Q: Am I the Narcissist or is he/she?
A: It’s not as simple as that.
Q: Why isn’t it as simple as that? I want it to be that simple so that I can move on from the conflicts, confusion, cognitive dissonance, discomfort, that question is causing for me, and get on to the next stage where I am certain that I am not the Narcissist and I am even more certain that he/she is the Narcissist. I need to know who the Narcissist is (= please let it be not me) so that I can then pronounce and announce that he/she is a Narcissist.
A: So ask someone else who will give you the simple answer you want and tell you what you want to hear so that you can then go and do what you want to do.
Q: But I am asking you and I want you to tell me what I want to hear, why won’t you tell me what I want to hear – Are you a Narcissist?
A: It’s not as simple as that.
(it only looks like it’s spinning, it’s actually a static image which causes an optical illusion – kind of like when looking at your relationship with a Narcissist)
When I first started blogging about Narcissists:
1 – I was simply using my blog as a sacred space of sorts to tell my story. A story I had kept silent about for many years.
Q: Why had I kept silent about it?
A: For the same reason people keep silent about their personal traumas.
Q: What are those reasons?
A: Tell your personal trauma to someone and see what happens.
excerpt from: Why No One Ever Listens | Neurophilosophy
When I first started sharing my story of being the child of Narcissist parents, and other relationships with Narcissists on my blog (it was a relationship with a narcissistic friend I met online which started the sharing ball rolling for me), I had a peculiar blindspot for someone using social media – I didn’t think anyone would listen, hear me, read my posts, notice me and what I was saying.
Q: Are you stupid?
A: Yes. Stupid is a much needed ability for personal survival when you grow up with Narcissists, and interact with Narcissists on a regular basis. Try being not-stupid around a Narcissist with whom you have to live 24/7, and see where it gets you.
That peculiar blindspot isn’t peculiar for children of Narcissists – you could be standing in the center of a group of people, bleeding to death and screaming your lungs out, and if that group of people is made up of Narcissists, or the very narcissistic, or the Narcissists’ allies, and they won’t notice you.
If they do notice you they’ll either:
1 – Tell you to stop making such a fuss over nothing – Don’t cry, don’t whine, don’t complain, don’t be a victim as you only have yourself to blame. And your crying, whining, complaining, victimhood is extremely annoying to them – You’ve ruined the perfect white carpet by bleeding all over it – How selfish, thoughtless, un-empathic, of you! What’s wrong with you!?!
2 – Make what you’re experiencing, going through, all about them and what they’re experiencing and going through – which is much worse than anything you’ve been through, are going through, or will ever go through – so shut up and listen to them! Look how awesome they are compared to you!
Q: Since you’ve been through the kind of scenario to which I can relate, since you’ve been in relationships with Narcissists, then you should be able to answer my question – Am I the Narcissist or is he/she?
A: It’s not as simple as that. And since you just made my story about you and your story – that should show you how not as simple as that that it is.
excerpt from: What Is Healthy Narcissism? | Psychology Today
(healthy narcissism is otherwise known as self-esteem)
My ‘no one is listening so I can share my story without worrying about how others hear it’ bubble was burst shortly after I published a couple of posts which hit a chord with other people and got shared on other social media formats.
This is one of those posts – Are You a Magnet for Narcissists – it’s had over 200,000 views (which isn’t a lot in internet viewership, but for someone like me that’s WTF!?! territory)
At first it was kind of scary-cool to have so much feedback and attention.
At first I was kind of thinking that I should just delete everything and go back into hiding – typical reaction of a child of Narcissists who sees/has been taught getting any attention from others as being more of a bad thing than a good thing.
I sometimes see the search term – How to piss off a Narcissist – in my blog stats, and it always makes me cynically chuckle in a – if you’re really dealing with a Narcissist you wouldn’t be asking that kind of question because everything about you (and everyone else, and the world) will piss off a Narcissist easily and without any effort needed, and if you’re having a hard time pissing a Narcissist off then maybe they’re not a Narcissist.
That’s the kind of question a Narcissist would type into the search box because everything they’re doing to piss off someone who has gone No Contact with them isn’t working and they’re rather stuck for ideas.
Or the Narcissist you’re dealing with could be a sociopath – you really do not want to piss off a sociopath!
I once had a brief argument with someone online who told me – I don’t care if they’re a Narcissist or Sociopath, they’re all the same to me! – I stopped arguing at that point mainly because they were the sort of person who bullies others but calls everyone else a bully. But for anyone who isn’t like that person and would like to navigate this world in a less blinkered fashion – a Narcissist and a Sociopath, they’re not the same at all even if they have similarities.
For a very brief moment in time it seemed as though I was people’s go-to point for information about relationships with Narcissists. It’s an illusion which comes with being online, social media, and getting a sudden ’15 minutes of fame’ of sorts.
