221 thoughts on “How Narcissists Play the Victim and Twist the Story

  • July 31, 2018 at 9:46 am

    I’ve just recently come to recognize the narcissism of my ex-wife. 19 years of marriage, 7 years of divorce proceedings. The recognition is like gauze being lifted from my eyes, I can finally see! It’s interesting how I naturally adopted all of the tools for dealing with a narcissist on my own.

    Our 18 y.o. daughter recently “broke up” with her mother and moved in with me, she couldn’t take it anymore. Our 12 y.o. son is still 50/50 custody. I’ve never spoken a bad word about their mother, which is not true for her about me. As we move to the final phase of our divorce, where she has forced my hand to enforce the trial judgment property settlement, which will force her to sell the house (upheld upon her appeal), I’ve just begun having sensitive, age-appropriate discussions with him about the process and the why. She’s labeled me “selfish” (projection!).

    I’ve always trusted that living and speaking with integrity would carry the day with my kids in the long run. I believe that it has. I have close loving relationships with them. I’ve also believed that modeling a healthy, loving adult relationship would be the best thing I could do to show them that not all relationships need to be what they experienced growing up. I have a wonderful partner of 4.5 years whom they (and I) adore -their “Bonus Human”.

    The tricky bit is helping them navigate their relationships with their mother. The 18 going on 36 y.o. and I have talked about the difficulty of dealing with mother. I’ve given her some links to read on narcissistic parents. It hasn’t really landed with her, though she’s doing the appropriate coping. The immature 12 y.o. is no way ready to have any such detail. Insight on helping young children deal with a narcissistic parent is difficult to come by. Any advice would be appreciated!

    • December 14, 2018 at 8:25 pm

      The child must do the talking. You need good questions to get them started. Their dreams are a huge factor. What they feel in the dreams, how they feel about the dream, what various things in the dream might stand for. Also, discussing the goods and bads about their week. What they wish had happened instead. Helping them get deeper into their true feelings. Keeping your voice low , safe, and gentle. Talking in the car usually goes best because there will be and “end” to the trip/talk. Best of luck! Google “how to listen better to your teen-aged child.”

      • October 4, 2019 at 8:31 am

        Obviously there are varied degrees of narcissism. My daughter became sick with ongoing kidney stones , 20 emergency admissions. Her ex took advantage and took both daughters ‘temporarily’ to help out. He then started court proceedings to have full custody of the girls with no access to their mother. She no longer suffers with stones and I managed to get the little 8 year old back to her, but he’s alienated and poisoned the 11 year old against her mother and the extended family. This has caused the child to treat her mother badly on court appointed visits. He uses the word ‘abusive’ freely, so now she believes it too. There was never any abuse, just firm boundaries for bad behaviour. He’s an ex hard drug user which broke the 14 year relationship up. He and his mother have written wicked lies in affidavits, so the hearings go on and it’s costing my husband and me a fortune in legal fees. He of course is getting virtually free legal aid. We try to stay away from him as much as possible because he repeatedly tells my daughter what a useless human being she is and his mother refers to my daughter as a c….t in front of the girls. It’s shocking and we’re trying to gain more custody . One last thing is that the eldest child is favoured and spoilt and the younger one realises this.

    • January 18, 2019 at 3:36 pm

      Please get your son into some type of therapy. Being at such an age that is full of anxiety and angst anyway, speaking from experience of growing up with a narcissist mother that was so talented she controlled all of us. Including having her boyfriend live with us in her bedroom while my father slept in another room. he was an empty shell non emotional man letting my mother abuse me emotionally, mentally and psychologically to the point I wanted to commit suicide at age 15 because I hated my life and myself so much. I am 45 years old and I went from her cutting off all contact and went into the frying pan with being with a man that is my mother in male form. I never learned how to cope or heal or get past it. please help your son have some coping mechanisms on how to deal with his mother.

    • February 18, 2020 at 9:14 am

      omg im sorry i did not realize where to put this but my bf just turned his kids whom adored me against me he could not take it anymore and set me up to look bad ive gotta get out he was awful to me in private then letting them them hear my angry messages the just 12 and 14 so now im evil and men not him and i was close to his kids in a day hours he did this cause i baked a better cake hes a single dad cause they hate there mom and all ex girls of course so no one is better at cooking love or anything he made me the bad guy……..its insane can we talk

  • August 1, 2018 at 6:56 am

    Perfect portrait of my mother… Unfortunately.

    • October 23, 2018 at 11:52 pm

      I was 38 when I realized my mother/daughter relationship was toxic. It’s been 5 years since I walked away. I struggle but I know it’s whats best for me & my kids. I’m glad I’m
      Not alone. Best wishes to you.

      • December 14, 2018 at 6:43 am

        I am an only child and was 42 and it’s been almost 5 years that I walked away. It was a struggle with my kids, hey are 19 and 20 now and have a much better view if he situation. They choose to have nothing to do with her either. She continues to be the “perfect” one and the victim so it makes it impossible to go to any extended family gatherings because of her antics there. Unfortunately for my health and my family we lose. Thankfully we get to see everyone outside the large gatherings. Great article, really hits it in the nose! Also reassuring that I’m not alone.

      • March 5, 2019 at 2:59 pm

        You are not alone. After my mother successfully alienated me from my sibling with her lies and narrative of being the victim, I finally said enough. I have not spoken to her now in almost 2 years. My brothers in over 18 months after they wrote me nasty emails accusing me all lie after lie that they believed from my mom. The hardest part is that my siblings have all been at the receiving end of her nastiness and still they fell for it all over again. I’m most sad about that because for years we had all gotten along. I still struggle with the emptiness of not having my siblings to lean on but then I remind myself that they were never really there for me. I am healthy with out my mother and I have mourned the loss but I still have not reached the point of forgiveness. Thank you for the article but the comments have really meant a lot to me, knowing I am not alone.

      • March 12, 2019 at 10:06 pm

        Unfortunately your relationships with your siblings were never real either. If you think back you will realize that she was like a huge spider in the middle of a web. You may have felt close to them but she only allowed you all to be so close. If there was a change or any of you started to get closer she would do whatever necessary to stop it or get things back to the way she wanted. She never wanted any bonds created because that threatened her control. It also threatened her ability to always be the middle man. Your siblings may not ever see anything differently than what she wants them to. I’ve watched this same scenario play out with my fiancee and his family.

        To them I’m a monster, whore and I’ve been so disrespectful to her and stolen her son away. I’m the cause of all the damage in their family and their lives were perfect before I came along. I picked up on her the very first time I met her. My parents were the same way and I’ve never tolerated it even as a child. I wasn’t disrespectful and never got in trouble or anything and always did good in school. I just knew something wasn’t right and they weren’t healthy.

    • January 5, 2019 at 5:20 am

      You are not alone, my friend. My mother too as well is the same way. I have to love her from afar. I’ve forgiven her and moved on in my life. 🙏

    • January 10, 2019 at 9:55 am

      Clarissa, mine, too. I’m so sorry. I know your daily struggle.

    • June 29, 2019 at 4:12 pm

      My wife and I have been dealing with a verbally abusive neighbor since September 2018 with whom ,prior to that, we were on good terms with. However when she threatened to kill my wife we distanced ourselves from her and cut off all contact with her. Soon vicious rumors about my wife and I began to circulate throughout our neighborhood that we learned were being generated by our neighbor from hell. She began verbally attacking and threatening my wife at every opportunity. And when the rumors and verbal assaults did not get the results she expected, her behavior escalated to the point when she began calling in false reports that we were harsssing her and that drugs were being sold out of our home. She started insulting our friends coming or going from our home and warning them to stay away if they know what is good for them. We had a difficult time convincing our local law enforcement that the complaints the women was calling in were not true until finally we went and spoke to the Chief , personally, who strongly suggested we file a Restraining Order against the women. We followed the Chief’s direction to the letter only to discover the women beat us to it by two days! The ExParte hearing was filled with her lying and deliberate attempts to mislead the Court into believing she is the victim. We have yet to tell our side of the story as she has managed one delay after another. She has avoided our attempts to have her properly served with Court documents and has even gone as far as to sneak away when she realized a Sheriff Deputy went to her work to Serve her. She quit that job the very next day. In the meantime she continues with her abusive behaviors, threats and lies. We have been unable to understand what her angle is or how is it she has been able to stand before a judge and perjure herself in such confidence knowing very well that every word she spkeaks is dishonest and cannot be trusted. Even knowing about the many declarations we have filed attached to our complaint against her or seeing the 5 or 6 witnesses who have agreed to appear on our behave has deterred her from continuing to lie to the Court. My wife and I have been racking our brains trying to come up with some logical reasoning that will make any sense as to what is making this women act the way she does toward us. Come to find out she does not get along with anyone else in our neighborhood. Everyone keeps their distance. She never has any visitors, has one son that we know of and a mother still living but we never see them coming over to visit her. Our research has found she has been married 5 times, has various lawsuits against her pending and has has had a number of Restraing Orders denied. After reading this article coupled with all the things we now know about her we are somewhat relieved to finally get the answer about her behavior that makes sense. It does not make us feel any safer because she is a firearms owner and one never knows what a person will do if they snap. She possesses all the characteristics of a Narcissist and on more than one instance has stated she will kill my wife. We hope that once our Court documents and witnesses are finally presented to the Court this matter will finally be settled and she will be exposed for the ugly and dishonest person she truly is. Perhaps that will finally get her to back off.

      • September 20, 2019 at 3:06 pm

        Living at a certain location is not worth it. You will be much happier if you move.
        Get a fresh start.

      • September 21, 2019 at 12:04 pm

        Can you move? Court orders wonr make you safe

      • December 27, 2019 at 3:37 pm

        Your situation is almost identical to mine. I have a PhD in psychology and could not figure out a reason why this woman targeted me. Guess what? Crazy doesn’t need a reason.

        Years of stress and working with the city, who was well aware of the situation but preferred to be her bitch and tell me to submit to her rather than tell her to knock it off. 10 years later, she is shunned by the entire neighborhood. Bitter, angry, and alone.

  • August 1, 2018 at 7:24 am

    FABULOUS ARTICLE. Thank you.

      • March 28, 2019 at 5:34 pm

        This article Is amazingly helpful. Thank you. I am just coming to realize that a sister I was close to is a narcissist. I didn’t notice before our Middle Ages years because she needed me for so many things. Now that she is more set in her life and doesn’t need my money, time, help, she is getting much more obvious and it is extremely difficult. Do I distance myself from her?

      • November 14, 2019 at 4:44 pm

        If she has targeted you as the target/victim. I say run like hell. A ex-wife that at the time I didn’t know what a Narcissist even was, destroyed my life. Almost everything this article talks about, she did.
        I’ve lived through 22 years of a destroyed life, because I didn’t get out. Like a fool, I was trying to save the marriage.

    • March 24, 2019 at 11:44 pm

      My daughter’s ex and his mother to a tee. They’ve poisoned my barely 11 year old granddaughter against her mother and have control of her. She’s rude and judgemental to her mum, using descriptions a child wouldn’t think of unless coerced. They allow her to wear heels, padded bra and acrylic extensions on her fingernails.

  • August 1, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    This article is a perfect description of my now ex partner! When reading this I am ticking all the boxes! He is absolutely this through & through, my life in the last week has played out like a movie, he was treating to shoot my daughter & sending me photos of a gun, telling me all these lies about how bad my daughter is & I need to get away from her before she ruins my life & the police said after reading all the messages he sends that he is trying to divide my daughter & I to win power (in his head), he would write threatening statuses on fb, but told his probation officer that it was me that done it & that I am evil, crazy & I am making him look bad! Even though I left him, he is telling everyone that I can’t deal with him leaving so I am doing all this crazy stuff..the whole situation is crazy & out of control..I must admit I felt like I was going mad at one point, I was questioning & doubting myself & my daughter!! How could I possibly have believed his crazy story!! Now he is in police custody so at least we can sleep till he is back in court!! Your article was awesome timing as reading this proves to myself all the behaviours are there & it wasn’t me! So thank you x

  • August 1, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    I have just been through the worst 5 months of my life with a person that has all but had me thinking I was going crazy for years. It seems as if this article was written about her to help me so much so I was almost trembling reading it. I can identify each aspect eluded to in it and it is scary. I am now divorced as of 2 days ago and saw this in an email today. I read a lot in an an effort to keep helping one of my children who has Autism & Epilepsy and some behavior issues which is how I first learned a year or so ago about Narcissism. Her online facade of hers against me continues and her ongoing alienation of our 2 children!
    I have not told people much about what really happened in our marriage let alone in the last final days we were together. Speaking up for and protecting our children sent her over the edge at me. No one would believe it anyway as she is the ultimate smoozer happy go lucky party girl who often left me home with our children and had no use for me other than care giver for years. I am so tempted to just post this article especially the picture in it (which something similar but not so bad happened against me) as I was arrested after calling the police on this “Wolf in Sheep’s clothing” so friends know but I really don’t want to go there.
    Her lies, half truths have cost me dearly including the most valuable of all, loss for the last 5 five months of my children’s lives. I have also learned much of what I talked about at marriage counseling is what is considered parental alienation and shared in this article. I made the mistake once of trying to talk to her about her behavior and narcissism and that was a big mistake.
    Should I speak up, so to say with a post simply Saying “enough said here’s a mouthful” followed by a link to this article or continue on to see who cares enough to ask me or know there is 2 sides to every story ?

    • October 29, 2018 at 7:34 am

      I would post it if you think she wont try to adopt the idea and turn it around on you about the narc topic. (I know its been a while ago that you posted and my comment might be irrelevent by now). Hope all is well.

    • January 18, 2019 at 7:02 pm

      Narcissists and their admirers will only see you as the problem. The people who know and trust you already probably know. Don’t do anything out of anger. I’ve been dealing with narcissism for many years and I know the triggers. I just have to stay away. When dealing with her (which you will have to,) remain logical and don’t take any bait.

  • August 2, 2018 at 4:53 am

    This is my mother and my mother’s sister. My cousin and I have been through a lot and the trauma of growing up with a mother like this and still dealing with it today has brought us closer. At least we have each other for support. Is this narcissism genetic? I’m beginning to think that my mother and her sister were raised by a narcissistic mother. Where does this come from? I just ordered your book “Human Development and Trauma:..” from Amazon.

    • August 5, 2018 at 2:11 am

      Hi Yvette,

      Some people like to attribute it to genetics, but in my experience and observation everyone who exhibits strong narcissistic tendencies have had a traumatic childhood. It’s just that some are unaware of it or unformed regarding what is traumatic to a child. If you examine the person’s life closer, you can trace back the dynamics and experiences that shaped the person into and adult with narcissistic tendencies. And although my book is not specifically on narcissism you should find a lot of answers there.


      • December 16, 2018 at 2:32 pm

        Hi Darius,
        I believe my mother to be a narcissist but she did not have a traumatic childhood. Neither did her brother or sister. I think for my mother it was because she learned how to manipulate her father to get what she wanted and used these tactics on others as well. When she doesn’t get what she wants, she acts out in some way. As far back as I can remember, she made me out to be the crazy one. Been almost 13 years since we’ve had a relationship, which is fine with me.

      • February 27, 2019 at 10:20 pm

        Thank you for that description , it so sad when you fall in love not seeing the red flags (or maybe choosing not to see in some cases) and by the time you realize that it’s a one sided reality, you have already fallen in love.
        It’s so hard to fall out of love and always searching for answers of wonders if it could get better, but it just doesn’t so you just have to rip off the bandaid and go threw the heartache.
        Very hard

      • March 13, 2019 at 11:32 pm

        Unfortunately most of the time narcissist/sociopaths hide most of their behaviors in the beginning of relationships. Once they get their grips on someone they groom you over time(so to say). They tell you things about people that they dont want you to get to know even their family members…but you not realizing they are doing so. Then they find reasons to take up every second of your time that they can until eventually you don’t really have anything going on in your life except them. In the beginning they also tell you how horrible their ex did them and use examples to keep you from treating them so badly. Like instead of spending time with them on your day’s or weekends off their ex would go out with friends or spent all of her time at her family’s. They make out like their ex stopped showing them attention or wouldn’t clean or do laundry or wash dishes. Oh and they were hardly intimate with them.

        It’s possible their ex did do those things but probably not until they were sick of it. They also tell you those things so you will do your best to do the things that make them happy. Funny how you NEVER HEAR THEM SAY ANYTHING ABOUT ANYTHING THEY HAVE EVER DONE WRONG OR ANYTHING THAT WAS THEIR FAULT. Normal people don’t want to talk to the new person in their life about their ex… let alone about petty things. During all this you spend all your time doing everything to make them happy and don’t do the thing’s they complained about their ex doing because you dont want them to think bad of you.

        They tell you their wants in life and their goals and you tell them too. As well as deal breakers in relationships. Then slowly over time they have you groomed and then you no longer have anyone. You stand by them and support their goals and dreams while they make you feel like yours are important too BUT their’s are more important and they need your attention first. Once their’s are completed then they will support yours…. the thing is they get new ones over and over again and yours are never going to be a priority to them.

        Once your worn down and no longer have an opinion or push back they start doing all the things you told them hurt you and all the things you told them you wouldn’t tolerate… mostly to feel power and control and they think now your just a possessions and you no longer get any of their time, attention or affection and if you say something they tell you your crazy… or you need help. Once they convince you that you need help or that you are crazy and you dont complain or bother them anymore. Then they need a new challenge and that’s usually someone else because they are bored with you… if you have children they start saying negative things about you and start making every else see you in a negative light and that’s insurance just in case they get caught or decide to leave you.

        Everything thing they do is for a reason and they plan everything in advance and make plans for when things dont go as planned. Then they drag you into custody court and have your “crazy” brought into question because you’ve gone to the doctor to fix yourself. And they drove you crazy just to control you even when you divorce with your children.

        Does any of this sound familiar?

      • March 17, 2019 at 3:28 pm

        Your comment , I could of written..except we dont have Children. I took my marriage vows very seriously, and it took me years to decide that divorce was OK. That I wasn’t a failure.

      • June 29, 2019 at 9:31 am

        I am unfortunately in a relationship with a man who ticks every box. We seperated for 2 months and he just came back. I know it isnt in my best interest to have him around. He has tried suicide 2 x now.

      • September 7, 2019 at 8:10 pm

        Early on he threatened suicide every time we had difficulties until I stopped responding.- in which he stopped. Then he would withdrawal.. next it was paying me back.. after it was telling me I was evil and a narcissist, the latest is triangulating. Everything is about him but when it becomes about something important to me he starts drama by complaining that I don’t love him, I’m ignoring him or I don’t want him around.
        It starts with accusations. Of course this puts me on the defensive and draws all the attention away from my kids, friends or family or current situation and back to him.
        Happens every time. Then he tells me how awful I am and that I’m a narcissist and basically am doing all the things he is actually doing to me. Then he cusses insults and threatens divorce.. a lot of drama. I’m a stable level headed successful woman. But I’m starting to break down. He is misleading his family and playing the victim- he was diagnosed as a narcissist so I found out during his second marriage I never believed it until I started seeing these chaotic patterns. Now I’m stuck, worn out , no body knows, it’s a very difficult thing to explain.

