Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Malignant Narcissist As Family Bully

I dug up this article from an excellent website in the UK called BullyOnline . The article has MN sister down to the letter. In fact, it’s the perfect description of every Malignant Narcissist that I’ve had the misfortune to encounter in this life – female MNs in particular.
Bullying in the Family
Dealing with a serial bully, psychopath or sociopath in the family
The Violence committed by a serial bully is almost entirely psychological, for psychological violence leaves no scars and no physical evidence. Most commonly the violence takes the form of verbal abuse and emotional abuse including trivial nit-picking and criticism, constant fault finding combined with a simultaneous refusal to recognize, value, acknowledge and praise. Manipulation, isolation and exclusion are other favourite tactics, as is feigning victimhood, persecution, especially when held accountable.
The objectives of serial bullies are Power, Control, Domination and Subjugation. These are achieved by a number of means including disempowerment, the stimulation of excessive levels of fear, shame, embarrassment and guilt, manipulation (especially of emotions and perceptions), ritual humiliation and constant denial. When you live with someone who is constantly denying what they said or did a day ago, or an hour ago, or even a minute ago, it drives you crazy. When the symptoms of injury to your health start to become apparent, the bully will tell others you have a “mental health problem”. You may be mad, but that is not mad insane, that is mad angry.
Control is a common indicator of the serial bully at home – control of finances, control of movements, control of choice of friends, control of right to work, control over what to think, and so on. All are designed to disempower.
A favourite tactic of the bully in the family is to set people against each other. The benefit to the bully are that:
a)      The bully gains a great deal of gratification (a perverse form of satisfaction) from encouraging and provoking argument, quarrelling and hostility, and then from watching as others engage in adversarial interaction and destructive conflict, and
b)      The ensuing conflict ensures that people’s attention is distracted and diverted away from the cause of the conflict
Bullies within the family, especially female bullies, are masters (mistresses?) of manipulation and are fond of manipulating people through their emotions (eg. guilt) and through their beliefs, attitudes and perceptions. Bullies see any form of vulnerability as an opportunity for manipulation, and are especially prone to those who are emotionally needy. Elderly relatives, those with infirmity, illness, those with the greatest vulnerability, or those who are emotionally needy or behaviorally immature family members are likely to be targets for exploitation.
The family bully encourages and manipulates family members etc. to lie, act dishonourably and dishonestly, withhold information, spread misinformation, and to punish the target for alleged infractions, i.e. the family members become the bully’s unwitting (and sometimes witting) instruments of harassment.
Bullies are adept at distorting peoples’ perceptions with intent to engender a negative view of their target in the minds of family members, neighbours, friends and people in positions of officialdom and authority; this is achieved through undermining, the creation of doubts and suspicions, and the sharing of false concerns, etc. This poisoning of people’s minds is difficult to counter, however explaining the game in a calm articulate manner helps people see through the mask of deceit and to understand how and why they are being used as pawns.
The bully may try to establish an exclusive relationship (based on apparent trust and confidence) with one family member such that they (the bully) are seen as the sole reliable source of information; this may be achieved by portraying the target (and certain other family members) as irresponsible, unstable, undependable, uncaring, unreliable and untrustworthy, perhaps by constant highlighting – using distortion and fabrication – of alleged failures, breaches of trust, lack of reliability, etc. The process is reinforced by inclusion of the occasional piece of juicy gossip about the target’s alleged misdemeanors or untrustworthiness in respect of relationships and communications with people. Mostly, this is PROJECTION. The objective is to manipulate the family member’s perceptions and create a dependency so that the family comes to rely exclusively on the bully and see the bully as the sole source of information whilst distrusting everyone else. Any person who is capable of exposing and breaking the dependency is targeted with venom and will find their name blackened at every opportunity.

When close to being outwitted and exposed, the bully feigns victimhood and turns the focus on themselves – this is another example of manipulating people through their emotions of guilt, e.g. sympathy, feeling sorry etc. Female serial bullies are especially partial to making themselves the centre of attention claiming to be the injured party whilst portraying their target as the villain of the piece. When the target tries to explain the GAME, they are immediately labelled “paranoid”.
The serial bully is easy to spot once you know what you are looking at: Jekyll and Hyde nature, compulsive lying, arrogance, narcissism, attention-seeking, etc. – whilst always charming and plausible, especially when impressionable witnesses are present.
Serial bullies can be male or female – the main difference is that female bullies are more devious, more manipulative, more cunning, more sly, more psychological, more subtle, leave less evidence and will often bully with a smile. Female bullies will often manipulate a male into committing their violence for them. Male bullies tend to be less subtle, have a tendency toward physical aggression, and are generally less clever than female bullies.


