Narcissistic Personality Disorder falls along the axis of what psychologists call personality disorders, one of a group that includes antisocial, dependent, histrionic, avoidant and borderline personalities. But by most measures, narcissism is one of the worst, if only because the narcissists themselves are so clueless.
– Jeffrey Kluger, author of The Narcissist Next Door
NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY DISORDER: THE PROVERBIAL JEKYLL AND HYDE
WHAT IS A NARCISSIST?
In popular culture, the term “narcissist” is thrown about quite loosely, usually referring to someone who’s extremely vain and self-absorbed. This reduces narcissism to a common quality that everyone possesses and downplays the symptoms demonstrated by people with the actual disorder. While narcissism does exist on a spectrum, narcissism as a full-fledged personality disorder is quite different; Narcissistic Personality Disorder is considered by many to be one of the most dangerous and destructive disorders in existence.
Narcissists are people who suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and the signs and symptoms are so obvious once you can learn to identify them. But trying to understand Narcissism can almost drive you insane because it makes no sense. Because the sad tragedy of NPD is that those who suffer from it will never, ever realize that they have it.
In basic terms, NPD sufferers lack empathy for others and most importantly for themselves. They are furiously self-destructive while also maintaining an appearance of having it together. They maintain this appearance in a variety of ways: lying, cheating, stealing or victimizing others. This is not to say that narcissists are not nice people. They are very good at mimicking human emotions and behaviors but by and large they are psychopaths. If a company has a narcissist for an HR manager, that company is in danger. If your therapist is a narcissist, your mental health is at stake. If your mother is a narcissist, every person you try to marry will be an enemy. If a narcissist falls in love with you, then you become their number one enemy. God forbid you marry a narcissist because they will make your life (and your children’s lives) a living hell.
If you have something a narcissist wants be prepared. They may want to be friends with your friends. They may want your popularity. They will study you as if you were prey and they were a predator. They may even view you as a threat to something they already have. But once you’ve been chosen as a victim of a narcissist, your complete and total annihilation is what they have in mind. And if they can’t kill you, they will do what they can to smear your reputation or turn your friends, lovers, and supporters against you. They want to wipe you off the face of the Earth and if they can’t do that they will ruin everything in your life so that you’ll want to die. They are counting on you committing suicide.
And what makes narcissists so dangerous is that if you discover that they are a narcissist or even expose them as one they go in for the kill.
Let me repeat:
And what makes narcissists so dangerous is that if you discover that they are a narcissist or even expose them as one they go in for the kill.
They are not above lying to judges or police officers to ruin your life. Their perfect appearance must be preserved at all costs. They will get you fired from your job. They will cry rape. They will do whatever they can to stop the truth from coming out. They will get a court order to throw you into a mental hospital. They will drive you crazy so that you will feel you have to go to a mental hospital. They will convince the authorities that you are a danger to yourself and to others. The goal is to have you eliminated. And most times they succeed.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a Cluster B Personality Disorder within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5, which is used by mental health professionals for diagnosis purposes and billing. Cluster B is called the dramatic, emotional, and erratic cluster.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) — one of several types of personality disorders — is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of extreme confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism. A narcissistic personality disorder causes problems in many areas of life, such as relationships, work, school or financial affairs. People with narcissistic personality disorder may be generally unhappy and disappointed when they’re not given the special favors or admiration they believe they deserve. They may find their relationships unfulfilling, and others may not enjoy being around them.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is an Axis II disorder, which are sometimes referred to as the “untreatables.” These are personality disorders that are generally fixed conditions that do not change.
There is currently no effective treatment for NPD; those with this condition rarely believe they have a problem. Talk therapy may prove effective in some instances, but its use is cautioned as narcissists are prone to deception and manipulation, fooling even expert mental health professionals.
Narcissists are known to show these characteristics to varying degrees as follows:
- Lack emotional empathy and cannot identify with the feelings or thoughts of another person.
- Extremely sensitive to any kind of criticism.
- Exploitative, vain, and not self-sufficient.
- Feels inferior and will try to be seen as superior.
- Preoccupied with their own problems.
- Can be manipulative to others to feed their need for power by intimidating others through bullying, lies, and manipulation.
