If you know a narcissist's history, you will usually see a track of mysterious upheavals in his life. He suddenly up and moves to a different school or job in a different town every few years. That is, every time the good angels in his Pathological Space start comparing notes, get his number, and become enraged. In one narcissist I know of, these upheavals began with one in the eighth grade. "What Makes Narcissists Tick" pg. 79
In other words, once the narcissist has crapped enough in one place and it begins to stink they have to move on. The pile of excrement near the narcissist has made it clear to others who is doing the crapping. All that dung is what we call 'exposure'. Thus requiring a new scene for the narcissist.
This history of past upheavals can be more subtle than the narcissist having to physically pull up stakes and move to a new place. My own mother demonstrates the subtler version of past upheavals. She has lived in the same city now since 1970. She has lived in the same house in that city for 33 years. Obviously, evidence of past upheavals would not be evident to most people who know her now. Only those who have known her the longest are able to see the history of upheaval in her social circles. As I look back over her life for the last four decades it is very evident that she indeed does defecate all over her Pathological Space requiring her to abandon particular social circles with predictable regularity. This has been repeated over, and over, and over again. Of course, she finds a way to make it look like she dumped them and not vice versa so it always appears on the surface that she was the one wronged in some way requiring her to get rid of those "bad" people. At least, she tells the story that way. This is what Kathy is talking about though. If you are acquainted with someone who keeps telling you about how they had to get rid of this person, that person and the other person where all the blame rests on the other party -- you are witnessing a "history of past upheavals" and it is a sign you are looking at a narcissist. Moving about geographically is only one outward sign of past upheavals. High turnover in social circles and relationships is the subtler sign. I call it subtler because it requires a knowledge of that person's social history for you to follow the trend.
Kathy stated that, "every time the good angels in his Pathological Space start comparing notes, get his number, and become enraged" that it forces the narcissist to fold up his tent and move away. It is possible that the narcissist you know has managed to arrange a Pathological Space where there are no "good angels" to hold him or her to account.
Sometimes the narcissist is able to form a family circle (or any social circle) in which there are no dissenters. Either the dissenters have fled or have been forcefully ousted by the majority rule of the narcissist and his underlings. For an extreme example of this we have Fred Phelps. He has formed a church which is entirely populated with his own family members. Only a couple of his children have escaped Fred's cultish family. But most are still firmly in his clutches, some of which are demonstrating they are lesser narcissists in his kingdom. Fred has managed to form a large enough circle of pathological people (shaped from infancy by his pathology) to ensure that there is never a "critical mass" of good angels that can gather enough power or influence to force him to move on. This scenario of the narcissist gaining a large enough mass of sychophants, enablers, beta narcissists in his Pathological Space means it can camoflage this red flag to onlookers and acquaintances. Beware. In this case look for a cult following. If you find a person with a cult-leader type of effect on the people in his social circle then you can be damned sure you're looking at a narcissist. In a cult-type setting it always looks like the "Cult Leader" is the immovable rock never having to vacate his setting but forcing out those who don't fit in. It is a fake-out form of stability. Remember that families can be cult-like in construct.
The next red flag is, "Hated for Mysterious Reason by People Close to Them":
In fact, another red flag is being hated -- I mean really hated -- for mysterious reasons. And by people that hating is uncharacteristic of. If, say, a person's adult son or daughter doesn't even visit him in the hospital or go to his funeral,* there is a heavy-duty reason for that. Fortunately, it's not our responsibility to judge. But we do need to appreciate the weight of such a startling fact. People do things for reasons. They are not always good reasons or just reasons, but people do things for reasons.
