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The Ultimate Narcissist Dictionary for Defining Narcissism and Narcissistic Abuse

This narcissist dictionary was developed as a comprehensive resource to explain concepts you may encounter while reading about narcissistic abuse. It is updated periodically to reflect emerging research and the growing use of terminology for defining narcissism, narcissists and narcissistic abuse. It is divided into the following sections:

  • Diagnostic Terms Related to Narcissism and Narcissistic Abuse
  • Terms Used to Explain the Narcissist’s Behavior
  • Terms Describing Roles of People in the Narcissist’s Life
  • Terms Related to Narcissistic Abuse Tactics
  • Terms Used to Describe Healing from Narcissistic Abuse

Diagnostic Terms for Defining Narcissism and Narcissistic Abuse 

Anti-Social Personality Disorder (ASPD).  A type of personality disorder in which an individual shows a strong disregard for norms, morals and the law, or the rights and safety of others.  People with the disorder show a willingness to manipulate and exploit others. They also have a lack of empathy and will engage in impulsive, irresponsible behavior to serve their own ends. They are unconcerned with what others think and can be aggressive and hostile.

Covert Narcissist.  A narcissist who is able to hide his or her more obvious narcissism and feelings of entitlement and superiority. He or she is not likely to display a lot of the typical symptoms of classic narcissism in an obvious way. 

Ego-Syntonic/Ego-Dystonic. When a disorder produces behaviors or attitudes that are compatible with a person’s self-image, they are ego-syntonic. Most personality disorders are considered ego-syntonic, as the individuals with the disorders do not see their actions or attitudes as problematic. Disorders that produce attitudes or behaviors that do not align with a person’s self-image are ego-dystonic. Depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder are two examples.

Emotional Abuse/Psychological Abuse.  Acts of verbal aggression or non-physical hostility that result over time in the loss of the target’s self-esteem (emotional) or ability to trust one’s own mental thought processes (psychological).

Malignant Narcissist. A special sub-type of narcissist that has also some traits of ASPD, such as aggressiveness, deceitfulness, and remorselessness. They are often sadistic and gain pleasure from hurting others.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).  A type of personality disorder in which a person has grandiose fantasies of success and power with few or no achievements behind the fantasies. People with the disorder are constantly comparing themselves to others and feeling envious. They may also feel others are envious of them. They believe they are unique and entitled to special treatment, admiration, and obedience. In addition, they lack emotional empathy and have a willingness to exploit others for their own benefit.

Neurotypical. A term once used to describe individuals who were not on the autism spectrum, it is now used as a term to contrast individuals who do not have a particular mental or behavioral disorder with those who do.

Overt Narcissist. A “garden-variety” or typical narcissist whose emotional displays, grandiosity and feelings of entitlement and superiority are on obvious display to others.

Psychopath/Sociopath.  Considered to be sub-types of ASPD where the criteria must include disregard of laws and norms. Their meanings have changed over time and are used inconsistently. Only the term “psychopath” has been recognized in the DSM-5, and it is not an official diagnosis. Some researchers believe that a psychopath is more biologically-determined and a person’s environment is more responsible for producing a sociopath. Still others believe that there are differences between the two in how they behave. For example, they believe that a psychopath is more calculating and a sociopath acts more spontaneously. Finally, still other researchers believe that there is no difference– they are two terms applied to the same group of people with little evidence to support that there is an actual distinction in cause or behavior. The main features that both terms share that are relevant to narcissistic abuse are the lack of a conscience or remorse and the ability to manipulate and deceive.¹  

 Terms Used to Explain the Narcissist’s Behavior

Emotional empathy/Intellectual empathy.  Narcissists have the capacity for looking at the expressions on the faces of others to understand their emotions or for hearing a description of how others feel and having a rational response to it. This is intellectual empathy. They are less capable of imagining incidents happening to others and how those incidents would feel. Because of this, the impact of their actions on others does not generally play a role in their decision-making. 

Mask Slipping.  Narcissists have to put on a front that they view the world as everyone else does.  Although not all are self-aware, they are aware that not all of their actions would be viewed favorably. They have learned how to hide their true motives and feelings behind a “mask of sanity.” When cracks show the behaviors that are incongruent with their image, it is called “mask slippage.”

Narcissistic Injury.  This was at one time technical psychological jargon from Sigmund Freud to refer to a threat to or attack on the narcissist’s ego by someone else. The injury occurs due to a failure to reflect back the idealized image that the narcissist has of himself or herself. The term has now become a common one used in the online narcissistic abuse community to describe what happens when a person does something a narcissist perceives as criticism.

