A person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) displays patterns of deviant behaviour that can create carnage for those around them. NPD is NOT widely known or understood, and is often not diagnosed medically or psychologically, so the narcissistic behaviour often goes undetected – and the victim’s plight remains unrecognised!
Narcissistic Victim Syndrome is abuse/bullying that has been caused by someone with this personality disorder, and victims tend to only seek help when they feel like they can no longer cope. They are unaware that they have been living or working in a war zone, and no one has mentioned Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Victims of this narcissistic abuse and bullying often display a set, or cluster of symptoms due to the unrelenting physical, mental, emotional and sometimes spiritual abuse.
So what makes someone a Narcissist? What characteristics do they display that makes them such a dangerous personality to deal with?
Most Narcissists have a strong sense of self, an “it’s all about ME” attitude, and a Jekyl & Hyde personality – that is, they…
- Have a grandiose sense of self-importance – exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognised as superior without any actual achievements
- In the beginning they impress you, love you and seduce you into believing they are “the one” and once they’ve won you over, BAM – the nightmare of horror begins. The emotional (and sometimes physical) abuse and bullying, the lies, shabby treatment, avoidance and the silent treatment.
- Are pre-occupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or ideal love
- Believe that he or she is “special” and unique, and can only be understood by, or should associate with other special, unique or high-status people
- Require excessive amounts of admiration
- Have a very strong sense of entitlement, ie unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or instant compliance with his or her expectations
- Are exploitative of others – takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
- Lack empathy – they are unwilling to recognise or identify with the feelings and needs of others
- Are often envious of others and/or believes others are envious of him/her
- Regularly show arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
NPD’s have several MO’s that they use to abuse/bully their victims. One of the most common, insidious and cunning methods is called “Gas lighting”.
The following information about Gas Lighting is from the National Domestic Violence Hotline >>
This term comes from the 1938 stage play Gas Light, in which a husband attempts to drive his wife crazy by dimming the lights (which were powered by gas) in their home, and then he denies that the light changed when his wife points it out. It is an extremely effective form of emotional abuse that causes a victim to question their own feelings, instincts, and sanity, which gives the abusive partner a lot of power (and we know that abuse is about power and control). Once an abusive partner has broken down the victim’s ability to trust their own perceptions, the victim is more likely to stay in the abusive relationship. There are a variety of gaslighting techniques that an abusive partner might use:
Withholding: the abusive partner pretends not to understand or refuses to listen. Ex. “I don’t want to hear this again,” or “You’re trying to confuse me.”
Countering: the abusive partner questions the victim’s memory of events, even when the victim remembers them accurately. Ex. “You’re wrong, you never remember things correctly.”
Blocking/Diverting: the abusive partner changes the subject and/or questions the victim’s thoughts. Ex. “Is that another crazy idea you got from [friend/family member]?” or “You’re imagining things.”
Trivialising: the abusive partner makes the victim’s needs or feelings seem unimportant. Ex. “You’re going to get angry over a little thing like that?” or “You’re too sensitive.”
Forgetting/Denial: the abusive partner pretends to have forgotten what actually occurred or denies things like promises made to the victim. Ex. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” or “You’re just making stuff up.”
Gaslighting typically happens very gradually in a relationship; in fact, the abusive partner’s actions may seem harmless at first. Over time, however, these abusive patterns continue and a victim can become confused, anxious, isolated, and depressed, and they can lose all sense of what is actually happening to them. As a result, they start relying on the abusive partner more and more to try to define reality.
How Gas Lighting plays out for the victim/s –
- You constantly second-guess yourself.
- You ask yourself, “Am I too sensitive?” multiple times a day.
- You often feel confused and even crazy.
- You’re always apologizing to your partner.
- You can’t understand why, with so many apparently good things in your life, you aren’t happier.
- You frequently make excuses for your partner’s behavior to friends and family.
- You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don’t have to explain or make excuses.
- You know something is terribly wrong, but you can never quite express what it is, even to yourself.
- You start lying to avoid the put downs and reality twists.
- You have trouble making simple decisions.
- You have the sense that you used to be a very different person – more confident, more fun-loving, more relaxed.
- You feel hopeless and joyless.
- You feel as though you can’t do anything right.
- You wonder if you are a “good enough” partner.
Gas lighting is quite likely the No. 1 most common method of abuse and bullying that we see today. If you recognise any of these traits in your significant other, a family member, boss, friend or acquaintance then be on your guard. If you notice some or all of the victim symptoms above, you should be seriously re-considering your relationship with this person and ways to not only protect yourself from further abuse.
In short, NPD’s are nothing more pathological bullies and fraudsters, and it is vitally important to remember that YOU ARE NOT THE ONE AT FAULT.
This is the dance of the Narcissist, and it’s time for YOU to leave the dance floor and re-discover your inner bliss…
<3 Cherene x
Note: One of the biggest issues as I see it, is that many of the symptoms of Narcissistic Victim Syndrome are VERY similar to, or the same as those of Depression, Anxiety and Panic Attacks. Keep an eye out for my next article where we’ll take a closer look at this connection!
As always, please feel free to Join the Conversation below and share your own comments/experiences with NPD, abuse and bullying. I look forward to reading your replies.