Thursday, July 31, 2014

Each Incident, By Itself, is Too Trivial to Mention

Malignant narcissists have learned the art of abusing a target, often right out in the open, with no one catching on to the fact this is happening. How are they able to pull this off?

By breaking down their dirty deeds into a series of seemingly very minor incidents. Each one, reported separately, would appear too trivial to mention. A target who spoke of them would be seen as a problem personality, or a chronic complainer. They'd probably be told they were too sensitive, and that they need to develop a thicker skin. That's because normal people can't conceive of someone being so manipulative as to plan a series of tiny attacks, with the ultimate goal of destroying someone else.

To complicate the matter, a narcopath may also recruit one or more flying monkeys to rub a little salt in the wounds. These people may or may not know how much they hurt the target. They may be completely unaware there is a full-fledged hate campaign going on.

With narcissistic abuse, it's not each small incident that becomes a problem. It's the sum total of countless acts of aggression that are so difficult to live with.

When a malignant personality becomes busy at work, she has ample opportunity over a 40-hour time span every week to inflict pain upon her victim, blow by tiny blow. The advent of email and social media makes her job much easier, and increases the number of opportunities she has to harass someone, or to turn the task over to one of her flying monkeys.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Malignant Narcissists are Filled with Rage

Despite what may appear to be a sweet exterior, malignant narcissists are filled with rage. All of this bottled-up anger needs to go somewhere. So it's directed at her target. In the beginning of a relationship, she may pretend to be your "friend." She may even like you, as much as her limited emotional capacity allows her to do so. But this idealization stage typically has a short duration.

Before long, someone with such a disordered personality will begin to secretly undermine you. That's because, inside, she's a mix of anger, envy and rage. So she embarks upon on a mission of destruction. One thing she wants to steal from you, more than anything else, is your happiness. Only a very sick, disturbed person wants to make life miserable for someone else. Normal people would recoil at the idea. However, a malignant narcissist, driven by her unruly passions, takes pleasure in hurting others.

I truly believe women today need to protect themselves from these female predators, so we don't allow one into our lives. Our best defense is developing an understanding of this insidious disorder, which seems to be more prevalent now than ever before.

Here are a couple of hints for spotting a morally disordered person.
  • Maligning Others. This is one of the prime things to watch for. However, covert narcissists may have developed the "skill" of subtly destroying people, while disguising the fact this is what they're doing.
  • Poor Anger Management. Early in a relationship with a narcissist, you may notice she has trouble controlling her temper. Even if you see only a quick flash of the rage underneath, be forewarned.
  • Neglecting Her Family. I am wary of women who are emotionally disengaged from their young children, or who are never home to take care of their needs. This speaks volumes about their character.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Questioning Everything a Narcissist Tells You

Malignant narcissists lie a lot. That's because their whole life is essentially a lie, and they have little regard for the truth. Many morally disordered people, however, also like to lie for no particular reason, other than the fact they can pull one over on you. I guess this makes them feel superior, and much smarter than mere mortals who prefer to tell the truth.

Some of this might also be an attempt at "gas-lighting," which is a game these deceivers play. This involves lying about various events in an attempt to make the target doubt her own perceptions, and even her own sanity. It's a favorite tactic used by malignant personalities. The name "gas-lighting" is taken from a vintage film in which a mentally twisted husband tries to drive his wife insane by moving things in their house, while insisting nothing had changed.

While we're being conned by one of these charlatans, we don't realize the number of lies we're being told. That's because we tend to take people at face value. If they say something happened, we believe it did. If they say someone said something, we trust this account. (Since my encounter with a malignant narcissist, I discount just about everything that's attributed to someone else, no matter whom says it, unless I hear it with my own ears. Actually, it's not a good practice to put words into other people's mouths, because the possibility for distortion always exists.)

Once you realize that you've been dealing with a very deceitful individual, you do begin to question everything she's said. If you've ever had the misfortune to listen to a narcissist attempt to ruin someone else's good name, this information is the first you should disregard.

