the very beginning but what did we do? Yes, I would take a wild guess and say that most of us ignored them. It wasn’t because we were stupid for not realising how toxic someone was. Manipulative people have played this game before.

‘Stop blaming yourself for taking too long to see just how toxic someone is. As the saying goes, “You can’t blame yourself for not knowing something before you learned it.” Sometimes we are blinded by what we don’t want to see. These people are good at what they do. They are masters of manipulation, lying and shifting blame and placing it where it does not belong. They simply took advantage of your kind heart.’

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. If you had known then, what you know now, you probably wouldn’t have put up with their noxious behaviour as long as you did. I know that I would have kicked a certain someone to the kerb in the early stages, had I have had the knowledge that I have now. There have been times when I looked back and questioned my sanity. Why did I put up with his bad behaviour time and time again? I was a strong person before I met him. How could I have loved someone who put others down constantly? (If not to their face, then certainly behind their back). I certainly saw red flags but I ignored them hoping for change that would never come.

One of the first red flags occurred when we were on holiday in Gran Canaria. We had gone for dinner in the hotel’s rather dimly lit restaurant. The waiter came over to our table and asked us if we had chosen a bottle of wine from the wine list. In the dim light of the restaurant, I couldn’t make out the writing on the list and handed the menu to him saying that I couldn’t read it. He shouted across the table, “Just pick a f—— wine.” Somehow I lost my appetite and got up from the table and left.

On a city break in Krakow, we were again in a restaurant having dinner when my mother phoned me. My father had dementia at the time and was confused with his finances. My partner became annoyed that I had accepted the phone call and showed his anger in the restaurant before walking out. Needless to say, this was rather embarrassing in front of other diners. I subsequently paid for the meal and walked outside. “Thanks for f—— nothing was his response.” He didn’t speak to me for the remainder of the holiday.

I believe if my horses were not at his yard at the time, I would never have had any contact with him again. As time passed, he managed to work his way into my good books again and behaved himself for a while!

I was subjected to the silent treatment time and time again for some perceived slight. His son who obviously hadn’t a mind of his own would join in these pathetic little mind games.

I can say now without doubt that I facilitated this dysfunctional relationship. I should have nipped it in the bud long before I did, in the very early days, but instead I stayed with this toxic individual hoping that he would change and stop behaving like a spoiled five year old brat. He never did but I got wiser. I learned about narcissism, toxic behaviour and the unlikelihood that these people will ever change. I put on my hiking boots, started walking and never looked back.

Did it hurt? Hell, yes, at the time and for some time after.  Do I regret not leaving sooner? I believe that if I had walked away much sooner, the hurt would not have run so deep but then, I may never have studied the subject of NPD which led to the Facebook page, website and now my book, Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse, Shattering The Illusion. I believe that something good has come out of this difficult period in my life, so for those reasons, I can’t honestly say that I have regrets.

This man who I knew for many years and went out with for six, is a part of my past. He showed me the kind of person who I do not want to be. He is the sort of man who places value on the material things in life at the cost of his personal relationships. Happiness will elude him because he will always want more and nothing and nobody will ever be enough. I count myself lucky that I eventually found the wisdom to know the sort of man he was, is and always will be. I know that I am a stronger person now, maybe stronger than I was before I met him. Some of life’s lessons are tough. Life is never easy but for each and every struggle we overcome, we know that we handled it, we handled it all and we’re still here to prove it.

We can’t blame ourselves for not realising that some people are inherently evil. People with kind hearts simply believe that there is good in everyone and forgive too many times hoping that these toxic individuals will eventually see how they treat others and mend their ways. Sadly, this doesn’t happen very often. So forgive yourself. You’ve done nothing wrong. The only one who needs forgiveness is the person who hurt you time and time again without a second thought. Whether you decide to forgive them or not is entirely up to you. I personally, do not believe that I need to forgive someone who is not sorry for their behaviour. I don’t feel bitter, just indifferent.

Remember, you placed your trust in someone who didn’t deserve one second of your time. You gave your love to someone who will never understand what that word means let alone feel what it’s like to really love someone. That’s their problem. Their dysfunction is not your burden to carry.

Written by Anne McCrea

(From Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse, Shattering the Illusion, now available on Amazon)

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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.’
Anon

‘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, now available on Amazon

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