Wednesday, November 21, 2007

SPOTTING THE WILD NARCISSIST PART 2

“Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."
Chinese Proverb

Fawning Over the N – a Required Activity
The Ns need fawning to live. Slavish adoration, also known as “narcissistic supply”, is as essential to the N as air is to you and me. Woe to the woman who fails to admire the N’s every action, fails to acclaim him the greatest and fails to be (or pretend to be) in constant awe of his alleged accomplishments. The N will be on you 24/7 arguing with you about how great he is until you “realize” (or simply agree in order to get the argument over) that he is the best at whatever the issue is and that no one else could possibly have done what he claims that he did.
Note the use of the word “claims.”
The N to whom I was married began an argument one day about how, in his opinion, his once a year “work” supervising our CPA’s preparation of our tax returns was the equivalent of my provision of all meals, buying groceries, doing the housework and handling all of the children’s’ functions for an entire year. I just laughed at him (always a mistake) and said, “Not even close.” He was outraged that I did not agree with him. I said, “If you think that’s equal to what I do all year, I’ll trade with you. You do what I do and I’ll do the tax returns.”
It will come as no surprise that he did not accept my offer to trade jobs.
As part and parcel of their need for awed admiration, the Ns cannot accept criticism. Even the merest whisper of a suggestion that they could possibly have made an error or a mistake brings rage. The Ns believe that they do not make mistakes. Period. All problems or errors are someone else’s fault. The Ns are big on blame for they never make errors or mistakes.
The suggestion that perhaps just possibly they were not the instrumental, critical person in the “deal”, project or case incites them to fury for of course they are the one and the only the only important person involved in the “deal.”
The N is Entitled for He is King
The N believes that he is the only important person on the planet. Thus, he is entitled to have his needs met immediately. You have no important needs. You, his servant, must drop what you are doing and “attend” to him when he wants something. You must do his bidding.
The N to whom I was married would go into a rage if I did not fix him the food that he wanted when he wanted it. The fact that the kids and I had eaten hours earlier, I had just gotten home from a meeting, it was nine o’clock at night and I was tired made no difference to him. In his view, the N was entitled to have me make him something to eat right then and there, when he demanded it. Woe to me if I did not perform!
The Ns Use of Others – the Stealth Method
The Ns use people, all people, including you, the purported love of his life. When he is done using you, he will treat you like dirt. Gratitude is not in his lexicon. Of course, he does not see you as a real person. You are just the method by which his needs are fulfilled and his narcissistic supply provided. Even if he understood the word “gratitude”, which he does not, he would not be grateful for in the N’s view, you were placed on Planet Earth for his sole benefit.
The Ns use the stealth method of getting people to do their bidding. By the stealth method, I mean that they start out by asking you for one thing, something that is not really a big deal. Of course, you say “yes” for what they asked you for was not much, not out of the realm of reasonableness. Then they ask you for another thing, and another, and another, each request greater than the last, until they are not even asking but demanding and assuming that you will of course do their latest, weirdest, most ridiculous request.
An example of a person who experienced this from the N to whom I was married is the case of a dear friend of mine. Friend helped the N to whom I was married manage the N’s small Phoenix office building during the period that the N lived in Hawaii. Friend is a highly talented interior designer turned real estate developer. He is a busy guy. Nonetheless, the N asked Friend first to check out the office regarding certain repairs and report in to him. Friend did this, for free of course. The next request was that Friend meet the repair guys and let them in. Friend did this. The “asks” escalated until one day Friend called me in frustration. The N had asked him to trim the trees in the office yard – in the middle of the Phoenix summer when the temperature was approaching 120 degrees. I asked Friend why he had agreed to do this as the N had a gardening company who came weekly and particularly considering that the N certainly had more than enough money to hire a tree trimming company. Friend did not really know how he got roped into this. It just sort of “happened”.
It happened by the stealth method. The N asked and asked, each request larger than the last and each request agreed to by Friend until the N assumed that Friend would do whatever the N wanted him to.
I advised Friend that he need not trim the N’s trees in the middle of the Phoenix summer but to expect serious flack if he refused. I told Friend that he needed to consider refusing to take anymore of the N’s telephone calls lest he get into a long, angry debate about Friend’s supposed obligation to trim the N’s trees. I forewarned Friend that Ns are always furious if their victims have the temerity to refuse to do their bidding.
