Narcissists always cause psychological and emotional pain. Those who are harmed the most are members of their family: spouses, ex-spouses,children, intimate partners, siblings,friends. Narcissists leave a wake of misery throughout their lives. Some narcissists are sadistic. A sadist is “someone who obtains pleasure from inflicting pain on others.” The narcissist usually doesn’t engage in physical assault although there are cases in which these individuals cross the line. Narcissists are so consumed by projecting a perfect image that they are clever about how they inflict their damage.
An example of when a narcissist’s sadistic tendencies come to the surface is during a contentious divorce. The narcissist often starts off with the commitment that he(she) will be cooperative. He puts the spouse off guard and leads her to believe that the settlement and the decisions about custody will be fair. The word “fair” is not part of the narcissist’s vocabulary. Do not gauge the narcissist’s plan of action or plot based on your moral standards or ethics. During a divorce the narcissist uses intimidation, stalling, empty promises, psychological manipulations and hidden agendas. If he or she is affluent, the narcissist will employ the sharpest attorneys who know and will use every legal loophole to win. When the narcissist thinks he has his soon to be ex-partner up against the wall, he turns the screws—counting on your vulnerabilities and your fears to acquiesce and let him have his way. No matter what the agreement is at the time, the narcissist will always find flaws: “I need one more form; I need more time.” When the narcissist sees that you are scared by his tactics, he feels pleasure inside; he’s got you. He is controlling you and enjoying every moment of it. The sadist is in full view.
The strongest force you have in dealing with the narcissist is yourself and all of your inner resources. Another factor of strength is your precise knowledge of the nature of the narcissist. Studying the psychodynamics of the narcissistic personality, how they interact with others to get what they want, their cruel manipulations and exploitations, will provide you with a solid foundation. Assess your psychological and mental strengths. Embrace your capabilities and know that you are a force to contend with in dealing with the narcissist. Practicing how to be calm, to not overreact to the narcissist’s drama, to act with insight and intuition and to be unwavering in your personal resolve. Your commitment is to yourself and your personal integrity. You will prevail. Celebrate your continued personal growth. Visit my website: www.thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.