Understanding Today's Narcissist
Understanding Today's Narcissist

Episode · 1 year ago

Narcissistic Mirroring

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Try to point out a narcissist’s mistakes and the attack is likely to be returned with force. Expect a narcissist to show understanding during a difficult time and the conversation will quickly be turned back towards the narcissist. Ask a narcissist to forgive an error in judgement and a detailed accounting of all blunders will be recounted.

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...some abuses dangerously obvious. While other types of abuse creep into our family DNA in covert ways, keeping family secrets, intimidation, the silent treatment and cyber bullying are just a few examples of the many forms of abuse with troubling outcomes. Often victims ask why did this happen to me or what can I do while abusers will excuse their behavior, asking why do you make me do this, victims and abusers can rewrite their stories, improve their relationships and break the cycle for their future generations. In Christine Hammond's latest book, abuse exposed, you will learn the wide range of types of abuse, both overt and covert the generational links to abuse, what to do before, during and after abuse, how to confront your abuser, how to talk to a victim of rape, finding forgiveness despite the pain, how to rewrite your story and avoid future problems and much much more. Look for...

Christine Hammond's latest book abuse exposed now available on amazon. This is understanding today's Narcissist brought to you in part by psych central dot com and now here's your host, Christine Hammond. Hi and welcome back today. I'm going to respond to to emails that I got from our listeners and I'm going to read you what the email says and I'm going to talk about it and I put the two together because they're very similar. So if you have a question and you are dying to ask me, go ahead. You can shoot me an email at any time. My email is grow with Christine at gmail dot com. That's G R...

O W W I T H C H R I S T I N E at gmail dot com. And so let me go ahead and read you these two and then we'll go ahead and talk about it. The first email says this. I wonder if you would consider doing a podcast episode on Narcissistic Mirroring and or other ways at the beginning, phases of a relationship with a narcissist can be blinding, misleading and make you feel extra safe with everything that is happening. Making it harder to see red flags for what they are and perhaps making someone extra vulnerable to being hooked or manipulated. So that was the first email, the second email I got very similar. Thank you for all the amazing resources you provide. Do you ever come across covert narcissists claiming to be empath or that others are not giving them enough...

...empathy? If so, would you ever consider doing a podcast about narcissists and their claims about themselves that go directly in contrast to their behavior? I feel like this has just been so hard to reconcile and make sense of. But I find some resources indicating that this happens to others too. Maybe it's related to projection. I have no idea. Just something that's been troubling for me with a narcissist in my life. Okay, so let's talk about this. I'm going to call this episode today narcissistic Mirroring. And we're going to talk a little bit about what that even means. So let me define narcissistic Mirroring what we're talking about when we're saying that is a narcissist who actually becomes more like you, in other words, kind of a chameleon ish, for lack of a better way of saying it when they first meet you in order to reel you in, they'll change their colors, they will look very much...

...like you. They'll probably have a lot of the same common interests that you do. They'll enjoy the same things including music, where you want to go out to eat, um like activities, they'll seem interested in what you want to do. Um and all of that is very um organic for them, it seems very natural. And then all of a sudden a switch flicks and that switch could be a committed relationship, It could be, you've moved in together, you're now officially partners. Um you've bought a house together, you got married, uh something in which indicates that the commitment is not just a casual dating thing, it is more of an ongoing dedication, commitment to one another. As soon as you've reached that threshold, that's where the tipping point comes and the Narcissist no longer has to maintain that image that they had created beforehand with you. And so both in behavior and an interest and even in...

...showing empathy, we see that with Narcissus and so they will take on whatever you are like. So if you're an empath, let's just use this as an example. If you are an empath and you feel very strongly about other people, um very sensitive to others. Emotions are aware of what others may or may be feeling, uh even though that other person may not be feeling it. Um and and you're just generally mps are very giving people of themselves too much. So, sometimes to a fault, um that's usually where if you're an empath, you get hung up. So, so you're an empath, you feel all of this stuff. And the narcissist that comes along in your life may initially show lots of empathy for other people, because they're mirroring you. They're copying what you do. So, they're reading your face really well, they're reading your body...