  1. Yes. This. Exactly. You've put some things into perspective for me, and I thank you.

  2. This is another terrific post, and thank you!

    I have a very shameful experience to share on this theme: My older (by 2 yrs.) Nsis was having a problem with some girl in her class. My MN mother "tasked" ME with "fixing it." And by "fixing" she encouraged-no, insisted-I HIT this other girl and tell her to "Leave my sister alone!" I didn't want to do this at all; I wasn't a bully, I wasn't involved and I KNEW it was 5th grade. MN mother was relentless: Every day when I came home from school, she'd start in on me about why I hadn't followed through with her "instructions," offered various scenerios in which I should go about achieving HER goal-it was just AWFUL. Finally, unable to hold off another beating from MN if I didn't do it, I did. I caught the girl coming out of class and pushed her and told her to leave my Nsis alone. MN was positively GLEEFUL when the girl's mother called MN to tell her about this "Unprovoked Attack" on her daughter. I can still see MN on the phone with the other mother feigning absolutely no knowledge of what had happened or why and promising to talk with me about the event....IF it did, in fact happen. Her smirk, her "Cheshire Cat" smile of triumph when she got off the phone and my shame at my behavior.....
    Rhetorical question, I know but what the f kind of parent encourages a kid to engage in violence towards another? Places her child in a position of "beat or be beat" by MNmother? Settles childhood disputes for one child while using her other child to "do the nasty?" The whole thing is sick-and sickening. Nsis was a nasty, sneaky kid who grew up to be a nasty, manipulative, sneaky adult just like MN. No wilting flower this one! To this day no doubt she utilizes others to do her dirty work if there's any possibility the blood will be traced to her. (I've been NC with her for years-except for one contact in 27 yrs.)
    After that one event I resigned my role as "Family Enforcer." I'd rather take the consequences for my refusal to do their (MNmother/Nsis) dirty work than to ever violate my conscience. I'd rather be the scapegoat and the abused than the abuser.
    And I'm STILL ashamed of that one event in which I participated to this day. I recognize the "rock and a hard place" of the situation. However, when you force a child to violate their own morals/ethics against their will, you are actively engaging in stripping them of their very humanity and decency.....for no other reason than you CAN.....and in the interest of "grooming" them to be a bitch, just like you.

  3. Anonymous,
    Thank you for illustrating the diabolical cunning of the MN mother and budding MN sister. It's as if you were purposely FRAMED. Taken to a more sinister level, I wonder if the kid who was "allegedly" bothering your MN sister is at all significant? Your mother (it seems to me) was not only using you as a pawn in her and your sister's GAME, but simply working at undermining your credibility and good character while your MN sis, who could obviously fend for herself and then some, would be left unscathed. Perhaps your sister was about ready to attack this so-called bully? You felt so much shame? Maybe it was your MN sister who was provoking this other kid? Anyway, It's all about protecting the "image" of the MN chosen one. You took the fall for them both. The golden child, and scheming MN mother come out smelling like a rose, and the abused/scapegoat looks likes the bad guy.

    From day one, these MN mother and MN sister tag teams work relentlessly at making the GOOD, kind, sensitive child the BAD one. Your true decent nature threatens them and they want to destroy it. Should they fail at corrupting your morality and ethics they then work damn hard to destroy your image. This keeps everyone distracted from THEIR sick, twisted behaviour and diverts attention to the alleged source of trouble - the scapegoat. Trouble? Ha! Only in THEIR demonic eyes, because you are GOOD and they are EVIL.

    Your MN mother's attempts to bring you over to the dark side failed miserably. Proving once again, that NOTHING can change a person's CHARACTER and VIRTUES. They can NEVER take those things away from us. You are who you are -GOOD... and they are who they are - BAD. NPD isn't so much a personality disorder, as it is a CHARACTER disorder.

    I could relate to every word your wrote. Thanks again.

  4. Anonymous,
    The TRUE BULLY in that scenario was of course your MN mother. Classic projection and frame-up job... the crafty bitch!

