Beware The Narcissist.


Narcissists are self-serving, master manipulators,  preying on good-hearted, kind people like doormats. The best way to deal with narcissists is to avoid them.  If that’s not an option, then please realize everything they say and do is about THEM.  These peeps are agenda driven, and use doormats for their emotional and physical dumping ground.   In a word – BEWARE!

By |2015-05-06T10:47:56+00:00May 6th, 2015|Miscellaneous mattiness|86 Comments


  1. eli May 6, 2015 at 12:57 PM - Reply

    How is one to deal with “family narcissts” when it is so obvious it is staring one in the face! any suggestions for specialists/support groups to help one get through this and thrive?

    • danquality May 6, 2015 at 1:53 PM - Reply

      Either grow the thickest skin ever or completely disassociate yourself from them. I understand that is easier said than done. I’ve tried coping with them; there is only so many times I can pretend they’re not getting under my skin. As soon as I make it obvious they’ve upset me, they swoop down like hawks on a defenseless bunny, tearing me apart with their passive aggressive comments and actions. If I respond in outward anger…I’m the evil one; there’s something wrong with me.
      I’m not an expert on any of this, this is jus my opinion. I wish you the best.

      • ivytobin May 6, 2015 at 8:01 PM - Reply

        Good advice danquality. Thank you for sharing.

      • granfunk May 25, 2015 at 11:55 AM - Reply

        Go no contact with them. Don’t attend events where they will be. It’s hard, but very freeing.

        • Josie January 7, 2016 at 7:03 AM - Reply

          I have refused to go to family functions and my holidays are much more calm…

          • ivytobin January 7, 2016 at 10:16 AM

            Good for you Josie! Continue taking good care of yourself and wishing you a happy, healthy and calm 2016 <3

          • Josie January 7, 2016 at 10:22 AM

            Thank you!! And I wish the same to you!!

          • ivytobin January 7, 2016 at 10:23 AM

            <3 <3 <3

      • TJ August 26, 2016 at 4:51 PM - Reply

        I agree. “Disassociate from them.” They know how to attack you where you are most vulnerable. There is no way to win except to walk away.

        • ivytobin August 26, 2016 at 10:14 PM - Reply

          Thanks so much for commenting TJ <3

    • Pamela May 6, 2015 at 2:50 PM - Reply

      My sister. Walk away. They do not love you, they’re incapable of loving anyone other than themselves.

      • ivytobin May 6, 2015 at 7:56 PM - Reply

        AGREE with you Pamela. <3

        • Donna December 18, 2015 at 9:59 AM - Reply

          agree also…its all about them…

    • ivytobin May 6, 2015 at 7:58 PM - Reply

      Hi Eli, I’ve read all the responses and they are great. It’s fortunate that you realize you are dealing with a narcissist in your family, and can adjust your behavior accordingly. Take good care of YOU and don’t expect anything from the narc. Please excuse this cliché but it’s like “trying to get blood from a stone”. It’s impossible.

    • Sue Finnerty May 6, 2015 at 10:24 PM - Reply

      Set some boundaries. Limit your time with them. Don’t get involved in all their dramas. Make a life for yourself with people who treat you with care and kindness. Read some books on these issues. One that springs to mind is “Who’s Pulling Your Strings”. Be prepared to do some research on these people and have some tools in place. You don’t even have to tell anybody you’re doing it! Be prepared and good luck!

      • ivytobin May 6, 2015 at 11:00 PM - Reply

        Great advice Sue. Thanks so much! <3

      • Cali May 7, 2015 at 8:07 AM - Reply

        The Everything Guide to Narcissistic Personality Disorder
        Professional, reassuring advice for coping with the disorder—at work, at home, and in your family
        By Cynthia Lechan Goodman, MEd and Barbara Leff, LCSW

        an excellent book- worthwhile read-on the clinical side-

        • ivytobin May 7, 2015 at 8:17 AM - Reply

          Oh yes Cali. Boundaries are as vital to recovering doormats as breathing! <3

          • Cali May 7, 2015 at 12:09 PM

            Just wondering my ex -husband was the most helpful supportive person in the beginning when we met especially in supporting me in my line of work. But he was emotionally unavailable and a narcissist as described below. How do you know if someone who is so “helpful” and “supportive” is just using that to reel you in or is the real thing? Love this site thank you for creating it.

