The weapons of the narcissistic pervert are seduction, beautiful promises or even demeaning attacks and blaming others. His words are so powerful that his victim has difficulty realizing that she has fallen into his web. The psychoanalyst Jean-Charles Bouchoux, author of the book “Les perverses narcissiques” (ed: Eyrolles), gives the keys to getting rid of it.
Why Doctor: At work, in the family, in the friendly sphere… THE Narcissistic pervert is present in many conversations. Why do so many people seem to have a narcissistic perverted ex or loved one?
Jean-Charles Bouchoux : Lnarcissistic perverts became a “trendy” topic around 2009, when my book was released. For what ? Partly because we need to point to someone as the object of our problems. It has always existed. In my grandmother’s time, it was the wolf for example.
One of the questions this poses: this is why this need to demonstrate that the other is perverse. There are several possible answers: We now live in a society where we are quick to point out someone guilty. We are so afraid of being seen as the weak link that we can tend to look for it elsewhere and see it in the other.
There are also people who like to play saviors. So, behind the question “is he perverted?” then there is the question: “can I save him”.
But if people tend to overuse the term narcissistic pervert, these manipulative personalities do exist and they cause victims. This should not be doubted.
Narcissistic pervert: “the fact that we don’t feel good in the relationship is the first sign“
What is a narcissistic pervert? How does he manage to make the victim fall into his web?
For me, narcissistic perversion is characterized by a psychotic defense mechanism. We could say that he is a schizophrenic who, instead of maintaining his anxiety of dissociation (the anxiety of being two in oneself) inside him, projects it onto his relationships. It then creates a fusion couple: it is very often a loving couple, but it can also be a parent/child or employer/employee couple. And this is where everything comes into play.
It always starts with seduction. He surrounds the victim with attention and promises to seduce them. Then little by little, he isolates her so that no third party comes between them. It is from there that perverse defense mechanisms are put in place. He projects onto the other what he is so afraid of feeling within himself. Finally, he sees himself as the good doctor Jekyll and the other is the bad one mister Hyde… He values himself by demeaning the other: “You are bad, it’s your fault, it’s because of you”.
It is a phenomenon of projective identification that is at play here. It’s important that people understand it, because we understand that when he says “you are bad”, in fact he says “I’m so afraid of being bad that I prefer to attribute it to you”.
What are the signs that you might think you are in a relationship with a narcissistic pervert?
As I told you, at the beginning of the relationship with a narcissistic pervert, everything is beautiful. There is a strong promise, because it starts with seduction. But then there comes a point where things change.
The fact that we do not feel good in the relationship is the first sign when we are dealing with a narcissistic pervert. Generally, people who come to see me for consultation tell me: “When I met him, I felt that there was something wrong, but he was so charming that I preferred not to think about it”. They knew from the start, but the promise, the seduction and the attention of the partner win out. It’s true that we all want to be seduced.
The second is that victims very quickly feel guilty in this relationship. But, I believe that what we think is guilt, and rarely guilt. We are guilty only if we have committed a fault, and there are none. In reality, for me it’s more a diffuse feeling of guilt linked to the anxiety of abandonment. “As I am not good enough, the other one will not stay with me”. So, when I receive someone who says to me: “I feel guilty”I tell him : “Okay, but guilty of what?” And usually, people can’t answer.
My advice, faced with this type of signs and feelings, is to trust yourself, connect with yourself, become the subject of your own story again by paying attention to your feelings. Certainly, the relationship is theoretically beautiful, but in reality, it is not that much in concrete terms. You have to trust yourself.
Narcissistic pervert: “you have to leave and completely cut ties”
People confronted with a narcissistic pervert often have great difficulty ending the relationship. How to leave him or her?
If it is possible, we must leave and completely cut ties. You have to remove him from his contacts, not answer his calls, avoid going on his social networks to see where he is in life. We blacklist him, we ghost him as they say today, we change sidewalks if we see him. There needs to be a real break, because the narcissistic pervert will seize the slightest opportunity to regain control. As he is in omnipotence, he will try to see if he still has power over the other.
But this is difficult to do for many victims, because they often have abandonment anxiety. And, despite all the harm he can do, our pervert reassures us, because he is always there.
But, it is impossible to remain friends. It’s already very complicated in normal relationships, so in dysfunctional relationships…
How to rebuild yourself afterwards?
We must be careful of the risk of repetition. If we just move forward without understanding the mechanisms that came into play in this dysfunctional relationship, or what happened, it risks happening again.
On the other hand, if we understand why we fell into the net of a narcissistic pervert, there is no reason for it to happen again. With the help of a professional if necessary, you must ask yourself: “Why did I have this experience with such a person? What happened? What do I have to understand?”
“If you have a friend or relative in this situation, you should not try to intervene”
How to react if you see a loved one falling into the net of a narcissistic pervert?
It’s not easy to say “your boyfriend or girlfriend is not a good person”, but it is also counterproductive. If the person is in love, they will automatically move away. In addition, one of the mechanisms of the narcissistic pervert is isolation. He cannot stand the presence of a third party in the relationship. He will, for example, say “your friends are worthless”, “your family is worthless”and his partner will gradually isolate himself from those around him.
If you have a friend or relative in this situation, you should not try to intervene. On the other hand, you can send a kind word: “I noticed that you needed to distance yourself from me and I respect that. But, know that if you need me one day, my door will always be open to you.”
Thus, we are neither in the accusation nor in the warning. We welcome his attitude and assure him that there will be no price to pay for this distance. When the person wants to get out of their relationship with the perverse narcissistic partner, they can come back to you. In fact, some victims do not always dare to reconnect with those around them, because they say to themselves “damn, it’s been two years since I last spoke to him and I want to ask him for help now“. This type of message leaves an open door for them in case of need.