Some time ago, I got a virus via Facebook messenger. I quickly realized it went out to about everyone I have spoken with, whether the person was a friend I spoke with often or someone I spoke with once or twice. Upon realizing that, my heart sank. I have saved quite a few pretty horrible messages that my family sent me in the archived folder on messenger in case I would ever need them to show the police. I never read them, only the first few words that show up as a preview, but I saw enough to know they were horrible, especially the ones sent when my father was dying in 2017. The experience with the virus gave me emotional flashbacks when I thought of potentially dealing with these people again plus when I had to check those saved messages to see if those people had received the virus. Thinking about my family reminded me of some of the terrible things people have said to me since I started being open about the narcissistic abuse I’ve lived through.
Although many things people, mostly my so called family, have said to me was terrible, what they said wasn’t what bothered me the most. Their opinions aren’t important to me. What bothered me most was the complete lack of respect they demonstrated by forcing their opinions on me as if those opinions were the only thing that mattered in the world. My experiences & pain meant nothing to them. All they cared about was being heard.
The same thing happened when I broke my engagement with my now ex husband. People kept telling me how sad & miserable my ex was without me, so I should get back to him. No one seemed to care about anything I wanted to say, including how miserable I was with him.
People have a need to be heard. It is something that seems to be with people from birth. There is nothing wrong with it. There is, however, something very wrong with people whose need to be heard is greater than displaying other people love, compassion & respect. It shows a great deal of selfishness if not outright narcissism in a person who needs their opinions & thoughts to be heard above all else, even when they know they are hurting the person who they are speaking to.
The one silver lining in this is that people who behave this way are showing you a red flag. In fact, that red flag is less like a red flag & more like a giant glowing neon sign that flashes. This behavior clearly screams many things such as, “I think I am more important than you!” “What I have to say is much more important than anything you can think of to say!” “I have zero interest in anything you think or feel!” “I have zero respect for you!”
Sadly the world today is full of people who seem to think their thoughts & opinions are so important they must be shared with anyone & everyone, no matter who gets hurt. Dysfunction & even narcissism are in epidemic proportions. Once you begin to notice this behavior, you are going to be shocked just how many people do this in how many situations. Use this as a learning experience. Remember what this behavior says about a person.
This also may make you appreciate more than ever those people in your life who aren’t this way, those people who listen without talking over you to share their thoughts, & those who truly want to hear what you have to say. If this happens, let them know how grateful you are to have them in your life! They will appreciate the complements more than you know, & your relationship will get even closer.