Patterns of behaviour in most species are well documented these days. However the pattern of behaviour of the Narcissistic Abuser is so textbook even the novice can identify it. Here is a checklist I compiled with the help of many others who survived Narcissistic abusers.
✔️ Neglectful behaviour
One of the reason narcissists are neglectful is because they want the victim to become used to not expecting anything from them. “They groom the victim to cater to their needs not their own and to not expect them to reciprocate. They want to make the victim feel like they are not important and have no value. Especially the sadistic ones. They get joy from seeing the victim in pain, they condition the victim to accept that their needs are not important and will not be met. However the victim is still expected to fulfill the needs and wants of the narcissistic abuser.” Maria Consiglio. Normalising this culture of submissive acceptance of mistreatment is the end game for the abuser.
✔️ Ego centric internal drivers
They say tending a narcissists ego is like feeding an endlessly screaming baby that grows enormously but never gets full. They often only talk about themselves or their own lives or they may be quiet yet you’ll note they never ask about the victims interests or needs. Why? Toxic narcissists have an intensely overdeveloped ego and hold a deep belief they are superior to others. Should anyone hold their unacceptable behaviour accountable they react with genuine surprise that anyone would question their authority or superiority. Their false sense of self is so great it’s unfathomable to their entitled ego. Greg Zaffuto the author of ‘From charm to harm and everything inbetween with a Narcissist’ wrote “They don’t connect to your thoughts or words...nor do they care. You are an object and supply and it begins and ends there. They don’t care or love, they abuse and extort. Narcissist have absolutely no sense of guilt or remorse for their actions. They abide by no rules or laws.” The exception is when they fake remorse as part of the hoovering process of trying to suck the victim back in. Ego centric abusers are above the law and as such often get in trouble with authorities for failure to comply examples include tax debt, parking fines, speeding fines, drink driving, drugs or all of the above.
✔️Lack of empathy and conscience
Narcissistic abusers do not actually feel the love, compassion and concern they proclaim to have. They are cultivating the image they know is expected. In reality they often quite dead inside, with an apathetic attitude to others pain, oscillate between contempt, envy and boredom. Envy and contempt is often directed at those who in reality possess the characteristics and lifestyle they are emulating as part of their facade. In fact narcissistic abusers can be so amoral that it’s impossible to communicate with them about moral or conscience based issues. Their sense of entitlement is so highly developed. Victims often get caught in a cycle of trying to elicit truth, accountability or closure with a narcissist and find they are caught in an unimaginable moral and ethical conflict trying to elicit an empathetic or conscience epiphany in a narcissist which will never eventuate unless part of the emulated empathetic facade is cultivated to draw in victims.
Controlling takes many forms, it may be financial, it may be freedom or it may simply be controlling the victims right to opinions. Financial ‘controllers’ will make the victim feel incapable of being trusted with the finances or will covertly arrange to ensure assets like cars, phones, a house and belongings are registered in the perpetrator name. This is a red flag that often once implemented is incredibly hard for the victim to undo. This sort of abuse might also include putting things in the victims name to trap them into submission with threats of bankruptcy or damaged credit rating. Other forms of control might be using intimidation or threats of damaging property if the victim ‘steps out of line’. Examples I’ve witnessed include where a perpetrator would cut off access to water, taps, heating, firewood, equipment, household items as a form punishment to a victim for failing to comply with the abusers controlling guidelines.
Other examples include stopping access to childcare, education or finances to do any of these. Blocking access to transport such as a car, petrol, car maintenance, medical support, education, or basic amenities.
✔️ Isolationist enflictor
Narcissists like most abusers prioritise isolating their victims. They will foster a culture of devaluing the victim by creating a gang of people that will back them up in their abuse. Over time they discredit the victim, slandering their character with often concocted lies. These narc enablers fall for the charm and fake persona of the narcissists and support the isolation of the victim.
Examples include the abuser contacting the victims family, friends, or their own posse to garner support against the victim. This insidious behaviour is emotionally heartbreaking as the victim watches thier support system crumple away. Another example is making outsiders feel so uncomfortable within the home of the victim that they decrease and then cease visiting or contact.
✔️Victim profiling by abusers
Why do narcissistic abusers target certain people? Because they are predators.
Narcissistic abusers seek out compassionate, empathetic, trusting, good hearted people then mimic those qualities, hiding their true character which might be vindictive and malicious. Like parasites they are at their strongest when they have a healthy host. They slowly use the victims loving character to destroy them from the inside out. Like a parasite they survive by forstering a decaying state of living which is driven by contempt and envy. Sadly it’s said “Make no mistake if you left a malignant narcissist, they hate you. In fact they hate you passionately and vehemently. Why? Because the victim knows their true persona.” Once the victim has reached this point they are shifted to the discard stage.
Examples of how narcissists hook a victim might include the abuser trapping the victim into a cycle of abuse of stages like the honeymoon (fake remorse and loving) stage, to nit picking, to explosive or malicious treatment returning back to honeymoon and so it goes around over and over. Abusers target empathetic compassionate people, ones that give chances and forgive and see the good in people. The ones that are helpers, healers, carers, they make good hosts for parasites.
Narcissistic pathological people will do anything to get a reaction from the victim. This is part of the gaslighting process. Where they antagonisticly cultivate situations are created to force a reaction from the victim to make them look reactive or crazy. Pushing the victims button and stressing them by controlling them, blocking their freedom, confusing them, blocking them, accusing them and twisting truths and reality until the victim reacts. This can occur so often that the victim is in constant defence mode which can be exhausting loving in constant flight or fight mode, having to constantly defend yourself or fight back for simple human rights. Abusers then love to pull out their phones and record and video the breakdown, providing a tool to further control of the victim.
✔️Discarding the used victim
As with the neglectful behaviour towards the victim because of their apparent lack of value. Narcissistic abusers will reach a point with their victims of such disinterest in their presence or welfare that they will maliciously try to drive them away. This is where you see such horrific levels of emotional abuse. Abusers at this stage will openly advise the victim that they don’t care about their welfare, presence, health. They might for example fail to provide basic essentials like water, or food when the victim is unwell, they might deliberate make life harder for the victim by creating hazards in the home, destroying things the victim enjoys claiming they are accidents or unintended. Most of these actions are where the victim becomes like an unwanted dog the abuser is trying to force to runaway. Many abusers force the victim out which is why homelessness among women in particular domestic violence victims is on the rise.
So what can be done about this. A cultural shift needs to take place where control of any gender is deemed unacceptable, where laws protect victims, where men are taught equality of women and where financial dependence due to child caring is no longer a part of our society. There is a very long way to go. However family and friends of both victims and perpetrators can start by communicating with and supporting victims and calling out any form of abuse in their circle.
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