Sanctuary for the Abused

Thursday, April 27, 2017

How a Narcissist Trains his Victims

tantrum Pictures, Images and Photos

by Kathy Krajco

Nearly everyone has seen something like the following little scene...

A three-or-four-year-old is with his mother in the grocery store. He points at a candy bar, looking at his mother with the brightest, cutest, most engaging little face you ever saw. Mother is busy and hardly glancing at him as she reads her grocery list and says, "No, you don't---"

She was going to say, "No, you don't need that," but she didn't get half the words out before he erupted into "WAAAAH!!!!"


Everyone in the store jumps, wondering who's killing that kid. In one split-second his face has undergone a startling transfiguration into something grotesque.

But he hasn't got the first "WAAAH!!!" half out yet before his mother, with a quick look around at all the people looking at her, grabs that candy bar and thrusts it into his hand.

WAAAAH--off, mid-WAAAH, and there is that darling little beaming angel-face again, unwrapping his his candy bar.

That's what you call a spoiled brat -- a kid who has learned to use temper tantrums to control his parents. The dead giveaway is how instantaneously he switches from one emotional extreme to the other. Real people don't do that in one split second, do they?

He can do that because those emotions are bogus. Faked. He isn't upset when he's screaming, and he isn't happy when he's not. He's just a little actor. He has two masks. One is for positive reinforcement, and the other is for negative reinforcement. He switches from one to the other in the blink of an eye.

Yes! This four-year-old has learned the art of Behavior Modification! It's childsplay, ain't it? His happy face is a carrot to reward you for good behavior, and his mad face is a stick to punish you for bad behavior.

Now notice how similar this is to an adult narcissist's rages. They are exactly the same thing.

Whenever you aren't behaving the way they want, they throw a fit. Like that brat in the grocery store, they don't think they should even have to ask for what they they want. They think you should be so attentive to their desires that you just offer it to them. It would be beneath them to ask for anything. So they throw a "Don't-go-there!" tantrum whenever you aren't playing the part they've assigned to you in the stageplay of their life.

That could be because you are behaving like you deserve respect. Or maybe you are busy and do not have lunch on the table yet. Whatever, the cowboy just herds people by yelling and waving things whenever the cattle in his home get out of line.

His wild act is so obnoxious and menacing that people soon learn how to turn it off. They would rather conform to his specifications than put up with that obnoxious wild act all the time.

Thus he trains them to behave the way he wants them to.

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shared by Barbara at 12:01 AM


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32 Comments:

Love this post! It is the perfect example. I have described my NM's reaction as a temper tantrum when I don't behave as she thinks I should.

3:31 PM  

My narcissist husband has to control everything and everyone in his household. If they dont comply there are consequences. I have bad insomnia and my husband has decided that I am not supposed to take the sleeping aid perscribed by my doctor. He demanded that I hand over the pills. When I did not, he began searching the house for them. He could not find them. I told him I would attempt to sleep without them for a week. I kept my word and went without sleep. I secretly began taking them again to function. He found out about this and has called me a dope user, and druggie. He told me he is not going to live with some one who is a dope head. Its ok for me to take meds prescribed by my doctor if I have lets say a yeast infection-something he would not want to get from me. But my insomnia is not his problem so he doesn't care. Has no empathy for others.

3:52 PM  

My sympathies. I had a husband like this..then recently a boyfriend. They feel so insecure they have to put others they care about down if they are not perfect. I did most of the work, fed everyone, while he sat around reading. I helped put him through school (again) so he could get a job. It's amazing how they romanticize, miss the point, then justify what they do. Tell the guy to lay off, he needs to take a good look at himself. If he is perfect, let him love himself more. Who cares?

11:13 AM  

My N mother has made an art of tantrum throwing. If you don't do what she wants, she throws a fit until you conform. I never did. She just looked down at me all the time for being disobedient/crazy/whatever, and threw more tantrums. I no longer talk to her or my father, who she has well trained to do whatever she wants. I'd rather be alone than put up with her angry rants and cruel insults/put-downs anymore, peace feels good.

5:07 AM  

How can you ever get out of a marriage like this?? I just feel stuck. It's not only me, I have a 10 year old son who, of course, wants us to stay together. When I feel I can leave it just seems easier to stay rather than to go thru all his rage. He trained his victim well.

1:30 AM  

Kathy Krajco the author of this article. I would have loved to meet her. The life she must have had in order to write things with so much wisdom.

