One thing about malignant narcissism that I cannot stress enough is that it’s All- About-Control. Perhaps, I’m stating the obvious when I say narcissism is all about control? I don’t care. I’ll say it again, this time really loud: MALIGNANT NARCISSISM IS ABOUT CONTROL. Every single motivation behind the narcissist’s abuse stems from a pathological need to control what others think, feel, say and do. Every loathsome narcissistic trait such as covetousness, entitlement, greed and predation is an off-shoot of the narcissist’s delusion of control over the entire world, and everyone, and everything in it.
What does it mean to be in CONTROL all-the-time? It means you hold all the POWER. It means you are SUPERIOR. It means you are GOD. Narcissists find their “identity” in POWER. The more power they wield, the stronger their identity as God becomes. As a result, every waking moment of the narcissist’s wretched existence is devoted to proving to themselves and to those in their pathological space – their mini universe – that they are God. This isn’t hard to do, because like their minds, the narcissist’s world is usually very small.
The narcissist discovers their “identity” in POWER and CONTROL. They view themselves as supreme beings who are in charge of it all… they are God. The narcissist also equates “love” with power and control. In other words, you prove your “love” to a narcissist by relinquishing all your power and allowing them absolute control. By letting the narcissist control and abuse you – have power over you - you are letting the narcissist love themselves. You are feeding the narcissist’s “image” as God. Narcissistic supply is simply allowing the narcissist to control you.
CONTROL + POWER = The Narcissist’s “Image”
CONTROL + POWER = Love
= Narcissists LOVE their IMAGE.
Narcissists do not love you. They love the way you preserve their narcissistic image.
Here’s the thing; narcissists only identify with their image and nothing else. Without control, the narcissist is nothing, they are nobody. Without control, the narcissist has no identity. Their image is shattered. That’s why they fight like hell to gain control of everyone and everything around them… their entire identity is riding on it. The narcissist’s so-called “identity” is extremely shaky. It isn’t a true identity built on human substance. It’s a flimsy illusion built on lies. That’s why the narcissist devotes all their energy to a lifelong war of control: they are continually fighting a private battle to maintain their narcissistic “image.”
“NO CONTACT” makes the narcissist feel angry, crazy and out-of-control because when you aren’t available to abuse, the narcissist is rendered powerless, empty, and without an identity. The more they need your supply - to maintain their narcissistic image – the harder they will fight to control you. Going NC puts you in the power position and effectively starves the narcissist and drives them insane. I think that’s why every malignant narcissist I know obtains a “Flying Monkey” of some sort. They always need someone to control and manipulate into carrying-out their evil deeds when their intended target inevitably cuts them off. By sending in their "Monkey" they maintain their illusion of power. However, If the narcissist were to be abandoned completely, and without a “Flying Monkey” or any “narcissistic supply” they wouldn't know what to do and would surely go insane.
In fact, I’ve already seen this happen to some extent with both malignant narcissist mother and MN sister. At this point, it would appear that their only source of narcissistic supply is each other and a fed-up Flying Monkey that's flapping its wings into retirement. They are both starving, and they are both feeding off each other, and resenting the hell out of one another in the process. Two malignant narcissists exploiting one another is akin to a starving person eating their own limbs to stay alive. It doesn’t end well. I’m convinced that their steady descent into madness is the result of a deficiency of supply. After all, narcissists are parasites and they desperately need people around to feed off.
The fact is, narcissists would have no power over others if people didn’t give it to them. Sadly, others unwittingly give the narcissists power over them to the degree that they lack true self-esteem. These fools mistakenly think that the narcissist will somehow endow them with what “appears” to be a limitless stream of self-esteem. This never happens. Narcissists take whatever others have to offer them to gratify their egos and leave them high and dry.
Narcissist’s view others as objects/tools to exploit any way they please in order to maintain their image. Since they lack normal human feelings and aren’t capable of relating on an emotional level, ALL of the narcissist’s interactions take place in the “realm of the mind.” If you are in a relationship with a narcissist then it is entirely “mental.” Though they are able to "simulate" emotional states, there are no real feelings involved at their end. All of the Narcissist’s relationships are based entirely on mind control and manipulation. They are cold, calculating reptiles that continually plot and scheme. Every single interaction with a narcissist is a business transaction of sorts, based on what they can manufacture in you and then use to exploit you. If they can control your mind and emotions then they can control your behaviour. Ka-ching! Their image of a superior being remains securely intact.
Narcissists don’t relate to others as a human being because narcissists don’t recognize their likeness in others. Narcissists only relate to their “image” as God. Narcissists can’t empathize with human beings because they don’t see themselves as human beings. They see themselves as above human beings. Narcissists have no idea what humanity is. They mistake their bruised ego/image for hurt “feelings” and call their anger humanity. PATHETIC!
Despite being completely oblivious to your feelings, the narcissist is acutely aware, on a moment-by-moment basis, of your emotions and thoughts. They are essentially technicians: pressing buttons, pulling levers, flipping switches and turning dials all in an effort to produce the desired "human effect." The desired effect could be something as simple as eliciting confusion, shame, guilt, a nervous laugh, a sideways glance, an expression of hurt or embarrassment, or a show of admiration or sympathy, or a reaction of anger, or falling prey to their lies and destructive powers of suggestion that leads to you spreading their misinformation, or making a detrimental life choice. Each and every time the narcissist puppet master succeeds in controlling you – no matter how subtly – you have reinforced their delusion as The Almighty Powerful Oz. Oops - I'm sorry narcs. I meant GOD.
But remember this: It’s all smoke and mirror folks. Pull back the dark curtain of the narcissist’s psyche and you will find a tiny, frightened, impotent little creature at the controls. Their flimsy false-self is hanging by a thread. Narcissists don’t have any real self-esteem. NONE. Don’t let them steal yours, they can’t use it, and they wouldn’t know what to do with it anyway.
For true self-esteem doesn’t involve a perverse desire to control the entire universe. Healthy self-esteem is about trusting yourself and being true to yourself and wanting others to trust themselves and be true to themselves; it's about being respectful of your own individuality and the individuality of others. True self-esteem is about being sensitive about others feelings, and considerate of their privacy and needs. True self-esteem is about allowing yourself to find your way in life without handing the controls over to someone else; and it's about allowing others to find their way in life without trying to control them. True self-esteem comes from seeing other people as "other," not as functions of yourself or as objects to be used for your own gratification.