Confronting a Narcissist With His Own Behavior: What Will Happen?

Should you confront a narcissist? What happens if you do confront him or her? Does the proverbial kitten really turn into a lion? Answers to those questions depend on the circumstances and the people involved. Before you decide to confront someone with a personality disorder, you need to ask yourself,”What is the outcome I am hoping for?”

Reason for Confrontation

If you have just discovered that your partner or parent is a narcissist, you may have a strong urge to confront them with that information in the hopes that they will recognize themselves in what you describe and be remorseful for the pain they have caused. If that is the outcome you expect, then you will be disappointed.

The narcissist’s sense of self has not developed beyond that of a young child and cannot cope with a truth that shows them to be less than perfect. Unlike alcoholics or other abusers who may eventually “see the light”, a narcissist just does not have the ability to look inside himself and perceive the truth. Self-reflection is not a tool in the narcissist’s toolbox of skills.

Before considering strategies about how to confront a narcissist, take a look at what you want out of the interaction. If you are looking for equality in your relationship, acceptance, or significance in his or her eyes, it is recommended that you simply move on. If you are looking for those outcomes you will invest excessive amounts of time and energy but with a minimum likelihood of success.

If you feel you are in a position where you have little or no choice (example: married and cannot leave for financial or religious reasons) except to confront a narcissist, then read on.

Reaction to Confrontation

What can you expect when you do confront a narcissist? Generally, they will resort to narcissistic rage (explosive or passive-aggressive) or denial. He or she may become enraged, deny everything, call you a liar, twist reality, blame you and then play the victim. You may be the recipient of rage and aggression or the victim of The Silent Treatment. It is also common for him or her to project everything you say about them on to you. For example, if you confront them about infidelity, they will turn it around and claim that you must be the one who cheated for you to even bring it up.  If you are strong enough to cope with this treatment, then go ahead and use the strategies below to confront him (or her). If you are hoping for a permanent, positive change in their behavior, more disappointment or pain is likely on the way.

Narcissistic Rage

Why do they go into a “narcissistic rage”? They become enraged because they believe they are perfect and beyond reproach. They cannot accept any sort of disagreement, criticism or accountability for their actions. “Narcissists react with narcissistic rage to narcissistic injury”.

“Narcissistic injury” is any threat (real or imagined, no matter how slight) to the narcissist’s grandiose self-perception as perfect or omnipotent. They perceive every disagreement as criticism and every critical remark as abject humiliation. Narcissists desire perfection so even the slightest challenge to that self-perception is seen as a threat. Thus, the over-reaction. They react defensively and become indignant, aggressive and emotionally detached. They “devalue” the person who criticized, disagreed or dared to confront them about their behavior. By devaluing that person, narcissists minimize the impact of the threat to their self worth.  The devalued individual is likely to be subjected to severe and continual emotional harassment, guilt and blame, and to abuse (verbal and physical).

“Narcissistic rage” is a reaction to a perceived (real or imagined) slight, criticism, disagreement or confrontation. Narcissistic rage is a reaction to narcissistic injury. Narcissistic rage can come in one or both types: explosive and passive-aggressive.

1. Explosive – The narcissist erupts like a volcano, attacks everyone around him, causes damage to objects or people, and is highly abusive.

2. Passive-Aggressive – The narcissist sulks, gives The Silent Treatment, and makes plans on how to punish the person. They are malicious and vengeful. They harass, disturb, sabotage and damage the work or possessions of the transgressors.

How to Confront?

According to Sam Vaknin, self-proclaimed narcissist and author of Malignant Self-Love, the simplest way is by abandoning him or by threatening to abandon him. The threat to abandon can be vague and doesn’t have to be conditional (“If you do/ don’t do something – I will leave you”). When you confront a narcissist, you must be insistent and shout back. He or she can be controlled by the exact weapons that he uses to overpower others.

Their fear of abandonment overshadows almost everything else in a narcissist’s life. For example, if he gets emotionally close to someone he begins to fear that abandonment is inevitable. That causes him to act cruel and distance himself which often results in the abandonment that he feared. It is the narcissist’s paradox to which also holds the key to confronting and coping with the narcissist. If he engages in narcissistic rage – rage back at him. This inflames the fear of being abandoned and consequently quiets and calms him. He will try to make amends, immediately moving from one end of the emotional spectrum (cold, angry, cynical, and cruel) to the other end of the spectrum (warm, loving, optimistic and kind).

Mirror the narcissist’s actions and repeat his words back to him: If he threatens you – threaten him back. If he leaves the house – you leave the house. If he acts suspicious – you act suspicious. Descend to his level and use criticism, degrading comments and humiliation. Mirror his image back to him and the narcissist will always retreat.

Narcissists can cause negative and harmful effects to us. They are superficial individuals whose self-worth often stems from their behavior toward their partner, family and friends. To successfully and effectively confront a narcissist, your own self-worth must be strong and you need to robustly believe in your right to confront his or her attitude or behavior. Stand up for yourself and confront the narcissist by mirroring his behaviors; by doing this you can regain control and put it back in your court.

 

Resources:

  1. http://www.families.com/blog/should-you-confront-a-narcissist-about-their-narcissism
  2. http://www.planetpsych.com/zPsychology_101/narcissism.htm
  3. http://www.ehow.com/how_5431231_overpowernarcissist.html
  4. http://www.psytalk.info/articles/narcissist.html
  5. http://samvak.tripod.com/faq73.html

About Alexander Burgemeester

88 Responses to “Confronting a Narcissist With His Own Behavior: What Will Happen?”

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  1. Barbara says:

    I see a lot of good information on narcissists but always when a man woman relationship. What about mothers that are narcissist, how do the daughters deal with it when the mother has all the power?

  2. kathlene says:

    Wow,this is my N.Mother to a perfect description! I am an empath and I cannot wrap my head around the way she acts. When one is fed up and dare take up the whole “do unto others as they have done to you” the narcissist will rage…RAGE! This is what led me to rip off the mask of my NMother. These people do NOT act normal-everything Sam Vaknin says is right! It is scary how textbook they all are. If only I had been born with all this information-perhaps I could have protected myself-from my own Mother! No treatment will help these sick souls. A mortal sin indeed it is to dare confront a narcissist on their own crazy weird behavior! I feel Pedophiles and Narcissists seem to have a lot in common. Shhhh! Secrets to make Mommy look great!I suffered a lot of abuse by my mother’s men! My heart is broken that I will never have a real mother. I am thankful for all the love I received from grandparents….or I might be as doomed as the “golden child” truly is. Never waking up…never learning. Great job with this article&info!

    • Sarah B says:

      Kathlene, I noticed you said you are an empath. I am an empath as well and have always seen this as a special gift I use to help others (I’m also a psychotherapist) and while going thru this new awareness of my N mother, I read a book called “children of the self absorbed” and the author refers to what I’ve always considered my empathic gift as “catching other people’s feelings” & notes that this is a symptom if growing up with a N parent. It’s changed how I look at my “gift” b/c now I realize I was made to serve as a little counselor for my mother my whole life, always validating her, comforting her, listening to her, empathizing with her. You get the idea

      • Jackie says:

        Would love to speak with you Sarah, I too came across an empath article and had first thought wow what a gift yet in the wrong situation what a curse and no relief. M is N and believe my significant other to be one as well. I’ve been in therapy yet when someone hasn’t encountered or lived this same situation I find a slight disconnect and often question if I’m dramatizing events or being overly sensitive. How can one person have made so many poor choices it must be me. I fear completely losing myself and not having the strength to recover.

        • jo says:

          If you educate yourself on as much knowledge on narcissism as possible whilst staying no contact & know you are quite very very normal & that a whopping 70% of us are abused by narcissism or pedophilia & that people do see it You will become a well grounded person without even trying, IT happens on its own. I am now glad I met my narcs as I am now a tower of strength & so too will you

      • Lee says:

        NO YOU WERE NOT!!!! You are an empath because you have to learn to read her in order to,protect yourself and your family. BUT YOU WERE NOT DESIGNED TO BE YOUR MOTHER’S CARETAKER!!!! And this is coming from HEARS of therapy! You were designed to be YOU, with your strengths and weaknesses and to live your life! SHE is the mother and is supposed to be the one who took care of you. She either didn’t or was unable to..but the answer is NOT for you to become the one taking care of her. Het some help RIGHT NOW or you will ruin any chance you have of living a real life of your own.

