This is not just about being vain, self-centred or overly arrogant. It is not what we first think or believe it to be. And unfortunately, most people do not know the true meaning of this complex behaviour and the effects. It consists of very compounded dark experiences when one encounters a close relationship with someone who is considered a narcissist, who will eventually cause untold emotional damage to the core of a person. The narcissist can be a parent, friend, brother, sister, boss, girlfriend/boyfriend, spouse. It is not obvious what is happening, until one does their research on this subject, unfortunately much, much later into the abuse or after leaving the relationship. It can be an extremely confusing time for the "victim" who will eventually, and in most cases, lose the heart core of their being through the sick mind games of the very person who is supposed to care and love their significant other/person. Unfortunately, narcissists do not understand the true nature of love and empathy, and it gets worse with age.
Overall, narcissists lack emotional intelligence; someone who has no true empathy, manipulates others, belittle & bullies (e.g. "what's wrong with you?", "are you stupid?", "stop being so pathetic", "you're weird" or "you're fucked up", "look what I've done for you"), shames and gaslights (makes others doubt their reality - click on underlined word for further info on this term), and lies incessantly to come across as a hero/victim to keep up with their protected image to the outside world. They will make you doubt your own emotions/feelings, provoke you the point you react aggressively/unhealthily and then call you crazy, and in most cases convincing others you are mentally unstable. They rage at you (mostly behind closed doors), and blame you for everything (projecting) especially if you call them out on their negative actions or behaviour. More often, they smear campaign and slander you, so that your reputation and credibility is destroyed in order for their facade and outward image is maintained safely. These are typical tactics of a narcissist. This is what you call emotional and psychological abuse. They also will often share any of your personal information, any past trauma you may have experienced or any secrets you have entrusted them with, to the outside world, using any information against you, to further shame and destroy you and your reputation. Loyalty does not factor high with narcissists, unless it serves them.
In most romantic relationships, the narcissist (male or female) in the beginning will "love-bomb" you into believing they are prince/princess charming. Then they slowly start to abuse you to have you believe you are insane. And there is a whole technique to this, which can be found in certain articles below and researched online for further validation. It all seems far-fetched, unbelievable and even shocking but it's all to control you. They will isolate you from your family and friends (more than likely by feeding lies to them about you, behind your back and over time). They will give you instructions on how a relationship should be, demand you trust them from day one, strongly advice you to not to talk to anyone outside of the relationship about the relationship and slowly help you to deteriorate emotionally and psychologically. To everyone else around them, especially where the subject of abuse and lying is raised, most of the narcissist's friends and possibly family members will deny or even believe that the person they think they know would ever commit such acts. This is called cognitive dissonance. They will go as far as protecting and "aiding" the very person committing the actual abuse after being convinced of your alleged mental health state and abuse (one particular Youtube video below called "Flying Monkeys: The Narcissist's Tool For The Smear Campaign" explains further).
Narcissists tend to always attract empaths and/or co-dependants. Overt narcissists are normally charmers and charismatic and loud fun people and as with the covert narcissist, they can also be viewed as wonderful "helpers", "kind" and "pillars of their community", be it teachers, priests, eco-warriors, human rights activists, therapists, doctors, your next-door-neighbour. And to the exterior, helpers, wonderful, kind they are indeed, but for a very good reason; and this is for personal gain and control. They are highly manipulative and lack any true remorse. The narcissist's masks normally slips with those they have 'intimate' relationships with. But to others, even close friends, with their outward appearance and controlled behaviour, will never suspect any abuse, any mistreatment of any kind, unless the victim starts to speak up and tell their truth. However, when the latter happens, the narcissist will do anything and everything to destroy the credibility and reputation of the true victim i.e. smear campaigns, lies and/exaggeration of the truth, with the help of their "flying monkeys". But sadly, any disclosure of any abuse that is perpetrated by someone who is seen as "amazing, wonderful and/or a great friend", will be dismissed as absurd and thrown out as outright lies. It is understandable, as no-one would ever want to see the person they think they know as being a sociopath or a narcissist. It is important to advise here, that trying to speak out to ANYONE who is connected to the narcissist is NOT a good idea (videos below explain further, please watch for further clarification). It is imperative to get support from people who know you best and your true heart, as well as possibly getting professional help from someone who also specialises in narcissistic abuse. It is important to know that men are as effected as women when it comes to narcissistic abuse. We are extremely aware that there is no prejudice when it comes to narcissism and narcissistic abuse.
