Morality to a narcissist is a code of ethics that they want others to employ when dealing with them.  It is not the same code that they employ when they are dealing with others.  Narcissists believe that they do not have to abide by the same rules as everyone else because they are “superior and above all that”.

Narcissists know that they are amoral and when they get caught committing a minor misdemeanour they will giggle about it like a naughty child who just got caught stealing a biscuit, they think that they are being quite cute/clever.  If they get caught committing adultery, they will flip the blame back on to their partner by implying that it was somehow the partner’s fault that they “needed” to be unfaithful.   If the same thing was done to them they would automatically react with a visceral narcissistic rage.

Narcissists don’t care that they are morally bankrupt because like in all aspects of a narcissists life, they think that they do not need to conform to the ethics that they expect others to adhere to, and especially when they are personally directly involved.  It is their ridiculous sense of entitlement that “permits” them to commit outrageous immoral acts and since they do not have a conscience they do not take responsibility for their own actions or feel any remorse what so ever.  The only “remorse” that they might feel is if they have damaged their public image it will not be because they have treated another person in an abusive and immoral way.

At the same time, they will be outraged by those who do defraud the system for personal gain in the same way that they do. They might be vocally horrified that someone is putting family holidays on their expenses account but they might be committing some far greater crime, but because it is the narcissist, it is perfectly acceptable to them.

The nature of their immoral acts covers the complete range from murder, financial fraud or theft, lying, cheating to abusing their own children and other people.  Frequently they will not react in any way when they get caught and they may even get furious for having their game ruined and try to punish anyone who dares to expose them.

Bad babies

Narcissistic mothers can label their babies as being “bad”.  The reason for this is because the narcissistic mother will not give the emotional support that a baby needs this will make the baby feel very unsafe and might cry a lot to try to get their mother to respond to them in a loving and caring way.  The fact that the baby is crying a lot of the time annoys the mother because she thinks that it makes her “look like a bad mother” and she will blame the baby rather than try to understand what the baby needs.

She will not look at her baby and see a little bundle of joy and innocence reaching out to have their needs met in the only way they know (by crying), she will project intention on to the baby and think to herself that they are only crying to “make her feel guilty”.  There are other reasons why a narcissistic mother thinks her baby is bad:

  • She will see the baby “competing” with her for attention
  • She will resent the lack of sleep
  • She will feel that the baby is taking her for granted
  • She will resent the routines like feeding, nappy changing and bedtimes
  • She will see illness of any sort as a form of bad behviour and to annoy/make her feel guilty
  • Narcissist are all about their needs and to have to focus on her baby is an exhausting and tiresome investment of time, energy and effort. It is also relentless the baby has needs every single day and cannot be put in the toy box when she gets bored with it.
  • She also has to spend a lot of energy into training the baby that her needs come first, and that any deviation from this attention will be punishable. To do this she has to intimidate, break the will, brainwash, bully and silence her baby.
  • The narcissistic mother can often breast feed for too long because having a baby feed from her provides comfort to the mother and it means that the baby is more dependent on her. It also means that the baby is less able to self soothe and therefore remains almost exclusively focused on the mother.  Breast feeding for too long also makes the baby easier to control because the mother can threaten abandonment and no mother = no food and is therefore a death threat which in turn will make the baby very, very reactive to the mothers needs and demands.


Signs that you have been abused or are being abused by a Narcissist


You are unsure of yourself.  Do you find it difficult to make decisions?  Constantly refer to other people for validation or before you do something (when you never did this before?)  The reasons for this are three fold a) the narcissist does not want you “to get ahead” and be successful in whatever you do, as they see this as an injury to their own self-image. B) a narcissist will always blame someone else for everything, if you are in a relationship with a narcissist then you will be the obvious target, c) a person is much easier to control if they are confused and fearful of making the “wrong” decision.  This demeaning and destructive behaviour works slowly and over time you wake up wondering why you have no energy and have completely lost the fight to defend yourself (and maybe even get out of bed).  The narcissist will take absolutely everything away from you that they can.  Your social support network, your money, your confidence and self- esteem.  When they have done this they will be pleased with themselves because in this broken state you are much easier to control and they will see this as a victory.