Signs and symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder and the severity of symptoms vary. People with the disorder can:
- Have an exaggerated sense of self-importance
- Have a sense of entitlement and require constant, excessive admiration
- Expect to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
- Exaggerate achievements and talents
- Be preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
- Believe they are superior and can only associate with equally special people
- Monopolize conversations and belittle or look down on people they perceive as inferior
- Expect special favors and unquestioning compliance with their expectations
- Take advantage of others to get what they want
- Have an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
- Be envious of others and believe others envy them
- Behave in an arrogant or haughty manner, coming across as conceited, boastful and pretentious
- Insist on having the best of everything — for instance, the best car or office
At the same time, people with narcissistic personality disorder have trouble handling anything they perceive as criticism, and they can:
- Become impatient or angry when they don’t receive special treatment
- Have significant interpersonal problems and easily feel slighted
- React with rage or contempt and try to belittle the other person to make themselves appear superior
- Have difficulty regulating emotions and behavior
- Experience major problems dealing with stress and adapting to change
- Feel depressed and moody because they fall short of perfection
- Have secret feelings of insecurity, shame, vulnerability and humiliation
ANOTHER WAY OF EXPLAINING AND UNDERSTANDING NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY DISORDER
As a result of childhood abuse, the narcissistic personality submerged and disowned his or her True Self and created a False Self to replace it. The False Self is a glorified, grandiose version of self the narcissist idealizes in order to escape the horrific inner voices: ‘you are no-one, unworthy, unacceptable, and defective’. The False Self is all-pervasive – it has taken over the individual with narcissistic personality disorders entire identity. The False Self is a bottomless pit which only ever feels alive if and when it is receiving narcissistic supply, or is engrossed in thoughts of specialness, uniqueness and being the center influence of people who are in the narcissist’s world.
Than narcissistic personality has a true inner self which is incredibly damaged, non-functional and incapable of dealing with the onslaught of the inner wounds which the narcissist has disowned, rejected and not taken responsibility for. The False Self therefore is the absolute priority of the narcissist – keeping it fed with narcissistic supply – as a total addiction that is relentless and all consuming. Everyone and everything in the narcissist’s existence is mined for narcissistic supply. If the person or thing is not able to provide adequate narcissistic supply, it will be devalued and discarded by the narcissist accordingly.
There is no greater narcissistic injury than being exposed for the phony he or she really is. To lose the hold of the False Self and have his or her mask ripped down exposing the true distorted, horrific shameful personality is akin to emotional annihilation for an individual with narcissistic personality disorder. He or she will react with incredible vengeance, retaliation and maliciousness. The narcissistic personality may stop at nothing to exact punishment, which includes but is not limited to the destruction of a person’s reputation with vicious smear campaigns, using any pathological and even criminal method to destroy the person’s life and the narcissist will cause mayhem and havoc to any other person who just happens to get in the way.
The narcissistic personality has no remorse, conscience or ability to comprehend how actions affect others. As far as the narcissistic personality is concerned, he or she is the victimized one, and the disordered mind of the narcissist twists and turns facts into pathologically believing that what he or she did was perpetrated by the other party. Taking down a person with narcissistic personality disorder’s mask is indeed risky business, and one should be very sure that what needs to be protected is, and there are no loose ends for the narcissistic personality to attack. Be aware that a narcissist may also react vengefully and maliciously to any slight (real or imagined) that threatens his or her False Self.
Narcissists will go to whatever lengths they have to in order to get what they want and so often what they want is revenge. They believe they have been wronged and they react with rage when the world does not give them what they want. They take pleasure in hurting people, especially those who care about them. The goal of the narcissist is literally to destroy, especially someone they think cares about them. Abuse is integral in the “relationship” with a narcissist. It is all they know and the only way they can feel better. The narcissist cares not at all for their partner as a person; the partner only matters inasmuch as what they can do for the narcissist. It is very hard for normal, caring people to understand this and because of that, they often hang on to the relationship thinking they can reach the narcissist. They cannot. A narcissist cannot be reached with love and you cannot appeal to his good graces. He is capable of neither.
