Friday, July 17, 2015

Spiritual Recovery After Narcissistic Abuse

During the time I was a target, I used to read narcissistic abuse forums. These were very helpful, because they served as a reality check. One of the features of female bullying is that you have no one to talk to. Even if it were a good idea to discuss this, it's not possible. First, it's not good to speak badly about another person, even if it's true.

Second, even if you did, no one would believe you. That's because female narcissists are sneaky. They abuse in a way that leaves no evidence. Almost everyone, with the exception of their current target, believes they are living saints. If you did happen to tell someone about their horrible, despicable behavior, most people would assume you're the problem, because you can't get along with this wonderful person.

This is why online forums can be so useful. Everything is anonymous and questions are answered by people who've been there. They'll believe you. (However, you should also be aware that disturbed people also haunt these forums, so be careful.)

But, once you've been abused, you should always be careful going forward. Even if you decide to seek therapy, you need to be aware that your therapist could also have some serious issues. There's a possibility that your therapist may also have a personality disorder, so make sure to keep your eyes open. If you see the telltale signs, make arrangements for an exit plan. If you aren't familiar with the symptoms of malignant narcissism, there's plenty of information available.

Original Pixabay image by 944010

Monday, June 15, 2015

Malignant Narcissistic Behavior

Today I had an interesting conversation with my son. We were discussing last year's rash of domestic abuse cases involving sports stars. He thought it was good this type of behavior now comes with social sanctions. I agreed with him. Also, I mentioned that when I was growing up, these sorts of events were seen as par for the course. The attitude seemed to be, "Well, that's just how he is." The underlying message was you had to accept these criminal acts.

My son was surprised. I told him, "Yes, that's really how it was."

There seems to be a parallel with malignant narcissism. The sorry excuse, "Well, that's just how she is," when describing a female tyrant, is becoming less acceptable. More people are learning about antisocial personality disorder and realizing they don't want anything to do with compulsive liars who sow dissension wherever they go. There's nothing normal about this. This type of rotten conduct is a sickness, and not just a variation of how people operate.

Nowadays, there's so much more information published about the various manifestations of sociopathy, compared to what was available 10 years ago. Back then, it seems that only law enforcement officials, and some mental health professionals, were aware that not all psychopaths are locked up in jail.

Awareness of this evil amongst us is a good thing. The reason malignant narcissists are so destructive is because most people never suspect they're capable of such actions.

Original Pixabay image by Matamoros

Monday, June 1, 2015

Are Women Getting Meaner?

My mother and I recently had an interesting conversation. She has a unique perspective on relational aggression among young mothers, having the experience of raising two families. The first was her own. The second is a pair of grandchildren. Right now, even though she's in her late 70's, she's dealing with competitive Moms who play childish games. (I live far away, so I can't help her with the day-to-day challenges of raising teenagers.)

"Women are so mean today," I said, trying to explain some callous behavior she's witnessed, as one mother at my niece's small, private school invited every other girl to a party, except one (my niece).

"Don't you remember?," she responded. "When you were growing up, Mrs. X. (across the street) had a party and invited everyone else in the neighborhood but me. She even invited Mrs. W, whom she didn't even know. But she invited her because I knew her."

Actually, I didn't remember this incident. But I do remember Mrs. X. getting under my mother's skin. Now I have a better understanding why.

However, my mother doesn't think female behavior has deteriorated in recent decades. She remembers this neighborhood incident vividly, as it was hurtful, because it was typically female bully move, in which a competitive woman tries to marginalize a rival.

But I disagree with my Mom. I think this type of bad behavior is off the charts and only getting worse. In raising her grandchildren, she's run into a string of other women with very odd behavior. It's been more difficult for her to find nice people, although she has found a few.

This wasn't the case when I was growing up. Mrs. X was the exception, not the rule. My mother made some wonderful friends in her younger years, and most of them are still around today. The reason some aren't is because they've passed on.

So, yes, I definitely think women in general are meaner than they were a generation or two ago, even if my mother doesn't agree with me.

Pixabay image top by JordiMorella

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Manipulating a Conflict

My husband recently told me about a town that was in so much conflict that an outside mediator is being called in to help its municipal officials get along. However, unless the independent investigators are well-versed in malignant narcissism, they're going to have a difficult time getting to the root of the problem.

That's because all it takes is one morally disordered person to bring an organization, or, in this case, a community, to its knees. One chief instigator will work the crowd, playing upon everyone's weaknesses. Because narcs have laser-like ability to zero in on our needs, wants and desires, and then pretend to meet to them, they get other people to march in lock-step with their plans.

