How so many fall into a pit of narcissistic abuse.
Don't ever think that you could not be fooled by a narcissist, they are much more prevalent than you think. The covert narcissist is much harder to spot, because unlike other narcissists who openly admit they think they are better than everyone else, the covert narcissist, who is much more dangerous, will often come across publicly like a pillar of the community. They will be involved in charities, religions and community projects. It would appear on the surface that these are good people, that they care, or even that they are altruistic.
The hard reality often is that these people are covert narcissists, who only partake in anything charitable at all because it helps them build up their fake public image. And they guard this fake public image that they work so hard on, ferociously. If you were to spot one of these covert narcissists and publicly unmask them, be prepared for wrath like you have never known. The covert narcissist will reveal their full fury to you and only to you, and they will set about ruining you, they do this so that you come across as the nasty person who wants to tarnish their squeaky clean holier than thou reputation. They will make sure you suffer.
So what should you do if you discover you are dealing with a covert narcissist?
If you can, remove yourself quietly, it might be tempting to try to expose them, but you are the one who will come off worse. They are experts at manipulation and they know how to get people to believe anything they say. They just have to show them the list of good deeds they have done and play the victim, they are good at playing the victim and they actually enjoy this kind of manipulation. Yes that is right, they will probably even tell people that is YOU who is a narcissist and they are just the poor victim.
Tactics to deal with the unmasked covert narcissist.
Whatever you do, don't lose your cool and have an outburst, they WILL push all your buttons, they will try to make you look like you are in the wrong and they are prefect and can do no wrong, they might even have you doubting yourself. But as soon as you lose your cool and have an outburst you have given them exactly what they want. They will use this outburst against you, to prove you are “angry” and “out of control”.
Get them out of your life as soon as possible. This is done by gradually cutting down contact, being less available to them, by being too busy with other things until eventually they will give in and look for a new supply.
Of course this is much harder if you are in a relationship and living with a narcissist, but still possible to become so distant and unavailable to them, while still being nice to them when they are there and pretending nothing is wrong, until they eventually leave on their own accord.
Remember, the more upset and stressed they make you, the more supply they get, so always remain calm around them and don't give them what they need. This forces them to move on.
Not everyone who does good is a narcissist.
Not everyone who does good deeds is a covert narcissist, there are genuinely good people out there who have hearts of gold and don't care about their reputation, they just enjoy helping and the love they get back from those they help to them is better than any other kind of gain. We cannot afford to be suspicious of everyone who does good things.
Then there are the narcissists no one ever talks about.
When someone has been the victim of a narcissist, it can take many years to heal and get over it, some never get over it and unfortunately this can create a new narcissist. The victim of a narcissist can become one themselves. Because their self esteem has been battered down repeatedly during a long relationship with a narcissist, they are emotionally and physically drained, and they need to spend many years building themselves back up and this is often done by draining others. They may suffer from depression and anxiety, they need constant reassurance that they are good enough and so it becomes that the narcissist has now created another narcissist.
One of the worse things about these narcissist victims is their constant need to protect themselves from other people, people who they think could be narcissists. Not only have they taken on the traits of the narcissist that abused them, they then try to accuse everyone else of being a narcissist and are eternally suspicious of everyone they encounter.
What can we do?
If someone says they were in an abusive relationship and are trying to heal, we cannot mend them by telling them how great they are, how much we respect them, how beautiful they are, how good they are at something... No amount of saying these things will ever get through to them. They won't believe you and all it does is drain you.
All we can ever do is tell someone that if they want to heal they must become self sufficient. So long as they need other people to reassure them, they will never heal.
As with all things, one must look within. It is something people will do anything to avoid, but is the only way.
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”