Confronting Narcissism Effectively

Confronting Narcissism Effectively: A True Conundrum

Confronting narcissism effectively requires a certain tact. Most folks want to cut overtly haughty narcissists down to a palatable size. And sometimes we try to get them to appreciate how they’re coming across. We assume they just don’t “see” themselves. However, they’re generally quite aware. Problems arise mainly because they don’t care enough. So, you only waste time and energy trying to get them to see. And cutting them down only invites an unwinnable war of prideful self-justification.

So, how do you confront a narcissist effectively? You empower yourself maximally by not playing their game. Confronting narcissism effectively requires dealing only in truth. The truth stands on its own. And it genuinely has power – the power to set people free and strengthen them.

A Huge Media Mistake

You don’t have to have a Ph.D. to notice the narcissism in our current president. And you can’t help but notice the offense many take at the brashness and boorishness of his form of it. But we live in an age of rampant narcissism. So, it seems only its most vulgar expressions unnerve us. Far too many of us get seduced by and later victimized by its more “charming” and sophisticated forms. That’s largely why narcissism has flourished.

The media make a huge mistake confronting narcissism the way they do with our president. Styling oneself as intellectually superior and more decent in character doesn’t help matters. And standing in judgment doesn’t help either. These actions only invite the narcissist to fight back and disdainfully point out the flaws in others.

Many of my media interviews have been heavily edited or deleted from programs because I wouldn’t boldly and firmly condemn. And I also wouldn’t violate the ethical cannon not to diagnose remotely. But whenever I can I continue to send the same message. We can indeed confront narcissism. And we can also help usher each other out of this character-disturbed age. But we have to use the right tools.

Confronting Narcissism Tactfully

In In Sheep’s Clothing I urge folks to empower themselves by directly addressing issues. And I urge that you accept only direct responses to the issues. Attacking character won’t remedy things. But you can expose character when you bring issues to the fore. It’s always about behavior and its consequences. You “invite” the possibility of change when it becomes patently obvious that someone’s way of seeing and doing things simply isn’t working well. Confronting narcissism effectively takes that kind of tact.

I’ll have much more to say on this issue in upcoming posts. And you can read more about our narcissistic age in How Did We End Up Here? and Character Disturbance.  Avail yourself also of the many other articles on this blog on this subject. (See, for example: Narcissism’s Sometimes Strange Allure.)

Tidbits

Character Matters will air live Sunday July 16, 2017 at 7 pm EDT. Call in at (718) 717-8296 or (501) 258-8326 to join the conversation. Also, check out the upcoming workshops in the greater NYC area this August.

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77 thoughts on “Confronting Narcissism Effectively

  1. Dr. Simon, great topic. I will expand further in pointing out the fact that most all politicians in Washington are CDN and only in it for the purpose of furthering their agenda and that of The Powers That Be, the ones behind the scenes that truly pull the strings on our politicians. I consider all of them a can of worms, slipping and sliding together to the point we can’t tell which is which, because in reality they are the same, just a different mask.

    If we truly have an honest politician they won’t get far in the immoral corruptness that we now see as our political representation. The standards of decency to the highest level of government are a farce. Look what our oval office has become. They are a consolidated den of vipers and are ,in my humble opinion, all Charactered Disordered Malignant Narcissistic, Sociopathic, Psychopaths. A Harry Truman would never make it from the state level because of his moral integrity.

    It is a difficult task to turn around society from the CDN we are creating, it is everywhere, the slime oozes out of out television with lies and deceit, the daytime programs are filled with soap opera smut and our children watch this stuff and are indoctrinated by the trash that is called entertainment. A society rotting from within, will not survive for long. The fall is inevitable as history repeats itself, something that isn’t taught anymore.

    We are blinded with commercials about stuff that isn’t any good for us, we are feed Genetically modified food, and we are taught that appearance rather than content of ones heart is important as Dr. King promoted. Is it a wonder we have so many individuals diagnosed with personality disorders. How do we end the epidemic which will be the demise of our society?

    One at a time will never do it, as we produce more character disordered persons on an astronomical scale it is almost a hopeless cause. We can only fight for ourselves and in that, fight the good fight. Know who we are and teach these ethics to everyone we encounter in our lives. Personally, I think this world is in for a wakeup call, unfortunately, there will be much pain and suffering before the wakeup takes place.

    Yes, there are many on this blog who have woken up, but I fear that is not enough. We can keep growing ourselves and become stronger. We can grow in moral integrity and try to recoup/inspire our loved ones and the ones we touch to see the light.

    We cannot do the work of the others, we can help and offer a helping hand, just as you have offered your hand in this blog. It is painful to see the deceit and deception that is perpetrated by the CD in power. We can only live our lives in goodness and mercy. Follow truth and always the truth will set us free. We have lost our moral compass of God in this country.

    Thank you Dr. Simon and all of you on this blog, who contribute to making this a better world. It lightens my heart to know I am not alone in all this

    God bless all of you and especially you Dr. Simon and your work.

    1. BTOV – I agree with everything you have said with the exception of Truman who nuked civilians in Japan not once but twice – AFTER Japan surrendered. Many lies have been told by the victors of war. Roosevelt didn’t want to nuke civilians in Japan and was orchestrating their surrender which is when he suddenly died. Yea Right……………… In my opinion Truman does not have moral integrity and never did have.

      Truman was also vice president during the Dresden bombing which was a total holocaust. Dresden was a very cultural city with no defense forces and with no military value whatsoever. The US/UK allied forces were melting people into the asphalt, they killed probably close to half a million (official figures far underestimate the death toll) and the pilots reported they could smell the stench of burning flesh from the air (suggest you watch a documentary called Firestorm) – it requires a strong stomach. That is a good test of character in my book and on on those grounds they both fail. You simply have to be psychopathic to do these things which is why they are everywhere in government. I don’t approve of any of them in all honesty and none of our Prime Ministers are any better because our PMs take their marching orders from the US. The only two half way decent one’s we had were Harold Holt and Gough Whitlem.