      • October 16, 2019 at 10:43 pm

        Oh my God, I just decided to type “symptoms” and a few thing my significant other has been doing for a long time know, just wondering if maybe, perhaps I may not be crazy, and I stumble upon this article, and then your story. I don’t really know what to say other than I am dealing with a woman I’ve been with for 13 years and have 2 kids with that has done everything you just claimed your “other” has done in alphabetical order!! I’m completely taken back… I’m sorry I don’t know what to say right now.. forgive me. And thank you for your story. I need to reconsider what I believe about her and myself for a bit.

      • March 25, 2019 at 5:31 am

        Yes,yes,yes. So many things. I’ve sort counseling, every time I bring up something he’s done, he will deny it, if that’s not an option then he was going and im being too sensitive. Changes stories of events to sit himself. Times he threw tantrums, throwing tools in my direction, then looking at me. Its almost like a challenge, or is are convinced im the problem. It’s because I’m deaf. That’s probably why. I’m going crazy, I am not even sure any more if it is me?

      • April 1, 2019 at 11:40 am

        I’m so sorry. I am not deaf but I am 34 and I have hearing loss. I was also told I wasn’t listening when he said this or I must have heard him wrong. It’s hard but you have to realize that YOU ARE NOT THE PROBLEM AND YOU NEVER WERE.

        Unfortunately I suffered from a traumatic childhood and my ex did as well.

        I’m not one who thinks that should be used as an excuse. People decide how they want to live and decide how they treat others.

        If you allow him to be violent towards you it’s very possible the violence will get worse over time. It may be his way of pushing limits to see if he can scare you or make you fear him in order to gain more control over you.

        You may start to believe you are crazy or that you are the problem. That is exactly what he wants you to do. By doing so you are accepting all the blame and in return he feels justified in his behavior. Its impossible for him to see that he is the problem because that would mean he would have to accept fault and that would mean he isnt perfect.

        You did exactly what I did. You let things slide and made excuses for his actions and taught him it was ok to treat you the way he has. By not calling him out or ending the relationship early on. You didn’t do that because you were 100% in love with him. He also never showed his true colors until he wore you down over time.

        People that change their story or try to convince you that you are crazy are only able to do so because over time you’ve decided it was something that wasn’t worth arguing over or it was something so stupid. By letting him do that even once it let him see that he could get away with it. Over time the stupid little things turn into big things and after hes groomed you and worn you down so bad you then start to question your own sanity. You even start to feel like you are the problem and that your not good enough. People like this think the person they are with is so lucky to be with them and they think they do no wrong.

        If your reading this article or other articles like this chances are you are looking to figure out what’s wrong with you and how you have messed things up so bad. You are trying to figure out how to fix yourself in order to make your relationship better. Fortunately you now know what it’s called and how to explain the torture you have suffered through. Over time you will feel less and less crazy.

      • May 8, 2019 at 1:43 pm

        It describes my ex to a T…. Six years of it. It’s been four months and I’m coming back to my senses!

      • October 2, 2019 at 12:18 pm

        Wow! Melissa just described over 30 years… I believe I was marriaged to a narc/sociopath husband! Nonstop lying! I left with all I could carry 7 months ago not knowing what I know now! I was a teen mother and he was in his 30’s when he was stalking me as his next door neighbor. He would appear at places I was….now I know he was stalking me then and now. All my children does not talk to me they supported my husband. He groomed me and my biological child, while conning all family, friends, churches, that he was a victim of my “abuse”. When I reacted to his verbal & nonverbal abuse. He played me to the tee with the neighbors as well. Mr. Jekyll and Hyde. He is better than most actors on tv. I have no support because everyone sees me as the mean one hurting this nice giving, charming man that has taking care of me after he told me I did not have to work for 15 years. He set it up perfectly! Until I decided to return to work, lost weight, had my own mind, friends. He told me he was jealous of my family and showed me he was jealous of my friends by talking about them to everyone. He even had me talking about them until I found out he was talking against me to some of them. Pretending he was so concern about me. He even told pastors, family, friends that I was unstable. Some told me what he said. He had our children and family come to our house and verbally attack me calling me names…paranoid while he was smiling with them. He even did this in the church with female pastor attacking me. While he was smiling, smirking. I did not know I was living with a crazy person for over 30 years! Looking back his sister and he would triangulate me. He used her a lot and called her crazy when I would complain about her behavior toward me. He used her to get supply! Now I know what I was dealing with! His whole family is like this. They talked about each other to me but would double team me. He used his grown children to attacked me and pretend he was so upset with them but in their presence he would be the opposite! They never once celebrated our marriage over 30 years. He supposed to be a pastor. I hate I stayed that long thinking he wanted to change.When I stood up to him and all the lies he was telling me about all! He moved out of bedroom and stop all communication with me. I was alone in my own house. I took myself to the movies, dinner. While he was living a double life! He kept telling people I was abusing him especially the church he followed me in. Until I recorded him and let him hear his voice lying to our mean daughter in law covering for him and then pretending to not know nothing! They all lied for each other. It’s unreal and crazy! All crazy people stick together! He even tried to accused me abusing his mother & my grandchild by marriage. When I found out all of this he had already smeared me with everyone. I was the only one who did not know I was the abuser not him! I could not understand why my friends, family, church, had deserted me while this man was destroying me in plain sight and playing the victim. I WAS EMOTIONALLY ABUSED! I WAS ISOLATED FROM FAMILY, FRIENDS! IM HEALING SLOWLY! He used my anger and frustration to try and prove that I was crazy one and he was the calm, loving, husband that was so concern for me . He even used one of our children who died years ago saying I never got over their death. I found out that he was using that lie for a long time! Someone told me what he told them but of course the toxic ones believed it! I got to independent for him. He could no longer manipulate and control me! He cut credit cards, blocked me from getting any help from all he could! He is still playing the upstanding citizen in the community. When some see me they run from me like I am a mass murder! He even smeared my name in the new church I am in now. Using some he charmed ! It’s so much more I can not tell it all ! I really need to write a book of the past 30 years of my life. I’m sure I can help someone to know what to look for before being a victim of abuse by husband, family ,friend even in the church! Since I’ve moved my car was broken into, licence plate stolen, one interior light turned on with his medicine bottle in cup holder. I have never had my car ever broken into that many times he has key. Police said I was on street and we are still married nothing can be done! What do you do but ..keep moving forward with prayers to God to keep you safe, healthy and @ peace. I thank God for allowing me to understand what happened to me. I was too kind and taken advantage of for years by all. I have to be careful because people have misused me so many times and when I set boundaries they get angry and say that I am mean to them. Projection…. I deserve joy in this life! Enough!

        Still Standing!

      • March 17, 2019 at 9:34 am

        Bingo. Our daughter’s ex was 6 when his parents divorced and the 4 sibs were split up, 2 to each parent. Horrible! Explains why he fits your description of a narcissist so perfectly—but sadly this understanding does not make coping with his projection, character assassination, and verbal abuse any less toxic and exhausting. Made so much worse by the fact he is a lawyer, so he’s taken her to court so many times (lost every time) that she/we will be paying her lawyer for years. Worth it to protect her boys though. The 18 yr old just left his house. Now it’s all about protecting the 15 yr old. Over 8 years of battling so far—3 to go. Positive outlook: it’s made us all stronger; and the boys are learning to be resilient.

      • December 29, 2019 at 9:12 pm

        Darius, yours is an excellent overview of the disease of narcissism. Our culture desperately needs to be educated about this horrible, horrible disorder.

        The narcissist resorts to evil as their only way to cope with life because in the mind of a narcissist there is no other God before they, themselves.

        The very worst aspect of narcissistic abuse is oppression and financial abuse. My father embezzled my inheritance after my mother died, admits that he “administers the trust” which he refuses to disclose information about, holds money that belongs to me, issues me a very small stipend each month, and then goes around telling people that he supports me and I refuse to work which isn’t true. I’ve worked as an artist for many years and have supplemented my income with menial jobs. He may be draining my inheritance. Because he’s a pathological liar I’ve asked to meet with a mediator and then he threatens to stop my trust payment if there’s a mediator involved. He is not of sound mind and I believe he could be dangerous. When he’s confronted with the truth he screams “elder abuse” which his married girl friend told him to do.

        Because of his abuse since I was very small — my first memory of his physical beatings of me was when I was about 3 years old and he began beating me physically until I would pass out, I struggle with PTSD and burnout from the futility of just trying to survive living in exigent poverty — overcoming the chaos that is the result of limitation.

        It is not easy to keep the faith. My entire family threw me under the bus after my mother died so that my father could cavort with a married woman. It was more important to him to figure out how to be a husband to another man’s wife than to be a father to his two daughters who’d just lost their mother. And the kicker is, that affair of his started long before my mother died.

        My sister is in complete denial. His abuse of her was worse than his abuse of me but she shows signs of Stockholm Syndrome and will always side with him. He also abused her little daughter when she was about 6 years old.

        He, too, was abused as a little child. I know some of the history from what one of his siblings told me. My entire family is broken because he refuses to acknowledge his problem or take responsibility for his cruelty. It is impossible to reason with someone who has sold out. He sold his soul to the devil with this married woman who mops the floor with him. It is impossible to open his eyes to the truth and she’s draining him financially.

        Well, I pray. And I pray. And I pray. What do I pray for? Peace. And financial freedom, freedom from this oppression and enough money to pay a good shark of a lawyer.

  • August 3, 2018 at 2:47 am

    This article is very helpful information. Thank you, Darius, for putting your understanding and training into language that makes sense to me. These narcissistic characteristics in a partner are the stimulus for often seemingly unendurable emotional pain and frustration in my experience. I don’t expect it will change, but (at this time) I see this relationship of close to 30 years, eek! as a profound opportunity for growth in learning openness, and exploring my own reactions and behaviors …just beginning to find some clarity and lift the foggy mental state.

    • August 3, 2018 at 2:50 am

      Hi, thanks for your kind feedback. I’m glad you found it helpful.

      All the best in resolving your situation.


  • August 5, 2018 at 1:37 am

    I did learn a lot from your article. You are obviously great at what you do. However, the wording at the beginning bothered me a bit. I, myself suffer from narcissistic tendencies. It is not fun, enjoyable (although it may look that way) or fulfilling. I see a therapist very often, take my meds as directed and I’ve really come a long way.
    You began your article with , “Anybody who has had the misfortune of dealing with these types of people…”
    I find this a bit offensive. I’m not sure that anybody struggling with an illness, disease or personality disorder should be looked at as a misfortune to know.
    I realize your readers are mostly on the other side and some have had their lives ruined by narcissism. I do feel very badly for that, and I can’t say I haven’t hurt loved ones in my day, before realizing that my behavior was unacceptable and unmanageable. I carry great guilt for this.
    This may actually make me look like more of a narcissist but I’m here, reading for help and I just thought that needed to be said.
    Thanks for spreading your knowledge.

    • August 5, 2018 at 1:58 am

      Hi Bella, thank you for your comment.

      I understand where you’re coming from. At the same time, as an author you have to dedicate you piece of work to a certain topic or position. This article is for those who have been abused by highly narcissistic people. Just like when I write about childhood trauma I usually side with the child completely. It doesn’t mean I generally don’t feel empathy for patents who wittingly or unwittingly have hurt their child, as I have worked with parents and helped them become better parents. But for a particular piece of work I write from a position of siding with the child or adult-child.

      Moreover, I know that many people use the term ‘narcissism’ very loosely, sometimes even when it doesn’t fit or as an insult. But the truth is that, like almost everything regarding mental health, it’s on a spectrum. And in my experience and observation highly narcissistic people usually don’t seek help nor really try to get better. Obviously I don’t know you at all but based on what you said you may be one of the rarer cases who actually is introspective, remorseful, and wanting to change for the better. You have to understand that everyone reads the article from their perspective. For some, it matches their situation more, for others perhaps less or not at all. If I were to talk to you personally, I obviously would engage you from a very different position, just like in a case with a parent who may not have been a good parent sometimes.

      I hope that makes sense!

      All the best,

      • January 16, 2019 at 7:15 am

        I don’t even know where to start…let me try this…my almost 20 year old son is a narcissist. I started seeing and understanding this finally when he was 17. I came across an article and it was like a punch to the stomach. I cried when I read the words and realized this is what my son has suffered from since the age of about four and a half. The article you have written here is by far the most comprehensive and again brings tears to my eyes as I know he is not only hurting others but he is truly a tortured soul within. I’ve recently started to listen more in regards to where this disease stems from. They say genetics plays a role but trauma at an early age is more likely to be the culprit. I thought about this and am struggling big time. I was and am a wonderful, good mother but there have been two times very early on in my son’s life that I can think of that I made a bad choice with his care. I won’t go into it right now, just know I’ve been questioning them bc there is absolutely no other people or situations he would have been exposed to trauma as I was a stay at home mom.

        I’m reaching out here and linking into Bella’s response bc I need help. I’ll be ordering your book, first and foremost. As a parent of a narcissist, there are very little tools or kind words on how to best support those you deeply love with this disease. My son creates suffering but also has had breakdowns of self loathing since he was small and they are heartbreaking. The most recent one(and scariest) before finishing high school last year at age 19. I have to keep boundaries and an almost inauthentic relationship with him to maintain. It can be very superficial. I want to help him but as he is older now, it has become very difficult and getting real with him feels scary to me. He says I’m too soft and I should have been harder on him as a child(this was said with extreme anger and resentment during his last breakdown). We haven’t seen each other since June 2018 as he moved away with his dad to work for a year in the entertainment industry. He’s had a couple really big disasters while there. He brought his high school girlfriend(she had a horrid childhood) with him from Ohio to California and devistated her with lies and secrets and manipulation. She came home, thankfully. He is coming home in April. I’m wondering how this will go for us. Will he pretend like nothing happened? Do I open a discussion with him and suggest getting help? How do I protect myself? How do I protect his little brother from his abusive words? I’m overwhelmed already, or rather this feeling has been with me always and I was just starting to relax after a year of recovery and feel it all flooding back in. Again, I need help. Living in the middle of nowhere, my resources are slim!

      • January 27, 2019 at 6:32 pm

        Sending many prayers for strength for you during this time Jennifer. I too am suspecting this in my teenage son, he just turned 17. The picture is a little muddied as he has ADHD and Bipolar disorder, but life has been difficult with him feel early on. He has been in counseling and had seen psychiatrist from a very early age and seems to always manipulate the counselor

    • January 6, 2019 at 10:51 pm

      the truth is what it is–your being offended just shows you don’t live in reality and that is part of the problem with narcissist–they live in a fantasy land where everything they do is great…when it is not–they hurt people all the time–and always put themselves first–try to have some empathy to know how that could make a person ferl

      • January 27, 2019 at 6:22 pm

        It is very difficult to have empathy for a malignant narcisstic psychopath who shows no remorse for his actions or abuse. I was in a “relationship” with one for nearly 10 years. It was truly a nightmare, and I’m Lucky that I am still alive.

  • August 6, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    Thank you! In my experience with my narcissistic Mother and Father in law I couldn’t agree more with your comment about traumatic childhoods! Mother was raised at a catholic boarding school in the 60’s, which is now well known for the abuse the boarders recieved! Father in law grew up with a lazy eye as a result of a siblings accidental stabbing with scissors at age 5. Surgically fixed in his late 20’s but mentally scarred for life. I empathise with both Mother and Father in law, still I have chosen to go no contact with either for self preservation. I have to love from afar! Great article! Experienced it firsthand. Thanks

    • October 28, 2018 at 4:54 am

      The narcissists in my life are also my in laws and like yours they too have had traumatic childhoods. Growing up in Europe during the war I cant imagine anything more frightening. I have also chosen to have no contact and so has my husband. I feel so guilty sometimes and feel like I’m keeping him from his family. I have said to my hubby in many occassions that if he wants to see them he should go…but he has a lot of baggage due to their parenting and is..at the moment enjoying no contact…goodluck

  • August 6, 2018 at 11:00 pm

    Darius, the accuracy and relevance of your article is stunning. It’s as if you took a page out of my life. Due my disability I had been living with my toxic and dysfunctional parents for the last 30 years where I was regularly abused by my dad who has NPD and my mother who went from severe denial and dissociation to becoming an enabler of his abuse. I ended up developing C-PTSD due to the onslaught of malicious sadistic games, blameshifting, lies, property damage, threats and other types of relentless abuse both physical and emotional which just continued to escalate. I felt so damaged that I isolated myself from the outside world but realizing I was rapidly becaming unwell from the abuse I attempted to escape. When my father saw that I had packed my property into boxes and ready to moce out, he responded by smashing and destroying all my property and then appointed me with the cleanup process. Everytime I neared completion of the mess he had caused, he would continue to undo any progress and repeat the damage. Rather than leave all my belongings behind I became trapped playing his sick game for 2 years. Finally I called the police and showed them the damages that had amounted over $12,000. But with the help of my mother they manipulated and deceived police by putting on a performance as the “caring parents” and I was portrayed as the “problem son”. Once he had a taste of how easily he had deceived and controlled police, he turned that into a new form of abuse where he began to misuse police services as instruments of abuse to cause me grief and fear. If I tried to stand up for myself he threatened that he would have me locked up (by fabricating a story to police) and then have my dog put down in my absence. My PTSD got worse as I felt trapped there. In a desperate attemp to put an end to his abuse, I went to court and applied for an order to keep him away from me so I could get away from there without experiencing anymore of his sadistic games. However he reteliated against my actions by coercing my mother to go to the police station with him where they made a police report falsely alleging that I had schizophrenia and that I was violent and had thteatened to cause them bodily harm. As a result of his lies I ended being subject to police misconduct where I was up unlawfully arrested and placed on bail. I was then evicted from the house, seperated from my medical devices and thrown out on the street and as a result my health and welfare was jeapordised. Ending up homeless with my dog while I have a disability was quite traumatic and the fact that this was done to me by my own parents makes me sick to my stomach. Its now been 3 months since my crisis situation and I still continue to relive the abuse everyday as it haunts me. All my attempts to seek justice have failed and the false schizophrenia claims my father had made ended working better than he could have ever imagined as it ended up on the police database and was used to discredit me from exposing the truth as well as becoming a hindrence in almost all my correspondence with police. I will never forgive my parents for what they did to me. I experience several nightmares every night where I relive the betrayal and lies I suffered. The fact that they blameshifted and had me arrested by using the very same threats and abuse my father subjected me to, makes me feel as though I was basically arrested for being abused. I’ve had to disconnect from all relatives and family friends due to my fathers smear campaigns. And the fact that he has kept his abusive mask hidden so well from outsiders makes it impossible for me to declare my innocence. Where is the justice?

