Tag Archives: friend
Many of us who have been raised by narcissistic parents seem to end up with many other narcissists in our lives. We often end up romantically involved with them or friends with them. Like many others, I have experienced both, mostly narcissistic friends. I’ve also found precious little information available about narcissistic friendships, so I decided to tackle the topic myself.
People who come on too strong when first meeting you can be narcissists. That new friend who you just met yet who wants to spend lots of time with you or claims you’re their best friend may be a narcissist. Some folks who act in this way are simply insecure, but even so, you should be aware that there is a possible a sign of narcissism.
Friends who talk down to you are often narcissists. Narcissists seem to think they are superior to their victims, & don’t mind showing it. They act smug & talk to victims as if they are much less intelligent than the narcissist.
Your friend who can’t be bothered with your problems is probably a narcissist. Remember, narcissists all lack empathy. If you tell your friend you have a problem & they act bored, act as if they can’t be bothered, trivialize your problem or change the subject, these are all red flags of a lack of empathy.
If your friendship is one sided, that’s a big red flag of narcissism. A good friendship is balanced. Sure, sometimes your friend will need more from you than usual, but there are also times you will need more from your friend than usual. It balances out. When the bulk of your friendship is your friend taking from you while giving nothing in return, chances are your friend is a narcissist.
Narcissists expect their friends to be available to them 24/7, & believe there are no excuses for not being available. Narcissistic friends have no problems calling at 11:00 at night even knowing you need to be up for work at 5 a.m. If you don’t take their call, they say you’re a terrible friend, accuse you of not caring & more. If they need a ride somewhere, that is what you are for, to provide it. In fact, if they need anything, you are supposed to meet that need.
If your friend talks non stop about himself or herself, while never or almost never asking about you, that is another sign of narcissism. Narcissists almost never stop talking about themselves. Overt narcissists may brag about their fantastic accomplishments or covert ones may be subtle in discussing the things they do for others. They may discuss their problems or interests non stop.
Once you realize your friend is a narcissist, it’s usually best to end the friendship if at all possible, as is often the solution with any narcissistic relationship. Most often I believe the Gray Rock method is the best way to end a relationship with a narcissistic friend. In other words, become boring to your friend. Take their calls, spend time with them & do things for them less & less. When they get mad at you, pretend it doesn’t bother you in the slightest. Show them no reaction or emotion. If they demand to know why you weren’t available, give no excuses. Just say you were busy, & change the subject. When they talk about themselves, act disinterested. The more boring a narcissist finds a person, the less time they want to spend with that person. Often, they get bored enough to discard their victim.
Having a narcissistic friend isn’t easy, but you can protect yourself & handle the situation! Remember the kind of person you are dealing with, keep your emotions under control around them & conduct yourself accordingly.
When a relationship ends, the average person is sad for some time. They may fondly remember special times with the other person or great conversations. They miss such things, but in time, they’re ok. They move on & get involved in other relationships. This is a healthy way to cope, because it allows a person to heal.
Nothing like this happens with narcissists.
Narcissists are incapable of truly loving. Because of this, a relationship that has ended doesn’t affect them in the same way as it affects your average person.. They don’t miss the person they love, but instead, they miss their favorite source of narcissistic supply. This is why they act differently than functional people when a relationship ends. Narcissistic supply is like a drug to them. When a relationship ends, they’re losing their “fix”, if you will. That isn’t an easy thing for any addict to handle.
To start with, narcissists don’t usually understand why someone ends a relationship with them. To understand, they would need at least some empathy, which most people know is something that all narcissists lack. They don’t understand why their ex would object to them cheating, why that former friend complained that they took advantage of their good nature, or why their adult child was hurt when they cut their child out of the will for simply telling the parent, “no.” Narcissists are incapable of grasping such concepts. In their minds, they’re entitled to whatever they want. Besides, the behavior didn’t hurt them, so it isn’t important to them. If it had hurt them, they’d change their behavior at the speed of sound. Since it didn’t though, they are left baffled why their partner, friend or child ended the relationship. What the other person wanted or felt wasn’t so much as a blip on their radar. All that matters to a narcissist is what they want, which usually boils down to their precious narcissistic supply. Since the wants of the narcissist & victim are vastly different & the victim’s are not even considered by the narcissist, usually the end of a relationship catches them by surprise. Their victims often warn them for months or even years in advance that they won’t tolerate the abuse forever, yet still, narcissists are shocked when someone ends a relationship with them.
