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The Emotional Design of the Narcissist


Marc Hubs is a writer/researcher on mind, science, and conspiracy. He is the author of "Know Your Enemy: Reflections of NPD."

Malignant Self-Love

Escaping the narcissist in your life is no easy task and is in fact, at times, completely impossible. Whilst it may be difficult for the common person to understand, it's actually impossible to escape the narcissist most of the time.

The narcissist has all bases covered and has had a secret plot to tie you (or the victim) down right from the start. The victim is trapped—they have no money, no identification, no or very few friends and little family left who are willing to support them.

With a reputation left in tatters and none of the resources to be able to move on in life, the victim is left in an incredibly tough situation. They have been emotionally battered and their soul has been worn down to its very core—and yet the scars remain invisible, as does the narcissistic abuse they have been made to endure.

The narcissist has brought about the entrapment and forced dependence of their victim skillfully and stealthily over time, whilst the unaware victim saw them as nothing more than the charismatic facade that the narcissist has learned to consistently portray to others.

The narcissist is in control.

They have the upper hand, they have control of your soul and they are now your God. Having the wool pulled over your eyes for long enough (often several decades) eventually results in a traumatic awakening and unveiling of the reality you have been sucked into.

The good-as-gold, charismatic, honest, open and most beautiful person you fell in love with is nothing but a false projection; a projection of sincerity obscured by masked inner demons.

The paranoia you were once accused of is no longer paranoia but intuition; your instincts were right all along.

For many people it can be decades before this realization occurs and can result in post-traumatic stress-related symptoms (or PTSD/c-PTSD itself). Recovery from narcissistic abuse, once away from it, can often take up to five years or more.

Whilst being in a relationship with a narcissist is a peculiar and exhausting experience, the victim never manages to successfully find the source of the problem and is often left scratching their head wondering 'is it me?'

Narcissistic abuse is subliminal, stealthy and takes place under cover but allows the victim to experience the darker, confusing and often seemingly sadistic nature of the narcissist.

However, the victim is eventually manipulated into believing that the narcissist had their reasons and that those reasons were justified...

...and so the sense of relief from the emotional pain comforts them from the confusion that they have been subject to whilst sucking them back into the narcissist's trap.

For this reason narcissists are often called emotional vampires and their tactic is often referred to as 'the narcissist's dance'.

This explosive defense mechanism has become a way of life for the narcissist, a way to prevent anyone from getting too close (emotionally) and keeping them at arm's length.

This way the narcissist can refrain from becoming emotionally attached to their victim whilst using them as a source of narcissistic supply.

However, ironically the narcissist depends upon the victim becoming emotionally attached to them and for this reason they will often wait until you say the words "I love you" as confirmation that they've sucked you in.

They will then proceed to emotionally and mentally abuse. The victim may notice that the narcissist never told them that they loved them until they had said it first... the narcissist was waiting for their cue.

Your confession of feeling genuine emotion for the narcissist is their sign that you are ready to be exploited.

Despite common belief, narcissists do have deep hidden inner feelings and they do experience emotion but that's exactly where they like to keep those emotions; hidden deep inside.

You will probably never see a narcissist cry - they cry on the inside but the sadness usually relates to being unable to uphold the false self.

In addition to their boxed in emotions, narcissists will usually have some kind of compartment in their mind where all secrets are stored - nobody has access to this compartment but the narcissist's inner consciousness.

This could be thought of as an imaginary secret box or chest where all private information is stored under lock and key never to be revealed.

In addition to the distortion campaign used to destroy the victim's reputation to convince their victim's family and friends that they are crazy, the narcissist also utilizes disinformation and misinformation just as professionally as a government would in order to keep the victim at bay from the truth, always leaving them questioning themselves.

They do it expertly without flaw whilst maintaining plausible denial.

So, next time you meet someone who keeps saying "I", "Me" and "Mine" and seems to be completely self-absorbed or someone who only seems to care about themselves or someone who comes across as being fake remember that they could be one of the people who may attempt to utilize these tactics.

Remember that they also need to rely on your behaviour and emotions in order for their narcissistic abuse to have any effect.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Marc Hubs


Crystal coy from Radcliff Kentucky on August 18, 2018:

Thank you

Cheryl on September 25, 2017:

I'm preparing to leave my NPD husband of 25 years. Its scary but I find myself reading every day why I have to take this step. Any words of support would really be great.

