“They act nice to lead you into a false sense of hope.”
If you had a narcissistic partner or parents, you would most likely know that one minute they are so hurtful and cruel, so full of put-downs invalidating your feelings and abilities, assassinating your character and then the next minute out of nowhere, they are suddenly supportive and kind, yet this is only ever temporary. Then they are back to blaming you, guilt-tripping you, and all the other manipulative, hurtful games they play.
Narcissistic bosses and friends also do this when they lift you onto that pedestal one minute to bring you crashing down the next.
Narcissistic neighbours most are just throwing games at you and being hurtful.
A partner idealises you, and you are being treated so great one minute to be treated so wrong the next. Yet, most narcissists, no matter who they are to you in your life, cycle around the treat you so well, to treating you so wrong, as they love to exaggerate all their achievements and good actions, even though those actions are only ever to meet a need of their own, they will exaggerate their good actions, so your mind then focuses on these, later they will play down their negative actions and exaggerate any of your reactions, so your mind ends up focusing on what you did and not the full story.
Narcissists are unable and unwilling to think and process their own negative behaviour, to see and learn from mistakes they make. They do project this onto those around them in a twisted way. Those around them end up blaming themselves for problems within the relationship, and the narcissist rewrites history to escape accountability.
So how and Why does the narcissist suddenly act friendly? Simply they want something from you.
Sometimes during the relationship, they bring back the idealisation stage just so you don’t leave or after you’ve left them, or after they’ve discarded you, you slowly forget the amount of abuse and just how badly they can treat you, or you may still be blaming it all on yourself.
Most people hang onto the relationship or take them back, as when a narcissist is nice, they can treat you better than anyone ever has. If you love your job and it’s a boss, you can get to the point of walking away, and they see this, so lift you back up, so you question yourself and stay. Parents also do this, just as you’ve had enough of their negative, hurtful behaviour and prepare for no contact to move forward in your life. They start acting nice again, so you end up questioning yourself and stick around for them to just bring you crashing down again.
The narcissist is selling you an illusion. To cover up their true deep feelings, they act a certain way to protect themselves from their true feelings, why they are never accountable and blame others, so they don’t feel the inner shame. Their admiration face and envious face is who they are. Yet, with no true sense of identity, they switch between the two to meet their own needs. They treat people well to be admired and gain attention. When things are not going their way, and they are envious that others have their own mind, they treat people so wrong, with gaslighting provoking arguments. Hence, they still have attention, even though it’s negative attention, to them it’s attention, and they blame that negative behaviour on you, they place fear into others, intimidating those around them to stop people from walking away, they intimidate with threats of violence, actual violence, yelling, screaming, towering over you and getting in your face, blackmailing you. Many more, they intimidate to keep people trapped through fear, and if that doesn’t work and you look like you’re waking up to the abuse, they’ll do all the. “I was only joking.” And start to play nice again. As they are treating you right, and then there’s the downplays of their negative behaviour, their toxic gaslighting words of. “It wasn’t that bad.” And then suddenly offering that intermittent play nice behaviour again, this leaves our mind confused and focus less and less on the negative and more on how they are treating us well, as all we genuinely want is for people to treat up well, with honesty and respect. Suddenly there, they are doing just that.
This is why some narcissists can look like the perfect parent. They know their young children look up to them, hang on to every word they say, they know they can make excuses to others about the ex not allowing them to see the children when the narcissist cannot be bothered, they know they can then swoop in, pick those children up, spoil them and have the children hooked on them, those children who fill them up and don’t threaten them, often the golden child, the narcissist will portray themselves to others as the picture-perfect parent. As children get older and more independent, they’ll use excuses like. “My children have no respect for me, and their other parent poisoned them against me.”
So when they return full of what seems like genuine apologies promise to change, it’s all false. They’ve just seen something they want from you.
When a narcissist feels threatened, they devalue others that are threatening them, and they don’t see their own behaviour and actions as wrong, so they will continue to do so, to help themselves feel better. When they feel criticised, they feel the other person has turned against them, so they feel anger, rage, hurt and often want revenge on those who they feel have hurt them. Or if they think someone is untrustworthy and will reveal them for who they indeed are, they’ll start the smear campaign to get in first with how horrendous you treated them, so they can play the victim and get their needs met elsewhere.
When those needs are no longer being met elsewhere, if they see you have something to offer, they come back all nice, trying to suck you in again because they want something from you.
A narcissist can continually be nice to those people who they precieve to have never criticised them or threatened their illusion of themselves that they are trying to portray to those around them.
The narcissist doesn’t know who they really are, and they use other people’s good traits to pass off as their own, they act nice to fill their needs of positivity, they act nasty to fill their needs of negative emotions from those who they perceive to have criticised them.
To give your mind more clarity of the real events unfolding, writing down what they said and the lead up to the situations, writing out their toxic words and the true meaning behind these and what they are trying to achieve, then writing out your truths of the situation and how they really treat you, writing out how they truly make you feel when they treat you so wrong, then when they come playing nice looking at that list.
They have a disorder. It’s who they are; they cycle around these behaviour patterns and are somewhat predictable once we know and learn what they indeed do. It did not start with you, it will not end with you, you can not change it, they can not change it, you can not control it, and they can only control it around certain people so they are not genuinely seen for who they truly are, they can not control it on a long term basis only to meet a need, and you did not cause it.
As it’s on a spectrum, there is those where once you understand the patterns, recover from what they did to you, learn who you are, how to retreat, rethink and only respond if you need to do so, that you can manage your time around, you truly need to learn to observe their toxic words for what they are and not absorb them to allow those words to infect your mind.
There are also those on the disorder who are far too harmful and those narcissistic sociopaths and psychopaths that are simply too dangerous, and you need to get away from them.
Your own well being and mental health have to become your priority, as when you’re running at your best, you can be at your best if saying yes to someone else is saying no to you. It needs to be a no.
There is no wrong way or right way to live your life. With good intentions, honesty and respect, there is only your way.
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Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach, She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with BetterHelp (Sponsored.) where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.
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