How to Emotionally Disarm the Narcissist

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mindEmotionally Disarming the Narcissist

Today’s amazing guest Vincent Guastamacchia, former NYC hostage negotiator specializing in crimes by narcissists, talks about how to emotionally disarm the narcissist. Very intriguing and useful information!!
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Free On Air Palm Readings November 8th

Myrna Lou Goldbaum. Master Palmist


If you would like to have your palm read free on my November 8th podcast by Master Palmist and Soulmate Specialist Myrna Lou Goldbaum, please scan your dominant hand and email it to I can only take 4, so first come first serve. You will be able to listen to the show live or to the recorded version afterwards to hear your reading.

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Letting Go Picture Quote


Letting Go of Past and Moving On Quote

Letting go does not mean becoming emotionless in regard to the memories of a painful or traumatic event. Letting go means giving up the suffering that you associate with the memories from a painful or traumatic event.   ~Randi G. Fine~

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Narcissistic Abuse Related Weight Issues and Eating Disorders

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Weight Issues and Eating Disorders Related to Narcissistic Abuse

Excerpt from Randi Fine’s Upcoming Book, Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivors Guide to Healing

I have been asked by many to include a chapter explaining the relationship between narcissistic abuse and weight/eating-related disorders. I invested some time researching the topic so I could address those concerns. These types of disorders are complex, but I will do my best to give you some answers.

Many theories underlying the causes of these food related disorders exist, though there doesn’t seem to be one explanation that applies in every case. Most experts do agree that low self-esteem and feelings of helplessness are common denominators. Little has been written correlating weight/eating related disorders directly with narcissistic abuse, but the low self-esteem/feeling of helplessness connection seems fitting.

Studies show that trauma, of which narcissistic victims suffer a great deal, may predispose people to these types of disorders. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, it is estimated that around 30 percent of eating disorder sufferers have been the victim of trauma (emotional abuse, physical abuse, neglect and/or sexual abuse) in their lives. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that more than six million obese and morbidly obese people are likely to have suffered physical, emotional, sexual or verbal abuse during their childhoods.

Child abuse issues that have been identified as contributing to eating disorders are:

  • Abandonment
  • Chaotic and/or angry family environment
  • Emotionally or physically absent parents
  • Unrealistic parental expectations
  • Over-protectiveness
  • Extreme parental rigidity
  • Forced suppression of feelings or emotions
  • Overvaluing or undervaluing physical appearance
  • Teasing and/or criticism
  • Deprivation of love, affection, approval and acceptance

This problem is not exclusive to sufferers of narcissistic child abuse. Abuse by partners, spouses, friends, co-workers, bosses, or siblings can also cause symptoms, behaviors and mental states known to foster eating issues such as:

  • Depression
  • Feelings of inadequacy
  • Unrealistic expectations of self
  • Feeling defective and worthless
  • Poor or no self-identity
  • Fear of criticism
  • Anger
  • Powerlessness
  • Hopelessness
  • Inability to express emotions, detachment
  • Black and white thinking
  • Approval seeking
  • Emotional regulation problems
  • Body image or appearance issues
  • Guilt
  • Self-blame
  • Shame
  • Anxiety
  • Poor coping mechanisms
  • Lacking control over life
  • Feeling unloved and unaccepted

Narcissistically abused victims may resort to food manipulation for a variety of reasons.

  • Since certain foods activate brain chemicals that produce calm and euphoric feelings, they can be used as “drugs” to calm anxiety, numb pain and alleviate depression. Victims become trapped in a vicious cycle of addiction eating to temporarily feel better, followed by the emotional let-down or shame of over-eating that compels the person to eat again.
  • Excessive or compulsive eating can be a way for abuse victims to fill the emptiness they feel inside. They “stuff” themselves to fill a void.
  • Food may be considered the person’s only friend; one who does not make her feel bad, hurt or betray her.
  • Abuse victims may inflict punishment on themselves through the deprivation of food or the over-eating of it, believing that they don’t deserve anything good in their lives.
  • Some victims of abuse who feel as if they have no control over their life may resort to starving or binge-eating followed by purging to gain some control of it. Purging is also a way to release emotions.
  • Some victims starve themselves to please their abusers, believing that if they lose weight the abuse will stop.

