As we know narcissists often act in ways that defy all definition of normal. They regularly break the rules, tell lies, break promises, degrade, demean and exhibit unjust, aggressive and abusive behavior that is inappropriate, childish, without remorse and highly manipulative.
It’s likely, if you have suffered narcissistic abuse, that you have a high level of integrity, and it’s likely you’re known as a person who does the right thing. You have a conscience, and because you do, you’re mindful of considering other people.
Therefore you will be dismayed, and even incensed by the narcissist’s inability to conduct themselves appropriately, or abide by basic human morality and decency, or respect your boundaries.
It’s likely that you will fight for decency and morality. YOU act responsibly and uphold your integrity, therefore why shouldn’t THEY?
Life with a narcissist is like a bag of tricks, and a box of chocolates. You never know what will morph out of thin air, or be unwrapped next. You are constantly on edge, walking on broken glass and suffering from high levels of anxiety. Understandably you want the instability and madness to stop…
Your Integrity Is Used Against You
It’s extremely important to know the strength you possess – integrity, is in fact one of the greatest weapons that the narcissist uses against you. Firstly understand the narcissist purposefully targets people who have high levels of integrity.
The reason is he or she knows:
- You will take responsibility for cleaning up the messes that the narcissist creates.
- You are the perfect person to blame, because you try to prove your integrity, honesty, and benevolence.
- By focusing on trying to get the narcissist to act like a responsible and considerate adult you will hand over lots of much needed narcissistic supply (attention).
- You will be a person who 'cares’, therefore willingly doing
the right thing. In fact you may go out of your way to
prove a point, and do the ‘right thing’ – to set the right
example of good, decent behavior, that helps those you care about,
hoping that the narcissist will learn and start acting like a
In fact the narcissist watches you doing all of the ‘right things’ and inwardly laughs about how pathetic you are for doing it, and loves it because it gives him or her ample opportunity to keep mining narcissist supply whilst you hope to get him to be as ‘good’ as you.
You must understand that there is no way to make the narcissist act in a decent or moral way – and trying to do so is one of the greatest hooks that are keeping you stuck in abuse.
The Deadly Dance
A horrible addiction process occurs when you try to exert control over the narcissist’s actions and believe you can “help” him do the right thing. In fact, the more you try to control the uncontrollable, the more you lose control of yourself.
As your focus on trying to make the narcissist ‘normal', the more you expose yourself to the mind-bending twists and turns, the insane behaviour and the intense gas-lighting, manoeuvres, projections, justifications and downright lies that will tear your self-esteem and self-belief apart.
Before long you will think you are losing your mind, and you find that you can barely function. As the process intensifies you will feel so empty, tormented and anguished that you may feel like life is not worth living and you only go on for those you love.
I promise you it is the strongest, most intelligent people with high integrity that suffer the most in this deadly dance. Be very aware you can’t win this game with the narcissist – and trying to win will just grant A-Grade narcissistic supply to the narcissist every step of the way.
The Narcissist Fights Dirty
Your need for integrity creates the perfect forum for the narcissist to unleash a powerful arsenal. The narcissist has no boundaries. This is deadly combat with no rules on his side. The narcissist has no conscience, therefore an endless amount of nasty tools are readily available.
- Lies and manipulation, hoovering, and emotional hooks in order to gain whatever goal the narcissist has in mind.
- Gas-lighting techniques in order to get you to doubt yourself.
- Recruiting allies to support his facade.
- Malicious comments to maim you or anyone who doesn't support his facade.
- Attacks on your integrity to disarm you.
- Claims that what he did that hurt you so much was YOUR fault.
- Insistence on breaking down boundaries so he can manipulate you emotionally, with the assumption that if you don't buy it, you are wrong, crazy, or worse.
- The more distressed they make you, the more delight in abandoning you and abusing you.
- Attacking you in because of your distress, anxiety, depression, or anger that have been caused by your interaction with him.
