Tag Archives: envy
When dealing with someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, there is one important point you must never forget- they are extremely envious.
Narcissists want what you have, whether what you have is a loving marriage, a great job, talents or a nice home or car. I think it is because narcissists feel so badly about themselves, that your good thing, whatever it may be, is perceived as a threat. By you looking good, they think it makes them look bad, as if people are constantly comparing them to others. They simply cannot stand someone else looking better than them in any way or doing something they are unable to do.
One example of this that comes to mind is my mother in-law. She’s never driven- always had to rely on others to take her where she needed to go. From day one, my car was always an issue with her, even knowing I love cars, especially mine. She started by accusing me of driving too fast in her neighborhood. I thought it was odd, but slowed down. Not long after my husband & I got together, she suggested we go out to lunch one day. I said fine, let’s figure out when to do this. She said, “You WILL be taking Eric’s car, right?” I was baffled & said “No, I have my own car.” She dropped the subject. A couple of weeks later, she suggested we go out again, & again she asked if I was taking my husband’s car. Again I said no. This happened once more & by then I was getting angry. My car wasn’t good enough for her to ride in?! Someone who doesn’t drive or know the first thing about cars thinks she’s too good for my car?! Anyway, a few years later, my husband & I had both of our cars at his parents’ house. I’d been helping him work on his, then when he didn’t need my help, I replaced a burned out turn signal bulb on my car. When I was alone, my mother in-law took this opportunity to tell me my car was costing too much money- I needed to just get rid of it. (a $.97 bulb that burned out after 8 years was too expensive?) She also made fun of me for “liking to get dirty & greasy” because I had car dirt on me after working on hubby’s car.
At the time, I knew nothing of NPD. I did realize though that all of this nastiness boiled down to one thing- envy. My mother in-law envied the fact that not only was I independent enough to drive, I could even fix my car if need be. She has created this dependence on my father in-law by not driving, under the guise of helplessness, yet at the same time, she envied me for not being so dependent on my husband as she was on hers. Obviously she was trying to hurt me not because there was something wrong with me, but because there is something wrong with her.
Sadly, this is typical narcissistic behavior. Narcissists attack things that mean a lot to you for two reasons- because it causes you a great deal of pain or because of envy. Often, for a combination of both reasons. In the situation with my car, my mother in-law used both reasons, I believe.
When the narcissist in your life viciously criticizes something about you, or even simply tries to instill doubt in you about it, you can bet she envies you. Don’t let her cruel words or actions make you feel bad about whatever it is she’s criticizing about you! In fact, remember that whatever it is, is a good thing. If it wasn’t, she wouldn’t care enough about it to criticize you so viciously. Don’t let her cruelty make you feel badly or as if you’re doing something wrong. It is simply proof that you are doing something very well & that you are blessed! Remembering these things will help you to not be hurt by her verbal abuse.
I’ve been listening to music today.. a CD my father recently gave me of Conway Twitty’s songs from early in his career. I remember hearing some of these songs when I was a little girl riding in my father’s car, which is now my car, & they make me smile.
(A little background- I have my granddad’s 1969 Plymouth Fury. He gave it to my father when his car was stolen in 1975. My father sold it to a guy who owned a local junkyard in 1979. In 2005, I went to a flea market & saw a gorgeous ’69 Fury & fell in love. I assumed it was simply a twin to Granddad’s. Hubby suggested I leave a note on the car saying I’d love to buy it if the owner wanted to sell. He did! After some trouble with our mortgage refinance that had our money tied up briefly, we finally were able to get the car. The first time my father saw it, he said “That’s my car! That’s not a twin!” He soon brought me the VIN from his old records. We compared it to my car’s VIN & found it to be the same car he owned 30 years before!)
Back to my story…
To this day, my mother does NOT believe that is the same car. She also will trash my car at every opportunity. My “favorite” was when she told me, “I would NEVER own a car your granddad owned! HARUMPH!!!” I was too angry at the time to think of it, but I wish I’d thought to remind her that she did own a car Granddad owned- this same Fury, for about 4 years. Also, my father has told me she has told him I’m lying- that isn’t Granddads’s Plymouth. The VIN doesn’t lie- it’s put on at the factory. My father couldn’t have known it to recreate it- it’s somewhat hard to read & he never looked at that before bringing me his old car records to compare his VIN to mine.
So why the nastiness? It’s only a car. Not like my driving this beautiful old critter affects her in any way, right? When I thought about it, I realized how cruel my mother can be about other things. She criticizes my writing viciously, which is one reason I don’t discuss it with her anymore. She has said it’s “trash no one wants to read” & “a waste of time.” When I’ve done editing work, “anyone can do that!” She also viciously insulted my furkids for years, knowing how much I love them. Why? I assume because they are very friendly, loving & well behaved. Her cat? Hides when people come over & is very skittish. (I love her cat, but she is very different than mine)
Narcissists are extremely competitive. They have to be the best, the most talented, the prettiest, the most special. If you are better, more talented, etc. than them in any way, no matter how trivial, you can count on being criticized.
Does this sound familiar to you? Is your narcissistic mother this way too?
At first, I know it can be hard to accept. Normal, loving mothers want what is best for their child, no matter the child’s age. They want her happy, healthy & successful, even if that means the child does better than the mother. Narcissistic mothers, as usual, go completely against the norm, making their behavior hard to accept. Often, their daughters feel they should make their performance “less than” or give up completely in order to please their mothers.
I want to encourage you today, Dear Reader, to enjoy your successes, in spite of your wicked narcissistic mother! Her jealousy is HER problem not yours! Enjoy the blessings & talents God has seen fit to bless you with as much as possible. God wants you to enjoy such things. That is why He gave them to you! You must deserve them, too, otherwise He wouldn’t have seen fit to give them to you.
It seems like human nature to envy where other people are in life. Many people envy their friends’ financial status, work position or even their prayer life. When you’re healing from narcissistic abuse, you also may envy others who seem to be so much farther along in their healing. I’m not immune to it- I feel the same way sometimes.
The problem though is there is no good reason to feel that way. If God wanted you to be in the same position as another person, He’d put you there & nothing could stop Him. God has you where you are in life for a reason.
So what is the reason? Honestly, I don’t know. However, I do know that part of the reason is to bless you & to bless others. I’m not saying God is like a faery godmother, granting wishes. Instead, He uses things that happen in life, good & bad alike, to help you to learn & grow to be more like Jesus. And, He uses you to help others to do the same. Even your mistakes can help others.
I encourage you today, Dear Reader, to stop griping about where you are, & to ask God to help you see the good in it or the good that will come of it.