Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Rewards of Befriending a Narcissist

This is for an overlooked class of victims.

For every spouse abused by a narcissist, there are several children of narcissists abused by them. And, in most situations, the narcissist has had the power to get co-workers fired and/or to destroy careers, so the narcissist also leaves a trail of these victims in his or her truculent wake through life.

And then there are the friends. People who once were friends of the narcissist and all of a sudden one day found their guts hanging out in a narc attack, to be left wondering forever afterwards what they did to make the narcissist so mad that he or she ripped them to shreds and refused to see or have any contact with them anymore.

In the cases I know of, this pattern began in childhood. So, the eviscerated former friends in a narcissist's past form a long line of people he or she has just used up and then savaged before throwing them in a dumpster along the way.

Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever had a friend who suddenly blew up at you one day and spoke just viciously, tearing you to shreds, to the point of tears, and then refused to see or talk to you again? Still bewildered by it? If so, stop wondering what you did.

This seems to follow a rigid pattern in narcissists. As usual, it's counterintuitive, but once you catch on, you see that it makes perfect sense.

Remember that narcissists do everything FOR EFFECT, not because it's a true expression of their thoughts and feelings. Never forget that it's ALL just an act. Every smile. Every frown. Every word. It's an act designed to manipulate a certain type of response from you (their mirror). For example, they will be a Democrat one minute and a Republican the next if it suits their purpose. Their rages are often just put-ons to intimidate and steer your behavior into the direction they want. It's not real. Yes, they may work themselves up into a fine fury, but it's artificial, so a minute later they've forgotten about it.

You probably just stopped being a source of narcissistic supply. That is, you probably stopped being a mirror that she saw a flattering reflection of herself in when she was blathering at you. How? You probably just started to yawn now and then when she was blathering nonstop at you for hours. It always happens - eventually her friends get tired of it, especially if there is something going on in their own lives that they would like to talk about. They start having better things to do than hang on her every word for one of her three-hour monologues.

I have discovered that this is all it takes. Or, it could be that you have just proposed marriage to her. Oh-oh, you are professing love to her, which calls for reciprocation. Or, maybe you have a terminal illness and need her comfort and affection = need HER to listen to YOU, to hear your fear and pain. In either case, one might as well ask for blood from one's tick. She is gonna take off.

(The only giving she does is at a profit: she is delighted to bring you casseroles and do other material things that she can make an ostentatious display of and make sure everyone knows about ... to carve out that saintly false image of hers. But any giving of herself? Forget it, it ain't gonna happen.)

She is like a bee in search of nectar. You're just a flower - supposed to give, not take. And keep giving in abundance.

When one flower is tapped out and stops supplying it, she just flies off in search of another. She doesn't do this in anger: she simply loses all interest in you, because you are no longer useful to her. Since she has no feelings for anyone whatsoever, you might as well be a screwdriver that broke, so she just gets a new one.

Indeed, you mean nothing to her so why should she have any real feelings of anger toward you? Any anger she feels is nothing more than the anger of a little child at a broken toy. She just gives that toy a whack and forgets it as she goes off to get a new one.

Then why the ugly scene at the end? I have learned that she always says goodbye with one of those nasty stings. She has been doing this to her friends since grade school. She rips into that person the last time she talks to them.

It's just a parting shot. Why? Why not? She is done with you, so she has nothing to gain by being decent to you today - she will never see you again.

In other words, when she's dropping you, she does it because there's no reason not to anymore. This is one of the most difficult facts to face about malignant narcissists: they are predators. They need no reason to attack: they need a reason NOT to attack.

Therefore, when it's the last time they're going to see you, there is no longer a reason not to attack you. There won't be any adverse consequences.

So they attack just because this is a golden opportunity to dump a load of projection and projective identification on someone. It's a golden opportunity to feel powerful by having a powerful effect on someone. They feel great afterwards. They not only relieve their moral constipation by dumping their load on you, they get high off the power rush in trampling you or tearing you to pieces.

And what's to restrain those urges? Any morals? Any conscience?

So, if this has ever happened to you, you probably just had a close encounter with a malignant narcissist. Be glad that you had to serve as her toilet only once in your life.

If a normal person gets mad and breaks up with you, there is a reason. Maybe not a good or just reason, but a reason nonetheless - a reason you should wonder about and want to know. But a narcissist is like a thunderstorm. When a thunderstorm roars through you don't sit there afterward wondering what you did to provoke it, do you?

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At 12:45 PM, Blogger So, what IS in a heart? said...

"Be glad that you had to serve as her toilet only once in your life."

Yea, really, because as awful as what happened, many Ns and other abusers DON'T leave you. YOU have to leave them, especially with family and spouses.

I always thought it was a blessing when abused people were kicked out or if they were the ones who were rejected/abandoned. I know, it's weird, and as much as it hurts in the short terms, it's generally better in the long run.

Oh, and when someone does behave rather badly, I always say something like "What's their problem?" or "Bad day?" Not that it excuses them, but it's better than blaming yourself when someone chooses to be an ass to you for whatever reason.

At least that's how I see it.

