Narcs aim to confuse, in order to control. They aim to spark and trigger you, in order for you to feel small, so they feel bigger.

And when someone is a unit of one, they are much easier to control, then when they are part of a group. The narc will do anything to prevent people getting together, discussing  their frustration or experiences with the narc and ganging up against them.

‘Divide and conquer’, the classical Roman war strategy, means to make a group of people disagree and fight with one another so that they will not join together against one (Merriam-Webster). Creating distrust amongst people, sparking jealousy and fear serves the purpose of preventing people to bond.

In the classical family setting, narcissistic parents are known to allocate roles to their children. The golden child, who can’t do anything wrong and gets favoured all the time, the scape goat or black sheep, who gets blamed for anything and everything, regardless if they are involved or not, and are being sneered at, put down, forced to run around for the narc, and the invisible child, the one that doesn’t count, is overlooked and forgotten.

I grew up with a narcissistic mother and in our family my brother, who had learning difficulties, was the invisible one. My mother couldn’t parade him around to make her shine, so she didn’t pay any attention to him. It was only later in life when she used him as a way to be a victim, living with the burden of a less able child.

I was the golden child, from time to time, alternating with my younger sister, and often the scape goat at the same time. The role swapping between my sister and me meant that we were always weary of each other, as we were ‘fighting’ for our mother’s attention, approval and love.

In a work environment, you will see similar patterns. There is usually a scape goat, who is observed by colleagues who are glad that they are not in that position. And therefore, they won’t stand up and fight someone’s corner, as they are keen to keep the equilibrium.

If you are in the proximity of a narc, and who isn’t as apparently 1 in 5 has strong narcissistic tendencies, and you are able to identify your role and the role of others, you are ahead of their game.

And at least, you can see that it is not about you, doing it all wrong, but about the manipulation trick and the attempt of the narc to spark. To spark your anger, upset, undermine your confidence, get into your head when you try to work out how they operate, and diminish you.

Unspark the Narc is a series of videos, addressing a range of situations, and offering tips on how to deal with those situations. Taking the spark out of it, by finding a helpful response.

Click here for the series:

To watch the episode about the scape goat, click here

If you are wondering if that person in your life is a narc, take this quiz:

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