How To Avoid Being Involved With A Narcissist.

There are some tips and signs to look out for when dating to save you from getting involved with a narcissist. These warning signs will help you avoid a harrowing and toxic relationship that can cost you your peace and self confidence. Knowing what I know now about narcissism, I wish I knew what to look out look for when I was dating. I believe that all people especially young people should be educated and informed before dating so as to avoid toxic and harmful relationships.

Because the narcissist is very good at concealing his true character, especially covert narcissist, you have to be extra vigilant. But you should be able to spot some signs after a few dates if you really look out for them.

The first thing you need to be aware of is not to just jump deep into any relationship. Take your time and really get to know the person. Some narcissists are notorious for rushing the relationship; within the first few dates, he’s already talking about getting married to you and starting a family. I know for some women that might be exciting for you to have a person who seems to want all the things you want, however that does seem to be too soon on just a few dates. You have to ask the question, why the rush? The narcissist wants to tie you down quickly because it’s much harder to leave him if you’re married with kids. One minute you’re dating ‘the sweetest guy’ and the next minute you’re married to a monster!

Don’t give too much information about yourself. The narcissist will want to know all about you. What he’s fishing for are weaknesses and vulnerabilities that he can take advantage of in the future. When asked about yourself, give general vague answers, don’t be too specific, change the subject and ask about him. Narcissists do like to talk about themselves, ( they’re very self centred people) exaggerate their achievements and boast about themselves.

Since they like to monopolise conversations try and find out about him and his former relationships with other women, his relationships with his family, mother, father, sisters, brothers. How he manages his relationships with other women, especially his mother and sisters, may be an indication of how he will treat you. They might be evasive about their past and may bring the subject back to you again or entirely change the subject. I didn’t get to know all about my husband’s past until we got married, it was a source of shame for him. He told me he was ashamed of his past and his family. Find out who he’s living with and find out from them what he’s really like, or friends and family. Don’t just rely on what he tells you, find out from other people he’s close to.

Does he stare at every attractive female that catches his eye when he is with you? That could be an indication that he might be a womaniser or that he is a narcissist searching for potential new narcissistic supply. The narcissist is always on the prowl for someone new, even when they’re in a relationship. They’re are not satisfied with just one female interest. If your date is serious about you (even though a date may not be considered as serious, it’s just a date!), you would be his only interest and would captivate his attention. He would want to make sure that you are the object of his attention not every other female in sight. If your date has roaming eyes, you don’t want to hang around with him any longer! It’s obvious he’s not serious.

Watch closely his responses. Does he seem to crave attention, does he get upset when your attention is elsewhere or when you’re talking to another male maybe one of your friends? Narcissists are very jealous people and hate not being the centre of attention, they will visibly get very upset. Watch how he relates and reacts to your male friends. Although some males might be slightly jealous, a narcissist will be very jealous, their responses are more extreme and over the top than normal people.

Is he extremely sensitive to any perceived criticism? Narcissists are very arrogant and will react against any critique as their fragile ego has been dealt a blow (narcissistic injury).

In conversations with your date, do you find that he seems to blame every failure, weakness on other people? He doesn’t seem to accept responsibility or fault for anything. Narcissists are known fault-finders and blame-shifters.

Does he respect your boundaries, does he call you at ungodly hours, or visit you unexpectedly, and expect you to leave everything you’re doing to go out with him? Does he insist on knowing where you are or who you’re with all the time? Narcissists will not respect your boundaries or rules and regulations. They like to enforce rules but will not abide by them, because they consider themselves ‘special’ and above everyone else!! They can do whatever they want, but you can’t! If that’s the situation with you…run!

Is he very sensitive to any perceived criticism or slight and suddenly become quite upset and angry? He will make fun of other people’ but don’t ever make fun of him; he does not take personal jokes about himself lightly. Does he become uncomfortable with personal jokes levelled at him, but likes to make fun of other people? Narcissists have a sense of humour when other people are the butt of his jokes, but turn it the other way around and it’s no longer funny.

Does he treat waitresses/ waiters very rudely and is not courteous, but condescending? Narcissists view themselves as superior and regard waiters beneath them and should be treated accordingly.

Learn to read your date’s body language. Does he mimic or mirror your movements? Based on research, psychologists have established that a narcissist because he does not have empathy, cannot copy or mirror your gestures e.g. like yawning, touching your forehead, picking up your cup. If the person doesn’t mirror you or hardly at all this is an indication he is a narcissist. Mirroring is a sign of empathy and Narcissist lacks this emotion.

And lastly, trust your instincts and intuition, if you feel that something is not right about the person your dating, then you’re probably right…get out quickly!

Narcissists and Flying Monkeys /Enablers

I just want to spend some time to explain some terminology that I’ve learnt during my studies/research in connection with my experiences with narcissism. And also how I was able to overcome and deal with the issues that I had with my narcissistic husband. This has been an especially educative and learning process for me and I hope it will be for others reading this blog.

