Those of us who have survived narcissistic abuse all seem to wonder one thing- why does everyone believe the narcissist & not me?!
I certainly have. I was in my late teens when my mother’s abuse hit its peak. During that time, I noticed that her friends no longer were friendly & nice to me. Women who once obviously liked me no longer would even make eye contact with me or speak to me. It wasn’t hard to figure out my mother told them something awful about me. What I wondered was why would they believe her lies when they knew me well. They had to know I wasn’t the terrible teen my mother told me & others that I was.
I think I have some ideas as to why people believe narcissists in these situations.
The person who doesn’t believe a victim may be a narcissist. I have noticed narcissists don’t believe people easily. If someone says another person hurt them, unless there is undeniable evidence such as broken bones, many narcissists don’t believe that person. Maybe they simply have no interest since it doesn’t center around them.
Narcissists are also phenomenal actors. They can create any impression they wish. If they want to appear kind when they aren’t, they can do that with no problem. Highly intelligent even though they aren’t particularly smart? They can pull that act off too. Their chameleon like ways blend well with their superb ability to read people, which enables them to appear in the most appealing way possible to each individual person.
Many people look for the best in others, not the real in others. People see the narcissist as a good person, as the narcissist wanted them to, so when a victim tells others of the terrible things the narcissist has done, the victim is not believed. People don’t think someone as “good” as the narcissist could do such things.
There’s also the fact that narcissistic abuse is so outlandish, it’s hard to believe. Looking back at things narcissists have done to me, even I have trouble believing they happened, & I was there. People with no knowledge of narcissism can have trouble believing your stories of narcissistic abuse simply because of the bizarre nature.
Some people who don’t believe victims also come from backgrounds of abuse, yet have not faced their pain. Instead, they live ready to shut down anything or anyone that may remind them of their pain or that threatens their flawed belief system that all is fine in their world. I know a family like this. The father was horribly abusive to the children growing up. The mother stood by his side, & failed to protect them. In fact, she instilled the belief in them that it was their place to protect her, not the other way around. The adult children were very protective of their mother. They treated her as if she was a young child, in need of constant care, coddling & protection. No one was allowed to mistreat her or criticize her, even if they were telling the truth. None of them have any tolerance for anyone setting boundaries with their parents. They seem to believe that you tolerate anything & everything from your parents with a smile. They also will believe any lies a narcissistic parent tells them about their child, not their child.
I also think there is another reason people believe narcissists over victims. Those who aren’t facing their own abusive pasts feel bad when they see others who are. Maybe it makes them feel ashamed for not being strong enough to do so or it simply reminds them of the pain they work so hard to ignore. But, I do know for these people, it’s easier to believe a narcissist than to believe their victim & face their own pain.
When you come across someone who doesn’t believe you, then Dear Reader, remember, it has nothing to do with you. The person you’re speaking with has their own issues. Normal, mentally healthy people listen to a victim’s story & believe that person unless there is strong evidence that the victim is lying, not the other way around.