      Any half way decent human who is appointed to the oval office who actually tried to do some good ended up assassinated. I have to say this also – Trump pales in comparison on the psychopath scale to his predecessors and I am glad we have Trump in that office and not Clinton. Nukes would already have fallen. Like I’ve said previously, I’m in Oz and I don’t care for either Trump or Clinton but Trump is the lesser of two evils. You only have to watch Clinton testify during Benghazi and during her email scandal to see a real CD in action. Talk about the Queen of Darkness…………-shudders-

      Bush Snr no better, total psychopath. Look at him laugh while giving an address at Gerald’s Ford’s funeral re the Kennedy assassination. Judge for yourself………..my jury’s out and oh boy has he got blood on his hands.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWOSP6i4cio

      If you want a good read about psychopaths in power just read Political Ponerology by Andrew Lobaczewski.

      You have to actually watch and listen to these people talk and not listen to dips**(&t talking heads on TV giving us OUR opinion. Main stream media is just one big gaslighting extravaganza and I do not watch it for that reason.

      “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them”.
      …………………..Mathew 7:15-20

        1. Eudox,

          A good SUPPORT GROUP of Kindred Spirits, as we have here, “Respect” the others right to disagree. Likewise, my friend, I hold you in high regard.
          ((((Hugs)))))

      1. Um…the atom bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, August 6th and 8th respectively which led to Japan’s surrender on August 28th. It took that action to bring about their imperial leadership to fall and likely saved millions of lives in the process given the alternative of a ground war in Japan.

        1. Ed – while I agree with your other comment about Trump I just wish to add at this point with regard to Japan the official story is rarely if ever the truth. It is the story produced by the victors of the war so they are seen in a good light. I discovered otherwise and I don’t get too excited these days about discussing topics with those who stick to the official story as there is little point. Of course that is their choice and I respect that so I will just agree to disagree.

  2. The only problem I can see with

    “Confronting narcissism effectively requires dealing only in truth. The truth stands on its own. And it genuinely has power”.

    Is that narcissists do everthing they are able to in order to avoid the truth. It is why I used the word psychosis to decribe this aspect. You must continually describe Cloud CUCKOO LAND as real, just like in the tale of The Emperor’s New Clothes written by Hans Christian Andersen. Then there is the Malice to deal with when the truth is out.

    1. Joey,

      You are right on point, once you point out the truth, the CDN has it in for you. How dare you confront me with the truth. I do agree with Dr. Simon on the point of dealing in truth. However, the truth opens a hole new can of worms with the CDN when they know you have their number. Depending on what supply you feed the greedy monster, telling them the truth/reality can be the first nail in ones coffin.

      One must be careful of who they are dealing with, before upsetting the apple cart. The CDMNSP is going to be crazy angry if he does realize the truth in that his delusion of new clothes are in fact – sheer nakedness – and you know it!

      1. The other COVERT aspect of telling the truth for the CD is the Scapegoating. The TOTEM POLE faces the CD has. The Multipule Personalities they seem to have. The INSIDOUS and MALEVOLENT way they go through life.
        Some what like the analogy of some one who is DROWNING, instead of admitting they have a big problem. They prefere to pull under and attempt to drown anyone and every one in order to USE THEM as a FLOATATION DEVICE. Leaving trail of corpses of peoples lifes behind them.

        1. … funny part will be that that person knows swimming. 🙂

          Of course he/she can choose to start swimming when there is no one else to drown. A skill that will again be conveniently forgotten once another willing floatation device comes by.
          Even if no other comes by, he/she will spend the remaining life in wather, never knowing that there is also land where people don’t need to drown each other.

        2. Good analogy joey, only us corpses have more life in them than they will ever have and we can turn it around and use our knowledge for good and grow from it.

  3. My divorce trial is this week, Thirsday and Friday, and SB the disbarred attorney is representing himself. Someone is going to drown and I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be me.

    1. Good luck!
      Calm and collected people come out better in family & civil lawsuits. Practice deep breathing or just sigh – slow breath out, it really works within a minute.

        1. Lucy just For you on Thursday. I am sorry about the punch line it was written in 19th century

          If

          BY RUDYARD KIPLING

          If you can keep your head when all about you
          Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
          If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
          But make allowance for their doubting too;
          If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
          Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
          Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
          And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

          If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
          If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
          If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
          And treat those two impostors just the same;
          If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
          Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
          Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
          And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

          If you can make one heap of all your winnings
          And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
          And lose, and start again at your beginnings
          And never breathe a word about your loss;
          If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
          To serve your turn long after they are gone,
          And so hold on when there is nothing in you
          Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

          If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
          Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
          If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
          If all men count with you, but none too much;
          If you can fill the unforgiving minute
          With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
          Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
          And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

          1. Joey

            Thank you and how appropriate for this week.

            I can do most of that right now, but have much to work on.

    2. Lucy – you will prevail, he will come unstuck by his own lies. He will incriminate himself because he’s pathologically predisposed to do so. His neural pathways have atrophied to such an extent it will be impossible for him to do anything else but that. They are allergic to truth, it gives them hives.

      Apparently they hate bright orange – it’s supposed to send them off particularly bright orange lipstick, I don’t know why and I don’t know personally but plan to put it to the test when the weather warms up and you can count on it -wicked grin- Do the crazy signal to your lawyer when he’s churning out his B/S they hate that. That is ridiculing him plus calling him crazy without actually calling him crazy. Once he feels he is being exposed and you are getting too close to revealing the truth and you appear to be gaining favor he should have a major meltdown. Then the insanity will begin – then you can get out the popcorn and enjoy the show. Just sit there and watch his nose grow.

