Tag Archives: respect
Recently, God told me something fascinating. “To narcissists, fear plus obedience equals respect.” I thought this was fascinating & it made a lot of sense! Narcissists clearly have no grasp of what true respect really is. They also have no grasp of how to get respect. What they do to get their so called respect is nothing like what most people do.
Most people realize you can’t demand someone respect you, you have to earn their respect. Narcissists don’t think that way. My mother used to tell me, “I demand respect!” Didn’t work… I had very little respect for her.
Also, most people don’t try to force someone to do anything. They go on about their lives not trying to force someone to respect them. They instead do things that earn people’s respect such as helping the underprivileged or homeless. Narcissists don’t care about doing good deeds to earn respect. They believe that they’re entitled to it no matter what.
I also thought at first that this pertained only to overt narcissists. They have no problem yelling, cursing, demeaning, invalidating, intimidating & using physical force on a victim to get whatever they want. It can be easy for people to become intimidated by such things & become obedient to the narcissist.
As I thought about this, God said it goes for covert narcissists too. They may not be so obviously intimidating, but they truly can instill fear in their victims which makes them obedient. Their weapons are quieter, such as using guilt, shame, acting disappointed & the silent treatment, but they are effective nonetheless. That also made sense. A victim may not be afraid of a covert narcissist screaming at them or hitting them, but they do still fear the covert narcissist’s quiet wrath & will do about anything to avoid it. Fear & obedience.
I also wondered how narcissists know to do what they do. I mean, they’re not exactly insightful. Yet somehow they also know what to do to each unique victim to get what they want. How do they all know that fear & obedience will get them their so called respect? God answered that question too. He said the devil tells them things. Apparently he & his demons basically whisper things to them, & the messages are kind of like a subliminal message. These messages are spoken quietly & subtly, so narcissists think they are their own ideas. They’re also simple, along the lines of “If you scream at her, she will do what you want” rather than explaining more complicated details, such as fear & obedience equal respect.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that narcissists are helpless against the devil’s will. They aren’t, but they choose not to ignore him. Repeatedly doing the devil’s work has shut down their natural empathy & their willingness to listen to God. 2 Timothy 2:26 in the English Standard Version, it says, “and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.” Clearly, people can choose to reject doing the devil’s work.
I’m telling you this in order that you may understand what you’re dealing with regarding narcissists. You aren’t dealing merely with an obnoxious person when you deal with a narcissist. You’re dealing with an evil spirit wanting to hurt you. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
Remember what exactly you are dealing with, Dear Reader. Learn about spiritual warfare, & most importantly, stay close to your Heavenly Father. All you have to do is ask Him & He will gladly help you in any situation, including this one.
After writing my book, “Regrettably Related: A Guide To Toxic In-Laws”, I was thinking some about it one day. One of the topics that came to mind was respect. I thought I would share those thoughts with you.
As I mentioned in the book, I believe many toxic in-laws are narcissistic. And, as we who know anything at all know about narcissists, they have a fixation with respect. Sadly, they have no clue what real respect is.
Real respect is not treating people like dirt while expecting them to submit to your will no matter what. No one wants to be mistreated. It becomes even more insulting when the person treating you badly demands that you do anything they want. It’s insulting & disrespectful!
Real respect is treating those your loved ones care about with civility even when you don’t like them. This is a big one for me. Probably the biggest part of my issue with my in-laws wasn’t that they hated me. It was that they had so little respect for my husband, their son & brother, that they couldn’t manage basic civility with me. That speaks volumes about their character or lack thereof. I’ve had friends with significant others I disliked, but for the sake of my friends, I would do my best to be polite to the person.
Real respect is earned, & no one can successfully demand it. My entire life, my mother would tell me, “I DEMAND respect!” Well, that didn’t work out well for her. Telling people to respect you never works. Behaving in such a way that people want to respect you is what works. It’s much like trust in this way.
