Oh, for the love of Christ. Fooled by another f*cking covert narcissist?

Crocodile Tears

This time it’s a damned covert narc.  At least I think that’s what I’m dealing with.  Do I sound mad and upset?  You bet I am.   I hope I’m wrong but I know the red flags when I seee them.  I’ve had enough experience with them.

Hell, about two years ago (as some of you probably remember) I spent many weeks and maybe even months reading and studying everything I could find about all the symptoms and signs of covert NPD because I was so certain I must be one myself.   I probably qualify for an advanced degree in this disorder.  (Happily, I finally realized I am not one, but CPTSD, an earlier diagnosis of BPD, and my narcissistic “fleas” had me fooled.)

You may be aware I live with my daughter, who is 25.   She’s a good girl, hardworking, sweet, empathetic, intelligent, and beautiful (and I don’t just say that because I’m her mom).   Sure, she has her bad, even bitchy, moments, but don’t we all.   She’s overcome a lot due to her father’s abuse, my complicity and enabling, and sexual abuse she suffered at school.  There was a time back during her teens both her therapists and I were afraid she was developing a personality disorder, probably ASPD (antisocial personality disorder) because she had a diagnosis of ODD (oppositional defiant disorder) as a teen.  She could not function in a regular school setting because she was in trouble constantly and suspended several times for things like stealing and fighting.

Finally, she went into residential treatment and was helped immensely (she was very cooperative with the very strict program) and today is a much different young woman. She has a ton of empathy I never knew was there.    I am beyond grateful for that, and today I can say we are the best of friends.   She is also clean and doesn’t do drugs anymore so I am incredibly grateful for that too.

But there’s a downside too.  Over the past several years, she’s been engaging in a dead end lifestyle I can only call serial monogamy.   She gets serious about one guy, they seem serious about her (for a time), and they even start talking about marriage, but things never progress any further.   There’s always something wrong with the guy: he’s too controlling, becomes abusive, or starts to see other people on the side, or she gets tired of them herself.   At least one who seemed too good to be true turned out to be a dangerous psychopath.

All of these relationships end, and then she quickly moves onto the next man (she’s attractive and personable so it’s easy for her to find new lovers).   I’ve talked to her about furthering her education, deciding on a career (she works in a series of dead end service jobs none of which last very long),  and focusing on just herself, but she’s just like I was at that age: she seems to lack the motivation gene or any idea what she wants to do in life (besides find a man she can marry and will support her).  She seems incapable of tolerating being single.   That’s how I was at her age and I will always regret never developing myself to my full potential and not being more serious about finishing a higher education and finding something I’m passionate enough to turn into a career.  She is certainly intelligent enough, but she’s emotionally damaged.  Getting her to go to therapy is futile.  She simply won’t do it.  But that’s a whole other issue I won’t get into here.

It’s painful watching her take the same non-path I took –a road to an adulthood of constant near poverty, frustration, lack of intellectual and creative fulfillment, relentless financial insecurity, and now, for me — a terrible dread of old age without any real safety net.  I may be living on the streets if Medicare and Social Security are abolished, and that is terrifying.  I don’t have a life partner to provide emotional support, since I never knew how to pick one who didn’t turn out to be an abuser.  I  feel like I’m way too old (and still too afraid) to enter the dating scene again (I hate dating with a passion).  I’d rather just stay single and see how things play out.

Getting back to my daughter, her latest paramour is a man 14 years her senior (he is almost 40).  He gives the impression of a very sweet, kind, and sensitive person.  In fact, he appears to be a very emotional person who shed tears easily and is constantly apologizing.   That should have been a red flag.

At first I thought, “oh, how sweet, a sensitive man not afraid of his emotions,” but I actually think he uses tears and emotion to manipulate others to get his way or to get attention.   Using pity is a red flag of a covert narcissist, especially one of the “fragile” or “vulnerable” type.   They’re common (especially in women but can be found among men too).  They’re dangerous because they’re so hard to spot.  We expect narcs to be mean, arrogant, verbally abusive, and never apologize for anything.  But not all of them are like that, even though on th inside, they are all pretty much the same and just as self obsessed and entitled.   No matter whether their style is grandiose or self pitying, there’s always a yawning black hole where their heart ought to be.

covertnarcissism

The reason I came to the conclusion he’s probably a covert narcissist and not just a big softie with a huge heart is the way he appears to string both of us along, causing immense anger and frustration.

