Examples of narcissistic behavior
Examples of narcissistic behavior best reveal what is going on in your relationship with a narcissist. I see them as having value in primarily two ways.
First, many people look up "narcissism" on the Web because they have heard something about it that makes them wonder if it explains the peculiar behavior of a certain person in their life. Examples can answer that question for them. Not always, but when an example resonates with their own experience, they see it objectively from the perspective of a disinterested party and view it fairly, lighting up and thinking, "Yeah! Yeah, this guy I know does the same weird thing to me and others every chance he gets!"
Examples are nice and safe, because we view them from a distance as something that a narcissist did to someone else. Then we can dare to see the stupid mind game being played, to see that it is narcissism-in-action and nothing any normal person would even think of doing. Hence an example is worth ten thousand words, because it dispells any doubt that the jerk you know is indeed a narcissist trying to put down others by playing the same stupid game – always a variation of the Teeter-Totter Game.
Examples help others in another way. They know for sure that they are dealing with a malignant narcissist but think they shouldn't be bothered by what the narcissist does. They automatically blame themselves for their feelings as though feelings are character flaws instead of simple, emotional sensations stimulated by the subliminal suggestion in the way you are being treated.
This is as though the narcissist is punching you once or twice a day, and your reaction is to think nothing except that there is something wrong with you feeling the pain. Crazy but true. This is the way the victim is trained to react.
Result? Your reaction to narcissistic abuse facilitates it! Your reaction is to do nothing but try to improve your character to get rid of this flaw (of sensitivity) in it by getting rid of that sensitivity, getting rid of those feelings.
First, you can't. You can only bury them in the subconscious to delude yourself and have those subconscious feelings manipulate you like a puppet master. And, second, I'm sorry, but that is narcissistic.
That's the way narcissists think: they think that feelings are weakness, beneath a grand being like them. They make sure they feel none. (The ONLY time they acknowledge and explore feelings is when devising some way to really hurt feelings = the empathy of the sadist, who achieves mental cruelty to others by imagining how various things he might do would make him feel if they were done to him.)
But when reading the examples of what a narcissist does to someone else, it is safe to empathise with the victim. In other words, by considering examples, you are safe from the slander of being regarded as a bad person for feeling anger and other feelings. So, pondering examples (instead of their own mistreatment) often helps the victim to see why the narcissist's put-downs bother him, why they make him feel the way they make him feel.
I know that, in my own experience, getting in touch with my feelings was the turning point. I started to explore my feelings, asking myself just exactly how this stuff was making me feel. I mean that I dug deep until I could put my finger on exactly HOW a thing made me feel. Did it make me feel violated in some way? Did it make me feel like two cents waiting for change? And so on. And then I zeroed in on why what the narc did made me feel that way.
Guess what? I discovered that all my feelings were perfectly natural and that I was just being normal and human for feeling that way. I also saw that the narcissist was deliberately working to make me feel that way.
Needless to say, that changed everything. I was no longer easy prey.
Examples can help you see your way to such a self examination of the depths of your soul. They can therefore help you out of the cycle of abuse. Some cherished myths may have to fall by the wayside, but if you have the moral courage to know what you know, you won't mind ditching the load.
I have given up on examples helping in a third way – helping the professionals who study and treat this disease to get a better handle on it. They think the victims have nothing to tell them.
But that is narcissistic too. Breathtakingly arrogant. As if credibility is a PhD. As if the book-learning of some diviner divining in a white paper for sale is superior evidence to the first-hand experience of one who can tell you what narcissists actually say and do behind closed doors.
I myself am constantly amazed at the common denominators that ring through in the examples commenters on this blog give. Rarely do you come across one that could be made up. To the contrary, almost always you know that nobody would make up such a story, that a made-up story would be different, that this is what a real narcissist has done to them. And it is always a stunning revelation of what must be going on in that narcissist's twisted mind.
Never the same as what would be going on in a normal person's mind.
Of course clinicians cannot interview the victims of the narcissists they are treating. But that doesn't mean that they, and researchers, shouldn't be gathering all the anecdotal evidence they can harvest from the victims of narcissists in general. Until they get down off that high horse and start listening to someone besides the pathological liar on their couch, they will continue to blow it with narcissists and psychopaths.
narcissistic personality disorder narcissism