Two kinds of stealth trolls

I think it’s relevant to post this again, since we spend so much time online these days. These are trolls that hide in the shadows. Be on guard against them.

Lucky Otters Haven

stealthtroll

In two earlier posts I wrote about online bullies and trolls (not exactly the same thing, but close enough). I won’t explain here how they differ and are the same (you can read the articles which I’ve posted links at the end of this article), but I neglected to mention stealth trolls. Stealth trolls seem benign, but can wreak havoc on web forums and social media. I will describe two types of stealth trolls. There are probably others.

The Concern Troll

concerntrolls

The Urban Dictionary defines a concern troll as:

A person who posts on a blog thread, in the guise of “concern,” to disrupt dialogue or undermine morale by pointing out that posters and/or the site may be getting themselves in trouble, usually with an authority or power. They point out problems that don’t really exist. The intent is to derail, stifle, control, the dialogue. It is viewed as insincere…

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That one annoying commenter you can’t get rid of.

tiny-yapper

“Tiny Yapper” — Artwork by Mike Reed

We bloggers probably all have at least one of them.   You know, that one annoying person who seems to disagree with all your opinions and just wants to argue but can’t seem to stay away from your blog no matter how often they are shot down or ignored.

I’m not talking about trolls.   Trolls are abusive and nasty and sadistic.   They seem to get their jollies from angering and upsetting site owners and their readers with abusive, ad-hominem attacks and name-calling.  They can never back up their arguments.  They seem to exist just to upset others.

No, I’m talking about people who have vastly different opinions and beliefs than the prevailing opinions and beliefs on the blogs they read.   They don’t actually abuse, though they can be very sanctimonious and self-righteous. They waste their breath arguing with you and your like-minded commenters, and act as if we’re all wrong and only their belief system is the right one.

I have a commenter like this right now.    This individual is extremely annoying to me.  It’s not even because we have vastly different opinions about most things; it’s that this individual is so self-righteous and smug about it.    I could just delete their comments, but this person does have a right to their opinion, so I approve them anyway, as much as dislike most of them.   I don’t like this person though, so after posting one useless counter-argument, I refuse to engage this person further.   Now I just let the comments stand as they are, without further comment or engagement.  I think that’s more effective than arguing with someone whose mind probably can’t be changed because they’re so sure you’re wrong and they’re just trying to “save” you from your wrong thinking.    I just don’t feel like wasting my time.  I have better things to do.

wrong-internet

I thought my freezing them out might have made this person disappear, but no such luck.  They are still posting comments that seem intended to make me ragey, although I don’t express my annoyance.   This person seems completely oblivious that I’m giving them the cold shoulder by not Liking or commenting on any of their comments.

I don’t understand people like that.   Fine, I can understand a troll’s motives.  Sort of.  They are usually sociopaths and like to stir up trouble.   Upsetting people is entertainment to them. They get off on it.   But “that one commenter” isn’t a troll.  They believe what they are saying.  They are right. You are wrong.  Period.   They don’t name call or use ad hominem attacks.   They are just insufferably smug and self righteous about your wrongness and their rightness.

I don’t understand why someone like that would spend time writing comments on a blog whose prevailing views are so different than theirs.  Why not read blogs where most of the people there will agree with you?    It just seems like a huge waste of time to me.

If you blog, how do YOU handle these kinds of commenters?

Replying to my haters.

I was browsing through some old posts, and found this one from almost a year and a half ago. I’m reblogging it because it makes me laugh. For that reason, I think it deserves to get another 15 minutes of Internet fame.

Lucky Otters Haven

love_my_haters

Not everyone likes this blog. I have a few haters. The following are not really troll comments (which I delete immediately or don’t approve) but criticisms of me and this blog. (A few do come close though).

It’s okay to have haters. All bloggers have them. All writers have them. I don’t expect everyone to agree with or understand my motives for having a blog like this. Having haters just means something you said pressed somebody’s buttons. It’s inevitable, especially when blogging about a controversial subject like narcissism instead of posting brownie recipes.

