Narcissus and Narcissist, only a few letters different but one’s a beauty and the other a real beast. But in a twist to the traditional fairy tale, this beast may have the appearance of a prince or princess.
Narcissists can be very charming and can fool the strongest people into thinking they are the perfect partner. Male or female they can at first seem charming, attentive and really rather perfect, perhaps too perfect?
Reeling You In
In this case the words “too good to be true” certainly do apply. They’ll spend the time and effort reeling you into what you think is a great relationship.
Now, many healthy relationship start with a bang, fireworks, heady days, devotion, attentiveness. But most will then settle down, as the relationship matures. Many may even at times seem a bit boring, with both partners needing to take positive steps to keep their relationship alive.
This pattern is unlikely to suit the narcissist, who may well crave excessive attention and constant admiration from others. They need that constant buzz. So once they’ve reeled you in, they may then throw you away in a way that makes it seem like your fault. Then they’ll offer you a lifeline to return to them once again.
And so the cycle will continue.
You aren’t the first
You probably won’t be the first person they’ve done this to. There will likely be former partners they have grown tired of or who have worked out what is going on and have escaped their clutches. How much do you really know about their former partners?
How can they live with themselves?
They’re able to do all this because they lack empathy for others. They do not consider the feelings of others at all. This allows them to be selfish in the extreme and to be completely self-serving in feeding their often inflated view of themselves.
Of course, it’s all your fault
Narcissists can be extremely cunning and superb manipulators. Once they’ve reeled you in, they’ll likely start to to criticise you and you’ll start to doubt yourself. Your confidence in yourself will diminish.
Through their actions you’ll end up thinking any anxiety or unease you’re feeling about the relationship is nothing to do with them and all to do with you and your shortcomings.
No Narcissists through my door
I’m very unlikely to ever see a Narcissist in my therapy room, asking for help to change. However seeing their victims is another matter, as the way Narcissists work makes their victims feel like they’re the problem and the ones needing help.
Of course a Narcissist is careful to ensure their guard doesn’t slip when they’re dealing with your family and friends. The charm offensive will continue with them. That way your friends and family are also kept in the dark, essential to ensure they don’t work out what’s going on. As they don’t know their true nature, your friends and family they may even end up siding with the Narcissist. The perfect crime.
No-one is immune
You may be a strong person and still get caught out by someone with Narcissm. You are up against a master fraudster, a master manipulator who is able to work out just how to play this game to their advantage.
Except of course it’s not a game, not to you. You have everything invested in this relationship and are made to feel any problems in the relationship are your fault. It’s your insecurity, your anxieties, your weaknesses or inadequacies.
Whereas in reality it’s all about them, it has to be. They need you to feed their ego. Perhaps the stronger the person the greater the challenge?
You can escape
You can escape their clutches and re-build yourself. Be patient with yourself. You may have built up an obsession with this person, an addiction almost. No matter, addictions can be overcome and the YOU before all this happened still exists, you just need a chance to recover. You can do this.