Surviving A Narcissist Quotes

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Relationships with narcissists are held in place by hope of a “someday better,” with little evidence to support it will ever arrive.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
But both the narcissist and his partner do not really consider each other. Trapped in the moves of an all-consuming dance macabre, they follow the motions morbidly - semiconscious, desensitized, exhausted, and concerned only with survival.
Sam Vaknin (Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited)
The narcissist is like a bucket with a hole in the bottom: No matter how much you put in, you can never fill it up. The phrase “I never feel like I am enough” is the mantra of the person in the narcissistic relationship. That’s because to your narcissistic partner, you are not. No one is. Nothing is.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
The price of admission to a relationship with an extreme narcissist is self-annihilation. One of my clients quipped: “Narcissists don’t have relationships; they take prisoners.
Pete Walker (Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving)
The fact of the matter is, if you haven’t been in an abusive relationship, you don’t really know what the experience is like. Furthermore, it’s quite hard to predict what you would do in the same situation. I find that the people most vocal about what they would’ve done in the same situation often have no clue what they are talking about – they have never been in the same situation themselves. By invalidating the survivor’s experience, these people are defending an image of themselves that they identify with strength, not realizing that abuse survivors are often the strongest individuals out there. They’ve been belittled, criticized, demeaned, devalued, and yet they’ve still survived. The judgmental ones often have little to no life experience regarding these situations, yet they feel quite comfortable silencing the voices of people who’ve actually been there.
Shahida Arabi (Becoming the Narcissist’s Nightmare: How to Devalue and Discard the Narcissist While Supplying Yourself)
Narcissism is, indeed, the new world order.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
Gaslighting qualifies as a form of emotional abuse that involves denying a person’s experience and making statements, such as “that never happened,” “you’re too sensitive,” or “this isn’t that big a deal.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
Life has not been able to break me and it will not break you. Stand tall for you are loved, you are enough, you are able, and in the end we will survive.
Donna G. Bourgeois (Life with Ollie: The story of an only child of a single narcissistic parent)
Being mindful means being aware of everything and certain of nothing”.
Wendy T. Behary (Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed)
We forget in order to survive our childhoods, when we are totally dependent on our parents' goodwill; but to recover from such childhoods, we must begin by remembering-the bad and the good.
Victoria Secunda (When You and Your Mother Can't Be Friends: Resolving the Most Complicated Relationship of Your Life)
Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
When an accusation is thrown at you that does not fit you, when it doesn’t capture what you know to be true about yourself or your behavior, mentally flip it back on your partner. He is likely accusing you of what he is doing or feeling. Accusations can be about the narcissist’s own vulnerabilities and weaknesses (accusing you of being overly ambitious when he is ambitious, criticizing you for being unsuccessful or not making enough money when he is not feeling successful in that space)
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
If you think you're going to have a thoughtful discussion with someone who is toxic, be prepared for epic mindfuckery rather than conversational mindfulness. Malignant narcissists and sociopaths use word salad, circular conversations, ad hominem arguments, projection and gas lighting to disorient you and get you off track should you ever disagree with them or challenge them in any way. They do this in order to discredit, confuse and frustrate you, distract you from the main problem and make you feel guilty for being a human being with actual thoughts and feelings that might differ from their own. In their eyes, you are the problem if you happen to exist.
Shahida Arabi (POWER: Surviving and Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse: A Collection of Essays on Malignant Narcissism and Recovery from Emotional Abuse)
Covert manipulators are quite gifted at provocation. As they learn more about you, they are investigating your weak spots and catering their comments towards what they know will hurt you the most. Knowing you’re triggered by their comments gives them a sadistic sense of satisfaction that alleviates their secret sense of inferiority and strokes their delusions of grandeur, control and aptitude. Having control over your emotions also gives them the power to effectively manipulate you and convince you that you don’t deserve any better.
Shahida Arabi (POWER: Surviving and Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse: A Collection of Essays on Malignant Narcissism and Recovery from Emotional Abuse)
As children, we had to deny that our mothers were incapable of love and empathy so we could survive. A child yearns for love above all else, and we needed the denial to keep growing and surviving.
Karyl McBride (Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers)
Narcissists (and often, by contagion, their unfortunate victims) don't talk, or communicate: they fend off, hide and evade . . . [They] perfect the ability of saying nothing in lengthy Castro-like speeches. Their locution is impregnated with first person pronouns ("I", "me", "my", "mine" - aka "high pronoun density"). The ensuing convoluted sentences are .. a lack of commitment elevated to an ideology. The narcissist prefers to wait and see what procrastination brings: postponement of the inevitable leads to the inevitability of postponement as a strategy of survival.