    • October 23, 2018 at 3:17 am

      I am so sorry for you, Troy. It sounds as if you have an understanding and insightful heart, and your reactions are quite in keeping with the abuse you suffered. I applaud you for your tenacity and resourceful to keep standing up for yourself. It seems to me that these same traits will lead into peace and clarity, a safer place to safer people if you persist. Btw, there is a just God who, I believe, has your back if you persist in seeking Him through your pain and struggles…

    • October 24, 2018 at 3:23 pm

      Oh my goodness I hope you have some support now

  • August 10, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    Wow thank-you so much. I am 57 and my mother died last year at 73. I had no contact for 7 years over my “reaction” to her belittling me (i stormed out of her house) i tried briefly to contact her bit there was no response. She was close to my sister (i was the difficult one) my sister did not inform me of her illness nor of my mother disinheriting me leaving all to my sister, she even cut out my daughter from her will. My dad (deceased) worked so hard all his life and wanted things shared out equally. I am still devastated at so many losses.

    • January 18, 2019 at 7:11 pm

      My mother did something very similar in her will and though my father died tow years before, his will was fair and equal. She’s been gone for awhile now and I can forgive her because I no longer have to feel the hurt from her. You will heal from this. It’s on her, not you. It was also nasty other to drive a wedge between you and your sister, but that’s what they do.

  • August 11, 2018 at 10:39 am

    What makes it so frustrating is that the types of behaviour people with NPD impose on their victims is so sensless, cruel, unjustified and irrational that, outsiders such as friends, relatives, health workers, or law enforcement have a hard time believing you when you try and tell them about it. Normal people just can’t seem to wrap their heads around the fact that anyone close to you could behave that deranged and maliciously. So in the end you end up not only being abused by the Narcissist but also end up being disbelieved.

    • August 16, 2018 at 2:57 am

      What you say is so true Troy. This is exactly what I’ve experienced after dealings with a NPD.

    • September 6, 2018 at 10:11 pm

      Troy, you are so right, my partner is so loved by everybody we know that I dare not say a bad word about him. If I do, the person will look at me in disgust , thinking what an ungrateful bitch I am, when this man has put his life on hold to look after me (I am a stroke victim), and has (laughably – my comment) been faithful to me all that time, when it is obvious that he would have no trouble getting another woman.

    • October 24, 2018 at 12:58 pm

      Could not agree more. Well said !! Living it now with my husbands ex-wife and I am still in disbelief of her actions … I believe them, as I see them however it’s still hard for me to wrap my head around it and I’m living it with my husband. So i can’t even begin to explain it to someone else.

    • December 22, 2018 at 9:58 am

      Amen! I’m an Adult child of a NP that moved back in several years ago to help with aging grandparents.

      Still living with the NP. (I was financially ruined by a 5 yr relationship which a man child and had no other options)

      Years later I’ve now come to accept the fact that my NP is very mentally ill. So much so I was nearly pushed to the brink of hurting myself to deal with the confusion and pain.

      The NP, even when told about my own mental health (first mistake is showing NPs ANY weakness or information that can be used against you in the court of the NP)

      They go to great lengths to push me in to a mental down word spiral, this person is not right.

      In a recent argument where it became escalated over a food product, it took every bit of discipline in my body not to strike them with a fist.

      It was as if they wanted the fight, me to loose it, and they would call the police and cry 😭 that I “hurt” them. Leaving out the parts of twisting words, threats of homelessness and pulling back all resources (typical NP behavior, I WILL PUNISH YOU! For standing up to my nonrsense! Is what they are screaming in their heads)

      I have learned to hold back my words, in this recent situation, I was generally confused 🤷‍♀️ about it. Not sure where I had “offended” the party.

      The usual “no gratitude, ungreatful, you don’t appreciate…” all came out. I stared blinking. Even asked for clarification.

      The response. ” good! You should be confused!” Still not sure what the hell happened. But you can not define or explain the actions of a NP to a NP.

      They drive wedges and talk mad crap 💩.
      I’m learning coping skills because I can not currently leave my situation.

      Things that have helped, being in frequent contact with family and friends, getting away from the house (which can be difficult when suddenly at the last minute there are demands on my time, I even had a date sabotaged!)

      Living with an NP is like a lion tamer living in the cage with his lions.

    • December 6, 2019 at 3:40 pm

      I have learned to understand “why” they have a hard time believing us. I myself had a hard time accepting that my abuser was a narcissist. All the pieces of the puzzle fit perfectly, but I just couldn’t grasp the idea of a person having NO empathy towards others. It just seems so alien a concept. However, the perplexing reality is that these types of people do exist and have left a trail of confused, hurt, and numb people in their wake. Might be best to just encourage others to do some research on narcissists, before you start giving them the experiences you went through. At least then they can see that many others have lived through it too, and the types of sick games these people play on their victims. For my sanity, I just had to cut ties with some people, who the narcissist was using as their flying monkeys. It seems so unfair, but the peace you gain is worth it. Start new, with people the narcissist isn’t connected with, if you can.

  • August 16, 2018 at 3:11 am

    Thank you Darius for this article; which perfectly describes what it’s like to deal with an NPD. The best material I’ve read thus far. Knowing that there are others out there that fully understand what I’ve gone thru in dealing with an NPD, is at least comforting. The damage done by dealings with an NPD, in my experience, is unexplainable and unimaginable. To explain it to someone that hasn’t dealt with one is so frustrating and isolating because they simply can’t understand… it makes you feel like you’re the crazy one! Do you have any tips on how to recognize an NPD to avoid getting entangled with one?

  • August 28, 2018 at 11:20 am

    This article helps me cope with what I have just been through in the legal system. My late husband’s ex wife has had me in a legal battle since he passed away in 2009. She manipulated the justice system and got a court order against me and his estate for half a million dollars. I then had to take the matter to an appeal court where her judgment was over turned. She has always portrayed herself as the victim to gain what she wants in the justice system and for some reason or other this works for females who are not the real victims.

  • August 30, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    Some say that birds of a feather flock together. My soon-to-be-ex wife and I are both narcissists, her thin-skinned and me thick-skinned. We both had childhood trauma but I always had a good relationship with my mother.

    After many years of wondering which of us was crazy and without any NPD insight I decided that all discussion and argument was futile and that I just had to navigate by my own moral compass. I suggest that this may be the only way to survive inside an NPD marriage: ignore your partner’s crazy.

    Q: But why would people do that to themselves? A. Because they’re narcissists.

    What do you think of the idea that narcissists may prefer narcissists as mates?

    • December 13, 2018 at 9:43 am

      I tried this and he soon tired of me. I ignored his criticism and his tantrums. I didn’t bat an eye at his put downs. I no longer argued with him about anything really. He got bored and moved on. I was disposed of without even a semblance of a goodbye….he left me sitting on my birthday and just disappeared. One final act of cruelty. I am now trying to clean up the mess that is my life.

      As far as both being narcs….I don’t know about that….with us I think it is more codependent and narc or empath and narc… possibly even bpd and npd. These dysfunctions “balance” each other if you will. There is a very strong pull of that I am certain.

  • September 4, 2018 at 11:29 am

    Interesting article. Also interesting is the number of comments that are about people’s stories of being victims of female narcissists.

  • September 16, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    Wow, what a great description. I’ll share this with other NPD survivors. Thank you

  • September 17, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    Darius, I shared it with a Narcissist survival group I belong to and so many were amazed at how right on your description was. Please keep up this good work, we all need you to help us.

      • March 18, 2019 at 6:29 am

        Thank you for all this insightful information. A dear friend just sent me a link to your article, having walked beside me as I was dragged through the terrible, heartbreaking, traumatic process of marriage to and divorce from a man who apparently has, among other issues, a deep and intense narcissistic personality disorder. It has been bewildering to watch him “con” in the words of one of his friends, the mental health professionals to whom he spins his mythologies. This has given him a tremendously validating forum and his destructive behaviors can now flourish full-blown. :-/ Thanks again, I will refer back to this article in the future, to remind myself of the real dynamic going on…

  • September 18, 2018 at 11:12 am

    “Or they twist it by using euphemisms and deceiving language (“I’m not controlling, I just want what’s best for you.”).”

    I’ve gotten an “How long have I known you for” from an official and some month later, after standing up, pacing and towering “I don’t know how to explain it to you – I can contact … that was all that was said after I said no to what I certainly wasn’t in need of and had no obligation whatsoever to say yes to, and this was gonna be the end of the road for this official unless I said yes!

    There was also sexual innuendo; the motivation for the abusive display was to get a venue to express the repression! Also, possibly an reference to the gaslighting term itself, since the threat to misrepresent/triangulate was akin to saying “I can go to the gasstation!”.

    They want to make you ask what they mean to be in control, stonewalling, and they get aroused by the control.

    Another one quite similar but a diagnosed schizophrenic also stood up to get tall, then kicked me because I was leaving! I guess I was leaving “too early”. Possessive like Jeffrey Dahmer.

    Thanks for the article.

  • September 23, 2018 at 11:36 am

    My daughter is married to a narcissist. She was groomed by this 32 year old man over the internet when she was 19. He had been married 3 times before, has a criminal record and a history of violence against women. He told so many lies and manipulated her thinking to get her to leave us, her family in the UK and move to Phoenix, Arizona where he quickly trapped her into a marriage and got her pregnant.
    My daughter is now coming up to 25, her husband has turned her against her family, and I have a 3 year old grandson who I get access to once a year.
    Whenever I see my daughter there is no life in her anymore, her eyes have no light. It has broken me in so many ways, but I live in hope that one day she will wake up and see her husband for what he is and what he has taken from her.
    Whenever I have tried to help her see the deceptions I have always been attacked with brutal lies and hateful words so now I have to just see it as her journey, and just be there for her consistently, so when she does wake up I can help her put herself back together.

    • March 4, 2019 at 3:36 pm

      Diane, I teared up a little when I read your comment. Because it reminded me of something my mother(more than just my mother to be honest) said to me when I was still in the trenches with an NP. When you said you have seen the light in your daughter’s life go out, and that you just wanted your daughter back. My mother said that her Star was gone, no more sparkle. As painful as it is for you to see that light gone, I know that it pains her too. But until one is ready to say enough is enough, it is a survival mechanism in order to dull the everyday attacks that she lives with. Can’t get whacked by the mallet if you don’t put your head up. You mention she has a son now only heightens the risk. A child is one of the best weapons you can wield when you are a narcissist. This is not even about what a narcissist parent can do to a child, I’ll get there. When there is a child involved, you have to choose whether the danger to them and the danger to you is greater in the present than in the future. Then do your best. You are constantly on guard for immediate danger, even when you know that in the long term there is so much more harm that can be done by staying still. It’s how the narcissist keeps their supply in line, and to them, the child is just a bonus future supply.

      She’s still in there, and I truly hope for both you and her that she gets to come out to fill her skin and light her eyes once again. It took me many years even after leaving to come back, I’m still trying, and it is never easy. It’s a hard fight and it does and will change you. I try to think of it as being forged like a strong sword. Lots of heat and pain. It’s easy to feel broken by what was done to you, and that some flaw of yours is the reason it happened, or that you allowed it to happen to you(Prize Fight: Guilt vs Shame). But that’s just what the villian wanted you to think. That’s how they got you in the first place, slowly, insidiously, and then you are dinner for the spider. It also doesn’t go away just because you get away. It’s the harder part of recovering that I still struggle with, even harder than getting out. You just have to love her, be there for her, even though it breaks your heart. Because she needs that now, and she needs that when she gets out. If she pushes you away now it is to protect you, and it is done out of love. She’s just not ready to realize that it’s another weapon but one she uses on herself. Sorry, my response was so long. I was just moved by your comment and thought you might like to hear what I would have told my mother when I was actively in it.

  • October 22, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    My daughter…☹😟

  • October 23, 2018 at 12:23 am

    They are born with a big gap in the heart/soul/brain where the conscience should have been, you cannot teach conscience, this is why they ALL do the exact same thing all over the world.

    • November 16, 2018 at 12:41 am

      Respectfully disagree – they are almost always victims of severe childhood trauma themselves. Which doesn’t in any way excuse the things they do; they are extremely destructive and dangerous, and I want no part of that. However, I do have a great deal of compassion for the innocent children they were at one time, who, just like me, did not ask to be brutalized (psychologically, emotionally, physically and/or sexually) or born into the circumstances they were.

      I was horrifically abused for 50+ years by a narc mother followed by a narc husband, both of whom were horrifically abused as children, themselves. And I have enormous gratitude for the fact that, by some miracle of grace, I didn’t end up quite as badly damaged as they were; so, unlike them, remained capable of insight, self-reflection, vulnerability, and therefore recovery. I’ve learned a lot along the way, and now have a joyful, peaceful life and a truly loving relationship; my mother and ex-husband will never know what that’s like. For anyone looking for justice – well, there’s that, isn’t there: a narcissist is already trapped in their own hell from which they can never escape; but their victims CAN.

      Money is said to be the “root of all evil” – but I think childhood trauma just might be. I don’t personally believe that anyone is “born” with a lack of empathy; but that personality disorders such as narcissism are just one of many maladaptive responses to extreme stress and trauma in childhood. Which isn’t always overt, or even intentional. Once you understand that, you can almost always find the root cause; unfortunately, that doesn’t mean it can be treated.

      My thoughts… 🙂

      • December 13, 2018 at 9:54 am

        I disagree….to some extent. Whether they were born with underdeveloped parts of their brain or this parts atrophied due to non-use could be debated. But the fact that they have non-functional or barely functional parts of their brain cannot. I firmly believe that some are born this way and some become this way. Either way….their destruction is the same and should be avoided at all costs. I stayed way too long hoping and trying to help the broken child inside of him. And in return he chewed me up and spat me out like a worthless piece of garbage when I no longer suited his agenda and cooperated with his false reality. May you take some comfort in having a “reason” for all that devastation…and stay far clear of it too.

      • January 18, 2019 at 7:25 pm

        I agree that some of it is genetic. How could some of it not be? People are born with all kinds of disabilities and just because you can’t “see” them doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

      • December 13, 2018 at 9:41 pm

        The LOVE OF MONEY is the root of all evil.
        whats that root? Greed, selfishness, jealousy, covetousness. Pride. Haughtiness. Most (not all) rich people or people who LOVE MONEY (you don’t have to be rich to love money) only care about themselves… Period. The short of it.. right there.

      • September 7, 2019 at 8:05 am

        Religion and testosterone are the roots of all evil.

      • March 13, 2019 at 11:50 am

        I have come to the same views. I have found the best thing for me was to first find compassion for my wounds and then I was able to see my parents wounds and have compassion and then forgiveness. No relationships were restored… no changes were made for any reunion but I still was able to finally release my rage and anger about it all. Its still sad and there are longings for restoration at times of the year. Christmas is always kinda hard… but I would never go backwards and wont let myself. For my sake.. my husbands sake and my kids sake. To not repeat that cycle is my biggest goal.

  • October 23, 2018 at 3:32 am

    This a very good article. You definitely showed what’s behind their actions. It’s often hard for normal people to see this initially because we don’t think the same. I have read what feels like non stop on this personality disorder for two years. . This is one of the better articles I have read. Not overwhelming and you hit the major facts that explain why they do such unimaginable things. Thanks. You are obviously very knowledgeable. You must have some real experience behind this.

  • October 23, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    Thank you for this article.`it is very well written

  • October 24, 2018 at 12:30 am

    Reading with you from Europe What a great written article. It’s so true. Pretending that they are the victim. Going now trough a divorce after 5 year together. Tried to take my kids away from me by the court in the USA while we were on a visit in Phoenix Arizona we just went to visit him he moved back since this year after we split up.
    Absolutely a mental killer they trie to do everything to brake you down. What an evil people. Never want to meet those kind of people. Right now I am wondering how I could be ever fallen in love with this men.
    I have to work on my low self esteem. Anyways good luck for everyone. After storm there is always sun coming up.

  • October 24, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    This sounds so familiar. In our case, this person was a middle manager in our department, in a perfect position to mediate the communication between ourselves and the higher management. It didn’t help that one of his duties was to write our performance reviews and assign and check our work. He was only there for about 18 months, but in that time three long term staff had full breakdowns and went on long term medical leave, one was “offered” early retirement with a much reduced pension (as an alternative to being fired by management), and the bully was persuaded to take full retirement. This must have cost the company at least a million in health care, staff replacement and lousy morale among the remaining department members. Bullies are unbelievably expensive, but don’t seem to get the attention that they should.

    • March 10, 2019 at 9:50 pm

      I lost my career of 29 years due to a spiteful, jealous, slandering narcissist. And after I was gone, she transferred out of the department and was promoted.

  • October 24, 2018 at 4:26 pm

    Can narcissists be in a relationship with each other? And if so do they usually work together against others or do they clash? I’m asking because my son’s girlfriend moved her best friend in their home then they moved my son’s best friend in. The 2 best friends are now together and have made everyone’s lives a living hell. They have been asked to move out several times and when asked to leave they point so many fingers. They have agreed to move soon but there is a baby involved and I’m worried for her safety. Is there anything I can do?

  • October 25, 2018 at 8:51 am

    Unfortunately the narcissist in my life is my 10 year old sons father and I don’t have the option to cut ties and often find myself in nasty custody battles where lies are spewing from his mouth and I have to vigorously defend myself in order to keep custody of my child, I’ve been so belittled and put down, projected upon, lied to and villanized over the past 10 years and unfortunately have to continue to endure that for the next 8. I take solace in the fact that I eventually won’t have to deal with him any longer and I look forward to that day so that I can finally get away from his toxicity. I do feel bad for my son and the fact that he will always to an extent have to deal with his father. I’m just glad that as an adult he’ll be able to limit the exposure where as right now having joint custody that’s not an option for me or my son.

  • October 26, 2018 at 10:57 am

    My mother is every thing you described. She is 73 and has 5 children, however the youngest left her at age 10 and moved back in with my father after my parents divorce. That was a life changer for my sister. My step dad and my mother have been married 38 years this December and he only began to realize about 8 years ago he didn’t even know the woman he was married to. Her kids are the only ones who have truly known her at all, but we didn’t know the depth of her narcissism and as she aged her behavior has become much worse because she is no longer able to manage her narcissism and she has been exposed and it has made her very violent and very dangerous. Also a narcissist can be a social-path because their characteristics are very similar.

  • October 26, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    A narcissist can appear to be kind,understanding, honest, compassionate, sympathetic, empathetic, etc. But in reality that’s not who they are. They lie, cheat, steal, manipulate and they lack the ability to be compassionate, empathetic or sympathetic. They don’t want to hear the truth about anything if it means they are wrong because they must be right because being wrong goes against their agenda and trust me they always have an agenda. A narcissist can become violent and extremely dangerous when they feel threatened and they have lost the ability to manipulate and control others. If their narcissism is exposed then these abilities are surely threatened. A narcissist and a social-path share many of the same characteristics, so exposing them for who they truly are can be very detrimental to the person or persons doing the exposing. So one must tread very lightly when dealing with these types of individuals. They always play the victim and they are accustomed to controlling the narrative and therefore the outcome in all situations.