You end up battered and distraught, and the narcissist obtained narcissistic supply and the feeling of power knowing that he or she can have this effect on you…and you feel powerless to stop him because you haven't yet learned to detach and resist.
You can’t shrug off attacks like the narcissist can. The narcissist, once he controls you completely, in the end, actually doesn’t care whether or not you think the narcissist is a good person. The narcissist is in the game for the two reasons that narcissists interact with anyone:
1) To secure narcissistic supply, and
2) Having a person to hurt.
You have to accept that the narcissist simply does not hold or even care about the model of love and relationships that you do. His or her values, needs and neuron brain pathways are miles apart from yours.
The More you Need the Less You Get
At the time of entering the personal interaction you will feel that you were seeking to understand a specific issue – now as a result of the interaction you will feel totally unsafe or be controlled by the narcissist, until you learn to detach and observe.
You can remember when you were disintegrating and complete losing yourself, because this is when you start acting like a crazy person.
This is the exact opposite of where you want to be. With your focus completely obsessed with what the narcissist is or isn’t doing, or whether he is benevolent and innocent or not, he has you right where he wants you – detached from your True Self, when you need to be detached from him.
If you go down this path again you will be no longer able to healthily supply yourself with your basic emotional needs, sustenance and safety. You may find it virtually impossible to eat, sleep, and function.
Read the following very carefully. This is the truth.
Understandably you were once operating from the mind-bending pain: ‘You should or should not be doing this!’ and ‘How on earth can somebody do what you do?!’
This is correct at a human and logical level, but this does not help you create a healthy and accountable life with accountable people.
One of the largest fundamental lessons of life, and intense learning curves that we are forced to face as a result of narcissistic abuse is this: Narcissists can be and do whatever they want to be and do. This lesson of acceptance of the reality of narcissism is one of the most essential when recovering from narcissistic abuse.
There are only two ways we can live our life. These are:
1) Resistance to knowing the truth about the narcissist and his manipulations and control, or
2) Acceptance of the reality of the narcissist and the abuse, and detachment from the narcissist.
Understandably, resistance to things over which you have no control is POWERLESSNESS. You have no power to change him. You never did and never will.
The answer to why the narcissist was able to abuse you is simple. It’s because you take it personally, you make the narcissist's behavior about you, and you tried to fix and change him in a futile attempt to make you happy and to save your marriage, or to help your children…rather than turning it over to God.
By resisting saying the truth, you think you are saying ‘No’ to the truth – yet in reality we are saying ‘Yes’ and bringing it into our experience without understanding it. Resistance to truth hooks us into the fight of trying to change the narcissist and leads us to despair.
Acceptance of the truth Is does not mean tolerating what the narcissist is doing – it means the exact opposite. Acceptance means we observe the narcissist’s behavior in a DETACHED way, and also that accept the truth that the narcissist does what he does because of who and what he is—a narcissist. With acceptance you will no longer have the need to fix, or to change, the narcissist. That will never be for your own wellbeing or the wellbeing of those your children, nor will you be emotionally bonded to him. Besides, changing the narcissist isn't possible in any case.
I spent a lot of years trying to force an unworkable situation to work. However, after the end with the narcissist I discovered that there is a whole lot of what I really wanted available to me in this life, and I discovered the good things that God has set before me.
You need to establish that you DO have the resources within you to create your own truth and to control your own life. If what the narcissist is doesn't line up with the truth and decency, then that person does not need to be your reality. Leave him behind and stop participating, and put your focus fully onto creating what it is that you want.
I hope you realize just how much damage interacting with the narcissist is causing you. Now set yourself free to choose the truth regardless of what the narcissist is or isn’t doing, and since his purported “truth” is not in fact true or loving, it certainly does not have to play any part as your truth anymore.
Become radically honest about the narcissist and never keep secrets and lies again, ever. Speak the truth with frankness and candor. And never, ever defend or protect the narcissist from the truth, or the consequences of what he has done, or will do.