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The Narcissist’s Commandments

You must not disappoint me.

You must not inconvenience me.

You must recognize all of my expectations as reasonable.

You must, at all times, accommodate me.

You must recognize my “special needs” (special in an important, not disabled, sense); and must always satisfy them.

You must be glad for my good moods, and understand and tolerate my bad, nasty ones.

You must see my anger, rage and contempt as always arising for justifiable reasons.

You must make tireless efforts to placate me when you’ve upset me.

You must appreciate that my comfort supercedes yours and everyone else’s.

You must find what interests me, interesting; and you must convey your interest.

You willingly assume responsibility for my happiness, and blame for my discontent.

You must never oppose or defy me.

You must always know what I want without my having to ask; and you must always communicate what you want without my having to ask.

You must recognize that double-standards are unacceptable, except when they’re mine (in which case they’re not double-standards, just differently applied standards).

You must stop shoving the word “reciprocity” in my face. Reciprocity means that both of us do what I want and need.

You appreciate at all times my importance and significance, or I’ll find someone who will.

You recognize that, even though we’re both “tired” at the end of the day, my fatigue is ten times more valid than yours, and so you cut me ten times more slack than I cut you.

You worry about your accountability to me, and I’ll worry about my accountability to God.

You find that everything I say makes sense (and therefore brooks no opposition).

You appreciate that your value to me is proportionate to how good you make me look, and feel.

You somehow sustain yourself as an alluring sexual object to me, or I license myself to satisfy that demand elsewhere.

You may have noticed that what underlies all of these commandments is an inflated sense of entitlement (the attitude at the heart of narcissism). I look forward to your feedback and to your adding creatively, and from your own insights, to my assuredly uncomprehensive list.

(This article is copyrighted (c) 2009 by Steve Becker, LCSW.)


Steve,

Magnificent!

Steve,

First reactions are :

You never cease to amaze me in your understanding of our experience. Your writing is factual with a poetic twist that makes each COMMANDMENT they convey not what we have necessarily HEARD said with our ears (although sometimes we have) but certainly what we have FELT was required to make the relationship continue.

Even God does not require this of us….how fitting a Narcissist would.

Steve, I’m sitting here at my desk, laughing out loud. Going back and forth over the list, trying to find my favorite.

Right now I’m leaning toward “You find that everything I say makes sense (and therefore brooks no opposition).”

And, of course, it’s not the narcissist’s fault if you’re too stupid, confused or mentally ill to grasp that fact.

Reading this reminded me of when I was trying to figure out what my ex knew that I didn’t, because he was always right and winning and I was always wrong and losing. So I tried a few times to mimic what he was doing, thinking that he must want both of us to have the same emotional, physical and sexual freedom he felt entitled to. Oh wrong, wrong, wrong. That wasn’t his idea at all.

I’m not sure why I find this so incredibly funny. Probably using humor to avoid the memories of how humiliating and creepy it really was. But all I’m tempted to say is, “Can I be a narcissist too? It sounds like a lot more fun than being the one who does all the groveling.”

But seriously, Steve, thanks for boiling this down. It’s a wonderful list. I can’t wait to call some of my friends and tell them to read this.

Kathy

Brilliant Dr. Steve, May I humbly recommend two more?

YOU must accept my statements and prounouncements as uncontrovertable facts, because I made them, regardless of evidence to the contrary, or any doubts of my ability to predict the future.

YOU must accept that my mistakes are not mistakes, but that I have simply been persecuted by others because they envy my obvious superiority over them.

Make it three more

YOU must be eternally grateful for my patience and tolerance of people like yourself and others who I am obviously superior to.

Okay now this is starting to be fun…

YOU must accept that any and all of my needs or wants are justifiable, because I need or want them.

YOU must be grateful for my presence in your life and accept that as “love” regardless of how unpleasant or crazy I make our life together.

YOU must accept that if I act irrationally, it is simply because I have been driven to do so by you or others, who just don’t get how “special” I am.

