Narcissists create random taboos in order to control their victims.

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If you have ever lived with a pathological narcissist (or even more than one), this will sound familiar: sometimes, they act very controlling about unimportant things. You’re left puzzled and confused, wondering WHY these things are apparently so sacred to the narcissist if they don’t seem to have a connection to any of their core values. And yet, they keep enforcing these “rules” that came out of nowhere. They keep refusing to explain the reason why. They go into full rage if you challenge the rules. You feel as though you’re supposed to have blind faith in the rules, never question, never even try to understand them, and never get out of it.

The above, I’ll repeat, will only make sense to those who have first-hand experience of narcissistic abuse. If you don’t get it, consider yourself lucky.

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Narcissists have double standards with things, with people, with situations, with places, etc. They just pick and choose what feels good in the moment. And often, “good” to them simply means “I look powerful and worthy of praise”. IT IS THAT SIMPLE. Don’t overcomplicate it.

“But Meron, some narcissists play the victim”, someone will say. Aye. Some do indeed. Not all are grandiose. Even those who play the victim are looking for praise. The only difference is they’ve settled for INDIRECT praise. They wanna hear “aww, poor you, making so many sacrifices in life” because what they undersrand is “aren’t you the cutest little angel! Awww look at you. The biggest saint on the planet. The purest soul. Too good for the world”. That’s praise.

But how will a narcissist look better than other people? Simple: they need to convince you that whatever they’re comparing themselves to, is inferior. Even if deep down there is no logic behind that.

Hence, they also scapegoat places and actions, not just people. It makes them feel in control and feeds into their fantasies of power. This “scapegoating” is done without a logical reason:

My mother scapegoated the phrase “it is my life to live”. According to her, this was allegedly the last thing her sister said to granny (another narcissist) before being kicked out of their house for being “a disobedient child”. Was she doing drugs, you wonder? Getting in trouble with the law? Being a bad person in general? Hm, no. Not at all. She just wanted to make her own choices in life, like what to wear and listen to, hobbies, haircut etc. But whenever my mother quoted her saying “it is my life to live”, she did it in such a theatrical and overly dramatic way, that you’d think her estranged sister had literally commited a crime. She’d gasp and stare in horror, trying to get me to believe that this kind of healthy boundary was a huuuuge taboo. For no reason. No explanation given. She just wanted me to believe because she said so. Overestimating the credibility of her fantasy world where she is “always right”, just like every narcissist.

A former boss I had, also narcissistic, scapegoated the concept of customisable cameras (I worked in the TV crew for a while). Like… she literally tried to brainwash us into believing the oldfashioned camcorders she’d always worked with were the only real gear, whereas modular video cameras (aka the ones you can change the lenses, power supply etc on) were amateur. Never mind that the cameras used in Hollywood (aka, professional, not amateur) are all modular since… the latter half of the 20th century? It’s not even a recent concept. But I guess because they kind of look like average photographer’s cameras on a simple mount — and for narcissists “superficial looks” are what counts — she tried to fool herself AND OTHERS into believing her delusional unimportant taboo was right. Again, no reasons given. No explanation. Just your occasional contemptuous laugh whenever anyone suggested she was mistaken (as if saying “sure, noob”).

Another narcissist, a mystic I was once learning astrology from, scapegoated star sign genders. He literally claimed “Pisces is masculine” — and would also often post about it, not just tell me — without an explanation. Without a reason. He just straight-up affirmed it with all the apparent confidence in the world. Since astrology is a matter of belief, I just shrugged and thought he was saying the truth because in mysticism not everything makes sense, and that’s normal. One day, however, while researching some of Hypocrates’ work, I found an explanation for “why” the ancient Greek believed star signs have genders, and it has to do with the 4 elements: water and earth are feminine, fire and air are masculine. This debunked what the con artist had been teaching me, and it led me to second-guess other things I “learned” from him. Eventually I arrived at the conclusion he didn’t know as much as he was claiming to know. But perhaps he didn’t even care. He just cared about creating that image, that illusion of know-it-all, in order to look good in public.

