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Beneath their charming and seemingly normal exterior hides an extremely complex and troubled character. Here we present the Narcopath, or person with NPD, in a nutshell.
Introduction – the Split Personality of NPD
Narcissitic Personality Disorder is a Cluster B personality that is often found co-morbid with psychopathy or sociopathy.
Those with it present themselves as thoroughly charming, confident personalities in public and usually strive to be pillars of society. Behind closed doors, however, they are extremely complex characters that abuse those nearest and dearest to them without mercy.
Their outward confidence hides a deeply-rooted self-loathing and chronic lack of self-respect. It is a truth that they will not even admit to themselves – as it’s discovery could easily lead to narcissistic collapse.
Maintaining their false self requires them to have a thoroughly unsavoury side to their characters (classic Jekyll & Hyde), displaying an array of traits – usually undetectable to the unenlightened:
They are pathological liars. In reality their whole life is a charade, and to maintain the pretence they must lie constantly. Doing so becomes a sport – often narcopaths will lie when there is no need to do so – presumably as a way of training, and for the intellectual stimulation. Understandably they have a fear of the truth that goes to their very core of their being, and will manipulate anything and everything to provide the smokescreen required to protect their false narrative to the death.
They need constant drama. Throughout their youth they acquired skills in creating controlled chaos to meet their needs or personal agenda. Making someone else’s life thoroughly wretched distracts them from the misery that haunts them their entire lives, and gives them a sense of power.
They are desperately jealous of others, and assume that everyone is jealous of them. These feelings, combined with the charade they must play, feed fantasies of success, beauty, attractiveness, wealth etc. But because they are fundamentally lazy, they will do little to earn these things, but do all they can to beg, borrow and steal them. They have a sense of entitlement – to money, material things and status – indeed all the things that they need to reinforce their false self.
They have a dire need to have control. Maintaining the charade of confidence means that they must rigidly control so many aspects of their lives, and those immediately around them, to the Nth degree. So if you are closely entwined with a narcopath in any context, one can expect their finances, circle of friends, lines of communication, social calendar, etc, to be entirely managed by the Narcopath.
They can never apologise or take accountability for their errors, mistakes, or the pain and suffering they put their victims through. Essentially they entire raison d’etre is to build and maintain their false self – to establish the grandiosity gap between who the wonderful person they appear to be and the wretched self they really are. Admitting mistakes would, indeed require taking responsibility for anything that would take them down a notch or two, and this is simply something that they cannot countenance. The only exception to this would be if what they perceive what they can gain from an apologizing outweighs what they may lose from apologizing – under this circumstance, however, any apology provided will be insincere and shallow.
Absence of Authentic Emotions
They cannot feel many emotions that we take for granted – such as love, empathy, remorse etc. It is perhaps impossible to imagine this – unless you have had first-hand experience of an NPD yourself. If you have, this will absolutely resonate. It is very likely that the absence of such emotions is not their fault, nor is it deliberate, but instead is likely a defense mechanism the Narcopath created to protect themselves as a child. Psychological and Neurological research is still in the early stages of discovering how a this absence of emotions occurs in the Narcopath.
Whilst an narcopath cannot feel these emotions, that is not to say that they cannot express them – they can. It’s just not heartfelt. From early childhood, NPDs carefully study the mannerisms of normal-range people and have perfected the art of mimicking their expressions, as well as, when and how to use these emotions to manipulate the world around them. The world is nothing but a stage for them and they love a challenge. To the unsuspecting observer or target, such expressions are entirely convincing – but once they allow the mask to slip and reveal the “wolf in sheep’s clothing”, suddenly it is possible that you begin to sense the falsity with alarming clarity.
Conditioning Their Children
Narcopaths do not love and nurture their children to maturity and independence. Instead they manipulate them to be servants to their charade. Using tactics of divide and conquer between siblings, and carefully worded jibes intended to undermine their confidence. Narcopaths will condition their children to be disciples by instilling dependency and obedience. They will isolate the children from their other (normal-ranged) parent, with a carefully constructed campaign of denigration, lies and brainwashing, while this parent stays to endure the abuse, and even more so if the targeted parent has the audacity to stand up for themselves, tolerate no more abuse, and leave. Separating or divorcing the NPD causes the narcissistic parent to suffer an intolerable continuing narcissistic injury – for this the target must be punished and their greatest weapon is using their children to enact their revenge vendetta. Parental Alienation is commonplace.
“Narcs of a Feather Flock Together”
Maintaining the charade is extremely exhausting, and narcopaths struggle to maintain friendships over a long period of time. Those who see through their personalities to witness the toxicity that lies beneath tend to quietly and subtly detach. Those who stay must be unquestioning loyal, and often be open to doing their toxic bidding. There are two types of loyal disciples in particular:
the “Flying Monkeys” who are recruited to do the toxic bidding of their master – most notably running a smear campaign against anyone who has the audacity to cross the narcopath (exes in particular, but also disloyal family members, work colleagues, friends, new partners, etc). For this role, the flying monkey needs to be a toxic character themselves, and:
the “Enablers” who knowingly or unwittingly provide the support, cover and otherwise wherewithal for the narcissist to maintain the illusion of their false self. They may be rotten apples – or blissfully unaware and not astute enough to see what is really going on.
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