Tag Archives: personality

My New Book Is Available!

I have just published my newest book entitled, “The Truth About Elderly Narcissists”.  It’s all about identifying their changing abusive behaviors, finding ways to cope with them while taking care of yourself, coping as a caregiver, as well as things to consider if you opt to go no contact.

 

This book is available in ebook & print formats on my website at:

 

http://www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com

2 Comments

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

Why Flying Monkeys & Narcissistic Enablers Aren’t As Innocent As They May Appear

Flying monkeys & enablers are, to put it bluntly, a real pain in the neck (or a bit further south..lol) for those of us who have suffered narcissistic abuse.  They are the ones who defend the narcissist & criticize you for being so mean or unreasonable.  If they are the other parent, they not only fail to defend their child, but attempt to make themselves look like the victim, expecting the child to defend them to the other parent.  In their senior years, they also often look for reassurance from their child that they were a good parent.

 

Narcissistic enablers & flying monkeys often appear to be naive, blindly believing in the narcissist’s lies, or afraid of the narcissist.  The truth is very few people are genuinely this naive.  Many of these people are covert narcissists.

 

Covert narcissists aren’t so bold as their overt counterparts.  They don’t like being in the spotlight, but they still want attention & admiration as much as an overt narcissist.  They simply go about getting it in quieter ways.  They can appear the martyr, the long suffering if they’re married to an overt narcissist.  “She must be such a good, patient woman to put up with him,” people may say.

 

Covert narcissists have no problem throwing their children under the bus in order to protect themselves from the overt narcissistic spouse.  They will lie about their child to their spouse in order to divert the spouse’s anger from them.  They also allow the spouse to abuse their child without protest, then later claim there was nothing they could do to stop the abuse.  This can garnish them sympathy & reassurance, even from the child.  That provides these monsters with their coveted narcissistic supply.

 

Other flying monkeys may not be narcissists, but they are still guilty & abusive.  They don’t have the courage to stand up to the narcissist.  They’re intimidated by her, & find it easier to obey than to speak up.

 

They may be afraid of retaliation from the narcissist.  Overt narcissists can be terrifying when they go into a rage, & covert narcissists can make a person feel incredibly guilty.  Many people would rather go along with what the narcissist wants to do than to face either situation.

 

There are still other flying monkeys who believe the narcissist’s lies.  These foolish people don’t question the narcissist.  Yet, they aren’t innocent either, as the Bible speaks against gossip:

 

  • 1 Timothy 5:13 “And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.” (KJV)
  • Proverbs 20:19 “He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.” (KJV)

 

The fact people listen to such gossip speaks plenty about their character.  They are foolish because they don’t question what they hear, & those with good character don’t share gossip.

 

As a victim of narcissistic abuse, not only do you need to be on your guard against narcissists, but also their enablers.

 

You can recognize these irritating people quickly by their behavior.  Normal, healthy people don’t side with someone who is obviously abusive.  They may not begin a huge public protest, but they at the very least say, “That’s wrong.”  They realize that neutrality only helps the abuser, not the victim.

 

Healthy people also question things, they don’t blindly believe what they are told.  If something sounds outlandish, unbelievable or even just “off,” most people would question the person stating such things.

 

If someone is a true friend, & the narcissist wants that person to socialize with her, then the person will decline.  They will make it clear that they are on the victim’s side, not the abuser’s.

 

True friends don’t interact with the narcissist when possible.  If this happens in a work situation for example, it may be hard to avoid her 100%, but a true friend will avoid that person as much as possible.

4 Comments

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

Looking Through The Eyes Of A Narcissist

Recently I’ve realized something surprisingly helpful in helping me cope with the abuse I’ve experienced at the hands of my narcissistic parents.  Seeing things through their eyes.  Granted, that isn’t always an easy things to do since I’m not a narcissist, but it can be oddly helpful.

 

Seeing things through their eyes has shown me the incredible dysfunction they live with, & how so much of their abuse wasn’t personal (although it sure felt that way), but was solely about them.  I was simply collateral damage, an acceptable loss to them.

