Are they…feigning amnesia, inventing health problems, faking a suicide and often with a grand suicide note, avoiding their usual social activities, not keeping up with normal commitments, avoiding social media?
Do you have dysfunctional family dynamics or know someone who does? If you were raised by a parent with narcissistic personality disorder you will relate to these statements. Many of the sayings apply to being raised by someone with any type of personality disorder, but all of the below testimonials will validate children, young or grown, of a parent, or parents, with narcissistic personality disorder.
Someone so toxic they are willing to jeopardize
anybody’s reputation or future, including their own children,
to help themself get out of a sticky situation, conversation, sin, or
crime. In their personality disordered mind it’s no big deal.
Do you suspect someone you work with, or know, has a personality disorder? Has the leadership of your company, organization, or church been attempting to remove, dismiss, or terminate the person or their position?
Today I want to show you, with video, what someone with Narcissistic personality disorder may look like. While watching this short video, replace the character of Facebook co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg, with a dynamic speaker who has a witty sense of humor and is a leader in the Christian community. Keep in mind that narcissistic personalities can still appear different; some are charismatic—some boring, humorous vs.serious, highly intelligent vs. below average intelligence, well spoken vs. inarticulate, life of the party vs. quiet. Regardless of their differences they have many characteristics in common.
Consider a person who intertwines scripture as a means for emotional control and twists verses to support their dominance over co-workers. A specialist who tries to tell others who they are with no regard to reality.
A person who uses their title or place of leadership as a cover for control, dominance, or even abuse is not only not a leader in the way the Bible sets forth but is instead a moral and spiritual failure. Let me make this clear: When it comes to leadership, domination is never a teaching of the Bible. But servant leadership is.
When truth is revealed against the backdrop of their deception, sin, or crime they play the “I am special” card and, “This isn’t the way it appears” line. In classic narcissistic fashion they hold up a mirror and reflect the accusation being made against them back at the plaintiff. You will NEVER win an argument with a narcissist or point out their error since they are perfect and do no wrong. Remember the rules and laws do not apply to them: For more on this topic see previous Toxic Tuesday posts about Narcissism.
“Jesus…is the Lion of Judah (Rev. 5:5) and the Lamb of God (Rev. 5:6) – He was lionhearted and lamb like, strong and meek, tough and tender, aggressive and responsive, bold and brokenhearted. He sets the pattern for manhood.” -John Piper
Narcissists like to explain why your accomplishments are of little importance and possibly not true accomplishments. They do not know how to encourage others and be genuinely happy for other’s successes. The only time you are praise worthy is when they can use your achievement to make themselves look better to someone else; or make it seem like your triumph was due to their input in your life.
You will not gain a narcissist’s understanding. You will be ignored, dismissed, and belittled while the narcissist manipulates behind the scenes with no remorse or twinge of conscience toward the path of destruction they leave behind.
Narcissists are entitled to treat people however they feel with no regard to the other person’s feeling, needs, or input. They make executive decisions for everyone involved without allowing feedback, questions, or creative involvement. They are a god unto themselves and they like to surround themselves with people who believe everything they say without asking questions.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Narcissists have no boundaries with other people’s feelings, ideas, and needs. When dealing with this personality there are phrases that you need to memorize and keep in your mental pocket.
That’s not what I was thinking; or had in mind.
That’s your opinion.
My decision is final.
I’m not discussing this.
You need to know what you are going to say before confronting someone like this and stick with your script. Most importantly you don’t want to show any emotion. Positive or negative emotion only feeds the narcissist; known as narcissistic supply. You must starve them of the reaction they desire.
It doesn’t matter if you see this type of person committing a crime, yelling at someone, or telling a lie; they will deny it. Worse yet, because they are grand actors and liars it is easy to believe their cover story. I’ve been through this time and time again and I believed the actor/liar on every occasion…they were that good…until I understood I was dealing with a personality disorder. Before that I truly believed they were misunderstood, set-up, manipulated, not at fault, lied about, and…that I was the problem.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
To be clinically diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder a person must exhibit five of nine criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Imagine being in a relationship with someone who meets all nine of the criteria. Once upon a time I lived with such a person. Now imagine the narcissism is the easiest part of the toxic relationship because underneath this surface lurks a tormented dark soul disguised as light.
One does not have to imagine long on this concept of darkness disguised as light since Satan has masqueraded in a cloak of light through the centuries.
Satan is not creative; just a good copycat who counterfeits everything he sees the Heavenly Father do. Satan produces many fake replicas; evil beautifully gift-wrapped with a forged logo or brand name. As with counterfeit consumer products, Satan’s imitations are of a lower quality, sometimes not working at all, and often have toxic elements; producing toxic people—resulting in a lesser quality of life for God’s beloved children. Satan’s bogus plans, interjected into the lives of humans, have resulted in physical and spiritual deaths. Fatal poison has been packaged as the healing balm of Christ.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The complexity of a narcissist makes them interesting to study, infuriating to live with, frustrating to work with, and the subject of psychological and spiritual scrutiny.
People can suffer from more than one personality disorder, or have what is called mixed personality disorder where the person meets criteria from several disorders, but not enough in any one of them to make a formal and supportable diagnosis in that area, the appropriate diagnosis is Personality Disorder NOS (not otherwise specified) with X, Y, and Z (or whatever) traits).
One of several overlapping disorders that can co-exist with narcissistic tendencies is obsessive compulsive personality disorder (completely different from obsessive compulsive disorder); characterized by a preoccupation of concern with excessive attention to details, mental and interpersonal control, and a need for control over one’s environment, at the expense of flexibility (everything is black and white to them). Money is viewed as something to be hoarded. Read about the entire criteria of this disorder at PhychCentral. If you question if someone you know has a personality disorder you should research disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders – DSM-IV.
Allow me to introduce you to Mr. Fatal Self-Love:
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive,disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. 2 Timothy 3:1-5
Because I know there are those of you who woke up today asking, “Is it me? Am I crazy? This all has to be my fault! I can’t do anything right. My defects are continually pointed out; character traits that I thought were good, positive and helpful, are identified as terrible and wrong. I feel like I should just go sit on the shelf and be quiet until I am asked for and needed. I thought I was strong, intelligent, capable, a good friend, generous, happy and hospitable. Now I feel empty—sad…erased. Where did I go?”
Perhaps it isn’t you! No loving, empathetic human would treat another like this. Maybe it’s time to look at your difficult person through a new set of lenses.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
So here, I’m handing you a new set of eyes. While I’m at it, I’ll lend you a new pair of ears so you can recall if these are phrases you often hear. Do the below statements reflect how you have felt, how your heart has ached, questions you have asked, or statements that have been made to you?
If so, you may want to study narcissistic personality disorder. If the below problems identify a relationship you are in, you will need professional help; along with, prayer and bible study to make it through to healthy thinking, wise boundaries and an emotionally safe relationship.
You can do it!