Tag Archives: healthy relationship

Can You & Your Friends Agree To Disagree?

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.

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

To Confront Or Not To Confront?

I had yet another nightmare about my mother last night.  I told my husband about it this morning, & the topic of the nightmare was similar to something she used to do repeatedly when I was a child.  He asked if I ever confronted her on it, & I said of course I did when it was happening.  He suggested I confront her now, as an adult, & I said absolutely not.  She’s still the same person she was back then, so I’d end up frustrated or hurt again.  His perspective was at least I’d get the anger out of me.

I later got to thinking… this happens a lot.  I’ve noticed many people think confrontation is always the way to go when someone has hurt or abused you.  And, many times it is the right thing to do.  Normal people don’t want to hurt others, so when you confront them, they will apologize & try to make it up to you.

There are times though, when confrontation isn’t right for various reasons.  When someone is a narcissist for example, confronting them most likely will lead to them making you out to be the bad guy, them the victim.  Plus, now they know that action hurts you, so they will do it over & over specifically to hurt you.

Rather than just blindly confront your abuser, I strongly suggest thinking about it first.  How does this person respond to confrontation?  Is she/he open to making changes?  Does the person care about hurting others?  If the person is a narcissist, & you know they will turn this scenario around, will it still help you to speak up?  Answer these & any other questions honestly, then you can choose whether or not confrontation is the right thing for you to do in this situation.

I opted not to confront my mother, by the way.  This  is usually how I handle things with her.  I don’t like it, because I believe people need to know when they do bad things.  However, she also likes to use things that hurt me repeatedly.  If I can conceal my pain, I have a better chance she won’t use that tactic repeatedly.  I’ve learned with her, it’s best to show zero emotion when she hurts me & I’m in her presence.  Once I leave, I cry or vent, often writing in my journal & praying.  Getting my feelings out to her would only result in being completely invalidated & honestly, I can’t handle that anymore from her- she has done it too much in my life.  It isn’t a perfect solution, & it probably won’t work for everyone, but it works for me.

Learning about setting & enforcing healthy boundaries also will help to eliminate the need for many confrontations.  Knowing what you will & won’t tolerate, & making that known, eliminates disagreements & problems before they start.

Limiting contact with the person will help you as well simply due to the fact you spend less time with her.

As I found what works for me, you need to find what works for you.  I pray God will guide you in the right direction for you when the time comes.

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

You Don’t Have To Explain Yourself To Anyone

One thing many people, in particular survivors of narcissistic abuse, seem to have a problem with is over explaining.

If someone asks you to do something that you are unable or unwilling to do, most people will explain in great detail exactly why they can’t or won’t do what is asked of them, even if they have to lie.  The truth however, is that is unnecessary.  And, sometimes it can cause disagreements between both parties involved, especially if the one doing the explaining feels compelled to lie which is often the case.

Did you know that no can be a complete sentence?

Matthew 5:37 states, “Let your Yes be simply Yes, and your No be simply No; anything more than that comes from the evil one.” (AMP)

While you may be thinking that you wouldn’t lie, think about how many times you were free yet told someone you had previous plans to avoid doing what they wanted you to do?  I think all of us are guilty of doing this at some point.

Instead of that, why not just say no?  You owe no explanations- a simple no should suffice with most people.

Granted, with narcissists, they feel entitled to a detailed explanation of your “terrible” refusal to serve them, so no doesn’t always work.  Instead, there are some slightly more elaborate answers you can give without offering a long explanation.

“No, I can’t.”

“No, I don’t have time.”

“No, I won’t.”

“No.  It goes against my personal beliefs.”

Whatever you opt to say, remember not to give many details or much personal information.  Narcissists love to use what you say against you or to hurt you, so it’s best to keep details to yourself whenever possible.

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism