I get asked this question A LOT. People often wonder…
- Are narcissists always cruel?
- How can they be both nice and mean?
- They don’t treat everyone poorly… maybe I’m the problem?
Let’s break this down.
Most narcissists are very charming, act like social chameleons, and can blend in seamlessly into any environment.
This is because the narcissist’s main objective (like any abuser) is power and control.
If everyone could see through their fake facade, they wouldn’t be able to manipulate, ostracize, and control their target.
Narcissists observe how “nice people” behave & imitate those behaviors, which confuses any normal, healthy person into believing that this is the REAL them.
So by the time they start gaslighting, minimizing, and devaluing you… you’re already sucked in.
You’re trying to match their current behaviors with your first impression of them because you don’t yet realize that the first “person” you met – wasn’t real.
That was a facade, meant to reel you in so that by the time you figure it out, you’re shoulder-deep in sinking sand that you never knew you were standing in.
This is made even more confusing by the fact that narcissists often have many people around them fooled into believing that they’re a great person and that YOU are lucky to be with THEM.
Of course, YOU are the narcissist’s target – which means sometimes you’re the ONLY one who is seeing their two-faced facade.
This is why TRUSTING yourself and your own reality is so important.
On the flip side, if someone tries to warn you about a particular person, but you think to yourself, “Well, they’ve never treated me badly” or “They’ve always been really nice from what I can tell”.
Stop and consider:
- Have you ever given the person they’re warning you about a reason to have a problem with you?
- Are you close enough to them to know whether they’re lying?
- Have you ever seen them in a conflict?
Narcissists are masters at hiding in plain sight. Don’t overlook the warning signs when either YOU or OTHERS see them.
The narcissistic mask will come off eventually – and you don’t want to be the target when it does.
If you’re looking to heal from narcissistic abuse or relationship trauma, I can help! I specialize in helping people heal from toxic, dysfunctional, or harmful relationships. I recommend starting here and getting my free bimonthly newsletter. Or contact me today about working together via therapy or coaching.