          • ivytobin May 7, 2015 at 3:08 PM

            Hi Cali, I will shout this out to our members over at The Society for Recovering Doormats on FB. Look for it tomorrow. May 8th at 3:10 PM. If you’re not already a member of The Society for Recovering Doormats on FaceBook, so please stop by and check out the group. (If you haven’t already) There are 49,000 PLUS recovering mats over there. I’m sure your question will get lots of feedback as it is very relatable. See you tomorrow on FB. <3

    • Sue Finnerty May 26, 2015 at 7:21 PM - Reply

      I had to remove myself from a family member who continued to “shame” me. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Worse still other family members could not see or chose not to see the damage that was being done. Therefore I had no support from others in the family unit. I was bought up in a family where it was “peace at all costs”, “don’t rock the boat” and “always be kind to your brothers and sisters”. I started to set some boundaries with the sibling but these were just ignored. We also reconciled for a short time but this ended in a complete fiasco as well. I started doing other things for ME [volunteering etc] and getting new friends who respected me for who I was. Also reading material on shaming and other issues really helped me move on. Good luck with this. It’s definitely not an easy road with family members because they don’t want you to change.

    • Catherine Coleman June 9, 2015 at 4:45 PM - Reply

      You have to first realize that though you may love them, they are no good for you. They are emotional vampires that will suck the life out of you to get what they want. And if you say no or stand up to them…you are spit to them. Nothing you’ve ever done has ever been good enough and if there is no one but you to counter their claims, the allegations of the horrible person you are will spiral out of control. They will try to hurt you in every way possible to punish you and to bring you back to their emotional control. You have to be able to walk away. Don’t argue with them, you’ll never win. Keep copies of all contact through text, email, etc. Limit contact and always have another person with you when you are with them, if you are going to be around them. You aren’t being heartless, you are protecting yourself and hopefully, with time, opening their eyes.

      • ivytobin June 10, 2015 at 10:09 AM - Reply

        Great insight Catherine! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. <3

    • Cindy September 1, 2015 at 5:04 PM - Reply

      Well, I went no contact with my sibling. It was hard, but worth it. I tried reconciling once, but it was the same thing all over again. I haven’t spoken to my sibling in almost a year this time and it’s peaceful!

      • ivytobin September 1, 2015 at 9:53 PM - Reply

        Yes Cindy, it is hard especially if it is your sibling. BUT your mental health and your happiness is the most important. If anyone compromises that, then they have to go. Thanks for sharing your story here. <3 Rose G.

    • Donna December 13, 2015 at 9:19 AM - Reply

      I finally put an end to it all with my sisterinlaw after she wrote me a nasty letter..she is my husbands only sibling..she has attempted to get back “in the picture” with a message on my phone saying “I’m sure you have things to say and so do I”…I have lots to say..but have not responded at all to this letter or phone call..I have been silent! I have no desire to go back to tip toeing around her and catering to her every whim…my husband has a hard time with this…says at least she made an attempt…but I cant get past the hurtful words of this letter. I find myself struggling with my religious beliefs as we should be like Jesus and forgive..but I also love the peace that came with not dealing with her any more..I know it hurts my husband…been a yr now…Glad to see I’m not the only one…Thank You…

      • ivytobin December 13, 2015 at 1:48 PM - Reply

        Hi Donna, you are not alone. So many struggle with this scenario. My experiences have taught me NOT to be ‘pulled back in’ with the very first olive branch offering. If maintaining a civil relationship with your sister-in-law would help improve your relationship with your husband then maybe it would be a good idea to consider some way to reconnect with her that isn’t toxic for you. That would include formulating strong boundaries, knowing WHO SHE IS, do not allow yourself to be manipulated or played by her. The NEXT time she reaches out, perhaps think about responding to her but use your words carefully. Here is one suggestion – “We are family, and let’s move forward with our lives. Let the past go and NOT revisit there. Wising you a beautiful New Year.” If your respond to her in this manner, you won’t need to waste your energy hearing her ‘reasons why’ she wrote that nasty letter. Keep your distance, and if she ever ‘turns’ on you again, let her know IMMEDIATELY that this behavior is unacceptable. <3 Rose Gardner. Creator and founding member of 'The Society for Recovering Doormats.'

        • Donna December 14, 2015 at 2:31 PM - Reply

          Thank You…maybe I could do that..but my boundaries would have to include no contact…for now at least..I dont believe she will ever change..I dont believe she is sorry either..I believe that she just misses being included..If she werent family..I would not even associate with a person who is like this…

          • ivytobin December 18, 2015 at 9:46 AM

            I understand. It seems that no contact is a good idea for now. Remember, SHE is in charge of herself. She may never change, and that is her. The only thing you have complete control over is how YOU react or interact with her in a way that is healthy for you. Wishing you much love and happiness during this holiday season. <3 Rose G.

