Saturday, August 12, 2006

How a Narcissist Reacts to a Disaster in Your Life

Into virtually every life comes disaster. Bankruptcy, serious illness, divorce, getting laid-off or fired, failure of any sort -- you name it, whether through your own fault or not.

How will a narcissist in your life react to the situation?

Add it up: You mean nothing to him or her. You are just an object to exploit for their aggrandizement. They have no human feelings for you (despite the occasional put-on) whatsoever. And now you are more vulnerable than ever.

Now you are down, so expect a kick. Expect the abuse to escalate. Expect them to behave so cruelly and brutally that nobody who doesn't see it would believe it.

From what I've observed and heard, I dare say that this is the mistake everyone abused by someone in their immediate family makes: they expect the narcissist to react to a crisis the way a normal human being would. Your plight would tug on a normal person's heartstrings, even if you were an adversary. So, he or she would let up on you under those circumstances. Yes, even adversaries will let up on you, because they see you are no threat to them under the circumstances.

But a narcissist reacts the opposite way a normal human person does.

In this, narcissists are only following the same perverse pattern they always do: instead of being appeased by efforts to appease them, they react with a rage; instead of being drawn to what evokes sympathy, they abominate it and react with contempt; instead of being grateful for favors you've done them, they react with hatred (for this proof that they are not God Almighty in your helping them). In short, they react backwards to everything. So, why should we be surprised when a narcissist exploits some catastrophe in our lives to malign and abuse us with shocking inhumanity?

The victims of narcissists get blind-sided by this because narcissists are from the planet Pluto. They are NOT acting on normal human premises. So, it's not about your plight: it's all about THEIR ego. So, they see this as NOTHING BUT an opportunity to vaunt themselves on you, period. In other words, they aren't acting on normal human premises; they are acting on narcissistic premises. Those are the premises of PREDATORS. They react to vulnerability the way any predator does = by salivating.

If possible, they will make a big show to the rest of the world of being your savior, while behind closed doors they are beating the you-know-what out of you and trying to drive you to suicide -- just because they know you're trapped in the situation.

As I've often said before, I'm convinced that the only reign on their conduct is what they think they can get away with. And that changes from day to day.

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At 4:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kathy, I really appreciate this post. I lost my job and an N suitor I had swooped right in to "comfort" me and then went for my jugular. I lost my job because of politics, I was totally competent, and was fired unjustly. N suitor agreed with this at first, and then slowly and systematically began to try to wear down my self-confidence and reality. He smelled blood and went for the kill. I had experienced his nastiness in the past. My best friend died and N wasn't around to help me with the grief. All N could do is talk about his acquantance who died. I agree with you that if you are down, N's will most certainly take full advantage.

At 4:35 PM, Blogger Not Available said...

Sorry I've been spelling your name incorrectly, Kathy!

At 1:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll echo the previous anonymous. When a significant other N had beaten me down to the point that I was seriously entertaining suicidal thoughts, I made the mistake of crying out to a "friend" who turned out to be just another N -- not only did he dismiss my personal crisis as no big deal, he actually mocked my mention of suicidal thoughts as melodramatic and insincere. I'm still trying to figure out what has attracted me to these N figures -- and them to me -- and how to spot the next one before I get sucked in again!

At 10:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so glad I have come across your website and blog. I am married to a hateful narcissist and only in the last 3 months finally came to the knowledge of what was truly going on and the source of the relationship death in this house. I am still dealing with periodic serious anger because of his lies, his lack of empathy, his everything that makes him a blasted narcissist. He goes after women at church who are Down's Syndrome affected; he goes after mothers of patients he takes care of in his place of work; his son and I are ignored with cold so often one would think we were an ice plant. Narcissism is death in a living form. It's evil and it reproduces more evil in its wake. I dread him coming home from work-I dread having to ask him anything-I'm 53 years old and I walk on eggshells most of the time, as does his son. Your website and blog contain so much information that is extremely helpful and insightful. Please keep up the good work.

At 5:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have experienced a crisis in my family and my NH (from whom I am separated)was at first helpful, in a few practical ways, but absolutely without empathy. Then, as every time I've shared personal information with him, he used the circumstances as a weapon and has repeatedly bludgeoned me emotionally. Sometimes I wonder what good N's are to the world at large.

At 3:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kathy and others,
I'm glad to have discovered this very informative website. Also, i am wondering if there is a discussion forum for the victims of NPD? Since my husband has suffered from depression, off and on, for the last 7 years, i've often lurked on a depression bb which offers support for those who live with a depressed person. I'm pretty sure that N underlies my husband's depression. Even before the depression, he was always self absorbed and selfish. Though meds help somewhat...everything is still, ultimately about him. I am invisible...and need some help. Thanks.

At 4:23 PM, Blogger Kathy K said...

There are some links to forums on the
links page
of the main site.

It helps to know you're not the only one this happened to.

At 8:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I learned years ago to keep any personal disaster secret from my sibling narcissist. I refuse to supply him with the ecstacy it brings him. I even go so far as to hide it from other family members so he won't find out about it that way. If he finds out, he seeks me out like a hyena that smells wounded or dead prey, asks just enough questions to be sure the disaster is really bad, mumbles some phony sympathetic statement, then proceeds to get higher and higher by the minute. He will brag about some great fortune that has just come his way, or some expected joy just around the corner, all the while expecting me to get excited for him. He gets so fired-up, he stumbles all over himself with his words. By the time he leaves, minutes later, he is so high he can barely contain himself. His mood has gone from "blah" to "Zowie!" just that fast. And this is every time, no exceptions. As much as he enjoys hurting people just to be hurting them, I don't think he has any idea that this behavior is painful (not that he would care). He just can't help himself - too thrilled to discover that someone is in a bad way. Depending on how much damage there is, it probably keeps him from thinking about his own putrid core for half a day or so. It's like winning the narcissists' lottery.

At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kathy, I'm reminded of a time a few years back when my husband was having problems at work. Like an idiot I mentioned this to my mother on the phone...and her response (actually with an excited, upbeat tone in her voice!)was that if he lost his job, that meant we could move nearer to her (translation: back where she could be an eye on me)! It was around that time I first realized there was something very strange going on in her head. One more thing to learn not to tell her about!

At 3:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post Kathy,

I am still coming to terms with my Ex Partner being a sociopath so these posts are so helpful and informative.

When my N and I lost our two children at birth, (he wasnt around when our second baby died) I expected him to be nicer and kinder and more supportive than he had been recently, instead I found that his abuse got worse.

He actually went on holiday for 3 weeks after the death of our first child instead of being with me, said he needed his folks support, but then sent pictures and videos of him having the time of his life.

I had to push the funeral forward which made me look bad.

No support there for me.

They are callous and cruel to the point of where sometimes in their presence you swear you can feel the evil flowing out of them.



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