Narcissists project a fake image; does this mean that nobody really knows the real man underneath enough to love him?
THE NARCISSIST: A LEGEND IN HIS OWN MIND
By Tigress Luv, The Breakup Guru
According to the mythological legend, Narcissus fell in love with his reflection. Narcissus was legended (yes, I made that word up - but it fits soooo well!) to be an exceptionally cruel man who felt disdain for all those who loved him. As punishment for this he fell in love with his own reflection in a pool and subsequently perished alone alongside his reflection, never being able to leave his own reflection and find a true love outside of himself. Therefore he was sentenced to die alone never to have found a real love for himself, either from him or from others.
Today the term 'narcissism' is coined from this legend. A narcissist does not love his true self, but does love the 'false' self that he reflects to himself and to others.
To better explain, a narcissist creates an outward image of being 'perfect' and lovable and he then displays this fabricated image to others. He has given birth to an impression of himself, and never has developed or acknowledged his 'real' self. He wears this image like a mask, never removing it or revealing what's underneath it.
The narcissist depends on this 'false image' or rather his 'reflection' to feel love for himself. Unfortunately, because of this his true self is never really developed nor loved by him. He feels love for himself only though the love others have of his projected image. His love, therefore, is not of himself but of the projected 'image' that other people see him as; the fake image that he has perfected and emits.
The expression "what you see is what you get" does not apply to a narcissist. Most assuredly, what you see is not at all anything even remotely like what you get in the long run. Sure, he can keep this mask on for a while, but eventually it becomes too much for him to bear. In the privacy of an intimate relationship his mask is eventually removed, his 'package' is opened, and his true self emerges.
Once the narcissist is totally revealed you will see a man that is indifferent and not wanting to be bothered by love or intimacy. Once you have removed his mask he will leave you feeling like the empty shell that he really is himself ... an empty shell of a man that sucks the vitality out of those around him on his constant feeding frenzy of admiration.
Because the narcissist is so dependent upon this love and admiration from others he will go to great lengths to make sure that his 'fake image', or rather the 'persona' that he displays for others is of the utmost lovable and beautiful. He goes above and beyond to create a perfect, gentle, compassionate, 'lovable' image in order to gain the admiration and adoration of others.
The more his reflection gains this desired status (whether it be fear, admiration, adulation, love, respect, awe, etc.) the more removed he becomes from his 'real' self and the more pronounced his false, projected image becomes. He lives to impress and he loves only his impression.
In reality, the narcissist loves not anyone, not even himself, but rather falls in love with the 'impression' he makes upon others, and falsely feels love toward those who are most in awe of this 'impression'. Should the object of his love suddenly see through his fake image and find fault or flaw in his 'real' self, he will become outraged and full of disdain, disrespect, and an intense and contemptuous dislike and despite for that person. In a heartbeat his love for that person will become replaced with a loathsome disgust. His real self has been discovered and revealed.
Most narcissists will run just as fast as they can from someone who has removed his mask and revealed his true identity, whether or not that person actually likes their real identity, or not, doesn't matter. The narcissist cannot risk acknowledging, even to himself, that his false ego is just that -- false.
For more information on surviving a narcissist read my digital reports about my own, ten-year experience of living with a narcissist here, at my narcissist advice website, Breaking Up With Your Narcisist
Breaking up with a histrionic narcissist? Be prepared for the battle of your life! While you are an emotional basketcase, he is as Cold as Ice! While you are left holding down the fort and dealing with the real-life responsibilities, he walks away from everything leaving you to mop off his stage and pay his bills. He will punish you in ways you couldn't possibly have ever imagined...
....and not even acknowledge it to himself! Why? Because he's off charming the socks off of new women as if your years together didn't even exist!
The narcissistic ex continually acts in abusive, bewildering and confusing ways. He is not above committing destructive acts. When the breakup becomes a reality, it is likely that his 'false persona' will completely disappear all together and you will most likely experience the most hurtful of behavior from him. He is completely lacking in empathy, and - since he is not receiving any admiration from you anymore - he will dismiss you and discard you as worthless to him, consequently dropping any fake front that he once fabricated in order to keep you in the relationship. Click here to read our 'Breaking Up & Dealing With a Narcissist' downloadable pdf ebooks brought to you by Tigress Luv.