Why Narcissists have the Power to Make You Feel Crazy

by Caroline van Kimmenade

If you’ve ever tried to reason with a narcissist, you will no doubt have felt exasperated, confused… and wondered if you were crazy. I mean, you’re a pretty smart person, but somehow you just can’t follow their logic! 

Why is it that every time you feel like you get a little closer to understanding what’s going on, and what they want, you find out you’re all wrong, again? Where does this confusing rollercoaster end? Why won’t they just tell you what they need so you can finally get along? Why does it feel like you’re never on the same page, no matter how hard you try?

Well, as it turns out, there is a reason for that.

And it’s probably not what you think.

You see, when you approach a narcissist like a reasonable human being, you’ll get sucked in to a confusing hall of mirrors. Every time you get a glimpse of what might be going on, everything changes and you feel lost again.

It is what the narcissist says it is – or is it?

I remember a fight with a boyfriend in my twenties: whenever I tried to talk things out with him, we just ended up disagreeing over more things. Not only that, when I actually made a point he couldn’t ignore, he turned the tables on me by making up his own language rules.

I don’t remember what we were argueing about but lets say it was the color of apples. Let’s say he kept insisting apples were purple. Then when I gave him clear evidence that no apple is purple he said that he defines apples as purple balls, so “he was right”.

When I said language is a shared agreement about what words mean (because otherwise words can’t have meaning) he just replied that he decides what things mean to him. Sigh.

At the time, I really didn’t understand what was happening in this relationship. I tried so hard to understand him! And I tried so hard to get him to understand me!

The HSP-Narcissist Attraction Dynamic

In my twenties, I didn’t understand the HSP-narcissist dynamic. I didn’t know anything about narcissism. I just knew that no matter how hard I tried, I could never get on the same page with this guy. Somehow, any attempts at togetherness turned into a lot of work, all the time.

I was constantly working “at” the relationship. No matter how much I learned, it never got better. I never knew when the other shoe would drop, but I knew it would drop soon. Yet, despite all this anxiety, our relationship felt intensely meaningful to me.

Years later, I started to learn about narcissism. I started to see the way our relationship fell into a pattern. I learned about and started to write about narcissism. Eventually, I created a programme for HSPs on dealing with and healing from narcissistic abuse.

I credit your course materials enormously with getting through this entire drama!! Somehow, it is comforting to know that this behaviour is out there, that I am hardly the only one on the planet attempting to navigate horrible narcissistic behaviour, and getting caught in the “empath trap” of trying to help, put oneself in their shoes, etc. So, thank you very, very much.

Joyce – The No to Narcissists Programme for Highly Sensitive People

Narcissists are Emotional Abusers

There are a lot of things I didn’t know anything about in my 20’s. Including emotional abuse.

Oh wait, you mean that when he was forbidding me to eat any garlic, and insisted I only wear shoes he liked, and he didn’t want me to sing at all when I was around him, and he would lie to me to get me to go to places that he knew I hated … that was actually emotional abuse?

I didn’t know any of that at the time. I kind of figured that as long as someone wasn’t beating you and you also had some good times, the relationship was basically o.k. (I mean, you can work at making it better, right?)

Yeah, no.

It’s important for senstive, empathic women to learn more about narcissistic abuse because we tend to “over-compensate” for their egocentric bullying (so much so that we often don’t see the relationship for what it really is). We are the friendly, understanding yin to their anxious, selfish yang.

But, back to the main question of this article. Why do narcissists have this almost mystical power to make you feel crazy?

Narcissists are real masters at the art of confusion. It’s all smoke and mirrors! At the same time, there is a real reason they behave the way they do though. Let me explain in the video below:

Find out more about how the No to Narcissists Programme for Highly Sensitive People will make you resilient and calm in dealing with and healing from narcissistic abuse.

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