Narcissists also don’t like rejection. No one does, of course, but narcissists are infuriated by it. Rejection is a narcissistic injury. It makes them feel badly about themselves, so the person who rejected them must pay for making them feel that way. Rather than walk away from the failed relationship with some semblance of dignity, most narcissists opt for revenge. Overt narcissists often harass & stalk their victim, & get their flying monkeys in on the process as well. They also will unleash a very impressive smear campaign, lying about the victim being the cause for the failure of the relationship because of being selfish, crazy, controlling & even abusive. This often isolates the victim from friends & even family who believe the lies. Covert narcissists are much less likely to harass & stalk their victim, since they prefer to look like a good person, but some will or have their flying monkeys do their dirty work for them. They also don’t have any trouble creating a smear campaign, but it is much different than their overt counterparts. Rather than say outright their victim is crazy & abusive, they phrase their smear campaign in a way so as not to sound critical, but concerned instead. They may say something along the lines of, “I’m not surprised my ex left me. She got so mean when she took drugs. She just wasn’t herself. I hope she’ll be ok…” See how this smear is? It makes the person saying these things sound concerned & as if he isn’t trying to destroy the reputation of his ex girlfriend. People will believe this type of smear campaign very easily, even if they know the ex in question & know she never took drugs.
There is also the likelihood of the narcissist trying to “hoover” the victim back into the relationship. When this happens, the narcissist may do their best to make the victim believe they have changed. They may make promises that they have no intention of keeping such as they won’t do whatever the victim complained about anymore. Some other empty promises are if the victim would only take the narcissist back, he or she will be faithful, they’ll be less selfish, they’ll think more of their victim’s needs. The narcissist also may shower the victim with expensive gifts or love letters. They may send their flying monkeys to tell the victim how miserable they are without the victim, & how desperately they want to resume the relationship. This is a tough one, I know. When I first broke up with my now ex husband, it seemed like everyone we knew was telling me how sad he was, how miserable he was, how much he missed me & how I really should get back together with him. I felt so incredibly guilty at that time that I agreed not only to return to him but to marry him after only a short time apart.
Sometimes, narcissists fall into depression after a relationship ends, too. They have no coping skills & aren’t fully aware of their emotions, plus they just lost their narcissistic supply. It’s normal they wouldn’t handle any break up well when you consider these facts. This can be so hard for the person who ended the relationship. When people tell you how sad this person is or he says he doesn’t want to live without you, it can be incredibly hard to take. It can make you feel incredibly guilty & responsible, which is truly unfair.
If you experience these things after ending a relationship with a narcissist, I urge you to remember that the narcissist is acting this way not out of a genuine & healthy love for you, but because he or she is a narcissist. They are incredibly dysfunctional people. You stick to no contact, & remind yourself often exactly why you came to that decision. Write things down if it helps, since writing can be an incredibly useful tool. Also remember that person’s emotions aren’t your responsibility. Don’t forget to document everything in case you need to involve the law at some point. Even if you don’t, the documentation will help you a great deal to remember why you’re no contact. It’ll also help you to see the way this person tries to manipulate you. And, if the narcissist creates a smear campaign against you, never, ever react to it. Any reaction would give this person narcissistic supply, so you deprive this person of that supply. In time, he or she will get bored with your lack of reaction & give up the smearing. Lastly, if the narcissist sends the flying monkeys after you, remember that few are truly innocent people who are fooled by the narcissist. Most are also narcissists, I believe. Treat them accordingly. Remember to tell them nothing that you would object to the original narcissist knowing, in particular anything about the original narcissist. Chances are the flying monkey will share everything you say with that person, so give them no material to work with. Most importantly, pray & lean on God to help you get through this. He truly will help you!
I think it’s a very safe assumption that almost everyone who has gone no contact with a narcissist, in particular a narcissistic parent or other family member, has had more than their share of doubts. Ending relationships is tough, but especially when the relationship is a close one such as in the case of family.
What makes the doubts worse is when after not speaking for some time, you learn through the grapevine that the narcissist is sick, lost their job, or going through some very difficult situation. Considering this is someone you were once very close to, it’s only natural to want to help them & to feel bad they are in this situation. Those desires may make start to override the terrible things that made you sever ties in the first place.
Today, I want to tell you.. DON’T DO IT!!
No, I don’t know you or the narcissist personally, but I do know a lot about narcissists & have more than a little experience with them. I have learned that once you end a relationship with a narcissist, resuming it will only cause you heartache as it did me.
At first, the narcissist will behave, & probably even be respectful & caring. This lulls you into thinking this person has changed. All is right in the world now. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth!
In time, little things will change. Maybe a comment here or there about how you shouldn’t have left in the first place. Or, instead of 10 complements a day, it’s dropped to 9 & a nasty criticism. Everyone has a bad day sometimes, so you rationalize the comments as nothing more & let it go. After all, things have been going so well.
Gradually more things change. Things get worse. There are more criticisms. Now there are also some manipulation attempts too. “I never did that.” “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” There are also guilt trips about you “abandoning” the narcissist in the first place. They may even have their friends or family mention how hard it was for them when you weren’t in their life. You begin to feel guilty for hurting the narcissist, so you go along with what they do.
