Narcissist cause anxiety
12 Signs You Might Have Narcissistic Victim Syndrome
Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a complex mental health condition that typically involves a grandiose or inflated sense of self and an extreme need for admiration and attention, among other symptoms.
People with NPD or narcissistic tendencies sometimes show a pattern of manipulative, controlling behavior that involves both verbal abuse and emotional manipulation.
Common types of narcissistic manipulation include:
- Triangulation. Someone using this tactic will try to pull a third person into your conflict, typically to reinforce their own opinion or position.
- Gaslighting. Someone trying to gaslight you tries to get you to doubt your own perspective and reality, often by twisting facts or insisting things you remember didn’t actually happen.
- Hoovering. This tactic involves attempts to reconnect, or pull you back into a toxic or abusive relationship.
- Silent treatment. This behavior becomes manipulative when someone purposely ignores you to control you or make you feel isolated.
- Scapegoating. Parents who use narcissistic manipulation may place all the blame on one child they designate as a scapegoat.
- Passive aggression. Indirect blame-shifting, sabotage, and sarcasm can all point to covert narcissistic manipulation.
These tactics can confuse you, make you question your sense of reality, and damage your self-esteem.
Narcissistic victim syndrome is a term that collectively describes the specific and often severe effects of narcissistic manipulation. While this isn’t a recognized mental health condition, many experts acknowledge narcissistic abuse can have a serious, long lasting impact on mental health.
Keep in mind that abuse and narcissism aren’t always related. A diagnosis of NPD doesn’t automatically translate to abusive behavior, and many people who engage in abuse don’t have NPD.
Regardless, a mental health diagnosis never excuses abusive behavior. People choose to abuse and manipulate others, and it’s possible to live with traits of narcissism, or any personality disorder, without becoming abusive.
With that in mind, here are 12 signs that might suggest you’ve experienced narcissistic abuse.
Narcissistic abuse tends to follow a clear pattern, though this pattern might look a little different depending on the type of relationship.
Research from 2019 suggests that in a romantic relationship, this abuse typically begins slowly after you’ve fallen hard and fast.
It’s no wonder you fell for them. During the love-bombing phase, they seemed loving, kind, and generous. They made you feel special and adored with gushy compliments, affectionate displays, and expensive gifts.
This early stage might have felt so intense and overwhelming you never stopped to consider whether they might be too fantastic. Then slowly, negging or other manipulative tactics began to replace the gifts and declarations of love.
Narcissistic parents might also offer love, adoration, praise, and financial support until you do something to displease them and lose their favor. Then they, too, often turn to tactics like negging, silent treatment, and gaslighting.
Narcissistic manipulation and abuse are often subtle. In public, these behaviors might be so well disguised that others hear or see the same behaviors and fail to recognize them as abuse.
You might not even fully understand what’s happening. You only know you feel confused, upset, or even guilty for your “mistakes.”
A narcissistic parent might gently say, “Are you sure you want to eat dessert?” Or they might turn a broken dish into a joke at your expense: “You’re so clumsy. You just can’t help yourself, can you?” They laugh with everyone in the room while patting your shoulder to make the insult seem well-intentioned.
You would hope friends and loved ones believe you. But, unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. Your loved ones might not doubt your belief you were abused, but they might question your perception of events or assure you, “You must have misunderstood them. They’d never hurt you intentionally.”
This doubt can be doubly harmful. Not only does it dismantle your faith in your loved ones, but it can also lead you to wonder whether the abuse took place after all. Maybe you did read too much into their words or just imagined that look on their face.
People with narcissistic traits often need to maintain their image of perfection in order to keep earning admiration from others. To do this, they may try making you look bad.
Once you begin pointing out problems or questioning their behavior, they might lash out by:
- openly directing their rage toward you with insults and threats
- involving others in criticizing you
By telling stories to your loved ones that twist the facts about your “harmful” or “unstable” behavior, the narcissist tries to discredit you. Even worse, when you react angrily (who wouldn’t?), they can use your response to back up their lies.
People with narcissism often have a knack for charming others. That persona they showed you in the beginning? Everyone else sees that still.
They can often win support from your loved ones (who haven’t seen through the facade) by insisting they only have your best interests at heart. Then, when you try explaining the abuse, your loved ones might side with them.
If your loved ones don’t understand, you’ll likely feel pretty alone — which only increases your vulnerability to further narcissistic manipulation. The person abusing you may pull you back in with kindness, even apologies, or by pretending the abuse never happened.
“Hoovering,” as it’s often called, tends to work better when you lack support. You’re more likely to doubt your perceptions of the abuse when you can’t talk with anyone about it.
If your loved ones reach out to say you’ve made a mistake and encourage you to give the abusive partner another chance, you might end up doing so simply to regain your closeness with family and friends.
People respond to abuse and other trauma in different ways.
