This is the story I chose to left behind couple of years ago. I intended to never go back to it, as I felt I have paid more than enough time, mental energy and resources to it, and the best course for me would have been to just slam the door behind me, and move on. From this point in life I became so much happier, open towards people, and my view on humanity has greatly improved, as I became more optimistic and understanding in evaluating people’s intentions.
I expected my cold turkey message to be received, which meant just to make certain individuals just leave me alone. I did not expect a sign of intelligence from them which would mean they would realize they fucked with the wrong person, and have been exposed the whole time. Perhaps I expected a little blush of shame from people who should have realized long ago that they have been transparent. Maybe I expected a little panic that would intelligently advice them to leave me be, and just walk away since that ground has been burnt. Yet, no-one has ever been accused of being intelligent.
If there is one thing I especially disapprove of, it’s when people who walk away from conflict are cowardly mumbling something offensive under their noses, hoping to get away with a subtle slander, just to have the last word.
Since I am the last person to tolerate disrespect and rudeness, let me elaborate on the past events that have led to this moment. You do not want to miss the big picture. It perfectly shows the simple life truth – if you do not want to be called out on your negative behavior, you should have thought of it in the first place before you went to do whatever you want, and then cry that you’re not smart enough to keep it low-key.
Seven years is a significant amount of time. Regardless of the level of your personal involvement with a person or a place, it does imprint in your mind as an integral part of your life. Letting it go can be difficult even if, perhaps especially if it has had a negative impact on you. You can observe it in types of divorce cases. It’s more challenging to leave an abuser than to part ways in peace with a kind partner. My relationship with this ex-friend, and her other friend have been incredibly toxic in the most subtle, yet destructive way possible.
Another thing that makes things hard to let go of, is that if you’re a normal, healthy individual, you display sensitiveness and actual care about others. Even as now I am writing this post my biggest hope is that perhaps those two individuals would realize who they are, and go to therapy to fix their lives, deal with their issues and move on, and finally be able to form connections with others. But I also know just how improbable that is, given the circumstances that I will provide later on. Hope is pointless. And caring is a waste of time if the project will never see completion.
For the sake of science, all you can do is just write it down. Make it not go to waste.
What makes it hard when you have a heart is that you will project it onto others. You will not want to believe that ‘that’s all there is‘. You can waste years of your time, like I did, only to figure out that there was never a chance for it, your help is not only forever insufficient, it’s also actually unwanted. We all love to assign victim status to abusers to prove to ourselves that people are good at heart, just like us, and it’s just some unfortunate circumstance that made them behave like they do. We hope that if we help them, show them support and love, it will heal them. But this is not necessarily true. Even if the circumstances did influence their development. Not everything is curable. And not every troubled person wants to be saved. You can be charmed with a lovely smile, touched by a sob story, but your emotional efforts will never have an effect. The only thing you are doing when you are dealing with pathological narcissists and you cut them some slack – you let them get away with their bullshit. You may think they feel remorse or guilt but do not be fooled. The only thing close to guilt that is known to them is being afraid of being caught in the act, called out on their lies, and faced with consequences of what they have done.
The things of value you can provide in the eyes of a Narcissist are only: attention, assuring them of their victim status, superior status, anything praising status, and enable their toxic behavior, for example by enabling them to lie in public. They want you to validate them, to compliment them, have their back when they are lying, and do things for them, especially the ones that are widely recognized as morally questionable and might carry consequences. You may think that if you validate them enough it will fill the void in their hearts, they will learn self-worth and become wholesome people, and it will make them better and more compassionate.
That is never going to happen. The void within them is like a black hole that sucks everything in, all that people can give them. And it will never be satisfied. Narcissists secretly hate themselves and feel eternally worthless. Some of them never even become aware of it, if they have unusually low emotional intelligence, even for a narcisist. But you cannot do anything about it. If you try to make an effort to make them feel better it will work for five minutes, after which they will require even more validation, until they suck out everything they could have sucked out of you, and then when you are no longer useful they will move on to another narcissistic supply provider.
They also desire drama. All day, every day, they must be in the centre of attention and some sort of social crisis and large happenings. They are very boring people, and they get very bored very easily. They need a constant stream of elevated energy, they need to divide and conquer, to create scenarios, make the enemies, the victims, the saviors, everything. Life is just a theatre for them. They just want to play out their fantasies, not unlike the satiric story of Ebony Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way. They are the Mary Sues of their lives, everyone else is just a mannequin to serve a purpose in their drama story.
Doesn’t matter what really is happening and why. The point is for the circus to continue. To just bask in attention, to feel important and powerful for just a little longer. I could not even have a study, reading, or homework session with them because they are unable to last five minutes without starting to badmouth others and relive the dramatic experiences when they felt superior to others, or bring up a reason why they are amazing and unique.
They are unable to be honest with you or anyone else. Not even for a moment. They are not even able to be honest with themselves. The truth is their worst nightmare. They cannot possibly handle dealing with it themselves, and to not have to face it they must make sure that others are unaware of it too. Hence all the elaborate lies and games. It’s all self-protecting smoke and mirrors.
You can’t save a person who is an empty shell made of childish stories. You may pity them, after all they have no idea about relationships, meaningful connections with others, empathy, the genuine fulfilment you get from being empathetic, honest and altruistic, they don’t know love, they don’t know self-respect, they don’t see the most valuable things in life, as they completely go over their heads.
When they recall memories from the past it’s never about joyful experiences, lessons, intimacy, genuine happiness. It’s only about how their ego felt at that moment. As an example – the two individuals I will describe in this post had this thing that they thought they were ‘cool in high-school‘. They were liked by few people, ignored by most, just normal high-school experience. But because it was so mild they let themselves dwell in their fantasies and delusions of grandeur. They thought they were somebody. This ego trip felt so important and profound for them that seven years after the events they were still obsessing over it.
Imagine you’re an adult, graduated college, you have your friends and your life. You focus on the future – you plan your family, you plan your life improvements, you think of how to apply your education, and what you can do in the world to make a difference. And then you meet the Narcissist, and all he wants to talk about is reminiscing simple short scenes from years ago, things you never thought about twice, repeating words and and movements, letter by letter, all the same, as if they were replaying the scene, and drowning in that dopamine rush, immersing themselves in the feeling of self-importance it gave them. You can see the rush of blood in their cheeks, their dream-shaded eyes, and blissful smiles. And every time the story becomes more and more exaggerated. It’s like alternative reality.
I remember their biggest high-school accomplishment was to make few first-graders decide to not enter the cloak room, because they thought they would be imposing on a private meeting. However in heads of the Narcissists, the situation was far from being so mild. They became convinced that ‘everyone is afraid of them‘, because they’re some sort of caricature version of the ‘Mean Girls’. For two persons who bashed a girl for her supposed attempts at being the Queen Bee (I don’t believe the girl actually ever cared about these kind of stuff ever in her life), they surely were obsessed with great intensity by the idea of it being them.
When it comes to others’ experiences, they are nothing to them. They never see any depth to it, probably never even suspected it might have been there. If anyone did something that the Narcissist is considering the point of ego, especially if it created internal conflict for them, they would do everything to devalue said people and their inner lives.
This can be as trivial as being conflicted about needing to prove to the others that you are the smartest person in the room, but you just entered a chess club where everybody is accomplished on international level, and they invite you to play with them. The Narcissist’s nightmare.
They also never assume that other people do anything for reasons other than to just make an appearance. They even go as far as to assume that when someone is feeling bad and skipping appointments, they are somehow just fishing for attention and aren’t that sick at all, especially if it inconvieniences them. You can publicly go into labor and all they will do will just be sulking that they are not being paid attention to, and complain ‘you will do just anything to be in the centre of attention, won’t you‘.
As an example, I was always a person who was preoccupied with finding the right partner and start a family. It was a clear goal for me since childhood, I was never being intimate, or vulnerable, or anyhow deeply connecting with others my age, but the loneliness I felt and the desire of forming a life with the other person kept me driven to make it work. And since I was pretty shameless and never really considered dating life to be the point of ego or pride, I was just looking around and getting to know people I found interesting. Especially high-school was a wonderful learning time for me, when I met a lot of men whom I would officially or unofficially date or befriend, or just had unlabelled interactions with, and all of it was an extremely valuable experience that showed me who I really am, what I really want, what will work or not, what to expect, etc. Free-spirited and not shamed by ‘what others think‘ I simply let myself explore what I wanted, when I wanted, and how I wanted.
It also provided me great insights about other people, their inner lives, their desires, fears, emotional reactions, morals, and reasons. You can chat with your girlfriends all you want, about what movie you saw recently, what is on sale, where you got your nails done, about that fantasy book being finally translated to Polish, but it will never give you that safe, almost laboratory space to really dissect another person’s core vulnerability and identity.
I never considered such a thing as a ‘failed relationship‘. If you respect yourself and your time, you are not insecure and afraid of failure, and you see other people as also respectable persons, you think of lessons, not of mistakes. There’s a huge difference that lays in understanding of why certain thing happens.
