Tag Archives: disrespect

Narcissists & Respect

After writing my book, “Regrettably Related: A Guide To Toxic In-Laws”, I was thinking some about it one day.  One of the topics that came to mind was respect.  I thought I would share those thoughts with you.

As I mentioned in the book, I believe many toxic in-laws are narcissistic.  And, as we who know anything at all know about narcissists, they have a fixation with respect.  Sadly, they have no clue what real respect is.

Real respect is not treating people like dirt while expecting them to submit to your will no matter what.  No one wants to be mistreated.  It becomes even more insulting when the person treating you badly demands that you do anything they want.  It’s insulting & disrespectful!

Real respect is treating those your loved ones care about with civility even when you don’t like them.  This is a big one for me.  Probably the biggest part of my issue with my in-laws wasn’t that they hated me.  It was that they had so little respect for my husband, their son & brother, that they couldn’t manage basic civility with me.  That speaks volumes about their character or lack thereof.  I’ve had friends with significant others I disliked, but for the sake of my friends, I would do my best to be polite to the person.

Real respect is earned, & no one can successfully demand it.  My entire life, my mother would tell me, “I DEMAND respect!”  Well, that didn’t work out well for her.  Telling people to respect you never works.  Behaving in such a way that people want to respect you is what works.  It’s much like trust in this way.

Real respect involves boundaries.  It seems to narcissists, boundaries is a filthy, terrible word that never should be uttered.  No one in a narcissist’s life is allowed to have those awful boundaries.  This is one more piece of evidence that proves they have no true concept of respect.  A respectful person has & enforces their own healthy boundaries, while respecting the boundaries of others.

Real respect doesn’t belittle or criticize.  Constructive criticism is fine of course, when said gently.  Anyone who is making a mistake needs to know that they are making a mistake.  However, belittling & harsh criticisms have no place in respect.  If you respect another person, you won’t say cruel things to them, & if they respect you, they won’t say cruel things to you either.

Real respect isn’t selfish.  If you respect someone, you aren’t selfish with them.  You recognize they are an individual separate from you who has their own unique wants, needs & feelings.  You won’t insist on having your own way no matter what.

Real respect means you don’t assume you know best.  Respectful people recognize that other people are individuals who have their own specialties & talents.  They also know that others will know what is best for them rather than assume their way is what is best.

Real respect genuinely cares about other people.  Truly respecting someone also means you care about that person.  You value that person as the unique person they are instead of only what they can do for you.

Real respect means you care about yourself.  Self respect is so very important!  It means you won’t tolerate abuse from anyone.  It means you won’t demean yourself or compromise your values.  It means you treat yourself well.  It also means you take care of your physical & mental health.  These reasons are why narcissists try to destroy their victims’ self respect.  They don’t want them to do these things.  A person lacking self respect is controllable, unlike someone with a healthy level of self respect.

As you can see, narcissists clearly have absolutely no concept of what respect really is.  So the next time a narcissist calls you disrespectful, take it as a complement & remember they have absolutely no idea what respect really is.

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

What Scares Narcissists

Most narcissists, in particular overt narcissists, come across as fearing nothing.  The fact is though that underneath that brazen, rough facade often lies a very scared person.

There are some things that frighten all narcissists to the very core of their being, & this post will share those things.

Being criticized is a big one.  All narcissists work hard to create a false image of a really great person to the world.  If they are criticized, this can damage that image.  The image must be maintained perfectly at all times, & criticism can threaten that image.  While narcissists are often quick to criticize other people, they can’t tolerate it being done to them.

Being treated without respect is another fear of narcissists.  To be respected helps them to maintain that false image they work so hard to present by showing them that they are worthy of respect.  Any sign of disrespect can damage that fragile false image, so they will not tolerate disrespect no matter how slight or unintentional it may be.  My overtly narcissistic mother always told me, “I demand respect.”  I’ve heard others say that their narcissistic parents or spouses said the same thing.  They obviously don’t realize a person can’t truly respect someone simply because they are ordered to respect that person.

Ignoring a narcissist is something they simply cannot tolerate.  Narcissists thrive on attention & the narcissistic supply it provides.  If you adore a narcissist, you’re providing supply.  If you hate a narcissist, you’re also providing supply.  Love & hate are both very strong emotions & take up much of a person’s thoughts.  That is why both emotions are great sources of narcissistic supply.  Ignoring a narcissist shows you feel nothing for that person, which not only fails to provide narcissistic supply, it damages their ego.  Narcissists who are ignored often behave worse than they did when in a relationship with their victim because that victim has ceased to provide their precious narcissistic supply.  This is why so many narcissists resort to vicious smear campaigns, harassment & even stalking if their victim ignores them.  If they can’t make you love them, they will be satisfied to make you hate them.

A huge fear all narcissists have is their abusive behavior being exposed to anyone other than their victim.  Since narcissists want to be well thought of by everyone, being exposed as the abusive monster they are would destroy that.  Rather than run the risk of exposure, they find it much better to keep their victims silent by any & all means necessary.  They isolate them by ruining their relationships with friends & family, they scare victims, use guilt, shame & gaslighting to keep them silent.  They also run damage control by convincing those in their circle that the victim is crazy, irrational, over sensitive or even mentally ill.

Rejection is another huge fear of narcissists.  They take rejection as a personal attack.  While no one likes to be rejected, narcissists take it to a very different level.  Most people examine their behavior & make appropriate changes.  They also hurt, but they also move on.  Narcissists do NOT examine their behavior & move on.  They get angry that anyone would dare end a relationship with them.  Their abusive ways are no reason to end that relationship, after all.  The victim should just take it indefinitely without complaint.   Since that didn’t happen, narcissists get angry & again, may resort to a vicious smear campaign, harassment or even stalking.

Possibly the biggest fear narcissists have is abandonment.  (Ironic, when you consider that by the time they’re elderly, they have chased away most of their friends & family with their awful & abusive behavior.)  Narcissists need narcissistic supply to function like the rest of humanity needs air.  They can’t function without a steady stream of narcissistic supply, so they have a deep fear of abandonment.  To avoid this, they will rage & threaten victims in an attempt to make them stay.  If a victim leaves them, they will promise to change & love bomb as a way to lure their victim back.  If left alone, narcissists will have to face their own company & they don’t like to do that.  No one wants to see the ugliness on the inside of a narcissist, not even the narcissist!

If the narcissist in your life is acting even worse than usual lately, one of these scenarios may be why.  There is nothing you can do to make the situation better, so if at all possible, avoid this person as much as possible.  Also, never forget to practice the Gray Rock method, & provide no narcissistic supply.

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Narcissism