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Narcissists & Conflict

Narcissists deal with  conflict in odd ways.

 

Many narcissists proudly claim they are neutral in the situation even in extreme situations.  If their adult child is going through a break up or divorce, for example, they stay on friendly terms with the ex even when there aren’t grandchildren involved or any other reason to stay in relationship with that person.  Even if he beat his wife or she cheated on him, the narcissistic parents stay friendly with the ex, not caring that this hurts their child or the child’s new spouse.  In fact, they may sing the praises of the ex to the new spouse.  Been there with my late mother in-law & sisters in-law, in fact.  The mother in-law told me not long after we got married how disappointed she was my husband married me instead of an old girlfriend.  His sisters loved to mention this lady to me frequently & kept my husband current on what happened in her life for years after we were married.  (I’m not sure if they still do that or not- after me getting mad about the last time (we’d been together for 12 years at that point, married for 10), my husband probably wouldn’t tell me if they did.).

 

If they are a witness to a conflict, many narcissists avoid getting involved.  If someone is being hurt physically or mentally, it’s not their problem as far as they are concerned.  That conflict is between those two people, period, so they ignore it.  Many won’t even simply call 911 upon witnessing a crime.  I heard a story once about a lady who was killed outside of her apartment building in the 1950s’s.  38 people claimed to have heard her screaming for help, some even saw the attack from their apartment windows, but only 2 called the police.  Every other person said they didn’t want to get involved, even though they knew this lady was in danger.

 

Other narcissists are afraid if they get involved, someone will end up angry with them, so they stay out of the conflict.  For example, my mother once told me of seeing the husband of a friend of hers & my father’s with another woman.  I asked if she told the woman, & she said “Oh no!  I couldn’t do that!  They might get mad at me.”  (Seriously?!  If that was my husband, I’d want to know & would NOT be angry with the person who told me- my anger would be reserved for my husband at that point. Pretty sure this is how almost anyone would feel in this position!)  She asked if I’d tell if I was in her position & I said absolutely I would.  It’d be hard, but this lady has a right to know so she can figure out what to do about this.  My mother looked at me like a deer in the headlights.  She clearly had no concept of what I was saying.

 

Sometimes narcissists will get involved, trying to rescue the victim, in a limited capacity, if they think it will make them look good.  In junior high school, a girl threatened to beat me up.  I’m not sure why.  I was afraid, but after growing up with my mother, had learned that if you don’t stand up to a bully, they’ll run right over you.   Backing down wasn’t an option in my mind.  I told my mother about this girl.  The next day, my mother went to the principle.  During class, the girl yelled at me for telling on her, but at least she left me alone.  (A good thing- she was a lot bigger than me!)  To this day, my mother tells how she saved me from getting beaten up.  According to her, I wanted to stay home to avoid that girl, but she wouldn’t let me.  She made me face my fears & she talked to the principle, & if it wasn’t for her, I would’ve been beaten up.  As usual, her version was very different than reality.

 

People who don’t have Narcissistic Personality Disorder but have some narcissistic tendencies also may behave this way.  Perhaps they grew up with at least one narcissistic parent, so they learned that this is how you are supposed to act. My husband told me years ago that his mother & I not getting along was not his problem, it was all mine. I needed to deal with it & leave him out of it.  Interestingly, his father’s mother never liked his wife, & his father never did anything about that.  My husband learned by example of his narcissistic parents.

 

In any case, the narcissist responds in the passive/aggressive the way they do for one reason only- themselves.  As with everything else, the situation comes back to them.  They’re all that matters to themselves, period.  Will they look good if they rescue someone?  Can they get involved & people will still like them?  Or, will they look better not getting involved?  After all, what if someone got mad at them?  GASP!!  The horrors!!

 

Being aware of this behavior in narcissists will help you not to expect help from them in the way a normal, healthy person would give it.  Also you’ll know they may completely ignore your crisis entirely.  When that happens, you can chalk it up to typical narcissistic behavior.

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Filed under Mental Health, Narcissism

Stop Beating Yourself Up From Mistakes!

As I mentioned in this post, recently, my parents came by for a visit.  I thought it went very well- I set boundaries & didn’t let my mother get away with her usual nasty games.  It went so well in fact, that I knew my mother was extremely angry with me.  So angry, she didn’t even call me on my birthday last Tuesday for the first time ever.

