Have You Met A Narcissist

If you still believe in the goodness of life, if you still find a reason to sing a song, if you still have any self-esteem and confidence alive, there’s a fair chance you haven’t met a Narcissist yet! And pray that you don’t EVER. Well, they can suck away your life and cripple your soul!

First. What is a Narcissist, anyway? Narcissism is defined as a condition where a person has an unhealthy and highly inflated sense of self-importance while lacking any empathy for others. The ‘Others’ exist in their surroundings only to ‘serve’ them. This is the unwavering belief they harbour throughout their existence. They believe they are ‘GOD’ themselves. So Toxic is their behaviour that this has been recognized as a documented disorder NPD viz. Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

A Narcissist is a person who is unabashedly arrogant, audacious, supremely self-centered, and desires excessive admiration and Need for attention. They seek extreme attention and extreme devotion from you. Extreme is the word. If you have ever been in a room and the entire attention, unnecessarily, is on one person; there’s a good chance this person is a Narcissist. They love attention. The Solitary reason for their existence is ‘Attention’. They feed on it. They want to be the center of the universe for everyone present there. 

If your celebration/meeting/event/thoughts are about them – like their birthdays, celebrating their life, thinking about them; then you are good. But god forbid if it is not about them, you had it. They will MAKE it about them – Drama, threat, blame game, creating a scene, insulting your guests… they will go to any lengths to destroy your peace and joy. It HAS to be about them. You cannot dream of having a life independent of them. They won’t allow you to have it that way.

A Narcissist, they want your devotion. Since they are ‘GODS’ in their own belief, they ought to have devotees, right? They want you to think of them as your ‘GOD’ and do everything in your capacity, and beyond, to keep them happy. And never expect a thing in return from them. You ought to Worship the Narcissist to keep them from hurting you. There’s a very systematic way a Narcissist destroys you. And it is so subtle you won’t even notice until it’s too late! Here are a few game plans they have up their sleeves.

1. Love-Bombing:  

This is the first stage where they are wooing you. A Narc (short for Narcissist) will do anything to make you believe they are your soulmates. That you were ‘meant’ to be together. They will give you so much attention and affection that you start believing ‘You are made for each other.’ They may even adopt your belief system, your ideology, and your cult to showcase the similarities you two have. Needless to say, it is just a part of the biggest conspiracy. This love bombing is a part of a cycle of abuse that is to follow.

2. Hijacking Friends and Family

Once they have convinced you of their love, they expand their deceptive net to your family, then to your friends and even your colleagues. This is done so your innermost circle is made to believe that the Narcissist is the best thing that happened to you and you would be stupid to let him/her go! This is the time the Narc will also test the waters to see who will fall for their lies and can be used later as ‘Flying Monkeys.’ Once they have met your circle, they will systematically isolate you from every support system and hijack your relationships. Now they are the ‘Hero’ there while you are constantly ‘unreachable.’

3. Devalue and Discard phase

This happens right after your commitment. Once you have committed yourself to the Narcissist and he/she knows you cannot get out of this relationship easily, then the true colours start filtering in. The fault finding begins. Your efforts are no longer enough to keep them happy. The devaluation begins here and continues forever. The ‘Gas-lighting’ begins. While you keep amping your efforts up, your value to them goes down-spiral. You wonder where all that love went. You are disoriented and confused. You want the person who they pretended to be in the beginning. You want your ‘soulmate’ back. Abuse (mental, emotional, and sometimes physical) creeps into your paradise. So, you try harder and harder… to get your happy life back!

4. Gas-lighting

Gaslighting means manipulating someone emotionally into doubting their sanity. This is turning around your accusation on yourself. Making you the criminal for your wound. This happens when, and if, you gather the courage to confront the Narcissist about changed behaviour or abuse. Remember they are ‘gods’ in their minds, and questioning ‘god’s’ ways is an unpardonable sin in their kingdom. So, they will punish you by stating “that did not happen” (denial), “that is nothing” (trivialising your pain), and “You are so mean and cheap to think that of them” (making you the Criminal instead of the Victim). 

5. Trauma bonding

The Narcissist will keep you constantly confused about the abuse. Will throw in Love-bombing stages in between so you keep wondering your sanity as to which one of their faces is real! 

If for the life of you, you happen to identify their pattern and decide to leave or move away, they won’t let you do that either. The promises to change and be a better human being are made to you. Suddenly they ‘realize’ they were in the wrong and promise to set every straight forever. They want to tie you down (Trauma Bond) with their abuse. They might even blame the abuse on some external issue like job loss, stress, some third person causing a rift, etc etc. 

There is one rule to their fictitious story – They are either the HERO or the VICTIM, but NEVER the VILLIAN!! And they won’t let you go. You are their ‘Supply’ – of admiration, labour, money, and work. They latch on to you till they find a new ‘supply’ and then they will discard you like you never mattered.  

6. Flying monkeys

Supposing better sense prevailed and you walk out on them… or even when they throw you out of their lives, they will employ flying monkeys to keep tabs on you to ensure you don’t reach out to people and uncover their lies. Flying monkeys are nothing but common acquaintances, friends, and family members (identified during the ‘hijacking’ phase) put into action to carry out the abuse on behalf of the Narc. They become the invisible hands of the Narcissist. The narc narrates false stories to them and they (in the attempt to help out) will unleash their worst terrors on you. You are suddenly an Outsider to your people. 

While the Narcissist enjoys their trust and love. This is soul crippling and confidence eroding. Some people even go through bouts of depression and worse. But is there any Recourse?

You heard me B-O-U-N-D-A-R-I-E-S

You may or may never recover from the scars of this exploitation and abuse, but there is something you can do before, and while dealing with it. Enforce your boundaries. And stand by them! Having boundaries keeps the Narc from choosing you as their ‘Supply’ in the first place. If somehow a Narcissist still creeps in, they may leave early. Think of it as a Narcissist-repellent! People with healthy self-esteem know the importance of Boundaries in a relationship. And to keep a relationship healthy you need to set and reinforce boundaries. 

Have you ever wondered why good-natured people end up with Bad-tempered people and vice versa? The answer is BOUNDARIES. 

Good people believe in the goodness of others and reach out to help. They have fewer insecurities and hence a lesser need for strict boundaries. This is a Narcissist’s perfect breeding ground, where they can find their supply with the least restrictions and troubles. This is their pre-requisite for choosing their ‘Supply’, their target. The only thing they abhor is a ‘STOP SIGN’. Manipulators do not like being stopped. They want free reign at whatever they want to do; however, they want to execute their malice.

The only way to stop Narcissistic abuse is to stop playing their game, move away as far as possible and enforce as many boundaries as possible. Legal ones too if needed! They may run around the town describing how mean and ruthless you are, sabotaging your image… but remember, that’s a small price to pay for your freedom. 

My advice to you? RUN RUN RUN for your LIFE!

Follow Veena Gupta

12 thoughts on “Have You Met A Narcissist

  1. “The devaluation begins here and continues forever.” Yup. Great post. Something that has helped me is watching Dr. Ramani on YouTube. She has lots of great videos on how to spot narcs and how to overcome the abuse.

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