Narcissism. It’s the latest overused buzzword. Yet, narcissism is a growing problem, and it’s not about to go away. Narcissism is SIN. A narcissist is extremely self-centered, selfishly promoting oneself at all costs, in order to remain on an imaginary pedestal.
There are varying levels of narcissism. As someone becomes more selfish, that person becomes more self-centered, and in turn becomes blind to the needs and feelings of others. The self-centered narcissist is then no longer able to have compassion and empathy for other people. Narcissists expect to be the center of attention all the time, every time, believing that others’ lives should revolve around their own. In fact, narcissists get offended if not treated as the special beings they believe themselves to be.
Narcissists learn to fake the empathy and compassion they lack. They closely watch others, reading their facial expressions and mimicking voice inflections. They react by faking the false emotion which they think best fits the situation. Narcissists manipulate and control people like puppets, in order to keep the spotlight on themselves. They learn how to use self-pity to get others to do their dirty work, and thrive on stirring up drama. They are convincing liars, able to turn on a faucet of tears in order to reach their goal of getting their own way, and gaining more attention.
A narcissist feeds on “narcissistic supply.” This means they use others in order to get their emotional needs met. They don’t even mind some negative attention, which they would rather have than nothing at all. A narcissist will do whatever is necessary to get “narcissistic supply,” including: working overtime, committing adultery, forging false friendships, and tearing families apart. They jealously set out to destroy relationships, in order to prove that everyone “needs” them in a time of crisis. As the sin grows roots of bitterness, narcissists are willing to take extreme risks, including: placing their children in dangerous situations, taking on extra romantic partners, and falling into dangerous addictions. It’s all about generating narcissistic supply, in order to make other people believe that the narcissist is the personality he or she claims to be.
Narcissists come in all shapes and sizes. Some want to be looked at as powerful authority figures, while others want to be perceived as perfect church leaders. Others may want to be super mom, and still others as bold, fearless, and tough. Whichever role a narcissist chooses, it’s always for self-gratification. Narcissists are willing to lie, cheat, gossip, slander, and steal to make sure the desired facade is not broken.
Anyone who becomes a threat to the narcissist, by pulling away the false mask, is at risk of having the narcissist attempt to destroy his or her life. This is why many people choose the cowardly route, and instead side with the narcissist, in assigning the truth sayer a scapegoat role. The scapegoat gets blamed for the problems that actually belong to the narcissist. By projecting, the narcissist is often able to hide dysfunction and convince others that the everything is the scapegoat’s fault. The narcissist’s allies want to save their own hides, because they know that disagreeing with the narcissist will make their lives extremely difficult. A narcissist attempts to turn everyone else against the one person who actually sees the wolf in sheep’s clothing. This abusive, self-centered behavior is insidious, because it is all about pretending to be someone the narcissist is not. It’s about charming others and gaining their trust and dependence; then dropping them like hot coals.
Though a narcissist may not be able to feel true emotions, they feel something akin to deep depression when their main source of attention, or narcissistic supply, is cut off. They don’t actually care about the person missing from their lives; instead they care about themselves and how they are perceived in the public eye. Because people are normally trusting, a narcissist is able to weave his or her way into the lives of sensitive, empathetic people who never knew what was coming. The narcissist needs these people to survive, and fills up on their attention, like a car needs to fill its tank of gas. When the attention runs out, the narcissist is running on empty, and begins a desperate attempt to fill up his or her tank once again. It’s a never ending cycle, exhausting to those around the narcissist, who are required to meet outrageous expectations.
Because people have other things going on in their lives, no one has the energy or stamina to continuously cater to a narcissist. When people begin to back away, toxic fumes erupt, because the narcissist is angry and running on empty. The narcissist will stop at nothing to get you back as a source of self-esteem, and if you don’t cooperate, they are bound and determined to make sure you do. If you cross them, they will scapegoat you, and try to damage your reputation with gossip, lies, and slander. They will dump and discard you when you have nothing to give, and then try to win you back when they run out of supply.
Everything a narcissist does, is done with the intent to cast the narcissist in a positive light. Narcissists are people you know: mothers, fathers, children, bosses, teachers, neighbors, and more. Pay attention. They say and do things to show you how “wonderful” they are. They stop at nothing to keep their reputation intact. They fool many innocent people. This self-centeredness is so extreme that it cannot be fixed, or revealed, except by the grace of God.
As the world we know crumbles under more and more selfish sin, narcissism will become even more and more commonplace. However, with God, the silver lining is always in sight. There is healing in Jesus for victims of narcissism. Jesus can take away the trauma and pain caused by narcissistic abuse. Jesus can break every chain of depression, rejection, fear, guilt, shame, anger, anxiety, isolation, and abandonment that innocent people battle as they try to cope and pick up the pieces of their lost lives. How wonderful it is to know that you can be set free from believing the lies that a self-centered narcissist led you to believe about yourself.
