How can one explain a narcissist’s heart? In one word, Absent.
The narcissist has an outer core – one of dashing beauty and spectacular wit, charm and intelligence. This is the ‘image’, the ‘presentation’ that a narcissist displays for their public; their followers, or their ‘charmed circle’ is the catalyst they use to bring their image to life. But it is not real. THEY are not real. There is no such person an as the one on display; it is only an image that you see. An illusion. The narcissist is a Master Illusionist.
Think of the narcissist’s image and your role in their life like a scene in a play. You are only important to them as the scene plays out and delightfully captures the audience’s approval. If for some reason the scene isn’t playing out in their favor, or you somehow don’t enhance the scene anymore or make the actor shine, they can easily – and without a second thought – ‘cut you’ from the play. You mean nothing more to them than a prop.
You may be ‘cut’ from their play for other reasons, too. For instance, if for some reason keeping you in their ‘play’ creates the risk of ‘exposing’ or ‘revealing’ the real person under the ‘mask’ or the real actor behind the role, they, again, may just ‘eliminate’ you. It doesn’t take much. A narcissist only has those around them as long as they somehow enhance their ‘false persona’ or engage in helping make their image look good. Once they get what they want from you, or as soon as you start to let it be known that you are not comfortable with this show any longer, they will simply ‘erases’ you from their life as if you were not a ‘real’ person with emotions and investments in the relationship.
A narcissist doesn’t see ‘love’ like the rest of us.
They view ‘love’ for another only based on what that other person can add to their life or image. Once the person can no longer add ‘positively’ to that image, or threatens to expose the narcissist’s real self, they simply will not only fall out of ‘love’, but they also have the capacity to completely erase or eliminate that person from their life all together. Whether that person be a child, a spouse, a best friend, or even a parent is not of importance to the narcissist. Any relative or partner that, by the very means of their existence is viewed as a threat to the image the narcissist has created can be eliminated without a second thought. To a narcissist ALL people in their life are ‘expendable’ and useful only as long as they serve to positively enhance their ego or image.
A narcissist wears a mask – 24-7, except in the privacy of their most intimate relationships. Unfortunately, the more intimate the relationship the more likely they are to reveal their true self – the person quivering under the mask – THE MAN HIDING BEHIND THE CURTAIN. In the mind of a narcissist revealing their true self means ‘destroying’ their successful mask. By removing their mask you are, for lack of better analogy – ‘killing’ them. And of course, they would rather kill you off from their world first- metaphorically speaking.
As Dr. Keith Ablow puts it: “Some narcissists feel like stripping their masks away is tantamount to killing them, because they believe those thin, synthetic disguises are all that keep them from dissolving into nothingness and feeling the full weight of unspeakable emotional turmoil, with roots that always reach deep into their pasts.”