“When your parent is a narcissist, the echo that calls back from within is one of emptiness, loss, and longing…it informs our capacity to be in relationships. Prolonged exposure to the narcissistic parent before verbal skills develop means synthesis of the destructive dynamic…” Adapted from When Your Parent Is a Narcissist
“I’m growing more interested in the subtle cues. I’m beginning to understand that this is my intuition, which I can also think of as my heart and mind working in union. The more I practice paying attention, the stronger my ability to follow my intuition becomes. I listen to the spaces between words.” Adapted from Surviving the Narcissist: 30 Days of Recovery
An article on Entrepreneur.com chronicles the importance of using our intuition. Rose Leadem explains:
“So why do so few people ignore their intuition? Simple: we’re conditioned to…Even as children, we’re told things such as “adults are always right.” We’re trained to listen to what we’re told, not make our own judgments and ultimately, not to follow our intuition.”
Read “Habits of People Who Trust Their Intuition” featuring an interesting infographic here
“Being nothing is the core fear of the narcissist. They know they are deficient, so they react in desperation. They need another person to prove to themselves they exist. You are that person, whether they are elevating you or knocking you down. They only exist if the light is shining on them.”
Adapted from Narcissism: Surviving the Self-Involved
Oxford Dictionary has chosen “toxic” as the “Word of the Year” for 2018. In a video on Twitter, Oxford states:
“…this year more than ever, people have been using ‘toxic’ to describe a vast array of things, situations, concerns and events.”
The video explains how the word is used as a metaphor to describe situations and personalities. Unequivocally, “toxic” describes actions and behaviors of the narcissist.
Check out the video offering examples and explaining the origins of the word “toxic” here
In a blog post on PsychologyToday.com, Melissa Burkley Ph.D. explains the differences between the narcissistic traits between democrats and republicans via maladaptive facets of narcissism including entitlement and exhibitionism. Burke cites a study conducted before the 2016 election:
“…When it came to entitlement, those who were high in this facet of narcissism were much more likely to hold conservative political views. They were more likely to oppose a tax raise, gun control, and policies that would allow refugees or immigrants to enter the country. Essentially, these “Red Narcissists” believe that their group is more deserving of certain benefits and rights than other groups…
And what about exhibitionism? Interestingly, the exact opposite pattern emerged for this facet of narcissism. People high in exhibitionism tended to hold liberal political views on taxes, gun control, and immigration. However, unlike their red brethren, these “Blue Narcissists” demonstrated a much stronger identification with their own political party….”
Read “How to Spot a Red Narcissist Versus a Blue Narcissist” here
“If you have a narcissistic parent, don’t blame yourself but do take responsibility for trying to negotiate with the “role” you’d actually like to vacate. There is no “negotiating.” Be cordial, but try to avoid making nice because it serves to strengthen the dysfunction. You’ll be putting energy back to the mess you are trying to withdraw from.”
Adapted from When Your Parent Is a Narcissist
“As we pull away from the emotional effects of the narcissist, we may feel lonely and sad. The anxiety can feel as intense as when the narcissist was still in our life. But these feelings will ease as we heal and take care of ourselves.” Adapted from Surviving the Narcissist: 30 Days of Recovery
In an article on The Cut, Aubri Juhasz breaks down the similarities and differences between anxiety and stress. Juhasz explains:
“Symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder include ongoing feelings of worry or anxiety, restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep problems. The most important word here is ongoing: When they’re triggered by specific stressors, like a looming deadline or an important decision, these feelings are a normal part of life. But once the stressor ends, so should the stress.”
Read “Am I Suffering From Anxiety or am I Just Stressed?” here
“When you are first coming out of denial, the anxiety spills over. Denial, to some extent, thwarts anxiety about the original issue of concern. But it also causes its own set of secondary anxiety due to all the issues that have remained unaddressed.” Adapted from When Your Parent Is a Narcissist
In a blog post featured on Psychology Today titled “What Are Your Thought Triggers?” Jeffrey S. Nevid Ph.D., ABPP describes the concept of “thought triggers” and how emotions like anxiety and anger impact our thoughts. Nevid writes:
“Feeling your thoughts doesn’t mean that thoughts are felt in the same way you feel a pinprick on your arm or the touch of a feather. Rather, it means recognizing the interconnections between thoughts and feelings—how behind every emotion lies a thought that triggers it. Feeling angry? What’s the thought driving it? You need to be angry with someone or about something. You can’t be angry about nothing or while keeping your mind blank. Underlying the felt experience of anger are thoughts about being treated unfairly and not being able to stand it when people are treated this way…Emotions do not occur in a mental vacuum. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find a thought tethered to your emotional responses…”
Read the post including a helpful exercise for identifying triggers here
In healthy development, the parent “exists” for the sake of the child. With the narcissistic parent, the child “exists” for the sake of the parent.
You may be the child of a narcissist if you’ve been:
- blamed for causing their discomfort
- accused of doing what the narcissist is doing (and denying)—being cold, selfish, manipulative, and so on
- compared to someone else who always does everything perfectly
- attacked about something that the parent knows you are sensitive about
- caught off guard, even though these things have happened before
- confused and wounded after being reprimanded for doing something you were told to do, but then the parent did the bait and switch and you were blamed for how they felt
- told to stop causing drama, that the parent hates drama, and that you don’t understand how much relationships mean to him or her
Fleetwood Mac’s 1975 song “Over My Head” depicts a tumultuous, yet alluring relationship. In the lyrics, Christine McVie echos how one might feel when they’re dealing with a narcissist. In particular, the metaphor of an ever-changing circus wheel certainly reflects the “hot and cold” and “off and on” aspect of a narcissist’s behavior.
You can take me to paradise,
And then again you can be cold as ice
I’m over my head,
But it sure feels nice.
You can take me anytime you like,
I’ll be around if you think you might love me baby,
And hold me tight.
Your mood is like a circus wheel,
You’re changing all the time,
Sometimes I can’t help but feel,
That I’m wasting all of my time.
Think I’m looking on the dark side,
But everyday you hurt my pride,
I’m over my head,
But it sure feels nice,
I’m over my head,
But it sure feels nice.’
Check out a live 1976 version here featuring excellent harmony by Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie.