There is an odd phenomenon that can happen to people who have survived narcissistic abuse & refuse to face it. They can develop narcissistic tendencies & behavior.
Thankfully, I don’t think this trait is overly common. Also I don’t think they all are true narcissists, merely showing some tendencies. Even so, it is a good idea to be aware of the potential for this behavior in victims of narcissistic abuse.
If you’re a victim of narcissistic abuse & are working on your healing, most likely you can be almost paranoid about your behavior. You’d rather do about anything rather than treat people as the narcissist treated you. Even so, it’s a good idea to monitor your behavior. Pay attention to how you speak to people & also how you treat them. If you hurt someone, also pay attention to your reaction. Do you apologize immediately to that person or do you make excuses for what you did? You know the signs of narcissism because you lived through that horror. This means you should be able to spot those tendencies in yourself easily & are motivated to make appropriate changes.
Those who haven’t admitted to themselves or anyone that their abuser was a narcissist or even abusive at all for that matter don’t have your advantages. Not working on their healing, they function from a place of dysfunction. They’re wounded but don’t know it. They may see some of their behaviors as abnormal but aren’t sure why they are abnormal. Or, they may not see there is any problem with their behavior. They are simply behaving as their parents behaved. When I was in my early 20’s, I realized I was doing that. My ex husband called me out on saying that a certain band was awful, just because I didn’t like it. I’m glad he did! Me not appreciating their sound doesn’t mean the band wasn’t talented. It simply meant it wasn’t my taste. That caused me to consider the way I acted in other areas & realized I was behaving in some ways like my parents. Even though at the time I knew nothing of narcissism, I still didn’t like my behavior & made changes.
It seems many victims of narcissistic abuse find each other. If this describes you, please be aware of what I talk about here.
Not all victims are the same. Some are early in their education about narcissism & healing from narcissistic abuse. They still are going to show plenty of dysfunctional behavior, but the good news is that they’re open to making changes & learning. Others may be in a similar place to you, & those are the people you probably will feel the most connected to.
Unfortunately, there are also those who are like I have described here. Please be very aware of those people, because they can hurt you badly, even though it may be unintentional. I’ve learned this recently from someone I know. This person was raised by a very covert narcissistic mother, yet never has admitted that fact. In fact, this person always defended that awful narcissistic mother vehemently. For years, this person’s behavior was just fine. Suddenly however, when this person was speaking, the words said were the exact words that person’s narcissistic mother has said! It was incredibly unsettling & not to mention hurtful. I know the person didn’t mean to hurt me, but to witness someone who was always a good person suddenly talk like a narcissist was incredibly hard. In fact, as I write this, I’m not sure if this person will be in my life much longer. Intentionally narcissistic or not, narcissistic behaviors aren’t something I can handle anymore.
You, Dear Reader, may experience a similar situation. I hope not, but it is still possible. Please remember to protect yourself.