SATIRE WARNING: The following article is a work of humor. Gallows humor. Dark humor. Narcissism is not good and no one is encouraging anyone to be a narcissist. If you see one or two things that apply to you, please don’t take it personally. For example, there’s nothing wrong with words of encouragement from friends on Facebook. I get them, too. If you have a child who legitimately has ADHD or other issues and requires medication, I’m not saying that makes you a narcissist either. Oftentimes narcissistic mothers and fathers will sedate and medicate their children who are having problems (due to the emotional neglect and other abuses by their parents) rather than address and resolve the real underlying issue — the narcissistic parent.
Personality disorders compromise a range of human behaviors and attitudes. It becomes a disorder when it’s an extreme lifelong pattern of a lack of empathy, a willful lack of awareness for how one’s behavior affects others, blaming others for one’s own poor choices and lack of personal accountability (and much, much more). It’s not about having an infrequent emotional overreaction or bad day, enjoying receiving a kind word from friends or liking being liked. Satire warning over.
It’s never been a better time to be a Narcissist! The Internet, smartphones and social media make self-aggrandizement, hunting for fresh supply, triangulating, baiting your enemies and smear campaigns easier and far less labor intensive than any other time in history.
Everything’s coming up Narcissist!
Before you can be a really successful Narcissist, however, you’ll need to get a few things in place. Unfortunately, you’ll probably have to procure most of your Narcissist paraphernalia yourself.
Whoa! Easy with that death stare, Vampira.
Now before you flounce off in a huff, let us explain. We understand that one of the perks of being a Narcissist is having enablers who do the work for you. But sometimes you’ve got to do a little work in order to get others to do the the majority of the work. Unless you’re an actual celebrity (i.e., have an Academy Award or a reality TV show) complete with a personal assistant, you’ll have to lay the groundwork yourself, unfair though it is.
It’s okay. Go pout for a spell, or maybe go yell at your husband for something completely unrelated. We understand your process. No hurry.
All better now? Alright then, here’s everything you need to be a super, fantabulous Narcissist in 5 easy steps! Originally, it was going to be 10 easy steps, but 10 is just too much work. Know your audience, know your audience, know your audience!
1. Social media accounts. You gotta have them! Think of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as Mission Control. Social media is your personal PR platform from which you can spin, well, just about any narrative you choose, engage in gratuitous attention seeking, do image management (e.g., Look how amazing I am! Look how exciting my life is! Meet soul mate #5, My Real Soul Mate™!), post coded meme messages to exes, other enemies and objects of scorn (i.e., people who
have seen the real you don’t appreciate your awesomeness) and conduct smear campaigns against exes, enemies and even your current husband or boyfriend. Every savvy narcissist knows that it’s just common sense to begin the smear before the discard stage. Duh!
Portray yourself however you wish. The bigger the disconnect from reality the better. Pretend you’re some combination of Mother Theresa, Princess Dianna, Martha Stewart, St. Frances of Assisi, super mom, reality star or big-hearted philanthropist. Remember: The bigger the lie, the more it will be believed.
This can get tricky if you have difficulty tracking your myriad narratives and Versions of the Truth™ or whatever the newest The New Truth™ happens to be, but well-trained minions (see # 3) won’t notice or or at least will know better than to call you out. What’s more, most people don’t like to admit they’ve been conned. Out of a kingdom of many, only one subject said the Emperor was naked and everyone ignored that pesky, big-mouthed kid, so lie big or go home.
2. Selfie device. Or what the Normals call a smartphone. It’s your attention seeking paint brush and canvas, your hammer, your surveillance system, your triangulation conduit, your harassment and stalking portal, your tracking device, your home invasion passport (i.e., incessantly calling the kids when with their dad and stepmom) AND IT TEXTS!!!!!
Got some free time on your hands? Feeling bored and ignored? Feeling irritable because you’re feeling bored and ignored? Not able to get your boyfriend or husband to comply to your demands or admit everything is really his fault before he leaves for work in the morning?
Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text!Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text!Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text!Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text!Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text!Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text!Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text!Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text!Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text! Text!
If he doesn’t have the kind of job where he can respond to each and every one of your text missiles
or has the good sense not to, it’s just one more grievance for the grievance list, so text away!
Even better, this is a piece of equipment that you can have someone else get for you — like a boyfriend or mom or dad (if they’re still paying your bills because you haven’t found a boyfriend or husband to do that for you yet). It’s your compact, lightweight and portable base of operations by which to access Mission Control. Get one.
