Why People Believe Narcissists Instead Of Their Victims

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.

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16 Comments

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

16 responses to “Why People Believe Narcissists Instead Of Their Victims

  1. Pingback: Why People Believe Narcissists Instead Of Their Victims – Mama Bear Musings

  2. I relate to this so much. Thank you for putting into words all that I have thought and felt. I am so sorry you have had to experience this too. Know that your sharing these experiences are so beneficial for others. This touched my heart this morning. Thank you

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I so agree, It is very difficult to open up about experiences I had lived through because for so long like you said all believed the narcissist and not me, or my children. He was great at acting and putting up a front to trick others.
    I have been trying to find info on how to help my children because although I did get away and leave unfortunately he was able to get split custody with our daughter because he had never physically hurt her. I have found info on it when they are grown and dealing with a parent but there just isn’t a lot of info on the middle part. I left but still feel so stuck tangled in his web because my children and I have to co parent with him and that is very difficult. To say the least. I stand strong and keep my boundaries to teach my children right from wrong and do the best I can to give her love and support any way that I can.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “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.” — I second that!

    Like MamaBear said above, I love how you are able to put these issues into words.

    Liked by 2 people

      • I’ve been thinking about what you wrote here. I think this explains why my sisters and brothers have all taken my narcissistic mother’s side against me.

        I am the oldest of seven. I was an only child until shortly before my 7th birthday, and my youngest sibling was born shortly before I turned 18. I was already married and gone from the home when she was born.

        My sisters and brothers weren’t around, or they were too little to understand what was going on, and too young to remember — and some of them weren’t even born yet — when the worst abuses happened.

        I used to think that my sisters and brothers did not believe me, and always took our mother’s side, simply because they were not there, or they were too young, when the abuses happened. But I have come to believe that there’s a lot more to it than this. I mean, surely my mother did save all of her crazy abusive behaviour for just me, and behave like the perfect mother of the year with everybody else, the rest of the time! No, I think that my siblings just do not have the strength to face and name the truth about our mother, for whatever reason. It’s less painful for them to accept our mother’s line about their big sis being a crazy liar and a troublemaker, than to believe that our mother really is a malignant narcissist.

        I also suspect that at least two of my siblings are probably narcissists, themselves.

        It is sad and lonely, and very crazy making, to grow up as the scapegoat in a narcissistic family system. That’s why I am so thankful for you, and for other bloggers, who are strong and brave and wise enough to write the truth about narcissism.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Unfortunately it sounds like you’re right. It’s so hard to face the truth & many people prefer a pretty lie to that ugly truth. It’s easier in so many ways to remain in the delusion & the dysfunction than to break free. Look what happens when you do- people smear your name, tell you to your face that you’re crazy, lying, etc etc, you lose friends & family… facing the truth is so hard! And, if they’re narcissists, they’d definitely side with the narcissistic parent so they can enjoy that golden child position.

          I’m really sorry for all you’ve gone through.. it sounds so horrible! ❤

          Liked by 1 person

          • Thank you. It was horrible, the abuse I went through. But I am so happy in my life now, that every day what I mostly feel is just gratitude.

            Speaking of that, when I called my mother in August after years of peaceful no contact, foolishly hoping that maybe she had mellowed with age — after she brought me up to date on all the latest, mostly ‘woe is me’ news about her life and the rest of the family, my mother then finally got around to asking me: “So, how are things with you?”

            I simply and honestly replied: “Everything is going really great! This is the best time in my life, by far!”

            I was met with stunned silence. She clearly was not expecting that answer. “Huh — uh — really?” she said.

            I chuckled a little and said, “Yes, really! I guess I am a slow learner, for it to take me over 60 years to finally get to this place. But everything is going really well, and every day I thank God for my good life.”

            In the past, whenever I have reached out to my mother after a lengthy hiatus, she has always been “nice” to me at first, the hoovering and honeymoon thing, and has waited several weeks, sometimes months, before starting in with her verbal gaslighting abuse again. But this time, after being all “Oh I have missed you” and “Oh it’s so good to hear your voice!” For the first few minutes of the conversation, then unloading all her sad news on me, before finally asking how I am — within just 2 or 3 minutes of me telling her that I have never been better, my mother slammed me with the worst gaslighting projecting EVIL LIE that she has ever said to me. to

            Clearly, my momster could not handle the idea of me being happy, for even 5 minutes!

            Too bad for her. I am still happy! 😀

            Like

            • Wow… they never cease to amaze me, yanno? But good for you that you know what she was up to & didn’t fall for her gaslighting crap! You go girl! & you be happy- you sure deserve it! ❤

              Liked by 1 person

              • Thank you again. You deserve to be happy, too!

                Did I tell you that I recently googled the addresses of the two houses that I lived in as a child where the worst abuses occurred, and to my shock I found both houses listed on a real estate website? They both had sold in recent years, one in 2014 and the other in 2016. Although their listings have long expired, all of the exterior and interior pictures were still on the listings, 30 pictures on one, and 22 pictures on the other.

                As I clicked through the pictures, I remembered this abuse happening in this room and that abuse happening in another room — it was overwhelming.

                Then I came to a picture that looked through a doorway between a family room that was added on after we moved away in 1965, and the old part of the house. Over the wide open doorway hangs a sign that says, in big bold letters: “It Is Well With My Soul.”

                That old hymn has long been a favorite of mine. It has a very special meaning for me. I am still amazed, just thinking about those words in that picture of my childhood home. Yes indeed, it is well with my soul. Thank You, Lord!

                Like

        • Oh boy, me too! Once you educate yourself on narcissism, it’s eye opening how many people fit the profile even in one’s own family.

          Liked by 1 person

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