You might attempt to confront the abusive person (fight) or escape the situation (flight). If these methods don’t work or you feel unable to use them, you might respond by freezing or fawning.
The freeze response usually happens when you feel helpless. It often involves dissociation since emotionally distancing yourself from the abuse can help decrease its intensity, effectively numbing some of the pain and distress you experience.
Freezing can have some benefits in certain situations, but it doesn’t help much when you can escape from danger. Yet if you believe there’s no way out of the relationship, you might remain in it — and perhaps even respond by fawning, or working to keep your partner happy.
A pattern of devaluation and criticism can leave you with very little self-esteem and confidence.
Narcissistic manipulation often involves frequent implications that you make bad decisions and can’t do anything right. An abusive partner may call you stupid or ignorant outright, often with a falsely affectionate tone: “Honey, you’re so dumb. How would you manage without my help?”
Over time, you might start absorbing these insults and attaching them to your self-perception, constantly second-guessing yourself as a result.
Gaslighting tactics can also make you doubt your decision-making abilities. (Here’s how to respond.)
If someone manipulates you into believing you imagined things that actually took place, you might continue doubting your perception of events. This uncertainty can affect your ability to make decisions well into the future.
A key characteristic of narcissism is difficulty taking responsibility for any negative actions or harmful behavior.
Abusive partners typically find some way to cast blame on you instead. They might accomplish this through deceit, often by:
- insisting they said something you have no recollection of
- getting so angry you end up soothing them by apologizing and agreeing you were wrong.
Say you suspect they’ve cheated on you. You explain the concerning behaviors you’ve noticed and ask if something’s going on.
A partner using narcissistic manipulation might respond with extreme anger. They may respond with accusations of their own and redirect blame, saying things that are intended to hurt and belittle you.
These barrages of rage can leave you feeling helpless and dependent, grateful they’re willing to remain with someone who makes so many mistakes.
Even after leaving the relationship, you might carry forward the belief you can’t do anything right. When things go wrong in other areas of life, you might start to blame yourself for causing those problems.
Abuse can trigger anxious and nervous feelings that sometimes lead to physical symptoms.
You might notice:
- appetite changes
- upset stomach or nausea
- stomach pain and other gastrointestinal distress
- muscle aches and pains
Using alcohol and other substances can sometimes seem like a helpful way to manage these symptoms, especially insomnia. As a result, you might end up consuming more than you’d like in an effort to manage unwanted feelings or physical distress.
Narcissistic abuse can sometimes be unpredictable. You may not know whether they’re going to criticize you or surprise you with a gift.
If you don’t know what someone will do or say at any given moment, you might develop a lot of tension from needing to regularly prepare yourself to face conflict.
Worries about the constant stream of criticism and how to best handle the abusive behaviors you’re beginning to recognize can also leave you constantly on edge. You may not know how to relax anymore since you may not feel safe letting your guard down.
When facing abuse, many people eventually adjust their self-identity to accommodate an abusive partner.
Say your partner insists, “When you go out with your friends, you’re telling me you don’t love me. You’d rather see them instead.”
Of course, you love them, so you stop going out with your friends. Next, you give up your hobbies, skip after-work happy hour with co-workers, and eventually cancel your weekly visit with your sister. You spend time doing what your partner wants to do, so they know you really do care.
These changes often lead to a loss of your sense of self, which can leave you feeling lost and empty. You might have a hard time enjoying life and lose sight of your sense of purpose.
Someone engaging in narcissistic abuse often has little respect for boundaries. When you try to set or enforce limits, they might challenge them, completely ignore them, or give you the silent treatment until you do what they want. Eventually, you might give up on your boundaries entirely.
Once you end the relationship or get distance from a narcissistic parent, you promise yourself you won’t answer their calls and texts or see them at all.
If they know they can eventually wear you down, though, they might not let you go easily. Instead, they’ll keep calling and texting in the hopes of getting you to set aside your boundaries again.
If you’ve experienced narcissistic abuse, you might also have trouble setting healthy boundaries in your relationships with others.
Anxiety and depression commonly develop as a result of narcissistic abuse.
The significant stress you face can trigger persistent feelings of worry, nervousness, and fear, especially when you never know what to expect from their behavior.
You might feel hopeless or worthless, lose interest in things that used to bring you joy, and have a hard time seeing hopeful outcomes for the future.
It’s also common to have a lot of confusion over what caused them to change so abruptly, especially if you don’t know much about narcissistic manipulation.
You might shoulder the blame for the abuse, perhaps believing their accusations that you must not care about them enough or blaming yourself for falling for their deception in the first place. Either can add to feelings of worthlessness and further diminish self-esteem.
Any kind of abuse can take a significant toll on mental and physical health. If your loved ones still doubt you or tell you to just move on, you may feel unheard and unsupported. This can make it hard to trust people again, leaving you feeling isolated and alone.