Sam Vaknin (Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited)
Many people in narcissistic relationships find that they start becoming more anxious and even less able to regulate their own moods, because they feel as though they are living in chaos—and there was nothing they could do about it, because they were unable to soothe, comfort, or cheer up their partner. Interestingly, because of the narcissist’s tendency to blame other people for their difficulties and engage in projection, they will often blame you for being unreliable and inconsistent, when it is in fact their moods that are all over the map.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
Narcissists are precisely that: careless. They barrel through life, using relationships and people as objects, tools, and folly. While they often seem as if they are cruel or harsh, that is in fact giving them too much credit. They are simply careless. And they do expect other people to clean up their messes. But carelessness is cruel. Frankly, the motivation for their behavior does not matter; what matters is the outcome. And that outcome is damage to other people’s well-being, hopes, aspirations, and lives. Carelessness captures it, but it is not an excuse.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
The emptiness of the narcissist often means that they are only focused on whatever is useful or interesting to them at the moment. If at that moment it is interesting for them to tell you they love you, they do. It’s not really a long game to them, and when the next interesting issue comes up, they attend to that. The objectification of others—viewing other people as objects useful to his needs—can also play a role. When you are the only thing in the room, or the most interesting thing in the room, then the narcissist’s charisma and charm can leave you convinced that you are his everything. The problem is that this is typically superficial regard, and that superficiality results in inconsistency, and emotions for the narcissistic person range from intense to detached on a regular basis. This vacillation between intensity and detachment can be observed in the narcissist’s relationships with people (acquaintances, friends, family, and partners), work, and experiences. A healthy relationship should feel like a safe harbor in your life. Life throws us enough curve balls in the shape of money problems, work issues, medical issues, household issues, and even the weather. Sadly, a relationship with a narcissist can be one more source of chaos in your life, rather than a place of comfort and consistency.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
The emotionally cold or distant trait also rears its head during arguments when one person is experiencing and expressing significant emotion and the narcissistic person just checks out and does not respond—or does so in a cold and clipped manner. At such times you may find yourself spinning—and actually feeling as though you are “going crazy”—because the coldness of the response makes it even more difficult to regulate yourself in that moment. The emotional coldness can be confusing for you and may result in attempts to jump through hoops to generate warmth and connection with your partner. I have observed people wearing themselves out over decades, trying to create a fire where there was no possibility.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
Narcissism is not self-love. It's the opposite of that. It's a nagging horror that you are, deep down, unloveable. A narcissist needs the love, attention and admiration of others to survive because he or she cannot produce enough healthy self-respect to be at peace.
Deborah Orr (Motherwell: A Girlhood)
Narcissists have poorly regulated self-esteem, so they are chronically vulnerable. If they are vulnerable then there is the threat that they may get found out, so they often maintain a grandiose exterior. Because they always measure themselves by other people, they also measure themselves against other people. They are chronically reliant on the opinions of others to form their own sense of self and are always comparing themselves, their status, their possessions and their lives to other people to determine their sense of worth and self-esteem (in a way, narcissists outsource their sense of self).
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
She was struggling to make ends meet, and he - the narcissist - had been at best marginally available to her. To an outsider it looked like a relationship of convenience. You only exist when you are useful.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
Recovering from family scapegoating requires recognizing that being the ‘identified patient’ is symptomatic of generations of systemic dysfunction within one’s family, fueled by unrecognized anxiety and even trauma. In a certain sense, members of a dysfunctional family are participating in a ‘consensual trance‘, i.e., a ‘survival trance’ supported by false narratives, toxic shame, anxiety, and egoic defense mechanisms, such as denial and projection.
Rebecca C. Mandeville (Rejected, Shamed, and Blamed: Understanding Family Scapegoating Abuse (FSA))
Increasingly, we are emptying the connection, respect, and empathy out of one of the most important and healthy of human experiences and turning it into branding, showmanship, and posturing. In the midst of this epidemic and cultural shift into narcissism, relationships have taken the hardest hit of all.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
The darker dynamics of narcissism imply that one person in the relationship gives just about everything, and the other (the narcissist) just takes. If the relationship is reciprocal, compromise is effortless. The more challenging disappointments are the lack of empathy, the lack of connection, the lack of support.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
Nobody goes no contact with a loving, caring, gentle, safe family. They end toxic relationships because all the other alternatives were exhausted and unsuccessful. They broke connections to abusive people because it was their last resort.
Dana Arcuri CTRC (Toxic Siblings: A Survival Guide to Rise Above Sibling Abuse & Heal Trauma)
Narcissists do not tolerate anything that feels like abandonment. The reaction to narcissistic injury is typically narcissistic rage and revenge. Many people who endure a narcissistic breakup will say that they had to start anew— and learned who their real friends were. Because they engage in projection (taking what they are feeling and projecting it onto someone else), and because they do not take responsibility for anything or anyone, they blame. Meet his behavior with dignified silence.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
The pendulum has overcorrected from the cruel era of rapping a disobedient child’s knuckles with a ruler to giving every child a trophy for showing up. Every child should have the experience of being loved unconditionally, supported, and encouraged, but this requires more than a standing ovation every time he or she enters the room.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
Similarly, though the United States is one of the world’s richest economies by per capita income, it ranks only around seventeenth in reported life satisfaction. It is superseded not only by the likely candidates of Finland, Norway, and Sweden, which all rank above the United States but also by less likely candidates such as Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. Indeed, one might surmise that it is health and longevity rather than income that give the biggest boost to reported life satisfaction. Since good health and longevity can be achieved at per capita income levels well below those of the United States, so too can life satisfaction. One marketing expert put it this way, with only slight exaggeration: Basic Survival goods are cheap, whereas narcissistic self-stimulation and social-display products are expensive. Living doesn’t cost much, but showing off does.
Jeffrey D. Sachs (The Price of Civilization)
The term 'flying monkey' is called 'abuse by proxy.' The flying monkeys do the bidding for a narcissist. The term flying monkey was coined in the movie The Wizard of Oz. The flying monkeys were under the wicked witches spell to gang up on poor Dorothy and her friends.