He has been promising to get her an engagement ring and propose.  He was supposed to do it on our vacation last week.  We had agreed ahead of time that he would give me  half the money for the hotel, plus half of all expenses (meals, etc.).    The tab came to over $400.   Originally he was supposed to have the cash for me when we got to the hotel and I would pay the whole tab on my credit card.   Well, it turned out his employer made a mistake on his check and he didn’t get paid.  How convenient.

His employer promised they would rectify this on Friday, the day we returned from our trip.    I believed him, sort of.  At least I wanted to believe him.   But there had been one or two other red flags previous to this, that I didn’t think much of at the time, but I suddenly remembered them and began to wonder if he was trying to find a way to get out of paying me, or if he was getting cold feet about the engagement, since without the money, he couldn’t put the final payment down on my daughter’s ring.

I wanted to have a good time, and forget about all this unpleasant business, and so we did.   It seemed worth it, since we all had a great time and he was nothing less than wonderful to both my daughter and me.  Not another sign of narcissism or abusiveness, covert or otherwise.

But after we got home, he called his employer and found out they “forgot” again.  He was promised they would write up a check from petty cash the next day, which was Saturday.  Something felt wrong.

On Saturday he had a sudden “episode” of fainting and an ambulance had to be called.   My daughter went with him to the hospital, which said he would be okay.  It had something to do with heat stroke from too much sun, plus another chronic medical issue he’s been struggling with.   It wasn’t that I wasn’t empathetic or thought he was faking, but the timing of this “emergency” was just really weird.  Of course he could not go get his check, so now it would have to wait until Sunday.    Even my daughter mentioned to me that she was afraid he might be faking so he could put off getting the money.   I have to admit I thought this was a possibility.

I was growing very angry over his failure to pay me back the $400 he had promised me almost a week earlier.    We had never agreed that the vacation would be a gift.  I also considered that this might be his way of getting “cold feet” since his inability to get the money meant he could not finish paying off her ring and therefore there would be no proposal right now, if ever.  What a cowardly way to call off or delay an engagement, if that was what he was actually doing.

Of course, when he got back from the hospital, he was all apologies and tears.   He was hugging both of us and saying “sorry” over and over again.  I felt a little nauseated by this over the top display of emotion because I felt it wasn’t really sincere and was just a way to keep stringing us both along and buying more time.

So last night, he was all happy and excited and told both of us his company had finally issued a check (it was handwritten).  He waved it proudly at both of us.   He wanted me to take today off from work to film him proposing to her (this was supposed to have happened at the beach, but oh well).  I agreed to do this because it seemed important and I didn’t want to miss it.  I had also promised them I’d film the moment.    He said he would cash it first thing in the morning and then he would go get her ring and then we’d all go out somewhere special where he would propose.

Well, guess what.    This morning when I woke up he was gone.  My daughter was in her room mad as hell (not crying, just furious).   I asked her what happened, and she said the check was postdated for next week!   I asked her if he had failed to look at the date and she said, no, he definitely had seen it but chose not to mention it because he was afraid she’d be mad at him and he “couldn’t bear to hurt her again.”    She said she was sick of his lying and game playing so she made him leave until he could get everything fixed and get the money for both her ring and the $400 he owed me.   She said if he failed to do that, she was done with him.   That’s a good decision on her part.   Meanwhile I’ll still be out $400 which he bilked from me to get a free beach vacation, but I guess things could be worse.   He promised her he had a way to get the money today.  We shall see.   I’m skeptical.

Anyway, I’m glad my daughter is beginning to catch on to when she’s being manipulated and abused, because this is abuse, even though this man hasn’t uttered one nasty word, called her any names, or physically abused her.