I decided rather than try to reply as these comments come along (which can disrupt the flow of a conversation), I would put them here in this one post. (I’ve been saving them to Wordpad). Obviously this blog isn’t for everyone. I am not identifying the handles of these commenters.

Fortunately, I have not received many of…

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Opinionated Man Update

I have no idea who is doing this to OM or why. It seems to me Jason is well liked by almost everyone and has helped so many bloggers when they’re just getting started. He makes them feel supported and welcome.

I think it boils down to envy. Jason has many followers, many more than any other non-commercial WordPress blogger I know of and that might not sit well for some. But frankly, Jason deserves the adulation because he always pays it forward and never feels threatened when another blog becomes successful. In fact, he’s more than likely to be cheering that blogger on and applauding their successes.

This is absolute bullshit and it breaks my heart.

OM, don’t let your haters get to you. You are better than them and why should you allow haters, trolls and other assorted malcontents who are obviously envious of you dictate what the content of your blog should be, or whether it should exist at all? Why give up something you clearly love doing so much?

When I was first getting started last year, I don’t know what I would have done without your help and your welcoming and supportive attitude. Not once did I ever feel like I was being dismissed or patronized because I was a “newbie.”

I feel sorry for new bloggers who won’t be able to benefit from all the support you have given me and so many others.

I want you to know I’m furious about this. I hope you stay around.

Blogging bullies and silly fights.

More about blogging bullies and stalkers in this article from http://Galesmind.com from all the way back in May! I can’t believe this one passed me by.

After you read Gale’s article, here’s another interesting one from Psychology Today called Deleting the Blog Bully

Here’s one more: Prepare Yourself for the Blog Bullies.
THIS IS A MUST-READ and so good I’m adding it to the Blogging header.
Bottom line–Bullying is inevitable, even if you try hard to always be PC. If you can’t handle bullies, don’t blog, but there are ways you can protect yourself.

galesmind

fighting cats

Honestly I don’t get people that get hysterically riled by something someone writes. Two of my favorite blogs were attacked recently. Harsh Reality and Lucky Otter. Sure they may post blogs that are controversial. I have argued with both of them. We don’t always agree. That is what makes blogs interesting. Good grief if we all agreed on subjects we might as well just shut blogs down and all go home singing Cumbaya.

Being passionate I can understand, getting upset I can understand, not agreeing, thinking the other person is a total ass I can understand. It is the personal attacks I cannot understand.

Intelligent people do not resort to personal attacks to win arguments they find better arguments. Personal attacks are a good sign the person has blown the argument and is sending up smoke screens.

If you disagree with another blogger, walk away for awhile. That other blog…

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22 Signs of Online Destructive Narcissists in Forums and Blogging Communities.

honore_daumier
Honore Daumier

If we’re blogging about pathology, at some point we’ll face a critic, an accuser. This can be a bewildering mess if we assume s/he will listen to reason. If we defend ourselves, the ante will be upped. If we over-explain ourselves, s/he declares victory, becoming increasingly strident with the reward of attention and sympathy. — CZBZ of The Narcissistic Continuum.

I just read a fabulous article about how narcissism works in online forums and blogs. I think it just may be the best article about this particular cyber-dynamic I’ve ever read. I liked it so much, I got permission from its author, CZBZ (owner and author of The Narcissistic Continuum), to reblog it here.

There are 22 “red flags” that the forum or blog you are on is run by a narcissist (or narcissists). I can attest from personal experience that every single one of these red flags is spot on. That goes for forums and blogs about ANY topic, all over the web universe–and blogs and forums about narcissistic abuse are not exceptions to this rule. You can’t get away from it.