Biblical boundaries are necessary when dealing with a narcissist, and in some cases may need to be set indefinitely. There’s another silver lining: As hard is it may be for some to comprehend, God loves narcissists too. Though the world will tell us there’s no hope for a narcissist, there is always hope for a narcissist’s transformation through repentance and forgiveness in Jesus. Nothing is impossible with God. Just as a victim of narcissism can be healed through the power and authority of Jesus Christ, and therefore no longer a victim, narcissists can seek God’s forgiveness through Jesus, and turn from the error of their ways. For God loves everyone, and Jesus died for the sins of us all.
Live your life having joy in Jesus. God has laid it upon my heart to help others learn how God can spiritually heal people hurting from narcissistic abuse. Jesus is our hope which leads to freedom. If you believe you are in the path of a narcissist, I encourage you to learn about this self-centered sin. Yet, remember to pray and pursue Christ as you do, understanding that God’s ways are not man’s ways. God will protect you, heal you, and be your strength and courage, because God is the one who is really in charge! God will give you wisdom and discernment and lead you to those who believe you and can help you.
It’s not God’s will for lives to be torn to shreds because of narcissism. Pursue God, and put your trust in Him. He has a much bigger plan, and He will use you to bring it to fruition if you let Him! God will pull you through it, giving you joy through Jesus…and God will get the glory!
God is the great redeemer. He restores relationships, takes the bad, and turns it into good. God’s timing is always best, so hold His hand on your journey, knowing He will never abandon you or disappoint you! God is love, and God loves you!
“The Silver Lining” will be addressing narcissistic topics more in depth. To find other related blog posts, go to The Silver Lining Blog, click the menu button, and click on the keyword “narcissism.” You can also join The Silver Lining on Facebook.
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God– having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”
2 Tim. 3:1-5 New International Version
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
2 Peter 3:9
13 thoughts on “Narcissism: Battling a Self-Centered Sin”
Narcissism seems to be the new way of life. Me, me, me!!! It is clear we have turned away from God and my prayer is that we as a people find our way back.
This is so true, Shelley. Commercials scream, “But I’m worth it!” I’m praying right along with you, my friend!”
Angela, thank you so much for this. I think maybe there aren’t very many people who don’t have a narcissist somewhere in their lives. This was very helpful.
Vicki, you are so correct. As our world becomes more and more self-centered, narcissism will be even more prevalent. But the good news is that WE in CHRIST, will WIN the battle! You’re so welcome; I’ll be writing much more on this topic to help those dealing with, and recovering from, narcissistic abuse. Thank you for stopping by. I treasure your friendship.
Great Article, thank you for having the courage to publish this.
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You are so welcome, Nancy. My courage comes from
Jesus, and my confidence is in Christ alone! I hope to help others find hope and freedom out of narcissistic abuse. There’s a better way! It’s God’s way!
This is a terrible way to live one’s life. Thank God that there’s healing in Jesus for those afflicted with this orientation. There’s more joy and peace in serving God and others than in being self-centered. Thanks for sharing.
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Edith, you have summed it up so beautifully: There is no joy in being self-centered. Those who focus on self lose out on so many of God’s blessings! God created us for fellowship; for lifting up and encouraging one another! Those caught up in the sinful stronghold of narcissism MUST repent, and submit to God through Jesus Christ! Only then will the walls come tumbling down so that they can begin their long (but worth it!) road to healing, and discover all the joys and gifts they are missing due to lack of empathy for others. Our hope comes only through Jesus Christ! ❤️ Thank you for your words of wisdom! May God richly bless your ministry, which is focused on our brothers and sisters in Christ! In Jesus’ name, much love to you and your loved ones! 💙
Hey, great article. Please check out my blog, I write in great detail about my experience with somebody with Narcissistic Personality Disorder or the many traits of narcissism and my recovery after the relationship. It would be great to get some feedback. http://www.recoveringfromnarcissisticabuse.wordpress.com
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Dear Recovering from Narcissistic Abuse…
Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I did check out your blog, and I will definitely be looking into it more. I see you surely understand the effects of narcissism and how damaging and deceitfully sneaky it is. I am so sorry that you were deeply hurt by a narcissist. Unfortunately, I understand your pain and your journey. I can help you here at The Silver Lining; because I’ve been released from narcissistic abuse and more; from Jesus who heals our deepest wounds, protects us, and gives us true freedom! I write about narcissistic abuse and healing here at my blog, and how Jesus can completely heal your heart! I hope you will subscribe, especially since there is a lot of info coming in June on this topic. There will be even more info on The Silver Lining Facebook ministry page at http://www.facebook.com/angelaslittleattic, where there is daily encouragement to give you a lift! If you ‘like’ the page, you will also find other posts by a variety of authors, including myself, who have been freed from narcissistic abuse, are now wiser, and have a desire to help others. I may even share one of your related posts. You can also message me from there from the page, until I have my blog email set up! 