The two faces of a narcissist.
The admiration seeking face, and the rivalry, the face you see v’s the face they hide. The two conflicting realities you end up living.
The first person you meet is the admiration seeking narcissist, and you live the reality of this time.
The admiration face, be it Covert Or Overt grandiose, victim, somatic or cerebral, as these are more their personality types, of having the disorder, then those who have other disorders like an antisocial personality disorder as well as the narcissist personality disorder, making the personality types such as the malignant narcissist. Part of the narcissist personality disorder is Character traits such as, a sense of entitlement, requires excessive attention, a belief they are special, that grandiosity, arrogance which we often mistake for confidence, as narcissists want to be admired, through love or through fear. To feed their own sense of superiority, to feel special, unique and powerful, they will throw massive tantrums when these needs are not being met. Most people want to feel special and loved. Deep down narcissistic people do not trust in others and doubt they can be loved due to various possible reasons, either a trauma in early childhood, which takes them into the Flight survival mode, lacking in the development of object consistency which is formed in the mind by around the age of 2 or 3 meaning people can care about others even if there is a distant, disagreement or hurt, narcissists are missing this object consistency. They might have never developed the natural attachments systems to others in infancy, where they form a bond with the primary caregiver, they might have never developed the level of empathy to truly care for other or have limited understanding to care for others genuinely, or something happened to them, so they removed empathy for others within themselves, or solely deep down as they know they are all about themselves they believe others are too, as they destroy others they think others are out to destroy them, get them before they get me mindset.
Deep down most are empty, feel insecure and worthless, yet they are not brave enough to bring these insecurities and vulnerabilities up and heal these wounds within themselves, as that true inner self is so painful, they long for admiration from those around them, and while everything is going exactly their way, that admiration face will shine in all its glory. Those who have the disorder often do actually want to feel loved, and they definitely want and need admiration, why in the Beginning they come on so strong. Yet, as they don’t know who they indeed are within themselves, they Mirror others, they will choose a target out of desperation to be with someone, to prove that they are the ‘normal one.’ also because they see a quality within that person that they admire, that they want.
When we live the reality of their admiration face, when things seem almost too good to be true, but we’ve no reason or evidence to Perceive the idealisation stage as anything other than our dreams coming true. Love bombing is cruel and often calculated manipulation with narcissists false promises of the future by mirroring who we are when someone tricks you into believing they are something that they are not. You get lavished with, gifts, attention, time, effort, emotions, flattery and grand gestures, they like all your likes, and dislike all your dislikes, fill you with false dreams. Learn all about you from your deepest insecurities to your favourite foods, they, in essence, turn into you, they match you like for like, leading you to believe you’ve met the one, your soul mate and all your dreams have come true. It’s all manipulation, to feed you a Reality that they can never fully deliver, it’s easy to spot when you know what to look for, not so easy when you don’t and believe and trust that others all have good intentions. Love bombing is used to create feelings of obligation, and hope within the narcissist’s target.
Once the narcissist realises the target is human and has flaws, and can not live up to the excessive demands of admiration the narcissist requires to keep their true selves hidden and keep their ego stroked, as love can not sustain them alone, they can not grasp the ideas of mutual acceptance or that others have flaws. No one is perfect, Compromise, boundaries, respect, communication. They are very tunnel-visioned and only see it their way. While everything is going their way, all seems like it’s alright, although it’s not as underneath that admiration face which is all an illusion to sell you your dreams and then deliver you’re worst nightmares. As they lack in the empathy to truly care, object consistency to truly connect, and the very foundations of the relationship is built on the lie of who they sell themselves to be. Also, as love feels unsafe to them, and they thrive off drama and conflict.
The admiration face is when we live the side of them that we are always striving to get back, and when we do it’s only ever temporary, as it’s not who they indeed are as a whole.
Their admiration face is.
- I am great.
- I am special.
- I am perfect.
- I know how to handle people.
- I am powerful.
- I am better than all the others.
They don’t go straight out and say it. They instead put on the charm to draw you in, or the woe is me so you empathise with them, want to help them, as they are treating you so right, you couldn’t imagine anyone would want to hurt them, if you’ve been hurt in the past you can relate to them.
This love bombing phase is your reality at that moment, it might well be an act and An Illusion, baiting and a trap on their part, as you can not see the act to you, it’s real. It builds you up to living in such a fantastic high, releasing that dopamine, so you become both emotionally and chemically addicted to them.
