Having only just been introduced to Reddit, one group caught my attention. It is the Raised By Narcissists group. It is for children (many who are now adults) who were/are victims of having parents who are narcissists. Fairly straight forward stuff then? Well no.
Now I appreciate the fragility of humankind, and don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to bully anyone, I say that because I do have to use examples of real posts to explain my point, especially to those who have never visited the group.
At first I mistakenly thought that some of what I was seeing posted by “victims” was isolated cases of people who actually seem to be a little (or a lot) narcissistic themselves. But having spent longer looking through posts, and the back story of some people on there, it appears that many of the people in the group are narcissist themselves. Which calls into question whether what they are saying about their parents is fair (I won’t question what is true, because I couldn’t possibly know, but the key is the subjective viewpoint of the author of posts, including moderators). And before we go any further, narcissism can be learned behaviour so it is very possible a genuine victim of narcissistic parents, who is now an adult, has become a narcissist themselves.
What is a victim of narcissism?
For the layman it gives an image of what you see on the Crime & Investigation Channel. People who are raped, physically abused or murdered are often victims of somebody who was a narcissist. But let me stop you there. Usually the narcissism is combined with something else, such as sociopathy and psychopathy. Raised By Psychopaths or Sociopaths would be a different group entirely, and no doubt there would be some truly awful stories on there.
Admittedly some people in this group may have at some point in life experienced physical or sexual abuse, that wouldn’t be due to narcissistic parenthood alone.
Statistical Evidence About Narcissism
Although it is believed only a tiny percentage of people in the world are narcissists, a majority of people hold some narcissistic trait or other. In fact it is essential for us to function mentally. But I am pretty confident from what I have seen and read, the percentage is growing for a number of different reasons, group narcissism is a type of narcissism too, which may explain why it could grow, and at the same time explain why there are so many of them frequenting this Reddit Group.
But to answer the original question, a victim of narcissism is somebody who has been controlled by a narcissist or other traits have had a negative impact on them. This might be through their need to control other people, live their own dreams through the child, or have an inflated sense of the worth of their child, right through to the rages a narcissist has when people don’t comply with how they think things should be.
My first impressions of Raised By Narcassists
It was a post originally asking for advice that caught my attention, and then the subsequent fact that they were very unhappy with the advice they got because it did not fit with their own warped reality and self-importance, leading to the original post being deleted and it being reposted free of all the perceived “negativity”. The post to the untrained eye was one of depression, but there were clues in the text. The post title is Why do many people expect you to be narcissistic and superficial at workplaces? Why am I so hurt by rejection at workplaces?. I will tackle it point by point to highlight the “red flags it was setting off”.
Hi, I just need to vent. [Originally posted as a request for advice, until advice she didn’t like came in].
I went for an interview today, but I was not chosen. I did not feel that some people I met at the office were not very good people, so it may be a good thing that they rejected me
Very matter of fact about not being chosen, but what got me was the “I did not feel that some people I met at the office were not [sic] very good people, so it may be a good thing that they rejected me”. You have to ask how she came to the conclusion that some people at the office were not very good people. What did they say? Usually people try to be polite when they first meet someone. And yes you get the occasional person who doesn’t mind being racist, or sexist or whatever else the first time they meet somebody, it is unlikely you will meet a few people in the space of a short period of time that you can come to the conclusion that they are not ver good people, based on anything other than your own prejudice.
It is hard to judge whether she actually met any staff at all, sometimes you get a tour of the work place, and I am going down a rabbit hole slightly, but reading her other posts, I do have reason to suspect she may have tendency to make some things up. I could be wrong though. But I will give you a quite graphic example of that later.
Reading between the lines, her way of justifying the rejection was to write the people who rejected her off as bad people. Which is quite arrogant and as opposed to having low self esteem, demonstrates the opposite, which is the funny thing about narcissism. At no point does she consider the fact that she may not have been right for the job, that maybe she wouldn’t fit in because she feels she has a different temperament (instead of it being a case of good v bad, with her being good). Neither does she consider that the other applicants might just have been better (rarely a consideration by a narcissist).
however, rejection still hurts a lot and I binged. By binging, I hurt myself more… I want to cut this rejection-binge cycle.