*Good examples: Abraham Lincoln did not go to his father's funeral, and Barbara Bush did not go to her mother's funeral. "What Makes Narcissist Tick", pg. 79
This red flag is well understood by those of us who have been through hell with a narcissist and found ourselves loathing them and forcing no contact for our protection. We would be very unlikely to judge someone else harshly if we found out they had inordinate hatred for a particular person even a parent or sibling. So this red flag is one most of us would readily understand. Unfortunately, most people out there in the world do not have any of this understanding. They are far too quick to judge what they don't know. They are quick to condemn our hatred of a malignant narcissist as being wrong. They are naive to a fault about people who are capable of earning such hatred -- so they condemn us. This red flag should be put on billboards and written with sky-writing: Respect the fact that people do things for reasons therefore don't be willing to judge what you know nothing of.
Remember, Kathy is talking about a mysterious, intense hatred for a particular person in someone whom you know doesn't go around routinely hating people. Narcissists, on the other hand, have a very long "enemies list" so it can't be said it is uncharacteristic of them to hate others. It is their default and normal setting. But when you meet someone who typically gets along well with most people then know for sure that if they hate someone there is a reason for it. It isn't for you to judge whether or not the reason is "good." Frankly, it isn't anyone's damn business.
The extent to which an individual will pursue their quest for power is determined only by what they feel they can get away with. No small part of this is how much they fear authority or the law. The narcissist mother will not pursue absolute power to the degree that the psychopathic serial killer will. But make no mistake -- both are consumed by the quest for power over others. Unchecked pursuit of power is destructive and merciless as well as escalating. As Proverbs 27:20 says in the Contemporary English Version, "Death and the grave are never satisfied, and neither are we." The grave never protests when someone dies, "We're full up here. We aren't accepting any more death, sorry." Death is always ready to open up her insatiable arms for yet another. So is the lust that drives the malignant narcissist of all brands and stripes. Never satisfied. Never satiated. Never content. Never full.
Kathy Krajco defined what absolute power looks like:
What is absolute power? It's absolute control, possession. Surely you have recognized the lust for it in the bizarre crimes committed by psychopaths. Mike DeBardeleben, a sexual sadist serving a life sentence wrote in his journal that it is "to force her to undergo suffering without her being able to defend herself."
"Without her being able to defend herself" are the key words. It isn't enough to torment the victim: this must be done in a way that keeps her from resisting. That's absolute power, possession...
This is the ultimate in mental cruelty = making the victim bend over for it. Then the sick-o gets to pretend that the victim truly does "want it," has ceased to exist as a person (with a free will) and is but an appendage of his that he thus "proves" his absolute power over.
All narcissists do this in one way of another: they don't merely abuse, they FORCE SUBMISSION TO ABUSE. This makes them God, whose punishing wounds we are to shamefully accept as our fault. We are not to resist: we are to simply hang our heads as deserving of them... "What Makes Narcissists Tick" pgs. 104-105
Notice that what is required for this to work is for the narcissist to completely disarm their victims. No right to self-defense is allowed! This is what they must strip you of first before they can go on to pretend that you are submitting to them of your own free will. Like they deserve such submission and like you've freely given it. Either they will use psychological tactics to get you to feel you have no right to defend yourself, or, as in the case of the serial killer, they will arrange your physical circumstances to make it impossible for you to defend yourself and then break you down mentally.
I made an argument in this post that your most fundamental right as a living being is the right to self-defense. It is this very right which the narcissist will first try to convince you that you don't have. It is the right that the proxies and bystanders will tell you that you don't have. "Turn the other cheek" is the pious phrasing far too many victims of abusers have gotten for advice when they desperately have sought for help with their situation. It is essential that victims of narcissists are re-armed with the knowledge of their right to self-defense if they are ever going to be able to resist and break the narcissist's power over them.
Knowing that a narcissist is driven by their need for power over others, and knowing they are always in search of this headiest drug which is absolute power over others, then you'll also be aware that they must force your submission in order to feel powerful over you. All this leads straight to the fact that a narcissist must deprive you of your right to defend yourself to accomplish this. They will always do this by fraud, lies, and threats. They will bring in their proxies to help them get you to submit to that which no one should ever have to submit to. They want to be able to pretend that your forced submission is a real submission...and this can only be done if they successfully deprive you of your ability to defend yourself. Can you see how incredibly important it is to be fully aware of your right to NOT submit to abuse? I am convinced that no one breaks free of the power of a narcissist over them until they are able to claim for themselves the right to self-defense.
