The title sentence of this post is taken from a post by Kathy Krajco, to whom many victims of narcissists owe a huge thanks. Kathy is no longer with us, but her blog remains, thankfully. Kathy’s blog was and still is entitled “What Makes Narcissists Tick?” Also, “Narc-Attack.”
Some of the links on her blog are unfortunately broken, but much of it remains — enough to do a lot of good for many people. Below is a post that helps normal people understand Narcissists and why they do what they do. It discusses gradations of pathology, and the “continuum theory” in comparison to a psychopath.
When I think back to the Narcissists in my life, there are 3-4 — and perhaps 2-3 more — who were in my life. One is dead (female: my mother), two I keep at bay as much as possible (both males: ex husband and brother), and the rest are gone (No Contact… friendship/relationship done — all females except one).
This post by Kathy Krajco helped explain to me why these people do what they do. It describes the quality of a very addictive on/off sexual affair I had for 2-1/2 years. Both of us wanted to let go at different times (always one or the other of us, but never at the same time). The difference is that this person — an attractive, charismatic and very narcissistic male with a tremendous amount of pride, low self-esteem and guilt — was verbally abusive. I never could get through to this person that he needed to be cordial and kind in public. He could never even simply grasp the concept, let alone behave properly.
The public abuse was his way of showing other people that he wasn’t in love with me and that it wasn’t a committed or a real relationship (or even a friendship!), even though everyone knew we were involved over a period of many months (2-1/2 years). It was only after a process of intense journaling for several months that I understood I was not actually in love with that person and I didn’t actually want him to fall in love with me. We had next to nothing in common. We shared no interests except dancing, and even then I wasn’t into free-form, high-touch acrobatics (I forget what they called it back then). I did not like his musical taste, his lifestyle, his drug use and drug-dealing, his driving need to be “well-connected,” his “community,” and his need to be the king of that dubious community.
Sex is an extremely powerful thing, especially between two people with unresolved issues who aren’t really improving on those fundamental issues. Even after I broke it off and moved 430 miles away I would hear from this person or his agents by telephone, posing as him, and he would project his face in front of me. That’s the kind of power he had, and the hold he thought he had on me. Of course, I did a “cord cutting” to ensure that the psychic ties between us were gone. I had been nothing more than a drug for him, and a placeholder, and I had moved on.
Only when he transferred his attention to someone else did he completely stop the lingering obsession with me. The lingering obsession was merely an attempt to prove to himself that he could lure me back, and a way to keep his mind and emotions occupied until he focused upon someone else.
When he did finally focus his attention upon someone else, it was to get a baby which many of his close friends were doing even though many of them were 10-20 years younger than he was. Of course, that relationship did not last. A counselor once told me during the time I was winding out of the entanglement with him, “he’s not capable of ‘great love’ at this time – maybe never.” That, of course, is something he would hotly deny but privately admit to himself. And it wasn’t only becuase of being the double Sagittarius he claimed to be.
* * * * * * * * *
Kathy Krajco passed away two months to the day after she wrote this brilliant articulate post for the readers of her blog (original comments included):
Malignant Narcissism and Evil – Sunday, March 9, 2008
There’s much ink wasted on the subject of whether narcissists are evil.
Well, yes, obviously they are. But they don’t fit our traditional concept of the evil.
In our traditional concept, the evil one is evil because he loves evil and wants to be evil. He does evil for its own sake, just to do evil.
Narcissists aren’t like that. They do evil for the same reason an alcoholic takes a drink — because it makes them feel good. It keeps a pain repressed.
Indeed, does an alcoholic like whiskey? No! He has a love-hate relationship with it. He knows it’s killing him. But it has a hold on him. He’s addicted to the high.
Narcissists are addicted to the high they get from harming others.
Yes, they DO act out of malice, because they will do it in order to hurt you. That’s no accident: they hurt you on purpose and as much as they can. But only because hurting you makes them feel good.
Like any addict, their addiction is no excuse. It gives them no right to abuse. It doesn’t relieve them of their responsibility for whatever they do to get that next high. So, for example, if they rob someone for the money for whiskey, they can’t use their addicton as an excuse. The addiction is just a temptation, not an excuse.
Narcissists know that if you kill, you are a killer; if you lie, you are a liar; if you abuse, you are an abuser; and so forth. So, they invent an elaborate fantasy to remain in denial of what they are – what they have made themselves.
They can’t bear knowing they are evil, just as you or I couldn’t bear that. So they make sure they UNKNOW it, no matter what. Hence the twisted thinking and elaborate facade.
Facing the fact that they act out of malice is pointless if all it does is puff up self-righteousness. The important thing is that facing this fact breaks the narcissist’s spell over you. Now you are no longer naive.
Original post here: What Makes Narcissists Tick?
6 Comments on Kathy’s original post: