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LynnS Profile
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The Zero Sum Game of the Narcissist....


...otherwise known as "life". That is what all relationships come down to with a narcissist in the end. There is always a clear winner and a clear loser in his game and the losses of the loser must be directly proportional to the gains of the winner, him. He only wins as much as he can convince himself you've lost.

Narcissists are big old scorekeepers. If you inflict a narcissistic injury on one of these people, (and you may not even realize you've done it most of the time because their definition of what is a "threat" is all messed up), then you will invoke Narcissistic Rage. Please be clear about that. It isn't "hurt". You really aren't hurting an N by taking measures to put him in his place or whatever else it is you think you could do that would normally register as "hurt". He's not wired that way. As long as it's still all about him, he's content.

NI is usually about something that flies in the face of his grandiosity. Perhaps you have failed to recognize his omnipotence in some way or you've demonstrated that you are a separate individual or that you are not a perfect, mirror-glazed satellite in his orbit. That's when an NI occurs and the reaction to NI is one thing and only one thing: Narcissistic Rage. Not hurt. Not, "Oh dear, I messed up. I feel ashamed. I feel sorry." None of that. It's rage.

The narcissist may keep the rage hidden from you for a time, but it usually leaks out in insidious ways which amount to one form of abuse or another. The way he deals with his rage is narcissistic abuse in the form of payback. He has to settle the score now. You must pay. You must lose. He has to destroy the source of the dissonance.

At this point he may either fly into a full-fledged, out of control rage which you absolutely do not want to be present for, or the abuse may be covert. He may start a deliberate attack on your self-worth in an attempt to undermine you. He may say nasty things publicly either in your presence or in the form of a smear campaign.

Or, he may simply ignore you. This, he thinks, is the ultimate payback, for who in their right minds would want to have his wonderful attentions withheld? He is convinced that when he pulls this trick, the target will come begging and when that target does, his retribution and discard will be swift and more merciless than before. Score settled.

Never attribute their motives to anything else but an effort to right the many grievances they store up inter-relationally. Once you have inflicted an NI (and anyone will if they are close enough to a Narcissist. Nobody can maintain "perfect mirror" status), you will evoke Narcissistic Rage. Then all bets are off. They are programmed to destroy all detractors.

He wins. You lose. He won't rest until the sum, at least in his mind, is zero and the score is even.

At times it is the wisest course to simply let him play his game and think he won if that's what it takes to be rid of the cancerous presence that is him. He might just exhaust himself if he keeps playing and you aren't participating. Drop the rope. Do what's right for you regardless of what he might or might not do. That's all you have control over. It's important for you to know that no matter whether he thinks he's settled this score or not, you have lost absolutely nothing by being rid of him.

It isn't about winning and losing, except to him. It's about the freedom to live your best life.

Lynn



---
"The best way out is always through."--Robert Frost
Jun/16/2011, 7:15 am Link to this post  
 
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posticon Re: The Zero Sum Game of the Narcissist....


 :clap: I love this Lynn and it makes so much sense.

With the ex-friend, I narcissistically injured her without my knowing and without intention, and she made me pay the price for it.
   
Keeping score is nasty in itself isn't it? They are indeed destructive, dangerous people. I'm well rid of her, Lynn, I know that. What's gobsmacking is how she denied everything in the end and her final abuse was that i was "the pits" "pathetic" and a liar to boot.

its been interesting (i use that word lightly, lol) to be on the receiving end of a boyfriend and a friend who were narcisists and in such a short space of time with each other.

And we do come through the tunnel and we see the daylight again.

Thank you Lynn for helping me.

Last edited by flumuxed, Jun/16/2011, 7:53 am
Jun/16/2011, 7:51 am Link to this post  
 
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Re: The Zero Sum Game of the Narcissist....


Keeping score! that is so totally what n was always on about, it drove me batty. N especially loved to keep score of sex and money.

---
What you do, speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you say. Ralph W. Emerson
Jun/16/2011, 9:19 am Link to this post  
 
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Re: The Zero Sum Game of the Narcissist....


Thank you, Lynn. When I first read the concept of NI, I thought I could manage it. Then one day, I just didn't want to. I wanted sanity and freedom. All the things you describe are crazy-making. When Nmonster described some transgression I had committed, it just didn't make any sense. What he couldn't convey was
quote:

NI is usually about something that flies in the face of his grandiosity. Perhaps you have failed to recognize his omnipotence in some way or you've demonstrated that you are a separate individual or that you are not a perfect, mirror-glazed satellite in his orbit.


which I could have used to understand that this creature is just WHACK. It's too bad they can't verbalize that they are gods so that we can get the picture.

When I first met him, I told him he must have been used to very immature girls in his life, who bought his stuff. He sort of concurred, that now he was with a real, mature, together woman. Amazing how he mirrored that statement. At the end, I was telling him he needed to go back to those girls, that I was clearly too old to keep up with him. I'm 6 years younger than he and had too much experience with mature adult males to keep at this nonsense. I'd rather be with a kid than a kid in an adult suit. At least I would get a clear picture.
T

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They'll tell us who they are--if we'll listen.
Jun/16/2011, 9:29 am Link to this post  
 
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Re: The Zero Sum Game of the Narcissist....