It is important to mention here one very tricky sleight-of-hand that a narcissist does to disarm someone from self-defense. This is accomplished by intentionally mislabeling your defensive behaviors as being "retribution" or "vengeance". They accuse you of hurting them. They pretend to know your motives and lay the accusation that any efforts you make to defend yourself are actually coming from your desire to hurt them. If they can convince you that you are being vengeful, or at least if they can convince you that others see you as being vengeful, then they can shut you down. Force your submission once again. This happens very often when a victim of a narcissist goes into no contact. The pious howling of the narcissist contends that your cutting them off is itself abusive and is therefore coming from a spirit of malice and revenge on your part. Your act of "no contact", which is as mild and non-reproachful of a way of dealing with a serial abuser that there is, becomes conflated to be proof of your cruelty, malice, and vengeance. Don't fall for such insane logic! Don't let someone convince you of having motives you don't have! Don't let the narcissist disarm you that easily!
I used "no contact" as merely one example of self-defense that can be mislabled by the narcissist. Any type of self-defense can be characterized this way by the narcissist and will be. Expect it. Be prepared for it. Don't fall for it.
As I've been writing this I've had a clear memory of my mother quite literally demanding that I "bend over for it." For the first ten years of my life spankings were dished out frequently. For a period of time when I was around five or six the spankings were daily events. My mother was nearly always in a foul temper and the slightest infraction would be severely punished. Here's how it would go.
I would be called into her bedroom. Many times both my sister and I were summoned at the same time. My mother would then, through her teeth, demand we stand at the foot of her bed and bend over for our spanking.
The reflexive reaction of someone anticipating pain on their backside is to protect that backside. The hands would go over our asses. The act of having to willfully bend over the bed was also contrary to the desire to protect oneself. I remember with perfect clarity the terrible stiffness of my posture as I had to work with all my power to force myself to bend over for what was coming. Then, if my little hands were still covering my butt my mother wouldn't spank. She would grit her teeth until I could hear them grind and demand that I put my hands in front of me. I don't know that I can describe the intense difficulty with which this was accomplished on my part. The fear of her rage escalating and punishment becoming even worse is how I convinced myself to comply.
I have no doubt now as I look back on this scene repeated so many times over in my life that my mother could pretend I believed I was deserving of every ounce of her rage and punishment because I would cooperate by bending over and not in any way resisting my punishment. She taught us from our earliest moments that if we ever attempted to run away from her when she came for us that it would be punished with overwhelming force. So, there were no chases around that bed or the house. No, every vestige of resistance was removed before she would commence pounding our asses. I have no memory of her ever spanking me while my hands were still covering my backside. She waited as long as it took to get the total compliance that must have made these sessions such a pleasure for her sadistic torture of her children.
My mother removed all other of my rights to self-defense as well, but the above is the most literal example of her demanding that I "bend over for it." My mother has for most of her life gotten most of her narcissistic thrills from the children in her power which included other people's children that were entrusted to her care. (How well do you know your daycare worker, hmm?)
She worked tirelessly to ensure that I didn't try to defend myself psychologically from her predations as well. All signs of resistance were squelched with ferocity and swiftness. I had to go "underground" in my resistance. It was a profound secret. I had to reach my mid-teens before I mounted an organized mental resistance to her cruelties and torments. All this was accomplished in the privacy of my thoughts. This is really the only place that children can resist the power of a narcissist's control. In their thought life. Never condemn a child for their compliance to an abusive parent. The parent holds absolute control over that child's life. The child is only trying to survive. The most sad thing is that many of these children grow up still convinced they have no right to defend themselves or their own children from the narcissist thus forcing subsequent generations to be blood supply for the vampiric family narcissist(s).
