Monday, June 30, 2014

Getting Stung by a Malignant Narcissist

An encounter with a malignant narcissist is much like a scorpion's sting. Or, make that a million stings, because the type of abuse they dole out is done incrementally over time. Morally disordered people also recruit others to participate, so the stings can be delivered by multiple players. What makes us easy prey is that the element of shock and awe. We are caught off guard because we find it hard to fathom that someone who looks so nice could be so devious and engage in such evil behavior.

This is precisely why having a working knowledge of how a narcissist operates can serve us well. Once we learn to recognize the signs of this condition, we can navigate ourselves away. Of course, the easiest type of narcissist to spot is the grandiose variety. This would be the female corporate executive who wears expensive business suits and pushes other people around. All of her conversations are focused around one central theme - herself.

Less easy to detect is the covert narcissist. She often wears frumpy clothes and appears meek and mild. Underneath this disguise, however, she is seething with rage, envy and ambition. She appears to be perfectly content with her unassuming lot in life. But she's not. Because she likes to listen to your problems, you are apt to rely upon her as a confidant. This is a big mistake, and it's one I made myself. A covert, church mouse narcissist ended up being a very destructive force in my life for a number of years. This is even after I was very well aware of malignant narcissism and similar personality disorders. I didn't see what I needed to because I was looking for something else.

Make no mistake. These types of exceedingly dangerous. How do you spot them? Watch for anything that seems even slightly amiss. For instance, a mother who spends next to no time with her young children, despite a most pious exterior, is a very bad sign. This means she is more focused on herself than on her loved ones. She is neglecting her duties and has, basically, abandoned her children. If you see this, be careful about getting involved.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Spotting a Narcissist

One of the things I've observed with malignant personalities is that they seem to sense when you've caught on to their act. This is also the point at which they begin to avoid you. Whether it's because they're uncomfortable facing you, or they're worried you possess enough information to expose them, or they're no longer getting their narcissistic "supply" from you, they no longer want to be in your presence.

If you've known a narcissistic individual for a while, and she's selected you as a target, the discovery of her disordered personality usually comes at the end of the relationship. That's when she decides you no longer serve her purpose, and she is ready to discard you. Typically, this is done in a cruel and humiliating manner. If you had a "friendship" with this person, you can consider her actions a betrayal, because she had previously gained your trust and probably access to your secrets as well. It's this insider information that served her well, as she plotted ways to bring you down.

It would be a rare narcissist who didn't wage a smear campaign at this point, as she attempts to assassinate your character and turn you into a social outcast. Actually, according to the typical pattern of narcissistic abuse, the false rumors probably started much earlier, months, or even longer, before you realized you had an emotion predator in your life.

It's been a few years since a female malignant narcissist "frenemy" left my side. During this experience, I learned a few things about these dark souls who often hide behind a mask of piety. Perhaps the best advice I can give is to read up on this all-too-prevalent disorder, so you clearly understand what to look for when meeting a new person for the first time.

In the aftermath of my narcissistic encounter, I met other women who seemed to fit the criteria. This I could sense right away. The strange thing is that they also seemed to know that I knew that their carefully polished exterior was fake. The fact that I knew this appeared to frighten them so much that they didn't try to bother me.

There is a saying that "knowledge is power." This is very true when dealing with a malignant narcissist.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Retreat is Not Defeat

Some of us may stay in an unhealthy environment longer than necessary because we want to stand strong, and not back down because an adult bully is on the war path. But, depending upon your circumstances, this may be the wrong approach.

If you're being bullied at work, and you depend upon your income, you may have little choice in the matter. You may need to stay until you secure other employment. However, if a malignant narcissist strikes in a more informal venue, such as a social group, a volunteer organization or a religious setting, you need to decide whether you are better off staying or leaving. In most cases, leaving, and finding new friends, a new place to worship or another outlet for your energy, is the best course of action and one that will bring you great peace.

