Why do narcissistic people and Somatic Narcissists really celebrate holidays like Christmas? To fool everyone by tricking them into believing they are normal, kind, loving, and good-natured human beings, of course. Learn to spot the warning sign a “narcy” or mean-spirited Grinch is pulling off a “great pretender” con. Obsessed with status, aesthetic ideals, and prestige, Somatics are the only NPD personality type capable of faking joy or enthusiasm to such a perverse and self-aggrandizing degree.
You will see the nativity scene proudly displayed in the yard along with a light show that someone on the International Space Station can almost see from their cosmic perch. The stockings will be hung by the chimney with care — but no hope of the true spirit of Christmas will ever be there. The delicate ornaments shimmer and shine on the tree, but in the warm hearth of house and family, Somatic Narcissists offer no charity.
They will play Golden Child favorites with friends and family, showering some with grand scale gifts of magnanimity proffered to impress while leaving others feeling nothing but slighted and full of “why don’t they love” or “like me” envy. It’s a grand facade orchestrated by the world’s most self-aggrandizing, pretending to create an atmosphere of a loving home with a festive spirit but only doing it to out-do, compete, and show off — it’s all disingenuous.
Empaths, on the other hand, get off on celebrating tradition. Their joy comes in celebrating the holiday season with others. Decorations are put out as part of an appreciation ritual, one that is celebrated with honest enthusiasm.
While Narcissists are busy playing me-me-me or overindulging bratty children by buying them massive quantities of gifts few will appreciate and most do not need, the Empaths of the world devote themselves tirelessly and selflessly.
How can a person tell the difference between a Somatic Narcissist who gets busy decorating as an excuse to impress or a person who truly enjoys celebrating the holiday season in a non-competitive fashion? That’s EASY.
Pay close attention to how the person behaves throughout the rest of the year — as well as how they treat their friends, family, and other people during the time leading up to the grand festivities. Pay attention to how they treat others during the observance of what should be solemn and/or loving occasions.
Do they dress the family up and drag everyone to act like Christmas posers at church on Christmas Eve? Is their favorite preferred target or scapegoat exiled from festivities while the so-called host or hostess ridicules them behind their back — or worse… treats them in ways that are overtly mean?
Do they engage in the acts of bullying, ridiculing, or shaming other people? Are they experts at whispering or saying baiting commentary to hurt, upset, or embarrass a target, then deny all moral culpability and instead blame the victim for being “too sensitive”?
Is their home their greatest source of pride on an everyday basis? If so, do they take great time and care to do seasonal redecorating to impress other people? Do they try to pretend they are “good Christians” — faithfully attending church but treating everyone around them like shiznet whenever the pastor or other congregation members are not looking?
Beware the holiday pretender.
Somatic Narcissists are especially guilty of making sure that their homes look perfect, neat, and polished at all times at the emotional expense of all their family. Growing up in such homes truly breaks the spirit of children. Left to feel like they are growing up raised in mausoleums, there is no room for joy, happiness, or wonder in the living room. Only egocentrism. In the world of narcissism, Christmas is one more way for narcy parents to act like terrible role models for impressionable young people while using it as an excuse to justify bolstering their own already colossal egos.
Somatic Narcissists give the BEST gifts — but only to people who (generally) deserve nothing but lumps of coal in their Christmas stockings. Everyone who is a delight, truly shows and displays empathy for others year ’round, or treats the Narcy person well will be treated like crap. Think about the movie National Lampoon’s “Christmas Vacation” with Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo. He worked his tushie off for a narcissistic employer all year, only to be slighted come holiday bonus time.
[If memory serves, the passive-aggressive gift he got was a gift certificate notice he’s been enrolled in the jam of the month club.]
Understand that the holiday spirit has nothing to do with materialism and everything to do with showing tender care, loving respect for, and appreciation and suddenly the Christmas dialog takes on a far more accurate multi-dimensional concept. The protagonist in the film was counting on his holiday bonus — not out of greed, but because he expected his employer to show him a reciprocal amount of respect.