Dana Arcuri CTRC (Toxic Siblings: A Survival Guide to Rise Above Sibling Abuse & Heal Trauma)
nourishing and sustaining. He feels entitled to the best others can offer without
Sam Vaknin (Narcissistic Abuse: From Victim to Survivor: How to Survive Relationships with Narcissists and Psychopaths)
Remember that sometimes people come into your life so you can meet their friends.
Tracy A. Malone
It can be extremely difficult to discern evil hearts because their intention is to look good, not be good.
Leslie Vernick (The Emotionally Destructive Relationship: Seeing It, Stopping It, Surviving It)
No one wants to depend on people who brag about their help. It is hurtful.
Mitta Xinindlu
Loud blasts of emotion and invective with little regard for how words and actions affect other people are the norm.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
You owe it to yourself to stand up and advocate for yourself. To not agree to what is harmful to you. To protect yourself from further bullying, manipulation, gaslighting, and abuse.
Dana Arcuri CTRC (Toxic Siblings: A Survival Guide to Rise Above Sibling Abuse & Heal Trauma)
The democratization of media means that anyone with a phone can become a celebrity. Our short-sighted focus on self-esteem in children means that everyone gets a trophy, universities and education are “brands” instead of places of learning, standardized tests are used to assess wisdom, and grade inflation is rampant. The tribe has been replaced with followers and likes. Our economy, our bodies, our health, our children, and frankly our psyches are in big trouble.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
Congratulations! You have just danced with the devil and lived. No education, no training could have prepared you for what happened. Yet you survived. Be proud and live well, you earned it.
Tracy Malone
In the case of narcissistic personality disorder, it is an inability to form deep connections with others, superficiality, and a complete lack of a basic and necessary human quality: empathy.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
and do not spend any more of your precious and glorious life trying to figure out why they do what they do, what’s wrong with you, or what you can do to “help” them. In the end, it will not matter.
Bree Bonchay (I Am Free: Healing Stories About Surviving Toxic Relationships With Narcissists And Sociopaths)
When it comes to love, narcissists are sprinters and not marathoners. It is often a rather grandiose experience, with numerous references to “falling in love at first sight,” and a “once-ina-lifetime” love story.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
You abused and humiliated me. But what's that exposed is that you're just a boy who has a low self-esteem under the big ego. One who depends on the social approval of his friends to survive. You know nothing about real love. You know nothing about being in love with a decisive woman who stands up for herself. You know nothing about real commitment and its demands. You know nothing about growth, pain, intimacy, and self-development. Losing you was my best win.
Mitta Xinindlu
Narcissists play a public game and a private game which makes it harder to understand. Expressing your concerns suddenly turns you into the ‘jealous one’ and they make you doubt yourself. He/she becomes cold and uncaring almost overnight, this is when the “mask falls” and you see the real person. They make excuses and if we don’t except these excuses then you are the ‘crazy’ one. They are managing down your expectations from constant contact to crickets this verbally and emotional abuse hurts.
Tracy Malone
You press your internal mute button, power off your schemas, and take a full, unexasperated breath. If appropriate, you masterfully hold the narcissist accountable, or you move on. Where, formerly, your “noisy” mind would have had you feeling flustered, furious, full of self-doubt, or helpless, your distress now slides away like a fluffy omelet departs a well-prepared pan.
Wendy T. Behary (Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed)
Your vulnerable partner may frequently put himself down and sometimes respond to positive feedback, but, in general, he is chronically self-critical and may seem neglectful or dejected most of the time. It often looks like depression. If this is your partner, you may become aware of this pattern over time through the absolute sense of isolation, neglect, and disconnection that unfolds.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
This limits, or even eliminates, their capacity to be empathic and remorseful. You may have heard the term “narcissistic injury.” This refers to the dynamic wherein, for a narcissist, saying a simple “I’m sorry” is like saying, “I am the worst human being on earth.
Wendy T. Behary (Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed)
Entitlement manifests across so many situations and scenarios, but it is often most visible when a person is dealing with service professionals (wait staff, flight attendants, hotel clerks, sales clerks, attendants in any situation where there are lines or waiting periods). Narcissistic people measure themselves on the basis of how they are treated by the outside world and expect special treatment.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
The narcissist is a master of manipulation. To maintain the illusion of power over you, they employ the use of third parties to gaslight you, manipulate you, and to bully you. They try to groom your friends, family, children, spouse, or intimate partner from the moment they meet them. Initially, the narcissist is testing them. To see how strong your other relationship bonds are in effort to triangulate them.
Dana Arcuri CTRC (Toxic Siblings: A Survival Guide to Rise Above Sibling Abuse & Heal Trauma)
Genuinely nice people rarely have to persistently show off their positive qualities—they exude their warmth more than they talk about it and they know that actions speak volumes more than mere words. They know that trust and respect is a two-way street that requires reciprocity, not repetition.
Shahida Arabi (POWER: Surviving and Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse: A Collection of Essays on Malignant Narcissism and Recovery from Emotional Abuse)
reminded that in reality this isn’t the case. Nor is this a phenomenon confined to megalomaniacs or pathological narcissists, but something much more fundamental to being human: it’s the understandable tendency to judge everything from the perspective you occupy, so that the few thousand weeks for which you happen to be around inevitably come to feel like the linchpin of history, to which all prior time was always leading up. These self-centered judgments are part of what psychologists call the “egocentricity bias,” and they make good sense from an evolutionary standpoint. If you had a more realistic sense of your own sheer irrelevance, considered on the timescale of the universe, you’d probably be less motivated to struggle to survive, and thereby to propagate your genes.
