Tag Archives: Destructive Narcissistic Personality

Set a Guard

It’s Narcissist Friday!     


Medieval castles and fortresses were developed along similar lines throughout Britain and Europe. In Britain, the names given to parts of the complex are still recognizable to us. We know about the moat around the castle, which was originally the trench around the motte, or mound, on which the castle itself was built. You might know someone named Bailey, or talk about someone’s bailiwick, both of which referred to the flat area where the common people lived and the market could be found, usually surrounded by a wall of some kind, a palisade. And you know the word, keep, which meant the inner tower of the castle or fortress, the place where the valuables were kept and the rulers’ families would either live or use for refuge in times of danger. (By the way, in French the keep was called the donjon. Since prisoners were often kept in the tower, either at the top or in a basement area, the English began calling the place where the prisoners were held the dungeon.)

Okay, now you know more than you wanted. But I have always been blessed by the idea of a keep being a place well-guarded, the last place of refuge, defended to the uttermost. In fact, the noun became a verb, meaning to guard or protect. When we keep something, we hold it close. The castle or fortress keep was the place where the most important and precious things (and people) were protected.

The King James version of the Bible came shortly after the medieval years and uses language based on well-known concepts of that time. So, when we are told in Proverbs 4:23,


Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.


…we know what it means. We are to guard our hearts, protect them from the influences around us, particularly in the time of attack. Nothing is more precious to us than our hearts. If the enemy breaks into the keep, and overcomes our hearts, we are lost.

I don’t have the time here to give a long definition of what the heart is, but you know. Your heart is where you know yourself. In your heart lies your identity, your courage, your hopes and dreams. Your heart is the core, the most precious part, of you.

Narcissistic relationships, particularly if they are close, always attack the heart. The narcissist goes for the heart almost immediately. This is why the narcissist wants to pull your daughter away from you and other support. This is why he wants to have a sexual relationship so soon. This is why he demands exclusive loyalty. Whereas others will be content to win your heart over time, the narcissist wants to own it as soon as possible.

This is why the narcissist quickly learns your fears and regrets and dreams. Those are things you hold in your heart. (By the way, you don’t need to keep regrets and fears in your heart, but that’s another post.) Using those things allows the narcissist to control you. Reminding you of your pain, threatening you with your fears, tempting you with your dreams—these are ways the narcissist manipulates you.

This is why the narcissist quickly learns your triggers. What words will discourage you and take away your hope? The narcissist knows and uses them. He/she knows how to make you angry or sad or defeated or confused.

So, guard your heart! Don’t let the narcissist in. You will be able to handle the cruel and cutting words as long as they stay outside your heart, but once you take them in and believe them, let them change your dreams or define you, you lose. Once you begin to think of yourself the way the narcissist thinks of you, he/she wins. So, guard your heart.

You don’t have to believe what you hear. You don’t have to accept the criticisms and discouraging words. You can hear them and not own them. Just because it is your boss or your parent or your lover—that doesn’t mean you have to agree. You may be saddened that they think of you that way, but you don’t have to think of yourself that way. You may have to deal with the boss’s assessment of you, but you don’t have to agree. There may be no way for you to protest or change their opinion, but you still don’t have to let their words into your heart.

Keep your dreams and your identity tucked away and don’t let people play with them. The only opinions that matter are the Lord’s and yours, and even yours is second to His. He loves you and accepts you. He knows you are valuable and good. He knows you belong to Him.

But, but, but… What if it’s too late? What if the damage is already done? What if the narcissist got in and ransacked your heart?

Listen: It is not too late! It’s time to rebuild. Tell yourself the truth about you and reject the lies. Rebuild the keep, sweep out the mess, set it all up again. Who are you in Christ? What gifts did the Lord give you? What dreams still exist? Gather these things and put them into the safe place.

Then, set a guard at the door. What guard? Well, the Scripture tells us what guard is supposed to be set at the door of our hearts.


Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7


Trust in the Lord who loves you. He will keep you safe as you look to Him. The attacks of the narcissist and the evil one will not destroy you. Let His peace stand guard at your heart. If your heart is secure, you will be okay.


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Name the Enemy

It’s Narcissist Friday!     