Whether you’re just beginning to notice the first signs of narcissistic manipulation or still trying to make sense of an abusive relationship you’ve already left, therapy can help you begin healing.
Therapy offers a safe space to:
- learn coping strategies to manage mental health symptoms
- practice setting healthy boundaries
- explore ways to rebuild your sense of self
A therapist who specializes in abuse recovery can validate your experience, help you understand that you aren’t at fault, and offer support through the early stages of recovery.
Get help now
You can also get emergency support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
For free, confidential help:
- call 800-799-7233
- text LOVEIS to 866-331-9474
- chat online
Crystal Raypole writes for Healthline and Psych Central. Her fields of interest include Japanese translation, cooking, natural sciences, sex positivity, and mental health, along with books, books, and more books. In particular, she’s committed to helping decrease stigma around mental health issues. She lives in Washington with her son and a lovably recalcitrant cat.
Dealing with Anxiety in a Narcissistic Relationship
While many people throw around the word, “narcissism” to describe vain people or talk about our “narcissistic society,” there are many co-dependent people dealing with the anxiety of narcissistic abuse. Men are more likely to receive the diagnosis of a narcissistic personality disorder, while women often serve as the co-dependent in the relationship. Some experts call the co-dependent an “inverted narcissist, but inverted narcissists exclusively choose narcissists for relationships. They often feel the world becomes alive and colorful when they are in a relationship with a narcissist. Without a narcissist, they feel dull like they are living a life in black and white. Invariably, a narcissist causes his prey anxiety. Some co-dependents develop post-traumatic stress disorder after years or decades of abuse. By receiving counseling or dealing with anxiety, you can identify whether there are abusive people in your life. If you feel as though you are walking on eggshells around a narcissistic husband, son or boyfriend, you are not alone. Consider some tips to cope as well as make sense of the situation. With narcissistic relationships, the patterns and behaviors are often extremely predictable. Yet, the specifics as far as what your particular narcissist will do with you is not at all predictable. Such confusion and uncertainty leaves many women with extreme anxiety.
The Idealization Phase
The first phase in a relationship with a narcissist is the idealization phase. Some experts call it “love bombing.” It’s when the narcissist shows you an amazing level of devotion and attention. He is full of complements. During this phase, he treats you as though you are his ideal woman and soul mate. You feel amazing fireworks even if the relationship became serious almost overnight. Sex is amazing during the idealization phase.
The Devaluation Phase
During the devaluation phase, your partner becomes cold and distant. Because narcissists tend to lie, you are probably used to his white lies and exaggerations when talking to strangers. However, now you feel as though his lying is more damaging. You often lose trust, wondering whether he is cheating. The man who was open during the idealization phase is now aloof, mysterious and secretive. During this phase, it’s important for women to seek counseling. A trained counselor not only helps you understand how a narcissist behaves, but helps you work through the grief of losing the person you used to know.
The Discarded Stage
After devaluing you, the narcissist makes it clear the relationship is all about him. When he discards you, he typically ignores your text messages and calls. The danger during this stage is that co-dependents have trouble letting go. Although you might not become a full-fledged stalker, it’s likely the narcissist will consume your thoughts. In order to move on and learn from the situation, it’s key to have a good counselor who understands the patterns. If you don’t figure out what led you to become involved with an abusive partner, you will fall into the trap again. In many cases, the narcissist will come back for more attention. It’s up to you to resist.
A narcissist feels addicted to a drug called narcissistic supply or attention. Their primary source of narcissistic supply is attention in the form of fans, strangers who find him charming or sexy and one-night stands or flings. His secondary source of narcissistic supply includes his mother or relatives, long-term girlfriends, children and wives. Although it sounds strange, the narcissist craves attention from strangers more than he wants a relationship with his spouse or children. When a spouse puts up boundaries that prevent him from getting the outside attention he wants, the narcissist often leaves. After several months or even years later, you could receive texts, calls or visits from him. The narcissist then starts the same cycle over again. He has re-idealized you in his head after having decided there was something wrong with you.
People with narcissistic personality disorder often cause anxiety in others because they are pathological liars who are controlling, manipulative and emotionally abusive. In some cases, they become physically abusive.
My goal is to help co-dependents and others who want help dealing with anxiety. Whether you experience anxiety after a spouse cheats or want to get out of a negative relationship, I can give you hope. Call me at (215) 297-8361 or send me an email and we can discuss your situation and ways for you to find happiness again.
Generation of Narcissists: where is the line between selfishness and self-love?
“The indifferent, narcissistic and superficial generation of egoists are the children of social networks and dead screens for whom Instagram followers are more important than their own parents. They are ambitious, but absolutely empty inside.
American scientists have dubbed today's young people the "generation of narcissists" and claim that the situation is only getting worse from year to year. Is the evolution of narcissism really so terrible, and can the zoomers be blamed for the fact that they are not different?