Before you know it, the relationship is as bad, if not worse as it was before you went no contact in the first place.
Maybe you’re thinking this won’t happen to you but I can tell you, the chances of it happening to you are excellent. I was fooled into thinking that myself in three very different relationships.
One was a friendship. Upon meeting, she told me we were going to be best friends. I was young, naive & knew nothing of narcissistic personality disorder, so I blindly obeyed, & became her good friend. The friendship ended a couple of years later, then a couple of years after that, resumed. At first, things were good. We had a lot of laughs together. Then things changed. She constantly demanded my attention. I spent a lot of time with her, no matter what I had going on. She expected me to watch her small kids while with her too, which is something I’m not good at doing. I ended that friendship again after about a year & a half.
One was my first marriage. I broke my engagement to my ex husband because I realized I wasn’t happy with him. While we were apart, he insisted we remain “friends.” We spoke often & he told me how miserable he was. Our mutual friends told me the same. We got back together, & married a few months later. I knew that although he was acting better, I shouldn’t marry him but I did. He made me feel like I owed it to him. In fact, when he proposed again, he said, “I’m not letting you go this time.” We separated a bit over 4 years later.
The other one was my mother. In 2001, I had enough, & finally cut ties with my mother. In 2007, my father told me that she needed heart surgery. I said I’d pray for her. Once she got home, she called me to thank me for praying for her. I honestly believed at that the change in her personality was from facing a near death experience. The more time passed, the more she regressed into the abusive person she’d always been, which is why when I went no contact in 2016, I determined this time, it’s forever.
My stories are very typical, Dear Reader. I told them because you need to know that if you have doubts about being no contact, they need to be ignored. Take care of yourself. Your mental health is very important! Resuming a toxic relationship does no good to you or the toxic person in question. It simply enables their awful behavior while you sacrifice yourself. There is NOTHING good about that!
No doubt you have heard about passive/aggressive behavior, but do you know what it is? You need to know, because many narcissists behave in this way.
Passive/aggressive behavior is very sneaky. It makes you wonder if the person acting that way is mad at you or not. The worst part may be that when you confront the passive/aggressive person, they have a plausible sounding explanation for their behavior. This makes you doubt your perception of the situation. Plausible deniability is always a part of passive/aggression, as is the desire to punish another person.
Passive/aggressive behavior is deliberately inefficient, quiet in that the person refuses to discuss their needs & avoids responsibility. Some examples of it are….
Not doing things well. A passive/aggressive spouse may put the laundry in the washer but fail to put them in the dryer for hours claiming he thought you would do that. Or, she may leave your car with virtually no gas in it after using it after you argue. Usually whatever is done poorly is something that has happened countless times before, & rather than argue about it, you just fix the problem quietly.
Running late. Some people are always running behind due to poor time management skills, being forgetful or another reasonable excuse. Passive/aggressive people, however, are not that way. If they have a punctual partner, you can guarantee that they will run late periodically solely for the purpose of irritating that partner. They may say they forgot that special event was in an hour, so they will take their time getting ready & you end up leaving two minutes before the event is due to start.
The silent treatment. Passive/aggressive people love the silent treatment. Rather than saying,, “I was upset when you did something.. can we work it out?” they simply stop talking to you. If you try to ask what is wrong, they refuse to admit anything is wrong or get angry at you for not knowing what is wrong. The silent treatment is designed to make you come crawling to the person & work hard to gain their forgiveness. Don’t fall for it!
Backhanded complements. We’ve all heard these at some point. Passive/aggressive people use them often. Comments like, “Nice hair cut. It really helps hide all that gray hair.” or, “I used to have an outfit just like that! I stopped wearing it after high school though.” are just two examples of backhanded complements. If a passive/aggressive person says such a comment to you, chances are he or she feels threatened by you in some way. Maybe that person thinks you look more attractive than they do, you’re smarter or more talented. Sometimes backhanded complements can be hard to spot, so just notice how you feel when someone gives you a complement. Genuine complements leave you wanting to thank the person & feeling good. Backhanded complements leave you feeling offended & even confused wondering what the person who said it meant by their words.
Fake concern. Closely related to the backhanded complements are the fake concern comments. When a passive/aggressive persons says, “I don’t mean to sound judgmental/insensitive, but…” you can guarantee the next words out of that person’s mouth will be judgmental &/or insensitive. This is their way of saying nasty things to you while appearing to be helpful. If you say anything about how judgmental or insensitive the person is at this point, you are going to look like a jerk to anyone who doesn’t realize what is happening. That is a bonus for a passive/aggressive person- making you look bad on top of insulting you.
Destruction & sabotage. Sometimes passive/aggressive people will “accidentally” destroy something important to you when they’re upset with you. That could be something like “accidentally” spilling red wine on your favorite white shirt or a coworker “forgetting” to tell you that the project you’ve been working hard on is no longer due next week, but in two days.
