How Does a Narcissist React When They Can’t Control You Anymore?

Last Updated on February 16, 2022 by Alexander Burgemeester

How does a Narcissist react when they can’t control you anymore? One of the major components of narcissism is gaining control over others.

This type of behavior is often a reaction to a childhood completely dominated by a narcissistic parent (or parents)- controlled in all aspects of his young life and not allowed to develop control over his own life.

So, why do narcissists need control? What happens if they lose control? And how do narcissists manipulate others to regain their sense of power?

  • Narcissists need control because it protects their identities and fragile egos. Underneath their conceited energy, they have very low self-esteem. 
  • Narcissists manipulate others because they rely on these tactics to gaslight, guilt, or shame people into doing what they want.  
  • Knowing what narcissists do to their victims can help you feel more educated in your relationship. Otherwise, you will likely continue feeling confused, angry, ashamed, or alone.
  • Sometimes, narcissistic manipulation can be very subtle. Narcissistic manipulation tactics may include putting you down, encouraging you to second-guess yourself, or withholding intimacy. 
  • A manipulative narcissist often knows exactly what they’re doing! It’s a misconception that they aren’t aware of their own toxic behavior. 
  • Learning how to take control away from the narcissist often includes a mix of rigid boundaries OR going no-contact altogether. 

How Does a Narcissist Control You? 12 Tactics

Narcissist control tactics can range from extremely dangerous behaviors to very subtle, unnoticeable gestures. A narcissist’s hot and cold games often feel confusing and frustrating to loved ones. You never know what mood they’re going to be in. You never know if you’re on their good side or bad side. 

Knowing how narcissists manipulate people is important for recognizing the potential red flags in your relationship. Here are some warning signs. 

How Does a Narcissist Control You?

1. Love-Bombing You

Nobody understands me like you do!

We have a connection unlike anything else.

You’re the greatest person I’ve ever met- I love you so much.

Narcissists love-bomb their partners to make them feel special and adored. This isn’t just the normal excitement of entering a new relationship. It’s a consuming whirlwind where the narcissist floods you with attention to make you feel like you have the most magical relationship in the world.

Reading Suggestion: Can a Narcissist fall in love?

2. Making You Depend On Them

Many narcissists are incredibly intelligent and charming. They may make statements like,

I don’t want you to feel like you have to work! I don’t want you to worry about your money- I’m managing everything. Don’t worry about the right house- I’m going to take care of everything.

At first, you may feel smitten by their generous offers to assist you. But be careful. These efforts are carefully crafted. The narcissist wants you to feel like you don’t have other options. 

3. Isolating You From Others

Your mother doesn’t have your best intentions at heart!

Why are you still friends with her? She always makes you feel bad about yourself.

Your boss is such a jerk. You deserve better.

Do these comments sound familiar? From a compassionate friend, they might be coming from a genuine place of concern. But from a narcissist, they represent tiny fractures designed to make you second-guess the relationships you share with others.

Reading Suggestion: How to Make a Narcissist Come Crawling Back?

Narcissists don’t want you receiving outside influence- especially if it clashes with their opinions. They will try to get in the middle of your relationships if they suspect someone else might impact your behavior. 

4. Literally Controlling Your Decisions

Who do narcissists target when they want to be in relationships? Usually, they find people-pleasing types who don’t want to deal with excessive conflict or distress.

Now think about it. Does the narcissist track how you eat, spend money, or raise your kids? Do they watch your every move and offer unsolicited feedback and what you should be doing better?

Reading Suggestion: The Narcissist and Money Control

Most narcissists hold extreme opinions about what they do or don’t think is permissible. And if you act against their wishes, there will be serious consequences. 

5. Responding Passive-Aggressively

How do narcissists manipulate when their tendencies are more vulnerable or covert? The manipulative narcissist tends to rely on passive aggression to make others feel ashamed or confused.

Do whatever you want! I don’t care.

I’m not angry. Why would you think I’m angry?

It doesn’t matter what we have for dinner tonight. I have no opinion.

You know what passive-aggression feels like. It feels like, no matter what you decide, you made the wrong choice. Even if they explicitly tell you that they don’t care or don’t mind, you know they do. And you know they will use it against you.

6. Throwing Extreme Tantrums 

What happens when you don’t let them control you? You already know the answer! You can expect their massive tantrums and emotional outbursts!

You probably try to tiptoe around the narcissist to save yourself the drama. You don’t want to cause any problems, after all. You don’t want to make things worse. 

Reading Suggestion: How Dating a Narcissist Changes You

And so, narcissists “use” the threatening nature of explosive tantrums as a way to scare you. They know you don’t want to deal with their inevitable backlash, which results in you acting in ways that suit their needs.

7. Changing Tactics Quickly 

The narcissist’s hot and cold games can drive anyone crazy. One moment, they’re telling you how much they love you. The next, they’re calling you selfish and crazy.

What happened here? Did you do something seriously wrong, or are they just overreacting?

As it turns out, narcissists enjoy remaining somewhat mysterious and unpredictable. If you know exactly how they’re going to respond, they lose valuable momentum.

So, don’t be too surprised if the narcissist rotates between different behaviors (or even seems to change personality traits). It’s all part of the con. They want to keep you guessing and on your toes. They don’t want you to know what lies ahead.

8. Making You Feel Sorry For Them

Does the narcissist in your life have a perfect sob story? A shameful trauma? A terrible story about how their ex treated them? A saga that could make anyone cry?

Narcissists love attention, even when it’s negative, and so they will often try to gain pity from others by dramatizing parts of their pasts. Some of these claims may be complete lies. Others will be embellished truths.

Reading Suggestion: Do Narcissists feel Guilt?

But the motive here is simple: they want you to feel bad for them. They want you to excuse their terrible behavior because they hope that you will believe, deep down, they are just a misunderstood person who needs love and approval. 

9. Finding Out Everything About You

This often happens during the love-bombing phase. The narcissist is enamored with you. They want to know every last thing.

And you may willingly oblige. It can feel so freeing to finally be vulnerable with someone else. For the first time, you might feel genuinely safe with another person.

Unfortunately, narcissists will use your honest disclosures against you. Their motives aren’t kind-hearted. They want to discover your weaknesses and flaws so they can use them against you later. 

10. Feigning Other Crises

At first, this control tactic may seem so confusing that you don’t even realize it’s intentional.

This strategy usually plays out in the following way: You start calling the narcissist out on their problematic behavior. Maybe you’re completely calm and even-keeled when you do it, but you have the evidence needed to substantiate your claim.

How does the narcissist respond? They don’t! They start talking about something horrific or strange or completely tragic that just happened. They want to hear more, but their mom is in the hospital! They understand where you are coming from, but they need to rush their dog to the emergency vet! They want to talk about this further, but they need to deal with their flat tire first!

Of course, some of these crises may be coincidental. But if it’s a repeated pattern, it’s just another sneaky form of manipulation.

11. Needing Constant Approval

The narcissist constantly feels petrified that you will leave them at any given moment. Remember that abandonment represents the ultimate form of rejection. And yet, they fear it above anything else. 

Narcissists often put loved ones through vigorous “loyalty tests” to affirm their commitment to the relationship. These tests may consist of repeatedly asking you if you still love them. But they can be far more destructive, like checking on your whereabouts just to make sure you aren’t with someone else.

Reading Suggestion: How to make a Narcissist Miserable?

Needing constant approval becomes a form of control because you start feeling guilty when you do anything for yourself. You doubt your motives and become paranoid that you’re doing something wrong- even when you know you’re not. 

12. Pretending to Change

This can be one of the most devastating forms of narcissistic control. Some narcissists will make great efforts to pretend to change to get their loved ones off their backs. 

I know you keep talking about marriage. You’re right- let’s do something about it tonight.

I’m ready to have a baby.

I really understand that you want to move. Let’s start looking at houses tomorrow.

With these statements, the narcissist appears to be making a genuine effort to improve themselves. They also seem to care deeply about the relationship.

But what ends up happening as a result? You know the answer! They don’t stick to their word. They only “change” until they know you’re sticking with them. And then it’s right back to business as usual.

Even if they make those serious commitments (marriage, baby, a new home), that doesn’t mean their personality will change! Worse, you may now be even more trapped. 

Why Are Narcissists So Controlling?

Narcissistic people see other people in their environment as extensions of themselves. They are the center of the world, and they often consider themselves idols who others should adore and admire.

