Finding Your Inner Narcissist

Sylvia-Plath-wanting everything and nothingAll or Nothing?

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We need narcissism. It is a natural part of the human psyche. It helps to develop our ego. We need the ego too. It too is a natural part of the human psyche.

Narcissism and ego are good for us, for our development, our evolution. They help us to define ourselves, to know who we are. Without them we might not be able to have a sense of self.

Every trait which is a part of being human has a purpose for existing just as we do, but we don’t always know what that purpose is, just as we don’t always know what our purpose for being alive is. Narcissism and ego help us to find a purpose for our lives.

When I was younger ego was the bad guy. The general consensus was that ego was the cause of all human problems, and the solution to all our human problems was to eradicate ego. That kind of reasoning is an ego-driven ideal and the biggest supporter of getting rid of ego is ego itself, because it viewed transcending ego as being a means to an end which had self glorification as a goal. Transcend ego and you transcend being human, transcend being human and you become super-human.

These days ego has been replaced as the villain by narcissism. We still don’t like ego, but we hate narcissism. We hate narcissism so much that we love it. We’re obsessed with it, we can’t stop thinking about it, we see its face everywhere, smell its perfume, hear its voice, feel its touch… in everyone else but ourselves, which is rather narcissistic. Which makes me wonder if perhaps it is narcissism which is behind this obsession with narcissism. Narcissism which is at the wheel of this drive to get rid of narcissists (The Line between Victims and Abusers).

Is it perhaps the natural evolution of a trait to want to kill itself, eradicate itself, eat its own tail until it becomes nothing. If you look at the symbol for the snake eating its tail, it is in the shape of a zero. Or maybe its shape represents wholeness, two sides, two extremes, which have finally joined and become one.

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Ying_yang_bos_by_jaunty_eyepatchYin-yang-bos by jaunty-eyepatch

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Are ego and narcissism really bad guys, would we all be better off without them?

Chances are, if we could kill off ego and narcissism, we’d find a new bad guy to fill the void. Maybe that bad guy would be Empathy. It’s been placed on a pedestal in recent years, humans like to place people, things, traits on pedestals, we also like to topple them at some point because the much admired becomes an impossible ideal which eventually starts to look like a collossus who is going to crush us, our survival instincts kick in and we crush it before it gets us.

Empathy used to be a simple word describing a simple trait. Now the word has so many meanings it has become a complex structure which is losing all shape and stability. It means everything and nothing. Empathy is no longer just something which we do naturally, without thinking about the fact that we’re doing it, just doing it because it helps us to understand others which aids us in our relationships. It is now so much more than that, and it is beginning to become un-empathic in the way that it is used. It is becoming all talk and no action, something which we talk about rather than do. Used as an accusation, a justification for an accusation and all the rhetoric which follows.

“So and so has no empathy, therefore it’s okay for me to call them a narcissist and assassinate their character, they don’t care about me, aren’t empathic towards me – they always talk about themselves when I want to talk about myself!”

I had a friend who was always telling me that they were an Empath, how super-sensitive they were, how much they suffered because of it, how engulfed they were by the emotions of others and how they couldn’t tell what emotions were theirs and those of others, how the reason they kept discarding people was because of the toxicity of others to their system, on and on and on each time we talked. As though I hadn’t heard them the first time they said it and understood them. I had because I could empathise. I had also been there and done something similar. I tried to offer them the tactics which I used to deal with it, but… they always had an excuse to stay stuck in their suffering and I began to wonder if perhaps their pain nourished them. They said they wanted to heal, but they kept stabbing the wound to keep it from scarring over and healing itself. I gave up when I realised that their empathy was not empathy at all. For all the time we knew each other, they rarely if ever picked up on what I was feeling, the only times they did were when my emotions happened to be the same as theirs. They were indeed confused about which emotions were theirs and which were those of others, but not in the way that they viewed it. The toxicity which they saw in others was their own, something which they didn’t want, and by discarding others, they hoped to cleanse themselves of what they had projected into the other person, the festering of their own wound.

