I work on creative games and mods to bring joy to others. My adapted symbol is the spotted hyena, which I chose for its misunderstood perception, dangerous nature, and intelligence.
I've known about your website for a long time and I know you to be experienced in life. Do you have experience in dealing with narcissists online?
I used to not be aware of their existence until recently and this experience involved three at once. I created a mod for a video game and entered its community. It turned out I had walked into a war of sexual assailants. They deserve to not be named - that would only validate them. Therefore, I will call them N1-3. All three are known in a different related community. N1 was expanding into the community I entered. He used me as a stepping stone. He exploited that I had been betrayed by friends to paint himself to be in similar shoes and filled that void in my life for 2 years. Through his manipulation and the manipulative actions of his former right-hand man, N3 - who had forsaken him and was dragging this new community into the conflict - I believed N1 to be a victim and involuntarily became his defender. N1 slipped up, allowing me to recognize what he is and I broke free. He was not the only one to slip up. N3 personally involved me and my project in a public call out of N1 despite my wishes. When confronted, he tried hard to justify it (mainly to himself) and distracted from the issue by attacking my character. Such an action lead me to gravitate more toward N1. It also had me feel like I was walking on eggshells. As a result, I uncovered the full story. One constant question I had was how did these people become friends in the first place? I found the answer: They're all narcissist manipulators.
Here's what they did:
N1 built a harem of ride-or-die fans. He abused many women online (and some offline) and painted himself as the victim or downplayed his actions. I'll list the main incidents. He coerced a woman younger than him (W1) with future faking and special rewards into sending sexual cosplay photos then blackmailed her with the possibility of reposting them. N1 rewrote history that it was W1 who initiated. He also made her feel she was in a competition with another woman (W2). He underpaid a co-worker (W3) and visited her to have sex with her despite her clearly saying no beforehand. (W3 was in a relationship too.) He confessed to W3 about getting W4 drunk to sleep with him and cry to her boyfriend afterward. W3 was able to resist him. After the unsuccessful endeavor, he would berate W3 until she stopped working for him. He was ultimately exposed by another co-worker - let's call her Ocarina - when she accused him of sexual assault at a con. N1's key lie is that Ocarina wanted to share a bed with him - the resulting argument being they were both in the wrong (did I mention Ocarina was in a relationship with another person too?), but in reality, she only wanted to share costs on the room and expressed she was very uncomfortable about sharing a bed when it turned out the room didn't have separate beds. They both got drunk and N1 took Ocarina back to their room despite her friends' protests. They both stated that bodily contact happened. Their stories differ on the details, intentions, and states of consciousness.
N2 guilt-tripped a fan into a date - let's call her C. The date took place near her city but far enough for her to feel isolated from her family. C expressed discomfort multiple times, but was successfully coerced into spending the night at N2's hotel room. N2 pressed for sex and a condom broke. Their stories differ on what happened afterward. N2 tried to rewrite history that C never clearly communicated what she wanted.
N3 was N1's righthand man. He defended N1 until Ocarina then switched to defending N2. He makes everything about himself and used the stories of N1's victims to prove to himself that he did nothing wrong. He made a video targeting newcomers. He didn't show anything of the victims' stories that did not pertain to himself, thereby leaving doubt about the validity of the accusations against N1. N3 is also ignorant of N2's actions and paints him in a positive light with lies by omission.
The complication here is that all of these were friends. N2 championed for Ocarina, leading the call out of N1. C reappeared at that time to accuse N2 of rape for the second time. N2 remained silent and let Ocarina and her friends who attended the con to defend him from C. They involuntarily became N2's apologists. One of the friends made an anonymous account to help expose N1 and this account was used to defend N2 as well. Ocarina got hacked and the burner account got exposed. All this allowed N1 to return, arguing that these are hypocrites who tried to cancel him.
As you can see, this is a complicated story. Untangling it with no prior knowledge of narcissist manipulation tactics was an ordeal, but I believe everything in life happens for a reason. I got through it and emerged stronger.
The problem is that these two communities are filled with teens and young adults who are not mature enough to understand the weight of the situation. They interpreted it as drama and picked their favorite creator to defend.
I will continue to be involved with one of the communities through my hobby (for at least a little while), which is already poisoned with a lot of in-fighting due to N1's shift into this community. I am bound to get asked for input about N1 since some of my popularity is due to him. Do you have any advice on how to handle it? I know talking about N1 either positively or negatively validates him, but I do not want these young adults to be left in the dark and falling prey to manipulation from either side. I got rid of my YouTube account kickstarted by N1. I plan to just not talk about him anymore. However, I have already drawn the rage of N1's most religious followers by disassociating. These followers can potentially get other people entangled in such manipulation. I don't know how to handle it. Do you happen to have any advice?
Thank you in advance and stay safe, Papabear.
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You're right, this is complicated. First, let's clear something up: These people are not "narcissists." The appropriate term for all of them is "immature assholes," who are also apparently guilty of sexual assault. In short, these are very bad people, and if you are wise you will disassociate yourself from all of them. I would also argue that saying they are (or were) "friends" is highly inaccurate because friends do not treat each other in this manner.
Secondly, while it is noble of you to think of the young people in these groups who might get sucked into the N1-3 drama, it is really not your job to patrol the groups and act like a police officer. If you try, I guarantee that you will not be successful and will only be dragged farther and farther, deeper and deeper into a pool of disgusting drama.
Kartal, you are not responsible for the way people behave and you will find that trying to change people who are bad actors is a fruitless endeavor best left to professionals in the mental health industry.
One of the greatest skills to acquire in life is how to be a good judge of people. Once you do this, you will live a happier life by surrounding yourself with good, true friends and family and stepping away from the immature, the manipulators, the selfish, the gaslighters, and the cruel. True friends are kind, loving, and supportive. Anything less makes them not friend material.
So, step away from these communities like you were backing away from a minefield.
Does this make sense?
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