Narcissists are NASTY people.
Yes, absolutely they can be delightful …
But, when they lash out … all bets are off.
No matter what you are doing they find fault; the ways to criticize you, put you down, bring up your most painful wound and throw it in your face, go over again what you seemingly did to them that can never be forgiven … and the list goes on and on.
All of which makes you doubt yourself and seriously question your own integrity, intentions, and identity.
And … if the narcissist in your life isn’t critical verbally, there are things they do that still hurt you immensely, leaving you feeling devalued, insignificant and not worthy of their care or attention.
If we are hanging out with pathological people who are sucking our life-force dry and projecting their wounds onto us, we get sick. And, then we are more confused because we are ALSO acting like a triggered, angry, uncaring and nasty person.
How do we cut through the fuzz and confusion about what is really going on with being devalued by a narcissist?
How do we get clear this is the stuff THEY do and it’s NOT our fault?
I believe it starts by understanding WHAT they do and WHY they do it.
Then … its firmly about us taking our power back in these situations.
Today’s episode is all about waking us up, out of our trance, to do what we need to do to escape and break the terrible spell of being devalued and destroyed by narcissists.
One of the things that make it so horrible to be in close proximity to narcissists is how quickly they can turn on you, and seemingly on a hairline trigger. Narcissists find fault with you so easily, and really for no good reason.
Let me give you examples.
You do something for the narcissist, whether it be mowing the lawn, washing their car, or going and picking something up for them. A normal person would thank you and be grateful for your efforts. Yet, the narcissist finds fault. Something about what you did and the way you did it was apparently wrong. You didn’t whipper snipper the edges enough, you missed some dirty bits on the car, and you should have been doing something else other than picking up that parcel for them.
You find yourself twisting into all sorts of shapes trying to make this person happy, and you justify yourself regarding the brutal critique, fend off the comparisons to how other people do it so much better than you, and feel the intense devastation that no matter what you do, with the best intentions, it’s not good enough for this person.
Yet He/She Can Be So Lovely
Yes, maybe at times, this person is happy and an absolute delight. And you heave a sigh of relief because for now there is a reprieve. Here is the delightful person who is a joy to be around, funny, charismatic, attentive and loving.
In the case of a narcissist, this is generally for one of two reasons. Either this person has received a big ego hit of narcissistic supply and is high on their favourite drug, or they are positioning to get what they want. Narcissists ‘nice’ actions are generally agenda based. It’s about giving to get something.
You may see more of this ‘delightful person’ in the earlier days, and much less as time goes on. Later down the track, as the cracks in your relationship turn into massive gaping fissures, this person may show up less and less.
Why Do Narcissists Devalue You?
Toxic people are unhealthy and nasty, full stop. Hurt people hurt people, full stop.
The following are the reasons why this happens:
If someone is clogged up with unmet, unhealed inner trauma, and they have a stunted True Self, which is a buried, disowned, abandoned inner child and a fictitious False Self, placed at the helm to take over, this person has huge ego defences that come into swing each time they feel triggered into internal pain.
Truly, if someone is not at one within themselves and not feeling whole as their own source of love, approval, security and survival emotionally, they are not happy, period.
The narcissist doesn’t self-partner and is not connected to themselves in self-loving, self-supportive ways when required. In times of anxiety, rather than admitting this and meeting and being loving with inner erupting wounds with evolved and self-generative self-talk like “(Narcissist’s name) I’m really proud of you and you are doing a great job” or “(Narcissist’s name) what do you need from me right now?” Or (Narcissist’s name) I believe in you, and I fully know that you will work out what is best to do for the highest good in this circumstance.” The narcissist is completely disconnected from themselves, and their self-talk is delusional, arrogant, outer focused and toxic.
It’s designed to self-medicate and bypass the trauma instead of dealing with it, which is what loving self-talk and a commitment to do the deep inner work to heal does.
The inner-narrative goes something like this: “(Narcissist’s name) you are so hot. That girl/guy looked at you like they wanted you”, or “(Narcissist’s name) you know you are so much better than them. They all envy you and think you have the best partner, life, body, home (whatever it is)”.
The narcissist is always looking outwards for inner relief, and it’s a bottomless pit. It can only ever grant the False Self a temporary quick fix and will never hold or heal or fulfil their inner being.
The narcissist’s inner being, just like everyone’s inner being, is waiting for self to turn inwards and come home. That’s True Source, and everything else is a substitute.
Because of the narcissist’s gnawing inner chasm, never getting held, loved or healed to wholeness, the narcissist is in a constant state of anxiety. There is chronic, toxic neediness taking place.
The narcissist’s outer seeking ego screams this: “I need you to comply. I need you to take my pain away. I need you to do exactly what my unrealistic, overentitled expectations require from you. I need you to obey. I need you to be subservient. I need you to go over and above the call of duty to confirm my significance, and I need you to cop my crap whenever I feel angry and need to blame someone else and lash out.” “And if you don’t cop it, then I’ll find a way to punish you until I’ve offloaded enough of my inner rage to try to get relief.”