Remember, self-defense is directly related to the right to live. The narcissist makes their "living" by denying you have a right to live your own life. They will work tirelessly to convince you that "resistance if futile; you will be assimilated"...to quote the Borg in Star Trek. You don't have to be assimilated. Even if you are presently in a situation where it appears you have no power...you have your own mind. All self-defense starts there. In your private thoughts. Nurture those thoughts and circumstance will afford you opportunity at some point to escape because you'll be looking for those circumstances and will be ready to seize them the moment they appear.
Then there is the other side of the coin, which is an even more menacing sign of bad faith -- what narcissists do to the images of others. Consumed with pathological envy, they make themselves look good the bogus way, by making others look bad.
In other words, malignant narcissists feel that praiseworthy information about you diminishes them, and they feel that denigrating information about you elevates them. Hence, like the raptor, narcissists must tear their betters "down off that pedestal" by maligning them. Therefore "malignant" is a good name for malignant narcissists, because every malignant narcissist's middle name is Malign.
Overall, individuals high in narcissism displayed amplified responses to social comparison information, experiencing greater positive affect from downward comparisons and greater hostile affect from upward comparisons.
--Bogart, L.M., Benotsh, E.G. and Pavlovic, J.D. (2004), Feeling Superior but Threatened: The Relation of Narcissism to Social Comparison, Basic and Applied Social Psychology, Vol. 26, Iss.1, pp. 35-44
Whom do narcissists malign? Almost everyone. If you suspect someone of being a narcissist, praise a person who obviously deserves it to him or her and observe their reaction. It shows.
Narcissistic rage, character assassination and projection are some of the overt ways in which the narcissist expresses himself. For example, she may envy a work colleague's beauty, and project her feelings into her colleague by accusing her of being envious.
-- Winning Teams: Can You Recognize a Narcissist? online at http://www.winning-teams.com/recognizenarcissist.html
Malignant narcissists speak well of very few others. Only their narcissistic parent (when no longer vulnerable to that parent) and anyone they can aggrandize themselves by association with at others' expense.
For example, if you don't get along with someone, the narcissist will say, "I get along with him fine." He will have nothing but praise for that person. Likewise, if you got bad service at a restaurant, the narcissist will say, "They gave me excellent service." The narcissist praises the other because it reflects badly on you and well on him.
Similarly, the narcissist with a trophy wife goes around praising her beauty. He's aggrandizing himself by association with her. And at the expense of everyone not good enough to win a trophy wife like his. He'll likewise aggrandize himself by association with some important person he knows, praising that person everywhere he goes to name-drop.
But such special cases are the only ones you hear a good word about from a narcissist. In fact, a narcissist will stubbornly refuse to admit any fault in them at all. They are ideal, perfect in his or her eyes.
But the rest of humanity get the opposite. Often, narcissists glibly sneak bad ideas about others into your head. They do this by chipping away at that person's image subtly and relentlessly every time they mention him or her. Often perfuming the bad offering to cover up its smell.
An example is the man who never spoke of his wife except when talking about something else and laughing that, "Yeah, and the wife got pretty shook up about it."
That doesn't sound so bad, does it? But often this was pure fiction. More important, is that the way you'd like to hear yourself spoken of? Is that the way you'd talk about someone you want others to like? What type of picture does that paint of her? Is his talk of her tending to make people think well of her and respect her? Does it endear her to them?
That narcissist would have blown a gasket if anyone had ever described him as easily shook up. Yet for forty years he relentlessly chipped away at his wife's image with little vandalizing remarks like that, never saying anything about her that made you tend to like and admire her. Always characterizing her in a way that diminished her.
In fact, this "shook up" thing is almost cultural, used by many men on women. So, ladies, here's a bazooka: Beat him to the punch in saying it -- tell him not to get "shook up," and watch the stunned look on his face. He suddenly will see offense in that remark.
However subtle the vandalism may be, you never hear a narcissist say anything about anyone that you would like to hear said about you.