Abuse comes in many forms.  Covert narcissists (and many borderlines) often use tears, guilt tripping, begging, financial abuse, “stringing you along,” and other underhanded, insidious techniques to get what they want.  Because they are less obviously abusive and can seem so “nice” and even emotionally fragile and needy, they can instill guilt and pity to get their way.  Their marks are empaths who fall for that sort of shit.    If they never deliver on their promises, you can be pretty sure you’re dealing with a person who is never going to be honest with you and will make your life an endless carousel  of frustration and anger that’s difficult to target on that person because they “never mean it.”

So, at this moment, I’m (maybe foolishly?) waiting for him to come back with the money he owes and make good on the promises he’s so far broken.    But I’m not getting my hopes up, that’s for sure.

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Grandiose and “vulnerable” narcissists: how do they differ?

This got buried for awhile, but I think it’s one of my best posts about narcissism, so here it is again.

Lucky Otters Haven

beggar_king
Both the beggar and the king could be narcissists with a different M.O.

An interesting article in Psychology Today explains the difference between grandiose (invulnerable) narcissists, and “vulnerable” narcissists. Either can be somatic or cerebral, and either can also be malignant or non-malignant.

The two kinds of narcissists can seem very different on the surface:

Grandiose narcissists can seem emotionally cold, convinced of their achievements or success, and rarely if ever talk about their fears or their problems. They can be very quick to judge others though. On the surface they seem strong and tough. You won’t see them show emotions other than rage or pride, and if they are ever sad or fearful, you will never see that side of them. Like all narcissists, they are never happy,but they can “act” happy if they need to. And like all narcissists, they are incapable of love but may be able…

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Guest Post: Recovering from NPD: My Journey to Self-Awareness

A very insightful and courageous post written by a woman who once identified only as a narcissistic abuse survivor with a case of “fleas” who later discovered she had NPD herself.  She started a blog and is working hard to change and find real happiness.

3 common types of narcissists.

When most people think of a narcissist, they picture the stereotype:  a successful, wealthy male who is arrogant, grandiose about his appearance or achievements or intelligence, acts entitled, greedy, lacking in empathy, and is emotionally abusive to his underlings and his family.   He thinks far too highly of himself and while no one likes him, everyone respects him (or is terrified of him).  He doesn’t care if you’re scared of him or not; he just wants you to worship him and do his bidding.

But most narcissists actually don’t fit this stereotype. The traditional DSM description of Narcissistic Personality Disorder fit this stereotype best though, and that’s probably why most people picture an arrogant, successful man when they hear the term NPD.   While there definitely are narcissists who fit that description, most probably don’t.   And while NPD is usually diagnosed in males (females are far more likely to be labeled BPD or HPD), in actuality it’s probably just as common in women.  They’re just less likely to have been diagnosed with it.

I think one reason why NPD is more often given to males is because the label is so stigmatizing that it’s usually only given to people who have broken the law, and the vast majority of convicted criminals are male  (ASPD–antisocial personality disorder–is also commonly given to men who have broken the law).

I’ve noticed three main types of narcissists, and they can be either male or female.   Only the first type–the grandiose or overt narcissist–fits the traditional stereotype.

1. The Grandiose Narcissist.

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The grandiose, or overt narcissist, fits the traditional stereotype of someone with NPD.   There are probably more males of this type than females, but both exist.    A grandiose narcissist is drunk on pride, and will become extremely angry or abusive should you question his superiority or attempt to expose him as the narcissist he really is.   Most grandiose narcissists are successful, though not all are.   Those who aren’t successful act as if they were, spending money they don’t have and bragging about achievements they never earned (or exaggerating them).   They use others for their own gain because they can’t recognize that those around them are human beings with feelings, not objects to be used and discarded as they see fit.  Grandiose narcissists expect you to worship them and look up to them as paragons of superiority in whatever they have deemed themselves to be the “best” at–maybe it’s their appearance or body (somatic narcissist) or maybe it’s their intelligence or achievements (cerebral narcissist).   If you criticize them they become extremely upset and angry and will either attack or sometimes, give you the silent treatment.  They expect the world from you but will give you nothing in return, for you, lowly servant, only exist to worship them and give them the admiration and adulation they expect as their birthright.

