Narcissists don’t like admitting this but the only people they actually have a respect of sorts for is people who get one whiff of a bad vibe about them, turns their nose up at them and doesn’t engage with them at all.
If you get closer to a narcissist, they think you have agreed to join their world and you are therefore agreeing to be psychologically terrorized, abused, belittled, humiliated and any number of things they decide are warranted because you’re you and not them.
If they decide they want to play with you, they try to coerce control over you through love-bombing. And since they were nice to you in that stage, they now own you for life. (Or at least think they do)
To a narcissist, if you agree to get to know them beyond gray rock, it’s open season what they can do to you.
The grey rock method is a strategy some people use when interacting with manipulative or abusive individuals. It involves becoming as unresponsive as possible to the abusive person’s behavior. (Medical News Today)
People make the mistake of thinking you hang around the narcissist explaining what your boundaries are, setting limits, blah blah blah.
It’s all just noise to a narcissist.
You may have learned these tools in your home or on work courses but they never work on toxic people. Toxic people use their knowledge of people’s boundaries to exploit what those boundaries are rather than honoring them.
It should not be our job to explain over and over again what most people think is reasonable to a narcissist. It is NOT our job to teach or train a person who knows what they’re doing is wrong but does it anyway because they have no respect for others and enjoy excessively manipulating and harming others to get their own way. It is THEIR job to seek treatment and find healthier coping mechanisms.
In most cases, the Narcissist KNOWS they’re being unreasonable. They like the power and control of making people feel bad about themselves. It’s essential nothing, but fuel to them.
This is what happens when you hang around them
You might confront them about their actions. You then become an adversary, an antagonist, a threat, and a source of negative fuel.
You might firmly set boundaries. They pretend to play nice to your face when you do this so they don’t lose you as a supply but will seek out additional more supply so you thinking your limit setting and boundaries means anything is a fantasy.
You might gray rock them. That’s a survival strategy not a relationship.
You might walk on eggshells and go all out to please them even if it hurts you in the process. That’s enabling and being co-dependent.
These are one of the many roles available to you when you engage with the Narcissist.
Remember, Narcissists have no real respect for anyone, but someone who never tries to look beyond the false persona. Induvial who hold an intolerance are unlikely to get hurt by them. The issue is that they do keep trying to say to people “I’m harmless, I’m good, I care” to get supply and then they turn around and say in their actions “You shouldn’t have believed me. I’m a fake. You’re a fool!”
If you leave them, they see that you think you are worthy of respect so they may acknowledge that to themselves on some level but the self-delusion and excuses always get in the way.
You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t with a Narcissist. In their minds, you’re a fool for caring about them so you deserve abuse. Yet if you leave them, you’re “abandoning them” and taking away their access to “unconditional love” from you. Then they start in on the self-pity.
People who have been through Narcissistic abuse are often told that they didn’t have boundaries but it is untrue to suggest that everyone who gets involved with a Narc is a co-dependent. A co-dependent is someone who KNOWS they are being abused and accepts it and doesn’t leave.
Many survivors of narcissistic abuse can be unaware of that they were being abused for some time. In fact, they were actually setting boundaries in some ways that would work with someone who did not have NPD. They set a boundary, expected, and explained it clearly telling the Narcissist who they thought cared about them that it would be upheld.
But Narcissists don’t ADHERE to any boundary. It can sometimes work if you remember to communicate a boundary with a consequence that is unpleasant to them. But not really because they may figure out a way to get around that consequence or they may have another agenda that you know nothing about that interferes with that process.
The only safe boundary is to not engage with a narcissist at all. Some, albeit rarely, are aware themselves that the best measure is to avoid them in the first place but they don’t want you to know that because then they may be left with no supply.
Quite frankly, we should not be concerned with a Narcissist’s respect for us or lack thereof. This is a person who actively seeks out new people all the time to terrorize and abuse to regulate their self esteem.
Instead, they should be using their cognitive abilities to recognize they have a problem, seek help to address it and learn how to respect others rather than studying how to refine their manipulation skills better. It is not our job to teach them how to treat us when they already know…