It seems to me that each narcissist has a preferred abuse that makes them feel important and superior. Of course, they will use many varied types of abuses to achieve their “big picture goals”, but they do have favorites. For example, my David likes Seduction. He likes getting women to have sex with him. You see, he is only 5’10” and there is no such thing as a gorgeous Canadian man. Therefore, it makes him feel like a rock star that he can smooth talk his way into a woman’s pants. Sadly, he gets very high romantic hopes for each new hook-up. He convinces himself that “this is the one that is going to change my life”; but then he gets bored so quickly and moves on to the next seduction. This is the crack in his armor, the point at which he openly shows how much he suffers because of his Narcissism. Every time his new seduction turns out to be just another empty vessel, he sees himself and cringes.
My roommate in Dallas, *Hannah, her preferred abuse was getting people to give her Gifts. She was extremely covetous. She liked to take strolls in her neighborhood to see what other people had in their yards, and when she saw something that she wanted, she would start asking for it. “Are you using that bench? I never see you sitting on it and I really need a bench just like that.” I was shocked speechless by her brazenness; but, you know what, she would just keep asking until they gave her the bench! Plus she had amassed a circle of donors who regularly brought her offerings. She used to hook these fans by using her fame. She created an interesting backstory for herself and made the donors feel that their gifts to her were somehow extra special because she was extra special. She put on a good show.
Driftwood’s preferred abuse was Sabotage. He knew that he was a monumental failure in life, and he wanted everyone else to be a failure, too. He used to relish hearing about other people’s misfortunes like getting fired from a job or breaking a leg from a fall. He used to giggle about them. “Now they won’t be so uppity.”, he would say. As his wife, he was always on the look-out to destroy any creative urges I was having. I had art projects going on all the time. I was creating a tile mural on the kitchen wall. I was painting every room in the house. I was sewing curtains. I was framing inexpensive art. Driftwood would tell me that my projects were too difficult for me and that I shouldn’t attempt them. He would say it over and over until I was saying it with him, and then, as soon as I hit a snag in a project, where I would need to pause, he would say, “See? I told you you couldn’t do it. You should give up now.” This man was my husband, my supposed life partner, who supposedly “had my back”. I didn’t even realize what he was doing because I don’t think that way. It would never occur to me to sabotage my own spouse! He was attempting to groom me to stop trying to better myself, to sit still and be a failure with him. Fortunately, no-one can oppress the creative spirit in me. It just can’t be done or else he would have succeeded.
Whether it’s Seduction, Gifts or Sabotage, the narcissist uses abuse to turn their own feelings of inadequacy into feelings of superiority. Inside, the narcissist still feels like a disappointed failure, but they construct a mask to help them cope with their emotional pain. And that mask is made from your flesh.
“A Narcissist’s Preferred Abuse.” is copyright © 2014 by 18mitzvot. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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