Inside the Mind of the Malignant Narcissist

Art by Rob Goldstein
Found on Pinterest

First posted June, 2015

Nine months ago I received an email from someone I thought was a friend. I had written her to tell her that I wasn’t feeling well and that I wanted to take a break from social media.

In short, I felt ill.

This is the email that I received in response:

Art by Rob Goldstein
July 15th, 2015

I was stunned. She was no longer following my blog and she told a stranger I no longer wanted to be friends with her.

I immediately recognized a triangulation and understood I was dealing with a narcissist.

I can’t remove her as an administrator from my Flickr groups and she refuses to leave.

I asked her in private to step down and when she didn’t I asked her to step down publicly.

She still hasn’t stepped down.

Art by Rob Goldstein
Found on Pinterest

In the months since this began I’ve had an awakening about the subject of pathological narcissism and my experience of it as a male.

I realized my first impulse is to protect women, even those who don’t deserve it.

In my research I came across several writers who urge the targets of narcissists to tell the story of what happened, to reveal the mind of the narcissist so that others can see how it works and protect themselves.

Art by Rob Goldstein
From Buzzfeed, Found on Pinterest


The following email was sent by the Narcissist to all of my friends on social media.

You may have trouble reading it because it is in the word salad so typical of Narcissists.

I’ve removed the names:

“I am writing to you because I want to make it clear if it’s not or in some way my name  has been smeared or the truth distorted. I was raised in a very loving caring atmosphere by two parents who demonstrated love and caring to themselves, their family and the community I grew up in.  Both of my parents were brilliant, and soul mates.  My Mom on the iconoclastic side and my Dad a huge creative.  When I was much younger my Mom told me that I should not form relationships with those who come from bad backgrounds as it would impact their ability.  I did not understand this and I being very warm had many friends.  I think I now finally understand her perspective.  It is not wise to be friends with someone who comes from a troubled background, most importantly it’s something that if not careful one can harm further the person and I being of the nature of I will be myself and spirited this is not good to do with some.  Yah, it’s easy to understand that one should be oneself and that if others do not like this they can have other friendships, but on a deeper level, people are hard to understand and I can be challenging and I speak directly and think and in my community this is thought of highly and I have not had issues with my ways.  Of course, no one can be accepted by all and I’m sure some people don’t quite get along with my approach.  I try to temper it, but I do speak out.  Anyways, I hope that if there is any clarification on my perspective of you that I expressed.  If any of it came back to you through Rob, I hope it was not disrespectful.  Before Rob decided that our friendship was not working out, he expressed to me many things.  Looking back I spent time writing how I felt on his impressions and they were specific to ____ son and you and how he felt that her son was not nice and a whole bunch of stuff on how her son bashed you and about paintings and it went on and on.  Because of the depth of our friendship and that I felt totally comfortable I thought that expressing how I felt and what I would say to ____ son might help.  This I see in retrospect was not good to do.  It’s not good to talk to others without the others being present.   It’s just vague in respects to what is really going on and I now understand and have learned.  I think highly of both you and ___ and her son.  I know not any other way to think and that’s all.

The post that Rob Goldstein posted on his Flickr stream and linked also to his wordpress blog on Malignant Narcissism is referring to me.  I left a message in response on his flickr page, but have since removed it.  I tried to leave one on his wordpress blog, but he did not post it  It just stated that my thoughts could be read on the flickr stream he has.  I don’t know who read it, and I expressed myself there.  My family said I should remove it, so I did. 

Most of all, sometimes friendships end.  With Rob, I don’t know why he chose to end it.  He never said, just said it wasn’t working out and that a few others weren’t either.  At that point I removed all the things I had placed at Horses.  I did return and saw that I could still rezz and thought that I could a little.  A few times he banned me and has never written to me again.  I did have anger because I did not realize I should not be there and spent time setting up a little place and took photos and when he removed it and banned me I spoke out.  Anger happens and when it does it is a reflection of hurt and confusion. To express to Rob this anger is not something one does to someone challenged mentally and I now see this. 

To know me though is to know all of me, even the parts that can be difficult and to accept this and try to understand.  I conclude this is not something he would be able to do.  Labels of narcissism, he did use this word many times to me about others and I one time told him not to do this as that term is a medical term for people in a population who really have this condition and need help.  It is not a label to put on others as it’s like putting them down.

I think we all have a narcissism in us.  I don’t think of narcissism as bad, I know some people can come across as full of themselves in degrees.  I read about what a person who has narcissism and it’s a medical condition and all that. 

