Shame, Money, Resources, and Control

There are specific reasons why Controllers project shame onto targets regarding money and resources.
Controllers usually do not want to share their resources. An easy albeit immature way to avoid having to share one's resources is to cast shame on anyone who might request assistance, or on anyone they owe money to~ both persons and business entities.
That shame might take any form, whatever the Controller thinks of. So the target might be called "needy" or a "loser". This makes the Controller seem like a person who "deserves" to have more resources than the target, and is therefore justified in not sharing or helping them.

The target might be called "greedy" or "controlling" for expecting payment for work done, something they're selling, or money borrowed. This makes the Controller seem like a victim of another Controller, even though he or she consciously made a purchase, hired the person, or requested to borrow money. This martyr facade is meant to justify refusing to pay what's owed. 

Having, holding, and earning resources gives a person a measure of autonomy, freedom, and security. It also gives a person a measure of power and control, and with all of these things, a larger degree of confidence. Controllers DO NOT WANT anyone they want to dominate to have any of these; obviously it means they will not be able to dominate them and control them so easily, nor hide their own dealings so easily. Also, with more resources and confidence comes more respect from more people ~ (because so many people "respect" money and an  air of confidence or arrogance, not actual behavior or character) ~ so a person would have more influence, and any Controller who has manipulated or abused them will be at risk of being exposed; therefore Controllers are interested in keeping targets from gaining resources, success, a good reputation, and confidence. 
 Further still, Controllers want to have control over ALL of the resources, so they only want those whom they FAVOR to gain any of these things, and will actually block and prevent those they don't favor, who they can't control, who outshine them in some way, and who they don't think will favor them from gaining any of these things. 
(This can be seen on personal relationship/family levels, but is also seen in business, school, and government on both a personal and a group dynamic. Sexism, racism, and other "isms" are actually based very much in this.)

The target might be called "demanding" and "greedy" for politely requesting assistance or resources for small or large things, or for achieving a goal, even if the target is the child or other personal connection of the Controller. If the Controller does not have the resources needed, they could just say "no", but the projections on the target often indicate that the Controller actually does have enough to help and just doesn't want to.
On the flip side of that, a Controller who is "requesting" assistance won't take "no" for an answer, and will demand and try to shame or threaten the person they're asking into giving them what they want.

Both a Controller who holds resources/money, and a Controller who is requesting resources/money, feel that they are MORE ENTITLED to any resources/money, and the privileges and freedom it brings.
They will often cast shame and disparaging projections onto targets, trying to paint them as "undeserving" and "unworthy" of holding, earning, handling, inheriting, winning, or being paid back owed resources/money. 
Projecting shame and incompetence onto a target is a very common tactic used to divert them from LOOKING at a Controller's finances and dealings. If a target buys into the implication that she or he "wouldn't understand" or "isn't competent enough" regarding money or business handling, then the Controller successfully keeps everything hidden and covert. 
While money handling is a private affair, when all or some of those resources also belong to another person, they have the complete and total right to review and have ACCESS to them, and ask any question they want. Shaming the person serves as an electric fence, preventing them from requesting or demanding to review or to have direct access. (This tactic can be seen from personal relationships to families to businesses and local governments, all the way to large corporations and national governments.)

(Controllers/Narcissists edit their own history, deleting and dismissing support and help they received from others, and actually believing they built their resources and success with zero or extremely little support. They will especially delete support or help received from a person they're denying assistance to. They also seem to believe they were "entitled" to any assistance they received, be it emotional, financial, social, or promotional, as if someone who did not receive such help is simply not as "worthy" of a human being. In other words, when Joe gets John a job with his cousin's firm, but not Susan, John sees Joe's help as a natural consequence of his greatness, and the lack of Joe's help for Susan as a natural consequence of her being "less worthy". He's neither grateful to Joe, nor sympathetic toward Susan~ he just thinks he "deserves it" and that Susan does not, as a person.)

Self-Improvement Police

The "self-improvement police".
"You should cut your hair" "You should get this job" "You need to clean your car" "You dwell in the past" "You need to shave" "You need to lose weight/gain weight" "You're too sensitive" "You need counseling" "Stand still let me fix you" "You should get your teeth fixed/whitened" "You should do something else instead of what you're doing" "You need to organize this room" "You need to change your wardrobe" "You need to stop doing this, that, or the other thing" "That shirt is ugly" "You would look better if you wore more makeup" "Why are you interested in that, it's stupid" "You shouldn't spend so much time doing that" "You need to ...." "You should..." "You'd be better if...."
Narcissists are self-improvement police who appoint themselves judge and jury for others, but not for themselves.

A red flag that someone might be a Narcissist is their implications that you need "improving", whether it's your appearance, your outfit, your net worth, what you spend your time on, your interests, your aspirations, your financing, your parenting, the way you walk, talk, and carry yourself, the way you comb your hair and how you tie your shoes.

"But I just CARE about you!"

So if that's why they're doing it, why don't they like it when you do the same thing to them? Isn't it just a form of affection?
Why don't they do it to everyone they care about, why only certain people? Why aren't they giving unsolicited advice, constant fashion criticism, unasked for life-coaching, and picking lint off of other people in their lives?

Oh... because they don't NEED the advice, those people have it "all together" already... YOU need it because you're such a ...

So anyway, yes, it's a red flag. When people do this, they either already see the target as a "lesser person" than themselves, or are trying to make it that way, displaying domination and superiority over the target.

The motives are varied, they're probably used to doing it to someone else, and trust that they'll get away with it again, like eating grapes in the supermarket. They might believe they really ARE superior to the target. They might be envious of the target, and are trying to squish them and make them smaller. It might be all of these things at the same time. Whatever the motive is, the goal is to make themselves be the "better" and "bigger" person and the target "smaller" and "lesser".

Dalai Lama And Common Sense

This is just common sense, simple math, common logic. It's not some "high ideal". 
If more people actually had common sense like they profess to, they would get this from a mile away. 
If you want your food plants to grow and flourish, you give them sun, water, nutrients, air, and space, your consistent neutral and positive attention. and you don't cause them harm or neglect them. DUH! 
If you want your pets or farm animals to flourish, you give them sun, water, nutrients, air, space, and your consistent neutral and positive attention. 
If you want the society you live in and the groups you're part of to grow, flourish, and progress, you give them sun, water, nutrients, air, space, and your consistent neutral and positive attention. ~M.M.Black
"Some people consider the practice of love and compassion is only related to religious practice and if they are not interested in religion they neglect these inner values. But love and compassion are qualities that human beings require just to live together." ~The Dalai Lama

"It's Nice To Be Seen!"