Here’s the analogy: if you touch the hot stove and burn your hand, you can either think of a mistake (‘This hurts, I will not touch the stove ever again, I should never have done that‘), or a lesson (‘This hurts, so next time I should be cautious and check if the stove is turned on to avoid being burnt, and then I can use it safely in the future‘, optionally ‘This particular stove is broken and does not work as it should, I should let that one go, find a new one, and make sure to take a good care of it so it doesn’t break‘).
As a healthily reasonable, relatively normal person, I always knew it will never be that way that there is only one relationship that will last forever. You need to learn, explore, figure it all out to make it work in the future. And the fact that a relationship did not last forever never makes it worthless, or a waste, or whatever they might call it. Everything teaches you something, and even if it does not and you cannot make anything of it – it was an experience. Years from now you will remember different things than those you obsess about at the moment when you feel hurt or failed. Even if the partner turns out to not be such a good person, even if bad things happen, it makes the world of a difference how you will approach it.
You can train your mind so that years from now you will not remember what went bad. You will remember the wild love-making at 2 AM, shared bath with all the candles and your favorite music as you receive a relaxing massage, and tasty food brought to you to bed by someone you felt the connection and trust with, in that particular moment. You will remember deep, unfiltered conversations when you walked with them through a beautiful park, seeing the sunset. You will remember taking car trips for picnic dates outside of town, in wilderness, and just contemplating life in silence, as you are warmed up by arms of another human being. You will remember setting fire in a forest at night, away from business of the city, and telling each other your wildest fantasies and fears, sharing your worries, your dreams, your morality.
Why you left? Why it didn’t work? Why now, after the years they are a stranger to you? How angry you were when there was a conflict, or you felt exploited? What was annoying about them that made your feelings flee so fast? It’s just something to be cautious of next time you get into a relationship, but emotionally, this will not be what you will remember the most. Life is made of those short, wonderful moments. It’s worth getting burnt a little bit if that means making those memories, and learning how to go deeper, and more conscious about it each time.
At the end, all those experience prepare you for when you decide it is time to form partnership for life. You’re experienced, you know what you want and expect, you know what you can tolerate or not, you know how to be the best partner you can be to the love of your life, and expect no less from them. All of your past is your working material to write the perfect instruction to live the most happy and genuine life shared with another person.
Especially the teenage years are wonderful when it comes to emotional experiences – right before people get overworked, defeated by routine and chronic stress in their lives, before they become slaves to contracts, finances, and other commitments, before they become cynical and bitter about not being able to let themselves go after the deeply intense emotions. The crushes of the youth are amazing and will be reminisced until the time you will forget which part of a knife is the one you should grab by.
In the hard times, stressed times, exhausting times that suck the life out of you, you will remember running after that one person who made the butterflies flutter, about how intense experience it was just to talk to them, to spend private time with them. All those adventures you had together, all the raw vulnerability you shared with each other, when it was just you two, alone in the silent world.
If you live this way – your deathbed will see nothing but your peaceful smile. Just don’t let people tell you to ‘grow up‘ when all they mean is ‘become cynical, hopeless, abandon your dreams, care too much about being correct and appropriate, repress all your desires, and lash out your frustrations on others‘. You don’t need to let anyone make you as miserable as they are, just because they can’t have what you had.
This confidence, the open looking for happiness, the ‘shameful‘ desires, looking for adventures with no care about what they have to say about it, it was a rage-fuel for the two Narcissists. For a girl to shamelessly take advantage of her attractive disposition, let herself explore deep feelings and intimacy with others, never feeling insecure for whatever reason, this was not acceptable. So they had to cope – by gifting her a lovely label of an easy lover, a ditzy girl chasing dicks, you name it. By keeping to devalue her experience, to make it something to be ashamed of, to rationalize it to themselves why they are better than her for not doing the same thing. By devaluing her, rationalizing why ‘she is not that smart‘, ‘she is not that hot‘, whatever they feel offended by at at the moment, to make themselves feel better.
The bitter and cynical stage of life that I mentioned – Narcissists achieve it way before they even become teenagers. Those two were no different. There’s nothing as infuriating for them as seeing a person free of shame, using her freedom and opportunities to live to the fullest, and just enjoy themselves.
Also sharing those positive feelings with a Narcissist has no point. They are not able to simply empathize and feel happy for you. All they think of is themselves, and blindly reacting to their hurt ego. When it’s convenient they are going to pretend they are loose cannons. The wild cards. The emancipated women taking charge of their sexuality. When it’s not, they are going to take the holier-than-thou, pure virgin approach, when they excuse their lack of love life with ‘I am too valuable, nobody is good enough for me, I am above all those people around‘. Nothing of actual real experiences of others is real to them, it’s just playing with empty words.
A Narcissist will never comprehend that miscommunication, arguments, challenges, disagreements, letting someone in and then showing them the door, it is nothing to be ashamed of, it’s noting that makes you a lesser person or takes away your pride. Because it requires seeing yourself just as a human, and others as well. Just human beings equal to yourself, that are to be treated with the same respect you pay to yourself. This is an abstract concept for them. If they aren’t the ones being lusted over by everyone, if they aren’t being treated like Goddesses, always praised, unquestioned, unchallenged, always served for, they consider that below them. They are not interested in being real. They simply cannot understand healthy relationship dynamics, be it in friendships or dating, because their whole reasoning and emotional capacity are blinded by their ego, and the extreme fear of shame.
They also don’t undestand that what they are doing makes them the exact opposite of a woman who will be trated how they want to be treated.
A potential partner for a Narcissist is not what it is for normal people. Normal people see others as those complex creatures, not unlike themselves. What they look for is the quality of time spent together, they care about if the other person can understand them, provide comfort and support, be vulnerable together, if they share common goals, values, if they simply can make each other happy.
What Narcissist looks for is a checklist of superficial traits. By how a person speaks of their potential ideal mate you often can determine if they lay dangerously closely to the dysfunctional extreme on a narcissistic spectrum. They will not often admit to all of them, since it makes it obvious how shallow they are, but they will gladly attempt to prove to you that they are worth of ‘only the best of the best‘, so they will let some of those slip, either directly or between the lines. They also often purposefully present a profile of such idealized person that it is not possible for a human to be like that, just to pretentiously let you know that nobody real will ever be good enough for them. It’s a proper excuse to not even try to make an effort, and also to pretend that everybody else’s relationships and crushes are ‘beneath them‘, and worthless. Only that way they can make themselves veel better about not having what others have.
It is also important to look for this red flag in your potential date or a friend. Look for what they praise you for. The most common checklist positions for a date of a Narcissist:
- praising me,
- good job,
- spoiling me,
- thinking of me as the Goddess he is lucky to have,
- fear of me abandoning him,
- being emotionally dependent on me,
- good money, generous to share with me, let me live on his expense,
- provide me with upgraded social status,
- make other women envious of me,
- validate me and cherish me all the time,
- do things for me,
- especially make my friends envious,
- be my accessory so that in the eyes of others I can get validation,
- engage in my drama theatre,
- enable my behavior.
One or two positions from the list may be incorporated in a desired profile of a partner in normal people (such as it’s normal to prefer our partner to be physically attractive to us rather than not, it’s good to responsibly look for financial stability as well), but those are never the most important parts, they are optional at best. A normal person won’t reject a good person who is genuine, funny, makes them happy, is passionate about things, just because they don’t provide the narcissistic supply, or they demand equal partnership, and demand any ounce of respect, which makes Narcissists internally scream, because they’d have to hop off the high horse.
By analogy, it’s like those the most entitled, immature, non-empathetic, and insecure males being upset about gender equality demands, because they just want other gender to be considered lesser, less worthy, less skilled, less rational, and they simply want to keep their entitlement and privileges, by the cost of misfortune of others. Because the only way to feel good about themselves is to bring everyone else down by default.
Narcissists behave the same way in relationships, be it romantic or not. If you refuse to provide them with the superficial narcissistic supply, they will become angry. No matter how good of a person you are, and what is your potential as a valuable partner.
I would immodestly argue that my best quality trait is the sense of justice and strong moral code, my ability to give understanding to just about anyone, and my patience for people when they need guidance, counselling, teaching, or a simple therapeutic listen-to. This is what most commonly gets me friends and dates, and it’s the subject of the compliments I receive most often.
A Narcissist friend however, when she was attempting to appreciate my value in her life versus proving to everyone how worthless and horrible I am, and that I am only a pretty packaging for a spoiled, empty interior, she would praise me for my looks, for being skinny, and for being intelligent. You might think being appreciated for intelligence is absolutely healthy and normal – yes it is. The subtle difference is in the delivery and what really lays behind it.
It’s one thing to be told things such as ‘wow, you really know your stuff‘, ‘I really like how well you can lay out complex issues so that they are easy to understand‘, ‘I appreciate your insights and help‘, ‘I love listening to you rant about things, because it is very informative‘.
Side note to my friends and acquaintances who say these things: you make me melt and I am absolutely flustered, I know I usually don’t react to it, but that’s just because I don’t know how to take a genuine compliment. But I see you, you are amazing, I love how you are openly appreciative of people and how you are curious about the world, and how you care to pay the time and attention to support and elevate others and cheer them up. I really value your attitude and sensitivity.