How I wish that all of these commandments would have been easier to see at the time. In my case my P was very adept at looking like he was helping and accomodating me or others, when in fact he was actively undermining, gaslighting, conning or setting us up. Which brings me to one more

You must accept that regardless of how destructive I am, it is only to satisfy my needs, which of course is in your interest.

There was recently an article in the LA Times talking about how closely many politicians match the PCL scale thingy of Dr. Hare.
Too bad so many of the SPN’s do end up in the highest levels of power, and no wonder we end up struggling with the blowback of their arrogance and corruption as their constituants. Even when we get them out of our personal lives, there are so many in positions of power they affect us regardless.

In a time when the lowliest job at a box store involves phsycological screening and so on, it seems a shame that we the people cannot demand a method of screening out the power and war mongers that we “elect” to govern us and tell us what is good for us. Hmmmph…..Remeber how feted, respected and admired people like Ken Lay and Bernie Madoff were before they stumbled on their own petard? You have to admit, these folks are GOOD at what they do, until they lose sight of the vast bubble of lies they are floating in. Hmmmmph again.

How about one more

You must be grateful for my attention, even when you discover it all to be lies, because hey, at least I took the trouble to make up lies for you.

Peace to all and thanks Dr. Steve.

Steve:)xx
… EWS, kath, donna, newlife, this is just perfect:)xx

Wonderful!

You must never expect me to be forthright and must respect my absolute right to withhold any and all information as I please.

You must never confront me with my words or promises from the past. That was then (five minutes ago), this is now.

You must understand what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine too. Do not expect me to share finances with you equally. Do expect me to hide funds, treat myself well and perhaps contribute a meager amount to the household.

Excellent list.

You could also add:
You cannot question my distorted view of the truth.

You must accept that anything you give to me, anything I steal from you, any possible benefit I extract from my relationship with you is now mine, has always been mine, and its temporary stay in your possession was only to prepare it for being mine. And you will be appropriately grateful for the privilege of earning, inheriting or otherwise procuring what is mine, before I liberate from your lowly self to its true destiny as mine.

Dr. Steve – I think Oxy is right ‘every sociopath is also a narcissist’ the double standard comment is right on~! I can remember being worn to a frazzle trying to keep him happy and interested and he would say “you never do what I want, it all about you’ I would set there in confusion thinking ‘what does he mean? I have turned my whole life over to him.” My question is “How can they expect this when they dont have a pot to pee in?”

A response to the Narcissist from the newly empowered, disqusted, impatient, intolerant x victim:

You MUST back off, suckah, ’cause I’m no longer easy, susceptible, vulnerable, understanding prey for you to use, abuse and exploit!

You MUST back off ’cause your needs most definitely DO NOT supercede MY needs. It’s about equality, reciprocity not your selfish, savage, primitive, childish motivations and drives.

You MUST disappear, fall off the face of the Earth, jettison your useless self into space hopefully crashing on a lifeless asteroid, take a long walk off a short pier, meander onto zee Autobahn~walking, get lost in the wilderness and meet a pack of salivating, hungry coyotes, develop a chemistry experiment which either transports you into the unknown void or causes you to go…POOF!

(ok, got a little carried away on the last bit. But see? The Narc was the one responsible for his/her own demise. I simply observed and cheered. From a distance…haha)

Thanks, Steve. That was fun!

You must always be my supply no matter whether or not I devalue and discard you

You must accept I am”sensitive” but expect no regard for your feelings

You must take my word as the word of your Lord and God

Very Good Steve….this is an oddly fun exercie.

Oh, cool, Jane. I like this angle.

Here’s mine:

You MUST deal with my demands for reciprocity. Until you get it, you must breathe reciprocity, eat reciprocity, have reciprocity transfusions, read books about it, write essays on it, design reciprocity bumper stickers and bake reciprocity cookies. I’ll let you know when you’ve graduated from the school of reciprocity. In the meantime, you must…oh, where did you go?

