Narcissists can be predators. They need their supply and they hunt. Sometimes they hunt in support groups or churches or volunteer organizations. They look for people who are weak and need to be lifted up. They look for prey. Sometimes they look for people who have already been victims.
I know that sounds harsh. I wish it were not true. But I have heard too many stories of people who went from narcissistic homes to narcissistic marriages or from one narcissistic relationship to another. Sometimes I hear from people who have been in multiple narcissistic relationships. If the issues of your own heart have not been overcome, you may be susceptible to the same trick.
So be careful.
Not everyone you meet is honest, no matter how much you want them to be. Some people appear to be nice, but will hurt you. It might be someone who appears to be a good friend, listening and caring and so helpful. It might be a pastor or a counselor. It might be an attractive and caring person who seems to be as lonely as you. It might be someone you meet on the internet, someone who has presented himself as a victim. It might be someone from the dating service.
You know the signs. You’ve been through this before. The person listens so well and you tell your whole life story, which really surprises you because you weren’t planning to do that. The person wants to know things about your family and where you live and more. You begin to correspond off the group or outside the church because he/she feels a special connection and is hindered within the system. Watch for the red flags and don’t let yourself get used again.
What kind of person would take advantage of someone who has just been victimized? In the extreme, it’s someone like Ted Bundy. But most likely it’s just someone else with needs. They are hurting, too, but their pain is a little different from yours. You want a relationship of real love. They just want another person to use for their own pleasure.
Have you ever wondered how the narcissist can go from relationship to relationship? It’s because he uses people. He wears people out. After a while the words of adoration and the compliance seem to lose something of their intensity and he has to find someone new. Interestingly, he probably says that you stopped loving him. Love, to the narcissist, means feeding the narcissism.
So you don’t want to do this again. You would never have done it the first time if you had known the truth, right? You thought you were seeing things clearly then, but you were deceived. Narcissists are expert deceivers. And, sadly, if you forget to pay attention to the red flags, you can be deceived again.
Here’s a suggestion: find someone you trust, a friend or family member who loves you, and talk to that person about any new relationships. If you find that you are becoming connected to someone, even someone online, talk to your friend. If you find that you don’t want to talk to your friend, because you think he/she will tell you something you don’t want to hear, then wake up because it is probably happening again.
Predators, trolls, schemers, jerks. You don’t need another one.
Acknowledgements to Leigh Rubin, creator of Rubes, and the Creators Syndicate. Click on the image to enjoy great cartoons!