Oliver Burkeman (Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals)
The technical term that is often used for this is “interpersonally exploitative.” In short, because of the singular focus on fulfilling their needs, especially external needs, narcissists will use other people as objects to get those needs met. Other people often do serve literally as objects—a tool to get a job done. Because you are not in on this secret in the beginning, it can feel a bit depersonalizing—as though you are only valued when you are functional. It can feel manipulative, because your partner may compliment you excessively and then hit you with a difficult request or ask you to make uncomfortable requests.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
Here is something for you to write down and remember: facing reality is never pessimistic. Believing the truth, no matter how difficult that may be, is the ultimate act of optimism because it opens up the panorama of options that will free us from further deception. Taking off a blindfold is never an act of pessimism. Getting angry at the truth (or at the messenger who delivers the truth) is a self-deceptive act of narcissistic theater, and it is a colossal waste of time.
Michael Bunker (Surviving Off Off-Grid)
When someone never takes responsibility for anything—words, actions, feelings—it is a challenging if not impossible way to maintain a relationship. They make up complex excuses and can rationalize anything. Be mindful as he shares the story of his life. Does he take ownership of past mistakes or missteps? Or does he share his history as though it were blameless and free of any errors on his part? Does he always seem to blame others for any negative situations in his life?
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
Each time something more interesting than you turns up— at work, a person, an opportunity—he will ignore you again. The disappointment each time this takes place can be paralysing. I presented the idea of being “enough.” Always remember, you are more than enough, always have been, always will be. The narcissist also never feels like he is enough, so he is always seeking attention and affirmation from the outside. If he is never enough, then no one else is either, but he is not aware of this dynamic. It would be an entirely different experience if he sat with you and said, “I am very empty, and I will never feel like I am enough, so I know that I will always treat you like you are not enough, even though you are.” If your partner had that level of insight, then he would not be narcissistic.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
Highly sensitive children can come from mothers and fathers with the same traits. In addition, parenting plays a role. Childhood neglect or abuse can also affect sensitivity levels for adults. A portion of empaths I’ve treated have experienced early trauma, such as emotional or physical abuse, or were raised by alcoholic, depressed, or narcissistic parents. This could potentially wear down the usual healthy defenses that a child with nurturing parents develops. As a result of their upbringing, these children typically don’t feel “seen” by their families, and they also feel invisible in the greater world that doesn’t value sensitivity.
Judith Orloff (The Empath's Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People)
I often ask myself is how on earth is it that we empaths can survive under the domination of a narcissist? How is it that we do not become bitter and cruel as adults, with the role models we survived under? How is it that being an empath stays with us and cannot be beaten down? We always get up again and keep on going, being an empath still. I also wonder, if I had not been so tightly wrapped up in my mother’s web and she had let me fly instead, what kind of person would I have been, then?
Donna G. Bourgeois (Life with Ollie: The story of an only child of a single narcissistic parent)
the same time, a relationship with a narcissist is also a cataclysmic rude awakening into the fact that people are rarely who they portray themselves to be. It’s knowledge. It’s experience. It’s insight and wisdom—perhaps the kind you wish you didn’t have. Sometimes, it’s even social capital—enabling you to navigate even more intelligently and with more discernment than ever before. You’re wide-eyed and vigilant. You see what other people don’t see. You learn about boundaries and your values. You recognize the value of authentic people, those rare breeds who wear their hearts on their sleeve and bleed integrity instead of exploit that quality in others. It doesn’t have to be a “waste of time” to have been through this experience—even while validating how painful it is and the fact that no one should ever have to go through it. When you’ve been through something horrific like this, at the very least you are owed the fruits of its wisdom and the drive it provides you to kick some serious ass.
Shahida Arabi (POWER: Surviving and Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse: A Collection of Essays on Malignant Narcissism and Recovery from Emotional Abuse)
Narcissists are manipulative and masterful at twisting the situation and working the rules to get what they want. Even more frustrating, they will turn things around in such a way that you may ultimately give them what they want and exhaust yourself in the process. Early in a relationship, the manipulation is most often emotional (“I had a tough childhood, so sometimes I say things I do not mean” or “I am under a lot of stress, so I blew up—I didn’t really mean it”) and financial (masterfully getting you to take on disproportionately more financial responsibility, finding yourself spending money you do not have to keep your relationship going and your partner happy.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
Given that narcissists can often be quite vulnerable, again, because their self-esteem is so fragile and reliant on the judgments of other people, depression is not a surprising part of this picture. At times when they are depressed, especially for men, it is quite possible that their mood will be even more irritable than usual, or they will become more withdrawn, and seemingly more focused on themselves. The big-ticket symptoms we would like to see changed—the lack of empathy, the chronic entitlement, the grandiosity—tend to be most resistant to change, since they are linked so strongly to the core deficits of the disorder, such as an inability to regulate self-esteem.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
Narcissistic personality disorder and other personality disorders are different than psychiatric patterns considered more “syndromal,” like major depression. Personality disorders are patterned ways of responding to the world and of responding to one’s inner world. Under times of stress these patterns become even stronger. Because they are patterns, they are also predictable. These patterns reside in the narcissist, not you, but their patterns cause a great deal of disruption in their relationships with everyone around them.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves. Viktor E. Frankl I
Meredith Resnick (Surviving the Narcissist: 30 Days of Recovery: Whether You’re Loving, Leaving, or Living With One)
Self-love is selfish in itself. Not any different from becoming a narcissist when you take it to the extremist.