A lad I was friends with, guess what (another narcissist!) scapegoated certain topics of scientific research. He’d often make very weird comments of disapproval about scientific articles he found, not because he disagreed with the findings or anything like that… But because he didn’t like their EXISTENCE. Aye, his delusion had to do with trying to control what scientists could or could not decide to research about — except he was just a random guy on the internet, without real power for that. For example: there was this one time he came talk to me outraged that some doctors “dared” to compare Autism with Personality Disorders. The paper was basically comparing AND CONTRASTING specific traits and symptoms in order to better understand both concepts; But my friend took it as “they’re implying there are commonalities, how dare them, how prejudiced” — ahem, excuse me? Who are you to regulate Academic research? You’re not even in Academia, Mr. Nobody. I felt like reacting that way, but made an effort not to. I’d figured by then he was narcissistic, so if I took the bait, I’d be enabling it.

I could go on, and on, and on. I’ve known more pathological narcissists than I have fingers to count on, that’s for sure. But I suppose you already have an idea of what I mean.

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Narcissists aren’t stupid. They’re just chronically narrow-minded (and take it personally if anyone tries to help). They want to STAY miserable. They want to stay delusional. There’s no saving them.

I’m not necessarily telling you it’s “my way or the highway”, either. Look, I understand there is no single good or bad way to live, or to work, or to study. In the stories above, maybe you could say I judged all the narcissists mentioned — that’s true, I judged them. But it wasn’t because I disagree with their point of view. It was because I simply can’t support their black-or-white way to see the world. It’s detrimental to themselves. Why would I enable people to self-destruct? I wouldn’t. Would YOU?

I mean, it isn’t exactly my cup of tea to support invasive behaviour — I’m all for boundaries and personal freedom, in fact — but let’s take a second look at my mother’s story: even if I agreed with her… Even if I went like “yeah for sure mam, your sister was wrong for wanting to have her own personality”… Would that mean it’s just “bad” to be authentic in the world, and that’s that? Nobody is entitled to individuality now? Well, go ahead and move to North Korea while you’re at it. There’s zero difference between that kind of dictatorship, and the controlling behaviour I mentioned above. Ya know? I understand feelings. But sometimes, logic is also important. Or else, you run the risk of allowing horrible things to happen all around you just because you refuse to look at the bigger picture.

There isn’t just “one” kind of morality in the world. Fair enough. But if your moral code is different from mine or his or hers… The least you can do is back it up and explain it, not just conjure it out of nowhere and expect people to follow. You don’t exist in a vacuum. Nobody does. Narcissists, however, behave as if they did.

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Same thing with my former boss… Do I like her way to go about videography? No. I prefer mine. I backed mine up by saying Hollywood is doing the same. But if she wanted to defend hers, all she’d have to do is look for LEGIT arguments in favour of it. Idk, maybe “I’m more into adventure filmmaking so I need something sturdier even if the output footage isn’t very cinematic”. There ya go. Super valid reason to swim against the tide, so to speak. But she wouldn’t adopt this healthier strategy, I bet. She’s not interested in making sense to the world. She’s interested in trying to coerce the world into eating up her delusion of grandeur because that feeds into a fantasy of power.

The astrologer could have said something along the lines of “I’m experimenting, this new theory is entirely mine and disagrees with ancient Greek beliefs”. Cool, good for you bro. But no, he prefers to just confuse people and conceal key information from the public (the fact he’s taken said theory out of his own imagination) in order to still keep that sweet sweet legitimacy that comes from using (or abusing, at this stage) Ancient beliefs. You could argue it “doesn’t matter anyway” because it’s religion and not science, but no, actually, it DOES matter. You should give credit where it’s due even if you’re talking about woo. This isn’t about who’s right and who’s wrong — there’s no telling with religion. This is about who said what. It’s about misrepresenting innocent people from the past in order to feed into a narcissistic delusion of grandeur. So, yes, it does matter. A lot.

The internet fuckboy could have simply framed his dislike of certain scientific papers as a personal thing — “yeah I’m not into this because [insert feeling here]”. That’s it. Simple. But no, he’d rather imply there was some bigger conspiracy / social problem to it which he, supreme enlightened being, the biggest know-it-all, master of all knowledge, noticed and nobody else did. Sure.

Can you see what I mean? It’s not the disagreement itself. What irks me is the fact narcisists are unwilling to admit their personal opinions as, ya know, personal opinions. Not absolute truths. Not objective reality. Noty some breakthrough they’d deserve praise for. Again, always in want of praise.

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Meron Nic Cruithne

Meron Nic Cruithne

Meron is a psychic and spirit worker based in Ireland. She talks to the dead around her, especially the Picts. Please read her pinned post before any other.