3. Minions: cheerleaders and flying monkeys. Having adoring minions is a must. There are two types of minions — cheerleaders and flying monkeys. Sometimes a minion can be both a cheerleader and a flying monkey (i.e., an especially useful minion, so don’t take off your human suit in front of them!) Cheerleaders will populate your social media accounts and become an endless reservoir of Likes and sycophantic comments like, “Amen, sister! You’re so brave! How do you do it all? Your kids are so lucky! You haven’t aged a day in 30 years!” Cheerleaders will mindlessly click Like on your posts with little or no thought about if what you’ve shared has merit or is actually connected to reality.
For example, you get a wild hair and announce you’re going to open a cupcake shop despite having no experience working in the culinary field. “Like! Like! OMG, what an awesome idea! You always had *the best* Easy Bake Oven cupcakes when we were kids! You’re going to be the next Cake Boss!” $10,000 dollars in commercial grade kitchen equipment and one $75 tray of cupcakes sold to your cousin Shari for her 10-year old’s birthday party later, you can declare it a raging success before closing shop to “spend more time with your family.” “Like! Like! We knew you could do it! It’s sad you have to give up your dream, but family comes first!”
No need to remind your cheerleaders that your “bake shop” was in your kitchen in your home or tell them that your kids and husband did most of the work for you. You’re sacrificing your lifelong dream and re-devoting yourself to your family. And there’s really no need to mention that your lifelong dream was hatched after a bottle of Chardonnay, 3 Xanax and binge watching Cupcake Wars for 72 hours straight two days before you made your Facebook announcement because you’re pissed and resentful that your husband golfs on weekends and this was an attempt to take that from him by demanding time and money. Good cheerleaders will applaud you every harebrained step of the way and never call you on your delusions of grandeur and shameless attention seeking.
Flying monkeys are cheerleaders who do online and offline stuff for you. They’re awesome sauce! They can troll your enemies and targets that you’ve “punished” by blocking or unfriending them (that is if you haven’t created sock puppet accounts to do so or in addition to sock puppet accounts), or enemies and targets who’ve had the
good sense nerve to unfriend or block you. They’ll help you facilitate your smear campaigns and provide you with alibis if you’re cheating on your spouse or partner.
Good flying monkeys understand how unappreciated you are and that you deserve a little happiness in your life. It doesn’t matter that your husband “ignores you” because he has to work 60 hours a week due to your under-employment and very expensive horse
hoarding rescue work for which you aren’t paid. Flying monkeys are also a good source of real world favors and free labor, so cultivate flying monkeys who know how to cook, organize, clean, do carpentry, electrical work and plumbing, etc. Even when you’re capable of doing the work for yourself, every Narcissist knows it’s just better when you can get other people to do it for you!
4. Kids and animals. Savvy Narcissists know that props are essential. Kids, more so than animals, make the best props for several reasons:
- The potential for Mother of the Year posts are endless! If you’re divorced or never married the father(s) of your children you can even co-opt Father’s Day now and your minions will applaud you for being so brave and doing it all.
- Likes just for having cute kids. Take a page from what ad execs have long known — babies and puppies. You can’t go wrong. Posting cute kid photos can also serve as a good distraction when one of your minions goes rogue and calls you out on something that everyone knows really wasn’t your fault anyway!
- Mirror, mirror on the wall comments. Posting selfies of you and your teen age daughter are bound to net you at least a few, “You two look more like sisters than mother and daughter” comments from your minions.
- Weapons. If you’re no longer with the children’s father and have successfully managed to alienate the children from him, copious Facebook posts about how your children are your world and best friends are an efficient and effective way to rub his nose in it. Especially if you’ve trained the children to Like all your posts and regularly tell you that you’re the best mom ever. You can also get a lot of mileage out of deadbeat dad posts and memes. Of course, it doesn’t matter if he pays child support on time or that the reason he doesn’t see the kids very often is because you won’t obey court orders. Once you post it, it becomes reality. Insta-Truth™.
For those of you who didn’t want to gain the baby weight or go to the effort and expense of adopting a baby from a third world country, animals are an adequate substitute. Plus, once the cats, dogs, horses, goats, lamas, turtle, etc., outlive their usefulness, become too much of a chore, lose their novelty or turn on you, they’re much easier to dispose of than children and with far fewer questions asked. In fact, you’ll get sympathy from your minions for runaway, lost or stolen pets and animals that have to be put down due to “illness” or “behavioral problems.”
With kids you either have to find a doctor willing to medicate them, have them sent to a residential therapeutic school or hand them over to their dads when they begin to have emotional and behavioral problems due to being parentified, ignored while you’re out hunting for narcissistic supply, exposed to an endless parade of narcissistic supply or being alienated from their fathers. Each of these options wields a double-edged sword.
On the one hand, you will get some sympathy from your minions. On the other hand, some minions may begin to question your ability to parent and/or disapprove of medicating children because they require regular attention and care. Giving the kids to their father may cause some minions who don’t have selective amnesia to wonder why you’re shipping the kids off to the man you’ve claimed is a physically and emotionally abusive deadbeat. It can be done, but it’s tricky. If the majority of your minions are online (i.e., don’t visit your home), no problem. Just put a Vulcan death grip on the kids’ shoulders, tell them to smile for the Selfie device and keep posting that everything is happy, happy!