Mwanandeke Kindembo
Fifty people can go to the same party, the same reality, but everyone will have a different experience.
Chase Hill (Toxic People Survival Guide: How to Deal with Difficult, Negative, or Manipulative People, Handle Narcissists and Disarm Sociopaths)
From my research and experience, the answer is clear: Father is revolving around Mother like a planet around the sun. The narcissist needs to be married to a spouse who will allow her to be at the center of all the action. That is how it has to be if the marriage is to survive. In the family drama, the narcissist is the star, and her spouse takes a supporting role.
Karyl McBride (Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers)
Empaths may unknowingly get involved with toxic partners and become anxious, depressed, or ill. They give their hearts too easily to narcissists and other unavailable people. Empaths are loving and expect others to be that way, which doesn’t always happen. They also absorb their partner’s stress and emotions, such as anger or depression, simply by interacting with them,
Judith Orloff (The Empath's Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People)
THE NO CONTACT RULE: 1. Zero contact; face to face & online. 2. No phone calls. 3. No text messaging. 4. No attending events where they're present. 5. No emails. 6. No letters, cards, or gifts. 7. No checking their social media profile. 8. No contacting their family and friends. 9. No combing through old photographs. 10. No going down memory lane. 11. Zero communication.
Dana Arcuri CTRC (Toxic Siblings: A Survival Guide to Rise Above Sibling Abuse & Heal Trauma)
As I picked up the pieces, it became apparent that she was a narcissist, who took pleasure in breaking down this beautiful self I built up with much care. A damaged and misguided empath, she used her emotional intelligence to manipulate those around her, living multiple lies and pumping up her fake public image. I can only hope that she heals and finds herself one day and that her victims survive her.
Innocent Mwatsikesimbe
Narcissists are also prone to something called projection, whereby they place their flaws and questionable behaviors on everyone else. Jealousy is often a great litmus test of whether or not your partner is actually the one cheating; if he starts accusing you of cheating out of the blue, you can bet the farm on the fact that if he is not already cheating, he is likely engaging in an inappropriate relationship.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
Oligarchies, throughout past history, have always thought more of their own advantage than of that of the rest of the community. It would be foolish to be morally indignant with them on this account; human nature, in the main and in the mass, is egoistic, and in most circumstances a fair dose of egoism is necessary for survival. It was revolt against the selfishness of past political oligarchies that produced the Liberal movement in favour of democracy, and it was revolt against economic oligarchies that produced Socialism. But although everybody who was in any degree progressive recognised the evils of oligarchy throughout the past history of mankind, many progressives were taken in by an argument for a new kind of oligarchy. ‘We, the progressives’ — so runs the argument — ‘are the wise and good; we know what reforms the world needs; if we have power, we shall create a paradise.’ And so, narcissistically hypnotised by contemplation of their own wisdom and goodness, they proceeded to create a new tyranny, more drastic than any previously known.
Bertrand Russell (The Impact of Science on Society)
Behaviors may shift temporarily, but the core issues will remain. The feelings will also shift and change every day. After your time served, and years spent trying to make it work, it can be quite galling to have your partner pick up and leave. Many times, the narcissist does decide to head out for greener pastures— typically a new partner—and even though getting rid of him is ultimately healthier and better for you, it still stings. The sting of being rejected. The sting of not feeling good enough. The sting that no matter how hard you tried, it was never enough. While that has nothing to do with you, it is a difficult pill to swallow when they decide to pack it in and leave.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
Once someone has been traumatized again and again by someone who claimed to love them, once an abuser has warped the victim's reality and caused him or her to mistrust their perceptions through gaslighting, once a victim has been made to believe he or she is worthless, they are already traumatically bonded to their abusers. It takes a great deal of professional support, validation and resources in order for victims to detach from their abusers and begin to heal.
Shahida Arabi (POWER: Surviving and Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse: A Collection of Essays on Malignant Narcissism and Recovery from Emotional Abuse)
When a toxic person can no longer control you, they will control how others see you. The misinformation will feel unfair, but stay above it, trusting that other people will eventually see the truth just like you did.” ​— ​Jill Blakeway
Chase Hill (Toxic People Survival Guide: How to Deal with Difficult, Negative, or Manipulative People, Handle Narcissists and Disarm Sociopaths)
The rejection may be the familiar rejection of your parents. The dynamic of having to please all the time and run around in circles to get them to notice you, or never feeling like you are enough, is familiar and it likely started young. When that familiarity gets turned on in adulthood by a rejecting partner, it is strangely comforting—like a moment of déjà vu—which can make it feel almost magical. That old song of rejection is so familiar that we cannot get it out of our head. It is irrational, and because it is “magical” or chemical, the irrationality gets romanticized. Many people make many big mistakes in the name of chemistry. Enduring ongoing poor treatment in a relationship is the most common.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
Superficiality results in vacillating inconsistency, and emotions for the narcissistic person range from intense to detached on a regular basis. A healthy relationship should feel like a safe harbor in your life. Life throws us enough curve balls in the shape of money problems, work issues, medical issues, household issues, and even the weather. Sadly, a relationship with a narcissist can be one more source of chaos in your life, rather than a place of comfort and consistency.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
Most parents hope their children will grow up with wise and loving internal advocates and a healthy sense of entitlement, meaning they will maintain their sense of self-worth and recognize that they have a right to be respected and included.
