Beware of narcissists posing as victims in the narcissistic abuse community


I came across this post today on PsychForums. It’s by a woman who’s the moderator of a site for victims of abuse (she does not specify which site). She talks about how she is triggered and angered by forum members who she perceive as “better” in some way–smarter, prettier, richer, what have you–and then proceeds to play head games with them, make it difficult for them to log in or even bans them, without ever giving a reason. This poster admits getting pleasure from making the forum members suffer and thinks it’s a fun game. She admits her own life is a shambles and she is deeply miserable. The fact she posted this on a psychological forum indicates she is are aware this is a problem and knows it’s wrong, but she says on the forum she feels like “God” and doesn’t seem to want to stop playing so cruelly with the forum members.

I’ve read a number of blog posts and articles that discuss this problem, which is much more prevalent than you might think. It’s disturbing and scary. It’s hard enough for victims of narcissistic abuse to trust other people, and they come to blogs and forums to find a haven of like minded people who have been through the same shit they have and find support. But not everyone they meet in these online havens are who they say they are. Some may be psychopaths out looking for prey, and what better prey is there than the members of a website for victims of abuse?

Psychopaths and malignant narcissists are attracted to blogs and forums focusing on narcissism and abuse, because these are places where the “prey” is abundant. They can have a field day playing with the minds of vulnerable, hurt victims, especially if they are the admin or owner and have created a website for the abused. I’m not talking about someone like Sam Vaknin here–at least he’s upfront and honest about his narcissism, and he’s actually helped many victims of abuse (I still can’t quite figure out what his true motives are–they must be primarily self-serving, but his writings have helped many). Rather, I’m referring to website and blog owners who focus on narcissism and psychopathy but are malignant narcissists themselves, yet they pose as victims or sympathetic “gurus” who only want to help but do anything but.

Bloggers and forum admins, by nature, are probably at least a little narcissistic, but as long as it’s not used to hurt or manipulate or be used against members of the community, then it’s not a problem. But there do exist those who run sites for the abused who pretend to be caring survivors but are anything but. In fact, they hate and envy those who post on their sites.


How can you tell if a forum or blog owner is really a malignant narcissist–a wolf in sheep’s clothing? How do you know that when they talk about “their psychopath” or “their MN” that THEY are really the MN or psychopath and the “abuser” is the real victim?

Unfortunately, there’s no sure way to tell. Narcissists have very tender feelings. They are easily hurt and love to whine about how they’ve been “victimized” by other people who have had the guts to call them out, retaliate, or complain about their evil behavior. They fail to take into account that they had it coming and deserved the “abuse.” When you can hide behind the anonymity of the Internet, it’s all too easy for a narcissist to leave out pertinent facts–such as what THEY might have done to deserve the “abuse” they had coming to them. Their lies and half-truths about their victimization may seem very believable. They can make their victim sound like a raging psychopath should they choose to do so. It’s a form of online gaslighting and they are very good at it.

While there’s no foolproof way to tell, especially online, who’s a malignant narcissist posing as a victim and who’s a real victim, there are some red flags to look for.

1. Does the forum or site owner ban people easily, delete posts, or not approve posts? (I’m not talking about trolls or abusive posts here)
2. Is there a lot of infighting and antagonism between the members? If so, suspect an admin or a person with power on that site playing a “divide and conquer” game with the members to turn them against each other.
3. Is there a member who constantly complains about their victimization but never seems to do anything about it, does nothing but trash their abuser’s character, or never seems to get any better? You could be dealing with a narc posing as a victim.
4. Is there anyone who seems envious or resentful of another person’s recovery or improvement, or even just fails to acknowledge that person’s good fortune, or changes the subject?
5. Is there a self centered person who only talks about their own case, but never offers support or encouragement to other members? That person could be a narc.
6. If there is someone who is openly critical or judgmental of another person’s case or behavior, that person is almost certainly a narc.
7. Is the site owner uninvolved with the members and never seem to interact with them? If so, you may be dealing with someone who is looking to achieve Internet “fame” and really isn’t interested in the subject or its members.
Narcissism and psychopathy are hot topics these days, and blogs and websites about these disorders are almost guaranteed to get a lot of hits and views. Someone who wants to achieve Internet “fame” may start a blog or site about narcissism or psychopathy just because it’s popular and trendy, even though they don’t have much interest in the topic. These blog owners probably own other blogs and sites, and those sites will focus on other “hot topics.” But if the owner is really that detached or disinterested, the site will eventually lose members and fizzle out. It’s hard for members to stay involved, when the owner isn’t even interested.