Four common weight-related disorders may develop in abuse victims:

  • Anorexia nervosa
    • Those with anorexia nervosa have a distorted self-image—they see themselves as overweight, even when they are critically underweight. They obsessively weigh themselves, severely limit their caloric and fat intake, and/or restrict the amount and the kind of food they eat. Anorexia nervosa sufferers tend to be perfectionists by nature.
  • Bulimia nervosa
    • Those withbulimia nervosa have recurrent, frequent, and uncontrollable bouts of excessive eating. To avoid gaining weight, these episodes are followed by compensating behaviors such as self-induced vomiting, over-use of laxatives or diuretics, fasting, or excessive exercising. Bulimia nervosa sufferers tend to be impulsive by nature.
  • Binge-eating disorder/Compulsive over-eating
    • Those with binge-eating disorder are not able to control their food intake. They feel compelled to eat even when they are not hungry, and cannot stop even when they feel full. Unlike with bulimia nervosa, they do not follow binging episodes with purging, fasting, or copious amounts of exercise, therefore are often overweight or suffer from obesity. Binge eaters have impulse control issues.
  • Emotional-eating disorder
    • Those with emotional-eating disorder use food as a way to control their emotions and regulate their moods. Episodes may be occasional or habitual, and can occur frequently throughout the day. Emotional eaters use food to block painful memories, soothe distressing moods, and as a form of protection. They are likely to suffer from excess body weight or obesity.

Eating disorders are harmful and life threatening. If you believe you are suffering from one, I urge you to promptly seek the help of an experienced mental health professional specializing in your condition.

In the meantime:

  • Practice expressing your emotions in healthy ways instead of harboring them.
  • Be mindful about your eating habits.
  • Do things that you enjoy or that make you feel good.
  • Treat yourself with love, kindness and respect.
  • Find healthy ways to self-soothe; exercise, yoga, walking, meditation, take a bath.
  • Avoid people and places that make you feel bad about yourself.
  • Seek out support groups for your particular problem.
  • Create affirmations and use positive self-talk.

If you have a food-related or eating-related disorder after suffering narcissistic abuse, it is my sincere hope that this chapter has given you the insight needed to progress in your healing journey.

Please be kind and gentle with yourself.

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How to Deal with Narcissistic People

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Strategies for Dealing with Narcissistic People

Excerpt from Randi Fine’s Upcoming Book, Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivors Guide to Healing

If you are looking for someone to fulfill your needs, give you support, and appreciate the best you have to offer, don’t rely on a narcissist. Narcissists are limited emotionally. They will never be who you want them to be. The sooner you can accept this fact, the better off you will be.

You have probably seen glimpses of that ideal person in your narcissist and told yourself that there must be a good person somewhere inside of him, that there is always hope he might change. Since the narcissist is human you will catch glimpses of humanity, but never empathy. Be careful not to allow these brief emanations of kindness to fool you into believing in the narcissist’s potential. He is only nice and kind if there is some personal gain for being so. Forget about potential. What you see is what you get.

Following are tips to help you manage the narcissist in your life. You must strategize to protect yourself just as diligently as he strategizes to abuse you.

