Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Narcissist

A relationship with a narcissist is much like that of the predator and its prey. The narcissist is adept at identifying his target and then skillfully going in for the kill. The narcissist seems to have a sixth sense that other humans do not possess. It is a sense that is uncanny in determining those of us who will easily fall victim to the narcissist's advances. The narcissist looks for those who are kind, generous, trusting, empathetic and loving, all characteristics that the narcissist does not possess. It is as if by capturing his prey, the narcissist will somehow be able to drain the victim of her good qualities and make them become his own. Narcissists do not possess these positive characteristics. Lack of empathy, love and compassion allows the narcissist to conduct his life in an all consuming pattern of controlling behavior steeped in abuse, lies, and manipulations.

The narcissist is a human enigma to those of us that have encountered him in a personal relationship; a "murderer of souls" full of contradictions. Initially, the narcissist will take note of the new target's behavior. He will carefully study the target's interactions with others, her body language, tone of voice, and general demeanor. As an expert hunter, he will methodically craft his plan of attack and begin to track his target. The narcissist will slowly approach the target with complimentary words and statements. He will model himself and his behavior to what he thinks will please his target. He will assume the behavior of the target's "perfect man". The narcissist knows what the target desires in a partner and mate.

Once he has caught the eye of his target, he will move in. The narcissist will begin by coming on very strong, telling the target that she is special and of course he is too. He will say they were meant for each other because they are different. The narcissist will constantly flatter his target and be very attentive, calling her many times a day, just to say "he" was thinking of her. He will quickly become an important person in the target's life and she will find herself swept off her feet by this "wonderful, perfect man". Once the narcissist has become totally ensconced in the target's life and her in his, the role will change for her from target to victim.

The narcissist's dance of destruction begins with small negative comments about the victim. He will begin to mentally disassemble the victim's beliefs about herself and the relationship. What she once considered the perfect relationship, now becomes a relationship that is unnerving, gut wrenching and unstable. She is constantly kept emotionally and psychologically off balance by the insidious behaviors of her narcissistic partner.The victim becomes less and less of what she used to be prior to meeting the narcissist. It becomes a vicious cycle of denigration and destruction by the narcissist until there is nothing of substance left of the victim. Although the dismantling of the victim was skillfully orchestrated by the narcissist, he will unmercifully criticize the victim for "not being the person" he fell in love with. He will then discard the victim quickly and without regard. The cycle of destruction has been completed. The victim has been devoured by the narcissist and left by the roadside.