Strange Gifts – Am I the Narcissist or is He/She?

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.

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excerpt from: The Painful Catch-22 of Caring About a Narcissist | Narcissism Decoded

(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)

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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.

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excerpt from: Why No One Ever Listens | Neurophilosophy

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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.

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excerpt from: What Is Healthy Narcissism? | Psychology Today

(healthy narcissism is otherwise known as self-esteem)

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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 hadΒ 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.

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excerpt from: Working Knowledge: How To Tell The Difference Between A Narcissist And Sociopath At Work | HuffPost

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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…

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excerpt from: THE MYTH OF ROMANCE: Are we too reliant on the Western ideal of passion? | The Mindful World

(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?)

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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:

A: No!

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.

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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).

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One of my popular posts about Narcissists – How To Play The Narcissist’s Game –Β  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.

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excerpt from: Part Two Online Narcissists: A case study called PuppyGate | The Narcissistic Continuum

(for part one – 22 Signs of Online Destructive Narcissists in Forums & Blogging Communities | The Narcissistic Continuum

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.)

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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 askingΒ  – 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.

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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.

or

Maybe no one is but some of us think others are…

or

Maybe…

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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.

18 comments

  1. Since we’re all human beings (well, maybe there’s the odd secret alien πŸ˜‰ ), it becomes a question of degree, I think. We’re all at least a little nuts, a little dumb, a little nice, a little narcissistic … being a person means we take on the whole person complex.

    You have a very busy blog. When I looked at the screenshot of your blog that you had up on one of your posts a few days ago, I think I noticed 160 (?) pending comments in your queue. And you always give thoughtful, considerate answers that require time, effort and emotional investment. That’s a lot of work, a lot of learning. It can be tiring and even exhausting and sometimes you’re dealing with people who aren’t very appreciative.

    You said a while back that you would be taking a break – if you are, try to be good to yourself, as you yourself would say. πŸ™‚

    Like

    • Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

      After I did the series on being a child of N’s I was going to take a time out because I felt knackered, a good kind of knackered, but then I got into a Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s flow. The strange gifts series has really been an intriguing review – my life and its bits and pieces flashed before my eyes and I saw old things from a sort of new perspective. I also got to see a new spin on an old ‘gift’ – I’m rather adept at seeing the positive in the negative. Sometimes I need to not do that, but sometimes I need to make that weirdo ability shine. I am taking a break now but this is due to work.

      Yup, it was 161 pending comments you saw on the screenshot – most of those were pingbacks, if they were all comment-comments I’d probably have a nervous breakdown. I’ve recently closed comments on posts older than a year. While I’m still the me who wrote the earlier posts, I’ve changed a bit thanks to writing those posts, getting feedback, and learning some much needed lessons upon lessons both through the pleasurable way of learning and the not so pleasurable way of learning. That comment I got on the Chiron post made me realise that – I’m done with that kind of scenario and dynamic. I want more of what I have with wonderful people like you – and the majority of the comments which I get these days are with those who are a pleasure to comment-chat with. I love reading the comments and replying to them. I’m learning to enjoy learning the easy and pleasurable way (note to self – please remember that!).

      We do all indeed contain nuts, it’s kind of fun being a human human even when it’s a pain πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you. πŸ™‚ I like comment-chatting with you too – it’s pretty fantastic. πŸ™‚

        I find that writing about narcissism a lot of the time can be so draining. I can get mentally exhausted by it and then I have to do something different for a bit, like photo posts. Then I realise that I’ve been mulling it over in the background and something about narcissism has come up again that’s worth writing about a bit. I admire people who seem to have a faster turnaround (like you) in their thinking. I’ve always been a plodder. πŸ™‚

        Closing the comments on posts older than a year is probably a good thing. This process does change you, how you see things, think about things. You’ve earned learning the easy and pleasureable way. πŸ™‚

        Like

        • You’re always saying that you’re a plodder, but I really don’t get that vibe from you at all. I have a huge ass worn out thesaurus on my desk, and I’m going to use it and look up – plodder.

          1 – dawdler, laggard (makes slow progress, falls behind others), slowcoach, slowpoke, tortoise

          2 – drudge, hack, slogger, toiler, workhorse

          None of those describe you for me. And I know I don’t know-know you, but I find knowing people through the internet, through how they express themselves online, how they use the medium of words, is sometimes a more accurate insight giver (not always, it depends on how it’s done).

          A better descriptive term would be – steadfast. Your ‘plodding’ is ‘perseverance’.

