Behind 6 masks of the narcissist – the Love Bomber, the Show Off, the Bully, the Entitled, the Liar, the Discarder.

Think of the narcissist as wearing a mask – in fact think of many masks.  They are masters of manipulation and hide under different characters.  It’s a bit like Jekyll and Hyde but their persona is multiple not just two. These masks are false personas, and even after over 20  years of being married to a narcissist you may never know if there is real persona.  I not convinced they know themselves – they even take themselves in.


Here are some of the masks that they wear:-


  1. The Love Bomber – this mask is firmly in place at the beginning of the relationship.
    This is the person you fall for, to all intense and purpose they appear to be your ideal partner. The one you have been searching for all your life. Bright, witty, attractive, charismatic, charming, well dressed. They appear to be well off and don’t hesitate to spend their money on clothes, cars, expensive presents – a combination of attributes that is hard to resist.  With this mask on they are reading you and gauging very carefully your reactions. They move the relationship on very quickly.  They have to they cannot keep this mask on for too long before it starts to slip.
  2. The Show Off – With this mask on they are looking for adoration and to make others envy them. They boast about who they know, who they spend time with, their car, their house, their lifestyle.  You name it – they have done it, been there, and know all there is to know about any subject.  They often act in quite a dangerous way to prove themselves to be superior to all.  Quite often they are extremely fast and risk-taking drivers.  Of course, they can drive better than anyone else and they can handle any car at any speed.  As a passenger, this can be quite frightening, but they assure you that you are quite safe with them as they overtake on a blind bend.  They also often claim to have qualifications or experience that they do not have.
  3. The Bully – this mask is one that makes more appearances as your relationship progresses. They are classic bullies.  They attack without cause and are triggered by irrational reasons.  Quite often they may react to an innocent comment or act that they take as criticism.  They are hypersensitive to critique.  You will probably first recognise this not with yourself but how they treat ‘underlings’ such as waiters, or check-in staff, or car rental staff.   At first, you are surprised as you never realised, they could be like this.  You rationalise it, but as it continues your gut is telling you this is a red flag. As your relationship continues, they will start to bully you.
  4. The Entitled – Narcissists really think they are above rules and regulations, they are not made for them. They make their own rules, they should not have to queue for service, they should not have to speak to underlying. They really think they need to be treated differently.  They hate figures of authority such as passport controllers, why should they have to explain why they are entering a country.
  5. The Liar – The narcissist mask is a lie designed to protect themselves from truths they cannot bear. Narcissists are liars who continuously attempt to control others’ perceptions of them and, when they can’t, resort to nasty reprisal. The narcissist may cast himself as a highly principled person, but in reality, they are only concerned with their own needs and are too weak to face life’s truths. They may talk the talk, but when it comes to the truth, they stonewall, blame and shame others, and always deflects accountability. Narcissists are classic frauds with all the important relationships in their life. Because they lack the ability to recognise and empathise with others’ experiences and emotions, narcissists are incapable of authentic intimacy, kindness, or selfless giving.  But they can’t be seen to be like this so they lie all the real values in a relationship.
  6. The Discarder – Once you have served your purpose this is where the narcissist discards you. They do this without hesitation.  They have moved through their masks to discard.    There is always another ‘victim’ waiting.  They cannot live alone so they need to have another relationship to move straight into – and again they move quickly.  No sooner have they moved out from you than they have set up home with their ‘true love’.

Copyright JH DivorceCoach

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