Confusion is an inevitable by-product of abuse.  You will feel violated and doubt yourself at the same time.  Your reality will constantly be denied and they will not engage in open and frank communication.  If you say that you are not “happy” with the situation, they will go on the offensive and tell you that you are depressed, you are too sensitive, you need to go to therapy or do something, but it is never their fault. They will not work together with you to find a solution/compromise, on the contrary they will work against you.   Any disharmony in the relationship with a narcissist will always be the other person’s fault and they will let you know either directly or indirectly that they are wonderful person for staying with such a crazy person like you.  For example, they might tell someone else that you are being “really tough to tolerate at the moment”, but they will stand by you, even though they know very well that they are the source of your anguish.  This is a double win for them because a) the other person sees them as a loyal and caring partner, b) they get to continue to abuse you, knowing that everyone thinks that they are great, and won’t believe you if you try to set the record straight (you are the one going through mental health issues after all, not them!)

They also believe that they are being magnanimous for pointing out your flaws to you so that you can change and become the better person that they deserve.  They create all of the rules for you, but they are for you alone, they do not abide by any of them.  They have the freedom to do whatever they want to whoever they want even when it means hurting others (including their own children).

You cannot pull a narcissist up on their behaviour for three reasons a) they will flatly deny that they did what they did b) you will get a counter “attack” with narcissistic rage or c) take your constructive criticism and flip it right back at you “no you are…”

Arguing with a narcissist is futile because they will not stick to the argument, they do not argue/discuss to find a solution to a problem, they argue to “win”.  The techniques that they employ to do this are irrelevant to them no matter how nonsensical or illogical they are.

The person on the receiving end of this type of abuse will know instinctively that there is something “wrong”, but might not know what or why.  Most people if they have been accused of a certain type of an annoying or inappropriate behaviour will go off and introspect (even if they are defensive at the time of the argument), a narcissist will not.  They will not listen to what you say and they will firmly place the blame for their behaviour somewhere else, anywhere else, it is just never their “fault”.  This is not just the behaviour of a small child who denies stealing biscuits, it is more pathological than that.  They don’t just deny what they have done, they want to hurt the person who has suggested that they were culpable of a wrong doing, either by a smear campaign, gas lighting or some other means, this is narcissistic abuse and they are relentless in the pursuit for “winning” their “game” (like hurting the person who confronted them, preferably destroy them).  This can literally go on for years.

If you have been subjected to narcissistic abuse either at a family of origin level or in adult relationships it may well be the case that you disassociate from your feelings.  So if someone is overtly shouting abuse at you and you don’t react.  You don’t tell them to F**k Off and you don’t cry or cringe either, you just stand there, speechless, it is only when you get to some place that you feel safe that your emotions emerge.  This might serve you in the short term, but in the long term it has been proven to decrease your ability for healthy psychological interaction and function.  It often happens that the person who is being abused by narcissists exhibits symptoms that the narcissist “should” own, such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts etc., this is because you are taking on the “stuff” of a narcissist.  You didn’t earn it, they projected it on to you and expect/ insist that you own their negative thoughts about themselves and the world in general.  It is very, very stressful being around a narcissist.



The opposite to the golden child is the scapegoat.  Scapegoating is a serious dysfunctional family problem.  It is when one (or sometimes more) members of a family are picked out to be blamed for everything wrong that happens in a family, even if they had nothing to do with the event, this is called projection.  The narcissistic parents will completely violate the boundaries of this child and project everything “bad” that happens in the family on to him/her and force them take on the blame for collective family problems (even though the scapegoat in the family might only be 3 or 4 years old).  They will force other members of the family of origin to do the same thing to ensure that the scapegoat does not find any support from any other member of the family.

There are different reasons that one child is singled out, they might be too independent and noncompliant, the child might be too different from the parent, they might be sensitive and emotional, remind them of a relation they did not like or they might just be weak or vulnerable for some reason and therefore easy to bully.  Children of narcissistic parents are often very angry with their parents simply because they are not doing their job as protector, carer and provider, but at the same time are extremely interfering and controlling.  This generates a lot of anger and resentment and since children of narcissistic parents know that there is no point in getting angry with their parents, that anger has to be deflected/projected onto someone else.  It is classic bullying, “I am hurting, I cannot hurt the person who is hurting me, so I will attack this small vulnerable person instead and that will temporarily make me feel better, more in control”.