Wendy T. Behary (Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed)
In a healthy relationship, your partner is a great “dream-catcher.” However, when that unformed dream is laughed at, questioned, or belittled, it may not recover. Worse, you may scrap the whole idea. However, if there is one thing a narcissistic person cannot tolerate, it is being inconvenienced. Even just hearing about your bad day is an inconvenience. When you are in a relationship with a narcissist, it can slowly dawn on you that things work well as long as you are convenient.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
A scorpion sat on the shores of a river one day, needing to get to the other side, but the river was too wide, and there were not enough stones to jump across. He begged the various water birds—mallards and geese and herons—if he could catch a ride, but they pragmatically turned him down, knowing too well his cunning and his sting. He caught sight of the lovely swan making her way down the river and charmingly pleaded to her attributes. “Please, beautiful Swan, take me across the river. I couldn’t imagine harming something as beautiful as you, and it is not in my interest to do so. I simply want to get to the other side of the river.” The swan hesitated, but the scorpion was so charming and convincing. He was close enough to sting her right now, and yet he did not do it. What could go wrong? The trip across the river would take only a few minutes. She agreed to help him. As they traversed the river, the scorpion expressed his gratitude and continued to offer his compliments about her loveliness and kindness compared to all of the other negligent river birds. As they arrived at the other riverbank, he prepared to jump off. And right before he jumped off of her back, he lifted his tail and stung her. Crying and injured, the swan couldn’t understand why he’d done this, after all the promises, all the flattery, the logical explanations. “Why did you sting me?” she asked. He looked at her from the river bank and said, “I’m a scorpion. It’s who I am.” ♦♦♦
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
Strong emotions make narcissists uncomfortable. In your darkest hours you may have to appease and soothe them. Ironically, if they are experiencing the loss, they will often stop the clocks and turn into their own self-focused, self-referenced mourning period, expecting all lives to halt for them. The lack of support in the face of a crisis represents one of the more devastating conditions. Illness in a partner can raise a wide array of reactions in the narcissist, ranging from anger and irritability that their narcissistic supply is otherwise preoccupied to resenting the attention your illness may bring to you to actually becoming anxious and in fact even helpful because they are concerned about losing your availability and presence.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
men like him are experts at smelling out girls like me the invisible ones who believe they must be ugly because their fathers didn’t love them he said my name and i had never heard my name dance off a man’s lips before give a little attention to someone who’s never had any and they’ll be slipping and falling all over the place unable to contain the joy of being wanted the relief of being discovered he groomed me into thinking i couldn’t survive without him this is how men like him trap girls like me - predator
Rupi Kaur (Home Body)
It is appealing to think that once you survived it you will never repeat it. Be aware of your vulnerabilities and start looking for the qualities that make for a better long-term partner—compassion, kindness, respect, and empathy— rather than the flash in the pan qualities of charisma and ego. The risk of the narcissistic relationship is that it transforms you so profoundly and painfully that you feel that you are no longer you. Slowly over time you have cut off bits and pieces of yourself, so you feel as if you have lost your true self.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
The indifferent filler can keep the conversation moving, without giving the narcissist a hurtful target. He or she will likely find ways to insert some negativism here as well, perhaps mocking your opinion, calling you out for not being knowledgeable about a topic, or even labeling you as “dull.” Smile serenely and carry on. Your narcissist does not realize the triumph—you just dodged a bullet and did not play out the usual old patterns. He may even be frustrated, since he can’t get the same reactions out of you, and may have to find a new psychological punching bag.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
During depression, negative thoughts find a way to stay in your mind by convincing your brain that they are more important than the positive thoughts. Just like a virus, depression develops survival mechanisms. It convinces you that your positive thoughts are just delusions and ignorance.
Peace (Psychopath Free: Recovering from Emotionally Abusive Relationships With Narcissists, Sociopaths, & Other Toxic People)
Child neglect and abuse is a hidden epidemic. The topic is taboo. Surviving abusive relationships, especially in the family unit, is complicated. Oftentimes, victims of child abuse, sexual assaults, domestic violence, and narcissistic abuse don’t report it. During my extensive research, I discovered that most children don’t disclose their sexual abuse, until late in life. On the website, Child USA, they share about delayed disclosure. “Most child victims of sexual assault disclose, if they disclose at all, during adulthood, with a median age of 48 and an average age of 52.
Dana Arcuri (Soul Rescue: How to Break Free From Narcissistic Abuse & Heal Trauma)
Perhaps the hardest thing of all is to leave the illusion. A part of what you are leaving is an illusion, a mirage—something that actually is not there. And it is not real. And yet, it hurts. Ending a relationship is stressful, challenging, and psychologically difficult. Whether it has been going on for months or years, breaking up is hard to do. We consider issues, including what we are getting out of our relationship, whether there is someone else out there who might be better for us who is available and a good option, as well as what we might lose if we left. We do that algebra of the heart and if the numbers favor staying, we stay. If the numbers favor leaving, we leave.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
Typical relationship books, they are about communicating more clearly, being more loving, and making time for your relationship. All of this is lovely advice, only if the other person is noticing or listening! Kierkegaard noted that “Love is the expression of the one who loves, not of the one who is loved.” The challenge is that when this expression is not met with any reciprocity, and in fact the opposite, it can be exhausting and demoralising. If you love more, then you will get more back. It’s not that linear, and while that may apply in a factory— work harder, make more widgets—it does not work in relationships, least of all with a narcissist. Personality patterns tend to be pretty entrenched—and the rules of rescue do not apply.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
It is important to recognize that the narcissist constructs a false, dark alternate reality in which he hands over his pathology to you. You will be labeled the crazy, oversensitive person throughout the relationship even while enduring mind-blowing verbal and emotional attacks from your abuser. The abuser enjoys employing gaslighting and projection techniques to essentially rewrite the history of abuse in the relationship and misplace all blame onto you. Since you are prone to cognitive dissonance, you will often start to blame yourself for the abuse and seek to deny or minimize the severity of the trauma you’re experiencing in an effort to survive and cope with the fact that the person you love and care for is a pathological abuser.
