It’s Narcissist Friday!     


Okay, so it wasn’t a mistake. It was a choice. Yes, a bad choice, but you made it willingly. You knew it was wrong and you did it anyway. You wouldn’t do it again, but you did it. As a Christian, you call it a sin. It wasn’t an accident or an error. It was a sin.

And the narcissist knows about it.

At best, he/she will keep it until a comparison or some manipulation is needed. At worst, you are open to blackmail. Either way, you know it will be used against you. At some point, when you are vulnerable, it will come out. The narcissist will laugh and remind you of your sin. She will call you “Goody Two-shoes” and then bring it up. Or he will threaten to tell someone who doesn’t know, who doesn’t need to know, just to get you to do something. You know it’s coming.

Actually, it has probably already happened. Narcissists scour the lives of others looking for “indiscretions,” then store the knowledge away as weapons or tools. They remember everything and aren’t afraid of making things sound even worse than they were. If you told your secrets when the narcissist pretended to be a safe person, if you connected your narcissist to someone who knew, or if you just couldn’t keep it hidden—now the narcissist thinks he/she has power over you.

Is it true? Does the narcissist have power over you? What if he tells? What if she lets it out? As long as those questions cause terror in your heart, the narcissist has power. The power disappears when you no longer fear the exposure.

Remember that no one fears exposure like the narcissist. The reason she collects dirt on others is to keep attention away from herself. The narcissist has secrets and weaknesses he never wants to be revealed. They see power in the knowledge of your sins because they fear the power others could have over them. While it can be risky, many narcissists are held in check by counter-threats. In other words, they don’t dare tell your story because you will tell theirs. That may sound disgusting, but some situations call for such a strategy.

It would be even better to take the power away from the exposure altogether. If the fear could be removed from your heart, there would be no power over you. So, let’s look at how to do that.

First, go to the Lord. Yes, He hates your sin. He hates it so much that He has paid the extreme price to remove it from you forever. He hates the pain it causes you and the separation you feel from Him because of it. But He always has loved you. That did not change when you sinned. He has always been ready to forgive you.

If you have come to Him, He has washed your sin away. That means no more guilt on your account—so no more shame. Yes, you did it. You did many other things also. That’s why you needed a Savior. And that Savior has fully forgiven you. You are free from that sin’s power over you.

Second, if there is unfinished business involved with your sin, you may have to finish it. Pay back the money, confess the crime, admit to the deed. If the narcissist is already using it against you, threatening exposure, you may have to deal with it yourself to take that power away. Pray about this and be careful. You may need to talk with someone for advice. Remember to keep the circle of your confession as small as possible. Not everyone needs to know.

Don’t be afraid to apologize. I am increasingly convinced that the person who can sincerely apologize is both rare and strong. The other person does not have to forgive you. That’s up to them. But you will want to communicate regret for the pain you caused. You may not be able to do more than that. Once you do, however, the narcissist can’t threaten you with exposure.

If these two steps are done—dealing with God and dealing with those you hurt—then move on with your life. No more shame. No more guilt. No more looking back. If the narcissist wants to make you look back or tries to bring shame on you, you are free to reject it. Every time the narcissist brings it up, you can shrug it off. You are not defined by what you did in the past. The fact that you sinned and needed a Savior is not shameful. That’s true of all of us.

But it’s embarrassing. It might be embarrassing for him to bring out pictures or for her to tell your story. We all understand that. There are things in all our lives that we would find embarrassing. Many of those things are not sins at all. Embarrassment comes when we believe our actions or decisions make us somehow lower than we want to be. No one wants to be embarrassed.

Listen: humility is a good thing. We don’t have to be better than others. God already loves us, fully knowing everything about us. We are cleansed, accepted, welcomed, and valued by Him. That’s the best anyone can achieve. The height of human accomplishment and honor is bowing at the feet of the Lord who loves you.

So, when the narcissist teases you about your sin, don’t respond with either anger or pain. The fact that he/she brings it up exposes far more about him/her than it does you. It only comes up because the narcissist feels threatened. You are the strong one.

