A Difference of Opinion and Perspective

How do you react when someone disagrees with you?

How do you act when you disagree with someone?

What about when someone agrees with you, what reaction do you have?

And when you agree with someone how do you act?

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Malcolm X - evolution

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Do you observe yourself?

Do you watch how you react to the actions of others?

Do you explore the optional reactions which you could have had?

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gym thoughts

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Do you observe others?

Do you ask yourself why they are the way that they are, and wonder what their story is, what is motivating their actions and reactions?

Do you wonder how they are with others versus how they are with you? Do you gauge your influence on them, that they may only be this way around you? That perhaps they are only this way because that’s how you see them as being, and who they are to you isn’t who they actually are but an optical illusion based on yourself – how you see yourself becomes how you see them?

Do you observe yourself observing others?

Are you a perceiver or a judger?

If you are a judger, how do you use your judgment?

Do you spend a lot of time judging others, and if so what purpose does it serve for you?

Do you spend more time judging yourself than others, do you use your judgment of others to judge yourself, and what purpose does that serve for you?

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passive-aggressive note - buzzfeedvia BuzzFeed

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If you are a perceiver, how do you use your perception?

Is your perception open or narrow? Do you take in all the details in the picture which you see, or do you focus on one spot blurring everything else out?

How does your perception affect how you see the world, others, yourself? Is life in black and white and only black or white, or does it have many shades of grey in between? Is it in technicolour with millions of shades and hues?

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Marcus Aurelius

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Most of us do a little bit of everything, however we have default settings. Do you know your default settings, are you conscious of them and why they are your default settings, or is it a subconscious, unconscious, tendency?

When you have an opinion do you know that it is a perception based on your personal settings, on the position from which you view the world, others, yourself, or do you think your opinion is solid and factual – if you think it then it is a fact, supported by all those others who think as you do… But what about all those others who don’t think as you do? Do you dismiss their opinion as fiction whereas your opinion and the ones of those who agree with you (or whom you think agree with you – perhaps they’re only doing so to please you or you’ve reinterpreted their opinion to back up your own) is fact?

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Krisy Kreme - awesome advert

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Being human, living life, is very complex and complicated and can make us all feel a little bit too crazy for comfort, so we simplify hoping to find a bit of solace, a bit of order in chaos.

But sometimes our quest for order is the cause of worse chaos than the original chaos itself.  Our solution to a problem causes a greater problem (cane toads). Our desire for a magic pill which will cure us instantly…

I recently saw an advert for a fix-it-all cure for those who have been wounded by a narcissist. I have to confess that my first thought was – This fix-it-all cure is probably being brought to you by a narcissist, and if you buy into it that explains exactly why you ended up being attracted to and attracting, then being wounded by a narcissist in the first place. That’s a rather unempathic thought… or is it?

I recently took an ‘Empathy test’. One of the questions left me a bit bewildered (actually several questions bewildered me, but one appeared to be a clue to a treasure hunt), so I pondered it and it left me with a Hmmm… of a possible insight.

50. I usually stay emotionally detached when watching a film.

– optional answers allowed for this are – Strongly agree, slightly agree, slightly disagree, strongly disagree (there was no – neither agree nor disagree – option which bothered me, as sometimes that is the answer, so not including that option makes the result of the test faulty).

This question was repeated (with slightly different wording) on another test from the same site. What struck me the most about the question was the other questions which it prompted, such as – If I stay emotionally detached from a film, does that make me unempathic? If ‘yes’ – why? Surely remaining detached is a sign of logic, and empathy is a logical process – unless you equate empathy with sympathy, then we’re talking about a difference of opinion about what empathy is.

And there is definitely a big divide in opinion about empathy, at least in the ‘narcissist/NPD’ blogger community… an in the being human and the rules of such a thing society.

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empathy

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One of the best search terms I have found in the search term stats of my blog is this one – why do empaths find it hard to tolerate narcissists? – why indeed, if they are truly empaths then they should be able to understand the other side of the relationship equation, the narcissist’s viewpoint, regardless of agreeing or disagreeing, opinion, perspective or judgement. That is true empathy – which isn’t always agreeable to the person exercising it and may even cause cognitive dissonance between their world view and the narcissist’s.

But I digress… back to that Empathy test question…

IMO (in my opinion – and from my perspective), if you get too involved sympathetically/empathectically with the characters in a film or TV show, you’re more likely to end up being attracted to and attracting a narcissist (particularly people who have NPD), as they offer you a fictional character with which to have a relationship (a Prince Charming or a Cinderella, etc,), and the length of the relationship relies on how long you’re willing to believe that they are who they pretend to be (ergo you are also who you’re pretending to be). It’s when you stop believing (and pretending) that things go to a place where people search for –  How to piss off a narcissist – which is one of the top searches which lead people to this blog.

