The Inverted Narcissist

The Inverted Narcissist
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The inverted narcissist is more difficult to spot than the classical one. The classic narcissist thrives on praise being heaped on him, and doesn't mind your praise either. He struts, he flexes.

On the other hand, the inverted narcissist can be incredibly kind, humble, self-deprecating. He'll make you feel perfect, like a goddess... until you dare to be honest. Then he'll explode. He'll tell you how to feel, that your suffering is "inappropriate",and thinks he is "teaching you a lesson." He can be an emotional blank... or an emotional vampire. He has a pervasive negativity.

He'll come across as shy,but it's because his negativity drives people away, even his social equals. His cruelty is subtler too.

Anyone experience this type?

narcnarcwhosthere's picture

ALL AN ACT.........

the psychonarc often came across not as a in INVERTED narc...but as an INTROVERTED narc...shy, quiet, unsure of himself.....and it was all BULLSHIT....because he could get behind closed doors with me minutes later, pull off the mask and attack me......

Susan32's picture

Mine pulled off the mask in public

And boy did my classmates get the drama. Considering the verbal abuse, I wouldn't want to know what he was like in private.

loveofmylife's picture

hmmmmm....

mine actually sounds just like this....which is why I struggle with the N diagnosis so much.

He is incredibly kind, humble, and self-effacing.

He did make me feel perfect, like a goddess

And yes, when I was honest with him about my feelings - he crucified me for it. How it was inappropriate... and he is teaching me lessons every day. He does have alot of negativity (behind closed dorrs)

He does come across shy. And his cruelty is subtle

Susan32's picture

Not behind closed doors

Since my ex-N reduced me to tears IN FRONT OF his peers and mine,I wonder who got more pity. Did he come across as the "strong one",or just as a jerk? I have been rejected before (let's call it "high school"),but this rejection left me heartbroken. I don't mind rejection, just how it's done.

My ex-N acted as if he were my victim, that I was "hitting on him" (my "hits" were about as sexual as the Care Bears from the '80s)... how ironic, since he and I went out to lunch A LOT, went to concerts/lectures A LOT... people thought we were already having sex anyhow.

Since his cruelty was out in the open,sometimes I wonder what people felt about him. My tears were my witness.

loveofmylife's picture

Funny

Same thing with mine.

He said that he was feeling "harassed" by me to a girl he was trying to gain admiration from (in fact, I'm sure several women to use me as chick bait)
after he asked me out to lunch every day for more than 6 months. Called me 10 day/day, emailed 20 and texted 5. I told him he looked "hot" and it triggered everything. After he told me he was attracted to me to the Nth degree...and all sorts of other things. Took me out on dates to very romantic restaurants. And like you said, I think people have thought for 20 years that we were having sex and in a full blown affair. But It is a one way street; they forget about this.

He said that his fake "girlfriend" would be livid if she knew I was after him. Well, I had to bite my tongue not to ask him "well, was she livid about the casual dates you were having sex with, was she livid about the other full blown emotional affairs you were having, was she livid about you seeing ex's, was she livid about you denying you were in a any kind of a relationship to all of the women you were trying to woo online?"

But I was a good girl and didn't say anything. But it is truly amazing how they conveniently forget what they have done and all of a sudden become self righteous. What hypocrits.

And yes, mine too acted like he was a victim. It is pitiful.

Susan32's picture

The Victim Act

When I FINALLY declared my feelings for my ex-N after 3 years,he played the victim act. He said he was "offended, embarrassed, and disappointed." He'd lecture me;he'd berate me. In front of friends. I'm sure many of my friends were genuinely shocked--since some of them idealized us. But then again, there were those who said he was the Devil incarnate.

When I told him that there were people who considered him a monster, inhuman, a robot--he delighted in it. But he was offended by me considering him human. I was the one "bringing him down to my level."

Of course, he blew a fuse when I congratulated him on his engagement, and told him to be happy. He did the victim act to the end, never apologizing, even when I bluntly told him "I'm tired of being the only one apologizing." He didn't mind that people perceived him as evil and a bully;he kinda liked it. People like me who deemed him human? Now that ticked him off.

loveofmylife's picture

susan32

:) the self-righteous little thing! It is extremely arrogant isn't it? And it is so hurtful because they make you think that you were imagining the whole thing. That they didn't mean anything by it and you were misinterpretting everything. Well, they are partially right - they were toying with us, they really didn't mean anything by it.

It is twisted how he delighted in the monster, but hated the love. Our conflict right now is the same. He says he is offended when I express positive feelings towards him. I am offended when he expresses verbal abuse towards me. Mine also, refused to apologize to me, when I asked for it, and any human would have first of all never done it, and secondly would have apologized immediately when that crap slipped out of their mouths.

Mine took a bit of a different path though. When I declared my feelings after 19 years...he knew what was coming...and he was very excited, happy, he felt the same way....it was like we both kept it bottled up for so long and were FINALLY talking about it. It was the happiest and most fulfilling series of conversations in my life. My health drastically improved (it has gotten bad from bottling everything up) and I was so happy for YEARS!

