Tag Archives: behaviors

When Victims Act Like The Narcissists Who Abused Them

There is an odd phenomenon that can happen to people who have survived narcissistic abuse & refuse to face it.  They can develop narcissistic tendencies & behavior.

Thankfully, I don’t think this trait is overly common.  Also I don’t think they all are true narcissists, merely showing some tendencies.  Even so, it is a good idea to be aware of the potential for this behavior in victims of narcissistic abuse.

If you’re a victim of narcissistic abuse & are working on your healing, most likely you can be almost paranoid about your behavior.  You’d rather do about anything rather than treat people as the narcissist treated you.  Even so, it’s a good idea to monitor your behavior.  Pay attention to how you speak to people & also how you treat them.  If you hurt someone, also pay attention to your reaction.  Do you apologize immediately to that person or do you make excuses for what you did?  You know the signs of narcissism because you lived through that horror.  This means you should be able to spot those tendencies in yourself easily & are motivated to make appropriate changes.

Those who haven’t admitted to themselves or anyone that their abuser was a narcissist or even abusive at all for that matter don’t have your advantages.  Not working on their healing, they function from a place of dysfunction.  They’re wounded but don’t know it.  They may see some of their behaviors as abnormal but aren’t sure why they are abnormal.  Or, they may not see there is any problem with their behavior.  They are simply behaving as their parents behaved.  When I was in my early 20’s, I realized I was doing that.  My ex husband called me out on saying that a certain band was awful, just because I didn’t like it.  I’m glad he did!  Me not appreciating their sound doesn’t mean the band wasn’t talented.  It simply meant it wasn’t my taste.  That caused me to consider the way I acted in other areas & realized I was behaving in some ways like my parents.  Even though at the time I knew nothing of narcissism, I still didn’t like my behavior & made changes.

It seems many victims of narcissistic abuse find each other.  If this describes you, please be aware of what I talk about here.

Not all victims are the same.  Some are early in their education about narcissism & healing from narcissistic abuse.  They still are going to show plenty of dysfunctional behavior, but the good news is that they’re open to making changes & learning.  Others may be in a similar place to you, & those are the people you probably will feel the most connected to.

Unfortunately, there are also those who are like I have described here.  Please be very aware of those people, because they can hurt you badly, even though it may be unintentional.  I’ve learned this recently from someone I know.  This person was raised by a very covert narcissistic mother, yet never has admitted that fact.  In fact, this person always defended that awful narcissistic mother vehemently.  For years, this person’s behavior was just fine.  Suddenly however, when this person was speaking, the words said were the exact words that person’s narcissistic mother has said!  It was incredibly unsettling & not to mention hurtful.  I know the person didn’t mean to hurt me, but to witness someone who was always a good person suddenly talk like a narcissist was incredibly hard.  In fact, as I write this, I’m not sure if this person will be in my life much longer.  Intentionally narcissistic or not, narcissistic behaviors aren’t something I can handle anymore.

You, Dear Reader, may experience a similar situation.  I hope not, but it is still possible.  Please remember to protect yourself.

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

Signs Of Unhealthy Behavior In INFJs

Since  I first learned about the Myers Briggs personality test a few years ago, I’ve become fascinated with it, in particular my type (INFJ)  & my husband’s (INTJ).  It’s been very helpful in getting to know us both better.

Recently I learned about some of the signs of an unhealthy INFJ.  I realized I have too many of these qualities!  Since I know some of you who read my work are also INFJs, I thought you might want to learn this information too so you can work on getting healthier like I am.

Unhealthy INFJs excuse toxic behavior.  “He didn’t mean it- he was just tired.”  “She really cares, but isn’t necessarily good with words.”   Sound familiar?  I’ve noticed that I do this mostly when I’m under a great deal of stress.  I think it’s a coping skill- there is so much to deal with, I can’t cope with dealing with one more toxic person, so I excuse the behavior.  Since INFJs can be logical, not only emotional, it’s a good idea to look at  situations logically.  It helps you to see toxicity when it’s there.

Being over the top perfectionistic.  It’s a good thing to do things to the best of your ability.  But, being too much of a perfectionist can steal your joy.  It’s OK to make mistakes sometimes!  Everyone does.  Don’t let your self-esteem be too tied to what you do.  You are more than your accomplishments!

Always putting others’ needs ahead of yours.  It’s great to be selfless, but when other people come before you & your needs constantly, that is unhealthy!  It can lead to resentment, anger & burn out.  It’s ok to say no!  Your needs are just as valid as anyone else’s- treat them accordingly.  Remember to set & enforce healthy boundaries.

Walls are firmly built.  While it’s just smart to protect yourself, an unhealthy INFJ can build walls around themselves that are impossible for anyone to penetrate, even those close to us.  This can happen when we don’t resolve an issue.  An argument with my husband, even a minor one, that wasn’t resolved well can result in me building concrete walls around myself until it is resolved.  Walls also can happen when an INFJ is especially anxious or overworked.  Learn to recognize those walls, & why they’re in place, then deal with what made you build them.

Feeling responsible for everyone else’s feelings.  As INFJs, naturally we want to see other’s happy.  We want to cheer up our best friend when she’s sad or our husband after a bad day at work.  This is a wonderful trait, but when taken to the extreme, it is also extremely unhealthy.  Caring so much for others leaves no room to care for one’s self.  Remember that everyone is responsible for their own feelings.  It isn’t your job to take care of everyone’s emotional needs.

INFJs can be too passive.  Most INFJs are pretty laid back, content with letting others have their way most of the time.  While this isn’t a bad thing, when taken to the extreme, it can lead to the INFJ being taken advantage of.  Remember that it’s OK to ask people for things & to have your own way sometimes.

 

While learning you behave in these unhealthy ways can be discouraging, please don’t be discouraged.  The healthier you become & the more you heal emotionally, the more your behavior will change naturally.  You may not even work on these behaviors specifically, but one day realize you are no longer that way.

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health