I do think it’s horrible that he posted this but realize not to take it personally as it’s not fair to do this from his perspective and what he is challenged with. 

Anyways, this is a long writing and just needed to express my thoughts. But I don’t know what Rob shared or if in anyway it was distorted.

The only question that’s relevant is if you know I’m “challenged mentally” why are you stalking me?

Art by Rob Goldstein
Found on Pinterest


Please note that I am not saying I am an innocent victim of this woman.

All of the clues were there well before she revealed the full extent of her pathology.

I ignored those clues.

If anything this woman represents the ongoing abuse of my Mother who taught me  to love dishonest and deeply selfish women who are unworthy of my affection.

Rob Goldstein 2016

75 thoughts on “Inside the Mind of the Malignant Narcissist

  1. Hi again Rob,
    I just finished reading all of the comments from your post.
    I’m going to take a risk and offer you a reminder that I think you might benefit from after I read everything you wrote in your comments.
    -Yes, absolutely, all of this posting etc is going to get your Narcissist very excited and just feed her. Remember…she won’t leave your Flickr group EVER. simply because you want her too. And to a Narcissist, they can never do what YOU WANT because it means that they’re giving up some control.
    – At some point, you have to accept the fact that the healthiest thing and the one thing that will drive her nuts is to simply WALK AWAY. That takes away her control and any attention for her. And that is the only way to help yourself and break free of her.
    – Walking away also strips her of her “conquest.” I know how much you feel that you need to “out” her, but keep focused on YOUR HEALTH, not on trying to humiliate her.
    – Lastly, I’m really sorry to even suggest this one. Don’t let your very deep and painful memories of your Mother drive your ambition to keep confronting this woman!
    Forgive me if I’ve stepped over the line here, but I just felt that for your benefit these few things needed to be said. I say them because I know “Narcissists” etc and because of what you wrote about yourself.
    Good luck. Feel free to answer me if you want, or not.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are absolutely spot on. This is exactly what I spoke about in therapy. I needed to clear the air before I could walk away. I knew that this was going to be fuel for her but then I won’t make my decisions based on her sickness. I needed to do this for me, so that the truth is here. I can walk away now and feel good about it. I’m glad that you stated your opinion. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Great! I’m so glad to hear that is your goal. It’s a good goal. It allows you to say you piece out loud and have it “acknowledged” which is very re-assuring yet your ultimate decision to walk away especially after “outing” her is perfect. It shows great strength on your behalf and really empowers you. This of course strips the control and power from her. All good healthy stuff.
        Thank you for sharing. Everyone who has experienced such an encounter needs to come forward. 🙂


      2. Yes. In my therapy we are looking at the preconditioned responses that I dragged into adulthood as a result of my narcissistic and psychologically abusive Mother.

        The hardest pattern to break is the one of thinking I can do something to bring her to her senses, to make her see how wrong she is. It is the pattern of believing that unreasonable and pathologically abusive people can ever be anything else.

        This woman is one of many–The difference is that I no longer need my Mothers approval which means that I no longer need to have a narc in my life.

        Thank you for your excellent comment, advice and concern.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Good stuff! Indeed I think that is the hardest thing for anyone who has any relationship with a Narcissistic etc person is finally accepting that they can’t change. That must have a heartbreaking struggle for you as a child. But as you say, you’re most certainly heading forward, in the right direction. Congratulations. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. My subjective experience of my alternates is that they are more different than they actually are.

        It’s the saddest thing in the world. Their fear of feeling shame makes them behave shamefully which only compounds the shame.

        The more shamefully they behave the less incentive there is for them to change.

        In the end they lose everything; friendship, love, and the kind of success that you can’t get from cheating because a cheat can never really internally claim a win.

        To some extent they die without ever really knowing what it is to be human.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Exactly!!! I guess that’s why there is a growing opinion that they’re not fully human in a sense. In that they literally don’t have the capacity or ability to generate emotions and feelings like most of us.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. If empathy and the capacity for imagining the joy and suffering of other people is what makes us human then based on the economic and social policies in the U.S. the majority of us are not human.

        I have noticed that the dogma of the cult of the individual avoids the question how the individual works collectively to set the direction of our political and economic systems.

        When I think of Nazi Germany I think of a nation of individuals who collectively voted to scapegoat and murder millions of their fellow citizens.

        At what point did the Nazis stop being human?

