You’ve probably heard about the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. While Dr. Jekyll is the embodiment of all things good and pure, Mr. Hyde is such a vulgar and evil person. As the story continues, we find out that these two are actually the same person. As if having two souls in one body, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are polar opposites trapped in the same body.
In a way, narcissists are the same. When you first meet them, you see their Dr. Jekyll persona. They’re nice, smart and friendly. Then slowly, their Mr. Hyde persona emerges. They can be impossibly illogical, aggressive and impolite. They’re so different that you often wonder how on earth could this be the same person. Still, you don’t get too concerned at first. Because most of the time they’re so nice that you ignore the times they aren’t. And they immediately apologize whenever they do something wrong. They say that they’re not someone like this. You know this isn’t the real me, don’t you know me at all?
Perhaps you try to justify their actions as well. It’s not that bad, you think. After all, you had so many wonderful memories. There’s no need to exaggerate things. ‘They may have some flaws but they’re actually a good person’, you say.
Eventually, the transition between their two personas becomes even faster. One day they’re good, the next day they’re evil, now they’re an angel, and then they’re a demon. Sometimes these transitions can be so fast that you get dizzy. At the same time, you realize that their evil persona starts to come out more often than the good one. The tables have turned. This can get very confusing and very stressful for you. You can get anxious even when everything is going well, because you don’t know the next time they’ll react negatively. You feel like you’re walking on thin ice because you don’t know which persona you’ll see next. There’s no need to ask them to be gentler. While constantly going from good to evil, they continue praising you only to degrade you soon after. In their eyes, you’re either an innocent angel or the devil incarnate.
Are you dealing with two different people? How can they be so good and so bad at the same time?
Think about it. If a person is constantly rude to you, constantly ignoring you or constantly hurting you; would you still choose to stay by their side? I think not. Neither does the narcissist. They know that they can’t gain anything if they show their true nature (which is the evil persona) to the people around them. That would cause everyone to abandon them in the end. It’s impossible for them to acquire the attention and adoration they crave so badly with their real personality. Therefore, they need to conceal it with an artificial mask of goodness. The good persona of the narcissist is nothing but an illusion, a pretty mask. Dr. Jekyll never existed. They’ve been Mr. Hyde all along.
And yes, everything was just a manipulation tactic. ‘Mr. Hyde’ is perfectly aware of what they’re doing to you. They’re quite content with the power they have over you. ‘Despite everything I’ve done to them, they’re still mine’, they think. They’re proud of themselves for being able to deceive you and everyone else around you. They’re getting a sick pleasure out of all the chaos they created.
If you’re with someone like this, ask yourself these questions:
Do you love this person with their both personas, or their good side is the only reason why you put up with them?
Do you love them with their current personality, or is the possibility of them changing for the better is why you’re still with them?
Are you truly happy right now?
Do they take responsibility for their actions? Do they really try to change, or all their promises are simply empty words?
Please be honest with yourself. If you’re no longer happy with them, if you’re feeling used, afraid and drained, if their promises are never kept; it’s time to cut your strings off and set yourself free.
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Hyatt, C., Campbell, W. K., Lynam, D. R., & Miller, J. D. (2018). Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde? President Donald Trump’s Personality Profile as Perceived from Different Political Viewpoints.Collabra: Psychology, 4(1), 29. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1525/collabra.162
Ezine Articles. “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde — The Two Faces of Narcissism”. Access 6 September, 2008. http://ezinearticles.com/?Dr-Jekyll-and-Mr-Hyde—The-Two-Faces-of-Narcissism&id=1474184.