What not to do when you are dealing with a toxic individual.
Twelve rules for all your interactions with narcissists.
What not to do when you are dealing with a toxic individual.
What not to do when you are dealing with a toxic individual.
Twelve rules for all your interactions with narcissists.
The sociopath is a high level con who manages to dupe people so thoroughly that his/her fans will persecute, silence, and ostracize a victim who complains about mistreatment. These people are in denial and they will reject information that doesn’t correspond to their highly favorable perception of the sociopath. The victim’s accounts of abuse will upset them, and may anger them. By defending an influential sociopath and abusing his/her target by proxy, the followers prove their loyalty and hope to win favor while getting closer to the influential sociopath they are instinctively attracted to.
Gail Meyers writes:
A narcissistic personality disordered mother has flying monkeys. This is a term taken from The Wizard of Oz, where the flying monkeys do the bidding of the Wicked Witch. The flying monkeys may be your neighbor, church members, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandmother, grandfather, nieces, nephews, etc. These people do the narcissist’s dirty work and often pour their own abuse on the scapegoat.
I spent years of my life trying to show various flying monkeys the truth. It virtually never worked, not once in the twenty or so years I kept trying to “clear the air” or to finally be understood. They do not understand because they do not want to understand. Many are willfully ignorant and blind to the situation. There is not some magical phrase and method you have not yet discovered that is suddenly going to cause these people to stand up for the truth.
What I have realized is the flying monkeys generally have their own reasons for behaving the way they do. Some may truly do it out of ignorance, truly fooled for years by the narcissist. However, it is my experience that most flying monkeys have weak characters.
Grandiosity is a principal feature of a certain type of narcissism. (See: Two Main Varieties of Narcissists.) Narcissists of the grandiose variety don’t just think they’re great. Some just know they’re great. They truly believe in their special status and their power. And because they often feel omnipotent, they can act in ways that reflect their perceived invincibility. There’s a big difference between a really healthy dose of confidence and pathological grandiosity. And you can’t always gauge the difference by a person’s status, wealth, or accomplishments. Some grandiose narcissists have plenty of reason to boast. Others have virtually nothing to show for themselves. Narcissistic grandiosity is mostly a matter of exaggeration—especially exaggerated self-importance and capability. And, when such grandiosity goes unchecked, it can lead to much bigger problems. Continue reading.
November 10, 2017
Dr. George Simon
Relational aggression (or relational violence) generally refers to all the forceful ways a person might try to assert power or dominance in a relationship. But these days, many use the term to describe attempts to damage someone’s social standing or wreck a good relationship they enjoy. In any case, this kind of behavior destroys. It serves only to bring its perpetrator a sense of power or importance. And it stems from the aggressor’s lack of empathy.
Two Main Types of Aggression
Aggression can be of two main types: overt or covert. Someone is overtly aggressive when they make no bones about what they’re doing. Maybe they simply want to hurt you. But they might also want to get something from you. Perhaps they want to take advantage or have power over you. Whatever the case, they mean to aggress and don’t try to hide it.
Covert-aggressors operate differently. They don’t want to be seen for who they are or what they’re doing. The relational aggression they engage in is subtle, underhanded, or even concealed. So, you barely realize what they’ve been up to until the damage is already done. This is the kind of aggression that underlies most interpersonal manipulation. Moreover, it occurs quite frequently. So, many years ago I felt compelled to write a book about it.
Covert Aggression in the Social Arena
In our times, relational aggression has taken on some interesting new dimensions. Covert aggressors can damage your social standing or your relationships in some very sneaky ways. They can put out false information about you on the internet. They can spread nasty rumors and lies. Or they might defame you on social media. A skilled covert operator can even use surrogates to do their dirty work. That way, they leave no “fingerprints” and can convincingly deny their evildoing. Young persons are particularly vulnerable to this kind of behavior. But no one is immune.
