Unveiling the Narcissistic Pursuit of Narrative: Scapegoats Navigating the Path to Truth through Faith
Welcome to Waypoint Wellness & Performance Coaching, where we explore the intricacies of personal development and self-discovery with an eye on a more abundant future. In this reflective journey, we delve into the fascinating world of narcissism and the concept that, for a narcissist, the pursuit of narrative often eclipses the importance of truth. Join us as we navigate the impact of narcissistic tendencies on personal relationships and self-perception and discover how faith can be a guiding light, offering solace and strength despite the damage inflicted by the evil crafty narrative espoused by the narcissist.
The Narcissistic Pursuit of Narrative:
In the realm of narcissism, the pursuit of narrative becomes a dominant force that overshadows the significance of truth. Narcissists, with their exaggerated self-importance and a constant need for validation, craft and control narratives. That is, they create a story where they twist truths by using embellishments, as well as slant truths just enough to change the perceived context of situation. They create stories (narratives) that they themselves may or may not even believe in order to control the perception of others’. Controlling narratives is essentially controlling the perception of others for their own personal gain. Narcissists’ are masters of manipulation and control. When you are listening to a narcissist recount some tale of woe you are listening to lies without a doubt.
Narcissists love attention and one way to get that attention is to solicit sympathy and admiration from anyone who will listen. For those being represented by a narcissist prepare yourself to be misrepresented in order for the narcissist to come out as the sympathetic character of the stories they spin. For a narcissist there are only three characters in a story, and yet only two roles they will inhabit. As you read further guess which role you get to play in their stories?
The Victim, the Villain and the Hero:
For narcissists, truth is a malleable tool, bent to fit the contours of their chosen narrative, shielding them from threats to their fragile self-esteem. But this self aggrandising cannot work alone; the narcissist needs a stage with players to act in roles in order to scaffold the narrative of their choosing. Interestingly enough the narcissist will rotate through two of the these roles whenever it will benefit them the most in obtaining narcissistic supply (that is attention, sympathy and the limelight) from their listeners.
Narcissists are either the victim or the hero. Watch and listen carefully when you are listening to a person recount their unhappy story. If you are listening to a narcissist you will witness that they never cast themselves in the role of villain. When they are relaying stories to those within earshot of their tale you are the villain. You are the one who did them wrong and you are the one whom everyone must know is the culprit to their suffering. Whenever I hear someone continually casting themselves in the role of victim or hero (the offended and the saviour) I am alerted to how this person truly believes themselves to be in the context of their world. In reality there are those who are in fact victims who are in need of support, but I will tell you that the narcissist is not the victim in any of their stories for they leave a wake of destruction in their paths. They do not take responsibility for their bad behaviour so they continually leave that part out of the stories that they share. In other words, you won’t hear what they did wrong, but you will definitely hear how everyone else got it wrong.
Many of us have had the unfortunate experience of being connected to a narcissist in some way. At one point in my life I wrote a very lengthy “victim impact statement” letter to a narcissist (who is no longer in my life) and in the letter I recounted the ways by which they acted in abusive and destructive ways towards me as I had finally found my voice. I stated in the letter that they were welcome to share the letter with anyone they would like. They could share it with their doctor, their friends, and family members. Interesting, they weren’t keen on sharing the letter with anyone. Sharing that letter would have cast doubt on how they represented and interpreted things to their listeners. It would be like throwing water on an fire and that is not what a narcissist wants. Narcissists are not legitimate victims looking for support from their listeners. No they are narcissists looking to weave falsehoods about you so that they can steal aspects of your life, your friends, your family and your reputation as they are extremely jealous of you. When you listen to someone bad mouthing another make sure you remind yourself that there is another version of the tale that is being woven, especially when someone is sounding off and degrading someone’s character rather than looking for support and encouragement. You will be able to identify the root by what they solicit from you. If you feel they are wanting to create an alliance in creating a common enemy you are probably dealing with a narcissist. If you feel that they are hurting and needing some encouragement I suspect you are dealing with someone that has legitimate hurts.
Victim or Narcissist:
At some point in everyone’s in life we have all abused others (inadvertently or intentionally in some cases) and everyone has at one juncture or another been abused by someone else (think Junior High School). The difference is that most people have a conscience and know they need to own up to their own failings. Asking for forgiveness and making amends ought to be ingrained in all of us, but it is not. There are those among us who don’t own their failings or even believe they do not have any. Narcissists view the world as the culprit and that they are “always the good guy and everyone else is always the bad guy. Narcissist’s like the Pharisees are highly judgmental and insidiously self righteous.
