Random Narcissists

It’s Narcissist Friday!

I have this image in my mind of someone reading this blog and saying that they have never met a narcissist. And I want to say, “Oh, you probably have. You just didn’t realize what was happening.”

That neighbor who keeps moving the boundary a little more into your yard each year. That driver who cut you off in traffic, endangering your family and most of the others driving nearby. That salesperson who treated you like an idiot or acted like he/she was doing you a favor to answer your question. That teacher who never seemed to care who was listening or what you thought. Or maybe the person in your homeowners’ association that makes your life miserable.

These folks are not necessarily narcissists, of course. Not everyone who rubs you the wrong way is a narcissist. Sometimes people are not careful or not caring. Sometimes they have other issues. But sometimes they are narcissists, and you are either a tool they can use, a toy they can play with, or an obstacle in their way.

As I write this, we are in the middle of the “lock down” because of the virus scare. People are actually encouraged to report those who are breaking the rules. Near my home a family was playing with a ball in the park. The father was handcuffed by four uniformed officers, in front of his 6-year-old, and forced into the back of a patrol car. After a little while, the officers decided the man wasn’t doing anything wrong. Why did they arrest him? Because someone reported the family in the park.

This is a time almost designed for narcissists. You know, the ones out on the road complaining about the others out on the road. The ones who refuse to wear a mask even when they have the cough, but complain about others who don’t wear masks. Narcissists love the rules—for others.

It was the neighborhood narcissist who reported that your grass was too long or that your car was parked on the street too long. It was the narcissist who pulled into the parking space you were so obviously waiting for. It was the narcissist who broke the rules and ruined the privileges everyone enjoyed.

You see, the narcissists know the rules. They know etiquette. They know how the game is supposed to be played. You know they know, because they expect you to obey. You might wonder because they seem to break so many of the rules, even the simple ones.

Another example: you are riding with the narcissist as he sees a car pass him. He says, “Hey, the speed limit here is only 45!” He curses at the other driver, but you look to see that he has been traveling along at 52 mph.

The narcissist hates boundaries, but expects others to abide by them. No coffee in the work area? She will disobey regularly, but scold others for doing the same thing. Narcissists expect special privileges. They are more important; their work is more important; their desires are more important. More important means the rules don’t apply to them in the same way they apply to you.

So, yes, you have probably met many narcissists. They laughed as they frightened you or hurt you. They walked away from your need. They took what was yours. They simply did not care about your pain or your heart.

One of the questions that comes up often is whether there are more narcissists today. With no statistics to back me up, I think so. I think this is a culture that supports narcissistic perspectives and actions. There seems to be more anger, more aggression, more entitlement. It may be that many of those who act out narcissistic behaviors are not technically narcissists, but they find that depersonalizing others works for them. Not caring about others frees them from responsibilities and expectations. Even if someone were to suggest that there are not more narcissists today, I would argue that we are seeing more narcissistic behavior.

Remember that we are not research professionals. It is neither our job nor our right to diagnose narcissism, at least as a clinical disorder. We observe behaviors and attitudes. Sometimes we live so closely or work so closely with a person that we can observe behavior over a long period and come to a reasonably responsible conclusion. When the person is in the other car on the highway, we have no real knowledge from which to draw conclusions. The most we can say is that person doesn’t seem to care about others.

Also, remember that narcissists can be very good at hiding their true feelings. Ted Bundy was a nice guy. The BTK killer was a respected elder in his church. Murderers, abusers, thieves, cheaters, perverts, and more live in our neighborhoods, work in our schools, and attend our churches. This is a crowded world, and there are narcissists.

We have considered narcissism in eight relationships (spouses, parents, children, siblings, friends, people at work, people in organizations, and random people we meet. It is not my desire that you would live in fear of relationships. Just because there are narcissists, users, in each of these does not mean they make up the majority or that you will have one in a certain relationship. Most people are not narcissists. Don’t be afraid.

At the same time, we need to be wise. Be careful with whom you share your heart. Give trust with discernment. Go slowly into close relationships. Teach your children about those who would use them. It is neither depressing nor frightening to know that there are cruel people. It is only enlightening and empowering. Understanding the truth and preparing for the real battle is a good beginning to victory.

*****

Apparently the audio file is not included in the email of this post. It may be too large or email filters might not let it through. If you would like to listen to the audio version of the post, you will find it on the blog site.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Random Narcissists

  1. Interesting you’d mention a homeowner’s association. Just the other day we got yet another passive-aggressive missive (sent to everyone, of course) from the president. This time we were on the grievance list. All because of some stupid cheap-o fence with ridiculous rules…. It’s gotten so I often avoid reading the newsletters because they just seem to be passive-aggressive complaints about something or other. I’ve begun to wonder about our president….