Cutting your ties with a narcissist is a very wise decision. It might be retreating, but it doesn't have to be defeating. You are moving on and making a very good choice not to stay in a highly toxic environment. Usually, by the time you realize anything is wrong, a narcissist has already poisoned the atmosphere. These very disturbed individuals do not strike until they manage to erode any support you might have once had. They will patiently and painstakingly work to make sure this happens. This is why the situation has turned toxic. All of your friends and acquaintances are forced to choose. Will they support you, or will they back the bully? If they choose you, they realize it will cost them. The bully will not forget, and she'll probably target them next. Most people do not possess the integrity to do the right thing under these circumstances, especially in the workplace.

Basically, when a bully goes on the offensive, you're a sitting duck. But retreating is not a sign of weakness. You are walking away from an unfair and non-winnable situation.. You are distancing yourself from people of weak character. None of these enablers are morally sound. Only a person with a cold heart will watch, and do nothing, while someone else is kicked around.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Guilt of the Enablers

Make no mistake. The enablers are just as guilty as the person who starts a hate campaign. The chief bully is only the instigator. Everyone else, who watches a mobbing unfold, shares in the guilt. I've discussed the role of the enablers in an earlier post. But I'm bringing it up again because I recently wrote a lengthy article on this topic, which explains just why enablers are not innocent. They may believe they are blameless, but they aren't, because all they have to do is to lift a finger to help, and the abuse will stop. A mobbing loses its steam if a target has just one or two strong and unflinching allies.

This is a very important point to remember if you find yourself in the midst of a mobbing, in which you are the target. In my own experience, I believe it helped in the healing and recovery process, because it was impossible to focus any anger on just one person. So I had to just forgive them all. You also realize that enablers are not your true friends. So you don't grieve the loss of any of these "friendships." If someone can't stand up for you, then it's time to say your goodbyes. This is a painful process, but it's a healthy thing to face the truth.

Being a target does put your relationships to the test. Most people won't pass. But that's okay. There are seven billion people in the world, and you don't need to hang around these weak-willed puppets. When people don't stand by you, as things come tumbling down, it says much more about their character than it does about yours.

Enablers are nothing more than puppets, and guilty ones at that. Pluck them from your life as if they are weeds. They're only taking up space, and preventing healthier relationships from blooming.

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Narcissist Will Get You to Apologize

In the crazy, twisted world we sometimes share with a malignant narcissist, we may find ourselves apologizing, even though we did nothing wrong. That's because morally disordered people won't allow themselves to be held accountable. If confronted, they will somehow turn the tables, so that you end up saying you're sorry, even though you know it's not your fault. These fake friends take full advantage of the fact that many of us hate conflict and like to keep peace. So we utter the words, "Well, I'm sorry for my part," even though the situation is clearly the narcissist's doing.

I'll admit that I recently did this myself, just to stop someone's rage. This person, however, is not a full-blown narcissist. But she is immature and a bit selfish. (However, we're all selfish, to a greater or lesser degree.) Because I don't believe she's dangerous, I'll maintain some sort of relationship, but it's not going to be a close one. Flying off the handle over nothing is never a good sign, even though we all have our bad days.

Malignant narcissists are skilled manipulators. If you can ever get them to admit they did something wrong, and extract an apology, it will be like pulling teeth. Also, the "I'm sorry" will be uttered in a very matter-of-fact manner, and it probably won't be sincere. Words mean little, if they're not backed up by actions. True contrition also means the person who harmed you takes steps to make it right again, even though things will never be set totally right. You won't see this happening, when dealing with a narcissist.

I've found that confronting a narcissist is more for your benefit than anything else. You get the issue out in the open, and they realize you're wise to their games. It lets them know you won't be playing them anymore. By the time you even realize you're dealing with a narcissist, it's usually very late in the process, after her mask has slipped. This typically happens just as she's about to discard you anyway. If she's not quite ready to cast you off, confronting her will make it happen faster. Believe me, this is a good thing.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Malignant Personalities and Sideswiping With Nasty Comments

It's hard to discern whether a particular situation is toxic, or if a friend or an acquaintance is one you probably shouldn't trust. That's because malignant personalities usually don't show their true colors until much later in the relationship, as they are about to discard you. This typically happens after they've created a lot of drama in your life.