      My thoughts will be with you Lucy and above all!

      MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          1. Joey
            Court is tomorrow (Thursday) and Friday. I present my side of the case tomorrow. He presents his side Friday.
            I am ready as I can be. It’s been a long time coming.

  4. I would just like to say this is off topic. I have now finally got a job working with CNC machines. I am nearly 50yrs old and someone has given me an oppotuinty to succeed.
    Where my the mother/grandmother did there utmost to see me fail.

    1. High Five Joey! That is fantastic – I am very happy for you. This is what freedom does my friend. And Joey – life begins at 50! Surround yourself with biophilic people and you can’t go wrong!

    2. Glad to hear about your job Joey, new beginnings for the life you deserve. I can’t imagine as a parent wanting my child to fail – that’s some seriously messed up thinking, but its so good that they did not mold you into their image and that you are free. You have overcome so much and you are already victorious.

    3. Congratulations joey!

      Earning is first step, saving for future is next. May I suggest that you follow Dilbert’s one page guide to everything financial:
      Make a will.
      Pay off your credit cards.
      Get term life insurance if you have a family to support.
      Fund your 401k to the maximum.
      Fund your IRA to the maximum.
      Buy a house if you want to live in a house and can afford it.
      Put six months worth of expenses in a money-market account.
      Take whatever money is left over and invest 70% in a stock index fund and 30% in a bond fund through any discount broker and never touch it until retirement.
      If any of this confuses you, or you have something special going on (retirement, college planning, tax issues), hire a fee-based financial planner, not one who charges a percentage of your portfolio.

      1. Joey,

        Just want to congratulate you on your job too. You deserve a break after all you have been through. Sometimes it seems like forever, before a break comes after the carnage we have gone through. My son works with the CNC machines and loves it, I hope you will find the same satisfaction.

        Joey, I just got done watching the attached link which I found very encouraging called The Secret which talks about The Law of Attraction. Its about we attract what we believe. Also, recommended was the book called Alchemy, I believe Eudox recommended this one too.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC_YmdPy2h0

        I am so happy for you.
        Big Hugs

      2. Andy D

        Thank you for your advise. In my present position I earn Minimum wage. It is hand to mouth living. My new job will pay lots more, But it is long hours 50 hrs a week. It is split shifts Nights one week,days the next. But the earning potential is so much greater. There is a chance of learning new skills.

  5. A big thank you for everyones support.

    Thank You!

    I really appreciate you,
    Your helpful, giving ways,
    And how your generous heart
    Your unselfishness displays.

    I thank you for your kindness,
    I will not soon forget;
    You’re are the nicest people
    I have ever met.

    By Joanna Fuchs

    From the bottom of my Heart

    Joey

  6. CD’S You have to understand and believe just how calculating they truly are. They are always on the make and on the take in some way, explotation and control. I used to watch true crime dramas with the mother. Mostly about the preditors that can exist. I used to say to the mother “Oh you do that”
    She said “why do you always compare me with a serial killer”. “I have never killed any one”
    I could not ever give an explaination, just that feeling I had. Now thanks to Dr Simon I know. She was truly a calculating idividual. I was always being watched and monitored in so way. It is their need to control all the time. This is why my career when bad. The most severe abuse I was subjected to was when I was trying to achive some goal the would provide me with a means that could give me a route to independance.

    Because she was so truly a calculating together with the grandmother. The only true memories I have of them are when they were subjecting me to abuse. Intentionally hurting me Emotionally,financially or physically and to the rest of the world I am the abusive one. In some way I should thank her and the family for that because it was such an extreme act of callousness it killed me. ,it hurt SSSSSSOOOOOO much, I died
    But it clicked, I woke up and saw what she was and realised she did not love or care for me, EVER

    1. Its a hard realization that the one who was supposed to love you the most did not have the capacity to love anyone and you had nobody to protect you from their sickness. My son calls his “Dad” a sperm doner, and that is more accurate. But I took them out of the situation when he was eight, he had me there to protect him. Joey you were not protected in any way and I hope now that you are able to do that for yourself. I was only married to the pycho, its a world of difference when your parent is one. I can only imagine the pain and I am so sorry you had to suffer like that, its so good you had the strength and insight to see her for what she was. You could have taken a very different path, but you choose the good one. That takes such courage and character. I am so glad you made it through that awful experience.

    2. Joey
      Your story is heartbreaking. Thank goodness you got away and now are healing and understanding.
      You’re going to meet new people with this new job and have a re-start on life again.
      I excited for you.

  7. Here’s a scenario:

    Person C is the covert aggressor who is in a relationship with Person V (her victim). I care about Person V, who almost died recently, partly due to his own bad choices (which he admits to), but in my estimation, pushed and helped along that path by the psychologial, financial and emotional abuse of Person C.

    How do I confront Person C? Previously, I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, let the two parties to this relationship work things out, stay away for my own peace of mind, and not get involved unless invited to by Person V. But recent behaviours of Person C’s have been so text book Covert Aggressor that I feel unmistaken in my assessment of her and the danger she represents.

    Recently, events came to a crisis, and Person V almost died. I feel that it is also because the family of Person V has been accommodating Person C and her manipulations (instead naming and challenging behaviours and confronting her). They don’t want to “get involved” and would rather let the couple work things out in their relationship.

    I feel that the family are naive about the dangers of covert aggressors such as Person C. They think I exaggerate in my assessment of Person C and probably would not want to read anything I was to share with them about Covert Aggressors. They do not want me to confront or challenge Person C because it upsets Person V who is in precarious health right now. We want the same outcome (get Person V away from Person C), but differ on how to go about it.

    When Person V’s life is on the line, and he is headed to psychological and financial ruin, and potential risks to his life, what do I do?

