I realized something a little while ago.
I went to choose some music to listen to while taking a shower. I wanted something different, so I picked Michael Bolton’s “The One Thing” CD. While it played, I realized I hadn’t listened to it in years. In fact, I hadn’t listened to any of his music in years. Admittedly, I usually prefer hard rock over soft, but even so the main reason I hadn’t listened to him years was because my husband dislikes Mr. Bolton’s music.
Did he ever ask me not to listen to those CDs? Only in his presence, which really is just common courtesy anyway. (I don’t care for bluegrass, but my husband does, so he listens to it when I’m not around.) Sooooo…. what the heck?!
I realized quickly that this is typical behavior of someone raised by a narcissist. Narcissistic parents expect their children to morph into whatever pleases them & abandon their own likes, dislikes, dreams, feelings, needs, etc. Apparently I carried the habit well into adulthood & marriage.
I’m not amused. It’s not even about the music- it’s the fact I so readily gave up listening to an artist whose music I enjoy just because my husband doesn’t feel the same way. It makes me mad that this behavior was so ingrained in me, I did it without thinking. My husband & I have been together since 1994. It’s now 2016 & I just realized it. That had to be a very deeply ingrained behavior, to take me so long to figure it out!
Have you done the same, Dear Reader? Have you changed yourself for another person just because you thought it would please that person, even if they didn’t ask you to?
If so, then I urge you today to go back to what you were comfortable with. If you & the other person in the relationship disagree on something, it won’t hurt your relationship! Normal, healthy people respect each others’ differences in personality & taste. They don’t expect someone to change to please them. In fact, they encourage their friends or lovers to be the best person they can be, no matter how similar or different they are. If someone wants you to change to please them, it may be time to reevaluate the relationship. It’s one of the warnings that you are in the presence of a narcissist.
Be the person God created you to be, Dear Reader, or as Shakespeare said, “to thine own self be true.” You will be happy & at peace with yourself. And, those who truly love you will appreciate the real you.