Fast forward...I find out what is really going on after we work together and I have email access...his dozens of secret lives, him trashing me behind my back...blah...blah....I confront him with lies and misleading me and secret lives and, and, and.... I am DD'd. And NOW he is a VICTIM. After 3 years of us being so happy in love (or whatever), once I remove his mask and see the real him....now...he never felt anything for me... I am "harassing" him....he is offended...etc, etc, etc.

It is actually very therapeutic to write this down and see how crazy it all was. But in the heat of it, it was extremely painful.

Lord help me if people find this website and read this online journal...ughh...

Susan32's picture

Beret Boy

"He delighted in the monster, but hated the love"-People DID compare him to Jack Nicholson's character in "The Shining"--and he joyed in it, even imitated the knife scene. One of his favorite movies is "The Terminator"--about an emotionless killing machine. Says plenty, doesn't it? He liked how,as a vegetarian,he could imagine meat eaters getting mad cow disease. There was always a sadistic streak.

Some narcs are able to get circles of like-minded friends,usually of the same social status. With this Narc, even his age-mates and colleagues avoided him. One wonders if in the past decade he's mellowed,or he's the same grouchy guy. He's become a husband and father in the meantime.

By the end, when he had D&D'd me, he was practically BEGGING me to hate him. He wanted me to hate him. And I wasn't giving it. Hating him would've given him too much power. Poor Beret Boy.

quietude's picture

acting

You're talking about ACTING, loveof... he does not truly possess these good qualities, it's something he's learned like a skill, from watching what works with others. N's are experts at absorbing traits from others and using them to their advantage, they've been doing it since childhood. It's not that it means something to them. My ex ACTED kind and humble too. I would get comments from others, "wow, does he have a brother?!" The ladies thought he was such the Renaissance Man. When he was luring me, he made me feel like a Goddess too...guess what? These were mostly times when he wasn't actually living with me day in and day out. From what I remember, your didn't live with your N?? I feel strongly you would have seen a much different side if you did. You've already seen it, he's D&D'd you, especially when you dared to question him.
My ex's cruelty was subtle too. No matter their technique, and N is an N. Even the most vanilla ones who are even in your life for a short duration will turn it upside down and land you in therapy.

loveofmylife's picture

Quietude

thanks for the post. It is incredible how they can turn your life upside down... I've been a very stable person my entire life. and since all of this has escalated in the last 4 years, i've been in therapy for probably two of those. And nonfunctional physically for 1 year. It is because nothing makes sense and you spend so much emotional energy trying to figure out WTF is going on....because you've never encountered this before. Nothing they do or say makes sense and you wind up feeling like a crazy person! Like something is very wrong with you that you can't meet their expectations or that you can't behave "properly".

Susan32's picture

"Appropriate" was his favorite word

The whole "you can't behave 'properly'" just about sums up my senior year. How my ex-N spent the first 3 months breaking me down... in front of my friends. My ex-N was sooo much more interested in things being appropriate than say, caring about people's feelings. Or free will.

quietude's picture

loveof...

Yes, they come in like a tornado and wreak as much havoc as they possibly can. The crazy ride made me not even recognize myself after a while??? The thought was, "I can do this, I'm no quitter...things WILL get better!" The dirty secret is, they never do, and get worse over time. They are so incredibly skilled at what they do, that it's like, you KNOW something is amiss, but what exactly??
Well, now we do know...and no, we aren't crazy...and we are stable. We were just knocked off kilter for a while.

loveofmylife's picture

not recognizing

yes, I did and said things I've never done or said before.

When the DD started, I REALLY acted in ways I never had before, like you said, to the point where I didn't recognize myself. It was so debilitating... I would force him to leave the building and talk to me and explain what was going on. I've never done that to ANYONE! I usually let things ride and don't create any conflict at all. But to be treated like a piece of s*** for weeks with no rhyme or reason and him avoiding me all the time because he knew I wanted an explanation. I finally shut the door to his office and DEMANDED (read - bitch) that he clear his calender and leave with me that moment to TALK (scary for a guy) It was not a proud moment for me - I've never done that.

Yes, they do get worse over time. And I think it is because once that mask slips, and they realize you have seen the real them, they know they can't fake it anymore. And then, it isn't fun and luring anymore...so all they can do at that point to get emotional energy from you is to abuse you. At least that's how I felt.

My aunt called today and said "baby, when you told me things were bad at work and he didn't leave work, I knew he was going to start abusing you. I didn't want to say anything to you at the time because I didn't want it to come in between us. But a normal, genuinely nice guy...if things were getting rough at work would volunteer to leave the working relationship and tell you that he valued your friendship, but things are getting rough, so to preserve your relationship, he is going to leave (especially since I was the employee and he was a contractor). But he didn't do that. He chose to stay. So I knew he was going to start abusing you." Man, she was right.