Reviewing some of the search terms that got people to this site, I found this topic. I believe it to be of general interest but not for the most obvious reasons.
I feel that it is necessary to re-cap a few facts that I’ve learned about Narcissists. Narcissists are not easy to profile because they do not seek therapy. Thus, they are a segment of humanity which we are becoming more aware of who cannot be easily identified. From the comments on this blog, I’m aware that what I’m writing is hitting home, even though most of what I’ve written here is based on my own experiences and observations.
Why Do You Want to Expose a Narcissist?
As mentioned in a recent post, when we have passed through the shock of our experiences, some of us endeavor to seek revenge. That is one definition of exposing a Narcissist. I preferred to not explore those tactics because, in my mind, living in a state of anger is not good for me.
Another and more beneficial reason for exposing a Narcissist is for self-preservation. I do have some tactics that were useful for me when I was “studying” my Narcissistic partner. Those same tactics still work for me today, albeit for different reasons.
Narcissists in a Nutshell
Generally speaking, Narcissists are covertly hostile. They may be "the life of the party" or the inconspicuous little old maid down the street who never forgets your birthday. Maybe they are the jovial, back-slapping salesman or the smooth con man. Perhaps they are the witty, entertaining gossip columnist or the swaggering office Don Juan or even the smiling lady next door who knows all the delicious little stories about the neighbors. They are the lovers who are tenderly passionate one minute and disdainfully sarcastic the next.
In their extreme forms and most harmful forms, they are the clever impostors who have passed themselves off as a surgeons for fifteen years. They are the pleasant young men who have "never said an unkind word to anyone" and were recently convicted of multiple hideous sex crimes. They could be the sensitive poet, the suave millionaire or the charming vagrant who has lived by their wits and hasn't done a day's work in twenty years.
Narcissists are Controlling
Narcissists must feel in control. They use different methods to acquire and maintain that position. I have read stories about partners who control finances to retain their power. For instance, the man to whom I was married was confounded by the fact that I commanded higher salaries than him so he would not allow me to attend college. This was a form of control and, the moment we separated, I enrolled in university and went on to get my degree.
The Narcissist who inadvertently led me to creating this site used emotional control methods. He had a knack for identifying his victim’s dearest desires and played that to its fullest. My former beau invited me to read an email exchange he was sharing with a life-long male friend. Within that note, my Narcissistic ex-lover described his behavior as “pulling strings” to see what people would do.
Both my ex-husband and my ex-beau are extreme opposites of each other in demeanor but each of them used, and are probably still using, narcissistic manipulation to feel in control. If your partner is restricting your growth, friendships, career choices, or activities, you are most likely dealing with a Narcissist.
Narcissists are Great Actors … Until the Truth Comes Out
Narcissists will pour on the charm to acquire their supply. In their finest form (if I can use that term), they will light up a room. They love being at the center of everyone’s attention and will play the crowd to remain in the limelight. You may have gone to the party with them but you are just a decoration.
The first date that I had with my former beau, he took me out to a nice restaurant. Behind us, the hostess seated a table of four women. My Narcissistic ex immediately began to work the room. At the time, I was fascinated and found him entertaining. It wasn’t until much later that I understood this was something he needed to do.
The Narcissist is so preoccupied with making an impression on people that their need for recognition puts them on stage all of the time. Never relaxing, they are actors who are constantly studying their audiences to see if everyone is impressed. It's difficult for a Narcissist to be an audience for long. In fact, my former beau once admitted that he didn’t make a good audience. When my quips were wittier than his, his dissatisfaction with was obvious so I learned to stifle myself when we were in public. Many of his jokes were at my expense, however.
When you are close to a narcissist, one of the clear identifiers is witnessing their rage when you disapprove of their behavior. In one dispute with my former beau, when I was beginning to enlighten myself about narcissists, I dared to ask him how he would describe narcissism. His response was stunning, and our relationship went down from there. He had been discovered and he knew it. Narcissists don’t like being discovered.
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