  •  Stay emotionally distant. If you continue to live with the narcissist do not share any of your feelings or emotions with him. Be guarded. Do not let him see you get upset. Do not try to rationalize with him. He sees these things as weaknesses and will use them against you. If you are physically removed from the narcissist, the same applies, but it may be easier to do.
  • Do not give advice or tips to narcissists. They will take your helpful words as criticisms and lash out against you.
  • Check your sense of humor. Narcissists have no ability to laugh at themselves. You and he do not find the same things funny, and he is easily offended.
  • Postpone and delay rather than confront. If you feel like a conversation is not going well or you are being criticized, make excuses that will buy you time and cool his emotions down.
  • Be direct and concise when you speak to the narcissist. The more you elaborate, the weaker you will appear to him. You do not have to explain yourself or fill in uncomfortable silences. Just say what you have to say and leave dead air space.
  • Never negotiate with a narcissist. You will lose every time.
  • Never give a narcissist a second chance. If he has made a promise and does not keep it, do not let him convince you that he will do better next time. He will not. If he disregards a boundary that you have set, follow through on the consequences you previously established.
  • Manage the narcissist’s wayward emotions and moods. Think of him as if he is a child having a temper tantrum rather than an adult who has power over you. Try to allay his anxieties and fears. It is his fragility, not high self-esteem that causes him to bully.
  • Convince the narcissist that you are playing on the same team he is. Do not give him reasons to treat you like an enemy.
  • Have no expectations of the narcissist. He will never consider your feelings, take responsibility for anything he does or apologize for hurting you. He does not care about you and never will.
  • Accept that what you see is what you get. He will never change into the person you want him to be. Don’t let him fool you into believing he will. Remind yourself of this often. Create an affirmation you can say to yourself to reinforce the fact.
  • Try not to take his treatment of you personally. It is a symptom of his insecurities. It is not about you.
  • Stay focused on your personal objectives. Do not let the narcissist side track you. Do whatever it takes to reach your goals. Be patient and be smart.
  • Exercise self-control. Narcissists are button pushers. They love reactions and they love drama. Do not feed into the things they do.
  • Never accuse or blame the narcissist. Take responsibility for all your feelings by using “I” statements.
  • Never demand or give ultimatums. If you want to sway the narcissist in a particular direction, frame it in a way that appeals to his ego. Instead of saying, “My office is having another family picnic. I always want to go and you never agree to it. If you say no I am going without you,” you could say, “My boss asked about you today. He thinks you are so intelligent and interesting, and looks forward to seeing you at this year’s family picnic. The girls in my office hope to see you there too. They always talk about how handsome and charming you are.”
  • Narcissists feed off of compliments. Nothing soothes the savage beast more than having his ego stroked. Tell him how successful he is, how nice he looks, and how much you admire the ease in which he relates to people. 
  • Narcissists use fear to control their victims. Do not show him that you are afraid of him.
  • Take nothing the narcissist says at face value. He lies and manipulates even when there is no reason to. Be discerning with everything he tells you to avoid falling into his traps.

 Ending a telephone conversation:

  • Always be the one in control of the conversation. End it immediately, without explanation, if the narcissist starts crossing boundaries. Just say, “Okay, I have to go now.”
  • Do not allow the narcissist to ramble on and on. Set a time limit to prevent him from sucking you into his drama and then adhere to it. Again, no explanation is necessary. It is simply time for you to go.
  • Narcissists are not interested in what you have to say. They don’t care about what is going on in your life. The fastest way to get them off the telephone is to talk about yourself or something you know disinterests them. Do not let them get a word in edgewise. Watch how fast they hang up.

Staying safe:

  • Remove yourself and your children from any abusive situation as soon as possible. Do not leave forwarding information with anyone they are in contact with or anyone who can be manipulated into giving it to them.
  • Do not suffer in silence. Do not be secretive about your abuse. Reach out to others; just be careful who you share your problem with. The last thing you need is to be judged or blamed. If you cannot trust anyone you know, enlist the support of a mental health professional who understands.
  • If you expect to have contact with an estranged narcissist, let others know where you will be, how they can reach you, and when you will be leaving.
  • Always have an exit strategy. Do not allow yourself to be cornered or isolated.
  • If you feel threatened and cannot calm the situation down, call in law enforcement.
  • If you suspect that the narcissist you are living with is dangerous, prepare ahead of time. Have all your important papers ready to grab and take with you at a moment’s notice. Have emergency numbers coded and programmed into your cell phone.
  • If you want to leave but are afraid to, enlist the support of your state or local domestic violence assistant programs before making any moves.

If you are contemplating leaving your narcissistic abuser, do not clue him in ahead of time or threaten to leave. Be very smart. Plan your strategy and when you are ready, just leave.

Do not give him time to withdraw all your money out of a bank account or spend it all, charge up credit cards, defame you to your employer or anyone you may need to be reliant on, or destroy your personal property. Irate, vindictive narcissists are notorious for doing all those things.

After you leave, immediately cancel all joint credit cards and close all joint bank accounts. Do not take any of his calls or answer his emails. Block him on all social media accounts. If he shows up at your door, do not let him in. Call the police if you have to.

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Are You Suffering from Narcissistic Victim Syndrome

Most of us are aware of the symptoms we are experiencing and how they impact our lives long before we ever seek professional help for them. But fitting our symptoms together in a way that makes sense is difficult. That is why knowing about narcissistic victim syndrome is so important. Once we identify what is wrong with us we can begin the appropriate healing process.