  5. "The crafty bitch!" Yes, absolutely. I actually wondered myself about the issues you raised regarding the motivations of both MNmother and Nsis. Any or all of your observations are possible.
    However, I thought of another: Despite what ever difficulties may have arisen between Nsis and this other child, I'm leaning towards another alternative "motivation" for MN's agenda. MN very likely had some sort of problem with the targeted child's mother. I well remember at one point in my childhood we were part of a car-pool where each mom would take a week and pick up all the other kids in the area and bring them to school in the AM and pick them up in the afternoon. That didn't last ended as abruptly as it started.

    It would not surprise me in the least if the other kids told their parents about my MNmother arriving to pick us up after school drunk. It was terrifying to have her driving all over the road, into on-coming traffic and making such statements as, "Whoopee! Isn't this FUN?" while we kids were terrified to tears. I'd be sitting next to her trying to grab the wheel while she gestured dramatically, took her hands off the wheel etc. and begging her to please STOP doing this. This was in the late '50s/early '60s and those vehicles were built like tanks and of course had NO seat belts.

    MNmother always had a new, powerful car and was a lead-foot to boot. She had such "compassion" for animals that one day as a dog dashed into the road she slammed on the breaks. I was probably 3/4 at the time and sitting in the front seat. I flew head-first into the dashboard. I remember passing out and had a huge lump and cut on my forehead. When I came to she was screaming at me for "not paying attention!" I wasn't even big/tall enough to SEE the road to even try to grab something to hang onto. And yes, I still have the scar on my forehead.

    Bitch indeed.

  6. Anonymous,
    It's amazing you made it out from under her "care" alive, scar and all. What strikes me is the absolute lack of concern MN Mother's have for their children's physical safety - never mind emotional well-being. They'll save their own skin first everytime. Your mother even put you in harms way to "silence" a kid who may have been blabbing about MN Mommy's wild ride to other children at school, or to get back at the mother. Who knows if that kid would have turned around and punched your lights out. Of course, her diabolical scheming ways worked and the attention was put on you as the "problem" NOT her CRAZY ASS RECKLESS DRUNK DRIVING. She probably delighted in scaring the hell out of children. And, YOU ended up carrying around the shame.

    Also, what's with these MNs and their compassion for house pets? I know an N, so callously indifferent to her friends that not only would she step over their body if they were lying injured by the side of the road, she would BLAME them for the injury. She would never visit a "friend" in the hospital, but this same N could go on and on - almost on the verge of tears - about how she rescued a stray kitten. Needless to say it died under her care. Guess Ns naturally feel superior to "pets" and it's a way they can fake that they have a heart. SO transparent.

  7. Wow, Lisette, what a great post!
    At every turn in the article I recognized NM, ENF or NSis.
    What a great synopsis of the Narc insanity. Thank you for posting!

  8. Vanci,
    You're welcome! The website Bully Online is a great source of information on the PD, and the effects of psychological injury.

  9. I have wondered why and what motivates these broad spectrum misanthropes. They really have no usefulness that I can see but to throw a wrench into the good things in life for others.
    Of all the cluster B traits that I have read about, my mother has every single one. Save for being a workaholic. She is the laziest and most parasitic bitch I have ever seen. Her whole life's endeavor was to groom some guy for her to suck dry.
    I wouldn't give a rat's ass about that. That's the dudes problem. If he is dumb enough to shack with the shrew he deserves whatever he gets.
    Only problem with this is that it left her with infinite time and energy relative to others to sit on the phone and pit every one against each other. I consider this bullying. While the rest of us fight tooth and nail to pay rent and put food on the table she sat back and ratchet jawed like a hyperactive teen.
    I would rather some one square off with me and taunt me to my face than to wonder what all she said to every one about me when I am metaphorically out of the room.
    I will chime in with Vanci.
    Narc insanity.
    A normal person can't begin to get a grip on what must go on in their heads.
    I don't think I wouldn't want to know if I could.

  10. What a good thing to be able to read about my NBrother. I need to read, to see in print, from time to time, a description of who he is and how he has demonized me. He has said I "Cause trouble"...especially when I express myself! Wow! My mother was manipulative, but, if it is possible, on the lower end of the continuum. Thank you. Thank you.

  11. My NM fits this perfectly. Yes Queen Crocodile loves big family dinners where she can take center stage and particularly likes ridiculing my dads sister in her ostracized absence. Of course the enablers all obediently honk hysterically like donkeys. Of course when others are speaking, it's quite normal for Queen Croc to cut them off with quips like 'you're spilling your drink' 'you've got something on your face'.

