Understanding the problem
So, what exactly IS a narcissist? In short, a narcissist is someone (usually a man, but not always) who is totally self-absorbed to the point where there is no room for anyone else. There is no other point of view, no other needs, wants, or desires. This person will be arrogant, haughty, and superior. If the person is good-looking, they will use that to their advantage. They use people to get what they want. They crave admiration, even demand it, whithout necessarily earning it.
Before the chains of bondage can be broken, you have to gain a clear understanding of what you are dealing with.
You are probably stone cold nuts by now, particularly if you are subject to them in some way, i.e., they are your spouse, boyfriend, or fiance, your boss, your parent, your son or daughter, your doctor, your priest, minister, or rabbi, your best friend, your teacher, your neighbor, you co-worker..........
They are everywhere and they can be just about anyone in your life.
Sometimes they come and go, and sometimes they stay and stay and stay -- and you're stuck with them.
They demean you.
They are mean to you.
They point out your problems to you.
They make you feel guilty.
You find yourself constantly apologizing to them.
They are sucking you dry mentally, emotionally, spiritually,
physically, financially, and they are at the center of your universe - but you are not at the center of theirs. The only person at the center of their universe is THEM.
They are bigger than life.
And you are nothing.
You've given up your freedom to be their abject slave.
You have no hope of escape.
YES, YOU DO
What do you have to lose?
Some time in the past, you got in their cross-hairs and became a target: It may have been so long ago you may not even remember a happier, more care-free time.
They had their radar up and operating when you came within their sights to become a narcissistic source they could milk dry.
They may still seem to be bigger than life, a hero type, the knight in tarnished armor fighting your battles, an apostle to lead you into the Kingdom, or a diamond in the rough who just needs a little care and compassion to bring out the best in him.
So, if you give them up you would be losing... what? A portion of your life? your battles? the Kingdom? knowledge? justice? bread? money?
At the time you recognize that he is doing you such damage that you are totally spent, without any energy, love, or hope, you have to ask yourself the question, "Is this truly worth it?"!
It isn't, of course, but fear may drive you into a paralyzing
The way out is to begin to recognize that if you reject the narcissist, you are not losing anything; you are GAINING you sanity!
Taking the risk
Risk assessment is very important: You need to determine the course of action you will take when YOU DUMP the narcissist.
This can be very dangerous, depending upon your situation.
If you are going to get a divorce, what are the options to support yourself and your children and stay away from the abuse?
If it's your boss, how are you going to manage a potential job loss?
If it's your minister, how will you manage the potential damage he could do to your reputation?
If it's your teacher in school, how will you finish your education?
The problem is not just that they are everywhere, but they become master manipulators, making you look like the bad guy while enlisting the aid of powerful allies.
You must prepare carefully to avoid as much risk as possible.
Women who have gotten a divorce have told of getting a judgment against their abusers for both alimony and child support only to have to find a way to support themselves because their ex defied the courts and have paid nothing.
Sometimes the narcissist goes after their departed source with a vengeance and may even attempt murder -- it's certainly not unheard of. Even those you'd swear would never do that!
The problem is that if you stay with them, the risk is no less, and you may only be postponing the vicious attacks of which, you have come to understand, the narcissist so capable.
Remember though, the narcissist is used to inflicting pain; it is what he does; it is who he is.
One of the most amazing things about abusive people is that they have no idea they are abusive: They are so focused on themselves that they neither care NOR do they understand they are abusing others.
Concerning reputation: Narcissists are really good at ruining someone else's reputation -- all they have to do is say something that sounds credible that you know is a lie, and everyone will abandon you before you can collect and show the facts of the matter.
Narcissists are great at blaming the victim.
Not only that, but they will find (or plant) something somewhere to "prove" that you lied in the past and ruin your credibility.
Narcissists also like to take the objective and turn it into what seems to be a personal attack on them -- thus, again, making you look like the bad guy, e.g., making everyone feel sorry for HIM.
They have the majority on their side, because they tell people what they want to hear, and most of the time, the truth is the last thing people want to hear.
They need you.