          You know those fabulous photographs you’ve been sharing recently on your blog – your photographs reflect your personality, your character. You’re the trees which stand firm under the weight of heavy snow, enduring the deep freeze, knowing that one day the snow will melt and your branches will lift up again, buds will sprout and delicate leaves will unfurl.

          Writing about narcissism can be draining, but it is also liberating – the weight of writing about it releases us from carrying that burden, the exhaustion is both that of having carried the burden for as far and as long as you did, but also the relief of finally putting it down (in writing) and finally being able to put it to rest and get some much deserved rest. It’s a bit like giving the psyche a colonic – not a pleasant experience but afterwards when you’ve recovered you feel lighter, better. πŸ™‚

          Like

          • Thank you for taking the time to look it up and think it through. πŸ™‚ I like “steadfast” and “perserverance” much better. πŸ™‚ When I think of “plodding” I mean it in the sense of just taking my time. I don’t worry too much about falling behind. But “steadfast” is a better descriptor. I also describe myself as a muller – my brain likes to follow a certain timeline when thinking about things and that’s how it is.

            Thank you for the photo-analogy. πŸ™‚

            Writing about narcissism is both draining and liberating – very much so.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, I don’t want to make this post about me but I’m absolutely making this comment about me, lol. I have a theory that the only way to survive an environment with plenty of narcissists is to raise the bar of your own narcissistic traits, as in ‘protect your Ego/Self’ at all costs. HG Tudor’s hypotesis of the Empathic Supernova (a super empath dealing with a narcissist who purposedly decided not to go no-contact, willingly persuing a war against the narc) presents the Empath as doing this on full mode. Therefore the Empath may be perceived by her/himself and others as a Narcissist, which is not the case, as the Empath does have a Core. Also, it is very unlikely a real Narcissist will spend his/her precious time questioning his/her own behaviour rather than pointing fingers at how others have wronged him/her and how much he/she is entitled to everyone’s good opinion. So the very fact one is wondering whether you are a Narcissist or not is a clue that hints to the opposite direction.
    On the other hand, lol, I was one who found you while googling “How to Piss Off a Narcissist”! I was on the very begining of my journey, while blogs and Psychology Today were my only sources. Now I have a better understanding to picture how awful being a Narc 24/7 is. Imagine feeling entitled to absolute deference, all the time, from everyone and living in a world unable to attend to these undoable needs. Update: now I am focused on forgiving the narcs and forgiving myself for allowing them to harm me. Contrary to their beleifs, it is not all about them!

    Like

    • Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

      Since you’re an empath there’s is no way you’re ever going to truly make anything or anyone all about you πŸ˜‰

      Even one of HG’s Empath Supernovas who has activated their own narcissistic tendencies (which is basically activating healthy boundaries) is still an empath. Have you ever wondered how he writes so insightfully about empaths in a way which empaths can relate to, and why he writes so much about them and in such detail, sharing lots of information which is helpful to empaths.

      An empath who has embraced their own narcissistic side = a healthy human being.

      Ego is an intrinsic part of the human experience – getting rid of ego is an unhealthy ego ambition. Those who hate the ego tend to be controlled and driven by the ego. Trying to ‘get rid of ego’ is the sort of thing a narcissist on a ‘spiritual path’ trip would try to do and promote – once again rejecting their shadow/darkness and projecting/transferring it onto others/elsewhere. Splitting things into bad/good, black/white, dark/light, right/wrong, etc.

      Ego is simply another part of the whole, just as narcissistic tendencies are a part of the whole. Life tends to give us opportunities to experience all sides along our journey to accepting the whole of ourselves. The whole of ourselves shows us the whole of others.

      Narcissists can and do question their own behaviour, and they can at times see their own behaviour clearly, but when they do they reach the limits of their comfort zone, beyond the comfort zone is the terrifying unknown, and the rubber band safety leash which ties them to their mothership wound snaps them back into the wound, all their awareness is wiped, and they begin again like Uncle Finnegan.

      The amount of times I watched my parents reach the line between being stuck in their narcissistic wound comfort zone and stepping out into the unknown, and for a moment I thought – They’re going to step out and over the line this time, they’re taking the leap, they’re going to actually venture where they have never ventured befo… oh, shit, they’ve rewound and now they’re going to press play on the old routine again. We’re starting again from scratch. The drama in three acts begins again. Winter is coming, and it’s going to be as boring as it always is but we’ll all have to pretend this is new, fascinating, an emergency like never before! No one has ever suffered like this since the beginning of human history!