If we turn to Google for a definition, we see the following wording: narcissism is a phenomenon of mental life that can manifest itself in varying degrees - from healthy to pathological. There are three types of narcissism:
- Narcissistic reactions - a defensive reaction of any person to a situation in which his pride is hurt. These reactions are temporary and quite healthy manifestation of feelings.
- Narcissistic character is inherent in people whose personality is organized around the support of their own "I" by receiving confirmation from society. This is not a clinical diagnosis, but one of the aspects of a personality type that is characterized by a dismissive attitude towards others, an exaggerated sense of self-worth and a refusal to comply with social norms.
- Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a mental illness that has several degrees of complexity, and people suffering from it are under the supervision of qualified specialists. This disorder is characterized by a person's belief in their own uniqueness, special position, superiority over other people, etc. Only 1% of humanity suffers from a serious form of narcissistic disorder: it is dangerous for others to be with patients, and such a pathology is almost never treated.
The topic of narcissism is more relevant than ever in modern society: this term has quietly leaked out of reference books on psychiatry into everyday life and has become a frequent accusation towards vain, selfish people with inflated conceit.
Initially, the word "narcissus" came to our culture from ancient Greek mythology, in which it denoted the name of a beautiful young man who treated with disdain everyone who loved him.
By the end of the myth, Narcissus falls in love with himself and dies of hunger and suffering, unable to leave his own reflection in the water surface of the river, and his name subsequently becomes the designation of a clinical diagnosis and a common noun in colloquial speech.
Psychologists have long believed that high self-esteem necessarily leads to narcissism as a consequence, but recent research has found that narcissistic behavior and self-esteem have little in common. They are related to each other by a single factor: in both cases, people tend to evaluate themselves positively. The difference lies in the fact that if people with high self-esteem are simply satisfied with themselves, then narcissists strive to be the best and, if they fail to do so, they show anger and aggression.
Self-esteem is about respect and love for the real self without comparison with others, and narcissism is about the urgent need for self-affirmation against the background of another person and the need for rivalry.
Around us, people began to talk more and more about the epidemic of narcissism, the beginning of which falls just during the heyday of generation Y, or, as they are also called, millennials. Representatives of this generation, born in the period from 1985 to 2000, launched a whole period of perestroika, acquired new values, laid the foundation for love of freedom, individuality and tolerance. Together with them, digital screens, advanced technologies and the “boom” of social networks came into the world, in which today there is so much narcissism, protrusion and self-confidence.
“I am Gen Y. I was born between AIDS and 9/11. We are called the Next Generation. We are egotistical and narcissistic. Perhaps because we are the first generation where every child receives an award simply for participating. And, perhaps, from the fact that social networks allow us to put our every step or sandwich on public display, " - the heroine of Emma Roberts reads her monologue in the TV series American Horror Story.
How has social media affected narcissism?
People use Facebook and Twitter pages to attract attention, and social networks themselves are clearly not against this format. Their users launch start-ups, turn their names into brands, launch global trends, build careers online and make money on personal social media accounts, selling their skills, knowledge and creativity to hundreds of thousands of people.
If earlier people could show their narcissism only in a narrow circle of relatives and friends, now they have the opportunity to become known to a much wider audience, and for this it is not necessary to be a Hollywood star or other famous person.
Practice shows that a million audience can be gathered during a three-month quarantine by filming funny dances on TikTok or sharing interesting recipes on Instagram. Today we see with our own eyes a huge number of examples when people fall in popularity in a matter of days literally from nowhere.
Social network users are attracted by the opportunity to observe other people's lives and talk about their own. At the same time, it is not necessary to be 100% truthful, it is enough to skillfully wrap your content in an interesting cover.
True, there is already a tendency on the Web to be “tough”, that is, the more natural and real you show yourself, the more people you attract. Previously, everyone wanted to look at the perfect picture in order to escape from reality, but now there is a fashion for sincerity, and it has become more interesting for people to follow live accounts.
Despite this, society still encourages efficiency, selfishness and financial solvency - factors by which we are judged by others and due to which, accordingly, the number of unprincipled and tough careerists is growing.
A highly competitive technological world forces people to develop such qualities in themselves if they do not want to get lost among the gray mass and be suppressed. Some experts even argue that this is the next step in the evolution of mankind.
How do we feed our narcissism through social networks?
The most important function of social networks has become the ability to show their own lives to users of any of the existing platforms, and since the publication of personal information is always an occasion to attract attention, a great opportunity has opened up for egocentrists to focus society on their person.
According to a study by scientists at the University of Texas at Dallas, there are several types of social media user behavior:
According to the results of the study, people who are prone to megalomania and narcissism mainly use the “top-down comparison” behavior model, and also publish more information about themselves on the Internet.
