Reader Question: About This Blog…?

People sometimes ask me questions on this blog…

And occasionally someone asks me a question, based on something to do with this blog, through my tumblr, my Twitter, or on my deviantart.

If those other social media platform accounts were friends of mine who were waiting for me to show up at a social get-together… they’d probably be rather fed up of waiting if they were actually still waiting, and they’d probably be more than slightly annoyed with me, and annoyed with themselves for waiting for such an annoying person like me.

I set up those accounts during a period in my life when I suddenly had multi-tasking abilities that I don’t normally have. For a brief spell I could focus on everything and everyone all at once.

A spell only lasts for a spell.

And life has a way of looking at you and saying – You look like you’re not busy enough, here, let me give you a bit of chaos to make your seeming order and plans for your present, based on a spell, go tits up.

I feel a tad guilty for not logging into those accounts as often as perhaps I should, or doing more on them like I used to… but my brain feels like cheese on toast under a hot grill at the moment, so it’s best if I keep things simple and focus on what I can actually focus upon (which is getting smaller by the second).

Right now I can only do what I can do now…

If you want my attention, you need to go where it is located. That’s on this blog because I really can’t focus on anything else at the moment… and this moment is going on forever.

So.

What was I… oh, yes…

Someone asked me through my deviantart:

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Q - about a blog

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The first thing which struck me about this question was that this person seemed slightly embarrassed to be questioning… the Haha seemed nervous…

Questioning is never something you should be embarrassed about.

It’s healthy to do it, and it’s wise to be cautious.

Especially online.

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reading vs blogging-gordon-highland

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And if the matter which you’re researching online has to do with narcissists…

Well, your questioning is a sign that you’re on the mend, that whatever you’ve been doing to recover from your relationship with a narcissist is working.

Anyone who has ever been in a relationship of whatever kind with a narcissist knows that one of the first things you get intimidated into stopping doing is questioning.

Before you know it you’re terrified of questioning… except yourself, of course, but that kind of questioning is the spiral into hell known as constant self-doubt.

There’s actually nothing wrong with a bit of self-doubt, in fact it’s quite healthy to question yourself as it stimulates self-reflection and that can lead to insightful discoveries.

A little bit of everything is good for you… too much of anything can lead to an overdose, and that includes too much positive thinking.

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I am unicorn

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The second thing which struck me about that question is – this person stated they had received solace from the blog which they were now concerned about.

That solace they received is real for them.

However… just as your love for a narcissist is real for you, your love is real… the moment you come to view the love which the narcissist in your life has for you as being unreal… it makes you question the reality of your love.

If their love for you isn’t real, does that mean the love you had for them is also not real?

So…

If you get solace from the writings of a blogger, but you don’t know who that blogger is, who they are in RL, what their qualifications are, and if they’re even a real person… or at least the person they told you they were… does that mean the solace that you got from their posts isn’t real?

If the blog and blogger turn out to be some version of bunkum… does that negate what you’ve received from it?

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Frantz Fanon

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The reason I link to The Narcissistic Continuum is because it is an excellent blog.

CZBZ, the blogger behind that blog, has been blogging about narcissists since long before it became a hot trending topic. At the time that she started her blog there was only a handful of bloggers discussing NPD, and only a small collection of books written by qualified professionals about the personality disorder.

She was writing about narcissists while that term still mostly meant someone who was a bit up themselves and spent a lot of time looking at their reflection in a mirror. She was one of the first bloggers to share her story online and publicly, and since then, partly due to the reactions her blog received, she has amassed a wealth of information, resources and experience through her own quest to understand more about her own experience, which she shares on her blog.

She is private about her RL identity, as many bloggers are. There are many reasons for doing this which anyone who interacts online can relate to.

What are her qualifications? She’s been in a personal relationship with a narcissist, which is what prompted her to start her blog. And her blog has taken her on an amazing journey.

She’s an ‘expert on NPD’ through personal experience.

Like me, she would rather not have that kind of personal experience of narcissists, but it happened and blogging is one of the ways we’ve chosen to deal with it.

Blogs are usually a personal sharing of personal experience…often done under an alias.

I’ve interacted with her online, blogger to blogger, a few times. We met through her interest in one of my posts about online narcissists. She was very considerate towards me. One of the first things she asked me was – Did I mind if she linked to my post about online narcissists as she had quite a few trolls who regularly attacked her and her blog who might decide to troll my blog due to the link.

She has had a lot of experiences online which would make most of us run away from the internet, but she has soldiered on, sharing her personal experiences, learning from them and sharing that, being battered by the vicissitudes of offline and online life.

Her blog has many cautionary tales about online narcissists which are worth reading – certain types of narcissists think they’re victims of narcissists, which they can be – narcissists often end up in relationships with others narcissists – but they can also perceive non-narcissists as being narcissists. Narcissists like to place themselves in positions of authority… about NPD, especially now that it is a trending hot topic.

So… be very careful, and don’t be embarrassed about questioning your sources.

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Francis BaconEducation – what is it really?

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When someone asks me a question…

I usually attempt to give an answer

I emphasised – an answer – because that’s what it is, it’s AN answer not necessarily THE answer to your question. More to the point it’s MY answer to YOUR question, and the chances of me giving you the correct answer to your question are slim because I’m me and you’re you.

I can only speak from my own experience of living and being. I’m a messy human who usually has to repeat a lesson over and over again and again before something gets through my thick skull…

If I sound as though I’m an authority on a matter about which I write on my blog… it’s mostly because I write about (and for) myself, and I am an authority on that subject.

[this is the bit where I pause to consider what I have just written… self-questioning stirs… and is often followed by a nervous laugh]

I argue with and question myself all the time, especially when I think I’m sure about something… I’m never as sure as I hope I am.