So, how can a person deal with the obnoxious passive/aggressive behavior? First, be aware of it. Learn what you can about recognizing the signs.
Second, set & enforce good boundaries. If your friend is always late, stop waiting on her. Meet her at the restaurant & order without her. Or, stop hanging out with her at all.
Third, never forget to stay calm at all times. Pretend not to be flustered by their actions. If you show that you are upset, they will do it again & again.
Forth, never forget to pray. God will help you to identify & deal with this awful behavior in the most effective ways possible. All you have to do is ask Him to.
Hello, Dear Readers!
If you want to check them out, you can click on the links in the last paragraph, or go to my website at: http://www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com
Tomorrow is the 22nd anniversary of hubby’s & my first date. Hard to believe! Time sure flies!
Ever since the first anniversary of this special day, we have done a little something to commemorate the day. It can be as simple as sharing some wine, cheese & crackers when he gets home from work, talking by a fire, playing a board game or it can be a bit bigger such as going out to dinner, taking a day trip or recreating that special day. Whatever we do though, we enjoy ourselves & reminisce.
We used to do something similar after we first got married. We got married on September 24, 1998, so on the 24th of every month, we would celebrate a little. (not sure why we stopped that, come to think of it..). Interestingly when I mentioned it to my granddad, he said he & my grandmom used to do that too, for many years.
I’ve found these little celebrations are really nice! They give you something to look forward to. They also encourage intimacy. They foster closeness. They also help you to slow down & enjoy each other in a world that tends to be just too busy.
I’ve expanded this celebrating thing a bit, too. I include my best friend in celebrations too. We met in August, 1988 (although the day has escaped me) & each August I remind her of that & tell her how grateful I am for her friendship for so many years.
Remembering & celebrating things like this helps those in your life to feel loved & special. It also is fun for you when you can make those you love feel that way. It helps to add more joy into both your life & that of your loved one. Why not give it a try? Celebrate special events with those you love!
Ever since I can remember, most of my relationships have been unbalanced. I’ve been the one to do the bulk of the work. It started with my parents. Both came to me with complaints about their marriage or involved me in their fights or for me to help them feel better if they were upset. As I made friends, they often came to me with problems or needs, & expected me to listen or meet those needs often without so much as a thank you or even asking how I am. Yet, if I had a need or problem, I was on my own, unable to count on them for any help.
This was simply a way of life. Until recently.
I’d realized this was a problem several years ago, but had no idea what to do about it or even if I should do anything about it. After all, people need someone to talk to & there isn’t a great deal of empathy in the world. I thought maybe I needed to just suck it up & continue on this path. After all, so many said, “I can’t talk to anyone else about this problem!”, “I feel so much better after talking to you,” “You’re the only person who understands- I don’t know what I’d do without you” or someone close to the person would say, “You need to stay strong for her/him!” Those phrases made me feel obligated.
Then last year I got sick. Coming close to dying changed me. No longer could I listen without having a significant physical reaction. For a short time, certainly, but not for a long time or even frequently. Suddenly I no longer felt a bit tired & drained after listening to someone talk about their problems. Instead, I now feel absolutely exhausted, sometimes for days. I also realized I felt a new resentment when I was expected to listen to someone who couldn’t even ask how I was doing or changes the subject or interrupts if I start to talk. I also became very angry when someone would expect me to listen to them, offer comfort or advice without so much as asking if I was busy before taking up my time. I felt disrespected, taken for granted & much like their personal trash can.
Have you ever felt that way? Like someone’s personal trash can? It’s a very unpleasant way to feel isn’t it?
Those who survive narcissistic abuse are often very compassionate, caring people. We know what it’s like to hurt, & want to help other people not to hurt. We also are people pleasers, because we were raised to please a narcissistic parent. People pleasing becomes a habit. As a result, others tend to take advantage of us. They expect us to help them or listen to them without offering anything in return. We can become their personal therapist.
While it’s great to help people & listen to them if they need to talk, it’s unfair when it’s one sided. Relationships should be balanced. Maybe sometimes you do most of the giving but there also should be times when the other person in the relationship should do most of the giving.
Being the trash can also leads to unnecessary stress in the listener. The talker is the one who gets to dump all of his anxiety, anger or hurt onto the listener, basically freeing the talker from much of those negative emotions & turning the listener into his personal trash can, catching those negative emotions.
This also leads to resentment from the listener. Eventually, the unfairness & stress of the situation will kick in, & the listener will be tired of being the trash can. She’ll be angry & tired, & she has every right to be.
To handle this, I think the best place to start is with God. Talk to Him about how you feel & ask Him what to do. Then, do as He guides you to.
Remember, there is nothing wrong with setting boundaries. You have every right to tell the person who wants you to listen to them that now isn’t a good time, you have a lot on your mind & need some time to yourself, or even simply no. You need to do this for your own mental & physical health. Plus, doing so can be good for the talker as well. He needs to look to God & other people for help. You can’t be his savior! By you being there all of the time, basically you’re in the position that God should be in in his life.
