When the mood disorder becomes a personality disorder
Most Narcissists suffer from a poor self-image, which can lead to depression. Some of these people atone for their self-image problems by adopting an arrogant attitude, believing that they know best. They become boastful, loud and obnoxious. When this happens the personality disorder replaces the mood disorder. This situation is less distressing for the narcissist, but it creates a toxic environment for those in any kind of relationship with them.
When the narcissist makes this change, they replace their lack of self-belief with self-exultation. They migrate from feeling underserving to all-deserving. They often accuse others of undesirable qualities which they themselves possess. They start to believe that others envy them and that they have earned the right to lord it over others. They continually and boastfully tell of their superior condition.
An impenetrable defence mechanism
It is not possible to get through to a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The Narcissist will fiercely reject even the vaguest suggestion that there may be a problem with them. They are desperate to conceal their vulnerabilities.
These people have built up such strong defence mechanisms that no-one can penetrate them. Their behaviour patterns become predictable and their condition is untreatable. The more stressed the home situation, the more powerful the reaction. Under personal stress, the narcissist will become aggressive and abusive sometimes both verbally and physically.
How narcissist gain control
Those living or even dealing with such a person soon learn that the narcissist cannot take criticism. They will lash out at anyone who even suggests that there may be a problem. The irony of the situation is that those dealing with such an individual will quickly begin to withhold criticism. They will become accommodating and allow the narcissist to do just as they please. In this way, they avoid confrontation and unpleasantness.
In doing this, they hand over control of their lives to the narcissist. As they take control, they will see this as further evidence of their superiority. This makes them more difficult to be around and encourages further controlling behaviour.
Escape is vital
If you are in such a relationship, the best way out is the front door. By consistently acquiescing to the demands of the narcissist you will lose control. You will end up manipulated and doing the bidding of the other. If you stand up to the narcissist you will face abuse and aggression.
If you have been in the relationship for long enough you may need counselling so that you can escape from the destructive cycle in which you may find yourself.
To determine whether you need help to escape, ask yourself if
- You find the other intimidating or threatening
- Whether you give more weight to their opinions than your own.
- You have allowed them to infringe on your rights
- You have lost your self-esteem and self-confidence
Preparing to leave
Once you understand that the behaviour of the narcissist cloaks debilitating insecurities and self-esteem problems, you can start to plan your exit. You can gird yourself, so that you no longer believe their insults and start to take back your own life, shrugging off their control.
Flattery will go long way in preserving the peace. The narcissist can’t resist receiving credit admiration and compliments.
In the meantime, as you prepare to move on, start rebuilding your self-esteem. Start believing in yourself and take back your life. Know that the way that you have been treated is more about the weakness of the other than anything that you have done. Seek the company of others and look forward to a life free of control.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.