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With Halloween approaching, it’s high time to remember that nothing is scarier than a narcissist or psychopath’s emotional vampirism, or their true self unmasked. Ghouls, vampires, ghosts, and monsters under the bed simply do not compare to the real-life monsters who may be lurking in your bed. Narcissists and psychopaths manufacture chaos to keep you focused on them and only them. They know they cannot sustain your interest in them long-term because they rely on a false mask to navigate the world.
Manufactured chaos allows malignant narcissists to keep you on the hamster wheel of trying to figure out their intentions and second-guessing yourself. They try to train you to question what you did wrong rather than holding them accountable for their actions. They convince you that setting boundaries or expressing discomfort with their disturbing antics is the problem, rather than their problematic behavior.
Here are five ways these manipulators manufacture chaos and passive-aggressively cause destruction, and tips on how to defend yourself against their manipulation and provocation:
1. Instigating crazymaking arguments.
Narcissists and psychopaths are well-known for a tactic known as “baiting.” They deliberately provoke you so that you emotionally react and swallow their blameshifting hook, line, and sinker. When you fall for it, narcissists and psychopaths go to great lengths to create circular conversations that go nowhere – they use these conversations as a space for their gaslighting, emotional invalidation, and projection.
When called out for their deplorable behavior, narcissists play the victim and lash out in narcissistic rage when you dare to confront them, however politely (Goulston, 2012). They will depict even a well-mannered, reasonable attempt at holding them accountable as an “attack” on their very rights.In their warped reality, they are not at fault for making a demeaning comment or insulting you. Rather, you will be blamed for reacting to such a comment at all or protesting their mistreatment.
These crazymaking arguments do have a purpose: they serve to distract you from the narcissist’s true self and the nature of their manipulation. They act as fuel for the narcissist’s supply – they derive great pleasure and an emotional “feed” from seeing you react, as it validates their sense of superiority and importance. These tactics also work to disarm you and exhaust you to the point where you are unable to fight back, defend yourself, or engage in self-care.
When you notice an escalating argument, stop in your tracks and withdraw from the conversation altogether (even if you have to make up an excuse to do so). With a narcissist, you are not dealing with someone who will listen to reason. Know when to opt out. You are better off detaching and doing something to self-soothe, gain validation from people you trust (like a counselor well-versed in emotional abuse), or another form of self-care.
2. Ruining holidays, special occasions or sabotaging you before big events.
Have you ever noticed that a narcissist or psychopath is usually overly negative and sullen right around the holidays, or around times where you should be celebrating, such as a birthday, the news of a promotion or career success? This is no coincidence. These emotional predators despise holidays and special events because these take the attention off of them. They reveal contempt for such a celebration either through overt put-downs or even underhanded sabotage.
According to Dr. Sharie Stines, “Narcissists have a tendency to practice seasonal devalue and discardduring the holidays, focusing these abuse tactics on their nearest targets and closest partners. Why do they do this? Because they have no empathy and cannot handle intimate relationships and are compelled to do what it takes to destroy them.”
For example, it’s not uncommon for a narcissist to begin a crazymaking argument with you right before the day of a big event or interview, to make you cry on your birthday, or to purposely “forget” to give you a gift on Christmas. They may even ruin celebrations by actively provoking you behind closed doors before attending family events, to make you look like “the crazy one.”
My advice, if it is possible, is to avoid narcissists altogether during the holidays – and that includes electronic communication, as narcissists enjoy “hoovering” right around this time. Find supportive friends and family members who you can enjoy your day with instead. Even spending a holiday alone is preferable than being with someone who will attempt to bully and demean you on a day that should be filled with joy.
3. Provoking jealousy and using love triangles to make you compete.
Narcissists and psychopaths are notorious for something known as “triangulation” – pitting two people against one another to make them compete for the narcissist’s attention, usually through love triangles. That’s why these manipulators drop unsettling comments about how attractive they find someone, hint at sexual affairs, or boast about how often they are hit on. This is a way to provoke you into reacting and vying for their affection.