The narcissist is like a shark, or a machine that is designed to do only one thing. He cannot be swayed, appealed to, reasoned with, deviated or stopped. Hurting you literally makes him feel better. That’s the way it is. You can never make him feel good enough that he will stop. Never. You cannot change him, fix him or “love” him out of it. The only thing you can do is get out of the way. These people are fundamentally broken and as soon as the narcissist decides that you can no longer provide him with the sustenance he needs, he will drop you without a second glance. It could take 2 months, it could take 10 years, it could take 3 days but after he has sucked you dry, he will move on. You do not matter to him at all. He sees you as an extension of himself, not an actual person and as such he wishes to possess and control you. That’s it.The narcissist has a vicious, sadistic Superego (the part of a person’s mind that acts as a self-critical conscience, reflecting social standards learned from parents and teachers) that attacks him all the time with horrible, terrible things: “You’re worthless, no one likes you, you’re scum, you’re a terrible person, there is nothing good about you…” They create a False Self to hide that, which is why they seem so arrogant, etc. But they are under attack by this Superego all the time, nearly every second, and so when they find a partner, this narcissist takes all that sadistic viciousness they are hearing from the Superego out on the partner to make themselves feel better. This is the only way they have to make themselves feel better and because of this, they are never going to stop doing it. You cannot make them see they are doing this; it’s a defense mechanism. They have to believe their partner or others around them really are terrible people. It’s essential to their whole being as a person and they cannot stop. More importantly, they don’t want to stop. They are truly evil people who literally desire to destroy others because they are jealous and believe that other people have things (love, sex, material things, popularity) that they (the narcissist) are being purposely and spitefully denied.
The true narcissist is a dangerous, conscious-less, selfish, sadistic and evil person. And really, calling them a person is a misnomer. They are not truly people in the strict sense of the word. They don’t care about other people’s suffering or feelings; do you care how your couch feels when you sit on it? Do you wonder if you are being fair to your toaster? They are a true and accurate mimic, but don’t be fooled. Narcissists are truly handicapped and crippled human beings in that regard: they have no real feelings at all for anyone other than themselves. And the scary thing is, they are almost sickeningly easy to create.
Medication cannot help them. Therapy cannot help them. Nothing can help them. They are what they are. And what they are is really nobody at all. They are shells walking through life seeking fulfillment, and the only way to get what they need is by using and abusing other people. Narcissists can be dangerous, violent people. They will go to whatever lengths they have to in order to get what they want. They see people as either stumbling blocks in their way or stepping stones to use. That’s it and that’s all. The narcissist will discredit you, lie about you, ruin your life, physically hurt you or even kill you in order to get you out of the way if he wants something bad enough. And we are creating an entire generation of them, to some degree or another. That’s frightening. An entire generation of crippled, defective shells masquerading as people that are incapable of love or of ever being happy
TWO TYPES OF NARCISSISTS
Overt narcissism is the most obvious of narcissistic personality disorders. The overt narcissistic personality is arrogant, boastful and demanding. This narcissistic personality is often an exhibitionist, and can be offended if not fed energy and attention, or as a result of receiving criticism or slights real or imagined. The overt narcissist has rage very close to the surface and can when not getting his or her way.
Overt narcissistic personality disorder manifests as grandiose behavior, the demanding of specialized treatment, having to be known as the most valuable player, the most successful of a particular field,the most intelligent or the most aesthetically attractive. This narcissistic personality needs to be recognized for his or her special abilities and uniqueness,believing he or she is superior to others. The overt narcissistic personality is highly exploitative and ruthless in the quest for power and control. This individual has the potential to be a public figure and secure power, money and material desires, but always at the expense of others. Many an overt narcissistic personality may not secure success, and will concoct credentials and achievements in order to gain recognition that has never been earned.
Both the overt and covert narcissist has deep feelings of unworthiness. The overt narcissist will openly intimidate, diminish and slander others because of deep jealousy and insecurities and has high levels of distrust believing other people treat him or her with the same contempt.
The covert narcissist is the ‘shy’ narcissist, but no less dangerous and painful to become involved with. The covert narcissistic personality like the overt narcissistic personality has deep feelings of unworthiness and shame. The covert narcissist however lacks the manufactured confidence to present a grandiose false self to the world, so retreats to his inner world to live out his or her pathological fantasies.
The covert narcissist is obviously depressed and often withdrawn, and projects these feelings on to close intimates in withholding and passive aggressive ways. The covert narcissist like the overt narcissist can explode, but it takes more provocation. The covert narcissistic personality, like the overt narcissist also lacks a conscience and will project his or her damaged inner self on to others by lying, manipulating, withholding or abandoning –using whatever tactic gets a reaction and hurts those closest to him or her.