A very common destructive behavior that humans will do, but Narcissists take to a higher level, is engage MORE, and engage more respectfully and enthusiastically, with "the public", with strangers, acquaintances, distant friends and relatives, than with those inside their "inner circle".
A person's "inner circle" would be their partner, sibling, child, close friend, parent, other closer relative; anyone who's associated more closely than others with the person.
(They'll also do this with other certain friends and associates, especially if the person is less aggressive and more polite, or 'happy go lucky', or smaller, or doesn't have a "posse";
if it appears that they will not receive CONSEQUENCES for dominating, bossing, and disrespecting them. )
Obviously this behavior is to get a 'fix' of positive attention and approval, both for non-narcissists and for Narcissists. However, while non-narcissists may do this from time to time, Narcissists do it regularly, have no remorse, and even believe there's nothing wrong with the behavior.
For example John and Jake are at a restaurant; John "chats up" the waitstaff like they're long lost buddies, which might be fun, except for the fact that both John and the waitstaff are completely ignoring Jake. It's not "Chi", it's not coolness, it's just rude and very immature. What's really happening is that John is getting a charge out of being seen as the "Charismatic One", the "Cooler One", or the "More Intelligent One" compared to Jake, and the waitstaff is getting a charge out of being INCLUDED in the "Cooler Kid" or "More Manly than Jake" crowd.
John is getting a positive "fix" from the interaction, and isn't worried about consequences, because  he doesn't CARE about Jake's feelings, he isn't personally involved with the waiter. Jake has already accepted being treated as a "sidekick", and as far as John is concerned, is a lesser person anyway. John's not worried that Jake will leave, he feels dominant over Jake. If Jake protests, John will simply ridicule and browbeat him until he backs down again. (If Jake does end the friendship , sick of John treating him like a sidekick for so long, John will smear him, and  blame Jake's girlfriend. He won't recognize or admit that he did anything wrong; he would rather destroy the friendship than do that, because that would take actual humility and accountability.)
Mary, Rachel and Lori go to a local concert together. They go to the bar together and order drinks, but Mary gets stuck waiting for all three drinks because Rachel and Lori leave her there and go to the bathroom, Rachel leading and Lori following. When some acquaintances show up and start chatting, Rachel talks over Mary every time she speaks. Mary keeps losing Rachel and Lori in the crowd because they keep walking away from her without saying anything, looking for more attention from others. When a band member gives them backstage passes, they don't even mention that there's a third friend with them; they tell Mary to wait in the car for them, or get a ride home with someone else. It may look like Rachel is just more "outgoing" and "fun", but what's really happening is Rachel is competing directly with Mary for the spotlight, for attention and approval from others. Every time she gets Lori to leave Mary behind, she gets a little charge out of it, a little domination fix. Every time there are other people around, Rachel tries to display "I'm The Better One" and "I'm Better Than Her" and "Look At ME, not HER". Her disrespectful behavior toward Mary is multifaceted: it gives Rachel a neurotransmitter "fix", it sends a message to Lori that RACHEL is the "boss", not Mary, and it sends a message to others that Mary is a LESSER PERSON, and that RACHEL is the "Cool/Good/Smart/Attractive/Trustworthy/Fun One". It doesn't matter that none of it is true, the "message" still gets sent, and paints the picture AS IF it's true.
The day before, the three of them went to the Mall to buy clothes for the concert. Rachel kept picking out what would "look good on Mary", advising her about everything from her hair to her shoes; she paid more attention to "advising" Mary than she did picking out her own clothes. Rachel spoke to the store clerks OVER Mary, placing herself between them and Mary, as if she somehow had authority and charge over Mary and her decisions. Rachel became resentful when Mary did not follow her advice and picked out her own clothes, so she went into the dressing room with Lori, and acted dismissive and snappy toward Mary for the rest of the day.
Rachel's underlying motivation is for the world to see her as ABOVE Mary, and Mary as LESSER than herself. She doesn't end the friendship, because she wants to keep Mary around as a sidekick or little sister in front of others, and as a big sister or buddy when they're alone. Someone who will prop her up, someone to run to, a shoulder to cry on, to help her, and ALSO someone to use as a stand-in when no one else is around; someone to use as a cushion, as a punching bag, and someone to dominate and boss around so she feels in control, and appears "more important" and "more capable" than in comparison (again not actually true, but this appearance is achieved with the behaviors, because most people don't see what it is.)
These examples were same sex peer friendships, but this behavior is also done in other relationships. It seems to be most common, or does the most damage, in partner relationships and parent/child relationships.
John invites Katy out on a date. He takes her to walk around the mall, to dinner, and to a movie, which might have been a nice evening. However, every time there's an opportunity to talk to a friend they see, or a stranger such as a clerk or a waitstaff person, John seems to forget that Katy is even THERE. He spends more time and energy engaging in enthusiastic conversation with total strangers, and acts much more interested in THEM, than Katy. When they go to Dick's Sporting goods, he engages in deep and "witty" discussion about fishing with a male clerk, both of them leaving Katy out of the conversation (SHE is the one who's into fishing, but he speaks to the clerk as if it's HIS interest. Both John and the male clerk further behave as if fishing is a "Guy Thing", and "Girls Don't Get It", even though neither John nor the clerk are actually "into" it.)

John keeps TELLING KATY "facts" instead of engaging WITH her, treating her like she's his student or novice apprentice instead of with respect, like a peer and a friend. He walks in front of her instead of beside her, as if he's a father with a child, OR makes her "lead", as if he's a child with his mother. When she makes a joke, he doesn't laugh; he either RETELLS THE JOKE, or tells another one to "top" hers.

They go into a women's clothing store, and John engages the female clerk, obviously flirting with her. He's not trying to get her to go out with him, but he IS giving her all kinds of signals that he finds her attractive, and is obviously seeking her attention BACK. While Katy is looking at a dress, John is talking to the female clerk about the dress, and about her own outfit, and about working in the mall, and what he does for a living. ~John is NOT talking to KATY.~ He's also not including Katy in the conversation. He's also placing himself in between the clerk and Katy, so she isn't able to speak to her as a CUSTOMER, as if she's a "real person". The female clerk is also immature, so she goes along with it, enjoying both the attention and the fact that John is placing her ABOVE his OWN DATE. (Especially since she finds Katy to be very pretty; she's getting a childish charge out of John's obvious flirtation right in front of her.)
John does this for the rest of the evening; speaks to OTHERS with more interest and enthusiasm than to KATY, pays more attention to OTHERS than to Katy, and seems to FORGET SHE'S THERE when he engages with someone else. He flirts with the waitress at the restaurant (who flirts back and ignores Katy, and therefore receives ZERO tip, since Katy had agreed to pay the tip... lol), he "chats up" his male friends they run into, leaving Katy out of the conversation, he steps IN FRONT OF Katy while "chatting up" total strangers at the movies.
(Katy doesn't go on many more dates with John. He seemed charming and fun at first, but it became apparent that his  interests are in being someone's Leader, and in getting Attention and Approval, than in building a real friendship with a real person.)
Rachel takes her daughter and son out on a similar outing. She does most of the same behaviors with her children that John did on his date with Katy, and how she acted toward Mary in the clothing store. However she adds to those behaviors a measure of annoyed "discipline", which she can't really get away with when she's with a peer.
John does the same thing with his children.
They take them to the mall, but they don't engage with them, they ignore them and engage enthusiastically with clerks and friends they run into. Their language and tone toward their children is snappy, dismissive, and disapproving. They tell their children to pick out some clothes, but whatever the children pick out is "not quite good enough", or just "wrong". Wherever the children request to eat is denied, and a different restaurant is chosen by the parent, and then the same thing with the children's food choices. Both John and Rachel COMPLAIN ABOUT THEIR KIDS to the other adults they talk to, and often IMPLY that their kids are a "PAIN IN THE NECK" to total strangers, regardless of whether their kids are present or not.
Narcissists SEEK APPROVAL AND ATTENTION from those outside of their "inner circle", because those INSIDE of their "inner circle" are no longer "Real People" to them. They are extensions of themselves, accessories, pets, props, supply wells, crutches, and "forced burdens". They USE those inside their circle not only to get supply from that person, but also to get MORE ATTENTION, approval, and supply from others. They aren't interested in a "relationship" with them, anymore than they want a relationship with their hat or a pair of pants, or a stereo, or the living room lamp. They don't actually want a "relationship" with anyone else, either; they just want supply, approval and attention. (This is one of the main reasons that most Narcissists often feel "empty", and try to fill that hole with supply~ they don't really know what healthy relationships are because they didn't have the opportunity to develop them in their youth.)

"I AM I"

Every human being born into this world is real, just as real as every other human being. When we look at a group of kittens or puppies, we don't see a couple of them as real, and a couple of them as stuffed animals or blocks of marble, or a new pair of gloves. (Some sociopaths might, but not a person with a healthy functional brain.) We see them ALL as REAL kittens, or REAL puppies. When we look at babies in a maternity ward, we see a group of REAL baby human beings. We don't see some of them as "real" as some of them as some kind of android, servant-robot, non-human. They're all EQUAL in their realness, in their beautiful, wonderful, newborn personhood.

So how is it that when humans grow older, we become more and more comfortable with the belief that some of us are "More Real" than others? Why don't we buy into that when we look at and hold infants, but as those infants grow, we start to see some of them as "more important" than others?

We KNOW that we are holding a precious, wonderful miracle when we look at and hold a newborn child. And yet, we allow ourselves to let that knowledge become sullied and obscured when we see a newborn who has grown older.

We allow ourselves to let that happen when we look at others, and also when we look at ourselves.

STOP IT! We are all just as real as we were when we were born, and we are all just as real as any other human being on the planet. We're not a species that spans a spectrum from Gods to Gollum! That's our enormous imaginations at work! We are only ONE species, Homo Sapien Sapien, and we belong to the family of Great Apes. Other Apes don't have Gods to Gollums, and neither do we. We are much, much more similar to one another than we seem to want to believe; our abilities are NOT "god-like". NONE of us can fly, NONE of us can melt anything with our eyes, NONE of us can turn water into wine, or raise the dead. NONE of us can lift a delivery truck and throw it. None of us have Lion's fangs or retractable claws, none of us can run as fast as most other animals bigger than a mouse, and none of us can swim as fast as the average aquatic animal, or breathe water. Some are a little smarter, a little wiser, a little kinder, but the actual span between us is not like GOD vs. a salamander!
NONE of us are Great Wizards, or Super Heroes, or Winged Angels, or The Hulk. There aren't REALLY any humans that innately deserve Royalty, or innately deserve Poverty. We are ALL THE SAME SPECIES. Just like Orangutans are like other Orangutans, and Chimps are like other Chimps. There aren't God-like Chimps who have God-like abilities, ruling over "idiot", SERVILE Chimps, they're all just CHIMPS. Just like Cheetahs are all Cheetahs, and Wolves are all Wolves, and Dolphins are all Dolphins.

Let go of the illusion that some humans are "MORE REAL" than others. Look at the newborns and remember that they grow up, and who are they then? Who am I; who is the owner of the skyscraper down the street; who are you? We're ALL "REAL". We always were, and we'll always be.

The Stressed Out Brain

One of the main symptoms of living in a "crazy making" environment is a decreased intellectual capacity. The brain is being caused to do too many things at once. It keeps getting switched from intellectual learning and/or creativity to defensive mode or crisis management, which are literally different areas of the brain. It's just like the Enterprise, when they had to "divert all power to the Shields" or to the transporter, or to the warp drive every time something happened. The brain does that automatically so it can feel like the mind is being controlled by outside forces, but really it's our own systems trying to protect us from others, and trying to "put out fires". For those who have natural empathy and learned ethics, the brain also automatically diverts energy to "helping others in crisis or need", which is often also part of a crazy-making environment.
In other words, if we have a healthy brain (with functioning empathy and balanced ethics), and we live around bullies or manipulators, our brain is constantly switching to automatic defense, crisis management, or help mode, and we are going to have a harder time getting our tasks done, or our own goals met. Often we end up "behind the 8-ball", or feeling like we're less capable than others because we can't seem to get things done. We can become "forgetful", and "messy", and appear even to ourselves like we can't hold things together.
The more our brain keeps getting switched to automatic modes, the less we can see what's actually going on. Bullies do this on purpose because it works, and the more they do it, the less able we are to "keep our heads on straight", which they can then use to further their agenda even more.
Bullies and manipulators judge, shame, slander, and further bully those who seem "forgetful", or "messy", or "airheaded", usually because they're the ones who instigated the person's "issues" in the first place, and it gives them an opportunity to appear "better" than someone else. They certainly aren't going to tell the world the real story, or the full story, they're going to portray the target as "screwed up", even while the target is doing everything they can for them, or for others.
Non-bullies and those with empathy and genuine ethics, on the other hand, have no agenda, and therefore no desire to shame, judge, or smear anyone. They are much more likely to SEE what's really going on (which is why they're often UNPOPULAR! There's apparently more bullies and manipulators in the world now than non-bullies, sadly).
So remember that feeling of being overwhelmed, less capable, messy, and behind the 8-ball is most likely because the brain keeps switching to automatic defense or crisis-intervention mode. It can keep on doing that after we've left a crazy-making atmosphere; our subconscious cares a lot more about protecting us and fixing crisis than it does about our intellectual or creative goals, so we have to consciously heal ourselves with safe Sanctuary, and any forms of therapy that we can find, that work for us. That might include prayer, or remembering what compassion really feels like by doing something purposely to help others, or animals.

Compulsive Provocation And Domination

It's not necessarily obvious, it doesn't always look like abuse. Sometimes it looks a lot like normal and healthy human interaction. Humans are clever and know how to make dominating, manipulative or abusive behavior look innocent, like "concern", "warning", "innocent curiosity", "playfulness", "ignorance", or "assistance".
Like a cat who gets a charge out of messing with another cat, or another animal, the desire and compulsion to push down on another person (or an animal), to poke, pinch, provoke, instigate, sabotage, and dominate, are common in Narcissists, both figuratively and literally.
Doing something to CAUSE AN EFFECT is part of the compulsion, like a child spitting or dropping something off the top of a tall building just to see what happens. Or like stepping on bubble wrap to hear and feel the "pop".
Domination over another living thing (human or animal) is another part of this compulsion. A cat will poke at another animal to see what it does, to make it move, or to make it jump. The cat pokes the other animal, and then WATCHES it. When the animal stops responding to the poke, the cat does it again, because of the charge it's getting out of it. Cats are compelled to do this, and they obviously like the little thrill they get from causing another animal to move.
HUMANS have the same compulsion process, but growing out of this during youth is the healthy course of maturation. Some human children get a bigger "charge" out of this behavior than others, and some are not guided to mature out of it for whatever circumstantial reasons. Still others are encouraged to do it MORE, as if the compulsion to dominate and provoke others is a good thing, instead of being taught to master their own actions and compulsions.
Chimpanzees also share this compulsion, as do many other predatory animals, and even some non-predatory animals. Some do it only for play, while others will take it much farther, causing a little harm, a lot of harm, and even death. (Humans belong to the group that takes this compulsion of domination farther, along with cats.)
This behavior is not rare, but it's not conducive to the survival of the species since Humans who have not matured out of this compulsive behavior will do it just as much to other humans as they do to other animals. 

When Your Partner's Friends And Family Don't Welcome You Into Their "Circle"

A reader asks:

"Why don't my partner's friends or certain family members welcome me, or treat me with respect?"

(This question should also always be followed by: "How does my partner deal with this?")

There are many reasons why your partner's friends or family members don't roll out the welcome mat, or even behave with courtesy and civility. As you may have guessed, most of those reasons are based in insecurity and a lack of maturity. Occasionally, however, there may be other reasons, such as their knowledge of your partner's history that you don't have; they may be distancing themselves from you because they know you're not going to be together next year, or that you'll probably run when your partner shows his or her controlling personality. They may be worried that you'll find out about a shameful secret, and so closing you out seems like a way to prevent that from happening.

Usually, though, the reasons people will treat their friend or family members' new partner with a lack of welcoming or a lack of respect is due to their own insecurity, jealousy, envy, or fear of losing control over the person. Someone who has had a secret attraction toward your partner may show it in their lack of civility and respect toward you. Those who have been using your partner for whatever reason will most likely be worried that you'll see through their agenda, and may try to turn your partner against you, or slander you in the larger group, trying to turn everyone against you. Those who are dependent on your partner in an unhealthy way may also be worried that your presence means they will be left behind or abandoned, and may also try to turn your partner against you, or turn the larger group against you. Anyone who has been keeping your partner as a "sidekick", or treating your partner with disrespect for any length of time is of course going to be immediately defensive toward you, fearing that you'll notice their behavior and true intention. Still others may fear that you "out shine" them personally in some way, and simply immediately envy you, and don't want you around~ they might base their identity on being the "cute one" in the group (whether anyone else knows that or not), and your "cuteness" threatens their ego. It might be that they're the "funny one", or the "smart one", or the "talented one", or the "responsible one", the "tough one", etc, etc, and they can't have you messing up their "specialness", because to them, it's their Position in the group. (Yes, there are lots of people who have identity issues like that.)

There isn't really that much more to it besides insecurity, arrogance, control, and a lack of good manners. If they're treating you with disrespect because they think you're not good for their friend or family member, then they're just showing bad manners and control issues. If they were truly concerned about their family member or friend, they would take it up with them, privately; not humiliate them and cause them more problems by treating you disrespectfully. Barring actual abuse, there's no valid reason to show a friend or family member's partner disrespect or rejection, it's very disrespectful to the friend or family member, and it's a blatant lack of basic civility and manners.

When the person in question is a child, then the way the adults handle the situation is extremely important, and will dictate most of the outcome, the future of the relationships. Of course a child is going to be leery of someone new entering their lives. Even if the child likes them individually, the fact that this new person is connected in a close relationship to someone who's important to them means that their own life is probably going to change, and they have no idea how. Also, if another adult is influencing the child to dislike the new partner, then the situation can escalate to dramatic proportions, causing the child serious stress. In a healthy family or friendship circle, all adults act as decent role models, demonstrating respectful, civil, and cooperative behavior, which make children feel safe and respond to favorably, learning how to deal with change, and learning how to treat others respectfully while maintaining their own personal healthy boundaries and identity.