I could understand what they were doing, just as I understood what led up to and caused the ending of our friendship. It was my fault as much as it was hers and we mutually discarded each other, although our stories of what happened are probably very different, yet also very similar. We both behaved like narcissists. My understanding only came later. At first I was a tremendous bitch. I was angry, hurt, obsessed with my pain – my pain was the reason that things came to a head. Because she was so hyper-sensitive, I was considerate towards her to my own detriment. I suppressed myself for her. Or at least that’s how I saw it. I had just learned of my father’s death, and that death caused a ripple effect, the ripples became waves, and to spare her the empathic overload I asked her to keep her distance from me. But she instigated a conflict between us… and instead of holding back, I exploded. I was angry that she hadn’t respected the boundary I had delineated, a boundary I created for her benefit. And things escalated from there.

Eventually I decided that she was yet another narcissist whom I had attracted into my life, and she decided that I was yet another toxic person whom she had attracted into hers. We went our separate ways.

I stewed and brewed over this, over her and how she had behaved. I fumed and ranted. In my mind she began to merge with my mother. She was just like my mother, a covert narcissist, the eternal victim, damsel in distress who turns all the heroes who try to save her in dragons from which she needs saving by another hero who will eventually become another dragon. The way she had behaved was almost exactly as the way my mother behaved. Bloody narcissists! And stupid me for yet again becoming their little stupid puppet and servant!

After I got a huge amount of stuff out of my system… the process of which launched a new path for me. I grew calmer and gained some perspective. That’s when understanding began to dawn. That’s when I beheld a doorway to insight.

There is no magical elixir for healing your pain. No miracle cure. You have to be your own archeologist, and dig, dig, dig, finding fossils (fossilised parts of yourself), treasures (gifts which you thought were lost or crap), relics (those ancient bits and pieces which when put together with others create something old and new), idols (statues which you’ve built to worship some strange deity, often a symbol of some twisted inner desire), and keep digging until you find your self buried underneath everything else.

Excavation work is exhausting, grubby, uncomfortable, and contains many perils. There are cave-ins, curses, the fear of madness, suffocation due to inhaling who knows what in the millions of dust particles which are stirred up. There are triggers everywhere which are a part of a loaded gun with only one bullet.

And when you do find your self, then what?

In my case, you want to keep digging, only you’ve hit bedrock.

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keep-calm-and-diggy-hole

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When you find yourself there isn’t a Hollywood ending, where you find perfect love which is flawless (that kind of love is a narcissist) and ride off into a gorgeous sunset to live in your ideal home and have ideal children, and live happily ever after in perfect bliss. You have reached the end of your destination, welcome to Nirvana, paradise, a limbo where you can’t move because if you do it might all vanish, your movement causes a draught which blows it all away.

Besides, if you attracted narcissists before when your world wasn’t perfect, imagine how many will flock to you once it is!

Too much of anything, even in a time when it seems like there is never enough of anything, overwhelms us with its presence until we react by not wanting anymore of it. The power of attraction turns into the power of repulsion.

Look at celebrity, for instance, a new media obsession which at first was fascinating but is now getting old and beginning to be tiresome. When we’ve seen too much of someone we begin to accuse them of being overexposed, an attention seeker, a publicity hound, a media whore. But when they first caught our eye we couldn’t get enough of them… then we got too much of them.

Too much indulgence in chocolate and… that whole belief in the cure-all effects of such a nectar of the gods makes you wonder if perhaps it is the devil in disguise. Too much better than sex chocolate and you’ll be considering the joys of abstaining. Too much and life by chocolate becomes death by it.

When something which once fed us begins to feed on us… our instinct is to kill it before it kills us.

Narcissism used to feed us. Greed is good… Gordon Gecko said, and we all applauded him and that became our motto, the motto of a generation, and the next generation found other mottos which were similar. We all became a part of the Me Me Me generation, whether we wanted to or not, approved of it or not, and a lot of it was good, felt good… because it does feel good to pay attention to yourself, follow your dreams, your heart, your mind’s inspiration. It just tends to go a bit sour when other people are doing the same thing and they’re not paying attention to us, to our dreams, our heart, our mind’s inspiration.

