How did we get here?
How did we become easy targets to allow narcissists to abuse their victims?
How is it possible for good people to become perpetrators of narcissist abuse?
How do we open the door unknowingly to be the next victim of narcissist abuse?
Come on, most of us are good people, right? We are not capable of being perfect, but most of us want to believe we have good moral integrity. We don’t want to believe that we are capable of perpetuating the abuse of another person. We want to believe what we read. We want to believe that no one would post or say something harmful about a person or group if it wasn’t true. We struggle to put ourselves in a narcissist’s mind because we can’t possibly think of calculating such a horrible attack if it wasn’t (in our own minds) deserved.
First, narcissists don’t take personal responsibility and they NEVER do ANYTHING wrong. They are the victims of their families, friends, romantic partners, business associates, and communities. You would think that we would be able to spot narcissists easily. Yet, according to the professionals who specialize in the field of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), it’s not as easy as one would hope, despite the number of red flags.
There can be narcissists in all forms of business (even non-profits), in our communities, on our friend lists, in politics, self-help, religious organizations, and even in our homes. It’s not always about what the person is doing, but WHY they are doing it. Narcissists can fool us by using good deeds to get us to look one way while they are doing damage somewhere else.
What Makes Social Media a Narcissist’s Playground?
We are trained to focus on hate, fear, lack, separation, shame, blame, condemnation, and overall judgment. Of course, a narcissist would love this playground. If you have ever read anything about how a narcissist operates, you know that they calculate turning people against their victim. They attempt to isolate their victim to make the victim become the alleged perpetrator. Social media makes this so easy.
We can’t put it past a narcissist to record sections of an argument where the victim is reacting to their abuse, so it comes off sounding like the victim is the crazy one. They find pictures that show the victim not in a good light and without social media knowing the background of that particular moment, get people to engage in commentary bashing the actual victim of the abuse.
They can say how innocent they are and how a CRAZY PERSON DID THIS TO THEM! The person they are talking about could be a mom, dad, sister, brother, girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, husband, ex-lover, child, friend, co-worker, boss, employee, and the list goes on an on, Wait, you may be thinking we have all done this at some point. The difference, a narcissist has done it to everyone on that list. If a person does what they want, they are on a giant pedestal. If they aren’t agreeing with them, watch out world. Every ex is the crazy one. Every employer is in the wrong. Every employee is to blame. Every friend has abandoned them or used them. I think you get the point.
Narcissists also use social media to hunt for their next victim. The instant they break up with someone, lose a job, have a fall-out with family, etc. they come to social media to prowl. You might start seeing them everywhere when before the interaction was limited. They look for people to comment on their “poor me” posts and all the sudden instant messages start popping up from them because you understand them in a way that nobody has understood them before. You are the only one who can rescue them and all the sudden you are on a giant superhero sized pedestal. Then they systematically will destroy your relationships with others.
Bang! THEY ARE IN! They prey on people-pleasers, empaths, and caring individuals, along with anyone who has problems with self-worth, self-image, self-esteem, and self-respect. They also prey on people who have any kind of suppressed shame or guilt, which could have stemmed from childhood trauma. Any person who are prone to blame others, oh boy WATCH OUT! They will LOVE YOU. When someone uses statements like, all women, men, politicians, republicans, democrats, whites, blacks, police officers, I just see this image of a narcissist rubbing their hands together saying, “Let’s play!”
The people who do things for others to gain their own personal value are perfect targets. We may think we are helping or rescuing them. They act like they care and try to get us to reveal as much personal information as possible so they will be able to use it against us later. A narcissist will attack using anything you possibly have guilt or shame around. If you are a people-pleaser, social media is the perfect grounds for attack because their victim is mortified that people could think that they are anything like the image the narcissist is portraying.
Don’t forget, narcissists can be VERY charming. They act one way when they want something from you and a whole other way when you aren’t there. The question becomes how do we see through this and know when we are contributing to a narcissist’s abuse and/or opening the door to become their next victim?
Part of the answer is we have to become vigilant and really aware of what we are doing on social media. INVESTIGATE anything you are giving your energy to! If you don’t have enough time to investigate:
- Don’t engage
- Don’t participate in the hate, fear, or negative commentary
- Don’t JUDGE based on a simple post
- Don’t like or comment before you know facts
- If a person is ALWAYS blaming other people…question your connection with the person.
- If you don’t want to be involved in any potential hate, abuse, or fear tactics edit your friends list and LIKE and FOLLOW pages that don’t engage in it. Only have friends on your list that you truly want IN your life.
- If you lack self-worth, self-respect, self-esteem, and/or are a people-pleaser, work on yourself. When we have a healthy relationship with ourselves, we create healthy boundaries.
Let’s not contribute to letting narcissists use us to hurt others. If you see abuses that can be reported—report them. If you see someone endlessly blaming and shaming others—block them. If you don’t want to perpetuate the hate—stop contributing to it. Be self-aware and vigilant. We are all capable of being fooled on social media. Research before you post or comment.
Let’s start spreading more love and stop contributing to the energy that gives narcissists a perfect playground. Put your focus on the changes you want to see. No reason to give energy to things you don’t want in your life. You get what you focus on. Let your thoughts, feelings, and actions lead you somewhere amazing, and if you want to live a better life, see the humanity in others. The second we allow others to dictate our humanity, we lose.
We can’t be held accountable and responsible for other people’s actions, but we are responsible and accountable for our words, beliefs, actions, reactions, and responses. It’s no one else’s fault if we contribute to narcissistic abuse on social media. If we are blaming and shaming others, we need to look inside, because that is where the problem begins and ends. Self-awareness is the key to us not contributing to abuses on the narcissists’ playground.
With Love and Gratitude,
Rachael Wolff ©2018 ©2022 (Updated)
If you are interested in seeing how I broke the patterns of being a victim of narcissist abuse and became a spotter of narcissistic behaviors, check out my book, Letters from a Better Me in the link below or learn more here.