A specific vocabulary often used in support groups
by Adult Children of Narcissists.*
ACoN—Acronym for Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents
ADULT CHILD—A person who grew up with adult stress and responsibilities.
EGOTISTICAL NARCISSIST—Vain, desires ego strokes and needs to be center of attention, doesn’t really listen to the needs or stories of others. Everything is always about them—even when it isn’t.
EMOTIONAL INCEST—When a parent confides in a child and shares adult problems and emotions causing the child to grow up as an extension of that parent. Sometimes these people say they feel their parent’s feelings before they can acknowledge their own.
ENABLER—A person who assists the narcissist or remains silent due to fear of conflict. Whether using silence or assistance, the enabler allows the narcissist to continue their destructive pattern.
FLEAS— Narcissistic–like traits displayed by a non-narcissist, generally learned behaviors from having been raised by a narcissist and not realizing what is normal for the situation.
FOG—Fear, Obligation and Guilt–The trinity of emotional abuse, need we say more?
FOO–Family Of Origin—Generally the nuclear family we grew up with, but it can also include cousins, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and offspring.
FAUXPOLOGY—A false apology. Given in a snarky way. Like saying to an obviously distraught person “I’m so sorry you misunderstood me and got upset by what I said.” This actually blames the victim instead of taking responsibility for their own rude behavior.
FLYING MONKEY—Any person, (often a sibling or other relative who has been manipulated by the victim mentality of the narc) to do the narcissist’s bidding. They often inflict additional torment by spreading gossip or bringing a threatening message from the narcissist. Other times they might spy on the victim to give the Narcissist more fuel.
GASLIGHTING—A form of psychological abuse in which the narcissist denies the truth while revising history and playing mind games to make the victim doubt what they already know is true or even question their own sanity.
GRAY ROCK–Blending in with the family like a gray rock. Trying to be an unobtrusive as possible. Not arguing for the truth despite hearing the lies while trying to blend in.
GOLDEN CHILD—The child favored most by the narcissist who can do no wrong.
HOOVERING—Named after the Hoover Vacuum cleaner. When the narcissist feels they are losing their currency or narcissistic feed, they will hoover. This is basically an attempt to rope the escaped victim back into their web so they can collect more narcissistic supply. Different narcissists might do this in different ways. An ignoring narcissist might become suddenly attentive, while an engulfing narcissists might suddenly start apologizing or making promises they will probably never keep. Recognizing their manipulations might save you lots of heartache. An avalanche of texts or phone calls can be a sign of hoovering.
IGNORING NARCISSIST—Neglect their children’s needs because they are consumed with their own needs and desires. They often shun their adult children when they don’t agree with them or do what they want. Or forget to show up for important occasions because they are so “busy” and do not have any time or money for such stuff.
LIMITED CONTACT OR LOW CONTACT—The choice to be less available to the narcissist in your life. Not going completely “No Contact,” but choosing to not spend a lot of time with those who are toxic or going “Gray Rock,” at family gatherings. This leaves the door open for them to call you or text you for an emergency or if they choose to work on the relationship.
MALIGNANT NARCISSIST—A person who manifests so far on the narcissistic scale they poison and harm nearly everyone they come in contact with because they feel it’s acceptable to proactively victimize others, up to and including physical violence.
NADAR—The ability to hone in on and recognize narcissistic behavior.
NARC—Short for narcissist
NARCISSITIC FEED—The currency of a narcissist— money, obedience, flattery, food, agreeing they are right, ego gratification—whatever the narcissist feels he needs from other people.
NORMIE—A person who did NOT grow up in a narcissistic household.
NO CONTACT—The point at which you realize a person is so toxic you need to shut them out of your life. This is because they lack respect and honesty and without respect and honesty, you have nothing to build a relationship on. No contact means no phone calls, no visits and no emails. If they want a relationship with you something has to change before you will ever talk to them again. (Also see Limited or Low Contact.)
NARC RAGE—The outpouring of rage from an Narcissist when they don’t get their way.
PARENTALIZATION—When a child acts like a parent to their own parent either by giving emotional support, financial support or caretaking. Thus the term Adult Child.
POWER OVER—Bully behavior to force others to do their will.
PROJECTION—When the narcissist accuses someone else of doing what they do, but they are either unaware or won’t acknowledge they are guilty of the same thing.
SCAPEGOAT—The person blamed and vilified as the problem, The scapegoat can do no right according the narcissist. Other family members often follow the influence of the narcissist criticizing and making personal attacks on the scapegoat. This is a group delusion because no one person is the only problem in a family. It just makes some people feel better to blame their problems on one person. To scapegoat and shun is cruel and only those are awake will realize what is happening.
SHUNNING—The silence that comes when a narcissist realizes he can’t use you anymore and you will no longer be giving him narcissistic feed.
TOXIC NARCISSIST—A narcissist who is beyond reason and affects the health and well-being of everyone around them (see Malignant Narcissist).
TRAUMA BOND–When someone has harmed you, but you feel such a bond, you can’t let go for fear of hurting or losing them.
TRANSFERENCE—Transferring the negative or positive energy from one relationship to another in other words, having an emotional reaction about someone in our past while imposing it on the person we are dealing with at present.
TRIANGULATION—When two people talk about a third. Narcissists often do this while giving the facts their own spin. Narcs like to triangulate with flying monkeys and send them out to do their dirty work.
VICTIM CARD—When the narcissist plays the victim and proclaims nothing was his fault. In some cases the narcissist sees himself as a total victim of every possible life circumstance that has ever happened to him. Other times the narc blames the victim for his problems causing the flying monkeys to feel sorry for him.
VICTIMIZATION—What the narcissist does to everyone he takes from—emotionally, physically or spiritually.
WORD SALAD–When the narcissist keeps playing word games with you and saying whatever to make you lose your mind because he is evading the truth.
*This is a list for general purposes just to make our conversations easier, but it’s not intended to be used to diagnose anyone. I am not a therapist.