Narcissist Tactics – Saying Whatever They Have To, To Get What They Want

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John 19:15

So they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!” Pilate *said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”

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As we saw in

Narcissism Case Studies – The Pharisees, Overview

Narcissist Case Studies – Pharisees – How We Know They Were Narcissists, Part I

Narcissist Case Studies – How We Know “The Pharisees” Were Narcissists, Part 2

Additional Perspectives on The Pharisees

 

the scribes and Pharisees of Jesus’ day were classic Narcissists.   A careful analysis of their actions can give some clues as to how narcissists approach things.  In this case, there was no way that the chief priests really wanted Caesar to be their king – the whole nation of Israel was chafing at Roman rule and would have loved to cast it off.  And they were actively looking for a Jewish king.  So when the chief priests, said “we have no king but Caesar”, they were blatantly lying simply to make sure that Pilate did not let Jesus go.

As discussed in other posts, some of the Messianic Psalms clearly lay out the characteristics of the narcissistic / insolent pride Pharisees.  And a key tactic was speaking falsehood to get what they wanted.   That is a prime tactic of all narcissists.

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 Psalm 12

12 Help, Lord, for the godly man ceases to be,
For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men.
They speak falsehood to one another;
With flattering lips and with a double heart they speak.
May the Lord cut off all flattering lips,
The tongue that speaks great things;
Who have said, “With our tongue we will prevail;
Our lips are our own; who is lord over us?”

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Narcissism is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride”

Please see Putting “Biblical Perspectives On Narcissism” Into Perspective for an overview of this blog

 

 

Narcissist Tactics – Creating Rules , But Acting Above Those Same Rules

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Matthew 23:4

They (the Pharisees) tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.

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(See here and here and here on how we know that “The Pharisees” were narcissists).

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The Pharisees used their limited co-opted authority as an opportunity to lord it over those whom they could.  One means they used to do this, as well as to prove their superiority, was to create performance requirements which they could then hang on people.  Of course, due to their own exceptionalism, the Pharisees did not bind themselves by those same rules.  That’s for the little people.

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This is a typical narcissist approach – constantly maneuvering, manipulating, and creating situations where they can exercise their rightful position (in their own mind) as top dog – both by creating requirements for others, and by hypocritically and arrogantly thinking they are above those same requirements.

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Please see https://biblicalperspectivesonnarcissism.com/2013/10/21/narcissist-case-studies-in-the-bible/  for an introduction to narcissism case studies in the Bible.

All The Reward They Will Ever Get

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Matthew 6:1-18

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.

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“So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

Continue reading

Narcissist Tactics – Flattery

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Jude 16-19

16 These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.

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 17 But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, 18 that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” 19 These are the ones who cause divisions…..

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Narcissists are big flatterers.  Many times it is obvious that they have something they are trying to get out of you through flattery and “buttering you up”, but sometimes it may not be so obvious.  Or they may be setting you up through flattery for something even worse than just trying to get something from you.  Either way, they they are using flattery in order to gain some kind of advantage over you in the pursuit of their desires, self-exaltation, or just plain winning.  They are doing it to entrap you into something that will hurt you and benefit them.  This flattery is not sincere, but instead is deceptive and manipulative – and the wise person will recognize it, see that it manipulative and NOT sincere praise), and avoid it.

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Romans 16:17-18

17 Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. 18 For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.

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Proverbs 29:5

A man who flatters his neighbor
Is spreading a net for his steps.

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Proverbs 26:28

28 A lying tongue hates those it crushes,
And a flattering mouth works ruin.

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Psalm 5:9

There is nothing reliable in what they say;
Their inward part is destruction itself.
Their throat is an open grave;
They flatter with their tongue.

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Psalm 12:2

They speak falsehood to one another;
With flattering lips and with a double heart they speak.

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Narcissist Tactics – The Shaming Wife

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Proverbs 12:4

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
But she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones.

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The first line of Proverbs 12:4 is a marvelous, positive example – but since we are studying narcissism in particular we are going to focus here on the second line.

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While a contentious wife may operate in private, a shaming wife operates publicly, putting her husband to shame in front of other people.  There are two ways that a wife could do this.  One way would be inappropriate public behavior that dishonors both herself and her husband.  You can easily think of your own examples, and they are not necessarily the actions of a narcissist / one with insolent pride.

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The second way a wife could shame her husband is through the narcissistic move of denigrating (ie – putting down, criticizing) her husband in public.  Why might she do this?   Continue reading

Narcissist Tactics – Sniping At Those of Whom They’re Jealous (Pharisee Case Study)

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Luke 5:29-32

29 And Levi gave a big reception for Him in his house; and there was a great crowd of tax collectors and other people who were reclining at the table with them. 30 The Pharisees and their scribes began grumbling at His disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with the tax collectors and sinners?”31 And Jesus answered and said to them, It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

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The Pharisees were jealous that Jesus, instead of themselves, was getting the attention and honor from a great crowd at this reception organized especially for Him.  Rather than recognize their own jealously, they began to sneeringly condemn and criticize everyone else at the reception.  They took a condescending, judgmental, holier-than-thou attitude toward the entire crowd by labeling them all as sinners, and then arrogantly judged Jesus for not separating from the guests.  They showed their insincere cowardice by whispering against Jesus behind his back instead of directly addressing him with their concerns.   This was all an arrogant outflowing of their jealously – cloaked as “holiness”.

