narcissist relationships

Even if they say “they didn’t mean it”, they’re still responsible for what they did.

Even if they say “they don’t remember it”, they’re still responsible for what they did.

Even if they say “you’re delusional, I would never do that, you made it up”, they’re still responsible for what they did, and for trying to gaslight and invalidate your memories.

Even if they say “I didn’t do it, and even if I did, I would be right to do it”, they’re still guilty for what they did.

Even if they have excuses, they’re still responsible for what they did.

Even if they act like it would have been crazy to expect from them to act any different way, they’re still responsible for what they did to you.

Even if they come at you with an entire agenda of how you should perceive what they did so it actually “benefits you”, even if they insist they did it for your own good, they’re still responsible for what they did to you, and for lying about it.

Even if they cry about how much it pains them to be accused of hurting you, they’re still responsible for what they did to you.

Even if they cry about how much they love you and how they did it all out of love and never meant to hurt you, it’s still their responsibility for what they did to you.

Even if they act like what they did shouldn’t have hurt you and you’re the one responsible for taking damage, for being sensitive to being abused, it’s still their responsibility for what they did to you.

Even if they blame you for what they did to you, they’re still responsible for what they did.

Even if they insist someone else did it to them too, even if they insist they had it worse than you, even if they say it’s a cultural thing, they’re still responsible for what they did to you.

Even if it was long ago, and they act like you’re wrong for remembering such old wrong doing, it’s still something they did, and they’re still responsible for doing it.

They can lie and deny and accuse and blame and invalidate and gaslight. It doesn’t absolve them of responsibility for what they did. It doesn’t absolve them from guilt.

Nothing can absolve abusers from responsibility for their own actions. Nothing.

Characteristics of the Narcissist.

These characteristics apply to males and females

1. Self-centered. His/Her needs are paramount.

2. No remorse for mistakes or misdeeds.

3. Unreliable, undependable.

4. Does not care about the consequences of their actions.

5. Projects faults on to others. High blaming behavior; never their fault.

6. Little if any conscience.

7. Insensitive to needs and feelings of others.

8. Has a good front (persona) to impress and exploit others.

9. Low stress tolerance. Easy to anger and rage.

10. People are to be manipulated for their needs.

11. Rationalizes easily. Twists conversation to their gain at other’s expense.  If trapped, keeps talking, changes the subject or gets angry.

12. Pathological lying.

13. Tremendous need to control situations, conversations, others.

14. No real values. Mostly situational.

15. Often perceived as caring and understanding and uses this to manipulate.

16. Angry, mercurial, moods.

17. Uses sex to control

18. Does not share ideas, feelings, emotions.

19. Conversation controller. Must have the first and last word.

20. Is very slow to forgive others. Hangs onto resentment.

21. Secret life. Hides money, friends, activities.

22. Likes annoying others. Likes to create chaos and disrupt for no reason.

23. Moody – switches from nice guy to anger without much provocation.

24. Repeatedly fails to honor financial obligations.

25. Seldom expresses appreciation.

26. Grandiose. Convinced he/she knows more than others and is correct in all he/she does.

27. Lacks ability to see how he/she comes across to others.  Defensive when confronted with his behavior.  Never his/her fault.

28. Can get emotional, tearful. This is about show or frustration rather than sorrow.

29. He/She breaks woman’s or men’s spirits to keep them dependent.

30. Needs threats, intimidations to keep others close to him.

31. Sabotages partner. Wants him/her to be happy only through him/her and to have few or no outside interests and acquaintances.

32. Highly contradictory.

33. Convincing.  Must convince people to side with him/her.

34. Hides his/her real self.  Always “on”

35. Kind only if he/she gets from you what they want.

36. He/She has to be right. He/She has to win. He/She has to look good.

37. He/She announces, not discusses. He/She tells, not asks.

38. Does not discuss openly, has a hidden agenda.

39. Controls money of others but spends freely on himself.

40. Unilateral condition of, “I’m OK and justified so I don’t need to hear your position or ideas”

41. Always feels misunderstood.

42. You feel miserable with this person. This person drains you.

43. Does not listen because they do not care.

44. Their feelings are discussed, not the partners.

45. Is not interested in problem-solving.

46. Very good at reading people, so they can manipulate them.  Sometimes called gaslighting.

yeah but do abusers have to struggle with long term trauma after what they did? do abusers have to walk around carrying the indescribable guilt and shame and humiliation on their backs? do abusers suffer thru panic and paranoia and anxiety of that happening to them again? do abusers doubt their every feeling, action and thought blaming themselves for everything? do abusers doubt their own humanity, validity of their perceptions, the importance of their side of the story? no? well we should make them. they deserve it.

