Monday, September 29, 2014

Dealing with the Shock of Covert Narcissism

One of the rudest wake up calls we'll ever experience is the utter shock of discovering that a friend, an acquaintance or a relative is a covert narcissist. We learn, usually in a most horrific way, that, all along, she has been planning to undermine us, while, at the same time, pretending to be supportive of everything we do. Life gets very confusing, and problems abound, but she is the one we least expect to be causing them.

A covert narcissist presents herself much differently than an overt narcissist, who probably dresses very sharply and seems to crave being the center of attention. Her hair and makeup are probably perfect and her clothes are stylish. However, a covert narcissist often dresses very plainly. She may even appear disheveled. It seems as if she prefers playing a bit part, instead of a leading role. But make no mistake. She has the same drive to dominate, and just as much seething envy, as her more put-together counterpart.

Both types of malignant personalities are capable of great destruction. However, it's my personal belief that a covert narcissist is much more dangerous, because we tend to underestimate her ability to manipulate people, because she appears so unassuming. These types can be very difficult to spot, even for trained professionals who might be looking for signs of this disorder.

So, how can the rest of us protect ourselves from these mild mannered predators? Look for little cracks in the facade, perhaps a brief glimpse of anger, or a competitive nature. Another clue is someone who always likes to run things. She may be a very benign, benevolent leader. But maybe not.

Pixabay image by OpenClips

Friday, September 26, 2014

What's a Narcissistic Smear Campaign?

Anyone who's ever been involved with a malignant narcissist has probably experienced a smear campaign. This is when a morally disordered person tries to destroy your reputation. They often succeed, because narcopaths can be very persuasive, even as they're lying through their teeth. People who don't have this character flaw tend to believe whatever they hear, because it seems inconceivable that an adult wouldn't be telling the truth. We all tend to think that other people maintain the same code of ethics that we do. It's very difficult to get your mind around the fact that someone who appears to be such a solid citizen would fabricate things about another person. But this is how malignant narcissists operate.

Female narcissists, in particular, use social aggression to attack an adversary. The turn people against their target in order to isolate her. When they do this in the workplace, it often turns into a mobbing situation, as the target becomes public enemy number one.

Smearing usually kicks into high gear as the narcissist gets ready to discard the victim, if, previously, the target was her "friend." But it's likely she did a lot of groundwork before the target was even aware that the relationship was ending. Just to give you an idea of the depths to which a morally disordered person will sink, what often happens is that the narcopath first turns everyone against the target. Meanwhile, as the drama builds, she pretends to be sympathetic. The confused target may even cry on the predator's shoulder, because she's unaware of who's really causing all the trouble.

Remember, malignant narcissists are ruthless. They do not possess the normal range of human emotions, and they are especially deficient in empathy. Because their actions are so evil, it's very difficult for anyone who hasn't experienced narcissistic abuse to understand what has happened.

Pixabay image top by geralt

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Narcissist Reaches Out Only When She Needs Something

There's an easy way to evaluate the quality of a friendship, or any relationship, for that matter. How often do you hear from this particular person? When does she call you? Does she ever check in with you, just to see how you're doing? Is she concerned about your problems? Or, do you hear from her only when she needs something?

Some people are givers and some are takers. Although a taker may be relatively benign, he or she still expects you to do a lot for them, and they'll never reciprocate. Although they're not out to destroy you, it's a one-sided relationship, and you can do much better.

A malignant narcissist, on the other hand, will destroy you. But, first, she'll use you as much as she can. A female narcissist believes you, and everyone else, exist to meet her needs. She'll have you drive her children all over creation, and never offer to repay you in any way. If she doesn't drive, she'll use you for rides. If she has children, she'll expect lots of free babysitting, but never offer to watch your children. (However, this is just as well, because you don't want to leave your little ones with a narcissistic psychopath.)

So, if you "disappoint" a malignant narcissist, by trying to set reasonable boundaries, you may never hear from her again. Or, she will become enraged because you've failed to meet her needs. Watch out. The "friendship" the two of you had will be over, and she will also spread lies about you, in an attempt to destroy your other relationships.

Part of the reason for conducting a smear campaign is probably because she wants to justify her own despicable behavior. Also, malignant personalities are highly concerned with their public image. So they need to convince everyone else that you're bad, and that they have legitimate reasons to discard you as a friend. They also need a cover story if they take it upon themselves to drive you from a job. The workplace, unfortunately, is where a lot of adult narcissistic abuse takes shape nowadays.

Pixabay photo top by Hans

For a discussion of malignant narcissism from a spiritual perspective, please read my Church Bullies blog. Once you realize a particular situation is one-sided, you may want to think about setting firm boundaries. This may involve reducing the amount of time you're available or putting limits on their demands. Or, if you're dealing with a malignant personality, especially at work, you'll need to learn how to manage the situation, since avoidance probably isn't a possibility.

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Three Phases of Narcissistic Abuse

A lot has been written about narcissistic abuse from a romantic perspective. But this blog is dedicated to female friendships that have gone bad. From my own experience, when a woman betrays another woman, the root cause is often envy. If the betrayer also tries to destroy a former "friend," we are usually looking at deep seated personality issues, such as malignant narcissism or borderline personality disorder. People who are mentally balanced do not act this way.

Even though I'm not a trained mental health expert, I've been "studying" psychopathy and malignant narcissism for a number of years, following an unfortunate encounter with a morally disordered woman I met at church. (Life was turned upside down for a stretch.) Since then, I've come to realize that narcissistic abuse typically follows a three-phase pattern, whether it's romantic or platonic.

The first phase is when the narcissist is just getting to know you. This is often referred to as "grooming," because she's using this time to look for your weaknesses. Ironically, during this phase, she also idolizes you. You may think you've found your soul mate, because her thoughts and desires so closely align with yours. This is because morally disordered people have few thoughts of their own. They are empty inside, so they "mirror" back whatever you're thinking.

This first phase can last for months, or years. But, eventually, it ends. That's because people with personality disorders have trouble maintaining relationships. In their mind, you are either all good or all bad.

Inevitably, since no one can live up to their impossible standards, you tumble from your pedestal. When this happens, you're headed into the discard phase, which I'll talk about in a minute. But, first, you'll probably be the subject of a vicious smear campaign. (This is the second phase.) A narcissist will do this for a number of reasons. One is to maintain power. Another is she doesn't want anyone else to think she's a bad friend, so she needs to get your faults (real, perceived and fabricated) out into the public arena. She wants everyone to "understand" why she's breaking off the "friendship."

The third phase is the discard phase. A malignant narcissist isn't just content to end things. She also likes to inflict as much damage as she can. If you work with her, she may find a way to get you fired. If you belong to the same social group, she'll damage your other relationships so much that you have no choice but to move on.

No one expects a good "friend" to have a such a sinister side. This is one reason why it's so shocking when we discover someone's true colors.

Pixabay image top by Violetta

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Narcissists Crave Drama

I just saw something on Pinterest that reminded me of my experience with a covert narcissist. These people love drama and they work endlessly to create it. It seems they are not satisfied unless they are actively engaged in pitting one person against another, or pitting a group of people against a target. Because people with this character flaw always need an enemy, they will change targets, selecting a new one just as they finish destroying their former one. Typically, this happens after they've driven the former target out of a workplace, a volunteer organization or a social group.

One of the easiest ways to spot a disordered personality is the chaos surrounds them. They are always upset with someone, always ticked off at someone else and they gossip endlessly about people who aren't present. Don't make the mistake of thinking they aren't doing the same thing to you when you're not around, because they are.

Amazingly, I once knew a malignant narcissist who let her secret slip. (I'm still shaking my head over this one.) She actually came clean, and told me she was trying to stir up trouble, in order to stay in control. If everyone around her was fighting, no one would be able to resist her particular plans, because they would be so bogged down with the drama she had created. It's absolutely amazing how much destruction one person is capable of causing.

Pixabay image top by Nemo

For a discussion of malignant narcissism from a spiritual perspective, please read my Church Bullies blog. Also, remember that a female bully's main weapon is her mouth. Her untamed tongue is what she uses to assume a position of dominance, because, through the years, she's learned the art of divide and conquer. Keeping everyone off balance is what allows her to continue to get away with it.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Your Misery Makes a Narcissist Happy

Because malignant narcissists are seething with inner rage, and filled with envy, they cannot be happy for someone else. In their minds, your success or good fortune steals something away from them. Perhaps you're in the spotlight. They can't handle it, because they need to always be the center of attention. Perhaps you've won an award. Someone with such a severe character flaw believes it should have gone to them, even if they've done nothing even to earn it. and even if they were not in the race to receive this honor. (With a narcissist, whatever you have, they want, even if this possession is of no value to them.)

Because a morally disordered person's mind is so twisted, and because these shallow individuals are so self-absorbed, they cannot truly be happy about another's accomplishments or blessings. Someone who is extremely narcissistic, or malignant, will even take the added steps of trying to take this accomplishment or praise away from you, or try to clip your wings, so you land with a big public thud. This, she believes, will raise her own standing.

Do not mourn if you suddenly lose a "friend" because something good has happened in your life. This person was never a friend in the first place. There is such a thing as foul-weathered friends, as opposed to fair-weathered friends. The foul-weathered folks are at your side while things in your life are falling apart. However, they get very upset when things take a turn for the better. Avoid these types. They will only cause you misery.

Pixabay image top by OpenClips

For a discussion of malignant narcissism from a spiritual perspective, please visit my Church Bullies blog. The other thing to keep in mind is that true friends are a treasure, and are probably much more rare than we like to believe. Yes, you will have wonderful people who come into your life. You will also meet people who betray you. But, when this happens, remember, it is their issue, not yours.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Female Sociopathy Underreported

When we think of a sociopath, most of us associate this term with men who've committed violent crimes. Certainly, most people who do these things could probably be diagnosed with anti-social personalty disorder. But so could a lot of women who harm people in other ways, but just don't get caught, because, technically, they're not breaking any laws.

For every man now doing time for his crimes, there are probably countless women walking free who are just as capable of great evil, except they carry out their wicked deeds under the cover of darkness. However, their behavior is still extremely deviant.

These women are just as ruthless, if not more so, as someone who breaks into someone's house and steals valuable items. When they go on the offensive, they set out to destroy another person, typically another female whom they view as a threat.

Much of what is known about psychopaths comes from research conducted among male inmates. But some experts are beginning to wonder if, perhaps, more attention needs to be paid to the issue of female psychopathy. Those of you reading this blog would probably agree, since most of us have probably been fooled by a saintly appearing woman with a very dark side. She may be someone you work with, or she may have been your former "best friend." She may be your next door neighbor, or the mother of one of your children's friends.

Humans are very social beings, and we like companionship. Getting close to a female predator will always turn ugly. If you happen to work with one of these socialized psychopaths, and she turns on you, your job will likely be on the line. If you encounter one in a social setting, expect to see a lot of infighting. For a female narcissist/sociopath, sowing discord is as essential as breathing.

Learn how to spot the warning signs that someone could be a socialized psychopath. That way, you can walk away, sparing yourself a great deal of angst down the road.

Pixabay image top by violetta/370 images

For a discussion of malignant narcissism from a spiritual perspective, please visit my Church Bullies blog. On this blog, I share my personal opinions and experiences in dealing with female malignant narcissists. I am not a trained mental health professional. All that I've learned is from first-hand experience.