Respect

It’s Narcissist Friday!     

 

Aretha Franklin sang it:

I ain’t gonna do you wrong, while you’re gone
Ain’t gonna do you wrong (ooh) ’cause I don’t want to (ooh)
All I’m askin’ (ooh)
Is for a little respect when you come home (just a little bit)
Baby (just a little bit), when you get home (just a little bit)
Yeah (just a little bit)

 

Just a little respect. But narcissists don’t respect people. They manipulate people, curry favor with people, use people, and may even hate people, but they don’t respect anyone.

To respect someone, you have to see that person separate from yourself and with value separate from you. In other words, their value cannot be simply in what they do for you or can do for you.

To respect is to look at a person in a way that acknowledges a value in that person apart from you.

In the past, I have written that narcissists see others as tools, toys, or obstacles. While the carpenter might appreciate the quality of his tools, he would hardly say that he respects them. They exist for his use. If they fail him, he simply discards them and find others. The child treats her toys in the same way. Their value comes from the purpose they serve in her life.

It could be said that a person might respect an opponent who presents an obstacle, I suppose, but only until that obstacle is overcome. The narcissist sees obstacles as enemies to be destroyed. Once the enemy is overcome, there is nothing more to respect. The only purpose for an obstacle is to make the narcissist look good in overcoming it.

The point here is that when the narcissist categorizes people in his or her life, respect has nothing to do with it. It might appear that the narcissist respects certain people if they are in authority or if they offer something he needs. There might be an action or attitude that seems like respect, but it will be part of the manipulation.

How will you know this? By listening to the things said about that person. The narcissist will almost always have something about the person to criticize. “He is a great salesman, but did you see that tie?” “She has a beautiful house, but so would I if you made more money.” In front of the person, the narcissist is gracious and submissive. These negative words come later.

Of course, most people will not even get that much respect from the narcissist. Most of us, regular people, only get noticed when we are in the way or are useful. And then it isn’t respect that we get.  We get criticism, or demands, or lectures, or manipulations, or whatever it takes to get us to do what they want.

Why doesn’t the narcissist respect people? Because he/she doesn’t see others as separate. Depersonalizing others is a key part of the narcissist’s life. There is no empathy, no regard for people as individuals. Others only have value in connection with a purpose in the narcissist’s life. If that value is finished, or if the person fails, the narcissist is able to discard the relationship and move on.

And remember: being the reason for the narcissist’s failure or weakness serves a purpose. That means the narcissist might not discard someone who fails if that person can be used as an excuse. “I thought Bill would be able to make this work, but now he has let me down again.”

For the narcissist, control is everything. In the mind of the narcissist, two types of people are under his/her influence: deceived people or intimidated people. They are either less intelligent or weaker than the narcissist.  In order to be useful, people have to be under control.  Anyone under control deserves no respect from the narcissist.  Anyone not under control is either useless or an obstacle.

Once again, the truth hurts. Who wants to be with someone who doesn’t have respect for others? Who wants their value only in their ability to be “useful”? Where is love and respect? Not with the narcissist.

Sometimes I don’t like writing these things.  I know they hurt.  At the same time, they answer questions.  If this is what you are seeing in your relationship, you may be dealing with a narcissist.  If that’s the case, then at least you are beginning to understand the battle you are in.

 

 

 

31 Comments

Filed under Narcissism

31 responses to “Respect

  1. Georgette

    WOW!!! Nailed it!!! It comes as a shock on paper to me but so true. It hurts to see how evil they are!

  2. I’m still trying to get a handle on this for what it means for me, having to maintain a “coparenting” (read: counter-parenting) relationship with my ex-narcissist. His viewing me as a tool, toy, or mostly obstacle means I am his scapegoat. He has decided he wants to make me suffer. I am learning to rely more on God though, and see it as this: The narcissist needs a scapegoat and pins all his wrongdoing on me, since he cannot take responsibility. So I am discarded, off into the desert. But I am a human being, not a goat, so I can leave the tribe of those who do not rely on God to take away their sins, and seek the tribe of those who do-those full of grace. I cease to be a scapegoat when I have put down that load of falsehoods and abuses put on my back and rely completely on the grace of God.
    The spiritual path of un-learning to be a victim when you are actually being victimized is confusing and hard. But I’m working towards that. The only way out is through Jesus. He took away our sins and grace covers me through this.