It’s another thing to hear, as I have heard from D. on many occasions: ‘I am amazed how intelligent you sound and how you make all those people listening to you be in complete awe‘, ‘the best thing I learned from you was to how to sound intelligent and influence others’, ‘I want to be seen like that and make an impression like you too‘.
- ‘I like being seen with you because it gives me status‘,
- ‘I am hoping that when I show myself next to you people will assume I am an equally intelligent person‘,
- ‘I don’t even listen to the things you have to say and I don’t even know why you care about all these things, but people are impressed by you and I am envious of that‘,
- ‘I don’t even know or care if you are intelligent because I don’t listen or understand your point, I only care about other people perceive you so that I can use it when I want to make an impression‘.
Similarly her care for my looks was just so that she is seen with attractive people, to feel attractive by proxy. Being skinny was just her hate-boner because of her frustration of not being able to be thin too, and her preoccupation with it was intense. To the point when 50% of the time when she was talking about her friend it was ‘I tried K.’s pants and they were too loose on me, how embarrassing for her because she is so short‘, ‘I am going on a diet, so K. sees me eat how she should eat when she stuffs her face with greasy food‘, ‘K. is taking supplements to lose weight but she won’t exercise, how despicable, I will show her‘, ‘I bought few dresses in smaller size to keep myself motivated‘, ‘I intend to wear baggy clothes for few months, go on an extreme diet and exercise regime, so few months from now I will casually take my sweater off in front of K. so she sees me being skinny, much skinnier than her‘, ‘K. is so short, fat and ugly, I love having her around because she reminds me what I don’t want to be like‘, etc.
I think these points might be of use to people, to be more sensitive to red flags, which might help them not fall into the trap. I sincerely hope this was informative and will make a difference. To further show you, step by step, how it all happened and I became involved with these girls in the first place, I will provide background of how it started seven years ago.
It all started off very innocently, yet somehow I feel like I should have known better. We were all sixteen, and just started high-school. I’ve met this girl, D. (the friend I was closer with), who was visibly uncomfortable in social situations, trying to play it off as this antisocial, dark personality, yet she craved attention and praise more than anything. I figured she didn’t have her internal needs met before, so she developed those odd ways of coping. It takes all kinds to run the world so I did not focus on it too much.
People from outside of the group could have never suspected anything bad. Everyone saw us as this closed group of great friends, who will remain together for life. Many years have passed and still every time I meet teachers or students from our high-school I receive cheerful questions about how is life going ‘for you both‘ now.
Nobody knew what it really was going on, what we were like. And at the beginning it was just a group of four mismatched children: a kind-hearted girl who realized what was going on and quickly left for her own good before high-school even ended, two girls bonding over hating everyone else, coping with their internalized shame by putting everyone else down, one upping each other, compulsively lying and pretending to be special (D. and K.), and me; a socially unadjusted observer, a loner who has made poor choices of becoming a bully, as I enabled D.’s behavior.
“Sheeted Memories of the Past—
Shrouded forms that start and sigh
As they pass the wanderer by—
White-robed forms of friends long given,
In agony, to the Earth—and Heaven.”
When I first got to spend some more time with D., I found her to be adorable, and I really liked her. We liked similar music, we had similar taste in clothing, we liked sarcastic humor. She had a very lovable way of acting goofy to make others laugh, contrary to K. who would never allow herself to be the butt of the joke, because the insecurity was way too intense. Along with the fourth girl, we formed a pack. Being in the pack meant just hanging out during school breaks, and participating in parties. The group has been formed based on just one criteria, which was sharing hatred towards one of the girls at school.
As a loner who never had friends in real life, I decided to stay in the group and cause no conflict, despite not exactly relating to the whole ‘best friends have common enemy‘ mentality, and finding it ridiculous and petty. I figured since I’ve never ever had a real chance of learning how to socialize in a group, I should just take it as it is and see where it goes. For once somebody actually wanted me in their space, and I was not ostracized. My conclusion back then was that maybe in order to bond with others I just need to accept our differences, and let them be, without me questioning their every move, since in the past it has brought me only enemies. I wanted to give it a shot.
D.’s and K.’s hatred for the girl was so strong that one year ago they published a degrading comic about her, shaming her for her looks and supposed attention-seeking seven years after the events. The biggest sins of her that have caused such disdain was that she behaved loudly, which was a little annoying even to me as well, but aside from that she was just being openly cheerful and bubbly, and attractive for boys. Especially the last part was always a rage fuel for D. and K., as both were filled with insecurity and internalized shame. Any attractive woman who did not resemble either of them was humiliated, devalued, and degraded to a walking pair of bosoms with no brain. We could have not even simply watch the ‘Twilight‘ and just enjoy a girls’ movie night, without their rants about how Kristen Stewart ‘could not have possibly be considered attractive since she was as flat as an iron-board‘.
On a regular basis they would obsessively point out all the ‘flaws‘ in looks of the girls they felt threatened by. This is especially a big sign of a troubled personality – Narcissists reduce other people to two-dimensional characters, merely a set of superficial traits. They have very low emotional intelligence, they lack understanding of their own state of mind, their feelings, and they do not recognize that other people have their own rich inner lives, and complex emotions. Their only humble EI resources are being used to attempt to manipulate others. It combines with their inability to really see that in order to be seen as superior, they would have to put some effort and work into self-improvement. Their only way of declaring superiority is by bringing others down, trying to prove that others are way inferior than they really are, and making up outlandish claims to put themselves on a pedestal. Everything they see they translate in their minds as ‘I am unique and special, and this person is just stupid and unworthy of my time if they don’t recognize how remarkable I am‘.
The comic above is a good example of how they’d categorize themselves within our group. I was simply the most intelligent of the group, and as people reported to me I also had that darker ‘aura‘ the girls desired so much to pull off themselves, and the worst of all – people have treated me with respect. I wish I could say I’m being immodest, but those were not just my personal observations alone, I heard it way too many times from people who interacted with us as a group in person. Let’s also not pretend that being the smartest in the room with Narcissists is a difficult task, especially with the types to make their ‘web design‘ promotional profile where they misspell two out of two title words. I didn’t care about these things, because friendship is not about a competition.
If anything, when you notice you have certain deeper capacity for things that may be of use, you are happy to share it and help your friends out whenever you can. However for Narcissists there is no way around it to cope, I had to be reduced to a ditzy pretty face, which was even reflected in the way they nicknamed me – the Princess. That word was often used as a derogatory insult for any girl they were bitching at at the time. It was supposed to be this personification of a ‘shallow, self-absorbed pretty face who never had a problem in her entire life, and never worked an hour in her life‘. Interestingly, this was an actual quote on both ends – D. saying this to me about K., and saying this to K. about me.
What was interesting was that D. would say to me often that I was the most intelligent, stable and rational of all the people we associated with. It was another series of empty words, when a Narcissist tries to appeal to your projected vanity (a Narcisstic is completely unable to believe the fact that other people do not display his level of vanity and need for validation, and they engage in hobbies because they are passionate about them, not just because they want to brag to other people to seem interesting) to keep you around. She would also misplace the blame on K., despite that both of them did the exact same thing, to avoid responsibility for endorsing this idea. Turning other people against each other, leaving herself as the middle man, was her way of keeping control over the group, and to make sure there’s no unauthorized communication channel between any of her subjects. K. to this day has absolutely no idea what was happening behind her back. D. would often also tell me stories of how everybody at the school hated me and thought I was a cold bitch, and how everyone is talking shit behind my back.
Of course turned out people were neutral towards me at worst, lots of them even liked me, but if I knew that then D. would have to worry about me comparing notes with just too many people, and potentially sabotage her public image. I find it noteworthy that a person would to that specifically to someone who was back then suspected to be schizophrenic, and was suffering from paranoia-fueled delusions. But why would you care about sabotaging someone’s health and well-being when you have your drama circus to run.
To show just how much D. was obsessed with bringing K. down, how self-absorbed and selfish she was, let me tell you about that one time she had booked holidays in Greece.
She was supposed to go there with her ex, but they broke up, and not wanting to lose the deposit she was looking for someone to go instead of him. First, she approached me about it. I declined the offer, saying I need to work, and I don’t have money to splurge on a holiday at the moment. D. got upset. She asked why won’t I take a loan. Baffled, I said it’s the dumbest idea ever to take a loan and have your financial safety compromised just to have a holiday you did not worked and saved up for. She gave me a silent treatment for few days, but as an introvert, I was delighted.
Eventually she told me she convinced K. to go with her, as her parents agreed to fund a few thousands PLN trip. D. was extremely excited, and the only topic that was going on was the holiday, and her plans regarding K. She decided she has to prove to K. just how much more attractive and beautiful she is from her, and do everything to make the holidays the worst possible experience for the poor, unknowing girl. She might have been rude and insufferable, but I am terribly sorry still that I ever enabled D.’s to do all that crap to her.
