Red Flag #16 in the Red Flags of a Narcissist series has to do with a Narcissist’s (other any other form of manipulative, destructive, or dangerous person’s) concern with their public image.
Most highly manipulative people are concerned about their public image, as if that gets tarnished or ruined, then they can’t effectively manipulate people. To those who have never experienced one of these people, this assertion probably sounds harsh and maybe even paranoid. But to those who have experienced one (or more) of these people, then you probably know exactly what I’m talking about.
Some manipulative people are better at this than others. Some are very active in seemingly very wholesome activities (volunteering, active in their church, etc. –Bill Cosby would be a great example of this). Some manipulative people don’t care, and are okay with coming across as complete jerks–these types of manipulative people are easy to spot, and when most people think about the bad people in the world, they think of these types of people, when really we should all wish that bad people were so easy to spot! Oftentimes bad people come across as some of the best people–they are total wolves in sheep’s clothing, which is why it often takes their victims years, if not decades to truly see them for what they are.
So why do manipulative people value their public image so much?
For the wolves in sheep’s clothing types of manipulative people out there, they NEED to maintain their public image, as it’s their biggest tool kit in being able to manipulate others. They maintain their public image by launching a smear campaign, releasing flying monkeys, and often hoovering (so by the end of it all the victim wonders if they have changed, and oftentimes if the victim’s themselves are the selfish, inflexible ones with the problem (they are not).
They might come across like a great parent, or even a great spouse. They might go out of their way to volunteer, or help the neighbors. They can (and do) charm therapists, friends and family of their partner.
If a person is in a relationship with a manipulative person, then odds are if they are dumped (discarded–one of the phases in a relationship with a manipulative person) they will be very quickly replaced (and potentially re-married)–and then their partner will plaster Facebook with pictures of them with their new partner. The former partner feels awful, and wonders if in fact they really were the problem (this is intentionally done in part for this reason). The other reason this is done is to save the manipulative person’s public image, by showing the rest of the world how happy they are. Of course, they’ve also probably told a ton of lies to make it seem like they are the victim of the situation (and of their partner), to which almost everyone who knows them will believe them as they are so charming and convincing.
If you are experiencing this right now, you are so not alone. Please consider joining my support group: www.NarcissistSupport.com/forum where you can get feedback and support from others who have “been there, done that”.
Find me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Narcissist-Support-864636096909000/messages/
All manipulative people have about the same predictably unpredictable behavior. The good news is that they all come with the same set of red flags. To watch the “Red Flags of a Narcissist” series in order, click here:
*Keep in mind as you are watching these red flags videos, that the vast majority of people out there have behaviors or situations that could be considered upon first glance to be red flags.
The goal with this series is to slow a relationship down enough when (not if) you see red flags surface so that you can gather more information to determine if the red flag falls within the realm of normal, understandable, (and acceptable to you) behavior, or if it is in fact problematic and a sign for you to get out of there.
If you are watching these videos on the different red flags, and find yourself wondering if you are a Narcissist or other highly manipulative, destructive or dangerous person, just know that questioning your own behavior–and seeing red flags within it, is totally normal.
I would encourage you to take a moment and ask yourself if you have empathy, remorse, a care and concern about your behavior on others, and a sincere desire to change any problematic behavior you might have. If you answered yes to these things, then any behaviors that you do have that you believe are problematic can most likely be changed given enough hard work and determination. 🙂
(Narcissists and other highly manipulative people tend to not change because they don’t ever sincerely think that they have the problem–plus they not only like getting their way, they feel they are entitled to it.)
We all have things about ourselves that we would like to change. So please don’t panic.
I encourage you to work on changing any behavior that you feel is problematic, and then let us know how you are going about making those changes and your lessons learned–maybe, together we can all help each other to not only avoid manipulative, dangerous, or destructive people, but also become better people by ironing out wrinkles in our behavior along the way. 🙂
My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life.
Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics.
It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.