Monday, November 4, 2013
Recovering from an Encounter with a Female Narcissist
If you've ever dealt with someone who suffers from narcissistic personality disorder, you know what it means to have your life upended. No doubt, your social standing has taken a beating. Relational aggression is a female abuser's chief weapon.
You've probably lost people you once considered friends, or at least close acquaintances. Narcissists have a propensity to distort the facts. They also have an uncanny insight into our weaknesses, and they know how to exploit them. Possessing extremely divisive personalities, they are masters at pitting one party against another.
Narcissists like to dominate the social scene. To accomplish this, they need to undermine their "rivals." For instance, they may see another woman with many friends friends. She is happy and popular. Ruled by unbridled envy, they want what she has. And, lacking proper social boundaries, they'll do anything to achieve their goal. They eventually topple their target, either by setting her up for failure or by ruining her reputation.
Why don't people stop her?
There are two reasons. One is that narcissists are very sly. So no one may realize what she's up to.
The other is that most people, even if they're well meaning, will go along with the program. That's because narcissists know how to deliver exactly what someone else wants. Here's what I'm talking about.
My close friend wants to meet another friend. So I do the introductions. Friend number two (a covert narcissist) suddenly stops speaking to me. However, she makes grand gestures to my other friend and attempts to meet all of her needs.
Friend number one desperately wants playmates for her children. She also wants them to be from the same faith background. (All three of us share the same faith.) Friend number two (the narcissist) makes her children readily available. She also offers friend number one (who wants to get more involved with a particular religious community) an easy means to do so, because the narcissist knows a lot of people in this church.
At the same time, the narcissist shuts me out of the new social circle she's forming with my friend, whom I introduced her to. Friend number one knows, on some level, this is wrong. But she's highly invested in finding suitable companions for her children. So she's trying to balance it all. On the one hand, she's hoping to maintain the friendship with me. At the same time, she's being pulled in another direction.
This is an example of how narcissists manipulate relationships. They cause a lot of damage, but we also need to forgive them. That's the only way we'll ever recover from an encounter with a female narcissist.
Flickr image by furryscaly