Yes, rejection is never nice, but the thing is, everyone gets rejected, it is one of the most natural parts of life, life is one long game of being rejected. It is something everyone has to learn to deal with, and people do. This is because most people don’t have an inflated idea of the impact they have on other people.
Jobs are a perfect example of rejection being part of life, but the poster doesn’t get that it isn’t personal, she is just one of lots of faces. So she takes rejection hard. But here is the crack, it is good to be confident in a job interview, in fact it is vital. But if you have got it into your head that nobody else could possibly be better than you it is a clue that there may be some narcissism you could do with losing.
I don’t care about trolls and downvotes on reddit. However, I care about rejections from workplaces. I wonder why…
Ok! Red Flag alert. The very next thought is about trolls and downvotes. Again this shows an inflated idea of how important this person thinks they are (ok I have spotted the irony that I have gone to the trouble of writing about this post). But it is a very random thing to say. It is again expecting the worse and jumping to conclusions about people based on your own view of other people, classic narcissistic behaviour. It appears she is already on the defensive, so no surprise when any genuine advice she did not want to hear was swiftly shut down. If you want to be friends with a narcissist you need to agree with what they say, if you disagree, they will think it a massive affront to them personally.
On reddit, I can be almost myself. But at workplaces, it seems that they expect me to wear masks… I hope to find a workplace where I can be myself (where I can enjoy a job and be honest), but it seems they expect me to be narcissistic and superficial at workplaces…
This is purely subjective. But slightly revealing. Of course you can be yourself on Reddit, you are sat alone writing something out. I can be myself here writing this, it doesn’t stop you thinking I am a twat when you read this. You could even comment saying exactly that, but don’t forget about the sentence about “trolls” & “downvotes” say something I don’t like and you are just a troll and you are showing me attention by downvoting me.
Face to face, we ALL have to conform to certain social norms, it is a struggle for many too, myself included. But she sees it in a warped way that people are expecting her to be narcissistic. Well maybe they don’t expect it, that is just what she is. Nobody expects a person to be narcissistic, but yes, to a point being superficial is just an unfortunate part of life if you want to get anywhere. I’m not saying the latter is right or wrong, but my point is they aren’t telling HER to be like that. It is just how society is, but she is fixing everything to her like it is just her that experiences all of this. And that is what a narcissist tends to think like.
Edit: a night passed. I can see my inner child is losing her temper and screaming at the employer in her head: why did not you give me the job? Why? This situation reminds her of the time when she did not get love from her mother.
This was added later. But a bit of an insight into her personality. The reality will be that there were just better applicants, or maybe they spotted she was slightly unhinged. There is narccissitic rage as her “inner child is losing her temper and screaming at the employer”. Next is controversial, because it is about her subjective view of not getting love from her mother, we only have her subjective viewpoint on what she considers abuse. And this post it’s self leaves me questioning how much we can rely on her testimony baring in mind how she sees her job rejection when it is clear she has totally overreacted to something that happens to everyone. So it is hard to tell whether or not she was a victim of having a narccisistic mother.
Essentially if this is her reality about a job interview, can we trust her reality about her mother? And that sums up my problem with many posts in this group.
Below I have used bold within the actual post to get some quick points over.
And I need to tell her that not everyone gives her what she wants in this world, but she needs to keep looking someone who gives her what she wants. She must stop expecting something from narcissists. [this reveals that she needs REMINDING that she can’t get everything she wants, and labels anyone who doesn’t comply a “narcissist” very subtle, but she is on the look out for someone who will do as she says].
Also, I need to tell her these things. I, adult me, was nervous during the interview and I need to get used to interview settings to feel more relaxed and confident. [Finally some self awareness] I know that a person from HR asked an illegitimate question to me [Oh hang on, it has gone again, the question was illigitimate, she got asked a question nobody else got asked and that is why she didn’t get the job, it can’t just be that someone else was better suited in their opinion, it is their choice, not hers who they hire, but she can’t control that, and that is the problem, control]. I know that their explanation about the job was scattered and disorganized [it happens]. I know the person from HR was giving me an extremely cold stare when I was taking a note, which is very creepy [She couldn’t KNOW, that is how she saw the situation, but she reports it as fact. She doesn’t say “I felt” or “I got the impression” or “It looked like the person from HR was giving me an extremely cold stare”, her reality is that the HR person definitely was, and this is usually because you believe that people should pay you special attention because there is something extra special about you – and attention manifests it’s self either in a positive or negative way. It is narcissistic] .