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unanswered questions:unquestioned answers

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One thing I am sure of (maybe) is… questioning the source is a good thing. Even if the source is professionally qualified… everyone is human and humans are prone to all sorts of human things. Including being narcissistic even if they’re not narcissists.

Lots of narcissists think they’re not narcissists… but are certain everyone else is.

So…

Question everything and everyone. Trust only yourself… and question yourself too, a little bit of self-mistrust is good, but don’t overdo it.

I expect you to question me…

And sometimes I have… been criticised because I encourage you to question me and won’t commit to an answer about myself on my blog.

Someone once got rather annoyed with me in a comment because I wouldn’t confirm or deny whether I was or was not a narcissist. Others have been critical of me for humorously referring to myself as an ‘expert’ on narcissists… they didn’t realise I was using humour the way I was using it – to deal with pain (the pain in the ass of having narcissists in your RL and the shit that does to you).

I think for myself… I’ve tried letting others do the thinking for me, and found out the hard way that… that’s a bad idea of mine… or of theirs for me.

And I (perhaps unreasonably and really annoyingly) expect you to think for yourselves.

That’s the third thing which struck me about that question.

Why are we all so worried about thinking for ourselves… and sometimes want others to do our thinking for us?

Our questions… aren’t about getting an answer so much as the journey we take when we seek an answer. The journey in this case is far more valuable than the answer.

What we discover along the way is… our real answer.

Listen to yourself…

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Related link, a most excellent post worth reading – WP celebrity conceals evil intent Smile conceals the guile inside

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23 thoughts on “Reader Question: About This Blog…?

  1. Hi Ursula! I really should put this reply in a blog post because my response will be lengthy. I’ll go ahead and post my comment since I haven’t had time to write on my blog for several months now. If anything I’ve written is unclear or questionable, please don’t hesitate talking with me. First of all, I appreciate your reply to the person asking about my qualifications. They should question my qualifications. It makes me nervous when someone “idealizes” me because the flip side of that coin is pretty painful!

    I don’t blame your reader for wondering if my blog was bullshit. I write about my personal life from family-of-origin to family-of-creation and there are plenty of days when my life feels like total bullshit, too. ha!

    I have and always will encourage readers to question everything they read and ask for credentials, especially before handing over hard-earned cash. Since I’ve never created a “healing path” or asked a cent from readers (on my blog or on my support website), there’s no worry about being taken advantage of. Each of us has a story to tell and my goal, as a presence on the web, is companionship–free and simple.

    I learned as a very young girl that two of the most important things I could offer anyone were: my shoulder and my ear. I might have good advice and wisdom to share now-and-then, but in the end, after people were back on their feet, not one of my friends said, “Your analysis of my situation ended all my pain and suffering.” NO! What they said (and this goes back to grade school), “Thank you for caring; for being my friend.” So this is what I offer readers and forum members. We currently have numerous psychology experts to answer our questions about NPD and those are the people we should turn to for answers. For all other needs, find a friend.

    As far as remaining anonymous, I do this for a couple of reasons: 1) I have nothing to sell; 2) my ex is my children’s father. I’m ambivalent about “outing” a spouse’s real name when children are involved because no matter how cruel an ex might be, s/he is still half of their children’s identity. ALL children deserve their privacy. It is their choice when and if they want to “out” a parent.

    I write intimately about my personal experiences and would not do that without anonymity.

    As far as questioning my knowledge base–well, I have done my homework reading complicated literature after discovering NPD in a Barnes and Nobles DSM-IV Manual back in 2002. Several respected psychologists have since endorsed my writings (which I appreciate very much and did not ask them to do). I grew up in a narcissistic family, married a narcissistic spouse who became “ill” as he aged, his narcissism being his undoing; I live with and love a sister who has bipolar and have been an essential parent figure to her son for eighteen years now. He has Asperger’s. My daughter (an adult) was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis about a year and a half ago and I’m her full-time caregiver (she no longer drives and cannot cook meals at this point). Now anyone could do what I do taking care of family members so that doesn’t prove a thing about my authority to write about narcissism, but what is the state of those relationships? Are they loving? I think it’s important to question a blogger’s ability to navigate difficult relationships without running No Contact at the first sign of trouble! (no insult intended for anyone using No Contact to protect themselves).

    Information about the narcissistic continuum is finally being offered to the public. Dr. Craig Malkin has written an excellent book. At this point, there are psychology books “backing up” my intuition to view narcissism beyond the pathological; however, we are not healed by information. I never heard anyone say Dr. So-and-So’s writings healed my pain and taught me how to love the complex personalities in my family. ha! No. They say, “Thanks for caring during the worst time of my life. I couldn’t have made it without my friends.”

    I think credentials are important and critical thinking is imperative (especially online!). When people first learn about narcissism, they are especially vulnerable to anyone professing authority and answers. Far more exploitative personalities than mine, recognize vulnerability as an opportunity. And many of us are dealing with some degree of trauma, which only makes us more gullible. There’s research on that. We must learn to be our own best authority and that is why I did not and do NOT want anyone to put their faith and trust in ME. The person they need to trust is themselves and this will take time. Hopefully, people won’t be taken advantage of while restoring their equilibrium.

    One last thing that might be useful to people: I have written over 100,000 messages to people. A handful of these exchanges were with people who, shall we say, were not having the best moment of their lives. There are lots of “not best moments” for each of us during our healing journey and I’ve made plenty of mistakes myself. The advantage to online exchanges is that we can review our behavior and “catch ourselves in the act”. Growth comes in taking responsibility for ourselves—even for something as forgettable as attacking an online anonymous friend.

    I am aware there is a “hate blog” about me, questioning my authority as a leader and whether or not I’m a narcissist. A few people have emailed me asking what “I” must have done to make that blogger so angry. This uncomfortable situation reminds me of the people who wanted to know what “I” must have done to make my husband-of-thirty-years hate me enough to have an affair. My response in both cases? I was trying to help someone who needed a strong shoulder and a listening ear. And that is the risk we take when we care enough to try.

