Tag Archives: users and abusers

Paranoia

It’s Narcissist Friday!     

 

Are they all perverts? Good grief! With all the accusations flying around these days, between Hollywood and Congress, we have to wonder if anyone is who they say they are.

I remember an old story where the preacher got in front of the congregation and held up his large hardback Bible. He said, “There is a man in this congregation who is cheating on his wife, and I am going to throw my Bible at him.” When the preacher wound up to throw, every man in the church ducked. Men who have done the things we are hearing are worried about the day when the truth will come out. Men who have not done these things worry about the day they are falsely accused. There is an increasing paranoia, and we are wondering who we can trust.

People who have lived in narcissistic relationships understand something about paranoia. It is easy to see narcissists everywhere. Anyone who is mean or bossy or inconsiderate might be a narcissist. Anyone in authority or in the limelight might be a narcissist. And anyone who is interested in a personal relationship might be a narcissist. Who do you trust?

It seems obvious and reasonable that you should be more careful, doesn’t it? After all, you didn’t see it the first time (and maybe not the second or third). Only now do you have the information that explains what happened. You sure don’t want to make a mistake like that again.

So what do you do? You can’t dig a hole to live in for the rest of your life. No, really, you can’t do that. I know you want to. I know you have tried. But eventually you need others. In fact, there’s a part of you that wants to like others. You long for a friend you can trust, a co-worker you don’t have to worry about, a fellow church member you can enjoy. You even long for an intimate special relationship again. So, no, you can’t hide.

What you can do is return to life with your eyes open. You can admit the truth. There are people out there who use others. That’s a fact. It might be that you will be tricked by one of them again. They are very skilled at their deception. Being tricked, even tricked again, doesn’t mean you are stupid or weak. It may just mean you are a desirable person.

Use what you have learned. Relationships that move too fast, co-workers who talk disparagingly about others, church members who are holier than the rest—these are red flags. Someone who pumps you for information, secrets, or who tries to get you “on their side.” Bosses and companies that promise too much. Boasters, liars, manipulators. Even when they are nice to you at first, you know enough to be suspicious. People who use others will probably use you.

But not everyone is a narcissist.

If you listen to the news these days you probably think every man in leadership anywhere is a pervert. All the actors, all the bosses, all the politicians, all the teachers, all the preachers, all the dads—but that isn’t true. There are all kinds of reasons we are hearing these things right now, not the least of which is that this kind of news sells pages and air time. Some of the accusations come out of political agendas. Some come because silence is no longer enforced. Some come because victims feel safer as part of a group. But there are not more abusers than there were a short time ago. We are just hearing about them today.

You have learned about narcissism. It’s on your radar. You see it in places and people you didn’t think to look at before. That’s okay. But don’t be discouraged and don’t be afraid. Not everyone will use you. Some will love you.

When you meet someone, watch for red flags. That’s just good sense. But don’t push people away in your fear. Instead, keep the boundaries you have built around yourself. Value yourself. If someone asks more than you want to give, say no and don’t do it. Trust your new instincts, and meet people with confidence. Build your relationships on your terms. Anyone who doesn’t like that doesn’t need to be with you. Even if you find it hard to trust, be kind and pleasant.

I think you will find that there are others out there just as afraid as you, who need a good friend as much as you do. You have to be careful, but you don’t have to be alone.

16 Comments

Filed under Narcissism

Crisis!

It’s Narcissist Friday!     

 

Narcissists thrive in unstable times.

Think about that for a moment. When a company is in crisis, who is hired to lead? Very often it is a narcissist. It may not be much of a crisis, just a concern about dealing with brand or competition. The company board seeks new leadership with new ideas and a willingness to change without regard to traditions or even compassion. The threat is that the old ways might bring the company down, so someone who can set aside those old ways is desirable.

Enter the narcissist. Great promises. Great ideas. Amazing self-confidence. Ability to say one thing and do another. Ruthless, dedicated, innovative, strong. Narcissists are hired to lead companies that are in crisis or feel the threat of a crisis.

When someone is in trouble and vulnerable, who is there to help? Often the narcissist. The narcissist is on the spot, ready to help. He thinks quickly, makes decisions without regard to opinions or culture, and gets things done. Few people can handle life’s crises as well as the narcissist.

And neither companies in trouble nor individuals in trouble do well at seeing the strings attached to this help. They are just so happy to move forward with some hope that they don’t watch for the red flags. Companies spend resources, merge with other companies, and lose valuable employees while the narcissist leads. Yet, the real cost of that leadership is ignored because of the reassurances of the narcissist. Individuals sacrifice money, supportive friends, jobs, and more as the narcissist directs their lives. But they don’t see the dangers until later.