I was thinking today of something…
Right after Christmas of 2014, I shared a blog post about some thoughts regarding going no contact with narcissistic parents. I said in my experience, I was glad I didn’t do it. My father had some health problems which meant I spent a great deal of time with my parents, & things had improved a lot during that time in our relationship. In the post, I encouraged others to consider my story if they are thinking of going no contact, not to change their minds, but just to give them another topic to consider. (there was more to it but that’s the basics anyway). A well known blogger followed me at the time & we were also facebook friends. She read my post & apparently read a lot into it that I didn’t put in the post. She & another of my followers got into a rather heated disagreement when I was away from the computer, & it was done by the time I saw it. Not that I could’ve done anything anyway- I can’t stop people from posting in my blog comments sections. Anyway shortly after, the other blogger unfollowed my blog, removed my book recommendation from her site & blocked me on facebook.
At first this hurt, I won’t lie. I was stunned plus wondering what did I do to warrant this behavior from her? It was another follower she got into a disagreement over, not me! I wasn’t even there! I realized not long before this that she has some pretty narcissistic tendencies (I’d seen a few glimpses of them before but had brushed them off as me being oversensitive), one of which was she didn’t handle people disagreeing with her well. This was a touchy topic with her as she believes everyone should be no contact with every narcissist, period.
I also realized that many people are this way. They are of the “if you’re not for me, you’re against me” mentality. Oddly, it seems very common today. Not a lot of people can agree to disagree. Just look at politics. Many people (both liberal & conservative alike) act as if you’re a fool for your views if you don’t agree with theirs.
People who respect you enough to allow you to have your own opinion are a gem. Truly! I have friends who share different views on all kinds of things or are of different religious beliefs, & you know what? It’s fine! We don’t try to push our views on each other. If we have questions about whatever the other person believes, we ask respectfully. And you know something? Those friendships have lasted much longer than the ones with people who are always trying to change your mind or belittle you for disagreeing with them.
Those friendships are also deeper, more comfortable as well, because each of us knows that the other person won’t judge us.
Another bonus is knowing people who are different than you expands your horizons. For example, I have a friend who was a part of the Pagan religion for a long time. She taught me quite a bit about herbal remedies. This is interesting information to me! Not to mention helpful. I’ll run for something herbal before I’ll run for the pharmacy if I need healing since usually herbal works as well or better, & with less potential side effects). If it wasn’t for her, I don’t know if I would’ve even been interested in herbal remedies.
How do you fit into this? Are you able to disagree respectfully with others or do you believe your friends must agree with you fully? If you only surround yourself with those who believe & think as you do, I encourage you today to expand your horizons. Get to know people of different religions, races or cultures. It’ll bless you as well as them.
Many of us who have been abused in some way have learned that other people, even strangers, like talking to us. I’ve had people in the grocery store or laundromat strike up a conversation & tell me their entire life stories. (One lady caught me twice in two different stores about six months apart- she apparently didn’t remember me from the first time) It’s strange to say the least, but I think it’s because some people are so desperate for some compassion, they’ll try to find it in a stranger.
Since many of you are also introverts like me, I know this can be uncomfortable. You probably want to just duck into a place, do what you came to do & leave quickly with minimal human interaction. (I even use the self-checkout lanes to eliminate interaction with one more person.) When a person decides to chit-chat, it can be annoying, especially if you’re in a rush.
I have begun to think a bit differently about this “annoyance.” I believe when this sort of thing happens, it is God putting you in a place to be a blessing to someone. Just listening to someone talk for a little while may make their day better or lighten the burden of the problem they discussed with you. Why not let the person talk for a while?
One evening recently, I saw my parents. I wasn’t in a good mood after leaving them. On the way home, I went by the post office to mail something out after hours yesterday using the machine in the lobby rather than dealing with people during regular business hours. A lady came in & dropped off a package while I was at the machine. Out of the blue, she told me about her day at work, which sounded very frustrating. The conversation lasted maybe five minutes, but it seemed to help her mood a bit. It also helped mine some because I had a distraction from my own situation for a few minutes. It was a small one, but I think a blessing for both her & I. And, as I’m writing, I also remembered to pray for her- I may not know her needs, but God does.
The next time you are in that somewhat awkward position of listening to a stranger, then why not just go with it for a while? You may be helping that person more than you know. You might even help yourself.
Twenty-five years ago today, on August 23, 1990, I met a man that I dated briefly. We were together for exactly 3 months when I broke up with him. The brief time together was life altering for me & not necessarily in a good way.
