These are excerpts from Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life.
AN ENDLESS LITANY OF SELF
Today we are surrounded by narcissists. On the illuminated stage of life they are movie and television stars, CEO’s, politicians, attorneys, physicians, business moguls. Closer to home, they are our spouses, ex-spouses, lovers, partners, parents, in-laws and siblings. Facing down the narcissist eye-to-eye, while remaining psychologically grounded and true to ourselves is a daunting task.
The narcissist is at all times a deceiver, never straight, clear, or true. He thrives in an illusive world of curves and meanders. He has mastered the ability to delude himself and others. Like a sorcerer, he hatches intricate plots in secret. He is the writer, director, producer, and actor of his unfolding drama…Like a seasoned poker player, the narcissist knows how to bluff his rivals, when to raise the stakes, and when to fold. Cold-blooded in his approach, he masterminds an end game that devastates his adversaries, leaving him intact.
The narcissist is predatory. Like a hawk in the distant sky, he circles and then suddenly swoops down to snatch his unsuspecting prey. Those who stand between him and his goals are imperiled. Using the weaknesses and frailties of his victim, he carefully chooses strategies that will defeat his enemy. All narcissistic personalities are cruel and sadistic.
MASTER OF GRAND DELUSIONS
The narcissist lives in an intricate world of his making, dominated by inflated illusions of self-importance. His style is grandiose—like some peacock or wild turkey with feathers in full display. …Experiencing himself at the center of life, like a sun surrounded by encircling planets, the narcissist believes that everything flows from him. He is the first cause, the ultimate voice, the source of the river.
On the surface, the empathy of the narcissist seems to be genuine. With a mastery of social graces and his quick study of human nature, the high-level narcissistic personality appears to care about our deepest and most intimate thoughts and feelings. He uses this ability to tap into the other person’s narcissistic needs for admiration, praise, recognition, and power. Behind the feigned attentiveness and apparent concern is cool calculation. Pseudo-empathy is exquisitely designed by the narcissist to manipulate others so they will fulfill his narcissistic needs.
Envy in the narcissist is skillfully hidden. Yet it burns in his gut. The narcissist conceals his envy from himself. After all, he knows he is the best. Why should he be envious of someone who is his inferior. This envy arises from a deep self-hatred…Unconsciously the narcissist knows that he doesn’t lead a meaningful life, that beneath it all he is a fraud.
THE INTIMATE ENEMY: LIVING IN THE SHADOWS
Those who live closely with a narcissist—wives, husbands, partners, children, in particular—are required to be false to themselves. They learned in early childhood that it was unsafe to feel and express the full range of their emotions, even to think their own thoughts. People who throw their destinies in with a narcissist have never developed a real sense of self. Deep inside, they feel inadequate and worthless.