This is the last post in a 3-part series of posts on Narcissism. In part 1, we established what a narcissist is, in part 2 we discussed the difference between an emotionally unavailable and a narcissist and now, in part 3…

I want to discuss my own narcissism (yes, you heard right) – why I was a narcissist, how I identified my own bullsh*t and how I conquered it (“conquer” may have been a bit too strong of a word here. I just like how powerful it sounds. As you can tell I’m in a mood today. Reality is, I’m still a work in progress, but I have progressed out of my past narcissism. I still have slip ups, I’m human).

So, was I all those things that I defined a narcissist to be in my previous posts? Well, in a way, YEAH. I totally was.

Guys I’m telling you, the emperor really has no clothes over here.

Do I still find myself repeating old behaviors that are that of a narcissist? Definitely. The only difference between then and now is that I’ve gotten to a point where when I slip back into old thought patterns, I can catch myself before I act on those thoughts. I can talk myself off the “let-me-just-humiliate-myself-further-and-hand-over-my-dignity-on-a-silver-platter,” ledge.

Was there ever a time that I thought people should feel lucky just to be graced with my presence?

Never, not one time in my life.

So how the hell was I a narcissist then and how might you be a narcissist, even though you’re not going all out of your way to let the world know how fortunate they are to be in your atmosphere??

Up until a few years ago, I literally made everything about me even though I had dangerously low self esteem. I was what I like to call, a “reverse narcissist.” I was super cocky in thinking that whatever happened, didn’t happen and whatever anyone else did (or didn’t do) was all.about.me. and how I just wasn’t good enough.

I wasn’t going around doing all of the classic things that narcissists do, but I was already emotionally unavailable myself and I was such a reverse narcissist, I convinced myself that everyone’s bad and hurtful behavior all pointed back to me being a loser and a failure in every department in life.

Being a reverse narcissist (guys – this is a term that I’ve totally made up. I’m not a clinician and like I’ve said, I’ve never even taken one psych class, I’ve just had my heart broken a few times – more by myself and my own insecurities than by others), is a tough thing to be. It’s tough because when you are a reverse narcissist, you’re also a people pleaser and you have very low self esteem, self love and boundaries.

You don’t “make it known,” that everything is about you. You only make it known to yourself… in a reverse, self-deprecating, let’s-create-some-bad-luck, kind of way.

When someone hurts you, instead of seeing the person for who they are, you always relate it back to you not being good enough.  

And if something good happens, you obviously don’t trust it and you find yourself in a perpetual state of waiting for something to go wrong  (i.e. him cheating on you, leaving you for his ex, your job falling through, your BFF moving onto a new bestie, etc.).

Reverse narcissists are some of the kindest people you will meet. They give give, give and give. They are professional doormats and you’d never think that they were making everything about them because they truly are ALWAYS thinking about others. They love to play “wronged victim # 1 that always gets hurt and is on an eternal search for happiness,” in the story of their life. They’re professional victims. 

Reverse narcissists are super chaotic. They thrive in chaos and they think that they’re so powerful (even though they feel powerless), that their “not being enough,” actually makes other people disrespect them. They’re also impossible to have genuine relationships with. I know because for the majority of my life, I was one of them.

The thing is, whether you’re internally making everything about you or externally doing so, that’s STILL making everything about you and no matter how you want to look at it, guess what? It’s narcissism.

So how do you go about putting an end to the reverse narcissistic era of your life?

This is how:

  • Acknowledge.
  • Take accountability.
  • Understand that other people’s actions have NEVER been about you. The only thing that you can do is allow and enable behavior that was preexisting. For example – I could never, ever abuse an animal no matter how mad I got. Ever. Some people, even though they say that they could never abuse an animal, may kick the dog if they get mad enough. No one could come along and just MAKE them kick the dog. The capacity to abuse an animal HAD to exist within them prior. How people CHOOSE to behave is ALWAYS independent of you, your worth, your looks & your abilities. Aim to always remember that and your life will be infinity times easier.
  • Learn how to be loved and accept love. It used to be easier for me to love and give gifts than it was to accept genuine love and gifts because I didn’t know how to give genuine love (and the gift of friendship), to myself.

Let go. Be kind. Breathe. Forgive.

Remember and repeat this to yourself as the New Year approaches:

It’s never about you. Ever. 

When you realize this, it’s like a giant exhale that your body goes through. You’ll feel a peace that you never thought possible and you’ll accomplish way more because you’ll have all this free time that used to be occupied with obsessing over everyone and everything.