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Tyrannical Rule of the Narcissistic Father

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npd-father1Tyrannical Rule of the NPD Father

Excerpt from Randi Fine’s Upcoming Book, Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivors Guide to Healing

A father’s role is to love, protect, support and guide his children. Narcissistic fathers do none of those things. They are cruel, arrogant bullies who take advantage of vulnerable children—children who so want and need their love.

The narcissistic father has no respect for his children. He does not consider them individuals in their own right but rather extensions of his perfect self. Children are nothing more than captive narcissistic supply. He sees no other reason for their existence.

Though he may occasionally tell his children that he loves them, his words do not match his actions. He is rarely pleasant; he is often explosive, moody and abusive. When he is not exploiting and devaluing his children he is ignoring them.

The narcissistic father is impossible to please. Children are expected to meet his ever changing, self-centered needs without the benefit of reward. He rules them through manipulation, intimidation and fear. Children do not like how they feel when their narcissistic dad is around, but nothing could ever diminish their need for his love, acceptance and attention.

Children are given little to cling to in that regard; there are elemental acts of paternal care, occasional displays of affection, and glimpses of mercifulness. Sadly, the same gestures so prized by his children are just as easily used against them as emotional blackmail. He is heartless in getting what he wants from them.

The narcissistic father expects his children to cater to his every whim. They are expected to be ready and available to him at all times. That is because narcissistic men have no impulse control, no ability to delay gratification. When they want something they expect to snap their fingers and instantly receive it. If they don’t get their way they throw ferocious temper tantrums.

To avoid having to deal with his terrifying episodes of rage, the narcissistic father’s children walk on eggshells around him. That still provides no insurance. He finds any excuse to get angry.

Nothing his children do is ever good enough.  He is intolerant of anything less than perfection— perfection as defined by his distorted ideals. To maintain his delusional, spotless self-image, he demands his children be impeccable in looks, exemplary in actions, and unequalled in performance.

All demands narcissistic fathers place on their children are hypocritical and contradictory. These men are disrespectful to their children but intolerant of their insubordination. They are derogatory and vulgar in the way they speak to their children but expectant of refinement and decency from them. Though mercilessly critical of their children, they are highly offended by their children’s innocuous queries and comments.

Their thinking is backward. The behaviors narcissistic fathers consider disrespectful and insulting—independent thinking, assertion of autonomous beliefs, judgments and opinions, and expression of personal likes and dislikes—are the very things most fathers praise and encourage in their kids.

Children in these environments have no rights and no voice. Their fathers consider themselves lords and masters over their families. All decisions are to be made by them, no questions asked. They feel entitled to choose their children’s friends, clothing and interests. Children who dare to question their fathers’ choices or opinions face terrifying rage and irrational threats.

Fathers may threaten to send the children away or leave them, or threaten bodily harm or death. Threatening statements such as, “I brought you into this world, and I can just as easily take you out of it,” are usually idle, but the children cannot bank on that. They can never be sure of what their maniacal father is capable.

Narcissistic fathers also punish their children through guilt trips with statements such as: “I give you a house to live in, clothes to wear, and food to eat, and this is how you repay me,” or “You are nothing but a selfish ingrate.”

As is the case with all narcissistic parents, nothing brings out more hostility in these fathers than the threat of their children’s autonomy because they fear losing narcissistic supply. As owners of their children, narcissistic fathers feel entitled to feed off of them at will. They claim the right to abuse them mentally, emotionally and sometimes physically. Some fathers, the worst of the worst, sexually abuse as well.

Children have no right to their futures. Their fathers quash their dreams, goals and plans. Their career paths are chosen for them without any consideration for what they want to do with their lives. They want their children to be successful so they can take credit for their achievements, but there is one catch: children are not allowed to have more or achieve more than their narcissistic father has.

Narcissistic fathers demoralize their children. Children are told that they don’t deserve to have or receive nice things. Those who dare to ask for anything more than what is offered are told they are greedy. They are accused of only loving their father for his money. Their father chooses what his child will and will not have, and when he or she will have it. Nothing given is permanent; everything comes with a high price tag.

No matter how devoted the children are or how hard they try to please their father, they are forever held in debt. Nothing they have done before gets credited to them. They are only reminded of what they owe their father in the moment.

While all the children in the family strive to please their father, only one child at a time will be recognized for it. As is true with all narcissistic parents, fathers choose only one golden child. The rest of the children are assigned scapegoat or invisible children roles. Typically chauvinistic, they are more likely to choose a son over a daughter, or the most “manly” son in the family as their golden child.