Friday, July 25, 2014

How Narcissists Blend In

I've read accounts, written by sociopaths, that early in life they realize they are different. So they learn to mimic the appropriate emotional responses, in order to blend in with the rest of us. Early in a relationship, while a malignant narcissist is sizing you up, she'll be anything you want her to be. If you have a deep love for animals, so will she. If you tell her you are passionate about feeding your family organic food, she'll tell you she feels the same way, and that's what she put on her table each night as well. (However, you also notice she rarely cooks and that her husband and children seem to subsist on frozen pizza.)

If you care deeply about your children, expect to hear about all the time she spends with her family, in an attempt to portray herself as a devoted mother. (Strangely enough, though, her children are usually at your house because she's so busy running here, there and everywhere.)

Malignant narcissists are chameleons, because they change personas quickly. This is one reason why they usually prefer interacting one-on-one, as it's too difficult to undergo a rapid change of masks. That's because they need to wear a different one for each person they're speaking with.

This need to find a way to blend in has probably contributed to their seemingly superhuman ability to read other people and to ferret out "useful" bits of personal information, which serves them well when they decide to attack and destroy their former "friends."

These qualities are also what make malignant personalities so dangerous. Because they mirror our actions so well, we tend to trust them. Then, once they gain our confidence, we confide in them. Then, all of this information can and will be used against us. Narcissists are also very persuasive, so most people believe everything they say, even if it happens to be an outrageous lie.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Narcissist Knows Who Will Assist Them

When a narcissist attacks, her goal is total destruction. She wants to bring her target to her knees, and she wants to ruin her life. She attempts to break up her target's friendships. She also wants to ruin her target's reputation. If all of this unfolds in a social setting, the ultimate aim is to drive her target away, and to make her feel so unwelcome that she'll leave. Sometimes, these sick, sinister personalities even attempt to end someone's marriage.

The workplace is where much adult bullying takes place today. A workplace bully wants her unfortunate victim to end up in the unemployment line. When this happens, your career is at stake. In America, about 75 percent of the time, a target must seek work elsewhere, either because she's fired or because she decides to resign. Also, once someone is targeted, it's not unusual for the situation to disintegrate into mobbing.

Why do otherwise "nice" people participate in someone else's hate campaign against an innocent person? For one, they aren't so nice and they may have their own personality issues. Malignant narcissists and other disordered souls often cluster together. Adult bullies also know just what buttons to push, in order to convince others to play their twisted game. Ironically, even though these predators don't possess the full range of emotions, they are very good at knowing how the rest of us think. In a group of people, they are able to pick out those who will automatically support them. The rest they work on, until just about everyone else caves and offers no resistance when they see someone else being mistreated.

In other words, long before the battle plan becomes apparent to the target, a narcissist has already chosen her loyal foot soldiers.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Toxic Behavior is Not Your Fault

Despite a malignant narcissist's desperate attempts to make you believe that, somehow, it was something you did that set the relationship on a collision course, this is not the case. Disordered people are unable to maintain healthy friendships. It's this reason, and this reason alone, that the two of you are no longer "friends."

Of course, you might have rushed the inevitable a bit. Challenging a narcissist on her bad behavior, or merely questioning her actions, might be enough to make her cut you out of her life forever. When this happens, the narc goes into full discard mode, and will tarnish your good name all over creation. She'll also attempt to draw as many people as possible into the drama. Normal people do not behave this way.

Narcissists discard "friends" and acquaintances over very trivial matters or for no particular reason, other than they tire of your company. This typically happens after they've recruited you for a certain purpose, and, now they no longer need your help. One thing to remember about malignant personalities is that they view others almost as objects, to be used and then tossed away when they're finished. They are also adventure seekers, so they get bored with people very easily.

Realizing that this "friendship" was going to end, no matter what you did, is one of the first steps toward bouncing back from an encounter with a narcissist. This is the type of destructive force you don't need in your life. Some researchers believe malignant narcissism and sociopathy are indistinguishable. Goodbye and good riddance.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Patience of a Narcissist

It might seem strange discussing the patience of a malignant narcissist. That's because people who suffer from this moral disorder have an impulsive nature. They take risks that most others wouldn't dream of taking. Because they have poor anger management, they fly off the handle over very trivial matters. When they want you to do something for them, they want it done right away. Their lack of prudence also, invariably, results in occasional tactical blunders.