There’s a difference between just being unpleasant and avoided by people when only you are really suffering the biggest consequences of your shitty attitude, and actively seeking methods, getting out of your way, planning your entire life around making others miserable, ruining their relationships and self-esteem, just because you’re a petty, insecure, nasty person. I might disliked K., but she was nothing compared to D.
To achieve the desired effect D. spent nearly the cost of the entire trip on beauty, treatments, maxing out her credit card. She had her hair cut and her dye freshened (‘I am the proper redhead of this group, not her, she will see how shitty her ratty hair looks compared to mine‘), she had full body hair removal (‘She is really disgusting with all her testosterone, and her stinky sweat, I will show her how a real classy woman looks like, and I will say it’s natural and effortless, to see her boil inside about how much superior I am to her‘), manicure and pedicure professionally done, got her lashes extensions done (‘I can’t wait for when she will see my lashes, I will tell her they are all natural. She thinks she has long lashes, bitch will get a surprise‘). She also bought a thousand PLN worth of new, luxury swim suits to display her body in the most flattering way possible (‘She will see how much better body and style I have than her‘), and new, expensive dresses and costumes, different one for each day.
If you have troubles determining where is the line between just being a self-absorbed idiot, and a clinically disordered person, going few monthly salaries into debt just to prove you are prettier than your friend seems like a reasonable mark.
They finally arrived in Greece. Since day one all D. did was message me every day to badmouth K. To tell me how she lend her a swim suit and she made it ‘disgustingly yellow, because of her poor hygiene‘. I could not believe just what has to be in your head to spend your holiday on bitching about your companion. Instead of just enjoying the sun, having a swim at the pool, she would sit there with her phone, Messenger opened 24/7, to let me know more updates about ‘how disgusting and stupid K. is’, and updates about how her plans are coming out.
The peak of this ridiculousness has been reached when D. started taking sneak pictures of K. when she was not looking, and send them to me as ‘ultimate proofs’ of ‘how ugly and anti-sports-like her body is, how she is lying to herself that she has an ounce of muscle, and how saggy and old-looking her body really is’. She was exceptionally excited about this, because K. would never let anyone take pictures of her, because she hated how she looked.
For the archive purpose I still have one of those pictures, in which K. was walking away from D. in the swimming pool direction, wearing D.’s bikini in black and white horizontal stripes, hair tied up, with flip-flops on her feet (K. would certainly know all those details, and when this was taken). I sometimes wondered if K. was aware of just how much of the backstabbing was going on in her friendship with D.
Once I called her on the phone to ask if she knows that D. is lying about cancer, about diabetes, and disclosing K.’s financial and personal information. She cut me out. Could it be that two Narcissists simply enjoy their symbiosis too much, because they are the only people who will tolerate chronic lying, making stuff up, and extremely toxic behavior towards others, living day by day just trying to bring others down to make themselves feel better? K. herself made up her health issues, and was so upset that others don’t treat her seriously that doctors decided to give her homeopathic medicine just to keep her away and let her be happy that she is taking some pills for something. Especially since every time anyone would mention some health issues, there would be K., one upping everything, making outlandish claims (once at a party, to prove just how much of a troubled person she is she said, with a theatrically tormented voice, ‘I was raised by a psychiatrist‘. Not only she was not, and the closest thing to a psychiatrist she ever saw was just her mother having psychology education (mainly marketing-related) and working in an office job, what normal person even thinks there’s something unusual about being raised by a healthcare professional? Lies so outlandish, but lacking the brains to even differentiate psychological issues from mental illness and the difference between a psychiatrist and a therapist, not to mention just a common psychologist), and trying to prove to everyone that the biggest woe was her. Maybe they simply bonded over their inability to handle the truth at any cost and feeling sorry for themselves.
I cannot tell and probably never will know. However I do believe that it got way out of hand, and D. crossed several lines at least when it comes to how she treated K. all these years. Especially the fact that right now she is posing as her best friend and a business partner, exploit her for graphics content different than just D.’s selfies to pretend they have something interesting to share.
Another example of being ‘the middle man in control‘, and what D. was like to K. was the very creation of the ‘Sarcastic and Pretty‘ webcomic. Before it was created I ran a webcomic called ‘INTX Squad’, and I would publish it on Tumblr.
For me the comic was just a way to make jokes about MBTI, our lives and ourselves, to keep a blog about Jung’s theory and psychology in general, debunking harmful stereotypes about people with rare personality types, giving insights into my own personality type, sharing mine and D.’s shenanigans, etc. I liked drawing, it was a nice hobby. What was interesting was what D. made of it – she was not excited for me having a nice time killer, or that we could have potentially bonded with me over sharing funny parts of our lives with others. She was not excited about the things we could have shared together. With exception that she only liked how I portrayed her in the comic, because it validated her ego.
She was utterly obsessed with my webcomic for one and only reason – she wanted K. to be miserable. For her to not know about it at first, as D. was planning on ‘accidentally‘ mentioning it to her. She used to reblog my comic straps onto her Tumblr, as K. did not know D. had one back then. The goals were the following:
- to make K. insecure that ‘an uneducated hobbyist draws better than her and has better ideas and bigger fanbase‘,
- to show K. that I was D.’s primary ‘BFF’, she wanted to make K. insecure, jealous of D.’s attention, and make her feel like she has to compete for it but will never truly succeed,
- to show K. how unimportant she is in D.’s life, that she does not even appear in the comic,
- to pretend it was nothing intentional, since she never ‘hid‘ the comic, and it was available on her Tumblr all along, again, because K. was so unimportant she did not even try to hide it,
- to make me be the bad guy that excludes K. from shared interactions in our group, so that when the faeces hit the fan she can put all blame on me, and return to K.’s favor.
All five of those goals were things I would hear about from her constantly, day by day, the whole time when my drawing and publishing was kept active. We used to work at the same company. I was drawing in my free time when nobody required my assistance, and during coffee breaks we would meet up, and the only topic ever approved by D. was K., and how to ruin her life.
Another example of the same mechanism as with the comic, is how we created our Instagram accounts. I have made mine, and then D. was excited to start her own, so that she can ‘publish selfies and all the proofs of how good time we are having, and to document all our adventures, so that K. finds that Instagram one day and flips out, because she will learn that she is not as important to me as she thinks, and I prefer you than her’. She would plan for months what to put there, and when to casually mention to K. that she has a profile. Then she was posting all those love-bombing posts starring me, just to make a show of how close friends with are and how great it is.
Vomit reactions only.
She and K. made those comics subtly, and passive-aggressively making fun of me, my life, and my experiences (at the same time elevating themselves, trying to show how cool they are), without including me in this or telling me about it, with the same exact purpose. Not even consultation about whether I agree to post things about me, especially the personal ones that have nothing to do with them. D. genuinely thought that one day I will find it, and feel hurt for being excluded, and feel the stab of betrayal because of being insulted. All she cared about was juggling between me and K., and to try to make us compete for her attention.
To be honest I am still baffled by how stupid this is, and the only thing that insult me in this situation is the fact that she really believed I would care about this kind of petty stuff, such as her running to K. any moment I am not giving her attention. I cannot bring myself to leave it unmentioned.
To further show you how the Narcissist operates – I will have you know that the Pretty and Sarcastic comic already started and was published before I blocked D. on all channels to leave. It started precisely when D. became dissatisfied with our interactions, as I would not meet her or talk to her over the phone*, and since I was working elsewhere a that point, I was not paying attention to her or trying to reach out to her. In my defense, I just prefer the company of people who have more interests, thoughts and opinions than just their obsession about some random chick from school that has ended years ago.
*One day I simply stopped answering any of her calls. She would call me every single day when she was commuting and being bored, to talk for half an hour, sometimes up to an hour, about K. all the time. Nitpicking on everything she did, said or dressed, dwelling on every single detail of her life. I’ve had enough, I thought to myself if I don’t stop this influx of toxicity on a daily basis, I will fucking kill myself out of misery of how petty and stupid people are.
I could not bear to listen to it anymore. Every day new input of repetitive information – K. gained a kilogram, K. dressed stupidly, K. drew something ugly, K. has yellow teeth, K. has shitty hair and skin, K. acts all dramatic about something trivial, K. said something rude, K. took an art class and still draws like shit, an elaborate revenge to take on K. for saying something rude, K. overdid her makeup again, K. is spoiled with her parents money, K. doesn’t have a job, K. doesn’t have a boyfriend, K. uses chrome supplements to lose weight, K. said she works out and has muscles but she didn’t, K. tried to flirt with a guy but he ignored her, K., K., K. When we were friends my feelings about humanity were… disgust and condemnation, to say the least.
If you ever wondered if anyone questioned D. why she was friends with K., since K. was so utterly horrible – the answer’s yes. She was approached by me and her coworker, who’s now her photographer, and told to just knock it off, and if she is suffering as much because of friendship with K. as she’s complaining, she should just tell her goodbye and leave. D. got very uncomfortable. She started mumbling that she feels sorry for K., because she’s her only friend, that she is ‘trying to help her be prettier, smarter and more sociable‘, it was a rant of senseless excuses to still make herself look like a saint, and K. the Devil.
