Narcissism is not what some people might think.
It is not self-absorption or even extreme selfishness. It is a pathological lack of conscience, empathy, compassion, humility and reasonable self-image which revolves around actual talents and character. It is about lying every time you open y our mouth. It is about thinking about your life as a fantasy of what you want to be and then believing it to be true. It is also about expecting others to believe it even when there is no empirical evidence to support that belief. Incredibly, Narcissists seem to manage to convince others that what they think about themselves is true. They seem to be able to project an image and convey such confidence in that image that others are manipulated into believing it to be real.
Narcissists do not cope well with denial of their fantasies about themselves. Unfortunately, although they are toxic emotional vampires, they can be very charming and persuasive and make you believe that you are their very bestest best friend at first meeting. They love bomb strangers and at the same time treat their old friends and relatives like dirt. Then they want to know why you are acting strangely around them. It’s because you are catching onto their behaviour and trying to fit it into the jigsaw puzzle of their lives. The bits don’t match. They won’t, they belong to a number of different jigsaws. The one the narcissist is working on is different to the one you see. They mess with your head and make you believe you are the one with the problem. So lacking in normal morality and working conscience are they that they can carry on like this with a huge smile on their face and be completely free of any shame, guilt or concern about their actions and their consequences. They are like six-year-olds playing a game and they get just as hostile when you don’t want to play any more.
Narcissists can turn from the cute six-year-old to the homicidal maniac at the drop of a hat. You might think this is an overstatement, but there have been narcissists of my acquaintance who would easily kill somebody if they thought they would not be caught or that it wouldn’t harm their image. Fortunately they usually stop short of this and just murder your soul instead. Murdering somebody’s reputation or character is also a good substitute. That takes time and effort however, so you would have to have upset the narcissist a lot for them to get to that point. On the other hand if the narcissist has a willing pack of servants, often called flying monkeys on the internet, especially family members, then they can get them to do the dirty work for them.
Narcissists have been known to destroy marriages, families, people’s sanity and their careers and to cause nervous breakdowns and suicide, but not so as anybody would notice. They attack by stealth and its a campaign of attrition. Only the victim knows anything is wrong at first and afterwards, they still blame the victim when it is clearly the narcissist staring at you with the knife in their hand.
Some psychologists have made the suggestion that Narcissists become what they are because they were abused as children and have never grown up and have no real choice as to how they behave. But the evidence belies this statement. Anyone with any intimate knowledge of narcissism, especially if they have been raised by it, grown up with it or married it will know that narcissists are not just abused children. They are extremely functional adults who know the difference between good and evil, and switch between the two depending on who they are talking to and whether or not there are witnesses. I have seen children do this as well. And these children were not abused, they were simply choosing to do the wrong thing to suit themselves, and then to cover it up by charming the person in authority, usually the parent.
I am not a psychologist, although I am an avid student of human behaviour. Having grown up around narcissism, and spent 15 years in a religious cult you have no choice but to deal with it. It is a case of adapt or die. You have to learn who your enemy is. And this brings me to the point of my title. Christian narcissists are liars. They are first of all not Christians, because it is not possible to continually sin without conscience and be genuinely filled with the Holy Spirit. Therefore if a narcissist claims to be saved and moreover is a member of local congregation I treat them with the utmost caution. So called Christian Narcissists can run churches, preach from pulpits or sit on boards. They can be married to the pastor or serve on the missionary committee, you will know when you have struck one because they continually leave you stunned with their rudeness and contempt. Should you try and deal with this person they will look and sound as though they are truly interested in helping you come to terms with your stupidity. They are simply not able to recognise their own sin, and will wipe it off onto you because you are blaming them, the blameless, spotless lamb of God. I heard an abusive former elder of the religious cult I went to actually say this. He spent decades preaching a false gospel, abusing and bullying everyone he met yet when they finally kicked him out, and we went to him to ask him to be accountable for his actions, his whole demeanour was one of total innocence. Who me? How could I be at fault? Now scripture tells us that nobody is without sin and if anyone says he has no sin he is a liar. This man had lied to us for a couple of decades and after having been kicked out of his own cult, he was still lying. However, I once saw a picture of him up on his facebook page. He had that typical narcissist smug grin. It is the grin of a naughty child who is making you their co-conspirator. It’s the ‘we all know I am naughty but you know you love me’ look that very small children are apt to get away with. Its ugly and its an outright offence against the body of Christ and God himself.