    Keep trying anyway.

    Love,
    CZ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi CZ, thank you very much for commenting πŸ™‚

      I’d completely forgotten about that “hate blog”, I guess if one of your readers is trying to find out more about you through an online search they might end up on it. One glance at it though makes it fairly obvious that the person behind it is on a narcissistic crusade.

      I checked it out because it was discussed on your blog. I respected the way you dealt with it, that you spoke about it openly and were very tactful. Considering how many people follow your work, admire you, and are fiercely loyal to you, you could have inspired a witch hunt, but you were firm that you did not want to engage in that kind of behaviour, and hoped that those who care for you would let it be as it is best to ignore the haterz otherwise you’re playing straight into their hands and they drag you down into narcville.

      I’ve always admired the way you handle situations like that with such grace under fire.

      One of my favourite posts of yours is the one about the self-appointed online “guru” who plagiarised your work – http://n-continuum.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/blogduggery-part-two-this-is-not-okay.html – I was struck by how calm and elegant you were, even though it was clear that you were upset as any normal human being would be, and it was also clear that Dr Tara J. Palmatier was impressed as you informed her of and helped her with a very difficult situation. That “guru” is the sort of person who preys on the vulnerable, using other people’s pain for his gain. It’s an excellent cautionary tale, and a great example of how to handle such a tricky situation.

      The way that you behave and express yourself speaks volumes about who you are. You are bold, brave, strong, and definitely a force to be reckoned with, but the power is wielded with gentleness. You are knowledgeable and consistent with your knowledge. You are also always open to learning and expanding your knowledge, encouraging debate, sharing, and community.

      You’re one of the few people who write about NPD whose qualifications I have not felt the need to question. Perhaps because you ask so many questions yourself and actively seek answers, sharing your thought processes, your searches, and you inspire others to think for themselves. For those who have been in a relationship with a narcissist, that is very refreshing and healing in and of itself.

      I had noticed that you hadn’t been posting for awhile, I figured that you were busy with your family as you have shared so much about your relationship with them, and it is heartwarming.

      Take good care of yourself ❀

      Thank you, CZ, for being yourself and sharing yourself so generously πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

      1. ha! Blogduggery! Maybe you were as shocked as myself when Dr. Palmatier showed up in the comment section. I didn’t expect to have something like that happen. As bloggers, we complain about plagiarism but nothing is actually done since plagiarizers are generally skilled liars, too. Without a few years of Internet experiences with liarheads and plagiarists, I wouldn’t have known to COPY direct copies of his copying because otherwise, he’d erase all evidence and accuse me of libel. And he’d be much more convincing than myself!

        I’m so glad to be the recipient of your kind words (thank you!) and your willingness to appreciate me as an imperfect woman. That’s one of the problems, isn’t it? People expect a leader to be perfect and when she isn’t (cuz I have my bad days, too!), she’s attacked as being incredible, incompetent, and even evil. The sudden switch from idealization to demonization threw me a few times. “Switcharoozoos” used to stun me into self-blame (looking at what I did wrong instead of looking at the enraged critic on the other side of the keyboard).

        As far as “solace being real”…I thought about that yesterday while preparing the garden for winter. That the writer used the word “solace” was comforting even though she worried about my writings being bunk. If she had asked whether my advice, my healing plan, my CD’s and books were bogus or not, then she’d have a valid point and we can hope she’ll keep questioning! But if I were selling a healing plan, advice, CD’s and books, she probably would NOT have questioned my credentials or my authority. She’d most likely have forked over some cash in the hopes of ending her pain as promised in ALL the ads relationship experts; and then she’d insist her investment was the best decision she’d ever made and thank goodness she trusted her intuition. Cognitive Dissonance at its finest! We are so branded in our culture, so accustomed to being marketed to, that we’re more likely to “trust” someone selling a product (advice, forum space, etc.) because it feels “normal” to us.

        I shared my “private situation” with family members because I think it says a lot about my personality (if people are still wondering if I’m a narcissist!). Could a narcissist manage such a complex household where each person feels safe and loved? Would s/he even stick around when the demands outnumbered the benefits?

        Last but not least: People draw conclusions about someone because they WANT to believe their conclusions are valid. To maintain this belief, they ignore, dismiss, and erase all evidence to the contrary. Now that in itself, is narcissistic; i.e.: creating their own reality by ignoring contradictory evidence. Even after people watched my natural engagement with people and read about my home life, they defended their belief that I was a narcissist. You’ve been through a similar thing, Ursula. The amusing thing is that these same people “follow” bloggers who spew hatred, No Contact-or-death, Authoritarianism, cynical and sadistic tear-downs of other people, disruptive disdain for fellow bloggers and sadistic snubbing/banning of those who don’t agree and yet: THEY are seen as courageous leaders who really know their shit. ha!

        Thanks for giving me space to talk, Ursula!

        Like

        1. Thank you πŸ™‚

          The person who asked the question explained their reasons when they replied to a message I sent them answering their question. They love your blog and have found it extremely helpful, knowledgeable and insightful. Their question and concern came from wanting to share your posts with their friends so that they could better describe their situation (and what their narcissist had and was doing to them), and they worried that their friends might question things (and call it bunk) so they wanted to preempt that because your posts have been valuable to them (and they didn’t want what matters to them to get torn apart by those who don’t understand).

          One of the challenges people who have been in a relationship with a narcissist face is trying to explain things to others, especially those who’ve never experienced the crazy of a narc. We all know what it’s like to tell our story to someone else… and as we tell it we hear ourselves and even we think we’re making it all up although we’ve lived it. It’s very difficult to explain what even we don’t fully understand, and if others have never encountered a narcissist, well, it can sound like we’ve been watching too much TV and can’t tell reality and fantasy apart when we share our story.