About supposedly deserving this petty treatment related to her internet activity, I did make her furious with one thing . It was that I simply talked to her boyfriend from time to time. He was my friend that I have met first, I matched them together, and helped them out from the interactions strategy point to make it all work. I was supportive of their relationship, I stated to D. previously, before she even met him, that I was not interested in him romantically or sexually, but he is a great guy, so I was hoping that I made it clear to her that I mean no funny business, but genuine concern.
She probably did not believe in my intentions. As I recall from high-school, when I found myself a boyfriend, when we broke up after two years of being together she started a rumour that he cheated on me. She was perpetually complaining about his presence (even when she was visibly third-wheeling), she would mock me for just simply being happy, enjoying life, expressing and receiving love to and from him. My happiness was bothering her so much, and the fact that I was confident and shameless was enraging her so much, so that when I was devastated after the split up, she decided to try to make it worse, and make me feel shame or betrayal by any means. I think it was not even that much about my own suffering, she just wanted others to know that I am not oh, so special for guys, and I too can be cheated on and treated like ‘just any girl‘. She was really angry about the fact that I was treated so well in my relationships, that I was fought for, valued, adored, etc. She told the fourth girl that she saw him cheat on me before we split up, and made sure that she shares it with me, after making vague baiting comments herself to me that she knows something that could hurt me, but she will not tell me what.
Entire story was fabricated with the only purpose of hurting me, sabotaging my public image, and amusingly, making K. feel left out once again, because D. would leave her out of this, and keep her uninformed. Nothing like turning a situation of what happened between your friend and her boyfriend into how to fight this evil K. again. After disproving this and exposing her lies, I decided to do nothing about it and not let her know for now that I know what a nasty person she was. I kept silent, moving on as if nothing happened, and remained to have a close watch on her. The fourth girl escaped the party shortly after this incident.
She truly knew better than everyone else, in way shorter time, and saved herself the drama and trouble.
People’s emotions and inner lives, as I said, are never a concern for a Narcissist. To them people are empty shells. They can manufacture empathetic response when it’s necessary for them to appear in a positive light, but internally they have no idea about it.
But alas, empathy is also never to be expected from people who laugh publicly at things such as private affairs of their friends, for example a suicide attempt by their friend’ boyfriend.
Updated on their Facebook page with the following caption:
A week and a day late… ^.^’
Remember, there is always a way out. Not always the best, but always!
Yes, I think we all can agree that suicide is such a funny, and quirky way of fixing your problems, what an excellent, tasteful and well thought-through joke. Comedy gold.
Matching D. and her boyfriend together was my resolution to the issues they both displayed; him simply needing a partner and a nice girl to be with, and as for her, I was hoping that having a genuinely nice guy, with good social skills, sensitive to how others might feel (definitely he was much more skilled than me in that regard, and I often questioned my competence, that maybe the problems were somehow caused by my fault), and having pure intentions, would calm her down, bring her that needed validation but in a much healthier form (she seemed to have a terrible taste in men, because she was going for that shallow, insecure type of validation from men who only wanted a pretty, harmless and easy to manipulate girl, instead of a real relationship with mutual, genuine care). He was also very patient with her insecurity, and desired to bring out of her that innocent, good, sensitive girl we suspected maybe hiding behind that insufferable narcissistic layer. I thought it had the potential to turn out just perfect. He was also willing to move to another country for her. Everything was looking good.
Eventually I did catch up some vague signals that she was uncomfortable with me talking to her boyfriend. My keen sense of subtle nuance was activated when he told me ‘F., D. is really uncomfortable and throwing fits when we are talking to each other‘. It seemed to me like a reasonable request, considering just how insecure she was and possibly needing a lot of space and precaution to let herself become truly vulnerable, so I backed off both from him and from her. It was also clear to me that if she really thought that after all this time and after all my efforts she believed I would behave like a petty, insecure idiot that needs to mess up with their friends’ relationships out of malice or need for validation, our friendship was never meant to be, and I have no desire to prove myself innocent from such disrespectful claims.
I was not like her, and I refused to be treated as if I were, in any way.
During that time when I was not really reaching out to either her or him much, I thought everything was going great. When me and D. would chat occasionally she would tell me all about their great life together, how they constantly go for vacations, how they go on dates to museums, art galleries, fancy restaurants, and living the life to the fullest. She seemed to be really happy. I was really thrilled to hear that and I thought maybe this is it, maybe the issue was finally fixed. I was content.
After their break up I found out from him how disturbingly the truth differed from the idyllic lies she would sell me. I was informed that she was only interested in going to vacations if he paid for it, she would use him for money and accommodation, and then she would not take him anywhere, even to show him the beauties of the foreign country he agreed to move to just for her. She kept him at home like a pet. She would just request him to cover the expenses of their lifestyle, and have him as a maid at home. She would invite K. often, completely ignoring his presence, and speaking their native language so he can’t understand what they are talking about, and to show him his insignificance by excluding him from those meetings.
Unfortunately for them it is not very subtle in any language, if the only thing the observer hears is ‘Falka (…) Falki (…) Falka (…) Falce (…) Falka (…) Falki (…) Falka (…)‘.
When he requested eventually to share responsibilities equally, to split the bills and rent between them, and to level out their partnership, she lost all her cool, becoming downright abusive. She would insult him, degrade him, isolate him and be passive-aggressive all day and night. The insults covered implying mental illness, calling all his achievements and dreams as pathetic and insignificant, claiming him as worthless and useless, among other things. When he would question her, disagree, challenge what she says anyhow, or the worst of the worst – not following her orders, showing in any way that he is not under her control, be it by intimidation or her charm, she would experience a rage attack.
The essence of a Narcissist, and how difficult it is sometimes to tell them, especially when they’re women – when you see a pretty, bubbly girl, who plays innocence and fake vulnerability, bakes muffins to bring them to work, shares her love for her cats, you become blind to how she thinks, and the fact that her actions are just like of a drunken, insecure lowlife who hits his wife to prove to himself and others that he has some sort of power. In the lowest way possible – by taking the way they abuse their partners as proof of their skills and dominance, while in reality they are preying on people who simply gave them that power, not because they were naive, but because they had good intentions, and chose to do that.
Like a child who encounters another child that thinks ‘he is mentally challenged and is going to throw a massive fit and cause trouble, or possibly he’s gonna cry, I might as well give him my toy to have some peace‘, and then goes around all proud that he was so sneaky into making the other one give up his property in his favor.
What an epic power move.
I personally feel the same disgust towards Narcissists like that as for those lowlife psychopaths who torment chained puppies to display machismo.
The only times she would be nice was to use him as a trophy boyfriend when she wanted to brag that she is dating someone so accomplished, intelligent and cultured, mainly just to impress K. At the same time she tried to prove everyone that she is the one in control in their relationship, for example by confiding even in me during our short chats, how she is playing him, when he was simply putting up with her horseshit for the sake of keeping peace in their relationship.
A month into her new relationship, she was extremely excited that both of us had a partner, and that K. did not. She wanted to rub it in her face so badly, she decided to throw a party. Her tactics was to invite both K. and T. as singles, to show them both that ‘they deserve only each other and are worthless and unattractive and nobody wants them‘. She was so determined, she even promised me to pay half the price of the plane tickets, just so that my partner would be there.
He was reduced to merely a ‘fuck you‘ in K.’s face.
I did not expect her to follow up with the promise. She always promises things but never actually comes through. Her desire to ‘help others‘ vanishes as soon as it turns out that the help needed requires an actual effort. I was so desperate to meet with my partner again that I considered it and agreed, and arranged the plane tickets. Just as expected, she later made a sob story about why she cannot give me the money, because ‘her mother made her pay for land mortgage and it made her 6k PLN in debt‘. What an amazing coincidence that the mortgage cost exactly as much as her Greece holidays-related expenses she could not have afforded.
Her desire to impress K., make her envious (a Narcissist does not believe in making an impression in different context than ‘shaming others that they are not as great at me, and making them envious‘), and shame her for being a virgin without a love life was so strong, that she would use her boyfriend sexually to make a statement. She would purposefully invite K. for the night, and attempt to manifest her sexual prowess by having sex with her boyfriend in the other room and make it as loud as possible just to show her, when normally she would not be so initiating or vocal about it. She degraded one of the most intimate ways of connecting with a partner to a shit show to impress a lonely virgin.
All of that were actions taken under extreme anger felt because of the feeling of inadequacy, because people around a Narcissist don’t treat them like their every fart was golden.
To further illustrate just how deeply a Narcissist is hurt if you don’t put them on a pedestal, I once tried to talk to K. and D. about how I consider IQ tests a scam. Back in those days I did not know who I was dealing with, I had my observations and was using them to manage around, so I simply expected a rational conversation, as I was looking for insights from others. I mentioned my IQ test result, in context of ‘I often behave like an absolute potato, I forget things, in many ways I need guidance and am not the smartest person in the world, it’s crazy for me to think I’m still supposedly on this genius level‘. Back then I was very interested in intelligence evaluation methods, so I had this conversation with many other of my friends. I was very passionate about psychology, and methods of categorizing mental traits of people to predict their behavior, especially in criminal context. We all laughed, more or less agreed that the tests should not be taken as a gospel, and that human mind and its ability are way more complex than just being able to see patterns in graphic images. Or rather I just said that out loud as a conclusion, and the subject has been changed to something else, and was taken no further note of.