Why aren’t others as obsessed with us as we are with ourselves? Especially when we do them the favour of paying attention to them and their stuff. We made the effort (an effort which they probably didn’t acknowledge and thought wasn’t enough to satisfy their need for attention). If we made the effort, we want them to make the effort too, pay back our favour, make good on an IOU which perhaps they did not know they were signing. What if they feel the same way about us as we feel about them? That’s when you get to play a round of spot the narcissist in the blame game.

If it weren’t for you, I’d be…? (Games People Play by Eric Berne)

And we say that to things as much as we say it to people. Spot the narcissist and the blame game can be played with inanimate objects, ideas, issues, and all sorts, as well as people, who sometimes become a vessel for the things about ourselves which we don’t want to face within us, so we face them in those people.

When you’re dealing with a narcissist, ask yourself what part of yourself is in their face. The question and the answer may be uncomfortable, you may prefer to disassociate, yet disassociating consciously doesn’t mean that you do it subconsciously and unconsciously. The people who attract us, do so because there is something inside of us which relates to them.

Take any of the traits which are used to diagnose NPD and you’ll find a bit of it in yourself, perhaps even a lot of it which is why most diagnostic tools for disorders warn you to be careful, that just because you have 3 out of 5 traits does not mean you have that disorder. Remember you are human, and so is a person with a personality disorder such as NPD. Sometimes we don’t like the cognitive dissonance which a thought like that creates, so we turn humans into something less than human – a monster, a demon, evil, etc. If they are that, then what does that makes us? Sometimes we turn people into a villain to turn ourselves into a hero.

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hero:villain - damien carrion

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That doesn’t mean that we are wrong about them, but does being right about them mean that there is no wrong in us and no right in them?

Seeing things in black and white, right and wrong, hero and villain, is helpful. It has a purpose and we all do it because it serves a purpose, one which can help us to simplify something complex. However if we overdo it, we will not only turn others into black and white equations, but do it to ourselves too, and we will lose the shades of grey which make us 3 dimensional. Things and people, including ourselves will become flatter than they are. (There Are Two Types of People In This World via BuzzFeed)

You do have to respect your process, and flow with the process as it is part of your path to healing what needs to be healed.

If it helps you to see the person who has hurt you as being a narcissist, then do it. If it helps you to see the narcissist in your life as evil, a monster, then do it. If it helps you to rant about all the wrong which they have done to you, then do it. Get it out of your system, but be aware that your system will at some point need to evolve, and it may do it by redressing a balance just as what you are doing – labelling someone as a narcissist, labelling the narcissist as evil, and ranting about what they have done to you – is also redressing a balance.

Most victims of narcissists lose themselves, and to recover themselves they need to lose the narcissist. The form this takes depends a lot on the individual and how the loss of self occurred.
Some victims of narcissists let their pain and the process they are pursuing to heal turn them into activists against not just their own personal narcissist but all narcissists everywhere. This is also a part of the process, one which may feel very empowering to someone who has felt powerless for a long time. However it can come across as being very narcissistic, as I observed in myself during my own process (which is still ongoing, only now I’m in a different phase of it – one which may be making those who found me via my earlier posts uncomfortable and perhaps a bit confused).

Some victims of narcissists, can leave you wondering if perhaps the person they are accusing of being a narcissist is actually not a narcissist at all, and the real narcissist is the person masquerading as a victim of a narcissist. Those with NPD, particularly covert and vulnerable narcissists do that. That’s their M.O. But not all victims of narcissists who leave you wondering if they’re the real narcissist, are narcissists, they’re just redressing a balance.

There is a reason why those who are abused sometimes become abusers, why those who are victims sometimes become victimisers. It may be an unhealthy way to do it, but it is nature redressing a balance of power, perhaps in the only way it knows how to do it.

