It can take a very long time before you recognize that a family member or a spouse is a covert narcissist. Don't blame yourself--these are the toughest narcissists to deal with. They appear as such good people, just simple folks who believe that you are wonderful--that's what they tell you when they are not pecking on your head. They go back and forth with their compliments and assaults. They have their act of pseudo empathy down to a fine art. They ask how you are doing and its sounds like they mean it. Then come the barbs. If you share any emotional pain with them, watch out. How could your experience be any worse than someone else's. They pretend to take the higher ground by letting you know that nothing and no one can get them down. That makes them feel superior to you and you can feel the twinge of humiliation and not being good or strong enough. Remember---they always have an agenda--to make you feel small, inadequate, incompetent, a failure at life. If they are heavily into looking perfect, they make sure that they show up look fabulous when they know that you are in your old clothes, hair uncombed, sans makeup and wrinkles unconcealed. They love to pop in on you in this way--Just checking-- knowing that you are the slob who is getting old and no one wants. They flash you a smile--it's actually a smirk--They are completely self satisfied. They have triumphed over you. They have been waiting all of their lives to defeat you. This is especially the case with narcissistic brothers and sisters and narcissistic mothers.
They tell you about their careers in a humble way and make sure they give you a final cruel blow--usually one sentence that tells you that they are moving and shattering the glass ceilings of the world. If you talk about problems, don't expect any kindness. They are either mute or they will dress you down by telling you not to dwell on it, to minimize your tragedies. After all they have slain all of their dragons. What's the matter with you?
Meanwhile, CNs spend their lives ruthlessly destroying the lives of others. They are merciless in making their professional climbs. They mow down anyone who is in their way. They don't raise their children or care about them in the least. Their kids are the external evidence of a great persona. They are part of the stage setting.
You don't deserve to be treated in this demeaning manner. It doesn't matter if this person is a family member or not. You are entitled to have peace, to continue to grow psychologically and to have people around you whom you trust and who care about you deeply. Study the narcissistic personality in-depth. Visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life