      • Penny Upton says:

        Hello my name is Penny I came across your article and the word empath popped out at me. I am a empath as well and recently found that out myself a couple years back . It was the best thing that could of happened to me. It truly is a blessing and a curse. I am a intuitive empath I can read people very well and no o e can lie to me . IT shocks me some time how on target i am . What takes the life out of me is being around negativity The aura that surrounds me of that suffocates me. I feel others pain as well . We are truly gifted with the soul of a empath. That is where we are different then other people . We feel everything ! I hope to hear back from you because I never encountered another empath in my life . It would be awesome to compare are empath abilitys we are gifted with, Sincerly, Penny Upton

        • M. L. says:

          Hi Penny, I am just like you. They say there are mostly empaths in the world (and just a tiny 1 or 4% have selfish/sociopathic disorders). I’m convinced that the opposite is more accurate. Have always wanted to find more like us but the problem is most of my narcissistic friends have convinced themselves that they are just like me when they aren’t. They speak and act empathetic quite well (& put a ton of effort into the charade of acting like an empath, which never occurs to me), without any real measurable & consistent ACTION, sacrifice,deed to help another (unless the camera is on them). I’m flabbergasted how people can’t see this, even after knowing & observing someone for years or even decades.

        • M. L. says:

          Hi Penny, I am just like you. They say there are mostly empaths in the world (and just a tiny 1 or 4% have selfish/sociopathic disorders). I’m convinced that the opposite is more accurate. Have always wanted to find more like us. Would love to know you. Ljm1911@hotmail.com.

          • Elena says:

            I am an empath too. I feel everything and am gifted at reading others. My only weak point was not being able to see when I was being mistreated by others. The day I woke up to the narcissistic abuse I had suffered my whole life (last year) was the day I was able to start spotting narcissistic abuse a mile off. Yes, it’s a blessing and a curse. I am disappointed by how shallow and self-absorbed many people and today I cried for the live octopus at the fish market and the stray kitten in the street.

        • Sandra says:

          I recently found out by two mediums that I also am an empath. I had no idea what it was! And you are correct it is a blessing and a curse. I would love to correspond with someone who also has this ability so I can learn how to push away the negativity when it appears. I will be going through a normal day and out of nowhere drop in to a dead depression for no reason at all. But now I know where it was coming from most of the time; one person in particular who
          happens to be a narcissist. I also in the last year just learned about them and the combination of being an empath coupled with someone’s personality disorder is very debilitating. Hopefully I can learn everything I need to know to survive because I’ve been no contact now for over 3 months and I can also start to feel ‘hoovering”
          although I changed all my contact information and he doesn’t have any way to contact me. But because I am an empath I can still feel it. So any advice to help a beginning empath learn more about dealing with these emotions would be appreciated! Thank you.

          • Mary says:

            There are pages and groups on FB that helped me when I first discovered I was an empath a few years ago after losing my mom very suddenly. They give lots of ways to protect yourself from things like narcs or even the overload you get from being in a crowded store.

    • Sarah B says:

      Also I had to figure out how to make & keep her happy or down would come the shame on my head. What do you think of this “catching” feelings idea? I’ve never spoken in depth with another empath child of an N parent & am eager to know what you think. I also wonder how many psychotherapists are children of N parents (I know at least 3 others besides myself) for many of us were trained in counseling from a very young age.

  3. Elle Romeo says:

    I now have the fall at Confronting a N. Boss when he mistreats and hits on me because I know of his infidelity & have told him I’d tell his wife unless he behaves professionally and respectfully. Should I be scares of some rage or revenge he’ll have because Ive cornered him & taken his power away? Or is he just scared now? So far two days and he’s perfectly cordial & corteous…please advise & THANKS a million!!!!

    • I’ve done this with my ex if he doesn’t stop acting like an arse I’ll tell his girlfriend he’s a cheat and all the disgusting things he has done …he does not want me to tell her but he cannot help himself to act like he does near me the Narc takes over very quickly and he continually puts himself at risk of me telling her but I think he gets a thrill out it ..thinking he is superior he thinks he can get himself out it anyway .

  4. Zaphod says:

    To take these recommended steps, this would have to be a family member or someone who was incredibly important to me. In the workplace, I think the concluding recommendation might be, “Fire the narcissist.”

  5. Gemini says:

    I just recently confronted my malignant N mother about her abuse, using the terminology. I’ve always pointed out what she does, but hadn’t seen it laid out in black and white like I have until now and I earned an MA in psychology! I knew what I was living, suffering through was unnatural and dysfunctional, but as she worsens with age and under stress (I believe she is also borderline and abuses alcohol and uses benzodiazepines- and loses time and memory) I can see that it is as pathological as it gets and always has been.
    I expected her to do this but am still upset by it… She of course uses all the tactics she has always used, gas lighting, denial, deflection, projection (the big one), illogical and circular arguments, feigned concern, lies… But in direcrltly confronting her and her flying monkeys, she is telling My spouse to put me in an institution because I am obviously deteriorating before his very eyes and if he doesn’t she will call CPS! This, from the woman who abused me and allowed and encouraged others to in every way, and when I was seriously ill and begged her to pick up my children from school because I was afraid to endanger them (I had double vision from migraine headaches) she picked up their cousins standing right beside them (golden child kids) and waved at my innocent kids as she drove by. Has done this many times and created indescribable chaos and destruction in our lives. NOW she’s concerned for their welfare!?! Because I’m speaking out about who she really is and what she’s really done! And there are family members who, even after seeing much of her behavior and being repulsed by it when on the receiving end themselves, are staying silent and/or joining in the you’re “psychotic” bullying. There doesn’t seem to be a low to which they will not descend. It’s so upsetting. I was always there for them. I was my mothers confidant. I felt responsible for my parents well being instead of the other way around. My malignant n mother in HER psychosis, did awful things to my dying father and even though I spoke of my specific fears that she would do exactly what she did PRIOR to her doing them, my sisters remain silent and my family refuses to have a conversation with her to convince her to get some sort of help. This was a criminal act she committed, but almost impossible to prove. My father did say to us though that she did it on purpose. Still, no one says a thing. Those that don’t directly make excuses for her or call me crazy or ignore me tell me to just live my life but they don’t understand how a malignant N has destroyed your ability to do just that and then continues to malign you so you can’t get your head above water. Nmother tells me now, “I am so sorry you are suffering this way. You have inherited something from this family. I love you but no one should have to put up with this..”. When my brother spoke out, she made sure everyone knew he was bipolar and a distant cousin is thought to have schizophrenia, so this is why she has always told us since we were very little that mental illness runs in our family. Well, since it’s a family of Mnarcissists, I don’t doubt it. But it had the added benefit if keeping people silent. You don’t want to be stigmatized next. Apparently, she believes this “inheritance” has skipped her entirely and she got the mother Teresa gene. Of course. She is as sadistic as they come.
    I don’t know what else can be done. It’s wrong on every level that someone should get away with going to the grave believing and passing themselves off as though they are some sort of martyr/hero/victim and have done nothing wrong. I also feel sad for her and worry about her soul. If she is also borderline, in addition to narcissistic, and histrionic with shades of munchausen bi proxy, which I strongly believe her to be, I feel sorry for her, even though it’s the ones around her that suffer the most, particularly the scapegoat, me and brother and even father though he didn’t recognize it until too late. If anyone has any advice on how to overcome the intense anger and rage I have towards her and her flying monkeys, and how I can really move on and rebuild a life, or have even just some kind words, I could surely use any of it.

    • Suzie says:

      She sounds exactly like my Mother. I have had to stay completely away from her and ask God to heal me and help to make me whole because I cannot do it on my own. I do positive affirmations, listen to positive self talk, have gone to Counseling, hypnotherapy sessions, healers, you name it. It is very difficult not to be enraged. Healing is a process. It has layers and layers like an onion.

      • Ashley says:

        I just confronted my N Grandmother with a similar reaction. My mother, also intensely narcissistic, was extremely abusive to me as a child. She also abuses alcohol and drugs and may have Borderline too. My mother has been out of my life for 10 years and of course trying to scramble for a mother figure I went to her mother. Turns out she is the cause of my mother’s dysfunction. The Head N so to speak. I see the way the family caters to her every beck and call, none of them except my siblings have any backbone. It’s very sad. I pity these people and I have brought it all to Light. Now I can heal and refuse the legacy. My advice is let these people go, don’t worry about not having a family. The good ones will stand by you. But don’t let the narcissism pollute your mental health or healing process. Love & Light

        • Low Profile says:

          Well said! That is exactly what I had to do is let my family go and go completely no contact. It hurt really badly at first but I can truly say as time has went by it has been one of the best decisions I Have ever made. My narcissistic family members are truly evil people and I thank God they are out of my lives and I WILL NEVER go back. God bless you and everybody else on this page and stay strong.