And when the narcissist brings up your secret in front of others, you have the right to feel betrayed and devalued. That was the purpose of the narcissist. But you are also welcome to tell the others that this was something shared in confidence and it has been fully dealt with by God and the people you hurt. The blame for any embarrassment you feel is the fault of the narcissist. Your friends will see that and understand. Others will simply see a strong person trying to move on.

This is a hard post because it touches places that are already sore. I understand that some of this is easier said than done. But, please, know that sin is not forever and has no power over you that you don’t allow. Jesus has made it easy for us to deal with our sin as far as He is concerned. You may be surprised at how He prepares the way with others as well. The narcissist has no right to use your pain against you. Take the power out of sin and away from the narcissist.






Don’t forget!  You can still get Walk with Me, a 30-day grace devotional, as an ebook on Amazon for only $6.99.  And if you purchase the paperback, you get the ebook for free!  Just click the images to access the links.


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It’s Narcissist Friday!     


We live in an age of fantasy. Magical powers, superpowers, evil powers—there seems to be a fascination with having special power, something to make you better than others. We have probably all been asked what we would do if we had special powers, perhaps lots of money or high authority or persuasive abilities. Most of us would consider such a question to be playful. If we were serious at all, we might decide to stop some evil or fill some need. But that kind of fantasy is a game for us.

Fantasy about having power is not a game for the narcissist. If you look through the list of nine characteristics that define narcissism, you will see that nearly all of them have to do with power. The narcissist wants power over others. The narcissist wants others to see him/her as powerful. The narcissist believes himself to be powerful. The narcissist thinks he has a right to power. The narcissist wants you to respect her power.

If I were to ask you what you would do if you had the power, your mind might go to self-serving things. But after more serious thought, you would almost certainly want to use that power to help others. For most of us, power would be about what we could give or do for others.

For the narcissist, power is about what you can get, rather than what you can do. The narcissist isn’t going to think about all the good he can do to solve the suffering or struggles of others. The narcissist is going to think about what he can have on the basis of his power. In fact, he will consider that power to be a tool for achieving the fantasies he has always had.

We often wonder about those who misuse the trust of others for their own gain. Politicians and entertainment industry people have been in the news lately, not just because of their sexual escapades but, because of their abuse of power. They take advantage of people who come to them for help. How can they do this? Well, it is no secret that narcissists are drawn to these vocations because of the opportunities for power.

If you see a position of power, watch for narcissists. Whether it is high-level politicians, or wealthy entertainers, or pastors of churches, or even leaders in your own small organizations—wherever power seems present, there will be narcissists.

In fact, you might be surprised at the places narcissists find power.  Small organizations, church groups, neighborhood associations, even (as we know) the family.  If the narcissist cannot achieve power in a big place, he/she will seek it in a small place.

Power gives control. Power brings privilege. Power provides attention. All of these are things the narcissist craves. The fantasy of the narcissist is to be surrounded by servants fully yielded and very generous. The narcissist wants love, but will take groveling. In fact, groveling will seem better than real love, because the narcissist doesn’t understand real love.

We have talked before about how the narcissist sees people. “Tools, toys, or obstacles.” In other words, “Serve me or get out of my way.” There is no time for the needs of others, no time for treating others as real people. The narcissist only has time for meeting his/her own needs.

But… you say. Some narcissists have organized great charities and have authored great legislation and have given great speeches in support of good causes. Even your narcissist is kind and generous at times. If all they think about is themselves, why do they do these things? The answer is in another question: What does the narcissist get out of it? If the narcissist uses power to give to others, it will always be to get something for himself.

We are shocked and amazed when the great charity effort doesn’t quite reach the people it was meant to help, when the leaders prosper instead. But we shouldn’t be surprised. We notice the adoration and attention the generous narcissist gets, even though he hasn’t really given anything that cost him. Loyalty can often be purchased through kindness, as can admiration. It wasn’t about the giving, but the getting.

Good people are often shocked by the abuse of power. We are disgusted to see how some use others. But we should not be puzzled. That’s the way of the narcissist.