Marc Hubs (author) from United Kingdom on May 04, 2017:

Just wanted to let everyone know that I have now started a new support group on Facebook for former/recovering victims of this kind of abuse: N.A.R.C - Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Center.

This is a closed group, anyone on FB can see the group and it's members but only members can see posts (this may change to a private/secret group at some point). The group can be found at https://www.facebook.com/groups/820895831399840/

k.h. on May 08, 2015:

I was raised by a NPD & borderline stepparent with severely codependent mother for 16 yrs. Finally escaped that hell, and then, after 15 yrs of marriage, i finally figured out that my sister in law is NPD/ histrionic. Due to another recent family situation, hubby and i are now the lucky recipients of horrible false accusations and all the rest that go along with a smear campaign - crazy making, isolating, projecting blame, assembling a team of flying monkeys, etc etc. I finally decided to go to therapy. I have Complex PTSD and find it hard to trust anyone. I don't even want to leave my house some days. Its been virtually no-contact for 7 months. This is a game to my sister in law. This is fun for her. This kind of thing is a violation in its most wicked form. Not sure where to go from here.

Trapped on February 12, 2015:

how do i get away? He is everything you described. I'm in PTSD and just figured it out. Married, 30 years....

Damaged goods on October 30, 2014:

I knew he had a serious problem,I just couldn't put my finger on it..but now that i know now...I can't believe this is actually what I lived through and put up with for over 3 years and I can't believe how naïve I have been for tolerating this abuse..this information from all has been so powerful..and I am really making plans to move forward

SparrowMinistries on September 07, 2014:

Hi 20 year victim, I can relate to your second guessing yourself. It's part of the crazy making. I lost count of how many times I left my ex-narcissist. Every time I got out and away from the twistedness and started feeling better, I would go over in my mind what happened and now it doesn't seem so bad. Maybe I over-reacted, or maybe it was partly my fault. The narcissist chooses people like us for those exact reasons. Thankfully, I have finally made it to the other side of the nightmare. I have had no contact for the last 11 months except to communicate extremely briefly about the divorce. Hold on to yourself right now. Get support from people who were never connected to him. If you have to disconnect from family until they see the light, that is better than losing yourself forever. They will see him for what he is. You don't have to expose him. And if they don't, or if it takes a long time, then you might have to have only brief interactions with them, like sending them birthday and Christmas cards and if you talk on the phone make the non-negotiable rule that his name is not to be mentioned. If they cannot respect that, hang up. It sounds like they are his pawns right now. These people are extremely talented at convincing others that they are something they are not. In fact, he has probably hijacked all your good qualities and convinced some people that you are the narcissist. It's what they do. Hang in there, 20 year victim! There is light at the end of the tunnel. Stay strong and don't give up. There are lots of us victims and we are getting stronger every day.


20 year victim on September 06, 2014:

I FINALLY got out and away from my narsisist boyfriend/daughters father. He has always had a relationship with my uncle and communicated with my aunt and cousin, however; my cousin is now going to his house for drinks etc, and he's sent my aunt a birthday card and gift. The relationship ended bad and my cousin went to his court as well as bailed him out after he atraxres me and damaged my car. I decided to stop talking and distance myself from them. I do care about my family but I cannot continue to be around them when I don't feel they are supporting me and they are being insensitive to my feelings by always talking about him ect. I'm not sure if I'm over reacting but I know what type of person he is and he is using them and will end up acrewing them over. Did I make the right decision to disconnect myself from them?

Heather Mcdougall on October 07, 2013:

I agree that it's dangerous when you decide that your NPD abuser has to go, and then you make them leave your house, but you have to find the self esteem and arm yourself with the fact that for your abuser to stay, is actually in the long term, far more dangerous. If you have children, then the danger is extreme. You have to get rid of them for the sake of your kids as well as yourself.

Anon on September 02, 2013:

I posted link to NPD website at night on my narcissist Facebook wall using fake Facebook account, he deleted the link from his wall and he blocked my fake account after he came from work. But it was far too late because that link remained on his Facebook wall most of the day for all of his friends to see :))))))))))

Marc Hubs (author) from United Kingdom on February 14, 2013:

Hi Laura, I'm not sure where the first half of your comment disappeared to? but thank you for stopping by. It sure can be difficult finding a way to cope with the loss of years/time but the only real way to do so is to just simply look to the future. Regretting things too much and dwelling on the past never got anyone anywhere. You have touched upon some very relevant points.