Obviously some topics will attract more narcs than others–for example, a psychology or self-help blog or forum is probably going to attract (and be run by) fewer narcs than say, a cosmetic surgery (somatic narcissism) or political (cerebral narcissism) blog. A blog about improving relationships is going to have fewer narcs lurking about than, say, a celebrity-bashing one (like The Justin Bieber Hate Blog, as just one example) or even a blog that hates on the fans of a celebrity–yes, they do exist. But you never know where one will turn up. They could even be lurking on a charitable blog about helping the homeless.
Don’t forget that the serial killer and sexual sadist Ted Bundy spent time working in a rape crisis center!

Every forum manager or blogger necessarily has some narcissistic traits–otherwise they wouldn’t be running a forum or a blog! While not every blogger is a narcissist, there’s a narcissist in every blogger–if that makes sense. There is definitely a “me, me, look at me!” aspect to running a kind of online kingdom, even if it’s not the admin’s or manager’s primary motivation for writing the blog (or running the forum).

I’ll be the first to admit there’s some of that for me too. But I think for most of us, it’s healthy narcissism. Yes, there is a such thing. Without it, we’d all be walking around dragging our foreheads along the ground, leaving a trail of blood in the dirt, while wearing a sign that says, “KICK ME.” A little narcissism helps us survive. Without just a smidgen, we’d probably be dead. Almost anything, when there’s too much of it, turns bad. Narcissism stops being a vitamin and becomes a poison at very low doses. Think of those heavy metals in your blood–like iron or magnesium. In tiny doses they’re necessary for physical survival; but raise the levels of those metals infinitesimally, and you’re dead meat.

But I digress. I think CZBZ makes some very astute observations here about what to look for in blogs and forums to tell if you might be being taken for a ride by a narc in shining armor–or if the admin or forum manager’s intentions are honest.

I’ll also add one of my own here (although I think CZ mentions it too): Snark. The mean-spirited kind of snark. You know, the “I’m so cool/mighty/right and you’re a worthless idiot/lunatic/minion of Satan” condescending wittiness that makes you feel like the most lowly piece of pond scum in the lake–as you find yourself wondering whether the jokesters are really joking (and you’re just being too sensitive) or are just plain mean. Well, they’re actually both.

22 Signs of Online Destructive Narcissists in Forums & Blogging Communities

HonoreDaumier_MeetingOf35HeadsOfExpression_zps0853d8ba
Honore Daumier — “Meeting of 35 Heads of Expression”

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed finding new bloggers through the Slayer Award and reading their stories and personal insights. Ursula, the author of An Upturned Soul, posted an excellent article asking her readers an intriguing question: Online Narcissists–Does the blog you follow belong to a narcissist?

She asks:

“What if you are following the blog of a Narcissist? Does it matter? Does it affect you? Do you even notice? After all, bloggers are supposed to write about themselves, about their lives, and share their thoughts and feelings, and do so in a way which is creative and perhaps even exaggerated for effect and entertainment purposes…I think if you’ve never been in a relationship with someone who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, then Following the blog of a Narcissist, won’t make any difference to you. It’ll inspire and entertain and that’s that. But what if you’re recovering from a relationship with a Narcissist and you follow a blog which is powered by Narcissistic Personality Disorder?” ~An Upturned Soul

There’s a distinction between trait narcissism as measured in social network studies and the “destructive narcissism” we discuss on blogs about pathology (clinical disorders). How normal narcissists affect readers and society is fascinating, too; but for today, my focus is on the impact destructive-to-pathological narcissists have on others and how we might inform ourselves before we’re harmed. So my answer to Ursula’s question is that yes, it can be dangerous if vulnerable people are “following” someone with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

My short answer is this: narcissist’s unstable self-esteem and grandiosity is hyper-sensitive to ego threats. Narcissists are more willing to use aggression than non-narcissists. (Bushman) Narcissists are particularly likely to displace their aggression on innocent bystanders. (Buffardi) Good people serve as scapegoats because they limit the degree of harm they’re willing to inflict on others. Their private emails may be posted publicly, private pictures may be circulated on the net, hate blogs may be written—all in the narcissist’s attempt to regulate self-esteem by destroying others. If you have befriended an online narcissist, you will eventually say something perceived to be an insult and you may be treated more cruelly than you were by the narcissist propelling you to the Internet.

