There is a girl I know that is getting divorced from her narcissistic husband. They seemed perfectly happy together on the outside. It turned out he was abusive, controlling, and manipulative. It wasn’t until they moved to a new city that she could begin to make new friends that weren’t his and plan an escape.
Although she was aware of his behavior, her family is shocked. They think that she’s making a huge mistake by leaving him and they don’t even believe her claims that he treated her so abysmally.
I was not shocked to hear this at all. I know that a narcissist can be extremely clever at getting people on their side, especially after the end of a relationship.
If you haven’t experienced this firsthand you are probably wondering, how can someone be so good at manipulation that they could turn someone’s family against them?
They Make It Seem Like You Are Their Entire World.
When you are in a public setting they are affectionate, kind, and loving. They put on an act that causes everyone to believe that you are the center of their universe and that they worship the ground you walk on. They will often surprise you with presents or special gifts when an audience is watching.
When you’re alone it’s a completely different story. They don’t treat you the same way at all because there isn’t an audience to witness their supposed “selfless” behavior.
They Can Be Absolutely Charming.
Who doesn’t want to be wooed by someone so attractive and charismatic? Some people are magnetic by nature whereas others are trying to get something from you. It’s crucial to be able to tell the difference but many people don’t have the necessary discernment to do so.
The narcissist will portray themselves as being extremely confident and strong. Although they are actually extremely self-conscious they will do everything they can to avoid anyone seeing through their charming act.
They Can Connect Easily.
Sometimes narcissists will feign interest in the same things as someone to build a connection quickly. Whether it’s pretending to like the same TV show or having the same hobby, they’ll jump on any similar interest.
They will not only do this with you to build a connection at the beginning of your relationship but they will do it with other people in their life.
The deeper connections that they make with your mutual friends/people in your lives, the better for them because when things fall apart they will have more control.
Everyone Defends Them.
They will figure out the commonality between themselves and their victims in order to build trust. Once they do this they will cultivate relationships and some people will never see their true colors.
Perhaps they’ve had a dark past. They will use this to envoke sympathy from people in their life and yours.
By portraying themselves as victims of childhood trauma or abuse, they will often be excused for their bad behavior. Your loved ones may defend them because they’ve heard a sob story and believe that they are not responsible for their actions.
Realize You Can’t Control The Aftermath.
When I ended my relationship with my ex, the girls I thought were my friends instantly stopped talking to me. Their boyfriends said that I was no longer part of the group and that my ex didn’t want them talking to me.
He painted himself as a victim to everyone that we knew. Some of them believed them and some did not.
I knew there was no point in defending myself because he would have a lie ready to counteract whatever I said.
Therefore I decided to let my actions speak for themselves, move on with my life, and trust that the people closest to me would see through his mask.
All you can control is how you react (or don’t react) to the narcissist as you begin to move on with your life.
Let them go, and don’t let them take up anymore of your life, time, or emotions.