The Happy Conductor (N)

"I get to be the boss because I'm the Best Person here!"
"The Happy Conductor"
Perhaps the majority of people who have Narcissism traits could be categorized under this term. The analogy depicts a Conductor of an orchestra who is very happy in his or her position, not so much for the sheer love of music, but because he or she believes that the position indicates superiority over others, and gives them prestige and control. The Happy Conductor loves to tell others what to do above all things, and deludes themselves about their own expertise, so much so that many others buy into the delusion and believe it also. This person relies on having others around to carry out the tasks that he or she assigns them and TAKES CREDIT FOR.
NOT TO BE CONFUSED with a genuine Conductor of an orchestra, choir, or other musical ensemble, who is actually filling the position because he or she is pretty good at it and enjoys doing it, enjoys the resonance and the dynamics of the musicians together, enjoys the opportunity to participate in helping a piece of music to soar, and/or because someone needs to do it because everyone else is playing or singing.  I have experienced personally the wonderful, even uplifting influence a really good Conductor can have on the performance of a music ensemble, and can report that it can be amazing. A good Conductor believes in the other people who make up the ensemble, does not have a superiority complex, and is focused on the flow of the music. An inflated ego actually blocks the beauty and flow of great music; humility allows it to flow, and helps to increase and build the resonance. (See J.S. Bach, one of the greatest composers of all time.)
The Happy Conductor N. often actually believes he or she is innately supreme in understanding music on all levels, that others don't really "get music" like he or she does, and that everyone with any intelligence should RECOGNIZE this about him or her. The Happy Conductor is oblivious to the reality that someone else nearby is actually either on the same level of understanding and talent, or ABOVE his or her level of understanding. Remove the word "music" and enter any other subject in its place, and the analogy is easily applied to any other situation.
The Happy Conductor N. will delegate, orchestrate, and conduct any situation that he or she can get away with, regardless of his or her actual knowledge or experience. Their belief in their innate superiority is all they need; they will hop right up on the Conductor's platform, and often even knock down the person who's already up there doing the job if they can, even if that person actually IS an "expert", or is doing a fine job. The Happy Conductor just wants to be in the "Leader" position because he or she LIKES IT THERE BEST. Not for any other reason.
The requirements for "getting away with" being in the position of "Leader" are few (actual superior ability isn't one of them):
1) They need to be pretty good at giving SOCIAL SIGNALS (vocal tone, body language, appearance, and wording) that say "I Am Your Leader"
2) They need people around them who respond to those Social Signals, who buy into them, and accept the person as "Leader".
They MUST have people who will respond to their "Leader" social signals, or they're SUNK, because they can't actually perform the tasks they take credit for and pretend to know about. Therefore when someone comes along who is an independent thinker, who does not respond to their "Leader" signals by following and agreeing, they must REJECT them somehow, get away from them, make distance. This independent thinker person might see through the domination techniques, might have real expertise, and is therefore an exposure risk. (The worst fear for a Narcissist is exposure of their manipulation).
If one of their "subjects" is within eyesight or earshot, the Happy Conductor is probably telling them what to do or how they should do it better. If the lips are moving, there are probably instructions, criticism, or announcements coming out of them. They always seem to be in the middle of what others are trying to do, or one step ahead, because that's what they DO - they actually step in front of others, both literally and figuratively, so they can "Lead". They will actually see that a person is going to do something, and walk in front of them to do it FIRST, or do it FOR THEM. They may sabotage or block the person from their intended task, be it large or small (even really small, like getting a helping of potatoes.) Their goal is always to feel like they're in charge and "ahead", either of one person or many, and they will continuously do little or big things to maintain that feeling. They might walk ahead of you and faster than you, and then judge you as "lesser" because you're "slow" or "behind" (the concept of walking WITH you, or not judging you at all, doesn't occur to them, because trying to be superior is always on their mind.)

You might notice that they constantly speak to you as if you don't know what they know, or have never experienced what they have, or don't "get" things that they "get". This is because they're constantly trying to find something to make you inferior in some way, and themselves superior. It's a little "fix" that they're always trying to score, and they can get frustrated and resentful when they can't get their fix because they can't find anything that you are clueless about. They might accuse you of being a know-it-all... because they keep failing in their attempt to prove they know something that you don't. (They don't realize that their attempts to prove they know more than you do is the Narc. behavior).

Condescension is ever-present, because the Happy Conductor is fixated on being the One Who Knows Better, and The One Who Is More Capable. Anecdotes, jokes, physical complaints, or negative judgments about others usually fill in the rest of air time.
Being taller than others around (or just taller than the people one is trying to dominate) is a HUGE help if one is trying to be any kind of "Leader"; most people don't realize they have AUTOMATIC subconscious responses to those who are bigger than they are, or who ACT bigger. It's pretty obvious where it comes from if we think about it, really, it's just from growing up. When we were children for all those years, almost anyone who was taller was OLDER than us, and therefore had authority over us. Bigger, older kids were actual threats to us, physically, and would bully us on a regular basis. Adults were literally constantly telling us what to do, and we learned that rebellion brings consequences. Most of us don't become aware of our automatic assumption that those who are taller are "Leaders", and those who are smaller don't "deserve" Leadership positions even if, in reality, they are actually the best person for the job.
Without guidance in becoming aware of this common subconscious reaction, a person may remain oblivious to it for their whole lives, and actually believe that anyone shorter is less capable, and anyone taller is more capable, and treat them accordingly, both in personal AND in business situations. Many who are much shorter or much taller than average are quite aware of this automatic response in humans, and quite aware of how nonsensical and illogical it is, and how much chaos and consequence it causes in the world.
This kind of "Happy Conductor N." is probably the most common, and can be found "Conducting" anything from a large corporation to a national government, to a smaller business, to a military outfit, to a real orchestra or a rock band, to a community organization, to a family household. Although height helps tremendously, there are plenty who don't need it to attain their "Leader" position. Although, remaining in that position over time is much easier WITH height than without it, because humans are much less likely to try to thwart or dominate a person who is taller than they are, especially a male. (Sociopaths who also have higher intelligence/awareness than other sociopaths are more likely to be aware of having this particular advantage, and use it purposefully; other Narcissists may simply believe that they are ACTUALLY superior because they are tall, or because they are male, or both, and that their imagined innate supremacy is why people allow them to "Lead".

(It's less common for a female to believe she's superior because of her sex, simply because humans (both male and female) in  Patriarchal cultures usually try to dominate females, and seek leadership OVER them, so female Narcissists don't get nearly as much automatic subconscious favoritism and submission behavior from other people as males do. Female Narcissists also often have male bias, anti-female-bias, or try to be associated with males, because they want to be seen as a member of the favored or more powerful group (just like male Narcissists). In a truly Matriarchal culture, the automatic responses might be reversed, but only if children were exposed to adults who treat females as superior to males in the same way our current cultures treat males as superior to females in front of children.)

Human Progress Vs. Sabotage By Narcissism

Training Camp!

Why do human cultures, families, organizations and communities seem to have such a hard time making progress, achieving peace, or eradicating depression, crime, WAR, and poverty?

There's a rather large obstacle to a better world, and it's been around for centuries. It's been written about and documented for eons as well, but it doesn't seem to go away because it's so pervasive, like weeds and pests in a beautiful garden that take over and destroy what we're trying to cultivate. It grows and tries to take root anywhere there are humans. The obstacle is the condition known as Narcissism, and it's been embedded in the fabric of the human species for a very long time. It perpetuates itself through modeling, oppressing, brainwashing and direct training of young people who are all new to this world, learning and absorbing what they're being shown, and being kept from learning what they're NOT being shown.

The biggest threat to Power Mongers and Control Freaks everywhere is knowledge and awareness, so if you really want to "fight the power", read, read, read, and learn, learn, learn.  OBSERVE YOURSELF first and foremost; your own biases. behavior habits, and beliefs in your own personal life. Only then is it possible to see what's going on with other people, because we aren't denying it in ourselves any longer.  (Remember just because you're a woman doesn't mean you weren't conditioned to be biased against women; just because you're black doesn't mean you weren't conditioned to be prejudice against black people; just because you THINK you genuinely respect others doesn't mean you didn't get conditioned subconsciously to see certain others as less worthy or less capable.)


Narcissists train others, both directly and indirectly, to do and believe certain things. These beliefs and behaviors have been tearing down and sabotaging the progress we struggle to make as a species throughout human history:

To become subjugate; accept a "lower status" position as a human being than others.

To believe that some adults innately deserve power and authority, PERSONALLY, over other adults.

To follow the group and the crowd; avoid independent thought, observation, and learning.

To allow others into one's personal and private space, and step over one's boundaries on command.

To NOT know that EVERY ONE'S personal space and boundaries are sacred, and no one should be allowed "in" unless they were genuinely invited by THAT PERSON alone.

To believe one's self to be naturally entitled to LESS or MORE privilege, power, authority, "extra relaxation and pleasure", and being served by others.

To believe that one is not "good enough", and that one "doesn't really belong", and that others have the valid right to decide this.

To actually buy into believing that disrespect, arrogance, bad manners and bullying are signals of authority, "superior knowledge", and general supremacy.

To fear and avoid standing up for others or for themselves.

To turn against members of one's own family and community; to  try to dominate them; to betray, slander, or scapegoat them.

To accept domination, disrespect, and condescension from CERTAIN others, as if it's okay for them to do it because one has accepted them as having "higher social status" or "authority".

To compete for approval, attention, and acceptance against those whom one should be supporting and bonding with.

To believe that dominating and knocking down others is perfectly "okay", and is the way to get ahead.

To believe one's self (and others like one's self) to be naturally incapable of learning, understanding, or performing certain concepts, tasks, and skills.

To believe that those who are DIFFERENT than one's self to be incapable of learning, understanding, or performing certain concepts, tasks and skills.

To NOT BE ABLE TO SEE or UNDERSTAND the difference between legitimate hierarchies that are for structural purposes only such as business and government, and hierarchies that are illusions (MADE-UP), based on false beliefs and assumptions around sexism, racism, age, and body type.