In his book, The Art of Seduction, Robert Greene suggests that seducers create an aura of desirability by pretending they have many suitors (whether thats the reality or not). This involves creating a perceived sense of competition so that the target is compelled to win this highly desirable persons attention and affection. As Greene writes:
Few are drawn to the person whom others avoid and neglect; people gather around those who have already attracted interest. To draw your victims closer and make them hungry to possess you, you must create an aura of desirabilityof being wanted and courted by many. It will become a point of vanity for them to be the preferred object of your attention, to win you away from a crowd of admirers. Build a reputation that precedes you: If many have succumbed to your charms there must be a reason.
When placed in a love triangle, opt out of the competition. Stay clear of the narcissist’s social media, where many attention-hungry narcissists go to show off new supply and hunt new victims. Refuse to react in ways that reveal to them that you’re bothered; use that disgust you feel towards their triangulation tactics to cut ties with them instead. You never have to compete for a person who is truly worthy of you.
4. Sleep deprivation.
Narcissists and psychopaths deprive you of sleep to keep you exhausted and to keep both your mind and body in a state of chaos so you cannot see clearly or act in ways that benefit your well-being. They may deprive you of sleep by arguing with you for hours into the night, provoking you right around bedtime, or treating you with profound cruelty to keep you ruminating and unable to sleep.
According to Dr. Kelly Bulkeley, sleep deprivation is a form of torture. It is no wonder it’s often (cruelly and excessively) used in interrogations and military tactics to make people vulnerable. As Bulkeley writes:
“Part of the reason for this calamitous breakdown is that during sleep the immune system performs a host of vital regenerative functions that are absolutely necessary for a healthy mind and body in waking life. When a person is deprived of sleep, the immune system becomes unable to perform these functions. The negative effects become much more intense when people are already sick, injured, or traumatized. Whatever bodily damage they have suffered will not heal as fast. Whatever pain they are feeling will get worse. Whatever new bodily damage threatens them will be harder to defend against. Forcibly depriving a person of sleep is a profound assault on the entire biological system at the foundation of that persons mind and body.”
If you find yourself losing sleep daily over a toxic partner, recognize that this is having an enormous effect not just on your mind but also your body. Your immune system is being severely affected. If you are already dealing with illness, you must get away from the narcissist as soon as possible. They are poison for the healing and recovery process and their presence literally puts your life at risk.
5. Stonewalling and the silent treatment.
Stonewalling is shutting down the conversation before it has a chance to begin. It is when a person withdraws from a conversation and refuses to address your concerns. The manipulator may choose to outright ignore your requests, respond with dismissive, invalidating replies or evade responding appropriately altogether by giving vague responses that refuse to answer your original questions. Often, stonewalling and the silent treatment go hand in hand as the abusive partner refuses to speak to their victim for long periods of time.
A pattern of chronic stonewalling can be debilitating as research shows that receiving the “cold shoulder” and the silent treatment activates the same area of the brain that detects physical pain (Williams, Forgas, & Hippel, 2014). Stonewalling literallyhurts and can feel akin to being punched in the stomach. Narcissists chronically stonewall their victims to make them bend over backwards to please them.
The silent treatment and stonewalling evoke excessive anxiety, fear and a persistent sense of self-doubt in their victims. The narcissist thrives off of the power and control they feel as they continue to pull the strings of the victim like a master puppeteer. They usually dish out silence or stonewalling right around the time the victim is becoming discerning of their mind games and attempting to call them out on it. Rather than playing into their ploys, withdraw your attention from them and refocus on your self-care. Do not try to make them return. They are not a prize nor are they a loss. Their silence speaks volumes about their character and tells you everything you need to know about who they really are.
If you are being stonewalled or given the silent treatment, this is a golden opportunity to recognize how big of a bullet you’ve dodged. If someone can’t even have an ordinary discussion or respect your boundaries without lashing out at you and punishing you for holding them accountable, you do not need them in your life. Know that no one deserves to be treated like this, and that anyone treating you with this type of contempt is unworthy of you.
