Narcissism FAQ: The Narcissist in Court

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Question:

How can I expose the lies of the Narcissist in a court of law? He acts so convincing!

Answer:

When facing a narcissist in court, a clear distinction has to be made between the FACTUAL pillar and the PSYCHOLOGICAL pillar of any cross-examination or deposition of a narcissist.

It is essential to be equipped with absolutely unequivocal, first rate, thoroughly authenticated and vouched for information. The reason is that narcissists are superhuman in their capacity to distort reality by offering highly “plausible” alternative scenarios, which fit most of the facts.

It is very easy to break a narcissist – even a well-trained and prepared one.

Here are a few of the things the narcissist finds devastating:

Any statement or fact, which seems to contradict his inflated perception of his grandiose self. Any criticism, disagreement, exposure of fake achievements, belittling of “talents and skills” which the narcissist fantasizes that he possesses, any hint that he is subordinated, subjugated, controlled, owned or dependent upon a third party. Any description of the narcissist as average and common, indistinguishable from many others. Any hint that the narcissist is weak, needy, dependent, deficient, slow, not intelligent, naive, gullible, susceptible, not in the know, manipulated, a victim.

The narcissist is likely to react with rage to all these and, in an effort to re-establish his fantastic grandiosity, he is likely to expose facts and stratagems he had no conscious intention of exposing.

The narcissist reacts with narcissistic rage, hatred, aggression, or violence to an infringement of what he perceives to be his entitlement.

Narcissists believe that they are so unique and that their lives are so cosmically significant that others should defer to their needs and cater to their every whim without ado. The narcissist feels entitled to special treatment by unique individuals, over and above the regular person.

Any insinuation, hint, intimation, or direct declaration that the narcissist is not special at all, that he is average, common, not even sufficiently idiosyncratic to warrant a fleeting interest will inflame the narcissist.

Add to this a negation of the narcissist’s sense of entitlement – and the combustion is inevitable. Tell the narcissist that he does not deserve the best treatment, that his needs are not everyone’s priority, that he is boring, that his needs can be catered to by an average practitioner (medical doctor, accountant, lawyer, psychiatrist), that he and his motives are transparent and can be easily gauged, that he will do what he is told, that his temper tantrums will not be tolerated, that no special concessions will be made to accommodate his inflated sense of self, that he is subject to court procedures, etc. – and the narcissist will lose control.

The narcissist believes that he is the cleverest, far above the madding crowd. If contradicted, exposed, humiliated, berated (“You are not as intelligent as you think you are”, “Who is really behind all this? It takes sophistication which you don’t seem to have”, “So, you have no formal education”, “you are (mistake his age, make him much older) … sorry, you are … old”, “What did you do in your life? Did you study? Do you have a degree? Did you ever establish or run a business? Would you define yourself as a success?”, “Would your children share your view that you are a good father?”, “You were last seen with a Ms. … who is (suppressed grin) a DOMESTIC (in demeaning disbelief)”. I know that many of these questions cannot be asked outright in a court of law. But you CAN hurl these sentences at him during the breaks, inadvertently during the examination or deposition phase, etc.

Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self Love, and runs the website Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited.Sam has served as the author of the Personality Disorders topic, Narcissistic Personality Disorder topic, the Verbal and Emotional Abuse topic, and the Spousal Abuse and Domestic Violence topic, Suite101.

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