Good Day Class,
Today we have the honor of having TWO substitute teachers (guest writers). They are the ladies behind the popular ebook, “The Narcissist – A User Guide” and are also known as blog authors, Betsy of Passing Thru and Lori of Think Like A Black Belt.
For some time now, the three of us have been discussing how not only in real life, but in cyberspace, narcissists exist. Because Lori and Betsy are what I consider experts on this topic, I asked them to write more about what we need to watch for, as well as how we can protect ourselves from toxic relationships when blogging.
Take your seats, have a listen and at the end please feel free to raise your hand and share your experiences, or ask a question.
Without further ado,
Ladies….the floor is yours.
Thanks to Barbara for the opportunity to post on BWAB! Barbara has enthusiastically supported our e-book, The Narcissist: A User’s Guide, since we launched – more than 500 downloads ago!
We three have each observed narcissists manipulating situations online, where it can be easier for people to mask who they really are.
But narcissistic tactics don’t really change, online or off.
People who exhibit narcissistic behaviors inevitably create problems:
- stonewalling progress with unreasonable demands;
- amplifying our insecurities with “feedback”;
- promoting unfounded criticism;
- attempting to marshal a group to curry consensus.
A narcissist is always a tactician. The narcissist’s telltale modus operandi is manipulation, using language, rank, status, appearances, intelligence, or emotions. They’re after others to feed their ego and confirm their superiority. The dark side of dealing with a narcissist is that they rationalize, shift blame, and belittle.
Interacting with a narcissist can be extremely detrimental, even for short periods of time. If you seek any sort of relationship-based depth or fulfillment with a narcissist, you’ll be disappointed.
THREE RED FLAGS THAT SIGNAL NARCISSISM
1. “I’M RIGHT AND YOU’RE WRONG”
The communication comes across like a lecture. The tone is parental, condescending, or reeks of “I’m the expert.” BUT, interwoven in the mix to keep you off your game will be:
- Rationalizations that use emotional manipulation — “You know how your emotions can get out of control.”
- Belittling remarks meant to minimize — “I’m sure you meant well, but …”
- Doctoring the truth — “All my life, I’ve done nothing but try to help you …”
- Personal attacks and blame-shifting — “I can’t believe you think that! You’re the one who wouldn’t help me.”
- Fallacious reasoning— “Just last week, I talked you up and now you act like this?”
2. CONTROL IS EVERYTHING
To a narcissist, winning an argument once is not enough. They assess what causes you to back down. They’re evaluating your suitability for grooming toward the position of sidekick. Such lackeys eventually push the narcissist’s agenda as well. Sidekicks see themselves as helping others realize how wonderful and/or misunderstood the narcissist is.
Control can range from cunning subtlety to targeted and direct, as with narcissistic rage. Look for attempts to control:
- Attitude that you need them to look out for you — “To help you out, I told the board members you’re a team player.”
- Insistence that you apologize — “A real man has the guts to apologize. I shouldn’t even have to ask you for one.”
- Put-downs that confer their superior expertise — “How many years have you put into this — all of two?”
- Out of proportion response — “How dare you try to set boundaries with me?”
- Withholding information as inducement — “When you get your promotion, I’ll clue you in.”
3. YOUR INVESTMENT IS NEEDED
Narcissists can’t do what they do by themselves. They must convince others to buy in. Tactics to get you to invest:
- Exploiting a weakness or “hot button” — “Remember when you felt bad about that blog comment? I can help you.”
- Training you to hunger for approval — “I think you’d do a better job if you put in more effort.”
- Wearing hurts and rejections you must honor — “I can’t believe they treated me this way, can you?”
- Expecting you to go along without objection — “I’ll drive us to the airport and then…”
- Continually reminding of their successes — “When I was new with this company, I won the award for …”
Narcissists use language as a tool to manipulate others for attention, whether negative or positive, which they will utilize to their advantage.
Online you might encounter a narcissist on their website, pontificating to their heart’s content. Other times, a narcissistic person will “troll” in comments sections and forums, stirring up controversy or hijacking threads.
Sensing narcissistic probes and tactics can be as simple as:
- realizing there’s an agenda –“I’m not a doctor, but my medical training tells me you are wrong …”
- recognizing manipulation – I want to know what you think about this because it could impact you …”
- hearing your instinct that says something isn’t quite *right.* (“I am not used to your thinking process. Let me explain …”)
Not everyone who says things like the statements above is a full-blown narcissist. Many people have sought to promote their self-interest more aggressively at times. When you consistently feel at a disadvantage over an ever-lengthening time period, you have a right and a responsibility to yourself. Put things on suspension, and redirect in favor of healthier interactions.
Narcissism isn’t about a single sentence said — or written — but a pattern of behavior.
The Internet is a wonderful place to collaborate, access opportunities, or find community. But we don’t have to deal with behavior online that we wouldn’t stand for a minute in real life.
Have you suspected you might have encountered a narcissist online?
Does anyone have additional examples of narcissistic comments or tactics?
How can we ensure our online interactions are healthy, meaningful and beneficial?
Care to Share?
Betsy of PassingThru, and Lori, author of Think Like a Black Belt the blog and ebook by the same name, met via blogging and joined forces after realizing they had both encountered and dealt with narcissists in their lives. In the hope of helping others, they collaborated on “The Narsiccist: A Users Guide” ebook, a fabulous resource which is free to download. Just click on the book to receive your free copy and learn how to deal with or end the toxic relationships in your life.
Photo Credit: Pixel Addict’s photostream