Tuesday, April 7, 2015

You May Be An Unknowing Target: Narcissist Bait

One of the tenets of being an Adult Child Of Alcoholics is having a difficult time taking compliments. Typically the reaction ranges from ignoring the compliment to minimizing it or to deflect on how great the other person is. My theory is that ACAs are fearful of accepting the affection we so desperately crave because it can become a powerful emotional hook and we are afraid of becoming dependent on them. Those with low self esteem are especially vulnerable.

This is exactly what narcissists depend on as one of their tactics to ensnare someone into a relationship. A narcissist will initially idealize their object of affection in order to convince them that they truly love them.

According to Shahida Arabi’s article on “5 Sneaky Things Narcissists Do To Take Advantage Of You",

“Be wary of: constant texting, shallow flattery and wanting to be around you at all times. This is a technique known as “love-bombing” and it is how most victims get sucked in: they are flattered by the constant attention they get from the narcissist. You may be fooled into thinking that this means a narcissist is truly interested in you, when in fact, he or she is interested in making you dependent on their constant praise and attention.”

IDEALIZATION is usually the first phase of the relationship with a narcissistic person, the next two being DEVALUATION and DISCARD. Eventually, the self centered flatterer will change to criticism and withdrawal with just enough spurts of positivity to keep you hooked. Finally, you will be discarded, typically in a cruel manner.

"During the DISCARD phase, the narcissist abandons his or her victim in the most horrific, demeaning way possible to convince the victim that he or she is worthless. This could range from: leaving the victim for another lover, humiliating the victim in public, blatantly ignoring the partner for a long period of time, being physically aggressive and a whole range of other demeaning behaviors to communicate to the victim that he or she is no longer important… During the discard phase, the narcissist reveals the true self and you get a glimpse of the abuser that was lurking within all along. You bear witness to his or her cold, callous indifference as you are discarded. This is as close you will ever get to seeing the narcissist’s true self.” -Shahida Arabi

Narcissists are not inherently evil although it may seem that way. They are victims of trauma/ abuse and are acting out their dysfunction. This doesn’t mean one should overly empathize with them. The best way to handle a narcissistic person is to have little to NO CONTACT with them whatsoever. At least until you are strong enough to deal with their insidious tactics. Otherwise the temptation for them to suck you back in and for you to succumb to it may be too great.

Have you been or are you currently involved with a narcissist?

Read the full article here:

Check out the Orange County ACA website at: Orange County Adult Children