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The Mirror Talks – Reflections on Narcissism #6 April 7, 2012

Posted by alwaysjan in Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
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I never could have imagined that so many people would read my 3-part series Close Encounter with a Narcissist. Or imagined how many people would leave comments detailing their own often heart-wrenching “close encounters.”

When I check my blog stats (something us bloggers obsessively do), I like to check the “search engine terms” people typed in before they were electronically dropped off at my blog’s doorstep.

In this series, The Mirror Talks – Reflections on Narcissism, I’ll use a “search term” I’ve come across as a jumping off point for a discussion. (Please read the Close Encounter with a Narcissist series first, or it’s like walking in after the movie’s started. Shhhh!)  Here goes.

Why do I Miss the Narcissist?

When a Narcissist zeros in on a new source of supply, he (or she) is on their best behavior. The Academy Award-winning performance they give has been perfected by years of being “on stage”  - in the sense that they are literally performing a role in what the rest of us call “life.” They cling to this role and rarely vary from the script. It’s worked before, and it will work again. There’s not a lot of improvisation involved. That First Impression of them is seared into your memory. They can be so endearing or (substitute appropriate adjective).

So a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) can be charming, seductive, endearing, and even appear to be compassionate and caring. But again, this is all an act calculated to disarm their victim’s defenses. Is it conscious? I don’t know. I’m not sure if they even know. But it’s what they do best. It’s how they roll. And it can seem incredibly genuine…at the time.

The article, Narcissists Often Ace Job Interviews, Study Findsilluminates how Narcissists can turn on the charm in any given situation to close the deal. It’s only later that their true colors emerge.

So when the Narcissist tires of Act 1 (Idealization) and goes to Act 2 (Devaluation & Discard aka D&D), the change in their manner towards you can leave you with a wicked case of emotional whiplash. WTF? Why did they say that? Why are they playing games with me? Why would…(fill in the blank)?

Who doesn’t want to cling to that first impression? Or memories of the “good times?” You’d like to think that they could return to being THAT person, not realizing that THAT person was only a ruse.

When I asked my sister-in-law, who was married to a Narcissist for 14 years, when her husband changed, she said (without hesitation) “the day after we married.”

During the Idealization Phase, the Narcissist is anything, no make that EVERYTHING, you want him to be. But then the novelty wears off and real life enters into the equation. The D&D begins.

I can understand those who struggle to get over a Close Encounter with a Narcissist. They want that person back. The person they thought they knew. But time travel is not possible, so there’s NO going back. You have to be able to see the Narcissist for what they were/are  - an imposter.

What makes it even more difficult to recover from such an encounter is the feeling that you’ve been duped – or played. You’re an intelligent person, but now you feel like somebody’s fool. What can I say? Do not expect any apologies or closure. You may understand what happened intellectually while you’re still hurting emotionally. It takes time. And more time. But, you CAN move on and flourish.

It’s a painful scenario, but the curtain falls after Act 3. The show’s over. Are you ready to move on?

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