The golden child is clearly favored, but he knows that the stakes for that veneration are high. He never confuses the preferential treatment he receives from his father with paternal love. His father may toss more crumbs his way than he does his siblings, but true parental love is never shown.

The narcissistic father blinds the golden child into believing that he has the most wonderful, generous father in the world and should be grateful for his privileged status. But the golden status is highly conditional. For one, it often requires the child take sides with his father against his mother and less favored siblings. He is deliberately misled by lies his father tells him to ensure that allegiance. He must also be available to his father, comply with all his rules, and revere him. Any infractions could boot him right out of golden status and get him demoted to scapegoat status.

The scapegoat role is typically assigned to sons with less machismo or daughters, but any child can end up in that doghouse.

Boys who are assigned the role of scapegoat have it rough. Their father mercilessly picks on and bullies them. They are called “sissies” or something to that effect. Scapegoat sons can never rise above the labeling their narcissistic father puts on them. All attempts to demonstrate their masculinity are met with ridicule. No matter what these boys do they can never measure up to their father’s expectations or escape the brunt of his hostility. They are constantly being yelled at, put down, teased, and called names.

Scapegoat sons can only endure the relentless abuse for so long before their hurt turns to anger and they act out. Some run away from home to escape the tyranny, some get into trouble at school or with the law. Some hold out until they are able to achieve independence and then leave as soon as they possibly can. Many numb their pain through substance abuse. Whatever the method of self-liberation, most of them will permanently sever ties with their father.

Daughters raised under the oppression of a narcissistic father seem to have a different experience than sons do. They are likely to receive positive attention from their father during the years when they are cute, compliant little “Daddy’s girls.” As they age they become less valuable.

Some narcissistic fathers begin treating their daughters as if they do not exist. Others may continue paying attention to their daughters but in an entirely negative way. Physically maturing girls may be told they are fat or unattractive. They may be labeled “teases” or “sluts” for the way they dress or for wanting to wear makeup.

Narcissistic fathers enjoy playing on their daughters’ emotions. They tease and provoke the girls to the point of screaming or crying and then say they are too sensitive or call them crazy for the way they’re behaving.

Daughters are not the only females in the family treated poorly. Narcissistic men are emotionally and sometimes physically cruel to their wives as well. Though the spousal abuse occurs away from the public eye, it usually happens in front of the children. Narcissistic fathers frequently place their children in the middle of their marital conflicts and make them choose sides. Neither the children’s feelings nor their emotional health are considered. These things do not concern him. The only feelings that ever matter are his own. All family members are expected to sacrifice their happiness for his. Still, nothing about his family makes him happy.

He prefers not to be with his family at all. If he does spend time with them, the activity must always be focused on his enjoyment. Family activities are never pleasant or fondly remembered by the children because they are never geared toward family fun. The children are made to do whatever their father wants to do—no discussions, no compromise.

Narcissistic men bore easily with the daily routine of having a family. Resentful of the mundane tasks of fatherhood that do not feed their egos, they’d rather spend time with other families that are impressed by their charisma, charm and grandiose stories, and are chock full of narcissistic supply.

Narcissistic fathers find every reason not to engage with their families. Having little or no patience with their children, all child-rearing is left up to their wives. While their wives are busy taking care of the family, they are out looking for excitement and gratification elsewhere, often from other women.

Narcissistic husbands typically have mistresses on the side. It is not uncommon for them to have second families and second homes. They are highly insecure, especially when it comes to their masculinity, so validation from one woman, especially a wife, is not enough. They must keep seeking reassurance from new women through a series of affairs. Unsuspecting newcomers rarely know these men are married.

To justify cheating on their wives, narcissistic men tell themselves lies such as: “She doesn’t appreciate me anymore,” “She doesn’t treat me well,”She doesn’t really love me,” or “She’s lucky I even stay with her.”

The “other women” are treated much better than their wives are. They must keep up the grand facade to string these women along. If the men do have second families, those children are usually treated better than their legitimate children are. Much more narcissistic supply can be gained from a new family, one who has yet to see what these men are capable of. Some narcissistic men dump their first family and invest entirely in their new one. It is only a matter of time before the cycle of abuse starts all over again with these unsuspecting victims.

