Many adult children of narcissistic parents have an issue with being overly concerned with hurting the feelings of other people. I wonder if it’s because early on, we learned that we were not to make any waves. Just silently serve our narcissistic mothers when needed, & otherwise we were to blend silently into the background. Speaking up & hurting someone’s feelings would make us more human & less “tool like”, which would make using us wrong. And we all know, narcissists can’t be wrong!
As a grown woman, I still have a problem in this area. I would rather do something I am unwilling to do than say no & potentially hurt someone’s feelings. I would rather ignore my own hurt at someone’s thoughtlessness & tell them that it’s ok rather than speak up about how wrong what they did is, even knowing that they need to realize their actions were unacceptable.
This sort of behavior is unhealthy. Keeping things inside rather than speaking up isn’t good for your physical or mental health at all. High blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease & diabetes can result as well as depression, anxiety, bitterness & self-destructive behaviors.
I’m not saying you have to spew forth every bad thought that comes to mind or even be harsh with your words. However, there are times you need to say something, & there is nothing wrong with that. You need to have a healthy discernment of when to speak up & when to stay quiet, as well as the courage to speak up when necessary & wisdom on what words to use.
I know it sounds difficult (or even impossible), but it can be done. I’m working on improving in this area myself.
Prayer is of the utmost importance. Asking God to help you in this area, giving you what you need to accomplish what must be done. He will do it! Just follow the promptings He places in your heart.
Also, the more you heal, the more dysfunctional you realize this behavior is, & the more willing you are to change it to get away from the dysfunction. That willingness helps to give you courage to make the appropriate changes.
Work on your self esteem. The better you feel about yourself, the more willing you are to make yourself a priority, & to take care of yourself. You will realize you do have the right to have reasonable boundaries, & if someone hurts you either deliberately or accidentally, it’s perfectly fine to speak up to them about their actions.
You also need to know that there is a difference between hurting & harming. Hurting someone is temporary. They’ll get over that pain quickly. Harming however, the damage goes much deeper. Hurting comes from facing painful truths (such as admitting that something you did hurt someone else). Even so, it can make a person learn & grow. Harming, however, causes damage. So, if you tell someone what they did hurt you or set a boundary, there is nothing harming in either of those things.