So you're blindsided when you find yourself ensnared in one of their traps. This can be quite painful and even costly, especially if it plays out at work and you lose your job in the process.

So it behooves us to recognize dangerous personalities as early as possible, so we know never to confide in them. We can't even tell them true, but innocent, facts about what's going on in our lives, as these will be twisted and regurgitated along with some outrageous lies, in an effort to create division.

Spotting a malignant narcissist before they have the chance to tear your life apart is not always easy. But, from my personal experience, I've noticed there are some things to watch for. Sometimes you can catch a glimpse of the rage that lies just beneath their smiling face. They may lash out at you, or someone else, but quickly collect themselves and act as if nothing has happened.

Here is another sign that a person may have a troublesome personality. Every now and then, they may "sideswipe you." This means they make a cutting remark that seems to come out of nowhere. Brought up to get along with people, we tend to look the other way, and brush these snide comments aside. Maybe this person is having a bad day, we rationalize. Maybe they really didn't mean it that way, we tell ourselves. Or, we assume that we're being too sensitive.

Don't ignore these "sideswipes." Nice people don't do this. It reflects a very toxic personality, with a lot of deep-seated rage. When you hear these off-putting comments, this means the rage is directed at you.

If you discern that a particular friendship is toxic, there is no upside to investing any more time and energy. Although you may initially miss this "friendship," you'll be much happier once a malignant personality is out of your life.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Adult Bullies are Much Worse than Childhood Bullies

One time, while talking with a group of children, I was discussing the Ten Commandments and how we should treat each other with love and respect. A young girl looked at me and said, "I guess this means I can't be a bully any more." She vowed to change. Knowing this girl, I believe she was sincere. She really hadn't thought about the fact that what she was doing was gravely wrong. This was a teachable moment, and she appeared to take the lesson to heart. That's the difference between childhood bullies and adult bullies.

Someone who has been abusing others for decades is very hardened. As an adult, they are much more resistant to change. I'd venture a guess that the longer they've been at it and the older they are, the likelihood of them ever amending their ways decreases to the point where it will take a miracle of sorts to bring them to repentance. As someone else pointed out, they've lived their entire lives without learning a thing. This is the horror of adult bullying.

An adult who hurts others has had many more opportunities to change. They haven't taken them. Plus, they've become much more adept at evading detection. As they continue on their treacherous course, they leave a trail of broken hearts and shattered lives.

Perhaps one of the saddest thing to see are geriatric bullies. As any nursing home director will probably tell you, this is a huge problem. Even senior citizens form cliques, and shun people they don't like. This is a problem that would be comical, if it weren't so sad. It was reported in another publication that anything a nursing home resident does, which elicits envy, can also lead to being shunned. One woman whose niece took her home for a holiday was worried about what would happen when she she returned to her facility. She anticipated being excluded by those who had no family members to take them out.

In one of the articles I read, the nursing home staff had stopped all efforts to change their behavior. By their eighth or ninth decade, these mean women were quite set in their ways.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Why I'm Blogging About Malignant Narcissism

It occurred to me that it's been a while since I touched upon the reason I started this blog, and explained its purpose. Female friendships are very important, even if you're in a committed romantic relationship. The older you get, the more you treasure and value true friends. You often share your innermost secrets with your friends.

Consequently, it's devastating when someone you trusted turns out to be someone you can't trust. This pain from this type of betrayal rivals what you'd experience if you discovered a romantic partner was secretly trying to harm you, while pretending to be on your side. This is a very devastating experience, and it's one that's happening far too frequently nowadays. (It's my personal opinion there's a spiritual component to the rash of disorderly, anti-social behavior we're seeing.)

A number of years ago, after encountering some mean women (one in particular), I stumbled upon an article about emotional vampires. Further reading led me to learn more about malignant narcissism. Then, I realized the description closely matched these behaviors. Women (and men) who psychologically abuse others are not well themselves. They typically suffer from what psychologists call personality disorders, such as malignant narcissism. There are other conditions as well, such as borderline personality disorder, a close cousin, and histrionic personality disorder. A common thread that runs through all of them is poor impulse control and inability to maintain relationships.