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It’s Narcissist Friday!     


I hate mistakes. I hate making mistakes. I can spot a misspelling on a sign or a grammatical error in a document in seconds, unless I wrote it. For several years I read long theological documents able to catch minute doctrinal errors, but sometimes the things that come out of my own mouth are just dumb. I would never consider myself a perfectionist because there is nothing about me that is perfect.

Sound familiar? Most of us have been carefully trained to focus on our mistakes. Remember school? You handed in a paper with your most careful work. You received the same paper back covered with notations about your mistakes. Red circles, black check marks, harsh comments. Out of 100 points, you got 92. And, instead of noticing the A-level work, you wondered what you did wrong. Everything was focused on what you did wrong.

Many years ago, I worked for a man who seemed to take delight in pointing out my mistakes. He actually used the word “failed.” I failed this way and that way. I sat with him through my final assessment for three or four hours while he told me how I had failed. It took me a long time to get over that.

We learned to judge others and ourselves by our mistakes. The media loves to point out the mistakes of politicians they disagree with. The fans talk about the mistakes of the players and the referees. The error at the store is much more memorable than the many times we have had good service.

Teaching students without focusing on mistakes is a very delicate and difficult job. It takes more time and caring. Instead, teachers usually just hand the criticisms and judgments back and tell them to do better. And the students learn to hate their mistakes. Mistakes bring pain. Mistakes bring shame. Mistakes mean failure.

But we all know in our hearts that mistakes are basic to human life. Not one of us goes through life without making mistakes. It isn’t possible! Let me emphasize that: IT ISN’T POSSIBLE! And not only do we all make mistakes, we all make roughly the same number of mistakes.

The conventional wisdom is that the only way to avoid making mistakes is to do nothing. In other words, the people who are doing something are making mistakes. That means that the people who are doing more are making more mistakes. The most successful people are those who are making the most mistakes. For many years Babe Ruth was known as the “Sultan of Swat” for making so many home runs and the “King of Strikeouts” for missing so many balls. Making mistakes is part of living.

So what’s the difference between those of us who focus on our mistakes and live in fear and shame and those who seem to be able to move past their mistakes? If we all make mistakes, why does it seem like there are people who make none? And why does it seem like I make so many more than others?

The answer is: MAGIC!

What? You don’t believe me? Well, it’s true. How does the magician do his or her wonders? Is it because of mystical powers? Of course not. The key word to understanding magic is “misdirection.” And that explains how people seem to go through life without making mistakes.

Think about this: If others make mistakes just like you and I do, why don’t we see them? Probably because we are too busy looking at something else. The magician tells you where to look mostly by looking there himself. While his hands are doing the trick, his eyes are focused on the place he wants you to look. You look at his right hand, for example, while his left hand is doing the trick. You look at his assistant, just like he does, while he works his “magic.”

The successful person has his or her eyes on the next success. You don’t see their mistakes because they aren’t focused on them. I learned this early and have taught it to my family: if you don’t focus on your mistakes, the majority of people around you will not even know they happened. We have all listened to a singer or musician who stopped to correct a mistake we didn’t notice. If the singer had not called attention to the misspoken lyrics or error in music movement, most of the audience would have either missed or ignored the mistake. The successful performer keeps moving forward drawing the audience along.

The narcissist, on the other hand, gets you to miss his mistakes by causing you to focus on your own. He watches you and collects your errors to use as distractions when he makes his own mistake. By presenting you with your error, which you are ready to accept and consider, you don’t have a chance to see his. And, even if you did see his mistake, you can’t focus on it because you have to defend yourself against your own.

But suppose you have already moved past your mistake. Suppose you have learned whatever you needed to learn and left the fact of your error behind. Then, when the narcissist tries to distract you, you would see his attempt at distraction. You would not have to defend yourself, and you could keep your focus on his error.