    • H. Akhtar January 4, 2016 at 2:43 PM - Reply

      Get away from them if possible, God Willing.

      • ivytobin January 4, 2016 at 3:14 PM - Reply

        I agree with you H. Akhtar. Getting away from a narcissist with no contact would be the perfect solution in an ideal world.

    • ivytobin January 4, 2016 at 3:19 PM - Reply

      Hi eli, I don’t know if you’ve seen these book suggestions from another follower, so here they are “Two books that helped me to deal with family narcissists are The Verbally Abusive Relationship, by Patricia Evans; and Bold Love, by Dan Allender. Basically, I had to teach my family what was appropriate behavior through setting and keeping boundaries. There is more to it than that, and it really helped me to understand how a narcissist thinks and why they do what they do”.

  2. danquality May 6, 2015 at 1:48 PM - Reply

    If you have a need to please people even if it means to make yourself uncomfortable, avoid the narcs! They will charm you and then use you like a tool. Run!

  3. Gail May 6, 2015 at 2:23 PM - Reply

    Two books that helped me to deal with family narcissists are The Verbally Abusive Relationship, by Patricia Evans; and Bold Love, by Dan Allender. Basically, I had to teach my family what was appropriate behavior through setting and keeping boundaries. There is more to it than that, and it really helped me to understand how a narcissist thinks and why they do what they do.

  4. Cali May 7, 2015 at 8:58 AM - Reply

    I married a narcissist who was also a recovered alcoholic. His four brothers and their wives are all alcoholics. I should have run from him when I first found out he was addicted to relationships with women all over the country on the internet. He was extremely handsome, intelligent and seemed so kind I thought he was a lonely but wonderful guy. I found myself in a constant loop of trying to explain the truth to someone who was set on twisting it. If I caught him in one of many lies about women on the internet it was about my “rage”. If he shut me out emotionally as a punishment for “cornering” him I was too emotional. His cutting humor aimed at me was explained as joking and I was simply “too sensitive” and he became very annoyed with me. His over the top flirtations with other women under my nose was my imagination or worse I was too possessive. It was like living in a fun house. Everything was distorted. On the outside, he presented the image of a loving, devoted sensitive husband and scholar. Even I bought into that image many times. Despite the many times he proved that was in fact a lie, I still wanted to believe that he was an honest honorable person. My heart wanted him to match the image he created of himself. Because of his alcoholic soul and narcissistic heart, I found myself in a twilight zone of manipulation. I was sucked in, and my emotions were sucked dry.

    I spent hours a day trying to get him to be on the same page as me. I tried to involve him in my business life so that he could use his intellect effectively. To be truthful, he often accused me of being a narcissist because he said it was always about me. Fortunately for me I got away. I am sure he is back selling a new improved image of the loving, devoted sensitive husband and scholar who was used by women because he was so fragile and kind. Beware indeed.

    • ivytobin May 7, 2015 at 10:27 AM - Reply

      Wow Cali, thanks so much for sharing your story. I love the phrase “twilight zone of manipulation”. It perfectly describes the feeling of being gaslighted. Which is very common behavior for all Narcs. Glad you got away, and you are right believing he’s off pedaling his ‘act’ to some other poor, unsuspecting doormat.

    • Heather May 25, 2015 at 11:18 AM - Reply

      OMG thank you so much for this wonderful post..I’ve been struggling lately..I found out Mr Fifty Shades of Messed Up was hooking up an ex girlfriend to live with when the final discard happened. I spent years and years (16 of them) doing exactly the same thing you tried to do with yours, explaining life and how you treat the people who love you. I felt like i was living the movie Groundhog day, same things over and over. I was in such pain living with him that i couldn’t get out of bed. I’ve found stolen property in my house from his places of employment (probably one of the many reasons he couldn’t keep a job) and people i assume that have trusted him near their stuff. He had a serious porn addiction that didn’t come to light until he was gone. No love No affection no sex…i was a very lonely wife..i still struggle with the jealousy of him having someone to take care of him, after he did so much damage to me. Every so often i get some random call for him here like a potential employer?. New mail comes here in his name, he’s been gone for 14 months???? I think he’s trying to bait me into some kind of reaction ( i have maintained no contact since October). His life here was pretty damn good, I have to keep telling myself this is who he is and he will do the same thing to her in time…!!!