After considering the matter, Friend called the N and left a message that Friend was unable to trim the trees and suggested that the N hire a tree trimming company. A barrage of telephone messages from the N followed, each more vehement, angry and nasty than the last. It was as if the N believed that he could scream Friend into doing his bidding.
Eventually, after Friend refused to return any of the N’s nasty telephone calls, the N gave up, as I knew he would. After all, the N’s preferred technique for getting people to do his bidding, screaming rage, was not working. Friend’s relationship with the N ended at that point. Friend had been used up by the N.
Evil Is a Lack of Empathy
In the movie Nuremburg, one of the characters concludes that the reason for the Holocaust was the Nazi’s absence of empathy for their victims. The character concluded that evil is a lack of empathy. I concur. I can certainly imagine an N presiding over a concentration camp for the Ns lack anything remotely resembling empathy. This is because other people are not actually human to the Ns but instead are simply tools placed on the earth for the N’s sole use. Further, the N’s have no ability to put themselves in other person’s place. The Ns, quite simply, cannot relate. The Ns do not know the meaning of the words “empathy” or “sympathy”.
So, if your dog or your mother dies, do not expect the N to understand, sympathize, or empathize with your pain. Such emotions are, quite simply, beyond them.
Remember as you read this that the Ns put on a “false front” at first, sometimes maintaining this fa├žade for years. Thus, they may appear to be sympathetic or empathetic, if it is not inconvenient that they do so or if such faux empathy promotes their “cause” as the perfect man/husband/boyfriend. Such empathy is only superficial and will disappear like a puff of smoke when it is no longer convenient for them.
A good example of this is the fact that the N to whom I was married had a rather complete lack of understanding about how his actions could possibly affect me after I had separated from him and filed for divorce. He routinely called me appalling names in front of the Judge. He repeatedly sent me hate email in which he called me equally horrific names. He clearly did not understand that his name calling (not to mention his actions) might bother me and could possibly adversely impact our future (non-existent) “relationship”.
Before I blocked his emails, on two occasions immediately after a name-calling, threatening email, the N to whom I was married sent me an email lamenting our lost “love” and inviting me to go on an around the world cruise with him. Apparently it did not occur to the N that his previous hate-email might impact my desire to go on an around the world cruise with him. The fact that I had not spoken to him in years and would not give him my home address or home telephone number should have been a clue as well. Nonetheless, the N so lacked empathy that he apparently expected that I would jump with alacrity upon the opportunity to travel around the world with him. The Ns lack of empathy, coupled with their superiority complex, does not allow them to understand why a woman would not want to be any where near them ever again.
Arrogance Personified – The Ns Are Always Late
The Ns have no compunctions about being late, making you wait for them, canceling appointments at the last minute or not showing up when and where they are expected to be. As the most important person on the planet, they are entitled to do what they want when they want. If their desires are inconvenient for you or anyone else, oh well. The world revolves around them, after all.
The N to whom I was married was perpetually late, habitually cancelled appointments at the last minute and generally inconvenienced everyone around him. If we had friends over and he got tired, he would simply go upstairs and go to bed, without even a good-bye. The fact that our guests were inconvenienced (not to mention baffled) by this behavior was, quite simply, their problem.
The N to whom I was married lacked basic courtesy and all social graces. Apparently, he had been raised by wolves. He simply did not care about inconveniencing other people.
Now that I understand narcissism, I know that the Ns arrogance is simply part of their power and control trip. The world waits for them, not the other way around.
The Narcissistic Stare
The narcissistic stare has been experienced by many of us who have had the misfortune to associate with Ns. Presumably, not every N does The Stare but from all reports, a significant majority does. The N’s stare is piercing, unwavering, reptilian. Seemingly flattering, this stare is unnerving – and is meant to be unnerving. The Ns look right through you. A woman who is not familiar with Ns might think he is simply paying complete and rapt attention to her but he is not. The Ns are staring at you to see how vulnerable you are. Some believe that the Ns use their stare to look through you to your soul for the sole purpose of determining whether you are viable prey or not.
Once you are in a relationship with an N, they stare at you in order to control you. Their withering glare is meant to cow you into submission. It is a strong woman indeed who does not back down under the malevolent narcissistic stare.