The Manipulative Power of Narrative:
Narcissists wield a manipulative power, excelling in crafting narratives that cast them in a favorable light, regardless of the facts. This ability allows them to control not only their own self-perception, but also how they are perceived by others. The consequences of this manipulative power can be profound, leading to confusion, self-doubt, and instability in relationships. Unfortunately this self promoting does not happen without casualties. The narcissist requires someone to reference in order to compare their greatness, goodness, and grandiose self idealization against. This is where you come in, the scapegoat. The narcissist will weave stories that manipulate the truth by distorting it in order to place themselves above you and will exaggerate your flaws and weakness, all the while minimizing your strengths and achievements. Embellishments, distortions, emphasis, and secretly working how others perceive you in the background creates a world of confusion for anyone in close proximity to the narcissist. I recall starting a new job at one point in my teaching career and the moment I sat down in the staffroom one member decided it was her duty to fill me in on the staff. Starting with the one person she described as shady and untrustworthy. Of course over time it turned out that the informant was the one who revealed herself to be untrustworthy and highly manipulative. Be careful who you listen to. These narcissists weaving narratives do not only destroy your reputation, but you may lose out on making new friends because of them. They strive to cast targets into the role of villain yet it is the narcissist who is truly the villain in disguise.
The Vulnerability of Truth:
In the narcissistic pursuit of narrative, the truth becomes a vulnerable entity, easily discarded or reshaped to suit the narcissist’s agenda. This vulnerability extends beyond interpersonal relationships, infiltrating the narcissist’s perception of reality. Their self-constructed narrative becomes a shield against genuine self-reflection, hindering personal growth and authentic connection. Good relationships require authenticity, a healthy level of humbleness, the ability to self reflect and alter one’s own perceptions as more information is gathered. Good relationships have healthy doses of forgiveness and the ongoing healing of any micro tears (so small infractions do not become larger ones). All the ingredients that make a relationship worthy of your time, energy and heart are not accessed by the narcissist. What the narcissist needs to have a great relationship are the very qualities they do not possess nor do they have any interest in cultivating, therefore, they seek to destroy those who do bear these healthy, loving and vulnerable character traits. They are jealous of your capacity to be yourself.
Navigating the Path to Your Own Authenticity:
Breaking free from the narrative-driven mindset of a narcissist is a challenging journey, because they have essentially poisoned everyone around you. They have minimized your value, worth, dignity and have maligned your character. This isn’t an easy road, but at Waypoint Wellness & Performance Coaching our approach focuses on helping you to cultivate your own self-awareness in order that you might purge the lies from the narcissist where you began to doubt yourself. During sessions you will foster self empathy, reclaim your own genuine connection with the truth so that you can let go of the lies they sought to use against you. By navigating this path to authenticity, individuals can liberate themselves from the constraints of a narcissistic pursuit of narrative. In other words, as you become stronger in your own authentic self (flaws and all) you will be able to carve out a life regardless of the narcissist and their insidious black ink spillage of destruction they sought to destroy your life. You will learn that because you have some flaws that you are not a write off that the narcissistic would have you and others believe. You will see yourself more fully and with grace, love and self compassion you will embrace your life. You will be able to let go of those who are in agreement with the narcissist (and their lies) and claim your God given rightful place in this world.
The Role of Faith:
In the face of the damage inflicted by the deceitful narrative of the narcissist, faith can be a powerful ally. A relationship with the one who made you will become more important than your relationship with those who believe they are god here on earth. Faith provides a grounding force that overcomes the chaos created by narcissistic manipulation, while guiding individuals toward a deeper understanding of themselves and their purpose. Your faith will guide you to the truth and you can let go of the lies that have been heaped upon your soul.
Faith encourages resilience in the pursuit of truth, serving as a constant amidst the shifting sands of a narcissist’s narrative. It provides a framework for healing, forgiveness, and self-empowerment allowing individuals to reclaim their narrative and rebuild their lives. The truth will surely set you free. You will grant yourself grace and recognize that you are able to get off of the narcissists’ stage and become the main character of own God given story. Unfortunately once you leave they will find a replacement and the cycle will start all over again, but that will not be your worry. You will have a job and that job will be to be the you that you were created to be and to experience the freedom to pursue the dreams that were set in your own heart.
In the pursuit of narrative, truth often becomes a casualty for the narcissist. At Waypoint Wellness & Performance Coaching, we invite you to embark on a journey of self-discovery that overcomes the confines of a narrative-driven existence perpetrated by the narcissist. By embracing authenticity, cultivating self-awareness, and fostering genuine connections individuals can break free from the limitations imposed by the pursuit of narrative and forge a path toward a more fulfilling and genuine life. Your faith will guide you and give you the strength you need to overcome any obstacle in your path.
If you are reeling from the aftermath of a narcissist weaving a narrative about you to those you love in your life (whether it be in your personal life or in the workplace) reach out to George or Lesley. You can reach us directly: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
We would be happy to facilitate your journey forward to an empowered existence with hope.
Until next time,
PS Do you know how to get someone’s foot off of your head? You do what Jesus said. You pick up your mat and walk.