The Big Picture
Manufacturing chaos is one of the main ways a narcissist gains control over a victims psyche. When you are too busy trying to defend yourself against the narcissists gaslighting or accusations, you have less time to see reality for what it is. The reality is: the narcissist is instigating crazymaking arguments, trying to provoke jealousy in you, sabotaging you before big events, depriving you of sleep, micromanaging you, and ruining holidays. The smoke and mirrors the narcissist surrounds you with to blameshift as they deliberately provoke you and then shame you for setting boundaries or speaking out are meant as diversions.
Solution? Remove yourself from the hamster wheel of chaos altogether. You don’t have to run in circles trying to prove your worth or your reality and perceptions. You know what you felt and experienced. Let that be enough.
5 Terrifying Ways Narcissists and Psychopaths Manufacture Chaos and Provoke You - Psychology
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5 Terrifying Ways Narcissists and Psychopaths Manufacture
Nov 01, 2019 · APA Reference Arabi, S. (2019). 5 Terrifying Ways Narcissists and Psychopaths Manufacture Chaos and Provoke You. Psych Central.Retrieved on December 19, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com .
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1. הקמת טיעונים מטורפים.
נרקיסיסטים ופסיכופתים ידועים בטקטיקה המכונה "פיתיון". בכוונה הם מתגרים בך כך שתגיב רגשית ותבלע את וו, קו, ושוקע האשמות שלהם. כשאתה נופל על זה, נרקיסיסטים ופסיכופתים עושים מאמצים רבים כדי ליצור שיחות מעגליות שאינן הולכות לשום מקום - הם משתמשים בשיחות אלה כמרחב לתאורת הגז, לפסול הרגשי ולהקרנתן.
כאשר הם נקראים להתנהגותם העגומה, הנרקיסיסטים משחקים את הקורבן ומתפרצים בזעם נרקיסיסטי כשאתה מעז להתעמת איתם, בנימוס ככל שיהיה (גולסטון, 2012). הם יתארו אפילו ניסיון מסודר, סביר להטיל עליהם אחריות כ"מתקפה "על עצם זכויותיהם. במציאותם המעוותת, הם אינם אשמים בהערה משפילה או בהעלבתך. במקום זאת, יאשימו אותך שאתה בכלל מגיב להערה כזו או מוחה על ההתנהלות הלא נכונה שלהם.
לטיעונים המטורפים האלה יש מטרה: הם משמשים להסיח את דעתך מהעצמי האמיתי של הנרקיסיסט ומאופי המניפולציה שלהם. הם משמשים דלק לאספקת הנרקיסיסט - הם שואבים הנאה רבה ו"הזנה "רגשית מלראות אותך מגיב, מכיוון שהוא מאמת את תחושת העליונות והחשיבות שלהם. טקטיקות אלה פועלות גם כדי להתפרק מנשקו ולמצות אתכם עד לנקודה בה אינכם מסוגלים להשיב מלחמה, להתגונן או לעסוק בטיפול עצמי.
כשאתה מבחין בוויכוח שהולך וגדל, עצור במסלולים ופרוש מהשיחה כליל (גם אם אתה צריך להמציא תירוץ לעשות זאת). עם נרקיסיסט אתה לא מתמודד עם מישהו שיקשיב לתבונה. דע מתי לבטל את הסכמתך. עדיף לך להתנתק ולעשות משהו להרגעה עצמית, להשיג אימות מאנשים שאתה סומך עליהם (כמו יועץ הבקיא בהתעללות רגשית), או צורה אחרת של טיפול עצמי.
2. Uničevanje počitnic, posebnih priložnosti ali sabotaža pred velikimi dogodki.
Ste že kdaj opazili, da je narcis ali psihopat ponavadi preveč negativen in mračen ravno ob praznikih ali v času, ko bi morali praznovati, na primer rojstni dan, novica o napredovanju ali karierni uspeh? To ni naključje. Ti čustveni plenilci prezirajo praznike in posebne dogodke, ker jim s tem odvzamejo pozornost. Prezir do takšnega praznovanja razkrivajo bodisi z očitnimi padci bodisi s podkrito sabotažo.