I was 19, & he was 28. He had a lovely old house on the water & a good job. He said he was close to his family, even though they lived far apart. He had a way about him that gave the impression he had it all together. Since I’d just moved out of my parents house only months before, I was hungry for stability. I figured he was a good, stable man & I’d be happy with him. After all, my friend said she thought so. I didn’t trust my own instincts that said I should run, & instead listened to her.
I’m not saying he was a bad man, but he had some problems. He was extremely jealous, which was a problem since I worked with mostly men. He treated me as if I was stupid & he was much older & wiser, which really got on my nerves. He was extremely controlling as well. In fact, so much so, we ended up engaged because he said I would marry him. No romantic proposal, no ring- just a command. After 3 months, I was tired. I’d have enough control games from my mother, so I decided no more. I broke up with him on November 23, 1990. He screamed at me for hours, telling me how much I’d regret it, he was a good guy, I was ruining his life, I made a big mistake, etc. I even thought he was going to hit me once but my cat Magic put a stop to it by scratching him while his dog got between us. That event left me feeling incredibly guilty for many years. Every August 23, I would beat myself up for ruining Mike’s life.
Then in January of 2014, I read on my county police facebook page that this man was dead. He shot his gay lover then himself. I also saw in that same article that he had a felony weapons charge from the week before his death. His mug shot was on the article, & obviously the years since I’d left him had been very hard on him. He looked very different- much harder & older. So much so that I didn’t even recognize him.
It really shook me up. It took me months before this information sank in. I lost the guilt & got very angry at myself for not knowing what Mike was really like. I also got angry at him for treating me like I was the only one with problems when clearly he had plenty of issues himself. I was always wrong. I was crazy. At least according to him.
Since, I have come to accept what happened & am no longer angry with him. I now appreciate the few good things that came from that brief relationship, such as him getting me into classic rock, especially the Eagles & Styx. I also was able to adopt Magic because of him, & he even named him. He also was the first person to truly grasp how cruelly my mother treated me. We had my parents to dinner one night & my mother was insulting me at every turn. Mike was truly upset by her behavior, & apologized to me for doubting when I said she was abusive.
I realized though, that this man wasn’t the only person in my life who was like this, however. I think it must happen with many adult children of narcissists. I think we attract dysfunctional people who try to put their dysfunction on us.
My ex husband always said I was wrong. Every argument was my fault. If he got mad at me & punched walls, I made him do it. I was unreasonable for wanting for him to stop running up credit card debt or depending on his mother to bail him out financially.
The friend who thought I should go out with the man I mentioned? She was in control of our relationship. Period. She would not hesitate to guilt trip me if I didn’t do what she wanted.
I had another friend while married to my ex who talked to me as if I was dumb as a box of hair. Always wanted favors from me too, & rarely did anything in return. She once chewed me out for not calling her back in a timely manner, even though I didn’t get the message until hours after she called.
I would like to encourage you, Dear Reader, to do something I didn’t do when I was in these dysfunctional relationships. Look at the people in your life, especially the critical & needy ones. How do they treat you? Do they blame you for everything? Are you always the problem? Are you supposed to do for them while they don’t need to be there for you? Answer such questions honestly. You may realize that you need to end some toxic relationships. If you realize you need to do this, ask God for help. Ask Him to give you the strength you need to end the relationships & the wisdom on how to best handle the situation.
There have been a great deal of controversial things happening in the world lately, such as same sex marriage becoming a nationwide right. People often have extreme feelings on controversial issues. So extreme in fact, many friendships have ended due to people disagreeing with each other.
This makes me sad. I don’t understand why people won’t respect each other’s opinions. Agree to disagree, if you will. You don’t have to agree on every single thing to have a good relationship. No two people will anyway, because God made everyone an individual, with unique tastes, thoughts & feelings.
Disagreeing with someone’s views on a topic doesn’t give you the right to force your views on them. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, whether it’s right, wrong or indifferent. If God Himself doesn’t force people to do anything, what makes you think you have that right?
I’m hoping, Dear Reader, that this doesn’t describe you. But, if it does, I pray God will help you to become more gentle & understanding in your behavior.
If you’ve been on the receiving end of harsh words due to a differing opinion, I’m very sorry. It’s hurtful, I know. If you haven’t lost your friend because of your views, but you two disagree, it may be a good idea simply to avoid discussing the topic. If you have a good friend, yet you both feel strongly on different sides of a topic, why let that one thing hurt your friendship? Agree to disagree. Simply accept that you both feel differently on the issue at hand, & don’t discuss it anymore. This really works if both people value the friendship & are willing to do this. I’ve done this myself in my friendships, usually with good results.
Sometimes though, it doesn’t turn out as well. Some people are so determined to make sure you hear their opinions & change yours to theirs, it will ruin a friendship. They always remind me of this one dream I had last year. I wrote about it here if you’d like to read it. I’ve been in that situation too, & it really hurts. A few years ago, I ended a friendship of 20 years because that person only cared about what he cared about, nothing else mattered, even hurting me. It still hurts to this day. Unfortunately in these situations, you’re going to hurt. It’s just a fact. All you can do is nurse your wounds, & appreciate the good, caring friends you have who are willing to accept you even if you differ on opinions.