      How To Piss Off a Narcissist is a popular search. I totally get the desire behind the search, narcs are so frustrating, annoying, and just once you’d like to slap them in a way which snaps them out of their routine. But even if you manage to snap them out of it… it’ll last for about five seconds and then the whole rigmarole begins again, only this time they’re the ones searching for How To Piss Off a Narcissist because your slap which snapped them out of it made them decide that you’re a Narcissist. And around we go…

      Being pissed off is the default setting for a narcissist – everything and everyone pisses them off. Underneath that is a depth of misery which is all alone and is desperately seeking company.

      For many narcissists the ‘it’s all about me’ thing is due to one or both of their parents making it all about the narc when they were a baby/child. The baby/child becomes the parent’s focal point and that becomes the narc’s life story – it is all about me because everyone makes it all about me. HG recently wrote a post about the Child Genius TV show which encapsulates that. However at some point, sometimes very early on, the narc realises that ‘it’s all about me’ isn’t really ‘all about me’ at all, it’s all about others – what others need/want from the narc. To get fuel/narc supply the narc must give others what others want from the narc, and the longer they’re in a relationship with someone the more demanding that someone becomes – Why aren’t you who you were during the golden period? Why aren’t you making my dreams come true like you did when we first met? – and the narc resents that more and more and thus becomes more and more destructive, lashing out – You don’t love me, you love who I pretended to be for you so that you would love me! – but it isn’t really about their current relationship, it’s all about ground zero – the person who turned the narc into a narc. The narc is still trying to appease the person who made it ‘all about the narc’ yet it was never about the narc at all – when is it going to truly be all about them! When will they be allowed to be themselves and not who everyone else wants them to be for them!

      In some ways victims of narcs are living out the wound of the narc – the wound has been passed on. But most victims of narcs can move on, heal, make their life about themselves. The narc can’t do that, they’re stuck, forever going around in the circle of – it’s all about me/it’s never about me/when will it be about me.

      Is Knowing the Narcissist really about HG or is it about everyone except HG? He helps loads of victims of narcissists re-focus themselves, re-focus on themselves, stop making it about their narc, and make it about themselves again. The victims get what they need to heal, to let go of their narc and the wounding caused by the narc, and then move on. What about HG?

      The whole narcissist puzzle is complex, complicated an intriguing.

      I recently came across a couple of articles which added some layers to all the already existing layers:

      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ambigamy/201501/why-some-people-maybe-even-us-think-theyre-so-special

      and

      https://www.steadyhealth.com/articles/exploring-hyper-empathy-syndrome

      The more we explore what the events in our lives urge us to explore, the more we find to explore – is it all about us, all about others, or all about all of us individually and collectively?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think something the Universe did for me was to come along and say, ‘you think you have grown? You think you are psychologically healthy? You think you’ve done lots of work, got rid of the depression and the manipulations, lost the control-freakery? Here, have this.’ And she gave me Steve. Sociopaths are a mirror is said a lot of times. When we spend our lives focussed externally, we get helped to see there are still things wrong on the inside.

    Reblogging from ten years ago is a revealing experience. I am struggling not to hate the person I was. So self-centred! So self-obsessed! So delusional! But I have to recgonise she/I was/am a work in progress, we do the best we can with what we have. And we grow, when we finally take on board the lesson.

    Like

    • Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

      Be gentle with your past self, as who she was is a part of who you are now, part of your journey.

      I’ve spent a lifetime being hard on myself, being hard on who I was in the present and hard on who I was in the past – I was taught to be hard on myself by my narcissist parents, and being hard on myself has made me a rather delicious attraction for other narcissists. Being gentler on myself has made me less attractive to narcissists and has attracted healthier people into my life. The healthier people in my life do not like it when I’m hard on myself.

      From the posts I’ve read on your blog, you come across as a very understanding person when it comes to other people and their behaviour. Don’t forget to include yourself in the people to whom you give understanding.

      Some things we do tend to be age-related, part of the rites of passage of that age of our lives. As we get older it becomes easier to be more thoughtful and less controlling in large part because we realise that control is an illusion, nature is wild, and it’s exhausting and we’re more careful with how we use our energy πŸ™‚

      Take good care of yourself!