Further reading (with my personal experience):

9 Ways to Tell if the Victim Blog You Read is Run by a Narcissist 

25 thoughts on “Beware of narcissists posing as victims in the narcissistic abuse community

  1. Very interesting blog. Some narcissists will go to those lengths; I know of one who frequents FaceBook to find victims she can then bully; she is a perfect narcissist as she plays the victim, just not very well. I agree with “The real me”, I and other victims I know have files with reams of screenshots of abuse which we would quite happily post to prove who the bully is yet having asked our “narc” who has pursued a group of people for about 18 months for proof they never seem to have any. They have been to the cops and every complaint they make against people comes back with no charges and then she complains the cops aren’t treating her fairly. She wastes police time so much that they are sick to death of her
    as are her victims. If the narc doesn’t have any actual proof then what can the police do? The trouble is with forums that there seem to be more trolls than genuine people and as you, Lucky Otter have pointed out, where better for trolls to find their bait? How sad that these people have neither morals or respect because if they did the world would be a better place. Always screenshot any form of cyber bullying but make sure what you are seeing is actual abuse and not just people proving/explaining genuine facts. Three sides to every story, theirs, mine and the truth.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I used to love forums, but I think they are more dangerous places where there are more trolls and psychopaths milling about pretending to be something they are not. A blog owner can approve comments and not allow those that seem trollish or intended to bully. I think psychoapths and narcs are more attracted to forums where there are a number of members they can bully and play “divide and conquer” and triangulating games with. Forums are also more easily hacked into.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I have seen at least one blog about narcissism though, where I strongly suspect the blog’s owner is a narcissist. This blogger plays victim to the max, seems to favor some commenters over others, is paranoid and critical of other bloggers, and regularly “shuts down” their site to “deal with their issues.” They could have some other mental disorder, like bipolar or borderline PD, but I still suspect they are a narc.

        Liked by 3 people

        • I forgot to say the main reason I think this person is a narc and not “just” someone with a mental disorder, is because they pass themselves off as a “counselor” and call their blogging their “job” even though it is just another blog about narcissists and the person is not any kind of professional counselor. This person brags constantly about how many people personally email them for their help, but like I said, seems to only give that “favor” to certain people. I could be wrong but that sort of behavior just screams NPD to me.

          Liked by 3 people

      • I have seen this too and it is incredibly upsetting. The damage this does to the group members who are not very far along in healing is just devastating. This is a very well written, spot on post, Lucky Otter! Thank you so much for writing it!

        Liked by 1 person

          • Michelle, thank you for reposting! I forgot about this article. lol. Big hugs backatcha.
            Hope you are well.

            Also, can you please post the link where you reblogged it? I don’t see a pingback and can’t find your site in my bookmarks.


        • I agree with you, People coming out of abusive relationships have to be so careful if they turn to the Internet for support. Not everyone they “meet” is a friend. In fact, there are plenty of wolves in sheeps clothing lurking in forums, blogs and support groups. I know, I’ve seen a few revealed myself. Doing what I do by blogging publicly is very very risky, but at least a blogger has some control over the trolls and can just not approve or send trollish or abusive comments to trash or spam. But you still see them, and they still hurt.
          Worse is when you think you have found a friend, and they turn out to be anything but. This just happened to me recently–a blogger disagreed with something I wrote, and not only turned against me, but had a whole posse (flying monkeys?) ganging up on me, trashing me on their blogs. It seems to have passed, but it was a painful and eye-opening experience. I won’t say they’re narcs, but they were certainly acting like narcs and they could be.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. You got it. I sure wish I had known about this phenomenon when I made the decision to leave my marriage and seek a support group.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Here is some advice, avoid FB groups for ACONs or even partners who divorced a narc, like the plague. Full of borderlines, narcissists and psychopaths who see a ready audience to play with, and who will. I left all these groups. I have been in enough recovery to know when I am being played by love bombers and liars, but sadly most of these types even with ACONs who should know better, play the same narcissistic mommy games and get away with it. It’s just not worth the risk. Also now-adays you have the astroturfers, people studying you without your permission and even would be scammers. One got too interested in learning what day my birthday was but left me alone when they figured out I was broke and had nothing for anyone to steal.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have nothing to do with any FB groups. I avoid FB for a number of reasons, the main one being there is no anonymity for me there–my entire family found my profile and frankly I don’t feel like starting a new one with a fake name. Facebook is like big brother. .
      Astroturfers? That’s a new one. It’s pretty scary what sort of trolls and sickos are out there on the internet playing their sick games. One has to be careful!


