Sunday, 29 May 2011

Narcissistic Abuse and Anger

I thought I would address the issue of anger and narcissistic abuse by re-posting the best piece of writing that I have come across on the subject. No one said it better than crusader and trail blazer for the victims of narcissistic abuse – Kathy Krajco:
He who angers you controls you.
Baloney.  That popular adage does not pass a basic nonsense check. Look, it says that good boys and girls are so numb that nobody can make them feel any emotion. It is also exactly anti-logical, blaming the victim. It pathologizes you, the victim of the narcissist, instead of the narcissist.
Stuff like that is my pet peeve. Once you start noticing how much political correctness is anti-logic, you can’t help but wonder (with Mark Twain) whether anyone examines an idea before swallowing it whole.
We should be more careful what we let into our minds than what we let into our bodies. Rot adage like that does great added harm to the victims of abuse. First the narcissist outrages you until you want to scream. Then the do-gooders come along and tell you your outrage is a sin. Now, if that ain’t the Sin of Sodom (making someone bend over for it), I don’t know what is.
But don’t take my word for it. Think for yourself.
The reasoning goes like this: So, the narcissist’s abuse is nothing to get angry about? You are to act as though it didn’t happen? In other words, you are to make nothing of it, right?
Wrong. For, if it is nothing, then you are nothing. Why? Because everybody knows that if I bash an object, that’s nothing, but if I bash a human being, that’s something. If I step on a bug, that’s nothing, but if I step on a human being, that’s something.
Yet, no matter what, the do-gooders just don’t get it – until they’re the one that gets bashed. Then they see the degrading value judgement in making nothing of it.
By telling you to make nothing of it, they are telling you that abusing you was nothing. That means you are nothing. Indeed, if your abuser bashed your automobile, they wouldn’t tell you to make nothing of it, would they? An automobile is a thing of value, so harm done to it requires reparation. But, harm done to you is nothing, eh? What a dehumanizing value judgement.
And it lands on top of the one the narcissist dumped on you. Feel better now?
First the narcissist got on your back, and now they pile on too. The holier-than-thous should be criticizing the abuser’s behaviour, not the victim’s. There’s a name for people like that, “Job’s Comforters” or “troublesome comforters.” That’s what I mean when I say people saying stuff like this do more harm than good. Pound, pound, pound, they all pound you down with that club that says Doing that to you was nothing = You are nothing. And it’s a sin for you to not cover up for the narcissist by acting like it didn’t happen.
Just what you needed to hear, right? So, whose side are they really on? Whether they realize it or not? Hard to take, isn’t it? What a heartless thing to do to a person already down.
Why can’t they just break down and say that it causes them sorrow to hear what was done to you and that it really sucked? Then all they have to do is act like you mean something to them. Why is that asking too much? Why do you get all that other crap instead?
Sometimes I think they just don’t want your sad little face to rain on their day. I think it’s for their sake that they want you to take Prozac. They just want to make it go away, to act like it didn’t happen.
If it’s a sin to even be angry about degrading treatment, then what can you do to contradict the humiliating value judgement in it? Nothing. If merely feeling an emotion is stepping off the straight-and-narrow, what could they give you permission to do? Nothing!
Ah, it seems to me that the one whose hands they should tie is your abuser, not you. This way they are accessories to mayhem.
The more you think about it, the more ridiculous the moralizing gets, doesn’t it? Parrots who get their morality from prime-time TV thus deny you the most basic human right – the right to protect yourself. Just what kind of a person would docilely accept abuse? A person who thinks anything of him or her – self? A person with any self-respect? Any dignity? Integrity? A backbone? If you are the victim of a narcissist, you know your anger is your assertion of your self-worth.
Sounders like to sound good by making other sound bad for not taking an affront to their human dignity as though it were nothing. Is that not rubbing the victim’s nose in it? That’s what it feels like. It’s no longer just the narcissist abusing you, the whole world piles on to. This is what breaks the victim’s back. Forcing him to join in a zero valuation of himself. The result of this self-betrayal is self-hatred precisely what drives so many victims of narcissists to needing psychiatric help themselves.
So if specious pontifications like the one at the top have you on a guilt trip, get off.
Feelings are not conduct. No clear-thinking person should confuse feelings with conduct. Conduct is a matter of choice. Feelings are not a matter of choice. So, the notion that feelings can be “right” or “wrong” is absurd. They just ARE, period. Indeed, if you get burnt, you should feel burnt. If you don’t, something is wrong with you.
Others should not judge your feelings. I do not understand why those who believe in God are the most prone to do this, for it out-gods their God (who, according to their scriptures, Judges conduct only). Judging feeling is in itself narcissistic behaviour. In doing so, do-gooders are serving as proxy for your abuser.
You can lie about your feelings. You can go into denial about them. And you can even repress them. But you cannot change them.
Denying or repressing feelings is a lie. Now that is a matter of choice, and lying is bad for you. It’s self-delusion. It’s a kind of self-induced hypnosis to a state of emotional numbness. Not mentally healthy.
Repressed feelings are merely submerged to the level of the subconscious. But the subconscious is just subconscious: it isn’t gone. Things buried are still active. They influence and motivate your behaviour without your knowledge. In other words, repressed feelings rule your conduct like an unseen puppet master. Thus, ironically, it is by getting you to deny your anger that the narcissist controls you.
Accept your feelings. Own them. Know them. Experience the tremendous relief and comfort in that. Then you can temper their influence on your conduct with reason and good judgement. You are responsible for your conduct not your feelings. Just because you are angry does not mean you are out of control of yourself as that stupid saying implies. It is the narcissist who has no self-control, not his or her victim.
Your anger, like any pain, will pass. If someone punches you, he is to blame for your pain, not you. By the same token, the one to blame for your anger is the narcissist, not you.