At 1:23 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

Yes, the friends (and rejected lovers) have it easy compared to those whose lives and careers are destroyed. If you can't make sense out of why someone goes off at you, I agree - that isn't your problem. Friends are lucky when they get dumped. I also agree that being the one kicked out of the place or home is being the lucky one.

Dumped friends not only get rid of a parasite, the N usually has no grudge against them and forgets them. They are not at risk to the serious retaliation and violence family members or competitors in sports or business may get. That old rejection rant from a narcissistic "friend" is just good news actually, though it hurts like hell.

At 3:16 PM, Blogger So, what IS in a heart? said...

"That old rejection rant from a narcissistic "friend" is just good news actually, though it hurts like hell."

Oh, I don't doubt it hurts, but it beats the alternative. In fact, I think the best way to get rid of an abuser is to make it their idea. Course that's probably harder than it sounds.

At 3:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so true, Kathy. When I was first learning about narcissism because of my Ex, I had this "friend" who was just a constant part of my life. Except really, I was a constant part of his if you want to be accurate. I listened to his marital woes, he cried on my shoulder when he lost a parent (whom he had to be persuaded to visit when she was dying in the hospital!), I was there for whatever he needed. And then when dealing with the narcissistic Ex finally broke me, when I found myself at the brink of suicidal thoughts and turned to my "friend" for help and he just lit into me for "trying to get attention" and dropped me like a hot coal.

I think I'm still reeling, actually, two years later.

At 8:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The tragedy really, is what we do to ourselves. When a relationship ends abruptly & without recourse, we are left to question ourselves endlessly. "What did i do wrong? Why didn't I see it? How flucked-up must I be? Do i still have unconscious perceptions distorting MY reality?"

The narcissist does not have to destroy us, you see. We are far too good at finishing their dirty work for them.

BUT, the fun-and-games aren't quite finished! O no! As you have written about the smear campaign recently Kathy, the narcissist continues his or her pleasurable pursuits destroying whatever credibility we might have earned for ourselves.

This is how the 'target' is isolated from bystanders who make the faulty assumption that we must have done something to merit the N's animosity.

If we defend ourselves, we are labeled 'defensive' and therein: guilty. If we do nothing to defend ourselves, we are labeled arrogant and therein: guilty. It's a catch-22---IF the narcissist is really good at their game, that is.

Of course, the clever Narcissist twists and turns the facts so that bystanders support the pitiable N who has been so 'hurt' by our misbehavior that she had no recourse but to protect herself from our maliciousness.

It can take years before we might realize what happened. Why? Because nobody wants to talk. Nobody wants to take a stand. Nobody wants to admit that they too, are vulnerable to being ruthlessly mistreated.

So...everyone pretends that it takes Two to taNgo.

Such an illusion as that serves Narcissists only too well. And we'd best all realize Narcissists are far more aware of how to USE people than we are.

I have learned the past few years, to relentlessly cut through my illusions about the world operating on a reciprocal basis of good will. It's been a hard lesson but until I could get this fact-of-life through my thick skull, the only thing waking me up was the roar of the Royal Flush.


At 11:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


This post is dead-on. And the comments excellent. I did have the pleasure of "dumping" my N friend...well after being abused, discarded and recycled....I threatened them with someone else. Just said if they keep up their verbal assault I will put X on the phone, that was it. Pathetic apologetic text message an hour later.

They are so textbook.

At 2:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the mistreatment at the end has to do with self-justification. When the N no longer senses an advantage in the relationship, he/she starts looking for a reason to cut it off. The harder it is to find a reason (i.e. the weaker the N's case), the more vehement the attack, to convince the N and everyone else that the N has a valid excuse for cutting off the relationship.

At 3:12 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

CZBZ, you oughta blog! And Dandelion, I think you are right. It makes sense and squares with what i have seen firsthand. in any case, whether rationalization is the primary motive or not, it must be going on. Consider the irony: the less they have to be mad at you about, the madder they get!

These Ns ought to win an award for something. I'm not sure what - but for something. :)

At 3:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Magical thinking!

At 9:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

czbz said:"Of course, the clever Narcissist twists and turns the facts so that bystanders support the pitiable N who has been so 'hurt' by our misbehavior that she had no recourse but to protect herself from our maliciousness."

Exactly. It's amazing that it's the same with every one of them. I keep reading how textbook they are over and over and it's the truth. What is so astounding is that they keep getting away with this.

Even so called professionals fall for it. As Kathy said here once. The good guy gets to wear the black hat and the bad guy wears the white one when it comes to N's. They are practiced at this to a shocking degree.

What has been interesting to see is that whoever I have told the truth to the N has gone out of his way to make sure to smear me to in such a way that it is designed to remove any support I have. Sometimes it works too. It never harms me any longer though. I just feel sorry for the poor saps who believed his version of things. They're next, are being exploited and used to do something so wrong and don't even know it ....yet. Some of these people are not even in the N's life but, the need to appear innocent despite vicious abuse is so strong he contacts anyone I have exposed him to anyway. Appearing oh so

If they believe him, despite all evidence to the contrary I can't help that in any way. But god. Who is broke? Who got ill? Who has flourished?? Funny how all that is ignored just so people can feel okay believing the N's??? Bizarre!!

The best thing though is to keep telling the truth. Stick with those who believe you and for those who don't leave them to their fate with the N.


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