What is The False Self?
Narcissists feel no more love for the people they have relationships with than they do for strangers. They may use the word “love” to express their feelings, and they may at times demonstrate appropriate loving behavior, but it is a ruse. They are emotionally unequipped to love anyone but themselves. Even that love is distorted.
With all their perceived power and specialness, one would think narcissists have very high self-esteem and great self-love. That is not so. They actually have poorly defined senses of self, frequent episodes of self-loathing, and constant feelings of inadequacy.
By “they” I mean their true selves. That is a side of narcissists no one ever gets to see. It tells them they are unlovable, inferior, worthless, ugly, and powerless. Feeling that way about themselves is unbearable, so starting in childhood they disown that part and replace it with a facade they are proud to show the world. This facade is known as the “false self.”
The false self is an impenetrable suit of armor that once conceived is there for life. Its job is to absorb the narcissist’s pain, hurt, fragility, and all perceived attacks from the outside world. It keeps him or her from excruciating self-examination and introspection; from having to face terrifying fears that he may be less than perfect.
If anyone tries to expose the narcissist for who he or she really is, the false self lashes out with rage so terrifying, no one wants to cross the person again.
The false self is everything the true self isn’t; grandiose, superior, and entitled. It tells narcissists that everyone likes them, everyone envies them, everyone wants to be like them, and because of their superiority, the rules that apply to others do no apply to them.
Once the false self takes over, the true self is virtually unreachable by the outside world. The persona you see is one of an imposter, capable of morphing into whatever personality it needs to in order to capture the most narcissistic supply. Narcissists don’t have relationships. They take hostages to guarantee reliable source of narcissistic supply.
With the false self running the show, it is impossible for narcissists to see their own imperfections. That is why they cannot admit anything is wrong with them, hence there is a lack of validation of victim’s experiences and an inability to acknowledge their wrongdoings. It is also why they cannot be helped. The false self keeps them blind to the truth.
If you are clinging to a “relationship” with a narcissist with the hopes of it getting better, please understand that it never will. They see no reason to change and resent even the slightest insinuation that they should.
Narcissists look and, for the most part, act like everyone else, but their brains don’t function in the same way as those without the same pathology. They are toxic, abusive, vindictive individuals with no redeeming qualities. Don’t let them fool you into believing otherwise.
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