This blog is aesthetically geared toward women but what I write about does not discriminate against age, race, wisdom, gender, socioeconomic status, or sexual orientation. I have been lucky enough to coach and connect with men and women in 24 countries around the world. I’ve worked with supermodels, A-list celebs, public figures, politicians, CEO’s, professors, professional athletes, students, entrepreneurs, musicians, single moms/dads, lawyers, therapists, retirees in their 70’s, teenagers just starting out and the list goes on. What has surprised me the most: NONE of us are immune to selective red flag blindness, pain, f*cktards, and thinking that somehow our “not enough-ness,” is at the root of it all. We ALL Google search the sh*t out of our exes, issues, and fears. We ALL stalk, obsess and feel alone in our pain. We all look for answers. We all look for a way out and we all want to know if it really is just us. I felt alone in my pain and confusion for so long that getting people out of pain, providing answers, and allowing them to see that they were not/are never alone became my obsession. 2 years later, I turned that obsession into a business. No matter what, I think we can all say that we are related to, have been in friendsh*ts with and have dated narcissistic people.
5 things I’ve learned:
- Not all emotionally unavailable people are narcissistic but all narcissists are emotionally unavailable.
- Like attracts like – who’s going to be attracted to a narcissist other than another narcissist? (this is what I call Reverse Narcissism and I explain it here + in many other posts). You’ve got one person who has blinders on when it comes to anything other than their needs, agenda, and attention-mongering. You’ve then got another person who has blinders on when it comes to anything other than making the behavior of their narcissistic partner all about their perceived lack of value. Either way – no matter how you slice and dice it, you’ve got 2 people making it all about them – both unable to own their own behavior and unable to let the other person own theirs.
- The same red flags that you choose to ignore/work harder to try to be the exception to/negate, are the same reasons you’re in relationsh*t territory and that it ultimately fails.
- It’s possible to miss someone and know that they’re not good for you. It’s okay to miss a narcissistic ex and know that you can’t get back together with them but miss them anyway. However – if you keep getting hurt by someone, it IS possible to take your heart out of the boxing ring. It IS possible to stop equating being beaten up with pleasure. It IS possible to remove the wool from your eyes and acknowledge that you’re not only getting beat up but that you don’t like getting beat up and deserve to never get beat up again (by yourself or anyone else). It IS possible to partake in the JOY of being and avoid toxic investments. You wouldn’t do it with your money so why do it with your heart? It’s okay to miss the HIGH that the sh*tty investment gave you as long as you stop viewing it as something worth investing in. Bad experiences can have incredible moments. The goal is not to beat yourself up and allow guilt, shame, and blame take over. The goal is to acknowledge your pain in the context of the awareness that you now have of your ex’s emotional and relational ineptness.
- Narcissistic exes are the hardest to get over. The highs are unlike anything you’ve ever experienced and the lows, although deal-breakingly awful, are more tolerable and dismissed. You hang onto the memory of the last high as anticipation for the next one builds. Once your relationship is over, narcissistic exes will also claim (whether on social media or however), to be/do/say everything that they withheld and told you they’d never do. They’ll claim to now be everything that they consistently weren’t – honest, connected, responsible, empathetic, and accountable. They will often display their “epiphany” in the most selfish and hurtful of ways.
And when you see all that, how can you NOT think it’s all your fault? How can you NOT think that you really weren’t enough?
Here’s the one thing you need to know about your narcissistic ex:
I used to have to be all in or all out. It was an emotional coping mechanism for me. When it came to narcissistic exes, I had to either vilify/hate them and think they were the scum of the earth or I had to idealize them as I de-pedestaled myself. Neither way ever worked. Indifference did.
The one thing that helped me the most in achieving indifference was realizing this:
Because I was in so much pain, I was trying to convince myself that my ex was an awful person and that he never loved me. This ended up adding salt to an already painful wound.
Just like my own reverse narcissism didn’t make me a terrible person, the narcissistic exes of mine are not bad people.
Not all narcissists are bad people and this post is not about being a good or bad person.
It’s about setting yourself free.
Because I am the girl that goes all in when it comes to love, I also went all in when it came to having to process a breakup in either black or white. I told myself that my heart could not handle any more grey as my mentality spray painted everything around me in 50 shades of it.
The one common denominator with narcissistic exes was something that I felt all along while in the relationship, but could never pinpoint and recognize for what it was – selfishness, emotional unavailability, and empathetic bankruptcy.
Like I said, I used to think for a really long time that a narcissistic ex had to be bad person. These guys were not bad people and I believe that many of them did love me as much as they possibly could.
I finally became indifferent when I accepted that what I was looking for just wasn’t in their emotional range.
It’s like if you took me to a calculus class at the most prestigious university. It wouldn’t matter if Leo DiCaprio was teaching the class, giving out 24-carat gold pencils and whatever sexual favor you wanted at the door – I wouldn’t take the class.
Not because the university isn’t good enough or the teacher isn’t hot enough or I’m unimpressed by the gold pencils and don’t want to make out with Leo. Something about me: I can’t manually divide (I talk more about it here). I hate math and whenever I’ve tried to learn it, my brain just shuts off. Anything other than 4th grade math isn’t within my range.
There have been so many times in my life where I’ve tried to like, love and learn the proverbial math and every.single.time, I ended up being the sucker that got humiliated and knew better from the get-go.
Whether your ex regrets doing what he/she did to you is a non-issue. The moment you are free is the moment you realize that narcissistic exes are not bad people – they just don’t have it within their emotional range to give you everything that you claim to want and deserve – everything that you are denying yourself or you wouldn’t be attracted to them in the first place.
Not being able to do math doesn’t make me a bad person – it makes me someone who is unable to do math (and who can admit it). The problem with narcissistic people is that even though they can’t relationally add or subtract, they come to the table claiming to be the #1 ambassador of mathematics; an Ivy League professor (with Tinder profile pictures to back it up).
These aren’t bad people – they are painfully insecure and selfish people who are in serious denial and will never have it within their range to do the math (even though they claim to be mathematicians).
It’s so sad, it’s actually kind of funny. Narcissists are unable to command your respect because they misrepresent themselves left and right. They think that the truth has versions. Indifference sets in the moment you realize that these people are so self-involved, it never had and never will have anything to do with you.
If you met an amazing person online who came across as a marathon runner and then when you met in person, saw that they needed to use a cane to walk, you wouldn’t tie your value to bringing out the marathon runner in them. You would accept that they can’t sprint (let alone walk without a cane). End of story.
Narcissistic exes don’t need to be vilified. They need to be acknowledged as people who cannot relationally sprint.
You know who CAN sprint?
SPRINT out of your own reverse narcissism, SPRINT out of the dysfunction, the bullsh*t, and know that no matter how skilled other sprinters may be, no one will ever be able to ignite the sprinter in you more than you.
Love to you all.