The red herring
A parent who displays a combination of these prototypes will find negotiations impossible. The red herring is that they always appear charming in the beginning. Superficially, they are upstanding and gregarious. It comes as no surprise that the ‘carefully chosen’ professional also finds them initially engaging. However, this charming façade quickly vanishes the second they register any frustration.
When frustration or a perceived loss of control appears, these individuals become volatile.
They make copious allegations against the other parent. Their vindictiveness erupts like a Vesuvius. The allegations made are frequently vile and without shame. The defamation of others is always supplied with an earnest countenance in a scurrilous bid to ‘assist the professional’.
This darker side of the personality is, for the most part hidden from others. In fact, those with high degrees of the histrionic and narcissist traits hold Oscars for skills in obscuring the truth. It is always the other parent who is scapegoated, lied about and accused of blocking contact. The histrionic or narcissistic individual presents with such a huge but totally superficial ego. To function at all, h/she must feel powerful.
The ‘Hist’ or ‘Narc’ is able to charm the birds out of the trees. The empty charisma is also extended to judges, solicitors and psychologists during the initial overture of the professional relationship.