Now, I am not suggesting that you focus on the mistakes of others, even of narcissists. What I am suggesting is that you learn to lose sight of your own. The fact that you make mistakes will never go away. You should accept that as the simple truth of an active life. But your mistakes have no purpose in your life other than to help you learn as you move forward. And like good housekeeping, when something has served its purpose, get rid of it. If someone else digs around in your trash and finds something you threw away, don’t take it back.

Here’s an interesting tidbit: In Texas, the things you have put out in the trash no longer belong to you. The courts have ruled that you have transferred ownership of those items to the waste-hauling company, the people with the job of getting it away from you.

So here’s what I would suggest. When you make a mistake, acknowledge it and learn from it. Then get rid of it. Give it to the Lord, and thank Him for His love and acceptance. Then it belongs to Him. He will remove it from you, and you will not be identified by your mistake. Tell anyone who tries to bring it back to you that it belongs to God now. They have no right to it.

Stop focusing on your mistakes. They are normal. Everybody makes them. Move forward with your life.


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It’s Narcissist Friday!     


I know I am a few days late to address New Year’s resolutions. Most of the ones we made (if we made any) are already broken or seriously bent. I am not big on resolutions anyway. If any of us really wanted to change things, we could begin anytime.

But there is one resolution I would strongly suggest. It’s simple. It’s difficult. It’s life-changing. It’s necessary. It’s right. So, whether you make any other resolutions, make this one. If you hate the idea of resolutions, still make this one.

Ready? Here you go:


I resolve to think and speak positively about myself.


Like I said, simple. Narcissists and other abusers get by with their cruelties and manipulations because we let them. We let them because we believe their negative assessments of us. They see us as weak and inferior, so they use us.

We can stop most of this simply by seeing ourselves in a positive light. When the narcissist says something negative, it should sound like screeching on the chalkboard or breaking glass or clanging metal. In other words, it should be disharmonious.

Remember LP records? Remember the sound of your favorite music interrupted by the scratching of the needle sliding across the record? The simple pleasure and affirmation of your favorite music attacked by the painful sound of the scratch. That’s what the narcissistic criticism should sound like.

When the narcissist seeks a victim, he/she will choose someone who has strength and competence. That always sounds wrong to people at first hearing. But that strong and competent person is usually not confident. Somehow, the abilities grew without awareness. I suppose that makes sense. People who lack confidence often try harder and work more carefully. They remember their mistakes, and they work smarter to avoid those mistakes. But they forget their successes as they focus on their mistakes. And, as they focus on their mistakes, their confidence weakens even more.

So the “under-confident achiever” sings a negative self-song. “I am stupid. I am lazy. I make mistakes. My mind is hazy.” That song plays in the background throughout the day, dragging down self-esteem and confidence. Along comes the narcissist. He knows that song is playing. So, he sings something positive that feels good—and something negative that feels right. “You did better than I expected; here’s what needs to be corrected.” It seems to be an affirmation, but still fits with your negative self-song.

I don’t know the words to your song. What I know is that it is vital to your health to speak and sing positive words about yourself. What I also know is that those positive words are true.

You are loved.
You are valuable.
You are able to make changes.
You have strength.
You have a contribution.
You can learn.
You can make a difference.
You have hope.
You have promise.
You have a future.
God loves you
God has invested in you.
God is not disappointed with you.


I could go on and on. Look into your heart. What affirmation has been hiding in there, afraid to come out because of the negative all around you? Say that word to yourself. Say it and others over and over. Believe those words—because they are true.

Yes, the old song is familiar. You will hear yourself singing it in the days to come. But just stop yourself and speak the positive words. Don’t dwell on the negative, even to try to explain why those things are not true. Just speak positive about yourself. Over and over and over and over. Every time you do, you will be making an offering to the Lord who loves you. Every time you do, you will become just a little stronger and a little more confident.

I plan to write on this more. This is important. The opening the narcissist/abuser found that enabled him to hurt you was probably there already. Time to close it!

He has put a new song in my mouth– Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD. Psalm 40:3




If you want to build your positive self-talk, this devotional will help.  Reaffirming (or learning for the first time) how God feels about you and what His grace means to you can truly be life-changing.