    If you do this in return to an NM, it's very very serious offence, perhaps Queen Crocodile might even shed a tear and the enablers will be moved right out of their comfort zone.

    My questions are, are the enablers also guilty?
    Are the flying monkeys aware of what they are doing?

    1. Dave, from what I have gone through with my own nfoo, yes.They are aware of what they are doing and are just as guilty. They know if they are gossiping about someone and throwing them under the bus. These people are narcs themselves but just not ranked liked the king and queen. They have their own agenda(money,gifts,favoritism,etc) so that's why they go along with the king and queen narc. They all just use each other for their own selfish agendas and their conscience never gets bothered by it.

    2. Hello Dave and welcome,

      Anonymous' comment is spot on about the enablers and flying monkeys.

      As far as I'm concerned, EVERYONE involved in the narcissist's "society" of abuse are MORAL IMBECILES. These scumbags are sheep who are too damn stupid or lazy to question the narc "authority" or, they are narcs themselves and just as corrupt as the higher ranking narcs. There is always a pay off for the narc enablers. The dynamics of the narc machine are no different than the dynamics of the fucked-up social system we continue to exist in... the narc society in each of our lives is just a Microcosm of the larger order.

  12. Thanks for the back up. When we fly home for a visit we are always made to feel that we're missing out on something special and also made to feel that we should be around to help and that's by all of them.

    Only my ostracised Aunt says we're better off away from the crazy circus.
    She also told me that she's never spoken to her brother alone for 20 years and when she does see him, he never speaks in the presence of NM.

    I'm quite open about seeing her, but NM advises me not to be gullible and believe all the crazy stories. Often referring to her as bitter and jealous. Even my Father refers to her as weird which brings nods of approval from the donkeys.
    But none of it is true, we're talking about a spritely 93 year old widow who likes to laugh and joke with her friends and neighbours.

    When my Aunt flew out for a weeks holiday 2 years ago, the NM bitch , claimed I was making her ill!!

    1. The narc LOSERS always need someone to ostracise. Their egos get puffed up by trashing someone, as though they are more superior than them. This happened to me with nfoo and n in-laws. Even though I have no contact with them, I know without a shadow of a doubt that the trash talking about me continues. This is just part of who they are.They are bullies and need a scapegoat so they don't have to feel bad about themselves for being such LOSERS.

      Your aunt is right.You are better off without them because they never change.

    2. You know, I have crossed paths with a few people in my life who asked, "Why aren't you in touch with your family?" I gave them the bare bones rendition of the story and they replied, "You're better off without them."

      Methinks, like Dave's Aunt - a likeable wise soul that was ostracised by Ns - these folks I met must have had first hand experience with Ns. Sadly, this kind of honesty, compassion and understanding is hard to come by. And we are often left feeling like freaks for not having family relations. In my book, it would be freakish to be part of the insanity.

    3. "Even my father refers to her as weird"

      Yep, they always end up telling on themselves because everything that comes out of their mouths, mirrors back to them. Their minds are so dellusional and twisted that these narcs actually think that THEY are normal.

  13. Thank you for this article. I am taking Xanax right now and my step daughter manipulates my husband and they do have this exclusive relationship that after five years i find sickening. i have gone to therapy and everything. I read this article today and I am relieved to see exactly what this is. Not even four therapists have hit the nail on the head. I thought it was a type of emotional incest, it is sickening. When i tried to point out my stepdaughter's behavior, i am immediately cast as the bad guy and she does play the victim. I feel better knowing what i am dealing with. I have never had to deal with people like this in my entire life. My husband is his daughter's flying monkey. She has this exclusive relationship with him and she does call with tidbits of gossip, she has caused rifts between him and his other children and she totally wants me out of the picture. Thank you so much. i feel better.