And my long answer is the following. Pack a lunch. This is complicated.

Read the rest of the article here: http://n-continuum.blogspot.com/2014/01/21-signs-of-online-destructive.html

Also Read Part 2 of Online Narcissists: A Case Study Called Puppygate.
http://n-continuum.blogspot.com/2014/02/online-narcissists-case-study-called.html

Bullying, slander, plagiarism and lies.

libel slander

I was going to let this matter drop, but here was my first Mother’s Day present when I woke up this morning. The following is so outrageous it deserves to be called out in a separate post.

One of the flying monkeys wrote this to mock my rant.
http://rumblestripq.blogspot.com/2015/05/spring-time-for-hitler-and-germany.html
It was followed by this comment from the author:
“If any litigious individuals want to fuck with me, get familiar with the term summary judgment.”
[The post has been removed so don’t bother clicking on the link.]

I had no idea the hatred was this severe or the individuals involved this malignant.

I also read a comment saying my writing makes no sense. It just doesn’t stop. In fact, this proves it’s gotten worse.

This is online bullying. There’s nothing nicer you can call it. And it is not okay. It’s this sort of piling on and bullying that drives people to suicide. I don’t care how much you disagree with a blogger or how outrageous you think their post is, what they are doing is EVIL. What’s worse is that God and religion is being used to justify the bullying. Bible verses being toted out to justify cruelty. I can’t speak for God, but I doubt He would approve.
I pray these people wake up and realize how evil their behavior is.

Oh, and by the way, I did not “steal” the linked article. I LINKED to it. I might have a case for plagiarism should I choose to pursue this matter.

If they are trying to get me to take this blog down, it’s not going to work.
These people act like they are blameless, perfect in God’s (and their own) eyes, and their sh*t doesn’t stink.
So sorry to have to start the day with a post like this. I did not want to.

I need to set the record straight, for all the good it’s going to do.

reality_check

Several ACON bloggers over at Blogger are VERY upset with me right now. It all started with the article I posted last week about not bashing all narcissists. I won’t bother to link it here. Most of you who follow this blog have seen the article and have been following the ensuing drama.

Somehow now I’ve become a “narc sympathizer,” but not only that, they say I’m hurting victims of abuse and dismissing their experiences. That is simply not true at all. I feel that the person that initially read the article and posted about it on their blog didn’t read it carefully. Heck, even the title was missing the word “all” which does change the entire context of what I was saying! (she finally made that correction but it’s too late — the damage is done).

I’m so sick and tired of this whole stupid drama and just want to move on from it and forget it ever happened. I am sure others would like that too. Maybe I shouldn’t have posted that article at all, but at the time I saw no reason not to. I had no idea it would be as triggering and upsetting to some as it proved to be. If I knew it would be that triggering, I probably would not have posted it, or at least mulled it over a few days before making a decision to post it. But heck, it’s my blog. Why should I not be allowed to post an opinion on my blog, even if it’s not a popular one????

All because of that article, I’ve read the following things written about me on several other blogs: I’m a narc sympathizer; I’m trying to be “popular,” I’m trying to be cool, I’m a narcissist, I’m flirting with evil, I don’t care about or have empathy for victims of abuse, I am trying to SILENCE abuse victims (?!?), I’m trying to get people to forgive their abusers, I only care about the narcs.

But that’s not all! Now it seems I’m a thief too. Okay, I need to explain how THAT got started. About a month or two ago, I linked to an article written by another ACON blogger–because I liked the article. Yes, it is true that I linked to it on the day it was posted (I understand that was part of the objection). That was probably bad manners but I didn’t know that at the time I linked to it. I stand corrected. I did NOT copy the article here, nor did I take credit for it. I credited the author and I wrote a nice intro. To read the article, you must click on the link and will be taken to that blogger’s page. How is that stealing? If anything, it should have brought the blogger more hits. Why is it such an issue?