Throughout the year, the dutiful employee was there for his narcy employer the same way children and dutiful romance partners are there for their own version of him. When the employer chose to cut the holiday bonus for no reason other than on a whim, he essentially thumbed his nose at all the people who worked for him.
The same thing happens when a parent or life partner decides to quash holiday spirit in the home or his or her community by self-aggrandizing.
When a Somatic Narcissist decides to turn Christmas into a competition, they go at it in the most obnoxious ways possible on most festive occasions.
- The house will look perfect, the children dressed immaculately… but they are not allowed to touch anything or speak up about the punishing treatment or verbal lashings they receive from the narcy or even sociopathic parent in private.
- The narcissist will always be dressed to the holiday nines, playing the part and looking like the most grand of all Santa’s helpers… but they act like the Grinch in private, secretly ridiculing all their VIP guests while getting off on conning them into believing they are the perfect host or hostess.
- Narcissistic family members who are conformists can’t wait to show off all their holiday gifts and treasures… especially to people they know are in lower income brackets (with a bonus if they are able to parade lavish gift purchases in front of impoverished children).
- They will put the nativity scene or a crest out to symbolize the birth of Christ… but will offer no homeless person, refugee, or person in need of moral support or financial assistance a gift of either their time or donation.
- You overhear them being nasty to taxi drivers, store clerks, and customer service professionals… they simply cannot wait for the opportunity to abuse a store clerk or other shopper in a checkout line.
Don’t be duped into believing that just because someone goes all out decorating for the “holidaze” that there is anything at all about their nature that makes them charitable, kind, or loving human citizens. Actually, people who are known for being mean — those who abuse their own family members or children, those who are racists, homophobic, or act pervasively with selfish entitlement — those are the very people who are typically known for throwing the grandest celebrations.
Realize if this trend to celebrate Christian traditions without heeding the message of Jesus continues, it leads packs of people to a dangerous end. Flying Monkeys, impressed by all the shine and sparkle, need to realize that when they show support for the Narcissist (by praising them, inviting them into their own homes, or attending over-the-top special events), they are doing far worse than ENABLING.
What they are actually doing is contributing openly to teaching children the moral lesson that in their subjective opinion, narcissism trumps loving action. Then, there’s the megalomaniac who orchestrates holiday disappearing acts after telling their targeted victims they have wonderful, warm surprises coming.
Just as the fine folks over at Esteemology say in their article titled “Narcissists and the Amazing Holiday Houdini Act“,
The key is spotting the flags and the patterns of behavior. When a Narcissist picks a fight and disappears before a special event, what they are communicating is:
I don’t do kindness, I don’t do intimacy. I don’t do reciprocity. I don’t care what it means to you, or how much you’ve done for me. I’m afraid of relationships I’m afraid of getting close. I won’t make this a real relationship by acknowledging it. I won’t take any responsibility for anything and I will always think of myself first. Take it or leave it.
If you’ve spent this Christmas without your partner again, you’ve just witnessed the Narcissist’s Amazing Holiday Houdini Act, recognize it for what it is and make sure that by the time the next holiday rolls around that you’re the one with the new trick up your sleeve and do your own disappearing act.
Don’t fall for the Grinch dressing up in their finest holiday garb or lederhosen they wear with an intent to impress. Don’t act like a Flying Monkey at the behest of the evil Whoville mayor or compete in a light display with that vacuous Mrs. Clause wannabe, either.
If their emotionally sensitive partner or children are acting scared, upset, nervous, angry, or appear to have been crying, chances are they probably have. You can bet money on their tears and horrible, anxious upset is because of something some megalomaniac charitable spirit pretender has done, failed to do, or passive-aggressively said.
This holiday season, give the gift of sharing YOUR narcissistic abuse story if you have one with a family member or family friend. Sharing articles like how to support a narcissistic abuse survivor can help them have a better idea of what to do or say to help a scapegoat or target through the holidays if they are still in contact.
Remember to show YOURSELF empathy and compassion as well. Leave an extra cookie out by your bedside and be your own Saint Nick if you have to be, knowing you are NOT ALONE. One in three women has suffered at the hands of a domestic abuser — and one in six men.