I’m a big fan of Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion show.   There is a segment of each broadcast entitled News from Lake Wobegon, wherein Garrison pokes fun at Minnesota styles and behaviors.  Similar to Monty Python’s jesting about the Masons, Lake Wobegon news pokes fun at religious sects.

This week’s program was live from the Minnesota State Fair.  This is an annual program that I truly enjoy because it is a great fair and, by reports from folks in other parts of the USA, perhaps one of the largest in the entire country.  During the Lake Wobegon portion of the show this week, Garrison Keillor explained the reasons why someone should not hire Lutherans (I’m just paraphrasing and truly do not mean to disrespect to any Lutherans among my readership!) as competition judges at the fair in his segment of the show.  He said:

It’s in scripture!  The last shall be first, the first shall be last.

In spite of my laughter about his humorous remark, I could not help relating this comment to the Rules of the Game for Narcissists.

From reviewing searches that bring people to this site, I can see that many visitors are seeking a way to obtain justice for the experiences they have endured at the hands of their respective narcissists.  A large majority of visitors to this site search for “ways to expose a narcissist” or use questions like “does a narcissist have a soul.”

I think I’ve offered my opinion about the merits of exposing a narcissist in a recent post.  Because even narcissists are Beings, it is implicit to me that they have souls.  Whether or not a narcissist is capable of feeling remorse about emotional harm they have caused others is unlikely, in my humble opinion.  I stand by my judgment that my former beau is a sociopath and that his only concern is his own well-being, period.  I imagine that all narcissists are the same, in varying degrees.

Let’s get back to the anecdotal rules of the game that were inspired by Garrison Keillor’s humor.

The First Shall Be Last

If you are in First Place on a Narcissist’s roster, remember that your position will never be above the Narcissist.  Additionally, being described as the most esteemed person on a Narcissist’s list also puts you on the firing range as the most ideal target when you make the grave mistake of letting them know you disapprove of their  behavior.

This begs the question:

Do you want to be the most important person in a Narcissist’s World?

My narcissistic ex used a term “fair game” for his attacks on me, and justified them with some misguided opinion of his that I had defined the playing field by being critical of him.  In an emotionally responsible relationship, offering opinions about what might improve a relationship is not viewed as criticism.  A narcissist is incapable of receiving such constructive criticism without feeling attacked.  They take no responsibility for your feelings at all if you are unhappy and all the credit if you are.  When they feel cornered, they will viciously lash out like a wounded animal.

I’ve opined before that I feel emotional abuse is worse than bone-breaking abuse because there is no physical evidence of the attack, and most attacks (if not all) are performed while no one is there to observe it other than you.  People who also know the narcissist that you love will not believe your stories because a narcissist is very careful to not expose their “true selves” to people who are irrelevant to their survival, as you are for the purposes of narcissistic supply.

I will add a caveat to that last paragraph by saying that physical abuse should never be tolerated.  Extreme narcissists have potential to take life, and this will always begin with physical battering which is the ultimate method of control.  Those who have endured physical abuse at the hands of a narcissist may be lucky enough to have their bruises and bones heal, but healing from the underlying emotional abuse that escalated to physical violence will take much longer.

The Last Shall Be First

In spite of the fact that a Narcissist claims they have placed anyone’s needs above their own, they will not ever allow their position as “last in line” to be anything other than “first in line.”

I’ve written about my step-daughter’s narcissistic ex.  Although he claims that he puts his children first, he clearly does not.  His legal antics have stalled or aborted vacations, put their activities at risk, and created a wedge that makes life much more awkward for the children.

I have friends whose mothers can only be characterized as narcissists, based on stories that I’ve heard of their childhood.  Can you imagine your mother pulling out a butcher knife and threatening to kill you because they believe you are prettier?  That’s an extreme example but I believe it to be a true story.  Having nothing to compare, my friend still disbelieves that her mother was anything other than a drunk.

In a book that I’ve read entitled How to Choose Your People, the author groups narcissists (people she describes as Covert Hostile) as individuals who are prone to drug abuse and dangerously liberal sexual behavior, among other characteristics.  In other words, a Narcissist is selfish and seeks out activities that cause them to feel good about themselves at any cost.

So even though a Narcissist has informed you that no one is more important to them than you, you must interpret that as something they are saying because they think it will seduce you into adoring them and providing the Narcissistic Supply they require.