Here at WordPress, we reblog each other’s posts all the time. I guess reblogging a Blogger post is bad etiquette. (sorry, I didn’t know!) If that blogger wants me to remove the link to her blog, she can simply ask and I will happily do so. Really, I didn’t think it was hurting anyone and if it were me, I would have been flattered. But no, I’m being accused of STEALING the article, because I can’t think of original ideas of my own (“riding on other people’s coattails” was how someone put it).

Let me set the record straight on THAT too: I have original ideas and plenty of them, but there are some days I’m simply too tired or time-pressed to write an original article so I’ll reblog someone else’s. I ALWAYS give credit. Word Press bloggers don’t mind this; we do it all the time. Other bloggers here have reblogged my articles. They don’t ask for permission first. It’s pretty standard form. Whenever I get reblogged I get a notification (pingback/trackback) if it’s a WP blogger. I guess from now on I must only reblog WP bloggers’ articles because at Blogger, this appears to be bad form.

I just saw a comment from another blogger accusing me of favoritism because I didn’t provide a link to her blog in my blog roll. She said that I probably think I’m “too cool” to provide a link to her blog. No, that’s not it at all. I do not think I’m too cool. I didn’t provide a link to it for the simple reason there are far too many ACON blogs for me to include every last one. It was an oversight, that is all. It was not a personal slight in any way, shape or form. I apologize to this person if she took that as a slight, but I’m sure she doesn’t want me to link to her blog now anyway, since now I’m one of the “narc sympathizers” or even a narcissist myself.

I feel like I’ve been unfairly maligned, demonized, accused, and attacked. Words I never said are being put in my mouth, my original message was twisted into something completely different than what I was actually saying, things are being assumed about me that simply aren’t true, and now there’s a hate campaign against me, at least at Blogspot. People I thought were friends have turned against me and have apparently joined this hate campaign. Maybe they want me to take this blog down. Sorry, but I won’t do that.

I just don’t understand why if some people don’t like a blog or its author, just don’t follow that blog? Why pile on and bully the blogger? Isn’t abuse something we are all trying to get away from? Am I attacking other bloggers here? Have I started a hate campaign against anyone? NO I HAVE NOT.

All this coming from people who are abuse victims themselves, people who KNOW what it’s like to be shunned, ignored, mistreated and bullied. People who are supposed to have empathy. Why the need to scapegoat me and this blog, just because they disagree with something I wrote-and didn’t read the article right in the first place? I’m a victim just like they are, have been through the hell of growing up with narcissist parents and being married to a psychopath. I am not a “friend of narcs.” What I have experienced this past week is very hurtful and very damaging. In fact, I’m afraid it’s setting me back in my recovery. Do they feel any empathy at all for the way all this makes me feel? Do they CARE? I wonder about that.

Sorry, but I’m not taking this blog down. No one is going to silence me. I am so tired of some people making wrong assumptions and putting words in my mouth and attributing ill intentions to me and this blog just because they disagreed with something I wrote a week ago. This ABUSE and GASLIGHTING has gotten way, WAY out of hand and just. will. not. stop.
Do these people care how I feel at all?

I just want to move on and post about other things. I’m so sick of the drama. I’m sick of having to rehash the fallout of that article over and over and over. I am sick of constantly feeling like I’m on the defensive.

This blog was the one place I felt safe. It was the one thing that made me happy in my otherwise unhappy life. Now I don’t feel safe blogging anymore. I have no where else to turn. Somehow I must have the courage to keep pressing on and not let haters terrorize me back into my small joyless life where I have no voice at all.

Please, to those of you who keep pressing this issue, can we please just let it drop now? If you can’t feel compassion for the way your treatment of me is making me feel, can you please just ignore me and not visit this blog anymore? I won’t post on your blogs or say anything else about the matter. I just want this to be OVER already.

ETA: It’s gotten worse.
One of the flying monkeys wrote this to mock this rant.
http://rumblestripq.blogspot.com/2015/05/spring-time-for-hitler-and-germany.html
It was followed by this comment from the author:
“If any litigious individuals want to fuck with me, get familiar with the term summary judgment.”