    • Celeste

      While it is true that an abuser sees you that way, you continue to grow out of this imposed perception of yourself. I am certain you are relearning who you really are, as you get stronger. For me, it feels good to have finally learned his game and stand taller than him. Yeh, he still trips me up, 10 yrs later, but I get back on my feet a lot faster. The best part is that I see through his facade.

      So true, you are a human being, created beautifully by God. Smile at yourself in the mirror each morning and state one truth about yourself while smiling back at yourself.

      I have learned that when life starts getting confusing that a lie is at the forefront. Usually in the form of a conversation with my ex. As soon as I am able, I state the lie in a few words and then restate the truth in a few words. We stand with you.

  3. Tara E Mclaughlin

    very sad truths..

  4. rubycommenting

    Very well written and easy to understand. Thanks:)

  5. Millie

    Dave, the moment I was told by my ex that he didn’t respect me or appreciate anything I had ever done for him was the sobering moment my marriage of 21 years was over. It was the moment of clarity that will always be etched in my mind as the demise. As much as this hurts most cuttingly, it was the moment I truly woke up to the abuse and narcissism. Thanks for opening this most important conversation. It taught me most of all to keep my self respect and dignity to not allow this to continue. I am still healing from that deep cut but I will be a success story!!!!

  6. Spot on as usual, Dave. Each of your missives brings another level of clarity to my situation. Twenty-two years of it for me…discarded by text.

  7. Dave, as always you are spot on! Thank you for this post, and countless others, that succinctly bring clarity to narcissistic personality disorder. It is truly mind-boggling how a couple can raise children together, attend church together, care for and bury elderly parents, and the narcissist will have not an ounce of appreciation or respect for his spouse. While still married to my husband of 21 years, he said to me one day while watching our son’s wrestling match: “I don’t care about you, I don’t care what you think, I don’t care what you feel.” It was probably the only true thing he ever said to me. Looking back, I can now see that he used, deceived, and manipulated, defrauded, intimidated, and controlled everyone in his life, including his prior wife of 21 years. At the age of 73, he got married to wife #3 in December of 2016, and I am wondering how long it will take for her to figure it out.

  8. Lisa

    Very clear and eye opening.

  9. Karen

    Thankyou Pastor Dave once again. I find myself looking forward to Friday’s as I find this blog so informative and validating. Lately though thru bible study at my church I am being confronted with forgiveness. I completely understand my need to forgive and I have admitted to the Lord that I struggle with this immensely. How do you forgive evil? Do I need to forgive evil? Someone who is a predator, someone who plotted this out and chose to use you, deceive you, discard you and then blame you and turn the whole thing onto you and still continues with these lies to everyone who will listen. I want to forgive but how? Shouldn’t forgiveness look like letting it go and never letting it drag you down again? so many bits of conversations in the past that I felt things were not right scream at me now that I know the truth. I want to be free of this but how? How?

    • Selma

      I’m sure that Pastor Dave will have some excellent suggestions. A book that I found very helpful was “Forgive & Forget: Healing the Hurts We Don’t Deserve” by Lewis B. Smedes. It includes a chapter on evil entitled “Forgiving Monsters.” The title is a little misleading as he definitely affirms that “not forgetting” is perfectly understandable and okay.

    • Cecilia K

      Hi Karen, 1 John 1:9 says, “If We Confess Our Sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins…” I believe that forgiveness requires repentance first. Of course, even if they don’t repent, we still need to leave them in God’s hands, and try to not let a root of bitterness grow in us. We can’t have relationship with Christ unless we first repent, and recognize our need for forgiveness and a Savior, and our earthly relationships are also designed to function this way. My pastors affirm this stance, as I believe John McArthur does, too, if you’re familiar with him, and they all articulate/explain this so much better than I do. I just don’t think you need to feel guilty if you haven’t been able to forgive your abuser. If he/she hasn’t expressed *Genuine* repentance, then I don’t believe you are obligated to forgive him/her.

  10. Alabama

    Based on a high percentage of posts on various threads here, it appears that most of the comments are targeting male narcissists. Let us not forget that this is a gender neutral subject matter. In my case, it happens to be a female who is the narcissist. If my personal experience derived from a narcissistic male, I would write in the same without bias. Male or female, individuals have free will. Choosing the path of free will is another story.