    Person V has been advised numerous times by other people of the dangers of being in a relationship with Person C. He doesn’t leave the relationship, perhaps because he is socially, cognitively and/or emotionally challenged for various reasons, so he doesn’t see the abuse and the danger. He is putty in the hands of Person C. Person V’s family is naive and being manipulated by Person C as well, from my observation. Person C attempts to manipulate every social situation and everyone in her sphere. Hence I prefer to keep my distance.

    Person’s C’s actions have not verged on the criminal yet, nor is Person V so incapacitated that he needs a court-appointed advocate. If he dies I might consider having Person C charged with criminal negligence, but I don’t want to wait around for an outcome like that.

    1. Anne,

      You can stick to truth. Covert aggressive thrive in lies and deception.
      When you are with C and V, you can actively call out C on her lies and twisted stories. That most likely will infuriate C. That most likely will make C work against you and drive a wedge between you and V. Most likely V will keep distance from you or outright ask you to stay away. Then you can either quietly move away without any guilt feeling after-all you are not even family, or you can continue interference risking some police calls by C, of course corroborated by V.

      Bottom-line is that you cannot help those who are not seeking help. Neither C is seeking help, nor V is seeking help. So, any extra effort from you, will most likely turn out bad between you and V. What you are already doing is probably the best, i.e. just stick around and help V and his family to see through the fog. If one fine day something clicks (the Eureka moment that I too had few years back) in their head, then they can help themselves or seek help.

      1. So, a rock and a hard place is what you are saying. lol. I understand. It’s hard to sit back and watch the car approach the wall at high speed.

    2. You can probably stop keeping distance from C and get close to her as you are to V. And at the same time there is no need to actively work against her as that risks you driving away permanently. Just stick around like a large boulder, and let C dig her own grave. I think V and his family probably just need a spark that people like C exists in home, office, shop, and they appear very friendly too, and that such people are not necessarily in jail with explicit warning signs like green-eye and long horns.

      1. I find it very difficult to be around C because she presents her fake side and I can’t sincerely relate to all that fakeness. It would be like condoning her game and enabling her to continue in her deception.

        1. Anne,

          I don’t think you want to be nice, but maybe you want to avoid creating a scene.
          Maybe you consider it as follows: you can either be nice in short-term or nice in long-term, and benign confrontation are ok.

          I think it is fine if you puncture the fakeness once in a while. No need to get outright offensive, just respect her way of life and minor differences.

          1. I don’t know, Andy. The things she has done and said are so twisted and sick, I would struggle to be in her presence. No need to create a scene, but in a small group setting or just a few people, ignoring someone is sending a message. I think she wants to avoid me too because she knows I have her figured out, and she risks being exposed. Whenever I try to visit with my friend, she interferes, tries to prevent him by one way or another of being alone with people who might try to persuade him to leave her. And if you do manage to get away with him alone, she is phoning and texting.

          2. Anne,

            I guess you could just try to figure out what is right and what is wrong in your situation. And, just stick to doing right thing as long as you can handle that extra effort in doing right thing.

            One thing that will be definitely wrong, is to make decisions on your friend V’s behalf, especially since it involves interpersonal relationship and he appears to be fit enough to decide on his own.
            One thing that should be right, is to maintain your friendship, and at the same time call out any fakeness every now and then. If you do not like to be judgemental in calling someone out, then asking exploratory questions is just fine. If you are honest, straight as arrow, and at the same time polite, your friend V will instinctively pick up few things.

            Of course, the day your friend V asks you to leave him alone, you should just do that. You have absolutely no control over others, including their wish to stay in mess.

    3. Anne

      If you turn to page 88 of In sheep’s Clothing. Dr Simon decribes the case of Janice and bill. It is very close to the circumstances you are describing. I hope

        1. Anne,
          You can purchase Dr. Simons book In Sheeps Clothing on Amazon for several dollars. They will deliver right to your mailbox or you can order from any local bookstore. It’s a great read and would encourage you to purchase it for future use and perhaps, as I do, buy them for gifts for people who are in distress dealing with the CD. I bought a copy of the first two books for a neighbor whose wife left him that was CD. He was somewhat clueless and the books opened his eyes and answered many questions for him. He then told me an associate was divorcing and if he could pass them on. What a wonderful way to enlighten others by sharing.

          I remembered one of our posters said; In Sheeps Clothing was all they needed, it explained everything. Perhaps, you could pass it on to your friend you are concerned about after reading it yourself. What a thoughtful and kind gesture this would be. Just a thought.

          1. Thank you BTOV. I agree with what you are saying. It sometimes helps to share good information or books with people. I have shared this website and others with the friend in question, but he’s not much of a reader and makes no time for it. I have Dr. Simon’s Character Disturbance book. I can’t afford to buy too many books and there is lots of good info on this website. However, I should read that other book again. The answer(s) I am looking for may be in there.

          2. Anne,
            Book is condensed, easy to read 200 pages that one can finish in one sitting. This blog has everything that it there in the book, just that topics are scattered around, so you just may want to read few more blogs here before deciding anything. Please check categories on top of page to get relevant blogs for yourself.
            In Sheeps Clothing is focused on one specific type, covert-aggressive persons like C, whereas Character Disturbances is bit more formal and presents a framework that cover all types.

        2. V must have some dependancy or addiction to C. Whether this is finacial or emotional, in some way I do not know. But for a relationship, were one is being vitimised by the other, there has to be a reason for V to stay

          https://youtu.be/IT1qj4pTo0I
          Go to 2:56:22 you will hear an extreme case of Dr Scott Peck. It sound similar. I am only trying to point you in a direction I have been myself.
          I stayed for 46 yrs with a abusive controlling family.

          1. Thanks for the link Joey. It does sound like an extreme case, but I think you are right. Person C is like a bad drug that Person V can’t do without. It’s the only “rational” way to explain why he stays with her. And when it comes to “drugs” in general , whether it’s alcohol, drugs, beliefs, or some psychological thing that people are hooked on, there is really nothing anyone else can do.

