Protecting Others From The Narcissist

PROTECTING OTHERS FROM THE NARCISSIST

When you see a friend or a family member in our grip, what do you do?

I do not mean the instance where you see your replacement as intimate partner, somebody who is often a stranger to you, but occasionally might be somebody that you already know. Tempting as it may be, in such an instance, where you do not know your replacement and no matter how much you feel that you ought to warn this person, you are wasting your time.

The charming of the new victim is so intense and the smearing of you as the discarded replacement means that your chances of persuading the new victim that we are what we really are, amount to almost nil.

In such a situation you have your own defences to consider and you must leave the new victim to determine their own fate, harsh and heartless as it may sound, there is little hope for anything else.

But what of the situation where you had no or little prior involvement with our kind and you certainly had not been ensnared by us? What then where we snake our tendrils towards somebody that you care about?

It may be the case that you are sufficiently aware (and thus in a rare group of those who are so aware and observant) that you identify the person that you care about is in the midst of our seduction. You recognise the red flag (most likely because you have experienced themselves) and now you see them again, but applicable to your friend or family member. This might be that: –

–         You struggle to get to spend any time with this person because we monopolise their time;

–         They talk incessantly about us and how wonderful we are, making reference to how quickly we have fallen in love with them, how we want to whisk them away on a holiday within weeks of meeting or even noises are being made about engagement and/or living together with undue haste;

–         Your friend exhibits that starry-eyed, breathless and almost hypnotic reaction to our charm offensive;

–         Everything appears to revolve around us, they talk about what we do, what we want to do with them and what we have been doing.

You recognise the behaviours all too well. Both in terms of how the insidious tentacles of our kind are snaking around this person and also in terms of how they react.

You know what lies ahead. You know the illusion will be woven thicker, deeper and more tightly around our victim. You know how it will all turn sour as the devaluation begins and the abuse is unleashed. As undoubtedly an empathic person you have the overwhelming desire to want to help this person. You also feel obligated to share the knowledge, the “Narc Craft” which you have acquired. You may even feel evangelical about the need to prise open our grip and allow this person to be freed.

If you do decide to help, what hurdles will you face?

  1. The façade. We will have a ready-made façade of Lieutenants and members of our coterie who will only be too happy to vouch for us. These people will confirm what a great person we are, kind, honourable and how much we adore the person you are hoping to free. Not only will you be told this in order to unnerve and de-rail your attempt to secure this person’s freedom, but the target will be repeatedly exposed to this propaganda. It is your word against the word of many. You face an uphill battle in that regard;
  2. The addictive nature of the love-bombing. Everybody likes to be treated well. If a person is swept off their feet, treated like a queen, placed on a pedestal, complimented, feted, wooed, provided with treats and gifts, exposed to repeated delights and such like, what is there not to like? Who would ever want to give that up? This power of our charm, magnetism and love-bombing make it very difficult for the victim to say no and give up what is being offered to them.
  3. The mirroring. I have often explained that because of our mirroring that you fall in love with yourself. This is so compelling that should you try to intervene to halt this, then you are deny somebody themselves. That is difficult to achieve.
  4. Our ubiquity. In order to try to persuade the person that you care about that we are something other than we appear to be, you need to gain time with them to do this. We monopolise their time, either through our presence, our telephone calls, the creation of ever presence, our texting and the use of proxy behaviours through our lieutenants and our coterie. You are outnumbered and it makes your task all the more arduous.
  5. Smear. You will be smeared. When we arrive in the life of one of our victims we also like to charm those around this person. This is to bolster the façade and it is also to ensure that there are no hindrances to our seduction. We are adept at identifying those who are suspicious of our motives, those who are wary of our behaviour and who may well brief against us. Since we can detect this promptly, we will take steps to isolate you from our victim. Not only that, we will smear you in a variety of ways

–         You are jealous of what we and the victim have and we will invent conversations where that has been said;

–         You made a pass at us even though you knew we were with your friend/sister/cousin etc. Once again this is fabricated but we do this with such conviction based on our knowledge and experience that the victim nearly always takes our word over that of somebody else

–         You are trying to control the victim. A classic piece of projection where we suggest that you, as the intervening factor, are always seeking to control this person’s life. Of course you are only trying to do the right thing, but we shall paint this in a completely different light.

