Change the Way You View Narcissists
A few years ago, I was a colossal narcissist magnet. I attracted toxic people, who fed off of my vulnerability and willingness to please others.
I was the victim in my childhood, of an abusive, narcissistic mother, which caused me to become prey to repeated patterns of behaviour. I allowed myself to be passive to the demands and control of others, as I had learned that fighting against their narcissism would only end badly for me. Because of the abuse that I had faced, I found it hard to understand that standing up for myself wouldn't always end as badly as it had done with my mother.
Due to this, I subsequently laid myself open for others to take advantage of, and use me to benefit themselves. I felt like I always needed to say yes, to satiate my anxiety to please others.
Looking back at this period in my life and analysing what has changed for me to overcome my passivity to narcissism, I have realised that it is my view of the narcissists themselves. When I look at those who have been the main sources of destruction in my life, I now feel sorry for them. I realise that their narcissism is their weakness, not a form of power. When I acknowledge that these narcissistic people will never be truly happy, their hold over me diminishes.
When I look at my mother, I see a vulnerable and emotionally fragile woman, who will never be content in her life. When I began to pity her, my attitude changed, and I found my personal strength soaring. Realising that these people feed on their control of others to feel satisfied or happy, you understand that they act the way they do to cover their insecurities and weaknesses.
The key to pitying these people is to not let your pity develop so far that you fall back into their trap. Use your pity as a tool for viewing their weakness and acknowledging your own strength, rather than succumbing once again to their needs.
Recently I was with my father, and we were returning home and as we parked the car outside my mother was stood there. Before we had time to leave, she stood in front of the car and began giving demands that I speak to her. I firmly told her no and that she had to leave, to which she retaliated with insults. I looked at this woman and thought ‘I really pity you, that you have to stand outside and verbally abuse others to receive attention,’ however, I also thought that whilst I pity her, I pity the version of myself that once was under her trap even more.
At that moment, I valued my own gained strength and understood that her hold over me had truly gone. I knew that I had the power to tell this woman that had abused me for years ‘no’. I could tell her that I did not wish to speak to her, and I was not afraid of the consequences, because I finally saw her as vulnerable.
As a person who has managed to overcome the power of a narcissist, I have developed methods for dealing with people in my life who show a similar pattern of behaviour.
Make a List
Write down a list of all the weaknesses of the narcissist in your life. That piece of paper will have the power to transform that person from dominant and powerful, to exposed and vulnerable.
Listen to Your Initial Inner Voice
When a narcissist makes demands or tries to manipulate you, your inner voice may think ‘no I do not wish to do that,’ but you will often alter this thought to come across as polite. That initial thought is a powerful and assertive one, bite the bullet and speak it without alteration. If they have the ability to manipulate you, then you have the right to be frank.
Practise Assertive Replies
As I have previously said, we often sugarcoat our true feelings to come across as polite. By making excuses for your refusal, or by compromising to please a narcissist, you are allowing them to control you. Instead of saying ‘I can’t give you that £500 at the moment as I am struggling financially, but I could give you £100', you should simply say ‘I can't give you the money, however, I hope you sort out your situation.’ You remain polite, but you come across as assertive and you prove that you value your own needs. Practise removing the compromise or sugarcoating from your replies when you are on your own. Speak into the mirror as if you are addressing your narcissist. The more you practise being assertive, the more you will find it easier to replicate in difficult situations.
Build Up to Defeating Their Control
It is not easy to simply decide to stand up to a narcissist. The trick is to build up your resilience, to finally be able to dispute their control. Start with others around you who aren’t a narcissist. Practise saying no, or standing up to things you don't agree with. The likelihood is that they will accept your assertion, which makes this a good place to start. You will build your confidence until the time comes that you will feel comfortable to face the person that has power over you.
When you adapt your mindset surrounding toxic people in your life, you will find that you will grow immensely as a person. When you face situations in life where you aren’t happy or comfortable, you will be equipped to stand up for yourself.
Where I once would always say yes, I found I had the freedom to say no. This does not just apply to narcissists, I was able to refuse demands from others in my life that I wished to please.
Diminishing a narcissists power is not an easy feat, yet it is one you can achieve by realising that you have the ability to change how you perceive them. Realising that they use authority to satiate their need to feel powerful in the face of their vulnerability will allow you to be free of their control.