 

For example, my mother has criticized my looks as far back as I can remember.  Compared her features to mine, telling me how much more attractive hers were than mine.  Naturally, I grew up feeling like the ugliest person on the planet.  Eventually, I looked at this situation through my mother’s eyes.  My mother said when I was born, she figured I’d look like her- brown hair & eyes.  I’m a blue eyed blonde, like the Baileys- my father’s family.  In fact, I look a lot like my grandmother, who, mind you, was a beauty in her youth.  My mother hates all of her in-laws, so if you look at this situation through her narcissistic eyes, I probably betrayed her.  I disappointed her by being born not looking like her, & to boot, looking like people she hates.  Never mind I had zero control over this, somehow it still comes back to her, & I didn’t do as she wanted.  I had to pay.  Plus, she probably thought I was prettier than her, so again, I had to pay.  She had to tear me down so I didn’t think of myself as pretty.  Bonus- tearing me down built her up at the same time.

 

Realizing these things helped me to stop taking her scathing criticisms so personally.  What she said wasn’t true- it was simply a means to make herself feel better & to nurse the “wound” I gave her by being born differently than she wanted me to be.  Granted, I’m still trying to believe I’m pretty, but at least I know now what she said is all lies & I’m not some hideous monster like she made me feel like.  (Feeling pretty probably will take a long time.  Baby steps..)

 

See what I mean?  Seeing things through her eyes helped me to see the truth in the situation, & stop believing her hurtful lies.  It can help you as well, & let’s face facts- anyone who has experienced narcissistic abuse needs any help they can get to heal the damage it’s caused.

 

I would like to encourage you today to try this, Dear Reader.  Look at a painful situation through the narcissist’s eyes.  I guarantee you will see that you did not deserve what was done to you, that it was more about the narcissist than you & that the narcissist lied to you  simply to benefit herself.  If you’re having some trouble, ask God to help you if this is something He wants you to do.

6 Comments

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

A Frequent Problem Among Victims Of Narcissistic Abuse

Recently I learned something very interesting & also useful for those of us affected by narcissistic abuse.  We are very prone to Cluster C personality disorders.

 

Cluster C personality disorders involve OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), Avoidant Personality Disorder & Dependent Personality Disorder:

 

  • OCD involves obsessive, perfectionistic type thoughts.  We need consistency, organization & routine.
  • APD means we are so socially anxious, we avoid social interaction as much as possible.  We are deathly afraid of ridicule or criticism.  We also have very low self esteem.
  • DPD involves indecisiveness, the need for reassurance, clingy behavior, & a fear of being alone.

 

If this describes you, please know you are not alone.  After reading this information, I realized these disorders describe me very well.  I would feel very safe in assuming it’s not just me.  These traits describe so many of us who have experienced narcissistic abuse that I have talked to.

 

There is also one positive note in that personality disorders describe behavior, which means they can be changed.  Personality disorders describe a behavior rather than physical brain damage, so that means they can be changed.

 

So how do you change these dysfunctional & unhealthy behaviors?  In all honesty, I’m not really sure.  Since I just learned about Cluster C disorders, I really don’t know much about them just yet.  I do know, though, that God is the best place to start dealing with any problem.  Since I just learned this information earlier today, I plan to spend some time in prayer later today when I have some uninterrupted private time to try to figure out where to start.  I’m going out on a limb here to say I think God will want me to start with asking Him to tell me the truth.  “Do I really need to be so anxious around other people?  Is it right for me to be so perfectionisitic, so hard on myself?  What is the real truth in these situations?”  (as an example).  That is always a great place to start, listening to God tell you the truth.  He will, & His words are full of healing power.

 

I’m sorry I don’t have more information to share at this moment, but I will share as I learn.    Hopefully it will benefit you as well as me, Dear Readers!  xoxo

9 Comments

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

What Is Your Personality Type?

Thanks to a recent discussion with two of my wonderful fans, I learned about a fascinating personality test based on Carl Jung & Isabelle Briggs Meyers’ approaches to personality.