  1. We often select those victims who have suffered in some way previously. As a consequence, this means that the victim is ever so grateful to now have somebody as doting and kind as us. The very weakness which led to them suffering previously is exploited once again, causing them to cling tighter to us and to move away from you.
  2. Gullible. Most people are gullible. They wish to think well of people, they take people at face-value and this makes them vulnerable.
  3. Pre-empting. We identify that you are a troublemaker, someone who may try to thwart our ambitions with the victim. Accordingly, we tell the victim what we anticipate you will say about us. We may even admit to some of the things that we know you will say about us in order to demonstrate that we have nothing to hide. This endears us to our victim and also allows them to tell you, as their prospective freedom fighter, that we have already admitted to the allegation and explained why it happened. Thus the sting and heat is removed from your potential disclosure.

Faced with these hurdles, a determined and experienced opponent in us and a seemingly supine victim it is entirely understandable if you were to decide that there is no hope and you shall just have to let the matter run its course in the same way you would when you see your replacement being ensnared.

You have an advantage however.

This time you know the victim well. They know you well. They trust you.

Invariably you will only have one attempt to make them see the light. Repeated attempts to persuade them only causes you to play into our hands as the crazy-making and jealous best friend or the controlling parent.

Whereas your replacement will regard you with suspicion, the person you care about will at least listen to you. Much in the same way as dealing with a smear campaign you need to allow the victim to make their own decision. To that end you need to: –

  1. Explain the behaviours you have identified as problematic;
  2. Explain why you know them to be problematic (e.g. based on your own experience, material you have read)
  3. Explain you are stating this purely because you care and you respect that it is the person’s life so you are only going to mention it the once;
  4. Show to them independent material (in a succinct form) which shows how the various behaviour are narcissistic in nature and part of the seduction;
  5. Invite the person to flush our behaviour out by asking certain question (see the Exposed articles part one and two for more on this)

This approach may buy them time to question what is happening. This will give them the time to reflect and work it out for themselves. If they do not see it, repeating it will make no difference, the brainwashing has been effective already and you will end up alienating yourself.

By planting a seed of consideration, reflection and doubt, you may well cause this delay to the seduction to bring out a glimpse of our true selves from behind the mask, especially if the narcissist is a Lesser or Mid-Range. The challenge to their assumed flawless seduction, the hindrance to the otherwise predicted ensnarement and their lack of control compared to a Greater may well result in the mask slipping at an early juncture, the ignition of fury and evidence of us lashing out. That will be likely to be a clincher in allowing you to adopt a smug smile and declare,

“What did I tell you?”

You do have the chance to be a freedom fighter. The window of opportunity is slim and the odds are stacked against you, but you can succeed.

If you fail on the first attempt, do not labour the point. A second bite of the cherry will not prove fruitful and you will actually cripple your ability to assist the person you care about during devaluation. Instead, be ready to be there to catch this person when the golden period ends and the devaluation commences. You may have done enough to ensure that when the battle field alters when devaluation starts that you have more than a fighting chance to secure this person’s freedom then.

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39 Comments

  1. Outstanding HG.

    This article could not be more accurate. From the witnessing of the process unfolding on someone you know to the suggestions for handling it. I’m living this right now with my sister completely as written and we both grew up with the same house. She has even made note about how StepN manipulated our mother but can’t see it in her own relationship. It’s unbelievable to watch and frustrating in that I am a very direct person but have had to temper that if I hope to have any effect. I am using the suggestion here of stating what I have to say once and also letting her open the conversation and then choosing my words carefully as to have her reflect on them rather than receive them as criticism and close off completely. I really want to scream WTF??!!! but I know that’s what he’s counting on so fuck him.

    1. You are welcome NA.

      Indeed, you cannot dictate in such situations, you have to allow the individual to work it out for themselves but you can offer a head start for them.

    2. NA, I prefer directness as well and can empathize with your pain and frustration. I have learned that some well formed questions work better than statements when trying to bring someone around to a different point of view. I’m sure you know this already, but I figured it might help to note it here.

      Did your sister move in with him or marry yet? Is she in the woods alone with him?