But disordered personalities are exceedingly patient while plotting. In an effort to destroy a target, they'll wait a long time for the right opportunity. Because they're playing to win, they won't attack unless they're virtually guaranteed success. A female malignant narcissist works by subtly manipulating everyone in her vicinity. If she's bent on destroying someone, she knows her target must first be left with no support or defenses. So the narcissist systematically begins to sway people to her side. This takes time.

Winning people over is done incrementally. At first, some people may be cool to her overtures. But she persists, until they warm up. She may even set up specific situations to facilitate loyalty. Say, for instance, someone she wants to draw into her camp likes to ski. She finds out about this passion for hitting the slopes in August. Over the fall, she makes elaborate plans to host a late January ski party in the mountains. Everyone is invited, except her target, because that's the person she intends to exclude.

Under normal circumstances, the skier may not attend an event where a friend or a colleague is systematically left out. But not this time, because the narcissist zeroed in on the skier's wants and needs, and came up with an offer that was hard to refuse.

Arranging to totally marginalize someone else take time and effort. A malignant narcissist takes all the time in the world to bring her plan to fruition.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Malignant Narcissist is Like a Raging Bull

Once you let a malignant narcissist into your life, watch out. They are like raging bulls. In the beginning she appears to be very nice. This is when she's getting to know you, or, more accurately, sizing you up. She'll ask probing questions as she explores your personality, taking careful notes of your strengths and weaknesses. Later, as the relationship no longer serves her purpose, she'll strike you in those weak spots.

Much of the destruction caused by a narcissist is what's been referred to as  "collateral damage." This is when the other important people in your life begin to march in lockstep with the morally disordered person. This happens because a narcissist makes a point of getting to know your friends and relatives.

Because folks with this particular disorder tend to be suave and persuasive, people are drawn to them. So they acquire a certain amount of influence. As the narcissist gets ready to cut you out of her world, she then tries to pull those close to you  into her camp. This is accomplished by subtly manipulating them, as the morally disordered person finds a way to meet their deepest needs. That way they are "indebted" to her, and will generally go along with her game.

Or, the abuser may go so far as to spread lies about you, so the people who once trusted you now doubt your credibility. Why would anyone believe such outrageous falsehoods? Narcissists are very persuasive, and they skillfully mix truth with lies to make their story look as if it holds water. Plus, humans are weak and are easily controlled by these master manipulators.

If you suspect you have a female predator in your life, or you know you do, cut her loose immediately. The longer she hangs around, the more of a mess she'll create.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A Malignant Narcissist Will Claim that You're Selfish

If you're involved with a malignant narcissist, be prepared to hear a bunch of unflattering adjectives hurled at you. This will intensify as you move from the idealization to the devalue/discard phase, part of the natural progression of how a relationship with a morally disordered person evolves.

Because malignant narcissists refuse to accept responsibility for their actions, and will never admit they're at fault, they like to deflect their behavior onto you. So you might be called "selfish," or "unreasonable," or "manipulative" or "controlling" or "unforgiving." In reality, all of these accurately describe how the narcissist operates.

However, selfish is a favorite charge because the narcissist wants to convince her target she needs to give more in order to save the relationship. However, there's no point in trying to preserve a relationship with a morally disordered adult. Even if you manage to sail past this storm, another one will form before too long. That's because, ultimately, there's no pleasing a narcissist.

In reality, targets need to become more "selfish" so they can move on and find healthier relationships, while severing the ties that bind them to this emotional vampire. Ironically, up until now, a target hasn't been "selfish" enough.

Narcissists prey upon empaths, those giving souls who put themselves out for others. Empaths are highly attune to the needs of those around them. A narcissist zeros in on these kindly fixers, who like help solve other people's problems, because she knows they aren't "selfish" enough. It's lack of healthy selfishness that draws someone into a malicious narcissist's deadly grasp.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Blame the Apaths, as well as the Sociopath

Malignant narcissism appears very closely related to sociopathy. However, narcissists care deeply what others think of them. Not all sociopaths are troubled by the fact that everyone they know thinks they're rotten. However, everyone with these serious moral disorders see others as objects to be used, abused and discarded. They tend to be highly envious, and will stop at nothing to get what they want, because they think they deserve it. They don't care whom they hurt, and, oftentimes, take pleasure in the fact they've made someone suffer.

