I’m not willing to call children of narcissists who exhibit narcissistic behaviors real narcissists (Yet). However, the road to recovery has the same methods. In this passage narcissist and people showing narcissistic behavior will be treated as if the same thing, but there is a world of difference in cure rates between the two.
Why would I say narcissism needs to be cured? Usually the narcissist sees no problem with his/her behavior!
People with narcissistic behaviors can never be loved. It is impossible. The narcissist wears a mask pretending to be someone he/she is not. If the narcissist’s target falls in love, that love is for a person that does not exist. Sad and Pathetic, yes it is. It get’s more sad.
If the target understands the narcissist and gets to know the REAL PERSON behind that mask and still loves the narcissist – the friendship is still lost. The narcissist feels compelled to devalue and discard ANYONE that sees behind the mask. How does this play out? Tragically!
The pathetic narcissist goes from one friendship to the next (usually with a preplanned overlap) always with the pattern of: Idolize – Devalue – Discard. But even this scenario gets more sad. How?
Eventually the narcissist will delay the Devalue and Discard behavior until after a marriage. There is no escape. The narcissist, sooner or later is compelled to Devalue and Discard …. even the spouse.
Saddest of all , is after the Devalue and Discard (sometimes just an emotional discard) of the spouse, the narcissist’s anger and resentment for the discarded spouse makes it impossible for the narcissist to consistently care for the physical and emotional needs of their children.
As the narcissist is incapable of having EMPATHY he/she will not care about all the emotional pain that is caused. The narcissist will look for new targets to get his/her emotional “Fuel” . The new targets will get suckered into caring because the narcissist will claim to be a victim of many cruel people.
A rule of life: “Sooner or later the TRUTH always comes out”.
It is very messy and emotionally bloody, but if the narcissist refuses sincere loving help to overcome his/her wounds of emotional anarchy by understanding how these wounds developed and how they can be healed then the only way of helping the suffering narcissist is to PUBLICALLY EXPOSE THE REAL PERSON BEHIND THE MASK.
Ironically, if successful in this drastic approach, the former and healed narcissist will discover the person that has been hiding behind one mask after another is a person that is quite likeable and even loveable……. for real…… for who he/she really is.
The question of morality, the What-would-Jesus-do, is difficult to determine. Most experts recommend the “No Contact” approach. This is the run-in-the-other-direction advice. Good for the victim, no help for the suffering narcissist….. the future spouse of the narcissist….. the future children of the narcissist.
Saint Dymphna, Pray for us.