105 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.”

    • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • August 1, 2018 at 7:24 am

    FABULOUS ARTICLE. Thank you.

  • 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.

  • 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 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.


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