How to Deal with a Narcissist

1. Don’t expect empathy, understanding or praise and recognition from a narcissistic person. Keep your private thoughts and feelings close to your heart, and don’t open up and make yourself vulnerable.

2. Expect them to be rude and to say offensive things.

3. Don’t be offended by the things they say and do as it’s not about you – they treat others the same way.

4. Make a lot of their achievements and praise them publicly as they’re always looking to be noticed and affirmed.

5. Don’t try to get a narcissist to see things differently as they’re not going to change, or be influenced by you.

6. Understand that a narcissist is going to drain you dry – and will guilt you into think that you haven’t done enough. But it’s actually not true. They just can’t be satisfied.

7. Don’t push for a meaningful relationship with them as it will always be one-sided … look for love from someone else.

Gaslighting. The Gift that Keeps on Giving.

Ok, I officially suck at sarcasm. 

The trouble with gaslighting is that it sticks. It becomes such an ingrained part of who you are and how you think. 

Examples: 

You were told often as a child that “you are always in the way” 

You can be minding your own business, stood perfectly still, just looking or thinking and someone bumps into you. Your first instinct is to say “sorry”. If by some miracle the person who walked into you manages to say sorry first… what are you going to reply? You reply “No, it’s my fault.. I am always in the way”. 

You were blamed or yelled at for things you didn’t do as a child. 

Someone you work with has their purse stolen. Your immediate emotional response is guilt and fear. You expect to be blamed and yelled at. You expect to be questioned by the authorities. You may even search your mind over and over for a memory or a clue that actually you are responsible and you did take the purse. 

Trying to confront your abuser with the truth of what they said resulting in denial. 

Those few occasions when you tried to express your pain, you were told it didn’t happen or was never said to you. So now, every time someone says something hurtful to you, you don’t respond. You can’t trust what you heard. You look for other meanings or decide you must have misunderstood. 

You were told you are difficult and oversensitive. 

You cannot now trust your emotional responses. You are afraid to react and express yourself in case others see just how ridiculous you really are. You bottle up your emotions to the point you cannot even cry sometimes and you feel empty. 

Growing up you were often told you were unlikable and unlovable. 

You find yourself as an adult not pursuing friendships or relationships. If they don’t call you, it’s a rejection. If they cancel plans, it’s a rejection. You come to believe that you are intrinsically not wanted by anyone unless they put in enough effort to get to know you and make it inside your defences.

Everything is always your fault.

Your friend stopped talking to you and you are asked “What did you do wrong?”. Now, the ending of a relationship is a dark journey into despair trying to find the flaw in yourself that ended it. You may call that person promising to change, if they could just please tell you what you did that was so wrong. No matter if they treated you badly, they wouldn’t do that if you could just be better. 

You feel crazy.

You can’t trust what you hear, what you see, what you think or how you respond. Nothing is solid and tangible. It’s always the worst case scenario. You are afraid of yourself and everyone around you. You are terrified people will see the “real you” and you will never see them again. You can’t push your career or your education because you can’t believe in yourself. 

Gaslighting is insidious and invasive and changes everything about the way we relate to ourselves. The only way to fight it is to be mindful. Take the time to think before you respond. Challenge yourself daily. Teach your inner voice to be kind to you. Learn to trust your instincts. Believe in yourself and the wonderful,  imperfectly perfect human being that you are. 