  • October 26, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    This was an excellent well defined article accurately describing this group of toxic people.

    How about another indepth article to identify a Serial Narc and dangers to other people forced to interact with them?

    • November 16, 2018 at 12:50 am

      Isn’t every narc a serial narc? They don’t change… I believe part of the criteria for a personality disorder is that it remains the same across time and in different circumstances.

  • October 26, 2018 at 9:28 pm

    In the case of two adversarial parties, each claiming that the other is a narcissist, perhaps the most difficult aspect is to determine who is telling the truth, or who is living in reality, because both parties think they are correct. The shoe fits on either foot, so which should wear it?
    An outside party looking in is most likely going to determine who they think is correct based on their own experiences and prejudices, not on a thorough and unbiased investigation of the facts.
    If an outside party is attempting to determine the truth, a clever manipulator will seek to determine that person’s bent, and then use their bent to lead them to the conclusion they want them to have.

  • October 27, 2018 at 7:52 am

    OMG IM SO SORRY I DIDNT HAVE THIS ARTICLE 2 YEARS AGO … this explains exactly how my sons mother is …if I had this information my life would’ve been much less complicated ..

  • October 27, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    Thank you for this article Darius. Spot-on, does not describe the article well enough. So, what happens, and I’m afraid I know the answer, when a covert, malignant narcissist reads an article like yours? Do they just “Split” it, in their mind, back to the victim? Although a lot of the nightmare is behind me, a small part of me wants to send your article to her and each and every “Flying Monkey” flanking my ex. To me, this condition is pure evil. We have four young children together and, thankfully, on their own, they are learning the truth. But, my goodness it’s hard. Thank you again for sharing the truth.

    • October 27, 2018 at 2:13 pm

      Hi Christian, thank you for your kind feedback. I’m glad it was helpful to you!

      As to your question, I could probably write a separate article on how a narcissistic person reacts to information like this article. But in short, there are a few possible reactions depending on the narcissistic person. Some feel hurt, ashamed, and exposed and then go into depression. Others feel anger and rage, some of whom lash out either by attacking the author or the article, or by acting it out on those around them. But rarely do they actually recognize that there’s something wrong with them.

      If you’re interested, I have a video on narcissists in therapy: https://youtu.be/9uYOfRAV4x4


      • October 28, 2018 at 9:56 am

        Your article was very helpful to me. I missed a couple very big red flags when we first met. He had just got out of an year and a half relationship and was already ready to date me. As well he told me he was going to see a councillor to see if he had been responsible for the end of his 14 year turbulent marriage and the girl friend before me. He came back after one appointment and said as he thought it would be, it was not his fault at all and all theirs. It didn’t feel right when he said that, but I was blinded and instead was giving him credit for going in the first place. I was unaware at that time that he had many very short relationships in between and many separations with his ex wife. It all makes sense now. But when you’re in it, and they are calling you a narcissist, you start to believe you must be the cause of everything, especially if a councillor is telling them it wasn’t them in the past. I should have focused on his need to get verification from a professional that he was not to blame and the fact that it was a done deal after only one session.

      • January 7, 2019 at 5:04 pm

        You’re only hearing what he’s telling you, the counsellor said. No doubt he’s fabricated the truth and twisted things so he appeared to be the victim and others the perpetrator. And lied to you in the end.

  • October 27, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    Darius, this article is amazingly accurate. I’ve watched as my step-son has exhibited ALL of these traits in his divorce. His own infidelity, emotional abuse of his children, and physical abuse of his wife has been turned into a narrative where HE is the cuckolded husband, and his wife is using their children as tools in the divorce. He’s angry with his father and me because we refuse to ‘drink the kool-aid.’ We observed the collapse of his marriage first hand, and it was his own infidelity and virtual abandonment of his wife and children that caused it. So he has made up another lie about having a ‘do not contact’ order against us, probably to try to discredit us. I think he’s actually convinced himself of his own lies. Thankfully, our daughter-in-law is a strong, self-confident woman who has been an outstanding example for her young children. But it has been very challenging for her to deal with his lies, and the slander he has spread against her. Thank you for describing, so accurately, how and why the narcissistic personality employs these tactics. It is enlightening and very well written.

  • October 29, 2018 at 10:41 am

    Excellent article! It is very interesting that no comment posted links to the current President of the USA, our narcissistic head of state. The leader of the pack.

    • November 8, 2018 at 10:25 am

      Don’t always believe in the media

    • December 29, 2018 at 12:05 pm

      My thought exactly

  • October 29, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    You hit it on the head with this article. 27 years of marriage and oldest child as a clone of his sperm donor father. I’m so blessed to be away from the hell they put me through.

  • October 29, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    Wow! This article is very en lighting. For the past couple of days I’ve been trying to figure out why my husband does some of the things he does.
    We are in our late 50’s and have only been married 5 yrs. We hardly ever argue over anything but whenever I make a comment like you hurt my feelings by doing this or that, he tries to turn it around and make me the bad guy. He says “He can’t believe I’m accusing him”…….( of breaking the wax warmer, because he wasn’t being careful.) Well he knocked it off the table with the broom handle because he wasn’t watching what he was doing……we were both standing right there. He gets so upset and emotional because he says I don’t understand why he’s upset. Now I do!!
    I’m a very emotionally strong person, and very independent also. I don’t get upset when he tries to turn the situation around on me, and I have even laughed at him about it before. (probably shouldn’t have done that).
    I’m at a loss as to how to help him with this. It’s not a big problem in our marriage (yet) but I don’t want it to become one either.

  • November 7, 2018 at 9:30 pm

    I work with a lowly narcissist whom I stopped talking to because he is incorrigible, and boy, did his machinations escalate. He is in the throes of character assassination against me with our other coworkers, but unfortunately, they are not very enlightened or intuitive people, even among a good proportion of the management, who should be above his deceptions. All I can do is apply any way I can to get away from him, and cast all kinds of hexes upon him to banish him from existence–or at least make him paralyzed until I can find a better work site. There are racial, or ethnosociocultural factors that exacerbate the situation, and cause those with the potential for more perceptive scrutiny into this little miscreant’s words and actions, to align with him, regardless. Tsk tsk. I can’t help thinking that my change of operating venue will have to include a change of composite population, which would mean a very far place from here in New York.

  • November 13, 2018 at 9:07 am

    Darius, you say that narcissists have had traumatic childhoods which is the cause of their narcissism. This has left me very puzzled regarding my sister who is 13 months older than me.

    It would seem that when I was born she suffered some kind of psychic wound…? In no way was she going to allow her sibling to steal her thunder or, share HER parents. She has rejected me all my life no matter how kind I have been to her and has been the bane of my life. My sister was the first born and very much the favored child who could do no wrong. I was the unwanted pregnancy, the mistake as I was told, and throughout my childhood both my sister and father systematically abused me.

    My sister always referred to our parents as HER mum and dad, and would say horrible things to me such as, we don’t want you and you are not one of us. Often she would tell our parents to get ‘rid’ of me or, give her away. On one occasion she stabbed me in the face with a pair of scissors… I still have the scar, and on another she was caught holding a pillow over my face. She was never disciplined for her unacceptable actions. They would let her off all the time and she learned from a very young age how to manipulate our parents and other people too.

    Throughout our childhoods she was a very nasty sister who would make up ugly stories about me, what I was supposed to have said or done, which wasn’t true. Our parents always believed her. At school she would tell the teachers’ of those so called episodes but, she was in fact talking about herself. Truncating! Each year when I moved up to the next class, which had been her teacher for the last year, the teachers new all about the bad child that I was and I was always compared to myself sister who was a model student. When I told my parents neither of them did a thing about it so, my sister continued tell malicious lies about me painting a very black picture. She has done this with her friends and within the family too, where as a result, I’ve been further denigrated and ostracized. She has always, and still does, treat me like dirt but she is very much liked by the family. I’m trying to give you a short but rough sketch of her.

    My point is this, all her behaviors fall into the category of being a narcissist yet, she was the favored child and a spoiled brat who grew up with an over developed sense of entitlement and superiority. She looks down on everyone and though she is very active in the town where she lives, being involved in the community council where she has managed to become the chairperson of this and the leader of that etc., which is typical of her because she has always had to be the centre of attention and the Queen B so to speak, many people in the town despise her because she treats others like dirt.

    So Darius, this is where I’m very puzzled because she wasn’t a traumatized child. Quite the opposite in fact. On the other hand I was the one that was traumatized through systematic abuse including sexual, and I became the perfect little people pleaser. I’ve been twice divorced and both partners were narcissists which I now understand far better because of your very helpful articles. Would you please help me to put this one in perspective. Thank you so much!

    • November 16, 2018 at 3:22 am

      Hi, Sally. I’m an only child, but have come to understand that this dynamic is quite common where there are siblings involved, and it was certainly true in both my mother’s (overt) and ex-husband’s (covert) cases.

      Having said that, your sister was most certainly traumatized as well; and while it may seem counter-intuitive at first, I’d suggest that she’s actually ended up worse off than you. I heard it said early on in my own recovery that narcissists either raise other narcissists, or the co-dependents who go on to marry them; the latter, of course, are capable of recovery and healing – while the former, sadly, are not. While it may be simplistic, there’s enough truth to it that I found it helpful in putting my own family dynamics in perspective.

      I can only imagine how painful it must have been to grow up in a family where the parents “love” (and protect) one one child more than another, and I’m so sorry you experienced that. But please don’t think you deserved it, or that your sister wasn’t damaged by it as well – no one escapes this sort of abusive environment unscathed. If you aren’t familiar with them already, I’d suggest googling the terms “scapegoat” (or “black sheep”) and “golden child” – I suspect you’ll find it very enlightening.

      Peace. 🙂

  • November 18, 2018 at 3:48 am

    Wow ! I have read a lot about this subject, having spent years trying to understand what the hell happened to me all those years ago (and for so long) and Darius, everything you have written in these articles is spot on. Concise, accurate and just ‘hits the nail on the head’.
    I have made a full recovery and my life now is amazing but boy, I was taken in completely by this clever, manipulative guy. After 15 years he is showing his true colours and people are starting to realise his Stories are just that, but not before he almost destroyed me. Anyway, thank you for writing and sharing such well written articles.

  • November 19, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    I’ve dated people like this… the physically abusive relationship for sure. my current boyfriend thinks I’m narrcissitic . how can I prove to him I’m not what his mind creates me to be? is he narrcissitic for not listening to me and assuming things about me? or letting other put me down/fill his head with lies? I just need some clarity on this subject.

    • December 7, 2018 at 3:53 pm

      Hi, since nobody has answered yr question for several weeks, I’ll do my best to shed what little light I might be able to. You asked <> Wendy, nobody has ever “accused” me of being N (as I’ll call it to reduce typing) so I have no perspective from that point of view, but I HAVE experienced having a heavily N mother who transferred her dysfunctional attitude toward me to both of my younger siblings, who show what I believe to be N characteristics in their bad treatment of me, and I have had at least a few N boyfriends in my life. One of those boyfriends created an image of me in his mind due to a dream he had and it was fruitless to argue that what was in his mind did not mean I was actually what he had dreamed, so I would say that in the even less clear-cut as being “crazy” idea your boyfriend has of you (after all, who but a seriously deluded person concludes something about another person based on a DREAM!?), you are not going to be able to change his mind by arguing with him. In fact, if he himself is N, it’s VERY likely that him calling you N is pure projection on his part.

      As for your second question <> my guess is that the answer is YES. I base this evaluation primarily upon having my N sister ignore or not read my letters explaining my physical disability as being the source of behavior (moving from one residence to another over the years in a vain attempt to find a place to live where I won’t be exposed to incoming secondhand cigarette smoke from neighbors who smoke indoors of their apartment and the smoke seeps into my air, greatly harming me because my body doesn’t properly detoxify chemicals) — behavior that SHE asserts means I’m “seriously mentally ill”. Normally I would not care if someone thinks I’m something that I’m not, but this “diagnosis” (she has no psych training, and hasn’t seen me in 15 years) is my sister’s “rationale” for not wanting to help me in a life-and-death situation I am facing, the first time I’ve ever asked her for such (non-monetary) help, and I believe it stems in part from a character assassination my mother did of me to our extended family when I first came down with my physiological disorder, wherein her gaslighting of me “It’s all in your head”, she spread to other family members after I asked them for help when — my disability having made me unable to keep working, I lost my income and apartment.

      Because of the life-and-death possible consequences of her delusion that I’m “MI”, therefore, I sent her a letter explaining such things as “my need to repeatedly move is due not to MI (mental illness) but to my physiological disorder causing me to be badly hurt and harmed from inescapable secondhand cigarette smoke seeping into my various residences from smoking neighbors, and my inability at my disability-induced horrendously low annual income to afford decent standalone housing where I could escape secondhand smoke entering my indoor air, causing me to have to move and move and move to try and find smoke-free housing”. I also pointed out that until I came down with this physiological illness I worked fulltime and volunteered hundreds if not thousands of hours and travelled internationally and many many many other signs of excellent functioning, and I further pointed out that I have never had any medical professional from whom I sought help, to suggest that I had any mental illness (and have attended no psychologist or psychiatrist in my 60+ years of life, nor have I harmed anyone in any way whatsoever otehr than when *I* used to smoke, I unintentionally must have harmed some people with my secondhand cigarette smoke). This letter she informed me was “too long to read” (it was four or five pages with big margins and good spacing between the lines, and sent by snailmail, and she’s a person trained to a Master’s degree level and working as a librarian, who has herself authored papers she’s posted online that are far longer than the letter I sent to her).

      In short, when a “loved one” refuses to hear what we are telling them and accuses us of being or doing things for which there is no evidence, that’s a pretty clear sign there is something wrong with THEM, and a very likely diagnosis of that would be narcissism, IMHO (Darius, correct me if I am wrong please). This links with your final question of whether the fact that your boyfriend <> is a sign he is N. I don’t know whether letting others put you down and fill his head with lies is a sign of N, but it does seem to me to potentially be another case of adopting a viewpoint without actual evidence. When that happens, one would conclude there is something incentivizing that person to do so, especially if they’re a person who SUPPOSEDLY cares about you. Some form of mental illness — perhaps narcissism — seems quite possible as being the source of such incentive. HTH

  • December 11, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    Hey there,
    It sounds like you’re saying the solution to this is to not have anything to do with them? How can you have a relationship with someone like this? Surely there are ways to approach them that is beneficial to them. Is there any hope for the narcacist?

    • December 20, 2018 at 10:34 am

      I have wondered the same thing. Problem is any mention that they have the problem starts a battle that becomes your fault and they are clear of any fault. It’s a vicious cycle.

    • February 23, 2019 at 4:33 pm

      Amen Ryan! If you are looking to approach them in a way that is ‘beneficial to them’ (as you put it) one possible way is to completely fold yourself up and hand yourself over. But they will tire of that because it’s neither what they need or feel entitled to. If you can somehow manage to perceive their needs and meet them before hand, you might have a chance. But frankly even that is likely to bother them in some regard since it would make you appear better then them for knowing these things in advance. Can’t have that. No matter what you do it will eventually be wrong and when you ‘correct’ that too will be wrong.

  • December 20, 2018 at 10:31 am

    Hi, I am struggling with this currently with my girlfriend of many years. I’ve blinded myself to her actions and lies. I spent years believing I was the reason we couldn’t move forward. I didn’t want to believe friends and counselors of what they would show me and the obvious Gaslighting she was and is doing. I’m seeking help in any way I can now to break the cycle. Thank you!

  • December 24, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    One of the most accurate descriptions I have ever heard.
    My experience is with my ex husband who I believe is a malignant narcissist.
    The trials at the family court and the high conflict divorce almost broke me. He then took my children 50% all through lies, and all the tactics decscribwd here. When will Judges wise up. Lives are being destroyed

  • December 25, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    I’ve been divorced from a narciccist for 10 years now and I’m STILL suffering by his bullying, controlling, and manipulative ways. I’m alienated from my 12 year old son and have this to say about what I’ve learned over the years: narciccists are simple, unimaginative, and unoriginal creatures. When I began reaching out to other parents and different support groups of moms and dad’s alike who are suffering from parental alienation I discovered early on that the behaviors, circumstances, and events had many common threads. It was literally like they were getting their ideas out of the exact same playbook. It was then that it finally occurred to me just how truly sick (psychologically) my ex-husband is. Which allowed me to learn how to let go of the anger and crawl out from the hole of victimstance.

  • December 27, 2018 at 12:05 am

    This describes what has happened with my oldest son to the letter. He was diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder when he was 15. The last 4 years have been heart-wrenching for me as a mother. He was stopped taking his antipsychotics, has villanized us as parents, even tried to convince people to come to our home to harm us. He has moved away and had zero contact for almost a year, and we (and my younger children) are having a hard time letting him go. We miss who he was before the psychosis manifested, and we want to believe there is hope for him. What I need to know is where to go from here? How do I help him? Is there anything I can do to try to get through to him and maybe make him want to seek professional help? I miss my son so much…. the hole in my heart is painful. What advice is there for someone like me who loves someone with this disorder and wants to see them get better?

  • December 28, 2018 at 8:19 pm

    This was a great article. My sister plays the victim and has many of the traits described in the article. She has lied and manipulated stories for years and played the victim. Unfortunately she is such a good liar that it took me years to finally realize that almost everything she has said to me is a lie. Now that I have called her out on a lot of things she is trying to smear my name and triangulate other family members. I’ve gone through so much pain in the last few months. I guess I’m not alone by the number of comments on here. Thanks again for this article!

  • December 29, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    My mother was a narcissist. My ex was one too. My daughter seems to have inherited the traits of narcissism even though her father rejected her at a very young age when we got divorced. You need to know that it’s not just the parents. I did everything I could to compensate for her father’s rejection, but that was my mistake. She fits the description to the tee. It’s not just the children suffering from this disorder. Parents suffer from it too.

  • December 30, 2018 at 9:53 am

    Terrific piece. Simple, clear and informative. Has anyone drawn the connection between the psychological theory of narcissism and some of the “victimization” movements? For example third wave feminism? It seems to fit pretty well.

