Sanctuary for the Abused

Friday, July 20, 2018

The Many Faces of a Narcissist

Narcissists project different images on different mirrors.

This is partly because any particular acting job may draw a favorable response from one mirror and an unfavorable response from another. For example, liberal-bashing produces a gratifying reflection in a right-wing mirror, while conservative-bashing produces a gratifying reflection in a left-wing mirror. A goody-two-shoes act looks holy in the eyes of religious hypocrites and the pharisaic, while it looks disgusting in the eyes of true believers and atheists.

Another reason why the narcissist projects different images on different mirrors is because he doesn't dare project the most gratifying image of all — the one his ego gets the biggest boost from — on most mirrors. Moreover, like any set of tools, the different people in his world are useful for different purposes.

So, for example, he exploits a powerful, wealthy, sophisticated, or famous person as a source of Narcissistic Supply in a much different way than he exploits the poor or down-and-out. This is only partly because he doesn't dare treat the former as he treats the latter. It's also partly because the flavor of Narcissistic Supply he can extract from the former is the rare and precious "nectar of the gods." So, he drops their names; he brown-noses and sucks-up to them; he shamelessly, even obsequiously, flatters them and courts their favor; no matter what they do, he finds no fault with them, considering them infallible and above reproach. All to aggrandize himself by association with them.

And so, a narcissist doesn't have two faces, he has multiple faces. Faces he can change as suddenly as a mask. Faces so different they seem like multiple personalities. Each is but his way of exploiting a particular source of Narcissistic Supply.

So, for example, he projects a different image of himself in a church than in a bar. Again for example, the reflection he wants from his co-workers is radically different than the reflection he wants from his spouse and children.

by Kathy Krajco


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shared by Barbara at 12:50 AM



I cannot tell you how many times my x-fiancee mirrored her indiscretions upon me!! Literally each and every arguement, laded with the rhetoric about how she constued my anger as insensitive, yet, when she was angry and loud, she constued it as, "passionate." Yes, I would get frustrated and eventually become angry, because of her perceptions of the wrongness of issues that were not worthy of debate!! If we rated 1 being mild and 10 being the worst case, she could take a statement I made, absolutely no malice intended, and she would take it to level 10! If she could get me to level 5, and make me concede, then she has won. End result, the mirror effect. Every curse word she stated, every perception, the sarcasm, etc., was reflected upon me. I had the anger management problem. In my mind, I conceded to keep peace, and my gut feeling told me this was all wrong. Again, my frustration and anger stemmed from her inability to recognize the wrong in her self-rightness. Until recently, did I recognize, I was dealing with a narcisstic personality. Once I discovered this, I knew her emotions could not be trusted. There were underlying motives for each and every situation in our relationship and I would always be to blame. This burden, she could not carry, and must reflect or project this blame on the other, despite the costs. She advocated what she termed as "little white lies", that it was o.k.,as long as it did not hurt someone. My interpretation of a little white lie is when someone got a bad hair cut, they ask how it looks, and you reply, "it looks fantastic." Her idea of a little white lie is, "I'll lie to them about what I want to do, and hopefully they won't find out, and if they do, I'll just let them know, I'm an adult, and I'm entitled to do this without your knowledge." "So what if I went out with some friends, when I told you I was going to work at the office late." "I'm entitled to change my mind." I agree, you are entitled, however, if you stick to the story that you were at work late, and I find out later that you were out partying instead, then I have issues about trust. If we the victims had done this to our N, the mirror would not reflect well on us. These N's are not "golden rule" personalities. Double standards, entitlement, lies, deception, you can count on your N to project their guiltiness upon you. They will always justify their actions at your expense.

10:15 AM  

Sure enough. They put their indiscretions on you then take on your personality as their own. I think my favorite is when you do debate with one and s/he repeats you almost, if not word for word. And to witness TWO personalities in action is just mind shattering. If you are not the path of their destruction, you get the opportunity to observe them one-up and out do each other via conversation. You are so baffled by the amount of time they spend talking about nothing yet it's a competitive conversation. It's really something. Another is when they attempt to relate to another's experience. They either give a blank stare or they completely take over and dominate the discussion. They are either the worst victim or the best victor. But they are survivors. And they can babble on for HOURS and get so far off course, they forget the initial topic. It's surreal to say the least. They will make some of the most odd comparisons in an attempt to relate. The death of a loved one compared to maybe the loss of a friendship. I've experienced this. This person did not get that death is final. No more of the deceased persons physical presence. Yet the EXACT same thing can might happen in ending a friendship according to them. Whereas you will never be able to make contact or see a dead person, to them they don't know if they'll see their former friend again. It's not recognized that they can pick up the phone and call in an attempt to reconcile because the friendship ended out of anger versus a life no longer present on earth. Or if you're financially strapped due to job loss or high debt. They are worse off than you. Why? Because they spent too much of this check so they have to wait until the next check to pull together whereas your funds have been limited for a period of time. It's almost comical because they come across as simple, petty folks. But once you decide to distance yourself once you see they're not on the same wavelength, this is when YOU get the wake up call. In comes the N troop letting you know your trust has been breached. And it snowballs from there. These boards are a wealth of information because victims can make the connection and as Oprah says, have an "ah ha!" moment. Also because we feel so isolated, these posts offer the support we lost. And it starts the de tangling and healing process. The wounds are deep but they are repairable. Now we know.

12:27 PM  

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