In their distorted minds, this rationalization makes it seemingly acceptable for them to control and abuse others. They also consider themselves experts on how people should behave. Therefore, they see it as their moral duty to control people to act in ways they see fit.

Abandonment

The fear of abandonment is the heart of nearly every type of controlling behavior. If you don’t immediately agree to the narcissist’s demands, they become threatening, coercive, and manipulative. Abandonment is the ultimate narcissistic injury, and they will do whatever they can to avoid this pain.

Reading Suggestion: How do Narcissists feel when you move on?

The connection between narcissism and control is strong. It’s one of the main symptoms mental health professionals use when diagnosing narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). 

Entitlement

Narcissists have an extraordinary need to control others to maintain their own self-image. Subsequently, they also devalue people as a way to enhance their feelings about themselves.

Narcissists also believe they deserve special recognition for their superior talents, intelligence, or personality. They feel this gives them the inherent right to exploit others.

In relationships, narcissists feel entitled to their partners wholeheartedly. They don’t have genuine empathy, and they will not respect someone else’s autonomy or boundaries. They often become jealous, possessive, or aggressive to exert control.

Are Narcissists Control Freaks?

Yes, the narcissistic control freak stereotype is completely true.

Most narcissists rely on control tactics to get what they want. They don’t value someone else’s autonomy. They don’t care about what you think is best. Once they assume they know how something should work, they make that their core mission.

Narcissists often try to control every person or situation that matters to them. Even if they pretend to be “casual” or “unfazed” by what happens, this is usually an act. They are only trying to give an impression that they can be agreeable and flexible.

7 Things to Expect When The Narcissist Loses Control

When a narcissist loses control, expect the backlash! They’re going to be unhinged and volatile. But despite their seemingly crazy behaviors, you will probably be able to recognize some common patterns. 

1. Narcissistic Rage

If you think you’ve seen your narcissistic partner angry, well, hell hath no fury like narcissistic rage! You will witness their wrath in a way you’ve never experienced before, and let me warn you that it will scare you. The narcissist is terrified of who they really are, as they spend an excessive amount of time and energy protecting themselves from their own reality.

Narcissistic rage is fueled by the thought of them being exposed as false and weak. They have convinced themselves that they are a perfect human with no flaws. To acknowledge that this is far from the truth is their worst fear. 

When The Narcissist Loses Control #1 Narcissistic Rage

As you will have experienced, narcissists are exceptionally calculating, and every action is meticulously assessed before it is carried out. However, when narcissistic rage takes over, they become impulsive. They are no longer concerned about the potential consequences.

How narcissistic rage is expressed is dependent upon the individual. Nevertheless, the deeper the narcissistic injury, the more severe the reaction. Most reactions will be verbal, but some narcissists may physically harm others during this state. Here is what narcissistic rage typically looks like: 

  • Aggressive Outbursts: An aggressive outburst can take the form of intimidation, overtalking their victim, yelling, threats of harm, throwing objects, and verbal abuse. 
  • Violent Outbursts: Violence typically takes place when narcissistic rage gets to an uncontrollable level, and they feel they have no other outlet aside from physical force. The violence is either towards their victim or themselves. 
  • Passive Aggressive Behavior: This is a more subtle form of rage, but it is equally as damaging. Passive aggression can involve methods like withdrawing or engaging in silent treatment. In addition, it can include behaviors like gaslighting, highlighting someone else’s failures, procrastinating on important tasks, guilt-tripping, or agreeing to do something and then refusing to do it later.
  • Suppressive behavior: This type of behavior entails playing the victim. For example, the narcissist acts as if something is wrong to get attention. In a similar vein, they might also downplay certain problems or withhold vital information from loved ones. 

2. Smear Campaigns

The narcissist must protect their reputation at all costs. When they can’t control someone, their worst fear is that person has uncovered their true character. Equipped with what they think they know, the narcissist will go into self-defense mode and run around spreading damaging rumors.

They will contact everyone you know through social media, text messages and email telling them how evil, manipulative and abusive you are. They may go as far as contacting your boss or colleagues to impact your work reputation.

When The Narcissist Loses Control #2. Smear Campaigns

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If they do something harmful to you, they will twist the situation to say you do it to them. Their main intention is to “get to you first.” If they suspect you are going to talk poorly about them (or even expose them for their truth), they will do whatever it takes to spoil your name first. 

3. Do a Disappearing Act

Narcissistic supply is like a drug to the narcissist. If they can’t get it from you, they will get it from someone else. When they have pulled every trick in the book, and they still can’t control you, expect your narcissistic partner to pull a disappearing act on you.

They might disappear in hopes of getting your attention, so you beg them to come back. You can tell this is their motive if they keep popping in and out. You may even hear that they’re asking about you to mutual friends.

When The Narcissist Loses Control #3. Do a Disappearing Act

Some narcissists will disappear for real in search of a new supply. In this case, you will probably never see them again. The narcissist will do everything they can to rid themselves of your life, including blocking you on all social media platforms, changing their phone number, and even changing locations.

4. The Narcissist Will Stalk You

Some narcissists simply refuse to take no for an answer. They will ignore your feelings and act as if they don’t exist. The narcissist will force their will onto you, which sometimes involves stalking. You may not even be trying to escape from your narcissistic partner- you may have chosen to shut them out of a certain area of your life.

For example, let’s say they embarrass you at a company party. As a result, you avoid inviting them to the next event. You don’t want to deal with the public humiliation again.

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But let’s say the narcissist finds out. You tell him you’re going to have dinner with your mother that night, and guess who shows up to the table? 

5. The Narcissist Will Subject You to Public Humiliation

How does a narcissist respond to rejection? The first thing you need to know is that they will never tell you they feel rejected

Instead, they will likely scheme how to make a complete fool out of you in public. Whether it’s an outright rejection or a perceived rejection, the narcissist will become quietly threatening and demeaning, and every act of wickedness will be done with a smile on their face.

Your partner will have a deep desire to punish you for what you have done. The slightest disagreement or constructive criticism will lead to an all-out cold war, and you won’t even know it’s happening until you are slapped in the face with it. Here is what to expect if you are ever subjected to public humiliation by a narcissist:

Exposing Nude Pictures 

Depending on the extent of the Narcissistic injury and how badly the narcissist wants to shame you, they will “accidentally on purpose” send one of your nude pictures to a family member.

When The Narcissist Loses Control #5. Public Humiliation

Or, if they want to be really vicious, they will post the picture online. Then, to ensure that you know, the narcissist will tell you exactly what they’ve done, but pretend as if it was a dreadful mistake. 

Using Your ‘Friends’ to Humiliate You

Flying monkeys are people who assist narcissists in their smear and shaming campaigns. If you ever experience this, don’t take it personally. Remember, narcissists are master manipulators, and they are capable of getting anyone to do anything. 

If you have been a victim of narcissistic abuse, you know how easy it is to fall for their charm. Using your friends or people you know to humiliate you might go something like this:

Let’s say, one night, you just aren’t in the mood for sex. You’re polite but firm with your boyfriend about it. Not tonight, babe. I’ve got a terrible headache. The narcissist may present as supportive and understanding, but he will also interpret your refusal as the highest form of rejection. As a result, he may spend the rest of the night trying to discover the real reason why you said no.

Since many narcissists suffer from extreme anxiety (coupled with grandiose imaginations), they often make up various scenarios and believe them to be real. So, after denying your partner sex, he might conclude that you slept with your boss. There’s no other explanation as to why you wouldn’t be in the mood!

To prevent this from happening again, the narcissist might manipulate your coworkers into spreading a rumor that you have a sexually transmitted disease. But, even if this is far from the truth- and even if you’ve never entertained the idea of sleeping with your boss- your office reputation has now been destroyed.

6. Lie, Lie, Deny

What happens when a narcissist is exposed? A narcissist will never admit they are in the wrong no matter how much evidence is stacked against them. Even if you have photographic or video proof- or even if you caught your partner red-handed, they will lie so hard that you will convince yourself that you’ve got it wrong.

Reading Suggestion: Why Do Narcissists Lie?

Despite the vindictive nature of narcissists, it’s easy to compare them to children. They tell the same shameless lies. For example, a two-year-old will look you in the eye with chocolate around his mouth and tell you he hasn’t eaten the chocolate that was on the counter.

When The Narcissist Loses Control #6. Lie Lie Deny

Narcissists tell the same type of lies. But when they are found out, they are not going to cry, cower in shame, or suddenly become enlightened about their wrongdoing. Instead, they will gaslight you, as this is their first line of defense and the narcissist’s specialty. 

