A narcissist is always boiling with rage at some level. One incident real or invented takes him over the top and the malevolent projections begin. They are directed mainly at his spouses and children. These unconscious projections cause their recipients great emotional pain. Volley after volley comes out of their mouths. They are unstoppable. Fulminating is one of the narcissist’s frequent activities. Being the child of a narcissist unsettles every nerve in your body. You are living in a war zone. Bombardments of volcanic rage are coming at you. Living under these circumstances as a small child is bewildering and traumatizing. If there is another parent who can shield you from these torrents of rage that is very fortunate. Many children are able to go to the other parent for comfort. However, if the other parent is terrified of the narcissist then the child has to find ways to deal with the onslaught. Some numb themselves emotionally and learn to freeze themselves and feel nothing. Others hide and make themselves invisible.
Along with the chronic rage is the narcissist’s restlessness. The minds of these individuals are never still. They jump from one activity to the next, conjuring their plots and plans to make sure that they remain superior to everyone else. When they are not scheming, they are running about traveling, buying, spending time making themselves look even more perfect going to spas for the latest youth enhancements.
When you are talking with a narcissist you can detect that while there eyes may be on you, they are thinking about a million other things. They are not present. They will focus if you are their newest source of narcissistic supply–money, adulation, praise, social status. Then their attention works like a laser; they can’t take their eyes or attention off of you. You are the Great Rainmaker. If you do not have these credentials, they wave you off and flee from your presence like a genie.
Pay attention to the level of rage and the swirl of restlessness on those you suspect are narcissists. They will have other traits like grandiosity, extreme self entitlement and lack of empathy. Then you will know that no matter what irresistible gifts they are laying at your feet, you’ve got their number and will say “No” to them.
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life