    4. So Anne – what question are you asking exactly? You have provided a scenario but without facts, in fact none actually. Hard to say if the CD who is accused of being the CD is the CD in your scenario – what you have provided is basically hearsay.

      If you have a question then why not ask it?

      1. The question is how to help someone like Person V.

        “When Person V’s life is on the line, and he is headed to psychological and financial ruin, and potential risks to his life, what do I do? ”

        More broadly, when I/one is not the person in the relationship, how do you help that person? As Andy has said, you can only do so much. That person has to see the light or have their Eureka moment. I worry that people like Person V might be irreparbly harmed before that Eureka moment. How do I help him (and his family) see? Do I have an obligation to help him see? If so, how much? If he was to die, would I feel like I should have done more?

        Facts … well if you mean details, I am purposefully not providing too much detail because I don’t feel public spaces on the internet are the place for that.

        Who is the CD? Others have argued with me that Person V has done all sorts of bad things, and so has Person C. In other words both of them have bad behaviours. However, I know, in my gut, there is a difference, and this has really brought home to me the nature of covert aggressors vs. a neurotic person who behaves badly.

        The difference is explainable when I read Dr. Simon’s description of a covert aggressor: they try to maintain their position of advantage, expend lots of energy on impression management, play the victim, guilt trip, lie, use lots of nice words but don’t follow through with action, have aggressive intentions, blame others, use seduction, hide their hidden agendas that serve only their desires, and this particularily one is a real drama queen. That’s Person C.

        Person V is much more neurotic, than narcissist. He does and has done shitty things, but the motives are quite clear to anyone and he fesses up readily to all his shit. He is very open about who he is and what he is feeling. He doesn’t try to control others with anger, tears, or feigning offence. His bad behaviours harm himself more than others. He also strives to do well, serve others, shows gratitude and conscientiousness, when he isn’t in crisis mode.

        1. Anne – okay that’s a bit more information. Thanks

          Firstly I have to agree with Andy – if you are outside the family and a friend only you can and often will be seen as interfering. If you’ve given him info on narcissism previously it’s all you can really do. You can lead a horse to water etc.

          C sounds like a typical Cluster B generally from what I have experienced the drama queens tend to be more Histrionic/Narc co-morbidity. They are generally the real “Lord it over others” type who always needs to be the center of attention and will act up a storm if they’re not.

          Hard to say about V but the vulnerable/fragile narcs can come across as somewhat empathic but they usually don’t “fess up” to their behaviors, they will generally avoid, stonewall and/or throw a tantrum. If he’s neurotic it could take him years to actually SEE he’s being abused this is an unfortunate fact with most neurotics in relationships with narcs. Can you elaborate more on his crisis mode?

          Notwithstanding, it’s a double whammy if he’s in love with her. Then he will just have to come to terms with this in his own time and if he’s Co-dependent then he could be with her for a very long time or till death do they part??? At the end of the day it really comes down to this. No matter how much we care for a person nobody has any right to interfere in another person’s relationship. It comes down to free will choice. It might be their path of destiny so to speak.

          I would suggest you listen to Sam Varknin on Co-dependents, it may or my not give you some of the answers you seek.

          1. Anne,

            First, I want to affirm the sound advise your have received from Joey, AndyD and Eudox. I reread your original post and have inserted parts of two para, you wrote.

            I am going to be matter of fact with my response as if I were at the Woman’s Resource Center. Since you go by the name Anne I assume you are a woman. In a relationship for another woman to assert her views into a relationship with someones man is a real NO, NO and highly suspect. By your own words this man also admits to his bad choices. Then it is your estimation how he was pushed and helped along. One ( a third party) is walking a fine line interfering and basically assuming what is going on behind closed doors in a relationship between two consenting adults. Para 1: “Person C is the covert aggressor who is in a relationship with Person V (her victim). I care about Person V, who almost died recently, partly due to his own bad choices (which he admits to), but in my estimation, pushed and helped along that path by the psychologial, financial and emotional abuse of Person C.”

            In a personal relationship with two consenting adults it is not appropriate to interfere in another relationship and business, especially being of the opposite sex. You ask how to confront another persons mate. This could make for an extremely volatile situation for all three of you. It is up to the two adult (C&V) consenting parties to work things out.
            Para 2: “How do I confront Person C? Previously, I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, let the two parties to this relationship work things out, stay away for my own

            You describe C as a CD individual. What is going on is another serious problem when three are involved in a dysfunctional relationship it is called “Triangulation.” This is completely unhealthy for all involved and your interference can only intensify the problem. The parents have opted out and are leaving the two individuals alone to work out their issues. I would heed the advice of the parents.

            If you are his friend, again being a woman is not good. This alone can cause problems in a private relationship. You do not know all the facts, nor have you revealed anything other than what you have said for me to opine on. Regardless, of what is going on it is none of your business.

            If you are his friend, then you must act like it and it calls for treating his mate with dignity and respect. If my man had a woman friend I would not like it at all. I do understand you may have had a long term friendship, but when two pair up it is unhealthy to continue that relationship in that manner. One must let go. Be his friend and stay out of his personal affairs.

            If and when he asks for help then it would be somewhat appropriate. One needs to let others learn on their own, otherwise, they will never learn the lessons they need to grow up and be a mature man that can help himself.

            I am being straight foreword with you on this, one needs to stay out of other peoples relationships. Yes, you may see things that are wrong, however, it is not up to you to interfere. I have spent this time in hopes you will accept all the insight provided. If I were this woman I would not tolerate you at all. If I were the man I would not like you interfering and making matters worse for me and or pointing out I need to have an Eureka moment.

