Dealing with Narcissistic People

verbal-abuse-and-the-narcissist-communication-tactics-designed-to-make-you-crazy-compiled-by-jeni-mawter-2-638In my most recent of histories I have had the saddest of luck. I have made the mistake of making friends with the biggest asshole narcissists imaginable. Not just acquaintances, but supposedly good friends. The kind you spend hours on the phone with them in messages and even to my own very serious regret going into business with one.

I like to help people. Support them, give them advice or just be there for them if they require it. This is probably one of the factors that attracts them to me. They thrive on the attention they get, they love the support and most of all they just love talking about themselves. I am patient and I listen to them, at first anyways.

The good news is I have figured out (hindsight 20/20) why both of these so-called “friendships” turned ugly. It’s not because of my actions (and they will try to make believe it’s because of me), but eventually because of my inaction.

In the beginning of both of these narcissistic relationships, it went swimmingly well, they loved to compliment “oh you are so nice to do that” and “I trust you” to gain my loyalty. I mean who doesn’t like compliments? They touched the heart strings, the things I love – my music, my pets and anything they can pinpoint on. I spent hours talking to them and 95% of the conversation was all about them (Again: Hindsight). Even when I tried to veer the conversation to my own direction it always resulted in a discussion about them.

Let me tell you it is draining. These kind of people suck the very essential energy out of others. They are like that Star Trek alien that was sucking the salt out of the red shirt bodies and leaving them lifeless. (Umm I’m wearing a red shirt today HELP!) But when you are the supportive type, you want to help them and lets face it there is always another problem or emergency where they need to calm the fuck down and the supportive one will always be there to say “There, there lets find a solution.”

This all goes well for sometimes months or for years. They need you, but you don’t need them. You spend time and energy on them and they take it until the next crisis where they need you again. It continues and it continues until there is no more energy to give.  You hit the end and you see the cycle and you back away.

That is when it gets really ugly.

Independence and being aloof is a huge trigger. As soon as you stop supporting these narcissistic beings, it doesn’t take long before they sense a disturbance in the force. They can detect that you are spending less time supporting them and that essentially you are tolerating them instead. Then quite quickly any words or gestures of kindness (which is meant in the same way as before) is taken in the worst possible way.

The sudden change in the behavior is quite like in the Exorcist when the cross is shown to the little girl – immediate hate and a lashing out (they would probably puke up green pea soup too given the chance). Even in their hate, they will never say they hate you, they think that their opinion of you is more important than any actions they take. That it’s okay for them to behave poorly and have temper tantrums because they feel they earned that right for dealing with the supporter who no longer supports them.

Yeah this is twisted. So very twisted.

Will I stop being a supportive, nurturing and a caring individual because of my experience with these narcissists? No, unfortunately that’s part of who I am. I hope I am wiser now though to see the pattern.

The narcissists will forever blame me for all of their shortcomings and will forever curse my name because I didn’t bow down to their amazing-ness until the end of time.

I plan on using my energy for good though and while they think that I will forever remember them – they are wrong. I will remember the experience and the vicious beings they exposed themselves as knowing that they are just moving onto the next supporter who falls victim. They will remain shallow, manipulative and will never think they do anything wrong.

However for me, I will simply just move on with my life and be happier day by day because they are no longer in it. My energy will return and my world will feel brighter without them in it. Once I stop feeling like an idiot of course.

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Too Much of a Good Thing (About fandom)

There are fans…and then there are fans.

I’m one of those fans when it comes to the Scorpions. (Yes, the mostly German band that is currently touring for their 50th anniversary.) I have been following this group since I saw them on TV performing at the US Festival in the early eighties.

I will be the first to admit that in the past few years that I have used them as an excuse to travel the world and without them I would not have gone to so many places. Their music made me smile when I was sad and can still bring me out from the dark places I find myself in. In fact, we played one of their songs at my own mother’s funeral as they carried her casket away. (She was a fan too.)

Lets face it – if I have to admit something else, I have probably seen them too many times in the past years. To the point where they might just know my name or what country I hail from (maybe). They are good to their fans, even the fanatics (the more extreme version of me). Their live shows are addictive and there is an energy that they give that is hard to get enough of.

Unfortunately, it does seem I have had enough.

From May 13th – May 21st, one of my favorite bands did their first “mini” residency at Hard Rock’s The Joint in Las Vegas. They called it “Blacked Out in Vegas” and hyped it up to be something special. It was special – in the sense that there were huge advertisements in purely Vegas style everywhere. There would be 5 shows and I would end up going to 4 of them in the end.

Now realize – I know and love this band. I have seen them many times in North America and Europe. Their most recent tour is to celebrate or possibly commemorate their 50th anniversary and that’s no small thing. Their North American set list is as solid as it could get – from favorite hits to a 70s medley that at least acknowledges that era from the band. I repeat: It’s a damn good set list. But…(you knew that was coming.)

They did not deviate one little bit from their set list for all 5 shows in Las Vegas 2016. Not one note. You see, they played in October 2015 at the very same venue (and ironically with the same opening band: Queensryche) and yup, the same exact set list. How did no one point this out to them? How did anyone think this was acceptable? The band, the entourage, the publicists and of course the fans?