Why do these relational aggressors do what they do? We used to think that they came from a fearful, insecure place. But we’ve learned better. Some folks simply lack empathy. They care only about themselves. Sometimes, all they want is a sense of power. Other times, they might merely be seeking amusement – at your expense. And in the coming weeks I’ll be saying more about why these behaviors are so prevalent nowadays.
Character Disturbance has entered its third major printing. As always, thanks for your support and recommendation of my books.
Visit Dr. Simon’s blog: drgeorgesimon.com
Disordered people can’t deal with the reality of their behaviors. On some level, they may realize how hurtful they are or how inappropriately they behave, yet they are unable to accept any kind of major flaw in themselves. So disordered abusers spin our reality to protect their delusions.
Projection, a commonly used defense mechanism, serves that purpose. In projection, a characteristic of themselves that they find unacceptable is projected onto us. An example of a projected characteristic is mental illness or disorder. “I’m not a sociopath. You’re the [crazy, irrational, mentally disturbed, narcissistic, etc.] one.”
Another common defense mechanism is blame shifting. “It’s your fault this happened because [fill in the blank].” The abuser’s rationalizations can be elaborate and far-fetched but their convictions are rock solid. Bystanders may have been groomed to believe that the target deserves the treatment they are receiving. Attempts to disprove accusatory claims will get you nowhere, or worse, seem to confirm your guilt. They cannot fathom that anyone— especially not someone they like and respect—is capable of deviously crafting a convincing blame shifting scheme, and will often side with a charismatic sociopath.
The mocking and controlling behavior of the psychopathic mind is motivated by a sense of entitlement and a claim for submission. It’s a power trip. The submission brings them feelings of excitement and superiority. They enjoy what they consider to be a game of destroying people. It’s amusing to them.
Don’t miss this excellent article:
Evil people are often busy building for themselves various fronts for disguise to further their ambitions. “They are likely to exert themselves more than most in their enduring effort to obtain and maintain an image of high respectability.” Evil does not reveal itself as the bad. Evil will very rarely expose itself to public light. It must hide. And it almost always hides under the pretext of something virtuous.
In fact, rather than hiding in the shadows dressed in black, it disguises itself in uniforms of holy men or suits and charitable organizations, which allow it to deceive us into thinking it’s our savior. This enables it to cause far greater damage. Continue reading…
See also: Narcissistic Personality Disorder
ith all the information available about narcissism and narcissistic personalities, chances are you’ve heard the term “malignant narcissism.” But exactly what the term means and why a certain kind of narcissism warrants such a special descriptor is not very clear to many. And while it’s hard to imagine any kind of narcissism that’s completely “benign,” it’s worth understanding why the particular brand of narcissism professionals call “malignant” is cause for grave concern whenever it’s present to any significant degree in someone’s personality structure.
More posts featuring Dr George Simon:
November 3, 2017
By Dr. George Simon
Heartless Characters can be largely born the way they are. That is, the most disturbed among us have an innately impaired capacity to care. But folks lacking in empathy also tend to think in certain ways. And those ways of thinking lead them to form problematic attitudes and patterns of behavior. Moreover, engaging in those patterns both engenders and reinforces heartlessness.
“They look like us, but they are extremely
smooth at deceiving and come in many forms!”
More posts featuring Dr George Simon:
The Empathy Trap:
by Dr Jane McGregor
and Tim McGregor
Excerpt: Apaths are an integral part of the sociopath’s arsenal and contribute to sociopathic abuse. Sociopaths have an uncanny knack of knowing who will assist them in bringing down the person they are targeting. It is not necessarily easy to identify an apath; in other circumstances, an apath can show ample empathy and concern for others—just not in this case. The one attribute an apath must have is a link to the target.
How apaths, who might otherwise be fair-minded people, become involved in such destructive business is not hard to understand, but it can be hard to accept. The main qualifying attribute is poor judgment resulting from lack of insight. They might be jealous of or angry at the target, and thus have something to gain from the evolving situation.