            You may care deeply for this man, another woman’s man, and this is wrong. Also, in order for this man to get well he and he alone has to figure it out on his own. If he doesn’t he will never get well, he has to reach out and seek help himself. As painful as it may be, if you care as much as you proclaim, you need to step aside.

            Truly, it takes immense love to let go and let God.

          2. BTOV – I can’t directly reply to your comment as no reply function is available.

            Excellent advice and to the point, that’s getting straight to the heart of the matter. I’ve been involved in several triangulations and they are EXTREMELY toxic to all individuals and including those outside the triangulation with the exception of the person who caused the triangulation in the first place. More often than not they are caused by CD to deliberately inject jealously, trouble, emotional distress and mischief into their target. It is a very heinous crime second only to gaslighting. In fact I would go so far to say it’s on an even par with gaslighting and may be considered as part of the gaslighting riposte. The schemes and machinations of a very malignant CD. Only somebody exceedingly ignorant or a downright fool would proceed into a quagmire of extreme emotional warfare which is what a triangulation is.

            Anne – I would heed BTOV’s advice and stay right away from this couple. They are capable of working out their own relationship without external interference. Further if it’s you who is injecting yourself then in all honesty, you need to take a good long look at your own motivations for doing so. I’m sorry to have to say this, but if it is for the purpose of splitting up this couple, then you should put yourself through the Psychopathic Checklist to make sure you are not one of them and that had to be said. Even this man’s own family does not have the right to interfere.

            Normal, healthy people of sound character DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT interfere in other people’s relationships. In fact they do not interfere in other people’s choices period.

          3. Eudoxia and BTOV, I beg to differ. There are many instances when the right thing to do is to intervene or separate two people in a relationship. You are correct though, in that it is a quagmire, to be entered into with caution and expertise.

            For example, how about the all too common scenario of the battered spouse or girlfriend. Do people not try to intervene to prevent physical harm and death? In some regions, the police are expected to lay domestic assault charges even when the victim does not want this.

            Intervention: it comes down to where do you draw the line: I can think of many considerations: is the victim a child, the nature of the abuse, the age difference between the abuser and the victim, the power difference between the parties, the victims cognitive abilities, physical harm vs psychological harm, possible threat or imminent threat, etc. Children are frequently removed from their parents’ care for very good reasons (another example).

            I have known this Person V much longer than he has known Person C. There is nothing in our relationship that is remotely romantic or intimate, or could be construed that way by anyone. But I think BTOV is on the right track. Any person who has any kind of bond to Person V, other than Person C, is a big threat to her. She doesn’t want him to even spend time alone with his mother. Yes, triangulation is what Person C is doing, and it causes distress in Person V, and others that get drawn into it. I agree that triangulation used in this way is a nasty manipulation tool. Person C has made this into a competition, and I will not be drawn into that.

            I am also wise enough to know that there is little I can do or say, and most ideas I think of would be unproductive anyway. I know that people need to make their mistakes, learn from their lessons, and figure things out for themselves. I usually operate on that basis. But as I wrote in my first comment, I have concerns about Person V’s health, safety, life being in this relationship. My concerns are objective and factual about the situation and both the parties involved. He has escaped one close call. Do I just walk away? (easy enough to do, believe me). Will I regret that if things get worse for him? if he dies? Your advice is to leave it alone. Which is probably what I will do, because I can’t think of any other option right now.

            No worries, I am not a psychopath, but thanks for your concern (not).

  8. Dr. Simon and To All My Friends on this site

    Thank you for all your support and input. I take to heart all suggestions put forth.

    My divorce was set for trial yesterday and today, and yesterday I settled it. I lost lots of $$$$, half pension, etc. I could not afford to continue paying the astronomical attorney fees tied to a case like mine, with a CDN pro se disbarred attorney out to destroy me. He was out to kill financially.
    I’ve pretty much stopped the money “bleeding” and have got that demon’s claws out of my back, or as I previously envisioned him as a leech sucking onto my back.
    It’s time for me to wrap up the marital business, pay off debts, live a small and humble life till I recover financially and heal.
    I am free of that leech.
    If I have any advice to give it would be to rid yourself of poisonous mates, if possible, as soon as possible. They will bleed you dry emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially.
    I’m looking forward to a new life. It’s been a long three years trying to be rid of him and I need some time to breath, to heal and regroup.
    A big thank you for all of your support.
    When I first started reading and posting on this site I was going through turmoil, being badgered, did not know how to handle it. I’ve come out of this ok emotionally and I have Dr. Simon and you all to thank.
    Oh – and I’ve got my maiden name back, my identify.
    LOVE LOVE LOVE SENDING MY LOVE

    1. We all have had to face upto the truth. Much to all our costs. It boil down, to how long it takes. It is damage limitation really.
      Well done lucy

    2. Lucy,

      All I can say is, I am privileged to have gotten to know you, you have been a role model for all of us. With all my heart I wish you the best. I know it will turn out for you, because, dear one, you have character. You have fought the good fight and I feel your pain. I also admire your acceptance of a new beginning. You are a true leader. I hope you continue posting, you have inside you a wealth of knowledge that can inspire others. You are what makes this the great Support Group we are.

      Lucy, Thank you, your perseverance and strength have made me a better person.

      Blessings and Hugs Kindred Spirit

    3. GOOD ONE LUCY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      The financial loss is only money. You still have your heart, soul and integrity in tact :- While you might have taken a financial cut you have ultimately won anyway. Just the fact you have now cut him out of your life completely will eat him alive. They hate the ones who get away and it is likely to totally consume him for a while. Great let it, it serves him right. They deserve everything they bring upon themselves.

      It must be like a great weight has been lifted from your shoulders and freedom is in the air. Surround yourself with flowers my friend it’s been a long battle.

      Raises a toast to both Joey and Lucy! for your respective good tidings.

