Recently, I attended a local training to bring awareness to the issue of local sex and human trafficking. It was eye opening, overwhelming and heart breaking all at the same time. Girls and women of all ages are truly being victimized by this industry. [Video: I am Second with Annie Lobert]
During the training for those who were considering becoming a volunteer, a word came up that I could not get out of my head. It was a word I had heard a hundred times before this training. It was not a complicated word. It was a simple word. It was the word “pimp.” According to The Pimps Bible by Alfred Gholson “a pimp is essential to the prostitute like a King/Queen…supporting them to be successful in business…it’s an art to control without physical force.” Most know that the word generally is referring to the world of prostitution, which I understand, but what does it really mean? What is the origin of this word? I began to do some research online, and here is what I found.
Pimp. A procurer, one who obtains or acquires, pander, fancy man
Pimpant: alluring in dress, seductive, to dress elegantly, decorate, beautify [source dictionary.com]
Pimp: helper in mines, servant in logging camps. Informer, stool pigeon. This word came to mean a male procurer and protector of prostitutes.
Pezevenchi: a playful naughty boy who could always turn the cards in his favor. A smart kid who is not sincere all the time. Can also mean cheater. A smart a** who is usually successful in playing tricks. [source wordreference.com etymology search]
Last week, I wrote about social media, narcissism and the millennials. Narcissism is not that difficult to define, but it can be very difficult to understand and explain. Since attending the sex trafficking training, I began thinking about how much narcissism is found in our society and how much pimp behavior we see in our culture. I am not saying all pimps are narcissists, or all narcissist are pimps. However, there seems to be a correlation between the two. Unlike pimps, narcissism is not gender specific. It is not well known amongst the public, but women often get their female friends caught up in this lifestyle.
Pimps and narcissists have a selective reality and thought process that appears real to them but is distorted and out of touch to friends, family and coworkers. If your friendship or relationship with them ends, it will generally be all your fault. They do not see themselves as the common denominator in all their previous broken friendships. The only way they can reconcile the relationship ending is for you to be seen as all bad and for them to be seen as all good, because they cannot, refuse to comprehend, or it does not compute that they could have done anything wrong or damaging. If they did, this would mean they would have to change, which is not an option and must be avoided at all costs.
Loyalty and trust goes only one way. They do not need to be loyal to you, but you better be loyal to them. You need to trust them without question; but if you question them about even small matters, you will lose their trust. Loyalty and trust will most likely never be restored. The double standard you observe is only in your imagination. They treat you like an object and cannot connect in the relationship deeply or for long periods of time. They can appear to connect acutely and in the short term. They will say they love you, which they may love you as an object or a thing, not as a person. Their love is conditional in regard to what you can do for them. Their love mentality is a give to get versus give to give. They appear generous, but this is usually out of abundance, not out of sacrifice. They are generally charismatic, likeable, and flattering. They oftentimes don’t really mean what they say. They will easily “forget” promises they made or their own words that are contrary to their current behavior.
They use others to build themselves up. They are not teachable or feel entitled to everything. They exaggerate their accomplishments or promote themselves more than being promoted by others. They will accuse, blame and criticize you for imagined offenses. They appear confident but are extremely insecure when questioned. They are codependent, looking for affirmation and praise about things they have accomplished.
You are their “servant,” and they are your “king.” If you leave them, they will feel like you used them, because they are your king and provided love, money, food, shelter and clothing for you as your king. As long as you are in their kingdom, you owe them. What you want, think or believe does not matter, as this kingdom is all about them.
They do not see themselves as needing anyone to help them. They falsely believe they have achieved success on their own without the help of others. Therefore, if they help you become successful, you owe them.” Your present and future ideas, money, and relationships are not yours. They all belong to the pimp or narcissist. They make you believe you are a team; however, you are not to think on your own or make choices outside their approval. There is not “we” in team, only “them.” Verbal reality is the only thing that matters. “Do as I say, not as I do.”
They believe it is important and that they deserve to be around others who are important. They believe they are the smartest person – not just in the room but in the world and in this profession.
In relationships with God and others, it is all about giving to get, not about true servanthood. It is about using God versus serving and being used by God. Faith and religion are used to gain worldly possessions and status for themselves. They believe they “love” God, you, and others. You may have always felt their love is shallow and superficial. Your heart is correct, because they truly do “love” you but not as a person rather as an object at a shallow level. You love them as a person and a deeper love like an agape or phileo love but have never felt it returned, because their love is all about eros. Eros is where we get our word erotic or sexual love. It is the lowest form of love, and a love that gives to get…just like the pimp.
If you are working for, employed by, married to, living with, or were raised by a narcissist or pimp, there is hope. Even if you believe you are stuck, I assure you that you are not. There is always hope. Realize you are most likely never going to change them no matter how hard you try or how much you talk with them. You are not the problem. Generally, if you look at their history, there is a trail of carnage and broken relationships that they can only explain as no fault of their own.
Move on, and learn from the experience. Forgive them, love them and pray that God can heal their brokenness. Develop compassion and begin to understand that many narcissists (not all) have a broken relationship with their father and/or mother. The child was never loved appropriately and attachment issues developed. Mistrust was the norm, as Father and/or mother did not follow through on what they told the child they would do – such a broken promises, visits, abandonment, neglect or abuses. One or both parents had a what is known as a double bind relationship with the child.
If you are a narcissist, the first step is to admit you have a problem. Unfortunately, a true narcissist will not recognize this article is about them. Realize you have lived in a distorted reality. It is you who are deceived, not others. The deceptive thing about deception is that is so deceptive. It is easy to see it in others but nearly impossible to see it in yourself. You face a very difficult climb ahead. Every relational problem you thought was true is probably false, and most every negative thought that was false about yourself is probably true. Be teachable and realize you are entitled to nothing. Seek help from a therapist who specializes in helping those with this type of personality disorder.
Cory Schortzman is an author, speaker, teacher and licensed mental health professional. Since 2008, he has served as the Executive Director of Transformed Hearts Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, CO. He is the founder of SARA, the Sexual Addiction Recovery Association. Cory is passionate about helping couples and individuals overcome sex addiction. He is also passionate about bringing awareness to the public and supporting the elimination of sex and human trafficking. Cory has been married since 1998 to his beautiful wife, Kerry, and lives in Colorado with their four daughters. He and Kerry have been seen on the CBS Early Show, Inside Edition, and ABC Good Morning America, Fox 21 News, and TLC/Discovery discussing the harm of sex addiction and the joys of recovery. He has also been heard on numerous radio programs.
Cory’s books include: Out of the Darkness, Into the Light the Workbook, Into the Light the Steps, Ashes to Beauty the Steps, 301 Dating Ideas, 301 Conversational Ideas, 301 Ways to Say I Love You, 301 Ways to Love Your Children & 301 Recovery Tools & Tips.