At other times, the apath might not want to see the ‘bad’ in someone, particularly if the sociopath is useful. Or they might choose not to see because they have enough on their plate and do not possess the wherewithal or moral courage to help the targeted person at that time. Usually, be it active or passive involvement, the apath’s conscience appears to fall asleep.
Intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.
Authoritarian, sociopathic, and narcissistic personality traits have many similarities.
Research shows that authoritarians are far more likely to exhibit sloppy reasoning, highly compartmentalized beliefs, double standards, hypocrisy, self-blindness, a profound ethnocentrism, and—to top it all off—a ferocious dogmatism that makes it unlikely anyone could ever change their minds with evidence or logic.
The term bullying typically refers to direct, confrontational attacks on another person. Social aggression, however, typically lacks direct confrontation and is often done covertly. It takes the form of spreading rumors, gossip, excluding one person from a group, verbal attacks, and cyberbullying. Studies have found that those who are socially aggressive typically use this form of bullying to protect their place among peers or place themselves above their peers.
In the U.S. alone, over 100,000 students miss school every day due to indirect bullying. This type of bullying is often attributed solely to adolescents, though it is common among college students, in suburban neighborhoods, and workplaces. In adulthood, the most common form of this type of aggression is usually gossiping and spreading rumors. In general, the smaller the community, the more this issue occurs.
Relational aggression can have damaging effects on victims.
Adolescents who have been subjected to these types of attacks are more likely to develop depression and eating disorders. Relational aggression may also be responsible for a drop in academic performance and almost always harms a young adult’s social life. Among adults, this aggression can cause stress related physical disorders, limit job productivity, and greatly reduce self esteem.
The effects of social aggression often depend on the amount of support a victim has outside of school or work. Children with supportive parents, caregivers, other adult figures, or friends tend to handle this type of bullying better than those without this foundation. In severe cases, indirect bullying can be a catalyst for suicidal thoughts or actions; in some cases, it causes a victim to take his or her own life.
Due to the potential damaging and life altering affects of social aggression, especially for young adults, many schools have adopted zero tolerance policies for bullying. Teachers and parents are taught to recognize signs of social aggression in both the perpetrator and the victim. Abusers are typically punished and in extreme cases, may be suspended or expelled from school.
Once the crude schoolyard bully, they have become skilled at undercover ‘baiting and bashing’ tactics and avoiding accountability. Victims, chosen because of certain personality traits and vulnerabilities, may find themselves subject to a smear campaign and marginalized, gratifying the sadistic pleasure of a bully to no fault of their own.
Abusers operate on the sly.
Baiting & Bashing
Exposing the Bully
Bystanders and Bullying
Denying, Discounting, and Dismissing Abuse
Bullies Get a Kick out of Seeing Others in Pain
To deal with sociopaths effectively, you first need to open your eyes. In The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Anderson, two weavers promise the emperor a new suit of clothes that is invisible to those who are stupid and unfit for their positions.
When the emperor parades before his subjects, all the adults, not wishing to be seen in a negative light, pretend they can see the clothes. The only truthful person is a child who cries “But he isn’t wearing any clothes!”.
You, too, need to see sociopaths as they really are. We are conditioned to keep quiet, which often means turning a blind eye to or putting up with abuse.
The boy in the tale represents those who see the problem behavior for what it is and find the courage of their convictions to make a stand. Sight becomes insight, which turns into action. Awareness is the first step in limiting the negative effects of contact with a sociopath.
BY KRIS LEE
While we all are manipulative to some degree, manipulators engage in set behaviors on a regular basis. Manipulators use deceptive and underhanded tactics by exploiting another person for power, control, and privileges at the other person’s expense. They play on your good intentions, vulnerabilities, and weaknesses to get what they want. Don’t be surprised if a manipulator is someone you trust or even love.
When someone is clearly wronging or hurting you and you are the one feeling bad and apologizing for their wrong doings, you are being manipulated. Manipulative behaviors are learned, most often in childhood. Thus, unfortunately it’s something that can’t be quickly unlearned. So, watch out for some common signs to spot them and once you do, pull them out of your life immediately. They are toxic weeds in your life.