Such people are accustomed to believing that everyone around them has a worse life than they do, and the realization of this brings them pleasure. But it is impossible to consider the results categorically, because there are both exceptions and a host of other behaviors. For example, when a person suffering from a severe form of narcissistic personality disorder feels uncomfortable on social networks.
There is also a reverse side of the coin. Self-acceptance and love, healthy self-esteem and inner harmony, as well as the need for self-expression can push for the publication of personal content.
Social media is also great for introverts and introverted people for whom exposing themselves and their opinions to the public becomes less scary when it is anonymous or happens in the comfort zone in front of a phone screen.
"The more a person publishes personal content - selfies, videos, characteristic posts on various topics, conversational stories - the more he is narcissistic" - a common, but not the most correct opinion. It doesn't work like that.
The buzzer generation needs to be heard, seen and recognized. Compared to Gen Xers, they are more cosmopolitan, free of boundaries and stereotypes, and want to be leaders from birth and be in the spotlight.
The main distinguishing features of digital "natives" are multitasking, clip thinking and the influence of the Internet.
These guys are able to do five different things at the same time, combine several completely different areas of activity and are simply indispensable for working in the field of IT technologies and programming.
The Zoomers want everything, immediately and now, which is why generations Y and Z are so ambitious, purposeful and internally unrecognized of any obligations - they easily and often make romantic connections, but try to avoid both marriage certificates and mortgages, loans and all sorts of permanence that entails responsibility. Hence, for example, there are followers of the childfree ideology, which is characterized by a conscious reluctance to have and raise children.
Contrary to popular belief, not all members of the digital generation are insensitive empty shells, they just want a better life, and you can't blame them for that.
Of course, the limits of generations are arbitrary: no one beats the gong every 25 years and shouts that millennials are being replaced by the generation of zoomers, but scientists are trying to carefully monitor changes in the principles and behavior of growing children.
Recently, the boundaries of generations have noticeably narrowed. If earlier it was believed that one generation replaces another on average once every 25 years, now the difference between generations hardly reaches ten years.
My brother is 5 years younger than me, but I don't always understand the music he and his friends listen to, the jokes they laugh at and their new principles. This happens because the unconditional increase in the speed of changes taking place in the world is an integral part of our lives, which we cannot influence.
Despite the fact that the principles and views of different generations differ markedly, there are things that remain stable forever. For example, humanistic values that are laid down in the womb, natural instincts, stable age stages of personality maturation and crises that every person goes through. Let today's children grow up and go through the stages of personality formation earlier, it still happens and should happen in the future, if there is no large-scale biological revolution.
If not from social media, where do daffodils come from?
The first thing that comes to mind is as simple and predictable as possible – everything comes from the family.
During the Soviet Union, self-respect and self-confidence were a kind of sword and shield against the harsh realities of the surrounding world. People thought that these qualities would help protect against adverse consequences. For example, self-respect will save you from teenage sex or the desire to get hooked on a needle.
Subsequently, the belief that self-esteem will protect us from all sorts of troubles was dissolved against the background of the theory that by raising inflated self-esteem in children from birth, we, without knowing it, are raising inveterate narcissists.
Associate Professor at the University of Amsterdam and author of the study "What to do so that the child does not grow up to be a narcissist?" Eddie Brummelman found that narcissism and high self-esteem can be the consequences of two parenting patterns, and the key moment in the formation of a child's personality occurs at 7-8 years old - exactly at the age when the child begins to compare himself with others.
A child whose parents from childhood emphasize his uniqueness, peculiarity and selectivity will be prone to the manifestation of narcissistic traits in the future. Parents who accept children as they are from the outset and do not try to make them more “comfortable” for themselves and others help them develop a healthy self-esteem.
Brummelman argues that an important tool for increasing self-esteem, but not the development of self-centeredness and megalomania, is the creation of high-quality social bonds.
Until now, there is no consensus on why a child develops a narcissistic personality type. Narcissism is considered to be mainly a psychological phenomenon with little to no genetic or biological factors involved. Education is another matter - the development of narcissism, first of all, depends on family relations, in the conditions in which the child grows, and then on relations in society.
Experts in this field are divided into two camps: some argue that narcissism is a consequence of an “overpraised” child, and others that, on the contrary, people who are not loved in childhood grow up as narcissists. Let's consider both cases.
- Let's imagine that a parent adores his baby and appears instantly to praise and satisfy his every need even before the child understands what he wants. Over time, the child gets used to this model of upbringing and does not experience any needs until it merges into adulthood, where mom and dad are not around.
An already formed narcissist simply does not understand why others do not run at the first call to satisfy his needs and make every effort to surpass the people around him in everything. Overpraised children have a bunch of psychological and personality disorders and are forced to constantly achieve something in order to receive praise and satisfaction.