I will finish by adding a few examples of posts from the same person below, just to give you a back story. I’m doing this not to mock, but to show the back story, as it is more unfair of me to draw a conclusion from one isolated post, and would could be seen as disingenuous to call suggest someone is a narcissist based on one isolated post. I will dedicate a few more posts to interesting people on there some are a lot more blatant. And bare in mind, nobody in the group gives a second thought to whether the parent being lambasted and accused of being an abuser is actually innocent (quick reminder, we aren’t talking sexual abuse or even physical abuse in most cases), I have talked to people on the group and it feels more like a group for narcissists who blame their parents for everything.
I was originally very sympathetic until I read many of the posts.
More Posts from this person
You can take a look yourself on Reddit here.
I will start with a comment on the same post in which she talks about the inappropriate question.
Yeah, the interviewers mocked when I asked a question. It was not an inappropriate question at all, though (I asked if there is a microwave and an electric kettle). I think mocking is one of narcissists’ favorite attacks on a par with giving a cold stare, preaching, giving false information and telling a lie.
Given her time for reflection on the interview it is surprising she still cannot see what is wrong with asking if there is a microwave and an electric kettle (I presume this is when the interviewer asks “have you got any questions for us?”, let us be fair, it is up there with “how many breaks do I get?” especially when you haven’t even got the job yet. There is a time and a place. Yet she accuses them of being narcissists not being happy with it. She also lumps in the HR person as a narcissist too, so that the list of narcissists is her mother, the interviewer and the HR person. Something doesn’t add up.
I am here, I am here, I am here, but no one notices me. No one pays attention to me. No one cares about me. They ignore me or harass me as my parents did.
I want to be recognized. I want to be noticed. I want to be cared about. I want to be loved.
Aside from the whole wanting to be recognised and noticed and complaining nobody notices her. A little slip about the parents saying “they ignore or harass me as my parents did”. I can’t help thinking that her parents couldn’t win, if they left her in peace, she would accuse them of being narcissistic, if they showed her attention, she would do the same. It is a bit of a contradiction.
I am now living in a shared house, but some of my roommates do not respond to me when I say hi to them. This hurts and scary, but at the same time, I think that they are uncanny and bad people because they pick on me and decide not to respond. I think they have some problems, but not I.
Again, different set of people, same use of the phrase “bad people”. And if you remember the when she “knew” the HR person was giving her that stare? It is hard to rely on her testimony that her room mates do not respond to her when she says “hi”. She is again happily playing the wronged party, as she says they are picking on her. But we don’t know whether [a] It might have been one occasion they didn’t hear her [b] She has caused problems that have lead to her housemates not wanting to respond to her or [c] she just made that up to garner sympathy. The cap it all off, once again she sees it that they have problems but she doesn’t. Yet these things keep happening with different people, and she never seems to see any role she has played in it.
Just to sum up about seemingly getting on with nobody and having problems with everyone she encounters and it never being her fault. This sums up the issue with her, and far too many posters on the Raised By Narcissists Reddit Group.
I am not feeling well and I need to vent here. I am angry at someone, who tries to control me. She affects my mood a lot. I am angry at her. She withhold what I am entitled with. I am so angry when people do so.
There are other things going on in my life, too. Why only I have to endure this miserable and horrible destiny?! What on earth have I done?! I don’t trust God. Only devils exist in this world. I hate the world! I hate it so much. No one believes me. No one is nice to me. No one is helping me. I am all alone! I hate every body and I hate myself! I am very frustrated with my life. I want to die. I want to jump out of a fence. I want to fly.
It is extremely frustrating that I am enclosed and confined. Society does not give me a single way to escape! Society is killing me. They are just pigs, pigs and pigs.
Look out for my next post about this Reddit group where I will focus on someone that is clearly not a victim of having parents that are narcissists, she is simply a rich spoiled kid that has turned into a spoiled adults that blames her parents for pretty much everything. Classic narcissist and worth keeping an eye out for! Poor parents.