Lori Hoeck, of Think Like a Black Belt, and I discovered during a series of blog comment conversations that we had similarly been attracted to and involved with a certain type of individual – a narcissist. Our relationships with these individuals had gone on to transform into macabre dances of co-dependent need, rather than the healthy relationships we wanted and deserved.
While you might think this might be some kind of exotic, bizarre, coincidental circumstance uncovered on the Internet, rest assured, the bizarre aspect to these toxic relationships is why so many individuals allow themselves to be subject to them, instead of pursuing more healthy relationships. Going through life with a narcissist or someone who has a borderline personality disorder means the chances for a healthy relationship diminish over time.
How could things have been different? Were there red flags that we ignored? Did we willingly suspend our intuition and self-protective reactions to accept harmful behaviors from people who more than likely had a borderline personality disorder? Were we somehow contributing to the toxicity or signaling availability to emotional opportunists with narcissistic personality disorder? Was everything really our fault, as we were repeatedly told? Or might there be another integer lurking in the equation?
Most of us can point to relationship mistakes we’ve made. We may have
- become involved with people whose expectations of us hindered our own growth
- stayed with people whose behavior made life a nightmare
- chosen to ignore warning signs or red flags
- experienced emotional pain inflicted by another person
- been subjected to excessive drama or even threatening actions
- wondered if there was no escape back to sanity
Lori and I battled our way out of those destructive relationships with narcissists. We both acknowledge the heavy price we have paid. What we’re doing now is passing along what we learned, what others know, and more importantly, what you can do to keep yourself in healthy relationships with a confident, assertive outlook. Because narcissistic personality disorder is far more prevalent than what has previously been estimated, we’ve written The Narcissist: A User’s Guide and it’s available here.
What is a narcissist?
A narcissist is an individual with a wounded psyche who engages in protective behaviors with others. The relationship, to a narcissist, is a source of emotional nourishment. But the narcissist’s appetites are different. They feed their self-esteem by sucking yours out of you. This is the exact opposite of what a healthy relationship should be, but understand that to someone with narcissistic personality disorder, it’s imperative.
Narcissists are found in all walks of life. They use a comparative method to determine their place in the world. Because deep down they view themselves as “less than,” they are constantly searching for someone – possibly, you – who by comparison is inferior. The tactics a narcissist will use can take many forms, but they are all rooted in ego fulfillment. They can masterfully seek out unresolved fear or pain you might have, push those buttons in you, and create an interplay that will certainly deplete and may ultimately destroy your emotional well-being.
The Narcissist: A User’s Guide turns that dynamic on its ear. You’ll get specific tips and scripts which you can use to start setting the terms of a healthy relationship. Neutralizing and negating a narcissist isn’t for the faint-hearted, but it can be done. You might decide your interests are better served by leaving the situation. Whatever its form, your decision to stand up for yourself will take guts and determination.
The Narcissist: A User’s Guide provides a basis from which you can draw your own conclusions. We’re betting that you may have had similar experiences, or you might know someone who has gone through life in this living hell. Perhaps you’re currently involved in a narcissistic relationship. You may want to educate yourself and your children to beware of these individuals, and thus move confidently and purposefully through life. In order to do that you’ve got to know who you’re dealing with, and the strategies and mechanisms you’ll need. The Narcissist: A User’s Guide helps identify the harm that arises from interacting with a narcissist, and will validate an assertive, confident way through life. If you’re looking for answers, strategies, and inner peace, this book can help you understand and survive dealing with someone who has narcissistic personality disorder or another, similar personality disorder. You are entitled to healthy relationships, and if you’re a parent, you owe it to your children to model what a healthy relationship is.
The Narcissist: A User’s Guide is intended as a resource to assist in healthy relationship strategies, negating and neutralizing the harmful effects narcissistic personality disorder can have, and to provide encouragement to those who want to minimize or eliminate the harmful and toxic influences of narcissistic behavior. Follow us on Twitter: @betsywuebker @lorihoeck The Narcissist: A User’s Guide has a Facebook page with a discussion area and a Squidoo lens. If you have a story to share about your experiences with a narcissist, we’d love to hear it. Please leave a comment here, or drop me an email at betsywuebker AT passingthru DOT com. If you would like updates on The Narcissist: A User’s Guide and similar issues, please leave your email address below:
If we stand up to narcissists, they’ll stand down.
Recommendations and Reactions:
I read The Narcissist: A User’s Guide. I started it and I couldn’t put it down… At 29 pages long, it is a crash course in narcissism, but it touches on everything someone about to make the jump to emotional freedom would want to know…The value of the advice given is that it is aimed at making a positive change in you, rather than dwelling on the person with the disorder. It is taking control of what can be changed and accepting what cannot.
One Angry Daughter
If you’re dealing with a narcissist right now, this ebook is a must. It will show you that you are not alone, that you are NOT crazy, and that there ARE ways to cope with the narcissist in your life – including leaving them, and learning to avoid entering into a new codependent relationship in the future…I’ve read many self development books and ebooks, and this is by far one of the most empowering guides I have ever come across. Highly recommended!
- Envy, Part of the Definition of Narcisistic Personality Disorder (psychologytoday.com)
- Bipolar or Narcissistic Personality Disorder? (everydayhealth.com)
- Being Manipulated By A Pro … The Narcissist (nakiafleming.wordpress.com)
- Are You Coparenting with a Borderline or Narcissist? (psychologytoday.com)