        It’s a serious question because the definition of what is humane and who qualifies is human is always on the table in the U.S.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Oh boy.
        Yes indeed you bring up a vast subject, with, as you point out, almost uncountable related questions in regard to humanity and society in general.
        Also, as you say this issue of what is humanity has haunted almost all societies at some point to differing degrees over history.
        Strange how you would mention that it is a serious question in the U.S. currently. Living in Canada I have been seeing a lot of various news reports comparing Trump and his campaign tactics to Hitler, his dogma and rallies.
        Although I say all of that, I’m not in any way excusing Canada from any of this shift away from a collective “good” that society in general is experiencing.
        It’s all quite terrifying I find. And to be honest at times I find the whole subject overwhelming.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. What we saw with Germany was just how sordid a so called “backlash’ against the rights and successes of minorities can get. The fact that the leadership of the U.S. under Nixon decided to use the racist hate in the former slave states to achieve and retain power is even more appalling when you consider that Nixon belonged to the generation that saw the results of hate in Germany first hand. I imagine that Nixon burns in Hell for this as I write.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Bravo, Robert! Narcissists, Psychopaths, sociopaths etc All, unfortunately, exhibit extremely similar traits. I am very familiar with “word salad” although, congratulations, your ex-friend is quite an expert at it. lol, I’m so sorry that you had to meet, befriend and now tolerate her “crazy world” of total self-centeredness and lack of empathy that is core to all of these anti-social personality disorders. Know that you’re not alone, there is a number of us who are speaking out. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank God there are people who are speaking out. It’s almost as if masses of people have decided that they are sick of having narcissists dominating their social media accounts and interactions. The fact that there are so many people who think they have the right to take the joy away from other people is sickening beyond belief…
      But even more sickening is the thought of their victims passively accepting it in silence.

      I would not have spoken out had there not been so many people already doing that!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly!!! That’s the exact same reason that I spoke out about a horrible relationship that I had with a Psychopath/narcissist/sociopath. The names seem to have become interchangeable sometimes. 🙂


      2. They follow a consistent pattern, don’t they? Once you realize that you can almost predict their behavior.

        It is absolutely guaranteed that at the slightest sign of criticism you will become ‘the enemy’ which means that the next step is to triangulate you with anyone who will listen. This is followed on the internet, with flying monkeys and sock puppets to harass you in a dozen different ways. It’s all so infantile that it’s hard to believe that anyone can reach the age of thirty and not be filled with shame at the self indulgent nature of the narcissism. But if Narcs had the capacity for shame they wouldn’t be Narcs.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Very true and it must be at times a gut wrenching thing to have to continually work on. I didn’t mean to insult you in any way, I was actually complimenting the way you so cleverly summarized such complexities.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s important that you share this story. And I’m so glad that luckyotter reblogged it and I found it. I’m actually starting to thinks that my mother is a malignant narcissist and if it’s true then so many things just fall into place.

    I’m sorry that this woman is stalking you and smearing you wherever she can. I have never read an email that was so convoluted in my entire life. Word salad is an appropriate description!

    I hope that you can get rid of her soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comments…it helps when someone else sees the crazy.

      The woman that I need to kick out of my life is my Mother. This woman is just another narcissist in a long string of them.

      It does fascinate me that this woman can publicly park herself on part of my Flickr account, refuse to relinquish access to it, and use her access to psychologically harass me and STILL convince other people that she’s a victim because I want my group back. How do they get away with that?


      1. I think Yahoo’s management would like to kill the art groups on Flickr. Yahoo will do nothing.

        With the sheer number of pathological narcissists who use the internet to find victims imagine the effort and expense it would take to investigate complaints against people who lie as if it is as natural as breathing.

        And even though I have reams of evidence, a complaint of abuse by a male against a female is automatically at a sexist disadvantage.

        I think that there are probably as many female narcissists as males and in many ways they are more dangerous because they mask their predation behind the guise of a helpless woman.

        Federal and State Law might be more effective.

        I am legally disabled and covered by the ADA and hate crimes legislation.

        I have ample evidence that this woman not only knows that I’m disabled but that she uses what I’ve told her about my illness as part of her campaign of abuse.

        However, before I do something as serious as file a criminal complaint I want her to have an opportunity to leave the Flickr group and leave me alone.

        I really don’t like the idea or wasting a single moment of my life on someone who can’t learn how to behave like an adult and who has no desire to learn.

        She’s a member of Second Life which means that she has plenty of fellow narcs and enablers to keep her amused.