Real respect involves boundaries. It seems to narcissists, boundaries is a filthy, terrible word that never should be uttered. No one in a narcissist’s life is allowed to have those awful boundaries. This is one more piece of evidence that proves they have no true concept of respect. A respectful person has & enforces their own healthy boundaries, while respecting the boundaries of others.
Real respect doesn’t belittle or criticize. Constructive criticism is fine of course, when said gently. Anyone who is making a mistake needs to know that they are making a mistake. However, belittling & harsh criticisms have no place in respect. If you respect another person, you won’t say cruel things to them, & if they respect you, they won’t say cruel things to you either.
Real respect isn’t selfish. If you respect someone, you aren’t selfish with them. You recognize they are an individual separate from you who has their own unique wants, needs & feelings. You won’t insist on having your own way no matter what.
Real respect means you don’t assume you know best. Respectful people recognize that other people are individuals who have their own specialties & talents. They also know that others will know what is best for them rather than assume their way is what is best.
Real respect genuinely cares about other people. Truly respecting someone also means you care about that person. You value that person as the unique person they are instead of only what they can do for you.
Real respect means you care about yourself. Self respect is so very important! It means you won’t tolerate abuse from anyone. It means you won’t demean yourself or compromise your values. It means you treat yourself well. It also means you take care of your physical & mental health. These reasons are why narcissists try to destroy their victims’ self respect. They don’t want them to do these things. A person lacking self respect is controllable, unlike someone with a healthy level of self respect.
As you can see, narcissists clearly have absolutely no concept of what respect really is. So the next time a narcissist calls you disrespectful, take it as a complement & remember they have absolutely no idea what respect really is.
Most narcissists, in particular overt narcissists, come across as fearing nothing. The fact is though that underneath that brazen, rough facade often lies a very scared person.
There are some things that frighten all narcissists to the very core of their being, & this post will share those things.
Being criticized is a big one. All narcissists work hard to create a false image of a really great person to the world. If they are criticized, this can damage that image. The image must be maintained perfectly at all times, & criticism can threaten that image. While narcissists are often quick to criticize other people, they can’t tolerate it being done to them.
Being treated without respect is another fear of narcissists. To be respected helps them to maintain that false image they work so hard to present by showing them that they are worthy of respect. Any sign of disrespect can damage that fragile false image, so they will not tolerate disrespect no matter how slight or unintentional it may be. My overtly narcissistic mother always told me, “I demand respect.” I’ve heard others say that their narcissistic parents or spouses said the same thing. They obviously don’t realize a person can’t truly respect someone simply because they are ordered to respect that person.
Ignoring a narcissist is something they simply cannot tolerate. Narcissists thrive on attention & the narcissistic supply it provides. If you adore a narcissist, you’re providing supply. If you hate a narcissist, you’re also providing supply. Love & hate are both very strong emotions & take up much of a person’s thoughts. That is why both emotions are great sources of narcissistic supply. Ignoring a narcissist shows you feel nothing for that person, which not only fails to provide narcissistic supply, it damages their ego. Narcissists who are ignored often behave worse than they did when in a relationship with their victim because that victim has ceased to provide their precious narcissistic supply. This is why so many narcissists resort to vicious smear campaigns, harassment & even stalking if their victim ignores them. If they can’t make you love them, they will be satisfied to make you hate them.
A huge fear all narcissists have is their abusive behavior being exposed to anyone other than their victim. Since narcissists want to be well thought of by everyone, being exposed as the abusive monster they are would destroy that. Rather than run the risk of exposure, they find it much better to keep their victims silent by any & all means necessary. They isolate them by ruining their relationships with friends & family, they scare victims, use guilt, shame & gaslighting to keep them silent. They also run damage control by convincing those in their circle that the victim is crazy, irrational, over sensitive or even mentally ill.
