I used to be really baffled by narcissism.
It didn’t make a lot of sense to me. I am an empath and highly sensitive, so the idea of trying to manipulate someone for my own benefit doesn’t really make sense to me. I understood the concept of someone struggling with low self-esteem, due to trauma, to the point they would try to prove to others they were strong and powerful, and yet still I was often confused by it all.
Then I was Exposed
Then recently I have been exposed to someone with narcissistic tendencies, and I became curious to understand them and our dynamic. Truthfully, this person has been in my life for a while and yet it wasn’t until many years of knowing this person that things started to click and make sense. The more I came to learn and understand narcissism the more I came to understand my interactions with this person and how I wanted to be with them.
I saw their behaviours differently. It was no longer me trying to appease this person or to help them see reason because those things are not likely going to happen. This is who this person is. Acceptance is incredibly freeing! As I move towards acceptance, I also then have the freedom to change how I am in this relationship. I feel a stronger sense of being able to be who I am even if it creates difficulty in the dynamic. I can move to know I am doing what is right for me.
Narcissism is Tricky
I feel our society villainizes the person and not just their actions. It is true the actions of a narcissist can be quite damaging to another person and even abusive. I do want to preface that although I do NOT condone these behaviours, I do understand they are coming from a deep place of wounding. I do believe the wounded wound others and it is our responsibility to heal and not perpetuate these cycles. And yet the narcissist has not been able to heal.
I do have compassion for these folks as their life must be very challenging, lonely and confusing at times. However, I do not condone behaviours that harm others even if someone is unaware they are doing that. That is why I have chosen to change my behaviour to let this person know to the extent that they are causing me harm and no longer allow it. With compassion, honesty and boundaries I hope to move to a better place.
Much research seems to suggest that those with narcissism or narcissistic tendencies are unlikely to change because they do not self-reflect or explore their impact on others. This is a great lesson in ‘I can only control myself’.
How do you want to be in this relationship with this person? Do you want to be in this relationship with this person?
Download my free resource guide on how to recover from being in a relationship with a narcissist.