7. The Narcissist Will Bait You

When you stop showing the narcissist emotion (whether it’s positive or negative), they will bait you to get a rise out of you. This intentional act of provoking an emotional reaction is their way of confirming power or superiority. 

During the baiting process, the narcissist removes their mask and gets really ugly. They are feigning a sense of profound vulnerability. They want you to think they are a good person who truly loves you but has temporarily lost their senses.

When The Narcissist Loses Control #7. Baiting

They will trigger you intentionally to have a negative reaction. It is also important to note that there are levels to baiting. The first level starts with love bombing you at the same time as devaluing you.

How to Take Control Away From a Narcissist?

Narcissists want all the control. But they can only receive as much as you are willing to give them. And so, you have more power than you may even recognize in stopping obnoxious behavior.

how to take control away from a narcissist?

Ignore Them

It may sound shockingly simple, but it’s the one strategy that tends to irritate a narcissist like nothing else. Narcissists hate being ignored- they lose their audience, their control, and their illusion of a limitless platform. 

And so, don’t comment on any of their behavior. Stop trying to fight back. Avoid picking fights. In other words, remove yourself from the drama.

Reading Suggestion: How to start Ignoring a Narcissist?

Even if it’s tempting to give them a sure piece of your mind, try to resist the temptation. Many narcissists love a good fight, and egging them on only maintains more problems. 

Practice Gray-Rocking

If you can’t completely ignore the narcissist, consider the gray-rock approach. This is an approach that focuses on acting as bored and disinterested as possible.

Let’s say they share a wild story about how their brother is trying to steal from them. You know the narcissist’s brother- he’s a nice guy, and you have significant reason to doubt that any of these claims are true.

Instead of arguing back (or even trying to defend the brother), you might respond with, “Hmm. That’s something.” Or, you might simply nod and say, “Oh, I see.” 

With this approach, you want to avoid showing any emotion or using any emotionally-charged language. In other words, you’re basically acting like you have no thoughts or feelings about the situation. 

Maintain Your Own Identity 

Stay connected with your friends and family. Regularly engage with your usual interests and passions.

This independent sense of self will enrage the narcissist because it causes them to lose control. But more importantly, prioritizing yourself allows you to focus on having a meaningful, fulfilling life. This ensures that nobody has the power to control you!

Go No-Contact

What are your motives for staying in the relationship? At this point, are you choosing to stay and condone malicious behavior?

If the answer is yes, it’s time to seriously reconsider your priorities. Why are you continuing to let someone harm you? Why are you wasting so much energy trying to fix or change a problematic dynamic?

Ending the relationship may feel painful, but staying in this toxic pattern will probably cause you even more harm. 

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How to Control a Narcissist?

Knowing how to control a narcissist comes down to knowing what you are willing to tolerate in the relationship. They cannot control you if you don’t listen. They also cannot control you if you choose to stay independent and seek ongoing support from others.

But how do you control them? You don’t. At least, it shouldn’t be your main focus.

Even though they may spend months or years controlling your every move, it isn’t helpful to try to seek the same revenge. You’ll only feel more exhausted, and they have the upper hand in manipulating others. In some ways, they might even be inviting you to try to play their sick game.

Ultimately, controlling a narcissist means opting out of the game altogether. Instead of playing by their crazy rules, you choose to avoid them entirely. You choose to play a different game- the one that healthy, loving, safe people are playing. 

FAQ

Here are some commonly asked questions people have about narcissists and their strange behavior.

Who Do Narcissists Target?

Narcissists can target anyone, so don’t blame yourself if you fell prey to their awful, predatory behavior. You’re only human, and it’s easy to get trapped in a moment of weakness. 

That said, they may be more likely to target compassionate, empathic people who have past experiences with abuse? Why? They may believe that you’ll be more likely to “understand” their behavior. Following this train of thought, they are hopeful that you will subsequently excuse or rationalize how they act in the relationship.

Narcissists may also target people who:

  • Just got out of relationships.
  • Struggle with compulsive issues like drugs or alcohol.
  • Identify as empaths.
  • Have histories of narcissistic abuse.

Remember that they are banking on finding people who will “cosign” their personalities. They don’t want someone who will constantly question, fight, or disregard their tactics. 

What Do Narcissists Do To Their Victims?

As mentioned, narcissists aim to exert power and control over their victims. They want the relationship to go their way. Therefore, they use other people to meet their own needs, even if those needs are erratic or inappropriate.

Reading Suggestion: What is Narcissistic Abuse?

Narcissists believe they are entitled to whatever they want. So, they will treat their victims however they see fit. Depending on the context, the abuse can range from mild annoyances to severe breaches of trust and safety. 

How Long Can a Narcissist Go Without Supply?

It depends! You may be surprised to discover that ending a relationship with a narcissist doesn’t always result in an extreme reaction. 

That’s because many narcissists have different types of supplies. They don’t want to keep all their eggs in one basket because they know what’s at stake if something happens.

This explains why so many narcissists are serial cheaters. They don’t commit to anyone because they don’t want to invest all their time or energy into just one person. Instead, they keep their options open- just in case the right opportunity presents itself. 

Remember that a narcissist will protect their supply at all costs. If they feel like they’re losing you, they’ll either double down on their efforts to lure you back in. Or, they’ll move on to whatever they perceive as the newest, shiniest object. 

What Eventually Happens to Narcissists?

Unfortunately, narcissists rarely change their behavior. Instead, they bounce around from job to job, relationship to relationship, drama to drama.

They continue creating chaos wherever they go, even if they change their tune as the years go on. 

Instead of dwelling on what happens to them, the best thing you can do is focus on yourself. Once the manipulative narcissist can’t control you anymore, you have true freedom to move forward. 

Final Thoughts

If a narcissist can’t control you anymore, they will often make significant efforts to restore their sense of power. Knowing these tactics in advance can prepare you for what lies ahead.

But remember that you can decide what you do (or don’t) entertain. You are not obligated to maintain a relationship with the narcissist. Subsequently, you don’t owe it to them to enable their awful behavior!

Photo of author

Alexander Burgemeester

Alexander Burgemeester has a Master in Neuropsychology. He studied at the University of Amsterdam and has a bachelor's in Clinical Psychology. Want to know more?

69 thoughts on “How Does a Narcissist React When They Can’t Control You Anymore?”

  1. After all the pain I have suffered since I was 5 years old the no contact is the best.In my opinion the only good narciss is a dead narciss .They are a different society that live among us ; they use empathetic people And unknowingly people to feed on :They are evil .That’s who killed Jesus

    Reply
    • I completely agree Robert. I think there are more narcissistic disordered people in this world, then what mental health professionals think. I think narcissists are often the cause of why we see high domestic violence, high drug and alcohol abuse, high levels of distress and mental health problems in the family, school, and work environments. These are cruel and selfish people who harm others intentionally and get the assistance of other people to often hurt some of the kindest and nicest people in society!!! Pure evil!

      Reply
      • And Roger, you and Robert have made some of the most accurate descriptions I have seen online about narcissists. They are nothing but pure evil and the saddest part is they are never held accountable for their bad behaviour, and get away with it even into old age. They were never ever corrected because it was easier for parents to turn a blind eye rather than discipline them as children, so they just carry it on into adulthood.

        Reply
        • Narciss try to create fear and uncertainty and attack on your autonomy and self esteem to traumatizes bonding. YUK their puke is in them ????

          Reply
        • Even the legal system can’t help you because everything they Narciss do leave no evidence or you have to have the legal system connected to your hip.or they will use abuse by proxy. It all takes time and money.Their communication is subtle and stealth to chip away your self esteem

          Reply
          • I was married to a narcissist for 26 years and I thought he was the most amazing man in the world. 2 days after my daughter was married he beat me like I was a man punching me 3 times in my face. He apologized and did it again 2 nights later only this time he claims it was not his fault because he was drinking and didn’t remember. In court for our divorce he said he hit me 1 time and it never happened again. He couldn’t tell the truth if his life depended on it. Because of his lies I’m living in a room at my sons house because I was a housewife and didnt get an education while I was raising children as the judge put it. My X lied and is living in a house on the water with lots of toys and both of our businesses. I don’t make enough money to support myself and he’s living the high life. I’m 55 and have nothing because I wanted out of the marriage. Was it worth it? Hell yes

      • I totally agree with you. I have a NPD mom and it has been extremely difficult till now. She is my mom, and I am binded by culture that I cannot disrespect her. Is really tough. Found a man, and he is beginning to have traits of NPD. I decided to disappear from the man. Having one NPD person in the family is already bad enough, no way will there be two.