You can still get Walk with Me, a 30-day grace devotional, as an ebook on Amazon for only $4.99.  The paperback is also available.  This would be a great way to start the New Year!  Just click the images to access the links.








Filed under Narcissism

No Touchee!

It’s Narcissist Friday!     


Recently I watched a video of a local government meeting where one man reacted to being touched repeatedly by another man. Man A was putting his hand on Man B’s arm during some kind of debate. He did this several times apparently, enough to greatly irritate the second man. Man B suggested that Man A might find this acceptable in circles of his sexual orientation, but stated strongly that he was not of that persuasion and the touching was not welcome. Everyone in the room got to laugh at Man B’s discomfort and the media used it as an example of homophobia and bigotry.

Now, I suppose I should qualify this, since I was not present and don’t know the two men, but I would almost bet that I understand what was happening. You see, touching is a powerful control technique—especially when you know the other person is made uncomfortable by the touch. Man A knew full well that his touch disturbed Man B. That’s why he did it. The difference in sexual orientation made the touch even more uncomfortable for Man B and even more manipulative for Man A. This was neither accidental nor innocent.

People in narcissistic relationships may understand this. Narcissists use touch to intimidate and manipulate. Not all of them, of course. But I have watched narcissistic men—who would never allow you to touch them—use touch to control others. A gentle hand on the back to direct. A hand on the arm to subdue. Perhaps even a pat on the head to humiliate. A hand on the leg to unsettle. An over-long handshake to suggest unity. A squeeze on the shoulder to intimidate. This is all man-to-man, and the narcissist is always in the dominant position.

Narcissistic men will touch women in ways that are inappropriate but not overtly sexual (unless they think they can get by with it). Again, the purpose is to control. If the result is arousal, even more control is possible. An arm around the waist. A brush of the hair. A gentle hand on the cheek or back. Uncomfortable, but not really something to report unless the organization has a strong no-touching policy. Even then, the narcissist will plead innocence. But touch is far from innocent where the narcissist is concerned.

And, yes, women do this as well. In fact, I would suggest that men are far more susceptible to the touch of a woman than vice-versa. Women are usually suspicious of men who touch. Men think there is genuine connection in the touch. Men are less suspicious of women, I think.

Some women touch a lot. They want hugs or like to hold hands, even with other women. Female narcissists use touch to control also. Some hold a hug too long. Others will touch the waist or the hair or trace a wrinkle—all to make an unspoken point.

Now, I want to be sure to say that not everyone who touches is a narcissist. Many older people need touch. They receive little, especially if their spouse is gone, and touch does offer a sense of connection. But holding hands with Grandma is far different from the controlling touch of a narcissistic mother.

So how should you handle touch that makes you uncomfortable? Well, the man in the video, Man B, did the right thing. He spoke out. He should have spoken to Man A privately first, and I think he did, but then he had every right to do so publicly… just as a young woman has the right to publicly speak out when touched inappropriately. Don’t be afraid to step away or speak up. You are not obligated to tolerate this manipulative touching, even if it is a boss, a pastor, or a relative.

Of course, like the man on the video I watched, the narcissist will make fun of your objection. He/she will say that you are making a big deal out of nothing. Maybe others will wonder why you are making a scene. But there will be some who will be grateful to you for speaking up. Maybe they will do the same when the narcissist touches them. You may empower them, and they may vindicate you.

Narcissistic touching is manipulative. You don’t have to put up with it. And, even if you feel there is nothing you can do, at least you know that it is just another technique the narcissist uses to try to control you. Each time you identify one of the ways the narcissist works, you become wiser and stronger—and less susceptible to the deception.




Don’t forget!  You can still get Walk with Me, a 30-day grace devotional, as an ebook on Amazon for only $4.99.  The paperback is also available.  This would be a great way to start the New Year!  Just click the images to access the links.




Filed under Narcissism

A New Book!

Since the Friday post actually went out on Wednesday, to help us pray for each other as we face the holidays, I want to use this space for a special announcement.


Walk with Me, a grace devotional, has been published on Amazon!