Another poster said that it's because of insecurity that these people abuse others, but this is not true at all in the case of people who have the brain functioning of a psychopath which is often misdiagnosed as narcissist, anti-social, borderline etc and they are not a bit insecure. In fact, if you probe them with questions and pay attention, you will see that they love themselves very much and believe it's their right to be catered to. Their brains don't process emotions such as love, empathy, gratefulness etc. They are wired to think only of themselves.

"They don't think they should even have to ask for what they they want. They think you should be so attentive to their desires that you just offer it to them. It would be beneath them to ask for anything." THIS IS SO TRUE! They really do believe that they can control you through your mind but what it really is, is that for those of us who are thoughtful, kind and accomodating to others, (in my case because Jesus lives in my heart) well, they twist it so that you are serving/worshipping them! Its a grotesque form of emotional rape. And you can serve them all day, every day, for millions of years and the one millisecond you don't hop to it and anticipate their current need, well, this is what they will remember and punish you for.

MRI's checking for psychopathy before starting a relationship should be offered to all.

10:33 AM  

This is in response to the post by anonymous who's husband wanted her sleeping pills. This is such a form of rape and I completely understand. My husband too has started asking about my sleeping pills. He has no memory that for years I couldn't truly rest and that SINCE I am blessed to have such a wonderful perscription sleep medication, life is better. But see, my husband is a psychopath and I now know what this means. He has no "true" memories of anything. He may bring up things from the past but all they are is images to him. He can't attach any real emotions to anything. They (psychopaths)are void of love, empathy, care for others. He has no understanding that you NEED sleep medication and he is probably JEALOUS that you have something that he doesn't have. Sounds sick you say? Well, they ARE sick and evil and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Go back to other articles on this website and you will see that these people have nothing good in them. Words are used as weapons and everything is just a game to them. Nothing can ever be "worked out" with them because all they want is chaos and strife. It's simply the way that their brains function and they were born this way. All this "men are from mars" crap is just another cover-up to justify psychopathy.

"I,Psychopath" is a video series on Youtube that shows how these evil ones behave. It is all about them, and it always will be to them because this is simply how their brains function. If it's not the sleeping pills, it will be something else. If you look back truthfully over your relationship with him, you will see that there is always something like this going on.

11:19 AM  

strangely enough I stumbled across this site when I was looking for a list that defined a fictional character's traits.

Amazingly enough this Narrasicsm trait isn't confined to real life. it's also in TV shows.

a lot of characters have this character trait, yet they're supposed to be lovable, sweet, etc.
a example is Lana Lang from Small-ville. She's completely self-absorbed, thinks only of herself and not much about anybody. She throws fits if things doesn't go her way, and then quickly becomes sweet again when things are going her way.
She was supposed to be only a side character, yet for some inexplicable reason the writers really loved the actress who were playing her, so of course Lana Lang had to take over the scene at times. they tried so hard to pass her off as this sweet town princess.

this only served to make viewers like myself who hated her even more.

is it any wonder why some narrastic folks think their actions are justified, when they see something similar on TV a lot?

8:18 PM  

auroaMoon you made a great point. I was waiting for someone else to point this out. Now here go a few more tv characters. Keep a close eye when you watch them. Doug from "King of Queens" Ray from "Everyone loves Raymond" (he comes off as passive-aggressive but really just a psychopath.) "George Lopez". Now these are characters based on real people. Also, Chuck Lorre who is a writer, dirctor, producer who places "vanity cards" at the end of many of his shows. They all SCREAM psychopath! See, it becomes funny, trendy and acceptable. They rarely show the devastation done to the non-psychopaths around them.

1:37 AM  

I watch king of queens and I would be interested to know how u see doug as a narcissist ? I always thought carrie was. She bosses him about , wont let him buy certain things , calls him names , insults him in front of his friends, starts figts over little things makes him accept that her father is going to live their with hem without understanding how hard that wud be for him. Makes fun of his friends , won't let him even go to certain places or wear certain things and how many references have been made to him having to back her up and stop going to certain restaurants eateries etc cus she had an argument with someone working there , I remember one episode wher he started wearing a different cologne and got compliments off women for it and she told him to not wear it anymore and he had to wear the one she bought him and he was hiding wearing it from her that sounds not only like narcissism but classic domestic abuse , emotional abuse and verbal abuse all rolled in one!! and if it wher dough character acting like that it ppl wouldn't view it as funny cus he is a guy and they wud cry abuse but because she's a female it's a joke

3:33 AM  

I dont know if my husband is narcisist or what but i do know he insists on controlling every aspect of my life. I never ever get out of the house alone to visit with friends, have my hair cut, go to the dr etc etc. He goes out whenever he likes and for however long he likes. In hot weather i cannot put the air conditioner on until he decides its hot enough (usually hitting 30c in our living room) Same in winter with the heating. He says put another jumper on or a third pair of socks. I feel so under his control. He has me scared to disobey him because he throws giant tantrums which can include punching holes in walls. I have nowhere to go if i were to leave him and i figure why should i leave anyway - this is my home as well. Feeling so miserable right now. I wouldnt care if i drop dead this minute. I am obviously a waste of his space..

