Tuesday, February 25, 2014
In a previous post I discussed the blessings that have come following my friendship with a malignant narcissist. One of these is the insight I've gained into this all-too-common disorder. I'm really happy to help others by writing about this condition, in the hopes that they can find some comfort from my experience.
Having your life gutted by someone who pretends to be your friend is excruciating. In my case, this person managed to infiltrate a number of other relationships. Once she gained a toehold, she took over. I'm fortunate this "friendship" didn't reach the point where it affected my marriage. My children, however, were deeply affected, as she caused so much damage that we had to leave our place of worship, where they had become comfortable. They've also become a bit more cynical about their faith, watching all of this unfold.
I'm hoping some of the cynicism is just because they are teenagers, and this too, shall pass. We'll see.
Meanwhile, I am more than happy to help anyone who's been betrayed by a malignant narcissist. Female narcissists are a special breed. They operate by spreading gossip and starting rumors.
Life does get much better, once you realize what's going on and you then take steps to amputate this toxic person out of your life.
Flickr photo by exfordy
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Learning that someone I considered a friend was secretly trying to sabotage my relationships with other people was an experience I never wish to repeat. (There's much more, as the poison spread everywhere, even reaching into the domain of my employment.)
Yet, I learned a lot from this encounter. I realize that most people in the world mean very well. Whenever I see goodness in action I rejoice.
I'm a lot more discerning than I was. So the quality of my relationships going forward is going to be much better. Never will I tolerate a "friend" who is sometimes rude, writing it off as she's having a bad day or she doesn't have the social graces to always be even tempered. Actually, brief flashes of inappropriate anger are a sign you're dealing with a disordered personality. Never will I ignore this type of reaction again.
As someone who's been there, and has had her life jolted by a run-in with a malignant narcissist, I can assure you that things will get better. You'll be happy again, once you're free from this toxic influence.
Flickr photo by Alice Popkorn
Monday, February 17, 2014
You probably remember the moment you realized someone in your life is making you sick. This person might have created so much stress that you have physical symptoms. Or, you might feel ill on a spiritual level. It could be a combination of both. In any event, you need to extricate yourself from the drama.
Some people are like poison, because they create so much negative energy. That's why therapists and others refer to them as "toxic people. You feel terrible after an encounter, even if you don't fully understand why. You feel confused, frustrated and even angry.
People like this are so harmful and they deserve no place in our life. They don't harbor good will, even if they maintain a facade of being your friend.
Of course, none of us are perfect. We must bear with people and overlook their faults. We have our own faults, so we hope our friends can do the same. But, right now, I'm not talking about normal human interactions.
Instead, I'm referring to toxic people with deep-seated personality disorders, such as malignant narcissism. They abuse others, either directly or in a more covert manner. They don't make good companions, because they are plotting our destruction. These are the types I'm referring to.
Sometimes, it's hard to shake them. Destructive people are often charming, persuasive and fun to be around. If they sense we're moving away, they often pull all stops to win us back. So severing such a relationship isn't always simple.
Barone empowers the reader to make this positive change, as freeing yourself from a toxic personality is always a win-win situation. In simple terms she tells us why toxic people make us feel bad. Letting go of them makes us feel infinitely better.
Flickr photo by adkorte
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
There is a truism that people familiar with personality disorders understand. Narcissists are deeply disturbed and very sick. But they don't generally seek psychological help. Instead, a therapist is more likely to treat their victims. People who've been abused often suffer from depression and post-traumatic stress syndrome. This leads them to talk to a professional.
However, there is no guarantee that a particular therapist doesn't suffer from narcissistic personality disorder herself. As any experienced mental health worker will tell you, be very careful. If you notice any red flags, such as excessive talk about herself and an undo focus on her physical appearance, proceed extremely carefully. Otherwise you could put yourself in the untenable position of bearing your soul to another malignant narcissist.
The so-called helping professions, such as teaching, nursing and social work, attract a lot of people with strong narcissistic traits. They are drawn to these positions of authority.
If you do decide to seek psychological help, it's not a bad idea to get a referral from another medical professional you trust.
Flickr photo by Hey Paul Studios
Disclaimer: I am not a licensed mental health professional. My knowledge of malignant narcissism comes from first-hand experience.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
It's not unusual for multiple bullies to go after one target. That's because female narcissists are amazingly clever. (If only they could use their innate intelligence for good, instead of for destruction.) What happens is little different than the dynamics that once played out in the school yard. One girl (or adult woman) manages to rally others to turn against someone she dislikes. Some of her cohorts will then do a lot of the heavy lifting, while she stands off to the sidelines, enjoying the show.
The formal name for this is bullying by proxy. When others are dragged in, to act out the main bully's wishes, it creates a lot of drama and confusion. It can even appear as if the main bully is supportive of your situation, because everyone else is doing her bidding. The last thing you expect is that someone who appears so nice to be orchestrating these acts.
This is how bullies and malignant narcissists operate. It's hard to for someone who's never been a target to understand that certain people really are capable of causing so much damage.
In a work environment, bullying by proxy also makes it extremely difficult to lodge a formal complaint. If multiple parties are involved, each incident of abuse in isolation may be trivial. But, taken together, it adds up to a serious problem. However, if you try to describe what is happening, you'll come across as crazy.
Flickr photo by magnetbox