        I also find it hard to believe that her immediate family doesn’t know about her narcissism.

        I hope that someone in her life is aware of her online activities and has the power to make her stop.


      2. I don’t know how Flickr works. I’m an old fart and can only deal with one or two of these programs at a time! Can you set up a new group? Post that you are moving it and then don’t let her in? Or at least she wouldn’t be an administrator. Is that a possibility with Flickr?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I can set up a new group but this is not about an art group.

        It’s about the fact that this woman’s refusal to step down as an administrator is by definition stalking and given what she knows about my illness, psychologically abusive. Imagine that you are walking through a park and you see a man with broken legs and woman with a metal cane. She repeatedly slams the cane into his legs while screaming as if she is in pain. The man with the broken legs is mute.

        A crowd gathers but no one stops her from beating the man. Instead they try to comfort her because she sounds like she’s in agony.

        I decided to write this post when it dawned on me that my silence is helping her to get away with it.

        People think I am the abuser because the only one telling the story of what happened is her.

        I can start a new group and exclude her; but by staying silent it will play into her lie that somehow she is a victim of MY cruelty.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Just a thought. I hope that you can get rid of her and get some peace. What a mess. I’m definitely interested to see how this turns out.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. It’s interesting to me that the act of not keeping it a secret has changed my perspective on this completely. I suspect that they ensnare the people they abuse by creating an atmosphere of division, suspicion and shame. The person who breaks with the pattern is free. This is why they Narcs are so desperate to stay in control.
        Because it’s all a lie that can only be sustained by mutual agreement.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Absolutely! Narc is just something I’m becoming acquainted with by reading blogs, but I’m really beginning to believe I’m having this trouble with my parents.

        Shout it from the rooftops!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadly, she will treat this post as a source of supply…there is no getting rid of them…they really are parasites that feed on people and once they’ve had you they always think they can use you again. So they are always somewhere on the periphery….and online they can creep back in just by changing accounts and account names. I know Narcs in Second Life who can burn through an account in less than six months…and they always, always think that I and everyone else is so stupid that we won’t figure out that it’s a new account.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Escaping the grip of a narcissist is not easy. I can really relate to your words about being more upset with the person at the very root of your development. When I did EMDR, I saw clearly where my life patterns were rooted. Mine were in an alcoholic father who I longed to be approved of. I spent my life from 10 years old to 47, beating myself up thinking that I had let him down. We are together now, and when I confronted it, it turns out that he was so drunk that night, he didn’t even remember. I’m glad you are writing about this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry that you had to go through that much pain. We take the sins of our parents onto ourselves when we are children.

      If I have finally been released from the compulsion to ‘save’ my mother so that she’ll love me then everything that is happening now will have meaning.

      And whatever losses I accrue will be worth it.

      I don’t want to go to my grave with this.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like that “released from the compulsion to ‘save’ my mother so that she’ll love me”. As you have tried to save women, I have tried to save troubled men. I think I am done now. I hope I am done now. I’m glad you are releasing your thoughts on it.


    1. You know, I’m glad it’s happening.

      I see this as an extension if my treatment.

      This doozy is in my life because I held the door open.

      The vampire metaphor that is often used to describe NPD works well in this case.

      Narcissists don’t enter the lives of healthy people.

      So something is wrong with me.

      That’s why I don’t call myself a victim here.

      I’m not a victim of the woman who wrote the rambling smear job in this post.

      I’m a victim of the woman who set me up to let the one who wrote the smear job into my life.

      Getting well means learning how to keep the vampires out.


      1. I agree. You have to learn to recognize them beforehand. I commend you though. You are aware enough to nip it in the butt and not fall into the trap of trying to apologize and let her back into your life.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s hard to describe the emotions of a therapeutic breakthrough.
        In this case it comes in understanding that anger is not the same as rage.

        Anger, when it’s just, is cleansing.

        In some ways rage is a muted form of anger and therefore not cleansing.

        Today I felt anger and that the anger is just and just anger does not need to explain itself.

        When I was a kid anger was wrong.

        I was not allowed to be angry at the pain of life with my Mother.

        If anything I had to love her for it and that cognitive dissonance resulted in
        the fragmentation that I’ve had to survive.

        I have not posted this information until now because I do not like to do things
        as revenge.

        I needed to know that I was not stooping to the level of a reverse smear campaign…

        But how does one ‘smear’ another person with the truth.

        It’s irrational to protect people who want to hurt you.

