A reader recently asked me the following question, and I think it’s an important one to ask: ¨If you figure out a narcissist quickly enough, can you make a clean break of it?¨
Narcissists are so adept at love-bombing that this typically does not happen. The best chance the partner has for a clean break is to listen to her/his intuition, and follow it. This means paying heed to the flashes of feeling, in the beginning, that something is just not right.
There are always red flags. It is typically the case that the partner feels uncomfortably overwhelmed by the narcissist in the initial stages of the relationship. There is a nagging feeling that it’s too much, it’s not a normal pace, and it needs to slow down. At the same time, the narcissist is spinning tales of being soulmates, future-faking, keeping the partner swooning and off-balance, and isolating her, making it very difficult for the her to be objective. She falls victim to her confirmation bias, which favors the narcissist.
The toxic dynamic that evolves between the narcissist and his/her partner is the natural result of psychological and emotional abuse so pernicious and severe that the inevitable outcome is a trauma bond, and a trauma bond is what constitutes a “relationship” with a narcissist. It will never be anything but this.
The total collapse of personal boundaries sets the stage for the narcissist’s devaluing, dis-integration, and dehumanization of the partner, and this lays the foundation of the trauma bond.
Never contend with with a man who has nothing to lose, for thereby, you enter into an unequal conflict. – Baltasar Gracian
(Read time 1-2 mins)
A collapsed narcissist is a narcissist who has experienced a severe enough narcissistic injury to have every piece of the scaffolding that holds up his false self, splinter and break, leaving him in a figurative heap on the floor. It may be so severe that he experiences disassociation temporarily. He has nothing to lose, no one to distract him, no one onto whom he project his inner hate, envy, rage and trash, no one to prop him up.
He is alone, and forced to deal with all of the darkness, turmoil and hate that he is typically able to avoid by inflicting it on his partner. He has to deal with himself, since he has no one to foist this onerous, toxic burden upon.
A collapsed narcissist can be dangerous. Being the target of a collapsed narcissist’s emotional frenzy, rage and wrath is very disturbing, distressing, and traumatic.