The covert narcissistic personality is often anxious, pessimistic, unmotivated, and blames his or her past for insecurities and inadequacies. He or she may be great drain on a partner by being parasitical in using money, resources and energy that he or she is not self-producing.
Just like the overt, the covert narcissistic personality type is highly exploitative and believes he or she is entitled to take, but has very little interest in contributing unless there is an ulterior motive attached.
It’s important to understand that individuals with narcissistic personality disorder may be a mixture of the ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ types – and may fit the descriptions of both types of narcissistic personality categories.
THE PERSONIFICATION OF EVIL: MALIGNANT NARCISSISM
Malignant narcissism is a psychological syndrome comprising an extreme mix of narcissism, antisocial behavior, aggression, and sadism. Grandiose, and always ready to raise hostility levels, the malignant narcissist undermines families and organizations in which they are involved, and dehumanizes the people with whom they associate.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder’s most sinister and damaging form is malignant narcissism. When stories of narcissistic abuse in relationships of all kinds come to light, chances are the victim is dealing with a malignant narcissist. Since the traits that make up NPD all sit along a spectrum, so narcissism itself also comes in different levels of severity. There are those who might rightfully be diagnosed as having NPD who are no more than the boastful, shallow, needy, jealous, and grandiose friends, colleagues, family members, and acquaintances you might interact with regularly.
Aside from being somewhat draining and hard to like in any deep or meaningful sense, they can be relatively harmless, benign even (relatively being the key word – they can still cause harm or be quite the nuisance). As you move along the spectrum and the negative traits are dialed up, you enter the territory of the malignant narcissist. Along with more acute narcissist traits, these people also tend to share traits of Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD), psychopathy, and other forms of personality disorder. While malignant narcissism is not recognized as a separate disorder by the psychiatric profession, we can try to define it nonetheless.
The definition of malignant, according to Dictionary.com is:
Disposed to cause harm, suffering, or distress deliberately; feeling or showing ill will or hatred.
This perfectly describes one of the key traits of the malignant narcissist: sadism. A sadist gains enjoyment from the pain, suffering, and humiliation of others. They willingly inflict this suffering to gratify themselves and to control others. This may manifest as verbal, emotional, and even physical abuse. It may also show in the way they treat animals and their indifference toward violence in movies, TV shows, and on the news.
All narcissists manipulate to some degree; it is their way of getting what they want. But manipulation comes in different forms. There are those who are opportunists, who seek to capitalize on events or take advantage of anyone in a vulnerable state. Then there are others – the malignant types – who are proactive in their manipulation. By this, we mean that they don’t wait for something to happen and then respond to it, they will manipulate as and when they feel the need. In fact, they get almost as much enjoyment from manipulating others as they do from making them suffer. This is, perhaps, somewhat unsurprising given that manipulation often leads to suffering. They are more forceful and less subtle in how they manipulate others, yet they also employ a greater range of tactics from gaslighting to love bombing. These acts of manipulation are calculated, planned, honed over years of use until they reach their peak of effectiveness. This is one of the key dangers of malignant narcissism – the free will of the victim is diminished and they grow ever more helpless to remove themselves from the situation.
HYPERSENSITIVITY TO CRITICISM
You criticize a malignant narcissist at your peril. Some sufferers of NPD further down the scale might be able to brush off criticism because they consider it ludicrous and a joke – they are perfect after all. Others find any form of criticism an affront to their character and go on the attack at the slightest hint of it. Their sense of self is so fragile that it is easily damaged, and retaliation or escalation is the only means they know of feeling better about themselves.
LACK OF EMPATHY
All narcissists lack empathy to some degree, but like all of these traits, there is a spectrum. As we’ve already discussed, the malignant type will happily inflict pain and suffering on others. They also ignore and invalidate any emotions shown by another being. One key thing to note is that the less dangerous narcissists may be able to experience empathy, but they are often – though not always – unwilling to let it influence them. They may even experience remorse or regret on some level. A malignant narcissist simply cannot feel empathy full stop. They cannot put themselves in another’s shoes or relate to their feelings. It’s a totally foreign concept to them. They feel and show no remorse for any suffering they cause and this is how they can behave in such a malicious manner.