    • Georgette

      My mom was a psychopathic narcissist. I suffered ten years of physical, mental, emotional, verbal, and psychological abuse. Was in a foster home and then another twenty years of mind games before she got Alzheimer. Over the years I have been in out of therapy and have been in unhealthy relationships. This last relationship was the worst! My sister has been in out of therapy. She goes to therapy only after a major melt down and once she feels physically healthy she stops seeking counseling. This is what years of psychopathic narcissistic abuse over time can do to a child. You could say I am still a work in progress. God is still showing his truth, mercy, and grace where the lies are. I’m slowly opening the door to let his light shine in those dark areas. I do believe in the end she made herself right with God. She apologized for her ‘not being a good mom’ and I had and have forgiven her.

      • Alabama

        Thank you Georgette. I believe it is a process for all involved. You can sense from my script that I struggle with this personality type who purports to be something other than what she truly is to others. I’m very much deficient in understanding how this can be from others as I did not experience this in my family upbringing. Thus, my experience is limited with a very narrow scope. It helps to hear from others who have experienced this either from youth or present. Sadly, this female I’m referencing has enriched herself by way of this conduct which in turn has destroyed her children as they’ve adopted the narcissistic traits and have enriched themselves by untruths. Something others close to the family have witnessed with the adult children and have distanced themselves as such. Watching this conduct placed such a painful strain on their grandmother (mother’s side) as well. It is a long road and one I believe is difficult but unavoidable. Very pleased to hear your mother apologized for not being a good Mom. That in itself is wisdom and taking personal responsibility for past conduct which I can only admire. Appreciate your response.

      • Georgette

        Alabama, my mom started to realize some what the damage she caused only when 1. When I was over seas and she thought I was in danger and 2. When she realized her mind was going and wanted to make it right with God. Which I am fine with that! I have been informed that Jezebel’s don’t change! Some Jezebel’s may change just before they die, but that is a rare case. Like the Jezebel I dated, his soul is dark and he lies without blinking. Like I stated before I seen a demon go into this guy and twice before that I seen results of demonic activity. When you ask God to open your eyes to see people for who they really are be prepared for a shock! Well I was shocked! Still am in some ways. UNBELIEVABLE as to the extent of their dark soul!

      • Alabama

        You stated it perfectly Georgette. It’s unbelievable and a shock. But I’m learning everyday that this is a behavior that comes naturally for Ns. They feel no remorse. As in your case however, your mom realized her conduct when it was too late but at least her eyes were finally opened. As for the other one you have had to endure, we can only hope he reverses course with his conduct as well with enlightenment. That’s said, I’ve learned to distance myself from such toxicity and making every steadfast effort to realize it’s not my right or expectation to change the willful way of others regardless of how destructive they may be. That would indeed be up to s higher power. I’m so sorry you’ve had to endure this awful path but hope only the very best for your future ……

      • KT

        Finally, someone recognizes the spirit of Jezebel for who she is!!! We easily get stressed out dealing with the person or their flesh!! Its spiritual warfare!! Even when this spirit has control of a spouse, parent, friend or whatever!!! It’s still a spirit that needs to be dealt with… period!!!

    • Georgette

      Alabama: Thank you for pointing out that it is not my place to “change the willful way of others regardless of how destructive they may be”. My mistake and desire is to save the church from his destructive evilness and you are correct that is up to God to take care of that. He will in his own time not mine. If it means he destroys the church and the ministry that he is a leader of so be it. The leaders were warned about him by me and they chose to ignore it and shove it under the rug in the name of the ministry…so be it!

      KT: you are correct it is spiritual warfare and churches do not like to talk about it. Nor do they want to deal with the demonic in people b/c they are afraid and they don’t know how to deal with it so they look the other way or slip it under the rug in the hopes it will go away. Meantime b/c the ex-N is continuing to hold his anger, bitterness and resentment in, the door to his soul is wide open for more demonic activity. Church enables his behavior by allowing him to get up and give his testimony convincing himself and the people and leaders he is making strides in his recovery when actually his soul is growing darker. They also allowed him to help in the youth even though he continues to do porn. I am waiting for the N to have inappropriate behavior to a minor and the church get sued. Not my issue now, they have been warned and refuse to do anything about but continue to put him on a pedestal. Like his sister said that the N is a master manipulator and can get anyone to do, believe and even get people to say things that they wouldn’t say. I believe the minute we open our eyes in the morning we are under spiritual warfare until Jesus comes in gets us ☺!