This is beyond cruel and unusual. I had no idea the hatred was this severe or the individuals involved this malignant.
I also read a comment saying my writing makes no sense. It just doesn’t stop.

Wolves in sheep’s clothing.

wolvesinsheeps

I wrote an article about this issue a while back, but I decided it was time to write about it again because I have seen this sort of thing happen so many times online, including within the ACON community. It’s a real problem for those of us recovering from narcissistic abuse. We are fragile and it’s so hard for us to trust anyone anymore, but we want so much to trust people who have been through similar experiences and connect with them.

The sad news is that you just can’t trust everybody you meet online.

If you’re a member of the narcissistic abuse community and participate in social media groups, blogs or forums intended to help or inform victims of narcissistic abuse, remember you are engaging 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.

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 the way fleas stick to a dog. If the fleas stay around long enough or become severe enough, it’s possible to actually become a narcissist!

Most narcissists aren’t aware they are narcissists. In the narcissistic abuse/ACON communities, there are narcissists who you would think are anything but. Don’t be duped into thinking just because someone’s a victim of abuse and hates their narcs (and narcs in general) with the white hot heat of a thousand suns, that automatically means they aren’t one. They probably don’t even know they are.

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

Narcissists project onto others traits they hate in themselves. Just because a person was abused and professes 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.

In particular, be very 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 of course 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.

god_ego

There are unfortunately people even in this community who either pretend to be victims to exploit people they see as “weak” (I think there aren’t too many of those though, and the ones that are are usually on social media such as Facebook) or actually are victims, but have become narcissistic due to the abuse they endured. (because I am not qualified to diagnose anyone, I cannot say they actually have NPD).

But there are red flags you can be on the lookout for:

— They act “holier than thou” and use religion as an excuse to treat others badly or judge those they disagree with.
— They never seem to get any better.
— They think there is something wrong with you because you are growing and no longer wish to hang onto your rage.
— If they see someone is changing or letting go of anger, they accuse them of betrayal or worse (if they’re religious) say they are being influenced by Satan. Pathological envy? I don’t know. Maybe.
— They use personal information they were given privately against the person they are targeting. They may even state this private information in public against your wishes. Be careful what you tell people unless you know them very well.
— They attack and smear those they disagree 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 talk a lot about empathy but don’t seem to really have any.
— They show no remorse for their hurtful actions.
— They ban or attack people who defend those they disagree with.
— They misquote you, twist your words, and accuse you of saying things you never said. That is gaslighting.
— They are quick to call people they disagree with narcissists or at least make obvious hints to that effect.
— They will introduce a hurtful criticism or a projection of their own narcissism onto you with a phrase such as, “I don’t mean to hurt you, but…” Bullshit they don’t mean to hurt you.
— If you object to this online abuse, they might tell you in a condescending or smarmy way that they are “only trying to help” or are “praying for you.”

level-headed

A non-narcissistic person will not do these things. Yes, they may disagree with you. Disagreement is normal and is to be expected. I certainly don’t expect everyone to agree with everything I write. I’m well aware some of my opinions are controversial and even unpopular. That knowledge won’t stop me from posting them though. But I welcome dissenting opinions, because that can make a discussion more interesting than if everyone agrees with me all the time. There is nothing wrong with a good, healthy debate. I could even learn something from you, and I’ve admitted when I’ve been wrong. Hey, I’m not perfect and never will be.

If there are disagreements, as there will be, a non-narcissist will just say they disagree with you, state their case, and possibly give their reasons why they disagree with you. If they feel especially strongly about an issue, they could stop following you or decide your blog is not one they wish to read or participate in anymore. All of that is fine. It happens. You shouldn’t take it personally if someone is so offended by something you wrote they stop following you or stop commenting. But it should stop there. A normal person will simply move on and not bother with you anymore. A non-narcissist is not going to start a smear campaign against you, talk down to you as if you’re beneath them, call your religion a “false religion,” tell you you’re influenced by the devil, call YOU a narcissist, twist what you said into something you did not say, misrepresent you, or publicly bring up a personal issue you talked to them about in private just to embarrass you.