10:59 PM  

I took the plunge in August and filed for divorce from the NPD mess I thought I loved and married. He is allowed to live here while we are separated. I should begin to take notes on his behaviors. His taunts. His baiting. This is a cruel joke. We have rental property - a full three bedroom home that HE gutted in 1981, just sitting there and the judge sticks him with me while we are divorcing??? Be smart. GET OUT. TAKE NOTES. RECORD. TAKE PICTURES. Before they get a chance to say it was YOU/YOUR fault, etc. Have the proof. Get those life sucking crazy people out of your life and start to really live. Good luck to all.

8:18 AM  

Wonderful post, and so true. I used to have names for my ex husband's masks. I'll never forget the day he finally realized he could no longer manipulate me no matter what. We were standing outside divorce court (alone - he never would have let anyone else see this) and his face looked like a shape changer, shuffling through all the masks rapid-fire because none of them did a thing but creep me out more. It was like something out of a science fiction movie. I always wondered if the courthouse cameras picked it up!

11:38 AM  

I won't clog up your forum with a massive post, but you might like to read about somebody I knew for years before they became a full narcissist. I didn't even know what I was dealing with. Chronic narcissists don't have friends they have followers, people they can gain supply from but not get too involved with. See h t t p : / / andandand dot tripod dot com / narcissist dot htm

4:49 PM  

This describes my ex-husband to a T. He always had to be in control. A few times when we visited my parents, I'd suggested we spend the night there (we lived about 2 hrs away). One time we were discussing it when we went out to breakfast and he practically threw a tantrum. "YOU NEVER TOLD ME THIS, I DON'T WANT TO DO THIS, THE WHOLE WEEKEND WILL BE SHOT, I'D RATHER BE IN MY OWN HOUSE!" And nothing was ever his fault. If I called him on his hurtful behavior, he'd turn it around and justify it by saying I did hurtful things to him (most of which were in his imagination). Of course he'd hid all this behavior while we were dating. It started creeping out a little while we were engaged, but I'd stupidly chalked it up to stress over the wedding planning/house hunting. I'm glad I got away from him before we had kids. I don't even want to think about what divorce would've been like with him if we had to fight over child custody.

12:32 PM  

To the lady with the 10yr old boy whos husband punches holes in walls ?Take your little boy and GO ,now .I was with my partner for 16 years ,had two children by him .I ended up almost having a breakdown and trust me ,he'll soon move on from the walls to you !Had me completely brainwashed ,lashed out by kicking me ,breaking my nose by kicking a door in I was standing behind ,I won't bore you with all of it ,and the best part ? He always made me feel responsible for upsetting him .He could turn on the charm on tap ,slept with whatever woman believed his lies and gave him sympathy ( he was addicted to sympathy )If I was too happy or content he'd do something to change that .My God ,I could go on for pages but I'll say this to you .Get out now before he destroys you .My turning point was when I realised he was using his manipulating ,bullying behaviour on our five year old son .I saw the confusion on his little face and that was it .I asked him to leave and he ended up attacking me and I had to call the police because I thought he was going to strangle me .I couldn't breathe .In fact had the police not arrived when they did I think he would've.He managed to escape out the back door ,missing them by seconds and I haven't seen him since .And that was 10 years ago ! He's never inquired about his children ,nothing .I later found out from a mutual friend that he moved in with a workmate that same day whom he'd been sleeping with and that he has since married her .( I later found out he had been engaged six times ,basically proposing to every girlfriend he had ,including myself )Now he's found a poor sap that accepted God help her. These are all traits of the Narcissist as is the violent temper -I got tired of trying to plaster holes in the wall. I don't mean to scare you but if your instinct is telling you something is not quite right then please trust it .It took me a long time to recover and it wasn't easy but it was the best decision I ever made .Good Luck

5:31 AM  

I have a husband that behaves the same way

6:03 AM  

If you are being abused RUN.I tried to escape with my children when they were very young & he pursued us to my parents home 2000 km away.I remember staring at my parents with grief as the children & I were driven by my husband away.Now my sons abuse me verbally & physically because what walks in the father runs in the children. The earlier you take the children away the better so that they don't learn abusive behaviour.Document & photograph everything.Then escape to your parents if they are young enough to help you.

