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Even When Narcissists Lose, They Win

Sociopaths are unable to admit fault, so they blame you for their wrongdoings. Even when they clearly were the ones at fault, they shift it back on you.

  1. Peace
    A big part of Cluster-B disorders (NPD, ASPD, BPD, HPD) is about shame-avoidance and rejection-avoidance. This leads to the well-known Idealize, Devalue, Discard cycle -- and the obsession with "winning" games than nobody else is playing.

    Idealize

    This first manifests during the idealization period, when they mirror your personality to appear to be the "perfect" partner. You quickly fall for them, so they are safe from rejection or shame. The problem is that they haven't presented a real person for you to love, but rather a projection of your un-rejectable dream partner.

    Devalue

    No matter how much love or kindness you offer, it is never enough to fill their void (emptiness and boredom). Despite their constant attempts to fill this void with external means (attention, sympathy, control), the void is an internal issue. It remains there, even if their relationship and job and life are perfect.

    So once again, they incorrectly blame this constant internal agitation on their external surroundings (in this case: you). Because you failed to fill their emptiness void, they begin to split on you, compare you with others, and eventually replace you.

    They are unable to admit fault, so they blame you for their wrongdoings. Even when they clearly were the ones at fault, they shift it back on you. Their mindset is: "Even when I lose, I win". Because of this winning obsession, it's impossible to achieve actual vulnerability or love.

    This all goes back to the earlier idea that rejection and shame are unacceptable sensations to narcissists and sociopaths. Therefore, they attempt to control their surroundings and rewrite history in order to avoid that sensation. They will make up elaborate lies and obvious falsehoods to avoid admitting fault.

    From a bystander's perspective, this appears ridiculously transparent and even childish. You may think to yourself, "This seems so silly. Why can't they just admit they were wrong?" But to admit fault would be to experience shame, and their disorder performs extreme mental gymnastics to avoid that.

    Discard

    When the final discard occurs, Cluster-B disordered individuals don't just leave. They usually seek to destroy you (if not in reality, at least in their own minds). Once again this process has nothing to do with you, but rather due to the psychological phenomenon of splitting.

    Rejection is an unacceptable sensation to them, so they paint you as a villain in order to avoid addressing any of their own poor behavior that may have led to this moment. They make false accusations and run smear campaigns.

    By splitting you from "all good" to "all bad", their misbehavior is justified and they don't have to confront any of their own responsibility in what happened.

    Introspection

    A lot of survivors want to know how they can prevent this from ever happening again. I think a big thing is to assert boundaries sooner and recognize when you're constantly stuck in lose-lose arguments. Instead of engaging or trying to change this person, accept the reality of who they are right now.

    Then you start to realize it doesn't matter who "wins" these pointless situations, and instead just care about protecting yourself and finding people who can meet you halfway.

    You may also resonate with qualities of People Pleasers. If that's the case, you're probably used to taking the blame for things, doubting yourself, and trying to be overly reasonable and always make sure you see things from everyone else's perspectives.

    Are you sacrificing your own needs in order to meet someone else's? Do you see this as some sort of selfless gesture, but find that it only leads to disappointment and resentment?

    In a way, your focus may also be stuck on "external" and needs to be shifted toward the "internal". This is where the good stuff is stored, and as we work on our own issues, it also means that Cluster-B attention / validation / flattery becomes far less attractive.

    I've written a new book about long-term healing. Whole Again is now available for pre-order on Amazon, at a 30% discount! If you would prefer to be notified when it's released in January, you can enter your email address below. This is not a mailing list. Just a one-time notification:

Article Author: Peace