The little girl had a new book. Grandpa sat down to read it with her. Along the way, they came to a page with a scary picture. The little girl began to squirm. She was scared of the “monster.” The grandfather said, “Oh, that’s not a monster. That’s just a shadow. See? It’s Bob’s shadow.” The little girl was still nervous at the page, but started calling the monster, “Bob’s shadow.” Every time Grandpa read the book, they called the monster, Bob’s Shadow. Grandpa also pointed out his own shadow and the little girl’s shadow. It wasn’t long before all the fear went away from that book. Naming the monster changed things.

There’s a monster in many marriages and families. There may be a monster at your work, or in your church, or in your organization. Sometimes you might wonder if your friend is a monster. The thing about monsters is that they want to stay hidden. A good portion of the fear monsters produce comes from the fact that they operate in the shadows.

Naming the monster takes away some of its power. Calling it by name, rather than just fearing the unknown, puts a box around it. When we use the word “narcissism” and refer to someone as a “narcissist,” we are not trying to make a psychological diagnosis. We are simply naming the monster we have feared.

We are often chastised for using a professional term to describe what we see. There is a category of personality disorder called narcissism by professionals. They are usually not happy when we use that term, because it is their term. They are, after all, the professionals.

We had a lot of fun a year or so ago trying to come up with other terms to use instead of narcissist. You might like to read some of the great suggestions here. In the end, however, we had to settle back to the term that has definition and literature support. It fits the monster we have seen.

If your marriage, or church, or workplace, or whatever seems to have a monster hiding somewhere; if you are afraid of what you see, but don’t know what to call the problem; if something is lurking in your relationship that feels like it needs control and attention; if you feel like you are being used or abused, but can’t quite figure out how—you might be dealing with narcissism. Read some of the literature. Check out the term online. Read some of the many posts on this blog and some of the stories in the comments.

Not every problem in marriage is related to narcissism. Not every difficult person in your life is a narcissist. As you read, be honest. If the term doesn’t fit, don’t use it. It may even be that there is no monster.

But narcissism does hide in the shadows. When it sneaks out to you, it won’t look evil. It will look loving and kind and funny and generous. The monster has a happy face. At the same time, there may be in your heart a foreboding, a fear that things are not as they seem. That’s the time to believe that the monster has a name and to begin seeking it. The day may come when the monster steps out of the shadows, and you will see its ugliness and hunger. The only way to prepare yourself is to find the name ahead of time.

Naming the monster won’t make it go away, but it will limit its definition. In other words, you will stop blaming yourself and stop trying to deny what you have been seeing. You will stop saying that these are little quirks and that everyone has weaknesses. You will begin to see the monster in the light, without as much fear and confusion. And you will find some ways to deal with it.

Even if you give the monster the wrong name, you will find the terror and anxiety diminished. Later, as you continue to study and evaluate, you may learn the real name and have even more strength. But you will no longer be afraid of something hidden in the shadows, working to destroy you and what you hold dear.

No one can effectively battle an unnamed enemy. You don’t know where it is, how it will attack, or even what it is. But once you begin to define the enemy and give it a name, you can focus your energies in the right places and avoid many distractions. Some have lived in fear and defeat for many years before they finally were able to name the enemy. That’s when things began to change.

A few years ago I wrote about narcissism as a monster. You might want to read that post as well.



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It’s Narcissist Friday!     


I haven’t decided if I like Facebook or not. It’s a little like looking for treasures at the dump. There are filth and waste and broken things to wade through in order to find anything of value. It seems to bring out the worst in some people, but it rarely brings out the best.

Sometimes I think Facebook is a narcissist’s playground. Can you imagine anything more pleasurable to the narcissist than trolling? Deliberately posting things to upset people, making comments on threads just to get people angry—these would be great fun for the narcissists.

And the opportunity to post “wisdom” and receive accolades from others! That’s a narcissist’s dream. No accountability, just “likes” and affirming comments. If someone disagrees, all the narcissist has to do is block or unfriend them.

Just like that, the “friend” is gone. Now, you may have seen this with your narcissist in real life. Sudden demonization. The person who once was a friend, is now a hated demon. And not just on Facebook. Some have seen this with long-term friends, neighbors, even family members. One disagreement, cross one line, and the person is out.

For the narcissist, there are three kinds of people: supporters, enemies, and nothings. Nothings are people who don’t matter; they exist in the narcissist’s mind as fillers. Supporters, of course, are people who love and serve the narcissist. Everyone else is an enemy. Not just a challenger or someone who doesn’t agree, but an enemy. And enemies are to be destroyed.

