Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How Narcissists Get Away With Bad Behavior

Even when you read and write about malignant narcissism, it still amazes you how these morally disordered folks get away with what they do. Because they are so manipulative, they create tripwires for their opponents. They do this through gossip, hinting, gas lighting, directed conversation and other devious means.

Just one morally disordered person in a workplace, for instance, can poison the whole office. However, she will never be working alone because her strategy is to pull others in, so they can also take some psychological whacks at her target. If it weren't for these "innocent" bystanders, there would be no drama, because a one-person hate campaign isn't very effective.

I hope that by continually writing about malignant narcissism that people who might witness such a situation may see these dynamics for what they really are. I don't expect anyone who's morally disordered to reform themselves after reading this. (That would take a minor miracle, but, with God, all things are possible.)

Instead, someone who is not deficient in the empathy department may recognize this type of behavior, and, if they're in a position to do so, put an end to it by publicly supporting the target of the narcissistic abuse. Narcissism is very prevalent in our society, and I believe it's in our best interest to learn all we can about morally disordered people.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Narcissists are Morally Disordered

When I'm referring to malignant narcissists, I often use the term "personality disordered." But a more accurate description is "morally disordered." That's because these people appear to operate without a normal moral compass, yet they are fully aware of what they are doing. They aren't crazy or out of touch with reality, or at least their own version of it. They knowingly, and with the full use of reason, select a particular target for destruction.

They ruin reputations, relationships and even livelihoods with impunity. They don't appear to suffer any interior turmoil because of their behavior.

Everything they do to harm someone else is a choice. They also have sufficient time to reflect upon their actions, because bringing another person down requires a lot of advance planning and manipulation of everyone else in the environment. This all reflects an underlying lack of morals.

So I'm going to try to use the phrase "morally disordered" a lot more when describing the antics of a malignant narcissist. I believe it this term is the better one, because it forces a level of accountability. Personality disorder, in a way, lets them off the hook, as it implies that this is just the way they are, and that they can't help themselves.

The damage these morally disordered folks can cause borders on they surreal. Until you've lived through narcissistic abuse, you probably can't comprehend this type of evil. If you're involved with a female narcissist, and she pretends to be your "friend," please rethink the relationship. Life will be much better when you cut her loose.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Malignant Narcissist Fears Exposure

A malignant narcissist wears a mask. Most people never get to see the pathetic character behind it. But her targets get a front-row view.  Because the narcissist knows you've caught on to her game, she will attempt to neutralize you. Typically, this will be done with gossip, slander and forced isolation. She will attempt to drive you out of whatever organization she and you happen to belong to. This could be an informal group of mothers of young children, it could be ladies' society at church or it could play out in an office. All that matters to the narcissist is that people around her continue to view her as a nice person. She will do whatever it takes to protect her carefully crafted image.

It doesn't matter that you're a more mature person, and that you'd never dream of dragging other people into the drama, created by her. Narcissists are highly suspicious and ever on the lookout for potential stumbling blocks. (They really don't want that mask to slip from their face.) If she were in your position, she'd use every dirty trick in the book to win the battle. She expects you to do the same.

If you happen to spot a malignant narcissist at your place of employment, tread very lightly, to lessen your chances of being chosen as a target. Many character-flawed people are very good at sensing how we view them. The last thing you want is to be perceived as a threat.

That's because, in a workplace, narcissists usually prevail. When someone is targeted, most of the time they are driven from their position.

Even if a narcissist doesn't view a target as someone capable of exposing her, she may still try to disrupt a rival's employment, just because she can.

Malignant narcissists are sneaky and dangerous. But the more we learn about this disorder, especially as it presents itself in females, the better equipped we are to protect ourselves from these dangerous predators.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Nardar - A New Narcology Term

Have you ever heard of "nardar?" I never had until last week. It's a new term, apparently coined by Dr. Lynne Namka, Ed.D, who has a very good handle on the scourge of narcissistic behavior we're now dealing with, as a society. In a play on the word "radar," she urges people to use their "nardar" to spot these pathetic folks afflicted with the moral disorder known as malignant narcissism.

If you've never met such a character, the words I'm writing will seem mysterious. You can't fathom how a seemingly innocent person could live such a twisted life, gaining pleasure from hurting others. But malignant narcissists really do exist, as anyone who's ever had a close encounter with one of them can attest.

Anyway, I was delighted to read bout Dr. Namka's most astute spin on how to spot a malignant narcissist. She offers very good advice on how to spot these predators from miles away. This inner voice that tells you that someone is potentially dangerous is what she refers to as "nardar."

Some of us once had our "nardar" set too low. This was before we realized the existence of people who present a false image to the public. Inside, however, they are seething with rage, anger and intense envy. They are extremely covetous and sneaky, and they will stop at nothing to get what they want. They also have very advanced skills in the art of manipulation. So they know just what to say, and just how to say it, in order to make you bend to their wishes.

Malignant narcissists consider themselves special. They have a grossly inflated sense of entitlement. Those of us who've "befriended" these types have gone out of their way to please them, only to have our kindness returned with evil.

There's nothing wrong with extending ourselves for others. (I'm a Catholic, and Christians are called to serve one another.) However, when dealing with a malignant narcissist, this virtue needs to be reigned in and we need to establish firm boundaries.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Narcissist Will Accuse You of Being "Too Sensitive"

Has anyone ever said you are "too sensitive" and "just imagining" things? These are the very words you're likely to hear from a female narcissist, if you ever decide to confront her. Narcissists don't like to be held accountable for their behavior, so they'll wriggle out of any suggestion they did anything wrong.