      • Kathy May 25, 2015 at 11:28 AM - Reply

        I’m still there… how do you escape when you still feel like you are in love with him? I live in a separate house now, cuz he kicked me out. We still see each other. He calls I run. I still try to please him. I still believe he
        the good parts of him to be of value and worth fighting for. … PM me if you have any good advice. I dont want this all over fb.

        • ivytobin May 25, 2015 at 12:14 PM - Reply

          Ok Kathy, please PLEASE for your own well being, STOP running to him. This is very Unhealthy behavior and you will never find the happiness and self worthiness you DESERVE. Please visit my pages on Facebook for daily reminders and support. They are: The Society for Recovering Doormats and Journey to Worthiness. I think you would benefit greatly with the support offered there. Wishing you strength. You can always P/M over on FB and be an anonymous reader. Hope this helps. <3 Rose G.

          • Kathy May 26, 2015 at 12:51 PM

            Thank you Rose. I will look up the Journey to Worthiness page. I have been following the Doormats for many months and find the motivational quotes inspiring, but not there yet…

        • Sue Finnerty May 25, 2015 at 7:29 PM - Reply

          I know how difficult this must be for you Kathy. I’m sure there are lots of us who have been in a similar situation. These people don’t really change and you will keep on HOPING that he will. You see the good parts of him but there are also not-so-good parts as well. I read a fantastic book called “Whose Pulling Your Strings” [it’s online] and this was the start for me. I had the “disease to please” and found it very difficult to say NO. I just wanted to be loved and accepted by everybody, especially my tormentor who was a family member. I also started to set some boundaries but all I was really doing was “bargaining”. I knew deep down that it was not going to work out for us i started doing things for me, found some new hobbies and met some lovely new people who treasured me for who I really was. It hasn’t been easy and other family members could never really understand what the issues were between us. But you have to break that emotional bond for your own sanity and start to move forward. Good luck!

          • Kathy May 26, 2015 at 12:50 PM

            Thank you so much. Maybe being part of a support network such as this will help. I will check for that book you suggested as well. Been so depressed and need to get my spirit back and break this pattern.

      • ivytobin May 25, 2015 at 12:03 PM - Reply

        Hi Heather, “He WILL do the SAME thing to her.”. Guaranteed! You’re doing the healthiest thing by having NO CONTACT with him. Narcissists are extremely skillful master manipulators and only want what they CAN’T have. We aren’t equipped to ‘out play’ them. And why would we want to? When life is so short, and there are so many wonderful, authentic, loving people in the world to connect with. Thanks so much for reaching out. <3 Rose G.

      • Sue Finnerty May 25, 2015 at 7:37 PM - Reply

        Chuck his mail in the bin, get a new telephone number and get him out of your life forever. He still has a connection to you and you won’t be able to move on until you have severed these ties. Find some new friends, get some new hobbies and start to move on. Start thinking of yourself now and not what he might be doing with the new woman. To be honest with you I’d also think about moving from that house and really starting afresh. Good luck!

        • ivytobin May 26, 2015 at 11:17 AM - Reply

          Good advice Sue. Thanks <3

        • Heather May 26, 2015 at 2:10 PM - Reply

          Moving from the house that i own 75% of isn’t feasible…i don’t make enough money to move into anything else. I’ve been returning his mail with the new address and phone number attached so his creditors can contact him directly. I was kind of looking for a bit of reinforcement that i’ve made the right choices here Sue…but it seems you were more helpful to the lady still running back to her abuisive boyfriend then to me whose devoted 16 years to a marriage of lies and have finally gotten free and needs a bit of a handup emotionally. I also think i needed to hear that he was trying to bait me into contacting him cause i still feel like i can’t trust my judgement in matters associated to him. As for the phone number i have a lot of things attached to it not including the fact that it was the old family phone number from the 70’s i was able to get back when i returned to my old home town!! You all here know that they isolate you and make you look bad…I’ve had to struggle to get myself back up onto my feet..and i’ve done it alone thus far. Here of all places it would be extra nice if we’d support each other instead of giving advice we hear from people who haven’t been in these kinds of relationships, give us all the time. Sue i’m amazed how sweetly you handled Kathy and how bluntly you handled me..!!! Rose G (ivytobin) You on the other hand did some of what i needed, when i was doubting it was me and not him…I suffered a weak moment and was avoiding unblocking him from facebook…and sneaking a peak, you helped me put the breaks to that..!! For that i am ever grateful…(hugs)

          • Sue Finnerty May 26, 2015 at 7:33 PM

            Heather, I meant no offence. I’ve been where you are and it is truly horrible. The advice here is meant to help you in some way and it is given in kindness. Some advice you can take away with you and some advice you can just ignore. Good luck.