      • Alabama

        You know…… something you said is of absolute truth. You conveyed those surrounding who were warned yet they choose to stand idle. Same here ….. let them parish in their own actions even if the church chooses that path. We as humans have choices… I’ve learned that even the most genuine, honest appearing, giving Ns can fool the masses as the masses operate on blind acceptance. The one I’m enduring is considered a pillar of the religious community and creates an image of purity. If they only saw the documents of fraud, deceit and pure dishonesty. Thankfully, members of her own family can see through this facade but are too fearful to speak out.

        In a higher power’s hands ….

      • KT

        So it’s said that we as Christians have targets on our backs in which the devil aims at us and all that belongs to us everyday. And I’m like just great 😞, I don’t need that!!! But we have to pick up sword and shield and fight, or be utterly destroyed 😶 I’m learning how to fight again, first asking God for strength. I’m learning how to be prayerfully proactive instead of tucking tail and running from the devil, even the Jezebel’s!!!

  11. TheWifeoftheN

    Having this person in my life is such a source of personal grief and struggle. Sometimes I feel like I am suffocating. When I can write about how he disrespects me, or when I talk to a mature and trusted Christian friend who believes me about what goes on in my life, I am validated and have the courage to go on. Thank you Pastor Dave and all you who have commented.

    • Cecilia K

      Hugs and Blessings to you, Wife of the N, We are so glad that God has given you some sources of validation and courage. I recently learned about another site that might be of help to you (and all who visit here) – emotionalabusesurvivor.com. As the name indicates, it’s written by a woman who went through an emotionally abusive marriage, and the only “thing” (a person, actually) that kept her from taking her own life was the baby inside her, and now God is using her pain and struggle to help others on their journeys.

    • Postbellum

      Hello Wife of N, I am sorry you are suffering and feeling suffocated, I understand that feeling, lived it for 20+ years. I used to refer to my (very beautiful) home as my “beautiful prison”. Thankfully, that is in the past, I left my Covert-N last year. I encourage you to break away when you can for time alone or with other believers that “get it”. Don’t waste your time/energy on people who don’t believe you or understand. You will have more strength and shift of perspective if you can distance yourself from your abuser, the brain fog will lift (it can be really overwhelming). Pray and ask the Almighty to give you clarity of thought and courage. Know that you are his precious daughter, loved, and redeemed. Do not base your value on what the N thinks of you, you are very valued in Gods economy. Reject the lie. Hold on to Gods
      truth, preach it to yourself every minute of the day!

  12. guardyoureheart

    just had a flying monkey aka proxy-abuser call me after years of not being in touch i knew immediately what he was calling about as i accidentally answered the phone. i even predicted he might call (narc become predictable after a while) but i tried to find out how it is that he is getting involved in things that don’t concern him what motivated him to do that, what kind of person is attracted to negative evil destructive drama…and what it is he thinks gave him authority to tell me other people how to live their lives and what to do…. he said that those things the narc did were something that the narc was ”just joking about” that the narc is really missing me in fact…, sure more like missing the opportunity to abuse i said.

    One thing the flying monkey said was that the narcs really disliked no contact and it was making them mad and they wanted me to forgive so i can have peace of mind. Actually i have peace of mind and i have forgiven them just that i don’t need to have any contact with the abusers because there is no evidence they are not abusers any more only there is evidence that they are… No contact works we need to keep it up and so does being good to ourselves, doing good things for ourselves and looking after ourselves and loving and respecting ourselves and having positive regard for ourselves even when we make mistakes it doesn’t make us any less valuable we need to keep trying and be good examples for others and are able to help others that way…

  13. KT

    Just when I thought that Pastor Dave had exhausted all topics on the narcissist…You have done it again!!! And once again you are right!!! It’s so uncanny !! I’ve been reading your posts about a year now and you never ceases to amaze me!!! I know someone who possesses every quality that you refer to. My ex to be exact. I’ve concluded, there is no need to fear the narc. God is well able to handle the insolent and prideful narc!! There are MANY references in the Bible!! Once you know the narc, you along with God’s help will be able to handle them. The Lord is my light and salvation whom shall I fear, of whom shall I be afraid!?!?!

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