Contrary to popular belief, narcissists are not in love with themselves; they are in love with their own reflection. Thus, they are only comfortable when they make others see them as they see themselves. Being dependent on a reflection leaves the narcissist unable to judge the authenticity of the reflection or have an accurate measurement of its attributes.
Being in love with your reflection means that you are smitten with something that isn’t real. Thus narcissists’ love is directed at something that is a secondhand impression of them; they are in love with what they believe other people think and feel toward them. This belief is under their strict control; methods of rage, intimidation, and humiliation guarantee that nothing upsets the reflection.
Thus, those who must live with a narcissist often live in fear. Regardless of the pain that has been projected upon them, in order to not awaken an even more terrifying narcissistic beast, they must adjust their responses in such a way as to not mirror something back that is differs from what the narcissist believes to be true. To do so would be catastrophic, bringing upon them a ruthless barrage of mistreatment until they confirm to the narcissist the accuracy of his or her aggrandized self-image.
Narcissists do not take responsibility for their own behavior; they will offend you and then blame you for having caused them to hurt you, thus furthering their belief that you must be penalized for their mishaps. Living with someone who exhibits this sort of behavior is exhausting, for if you cause this person to doubt their self-made, illusionary sense of worth, you can become subject to their reign of terror.
If you see yourself in this article, may God give you the courage to face the person in the mirror and not the reflection.