What Happens When You Tell The Narcissist He or She Is An Abuser?
Next to nobody knows that they have been ensnared by a narcissist the first time that it happens. Indeed, in some cases the victim has no awareness until the second, third or even fourth occasion when this happens. The awakening moment usually occurs post-escape or more usually post-disengagement.
This means that the opportunity to express this new found knowledge is reduced ; either because you are now maintaining no contact or the narcissist has disappeared (for the time being) with a new victim in his or her grip. Accordingly, the opportunity to confront the narcissist to tell them that he or she is a narcissist is reduced and I have written separately about what the resultant effect is where you declare ‘No! You Are The Narcissist’.
What is more likely to happen is that the victim recognises that they are being abused or if they do not use that word, they do at least realise that the way they are being treated in a way which is wrong, unpleasant or disrespectful. There are of course a whole host of reasons why the victim may fail to recognise what is happening to them and indeed act on any awareness that does occur, but those are points to address in a separate article.
If you realise that you are being abused, what will happen when you turn to the abusive narcissist and tell them that they are an abuser and that they are engaging in abusive behaviour with you.
The Lesser Narcissist
The Lesser Narcissist will not deny the behaviour that you complain of. The Lesser tends to use physical violence, sexual violence, verbal violence and property destruction as the main methods of implementing abuse and exerting control. This is because the Lesser operates in a rudimentary fashion through the sudden explosion of heated fury. Make a point to a Lesser that he or she does not like, you can expect, as a minimum to be treated to the eloquent response of “fuck off”, a punch to the face or quite possibly both. Unrefined, vulgar and crass, the response of the Lesser to being wounded or the need to exert control is to lash out in a bullying and obvious manner.
Should you tell a Lesser Narcissist that he or she is an abuser, you will generate two responses which are similar in nature. If you make this allegation in a neutral manner (thus free of fuel) it will wound the Lesser because he realises that it is critical of his behaviour and therefore this wounding will result in an ignition of fury. Thus heated fury follows and you will find yourself on the receiving end of the types of violence which I have described above.
More likely, when you tell the Lesser Narcissist that he is an abuser, you will do so in a way which provides Challenge Fuel. You will probably be upset, hurt, frustrated or angry when you level this accusation at the Lesser Narcissist. This means you are providing fuel. Nevertheless, the Lesser Narcissist will interpret your allegation as one which is challenging his or her entitlement to treat you precisely as he or she sees fit. Remember, in our eyes, you are an object, a possession and we are entitled to treat you as we want.
Do not forget that we have a huge need to control and abuse is a significant method of control. Again, in our world, the need to maintain control and the fact that abuse facilitates control results in its validation. Finally, add into the mix that the Lesser has no empathy whatsoever. Your challenging of our perceived right, the challenge to our entitlement, the paranoia-stoked rebellion to our necessary control means that if you scream at the Lesser Narcissist that he is a hateful, abusive bastard means you issue Challenge Fuel. His response will be
a. He instinctively recognises there is more fuel to be obtained here and therefore the simplest way to gather that precious fuel is to provoke you; and
b. You are challenging his superiority and your insurrection must be quashed.
Since the Lesser operates in a rudimentary fashion, his or her response will be to give you another dose of the abusive behaviour to ‘get you back into line’. The Lesser never explains, never justifies – he or she just does because he or she is entitled to do this and if you do not like it, tough shit. In the same way that a Lesser will state an opinion and all who disagree are automatically labelled as idiots and morons (without explaining why they are), the Lesser responds in an automatic and knee-jerk manner based on their unwavering belief that they are right and entitled.
The Lesser does not recognise that this behaviour is wrong. It is your fault. You deserve this behaviour. He or she cannot empathise with your pain and hurt, instead he or she will only see the need to increase it in order to exert control and gain more fuel. The Lesser does not actually address the allegation in any way which you recognise as dealing with it, but instead will launch a verbal attack against you to deflect from your allegation, to put you in your place and to increase your misery. A fist will be driven into your face or your will be shoved to the floor and given two swift kicks. You ought to know your place and that is one of submission. If you tell a Lesser Narcissist that he or she is an abuser, expect an aggressive response designed to quell your rebellious accusation.