Narcissistic Rage.  Another technical term to describe the blind anger of the narcissist in response to a narcissistic injury that results in the mask slipping. In response to it, the narcissist may engage in a host of abusive behaviors designed to seek revenge on the person who caused the injury.

Object Constancy.  Narcissists have attachment issues. They cannot hold in their minds the idea that someone can have both positive qualities and negative ones at the same time, or that a person may be someone they like but can do things that they don’t like or agree with. This is called lacking “object constancy.”

Splitting.  Because of the lack of object constancy, narcissists “split” people.  When a person does what the narcissist wants– that is, providing high-quality narcissistic supply (see below–Roles of People)–they are perceived as “good.”  When he or she does something the narcissist doesn’t like– such as causing a narcissistic injury, merely by not living up to the narcissist’s high standards for reflecting back narcissistic supply– they are perceived as “bad.”  This is what often causes the dramatic shifts between idealization and devaluation of the partner by the narcissist (see below–Abuse Tactics or Acts).

 

 Terms Describing Roles of People in the Narcissist’s Life 

Flying MonkeysAll of the people (friends, family, exes and other admirers) in the narcissist’s “fan club” who do the bidding of the narcissist because they are blinded by his or her charms.

Golden Child.  In families where one of the parents is a narcissist and there are multiple children, the narcissistic parent may designate one child as the favorite, who becomes a reflection of the narcissist. The parent strips the child of an identity and makes him or her of an extension of the parent, praising him or her excessively for achievements the parent values and distorting failures as the fault of others– all of which stunts the emotional growth of the child. 

Harem.  The admirers and suppliers of narcissistic supply for the narcissist.  Can consist of current love interests, past love interests, people the narcissist flirts with, family members, friends, co-workers, or anyone that the narcissist keeps in his or her circle to tell him or her how great he or she is.  They all play different roles, and he or she may switch them out as favored or preferred members of the inner circle.  They also may fall from grace if they do not play their roles accordingly.

Narcissistic Supply.  The lifeblood for a narcissist, consisting of attention, adoration, admiration, and support required to bolster self-esteem and maintain his or her idea of him or herself as special and important.  Self-aware narcissist, H.G. Tudor calls this Fuel.

Scapegoat. In families where one of the parents is a narcissist and there are multiple children, family members may designate one child as the receptacle for the parent’s or the family’s dysfunction. The narcissistic parent may heap all of the responsibility, blame, or shame for anything that goes wrong within the family onto the child, and it may extend into neglect or abuse.

Terms Related to Narcissist Abuse Tactics

Ambient AbuseThis is an atmosphere created through persistent gaslighting, instability, covert manipulation, and other psychologically abusive tactics. It results in an erosion of the victim’s confidence and independence so that the abuser can control and exploit the victim.

Bait and Switch.  Victims don’t fall for narcissists because they are cruel in the beginning.  Narcissists first show them an intense amount of attention, affection and what feels like love before they begin to slowly reveal a side of themselves that is cold, inattentive and vicious, making it difficult for the victim to know what they should believe about how their partner feels about them and whether they should hold out for the narcissist to stop treating them unkindly. Also known as the “mean and sweet cycle” or the “nice and nasty cycle.”

Baiting.  A tactic used by the narcissist to intentionally provoke an emotional response from the victim, generally while feigning innocence.

Blameshifting. This is the act of avoiding responsibility for an act of wrongdoing by claiming that the act would not have occurred but for the actions of someone else (or something else, such as alcohol, youth, stress, or other external factor). 

Crazy-makingA general term used to describe tactics used that over time cause self-doubt, confusion and that result in the victim questioning reality.  Examples of how it can occur are when the narcissist’s actions don’t match his or her words, when he or she gaslights or lies about his or her actions or what has been said, and when he or she refuses to discuss problems in the relationship in a constructive manner (see Word Salad below–Abuse Tactics or Acts).

Coercive Control. A term for excessive monitoring and covert or overt dominance over one or more areas of a partner’s life, such as finances, career, friendships, clothing choices, hobbies, or other. It usually begins as concern for the partner and is cloaked or hidden in many seemingly loving behaviors as well. It also starts slowly and can be subtle. Many tactics may be used to obtain this control. These include criticizing in an off-handed way his or her body, clothing, accomplishments or friends; invading his or her privacy by reading private messages or listening in on phone calls; accusing him or her of cheating when no evidence exists; insisting he or she remain in constant contact; and making it very unpleasant for him or her to do things that don’t involve the narcissist. The results of these behaviors are to lower the self-esteem of the partner and isolate him or her from others and give the narcissist more control. 