To mentally delete and ignore evidence and information that contradicts the beliefs and directives of those who claim "Authority", in small groups or larger groups.

To believe that some people are born innately superior, and others are born innately inferior.

To buy into one's own, or someone else's, superficial judgments and assumptions about other people.

To rebel for the sake of rebellion; to be a random "rule-breaker".

To distrust others, to seek control, and to see those who need help or assistance as "losers", including one's self and one's family members.
(This prevents bonding, respect, team building, and progress within one's group.)

To accept and believe gossip and rumors about others.

To believe that retaliation is just "part of human nature", and that "everyone does it", and that there's nothing wrong with it.

To believe that it's "perfectly okay" to treat those who are physically smaller than they are with condescension and disrespect, and to accept condescension and disrespect from those who are larger than they are.

To buy into assumptions and stereotypes about the abilities and limitations of each sex, and to project them onto other people.

To create HOSTILE ENVIRONMENTS in order to prevent specific persons from working, learning, playing, and participating in a group; to drive them out. (Like treating a white person like he's not welcome and not wanted in a Hispanic Church, or constantly harassing a male nurse so he'll quit, or treating a female tradesman with continuous condescension, disrespect and haranguing so she'll quit or "go away").

To believe that WAR, aggression, and violence are "necessary sometimes" to get what you WANT, and that anyone who doesn't agree is "weak" or "ignorant".

To believe that "class structures" (wealthy, middle class, poor) are real, and permanent.

To believe that those in one "class" are better than those in another "class".

To feel doubt, anxiety, and an undercurrent of discomfort or fear; to feel like one is always "behind the 8 ball", and doesn't have enough money or time, and isn't successful enough.

That it's "okay" to chase away that doubt, anxiety, and discomfort  with all manner of addictive or mind-altering substances.
(The drug trade, both legal and illegal, makes a lot of people a LOT of money, and therefore gives them lots of power and influence).

To believe that one can actually assess another person based on surface, superficial, incidental and circumstantial things such as their appearance at the moment, their body, sex, clothes and hair, their age, their car, their job, and on first impressions.

To believe that superficial appearance is the most important priority in a person's life, and to judge one's self and others based on superficial appearances, as if it's an indication of character.

To believe that "social hierarchies" are REAL, and are based on actual intelligence, experience, wisdom.

To believe stereotypes and other fictions (about others and themselves): regarding race, sex, religion, "class", ancestry, body type and size, even hair color

To fall for CONS and SMOKE SHOWS that serve Narcissists well, such as:

~Innate Superiority or Innate Inferiority
~Celebrity privilege
~Martyr syndrome
~Male Privilege and/or Authority
~Small Person's Ignorance, Weakness, or Innocence
~Tall Person's Privilege, Assumed Authority, and Assumed Knowledge or Intelligence
~Badges, Titles, Certificates and Degrees~ (assuming that because a person has one of these things, they must be an Expert, good at their job, more knowledgeable than anyone who does not possess one of these things, or that they're honest. Oldest trick in the book).


(It's what Jesus Christ of Nazareth was crucified for.)

Archetypes And Images; The Business Of Conning

There are several character Archetypes that many people often try to put on as an image to present to the world. It can be benign, even positive, or it can be dangerous, depending on the individual's motives.
Some build their image to match a certain Archetype because they really want to live up to a certain persona, such as one full of humility and grace, and their core self is already somewhat aligned with their chosen Archetype. Sometimes people don't really believe they can just grow and learn within their own skin, and need to become like someone else in order to achieve their goals of "becoming".
Others do it because a certain image seems to get more positive attention from other people the way an attractive hairstyle or certain clothing does, more than just "being themselves". Sometimes the attention is not actually positive or respectful, but they don't realize it because they are only noticing the increase of attention, not what kind of attention it really is.
Still others are putting on the mask of an Archetype in order to convince people to trust and respect them so they can con them and/or gain control over them. They have learned that people will believe and follow certain images, and they hone that image with actual effort in order to make it seem like who they really are. Of course it's just an image, like wearing a hat or a mask, or even a costume; the person underneath is really a different animal altogether, with a completely different agenda and focus. Their chosen Archetype is literally a facade that they built on purpose. It's  much like they are wearing a really convincing Abraham Lincoln or Mother Teresa costume, or any other Archetype that people are known to respond to positively, with trust and admiration, or respect, or sometimes fear, but the " I deserve more admiration and respect than most people" costume is the most effective.
Abraham Lincoln and Mother Teresa were real people, but their images live on as Archetypes when someone wants to wear them as a mask to appear good and righteous, so others will believe and trust them. There are many Archetypes that Mask-Wearers might put on.

 Some we have probably run into (we may have seen through the facade, or swallowed it):

Cowboy types, Beauty Queen, Powerful Business Person, Celebrity, Spiritual Leader, Wise Shaman or Chief, Highly Skilled Warrior, Empathetic Caregiver, Brilliant Scientist, The Expert (Craftsman/Carpenter/Mechanic/Mason, etc), Rock Star, Regular Joe, Down To Earth Jane, Strong and Silent, Virtuous and Righteous, Very Hard Worker, Hero, Prophet, Angel Of Hope, Savior.  There are many more, of course, that you probably know quite well. Maybe you have seen through some of them.


It's important to remember that we really can't tell if someone is genuine, or is wearing a facade, for quite a while. The truth is we often like and trust fakers more than we like or trust a genuine person, because we like the shiny image that fakers wear. We can also easily mistake one for the other, so the best way to find out is to play it safe and keep healthy boundaries intact. We don't want to reject a truly "good" person just because they seem "too good to be true", that would be quite a loss, genuinely "good" or trustworthy and honest people are rare  blessings in our lives; and we don't want to let an Image Wearer get close to us by buying into their "good and trustworthy" mask.
The most amazing thing about the practice of building and wearing false images is how people just keep on doing it, and it keeps on working because other people keep on falling for it. No matter how many fables are written, how many warnings are written in religious texts, how many times throughout history it's caused horrific damage, or how many stories, plays, and movies are created trying to expose it for what it is, the lesson just doesn't seem to get through. Humans as a species seem to be very slow learners when it comes to "Leaders" and "Followers".
A common practice that many who believe they have awakened from being blind followers of manipulative leaders is simply rejecting one leader and group, but continuing to follow other ones, and also finding new ones. As long as they have rejected ONE or two of the leaders and groups they had been blindly following, they believe they have accomplished their goal of independence and awareness.
Another common practice is rejecting any and all guidance, instruction, leadership, or connection with others, as if every teacher, spiritual person, writer, or philosopher who ever spoke was a cult leader, trying to manipulate the masses. However this is based in fear, and results in the rejection of learning about anything that's outside one's own limited point of view. When our personal boundaries are healthy and strong, we can hear others freely without becoming indoctrinated, and learn new things from their points of view, ideas, and experiences.
So many humans buying into and believing in stereotypes, status, and "social hierarchy" keeps Image Makers, Cons, Phonies, and the dangerous kind of politicians in THRIVING business. If we want to really see through them, we need to stop believing in the fictions our cultures have made up about human beings, and learn to stop placing some people on pedestals and not others.
Only when we see all other people, including ourselves, as equally worthy and beautiful as one another will we be able to discern those who are wearing masks.

Money-Anxiety, Another Effect Of Narcissism Abuse

An effect of Narcissism targeting is confusion about money. The child who grows up in a family where there is one or more Narcissists is exposed to skewed money attitudes, handling, and blatant contradictions all the time. Without clear and proper modeling and guidance regarding money, earning, exchange, and cashflow, most people get confused without the Narcissist factor anyway, but WITH the Narc. factor, a child literally "learns wrong".

One day an N. parent says "I have to work so hard, all these extra hours so I can put food on the table!" and the following week, that parent is showing off their new television, their new computer, their new designer shoes, or their new CAR. The child is getting a very disjointed message; one week you're struggling, having to work as hard as you can just to survive, and then the next week you can afford to buy whatever you want... okay...

That same N. parent says "I can't afford to send you to those lessons, they're too expensive!" and three days later, they're planning a 2 week vacation to Spain with a friend (leaving the child home... too expensive to bring her/him...) buying clothes and a new camera for the trip.

The N's in the family and/or community: praising one child for Being Such A Hard Worker... "Look at how hard he/she works! What a great, wonderful kid, he/she is so responsible!" and... those same people make it very difficult for another child in the same community to GET a job in the first place (scapegoat/gossip/slander/nepotism), so they can continue to treat the first child as The Responsible One, and the second child as The Lazy, Incapable, or Irresponsible One.