    • Gwynna says:

      I am so sorry to read of your terrible journey. Your words rang true for me but with two sisters, one in particular is in my opinion just evil and controls the other as well as now heaps of other family members.
      She took out a Protection Order against me ‘without notice’ and simply because she is Ina wheel chair, was able to do so. I defended it of course, why wouldn’t I ? But She then dragged it out with hilarious, ridiculous full of s**t sworn as truth affidavits which took an entire year to have thrown out as evidence before we were before a Judge, who of course threw her case out awarding in my favour….but that didn’t stop her malicious narcissist, psychopathic abuse. I have suffered her manipulations and bullshite all my life but 20 years ago walked away virtually having nothing to do with her. She didn’t like that. The day our mother suffered a massive stroke and could no longer speak she began this egregious attack upon me all in her desire to prevent me visiting Mum safely. Mum has been subjected to witnessing nasty vile abuse if me by several family members who she has gas lighted – very much the ‘passive aggressive narcissist’ when they have come into Mums room during my visits. I applied legally to have set visiting times with Mum but the court system is so f****d and the lawyers just play games (narcissists themselves) so after 18 months of this stressful s**t I have said my ‘goodbyes’ to Mum, who I observed after one year of this was now suffering ‘Stockholm syndrome’ from being subjected to the constant verbal barrage from particularly the evil one.

      The ‘passive aggressive’ ones who work quietly in what I call ‘the shadowlands’ one on one convincing each person of their sick lies and then reinforcing those lies in a group situation because each individual is now brainwashed are seriously dangerous people.

      I have walked. I have disconnected from ALL family members as the ‘fallout’ has been widespread. I know in my depths once Mum transitions to next realm and passes through the 2nd phase of death, all will be revealed to her and her soul will fully understand even her role in this abuse / family destruction.
      MUm could have acted before her stroke to prevent this but for what ever reasons she didn’t.

      I intend to continue to legal fight to hold these lawyers accountable for their professional incompetence and negligence of basic human rights etc. It is all I can do. I fought so hard and did my best to protect Mum but wasn’t able to due to the control this evil one holds over so many people.

      Four months on I can honestly say I am beginning to recover. I am feeling so much stronger and clearer about who I will and won’t allow in my life. I know I still have to get through Mums funeral when she does pass over and that will be like entering hell, yet again, that is if I am even told of her death.
      I have no intention of once again being drawn into this evil maelstrom but I will be present, standing strong and connected to my ancestors who I have felt supporting me through this nightmare.

      I wish you well on discovering your strengths of character. Just remember, so long as you engage in any way with these people they will continue to emotionally devastate you.
      Namaste

    • jo says:

      Go no contact, that’s when the healing power begins. Go on just do it too them, strangers are kinder than these monsters.

  6. Ken says:

    It’s certainly a great article, thoughtful and informative and, so far as my experience goes, very accurate.

    In addition to the usual constant stream of belittling criticisms and needy behaviour my father fabricates things I’ve done so he can issue his punishments. He used to entertain himself by beating me, smashing my toys up (or taking them to give to more deserving kids),even on occasion bringing a kitchen knife into the row to threaten me with. Although more often he would threaten and publicly humiliate me, choosing to goad and belittle my codependent Mother into doing the beating for him, naturally, my unacceptable behaviour must be her fault.

    The physical violence stopped when I got big enough in my late teens to hit him back, although all I actually did was push him away, it was enough for him to get the point and stay an arms-length clear from there on in. I’d also become bright and aware enough to see through the lying and begin to confront him more effectively. Whilst he’d always lain traps and briefed the “audience” of my crimes and how I’d surely deny them and become upset as he pressed the point, I was becoming able enough to tear holes in the fantasies and expose his lies. I doubt I really persuaded any of the loyal family and friends to believe me, but it was clear they were beginning to see he was up to something.

    The upshot of the confrontations? Just more extreme raging, ever more ominous threats and increasingly bizarre lying.

    So yes, I think Sam V’s description of how to confront is valid as it’s close to some of the things I did, and yes it smashes up the Narcissist’s control, exposes their behaviour, can even get you glib apologies. But at the same time, they get what they want, they are the centre of attention, they revel in the blazing row (even if it’s screaming torture for you), and if you “defeat” them they’ll spend the next 3 months playing the poor oppressed misunderstood martyr while plotting revenge. You, on the other hand, will be exhausted and emotionally bruised.

    So think of the outcomes you want because I don’t think long term harmony is possible or, indeed, any meaningful change in behaviour. My belief is our desire to confront, have it out, show them how we feel about the behaviour is actually implanted there as part of their manipulation, always drawing you back in for more of the same, keeping your head in the maelstrom of emotional pain where the narcissist remains at the centre of your thoughts.

  7. paula says:

    I’ve been dealing with narcissist mother-in-law. It has become worse since we had our daughter. I will confront her passive aggressive remarks and it gets twisted to that I have a problem, I make up stories, I’m just set to hate her. She abuses xanax, ativan, vicodin etc. For our daughter’s 1st birthday she arrived totally out of it – overdose of xanax and ativan. What is sad is I had premonition a gut feeling she would somehow take attention away from our daughter to herself. I didn’t think she would go that far. Luckily we only see her once in awhile because she is too wrapped up in herself and “health issues”. She is always on death’s door but will recover enough for other commitments.
    The real issue I have is my husband her only son. Her baby. Whenever I confront him no matter how I approach a subject he goes into a rage. He says hurtful demeaning things threaten to leave me. He doesn’t possess the traits of his mother such as desire of being center of attention, blatant lies etc. But he reacts as a described. Is it that he is a narcissist or mirroring what he grew up with? I really can’t take it anymore. He will explode and if I leave for a few hours when I come back he acts like nothing happened. Last few rages I gave him back what he gave me. He shuts down or says he can’t believe I would be disrespectful, he can’t be with someone who doesn’t respect him. When I say what about what you said to me? Was that respectful? He says nothing.
    From what I read there is no hope for a true narcissist. What about one who emulates some traits? Is it they are narcissist or reacting – mirroring what they grew up with?
    My husband just seems to self sabotage.He has gambled money away, shied away from opportunity, has high & lows.
    I worry about how his behavior will affect our daughter. I don’t know what to do.

    • Deb says:

      I was in the same position….it’s taken 5 years for partner to come around. He was the golden child and did everything to protect the narc mother. Message me if you like 🙂

      Take care, I know what you are going through x

  8. Tori says:

    After reading, about this topic on many different web sites, I am left wondering what it is that everyone really wants from the other person. Yes, person, not just mother or daughter. All mothers are and have been daughters, but not all daughters are or have been mothers. And some of us seem to get it from both sides and while I’ve forgiven my mother and cope the best I can with her high energy and off the wall ways, now I have to cope with a daughter who rages uncontrollably at me for minor offenses like saying “Hello.” and on some days it seems my just breathing sets her off. Which makes me wonder, what do women on either or both sides really want? Is it to learn to cope, to forgive, to be forgiven (yes, before you squawk that you’re not the one who needs to be forgiven, forgive yourself for what was just a self-centered moment of it’s not me, obviously you’re not coping which is your problem and is only the other person’s problem when you react negatively to them, remember you can only change you.) Let’s see what else is there to want? How about respect? It seems many folks can’t give respect because they think it is earned but perhaps what there really are thinking of is admiration, since admiration should be earned not given freely. While tolerance and politeness are forms of respect one gives, to all others, if only to be viewed by oneself as well as others as a coping adult. Yes, I have to work on forgiving my daughter’s outbursts and currently I need to let her be, as she wants to be let alone. Perhaps some day she will forgive me my shortcomings and learn to cope with the fact that I am only human, not a monster. And while I might not be worthy of her admiration, I am not worthy of her complete annihilating scorn and loathing either. I’ve enough self-hatred and loathing of self to not mind her leaving me be, so she can deal with her own issues. We have children not hold on and take care of them forever, but to raise them, enjoy them and let them go. Of course the reality of this is that raising them is a lot more work then we expect it to be, as is life in general, and often we fail at the enjoyment part, yet anger is a part of life which needs coping with. I’ve been going to counseling for years and working on myself, I know I wasn’t always at my best, yet I wasn’t always at my worst either. And fortunately for my daughter, my worst wasn’t the worst of the worst, and though my best could probably have been better, I am who I am in spite of being a disappointment to my daughter, as well as to my own mother. There are people (strangers) who seem to dislike me for no reason at all and people (strangers) who seem to like me in spite of not really knowing me. Coping with those who think they know us and who we think we know, is much more difficult. We expect things from them and they expect things from us. (I look at this statement, from both sides, as I am daughter as well as a mother, as is my mother a daughter, though my daughter is not a mother.)

    • Leasa Jones says:

      Tori, well said, I absolutely agree with you. We cannot blame the other person for being who they are, blame ourselves or expect others or ourselves to be anything else. Accepting all as it is and giving space for ourselves and others to grow is the only answer.

  9. Maggie says:

    Thank you for the information and comments here. Valuable to me. I ended a NPD “relationship” just 10 days ago. I had no prior knowledge of the disorder and now I think I am the crazy person with NPD lol. I don’t know how they do it but all the reading I am doing helps, so thank you.