          Your posts clarify what is very confusing, and provide a lifeline for those trying to piece together the chaos a narcissist creates of everything and in everyone. You basically reach into the soapy and dirty water, pull out the plug and save people from drowning in the murky soup of narc. Which is very awesome, and much needed.

          The fact that you do it for free stands out.

          I also have an aversion to people who gain from the pain of others. I can see the logic of it, they’re providing a service from which others may benefit, creating supply to meet a demand and why shouldn’t they profit from it as long as others are benefiting. But… it reminds me of all the shit I bought into during the rise of self-help and New Age. I suppose it was money well spent to learn a lesson, it wasn’t what I had intended to learn, but it’s more useful in some ways.

          The other day I came across a conversation on a forum about one of those ‘cures’ for narcissist abuse. Someone had started a thread asking if spending $200 dollars on a ‘how to fix yourself after narcissistic abuse’ pack was worth it. The ‘pack’ is by a relatively new person on the NPD block who once commented on my about page to sell themselves and their product (all they said was – try this program it helped me so much – which was a weird way to sell your own program), so the forum thread caught my eye. It was an interesting discussion.

          It can be confusing knowing who to trust after you’ve trusted a narcissist, and it takes awhile to trust your intuition again, because you trusted your intuition when it came to the narcissist and that didn’t work out. And when we’re caught up in the pain and chaos which a narcissist makes of our minds and hearts, it’s hard to know where to turn, what is real, and how to heal.

          And there are narcissists in the victim of narcissist fold, as well as within the ‘experts’ on narcissists group, as you’ve so beautifully captured in your posts.

          Healing takes time, partly because each of us is an individual even if our symptoms are similar to those of others who have been through a similar experience, and we need to explore, research, and find what works for us. Our wound needs us to heal it ourselves.

          You share your experiences, of pain and of healing, of understanding and figuring things out. Which is magnificent. But you can’t heal others for them, you can only offer a helping hand, a shoulder and an ear. The rest is up to them.

          And you do have to take care of yourself, and you nearest and dearest. ❀

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Well, that’s a “tell”, isn’t it? I leaped to a false conclusion about “bunk” based on a few nightmarish experiences on the web! My initial assumption about your reader is something for me to take a look at. I read somewhere that people have greater recall of bad experiences than good and it looks like I need to examine my negativity bias. ha! I was writing about cognitive biases just the other day—just in the nick of time to ‘catch myself in the act.”

            First let me say that I think you are wonderful. Just so insightful and caring and smart. I’m so glad to have found you on the web. ❀

            About asking for money: I am not against anyone making a living from their "support work" and recognize that my generation of women are more likely to shy away from financial compensation than younger women. But look at my generation of older women—we're poor. ha! Still and nonetheless, I am skeptical of anyone creating a healing plan when they lack an academic background, licensing, practice, etc.

            Besides, if psychologists could heal someone with a couple of "modules", they'd do it! Maybe a few psychologists are willing to engage clients via telephone, but nobody said clients didn't need to think critically about psychologists, too.

            In my view, it's narcissistic to assume oneself is special-ler than anyone else. So special as to receive divine inspiration that is more effective than higher education and disciplined practice. It smells a bit cultish to me, though I am skittish when anyone claims to be an extraordinary vessel who will share his/her spiritual knowledge for $$$$. The thread you linked on reddit speaks to some of my concerns and yet, most respondents felt like their money was well spent. I have not purchased any modules from any special people, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

            Here's a couple of my concerns (calm me down if you don't agree):

            1) Within two weeks, most people feel better even if they don't do anything. There's a definite placebo effect to be reckoned with and my guess is that many "happy customers" are justifying their financial investment. Desperate people spend money they don't have. (I wrote about this behavior on my blog "PuppyGate"). Desperation makes people turn to anyone with answers, anyone with pie-in-the-sky promises.

            2) Many N-victims have been traumatized. Their vulnerability should be respected, not targeted. I am concerned that this population could be in danger if a psychologist is not present during "deep" healing work. Depending on what people are being encouraged to remember, they could be putting themselves at risk.

            3) Healing from the narcissistic relationship means "grounding ourselves in reality." Some of the so-called spiritual healing programs being sold to people, are reinforcing magical thinking. Most victims of narcissists are well-trained in magical thinking…they are primed and ready to be duped. What really troubles me is that they'll berate themselves for having spent money on something that didn't last (are there any studies on how long people feel better after the initial honeymoon wears off?). The last thing we need after asking for help, is to be manipulated again.

            I googled Melanie Evans a couple of years ago when she mentioned my forum (a positive review) on one of her early radio programs. She seems to have taken a stance against forums lately, suggesting people avoid online groups because people don't get better there. I've always believed the most important thing about forums was CONNECTION, having a safe place with familiar names during those times when we're feeling anxious and alone. Forums can anchor people by just seeing screen names.

            Once Evans began attacking online groups, she fell out of my favor (of course!). Her behavior is the same behavior witnessed in prior N-forums of the early 2000's: their group was more "special" than all other groups. And they would justify their narcissism-of-minor-differences by creating fear, just as Evans has done: frightening people into believing they'll be trapped in hell forever if they stray to any other forum—besides hers!! ha! Not to mention degrading and insulting the good people I've known this past decade, who spent hours supporting people and never asked a dime in compensation. I have met many people in person and remained friends for over a decade. They, like myself, have become even more compassionate and kind than we were before the N-experience! How ridiculous to accuse forums of being dangerous…omgod. I nearly threw my Oreos at the monitor when she said that! People are already afraid to reach out—guess they'd best make sure they're reaching out to the right person's hand (while opening their pocketbook with the other).

