How can a person truly pretend to be a completely different person as long as the narcissist does? Well, the problem here resides in the faces the narcissist uses to present who “he is” to the world. Unfortunately for the narcissist though, he has to come to believe his masks are who he is in any given moment. In very rare occasions does the narcissist see the light or reality. So why can’t you see this happening? Aren’t people with distinct and altering personalities obvious? The short answer, no.
The long answer-Disassociation. Many people have no idea what this is and their assumptions of what such really is could never truly bring truth to one’s mind regarding identity fragmentation on any unless unless they have experienced disassociation. To be disassociated is to not be able to integrate with one’s mind and/or body. This is how the narcissist experiences his reality.
There are many memes on the internet that show a picture of a person representing the narcissist -contemplating on what mask to choose from off of a wall. This is a very accurate way of displaying the narcissist’s experience yet the only discrepancy with this particular meme is that the narcissist is not the one choosing from the wall of masks most of the time.
Sometimes the narcissist is able to choose a particular mask to wear and sometimes he is aware of what is happening even if he is not the one in control of what face he is choosing to wear. When the narcissist is aware of the mask he is wearing, he literally can only observe what is taking place as a third party in his own life. When the narcissist is in control, he chooses his own masks but he has to be careful to manifest and control how others interact with him. He has to remain in control to protect his “identity” in order to to remain in control.
To help you understand just how out of control the narcissist really is in reality, lets remember the times when the narcissist picked a fight and responded in a very “unrealistic” way. The narcissist will try to create justifications for his insane cruel outbursts so he doesn’t look completely out of touch with reality but unfortunately, he is very much, out of touch with reality. This is because the narcissist’s mind plays tricks on him. For example, sometime the narcissist will hear his victim say he is a loser when really, his victim is asking him if he wants to go for ice cream. Of course the narcissist does not want to explain this problem to his victims so he attempts to justify these scenarios in a covert but cruel way. He knows this happens to him so he cannot scream out to his victim “I am not a loser” if he knows this happens to him and he cannot know for sure most of the time what he has perceived in any given moment.
In saying all this, yes the narcissist appears in control and appears as if he is the one choosing to behave and speak in the manner that he does but for the most part, his mind is completely hijacked.