    • I have blogged about Facebook being a playground for the narcissist and for sociopaths. It is so easy for them to manipulate others and to find weak minded victims. Sad these groups could do so much good for so many but get taken over by these sick people.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. When I started reading to educate and escape I found mostly blogs. Thankfully. Because then I started reading posts by the bloggers I’d started reading about these horrors.

    I count myself lucky for never having really engaged on forums.

    There was one but it was really light and I think full of a younger demographic. I posted a couple times, but mostly read what others were writing. It was for people either in no contact with their FOOs or wanting to. It was before I went NC myself and was trying to live vicariously through those who were already free.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I used to prefer forums, because I loved having different threads for different topics. But all the forums I used to frequent became overrun with trolls and bullies (this was in the days before I started educating myself about NPD and psychpathy–one was an entertainment forum, the other a political forum. The political forum was destroyed by trolls who ran off all the regular longtime members. It’s a shell of what it used to be. The entertainment forum still exists but I have no interest in it anymore. These days, I only post on blogs and am busy enough with this one! And almost everything I read has to do with narcissism or related disorders.


      • It’s weird how that happens. I guess it’s a good place with lots of people in one place and enough personal info in the forms of shared experiences for the trolls and wackos and sociopaths to know where the buttons are of some people on them.

        Another place psychos and trolls like is YouTube. I see some really nasty comments, back and forth and arguments on some video comments. There’s a lot of name calling and personal attacks.

        I do like the different topic advantage on forums and I have in the past belonged to a health forum (I thought you were only talking about a specific kind of forum in your post…sorry I misunderstood.) Anyway, it turns out the guy running the thing was certainly narcissistic. He believes his way is the only way.

        I’ve also read around on other forums including another health forum run by a nutritional chemist. I have not seen any hints of narcissism in him at all though, just someone wanting to put out the truth from a scientific perspective.

        I’m surprised that the person you wrote about in your post actually wrote a post admitting to what he (?) is doing. That’s rather alarming in and of itself.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sigh. I just answered this and lost my whole comment.

          Youtube comments. Yeah, they are terrible. Some are trollish and abusive, but have you ever noticed how badly they are written? everything is spelled wrong and the grammar is terrible. I have a feeling a lot of these commenters on Youtube are actually young kids who are testing boundaires or don’t know any better. For some reason, I’ve noticed that arguments often turn to religion, regardless of the subject of the video. It’s weird. I never comment on Youtube but sometimes reading the comments are entertaining.

          I think health forums are probably less attractive to narcissists and psychopaths because most people go on them to get a specific question answered about a health problem from the doctors who run those forums. Narcissists probably don’t dare troll those forums.

          The woman I wrote about in my post has NPD, but I’m not sure she’s a malignant narcissist, since she does seem to be suffering from guilt or remorse, and is just not able to stop acting the way she does. I think she really does want to stop but doesn’t know how. She may not even be a narcissist at all but is acting out online because she’s unhappy and frustrated with her life, and is able to admit this.


  5. Reblogged this on galesmind and commented:
    Whoa I knew about malignant narcissists that recruit weaker people to do their dirty deeds by playing mind games with weaker minded individuals but had no idea that forums to that too. Mind opening. Thank you.


  6. Good God, is there a sane person in this world? I never imagined there were so many people with serious issues like narcisim and similar illness.


    • Sometimes it does seem like 99% of the world is batshit crazy and half of them are narcissists. They’re not legally crazy but their thinking is so alien they seem pretty crazy to me. .

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on Lucky Otter's Haven and commented:

    I wrote this article a while ago, but I decided it was time to repost it. If you’re a member of the ACON community and read blogs or forums about the issue of narcissistic abuse, remember you are dealing with a lot of hurting and damaged people. There are people in this community who may themselves have been so damaged by their abusers they developed narcissistic ways of relating to others, even if they are not actually narcissists.

    Narcissism is contagious, just like a disease. If a person was raised by narcissists or were in a close relationship with one for any length of time, they can pick up what’s known in the ACON community as “fleas”–narcissistic behaviors that stick to them. If the fleas stay around long enough or become severe enough, it’s possible to become a narcissist.

    Some people who seem holier than thou may have developed full blown narcissism and appear to be sheep, even though they are actually wolves. Unfortunately it’s hard to tell until you cross them, or disagree with them.

    Remember, narcissists project onto others traits they hate in themselves. Just because they were abused by narcs and profess to hate narcissists does not mean they are free of their own narcissism, which they deny in themselves but project onto those they disagree with.