    • puv November 28, 2015 at 12:32 PM - Reply

      Disassociating is the best step. Either play their own game on them or snap away coldly. They will drag u into their madness leaving u to wonder your self worth. Painful in the beginning but grateful at the end.

      • ivytobin November 30, 2015 at 9:24 AM - Reply

        So true Puv. It is painful in the beginning, but so worth it in the end. Nothing can take the place of self respect and clarity. Thanks so much for sharing. <3

    • Kathleen Robson Thrush April 21, 2017 at 6:51 PM - Reply

      It sounds odd, but it does make me feel better to read descriptions of other people’s experiences with this problem. The underlying theme seems to be the same, you cannot win, you cannot change them, you have to leave & NO CONTACT is the only way to be free of them. As a people pleaser, you desperately want to “fix” them. I tried setting boundries, declared certain conversations off limits. But he mined painful stuff in my past like gems & delighted in torturing me with them. & I did think the phrase fun house mirror was very appropriate. Everything got twisted! No matter how hard you tried to keep the peace, peace was not what he wanted. He would find a way, push you so far that you’d start to argue back & then blame you for always starting fights. You cannot win. If you draw a line & say this is unacceptable, you somehow become the bad guy. One thing that he did that I haven’t seen mentioned is the “Carrot on a stick” treatment. He’d find something I wanted, for instance, a vacation/ antiquing trip after a hard winter of not much but work . Then the closer it got, the more he’d say YOU were fighting with him, you weren’t supportive of him, you didn’t “Deserve” that trip. True story, i wasted 2 weeks paid vacation time because we didn’t go. He cancelled 2 days before we were scheduled to leave, because “It wouldn’t be any fun to go with someone like me, who was fighting with him all the time”. And if you’ve been there, you KNOW, he was being TERRIBLE, blaming me for all kinds of truly bizarre stuff & pushing me so far that I had to speak up! & if you speak up? WOOSH, away goes the “reward”! I fell for that twice, 2nd time was a little store I wanted to start (I sell antiques) , he came swooping in with all of these grand plans & I knew, just KNEW that it was another carrot on a stick. And of course, his behavior escalated to truly awful, I “doubted him” , “was not 100% committed” & “started fights with him” & when I stood up for myself & told him his behavior was unacceptable, POOF, away went the carrot, I hadn’t been “Good enough” to earn it. I “didn’t deserve it” I walked away. It is truly torture to care about someone that sick. Have had no contact since. This is a small town & he makes sure I see him out for ice cream, dinner, etc with other women. I just feel so sorry for them though, he acts so charming & generous & sweet. But it is a mask & so very false & when the “Love Bombing” phase is over, he will very deliberately tear their self esteem to shreds with malice & glee. You cannot fix him, you cannot ever have peace. Happiness & a peaceful life are the OPPOSITE of what they get off on. You have to save yourself, just walk away.

      • ivytobin April 22, 2017 at 9:58 PM - Reply

        Hi Kathryn,
        Wow, ‘carrrot on a stick.’ Haven’t heard this described and termed so well! Thank you. So sorry you went through that, but so very VERY glad you left. Yes, you can never ever win with a full blown narc. Thanks again for sharing your story. ❤️

  5. Jenny May 13, 2015 at 4:40 PM - Reply

    I’ve begun a journey of rediscovery after all these years- I have just recently learned about Narcissism and my mother matches ALL description. Imagine being raised by a cold insensitive mother who told you your thoughts and feelings were invalid, never had a kind word for anyone, and conflict in the home was everyone else’s fault. My father gave up and left but not before he was emotionally beat to a pulp. I didn’t know what hypercritical was… Her favorite phrases were “shame on you” “you’re too sensitive” and “don’t be ridiculous”. I have finally come to realize that I’m NOT flawed! I deserve to be admired and respected! Most importantly I am no longer trying to win acceptance from my mother. She is who she is and I don’t expect or hope for anything any more. I suppose she didn’t ask to be made this way. I read somewhere that Narcissism is a spectrum disorder. Well- my mother certainly does lack the empathy gene. She will never comprehend the lack of a normal mother-daughter relationship but I do as I am striving to have it with my own children and grandchildren. Now that I understand how I came to be wired, I can overcome. I am 60 years old, my mother is 85. I wish I had learned all this decades ago…