All of us can behave narcissistically when triggered. I understand that. I do it myself. If you tell someone who has attacked you in a narcissistic way because they were angry, hurt or triggered that their actions upset you, a non-narcissist will be chastened and will apologize or try to make amends in some way. If the person fails to do that, even after they are told how much their actions have hurt you, suspect a narcissist. They don’t have empathy for how you feel. You are not a person to them. They don’t care. You are wrong, they are right, and that’s that.

judgement

The insidious thing about narcissism is it’s those you would least suspect of being narcissists who in fact may be. Sometimes the Internet can feel like a minefield, and you have to be so careful where you step to avoid detonation.

Something happened to me several months ago that was a real wake up call and made me realize how careful we have to be when engaging with people online. There as a woman on Facebook who talked about her relationship with her husband, a man she said was a malignant narcissist. She said she had found a way to make her relationship with him work. Intrigued but skeptical, I sent her a private message asking what she had found out. I also sent her a friend request.

She did not accept my friend request (saying she did not know me well enough) but sent me back a strange private message that said, “I have been wanting to talk to you.” Instead of being alarmed, I was intrigued.

We talked about her “malignant narcissist” husband and the way she “handled” him. The woman’s Facebook posts were always so heartwarming, effusively proclaiming the deep love she had for her husband. She constantly posted pictures of herself with him, along with comments about how much she loved him. I looked at the photos of this guy on her timeline, looking for anything in his face or eyes that would indicate malignant narcissism (they usually have a hard or cold look, or dead, flat eyes). I didn’t see it. If anything, I thought the guy looked weak and even a little scared. In fact, his face and body language screamed codependent. The woman always wore a huge smile, but something in those photos suggested a predator “possessing” their prey. Yes, she was larger than he, but there seemed to be a look on her face that said, “he’s mine. I can do what I want with him.”

victim_abuser

I should have smelled a rat. Instead, I thought, “what a wonderful woman, who loves her husband that much in spite of his disorder.” We had several more conversations. Eventually I told her too much about myself. I told her about my psychopathic ex-husband, and how much I envied her for being able to “make things work” with her husband, but that what she did would have never worked for me because my ex was a psychopath and didn’t have enough self awareness to be able to “work with me” on controlling his narcissistic and abusive behaviors.

Shortly after divulging my own situation, I received a puzzling and upsetting private message from her. I won’t quote it here, because it was too long and I no longer have it anyway. It was a very nasty message. In a condescending, insulting way, she had the gall to let me know that my ex couldn’t have been a psychopath (really? did she know him personally?) She said, “I don’t mean to hurt you or anything, but frankly, there is something about you that is a little “off.” That hurt a lot, but was also a huge red flag. She continued, saying that she suspected I was actually the narcissist in our relationship. Oh, really? Was she a fly on the wall during our marriage? Did she have some God-like omnicience to be able to “know” all this about a person she barely knew? Then she ended her long diatribe saying that “prayer is not going to help you” and “I am trying to help you see the truth about yourself.” It was one of the nastiest messages I’ve ever received, and it was sent under the guise of “being helpful.” I could have received more “help” from a serpent.

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The next day I got two private messages from two of my Facebook friends informing me this woman had PM’d them and told them that I was crazy and to stay away from me. The bitch was gaslighting me and triangulating against me, attempting to turn my friends into flying monkeys! I promptly blocked this woman and later found out she had done this to several other women who she envied for one reason or another. It dawned on me that she had been projecting her own malignant narcissism onto her husband, who I am sure was the real victim in their relationship. It explained the possessive, predatory way she had posed with him in their photos. It explained everything.

