Can being with a Narcissist turn you into a Narcissist?

Can being with a Narcissist turn you into a Narcissist?

This question is one I found in the search term stats of my blog along with other queries about Narcissists, such as – Why are children of Narcissists afraid of becoming Narcissists (because they don’t want to do to others what was done to them, they don’t want to become the abusers they grew up with), How to make a Narcissist obsessed with you (be yourself – this is an infinite mystery to a Narcissist), How to get a Narcissist back (look pleased that they’ve gone, be too happy without them in your life), How to get back at a Narcissist (get on with your life as though they never existed), How to get away from a Narcissist (build a spaceship and move to another planet), and How to outwit a Narcissist (rewrite the rules of the game). Plus many more…

one thing is clear in all the confusion which Narcissists create and that is that Narcissists have managed to make themselves the centre of our attention one way or another. This is good news for them as being the focal point of others is a goal for them, but what kind of news is it for others. Is placing them at the focal point of our attention good for us, is it serving a purpose which is beneficial for us… or is it taking our attention away from more important matters, is it making us neglect ourselves and what happens to us when that happens?

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billions-tv-show-quotes

quote from Billions, the TV show

a show worth watching if you want to know what happens when Narcissists and Sociopaths are in charge of reality and others buy into the reality those kind of people create

The myth is indeed so romantic… which is why they keep selling it and we keep buying into it

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Is having a close encounter of the Narcissist kind good or bad for us?

There isn’t a one size fits all answer to that – it’s up to each individual to figure out what answer fits their shape, form and experience… but to do that you, the individual, have to know what your shape, form and experience actually is – and this is the toughest part of the challenge, especially if a Narcissist is involved in the equation.

One of the most important skills to develop when dealing with a Narcissist and matters pertaining to Narcissists is – Critical Thinking.

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critical-thinking

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Critical Thinking is not thinking critically… as in being a nitpicker, perfectionist, disappointed idealist whose high expectations were not met, flaw-finding, fault pointing out, telling others what they’re doing wrong according to you, or sharing your sharply cutting opinion with someone else because you’re being radically honest or it’s funny (humour these days seems to be a weapon of choice for many).

Thinking critically is something Narcissists do all the time, they excel at it (so don’t try to compete with them in the criticising olympics), it gives them mini mental orgasms when they do it, it makes them feel superior, inflates their ego, boosts their self-righteous indignation, props up their rickety self-esteem, solidifies their entitlement issues, reminds them why they’re better than the rest, why they deserve more than others, and many other things…

thinking critically and sharing their critical thoughts with others is one of many tactics which Narcissists use, both consciously and instinctively, to disable the critical thinking of others.

Your Critical Thinking will be one of the first things to go or get switched off the moment you get involved with a Narcissist. They’ll have you running around like a chicken without a head or a dog chasing its tail in no time, all they have to do is press your buttons, either the pleasure ones (tapping into your dreams, your magical thinking) or the pain ones (hitting you where it hurts and you can’t think clearly when you’re hurting like that), and off you go, going around in circles, digging a deep rut for yourself.

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critical-thinking-when-it-comes-to-liars

excerpt from Talking Philosophy: Trump and Credibility by Mike LaBossiere

Very interesting perspective on an issue and persona which is capturing the attention of many (particularly by pressing many people’s buttons).

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Can being with a Narcissist turn you into a Narcissist?

Can being with a scientist turn you into a scientist?

Can being with a lumberjack turn you into a lumberjack?

Can being with a plumber turn you into a plumber?

Can being with a smoker turn you into a smoker?

Can being with a sad person turn you into a sad person?

Can being with a happy person turn you into a happy person?

Can being with yourself turn you into yourself?

Okay, that last question was… not like the others… I just threw that in there because it popped into my head – why did it pop into my head? Was it perhaps to stop me from keeping on going with what I was doing.

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critical-thinker

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You can see what I was doing and probably predict where I was going with it… so what was I doing and where was I going with it? And how is this relevant to – Can being with a Narcissist turn you into a Narcissist?

While being around someone with a certain skill set, talent, tendency, character, persona, etc, can influence you to a certain degree – maybe bring out latent abilities which you already have, teach you new things which you didn’t have…

you might be happier around happy people and sadder around sad ones…

you might become more scientific around scientist, more dreamy around dreamers, more thinky around thinkers, more sweary around swearers, more honest around… who are you comfortable being honest with?, and more of a liar around liars…

you might end up becoming more posh around posh people, more dramatic around drama queens, more a speaker of Shakespeare around thespians of the bard…

or whatever…

but these influences and changes are superficial, part of social mimicry, a way we learn, interact, and experience… for them to go deeper and change who we are, they have to tap into something within us which is already there.