Malignant narcissists don’t trust anyone. Quite the opposite, in fact. They are overly suspicious of everyone and believe others are out to get them. This stems from the fact that they seek to manipulate others for their personal gain, and so they believe everyone else acts the same way (or has the capacity to). This paranoia can lead to a state of hypervigilance where they are always on the lookout for threats. They can become preoccupied with what other people are doing; often leading them to control the movements of their victims for fear of what they might otherwise do or say.
Our “soul mate” is cunning and knows who to select and who to avoid. He will come on strong, sweep us off our feet. He seems to have the same values, interests, goals, philosophies, tastes, habits. He admires our intellect, ambition, honesty and sincerity. He wants to marry us quickly. He fakes integrity, appears helpful, comforting, generous in his ‘idealization’ of us phase. It never lasts. Eventually Jekyll turns into Hyde.
A narcissist is dangerous all the time until you educate yourself about this mental disorder and truly understand all the ways they can damage you. They will literally destroy you emotionally and mentally. If you have children with them they will literally cause your children problems in childhood and on into adulthood. You need to understand that a person who has NPD does not love you, care for you, protect you, or support you. They only care for themselves and their needs. You are just a tool to help them feel good about themselves.
In time you will feel probably the most fearful when they go into Narcissistic Rages. Narcissists are extremely sensitive and become offended very easily. During their life they have developed for themselves a “Mask of Perfection” which they hide behind in public. They rarely let their “true self” come out in public and it shows up behind closed doors. If you make a comment to them that exposes them for who they really are, they will lash back at you. They will get into your face and create such severe fear. Normally your comments do not create such anger to a normal person. It makes no sense. It is the craziness that these people live in. You become part of their world and all the insanity that comes with it. The Narcissist cannot put things in perspective, and situations are blown way out of proportion.
Narcissists are people who often attempt to conceal their true personality. At their core is this uncomfortable feeling about exposing who they really are. They become performers; actors that play a flawless role in order to mix with others and get what they are after, what lies under their secret agenda: money, status, shelter, sex, love, admiration,… this is the narcissistic supply they need to function in life. In order to lure people into their web and get this narcissistic supply, they put on an attractive social mask.
“MASK OF PERFECTION”
There is often a big gap between reality and grandiosity in Narcissists and the distance between the false “Mask of Perfection” image they project to others and the painful reality of truth. They actually loathe themselves. Buried beneath this outer skin of ultra-confidence often lies a very fragile person who has trouble accepting even the slightest criticism, whether constructive or not, and as a result be very volatile.
LACK ABILITY TO HAVE RELATIONSHIPS
All relationships with a Narcissists are doomed from the start. The strong belief usually comes from some kind of early childhood trauma or negative experience that has caused them feelings of humiliation, betrayal, or abandonment.
They avoid any kind of intimacy in their lives. They are incapable of making any real friendships, truly love anyone, or express any real feelings of commitment or attachment.
For a Narcissist the biggest problem is that they cannot change or won’t change their ways despite negative feedback for their behavior. Due to the nature of Narcissism it makes it totally impossible for the NPD to admit they have a problem.
They will always blame another person for the stress they are feeling or the problems around them, when in reality they are caused by their own behavior. Their behavior and reactions to life’s problems are often like a toddler’s viewpoint but now their behavior is fueled by adult-sized rage and cruelty. The pain and trauma they cause in your life makes them not worth living with.
Behind the Mask of Sanity Lies Danger
Every survivor describes narcissists in DANGEROUS terms. Each person that’s been victimized personally by a narcissist will warn you and serve as a cautionary tale:
If you welcome a narcissist into your life, you’re dancing with the devil; you’re welcoming them in to do one thing and one thing only to you: use, abuse and destroy you.
Many onlookers or those who haven’t experienced the narcissist in an unmasked state have a hard time believing that the people we describe and the horrendous acts of abuse committed on us were done by the very people they have a different opinion of. They don’t understand the disordered’s modus operandi. They don’t understand that their belief that the narcissist is a “likeable or admirable” character is evidence that the danger has already started, they’re manipulated by the narcissist’s “mask” and they’re in complete denial of reality.
There are two main traits of a narcissist that most all other symptomology stems from: Delusional reality and lack of empathy.
The first reason a narcissist is dangerous to others is because they are in complete denial of reality.