  • December 31, 2018 at 11:41 am

    My not yet husband in 1968 warned me about his mother. He was an only child to first of five marriages and divorces of his mother. He did not really know his father being 6 months o!d when they divorced. He recalls his dad coming to see him when he was 9 and the mother kicking the dad out. As time developed he told me as people met his mother she would be gracious and kind, but after a few weeks would turn on that person. Especially close friends. Comes me from a Southern hemisphere country. For three weeks she was wonderful, and I being naive, thought surely my fiance to be lying. Then one day the Dam broke! All hell broke loose. Prior to the dam breaking I thought this poor lady.everyone had taken advantage of her, lied about her, treated her mean, did this and did that. Having studied psychology I started going through my papers after we married. I refreshed on narcissism. To be above 4 of 8/9 behaviors of narcissist shows a definite dsm dx of a narcissist! She came out at a 7! To say my life was hell in a new marriage +a marriage she tried to stop by having an old fiance call my to be spouse midnight before our wedding next day to “meet with him” were some of her attemps. She haunted me, even moving from LA area to another state, for 15 years! Finally when she made our little 7 year old cry when she dropped a ring in bushes the grandmother had given her for Christmas we were visiting her for Christmas, my husband realized this toxic person was now hurting our sweet kids, we broke off complete contact. Our marriage became more cohesive and joyful as even though she would have him out in foster care because you just don’t leave a five year old alone all night and it be ojay, but it was his mother, so understand he did want to protect her. But he saw when I shared my findings, I worked for mental health, and we did speak to our resident psychiatrist and he conferred my dx was correct. Later after she died the only aunty my husband had told me of the nightmare stories this mother made up about me. Ie., I was filthy a liar, cheating on my husband, sat around and never did anything, fat and lazy, I weighed 115 at 5’3″ fyi. Narcissists can reek havoc in our lives. You say one thing to question something they claim as truth and you become the enemy. Confront them and see the outcome. Oh I have written too much but could write a book with my life experiences with a narcisst!

  • December 31, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    This article is spot on. My siblings and I have a sister that this could have been written about. She is the oldest of 4 kids and from the time anyone of us were old enough to remember she was always causing, or in trouble. She would ruin ever holiday because she didn’t get enough attention etc. Throughout her teenage years she would run away, she was in foster homes, got arrested and on and on.Our parents tried everything. They sent her 10 states away to live with relatives thinking a change of atmosphere might help. The trouble followed her and almost destroyed my uncles family. Once she became an adult she married by 20 and had 3 kids by 23. Things never changed. Now she used her kids as pawns. Once again same old stuff, now it was against our kids. Everyone of our weddings she ruined because we didn’t do exactly what she wanted (anything from not playing the songs she wanted to dance to or not having everyone of her young children in the weeding party). She would steal food from all our freezers gas from our house and on and on. We would have one of our children baptized and she would ruin it because her or her children were not the God parents, every birthday party and on and on. We finally stopped having birthday parties for our kids because we didn’t want to deal with her. About 15 yrs ago our Mother passed away and she swooped in and took over my Dads finances, cleaned out the house and pretty much took everything one piece at a time from the house. When our father passed away a few years back and we started to go through everything from his house to his finances the S**t hit the fan. (I’m trying to compress this as much as I can but I could write an entire book about her). She shut us off from every piece of paper to do with anything. Through lawyers we were able to uncover an unbelievable amount of true evil. First she embezzled about $100,000 from my Mom and Dad (They didn’t have money they live on my Dads retirement of about $3000 per month, she took about $1000 per month for 10 years. She took so much my Dad could not get all his medications he needed in his later years. (remember she was taken care of everything so we did not have a clue and our Dad seemed fine so we didn’t think anything was wrong) She would constantly tell us how he was broke and could hardly pay his bills. Once everything started to come out through lawyers it got bad. We live in a very small town and she went to everyone she could (way before we new everything she had done) and started to just bash us. How we were evil and she was the caring one. how it was so sad how we were destroying our family and she just could not help us because we were so distraught over the death of our father. She turned family and life long friends against the 3 of us before we even new what was happening. As we finally got to probate court and the judge opened up the bank accounts, and our Dads trust (he didn’t have a will) we really started to see things. She had him sign a 2 line will giving everything to her, she had his banks accounts turned over to her, and his house as well. She owed the US government $70,000 in back taxes. She had told my Dad he no longer had life insurance (which was a lie he has $7000) so he had saved $10,000 for his funeral (which we didn’t know about). She took that out the day he died and told use we had to all chip in the $20,000 for his funeral. (Once we were in court we found out the funeral was $9,000 which she never paid). And all the money etc. she took was nothing compared to the lies she has told and still does 5 yrs latter to family and friends. It has been a complete nightmare (even though we have documented proof of everything she did some people still refuse to believe us and stick with her) In closing everyone’s question is why isn’t she in jail right? Well after my 2 siblings and I paid the lawyers $25,000 we each received about $1000 from my Dad’s estate. For 4 yrs she delayed things in courts with lies etc. So the statue of limitations could have went back about 3 yrs from the time he passed away. And the DA said we have really no records on how the money was spent and we were looking at years in court for her to maybe get probation. So to move on with our lives we opted to not press charges. All 4 of us kids live within a square mile of each other and our kids and grand kids go to the same little school. We haven’t had anything to do with her (and never will again) but she still has her lies flying around and bad mouthing us with everyone she can. Including the young kids. She has a very canning way of getting people to like her.There is an evil in her that is not normal and your article hits the nail on the head. My belief is she was born this way. No one in our family is anything like her. Thanks for your article I will share this with my 2 other siblings it always helps to see we are not alone.

  • December 31, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    I was married to a narcissist for 17 years although I was unable to articulate what was happening. When I escaped I took my 11 yo son with me who had no relationships in his teenage years like others – although it worried me, I put it down to his caution. He just said he wasn’t interested, but wasn’t gay.
    After I left I got my degree and worked in women’s health alongside the mental health team, becoming familiar with the reasons for and the damage done by the disorder.
    When my son eventually got into a relationship I was immediately uncomfortable, but he needed to make his own mistakes. But he stayed the course when their first child was born. Later, he refused to talk about his marriage, and just became more overweight and unhappy.
    Three times I have been thrown out of the family by my daughter in law, choosing to return to the family and just say nothing, to do the best I can to be there for my son and grandchildren – until the last time on my son’s birthday three years ago. I couldn’t anymore allow my grandchildren to believe that buying into the behaviours is right. I couldn’t allow them to see me made fun of, abused, lied about anymore. I couldn’t allow them to experience fear whenever I visit because she goes into rages whenever I am near.
    I simply said there was no need to punish a child because they ran into each other – she punished him for crying and then ranted at my interference. I was unable to move until my son came and gave me my walking frame – no-one stood up to her, for me, for the children. I sat while she threatened to kill me because I was so horrible to her. I have been purged from their life for good this time, likely because she is challenged by my understanding, despite my care to remain meek and humble in her presence. This was my first challenge to her because I couldn’t see my grandchildren hurt anymore – now I am unable to protect them. Their father is in a no-win situation – her family have already shown they will support her behaviour, and collude with her lies to keep the peace. If he tries to leave with the children, he will lose them, amid untrue allegations of his cruelty toward her and them, supported by her family. My son is not violent, just worn down.
    After my grandchildren saw me at the shopping centre two years ago with their uncle, he has been forbidden to have them in his care, and they are no longer allowed there apparently – their uncle contacted to let me know that he would no longer be in contact and why. He said it was just too hard. We waved to each other from a distance – I didn’t approach in the hope that time would allow things to heal – but there is no longer any hope.
    I have changed my will so all my estate goes to my grandchildren unless she is deceased or divorced from my son. I felt I had to do that – with a video to explain why.
    I love my grandchildren, so it is better that I stay away – they will find their way to me, and will know eventually that I love them.
    I am in awe of people who challenge the lies, the behaviours, the threats – and stick with that person – but I can’t put my grandchildren in the firing line anymore. I know there are many other people who have left their lives because of her behaviour, and I hate that they will grow up isolated from supports. Her abuse was reported once, but the family supported her – and the children remained unprotected. Until they change, she cannot change.
    While my heart breaks everyday to think about what they even look like (the youngest was 1yo), the others 8 & 9yo – I have not thought of a way to improve life for them because I cannot be close to them. I cannot afford to go to Family Court to get visits, and it would likely stir the pot.
    I am blocked on facebook these days, punished for standing up for a child – likely not to ever see my son or grandchildren again in pictures or in their skins, because of her distorted reality.
    I know this circumstance is not unique – it is nevertheless still incredibly painful, and will be until the day I die.

  • January 2, 2019 at 7:11 am

    Is it normal to question whether you are the actual narcissist. My partner of 20 years seems to have a reflex that makes her say I am wrong everytime I open my mouth. Usually before ive even finished my sentence. Sometimes it seems asking my opinion just to tell me I’m wrong for the next half an hour. I used to react to this but have realized that this just fuels her feeling of victimhood. And I will be portrayed as the bad guy as when the a events are relayed to a friend or family member she is very economical with the truth and misses out key parts of the story making it look like I have made an unprovoked attack on her character. Over the 20 years I have been distanced from friends and family and then mocked by her for having no friends or social life. Despite all this I still question ‘ am I the narcissist, do I have a problem with being told I’m wrong’.

  • January 3, 2019 at 12:57 am

    Like many people commenting on this article, I can completely relate to having been in a long-term relationship with a narcissist (and, I’m still dealing with the financial and emotional fall-out of it all).

    The question is…

    How do you convince a narcissist that they are a narcissist, and that they need to get help?

    And, how do you do it in such a way that they don’t end up accusing you of “projecting” (i.e., they believe that you are the one who is the narcissist)?

    I realize that my responsibility is to myself, and to walk away from someone so toxic and controlling. I have done that. But, we have a custody issue to deal with; she still owes me a lot of money; and she continues to lie to others about me, about our relationship, and about her previous divorce. It’s only a matter of time before she lures in her next conquest (in fact, she’s doing it already).

    • January 10, 2019 at 2:09 pm

      I can’t help David but am in that situation right now. 2 days after I finally said ” I think you may have npd ” she approached me. Probably after researching what npd is and said that I am a narcissist and that I am projecting. She also said I am gaslighting her. She has never mentioned this until I suggested she might be narcissist. It’s seems like a lose lose situation.

  • January 4, 2019 at 12:42 am

    How can I be sure that I’m not the narcissist myself?

    • January 7, 2019 at 8:24 pm

      That’s what I asked. Lol. I think making us doubt ourselves is part of it Betty.

  • January 5, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    Totally my son, but how do you fix them ,or approach them to get help?

  • January 5, 2019 at 11:44 pm

    It is imperative that we as people ,at the very least, do some research into other peoples claims before backing them wholeheartedly.

    We are possibly assisting with the narcissistic abuse of innocent human beings by blindly supporting someone who is making bold claims concerning another person or groups behavior.

    Before we jump on any bandwagon it is wise to gather as many facts as we possibly can. Blindly supporting anyones cause is dangerous territory.

    There is nothing simple about these types of situations. Being manipulated into doing a narcissists abusive bidding only makes us an abuser as well.

    Question question question! with empathy and whilst using your wise mind. You can easily support someone without abusing others in the process.

    If you’re EVER going to cross the line you need to be absolutely certain that the accuser is 100% accurate with their claims otherwise you have no business crossing that line.

    These are tightwire situations no doubt about it and they must be walked with extreme care/balance.

  • January 9, 2019 at 8:55 am

    You have validated my sanity or insanity rather…..thank you. This is my ex to the T.

  • January 10, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    In most cases here, it is the “child” or spouse of an NPD who are sharing. Well I am the mother of an NPD adult child.I remember quite vividly some the mistakes I made a a parent, but as you point out, the majority of them were in response to what was IMO, outrageous behavior; including, heavy drug use, hanging around with criminals, writing checks in my name, using my credit card to order things w/o my permission, and having sex with most anyone. Granted, her father rejected her when she was quite small and refused to have anything to do with her since, except having his next wife write the child support checks and send cards on occasion, but every time she reached out to him, she either got no response or a rejection, so basically, I raised her as a single parent and I understand the pain it caused her to be so rejected by her father. I feared for her life for reasons I won’t go into so I sent her to a lock up facility where I knew she would be safe until, hopefully, she gained enough maturity to take care of herself. She was required to take self-realization seminars as were the parents, though her father never attended. But who usually gets the blame for a child’s misbehavior? The parent of course. She has milked that for years and continues to do so. She blames me for behaving the way she does and will not let me have a relationship with my grandkids. I can only imagine the stories she’s told her husband and in-laws. I believe she probably carries guilt that she won’t face for her past behavior and so blames it on me. I know that people change and don’t hold that against her anymore, but she seems to think it serves her to continue the blame. When we did have contact, she’d bring up the past(and blamed me for doing it,) gave me cold stares, and blamed me for stuff she made up (though I think in her mind she actually believed it.) I wasn’t a perfect parent, but I supported her aspirations and spent quality time with her as she was growing up and gave her many opportunities. I read to her in at night and cooked and sat with her at most meals….all the normal stuff. She’s almost 35 and I’ve pretty much given up hope the she will accept me. I do get depression at times and have on and off for a number of years which may have been hard on her, but my life is better without her. It makes me very sad sometimes but there is little to nothing I can do about it.

    • January 11, 2019 at 9:50 am

      On the other hand, millennials can still grow up.

      • January 18, 2019 at 7:36 pm

        I hope she’ll grow up, but she has a lot of supporting not doing so. Besides, it serves her husband and in-laws to have a “common enemy.” It helps them “get along.” /there is little real warmth between them.

  • January 12, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    This was my life for a long time and I am still dealing with the fallout from my narcissistic former partner five years on. He painted me as the problem because I finally stood up for myself and said no more to the gaslighting and lies. Slandered me to others with outrageous claims of abuse when all I ever did was react to his toxic behavior and say enough. This article is spot on and I hope it can help others identify these behaviors more quickly and save themselves the years of pain I suffered. I’m sadly realizing that I am drawn to these personality types, or they are inherently attracted to me, and I desperately need to break out of these dysfunctional patterns. My current boyfriend is in complete denial of some awful, hurtful things he did — pretending it didn’t happen, insisting I have it all wrong — and I’m realizing I am right back in the same bs situation I spent years getting out of. These people need to be forced to wear red arm bands to warn the rest of us to stay away. Thanks for the insight.

  • January 21, 2019 at 5:15 pm

    Well, I wish that I had come across this article a couple of years ago as a formerly stable household that made the mistake of letting a narcissist get the house and all utilities in their name, slid.

    And slid…


    That’s done with, the comment that I would like to throw out there relates to this article at several points, and I suspect that anyone looking at my point and then re-reading the article will find themselves nodding.

    If not, they will probably be righteously indignant, and I likely would have little sympathy for them.

    My point is that in my online activies trying to do my little bit to slow down the seemingly global upswelling and expression of one of the two primary primate dominance orientations, a slight shift of terminology often brings fresh focus to arguments.

    Instead of calling white supremacists “ethnocentric”, I maintain that they (and groups like them) suffer from collective ethno-narcissism.

    Think about it.

  • January 23, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    Darius, I want to personally thank you for helping me along my “journey” even though until today, I figured I was pretty much over it. You helped validate that I was the victim of mental and emotional abuse by a narcissist in a relationship that ended more than 20 months ago. I came across a story previously to yours today by accident, while researching something completely unrelated for a story I was working on (I’m a reporter). The first article I read by Shahida Arabi helped me further forgive myself and truly understand ME and what I’ve been through and the “process” of my healing journey until this point. After so much time, I felt “separated” from what happened for lack of a better term, although I’ve worked through therapy how the abuse and my inability to recognize it was directly linked to childhood experiences and trauma. While I most certainly thought I no longer really needed validation, again, I’ve had times where I’ve wondered if it was just a relationship that “went bad” and maybe some things I over-exagerated or misunderstood. That’s what I was accused of after my “character assassination.” Former “friends” left my life because of it, but I now believe it was for the better. As I continued reading this article, I kept calling out everything with an a-ha, a-ha, a-ha…there was something I could relate to him in every point. I’m just proud it didn’t bring back PTSD -while reading some points literally gave me chills, I overall, did achieve peace by reading this. I may never “forgive” this ex-boyfriend, but I pity him, I really do. It makes me sad that I can’t control him hurting someone else, and I learned 15 months ago that he was involved with someone else. I just hope she was able to get away and it’s very scary that he will continue his unhealthy behavior and get away with hurting others. But I am glad that it can’t be me, and while I struggle having the faith in myself to never let this happen again, you help toward that education and with education there is validation and confidence achieved. Thank you for all the stories and expertise you provide to Psychology Today.

  • January 31, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    Another great synopses of the narcissist’s weird and toxic ways. I find the gaslighting the worst, especially when the person has power over one, and even worse, when you respected the facade only to find out later it was a narcissistic process. The way some politicians scapegoat, lie and manipulate one marginalized group against another in order to detract the light of truth on them is also remarkably seductive for so many to believe. I can’t think of anyone like that, can you? I’ve met the “hypersensitive” defense on more than one occasion. Sadly, I’m prone to self-doubting my perceptions, as I grew up with the message my thoughts/feelings were inherently distorted, so I ended up being prime pickins for the NPD population. After so many awful interactions, it’s still hard to trust my own judgment, but I am ever learning and growing, and, success! –two Fridays ago I went out on a date. She drank a few and then started openly criticizing me in front of a couple sitting next to us who stared in baffled amazement. They were normal so they tried to mitigate the situation by asking clarifying questions, which of course went unanswered. They awkwardly slunk off. I fired her immediately and left. Score one for the non-narcissists!

    One thing I’ve never understood. If they are so miserable and in so much pain, then why can’t they acknowledge this, as a person would physical pain, take ownership and get help/work on it? I guess, in the end, dealing with the pain is the pain in and of itself.

  • February 5, 2019 at 6:22 am

    I am in an awful situation. This article thoroughly explains a narcistic person, my brother. About 6 years ago, I brought my mother with Alzheimers and mentally handicapped brother to live with my family. That is when everthing started with my brother. Money was the culprit. It was like he mentally planned this whole mess for years. He told me I had a certain amount to use. If I needed more it was to come from my inheritance not his. He quit talking to me as soon as I brought them up here to live, by accusing me of stealing coins, pants with $180 in them and tools. Took me to court, he lied and looked like a total a$$. Lost the case but tells people that I lied and he lost money, never the truth on his end. There is so much more. He has turned people against me
    .. tells them I brought my family up here just for the money… so not true. We have never had a discussion… I have heard things through other people. I am truly at a loss… loved my family dearly. I have lost my whole family. Deal with his lies on a daily basis. I cannot get my neices to talk to me. I truly dont know which way to turn… to resolve this issue.

    • February 7, 2019 at 4:58 am

      I’m sorry for your situation. The only way to handle someone like this is to not handle them at all. You may think you have to deal with your brother, but for every reason you come up with that he has to be dealt with, I can find a reason he’s able to be avoided.

      I think in being a woman, we like quick fixes bc we always fix things as soon as it happens. We are always going to be that way and controlling is another bad trait of women. Regardless, there’s a natural process that has to happen in order for your nieces to speak with you again and it takes some time. It’s like the child who has been dishonest and had to make himself trustworthy again to the parents. Your the child, and your neice’s Are the parents. See, your brother has somehow deemed you untrustworthy to your nieces and possibly others. Maybe you had a part in that too. Dunno…Still, it’s just one of those things in life that you have to move on from. The only way to make this better is to remove yourself as much as possible. You’ll prove you’re trustworthy and loving to your neice’s by distancing yourself from them. It’s hard to explain, but I can say that the distancing part is never a long period of time when you’re dealing with someone like your brother. Your name is never going to leave his mouth, so your always gonna be in your neice’s lives in one way or another. Pushing yourself on them on top of listening to your brother bitch about you, will push them further away. (Just forewarning).