<3


Benefits of not being around abusive people:
  • Not having to listen to them
  • Not having to exhaust yourself making them feel good about themselves
  • Not having to listen to lies and twisted re-telling of events
  • Not getting shut down, insulted and humiliated when you try to speak
  • Not having your emotions invalidated and ridiculed
  • Not having everything about you used against you
  • Not being treated like an object or a property
  • Not being yelled and screamed at when you try to stand up for yourself
  • Not having to second guess your every thought and opinion
  • Not having everything you know to be true denied to you constantly
  • Not having to imagine worst case scenarios constantly
  • Not having to bottle up all the fear, pain, and anger
  • Not being self-conscious about your appearance
  • Not having to worry about being degraded, called out or insulted based on your appearance
  • Not being stared at and feeling like you’re being watched and judged no matter what you’re doing
  • Not being glared at and addressed with hatred and scorn
  • Not being forced to compete for attention
  • Not being denied attention
  • Not feeling pathetic and horrible about your needs
  • Not feeling like everyone hates you and you’re unnecessary
  • Liking yourself
  • Loving your body
  • Gaining confidence in yourself
  • Knowing what you can do and how capable you are
  • Being aware of your talents and virtues and feeling proud and content
  • Being able to point out what’s wrong without getting shut down
  • Being able to call anyone out on their shit without getting attacked
  • Being able to express your pain, fear, anger, without getting abused
  • Being accepted
  • Being good enough as you are
  • Being important to yourself and other people
  • Having your feelings and opinions matter
  • Having your point of view matter
  • Having your work and care valued and reciprocated
  • Talking about whatever you feel like talking about
  • Being heard and listened and validated
  • Being allowed to complain and rant and cry 
  • Feeling comfortable asking for what ever you need
  • Feeling entitled to what you need to be alive, healthy, and content
  • Having a clear mind and knowing exactly what is the truth and what isn’t
  • Feeling safe and knowing that nobody is about to attack you
Traits of Narcissistic Mothers: Deniability

Everything [the narcissistic mother] does is deniable. There is always a facile excuse or an explanation. Cruelties are couched in loving terms. Aggressive and hostile acts are paraded as thoughtfulness. Selfish manipulations are presented as gifts. Criticism and slander is slyly disguised as concern. She only wants what is best for you. She only wants to help you.

She rarely says right out that she thinks you’re inadequate. Instead, any time that you tell her you’ve done something good, she counters with something your sibling did that was better or she simply ignores you or she hears you out without saying anything, then in a short time does something cruel to you so you understand not to get above yourself. She will carefully separate cause (your joy in your accomplishment) from effect (refusing to let you borrow the car to go to the awards ceremony) by enough time that someone who didn’t live through her abuse would never believe the connection.

Many of her putdowns are simply by comparison. She’ll talk about how wonderful someone else is or what a wonderful job they did on something you’ve also done or how highly she thinks of them. The contrast is left up to you. She has let you know that you’re no good without saying a word.

She’ll spoil your pleasure in something by simply congratulating you for it in an angry, envious voice that conveys how unhappy she is, again, completely deniably. It is impossible to confront someone over their tone of voice, their demeanor or they way they look at you, but once your narcissistic mother has you trained, she can promise terrible punishment without a word. As a result, you’re always afraid, always in the wrong, and can never exactly put your finger on why.

Because her abusiveness is part of a lifelong campaign of control and because she is careful to rationalize her abuse, it is extremely difficult to explain to other people what is so bad about her.

She’s also careful about when and how she engages in her abuses. She’s very secretive, a characteristic of almost all abusers (“Don’t wash our dirty laundry in public!”) and will punish you for telling anyone else what she’s done. The times and locations of her worst abuses are carefully chosen so that no one who might intervene
will hear or see her bad behavior, and she will seem like a completely different person in public.

She’ll slam you to other people, but will always embed her devaluing nuggets of snide gossip in protestations of concern, love and understanding (“I feel so sorry for poor Cynthia. She always seems to have such a hard time, but I just don’t know what I can do for her!”) As a consequence the children of narcissists universally report that no one believes them (“I have to tell you that she always talks about YOU in the most caring way!). Unfortunately therapists, given the deniable actions of the narcissist and eager to defend a fellow parent, will often jump to the narcissist’s defense as well, reinforcing your sense of isolation and helplessness ("I’m sure she didn’t mean it like that!”)

I think all of us who went thru long term abuse we were unable to escape from had to tear out pieces of ourselves, of our mental health, physical health, emotional health, our integrity, our personality, our life, just to stay alive, we had to trade parts of ourselves for our life and that is not something you ever forget or recover from.