Here are a few of the delusions that are always present in a narcissist’s psyche:
Delusion Of Grandeur – This denial of reality comes in the form of the narcissist having the belief about themselves that they just deserve more. They’re larger than life, a celebrity in their own minds, entitled to take from people without having to give anything back. Statements that reflect delusions of grandeur go something like this “Don’t you know who I am?” “I had to wait in line for an hour!” “I wont be spending MY money here again, if this is the service I get”.
According to the DSM-IV TR grandiose-type symptoms include grossly exaggerated beliefs of ones own:
- exceptional relationship to a divinity or famous person.
Perfect Image – Anyone who thinks that perfection is obtainable and struggles to feel ‘worthy’ without achieving perfection is not in touch with reality. Reality dictates that we are fallable. We make mistakes, we fail, we fumble, we screw up; this is a fact of life, nature, the universe. For the narcissist, they possess the delusion that if they or the people around them achieve an image of being “perfect” that they will finally feel “ok”. They’re striving for something outside of themselves to feel good inside; this will NEVER happen.
Entitlement – Others Exist To Serve Them – Narcissists hold the delusional thought that other human beings are objects that only exist to serve their needs. They view others in an inhumane way which allows them to act out on us with no empathy because they don’t believe we have rights of our own that the narcissist needs to pay any attention to. This complete and utter disregard for the rights of others, stems from their delusional thoughts that only ONE person benefits (wins) and that is the narcissist themselves. Narcissists view that everyone “owes” them is not in any way, shape, and/or form “realistic”.
Nonetheless, narcissists are phenomenal actors, their ability to lie exceeds their ability to be honest, they’re skills at manipulation are second-nature, and they have an innate ability to “read” others and mirror back to them everything they’ve ever dreamed of in true finding love and friendship. But it’s all just a ploy; narcissists are fakes, they’re opportunists, they’re con artists that exploit people to get what they want and then throw them away without even a “goodbye,” without any closure, and with the desire that they experience the most pain as possible.
A narcissist takes their lover to heaven, giving them a brief taste of how beautiful celestial love can be — only to then take it all back, systematically stripping their victim of dignity, celebrating as their victim becomes consumed by confusion, disillusionment, and pain. The victim believes they’ve done something wrong to illicit this change in the Narcissist, doing all possible to save the “love” they once had — the problem is there never was love, there was only a lie. Narcissists abuse other adults because they, themselves, feel poorly and hurting others makes them feel more powerful. It’s as simple as that.
GLIB and SUPERFICIAL CHARM — The tendency to be smooth, engaging, charming, slick, and verbally facile. Psychopathic charm is not in the least shy, self-conscious, or afraid to say anything. A psychopath never gets tongue-tied. They have freed themselves from the social conventions about taking turns in talking, for example.
PATHOLOGICAL LYING — Can be moderate or high; in moderate form, they will be shrewd, crafty, cunning, sly, and clever; in extreme form, they will be deceptive, deceitful, underhanded, unscrupulous, manipulative, and dishonest.
CONNING AND MANIPULATIVE — The use of deceit and deception to cheat, con, or defraud others for personal gain; the degree to which exploitation and callous ruthlessness is present is high, as reflected in a lack of concern for the feelings and suffering of one’s victims.
LACK OF REMORSE OR GUILT — A lack of feelings or concern for the losses, pain, and suffering of victims; a tendency to be unconcerned, dispassionate, cold-hearted, and non-empathic. This item is usually demonstrated by a disdain for one’s victims.
Charming narcissists turn on the charm for one of two reasons. They might simply crave your attention and admiration. But they also might just have plans to take advantage of you. In either case, the reason they succeed in manipulating you is the same. Victims simply confuse interest with caring. That is, victims become enamored of the interest a charmer might show. They get seduced by it. And the more interest shown, the more desired they might feel. Feeling desired invites you to feel valued. But simply desiring someone does not equate with valuing them as a person. Nor does it equate with caring for them or their welfare.
We live in a time of rampant character dysfunction. So, it behooves us all to be vigilant. When someone turns on the charm, we must exercise caution. Seduction is one of the principal manipulation tactics. And we have to remember that seducers are trying to secure something via covert means. We have to decide if they possess the character worthy of our compliance. Unfortunately, we live in times where we’ve stopped testing character well enough. And too many of us realize the true character of our relationship partners after it’s too late.
All piano songs composed and performed by me.