This post is going to cover several ways to spot narcissists. I am going to use the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast as an example. Before I dive in though I want to just highlight that these are all hypotheses. Any claims in this post are fictional and here just to set an example of common scenarios to look out for when trying to identify a narcissist. The purpose of this post isn’t to send any ill will or hate towards the women mentioned.
Source: Brave (Edited by me)
Okay, so let me jump right in then.
I just find it interesting to be discussing women in regards to narcissism. Many times we talk about men, particularly suited men from a certain class. And of course a lot of these Youtube videos out there are usually from a female victim’s perspective. Now in this hypothesis there are only female victims, particularly Lisa Vander Pump, but with other women being the perpetrators it does highlight the point that women can be narcissistic as well. And also for people watching these behaviors on these reality shows, especially people who are not really sure about themselves and are insecure, I want you to view these shows as a social experiment. As the worst possible case imaginable. And not to even feel sorry for any of the hypothetical victims. You know, they all know what they’re getting themselves into. And to be on these shows to begin with, you have to have a strong tolerance when it comes to narcissistic behavior. Because that’s what these shows are about.
End Your Confusion
The main goal of this post is so people who are sensitive and out to heal others rather than destroy can end their confusion and ultimately their suffering. A lot of times we suffer because we are so confused. We may come into contact with someone narcissistic and over a prolonged period of time or even a brief collision, we can begin to doubt ourselves. That’s the whole effect of narcissism in a nutshell. It’s aim is to rob the victim of their identity, stability, their spirit and personality. But once you can spot the spots on these leopards from a mile away, you’re going to know and hopefully be like uh oh, okay, let me get out of here. And if they do attack you, even subtly, you are not going to be confused the slightest bit. So there will be no reason to internalize anything and beat yourself up.
Okay so first let’s look at the “victim” in this scenario. Once again all hypotheses. But Lisa Vanderpump, to me, is a classic dominant empath. She can swim with the sharks without letting them devour her, and even sort of play with them. If you watched the shows with her seasons you will notice she has this jabbing sense of humor. She is so fully aware of the shallow lives that the narcissists are playing out around her, how fickle everything really is, and so she almost sits out watching and is kind of like the friendly mouthpiece for what viewers would say. Let’s just say she’ll poke fun at the girls all the time.
Here's another example:
But as you can probably tell she doesn’t do this in an insensitive way, it’s almost like a form of doting. She laughs off their idiocy and makes light out of situations. She’s a cheerful person. Almost childlike at heart. And you can see her good nature with the way she comes to the rescue for anyone that ever sat on the outside and was bullied in the show.
She was there for Brandy when Kyle and Kim Richards ganged up on her. She was there for Dorit when she was in the hot seat after crossing Erika.
She has an adopted son and she also cares deeply for animals, even devoting a lot of her businesses towards them. She has a dog rescue foundation, and she spreads awareness about the mistreatment of animals around the world.
And of course narcissists can be charitable for publicity and to be thought of as kind and generous people, but with Lisa Vanderpump these animals are also deeply entwined in her real life. She doesn’t just give out money but she has a puppy rescue center, she even takes in various animals into her home and gives them this lavish life. She dresses her dogs in outfits. You know, who can forget Jiggy. He even could eat out of a dish at her table and was treated no different from a human family member. And let's just say a narcissists hate taking care of anything but itself. So, Lisa being tender hearted and just trying to get the girls to laugh during her jokes is evident. That's what jokes are intended for, to lighten a moment, to play with someone. It's almost an adult version of tag. But that brings us to the first spot of the leopard and how to identify it. What can’t narcissists take ever? A joke.
I am not saying that Erika Girardi is a narcissist. We don’t know that for sure but in this example we are going to use her as the hypothetical case. Have you ever made a joke that was received with a frosty reception? From a particular person? One of Erika’s reasoning for hating jokes is that behind every joke is a little bit of truth. And bingo. Narcissists hate any truths about themselves especially if it makes them look less than perfect. They cannot laugh at themselves, they just don’t have that gene. Narcissists can’t even laugh at jokes not directed at them. Unless it’s something that puts someone else down they have almost no sense of humor. If you see them laugh, it will almost be behind this forced expression or there will be this delayed reaction. As if they had to think and process that they were supposed to laugh.
source: bravo tv Since we are using Erika Girardi as the fictional narcissists for this example, and Lisa the victim, let’s look at how it all begins.
Lisa Vanderpump, before Erika’s arrival, is sort of this prominent figure in the group. Lisa being funny and the eldest one. Also one of the most successful in the group, with her own spin-off show Vanderpump Rules. You know, she’s not just a housewife, she has her restaurants and stores. She’s a very respected figure in Beverly Hills and has a rich career outside of the reality show. Now who else is like that? Well, Erika Girardi.
