What is a Narcissist? + how is Narcissism formed?
Something a l0t of people experience unknowingly is narcissistic abuse. A narcissist is typically someone who has a more malignant polarisation within their personality. The term ‘narcissism’ stemmed from Greek mythology where by ‘Narcissus’ fell in love with his own reflection and drowned. Narcissistic personality disorder is normally formed in Childhood when I parent either spoils a child (key word: ‘spoils’), gives them excessive admiration with very little limits and praises them too much for their specialness to the point they start playing God (shameless behaviour / pretending to be more than human & Godlike). This Dynamic is often seen where one parent is very neglectful & the other parent is very guilty for the other parents neglect and super-compensates with too much affection. At the other end of the continuum is where both parents are extremely abusive & both neglectful and the child feels ‘less the human & shameful or ashamed’.
Family dynamics where narcissism may evolve:
- Cult like families: where the children are told to toughen up at all costs & not show any weakness or emotions other than composure, anger and hatred.
- Ultra-strict families: where the child becomes ‘the golden child’ or the ‘super-achiever academic’ to provide the family with a source of dignity. The child is forced to adopt extremely perfectionistic standards to avoid abuse and becomes terrified of making mistakes. They become a ‘human doing’ not a ‘human being’. Equates gaining love with flawless performance centred behaviours in academia etc.
- A very common dynamic where narcissism can emerge is in families where a parent has died within what I call the ‘sacred years’ between 0-10 years of age where a child is really downloading their map of the world around them (which stays which them for the rest of their life) and very are egocentric & actually have healthy narcissism where they view themselves at the centre of the universe. A parent dying or abandoning a child in these years is seen within the child’s eyes as THEIR OWN FAULT. Causes a whole host of internalised shame-based beliefs. Which of course are ‘false beliefs’ but children are egocentric by nature and cannot help but do this. To compensate for anyone triggering their core internalised shame they often generate extremely protected ego defences & can be cold, excessively hard, emotionless, angry and hateful towards others to control them and scare them to avoid conflict or disrespecting them, which could trigger abandonment issues and emotional pain.
- As mentioned above, the ‘spoiled brat’ formed by a parent being overly validating of their child out of their beauty, talents, intelligence etc can cause the child to have a warped sense of importance and think they actual are Godlike. To the point they gain ‘malignant self-love’ which is essentially ‘extreme self-worship’. Which really is a aborted / dysfunctional / not even close form of self-love and is delusional and increases denial. Devoid’s someone of humility and willingness to learn and to improve themselves as this would mean “If I needed to improve, it would mean I am flawed. So I am unwilling to do this because it would mean I am not being confident & being weak.”
- Also another common dominator is a lot of men have been social conditioned to be emotionless to & purposefully lack empathy & compassion to avoid being ‘soft’ or ‘too feminine’ and overly dominant to the point of becoming totally self-absorbed, violent, aggressive & emotional abusive towards both men & women who are more sensitive (shaming the very parts they can’t own within themselves which they are ashamed to show). Sometimes cult like families foster more dominant traits in both men and women and shame them out of their sensitivity. ***Idea of healing is you get a place where you are a more fully integrated human being and can express all your traits without fear or toxic shame & become more confident within your vulnerabilities.***
Narcissistic traits include:
- Pathological envy (hatred towards others who achieve something they haven’t)
- No empathy or minimal empathy for only those who do things for them (ultra conditional giving)
- Rage if threaten or told there is someone wrong about them & have to change / improve
- Extreme sense of personal entitlement
- Total arrogance (extreme bragging to hide flaws and delude themselves they are perfect)
- Warped sense of extreme self-importance (view their needs as important & others needs as unimportant)
- Obsessed with power & social dominance over others
- Control others through shaming + guilt trips + fear + aggression + rage
- Loves excessive admiration & validation from others to feel whole
- Obsessed with their own vanity and physical appearance
- Ultraconfidence in social settings & in work performance (but easily diminished with even small criticisms)
Social magnetic tendencies + who do narcissists attract in relationships?
‘Magnetic tendencies’ is something I picked up from Ross Rosenberg is a phenomenal psychotherapist & youtuber who deals with individuals who have codependency. ‘Social magnetic tendencies’ refers to how we attract into our lives socially based on who we are as people. Like with physical magnetics with positive and negative polarities which attract one another, we usually attract our opposites. So in the case of narcissists, they attract ‘codependents’.