The N's in the community: everything a target child does is "wrong", so if they're wearing expensive or brand name clothes and shoes, they're STUCK UP, and they get gossiped about and excluded. If they're wearing less expensive clothes or shoes, they're LOSERS, and they get gossiped about and excluded. The child often keep trying to figure out what "money class" is the "right one" or the "good one", so they can fit in and get accepted. (Children of course don't know that N's target a person FIRST and THEN find excuses to reject them).

Narcissists frequently USE their supposed "financial status" to magnify their image. They either cry POOR all the time, or they portray WEALTHINESS. Either one gives them leverage, and enhances their agenda, it just depends what image they're trying to portray to achieve a certain end. Children around them hear the words, but see the contradictions with their own eyes. They see that things don't add up, but adults deny that there's anything amiss until the child stops asking, and seems to be successfully brainwashed to LOOK AWAY.

Narc. families will often give lots of resources to certain members, no matter what they do, no matter how much trouble they get in, no matter how they behave, will keep bailing them out, making excuses for them, and paving their way; but will DENY resources to other certain members. The resources are RESERVED, in a Narc. family, for those who are IN FAVOR, so giving resources to an unfavored child or family member would mean tapping into those reserves... So Jeffrey gets to go the Baseball Camp every summer, gets a new mountain bike for his 12th birthday, a saxophone for Christmas along with new skis and scuba gear, gets tennis lessons, a new guitar, guitar lessons, a new bass, a fish tank in his room, and a car on his 16th birthday, etc... Jillian gets a clock radio for her 13th birthday, a couple of CDs, a little box of cheap perfume and a sweater for Christmas, and some candy... is denied piano lessons, dance lessons, and her parents demand that she earns the money for her school trip by doing chores for the neighbors. When she turns 16, she's not allowed to get her license because it will be "too expensive to put her on her parent's insurance". (They need the money to make Jeffrey's car payments...) Jeffrey wants to go to Brown University, they make it happen. Jillian has to get a scholarship if she wants to go anywhere other than the local community college, because they can't afford to send BOTH kids to college... and she will have to foot all of her own bills. (They'll let her live at home as long as her grades are good.)
(To be sure, a "Golden Child" is also being denied a healthy childhood and development into adulthood, and can end up in terrible shape later on, especially if they hit any snags, having limited survival, life, and relationship skills.)

Narcissistic partners and spouses of course have all kinds of money issues, from trying to control their partner's money to trying to take their partner's money, to lying about their own money, to spending it joint money without asking, to spending it all, to hiding it, to stealing it. The severity of the behavior depends on the individual. On the most benign level, most Narcissists do at least try or demand to control their partner's money, because they believe they are smarter and more capable than their partner, or they want to PROVE that they are. Also, they just tend to like to have more control over anything, period.
Narcissistic platonic friends, and relatives, also commonly will imply that they are much better with money than a given target, and will often try to convince the target to allow them to "oversee" their accounts. They will often treat the target like they have NO CLUE about money or responsibility, and will simply ignore obvious evidence to the contrary.

Targets of Narcissists often end up with serious anxiety around money and cashflow, and can develop destructive habits trying to self-soothe and heal their anxiety. It can be very difficult to keep accounts balanced, just for the reason of having to deal directly with money, which can cause major anxiety; many develop avoidance habits around bills and balancing. (Very hard to deal with something well when it's too difficult to look at.)

Narcissists commonly attach SO MUCH STRESS, control, power, shame, and arrogance to money, having money, earning money, keeping money, and handling money, that targets can end up in near panic at the very thought of having to DEAL with money. Narc. targets, both children and adults, may benefit from healing specifically around their feelings and thoughts about money, career, earning, saving, spending, and balancing.


Shouldn't Be Surprised About Female Stereotypes

"We can’t be surprised by unconscious stereotypes about women when we still embrace a culture suffused with highly sexualized, frivolous and demeaning portrayals of women in everything from popular movies to recent congressional debates."

I totally agree~

Really, it doesn't freak me out that men are so frequently male-biased, it's not some kind of long-shot for a human to be all gung-ho for people who are "Just Like Me", and stick out their 10-year-old tongue at the "other guys". What freaks me out, BAD, is that humans with DAUGHTERS, (that would be children of their own who happened to be born with an X chromosome), behave this way. EWW!!! Seriously?
How do they not care about treating their own kids as second-rate humans? How do they not care that their friends, other family members, SCHOOLS, and communities are doing it to their OWN KID?

Scientifically, yes~ humans get conditioned in childhood to believe in whatever the adults were doing when they grew up. So WHEN exactly do they start thinking for themselves? What are they getting personally out of their prejudices and biases, and what are they getting personally out of teaching their kids (or other people's kids) these prejudices and biases?

Freaks me out, yes it does. Happy Human Condition. Uckk.

(For those humans who are going "Oh come on there's no sexism anymore, not in Western Culture!)
Um... right.. okay, so when's the last time you asked a woman about fixing something, and not a man?
When's the last time you thought of your daughter, or your friend's daughter, when there was a job opening in your friend's remodeling, painting, car, or hardware business?  Or insurance sales for that matter?
When's the last time you reviewed the local High School budget?
Have you ever, EVER, hired a local female kid to mow your lawn, or shovel your driveway? Do you honestly believe that NO female kids wanted to make that extra money, or that they didn't need it, or that they couldn't do it?
When's the last time you saw the sports page covered with female sports, and one little story about a male sporting event?
When's the last time you watched a comedy with an all-female cast, save one or two supporting males? I can think of one, that would make the ratio about 1:100000
How many all-male rock bands, country bands, or rap groups can you think of off the top of your head?
How many all female ones? You seriously think it's because girls aren't interested, or can't do it?
When's the last time you expected your friend's son to help serve coffee and dessert, while their daughter sat at the table "deep in discussion"?
Who do you ask when you want advice about purchasing anything bigger than a toaster? 
When's the last time you assumed a woman, and not a man, was driving the semi next to you on the highway, or working at the construction site down the street, or driving the full-size pick-up truck that just went by your house, or is the President of a corporation or a bank?
Have you ever hired an all-male crew to do something around your house? Have you ever hired an all-female crew to do anything besides clean?
Do you know what "hostile work environment" really means?
Have you ever experienced a hostile work environment because of your sex, race, body size, or ancestry?
When's the last movie you saw with a female Hero as the Main Character, and the little sidekick secretary who she kept having to SAVE was a guy? Oh you saw one? Congratulations.
Give me a break, monkey-see, monkey-do. Maybe in another 100 years, if we survive that long. 

I love the men in my family, and my male best friends, and respect them very much. There is zero need for me to see them as "above" me, and they would probably throw up if they saw me do it. Know why? Because they actually respect me, for real, as a human being, and I actually respect them, for real, as human beings. When there is genuine respect, made-up supremacies and "gender expectations" are unnecessary, and frankly look pretty silly.

Worried That You Are The Narcissist?

If you're worried that "they're right", that you are the Narc., then don't wait, do some actual scientific observation. It's good for your head, it's important to know what's really going on in our own lives.

Literally, time them when they start talking about themselves, their escapades, and their friends. Then, time how long they can tolerate listening to you talk about yourself or your friends (in a positive way). What's the time difference? It helps to do it several times. 
Sometimes we can be very "chatty" because we're anxious, excited, worried, angry, sad, enthusiastic, or very happy. Are they chatty because of one of these things? Or do they seem to think that they are the only one who should have "the floor" at all times? Do they speak to you as if they are much wiser, much more knowledgeable, and much more experienced than you on a pretty regular basis? Do they often explain things to you that they should know you are quite aware of ? Do they seem to have no recognition of "who you are" and what your experiences are, and keep talking down to you about things you're well-versed in? Do you ever do any of these things?

Listen for their language, do they want to hear about your life, your adventures, your opinions, or your problems? Or do they deftly switch the conversation AWAY from the subject of YOU, more often than not? (Every time?)
Do you ever do this?
Do they insult you, put you down, or imply that you're weaker, less capable, or less experienced, either when you're alone or in front of others? Do you do these things to them?

Ask them direct questions, politely, about random topics (not personal ones), how do they answer? With direct answers? Or do they side-skirt the question with distraction, or give a long, elaborate lecture that doesn't actually answer the question? Do they turn it back on you without answering at all?
Do you find yourself evading direct questions when you don't know the answer, or trying to re-direct the subject so it's about something you know more about?

When you make a statement of observation, like about the weather, or how people were behaving in the store you were just in, how do they respond? Are they interested in your point of view, or do they immediately counter you? Do they just wait for you to finish talking so they can talk about themselves again?
How do you respond when they make a statement of observation?

How do they act around others? Do they give certain KINDS of people huge amounts of respect, but treat other KINDS of people with much less respect?
Do you find that you do this?

Do they (or you) accept others the way they are, or do they/you judge anyone who's not enough like themselves as "losers", "weird", "stupid", "evil", or "crazy"?