Erika has an altar ego called Erika Jayne, who is this vibrant provocative singer. She eventually warms up to everyone on the show, save for Vanderpump. Now that's interesting but not shocking. Which brings us to the next spot you have to look for. Narcissists will try to take down anyone who they feel threatened by or can be seen as higher on the pecking order. They will not feel inferior, they just can’t stand it. They will not back down from trying to dethrone someone, no matter who it is. They have no fear in this regard. They are chronically jealous of people who they believe are more respected or have more attention. They will take over businesses and friendship groups in a snap. They will replace you. Borderlines who can also be very strong people need to be aware of this. Do you always feel like you’re bumping heads with someone in a group setting? You just can’t figure out why they won’t warm up to you? Well, borderlines, often being very intense, and even bold, can rub a narcissist the wrong way. It’s like two alpha dogs growling at each other. Note also that you can say borderlines are wounded empaths. And who is a narcissists favorite snack? But what a narcissists can’t allow is an empath like a borderline who probably has a lot of bite themselves being so used to having to defend themselves. But remember to just move on and hold your head high. It is not your responsibility how you are perceived. If anyone is intimidated by you, that is their fault.
source: bravo tv
Now let's go back to Erika's red latex look. They are in Berlin, Germany and Erika is taking a while to appear to their social gathering then she just pops up in this loud outfit. This brings us to the third traight to look out for: they need to have attention, at all cost. They need to feel like the most interesting and important person in the room. This interwines with the fourth narcissistic quality to look out for: their control through intimidation. Now covert narcissitists will manipulate you in other ways but one of the main forms of manipulation in a classic narcissist is through intimidation. In fact that's the first stage. And it works perfectly in their favor. They don't have to say anything intensely manipulative to keep the conversation in their control or have their ducks in a row.
Erika throughout her episodes most times has this frosty tone of voice and gaze about her. In fact a lot of the women thought she was hard to get to know and found her intimidating. Erika is smart. She knows she appears cold when she has that stern face and aggressive sharp eye contact around the girls. A stern, flat tone of voice is enough to keep people on the edge. Narcissists know if they intimidate others around them, they can get them to almost act like your little puppies. Remember intimidation almost plays on our basic childlike instinct to please or be liked. Our prime disciplinarian were our parents. Erika strikes this cord of insecurity in people and she knows that. Castmate Teddy Mellencamp made the misfortune of implying that Erika was choosing to have amnesia so she wouldn't admit something. And well, this is how it went down. . .
It's not enough for Erika to tell Teddi once or twice not to say amnesia, no, she has to point, she has to scold Teddi. She leaves the women in tears and looks very pleased. But even as she is finished talking, she still has to give her the coldest look possible, like a shark eyeing it's prey. This is to tell the others, see, look here, if you cross me this is what will happen to you. And it's to also tell Teddy, know your place, don't you dare try to challenge me the slightest bit. When one of her friends go to console a shaken Teddi she even says, "Hey, Dorit, just leave that alone." She needs total control.
Away from the other women, Girardi admitted that she sees where she needs to make some changes in her life. "I cannot shut that temper off, that's something I'd like to change, I'd like to work on, but I am adult enough to know im an a—hole. I don't want to be someone who is mean or evicerates people." But don't be fooled, she knows exactly what she's doing. Even Lisa Rinna, having her own take on what went down said, "Erika must trigger something in Teddi from her childhood ..." Hmmm, I wonder what could that be?
The intimidation factor, Iit's a way to establish their place as alpha in a group and for people to do their bidding without them doing too much work. Eventually the people who challenged them want to be best friends them and everyone around them is almost whipped or traumatized into submission.
source: bravo tv. (Inside Erika Girardi's chapel, Teddi Mellencamp confides in Erika how she feels so manipulated by Lisa Vanderpump)
It's how they so easily recruit what you'd call flying monkeys. Flying monkey's is this term in the narcissist world that describes people who carry out the narcisstists dirty work for them. Erika was never a fan of Lisa Vanderpump but all the other girls were. But upon entry, Erika, with enough intimidation, successfully made it so that everyone was against Lisa. Everyone slowly started building this trauma bond with her. And it's like suddenly instead of her attacking them they turned on each other. And she ate it all up. But where did this start?
She first implied that Lisa was manipulative because of her jokes were intended to make people feel uncomfortable as a form of control. That is another trait. The narcissist will try to project their traits onto you. She dropped this idea about Lisa Vanderpump on the very first season she appeared. Keep in mind the woman had never done anything more than make jokes and asked her silly questions.
