“N” and me!
I had heard of the term ‘narcissistic’ but never really felt its real meaning until recently. I was reading an article and it kind of got me all worked up! Why? Because it resonated with me on an innate level. I remember getting quite emotional and later…much later, when I kind of came to terms with it, I researched more on it and after a lot of self-search, analysis, and reflection I realised something that I hadn’t considered before!
I came to the realisation that I actually had loads of narcissistic people all around me, carefully hidden, all under the radar. It didn’t just start with most of my exes, but it carried on to the pretty much everyday people around me too. People who you would think were supposed to “be there“ for you; well-meaning or looking out for you, but in reality, were manipulators and totally narcissistic!
One only realises the term “narcissistic” after having experienced it personally!
If only I could have recognised the signs, I would have saved myself years of pain, guilt, low self-worth/self-esteem and much more.
So, I decided to journal what I consider as red flags ; little signs that give “them” away. Dare I say, if you do see these signs, and most probably you will – then the next step would probably be trying to work out your denial or maybe even guilt! Unfortunately, you will not be able to ignore the second, third and many more repetitions of this horrific behaviour. And when that does happen, know with surety that you must walk away…I would run actually!
To understand it better, Wikipedia defines it as: “a pervasive pattern of grandiosity”, which is characterized by feelings of entitlement and superiority, arrogant or haughty behaviors, and a generalized lack of empathy and concern for others.
The term originated from Greek mythology, where the young Narcissus fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water.
Over time, there have been many greats like Sigmund Freud that have detailed this disorder. It is a factor that is used in psychology’s trait theory which studies the human personality. Being one of the three dark triadic personality traits (the others being psychopathy and Machiavellianism), it is usually considered a problem in a person’s or group’s relationships with self and others.
“Make no mistake Narcissism is not the same as egocentrism or egoism!”
Are You Affected?
All this would be fine if a person would show these narcissistic traits but that it wouldn’t influence the people that he/she dealt with daily. However, in reality, in order for them to feel superior, they end up manipulating, worse still demeaning or belittling the people around them. And if you were one of their “targets”, then unfortunately you would be made to feel useless, worthless, and guilty for something that may not even be your fault or doing! Thus, it is important to understand; moreover recognise this “narcissistic” behaviour and detach or ignore it as soon as you can! A narcissist will almost never admit to his/her narcissistic traits, unless they have something to gain (i.e. sympathy or attention) from admitting it!
“They lack empathy and are incapable of showing any kind of interest in anyone but themselves!”
Here we go then – let’s look at the “Red Flags” that you should be aware of:
1 – They are the most important person….ever! Narcissists love to talk about themselves and hardly listen to what you have to say. They and what they do will always be more important than you.
2 – Narcissists will gain your trust and try to make you believe that your intuition is wrong. They will make you think/believe you are crazy, or that it’s your fault (gaslighting). I think Narcissism and Gaslighting go hand in hand. Do me a favour and research the term – Gaslighting!
3 – They manipulate, try to control you and control what you say/do.
4 – Narcissists make the rules and you must abide by them. Oh! Did I mention that they themselves are exempt from the rules and will not follow them.
5 – A relationship with a narcissist is very one-sided; they need the attention, praise, admiration whilst making you feel like a failure – a nothing!
6 – They don’t respect your boundaries and try to manipulate you into doing things their way.
7 – Narcissists use criticism and sarcasm…a lot. They might also use a patronizing tone with you.
8 – They are never wrong (as they think they are the best) and will never apologise.
9 – Unfortunately, narcissists never change, but they will try to play you into thinking they have. They will stay away for as long as it takes (ghost you) and attack when you are at your weakest.
10 – They might stalk you and tarnish your reputation. Narcissists will put you down in front of your family and friends (maybe even in the form of a joke). The best way to test this out is to see if they would accept you doing the same thing to them (turning the tables around), and guess what…they would be absolutely furious!
11 – They can get aggressive and create fear around you. They might even give you impossible tasks knowing that you will fail doing it, just to then use it as an excuse to teach you another lesson at how useless you are and how right they were!
12 – Narcissists breathe negativity and love conflict. It is what makes them thrive.
13 – Look at the way a narcissist treats others. If they lie, disrespect, hurt, belittle or are always ready to cause a fight/conflict then you can bet that they will be doing that to you too. They lack loyalty but to themselves!
These are just some of the most common traits but make no mistake there will be many more. Recognise them and trust your intuition, it is always right!
If you are in such a relationship, then you must leave ASAP. More importantly, once you have decided to leave, you must stay away and ignore them.
“Ignoring them and not wasting your precious time and energy on them, kills them! Now is your time to finally heal!”
Remember not to buy into their version of you and stop making excuses for their bad behavior to minimize the hurt it causes you. You will suffer low self-esteem and feel hurt, vulnerable, emotional, useless…but know that it is normal to feel like that. You are strong and you will rebuild yourself and your confidence step by step through self-love, and through believing in yourself more. Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking that a narcissist will change for the better, because they never do.
So take your time, heal yourself, rebuild your life and your circle of friends, talk about it and cry if you have to and maybe consider seeking professional help if you are feeling really low and depressed from the whole experience.
The worst is over, now it’s just you.
Look towards life with a brighter and a more positive you!
An Article by Chriselda B
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