Dog whistling.  Another term for baiting, except narcissists often use this tactic in front of others to humiliate the victim or make him or her seem off-balance for the purposes of smearing the victim or preparing for a break-up.

Dosing.  The act of providing morsels of positive attention after the cruel phase has begun to keep the victim strung along.

Double standards.  Narcissists often have two sets of rules:  one for themselves and one for everyone else, as they think they are entitled to special treatment. They will often have high standards for honesty and fidelity among those they choose for partners but have no intentions of adhering to these standards themselves.

Ex-recycling.  Narcissists have a tendency to stalk and try to return to their former partners for attention and control. They also enjoy using former partners in other ways as well. If you do want to talk to them, they consider you to be still in love with them and they will use you to make their current partner(s) jealous.  If you don’t want to talk to them, you’re bitter, jealous or crazy and they will use you to make their current partner(s) feel sorry for them (see Triangulation below–Abuse Tactics or Acts).

False flattery.  This is a form of love-bombing (see below–Abuse Tactics or Acts), in which a narcissist compliments another on whatever they think that person may be insecure about, in an effort to get him or her to return the compliments, as they love hearing about themselves.

Final discard.  Narcissists follow a relationship pattern (see idealize-devaluation-discard below–Abuse Tactics or Acts), but they often return and keep their ex-partner in a rotation for months or even years.  A final discard is the moment when some narcissists decide to leave the partner for good, sometimes in the most harmful way possible. Partners can never know if they have been subjected to a final discard, as narcissists may potentially return years or even decades later (see hoovering below–Abuse Tactics and Acts). Therefore, an argument can be made that the “final discard” is theoretical.

Future-faking.  Narcissists make grandiose promises about the life they plan to lead with a partner to fake intimacy and make them feel as if they are closer to the narcissist or more familiar with him or her than they actually are.

Gaslighting. A form of manipulation where the narcissist denies, provides conflicting information or outright lies over and over again in direct contradiction to what another person can blatantly perceive using his or her own five senses. The other person begins to doubt his or her perception of reality.  The term comes from a 1944 movie where a man purposely tries to drive his wife insane by making the gaslights flicker, then telling her that she is imagining it when she points it out.

Grooming. The process of slowly mixing negative behavior in with positive behavior in a relationship in order to wear down a partner’s boundaries so he or she will accept abusive treatment. It’s the “boiling the frog” metaphor, where the heat is turned up slowly and the frog doesn’t know it’s being boiled until it’s too late.

Hoovering.  A “hoover,” named after a brand of vacuum cleaner, is a tactic meant to “suck” a partner back into the relationship.  It happens after a period of silence during which the partner and the narcissist are not in contact with each other.  What characterizes this type of contact after a break-up with a narcissist is that it is insincere; no change in behavior will have occurred if the partners reunite.

Idealize – Devaluation – DiscardConsidered the cycle of abuse in narcissistic relationships, in the idealization stage at the beginning of the relationship, the narcissist puts his or her partner on a pedestal and showers them with excessive praise and attention. At some point, the narcissist will begin to see his or her partner as flawed or even grow bored and the devaluation phase begins. Many tactics characterize this phase, such as verbal abuse (see below–Abuse Tactics or Acts), withholding, humiliation, and smearing (see below–Abuse Tactics or Acts)Finally, when the narcissist no longer sees any value in the partner, perhaps if the partner has reacted in a way that the narcissist perceives negatively, such as demanding respect, the narcissist may discard the partner. The cycle often repeats many times before the relationship ends.

Intermittent Reinforcement. This is a pattern of behavior in which the narcissist randomly intersperses kindness between acts of cruelty. Psychological research demonstrates this is an especially powerful tactic. Because the partner never knows when the narcissist will show kindness, the randomness of the benevolence is one of the most critical forces that keep him or her tied to the relationship, hoping each time that the cruelty has come to an end for good.

Love-Bombing.  A period of intense positive attention from the narcissist that can include excessive flattery and declarations of love, mirroring (see below–Abuse Tactics or Acts), future-faking (see above–Abuse Tactics or Acts), gifts, sex, domination of the partner’s time, and fast-tracking the relationship. The result of these actions is an intense bond, where the partner becomes very vulnerable to, trusting of and dependent on the narcissist.

Mirroring.  This is one of the tactics used during the love-bombing that takes place in the beginning of the relationship.  It can be physical when the narcissist mimics the partner’s body language, behaviors, and actions.  It can also occur when the narcissist claims to enjoy the same activities or to have had similar experiences to make it appear as if the two have a lot in common.