So the title of this blog is Why Are Women So Mean to One Another? But I couldn't open a discussion about this without delving into the dynamics of malignant narcissism. That's because normal, healthy and happy people do not try to make life difficult for those around them. But narcissists often go out of their way to do so.

The lies, gossip, character assassination and other destructive maneuvers are often what we see when a friendship blows apart. This is malignant narcissism playing out, as the abuser shifts her gears into discard mode.

Knowledge is power, especially when we're dealing with a malignant narcissist. Learning all you can about this disorder is the best way to protect yourself from these emotional predators.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Malignant Narcissist's Lies Run Deep

Anyone who's ever been targeted by a malignant narcissist knows how easily morally disordered people deceive others. Usually, this becomes apparent in hindsight. We learn of their lies only after a lot of damage has been done to our personal and our professional lives. Narcissists are always on the take, so we may also have given them money, after falling for their various sympathy ploys.

Another student of "narc-ology," who posted something on Pinterest, recently brought up a good point. The lies that come to our attention are probably just the tip of the iceberg. There are likely many more outrageous stories we don't know about.

One can only wonder what else was fabricated by a narcissist. Virtually anything is possible, given the fact that malignant personalities also like to "pull one over" on people. They make up stories for no plausible gain, simply because they take pleasure and pride in tricking others.

Malignant narcissists are deeply disturbed. They lie for the sake of lying and, oftentimes, hurt people just to see their reaction and watch the show. There is no upside to maintaining a "friendship" with someone who is fundamentally dishonest. An individual may apologize profusely after a display of bad behavior, but something similar will happen again.

If you realize that one of your female "friends" has a such a serious character flaw, don't try to analyze her. Just disentangle yourself, preferably before introducing her to anyone else you know. Narcissists revel in drama. Nothing will delight her more than to upend your other relationships.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Jezebel - A Morally Disordered Woman

Today, while attending Mass, I was reminded of the Old Testament story of Jezebel. She was a princess who married King Achab, who ruled the Northern part of Israel. She did many wicked things in her lifetime, including having a just man put to death, through the testimony of false witnesses. That's because she wanted her husband to acquire this man's vineyard. (He didn't want to sell it.) She also committed many other heinous crimes against God and against humanity. Although she lived about eight centuries before Christ, her name has become a household word, one synonymous with greed, power, cunning, envy and manipulation. All of these traits are pronounced in those with malignant narcissism.

Jezebel's actions eventually brought destruction upon herself and her household. She met her end, just as the prophet Elijah, whom she despised, had foretold. She was forcibly hurled from a window and fell to her death. Then, her corpse was trampled by horses. The man who ordered her killed later decided she deserved a proper burial. But little remained of her body, except her head, her feet and her fingertips.

So malignant narcissism is nothing new. (But it does seem to be more prevalent in this age.) The tale of Jezebel also underscores how women can commit horrific crimes, often drawing men into their evil schemes. Jezebel convinced her two sons to join her in her reign of terror. But there's also a moral to this story. In the end, people who do evil things to others will cause their own destruction.

Although this blog is dedicated to female-to-female relational abuse, this was a story I couldn't resist. It shows that women are capable of the most horrific things, despite the fact we're conditioned to think of the female gender as nurturing. Most of the time, this is the case. But those of us caught in a web of deceit, spun by a morally disordered woman, know we need to proceed carefully, especially in the beginning of a new friendship.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Why Are Malignant Narcissists So Clever?

One of the first things you learn about malignant narcissists is that they are extremely clever and calculating. They have a frightening ability to ferret out our wants, needs and weaknesses. They even seem to be able to read our thoughts, although I don't believe they really can. They also appear to anticipate what we're likely to do next. However, I don't think this arises from anything supernatural. They are just highly manipulative people who've learned how the rest of us think.

I'm not formally trained in psychology. But I've met my share of malignant personalities over the years, so I know much more than I'd like to about this insidious condition. My best guess is that most morally disordered people are highly intelligent, which may also explain why they're also so competitive. This seems to be part of the reason they know how to read us so well.