The Mid Range Narcissist will adopt a defensive response to any accusation of him or her being an abuser. Just like the Lesser, the manner in which you make the allegation will either cause wounding or (more often) the provision of Challenge Fuel. Being far more passive aggressive in nature, the Mid Range Narcissist will not lash out with a “more of the same is good for you” attitude that the Lesser adopts, but rather they will continue the abusive behaviour through defending their reputation and justifying their behaviour. This operates as follows :-
- “I am not an abuser, how can you say that?” The Mid Range Narcissist believes that he or she is a decent person. That is their true perspective and therefore it just does not ‘compute’ that they could be labelled as an abuser because it does not accord with their own view of themselves. There is no insight. Further, not only has the comment offended their view of themselves, but it also offends their view that they have always been ‘good’ to you, when you are asked how you can say that.
- “I know you get upset with me at times but that is because you over react.” The key response of the Mid Range Narcissist to being accused of abusive behaviour is to automatically blame-shift. Notice how they do not deny that the act has happened but rather it is your response which is the key to the Mid Ranger being able to avoid any culpability. It is again your fault. Whereas the Lesser lets you know that it is your fault just because it is, the Mid Ranger will at least tell you why it is your fault
“You are too sensitive.”
“You take too much to heart.”
“Don’t be silly, you read too much into things.”
Thus the narcissist dilutes the effect of the behaviour by suggesting it is the perspective of the victim which is the problem and not the narcissist.
3. If the Mid Range Narcissist does not suggest that it is the perspective of the victim that is the issue, then they will blame-shift in a further way by glossing over the abusive behaviour and instead focusing on the victim as being the catalyst for the abuse and therefore it cannot be the fault of the Mid Ranger. He or she does not necessarily deny that the behaviour has taken place, but their automatic need to maintain the upper hand means that their perspective ensures that the victim is the one who is blamed. Accordingly,
“I know you get upset when I do not speak to you, but if you let me have some peace and quiet rather than nagging me all of the time, I would not have to do it.”
“I slapped you because you were out of order shouting at me the way you did, that is no way to talk to your husband.”
4. The Mid Ranger also deflects by ignoring the abusive behaviour (again not denying it has taken place) but removes any validity of the accusation by deflecting and does so by pointing out all of the good things that the Mid Ranger does for the victim. There is also a good dose of projection in these responses too.
“I cannot believe you pick on one minor incident where I lost my temper after all of the things I have done for you recently.”
“I find it a bit much for you to accuse me of such behaviour when I have been working my nuts off to provide for this household. That really is not fair. Do you know how much pressure I have been under as of late?”
“I said those things because they are true and you don’t appreciate anything I do for you, nothing at all. You always seize on the one thing which I apparently do wrong and castigate me for it whilst you ignore all of the really good things that I do. How is that fair?”
5. The False Mea Culpa. The Mid Range Narcissist may well acknowledge that what they have done is unpleasant and hurtful and rather than blame-shift on to the victim as described above, they transfer culpability to something else.
“I don’t know what came over me, I think someone must have spiked my drink.”
“I have no idea why I did that, it must be all the pressure at work.”
“That’s not me that does that, it is like, it is like there is some demon or something which takes over from time to time. I need some help, will you help me?”
“I know there is something wrong with me, I just cannot help it, it isn’t the real me, I want to stop it, I will see someone about it and together we can conquer it.”
Notice how there is no accountability, it is some other ‘force’ or event which has caused the aberrant behaviour. The Mid Range Narcissist also deflects from what they have done by making it all about them in terms of them being a tortured soul, needing help, needing the support of the victim. This apparent contrition not only regularly cons the victim (because it is not genuine but is just a further manipulation) but it also results in plenty of fuel for the Mid Range Narcissist as he is “fussed” over by the victim and third parties.
The bottom line with the Mid Range Narcissist is that they will never accept they are an abuser. They are not programmed to do that as they have no emotional empathy. They might understand how their conduct is considered as ‘wrong’ by you and other people, because of their increased cognitive function but their disorder will not allow them to accept accountability for it. If they did, they would lose control and lose fuel and therefore they are automatically conditioned to reject any suggestion of culpability or accountability for the abuse.