Later, when the new ideas fail and the changes reveal their weaknesses, the narcissist walks away a winner. The company suffers great loss, but the narcissist moves on with a generous severance package. The individual finds himself or herself almost destitute of resources and support, but the narcissist moves on to “help” someone else. All because the crisis blinded them to the real costs of trusting the narcissist.

Narcissists are planners and manipulators. They are opportunists. They seem to be able to smell vulnerability. Like wolves watching the sheep, they know who is weak and can be separated from the flock. And they present themselves as heroes, deliverers. Always able to embellish past accomplishments, to turn failures into someone else’s fault, the narcissist appears to ride in on a white horse to save the day.

So, here’s a thought: if narcissists thrive in unstable times, then would it not be in their best interest to stir up trouble and keep the instability going? Those who live and work with narcissists know that unpredictability and tension are part of the relationship. Constant criticisms and comparisons, pitting people against each other, gossip, and lies—these are common tools in the narcissist’s toolbox. When the narcissist comes into the church, strange divisions seem to develop. When the narcissist comes to the workplace, the competition level rises and cooperation suffers. When the narcissist enters your personal life, stress and distress become the order of the day.

I am convinced that narcissists deliberately stir up trouble so they can use crisis to make themselves look important and needed. They don’t care what happens, except that they get the benefits. If there is no stress for them to use to their advantage, they will create it.

At the risk of sounding political, I have to ask: is it a coincidence that the rise of narcissism in our culture is accompanied by a rise in tension and division? Doesn’t it seem like there are people who do very well in these times of crisis? People who get rich and powerful during the distress? People who really don’t care about the “collateral damage” that follows their pronouncements and decisions? We are beginning to define leadership, in business and government, in narcissistic terms. The idea that leaders are servants, spending themselves and their energies on behalf of the people, just doesn’t describe what we see. Compassion and love are rarely part of the leadership our culture celebrates.

When you feel the tension around you rising, or the stress in the group increasing, look for a narcissist. And prepare yourself.

8 Comments

Filed under Narcissism

Just Mean

It’s Narcissist Friday!     

 

The other day an advertisement came across my computer screen that intrigued me. It was a little crossbow for shooting round toothpicks. If you picture the toothpick as an arrow (or bolt), the crossbow was just the right size to use to shoot it across the room. In fact, the ad said it would go several meters. Also, the ad suggested that it would be great fun to shoot these toothpicks at people in your family or at work. Just imagine how much fun it would be to get shot with a pointed toothpick! How much fun it would be to get hit in the eye or to sit on a toothpick that has been shot into your pants! Oh, wait. It might not be as much fun to be the one who is shot.

Now, I am as tempted by little toys like this as the next guy. Most men never really stop being boys in some ways. But to shoot toothpicks, sharpened and hard arrows, at another person in fun is beyond me. Instead, I immediately thought of what it would be like to get shot with one of these. I would be more much more likely to be the target.

And who would have been shooting these toothpicks? As soon as I saw the ad, I thought of a certain narcissist I have known. He would love this toy. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t already have one. I can just see him in a meeting shooting this at certain people. And, if that person got angry or hurt, it would just be “in fun”.

Narcissists, in general, are mean. No, not all of them would shoot toothpicks at others. Not all of them would do the petty little acts of cruelty the narcissist I thought of would do (and has done). But the idea of “meanness” goes beyond shooting toothpicks. It refers to the low thinking of a person.

“Mean” is one of those words that comes to us from a long way back. It meant someone or something that was common, but common in character. Interestingly, it is almost always negative. Think “lowest common denominator”. Anybody can be cruel. Not everybody can be loving. To be mean is to sink to the lowest characteristics of humanness.

So what does this look like in society? Bigotry, jealousy, laughing at another’s pain, acting without regard to others, lying, cheating, taking advantage of those who are weaker, abusing others to get what you want, boasting, stealing anything from belongings to accomplishments to attention. These are the base or low things people do to others. This is what mean is like.

Is it a surprise that this is also a list of narcissistic behaviors? You could add to this list. Narcissists do mean things. Narcissists say mean things. Apparently, narcissists think mean thoughts. Your narcissist might actually be one of the most intelligent and capable people you know, but he/she seems to wallow in the lowest places of human behavior. I know men with doctor’s degrees who make it unsafe to turn your back or leave your coffee unprotected. They are just mean.