A woman of this type is likely to be conceited about her beauty or perfect physical appearance, and looks down on those who don’t fit her standards of physical perfection.  But there are plenty of cerebral female narcissists too.  Both types tend to act snobbish and arrogant toward those they regard as beneath them.   She will also be demanding and high maintenance in relationships, demanding constant attention and adulation. She would never admit it but she is actually extremely needy and will eventually drive away lovers (or unceremoniously discard them herself when they fail to meet her impossible standards).

The next two types are both examples of the covert narcissist.  Covert narcissists are less grandiose but in their own ways, they act just as entitled and have little to no empathy.   They are a lot less obvious than the grandiose type, and because of that, can be more dangerous because you never expected such a “nice” person to be so abusive.  Covert narcissists are the real crazymakers, because they’re good at twisting everything around to make you seem like the abuser or “bad guy” while they remain blameless.

2. The Do-Gooder.

dogooder

Mother Teresa herself has nothing on the Do-Gooder.   She is a saint, a paragon of virtue, and never, ever does anything wrong.  She attends church every Sunday,  reads her Bible, volunteers at the food pantry or at the church or school, and if she can afford to, gives a good chunk of her money to various charitable organizations.   She’s the stereotypical Jewish mother who always frets and worries about your well-being, but is really overbearing and her “overprotection” is really all about controlling you.   She will smother you with her “concern” and make you long to escape to freedom.   She may make it difficult for you to do things on your own:  you will be told you “need her help” or her company even if you don’t need or want it.  If you tell her to back off and give you some space, she’s likely to take on the Victim role, acting all butt-hurt, maybe even crying. She will guilt-trip you, whining,  “But I was only trying to HELP!” or, “I’m your mother–and you treat me so badly.”    There are male Do-Gooders too, but I think it’s probably more common in females.

Do Gooders also like to act all sanctimonious and self righteous, like the Church Lady in the old Saturday Night Live skits.   She loves to make others feel inferior by devoting the MOST time to a charitable event, the MOST money to a cause, baked the MOST cookies for the school bake sale, and then crow about how much she has done, and how much God favors her because of all her good, unselfish deeds.   If you have failed to meet her standards of saintliness, she will give you a condescending, withering look, making you feel like the worst person on earth.

3. The Victim.

Poor-me

The victim type of narcissist is the opposite of grandiose, but is just as entitled and lacking in empathy.   These are emotional vampires that will suck everything out of you until you’re so exhausted and depressed you just want to go shoot yourself in the head.   The victim gets their supply in the form of sympathy or pity.  She will tell you all her problems and expect you to always be there at her beck and call, no matter how inconvenient this is for you.  She will make demands on you, expecting you to drop everything to listen to her latest crisis and will show no empathy if you have needs that take priority to hers.  In fact she may become angry or try to make you feel guilty, or project her own narcissism onto you and call you selfish.   But the favor won’t be returned:  if you ever have a problem of your own and want a listening ear or shoulder to cry on, she will either ignore you or find a way to turn the conversation back to her.  No matter how much you try to help, they keep making the same mistakes and never seem to grow or change.

These kinds of covert narcissists are especially infuriating because no matter what you suggest, she or he will find an excuse as to why what you suggest would never work.  They are frustrating because they never listen, and never thank you for your time.  They don’t really want your help; they just want your undivided attention and sympathy because it’s their preferred form of narcissistic supply.

My blog is discussed and quoted from extensively in a Youtube video!

I was tooling around on Google and suddenly found myself staring at a link that referenced a blog post of mine I wrote a while ago.  When I clicked it on, it took me to a Youtube channel I’ve never seen before, where this blog and a post I wrote about grandiose and vulnerable narcissists was mentioned and quoted from extensively by the narrator, a lady called “Shrinking Violet.”    It’s a strange but very cool feeling to hear your own blog’s name and your articles talked about by a total stranger on Youtube.