        Reply
      • You are absolutely right NPD is an epidemic it’s infiltrated in every part of our society teachers police men governments. It is such a nightmare in this society now they are wreaking havoc 60% divorce rate SO MANY kids damaged beyond repair. And still judges are not keen to them yet I was even watching a doctor Phil show the husband was 100% horrible narcissist and he actually was treating the woman pretty bad they are the best manipulating evil people ever I mean look at Hitler Robert Austin is absolutely right it’s just such a shame and so heartbreaking they did kill Jesus and also NPD is so prevalent everyone hated Jesus…. The thing I just fell over about I couldn’t believe it I kept seeing this pop up in my face over and over again I wouldn’t even click it I thought it was just lies but I finally did and it’s actually real 90% or 95% of the presidents are all related to I think it’s King John a little girl did this whole thing she’s around 13 I can’t believe it I never did vote because I felt like I was wasting my time I never believed in new world order and things like that but it just can’t be a coincidence that 95% of the presidents are all related even Obama is related to one of the Kings of England it’s just absolutely crazy I couldn’t believe it I researched and research and it’s really really true

        Reply
        • I’ve been married to my narc husband 47 years and my life has been hell. I did to raise my children and fell into a pattern and tried to be happy. I’m 68 now and I’ve turned my back on him. I haven’t left but I’m making a life for myself. I made a lot of friends and doing many things. I wasn’t aware of how he would take this. He’s threatening me, constantly trying to argue, following me, accusing me of cheating (and I’m not). Love bombing. It all worked when my kids were little. Not now. I’m prepared for anything. Financially it would be hard, but that’s ok. Don’t spend years hoping for change, they WONT change!!

          Reply
          • I am in the same pos. 45 years married & knew something was terribly wrong. Got out of the marriage by leaving at the 7 year mark but a marriage counsellor pressured me into giving my husband another chance. He used triangulation on the marriage counsellor & manipulated him).
            I let him move back in with me & our 2 young children at the time. I felt so defeated.
            Now the last couple of years have went for counselling myself to get advice from a psychologist. Finally learning what I have been dealing with) also found out he has lied & cheated on me since I met him. He uses Narcissist denial now.
            He is sick now with bladder cancer & had open heart surgery recently. I feel trapped. I am taking better care of myself now by enforcing stronger boundaries & saying NO.

      • Demanding people are half the problem in the world.Ultra ego and hyper critical people are the ones who start wars.

        Reply
      • I’m that person right now. I’m always nice to everyone and go out of my way to help anyone. Well, he had already started a smear campaign against me and boy, it’s really impacted my health.

        The positive is that I found out and when a hit rock bottom I roll control and started reaching out for support and help b/c everyone else turned on me. I know I’ll get through this and the truth will set me free but I’m still alone but now I’m fighting for me and my happiness.

        I will get there. Thank you for making me feel like I’m not crazy and evil 💕

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        • They cause so much drama you are sucked in. Normal folks dont do or say such things. Narcs bait you to supply themselves, to feed on your response. Good or bad its still energy. Then blame and shame you

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      • Sadly gambling also fits this. You are right that when it is a thought-action and a plan it comes into a different area. Yes some can get cross then regret it say sorry and feel guilt thankfully just as a mature adult would do. Some sadly are greedy and stubborn and self centered all about them in a child-like immature world. So many enter adult hood and start to project a certain type of life style and life comes as a shock when adult life hits them . I believe they are children who just do not want t act or be grown up. THey dislike work and just want to do nothing.

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    • Same here. Since I was 5 or 6 I have been emotionally abused in the worst ways by people who want me to call them family. I went no contact with these people 3 years ago. They say they don’t know why. They lie, Deny, Manipulate, Smear your name, Play mind games,Team up against you. Mistreat you, Abuse you, include you in only the things they want to include you in, and do all the things this article outlines. I don’t want anything to do with them. I went back to one who begged me back. Big Mistake.
      They are not good people and I have to decided to surround myself with positive, respectful people who make me feel like I make them feel. Loved and valuable. Dont trust them even if they are dying unless you hear from God that they have changed.

      Reply
      • Hi Rhonda,
        Everything is possible but I doubt that there is one single narcissist that can actually change. As for hearing from God that a narcissist changed? God hates insolent pride – AKA Narcissist and He will not always suffer them. The father of all narcissist is satan, the original number 1 narcissist. He thought so much of himself that he actually thought he would dethrone God and ascend to His throne! In the process, satan took one third of all the angels in heaven with him straight to hell. Which is exactly what narcissists do. See, most people can give their lives to God and God will work with them baggage and all, but narcissist think themselves to actually be GOD so they will never humble themselves before Him. Therefore they will never avail themselves of the salvation that God has waiting for everyone. And God knows this, He knows their hearts. They are beyond all hope.
        Rhonda, family are those who love you, edify you and respect you regardless of whether or not they have blood ties to you. Truly, it is always preferable to be alone than surrounded by narcissists and or their minions. It’s ok to have an ex-family. People break up all the time and this applies to families where narcissist abound. I’ve done the same thing as you, let a narcissist back in only to regret it big time! Twice, even recently I did this but these creatures are like cookies cut from the same mold, half an ounce of poison cookie dough, 4 chocolate chips coated in demon blood for each, four minutes baking time in hell.
        If there is another defense other than full no contact against these monsters, it’s that they all have the same playbook. Just like you mentioned, mind games, smear campaigns and their minions teaming up to destroy you. They ARE very much predictable. Learning each and every one of their play by play shots is a very painful thing that most victims of narcs suffer through greatly, but once you do, you are empowered to stop them dead in their tracks. Don’t believe the hype that it is only a small percentage of the population that are actually full blown narcissists. Narcissists are everywhere, they are lawyers, doctors, police officers, your neighbors and more. They exist by creating demonic spiderwebs and armies of cruel minions also known as flying monkeys. I don’t even regard narcissist as human beings and yes, the only good narcissist is a dead narcissist. The destruction and human devastation that they cause is immeasurable. You can start the healing process by being good to yourself. Trust is earned not given away so when someone new comes into your life, if they walk like a narcissist, if they talk like a narcissist, if they act like one, THEY ARE A NARCISSIST! Do not give them an entry into your life. Value yourself, your private time, your peace and know that you are precious to God. May you heal completely and may God grant you all His peace and love forever, Rhonda. Yours truly, Mark

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        • Hi I’ve read all that’s been wrote. I can see the man I love is definitely a narcistic. Thing is I’ve never loved anyone like him. Yet the way he treats me is literally killing me. We don’t see each other but every few was as we live 2 hrs apart. We have stayed on fone for literally 4 straight days. When we hang up I cry almost til he calls again. I get Togo to his house for 4 days n he brings me home. Today he called.things were good then out of blue he hangs up. I tried to call n text but he hasn’t answered. Long story and I so wish wish I could write it. We both are in 60s. I lost my husband a yr ago and he came in my life after he lost a daughter he really saw this Sept. My grieve is beyond
          Devastating. go this house f

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        • This touched my heart today while dealing with a narcissistic Mother and Mother in law at Christmas time. One is no contact but the damage remains and the other is low contact. Because of this she pulls out all the stops at every chance possible. I will step away today and reflect knowing I’m a child of God. Thank you Mark.