Po besedah dr. Sharie Stines: »Narcisi imajo navado vaditi sezonsko razvrednotenje in zavržekmed prazniki osredotočajo te taktike zlorabe na njihove najbližje cilje in najbližje partnerje. Zakaj to počnejo? Ker nimajo empatije in ne morejo obvladovati intimnih odnosov in so prisiljeni storiti vse, kar je potrebno, da jih uničijo. "
Na primer, nenavadno je, da narcis začne pred vami noro prepiranje tik pred dnevom velikega dogodka ali intervjuja, da vas zajoka na rojstni dan ali da namerno "pozabi", da vam na božič podari darilo. Lahko celo pokvarijo praznovanja, tako da vas pred obiskom družinskih prireditev aktivno provocirajo za zaprtimi vrati, da postanete videti kot »nori«.
Moj nasvet, če je le mogoče, je, da se med počitnicami popolnoma izogibamo narcisom - in to vključuje tudi elektronsko komunikacijo, saj narcisi v tem času uživajo v "hooverju". Namesto tega poiščite podporne prijatelje in družinske člane, s katerimi boste lahko uživali v svojem dnevu. Tudi samski dopust je bolj zaželen kot biti z nekom, ki vas bo poskušal ustrahovati in ponižati na dan, ki bi ga moral napolniti z veseljem.
4. “You never understand me.”
Every healthy relationship has miscommunication and misunderstandings from time to time. These get resolved once both have a conversation about it.
With a narcissist, things are a bit different. They will at first lie to you, stage up circumstances to prove you wrong and insane. This technique is known as gaslighting. Once you start disbelieving, questioning them, and have confidence in your own self, they will turn the blame wheel towards you.
“You think I am lying? You will never understand me.”
If you are a peace lover, you will without a doubt apologize for your behavior to reconcile as they make a quick happy dance in their mind. “I won.”
It is natural to start questioning oneself “Am I really getting crazy?” when repeatedly gaslighted but believe me you are completely fine.
4. They gaslight.
Narcissists are also commonly gaslighters as well, meaning that they are master manipulators. “Gaslighting is a tactic of narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths,” Christine Scott-Hudson, Licensed Psychotherapist , explains. It is a manipulative behavior designed for self-gain, and even for sport. It is designed to weaken, trick, and destabilize the victim. Gaslighters will deny they said something or did something that you know they said or did. They move through the world dishonestly.”
5 Things Psychopaths Say To Make You Feel Crazy
When you hear the word "psychopath," you might think of Hannibal Lecter or Ted Bundy, but through research for my book, it's become clear to me that most psychopaths are actually nonviolent and non-incarcerated members of society. In fact, there's a good chance they'll seem exceptionally altruistic and innocent to the average onlooker.
Psychopaths are, first and foremost, social predators. With no conscience to check their behavior, they use charm and manipulation liberally to get what they want from others. No one is exempt from this. They’ll prey with equal recklessness on family, friends, lovers, co-workers, or even turn their skills to cults or politics. They modify their personalities to become exactly the person they think you want them to be. And they’re good at it.
Most psychopaths are actually nonviolent and non-incarcerated members of society.
You will likely find a psychopath in your life incredibly thoughtful, sympathetic, and feel an unusually deep connection with them — until they no longer need anything from you. That's when the crazy-making behavior begins.
Here are some common phrases you'll hear from a psychopath who's trying to make you doubt your sanity — and how they serve to undermine your independence.
While saying one or more of these things doesn’t necessarily mean someone is a psychopath, statements like these should be seen as red flags and occasion a deeper look into whether or not your relationship is actually healthy.
1. "You over-analyze everything.”
Of course there are people who read too much into situations. The way to find out if this is intended to be manipulative or not is to keep track of whether or not your concerns turn out to be well-founded in retrospect.
Psychopaths will intentionally do things to make you feel on-edge or paranoid, like flirt with a once-denounced ex over social media for the whole world to see. When you question them, they accuse you of over-analyzing the situation. But then a month later, you discover they were actually cheating with that person. Psychopaths aim to make you doubt your intuition by constantly planting hints to make you feel anxious and then blaming you for having that anxiety.
2. "I hate drama.”
