The tools of the narcissist
The narcissist uses five main tools. These are gifts,
affection, withdrawal, threats and violence and in exactly this order.
- Gifts: Gifts can be used in two ways. They can either be a
symbol of submission or a symbol of demand. Free people generally do
not give gifts because they have what they want and do not want to
submit nor demand. The communication between the victim and the
narcissist is based upon gifts. The narcissist gives gifts in order to
make the victim depended. The victim in return accepts these gifts
and returns far greater gifts in order to accept this submission. The
altruist on the other hand simply helps but does not give gifts either.
So if your
relationship starts off with gifts (not to be confused with support),
that is a bad sign. Think about children. Most of the time, they make deals with each other. If a child
gives a gift it is because the child doesn't like the item any longer.
- Affection: The narcissist very early on claims soul mate
ship, ultimate love. Everything seems incredible and unbelievable - a
dream come true. Free people might show each other affection but
generally feel comfortable with themselves. They might enjoy the
company of someone but will stay focused on their own interests. The
victim is needy (co-dependent) due to some childhood abuse. The
is not needy in terms of affection but admiration within the group
where the narcissist keeps his or her spider-web. However, the
narcissist gives this affection in order to draw the victim into this
spider web. This is a difficult time for the narcissist because the
narcissist cannot be intimate. Hence, intimacy is replaced by sex.
- Withdrawal: Once the victim's dependency is re-directed
the narcissist, the narcissist begins to withdraw. Step by step the
supposed closeness is disappearing. The victim experiences this as a
great loss and the narcissist finds him or herself on a high. The
narcissist thinks something like: "I don't have to give gifts, I don't
to show affection, and yet I am being admired."
- Threats: The victim who remains needy is in shock that
no affection is shown to him or her by the narcissist and starts to
withdraw him- herself. Now the narcissist starts to panic because the
admiration seems to be diminishing and (s)he starts to threaten the victim.
These threats are of the kind: "You are a liar. You said you loved me
but now you obviously don't." Now, the narcissist resorts back to the
first tools including gifts and sex and threatens that they will be
withheld. Strangely enough, this has already happened but the
will try to convince the victim that all is as it always used to be. In
this sense these threats are imaginary only.
- Violence: At one point the narcissist will fail to
convince the victim any longer by means of persuasion and changed
perception. Now the narcissist will resort to violence. This is the
stage when abuse in the common sense takes place. This includes
locking out the victim, tearing up photographs, destroying personal
belongings in front of the victim, hitting the victim, demanding
abusive sexual favors from the victim, punching, kicking,
spitting, withholding finances, bad mouthing, threatening to kill,
introducing an ex-partner or other sexual partners,
using courts and ultimately shared children.
Dr. Ludger Hofmann-Engl
Group of Composers © 2005