- Another case is if parents treat their child too indifferently and in a special period when the child needs admiration, they do not pay attention to him. At the moment of praise, the neural structure of his brain called the striatum should have been activated and produced one of the “hormones of happiness” dopamine, but since the expected praise was not heard, the whole process gets stuck at the initial stage.
The child does not understand what is wrong with him and continues to live with a sense of inner inferiority. Such a person will subsequently spend his whole life looking for that praise that could compensate for its absence in childhood.
Education is one of the possible factors influencing the development of narcissistic personality disorder and its beginnings.
In addition, there are other reasons - the way of life, the mentality of different nationalities, the field of activity and even the geographical location of a person. PlosOne magazine conducted a study of the lives of West and East Germans, after which experts found that people living to the west of the Berlin Wall have a higher level of self-conceit than those living to the east of it - in the territory of the former socialist half of Germany.
Perhaps, like me, you missed the moment when the world was divided into an "Eastern" with a traditional collective mindset and a more individualistic "Western". So, this was influenced by centuries of history, the peculiarities of the cultures and traditions of each nation, as well as small factors that affect the separation of people within one country.
For example, differences in the characters of the inhabitants of southern and northern China are due to the fact that people in different regions have been cultivating different crops since ancient times.
Wheat cultivation was an individual occupation of the northerners, who later raised a more narcissistic generation, while rice cultivation required collective work, so the southerners did not suffer a similar fate. A similar situation occurs among conservatives and liberals in the United States, and this indicates that even a civic position and a political situation can affect the human psyche and its healthy or unhealthy development.
Loving your body and speaking your mind = being an egocentric narcissist?
The older generations always call the younger generations unpromising, lazy and lacking in moral principles. This stereotype has become so entrenched in society that millennials themselves believe that there are a lot of narcissists among them - the realization of this causes anxiety and anxiety among them.
It is not clear where these stereotypes come from and who invents them? If you look at the studies on which prejudices about the narcissism of today's youth are based, you can see that some of them sound very unconvincing.
According to the results of the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, developed in 1978, the more a person chooses statements in the test with which he agrees, the higher the score gets, which means that he is more prone to megalomania.
The problem with the test is that it assesses not only narcissism, but also healthy self-esteem, and the survey statements sound something like “I am happy with my body”, “I deserve a better life”, “I want to live for myself”, “I I think that I have developed leadership qualities, etc. How many of you recognized yourself in the statements? Welcome to the club of self-centered narcissists.
There are also studies that study how literature changes over time, what words and expressions people began to use.
They found that the pronoun “I” began to appear in literature much more often than “we”, people now consume the word “receive” more than “give”, which certainly indicates the development of their egocentricity.
Other critics tend to think that every generation is a generation of "me" who want to be recognized and strive to provide themselves with the very best. Back at 1988 in the movie "On the Beach" Bette Midler says the world-famous phrase "But enough about me. Let's talk about you. What do you think of me? , which in translation means “Enough about me. Let's talk about you. What do you think about me?" .
And if we remember the hippie subculture with all their inherent thirst for freedom, craving for spirituality, the famous "Make love, not war" and the sexual revolution that followed? Of course, the view of certain things changes over time, but only in part, so we see both similarities and differences between representatives of different generations.
Today, we cannot yet judge generation Z objectively, since its oldest representatives are no more than twenty years old, and those traits that are attributed to them, such as impatience, thirst for power, career growth, material well-being, freedom and independence, can be characterized by one the simple word "youth". What will change in the future? Time will tell.
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who is a perverted narcissist? — T&P
Moral violence, or abuse, in the Russian context is considered almost a phenomenon that lies within the framework of social norms - however, in reality, it is often a consequence of narcissistic personality disorder. For a healthy person, such communication can be very destructive and can cause deep depression. T&P talk about how to identify a moral abuser and fight back.
What is narcissism?
The very word "abuse" is translated from English as "violence" and "abuse". Abuse in interpersonal relationships is familiar to most of us - but not everyone knows that they may not be the result of neglect, but the result of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), which affects one of the participants in the relationship. This pathology occurs in a significant number of people: from 1 to 8% of the total population of the planet, according to various estimates. According to the DSM-V international classification of diseases, it can be defined by the general signs of a personality disorder (grand conceit, fantasies of unlimited power or ideal love, belief in one's "exclusivity", the need for an exaggerated expression of delight in one's address, the illusion of one's own special rights, a tendency to exploit people, lack of empathy, envy and arrogant attitude towards people), which are accompanied by specific disorders in the work of the individual and in the process of building interpersonal relationships.
The person with narcissistic disorder is self-focused, obsessed with the idea of his own greatness and superiority, clinically incapable of empathy and does not feel guilty for wrongdoing. He devalues what is connected with others and idealizes what is connected with himself. At the same time, the narcissist does not suffer from hallucinations, does not show signs of manic states, and generally gives the impression of a completely healthy person.
Perverse narcissists do not choose weak or insecure people as their "victims". Their target audience is bright wise men and smart people.