            I should write a new blog post about my failed attempts to unite narcissism groups so we could work together as managers. I just might do that after feeling a spitfire rise in my gut while writing to you. The thing is, spirituality unites, connects, "levels", brings people together. No one is more special than any other. And it's true: just having one person hear and care about your life is enough for people to start treating themselves better–to realize they matter. This is accomplished in forums and on blogs. Any program that deems to have all the answers 'cuz those folks are so much more special than other folks, is not spiritual. It's narcissistic. And that, my dear friend, is my big fat opinion on that!

            Like

            1. Thank you πŸ™‚

              I agree with the points you’ve made (and I love that you’re passionate about it, it shows how much you care).

              I’ve been there and done that. Been desperate for a solution, hoping for a magic one like a potion I could drink and all would be well, willing to spend money on a trip to the promise land where all my pain would be washed away by a healing hand.

              I was vulnerable, naive, blinded by blinking neon signs and my need to get rid of my suffering, and some people saw me as having the word ‘sucker’ written on my forehead.

              I’ve put my trust in people I should have researched a bit more, but I wanted them to be the hero who saved me, so I ignored red flags such as that they were peddling paradise, sometimes had rather dubious stories about their background or refused to discuss their personal experiences because these were super secret and private while it was open season on everyone else’s, and they very often did not practice what they preached.

              I’ve experienced the honeymoon phase of a new system which promised to fix me, I believed that it had because new things distract you (look at the pretty butterfly), but then it wore off and I went back to my old ways – desperately seeking nirvana once again. So I can personally relate to your concerns.

              I also agree that the more-special-than-others attitude is narcissistic. There is a healthy side to that kind of narcissism, as the wish to be special and improve on what others are doing can give us the impetus to study, research, train and hone our natural abilities, but it is separated by a fine line from the less salubrious side of narcissism.

              Narcissists often skip the whole studying and training part, and prefer to jump straight to the special specialist role. They’ll go through the motions if need be, but what they really want is to play the king tooting their own horn.

              A commenter on this blog mentioned that narcissists often like to be teachers, which is an astute observation. Being a ‘guru’ is a very attractive job for a narcissist. They love to place themselves on a pedestal, a pulpit, a soap box, and be at the head of the class, their audience, flock, and their followers must worship them and only them, while they talk down to everyone as though they’re perfect, specially anointed, and others are flawed and need fixing by none other than the narcissist.

              The narcissist is on a quest to save the world because the world is doing it all wrong and needs a hero of legendary proportions to sort this unruly mess out – what they want is to shape us into who they need for us to be for them, then the world will become the one they want it to be – an idealistic perfectionist’s utopia.

              This is an interesting post – http://mortentolboll.weebly.com/a-critique-of-byron-katie-and-her-therapeutic-technique-the-work.html

              The narcissist has a magic formula to fix everyone, but this is a very special formula, you will have to earn it, jump through hoops, beg, grovel, make offerings, before it can be given to you, and they can’t give it all to you at once because you have to climb up through the ranks (and the narcissist keeps changing the rules of how that is done so it can never be done, the bar is always shifting).

              If their magic potion doesn’t work for you then it is your fault. You’re a lost cause, go away because you’re making the narcissist look bad.

              If it does work for you, then the narcissist will claim all the credit for it and grow wings and a halo.

              Thing is even if the narcissist is selling a placebo, it may be exactly what someone needs and they will benefit from it. When it comes to the pain of the psyche, the cure is within the person who has the pain, and their inner cure may be triggered by something they find online, in a book, at a seminar, with a therapist, or anywhere and through anyone, anything.

              I’ve had insights into my own issues from the writing on a product at the supermarket, from watching nature, from overhearing a conversation in the street, even from banging my head on a cupboard door, from random incidents and moments. Something just strikes you and you get an aha moment into your problems, yourself, which help to shift perspective and may bring understanding. I’ve definitely gained insights into my own patterns from buying into what ‘gurus’ have sold – having a run in with a false guru is a particularly useful lesson.

              Have you seen the documentary – Kumare – it’s by a filmmaker who decided to see how easy it would be to become a guru and get followers, but he also explores other gurus and asks some very provocative questions about the self-help, New Age, etc, industry.

              When a narcissist places themselves in the ‘guru’ pose, they tend to become paranoid (and narcissists quite enjoy that kind of paranoia because it feeds their ego) that someone will steal their flag because that’s what they would do to a ‘guru’, as they’d be envious of what the guru had that they did not have and wanted.

              They usually start out admiring someone in a position of authority and will pay obsequious homage to them in an attempt to become a special ‘friend’ of that person. They need to get close to that person to ‘steal’ by absorption who that person is, what their ‘secrets’ are, so that they can mimic what that person has done and therefore get what that person has which they want. They also want to take that person’s ‘mailing list’ as once they’ve got what they want they must kill the king to become the unrivaled ruler (and to make sure the king does not expose them for what they’ve done) and they need subjects. They often go on the offensive as a defense mechanism.

              You see this happen quite a bit in business. There’s an interesting case going on at the moment – http://www.buzzfeed.com/michaelgillard/tory-donor-reported-to-cops-for-money-laundering#.ja0N9j3ky0 – about a rivalry between two businessmen which started out as one taking the other under his wing and teaching him everything he knew, then the ‘apprentice’ decided to go off and create his own company, and he is now trying to bring his mentor down in flames.

              It can sometimes be hard to tell the difference between a narcissist ‘guru’ and a non-narcissist ‘guru’ because that kind of position confers the sort of power which can go to anyone’s head and make them act out narcissistically. Sometimes they become that way because they get idealised and idolised, and it may take them awhile to get grounded again.

              We can all get a bit elitist at times, humans like to be part of groups, and groups tend to compare themselves to other groups with a we’re better than the other group bias. There is a human impulse to judge, this is natural and is there to help us distinguish the difference between what is potable and what is poison, however like with all skills it can get used for many other things, such as creating the impression that something is better because something else is deemed worse. And most of us want the best if given the choice, and like to think we’ve chosen well. Once we’ve committed to a choice, a group, then we may find that we put others down in an effort to maintain our sense of being in the best group.

