It’s Narcissist Friday!
(This post needs to be repeated occasionally, if for no other reason than to keep the T. S. Eliot quote in our minds.)
Why do the narcissists abuse people? Why do they do such things? They hurt. They use. They manipulate. They destroy.
Some have attributed their cruelty to hatred. Some to anger. Others to envy. Perhaps they look at the rest of us and create ways to demolish what we or others have built into our lives. Perhaps they do it for fun, excitement, maybe challenge.
Narcissists can cause a lot of pain. I read the stories people send to me privately and those shared in the comments and I grieve for those who have had to endure so much. Some of the stories are hard to believe, but I know narcissists and I do believe them. And, again, why do they do these things?
I have written about this before, but it seems important to say it again: it isn’t your fault. You are not an inferior person destined to be the kick-toy for others. You are not suffering because of some sin in your life. Narcissists don’t need our sin in order to accomplish their nastiness. God is not angry with you. He did not send the narcissist to punish you. Basically, it isn’t about you.
I’m not sure the truth will make you feel better about the reality in which we live, but I hope it allows you to feel better about yourself. It’s the narcissist who is broken. There is something lacking in them that allows them to hurt others without concern. There is something in them that is very different from the rest of us. No, they are not normal.
You see, the narcissist simply doesn’t care. He will do whatever he wants. She will say whatever she thinks. Words and actions are part of the narcissists’ tools to get what they want. They do the things they do because they are means to an end. If it hurts you, so what?
But, you say, how can a spouse or a friend or a parent think like that? I don’t know. I just know that some of them do. They manipulate in whatever way works. If it takes being nice to you and making you feel very good, they will do that. If it takes being mean and cruel, they will do that. Either one is simply useful, not good or bad.
So is it envy or hatred or sadism or some other perverted motivation? Maybe. But I will guarantee you that the narcissist does not feel these things in the same way you do. If they envy, they don’t think of it as envy. It is probably much more like base desire. If it is hatred, it may still have nothing to do with you as a person. If it is sadism, it does not bring the pleasure you might think. The narcissist is motivated simply by the desire to feel better about themselves. Whatever it takes…
Don’t try to figure it out. There is probably no cause and effect that will make sense to you. Just don’t believe the lie that it is about you. A few years ago I ran across this little selection from T. S. Eliot. I have shared it here before, but it seems good to share it again. It might help.
Half the harm that is done in this world
Is due to people who want to feel important
They don’t mean to do harm
But the harm does not interest them.
Or they do not see it, or they justify it
Because they are absorbed in the endless struggle
To think well of themselves.
T. S. Eliot