How about

YOU must project in public, whatever image of perfect union I expect you to project, along with unwavering support and admiration, regardles of the living hell I create behind closed doors.

Tee Hee….

WOW, STEVE!!!! AWESOME!!!!

Hummingbird, welcome back, haven’t seen your wings flapping recently, glad to see you still here!!!

To all the rest of you who added more “commandments” GREAT!!!! I am humming a tune appropriate to this theme, “This could go onnnnnn for-eveee-rrrrrr” ta da! We could make a million-word book out of the “commandments” and expectations of these creeps!

And of course there is NOOOOO way we will ever meet all their expectations and they are not really “forgiving” when we “sin” and “fail them.” LOL ROTFLMAO because they will always bring these things up 10, 20, 30, and yes, even 45 years later to remind us how pitiful and terrible we are and what failures.

Actually (tongue in cheek poking out here) I am so glad that they are as patient with us as they are, “seeings as how we are so inept!” ROTFLMAO

BOINK!!!! [email protected]!! to all Ns and Ps and now can we sing a chorus of “Hit the road Jack, an’ don’t ya come back no more, no more, hit the road Jack….”

Steve, I agree with Donna, this is a magnificent list. The added commandments are, too. I reconize every one of them as his attitude.

I see nothing funny about the list at all. Perhaps it is because I have not recovered my sense of humor? I do remember, I think, that Kathleen says she covers up her hurts with humor.

My over-all and almost consuming reaction is to email this list (and the added commandments) to my EX. Not that I expect him to “get it” (we had already “discussed” these aspects that were hurting me so bad before I escaped and he didn’t “get it.”) but MAYBE he would show it to his live-in girlfriend, and even though he would show it to her with, “See, I told you she was crazy.” that MAYBE she has had time to recognize these aspects herself by now and will GET OUT before she wastes any more of her life.

He may have my email blocked — haven’t had any response from him for YEARS (but he can’t type) so maybe I should stick it in the snail mail?

Folks, if this is a bad plan, please stop me. The urge is really almost overwhelming!!

Steve, this is awesome, and everyone elses added comments! Unfortunately, and sadly these are most of the ways that S completely and is still controlling our niece and possibly her parents, however her mother has so many of these qualities as well! What chance does she have??

New Lily, I just finished a book called Children of the Self Absorbed … the overwhelming thought in this book is that N people will never get it as far as understanding that they are?? The only hope for dealing with them is to protect yourself knowing what they are…I don’t think your EX would get it and your better off just keeing the no cantact…

Beleive me my husband and I tried to point out these things to the S as well as to this niece and family. They are too deeply in the ‘fog’ I suppose to get it. But we still have hope!

ANewLily,

Don’t do it. I had the same impulse myself, wanting to send the list to my ex. Hoping that if he looks at it he’ll get some insight. But believe me, they won’t. They’ll look at it and say, “Yeah, that’s how I am. And that’s why I’m smart and you’re not, I win and you don’t. And besides, you know you liked it and you know how lucky you were. So what is this about? A plan to get back together? I’m sure you’re missing me.”

That’s meant to be funny. I hope it makes you smile just a little bit. It’s just that they are so grandiose and so predictable.

Really don’t do it, because you don’t want to interact with these people. It’s like opening the line between you and them, and then leaving your mental phone off the hook, while you wait for them to respond.

They won’t. Or if they do, it won’t be something useful or happy-making. And there you’ll be, vulnerable, because you reached out. NOT where you want to be.

If you can, just drop the iron curtain down again in your mind. His problems are his problems. Likewise everyone who gravitates around them. I know it’s hard to stop caring, especially when part of you wants to scream at them, “What’s wrong with you? Can’t you see that he’s dangerous.”

But for your own sanity, you’ve got to disengage. Give your attention to things that truly make you happy or nourish you. These people don’t. They just drag you down.

My Buddhist friend once told me that he was using his “travelling time,” the free time when he was moving from one thing to another, to start putting a happiness gauge on his activities. So he could figure out what lifted his spirits, and what drained them.