Some manipulators are highly skilled and their tactics are so subtle that it can control you for a long time before you finally figure out what’s happening. Skilled manipulators have a way of twisting a previous conversation or replaying it to suit their needs. They will do something to hurt you and when you express how you feel about it, they’ll turn the situation around, make you feel guilty and end up justifying their actions.
Does your partner say or do things that make you feel like you must be crazy and then tell you you’re making something out of nothing? Obviously your partner twists the truth or leaves out certain information to make you doubt your own perception and sanity.
They twist your thoughts and actions bit by bit until you look to them for guidance on everything. They mold you into someone who serves their own purposes. Sadly, you trust them more than you trust yourself. Their motives are almost always self-serving, and they have little interests in how you feel or how their behaviors impact you and your life.
They consistently point out your shortcomings, then show you that with their help, you can do better and become better. In that way they convince you that they have your best interests in mind, but the truth is they don’t.
Manipulators need to be in control, and the desire for control often masks underlying feelings of their own insecurity. They need to feel superior and powerful. They have a deep narcissistic desire to shift the focus somehow to themselves and seek you out to validate them.
Manipulators claim that they know how the world should be, how you should act and of course by their rules. They are virtuous and righteous. They are saints in their own minds, so you’d better agree. They know what’s best for you. Just ask them and they will give you advice and will make your life miserable if you don’t do what they say or utterly worship them. Besides, they are great debaters, so you never win.
Manipulators have difficulty accepting responsibility for their behavior and it is always about what everyone else had done to them. If you call them on their behaviors, they’ll find a way to turn it around to make you feel bad or guilty. Manipulators may say yes to a request or make a small commitment to you, and then when the time comes to follow through, they conveniently forget what they said or deny the fact that they even promised.
They blame you for what they’ve said, done, not said or not done. If you point out how they just turned the tables, they’ll most likely make you look selfish and pitiful. Thus, you can’t really prove anything so it’s your bad memory against their lying words. You begin to question yourself and even feel bad that you challenged them. Manipulators will never admit their wrong-doings when it puts them at a disadvantage. Instead, they’re always on the lookout for someone to blame, and here, alas, it’s you.
Manipulators are good at keeping score so that one day they will blame you if things don’t work for them. They are willing to help but it always comes at a price. They remind you of that one time they helped you out and use it as a way to manipulate you into feeling like you owe them something.
They attempt to establish intimacy by sharing their deep personal information that they make you believe they trust you and in turn, you trust them. You may initially perceive them as very sensitive, emotionally open and a bit vulnerable. You won’t suspect at all that you are being played. Since they are able to mirror your needs and desires perfectly, they are able to create the persona or mask of who you think they are, but it’s all an illusion.
Manipulators want to listen to what you have to say in order to find out your strengths and weaknesses. Although it may feel like genuine interest and that they are good listeners, keep in mind that there may be a hidden agenda behind all this interest. They won’t hesitate to use all of these against you with an arsenal of effective manipulation tactics.
Once again when you call them out on their behavior, more than likely, you’ll get a defensive and angry reaction rather than being direct and forthright communication. They usually sidestep honest communication and use passive aggressive methods instead. They try to intimidate you with aggressive language, subtle threats or outright anger, especially when they see you are uncomfortable with confrontation.
If you try to have an open and honest conversation about moments when you feel hurt or invalidated, you will be shut down with allegations that you are being too sensitive, insecure, or over-reacting. They may pretend to be sweet and open-minded to your face, and while they might not hurt you directly, they will find subtle ways of undermining or belittling you.
Manipulators seldom express their needs, desires, or true feelings. They seek out the vulnerabilities in others in order to take advantage of them for their own benefits and deflect their true motives. They have no ability to love, empathy, guilt, remorse, or conscience. To them, life is merely a game of taking power and control and getting what they want. They see vulnerability as a weakness and staying invulnerable is a great way to hide who they really are. So, if you don’t live up to their so-called standards and they are filled with contempt for you, it’s so easy for them to simply get up and move on.
