7. When narcissists are nice, they can be very nice; but if you still feel insecure, that is because it is a performance, not a true sentiment. Niceness is a tool for social survival — a means to get what they want, like needing a hammer to hang a picture.
8. You will lap up the narcissist’s kindnesses because they don’t come often. But niceness for the narcissist is perfunctory — merely utilitarian.
9. Be prepared for when the narcissist lashes out not just with anger, but with rage.You will feel attacked, and your sense of dignity violated.
10. Morality, ethics, and kindness are just words — narcissists master these for practicality’s sake, not for propriety.
11. Narcissists lie without concern for the truth because lies are useful for controlling and manipulating others. When you catch them in a lie, they will say that it is you who is lying or wrong, or that you misunderstood. Prepare to be attacked and to receive counter-allegations.
12. If it seems that they can only talk about themselves, even at the oddest of times, it is not your imagination. Narcissists can only talk about what they value most — themselves. That is their nature.
13. Narcissists will associate with individuals you would not trust to park your car because they attract those who see narcissism as something to value (e.g., the power-hungry, the unscrupulous, profiteers, opportunists, and social predators).
14. Never expect the narcissist to admit to a mistake or apologize. Blame is always directed outward, never inward. Narcissists have no concept of self-awareness or introspection. But they are quick to see faults in others.
15. They expect you to forgive and forget and, above all, never to challenge them in public. You must remember that they always want to be perfect in public. Don’t embarrass them or contradict them, or you will pay a price.
16. Get used to losing sleep, feeling anxious, restless, less in control, becoming increasingly worried, perhaps even developing psychosomatic ailments. Those insecurities are your subconscious talking to you, telling you to escape.
17. Lacking both interest and true empathy in and for you, narcissists absolve themselves of that pesky social burden to care, leaving you deprived, empty, frustrated, or in pain.
18. They will be unwilling to acknowledge the smallest thing that matters to you. In doing so, they devalue you, leaving you feeling unfulfilled and empty.
19. You will learn to deal with their indifference, in one of two ways. You will work harder to get their attention — with little reward to you because it won’t matter to the narcissist — or you will become resigned and empty psychologically, because narcissists drain you, one indignity at a time.
20. You will be expected to be their cheerleader at all times, even when it is you who needs encouragement the most.
This is the unvarnished truth about how narcissists see themselves, how they will behave, and how they can make you feel. I wish it were a better picture, but survivors of these personalities will tell you that it is that bad and that toxic. As Stuart C. Yudofsky explains in his book Fatal Flaws, the truly narcissistic personality is “severely flawed of character.”