And yet, you’ll soon come to discover there’s more drama surrounding them than anyone you’ve ever known. Psychopaths will first idealize you above everyone else, praising you for your perfect, easygoing nature. But because they are perpetually bored, this never lasts long. They are pathological liars, serial cheaters, and eternal victims.
Before long, these qualities inevitably start to surface and cause you overwhelming confusion. Anytime you mention your concerns or frustration, they’ll declare their hatred of drama and make you feel bad for reacting to their horrible behavior (instead of addressing the behavior itself).
3. “You're so sensitive.”
Psychopaths manufacture emotions in others — it’s what they do. After constantly showering you with praise and flattery, they’ll ignore you for days on end and wait for you to react. When you finally do, they’ll accuse you of being sensitive or needy. They’ll insult, belittle, and criticize you (usually in a teasing/joking manner), pushing your boundaries until you finally speak up.
Then, they’ll turn your manufactured reactions against you in order to make you seem crazy. Within weeks, psychopaths can turn an exceptionally easy-going person into an unrecognizable mess of insecurities and self-doubt.
4. “You misunderstood me.”
Sure, healthy couples have misunderstandings and miscommunications all the time. But psychopaths will intentionally say things they know will provoke you. When you react, they’ll turn the tables and blame you for misunderstanding. Often, they’ll even deny that they ever said it.
This is called gaslighting — blatantly doing or saying something, and then blaming the other party for misinterpreting it (or denying that it even took place). The fact is, you understood what they said perfectly fine. They’re just trying to make you doubt your sanity.
5. “You're crazy/bipolar/jealous/bitter/in love with me.”
The name-calling usually starts when things are going downhill fast. According to a psychopath, all of their ex-lovers, colleagues, and friends are crazy, bipolar, jealous, bitter, or in love with them. This becomes very confusing when they start reaching out to those very same people they once denounced to you, using them to triangulate and cause chaos (making the psychopath appear in high demand at all times). Then they toss you in that very same “crazy” bucket, continuing their never-ending cycle of idealizing and devaluing anyone unfortunate enough to cross their path.
I deeply believe that the only way out of this destructive dynamic is to go “no contact.” This means no texts, calls, emails, or even Facebook friendships. Otherwise, you can guarantee they’ll do anything and everything in their power to make you feel crazy.
The good news is that when a psychopath tries to make you doubt your intuition, it means your intuition was causing them trouble. Psychopaths seek to psychologically destroy anyone who might threaten their illusion of normalcy to the world. So when they begin playing mind games with you, it’s actually a warped, indirect tribute to your ability to notice that something was “off” about them.
If you think you might be dealing with a psychopath, this quick quiz can help you determine one way or the other.
5 Ways To Shut Down A Narcissist
This broker is still the same sweet kid who came to the Big Apple from the cornfields of Iowa without a malicious bone in his body and no appreciation of how manipulative narcissists can be when the scent of money is in the air. Of course most of the calls my friend got for Facebook stock came from strangers: Narcissists using guile, artifice, and pseudo-intimacy, to convince someone they deserve preferential treatment is a warm-up exercise for these guys. I discussed this with my buddy and he finally agreed that most of the “boyhood friends” besieging him were liars: “I don’t mind making people money,” he said, “but what ticks me off no end is getting played.”
“Playing people” is what narcissists do whenever they are not sleeping. They also play entities, if they believe doing so will help them accrue money and/or power. If you look at the Facebook IPO with these observations in mind, you can appreciate how what began as a feeding frenzy went bust: Facebook the Entity was adored it by narcissists— What’s a greater high for narcissists than discussing themselves and having others “like” what they say? Facebook the IPO was adored: “Nearly 1 billion people are on it… it’s great!” But when Facebook the Stock failed to take off like Google’s did, narcissists exhibited their most loathsome propensity: They debased and disparaged a social networking system they once put on a pedestal, claiming it was nothing more than a glorified version of two Dixie Cups connected by string.
