My books have helped thousands to step back, and away, from the damaging effects of a narcissistic person, whether it’s a present-day relationship or one that has haunted them from the past. Now, they may help you, too.

Narcissist ruining your life?

Maybe you love one. Or work for one. Maybe you’re related to one. Or were raised by one. Whatever the relationship, you’ve likely been hurt by the narcissist in your life.

If one cannot experience love, is an “I love you” even possible?

Dear [____],

You’re my favorite. My star.

You hold the key to the universe that is me. 

Actually, right now I hold the key. 

And I promise to give it to you. 

When I’m ready. 

I’ll never be ready.

It’s cute how you try.

And try.

Your unswerving devotion to me no matter what I do or say.  

It makes me care about your struggles. 

As a means of using them to fuel my power over you.

I just want the best for me.

Therefore, the first thing you need to do is tell me what I need. 

It better be correct. 

Don’t fuss. You can’t become my star if you fuss. You can’t have the key to the universe that is me, either. That’s what you want, isn’t it?  That’s what you should want. Believe me when I say that others want it—and don’t dare ask me to prove it.

Don’t overestimate your value, dear. 

You are not that special.

I’m your parent so your faults are very obvious to me. 

That’s what parents are for—to point out, to notice, and help their children fix their problems.
I care about you more than you care about yourself…and about me. That’s what really hurts. And that you think you’re better than me.

I have news for you: you’re needy, sensitive, and a bossy, manipulative know-it-all. 

I’m worried about you and it’s my job as a parent to let you know.

But I don’t deserve this; I did not sign up for this. When I brought you into the world, into my family, into my life, I expected you to be better than this. I can’t accept it. 

Or you.

Now, now, don’t look so sad and defeated. You need help. All right, you need my help. No, no, I’m not going to walk away from you now. Whatever gave you that idea?

Stop asking me if I love you. It’s a foolish question. You’re my child. When you make me feel worthwhile I love you more than I love myself. Your siblings don’t understand me because they are selfish and immature. You’ve gotten over that. You’ve transcended yourself. You’re so adult. You’re the good child. I know you’ll never leave me. 

My very own little star that shines on me.

Signed, Your Parent 

—Meredith Gordon Resnick

Adapted from: WHEN YOUR PARENT IS A NARCISSIST: Uncovering origins, patterns, and unconscious dynamics—to help you grow and let go
Copyright 2016 Meredith Gordon Resnick

Game Over image credit: Gerd Altmann via Pixabay https://pixabay.com/users/geralt-9301/

The more I accept exactly what the situation is, and how the narcissist is—something that might be thought of as being “dedicated to reality”—the better off I am. Reality is in the present, not the past. There is a certain kind of mourning that goes with letting go of the illusion and seeing that the relationship is not what I thought it was going to be.

I trust that accepting reality without trying to change or judge it is a powerful tool that helps me heal. Today I practice being dedicated to reality.

Adapted from Surviving the Narcissist: 30 Days of Recovery

Scott Mautz’s article on INC. covers a helpful way to handle difficult conversations. Mautz cites Dr. Albert Bernstein who implores actively listening to the other person instead of planning your words in advance. He writes:

Bernstein says it’s far more important to listen, reflect, and observe. The more you listen, the more likely it is that they will.

And you get more of an opportunity to listen by asking fair questions rather than thinking of the next statement you’re going to make. I applied this immediately to a tough conversation I had to have. I set aside all the statements and points I wanted to make, and focused on listening and asking questions in response. I found the other party was much more willing to listen right back. I’m 100 percent certain it led to a better outcome.

Read “Want to Make Difficult Conversations Easy? Try This 1 Counterintuitive Trick, According to Psychology” here

A parent’s job is to act as a mirror for their child through visual, tactile, auditory, and sensory feedback. However, the narcissistic parent looks into their child’s eyes seeking self-validation.

This lack of authentic attention is a kind of abandonment. Pretending that an n parent is emotionally available is not uncommon. It becomes a means of holding out hope that the parent will become present.

Adapted from When Your Parent Is a Narcissist

L. Carol Ritchie’s article featured on NPR offers some ways to quell negative self-talk and inner criticism such as labeling the negative voice and focusing on breathing.

“You have a voice inside your head. It runs constantly, providing live commentary about your life to the audience of your brain.
But it’s not an objective reporter. It likes to act as critic, judge and jury — especially when it comes to social situations…

Those negative thoughts can hold you back from making new friends, connecting with colleagues or sharing your brilliant ideas in meetings. Especially for shy or introverted people, it can be a real handicap and even lead to loneliness or isolation.”

Read “Feeling Insecure? 6 Tips To Quiet Your Inner Critic” here

In an article on NBC News, Danielle Page explores harmful relationship patterns such as ghosting and gaslighting. Page writes that naming and identifying the behaviors are the first steps to moving on. Page quotes Dr. Christine Selby, Ph.D. who says:

“‘…knowing there is a name for the behavior means that there were many others who also engaged in the bad behavior. In fact, there were so many others the behavior was named. Those on the receiving end of the bad behavior often feel better when they learn they were not the only ones who were victims. This can further help victims feel like they are not alone and aren’t ‘crazy.'”

Read “Ghosting, gaslighting, orbiting: How putting a name to a bad behavior can help you heal” here

Bianca Vivion Brooks explains her decision to quit social media. In the piece featured in the New York Times, Brooks writes:

Though I thought disappearing from social media would be as simple as logging off, my refusal to post anything caused a bit of a stir among my small but loyal following. I began to receive emails from strangers asking me where I had gone and when I would return. One message read: “Not to be over familiar, but you have to come back eventually. You’re a writer after all. How will we read your writing?” Another follower inquired, “Where will you go?”

The truth is I have not gone anywhere. I am, in fact, more present than ever.

Over time, I have begun to sense these messages reveal more than a lack of respect for privacy. I realize that to many millennials, a life without a social media presence is not simply a private life; it is no life at all: We possess a widespread, genuine fear of obscurity.

Read “I Used to Fear Being a Nobody. Then I Left Social Media” here

Denial can be a kind of protective shock absorber, a part of the grieving process when something important ends. When the qualities of denial overextend, when I inadvertently label it “hope” or call it “trying harder to make things work”, I masquerade my attempts because I’ve not been ready to make a change. Even though the relationship is getting worse, and I’m increasingly unhappy in it, I keep trying. 

Today I will do something different.

I ask myself if “trying harder” has distracted me from seeing what I don’t want to see. Today I am not afraid of the answer.”

Adapted from Surviving the Narcissist: 30 Days of Recovery

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