Worse, narcissists are gossips. They eagerly listen to and spread slander. They are self-righteous finger-pointers, pulling the same stunt Lucifer did in the old Gnostic myth about Lucifer coming before God everyday and accusing the other angels of being bad. The result was "war in high places" until the good angels, lead by St. Michael the Archangel, cast down Lucifer (now called "Satan," that is, "the slanderer") to the status they deserve.
Narcissists can make it sound like a virtue, but giving others a bad name isn't a good deed. Even if the report is true, it cannot possibly be done in the spirit of goodwill unless it is done in true witness -- that is, responsible witness, on the record, not behind the back. Just because the badmouth perfumes his speech with words like love and Christian and concern and for the sake of our children (always the justification when there is no justification) and sports a halo does not change the spirit in which slander is done...
...If you know that narcissists are inveterate character assassins, it's easy to spot them. A narcissist has a trail of trashed good names and careers in his wake. He will even have told you strange and terrible lies about the people in his own immediate family.
If you know the person he is telling you something strange about, compare the accusation with your own observations. A narcissist will have ignored that person's real faults and smeared one of his or her virtues as a vice! And, if you know the narcissist, you'll find the narcissist himself is guilty of the very thing he's accusing this other person of.
It is rather disturbing to see how "okay" other people can be when they witness someone's image being vandalized and complacently go along with it. When the victim of the vandalizing protests then the victim is only providing some kind of "proof" of the false characterization of themselves. Shocking, really, to see how much people enjoy seeing other people's efforts and image get vandalized.My dear ol' Ma was guilty of this little game after I had restricted her contact with me to only the written word in the wake of her disastrous visit to my home Thanksgiving 2002. In the two and a half years that followed this event I was still in contact with people who were in direct contact with my mother (as well as being still in contact by letter with my mother). This was unfortunate for her because I kept finding out what she was saying behind my back which, of course, was quite different than what she was willing to say to me directly.
For the first time in my life I had taken a very strong stand against her. Yes, many times before I had quietly bucked her, but now I wasn't pulling any punches with her. I clearly spelled out my objections to her behavior in my home and demanded accountability. What does she do? While mouthing artistic non-apologies to me she was singing a different song to the people around her. Here it was that the vandalism to my character began and here is how it went.
"Anna is having a hard time right now. I know that I have not been a perfect mother and this has made life very hard for Anna. She is battling with some issues from her childhood. It is so hard to see her struggling with this right now."
Oh, my freaking goodness. My mother at this time was terrified of me because I was showing real strength. She was cowering and simpering while trying to placate me. But behind my back she tries to look like the concerned mother who is watching her daughter's mental health deteriorate. So she smears my virtue (strength of character) with its opposite, weakness. She portrays me to others as being stuck in my "childhood issues" and as acting out against her because of my brokenness. I had finally grown up and was acting from principle where she was concerned and she would tell others that I was retrograding into a helpless child battling old demons. This was not said in a spirit of good will. This was intentional slander.
To say the least, I was infuriated by her perfidy. Especially since she had not even hinted to me any of this angle. It was totally and completely a concoction for her friends to smear me and thereby portray herself as a poor mother who has made a few mistakes and was therefore having to endure the heartbreak of watching a dear child decompensate mentally and emotionally.
All this vandalism was done with the soft tones of a broken-hearted mother. I'm sure her audiences pitied her grief on my behalf. I'm also sure they tried to hearten her with their deprecations of my ungrateful treatment of her.
I'm still disgusted with her for this. So underhanded. So utterly false. And it was a lie. She knew it was a lie. Yet again, in yet another way, she sacrificed one of her children on the altar of her self-worship. The child must die so the mother can live.
The slander and gossip can be done in such a way that it looks like the narcissist is filled with compassion for you. But like Kathy said, "However subtle the vandalism may be, you never hear a narcissist say anything about anyone that you would like to hear said about you."