It’s an illusion which can soon become a delusion.
It went to my head a bit and my head fell off for a while and thought it was the whole body.
But then old patterns started to occur:
1 – People made my story about their story.
2 – People made my story about their story and made my figuring out my own story about helping them to figure out their own story.
3 – People made my story about their story and made my figuring out my own story about helping them to figure out their own story but when I tried to share my methods of figuring out my own story with them so they could figure out their own story for themselves they got annoyed with me because they wanted me to do the work they should be doing for themselves for them.
4 – When my own story got more complicated, stressful and difficult for me, because my own personal Narcissists ramped up the difficulty level of the game we were playing in realtime, all of which caused my posts to change tack to track what was going on and journal how I was wrestling with myself and them in an effort to figure things out… People were not reading the newer posts, but were still reading the popular older posts, still making my story about their story, still making their story the focal point upon which I should be focusing because they needed me to figure their things out for them and… I didn’t want to be a narcissist about it did I, this wasn’t my blog, this wasn’t my story, this was all about me paying attention to their story and expecting me to shelve my own story because who cares about my story and me.
[Please note that I do notice when people don’t do this, and appreciate it enormously. I am focusing on those who have done this because this triggers old patterns of behaviour for me, it pushes my buttons and I go into robot mode, and I want to break away from that]
Q: Yes, yes, yes, blah, blah, blah, but… Am I the Narcissist or is he/she?
A: At this point I’d be rather inclined to think that you’re rather narcissistic, however I’m not making the leap to concluding that you’re a Narcissist because that’s a mighty big leap and I don’t know you personally. I also don’t know your he/she except from what you’ve told me about he/she and what you’ve told me depends a lot on what he/she represents for you – including the dreams he/she was supposed to embody and make true for you…
(this is an interesting article, although I would replace the word ‘Western’ with ‘fictional’ or ‘fantasy’ and ask – Are we too reliant on the fictional/fantasy ideal of passion?)
One of the most common questions about Narcissists which is asked is:
Q: Do Narcissists feel/experience/know love?
And one of the most regular answers you’ll get to that question is:
But this doesn’t explain the how and why of a Narcissist’s ability to ‘sell’ love so successfully to those who fall for them – How do they make you – a reasonable, logical, intelligent, independent, etc, person – fall for something which you will later on view as all lies, deceit, fantasy, fiction, designed to deceive you and trap you in a gilded cage which will then squeeze the life out of you?
Q: How does a successful, independent, intelligent, beautiful, sociable, popular, etc (you can fill in the etc – the words before the etc are all descriptors which people have shared with me about themselves which they’ve used to describe the person they were before-Narcissist) person fall for a lying, cheating, no good, evil, etc (you can fill in the etc – the words before this etc are also all descriptors which people have used to describe the Narcissist they fell in love with… but this is how they view the Narcissist after they’ve been disappointed time and time again enough to look things up online and end up with the label – Narcissist – for their usually ex at this point/but sometimes still current-soon-to-be-ex)?
A: This is very complicated and complex to answer. The simplest version of this answer is – Narcissists just like non-narcissists get a lot of their ‘love’ information from the same sources – fictional/fantasy ones. Narcissists do fiction/fantasy better than non-narcissists, and non-narcissists find the skill of Narcissists to embody and sell fictional/fantasy love very attractive because they want to believe in it, they want those kind of dreams to come true for them.
excerpt from: Spoiler Alert | Knowing the Narcissist
(this is a great blog to explore if you’re plagued by questions about your Narcissist, what is he/she thinking, what will he/she do if you do this, what did he/she really want from you, etc – HG Tudor will answer your questions for you, and will nudge you back to focusing on what really matters – you).
One of my popular posts about Narcissists – How To Play The Narcissist’s Game – has a disclaimer added at the top of it.
Why did I feel the need to add that disclaimer?
Because a victim of narcissistic abuse shared that post on a forum for victims of abuse (and explained when they shared the link to my post that they were sharing my post because it had been helpful to them) and got abused by other supposed victims of narcissists on that forum for victims of abuse for sharing my post.
Why were these people pissed off enough to be abusive to someone they knew was a victim of abuse? Because in my post I had said that I was an ‘expert’ on Narcissists, but as far as they were concerned I didn’t have ‘expert’ credentials. They (like so many people who read my posts) missed the humor in what I was saying, because they take themselves and everyone else very seriously, and don’t use humor as a multi-purpose tool to mitigate pain like I do.
I was shocked by how these people treated someone in their community of abuse survivors (although not that shocked – I grew up with Narcissists, and that kind of behaviour is a regular occurrence which you get used to and expect from everyone. This is why I’ve never joined a forum or support group because my idealism about people… didn’t extend that far), and touched by how that person handled the situation – by personally apologising to each person who was pissed off at them for sharing my post.