Of course, not every person with NRL will start doing atrocities if you get close to him. As with any mental health diagnosis, this one has a fairly wide gradient, so that the patient may or may not be aware of the problem, or may not be fully aware of it, fight or not, stubbornly change therapists in search of a truly effective treatment, or methodically bring partners to suicide.
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A really dangerous type called "perverse narcissist". This definition was first voiced by the French doctor of psychiatry, specialist in the field of victimology and criminology, Marie-France Yrigoyen, author of the book Moral Harassment. A distinctive quality of perverted narcissists is the ability to turn any situation on its head, distorting its details and partner's conclusions ("perverted" - from the Latin "pervertere" - "pervert, twist"). It is they who choose moral violence as an instrument of interpersonal relations, and it is not easy to get away from them without crippling the psyche.
How do you spot a perverted narcissist?
Perverse narcissists do not choose weak or insecure people as their "victims". Their target audience is bright smart people, open, successful, impressionable, full of optimism and vitality. Often relationships with perverted narcissists end for their spouses and friends with clinical depression and suicide, even more often with psychological traumas that then heal for years, if they heal at all.
A perverted narcissist can be identified by their distinctive behaviors, which they usually fail to fully disguise despite their developed adaptive skills and brilliant image. In general, the following details should alert the potential “victim”.
1) A person speaks negatively about past partners, blaming them verbosely for problems or a breakup.
2) A person is not inclined to plead guilty and shifts responsibility to others.
3) After getting to know this person, the partner began to sleep less, eat poorly, lose weight, become dizzy in his presence, or faced other unpleasant changes in well-being. It is generally accepted that lovers and friends of perverted narcissists begin to lose psychosomatics early, and this happens even against the background of an apparent absence of problems.
4) A person seeks to bind a partner to himself as early as possible, up to marriage or moving.
© Sara Andreasson
5) Perverted narcissists sometimes have "inhuman reactions", although in general such people carefully monitor their behavior. Like patients with psychopathy, they do not experience emotions in the conventional sense of the word, but they imitate them perfectly. Narcissists are able to observe those around them, calculating successful mechanisms of influence, but in unusual circumstances they can show insensitivity, a lust for power, or anything else that lies outside the scope of normal reactions. For example, such a person is able to tell how “well” he punished the offender (and the punishment will look disproportionate to the offense), how witty he used someone, or how interesting it is to watch other people suffer.
How does abuse work?
The first stage of a relationship with a perverted narcissist is sometimes referred to by researchers as the "honeymoon." During this period, a partner can come to visit his “superhero” and find that he has prepared his favorite dish from childhood, or find an exact copy of a long-lost precious pendant on his desk, or get tickets to Bora Bora for a birthday party.
The honeymoon looks perfect, but it can't last forever. After all, in the place of self-esteem in a perverted narcissist, figuratively speaking, there is a gaping bottomless hole into which all the delights of others and his own achievements are sucked in vain. Due to a personality disorder in the depths of his soul, such a person feels insignificant, experiences desperate envy and anger. The lack of empathy does not allow him to empathize, and the illusion of his own greatness does not allow him to perceive other people as equals. For a while, the narcissist manages to hold back negative feelings (solely for strategic reasons), but then his patience ends.
The laws of communication are depreciated, respect disappears, and from a precious chosen one or dear friend, the second person quickly turns into a disenfranchised violator.
The moment this happens, the "honeymoon" ends and the so-called "ice shower" stage begins. A prince or princess suddenly, often in just one terrible day, turns into an unpredictable aggressive creature that attacks a partner with the cruelty of a chimera and manages to turn his whole picture of the world upside down in a few hours. The laws of communication are depreciated, respect disappears, and from a precious chosen one or dear friend, the second person quickly turns into a disenfranchised violator.
As is normal for a mentally healthy person, a lover or friend of a patient with NPD in this situation is likely to begin to suspect that there is some guilt in what happened. This is exactly what the perverted narcissist needs. At the second stage of the relationship, his task is to destroy the partner’s self-esteem, humiliate him and thus assert himself. This is why such people tend to keep partners close, resurrecting honeymoon circumstances as necessary, and then reassuming their basic aggressive form.
Boycott and inexplicability
Despite the fact that from the point of view of the victim the behavior of a perverted narcissist looks unpredictable, in reality this person uses recognizable techniques, which are described in detail in the first Russian-language book on communication techniques for patients with NPD - "Be afraid, I you” by the writer and journalist Tatyana Kokina-Slavina:
• “an attack of anger”, when a narcissist in a harmless situation suddenly shows wild rage;
• gross violation of an important promise or defiant failure to fulfill obligations;
• "accidental" disclosure of a shameful secret, which becomes available due to the stuffing of compromising evidence;
• pause in communication not agreed upon with the partner, i. e. boycott;
• a statement about an alleged breakup or a frank hint that a breakup may occur, presenting a list of conditions;
• perceptible but unmotivated cooling of relations.