Think about this. You’ve been doing so well, acting in favor of your own wellbeing. Don’t get derailed into another round of “he’s so awful.” It will just make you feel bad.

Kathy

I agree. It is so hard to get our head around the fact that they can’t change. Think about a phobia. That can be gotten over. Think about an alcoholic….harder to cure, but it can be done. Mental illness….like schizo,….hard to treat, but can be treated, if the person takes their meds, etc. But personality disorder? We haven’t a clue how to really fix that. Esp. a narc, P, or S….they simply can’t sustain good behavior. They simply have very shallow emotions. Their brains aren’t working right.

PS Kathleen…Your “Yeah, that’s how I am. And that’s why I’m smart and you’re not, I win and you don’t. And besides, you know you liked it and you know how lucky you were. So what is this about? A plan to get back together? I’m sure you’re missing me.” IS PERFECT!!!!!!!!!!!!

You simply can’t win with these guys. If they are losing the game, they just change the rules and the objective.

Oh…we should get together for an annual convention and have a n/p/s imitation talent contest. Instead of who does the best Elvis impression, we can have who does the best Evil S impression. Not sure if you or Steve or Oxy would win…… You guys nail them!

ANewLily,

When I wrote my post I wasn’t in anyway seeking to trivialize the experience of others who are or were involved in relationships with predators.

I’m in a different stage of healing. Not better or stronger, just different. Further along, you might say.

I’m in the fighting back or flat out ignoring stages. If you read my post again you will see that I feel absolute disgust and loathing for these subhuman creatures.

It is beneficial and empowering for me to laugh at their audacity. To laugh in their faces proving to me/them that they’re not even a little bit superior to me. Actually, they are inferior to me and all people who have functioning consciences, complex emotions, who are mature adults, who have a soul.

I have 0 connection, communication, ties to the predators from my past. They are now only grim reminders to me of exactly what I do NOT want in my life and I will fiercely fight to protect my nonnegotiable boundaries, my safety and sanity from further predation.

If I offended you, I sincerely apologize. I will repeat, I was not making light of yours or anyone else’s experiences or situations. I’m not the type of person to say something so insensitive. That ain’t me.

First, Jane, I had to go back and read your post. I most certainly was not offended in any way. In fact, I appreciated your clever humor, truly I did. I just do not have the same feelings. (Neither of us right or wrong!)

Folks, I thank all of you for your responses! My own foolishness makes me smile now! OF COURSE, I knew before I asked that it shouldn’t be sent. I did. I did.

It’s just that that urge came out of the blue and was so very strong, I needed reassurance.

Now, I’m feeling bad because so many of the newbies are still grappling with those urges to call him/her on a daily basis. Here I am “out” over 7 years and the urge (which I haven’t had for YEARS) was back in full force.

The good thing, is that already the urge is GONE and it has only been about 2 1/2 hours since I had it. I hope that is good news to those who are still struggling with the “urge.”

**laughing at Kathleen’s reciprocity lecture to an oblivious predator**

ANewLily,

Phew…good, good glad to hear it! And yeah, that urge to rat out the rat, inform others of his/her dastardly deeds can be difficult to resist. We’ve all wanted to do that same exact thing. I tried to alert, warn the x sociopath’s new girlfriend but it obviously did not work. And I should have known it wouldn’t.

She’s pregnant now with his baby and I pray that child inherits her good and healthy genes and not his. She has made her choice and I sincerely hope he doesn’t cause her the pain and misery he gave to me. But he will. They always hurt the people that love them the most. They are experts in the pain giving department.

Hey, Narcissists of the World, I have a commandment!!!

Here it is: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

Sorry, you can NEVER have this one (even though you want it SO badly, don’t you?).

It’s already taken!! And that should scare the HELL out of you.

Good Luck in the Afterlife!! 🙂

Great!

YOU must understand why I don’t have a job.