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        • Thank you for your insight mark. I’ve just been hoovered again by my ex husband ..I let him move in with me again and now I’m on my own again …but I’m a christian and I will put my trust in god to care for me and not trust in my ex husbands motives for his own needs to beet. Wow it’s hard being an empathy to stop caring for him but I’m learning. Bless you too🙌🙏🕊️

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      • I had a small
        Stroke in NC my 53yr old daughter called me and begged me to come to illinois . I said okay well when I got here boy did things change. We don’t talk anymore. She has my granddaughter at least I have a phone record of all the nasty things she said she was doing to do to me also the smear champaign she was going to spread around town. These people are very sick and the world would better without them

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      • Hello Rhonda Gipson. You got it! Surround yourself with positive, respectful people! Don’t feel obligated to maintain a relationship with a narcissistic person just because you are related to them – even your whole family if they have been conditioned by a narcassistic parent to “behave” towards you in a (negative) way that is not based on reality and that you cannot change. I tried making that work for years. One day I just cut them all off. I wasn’t even thinking about it. I didn’t even say goodbye. I disappeared. I just suddenly realized that my encounters with them always left me feeling miserable. It was never a pleasant experience. I had to ask myself why I was subjecting myself to this. I baffled over why my brothers and sister were still behaving in such a dysfunctional manner towards myself and each other, reverting back to negative childhood attitudes and behaviours towards each other. These attitudes were forced into us by the narcissist as a means to control and manipulate and not based on reality. We all want that beautiful functional loving family relationship. I know they do exist out there. But the universe didn’t have that in mind for me during this (particular) lifetime. I kept hoping things would change, and finally realised it was a lost cause. An epiphany that seemed to come out of the blue. This “sea change” happened literally within two hours of my last encounter with one of them, and it wasn’t something I did gradually (though it was probably simmering at the back of my mind without my being aware of it). I walked away, the break was abrupt and permanent and all-inclusive. There are no exceptions. I don’t regret it, and happiness flooded into my soul! That was 30 years ago. I am still amazed that the positive impact on my life was so immediate! Wow! Like INSTANTANEOUS, no kidding! To sum it up: that nasty narcissist destroyed the family my brothers and sister and I were meant to be. I am sometimes sad about that, but that is the reality. I went on to build my own life – my friends are my family. I’ve been happy ever since! YES!

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  2. hi to Robert, Roger, and Shelley, and Sheila who have submitted to comments on narcissists I had a terrible childhood too, for as long as I could remember, she was the worse person to me and my sister she hated my mom that is one of her sisters because she didn’t know how to do things, she was a very nervous sort of person and my aunt took advantage of that
    Then , a ex- boyfriend of 13 years dumped me and I am ashamed to say I was too ignorant to see that he was a controlling person, I feel he used me and said sweet things to me and bought me things, just so he could keep me . It has been some time about 11 years since he dumped me , but once again I agreed to be a friend , what a mistake that was . I am a super emotional person and I must have cried enough to fill 2 rivers over that time. I am still crying even if I dont talk to him or text , I am so emotional trying to get him out of my head I dont expect any of you to understand that I am so emotional and crying , but it is a real feeling

    all of you are so right narcissistic people controlling people toxic people or whatever you call them are very very very evil I am trying to let go of this person who I thought really cared for me in those 13 years, but it is just more difficult for me
    thanks for listening

    Reply
    • What you are traveling through is the PTSD tunnel; time heals with new knowledge. The replay of betrayal,at some time your time will only address the replay for a moment ,let it for a moment and stop thinking. It is like a cigarette the less you smoke the less nicotine in your body stop.There will times when something triggers the thought, let it and it won’t mean much anymore.There is a light at the end of the tunnel you are almost there❤️😊

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    • I too am crying, I get it, I love you, thank you for sharing, you are helping others this way. Keep moving forward, god bless you.

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    • Dear wonderful lady that you are Carol G

      I am sure that those of us who have had unhappy experiences with narcissists (too) will agree when I say…

      We understand.

      Please take care of yourself…

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  3. All of the comments I read are absolutely spot on! My husband and I are 11 years apart in age (he’s older). He’s always been controlling and insecure. It makes sense that he’d also be mentally and physically abusive. Our oldest son is 20 now and I think it’s high time for me to run like my hair is on fire. I’ve tried in the past to get away, to no avail (obviously).

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    • That funny that you would run with your hair on fire.I tell people if they were able to plug in my head like a computer ,they would run down the street with their Brain on firer. 😹 Soooo True

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  4. Is it normal for the NPD to start emanating from the victim? Is that because of the projection of blame onto the victim, and a self defense mechanism?
    On a side note, I noticed that the author of this may not realize it, but their writing seems to be sexually descriminative. I assume this as all the pronouns are male (not to sound like some “lefty lunatic!”) Why is it the man who is the narcissist? Maybe that’s just a bias of the author …
    Anyhow, it is pretty distracting as a male victim of both an NPD mother through childhood, and now an NPD wife. I cannot begin to explain the unhealthy dependency and lack of any affirmation is truly taxing!
    Personally, I think NPD comes from a level of simple-mindedness, stubbornness, and ultimately an incredibly weak ego.

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    • Its not sexist, it is just that most Narcissists are men. 75% ish, but I totally agree that there are female Narcissists and I am sorry if that distracts you as a male victim. People do not become Narcissists because they love theirselves, it is quite the opposite and often the result of psychological neglect.

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      • Is there anyway to help these people?- doesn’t seem possible. My son in law has all but destroyed us, our daughter and our 2 beautiful grandchildren 4 and 7- we are all his victims. My daughter and her parents (us) are now estranged and not allow to see children. His plan to isolate and gaslighting successful.
        I’ve been in couseling since they got married (11 yrs) on and off. My couselor said it was only the 2nd time in her long career she told a client to walk away and fast.
        I wish terrible things on this man, but when I read the cause it makes me very saddened that there is not a cure or path one can go down to change this terrible personality.
        I know there are narrasitic woman- my mom was jealous of my looks, income, husband, lifestyle and I spent 50 yrs trying to please her- finally I walked away- and you know the signs- please do the same male of female.

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      • my narcissistic ex is a physically beautiful woman, unfortunately we have a child together so its hard to go no contact. she done an excellent job of projecting a victim persona, people look at her and cannot see her true self and think she is innocent. I broke up with her in 2018 and the rage continues to this day(away from social settings of course)

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    • David, nope. Your impression that females think it is only males that can be narcissists is absolutely wrong. It’s just that more females are writing in (to this platform), willing to talk about their experience with one. Yes, I agree 100% about the weak ego(s). I don’t think that all narcissists out there are “male”. Narcissists come in all the packages that are available out there, male, female and otherwise. The most evil in my life was our mother – and grandmothers (on both sides of the family). Outside of “family”, all the narcissists I have encountered so far have been female. They’re nasty, evil, sneaky (can’t list them all here)… I am in the midst of dealing with one at my place of work right now (and it’s not the first time I have run into a nasty female narcissist at a place of employment). In my case they are always always always FEMALE (I am a female myself just in case you’re wondering). I haven’t run into a male version yet. He is well hidden under some rock out there…

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  5. Just beware people like us have a tendency to attract them. I was married to 1 for 40 years only to get involved with another 1 that is worse than my husband was

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  6. It is true that those who have been abused by narcs – will gravitate towards the same. Not because it is healthy. But because it is what we know. It’s familiar. Until you truly understand your worth and value as a human being, you will always be a target. Raise the bar. Do not accept the unacceptable. A narc will run like the wind if he/she can’t control you creating the submissive victim they require to make themselves feel superior. We cannot fix them. But we can fix ourselves. A healthy person is poison to a narc. KNOW your worth. Demand respect. If we do not learn our lesson, we are doomed to repeat it until we do.

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    • Narcs target empaths also, like demons attracted to the bright light.
      Indeed learning to spot them very early is an empath gift.

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      • Sorry to say not always. A narc can meet a narc both can have a false persona. I know of such couple they are attracted to each other because they are both the same. Greedy, lazy selfish, lie, cowards addicts .

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  7. Personally, I’m concerned about the overuse of the word “narcissism,” I think some people are just sh*tty, no one is perfect, we are all flawed. Do I think that it exists as a personality disorder? Absolutely, but the label itself is thrown around too much without any real diagnosis, and I think that’s dangerous because that way nothing gets resolved. Personally I went from a 14 year long relationship with a self-centered, selfish, lazy, bully, to a 6 year one with someone similar, but I cannot think that both of these people are narcissists … the first guy, definitely, but not the second. He was just a mean drunk, who did shitty things when he was drunk, and gaslit me only when I confronted him about the drunk stuff. Am I abandoned now? Yep. Am I hurt. Yep. But I still love the guy, and I am too smart of a woman to think that it was entirely not my fault. Don’t trust people until they earn your trust, don’t give people more than they give you, & men and male psychology, specifically, make them work for romantic rewards or they will never value you. Men are hunters. That’s a reality. That’s what a lot of what people are talking about when they talk about ‘narcissism.’

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    • Yes we as women know this. But we are human and emotionally built different. We must learn to love ourselves unconditionally. Then the healing begins.