    • ivytobin May 14, 2015 at 12:31 AM - Reply

      Hi Jenny, it is good you learned it. Period. It doesn’t mater when. Granted, life would have been better if you had the information about what was going on sooner, but sadly many of us learn these things later in life. Me included. I’m grateful to you for sharing with us and glad you are overcoming. Be happy and stay well. <3 Rose

    • Patricia McKinney May 14, 2015 at 11:40 AM - Reply

      Jenny, Thanks for sharing. I am 68 years old. Found this website and am thankful to know now how I got wired for the mat lifestyle. My husband of 32 years passed away recently, he was an active alcoholic and was a big womanizer. Always believed I was wrong,too sensitive, etc. His son, 51 yrs. old, also alcoholic, doper,does not work, is suing me for property which has my name on it because he says his daddy wanted him to have it so he would not be homeless. He receives money from government and is allowed to earn up to $1,000.00 a month w/o losing freebies. He has really been putting a guilt trip on me, but through this article about being a narcisist, I no longer accept this unacceptable behavior. Lots of prayer too. To make a long story short, thanking
      God for people out there who share. Recovering Doormat.

      • ivytobin May 14, 2015 at 1:00 PM - Reply

        Hi Patricia, I am so glad you were helped by my site. There are so many of us seasoned adults that are JUST NOW claiming our power, realizing our voice and recovering from a life long journey as a people pleasing doormat. Welcome to your recovery. With love <3 Rose G. Creator of The Society for Recovering Doormats.

    • Laura June 9, 2015 at 5:30 PM - Reply

      I completely empathize with you regarding your relationship with your mother. I have and have had the same struggle with my mother. Then, on top of that, I married a narcissistic man and further struggled with shaming and feelings of worthlessness. Every time I thought I’d reached the level of winning his approval, he raised the bar. I’m now HAPPILY married to a man who makes me feel loved, secure, and appreciated for WHO I AM. I feel worthy of love. Finally. Because for my first 45 years of my life these two people made me feel unloveable.

      • ivytobin June 10, 2015 at 10:06 AM - Reply

        Hi Laura, I am so glad you found the worthiness you deserve! The worthiness that is everyones BIRTHRIGHT! <3 Rose Gardner.

    • Paula September 2, 2015 at 5:20 AM - Reply

      Thank you. I have walked away from my family because of a narcissistic
      mother. I haven’t spoken to her since Christmas and lives around the corner from me. Fortunately, I have a great husband and children. There is still so much pain I feel from her constant abuse of me over 49 years and walking away has broken my heart. She has turned people in church other siblings and people in the community against me with her lies and slander. It is only now through blogs I realise that I can never change her behaviour or have a normal loving daughter-mother relationship. The positive side to this, is that my children will not be subjected to this bizarre life that these people exude.

      • ivytobin September 2, 2015 at 10:52 AM - Reply

        Hi Paula, sending ((( HUGS ))). Yes, it is very painful. But you are doing a wonderful thing for your CHILDREN. They certainly don’t need to be exposed to toxic, bizarre people. Especially a grandmother. It would do more HARM than GOOD if any type of relationship to evolved. Good for you for taking care or YOURSELF and you FAMILY. <3 Rose G.

  6. Dottie May 13, 2015 at 7:11 PM - Reply

    being raised in a dysfunctional family with a rage engaged father and victim doormat mother, I know these feeling all too well. One of my siblings is a master manipulator to the point of creating a posse with my other siblings against me, all based on assumption false beliefs and fabricated stories… there is no way to deal deal with her other than distancing yourself and cutting the umbilical cord, for they will fight to their death to be right and make you wrong and guilty… my life is happier with out her and I live guilt free and happy

    • Sue Finnerty May 13, 2015 at 8:27 PM - Reply

      I can definitely relate to the sibling manipulator. Divide and conquer leaving the victim isolated from other family members. Push & pull tactics of your emotions leaving you feel a little crazy! Have read some fantastic books which have helped in my healing. No point in trying to get other family members to hear my side of the story…they are not really interested. Peace at all costs reigns supreme in my family. Don’t rock the boat, forgive & forget are the tribe’s mantras. No longer in contact with the sibling. Just getting on with my life with the people who love and respect me.

      • ivytobin May 14, 2015 at 12:26 AM - Reply

        Thanks so much for sharing Sue. I’m sure there are many who can relate. Good for you getting on with your life. <3

    • ivytobin May 14, 2015 at 12:28 AM - Reply

      Yeah Dottie! So happy to read the healthy way you’re living your life. Thanks for sharing and inspiring others in similar situations. <3

  7. cid May 26, 2015 at 1:18 PM - Reply

    What about the doormat who is also a narcissist? How do they escape?
    And yes, they do exist.

