Wouldn’t it be nice to live in the narcissist’s reality? You’re always right. You’re the best at everything. You’re an expert at all things you do or haven’t even tried.
As Dr. Les Carter says, there’s an alternate reality and always an agenda when it comes to the narcissist. I thought it would be interesting to break down the top six ways the narcissist lives in a different reality and how it’s not healthy for you and me.
1) The narcissist is always the victim.
The narcissist has a lot of pain from the past and is skilled at projecting that pain on everyone else. If you call the narcissist out on a cruel or inappropriate action or response, and he or she feels violated, criticized, demeaned. The narcissist will become the victim because that keeps the narcissist from having to look within. This is referred to as a narcissistic injury. And the narcissist can play a very good victim. It takes the focus off what the narcissist did wrong, and it puts you on the defensive as the perpetrator.
For example, I remember catching a narcissist in my life stealing. I asked him why. The response was, “I didn’t grow up with a silver spook in my mouth like you did, Laura.” His reply hurt for two reasons: one, I grew up in a middle-class family in Arkansas, and secondly, stealing is wrong. No matter how you look at it, it’s against the law.
2) It’s always your fault.
If anything goes wrong it’s your fault, no matter the offender. Remember, narcissists believe they are perfect and everyone else is not. How could it be his or her fault?
My ex-husband and I were driving south on Interstate 35 one Thanksgiving morning. A car hit us from behind. He was driving. But guess who got blamed for the accident? Me, even though I was sitting in the passenger seat. You got it. It was my fault.
When we got into an argument one day, he called me white trash. It wasn’t about anything significant of course, but whatever it was turned out to be MY fault. The narcissist is never to blame.
3) You walk on eggshells because the punishment doesn’t fit the crime.
With the narcissist, the punishment never fits the crime. Usually there’s not even a crime to begin with. The narcissist may dole out harsh criticism, the silent treatment or a combination of both to “punish” you and have you begging for forgiveness. Remember, the narcissist is great at being the injured party, even when the narcissist is actually the perpetrator.
There’s no proportion. The drama doesn’t end, no matter how much you tiptoe around your home.
4) The narcissist is the greatest at everything
I remember being in church with the narcissist and listening to the criticism fly. We were listening to a Doctor of Theology preach. But guess who knew more than the pastor? You got it. The narcissist said he knew more. He also knew how to dress better than the pastor, he said. It was difficult to focus on the sermon and worshiping due to the barrage of criticism.
Narcissists also believe they are so good at life, that they shouldn’t surround themselves with anyone “less than” them. (If you’ll notice they have few is any good friends.) That’s why the narcissist doesn’t engage with anyone he feels inferior or that can’t do something for the narcissist.
5) The narcissist always has an agenda.
The narcissist almost does something with the end in mind. The narcissist must get something from a situation or person, or the narcissist won’t take part. The narcissist looks at life like a Monopoly game. There’s a strategy or manipulative tactic put in place in order to gain money, people, and things, regardless if it hurts the other person financially or emotionally. I’ve known narcissists who leave an ex-wife and children homeless, while the narcissists walk away free of guilt and trauma. If it works for the narcissist, then that’s how the narcissist believes the game should be played.
6) There is no peace with a narcissist.
The narcissist takes pride and pleasure in disrupting your world. Seeing you in emotional pain is something the narcissist relishes. Why? The more pain you carry, the easier it is for the narcissist to control you and those around you. The narcissist also understands that if you are isolated due to your pain or his control, then that’s even better. He has you at his disposal, broken down, ready to please.
Also, the narcissist likes for your home life, social life and professional life to revolve around him or her. The narcissist does it by causing disruption, then often fixing the problem he caused. For example, I can recall numerous arguments the narcissist provoked, only to come back and give an empty apology such as, “I’m sorry, but you push my buttons. Can you calm down and we talk about this rationally?” The narcissist looks like the hero, and you’re left wondering what just happened.
Life with a narcissist is a rollercoaster. There are so many ups and downs, all orchestrated to have high control. But there are ways to get off the roller coaster. First of all, don’t get on board in the first place. Focus on your truth. Don’t let the narcissist sway your beliefs of what you know to be true. Journal or keep a notebook of incidents you know occurred.
Secondly, find some peace every day. Take the dog for a walk. Phone a trusted friend. Get grounded in reality. There are good people out there who want you to be healthy emotionally and physically.
Finally, live your best life. Avoid toxic people. If you can’t avoid the narcissist, put strong boundaries in place. The narcissist won’t like it, but you will become stronger. Time away from toxic people helps you heal and see things clearly. You can more easily live your life. That’s the best karma out there. And you accelerate that karma by taking care of you.