Narcissistic Defences

Have you ever tried to confront a narcissist or sociopath? Good luck if you decide to try – in fact I would strongly advise against it. Make sure you read to the end for a special insight.

Here are some of their most common responses:

  • “You need to get a life”.
  • “You are mentally ill”.
  • “Stop psychoanalysing everyone all of the time”. (exaggerating)
  • Telling you that you are so awful because you are blaming other people for EVERYTHING! (this is projection – it’s the narcissist’s motto that they are perfect and someone else is always to blame)
  • “YOU are the PROBLEM”.
  • Going into victim mode – crocodile tearscrocodile tears
  • Silent treatment
  • Threats to report you / get you sent to the loony bin
  • Telling you that no one else has ever made the complaint that you have just made (as though it is YOU with the problem, and they are perfect)

Hopefully you can see how ridiculous most of these defences are!

The special insight is that a narcissist projects his negative qualities onto others. In other words, everything he is accusing you of is what he really fears to be true of himself!

What have your experiences of confronting a narcissist been?

Obstacles in Recovery

When we start to recover after narcissistic abuse, there are some potential pitfalls that we need to protect ourselves from:

talking therapy

  1. Not all therapists understand narcissistic abuse. It may not be covered in their training in very much detail. When searching for a therapist, it is essential to ask them what their knowledge of narcissistic abuse and domestic abuse is. If you are invalidated by a therapist, this can causes secondary gaslighting, which can re-traumatise you (know as sanctuary trauma).
  2. Needing to get others to understand and to validate us: It is typical for narcissistic abuse survivors to be invalidated by those who do not understand narcissistic abuse. Although extremely painful at the time, this can force us to learn the essential lesson of how to validate ourselves.
  3. Putting others above us and believing others before our own truth.
  4. Trying to get validation from those who have an agenda not to see us, such as other narcissistic abusers, or from those who would rather remain in denial due to being afraid of the abuser themselves.
  5. Allowing others to be the judge of us.  Not feeling entitled to ask for what we need.
  6. Dealing with symptoms, rather than the cause, and believing that recovery is possible without processing and releasing past traumas.
  7. Being told to forgive and forget, particularly when we have not yet understood how we got trapped in an abusive dynamic in the first place.
  8. Being told it is wrong to judge.

Have you managed to break through barriers during recovery? I would love to hear from you in the comments.

Tricks of the Narcissistic Trade

  1. magic tricksGathering information about the victim – staring (commonly known as the “sociopathic stare”) and asking lots of questions (the answers will later be used against you to manipulate and control you)
  2. Playing on the victim’s fears and insecurities (again they will uncover your fears by studying you and asking pertinent questions)
  3. Provocation – narcissists are professional button pushers
  4. Divide and Conquer – telling untruths to turn others against each other so they don’t team up to protect themselves against the abuse. This allows them greater control over others.
  5. Projection – the narcissist projects the characteristics they dislike in themsleves (but are in denial about) onto their victim
  6. Triangulation – making the victim jealous of another so that the victim works hard to gain the narcissist’s approval
  7. Confusion – to distract from what the narcissist is really trying to do. Confusion also ensures that the attention is on the narcissist and this provides them with narcissistic supply
  8. Emotional Dysregulation
  9. Gaslighting

These will all be discussed in greater detail in future posts.  Feel free to add any examples that you have come across in the comments below.