Arrogance, self-service, and manipulation are classic narcissistic behaviors. An article from the New York Times titled “Weinstein’s Complicity Machine” chronicles how Harvey Weinstein used his power to manipulate and exploit those around him in order to silence his victims. The article says:
“…He commanded enablers, silencers and spies, warning others who discovered his secrets to say nothing. He courted those who could provide the money or prestige to enhance his reputation as well as his power to intimidate.”
Read the entire article here
In an article from The Cut titled “11 Stress Experts on Surviving the Constant Anxiety That Is 2017” Katie Heaney compiles a list of several helpful, professionally-backed ways to deal. Heaney writes:
“If you’re feeling a persistent, low-level dread, you’re not alone….a recent…survey found that 63 percent of American say “the future of the nation” (no small category!) is a significant source of stress. From all available evidence, the news isn’t likely to get any happier or easier to swallow anytime soon, so here are 11 psychologists and stress experts on how to survive the rest of the year. (And the next. If we get one.)”
Read the article here
Obsessing is what I do to unconsciously avoid addressing something. When I obsess about, for example, whether I’m good enough, I can take this as a sign that I’m avoiding looking at the real problem that may be, for instance, my fear of being abandoned.
Obsessions are distractions that keep me from feeling the sadness or hurt, the anger or rage that’s inside me. While some of these emotions are directly related to the relationship with the narcissist, they are also connected to buried feelings from the past that, once addressed, can be healed and let go.
The longer I avoid a problem the bigger it becomes in my mind. If I start obsessing I can ask: What am I trying to avoid? But by simply asking this question, I become open to discovering the real issue, which brings me closer to actually addressing it. I trust that addressing the real problem will help me heal.
From Surviving the Narcissist:
30 Days of Recovery
Narcissism is a widely misunderstood condition. In an article on Psychology Today titled “Meet the Real Narcissists (They’re Not What You Think)” Rebecca Webber breaks down common misconceptions and stereotypes and explains what labeling someone a narcissist actually means.
The term narcissist has been widely deployed to describe not only a passel of difficult relatives and regretted exes, but also both nominees for president and the entire generation known as Millennials. Is narcissism really so widespread or on the rise in the general population?
Read the article here
Although not all of the following titles reference narcissistic personality disorder specifically, they all feature toxic relationships, manipulative dynamics and unhealthy patterns which can be helpful to see as you familiarize yourself with the impact of the narcissist in your life.
Emma in the Night: A Novel by Wendy Walker
Three years earlier, teenage sisters Emma and Cassie disappeared. When Cassie returns home without Emma, Dr. Abby Winter, the detective working on the case, realizes the girls’ mother exhibits extreme narcissistic behaviors. As she investigates Cassie’s version of the events, Abby pieces together the disturbing truth.
The Goddesses by Swan Huntley
Nancy hopes that a move to Kona, Hawaii will be a fresh start for her family. But immediately she meets Ana, an enigmatic yoga teacher. Soon, the two women become inseparable. Nancy is drawn to Ana’s free-spirited lifestyle and adventurous ways. As Nancy begins to disregard her responsibilities to spend time with her new friend, she finds herself caught up in Ana’s manipulative web.
White Oleander by Janet Finch
After Astrid’s mother, Ingrid, is sentenced to prison for killing a man, Astrid bounces through foster homes in Los Angeles, encountering countless hardships as she attempts to carve out a life for herself. Although she tries to move on, the ties she has with her enigmatic, manipulative mother remain impossible to sever.
Dead Letters by Caite Dolan Leach
Two years ago, Ava fled to Paris in an attempt to escape her chaotic upbringing. When she learns that her reckless twin Zelda was killed in a house fire, Ava returns to her family’s failing vineyard in upstate New York. While caring for her critical, alcoholic mother who is suffering from dementia, Ava begins to receive clues and riddles from Zelda and begins to doubt that her sister is truly dead.
Once you determine that you are in a relationship with a narcissist, you might consider asking yourself the following questions.
- Can I accept the relationship for exactly what it is right now, without trying to change it, and am I willing to live this way?
- Can I accept the other individual for exactly what they are right now, without trying to change them, and am I willing to live this way?
- Do I expect the other individual to change, to want to change, to be on board to change?
- Do I expect the other individual to work with me to change our relationship?
- Do I expect the other individual to do it for me?
- Am I trying to change for the other person?
- Am I living in the past, daydreaming about how nice things were at the beginning?
- Do I measure the relationship in happiness/peacefulness or pain/anxiety?
- Do I use much of my own time trying to figure things out, trying to find easy ways to help the other individual change to make our relationship better?
- Is the other person engaging in other relationships that are undermining our relationship?
- Why does it seem that even if I am seeking to change or better the relationship, the n seems to be seeking to change or “better” (meaning criticize) me, anything to keep the focus or responsibility off of themselves?
- If I leave this person, do I worry I’ll end up with another n?
Think, meditate or write in response to these questions. See what your answers reveal.
Adapted from Narcissism: Surviving the Self-Involved
From peer support to breathing techniques, there are a variety of apps geared towards helping mental health. An article from The Guardian titled “Staying appy: mental health apps deliver mixed results” by Kim Thomas goes over the pros and cons of these apps, as well as what to look for when selecting an app for yourself. Thomas quotes Eve Critchley, head of digital at mental health charity Mind who says:
“For people who are socially isolated or less able to engage in face-to-face support, it may be preferable to use something that you can use privately or anonymously.”
Read the article here
In a blog post titled “The Narcissistic Personality: How They Think” featured on PsychologyToday.com, Joe Navarro M.A. provides helpful insight into how narcissistic and toxic people operate. Navarro writes:
“In doing the research, in talking to the victims and listening to story after story of stolen childhoods, destructive marriages, and burdensome relationships, I heard the same tragic refrain: narcissists see themselves as being so special that no one else matters. No one. Over time, the behavior resulting from their defining pathological traits will cast a wide debris field of human suffering.
Read the post here
The child of a narcissist may have unwittingly absorbed their parent’s anger and internal rage. But because these things truly belong to the parent, the child cannot heal, fix, or change them. The only thing that can help undo the dynamic is when the child detaches from the narcissistic parent.
The adult child of a narcissist may feel that releasing the anger will:
—destroy and annihilate everything around them
—destroy the parent from whom they desperately want attention and love
—reveal the extent to which they are supposedly damaged and out of control
This occurs below the level of consciousness. These intense feelings seem to push from behind, like a masked robber holding a gun to your back. When this happens, try asking yourself:
- What part of this issue is really mine?
- How long have I been engaged in this issue—and why did I start?
- What do I expect to gain from this issue if I continue to carry it?
Adapted from When Your Parent Is a Narcissist
In an article titled “Why Getting Angry Can Make You Happier in the Long Run” featured on time.com, Amanda MacMillan describes the results of a study on happiness conducted at the University of Jerusalem. The study reveals why negative and unpleasant emotions lead to greater happiness in life. MacMillan quotes lead researcher Maya Tamir, a psychology professor, who explains:
“What my research shows is that happier people are those who experience the emotions they want to experience…if I am a person who finds anger desirable—for instance, because anger helps me fight injustice—I am likely to be happier if I feel some anger than if I don’t.”
Read the article which includes a link to the study here