Shahida Arabi (Becoming the Narcissist’s Nightmare: How to Devalue and Discard the Narcissist While Supplying Yourself)
And while he may have a longer fuse, beware. When he’s forced to face the frustration of a challenging task or finds himself the butt of one too many jousts in verbal repartee, his sensitivity to feeling foolish and defective may either launch him into the tyrannical state of meanness typical of narcissists or cause him to disappear within his stonewalled, silent abyss.
Wendy T. Behary (Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed)
When parents are shame-based and needy, they are unable to take over the mirroring narcissistic function for the child. Furthermore, the fact that the parents are shame-based is a clear signal that they never got their own narcissistic supplies. Such parents are adult children who are still in search of a parent or an object who will be totally available to them. For such parents, the most appropriate objects of narcissistic gratification are their own children. Again Alice Miller writes: A newborn baby is completely dependent on his parents and since their caring is essential for his existence, he does all he can to avoid losing them. From the very first day onward, he will muster all his resources to this end, like a small plant that turns toward the sun in order to survive. What the shame-based mother was unable to find in her own mother she finds in her own children. The child is always at her disposal. A child cannot run away as her own mother did. A child can be used as an echo, is completely centered on her, will never desert her, can be totally controlled, and offers full admiration and absorbed attention.
John Bradshaw (Healing the Shame that Binds You)
You may have heard the term “narcissistic injury.” This refers to the dynamic wherein, for a narcissist, saying a simple “I’m sorry” is like saying, “I am the worst human being on earth.” For all their bravado, they are easily injured by criticism, others’ disappointment in them, differing points of view, lack of notice or compliments, being ignored, and even their own mistakes. But you won’t necessarily know they are feeling injured, because they are masterful cover-up artists. Instead of appearing wounded, they will hurl the prickliest words at you, avoid you, or demand your applause for some other part of their wonderfulness. You may find yourself surrendering, offering an “I’m sorry” of your own in an effort to quell their unrelenting reactions and mend their tattered egos.
Wendy T. Behary (Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed)
Narcissists are often self-absorbed and preoccupied with a need to achieve the perfect image (recognition, status, or being envied) and have little or no capacity for listening, caring, or understanding the needs of others. This self-absorption can leave them without a true and intimate connection to others—one that offers a feeling of being understood and being held safely and lovingly in the mind and heart of another person.
Wendy T. Behary (Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed)
She may even be married to the previously described wiling warrior. Her needs, gallantly subjugated to his towering prowess, are only shared with those who will stroke her selflessness and provide her with an awe-filled “I don’t know how you do it.” Indeed, this lovely yet unabashed matron of martyrdom craves applause even as her self-effacing wisdom and perfectly perky posture leave us squirming, as if listening to the screech of nails on a chalkboard.
Wendy T. Behary (Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed)
Women can be narcissistic too, but they tend to express these traits mostly within the domains of personal appearance or vanity, the status of their children or household, and their value as caregivers. In addition, narcissistic women are inclined toward more covert manifestations of this syndrome. They are likely to show up as martyrs, whiners, and gratuitous victims. Of course, you will also meet grand dames and divas, who look more like their male counterparts in their aggressive quest for attention and admiration.
Wendy T. Behary (Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed)
The beauty of compassion and acceptance is this: it neutralizes the attachment you feel to the n, to the pain and the hurt of the relationship. If we stop throwing energy at the hurt and pain (and narcissist, even simply by continuing to fume about what happened), the power of the pain slowly fades. As we said earlier, many believe an n is “in love” with the self, but it is really a fleeting and desperate attachment to an illusion of self that they have. Beneath this facade is a deep self-loathing and fear that fills the n.
Meredith Resnick (Narcissism: Surviving the Self-Involved - A Little Primer on Narcissism and Self-Care)
Having a narcissistic parent is an early manifestation of a phenomenon termed by some as “co-narcissism.” Alan Rappoport describes this as unconsciously adapting to and supporting the narcissistic patterns of another person. He argues that this pattern starts in childhood, with the child having to adjust and calibrate to the narcissistic parent. Narcissistic parents are not tuned into their children, and the narcissistic parent largely views the child as an object with which to satisfy his or her needs. Narcissistic parents will be overly indulgent and intrusive about some things and detached and uninterested in others. Children in these situations often believe life is unpredictable and strive hard to please “unpleasable” and distracted parents. If you grow up like this, you learn that you are valued for what you did, but only if it was aligned with your parent’s wants and needs. It can be a confusing way to grow up and also the perfect set-up for accepting narcissistic behavior as “normal” and then tolerating it from a partner or in other close relationships.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
These children are often criticized by one parent and made to feel that whatever they do is never really good enough. They may then be doted on, overprotected, or used as a surrogate spouse by the other parent. They may be compliant with their parents’ demands and expectations as a means of receiving their limited attention and dodging criticism and shame. In response to this profound emotional deprivation, manipulation, and control, and the stifling of his precious and vulnerable little self, the child develops an approach to life characterized by such principles as I will need no one, No one is to be trusted, I will take care of myself, or I’ll show you.