Social scientists who study these dangerous individuals seem to agree they don't have genuine emotions. So, in order to compensate, they get very good at picking up on subtle cues,and they become masters at deciphering body language. They need to do this so they have something to mirror back, so others don't suspect their thought process is so radically different from the nice persona they project.

Also, although I have no proof, I believe there's a spiritual component to these very puzzling people. I'm not going to discuss it here, right now, but I've previously touched upon this in my Church Bullies blog, and I will again in the future. (See link below.)

Once you get to know a narcissist a little better, you may see his or her "saintly" mask slip from time to time. However, by then, they may have caused a lot of damage in your personal life, or may have (temporarily) derailed your career goals. I'm convinced the vast majority of workplace bullying cases involve a malignant personality (or personalities) that no one dares to reign in.

One way to protect yourself from female narcissistic abuse is to learn all you can about this disorder. Then you can often avoid having a narcissist in your life.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Malignant Narcissists Never Win

When you're in the midst of narcissistic abuse, it seems as if there's no justice. When you're a target, especially at work or in another setting,  most people won't defend you. They are heavily invested in staying put, and they don't want to jeopardize their own standing.

They may be swayed by the narcissist's smooth talk, or they may be terrified they'll be her next target. Or, they may be oblivious as to what's going on. It's also likely they're preoccupied with their own lives, so they are't as sensitive to your battle as they should be.

However, those of us who believe in God know that justice will come, eventually. It's a frightening prospect, because we know evildoers will be held accountable, as they enter eternity, for anything they knowingly did to harm someone else. God is watching everything. (As Christians we pray for everyone to be transformed into the person He wants them to be.)

The morally disordered also encounter obstacles in this life as well. For one, deep down inside, they are miserable. A happy person will not treat others badly. The very fact someone display anti-social behavior means all is not well in their world. It's a telltale sign that they are fragile and unstable.

Keeping this in mind helps us bounce back from the effects of the most vexatious behavior.

Although it may seem as if your tormentor is flying high, this is just temporary. She's really flying blind, and, sooner or later, is headed for a crash.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

An Ultra Competitive, Narcissistic Mothering Style

I know of a husband and wife who are nearly 80 years old. Instead of heading off to a retirement community, they are very busy raising the youngest child of their youngest daughter. It's a long, involved story that I won't get into. But they are finding that parenting, this time around, is much different than it used to be. The grandmother, in particular, is in contact with a lot of 30-something mothers, whom are a decade or two younger than her own children. She was caught off guard by the competitiveness among this pack of relatively affluent young mothers.

These women form little cliques that remind her of junior high school. From this inner circle, they direct all social activities among the neighborhood children. Gone are the days when you sent your children outside to play in the morning, and told them to come home for lunch. Since this particular grandmother doesn't want to play this game, and wouldn't be able to anyway, because of her age, her grandson is locked out of these organized events.

When my own children briefly attended a public elementary school, I also noticed that certain moms knew how to work the system. They would cozy up to some of the teachers, seize control of the PTO, and selectively choose their children's friends, deftly cutting children they didn't approve of out of the mix. Because of their totally hands on approach, their children didn't have a chance to form their own friendships, as I remember doing in elementary school.

This is an unhealthy dynamic for all involved. What type of values are these mothers teaching their children? It's getting harder and harder to avoid narcissistic and mean-spirited behavior that seeks to exclude, rather than include others.

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Female Narcissist Comes Undone

I learned about malignant narcissism at church. What happened was one of my "friends" turned out to be a covert narcissist. This is someone who doesn't display the usual signs of this moral disorder, but is every bit as dangerous as an easy-to-spot narcissist, if not more so.

Covert narcissists often appear unusually pious. Church provides the perfect prop and a steady supply of naive targets who believe that everyone they meet in a religious environment must be good. (I was once naive as well.)

What happened next was very similar to workplace mobbing. These incidents are often started by a single person, but then take on a life of their own as others get involved. Malignant personalities have a superhuman propensity to sow discord. They are also skilled liars and smooth-talking politicians. Because they seem so holy, people believe whatever they say.