About a year, or even year and a half later after this incident I said or did something silly, and K. went off, with a visibly hostile tone, ‘where’s that supposed 156 IQ of yours?‘. I was flabbergasted. This was far from being a harmless joke between friends, this was said with malice, anger, frustration, and desire to downgrade. D. was visibly happy that K. delivered the punchline. This is the kind of thing that Narcissists think about, and obsess over when they think of other people. Their conclusion from the IQ conversation had absolutely nothing to do with its merit that was in complete contrast of what they thought about it. To them it was simply acknowledging that another girl got a high result, or just that she acknowledged her high result, possibly being validated by external sources, which threatened ego of the Narcissist so much, that he remembered it for a long time, and experienced deep frustration about it. I had no idea this would have such an impact on their insecurity.
Seeing others being treated well, with respect, and validated causes Narcissists to not be even able to contain their hate-boner.
They also have absolutely no concept of the reciprocation, which makes them recursively unable to receive respect and validation from others, which fuels their need for it even more. I was not treated with respect because I was some higher class being. I simply paid the same respect to others. I would just do all the things a Narcissist or Histrionic person would never do, because they are unable to do even the most common things (such as: being polite, being a good listener, being able to participate in a respectful debate, endorsing someone different than ourselves, understanding others’ points of view) that would compromise their superficial feeling of superiority to others, and challenge their views of others as just unimportant background, an audience to their unique, tragic lives, as the center of the universe.
Histrionic personality disorder (DSM-IV code 301.50): Symptoms: an overwhelming desire for attention, chronically unstable emotions, sensitivity, gullibility, and reckless behavior. Cause: It is believed that Histrionic Personality Disorder can either be inherited genetically or learned behavior in early childhood.
Narcissistic personality disorder (DSM-IV code 301.81): Symptoms: a magnified sense of self importance, underlying deep self esteem issues, exaggeration, manipulation, envy, arrogance, impatience, depression. Like HPD, it can cause an excessive need for attention and approval. Causes: It can be caused by genetics, environment, or neurobiology.
I believe one of the major causes for NPD or HPD manifestation is childhood trauma. Specifically the type of trauma that often goes unnoticed, because it not caused by obvious abuse or other extreme experiences. I think in those two cases we can list the two most plausible causes that I suspect have occurred at the same time:
- A deep, intense shame, caused for example by seemingly innocent events, such as being laughed at in kindergarten, school, or at home, if the individual is extremely sensitive and has predisposition to over the top reaction to such events, is naturally sensitive to criticism, and has an extreme need for acceptance.
- A deep fear of being unremarkable, potentially caused by exaggerated praise by parents in early childhood, evaluating child’s superiority and importance based on overestimated traits, a tactic commonly used by insecure parents (and especially narcissistic parents) who need to prove to themselves and others that they produced children who are extremely special, to sustain their egos. Such child is told from a very young age that he’s better than others, unique, above all other children, the smartest, the most talented, etc.. The child grows up and receives conflicting feedback from their peers and other adults, discovers he is not as special as parents told him, and this is a form of trauma on its own, in sensitive individuals.
We all know at least one person who had this type of parents and went through an identity crisis once he reached the age of high-school or college, and has to learn to deal with the fact that they are nothing special by the standards their parents imposed on them. Usually it is just a humbling experience, when people learn to explore their own identity, and open themselves up both emotionally and intellectually to others, and learn other ways in which people are valuable and appreciated, for example for being kind and helpful. Now with NPD and HPD, this goes the wrong way if the child was unusually sensitive compared to others in the first place, especially if they were not very outgoing (mainly due to their belief that other children will never be on their level, thanks to their parents’ brainwashing) and the phase of learning their place and value in social structure eluded them. Which leads to unhealthy coping mechanisms associated with narcissism, or develops into a full blown personality disorder.
I believe both of those circumstances occurred in both girls. For once, the extreme internalized shame makes them unable to be confronted with reality, for example by being called out on their lies. And the fear of being unremarkable speaks through all their actions towards others, and the development of compulsive lying to compensate for both their low self-esteem, and for the lack of eventfulness in their lives. The second one especially caught my eye, as both K. and D. were adoring teenage fantasy books with Mary Sue protagonists, and then expected to live up to this fictional standard of being unique, being desired by everyone, etc.
Both were pretty, but not drop dead gorgeous, smart enough to pass classes, talk about trivialities with others, and consume popular culture, but never produced an original thought, an innovative idea, or showed any deeper understanding of complex concepts. Even their art shows that they are not intelligent enough to keep a healthy distance between your goals and your ego, as for example their comic is barely readable because the characters look all the same – they obsess over types of clothing, ‘favorite colors‘ (in high-school K. was infuriated with me becasue I was saying that my favorite animals were wolves, and my favorite color was black or purple, and she flipped out completely that those are hers colors and animals, and she likes them more than me, and how dare I claim to have them as favorites, because we can’t like the same things), types of hairstyles and clothing, meanwhile it’s common knowledge that in this form of art what works best is consequence and familiarity in characters’ images. Nobody cares about that you like wearing braids, but also pinned hair, but also some other shit, nobody ever cares about such tiny details about your self-image. All people care about is that they can immediately recognize iconic characters, as a part of narration of a funny ‘piece of life‘ scenario. Instead there’s a boring comic of just ego-masturbation of two girls who are way too obsessed with themselves.
In high-school I started writing a fantasy novel. I put it online and I received some very supportive feedback, got compared to Sapkowski because of the language style and the focus of the plot. I felt honored and had great fun creating this. Unfortunately I made a mistake, and thought ‘since these two girls say constantly about how they love fantasy books and how well-read they are, I may ask them for feedback to improve‘. My idea was immediately crushed under the weight of all the ‘I want to have my own character named this, her weapon should be this, her favorite color that, her dresses to have this type of ornament‘, etc., etc., and also ‘you should put all those people we dislike in the book and roast them‘. That was when I learned that their depth of perception is limited to teenage dramas, and also that I don’t want to go through this, and I will never write again. Took me a few years to start creating again. Yet, of course the next time it happened (with my webcomic) the history repeated itself.
Since they never showed any sign of higher intelligence, no sign of clinical mental retardation beyond dyslexia, they were just placed as average on the intelligence spectrum. Their bodies were easily attractive, yet not godlike – just normal, chubby, pretty girls. I must say however, their smiles were utterly beautiful. Especially K.’s. I was always charmed when she was laughing.
They associated book reading with intelligence, yet they were never remarkable, they indulged in what’s considered an entertainment reading – usually typical Mary Sue stories, often with love triangles, unique superpowers only reserved to the protagonist, and other types of literature commonly targeted at youth in fantasy genre. Their achievements were also mediocre, they never excelled at anything, or achieved anything noteworthy – which is not to say they were worthless, barely anyone actually is remarkable, but I suspect they felt that way. They were average and it was internally killing them, so they had to produce elaborate lies to prove their superiority, to prove they were unique.
What Narcissist cannot comprehend is that most people think of themselves as smart and somehow unique, but they do not obsess over it as much as them. For normal people this is just a matter of having to guess, because they really don’t know. Most people are also average and they overestimate their intelligence, thanks to the Dunning-Kruger effect. They were not realizing that their experience with self-evaluation is actually extremely common, and there is nothing wrong with that. Simply, the majority of people are average and unremarkable, they feel misunderstood and undervalued to a degree, because they overestimate their quality especially when it comes to intelligence and knowledge. Similarly, a person who broke a toe once will assume that the scale of pain is from nothing to that one painful event he experienced. He will never comprehend the pain of childbirth, for example. Everyone’s comprehension and imagination are limited to their personal experience. However, most people do not obsess over this as much as Narcissists and Histrionics, because they are not self-obsessed to this level, because other people recognize that others also have their inner lives, and they can relate to each others’ feelings, and feel good thanks to forming friendships and connections. And here is the root of the problem.
To illustrate how drastically the Dunning-Kruger effect manifests in Narcissists and Histrionics, I especially vividly remember how during a party K. would drunkenly and aggressively argue about Columbus’ origin, with a student of Italian Studies. He politely informed her that Columbus was Italian, meanwhile she would just attack him and praise herself, saying how knowledgeable she is about geography and what not, and how dare he question her authority and challenge her claim that Columbus was Spanish. The merit of the discussion was nonexistent, as the respectful debate was only one-sided – the student attempted to calmly explain to her that nationality of Columbus was Italian, as he was born in Italy, but he cruised with the Spanish crew, so perhaps this was why she got confused. This caused only her to be raging, unable to control herself. She was that convinced that she knew everything better than others, and that defensive about being proven wrong, she acted like an aggressive drunkard.