      You just have to be patient and wait for things to settle down a bit. Your brother will sadly move on to someone else to hate, or bully. And I’m not saying to take any abuse either. That’s also the main reason you have to stay away. Girl, brothers are the WORST when it comes to bullying. I feel your pain. I really do. And I’m really sorry. I wish I knew more things to say about this to help you but the only real thing I know to do is stay away from him at all cost.

      Just be as sweet as you can and love your brother and neice’s from afar. It’ll all work out.

      • February 23, 2019 at 4:21 pm

        No. Wrong. It doesn’t always get better and even if it does – it doesn’t for long. As long as they feel that there is something they want or need that you have, they are entitled to it and they don’t move on. Advising someone to just ‘be sweet’… give yourself a shake. You don’t understand narcissists at all.

  • February 13, 2019 at 11:49 am

    Yes… this article strikes me and I wish there was help for me. My narcissist attacked me one night. He asked for my phone to “change my WiFi” settings. But he read my texts. I had texts from 2 men, a friend and my daughters ski coach. He went berserk. He was screaming in my face that I was a cunt a whore and a slut. He grabbed my phone and when I wouldn’t give him my pass code again he whipped it against the wall. I picked it up, crying the whole time and entered my password to see if it was still working. He grabbed it from me the whole time he is screaming in my face. I yelled to my daughter to call 911. I kept screaming to her to help me. But 911 had told her to stay in her room. He choked me, he threw me violently that I had a tear in my shin muscle and he pinned me down and was trying to read my texts. I then got on the offensive – I was hitting scratching with my one free hand while he had me pinned down. You get the picture it was a bad fight, not to mention all the vodka he consumed and the adderall which can mask the drunken effects. The police show up. I thank them for coming. I sit down and decompress – I can’t remember anything. I remember thinking my leg and neck hurt but when I tried to figure out why – my mind was blank. I even mentioned that to my daughter – that I couldn’t remember what happened. Well, they arrested me and put my 11 year old daughter in his custody with a restraining order on me. (She is not his daughter). We stopped living together at this point. We went through the court process and at no point did I ever get to say what really happened. It got dismissed… but the same thing happened again… The police listened to all his lies, he told them I punched him. Eye witnesses say they didn’t see that.. it was another horrific fight when he came to pick up stuff.. I had to call 911, he wouldn’t get out of the house which I owned. Police come and arrest me a 2nd time. All lies. I’m sure there are stories out there. I am afraid for my future – I am afraid what if someone needs me to call 911 – or even a fender bender, I can never be around or trust another police officer. I am scared. How can this happen. How is our system so broken when it comes to dealing with people like this..

    • March 4, 2019 at 5:26 pm

      I feel for you. I encountered a similar situation with my ex, and he was able to pull the same stunt multiple times. The only times he did not, were when there were bystanders, even then he sometimes got a pass. He knew that if he called the police first, even if he started the confrontation, he had control of the narrative from that point on. And once it happens and he gets away with it, there is now a history of you being the perpetrator. I still do have a fear of police, partly because of the bs of how I had to interact with them, and then the added way I was then treated by them. If someone else is hurt or in danger I do not hesitate to call, but if it is myself it is still hard. That is more a statement on the state of our law enforcement and justice system than anything else though.

  • February 23, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    Yeah great! So now that we’ve spent years and countless reports on what makes a Narcissist tick (which I’m sure pleases them to no end) how about a study or two on giving the rest of humanity (you know the ones who actually care about others) some damn tools to either deal with or protect ourselves from them. They ruin more lives than substance abuse and gambling combined. For God’s sake, when do we finally call them the epidemic they are?

  • February 23, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    My best understanding of narcissism is both pathological and non-pathological, understanding the “way we move through the world” regarding narcissism to be best understood or evaluated on a continuum of self-importance. It’s me being as objective as possible, as if I was an anthropologist from Mars.
    When little baby is born, he has a specific temperament that is exists like a biological background blueprint form which every interaction is absorbed, and hence a self, is created. During the next five or six years, if the parenting is “good enough” (predictably consistent, present, connected, attuned and avoiding the extreme pitfalls of permissiveness and authoritarianism (in reaction to the terrible twos, enmeshment and stuckness in the former and disengaged detachment in the latter), and the child avoids major trauma (the death of a parent, sexual abuse by a priest etc.), they are then able to grow psychologically, and their identity/personality develops the ability to emotionally tolerate the gray zones between either/or, black/white thinking. However, if the parenting is not “good enough” (marked by unpredictable and intense parental responses of intrusiveness and ignoring/emotional neglect/abandonment), the child has little other option than to react by constructing a false self (an over conditioned, compensatory self, designed as a defense against the “not good enough” parenting described above. They become stuck in the developmental stage (say from 2-6) and as adults, attempt to live their lives in a way that is often extremely incongruent with the generalized, and suffer extremely for it. For them, chronic searing depression is at core unbridled narcissism, for the heart of depression is to take loss personally, something adult narcissists make an art form out of, so much so that their cross to bear is the ongoing loss of an idealized, perfected, one-dimensional false self. A sense of emptiness and meaninglessness and unsurmountable obstacles in their ability to authentically give and receive love haunts them as they try to live in the world through their false self-lenses. The victims of narcissistic parenting know the essential inauthenticity of their plastic trappedness…there is caul-like layer of gelatinous depersonalization following near spontaneous, interpretative narratives of their inner experience. They look at a mirror and see no one there. An invisible sense of “unrealness” pervades all. They’ve been unwelcome all along, robotic, empty, disavowed, disowned and repudiated into living death. And then there are the ones, farther up the narcissism continuum, who have no insight, and are so wired by the cognitive distortion of either/or thinking, so in the thick of it they can’t see out of it, they protest. And they fight, and fight and fight in an endless manipulative attempt to get attention, to wrap the world around them in an attempt to be someone significant and special, to be what was taken from them: a childhood robbed of love. Others experience their initial mirroring and love bombing as hitting the relationship lottery, their soulmate. But nothing could be further from the truth, because whom you are interacting with is not a real person. It is not even a person at all. It is a constellation of abrupt, single-minded reactivity pretending to be a self—the reason the movies “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and “The Thing” hit us so archetypally with the fear of believing we know someone who is not hiding from us—the expertise of the narcissist. As they enter adulthood they are drawn to careers that will maximize their other-validating attention seeking strategies, including the need to further shore up a sense of self with financial wealth, the entertainment industry, law, business, politics, to name a few. Sometimes suicide results when the distorted meaning making structure breaks down—all due to their corrosive behaviors, which of course are then externalized and projected onto others. Maybe this is why people like Stephen Paddock kill—the destruction of their falsely obtained self, older, is too much to own and take responsibility for, and revenge against “them, the others,” in their minds, becomes the only option. Most confusing is the person we know who is culturally successful in many ways without suffering from a complete lack of object relations (fancy term for the inner inability to not separate self, world and other into worthless garbage and supreme idealizations) and object constancy (the inner inability to respond to another when things are not that well in an integrated way, that is, the ability to self-soothe, self-validate and tolerate emotional pain when disappointed, a toleration only made possible by at least rudimentary nonreactiveness to the gray zone). In the mind of the narcissist, a
    “no” fundamentally means a very simplistic, categorical label of “enemy” while a “yes” results in the opposite. Perhaps this is BPD women and NPD men so often fall in love. Initially, the narcissist receives the narcissistic supply and the borderline receives the role of child. Alas, that is for another response. Realizing now I’m getting tangential—my worst problem when writing! Back to the “healthy narcissist.” How can this be? The person imbued with healthy narcissism was raised by good enough parents and can tolerate the “no’s” of the world; they are both able to self-soothe and tolerate self and other criticism, questioning the validity of things through logic, reason, self-awareness and critical thinking. The accept the non-idealized life and the compulsive search for the perfect partner, whose become imperfect with time and then rejected again and again. And yet, they believe they are better, more talented, confident, smart and self-loving than the average fella. The more insecure of us will label such a person as “cocky and arrogant,” when really they are just authentically and “mostly” congruent (inner expanse matches outer frontier). At best, these people become healthy leaders who unselfishly realize the best way to show up and help others is to do so with self-love and self-care and depending on others (but not too much) for the relative mirroring that will enable them to achieve their potential, instead of strive for a potential impossible.
    The above is unedited and quite likely fanciful in parts. I can only hope the reader gets the gist of it, that narcissism exists on a continuum, on one end healthy and on the other healthy, based on variables of biological temperament, parenting, peer relationships, trauma and others.
    For some reason, I can’t stop. Is it my narcissism? Lastly, let us deeply accept the inner life of the pathological narcissist, and in accepting this unconditionally, that if their condition was physical and externally obvious, trying to interact with them in a healthy way is like asking a person with two broken legs to run a marathon (and win) and remind ourselves of the five point palm exploding narcissist technique: 1. Stay grounded and accept the emotional child that lies within the infected. You can’t control them. You can’t save them. You can’t change them. You can’t fix them. Can you feel it? Acceptance in this instance is like releasing two heaving bags of luggage carried around the airport all day. It is peace. 2. Using “soft delivery” fashion a subtle no in their attempt at using you for narcissistic supply, imagine them as a child asking for another bowl of ice-cream if that helps, and know the more times you say no, the more the narcissist will stop engaging with you. Rest easy and happily empowered, in successfully managing the emotional child. 3. If the narcissist has power over you, and I hesitate to say it, beat them at their own game—use their insatiably gnawing need for impetuously pursued glorification to stay on their good side. Intentional flattery (not too much or too little) is your best friend here. 4. Paradoxically, maddingly, the narcissists attempts to crush and murder your spirit and soul is the source of your strength, for he is using your strengths, the potent trigger of his own insecurities, self-loathing and massive inferiority, as a means to destroy you, in the form of his disowned and projected self-hatred onto you, and the gaslighting mechanisms he uses to complete the task. He says you’re unfeeling cruel? Take to your heart of hearts that really means you are kind, empathic, consistent and trustworthy. Think and do as George did in one episode of Seinfeld: the opposite. The sweet truth will release you from their toxic fumes, I promise! 5. Practice unrelenting self-care. Be around people who are not narcissists and able to reflect and encourage your strengths and potentials. Play, eat well, exercise and practice the power of positive thinking (though not “rose colored glasses” thinking). If possible, try to resurrect the Ghandi within you and have compassion for them. If not, all that’s left is pity for a life unlived.

    I can edit this, but don’t want to unless someone else thinks it would be helpful.


    • February 24, 2019 at 11:55 am

      Eric, are you a professional or is this opinion? I wrote a comment awhile back regarding my son, the narcissist I choose to love and keep in my life with strong boundaries. It’s so hard to hear about the damage they do, and he has done. I often cannot find information about the mental/emotional difficulties of the narc. I want to understand and have compassion for his well being. I appreciate very much your feed back whether professional or not.

  • February 28, 2019 at 9:42 pm

    Grew up with a severely narcissist mother and I can’t tell you how damaging it it as these people can turn it on and act normal and believing In Their lies! I didn’t notice she was Sick until I was a teenager and witnessed other families function. She was very jealous of me and my popularity In school. The sick part was being jeolous of my relationship with my dad ( her husband ). She tried to convince my highscool teachers and relatives I was a horrible kid. A lot worse things that’s jist one. I still think some people believed her but I let it go. Their problem not mine. I ended up having kids with two very narcissist men and finally woke up in therapy in the men I was choosing where what I was comfortable with and my normal. After the two were out to destroy me with my mothers help I walked away 9 yrs ago and have no regrets! She tried to get me to lose my kids on divorce hearings. Thank good I had a child guardian that saw through their illnesses! My soul, financials and health has been restored. Having a parent that’s mission in life is to destroy you and hope that you have to rely on them for support the rest of your life so they can continue to abuse you is nothing short of a living nightmare. I learned a lot through books and one on one therapy. Now I must teach my kids it’s not them it’s the sick parent that is not acting like an adult and never will ! Thank you for sharing this and educating others on this sick mental illness !

  • February 28, 2019 at 11:49 pm

    When I was 21 I met a person who seemed attractive at the time. Shortly after meeting them things changed, they became completely controlling over everything, and everytime I would try to leave they would tell me things would be better, it never got better. 11 years ago I left this person and started figuring out how this person was able to make me look so horrible and how they seem to shine. When I chose to leave with my children, this person said they where going to kill me and take my kids, I did not think this person could do such a thing. I am lucky to be alive. This person however has 2 of my 3 kids and only now are people finally seeing how narcissistic this person is. The trauma I have gone through I couldn’t even start to write about. If you meet a narcissistic person do not underestimate them, leave, get out as fast as you can, because they can suck the life out of you. There is no cure, or rewind button. I am exhausted, and if I could change one moment of my life it would be meeting this person.

  • March 1, 2019 at 3:49 am

    This is my mum all over, im finding it hard as i love her so much but i have no emotion left for her. She told me i wanted to rake my niece from my sister to replace my dead baby! (Miscarriage from 4 years ago) im devastated she says she has said sorry but keeps bringing it up. She tells my kids that im the one who is being mean. They love their nanny (9 and 10) more than anything and i only live 20 doors down from her. I wont allow her in my house anymore as she pushed me last time. She argued with my sister last year, put a knife to her wrist….. said it was my fault!
    She had a mental break down 20 years ago and had been this way since…. how can i help her. I hate this, ive always been the glue in the family and putting her and my sister first. I just cant do it anymore and i feel useless. Can they change???

  • March 2, 2019 at 9:36 am

    I can’t fully get on board with this article. You just basically called the victim a narcissist for them trying to talk to people and have a support system and get help. The court actually plays into the hand of the narcissist, which leaves the victims trying to stand up for themselves and speak out and then the judge getting mad at the victim for trying to get help and ruling in favor of the narcissist who can afford an attorney who will twist and lie and paint a bad picture of the victim that is very untrue and when the victim tries to speak up the judge won’t allow it and just believes the attorney who only spoke and has no evidence to back it up.

    • March 2, 2019 at 4:24 pm

      Hi Justine,

      I’m, very confused by your comment. The whole article is about how the narcissist plays the victim and tries to turn others against the victim by using various abusive tactics. Did you read the whole article? (If so, maybe it’s worth rereading it for a better comprehension?) Are you sure you commented on the right article?


      • March 2, 2019 at 5:48 pm

        Methinks Justine protesteth too mucheth.

  • March 5, 2019 at 9:17 pm

    Thank you for writing this article. It’s helping me process recent events with a bipolar person whom I did not realize was a narcissist until after a false narrative was created about myself by them. I was upset for about 12 hours, but figured it out, and your article helped me seal the deal on complete closure. I hope to get better and better at recognizing narcissistic habits sooner and blocking them before I become a target in the future.

  • March 7, 2019 at 6:42 pm

    Good read.

  • March 8, 2019 at 11:10 am

    The irony is that my husband’s ex-wife posted this aimed at my husband, when in reality, it describes her. She does everything the article describes.

  • March 9, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    Seriously, this article describes a couple managers I’ve known. At the same time, there’s probably a little bit of narcissism in all of us. 🙂

  • March 10, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    This article fine tunes a number of instances when I may have been a target of narcissism, but it contains some stereotypes, too. Adult children can be the narcissists against the parent. And life is rarely black or white – I can see that while I recognize the narcissists in my life, I also contributed to the relationship’s demands. It takes two to play the game and I’m now sorting through means of getting off the treadmill and staying off it.

  • March 10, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    I’ve been dealing with a narcissistic parent and that section of the article truly hit home for me. Using the parental position as a shield (you should respect me I’m your mother!) and then launching vicious attacks and accusations. I’ve found it very difficult to separate the love/respect I had for her as a child and teen from the narcissism that has developed over the past few years and it’s a toxic relationship to say the least. I’ve considered severing the relationship entirely but I don’t know if this is the correct step or not, but every interaction with her is exhausting and emotionally draining to the point where I avoid her as much as possible (which she in turn uses against me). Any advice?

    • March 11, 2019 at 10:04 am

      I feel the exact same way. I wish I had advice for you, but I just left a reply seeking advice myself. You’re not alone. I tried distancing myself from my mother the past 5 weeks and all she did was call me cruel and then badger my brother into getting him to make me call her (he’s the only one left in the entire family still speaking to her). I have no clue how to speak to her, let alone have a relationship with her anymore.

  • March 10, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    My niece has hooked her wagon to yet another violent narcissist. The father of her children was a violent drug addict who beat her regularly as well as emotionally and verbal abused her. He died when their daughters were babies. We took them in and cared for her girls for years. She met a new man and he seemed so nice. The first year, though the girls spent most of their time with me while she worked and he wined and dined her I just thought she is sowing the wild oats she didn’t get to do because she was a mother by 17. Ten years later her oldest at 14 finally broke down and told me what had been going on in their home. They were too afraid to tell me because he threatened all of them. I talked to the mom and she denied it all. When the younger one told me the same thing as the older one I knew they were not lying. I took the girls and filed for guardianship. She fought me every step of the way, only to find out just to retain the Social Security they received from their deceased father.
    This was a loving mother, what the hell happened to her? Both the boyfriend and she herself come from violent childhoods, but I had known her since she was her daughter’s age and never thought she would choose a man over her kids, but she did. She has become disconnected from reality and refuses to admit the abuse. She contends that his controlling is because he loves her and her kids and wants them to learn what ladies should act like. He accuses her and her oldest as being girls who don’t know how to act like ladies, which is ridiculous, but she worships him. Ten years of brainwashing makes (mom, supervised, ordered by the court, he was ordered to stay away from them) visits very difficult and cause the girls anxiety. He texts her the whole time she is here. They are afraid to confront her, because she tells him everything, but they love her and want her to get professional help. Even in court when the judge ordered him not to come, he sent his sisters to listen to every word and report back to him. I even offered to pay for her counseling but she claims they don’t have a problem, the girls are liars. I have the girls in counseling and they are doing well. I really want them to have a relationship with their mother but, it’s been a year and I’m not sure how long they are going to want one, they are pretty much done with her. She now sends messages saying they are broke and they have to move away. The girl’s know it’s because he has never worked and now they don’t have the girl’s money, to make them feel guilty. How do you explain narcissism and weak minded followers to kids? I am trying.

  • March 10, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    My brother had lied about me since i was a child. He is 15 years older than myself. My entire family (with exception of some nieces and nephews who got to know me) believe I’m a self centered, narcissistic low life.I’m

    I’m the furthest from a narcissist. I was consumed for a year reading up on narcissism. My friends helped me through that year. No matter how many times i was told i wasnt narcissistic by people. I didn’t believe them, thinking something was wrong with me.

    When i read character assassination. That hit home for me and I finally understand what my brother did to me and my life.

    My mother passed away in August. I didn’t go to the funeral of wake because I’m unwanted in my extended family. I was not putting myself through more anguish.