              It’s similar to brand loyalty. If you say to people all toothpastes are the same, you’ll get people arguing that this is not true and their favourite brand is the best, and they will most probably list what’s wrong with the other brands while telling you what’s right with their brand. The fact that many of the different brands are often made by the same company in the same factory won’t make a difference to brand loyalty. And brands encourage consumers to be elitist.

              Evans sounds like she’s following one of those business models for (world domination) successfully promoting a brand. I would hazard a guess that she wants to be in the big league (the next Brene Brown) as quickly as possible and NPD is her ticket to get there as it is a hot trending topic – and rule #whatever of a good business plan is to get on the bandwagon and set your sights on the reins. So, she’s now in the phase where she (isolates herself) makes herself stand out from (rivals) others in the same field by being exclusive – and this is being done by (burning bridges) labeling all other groups as not as good as hers.

              Maybe her system is brilliant. I have no idea, and have no intention of trying it out. That kind of thing makes me react rather irrationally, I’ve tried too many of those kinds of systems before and I tend to run away hastily in the opposite direction when I come across one these days.

              And the comment she made on my blog was a very narcissistic thing to do. My guess is she had an assistant use your Narcwriters page to find bloggers who write about NPD, and then plop a link to her site in the comment section of their blogs. She should have included the blog etiquette guide in her studies of how to promote her brand online.

              But hey, she’s human and so are we and… so it goes.

              It would be lovely to unite groups and create one large community network, and maybe it can be done, but history shows that those sort of endeavours can be tricky, especially when ‘leaders’ of groups like their position and don’t want to share it, even if it would be for the benefit of everyone.

              What you do with The Narcissistic Continuum stands out, and always will. It’s a beacon, and a haven. Keep shining your light. πŸ™‚

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              1. The narcissist in me just has to ask, did you have a bad experience with a teacher? There have been numerous occasions where you’ve mentioned that narcissists tend to be teachers, and your reasoning is perfectly logical, I agree with it, but I kind of feel like there are more who teach for “good” reasons rather than just personal gain or to gain troops to jump on their agenda train (not that there aren’t some of those, with good intentions or otherwise). I just think there are many other professions where one would find a narcissist and I’m truly curious to know why you use teachers as a reference point? I would think celebrities, attorneys, and any kind of activist are professions where one would find more narcissists than in teaching. And, yes, I’m sure you are not surprised by my predictable nosing into your comment thread or my one track reaction, but my selfish compulsion won out yet again, so…

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                1. I’m a lateral thinker, rather than linear and literal.

                  I was not thinking in terms of school teachers, university professors, and other members of faculty and the teaching profession. I was thinking in terms of positions of authority which allow someone to preach and teach to others, set the rules and impose them on others, tell others who and how to be, what to think, what to say, what to do, what’s wrong with them, how to fix it, and so on.

                  It’s explained in the comment thread.

                  Narcissists can be found in all walks of life and professions, and they can be very good at what they do, others can benefit and never know that the person is a narcissist. We only tend to notice narcissists when we have a bad experience of them, and those bad experiences can create a wake which ripples through the rest of our lives, especially if the narcissist managed to take control of our life in one form or another.

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              2. You touched on so many important points that it’s taken several days of solitude to think about your reply.

                The Byron Katie link embedded in your latest reply, led to an insightful pdf story written by Jannaki, one of Byron Katie’s associates/students. I am familiar with Katie’s work and have watched her business grow by leaps and bounds this past decade, despite the “pathological” end of her thought system, kinda like the LOA. I’m not fond of thought/belief systems that feed our narcissism/grandiosity and/or our self-hatred; i.e.: it’s my fault for thinking negatively. But as you also reminded me (paraphrasing), “whatever floats someone’s boat.” Maybe thought systems such as these can be compared to plastic life rafts. They carry people closer to shore before they start deflating. Deflation referring to the life raft OR the rescued, OR both maybe! ha!

                I was raised to be a true believer and it took years for me to untangle the knots, learning how to think critically and most important of all: how to withstand ostracism and rejection by family members, friends…even rejecting myself because of my uncertainty. Because of this painful experience, I can have a knee jerk reaction to “thought systems/beliefs.” It’s valuable for me to remember that while doing this work, a few life rafts came along and carried me for awhile. Not permanently—just for a while.

                As you wrote: “Even if the narcissist is selling a placebo, it may be exactly what someone needs and they will benefit from it. When it comes to the pain of the psyche, the cure is within the person who has the pain, and their inner cure may be triggered by something they find online, in a book, at a seminar, with a therapist, or anywhere and through anyone, anything.”

                After reading the Byron Katie link, I dug out an old copy of her book, several pages marked with “NO!!” scribbled in the margins. I have another highlighted book from the early 1980’s: Ron Hubbard’s “Dianetics” which I threw at my wall about halfway through the book. Even a layperson like myself can spot bullshit once we’ve accepted the fact that people will sell whatever other people will buy.

                I’m not sure Melanie Evans wants to be the next Brene Brown, because that would require graduate studies and years of boring research. ha! Brene Brown is a respected researcher with the astonishing ability to relate to everyday people using common language. She isn’t “all about testimonials” and Energy Healing; nor is Brene Brown’s story based on special access to sudden knowledge. Please don’t hear me saying there’s nothing to be gained in following Melanie Evans or Byron Katie. Both experts/gurus ought be compared to plastic life rafts, though. Sure. Go ahead and climb in when you’re drowning and be grateful for the lift. But keep practicing your breast stoke ‘cuz at some point, you’ll need to dive in the water again…hopefully stronger than you were before.

                I appreciate your insightful comment bringing me to a deeper understanding of my initial reactions. ~CZ

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                1. Thank you, CZ πŸ™‚

                  I’ve thrown a few books at the wall over the years.