Here is the post that was referenced:

Grandiose and Vulnerable Narcissists: How Do They Differ?

It’s also a good video in its own right, packed with useful information about grandiose (overt) and vulnerable (covert) narcissists.   The distinction between them is important, since most people think of all narcissists as being of the grandiose, overt type, which is far from the case.  The covert, vulnerable narcissists are the true wolves in sheep’s clothing. I’m following Shrinking Violet’s channel now.

The Male Borderline Waif

This is a good article about an overlooked subject–the male borderline. BPD is usually associated (and diagnosed) in women; men are more often diagnosed with NPD. But they aren’t the same disorder, and this article explains what a man with the introverted/fragile sort of BPD can be like. (The more aggressive types of male Borderlines are often mistaken as having Antisocial Personality Disorder due to their impulsivity and acting-out behavior, which sometimes gets them in trouble with the law). There’s a lot of gender bias in the diagnosis of mental illness and BPD is one of the most stigmatized and misunderstood of all the disorders.

Out of the Mire

I’ve written a lot on borderline personality disorder (BPD) on this blog largely because my mother has the disorder.  It is not something I wish to vilify, and I don’t want to verbally mistreat people who have been diagnosed with it either.  Of all the personality disorders, BPD is the most stigmatized.  Many therapists refuse to treat it or see clients who carry the diagnosis altogether.  That is a hard road to walk when one has the disorder, and it’s also a very difficult situation if you love someone with it.  Where do you turn? What resources are available to you when there are so little available to your loved one with BPD?

Another inherent problem is that of diagnosis.  Many people struggling with BPD are never diagnosed and, therefore, never treated due to 1) treatment resistance 2) refusal to seek help.  The other factor? Gender bias within the clinical…

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The Pool Guy: a story about narcissism (part 1 of 2)

pool-man

Some of you who read this blog are probably aware that from August – December, I self-identified as a covert narcissist.  I won’t get into the reason why here (that’s been explained elsewhere and I don’t wish to go there again), but I was wrong (thank God!).  But during that period of time, I posted on a self-help forum for people with NPD.  Most of the posters believed they were covert narcissists (few of them had an official diagnosis).   I’m not sure most of them were even  narcissists at all, but just thought they were (same as me).   If you’ve been “infected” by narcissists all your life, you can develop a bad case of “fleas” and display narcissistic traits, without actually developing the disorder.   It can be very confusing and it’s fairly common for people with complex PTSD or Borderline Personality Disorder to believe they have NPD. (According to most experts though, if you believe you have NPD, you do not).

That out of the way, one of the “covert narcissists” on the forum in question, who may or may not have been one (I don’t think he was) told the story of how a bigger, badder narc turned him into a source of continual supply and constantly took advantage of and abused him, using every trick in the narcissist’s playbook.   The victimized man, who tells the story, seemed like a codependent type to me.  If he really is a covert narcissist, the story makes sense because when covert and grandiose narcissists appear together, the covert one will nearly always be in the codependent, victim role.

Since the tale he tells is so entertaining and hilarious as written, and because he has an enormous amount of insight and knowledge about NPD (impressive if he actually has the disorder!), I’m just going to quote his ongoing posts about his wealthy neighbor who was feeding off him like a bloodsucking leech, turning him into his “pool guy” and making his life a living hell last summer.

Since the story was told in quite a few posts on the forum and is going to be quite long (and the man is long-winded), I’m going to put this up in at least two posts.

The Pool Guy

pool-guy-1

1.

My neighbor is here preparing his home for sale. He was here almost two years ago and we went to dinner then. He’s narcissistic. Very successful in life. Owned many businesses, bought/sold many properties. Lives on a beach. Very high standards, complains about others. He’s not disordered.

So, this is my first post-awareness experience. I’ve noticed myself catching why it’s comfortable to be with an overt/grandiose narcissist.

1. I notice I get supply from him describing his successes. There’s a definite “trickle down” feeling, like “he’s who I wanted to be, and he recognizes me as a worthy helper. I’m special because he likes me.”