This is why normal people don’t find it that difficult, but a Narcissist could not stand presence of people who were above average in anything. It’s simply too challenging for them. If there was an intelligent, impressive man who was not taking interest in them but in other women, they have to construct an elaborate reasoning why he is actually not worth attention. Similarly if they meet a woman who is excelling at certain things, be it business, intelligence, looks, social presence, body shape, they would do everything to bring her down, and make themselves believe that she still is beneath them.
I personally think that this extreme negative perception of mediocrity proves that it originated from desire to be exceptional imposed on them by their parents, and also by being ignored by their peers. When a child convinced he is exceptional comes to school and is not immediately treated like a godsend, is not paid attention to, is treated just as any other nobody who first has to prove he is worth something before he receives validation, he cannot stand it. He develops this idea that any attention is good attention. They’d rather be hideous, hated, anything just to cause strong emotions and to be noticed. Being average meant being invisible, challenging their self-esteem, since they don’t get it from their internal life, and that was the worst of all feelings.
K. for example would often make up stories about how she was hated at school, about how she’d be called ‘the ice queen‘ by others. Which was baffling, because that never happened. She just liked Elsa from the ‘Frozen‘ movie, and was romanticizing her own loneliness, refusing to see that it was caused not by her being exceptional or tragically misunderstood, but just by her being exceptionally rude. The argument with Italian Studies student was merely the tip of the iceberg of all events that had her flip out at people. Others simply did not notice her at school, and every time they tried to be friendly with her and establish a connection, she’d quickly prove to them that it’s a mistake, just by being very uncultured with them, constantly one upping everyone, blatantly lying, being self-obsessed, self-righteous, treating others like they were not real people with real emotions, and as if they were dumb for disagreeing with her. A mere suggestion that she said something that is not entirely correct would immediately set her off. So, they simply started to ignore her as this angry mean girl who will bitch at you if you try to talk to her without kissing her bottom. But to her this perception was unacceptable, she could have not possibly accepted the truth, she had to fabricate the whole story of how she was the lonely ice queen, put against all those cruel, insignificant people who never understood her, and were judging her for no reason, to keep her feeling of self-importance at all time high.
She was so resistant to any, even the most constructive criticism that really could have pushed her life and goals forward a bit, for example when I found her an internship as a graphics designer, at a team that was creating a post-apocalyptic MMORPG game, just so she can have something to put in her portfolio aside from just doodles, when she was politely informed that the team is aiming at more realistic, less anime style for the characters, especially since everyone was providing those beautiful colorful digital artwork, and she was just doing sketches in the only style she knew (the same one as the Pretty and Sarcastic comic), she angrily left and never contacted them again. Since then she was either not mentioning the event at all, or when questioned she would say that everyone there was an idiot who doesn’t know anything about art.
To put it bluntly – she fully went for just an elaborate way to explain to herself the ‘I’m a boring, self-obsessed asshole nobody wants to associate with‘ part in such a way that she could still feel special, feed her self-importance, and also refuse to notice that it’s her who needed an improvement and to take her head out of her own ass.
Nothing about either of those girls was ever really wrong to the point of causing any extreme negative emotions in others, perhaps aside of K.’s lack of manners and her short temper. They were not ugly, they were not dumb, they were not completely uneducated or illiterate, they were not obese, they were not incapable of physical activity, they were not repulsive to the opposite sex, plus D. was personable. But their emotional reaction to how they have been perceived by public was so strong as if it was the case, because it was that tragic to them that people go on about their lives without noticing them. The extreme fear of being unremarkable links to that childhood trauma, when a child is never taught by parents to just be happy, just accept self and other people as they are, but made outlandish requirements instead. If a child is one of the sensitive ones, being called ‘extremely intelligent‘ and receiving praise for it won’t bring him confidence and internal peace or validation. What it brings is the anxious requirement that if they fail to prove their uniqueness and intellectual superiority, the praise is not earned, and their value decreases.
Also since they never really earned that title, words and labels become more important than the truth. They don’t learn the necessity of putting work into becoming something worthy of its title.
At the same time, those parents often tend to bring other children down to praise their own child, especially if they secretly fear and know for a fact that the child is not extraordinary. Which is very unfortunate, because everyone should be taught that all people are unique in their own ways, and it’s not determined by numbers, achievements, and superficial success. We could have been endorsing kindness and altruism instead, imagine what a world we’d live in.
What is the value of a human being?
The simplest answer I have so far is that our value is determined by others. A person living alone, isolated from society, is like that lonely tree being struck down by a lightning. If there was nobody to observe this event, did it really happen? The question posed by philosophers that has interesting implications for human beings. When we live only for ourselves, having no impact on others, our objective value is neutral. The only non-neutral value is what said human sets it for himself, how much does he value his own life. Deeper than that, it’s about what value you put on your time, your health, your body, your relationships, your opinions, etc. Everything you do in life reflects those values you put on yourself. You can diet because you want your body to be the best it can, and you want to live long and healthy. You can diet out of self-hatred and devaluing your body and health. The Devil is in the details.
The topic is vast, and perhaps I will speak of it another time. The point is, parents are doing an extremely harmful thing to their children’s’ minds by making it seem like their value is based on certain labels (never mind their accuracy), things such as success, which usually compromises your relationships, health, and mental well being. Valuing your life and your mind is the main drive behind fully reaching for a worthy life that won’t make you scream in horror on your deathbed, when you realize all the things you never let yourself care about, all those people you could have a connection with, but you stuck yourself with the toxic ones just because they were familiar, all the things that did not happen for you, because you did not challenge yourself to seek more.
In contrast, children taught by parents that they are valued because they are loved, because they are kind, helpful, those have a massive advantage in reaching understanding of self and the world, and taking control over their lives. They are able to pursue meaningful connections with others, which is the very base of our evolution – all our closest cousins are social apes that live in packs, cuddle a lot, and take care of each other.
One thing about Narcissists and Histrionics, even compared to other cluster B personality types, is that they are very boring. They might learn a new information to share, but as for personal growth, empathy, inner life development – there is none. They will never improve, they will never believe there is anything wrong with them, which is necessary to seek therapy in the first place, they will never recognize other people’s inner lives. Concepts conflicting to their own are too dangerous for them to ever consider their legitimacy, as their whole ego, their whole lives are built on those faulty foundations. They will never feel the need to improve, so what they do instead is to just dwell in the past, especially their childhood, when other children were naive or polite enough to believe their lies and accept their delusions, as they grow older and become even more bitter, because contrary to them – other people develop, get smarter, and increasingly aware of running out of time, becoming more resistant to bullshit and time wasting drama queens. Narcissists and Histrionics either grow older in loneliness, wallowing in self-pity and their anger at the world, or they find themselves a doormat who will get trapped in living with them, and be their punching bag, as they pretend they are living the dream to seek validation from strangers.
At the beginning I especially grew liking of D., because when we first met I immediately recognized her shyness, and the insecurity she was hiding beneath the mask of confidence and aloofness. I always had a soft spot for the underdogs. Over the time though her ways of dealing with those internal struggles became more and more intense. This is a major red flag, that people should be aware of. Certain types of Narcissists will play the delicate flower to make you feel like you need to take care of them, and protect from all negativity – usually meaning any form of challenging. If you catch a Narcissist of this type in a lie, they will make sure to turn the cat around to make it seem like they are the victim, abused by the person calling them out.
Another major flag is that they don’t ever show real vulnerability, they will just use a victim status, either in made up stories or exploiting real events portraying them in the best light to avoid responsibility for their actions, and turn the conflict around.
D. for example made up increasingly ridiculous lies about the state of her health. From believable bits such as being born too early, and having joint pain due to growing up too fast and being too tall, to claims such as having terminal cancer that can take her out any second, needing to take blood tests every 3 months for it, having type II diabetes that she has to take insulin shots for because she can pass out any time from too low blood sugar. She was also apparently envious of my mental illness, as when I told her what it’s like to have Bipolar Disorder she made all the surprised faces and saying how she can’t relate and she doesn’t know what I’m talking about, but a year later when she was acting up and being abusive towards her boyfriend she told him that she is bipolar, as if it was a get out of jail free card for simply being a shitty, disrespectful, selfish human being.
I once confronted her about the lies about her health, and making up other things, such as her making up entire person – supposedly her teacher at university, with whom she had an affair with. She would talk for hours about how he has beautiful apartment, two wonderful white cats, excused herself that this was why she had white cat hair everywhere (there were none), promising every time that next time she will show me pictures of the cats and her new boyfriend. She would talk about how he met her mom, day by day she was making up new lies to sustain the whole lie of this guy’s existence. Why? I don’t know. Maybe she was just upset that she was lonely and I was happily living with my partner. Nothing was happening in her life, so she had to make it up, and engage everyone around her to waste their emotional energy on providing her support and assurance in those ‘troubled times‘.
The best part of the story was that she kept saying how they need to be hidden with their relationship, because it would be a scandalous issue at the university, if a student dated her teacher. Aside from the fact that personally I have never heard of such thing, worst case scenario they make sure that the teacher the student is dating is not responsible anyhow for their grades, the story was reeking of bullshit from miles away. She would be extremely excited about the whole ‘keeping it quiet’ thing. And then came the best – when I became too intrusive with my innocent questions, she said that some girl (probably also nonexistent) that was hostile towards her because of jealousy (why this is not even surprising anymore) saw them two kissing when they were out in the city, and snitched to the university’s dean. Supposedly D. was forced to retake the exam that the teacher was supposedly responsible for, and he was sent away to another city. As if the case was a matter of national crisis, another paedophile priest sent away to the different part of the country.
