Narcissists are bullies that come in different styles. Some are socially sophisticated and make you feel torn inside out. Others are openly menacing and show their canine teeth. Concealed narcissists sabotage you with passive aggressive ploys, pretending they are humble and good.One way or another a narcissist will take advantage of you, even when he tells you he adores you and you are the most important person in his/her life. Narcissists convince most people that they are telling the truth. Narcissists are chronic liars. The words rolling off of their tongues are designed to deceive you so they can get their way. They have no sense of limits, nor do they have a conscience. Narcissists wear many masks and have multiple lives–many of them secret. Their moral compass is based on how much narcissistic supply they can get for themselves–image, money, power, social and business contacts, etc.
Narcissists go beyond the limit with people, causing tremendous emotional and psychological stress. This is particularly the case when it involves their spouses and children. Narcissists don’t care whether they hurt your feelings, demean you, humiliate you, make you feel sick or even put you in the hospital. With a narcissist you can never count on them to have empathy—ever. They effect a pseudo empathy which can be convincing. Once they get what they want they are back to their old ways of exploitation, duplicity and manipulation.
Many narcissists are like volcanoes–always in a state of endless blowing off rage. They are not like Old Faithful where you can time when the great steams will rise in the air. They are unpredictable which sets your nervous system on constant edge. Living with a narcissist you are always in the sympathetic nervous system —the fight or flight system of survival. Being the recipient of this kind of treatment puts you on constant edge, always waiting for the next vituperative eruption.
You can’t change the narcissist but you can change yourself. Recognize that you are a separate valuable human being. Develop practices that lead to calming your nervous system–gentle yoga, a form of meditation that works for you, listening to music, going to tai chi classes, doing cardiovascular exercises that lower stress and get your endorphins working and that strengthen your immune system. Develop a support system of people whom you can trust. They don’t have to understand the narcissist in your life but if they are truly empathetic they will help as they listen and care deeply about you. Do what you love–photography, sketching, writing each day with freedom and lack of judgment, spending time in Nature, gardening, cooking–whatever appeals to you and introduces beauty into your life.
If you are married to a narcissist it is possible that you will make the decision to divorce this person. Often it is impossible to live with this kind of psychopathology. If the narcissist is a mother, it may be necessary to sever the relationship and go no contact. This is your decision. Remember, now is the time to finally think about your own needs. You have never done this in your life before. Take very good care of yourself. You are entitled.
9 thoughts on “Don’t Let Narcissist Get His Selfish Way”
What is the difference between a narcissist and a con-man? Cuts all ties once he gets his green card, am I completely off base on this assumption?
Sadly, I was in a narcissistic relationship and not aware of it until the end. He had carefully crafted his smear campaign before he went all in with his complete sabotage of the relationship. One of his biggest complaints about me was that I did not take care of myself. My thyroid, hormones, and Vitamin D levels all crashed. I lasted as long as I did while going through the process of elimination to diagnose my condition because I did yoga 3x a week, women’s meting 2x a week took horseback lessons, and ate a whole food diet. It turns out I needed to do all this because I was feeding his narcissistic supply and it took a lot of energy to do it, especially isolated from my support system.
Now I am even more isolated than before, I feel like a gunslinger walking into a saloon whenever I go anywhere, the only thing missing is the ominous whistle signifying that the bad guy just entered the room.
He got violent with me. He was having an emotionally inappropriate relationship with another woman, and he was sabotaging my self esteem on a daily basis, yet he has painted me as unstable, abusive and crazy.
Finding out he was narcissistic was like a cool shower of rationality raining down on me. It gave me the strength to hold onto my reality and my boundaries during the breakup, then finally go no contact when it became apparent he was not going to stop twisting events and hurling accusations. It is not easy, and I still find I spend too much time concerned with what he might be doing. It is creepy, but I am continuing my self care and I know from experience that it is a matter of time and I will be living a whole life again, free from him and his toxic, hollow, destructive ways.
I hold hope for anyone caught in the tangled web of a narcissist that they realize before it is too late that the treatment they’re receiving is not that they are unlovable, but that the person they are with is incapable of being loving. Once it switches from the appearance of happy beloved bliss to insignificance, belittling, and abuse, it will never go back. Once the cucumber has become a pickle, it will never be a cucumber again.
There are cucumbers out there. Today I would rather risk being on my own, take the time to enjoy my own company again, and create a life that I enjoy so much that I forget there ever was a pickle, I wouldn’t go back for anything… I hold the same hope for everyone working their way out.