As they believe in their own greatness, as some can act so confident, or can play the victim so well, they have a magnetic pull to them. Those who don’t fully understand them are charmed and taken in by them, or empathise and want to help and support them, often unwittingly becoming an enabler or flying monkey. If you don’t know and don’t understand, it’s effortless to fall for the love bombing. As they swoop in and sweep you off your feet, you’re not aware this person is wrong for you until you’re in too deep. Then when reality hits of how toxic they are, it’s hard to break free as you’ve lived the time when they treated you so right.
Loving them more will not stop them from hurting you.
The other person that makes up both sides to the narcissist is the rival narcissist.
Due to their gaslighting, blame-shifting and project, we don’t see this side for what it truly is. When we do, they use many covert, including passive-aggressive manipulation methods to hide it from us, those painful silent treatments, those sulks, the intimidation, invalidation, triangulation.
The rivalry face is often down to the traits of the disorder such as jealousy and envy, lack in empathy, exploiting others to get their own needs met as they have a belief they are special and better than others, they have a desire to put others down in order to feel better within themselves. They are arrogant enough to believe they are entitled to special attention, and they are preoccupied with their own power and success.
A narcissist sees all others as rivals to them with their lack of empathy, a sense of entitlement. Narcissists’ are incredibly Jealous and Envious people, when someone is getting something that the narcissist wants, or the narcissistic person considers the target as doing better than them and seeks to destroy.
When they are not getting their own way, as they feel entitled, they take this as an in-depth criticism and the tantrums begin, slowly breaking down your boundaries, with The Narcissists’ Triangulation. Pity plays, guilt trips, intimidation, invalidation, and more, this is usually done slowly over time, with the added Gaslighting which is psychological manipulation making the target lose their own reality, they seek to take out those who they feel are not severing them as they should, not admiring them as they should.
As they feel shame, and they do not like the feelings of shame for the things they do, they Blame-Shift and Project, to escape responsibility, often telling that many lies they believe their own reality.
The more they manipulate targets into doing precisely what they want as they have a need for dominance and control, the more the target loses a part of who they are, leaving the target, hurt, confused, walking on eggshells around the narcissist and often alone as the narcissist will have most likely isolated them.
Yet when the target does get something right, the narcissist will offer intermittent plays of the nice side, to confuse the target even more.
The narcissist slowly Devalues the target, through put-downs, either covert. ” are you really going out in that.” To the overt. ” you look awful in that.” Taking you down bit by bit, criticising, where you go, what you do, how you treat them, how you treat others, what you do wrong, then when they need you again they lift you back you.
You end up so lost and confused as to who you are, who they are, often isolated, so you only have them to go to for a reality check, leaving your reality even more confusing.
Their rivalry face is.
- I am better than all the others.
- I want others to fail.
- I need to be the centre off attention.
- Everyone should take care of me.
- I deserve to have things my way.
They also might not straight out hit you. (Some do, and some don’t.) this can leave you even more confused.
Living with the admiration seeking narcissist and the rivalry narcissist is confusing, you’re in the twilight zone, living in fear, often fawning and walking on Eggshells to avoid any outburst if you don’t do right by them.
You are manipulated from the start, in the middle and the end, even after you break free, they come at you with smear campaigns, false apologies and false promises of change, further manipulation and games.
Often because of the stress due to the devaluation stage, our body’s release cortisol to help handle the stress, moving our emotions into panic and fear, narcissist rule through love and fear, often when their envious face shows, they’ll blame-shift, gaslight and project, then when they achieve the reaction they wanted from us, their attention-seeking face is back, offering us that intermittent reinforcement, that it was us who brought out their envious face, and if only we didn’t do that, or if only we did do this because when we do, we get their admiration face. They can treat us well again. This forms not only the emotional trauma bond to them but also the chemical bond keeping us attached to them, making the pain of leaving feel worse than the pain of staying. Keeping people loyal to and trapped with their abuse, as the narcissist has subconscious trained you to blame yourself for their toxic behaviour, feeling powerless and stuck within the toxic cycle of the relationship.
It’s painful, confusing and causes so many psychological problems within your own mind.
To heal, recover and move forward, understanding the disorder and what effects it has on you, and learning to understand yourself, learning who you are. Your beliefs, your values, your feelings, your human needs, your boundaries, so those Reds Flags become deal breakers.
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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.
Tactics narcissists use to confuse you