Those of you clinging to the notion that Morgan Stanley’s miscalculations were to blame for The Facebook IPO Fiasco can fuhgettaboudit. Wall St. is a venue for showcasing mankind’s worst psychological flaws, narcissism being chief among them. The traditional view on The Street has been, “Bulls and Bears get fed pigs get slaughtered,” but this no longer captures the mood of the times. Today’s prototypic Wall St. client lives by the credo, Idealization leads to devaluation, and seasoned professionals on The Street know that getting anywhere near the downward swing of this pendulum can cut you like a razor.
Here’s what the process of idealization leads to devaluation is all about: Children see objects (entities) in their world as “all good” or “all bad.” Like the stories they love, only heroes and villains inhabit the land in which they live. Their tender young egos cannot make sense of complex characters with variegated personalities. Integrating good-and-bad traits within one person overwhelms them, but what do you expect? Adults have trouble with characters like Walt Kowalski, the retired autoworker played by Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino. On one hand he’s a loathsome racist on the other, a sensitive father figure to a young Hmong immigrant who lives next door to him. If you found it hard to make sense of Eastwood-as-Kowalski, how can kids make sense of complex personalities that refuse to identify who they are by wearing either a white or a black hat?
They cannot, but fortunately a child’s ego comes equipped with “factory-installed” defense mechanisms that enable him to cope with complex personalities: The process is called “splitting”— bifurcating the world into idealized or devalued objects that gain the child’s affection or incur the child’s loathing. If dad is good to a child he is loved. If dad yells and scares a child, he is hated. Kids don’t allow for dad having a bad day or getting cut by a broken glass.
Normally, the need to employ the splitting defense wanes as a child ages. For some, however, it does not, and the child remains a splitter into adulthood. People in his world are put on pedestals one moment and knocked off the next, making intimate emotional relationships a pipe dream. Even non-intimate relationships with narcissists are nightmarish: What constitutes “great work” on Monday can become “unprofessional, inappropriate behavior” by Thursday, for reasons discernible only to seers, soothsayers, or shrinks.
If you haven’t seen splitting in action you will: Narcissists regularly rise to the top of workplace hierarchies owing to a unique ability to secure approval and admiration, two forms of recognition they need to survive in the way the rest of us need oxygen and water. Worse yet, narcissists are able to ascend to the upper echelons of organizations without revealing their true colors until they amass enough power to make it unnecessary to sustain their façade. Once a narcissist can say, “screw you” with impunity, he will use splitting to cut the legs out from under everyone he previously set-up to believe they were cared for.
To avoid being played in this manner, study the following five (5) characteristics of narcissists and the strategies for managing them. Failing to grasp what you are dealing with guarantees that a narcissist will make your life a living hell.
Narcissists Promise You Gold But Deliver Pyrite.
If you want a primer on narcissism, watch Oliver Stone’s movie Wall Street: It illustrates how corporate raider and supreme narcissist Gordon Gekko used every nuance of splitting in the book to grind those close to him into the dirt.
Take, for example, how Gekko told Bud Fox, a broker who emulated his every move, “I’m gonna make you rich, Bud Fox.” In the end, Fox made a fortune working for Gekko, but he was indicted by the SEC for insider trading –the “gift” that made Gekko appreciate him— and, ultimately, jailed.
What can you do about narcissists’ over-promising? Keep your expectations of what they will deliver as low as possible, and understand they will give you only what they need to sustain your involvement with them. When you no longer serve a function in their life, they’ll dump you. Until that day comes, play their game: Never expect anything from them you do not pay for— in advance and in excess of fair market value.
Narcissists Never Like You, Care About You, or Become Your Friend.
Gordon Gekko also told Bud Fox, “If you need a friend, get a dog.” The savagery of this remark lies in its killing two sacred cows with one blow: (a) Gekko was ostensibly Fox’s friend, so the remark gave lie to something Fox valued, and, (b) Gekko denigrated the concept of friendship, rendering it no more valuable than a canine’s bonding reflex.
When a narcissist appears to be befriending you he is really engaged in complex process of creating quid pro quo deals— the types of exchanges Don Vito Corleone was famous for. If you know this, wear a Kevlar vest to protect your heart and play your own version of “Let’s Make A Deal.” If a narcissist invites you to his beach house, have him visit your ski lodge. Then, regardless of which retreat you are at, never delude yourself into believing the narcissist enjoys your company. He wants you to feel “special” so if he needs you, you’ll respond like Pavlov’s dogs.