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Jesus knew about the Pharisees grumbling to His disciples.  He could have rebuked them for the jealously at the root of their comments, or for their insolent pride at looking down their nose at virtually everyone in the room.  However, instead of getting down in the mud with the Pharisees, He pointed them and anyone else listening to a much higher point – the need for everyone who was willing to recognize (by admitting they were spiritually “sick”) their need for repentance.  The Pharisees in their pride would, of course, not recognize their need, and therefore would not receive healing.

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This was a subtle rebuke to the Pharisees’s self-centered blind jealously, and in the process, Jesus communicated to His listening disciples His willingness to engage with people for their benefit.  And in the process, He demonstrated Proverbs 26:4-5:

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Proverbs 26:4-5

Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
Or you will also be like him.
Answer a fool as his folly deserves,
That he not be wise in his own eyes.

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Putting “Biblical Perspectives On Narcissism” Into Perspective

 

 

 

Narcissist Tactics – Fake Repentance (Case Study)

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From Cain, the very first narcissist*, narcissists have used incomplete and fake repentance as a tool to avoid consequences of their actions, while not actually giving up their quest for what they want.  It is a tactic for taking off the immediate heat, while avoiding any genuine heart change.

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Narcissist Tactics – They Mock and Make Excuses (Pharisee Case Study)

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Luke 16:13-15

13 No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

14 Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him. 15 And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.

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[Please see here and here for more on how we know the Pharisees were narcissists].

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This is one of the clearer examples of how narcissists work.  In their hearts, the Pharisees were focused on money and the “finer things of life” that it would bring.  But in their pride, they also wanted to be highly thought of by men for their piety (including the all-sufficiency of God).  Jesus called out their hypocrisy and created a dilemma for them with His statement that they could not make both God and money number one in their lives – with the clear implication that they had chosen money over God.

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The narcissistic Pharisees had two ways of dealing with this.

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First was to mock (or scoff at) the One telling them they could not have it both ways.  Their intent was to tear down, from a position of “superiority”, and discredit the one getting in way of their greed and pride.

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Proverbs 9:7-8

He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself,
And he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself.
Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you,
Reprove a wise man and he will love you.

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Amos 5:10

10 They hate him who reproves in the gate,
And they abhor him who speaks with integrity.

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Second was to make justification (in modern terms – making excuses), or to construct a clever series of reasons, for what they were doing for the purpose of making people around them agree with them and continue to think highly of them.

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But Jesus made it clear to them that even though they may get away with fooling men, they were not fooling God.  God could clearly see what was in their hearts, and would judge them based on that – and not based on what the Pharisees had gotten men to believe.

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They might get short term kudos from men for how wonderful they are, but they would ultimately have to answer to God for the evil in their hearts.

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Putting “Biblical Perspectives On Narcissism” Into Perspective

Narcissist Traits – Creating Rules That Become “Doctrine”……

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…….Or “How Cults Are Created”

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Matthew 15

You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you:

This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far away from Me.
But in vain do they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’”

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Jesus was quoting Isaiah 29:13 as he spoke to the hypocritical, narcissistic Pharisees (see here and here about how we know that the Pharisees were narcissists / those with insolent pride).  The Pharisees are a good case study on the behavior of religious leaders who are narcissists:

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Continue reading

Narcissist* Tactics – He Who Hates Disguises it With His Lips

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Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you……
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Proverbs 26:24-26

24 He who hates disguises it with his lips,
But he lays up deceit in his heart.
25 When he speaks graciously, do not believe him,
For there are seven abominations in his heart.
26 Though his hatred covers itself with guile,
His wickedness will be revealed before the assembly.

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When a narcissist* flatters you, he is not lifting you up but is instead laying a trap of some sort.  So, what you see and what is really happening are two completely different things.  In the same way, a scoffer (narcissist) who hates you will disguise that hate – for awhile.  He may speak graciously to you face-to-face, but in his heart he is plotting to somehow “get you” – and when he gets the chance to trash you publicly he will take it – “his wickedness will be revealed before the assembly”.

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* narcissism is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride” – see here for more

Narcissistic* Traits – One Reason Why They Lie

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There is a simple explanation for why (at least one of the reasons, there are others) that narcissists* lie

1  –  They want X – something that is “bad” because

  • It is selfish
  • It is immoral
  • They need to hurt others to get it
  • Etc

2  –  They also want respect, praise, and exaltation from men

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The only way that they can get both #1 and #2 at the same time is to deceive or lie to others about #1.  They need to lie in order to conceal their selfish or evil goals and motives – and the actions that they may take to achieve them.