 

The following day though, she called.  It was a very hurtful conversation, & I didn’t handle it very well.  During the visit & seemed to have the right answers for every situation.  During the call though?  I had nothing.  I wasn’t feeling well at all & was tired, plus her call caught me by surprise.  I shouldn’t have answered the phone, but did anyway, against my better judgment, & ended up very hurt & angry.

 

I was beating myself up about this situation.  Here I’ve been telling other adult children of narcissistic parents to be strong & how to do it, yet I failed miserably at following my own advice.  Talk about feeling like a hypocrite!  Not a nice feeling.

 

I realized some things from this experience though.

 

We all make mistakes.  My mistake was picking up the phone & ignoring my instincts that told me to let it ring.  Instead of beating myself up for making a mistake, now I’m looking at it as a reminder to listen to my instincts every single time.

 

I also learned to be mentally prepared for her calls.  Always, without fail ever, it’s best to remember to pray before answering her calls, asking God for strength, courage, the right words to say & whatever I need to successfully deal with her.  That is exactly what I prayed before my last visit with my parents, & God certainly didn’t disappoint me!  He never has when I’ve prayed those things.  In fact, I may start praying for them daily just in case she calls when I’m not expecting it so I can be prepared.

 

Also, I’ve been beating myself up for being so hurt by my mother’s usual nastiness.  She made sure I knew she wasn’t listening to or cared about anything I had to say, as she so often does.  Being in a weakened state, it hurt more than usual, & it usually hurts pretty bad.  When telling a very good friend about this, she reminded me that all children, no matter what age, want their mother’s love.  It’s normal.  Even though logically I know my mother hates me & won’t change either that fact or the way she treats me,  on some level, I wish things were different.  That is normal.   Thanks to my friend, I was reminded that it’s not right to beat yourself up for wishing things were different or being hurt by your narcissistic mother.

 

Lastly, I took a very bold step to take care of myself too.  I blocked my parents’  phone number on my phone.  Not permanently, but for a few days until I feel better & stronger, more able to deal with her if I need to.  This way, I have guaranteed myself some peace for a while.  I’ve never done this before, but I think it’s a good move.  I won’t have the usual debate I have inside when the phone rings & I see their number on the caller ID- Can I handle them right now?  Can I deal with the fallout later by not answering this call?  There’s no debate because I don’t see their number.

 

I hope what I learned will help you, Dear Reader.  Don’t beat yourself up for making mistakes regarding your narcissistic mother.  No one is perfect!  Don’t wallow in those weak moments, but instead look at them as learning experiences.  Stop judging & criticising yourself, & instead just glean knowledge from those moments & go on.

 

 

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

As Many People As You Can Help, You Can Hurt

I was talking with my husband the other night about my work.  I mentioned how other teachings on narcissism I read sometimes just don’t sit well with me even if I normally agree 100% with the author’s thoughts, & how I do my best to be sure what I say can be backed up in the Bible.  One thing came to mind during this conversation that has been in the back of my mind for years now,since before I started writing, in fact..

I was watching Joyce Meyer preaching on TV one day.  She said she’d been asking God for more & more people to reach & to be able to help.  In response to her prayer, God told her that as many people as she can help, she can also hurt, so be careful.  i thought this is incredibly wise!

So many people find someone whose teachings or preaching they like.  They relate to much of what that person has to say, & they almost blindly follow anything that person says.  This is NOT wise to do, however!  Just because you identify with this person’s preaching or teaching, doesn’t mean this person is always right!  All human beings make a mistake sometimes!

I do my level best in my blog, on my website, in my books & anything I write to make sure what I say can be verified by the Bible.  Yet, even so, I’m human.  I’m sure I’ve made mistakes sometimes & will continue to make mistakes. I just try my best to keep those mistakes to a minimum.

I have been blessed with some wonderful, caring, intelligent, empathetic fans who have sent me wonderful messages of support & thanking me for all I write.  It’s amazing!  I love those messages.  But, I also want you to be sure that if you follow my writing, don’t do so blindly!  If something doesn’t sound right to you, look it up.  Pray about it.  Like I said, I do my best not to make mistakes, but sometimes I just might make them anyway!  & if you find something I’ve written is wrong, feel free to let me know your thoughts.  I am very aware of what Joyce Meyer has said, that as many people as I can help, I can also hurt, & hurting people is the absolute last thing I want to do.

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Miscellaneous, Writing