Never Criticize A Narcissist. Present Constructive Feedback As Mild Praise.
Years ago I worked for a narcissistic who regularly lauded my work. Then everything changed: A week after sending me a box of Cuban cigars accompanied by a note that read, “Thank you, Genius,” the client fired me. Why? After he didn’t respond to a dozen emails reminding him I had not been compensated for my work, I called to remind him.
When you criticize a narcissist –regardless of how accurate you are— you run the risk of inflicting a “narcissistic injury” and becoming the target of “narcissistic rage.” For having the temerity to remind my client, “You owe me,” I was called names I cannot print here during a 15-minute tirade.
If you have an issue with a narcissist never point a finger of blame at him. Any accusation will cause him to feel shame, and nothing wounds a narcissist more than humiliation. Instead, tell him you need his help to you understand your world. His view won’t jibe with yours, but if you repeat the request often enough, using measured words in a calm manner, you may elicit an awareness of obligation in a person whose mother told him he was her “Sun,” and never realized that what she should have called him was “son.”
Never Ignore A Narcissist.
On the street narcissists are called “egomaniacs,” not because their egos are blown out-of-proportion from achievements, but owing to their maniacal obsession with themselves: Their standing vis-à-vis those who’ve made it and their compensatory need to inflate what is actually a damaged sense of self. A friend of mine once asked, “Tell me what parents do to create narcissists?” I told him it was complicated, but he insisted I provide him with one action that explains how egomaniacs become who they are. Finally, I said, “They do it by making little Johnny a ‘show piece’ telling all who’ll pay attention, ‘Look at how special my son is…”. As an adult, Jonathan loathes the memory of being made into an object used to gratify his parents’ needs for attention, yet depends upon the same sort of attention to survive.
To work for or with a narcissist you must be responsive the moment they demand attention. If you cannot respond to the bell, don’t sign-up for the job. If you do react as desired, what can save you from psychic torment is learning to temper the narcissist’s demands without incurring his wrath. Responses such as, “Sounds good to me,” chill the needy child by affirming his worldview while limiting your involvement in actualizing it.
Have Compassion For The Narcissist.
It is hard to dredge-up sympathy for a narcissist since working with or for one sets you up for an inevitable beat-down. You can forestall this outcome if you distance yourself emotionally, as described above, and remind yourself that beneath his flimsy veneer of power he is a terrified Wizard of Oz— shaking behind a curtain that shields him from being seen for who he is. You can also try to imagine how you would feel suffering a chronic need to hear that the world holds you in high regard, knowing you will crumble like a house of cards if your self-deceptions aren’t validated. Cocaine addicts have an easier time navigating through a day than narcissists do since all they need is a chemical fix. Nothing about their addiction forces them to hide a character flaw from those they depend upon to love them.
Do not mistake my compassion for narcissists as directing you to befriend them. If you try to and succeed, your victory will be short-lived: Intimacy arouses vulnerability in narcissists by triggering a recollection of how their parents exploited them. Instead, think of narcissists as suffering chronic pain harboring the deluded belief that living the good life or making windfall profits from an IPO will cure them. You know these fixes never work, but forgive them their folly to the extent that you can.
5 Things Sociopaths and Narcissists Say to Make You Feel Crazy
#2: "I hate drama." And yet, you’ll soon come to discover there's more drama surrounding them than anyone you've ever known.
When you hear the word "psychopath", you might think of Hannibal Lecter or Ted Bundy, but most psychopaths are actually non-violent and non-incarcerated members of society. In fact, there's a good chance they'll seem exceptionally altruistic and innocent to the average onlooker.
As described in the Psychopath Free book , psychopaths are first and foremost social predators. With no conscience, they're able to use charm and manipulation to get what they want from others—whether it be families, friendships, relationships, cults, the workplace, or even politics. The bottom line is, they modify their personalities to become exactly the person they think you want them to be. And they’re good at it.