Why? Why are they so mean? Well, I don’t have the time to go deeply into that here except to suggest that the base emotions tend to bring us down to those low places of behavior. Anger, fear, jealousy, greed: these things seem to cause most of us to lose whatever social graces we have learned. And narcissists always struggle with these base emotions. The underlying anger of a narcissist is unceasing. It’s hard for most of us to enjoy the pain of others, but not hard at all for the narcissist.

Most of us have learned by now that we can’t relax when the narcissist is around. You never know what he/she will say or do next. Just when you think you are safe, you get jabbed with a “toothpick”. It might be a criticism, a cruel reminder of a secret you shared, or even a physical assault. We should know better than to give them tools to use.

So I wrote a note to the company offering the crossbow. I suggested that their sale of this “toy” might not be wise, especially since they advertised the fun idea of shooting others with sharp toothpicks. I reminded them that, if someone got hit in the eye, their company could be liable. We will see what they say. I’m not really against the toy. I just don’t want one of my narcissists getting one.

14 Comments

Filed under Narcissism

P0RN

It’s Narcissist Friday!     

 

From time to time I get questions about the connection between p0rnography and narcissism. I confess that I have tried to stay away from the topic. While there is little doubt that viewing p0rn is a narcissistic behavior, there is no causal connection in my opinion. The truth is that we live in a p0rn-infested culture. P0rn seems to be tied to almost everything.

Be aware of two things as you read this post. There will be some triggers here. This is not a neutral subject. Also, I do not consider myself an expert in psychology or sociology. These are simply my reflections on the problem I see.

So, let me address a few direct questions. First, are all male narcissists addicted to p0rn? The answer must be negative. Now, any information we have on the extent of p0rn use, particularly in the church, has to be tempered by the strong tendency to lie and cover up. P0rn today can be hidden very well. So, in any particular case, the narcissist could be lying. But I have met narcissists who did not seem to have any desires toward p0rnography. In fact, some are almost asexual. Their drives take them elsewhere, perhaps to performance at work or in the church. Appearing more spiritual than others, for example, can be an addiction in itself.

Are men who are addicted to p0rn narcissists? Again, not necessarily. Viewing p0rnography, with the resulting actions toward self-satisfaction, is a narcissistic behavior because it is entirely self-serving. P0rnographic fantasies usually (not always) lift up the viewer and create a short-term sense of value or even love. These are false and controlled relationships, almost the definition of ideal for narcissists. The woman who exists to serve the man’s desires and then disappears without demands or needs of her own could be the perfect woman for some. Certainly, p0rnography serves a narcissistic purpose. However, that does not mean that someone who views p0rn, even often, is a narcissist. We have considered a narcissistic spectrum of behavior. There would have to be other factors to determine if a person is a narcissist.

The secrecy of p0rnography in our culture also intersects the narcissistic need for independence and lack of accountability. In spite of the attempts of our culture to make p0rn acceptable (notice how Hugh Hefner was praised for his contributions to our culture) those who view p0rn are still seen as weak and less able to function in healthy relationships. So p0rn viewing results in shame and guilt. In narcissistic relationships, the discovery of p0rn will almost certainly be followed by projection and blame from the narcissist. In other words, it will be the spouse’s fault, if it cannot be denied or covered up. Those who are not narcissists may respond in the same way, but some will confess and apologize sincerely (in spite of later returns to the same behavior). Not all who wish to hide the shame of their addiction are narcissists. Nor are all who don’t seem to have the ability to end the practice.

Much of the popular literature suggests that narcissists are all p0rn addicts. My guess is that narcissists may have a slightly higher use of p0rn than the general male population and perhaps a significantly higher addiction rate. But please understand that the nature of this problem makes any judgment like this very difficult. Narcissists lie easily and, when it comes to p0rn, so do most men. The popular literature rarely defines addiction and viewing pictures or videos focused on stimulating sexual interest is almost unavoidable today. Without sexual imagery and story, much of our fiction (book or video) would disappear, as would a great deal of advertising. We have become an overly-sexualized culture.

We are increasingly told that young women are becoming addicted to p0rn. I find this difficult to believe, at least in the same way the problem presents for men. But it does suggest to me that the culture is pushing us to accept p0rn and the constant barrage of sexual messages as normal. Instead, I think women are being taught to accept p0rn and deviant sexuality as normal parts of healthy relationships.

