Individuals who have been subjected to Narcissistic Abuse exhibit behavior consistent with that context. One trait, the conclusion that victims of Narcissistic Abuse try to be people-pleasers might not be completely accurate and needs reconsidering. Someone who has been at the blade side of a sword might choose to uphold restraint when placed at the hilt side of the same sword.
When put in a position to recreate the discomfort they endured, some might choose to confine their own pain by preventing figurative infection upon others. A conscience might demand accountability by not propagating a transgression upon second or third parties and instead of manifesting serenity.
Someone whose throat has ever been stepped on, figuratively speaking, could opt to keep their own heel off another person’s throat and instead extend a helping hand. If indeed the subconscious mind is 95%, the conscience of someone repeatedly subjected to Narcissistic Abuse might highlight the possible red flags long before any actions.
The individual, therefore, refrains from putting others through that which he or she endured. The intention is not exactly to please the second or third parties but to “rein the ghosts of experiences past” as the subconscious guides.
Some recipients of the altruistic actions of the victims of the Narcissistic Abuse are complete strangers with no prospects of ‘quid pro quo’ ever taking effect.
It’s about the tree in a forest that is predisposed to intermittent fires developing fire suppressing mechanisms to control the ignition and limit the extent of the fires in question. This prevents future infernos from destroying all organisms in their path.
It could be some subconscious reflex to ensure the survival of the species by deliberately contradicting previous hostility thus containing emotional damage to one vessel: the Narcissist. The stem that could have burned longer and more consistently than the leaves and branches of the canopy is halted from propagating the devastation.
In the analogy, the burning canopy represents the hostility from the Narcissist while the fire suppressed stem is the victim who exhibits traits that limit the creation of social discomfort in later interactions with other people.
Suppose a Narcissist created psychological replicas of themselves by merely interacting with the small group of people who access them. Victims would become subsequent narcissists who would propagate the effect exponentially. Taking into account the social aspect of human existence, entire communities would psychologically implode from just one focus.
Depression and Dissociation are coping mechanisms for some who have endured Narcissistic Abuse. Retraction from society does not concur with people-pleasing – seeking approval from the same society.
Ordinary human interactions at times feature sycophancy towards individuals in positions of power. This is usually done to gain favor or avert retribution in the case of insolence. Victims of Narcissistic Abuse present altruistic tendencies, maintaining the conduct even when interacting with younger or less powerful individuals.
That is not the same as sycophancy. What is mistaken for people-pleasing is a subconscious containment measure to stop the victim from inflicting any form of harm that even closely resembles what the Narcissist put that victim through.
It is an exponential magnification of empathy, where the victim has felt first hand how fast a spark can turn into an inferno so any indications of flames (situations of discomfort to the self and to people around) are contained when they are the size of a candle flame.
To put it in another way, it’s an assassin’s target subconsciously resolving to play the role of bodyguard after an encounter. If the victim(s) of Narcissistic Abuse subconsciously act as the opposite of the perpetrator, the Narcissism that is a form of intra-species predatory conduct is contained before it spreads exponentially like displaced anger.
Humans are social creatures therefore this could be a subconscious safety mechanism to prevent a community from shattering irretrievably due to the actions of one ‘apex of discomfort’.
If I might digress, even in daily life different people respond differently when in a position to endure an injury followed by a position to inflict a similar injury upon someone else. One response, conscious or subconscious might be ‘two wrongs don’t make a right.
An alternative response could be ‘survival of the fittest; the weak ones wither’. What is observed as people-pleasing is the antithesis of the Displaced Anger Theory. What happens when someone is exposed to one short-lived event that makes that person angry compared to months or years of anger incubation?
What is observed externally as people-pleasing could be the long-term containment for displaced anger which would have done more damage if passed on to another person.
Therapy for victims of Narcissistic Abuse should be sustained but the ‘people pleaser’ stereotype should be reviewed. This could be just a facet of the versatility of Neuroplasticity. The brain is one of our most complex fields of study. Neuroplasticity could be acting in such a way to limit the ripple effect of one hostile cause in a segment of a community.