Pathological lying. Lying that is done compulsively out of habit. It may not always seem to personally benefit the liar. It is known to be a common characteristic of many narcissists, psychopaths, and sociopaths.  Sometimes, it is thought that they may engage in the lying for control or even enjoyment, in what is known as “duper’s delight.”

Projection. This is a defense mechanism narcissists commonly use to avoid their own feelings of shame caused by their negative behaviors. It occurs when they accuse partners of the things they themselves have done.

Silent Treatment. A period of non-responsiveness in which the narcissist disappears and treats the partner as if he or she doesn’t exist. The narcissist implements it as a form of punishment if a partner engages in a behavior that the narcissist doesn’t like.

Smear Campaign. To guard against exposure, prepare for their exit from the relationship, or gain sympathy from others, narcissists may spread gossip or tell half-truths or outright lies about their partners behind their backs.

Stonewalling. Refusal to engage in a conversation or provide information or other resources as a form of punishment for bringing up topics that a narcissist doesn’t like.

Triangulation. The act of using a third party in a conflict to make the narcissist appear in high demand, to manufacture emotions, or to gain further narcissistic supply (see above–Abuse Tactics or Acts).

Verbal Abuse. Using namecalling, putdowns, or humiliation to weaken the self-esteem of the partner.

Victim-BlamingThe act of blaming or partially blaming the victim for the act of harm that has befallen him or her. Narcissists often use blameshifting statements to avoid taking responsibility for their abuse, such as stating that their partner was not caring or understanding enough, or was critical or reacted in a certain way, or left or did not give him or her a chance to change.  

Victim card. This is a name for a tactic narcissists use when they attempt to gain sympathy from others with the ultimate ulterior motive of excusing their abusive behavior. They may blame it on something negative in their past, a “bad childhood,” a broken heart, a lost love, a father that was never there or something else or all of the above.

Word Salad.  Circular language tactics narcissists use to ensure that conversations with others never have satisfactory resolutions for the other party; can include projection (see above–Abuse Tactics or Acts), stonewalling (see above–Abuse Tactics or Acts), blameshifting (see above–Abuse Tactics or Acts), sympathy ploys, bringing up something the partner did, bringing up unrelated issues, starting the conversation over, and others.

Terms Used to Explain the Effects of the Abuse on the Victim

Abuse Amnesia. A specific form of denial in which the partner of an abuser suppresses the awareness of the abuse he or she has endured in order to carry on the relationship. This is partially a result of cognitive dissonance (see below–Effects), and the fact that the first idea that was formed is the most resistant to change.

Chemical Bond. The brain chemicals of the partners of the narcissists become dysregulated and synced up with the cycle of abuse, releasing dopamine and oxytocin from the reward centers of the brain when the narcissist lovebombs (see above–Abuse Tactics or Acts) the partner and Cortisol and norepinephrine during stressful times when the narcissist disappears during silent treatments (see above–Abuse Tactics or Acts) causing immense pain. This creates a chemical addiction to the narcissist that is difficult to overcome.

Cognitive Dissonance. The uncomfortable feeling of anxiety from holding two beliefs that contradict one another. A person cannot hold both in the mind for very long without finding some way to rationalize or discredit one of them.

Complex PTSD (C-PTSD). A variation of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in which chronic traumatization occurs from living a long-term traumatic situation rather than one event or short-term situation or in which multiple traumatic events occur. Examples include child abuse, domestic violence, or being a prisoner of war. Those with the condition typically have issues with emotion regulation and self-perception.

Dissociation. The state of feeling disconnected to what is happening around oneself, as if it has an unreal quality to it or is happening to someone else.

FOG. The mental state of confusion generated by the psychological and emotional abuse perpetrated by narcissists. It stands for Fear, Obligation and Guilt, the manufactured emotions that narcissists use to try to keep their partners bound to them.

Identity Erosion.  Over time, due to the abuse, the abuser starts to erase the victim’s self-assuredness in his or her own perceptions, his or her own natural reactions, and his or her self-esteem. Narcissists condition victims not to speak up (see Walking on Eggshells below–Effects). They may also find themselves doing things they wouldn’t normally do as their boundaries are eroded, or as feelings are purposely manufactured in them and they react in ways they wouldn’t normally react. All of this is due to the subtle manipulation and control by the abuser.

Learned Helplessness. A psychological mindset the partner of a narcissist may develop in which he or she feels powerless to leave or escape the relationship despite having a desire to be free of it. It generally results from traumatic or ineffective attempts to leave due to the response by the narcissist. When the narcissist repeatedly draws the partner back into the cycle despite his or her desire to leave, the partner begins to feel as if he or she has no control to change the situation.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)A state of extreme anxiety that activates a person’s “fight or flight” response in the brain on a consistent basis. It is so encompassing that a person’s thoughts, emotions, and beliefs about the world are all affected.  A single traumatic incident or an event with a time-limited duration, such as an accident, natural disaster, sexual assault, or tour of duty, is usually the cause.