That particular search… makes me wonder who is the actual narcissist? Something which I sometimes wonder when reading posts by ‘victims of narcissists’. I really don’t want to wonder that… but I do. If I could read my own posts on the subject impartially, I might wonder that about myself too.

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the things you say - mark amend

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The lines get very blurred, and the thing is… a relationship with a narcissist once it goes wrong will bring out the worst in you no matter how hard you try to remain within the confines of the best of you. If you’ve ever wondered why good people can end up being bad, how a peaceful soul can end up committing homicide, what makes a tree-hugger want to chop down the tree which they were hugging (and feed it branch by damaging carbon-footprint chainsaw severed branch through a woodchipper), and you can’t empathise at all with them… consider yourself lucky, you’ve never been in a relationship with someone who has NPD… or you’re lying to yourself (in denial or in the/de Nile) for self-appearance’s sake.

If you’re the victim of narcissist abuse, and you’re trying to understand how a narcissist could do that to someone else, and you would like a shortcut to gaining insight into their psyche of someone with NPD – look at how the wounds which they have inflicted upon you have affected you, your actions, reactions and your view of the world. Pain is a shortcut to understanding NPD. Pain, our own personal version of it, especially when it drowns us in its terrible waters, turns us all into unhealthy narcissists who can’t see our own narcissism but can see everyone else’s and how theirs hurts us but not how ours hurts them – we can’t afford to see that, can’t empathise or sympathise with that!

Sometimes… it’s all too overwhelming.

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why I am still alive...?

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Once in a while I come across the writings of a victim of a narcissist (especially if they happen to be a child of a narcissist, an ACoN) with whose story I can relate… until I hit a wall, a trigger which makes me view their words in an opposite manner from the way that they intend them to be read and heard. And I occasionally end up sympathising or maybe empathising or both with the narcissist rather than (or also with) the victim of the narcissist – which can be confusing but is also par for the course where NPD is concerned. Contradictions abound aplenty.

Status – complicated as usual.

The long and short and very complicated of it is – If you want to know if a child of a narcissist is a narcissist too, pay attention to how they treat their own children. If they are telling you how much they have suffered because they were the child (particularly the scapegoat) of their narcissist parent, and at the same time they are discussing their own children (in an unempathic/sympathetic manner – with one being the ‘golden child’ and another the ‘scapegoat child), are they a victim of a narcissist or a narcissist pretending to be a victim of a narcissist or both and other things? Is the wound being passed on without it being conscious or is it conscious and deliberate?  Do they see themselves as a victim and can’t see the victimisation they are inflicting on others (on their own children) in their default ‘I am a victim of a narcissist’ (and if I am a victim no one else in my life can be, and they certainly can’t be a victim of me, but I can be of them) victim setting?

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Parenting - perspectiveMy parents constantly drove this point home when I was a child.

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We all walk a fine line, sometimes that line is a tightrope – one of the best child of narcissist posts I have read is How To Be An Adult Child Of A Narcissist – and we lose our balance and fall… which way we fall… changes our perception and opinion.

We often don’t allow others the same privileges which we allow ourselves. That’s a very human default setting.

If that sounds unempathic, I apologise to those whom it offends. I am a child of narcissists, and when I hear a parent, whether they are a child of narcissists themselves or not, accuse their child of having NPD, it triggers the deepest pain in me whether I want it to or not, whether I’ve dealt with stuff or not. I chose not to have children myself, because I couldn’t trust myself not to pass on my own wound. Perhaps that choice was narcissistic. For me it was pre-emptive empathy. As a child I just wanted to die, to put an end to the endless pain… I didn’t want my child to feel that way, no child should have to grow up feeling that way.

That’s just my perspective and opinion.

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This Be The Verse - Philip Larkin

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Sorry for the heavy, here’s some light to balance it out.

Look at this image:

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win or loose?

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Observe your reaction. Now, ask yourself… What did you just lose (or loose)? What did you just gain? Did you gain something from what you lost? Or lose something from what you gained? Or… something else such as… did you feel compelled to repost this, just in case?

I found this on Pinterest, the Pin had comments, many of those comments focused upon the grammatical errors – which made me wonder if the grammatical errors were deliberate, and if this image was designed as a test of what it is to be human, of opinion, perspective and…?

What do you think?