5. Narco-dome. This is like a bio-dome into which reality cannot permeate. It’s the self-reinforcing echo chamber you share with your cheerleaders and flying monkeys. In the Narco-dome, failures are huge successes. You get to be the decider. You get to make the rules, change the rules and break the rules. You control perception. In the Narco-dome you are the author of its inhabitants’ reality. It’s your queendom. Narco-dome, sweet Narco-dome.
CAUTION: If you leave the Narco-dome your special powers and very special-ness itself will cease to exist. Just like Superman loses his extra-human strength, flying and X-ray vision on the planet Krypton. Leave the Narco-dome at your own peril. Objective, verifiable reality is a major buzzkill. I’d stay in the Narco-dome if I were you!
Okay! Now that you have the basic blueprint for effective narcissism, get to it! No, really, you have to do some of this for yourself. Alright, fine. Go yell at your husband some more. Once you get that out of your system it’s time to get to work!
Counseling, Consulting and Coaching with Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD
Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals with relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. Since 2009, she’s specialized in helping men and women break free of abusive relationships, cope with the stress of ongoing abuse and heal from the trauma. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. If you’d like to work with Dr. Palmatier, please visit the Schedule a Session page or you can email her directly at email@example.com.
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Thanks Dr. T, I needed a laugh-because his ex isn’t a bit funny. You mention the * residential therapeutic school *. That’s our next fear for the 15 year old.
You see, she needed “counseling” for three and a half years due to the “break-up of her BFF ” which happened in the 6th grade. Of course, cutting off her formerly beloved dad, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins on his side of the family that this ‘fragile girl’ was totally fine with. We pointed out this absurdity (after the counseling was deemed “a success’) to the shrink and it left her speechless…I wonder if she realized she’d been “had” by a high-functioning Borderline. (Cupcakes are way too maternal for her!)
Dr Tara Palmatier says
You’re welcome. I’m sorry your step-daughter is on such a troubled and unhappy path. I’ve had some clients who have watched helplessly as this happened with their kids. The one mother even provided her daughter the marijuana that landed her in a lockdown rehab school, the courts ordered dad to pay the $50,000 tuition ignoring his request and the testimony of the kid’s therapist that it would be better to put the girl into the father’s custody, a day treatment program and then back to regular school and weekly counseling. Nope. The judge sent the kid to the very expensive school, ordered dad to pay and the kid goes back to mom once she’s released — the parent who messed the kid up in the first place.
Thank you Dr. Tara, It’s so good to know that the flying monkey species still exists, I thought they all went extinct alongwith Maleficent.
And Dr. Tara please don’t humiliate narcissists, without them there wouldn’t be a ‘shrink for men’. Actually we should thank them, without them this
world will be such a beautiful and nice place to live in. And that should never happen. Without them there won’t be any beauty enhancing products, beauty magazines, beauty contests, plastic surgeries, fashion shows, fashion industry, x rated adult movies, porno, social networking, online dating, online love stories, (justifiable homocide) news stories, etc. etc. etc., and the list goes on. I mean it’s so impossible to live (with) without all these in today’s modern world. Show some respect people we wouldn’t be here if we weren’t abused and humiliated by these narcissist guardian angels.
And Dr. Tara I am sorry to say this but Princess Diana was a royal bpd, I did a google on that. She was well known for her short royal temper.
Anyway, it was a really good humorous delightful read. 😀
Thank you Dr. Tara God Bless You and have a beautiful weekend. 🙂
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Thanks, you have a nice weekend, too.
This sounds almost exactly like my current wife. The second I told her that I noticed her manipulations, she lost her mind, and she started to post as herself and the kids vilifying me and my entire family to the world. The same people that were the best in the world only an hour before she posted…lol. I’m sad for my step children, but I can’t help them. Luckily, they’re 16 and 19. So the older one knows what’s going on at least. The younger one is the daughter, and she is being constantly told how evil everyone is for ‘abandoning’ her. I finally got her to admit that she did all this over a trivial matter through email, but she still can’t accept what she did. When I actually pointed out what she had done, she literally asked me what I was talking about. It’s like they have a mental block when it comes to their bad behaviors! What causes that? Is it some type of physiological problem? Anyway, I have a feeling this is going to bite her in the ass. She is just too self-centered to figure it out lol.
What a brilliant piece of writing this is!! Gave me a laugh when i really needed it 🙂
Missing : “Play The Victim, WhenEVER Possible”.
Cuz……. it’s all beguiling…… 🙂
It all gets better in the end.
