The term actions speak louder than words has always been something that has stuck with me. But I still feel like ‘Intent’ speaks louder than both. People fail with words all the time. They even execute poorly with actions as we are all flawed. But intent is pure. There is no execution with intent. It’s what motivates us to act or speak.
The narcissist is a master of hiding their intent. They mask it all kinds of different ways. Sometimes it’s thinly veiled because they want you to see something but not everything. Sometimes it’s opaque so you never can guess.
But the reason they mask it is because their intent is anything but pure. They also do it so they can’t be held accountable. Everything is your fault. “You misread me.” “That’s not what I meant.” “I don’t remember it that way.” See the game is to give themselves any available outcome.
They need that room to continuously gaslight and rewrite history. Unless you are extremely close to one you probably would never notice. You just feel like something is a little “off”.
Plus intent is nearly impossible to prove for their victims. How does one know what is in their head and hearts. Even though, trust me, we do. And it’s nothing good.
I love using Trump examples because they are so obvious and everyone can connect with them. One of his famous moments like this was “There were fine people, on both sides.” This was his statement after an innocent woman protesting was killed in Charlottesville. That protest was solely against white supremacy. Those opposing are clinging to white supremacy. Both sides? Huh? What were the sides he was talking about… no clarification. Where you talking about the white supremacists? No clarification. More gaslighting.
The press scrambled to get clarification from him, his staff anyone… What did he mean by that? Is he saying what we think he is saying? Then they rushed to other politicians for reactions to this statement. But to this day we never had clarification on what he truly meant. We all had to make our own version of it.
Why because he masked his intent. He used words that could be parsed and he would change the narrative little by little. To continue to mask his intent. But he never ever clarified. And he was never held accountable for saying something like that. Why because the people who aren’t buying his BS were like “are you fucking kidding me?” The others who were buying it “well he didn’t really mean it that way.” No consensus.
It was his way of saying a woman died that is tragic because he is supposed to say that. Even though he could give a shit. Then his ego wants to keep the admiration of those white supremacists so he says something twice removed from “I like you if you like me” most called it a wink and a nod. And it’s true it was. But what was the intent does he really like them? The answer is no he doesn’t, he doesn’t really like anyone.
But his narcissism really likes their loyalty and admiration from them. And he offered a sliver of it back to them. A 1/1000th of a return so they will continue to be loyal to him. So he still couldn’t betray his ego in order to condemn what he knows is wrong.
But by using a clever phrase he left himself just enough room to say that’s not what I meant so he could appease those who needed cover (mostly Republican law makers) and then say more or similar phrases to reinforce his original statement to the likes of the Proud Boys. So months and years later everyone is still guessing what he meant. He even doubled down at some point by saying “Stand back and Stand by”. Another phrase the press had to try to pin down and couldn’t.
Now the rest of us moved on with our lives at some point. While he continued to be President despite having said some of the most awful things anyone has ever said from that office. But could deny he meant it because it was masked.
Imagine a person in a relationship with someone like this. Never knowing the intentions of that person. Hearing these phrases almost daily wondering how they truly feel. And them playing a game with that because truth be told they never know how they truly feel either. But what their true intent is, is to protect the ego and to continue to assert control and extract fuel. That is always the real intent.
So when the press scrambled to figure out what he meant. He had already achieved his goal. He had control over the issue, over his fans, and over his haters. The love from the people who he said were fine and the vitriol from the left and his haters. Mission accomplished.
But when it’s someone doing this personally as you are the constituency of one it becomes harmful, hurtful and most of all abusive. And here is the thing because of these clever phrases it continues to allow them to have plausible deniability and mask that evil while they rip your soul to shreds.
My love of music has been having me flag some songs that I believe are about a narcissist. And this one is from Bruno Mars called Grenade. Maybe I will break this song and others down in a future post. I am going to leave you with just a few random lyrics from the song…
Easy come, easy go, that’s just how you live, oh
Take, take, take it all, but you never give
Gave you all I had and you tossed it in the trash
You tossed it in the trash, you did
Tell the devil I said “Hey” when you get back to where you’re from
Mad woman, bad woman
That’s just what you are
Yeah, you’ll smile in my face then rip the brakes out my car
So he basically described the self centered jekyll and hyde nature of a narcissist. Lack of empathy, entitlement, and especially the uneven giving/taking are all present. But he even took it once step further in the final chorus he adds “still”. Not present in the other choruses. And even in a song probably unaware of what he is describing. He gives the full cycle of Narcissistic abuse including the addiction after being treated like trash. –
But darling, I’d still catch a grenade for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)
Throw my hand on a blade for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)
I’d jump in front of a train for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)
You know I’d do anything for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)
And in the video he is pulling a piano uphill trying to climb out of a dark tunnel carrying the weight of everything with him just to get to her only to catch her with another man. And that my friends is what it is like being and even exiting a relationship with these people. Whether it was his intent to capture all of it or use the piano for that specific metaphor it works perfectly. Well done Bruno.