When we experience vulnerability, possibly after the loss of a loved one or being in previous abusive relationships or any other situation that can make an individual fragile or vulnerable more than usual, we can all fall into the trap of dark forces where we can lose our boundaries, self-trust and self-love. We can forget who we once were before these toxic relationships. Our inner-guidance can be temporarily lost. This is where we can be easy targets for manipulation and believe that what we see and hear to be sincere, real or true, and coming from genuine good intentions...we want to believe it is real and true from another. It is a wake-up call. But once we are insightful and equipped to know and be aware of the red-flags, we are in a better position to know what is really going on, and our guts will scream, RUN!
Be mindful that the narcissist who is/was in your life will possibly, and most probably, go to any length to smear campaign, discredit and/or destroy your character, by possibly contacting your friends/family to express "concern" and yet, inform them of your "diagnoses" and "issues", to convince others that you are at fault and to blame. This blame-shifting, in hindsight, is for you to not be trusted, therefore to prevent any real truth from coming out. And of course, the truth is about them being abusive on all levels, including financial and physical abuse, as was in my own story, and furthermore, they will lie excessively or exaggerate the truth to try and manipulate your own contacts (as well as theirs) so that they have "ammunition" against you, especially if any of your contacts should be drawn into and assist in the narcissist's game as well as protecting their image (a couple of videos below have further information on the subject of smear campaigns). This has happened to me personally, where an ex-boyfriend of mine was easily manipulated by my ex-narcissist and was drawn into agreeing and "aiding and abetting" into giving information about me and our relationship. It is also almost inevitable that the narcissist will use this information in the future to show others (and he would have already shown this communication with his own contacts) to continue to discredit me in any way, specially if it is known that I continue to speak the truth of the abuse that I encountered by this individual.Thankfully, because I had reported this whole saga to the police and gained legal advice, this whole communication between the two parties was forwarded by the ex-boyfriend.
Betrayal is something one will see during and after a relationship with a narcissist, but this will be your biggest gift; to see the ones who truly love you. It is imperative to be around people who know and love you, no matter what. Equally, to have a strong network of good people and community around you.
It is important too, to research on the behaviour of the victim when subjected to narcissistic abuse (which can mostly involve "reactive-abuse"), and what becomes of them/you when in a relationship with a narcissist/sociopath. This may include rages, temporary loss of memory of certain situations, depression, emotional-deregulation, highs and extreme lows, and Complex-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Mostly, one can become a mess; emotionally and psychologically! And this can have profound effects on a person and their mental health state, especially after any emotional and psychological abuse. And this is why it is advisable to research into this area as a whole and get some professional guidance/support. Below are relevant videos that explains these effects further, and for other resources and information there are both articles and vids that can give further insights.
The aftermath of any narcissistic abuse will be a journey in itself, and there will be many people that will tell you to “move on” or to just “get over it”, when in fact they have NO idea of how and what is needed to get back to your core being again that was temporarily destroyed by the narcissist and his/her enablers. Remember, this is not just a "normal" break-up, nor is it just the other being an "arse-hole". The core identity of an individual is eroded over time, and broken down eventually, when one is in a relationship with a narcissist/sociopath. The healing process can take some time. And it is so important for every individual who has gone or going through narcissistic abuse to research, research, and research on this topic, for both validation and understanding what had happened to them. I can't stress this enough. It is extremely important and imperative to be around those who know you well, who loves you, and who has your best interest at heart. Nothing less. We also advise that it is in one's best interest not to isolate in general, and to speak to those who understand narcissistic abuse and if you can, join relevant support groups and get professional support from someone who understands narcissism and narcissistic abuse.
SOME KEY PERSONALITY TRAITS OF NARCISSISTS (DR. Robert Hare)
~ Lack of empathy & remorse
~ Superficial charm
~ Highly manipulative
CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING WORTHWHILE ARTICLES THAT YOU MAY FIND HELPFUL & VALIDATING:
2. 30 RED FLAGS
8. WHY SMEAR CAMPAIGNS (as told by HG Tudor, a self-proclaimed narcissistic sociopath, author).
Remember: Wanting to speak out in truth does not make you an "attention-seeker" or "playing a victim" or "pathetic". Instead, speaking out makes you true to yourself without the shame and guilt of wanting what is right and best for you. Justice is a form of speaking your truth. We are here to listen and to support our clients. And we are here to aid in your growth and for the individuals to reconnect to their true self again, and more.
Psychological and Emotional Trauma,
Depression & Anxiety,
Mistrust of everyone around them,
Lack of self worth,
Extreme low confidence,
Click here for the definitions of the following terms for further understanding and validation.