I also remember another incident from earlier in my life, involving a disordered personality I had met at work. Although this person had it in for me, she didn't get very far, because I had too much support. Two of my other coworkers were of sterling character, and did not put up with her baloney. A narcissist can only launch all-out warfare if others let them.

I think this story is worth telling now, because it underscores the fact that abuse only happens when bystanders agree. These "neutral" parties share the blame because they could insist the bully behavior stop. However, in a work setting, this is easier said than done. Because of these strong allies, I didn't suffer.  (At the time, I didn't realize I was dealing with a malignant narcissist who had prominent sociopathic traits.)

Our direct supervisor was aware of the problem. She chose not to stop it. She was a nice person, but her weakness was that she idolized the abuser. Unfortunately, this had tragic consequences for her. When I gave my notice, for unrelated reasons, she begged me to stay and promised to reign in the problem worker. But I was moving on because I had found something more related to my field.

Anyway, after I left that job, some disturbing incidents came to light. The unpleasant person had always spent a lot of time away from her work station, and, instead, sat at the office computer. (This was before everyone had computers at their desks.) No one questioned this, including our supervisor. Later, it was revealed this woman had hacked into the company insurance system, and was rerouting medical claim payments in her direction. She ended up in jail. Unfortunately, our supervisor was deeply wounded by this betrayal, and apparently, never recovered from the blow. She died a short time later.

This brings up two more points. Malignant narcissists, even if they aren't serial killers, are extremely destructive. But, in the end, they always manage to destroy themselves.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Malignant Narcissists and Projection

One of the most maddening things about malignant narcissists is that these perpetrators typically play the victim. Behind your back, they'll secretly accuse you of the same horrible things they're doing. (Psychologists call this projection.) If they're stirring up trouble in the workplace, they'll claim it's caused by you. If they're treating you unfairly, they'll somehow convince every else that they're about to crack under pressure, because they can't stand the abuse you're doling out.

Malignant narcissists are smooth operators. Projection is just one of a number of tactics they use to ensure that you're left without support. If you had a group of people sticking by you, whom didn't believe the lies, the bully behavior would stop immediately. Bullies are powerless when you have a loyal army of friends encamped around you, ready to jump in.

This is why a morally disordered person will spare no efforts to sever your other relationships. Most people are either too weak to resist, to frightened to rock the boat or they simply can't see through the smoke and mirrors. Also, when a narcissist creates a toxic environment, it strains your friendships with everyone else.

Dealing with a malignant narcissist is almost always a losing proposition. In the few instances I know of, where the target prevailed, they quickly recognized the disordered behavior and stood up to the bully. This happened very early in the game, before others were drawn into the battle.

However, once a hate campaign gathers steam, you usually have little recourse. The best advice is to retreat and go no contact with the narcissist. If a bullying situation happens at work, you may have to start thinking about other career opportunities. This couldn't occur unless your abuser had at least the tacit support of her higher ups. (Or, the bully might be your supervisor, which often happens.) About 75 percent of the time, when a workplace bully strikes, targets are forced to seek new employment, according to data provided by the Workplace Bullying Institute.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Adult Relational Aggression Hurts Children

Female narcissists harm others by relational aggression. This means they will deftly cut someone out of their lives, usually another woman. At the same time, the aggressor builds a solid social circle around herself.

The banished person loses her social standing. The narcissist knows this, and she stops at nothing to make sure the woman she's targeting becomes an outcast.

Everyone involved is forced to choose between the group led by the narcissist, or the solitary player the narcissist is punishing. Most people find the former option much more attractive. That's because we're social beings with a deep need to belong.

A few people will straddle the fence, as the narcissist attempts to drag them over to her side. One by one, they fall and, eventually, become her allies.

If this is a group of mothers, the stakes are high. Not going along with the narcissist's agenda means you, and your children, could also be cast aside. This means no more play dates, sleepovers and birthday party invitations. Even the most well-meaning Mom will have a hard time resisting the pull, given the circumstances.

For the target, this is traumatic. She will suffer social isolation, and she will watch, as her children are also left without any "friends." She will grieve for the lost relationships, but, most of all, she will worry greatly how this will affect her children, now sitting on the sidelines right along with her.