Do they feel genuinely happy for others when they get recognition, when they have something to celebrate, or when they gain or accomplish something? Or do they tend to usually put them down?
What is your usual reaction about these things?
How do they handle plans and scheduling? Do they let you know what's going on, or do they spring things on you and expect you to comply? Do they invite you to do things, or do they demand? Do they stand you up, and expect you to just "deal with it"? Do they separate you from their other friends? Do you decide on plans together, or do they always get the last word? Do you always go to them? Do you always pay?           Do you do these things; are you the one who needs to always be"in control", and don't really think about their schedule, their money, or what they really want to do?

Do they seem to get a bigger charge out of correcting you, countering you, "assisting" you when you didn't ask for it, or criticizing you, than out of giving you credit, respect, positive attention, help when you ask for it, or recognition?
Is there a possibility that you've been doing that too?
Do they react with annoyance or even anger when you're upset about something? Are they annoyed with you when you're sick, when you're dealing with an obstacle, when you've had a mishap, or when you're helping someone else?  How do you respond to them when they're sick,  upset, or dealing with something difficult?
If you have children, how do they seem to view them? As a mentor would, or as a caring "Auntie", "Uncle", or grandparent-type? Or do they seem to look down on them, judge them, resent them, or envy them, like an immature peer or hostile Authoritarian? Do they keep judging you as a bad parent? Do they try to help at all, or are they trying to take over? Or do they just put you or the child down, but have no positive influence? Have they tried to influence your child to see you as a "loser", or "unstable"?      Do you do any of these things to them?
How do they deal with money? Do they borrow money from you and pay it back, or do they try to get out of paying back personal loans? Do they resent you for having more money than they do? Do they treat you like you're a "loser" for having less money than they do? Do they try to get out of bills, or blame the company they owe money to as if they were "forced" to do business with them or purchase something?     Do you do any of these things?
Do they group people into categories based on things like wealth or poverty, being employed or not, age, ancestry, gender, religion, occupation, residential area, education? Do they seem to think that stereotypes about others are real?  Do they talk in a demeaning, trashy way, or with exaggerated admiration, (either one) about certain "kinds" of people (such as local women or famous men)? Do you do any of these?   
How do they treat animals, and how do they speak of animals? How do they treat and talk about children? How about you?
Do they frequently use a "stern", "authoritative", sarcastic, mean, or condescending voice to you, or to other adults? Do you ever speak in that manner?
Do they seem to think they're always right, no matter what? Do you feel like you're always right, no matter what? Do you see yourself as above reproach, as always righteous, as never doing anything wrong?
Do they seem to use any illness or infirmity they can to get out of uncomfortable discussions, or to control others, or to make others serve them? Do you do that?
Would they rather talk about "dirt" that they've heard about other people than anything positive or neutral? Do they spread rumors about others? Do you believe what people say about others, or feel excited when someone is talking trash about someone else, even when you have no way to know for yourself if any of it is true? Do you believe that you are immune to getting your reputation ruined by slander?
Usually a person who would take the time and effort to actually observe "who's the Narcissist" is not one. We can, however, have Narc. traits that we didn't realize we had. We all pick them up from those around us sometimes, and we can develop some of them in reaction and defense to other people's Narc. behavior. The definitive difference between a "Narcissist" and a Non-Narcissist is having the ability to self-examine, admit and see "faults", feel remorse, make amends, see others as "real people", and act on changing.

Image Makers, Packaging, the Masks Of Narcissism

The image that many Narcissists work on is just like a "logo" or a "brand" on a product. It presents them as someone we would like, trust, believe, and want to be connected to, and it covers up all those "little flaws". A really well-done image can carry a pretty nasty person a very long way, leaving ugly pollution and destruction in their wake.

People who work in advertising get paid big bucks to come up with a way to package and present a product so customers will like it at first glance, want to buy it, and believe that it's good. Customers don't do all kinds of lab tests or road tests on products they're going to buy, and even those who believe they're very picky and aware still get sucked in by super slick packaging and very sneaky advertising.

The same thing is done with politicians and other humans in the public eye; a "brand" is created to make the person seem familiar, likeable, attractive, and magnetic. People take lessons to learn how to present themselves, and they keep their "signature look" much longer than they would in their personal lives. I personally enjoy watching the hand gestures that politicians adapt, and I find it kind of funny knowing that when they get anxious or distracted they have to consciously remember to keep doing their certain hand gestures, keep their facial expressions a certain way, their vocal tone and language a certain way, and keep standing with good posture, no matter how tired or stressed they are. They have to, because without that honed image packaging, citizens will see and realize that they're just "regular people" just like themselves, and they'll lose votes. Humans generally WANT their leaders to seem like they're above and beyond "regular people", believing that makes them feel more secure. Much like children like to think of their parents as super-smart and super-strong, it makes us feel safe.

So it's easy to see why a Narcissist would do this, especially if they're aware of their own propensity for betrayal and scamming. They wouldn't get two inches if they weren't wearing a facade, no one would trust them if they could really see them.

A Narcissist's image might appear as anything at all that seems to work for the particular individual's purposes.
One might create a package that shouts "Super Fun!", another might portray "Very Serious And Experienced", another might appear as "Just One Of The Gals!" or "Just One Of The Guys!" another might glow with "Extra Caring And Extra Sweet", and still another might appear as "Extremely Spiritual And Enlightened", etc, etc. A popular one in this modern culture is "Extremely Responsible With Extra Common Sense, And In Control".
Is the person I know really like that? Or is it a facade, what they want to be known as? Or is it a manipulation toward me, personally? The only way to find out for sure is to keep a courteous distance, and wait and see. (It seems that people in past eras used to be generally much better at getting to know others  before "letting them in", and keeping their own boundaries intact.)

Just like a product that's very bad for your health is often packaged as the next greatest thing, or a politician who's only real goal is money and power but they have everyone convinced they're innocent, brilliant, and wonderful, the Narcissist packages themselves as how they want to be seen, not what's really inside.
We humans will FREQUENTLY buy the slicker packaged product much more quickly than we'll try a product that's ACTUALLY better, if the packaging is less appealing. Most of us think we're slicker than that, but it's in our DNA, we're easily fooled by packaging. Not just some of us, all of us. Some more than others, but we're all afflicted, it's just how our human brain works. Therefore, it's not that difficult for Narcissists to fool lots of people for a very long time.
Hence the phrase "You can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time." If Narcissism wasn't a known part of our world for a very long time, there wouldn't be so many adages like that one. We have a hard time learning these lessons because that "packaging" blindness is written into our chromosomes.

What Does No Abuse, Neglect Or Bullying Feel Like?

Some things people do who haven't been targets of Narcissistic individuals, groups, families or communities:

~Believe in themselves

~Feel like they belong, like they're a real member of their group, family, and community

~Feel respected, wanted, cared for and liked

~Set goals because they WANT to, and believe they will achieve them

~Don't worry about getting blocked or sabotaged

~Believe they will receive assistance, shelter, comfort, protection, and justice if and when they need it.

~Don't worry about getting slandered

~Go forward with learning how to do whatever they feel like learning how to do

~Take whatever class or course strikes their fancy
(regardless of whether their sex, race, age, or body type "fits in" with a stereotype)

~Engage easily in fun activities and group activities without anxiety

~Wear the clothes they're comfortable with, wear their hair how they like it

~Don't worry about fitting into gender roles or "gender behavior"

~Don't feel the need to "prove" their masculinity or femininity (or their sexual preference) to the world

~Don't stop themselves from doing something because they might get targeted by bullying or ridicule

~Don't worry about getting sabotaged or stolen from

~Don't worry about getting physically assaulted/raped whenever they go anywhere or do anything alone

~Expect those they're associated with to stand up for them if they suffer attack, injustice, or disrespect

~Often accomplish many of their goals because they have not been sabotaged either in the past or in the present, and have received help and support, often much more than they realize

~May not understand anything about the effects abuse and neglect has on a human being

~May not believe there's really sexism or racism in the world, or that there's any "here"

~May not be able to grasp that people they know or are in their family have been traumatized or abused

~May not be able to grasp that people they know or are in their family have been targeted with sexism, racism, or other prejudices

~May take their good fortune for granted, or believe they deserve their good fortune because they're a "good/capable person" 

~Go forward confidently with ideas, presentations, and activities, without having self-doubts, self-consciousness, or worries about being sabotaged, ridiculed, or abandoned

~Don't fear abandonment, gas lighting, or reputation smearing

~Have great fun in groups or with individuals, without ruminating on the plights of others, or worrying about their own possible future

Up-time: A Goal For Healing And Happiness

Narcissistic abuse affects a target in a specific way, it makes the target constantly self-conscious. Targets are always double-checking themselves, constantly aware of each step they take and every move they make because of the reaction the Narcissist might have, and AVOIDANT of anything that might draw the Narcissist's attention. The target becomes conditioned to constantly edit him/herself, stop him/herself from doing something that the Narcissist might notice or react to, and constantly take care to make sure the Narcissist feels served, paid attention to, and cared for or served.