Should the first wife leave or divorce her husband before he abandons or divorces her, he will wage a tireless war of revenge aimed at destroying her life and decimating the family unit. Suddenly transforming from worst father ever to “Dad of the Year,” he will rally the children around him. This wake-up call has nothing to do with loving his children or fearing he’ll lose them. His motivation comes entirely from his compulsion to win. He does not really want the children—he wants to punish their mother.

To gain their allegiance, children will be told fabricated lies about their mother. They’ll be told that their mother is not who they think she is—that she is really a bad person, a fake, a liar. Their father will blame the responsibility for all the marital and family problems on her, maintaining that he always loved their mother and tried to keep the marriage together, but that she never loved him and was never faithful to him (more about this in Chapter Forty: Divorce and Parental Alienation).

This is a very confusing turn of events for children who had always feared their father and trusted their mother. Now they do not know who to believe, who to trust. Some side with the mother, some with the father. The children’s resentments against their other parent and each other build to a point where reconciliation is nearly impossible. The family is torn apart.

Having successfully achieved what he set out to do, he moves on to his next victim.

No matter the scenario, a trail of pain, heartbreak and devastation is left in the aftermath. Victims who have suffered this abuse are left with a tremendous amount to overcome.

If you are an adult child of a narcissistic father who wants to heal the damage done to you, my best advice to you is to enlist the help of an experienced professional who can help you work through your issues.

It is rational to want to confront the man who stole so many years of happiness from you, but it is pointless to do so. The only thing you will gain is more pain, guilt, anger and confusion. You will never get validation or cooperation from your father. He will never acknowledge what he did, take responsibility for his actions, or change his ways. He will always blame someone else—probably you.

Siring a child makes a man a father but not necessarily a dad. Dads love their children. Dads put their children before all else and all others.

You owe this man for nothing more than the sperm he donated to create you. Any loyalty or love you wish to give him is your choice. You are under no obligation to offer either.

This is copyrighted material. May not be reproduced.

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September 11th Memorial Music Video

Wake Me Up When September Ends

by Greenday

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends
Like my father’s come to pass
Seven years has gone so fast
Wake me up when September ends

Here comes the rain again
Falling from the stars
Drenched in my pain again
Becoming who we are
As my memory rests
But never forgets what I lost
Wake me up when September ends

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends
Ring out the bells again
Like we did when spring began
Wake me up when September ends

Here comes the rain again
Falling from the stars
Drenched in my pain again
Becoming who we are
As my memory rests
But never forgets what I lost
Wake me up when September ends

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends
Like my father’s come to pass
Twenty years has gone so fast
Wake me up when September ends
Wake me up when September ends
Wake me up when September ends

Written by Michael Pritchard, Frank E., Iii Wright, Billie Joe Armstrong • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc
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Narcissists Objectify and Dehumanize

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npd abuse26The narcissist’s conscience, though impaired and provisional, does not allow him to abuse undeserving people. Before launching his campaign of abuse against people, he must clear his “conscience” by first objectifying them and then dehumanizing them. Once perceived as valueless, he feels privileged to treat these individuals in whatever way he pleases.

~Randi G Fine

Close Encounters of the Worst Kind

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Narcissistic Raging Blaming and Bullying

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Narcissists Rage, Blame and Bully

Excerpt from Randi Fine’s Upcoming Book, Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivors Guide to Healing

Just below the surface of every narcissist lie repressed aggression, paranoia, suspicion and fear. They are volatile, dramatic, and emotional people who feed off of any kind of dramagood or bad, negative or positive. When there isn’t enough drama in their lives they create it.

The narcissist cannot tolerate any suggestion that he is less than perfect. He perceives criticism as a threat to his self-worth and self-esteem, and that wounds him to the core. By core I mean the fragile underbelly beneath his tough facade that he consciously denies. The emotional torment suffered by a narcissist under “attack” is known as “narcissistic injury.”

When a narcissist’s expectations are not met or he feels criticized, disapproved of or blamed, narcissistic injury triggers erratic responses such as rage, blame, or the cold-shouldered silent treatment.

Negative feedback of any sort, even an innocuous suggestion that a person wishes to be treated better, can trigger the vicious outbursts known as “narcissistic rage.”

There are two types of narcissistic rage: “explosive” and “pernicious/passive-aggressive.”