The victim will be suckered into thinking either it is their fault (they over-reacted, they have been getting on the Mid Ranger’s back more recently (yes, with justification but they are dissuaded from seeing it that way) or that the Mid Ranger recognises and accepts they have abused the victim. Typically, rather than get away having (apparently) secured the truth (as a truth seeker) the victim stays in the hope of securing the healing of the abuser which they long for (alongside all of the other reasons why a victim remains with an abusive narcissist).
The Mid Ranger will maintain the façade that he or she is a good person, blame-shift and then if necessary create waves of sympathy for their behaviour whilst still not accepting they are to blame for it.
The Greater Narcissist knows the behaviour is abusive and sees it as entirely necessary to the fulfilment of his or her aims, namely control, and The Prime Aims. The Greater Narcissist also lacking emotional empathy, guilt or remorse sees what they do as a function. The Greater Narcissist knows what they are doing but the overriding need for control and superiority means that it is entirely acceptable to abuse.
Of course, the aware Greater Narcissist recognises that to make such an admission to the victim is a foolish one as this would cede control to the victim, something which must not happen. The Greater Narcissist adopts a triumvirate approach to any allegation that he or she is an abuser
- Total Rejection.
Through Total Rejection, the Greater Narcissist will just dismiss the allegation. Able to control his or her ignited fury with a far greater degree of control, the glacial Greater will just wave a hand and tell the victim
“That’s not abuse, punching somebody is abusive, what I did, is not abuse.”
“Don’t be so silly, I do not abuse you. Does an abuser take someone to the premiere of the new Bond movie and the after performance party? No they do not.”
The Greater is able to do this because he or she control their ignited fury, the fact that they speak and operate with a supreme confidence and conviction and because the nature of the abuse doled out by the Greater is done in such a calculated, insidious and mind-fucking manner that the victim (with eroded self-worth and reduced critical thinking) is easily led to the conclusion that it cannot be abuse. The Greater acts with plausible deniability. There are no marks from the kick to the lower back that a Lesser would leave. No finger tip bruising from the Mid Range hand about the neck. No witnesses, no observers, no evidence. Your word versus ours.
Misperception is also used. Greaters enjoy gas lighting you as the finesse and skill required appeals to our more sophisticated approach to abuse. Of course whilst we see this as an almost noble way to abuse you, it remain abuse nevertheless.
“Don’t be silly darling, that never happened.”
“We must get you back to the doctors, you are hallucinating again.”
“I told you not to mix that medication and vodka, see what it has done? It has you thinking horrible things about you and me.”
Events never happened, actions have been perceived by you inaccurately. Throw in the game-playing of our Coterie and our Lieutenants and you will find yourself in a dizzying and disorientating nightmare where the abuse never did happen because of your mistaken perception.
Finally, threat will be used. Here, the ever confident Greater will admit that the abuse has happened but makes it very clear with an accompanying reptilian smile that if you ever breath a word of it to anybody else then the resulting repercussions will be a hundred times worse than what you have experienced before. The jet-black eyes fixed on you and the steady delivery of such a threat readily convinces you that this is the case. Having experienced the abuse and also being well-aware of what the Greater is capable of, the Greater’s admission gets you no further forward. Instead, you may think you have gained some power through achieving this admission, but you actually have a sword of Damocles hanging over your head now, reminding you of the threat attached to acquiring this power. In reality, it is not power at all.
With regard to the issue of abuse, it is pointless to try and gain acknowledgement from the abuser. You will not receive validation and instead you will face further abuse and manipulation.
If you require validation as to what is happening to you, rely on your gut instinct and read Manipulated, Devil’s Toolkit and Black Flag as within those pages you will find all the confirmation you require which will give you the logic to move to the next stage of countering and escaping that abuse,
13 thoughts on “What Happens When You Tell The Narcissist He or She Is An Abuser?”
HG, can a narcissist have both mid range and greater characteristics?
Yes, the narcissist may have some of them, however :-
1. The narcissist can only belong to one sub school ,
2. Certain characteristics are automatically missing from certain sub schools, so certain characteristics would not be found, e.g. the Greater trait of awareness would not be found with a Mid Ranger, but a Mid Range Narcissist might have the Greater trait of wealth.