      And big huggzzzzzzzzzzzzz to you both and all the seasoned ticket holders here – WE SHALL PREVAIL!

    4. I like your advice Lucy – get rid of the toxic mates as soon as possible, there is no good that can come of it! Wish I would have known sooner too, I had no idea what I was dealing with. Its really unfortunate about the finances, but the attorney fees will no longer be taking a chunk and now you can rebuild and regroup without that hanging over your head. Those leeches just suck you dry. But your emotional healing is intact and you have a promising future ahead. It’s great you are at the end of the tunnel and into the light. Many blessings for your healing and your life going forward.

      1. Kat
        Thank you. i always knew he would be a tough one to divorce but I never imagined how bad he truly is. He was really out to destroy me and nearly did. I have much to rebuild.
        The legal system in my circuit could not do justice to what was going on in my case. it was a runaway train. I work in the legal system andnitnsaddens me to see how unjust a case has become. Even a so-called “win” is a loss because it’s appealed, costing $$$
        Had I “won” in court it would have cost me 25,000 plus in appeals and approximately three more years of litigation plus more attorney fees. I was in a losing situation. Win win for him. Lose lose for me.
        I somewhat relieved but am angry. I’ll have to work through that.

        1. It kills me that people who have a mind to take advantage often know the legal system well and the cost of an attorney and court fees. They know at some point you will just do what is most cost effective. You did what was best, and cut your losses, you had no choice. Yes, the anger is normal but you don’t want to carry it with you. I am not much for giving advice but it would be to do what is best for your health, even if it means forgiving the leech, I had to forgive my leech so I would not carry it with me. I didn’t go around him much, only when he had cancer and didn’t have long – he never provided a thing for his two children, dead beat and at his death I found out he had a life insurance policy that paid his live in girlfriend money and she didn’t provide a cent for his death. Me and my daughter had him cremated and paid for it, she was nowhere to be found – par for the course huh. Nobody would pay for him, not even his family, but I went along with it because I thought it was good of my daughter to want to honor a human being – her Dad, the only one she had ever known, even though he was no Dad, and she was deluded, I still wanted to honor her feelings. His girlfriend was another leech, getting paid for his health care and sucking up his disability checks. But neither of them is worth my peace of mind. I know you will find that peace of mind as well – it takes time.

          1. He knew well how to but. Upon eu in court. He’s a disbarred attorney. And his attorney, before he went pro we, is a POS for playing the game.
            Your ex sounds like a piece of work, not even leaving insurance for his daughter. It’s good you don’t carry the anger
            I had gotten over the anger I carried for two years, but now that I’ve settled to cut losses i bitter. I hope to get over it but I know it will take some time. Meanwhile I will rebuild my life. Still have loose ends to tie up dog as selling the country house to pay off debt.
            Iliad the days whe. I laid my head dow. At night and had no worries. However, I was living in ignorant bliss thinking my life was ok when it was not. But still, I do miss that peaceful feeling. I’ll get it back in due course

    5. Good job Lucy. It costed money, but I am sure you will value freedom more. 🙂
      When significant other is a certified leech with no hope of redemption, then yes, we must get rid of that thing as soon as possible.

  9. Omg. Congrats Lucy. Sending you my very best wishes for a brand new life!

    I would write more at length but my posts keep vanishing!

    Yuuuuge hug!

  10. Lucy, Kat

    That’s OK Lucy,, we understand what you are saying, just keep posting and do your best. It is a shame all that we have to go through such tragic scenarios with these so called fellow humans, especially, when we realize we are sleeping with a venomous snake.

    Kat, I admire you for your ability to forgive. The forgiveness sets us free from carrying around bitterness and thinking about them every minute and what they did. In the end look what life dealt him. I can’t carry around that kind of anger, that does not mean I have anything to do with them. I am strickly NC with these kind, I have no use for them.

    I am well aware of their sneaky agenda’s and will never be pulled in again. I have developed this 6th sense that feels them in the pit of my stomach and I feel I have to vomit. That is how well my sense of these kind has developed. These kind never change their stripes and it is best always to cut any ties for whatever reasons. They mean us no good.

    Kat , again I commend you, you set a standard for your daughter and that is important. It is also important that your daughter know the CD of her father lest she repeat the cycle and one latches onto her. Thank you for posting your comment.

  11. Hey Guys,

    I did the orange lipstick test last night. I went to the tavern for the members draw it’s a regular Wed night thing. HAHA I did a good coating. I walked straight up to a former nemesis and did my best “gee I’m pleased to see ya” SMILE LOLOL wish I’d had a camera!

    Anyway he took one look at me and took 3 steps back and just stared, he actually looked horrified! I said “what’s the matter? Is it the lipstick”? He said while looking really sternly at me “WTF are you wearing that for” I said Why don’t you like it? I walked closer to him and he kept stepping back!!!! So I kept moving forward – I said come on this is a prototype it’s my new brand I make it myself – it’s called Fright! What do you think? He said “it should be called f&&*n horrible”! I nearly pissed myself laughing – all the while I was running my finger around my lips and smiling like a crazy person. Anyway I tormented him for a bit longer just to make sure – and I can say with absolute certainty that it freaked him out. He didn’t like it at all and it made him so uneasy he kept walking backwards everytime I walked toward him he even made the sign of the cross in front of his face at one stage it was priceless! And it was fun! To make it all the more ridiculous I wore a purple velvet smoking jacket over the top of a pink jumper. I looked like I’d just stepped out of Barnum and Bailey.