  14. I have a narcissistic sil. She used me as scapegoat , I hardly ever got to talk to my brother. She ran off me and the adopted daughter of my brother before he died thispast Feb. Right after he passed she said he had left some money for me and my brothers mom who has Alzheimer and I am taking care of her by myself. My brother told me a couple of times he was leaving money for mom never said me. Cometo find out, heleft everything to wife. She just told me that to keep me from contesting will while in probate. I asked her after probate because never heard anything and she said she Misspoke. My mom has no assets just social security that I am using for daycare to get a break. I have no otherfamily. I hope she rots in hell. I asked for help with assisted living and she told me to use money from moms 1994 trailer I sold 7000 dollars and her social security check and then she would pay half of whats left....bitch. She also said she offered to help with mom. did this in front of other people., then went to Scotland for a month right after my moms son my brother died. I could never pin her down when asked, so I just have no contact because I have health problems and she just makes things worse. Please tell me she will get whats coming. I will keep mom at home as long as I can.

  15. Wow talk about hitting the nail on the head. I have a NM who until this article I could never quite get it. I thought ok anger mgt. somatization, but now I fully understand.
    And thus said I am that said scapegoat. Everything time she doesn't get her way or she gets mad boom it's all my fault because I didn't stop someone or take care of the problem. She uses her "health" as a tool. While she does have some health problems she over dramatizes the problem .
    Here is a situation that can never be resolved.
    I have a disease that won't kill me per say but is debilitating and my NM cannot get attention from it because she had nothing to one up It. She tells everyone that "She makes herself sick, She caused herself to get this" now there are a few smart ppl who know better but not my brothers they fell hook line and sinker right into this years ago. I spent 12 days in ICU extremely sick on a vent and Not one of my family members came WHY:
    NM told them I was fine and told me that when she told them they didn't seem to care. Her reasons were that parking cost too much and it was to far for her to walk. In reality She couldn't get attention for herself from my doctors. Oh she had tried believe me She has tried to no avail. But because of this She turns it around and says that I am really Not that sick at all. In fact she refuses to acknowledge that I have said disease or that I am currently on a transplant list.
    All my life I just couldn't put my finger on what was truly going on but its like a lightbulb went on as soon as I read this. I understand now why my attempts to confront, ignore, take the beating, take verbal abuse hasn't worked and never will. Often I felt guilty for something I didn't even do. I feel bad now if I get her upset wow what absolutr power NM has.
    Well now that I see this and know what's really happening I can better handle it. It is like a game what piece can she move next how far can she go. ...... My brothers have been pets so to speak while I am the Black sheep. All my life I see this now so clearly.
    From her telling everyone I was just a pig who ate all the time when in reality she forced me to eat such large quantities of food that my weight kept going until I was 330 pounds and when I lost 175lbs she was insanely jealous telling everyone I looked awful that I lost too much wt. When in reality I looked good and she is the one who should get the compliments not me how dare ppl. She tried convincing ppl that I can't cook or clean etc. but they know better. There was a time when everyone did believe her and when she even used my own child against me. She used her pity face to the neighbors one to many times and even they now see. My child believed NM because chicken are vulnerable now My child sees reality.
    Thank you so much this was truly the best info I have ever read. Opened my eyes and I now understand.

    1. You remind me of how, when I discovered House of Mirrors, it was like a brilliant light flooding into a very dark room, and isn't that wonderful? There it all is, as plain to see as daylight, for the first time. You get it! And even a whole posse of NMs, even if they smashed the lightbulb and tried to blind you again, they could not do it! There is no going back to ignorance nor forgetting. The light comes on, and you find your voice, and you can speak their evil, and HOM people hear and believe you and know that you are another truth teller! And after that it's easy to know the truth about anything we have been a bit confused about, because it is always the OPPOSITE of what the NM says! Easy! You write "she even used my own child against me" as if this is unusual. In fact it's completely typical of the NM's total soul destruction programme. I am very glad to hear your child now sees reality. You are the scapegoat, and for her you always will be as long as she has access to you. She feeds on you, psychologically, always has, and always will. So cut off supplies and starve the vampire to death! Oddly enough, you are the most important person in maintaining her supplies, and she couldn't function as her "self" without you. She will always undermine you, just as she always has, and NMs reinforce this with constant denigration: "you should be ashamed of yourself" and the like, repeated by her with the intention that these verbal tattoos will be ingrained on your soul until you lose all confidence and resistance and become completely objectified - her "thing" to control and use. NMs are the personification of evil. They don't recover and they don't improve. However they do try and suck you back in after you see the light. Be prepared for a charm offensive if it happens. For them it's just a tactic, to make you confused and vulnerable again. I hope you can completely distance yourself from the toxic creature. Being around them sickens us, we absorb their toxic effects. Glad you found your way here!