    Thank you for writing this. This helped my immensely

  • March 10, 2019 at 6:06 pm

    What a wonderful article! I’ve read many since being the victim of a narcissist, my former best friend for 4 years, (who I knew was one, but never witnessed anything serious until I became her victim), but many of your words are EXACTLY what happened to us as she pitted my now husband and I against each other very skillfully. Only later during couples counseling did we even really start to put it all together, all I knew at first was she was trying to break us up (and did for a few months). To this day I wonder what was the catalyst. We had bought a bigger, better house, but very shortly thereafter he got a DUI. The month he got his DL back, she started. Can they delay gratification like that?

  • March 11, 2019 at 12:16 am

    Sometimes the narc is an adult child or his wife and he’s the flying monkey. It’s heartbreaking. No way to patch things up… It means no contact with them or the grandbaby because they couldn’t tolerate it when after many weeks a suggestion was made by my husband that they maybe get a temporary job and think to have their own place a certain date. They left the next day and we are now blocked from everything. I pray every day. It hurts so much. Our son was the best son in the world, no signs that he would do this, except that he’s always been a little too nice and not stood up for himself…. now he’s got this narc wife and he’s toeing the line for her, losing his family. Narcissism is all about a shame wound, and so I pray that God can remove the shame so that they can see what they are doing and correct it. I pray we have a relationship with them one day as I love them all so much.

  • March 11, 2019 at 9:50 am

    This is unbelievable. I’ve been dealing with every single thing this article discusses for the past 4 years with my mother (I am 22 y.o). I’ve felt completely alone and though I have a supportive family and significant other, this is tearing me apart. To make a VERY long story short. My mom’s father died 5 years ago, which was the nail in the coffin for my parents’ divorce. She went through issues with pain killers, sleeping pills, alcohol, suicide attempts, nervous breakdowns, etc. She then lost her money from internet dating scams and eventually her home. The narcissism came when she started dating and moved in with her ex-fiancé (who she was with before she met my dad 25 years ago), and now they’re married. She fits the bill for everything in this article. According to her, he is physically and emotionally abusive, and has kicked her out several times but always goes back. When she comes crawling for help, everything is his fault. When she goes back, turns out everything was her fault. I have no idea what to believe. My brother(18 yo) and I are the only ones left in her entire family who still talk to her, although she screamed at me last night for not speaking to her the past 5 weeks after I spent hundreds of dollars getting her Airbnb’s and checking her into a rehab facility (her choice) and her escaping a few days later and going back to him. I’ve received texts that whatnim doing is cruel (simply not talking to her). She’s been badgering my brother that I need to call her, so I did for his sake. She screamed at me and texted me horrible things. She called me later more calm, but she clearly doesn’t see the consequences for her actions, and everything is my dads fault for not loving her. I have absolutely no idea what to do. She’s been off her anti-depressants which must contribute to this. I feel like she’s beyond help, but I miss my mom and there must be something out there to help, right?! I appreciate any advice people can give, thank you all so much.

  • March 11, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    I caused my own dilemma by contacting my Head of Detectives Son and laying a guilt trip on him because I was drunk and didn’t think he was supportive enough. I do not drink now but wrestled with it for several years. He did not talk to me for roughly a year and I gave him his space. My Son was clear about his concern for my disrupting his family life. In a chat with the VA Mental Health Doctor, he enlightened me that my Son was right. He further said that my laying the guilt trip on my Son made him have to live My Life and he wants to live HIS LIFE. I wrote and apologized. My Son wrote back that he considers me a Narcissist. I found your writings and learned some things. Thanx

    • March 12, 2019 at 7:42 pm

      Most narcissists are unable/unwilling to self-reflect. If you have been displaying narcissistic traits, it is very positive that you are aware of it. You obviously cannot make your son come back to you, but you can work on being your best self and you never know what the future will bring.

  • March 11, 2019 at 2:13 pm

    Defining trump, great job.

  • March 11, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    my daughter is totally the kind of person you’re referring to. she has been a drug addict and alcohol for at least 10 years now that I know of. She has 2 beautiful children that she abandoned and left with her also alcohol/drug addicted husband. I have always been her scape goat as to why she drinks and does drugs and lives on the street. It is so important when you are the victim in these situations as they do tend to truly make you believe you are the problem. I had to take stress leave off work for 3 months just to get my head on straight and talk to councillors. I have very little to do with my daughter now, and it is very sad, but I agree, sooner or later you have to sever ties with people like this. Instead I choose to spend as much time as I can with my 2 beautiful grandchildren.

  • March 12, 2019 at 6:26 am

    I’m still recovering from being in a relationship with a narcissist, but I haven’t been able to fully get away with him because we’re part of the same community. Now I talk about him with my supportive friends and warn certain new members of the group about him, but after reading this now I can see how people might think I’M the narcissist and I’m really worried now. I don’t know how to prove to people that I’ve actually been hurt and I’m not a narcissist myself.

  • March 12, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    What a great article. At work about three years ago, I was stalked by two narcissists with their own agenda at work. Their manipulation and lies finally took effect last fall, and this line couldn’t be any truer for myself and a colleague equally harassed: “As a result, sometimes people get seriously hurt: socially, financially, emotionally, or even physically. But the narcissist doesn’t care about that. In fact they are often glad, because in their narrative the target deserves it by being “evil,” so whatever happens is justified.”

  • March 13, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    Unfortunately I am married to one.

  • March 13, 2019 at 5:38 pm

    This is a really well written piece! Ironically I came across it because a narcissist posted it on social media with a comment about how happy they are that they’ve cut people like this (narcissists) from their life. Ah, it’s a tangled web… lol

  • March 13, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    Unfortunately, cutting the ties and stepping away from someone you care about, even when you know what they’re doing is not so easy- Even when you are trained and know how to tell what’s going on 😔

  • March 13, 2019 at 7:32 pm

    Yes. I thoroughly agree with this article. It’s an excellent, enlightening read. Thank you.

  • March 14, 2019 at 1:29 am

    Sad that this behavior happens and I’m glad that it can be discussed. I’d like to add caution to labeling people because lack of understanding boundaries and how to implement them in healthy was can be misconstrued as N behavior. Parenting young adults until they are 21 can be viewed this way as well. People often abuse these terms which can be very hurtful. If someone who has been deeply hurt from projection of other people inability to cope with life for whatever reason speaks out the blame is placed on the one who speaks up. With a true N , no one wins. The wounded is left without support and they often end up the scapegoat. My advice is not to say anything or react because everything becomes your fault. True N are master manipulators. You won’t win. Get distance. Act like you don’t know anything. Avoid them as much as possible. They find or make up things about people they target. You don’t have to do anything at all for them to destroy you. Its a predatory thing. They isolate the target and if you are a loner its makes it easier that much easier. If you are the family scapegoat all the better. There is a kind of evil in the world that loves to destroy people and its insideous. Be very careful about what you think you know about a situation. In healthy relationships people work it out. In unhealthy ones there’s alot of drama.

  • March 19, 2019 at 10:59 am

    My recent experience with social media and indeed much of the legacy media informs me that there are many individuals who knowingly or unconsciously act out in a manner you describe here. Sometimes the victims invite such behaviors of the narcissist for a variety of reasons. There is also a cultural revolution which demands that “kindness” and “empathy” are the highest moral/ethical standards without the necessity for honest investigations of the ‘facts’ leading to the Truth. Projection by the narcissist is often linked to “Gaslighting” on social media and even more prevalent by journalists in the MSM! I’ve experienced this personality privately and publicly daily! Projection is everywhere!

  • March 27, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    Thank you! This may be the most dead on article I’ve ever read about narcissism (and I’ve read plenty). I’m in the process of divorcing one and you have just described him to a “T”!!

    He 47 and already set to marry his next victim who is 64 so she has no idea what’s about to hit her. His exwife tried to warn me and I didn’t listen….

  • April 19, 2019 at 1:36 pm

    This article is so true and really makes me see my live in significant other, and sons father for what he is. 13 years of just chaos and I am still here. Everything is my fault no matter what it is. He will turn everything on me and he works so hard doing so. I am a wonderful person and happy, lately this relationship has made me not care about myself anymore, I feel stuck and not worthy. Narcissism is a horrible disease and there is nothing u can say to the other person to where they can get help. They see nothing wrong in what they do. Horrible way to live.

  • April 27, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    I see my mother reflected in this so much. I heard for years that if the birth control pill had been around when she and dad got married, they wouldn’t have had any kids. I also heard how I was an accident and my brother was planned so I wouldn’t be an only child. I don’t remember ever being hugged or her telling me she loved me. All I ever heard was that I wasn’t good enough, would never amount to anything, etc, etc.
    I finally cut her out of my life a when I was 40 years old – I even moved from Illinois to Minnesota because she didn’t know anyone in MN who could report back to her on what I was doing with my life. A friend of mine, who had never met my mother, kept telling me that I needed to find a way to make things right between us because he thought I would regret it if she died before that happened. I told him that the only way to “make things right” with her would be if I got down on my knees in front of her and said “I’m sorry, you were right, I’m nothing but a worthless POS and I deserved everything you did to me then and will do to me in the future.” I told him no way in hell was that ever going to happen. My mother died 6 years ago, I hadn’t talked to her in 20 years, and when my niece called to let me mom had died, my first thought after hanging up the phone was “ding dong, the wicked bitch is dead and I’m never going to have to worry about her trying to interfere in my life ever again.”
    I don’t miss her, I haven’t forgiven her, and I don’t care if people think I’m a cold, cruel, callous bitch because of it. I’m healthier, mentally, than I have ever been in my life because I finally saw her for what she was and managed to cut her out of my life. It’s come at a huge cost because the rest of the family were under her control and believe her over me, so the only family I have left is my husband, my son, my grandkids, and my great-grandkids. That’s fine with me.

  • April 28, 2019 at 5:44 pm

    What is so sad is that most of these people are believed by judges and the police. They get away with it and the ones that are truly the victims end up being the ones condemned or even taken to jail or sent to prison.

  • May 10, 2019 at 12:29 am

    I have found that narcissist are very skilled at playing the victim and often are able to pull it off in such a way that no one notices. In their eyes they do not lie, they almost never apologize and winning is the ultimate goal. One tactic that is used is “rescuing” others. They disguise it as love and compassion, but it is always about being “one up”. The victim is “one up” and the rescuer is “one up”. This has been my experience with narcissist. Introspection, self reflection and self evaluation is uncommon among narcissist. Beware! Run!

  • May 19, 2019 at 8:49 am

    Spot on and well written. I’m only 5 months in with no contact with my mother. I can honestly say I’m at peace with that. But yet she’s still a constant. I’ve learned with therapy and surrounding myself with the right people I’m the victim and I needed to pick myself up and not allow that behavior in my life. You can never get anywhere with a narcissist. Your article portrayed them very accurately. I’m sure others who have a narcissists in their life (mine is my mother) have a very hard time explaining this to others. I have come across so many people who just don’t understand what we the victims had to endure and continue to endure. This article will be used as a great tool to let those people read for themselves what we the victims are going through.

    All I can say is be kind to yourself and you are not wrong!!! Find a therapist if you can. You can’t change the past but you can be happy living in the present and not allow toxic people or behavior in your future.

  • May 23, 2019 at 4:05 pm

    Wow!! I suppose that I am just now discovering this article because I am awake enough to receive it. Truly some amazing insight and wow, it showed me also a lot about how I’ve contributed to the perpetuation of being the target of narcissistic abuse.
    True I didn’t see it as a child and it ate me up to the degree that I repressed myself. I’ve come full circle and now had recently been challenged with facing my ‘mother’ again in the guise of romantic relationships. All for me to work this shi* out once and for all!!!
    Thank you Darius for such a compelling article to study!

  • May 31, 2019 at 6:05 am

    I appreciate your insights and as I read I was hoping you would provide more insights on how to deal with a person with this condition. I did see you said sever ties. What if that means you also will lose other family members in the bargain? Any suggestions of what to do if severing ties does not feel like an option?

  • June 1, 2019 at 5:26 pm

    Very interesting, but what it makes me wonder, is if there is such a thing as ‘group narcissism’? Where a group with a common sense of identity starts to claim that they are being victimised when all that is happening is that people are standing up to them for once. I wonder that, as I think I see it in the world quite a lot (not going to define the groups I see it in – that would be likely to get me some odd response – so keeping it general). If such a thing does exist – how can the societies around them deal with it?

    • July 22, 2019 at 1:44 am

      I believe you’re right. Narcissists can form groups and claim themselves victims. It’s happening in the US now. “Outside” and violent groups (which used to be ignored by most) are now being heard above normal sanity.

  • June 3, 2019 at 12:58 am

    I am trying to navigate two family members who both seem to be narcissists, so who do you believe? One claims the other is spreading damaging lies while the other claims it’s all truth and that person is living a lie. My head spins! They are people I care about greatly and I try not to get in the middle yet if there are lies I want them in the open, esp since it involves drugs and alcohol and potential destructive behavior! The one being blamed says it’s all in the past and old news. The other says it’s here and now while kids are present. Make it stop!

  • June 5, 2019 at 4:01 am

    Loved your article Darius, very concise and covers everything I ever learned in the last 26 years (73 now) to help myself . I am now sailing in calmer waters ,I do however find it’s useful to do some “revision” as part of the “self care” process and your article fitted the bill ! thank you!!

  • June 8, 2019 at 11:11 am

    Spot on about projection and framing! The illustration of how the narcissist presents the reaction to their behavior as the starting point so they appear the virtuous victim was a great visual summarization. Excellent article!

  • June 13, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    This article helps explain what happened to me yesterday. My narcissist sister approached me in a public place and wanted to talk about a problem she was having. I said I was in a hurry to get home and suggested she could talk to someone else. She insisted only I could help. So I said, ok, and was prepared to listen when suddenly she said in a loud, whiny tone: “Well maybe we can talk in another lifetime” and she ran away, on the street, which was crowded at the time. Now she can continue her campaign that I refuse to talk to her and that I’m the bad guy.

    True, I don’t reach out, but I’m not turning my back on her completely. It’s just that I’ve got boundaries now. And after processing a lifetime of her behaviours, I can’t get involved any more. I can’t interact in any healthy way — only as an enabler or the bad guy.

  • June 27, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    This article and others helped me figure out my ex-wife and her behavior during our divorce several years ago. Married 7 months and took 1 1/2 years to divorce her. After 3 months of marriage a switch went off and she began demanding I not talk to my mother, my ex (we had 3 kids), and certain friends. When I left, she lied to our friends, the church pastors, filed CPS complaints about my own children, filed false police reports, got a restraining order (which I successfully quashed), emptied bank accounts, trashed one of our cars because she couldnt afford to keep it after the divorce. etc.. took everything that had value, gold, inherited jewelry, all my handguns and claimed I broke in and took it all. After a bit of research I discovered she killed the first husband and got off on self defense, the second husband described a similar situation to mine and warned me not to go back. Basically a setup for murder. I’m not exaggerating. I never went back to get anything but waited for her moveout, whereupon i discovered she had methodically gone thru all possessions and took whatever she thought she could sell (or would hurt me including family pics etc..). Believe me they are out there and they are physically dangerous!

  • July 14, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    @Steven Hernandez
    I am in a similar situation as you. But not quite as bad. My Narc LIED in court and the magistrate said to me “WHY SHOULD THAT MATTER”? She has CONNECTIONS I am told.
    My lawyer said “EVERYBODY lies in court” so I guess the court doesn’t pay attention to lies anymore?

  • July 18, 2019 at 1:14 am

    Morning Derek, thank you for the message. My daughter has a son and her fiancee has a son. They both use the kids against the grandparents and great-grandparents if things don’t go there way. We as grandparents are not allowed to see our grandchildren. Me and my father went to there church so that we could see the two kids – age 4 years – they would not come to me or my dad. We felt as if we had leprosy or some kind of disease. It was as if the two kids felt it was wrong to communicate with us. Would you say that this would be associated with narcistic behaviour. My daughter fiancee has even taken his son away from his mother and half brother. His child is suffering a lot. Please can you give me advice.

  • July 20, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    This is very interesting and describes my son (31 in a few days) to a t, also what I have already said myself about him. In defending himself, he will claim I am the narcissist, he even put a post on Facebook the other week as though it was me saying it that I was a narcissist and needed help – the broadband account is in his name. He got a lot of backlash from that – he forgets he is dealing with adults – and became abusive to anyone who said anything against him. He is so ‘up’ himself. He is convinced he knows it all and therefore no one can teach him anything. This seemed to start in nursery. Rather than let himself be taught, he would assist the teachers with the other children. This seemed cute when he was 3. 4 or 5 but not now. He lies to people about me. They know he is lying but it doesn’t stop him. I’m not sure if he knows he’s lying but still does it or has convinced himself he is the only one who ‘speaks the truth’. He calls me a bully and tells people I’m a bully, this is because as a parent I tell/ask him to do something and make it clear I am not happy if he doesn’t – he does what he wants, not what I say, seemingly having reversed the parent-child dynamic to suit himself and justify the allegations he makes against me. He has hit me more than once and punches holes in the interior walls of the house (they are only plasterboard so easy to knock holes in). In other words, he is saying “listen to me” when I disagree with him or argue with him. Rather, he is arguing with me. He reverses everything. He justified hitting me by saying his father had hit me and so had his brother – in other words, I must have deserved it, done something to warrant it from all three. He is excellent at twisting things. Trying to sort the house out he says he needs to take control cos I don’t do anything. No, he doesn’t do what I ask, only doing things when it suits him, convincing himself that I’m at fault and not him. No one really likes him, apart from one friend and he knows what my son is like – he couldn’t see it at one time but having spent time in the house and seeing my son’s bad behaviour, ranting and raving and punching holes in the wall, he now understands what I tried telling him some time ago. Clearly, my son lives with me. His excuse that people believe me and not him is that they don’t live with me so don’t know the real me, the fact that so many people have seen him in action both here in the house and ‘outside’, and that many are much older than him, escapes him. He is deluded but claims I’m the one with mental health problems. He will have his say, making false statements against me to my face then walk away so I can’t say anything back. In other words, if he says it then it’s true. We had dealings with Social Services some years ago and he hates them because of what they did to us, lying and twisting the facts to suit themselves yet he does the same as they did. He would make a brilliant social worker, although of the wrong kind. He will tell me off for not doing anything in the house even though I have been out shopping, often for him – as a senior citizen (67 in October) I have a free bus pass and he is out of work, never having had a job as such, so I do the shopping. He has told me off for not doing anything in the house even when I was working, not just full time but 5 days a week plus overtime. You would laugh at some of the rubbish he has come out with. He has got angry and pulled me up for doing nothing when I have been ill, once having a go at me in front of a friend who’d come to see how I was shortly after I’d been diagnosed with arthritis and was in agony for the kitchen being in a mess. This would be laughable but he spends most of his time in bed on his laptop. He also believes he’s more entitled to my pension than I am at times. I have a memo from one of his teachers when he was 12 and at school saying similar to what I have said here (although not as much of course) but I’m the one at fault not him. He is like his father (who I threw out many years ago), denying responsibility or fault when they are clearly in the wrong – his father, in prison once, blamed the judge for him being there, not himself for having committing the crimes. Blaming others or denying blame, that they’re not at fault, means they can carry on as they are because they are not doing anything wrong, it is not them but everyone else. I will try to explain something to him that he doesn’t know but that he should but he says he doesn’t want to know, couldn’t be bothered; then when an occasion arises that he needs to know he will say “I don’t know” as though it’s not his fault.