    –Be careful around anyone who uses religion to intimidate or abuse you or attacks your beliefs. There are many religious people in the ACON community who have turned to Christ after their abuse, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But if someone is intolerant of your religious beliefs (or lack thereof) or calls yours a “false religion,” that’s a huge red flag, in my opinion.
    –Be careful around anyone who twists your words, misrepresents you, quotes you out of context, and accuses you of saying things you never actually said. This is a form of gaslighting and is part of a smear campaign against you.
    — Be wary of anyone who never acknowledges that they may act narcissistically or who never apologizes when they behave badly.

    Most narcissists are not aware they are narcissists. There are unfortunately people even in this community who either pretend to be victims or actually are victims, but have become narcissistic due to the abuse they endured. (without an official diagnosis, I cannot say they are actually narcissists).

    But there are red flags you can be aware of:

    — They act “holier than thou” and use religion as an excuse to treat others badly.
    — They never seem to get any better or heal in any way.
    — They attack and smear if they are disagreed with.
    — They overreact to slights or criticism.
    –They overreact to opinions they don’t agree with. You are not allowed to have a differing opinion.
    –They are self righteous and never apologize.
    –They misquote you, twist your words, and accuse you of saying things you never said. Yes, that is gaslighting and it does happen in the ACON community.

    Please be careful.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I knew someone online who always portrayed herself as the victim. Said how many people manipulate her and how vulnerable she is. I made a mistake of talking to her and then she gets hostile with me an starts accusing me of getting her banned from a forum and how I worked with the mods to do it. I did none of that. She also claimed I was manipulating her. What?
    Then I started seeing her attacking other members on a different forum and accusing them of doing things and seeing insults in posts that are not even there. She also claims people to say something they never even wrote. She will insult other members and then play the victim. Another board admin thought she was a narcissistic. She does seem to fit the profile and she never took responsibility over herself and she doesn’t like it when people don’t agree with her or don’t see things her way or otherwise she will get nasty. She was a very toxic person. Some thought she is Bipolar and some thought she is a schizophrenic and one person thought she had BPD. She would also do subtle attacks and it would be obvious it was at another member and she hated being ignored because if you ignored her, she would act worse and then start hurling insults to get you to respond and doing accusations. I am glad she has not been around in four years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a disturbing story and all too common in online communities. Narissists online often portray themselves as the poor victim who no one understands. Not all people who act like victims are narcissists of course, they could really be victims–but some narcissists use “victimhood” as a benign and unthreatening mask — and then turn on you later. Usually these are “covert” narcissists– and they can be more dangerous than aggressive ones because they are less obvious and you never suspect them of being N.


  9. I came across your blog last night and wanted to thank you for all the information you’ve written.

    I had a narcissist father and my mother is…an undiagnosed emotionally-unavailable women who is more concerned with herself than her children, so another possible N?

    I am not long out of an 8-year relationship with someone who I believe is a covert narcissist so am still finding out about all of this.

    I believe I am an empath as I have 99% of the traits. Although I am worried that I may have picked up some N. characteristics, because the few times I managed to get hurt him, it was satisfying to see him hurt how he hurt me, or is this just human nature? I don’t know.

    I intend on creating a blog to journal my experiences, as I met my ex online, I now realise how I got duped and I’d like to write in the hope that it might help save someone else going through what I went through – as well I think it will be cathartic for me.

    I am a member of a NSP survivor forum and have only seen small instances where someone has trolled – I think the mods are pretty on the ball there, thankfully.

    I just wanted to thank you again for your blog. Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tracy, thank you for sharing your story. It does sound like your mother may be No even though I can’t diagnose her.
      Picking up N characteristics after a lifetime of narc abuse is calleed (in the narcissistic abuse lingo) having “fleas.” Sometimes the fleas can get so bad or last so long a person can actually become a narcissist. It’s not really Strockholm Syndrome (though that could be part of it) but learning to act in narcissistic ways because that’s all we saw and the narcs always seemed to win.
      I thnk it’s also very normal to want to see someone who abused you hurt. If you didn’t want “karma” to get them, then you’re either a saint or crazy, I think that’s just human nature.

      I definitely think starting a blog to journal your experiences is a great way to start the healing process. I’ve been doing it for a year and it’s one of the best choices I ever made in my life. I don’t regret sharing things so personal with the world because in doing so, I’ve attained more courage to get in touch with my own feelings and people are not going to judge you online like they do in your FOO or in your marriage. I’ve made some VERY important discoveries about myself, some absolutely mindblowing. I would never have known these things about myself if I had never started to write. So by all means, if you want to blog, do it!


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