Most people who do this, usually reach a point where they see what they are doing, and they graduate to the next levels of the lessons which life teaches us. They can sometimes become some of the most powerful healers and philosophers because they’ve been there on both sides of the equation, experienced both sides of the scale, both extremes, and now they are whole. As whole as any human can be, we’re always pupils even when we become teachers.

Victims of narcissist, one way or another, need to get in touch with their own inner narcissism. Sometimes the easiest way to do this is through the natural narcissism of intense pain and suffering. The unhealthy route is sometimes the path which leads to a healthier expression and understanding of a natural trait which we all have and which is good for us, once it stops being bad for us. And it will be good for others too once it stops being bad for them.

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wounds into wisdom

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If you’re one of those people who has experienced rejection from your friends and family when you want to talk about your pain and suffering, their eyes glaze over, they’ve stopped listening, they keep telling you to get over it… it hurts, but that hurt is part of your path, part of the learning curve of your experience. You see, they are experiencing you the way that you experienced the narcissist in your life. Conversations with you always lead back to you, all you want to do is talk about yourself… and they may see you as lacking empathy as you aren’t acknowledging the fact that they may want to discuss something other than you and your pain and suffering, they may want to discuss their own pain and suffering – pain and suffering is universal, and we all have problems. Or they may want to discuss something else, something happy, but their happiness might make you feel bad, and that would make them feel bad, feel guilty for being happy when you are unhappy. And that would give their happiness a sad. Happiness can be fleeting and we need to enjoy it when it visits us with its blessings… and be careful with whom we share it as it is a much coveted and envied gift.

Perhaps that is why it is therapeutic for victims of narcissists to create a blog into which they can pour all of their pain, and express what they feel they can’t express anywhere else. The knock-on effect of that is that those victims of narcissist who have retreated into silence can find their voice, and clues, words, to their own story in the expressions of others. If you read enough blogs by victims of narcissists you may begin to wonder if they are stealing each others stories… we’re not, the stories are just very similar, because humans experience similar experiences as a part of the human experience of life and everything in it. Although if the blogger does actually have NPD, they may well be stealing other people’s stories, especially the ones on ‘popular’ blogs because that’s what narcissists with NPD do. And even then… it could still help someone else, so even the worst kind of narcissism has a beneficial side to it.

Life hurts, we all feel the pain of it, no one is immune (as far as I know). Some pretend to be, they’re pretending to be immune to pain because they’ve probably suffered so deeply if they felt more of it they might give up and we all need to keep going. That’s a natural human impulse, instinctive and primal, don’t try to reason with it. When one person gives up, it has a ripple effect on the rest of us which can be very disturbing, maybe because it makes us question why we keep going when we could just stop. End of. (Why Riding the Wave of Discomfort is Good for You via Psychology Today)

That’s why those who keep going inspire us so much, but even they need to rest sometimes, and sometimes they need us to inspire them with our keeping going spirit.

When we hit bedrock we may find a narcissist within us… we need to see that not all narcissism is bad, otherwise we may end up hating ourselves more than we may already do (self-hate is normal, and there is nothing wrong with it, it balances out self-love, keeps it sober).

Healthy narcissism in its most basic form is simply self-love, self-appreciation, a wondrous joy in just being you – unique, talented, hopeful in a slightly magical thinking manner, wanting to express your self and gift the world with your individual take on life.

It’s not all good, but it’s not all bad either. Ego is your friend as much as it can be a foe. (Don’t Drop Your Ego via Zen Warrior Training)

When you find your inner narcissist, don’t kill it, hate it, try to pretend it doesn’t exist (that’s what someone with NPD would do), just introduce yourself, and then take some time to get to know it, perhaps it has some news for you which may be good and make you happy. And your happy may infect someone else… but be careful, not everyone wants to be happy, nor do they like it when others are happy.

