The narcissist is Janus-faced. Janus is the Roman god of doorways and gateways. Since doors can be approached in either direction, the god Janus has two faces. Janus-faced means "deliberate deceptiveness...by pretending one set of feelings and acting under the influence of another." The narcissist fits this description perfectly. The narcissist is a man or woman of polar opposite images. The public face (especially high level narcissists) is one of the gold minted charm and magnetism that is believable to most people. The outward image of the narcissist is one of physical perfection and impeccability. Everything about the high level narcissist spells perfection: his physical appearance, cars, material possessions, collections,his homes, even his spouses and children. One can be hypnotized by the high level of excellence projected through the public image. The narcissist appears to have sterling manners and show genuine concern for others. How can anyone be so attractive and compelling on every scale? Well, they can't and aren't.
The narcissist is a hypocrite. In private he fully displays the dark ugly side of his Janus face. With family in particular the narcissist is brutal and merciless. He constantly criticizes his spouse, making impossible demands on her/his time that are completely realistic. If you perform a task perfectly, the narcissist finds some error in it that doesn't exist. You can't win even when you are perfect. The narcissist always finds a way to demean and humiliate and find fault with those closest to him. These are the individuals who deserve his love and respect. But the narcissist is incapable of showing these qualities because they are not part of his personality structure. Many spouses who remain with narcissists learn to live with the horrific side of the Janus face. There are those who blame themselves for the cruelties bestowed on them. They search their minds, wondering what they did wrong to create such a verbally violent response in their spouse. They believe that they are defective not the narcissistic spouse. Some abused husbands and wives eventually awaken and realize that the narcissist in their life is like Janus, the Roman god----alluring, attractive, compelling on the outside---cruel,frightening,cold, exploitive on the inside. Learn more about the narcissist's dual personas and how to protect yourself and successfully deal with them to lead the life that you deserve. Visit my website: www.thenarcissistinyourlife.com