I figure if some women in narcissistic victim support groups can make sweeping accusations about all men being the problem, it would be equally reasonable to make my own sweeping statements.
So let me clarify. Just as a woman in those support groups might clarify that she “doesn’t actually mean all men” after sharing a post that suggests “men [collectively] are worse than dogs” – I don’t actually mean all bros are incapable of being narcissists. Men and women are both capable of it and I’m not in a position to diagnose a reader of this blog one way or another.
What I do mean is, if you’re here reading this and you’re a guy (because the majority of our readers are), you’re likely carrying a lot of guilt about whether you are a narcissist. I want to address those concerns by providing some evidence to the contrary worth considering.
Here’s the red pill.
It’s likely the reason you are carrying that guilt has nothing to do with personal traits of narcissism. Instead, it could entirely be your mind playing into the anxiety that you have been labelled as such by the actual narcissist. As a male victim of narcissism this is a difficult mindset to dismiss. In part, because narcissists can so perfectly play the victim, but also because women in the victim community tend to generalize men as perpetrators of the abuse, which makes sense only from the standpoint that statistically men tend to be diagnosed with NPD more often than women.
This means, even if you’re the victim, you’re constantly surrounded by a narrative that suggests you aren’t merely because you’re a man.
However, if you’re a guy that is worried you might be a narcissist, let me continue encouraging you by suggesting that you aren’t. I’ll explain how you have been manipulated to feel this guilt in hopes that understanding your struggle with identifying as one will help you combat it.
If you’ve come here after searching “am I a narcissist” and worried that personality would hurt people, that concept alone probably suggests that if you have enough empathy to wonder if you are in fact the problem, you’re probably not the problem. A narcissist would generally be absolute about not being toxic and not open to the idea of identifying with a personality that’s hurtful, let alone want to research how to improve.
Unfortunately, I’d suggest there’s a good chance that instead you’re a victim of manipulation, if not narcissism yourself, that leads people to question their role in the destruction of a relationship and attempt to take full responsibility for toxic reactions. As someone that has gone through therapy and come to realize that’s exactly what was happening to me, I sympathize greatly with the mental battle that can be.
It is especially challenging because we live in a society that often reinforces that overall men are the problem when it comes to abuse. That might be true for physical abuse and destruction of property, but adjusting for emotional abuse and manipulation, there’s a much more even playing field cumulatively with both genders perpetrating abuse. Though both genders are capable of many abuses, men tend to be aggressive and women tend to be underhanded.
I remember walking into my first therapy session convinced I was an emotionally abusive monster that desperately needed help. I had to be. There was no way my innocent ex-wife was capable of lieing, cheating, and manipulating me – that was outside the realms of her personality.
Yet, I would walk out of subsequent sessions with a realization that I had been a victim of gaslighting and emotional manipulation. The challenge; however, was that even after completing therapy with a professional therapist (a woman) who was certain I was the real victim, there was always a constant reminder in the very support groups claiming to help me heal that as the guy I was just a perpetrator by default.
Joining Narcissistic Victim Support Groups is Toxic for Men
I thought joining a Narcissist Victim Support Group would help me heal and dismiss these feelings of guilt that had been deflected upon me. Instead, it only further caused me to question if I was in fact the narcissist. It was toxic for me and it made me question my own reality – interestingly enough, the very thing that narcissists tend to do.
I would see women make these generalizations about men and, as a guy in my situation, it made it very difficult to find encouragement. How do I go to a group of victims as a guy seeking help when that same group singles anyone that has a penis out as being an intimidating abuser? It seemed any guy that exhibited frustration or disapproval of something they had done in a relationship or no longer wanted to have a relationship with them was equivalent to a dead giveaway of him being narcissistic. It was almost as though they were stripping their male partners of his boundaries by claiming any boundary he set was indicative of a narcissistic trait.
Women in these groups would talk about how they reached out to an ex and justified it with “I can’t get him out of my head”. Yet, if their ex-boyfriend did it to them, it was just an example of “hoovering” and keeping her on a string.
You’d see other women in these groups calling for each other to remain strong in going “gray rock” toward a male narcissist, but if they talked about their ex completely ignoring efforts to communicate, it was lauded as an example of narcissists going “no contact” as punishing behavior.
They’d laugh about sleeping with a new hookup buddy while still struggling to separate themselves from a narcissistic ex and yet suggest that any man that broke it off with them after having sex was a narcissistic fuck boy only out to raise his count while entertaining other women.
It genuinely caused me to question everything I did. It’s probably causing you to question everything you do to a point you ask “am I a narcissist?”
I kept asking myself that, too. Then I’d wonder am I reaching out because I just genuinely love her and want to show her I still care about trying to bring our family together or am I reaching out because I’m “hoovering” and don’t want to accept she’s moving on without me?
Am I going “no contact” because my ex is the true narcissist and I’m the victim that needs to distance myself to remain healthy or am I subconsciously ignoring her because I’m actually the narcissist that’s using this as power over her?
Am I really just a selfish narcissistic fuck boy or am I just finding post nut clarity about whether I’m genuinely interested in someone unfortunately only after getting intimate with her?