      1. Just saw below the wedding is still on for now. Her birthday balloon reaction was down right cult-like strange. If she was not like this before, she is clearly under his creepy control. Very sad, NA and I am sorry you are experiencing this. Her N obviously wants to shut you down in a very serious fashion. Hopefully she is not your power of attorney or named in a advanced health care directive. Your husbands reply was perfect.
        Maybe text her this link:
        https://www.iphonefaq.org/archives/975515

        1. Good Luck FYC
          Is your sister really going through with marrying a N? If she is can you try talking her out of it .
          Sorry I know it’s none of my business . I am going to be the a Masters of Ceremony for my cousins Wedding this Spring I am so excited buy I am shy at the same time. We picked out the dresses ,I asked my husband do you like it? His response was whatever ,he just got jeaulous lol Anyways I wish her the best of luck ! HUGS xoxoxo

        2. Hi FYC
          Yes the wedding is still on. They’ve lived together for some time now and he moved his grown son back in shortly after my sister arrived. Surprise! He’s a creep too. Dismissive, entitled, tells tall tales, victim, boundary issues (opened the bathroom door when I was in there claiming he thought I was an intruder, after which my sister admitted he had done that to her while she was exiting the shower). Looks more and more like she’s in a narc sandwich. None of my family have any care or control over my affairs but that is an excellent point to raise for others to consider. I appreciate your kind thoughts and suggestions.

          1. OMG NA, that is F’ed up! I know you know how to deal with these creeps, but I still have the urge to shut that down for you. Last thing you need is another abusive N.

            Intruder in the bathroom reminds me of the murder of the model in South Africa killed by her boyfriend Pistorius. What a pathetically lame and manipulative excuse used to justify inexcusable behavior.

            I really feel for you, NA, and your sister is in for a world of more hurt. I hope on some level she can discover she deserves far more and age really isn’t a factor.

            You are in my thoughts NA.

    3. Dearest NarcAngel,
      Just a little further update
      Our youngest popped over and mentioned there is circulation amongst “their” friends that our youngest has been dubbed “the victim”
      Interesting state of play, as it was done by an “outsider” not a family member …. needless to say our youngest n partner are not happy
      To be continued …. haha
      Luv Bubbles xx 😘

      Ps… thinking of you 😔

  2. I was born into a family of narcissists. I’m 65 years old. Certain members of my family knew there was something wrong with us. They knew it was very bad. My uncle, warned me of our bad blood when I was 17 years old. He had worked for a drug boss as a hit man. He eventually formed his own organization after serving 7 years in Michigan prison, where he got his college education and established partnerships among the prisoners there. He turned my deceased grandfather’s farm into poppy fields in Mexico and started a family business in the 1970’s. Throughout the years, they were either killed by rival gangs or killed each other. My mother, at 84 years old, is the only survivor out of 14 children. We had an assortment of narcissists and a few of us who are not. We were tested and those of us who did not show signs of this disease were kept out. I could not throw a blow when my cousin hit me. I didn’t want to hurt her, I rather got hurt myself. I cried when she cried. And, finally I would not shoplift when they would go “shopping”. I have other cousins, who are failures too. We, the weak and failures are still alive.

    My grandmother was a narcissist mother, who designated each a role to play in that family. From what I heard about her mother, she was the narcissist mother who groomed her. In 1988 my mother, had my then 13 year old daughter make a serious false allegation of child abuse against me. I tried to fight it in a fair way, my mother did not. She shopped for her own social worker, who was a son of one of their associates in their criminal ring. It took the court 6 months to realize what had happened. My daughter has had 10 children since. My mother is the head narcissist of that family. My daughter is golden child and being groomed by her to be the next generation narcissist mother. So, the cycle continues, even when I tried to stop it by taking my daughter away from that family in 1978.

    Since 1988, I have distanced myself from my mother, daughter. Eventually distancing myself from my grandchildren, two of them I suspect are involved in criminal activities as they state they are “self employed” on their facebook page. Occasionally, my daughter and granddaughter come by to see how I’m doing, which ends up in heated arguments that I hear is what narcissists do when they want drama. This time she wanted to buy an RV because they are being evicted from their rental home and use my credit to buy one. They said, it was OK, they could raise $3,000.00 for the down payment. I told them “no”, so she verbally assaulted me.

    People who don’t know my situation, think I should try to get along with them. It’s a long story. It’s very uncomfortable trying to explain why I can’t put down my guard to them. And it causes my so much emotional distress that I sound defensive and like an idiot. I just let them think what they want and believe I’m the irrational one. Just as long as I’m safe economically and emotionally.