When you start talking about the painful effects of surviving narcissistic abuse, often, people will abandon you. Friends & even family may suddenly not call so often, or they may sever all ties with you. For whatever reason, many people have a very low tolerance for abuse victims, especially victims of narcissistic abuse.
While this certainly is painful to experience, I want to encourage you today, Dear Reader. God understands your pain & loneliness. Psalm 68:6 says, “He gives families to the lonely, and releases prisoners from jail, singing with joy! But for rebels there is famine and distress.” (TLB) That is certainly true! I have experienced this firsthand.
Upon separating from my narcissistic ex husband, every friend we shared abandoned me with the exception of one friend & his wife.
Years later, once I began talking about the narcissistic abuse I experienced growing up, many people, including those in my own family, didn’t believe me. Others trivialized what I went through & refused to let me talk about it.
When C-PTSD manifested itself in my life in 2012, not did very few people close to me believe that I was very sick, I was accused of using it as an attempt to make people feel sorry for me. Another person told me I needed to “get over my childhood hurts.” She said she had them too & she got over them, so I should too. (Obviously, she was never abused by her parents.)
The way people acted hurt me terribly. I felt utterly alone many, many times. Being an introvert, I don’t usually mind being alone, but being invalidated, mocked & then abandoned by those I thought I could trust still hurt me deeply. Thankfully, God knew this, & sent some wonderful people into my life. I now have a new family of sorts- friends who genuinely care about me, support me & understand me. The members of my facebook group are among the kindest, most genuine & caring people you could ask to meet. I started out the group thinking of them simply as fans, but I realize they are also friends. They pray for each other & me. They have supported me during painful, hard times, without expecting anything in return. They are more like a family rather than just a facebook group.
If you are in the painful position of being rejected because of narcissistic abuse, you’re not alone. Really! God loves you so much, & is always with you. And, He will give you a new family. They may not be related by blood, but that is OK! Family is more about who loves you than who shares your genes.
Most of us know how to identify narcissists in real life- the haughty attitude is a clear sign of an overt narcissist, while the sweet, innocent act as the person is trying to manipulate you is a giveaway that you’re dealing with a covert narcissist. Unfortunately, when you participate in social media or in online forums, detecting narcissists isn’t so easy. Online verses in person gives significant disadvantages. In person, you can read body language or voice tones, but online, such helpful clues are unavailable. This means the clues are much more subtle.
So how can you identify a narcissist simply via online contact?
First, if a person doesn’t ask how you’re doing, what’s going on in your life, or similar questions, that is a red flag. Even people who aren’t close will usually ask questions about the other person’s life. Maybe not every single time, sometimes people have an off day, but if not asking anything about you is the norm? Red flag!
Second, a narcissist isn’t open to hearing the views of others on any topic. Politics, religion, relationships.. the narcissist knows it all, & if you don’t believe that, just ask the narcissist..
Third, narcissists don’t “agree to disagree.” If you disagree with a narcissist, she will take offense. If she disagrees with you, then you need to hear about how wrong you are.
Closely related to the previous point, narcissists will beat you to death with their opinion if they feel you aren’t hearing them. I had a dream once I wrote about here that made this point clear to me. I recommend you read about it- the dream clearly demonstrated this point to me.
Narcissists also have absolutely no interest in what you have to say. You can tell a narcissist anything, no matter how important, & they won’t care. If it doesn’t directly affect a narcissist, it doesn’t matter to a narcissist.
And, narcissists aren’t humble. If you give one a complement, you won’t hear “Thank you!” They instead come across with this attitude of “It’s about time you noticed” You’ll be lucky if they give you a little smiley face in response…
Mark 6:4 ” But Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honor (deference, reverence) except in his [own] country and among [his] relatives and in his [own] house.” (AMP)
This Scripture came to mind recently as it reminded me of something..
It seems like so many people have a serious physical or mental health problem, yet their families don’t believe they are as sick as they say, are faking their illness for attention or only to get those ‘good drugs.’ Personally I have been told to get over my past, learn to fix things with my parents, think more positive & just get a pill- that will fix it. I’ve also heard that I am wrong-that my parents aren’t so bad, I need to cut them some slack since they aren’t getting any younger yanno…
I have tried in vain to make other people close to me see the truth of my situation to no avail, & I have seen other people do the same with people close to them. Witnessing this made me realize exactly how fruitless it really can, & that some people, often those closest to you, just do not care. Unfortunately, people are so hungry for validation, that we sometimes keep beating that dead horse.
