There is an old native American legend concerning the “Two-Faced Monster”. Here it is:
Two-Face is a malevolent humanoid monster of the Plains Indian tribes. In some tribes Two-Faces are described as ogres, but most often the Two-Face resembles a human except for having a second face on the back side of his or her head. Anyone who set eyes on the second face will be paralysed with fear.
The figure described above appeared in visions when “bad times” were around the corner, something to be feared. According to legend, it stalked its victim after choosing them specifically and made their life hell.
I have been offering online therapy for over 10 years. During that time, I have built up a speciality in many areas of psychology (especially Codependency) and helped many clients move forward. Contact me for a free consultation. I engage fully with my clients to ensure the best possible chance of recovery. I firmly believe that awareness is important but action is the decisive element of recovery. I accompany my clients along that road not only by offering sessions focusing on their issues but as a resource between sessions too.
If anyone thinks the scenario described above is the stuff of nightmares, there will be many people, especially codependents, who have met their own friendly-neighbourhood monster in the form of a relationship with a partner with narcissist tendencies. This could be described as the same or a similar experience to the one had by the Plains Indians in the fact that and ogre with two faces will appear in their lives and immediately change their lives for the worse.
Except that it is not usually immediate though it is inevitable. At the start of a relationship, they are the most loving, understanding, giving person their victim has ever met. This is the grandiose illusion that usually blows up in their victim’s faces some while later when the narcissist gets bored or spies a new victim. Many clients I have had over the past ten years working with codependents, have stated interaction with people who fit the profile as described above. However, many times, contact with a narcissist is something different and for codependents, who love to fix and change people, this is hell waiting to happen. The typical image of a narcissist is one who sucks the air out of a room. He or she is the centre of attention and demands centre stage. This is the way that they boost their self-esteem void by making themselves seem far superior to all around them and they truly believe that everyone is there to serve their needs. They have a sense of grandiosity that gives them an entitlement to feeling like this. They are special, very special, amazingly special and everyone has to bow down in their presence. They might have had a childhood being told they were better than anyone else and in their minds, they are the next big thing to happen and it is only a matter of time before they are elevated to the star status they believe should be theirs. Only their feelings matter and only they matter and people are there to be used. Once you know a bit about narcissism, they are fairly easy to recognise. The ‘peacock feathers’ are on display for all to see and admire.
The one concept they rely on is the near certainty that their victim will fall quickly for the illusion they set up. They can sense vulnerability and target their victims carefully..vulnerable but valuable with plenty of resources to be had in terms of money, social status and access to other people. In our modern world that moves even faster than it did years ago, there is a need for speed. We must have a fast-track to everything. Time is a commodity that we do not give ourselves the luxury of enjoying. So it is with relationships. Through such things as social media and online dating, it has never been so easy to meet potential partners, or to discard them. We live in a world of disposable convenience. Many of the old facets of dating a partner have gone out of the window, probably never to return. One of these aspects was the need to really get to know a potential partner before committing to anything. That means going through good and bad times with them. The early stages of a relationship is not the best time to be objective. It is only after this adrenalin-filled period that true characters start to emerge as the relationship settles down into a routine, usually after a period of six months or more. This is the time when a better judgment can be made about compatibility with the person in front of you.
If many more people chose to do this, then the influence of the “narcissist illusion” would be much less.