    1. Welcome Gloria P and thank you for sharing your experience, it was interesting yet unsurprising to read.

      1. Thank you for welcoming me. Thank you for establishing this site. These are things that I can’t express publically, many don’t understand. I am grateful that there are people here who have been there and done that.

        My issues with my mother has been a constant catch 22. First people judge me wrongly when I don’t agree with my mother when she attempts to manipulate, because I refuse to be one of her flying monkeys. And then when they get burned by my mother, they get angry with me too, because as her daughter I must be like her, even when I previously warned them that she isn’t what she appears to be. It’s lose/lose. So, pretending I’m not part of that family I found is my best option.

        Again, thank you. You cannot imagine the relief it is to get those issues off my chest.

    2. Gloria P
      When people start on to me about my fractured family and what I should do, I don’t try to explain because like you said – it just starts arguments and debate and puts more suspicion on you. I say to them simply: You are not in possession of all of the facts and they are personal. For that reason the subject is closed to you. Ends the conversation on your terms without all the debate. Hope that helps.

      1. HG I didnt realise how many N are out there. I certainly found a lot thanks to you. My daughter hangs around a girl in her class. ( her mother is a N I am sure of it) here are my reasons. We 4 went out to the mall for icecream one day. We sat down and the girls both 5 yrs old wanted to play by the fountain. I said to the mother let’s go and keep an eye out for them, she said they are fine . Fine ! There are so many people around and if I cant see my daughter I get paranoid. She told me I had anxiety and to relax while she was chit chatting with someone else. Then she started competing telling me how her daughter is involved in all these extra curricular actives and she is the best at it. I rolled my eyes she ended getting blonde highlights like me when her hair is brown the week later. Then she started ignoring me at the school . I avoid her too and I dont want my daughter hanging around her daughter. Thanks to you HG for helping me spot them HG your the best .

  3. When my best friend and I were in college ,we were both 19 years of age. She got engaged really quickly and dropped out of college. I saw something in her fiance that I didnt llke. I told her she is making a bad decision to be with this man. He got really upset at me cornered me and told me who do you think you are her lawyer! He hated me smeared me and called me a whore for no reason ( well in eyes he had a reason ) . Eventually my friend broke up with him and took my.advice !!!!!!! I just wish I had the same advice when I got ensnared how did I not see it coming when I saw it coming with my friend. I am so mad at myself. Now she has a healthy marriage and I do not!

    1. Pati ,
      it is harder to see the bigger picture when you are personaly involved, that is why even the best surgeon doesn’t operate their loved ones, and lawyer do not defend them ect… do not be so harch on your self.

      1. Hi Liza,
        I am harsh on myself because I was blind . Now I am paying the price . Thank you so much for your kind words, Hugs xoxo

  4. Dear Mr Tudor,
    We are in this situation (still) ….with our youngest’s partner (a lesser)
    This particular narc has managed to upset every member of our family and we have all ceased any interaction with this person
    Luckily, our youngest is still involved and interacts with all of us and comes to family celebrations alone now
    We don’t even discuss this narc
    Our youngest knows we are here 24/7 if needed
    We have never criticised this person as an individual only highlighted their toxic behaviour when it occurred
    We can’t do anything but wait (our main concern is that the narc and our youngest may get engaged and then tie the knot) …..none of us would attend either occasion
    Your most helpful and informative article hits home in a very big way and confirms all we have put in place …..do have any further advice that may be helpful ?
    Thank you wholeheartedly
    Luv Bubbles xx 😘

    1. Hi Bubbles.
      I have wondered off and on if your family is still dealing with this issue and I’m sorry to find that you are. I wrote another comment on this thread about the situation with my sister and I see you have taken HG’s advice as well about being there but not pushing the issue.