I’m really the only person that could answer those questions and you’re the only one that can answer those questions for yourself. Finding that answer is difficult, though, when having a penis apparently dictates what that answer is from the very support groups we hope to find it in.
The very group of people that are supposed to help us find clarity and healing in those answers ultimately ended up being the very people that cause additional confusion.
Why do you believe you might actually be a narcissistic guy?
You’ve picked up healthy narcissistic traits.
The reality is, narcissism is a spectrum and there really are good aspects of narcissism that skew closer to confidence than selfishness.
See, when you start to become confident, you start to develop boundaries and you start to put more of your goals ahead of others. This doesn’t make you a bad person and it doesn’t make you a toxic narcissist.
Unfortunately, keeping your boundaries high often means cutting people from your life that they will likely make reference to as being discarded. You’ll start making decisions for yourself that might seem ruthless, but are simply you putting your self-love before those that don’t deserve your compassion.
An Ex Is A Narcissistic Playing the Victim
One of the things many narcissists do is run a smear campaign. It’s one of the reasons you have to be very careful not to go on the offensive and try and hurt someone in a breakup. I wasn’t exactly perfect at that, because I remember just feeling like my reputation was destroyed by lies that I had to defend.
Humans have a wide range of emotions and feeling insecure and distrustful at things my ex-wife had been doing was reasonable. Further experiencing anger at the realization that my distrust was substantiated with proof she had been having multiple affairs was a reasonable response as well.
She was going around and highlighting my anger – an absolute rarity in my otherwise calm demeanor – as an example of the abuse she had endured for years.
She was completely re-writing our history. As she rewrote that history it caused me to question everything in our past. Questioning our past caused me to question my past from an introspective level on whether her perception of reality was true…or was mine.
That’s subjective, I suppose.
She joined up with emotional victim support groups, convincing others that I was an angry, manipulative person. When she admitted she told her therapist everything I did, but conveniently left out the multiple affairs that came to light and emotional cheating I had endured, I started to consider she didn’t join those groups for support of her perception of reality.
Instead, she was strategically altering that reality to fit her objectives. Thus I believed she joined them to cherry pick our conversations while conveniently leaving out her own misdoings in order to fish for validation that she was in the right. That’s exactly what she did with her therapist after all.
Ironically, the very people claiming to be victims of emotional abuse were feeding into her ability to be emotionally abuse me.
When you think about, what better way for a narcissist to feed their need for attention while playing the victim card than to take the initiative at taking the leading role of being a victim of their own personality.
That’s the very real challenge with narcissism.
To the outside world, the true victim is never clearly evident.
Especially challenging when abuse toward men has a tendency to be swept under the rug as male perpetrated abuse is apparently so much more prevalent…likely as a result of so much being dismissed by society.
That Label Has Been Deflected Upon You
When the focus is placed on men overwhelmingly being perpetrators of narcissistic abuse, it often results in male victims being shrugged off. Instead of taking situations case by case, people generalize in ways that are dismissive to men being victims, too. Each time you see a meme that generalizes men as faulted in relationships, it subliminally reinforces that if men are the perpetrators they can never be the victim.
This makes deflecting the blame back on you extremely easy. And because you’re an empathetic guy, you take that to heart. And because you’re constantly reminded that because you are a guy, you are the problem, you are left constantly battling that label in your head.
Narcissists, in the belief of superiority, would never suggest or consider for a moment they are the root of problems. A common occurrence in narcissistic abuse is for narcissists to deflect their problems onto others. If you call out that they’re a narcissist, they’ll deflect that back on you and because you have empathy they lack, you try to wrap your head around accepting it and how to fix it.
Since statistically narcissistic personality disorder seems to affect men for whatever reason more often than women, that’s an easy jump for a woman to make and an even easier jump for a guy that doesn’t actually have NPD to be worried he does.
NPD also affects women, though.
And there is researched evidence to suggest that while men tend to be more aggressive in abusive relationships, women tend to be more psychologically manipulative. Interestingly enough, when you adjust out instances just of destruction of property or physical assault, the statistics of men and women being perpetrators of abuse (not necessarily linked to personality disorders) are much more balanced.
What this means is, whereas a woman is less likely to throw a punch, she is more likely to take advantage of mental manipulation that causes you to question your own reality. Or perhaps the shame of being a man that was beaten by a woman could be keeping men quiet for the same reason victims of rape feel shame and embarassment leading them to stay quiet.
Narcissist Victim Support Groups Have Turned into Breakup Support Groups
Part of the problem is that these narcissist victim support groups have become littered with individuals just looking to get through their break up by throwing their ex under the rug while validating that they aren’t actually the crazy ex-girlfriend.
Instead of admitting that maybe their actions substantiated their ex-boyfriend getting a restraining order, they’ll instead defer that this could be a clue to throw the term narcissist on him.
And then women in the group surround her, validate her, and comment that it most definitely is an example of narcissism.
Meanwhile, so many woman provide absolutely no context as to why the restraining order could possibly have been deserved. Maybe that restraining order is a bigger indicator that she’s being crazy and won’t leave the poor guy alone than it is of him being a “hoovering narcissist”. Courts don’t just hand out restraining orders.