Narcissists are playing out malignant, toxic projection. It is the disowned, unhealed parts of themselves that are eating them alive. To try to survive these inner wounds, which the narcissist has no intention of meeting, holding, feeling and healing, they are superimposed onto you instead, and then the narcissist tries to destroy them which means you are lined up and attacked.
If you have ever wondered why things going wrong in the narcissist’s life are your fault and why they accuse you of exactly the atrocities that they commit, now you know why. And the creepy thing is the narcissist truly believes that you are the culprit of these behaviours. They are completely unconscious to any other reality.
The only way that a narcissist would wake up from their trance and come into the consciousness of the truth, is if the narcissist admitted there was something wrong with them that they needed to heal and turned inwards and took full responsibility for their inner traumas that are detonating their unhappiness, rage and angst.
Am I the Problem?
And it all gets so messy when you are caught up in this dynamic with a narcissist because it is really hard to decipher who is who in the zoo. You know you are rageful, detonated, anxious and thrown outside of yourself trying to control what the narcissist is or isn’t doing to try to feel better.
When we hang out with sick people, we get sick, period.
If you are spending time with a person who is a pathological liar, manipulative, agenda-based, energy-sucking (attached because of what is in it for them), conscienceless and has an inability to have empathy, be remorseful and change their abusive behaviour, you are being violated and damaged, and you will start to behave like someone who is violated and damaged.
You may also be hugely confused by what is happening and even think that you are to blame because the narcissist is telling you this. If you suspect that you are being narcissistically abused, yet this person doesn’t rage at you and criticise you, you may wish to see information about the Altruistic Narcissist, so that you get clarity.
Being devalued by a narcissist doesn’t have to be raging and criticising. It can be having no care for you or your things, rights and needs. It may be objectifying you and having no interest in you as person. It may be pathologically lying and doing things behind your back, that would hurt you, without remorse or conscience.
Personal Responsibility As Adults
The following is the narcissist’s catch-cry: “Because of you I have endured this”, “Because of you this happened to me”, “Because of you I suffered this … missed out on that … etc., etc.” If you have been narcissistically abused, I know you have heard this.
We can learn a lot from this Wrong Town premise that narcissists play. We can fall into the trap of taking responsibility for another adult’s happiness that can never be fulfilled by us because it’s their job. We can only add to what they have already created within.
We also need to recognise where we are also hanging on trying to make this person responsible for our own wholeness, namely our sense of self-love, approval, security and survival, the commodities we have not yet created as solid within ourselves.
None of us are children anymore, without decision-making power, reliant on someone else for our life. Growing up and being an adult means healing ourselves to self-responsibility without guilt or neediness.
This is the part without guilt: “Okay narcissist, I know you fully believe I’ve ruined your life. Rather than me try to justify and fix that anymore, or feel guilty regarding your accusations, I grant you permission to leave and find someone else to give you what you want.”
This is the part without neediness: “And, I give myself my own blessing to stop trying to get blood from a stone so that I become my own healthy, decent, kind and honest self-generative source, and form relationships with other real people who do have the resources to be healthy.”
Of course, this is all easier said than done, and the reason it is, is because we have our own unmet unhealed traumas from our childhood that are keeping us in this toxic game. And, until we wake up from our own trance, which can only happen when we stop looking outwards and instead turn inwards to heal and change the only person we do have the power to, the horror and pain doesn’t stop.
Eventually the devaluing will lead to the narcissist’s full and brutal discard, or we will end up so broken that we will need to leave or die, and then we run a very big risk of simply taking our unhealed traumas with us, trying to survive the narcissistic abuse symptoms that live on inside of us.
That’s barely living let alone Thriving.
Here’s what we need to do to get out of this nightmare: turn inwards to face the traumas responsible for us staying with what is more of the same, the patterns as children of being stuck in handing our power away trying to be loved. Things like trying to earn love and approval and never feeling good enough no matter what we did. Or, walking on broken glass trying to appease unavailable, anxious, empty, angry, addictive or abusive people so that they might finally love us healthily and safely.
When we go within, meet, hold and heal these trauma patterns within, then we come out of this no longer a match for more of the same.
Our confusion also goes. We know everyone can have a bad day and not act nicely, yet we know whether they are a good person. This is very different from someone chronically devaluing you, whilst you get even sicker trying to organise yourself around their pathological unresolved wounds.
So, if you have had enough of this and even if you are in confusion and not sure what is really going down, know, either way, that starting to meet, find and heal your inner wounds will start granting you salvation … the clarity, power and relief you need for this cycle to stop.
And, I’d love to help you connect to your real Thriver Healing, with my free 16-day course which includes a healing workshop with the super-tool Quanta Freedom Healing, a set of comprehensive eBooks and so much more.
I look forward, as always, to answering your comments and questions below!
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