Malignant narcissists also like to set up scenarios to make you uncomfortable. For instance, they may recruit a third party to dole out some form of punishment or abuse, while they watch you squirm. Then, if you happen to mention it, they'll accuse you of being "too sensitive." This is how their disordered minds operate.

This is also an example of two tools in a narcissist's bag of abuse techniques. The first is invalidation, in which they assault your dignity by trying to convince you that something didn't happen, and that you're the one with the problem. (So it's you that needs to get over it.)

The other tool is called gaslighting, a psychological device that attempts to make you doubt your own perceptions, and, in extreme instances, your very sanity. It's named after a vintage movie called "Gaslighting," in which a deranged husband tries to drive his wife crazy by moving things in their home, and concocting various scenarios that raise questions of her recall of events.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Rising Incidence of Malignant Narcisissism

No, it's not your imagination. There do seem to be more narcissists around today, especially of the more malignant type. The world is also filled with good people, and once you've had a run in with a sick personality, you begin to appreciate them a whole lot more.

But the sad truth is that our society does seem to be a breeding ground for narcissists. At least one researcher believes this is partly due to how we're raising and educating our children. Dr. Jean Twenge, PhD., is convinced that praising our children for everything they do, and continually telling them how special they are, is a good recipe for raising a monster. This message is also reinforced by schools, who assign various "all about me" projects. The fruits of this new parenting style are clearly in front of us, she contends.

Dr. Twenge has even penned a book about this called The Narcissism Epidemic. In her research, she studied the results of a questionnaire given to college students. The results showed a spike in narcissistic thinking. She also believes the first step toward changing this toward a healthier balance between lack of confidence and excess self esteem is to first recognize the problem.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Exposing the Female Narcissist

Malignant narcissists are like vampires. They operate in the darkness and they fear the light of exposure. Their biggest threat is having others perceive them as less than perfect. If they sense that you've caught on to their act, or they've let their mask slip in front of you, they will work to neutralize you. This is accomplished through gossip and backstabbing techniques designed to isolate you from the people they want to impress. At least that's how female narcissists operate. They strike indirectly, because they need to keep up the facade of being saintly.

If you're in a social setting, a narcissist who's been partially exposed will attempt to drive you away. Usually it's a done deal because most people aren't aware that another human being can be so devious. So if you see someone with strong narcissistic traits, proceed very carefully, especially if you're in a work environment.

My hope is that by shining light on the grievous problem of female malignant narcissists, perhaps one day more people will wise up to their games and they won't get away with quite so much.

I'm of the mind that malignant narcissism is on the rise and has been for a number of years. The disorder was first identified in the 1960's by psychologist Erich Fromm. He didn't mince words when he called it "the quintessence of evil."

A number of things seem to be contributing to this pathology, including raising children to believe they are entitled and special. An out-of-proportion sense of entitlement is one of the hallmarks of this disorder. As a Catholic, I also believe what we are seeing is partly spiritual, and the result of deep-rooted sin.

However, I don't believe the awareness of most people has caught up to the fact we're living in a narcissistic society, and disordered individuals are everywhere.

In any event, if you're reading this, chances are you've had a close encounter of the worst kind with a female narcissist. As painful as it is, there's also a lot to learn. Life on the other side of narcissism is once better, after you've managed to free yourself from her deadly clutches.

Flickr photo by Enokson

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Malignant Narcissists Ruin Your Other Relationships

One of the saddest aspects of having a female malignant narcissist in your life is the effect it has upon your relationship with other people. These predators work by socially isolating you, and they do it by creating divisions. They are so good at sowing discord that their ability to do so seems almost superhuman.

At some point, when you are pulling away from the narcissist, you also need to take a look at your relationships with other people with whom she is also involved. That's because she is single-minded in her pursuit to isolate you and to separate you from your support network. This is a very painful process, because some people who know and love will be less loyal than you had hoped.

The narcissist splits people by forcing them to take sides. Typically, this is done through very subtle maneuvers, such as playing upon their need to fit in, or by managing to infiltrate their lives and become very helpful if they are having any difficulties.

If you're part of a social circle, or if this drama is playing out at work, you've probably noticed that you now feel uncomfortable in this setting. That's because the narcissist has poisoned it. If someone is moving away from you, and you sense this, let them go. They aren't worth it.

Eventually, as you cut ties with the narcissist, you may find you also need to take a step back from others whom you know, still friendly with her. This is excruciating, but oftentimes necessary.

Once you remove this toxic person from your life, you will grow. New and wonderful people will then start to appear. Trust me, I've been there.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Workplace is a Battlefield

It's clear that many childhood bullies never matured. They continue their pattern of destructive behavior as they enter the workforce, to the detriment of everyone around them. Right now, in the United States, at least one-third of the able-bodied adult population has been bullied at their place of employment. When this happens, it typically results in job loss. That's because the perpetrator makes life so unpleasant that the target is forced to resign, or worse. She may even be fired as a result of a hate campaign directed against her by a disordered individual.

Strict laws against this type behavior exist in Europe. So far, though, in the United States, all attempts to pass similar legislation have not met with success. This is very unfortunate, because targets suffer so much that they can develop stress-related health problems, and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder following such abuse.

As females rise in the corporate hierarchy, they assume positions of power. Women have also joined men in the ranks of workplace abusers. About 40 percent of the time, a workplace bully is a woman. She tends to pick on her own disproportionately. The majority (70 percent) of workplace targets are women.

Although female bullies are so clever, they will still work around any nationwide anti-bullying bill, such legislation would at least give the targets more recourse than they currently have.