Dating a narcisist
Following prolonged exposure to the psychological toxic virus that is covert narcissism the agenda of wearing down the victims ego boundaries and injecting them with self doubt, anxiety and insecurity starts to work its way deeper and deeper into the mind and heart of the prey.
The victim, stuck in a maddening double bind, begins to go into a state of learned helplessness and submit to the twisted, upside-down reality tunnel of the covert narcissist and this is where the real, deep, prolonged damage can be done.
Narcissistic supply is scarce, forcing them to be more cunning and deceptive than the overt narcissist.
You will never see them coming, they will flaunt their vulnerability in front of you to capitalise on your compassion, they will flatter and charm you with their “shyness” to get close enough to you that they can get their fangs deep into you.
As though following some kind of sick “Covert Narcissists Guidebook To Abuse” they follow a protocol of denial, contempt, reframing, reblaming and shaming the person who presents them with evidence of their lies.
Most maddeningly they will simply look dead in the eyes and with no guilt or shame whatsoever tell you that black is white and up is down. I have a degree in psychology and I have a lot of experience on the frontline actualy helping humans to heal from abuse, but I am not a published professor with a phd.
If you look at the academic literature itself you will see that even the clinicians are not in agreement about what covert narcissism is, with some even claiming its a subtype of borderline personality disorder. I’ve had clients twitching with anxiety and distress venting their frustration at me that so much information they are hearing is contradictory and conflicting when all they want is a rescue rope back to the solid dry land of some kind of sane perspective.
The overt narcissist believes they are awesome and the world largely agrees with them. The covert narcissist believes they are awesome and the world largely disagrees with them.
If the target is tricked into believing the FALSE narrative that this person is a vulnerable victim they are left suspecting that the manipulations, insults, transgressions and abuses they experienced CAN’T be real …right?
The problem is: Coverts can learn that a quick and TOTAL apology is a really slick way of getting their target to “go back to sleep” if it looks like they are waking up.
Narcissists are ambitious, successful, go-getters full of energy and pumped with charismatic charm.
They do not have any empathy for you or the destruction they cause because they feel entitled it is their RIGHT to punish and abuse the mere mortals who are lucky enough to come into their superior presence. Part of that strategy is to deny you any closure and to let you know they have moved on without a second thought for you.
Leaving you obsessively wondering, anxiously investigating and sifting through the detritus of the past like a forensic detective at a bomb site to see if any of it meant anything at all.