At some point, depending on the amount of pain the sycophant has had to endure, they will wake up when they are no longer able to tolerate being used or when their own ethics or integrity will no longer permit them to be passive participants in the destructive world of the narcissist.Faced with abandonment, the narcissist acts more and more out of desperation, devolves deeper into his or her pathology and ends up alone and even more isolated, completing the cycle of narcissistic self-destruction.Without sycophants, the narcissist struggles, becomes depressed and feels his or her life has no meaning.
Whether we realize it or not, we all have at least one narcissist in our lives.
In fact, according to authors Jean Twenge, Ph D and Keith Campbell, Ph D, there is a narcissism epidemic in this country.
The “yes men” are the means to an end, they help the narcissist get what he or she wants and will only be kept close as long as they serve a purpose.
As a group, sycophants find meaning and purpose out of protecting and becoming the narcissist’s handlers.
We don’t want to be tossed out of the narcissist’s orbit for speaking up, for disagreeing or challenging the narcissist because what we get from the narcissist fuels our own needs. From my life experience, I have come to believe that sycophants fuel narcissists and enable them to exist and even thrive. A narcissist is a person with inordinate fascination with himself or herself.
I am sure this isn’t a new or novel idea on my part. They have few social control mechanisms, fewer friends, little or no psychic demands to do the right thing (even though they give lip service to this concept) do not look for approval from others, lack social barometers of how to conduct themselves, and are driven to be captivating, inspirational, charming and seductive.
(The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement, Free Press, 2009, Twenge Ph D., Campbell, Ph D.).
After reading this eye opening book I found myself thinking about this subject in general and agree with the authors that narcissism is sweeping our country and wreaking havoc on the personal, social and professional relationships of the masses. We don’t want to view someone we look up to as a narcissist and we certainly don’t want to acknowledge the hold narcissists have on us and on the world at large.
In addition, we may now be seeing the negative effects of the self-esteem movement on a larger scale.
So how does this rise in narcissism impact our personal relationships?
To the narcissist, there are only friends or foes; you are either for or against their vision. Sycophants are self-serving servile flatterers and are often slavishly submissive to the narcissist. The narcissist is completely dependent on the sycophant to feed his ego, to feel important and powerful.