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      • “Don’t forget to include yourself in the people to whom you give understanding.” That is so wise, thank you! I think I am in perpetual shock at how hurtful I was to others, it’s like a constant, ‘how could you have done that!’ thing. But I will definitely remember to be understanding from now – I am hard on myself – weirdly, less hard on myself now than I was then. I’ve learned to appreciate the Inner Critics, understand that they are trying to protect me in their own way, so they don’t tend to shout so loud nowadays πŸ™‚ did I learn that from your blog? I might have. πŸ™‚

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        • Years ago when I was into New Age kind of books I read something which said that we don’t really learn anything from anyone else, other people just remind us of what we already know but may have forgotten or which may be sleeping inside of us until someone wakes it up for us. I liked that idea. I’m not sure how true it is, but sometimes when I read something I’ve noticed that inside there’s like a bell which rings and all this information just kind of appears, and you have a sort of AHA! moment. It’s like you knew something all along but for some reason you didn’t know that you knew it, and then suddenly you do πŸ™‚

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  4. I was at times confused by this post and troubled. The words “they made my story about their story” troubled me. I feel like what drew me to your posts originally was the pain of my own story.

    I don’t know if I can comment and explain my own opinion without sharing my story, but does that mean I’m making it about me?

    200,000 views is an amazing number to get for an early post. Big kudos for that.

    I like your insight a lot and felt it helped me understand my own journey a lot better. It helped me understand my story. I admit I do see it in relation to my story and the similarities.

    One big difference is that I was never raised by narcissists. My parents were anything but that. I couldn’t imagine a world where people pretend not to see pain and bleeding right before their eyes.

    How did you overcome that I’ll never fully know.

    However, I did witness that behavior you described in college and in my workplace. I realize now there are so many people who enable narcissists by turning a blind eye to the abuse. They stand to the side, watch, and say nothing at all. (Or they excuse it or say it’s all in your head and you’re just being sensitive).

    Unfortunately, as you said, narcissists are always studying and thinking about these things. If narcissim is bad, the real narcissists will convince you that they aren’t the culprit, you are.

    Recently, in my own dealings, the narcissist I’ve mentioned in past posts here, briefly came back online to brag how happy and perfect your life and marriage were. I remember how important it was to her that her “enemies” believe she had won and that she had “out-happied” them.

    It was like a war and she had to win it at all costs. On one hand she wanted constant sympathy for her depression. If ever called out for bad behavior, she immediately fell back on tears and depression and “please don’t be mean!”.

    But then when she wanted envy, she pushed all the right buttons on how happy and perfect her life and love story were.

    I noticed she unblocked me from her social media. I’m not sure why, but perhaps she wanted me to see? I took the chance to block her on everything.

    Sorry for the long post.

    I don’t think I was ever so interested in pissing her off, as much as understanding why she hurt me and why I let myself be hurt by her. Why couldn’t I see the red flags for what they were?

    Thanks for all your help in being a part of that and helping me close this chapter on my story.

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    • Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

      What I was doing in this post was trying to get more perspective an old pattern of mine, a mistake which I make which then gets me trapped on a particular merry-go-round ride. There’s always a conversation behind the words in the post which I’m having with myself, writing a post helps me to flesh out what’s bothering me (what’s confusing me and/or makign me uncomfortable) about myself and figure out how to untie the personal knots. What I was discussing was more about my own behaviour rather than that of others, but to see my own behaviour I need to see what it is in the behaviour of others (or my perception of their behaviour) which ties in to my behaviour. I was taking a closer look at how I react, what triggers that reaction, and why. Basically I was asking myself – Where’s my blindspot in this type of scenario, and what’s the lie I’m telling myself which is making that a blindspot for me.

      The latter question, and the process, is similar to you asking yourself – “Why couldn’t I see the red flags for what they were?” – and – “understanding why she hurt me and why I let myself be hurt by her”

      I was taught from an early age to push myself aside and give centre stage to other people. Over and over again it was drummed into me that my story wasn’t mine, that my stuff wasn’t mine and if someone else wanted what I had then I had to give it to them and if what they wanted was for me to make myself all about them then I had to do that. It was drummed into me that my problems were nothing compared to others, that if someone else had a problem that was all that mattered but if I had a problem it didn’t matter. This was repeatedly taught to me in so many ways. Sometimes I would be given someone else’s problem to solve for them – that was sort of the whole basis for my being born. I was supposed to solve my parents’ relationship problems, but instead my birth made everything worse, and I was not allowed to forget that my very existence was a problem, a burden, for my parents. That led to me trying to be less of a burden/problem for others by making my life about making things better for others – which is a recipe for disaster, as if you ignore yourself and only focus on others, your self eventually becomes a problem which can no longer be ignored.

      There is a significant difference between making someone else’s story all about you and your story, and sharing your story because you relate to someone else’s story.

