Knowing 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?
- 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;
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Gullible. Most people are gullible. They wish to think well of people, they take people at face-value and this makes them vulnerable.
- 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: –
- Explain the behaviours you have identified as problematic;
- Explain why you know them to be problematic (e.g. based on your own experience, material you have read)
- 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;
- Show to them independent material (in a succinct form) which shows how the various behaviour are narcissistic in nature and part of the seduction;
- 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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One thought on “Knowing the Narcissist : Protecting Others From The Narcissist”
My stomach churns at the mere thought of trying to navigate this minefield with a close and much loved member of our family who has been ensnared, isolated & now in devaluation/respite with his wife.
Thinking only in terms of “passive/aggressive/controlling” etc, and prior to understanding anything of real value about narcissism I handled things not so great a while back (confused, reactive) and came close to ruining my own relationship with him instead.
I dug deep in an effort to not let that happen, and thankfully with some distance between then and now, there will be an opportunity to try to open his eyes and for him to gain eventual freedom from this abusive middle mid-range frozen-faced arsehole, and her gang of supporters .. but the degree of difficulty, plus the simmering anger and anxiety when contemplating this whole situation means I’m not looking forward to the process – at all.