The Big Nope: Narcissists during Christmas and New Year

Every year it seems to get harder and more complex to wish people well at this time of year.

What is the politically correct term to use that will not offend, upset, deeply hurt one person or an entire social group (or an entire social group through one person), cause a debate about some issue which is important but… all you wanted to do was wish them well not discuss what can and can’t be said and how you said the wrong thing (and now you must pay for it with a lengthy angry lecture which you can’t escape because any attempt to do so will get even more insults hurled at you and your name, your character, your identity, will be mud).

It’s a bit like telling someone you love them via text and they reply by pointing out a typo you made or getting annoyed because if you loved them you’d know they hate it when you say I luv u.

You’re supposed to wish people well at this time of year, if you don’t they’ll probably decide that you’re a grinch, a scrooge, that there’s something wrong with you, or that you are a hidden enemy who obviously doesn’t like them as much as you usually pretend that you do – why aren’t you keeping up the pretense especially at this time of year when everyone is being super nice to those they hate!?

This time of year can be a nightmare for a number of reasons, we’re being bombarded with messages (an onslaught which started several months earlier) of who we should be and what we should be doing, saying, giving… and frankly most of those make us feel bad one way or another about ourselves, others, Christmas, New Year, home, family, life, etc, so dealing with the right thing to say on a card, online, in person, is just adding gunpowder to that fire over which chestnuts are being roasted into inedible little black coals (which is all you’re getting for Xmas this year as you’ve been a bad [insert correct gender term here]) which you’ll be expected to eat with a smile on your face thanking the person who is forcing you to eat them with a smile on your face who probably won’t save you when you choke on it.

It really makes you wish you could opt out, get one of those Nope cards below, for the entire season.

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nope-card

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Dealing with society and its constantly changing, contradictory, confused, often hypocritical, self-serving, self-righteous, mixed messages of political correctness and other rules and regulations is difficult enough for the rest of the year, but in December it gets insanely challenging… perhaps because you’re exhausted or because everyone seems to get more sensitive (perhaps because they’re exhausted).

The thing about everything I’ve said up to now is… it comes and goes, and I’ve exaggerated it a bit. Stress tends to do that particularly to the areas where we have already existing tension, where we’re already bent out of shape. The reality is that one or two out of ten people you meet and greet with Merry Christmas may get all huffy and puffy about it, but most people won’t. They get it, you’re wishing them well using language familiar to you. Even if it offends them they’ll most likely brush it off, they don’t need this extra problem either.

The reason this part of social interaction stands out for me is because I grew up with narcissists and… that is politically correct hell gone madder than mad. Everything you say and do is under the microscope and found to be diseased, infected, in need of harsh invasive treatment to stop the spread of it.

That is the norm during all seasons under the rule of a narcissist. You get used to it while never getting used to it. Your wounds develop scarring which protects you to a degree as the skin is harder, tougher, doesn’t bleed as easily when stabbed or cut again and again. However certain areas will always be tender, underneath, hidden… you bleed internally preferring this to bleeding externally which makes the sharks frenzied in their feeding.

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married-to-a-narcissist-in-the-net

excerpt from In The Net! – Emotional Labour and the Seasonal Narcissist, Part I

an excellent post about being married to a narcissist and spending this time of year receiving the kind of gifts which narcissists give written by the very insightful Lynette d’Arty-Cross

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I remember as a child fantasising about the day I would be old enough to leave narc country and venture into that world beyond which was free of narcissists.

I know, I was naive…

but escaping into naivety is a coping mechanism (which serves various purposes).

I imagined being welcomed with open arms, finally accepted as I was, able to heal at last, speak without fear, act without flinching, hesitation, regret, encouraged to grow and develop into a member of a community who offered a home and place for everyone, where everyone felt useful, appreciated, and… that bubble burst and when it did I fell into an abyss, spiraling and burrowing deep into darkness.

Society can feel like one big narcissist, one big narcissist giving you one big nope about who you are, what you say, what you do, what you don’t say, what you don’t do, how you appear, how you don’t appear, how you think, how you don’t think, how you feel, how you don’t feel, everything about you is all wrong, you’re not good enough, fix it, you’ve done it all wrong, you’re a failure, a big nope…

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nope-rating

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… especially to those who’ve been exposed to narcissists, grew up with narcissists, got shown the world through the eyes of the narcissist… terribly, horrible, frighteningly, mean and nasty – build walls, huge walls, barricade yourself in, reject everyone, none shall pass… except for special people, capture them and put them in the tower with the other treasures amassed and hoarded, for their own protection.

Trust no one, not yourself, and especially not the narcissist. They warned you to trust no one and they meant no one – if you trust them and they screw you over then you only have yourself to blame.

Control everyone and everything. Monitor your environment with paranoid precision. If it looks bad it is bad. If it looks good then it must be good, but better hit it with a barrage of test firing to make sure.

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer, because your enemies are more reliable than your friends… and frankly they’re more fun to be around because human chess is only enjoyable when you’re up against a worthy opponent. Those who hate you love you more than those who love you. You’re everything to them! They’re obsessed with you, their every thought and feeling is all about you, they’re passionate in their hate for you, they are killing themselves with it, dying for you and hurting everyone around them with the poison coursing through their veins – thus they must love you more than those who say they do.

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narcissistic-inspirational-poster

Inspirational poster for narcissists

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Last night I watched a film which wasn’t about Christmas or New Year, but it could have been.

It wasn’t about narcissists, but it definitely was.

A group of friends reunite after several years for a dinner party.

The hosts had just returned from self-imposed exile at a retreat for the wounded by life, and there, thanks to a guru who had found the secret of life, they had discovered food with which to fill the gaping and hungry hole within them. They returned from the wilds refreshed, renewed, with a fervor to share their mindful awakening with all those lost souls they’d left behind. They gathered the friends they had unceremoniously dumped when they had suddenly disappeared and to whom they had given the silent treatment, in their home – a home which had experienced a great tragedy and had recently been refurbished, adding pretty bars to all windows.

After each guest entered, the doors were locked behind them, not to stop them from leaving but to keep them safe inside.

Two new members had been added to the group. Wine was poured. Issues were kept at bay while everyone pretended to be fine, happy, making nice… occasionally something would erupt only to be quelled as everyone wanted to keep things calm.

Tension and trouble rumbled like a storm in the distance… counting to see if it was getting closer or further away. Would things end in tears, blows or hugs and kisses…

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You don’t need to watch the film, the trailer itself is enough – sums up what Christmas and New Year is like in a household ruled by a narcissist. Pretty much sums up what it’s like to be in a relationship all year round with a narcissist. But Holidays… well they’re a bit more stressful, tense, pressurised for a narcissist. Their social persona, public image, has to perform harder for longer, and there’s more competition, more boxes to tick, with rewards for being good shared with others – and narcissists do not like to share what they view as belonging to them. They do however like to share their misery… it loves company! It doesn’t want to be alone, please don’t let it be lonely at such a special time of year…