These people should have logically taken their ire out on me instead of illogically taking it out on that sharer of my post (they knew that person was in an abusive relationship – so… yeah, hurling abuse at them was totally the proper thing to do on a forum for victims of abuse – I’m being highly sarcastic here) since what had pissed them off was my post (of course my post wasn’t what was really pissing them off, but for the sake of keeping things simple…) and the tiny detail of my my saying that I was an ‘expert’ on Narcissists.
If you’re that easily triggered by a nobody like me and some random shit I said on some tiny blog post in the middle of internet nowhere which you totally misunderstood… your personal Narcissist must be fueled to the max just by poking you mildly, and you’ll be attracting narcissistic types left, right, and center for the rest of your life until you get a grip.
Q: Am I the Narcissist or is he/she?
A: If you’re attacking other victims of abuse on forums and support groups for victims abuse… you might be the Narcissist. If other victims of abuse have to apologise to you after you’ve abused them (but that’s okay because you’re more entitled than they are) because you were offended and upset by them sharing something which helped them on their own victim of abuse thread and page… you might be the Narcissist. If someone else who has suffered as you have (but no one has suffered as you have) has to walk on eggshells around you while you cry, whine, complain, about being the victim (but no one else is allowed to cry, whine, complain, be the victim) who has always had to walk on eggshells around your abuser… you might be the Narcissist. If you’re competing in the victim of abuse olympics… you might be the Narcissist.
If you’ve never heard of The Narcissistic Continuum, then perhaps you’re lucky because the issue of Narcissists hasn’t been relevant to you sooner than now. The Narcissistic Continuum is one of the first blogs to discuss Narcissists, and what CZBZ did with it is quite epic. She gathered many resources and shared them freely to anyone who needed it. It’s old school, so you might need to do lots of reading.)
I learned a lot about blogging about Narcissists from seasoned bloggers like CZBZ of The Narcissistic Continuum. She’s been fairly silent on her blog since… since the topic of Narcissists was kind of taken over by Narcissists and narcissistic types who saw dollar (or the equivalent in other countries) signs in the desperately seeking healing eyes of victims of Narcissists.
It’s an age old story.
Where there is demand for supply… entrepreneurs will step in and take over.
Here’s a tip to ignore – If someone is selling you a miracle/magical fictional/fantasy cure for healing and recovering from Narcissistic Abuse and/or being in a relationship with a Narcissist, if it’s too good to be true and requires no personal in depth work from you getting to know yourself and the nitty-gritty of yourself (which may have partly gotten you into the messy relationship with the Narcissist), but instead only requires that you pay money to some shaman-guru-type for a system (which they claim they’ve created all by themselves)… good luck with that. If it’s too good to be true then… it’s probably a lie even if it’s very pretty and you want so much to believe it.
Q: Yeah, whatever, but… Am I the Narcissist or is he/she?
A: There is an old, and probably by now outdated, theory that if you ask the question – Am I a Narcissist? – then that = No, you’re not because Narcissists never ask themselves or others that kind of question.
But Narcissists have access to all the material written by bloggers like me and by real ‘experts’, professionals, about Narcissists which non-narcissists can read about (and Narcissists are more likely to read it more thoroughly than non-narcissists, because they’re studying a subject to perfect their persona), and since ‘Narcissists’ has been a hot, trending, popular topic for (long enough for people to get bored with it and want to move on to something else more hot, trendy and popular) quite a while – Narcissists know that asking – Am I a Narcissist? – is a good way to ‘prove’ that you’re not the Narcissist.
Q: So how do you know if someone asking – Am I a Narcissist? – is a Narcissist or not?
A: You don’t know, but there are certain ‘tells’ about how they are asking it, how you feel when they ask that question and you’re the one they’re asking about it. But these are not ‘scientific’ and thus… the real Narcissists tend to get away while the non-narcissists may end up branded as Narcissist by themselves and others, and by the Narcissist in their lives.
I’m ending this on a quote from The Matrix which I came across while browsing online, and which struck me as an appropriate perspective on both getting caught up in the matrix of Narcissists and narcissistic types, and on ourselves – when we’re ready, we’re ready… when we’re not ready, we’re not ready… to unplug ourselves from our systems, our coping mechanisms, the brainwashing of others which we’ve absorbed, and etc…
To be who we are…
can be the hard option…
and as humans…
we kind of prefer the easy option even if it is ultimately harder than the hard option.
A: Nothing is ever as simple as we’d like for it to be.
Q: So… Am I the Narcissist or is he/she?
A: Maybe we’re all Narcissists.
Maybe no one is but some of us think others are…
It’s over to you…
What say you?
Say it again, maybe I’ll hear it this time…
Say it again and maybe you’ll hear yourself saying it this time.