What are Flying Monkeys?
The term was taken from the film ‘The Wizard of Oz’ in which there were flying monkeys sent to do the evil bidding of the evil witch. ‘Flying monkeys’ is a popular term used to describe people who the narcissist uses to do his dirty work. They are used by the narcissist to gather information for him in order to use against his victim, or just to have one up on them. Flying monkeys can be anyone including colleagues, friends even family members, like children. Yes, narcissists will use their own children, they have no shame, as long as it gets them what they want.
Narcissists are masters at manipulating and exploiting others for their own gain. They are very crafty and experts at reading and discerning people’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities. They can assess and instinctively know their targets, those who will believe their lies. I guess it’s because they have learnt to do this throughout their life, so they’ve had years and years of practice. In most cases flying monkeys do not realise they are being manipulated by the narcissist, they are given the impression by the narcissist that they are the victims in the situation and that their partner is the abuser, when in actual fact, it is the other way round.

How they operate.
Let me give an example, David is separated from his wife, Judy and his children and he doesn’t know their whereabouts. He contacts Mabel, a friend of Judy to find out information. David gives the impression that he’s concerned about his children and will covertly imply that he believes they are being neglected. David says Judy is a great mother, but she has some mental issues, or struggling with substance abuse, alcohol issues etc. It’s always something negative, to spark concern and action from the friend. Mabel or the flying monkey will be appreciative of his concern and will assure David that she will investigate the matter. David will insist that Mabel does not let Judy know he is in contact with her, because of course, she will not be forthcoming with information. Mabel, believing that she is helping, has actually been influenced by David, the narcissist, to get information that he would not have been able to get on his own.

Flying monkeys can also be described as enablers, because they enable and empower the narcissist’s to continue their toxic behaviour.
With regards to my own situation, the enablers, in my case, were my children and they were manipulated by narcissistic husband. He would tell them lies about me and they would believe it. After all, why would their father be lying about me, he loves me… right? I denied everything but my children didn’t believe me. He successfully turned my children against me and used them to spy on me. Narcissists are pathological convincing liars.That is something my husband would do a lot, he would just lie and lie and lie! And that was what worked for him all the time. And why we would he want to change if he gets what he wants by lying!
My children were enablers in the sense that they were accepting his behaviour, he bought them their first cars, anything they asked, he would give. So it was not difficult for my husband to convince them of his lies. I don’t really blame them though, because it is difficult to stand up to him. Besides he has bought all of them cars and in a sense he has bought their loyalty and silence.
For somebody who has not had any experience with narcissism, it may be hard to believe all this. You might ask the question, “Well, it can’t be all his fault, you must take some of the blame also.”
I will say this, I do have my faults. I think as humans we are not perfect at all and I certainly don’t claim to be. But I do try to be a good person and treat others fairly as the Bible says we should (Matthew 7:12). But when your behaviour affects lives, causes divisions , disunity, mistrust in the home, in the church, causes mental anguish; low self-esteem, self worth that is unacceptable!

He would send my youngest daughter to spy on me, to find out what I was doing and then report back to him. She would feed him information on what I was doing in my room, which was where I spent a lot of my time when I wasn’t at work. I felt like everyone hated me.
The narcissist goal is to isolate his victim (target) and turn everyone close against them. With no one to turn to for help, this can cause the victim to descend into a depression. That was what happened to me, I was isolated and depressed in my own home. The only person I could speak to was my mother; who called me continuously to make sure I was ok; and my youngest daughter. I had to be careful what I told her, because he would ask her and she would tell him. I was alone and depressed.

For some people, the flying monkeys could be your colleagues at work and the narcissist your manager or boss. Your manager would feed them some negative information that is not true about you. Your colleagues would then avoid you or give snide remarks. Or they would report back to the narcissist anything negative you say about him or her. Narcissists love to create conflict, it makes them feel powerful and in control and the workplace is just the right atmosphere for them.

Set Boundaries.
You cannot fight them with their own tactics , you will lose miserably. They are masters of that game, remember they are pathological liars, and masters of the art of deception. I decided to set boundaries to protect myself from this emotional abuse. I let him know that I would not discuss with him and the children any issues that needed to be sorted between ourselves. And if we both can’t resolve any issues we have, we will ask our parents or a trusted third party to intervene, NOT the children. I set boundaries with other toxic behaviours that I would not accept or tolerate. The Bible says you should guard your heart (set boundaries) Proverbs 4:23. I have found this to work for me.

No Contact What you can do if you believe that your narcissist is employing flying monkeys against you is don’t give them any information about yourself or what you’re doing. Also; especially if you’re separated from the narcissist; have no contact with the narcissist and anyone you believe is helping him.

Having a fervent effective prayer life. And also, pray for them that they will change. It is very easy to become bitter with people because of they way you’ve been treated. But bitterness does not help your situation, it will only hurt you spiritually, because you are internalising everything. You have to let bitterness, anger, resentment go, because it will only make you sick. There are so many people in the hospital or psych ward because of bitterness, anger and resentment which can lead to depression.
The bible says love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to to them that hate you and pray for them which despitefully use you. Pray for healing for yourself and him
The situation in my home is much better now, for a long time there was a lot of tension and animosity, which I believe is due to saturating the atmosphere with prayers (The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective, James 5:16)