That's why many people use the terms "malignant narcissism" and "sociopathy" interchangeably. A couple of other terms are also becoming popular. One is "empath." This describes the people a malignant personality typically chooses to target. For the most part, they are sensitive souls who care about others, sometimes to a fault. They are "fixers," who like to help people solve their problems. They are peacemakers who like to go along to get along. Empaths also tend to be honest. Sometimes, though, they have trouble standing up for themselves. The narcissist knows how to exploit these traits.

However, in order to do so, she needs the collaboration of one or more "apaths." This term "apath" appears to be a relatively new one. I think we'll be seeing and hearing it more often, because it so aptly describes the apathy some people have while watching another person being abused.

Apaths are really aligned with the narcissist. If they weren't, they'd put up a fight to protect the target. Deep down, they know the situation is unfair. But they don't want to risk their own position at work, or their social standing, if the situation unfolds outside of the workplace.

The apaths can cause a target just as much distress as the sociopath. From a target's perspective, it's extremely confusing to watch all these "nice" people working in tandem with the primary abuser.

I personally think more attention should be given to the so-called apaths. We tend to blame the sociopath for everything that happens. But the situation couldn't have gained momentum without the help of the apaths.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Importance of Female Friendships

The older we get, the more we seem to treasure our female friendships. However we also find the dynamics are more complicated. Things were much easier when we were children. All was not perfect, though. Sometimes, there were squabbles. Some girls could be mean. Some were even bullies, and practiced the art of exclusion, which is the type of bullying preferred by women. But it seemed as if every girl back then did have some friends, even if they didn't belong to the most popular clique at school.

Then, many of us grow up, get married and have children. For awhile, our thoughts are more focused on our families. Our children need us so much during these years. Then, life changes. Our husbands still love us, but they develop their own interests, and they have their own friends. Our children are becoming much more independent, and eventually they'll be out on their own. At this point in our lives, female friendships take on a new importance, almost as much as they did earlier in life.

However, we also find that making and keeping friends isn't always easy. Rivalries come into play. Some of the girls who were mean, way back in elementary school, didn't outgrow this behavior. Instead, they learned to cover it up and appear almost as living saints, even though, underneath, they're still highly competitive. They work discretely to undermine anyone whom they view as a threat. Their behavior through the years becomes so self centered, and anti-social, that they fit the clinical definition for narcissistic personality disorder.

Now, much worse than they were in childhood, their personalities are highly malignant. They must run everything, whether it be an elementary school PTO or a corporate board room. If you don't march in perfect lock step, expect harsh social sanctions. The narcissist will then work to destroy you, attempting to undermine all of your other relationships. Because malignant people are so clever, they often accomplish what they set out to do.

This dysfunctional dynamic is often seen at work. Currently, more than 30 percent of American workers say they've been bullied at some point in their career. When this happens, the typical course of events is that the targeted worker becomes unemployed. Don't underestimate them. Malignant narcissists are very dangerous people.

I believe personality disorders are one of the reasons why it's so hard to make friendships, maintain friendships and even to trust other woman nowadays. It's estimated that 1 out of every 25 people have strong narcissistic traits. Given the prevalence of malignant narcissism, we have to be careful not to reveal or secrets, or even too much information, to someone we barely know.

Sometimes, we get involved with the wrong women because they "befriend" us only to gain information. Or, a friendship may be broken up by a malignant personality, as these types of women specialize in being divisive.

Oftentimes, a malignant narcissist appears perfectly normal, until we get to know her better. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Do Malignant Narcissists Know Right From Wrong?

Part of the definition of narcissism is that a person with this disorder is not crazy, and is in touch with reality. But some people operate under the impression that those with malignant personalities are not responsible for their actions, since they are devoid of empathy. Narcissists are also not troubled with feelings of remorse when they break up someone's friendships or run someone out of a job they had depended upon to pay the bills.