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sadness - John Green

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Narcissism is self-love. Self-love is a part of self-esteem. Self-esteem is… something else which has been placed on a pedestal. Recently I read an article which suggested that the quest for self-esteem can be harmful to your self-esteem. Sounds like the pedestal is rocking. (I couldn’t re-find the article I mentioned as I forgot to bookmark it, however I found another article expressing an intriguing view on the matter – Self-Esteem Doesn’t Makes Better People of Us via Psychology Today).

We are not meant to be perfect, we’re just here to be who we are, and that evolves, changes and doesn’t change, learns and doesn’t learn, and so on and so forth. We experiential beings living and experience, and everything we do is an experiment… to see what happens if…?

Remember when looking at others… you may be looking at yourself. That is an intrinsic element of relationships, the way we relate to others… the way we relate to ourselves. We get to know ourselves through others, and vice versa. We get to know our inner narcissist when we get to know an outer one.

Find the gift in the curse and see what happens if…?

Someone recently commented on one of my posts, not to comment about what I’d written, they ignored that, but on one image I had used.

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Lefthemisphere:righthemisphere - brain body

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They informed me that it was wrong. Can you see why? And their comment was made to redress a wrong with a right, their right.

When I looked again at the image again, I could understand what bothered them about it, but what seemed wrong to them seemed right to me, because our perspectives for viewing the image were different. I was placing myself outside of the image, looking at it (as though looking in a mirror), the same way that I place myself within my self when I look at people, seeing the other person as another person (who may mirror certain aspects of myself, but is a person in their own right and needs to be seen that way). They, on the other hand were placing themselves inside the image, therefore the image was incorrect to them… I wonder, do they place themselves inside of people when they look at them, and therefore they don’t see the other person at all but are inside the other person looking at themselves? Are they both actor and audience, and a reluctant audience member at that, preferring to be on stage, the centre of their own attention.

We all do that a bit, switch sides, perspectives and roles. But we have our preferences, our default settings… which sometimes clash with those of others. clashes are part of the process of relating. Sometimes we learn more about others and ourselves and life and being human from conflicts than we do from the other side of things, where everything is nods, yes’, likes, and agreement.

We’re all in this together, even if it doesn’t always feel that way, and no, we can’t all get along, but we don’t always suffer because we don’t. And sometimes we do get along, and sometimes that can cause suffering.

Thank you for sharing your lives with me, whomever you are… be it someone I’ve known like my Empath friend whom I did not experience as being empathic at all, or my NPD parents, or those of you who comment on my blog and do it in your own particular style (and can make sense of my replies – very grateful for that, I know it’s a challenge sometimes). I am grateful for all of you… you help me to appreciate me, as is… even when I don’t want to… and that helps me to appreciate you, which I hope helps you to appreciate yourself.

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mexican proverb - seeds

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I’ve talked too much, again… over to you… hope this walkie-talkie still has some battery life left in it and that I haven’t eaten it all, that there is still some nourishment for others in it.

What do you think and feel?

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14 thoughts on “Finding Your Inner Narcissist

  1. I can see from your diagram that I am left brained – which makes sense. My obsessive brain cannot stop trying to figure things out. Now that the Narcissist has reappeared, it has kind of knocked my fragile life back off it’s rails. I can see that sometime sooner or later I will face her again. I can’t keep slinking away every time and I know her mind will be curious too. Sometimes it takes me 5 minutes just to read through one of your paragraphs. I find myself wondering if only my mind worked like yours – what kind of ground breaking admissions I might elicit from hers?

    But of course you came by your unique knowledge the hard way. Well, actually I can’t describe how abruptly what we had came to an end and then how she inserted herself back into the back door of my life through other friends and proceeded to do unimaginable damage. There is a level of wickedness that I feel needs to be understood. I am certainly not alone in this. We all know there is much more of this out there. And it does not go away. In fact, I might mention there is a huge controversy in my State unfolding right now that is swirling around one person. Governor Kitzhaber’s “First Lady.” This woman that has come to the forefront and is engaged to the Guv. EVERYBODY is on pins and needles over this. I’m looking at this and oh man things are looking fishy to me. I think I know what is going on …. Aw yes …. Narcissism, what a subtle, crafty thing it can be.

