Narcissists Are NOT Capable Of Object Constancy Which Might Explain Their Cruelty!
We are all guilty of saying hurtful things in the heat of the moment.
Every relationship has its ups and downs usually resulting in arguments, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going to breakup.
When we quarrel with our loved ones, most of us have the ability not to do too much damage.
This is because of something called object constancy.
It basically means having the ability to still have a positive emotional bond with someone when you are also feeling angry, hurt or disappointed with them.
It also means having the ability to feel emotionally connected to that person when they are not physically around you.
To most of us, this is a given and we can move past the little things.
However, to those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder or who are Psychopathic or Sociopathic with Narcissistic Traits, the negative feeling they have towards someone in the moment is all what they can focus on.
If you have been involved with a Narcissist, chances are he saw you as a worthy target, so he love bombed you into thinking he was your perfect match.
Narcissists target strong and successful people to prey on, partly because they like a challenge and partly because you make them look good.
Then they start breaking down your spirit with their abusive and gaslighting behaviour before they discard you suddenly and brutally.
People who have been in Narcissistic Abusive Relationships often describe their partners as having a “Jekyll and Hyde” behaviour, one moment they are acting like everything is perfect and that you are the love of their lives, then something switches and a monster appears in front of you who is angry, cruel, and threatening.
According to Shannon Thomas, a therapist and author of the book “Healing from Hidden Abuse” abusive people can switch between “Jekyll and Hyde” so easily because they never take any responsibility for their actions.
This is also why they are able to move on so quickly from seemingly relationship ending arguments, sometimes pretending that it never even happened.
”It’s that lack of empathy and that lack of attachment that they can just go from one place to the next” she told Business Insider.
If nothing ever sticks to them, if there is no actual remorse and no guilt of any kind, then its always someone else’s fault.
I describe them like Teflon, the frying pan, nothing sticks to them, nothing ever really is their responsibility, it is always projected out.
The lack of object constancy in the Narcissist’s mind mean that he can’t cope with the idea that the person he is with doesn’t exactly fit into his ideal mate criteria.
When he realises that the person he is with is only a human, with faults and imperfections, that’s it, he will move on to his next target, leaving the other person confused and heartbroken.
It is not known how someone becomes this way.
A well respected and cited American psychologist Margaret Mahler studied object constancy in infants.
In her work she noted that once a child starts to crawl, he begins to understand that he is separate from his mother and starts to develop a sense of self.
The first object children learn is their mother and how all the different parts of her like her voice, arms and the ability to feed belong to the same being.
They also learn that when she leaves the room, she will come back again.
However, some children grow up with this part of their development being fragmented somehow.
The reason for this is not well understood in psychology yet, but both nature genetics and nurture parenting could play a role.
For example, Mahler wrote that if a child’s caretaker is abusive, this can result in a defence mechanism in their psychology called “splitting” which could help explain why some people grow up with a lack of object constancy and then become Narcissists with the inability to have empathy for others.
In this situation, the child needs to feel cared for, even though his parent isn’t supplying him with that, and so he repress the negative aspects of the object or in another word the mother, so he can hold onto the positive aspects.
In the child’s mind, the idea of the mother is being preserved and destroyed at the same time.
According to psychiatrist Perry Branson in a blog post on Psychology Today, this can result in dissociation from the situation.
This can happen in adulthood when the Narcissist is under stress such as being in an argument with his significant other.
He dissociates from the positive feelings while he is experiencing the negative ones and vice versa, seeing the other person as all good or all bad.
It is similar to how a toddler has a temper tantrum.
Therapist Perpetua Neo told Business Insider that the behaviour of Narcissists in abusive relationships is so insidious that victims stop respecting themselves.
Narcissists can never change, she said and the best thing survivors can do is run as far away from them as fast as they can.
”You want to make sure you reclaim your life in a different way”
When you are with a Narcissist, you stop doing things for yourself because he doesn’t like you doing things for yourself.
Be really clear in your head that this person is a Narcissist and really nothing can be done about it.
The only thing you can do about it is to take care of yourself.