While it is certainly understandable to want that validation, especially from those closest to us, sometimes it is time to realize it won’t happen. When discussing your symptoms or your condition, sometimes you can tell when the other person is not interested in the subject at hand. They may look bored or try to change the subject repeatedly. They also may say invalidating things such as, “it can’t be that bad,” “It must be nice for you, not having to get up & go to work in the morning,” or defend the person who abused you “Well, I’m sure she didn’t mean it that way,” or “she did the best she could by you.”
If your conversation takes a turn like this, it’s time to make a decision- is it worth continuing to try to convince this person that you have an actual problem or should you just stop?
I have decided to stop wasting my time. It just isn’t worth the frustration on my part or making the other person angry. It hurts, but I have accepted that some people just aren’t capable of the empathy or compassion it takes to be supportive of me.
People who genuinely know & care won’t be invalidating. They will be supportive & not judgmental. They know you well enough to know you aren’t making anything up or exaggerating. People like that are a wonderful blessing!
I am also very blessed with wonderful, wonderful fans who email me often not only to say thank you for something I wrote that helped them, but also sometimes to offer me encouragement. 🙂 It seems strange to me that people I’ve never met care more than some who are closer to me, but apparently it happens. Obviously Jesus understood it well & experienced it firsthand.
I try to be positive or educational in my posts here, but today, I am angry for a couple of reasons. Be forewarned- this post may be longer than usual.
I saw this article the other day on facebook I wanted to read, but didn’t get back to it & unfortunately now I forgot where I saw it. It was about how much responsibility is put on victims of abuse rather than on the abusers. I only read about a paragraph- a short preview of it. It said that we’re told we have to stop calling ourselves victims & instead say “survivors.” We’re told we need to get over what happened to us & empower ourselves. Things like this. For a long time now, these phrases have irritated me & I never realized why. The preview answered that for me- it said these things put all the responsibility on the victim & none on the abuser. While yes, it is true it is up to a victim to heal & move on, when do the abusers get called out on their behavior? Not as often as they should be! How many people are told to be the bigger person with their verbally abusive mother in-law & just ignore her bad behavior while not saying anything to the nasty mother in-law or even making excuses for her? How many rapists aren’t even labeled a rapist because he “only” pressured his girlfriend into sex until she gave in rather than holding a gun to her head? How many people who have committed suicide were called cowards for “taking the easy way out” while those who pushed them to such a desperate point are not confronted? While I’m not saying as a victim of abuse of any type, we shouldn’t try to heal or blame all of our problems on being abused, I am saying there needs to be a balance! The abuser should be blamed for being abusive in the first place! That person had a choice- to abuse or not to abuse. They made a bad choice, & there is nothing anyone could have done to push them to that point. It is all on them. They deserve the blame for abusing you!
The other thing that has me angry today is the lack of compassion for those of us with mental illness. I am utterly fed up with this! I have heard so many times that I need to “get over it” or “stop living in the past.” Yes, I have Complex PTSD, which means I have flashbacks, nightmares, depression, anxiety & agoraphobia. However- this does NOT mean I’m living in the past! This means I have experienced a lot of trauma in my life- enough to cause physical damage to my brain that resulted in C-PTSD, including all of its ugly symptoms.
And, as early as this morning, I was “teased” about being “stressed” about seeing someone that causes me tremendous anxiety. This is not the first time this sort of thing has happened. It’s as if she thinks I have no right to feel this anxiety or have the problems I have. She trivializes my problems & magnifies hers. Never mind she has not been abused, & has no clue what I have lived through, her problems are always worse & I should just get over mine. Meanwhile, I am having a terrible time trying to write this blog entry because all the anxiety I’ve experienced the last few days has left me unable to sleep well & not able to think very clearly.
My point of all this griping is we really need to have compassion on each other! Whether you have experienced abuse or not, when dealing with someone who has, please, for the love of God, be patient, supportive & understanding! Keep your opinions to yourself unless you are asked, & think before you speak. Choose your words wisely. Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes & understand how she or he is feeling. I wrote some tips on how to help someone who has been abused on my website. Here is the link…
Thank you for listening to me rant this morning. I pray you will be blessed & maybe even learned a little from my rantings.. 🙂
It came to my attention a couple of days ago that someone who knows me in real life was a fan of my facebook page. While normally, this would be a good thing, this time, it wasn’t. This person & I haven’t spoken in about 10 years now, which has been absolutely fine with me. I thought we were friends for a few years, but learned around 10 years ago that we were not. It really hurt, but I have moved on. I since removed & banned this person from my facebook page.
Rather than humiliate this person by divulging all of the gory details, I will skip that. I just want to say that if you know me in real life, & have a negative opinion of me like this person, please ask yourself why you want to follow my blog, website or writing page. It is concerning to me that someone who obviously dislikes me so intently would wish to know anything about me. Doesn’t seem healthy at all.
Take care, Dear Reader. Have a great day, & may God bless you! 🙂