The world has become a faster place. Cars have steadily increased in speed, trains thunder along the tracks and aeroplanes race through the sky. A jet fighter is particularly quick as it breaks the sound barrier, an e-mail can carry a message from one side of the planet to the other in an instant and a television broadcast can encircle the globe in seconds. Whilst the world has become progressively faster, speed has always lurked somewhere. Few things have been faster the law of succession of the monarchy. “The King is dead, long live the King” encapsulates that the moment James I died in 1625 then his son Charles I became the king within a dying breath. The striking of a flint stone that caused a spark to ignite and thus fire to come forth was a further example of how speed has always been evident. Notwithstanding these historical examples and the onset of technological advances which has made the world become faster and faster, few things can be said to be as quick as the time it takes for our kind to change.
From idealisation to devaluation, from worship to hatred, from cherishing you to chastising you, this dramatic shift in attitude happens with such speed that is leaves you dizzy and bewildered. One day everything is fine, there are smiles and kind words, affectionate glances and warmth but without any warning, without any indication or hint of what is to come, the position alters and does so suddenly and drastically. Gone is the affection and in its place that awful stony silence which has you repeatedly asking what is the matter? Tell me what is wrong? Have I done something to upset you? We may have just been laughing together at something and then before the echo of that laugh has faded away you are defending yourself as we launch a tirade at you. You are taken by surprise at the speed by which we have attacked you, you are so confused and stunned that you cannot even speak. You may have even paid us a compliment as we sat having dinner with friends and you turn to look at us to find we are glaring at you or you are on the receiving end of a scathing put-down. The shift from happiness to sadness, pleasure to nastiness and joy to despair is dramatic as it is swift. How many times have you remarked
“It is like someone flicked a switch” ?
A light turns on and off in an instant. We turn on and off you in an instant. This change is utterly bewildering and causes considerable consternation and concern for you. You always ask what is wrong, but of course that will just annoy us and irritate us all the more because you should know what is wrong. You should be second guessing us. If you loved us you would know what was wrong wouldn’t you? How many times have you heard that line hurled at you before a plate or glass follows? But why do we change so rapidly and seemingly without reason ?
I have explained on many occasions and no doubt will continue to do so that you fail to grasp and understand the dynamic of your relationship with our kind because you look at that dynamic through your world view. You apply the logic and rules and reason of your approach to life to a situation which follows our rules because we created the world in which both you and I now reside. We dragged you into this false reality when we seduced you. It is both a fairytale and a nightmare where nothing seems to make sense,but if you looked at it through our eyes it makes perfect sense. So, let me avail you of some understanding from our point of view as to why this change happens, why it is so quick and why is hurts so much.
We may be laughing together but I don’t think that you laughed as loud or as heartily as you should have done at my witty remark or entertaining quip. Pathetic? Yes by your standards but not by mine. Your role is to pump out that positive fuel and you have not done so to the expected level by not laughing loud enough. This offends me. You have criticised me and just like the spark arising from the flint above you have ignited my fury and it manifests as me lashing out at you.
We may be sitting peacefully in the living room, music playing in the background and enjoying a lazy Sunday reading the newspapers and then the paper is hurled to the floor and we are attacking you verbally. In that supposedly pleasant silence we remembered a remark you made two weeks ago which was critical of something we had said. We berated you at the time but that does not matter. As you know, we love to bring up the past. The recall of that event burns at your unwarranted criticism and once again our fury has been ignited resulting in you having your placid Sunday shattered as a shouting match ensues.
You may have just complimented our shirt and trousers but you forgot the shoes. We then forget the compliments you provided to us and solely focus on the compliment you should have given us. We are elevated and superior to you and you should recognise this at all times, well you would if you loved us wouldn’t you? Your failure to provide the compliment is again a criticism and our fury ignites.
What makes it worse is that we will often not tell you what the basis of the fury is and instead go on the attack by criticising you in return in order to make us feel better. We may not say you failed to compliment us about our new shoes and instead remark about how we do not like your hair the way you have styled it, which makes the situation all the more bewildering for you.
This sudden change allows us to gather negative fuel from your angry defence, tearful replies and sobbing apologies. It allows us to keep you anxious, on edge and confused which allows us to maintain control. This change makes no sense to you, even if we explained why we felt furious at the time, but when you consider it through the narcissist’s lens it makes sense in our world.
This change of heart happens because somehow you criticise us and nothing is faster than the igniting of a narcissist’s fury. As you know all too well.