    • ivytobin June 10, 2015 at 10:15 AM - Reply

      Hi Cid,
      The same rules apply to all narcissist! Doormat or ‘A’ Lister. And yes many people appearing so on top of their game, and self absorbed are struggling doormats.

      • Sue Finnerty June 10, 2015 at 7:59 PM - Reply

        Hi Ivy, now that is interesting about the narcissist being a doormat. Perhaps shame is a big factor. Some great reading material out there on shame. Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly is a real eye opener.

        • ivytobin June 12, 2015 at 11:03 PM - Reply

          Thanks for the reading suggestion Sue. <3

  8. Jennifer June 9, 2015 at 1:58 PM - Reply

    Just got played….hard, by one!

    I’m still in therapy.

    Ever heard of gas lighting?

    I have never felt more messed up/crazy then I do these days. That was one painful ride.

    Thank you for letting me share

    • ivytobin June 10, 2015 at 10:11 AM - Reply

      Feeling your pain Jennifer. Gas lighting is one of the narcissists specialties. Sending hugs, and love. <3 Rose Gardner.

    • Kathleen Robson Thrush April 21, 2017 at 7:07 PM - Reply

      That is such a bizarre feeling, when you know with 100% certainty that THEY did something, but they actually find a way blame YOU. It truly is , as another poster said, the “Twilight zone” & a “fun house mirror” feeling. Very disorienting. It sometimes left me absolutely speechless, the sheer craziness of the stuff he said! Don’t doubt yourself. Don’t believe his distorted version of who you are & what happened. Don’t let him back into your life. Build your self esteem, find peace & happiness. & I am so glad you got away from him. 🙂

      • ivytobin April 23, 2017 at 10:36 PM - Reply

        Yep, Twilight Zone perfectly sums up dealing with narcs. So does The Outter Limits & Groundhog Day. Same crap with these narcissists ~ but different day.

  9. Dottie December 12, 2015 at 2:13 PM - Reply

    become immune to them, get your nadar on as Lynne would say, yes they are going to be nasty when you finally stand up to them… their issue not yours… ignore, and go about your business…I stood up to my narcissistic sister, and she reacted by not only unfriending me, but blocking me on FB, I laughed… because I knew she would react. and expected that I would be hurt and feel ostracized again nope….. not this time… found the whole situation hilarious… it is freedom when you step into your own power and dont care what other people think… I am a kind and beautiful person. Amen

    • Barbara April 20, 2016 at 4:56 PM - Reply

      I stopped speaking to my sister 17 years ago….and let me tell you, it was amazing. I took control and fed it right back to her. She shut up and hasn’t spoken to me since. I like it that way. And Dottie you are so right , it is POWERFUL without getting down in the gutter with these drama queens.

  10. Barbara April 20, 2016 at 4:54 PM - Reply

    As far as family goes..I have to tell you, the ones that are eventually have their nonsense backfire… individual pushed their passive aggressive narcissistic nonsense one step too far. That person; GONE from my life….they stopped speaking to me and my husband and it’s been going on 4 maybe 5 years now. And , the amazing thing is, my life is Soooooo tranquil now. No drama no insanity!

  11. Dan April 20, 2017 at 6:29 PM - Reply

    I married one she stole fro the family for yrs . Has used her children for her own benefit . She has manipulated a few friends of hers to believe I have kept our youngest from her . 13yr old knows her mom has wilfully ignored her for weeks at a time in order to make me look bad . It has almost been a year .19 yr old has been disowned by her mom . Fairly sure mom only wants youngest for monetary benefit . I live in a small town .5min.walk between daughter and mom . No calls at Christmas or Birthdays yet claiming it is my doing . When she left she kept goverment benefits for youngest for 7months and only gave them up because cheques started to come directly to me . I am at a loss . I was overwhelmed when she first left have made necassary changes to take care of daughter you have any tips to help me cope

    • ivytobin April 20, 2017 at 7:20 PM - Reply

      Hi Dan, I am so sorry to read this about your wife. Narcissists are very dangerous. I can shout your situation out to my group on FaceBook. We have over 73,000 members on my page The Society for Recovering Doormats. Many times people have struggled with exactly the same situations and can offer great tips. If you’re NOT on FB, then let me know and I will try to help you further. I am NOT a therapist, or a trained medical professional. Just a recovering doormat, sharing my years of experience dealing with narcissists and other toxic personality types, on a humanitarian cause of helping others. Best wishes to you always Dan 🙂

