Common terminology in relation to Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)


If you have done any reading regarding Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), some of the following common terminology will probably come up, offering you a better understanding of how Narcissists operate:

Bait text / message – Communication from the Narcissist designed to engage the victim receiving it in order to obtain information from them, and to suck them back into their drama-driven world.

Enabler – A person (usually a spouse) who panders to the Narcissist, thereby helping facilitate their abuse, lies, fantasy stories etc., and expects the victims (children) to pander too. The Enabler may also fear the Narcissist, but in any case is their sidekick, ensuring that the Narcissist is kept happy no matter the cost to others. In effect, Enablers are secondary abusers.

Engulfing NM – A Narcissist Mother (NM) who has no boundaries with her child and views them as nothing more than an extension of herself, and essentially an object.

Fauxpology – A fake apology which is delivered in a way that it incorporates a dig at you. For example, “I’m sorry that you’re upset by what I said.” This blames the victim instead of taking responsibility for how they upset the person. (Narcissists never take responsibility for their actions).

Fleas – Narcissistic-like behaviour portrayed by a non-Narcissist, due to having been raised by a Narcissist and lacking the skills to know what is considered socially normal.

Flying monkeys – “Flying monkeys” are people a Narcissist uses to do their bidding. They choose people who will make an easy target. They might choose other, lesser, Narcissists who will enjoy smearing your name, or else they choose empathetic people who believe their lies, and honestly believe they are helping an innocent person. Flying monkeys will connect with you, spy, then report back to the narcissist.

FOO – Family Of Origin. This is usually the nuclear family which the victim was brought up in, but may include the extended family of cousins, grandparents etc.

Gaslighting – A form of psychological abuse in which false information is presented by the Narcissist to the victim with the intention of making the victim doubt their own memory. The phrase comes from the 1940s film Gaslight, where an abusive husband dims the gaslights in the house, then when his wife comments on it he tells her she’s imagining it – the lights aren’t dimmed.

GC – Golden Child(ren) – The child(ren) in the family who can do no wrong in the eyes of the Narcissist, the favoured child(ren) in the FOO.

Grey rock – Presenting yourself to the Narcissist as being boring and uninteresting so as to make yourself as ‘grey’ to them as possible.

Hoovering – The Narcissist’s attempt to bring a victim who has escaped their clutches back into the fold in order to resume the Narcissistic supply. This may include offering fauxpologies to reel you in.

Ignoring NM – A Narcissistic Mother who ignores and neglects their child until they are pushed into offering proper attention by an outside source (doctor, teacher eg).

Invalidation – The Narcissist’s dismissal and undermining of your feelings and emotions to make you feel only what’s acceptable to them in order to treat you the way they want.

LC – Low Contact whereby the victim reduces contact with the Narcissist in the family to a bare minimum, and in which they are in control.

Love-bombing – Flattery, declarations of love and romantic encounters, words and gestures designed to lure, bond and attract victims to the Narcissist. They get their claws in in order to hook you into a one-sided relationship.

Narcissistic injury – A perceived threat to a Narcissist’s self-esteem or self-worth through the victim threatening their delusions.

Narcissistic supply – An excessive need for attention or admiration by the Narcissist that doesn’t consider the feelings, opinions or preferences of others. Forms of supply can include money, sex, information, property etc.

Narcisisstic rage – The outpouring of rage from a Narcissist directed at you when they don’t get what they want.

NC – No Contact – Breaking off all contact with the Narcissist for good.

Normie – A normal person – someone who didn’t grow up in a narcissistic household.

Projection – The Narcissist attributing to another person their own feelings, beliefs, attitudes, prejudices, motives, expectations and / or reactions.

Scapegoating – The blamed child or person who can do no right according to the Narcissist.

Triangulating – Indirect communication where the Narcissist acts as messenger between two others, instead of talking to the third party directly, often changing the message to suit their own agenda.

If you are spending Christmas especially with a Narcissist, please keep the above in mind. My advice is to implement ‘Grey rock’ as far as possible, and keep any contact LC (or preferably NC if you can).

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