Very true. They are highly competitive people and looking in a paranoid fashion for any perceived slight done to them. My ex used to recount how he was going to 'get back' at co-workers. The vindictive attitude and the scorecard were vitally important.
Underneath it, there is an enormously angry person for whom no one on earth could pacify for very long.

I truly think they ask that mirror everyday who is the fairest of them all and the answer has to be "me, of course!"

Thanks for your post, Lynn :heart:
Jun/16/2011, 9:55 am Link to this post  
 
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Re: The Zero Sum Game of the Narcissist....


quote:

tiredofscared wrote:
 
When I first met him, I told him he must have been used to very immature girls in his life, who bought his stuff.

I'd rather be with a kid than a kid in an adult suit. At least I would get a clear picture.
T



 :clap:
Jun/16/2011, 11:19 am Link to this post  
 
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posticon Re: The Zero Sum Game of the Narcissist....


Brilliant, Lynn!

This was one of the first things I noticed with the N (formerly) in my life. He could not be happy for me if something good happened; he had to either "one up" me, or punish me for it, especially in a passive-aggressive way, by ignoring or D&Ding me. It was totally weird. If something good happened to HIM, on the other hand, I was supposed to be some kind of perky cheerleader. It was exhausting and demeaning.

If I made ANY kind of reference to ANY human foible he might have, even in a light-hearted, funny way, he would punish me later. It's like he couldn't admit he was human. He had to be some kind of superhero, and if I failed to recognize it, I was banished. This was really extreme. Most times people can be a little self-deprecating, but NEVER Mr. Perfect.

I thank my lucky stars every day for you and this board. I am completely NC with that nut job, have been for 8 months now, and I couldn't be happier.

And for those of you who are asking, "can't I just be friends with this N?" Uhhhh... no, you can't. Cut your losses. You will just be subjected to worse and worse treatment, with a lot of pathetic, self-serving rationalizations from the N. I tried it, because our businesses were next-door neighbors. Fuhgeddaboutit!!!

Ultimately, I had to move my business to get away from him. I tried to just be calm, cool, and collected when I saw him, but his presence unsettled me, and it took too much emotional energy. And you know what happened? He sold out to his partners within a month of my leaving, and he is spinning grandiose tales of his new venture, none of which has materialized, and I really don't care. I'm sure he's still playing his one-upmanship game, but he ain't playing it with me.
Jun/16/2011, 3:48 pm Link to this post  
 
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Re: The Zero Sum Game of the Narcissist....


Excellent post, Lynn.
Hoping my particular N has given up or believes his silence is the ultimate punishment or has moved on to other targets....
But it always helps me to understand how the enemy thinks.
Thank you for your wise words.
GoWest
Jun/16/2011, 5:00 pm Link to this post  
 
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Re: The Zero Sum Game of the Narcissist....


Thank you Lynn for this wise and beautifully written information.

It came at the most beneficial time for me today. I work with a narcissistic or maybe psychopathic office manager who loves to lord her power over us. She demeans the rest of us in every way she can. She lies and cheats on her time clock. She has taken away anyone else's ability to correct their hours on their computer time clocks that are most often incorrect. We have to go hat in hand to her for her to do it for us. She took this away from us because she could.

Today, the man who owns our practice came by. She left early to go home. I asked him point blank why I could no longer change my own time clock and the office manager and her two secretary buddies who went to high school with her could. He looked perplexed, and said he didn't know a thing about [sign in to see URL] began asking me questions about it.

I went over to the computer that the office manager uses to show him about my time clock. I clicked on the time clock symbol, and hers came up. It showed how she is editing her own hours each day. She told me yesterday that I no longer needed to edit my hours because the clock was accurate. She came in this morning late at 9:15. She had edited the clock to say she came in at 8:30. I said to my boss, "wow, she sure is editing her own hours. Oh my, she says she came in this morning at 8:30". He could see it clear as day, but because he gives her free reign and no supervision, she does as she pleases, and she lies, steals and cheats.

He got a funny look on his face, and said he would look into it.

I am sure that she has already begun her smear campaign against me if he spoke to her. I am braced for it. I just hope she won't cut my hours or make me lose my job which I need desperately. She has power over all of us, and she loves to make us squirm and suffer. She has tried to convince the boss that she and her buddies are good. The clinical area is bad. Polarization.

I am tired of it, and I guess I have given her a NI that is pretty bad. Your words comforted me when you wrote: "Do what's right for you regardless of what he might or might not do. That's all you have control over."

I did what felt as being right for me because I have felt a victim of her for this for 2 years now, and I am tired of putting myself down for her pleasure by not standing up for myself.

I keep telling myself that SHE got herself into this, I didn't.

Sorry this is long, and for taking over your thread.

It is just amazing how much I needed this tonight, and when I came on the forum, here it is. Funny how life works.

Hugs,
Had

Jun/16/2011, 7:22 pm Link to this post  
 
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Re: The Zero Sum Game of the Narcissist....


Thank you for such a descriptive explanation.. I used to tell the N/P "Why does this feel as though we are at battle like in another life?" The N/P said to me " I still feel like I can't completely conquer you Elaine!"
Jun/16/2011, 9:02 pm Link to this post  
 
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