      The wedding is still on for next June in my sister’s case and I was glad for a long engagement because I thought it would help her to see some things in time. She was not speaking to me for quite some time due to his smearing of me (he told her I said something that I never uttered and she chose to believe him and not raise it with me but rather told my mother), but she recently showed up at my home unannounced with a gift for me. It was odd but then she started a conversation involving him and how he said he had told her something and that she knew he had not (it was textbook gaslighting). I chose my words carefully and the conversation continued on to include other things that were annoying her and that seemed deceptive. I felt she was flushing out my opinion (as she used to do) without asking directly. I validated her feeling of being dismissed and feeling deceived by him without attacking him directly. Planted some seeds for her to think on. Now yesterday she was back to painting me as being delusional because I said thank you for the birthday text with balloons. She stated her phone is old and doesn’t send special effects. I suggested that it happens automatically when you use the words happy birthday and then left the discussion as thought it was over. I was gone for about 20 mins and returned to find more messages stating that I could not have received balloons and was I having a seizure. I thought she was joking but then she called my husband at work to say that she thought I was seeing things and may be having a seizure. That she was about to check on me. He explained the balloons are indeed the result of having put happy birthday and that I was fine but he wasn’t sure about her due to her reaction. It is completely out of character to how she previously saw me. Her narc has smeared me by making jokes about having to win the lottery so that they can pay for the psychiatric help I need and bolstering that with lies about things I never said.

      Sorry, that was such a long way around telling you that there may be moments with your youngest where she acts completely irrational and succumbs to the manipulations, but there are also moments where they question (such as in her visit). I think you are doing the right thing in the way that you are handling it (letting them come to you and not discussing the narc in a negative fashion). Hopefully you will find success before there is an engagement. Sadly I think the desperation on my sister’s part to be married (she’s older) will overcome any moments of clarity she has. I hope that your family meets with more success. Keep up the good work in appearing neutral and supporting them while they figure it out. Thinking of you.

      NA

      1. Dear NarcAngel,
        I’m most graciously thankful for your detailed response and somewhat overwhelmed as I respect your opinions and comments immensely
        Narcs seem to pick the smallest of issues to make a mountain of
        and of course we “normals” no nothing of what we are talking about
        I’m sorry you had to go thru this “episode” with your sister over something so trivial as balloons on a birthday text (I know it well as I do it heaps)
        She gives you a gift only to have it end in disaster (typical scenario in so many cases) it’s as if she wants to “antagonise” you to prove herself right and you crazy enough for a psych help
        You are the last person I world consider “delusional” but in their minds you need to be discredited in any way possible
        We’re evil because we don’t accept their partners behaviour
        I’m thankful you have have explained this scenario as I’ve noticed our youngest is skirting around information when asked eg I asked about a an item they were wearing ….. “it was a gift” ….me “who from ” ….. “just a gift”… me “from your partner” …subject was then changed and I let it go, however the secretness is increasing
        Of course our whole family is now tarnished over something the narc instigated in the first place, then repeated
        Our youngest is fully aware about the weasel and my mother and the impact it’s had, yet appears to have head in sand
        I guess also, you and I have changed NarcAngel ….. we now know about narcs and people just don’t like it
        As a mother, I know only too well never to criticise a person’s “character” (never ends well) only the “behaviour”
        People who are desperate to be in a relationship or married have blinkers on, have difficulty in any sort of reasoning and are clouded by “luuuuuuuuuuve”
        Sadly, (as hard as it is) we wait and be there for the fall
        Most times times we only learn by experience
        If you are committed to a psych ward, please advise the address as we will all write n visit with file in cake 🎂😂
        Thank you again NarcAngel, your encouraging words and support mean a lot, I will send positive vibes for you and your sister ….best wishes 🎈🎈🎈🎈
        Luv Bubbles xx 😘

        Ps .. following Mr Tudor’s advice is the only to go otherwise you just keep banging your head, getting nowhere and finish up with a sore head

        1. MB
          Thanks MB. At my age it’s less of a celebration and more of an accomplishment lol. Just another day.

          1. Ha ha definitely not. I prefer astronomy over astrology. Belated happy birthday, NA. You are a gift to us all here and we are all glad you were born. Thank you for your humor and wisdom. I hope the rest of your birthday month is abundantly more pleasant and N free. Maybe travel for the holidays this year? Someplace you both have never been, but is on your list?

  5. Invite the person to flush our behaviour out by asking certain question (see the Exposed articles part one and two for more on this)

    Hi, yes thought about this severa times…..

    I do not understand what is ment by articles part one and two…

    Thank you….

    Susanne ✨

      1. I understand. And will read “Exposed 1 & 2

        What a great day. It’s rained all day giving me time to catch up on articles

          1. Aaaahhhhh……. 😉

            OK ok…

            Thanks….

            You and your work are helping me a lot, it completes all the work I am doing to recuperate.

            Understanding your perspective is so necesary!
            As a suriver it is important to step out of our emtional thinking. That is what holds us in the suffering Mode….

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