        And that insight is a breakthrough for me.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I’m sure you know already because you are an intelligent man, but I’m going to say it anyway. Anger is an emotion and just like all emotions we have to express them or that energy get trapped in our psyche. I don’t think anyone would your post as a malicious intent to hurt someone. You are just clearing the air.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Thank you…yes, I’m intelligent, but I’m intelligent in all of the ways that make me human which means that sometimes I need other people to show me where the obvious is…

        Your comment is a relief to me because it would bother me deeply if I were deceiving myself.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow. I’m really sorry.
    That is absolutely word salad.
    It’s better to let it lie rather than to try to convince everyone what a gracious person one is trying to be by NOT letting it lie. I’m all for standing up for one’s self, but not when it involves inviting spectators. Nope, that’s some Borderline bs right there. “Come, dance the drama dance with me! I’ll lead! Don’t step on my toes!” Icky.


    1. Thanks for the comment.

      When I woke up this morning I realized that I felt violated.

      I’m also sick of hiding other people’s warts.

      I’ve been struggling in therapy to understand the impact of my Mother on my relationships.

      To all young Mothers who might read this: the choices you make for your child will affect the quality of his life for the rest of his life.

      There is only one woman in my life but she has a dozen faces.

      She is cold, manipulative, she delights in seeing people suffer, she hates men but needs them for validation, no one is smarter, prettier, more desirable or more worthy of attention.

      If she can not physically assault me she will do it psychologically.

      She will cut me off from my friends, my Father and anyone who seems to love me.

      She will take everything and leave me with nothing.

      This is how narcissistic my Mother was: when my Father died he left me some money so I go to college.

      My Mother took it and bought a bar.

      The narcissist who is cyber squatting on part of my Flickr account couldn’t be less relevant my dillema.

      She is actually a flying monkey sent by my Mother from beyond the grave.

      What’s important for me to remember is that this narcissist symbolizes a problem that will not leave when she does.

      If I don’t solve the problem I will only replace this narcissist with another one.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. This is the beauty of taking it public.

      If we are ever to end child abuse we must address abuse as adults when it happens between adults.

      I’ve held onto that email for months.

      I’ve used snippets of it but I was reluctant to really discuss her or even name her.

      After I read a few arguments in favor of making these things public I asked myself why I felt the need to protect someone who is stalking me.

      It doesn’t make sense.

      I’m glad you saw the signs in your own life and got away.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s frustrating to try to deal with someone who has no sense of decency.

      I think that’s the reason narcisists get away with so much.

      Most people cannot comprehend a person with no sense of decency.

      She publicly refuses to honor a simple request to step down as a moderator to a group I founded and she still has people who see her as a victim.

      However, I’ve seen this before when I was a child wandering Charleston with open sores and wounds on my body.

      People felt so terrible that my Mother had to deal with such a clumsy kid.

      Nobody needs this kind of crap, either in their personal lives or politically.

      Narcissism is easy to describe because there is a pattern to it.

      Consider that Donald Trump who is verbally and psychologically abusive to anyone who opposes him has a shot at the White House.

      While I’m asking myself why I let this woman into my life the rest of my country might want to ask itself that question about Trump and our current House of Representatives.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love Charleston! I’m an upstate girl. Grew up in a little town called Walhalla. Went to Clemson for college. Anyway, just another reason to like you, my fellow sandlapper.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh! Now I get it! Loser HAD to tell me about his tramp….but refused to give me a divorce and then LOVED it when she was warning him that I should not “come up there” (meaning where he lived) and punished him if he saw me or talked to me. LOL
    So, THAT’S triangulation…..well, well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes-that’s triangulation in its purest form.

      To a narc your rage is just another manifestation of their power.

      And the name of your blog is like an all you can eat buffet at Sizzler, I assume he likes carcass and sour cream.

      There are always two ways one can go with these situations. Am I angry at having my boundaries disrespected? Yes…

      But…and here is where the feeding stops; it’s not about her.

      There is a reason your husband can still get you worked up and there is a reason that I turned my group over to a thief.

      In my case a narcissist who uses neediness as a strategy to sucker in victims will get me every time.

      Add points if she claims she was abused by a former boyfriend or husband.

      I will knock myself out to save my Mother from the people who were right to hate her


      1. Loser doesn’t get me worked up anymore. I haven’t seen or talked to him since last June. I made it perfectly clear that the last time he saw me was going to be the last time he EVER saw me. He didn’t like it but tough shit.

        Liked by 1 person

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