What you said about retaliating in public is so true, if you do raise such issues in public the narcissist acts like it's a personal little joke between you or that you're exaggerating to make a joke out of something, when in reality that isn't the case. Congratulations for breaking free from the relationship and moving on with your life. As you say, you have new friends and you have now have the knowledge which you can use to protect yourself in the future.

laurawhite on February 14, 2013:

then physical abuse sta\rted

by now he felt sdafe t o do so.i see it all now playing he long suffering husband ,putting me down in public knowing i wouldn't retaliate in public ,if i did say anytthing to friends or children he always made a joke of it say ing i was exagerating and made excuses for physical viloence sta\ting he was defending himsel and i had initia\ted i t.in truth he had me feeeling sorry for im asking myself was it me .was i expecting to much from him.never did i for once beleeieve he was th\at clever enough to deceive us all.only now after 6 years separation can i see it clearly .i spent years pandering to his pey outbursts but thought they were just that .and sti lll the family ca\nt see it . have had to make a new circle of friends .i was cut off from our longstanding friends .how i wish i had this knowledge and could turn the clock back 2 0 years

jaydene from Alberta, Canada on January 25, 2013:

This personality is a horridly destructive thing to be around. It is said they cannot change. how sad. At all costs I agree get out while you still have some reasoning power. They will mess with you until there is nothing left.

MajiPaaji on January 24, 2013:

Unfortunately many Borderlines end up with Narcissists... they are the perfect ying to yang relationship of disfunction, many BDPs who leave Narcissists and redevelop themselves unfortunately also develop Narcissistic traits in retalliation for having gone through such abuse, to stop it happening again.

jaydene from Alberta, Canada on December 20, 2012:

This article says a lot of this personality disorder, and it is emotionally scary, to be caught in this mess, unknowingly, but being aware of their traits and tactics, can help our intuition to grow, and be trusted. Otherwise being with this type of person can really make you think you are losing it. and you are , you are constantly being messed with. So yes get out, while you can and heal.

Marc Hubs (author) from United Kingdom on September 12, 2012:

Yes, absolutely SparrowMinistries! It's also not unusual for personality disorders to overlap with each other - I know someone who has been labelled a 'Borderline Narcissist'.

SparrowMinistries on September 11, 2012:

Maybe it really is only one per cent, but those one per cent wreak so much havoc that it seems like more. There are also other personality disorders that can have similar effects, such as anti-social, and even borderline.

Someone in my family deals with a boss that has NPD and that person has access to so many employees and has caused untold damage, but has yet to be "caught" or held accountable.

Marc Hubs (author) from United Kingdom on September 11, 2012:

Thanks for the comments. Isn't it amazing how so many people have had to deal with this issue yet we are told that, officially, only 1% of the world's population suffer with NPD.

SparrowMinistries on August 31, 2012:

Hey Sparkster,

You do such a terrific job on this topic. You are so right on. It is especially helpful to read these articles because they remind me that no matter what I lost to get away, it was worth it. I don't quite know how I will be able to stabilize but I trust that God will show me the way.

Keep up the good work.


Susette Horspool from Pasadena CA on August 31, 2012:

This is my former boss. And that discussion about "I intuit" vs. "You're paranoid" happened often. I'd trained myself before I ever met him to trust my intuition, yet it was still hard to break loose.

He used to tell me, "Life is all about smoke and mirrors," then got annoyed when I said, "I'm not a smoke and mirrors person." He worked hard and subtly to trick me into lying about the company's abilities when I did my marketing. I was isolated from the rest of the company, felt like I had no skills (although I'm rich with them) and like nothing I did was effective (he was hiding it).

It took me a year after leaving that company to start being myself again. And I'm stronger now, more diplomatic, better able to stand my ground, so I don't regret it too much.

Corrinna from BC, Canada on August 31, 2012:

Describes the relationship with my ex and my children's father exactly. Leaving a relationship with a narcissist can be extremely dangerous and needs to be done with LOTS of fore-planning especially if there are children involved. Great info :)

teacherjoe52 on August 30, 2012:

Hi Sparkster.

I can only say Amen.

You have them nailed down to a tee.

What I have noticed is that when you are strong but resectful with them they are putty in your hands. Believe me I have a lot of experience with them.

God bless you.

Kristy LeAnn from Princeton, WV on August 30, 2012:

This describes the relationship with my ex perfectly. I didn't realize until way too late that he was a narcissist. If anyone reading this is in a relationship with one get out while you still can. You can't fix them and they'll never change.

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