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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
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
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.


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.


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?


Can a leopard change its spots?  Once we discover the real person, the person behind the deceptive outward appearance, we often wonder if they will ever change, if they can change.

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.  They don’t want to change.  They want everyone around them to change.  Many professionals in the field of psychology will say that they cannot change, it is their personality, it is their nature and 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.

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.’ 

I don’t know about you but from my experience I feel that even if they can imagine what it would feel like to be in another’s shoes at a particular moment in time, they simply don’t care.  As long as the negative feelings are not felt by themselves, then the matter is not of their concern.

Our feelings are emotions that define our character and define who we are.  Emotions in someone with narcissistic personality disorder have not advanced and developed with age as one would expect to see in a normal healthy adult.  Their emotional maturity is somewhat limited.the-leopard-cannot-change



If you believe that you are the one person who is going to change them, think again.  You can’t save a narcissist from themselves.   You need to concentrate on saving yourself from the narcissist.


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 I don’t believe that they take a very 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,  not wanting 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.  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.  I believe that for those who possess just a few of the traits of NPD, there is a possibility that their behaviour may be modified for a time.   Just how long that time will last remains to be seen.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has shown a limited amount of success.  I have yet to read of a malignant narcissist changing for the better over the long term.

‘As you get older you realize that some people are just shitty human beings and there’s nothing you can do to change them.  If they don’t want to change, you can’t do it for them.  Stop searching for the good in them that simply isn’t there.’


At the end of the day I believe that the likelihood of any significant change is negligible.  Try not to fall for their assurances that they have changed.  Assume that they are the same individual that they were in the past.  A narcissist can put on a very convincing act, an Oscar winning performance, in order to convince you that they are a different person now.  If you have managed to move on without this person being a part of your life, don’t go back to a long time ago and put yourself through all the pain and hurt once again.  Those days are likely to return.

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.


The narcissist is likely to remain a narcissist until their dying day.

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.


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

Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse

The page and website have continued to grow steadily.  With your help we are reaching millions of people worldwide, educating and raising awareness about narcissistic personalities and the people they target.

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.

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 had a relationship with a man who I had known as a friend for quite a few years.  At first he was charming, considerate and everything that I thought a man should be.  After a short period of time the cracks started to appear, ever so subtly at first.  Looking back, I can now see those ‘red flags.’   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 six 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 four 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 four 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 up front and honest at the time by telling you what they really think, probably imagining that you will either not listen or that 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 two years 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 ‘Spider’s Web’

The ‘Spider’s Web’

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