And THAT is YOUR happily ever after. (Drake “0-100” playing as you have a dramatic and beautiful ride off into the sunset on your own damn white horse). Hair flip, The End.

Look out for my New Years post tomorrow and look out for another (!!!) giveaway coming soon 🙂

I hope that you are all enjoying the holidays so far. Post Male Syndrome would really, truly not be what it is without each and every one of you. I love your love. xx

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13 comments

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This post was so amazing because it described so perfectly how I have lived the majority of my life!! To see that you were once like this and have completely transformed into the incredible person you are today just gives me so much hope and momentum.
I have an album on my phone with a bunch of screen shots from your blog so I can quickly reference certain quotes or paragraphs when I start to feel myself having a “moment” and I think I pretty much screen shot the entire thing lol
You have been such a blessing in my life and have already helped me so much!!!!! xoxo

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Thank you so much Catherine! xoxo

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Agree 100%! 🙂

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You are such a gift, the only thing that has been keeping me sane the past few weeks have been your incredibly uplifting and insightful posts. My reverse narcissism makes dating such a living hell, things will be going well with a dude and when he decides to be inconsistent or drop off the map so suddenly even Houdini would be shocked, I somehow find the most inoccuous bullshit to blame myself on: I texted too much/not enough, must’ve not looked as hot on the last date, maybe he didn’t get that last joke/meme I sent him, should I have been more understanding (read: more of a doormat) about his busy schedule? Maybe he disappeared cause I wouldn’t agree to Netflix and Chill? It’s honestly exhausting but so default for me it makes any rejection more painful because I shoulder the full weight of the blame and completely believe the million and one self-concocted reasons as to why he left. I think I need a break, my unending need for validation from men has made dating treacherous waters to navigate through. Thank you so much for your posts, you hold each and every one of our hands with every heartfelt and powerful world. Happy New Year <3

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Hi Josie! Thank you for reading and for your sweet comment :))

I totally used to be there. I get it and it is SO exhausting.

You have a such a high level of self-awareness and all of the necessary tools to get off this hamster wheel and break your habits/pattens. I believe in you. You’re not alone. Thanks so much for the love and Happy New Year to you too babe xoxo

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NATASHA! I am a reverse narcissist. Thank you for writing this you are brilliant and you REALLY need to write a book. I hope that you have a very happy New Year. You deserve it all!

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I’m on it 😉 Happy New Year to you too! xx

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This was excellent. Clearly, I’ve been a reverse narcissist all my life, and now it finally makes sense why I constantly compared myself to every girl he spoke to/interacted with when I was with him or even after we broke up. Another fantastic article (as always)!

This article also reminds of a section from Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly (I love her books!): “When I look at narcissism through the vulnerability lens, I see the shame-based fear of being ordinary. I see the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed, to be loveable, to belong, or to cultivate a sense of purpose…And I also understand how grandiosity, entitlement, and admiration-seeking feel like just the right balm to sooth the ache of being too ordinary and inadequate. Yes, these thoughts and behaviours ultimately cause more pain and lead to more disconnection, but when we’re hurting and when love and belonging are hanging in the balance, we reach for what we think will offer us the most protection.”

Happy New Year to you and PMS! 🙂 xxxx

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Sofia,

Thank you so much!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE that quote. It’s so beautifully written and so painfully true. Thank you for sharing :))

Happy New Year to you too xxxxxx

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So that’s what’s wrong with me!? Yes, I’m an empathetic people pleaser who puts others first. I don’t see my self worth so I settle for the UNEMOTIONAL selfish types because that’s all I feel I deserve. And growing up with a Narcissistic mother, it is Familiar to me to be treated LESS THAN. I am moving forward and recognizing my worth finally!
Thank you so much Natasha for giving me the AHA moment. I am a recovering reverse narcissist too…

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Hi Kristin!

Exactly, you get it. It makes me so happy to hear that these posts are serving you. Thanks for the love and feedback 🙂 xoxo

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Natasha,

Your blog is absolutely amazing and this piece in particular spoke to me in so many ways! I have never been able to identify myself or why I think the way I do but after reading about your idea of “reverse narcissism”, I possess these qualities and hope with the continuation of reading your blog I will be able to pull myself out of the dark space I am in. Thank you!!

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Taylor, you made my day! I’m so happy to help 🙂 Thanks for being a part of this tribe and for taking the time to reach out. All my love to you soul sister. XOXO

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