Have you ever been in a relationship with a narcissist or a sociopath, and they constantly tried to tell you that you were the one who was crazy?
I have, and it’s infuriating when someone attempts to use psychology against you. Especially when their “findings” are blatant examples of their behaviour.
For those of you who don’t know the trademark personality traits of a narcissist or a sociopath, Dr. Tracy Stein explains what they are:
Narcissistic Personality Disorder:
- Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (exaggerates achievements, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
- Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited power, success, brilliance, beauty or ideal love
- Believes her or she is “special” and can only be understood by similarly special, high status people
- Requires excessive admiration
- Has a sense of entitlement
- Is interpersonally exploitative
- Lacks empathy
- Is envious of others or believes others are envious of him/her
- Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
She adds that sociopaths exhibit some of those traits, and these as well:
- Failure to conform to social norms as evidenced by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest
- Irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults
- Reckless disregard for the safety of others
- Consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial commitments
- Lack of remorse, as being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt others
If you recognize any of those behaviours in a partner or friend who you have had a relationship with, then congratulations- you were in a toxic relationship with a narcissist or a sociopath.
Now, if you were like me, then you probably felt at war with your own mind, constantly wondering if the fault was with you, or them. After doing some research, as I’m sure many of you have done in this situation, I discovered that all the things I thought were “broken” in me, were actually just fine. I wasn’t the one who was so destroyed that I couldn’t find a way to keep myself together unless I was destroying another person…that was them.
So that brings us to the question of the day: why do narcissists and sociopaths always try to convince you that you are crazy one?
Well, from my experience, this happens for 2 reasons.
1. Their superiority complex makes it impossible for them to accept fault within themselves.
Narcissists believe they are faultless. They can do no wrong. Regardless of how many times you point out their behaviour and how it affects you, they will find a way to turn it around on you as being your fault. It’s a classic manipulation tactic that these two toxic personality types have mastered. Plus, everything is a competition with them, so if you bring up the psychological science behind gaslighting, or mention the similarities to their behaviour and a narcissistic or sociopathic profile, they will do the exact same thing to you.
Furthermore, they will use psychology as their arsenal. Eventually, the line becomes a blur. “Am I really the one to blame?” becomes a lingering thought in the back of your mind. And let’s face it- we all have our flaws. But I think it’s safe to say that if you’re worrying over possibly being a narcissist or a sociopath then you probably aren’t one.
2. They project, and project, and project some more.
Projection is basically a mirror; it’s a reflection of what someone is carrying inside themselves. Narcissists and sociopaths are constantly projecting their issues and insecurities on others. So it stands to reason that they would include their psychosis as well. In one instance, I had a friend who was so deeply disillusioned that they became the spokesperson for gaslighting.
They told all of our mutual friends how I was the one who was manipulative, dishonest, and lacked empathy, but failed to see how they were describing their own behaviours. It really is mind-boggling when someone does that to you. And you can’t argue or fight against it; you will never be able to change someone’s willful perception of you. You just have to let go and move on.
I’m curious to know how many of you have confronted these types of personalities, pointed out their genuine ties to narcissistic or sociopathic behaviours, and had them turn it right around on you.