      The way you shared yourself and your story with me is the healthy way of relating with and to someone else and their story. You didn’t make my story all about your story at all, and you know that. We comment-chatted and you figured out your own story for yourself, and were able to move on in a natural way because you found what you were seeking and you gave yourself what you needed – understanding. That’s the healthy self-healing process working naturally and normally.

      It’s always a bit more complex and complicated when a narcissist is involved in the scenario because boundaries get blurred and stories get enmeshed, so it can be a slower process of self-recovery. It’s important to notice the shifts forward, where you’ve let go and gently moved on, where you’re no longer focused on the narcissist and have refocused back onto yourself. It’s also worth keeping an eye out on the places where you may still be stuck, still returning to the narcissist, but these aren’t matters to be alarmed about, it’s simply that real healing is multi-layered, and takes time. Sometimes we along the path of our own healing we return to have another look at our narcissist so that we can see the difference in ourselves by how differently we now relate to them and their story. It is often interesting to notice that they’re still stuck in the same cyclical rut.

      It’s a pleasure to have internet-met you, and I enjoy following your blog and hearing you share your story. You’re a lovely human being and who you are shines πŸ™‚

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      • That was a beautiful thing to say. It brightened my day a lot to hear it. I was drawn to your blog because of the authenticity of your experience and I could tell you had suffered real pain.

        Nowadays I see much clearer before. I think I always saw narcissists for what they are, and I let them into my life out of pity. I wanted to help them and instead they used that to try and destroy me.

        I think my greatest weakness is a part of me wants to be other’s hero, their white knight. All those bad experiences, including that narcissist I referenced, I knew right away something was off. They would gush and gush about their pain but details were missing. Pieces of their stories never made sense and the emotions felt empty. It felt like they were telling a story designed to manipulate my emotions instead of a story to share real pain.

        They were storytellers who didn’t love their characters, but thought of those characters as useful pawns to trick the readers. They even wrote themselves into these stories as they “hero/victim” of nefarious forces.

        I recognized the fakeness from the start, but I ignored it because they what I wanted to hear like “you’re my best friend” and “I’ve never told anyone these things before”.

        When i read your blog, it felt authentic. It wasn’t a story designed to make me cry and feel sorry for you, but a philosophy forged from what you suffered.

        I really enjoy reading your thoughts and opinions for that reason. I don’t feel like you’re trying to dupe me.

        I know you’re not a narcissist. They always make their stories about themselves. They don’t speak of their “pain” in the third person or as a remote thing like you do. It always just “me,me, oh woest me!”

        Thank for sharing πŸ™‚

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  5. Very rarely, I can be the narcissist because if I am worn out from being around a narcissist, it’s as if I’m using their energy that was drawn out of them and using it onto the next person who may cross my path that day. And I realize it and feel so bad but by the next day (after my reset button has been pushed) I’m back to be my opened ear self but I distance myself from that narcissist because I didn’t like what I did to the next person who came across me that day before. A narc energy is easy to absorb especially when you’re empathic, ugh!

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    • Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

      It’s natural to have our moments of being narcissistic, as narcissism in both its positive and negative forms is part of being human – the difference comes with what we do with those narcissistic moments afterwards.

      Most people understand that you might snap at them when you’re stressed even if they totally don’t deserve it, as most people do that, especially if you’ve had a rough day and have had to be in the company of an a-hole. And most people tend to acknowledge they did that and apologise, make amends, afterwards. Being like that tends to let others know we’re a messy human just as they are, it can be a great ice-breaker and getting to know people better experience. It’s a friendly equaliser.

      And it can be a fun – remember when I was a complete jerk to you – anecdote you tell later on when you’ve grown closer and can laugh at all the jerk moments we have in life, from the warmth and comfort of a non-jerk moment. There are a lot of non-jerk moments to enjoy too, but they don’t make as funny as story as the jerk moments do.

      We learn a lot from our jerk moments πŸ˜‰

      And if you’re an empath, there’s a journey there through the land of being easily influenced by the energy of others, becoming them for a while, and eventually learning how to separate yourself and create healthy boundaries which benefit you and others. Narc energy is easy to absorb because it taps into our blindspots, our shadow, our dark desires, frustrations, etc… it also brings those to our attention. Once you get to know how that energy is absorbed, then it becomes easier to not absorb it because it no longer works in mysterious ways.

      We live, we learn, we make a mess and it’s up to us to decide whether that mess is beautiful or ugly πŸ˜€

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