Of course, all of the above can happen in a relationship without NPD, healthy or not, for a variety of reasons. The following criteria can be used to correctly assess the circumstances and test them “for narcissism”:
• the presence of a strong negative emotional response,
• the suddenness of the antics and the absence of clear motives,
• the denial of what happened on the part of the alleged narcissist.
Such denial can take the form of gaslighting, one of the methods of psychological abuse, which is designed to dissuade the partner from what he clearly saw, confuse him and lead to false conclusions. Typical phrases in this case sound like “there was nothing like that”, “I don’t understand what you mean”, “you complicate everything”, “you overreact to ordinary remarks”, etc. As a rule, such an onslaught greatly deprives balance, so that a person really begins to doubt himself.
An ugly scene after the "honeymoon" completes the first circle of relationships, and after that communication becomes cyclical. The positive phases begin to gradually narrow, the negative phases grow, so that the relationship becomes like a manic-depressive disorder, and codependency forms between partners. “Be prepared for more and more frequent cycles,” says Israeli writer and narcissist researcher Sam Vaknin, author of Surviving the Narcissist, Malignant Self-Love, How to Divorce a Narcissist and a Psychopath, and more. The narcissist idealizes, and then devalues and discounts the object of its original idealization. This sharp, heartless depreciation is aggression. The narcissist exploits, lies, makes no sense, insults, ignores, manipulates, controls. The narcissist is built almost entirely on control. This is a primitive and immature reaction to circumstances in which the narcissist, most often in childhood, was helpless.
© Sara Andreasson
Perverted narcissists often refer to their partners as being "hypersensitive" and prone to creating problems out of the blue. A person is steadily losing his rights in communication with him: the right to ask questions and receive answers, to talk about his feelings and get angry. Anger and discontent turn out to be "unreasonable" or "irrational." Indeed, in order to gain complete power over the partner and legitimize the absence of human feelings, the perverted narcissist needs to depersonalize him, destroying his "I".
In the second stage of a relationship, the perverted narcissist has two recognizable tools: "holding tactics" in dialogue and "waterboarding." The first technique is usually expressed in the fact that the discussion of relationships, as well as the ability to express one's thoughts and feelings, is blocked. The narcissist diverts the topic of conversation, digresses into other things, reduces the conversation to a joke, puts it off for later, taunts, complains about feeling unwell, and devalues the interlocutor in other ways. For example, patients with NPD often display a hostile coldness that is denied. This strategy allows them to make their partner angry and cry, then to ridicule his anger and thus humiliate him.
"Water torture" performed without raising the voice. In the process, the narcissist twists, turns inside out, and brings to the point of absurdity the partner's words without removing the bored haughty mask. Of course, not everyone can stand such treatment, so many narcissists lose their victims at some point. This causes fear and even panic in them, so that the methods of moral violence are instantly replaced by a new "honeymoon". This game can go on for many months or even years.
How to deal with a perverted narcissist?
The only way to escape moral abuse from a perverse narcissist is to stop communicating with him. You need to understand that such people behave this way because of mental pathology, and they cannot be re-educated, changed, healed, remade or saved. His problem can be partly solved only by a psychotherapist or psychiatrist, who is also capable of prescribing the necessary medicines. Today, doctors do not know why patients develop narcissistic personality disorder. Some experts are sure that it is genetically transmitted, others believe that it is only a matter of upbringing, when a person is not paid attention in childhood, or, on the contrary, they evaluate him too harshly. In addition, there is a theory that the prevalence of NPD increases during unfavorable periods of history. One way or another, none of the narcissists is to blame for getting sick, even if they behave like a sadist. Although this, of course, does not mean that you can allow him to torture himself.
As with any painful relationship, it is also better to leave this relationship with the support of a psychologist, and even better, a psychotherapist. There is absolutely no shame in asking for help: after all, we do not hesitate to show our injured ankle to the surgeon instead of applying psyllium leaves to it for weeks. Talking with a specialist will help you get over the pain of humiliation and loss, start putting everything in its place, understand what exactly happened, and find ways to cope with it.
The only way to escape moral abuse from a perverse narcissist is to stop communicating with him.
An intermediate option: to leave the narcissist in place and improve yourself, unfortunately, does not exist. Narcissistic personality disorder today is very difficult to correct, not to mention the fact that in its "perverted" version it is also rarely recognized as a disorder. A perverse narcissist, who can be called a pathological manipulator, would rather make an attempt to "manage" his doctor than want to change anything.
Romances, friendships and even business relationships with perverted narcissists are usually given to their victims with a lot of blood, so the only way out is to stop them as soon as possible, or even better not to start at all. After all, as in conventional medicine, in the field of mental health, prevention is much cheaper than treatment.