Narcissists are unique in that they often enjoy the brief burst of relief after they have suffered emotionally or have sustained a loss, even though this is totally irrational. They view this as a sense of freedom which comes from being free. The narcissist can feel that he has found himself in losing everything. He may feel recharged and re-born, able to take on new territories and challenges. This feeling becomes so addictive that the narcissist may begin seeking pain, scorn, and contempt as long as they are in public and bring on scorn from peers and superiors. This scorn is then resonated internally making the narcissist feel he is worthy of the penalty he received. While this is a masochistic streak, narcissists are also sadists.
Narcissists will often inflict pain and abuse on others and some enjoy abusing and tormenting others. Most do these things automatically and without reasons. A narcissist will often devalue others off-handedly and discard people, friendships, and partnerships without hesitation. What is unusual about the narcissist’s sadistic behaviors is that they are weirdly goal oriented. Pure sadists have no goal except the pursuit of pleasure-pain as an art form. The narcissist, by comparison, haunts and hunts victims because he wants them to reflect his inner turmoil. This is known as a projective identification.
When a narcissist is unhappy, hurt, injured, or disappointed, he cannot sincerely express his emotions or at least feels unable to do so openly. To do so would be admitting to frailty, weakness, and neediness. Since the narcissist deplores his personal humanity, his vulnerability, emotions, gullibility, failures, and inadequacies are something he hides in his own way. So, he makes use of other people to express his frustration and pain, anger, and aggression. The narcissist will achieve this by mentally torturing others to the point that they are going crazy. He may even drive them to violence or revenge. Narcissists force people to lose their own character traits and adopt those of the narcissist. The continued, well-targeted abuse may leave the target to become abusive, ruthless, and lacking in empathy even if it was not who they were prior to meeting the narcissist. As the target mirrors the narcissists behaviors, it relieves the narcissist of the need to directly express himself.
Once the narcissist creates this mirror, they withdraw and let go. The inner demons have temporarily been purged and he can now walk away without a thought and attachment free. The narcissist rarely has remorse, though he may follow extreme abuse by an act of great care swinging between the two extremes. This sudden shift from sadism to altruism are the hardest and most confusing for people involved with a narcissist. The swings cause people around a narcissist to have emotional insecurity, feel a lack of self-worth, and often experience great anxiety. Over time, emotional paralysis ensues and the victim becomes the same emotional wasteland as the narcissist. This can last even after the narcissist is long gone. Narcissists can be damaging to the health. If you are in a relationship with one, protect yourself and get away as soon as possible.