Wendy T. Behary (Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed)
Some researchers, such as psychologist Jean Twenge, say this new world where compliments are better than sex and pizza, in which the self-enhancing bias has been unchained and allowed to gorge unfettered, has led to a new normal in which the positive illusions of several generations have now mutated into full-blown narcissism. In her book The Narcissism Epidemic, Twenge says her research shows that since the mid-1980s, clinically defined narcissism rates in the United States have increased in the population at the same rate as obesity. She used the same test used by psychiatrists to test for narcissism in patients and found that, in 2006, one in four U.S. college students tested positive. That’s real narcissism, the kind that leads to diagnoses of personality disorders. In her estimation, this is a dangerous trend, and it shows signs of acceleration. Narcissistic overconfidence crosses a line, says Twenge, and taints those things improved by a skosh of confidence. Over that line, you become less concerned with the well-being of others, more materialistic, and obsessed with status in addition to losing all the restraint normally preventing you from tragically overestimating your ability to manage or even survive risky situations. In her book, Twenge connects this trend to the housing market crash of the mid-2000s and the stark increase in reality programming during that same decade. According to Twenge, the drive to be famous for nothing went from being strange to predictable thanks to a generation or two of people raised by parents who artificially boosted self-esteem to ’roidtastic levels and then released them into a culture filled with new technologies that emerged right when those people needed them most to prop up their self-enhancement biases. By the time Twenge’s research was published, reality programming had spent twenty years perfecting itself, and the modern stars of those shows represent a tiny portion of the population who not only want to be on those shows, but who also know what they are getting into and still want to participate. Producers with the experience to know who will provide the best television entertainment to millions then cull that small group. The result is a new generation of celebrities with positive illusions so robust and potent that the narcissistic overconfidence of the modern American teenager by comparison is now much easier to see as normal.
David McRaney (You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself)
Imagine the daughter of a narcissistic father as an example. She grows up chronically violated and abused at home, perhaps bullied by her peers as well. Her burgeoning low self-esteem, disruptions in identity and problems with emotional regulation causes her to live a life filled with terror. This is a terror that is stored in the body and literally shapes her brain. It is also what makes her brain extra vulnerable and susceptible to the effects of trauma in adulthood.                              Being verbally, emotionally and sometimes even physically beaten down, the child of a narcissistic parent learns that there is no safe place for her in the world. The symptoms of trauma emerge: disassociation to survive and escape her day-to-day existence, addictions that cause her to self-sabotage, maybe even self-harm to cope with the pain of being unloved, neglected and mistreated. Her pervasive sense of worthlessness and toxic shame, as well as subconscious programming, then cause her to become more easily attached to emotional predators in adulthood. In her repeated search for a rescuer, she instead finds those who chronically diminish her just like her earliest abusers. Of course, her resilience, adept skill set in adapting to chaotic environments and ability to “bounce back” was also birthed in early childhood. This is also seen as an “asset” to toxic partners because it means she will be more likely to stay within the abuse cycle in order to attempt to make things “work.” She then suffers not just from early childhood trauma, but from multiple re-victimizations in adulthood until, with the right support, she addresses her core wounds and begins to break the cycle step by step. Before she can break the cycle, she must first give herself the space and time to recover. A break from establishing new relationships is often essential during this time; No Contact (or Low Contact from her abusers in more complicated situations such as co-parenting) is also vital to the healing journey, to prevent compounding any existing traumas.
Shahida Arabi (Healing the Adult Children of Narcissists: Essays on The Invisible War Zone and Exercises for Recovery)
Making a mistake is not giving the floorboards enough time to settle before you seal them. Abandoning your children to go help the poor of India means you’re a narcissist who wants the adoration of strangers. I look at Kevin and May and I think, who would do that to them? What kind of person leaves their kids?” I felt like I’d been holding those words in my mouth since the moment I walked into the waiting room of the coronary care unit and saw our mother there. “Men!” Maeve said, nearly shouting. “Men leave their children all the time and the world celebrates them for it. The Buddha left and Odysseus left and no one gave a shit about their sons. They set out on their noble journeys to do whatever the hell they wanted to do and thousands of years later we’re still singing about it. Our mother left and she came back and we’re fine. We didn’t like it but we survived it. I don’t care if you don’t love her or if you don’t like her, but you have to be decent to her, if for no other reason than I want you to. You owe me that.
Ann Patchett
Spoiled-dependent. The narcissist in your life might best be characterized as having been spoiled as well as dependent. In this case, not only will he act entitled and feel superior (not surprising given the family modeling of a “we’re better than others” attitude), he may also feel dependent and incompetent, as his parents were always waiting on him and rescuing him instead of helping him develop the necessary skills of self-reliance and functionally appropriate dependence. As an adult, he may show up as entitled and expect to be doted on and indulged. Or he may avoid taking initiative and making decisions because he has an underlying fear of shamefully exposing his limitations and failures when tackling the everyday decisions of life. Deprived-dependent. Another combination that might characterize your narcissist is being both a deprived type and a dependent type. In this case he will be easily offended as well as dependent, needing others to constantly reassure him that he is great and manage life for him. Discreetly, he seeks out others to protect him from a deeply felt sense of shame about his defective, lonely, and inadequate self. He may come across as needy and hypersensitive, rather than demanding and show-offish. He may show signs of being addicted to self-soothing behaviors,
Wendy T. Behary (Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed)