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.

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Malignant Narcissist Will Mirror Your Values

In the beginning of a relationship with a malignant narcissist, the behavior you see is often the opposite of what you'll encounter later. They are lavish with their praise, to the point that they seem to put you up on a pedestal. They are readily available and they're a lot of fun. It seems as if you have found the perfect soul mate. You are so thankful to have found such a close "friend."

However, what's happening is that you are being "groomed." Because people with such a severe character flaws do not have normal human emotions, such as compassion and the ability to take another's perspective, they can only mirror your personality traits. This is why the two of you seem to connect so well. For instance, you enjoy traveling to the Caribbean. Guess what? So does she. You and your husband may like a particular type of ethnic food. Well, coincidence of coincidences, that's her favorite as well.

The morally disordered person is also using this time to probe your personality for strengths and weaknesses. She is envious of your strengths, so down the road she will try to destroy these, or at least try to destroy other people's perceptions of your strengths. During the discard phase, and even before, she will attempt to assassinate your character. By the time you realize what she's up to, a great deal of damage has been done. If this happens at work, you may need to look for another job.

Malignant narcissists are dangerous people. That's why it's always a good idea to spot the warning signs of this very destructive disorder beforehand, in order to keep divisive personalities at arm's length.

Pixabay image top by Nemo

For a discussion of malignant narcissism from a spiritual perspective, please read my Church Bullies blog. Being involved with a morally disordered female friend is always going to lead to heartache and disappointment. The best thing you can do is to put distance between you and this relationship, as soon as you see the warning signs.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Adult Bullies Also Use Social Media

It's a well-known fact that childhood bullies use social media to taunt their targets, which is a very dangerous thing because the target never really gets a break from the abuse. In an earlier generation, a child could come home from school and not have to worry about mean people until he or she returned to class the next day. They could also enjoy bully-free weekends.

Adult bullies, unfortunately, have also discovered social media. These online predators love the ease and convenience it affords. For instance, if they are trying to exclude someone from a group, or drive them from a job, they will typically start email lists, yahoo groups or post a lot on Facebook. They will then use these posts to let the victim know they are being isolated and excluded. (Exclusion is a form of bullying, as is gate keeping, or managing the flow of information.)

Female bullies typically use relational aggression, rather than physical violence or threats of physical harm. They work hard to get other people to turn on their target, by spreading false rumors and using innuendo to convince others the target is a bad person. Because females are often covert, or closet, bullies, they can also maintain a facade of being a nice person at the same time. Their target sees their true colors, but no one else does.

So, if you're having trouble with a female bully at work, or in a social setting, disconnect from the Internet as much as you can. Don't read her emotionally charged emails. Ignore her Facebook page. Let her waste her time trying to shoot arrows across the Internet, because they have no place to land.

Pixabay image top by geralt

When dealing with a malignant personality, remember that they do not follow the expected rules of social etiquette. Instead, they engage in very anti-social behavior that includes treachery, lying and deceit. They will expend a great deal of energy plotting to undermine someone they've determined presents a threat, or in whom they sense a weakness, so they know they won't meet with resistance. You can never beat them at their own games, so resolve not to play.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Managing a Disordered Personality

On another platform, I recently wrote an article about managing people with difficult personalities. People with borderline or narcissistic personality disorder certainly fall into this category.

Usually, if possible, it's best to avoid interacting with someone who has this type of moral disorder. That's because lying and deceit are part of the picture. However, this isn't always possible. The person in question may be your boss or someone sitting in the next cubicle at work. Or, horror of horrors, your child's teacher may have strong narcissistic traits.

One of the tips in this article was never to agree with someone when they start complaining about another person. Trust me, sooner or later, this will happen. Usually, it's sooner, because morally disordered people are very unhappy, both with themselves and with others. They're always looking for the worst possible motives, and seizing upon people's faults, real or imagined.

So, when they start running someone down, remember they'll do the same thing to you when you're not around. They want to draw you into their drama, and they desperately want you to agree with them, that the person they are talking about is wicked and evil. Don't do it.

Aside from the fact you're participating in a mean-spirited activity, people with moral disorders like to sow discord. As crazy as it sounds, what usually happens is that the narcissist or borderline will run to the person she was speaking badly about, and tell that individual that YOU were saying terrible things about her, and that she felt she had to get this off her chest.

Then, when the other person responds in shock and anger, a malignant narcissist (or a borderline) will run right back to you with this information.

Pixabay photo top by PublicDomainPictures

I've also compiled a more extensive roundup of ways to deal with difficult people, whether they are of the more benign and just annoying type, or have malignant personalities and are capable of great destruction.