30 daily readings to encourage you in your relationship with the Lord who loves you.  These simple, but powerful, readings will reset your thinking about God.  They will show you His love and your only responsibility: to accept and live in His love.

What a great way to begin the New Year!  Many will want to read and re-read these devotionals to help find their way back to God again.  Others will find them to be a quiet place of reassurance as the world spins crazily around them.

Until mid-January, you can buy the e-book for only $4.99 by clicking the link below (the price will go up around January 15).  It has been published as a Kindle ebook, but those who don’t use Kindle readers can download the Kindle app for free to use on their PCs, Android, or Apple products.  (If you cannot or don’t want to use Kindle, I will send you a PDF version for $10.)

The printed book is also available on Amazon for $16.59.  That price is set according to Amazon’s minimum for printing because of the color photos throughout the book.   It’s a little late to think of it as a Christmas gift, but the paperback is something you could give any time to someone who needs a kind word of faith.

You should know that I do not address narcissism in this book.  Instead, the purpose is to build your identity and assurance in Christ, so that you are able to stand in Him against all opposition.  Knowing who you are and how much He loves and accepts you gives you strength.

I have copied an excerpt below, and here are the links for purchasing:




“Take a walk with me.  Let me show you a reality you may not have expected.  Prepare yourself to experience something new, something that will lift your heart. Life is not barren or regimented, especially in relationship with the Lord.  You know what your heart needs.  You need a friend.  You need someone who truly cares about you.  Wouldn’t it be great to know someone who is good and right, but not uptight and judgmental?  Someone who will understand you and your dreams and not put you down?  You need to meet the real Jesus.

I want to show you a Jesus who laughs, who loves children, who wants you to succeed.  This is the Jesus of the Bible.  This is the Jesus who went to the cross with joy—because He knew it was the way to you.  This is the Jesus who doesn’t think of sin when He sees you.  God in human flesh, come to set His people free.

I want to teach you about grace.  Not “book grace” or “theological grace,” but the grace found in a Person who can do anything and has done everything you and I will ever need.  You see, I have come to understand that the love of God toward us is so great it could not be expressed strongly enough in words or ideas.  The love of God became a Person.  The deepest mystery of our faith is the amazing fact that the Lord God Almighty took on humanity and gave Himself for us.  There is no story that touches the sensitive area of the heart like the true story of the love of God for us.  Your heart needs a real connection with the real and living God.  Jesus is God’s grace for your heart!”      (Excerpt from pp.3-4 of Walk with Me by David Orrison)

May God richly bless you and yours!  



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Christmas Prayers

It’s Narcissist Friday Wednesday!     

(This post ran last year and many were encouraged to know that others would be praying.  Let’s keep a good thing going!)


I have written a couple of Christmas posts on dealing with the narcissists in the past. They usually meet with mixed reviews because some who have reached the point of anger (a very natural point!) don’t like my suggestions on trying to get along. I understand and value the objections just as much as the words of appreciation. I will provide links to those posts at the end of this post.

This year I would simply like to assure each of you who have to deal with uncomfortable situations with your narcissist that there are people praying for you. I am also going to post this on Wednesday, so you will know ahead of your visit.

If we have learned anything here, it’s that many people are struggling in narcissistic relationships. That means you are not alone. I know you may have to physically be alone in your situation, but there are people here who believe you and care. We will be praying for you.

To make that a little more personal, I invite those who desire prayer to write a note in the comments. You don’t have to write a lot, just “Pray for me!” If you use a pseudonym, that’s okay. The Lord knows who you are and what you are going through. And if you are able to pray, maybe just once or twice over the weekend, write a comment that says, “I will be praying for you!” Just a general comment, not in answer to a particular request. It will be a wonderful word of encouragement.

So, again, here’s the plan:


If you need prayer, write – Pray for me!

If you can pray, write – I will be praying!


If you are uncomfortable asking for prayer, please know that we will still be praying for you.  Even if no one asks, we know that many will need help.  So we will pray anyway.  For you.

Know that you are loved!


Filed under Narcissism, Uncategorized