Sometimes the narcissist is surprised by a nothing who suddenly appears as an enemy. In other words, someone the narcissist was not watching who presents a challenge or disagreement. That causes a problem because the narcissist doesn’t know how to attack such a person. Those watching will probably see an uncharacteristic lack of finesse as the narcissist shuts the new enemy down.

But the one that bothers the rest of us is when the narcissist hears or sees something in a supporter/friend and begins to see that person as an enemy. The intensity of the hatred of the narcissist is almost shocking. It’s as though the friendship never existed. In fact, the narcissist now believes that the friendship was phony the whole time. He/she will find ways to speak evil of everything the friend ever was or did. The memories will darken, and the feelings will turn to various shades of anger and hatred.

It is said that the Pharaohs of Egypt would handle betrayal by deleting all mentions of the person in the official records, removing the face from any carving or monument, then ordering that the name of the person never be spoken again. (We see something of this in the Ten Commandments movie.) If the narcissist could, that’s how he/she would handle the friend who disagreed. It isn’t enough just to move on without that person, that person must be scraped from every good memory and demonized.

And, yes, the narcissist feels betrayed. Supporters are supposed to support—always. Once a person expresses disagreement, that person can no longer be trusted. I knew an assistant pastor who humbly went to the senior pastor with a concern. The moment he raised the concern, in private, the senior pastor fired him. Just like that. Betrayal, in the mind of the narcissist, must be handled swiftly and severely.

Then the narcissist looks around to see who might have agreed with the traitor. If you dare to say a kind thing about the ex-friend, you will feel some of the wrath meant for the enemy. Wives are told that they cannot call or meet with certain people who have “turned against” the narcissist. Children must never speak kindly of the enemy, no matter how close they were. Even in relationships that are difficult to end, the narcissist will try to punish anyone who supports the new enemy.

This one can really hurt. What do you do when the narcissist demonizes a family member or a friend? You can’t agree, but you hardly dare to disagree. Well, if you have been married very long, the narcissist already has you in a special category somewhere between supporter and enemy. The same may be true if the narcissist is your parent. What that means is that you can disagree, but you will pay a price.

If the person who is demonized is part of your support base, you really cannot afford to let them go. You need that support. If you are strong enough, tell the narcissist that you will see who you want to see and talk with who you want to talk with. That will feel good, but be prepared for the response. Then be sure to explain to your friend or family member that the narcissist might have put them in the category of enemy, but you have not. Even if you can’t see them, you still love and appreciate them. Too many people have lost their whole support structure because the narcissist has demonized all of them. Don’t let that happen to you. At the minimum, let your friend know that you are not the one slamming the door.

And, if you are the one on whom the door is slammed, the new enemy, your head is probably spinning. You barely know what you did to deserve that kind of treatment. You thought you had a right to disagree. Now you know the truth. Now you know what kind of person you were dealing with. It isn’t you, it’s the narcissist. If you no longer have contact with him/her, consider yourself fortunate. You have not suffered loss, except perhaps the loss of what you thought you had.

But you didn’t have a friend; you had a narcissist.


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Starting Fights


It’s Narcissist Friday!     


Have you noticed that your narcissists seem to pick fights? Things that don’t have to be argued at all become angry fights. Almost any discussion is risky. Disagreeing is almost an invitation to a fight. After a while you begin to think that you should not make any statement, certainly not express an opinion.

You walk away from one of these arguments confused. You don’t know what happened or why. The argument was senseless, the timing was strange, and the outcome was unnecessary. The narcissist, on the other hand, seems happy. He/she walks away gratified, like someone who just bowled a strike or had the first swallow of coffee for the day. You feel beat up, while the narcissist feels better than ever. And you don’t even know who won!

Why does this happen? Why does it happen so often that it is almost a defining characteristic of narcissistic relationships?

Perhaps the most common suspicion of the victim in these arguments is that the narcissist was somehow threatened by something that was said. This may be right, but you may also have difficulty discovering what it was. In fact, it may not be something you said, but something else connected to the argument. In other words, the narcissist might have been in an argument before you spoke. You couldn’t hear it because it was in his head.

Or maybe you brought up something that needed to be done. The narcissist argues either to distract you from what you were suggesting or to make you stop bringing those things up. In your statement, the narcissist heard criticism of poor performance, expectation of some kind of work, or comparison with someone who does better. If you say that you need gas in the car, for example, he might think you are comparing him unfavorably to your father. Never mind that you were not thinking that. He was threatened by the comparison he always feels.