I want way too much to trust people in this community because so many people have experienced the same type of abuse that I have, some less so and some more. It’s natural to feel like you’ve found a haven of like-minded people who are your friends by default because of their similar stories. You simply don’t want to believe there may be wolves in sheep’s clothing lurking within the community who may have suffered devastating abuse but have actually turned to narcissism as a way to cope with what happened to them. When you realize this, it can come as a shock and you feel so horribly betrayed. You begin to wonder if anyone can be trusted.

Yes, there are people you can trust but online, as in any other community, you have to be careful. Don’t assume someone isn’t a narcissist just because they are anti-narcissist, have a blog for survivors of abuse, or have a sad abuse story of their own. That doesn’t really mean anything. Use the person’s actions and behavior–and your own intuition–as your guide. If someone makes you feel like you always have to be careful what you say around them, if they intimidate you or make you feel like you’re walking on eggshells, proceed with extreme caution. Even if they’ve shown no narcissistic behaviors (yet), be watchful and vigilant. Don’t ever give personal information to anyone you don’t know extremely well.

The Internet is a wonderful resource for abuse survivors, but remember there are wolves in sheep’s clothing online too. Please be careful.

Worldly Annoyances: “Bloggers are Narcs”

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Here’s a reposting of a short article from Worldly Annoyances–in this case, a defense of my intentions for blogging about narcissism, after I posted my article, “Replying to My Haters.” WA’s owner was angered by one one of my haters who told me to “get a real job.”

This was the comment I got that raised her ire:

All Bloggers are Narcissists. Heres some advise. Get a job or a real hobby and stop writing about things you don’t know jackshit about as if your shit doesn’t stink. Thank you.

“Bloggers are narcs.” Comments like that only serve to send up a green flag – a big one 😉

Over at Lucky Otter’s blog, she just posted some comments from people who evidence harboring serious envy-issues. Lucky has a quality blog – uhm, it’s quite obvious, she puts alot of time and effort into it. And concerning the comment about getting a real job, the little donkey-wipe who excreted that one, obviously does not care to come to grips with the reality that some people are well-gifted to do both – hold down a job AND post articles (that people want to read). Perhaps, if Lucky’s detractors started / worked on their own blogs (instead of watching the boob-tube) they’d have a better attitude.

Yeah, i’m a bit cranked. Have heard similar sheite from people (in pre-internet days) who obviously can’t stand it when someone, of whom they look down on, actually is actively interested in things other than TV. It was covertly said to me that because i don’t possess a 300 iq, i’d no business reading books about our solar-system or what earth was like long ago.

Been no contact for two years. Need it take an iq of 85 to figure 😉 But seriously, the negativity spouting from people like that, does untold damage to immortal souls, everywhere.

I appreciate this blogger’s defense of me and my motives for doing this, but honestly, I’m not really all that upset by comments like these anymore. Framed in a different way, they can be funny or even serve as fodder for new blog posts!

It’s good to remember that if your blog is growing and doing well, some people–your haters–are probably pathologically envious of you. They are probably narcissists projecting their own narcissism onto the bloggers who make them feel envious. They want to bring you down a notch or ten–and rub their hands together with glee when they see your confidence and drive crumble under their envy-fueled vitriol.
I apologize if that sounds narcissistic of me, but it also happens to be the truth. OM (Opinionated Man) has a ton of haters–people are jealous of the fact his blog has over 50K followers (and is still growing fast) and is one of the most successful personal blogs on the Internet.

The bigger this blog gets, the more haters I have. It’s something I’ve come to accept. It’s an occupational hazard (and yes, this is a job–my REAL job–even if I only make about $20 a month from running ads on this site–which is better than the $13 I made last month!)

Anyone ever notice how troll comments and hater comments almost always have terrible spelling and grammar? Basement dwellers getting their jollies from writing illiterate hate comments on blogs they probably can’t even read properly would benefit from going back to third grade. Then they’ll have enough writing skills to start their own blog about how narcissistic they think all bloggers are!
Failing that, maybe they should go outside for awhile and take in some sun for a change.