It is interesting what is written about the nervous system in this article. I became aware that I was in a constant and awful state of anxiety when u was involved with the narcissist and was constantly in and out of trauma response. Once I cut all contact, the relief I felt psychically, physically and emotionally was palpable. I felt ill when involved with the narcissist; anxious, paranoid, angry, miserable yet I kept re-entering the cycle of abuse. I don’t know why, but one day after the umpteenth time of trying to maintain no contact, I just knew I was done. I simply no longer wanted to feel the levels of anxiety I felt. And the psychological abuse was such that I felt constantly under siege and threat, I just couldn’t do it anymore. Not one more demeaning comment, not one more criticism, not one more personal attack. I look back now and I sigh with relief that I managed to escape the horrendous narcissist. Very thankful.
Looking for some advice and help. I’m so alone with this guy and I think…..correction I know he is a narcissist. I just need advice. I don’t know where else to turn.
I am just a few weeks out from my cerebral narcissist husband. When I look back I cannot believe that I am still alive. For 3+ years I was in a state of acute anxiety, trauma, stress and depression, not to mention the humiliation and complete loss of self-esteem. This, my doctor said, was severe psychological abuse! In the first week after he arrogantly walked away and craftily blamed everything on me, there were days where I could barely get up and walk. I was completely exhausted emotionally and physically. I was so screwed up that I would go days without decent food, no exercise and very little sleep- for over 3 years!! I have to have a certain amount of contact with him since he is still helping me financially, so he still tries to abuse me with his hateful and cowardly words, but I play a game in my mind. I listen carefully to him abuse me and sometimes silently laugh to myself at how stupid and miserable he sounds. I don’t revel in it, but it helps me heal to know that it never was me. I also tell myself that actually he is suffering more than I am. He can never get better and I can. They can never get better and we can. Walk away and know that they never loved you and it’s never your fault and it never was. The narcissist brutally and craftily baited you and you were completely unable to do anything but bite. Try not to worry and I hope you feel better soon!! With much love to you!
You’re not alone. I can tell you many upon many horror stories. Although I’m a very self aware person and know that the narcissist that I used to be involved with didn’t actually CAUSE my issues and dysfunctions, he did perpetuate, bring them to the light and continue my own faulty beliefs about myself. Its not an easy road to get off of but look up melanie tonya evans. She offers a lot of help and insight. One thing I DONT suggest is constantly looking up info on narcissism. A person can overdo it thereby keeping you in a state of trauma. Find out enough to know better. Good luck because I know it’s going to be a journey back from hell for you.
My Father was a narcissist – coming from a very dysfunctional family.. for generations. So I was no stranger to pathological people. Was accustomed to abuse – no self esteem – and no surprise when I was bored by “normal” relationships – and needed to recreate that familiar drama.
Married a narc. Thought I could handle him. Narcs have no morals – they steal – they lie – they manipulate and I admit he is a handful. He is miserable with money – spends, never saves and always count on the money they are GOING to make.. Kept our finances separate, thinking that was a great idea. Told him he could keep his. I’d keep mine. Little did I know ( after he’d already been thru debt consolidation/bankruptcy) he decided to open up three credit cards… Charging toys he didn’t need – supporting his l00K car hobby,i etc etc while I continued to scrimp and save..
The MOST selfish man I have ever known — he cheated on me when he was supposed to be working out of town – ignored birthdays/anniversaries/ year after year – and I agree that you definitely live with anxiety, constantly. You never feel safe/secure — they do not care. I had to have a hip replacement. He told me to get it – because he didn’t want to be with a cripple.
He can’t get along with coworkers – neighbors – but if he wants something from you – he’s a pro with his silver tongue. The most convincing liar I’ve ever known — We have no children together. And why are we together? I guess I am still addicted to that drama — I’m just as nuts as he is, sadly. Guess we are classic codependents. Is it healthy? Nope. Should I leave? Yes. Marriage counselor told me I’d most likely divorce him. I know he can’t help what he is… but it’s not my job to try to save him – he thinks he’s fine. I accept that he’s damaged. He is a fun, party guy – tons of energy that I love – but.. we’ll see how much longer we can last. May I add.. he moved his autistic brother in…. and I moved out. We have not lived together for 2 yrs..
I’m new on this site and just read your post. After all this time has passed, how are you doing? What did you discover as a way to help yourself?
What a way to live. It’s no life!!!! GET OUT while you can!!!!! They will suck all the life out of you and leave you as miserable as they are! God did not intend for us to be abused like this! Mine also lied-cheated-stole-exploited-conned-manipulated-destroyed others for his own gain!!!!! Because he is such a loser he had to! That was the only way for him to accomplish anything in life!!!!!! It got old real fast!!!! He is and always will be an asshole in life and is incapable of truly loving or sacrificing anything for another human being! Period!
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