Breaking Free From The Narcissist?
First and foremost setting healthy boundaries is a key to self care.
If you have been emotionally abused and manipulated, it’s time to set very clear boundaries.
This means taking time for yourself.
Are there things you stopped doing because the Narcissist didn’t approve?
Are there old friends or family you avoid?
Maybe there is something you have always wanted to try.
It is time to embrace the things you like, even if you are not sure what they are.
Don’t let the Narcissist’s opinion bring you down.
If you finally join a bowling league, keep them out of your head.
Don’t worry if you never make a strike, if your bowling shoes are hideous, or if you ate a chili dog and fried macaroni and cheese on a stick between frames.
If you feel that ever present mocking gaze and grow painfully self conscious, remind yourself, “I’m just being me, and I have a right to be me“.
If it turns out you kind of hate bowling don’t beat yourself up about it.
The Narcissist likes to scoff at anything new, especially when it excludes them or is something they aren’t familiar with.
But unlike the Narcissist, you are not afraid to pursue your interests and try something new.
These activities are identity affirming.
Remember that if you subjugate your needs long enough, you will begin to lose your sense of self.
Go looking for you.
Find what makes you happy, no matter what anyone else thinks.
You know the saying, “Let your freak flag fly?“, well it is really a “I’m just being myself” flag.
Keeping the Narcissist’s overblown black and white judgment out of your head might actually be the hardest part.
Narcissists make you feel guilty when you experience happiness because they expect you to put their happiness first.
If you are not busy praising them, accepting put downs so they can feel superior and catering to their every whim, they are not going to be happy at all.
I understand the Anxiety that envelops you in this situation.
Focusing on them is enough to make you want to give up.
Stop thinking, “What do I say if this happens?”
“What do I do when the Narcissist does that?”
There is no blueprint for navigating these relationships.
It’s not about winning an epic battle or finally putting the Narcissist in their place.
Keep the focus on you.
I know the difficulty of shutting out the Narcissist’s judgment.
It is hard to weed out the pollution of disapproval.
Sometimes every pleasure seems like a Guilty Pleasure.
All I can do is keep my compass trained on my own happiness and follow it.
I trust that it doesn’t mean I will hurt people because I’m a good person.
In fact that is probably what the Narcissist saw in me in the first place and wanted so desperately to extract.