Idealise – Devaluation – Discard, Lack of empathy, Mask Slipping,
Narcissistic Injury, Object Constancy, Splitting, Flying Monkeys, Golden Child, Harem, Narcissistic Supply, Scapegoat, Bait and Switch, Blame-shifting, Crazy-making, Coercive Control, Dog whistling, Dosing, Double standards, Ex-recycling, False flattery, Future-faking, Gaslighting, Grooming, Hoovering, Intermittent Reinforcement, Love-Bombing, Mirroring, Pathological lying, Projection, Silent Treatment, Smear Campaign, Stonewalling, Triangulation, Verbal Abuse, Victim-Blaming, Victim Card, Word Salad.
SOME GREAT VIDEOS BELOW:
There are many YouTube videos by experts (including some below), all of which has helped me in my own journey, and have followed some of their therapy/coaching work over time. Highly recommend subscribing to some of these amazing people & authors, who have experienced narcissistic abuse themselves.
It is difficult for others to understand what you have gone through, unless they have experienced this type of abuse themselves. It is imperative to support those who have experienced narcissistic abuse by listening, validating, and guiding the individual through their healing and getting back who they once were and much more! Here, we all understand narcissism and narcissistic abuse, and are committed to supporting individuals in their journey to recovery through counselling therapy or art therapy. The former can be conducted either on Skype or face-to-face.
HERE, AS PART OF OUR FOCUS AND HEALING - PERSONAL EMPOWERMENT/RECOVERY PROGRAM:
1. Insight and a thorough understanding of the dynamics of what has been happening in your relationships.
2. Uncover and express your feelings and have these feelings and experiences validated by someone who understands what you have been experiencing.
3. Process these emotions and recognise these patterns from past relationships, including your parents, in order to clear them from your subconscious patterns.
4. Discovering your genuine needs and wants as an individual and in a relationship.
5. Be aware of your feelings and manage your emotional self on a daily basis.
6. Learn to build healthy boundaries with others, where you care for but don’t take on emotional responsibility for anyone other than yourself.
7. Rediscover your own intuition and trust it again, rather than your partner’s negative views of you.
8. Encouragement to believe in yourself again and recognise your magnificence.
9. Recognising and managing the desire to go back to the unhealthy Narcissist.
10. Help redesign your life from the inside out, trusting in yourself and who you really are.
11. Find the gift in this relationship for you. How have you grown in yourself as a result of these experiences?
12. Moving onto a new equal relationship ensuring a healthy love. Narcissist screening test, and learn the ability to recognise the difference between real love and fake or controlling love.
13. Value for the SELF once again, and more.
A short video put simply: Signs that he or she is a narcissist.
Once you understand, you will have a better insight if you come across someone manipulative. Basic info on what a narcissist is.
How Does Being With a Narcissist Affect Your Body, Mind, and Soul?
Some of the effects of narcissistic abuse.
A short Narcissistic Abuse Documentary
Narcissistic Abuse Recovery:
What victims of narcissistic abuse need to know and why it is best not to speak to those who tell you to "move-on". Many who have not gone through this particular type of abuse will not understand the damage that it causes.
Gaslighting: The Narcissist's Favourite Tool of Manipulation
Those who have been in narcissistic relationships will resonate strongly with this. Check out this great video
Another good and brief video on smear campaigns:
Narcissistic Triangulation: The Inevitable Smear Campaign - Dr. Denise Dart.
Meredith Miller explains "Flying Monkeys".
I was smear campaigned by the ex-partner as being "crazy", "BDP" an "alcoholic", "abusive" on a social media platform, when I spoke out about his abuse and threats against me. The ex-narc went as far as to contact and involve his friends/community into supporting him, including dictating to them in what to write, to support his "stories" against me. Smear campaigns can start very early into the relationship, without your knowledge.
Using flying-monkeys to support the abuser is typical of narcissistic behaviour.
When you unmask a covert narcissist.
Narcissism Expert and Psychotherapist - Ross Rosenburg.
Video explaining this to both victims and people unfamiliar with narc abuse and its existence.
Intentional and harmful provoking and then they sit back to watch how you react. Their aim is to see you react out of control, jealously, in anger, and/or violently. This is their cue to show others you are the "crazy" one. A great video that explains what most of their "targets" go through. All tactics and mind games of manipulation, power and control.
I absolutely resonate with this video/message. Remember, reactive abuse is a normal reaction to abnormal and unhealthy behaviour in his/her environment... eventually the "victim" can explode or snap after a period of belittling, humiliation, emotional and psychological abuse, as well as physical abuse.
Relevant and important information:
6 Signs You Are Suffering From Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome...
When a toxic relationship has turned YOU into someone YOU no longer like. - Dr. Ramani
What types of people attract narcissists?
When Others Don't Understand What You Have Gone Through - Melanie Tonia Evans