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    1. I know the feeling. I was narc free for about a decade, then back they came. However this time around I really didn’t care about them at all, or more to the point I didn’t care if they didn’t care about me – which is part of why we care about others. My shift within made all the difference to how I was affected by the interaction. It’s still intensely frustrating, but for other reasons, predictable ones which require patience to handle. You have to be completely detached to handle a face to face with a narcissist or they’ll suck you into a complicated mess of a drama of their making, and if you do stray into their mess, you need to have a strategy in place to get yourself out ASAP. Best way to prepare yourself for dealing with a narc is to know yourself well and know how you react to them, and how to work with yourself within the dynamic.

      Part of what keeps people tied to a narcissist is trying to get the narcissist to care about you – to love you or at least to acknowledge what they’ve done to you. That is a tricky bond to severe, and as long as it isn’t cut, you’re tied to the narcissist. And they will never give you what you want, because they know it keeps you tied to them and because they can’t give it to you. Their greatest manipulative abilities come less from being manipulative geniuses and more from a fluke of the disorder. They can’t love you, care for you – and this keeps you obsessed with them, trying to win their love and care. Fluke which they then use to their advantage.

      Have you ever read this – https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201305/confessions-sociopath – it’s an interesting insight. Whether it’s true, as in genuinely written by a sociopath, I don’t know, but it is useful to read if you’re dealing with a narc.

      Sociopaths and narcissists are similar, but someone with NPD is frequently less conscious of their own MO, unless they are predominantly cerebral. They can be completely oblivious to what they are doing, and some of what they do is compulsive. A sociopath tends to always be aware. Narcs not so much. Depends on the type of narc and on the scenario.

      The thing about narcs is that they tell you everything you need to know about themselves, we just don’t tend to listen or hear what they are actually saying. They are always talking about themselves, they reveal everything pretty much. It’s all there, it just takes a while to notice it. It’s tuning into the frequency.

      There are narcissists everywhere, not just here and now, but throughout human history. It’s not a new thing, it just has a new name and under that new name it is being studied, and there is a lot of information about it, lots of people talking about it and spreading the news. In some ways we understand less about human nature these days than we used to, than our ancestors understood, perhaps because of how civilised we have become, and that has made us more dissociated from being human, so when someone behaves in a ‘wicked’ way it surprises us and taps into a side of us which may have been dormant due to being civilised and living in a civilised world.

      It’s kind of interesting that recently TV series that have been focusing on the ‘wicked’ ways of history with shows like Black Sails, Vikings, The Borgias, The Tudors, Game of Thrones, Peaky Blinders, Ripper Street, etc. are very popular. There’s a lot we can learn from our ancestors about life and being human 🙂

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  2. In touch with my inner narcissist – yes. After the ex-narcissist, I worried for a long time that I might be a narcissist myself, and sometimes still worry about it. I’ve had to acknowledge and embrace my “normal” narcissism, not try to eradicate it, which I think I was unconsciously trying to do. Your post brought that to light, literally. I’ve been working on this in the dark. 🙂

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    1. It’s a quandary which I’ve had and which I’ve noticed in others who have been in relationships with narcissists, and recently I’ve noticed many psychology writers broaching the subject more and more, defining the difference between natural and healthy narcissism and the kind of narcissism which goes with the disorder.

      It’s important to see that not all narcissism is bad, some of it is very good and needed. It is a part of our self-esteem, confidence, self-image, creativity, self-expression, and so much more, and plays a valuable part in our relationships, with ourselves and with others.

      When approaching narcissism, we have to be careful not to become too black or white in our thinking. The grey areas are where balance is found, and can be very healing 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, what insight. I like the coming full circle with the snake eating its tail. Recognizing the ego in oneself and and the bit about self esteam really hit me like a fly ball out of left field! That must be where Im at in ny healing process. I recognized myself in all the other positions, lol, my blogs name kinda speaks for its self….myplace2spu. I came to the blog world seeking a place to come when I could no longer be an active listener and counseling was not cutting it. I had diarrhea of the mouth so bad I can only imagine the poor people in my life at the time were greatful I finnaly found a place to release it all! You so nailed it on each point. I love how much depth you give. My favourite quote is by Einstein ” Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Goes along side the eyes closed/open black and white thinking.