Thank you for explaining. My ex seems to have more mid range traits and very somatic. Highly sexual and appearance oriented. The charmer. He was also very, very cunning and vindictive. He rarely lost his composure until the end it started to slip. The threats he made to me were chilling not because of anything specific but in the manner in which he said it. Very passive aggressive also. At times I believed he knew exactly what he was and what he was doing but then he seemed to be unaware. I actually sent him about 6 of your videos before I cut him off completely! Lol, maybe he is aware now! But, I guess it doesn’t work that way.
Can a mid ranger evolve into a greater? Or any of the classes of narcissists. Can they evolve into a higher knowledge and understanding of what they are?
So if a mid range decided to do research on themselves and came to the conclusion they were a narcissist … would they not use that information in any way to help them further their aims ? For example – they understand they do not have empathy – so they fake empathy more often in order to “fit in” or fool someone.
With all the information available to them on the internet, surely some narcissits realize they are Narcissist’s. Even if they do nothing with the information.
My narcissits knew he was a narcissits – so
Obviously some of them are aware that’s the “category” they are.
No, that would not come to the conclusion they are a Mid Range Narcissist, their narcissism would not allow it.
HG, I would like to ask you, if such a narcissist does research into behaviours and comes across narcissism, am I correct to assume they’d just swipe left and look at other suggestions that may come up in the results ie Bipolar or some other PD? Or would they read further into narcissism? I am asking this because if an MR has had a (I have started laughing here because that is what the name of that particular appraisal)…..a work ‘Personal Development & Performance Appraisal’ where the narcissist’s line manager is also a narcissist, starts ‘devaluing’ (when in fact it is partly the truth in any case). Apologies for the length of the question. I appreciate your time on this, thank you 🙂
They will swipe left when it comes to themselves, they will continue to read if they believe that, for instance, their partner or a family member is a narcissist.
HG, thank you for your response. Yes, I had suspected as much. It is still interesting that they cannot (their narcissism will not is probably more appropriate) ‘compute’ when it comes to themselves but will against other people (including those that are NOT narcissists). And to think that I was the ‘problem’ for so many years. I know different now. Thank you, HG, for this site. I really appreciate what you do here x
Then maybe I am only “highly narcissistic,” because when I read the characteristics, I have to admit, “Some of these sound an awful lot like me.” Unfortunately, not the charming and manipulative ones.
Violetta, I look at my narcissistic streaks alongside with my co-morbidities. I now recognise when my ‘switch’ goes on or off, whereas before it was not a conscious but more of an instinctive ‘response’.
Well, let’s see…..there has been ‘she’s’ and ‘he’s’. Intimate; familial; work……sigh.
Muvver was one. LOL. I indirectly told her by saying “Well, if we had been taken into care, we would have had a better life”. Sums it up, I think. The only time I actually made a reference to it, 30 years after it started.
To the Lesser, “You and that bitch blatantly…..” – tells me to ‘shush’ and I says “No! I won’t shush!”.
A repeatedly abused person will eventually ‘snap’ – depending on the individual and circumstances (who, what, where, how). The individual will ‘respond’ in similar ways to the narcissist’s assertions of control – a) direct response to the abuser; or b) indirect response to someone else other than the abuser (or ie slamming a door); or c) withdrawal into themselves ie not responding, or walking away, or lashing out by ie slamming a door.
RE: muvver = I knew I was going to be removing myself from her ‘control’ by moving nearly 300 miles away.
RE: Lesser = I had not seen him /been out of his ‘control’ around 2.5 years.
Both those ‘occasions’ it was more or less my FK U to them. Directly. Not even in anger. Both of them obviously, in their own ways, refused to take accountability.
I no longer have the need to either directly / indirectly ‘re-direct’ my emotional ‘response’ because of the abusers towards myself or anyone else. It occurred to me that I had ‘acted’ in this way without realising this was something I did do. It was only by coming to KTN blog and understanding myself, why I behaved in this / that way in the past.
Some people cannot ‘look’ into themselves to ‘reflect’ on why they behaved in that way to someone else who is not effectively a direct (or indirect) ‘abuser’. Some people will not ‘accept accountability’. Some people will directly / indirectly ‘project’ their ‘issues’ by ‘jettisoning’ onto others (including animals) and / or the environment.
RE: above paragraph – Narcissists and ACONs are not the only people who may behave / respond in this way.
HG, thank you, once again, for your effort & time to create KTN to offer the platinum opportunity for myself and others to be educated, beyond the subject of narcissism on it’s own.