  12. michael May 14, 2017 at 3:28 PM - Reply

    I am dealing with 3 narcissists, my wife, her brother, and their mother. They are very bad for anyone who comes across their path. They should have a sign plastered to their forehead saying “I will destroy you. Stay away if you want to live.” They wear their mask in public to hide who they really are. In private they do all of their damage. One post i found a year ago was in psychology today magazine. [The vampire’s bite: victims of narcissists speak out] was incredibly helpful. I have been controlled so much of my married life by my wife and her brother and mother in law that it isn’t funny. With the recent help of counseling i am starting to break free from their tyrannical grip. It’s not easy as my wife has destroyed my finances. My wife and her family try to bait me to spend time with them. I don’t anymore go over there.My wife has been forcing our 2 sons to spend time with them. I have been trying to get them to break free from those tyrants. Spending time with people who are so evil is not good for anyone. Other people are beginning to see through the deception and they are beginning to ask questions.

    • ivytobin May 14, 2017 at 10:16 PM - Reply

      Hi Michael,
      Narcissists are very dangerous people, especially for people pleasers. It’s unfortunate but narcissists seek out kind hearted people that are easy to manipulate. It doesn’t mater if anyone else can see “behind their masks” but YOU HAVE. And it is up to YOU to take further steps to distance yourself completely. Your wife and her vampire relatives will NEVER CHANGE. It will only get worse. Have you considered a divorce? IMHO ~ if you want the quality of rest of your life to improve then leaving your current situation is a must.

  13. Vonnie Long July 18, 2017 at 1:21 PM - Reply


    • ivytobin July 19, 2017 at 8:21 AM - Reply

      Hi Vonnie, For starters: Narcissists are self serving and agenda driven. They are manipulators and seek out nice, authentic, giving people pleaser’s to use and abuse. They are takers and when you have nothing else they need they discard you and move on to their next victim.

      • michael July 23, 2017 at 10:04 AM - Reply

        One thing i have learned is that a narcissist will never,never,never, change. Oh they might change for a month or so when you’ve finally had it with them and get mad at them and their actions, but they will go right back to the way they were as if nothing ever happened. My wife told me point blank several months ago “You will never change me. You have been trying to change me all of our married life. It will never happen”. Narcissists can be very straight forward honest sometimes. My wife is right. I will never change her, but what i can do is change how what she does affects me. Instead of me being so reactive to what she does i can just let it bounce off of me. See they want reaction and if you don’t give them reaction that takes away from all of their spite. They learn that you are not going to affected by all of their bullshit that they throw at you.

        • ivytobin July 23, 2017 at 2:55 PM - Reply

          Hi Michael, Thanks for sharing your story and great insight. I agree: narcissists will never change and reacting to their BS just adds fuel to their fire. Thanks so much for posting today.

  14. Frances Fitzgerald March 26, 2018 at 11:05 AM - Reply

    I have read mostly all posts on this site and I just want to tell you that it has been very helpful for me to remain apart from the Narcissistic people of my family. I live on my own, I am 59 years old. My Ex lives with one of our daughers and our Grandson. Its goning to be the little ones 4th birthday soon and I keep thinking I should go to see him but then I remember the feelings of being used. So, Im not going to this celebration. Living alone is very lonely but not as bad as being with people who make you feel worthless. I dont have a car to drive my daughter around, I dont watch over my Grandson, She never really visits unless she needs something I may have to offer her. I was visiting a lot and getting rides to doctors and such from the ex. but I have not gone there for 3 months now. My extra money has run out and I dont think I have any thing to offer them. Just being there isnt enough for them. I have to make my life useful to me now …. Too many years of just being there wasnt enough for him, and now he is living with one of our children and offers help in watching over the grand child and drives them any where they want to go… I was always asked to pay him for rides. He was never emotionally available to me. I was told by him and my daughter that I was a Narcisist …. I tried to be there by just cant do it any more… sad but true .

    • Ivy Tobin March 26, 2018 at 7:19 PM - Reply

      Hi Frances, thanks for shouting out today.I think your daughter and your ex have it all mixed up. THEY are the narcissists! Clearly, they can’t see themselves as their true selves. A classic sign of a narc. Great that you are staying away from these people. Sad that it’s your daughter and grandson, but you don’t deserve to be abused. Ever. Wishing you much happiness in your future of being around only authentic, caring people. With much love and many hugs. <3 Rose G. aka Ivy

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