Reactive Abuse. This is the term for what can occur if the abuser torments or intentionally baits the victim through manufactured emotions, triangulation (see above–Abuse Tactics and Actsor other tactics into responding. Although the abuser has purposely generated an abusive atmosphere of power and control over the partner from the beginning, when he or she eventually gets a reaction from his or her partner, the narcissist can then use it to justify his or her abuse or claim victimhood and gain further sympathy or narcissistic supply elsewhere.

Stockholm Syndrome.  A phenomenon in which victims of trauma who are subject to horrific conditions or threats to their safety identify with their tormentors due to moments of kindness that they experience from them. Those moments of humanity enable them to develop positive feelings toward the tormentors as an unconscious defense mechanism to survive the trauma.

Trauma Bond. Similar to Stockholm Syndrome, in an abusive relationship, the abused partner may develop a loyalty to the abuser and suppress memories of their negative treatment in order to view him or her in the most positive light.  

Walking on Eggshells. This is a metaphorical term for the emotional anxiety the partner of an abuser can feel from not knowing what might set off an emotional tirade from a narcissist. The partner starts to watch everything he or she says or does and curb his or her behavior in order to avoid upsetting the abuser.

Being in a relationship with a narcissist is extremely painful. Understanding the strengths I developed that helped me leave made me realize what I gained.

Terms Used to Discuss Healing from Narcissistic Abuse

Closure. Narcissistic relationships rarely have the same kind of closure as ordinary relationships because both partners do not share the same narrative of the relationship. Because the relationship was characterized by deception and psychological manipulation, the partner of the narcissist will never have the answers, apologies, or good-byes from the narcissist that would provide peaceful closure because the narcissist is incapable of providing them. The partner must seek his or her own closure by understanding the nature of narcissism and narcissistic abuse.

Fog lifting.  The feeling of being able to think more clearly about the relationship once the partner of a narcissist institutes no-contact (see below–Healing). Over a period of days and weeks, partners tend to notice confusion and anxiety draining away as a function of the deprogramming from the psychological abuse.

Grey RockA modified form of no-contact (see below–Healing) in which the partner remains in technical contact with the narcissist out of necessity, however, has emotionally detached from him or her. The contact occurs only when absolutely necessary, is devoid of emotion, and does not provide the narcissist with any information beyond what is essential to convey.

No-ContactA deliberate physical and psychological act by the partner of a narcissist to remove the narcissist from the life of the partner that includes taking steps in the material world to ensure that no contact can be made, and mentally preparing psychologically for not interacting with the narcissist again.

 

1 A more thorough explanation of these three terms and the similarities and differences among them, however, are found in the articles Narcissist or Sociopath: What’s the Difference? and in 9 Types of Narcissists: The Ultimate Guide

First Published 7/9/2018

Updated 7/7/2019

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Kristen Milstead

Kristen Milstead is a narcissistic abuse survivor who has become a strong advocate for finding your unique voice and using it to help others find theirs.

27 Comments

  1. kimberly raggio

    i was with a man that was a narcissist. he made me crazy and tore my life up. i tried suicide 3 times i jst wanted him to love me. that was impossible. he couldnt. wsnt even able. i lost my children,my home, my car,my job, my friends, my family and all im left with is my few knick knacks and my 80 yr old parents. i am 56 and starting over its the hardest thing ive ever done. i now have ptsd and other emotional problems. i beg you to get out of this now. it can and will destroy you. i will be glad to share my courage and wisdom with anyone who needs it. yo can connect me if you need support. [Identifying information removed]

  2. I searched for a list like this for weeks, thank you for making this >> What if that’s not the devil and just a flesh and blood person with emotions and a soul just like you.

    ^There is no question mark succeeding that sentence.
    Because I aim to prove logically that in every way >>> we are evil in our need to blame others as evil – and for multiple reasons as well.

    If I’m wrong anywhere here please correct me, and impersonally too. There is no need to attack me, I am only being sincere and considerate towards the specifically generalized figures who are inherently being lacked in receiving empathy ..somewhat ironically.

    I’ll try to make this brief.

    ** #1 (as just stated) The first notable and questionable aspect of the Narcissist theme – is that in our blame/disgust/spite / corralling / vilification of ~who-so-ever-may-be-the-unlucky-one-accussed-of-being-a-Narcissist ⇢ we ourselves act Narcissistic in every act as we point out our accusation.