From They Walk Among Us by Paul Rosenberg
A sense of entitlement is one of the characteristics of antisocial and narcissistic personality disorders and a natural extension of grandiosity; considering oneself superior to others. It can be revealed in the reasons someone gives to why they deserve or have the right to something they want, in their expectations of others to supply what they want, or in their fury when they don’t get what they want.
Donald Trump provides an illustration:
| “Twisting of meanings is a clue to psychopathy. They’re masters of doublespeak*, creating verbal traps and impossible situations that leave non-psychopaths bewildered.”
Harrison Koehli Red Pill Press,
Publisher of Political Ponerology *Doublespeak = Evasive, ambiguous language
that is intended to deceive or confuse.
Artwork: Adam Proctor
From BBC Future, 3 December 2015
By David Robson
Do you have a ruthless streak? Psychologists believe the “dark triad” of personality—Machiavellianism, narcissism and psychopathy—might help you succeed in life. To measure your own dark side, click on the link below and choose how much you agree or disagree with 9 simple statements—and we’ll tell you how dastardly you actually are.
The questions for this quiz were inspired by questionnaires developed by Delroy Paulhus and Daniel Jones (Assessment, vol 21, p 28). Our quiz was designed solely for entertainment, and the results should not be considered a scientific measure of your personality. If you would like to learn more about Paulhus’s personality research and his serious explorations of the dark triad, read the BBC profile “The man who studies everyday evil”.
Posted July 6, 2015 by Karen Young at Hey Sigmund:
Even if toxic people came with a warning tattooed on their skin, they might still be difficult to avoid. We can always decide who we allow close to us but it’s not always that easy to cut out the toxics from other parts of our lives. They might be colleagues, bosses, in-laws, step-someones, family, co-parents … and the list goes on.
We live our lives in groups and unless we’re willing to go it alone – work alone, live alone, be alone (which is sometimes tempting, but comes with its own costs) – we’re going to cross paths with those we would rather cross out.
Continue reading the article for some powerful, practical ways to ease co-existence with toxics:
Originally posted on Dating a Sociopath:
The sociopath uses a number of tools to manipulate.
If you spend enough time around the sociopath, his Mr Nice, Mr Helpful, and Mr Wonderful personas wear off. Once he has his slippers firmly under your table, hand in the fridge, and the warm half of your bed, a totally different character begins to appear. To cope with this, you need mental agility, for the sociopath is the master game player. And what he intends to do is play a game with your life. You will be left feeling absolutely confused.
What is deflection? Deflection takes focus away from the accusation. To use an example, if you had concerns that your partner was cheating, perhaps you have evidence that he is having an affair? You confront your partner, holding the evidence, and you are fairly sure that you now have him cornered… Or so you think!
Evidence, means little…
Read original 850 more words:
It’s important to understand that people on the narcissistic spectrum simply do not tolerate criticism, difference of opinion, or when certain others don’t subordinate and show the reverence they feel entitled to. These personality disordered individuals can be bullies who aspire to positions of power and influence from where they can control others, penalize those they feel offended by, and use their thespian talents to attract admirers and supporters. Some members of this flock are eager to take action against anyone who annoys the central figure. With a coveted position in the inner circle as a contributing motivator, they see an opportunity to act out aggression with a show of ‘moral righteousness’ that will secure the leader’s approval and a rise in the group’s esteem.
Many human problems are difficult to address effectively without insights into group dynamics and the significant roles often played by the personality disordered. On their own, complaints about the values, policies, and behaviors of others, including statements about how they ‘should’ be or act, just don’t broaden our understanding, lead to change, or offer any viable method to improve the human condition.
By Dr. Craig Malkin
Author, Clinical Psychologist, Instructor Harvard Medical School
Posted: 07/13/2015, Updated: 07/14/2015
Narcissism is hot. Which should make narcissists very happy.
But it’s also widely—and wildly—misunderstood, due in large part to widespread caricatures of narcissists, who are invariably depicted as vain, primping braggarts.
