You know that person who always needs to fight with you or compare her achievements to yours? This is a toxic person. She can be a work colleague, a new boyfriend or girlfriend or even your best friend. This person has to make sure you’re not better off than her and gets off from seeing you in pain. You probably realized that this toxic person is a narcissist.
You might wonder, what if your friend is awfully nice to you one day but puts you down and yells at you the next? What if this friend has helped you your entire life, while covertly abusing you with invalidation, criticism, and disapproval? Is this person still a narcissist? Yes. I think the true essence of a narcissist is the shocking disparity between who they pretend to be (the fake, helpful, overtly nice persona) and who they truly are (an anti-social person who is never happy for anyone and gets energy from other people’s negative emotions).
This is how my mother was. She sounded so nice to others who didn’t know her so well that you could have sworn she wants to be your best friend. However, at home, she would abuse and manipulate me and my brothers through tears, threats and constant put-downs. She was never happy about us and was never happy for our success and fulfillment. If you know someone like that, go no contact with them immediately.
This is how you do it:
When somebody puts you down for the 4th or 5th time and you start to feel insecure about yourself, press pause. Stop the train of thoughts when you reach this faulty conclusion: This friend put me down because is insecure. He had a bad childhood. OR
He cheated on me because I refused to put out. I love him too much to let him go. STOP now and see what you’re doing. This mindset is called excusing bad or abusive behavior. The Stockholm Syndrome. Trauma Bonding. Call it whatever.
When you grow up with abusive parents, you learn that it is not only OK to excuse violent, obnoxious behavior in people, but that it’s even normal. You learn that there is no other option but to take the side of the abuser.
Stop this thinking now and go no contact immediately. The more you put off cutting the ties with this toxic person, the easier it becomes to normalize his abusive behavior. To accept horrible treatment from a spouse instead of being respected and taking care of.
My therapist told me something that blew my mind. There are millions of people in the world. You can choose to have around only those who are willing to respect you and make you happy. It is your right to do that. No one can tell you otherwise.
And, think about it, the happier you are as a person, the happier your friends, spouse and children will be. Helping yourself will contribute to other people’s happiness. Isn’t that neat?
It took me years to learn that.
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