    My question is:
    Stated above – the fear of abandonment is mentioned and being emotionally close. I am bit confused. If NPDs don’t have real emotion why do they care if someone leaves them? Aren’t we all just supply ? How do they get emotionally close if they don’t have emotions?

    The first time I tried to leave my NPD man he was very panicked. We weren’t even having a real relationship at all and I told him I couldn’t keep playing this silly game of his and was way too attached for something casual we were doing. The shaky voice and panic and pleading – since so many people have left him as we was coming up in the world. Was this just panic for a supply leaving? Or emotionally since someone was abandoning him? (and btw, he really deserved me leaving, two months in even and this was like month four).

    I am learning and processing still. I also have some denial still that he is as bad as many outlined in my reading. I do have a narc supply question: Is all narc supply the same? Or is there a hierarchy? He has a bazillion friends and is constantly seeking more and more sexual conquests. Do NPDs like to maintain supply or rotate it ? I know sexually they get bored but friendships how does this work? With some supply is it a one day thing they crave then dump or is the goal to make every person accessible part of the supply chain?

    Although I am in pain and consumed with hurt and anger I want to really understand what I dealt with.

  10. Maggie says:

    to clarify – meant seeking more friends and then seeking conquests. I frankly do know where he gets his time and energy to juggle so much.

    As far as confronting, I did that by accident a number of times. Including the first time I tried to leave for real – I demanded to know what game he is playing because I didn’t get it. Then his pleading not to be abandoned followed.

    His behavior was kind of jerk like early but we were just being casual and for some guy I just met standing me up because work called isn’t weird. or so I thought. A few more times of “emergencies” I told him I didn’t know if he was an a*****e or just clueless (you know never had luck with the ladies, which is all bs now I know). And he had been put down his whole life and all, he has no confidence at all sniffle… so prophetic. Even early on my subconscious knew something wasn’t right. I met 10 guys in six months to meet for possible dating but of course I only liked him.

    And I am still in that holding pattern of – “If only I don’t give up our relationship will improve!’ Actually, if it were a real dynamic, it had changed over the months. I had been a real friend to him here and there and our convos got more deep and personal. All just the game?

    • Ashley says:

      I like to see my experiences with NDP as an opportunity to self-improve, evolve and overthrow N legacy if it exists in your family. So maybe that is why you chose him. Don’t blame yourself and see the positive growth that will come from it.

  11. Lloyd says:

    I have a narcissistic partner. It took a few years before I realized it. Very charming at first and when she wants something but has worn thin over time. Manipulative and self-centered, she usually tries to attack to put you on the defensive. I find it necessary to stand my ground and not react to the antagonism. If I react defensively I invariably get blamed for “the drama”. I explain things carefully and lowered my expectations of her abilities to respond with warmth. I don’t try to persuade or criticize as she can’t handle either approach. Persuasion will lead to paranoia and mistrust because she will think I am trying to get away with something. She is a simple thinker, not dumb, just simplistic: thinks in black and white. She thinks, “You are either my friend or my enemy and an enemy is anyone who disagrees with me.” Her mother probably explained it best when she said, “Very difficult daughter to raise. Won’t budge an inch even when she knows she is wrong. Just state your case and when she calms down, she will come around to your point of view. Don’t expect an apology though. She doesn’t give them.”

    Besides not reacting to her criticism, threats and bullying, I offer a couple of other pieces of advice. I used strategy to offset her bullying. I have interests in her country with her family. When she threatened to take everything away from me I developed friendships with the mother and brother effectively undermining her manipulation. Narcissists don’t understand caring or honesty but they do understand the judicious use of power. Knowing that I can outmaneuver her makes her play more honestly. When she threatens to leave, I ask her to promise never to call me if she needs anything.

    Narcissists have numerous character flaws that make their threats weaker than they would be if they played with a full deck. They are impulsive and lack patience so if you are in for the long haul they run out of gas. I worked on my strengths so I could tolerate her shortcomings. And I have a warm relationship with her mother and brother who I enjoy very much.

    I would never recommend hanging out with a narcissist. They obsess over the idealistic and cannot be happy with simple things. But sometimes we get stuck with them because of circumstances. She has probably ruined my faith in a loving relationship but I have developed a rich personal life. I went back to University life, finished a BS, am mostly done with a Masters and soon will apply for a PhD program. I have other interests and will soon go to work on developing some research projects and an online business to respond to it. She used to keep me on the defensive but increasingly I have found ways to dismiss it. A couple of years ago I learned something from her brother. One day she was admonishing her brother on the phone and I thought she was “way out of line.” A couple of hours later I called him myself to apologize for her boorish behavior and he could not remember what I was talking about! I realized that over the years he had learned to “tune her out” when she got obnoxious and forget about it. The worst blow to a narcissist is to be ignored! Yet for your own sense of well being it is often necessary to do just that. Any comments? email me. Lloyd

    • Lloyd, this is very true. I have been developing my strengths and using them to pull through. It’s not easy because I’m surrounded by it, mother, husband and children, mother in law. But it has made me very self aware and I have learned to focus on creating a life that is rich and fulfilling. If I get drawn in then I get drained and my interests get neglected so for self preservation I try to ignore most things. They are addicted to drama and are attention seeking because they have short attention spans which I believe was created from pacification in infancy. I try to remember to direct my atattention within so as to not get pulled into their world of emptiness. They just want to be heard and their feelings acknowledged but without you giving weight to it. I’ve recently learned to let them know that I’m listening but that I’m not getting involved because it’s their feelings. I hear their pain but it’s their pain.I listen but don’t tune in and try to continue with what I’m doing in that moment. If they get abusive I tell them so and walk away. If they say they feel like they’re treated like a slave I say yes – you’re treating me like a slave. If they say you don’t listen I say yes that’s right you don’t listen. Whatever they accuse you of is them talking about themselves. So I calmly repeat everything back so they know I’ve listened and accepted their faults. This has come about after learning to detach. You have to create space in the relationship in order to do this else it is all too easy to get on the defensive.

  12. a says:

    I am married to a narcissist for the last 22 years. He manipulated, lied, threatened, and did various cruel behaviors and made me believe I deserved them. He denied doing anything wrong and when got caught lying and cheating, he blamed me and played a victim of my “not trusting him” or not giving him his freedom to live a juvenile life at his mid 40s. When I wanted to leave he begged and promised changing his behaviors. Obviously, it never happened. The more I tolerated the more he misbehaved and at one point he started bragging about his immoral acts and saying, “What can you do, I will continue these things.” I feel it is too late for me to do anything. I have invested my 22 years and now I am clueless how to leave him, live on my own, deal with my 22 years of memories…I don’t know which hurts more: living with him or leaving him?

    • Melanie says:

      Leave! I was married to my N for 23 years and it was the best thing I have ever done for myself. I was a stay at home mom, no job history, no education nothing. It is hard if I didnt have my son I would be living on the street. I dont regret it one second because ever time something pulls me down it shows me I can do this and I am more than his wife. Dont waist one more second on him, put the focuse back on yourself instead of him and start a life with out him or for him. Why are you not important enough to put yourself first put him in your past. You can do this, I will not lie and say at this age it is easy, but I am so much happier and relaxed now that he is out of my life (as far out as you can get with an N). Good luck!

      • Maria says:

        Melanie, I have been married to a BPD/NP for 24 long torturous years as well. We are currently going thru a nasty divorce, 4 kids, 2 with disabilities. I am still an emotional, mental basketcase. He has put us in financial ruin. I will be re entering the workforce at my age with very few computer skills and out of the workforce for all these years, save seasonal part time work. I am scared and he is an expert at scaring, threatening, bullying. My older kids all live here as well and I feel a great deal of pressure to make things work. I want as far away from this individual as I can get, the damage to all of us so severe. I have a question for anyone: What do I, or what can one say to a NP who says things to taunt me or minimize his horrendous behavior: “Stop bringing up the past”. “If you want to keep bringing up things that happened years ago…it just isnt healthy.”” “People make mistakes” “Ive made changes, what have YOU done to help yourself?”

        • nightowl 33 says:

          What i say to my N daughter and others who havent A clue is this: if we cant talk about things in a reasonable manor , then nothing gets resolved. If nothing gets resolved, then its not in the past but in the present.

    • J says:

      Living with him hurts more. I am leaving a 10 year relationship with a N. Every problem he created was my fault. I have decided that I would rather be happy and not abused. I don’t even know if the rent will be paid next month but I am leaving. I would rather struggle on my own then live my life being beat down by someone who will always be miserable.

  13. H says:

    Most of my life I have had to live with and deal with narcissistic people!

    Had a boyfriend in 1995 beat me up so badly that I was legally blind for a few years but no one helped me he told people it was my fault he attacked me!