Please, help your young ladies understand that the broken sexual world of which p0rn is a part does not have to be their world. They do not have to compromise themselves in order to “hold onto” a certain young man, nor do they have to ignore actions they feel are abusive or undesirable. This confusing culture at least allows them to say no, and they should do so. The cost of standing up for themselves will not be as great as the loss from giving in.

So, I would suggest that it is important to continue to treat p0rn and abusive or manipulative sexuality as both wrong and hurtful. There is little argument among reasonable adults that these things cause harm to victims and do long-term damage to those who practice them. There is a normal and right place for sexuality, and there are mutually enjoyable practices designed to be expressed within healthy relationships. Outside of these right boundaries, sexuality becomes something far less than it should be and far more dangerous.

Let me close with a couple other strong statements. First, a spouse has every right to be offended and disgusted when p0rn is discovered. She must neither allow it to go unchallenged nor allow it to cause her guilt. If there is a man who discovered p0rn after getting married, I would consider him almost a miracle. What that means is that men discover p0rn (and learn to hide it) while young. For most, it does not connect with the marriage at all except through the guilt and distance it produces.

Second, we see the fruits of this cultural degradation on the news nearly every day, but young people are often shielded from making the right connections. We hear about the terrible things that happen in sexual crimes, but rarely are they blamed on this “modern” perspective on sexuality. We simply cannot promote a sexualized view of women and expect that no men will act in hurtful and narcissistic ways. To suggest that Hefner is good because he changed our cultural views of sexuality and Weinstein is evil because he acted in accordance with those views is idiotic. This problem has become very large and seems almost insurmountable, but the key is for those who are salt and light to continue to proclaim the simple message of truth.

There is much more that I would like to say on this topic, but the risk of being misunderstood is great. If I have written anything to suggest that this is not a serious problem, I assure you that was not my intent. P0rn is certainly a common problem in narcissistic relationships, but it is also a problem in many non-narcissistic relationships.  I also acknowledge that there is little in this post to help you with p0rn in your marriage. That would take more than a post like this could offer.  My desire is simply to try to dispel a couple of misconceptions and motivate all of us to stand strongly against this increasing erosion of our moral values. Love cannot stay silent in the face of such abuse and compromise.

 

(Sharp-eyed readers will notice that I substituted a zero for the “o” in the title word throughout the document.  That’s because many email servers will block an email with that word and over 2000 of you receive these posts by email.  I am thankful for the screening we have now.  Some of us remember how it used to be, when we would cringe as we opened our email in the morning.)

20 Comments

Filed under Narcissism

Common Characteristics

It’s Narcissist Friday!     

 

While most of the literature on narcissism seems to focus on the marriage relationship, there are other narcissistic relationships that have to be addressed. There are several good books now on parental narcissism, and some even on narcissism at the workplace. I have tried to categorize the various relationships I have read about or experienced and have come up with six:

1. Marriage (dating, significant other)

2. Parental (could include grandparent or family authority)

3. Workplace (boss, co-workers, system)

4. Friendship (anyone who uses friendship connection)

5. Organizational (church, volunteer, would include leaders)

6. Familial (siblings, children, connected by family)

There may be others (and I would love to hear your suggestions), but I suspect most would fall under one of these categories. An argument could be made for a sort of “neighborly” narcissistic relationship, where the person has no direct personal connection other than being near. The “narcissist next door” may not quite fall under any of these categories but still be a significant problem. There might be others.

All of these different relationships share common characteristics. Obviously, there is a narcissist (or multiple narcissists) in each of them. The effects on the victims are also very similar. When I write, I usually have more than one kind of relationship in mind. My hope is that the information is helpful to anyone who suffers from such a relationship.

When you have to deal with a narcissist, in any relationship, you should expect to be used. Remember, just because the narcissist is kind does not mean he isn’t using you. He may give you what you want as he uses you. It may feel like you have a good working relationship, even while you are being used.

You should also expect that use will turn to abuse if you fail to give the narcissist what he/she wants. Whatever the narcissist has given to you is an investment in what you are supposed to give to him. Your failure, for any reason, will be met with punishment. If you have a problem that affects your performance, the narcissist will have no empathy for you. Any patience or kindness you are shown is more investment in what you are expected to return. Eventually, the narcissist will want you to provide your part. If you do not, you will almost certainly experience a type of rage meant to intimidate you into submission. At best, the narcissist will write you off without any regret or concern.

Almost everyone in relationship with a narcissist feels the drain of being used. There is something in the connection that seems to go only one way. You get smaller while the narcissist grows larger. You become less important while the narcissist grows more important. Even if you begin stronger or more important, you will feel this change increasing and have a sense that the narcissist is using you.

