Artem Bali

Most of you probably made your way here via my most-read articles,
Capitalism Has Failed, and Jay-Z’s Streaming Scandal Is Proof and The Difficulty in Defining Donald Glover’s “This is America.” These were among the first pieces I wrote, and I was lucky enough to have Medium’s editors select them to be Member Feature Stories.

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Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay

Whether or not narcissists know what they’re doing is a common question.The answer is “yes” and “not really.” Narcissists are always seeking attention and validation called “narcissistic supply” to prop up their low self-worth. All their interactions are about getting supply in the moment or down the line. They are constitutionally manipulative. That doesn’t mean absolutely every manipulation of theirs is premeditated. A lot of what they do is like the way toddlers fake cry for attention. A small child knows that if they cry, it elicits a certain response from their caregiver. Whenever they want that response, no matter…


Photo by Joshua Golde on Unsplash

Victory can be hard to come by. Fortune favors the few, and they nearly always have to be bolder than everyone else. At least, this is what I used to think. One of the consequences of creating high expectations for yourself may be that you don’t celebrate your wins. You may not even see them. Life is lived in the details. It’s why those moments of achievement you strive for can be disappointing. After a brief high, there may be a huge let down. Depression may even set in for some people. Your victory may not exactly be pyrrhic, but…


Day 12: AU

By Kitanya Harrison, writing as Harrison Kitteridge

Cover of Before Holmes Met Watson. A raven against a red background with white lettering.
Cover of Before Holmes Met Watson. A raven against a red background with white lettering.

John awoke in a copse of trees. His limbs were heavy with exhaustion, and it was cold in the shadows of the heavy canopy. He shivered. His clothes were far too thin, and he didn’t recognise them. They were rough and poorly constructed garments of an unfamiliar style. They seemed out of time. Or was he? He was freezing, but his shoulder burned. He touched the inflamed skin and flinched. He must have been bitten by some sort of insect, maybe even an adder. Perhaps the bite was…


Photo by Peter Neumann on Unsplash

I received a comment saying my discussion of how targets sometimes scapegoat narcissist’s was confusing. My response got long, so I thought it was best to share it in this format and add more context. The narcissist is fully responsible for the harm they cause. Acknowledging that isn’t scapegoating them. Neither is struggling to sort through the confusion they cause to apportion blame properly. In my piece, I was speaking specifically of situations where the target is actually scapegoating the narcissist, which can and does happen.


Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Unsplash

Nothing is ever a narcissist’s fault. Self-reflection precedes genuine accountability, and narcissists can’t do that work, because their whole lives are constructed around protecting their severely damaged egos and masking their low self-esteem. You can’t wrestle with a false self-image in a meaningful way. As a result, narcissists need scapegoats to shoulder the burden of taking responsibility. They are experts at passing the buck. Narcissists often recruit a group of confederates and enablers (called a “harem”) to serve their needs. The harem usually includes a designated scapegoat the narcissist uses as a dumpster for all the bad feelings that arise…


Day 11: Cooking

By Kitanya Harrison, writing as Harrison Kitteridge

Cover of Before Holmes Met Watson. A raven against a red background with white lettering.
Cover of Before Holmes Met Watson. A raven against a red background with white lettering.

The short walk back to Sherlock’s cottage from the May Day celebration took nearly twice as long as it should have because Mark kept stopping to kiss Sherlock. “I like your voice,” Mark said the first time, stopping to lean in and peck Sherlock on the corner of the mouth. Sherlock went still and stared more stupidly than he’d ever admit. It wasn’t the compliment — he’d been on the receiving end of his fair share in his time (usually some nonsense about his eyes). It was the…


Day 10: Balloons

By Kitanya Harrison, writing as Harrison Kitteridge

Cover of Before Holmes Met Watson. A raven against a red background with white lettering.
Cover of Before Holmes Met Watson. A raven against a red background with white lettering.

Sherlock’s forwardness at the May Day celebration hadn’t left his new acquaintance sputtering (another point in his favour, Sherlock had thought). He’d laughed warmly and said, “I knew I’d like you. I’m Mark, Mark Darcy.”


Image by Amber Avalona from Pixabay

Narcissists feel entitled to everything that belongs to their targets in a way ordinary manipulators don’t. Covetousness is the core of their identity, because they have low self-esteem and can’t self-validate. They need external sources to fill those needs and are constantly seeking attention and validation called narcissistic supply. Whenever narcissists see someone being praised or loved, they become filled with intense self-loathing and envy. In a deeply childish way, they genuinely believe all the adoration should be theirs. These feelings are especially pointed when the person is a target they feel they should be able to control. …


Photo by Fares Hamouche on Unsplash

Mirroring is a tactic many narcissists and other manipulative people often employ in order to ingratiate themselves. They reflect idealized versions of their targets back to them. In a way, they get you to fall in love with a simulacrum of the best version of yourself. When narcissists encounter potential targets, they probe for information. It seems like genuine, deeply-felt interest, and, I suppose it is, but the primary goal is reconnaissance. Unfortunately, this high interest usually corresponds with the first, most intense round of love bombing, and the target is often swept off their feet. …

Kitanya Harrison

*squinting in Nanny of the Maroons* | Read my essay collection, DISPOSABLE PEOPLE, DISPOSABLE PLANET: books2read.com/u/mBOYNv | IG: kitanyaharrison

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