I don't know about you, but when it comes to surviving a narcissist, that's just what I'm doing – surviving! But, let me tell you, it ain't easy to survive one of these!
Do not confuse narcissism with conceit. Many people make this mistake. Conceited people and people of overly high self-esteem or exaggerated self-importance do not always carry traits of narcissism. For instance, they can take insults, and they can go without admiration or accolades. Oftentimes – if someone doesn't like them – it doesn't bother them, and if someone points out a flaw they may take it well, laugh about it, or even make a mental note to work on themselves to better themselves. They simply take pride in themselves, whereas a narcissist takes his very survival as being directly related to his perceived worth via others views of him.
As an example, a narcissist, on the other hand, cannot take rejection and cannot handle insults. He will get extremely distraught without any adoration. In addition, he cannot self-reflect with honesty. It is difficult to survive a narcissist whose ego has felt injured.
He can also punish you severely for uncovering, revealing, or even acknowledging his true, 'imperfect' self. (We are ALL imperfect, but to a narcissist imperfection means abandonment.) It is here where your surviving a narcissist talents will really be called upon!
If you have ever been with a narcissist then you know what 'narcissistic rage' is. A mere innuendo to a narcissist of a narcissist having a flaw and you will experience this rage.
I know in my case, my narcissistic ex spent literally months at a time in 'constant' anger and distancing or ostracizing himself from me in his frequent episodes of narcissistic rage (or narcissist injury). It was here in this hell that he reigned. I did survive a narcissist, though. And so can you.
When you first meet the narcissist, you are very much swayed by his charm and magnetism. And why shouldn't you be? The narcissist is a master of disguises and you had no reason to suspect that none of those disguises were the real deal.
However, once you are hooked by his charm the 'real' man emerges. And – oftentimes – the real person is nothing like the faked 'persona' that you fell in love with. Soon you'll be looking far and wide for hints on surviving a narcissist, because the narcissist will drag you down to the gates of Hell before he'll even consider letting you go back to what once was a life to you.
But the drag to Hell is a slow, subconscious one….you don't know you're going there until all of a sudden the flames are licking at your heels.
As you get to see and know the real him, you also stop being duped by the fake one. And by taking this realistic view of him, you take away his narcissistic supply. .. It is at this time that you – by pointing out his real self – force the narcissist to 'almost' face in himself his own flaws and imperfections, and his own perceived unworthiness. This is referred to as 'narcissist injury' and the narcissist will feel you must be punished for it; you must be made to look 'wrong'! He needs to be seen as perfect and – since you no longer see him as perfect – he must then make you out to be the imperfect one. The delusional one. The one with 'misconceptions'. The 'schizoid psycho bitch' who outlandishly rants about stuff she doesn't know anything about.
If he makes you out to be the 'wrong' one, then, indeed, his worthiness is restored; he has rebuilt his self-esteem. He can then, once again, hold himself to be without imperfection.
As part of his narcissistic rage, the narcissist will invent things about you that aren't true, he will accuse you of things you have never done, and he will belittle you until he feels you are well beneath him. This way he can safely believe (and get his friends and 'followers' to believe it as well) that your opinions and views are also flawed and off-kilter, as well.
In other words, he will demonize you in order to re-sainthood himself.
Narcissist abuse is different from standard abuse.
Standard abuse: Abuser often feels remorse
Narcissist abuse: Abuser doesn't feel remorse
Standard abuse: Abusers abuse for something they perceive the abused has done or is about to do, or frustration over their own life; oftentimes insecurity or fear of abandonment is at the root of the abuse
Narcissist abuse: Abuses as a punishment for being found-out or exposed, or as a way to lessen the authenticity of the abused. Self-protection and perseverance of ego is at the root
Standard abuse: Abuser recognizes his own actions as abusive
Narcissist abuse: Abuser does not recognize his own actions as abusive, but clearly sees your lack of admiration in him as abuse towards him
So, remember if you want to survive a narcissist it will go a lot easier for you if you know from the get-go of “Narcissist: Minute One” how the relationship will progress:
1. He charms you (and he is GOOD at it!)
2. You fall for it (who wouldn't?)
3. You feed his narcissism by responding favorably to him (you become his 'new' narcissistic supplier)
4. You start to see flaws in him (hey, we ALL have 'em!)
5. He then does this to you:
* bad-mouths you
* criticizes & slams you
* depreciates your value & diminishes your worth; doesn't acknowledge your accomplishments, contributions or abilities
* discounts & discredits you
* smears your good name
* tells you that you or your behavior is demented, schizophrenic, psychotic or unbalanced
* accuses you of terrible things
For more information on how to survive a narcissist read my digital report about my own, ten-year experience of living with a narcissist here, at my narcissist advice website, BreakingUpWithYourNarcisist.com
For more articles on narcissism, please check out my site, Breaking Up With Your Narcissist. You will find a link to the articles near the bottom of the page.
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