But when they no longer need anything from you, that's when the crazy-making behavior begins. Here are some common phrases you'll hear from a psychopath who's trying to make you doubt your sanity:
1. "You over-analyze everything."
Of course there are people who DO read too much into situations. The difference with psychopaths is that you'll always discover you were correct in retrospect. They intentionally do things to make you feel on-edge or paranoid, like flirt with a once-denounced ex over social media for the whole world to see. When you question them, they accuse you of over-analyzing the situation. But then a month later, you discover they were actually cheating with that person. Psychopaths want you to doubt your intuition by making you feel like a crazy detective, constantly planting hints to make you feel anxious and then blaming you for having that anxiety.
And yet, you’ll soon come to discover there’s more drama surrounding them than anyone you’ve ever known. Psychopaths will first idealize you above everyone else, praising you for your perfect easy-going nature. But because they are perpetually bored, this never lasts long. They are pathological liars, serial cheaters, and eternal victims. Before long, these qualities inevitably start to surface and cause you overwhelming confusion. Any time you mention your concerns or frustration, they’ll declare their hatred of drama and make you feel bad for reacting to their horrible behavior (instead of addressing the behavior itself).
Psychopaths manufacture emotions in others—it’s what they do. After once showering you with 24/7 praise and flattery, they’ll ignore you for days on end and wait for you to react. When you finally do, they’ll accuse you of being sensitive or needy. They’ll insult, belittle, and criticize you (usually in a teasing/joking demeanor), pushing your boundaries until you finally speak up. Then they use your manufactured reactions to make you seem crazy. Within weeks, psychopaths can turn an exceptionally easy-going person into an unrecognizable mess of insecurities and self-doubt.
4. "You misunderstood me."
Sure, healthy couples have misunderstandings and miscommunications all the time. But with psychopaths, they’ll intentionally say things they know will provoke you. Then when you react, they’ll turn it around on you and blame you for misunderstanding. Oftentimes, they’ll even deny that they ever said it. This is called gaslighting—blatantly doing or saying something, and then blaming you for misinterpreting it (or denying that it even took place). The fact is, you understood what they said perfectly fine. They’re just trying to make you doubt your sanity.
5. "You're crazy / bipolar / jealous / bitter / in love with me."
The name-calling usually starts when things are going downhill fast. According to a psychopath, all of their ex lovers, colleagues, and friends are crazy, bipolar, jealous, bitter, or in love with them. This becomes very confusing when they start reaching out to those very same people they once denounced to you, using them to triangulate and cause chaos (making the psychopath appear in high-demand at all times). Then they toss you in that very same "crazy" bucket, continuing their never-ending cycle of idealizing and devaluing anyone unfortunate enough to cross their path.
The only way out is to go No Contact. This means no texts, calls, emails, or even Facebook friendships. Otherwise you can be guaranteed that they’ll do anything and everything in their power to make you feel crazy. The good news is, when a psychopath tries to make you doubt your intuition, it means your intuition was causing them trouble. Psychopaths seek to psychologically destroy anyone who might threaten their illusion of normalcy to the world. So when they begin playing mind games with you, it’s actually a strange indirect tribute to your ability to notice that something was “off” about them.
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7. They trigger your cognitive dissonance.
This one involves some introspection. When a psychopath enters your life, you'll notice an intense and ever-increasing sense of dread and self-doubt. Your brain will struggle to reconcile the "perfect" person from the beginning with the inappropriate behavior you're starting to see more regularly. That's because that perfect person never actually existed. It was a persona, created just for you. This is the hardest thing for our minds and hearts to understand.
Additionally, with a psychopath, you're always the bad one. Even though they lie, cheat, manipulate, steal, and con—you're the one with the problem. Psychopaths have this innate ability to make you feel like there's something wrong with you for recognizing that there's something off about them.
If you're having a lot of confusing thoughts and emotions like this, you may be dealing with a psychopath.
Once you know the signs of a psychopath, you can begin to figure out how to remove them from your life. This might not be an easy task, especially if you're dating a psychopath. But awareness is the first step of leaving your abusive relationship.
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