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    1. Thank you 🙂

      I’ve been enjoying reading your posts, there is a lot of insightful wisdom in your words, so I’m very glad you decided to share.

      What I’ve found with my own posts is that through writing them I communicate with myself in a way which actually gets through to me, I hear what I’m saying in a different manner than just the stuff going around and around in my head. I argue with myself a lot, more debates than fighting, and seeing the debate in writing causes things which I may have missed if this was abstract talk rather than in physical form (albeit cyber physical) to stand out. It is great for release, releasing clears the head and blockages in the internal system, and in the release you can find your own wisdom.

      Writing about narcissism and exploring it this way has helped me to understand certain aspects of it better, the most surprising of which was how narcissistic my pain was making me. Seeing it in myself helped me to understand it in others. I always knew both my parents were in pain, I just didn’t quite realise how blind their pain made them to everything and everyone, especially themselves. That’s the essence of NPD for me, the wound which causes it takes over and actually becomes the person with it.

      My favourite quote is from Rumi –

      “Beyond our ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing,
      there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
      When the soul lies down in that grass,
      the world is too full to talk about.”

      For me, understanding is the goal.

      Thank you very much for sharing 🙂

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  4. Dear Ursula~~ You Encapsulate the Gamut of NPD~~~ Big Fan Here!!! Beginning to end….with the end never being the end…And it feels real good on this end to hear your words and grab them for myself, and know that this is a human experience across the pond….ripple effect….across the land…and doing the work of introspection and seeing the dark sides of ourselves to get to the light.. OUCH!!…… And understanding where others are in their road to wholeness….Appreciate you lots in my journey!!!! 🙂 So here’s what came to mind when I read, “KEEP CALM and DIGGY HOLE” 🙂 jac

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    1. Thank you very much 🙂

      Wishing you and your loved ones a great holiday season and New Year! Hope 2015 is full of great blessings for you!

      TY for the music, let’s dance!!! 😀

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        1. If only I had kept my spangly spandex outfit from my Boogie 70’s/80’s and still had my roller-disco skates… that would be sooo funny (I thought it was cool then), maybe it could be retro-chic now…? 😀

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  5. Ursula, I assume you have read or viewed Byron Katie? We all project and we can all find ourselves in others for good or bad. I do believe in the ability to become consciously aware, self-aware. It takes work and knowing what the goal is and finding someone who has achieved it to give us pointers (I like a few people, like Gurdjieff, Krishnamurti, Osho and Rumi, among others). We cannot get anything right until we start clearing away the rationalizations and the cobwebs. Osho used to say, ‘We are both facing the same sunset. But I am facing it with my eyes open and you with yours closed’. That says it all to me. It is Plato’s allegory of the cave. We can never get things right as long as we are the sleepwalking through life.

    I love your page layout. Makes all the articles seem compelling. I also love the soft tones and the pictures you choose, as well as quotes. Nice blog, getting nicer all the time, imho.

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    1. Thank you 🙂

      I actually haven’t read or viewed the work or The Work of Katie Byron. You have mentioned her to me before and I checked her out. What she does is similar to various other philosophies and therapies only in a more easy-to-use manner. Kind of like what James Redfield did with Jung. Or Claudio Narajo and others who adopted the enneagram and turned it into a personality tool did with Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. Her four questions reminds me a lot of certain aspects of Buddhism, Zen stories, transactional analysis, cognitive behavioral therapy, and the work of other self-help gurus like Anthony Robbins – he did something very similar to her in his workshops, only in a more shouty masculine way. It’s quite interesting to read critiques of her method as well as the praise for it. Reading the breakdown of her method reminded me of some of what Don Juan did with his pupil in the books by Carlos Castaneda. You can see her generation’s collective consciousness in her work. Human evolution is always evolving and as it does so teachers appear to pass along in a modern language what has been passed along from our ancestors. Our ancestors told us everything, but our records of what they said can be a bit obscure for our modern minds, so we need someone to translate it for us because the pace of our modern times doesn’t give us time to do it ourselves. The same inspiration only rejigged, still always an inspiration that actively inspires.

