It’s Narcissist Friday!
What happens when the narcissist finally crashes and burns?
Oh yes, it does happen sometimes. We see it on the news. We read about it in the magazines. We hear about it from friends and family. And we wonder if justice has finally come.
The famous preacher or spiritual teacher was never what he pretended to be. There was a dark side. The great politician we were all supposed to love was compromised by his weaknesses. The model employee was cheating all the time. The favorite son broke the rules to serve himself. Then it all came crashing down.
Or did it?
We know what happens just after the exposure. Blame, excuses, blustering, hiding. The narcissist has great difficulty facing the truth. The position of influence might be gone, but the narcissist should not be counted out yet. Even though he knows he can’t have it, he wants it all back. The only reason for the crash was the unfaithfulness and unfairness of others.
“Have you no shame?” we ask when we see the narcissist seeking the limelight again. But this is not about humility… it’s about addiction. Unless the narcissist experiences a serious heart and spiritual change, he must try to return to what he had. Even if it means starting at the bottom again. Another lover, another position, another group of supporters: it can be built again.
Yes, the narcissist is smarter the second time. Slower. More careful. Even less trusting. Willing to accept smaller achievements. After all, he would have to be truly great to come back from such a blow. Any new success serves to show his superiority. Lesser people would not have survived.
And the supporters still gather around. Some never left. Others came after the troubles. Their weaknesses and intentions are obvious, but it doesn’t matter. Narcissists always have supporters. Quality was never a requirement. Only devotion. They watch, hoping to get something of value from the narcissist. Favor, fame by association, inside knowledge, something.
Most of the time it seems that the only ones truly damaged by the fall of the narcissist are those who gave sacrificial support. They are the ones who are embarrassed. Often they are the ones who lose everything. They took a risk and lost. They look back to see just how much it cost to love the narcissist. Too much.
No, the narcissist does not just go merrily on his way. He has fallen from too great a height. There is damage. But he is still the narcissist. He believes in himself. A little tweaking here and there and hope is renewed.
Do some change? Maybe. And then they write books about themselves or tell their stories to new lovers. Too few make any real changes in who they are.
When the storm comes, we should not try to hide under the tree. The tree has survived other lightning strikes. Those who trust in the protection of its branches are usually not so fortunate.