YOU can feel like sh*t everyday, I don’t care.

Oops!

I was talking about my God, NOt Me!

I don’t know about anybody else’s God, but mine is a JEALOUS GOD! (Loving, but jealous.)
That was my point.

Sorry, I had a few margaritas (which I don’t usually do) with dinner tonight, and I came home a little liquored up.

It’s the 4th of July, you know. 🙂

A Newlilly,xx
I fought the urge to paste this list onto my mothers and sisters face book pages last night after a couple of glasses of Vino collapso, I thank goodness I didnt,but I wish they (and the whole world) could read it! Best not to stir up that hornets nest I know! I am having trouble recovering from the stings I already have!xx

*Kathleen’s reciprocity lecture is hillarious!*

I LOVE THIS !!!!! LOL

You must not, under any circumstances, question my abilities, skills and knowledge

You must remember everything I say and u must not expect me to repeat things i said

You must satisfy my sexual wants, needs and desires, but expect no such reciprocity from me.

You must be monogamous, but do not expect me to be monogamous.

You must believe EVERY word that I say, I simply CANNOT be in a relationship with someone who does not trust me, I will of course be lying to you about every single thing.

YOUR failure (you have so very many my dear) to trust me will be regarded as YOUR abuse of WONDERFUL ME.

You may have my precious attention, but only at a time of complete convenience to me or if I am bored (be that in the middle of your night) and only if you have been ‘good’.

You must DO AS I SAY….not as I do!

You will always be my cover and always take the fall for me….

You are expected to keep my secrets as I disclose ALL of yours!

Kath ‘And, of course, it’s not the narcissist’s fault if you’re too stupid, confused or mentally ill to grasp that fact. – ROFLMAO!

I reserve the right to pass negative judgment on the behaviour of EVERYONE else in the world I myself am above such judgment and can behave in anyway that I please, so do not dare judge or question me.

Questioning my contradictory statements and actions will be considered abuse, and a symptom of your mental ill health and lack of intelligence.

:)x

You must join me and support me in my vicious smear campaigns against others, including your close friends (Idiots and pigs the lot of them) non compliance with this indicates that YOU do not love me as much as I deserve to be loved.

I insist on sitting ‘front and center’ in the Christmas photo, next to the Christmas tree….kids dressed in new jammies, you dressed and showered with hair styled and makeup, dog sporting the raindeer antlers and bells, and me in my old raggedy red robe, pissed off that the kids got me up so damn early, no rope to tie the robe shut and knees bent and legs open so my BALLS are hanging out. No one wants to remember the kids or the tree or the Christmas experience anyways you moron…..
I will question you relentlessly because you never framed our family Christmas photo! Then punish you for it.
This will be the only photo I participate in all year! You’ll LIKE IT!

OMG…..about 10 years ago, going through pics, I noticed this about the S….every Christmas picture from the time we first had kids, his ‘jingle balls’ were hanging out of his robe! I had no clue……
I only wish now that I would have cut them off, glittered them up and pierced them with the tip of the tree!

I may just frame these pictures now….

Sorry for the deviation….a little ‘lack of sleep’ memories going on here! 🙂

I will blow peoples minds into silence with my hatful and spiteful portrayal of you. And you don’t have to worry about finding out I’m doing this…..because people are all so scared of me….no one will repeat my ill words.

I will judge others doing negative acts harshly, so it diverts you away from thinking I would ever be doing the same.
BUT I AM…….

I am KING….and when I am not on my throne….I AM GOD!
Pray to me……

ERIN!:)xxx
‘I insist on sitting ’front and center’ in the Christmas photo, next to the Christmas tree”.kids dressed in new jammies, you dressed and showered with hair styled and makeup, dog sporting the raindeer antlers and bells, and me in my old raggedy red robe, pissed off that the kids got me up so damn early, no rope to tie the robe shut and knees bent and legs open so my BALLS are hanging out. No one wants to remember the kids or the tree or the Christmas experience anyways you moron”..
I will question you relentlessly because you never framed our family Christmas photo! Then punish you for it.
This will be the only photo I participate in all year! You’ll LIKE IT!’

