It’s Narcissist Friday!
Narcissists believe that loyalty is the same as love. They also believe that loyalty means agreeing with everything they do and say. And they haven’t a clue about what love is.
It is important for the narcissist to know what side you are on. Sides exist everywhere, according to the narcissist. People are either on the narcissist’s side or are against him. Anyone in the middle doesn’t count unless it is to the narcissist’s advantage to have that person on his side. Then the narcissist will woo and charm until he gets a commitment.
If you are against the narcissist, and she knows you, then you are disloyal. You cannot be a friend or a comrade and disagree with the narcissist. It almost doesn’t matter what the topic or issue is. In fact, you may be surprised at what the narcissist thinks is a big deal. If you don’t agree with the choice of food or color, if you speak your mind about politics, if you don’t want to go to an event—the narcissist may see you as disloyal. After all, if you supported her, you would agree with her.
Now, it is hard to overstate this. There are not only sides in the narcissist’s mind, there are clear distinctions between friends and enemies. If you disagree, you risk being seen as an enemy. Narcissists can be ruthless against their enemies. Lying to get someone demoted or fired, stealing possessions and accusing their opponent, even doing strange little things to gaslight the enemy. These are almost normal strategies for narcissists. If you are disloyal to the narcissist, you risk personal destruction.
If you are on the narcissist’s side, you still need to be careful. Narcissists don’t trust anyone. In fact, the most loyal person is suspect of deception. Since deception is such a serious and regular part of how the narcissist acts with others, he/she suspects that everyone is lying or stealing or cheating. You may be the narcissist’s best friend until you beat him at some game or competition. Suddenly, you are disloyal and against him. Suddenly, he can accuse you of cheating, say cruel things about you, and act like he hates you. All because you actually played the game and won. You were supposed to play hard and lose to the narcissist. That’s what a loyal person would do.
If you grew up in the home of a narcissist or have been in a long-term relationship with one, you may have adopted this definition of loyalty in your own life. You may find it easier to get angry at someone than to accept the fact that they think differently. You may see competition as a battle for life and identity. Yes, narcissistic ideas rub off, especially when they are so intense in a relationship.
What is loyalty? Obviously, loyalty is not the mindless agreement the narcissist expects, the boot licking sycophantish toadyism the narcissist requires. (Okay, I’ll stop.) In fact, the loyalty the narcissist wants from the people around him/her has nothing to do with what loyalty is.
Remember that the narcissist has no idea what love is. You see, loyalty is very much like love. Loyalty is connection, heart connection. When a man is loyal to his wife, it means he holds her as precious in his heart. It means he stays with her because he wants to and believes she is best for him. When a person is loyal to a friend, it means she will stand by that friend in times of trouble because she wants to, because she values the person.
The narcissist doesn’t see others as persons. He doesn’t value someone for themselves. Others are to be useful, in the narcissist’s mind. Their value is always connected to how the narcissist feels about himself. So, the narcissist doesn’t know what loyalty even means.
You are not disloyal when you disagree with the narcissist. If she decides that you are now an enemy, it isn’t your fault. Just because the narcissist can’t handle the fact that others are different and separate, that doesn’t mean you have done something wrong.
Narcissists want attention and connection. They long for it. The only problem is that they want it on their terms. Others do not matter to them. Others are good for supplying the warped ideas of love and loyalty the narcissist wants, but little else. The narcissist wants love, but does not trust or welcome the hearts of others. So, these twisted ideas infect every relationship.