2. We’ve gone to dinner a couple times. With others I would struggle to find things to talk about. It’s work to do it, and I don’t enjoy it. With him, when the awkward silence begins, all I have to do is ask him about one of his restored classic cars and he’ll start talking for 10 minutes.

And then I’m back to #1.

3. He took me to dinner last night. We stopped at a parrot store. (I love parrots. I go to this store occasionally and sit with a bird for an hour. They seem to have the same emotional maturity I do.). I found a friendly macaw and put it on his arm. I took a picture of him with the macaw. He said he would put it on his Facebook, send them to relatives, etc.

Last night I emailed the photos to him and felt kind of manic’y like I the attention he would receive belonged to me.

Summary. It’s very different now. I see what I’m doing as I do it. That halts my mental process which would typically grow to large proportions — and then butt-hurt (narcissistic injury) when reality didn’t keep up with my inner narrative.

[…]Last night I could recognize why I react the way I do (use this synergy for my benefit). I could equate it to the “inner narrative” and choose to consider more realistic thoughts about myself. Which in turn leads me to treat him more like a person than a source of supply. I end up feeling better about myself for dealing with someone realistically.

2.

After spending a fortune and countless hours making his pool a paler shade of green, he informs me today he will leave on Saturday. Furthermore, he instructs, we are going to dinner tonight and Friday night. He’s buying. Anywhere I want.

I thought that was exceptionally nice.

So, we go tonight and, after the waitress places our order, my neighbor begins “asking” if I can keep an eye on his house, nothing big, and he’ll give me a key (which gave me that giddy feeling). All I have to do is walk through every couple days.

Sure! I can do that.

Then I ask, “you’ve got a pool guy, right?” He replies, “No, I thought you could do that. It’s amazingly simple. Of course, I would pay you for your time.” I began looking over my shoulder to see if it was too late to cancel my order. I realized I’d been setup.

Buying me a meal would have worked before I was self-aware. Weeks later I would have raged against myself — while absorbing the cost so I would still be seen as the narcissist’s favorite.

This time I told him I wasn’t comfortable with it. I’m not good with pools. (He knows that’s why I had mine dynamited 20 years ago. The largest ball and chain of my life!). He was disappointed. I was really tempted to give in, thinking I was being needlessly inflexible. But, then I remembered how much blood and treasure he spilled proving he was better than the pool guy — and he expectsme to be better than the pool guy too. So, I stuck to it, repeating I’m not good with pools. I never claimed to be. I’m retarded that way. (There’s a concrete carcass buried in my backyard to prove it.).

He dropped it suddenly and it was no problem. I thought he might brood, letting me know I’m on the “outs.” But, he was fine after that. I felt really good about how I’m able to navigate my old traits. I almost got caught off guard.

Later I realized I could have actually handled it even better. His whole thing is a bitter (and failed) rivalry with the pool guy. I should have cheerfully accepted what he as going to let me do for him. I could then hire a pool guy — charging my neighbor whatever the pool guy charges me. I could have saved him the humiliation!

Today I stepped into something a little by accident. He’s on a quixotic mission to fix a pool problem (in response to the pool guy screwing him). We’re also fixing a block wall and I have a masonry saw, so I cut some blocks for him. I noticed him in his back yard, so I thought I’d take the blocks back their for him.

I saw the pool was getting a greenish tint and just blurted out “oh wow, you’re getting some algae. You didn’t have that a couple days ago when you showed me what was wrong. Is it getting worse?”

Oh no. That was a narcissistic injury to him. I didn’t recognize it immediately. But, I could tell he was strewing about something, throwing more barbs than normal. He finally said something criticizing. I started feeling a narcissistic injury (Omg! He’s borrowing all my stuff! Using my internet! It would be so easy to hold his head underwater right now.). But, only 15 seconds into that feeling I dismissed it, knowing he’s narcissistic. It’s about him, not me. But, a little later I realized I caused it by voicing my thoughts carelessly.

So, it’s been interesting being in what would normally be an inverted relationship, keeping closer tabs on myself. I feel good about it.

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3.