    This brings up a few possible considerations:

    ➲ It’s completely possible the one claiming the other is a narcissist – is the actual narcissist and the other is innocent
    ➲ It’s completely possible that both are innocent and simply normal regular people
    ➲ It’s yet, for some reason completely “impossible” for both to be narcissists (?) – and both guilty of narcissistic abuse – in our minds as we judge and accuse or witness the scenario, in our common perception, and in fact, never typically even considered as possible, brought up, although it is completely practical and indeed – all dynamics socially considered – would entirely be and should entirely be the case more often than not

    ⌦ In that very fact, that aspect is typically never even considered – this typically points to a psychological denial, and thus, is reason to believe could be our projection from the start.

    This is no lite matter what I’m suggesting here, and it is much more than if I was to be saying “one / two – people are projecting”. No no, what I’m saying here is that it by all appearance seems like the good general part of humanity -in at least our English speaking culture, as far as I can tell- is perpetuating a psychological fallacy of …ironic… measure.
    I’d like to be featherweight in what words I choose here, so as not to come off as blaming anyone or attacking anyone, but I think what I mean by ironic is fair to say too.

    Let’s go over some of the relationship and individual dynamics here emotionally, empathically, and considerably sincere to a fine-tuned point ~ as the one sole and Universally agreeable yet individually forgettable firmament would be ➠ **We should NEVER gamble with punishing the innocent.**

    Obvious? Sure, when said.

    But as we look at the scenario it is completely littered with the gambling of punishing the innocent
    – to the point that it has caught my attention enough to where I avidly study it in possible case that the entire notion of “Narcissists” may be completely a self-perpetuating,
    self-replicating,
    and socially destructive fallacy containing three-dimensional aspects,
    as where we have been looking at the whole thing two-dimensionally. and have been cruelly harming the innocent in each turn of the wheel.

    Now I know for the most part those reading this are probably scoffing, having been through grotesque and twisted situations and psychotically cruel scenarios. I have too.
    I’m not here to argue that point nor have a pissing contest over my sufferings from a narcissistic relationship versus any of yours in who has suffered enough to validate our culturally accepted prerequisite amount to justify the label’s authenticity to use as appended onto another.

    I simply ask this: are you so psychic, that you believe your mind-reading capabilities are more than an acceptable reasoning tool to the point where all intentions of another do not need to be said, and this trumps their right to speak to explain anything before your verdict of punishment over them has come to fruition and ego’s desired-and-met closure?

    Look at the aspects, read through them on this page.
    As we are in those moments, hurt, abused, confused, callus ⇢ how many times do we more so readily assume the intent of the other rather than emotionally seek sincerely to discover why the actions are truly being done to us?

    Here is a fact that I consider as fact and do believe all might meet me valuing it same as it’s heard and considered: Within every cold-act and seemingly heartless persona of those we deem as “narcissistic” – there is a horribly tattered and crying inner child alone and scared and desperately in need of love, and indeed in that knowledge, as we accept this fact we all can see clearly that in exactly that inner child receiving that unconditional love is the ONLY way that person can heal – in those specific aspects – unique to each individual.

    Why, in the very consideration of that fact do we not empathize? Do we not feel like crying ourselves, in the understanding of it?

    How could that be?
    -unless we ourselves know that same inner space and inner child well enough personally to be able to comprehend that emotional understanding, as the dynamic is expressed outwards then unto empathize with?

    And here we come full circle to see that in not only all possible but also in all conceivability in our self-honesty and authentic aim towards truth, and in taking full responsibility of ourselves to face it – no matter the rendered implications as we look on to what may be not-so-distant pasts, with not yet healed wounds – but also possible shame and guilt to bear as well atop of it – we find that ALL are innocent, and only in our haphazardly appending of labels due to our lack of faith in the hearts of another, our lack of trust in the intentions of another, and our own failure to drop our own meaningless egos and pride in order to step forward and give love to exactly where it is needed – do we ourselves commit narcissism.

    This aspect clearly goes not only both ways – but all around throughout humanity, except, of course to where it reaches me.

    I don’t believe in Narcissism.
    I believe in love.

    And this world has put so many of us through some effed-up conditions.

    ➠ U n – c o n d i t i o n i t !

    aloha ke akua

  3. In my case it’s not a relationship, but what I thought to be a very good friendship. I caught glimpses of the narcissism before. I actually ran across things you had posted on Quora and knew I was dealing with a narcissist. I decided to go no contact, but it didn’t last. I go to church with her and her hubby, and I absolutely love her hubby to death and feel sorry for him. He has endured a lot from her including multiple affairs. As a Christian I convinced myself no one is perfect, and I should attempt to work out our friendship since we went to church together, etc.