The test will result in a  4 letter description of your personality & explanation of what it means.

I would really like to recommend you take this test & learn what your personality is.  Truly, it is a very eye opening, enlightening experience.

I learned I’m an INFJ personality, which means Introverted, INtuitive, Feeling, Judging.  This happens to be the rarest personality type (which I think is pretty cool!).  Reading about INFJs has answered a lot of questions I had about myself.  I always thought I was weird, but in fact, I’m not- I’m simply a typical INFJ personality.

On a whim,  I also took the test for my narcissistic mother, answering the questions to the best of my ability, & she turned out to be an ESTP.  The description sounded a great deal like her.  No wonder we clash so badly- our personalities are entirely opposite.

In any case, learning about your personality type is very helpful.  It will teach you why you are the way you are.  It’s also very validating.  As I said, I always thought I was weird & have come to realize I’m not.  It also can teach you about yourself.  Learning about my personality showed me exactly why I hated certain jobs but loved others, why people (even strangers) have come to me for advice,  why I can be so obsessed with details & more. I feel like I’ve learned more about myself in the short time I’ve been reading about the INFJ personality than in the rest of my life.

I hope you’ll consider doing the same.  Learning who you are, learning about your personality is not only fascinating but so helpful.  And, if you’ve grown up with at least one  narcissistic parent, then you never had much of an opportunity to get to know who you truly are.  You learned who that parent said you were. Why not finally learn about the special person God made you to be?

Here is the test:  http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp

8 Comments

Filed under Mental Health

Are Introverts Normal?

One thing I have learned about adult children of narcissistic parents is the majority of us are introverts.  Introverts keep to themselves, like quiet activities, are focused & intelligent, prefer deep to superficial relationships & conversation, often have only a few interests but explore those interests deeply, & gain energy from alone time rather than from other people.

Extroverts are the exact opposite, & much more common.  As a result, the life of an introvert can come with challenges.  Some people think there is something very wrong with introverts, & will try to change them.  They may believe the introvert is depressed, & constantly say things like, “Cheer up!” or “You’ll feel better if you come to the party with me.”  Society in general seems to push people to be extroverts- you are told you must go to Christmas parties, have a big Thanksgiving dinner or have the whole family come by for your birthday.

These things can make us introverts feel uncomfortable, even flawed, & wondering what is wrong with us.  The truth is that there is NOTHING wrong with us!  Being an introvert isn’t a disease, some terrible character flaw or a mental disorder.  Introversion is simply a personality trait.  You would have just as good of luck “curing” yourself of introversion as you would changing your eye color.  You were born with your specific eye color just like you were born being an introvert.

I also can’t help but to think that being raised by a narcissistic parent may contribute to introversion.  The fact is narcissistic parents are very mentally & emotionally draining.  After growing up with that, it seems natural to me to seek out quiet & peace, especially if you naturally are introverted & long for that anyway.

If you’re an introvert, then please don’t think there is something flawed or wrong with you for being this way.  You’re in great company. Besides, being an introvert, you’re in great company.  Some known introverts are Abraham Lincoln, Elenor Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, Mahatma Ghandi, Laura Bush, Rosa Parks & Warren Buffet.

Also, there are many positive traits that introverts often have over extroverts.  Introverts are often very good listeners, they often maintain long lasting friendships, they are responsible, analytical, intelligent & creative.

There is one down side to being an introvert that I have found.  Naturally, as a die-hard introvert myself, I prefer alone time. Although there is nothing wrong with that, it can be a problem when it comes to hard times.  Most people, I think, tend to isolate themselves to a degree when going through a really tough time, but introverts do it on a grander scale. And, if like me you’re an introvert with C-PTSD, it can be really bad.  One of the traits of C-PTSD is wanting to isolate.  Throw in the introvert trait & when I’m going through a hard time, it’s a miracle if anyone other than hubby & the furkids see me or talk to me for weeks.  While isolation isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it needs to be balanced. God made people to need Him as well as other people.  I have learned with myself when I isolate myself for too long, it contributes to the depression that accompanies C-PTSD.  I just want to encourage you to have balance.  Isolate yourself when you need to, but if it goes on too long, realize you need to spend time with people you love & who love you.  Go & do something fun!  It really can make you feel better.

