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