Monday, September 22, 2014

The Three Phases of Narcissistic Abuse

A lot has been written about narcissistic abuse from a romantic perspective. But this blog is dedicated to female friendships that have gone bad. From my own experience, when a woman betrays another woman, the root cause is often envy. If the betrayer also tries to destroy a former "friend," we are usually looking at deep seated personality issues, such as malignant narcissism or borderline personality disorder. People who are mentally balanced do not act this way.

Even though I'm not a trained mental health expert, I've been "studying" psychopathy and malignant narcissism for a number of years, following an unfortunate encounter with a morally disordered woman I met at church. (Life was turned upside down for a stretch.) Since then, I've come to realize that narcissistic abuse typically follows a three-phase pattern, whether it's romantic or platonic.

The first phase is when the narcissist is just getting to know you. This is often referred to as "grooming," because she's using this time to look for your weaknesses. Ironically, during this phase, she also idolizes you. You may think you've found your soul mate, because her thoughts and desires so closely align with yours. This is because morally disordered people have few thoughts of their own. They are empty inside, so they "mirror" back whatever you're thinking.

This first phase can last for months, or years. But, eventually, it ends. That's because people with personality disorders have trouble maintaining relationships. In their mind, you are either all good or all bad.

Inevitably, since no one can live up to their impossible standards, you tumble from your pedestal. When this happens, you're headed into the discard phase, which I'll talk about in a minute. But, first, you'll probably be the subject of a vicious smear campaign. (This is the second phase.) A narcissist will do this for a number of reasons. One is to maintain power. Another is she doesn't want anyone else to think she's a bad friend, so she needs to get your faults (real, perceived and fabricated) out into the public arena. She wants everyone to "understand" why she's breaking off the "friendship."

The third phase is the discard phase. A malignant narcissist isn't just content to end things. She also likes to inflict as much damage as she can. If you work with her, she may find a way to get you fired. If you belong to the same social group, she'll damage your other relationships so much that you have no choice but to move on.

No one expects a good "friend" to have a such a sinister side. This is one reason why it's so shocking when we discover someone's true colors.

Pixabay image top by Violetta


  1. I think this kind of works a bit different if you are in a family relationship and you watch the person get born, and grow up. But still it fits.

    My baby sister kind of adored me when she was small, as I did EVERYTHING for her. She was as you say EMPTY however, and now I believe mother put me in charge of her cause I was an empath. By letting me raise her mini-me my sister got more well adjusted to other people. My friends used to tell me I was the "only normal person in my family".

    Today I believe dad and oldest brother = aspergers, and second brother = classical narc, mom = covert narc, and sister = malignant narc/sociopath, as she's the worst of them all. All the rest I could stand when grown up, but her I only could handle when she was a child.

    After her teenage I'm sure she got into phase 2 - the smearing of me. And then now, as I miraculously had survived a lethal condition, both she and mom seem to have kept a secret to many people, she arranged so everyone would believe I was very nasty to her, so she could do what you call phase 3 - dump me like some old shit.

  2. It does sound as if your family situation was very toxic. However, thankfully, you survived and can now choose to spend time only with people who care about you. My immediate family situation was much better, but we were living under the influence of some difficult relatives, one of whom is now deceased.

    1. Hard to find one person who has a perfect family - there is atleast one difficult one.

      I had no idea how toxic my family was as I was born into that setting, but now I do. Children are survivors and Stockholm syndrome is what makes children get through these families. We learn to "forgive and forget", never drag up the past, and be totally loyal and never question. The narcs are ALWAYS right - period.

      Then one day the program snaps and "poff" their magical influence has no power anymore. That's when you are said to have become "crazy" according to THEM.

      According to me it's when we wake up and get our sanity BACK!!! :))

  3. That is true. No one has the perfect family.