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  8. I have been in a 37 year relationship and discovered the last few years the behavior consisting with the narcissist. Throughout the relationship I was busy having kids, being a stay at home mom and overweight! 205 I went and had gastric bypass and that was the beginning of the behavior patterns described that stood out to label my partner. So I started using that word and boy did shit hit the fan. Right now I am filing for divorce and I believe I need to look at getting a restraining order. He has used my depression and mental state against me making me out to be crazy and everyone believing him. Devastated but know I need to move on but scared at the same time of his deviousness!

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  9. So succinct Alexander. I’m talking my mother down after my younger brother moved into her home uninvited and has spent the last eight months coping with him. She is 90. After he told her that she was incapable of looking after her finances and that he should run things, she told him that she already had someone doing that. His parting words were ” when you die, I’m not coming to your funeral”. She is slowly recovering, but she is still torn between the son she knew and the monster he is. He abandoned her and she ended up in hospital, but has almost recovered. He has a new source, a new partner. I feel sorry for her, but I feel better about my mother now. These are truly terrible people. I understand what they are, but I don’t understand why they are.

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  10. I am the daughter of a widowed, re-married father who has high narcissistic traits. He happened to marry someone new, who is diagnosed borderline personality disorder, and I believe she is also highly narcissistic. My husband and I have refused to give in to their unrealistic and unreasonable financial demands on us, and we are very concerned that my father also has early dementia. He is now on his second smear campaign of me, after he trespassed into our home at the end of June, of this year. I am considering filing for an order of protection or an order of no contact.

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  11. I am an Indian and it’s in our culture for the daughter-in-law to stay at the husband’s parents house. In the beginning of my marriage I never understood why I was being blamed for everything and why my in-laws were acting so heavily emotional all the time. Then I started picking up hints from their own talk and behaviour that they were scared of basically 3 things- (1.) Losing the attention of their son (their only source of financial supply), (2.) Losing their image in front of the very few relatives they still maintained contact with (the rest are “horrible” people according to them) and (3.) That I would tell my relatives about the way my in-laws were treating me (given that mine is a very close-knit family), again spoiling their “image”.

    Every attempt (and the amount of lies that went into it) to make my relationship with my husband, with his relatives and with my relatives, weak, made me realise how really low their characters were. I saw loathing in their eyes when I got pregnant, my sister-in-law avoided me completely for a whole month in spite of living under the same roof. When I felt really bad about it and told my husband, he spoke to his sister, but she just denied it trying to make him believe that “your wife lies about your little sister and you blindly believe it? See, she’s managed to spoil the relationship and trust we as siblings shared”. But unfortunately for her, her mask fell away a couple of years later after she got married and started having way too many issues with her husband and his parents. Like you said, when a narcissistic person loses control of their source, they panic, and without meaning it to, let their true personality come to the forefront.

    My pregnancy and my post delivery experiences with my husband’s family were daunting. I won’t go into details but as a result of their attitude I developed post-partum depression and numerous health problems. Eventually I had to leave my job. My husband got a job in a different country, and I joined him along with my daughter.

    But I was in for a ride when my husband started displaying narcissistic personality behaviour at certain times. It was something I never expected because he had been very understanding and supportive of me back home. I never understood why the sudden change in his attitude. I fell into severe depression and anxiety, my mind was all foggy, I couldn’t take proper care of my daughter or myself, I didn’t have any friends, I limited my contact with my family because I didn’t want them getting hurt knowing about my situation. But after a couple of years I could take it no more, I hated the person I had become. So once when my husband gave me his narcissistic treatment, I reacted – for the first time. Everything that had been locked up inside me from the past 2 years came bursting out, he was so shocked seeing me lash out like that. But then my reaction did make him realise his mistake and he did apologize to me.

    Finally I started seeing some light in my relationship, I got myself treated for all my physical ailments, I started exercising regularly and following a balanced diet, and after a few months the fog in my head started clearing away. It was only then that I started understanding why there had been a sudden change in my husband’s attitude towards me – his family had been behind it! I don’t know why I never noticed that whenever he called his mother, he would decrease the volume of the call to a bare minimum, so that I couldn’t hear what she was telling him. Once I started noticing this, I confronted him, initially he declined having done it, but then when I caught him doing the same again, he stopped. I realised that it was something about me that my in-laws kept telling my husband that sparked the change in his behaviour. I understand now that he is not entirely narcissistic in himself but since he has been brought up by narcissistic parents, he behaves and reacts the same as them because that is what he has grown up watching, and they too want him to behave like that with his wife (any other woman in my place would have experienced the same) because they fear him having a close relationship with anyone other than them. I realised that my in-laws knew exactly what would trigger that kind of behaviour in my husband. They had complete control over his emotions. It was at this point that I started understanding that my in-laws behaviour is far from normal jealousy or fear, it was something else that I wasn’t aware of. I started researching and came upon the term “Narcissistic personality disorder”. The more I read about it, the more I was able to connect the dots and understand my experiences with crystal clarity.

    Now I know exactly what is to be done to keep myself at peace – keep a healthy distance from my in-laws; Not avoiding them completely but at the same time not falling into their emotional traps and lies. I don’t worry anymore about the lies they’ll be feeding my husband and their relatives about me, projecting me as the bad guy, because for all it’s worth I know that my husband needs me, I know that he has never been truly loved by his parents. Although my MIL projects her son as the “Golden Child”, I’ve seen her unmasked face once when her son denied giving her a large sum of money for some unnecessary demand of hers. The only “love” is for the son’s money, not for his health or happiness. Now, even my husband has slowly started realising this fact.

    I am not sure though whether I should share my findings with my husband, about NPD and that his family members are having this disorder. Because for all I know, he is also partly narcissistic, as in he displays that personality whenever he is triggered by his family, otherwise no. I feel bad for him, I feel like he’s trapped in the relationship between his parents and me, trying to keep both sides happy. I want him to realise that he should aim for what makes him happy, and not suffocated.

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  12. I don’t believe in ‘narcissistic injury’ of a domineering narc parent causing the child’s narcissism. It’s genetic. I’m sure of it. I also believe that it’s related, somehow to the autism spectrum. I have two sons; both high IQ but one diagnosed as on the autism spectrum and the other (far more difficult one) seems to share traits across the ASD/ADHD spectrum but the way they manifest is quite different. For example they both have deficits of empathy but my ASD son appears far more naive and innocent somehow, while the younger son is just more manipulative somehow. I hate to say it about my son, and he is adorable, but I can see him trying different strategies and then when he hits on a winner he is instantly satisfied, the tears dry, he’s like the cat that got the cream. He has the smug look of his father, yet I’ve resisted having him in our lives as much as possible so there can be no blaming it on the father’s influence. He is just so much like his dad, and I feel the narcissism is as genetically inherited from him as the fair hair, blue eyes and left-handedness (what is that, why are so many left-handed). Both are rude and vain, believe they are uniquely clever, always right and talk non-stop over the top of other people. Neither of them can cry properly. My son – at age 5 – actually asked me to explain how to cry. His father was close to both his parents but he couldn’t cry when either of them died. He made his mother’s funeral all about him … and used to brag about his precociously early memories – of standing in his cot (pre-verbal) and wondering why his mother wasn’t picking him up as soon as he woke. He has three sisters: another narcissist who is extremely smug, an evangelical christian (also, I believe a narcissist) and a sister who has lived in a secure mental health facility for a decade after trying to kill their mother and was diagnosed with schizophrenia. It’s a loaded genetic dice I’ve rolled and am very worried about my son. Nothing seems to help. He’s not mean but he will always push to get his own way, far beyond ‘the line’ of anyone I’ve ever met. My son and his father purposely antagonise one another and seem to enjoy both riling each other up AND getting riled up. There is both pride and mutual contempt. Narcissism doesn’t cause narcissism, it’s a heritable condition that is passed from parent to child. It makes other people miserable, wounds and traumatises but I don’t believe it can be ‘turned on’ by environment in susceptible genes. It’s a genetic phenotype; a set of traits that define how one reacts to the environment, and inhibits the effect of any environmental influence in the same way autism does.

