It’s Narcissist Friday!
If we were to truly see the world the way the narcissist sees it, I suspect we would be shocked. It is a world full of monsters and enemies, users and competitors. The narcissist looks out on the world, from his tiny and protective cave, and fears the pain it causes. He wants the happiness and peace he sees in others, but believes it all to be a lie. In fact, he blames others for the fear he feels.
Perhaps you have noticed the conversations the narcissist has in his/her own mind. They fight battles with unsuspecting foes. Long before the boss criticizes the work, the narcissist has argued and fought and called the boss all kinds of names. After the phone call, the narcissist continues the conversation with defensive words of ridicule and anger. Rather than confront directly, the narcissist peeks out from the safety of her shell to do battle when no one is around.
There is little need to learn the perspective of others if those others are simply categorized as enemies or monsters. There is no relationship with competitors or users. There is only strategy and manipulation. Reality lives only in the cave, and love exists only in the shell. Relationship involves only self and reflections of self.
Perhaps there was a time when the little child thought others were kind and helpful and accepting, but those thoughts and hopes were ripped apart again and again—until they disappeared. Now the golden rule of the narcissist is: Do unto others before they do unto you. Now the narcissist strikes first and understands that others are either users or to be used.
By the time of adulthood, many narcissists have built invisible shells around themselves so they can interact with others in safety. They have developed weapons of personality—attractiveness, ruthlessness, and ambition. They quickly categorize the people they meet. Some will serve as reflections, narcissistic supply, to spoon feed acceptance and appreciation. Others are instantly enemies, posturing themselves against the narcissist. Still others are invisible, or nearly so, and not worthy of the narcissist’s notice. And no one gets into the shell. No one.
The boasting and critical narcissist may build a golem, a puppet-self for others to see so there is no risk of them seeing into the shell. The golem, or image, is beautiful, strong, wise, superior in every way. And competitors should concede, monsters should fear, users should serve, and everyone else should bow in worship. The image represents the desires of the narcissist. From the safety of the cave/shell, the narcissist manipulates the puppet-self so that others do his bidding.
But the narcissist knows that the world outside the shell is not real. Even the image can never be real. No matter how much the narcissist builds and worships the image, reality can only be known inside the shell. And inside the shell is a place of fear and inferiority.
So all others must remain outside the shell, in the unreal world. Hurting others means nothing because they cannot be real. Using others is nothing more than moving chess pieces or children’s toys. The feelings of others touch nothing inside the shell because they cannot be real.
If all of this is depressing, you have understood something of the perspective of the narcissist. There is a darkness in the heart of the narcissist. We, from the outside, might feel compassion or, even, grief for what they suffer. Yes, we should pray for them. But we must always remember that their struggle cannot be repaired or even adequately helped by us. We are outside, and we are not real. The narcissist’s world is inside the shell.
The narcissist will hurt you. He/she probably already has, if you are here reading this. You will not find love or value in your relationship with the narcissist. The narcissist doesn’t have it to give.