Codependency is the childhood trauma induced addiction where by a child was ‘parentified’ into becoming an emotional partner to a parent to get their physical needs met. In doing so the child doesn’t have a chance to develop a true self and is then burdened with a ‘lost sense of self’ until they begin to go through codependency recovery to help reclaim elements of their personality, self-knowledge, boundaries, assertiveness, communicating needs to a partner or friends, being transparent etc to reclaim their sense of self & cultivate strong self-esteem (which they weren’t allowed in childhood). Due to the lack of boundaries, blocked off feelings (healthy anger & healthy blame & healthy sorrow), disconnected self, compassionate & empathic natures and the tendency to give unconditional love freely (compassion, empathy & unconditional giving aren’t bad, but needs to have limits with the right people to avoid a person completely depleting themselves & not taking care of themselves) due to their natural tendencies (forced upon them when they were younger & maintained into adulthood) to always be the ‘nice one’ they tend to attract narcissistic individuals. Due to narcissists are always taking / rarely giving & codependents are always giving / rarely taking, the fusion between the two archetypes ‘feels right’ and dysfunctionally whole (two halves joining forces).
3 Phases of narcissistic courtship: The traps
- Total disregard
This beginning stage is where the narc begins to give flirtatious hints and overly complementing the victim to make them feel special and to allure them into their world. This typically involves ‘love bombing’ where the narc makes the relationship seem like so ‘romanticised’ and make the other person feel incredible and like they really care them about them, but its all a trap…
Once the Narc has put you under their spell and pulled you into their toxic universe they begin to gain control over your thought process. They begin to use negative judgements of the persons choices and begin to criticize them. Begins to shame the persons core and begins to invoke fear in that person. To the point they begin not to trust themselves anymore… Guilt trips, ignoring, rage attacks, flirting with others (which begins to invoke jealousy). Meanwhile the person attempts to regain the ‘love’ they had at the start. Gaslighting is a common jedi mind trick used to manipulate the victim. This is where a person does one thing, but reframes the situation in the way which isn’t really true. For example a person punches you and you go “don’t punch me!” and the person replies “I didn’t punch you I stroked you and was done to toughen you up out of love.”
The final stage of narcissistic courtship is the most painful for the partner aka the codependent. This is when the narcissist totally abandons the empath out of draining all the life out of them and getting what they want and either feeling bored of them now or have found an old source of narcissistic supply or even found a new victim for that matter. Codependent / empath now totally left traumatized has confused reality, chronically blames themselves for what happened, is now put into an extremely painful needy state and craves for a similar narcissist to get their fix & to make them feel whole again. This unfortunately is where the entire cycle begins again… Which leads to narcissistic abuse syndrome.
Narcissistic abuse syndrome
The aftermath of the narcissistic abuse is what is described as ‘narcissistic abuse syndrome’. These symptoms include:
- Question their sanity
- Mistrust those who support them, i.e., family, parents
- Feel abandoned, as if only the narcissist cares
- Feel worthless
- Give themselves no credit for their hard work
- Doubt their ability to think or make decisions
- Disconnect from their own wants and needs
- Give in to whatever the narcissist wants
- Devalue their contributions
- Obsess on their faults or mistakes
- Ignore or make excuses for narcissist’s actions
- Spin their wheels trying to gain narcissist’s favor
- Obsess on how to make the narcissist happy
- Idealize the narcissist
- Understand the red flags of traits & toxic courtship rituals
- Build your boundaries to avoid letting in abusive people into your life
- Focus on self-love through compassionate self-talk & taking care of your health etc.
- Group therapy where you can share your experiences with others (decreases shame / fear)
- One on one counselling to share your experiences with someone who can offer you empathy
- Journal your experiences to externalise the shame, guilt, fear, chronic self-blame. Wasn’t all down to you.
Though a very painful article for me to write, as I have had at least 3 of these toxic relationships, I still do daily self-healing work to ensure I increase the probability of feeling my best about myself & also to increase the chances of attracting people in my life who are healthy for me. The important thing is that you are aware of the red flags so you can cut the relationship off early as possible and do your healing work to avoid this toxic trap from happening or at least decrease the probability it will happen in the first place. Frees you to attract a more healthy partner equal in healthy self-esteem (assuming you’re doing your healing work if you elements of cptsd & codependency, which is most people).
Hope you have found this article useful
From your neighbourhood friendly coach