This is HILLARIOUS! xxxx

The s/p I knew spent all day every day in a raggedy old robe with nothing to tie it closed and nothing else on… was always trying to ‘accidently’ draw attention to his ding-a-ling in photo’s…

Steve:) YOU are good, really good. This thread has given me some much needed chuckles last night and today… what do they say about laughter being good medicine? Thanks Doc!;)x

Not to bring anyone down or take away the important of this thread for truly this is an avenue to reflect and heal. But what disappoints and grief’s me most is how they have the ability and/or desirer to break each and everyone of God’s Ten commandments and the aftermath by doing so.

Stay safe this Fourth of July!!

Hi there – this is my first post at this site although I have been reading it intensively for a few months now.

Steve – you nailed it with your list.

I cannot thank the – I am just coming to recognize the names and learn my way around here – I cannot thank the people that write here enough – you Steve, Dr. Leedom, Donna Anderson and Kathleen Hawke – you have no idea the difference you have made in my life and in helping me return to sanity.

I’m not sure if this is the place to post my story so I will wait til I figure it out but every day my life is getting better and better and I have finally started to feel light on almost a daily basis and become myself again.

I just completed the domestic violence counseling provided by the local DV agency and my last meeting I handed out a list of the 3 -4 books and resources online that most helped me heal to both the leaders of the group and the women in it – you all were one of the 3 websites I put down.

I hope as you do here I am able to pay it forward. I was asked to be on the board of the agency and am taking some time to grow more before I feel comfortable accepting such a role but I will step by step return what has been so freely given me so that I may help women (and men) behind me and in hopes that we may begin to educate our children –

our pre-teens and teens particularly as they go out and test their wings and work out their own issues in relationships – in hopes and prayers that my young daughters and other girls and boys knowingly avoid predators and see past the many disguises they come in.

Again – with enormous gratitude – thank God for you all.

Breckgirl,

Welcome. We are all glad that Lovefraud has been helpful to you.

It’s been 10 years since I left my sociopathic ex husband, and I can say that the emotional trauma of the experience is gone. It doesn’t take 10 years to get over it – I’ve been feeling fine for a long time. However, it does take time, so if you are recently out of the domestic violence situation, please take the time you need for yourself. Although many of us want to help others right away, it works out better if we ourselves are healed.

Best wishes in your recovery,
Donna

All of us have much in common, but there are different kinds of N/P/S’s out there.

This is a good article about the “high level narcissist” which we have seen in many of our politicians and was the trap I fell into.
http://ezinearticles.com/?High-Level-Narcissists-Can-Fool-the-Best-of-Us&id=1317305

For my recovery, I had to admit to myself that the N/P/S tapped into my OWN need to feel “unique and valuable”, etc. the narcissist in me. As this article points out (and I’ve ordered the book) the way to arm ourselves against these types of people is to know OURSELVES, weaknesses and strengths, and to hold tight to our integrity and self-respect. Had I done that, I would not have gotten hurt. And I got hurt BAD!

Dear Beckgirl,

I second Donna’s sincere welcome and I am glad that you are here at LF and have been reading the articles and the comments for a while. I am also gratified to know that you have had some good real world support in your healing and journey as well. for so many of us there is NO real world face to face support, and not even sometimes validation that we are not the “crazy ones.”

Many of us that are farther out (time wise at least) from the events that brought us here hve stayed around just to lend support to the others, but also find in so-doing that we are furthering our own healing as well. I have been here almost two years (I feld my home in fear of my life in June of 07) and though I have been working on the road/journey toward healing, I still find that once in a while the old ugly face of EVIL trauma will rear its ugly head and bite me in the arse again and I will “react” to something that someone with out my prior experience of (multiple–in my case) Ps probably wouldn’t even irritate them.

Glad you are here!!!!

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