    I am now dealing with a new manager of a disabled apartment building I am living in and she is very unsane, she call me on August 27,2014 and things have gone downhill fast and she leaves nasty and comments in my voice mail! She is very sick and very narcissistic when strange things started to happen I was not in denied and the red lights are flashing and I am very up front and aware she is very dangerous! But she does not know I know and am aware! I have had a social worker over hear some of the things she tells me when she calls me!

    She is very impulsive and has a lot of anger and rage when cornered. She is a manager of a building of disabled people she has only had the job for three months or less and she lies to user management. I know of a outing where she parked in disabled parking with out a California disabled placard none of the people she was transporting had mobility problems she just did think she could get away with it and I do not think she reported to the company that she works for. She got a ticket so that is on her record! She was driving there van!

    She is so dishonest and right down evil.

  14. leelee says:

    What should we do if my sister-in-law/narcissist has gone into a rage in front of our ten year old son? She actually went into a screaming rage(because she did not get her way) and pushed my brother-in-law down some steps onto the garage floor. Fortunately, my son was not behind him to be crushed. I confronted her a week later (not my personality, therefore not what she expected). Instead of remorse and humiliation, her reaction was rage and indignation. Instead of admitting to her mistake, she denied responsibility and started criticizing me regarding my mothering skills and everything unrelated to the subject at hand.
    8 months later, he misses his aunt and uncle, but we remain unconvinced that she will not exhibit this behavior again. My husband and I feel that she should admit and apologize to all of us, including her husband whom she attacked. One cannot rectify a mistake without first admitting to making it. We are confused.

  15. SAF says:

    I was married to a standard narcissist for 10 years, divorced now. I thought that I knew how to avoid them. HA!

    I am recently just out of a 2.5 year on again/off again relationship with a stealthy narcissist. This guy was really something, all the typical behaviors and the infidelities and the image of the walking wounded nice guy. Despite my efforts to end things on several occasions, I couldn’t seem to break the habit, the anxiety of leaving was intense. Talk therapy, yoga etc., I still thought that it was my issue to resolve.

    As an empath by nature and a researcher by trade, I started reading and reading and reading. I learned a lot about the codependent piece of the N drama. Now, I am learning how to undo some of my co-dependent habits. I decided to try an Alanon group–NOT due to an alcoholic or alcoholism, because, why not? It has made all the difference in the world for me. Attending a weekly meeting has removed the anxiety of leaving him. And it is showing me new ways to define my role in all of my relationships.

    This is working for me. I offer it as a consideration for those who are also working through a similar situation. The cycle of a relationship with an N involves two people. I decide to figure out what my role is because that is the limit of my control. That, and saying the serenity prayer like 700 times a day–really helps.

    Best wishes to all.

    S

  16. NB says:

    I have a question. I am trying to figure out if someone I have been dating is a N. He has the following traits:

    –Believes he is above the law and above rules for normal people
    –Is obsessed with working out and his body
    –Talks about how people in his life have told him how special he is
    –Expects special treatment and gets angry when he feels disrespected
    –Has a rocky relationship with his teenage son (seems worse now that his son is starting to have his own life)
    –Has had a spotty career/business history
    –Has no friends
    –Has a volatile relationship with family, almost no relationship with his sisters

    When we met, he was very charming and he has consistently be funny and kind. In the year we’ve dated, he has never really criticized me and if anything, he makes me feel better about myself. He praises my independence and success.

    He seems like a textbook N based on the negatives above…but are we just at the point where he hasn’t started any abuse yet? I broke up with him (over some business dealings I wasn’t comfortable with) and he wants to get back together. He is saying he’ll walk me through everything and explain himself. He says he is sorry. Do you think that’s all a ploy?

    Thanks
    NB

    • Ally says:

      NB: I’d be very, very cautious. Narcs do what’s called “Lovebombing” in the first phase. They treat you wonderfully, make you feel so special, like you’re the best thing that EVER happened to them. Phase two is devaluing. They tear down everything they once lifted up. Phase three is the discard stage and you can probably figure that one out on your own.

    • Teresa Everett says:

      SCREAMS narc, sounds like my husband. The physical maintenance is vanity, you find the key to true narcissism in the interactions and relationships he has with others. Gives itself away. People can think the world of their looks all they want –narcs are made in how they treat other and expect to be treated. All narcs arent abusive. All narcs wont hit you. The come back and we will work it out is all hoovering. Dont fall for it, please save yourself!

  17. Angie says:

    Visit Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers on the web. There is a lot of information out there for us.

  18. Suzanne says:

    I have a narcissist sister. So do you have any input on how my parents deal with her as a daughter. Her behaviour is escalating, causing huge disappointment in my parents. They are so hurt. How can I help them?

    • Teresa Everett says:

      You cant, get them some books on narcissism. Find the website After Narcissistic Abuse, there is light, life and love.

  19. Sally says:

    I am free!!! I am living proof that you can get over a Narc! It took 3 months of ‘weaning’ myself off the charade, lots and lots of reading, and realising that even though someone may love you, it doesn’t necessarily mean they respect you. Without respect in a relationship, there is really not much. To prevent his continual harrassment, I would phone his sister to ask him to leave. After the second phone call, he stayed away. A clear boundary and a possibility for dissapproval from his family. It worked. Time heals all wounds, even the wounds of a Narc. Let them know you are aware of their deep seated inner dislike for themselves, and that you will no longer be punished for this. Also remember, just as you can’t fix your friends broken leg, you cannot fix this pathological way of thinking. They both need trained experts to fix these. Start living your life again, and stop punishing yourself for someone else’s way of thinking. It has been done and it can be done. Push through the difficult times, which there will be lots of, but the reward of real love and self love will come.

  20. lara says:

    Not always…..I raged back and he went for my throat, be careful best to just get rid of them.

  21. Teresa Everett says:

    This is the best way to handle a narcissist I have ever heard in a nutshell! Of course, all narcs are different, with different triggers and buttons, there are the cerebral narcs, and the somatics, but for the most part, mirroring them seems to be the most effective way to deal with them and avoid the most injury. The softer you get on them the more they use it to hurt you. You wait and mirror what they give you I SWEAR it always helps me, and its not an “eye for and eye” type deal, its more of a “can you see what youre doing to me?” no matter what, if my husband walked out the house, no amount of texting or callinh could make him leave. But if I left the house? He would come back! If he yelled, no amount of me talking soft could shut him up until i started yelling–of course then as all narcs his response was a calm “why are you yellinh at me?” “if you dont lower your voice im going to smack you”, but at least he stopped yelling! I noticed the pattern YEARS before i found out what a narc was, or that he was even one.

  22. Cat says:

    Thank you! I am currently getting the silent treatment from my narcissistic mother after finally having had enough of years of being raged at over minor things I didn’t do just her way. It has gotten worse and the final straw was ruining my 2nd birthday in a row with her particular brand of poison.

    Never have I met someone who has to make so much into such unpleasantness for those close to them.

    So, I had this big confrontation with her and I regret that I threatened abandonment, but I have some serious emotioal dysregulation issues/trauma from being abused by her for a long time as an only child.

    Even though things seemed somewhat okay when we got off the phone, she stewed about it and is now giving the quasi silent treatment. I am done trying to pretend I don’t see it and be nice and have decided to mirror her disregard for me by giving the same one and two word replies over things that much be communicated about.

    I am sure I will never live down this confrontation and I will always feel bad for hurting her and not handling things just right, but I am very hurt too and told her I am traumatized by her threatening tone of voice all the time, telling me what to do, criticism over nothing, and raging at me all the time.

    But of course I am accused of “being too sensitive” which is patent b.s. by now. So many things I let roll off my back with her and then there is a blow out when I can’t take anymore. She is a bully who can dish it out but can’t take it. I plan to give it back so she can see how it feels, if that is at all possible.

    Thanks for your thoughts on all this as I feel it to be intuitively the way it needs to go, sadly enough. What a sad situation.

    • Renée says:

      We have the same mom. Flipped out on her 2 days ago after she barged I to my house to yell at me for not staying on the phone with her when she calls 6 plus times a day. She told me I was crazy and needed help and meds. She is a cruel, evil woman who spews venom at all she meets. She killed my kind dad with her hatefullness and over medicating him when I told her not to due to his fragile health. Within the last year I have been doing a 180 by yelling at her when she starts her Crap. She favors my son over my twin girls. She is toxic. Rages and throws tantrums over my boundaries. I am getting a bit better at handling her rages. My husband is supportive yet does not like confrontation. His mom is a whiny guilt manipulator so he has issues too. My mom will come back soon and act like nothing happened and be all contrite and agreeable. She has a long history of being hooked on benzos and her childhood was horrible. Her mom was a horrible Narcissist that let all 9 of her kids lose their teeth by age 20 due to neglect. I am an Empath so my life has been hell with her. I pray for a sense of peace for all of us here dealing with narcissists.

