It’s Narcissist Friday!
Yes, I know that all the excitement is over. If I wanted to capitalize on the eclipse I should have done so last week. We drove to Wyoming to see it, along with some 500,000 other cars (that’s true). Driving was terrible, the eclipse was wonderful.
But it made me think.
How many of you took your special glasses and looked at the sun after Monday? No reason, right? After Monday, everything was just the same as always. The only big deal was that the moon got in the way on Monday.
One of the most serious desires of the narcissist is to be the center of attention. The co-worker who shows up at the end of the project and is able to take credit for the work others did. The husband who picks up a dish towel just as the company comes. The mother-in-law who “cleans” what you have already cleaned so she can say that she helped you. The narcissist doesn’t really do anything except get in the way—but expects to get the attention and credit.
Those of us who were able to watch the eclipse on Monday didn’t watch the sun. We watched the moon. It was the moon that was moving. Narcissists are usually the people who are moving. They are not the regular workers, the ones we all depend on. In fact, they make fun of the “plodders” who do the real work. The narcissist is here and there and everywhere, making an appearance, trying to be noticed. The narcissist doesn’t stay in one place, resists being “stuck” in a job, pushes to be involved in the next exciting thing. Narcissists are the ones moving around.
But let’s be sure that we are seeing the real distinction. The narcissists are not moving around because they are working. They move around to look like they are working. They believe that they have to keep moving to be noticed. They are “overworked,” “busy,” “needed.” You can tell by the fact that they don’t have time for you or for what you consider important.
Most of the narcissists I have known are what I call “antsy.” I think that’s reference to the old “ants in the pants” idea. They come late to the lunch date and have to leave early. They interrupt your conversation with their phone calls, the people they see, and the agenda they brought. Some actually have trouble sitting down (unless they are watching you work). He isn’t in his office. She can’t be reached by phone. Always on their way to something else.
It is a well-known tactic in acting for one person to upstage another just by moving. Bob Newhart did it when he thought too much attention was being given to a supporting actor. The camera (and our eyes) tend to follow the one who is moving. Narcissists know this almost instinctively. They plan to be unpredictable, even rebellious, just so others will be watching.
Meanwhile, you try to do the job you have been given. You do the work required. But don’t worry, the narcissist won’t be in your way long. You will be able to get back to your regular work when the narcissist moves to another place, probably in front of another person. And sometimes, just sometimes, others will notice who the real worker is. It may be after the narcissist moves on to steal from someone else.
How can you fight this? You probably can’t, at least you probably won’t succeed. The narcissist is much better at taking your credit than you are at protecting it. But maybe there is a lesson in this. Maybe you should be willing to toot your horn a little. Maybe you should be willing to receive praise and thanks. Including others in the praise you receive is nice, but not when it lifts up someone who did nothing. Don’t be afraid to let someone appreciate you.
And maybe you should move around a little. Be willing to take on a new project or share in a new team. If something excites you, admit it and volunteer to be a part. Yes, you have something to offer. Believe it.
The narcissists will always be around to try to steal what is yours. You may not win at their game. Yet, you can be happy and fulfilled. Allow yourself to live in a little of the limelight. You deserve it.
Slow and steady only wins the race if the race is long enough.
3 responses to “Eclipsed!”
This article is so timely because me and the kids have recently been talking about how you-know-who often takes credit for a lot of what I do. He has often painted the picture like I do and contribute absolutely nothing and everything we have as a family and individually is all because of him. Wow, its so good to receive even more confirmation that this stuff is not my imagination….
My N does this some…but I do think basic personality enters in here too. In fact, I would call him a Lazy Narc, because he likes it best when his acolytes do all this stuff for him. He likes manipulating and instigating others to look like this and sitting back to see the confusion or swooping in to save the day.
The Narc Enablers nearest me are constantly moving about, antsy, discontent with they-know-not-what, praising him while he humbly smirks and willingly admits his faults. He does like to do projects himself, using them as side-kicks who beg to have a chance or just feel so privileged to simply be there with him. If he can make them look like the silly problem he will, but in front of others he may also give them good credit. I believe he has many of the traits we see in genuine people, but his motivations have perfected the art of how to steal both overtly and covertly. He is a plodder, he does the real work and hogs it for himself in a need for control, but forget responsibility if it all goes wrong! And oddly, he can even get caught up in the fantasy he ‘s trying to make you believe ( gaslight anyone? )……because now it Must be true!
All Narcs can change on a dime if it suits their purpose. I’ve been amazed at how coolly it can be done. ( ‘I never believed/said that!”…. after Years of championing it. ) Worse yet, how often long-term friends would actually swallow it, as if they are not being deceived, as if they never knew. Projecting the image is a huge thing for Ns and we are gullible enough to believe what people say about themselves in word alongside their new actions. And our memories are short, at least when someone seems to be trustworthy. We want to believe it.
Deserving Anything, having self-esteem….. I was actually trained to think that was evil. The only one deserving of anything was the N. It’s a a hard self-work recovery, but now I need to be careful not to be taken in by the nice followers around Ns….. people like me. People who got stuck in no personal identity, who do his dirty work or just hang around worshiping, who will not take most types of praise ( except flattery ) and hate it when I do! These types of people have swallowed the hook so thoroughly, they are going to try to hook you too. They now have a need for a source as they are always running dry with the N draining them. All that neediness can also become poison and try to tear up anything in its way. And, yes, it can make more Ns and other issues. Personality disorders are messy things I think only God can untangle.
We can’t live in fear of never getting un-messed up. God has promised to be there for us and can prevent our going down the wrong path, even turn it into the right one in the middle. Embrace the Love that God has always meant for you. Even if you never receive praise from human mouths, His praise is wrapped around you now. Hug who you are and Look Up. ❤
As usual, you hit the nail on the head!! When Narcissists are not the center of attention (for example, when they attend an event to honor someone else), they will sabotage the event. For example, when my family hosted a surprise 50th birthday party for my children’s godmother, my former husband Tom decided to clean out the garage that afternoon. One hour before 75 guests were schedule to arrive, he had the entire contents of the garage outside on the driveway.
When Narcissists don’t plan something, they will sabotage anything someone else tries to plan. For example, when I tried to get together with a best friend I hadn’t seen in over 6 months, Tom yelled at me, and then imposed a rule that I check with him first before making any plans. He then made me cancel my plans because he had already made plans as a couple with his friends (without checking with me first, of course, which he had never done in 21 years together).
When something requires cooperation by a Narcissist who will not be the center of attention, they will sabotage it. At one point, I was interviewed for a top leadership position at a Christian organization and the organization requested that the spouse be at the interview. Tom made it all about himself “They want to interview me! I must be important!” When I politely tried to mention that the interview was about me and the position, he refused to go.
If it’s not their idea, they will make even putting a simple thing on a calendar impossible.
Whenever real work had to be done, he refused because it was beneath him. He claimed “I specialize in supervision.”
Narcissistic abuse IS domestic abuse. They are impossible to live with, and dangerous to leave.