Although narcissists are famous for lacking a moral compass and the ability to show true human emotion, it’s their ability to understand it all that amazes me. In this article, Part 2 of my series on a narcissism and compartmentalization, I’m going to give you my theory on how a narcissist (or sociopath) actually does it…how he or she can actually do what they do, walking in and out of compartments continually fucking with the lives of those who love them. Again, this is my theory on it and I’m no expert but you will see that it makes sense.
Now, as strange as it sounds, a narcissist’s understanding of emotion is beyond even our own, believe me. Understanding what makes others tick allows narcissists to be a pretender extraordinaire and the future-faking emotional chameleon that eventually gets him/her the desired end result from another person. Combine this with compartmentalization and the narcissist creates his own perfect storm of trickery that can fool even the best of us.
In Part 1, I explained the psychological tactic of compartmentalization and how the narcissist uses it to keep all important relationships separated so that one either never finds out about the other or is incapable of ever gathering the evidence to validate suspicions that they do have. Compartmentalizing is how an N is able to subject partners to silent treatments over and over, all the while feeling perfecting confident that these partners will remain in the queue until his return. I likened the narcissist’s brain to an empty building filled with separate rooms (or compartments) where he keeps the different scenarios of his life under lock and key. Assuming the appropriate personality for each scenario, he simply slithers in and out of these rooms, trauma bonding the occupants to the point that no one knows what the hell is going on (except the N, of course) until it is way too late.
So, how does the narcissist do it? Is he just a pathological liar? Is it really possible that this person we love can have absolutely no problem living this Lie? How does a person just walk away from a long-term partner, historically rejecting years and years of a relationship as if it meant nothing at all? Well, here’s how I see it……
[NOTE: this goes for the female narcissist as well]
Once upon a time, the narcissist, even before he started creating his compartments, had to get a handle on his emotions. Whether this meant learning how to use the few that he did have (anger, rudeness, nothingness…) or learning to mimic those that he knew could get him what he wanted, he had to figure out a way to stay on top of the game so he could, in essence, keep playing for as long as he wanted. (Don’t forget…it’s all about the game here!) To do this, he decided that all emotions, aside from what his fakery made it look like, should, to him, feel the same. By this, he meant that everything and everybody in his life will exist on the same emotional plane. To the narcissist, no one person or situation or relationship or scenario will be any more important than the next and the level of importance allocated to all will be, of course, minimal. Why? Because “minimal” is comfortable to a narcissist as it relates to anything and especially as it relates to how he has to interact with the outside world. Of course, the outside world will be none the wiser because what the narcissist does have is an innate ability to deceive and to also read – like a book – the weaknesses and boundary points of anyone he becomes involved with. And these abilities, combined with the inability to feel true human emotion, then becomes is highly advantageous because it allows the N to have the calm wherewithal to figure out what he has to do to get what he wants. Basically, if he makes the most of what he’s got, he can go through life not giving a fuck about anything and still have a helluva good time! And so this is what he did.
The bottom line is that you mean no more to the N than anyone else in his life and you never did. You, his boss, his buddy, his job, his family as a whole and individually, his children, his co-workers, and even the check-out girl who rang out his groceries this morning all mean exactly the same to a narcissist. Everything and everyone (even you) serves a purpose and if, by chance, you stop serving that purpose, he’ll just find someone else to serve it or he’ll simply stop needing it. It ain’t nothing but a thing!
This is why narcissist can quit or switch jobs at the drop of a hat or walk out on his/her children feeling no guilt at all or change cell phone numbers with every deafening silence or talk nasty about you all over town when you did nothing or flash his new girl all over Facebook or leave a marriage after 20 years without saying a word or stop talking to family members or cheat on you even though you have great sex or make promises only to break them every time or future-fake a wedding engagement or vacation two days before he disappears or seduce and discard you over and over and over no matter how much you cry or beg him to love you and not to do it and to see the error of his ways. This is how he can walk in and out of compartments, fooling the occupants while having the time of his life.
Leveling the emotional playing field for any and all relationships and then sticking the humans attached to those relationships in little compartments so that they never learn about each other is what the narcissist’s relationship agenda is all about! The narcissist never hates or loves or likes you any more or less than he hates, love, or likes the stranger who stood next to him in an elevator this morning. When we view the relationship with the narcissist from this perspective, we can get a better understanding of why it ends in the callous way that it does and we can then take the pain a lot less personally. You, my friend, were never the problem.
This is only my theoretical opinion, of course, but if you think about it, it will connect the dots and make perfect sense.