The Missing Piece!
You can spend years in therapy talking about them and wondering why they did what they did and how they impacted you.
But the missing piece is how does all this relate to you?
At first, it is helpful to focus on the Narcissists in your life, label his behaviour and try to understand it a little.
Yet, ultimately, that is not what will make you heal.
You can do years of work that way and only move a few inches down your own healing path because you are still making everything about him.
And that is what Narcissists want and that is why you are still complicit in, when you focus so much on trying to figure out how and why he hurt you so much.
Your brain will keep asking why?
I don’t understand!
How can he do this to me!
How can he do this to others!
And meanwhile, your focus is not where you have actual power.
It is not focused on yourself or your own patterns and on understanding how your own behaviour, subconscious beliefs and assumptions are complimentary to the Narcissist.
As long as you make a perfect pair of opposites attract, nothing will really change.
When you are trying to figure out how to protect yourself from Narcissists you are still making it all about him.
You experience him as doing things to you, but you lack the insight into how your own way of being is enabling this.
Not because you want to but because nobody showed you how to see your part of the puzzle and how this is feeding into the kind of dynamic that Narcissists love.
When you focus on protecting yourself, you will be looking for some kind of barrier and some kind of a solution to put between yourself and the Narcissist.
This wall may involve trying to ignore your own hurt feelings, trying harder and telling yourself that you have got this and you can make it work.
The wall may involve switching into a state where you feel very little and drift along on auto-pilot or you keep yourself upbeat with lots of positive affirmations.
Yet, it doesn’t really matter how high the wall you are building or how much you try to make this work by persisting it with kindness.
If you are the kind of person he has an interest in, he will find a way to jump over the wall and hit you in your face.
When you try to protect yourself and build a wall, you are focusing outwards.
You are not looking at your own views, assumptions and behaviours.
You may think you are but it is always the same loop, the loop that this is somehow your fault and your responsibility.
That you have to find a way to be ok with it all and keep going, that surely love will win the day even if it means being chronically unkind and unloving to yourself in the process.
Yet, despite all the painful and repetitive trying, what is happening inside of you beneath the surface is ultimately what is giving the Narcissist power over you and refusing to look at it is what’s making you powerless.
You don’t need a wall, you need a deeper, guided and loving introspection which is definitely not the same as beating yourself up and telling yourself you are wrong, or making the whole relationship dynamic your responsibility.
Focusing so much on why Narcissists are bad is pointless because they won’t change.
The only thing really worth looking at is how you can change.
As long as you do not understand why you are so attractive to Narcissists and how you are letting them get away with things, they will keep attacking you.
It turns into a mad sci-fi war of Good versus Evil.
Not because it truly is that black and white, but because you are both digging in your heels on opposite sides of the empathy spectrum.
When you persist at being the good one who is unfairly attacked, you fail to see how you are making it easy for Narcissists to get on your nerves.
Being too good and nice all the time is ultimately also a persona.
Part of the problem is that you have put so much pressure on yourself to be the good one all the time, who forgives and understands, that you have lost sight of some other very helpful sides of your personality and it is wearing you out.
You definitely don’t want to be like a Narcissist, so anything that vaguely smells of him is something you adamantly refuse to embrace in yourself at all so over time you turned yourself into the exact opposite of a Narcissist.
You are definitely not a Narcissist!
But this extreme way of not being like him comes with other problems.
It takes you away from being yourself because now the filter you have created internally for whether you are allowed to feel or be or do something is is this something a Narcissist might do?
And if the answer is yes, you suppress it and cover it up with being the nice person yet again even if it kills you.
What this means is that you have decided in your head who you are supposed to be and you have learnt to squash the impulses that contradict that.
So you don’t act based on how you truly feel first, you act based on how you have decided you are supposed to feel.
And the irony it still making him the center of your world.
Because now his behaviour is dictating what you are and are not allowed to do and be because whatever he is, you have created a rule that says you have to be the opposite.
So, you can see that the Narcissist is being a trying to look all perfect persona in their own way, yet the truth is, in your own way, you are also trying to be good beyond what is actually true and possible for you.
Then it turns into a war between personas, with both sides trying to look beneath the other person’s mask.
Both sides trying to rip it off and say look at you, the real you was all fake.
If you enjoy that and the Narcissist enjoys the drama for sure so he will keep it going, no problem then have it all.
Let him pull your hair while you are lovingly brushing his.
Try to take his mask off while he holds a lit match close to your face.
Try to reasonably and kindly win the argument over who is right and who is wrong about everything.
But if all that struggle is wearing you out, then how about ending the fight not by forgiving him time and time again but by learning how to take your focus off of him instead.
How about putting all the who is doing what and why aside and look beneath your own mask?
What is it inside of you that is keeping you locked in this painful dynamic?
It is not as scary as you fear, I promise.
You will not discover that you are secretly a Narcissist.
You will find some justified rage and hatred and those are extremely helpful emotions that will help ground and energise you and see you through.
It is time to focus less on how he is inauthentic, and more on how you are not allowing yourself to be fully you.
Being your true self will set you free.
It will loosen the Narcissist’s grip.
It will lessen his interest in you.
It will help you see things for what they are and stand up for yourself in a new way.
I’m not saying Narcissists are nice people.
I’m not saying that your hurt is unjustified.
I am saying that if you keep getting locked into painful relationship dynamics with the Narcissists then it is time to look deeper.
Yes, Narcissists are Abusive.
Yes, Narcissists twists reality.
Yes, Narcissists get a kick out of taking others down.
Yet if you want to break free from the grip he has on your life then you need to look inside, at how some of your own attitudes are killing you, killing your energy, killing your enthusiasm and killing your faith in humanity.
It’s ok to redefine who you will let yourself be so you can still be a good person but suffer a whole lot less.
This is not a one time adjustment.
Abusive people are your permission slip from the universe to reinvent yourself.
This means you become more authentic, more of who you truly are because you start looking not just at your ideal self but also at your sustainable self, the part of you that has needs and that will through pain remind you that you are human who has limits as to what you can put up with.
Being more human and less of an idealistic super person is a good thing, it actually makes you more compassionate because it makes you more real.
It means you develop the muscle to face facts and deal with disappointments.
It means you keep building better ways to move forward and inspire others.
Because if you keep throwing yourself against the wall trying to prove something about love, other people will see how it is hurting you and will not copy you.
If your love doesn’t include loving yourself then there has to be a better way.
You can keep the scarf if you love it, but you do need to stop stuffing your feelings with french cheese.