A Jewish Matchmaker explains how you and the narcissist are playing each other
The Fairy Tale
You and the narcissist – what a story! Didn’t it feel like a fairy tale? A fairy tale that became a horror show? I’m not talking about the grandiose narcissist who openly struts and brags about his talents and accomplishments. The grandiose narcissist is easy to spot and easy to avoid. Everyone knows a grandiose narcissist when they see one. You and the grandiose narcissist is not such a tragic story.
I’m talking about you and the covert narcissist – also known as the fragile or vulnerable narcissist. This narcissist also has a grandiose image of himself, but he hides it. This one plays the ‘pity me’ card and comes across as humble and hurt. He shows weakness; he sometimes shows remorse. You and this narcissist are another story altogether and you fell head over heels. One glimpse of his broken soul and empathy went into overdrive. You showered your narcissist with love to heal his inner wounds. It’s a beautiful quality that you have. But you are showering love on someone who cannot feel it…nor can your love be reciprocated. It’s impossible.
Their ability to love and to feel love was crushed by a devastatingly traumatic childhood.
The covert narcissist reflects your good qualities back to you at the beginning of the relationship. He sweeps you off your feet and into the relationship of a lifetime. It’s called “love bombing’. In short, the narcissist puts all his attention onto YOU – spends all his time with YOU, listens attentively to YOU. Although you may not be conscious of it yet, this focused attention is what you have been looking for your entire life. Why?
You were also damaged and neglected in childhood. Your primary caregivers were too wrapped up in themselves to give you the proper amount of attention and mirroring that is crucial to the healthy development of a child. You are both damaged, but you adapted in a different way. You became the listener; the one who gives attention. Now, in the relationship between you and the narcissist, it feels like someone is finally listening to you and is interested in your thoughts, feelings, dreams….
Sadly, it’s a lie. The narcissist is listening so he can control and play you; he isn’t genuinely interested. He’s not falling in love with your many wonderful qualities. He needs to control and play you to get your attention. The same way that his attention feels awesome to you, your attention feels awesome to him, but the narcissist lacks empathy and compassion so the relationship isn’t balanced. It’s always about the narcissist and what he wants and feels. It will never genuinely be about what YOU want or feel.
This is something you will see the moment you stop giving him attention – or the moment you disagree with him and say ‘no’ – or the moment you do or say something that he doesn’t approve of. Suddenly, you are on the sh$t list and you get his anger, wrath, insults, or silent treatment. Now you are scrambling to figure out what you did wrong and how to get back to that sweet spot where he loves you and listens to you again.
It’s a losing battle. Always. And you are the loser. Always. Well, almost always. There is a light at the end of this dysfunctional tunnel. Understand that the narcissist never loved you and will never love you, because he cannot love – and a light will go off. Reflect back on your childhood and see the ways that YOU were emotionally neglected, and you gain clarity. Accept that no one was actively listening to you as a child, on the contrary, you were the one caring for the emotional needs of the adults – and you will come out of the darkness.
When you realize that it was the attention from the narcissist that made it feel like a fairy tale – the attention you’ve been seeking your entire life, you will break free. This is the symbiotic dance. You stayed because on the good days, the narcissist gave you what your inner child never received – attention for who you are as a person. But the narcissist is not the answer to your lack because the narcissist doesn’t care who you are as a person. He is only using your needs to get what he wants.
This is your breakthrough. Now you begin to give yourself the attention, understanding, compassion, and empathy that you’ve been looking for from others. Your primary caregivers should have given this to you as a child, but they were broken, and seeking it from other broken adults is insanity. Once you stop seeking what you need from outside of yourself, you stop attracting emotional vampires and the story of you and the narcissist will be over, for good.
And the story of you loving you, will begin. <3
For more truths about the covert narcissist, I highly recommend the following videos:
If you’d like to read a previous post about narcissism, check out The NPD Go-to Guide.