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Narcopaths are driven, and indeed limited by, very different emotions than you or I. The mismatch between what they think and what they are, and more importantly how the justify it to themselves, is what I call the Victim Narrative. It is what drives them to abuse. Understanding it is one of the cornerstones of understanding the Narcopath.
The Rationalization of Failure
They rationalise their shortcomings without laying any blame at their own door (in which disaster would strike, and the entire house of cards that is their false self would come crashing down), but by convincing themselves that they must be the real victim in every situation. Clearly managers have not seen their ability, the economy has been against them, their friends lack judgement, it was their spouse’s lack of excitement in bed that made them cheat etc. This is what I call the victim narrative – one that they must cling to.
The victim narrative is the root of their inability to apologise or to be accountable for their own actions. It is also the reason that they justify being so cruel, heartless and abusive to their victims.
The Justification of Abuse
Whatever form of abuse they have waged on you, they can’t allow themselves to be wrong. To be wrong challenges their grandiose, perfect (but entirely false) self-image. In their twisted minds, therefore, it is imperative that they see themselves as victim and not villain – and that this is the false truth that is then presented to the rest of the world. And my goodness, is this done convincingly!
Villain to VictimIn the twisted mindset of the Narcopath, they are perfect. They justify their evil ways by first convincing themselves, then others, that is they who are the victims.
Feeding their Victimhood
In whatever interaction you have with a narcopath, and particularly one post-discard, it is vital to understand your role in feeding their false narrative.
Given that the narcopath genuinely believes that they are the victim in every part of their life , if you try to hold a Narcopath to account – be it argument, mediation, legal action, enquiry, physical restraint or any other method – you are actually reinforcing their narrative of being the victim. They want the fight. They thrive on the drama. They delight in seeing your pain. They need to feel in control. Yes – it’s totally nonsensical to normal people, but such is how twisted their rationalisation. Quite simply, their brains are wired differently. And it is why it is so important that you, the victim, need to learn counter-intuitive thinking.
The Victimhood Disciples
Look carefully at the Narcopath’s close circle of “friends” and it won’t take you long to work out that they are all there for a reason – they exist to reassure the Narcopath that they are indeed the victim. They are commonly referred to as Flying Monkeys (who do the Narcopath’s evil bidding), and Enablers (who may know of the abuse but still condone it, or may be completely oblivious to the abuse but offer tacit support to the Narcopath’s power base). Anyone who questions the Victim Narrative is ostracized, and if the fail to conform, ousted from the inner circle. If you want to hold leverage against a Narcopath, the best way to peel away the Flying Monkeys and Enablers is to persuade them not to buy into the Victim Narrative any longer.
If you want to disengage from a Narcopath, as an adult child or ex-spouse, the most sure fire way of doing so that I have found is to understand the victim narrative, and deny them the justification of how they can claim it, and turn off both the positive and negative narcissistic supply you give them.
I hope that the above might have shown you just how difficult it is to win with a narcopath. Trying to win may send you insane (and very possibly more than metaphorically). It is highly recommended therefore that you find ways to disengage without a fight if you possible can.
Top TipThe general rule of thumb is simply to meet any illogical or false narrative with the very simple message – “I hear you, that is your opinion, and it is noted”.
< The Narcissist’s Insults | Victim Narrative | Narcissistic Collapse >
Differentiating Abused from Abuser
How Narcissists Play the Victim and Twist the Story
Narcissists Who Cry: The Other Side of the Ego
4 Behaviours that Unmask Narcissists
14 Signs that Someone is Always Playing the Victim