I recently read a magazine article about a suburban mom targeted in such a way, after moving into a very nice neighborhood. Once this happened, she begged her husband to sell the house so they could relocate.

Actually, when things turn toxic among a group of mothers, all the children suffer. The narcissist's offspring have it particularly rough, as being raised by someone with a moral disorder is no picnic. The bystanders, who do nothing to help the target, and accept the fact she's being mistreated, send a horrible message to their own children, of just how not to behave.

Unfortunately, everyone suffers when narcissistic abuse goes unchecked.

So, what's the solution? I don't have the answer, but I do hope that raising awareness of malignant narcissism will help more people see through these sick mind games, so people can see them for what they are and decide not to play.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Malignant Narcissists Overplay their Hand

I'm convinced that malignant narcissists often mess up, and expose themselves, because they overplay their hand. In a workplace, they may drive two or three people out of a job. But when they do it for the fourth time, their aberrant behavior catches up with them, and upper management finally decides that having them on staff is getting too expensive. (At least one-third of all Americans report being bullied at work, at some point in their career. Typically, they are either fired or quit. Hiring and training new employees is costly.)

The bully might have gotten away with serial abuse three times in a row. She likely would have retained the respect of her higher ups if she had stopped at that. But, apparently, she couldn't.

Or, a Queen Bee in a group of Moms may target one of the other mothers. The rest of the woman in the group act as enablers, watching it unfold until the victim bows out of their social circle. However, when the bully tries the same thing again, and then again, she may wear out her welcome.

Narcissists lack awareness of boundaries, so they don't know when to call it quits. They push the envelope so far that it slides off the table. If they abuse once, they'll abuse again, It's the repeated incidents that seem to lead to their undoing.

I've watched this play out, in my own experience with a female narcissist, whom I met at church. In a previous post, I talked about not allowing a morally disordered person to know your future plans, as they may try to foil them. They could try to create trouble for you at the next locale, especially if they aren't yet focused on their next target.

Anyway, a woman who created havoc in one religious setting tried it again elsewhere. But she made a tactical blunder. Typically, a narc will target only one person at a time. However, this individual chose to go after me and another woman, whom was very well known and liked. Being a newcomer, I was an easy mark. But everyone knew the other woman was not capable of all the ridiculous things she was being accused of.

So, if you've been targeted by a narcissist, all you have to do is wait. Eventually she'll slip up.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Don't Reveal Future Plans to a Malignant Narcissist

When a malignant narcissist selects a target, her goal is to destroy that person. If this happens at work, she will do everything in her power to cause her target to lose her job. Usually, she succeeds. About 75 percent of the time, a target is either fired, or cannot handle the associated stress, so she resigns, according to figures supplied by the Workplace Bullying Institute, a US-based organization at the forefront of raising awareness of on-the-job bullying.

Female bullies also operate in churches and in volunteer organizations. I'm hearing from others who've been run out of their place of worship. (This is what happened to me.) Others have encountered emotional abuse in various volunteer capacities, and also in less formal settings, such as among a group of neighbors who all have children right around the same age. When this happens, the children suffer as well, as invitations to birthday parties and other social events suddenly dry up.

However, even after it's clear the narcissist has "won" the battle, and you decide to leave the highly toxic environment, she may not be done with you. If you've found another job, or you are interviewing for one, it's very important that you don't breathe a word of this to anyone. Unfortunately, you can't reveal your plans to anyone who has contact with the narcissist. That's because a morally disordered person could find a way to upset your new employment plans. She might know someone at the new job, and begin assassinating your character, once again, before you ever arrive. Or, she could simply make a well-placed phone call that stops the hiring process dead in its tracks.

Even if  you think the person you are confiding in is a friend, betrayal in these situations often comes in multiples. That's because most people are weak and the atmosphere has become so poisoned by the malignant personality that no one is able to think clearly. Narcissists are also master manipulators and seem to posses a superhuman skill of getting people to inadvertently spill their guts.

If this abuse is playing out at church, quietly find a new church. Never underestimate the capacity of a malignant narcissist to cause trouble.