However, I don't believe that an otherwise well-functioning adult can't control herself, because once we hit adulthood, we are responsible for our actions. If a narcissist didn't know that what she was doing was not socially acceptable, or wrong, she wouldn't make so much of an effort to cover up her misdeeds. Nor would she be able to spend so much energy plotting to destroy her enemy. She knows her actions are bad, but decides to do them anyway. Narcissists also seem to enjoy being sneaky, and pulling one over on people. This allows them to live under the illusion that they are smarter than everyone else.

Despite my own horrifying encounter with a female malignant narcissist, whom attempted to destroy every aspect of my life, while posing as a "friend," I truly feel sorry for people with this moral sickness. They aren't happy campers, because their lifestyle breeds misery, which only comes back to haunt them in the end. That's because malignant narcissists will eventually see justice.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Narcissists are Dangerous Predators Who Evade the Law

Malignant narcissists are dangerous predators. They also know how to work within or around the law, so they don't get in trouble. Technically, harassing someone else is illegal. But a cunning and clever narcissist knows how to get around this obstacle. They abuse incrementally, usually while no one else is watching. That way, there are no witnesses, and, if you do complain, each incident will sound petty and trivial. Someone hearing your complaint will probably assume you have some major issues.

Because malignant personalities are hellbent on destroying their target, they typically recruit a team of individuals that I like to refer to as "flying monkeys," named after those nasty winged creatures in the Wizard of Oz. These pathetic souls take turns delivering blows as well. So you really can't complain, because you'll sound crazy if you do. Of course, all of this is either done without witnesses or in the presence of "neutral" parties.

The people watching this unfold have chosen to remain "neutral," which means they really aren't in your corner. That's because they allow the hatefulness to run unchecked. Because the narcissist is so nice to everyone else, in order to ensure that you are isolated, all it would take are a few words of support from these people. If these were spoken, things would be different. This is why I have little sympathy for the onlookers, also known as the enablers.

Eventually, though, justice will catch up with a malignant narcissist. This will happen she didn't know when to quit. By the nature of her disorder, she is reckless and impulsive. Narcissists are also prone to making huge mistakes, also due to their impulsiveness.

As a Catholic, I also believe each will be judged at the end of their lives, in accordance with their deeds. So, the malignant narcissist who created so much misery in your life will eventually be held fully accountable.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

When a Malignant Narcissist "Confides" in You

One of the traps many of us stroll into comes early in our relationship with a malignant narcissist. People who suffer from this personality disorder have an uncanny knack of getting us to reveal our deepest secrets. They have a number of techniques, but one of their favorites is "confiding" in us. When they do this, they seem to be genuinely sharing some highly personal part of their lives. It may be true or it may not be true, as narcissists relish telling lies. So they tell us something deeply intimate, knowing that we are not the type to use this information against them.

Because we're social beings, and we try to be decent people, when someone shares something so personal with us, we are tempted to take the bait and reciprocate, as a way of showing them that their secret is safe with us and to not be embarrassed by this disclosure.

However, whatever you tell a morally disordered person can and will be used against you. If she's already working on one target, she'll make a mental note of what she's learned about you. This will be filed away until she needs it. After she succeeds in destroying her current target, you could very well be next. The nuggets of information she's gleaned, to her, are like gold, or even better. That's because malignant personalities practically live to sow discord and ruin relationships.

The secret you fed her is the exact type of currency she needs to complete her character assassination. So be very careful sharing details of your life with people who don't know well.

Of course, a malignant narcissist doesn't need to know your secrets in order to hurt you, because she'll just make something up, if that seems to suit her purpose. But it certainly does help, as this means she also knows your weak spots. Malignant individuals hone in on your vulnerabilities in order to exploit you. These people are very dangerous, with or without information. But they are much more dangerous if they can seize upon some real dirt.

So be very careful whenever someone you've recently met attempts to "confide" in you. Don't fall for this ploy. You don't need to reciprocate with a story of your own.