Knowing better from past experiences, I did my research. There was never a man of that name and of that specialization working at her university. None of the people who studied with her confirmed her story, all of them painted pretty surprised to hear it in the first place. I got in touch with a person who had access to all data of people working and studying there. But to be honest, I knew the truth before I even received my proofs.
I paid her a visit with our friend, T. We had a dinner date, and talked about many things. this one time we brought up D., and compared notes on what she told each of us. I did that as a regular practise with all our shared friends and acquaintances since the first grade of high-school, when I went on a holiday with her close friend from middle-school.
She ‘warned’ me about her friend, saying she is a dumb girl who only has fashion in her head, obsessed with looks, vain and uninteresting, and she would always wear inappropriately high heels that she would break on a daily basis, often when talking a walk with D.
Had a hunch, and talk to that girl the day one. She seemed to be very surprised by me. No wonder, since apparently D. warned her that I am an insensitive, cold skinny bitch who lives only on water and lettuce and only cares about dieting and sleeping with new boytoy every week.
Comparing notes with always proven the same things, over and over again, without fail.
Hell, even during one party when D. was not present, K. broke down to tears and shared with me and the fourth girl that D. was abusing her, constantly mocking and belittling her, making her feel worthless and insecure. We genuinely felt sorry for her and decided to confront D. on our own, not letting her know that K. confided in us. We both had the same result – D. said how it was actually K. who abused her, and so on.
T. and I came to D.’s apartment. T. was mainly there as an objective observer, to see what happens, how I approach the subject, how D. responds, and who really is in the wrong here. She knew the purpose of this, and it made her almost sweat with fear. The truth was knocking to the door.
I told her to show me one test result for cancer markers, and one shot of insulin. She should have one since she was usually eating Nutella straight from the jar, drinking alcohol at any occasion, claiming to be a chocolate-addict, and having eaten out with her plenty of times, I knew she was lying. And her supposed cancer? She had a big mole on her face that she got removed, but to not admit she would pay for a procedure to get prettier, to not show just how insecure she was, she would lie and say that this was the cancer manifestation.
She pretended she is reaching for any of that inside a drawer (in which I knew were just cosmetics and jewellery), and froze. I told her to dare to tell me in my face that I am being paranoid and she was not bullshitting sob stories the entire time for attention, which infuriated me, because to me this is a bitch-slap for actually chronically ill people who already have to deal with accusations of lying for attention or to avoid responsibilities. I suggested I may talk to her parents instead if she is not up to it. I knew everything was a lie because she would be extremely insisting every time I visited her mom, to not bring up the topic of D.’s health by any chance, because ‘her mom will not handle it‘. Seemed unlikely for a lady who would openly say to her daughter that she could lose few pounds to look better in dresses.
But such it is with Narcissists – you can pull the gun to their head, shove facts and proofs in their faces, they will never admit to lying, and will never face the truth.
Neither did she – she started to cry, saying only that she was tired, and then making a victim of herself that I ambushed her with T. and I should not have done that, what a monster I am.
I told her simply ‘I will never, ever, believe a word you say, without proof‘.
A normal person would react to such statement negatively, as if it was the end of the relationship, as if their legitimacy was completely compromised, trust was long lost, and they would be dying to prove that they are not filthy liars.
Not her, she said ‘thank you‘ and perked up. She was visibly relieved I am staying, and assumed it meant that I will just silently accept her lying to everyone including me, as if that made it alright. When it comes to avoiding responsibility and also manufacturing desired emotions and reactions from others, her main coping method was always just compulsive lying and making herself seem like the victim.
When not in conflict, she would instead tell lies about her life to make her seem like the Mary Sue character. Amusingly, this was the trait she hated the most in K., and would talk for hours, expressing her frustrations, thinking she had K. all nailed with her analysis, not realizing she is only showing who she’s really are.
The first party we organized within the group, D. shared with us that she slept with fourteen men, and that she liked to collect their shirts ‘the night after‘. As proof she showed us shirts that were clearly business shirts of her step-father, who worked in a corporate culture. All of them were his size (which would be an unusual set, even more unusual for boys around 16 years old, nobody this age dresses that way), consistent style-wise, and clearly made for men over forty, to wear with a tie. I was wondering why she felt the need to come up with such outlandish lie just to hide the fact that she was a virgin. It seemed extremely over the top.
But with clinical Narcissists you have to understand, they are so deep in their disorder there is absolutely no way for them to form genuine connections, and show who they really are to anybody. The truth will always be their biggest enemy.
When you see those red flags, these patterns of behavior, concerning expressions, the best thing you can do for yourself and the world is to simply leave. Your time and efforts will be much better put to use for people who are able to change. Even if a person is not disordered, but simply is stuck in narcissism as a coping mechanism, they are recoverable with intense therapy. But the difference between them and the clinical Narcissists is that when they are challenged, proven wrong, abandoned by people they used to be close with, they eventually start questioning their own behavior, they may actually go and seek help and therapy. That’s something a clinical Narcissist will never do.
To sum everything up in the one last example of how everything led to this point:
When D. and her boyfriend broke up, and I discovered that not only he was never taken out to see anything nice in Poland, but he was also left behind in foreign country, with unknown language, helpless and left to have troubles with managing the return to his homeland, I decided to put it upon myself to catch up with him (we had fun talking about the world, philosophy, ethics, etc., after all we used to be friends), show him at least a little bit of Warsaw, talk him through everything that happened, since I was pretty much the only person who knew what kind of person D. was, and help him move out, send the boxes back, just practical things to make the transition as easy as possible. By that time I had already cut all contact with D., and haven’t spoken to her in at least a month.
I was informed later, that she was so furious about this disobedience and going behind her back, that she ran a whole smear campaign to tell people what a horrible person I was, how I was ‘messing with her life‘, how I supposedly tried to get her boyfriend to cheat on her with me, she just completely lost it. She even wrote an entire shitpost on the internet, framing her anger as a faked self-development experience, where she just speaks of how she always knew I was the viper, that I would betray her, that my life is so boring I’m gonna get wrinkles because of me obsessing over her.
Perhaps I would even leave that alone if she wrote all those emotional sperg at the time of the events, yet she resorted to childish mumbling under her breath long time after the events, and kept going with her internet presence revolved around insulting other people, including me, and kept trying to convince everyone of her lies.
I debated with myself whether to go to the public with this. But I decided for it, as this does not only concern me, but everyone else who has been targeted by those two angry children. And all the people who are sensitive, good-hearted, and are vulnerable to being preyed on by such specimens.
I will not apologize for the truth, nor I will refrain from letting it rise above all the fabricated lies. If you choose to make the network of lies, trying to control people, playing with their feelings and lives, you must face the consequences – there’s a chance you will encounter the one person who will bring the truth justice.
I have been personally offended twice during the course of those seven, eight years.
First offence – D. assuming she really can pull the same shit with me that she pulls with K., expecting actual results. I don’t care to be your ‘bigger BFF‘. I’ve seen what you do to your ‘friends‘. I don’t care that for all those years, when you met up without me, you would vomit the same poison all over again, and that you even lacked the vocabulary to choose different words when you trashtalk me or K. I could not have cared less about what value you two put on me. Your opinion has been worthless since day one. Nobody is that blind. I am nothing like you two. I consider this a massive insult to be considered one of you. Save your petty bullshit for those who would care.
Second offence – I have had enough of being the public enemy #1 in my whole life. Always the bad guy, always the outcast. But now I can carry this, I can be called the antichrist, the ecoterrorist, the cold executor, whatever people may come up with, because I know what I stand for. I know what I’m advocating for, I know my moral compass, I can tolerate being the enemy as long as I know I am fighting the right cause.
And the only people who hold the right to joke about me being a horrible is me, my friends, and my family. People who know me, whom I know as well, and we all understand where the joke ends.
I will not tolerate being portrayed as the viper, as the destruction-causer, and as some sort of psychopath who tried to hurt you, when I did nothing but try to help, despite seeing how an utter little shit you are, thinking you are so sneaky about it behind my back. I enabled you to act like you did, because you kept feeding me with your sob stories about how K. is destroying your self-esteem, how your mother was narcissistic, abusive and neglectful, making yourself the victim, a little puppy who needs protection from the horrible abusers. I supported you as you claimed it was all to just ‘learn to stand up for yourself, and show the bullies their place‘. Horseshit.
I was never like you. I never once bullied a person out of pure spite, petty jealousy, and malice, to make myself feel a little less pathetic and insignificant for three minutes.
But you are transparent.
All you do is just talk shit behind people’s back. That’s your whole life.
You never deserved my protection and support. You should have taken what you got and run when I cut contact with you. You should have taken the hint and leave me be.
I will not be offended the third time.
remember the 8th Commandment.