Looking Through The Eyes Of A Narcissist

Recently I’ve realized something surprisingly helpful in helping me cope with the abuse I’ve experienced at the hands of my narcissistic parents.  Seeing things through their eyes.  Granted, that isn’t always an easy things to do since I’m not a narcissist, but it can be oddly helpful.

 

Seeing things through their eyes has shown me the incredible dysfunction they live with, & how so much of their abuse wasn’t personal (although it sure felt that way), but was solely about them.  I was simply collateral damage, an acceptable loss to them.

 

For example, my mother has criticized my looks as far back as I can remember.  Compared her features to mine, telling me how much more attractive hers were than mine.  Naturally, I grew up feeling like the ugliest person on the planet.  Eventually, I looked at this situation through my mother’s eyes.  My mother said when I was born, she figured I’d look like her- brown hair & eyes.  I’m a blue eyed blonde, like the Baileys- my father’s family.  In fact, I look a lot like my grandmother, who, mind you, was a beauty in her youth.  My mother hates all of her in-laws, so if you look at this situation through her narcissistic eyes, I probably betrayed her.  I disappointed her by being born not looking like her, & to boot, looking like people she hates.  Never mind I had zero control over this, somehow it still comes back to her, & I didn’t do as she wanted.  I had to pay.  Plus, she probably thought I was prettier than her, so again, I had to pay.  She had to tear me down so I didn’t think of myself as pretty.  Bonus- tearing me down built her up at the same time.

 

Realizing these things helped me to stop taking her scathing criticisms so personally.  What she said wasn’t true- it was simply a means to make herself feel better & to nurse the “wound” I gave her by being born differently than she wanted me to be.  Granted, I’m still trying to believe I’m pretty, but at least I know now what she said is all lies & I’m not some hideous monster like she made me feel like.  (Feeling pretty probably will take a long time.  Baby steps..)

 

See what I mean?  Seeing things through her eyes helped me to see the truth in the situation, & stop believing her hurtful lies.  It can help you as well, & let’s face facts- anyone who has experienced narcissistic abuse needs any help they can get to heal the damage it’s caused.

 

I would like to encourage you today to try this, Dear Reader.  Look at a painful situation through the narcissist’s eyes.  I guarantee you will see that you did not deserve what was done to you, that it was more about the narcissist than you & that the narcissist lied to you  simply to benefit herself.  If you’re having some trouble, ask God to help you if this is something He wants you to do.

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6 Comments

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Narcissism

6 responses to “Looking Through The Eyes Of A Narcissist

  1. Angela

    My hair color is just like my mother’s was but a shade darker. She insisted that hers was better because it was fairer! My father wasn’t around when I was growing up and it didn’t occur to me until I was much older and looking at his photo, how much I looked like him. Whilst not commenting on my looks, my mother used to tell me that I was just like him in nature, complicated and unpredictable and also that I had a vivid imagination. (How dare I have a mind of my own!) As a teenager I had to buy all my own clothes with the little money I could earn and she would say “I am not going out with you dressed like that.” I felt I got my own back when she was older and I took her shopping and to her medical appointments because she had no choice but to go out with me “dressed like that.” Also my mother’s neighbours would compliment me on my hair and she would ask me “I haven’t gone gray, have I?” “No, Mother,” I’d say, “It’s a lovely sandy color.”

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    • Wow… are our mothers sisters?! Isn’t it amazing how a mother can put her own daughter down so cruelly?

      Your story of your mother’s neighbors complementing you reminded me of something. Once at a store with my parents, they saw someone they knew. My mother was using a wheelchair (she says she has a bad back) & my father pushing it, mind you. Anyway my mother called the lady’s name. Her response? “I didn’t even see you there.. I was busy thinking what pretty hair that lady has & here it’s your daughter! You have such pretty hair!” the entire rest of the visit, my mother was obviously extremely mad at me. Nasty, snarky comments to punish me for that lady giving me a complement.

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      • Angela

        Sometimes my mother would proudly tell me that someone had said something complimentary about me, such as “Angela’s lovely.” or “Angela’s a good mother.” but then she would say “I don’t know why.” So it wasn’t as bad as the nasty remarks you had but a put down none the less!

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        • Ouch! What a nasty, hurtful thing for her to say! I’m sorry! That really is hateful! Not so sure that is any better than what my mother does- that’s just mean & hateful! Like, “Here… enjoy this complement, then let me take it away from you.”

          My mother has actually done similar. Once, we ran into a lady she’s known forever. In the short conversation the lady said I was pretty 4 times. She’s very nice & free with complements, unlike my mother. After she left, my mother told me a couple of times how “slow” & “not very smart” this lady is. Crazy… narcissists just can’t handle anyone getting any praise other than them, so they’ll do their best to squelch any good feelings the person getting the complements has just to make themselves feel better.

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  2. Angela

    I got the feeling that my mother was enjoying the complements as a reflection on her but she didn’t want me to. However, there are other people around whose opinions we can trust and respect. I read somewhere that it’s a good idea to write down all the complements you receive. I feel that this narcissistic behavior is a reminder that a smile and kind words go a long way too and it’s good to remember to thank and complement others.

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    • That sounds very right- your mother enjoying the complements reflection on her but not wanting you to enjoy them. Being the daughter of a narcissist always is a weird fine line- be pretty so it looks good for mom, but not too pretty. Be smart, but not smarter than her.

      That is a good idea. Not sure if I’ve mentioned it in this blog or not, but I keep a Word document full of the good things people have said about how my writing has helped them. It’s one thing that helps me to keep going when writing about this stuff gets too much. Writing down any complement would no doubt have a similar, edifying effect. It’s a great idea!

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