Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Narcissistic De-Selfing

Narcissistic De-Selfing

Photo by Lennie Sparrow - Deviant Art
Narcissists feel like other people are an extension of themselves. This is why the narcissist tries to thwart the sense of self in his or her victim. It is easier to control and exploit one who has no boundaries. Generally, a person with no boundaries was raised by those who are narcissistic. A person with a strong sense of self has strong boundaries that render him or her immune to the narcissist.

Here are tactics that malignant narcissists uses to de-self their victims. Please note: Not all narcissists do everything on this list. Toxic people may only practice 1/2 of these abusive tactics. Some narcs are covert, others are more obvious. There are also different levels of narcissism from healthy narcissim to malignant narcissism.  

It is the malignant narcissist that hurts the most. These are people who have no empathy and who try to gain power and control over others. They have no feeling for anyone but themselves. The cannot love. They do not care about anyone. People in their lives are merely a source of narcissistic supply--objects to be exploited. Malignant narcissists will cut you and laugh while you're bleeding. These are sadistic people who enjoy hurting others and will do anything to maintain their image. These harmful people were likely abused as children either from neglect or over-indulgence. There is no cure for narcissism because most types of narcissists are too self inflated to admit he or she has a problem. Other types of narcissists may secretly believe they are healthy, even if they feign problems. It's all an act to get narcissistic supply. 

Narcissists get self esteem externally from the power that the steal from others. Narcissists feed off the attention of others. When a narcissist upsets you, he or she enjoys your anguish. When a narcissist tricks you and steals your power (if you don't have boundaries and if you're not grounded), the narcissist feels a rush of self esteem. These people are dangerous and cannot easily be cured so it's best to get away.

Invalidation - Disagreeing with one’s thoughts, feelings and/or beliefs. 

Mimicking - Mirroring your likes and behavior in effort to ingratiate themselves to you. This is part of the idealization phase, but can also continue after the narcissist has discarded you.

One-Upping - Trying to maintain a higher status and putting the victim beneath the narcissist.

Gas Lighting - This is an abuse tactic that makes the victim feel crazy.

Blaming - Blaming external sources for their internal mistakes. 

Psychological Attack - This sometimes blatant and other times subtle tactic causes the victim to become upset and need to defend herself. This defending then turns into an argument where the victim is blamed and is also caught up in the situation, thus taken off balance.

Minimizing - The narcissist will minimize the effect of their behavior or abuse.

Control Tactics - Using covert or overt measures to get the victim to do what the narcissist wants her to do.

Golden Handcuffs - Holding financial or other resources over the head of the victim to keep him in line.

Manipulation - Trying to control another person by using psychological methods such as providing selective information, lying, gaslighting, minimizing or other tactics on this list.

Lying - The narcissist and psychopath will lie easily to support their manipulations and achieve their desired result. When caught in a lie they will not back down.  

Planting Seeds - Trying to control you through the power of suggestion. (I made this one up myself.)

Comparison - Comparing you to others by making comments of their strengths in light of your weaknesses.

Pulling the Rug - Building up your expectations, then “pulling the rug out from under you.” Not giving what was implied or expected.

Idealization/Devaluation - Building you up, then tearing you down. Devaluation most often involves abandonment. The narcissist idealizes you, then discards you without a care.

Creating Triangles - The narcissist creates triangles by gossiping and/or sharing personal and private information with others that was given by the victim in confidence. Narcissists have elaborate ways of creating triangles and causing conflict between groups of people. The goal is to make the victim feel alienated and to garner support of others, which abuses the victim by proxy.

Isolation / Alienation - Manipulating the victim into believing that he or she is the only source for the person to turn to. Criticizing other people in the victim’s life to the extent that the victim believes that the narcissist is the only one of value that he or she can count on.

Subtle Ignoring - Sending the message that the victim is not worth listening to by ignoring… Checking phone while the victim is talking, not responding to texts, glossing over concerns.

What the narcissist wants is to control you and keep your focus on themselves. When you are off-balance and you’ve been kept off-balance for years, this keeps the narcissist in control of you. When you are out of touch with your truth, with your true needs and wants, you are very easy to manipulate and exploit.

The answer to these abusive tactics is to fortify your sense of self through a variety of means, such as:

  • Getting in touch with your inner truth - Feelings, thoughts, beliefs.
  • Awareness of who you are and what you want and need.
  • Staying grounded in your own physical body.  
  • Staying grounded in your own emotional truth.
  • Calibrating your intuition. Learning to trust your gut.
  • Understanding of an equal and reciprocal relationship.
  • Setting boundaries and limits against manipulation and abusive behavior.
  • Expecting reciprocation of needs to be met.
  • Refusing to allow the narcissist to gloss over abuse in past or present.
  • Avoiding abusive people.
  • Confronting abusive behavior.
  • Staying focused on your highest good.
  • Dealing with your own feelings of shame, worthlessness, etc…

If you are a victim of narcissistic abuse, then you are someone who needs to fortify your sense of self and create a more solid sense of who you are. Your identity can be shaken to the core by toxic people and it’s up to you to know who you are and define your own values. The key to surviving narcissistic abuse is to validate yourself and set boundaries against manipulation. You must also be willing to advocate for your own highest good and to get your needs met.

Good luck.

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