Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional.
Narcissists will destroy you, if you let them. They come in many forms: parents, friends, acquaintances, and/or romantic partners. They seem to lack awareness of their own behavior or if they are aware; they don’t feel much empathy.
I am by no means a psychiatrist, psychologist, or even a counselor. I am just an observant person, who has also been around narcissists her whole life. Unfortunately, some of us attract these kinds of people, were perhaps raised by them, and/or had unfortunate experiences with them. All of this, can shape an unhealthy perception of self for the real victims. It is difficult to cut off a narcissist, but sometimes it is necessary in order to preserve the self. If you cannot cut the person off, I suggest trying to use the grey rock method. It is as it sounds; appearing like a boring grey rock, so eventually they will become so disinterested, they will find a new supply. If it’s a friend, in my experiences, they’ll start perceiving you in a negative light almost immediately. They will find a new friend to exhaust. If it’s a close family member, they might communicate less often, considering you are no longer a good supply. If it’s a romantic partner, he/she will think the grass is looking greener on other pastures. They oftentimes already have several potential partners lined up, so when you wake up from their nightmare, it’s easy for you to be replaced. Their cycle is love bomb, demean, then discard.
Narcissists are quick to pick apart other people, without looking at their own actions. They use tactics such as the cold shoulder, dismissiveness, deflection, gaslighting, projection, demeaning, and/or passive aggressiveness. At first, the target tries to make the narcissist happy and is most likely unaware of their tactics. Since the narcissist cannot supply themselves, they feel they must manipulate other people to fulfill their needs.
Oftentimes, it seems the narcissist suffered from a traumatic experience, abuse, and/or neglect a young age. After suffering, they have difficulty accepting and giving genuine empathy. It is as if empathy has been defined by the distorted perception of it, and continues to be throughout their life.
Unfortunately, a truly empathetic, giving natured person easily assumes the role of being the supply because it is an ideal situation for the narcissist. Sometimes the person could be an empathetic and vulnerable person. The mentally ill, disabled, previously abused, all make great targets for a narcissist. But if the supply wakes up to the psychological games: this can turn any loving feelings into sadness. It is a form of betrayal that is so hurtful when recognized for what it is: dehumanizing. You feel as if someone looked at you, shallowly, and decided you aren’t worthy of being treated with respect. The empathetic mind cannot fathom this thought process, nor does it have any self esteem left to be able to not blame itself. So use to having their faults magnified by the narcissist, they cannot see the deflections or pettiness in some situations towards them. Everything always feels like their fault. Thoughts of not being enough, feeling objectified, and feeling emotionally neglected starts to wear down the victim.
Overall, these kinds of people emotionally abuse you and/or physically abuse you, because they cannot love themselves. But ironically, everything is about validation for them. They seek outside acceptance, but oftentimes hurt those closest to them. It’s all about appearing in a certain socially acceptable light. The mask they wear must be maintained by any means possible. If you challenge this: they will only try to further minimize you. They will sacrifice friends, family, and lovers just to hold onto their own false perception of self. It’s really a pity to operate like this because it does not achieve bliss, but a self constructed fallac bliss. But of course, they most likely will blame the supply entirely. Why? It’s easy for the narcissist to blame others for all their bad decisions. And sometimes, I pity them because they can blame other people in their past for not being a good example. But i believe deep down you are either an empathetic person or you are not. People like this can change and break cycles, but it takes an event, or a person who can deconstruct their false perceptions of self to do so. The narcissist must be ready to listen not defend, ready to love not hate, and ready to face the darkness within themselves. So if you are around a narcissist or someone who displays narcissistic qualities, take care of yourself first. You may have to come to the painful realization this person will most likely not change and it may be best to move on. No one should have to sacrifice their entire emotional and/or physical well being, for the sake of another person to maintain a false perception of self.
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