Narcissism is an epidemic in our culture today. You witness it when you experience the driver who executes a lane change at high speed that is a near miss which leaves your heart racing. There are less threatening examples that we witness everyday and, because we have become anesthetized to the unconsciousness behavior of people who walk among us daily, we tend to shrug out shoulders and move on with our business.
For those of us who have experienced a Narcisstic encounter up close and personal, we begin to notice the little things. I believe that I’ve written a post in the past about “flags” that are set upon certain behaviors like not answering direct questions directly or failing to acknowledge that a question has been asked. Although I can use my Narcissistic Radar detector to back away from personal relationships pretty adeptly, it is more difficult to step away from Narcissists in a business situation.
Change is inevitable ... Progress is optional.
This is a statement not only about business, but also about life's ups and downs. Wholeheartedly, it is my belief that it isn't what happens to us that matters most, it is how we respond to things that have happened, especially if the circumstances are qualitatively negative.
As I struggle with my own version of the annual Holiday Blahs, I'm also working out ways to overcome them. It isn't worth the time wasted to slip into a funk that permeates the atmosphere of joy for the loved ones who now surround me and it’s too much work to fake it.
The only alternative is to change my viewpoint. Even if there were no others for me to affect, switching my focus to a more positive view is essential for me to reassemble my life.
A pearl of wisdom was delivered while watching the thought provoking movie, The Matrix, last night. I don't recall the exact scene, but the words caught my attention. They went something like this:
You must choose between the past that lies before
and the past that lies ahead
This is a movie that Julia Roberts starred in. Although she excels in roles like this and I truly admire her skills as a performer, I didn’t rush to the movies to see it. I guess I've become weary of the formulaic predictability of most romantic comedies. As some of us know, real life is not all that predictable.
Thanksgiving is a holiday of note in the history along the path into my relationship with a Narcissist. The first time he invited me to a family holiday meal was Thanksgiving. I wept with joy at his invitation and played the voice mail message again and again to make sure that there was no mistake. I may even have the recording of that voice mail message somewhere on my hard drive but I don't listen to it anymore. He knew that my previous lovers had not included me in their family gatherings. That is why his invitation meant so much to me. I really felt that I had arrived in his life.
You are quietly coasting back an forth in the gentle summer breeze on your porch swing, deeply engaged in conversation with your partner. The warmth in the air mirrors the glow in you are feeling inside, until they casually use a confidence you’ve shared with them in jest. Your partner studies your reaction. You feel the clutch in your stomach, for their remark seemed more cruel than funny, but you don’t know how to respond.
It’s a turning point you will only recognize as a Narcissistic attack after the relationship has ended. At the time, you whisked away your intuition and wrote it off to a joke at your partner’s suggestion. How many more times did you do that during the duration of your narcissistic encounter? How many turning points did you choose ignore?
Years ago, when something easier was troubling me, I asked a mentor how I should handle my desire to renew that habit. Their response was brief and profound. The advice they offered was simply, “Follow it through.” I asked what that meant. My friend explained that I should use my memories to follow through the act of renewing that habit all the way to the point where I had decided to change the habit.
So, when you find yourself pining for your Narcissistic Ex, follow that feeling through. Examine all of the experiences, good or bad, and follow that train of thought right up to the point where the only choice was to leave the relationship. During that stroll down memory lane, you’ll be refreshing memories that both attract and repel you. If you are completely honest with yourself after replaying your mental tapes, you will once again conclude that you’ve made the right decision to leave.
Whether or not we admit to it at the time, what each of us has experienced at the end of our relationship with a Narcissistic Partner is grief for the loss of that relationship.
The most widely accepted definition of the stages of grief has 5 stages, which I will review for you here:.