But there are other reasons the narcissist wants to fight and argue. Many narcissists believe that their supply (victims) need to be reminded occasionally that they are inferior and subservient. Fighting is a way of putting you in your place. The narcissist begins the argument about anything, then must win it. When he/she does, you are supposed to know who’s boss. The more he/she can convince you that you are stupid and uninformed, the more power the narcissist has. The whole point is control.

I also think that some narcissists use arguing and fighting as a form of play. Remember that they don’t care how you are hurt in the process. All they care about is feeling good. They enjoy watching others squirm under the accusations and disagreements. They enjoy watching others scramble to come up with answers. At the end, they are energized and fulfilled.

The truly bizarre nature of narcissistic arguing allows the narcissist to walk away victorious even though wrong. If their side of the argument is weak, they often resort to name-calling and other denigrating statements. Whatever it takes to get you to stop because, when you do, they win. Many people report that their narcissist doesn’t make any sense while arguing. He/she will bounce to unrelated subjects during the argument and bring up old conflicts. If they can’t win the current argument, they may well bring up a different argument they thought they won. Whatever it takes.

So what are you supposed to do? The best advice, I think, is to ignore the bait. Let the narcissist disagree. Let him/her be wrong. You don’t have to join the argument. But I also understand that these people are very good at needling you until you respond. You may have to walk away. Even then, the narcissist might follow you. You will have to be strong not to get sucked in.

I know that some people will think not arguing is just giving in to the narcissist. Some will say that the narcissist should be set straight, shown that he/she isn’t always right. Most of those who say these things have never really been in a narcissistic relationship, or their narcissist is weaker than most. Getting into a fight with a narcissist is futile. If you can avoid it, you should. If you can’t, remember that it isn’t about you. Like always, it’s about them.






I am receiving some great comments on the devotional book!  An older man told me this morning how encouraging it was to him.  He said he grew up in a strict tradition where God was always angry.  Now he is learning that God loves him.  He said he wanted to give the book to his sister when he was finished.  A great word of encouragement!  

Both the ebook and the paperback are on Amazon.  If you buy the paperback to give away, you can have a free copy of the ebook for yourself.  (Or you can keep them both for yourself!)  Just click on the images below to be taken to the Amazon page.  

And huge thanks to those who have left reviews!  




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Supply and Demand

It’s Narcissist Friday!     


I just listened to an excellent message on how the Law is based on demand, while grace is based on supply. According to the Law, God demands our obedience and service. Under grace, God supplies everything that is expected of us.

It struck me that this idea of supply and demand is a core problem in narcissistic relationships. The narcissists demand, and we are supposed to supply. But that isn’t what they think is happening. They think they are the ones who are giving. That’s why they demand.

Think about it. How many times have you heard your narcissist say something like, “After all I have done”? (Never mind that he/she hasn’t done much of anything.) The narcissist sees most relationships as deals. He may only be blessing you with his presence, but you are supposed to keep your side of some kind of bargain.

Narcissists almost always believe they deserve our attention, praise, service, generosity. Somehow, they think they have provided something for us. If we fail to reciprocate, they become angry. Part of the nearly constant anger of the narcissist is this feeling that he/she deserves more and is being slighted.

This allows the narcissist to see what is yours as his. This allows her to take your position, your secrets, your kindness—to use for her own purposes. After all, look at what she has done for you. You owe the narcissist. This is the way the narcissist reasons.

Now, I know. You can’t see anything he/she has done for you. Or anything you think of has long ago been “paid back.” But remember that the narcissist doesn’t see us as individual people with value and needs. The narcissist only knows that he/she feels cheated—all the time. He might be angry with the boss, but you are supposed to supply his needs. She might be angry with her parents, but you are supposed to take care of her.

This is why you always lose. You give a gift and the narcissist thinks two things: “It’s about time!” and “What am I expected to do now?” A simple gracious “thank-you” seems to be foreign to a narcissist. Instead, the gift somehow fits into this business deal mentality. The narcissist always knows the cost of a gift. It will either be less than he/she deserves, or it will require something from him/her. The narcissist hates feeling like he is in debt, yet always believes others owe him. So, even when you give the supply he/she demands, you still lose.

There is no choice in a business deal. If you take something out of a business deal, you are required to put something in. Buying groceries means you spend money. Simple. Being with the narcissist means serving. Simple—to the narcissist. The formality and “law” of the deal help the narcissist feel better about himself. Anything he receives from others is only what is expected.