😊 I also have someone I’d like to connect you with, who has an ex-husband who is a narcissist. I think it will help you feel less alone, just as it did when I began to connect with other friends who were scapegoated and isolated from their families, because they have been deceived by a self-centered narcissist. There is no way we can make people see what we see; they have to make a choice to pursue JESUS and ask him what the truth really is. But we do have a choice about how we will live our own lives! I choose freedom, truth, and joy! The friend I recommended for you to connect with is named Stacey. Look for her upcoming guest post this month on my blog. She is full of wisdom and spiritual discernment. God is sending her on a brand new exciting journey in her new life! Your heart still needs lots of healing, and God can do that. Also writing your blog to help others is healing too! I believe that’s what God wants for us; healing for our own hearts because He loves us; making us stronger so we can heal others with hurting hearts! I’ll be sharing biblical truths to remind victims of narcissism that it’s never their fault, even if their entire family turns against them. Those who do not pursue JESUS, are blinded. They canNOT and will NOT see the truth about the traumatic damage, until they choose truth. As my friend, Cherilyn writes, the damage is “invisible.” I will be sharing her blog this weekend on my Facebook page. It WILL get better if you let Jesus do the “surgery.” He is The Great Physician. It may feel worse before it gets better, but it WILL get better! Stay in contact with those who believe you and support you. Stay out of contact with those who refuse to believe the truth. Narcissism is the sin of extreme self-centeredness. Those who fall for it, may seem happy, but their lives are in chaos, because they do not obey God and they don’t love Him. God takes care of His children, so do not give up! My homepage has a link for how to have a relationship with Jesus, if you don’t yet. This is key for healing from such insidious, invisible, tramautic abuse; and making sure you don’t fall prey to it again. Click on the topics “narcissism” and “spiritual abuse” on my homepage for more posts! I also have a post you should read called “12 Steps to Forgiveness with Boundaries.” I have lots more articles coming this summer with a new website, and healing from narcissistic abuse will be one of my main ministries. Prayers for your continued healing. please contact me if you’d like; prayer, counsel, or a listening ear. It’s NOT your fault you have loved someone who pretended to be someone he isn’t. It feels like a waste, but God can turn it all around for your good and His glory, just as He did for me! 💙🙏🏼😊
I’m looking forward to checking out your blog and leaving you some comments! 💙
Love your posts. Yoou are direct and factual and come from the heart which is what this abuse does the damage to. I was in a 20 year marriage to one and in the divorce he stole my children who are all narcs and getting worse. I have had no contact with my sons in 8 years and him and his narc wife in11. I was in a roommate situation for almost 5 years. Dated him briefly and when I realized what he was and what he had done that changed. I left 3 times and came back 2 times. He is a deviant, has made a baby with his daughter, etc. I am sure you can fill in the blanks. In the last departure after a month I had phone contact and saw him once in awhile. I never believed him. I think I thought I could show him a better path. I know let the giggling happen. It is 62 days of no contact…NONE. I did it and he had no idea it was coming. I have heard some say he will be back because I was his main supply. He is a drunk, addict, who is incredibly physically sick and had 3 major illnesses from his behavior. he is on his last legs. And at 56 he has a few more bumpy things to face. Words cannot explain the joy I feel. I am peeling off the layers and discovering me. I am 53 and this has been happening since I was a child. I have saved money and have done things people say are impossible. Two promotions in 8 weeks of work. Discovering me..absolutely amazing. I have not seen anyone call Narcs what they are. It is pure evil..not misunderstood..no..EVIL.
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Dear Hope, I’m glad you love my posts… and I am very sorry to hear that you have been a victim of narcissistic abuse. It is even more difficult to see a narcissistic, self-centered person for who that person really is, if you’ve been raised by one or two of them. This is because you are trained from childhood, so you haven’t known anything different. As bad as your situation has been, I am rejoicing with you that you have gotten away, and can now see the truth! Many people will never find out about the evil of narcissism, and will put up with it day after day, year after year; without ever knowing that the narcissistic, self-centered person has a sinful, spiritual issue; and truly does not care about anyone but self. Most people will continue to be used by conniving narcissists, because they refuse to pursue Jesus, so they are absolutely unable to see the evil going on right before their very eyes! The worst of it is that a narcissist usually pretends to be someone caring and compassionate ( all the while telling everyone how “terrible” you are) but if a Christian looks closely, and trusts in God for wisdom and discernment, the red flags will be bold and apparent! As I’ve grown in Christ, sadly I’ve been able to recognize Narcissism in several people, yet I’m so thankful because I knew to stay away! I pray for you strength and courage as you continue to stay no-contact. A narcissist cannot, and will not change, unless it comes as a healing miracle from God. And in that case, one should never believe the words of narcissist, when she or he says professes to have “changed.” Narcissists will say or do anything, and I mean anything, to get back their supply and reputation they so desperately want back. One should only believe a narcissist has been reformed, if God reveals to be true, and God would make it very obvious; in my opinion, also in the form of a miracle where it would have to be obvious that the Holy Spirit has been at work. A narcissist would need several years of intensive CHRISTIAN therapy for this to even be possible. Do not ever go back. Let only God Himself move you and guide you! Seek wisdom and counsel from a Christian pastor or counselor; so that your heart can continue to heal. No-contact is the best thing you can do for yourself, along with continuing to pursue Jesus. God will restore your lost years; the Bible promises this to us! I pray you healing, joy, and freedom in Jesus’ name! 💙🙏🏼✝️
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