    There were dustups from time to time, and there were times I absolutely felt like I was a “convenient” friend. I began to dread her phone calls because it was always how wrong everybody was doing her, how the friendships were over, multiple f bombs, calling women she didn’t like the b word, hollering and screaming at the kids while we were on the phone, and just a generally negative attitude.

    Things started coming to a head several months ago. She informed me that an ex was getting out of jail and she was scared of him to a point she was going to be packing. Oh, he kidnapped her and he was violent to her when they were in a relationship. It didn’t stop her from cheating with him, apparently multiple times, after she was married. He took up with her best friend. All I heard was the griping of what sounded like a jealous school girl because he got with her. The best friend even accused her of talking to him and threatened to tell her husband. She denied there were conversations, but did say it wasn’t her fault that her friend couldn’t keep him under control.

    Then she called me one day griping and whining about never having any “fun.” She was ready for “fun.” She was tired of the boring lifestyle and was determined to “have fun.” “Don’t you want to have fun?” Umm, no, I’m good, and I’m content. She hastily hung up. Then another time she made mention to me how she used to go to parties without panties. Then the last time I was around her, she made casual mention of how tight her blue jeans were. No, ma’am, I’m not that kind of guy, and if I was, I wouldn’t do that to your husband who I consider like family.

    She had it let it slip a few weeks before that she was talking to the guy she was supposedly so scared of. Here you have her husband threatening to leave as it is, and she’s talking to a guy he can’t stand (for obvious reasons!) behind his back. Now she has him as a friend on Facebook and commenting on stuff he posts. That’s smart. Somebody is going to tell her husband and he might just decide to leave.

    I went no contact on her and have been pretty much no contact/gray rock for over a month. It just saddens me to see someone who proclaimed how sorry they were for their past and was strong in church going back down the same path.

  4. This is one of the best readings on this subject..of The Narc. Point for Point Bang On.., From both the Description of the Narc to Myself as the partner. I’m working on the No-contact phase and its quite difficult but not as hard as once before. I understand the patterns., actions.., and know that things are not real or genuine coming from my Narc. I believe the stage I am entering is The Grey Rock phase because I know the Narc cannot give what they do not have to give.. passion., intimacy.., concern.., or just plain old sincerity and compassion for another person..
    Michael
    Hamilton., Ont

  5. I am leaving a relationship after 7 years! With no place to go! But that thought feels better then what Im being put thru!! He is cheating on me this second ! Has gone off the grid and totally abandoned me! We live together. I called a company, a kind of POD thing. Im leaving on Tuesday. He doesn’t know it, he has totally ruined my life. Now with the information. I allowed it. I am the codependent… 😦

    1. Hi Dana hooe all us well for u. I’m married 4yrs to narcissit. Im taking my kids my uncle n dog n leaving state never returning idk where or what im gona do but its better than wat he does to me . im scared but u gave me inspiration n i wanted u to no it so thank u much love xoxo

  6. Why a Relationship With a Narcissist Can Never Work Out No Matter What You Do (Part 1) | In the Shadows of the Fairy Tale

    […] new partners. The more perfectly they reflect back what the partner wants to see, the better the narcissistic supply they will […]

  7. Thank you so much for this information, and for the articles you wrote elsewhere on this site which I’ve read. I have needed to know these things very much. You are making my life better. I seem to attract narcissistic types with great frequency. I’ve learned to avoid those with certain behaviors – jealousy, rushing the pace of the relationship at the beginning and other behaviors that look like attempts at ownership – but needed to refine my radar for trouble.

  8. Thank you so much for this information, and for the articles you wrote elsewhere on this site which I’ve read. I have needed to know these things very much. You are making my life better. I seem to attract narcissistic types with great frequency. I’ve learned to avoid those with certain behaviors – jealousy, rushing the pace of the relationship at the beginning and other behaviors that look like attempts at ownership – but needed to refine my radar for trouble.

    1. Hi Aslana, I hope you receive this message soon. You should check out Melanie Tonia Evans website to know the reason why you are a magnet for narcissists. She can help you understand. God Bless!

  9. Kristen Milstead

    You are welcome, Kelly. I’m so glad to hear that you are out of your relationship and things are going so well for you and your children. This is a very positive message and example for all of us to see. Thank you for sharing what is possible! Take care, Kristen

  10. Kristen Milstead

    Hi Kelley: I’m so sorry to hear of what you’re going through. The things they can do to us are so devastating. I can only imagine how must pain you are in. Do you have support to help you get through this where you are? Please try to stay strong during this time and take care of yourself. Thank you for being here and for reaching out. -Kristen

  11. Kelley Treadway

    My Narcissistic ex now has my babies who are 4 and 1. 🙁 He made me look crazy and they were temporarily removed from my home yesterday and placed into his with his mom there to help.

