The test is this: If a person were to constantly humiliate and abuse you verbally using Archaic Chinese – would you have felt humiliated and abused?
Probably not. Some people have been conditioned by the narcissistic primary objects in their lives (parents or caregivers) to treat narcissistic abuse as Archaic Chinese, to turn a deaf ear.
This technique is effective in that it allows the “inverted narcissist” (the narcissist’s willing mate) to experience only the good aspects of living with a narcissist: his sparkling intelligence, the constant drama and excitement, his lack of intimacy and emotional attachment (some people prefer this).
Every now and then the narcissist breaks into abusive Archaic Chinese, so what, who understands Archaic Chinese anyway?
I have only one nagging doubt, though:
If so rewarding, why are inverted narcissists so unhappy, so ego-dystonic, so in need of help (professional or otherwise)? Aren’t they victims who simply experience the Stockholm Syndrome (=identifying with the kidnapper rather than with the Police)?
Narcissists and Abandonment
Narcissists are terrified of being abandoned exactly as codependents and Borderlines are. BUT Their solution is different.
Codependents cling. Borderlines are emotionally labile and react disastrously to the faintest hint of being abandoned. Narcissists FACILITATE the abandonment.
They subconsciously MAKE SURE that they are abandoned and then they can blame their victim for the failure of the relationship-besides they are basically perfect and they believe they are in complete control of their own mind and will!
This way they secure the achievement of two goals:
(1) Getting it over with –
The narcissist has a very low threshold of tolerance for uncertainty and inconvenience, emotional or material. Narcissists are very impatient and “spoiled”. They cannot delay gratification OR impending doom. They must have it all NOW, good or bad.
(2) By bringing the feared abandonment about, the narcissist can lie to himself persuasively.
It is always someone else’s fault!
Why the Failing Relationships?
Narcissists HATE happiness and joy and ebullience and vivaciousness in their victims – in short, they hate life itself. The roots of this bizarre propensity can be traced to a few psychological dynamics, which operate concurrently (it is very confusing to be a narcissist):
First, there is pathological envy.
The Narcissist is constantly envious of other people: their successes, their property, their character, their education, their children, their ideas, the fact that they can feel, their good mood, their past, their future, their present, their spouses, their mistresses or lovers, their location…
Almost ANYTHING can be the trigger of a bout of biting, acidulous envy. But there is nothing, which reminds the narcissist more of the totality of his envious experiences than happiness. Narcissists lash out at happy people out of their own deprivation.
Then there is narcissistic hurt.
The narcissist regards himself as the center of the world and the lives of those surrounding him. He is the source of all emotions, responsible for all developments, positive and negative alike, the axis, the prime cause, the only cause, the mover, the shaker, the broker, the pillar, forever indispensable.
It is, therefore, a bitter and sharp rebuke to this grandiose fantasy to see someone else happy. It confronts the narcissist with a reality outside the realm of his fantasies. It painfully serves to illustrate to him that he is but one of many causes, phenomena, triggers, and catalysts. That there are things happening outside the orbit of his control or initiative.
The narcissist uses projective identification. He feels bad through other people, his proxies. He induces unhappiness and gloom in others to enable him to experience his own misery. Inevitably, he attributes the source of such sadness either to himself, as its cause – or to the “pathology” of the sad person.
Though he is the chronically depressed partner, “You are constantly draining me. I do all the work in this relationship.” is a common sentence. The narcissist – in an effort to maintain the depressive state until it serves some cathartic purposes – strives to perpetuate it by showing constant reminders of its existence.
If the Narcissistic decides to show any pity for his victim, it is usually an under-handed slap in the face type of comment. “You look sad/bad/pale today. Is anything wrong?