...language, their reading what matters to you, and they're joining in on the empathy, and what they're doing is they're doing this to gain your attention. Remember this goes back to another episode that we talked about what narcissists need as a daily feeding and its attention. Affirmation, affection and adoration. And so so they are getting those things by mirroring your behavior because you're more interested in them, you give them more attention. So then they do it more and that behavior gets reinforced in that way. That's what happens at the very beginning of a relationship. So if you're empathetic and the narcissist is mirroring your empathy, um it's gonna feel really normal and you're going to think that they are just as empathetic as you. Um and but there's still gonna be some little red flags, in other words, uh if you're not showing empathy for another person, that there therefore not going to be empathetic. In other words, they're not going to...

...fight you to be more empathetic in that moment. To the contrary, their empathy only extends to the certain limit of which your empathy extends. They're also going to expect slash demand an enormous amount of empathy for them. In other words, how they feel, how they're doing. They're going to expect that you have unbelievable amounts of empathy for them and what they're experiencing and if they don't feel like you are reciprocating that meaning that um that you are not having as much empathy for them is what they need. But you are showing empathy for other people greater than what you show for them. That's where it falls off the rails. And that's a really easy thing to actually test. So let's run that through real quick. What does that mean to test that? Out to sea? If this is a person for which you are going to have...

...this problem with? Um well you go to a dinner party. I know Covid all of that. That doesn't happen very much so. A family gathering. Um someplace in which there's other people around and you are expressing or showing empathy for an experience that somebody else is going through. Perhaps it's similar to what your narcissistic partner friend, however we want to call them at this stage of the game is starting to show. So something similar, like, maybe it's a job situation for which one of your friends is like, oh, you know, my job is really rough, It's terrible, blah, blah blah and you're showing empathy for them. But the narcissist when they ask for the same level of empathy, you withhold it just a little bit. And and if you can see what the reaction is to that, Like do they become immediately angry because you're not showing an appropriate amount of empathy, then that's a huge red flag for you. Do do they start to go off the rails because now you're giving somebody else...

...attention for something for which they feel that they should also have the same amount if not more attention. So that's another red flag that you can see at that moment. And those red flags are the beginning of what you would see later on after a commitment has been made, after they feel like they have roped you in. So I hope that explains a little bit more about what the Narcissistic mirroring looks like for you. Um It is really important that in the early stages if you start to see anything along these lines, that you just slow it down, slow the relationship down. Um Narcissists tend to move very fast in a relationship to get you together to keep you together to keep you staying put. Because they know that once you're roped in, it's gonna be really hard to untangle. So the best thing you can do for yourself, if you find you're curious about don't know, are still testing out to see...

...whether this person is narcissistic is slow the relationship down, do it to like a snail's pace and even set a boundary for the narcissist and saying, you know, I need the relationship to go this slow over this period of months and this is like at the level that I want to maintain it at. Remember that overall narcissists do not do well with boundaries. In fact, they hate them, especially when they are imposed on them rather than they being the ones that get to impose them on others. Love boundaries when they get to impose it on others. Hate it when it's imposed on them. So, so again, this is another way of testing it. I've done this under numerous times and counseling situations, whether we're just now dating or were considering a separation or we are separating, um we put a time period in there for which we say, okay from this time to this time, the relationship isn't going to move forward or we're going to do a separated arrangement for that period...

...of time. What you will find is that a narcissist cannot stand that, and they're always pushing for that to end sooner. Um rather than allowing the full time period to go down. Somebody who truly loves you and is willing to work with you and wants to have a healthy relationship with you will always respect your boundary of space and time. Um somebody who doesn't um is not a safe person. And so I I do want to just reiterate that for you and that if you are setting a boundary with a narcissist because you're worried that they might be mirroring you, they might be showing you one side. That's not true, you're concerned about them. There's some red flags that are going off, give them that space and time, see if they respected if they don't, then that's a very bad indicator that the relationship will probably go sour at some point in time. So I hope this really does help. Um And you have a better idea of what narcissistic mirroring is. Uh feel free. I like I...

...said to reach out to me and I'm happy to be able to respond and um and and go through your questions and concerns that you might have. Thanks for listening to understanding today's narcissist with Christine Hammond, brought to you in part by psych central dot com. For more information, visit, grow with Christine dot com.

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