                  I recall once reading that when you react that strongly to something, it’s worth investigating it rather than outright rejecting it because it touches a sore spot and that’s where our inner gold mine of self-knowledge is located. Seeing things that way turned a lot around for me, I stopped seeking a panacea as much as I used to and began poking the places which hurt, especially the ones which had pent up anger, digging into my wounds to find their roots.

                  In some ways I’ve gained more from making mistakes and taking risks than I have from getting things right or playing it safe. I actually tried out the CoS after I read Dianetics, that experience was a truly useful mistake as it put me off ever doing something like that again, and I also learned that although I had misled myself, I had protected myself well once I realised what a bad idea it had been. It gave me a lot of insight into myself and others.

                  I made many more mistakes after that and each one helped in its own way.

                  I used to go to self-improvement workshops of one sort or another, and the last one I ever went to was run by a big guru of the time in that circle, this guru was all peace, love, compassion, etc, in their teachings, and always wore this beatific expression, however, during a break I got to witness them having a tantrum over a bottle of water at their assistant which was anything but peace, love and compassion, and their expression was scornful. That guru reminded me of my mother one face for the public, and a different one behind the scenes, and that scenario with the assistant was very similar to the way my mother behaved with me when she thought no one was around to see it.

                  That incident gave me insight into an issue which I had been having trouble getting my head around – how come no one believes you about your narcissist parents, why can’t they see what you see, etc. I was on the outside looking in.

                  It’s all part of our own personal journey, and how we experience a person’s teaching, a belief system, philosophy, etc, is connected to that journey, to our individual story. What works for us may not work for someone else, and vice versa. And what doesn’t work for us may actually work for us by its not working.

                  When you’ve been under the influence of a narcissist, one of the most important elements to incorporate is thinking for yourself, relying on yourself, however, it takes time to get there as often the narcissist has convinced you that you can’t do that, so you may gravitate towards people who will ‘replace’ them in the role of authority over you, who will think for you, and upon whom you can rely for life instruction, and other things you should be doing for yourself. It took many bashes over the head from experiences before it sunk in that I had to go solo and figure life out for myself. We also have to be careful not to try to play that role of thinking for others and telling others how to life their life, as that is another way that we may be affected by a narcissist, as some narcissists impose that role on us.

                  We all get there in our own way, it’s always insightful to explore ways that work for others, but we do have to stay true to our path, respect our personal journey, and respect those of others. That can be tricky sometimes due to being human… we all love to interfere πŸ˜‰

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  2. I have to disagree with the solice being real. The solice itself may have been real at one point, much like the love you mentioned having for a narcissist. However, if it turns out that the person/blogger/whatever is based on bullshit, then it absolutely negates everything. You can’t have feelings for something that doesn’t exist, it’s a mind f*ck, you think you have/had those feelings, but you couldn’t possibly because they’re based on a figment of your imagination.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I know you disagree with that concept. Funnily enough as I reread what I’d written before I posted this, you popped into my mind and I thought – If hippie7girl reads this she’s going to shake her head at it.

      It’s part of subjective reality, which differs from person to person. Things like love, solace, inspiration, anything which is an idea, abstract, is not an object of material substance but is something held within the mind, is subjective reality.

      Anything in the mind is a figment of the mind. The moment we start thinking we begin being mind fucked.

      A person who is completely colour blind would tell you that colour is bullshit. They can’t see it ergo it doesn’t exist.

      What is bullshit to you is not necessarily bullshit to someone else – both perceptions are valid for both people. Your mind is making decisions based on your personal subjective reality, it imagines what is bullshit and what is not bullshit. In objective reality the only thing which is bullshit is the shit of a bull. We don’t know what the bull considers it to be in his subjective reality, maybe he thinks it is fertiliser because he sees farmers collect his bullshit and use it as fertiliser, and it is also used as fuel.

      http://jalopnik.com/toyotas-hydrogen-car-literally-runs-on-bullshit-1699665826

      Even medical professionals who focus more on objective reality have had to study the placebo effect and the effect of subjective reality on recovery. A patient who is recovering from an illness/operation may heal more quickly or more slowly based on the influence of their subjective reality. If they trust their doctor and believe in the cure, they will heal with more confidence than if they think it’s all quackery.

      For a professional explanation of subjective and objective realities, plus other concepts pertaining to those:

      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evil-deeds/201001/redefining-reality-psychology-science-and-solipsism

      https://cdn.psychologytoday.com/blog/evil-deeds/201001/redefining-reality-part-two-psychotherapy-synchronicity-and-the-rainmaker

      According to your theory – You can’t have feelings about your past, your past no longer exists. Sure it existed once and you have relics of it to prove it existed, and since you exist (or at least your body does because that’s the only objective reality of you) you must have had a past, but do you have total recall of every moment of your past exactly as it happened not as you think it happened. Is your memory objective or subjective? How much of what you recall could be labeled bullshit by you.

      What about someone who is dead, can you continue to have feelings for them once they cease to exist? They are no longer real, they can’t love you anymore so there love is now not real, and was their love ever real, it was a subjective reality, and did they love you or who they thought you were.

      As for love – basically the only real love we can experience is physical attraction, and even then are we seeing what someone really looks like objectively or are we seeing it from a subjective perspective of the objective reality.

      Can we ever love, like, trust anything or anyone really as all of what we perceive is filtered through the mind’s eye. Is it all just an optical illusion.

      And feelings… what are feelings? Do feelings exist? Where do we process feelings? Perhaps they are just chemicals in our body and our mind interprets them, imagines them to be something else – love, anger, guilt, joy, fear.

      What about pain, not emotional or mental pain, that’s subjective so it may or may not be real, but physical pain.