It's going to be very hard for someone from the outside to come in and settle things, unless they're willing to spend a lot of time in that particular community. The narc or narcs causing the trouble will be well aware they're being watched, so they'll be on their best behavior. Narcopaths are able to fool even trained professionals.

I'm only speculating, but if I had to guess what's going on in that town, I'd bet it was a very malicious instigator, staying in the background, manipulating everyone else into battle. Good luck finding the right person.

Original Pixabay image by geralt

Friday, May 1, 2015

Spotting a Treacherous Person

You don't need an advanced degree to spot a treacherous person. Malignant narcissism, by its very nature, involves deceit and a disregard for the welfare of others. Oftentimes, it also means that someone afflicted with this character flaw delights in watching others suffer, and will even set up elaborate scenarios that result in unpleasant consequences for their targets.

This is treachery, pure and simple. People who engage in this type of behavior are evildoers. Perhaps we should move beyond labels and call it what it is.

Sometimes, when writing about malignant narcissism, I feel uncomfortable doing so because I'm not a psychologist, and I'm not qualified to diagnose a particular individual with this disorder. But I can recognize treachery and so can you.

Maybe that's all we need to do. Does it really matter if someone doesn't fit all the criteria for malignant narcissism? If they function fairly well, but have no integrity, this means they can't be trusted. They may not suffer from anything diagnosable, but they are still toxic and potentially dangerous. This should be enough to warn us to stay away. (Unfortunately, though, many folks keep this mean side well hidden, so we don't realize it's there until we get hurt.)

Of course, discussing malignant narcissism does have its benefits. It helps people just learning about this disorder to get their minds around the fact that a certain subset of the population can appear perfectly normal, and, oftentimes, "nicer" than average. However, at the same time, they are capable of turning your life upside down, until you realize you have an enemy in your midst, and take corrective measures to remove this person from your life.

Treachery always involves an element of deceit. If this weren't the case, it wouldn't be treachery. It happens because someone we once trusted betrayed us, usually in the most horrible way imaginable.

Original Pixabay image by Nemo

Monday, April 27, 2015

Toxic People Use Their "Friends"

Oftentimes, a toxic person will demand a lot favors. That's because have an inflated sense of entitlement. Being their "friend" wears you out physically and emotionally. They expect so much, but give so little in return. In their twisted way of thinking, just allowing you to be in their presence is their way of "repaying" you.

Watch when these demands are coupled with the sympathy ploy. Dr. Martha Stout, PhD., in her book, The Sociopath Next Door, warned us to be on guard when a new acquaintance tries to make us feel sorry for them. She believes this is the only reliable indicator you may be dealing with a sociopath.

Although not all toxic people may meet the criteria for antisocial personality disorder, an umbrella term that encompasses sociopaths, psychopaths, malignant narcissists and anyone else who has no regard for their fellow human beings, if someone has enough of these traits, they don't make good companions.

But, anyway, back to the constant favors. (I'm not talking about true friends who may be going through a crisis, and who need our help.)

If you perpetually feel as if you're obligated to go far out of your way to meet the needs of someone, who really shouldn't require that much help, it's time to rethink the relationship. That's because such expectations go hand-in-hand with a crazy sense of entitlement. Someone who feels so entitled likely has strong narcissistic traits, regardless of whether they have a diagnosable disorder.

Someone with this character flaw has no loyalty. Once you're no longer useful, expect to be discarded.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Narcissists in the Workplace

One of my readers on another site left a comment, which contained an excellent suggestion. He thought that it would greatly benefit businesses if they could somehow weed out people with strong narcissistic traits before they are hired. Corporate leaders and human resource people should be educated on the problem of malignant narcissism, and learn how to watch for it.

Malicious behavior in the workplace is rampant, and undoubtedly very costly. It results in increased sick days and loss of productivity. Targets usually end up leaving the company. This gets very expensive when you factor in severance, hiring costs and retraining a new worker. These serial bullies tend to strike again and again, so the cycle repeats itself. Morale suffers and the atmosphere turns toxic.

Of course, this type of training probably wouldn't be refined enough to detect the covert narcissist. That's because these villains are so good at hiding their character defects that they come across as saintly. But their targets know better.

Coverts are extremely dangerous and destructive, precisely because they can go undetected for so long.

Original Pixabay image by Nemo