I had dinner with him last night (Monday night) after not seeing him since early Friday morning helping him fix his fence.

1. He wanted to drive to Mexico for the weekend because the realtor was having “Open House” both days. I gave him a lot of info as if he’d go himself.

I normally would jump on something like that to be the “tour guide.” I would live in his memory, associated with what could only be described as a documentary-quality tour of [whatever]. Why be modest? Epic.

However, more than not being eager to visit the birthplace of diarrhea, I just really needed some space from the narcissism. So, I didn’t volunteer to do anything with him either Sat. or Sun. I gave him the self-directed tour info and played it like he was going. I didn’t ask any questions.

I was reminded of _____’s  thread about feeling awkward saying no. I felt bad because I knew he didn’t go. I knew he had to be out of the house for 8 hours both days. I felt like I wasn’t being a good citizen. I assume he suffered narcissistic injury because he didn’t invite me to go with him wherever he went. I would have probably done one day with him.

But, I decided I’m not responsible for him. I’ve helped him as a neighbor, I’ll continue to go to dinner or show him around town. But, not every day. I shouldn’t have to explain that nor be embarrassed. I treated it like I’m doing the normal thing.

2. We went to dinner last night.

OMG. It was like the “inner dialog” was bottled up. It was non-stop and sounded rehearsed like he’s had the conversation with himself for 3.5 days. I literally could not get a word in edgewise. Every time I tried to say something, he’d interrupt like he knew what I was going to say (so I didn’t need to say it) and proceeded to the rehearsed conversation.

It’s really interesting to see this now with my awareness. Compared to how I would normally get drawn in, reacting to “my kind of language,” I feel detached like watching a tv show. It’s totally different. Not so much analyzing him, but knowing my own reflexive behavior and controlling it (except for last Thursday when I thought I was proving my intelligence by pointing out his pool was getting worse. Ooops.).

4.

In my previous update I described how he dropped the subject abruptly, but wasn’t injured. That threw me off. I thought something wasn’t right.

Last night we went to dinner. He asked me if I could watch the water level “since I’m going to be walking through the house every other day or so. Just top it off with my hose (which remains there).” I said “Sure. But, how often will your pool guy come around. He’ll do that too, right?” He had a puzzled look on his face, like we’d talked about this before, and proceeded to say there won’t be a pool guy. He’s only going to be gone two months and he “just added chemicals today, so it should be ok for that long.”

I’m being put in a position to “just do it.” There’s no way it’s going to be “ok” longer than 3-4 days. When he “flipped” two nights ago, he just didn’t care. I knew I knew that look. :) He already had Plan-B in his mind and that’s what happened.

So, I guess I’ll be informing him in 3-4 days that the chemicals are exhausted. I’ll probably hire a pool guy and charge him like it’s my time. He’ll never know he was affiliated with one of those guys whose entire profession he painted black.

He said he asked the realtor to throw a couple scoops of the magic powder in the pool whenever the realtor shows the house. “So, it should be ok.” I’ll talk to the realtor and see if he has any qualms about this arrangement. Maybe we can conspire together. He probably knows a pool guy. I can pass it along to my neighbor like it’s my time (which he said he’d pay me).

Continued in Part 2:  https://luckyottershaven.com/2016/02/06/the-pool-guy-a-story-about-narcissism-part-2-of-2/

I don’t need your damn fake apologies.

I’m still not taking any of their crap. It’s time to roll this ball out of the back of the closet and toss it around again.

Lucky Otters Haven

narc_apologies

My sociopathic ex was never sorry for anything. Oh, yes, he “apologized” sometimes, but it was only to get me to shut up or because he knew he’d already lost the argument or knew I was right (but he wasn’t really sorry.) It was insulting how stupid he must have thought I was to believe these “apologies” were sincere.

Unless they are incredibly good actors and are hoovering you (trying to reel you back in, like a Hoover vacuum sucks up dirt) or love-bombing you (stalking you as prey), no apology coming out of a narc’s mouth is going to sound sincere. Of course, it’s easy to fall for those “sincere” apologies when they’re feeling needy, but there are always other red flags you can look for, such as crowding you, moving too fast, or trash-talking all their exes (make no mistake, he or she will eventually trash-talk you too).