The songs were played and sung perfectly. It was as cookie cutter and professional as they could be for rock and roll stars. They pranced, they smiled and they did what they do best – perform live. Even if a portion of the band is now in their sixties – they still bring their A game to the stage. Or do they? No offense to one of my favorite bands of all time, but how is it that everything was the same? The only notable difference was either a wardrobe change or one of the members moved to another part of the stage. Oh boy that was exciting let me tell you…

Since they just played The Joint in October 2015 plus the 5 shows last week. It makes me wonder how many in the audience have not seen the show at all (in person, not online). On a good night, I would say that 60% of the audience has seen the current show since – lets face it, the same location and the same set list as last year’s North American tour? The Scorpions are not gaining a huge amount of younger/newer fans in this part of the world that I can tell. So they are playing to a good portion of fans who might have already seen this particular show. Great show – yes it was. Was it necessary to repeat the same thing – song by song, footstep by footstep? I mean during their 70s medley the lead singer says “Here are some songs we haven’t played in awhile” (not a direct quote) – but when they played them last night, last week or last year, how is that cool?

Recently due to health problems of their longtime drummer James Kottak, they got a replacement by the likes of Motorhead’s Mikkey Dee. So many fans say, “Oh he probably did not have time to learn the songs.” Seriously? That would be an insult to Mikkey Dee, I’m sure he is a better drummer than that. I’m positive of it.

Then of course old time fans will say, “What do you expect? They never change their set list.” Well – this isn’t true. They do. For instance if they play in North America they will almost always play “No One Like You” the hit that got them recognition here. However, the Europeans rarely get to hear that song be played and they want to hear it over there. Sometimes they will play “We’ll Burn The Sky” in Europe and I have yet to hear that played on North American shores. These are just example of what I’ve seen in my travels.

With that comes the opinion that, “You’ve just seen the show too many times.” Well, this I cannot disagree with. I don’t think I have read anywhere that they say that “Warning: This show should only be seen four or less times to get the best feeling from it.”  I have seen the show too many times, but that doesn’t mean I can’t hope for something different at some point. Oh hey they will play 5 dates in Las Vegas, they advertised it everywhere and called it “Blacked Out in Vegas.”  It wasn’t the 50th Anniversary tour like last year. It was marketed as different.

Maybe I’m just insulted because I feel like I was betrayed by one of my favorite bands that could not and would not change their set list for anything. I wish they had put in a caveat to only go to one of the shows since they would all be the same. I would have saved a lot of time and money.

Luckily for me, I have some damn good friends from around the country and the world who joined me there in Las Vegas and even though the shows were good yet very predictable, a good time was had anyways.

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The end of Motley Crue? The Final, final, final tour?

Gods, I hope so.

I was a huge Motley Crue fan. They seemed like a natural progression for me, from Ozzy, Alice Cooper and so forth. They were theatrical and pretty androgynous. All that make up, I remember more than a couple of people asking if they were male or female. This was before Marilyn Manson was on the scene to takeover that question. I was a long way from California, but these guys owned that energy.

I was twelve or thirteen. They were rebellious, raunchy and some of their earlier stuff actually was pretty heavy considering the music scene at the time. I had a total crush on Vince Neil (and I’m admitting this publicly) and wanted my hair to be just like his. I had a Motley Crue Aleister Fiend satin jacket that I wore and was repaired over and over by my very diligent mother who didn’t want me walking around with holes in my clothes. They were my first rock band I met – before they became really famous. I even got a kiss from my crush (which thinking back – ewww cooties! So glad it was on the cheek.)

I’m pretty loyal to the bands I follow. There are only a couple of bands in my history that I have stopped listening to: Metallica & Motley Crue; although for completely different reasons.

While there were many things that lead to my actual embarrassment of being their fan for so many years – I just think it got to be too much. After Theater of Pain, it seemed like it was actually causing me pain to listen to them. Silly as it sounds, the last time I saw them live was during the Dr. Feelgood tour in which the last song they played was “Don’t go away mad (Just go away)” and I admit I went away mad and never went back. (Yeah, yeah I know it was a popular song, but I took it personally!)

So there you go – a bit of a background of my own history of Motley Crue (Hey I didn’t even go into the whole history project I did on them in high school – I got 87% woohoo!).

The big news that this was their final tour, amused me. Surely, only 100 rock bands ahead of them have done the same thing. Announce a final tour, bank some big bucks and then get bored and do some more shows a few more years later. Rinse, repeat. I expect it will be the same for Motley Crue. I’ve never wished more for it to be true.

It made me sadder to see Alice Cooper open up for Motley Crue for most of the tour. Because you see, I still love Alice, but I wasn’t willing to spend the crazy amount of money required to see him as an opening group for Motley Crue. I am stubborn that way and quite frankly Alice outclasses Motley in every single damn thing he does – except maybe the hair.

The music lost it’s magic. Vince lost his voice. Nikki Sixx wrote a book about his heroine days – and magically remembered stuff that a sober person doesn’t remember. Tommy Lee wrote a book that talked through his penis (admittedly funny at first, but like most dicks they lose their charm after awhile) and Vince Neil’s book was so stupid, you know, because you know, all he did was you know, talk about blondes and boobs you know and whoever the hell proofread it should have removed about 2,000 “you knows” before they published the stupid thing and I threw it out the window. That book was like watching Napoleon Dynamite, you could feel your brain cells leaving your body but just like a train wreck you can’t look away.

Is it terrible of me to rejoice a little bit knowing they supposedly played their final concert on New Year’s Eve?

RIP Motley Crue – Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)

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