Narcissism is a mental disorder which is defined by a lack of
empathy as well as a peculiar non-existence: That is to say, the narcissist needs others to reflect back to them what they appear to be in order to define themselves; without this feedback, they don't exist.
And the worst thing you could ever do, from their point of view, is to COMPLETELY ignore them.
To ignore them is to snuff them out.
Narcissists become very angry when you ignore them!
To question that they are the center of the Universe is anathema to them -- pure heresy.
They are the greatest of their kind of all time.
And when you question their importance, you become a "lying betrayer."
They are so confident of their greatness, that anyone questioning it is not just their enemy, to be fought tooth and nail, they are deceivers, cheating others of the truth.
Hopefully, you recognize the baloney of the narcissist for what it is, but often they have such forcefulness, they can bully their way past the obvious baloney.
Though they seem confident of their position in the Universe -- at the center of it -- and believe that the Universe would cease to exist without them, they hold the secret fear that the Universe might just be able to do without them without much notice, if any at all, and it creates a tremendous fear within them.
They need you to validate them.
You need them to leave you alone.
Avoiding the more obvious traps
You can make the choice to dump the narcissist when you recognize him for who and what he is -- nothing at all; useless, worthless, pretty much a fool.
Or he can dump you.
Either way, you have cause for rejoicing, even if you feel great pain.
The narcissist is quite addictive to his source and when he
withdraws, people often have withdrawal symptoms.
Like any addiction, this must be faced and overcome.
There are two main problems:
1 There may a great temptation to crawl back to the narcissist to beg his forgiveness and try to allow to come back to him;
2 You may seek another narcissist to fill the void.
Either way, you are going to regret it: It doesn't really lessen the pain, you simply keep up the cycle.
Now, it's really easy to get caught up in the illusion that your narcissist is bigger than life and provides you with something; the reality is something else: He is not the one giving--you are; you are the one providing him with everything (or at least a portion) of what he needs.
It's a sick relationship.
In order for your own healing, you must get away from the patient; sever all ties; become independent. No Contact.
It is insanity to remain subject to them.
Here is another trap:
You feel sorry for him.
That is the absolute worst thing you could do
Don't feel sorry for him. Do Not.
He doesn't feel sorry for himself: He's just fine with the way he is and sees no need to change.
And since the narcissist, by definition, is totally incapable of empathy, he doesn't feel sorry for you or anybody else; again, he's just fine, and, except for some righteous indignation because he believes he has been wronged because someone doesn't see the truth that he is the center of the Universe, his life will go on and he WILL find some other first-class sucker to feel sorry for him.
The narcissist won't change, is incapable of it, and furthermore is perfectly satisfied to wallow in the cesspool of his own misery.
How to free yourself from his clutches once and for all:
All narcissists are monsters at the core: they are abusive; the only real difference is the scope of their abuse, limited only by the resources and sphere of influence available to them.
They seem impressive because they are great at manipulating perceptions: They are always a triumph of image over substance.
When the chips are down, though, they fold and take the gold with them, leaving you in a lurch.
You don't count.
Do you feel sorry for them?
Do they seem bigger than life?
Do they break the rules and take shortcuts?
Do they break their promises?
Do they lie to you?
Will they discount the lies they tell you and gloss over them when they come to light?
Do they constantly complain about how stupid people are, how bad service is, etc?
Do they discount your achievements?
Do they want you to solve their problems for them, when it is their responsibility to take care of their OWN problems?
Do you find yourself apologizing to them, particularly when you haven't done anything wrong?
Are they constantly critical of others?
Are they abusing you either with assault or neglect?
Do they expect you to be there for them constantly, on a moment's notice?
Are you finding that they are resource intensive?
Do you have to keep giving them "feedback", particularly on how valuable, smart and / or good looking they are?
Are they abusive toward other people?
Do they seem devoid of empathy towards others and just don't care?
Are they smart alecks? Sarcastic?
Do they constantly want your attention?
Do you just plain feel miserable and uncomfortable around them?
If any of these are true, then run, don't walk, for the nearest exit from the relationship.
And don't look back.
from: Night-Vision for Women
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