      Probably the most inspiring individual teacher of our times for me would be Tim Berners-Lee. He made it possible for information both past and present, old and new, to flow (in a hundredth monkey way rather than in a Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi way) so all off us can tap into it when we need it, are ready for it, etc.

      I would add to the end of this – ‘We are both facing the same sunset. But I am facing it with my eyes open and you with yours closed’ – that both methods are of equal value, and that if one using one method uses their method to judge another for not using their method, then those eyes may be open but see nothing, while the closed eyes may see more than the open ones see.

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  6. I am one of those who turned to blogging to “talk” about my experience with an NPD person. I you pointed out, I began to worry that I was bending people’s ears with it, but I couldn’t seem to stop, even though I also had a counsellor. When I began telling my story (because that’s what it was starting to become) to the trees and bushes on my daily walks, I figured that I should either become a Druid or start a blog. I started a blog. 🙂 After a few months, that incessant/obsessive need to talk about it started to subside and I widened my blog posts. I still think about narcissism and still read about it – a lot sometimes, because I have serious questions about my mom and one of my sisters – but it doesn’t fixate me anymore.

    The questions you ask are so valuable, Ursula, and I will think about those you have asked here and the comments/ observations you have made. I am one of those people who can take a long time to process stuff (it took me a long time to acknowledge that!) so I may further comment on this post later on.

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    1. Thank you 🙂

      If you do comment further on this post and share your personal insights and observations, I will be very intrigued to read them. You have the kind of mind, and heart and soul, which I admire.

      I am also one of those who turned to blogging to talk about my experience with NPD people. I really had no idea what I was doing, I just did it because I happened to be in a phase of my life where that was my motivation – just do it and don’t question it. Before that I questioned everything I did and usually decided not to do it because of it. I never spoke to anyone about anything – anything personal to me, that is. What I do on my blog is unusual for me – these are the conversations inside my head, not ones I share outside of my head for the most part, especially when they are about me. I learned early on in my life that no one wanted to hear about me, they only wanted to hear about themselves and talk about themselves. So that’s how I learned to talk, saying, tell me about you rather than let me tell you about me. I found listening to others fascinating, for many reasons, so the listening with interest was genuine.

      I have always talked with trees and bushes, animals, insects, the elements, the weather, nature is a very good conversationalist. It listens, and when it replies it shows how deeply it listened… which makes you listen back just as deeply.

      I am now imagining you in Druid robes, whispering to trees which have been buried upside down in the sand of a remote beach.

      Like you, I’ve evolved my blog to include other aspects of the whole, not just the NPD influence. My need to talk about my personal story in that respect subsided… after a bit of a shock to the system. It a strange experience to blog about your relationship with someone with NPD, especially publicly… especially now that the subject is so popular, trending, on what seems like everyone’s minds. You small voice seems so loud. The reaction to your posts is supportive, validating, healing, but there is also an undercurrent of danger, a lurking temptation to stay in the wound and never heal. Most of the ‘traffic’ on my blog is NPD connected, that’s what is getting attention to flow my way… the other posts I do which aren’t about it don’t get that kind of attention. I could perhaps get that kind of attention by tapping into other popular and trending issues…

      Watching others, particularly newbies, navigate the blog waters… especially the NPD blog seas… looking at stats and so on… reveling in attention and the nourishment it provides… hmmmm…

      I’ve found myself coming around in a full circle and wondering about it. That’s sort of what this post was about. Sometimes I get very focused and my perspective narrows and I only see a detail, and sometimes my focus blurs, my perspective widens and I see many details at once which blend together, connect dots, and go off on tangents… which connect to the past, present and future.

      It’s an intriguing experience… all of it!

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