When I married my ex-husband, I didn’t know that meant I was saying goodbye to happy birthdays and pleasant holidays. Or that family vacations would become awful experiences that couldn’t end fast enough. But then, I didn’t know I was saying I do to a narcissist, either.
Narcissists are jealous control freaks who always want to be the center of attention. They don’t want to share the spotlight and go to great lengths to make sure they don’t have to.
Imagine that your parents are throwing a party for your birthday, and you’ve been talking excitedly about it for weeks. Narcissists don’t experience joy, and they don’t want you to, either. So while you were looking forward to the celebration, the narcissist looked forward to ruining it.
On the morning of the big day, he starts a nasty argument, talking in circles to drag out the unpleasantness. By creating chaos, he dampens your spirit and saps your energy. Plus, your focus is on him, and not the party.
He accomplished his goals of getting your undivided attention and stealing your joy. You no longer look forward to the party. Instead, you dread it, proving to the narcissist that he’s still in control.
Narcissists Use Covert Tactics to Ruin Your Plans
Narcissists sabotage special occasions by using covert tactics that are impossible to prove. They hide your car keys to make you late or stop you from attending an event. They “accidentally” spill a drink on your new outfit, dismantle your car, or even put something in your food to make you sick.
Maybe you’re happy to be going to a family reunion. On the drive, the narcissist reminds you of a past argument with your parents. Before long, he’s trying to convince you that your whole damn family is against you. Even if you don’t believe him, the conversation exhausted you and ruined your pleasant mood.
Here’s another scenario:
You’re getting dressed for a Girl’s Night with an old friend you haven’t seen in years. Suddenly, the doorbell starts ringing nonstop. Irritated by the interruption, you open the door and the narcissist steps inside.
Giving no reason for the unexpected visit, he plops down on your sofa, picks up the remote control, and flips through the channels. Annoyed, you retreat to your bedroom to finish getting ready.
A few minutes later, the narc walks in your room. He tells you he’s leaving and will be in an area with bad cell phone reception. Relieved he’s leaving, you wonder why he even came by since you weren’t planning to call him, anyway.
Speaking of cell phones, you realize you haven’t seen yours in a while. As you look for it, you notice a stain on the new dress you bought for this night—a stain that wasn’t there earlier.
After failing to locate the phone, you wonder if you left it in the car. You go to grab your keys, but they’re not in the spot where you always hang them.
Now you have no phone, so you can’t call your friend, and you have no keys, so you can’t go anywhere. You’re pissed about the dress, but you have more to focus on now.
Now what? You still can’t make a call or go anywhere, and your only neighbor is out of town for a wedding. You’re stuck.
You spend the rest of the day fuming and tearing your house apart. Though you try desperately to find your phone and keys, you have no luck. You feel terrible about standing up your friend and spend a restless night, tossing and turning, in bed.
The next morning, the annoying sound of the doorbell ringing nonstop awakens you. Once again, the Narcissist is standing there, but he doesn’t try to come in this time. Instead, he smiles, holds out your phone and keys, and tells you he found them in his car.