  2. Fellowsurvivor

    OH boy. Unfortunately I was married to a narc for 23 years, divorced 7 years ago. I still read Dave’s blog every time he posts but haven’t been an active poster for a long time. Because I was married to a narc for so long and studied everything I could, I learned a lot.

    After my divorce I became entangled with two others with similar qualities.
    One was a friend. A golf buddy. He always bragged about how much money he made but never seemed to have any. But at that time in my life I didn’t care. Playing golf was like therapy for me so I didn’t care. When he found out we were selling our house during the divorce and letting him know how much I would end up with he had this great investment plan which would pay 20% t0 50% return on investment.

    At the time my own daughter told me I wasn’t able to even tie my own shoes I was so destroyed. But he showed up day after day needing to get in on this deal as fast as a could, even coming to my business daily. I finally relented and gave him a large sum of cash to invest. First 6 months were spectacular returns on investment so I just said reinvest back into the program. I got a 1099 for $800. The next year I told him I just wanted to cash and to not reinvest to proceeds.

    The golf games stopped after years of playing every weekend. Never saw him or my investment ever again. When I was at the lowest point in my life, ever, he took advantage of my weakness. SOP I lost a lot of cash but he lost a great friend.

  3. Fellowsurvivor

    And then there was a woman I was dating. The first 5 months were amazing.. Then she was never available, always busy every week. After 3 weeks of texting without response, or if there was a response it was that she was busing that weekend or weekday I finally just gave up trying.

    There were some guy friends she hung out with that I had met and they were not a threat to me. One of the guys made a ton of money.

    Two months after I stopped even trying i get a message that said ” I guess we are done. I haven’t heard from you for a long time”

    So we start hanging out again but her guy friends were ” no more” Hm, wonder what happened. Then she wanted me to go on a road trip with her to visits these museums she wanted to see. It was the end of the month and business prevented me from going. Plus there was an indecent once when she was driving that was explainable, so being in her car for 5 hours didn’t seem like it was something I wanted to be part of.

    Anyway, she wanted to get serious again. I told her I would guard my heart and she should too. Before we broke off at first I was leaning to opening my heart to her. I was right on the edge at the time of really committing.

    Anyway, she asked why I would need to guard my heart and I said “because you abandoned me and then made me feel guilty for not going on the trip with you”

    She said ” I am sorry you felt abandoned and that you felt guilty” This post is all about this last statement. A narc will always put it back on you and not take responsibility for their behavior.

    If she had said ” I am sorry I abandoned you during the summer and I should never have quilted you for not going on the trip” then maybe I would have felt differently.

  4. taniadale

    It’s such a classic right? N’s turning things back around on ‘you’. Once you’re aware of this trait of their’s, it’s almost amusing….but at the same time freakily bemusing.
    The Lord Jesus Christ ‘showed’ me throughout 2019, that my husband is a N….what a journey!!! His ‘behaviour’ finally made sense to me! Unfortunately, my mum is also. Hence my repeated pattern of psychologically abusive relationships.
    I’m 54…
    -Born Again age 33..
    -diagnosed multiple sclerosis age 34
    -married age 40, to a ‘Christian’ man I met at church.
    So yeah, been married 14yrs now. I’m now trying to divorce him…seen my Lawyer twice, once included him being present.
    I’m bedridden. I can’t explain it. I’ve had God’s healing over the 20yrs….I can walk UNAIDED for goodness sake. So it’s not MS keeping me bedridden :-(. He does all the cooking, laundry, etc…making me more dependant by the day really. I can’t handle this….it screws with my head. And now lockdown!
    He was a Company/Financial accountant…not chartered…got laid off 5-6 yrs ago….hasn’t worked since. It’s weird coz I still like + love him! I see that that can happen to victims of N. abuse.
    BTW, when he goes off to South Africa for one of his 5wk trips…I stay home on my own…no help except cleaner once a week + MY HEALTH IMPROVES!!! Others have witnessed it…I even told him!
    He’s had others believing how marvellous he is…..yunno, the retard wife with MS…especially since he’s got me more + more isolated.
    He needs to be gone. It’s complicated with me owning most of the house [mtge]. He’s lied from the beginning re the amount of money he had.
    Lord please rescue me…
    Psalm 40:13
    please pray

  5. Singing Eagle

    OMG! The more I listened the more it confirmed and described my mother AND my husband! It explained how it felt like I went from the frying pan into the fire. What’s interesting is that they both had strokes and had a degree of personality change but the inner core of narcissistic personality remained.

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