The narcissist must be viewed as superior, or in the superior position. This seems obvious in business, familial, or organization relationships. Sometimes it is not so obvious in friendships. Remember that the person who is being served often feels himself or herself to be in a superior position. Sometimes narcissists present themselves as victims (think invalid, impoverished, and/or inexperienced) to have others serve them. From our perspective, they don’t seem to be in a superior position, but they are being served. They have found a way to demand your time and energy, perhaps even money, to serve their desires.

So narcissistic relationships are, in any form, draining and one-sided. The lack of empathy and desire to be seen as superior is wearing and corrupting. If you find yourself in a relationship where you feel drained of life—energy, time, money, whatever—you may be in a relationship with a narcissist. If you begin to realize that the person knows a lot about you while you know little about her, or you value the connection far more than he does, you might be in a relationship with a narcissist. If you experience flashes of anger mixed with stringed generosity, you might have a narcissist on your hands.

Fundamentally, every narcissistic relationship is a business deal. You do what you are supposed to do and the narcissist might do what he is supposed to do. Sometimes this relationship works, perhaps for a long time, but if anything changes your side of the deal, there will be consequences. And sometimes, even if you have done your part, the narcissist will find another to replace you.

And it might be at church, at work, with a friend, or in your family. The needs of a narcissist are quite simple. They might not look the same, and you might find them in different places, but they will all want the life and energy you have. They will use you and lessen you to lift themselves up.

15 Comments

Filed under Narcissism

No Record of Wrongs?

It’s Narcissist Friday!     

 

One of the ways believers are held in abusive relationships is through an interpretation of Scripture that is well-known, but hard to support. Most of us have been taught that 1 Corinthians 13:5 teaches that love “keeps no record of wrongs.” Interestingly, almost no translation of Scripture says that. Instead, the passage should read something like “thinks no evil.” Look it up for yourself and compare different versions. I think you will be surprised at how strongly a rather odd interpretation has been applied by preachers and others who tell us to “get over it.”

Recently a commenter mentioned how she felt required to continue to stay with her abuser (narcissist) and not hold his offenses against him based on this verse. We are, according to some people, supposed to both forgive and forget. That seems to be the idea here. And that allows every offense of the abuser to be a “first” offense. Instead of seeing a destructive pattern, the victim is limited to seeing only a single offense, which must be forgiven.

But abuse is cumulative. That means the effects of abuse add together. One punch to the face is quite different from many punches. One criticism is different from years of criticism. Each new blow weakens and damages the victim further. To suggest that each should be treated as the first is to deny the suffering of the victim.

Interestingly, there is little support for this idea anywhere else. Our laws, which are based on the teachings of Scripture, certainly don’t treat each offense as a first offense. The legal system recognizes patterns of behavior. Even God keeps a record of wrongs until we come to Him in faith. It would be very difficult to support this “no record of wrongs” approach from Scripture or from common sense.

Of course, the Scripture does tell us to forgive. And we should be generous with our forgiveness as an expression of love. Those who come to apologize should be heard and blessed. Those who have sins in their past should not be reminded of those sins after coming to Christ. Forgiveness is always tied to a change of thinking or at least acknowledgment of the wrong. Even our sins are forgiven, or at least forgiveness is only applied, as we come to Jesus in faith. Otherwise, as the Scripture says, “you are still in your sins.”

Without going into a long post with a boring Greek lesson, let me just say that the passage simply means we should not judge others negatively—think no evil. We should not assume the worst of a person. The old saying, “Never ascribe to malice what could be explained by stupidity,” is a fair restatement of this admonition. Don’t think that a person who causes you grief is evil. That person might just be incompetent or negligent.

And just because he looks creepy or she talks a lot doesn’t mean they are bad. Judging by skin color, choice of clothing, ability to speak clearly, or whatever will probably not give us a right assessment. Nor would it be fair or loving. Love doesn’t treat others according to stereotypes or by what they have done in their past. Love allows for change in a person or for a person to express themselves differently. Love,

bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Do you see the difference? It is not unloving to see a pattern of behavior that causes others pain and suffering. It is not unloving to affirm the truth about the damage consistent abuse can do. Nor is it unloving to hold others accountable for the abuse they do. In fact, it is loving to take a molester off the streets: loving to past and potential victims and loving even toward the molester. To allow a person to continue hurting others has nothing of love in it.