3 Comments

Filed under Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health

Being An Introvert

Good morning, Dear Reader!  Today, I thought we would talk about being an introvert.

 

Introverts are often very quiet people,  people who gain strength from being alone rather than being around others,  become mentally & physically drained after being around other people, hate being the center of attention, focused, introspective, highly intelligent, explore their few interests deeply, become irritable without sufficient alone time & prefer having only a few very close friends rather than many acquaintances.

 

This describes me very well.  I absolutely cannot tolerate much time around other people, even those I love dearly.  In fact, a lifelong friend of mine is also an introvert, & when we get together, it doesn’t take us long & one of us will say, “You ready for some introvert time?”  Neither of us is offended by this, since we both understand the strong need for alone time.  Instead, we both laugh about it & go home.

 

It seems to me that most people are extroverts.  They need to be around other people often as it energizes & strengthens them.  They are highly energetic people & often bubbly & excited in the ways they express themselves.  If they are alone for any length of time, they become depressed.  They have many friends & many interests.  Being the center of attention is a positive thing for them.

 

The large amount of extroverts compared to introverts can make being an introvert rather challenging.  Introverts often think there is something wrong with them for not being like most other people.  We feel like we are weird or  flawed. We also feel like there isn’t anyone else who prefers the company of a good book over people.

 

Also, extroverts can’t understand us introverts any better than we can understand them.  Often, they try to “help” us by making us more social, such as wanting us to go places with them when we would prefer the solitude of our own home with a good book.  They also may think we are depressed rather than introverted, & try to “cheer us up” by wanting us to do things that cheer them up.  If you are fortunate, the extroverts in your life understand that you are simply different than they are.  They quickly learn not to try to change you, & that there is nothing wrong with you for being introverted- it is simply a personality trait rather than a flaw or illness.

 

If you are not as fortunate with the extroverts you know, life can be a bit more challenging.  I had a friend years ago who I cared a great deal about, but he was very extroverted.  He constantly wanted to go places & hang out with me.  We always had fun together & I enjoyed it when we went spent time together, but due to my introverted nature, there were many times I would have preferred to stay home alone.  I ended up hurting his feelings quite a few times for turning down an invitation to go to a bookstore (our favorite activity) or out to lunch.  I didn’t mean to- I just needed my introvert time, & he didn’t understand that as he didn’t like to be alone for very long or stay home.  He did accept my boundaries, & usually with only a little trying to convince me to change my mind.

 

Unfortunately, this is unavoidable when an introvert is friends with an extrovert.  The good friend, like mine was, may have his feelings hurt, but will accept that you don’t want to hang out together 3 times a week (or however often he wants to).  Some extroverts aren’t as nice as my friend was.  Some may get pushy or use guilt to try to manipulate you into doing their will.  They may push you hard to try to become more extroverted as they are.  Don’t give in if you are uncomfortable doing so!  You have every right to be as introverted as you would like to be, just as others have the right to be as extroverted as they would like to be!  Set your boundaries & stick to them.  You have that right!

 

Also try to explain to your friend that it is nothing personal or wrong with him- you just need some alone time.  As he gets energy from being around others, you have that exact same reaction to being alone.  Maybe explain it this way- “You know how good you feel after you spend an afternoon with friends (or at a party or whatever social activity your friend enjoys)?  That’s how I feel after some time to myself.”

 

Most extroverted people will understand & respect your boundaries.  As for those who don’t, or those who continually try to change you into an extrovert?  You may want to reconsider your friendship.  Normal healthy people don’t try to change other people.

 

If you are an introvert reading this, just remember- you’re not alone, you’re not weird & there is nothing wrong with you for being an introvert.  There are plenty of us out there, but you may not know it as we’re most likely spending time alone in our own homes… lol

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under Mental Health