Rejection is another huge fear of narcissists. They take rejection as a personal attack. While no one likes to be rejected, narcissists take it to a very different level. Most people examine their behavior & make appropriate changes. They also hurt, but they also move on. Narcissists do NOT examine their behavior & move on. They get angry that anyone would dare end a relationship with them. Their abusive ways are no reason to end that relationship, after all. The victim should just take it indefinitely without complaint. Since that didn’t happen, narcissists get angry & again, may resort to a vicious smear campaign, harassment or even stalking.
Possibly the biggest fear narcissists have is abandonment. (Ironic, when you consider that by the time they’re elderly, they have chased away most of their friends & family with their awful & abusive behavior.) Narcissists need narcissistic supply to function like the rest of humanity needs air. They can’t function without a steady stream of narcissistic supply, so they have a deep fear of abandonment. To avoid this, they will rage & threaten victims in an attempt to make them stay. If a victim leaves them, they will promise to change & love bomb as a way to lure their victim back. If left alone, narcissists will have to face their own company & they don’t like to do that. No one wants to see the ugliness on the inside of a narcissist, not even the narcissist!
If the narcissist in your life is acting even worse than usual lately, one of these scenarios may be why. There is nothing you can do to make the situation better, so if at all possible, avoid this person as much as possible. Also, never forget to practice the Gray Rock method, & provide no narcissistic supply.
Growing up with narcissistic parents, you learn early on that to show respect means that you tolerate abuse, blindly obey & never talk back or confront your parents about the abuse they inflicted on you. Since you are ignored & invalidated, you also knew that you are unworthy of this so-called respect.
The fact is though that none of this is real respect! It is some mock version of respect narcissists teach their kids so they can justify their abuse.
If you too grew up with such a skewed view of respect, then it’s time to get a healthier perspective.
Respect should be mutual in a healthy relationship. Both parties should care about each other & each other’s needs & feelings.
Respect is earned, not demanded. My mother used to tell me that she demanded respect, which is entirely wrong! A person can command respect with their actions, but demanding respect never works out well. When a person is ordered to give someone respect, that person is immediately turned off to the demanding one.
There is absolutely nothing respectful about tolerating abuse. Standing up for yourself shows that you have self-respect, that you care enough about yourself to want better & to know that you deserve better treatment.
Saying “no” can be a very respectful thing. Allowing someone to have their way at all times shows that you have no self-respect. Enforcing healthy boundaries however, shows you respect yourself. It also shows that you care enough about the other person to want them to do better, because boundaries encourage good behavior.
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.
Good morning, Dear Readers.
As Mother’s Day approaches, I know many of you are suffering, because your mother was (probably still is) abusive. It doesn’t help that everywhere you turn, commercials, ads & even well meaning but oblivious people are telling you to celebrate your mother tomorrow. After all, she’s the only mother you’ll ever have, & she won’t be around forever!!
My heart goes out to each of you, & I’m praying for everyone reading this to have peace tomorrow. I’m sorry for not only the abuse you have endured & continue to endure, but for the guilt trips you undoubtedly hear each Mother’s Day. Ignore the guilt! While your mother deserves basic respect because she is your mother, that doesn’t mean you need to praise her endlessly for being a fantastic mother if she wasn’t.
“But it’ll hurt her feelings if I don’t make a big fuss!” You may be thinking. True, but did you ever think that if she wanted you to treat her well, she should have treated you well? We reap what we sow, according to Galatians 6:7-9. Your mother is no exception. If you can’t make yourself buy her an overly sweet, sentimental card & a fancy gift, that doesn’t mean you’re a bad person or a bad daughter- it means she is reaping what she has sown. How can sowing seeds of name calling, ridicule, mind games or physical or sexual abuse create a harvest of love, deep respect & the desire to praise? That’s like planting green beans & expecting a harvest of apples!
Take care of yourself, Dear Readers, & don’t forget to be good to yourself tomorrow! Whether or not you have children, chances are you mother someone. A niece, nephew, a friend or neighbor’s child or even pets like me. Do something nice for YOU! Tomorrow & every day. ❤