Back to the chapel photo. Here Teddi can be seen being almost subservient to Erika, telling her everything she wants to hear, about how her least favorite person is such a manipulator for telling her about fellow castmate not handling a puppy situation right. They have no proof Lisa Vanderpump wanted to set up Dorit to look bad by talking to Teddi about the situation. HoweverTeddi is basically acting so shocked and dismayed by Lisa telling her what Dorit did. I mean, is it really that crazy that a friend would tell you something that's on their mind about another friend?
Erika invited her previous abuse victim back to her house and into her chapel, her secret lair, to basically confess all her sins. Report to her how Lisa Vanderpump is this big manipulator. This was the season as well, mind you, when Lisa lost her brother from suicide. Lisa was obviously griefing and already down enough but for all they cared it was the best time to strike.
Here is another scene where Erika is giving Teddi this prep talk to attack Lisa.
It continues here:
Lisa's crime is again telling Teddi some information about Dorit which all friends do. To paint Lisa guilty the women created this idea that Lisa wanted Teddi to know about Dorit giving a puppy to a bad owner so Teddi and Dorit would argue. It is really petty and makes absolutely no sense. It was almost like Teddi is this child trying to get mommy Erika's approval after being scolded so many times. Like look mommy I am going to be big and bad now just like you and I am going to attack the person you don't like.
Basically Lisa was targetted for the entire season by her dear friend Teddi who she once protected against Erika, the very person Teddi is now siding with over the fact that Teddi feels manipulated by Lisa because she allowed poor Teddi to hear gossip about Dorit. Yeah, confusing, huh.
Well, Teddi just knew in her heart Lisa wanted her and Dorit to fight, even though Lisa wasn't the one who brought up the gossip, no, but Lisa should have protected Teddi's ears from the gossip. Confused? Yeah it makes no sense. But the girls seemed desperate to grasp onto this idea that Lisa is an evil conspirator. But who created this narrative of Lisa? Erika. This is a classic case of how narcissitists use flying monkeys. Flying monkeys is probably a term you might have heard in the narcissists world, meaning people who do the narcissists dirty job for them.
In the end there is this mob mentality where you see all the girls gang up on Lisa.
Because guess what, Erika said she was manipulative. It was really Erika's battle but they were all fighting it for her. Here is a clip of a well trained Teddi being so furiously upset at Lisa for "manipulating her." It's almost hilarious as she pretend to be so upset at Lisa for something so circumstancial. The claim is that Lisa wanted gossip about Dorit to leak to Teddi since Teddi and Dorit already were pumping heads. Dorit ended up giving her dog away her dog to a bad owner who left it at a kill shelter but Lisa Vanderpump should have made sure no one heard about it, nevermind that Teddi is good friends with Lisa's coworker at her rescue shelter where the dog rumors began. And that's just crazy since Lisa was good friends with Dorit.
Lisa wasn't even the one that started to speak about the dog. It was the coworker at the puppy rescue she ran. But after being scolded and intimidated enough by Lisa's least favorite fan, Erika, everyone was quick to run with the idea of Lisa being this big manipulator. In this clip you can see how Teddi, with the help of the others paints herself as a poor manipulated victim to fit the narrative. You can see how hard she tries to give herself this victimhood that even her anger is disproportionate towards the crime or evidence but everyone rolls with it. Again to kiss Erika's butt. Erika who can be observed enjoying the drama, chuckling into her drink.
Erika called Lisa manipulative but she was the one turning all her friends against her. She didn't have to say one thing in fact to Lisa directly for Lisa to feel dismissed and small. She simply would drop bombs into people's minds. Slowly the group sort of all bended towards Erika's way of thinking. And you have the people who Lisa defended against Erika's onslought becoming the main ones who allow Erika to use them as attack dogs towards Lisa. Or in other words: flying monkeys. Some of Erika's now close friends on the show were Lisa's. Like Kyle, Dorit, and Teddi. She'd in fact known Kyle and Dorit for years Erika successfully dethroned Lisa Vanderpump and left her so outcasted and bullied by her once friends. In the end Lisa, an OG of the reality series, left the show. She tired of being bullied.
Here is another clip of Teddi working together with the other girls to paint Lisa as a manipulator even as she is so clearly confused.
It’s all so difficult to stomach why people can be so cruel, but at the end of the day people are animals. And animals attack when they see blood. Some might be more of the deer than the shark, but people in general tend to join forces when one person is vulnerable. At least shallow people do. It didn’t matter that Lisa Vanderpump, once again, was grieving the loss of her brother. It didn’t matter when she showed evidence that she didn't tell anyone to say anything about Dorit to Teddi.
In fact it turned out Teddi had been the one who asked for the gossip about the puppy and Dorit to be brought up. It didn't matter. The goal was for them all to please Erika with dethroning and bullying her rival Lisa Vanderpump.
Once again this is all hypothetical but I hope you enjoyed and learned something for this post. Keep your eyes open for those narcissists and do not let them fool you!