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  13. My narcissistic mother died 4 years ago. I’ve yet to shed a tear over her death. In fact I’m glad she’s gone. She made everyone’s lives in the family miserable, was very controlling and manipulative, played all kinds of baiting games and played members of the family against each other. Narcs will ruin your self esteem and doubt yourself every step of the way. Worst of all my spineless father enabled her behavior and even took on some of her characteristics including repeating the same lies, insults and excuses she came up with. I cut off contact with both of them years ago. After my mother died, my spineless enabling father tried to “patch things up” with me. I alternated between feeling guilty, feeling sorry for him, but not trusting him, as he was in his 80’s by that time, but the things he was saying and doing according to my brothers made me not want a relationship with him. He was still playing put down games. I did write him a letter telling him how manipulative and controlling they were both were, and that I didn’t trust him. He died earlier this year and I’ve yet to shed a tear over his death as well. Mean while my brothers have turned against me since his death. I thought with both parents dead, that would end the sick twisted controlling games, but I see signs of the same types of narcissist behavior in them as well. The only solution to the never ending problems was to go no contact. I’ve had to learn the hard way, the family I grew up in was so damaged and so centered, that they really didn’t care about me anyway. So I’m learning how not to care about them. I’m a senior citizen and what ever days I have left on this earth, I want to spend without all the drama and two faced games.

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  14. It was only after I left my narcissistic husband of 4 years, that I started realizing how he humiliated, degraded and manipulated me to get what HE wanted from the start. Passive aggression, baiting, disappearing, smear campaigns … Excellent article, thank you!

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  15. Our son is with a narc his personality has changed was it my fault I blame me his mum. I have had counselling over a year now since I saw him or newborn grandchild. I have had to look at all my interaction was I jealous no did I support son he states I was a good mum! He met a hum “woman” child on the net who cat fished him.

    I have had an illness which effects my mental ability found on a blood test now on meds and regular blood work ill for years only found out recent had a breakdown and this was how it was discovered one year ago, but now know I must have had it for years. I feel I let him down but one year on realize with doctors backing I was losing my mind hallucinations sad but this happened after sons Childs birth. The narc didn’t believe this said I did this on badness she claims .

    Sadly at times it turns into dementia I have auto immune disease and because I was fed up of being neglected lied to on top of the illness I lashed out my punishment ghosted. The narc has cut us off and convinced our son to do this to his dad and mum but will meet up with his sister but sadly only met up twice in a year both make it awkward .

    His sister tries even after a nine hour open heart surgery the narc cut her off and our son is hardly seeing her and she hardly sees her nephew. Our son has cut off his family friends and she has cut off her family but kept her friends! She and her sister are rivals and states her mum loves her sister and not her yet the narc does the same to us.

    We have found out she lies found her out so many times. Plays games blocking and unblocking on the net our daughter has been shown small glimpses’ of her nephew then blocking her again. She unblocked our daughter close to her/narcs birthday and when she didn’t receive a present because frankly after blocking our daughter why reward her she then blocked daughter again .

    After meeting near narcs birthday a date close to the pre op our daughter practically begged to see our grandchild and her brother. Our daughter had a life saving op so ill yet daughter managed to see our grandchild but after said meeting narc yet again knowing our daughter had gone through life saving organ donation and seeing her scar has been blocked and ghosted again possibly because our son was wanting to care and meet his sister. Just wicked.

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  16. I am building my life back after 20+ years of being married to a narcissist. The signs were there early but I didn’t understand. The relationship between us was good at times but mostly just tolerable. Most of her energy was put toward her work. I found it odd that every job she had, her boss was a jerk and was incompetent.

    Because she was career oriented and had much more earning potential, we moved for her work and everytime it was the same thing. I thought for the longest time it was because she was working in a “man’s world” and was being discriminated against. When we started a family, I stayed home to raise the kids. When they became school age, it seemed natural to restart my teaching career. As soon as I got reestablished, she convinced me to agree to move the family to a foreign country for a job that more than doubled her pay.

    I was nervous about it and my worst nightmare came true shortly after moving there. I was not happy with how she would just commit me to things without discussion. When I spoke up about this, she threatened to kick me out of the house. I knew then I had put myself in a very vulnerable position because I couldn’t fly back to the US,and wouldn’t leave my children behind, but I wouldn’t be able to stay in the country. She controlled everything. As happened with most her jobs, she got fired and we all came back.

    It came to a head when she opened her own business and worked from home. I struggled but worked to get reestablished in the work place to give myself some sense of control over myself. But home life was a living hell-I was a loser and worthless and though she never got up to have breakfast with me and the kids before, she now made a point of it to tell me how useless I was in front of the children. She woke me up to tell me she wanted a divorce because “(She) was making good money, the kids were old enough to take care of themselves so (she) didn’t need me anymore”

    The abuse got so bad, I couldn’t stand to see how stressed the children were and I was advised to move out as I was being set up. She had told me I needed to move out but when I did it was a shock to her. Then she started using the police to harass me everytime I picked up the kids to stay with me.

    Ultimately she made up some truly absurd charges but were good enough to get a TRO and she made sure to add I couldn’t have contact with my children. I got it lifted but only after I agreed to give her sole occupancy of our marital home. She used that along with the fact that I couldn’t afford my own place without a rent sharer to get majority custody. She misled the Court about everything-I was a terrible father, was abusive, and somehow convinced the Court that she made significantly less and that I made more to get child support so high I had to go into debt to pay my bills. She even got it retroactive so that I had to defend myself from jail time for being a deadbeat Dad. The children were alienated from me as I was marginalized as a parent and the reality she worked to create took hold, that only she could financially take care of the children. When you’re making over $115,000 and getting $16,000/yr tax free it’s easy to do.

    When you make $45,000 and being taxed on that but have $15,000 taken plus still have to pay for 1/2 private school tuition, it’s impossible. The Court was abusive. When I tried to explain what was really going on to the GAL assigned to our case, she said “Homeless people have custody rights.” Gee thanks! I was near the breaking point when finally our divorce got finalized. I got 50%custody but she immediately broke it and as one child now was an adult, the other close behind and due to all the stress they had to deal with, I didn’t have the heart to challenge her violations in Court.

    But since “finalization” she has had me in Court for 5 Motions and counting, trying to convince the 6th Judge to our case that I owe her for items while we were married that were taken from my buyout on the home. My youngest is almost 18 and she tried to formally change the custody arrangement -likely because she can’t stand paying me $206/month in support which will continue if my daughter goes to college (I paid $1209 for 2 1/2 years) and wants to ensure she can claim her for taxes. My son has come back to me and due to her abusive behavior, dropped out of the school he was attending and moved in with me.

    I read everywhere that it’s best to ignore her but am in a situation in which I really can’t because the Court continues to allow her to keep filing motions which require me to respond to and appear to defend myself. This year I’ve gotten 3 dismissed and have 2 more coming. But it seems she has no incentive to stop because she knows how disruptive it is at the very least.

    I am open to any advice-but not interested in counter motions that would only make me have to put more energy into her. Without the fact I have to respond to her Court motions, I could and do ignore the vast majority of her abusive messages. I’ve gotten better, but of course she uses it against me in Court saying she has to use it because I’m unresponsive to her and just recently was ordered to cooperate with her.

    Fortunately that’s a vague term but it gives you an idea of what I feel trapped in. Any thoughts are appreciated. What I just explained doesn’t do justice to the whole story but that would be a novel.

    Reply
    • 1. get counseling, work on your trauma.
      2. get a better attorney who knows how to work around, get around narcissists.
      3. get physical distance from her. Move to another county.
      4. develop a support network (ie: Church, family (the one’s who haven’t been fooled by the Narc), activity group, etc.)
      5. take your son on a trip together. Then, take your daughter on a trip. BUT, don’t talk about the jackass X or situation at all! If it comes up from the kids say; we are not taking about that today. Today is about you and me and the love we have.
      6. Be happy. Convince yourself. You know, you ain’t dead yet.
      The kids need to see you happy. A happy Dad through the trouble. A happy Dad being himself! Love on them kids they need your strength and stability.
      7. Get tough. Laugh even when you want to cry. I cried many buckets (and I’m a US Marine). Narcissists are evil.
      So, you did 20 years. I did 28 and I raised 6 kids with very little help from Ms. Nursing Career. It was all about her career and her! My school and career went in the ditch.
      I got tough when I found she had another man (maybe men, plural). I let her know I was walking and she can take care of the kids (she couldn’t and keep her job). She switched her hours and I went back to school after 17 1/2 years. got my BA and MA. Ha, ha, ha, in Psychology! Got me a job and bailed on her. Our youngest is 17 so I only have one more year of the crap. She has already found another supply. not my Biz. I can care less. I’m helping people everyday at my job! It’s rewarding. You forget about your crap when you help others through theirs!