  23. Sally says:

    I have had such problems for years with people who have taken their issues out on me and used their shortcomings as an excuse for acting badly (health and financial are usually the big reasons). Mother, sisters, husband, in-laws. My father was pretty much like me and we got along great but both rather miserable with moody mom and troublesome sisters. Later, husband started out great but quickly started making our marriage about him, and after getting to know his parents, I saw the same trait. For me, I dealt with it for years, and then I held them accountable publicly. With having kids, I spoke to their pediatrician about family behavior, as well as my own, and a therapist. For my husband – whom I loved dearly but became consumed with his job as a systems analyst to the point of lying in order to work from home – I called his boss. Boss didn’t like that, and even though my husband was good at what he did, major corporations don’t want unstable people working on multi million dollar accounts. Husband was cured!

  24. Charlene Herrera says:

    My mother is the main narcissist in my life (although Father is too, but I have easily cut him out of my life). I find that my mother is not afraid of abandonment, and I also notice that part of the narcissists game is instigating rage in their victims in order to turn blame on them, so I personally do not find using the narc’s behavior against them, and lowering my own behavior to their level helps anything.

  25. Sam says:

    I can’t believe there are so many people on here with a mother like mine. I am an empath too. So much hurt on here. You are all made perfect and it’s too bad all of these Narcs will miss out on some of the most beautiful souls they will ever know. I seem to attract them as partners too. Funny thing is they never go away. I just found this all out pretty recently and I was crushed. Now I wake up every day and just say today is a good day. It helps a little. I wish you all love.

  26. anonymous says:

    my future mother-in-law does this to my fiance and I. I feel a bit better knowing there are others who can offer help. I recently, after 1.5 years of constant attacks from her, finally broke down and asked her about the big family secret that she NEEDS to protect. That her husband molested my fiance and her sister when they were young, but she stayed with him and they raised the girls to believe it was wrong to tell anyone and that if they did, they betrayed the family and that the parents may “not be able to live anymore” if anyone knew. I asked her directly “I’m a liar? Let me ask you a question then, see if you answer honestly…has your husband ever molested your daughters?” and said “no never!” and ym fiance lost her mind. ANd the my NMIL started to deflect it on me, and claimed we were lying and being overly dramatic, and hung up…

  27. SAC says:

    Has anyone experienced the murderous side of the Narcissist that doesn’t get her way? I understand the N will go even to the extreme of murder if she is criticized or rejected. Her mother attempted to murder her father before seducing his son into a double suicide.

  28. Elle says:

    My husband is a N, and I don’t think I can take it anymore. I am an empath. He always walks away and will go very long periods of time not speaking to me.

  29. Tired Spouce says:

    Mirroring a Narcissists is pointless, they can’t see themselves. They think and feel that you are attacking them. They never make the connection that you are dishing it right back at them. Then they call you the abuser and swear they never did a thing. It’s so hopeless, this will keep playing itself out over and over again and they will deny, avoid, spin it back on you, but you will never get them to realize their problems. They can have this same problem in one relationship after the next and never put the pieces together. It can be as plain as the nose on your face, and all can agree with you but the Narcissists will dismiss everyone as being cruel, mean, wanting to punish them, and dismiss all the facts as truth. You can not penetrate the bubble they live in!

    • Anonymous says:

      I completely agree!!! I have mirrored my NMother for years. I have just decided to disconnect my life from here all together. I can not live like this anymore!!! What did you do in your narcissist relationship?

  30. Wilbur says:

    I am the son of a Narc father AND mother. Both very intelligent. father has an MSc and mother has a PhD in ……. Psychology!!! They are also highly regarded members of the local church, community and among immediate and extended family. I also have two sisters. one a black sheep and flying monkey, the other a golden child.

    As one can imagine, it has been virtually impossible to convince anyone that there was something wrong with my family. I’m in my late thirties and only now able to put a finger on what I’ve always known to be an anomaly thanks to online forums and relevant websites.

    As an empath, I have been more sympathetic to my parents demands than to my own needs. This has literally destroyed me. My natural attempts at becoming independent have been undermined by my parents, sometimes through their network of powerful friends and family. Their acts have included hiding a letter of admission to university, spreading lies to employers, and outright theft of personal investments to name a few.

    My childhood was no better. Although I was a generally well behaved child, my parents often set traps for me to warrant outrageous behavior. My mother would buy me gifts, show them to me, then tell me that I could only enjoy them when she saw it fit….. usually for very brief periods of time. In the meantime, the gifts were placed in an accessible cabinet. When my 10 year old self fell into temptation, the consequences were severe. My dad would ‘forget’ to give me lunch money while in school and then unleash a beating when the teachers told him that I had to share lunch from some of the other kids. He said I had embarrassed him. I always felt like I would never get it right.

    I’ve learnt that successfully confronting a narc depends on whether it will result in any real loss of N supply or compromise their public image. If not, it’s pointless. And whatever the case, beware of the backlash. Nothing is sacred and there is no act of revenge that is ‘below the belt’. Its like going to war without Rules of Engagement. WMD’s are not banned in this exchange!!!

    I recently went no contact with my parents and sisters after confronting their narcissism. (I went nc on my sisters because they are sympathizers and flying monkeys.) Because of the expected backlash I also went nc on family friends and relatives who sympathize with my parents. But only after establishing strong friendships with people out of their circles who also understand where I’m coming from.

    It sometimes feels like I’m at war since I have to be sure of my allies and defend against collaborators and sympathizers. But for the first time in many years, I have began to find peace, find myself, and find hope for the future.

    The internet has an amazing wealth of information and shared experience for N survivors to inform arm and defend ourselves against the N predator.

    In addition, I strongly recommend survivors to seek God. He is all powerful and never fails those who put their faith in Him. I have, and I don’t regret a day. Whenever I am weak or unsure I seek His face and He gives me strength, wisdom and solace.

    (But also be careful of whom you trust even within the church community. My N mother once told me that the church community has more vulnerable individuals than the secular world. How Ironic!)

    Keep up the good fight….!!!

  31. djm says:

    This behavior seems to be attributed to men quite often. In my experience, this behavior is not partial to any particular sex or category at all. Narcissists come in all shapes and sizes, all genders, all professions, all financial levels, and does not discriminate at all.

    Good read, thanks.

  32. Emma says:

    How do I “disconnect” with my mother and move on growing my family on a positive path and keeping my mother out of my life. She lives 2 minutes away from me and will just drop by. Cries uncontrollably (years of arguments always brought back up) making me feel guilty, I yell at her cuz I feel it’s the only way she will listen, then cries and says I just am such a mean daughter, and kids aren’t supposed to treat their parents this way…. so I calm down and let the conversation go her way so the fighting will end. When she has my kids, she tells them she is better than thier other grandma and then gives reasons!!! I go crazy myself trying to fix all she has done already. I need her to know I can’t live like this, and want her out of my life…. I have said this a number of times. She has made all of her children not talk to eachother, I have just recently reconnected with my sister and she has been where I am for years, she just saw it earlier than me.
    My NMother won’t accept that I don’t want any relationship with her anymore…. tells everyone I’m crazy and I need medication. Then will call and act all normal and want to go shopping omfg!!!
    I just recently have been thinking moving is the only answer. But I’ve built my life and business here…. what do I do????

    • Renée says:

      Oh my gosh. My mom lives a mile from me. Calls all the time. Drops in uninvited all the time. Told me I am crazy and need meds after confronting her 2 days ago. She favors my son over my twin girls. Poisons them about their other grandma who is a whiny guilt manipulator of my husband but far less I trust very then she is. My mom will send hateful emails, post nasty passive aggressive memes on Facebook, write hand written letters to get her point across again and again. I delete emails without reading and send her letters back unopened. I am an Empath which has made dealing with her hell. She Gaslight s me with the you’re too sensitive Crap. Says others agree with her about me. She treated my dad horribly their whole married life. He died 3 years ago so her total obsession with me and my family has ramped up to crazy levels. She puts my wonderful husband down all the time. He has patience of a Saint in dealing with her. Am on day 2 of no contact. Soon she will call to speak to her favorite grandchild and worm her way back in like nothing happened. She is addicted to Xanax and is 72. Her childhood was horrible thanks to her own neglectful NM. I have very little love left for her. I want minimal contact but she cannot wrap her ego around it. We are too strapped to move or we would. She would stalk me and move as well lol. She invites herself in our vacations. Ruined last year’s after yelling at me in a restaurant about me being crazy and go on meds. I feel for you. In the same boat. What a painful journey.

