Narcissist Tactics – Projecting An Image Of Success (While Covering Up Failure)

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Proverbs 13:7

There is one who pretends to be rich, but has nothing;
Another pretends to be poor, but has great wealth.

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Why would someone, especially someone who has nothing, pretend to be rich?  It likely comes down to self-exaltation.  This motive for self-exaltation in the midst of failure is highlighted in the second half of Proverbs 12:9.

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Proverbs 12:9

Better is he who is lightly esteemed and has a servant
Than he who honors himself and lacks bread.

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If you look closely at narcissists* who appear successful, you may often find that the image of success which they are projecting actually masks a pattern of failure – or a pattern of moving quickly from projects that appear successful, only to quickly collapse while the N is in the process of moving on.

This would be resolve the apparent contradiction between God’s statements of opposition to the proud ……..

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Proverbs 16:18

18 Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before stumbling.

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Proverbs 11:2

When pride comes, then comes dishonor,
But with the humble is wisdom.

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Proverbs 29:23

23 A man’s pride will bring him low,
But a humble spirit will obtain honor.

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James 4:6

But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

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………and the surface appearance of narcissists “succeeding”.   At a minimum, the narcissists’ “success” comes with a large side dish of difficulties.

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Proverbs 22:5

Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
He who guards himself will be far from them.

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[There is also the possibility that God’s opposition is being reserved for a catastrophic ending as described in Psalm 73.]

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While narcissists may “honor themselves” or exalt themselves by declaring their greatness, their prowess, etc, and while they are eager to adorn themselves with the trappings of success, many may be simply moving on from failure to failure, getting out of situations before the failures can be attributed to them.

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  • Narcissism is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride” – see here

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Putting “Biblical Perspectives On Narcissism” Into Perspective

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