There is a nasty tendency among all humanity to enjoy hearing nasty crap told about someone else. This gives the narcissists a real edge in life. Too often their hearers credit their slander and gossip with being truthful. If you don't already, rein in your credulity when confronted with some subtle or overt assault on another person's character. Change your knee-jerk response from looking askance at the person being gossiped about to looking askance at the person in front of you saying things that ding another person's character. Unless, like Kathy says, "it is done in true witness -- that is, responsible witness, on the record, not behind the back."
It occurs to me that some may accuse me of doing this very thing to my mother on my blog. I don't show my real name in order to hide the real names of my family, and my mother doesn't know of the existence of this blog. Doesn't that make me into the one who is slandering her behind her back? To that I simply say that I've put it all on the record with my mother. I have the paperwork to prove it. I've said nothing here that I haven't already dealt with her on. I'm on the record with my mother, father and sister. Names are changed here to protect the guilty, not the innocent. There is nothing here on this blog that I would be ashamed to have any of them read. I know it's the truth and so would they.
It is the restraining influence of my husband that has prevented me from sending them links to these pages. A very large part of me would love for them to read every word here. I agree with my husband, though, that it would be better that they found it on their own because otherwise they would accuse me of being unnecessarily unkind by forcing the knowledge that this blog exists onto them. It would support their accusations that I was doing this out of vindictiveness toward them. And since that is in no way true I will not do something to help them support that kind of accusation. I am motivated by compassion not revenge. Compassion for the victims of narcissism...not misplaced compassion for the narcissists nor some petty revenge. There are much better ways to get revenge than this if I was so inclined.
There are other good points Kathy has made in this section that I haven't commented or elaborated on. Ya'll can do that yourselves in the comments section.
I think I will, for the sake of future discussions along this line, clarify my position. I think my position is already clear but I'll make it more clear just because the emotionality of this subject seems to disengage some people's logic centers. I speak of those of the Never Give Up, Never Surrender ilk.
Here is what I haven't said. I haven't said that God can't save the narcissist. In fact, I've said the opposite. I have said that God can save the narcissist but with the addendum that He doesn't need YOU to do it! We must have an expiration date on our patience with evil doers.
A year ago I dealt at length with one of the apostle Paul's very clear commands concerning what we should do about those who practice evil in the church family (and by extension, our own families) in the post titled "From Such Turn Away". I don't believe that "love thy neighbor" negates the force of Paul's command. You can't take one text to annul another text and properly exegete the Bible. Context is everything. Too often people make a passage say something it isn't by not putting it into context. Apparent contradictions can be explained when one takes the effort to understand the big picture. I want to present a bigger picture on the Biblical view of what God's people are expected to do about evil in their midst by adding a few more texts into the mix.
Whether one reads the Old Testament or the New Testament it becomes clear rather quickly that God teaches that evil is contagious. There are so many parts of Scripture that teach this it would become very cumbersome to try to list them all. This truth is a given throughout all the Bible and is the very core understanding that is central to every Biblical command to separate from evildoers -- especially and primarily evildoers in the church and home.
It is this core truth which those Christians who insist on eternal patience with evil doers must either ignore willfully or who are just ignorant of all together. I'll say it again: evil is contagious. It is contagious because evil isn't satified to be evil all by itself. It actively works to co-opt you into its evil. And when you join them in their evil they applaud and approve of you (Romans 1:32).
You, the reader of this blog, have likely seen enough of the world and life to have your own observations to call upon to illustrate this truth. You've seen the contagion of evil infect from person to person in your own family. Or the workplace. Or perhaps you've found yourself co-opted for a time into someone else's evil deeds. The understanding that evil is contagious is understood by all good parents. Most parents will guard the associations of their children because they know that bad influences are very likely to lead children and teens into bad behaviors. Evil doers are never satisfied to be alone in their deeds. They want accomplices. To corrupt their peers is essential in order to be able to carry on their evil with a minimum of moral judgment or risk of exposure. Evil doers are not confined by truth or by morality if it stands in the way of getting what they want. So this amplifies the persuasive power of evil. Because it can and does lie to get its way; because it can create a false reality; because it can use the implements of cruelty, bribery, violence and exercise of any and all power it may possess without moral considerations -- all this increases the likelihood that evil doers will create other evil doers.