7:09 AM  

friend, not husband... but one of the worst reactions was when he absolutely SEETHED at me because I had a lunch with a mutual friend. He accused me of befriending this guy only to get closer to him, and he was vicious on the phone, refused to talk to me about it, put me on silent treatment for about a week (knowing i was in tears, after I apologized profusely for... what?) and then made me promise to not befriend his friend any more. There is nothing normal about a person who refuses to let you meet his other friends, or insists on being present every minute you spend with them. There is certainly nothing normal about a person trying to control who i spend my time with.

Was it a tantrum? he would say 'no', because he seethed rather than shouting. But my feelings were of no consequence to him in this matter. It was near the beginning of the end. I am now on No Contact - 6 month anniversary yesterday!

4:36 PM  

It is often difficult because I see so much in relationship problems posted and parents that are the issue but mine is my daughter and it started at nine. I didn't know at all what was happening. My father passed in 1995 and left her a large trust fund and my life became utterly confusing and nearly 15 years later I'm finally saying no more and in reward I was told I cannot see my granddaughter who I raised for three years because I won't be used for money, time, made to feel crazy for having emotions. This is the hardest time in my life. I've been a Social Worker, I've known much education but this one person, my daughter always wins the battles, the war. I am really hurting right now. I wish I heard more about parents with children labeled as entitled when it runs far deeper than that, I don't think I've ever come close to experiencing the type of verbal and emotional abuse with any other person in my life, I never stand for it. But this is very hard to let go.

10:04 AM  

I witnessed my N mother's first tantrum yesterday. She started talking to me, pleading, sobbing to "stop it" after I told my daughter to go downstairs (to the living room) to chill out. My daughter was crying at everything all morning while refusing to get ready for school. Now, my mom is walking around like nothing happened- not one minute later. She never cared or tried to see if she could help my daughter calm down- she just wanted to make me the bad guy.

She always tries to make me look like the bad guy in my kids' eyes. She offers candy before breakfast. Toys as I am walking to kids upstairs to get ready for bed. Fast food even though I asked my kids to help me pick a healthy menu for dinner. She tries to distract them from relaxing before we transition to naptime and/or bedtime. She bribes them to drink water after I ask them to drink the water to stay hydrated (and they already started to drink!).

Anyway. Instead of tantruming, my N mother does other things behind my back. She will pretend she doesn't hear me speak, even if I stand within two feet of her. She will do something I just asked her not to. If I ask for space, she will badger me. If I answer a question from one of my children, she will repeat what I just said almost immediately as though the question was meant for her. She will move my things bc she "didn't know" and she won't tell me she moved it. Everything she says to me literally sounds as though she had been in the middle of arguing with me for several minutes. She does this to no one else. No one.

I am sorry for the long response. Can you tell I have never been able to openly discuss my N mother with people who might understand?

10:15 PM  

Wow- that was really insightful. I never liked Carrie and now that you point it out, those are great reasons not to like her! She acted like that just to be it- it never seemed that Doug instigated her bossing him around so... Closely, so abusively. :(

10:21 PM  

You are not a waste of anyone's space! Don't forget that.

You are right- it's your home, too. If you can, can you find help from a friend or a relative? If he is or has punched holes in the wall, I fear for your safety. Please see if you can reach out to someone even if you have to make phone calls from work or something.

Please take care.

10:24 PM  

Do narcissists always save the baiting and stuff for when they are alone with you? My dad has been trained well by my N mother and I am not sure he knows 3/4 of the things she actually says to me. I don't tell him bc I never had. Why would he believe me? He never has. He thinks I am delusional. He said so several years ago.

Is that typical? :(

10:27 PM  

:) happy anniversary

10:32 PM  

I took a screen shot of the last conversation between me and my Narcissist friend, and sent it to my Mom. She said, "How old is he? He is acting like a crying baby having a tantrum." That was the first time I realized, oh my gosh, this isn't just a guy having a bad day, this is abuse.

Then I researched and found "Puer Aeternus" (Peter Pan/Eternal Boy Syndrome) and it fit my abuser perfectly. It's emotional immaturity coupled with NPD. I cut off all communication with him, and I may not have been able to do that, had I not learned he was a Narcissist. I would have felt sorry for him, and tried to help and heal.