The narcissistic parents of a dysfunctional family will actively encourage the other children in the family to redirect the anger that that is held for them onto the scapegoat child.  The parents will lead by example by taunting and hurting the scapegoat child.  This is called mobbing or flying monkeys.  All members of the family are affected, the scapegoat will learn that they are at the bottom of the pile and are a dumping ground for all.  The dynamic of a “good” child and a “bad” one can continue into adulthood.  Aggression, the use of force against another human being is always present in scapegoating it can be through rudeness, humiliation, rage or constant negative feedback.  The target of scapegoating feels wrongly persecuted and disempowered because whatever they do they are always wrong.  If they are good they are bad and if they are bad they are bad too and even if they are paralysed with fear of doing something wrong – they are still wrong.

These roles have been assigned by the parent(s) and have little or nothing to do with the individual themselves.   The scapegoat is probably selected because they are the easiest to bully and manipulate.  It is not their fault, they didn’t do anything wrong, but they are raised thinking that they just stumble from one self-made atrocity to the next, without ever knowing what they have done wrong.

If one of the siblings feels inclined to stand up for the scapegoat, the family will swing in and let that child know that it is not acceptable behaviour to support the scapegoat and will threaten punishment for offering support as that would destroy the structure or the dynamic of the family that the parent or now collective “family” has deemed “acceptable or correct”, so the system is self-policing.

Any external defence of the scapegoat will probably bring more punishment on to the scapegoat as the parent will see that the scapegoat has done something to make her/him look bad in public and that is a punishable offense.  The scapegoat child was more than likely just being a child but the parent(s) will project their “adult” malevolence onto the child and punishment will inevitably ensue.

The whole sick dynamic is really a form of emotional incest or rape.  The scapegoat child will be blamed and held accountable for the parent(s) emotional well-being and will also be denied a childhood.

A narcissistic parent will NEVER support the scapegoat child.  It will not matter what happens, whatever the evidence of having been mistreated, the narcissistic parent will always take the side of the other person.  S/he will say things like “you must have done something to deserve it”, “how can you be so selfish, you have hurt that person’s feelings” (if you defend yourself), “well of course they ripped you off, you look like an idiot”.

So how can you tell if you are a scapegoat?

  • You are held responsible for family problems that you have nothing to do with.
  • If you defend yourself, you are disbelieved or incur rage from the family unit in one shape or another.
  • Some family members are actively encouraged to be verbally, emotionally or physically abusive to you, while the other members of the family do nothing to defend/support you.
  • There is constant projection, a family member shouts abuse at you and then you are accused of being hurtful.
  • You are afraid of being “successful” as you know that it will incur the collective wrath of the family, so you deliberately under achieve. To succeed at something is a source of toxic shame.
  • Constantly being accused of being the sick, bad, addicted member of the family.
  • Being treated with distain or hostility by your family, being excluded from family communications only being told what is going on when they want something from you.
  • Any achievement will be belittled, ridiculed and rejected (sometimes punished).

So how do you survive this craziness?   Scapegoats often have huge issues around trust and feeling safe in relationships so are susceptible to flight, fight or fawn.  This all comes from childhood trauma.

So how can the scapegoat break the spell?

  • You need to know where you have come from and distinguish what you were told to believe, rather than what you do believe.
  • Get back in touch with yourself, there is an indestructible core inside of you all of the time, re-connect with that person. S/he might be as young as 4 or 5, this person is referred to as “your inner child” in the literature. This young person is very precious and has been subjected to a lot of abuse If you come from a narcissistic family, recognise the fact that you could be taking on generations of neglect/abuse etc.  Don’t let your family use you as their dumping ground.
  • Get back in touch with who you were when you were little, that is the true you.
  • Don’t try to appease the scapegoat family, collectively or individually, it is in none of their interests to let you move out of the role that they have given you – so don’t try, it is not worth it, it will only trigger more pain.
  • Don’t ever expect abusive family members to be anything other than abusive family members. Once an abusive family member always an abusive family member.


  • The word is “no”, don’t say yes to everything that they “ask” you to do.
  • If someone treats you badly within your family, call them out on it.
  • Don’t treat your interaction with your family as a means to an end.
  • Take into consideration what your family have told you about yourself in your role as scapegoat, acknowledge the fact that what they have told you is projection of their own pain and problems.
  • Trust your instincts, listen to that little voice that says “this is not fair” and let them know that you are no longer prepared to take on their abuse.
  • You have been the family punch bag and the bad feelings and opinion that you have about yourself are not “real”,
  • Write down what you know to be true about yourself without looking for validation from outside of yourself.
  • Don’t try to look for the validation of your abusive an uncaring family, friends and co-workers
  • Don’t look for apologies, they will still blame you
  • Call people out when they are disrespectful and point back
  • Accept that you will never have a healthy relationship with people who treated you as a scapegoat
  • Treat yourself with kindness care and compassion
  • It will take time to learn how to take care of yourself, but it is do-able and well worth the effort