Having elaborated a bit in the paragraph above about the FACT that evil is like a virus that will infect those who remain in close contact with it I have again underlined the central reason I so energetically urge "no contact" with the malignant narcissist. To avoid picking up their traits, to avoid being used by them as a "cat's paw" to hurt others, to avoid becoming indifferent to evil and therefore more likely to be evil oneself, it is essential to separate yourself from it. For a Christian to urge the opposite is to reveal themselves to be profoundly ignorant of the Bible or, I fear, profoundly over-confident of their ability to not be co-opted by evil. A confidence the Scriptures do not urge us to have!
Another aspect of my urging "no contact" with evil doers is your responsibility to protect the most vulnerable and most innocent ones whom you are in a position to protect. This, too, is the Biblical view as the Bible holds those in positions of authority responsible for the temporal and eternal well-being of those in their care. So, even if you feel overly confident of your imperviousness to yielding to evil doers in your family or church I do not see on what basis you are confident of the unyielding nature of the vulnerable and innocent in your charge. Parents are responsible before God to protect their young from evil, church leaders for their 'flock', kings for their people, etc.
Evil doers in the family are not granted a special exemption by God! Evil doers are in the best position to harm those who are closest to them by reason of familial ties. Family ties are not any justification for evil else we condemn each new generation to endless repetititions of evil doers in the familial circle. The cycle has to be broken at some point or entire families will be destroyed. There are historical examples of this going back as far as recorded history goes. Like begets like. Evil spreads. Entire nations can be eventually consumed by unchecked evil in families.
All this means that Christians who agitate for the idea that we are not true, loving Christians if we don't emulate their own eternal patience with evil are actually only perpetuating evil rather than spreading good as they claim. Eternal patience with evil is equal with being a despiser of the good and the innocent!
Don't be cowed by the unflinching self-righteousness of those who claim to be better than you because they won't give up hope that God will save the narcissist. Recognize the false premise in their reasoning. They reason thus: if you walk away (i.e. give up on) the narcissist you have, at the same time, shown that you don't believe God can save the narcissist. Walking away says no such thing! God is not rendered powerless to save anyone just because you've had to go 'no contact' to end your exposure to their evil! Where in the Bible has God said that every person we will ever come in contact with will be saved by God through us?? It is no where even hinted at such a notion. The arrogance inherent in believing that God can only use YOU to save a particular person is quite odious when you recognize it for what it is. You are not that important. Or powerful. Get over yourself.
Some more texts to consider carefully because they enjoin us to separate from evil doers and trouble-makers.
Romans 16:17-18. Notice that those who are co-opted by the "divisive" ones are called naive. Other versions use the term "simple" or "simpletons". The Bible marks those Christians who can't discern the evil acts of their brothers in Christ to be simpletons. Remember that when one of those simpletons come to you to accuse you of being ignorant! Oh, the irony of it. Also remember that the Christian church is called a family and its structure is modelled on the family. What applies to the church family can be rightly applied to the family you were born into.
1 Corinthians 5:9-13. As in Paul's instruction to Timothy where he says "from such turn away" Paul is very specific about whom we should be shunning in his letter to the Corinthians. He says that if he told God's church to turn away from ALL evil doers then the Christian would have to leave the world. Paul says this is obviously impossible so obviously he wasn't telling Christians to avoid all the evil doers in the world. He was telling them how to deal with those in the church. This is entirely consistent with the view of the contagiousness of evil. That evil which is closest to us is the most dangerous form. Paul was much more concerned about prospering evil doers in the church than in the world at large because evil disguising itself in Christian garb is much more persuasive to other Christians than some stranger outside the circle of the church family. He concludes his admonition with this unequivocal command which is a quote from the Old Testament (Deut. 13:5), "Expel the wicked man from among you." There is no special clemency for evil doers just because they are in the family. The very opposite is true. Paul is clear that we are to judge those closest to us...not those furthest away. Those who call themselves family (church or birth) are the most accountable to us for their behavior!