  12. Kelley Treadway

    My Narcissistic ex now has my babies who are 4 and 1. 🙁 He made me look crazy and they were temporarily removed from my home yesterday and placed into his with his mom there to help.

    1. Kristen Milstead

      Hi Kelley: I’m so sorry to hear of what you’re going through. The things they can do to us are so devastating. I can only imagine how must pain you are in. Do you have support to help you get through this where you are? Please try to stay strong during this time and take care of yourself. Thank you for being here and for reaching out. -Kristen

  13. Kelly Garraghan

    Thankyou for your description of what was my reality. I will never walk that path again, I’m out and still alive I have learned what I needed to.
    My children are better and we are happy , really happy. He didn’t destroy me. I felt like I was fighting for my life for months, so hang on in there .

  14. Kelly Garraghan

    Thankyou for your description of what was my reality. I will never walk that path again, I’m out and still alive I have learned what I needed to.
    My children are better and we are happy , really happy. He didn’t destroy me. I felt like I was fighting for my life for months, so hang on in there .

    1. Kristen Milstead

      You are welcome, Kelly. I’m so glad to hear that you are out of your relationship and things are going so well for you and your children. This is a very positive message and example for all of us to see. Thank you for sharing what is possible! Take care, Kristen

      1. I am beyond horrified. I was married for 25 yrs to a very dangerous psychosociaopath and probably a Ritual abuse victim at the age of 3 and his whole family i found out just before we got divorced were incestual pedifiles and filmed orgies and abused hundreds of kids. This was so political it involved gov agencies etc. anyway, and the mafia too. I parted with him and now i went stealth has i have been told he will want to kill me the rest of my life.Through legal help and protective orders, being hidden away i was finally able to escape the state, but no sooner than i was here a rural public but driver started being kind, following me church 2 years. I refused date him, not attracted, he love bombs and abuses mentally all the time. He is a compulsive liar but got everyone that is involved in my life convinced he is a saint above saints. I am the liar. He is mr do good. But i have caught him in so much. I am freaked. Been up all night. He is passing all bounds. I caught him going through underwear drawer and the other day through he was out of town, he knew i was showering about that time and he broke into house, but then said oh he made a mistake. His son in law is on the goood old boy Sherriff and police department. I am about suicidal. Worse yet i have a masters in nursing and too smart for this shit. I can’t beleive this. Can’t hear you
        PRIVACY PARAMOUT.

  15. I like ur site. But 4 me its over. Hes getting m arried im destroyed.thank u
    L o ri

    1. Kristen Milstead

      Hi Lori. I’m so sorry. I know you don’t feel this way now but one day you’ll be glad he is onto someone else. Thank you for being here. Please keep connecting with people who understand and can validate what you’ve been through. Stay strong. -Kristen

  16. I like ur site. But 4 me its over. Hes getting m arried im destroyed.thank u
    L o ri

    1. Kristen Milstead

      Hi Lori. I’m so sorry. I know you don’t feel this way now but one day you’ll be glad he is onto someone else. Thank you for being here. Please keep connecting with people who understand and can validate what you’ve been through. Stay strong. -Kristen

  17. Thank you for your continued information on this vital topic! I sometimes think that I am wrong to think my ex is a true narcissist. This list confirms to me that he is very much a dangerous person that definitely has many of the qualities and behaviors you list above. I’m so very grateful for your articles.

    1. Kristen Milstead

      Hi Lisa. You are welcome. Thank you for reading my blog. I’m very glad it’s been so helpful for you. I think it’s so normal for us to waver about whether our partner is a narcissist. Sometimes seeing descriptions of toxic behaviors can help us realize that if the behaviors are there, that’s what’s important, because of the damage they can cause. Thanks for being here. -Kristen

  18. Thank you for your continued information on this vital topic! I sometimes think that I am wrong to think my ex is a true narcissist. This list confirms to me that he is very much a dangerous person that definitely has many of the qualities and behaviors you list above. I’m so very grateful for your articles.

    1. Kristen Milstead

      Hi Lisa. You are welcome. Thank you for reading my blog. I’m very glad it’s been so helpful for you. I think it’s so normal for us to waver about whether our partner is a narcissist. Sometimes seeing descriptions of toxic behaviors can help us realize that if the behaviors are there, that’s what’s important, because of the damage they can cause. Thanks for being here. -Kristen

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