Narcissists will set you up to fail, they can do things like give you something and then publically accuse you of stealing it, tell you someone’s secret and say that everyone knows about it, so that when you mention it to someone else it makes you look like a malicious gossip etc.  They do this because nothing is ever their fault but they know that they cannot randomly blame everyone as that would lose them favour, so they carefully select someone(s) to take the blame for whatever they do and will work diligently through lies a deceit to make sure that everyone believes them.  The scapegoat in a lot of cases isn’t aware of stuff that has been attributed to them but notices that certain people treat them with hostility.

A few precautions:

  • Don’t be alone with a narcissist if you can avoid it, they won’t abuse you if there are other people around, if you are in company and they ask you to leave the room with them, make your excuses.
  • Don’t accept presents or stuff from them (if a narcissist gives you something they consider it a purchase)
  • Don’t believe anything that they say (until you have had validation from another source)
  • Be aware that you are probably being manipulated at all times
  • Don’t look for appreciation or gratitude because you won’t get it (unless it is in a public setting but it will never be sincere)

What to expect when you erect boundaries with a narcissist

  • They ignore your request to assert your boundaries, either by pretending not to have heard you or pretending to misunderstand the boundaries that you are trying to erect.
  • They sulk and accuse you of being cold and distant or not liking/loving them
  • They give you the silent treatment and spread the word that they are having an amazing time without you.
  • They will go on a smear campaign “after all I have done for him/her and s/he couldn’t even…, s/he is so ungrateful”
  • Go into an infantile regressive state, like a toddler’s temper tantrum but in the form of a fully physically mature adult
  • They will threaten you and try to force you to do what they want you to do through lies, deceit and soliciting the support of their flying monkeys.
  • They will use weakness and vulnerability as tools to manipulate you into do what they want you to do.
  • They will play the victim role, of one who needs to be rescued.
  • They will try to garner the sympathy of everyone around you, and I mean everyone, your work colleagues, your family, friends and acquaintances, they have no limit to the people they will try to turn against you.
  • They will make up lies about the nasty things that people said about you to infuse a little paranoia into the equation.
  • They will “accidentally” forget to share information that you are entitled to such as family gatherings, meetings or social occasions – this is done deliberately to make you feel isolated, unsupported and having indifferent attitude to your job and family in the eyes of others.
  • They will make up lies about nasty things that you allegedly said about other people to destroy your relationship with that person and your reputation
  • They will tell you how you should be and act
  • They will either be super nice to you in front of other people to show what a nice/forgiving person they are or act like the victim and behave as though you are about to hit them
  • They will pick away at your boundaries in tiny increments to gain traction. Things so small that they are not worth fighting for but collectively make a big difference
  • They will pretend to be worried about you


Narcissists form of “LOVE”

  • I love the way you make me feel about myself.
  • I love the way that you want to take care of me
  • I love the way that you are so easy to manipulate
  • I love the way that you believe my lies
  • I love the way that you trust me
  • I love the way it is so easy to take money from you
  • I love the way that if I don’t do something you try harder
  • I love the way that you back down if I fly into a rage
  • I love the way you let me always take the limelight in company
  • I love having someone to tell my stories of my wonderfulness to
  • I love to express my magnificent theories to you
  • I love the way I confuse you and the effort and energy you spend in trying to understand me
  • I love hurting you because it makes me feel strong
  • I love sucking the oxygen out of the air that you breathe, and leave you feel gasping for breath, it makes me feel good/powerful
  • I love sucking the life force out of you, hacking away at your confidence and self esteem
  • Our story is only an idealised story that I can tell my next lover to make them try to measure up and feel jealous
  • I love to use and manipulate them in the same way that I did with you
  • I love destroying things from your past before there was an “us”, because I am the most important person in your life
  • I love destroying things that are precious to you
  • I love wrecking things that you create
  • I love sabotaging your reputation
  • I love ruining your other relationships with friends and family
  • I love forcing you to do things that you don’t want to do
  • I love spying on you so that you have no “private place”
  • I love shutting you up in company so that all of the attention is on me
  • I love stealing your money
  • I love using your energy to get things done
  • I love showing you that you are not good enough