Control And Power Not Just For BigWigs
It can be hard to understand how much effort a narcissistic person puts into controlling others. An N parent for instance will encourage their child to go in a certain direction, and then block that direction. "You're such a good musician" and then not let them practice in the house, or take lessons, or give them rides to performances, or show any support. If the child of an N person shows normal emoti... onal display, the N parent will often try to shut them down, regardless if the emotional display is joyful or sad, excited or angry. If the child (youth or adult) of an N person is trying to recover from some kind of trauma, the N parent will frequently criticize them, interrupt them, chastise them for their "mood swings", or blame them for the event. They will deny them even the support that a casual friend would give, and in fact will often exacerbate the trauma and make recovery difficult or impossible. The N parent will often tell people that their child has mental issues in order to destroy their credibility, and take away any support network the child would have. An N partner will set their partner up for failure constantly; they will build them up to believe they are in love with them, and then leave them hanging, blow off plans, criticize them, treat them like they're a "bother". When the partner expresses sadness or pain about any of this, the N partner criticizes them for that too. It is a constant lose lose. Many N partners will tell everyone that their partner is crazy or emotionally reactive, when the truth is the "emotional reactions" are about the N's treatment toward them. The N will always throw the relationship, and their partner, under the bus, in order to preserve their self-image and ego, and seem to be unaware that this is not what "happy couples" do with and to their partners. They seem to be very confused about why they can not find happiness with another person, but will not look at what they might be doing to contribute to this problem. They certainly will not listen to their partner talk about what they could do to make things better, or what they are doing that causes their partner sadness or pain; at this point they have deemed the partner unworthy and a lesser person. The NON-N does not let go of a relationship just to preserve their feeling of being right; love is their goal, not being right, or defending themselves to the detriment of the relationship. They WANT to know what they can do to help make it better, as a team, with their partner. They WANT to learn how to treat their partner better, as much as possible. N "friends" do all of this too; and they often use people for "sidekicks". An N "friend" does things like make plans with a person for weeks, even plans that cost the other person significant money, and blow them off at the last second with zero consideration for the other person. They will invite their sidekick to an event only to treat them as if they "tagged along", as if they didn't really want them there. They will try to influence people's opinions of their sidekick, so they can appear like the good, smart, innocent, or strong one of the two by contrast. They may influence the person's children, try to gain favor and undermine the person's authority, turn the children against the parent in covert ways, give them candy and gifts outside of the parent's parameters, break rules that the person has set, lead the child to believe that their parent (the N's sidekick) has significant mental deficiencies ~ disguising this as being a peacemaker or a good listener, even give the person's children drugs. The N's motivation is to gain and maintain control and power. Friendship, empathy, good will, integrity and love will not come before this. There are people all around us who are dealing with one of these, or all three at the same time, or some other situation with an N person. When someone seems like they "can't get out of their own way", or like they're always depressed, or always having some kind of trouble, we should not assume that they are creating all of their own problems.