The problem is that many narcissists, particularly the more introverted ones, who pride themselves not on looks, but on being sensitive and misunderstood, couldn’t give a fig about fame or money. You might not even realize you’ve met one. And people end up falling unhappily in love with quieter narcissists, confused by their fate, because their distress stems from a brand of unhealthy narcissism they never knew existed. To date, in fact, there are three kinds of narcissism, which I describe in Rethinking Narcissism: The Bad—And Surprising Good—About Feeling Special. We may start finding more.
Then there’s the problem of that pesky qualifier, unhealthy.
Many would object, saying that narcissism is inherently unhealthy. And certainly the most popular narcissism assessment to date, the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI), assumes that all narcissism is bad; each and every point you score on the test inches you closer to being branded a “narcissist.” The problem is even the NPI picks up healthy components of narcissism; there’s hard evidence that one piece of the inventory, which captures extroverted leaders more than disagreeable blowhards, is associated with being a happy, healthy, if somewhat more ambitious human being.
So to summarize: three kinds of narcissism; healthy and unhealthy narcissism; and a bunch of measures that capture arrogance and grandiosity of various kinds—one of which accidentally captures healthy narcissism.
Read the full article:
The Narcissism Test—What’s Your Score? | Dr. Craig Malkin.
August 22, 2010 · by Lorna Tedder ·
Real empaths feel too much. Real narcissists don’t seem to feel anything, or at least not in regard to others’ feelings. Showing your vulnerable side to a narcissist in an attempt to explain how his or her behavior might be hurtful will just invite more abuse.
Whereas the narcissist doesn’t connect well or much with others, the empath connects too much. The empath literally feels what someone else feels, whether it’s strong emotion or physical pain.
Continue reading The Relationship between Empaths and Narcissists.
Manipulation is a way to covertly influence someone with indirect, deceptive, or abusive tactics. Manipulation may seem benign or even friendly or flattering, as if the person has your highest concern in mind, but in reality it’s to achieve an ulterior motive.
Favorite weapons of manipulators are: guilt, complaining, comparing, lying, denying (including excuses and rationalizations), feigning ignorance, or innocence (the “Who me?” defense), blame, bribery, undermining, mind games, assumptions, “foot-in-the-door,” reversals, emotional blackmail, evasiveness, forgetting, fake concern, sympathy, apologies, flattery, and gifts and favors.
eBook (PDF) 287 pages
Unlike people who are trying to influence others, manipulators work with unfair means to get what they want. They do not respect the personal rights of their victims. They work with hidden agendas and deliberately use dishonest tricks like faulty reasoning, coercion, blackmail, and lying as they attempt to assert control. Manipulation is about suiting the manipulator’s advantage or purpose only, often at the expense of others.
It’s often difficult to recognize manipulation. After all, would we allow ourselves to be manipulated if we are aware that it is happening? This book explains the tricks manipulators use and teaches you how to best defend and protect yourself.
People who suffer from low self-esteem are at risk of getting stuck in relationships where they’re being controlled; becoming the unwitting targets of individuals with personality disorders that propel them to behave in a manipulative way.
Being manipulated is a highly stressful experience. It is unpleasant, demeaning, and disturbing.
Every time you comply, capitulate, cave in, or otherwise satisfy your manipulator’s wishes and purposes, you reinforce the toxic cycle that is compromising your self-esteem, co-opting your values, and corroding your emotional wiring.
This book was written for people who are targeted, exploited, and controlled by manipulators.
See also: Manipulation Tactics
By SINDERELLA 02/23/2015
Deciphering the Narcissist from the Sociopath is some tricky business because they are practically identical. The two biggies that set them apart are the disordereds’ motives and levels of self-awareness. In other words, you’d have to get the N/S to be open and forthcoming about the inner workings of his mind. As always, you can count out the Narc or Socio for assistance. Unless you crack their heads open like coconuts and unravel the twisted little rats nests that dwell within, that ain’t happening. Continue reading this article…