Monday, September 13, 2010

The Narcissist Giveth-The Narcissist Taketh Away

Narcissists are predictably unpredictable. They plan, plot, scheme and control everyone in their environment--especially their spouses and children. This extends to their business lives. They create pecking orders, hierarchies of power with themselves at the top tier. Narcissists are constantly talking about their grandiose plans and are very convincing and confident. As a result many narcissists are very successful in their professional lives. When the narcissist cannot achieve his goals and aspirations with tact and salesmanship he/she stealthily uses manipulation and ruthlessness as the ultimate motivators to get what he wants and needs to feed his ravenous ego.

If a narcissistic mother or father recognizes that one of his children is not reflecting his perfection or is not attractive or bright enough, this young person is treated with disdain and humiliation in front of other family members. Children of narcissists who insist on being themselves are often exiled from the family. If the family is affluent, it is not unusual for them to sent to full time boarding school very early. The narcissistic parent washes his hands of this "uncooperative brat." This child is a permanent exile, a poor relation, rather than his child.

Narcissists habitually make promises to spouses and children. They create grandiose plans that are believed by their family members. The narcissist is often the bearer of extravagant gifts, exotic vacations. Even narcissists who are not affluent, often give their children special privileges if they are obeying the narcissist's rules to the letter. There will come a time when the narcissistic parent pulls a fast one and causes trauma and heartache to his spouse and children. His daughter has been planning for months to go to summer camp with her friends. At the last minute, a day before departure, dad decides that she will spend the summer with her grandmother in another state. This decision is irrevocable: no reprieve, no change in this papal edict. Mother often capitulates to father since siding with her child will make life with the spouse even more intolerable.

The narcissist is not the least bit concerned about the effect these extreme shifts in decisions has on his family. He often criticizes those close to him for not being more flexible and open minded. The narcissist takes over the lives of his family. He is the author of their life scripts. A promise to help his or her child through college will quickly be rescinded at the last moment without explanation or apology. Something more compelling has the narcissist's attention. The consequences of these impulsive unexplainable reversal of commitments are of no concern to the narcissist. His explanation could be that he is teaching his child to have a strong character and, therefore, has no obligation to assist him. The narcissist then moves into a long explanation about his own childhood, how he is self made and that everything he owns, he created with committed drive, focus and effort. The narcissist's family story is completely untrue. Often the narcissist was a golden child and received anything he wanted , no questions asked. I have heard heart breaking renditions of a cruel marital theme. A couple is having marital difficulties; the narcissistic spouse agrees to go into couples' therapy; the narcissists attends a few times---Then suddenly announces that he is getting a quick divorce because he has found his true love. He abandons his wife and family and moves on.
This painful theme is perpetrated repeatedly by the narcissist. The psychological injury that this causes spouses and his children is incalculable. Protect yourself from the narcissist's cunning manipulations and cruel games by learning everything you can about the narcissistic personality disorder. Visit my website:

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Buy the book: and amazon kindle edition

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