      Some people can’t feel physical pain. If they put their hand in fire they can’t feel the burn. They can see it, see the fire, see the effect of the fire on their flesh, but can’t feel it. If they can’t feel it, is it happening, real. Yes because they can see it, it has an objective reality. But the reality that fire burns is something they have to learn from an experience which is different from most people, therefore they have to adjust their lives to be aware of all those things which most of us take for granted. That is their reality, is their reality bunk because it is not our reality?

      The biggest mind fuck is the one we do to ourselves when we try to figure out what is real and what isn’t. It’s worth exploring and can be insightful. However, objective reality is always going to be experienced subjectively unless an anomaly causes subjectivity to be turned off.

      Perhaps sociopaths are right as they see everything which non-sociopaths consider to be real as being bullshit, figments of our delusional imagination which chases illusions and is fooled by them. Their reality is objective and we are all silly objects in it. They can’t see or feel what we see and feel, therefore what we see and feel is bullshit to them.

      If you’re looking at the world with eyes seeking bullshit, it fertilises everything inside and out.

      When we’re afraid of being fooled we end up fooling ourselves, and making life miserable for ourselves because we can’t trust anything or anyone, which also makes us untrustworthy. We’re so afraid of being mind fucked we end up mind fucking ourselves, and others because we’re doing it to ourselves.

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      1. TouchΓ©. I suppose my reply is more about my own current mind fuck, that is slowly driving me more out of my mind, and this line of thinking is simply my own line of defense against my own subjective bullshit because I know it can’t possibly be based on “reality”. You are absolutely right in saying that things are not bullshit to everyone and we all perceive things in our own way, too bad most of those individual perceptions don’t gel with other’s perceptions most of the time. On another note, I suppose I should take my responses down a notch, it’s quite sad when a random blogger (no offense meant) knows your reply is coming before you give it. Anyway, another awesome read πŸ™‚

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        1. Thank you πŸ™‚

          It’s funny but when someone knows what I’m going say before I say it, it makes me happy because it means someone has taken the time to listen to me, and is interested in getting to know me. It can also mean that you’re on the same wavelength, which is rather nice because then you can just communicate, interact freely, and you don’t have to keep explaining yourself to someone who probably doesn’t want to understand you or just can’t fathom you because you’re too different and don’t fit into their reality.

          When people know what you’re going to say, it usually means they’re a good listener and observer. It can also be a sign of personal intelligence and empathy. Depends on the person, the interaction and situation. Some interactions only have a few possible replies, so it’s easy to guess what someone is going to say, especially in answer to a question which is couched a certain way.

          Of course it can also point to you being stuck in a rut and repeating yourself so often that it’s the only thing you say and people have heard it a hundred times. I got into the habit of repeating myself, saying the same thing over and over, when I had to communicate with narcissists. With my mother if I didn’t say the same thing at least three times in a row she couldn’t hear it because of the endless internal chatter going on in her head. That and she found listening to people boring, she wanted to talk not listen. But when she talked she sometimes asked questions to which she expected an answer – but she didn’t listen when you answered unless you kept repeating the answer until she heard it as though you’d only just said it, and she often heard it subliminally and would then repeat what you had said as though the answer had magically popped into her head.

          So, there’s that too…

          In this particular case, in a recent post I said something very similar to what I said in this one, and you commented on that post focusing solely on that one element in the post, saying something similar to what you said on this one, and your comment was packed with strong emotion (which is something that I tend to notice and remember) which informed me that you were working on a personal issue with regards to that concept. That kind of issue takes time to figure out, and requires a journey into the inner labyrinth to investigate what’s really going on within.

          This is quite an interesting article about that – http://www.calmdownmind.com/resolving-your-inner-conflicts/

          You’ve mentioned that you have a keen interest in psychology and sociology, philosophy is a good add-on to those and worth exploring. Zen is particularly useful when dealing with the complexities of the mind, as the philosophy of Zen uses stories which are like puzzles.

          Here’s a few examples of Zen story puzzles – http://theunboundedspirit.com/10-short-zen-stories/

          You have a very intelligent mind, so it’s always going to challenge you and when it decides to mind fuck you, you need to know it well to untangle the knots it creates. Be aware of the intelligent mind’s tendency to intellectualise what needs to be figured out by other parts of the self.

          Take care of yourself πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

          1. LOVE YOUR WRITINGS! ~ Your clarity ” untangles the knots ” just as they start cutting off the (my) circulation. ~~When you can see through the veil of intellect and insanity – it’s really really scary.

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            1. Thank you very much ❀

              I'm untangling my own knots when I write. It can indeed be scary to see it, but not as scary as not seeing it.

              It just occurred to me that whenever I find an actual knot I get rather excited about trying to undo it, even when it's wet which can be a tough challenge, except if it's in sewing thread, those knots need scissors and swearing.

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  3. I remember that song well and owned the album.

    Sometimes the issue of whether or not someone I am encountering is a narcissist comes up for me. I always remember your advice to think about how this person is making me feel. Works very, very well, for me, anyway.

    Good post. πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you πŸ™‚

      Works for me too, that’s why I suggest it as a method. It helps to cut through the confusion and illusion. Listening to ourselves is how we access what we know, and it builds our trust in ourselves.

      I listened to that album non-stop for awhile! My favourite doodle for a long time was an eye of Horus.

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    1. Ha! Thank you πŸ˜‰

      That was one of my favourite songs when I was a teenager. I was actually going to use another song but I couldn’t remember what it was called or who had done it, then Eye in the Sky popped into my head while I was trying to squeeze more information about the other song out of my dopey mind, so I went with it.

      Lately I’ve been revisiting some of my old favourties, and I’ve been intrigued to find many of them have a certain narcissistic theme to them. So many of them are about wanting to get away from an impossible situation. It just goes to show how much we know about our lives even when we’re not sure of what we know or aren’t completely aware of what’s going on inside and outside of us.

      Another one of my favs was Tainted Love by Soft Cell. I also listened to Al Stewart’s Lord Grenville a lot.

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