Narcissists What The Experts Don't Want You To Know
Not every man who doesn’t concede to your wishes is a narcissist.
Not every relationship that breaks down does so because one partner is a narcissist.
Not every argument or misunderstanding is due to the other party being a narcissist.
If however, you are to pick up any article on relationships, you may feel that the whole world is full of narcissists.
The problem is, narcissism, or the media portrayal of it sells.
Here is the big news – we all have so-called narcissist traits, we need them to survive. It can feel in moments of communication breakdown that the other party is displaying strong narcissist behaviour, but are they?
Or is it that, they like so many other (maybe including yourself) they haven’t been taught or don’t have the intuitive guidance on how to manage deep connections.
Could it be that fear of not being enough, being unlovable, not being worthy of love or some deep childhood trauma cause fear of confrontation, fear of being called out, fear of being abandoned if they don’t match your expectations?
With this, we can manifest all sorts of unpleasant behaviour, which although not nice to be on the receiving end of doesn’t make your partner narcissistic and does not, therefore, make you a victim of narcissistic abuse.
To claim otherwise diminishes your sense of self, makes you a victim and stripes you of your power.
How about you are both just two souls trying the best you can with your own limitations, beliefs, hurts, traumas and desire to be happy, loved and accepted.
What if instead of labelling yourself or your partner or your parent or your sibling, child or wherever this pattern is prevalent, you tried to understand rather than make yourself understood.
What would make you behave this way? What hurt could make you act defensively? What may make you deny those words you throw out in anger?
Often “Gaslighting” is used as a definer of narcissism, but this is really oversimplifying the situation.
What mother hasn’t told her child the things aren’t as bad they seem or aren’t as they perceive them to be? This is also a form of gas-lighting as it undermines that child’s own feelings and inner knowledge.
What couple hasn’t had an argument about what was said or not said in the heat of an argument, both by denying what was alleged or changing the tone and meaning, is that not gaslighting?
Who among us has never denied or minimised the meaning behind a statement in the cold light of day, with the hope of making the other party feel better?
And who has not at least once in their life downright denied something happened or was said?
Who has never at least one tried to convince the other party that what you understood was actually what they meant?
Are these not all examples of manipulation, gas-lighting and coercion that we use in everyday life and would leave us horrified if someone were to accuse us of narcissism? Yes, a relationship where one or both parties are constantly walking on eggshells is no fun, can feel intimidating and can create anxiety and fear, but it isn’t narcissism is at play.
It merely tells me that there has been a breakdown in communication, the people involved may be afraid to tell their truth for any number of reasons:
- Past experience
- Low self-worth and believing you don’t deserve more
- An overbearing parent who would allow you to express yourself
- Lack of self-awareness, therefore no conscious knowledge of the behaviour.
I have a client who complains her partner never tells her when he has a business trip coming up. He always tells her with minimum notice and she gets mad, feels deceived, doesn’t always believe that is is a last minute thing.
She wondered if he had narcissistic tendencies.
When I asked her how she reacts to his business trips she admitted that she hates when he goes away, she moans, complains, picks arguments and accuses him of putting her behind his career.
I asked what would happen if he told you three weeks in advance, how would that change things for you? She admitted that it is the feeling of being abandoned, rather than the amount of notice that upsets her, so it's likely her behaviour wouldn’t be dramatically different. It was easy for her to see that is she addressed this issue then the other part would resolve itself, she could let go of the story that it was her or his career and find a story that supports their relationship together.
The idea that if you don’t get what you want your partner is narcissistic it is also truly insulting and dis-empowering to those women and men who are caught up fighting for their mental and emotional lives in the face of narcissists and sociopaths.
To lump you all in together is irresponsible.
It erodes your power and keeps you firmly in victim status, my wish to allow you to look at your particulate situation without labelling it good or bad, without defining roles of victim and abuser, (so often we are both), but with compassion and understanding rather than bitterness and hurt.
I see people who spend so long trying to label people and situations they never step out of them, how about we deal with the reality, learn how to step out of the cycle and then when harmony, balance and healthy communication is restored, you can address the why, if you still feel the need.
It is my aim to stop the reckless talk about emotional abuse and instead allow you to regain power in your relationship, but understanding the patterns at work in your relationships by the offering you the tools to embrace change.
Change always starts within ourselves. We are so incredibly powerful, yet often we are unaware of that power and how we use it to create our reality.
If you are questioning your role in any of your significant relationships, stop for a second and download my training program on Identifying and Changing Emotional Abuse Patterns.
It will offer you a fresh perspective and many aha moments, Download Here - Identifying & Changing Emotional Abuse Patterns