  1. ACtually getting angry is sometimes the best thing you can do. Some of the narcissists only pay attention to anger that does not mean be like them but use your anger to stand up against them. There is righteous anger.

  2. I couldn't agree more - "getting angry is somethimes the best thing you can do." It's the natural thing to do. It's an assertion of your self worth. My righteous anger and thirst for justice has kept me alive. I've had two narcissists say to me, "your anger frightens me." My response, "Your callous indifference and extreme self-absorption frightens me." That snappy comeback left them stunned. Most people want you to "act like it didn't happen" because your feelings make THEM uncomfortable. Of course, you'll be the first person they turn to when someone screws them over. Hypocrites!

    1. Remember that everything the narcissist says is projection. Narcissists like to frighten others. It makes them feel powerful. It gives them a rush. What narcissists want more than anything else is to have "power over" their target.

  3. Anger made me fight back and survive. Sometimes being a bitch is your only option to survive from an abusive relationship (remember Dolores Claiborne movie?). Anger did not allow my spirit to die everytime I was hit, put down or fighting for my life!

  4. My exN told me my anger was scary and pathologized me for it. He actually never yelled or showed anger, he just denied my existence and treated me with shocking disregard. So many times my anger made me question my sanity, but looking back I am glad I had the balls to tell him what I thought of his cruelty.

  5. I happened upon your blog today, and besides Kathy Krajco's your's is the truest writing on personality disorders I've come across. Wow!

  6. There is one saying I totally hate, where someone says to a person, "I can't make you feel anything" or that said more indirectly, "No one can make you feel anything". To me that is the mantra of a narcissistic society and something that gets abusers off the hook. Those who expect abuse victims to react to bad behavior like drones, really are just continuing the work of the narcissist in brainwashing people to take abuse, and to smile about it and not stand up for what is right. Anger has a reason to exist, and there is righteous anger, that has a total purpose in standing up against wickedness. Getting angry for many scapegoats to be honest as long as they channel that anger in positive ways is often times what kept them alive and leads them to draw boundaries that were needed from the get-go.

    1. I believe it was Dr. Phil that I first heard preaching that kind of crap: "No one can make you feel anything." It totally lets the abuser off the hook because it makes the victim entirely responsible for their feelings and guilts and shames the victim for feeling anything at all. I was raised in a home where having feelings and expressing emotions was dangerous, this was drilled into my head because the narcs wanted me to put up with the abuse without being inconvenienced by my natural reaction to abuse. If you don''t feel what you feel, it ends up coming out sideways or you can get physically ill. I find some of the most angry people are the ones who feel smug superiority for not being angry - they are repressed. And those repressed individuals are some of the the nastiest, passive-aggressive psychos on the planet. Also, abusers *intentionally* seek out our soft spots/bruises and poke us there for maximum harm. And we are supposed to control these feelings? Having feelings and expressing emotions are not conduct and they are nothing to be ashamed of.

  7. Oh one thing I wanted to add is the people who tell you "GET OVER IT" while telling you that your emotions should be all squashed and non existent. Another one for ACONs is "Let It Go". I wrote today I hope one day I won't care anymore earlier on my blog:

    But one thing I am done doing is letting others direct my emotions and telling me what to feel or not feel. I got enough of that from the narcs.

    1. I read your blog post and really got a lot out of it. Thanks.

      Yeah, let it go. I wonder if people with cancer can just let it go?