The more distance I have between said experiences .. .. the better that I feel.
I think that I was doing what she did to myself. I had to break the bad habit that she bestowed.
In fact I am at a point where I am thankful. She taught me a lot about life.
Now I guess it is onward in a cautious manner.
Hang in there.
Thank you, Dr. T. You have described not only described my wife in 5 easy steps but also many of her friends who she is in (a)social media with. The degree of her narcissism increases exponentially with the number of like-minded “friends”. Dr. Tara, do you think there has been an increase in the number of narcs since smartphones and (a)social media became all the rage?
Your site has helped me over the years to recognise my wife’s outrageous behaviour as narcissism. It is clear that I should leave her, my counsellor tells me I should leave her, but I am afraid that the hell that I do not know will be worse than the hell I do know. At least, the current hell is predictable. I tell myself that the next time she physically abuses me, I will document it and leave. I hope I will have the courage.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
I don’t know that social media creates more narcissists. That happens in childhood. However, social media gives narcissists and their ilk a very public platform on which to be narcissistic-y and validate, encourage and normalize their narcissism in the echo chambers of Facebook, Instagram, etc.
Don’t wait for her to hit you again. Talk to a solicitor and develop a safe exit strategy.
Thank you so much Dr T, I am a wife to a man who has a narcissistic ex with young children who are pawns to their mother, I believe I have listened to all of your broadcasts and have been able to find some measure of peace in your work. For years I thought I was going crazy due to the gas lighting of his ex and bargaining of my husband. I have fought for the rights of my husband to be a part of their life and demand respect from his children, ex, and family with resentment from him. I have also attempted to love his children meeting only rejection from their mother and his family telling me I should be flexible to her demands for the sake of her children, even at the financial and emotional sacrifice of my own children. While this is focused on men, there isn’t a lot out there for women who are in relationships with men who have exs who are personality disordered. Mainly I find information about how horrible stepmothers are. My husband has started to learn more instead of allowing the abuse to continue, and you are a part of that for him. I have never allowed people to treat me as horribly as I have allowed his ex, I don’t believe that anyone deserves to be so disgustingly smeared and hurt.
Thank you for this post. This is one of the first articles I’ve seen that address the fact that narcissistic parents will sometimes sedate and medicate their children. I’ve searched and found little and I’ve seen this tragedy first hand. It leads you to wonder is it true narcissism, or does it border on Munchausen by Proxy.
My boyfriend’s ex-wife had their 13 year old daughter on FIVE medications during their marriage, she was on this cocktail when they divorced: 70mg Vyvanse, 10mg Lexepro, 80mg Latuda, 150mg Trazadone and 100mg Toprimate. She’d been medicated since she was 8-9 and her father was not allowed to go to appointments, Mom would lie where they were. If he questioned much about it, he received rage and arguments happened so he stopped questioning. It was said she was terribly ADHD with some mania of bi-polar. Mom filed for divorce having had an affair with a man, a woman, we aren’t sure which, maybe both.
Cut to today and said daughter takes 20mg of Vyvanse AS NEEDED and is a normal, thriving 15 year old. The psychiatrist can only say now, I could only diagnosis by what her mother told me. Daughter was allowed minimal time alone with the doctor during the marriage, the doctor who she barely sees now and only sees now with Dad. Their mother has almost abandoned daughter and her 12 year old brother. We found out she married through social media, she didn’t tell the children and married someone much older and only after knowing him 6 months.
She’s an elementary educator and lives near the kids and their Dad. I never knew what this personality type until now. If anyone else has experienced anything similar I really would like to hear about it, specifically the meds. When Dad and I started dating, and I saw the meds that kid was on I said, whoa, something isn’t adding up – sure enough, Mom started to fade away slowly, and after a fight last year, literally a year ago when daughter called Dad and said Mom is going to put me in a mental institution if you don’t come get me, she hasn’t been back to spend the night with her Mom since and only has seen Mom a handful of times. Her brother followed suit and now lives full time with Dad now too. Happy to say they are both doing very well. We are unsure if Mom is just Narcissist, or also an alcoholic who abuses adderall and we suspect other things too.
Did she medicate her daughter to project how she felt, to get attention, because she couldn’t control her, who would drug their child to that extent, she even had her on lithium at one point. Today, she is a normal, straight A student with a learner’s permit looking forward to going to her Homecoming dance. It angers me so badly and I almost find it criminal. Thank you for reading this.
Jon Dough says
I just loved this, but…… Nobody she knows at this point would have a clue what kind of cupcakes she made in her ez bake oven, as they have no
longtime childhood friends, because she burned all those bridges years ago, right?
Although, the covert narcissistic sociopath that trapped me has a huge family and somehow wrapped in that is “friends” considered family.
This family is just so freakin weird though.