Frankly, I think this is a terrible way to live. Always angry. Always hurt. Always looking for more. Never satisfied. Never truly grateful. Yes, that’s what it’s like to be the narcissist.

Of course, we all want our contributions to be noticed and valued. It hurts when they are not considered worthy. But most of us don’t do things for the sake of return. We don’t think in terms of supply and demand. Life is not a business deal for us, nor are our relationships. We give because we love. The narcissist knows nothing of that.

Narcissist relationships are like one-sided agreements. Like the harsh and cruel god of the legalists, they demand and we must supply. Under grace, there is no demand, just need—and love supplies. Get your head around that!


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Are there more Narcissists?


It’s Narcissist Friday!     


I often get asked if there are more narcissists today and, if so, why. That’s a difficult one to answer because the diagnosis of “narcissist” keeps changing. Many psychologists now believe that the narcissism we see in our relationships is simply a personality type, rather than a disorder. They reserve the label of narcissism for only extreme cases, those who commit gross crimes or who are sociopathic.

I suspect that the reason for this change is that we seem to see narcissism everywhere. Churches, politics, entertainment, even in small organizations and in our families. Most of us are simply more aware of narcissism and see it more, as when you are told that there are a lot of pregnant women in your community and you begin seeing them more and more. We are talking about narcissistic behavior and abuse more today than ever, and we are seeing it all around us.

Yet, I think the simple answer is: Yes, there are more narcissists today. At least there is more narcissistic behavior. I think there are more abusers, more cruel and manipulative people, and more attention seekers.

Of course, there are more of almost every kind of person today. In 1980, there were over 32,000 100-year-olds living in the US. In 2014, there were over 72,000. Not all of this is because we are living longer. There are just more people. We added nearly 100 million people to the US population during that same time.

I suspect that there are several factors in what we see as a rise in narcissism. One of the more influential factors could be the increased difficulty of being noticed when so many people are involved in our lives. If you consider just the memorable history of an older adult today, you will see the changes that have happened. Farm families spent most of their time apart from other people except for church or social gatherings. When the children started going to school, class sizes were small, just the local kids. When rural kids began to be bused into town, the schools were still smaller and class sizes allowed the teachers to actually know the kids. Today’s schools are consolidated and student bodies often number in the thousands. How does one kid stand out?

How do you get noticed in school today? Achievements that might stand out are already eclipsed by the trophies in the hallway case. Even bad behavior today has accelerated beyond anything that could have been imagined 60 years ago. How does a kid stand out?

How do you get your resume to stand out today? It used to be that you could drop in on a local store to see if they have any openings. Today you are told to send your resume through their website. You will probably join 200 others who have done the same thing. Almost all employers report the difficulty of sorting through the hundreds of resumes and applications they receive.

There’s lot of pushing going on out there. You see it when you drive. You see it when you try to buy a certain popular product. You see it when you want to advertise your skill or organization. Everybody is pushing to be seen and heard.

Some people respond to life’s pressures by developing a need and a will to push themselves into the limelight. Do you realize that only nine out of 10,000 high school football players in the US will eventually play in the NFL? Even if the student stands out in his school, how can he stand out later? Yet, those who must will find ways.

Today’s students and workers do not compete against those who do well. They compete against those who push hard. Who pushes to become the boss? Who pushes to become popular? Who pushes to make more money or get the more attractive spouse or enjoy the attention of others? Well, the narcissists certainly do.

And, because they have to push, they justify the abusive and manipulative behaviors of the narcissist. If you want to become the supervisor at work, you can’t let the work of others be considered better than yours. You have to draw attention to yourself, and you will probably be more willing to push others down to do it. The tools of the narcissist become the tools of advancement: lying, cheating, manipulating, belittling, using.

Most of us will refuse to stand out if that means we have to hurt others. But the narcissist doesn’t care about hurting others. The narcissist doesn’t recognize the personhood of others. The narcissist only wants to get ahead, to be noticed. Since that seems to take more these days, the narcissist is the one who can win.

Who gets the job or the scholarship or the position on the team? We all know that good people who are more capable are often pushed aside so the narcissist can get the prize. The company hires the one who pushes, rather than the faithful employee who knows the job so well. The school honors the one who “did what it takes” to get noticed, rather than the most qualified. The team uses the loudest and most outgoing player, rather than the one who practices diligently and works best with the other players. We see this all the time.

