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:
- 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.