  33. Joliene says:

    i gave him an ultimatum and stood up for myself. His ex wife was threatening to affect my personal life, and i told him that he needs to draw boundaries else i am out. he immediately replied saying please get out. after which i told him that this is on him and that its his choice to ask me to leave instead of standing up for me. his only revert was ‘great’. its been almost 8 days and i have blocked him on msg, calls etc.

    i dont understand. he was being very nice to me until i sent him this ultimatum msg. background is he n his ex are both in regular touch with each other due to their daughter. she is taking all the money from him, including here maintenance, child support etc. all events involving the kids she is a part of, and he pays for everything including her clothes. i believe this as i have read the papers. anwaz she is also certified as bipolar and their relationship is beyond me. its a constant love hate and off late i feel like i dont exist. he honestly has been extremely nice to me in the past 3.5 years, however now since things are looking a little amicable between them i feel very ignored.

    is there something more??

  34. Margo says:

    I think both my parents were narcissistic but more so my mother and throw in a bit of Irish Roman Catholicism well you can imagine along with 6 siblings……l was the second eldest and my mother’s favourite so my siblings say.

    I have never married never had or wanted children just walked away from my siblings 4 years ago and distanced myself from my mother. My role was the doormat.  My mother told me as a toddler l had TP spend a night or so in hospital when my mother left and later greeted me the next day She said l never cried. I studied psychodynamic counselling but am  ot a clinsellor in my work with children my degree covered child development so when l heard this story about me as a toddler it rang alarms bells. I was aware l was very conscious of my mother’s needs from a young age and very self contained to make sure l made no demands on her. But l was probably and very self contained as a baby Bowlby and Winnicott come to mind.  

    I am in my 50’s a few years ago my mother said l used to feel suicidal which l do remember she used to tell me as a child. She did not remember this. She had the ECT treatment when l was younger and PND. What was absolutely gobsmacked was that whilst saying this it did not dawn on her one little bit the impact this may have had on her children. 

    Your article is excellent l can’t talk to my siblings about this article they would not understand what l was on about at all. You are SO right there is NO way l could approach my mother with her behaviour.  She would be in total denial and look at you like you were crazy if you challenged her on anything. So l just distance myself from her to keep my sanity. I should feel guilty but l don’t.  l gave her my childhood l can’t give anymore of me as pragmatically there is nothing left of me to give her. It’s as simple as that. The bit of energy l have left in me is taken up in my highly stressful l job. I do see her of course. Her life must be hello in reality and what personal growth has she explained perrin education how has she grown and developed on a personal level? She hasn’t which is very sad. l visit her, we have a laugh thought the visit all depends on what mood she is in.  I could ignore her moods but thought after decades of this would l let a child be rude and disrespectful towards me? So l suppose l become passive aggressive in becoming quiet so letting her know her behaviour is unacceptable without discussing it, which l hate.  I then make an excuse for a quick exit.

    I would never have wanted children l always feared l would end up like my mother. l would have been a very anxious mother at best. There is no way l would want to inflict that on a child. My mother did but she was not aware – l am

  35. Cheryl says:

    I have just been discarded by my NARC after a year long relationship. It was long distance & he came to stay between Xmas & New Year then discarded me on New Years eve by text. He is an alcoholic & coke abuser & was in midst of month long binge after I discovered hed cheated on me & I had contacted the other woman. During this period I was blamed for finding out & that I went to her & not him etc..he apologised tried to discredit girl involved etc..but left it weeks to come & try & repair..Before he left I was the person he wanted to say good morning to & goodnight to every day blah blah, I sent him a message I loved him on his way home, hours later on New years eve he said he didn’t feel like me & he wasn’t well I instantly shut the conversation down as he used me & been thru these convos before. I have had minimal contact just to confirm money being paid back that he owes me & have blocked him on everything I can…I have since had a gloating message from the girl that they are together which hurt but haven’t reacted & blocked her as I now know any type of reaction he will get off on. Today I have boxed up & posted the belongings left in my home to him( he lives with an ex & children) I am doubtful now she is an ex & it just struck me if she opens the box & reads the letter telling him & new girl to leave me alone & just follow through with financial arrangement that all hell will break loose. I am a little scared what his reaction will be? He knows where my son & I live & cannot contact me by phone etc

    • angie says:

      similar to my story. He discarded me on a Christmas eve..he was playing double games with me and ex wife, during the divorce, all about financial debts. he expected me to cover his debts. He paid me back 1000 usd which he borrowed in installments, but I had to call every month. he love bombed me, projected on me, gas lighted, triangulated, I have been in hell. I still have bad days, but I m free from evil person

  36. Karin Saunders bala says:

    My narcmum is pretended to be buying me a horse so many times when I was in school I have no idea now how I ever let her get my hopes up. Ahhhhh! My God!! ( a few times in adulthood she’s said, “I only offered to buy you a house for your birthday to give you hope”. Big fake her smile that drips toxic saliva as she gets a charge seeing the horror hurt shock realisation disbelief and physical pain in the heart. I dribbled probably. – ‘To get my hopes up’ . Would she have even cared what my face did? Oh yeah, cared is delighted in. Next she actually said, ” You didn’t really want your own home anyway did you” I swear. Ok, I’d just got out of jail- could have gone to rehab instead if she paid $500 so I could bailed to rehab. I was in a tiny flat in Redfern Sydney with my little son the older with Dad didn’t want to share a room. She knew plans were made around her gift that didn’t come. Like not getting community housing as mum buying me a house. “Well you can get Com Housing” knowing that chance had passed when she told the social worker about her gift.
    Thinking back I think it might be because I explained I’d been told not to hold onto guilt. For the sake of my boys. She’d suggested o go to live in the “tiniest little house we could find in faraway country town to live out your days in shame with … ” she’s always aimed to separate me from my older son. Almost has. Anyway.

  37. Bridget Lane says:

    I’am reading this about narcissistic. And this describes my husband to a T! But, does all the lying constantly keep going on. Or is it an additional problem. I keep hearing he’s changing, but never happens. He beat me keep pretty bad. And I just got out of he hospital and almost died trying to committee suicide. And was close to being dead. All my organs shut down. They were going to pronounce me dead. Yet 6 weeks after this he went after me cuz I was video taping him drunk once again. And broke my phone. Hit me in the head least 20 times. kicked me you name it. I’m scared, but have no mean’s to. He’s really put in a bad situation in order to leave. I would rather be dead then going on anymore. I have never been on this website so I’m scared.

  38. worried says:

    Bridget, get out, whatever way you can! The physical abuse you are experiencing goes way beyond just narcissism. Of course you feel suicidal — anyone would in your situation. I understand how hopeless you feel and that you just want the pain to stop. I’ve been there, too. But if you can get away from him for good, you have a chance to start to feel better again –maybe not immediately, but after a while. Give yourself the chance to get better, and get away however you can.

    In answer to your first question… no, the lying never stops. Never. He may even believe his own lies, but he will not change. Very, very few narcissists ever get treatment, and of those that do, treatment is rarely successful. Please, for your own safety and well-being, leave as soon as possible in a way where he cannot get to you after you go. Disappear entirely, if that is what it takes. This man is very, very dangerous.

    I wish you you a speedy and safe escape from this man.

  39. MS says:

    So if the narcissists is giving you the silent treatment, give it back? Until he surfaces and you can discuss or forever as in no contact? I was 6 weeks into a new relationship when I was either given the beginning of a long dose of the silent treatment (we’re at about a week and a half now) or I’ve been completely abandoned. how do you know the difference between the two? I guess you don’t until you see if he resurfaces… I’m in the stage where I’m trying to figure out if I want to even leave myself open for him to resurface to just tell him it’s not going to work out or if I should implement no contact now and not even give him the chance to come back and try to manipulate me again… i’m not sure if he has full-blown NPD but clearly either his own fear of abandonment (after getting close to me) caused him to abandon me first or he is purposely inflicting punishment on me for being assertive with him…I say that because I let him know I was unhappy/concerned about a couple things in regard to his sexual ego in an email right before he stopped talking to me. And though I thought I wrote the email quite diplomatically and expected an adult conversation, I’ve learned that I must have highly offended him/bruised his fragile ego. I would love your input.

    • Spearmints says:

      All relationships should be founded upon respect. You obviously respect yourself by being assertive about a perceived wrong on his part. If he isn’t respectful of your concerns and emotions, he honestly won’t likely develop into an genuinely loving and responsive partner when he returns. If he does, it may be very short lived. Silent treatments are a telltale sign of an immature and unfeeling person. You would be better off cutting ties now. Why wait? If he does return, the cycle will repeat itself. So, you would get to endure what your feeling now, for years to come. You dodged a bullet. Walk away while you can and move on to someone who respects the wonderful person that you are.

  40. chris says:

    What about a narcissistic adult son? I’ve sacrificed so much, given so much, helped, advised, gave money, let him return how twice. He becomes disrespectful and unpleasant within a three month time frame. When I warn that he will need to find another place to live if he doesn’t shape up, he does his very best to make me feel guilty and brings up things of the past when he was a rebellious teen. I’m exhausted of being made to feel like I’m a bad parent.