The law that was handed down in the book of Deuteronomy was to govern the family of Israel. Israel was a family, a denominated church and a nation all rolled into one. We can learn much from God's commands to Israel about both church and family government. We don't see God telling His people to cut extra slack to evil doers in their families or nation. No slack cutting...cut them off is the command! Paul's quoting of this command in the New Testament shows that its instruction is in full force for the Christian.
Please note that Paul puts sexual immorality next to greed. Idolatry is just as evil as slander. A drunk is as evil as the swindler. However you may categorize evil, if you call yourself Christian I hope you won't put yourself above Paul and describe greed or slander as less evil than the other sins listed. The habit of those who've long lived with the evil narcissist have usually come to excuse greater sins than these in them. Don't minimize what the Bible calls evil and exhorts you to separate yourself from!
Psalm 26:4-5, NIV A psalm of David. "I do not sit with deceitful men nor do I consort with hypocrites; I abhor the assembly of evildoers and refuse to sit with the wicked." Which Christian is it who can claim to be better esteemed of God than David? I daresay, none. Will you show your greater righteousness by sitting with the wicked and joining in their assemblies?
Psalm 97:10, NIV "Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked." Are you better than the Lord Himself? He hates evil. Do you? Notice the promise of deliverance from the hand of the wicked. What would that be but a promise of 'no contact'. A blessed relief from their persecutions.
Proverbs 2 Click on the link to read its entirety. In it Solomon explains the blessings that proceed from listening to and acquiring wisdom and understanding. "Discretion will protect you,
and understanding will guard you. Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who leave the straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways." Wisdom and understanding are presented as the means whereby God can protect you from wicked people. Hello!!??? Can you hear me?? You can be an idiot and make it impossible for God to protect you! You were given a brain and are expected by God to use it. What does this chapter end with but this rather good news, "the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it." Again, I ask, who of you is better than God who cuts off the wicked? From my view none of you are better than God Himself. Therefore, I will not listen to you who believe that the "good" Christian will never cut off the malignant narcissist. I can only see you as a coddler of the wicked not a protector of the innocent and the virtuous. Your eternal patience for the evil doer is taken by them to be a license to continue on as they are. Never cutting them off allows the evil doer to feel justified in what they are and in what they do.
It is because God loves people that He instructs them to cut off the wicked. It is not from hatred of the evil person himself. God hates evil because it destroys the evil doer and all those in the evil doer's grasp. The Bible records that God has many times executed the death penalty upon the wicked and many choose to see Him as being too harsh for doing so. Yet they would forget the many crimes of the wicked to accuse God in that way. God has killed evil doers with the express purpose of saving those who are still save-able. He states clearly that He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. (Ezekiel 33:11) The destruction of the wicked is elsewhere called His "strange act" (Isaiah 28:21). Be assured, cutting off the wicked is an act of justice and mercy dispensed by God to preserve those not given over to evil. Don't pretend to be better than God Himself by refusing His instructions to distance yourself from those who won't distance themselves from evil deeds. He expects you to use wisdom. Wisdom is the conduit whereby He is able to shape circumstance to protect you. Wisdom is a function of logical thought. Which means you follow your head and not your fickle little heart when confronted with having to deal with evil. Family ties are not an automatic exemption from all instruction concerning evil. Family is more accountable to us, not less, for their closeness.
I'll say it one more time before closing. Cutting off the evil narcissist is not a commentary on your believing that God can't save that person. Going no contact with the malignant narcissist doesn't mean God has gone no contact with him. Please, don't be a simpleton. God can still reach them even if you never speak another word to them. Because the Biblical instruction to the Christian is unequivocal that we must "Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person", don't expect God's protection if you refuse His clear command on this point. And believe me, there will come a day when the trap springs and there will be no help for you.
"Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse." Prov. 2:11-12
"A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it." Prov. 22:3