This means the target is continuously dropping out of "uptime" in order to cater to the Narcissist, or avoid the Narcissist's reactions. (Walking on eggshells.) Targets often come to buy into the projection that they are constantly about to do something wrong, silly, or selfish and narcissistic, or are performing under par, or have come up short in whatever they've done, from the way they wear their hair to career pursuits, to large and small projects, to choosing a home, to choosing friends and partners, to being a parent.

Melanie Moore
"Up-time" is when we're "in the moment", engaged in what we're doing. In up-time we aren't worrying about how we appear, if we're going to step on someone's toes, if we're making mistakes, or worried about getting criticized, ridiculed, stolen from, attacked, insulted, or sabotaged. We're in up-time when we're engaged fully in humor, when we're having a great time with others, when we're engaged in an impassioned, mutually well-mannered discussion, when we're focused fully on solving a puzzle or finding a solution, when we're engaged in performing, speaking, teaching, or giving a presentation in front of others (not when we're having stage-fright, self-doubt, or anxiety), when we're focused fully on a specific task or project. A teacher who is lecturing enthusiastically about her or his subject would be in "up-time". A biologist who is excitedly explaining about her or his latest animal research expedition (picture the late Steve Irwin, RIP) would be in "up-time". An artist who is passionately planning and creating her or his current project would be in "up-time". A comedian (famous or not) who is enjoying getting other in the room to laugh is in "up-time". A tax advisor who is confidently doing your taxes and explaining to you what, how, and why is probably in "up-time".

Narcissistic environments condition a target to believe that their OWN "uptime" is foolish and narcissistic. Targets are conditioned to believe that whatever they're working on is silly and unnecessary, a waste of time, and a waste of resources, no matter what it is.  Whatever they accomplish is either completely ignored, or labeled with something negative, no matter what it is. Whenever a target is engaged in doing something they enjoy, something they're good at, something they're accomplishing, or something they're focused on or learning, they are continuously interrupted, and/or subjected to shame and negative judgment. Targets of narcissistic individuals or groups are NOT given the same positive or even neutral feedback and treatment that others may take for granted, and this commonly results in a target feeling "always wrong" and "not belonging", or "not deserving of recognition or respect", which is pretty much the goal of most Narcissists.

 Targets may be sabotaged when they're in up-time so often that they can actually develop a fear of being in it. It can end up feeling like a bad thing to do, and can seem easier just to avoid it. However, avoiding up-time means literally avoiding one's own LIFE. Narcissists often feel CHALLENGED by others who are in up-time, unless that person is catering to their ego, and even then, they often still see the other person's focus and engagement in what they're doing as a challenge for their spotlight and their "special" position. They also see the other person being in  "uptime" as NOT CATERING TO THEM, SERVING THEM, APPLAUDING THEM, OR CARING FOR THEM. So they may try to sabotage those who appear to be in "uptime" with any kind of control and power plays that come to mind, overtly or covertly.

Individuals who are members of oppressed groups within any community or group experience much less up-time than those who are members of the oppressor group. Members of any oppressed group are continually expected and commanded to cater to the individuals in the oppressor group, and are constantly interrupted, shamed, and blocked from being in up-time. This practice ensures that the members of the oppressed group do not develop high self confidence, are blocked from developing their own skills and knowledge, are blocked from building strong reputations based on demonstrated skill and ability, and will then, therefore, be available to help facilitate and protect the up-time of individuals in the oppressor group.

Narcissism and up-time are not one in the same. Up-time is normal and healthy; it's what most children have before they start doubting themselves and becoming self-conscious. Narcissists are more often in up-time because of the simple fact that they rarely pause to help, to doubt themselves or to self-reflect; they always think they're "right" and superior to others, so even when someone proves them wrong, they just dismiss or delete it. Those who are often in up-time are not necessarily Narcissists, and not Narcissistic by default, and in fact can be very NON-Narcissistic. It depends solely on the individual.

Rachael Ray demonstrates being in "up-time" on her show very well. Tony Robbins, Steve Harvey, Katie Couric, Will Farrell, Barbara Walters, and Stevie Wonder seem to usually be in up-time. People who seem to always be ready-to-go and engaged in what they're doing, and not so distracted or crippled by worries, self-consciousness, and fears are generally in up-time.

Those who are in "uptime" are NOT under the control of the Narcissist, and are building and maintaining self-esteem. Sabotaging a target's "uptime" is one of the main goals of abuse.

Gaslighting is another common way Narcissists in particular sabotage a target's "up-time", because it causes self-doubt and self-consciousness.

Human beings who are Narcissistic find it very easy to remain in up-time, engaged in what they're doing and accomplishing, because they believe themselves to be entitled to not ever have to stop what they're doing to care for someone else. If they're impolite, uncaring, cruel, or neglectful, they don't care, all they're focused on is what they're doing and accomplishing. Therefore they are much less affected by Narcissists around them; they are always competing for the "top spot" anyway, so they're ALREADY trying to knock any "challengers" off their horse before they even show up.

Non-narcissists, however, will stop what they're engaged in doing in order to attend to other important matters. Non-narcissists are aware of other people and situations besides themselves, and are aware of the bigger picture, and how being mutually supportive and caring (not dominating and condescending) is essential for the well-being of the living world. In other words, the Non-Narcissist (father) will walk off their Golf Tour to be there for their child's birth, or attend the bedside of an ill or injured loved one. A Narcissist will "play through", and actually rationalize that it's more important. The Non-Narcissist friend or relative would be thinking of the well-being of the person who just lost their parent or spouse, and not at all focused on "what's in the will" or "what they can get" or "what they didn't get". Their focus will be on helping the person who is grieving make an easier transition, and help them feel respectfully supported. Narcissists, however, have the opposite thought process, and may even steal from, gaslight, or verbally attack the person who is grieving.

Narcissists can't stand to "have to" leave up-time for any reason, it makes them feel like they're being blocked, attacked, and sabotaged from carrying out their plans. They can feel like they're being pulled off-stage in the middle of an important performance.
This is a main reason why they can't stand caring for others, because you can't be onstage and fully in up-time and care for someone else at the same time. They don't want to stop their performance to listen to a child, or to hear someone else's point of view, or empathize with another person. They don't want to shut down their spotlight, slow down, or pull over to the side of the road, in order to reflect on the way they treat other people, their children, family members, patients, constituents, friends, or anyone else, or even how they treat themselves.

The analogy of the injured dog in the road demonstrates the difference between a Narcissist who refuses to leave up-time for any reason, and a non-narcissist. Two drivers are on their way to work, both are trying to make a good impression for an upcoming promotion, so they want to be on time for work today especially. Their minds are focused on getting to work early, and they're both planning their morning in their heads, talking on their Blue Tooth to their colleagues. Someone hits a Golden Retriever in front of the two drivers, and spins out of control, hitting a tree. The non-narcissist is fully aware of the time, chooses to pull over, checking on the driver of the car, and pulling the injured dog off of the road. The driver is dazed; the non-narcissist calls for help, and waits for the police and ambulance to arrive. No one is around to help the dog, so the police help the non-narcissist put her in the back of the car to be driven to a veterinarian. The non-narcissist calls the office and informs them that there has been an emergency, and they will be late.
The Narcissist, on the other hand, is long gone, having pulled around the whole thing. The Narcissist did drive slowly past, looking to see if the person who hit the tree appeared severely injured (through the open window), and since there was no blood or obvious injury, the Narcissist sped to work to get there on time, to make that good impression. They never stop talking on their Blue Tooth, keeping the thread of the conversation about their coming day. The Narcissist later says that it was because someone else had pulled over, but the truth is the Narcissist didn't even ask or wait to see if help was needed, they were just glad there was enough room to pull around. They are, however, keen on talking about witnessing the whole thing when they get to work.

One of the main goals for healing is to be in "up-time" once again.
Being in up-time with minimal self-sabotaging behaviors and and self-defeating or hostile habits, and with positive, helpful, focused behaviors and habits, is the optimum goal.
(We take our automatic behaviors and habits with us into up-time, which becomes evident when observing Narcissists, so self-reflection and healthy "down-time", where we can examine and re-wire our behaviors and perceptions are just as important. We usually learn self-defeating "coping skills" when we've been through abuse, and we can take them with us when we remember how to be in up-time again, so that's part of the healing process as well.)


Pronunciation: (up'tīm")
1. the time during which a machine or piece of equipment, as a computer, is operating or can be operated.