    I still get upset but not as much as I used to. I try to ignore him most of the time. He does not like being put in the wrong or at fault and gets angry if I try to give him some help or advice when he has a problem saying to me “What do you know?” in a derisory manner, as though I can’t possibly know anything so why should he take notice of me. He will say I have a God complex at such times. No, it is he who has it. As you say in your article, projecting his faults on me or others as though he’s perfect and can’t ever be wrong or at fault. God help him when I pop off.

    • July 22, 2019 at 1:56 am

      Is he living with you? If so, why? He is well into “adulthood.” Does he offer anything in the way of support? Does he pay the bills? In any case, it is a toxic relationship which you need to disentangle yourself from. He should not be living with you. You should not tolerate his abuse. It serves neither of you.

  • July 23, 2019 at 2:35 am

    holy shit thank you, i couldn’t put into words how my friend always makes me feel like I’m the one doing something wrong.

  • July 26, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    Thank you this make so much sense and reminds me so much of my sister. I am finally realising after 40 years that this is what my sistet is. Is breaking contact the only way? How can you deal with this? Any way to help? I’m at a loss and I don’t want to give up either. Or am I just being naive?

  • August 30, 2019 at 5:03 am

    Excellent article. One can see how narcissistic personalities are the embodiment of evil on this planet; the reason for abuse within families, bullying in schools, and wars abroad. These are people who commit horrible acts upon others, but go on in life believing they are good people thanks to the powers of denial and casting their victims in the role as villain. Role reversal to cater to their egos. And the rest of us are bystanders.

  • September 9, 2019 at 6:39 am

    Well I know I came a little late to the comment section but I hope someone will reply. I found this article by googling “narcissists who play the victim” because I was convinced that almost every person I developed a relationship with(non romantic) was a narcissist and every time they blamed me for my behavior, which they thought was inappropriate, they were playing the victim. So I just assumed that I was the only sane person in my social circle and that I couldn’t keep friendships because other people were jerks and understandably I wasn’t even sad I broke years of friendship with such people. But that article hit home, in an unexpected way. The way you characterized narcissists did not match their behavior, but mine. A lot of the things that were written I assumed were just healthy coping mechanisms I used to cope with bad people. Now I barely have any friends left. I still believe I was right on every argument I had with them but according to common sense, the odds of me being the problem and not them, are way higher. Is there any way to fix this? Or is there any way to find out if it’s actually my fault?

  • September 10, 2019 at 3:35 am

    Has anyone who is familiar with the Myers-Briggs personality profiles seen the ESFJ person as the narcissist? My older sister is that type, and the key microphone person she easily convinced to spread her lies for her in our hometown church sphere of friends is also the ESFJ.

    I’m an INTJ, which allowed me to recognize my sister’s toxic nature and be content to stay out of her way her since we were kids. We never had a heart connection because of her incredibly selfish behavior, self focus, and love of contention with my parents. She was fine with not engaging with me, although through the years she became palpably envious of my steadfast, happy marriage relationship. Her love of control in her brief marriage, and love of promiscuous sex since her teens had her thwarted in never being satisfied relation-ally. She clearly has needed adoration since pre-school. Our dad only adored my mom. He and I were excellent buddies while she became antagonistic to my parents, and especially to him.

    She was desperate to be accepted by the ‘cool kids’, and got straight A’s. She became a high school home econ teacher, specializing in family living and human sexuality.

    I knew as a teen, that at some point, when my parents were gone, i would walk away from her for good. I couldn’t listen to the drama she loved to detail of her sex life; the mocking, the ugly put downs of our relatives and her own 3 children; trying to bait people into arguments, while clearly seeing herself as the life of the party. She wouldn’t let me have any personal relationship with any of her 3 sons. She never wanted personal time with my 2 kids, except when my daughter turned 16, and she took her out for ice cream and counseled her to try a good number of sexual partners so she could decide what she liked. Wow.

    Dad lost a lot of his initiative in andropause at 55, when he retired. Mom died 10 years later, and dad kept descending into depression induced dementia. He slowly stagnated and checked out of life. I stepped in to care for him. When ‘sis’ came to visit she also spent a half hour trying to entice my husband into a long distance relationship, because she ‘understood him’ and I was ‘incredibly selfish and no good for him’. He was stunned. I emailed her that I was done with her, leave me alone to care for dad in peace.

    And then she declared war, and found an ally in one of the elder friends of our parents, the ESFJ, who became her warrior defender; the easily-duped slander broadcaster, destroying dozens of my family and personal friendships. Facebook is harsh that way. Those church ladies have large spheres of influence.

    It’s been 12 years now, and dad is gone. She wore him down with her slander rants in phone visits, and he stopped eating and died a month later, to end her war with me. You can’t put poison back in the bottle. My sanity clause has been that my Jesus knew what it was like to be wrongfully, bitterly despised. Be still, he can take care of it better than me. They mean it for evil, but God’s going to use it for good. He already has. My reputation is in him, not me and my honest, loving care for my dad. I’m thankful he made me and INTJ, which has been just one saving grace for me.

    It’s one narcissist tale, but the ESFJ thing makes me wonder if that type is prone to needing social approval and adoration.?

    • September 10, 2019 at 2:14 pm

      …and thank you so much, Darius, for writing this article. It’s the best I’ve read and includes many narcissist factors that help a lot with understanding this difficult life dilemma. -gail

    • September 13, 2019 at 5:46 pm

      Never underestimate the power of church ladies. They are brutal and relentless.

  • September 14, 2019 at 8:07 pm

    Thankyou for this article. I really needed to read this. I am still dealing with an ex-wife who is doing nearly everything in this article. It has helped me understand what she is doing and why her sisters still continue to blindly support her when other normal people see that what she is doing is wrong.

    More people need to receive this knowledge.

    Thanks you once again.

  • September 21, 2019 at 2:09 am

    This is a very good article and describes this personality disorder to a “T”. I was served over a year and a half ago after almost 23 yrs. of marriage. Covert Narc is my soon-to-be X. With his “love bombing” he showed towards me, I couldn’t see/detect any narc tendencies. Of course he was on his BEST BEHAVIOR. He reeled me in, hook, line & sinker. I didn’t know what NPD is but I used the term “Chauvinist” to describe my husband. Now that I have gotten educated about NPD and the many behaviors of narcs, I have become very much in-tune to people and their personalities. One bit of advice I can give to anyone suffering from such oppressive abuse, is to set boundaries and hold them accountable. Make notes of their behavior, the tactics they use, and any other describing adjectives. Keep tract of how they might come across to you (covert vs. overt). YouTube has a TON of videos on this very subject! You can learn a LOT from these videos…produced by professional therapists to former victims of NPD.

  • September 21, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    In too many ways, the shoe fits.
    I got lucky and I know I did.
    Here’s hoping you, too, can spot the narcissists now and steer away…
    To a nice island in the Pacific if you’re really lucky like me.
    My advice: justified defiance. And document every bit into one place.

  • October 4, 2019 at 9:49 am

    I thought I pretty much had a handle on this sort of thing but I have just been through it in a workplace project. This is the best article have read about my experience of Mr Bully playing the victim. The poor architect was being slated and demonised by all the consultants. But I couldn’t fault the chap and when the loudest and most victimised consultant asked me what I thought about the architect – I was honest and said I thought he was quite intelligent. All the silly games started. The consultant was no victim he was and is a nasty piece of work – next thing I was the now the victimiser. It was so ludicrous with all the flying monkeys and the smearing. But really – poor consultant is seriously seriously unwell in the head.

  • October 10, 2019 at 11:53 am

    Experienced this in the workplace. Had narcissist who created and brought unnecessary drama and disrespect my way almost daily. Tried best they could to provoke me so that they would have an excuse to escalate the situation. I tried to ignore it, thinking that this would deescalate the situation and that they would give up since they didn’t get a reaction. This brought it on even more, realizing now that they seen me as an easy target and pushover for not reacting. After a few months, I went to management, not to get them reprimanded/fired but just to get the other person to chill. The individual played the victim to all of it, blowing it all out of proportion, and getting as many people as possible to side with them. Overheard individual telling others all kinds of lies, twisting the story, and leaving out their part in all of it. Slandered me big time, even though months prior I had helped them out big time with some personal matters. Surprisingly, they believed and sided with them including supervisor at the time, which made things even tougher. We got new management shortly after, but I continued to ignore situation out of uncertainty of what would happen if I went to HR and they did nothing. This would only empower/provoke narcissist even more. Looking back I should have went to HR and put all of the documentation on the table and confronted the situation. Eventually found better career opportunity about year and half after it all started. Lesson learned though

  • November 5, 2019 at 5:35 am

    This is so accurate it scary. I have a mother just like this. She would force thing on me on Facebook and set the privacy so that just myself and people who she thinks will back her up, can see the post.

  • November 26, 2019 at 2:27 am

    One other thing a Narcissist does is scream,
    “It’s a Witch Hunt !!!!”

  • November 30, 2019 at 1:26 am

    This is very true. I was In a relationship with a narcissist on and off for many years. We even have a child together. When my ex found out that one of his crushes fiance was going away on a business trip for many months he decided to intentionally pick a fight with me and throw his son and I out. No more than 24 hours of learning that this womans (someone he flirted with and had a major crush on)fiance was leaving town on a business trip he started ignoring me, picking fights with me, putting me down with hateful comments, even went as far as to completely ignore me and leave on my birthday. He started telling me I had to leave and why was I still there when I wasn’t wanted there? (Nobody moves themselves plus child overnight). He would act scared to be near me whenever anyone like hi is mom, friends, etc came around but would bully me as I sat confused and hurt crying as soon as they left. With threats of evicting my son and myself I finally made plans to leave without telling him they when, where, and why.. The morning when my friend was coming to help me move it just so happen that he was playing another one of his disappearing acts (thank god). I loaded up all of mine and my sons belongings and 6 month year old son of course and left out of state with my friend. He went and told people that I took off with our son out of state and left out the threats of eviction and countless hours of torment telling me to leave. I was served out of state with court papers of him trying to get full custody and was told by the judge I had to remain in the state I left until the court case was finished but despite him telling everyone he had to take me to court to see his son I quickly found out he hired a lawyer and started the custody case prior to me even leaving the state. DESPITE ME offering him 50/50 no child support he refused. Well the case took over 2 years and now I have full custody and he has supervised visitation and only pays about a third of his child support every 2 to 3 months although he could easily pay the full child support obligation every month.

  • December 6, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    These types of people leave such scars on their victims. It took me many years to come to terms with it all. I wouldn’t wish them on even my enemies, their ways are so evil and damaging to a person’s core. The manipulation is so brutal to a person’s mind and heart.

    I just want… to say to those who have experienced this kind of person, my heart bleeds for you. I am sooooo sorry you had to live through it. Where they never emphathized with you, my heart does. I am a fellow survivor and I know what you have experienced at their hands. You are not alone. I understand how difficult it is to process everything and the fear which grips you at times. And yes, even the anger at times. And ohhh the confusion at times. They really do spin a web around you and it takes time to detangle yourself from it.

    Some people who we try to talk to about our experience, just don’t know and have a hard time understanding what we have been through. My words to them are, count your blessings that you have never encountered one, and I pray you never will. No one deserves that kind of crazy making. For those who have dealt with one, you don’t have to try and convince fellow survivors, we understand because we have lived it too and our hearts hurt for you. May God bless and heal you all from this evil that was inflicted upon you.

  • December 29, 2019 at 2:02 am

    Darius, thank you for writing this article, it’s fantastic. Extremely relevant for me, as I broke up my relationship with a narcissist about 6 months ago. Unfortunately I’m still dealing with the aftermath of it and he’s the father of my child who is due to be born next month. I hope for the sake of our Son that we can be civil and get along amicably, but so far it’s been nothing but victimising, framing the narrative as you say, and horrible, emotional manipulation. I hope we can come out the other side and work through everything. I don’t want my Son growing up thinking that his parents hate each other. I will do everything I can to prevent that and try to get along with my ex.

  • January 4, 2020 at 9:19 am

    Hi Darius, a met a nice guy who is dealing with a narcissist ex. I am not sure how our story is gonna end as I don’t know if I have the strength to support him on this. As far as I understood, they have been officially divorced for over a year due to his family intervention. They both were together for nearly 8 years and have now a 8 years old daughter and a 6 years old boy. He is very quiet and resilient but she pushes his boundaries to a point that last year he reacted to her abusive verbal assault with a push which led to his phisical move out. He has been feeling very guilty since them and she has been gaining power over him again. Even though they are not married anymore, she expects him to fix her car, drive her and the kids every where whenever she wants and she plans all his weekends with the kids and without. It doesn’t seem to have any limit. If he tries to put a limit, she gets really mad and prohibits him to see the kids by calling selfish for not being available when she wanted. He doesn’t seem to know how to deal with it and repeatedly says that is better for every one if he just do as she wants, otherwise she might be agressive towards the kids and so on. Would you have any advice in how to behave in order to control this power she has? She has been playing him by using the kids as a trade toll.

  • January 5, 2020 at 4:29 am

    Hi, Darius-Oh wow. I needed to read this today. I just got out of a year long extremely close, asymmetrical (unhealthy/codependent???), isolating friendship with one of these people!! I had no idea she was a narcissist. I just thought she was immature and a little cocky. But she recently showed her true self to me! She is changing the story and making me her target!! I met her in rehab. I’ve stayed sober and she has not. I’ve been taking care of her all year (driving her everywhere and being her only support system in town) and even let her move in with my husband and myself after she had been sober for 5 months. She has no one other than an ex husband that she uses for money and ego stroking. Her mom loves her and is there too but will not financially support her. She has burned all bridges. During this most current relapse I had to confront her in some big lies that she uses to define herself in the reality she is currently living in (she was a college professor and tennis coach at a prestigious school, her mom is a pulmonologist, so many lies) . I found out about the lies from her mother at the start of our friendship. I just felt bad for her. I have no idea why I was comfortable still having her in my life so closely. I thought she’d have some kind of breakthrough with it all through therapy or more rehabs. When I confronted her on 2 of the many lies she completely fell apart. She cried like I’ve never seen and looking at me as if I were a true monster. It was terrifying! I should of had a professional there. But she was bullying me into believing a lie that was going to allow her to get more drugs. I had to say something. It had been 2 months of hell for us. She’s bipolar also and has been just let out of the hospital. Anyway. She’s gone to rehab Friday. I see the light. Never again. But she is telling people that I’M the one guilty of these same things she has put me through during this active addiction! The exact same! It’s bizarre! The reasons I gave her for not being allowed back into our home she is using to smear me!! She is using my exact words too! I need lots of therapy to figure out what is going on for me to let this happen. I’m going to Alanon too. I wish I had seen this sooner so that I could have gone without all this emotional abuse and these mind games! My husband and I were just watching her fall apart and hoping to get her out as soon as we could. I feel crazy as hell! She gaslights like I’ve never seen! I will catch her digging in my purse to steal my meds and she somehow will convince me that I didn’t see anything like that! How?!? Please help! What should I read next?! What should I do now? I’m scared of her! I’m her next target and all I’ve done is care for her during this awful time. This is all so sad. Will blame me during this entire stay in rehab and get nothing out of it. Any help is appreciated. —Sarah B

  • January 26, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    Thank you for the beautifully articulated and thorough explanation. I wondered if these 3 scenarios would expose my husband as a narcissist:
    1. Husband has been supportive, initially, as I dealt with sudden and serious medical issues. Then Compassion Fatigue arose, but I think it doesn’t quite account for the following: after a long day in the car, Husband says, “I think I should go to Urgent Care for my tennis elbow.” Found out the wait would be 2+ hours. My phone battery was dying, I didn’t bring any reading material since he just sprung this on me. I sat there for two hours while he played on his phone and eventually got treated for tennis elbow (minor case). A week later he said that he was so angry with me that I wasn’t supportive of him that night, after all HE’D done to help me and the many trips to doctors he took me to. I tried to explain that I’m nauseous most of the time and wondered why we couldn’t have gone to Urgent Care first, or couldn’t we have done it on a different day. (it was TENNIS ELBOW!!!! My issues were a parotid gland tumor, cancer tests, GI problem that wouldn’t resolve to the point I couldn’t eat solid food, orthopedic surgery planning, and a few trips to Urgent Care for dehydration). He blew up and said he would have more time if I didn’t “sit around thinking up things for him to do all day.” I was speechless. We are both retired and work as ski instructors part-time. I do most of the housework. Husband takes care of the cars and works on restorations for a hobby. I’m unable to do help with that kind of repair work due to my physical limitations.
    2. Before we were married, were to attend a birthday party in another town for a friend of mine–he was going to meet me there. I took along another friend to carpool and we expected to see Husband soon after we arrived. Husband called right after Friend and I arrived and said he was in a car accident and was hurt. I left the party immediately and found him sitting in his car, which had been rear-ended. A friend who lives locally stopped to see him and asked if he could help, but Husband waved him off and sent him home. Husband summoned his grown son and we spent hours waiting for towing, etc. The party was over. I had to go back to retrieve my friend who had carpooled with me. It took me a long time to get home. He wasn’t hurt after all. He could have had his friend help him out. I don’t understand it.

    3. Our Supervisor at the Ski Sports School praised me for a move that my husband couldn’t do. He kept trying to get Husband to do the move, a fairly easy one, and Husband couldn’t do it. Supervisor said, “Beautiful, Nancy!” to me and later told Husband other instructors that I was better than my Husband at skiing. He told me, “He may ski the black diamonds but he’s out of control.” Note: Supervisor NOT interested in me romantically. I’m 58!
    RESULT: Husband was nervous and upset about this until I massaged his ego with truthful facts such as I can’t ski the steep hills very well….even went so far as to suggest the Ski School is “putting up with” me so they can have HIM. Yes, I played right into it. I’m an idiot. But I guess I understood how fragile his ego is. This is partly my fault, I’m beginning to see.
    4. He treats his 30 year old son, who lives here, better than me. He lets his son get by with all kinds of things that he would complain if I did them. I feel trapped. We went to counseling before but he quit when it seemed the counselor got too close to his insecurity. I don’t know whether it’s only Narcissism or something else too. I would appreciate advice from anyone.

  • January 27, 2020 at 9:58 pm

    I found this article as I was doing research for a character for a story I’m writing. Oddly I saw my mother in law in the details. This explains a lot.


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