In last week’s blog, I began to share with you one type of relationship we can encounter in life (one which I didn’t include in my book, Death Expands Us under Chapter 8, Navigating Grieving Family and Friends) which can introduce grief or stress into our lives.
It is definitely something I have experienced plenty of in my life, and had to learn to navigate and work my way through (its still a work in progress) and one that many people have openly discussed with me too.
As I mentioned in part 1, I have heard that 1 out of 10 people are narcissists, so it is beneficial to know how to recognize and navigate our interactions with them.
For me it is like this analogy: we have been in a dark room, all we have ever known is in that dark room (what we feel, smell, etc.) and then all of a sudden the door is opened and you move into a room filled with light. That feeling of how can we go back now that we know different… why would we go back into the dark room now that we see and experience light? (Although some people may actually choose to go back to the dark room because it is all they know and because it is familiar and “safe”).
Once I started to see and recognize the narcissists in my life, how do you go back? How do you unsee? How do you un-know? And do you want to?
As with anything in life, some narcissists may be aware of their behaviors/actions and others may subconsciously choose to ignore or avoid them.
It is their choice and responsibility if they want to change, just as it is our choice and responsibility if we allow them into our lives or allow their behavior to take hold in our lives.
A common feeling you may experience, I know I have definitely felt it, as do majority of the people I have spoken to on the subject (it’s normally the first thing they share with me) is that when that door opens from the dark room and you see the light, there is a feeling of “I am a smart capable person, how did I allow them into my life / allow them to affect my life the way it has? How did I fall for this?”
I know I am not the only one that has felt this way.
Here’s some things I have been implementing for myself to navigate narcissists and the grief/stress they contribute when engaging with them:
• Know yourself (I cannot stress enough how important this is, not only on this subject but for many other things as well) the inner fortitude/strength will help you to stand your ground with a narcissist, and reassure you that what you have to say/feel is valuable
• The majority of the people I have spoken to had a gut feeling, yet doubted themselves. That’s because narcissists try and make us feel that we are “always wrong and they are always right” TRUST your gut (especially in romantic relationships)
• Your experience and their behavior will show you (their patterns of behavior, how they keep treating you, etc.) Time is amazing at revealing things.
• Be aware that you may be susceptible to narcissists – as you grow, learn and become stronger – allow yourself the time and opportunity to take a step back and follow your intuition about people, situations, etc.
• If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t (your internal warning system)
• Boundaries and the courage to say no / that it doesn’t work for you / that it is not what you want
• Value yourself enough to walk away, this will not be easy, ESPECIALLY with family, however, the peace and freedom you can experience, it can serve you more than you realize at the time
If you have nothing else in life, you always have CHOICE 🙂
If you enjoyed this blog, please recommend it or share it to help others find it. Also, click “respond” and let me know ways you can relate or ways you have eased grief personally.