So many of these narcissist victim support groups have lost sight on supporting victims of genuine narcissism and have turned into men bashing support groups to help women get over their breakups by tossing a personality disorder on the guy instead of just eating a tub of ice cream and joking with their friends on how he had a small dick.
Breakups are never easy, but I think a lot of these women in narcissist victim support groups are arguably so self-absorbed that it is easier to pin the guy with narcissistic personality disorder than it is to accept that someone would have the audacity to not want to be with them any longer for a variety of justifiable reasons.
Here’s the thing, just because you broke up with her seemingly out of nowhere from her perspective, doesn’t make you a narcissist.
In her mind she’s thinking:
“Oh my God, I’m the greatest girlfriend in the history of girlfriends. I did everything for him and was too amazing to just be left like this! How could he leave me so abruptly? He must be a narcissist!”.
The word narcissist gets thrown around so much these days, to the point that anyone going through a break up just labels their ex as a narcissist, unwilling to admit that there could be reasonable, amicable thought process behind the decision for a breakup.
Listen, you could genuinely be an asshole. You could genuinely be a lot of really shitty things.
You could also genuinely be a good person who struggled with the decision and tried hard to show love as long as you could before coming to terms with the reality you could find greater happiness with someone else.
It doesn’t really matter either way.
As a guy, you just have to accept that in those groups women are praised when they leave what they deem to be shitty relationships out of nowhere and successfully go “no contact”. Men, on the other hand, are constantly bashed in these groups when they leave what they deem to be shitty relationships out of nowhere and go “no contact” because that is irrefutable evidence of discarding.
You really can’t win and part of coming to terms with the idea that you’re not actually a narcissist is realizing that healing is going to require ignoring and avoiding triggers that make you question that.
That probably includes leaving narcissist victim support groups unless they are specifically targeted toward men.
It’s Time to Leave the Non-Male Narcissist Victim Support Groups
Entering these groups can often end up being the very thing that spirals you further into depression. Your own narcissist or manipulative ex has covertly convinced you that you are the problem. Where narcissistic support groups should be there as a support group to work that emotional trauma and bring clarity, for a lot of guys, it instead serves as a constant reminder they are the problem as women share memes en masse that “men just have no loyalty”.
As a guy, when you add in the fact that so many of their frustrations aren’t directed toward narcissists in particular, but just sweeping generalizations toward men, that can be infuriating.
Immediately upon joining a Narcissistic Victim Support Group, my social media news feed was constantly filled with screenshots of text messages between couples I didn’t know with absolutely zero context, seeking validation for their proof that their ex was, in fact, a narcissist. So many of these women were shining a spotlight on how evil their narcissistic husbands were, meanwhile completely ignoring (if not leaving out entirely) the sly messages egging the poor guy on.
When you’ve been on the receiving end, you find yourself keenly aware of the very manipulation that’s being displayed in those messages. You can almost feel yourself remembering the times you reacted out of anger or irrationally as your girlfriend continued to poke at your mental well-being. You hit a point where you see these women cropping out conversations and you realize “oh my God, I totally responded to my narcissistic ex just as this guy responded to a lady who claims to be a victim of narcissism”.
It sort of becomes a mind blow revelation after you’ve witnessed your partner blatantly lying about you that if the person you believed was incapable of such actions did those things, then how many others are as well.
Again, I would not be surprised if the vast majority of women in Narcissist Survivor groups are narcissists themselves, hiding behind the cover of their victimization, picking out single instances of reactionary abuse as evidence of their ex being the real problem as they bask in the attention. That might seem unfair to generalize in such a manner, but remember most of these women are making the same general sweeping statements against men.
Do I have anything particularly against women? Absolutely not. In fact, I appreciate women and I dispel the “nice guy” myth that all women just want to be hurt and I encourage guys that there is nothing wrong with embracing the friendzone with women that don’t like you on a sexual level.
There is no hidden agenda here to suggest women, in general, are just crazy and manipulative. Perhaps my experience has biased me, but I just feel a sense that some of the most manipulative women are those in these groups claiming stories that don’t exist in an effort to punctuate a narrative that isn’t real.
I don’t like making such sweeping arguments against women, but when I watch so many guys struggle as victims at the hands of abuse while struggling to find clarity, you have to ask yourself whether the misandry that exists in a population of female victims of narcissism is interfering with male victims’ abilities to heal.
How Do You Find Clarity
The only way to separate yourself from that toxicity is to completely remove yourself from it. Unsubscribe to groups that leave you feeling a sense of guilt. Remove yourself from social circles that cause you to question your reality.
There are groups specifically created for men that are victims of narcissism. Cling to those groups. Unfollow women from social media that present men as the enemy.
Focus on what you want to be and not what you’re labeled as and have faith in yourself that your good intentions are leading you down a good path. Don’t worry whether or not you’re a narcissist, continue acting in a manner that exemplifies you as not being one.
Continue reading on improving your confidence and seek counseling if it is interfering with your ability to live a happy life.
You’re not the narcissist, man. Chin up!
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