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Continue reading

Narcissist* v. Narcissist* – A Pure Power Play

.[Note:  This post is based mostly on observation and logically connecting dots, not a direct Biblical foundation]

 

Many of the posts here relate to how narcissists (scoffers, haughty, those with insolent pride) relate to non-narcissists, whom they are able to manipulate and push around in order to achieve getting what they want and their “rightful” place of superiority and/or dominance.  But what happens when narcissists come up against each other?

I have observed that the following can take place:

 

1 – Initially they play a game of flattery with each other.  At this point, they’re not really engaging in a contest for dominance, although in the middle of their flattery each narcissist is likely dropping hints to the other narcissist about their “greatness”.  Even though each N may know that the flattery is fake and a possible trap, they accept it because it appeals to their pride.

 

Psalm 12:2-4 – They speak falsehood to one another; With flattering lips and with a double heart they speak.  May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, The tongue that speaks great things; Who have said, “With our tongue we will prevail;
Our lips are our own; who is lord over us?”

Proverbs 29:5 – A man who flatters his neighbor Is spreading a net for his steps.

 Proverbs 26:28 – A lying tongue hates those it crushes, And a flattering mouth works ruin.
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The N’s are most likely knowingly allowing themselves to be baited, probably thinking they are smart enough to escape any consequences.
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2 – They may attempt to use their standard tactics, but I speculate that this is not likely since they both know the game each other is playing.  Therefore, since their normal schemes won’t work to gain an advantage, they would either

 

2A – Avoid each other, and an outright conflict – this would be based on both N’s not seeing much value in winning that particular power play (see below) vs. the effort required.  In other words, their greatness means they have bigger fish to fry, and this “little” skirmish is not worth bothering with

OR

 

2B – Engage in a pure power play.  In this case both of the N’s feel compelled that their position is inherently right either based on its merits or their personal “worthiness”.   Therefore, in their mind and heart its correct and right for them and their position/goals to prevail.  As it is right for them to win/achieve dominance, they are unwilling to cede any ground to anyone.  And, since to an N the anything goes in the pursuit of their superiority, its a fight with no “rules” – anything goes.   A pure power play means a fight until one of the two N’s comes out victorious.  It could be a simple fight where the N with the strongest position easily prevails and vanquishes his opponent, or it could be a protracted contest of equal power that focuses on tactics.

There may be a lot of collateral damage in the fight (ie – others getting hurt in the process), but the N’s absolutely do not care about that (see here).  The only thing that counts is their winning.  If you see 2 N’s in a fight, get out of the way so that you do not become part of the collateral damage.

You’ve heard of “power politics” – it’s one example of a pure power play.

 

Even though we need to understand scoffers and their tactics, we are not to be like them

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Matthew 10:16 – “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.
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God has a different way of dealing with N’s (those with insolent pride) than for us to just engage in a human on human power play.  HE is in the equation with us, which changes everything.    We will dig into this much deeper as we move forward.
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Narcissistic* Traits – They Pour Fuel on Fires

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As discussed here and here, the core of narcissism is insolent pride.
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And, one “name” for someone with insolent pride is “scoffer” (see here for a more full description)……
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Proverbs 21:24 – “Proud,” “Haughty,” “Scoffer,” are his names, Who acts with insolent pride.
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Scoffers are contentious…….
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Proverbs 22:10 – Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out, Even strife and dishonor will cease.
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[If you get rid of the scoffer, you get rid of the the contention – therefore it logically follows that the scoffer was the source of the contention.]
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Also
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Proverbs 13:10 – 10 Through insolence comes nothing but strife, But wisdom is with those who receive counsel.

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Therefore, narcissists are naturally contentious.  This makes sense, as narcissists are typically “fighting” or “contending” for supremacy and/or to get what they want (James 4).  And they are irritated and angry at everyone and everything when things do not go their way.
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One characteristic of contentious people is that they add “fuel to the fire” in creating strife
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Proverbs 26:21 – Like charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, So is a contentious man to kindle strife.
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The Hebrew term for kindling in this verse is translated “kindling” (throwing a lit match onto fuel) here, but in Jeremiah is translated with an image of bellows (blowing air on a lit fire to make it hotter).   See http://biblehub.com/hebrew/2787.htm  for a more complete discussion.
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So, a contentious person will either take use the “seeds” of a conflict and turn it into a real conflict, or take an existing small conflict and make it a full blown conflict.
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Logically, Narcissist >> Insolent Pride >> Scoffer >> Contentious >> Strife Creator or Builder.
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In addition to creating strife in their pursuit of dominance, winning, or getting what they want, narcissists may also sometimes add fuel to the fire just to show that they have the power to jerk people around.  So if you see a lot of drama or conflict, take a look around for someone with narcissistic traits.
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