And while everyone has narcissistic tendencies because narcissism is a natural and normal phase of human development (these natural and normal narcissistic tendencies are now defined as ‘healthy narcissism’), thus being around a Narcissist will bring out your own narcissism and bring your narcissistic tendencies to the fore (and these may become ‘unhealthy’ due to the influence, exposure to, and close proximity of a Narcissist), but if you weren’t a Narcissist before you met your Narcissist, you won’t become one…

you will however reflect certain aspects of them as they will reflect certain aspects of you (the latter is something which will occur with a Narcissist, their ability to absorb the personality traits and behaviours of those with whom they are with is rather shocking and weird, they ‘become you’ while with you and may continue to ‘be you’ even once they’ve discarded the relationship – the way you are may be what attracted them to you in the first place, they want to be who you are and so they attached themselves to the source of being that way, absorbed your way of being and became it. It’ll last as long as they can hold it in place or until they find someone else they want to be who is different from you… they don’t have a fixed self, but they can fix that with someone else’s fixed self).

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that-shit-you-cant-teach

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If you’re asking this question – Can being with a Narcissist turn you into a Narcissist? – or a question of similar ilk, ask yourself why you’re asking it and apply Critical Thinking to it, while avoiding thinking critically of yourself.

You may have noticed changes in yourself which have unsettled you… pause and take a time out to assess what is really going on, what it means, and if it requires a solution or if perhaps…

sometimes in life we go through experiences which change the landscape of our life and of ourselves…

which spur us to awaken dormant parts of ourselves so we can get to know ourselves better, become more who we are naturally…

Narcissists use us as mirrors for who they are, sometimes they become a mirror for us about who we are… but remember the image we see in the mirror will always be distorted, back-to-front…

Look, think about it, question what you see… and see beyond it.

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stimulus-and-response-viktor-frankl

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10 thoughts on “Can being with a Narcissist turn you into a Narcissist?

  1. What I noticed while with the narcissist was the constant pressure from him to change..if I didnt mirror him I was wrong. I also have to watch this tendency in myself at times if others have differing opinions…trying to turn yourself into someone else never works and in the end they disrespect you anyway being with a narcissist taught me I had a lot of issues with self doubt and poor boundaries. And maybe we attract them because we need to develop some healthy narcissism.

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        1. It’s a great opportunity to catch yourself doing or having done what you’ve judged in another because it gives insight into the behaviour, shows you how someone can be the way that they are because you can observe the process within yourself, see how it works from the inside out. Our own narcissistic moments, traits and behaviours can help us to understand those of others, and understanding releases us from being stuck in judgment wondering how someone could be a certain way or do a certain thing.

          While it’s not the most comfortable or pleasant experience to find that we’ve been narcissistic, it’s a sobering balance and it gives us food for thought. What we do after we’ve discovered evidence of our own narcissistic tendencies is the difference between narcissists and non-narcissists πŸ™‚

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          1. Yes its work to bring in some positive narcissism because in some way we may have learned that asserting ourselves directly was problematic so we could then perhaps become an inverted narcissist which is more the kind of narcissism I have identified in myself in past years.
            I am noticing how my mother cuts off contact when I try to have an honest confrontation. I get the silent treatment for trying to raise something she has done which is difficult. But I don’t think she has any awareness of the effect. She seems to prefer to stand behind the defences. I guess the work is to disidentify from that and not take it personally. I still get frightened asserting myself at times out of fear of being hurtful or being abandoned. I would prefer to be able to me more direct and honest, but its not always easy.

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            1. Not taking things personally is a practice worth doing particularly if you have a history which involves narcissists, and if you still have to relate to narcissists.

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  2. It’s been interesting, as you have pointed out before, watching people be in a forced relationship with a narcissist on a national/international level. The mental gymnastics I see is very familiar, as is watching people try to apply logic to this person. M has been fairly good at understanding a lot of it as he has listened to me describe my ex-narcissist, but he now gets the experience of it on a more visceral level.

    But to answer your question, yes. At least temporarily. I remember with distaste my realisation that I had in some ways acted like a narcissist in order to pry one from my life. There’s also that human tendency to start acting like the people you hang out with – critical thinking jumps off a cliff. Are more people behaving like DT because he’s given them permission to? Yes. Some of it has even leaked over the border.

    I learned a lot from having been married to a narcissist. And partly because of him, I have my M. But it’s a mixed bag – certainly nothing to count on.

    Good post. πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you πŸ™‚

      That’s the one of the things about narcissists, they give you an opportunity to be a self you’ve never been and perhaps aren’t at all but maybe you’ve wondered what it would be like to be that way, be like that, and now you get the chance to be it and find out in real time whether this is a better or worse you than the one that you are. They invite you to a masked ball where anything goes and at first it’s liberating but then you realise that a place with no rules where everyone is wearing masks isn’t as free as it seemed.

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      1. Yes. I remember figuring that out when I was about 8 or so. I didn’t want to have any rules (and the rules at my house were weird and malleable) but the light bulb went on while I was in school one day in a way where I really got it as opposed to just recognising it. I love it when things connect like that – it doesn’t happen often enough, and I also sometimes forget those precious nuggets.

        It’s definitely not as freeing as one initially thinks, and the mask-wearing is creepy.
        Great description of the narcissistic dance. πŸ™‚

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