It is unloving to continue to hold a particular sin or error against a person who has acknowledged the wrong and sought forgiveness. Even then, it may be difficult to forget. Keeping no record suggests that we are supposed to forget. Not only is that very difficult for humans, it is usually not wise. I might forgive someone who stole money as my bookkeeper, but I probably shouldn’t put that person in charge of my books again. And if I tell a person a secret and it is not kept, I will rightfully be hesitant to tell that person another secret. To forget (or to ignore) past offenses is quite different from forgiving them. Sometimes ignoring a person’s weaknesses and temptations can be very foolish.

So, please know that it is wise and right to see patterns of behavior and build boundaries in your life when you encounter maltreatment. Forgive as much as you can and then go to the Lord for more, but don’t ignore the truth. Abusive people, narcissistic people, usually count on our unwillingness to admit what we see. If we don’t deny the truth, we often try to cover for it. Don’t let an improper interpretation of Scripture convince you to lower your defenses against evil.

36 Comments

Filed under Narcissism

Complicity

It’s Narcissist Friday!     

 

Have you ever lied for your narcissist? Knowingly or unknowingly? Almost everyone in a relationship with a narcissist has. Someone calls and she says, “Tell them I am not here.” Or someone asks about a time and he says, “Tell him I will be there at five.” (But he has no intention of arriving that early.) Or maybe you cover with your family by telling them that he/she is not feeling well and couldn’t come. Or you sign the tax forms even though you know they are wrong.

Some people grew up lying for narcissistic parents or even siblings. Some started lying for a lover very early in the relationship. Some lied for their bosses or their friends. And, when they did, they became complicit in the narcissist’s lies.

Whoa! That’s harsh! I know, but that’s how the narcissist sees it. In fact, that may have been the intent. Most of the time the narcissist’s lies just flow without regard to consequence, yours or his. But after you lie for him, he holds it over you. He uses your compromise, even if it was unintentional, to shame you into more lies or other actions you don’t want. Now he thinks he owns you.

But it was his fault! You didn’t mean to lie. He lied to you and you just passed it on to others. None of that will matter to the narcissist if he thinks he can use guilt to manipulate you. He will tell you that it is your fault your parents think he is always sick. He will tell you it is your fault he was late for that appointment. And because he knows how to twist your thinking and your heart, you will believe at least some of what he says. You should have known better, you tell yourself.

Maybe you lied just to try to keep the peace. You lied to your children about the narcissist, telling them of love and concern that never really existed. You lied to friends and family to try to cover the pain and shame you felt because of the relationship. Still, the narcissist uses this against you. He/she manipulates your feelings.

So, first, I would suggest that you simply stop lying for the narcissist. Tell him/her that you will no longer agree with false statements and no longer pass on lies, nor will you cover for him/her with falsehoods. Be prepared for backlash. There will be threats, pleas, and cruelty. You will be accused of betrayal and complicity. It will be challenging.

But there are good reasons to get yourself out of the mess. Some of the people heard lies from you, instead of the narcissist, even though they came from him/her. Now they are wondering about you, why you have become untrustworthy. And, when the relationship begins to break up, your friends and family are puzzled at the change they see in you. You never said these things about your spouse, the boss, or your friend before. They will think something has changed.

How do you get out of this? Well, I think you deal with it head on. Some of the lies (and if you are like most people in relationship with a narcissist, there are many) don’t need to be addressed. You can’t go back to deal with them, and you shouldn’t try. Give them to the Lord and let them go. But those that come up or have to be confronted should be owned. Yes, you lied. If you didn’t know it was a lie, but you shared it as truth, say that. If you knew it was a lie, admit it and apologize. You thought you were protecting your family/the company/the church/your marriage, but now you know it was the wrong thing to do.

Narcissists create traps for those they use. The more they can compromise you, the more they can control you. Breaking that power is hard. If you don’t do it you will pay a price, and you will lose more of yourself. If you stand up and deal with it, you may still pay a price, but you will move one step closer to health.

I appreciate those who read and comment here so much. Your stories flesh out these thoughts in many ways. If you are able and willing, please share a time when you lied for your narcissist and paid a price. Yes, I know it might be hard to limit it to just one time. But my prayer is that this will be an encouragement and warning to others in these relationships. Share also how you stopped lying for your narcissist. I am looking forward to your stories!

(Also, please be careful with your identities. I know that narcissists lurk here. I would caution against using your full name. Feel free to use an alias. Your email address is safe, but the name you use is shared. If you forget and post with your whole name, you should be able to go back and edit your comment to change it.)

37 Comments

Filed under Narcissism