Explosive rage is akin to a temper tantrum. It is a fury released at even the slightest provocation. Any challenge, insult, lack of respect or defiance whether real, trivial, or imagined can send a narcissist flying into this rage.

Explosively raging narcissists scream, spew horrible insults, belittle their target, dredge up sensitive or confidential information and throw it back in the person’s face, and aggressively act out. The narcissist’s face during an explosive rage is among the most frightening you will ever see in your life.

Pernicious/passive-aggressive rage is a mind game that is vindictive and emotionally torturous. Victims are ostracized and shunned by the narcissist for extended periods of time through sulking, ignoring, or the silent treatment. It may be expressed through body language, facial expressions or tone of voice.

Passive-aggressive rage keeps victims, who in many cases do not know what they have done wrong, in a constant state of anxiety, mental anguish, and physical illness. Since the isolation, rejection and abandonment experienced by victims feels unbearable, they are willing to do anything to end it. That usually means apologizing for something they haven’t done, groveling or coddling.

The narcissist’s terrorization campaign is all about power and control. Narcissists zero in on the weaknesses of their target and then attack when the person’s defenses are down. The punishments are mentally and sometimes physically cruel. It is never a fair fight. The only tool victims have at their disposal is placation. Fully aware of that handicap, narcissists ruthlessly train victims to fear them so they can get what they want.

Narcissists know how to get into others’ heads and learn what makes them tick. They scrutinize people to figure out how they will react to things. Once the narcissist can predict his victim’s reactions he knows exactly how to hurt her. He keeps a mental record of everything his victim does and says, and all the things that pain her. He bullies, harasses and provokes his victims to the point of frustration. When they react he says, “Look at how crazy you’re acting. I’m not the one with the problem, you are.” If his victim gets upset, he accuses her of being overly sensitive or thin skinned.

Narcissists can never be held accountable for anything they do. To avoid being pinned down they use a tactic known as “projection.” They project onto others a reflection of what they are feeling about themselves. When they lie they accuse you of being a liar. When they hurt you they accuse you of hurting them. If they make an accusation, they will later deny ever saying it. They’ll accuse you of being selfish and unloving when it is they who are selfish and unloving. Something or someone else is always to blame. No matter what occurs they will never accept responsibility for their part.

Narcissists have very selective memories. They will say they don’t remember something, deny it happened, or claim that the other person is just making it up. They will obstinately argue that they are right. You can never win a verbal battle with them because they are Teflon. Nothing sticks to them. The harder you try to hold a narcissist accountable, the worse the assault on you will be. They will distort, fabricate, or exaggerate—whatever it takes to make a point.

The narcissist lacks emotional self-control and is prone to wild, violent mood swings triggered by external stimuli. Criticism or disobedience is guaranteed to set him off. He can be happy, loving and fun as long as everything is going his way, he has what he wants, and no one is challenging him. But people around him never know what to expect. One minute he is pleasant, the next minute furious. He switches from euphoria to depression and from passivity to aggression with no warning.

Narcissists have poor senses of humor. They cannot laugh at themselves. The slightest joke at their expense will be met with an angry outburst. They resent others for being able to enjoy humor when they cannot. In their haughty, high and mighty way, they capitalize on every opportunity to dampen people’s spirits. When others are enjoying themselves, they must put an end to it. This is done through humiliation; through the devaluation of others’ senses of humor.

Narcissists do not recognize any of their behaviors as irrational or unacceptable. Blinded by their perfect self-images, they believe all their reactions are justified.

The narcissist continually walks a fine line between fantasy and reality. He confuses imagination with true memories, or he forms false memories and then distorts things to make them fit into his fabricated, recreated world.

Able to justify everything he does, he never believes he is wrong. He does not feel sorry for anything he does, therefore never gives genuine apologies. You may hear a narcissist utter something that resembles an apology, but it is never authentic. He is only imitating what he has seen others do in similar situations. If you listen carefully to the way the narcissist phrases his words you will realize that he is not sorry at all. And since he perceives every “assault” as a denigration of his soul, he rarely accepts apologies from others. Considering himself superior, he adamantly believes no one has the right to treat him as anything but. Lesser treatment is simply unforgivable.

Narcissists are impossible to get along with. You will never be accepted or respected by them for who you are. You don’t matter nor do your opinions, and you will never win a battle with them.

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