A sizeable portion of this post has been taken from what I have read at other sites. I have changed little as the essence of what I have come to understand has helped me to embrace my understanding of a journey with a previous friend.
And this testimonial concentrates on her narcissistic traits. I must point out that she has many good, positive traits which are not relevant to this post and are not discussed here. Therefore, the following passage puts a misleadingly negative light on her; however, I do want the following passage to be a useful illustration of what it is like to live with a narcissist.
I thought that my friend had suddenly developed a split personality and that this new unsavoury personality had taken the place of the charming personality which she hitherto had. I didn’t realise at the time that what I was experiencing was her private persona when before then I had only seen the public persona. Another factor which made me think of a split personality was the ‘gaslighting’ whereby she would one day say something quite definite and then a few days later insist on having said no such thing. She seemed sincere and convincing and the only explanation I could think of was a split personality whereby one personality did not know what the other personality had said.
There were some subtle signs that might have warned me about the problem. These signs are essentially the tip of a very big iceberg, but could help others to recognise a narcissist. These are:
* A tendency to criticise immediate family members a lot, to the extent of making them look foolish or incompetent or thoughtless or inconsiderate, and a tendency to criticise work colleagues and friends.
* Gaslighting, or saying something, and then later strongly denying having said it OR, claiming to have said something earlier, qualifying it with something like “you obviously were not listening when I told you”
* Frequently wanting to modify other people’s plans.
To be continued …