Many of you know that I’ve been an advocate for survivors of abuse for many years. As a person who in the past has been physically, verbally, psychologically, and financially abused it’s important to me that we reveal all of the tactics used by abusers to wield a false-sense of “power” over their “victim”. I don’t simply wait until Domestic Violence Awareness Month to educate the masses. I’m focused on year-round help, healing, and empowerment. Since we’re starting a new year I decided to “dig in the crates” and find an oldie but goody message that I shared from the past on my Paradigm Life blog, and reposted here.
When we look at abusers, one type of person that often goes overlooked but always leaves you perplexed and bewildered is the narcissist. This is because the vast majority of us don’t know that someone’s a narcissist and many narcissists don’t even self-identify (why in the world would they accept responsibility and take ownership for something that doesn’t make them sparkle bright?). They’re simply labeled as “arrogant”, “pompous”, or “spoiled”. But it can go deeper and darker depending on how long this personality has been free to roam and stir up a path of destruction. Left unchecked and untreated they can disrupt families, workplaces, communities and more—and in their minds, everyone is to blame but them.
When we look at the #MeToo movement you can’t help but to see a common thread amongst the individuals being accused of harassment and abuse–decades of narcissism (of various degrees) on the loose. For the most part these are career-related, workplace scenarios being described. Or examples of powerful individuals using the power that they have achieved from their careers to take something from someone less powerful. Imagine the context with personal interactions within the home, with spouses, family and friends. This personality type can be toxic to any environment left unprotected.
Of course there are levels and degrees of narcissism (from basic to sociopath to full on psychopath) and there are many layers of tactics that they deploy (to include gas-lighting, revisionism, and the silent treatment). I’ve personally been on the receiving end of them all, hence one of the reasons that I share with others who may be experiencing some of the same trauma.
Read my October 24, 2014 post from my Paradigm Life blog as we discussed the art and madness of the dreaded Silent Treatment.
Now let’s also be clear, that not every adult who opts for the silent treatment route is a narcissist. They’re just immature and childish, and haven’t let go of the preschool antics. However, if you see and experience a pattern of behavior that frequently includes this tactic—you’re most likely tussling with a narcissist. Beware!