    Challenge Two is coming up on Saturday. It is pool comp -wicked grin- there is a narc who blows in from out of town, is a pool shark, plays dirty (none of the locals play dirty), is a sore loser and doesn’t talk to or socialise with anybody then immediately leaves if he loses, but he generally makes it to the final then leaves as soon as he’s won taking ALL of the prize money and not giving the 2nd place a split.
    Anyway I’m going to up the ante. Bright orange lipstick, a fury tail (pinned to my jeans) and a silly hat. Let’s see how I go on Saturday -wink-

    1. Wow. I wish I’d witnessed that. I feel uneasy when someone talks to me wearing purple lipstick. It’s like I don’t trust them.
      For pool night it sounds like a character out of Dr Suess.

      1. Now Lucy if I actually had a Dr Suess hat you better believe I’d wear it!!!!!!!!! However I don’t but I might buy a police hat at the dollar shop, they’ve got them there for sale in the crazy hat section. I might just inquire so make sure I won’t be arrested for impersonating a police officer! There might be some law against having fun or looking ridiculous. The dark blue with the orange lipstick should be a blast I can plat my hair akka Cindy from Brady Bunch and wear bright orange nail polish as well seeing I’m playing comp. I’ve got a really nice Bohemian style bright orange top and a purple scarf. A Dr Suess hat would be by far better though, shame they don’t have one. Wish me luck -wicked grin-

  12. Well I’ve fallen into the trap with a narcissist who probably because he had a world to control of his own as a professor, it was easy to pretend to be all knowing, dictatorial and take it as a student if you wanted to pass his class. Due to our HOA’s financial debacle under his leadership, it led others and myself to challenge his actions with the truth that flew in the face of his audacious lies and deception to finally force him out but not without him kicking and screaming along the way.

    While there is brashness and some crude nature about our current president, I would lean more to his being confident of what he believes but narcissism? No, that fit the previous president to a capital ‘T’. He couldn’t make a speech without remarking about me, myself and I upwards of over 100 times during a speech for crying out loud. The current president while a believer in what he does, has no problem sharing praise for individuals, our military, police, businesses, community leaders and unabashed pride in America; something the previous president couldn’t bring himself to do unless it was written on his teleprompter. It was so foreign to him, it was like the Fonzie character of the TV show ‘Happy Day’s’ who couldn’t say he was sorry; it was that bad.

  13. Could we please address the disorder without adding opinions about public leaders into it? That fuels a different fire and I can’t see how it helps you as a professional. People like me who are involved or have survived the mind-f-ing terrorism of a narcissist are searching for healing and peace from its damages. I need facts not opinions about people who are either dead or should be respected for the office they hold such as President. How does that help anyone? Teach me how to understand the Jeckyl and Hyde of this disorder and why I still care so much about him.

    1. Marianne
      Ditto. And read through the posts you will find plenty of info.
      I’ve been through a three year — Storm and have gotten much help and support here. I’d go more into depth but I’m typing on my iPhone and it’s difficult.

    2. It’s not a matter of anybody teaching you Marianne it’s about you acquiring the necessary knowledge that will help you to help yourself. If you still care so much about your abuser then I would highly recommend you stop doing that and deal with the reality of what he is.

      If he is CD he can’t be fixed or cured, but their victims/targets can. You won’t find peace until you stop resisting what is. The reality of that is the man you fell in love with doesn’t exist. There is NO Jeckyl just Hyde. Jeckyl is a mask only, put on to procure certain benefits for himself, Hyde’s the real deal. Further you won’t find healing if you set the terms for that healing. It’s not about healing your way it’s about healing in general.

      I would suggest you start with buying Dr Simon’s books they are a worthy investment. It’s important to understand the nature of the beast. You will be less inclined to hold onto one. Don’t think they will change – they do not. Don’t think you can love them back into good health you can not. You are nothing more than a toaster to them in reality. Once you stop toasting their bread how they like it toasted they will just discard you and get a new one – you will just be thrown on the garbage heap if he hasn’t done so already.

      Nobody can teach you about why you still care so much about him. That’s your responsibility and you can not abdicate from that essential and fundamental fact because that belongs to you, that ball is firmly in your court in that regard.

      One more thing nobody deserves respect unless they are respectable people period. There are plenty of people who have held the high office of President and many of them have been psychopaths in fact the clear majority. Why should we respect psychopaths Marrianne? I for one wont be respecting an elected psychopath anytime too soon.

      In answer to your question about how does that help anyone. Well it helps to recognise psychopaths BEFORE you elect them let alone respect them, not that it’s common to have a non psychopath run for that particular office anyway. The oval office’s temptation is like a psychopathic moth to a flame. Further you can’t dictate the topics of conversations, and what can and can’t be discussed it’s called freedom of speech. Something narcissistic people generally deny others……………..

  14. at first I thought the article title was crazy lol.. confronting?? that is the funniest thing I’ve ever heard of.. I do stick with the truth now, because his demands are so outlandish even post divorce. I usually have to walk away for a few hours to untangle my brain to get to the heart of it.. what I really need to be focused on .. on how to respond or many times don’t respond because that is what he wants. I’ve learned so much throughout the years and learned to conserve energy for myself and not give it away to him. Many times he has complete conversations by himself.. I am not even necessary lol.. or I talk and he talks over me. Every week he complains about something new that he is so bothered by, especially by the divorce settlement that he wrote himself and I had to sign just to end the madness/financial drain.. He loves it when I remind him of the truth that he wrote it and now he hates it lol. We have to laugh at the little victories we get because they are so few and far between and we are the only ones who get who won that round. I agree the way people are treating the President is a joke, both for and against him.. it is a circus there, full of chaos.. feels familiar.. like I’ve lived through that somehow.. lol… I tried to warn people but they don’t want to hear it.. the next few years will be interesting if not tragic

  15. Marianne, You care about him because you are a normal human being who was groomed to do so. It is a process that exploits all of the tenderest parts of your soul, your hopes and your dreams.

    Like most targets, you may wonder if he was ever sincere. Was it all a lie, right from the beginning? Did he know how it would play out? Is he intentionally torturing me? Why me?

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