So we see narcissists more, I think. Narcissistic behavior is rewarded more. We may even be creating more narcissists by requiring that behavior to get ahead of others.

How does this change? I don’t think there is an easy answer, except on a personal level. Tell your daughter that the flashiest guy might not be the best, that the regular guy who is kind and thoughtful might make a much better life partner. Help your church to find the pastor who will serve and love, rather than mold the church to his will for his own benefit. Again, avoid the flashy pusher. If someone gives you good service, send a note to the boss as a thank you. If someone is kind, be sure to tell others. These things do make a difference.

If the game is set up to use the skills of the narcissist, we will see more narcissists. People will begin to use narcissistic behaviors to get what they want. The only way to overcome this, I believe, is to value the kindness and patience and service we have learned to take for granted.


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Feeding Trolls

It’s Narcissist Friday!     


According to the Urban Dictionary, a troll is:

“One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument”


I was commenting to my sons that I recently entered into a discussion on Facebook. One of them said, “Don’t feed the trolls, Dad.” We had an interesting discussion on what it meant to feed trolls.

Basically, these are people who drop comments intended to get your goat. (See what I did there?) They don’t care what your opinion is or what the purpose of the post was. Nor do they care if you argue with them. They just want you to get angry or upset. Their “food” comes from your emotional responses. If they can get you to say something stupid or something you might not normally say, they win. They feed on your regret and embarrassment.

Sound familiar? I continue to marvel at how narcissists seem to connect with every manipulative tactic and mean-hearted behavior out there. This one is particularly made to order. Narcissists love throwing their victims off center, making them upset enough to say or do something embarrassing. I have known narcissists who will knowingly say inaccurate things just to get someone angry. They will argue a point they don’t even believe just to keep an argument going and watch their opponent. Argument for the sake of argument.

Some of you know this behavior all too well. She enjoys saying unkind things about your friends just to get you to defend them. He accuses you of something he knows you didn’t do just to get you riled. The narcissist doesn’t care how bad he acts, he just wants to see how uncomfortable he can make you.

Why? Because when you are uncomfortable, you are vulnerable. If you say something you will regret, he wins. If you go a little too far with your defense, she won’t let you forget it. Anything that can be used to control you or make you look bad, the narcissist will use.

Internet trolling is almost everywhere. We have had trolls here, challenging people and “teaching” them. They disagree or accuse or belittle, just to get that response. They love the response.

We learn something about trolling and narcissistic arguing on these social media discussions. First, they are addicting. There is something about the adrenalin rush that comes when you try to slap down the troll. They say something provocative. You respond. They say something else, probably a little cutting. You respond. They write some insinuation or outright negative statement about your intelligence or parentage. You respond. Why do you respond? Because you have the dream of slapping them down. You begin to long for the right words that will force them to run in fear and hide in their holes. But they don’t. Almost always you have to be the one to stop. They could keep it up for much longer than you are willing.  I know you want to find that perfect response for your narcissist.  You might even find it, but it won’t work.

Another thing you learn is that these exchanges almost never end well. By the time you have to quit for your own sanity, you are writing in all caps and cussing and envisioning yourself with your hands around the troll’s neck. Your blood pressure is up, and you are angry. Not what you wanted when you started up your computer to check Facebook. You yell at the kids, kick the cat, and drive like a maniac on the way to work. And the troll knows this. Not the specifics, of course. The troll only knows that your emotions supplied his habit.

No one knows who first said it, but we have something of an Americanism that applies here. It has been used in American politics for as long as they have existed.

“Never wrestle with a pig. You both get muddied, and the pig loves it.”

The only part of this that doesn’t seem quite right to me is that the narcissist never seems to be dirtied in the exchange. The reason, of course, is that you are so aware of the mud on you that you can’t focus on the mud on her. And, she’s so busy pointing at the mud on you that she doesn’t let you or others see herself.

So, don’t feed the trolls! When the stupid statement is made, just let it go. When you are accused, shrug it off. When the narcissist tries to rattle you, don’t say anything. Remind yourself that the needling has one purpose, and it doesn’t benefit you to play along.

Yes, I know this can be hard. If you do get rattled, catch yourself and relax. Don’t give the narcissist the satisfaction of making you angry. Say as little as possible as soon as you realize what’s happening.

Need practice? Read some of the political posts on Facebook. Force yourself to stay out of the comment thread.


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