It’s Narcissist Friday!
It is entirely possible for a narcissist to exhibit a lack of resolve in the things he does and a stubborn persistence for the things he wants you to do.
It may have to do with the obsessive nature of narcissism, the need to control as much as possible, but it seems to be true that narcissists are able to focus on particular goals with abnormal tenacity. Once they decide that a certain thing would benefit their image or, conversely, that a certain thing obstructs their image, narcissists can be ruthless and unyielding.
Some will notice that a certain friend/acquaintance/coworker brings up the same issue every time they meet. Perhaps it is a boss who asks if a certain thing has been done yet. Perhaps it is a neighbor with an old and oft-repeated complaint. Depending on your relationship with the narcissist, he may not even know you apart from the obstacle you present. He may think of it and mention it every time he meets you simply because he does not see you. He only sees the problem.
Narcissists don’t see people in the way others do. They see, as I have noted before, tools, toys, or obstacles. At any time you may fit into one or more of these categories. But if you present a problem for the narcissist, or if you are the means to a desired end, then he/she will only see you from that perspective. The narcissist is not afraid to spend time and energy pursuing something he/she wants. The narcissist boyfriend is unusually attentive, unusually available, unusually endearing—as long as he is pursuing the relationship. The narcissist employee is unusually cooperative, unusually motivated, unusually diligent—as long as she thinks she is working toward a higher position. But the moment the goal is achieved or a different goal is deemed more worthy, all that focus dissipates. And the bitter reality is that the people along the way mattered little.
If the narcissist wants something from you, you won’t hear the end of it until it is done. Call it nagging, reminding, badgering, or whatever—the narcissist will stay on target until you give in. Girls may notice that the wonderfully attentive boyfriend is also constantly pressuring for intimacy or conformity. Narcissistic parents will zero in on certain acts of obedience or agreement and challenge everything else as rebellion; even if their children are adults. The only thing that matters is the idea in the narcissist’s head.
Of course, if you need something or want something or hope for something from the narcissist—be prepared to wait or just give up. The same focus will not be there for your project or concern. There is no drive to support his image, no reason to be worried about what you want. And it doesn’t matter if you are a spouse, a boss, a child, or a friend.
So, if you are a few steps removed from a real relationship with the narcissist, you might see him as a dedicated, focused, person. You might even admire his sense of purpose and resolve. He may go beyond your expectations to achieve the goal.
As long as it is his goal.
If you are in a close relationship with the narcissist, you will know the truth. You will see a person who is stubborn in achieving or resisting, but focused only on his own ideas. You may see someone who cannot keep a job or a relationship very long. And you may have forgotten how persistent the narcissist was in the beginning.