Understanding How it Works

narcissism33I came across an article today linked on Facebook on the subject of narcissistic abuse and how enablers are not innocent. It is truly the best piece of writing on this angle of the subject that I’ve read yet.  I have said this before, but I will repeat it: Understanding how malignant narcissists and their weak-willed enablers operate is essential to protecting yourself and your loved ones from their harm. Failure to understand their methods and behaviors can cost you years of your life in pointless grief, headbanging and self-blame.

The fact that this happens in supposedly Christian settings is not surprising. Of all people, Christians are the ones least equipped to deal with this kind of evil. It shouldn’t be that way, but it is. Fear of “harming the cause of Christ” creates an extra layer of reticence to speak out when narcissistic abusers are on a rampage. Fear of being a “gossip” becomes the excuse many times for saying nothing at all as innocent people are chewed up and spit out. Wrong-headed thinking about taking abuse from others is also a frequent problem among Christians. A lot of cowardice hides in pietistic thinking. (“We’ll just pray about it and God will change things in his time,” said even as they watch others ground into hamburger.)

There is nothing so vile as those who stand back and watch others destroyed. This article underscores the fact that there is no neutrality when evil is being done right in front of you. Those who cower are useful tools in the hand of the narcissist abuser when a direct hit is launched. Here’s the article that nails it all down. Quote from the article:

The narcissist depends upon these weak-willed comrades. Abusing someone isn’t nearly as much fun if it’s only a party of two. With a crowd, there’s unlimited potential for drama. The narcissist gets to pull a lot more strings that way.

If it were just the abuser, and her target, it would hardly be worth it to carry out a full-fledged hate campaign.

That’s because the narcissist labors to get others to turn on the target. The collective betrayal that comes from the camp of these enablers is even more devastating than the primary source of abuse.

Targets, especially if this plays out at work, or in a social setting, watch as, one by one, the people they thought were their friends, slink away when the battle intensifies.

Not taking a stand to stop someone from being hurt doesn’t absolve you of guilt. In fact, when you do this, you become an active participant, whether you consider yourself one or not.

The next post at the Hope Blog is a story sent to me by a woman who was married to a malignant narcissist for a number of years until he divorced her and married another, all the while, lying about his original marriage and keeping his ministry speaking credentials impeccable. Reading her story, shared anonymously, we find a very clear example of how it all works. Creating a false narrative against a target is one of the chief strategies found in the narc playbook.

5 thoughts on “Understanding How it Works

  1. Ingrid Schlueter says:

    Another great quote from the article. Note that a direct hit on a target won’t be launched until the target is isolated. True statement.

    “It’s probably a safe bet that most enablers act out of weakness rather than malice. However, this doesn’t excuse their behavior.

    That’s because enablers have a lot of power. The abuser relies upon them not to back up his or her target. Before any attacks begin, a morally disordered person will carefully assess the battle Assessment can take months, or even longer, before direct hits are launched.

    Only if it’s clear that there’s an excellent chance of decimating a target, does the warfare begin. If there’s a solid support system, the abuse won’t make a move. The enablers are the variable, which can either make or break a plan, and the narcissist knows this. That’s why so much effort is put into creating chaos and confusion. This makes it easier for the enablers to rationalize their position. They may even begin to believe the target is getting the treatment she deserves, and that she did something to warrant the narcissist’s extreme reaction.”

  2. healingInHim says:

    Yes, Ingrid. This is how it works. (“We’ll just pray about it and God will change things in his time,” said even as they watch others ground into hamburger.”) TRIGGER STATEMENT for me. The quotes from the article were painful to read.
    What grieves me about myself is that the years of personal struggle have robbed me of my God-given role to try to be ‘there for others’. Not sure if anyone can understand that? I have been finding my voice. The retaliation is painful and at times debilitating.
    Thank you for this post and the encouragement to keep strong “in the Lord”.

  3. healingInHim says:

    “They may even begin to believe the target is getting the treatment she deserves, and that she did something to warrant the narcissist’s extreme reaction.”
    INGRID — That’s exactly what many feel about me. Sadly, it is the secular community that has more empathy, so I must carefully guard my heart and motives and not fall into a state of desiring others to ‘feel sorry for me.’ NO, I just want the church to step forward and show righteous justice. Is that asking for too much from PROFESSING CHRISTIANS?

  4. Ingrid Schlueter says:

    HealinginHim, Of all the Spanish words I learned in the Rio Grande Valley, I like the pronunciation of this one the best as it rolls off the tongue much better than the English word: Exactamente.

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