      Reply
    • The best advice I have been given on how to deal with a narcissist is….DON’T. It took me a while to understand that one word as I have spent years being helpful and informative and believing that I could reason with them. I can’t. I can’t make them reasonable. I can’t make them happy. I now understand that fact.
      There are 7 billion people on the planet so leave the toxic ones behind and spend time with genuine decent people who don’t manipulate and use you.
      In my experience, whatever I did was wrong…and that really, really, absolutely won’t change.
      I still have to deal with my ex wife (mother of my children) and my brother, (the only other director in our family business) so it is pretty challenging on all fronts. Friends, humour and exercise help.
      For years I really thought that if I tried just a little bit harder, was a little more understanding, gave a bit more…that eventually they would both be reasonable, decent, thoughtful and ideally happy. The reality is that they just take, take, take and secretly laugh at me for falling for their con. They really are wired up differently. To them, my thinking of other people was ‘weak’ and ‘foolish’ so therefore, I obviously deserved to be punished. That is their mindset and it won’t change.
      In my case, zero contact is not possible so I make my emails as short as possible and I spend considerable time cutting down my sentences to just include the bare facts to minimise their ability to twist my words. I used to put helpful things in emails but I now stick to the core essential facts. It can take me 10-15 minutes to draft a one sentence email but it saves hours of ranting back and forth so is worth the time it takes.
      Less is more.

      Reply
  17. My mother in-law, mother and sister are all narcissistic. Since my immediate family moved interstate from our families it’s been a lot better. We only now have phone calls from each other but because we both work we’ve asked to ring at night around 8pm but they still ring when they think they should but we don’t answer them.

    It’s funny when they think that they can still control you over the phone as you have the last laugh. As we’re living about a two days drive away from our families and they ask us to ring more but my mother constantly tells us that her phone calls are free if we rang first so if they are why aren’t they ringing us a bit more as we have to pay for our phone calls as in long distance.

    Yes, me Ving away from family is good as you are able to control your own life by what you agree on without interfering people in your life to make things confusingly awkward for all.

    Reply
  18. I have a friend who is a vulnerable narcissist. She is very talented but is completely self absorbed..She can’t take any kind of rejection.or criticism….even “everyday little rejections” we all have to deal with can set her off for days…leading to major depression.

    I wish I could explain more but for certain privacy issues I cannot.
    In the past 12 years I’ve had to step away from the friendship 2 times (4-6 month periods)because of her behavior..argumentative and self absorbed…childish stubborness to take ANY responsibility for her actions..I’m being honest ,most people wouldn’t be s patient..She has good sides..very creative and intelligent ..and can be fun…BUT she is totally self absorbed,an isolationist,depressed,entitled,victimhood mentality.

    Recently she realised she had a mental condition caused by an incident 50+(it was a big event) It almost seemed to make her happy…in a strange way…That’s why I’m the way I am but I didn’t know it…But in additon she is a classic vulnerable narcissist. I am weary right now as she caused another one of those”I need to step away” moments…which is sad but necessary.

    I just wish she could SEE HERSELF and how it AFFECTS NOT JUST HER LIFE BUT HER LOVED ONES AS WELL.
    IT’S A SAD AND SELFISH WAY TO LIVE.

    Reply
  19. unfortunatly nowadays you meet alot of these types of people and it`s getting frustrating to be on guard every single time. I read your article and made me understand that these type of people are around us, it`s family member, lover or best friend. thanks for your tips

    Reply
  20. Our son met a partner who changed him. They stopped us seeing our baby grandson blocked our number and even closed the curtains and locked the door on our husband, Now one of them wants to see us the other won’t. Get this they told our daughter they never stopped us seeing our grandchild, actions say other wise. We are now being made to look the bad people. How on earth could we see him when contact was stopped with the parents and he is /toddler but baby at the time.

    Reply
  21. It was a few years after my Narcissistic mother died that I stumbled on the first article (with comments from other victims).
    I am now in my 60’s. I wish the internet had been around 50 years ago so that I could have learned about my dysfunctional family. I wish that the child protection laws were in place, like they are now.
    That nut job put me through hell as a child. She did not get any better after my father died 24 years before her.
    All of the behaviors above applied to her. In the last couple of years of her miserable existence, my 55 year old brother (publicly proclaimed by her to be her “BABY”) developed a very cozy and attentive relationship with her because he smelled the inheritance lottery.
    From a number of other sites, I learned that many people do not realize the dysfunctionality of their family is due to narcissism. For everybody out there -There is a good chance that if you have siblings, and one of your parents exhibits peculiarity throughout their lives as my mother the Narcissist did, that sibling will become an entitled little narcissist, too. Don’t be naive, like I was.

    Reply
  22. Your blog posts are so spot on. Since 2020, I have had the horrible experience of a narcissist–to whom I was just being a friend! It is beyond any energy I have ever experienced. It is so nasty. More later. I need to process my thoughts; but I am stunned at this man’s gaslighting, projecting; semantics, not owning ANY of his deeds or actions. He finally agreed to talk to “clear the air,” but he didn’t come to converse, he came to chastise me. Everything was “and you, and you, and you…” (meaning I did what HE did!) NO, dude; it was YOU. Sadly, he posts Scriptures every day on Twitter, for his public to see and feel that he’s some exemplary Christian man, but what a horrible energy he has shown me. I am very disappointed in the man he’s proven himself to be. I’d held him in great respect. I want to say something more to him –“look, these are the facts; what you’re saying is not true!!! get counseling”–but to what end? I have empathic energy (proven with things that were happening with him, his dying father, his ailing/dying wife, at the time). All I did was offer to help him with food and run errands. Period. He started getting flirty; and I told him “we agreed to ‘no guilt,’ so, no.” Since then, I’m a “horrible, hurtful” person. He’s yelled at me, as if I’m a rat on the street. that HURT! We each are in the public a bit (him, much more than me). I really don’t want to “out” his bs, but if I feel that he might be slandering my name, all bets are off; and as a Christian, I hate to see his social media hypocrisy. I can document most of what I’ve said to him, and his conduct toward me. I have conducted myself honorably in this matter, but I am galled by his aggression, rage, lack of ownership (gaslighting!!) Maybe he’s ticked that I KNOW he’s trying to gaslight me, and also that he told me of his affair while his wife was ill and dying. For years, he had his mistress around his ailing wife, around his kids/family and around his coworkers, hiding “missy” in plain sight. I thought we’d be friends; but not if he can’t own his crap, be kind; apologize, etc. I think. too, he needs to get counseling and even forgive himself for his affair [again, that was NOT with me]. But don’t deny your aggression with me. It has hurt.

    Reply
  23. Never say never. You might think that you moved on from these people and so they can’t control you. Don’t make that assumption.
    We had a police administrator who had transferred in from other departments. The word is that he was like Typhoid Mary, causing destruction everywhere he went. Smart as whip, though. He became the top dog in a few short years.
    He definitely had dark triad traits. If I say that he tortured targeted subordinates, that’s an understatement. I have never heard of a department that handed out 6 month suspensions or sent as many cops to the headshrinker for evaluation as mine did. We had one guy boast that he had 3 sets of papers to prove he was sane, but the bosses had none.
    This administrator cheated on his wife more than anybody I have ever known. He was a master game player in both his professional and personal lives.
    He transferred out to another top post, from which he was eventually canned because of some undisclosed issue. He had friends all over the place, as you would expect from a narcissist. Long reaching tentacles, you might say, and still a behind-the-scenes problem for some. Applicants for police are screened for psychological issues, but some guys are smart enough to pass the testing.
    Some time after he died, I took a (proxied) Hare’s Psychopathy Inventory test or him. He came in a couple of points below Ted Bundy. Mind you, I didn’t know this guy’s (troubled) childhood, which impacts the score. Just don’t ever think that you are rid of them if you get involved with them.

    Reply
  24. I am still so stunned at this man’s behavior. But it is truly pathologic narcissism. So, do we feel sorry for them (that they are psychologically ill), and still try to help; or do we just move the hell on, knowing that it’s beyond our control, if they refuse to see/can’t see themselves; and 2) to know that will only prolong our/my misery in a lost cause? I do feel stronger after reading about, and listening to YouTube audios about NPD and narcissists. Again, any advice is helpful. Thank you.

    Reply
  25. Best article I’ve read on the narc.
    If you suspect your partner is a narc.
    (1.) Keep evidence (texts/ messages/ pictures *even embarrassing ones*) never delete the evidence.
    (2.) Go no contact

    Reply

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