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The Pooooor Narcissist

Do you know a “do gooder” who always somehow makes you feel guilty and less saintly than they are? Everyone knows someone who plays the martyr. Do you know a Needy Nancy or Ned who has an endless litany of problems that never seem to go away? Do they get mad at you when you try to help because your help isn’t good enough or is the wrong kind of help? Do you know someone who never apologizes, never admits wrongdoing, and never even says thank you when you offer help? That “victim” may actually be a narcissist. How can you tell the difference? Red flags. Gaslighting. Manipulation. Guilt trips. Projection. Blaming. They are never wrong but you always are, especially if you dare to suggest their problems may be their own fault. You can’t win with one of these characters.

This article describes the covert type of narcissist, who can be much harder to spot because they aren’t arrogant, grandiose and in your face. They’re good at what they do, so it pays to be vigilant.

Grace for my Heart

It’s Narcissist Friday!     

N – Get off the road, stupid idiot! That guy drives just like your brother!

You – Why do you say such mean things? It isn’t like you are a perfect driver.

N – What complaint do you have with my driving? You are always criticizing me. I have to be perfect before I can say anything anymore.

Then, when you get home:

N – Well, you can breathe now. I didn’t say anything mean and we got home without an accident. If you still think you can handle such a mean person, you should probably drive tonight when we go out. That way you can feel safe. Maybe I can sit back and criticize your driving.

Ever notice how the narcissist can become the instant victim? I used to have a relative who could say anything, accuse of anything, or criticize anything. But if…

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“The Narcissist in Chief” (New York Times article)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures and declares “You’re fired!” at a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, June 17, 2015. REUTERS/Dominick Reuter TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY – RTX1GZCO

The Narcissist in Chief
By Scott O. Lilienfield and Ashley L. Watts, for The Opinion Pages, The New York Times, September 4, 2015

WITH the presidential campaign in full swing, a perennial question has resurfaced: How much weight should voters give to candidates’ personalities? The political rise of Donald J. Trump has drawn attention to one personality trait in particular: narcissism. Although narcissism does not lend itself to a precise definition, most psychologists agree that it comprises self-centeredness, boastfulness, feelings of entitlement and a need for admiration.

We have never met Mr. Trump, let alone examined him, so it would be inappropriate of us to offer a formal assessment of his level of narcissism. And in all fairness, today’s constant media attention makes a sizable ego a virtual job requirement for public office. Still, the Trump phenomenon raises the question of what kinds of leaders narcissists make. Fortunately, a recent body of research has suggested some answers.

In a 2013 article in Psychological Science, we and our colleagues approached this question by studying the 42 United States presidents up to and including George W. Bush. (The primary data were collected before Barack Obama’s presidency.) First we took a data set compiled by the psychologists Steven Rubenzer and Thomas Faschingbauer, who for an earlier study asked experts on each president to complete personality surveys on the subjects of their expertise. Then, using standard formulas from the research literature on personality, we produced estimates of each president’s narcissism level. Finally, we correlated these personality ratings with data from surveys of presidential performance obtained from independent panels of historians.

We found that narcissism, specifically “grandiose narcissism” — an amalgam of flamboyance, immodesty and dominance — was associated with greater overall presidential success. (This relation was small to moderate in magnitude.) The two highest scorers on grandiose narcissism were Lyndon B. Johnson and Theodore Roosevelt, the two lowest James Monroe and Millard Fillmore.

Grandiose narcissism was tied to slightly better crisis management, public persuasiveness and agenda-setting. Presidents with high levels of this trait were also more likely to assume office by winning election in a landslide (55 percent or more of the popular vote) and to initiate new legislation.

Read the rest of this article here.

Here is a bonus quiz on political ideology and your best candidates that was suggested by Linda Lee–it can be taken here: http://www.isidewith.com/political-quiz?utm_source=outbrain&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=q_us_hrvd1
I’m 91% Bernie Sanders. 🙂