  41. Brigetta says:

    I have lived with this for 17 years. I have essentially become a hostage with Stockholm Syndrome. I am working my way out and nearly there by getting my nursing license renewed so I can support myself. The excessive criticism and financial control and bullying has nearly wiped me out. I am a shred of the woman I was when I married this man. Now that I am getting close to slipping out from under his control, his meltdowns have increased significantly. He is having to confront what he kept saying he wanted and he can’t handle it. I am truly afraid that he will lose it and do something horrible to me as he has repeatedly threatened to. He puts on a show for everyone and they think he is “such a nice guy!” If only they knew what a total fraud is really is. I can’t wait to start my new life and finally feel free of this monster. God help me!

  42. Putting up with a Narc says:

    Glad to know I did the right thing. Just confronted my narcissistic husband the way you describe above…by mirroring his rage right back at him. I’ve put up with his BS for so long and thank God I am a strong woman so I can handle the confrontation. He actually begged for a divorce though. I’ve been the one to plead (softly and more urgently) for him to get help because the verbal abuse, the emotional abuse and neglect was hurting our family. I haven’t wanted to split up our family and have our children go through divorce, two homes, all the crap that comes with that, etc. I’ve just wanted him whole, healthy, emotionally connected and loving. All my attempts to help him have failed. He’s shown time and time again he is unsalvageable. He reacts exactly as you describe and how those with NPD respond. He says he’s so miserable he wants a divorce but he never proceeds with it. He never goes thru with it. I’ve considered it a number of times but I am a stay at home mom and we have a special needs child who needs therapy, so me missing work would not fly. I have my reasons for not pursuing a divorce. The main one is that I live in a state that is 50/50 custody. No fault. I do not want my kids to be ruined by him and his BS. As it is, he neglects them regularly. It just hasn’t crossed the law breaking. So I’m “stuck.” So frustrating! I wish the courts would see that this behavior is very bad for children and families.

  43. Redman says:

    im currently talking to the wall again when it comes to my wifes silent treatment. ive been studying npd and sociopaths for a good 10 days now and the rabbit hole goes deep.
    I believe my wife to be a covert narcissist, but she will name call and be very condescending towards people close to her. no real friends either. things started going downhill when i confronted her several times about not being able to look me in my eyes and tell me she loves me. she refused. gave an excuse that she never could do that. carrying on a conversation she makes alot of eye contact.
    asking affection from her was about holding hands and thats about it. i initiated hugs and affection 98% of the time. she was always moody. always had a physical ailment to avoid sex and outings. what a complete let down emotionally. i needed intimacy. its vital that i have affection at times. she just didnt care to show it. i left her and wrote her a letter saying she hurts people w her words. she does. i was never nasty, called her names, or rejected her in the form of sex, appearance, intimacy, (when she wanted it) or whatever else. she never apologized for anything​ she’d ever done. never took responsibility. she feigned sickness the majority of the time i was w her to avoid whatever she wanted to. the silent treatment is what broke me. i couldn’t handle it anymore. i do miss her and tried to talk to her but she just wont respond. im starting to let go bc anybody gets tired of that if it happens enough. resentment is what i feel. rejection too. punishment for trying to be everything i could for her. time will move along and ill get better. I really have no choice but to get better. she is not the same person that i first met at all. after i called her out on her treatment of me its was straight downhill- full discard mode. now her primary source of supply is her daughter as usual. some npds can act right after being confronted, but not this one. she will throw up a wall and shut you out.

  44. Tbird says:

    I disagree with some points, especially: “The narcissist’s sense of self has not developed beyond that of a young child and cannot cope with a truth that shows them to be less than perfect.” Narcissists know the truth or they would not do devious s**t and then hide it. They would not do premeditated devious s**t and then laugh about it if they were so frightened of the truth.
    I just ended a relationship with someone I’ve known for almost 16 years after reunited almost a year ago and only in the last year did I figure out he was potentially a sociopath based on the red flags (lack of empathy, digs meant to inflict pain and no provocation, lies, gaslighting). All the while, he kept pretending things were ok. I played dumb and continued to tally all the behaviors up and finally broke things off. After continued harassment and attempts to guilt me, I let him have it. I laid it all out. My motive is not to get him to own it and feel bad because I know he won’t. My one and only motive is to make it clear that he did not play me for a fool and that I knew what he was doing the whole time.

  45. Esther Rivers says:

    Iv just had it out with my N partner. He constantly patronizes and belittles me and when I get upset tells me I’m making a mountain out of a mile hill. He Likes to take me out and put me on display, can be lovely and charming to me but gets very offended and impatient with me if i disagree with him on anything he decideds or anything he choices clothing wise for me. When i confronted him today he told me i was being hysterical and didnt know what i was talking about. I told him i had researched his behaviour and knew exactly what I was talking about he then tried to quote certain psychologists at me saying that they say narcissism was a myth and it was all BS. Got him on that lie… googled in front of him and I am at this minute getting the silent treatment.I am very glad iv found the courage to do this today and feel so much better for standing up for myself. He now knows his cover is blown and I agree with the person earlier who said that they know they are a N and have no intention of changing. This relationship is now teetering on the edge.

  46. Lawrence says:

    Mirror the narcissist’s actions? You’re asking us to fight a pig in the mud, who do you think benefits from that?

    “Descend to his level and use criticism, degrading comments and humiliation.” – I have tried this, it only made her more energetic. It built up her energy and drained mine every time I went toe to toe with my Narc.

    So I wouldn’t recommend that.

    • Maxine says:

      Lawrence

      I also agree with the caveat for those who have experience physical abuse by their narcissist. Standing up to my ex narcissistic husband worked only when I still had ‘value’ to him. But once he entered the devaluing and discarding phase, this tactic only served to have him physically attack me and almost take my life.
      If you have children, what would witnessing these tactics between their parents teach them?
      Just my thoughts.

  47. Maxine says:

    Lawrence

    I also agree with the caveat for those who have experience physical abuse by their narcissist. Standing up to my ex narcissistic husband worked only when I still had ‘value’ to him. But once he entered the devaluing and discarding phase, this tactic only served to have him physically attack me and almost take my life.
    If you have children, what would witnessing these tactics between their parents teach them?
    Just my thoughts.

  48. elisa says:

    Good evening, after having escaped a 12 year marriage to a narcissist, I have recently figured out that my now 20 year old daughter has inherited this disorder, if I can call it that, from her dad. I recognise all the traits and after years of denying it myself and explaining to her over and over again how wrong her behaviour is, stealing my card details, setting up payments with paypal to herself and many other things to mention, it is never her fault…she shouts, sends nasty texts and then if no wanted effect, she cries apologises with a half hearted excuse that if you push her a bit, still all becomes my fault, to sadly do it all over again..lies about almost everything which is really confusing as we don’t know what is the truth and what isn’t. She is my child and I love her but am really worried my lovely funny girl is a narcissist. Please give me some advice how to help herself as everything I tried so far seems not have any effect ..I found several articles which tell me to either get out ( which I did with her dad, but can’t with my child) or treat her the same as she treats me and threaten with abandonment..both will be hard for me..any advice will be helpful..I love her very much but don’t like her atm, if that makes sense 🙁

  49. narcsareevil says:

    My narc gets physically abusive. Mirroring him would be dangerous and please if anyone has a physically abuse man do not ever try this, for I have several times and paid for it each and every time!! I am educated and in the medical field, I am most definitely an empath, Yes it was beautiful in the beginning soulmate love and he made me fall so deeply in love with him. The the mean started and it got down right cruel…. had to have full control of everything. Is in jail now for months begging for me to forgive and says he knows he needs help and loves me so much. Keep reading folks help educate yourself or get professional help which is even better but make sure you keep reading and do research. This is what I am doing it breaks my heart because I truly am in love with him but its very dangerous and I cant even be my self. God, we would go shopping and if I would spen even a few mins talking to even an old lady he’d say why are you wasting your time,,,,all because it was taking time away from him!! Just a tiny thing he has done…!! He threatens me and hits me even if he thinks I did something wrong like talk to a guy! Nuts just nuts!!! It doesnt get better they dont change I am sure of this. He knows he has real issues he admits it hes been in many psych units but it never changes ,,,oh ya this time is diff come on,, my a–!!! Its sad because hes great other than this but the bad is pure evil and can be deadly!!!!Get out I am I have no choice there really is no other choice…..God Bless you all and I hope the best for you. Run and for God sake do not mirror them!!! Their eyes change during rage and I swear you can see satan in them this is no lie if you see this in yours ,,,,,,RUN!!!!!!!!! Dont look back and do not let kids see this it will scar them for life !!!!!

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