narcissistic abuse and cognitive dissonance
People who are narcs (a term used when identifying narcissists) often tell you what you are doing to them when it is actually what they are doing to you.
Disclaimer: None of the Empire Life blog articles are meant to replace or are therapy or are medical or therapeutic or are counseling advice. The articles here are merely citing from our personal experience on the team and with our clients, and in our own lives.
Please take what you need from the articles here and take what serves you in your time of mourning of the ending of a relationship with a narcissist, and do not take to heart what doesn’t serve you in these articles.
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This phenomena is a total mind-f**k for the victim, and the person in a relationship with a Narc.
It can also be referred to as cognitive dissonance.
Cognitive dissonance as defined by google is: “Cognitive dissonance, or having two very different beliefs about something at the same time, is common in relationships with narcissists. Signs of cognitive dissonance include being paralyzed by self-doubt, second-guessing your decisions, constantly apologizing, and more.”
Justifications for emotional, mental, and physical abuse from narc abuse survivors to watch out for…
“They had a bad childhood, they really suffered and just do not know how to be a good parent…”
Making false narratives, and justifying a person’s horrible behavior, or making excuses for their toxic behaviors.
Blaming oneself because we cannot blame them, and they will never take accountability for their actions.
You start to take accountability for their traits and yours.
Sour Grapes And The Smear Campaign
If you decide to leave a narcissist you will be given ‘sour grapes’. Also, your reputation and well being will come into question and the smear campaign will start or was most likely already started before they planned to discard you or was started if they got wind of you maybe discarding them.
The truth will set you free with understanding cognitive dissonance, sour grapes, and the smear campaign.
The smear campaign is to smear and sour your reputation and turn people completely against you.
3 Steps Forward, 4 Steps Back
These big grandiose shows of amazing behavior around others will keep you gaslighted.
Gaslighting is another term in the narcissist abuse vocabulary, it is when you believe something about the narc that is not true.
Another example of this is having a narc be super nice and charming in public and as soon as the car door closes they drop the mask and release the shame and tension on you or their kids on the way home.
They are actually often disgusted with those who are close to them, and show contempt for them.
They can do the short term charming show but this is different than people close to them getting or needing their love.
Charming in public and abusive in private, this leaves people questioning their reality. Leaving the victim of this narc abuse full of anxiety and self-doubt.
They can be someone completely different with every group of people in public, this is a form of gaslighting.
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Hard To Find Support
When someone comes to you and mentions that what you see in public of their significant other or a friend is not what they experience living with them or in private. You might want to question and dive deeper because they are probably telling the truth. Unless this is part of a victim mentality or smear campaign, and they are actually confiding in you and reaching out for support. They might be facing narc abuse. Sometimes it can be super hard to see warning signs and the narcs true colors when you are around them because they can easily put on a mask of what they want you and the public to see.
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This is about giving in to a narc aiming to provoke an emotional reaction from you and you giving it to them. Let me say here that an emotional reaction to someone aiming to upset you, especially with sensitive information is a normal healthy response. However, with a narc it is better to stay cool and calm and disengage, otherwise if you engage you are being ‘baited’.
They are seeking control, and a fight, this is why they bait.
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“Charming in public and abusive in private, this leaves people questioning their reality.“
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