It's sad that there are monsters among us with no heart, no conscience... and all we can do is pray for a miracle, perhaps a DNA Upgrade. But pray from afar!

3:42 PM  

My "N" is giving me the silent treatment. Actually it's nice, there is peace an quiet around the house. My punishment is for not agreeing he should buy a newer vehicle. When I said no we can't afford it, I heard all the things I do wrong and listen to his twisted lies about me. Then he tells me I'm losing it when he gets cornered in this argument. I told him, I'm not taking the bait on his tantrum. He looked at me dumbfounded and walked out of the house. One thing a "N" doesn't like when you can prove them wrong.

At least this time I was ready for it!

3:04 AM  

Mine just takes absolutely every disappointment out on me. A bad day at work and I get the silent treatment. Dinner not ready when he walks through the door and I get the silent treatment. Virtually unless I am being his lapdog im ignored. Confront him about his behavior and he stonewalls to the extreme that he picks a spot on the wall and stares at it whenever I speak ir enter the room. He has the face of a gargoyle! He is always the poor me victim too. Witholds sex and affection.

4:35 AM  

You just explained my husband to a T!!

11:08 PM  

I am so confused 3 yrs pf trying,crying,begging just to be treated the way any normal woman or person should. Ive neen abused physically,mental and verbal.Rven while battling breat cancer I carried black eyes and even bite marks.We went to the first therapy session last week he shifted blame and suger coated
Still not able to just fess up.This Wednesday is our second therapy session and I have planly told him confess to the abuse,lies,cheating and control.If he don't than I have to go and this time for good. I love him and have gave 110% never have done him wrong. I have and do call him put on his behavior and wont give in to the control which makes me the bad one oh its never him.So hear I am scared but yet prepared for a bad outcome for I have no trust in him.So if after all this abuse for 3 yrs and begging for things that come natural when in love then can this be love?Can a person that claims they love you and is so mean and cruel really in love with me?To beat a women battling cancer and going through chemotherapy is he just really that mean to heartless.I think he is a psychopath.This therapy is a lost cause if he cant confess and finally put the blame on him..if he cant admit or realize than how can it ever be fixed.We will see how Wednesday goes and it will hurt even more knowing i stayed and let myself go through hell for nothing but at least o know and God knows and my boyfriend knows(he will ssy it was me anyway to keep the heat off of him.Please someone advise me does he love me or just Cant because of a disorder,"I could go on with this comment but i.think I told enough. I pray he does right this therapy session. Im so stressed!But then i ask why for if he don't and I leave what can I miss if I never had it,I will hurt and miss A hope for the love He never gave.

1:12 AM  

My N husband stopped me from continuing my education(I have a bachelors but wanted to work towards a masters, then doctorate) Reading, writing, learning was always such a great joy for me. But he said I wasn't going to go to school on his dime, even though the student loans would be in my name. When I insisted, he told me the only way it would happen is if I left him AND left our (then 2 yr old) son with him! At the time, he was very familiar with and had ties to the local judges in our one horse town... So I backed down. N husband went on to start a business that has been successful so far. The characteristics that make him toxic as a father and husband are actually assets in business....but now he still won't let me get a job outside of our house and business, telling me no one would want me and that I'd never be able to hold a job. Even though he expects me to do things at his business: payroll, scheduling, just whatever he wants me to do...I try not to think about it. I recently started seeds. I used to love gardening, and growing things. We have a small farm with plenty of room for it, so I was really looking forward. Last night he told me I could use only a small space, that will be in the dog yard. We have a young dog who will destroy anything and everything in her path, so it's pointless to even start it at all... When I started to almost cry, he accused me of making him feel bad and how could I be so selfish? He went on about how HE has to do everything and I dont do anything and blah, blah, blah.,,it's always the same: he's right, I'm wrong, he's good and I'm bad...everyone around him is pretty much a syncophant...he only wants to hear his opinions parroted back to him...I have no where to go and we have children. He's never physically abusive but mentally and emotionally, I feel like a punching bag...

7:41 PM  

You can and you will. I was married to mine 18 years. I told myself the same, it's easier to stay and I too have kids. It's not easier to stay. It's more damaging. I had no self esteem, no confidence, no money, but I finally walked out. Step out in faith. It takes work, but if I can do it, anyone can. Enjoy your life rather than spend it drowning. Peace and happiness are out there, you just need the courage to go get it. Good luck.

12:47 AM  

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