Go Slow. Take Notes. How to Avoid Another Narcissist in Your Life

Whether I'm getting my hair cut, having dinner with a friend or sitting on the therapist’s seat, I hear stories of emotional and physical abuse. Maybe this is because some people I come across know of my book, Sweet Relief From the Everyday Narcissist, and feel safe talking with me.  Or perhaps it’s because the phenomenon of narcissistic relationships is so rampant.  Whatever the reason, I seem to come across story after story of people damaged by their relationship with a narcissist.

Call me jaded if you will, but the proliferation of these tales is no surprise to me. Narcissism is growing by leaps and bounds.* We all know one or two (or ten), and their presence in the media abounds.  Of course, not everyone out there is a narcissist, but they are more present than you might like to think. And over time, being in a relationship with a narcissist is dangerously erosive. Deep pain, confusion, and distress are the fallout.

So, how do you know, early on, before the erosion that causes such suffering, that you are involved with a narcissist? Here are some clues. (Disclaimer: These characteristics taken individually may or may not indicate narcissism. They are points to notice and become curious about. The more behaviors you check off the list, though, the more curious you need to be.)

  • Charming and /or charismatic presence
  • Feeling swept off your feet
  • Feeling relaxed as if in the arms of a great protector and/or provider
  • Enjoying the attention and apparent appreciation from this man (or woman) as you accompany them in the world
  • Feeling extra special or exclusive when with them
  • Basking in the reflected light of their spotlighted "center stage" importance
  • Feeling special from their magnanimous or benevolent behaviors toward you

Does any (or all) of this feel familiar to you in some way?

If half or more of these qualities show up in your relationship, go slow. Be observant of your own experience as you interact with this person. Are you losing sight of yourself as you mingle with this other? Do you find yourself slipping into the background so the other person can stay front and center? With practice, and enough encounters (there will be plenty), you can develop your own visceral cues.  With practice and attention, you can recognize a felt sense of unease that serves as an early warning signal to beware and be extra curious as you interact with each other. Stay tuned into your own signals rather than be seduced into his or hers.

Simply notice your own experience, listen to your wise self, be curious and go slowly.

If you'd like a tool to help you get more in touch with yourself, go to mevoke.com and get acquainted with SADI (your Self-Assessment Development Instrument).  She's waiting to help you tune in. Or, take the full quiz to determine if narcissism plays a role in your relationship(s).

You're welcome to continue the conversation in our Closed Facebook Group. Knock on the door with your request to enter and I'll answer with a smile.

* • http://www.narcissismepidemic.com/aboutbook.html

Posted in anxiety, education, family relationships, inspiration, narcissism, self-help on 07/24/2017 05:45 pm

1 Comment

  1. we enjoy what you guys have posted here. don’t stop the super work!

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