Category: Life Coaching

What is Narcissism

What is Narcisissism.

Narcissism is a PERSONALITY DISORDER, it is defined by the pursuit of POWER wanting other people to see you as IMPORTANT. Seeking gratification for everything you do including ooking for COMPLIMENTS AND ADMIRATION from a personal self-image to being RECOGNISED for the things you may do. It is the feeling that you love yourself so much that you expect others to love you too and in the same way. A Narcissitic person wants to be NO 1 in everything they do and wants CONTROL of his/her surroundings. The term originated from Greek mythology, where a young man named Narcissus fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water.

Todays post was prompted by a comment that was made on another post which got me thinking I should write about Narcissism as this has affected me personally and over the years I tried to evaluate this particular individual that essentially tried to control me.

At first this person who will remain nameless for now was introduced to me by a friend. My first impressions was I did not like him, call it a gut feeling if you will. However it was at the time where I was feeling alone and wanting deperately, someone, anyone to comfort me as I had lost both my parents in a short space of time. It was after several meetings through my social circles I had, I met this person again.

The first time I met him he was very drunk and the times after that he was sober but it was a favour for a friend I ended up meeting him alone (Jan 2010 – all will be revealed in my book). Pleasantly surprised, I found him charming and funny and thought perhaps I had read him wrong and gave him another chance.

It was not long after we started dating and being extremely naive at the time it did not cross my mind that he was interested in me as I had inherited a lot of money. However tragedy struck again within a month of me dating him when I lost my brother.

I felt my life was falling apart and needed someone to help me hold it together.

Obviously being fairly well off I was able to fund holidays abroad and it was most probably four months into our relationship I experienced the first outburst. I brushed it off as I thought maybe he was having an off day as most people do not see eye to eye at some point in their relationship and I just thought it was a one off incident.

He showed no signs of being narcissistic until most probably a year later where he would start to question everything I did and who I was with and the first serious incident was when he sprayed an concoction of chemicals in my eyes and temporarily blinded me.

I will be the first person to admit I was very stupid with what played out after, as I refused to press charges against him. I thought I could reason with him, CHANGE HIM and make him learn from his mistakes, I even suggested therapy, how wrong was I, as it was three year after the first major incident he struck again this time kicking my knee seven times until it dislocated and to this day I now have problems with it and will have to have an operation to have it fixed. I even tried analysing his background as I noticed people in his birthplace very abusive to their partners which made think this is their way of life. His mother even admitted to being abusive to her disabled husband when he was alive, so it could even be a trait copied from his mother.

Obviously he did other things in between these incidents, in which it is all now very difficult to recall and buried deep, but I have logged all the evidence as the incidents occurred at the time, just to protect myself.

What did I learn from this:

  1. Never trust anyone implicitly.
  2. Do not believe you can change a person because you can’t.
  3. The first signs of any abuse find a way to end the relationship.
  4. Have an escape plan.
  5. Tell everyone, friends and family about this person.
  6. Isolate yourself from this person. Have an escape plan.
  7. Know the signs especially if the perpetrator shows no empathy.
  8. Do not make excuses for the narcissist, do not make excuses to yourself saying this was a one off incident or the person will change, because they won’t.
  9. Recognise all the traits.
  10. Empower yourself with confidence and start to love yourself again.

For me I have not really reflected on how I have felt as I buried it under tonnes of work and have always kept myself busy in order not to think and dwell on the past. The past is history and if anything it tought me a life lesson in which I can safetly say I will never be in the same situation again and can forewarn others through my own personal experience. I was stupid and naive to put up with all the BS and all the abuse I endured, I was in a viscious cycle everytime time something happened I would say to myself next time it will not happen but next time alway did. Eventually one day I said enough is enough and have not looked back since. Kicking my knee was what broke the camel’s back so to speak and I was lucky as it could have been a totally different story.

The traits to look out for are:

  1. Lack of Empathy. “The inability to identify with or recognise the experiences and feelings of other people. Everything is about them and belongs to them,”. When I asked the perpertrator to explain why he did the things that he did, he could not give me an answer, did not show guilt or remorse and was unapologetic.
  2. Manipulation. The ability to twist the situation to better suit their narrative is a poignant personality trait that all egotistical people possess. The perpertrator managed to always blame me for everything that he was not happy with. He would judge me all the time.
  3. Projection. Projection is a defence or an unconscious pattern that occurs when the person feels psychologically threatened, they will then accuse you of doing something to throw the linelight off themselves, a good example is the person who is cheating accuses his partner of cheating. He used to always accuse me of being unfaithful.
  4. Emotionally cold. I said earlier in a reponse to a comment that I was cold as ice, but what I failed to say I also have empathy, I do have feelings and I know when I am wrong. My life experience has made more thick skinned and if say someone critises me I just take that as their own opinion. Theres a saying “what does not kill you makes you stronger”. An emotionally cold or distant trait normally surfaces during arguments when one person is experiencing and expressing significant emotion and the narcissistic person just lets your emotions go over his/her head and does not respond, giving you a cold shoulder. This essentially makes you feel alone and unloved.
  5. Gaslighting. Doing things deliberately in order to question yourself, whilst taking the onus off themselves. Gaslighting term first arose from the 1930’s play Gas Light, where a husband, in an attempt to drive his wife crazy, kept turning down the gas-powered lights in the house. When the wife asked why he is dimming the lights, he denied it and said they were no dimmer. Over time the wife would start to question herself and eventually found herself going mad. “Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse that involves denying a person’s experience and making statements, such as ‘that never happened’ or ‘you are too sensitive”,
  6. Never Taking Responsibility. Knowing when you are wrong and admitting to your wrong doings or flaws makes us the bigger person, however with narcissists it is the polar opposite. A narcissist is a master of his/her own illusion and will try to avoid the blame with lying, cheating etc. A narcissist will make up complex excuses and rationalise anything, just so that they are left to blame.
  7. Controlling. The definition of controlling partner means that in most common manifestations of their relationship the narcissist will monitor your whereabouts at all times, checking your emails and text messages, criticising your appearance, and making nearly all important decisions, with little regard for your opinion. In my case not matter have immaculately I dressed and kept my appearance I was always critised and called names. I had my phone taken off me (If I did not give him what he wanted I would get physically abused) and he would post and invite his ex girlfriends onto my Facebook. He would check to see who I was meeting and check my text messages.
  8. Grandiose. Grandiosity is a pattern in which a person tends to exaggerate accomplishments, talents, connections, and experiences. In the case of my abuser he told tails about his past life but I never really believed in anything he said. The narcissist usually do not have to be real experiences, grandiose people tend to maintain over-the-top fantasy worlds. Grandiosity can also be manifested by a sense of self-importance, a belief that their existence is bigger and more important than anyone else’s and certainly more important than yours.
  9. Panic. A narcisist will panic if you threaten to break up or leave them, ss soon as you back away, a narcissist will try that much harder to keep you in their lives. They will do everything and anything to shower you with affection, they will say all the right things to make you think they have changed so that you never leave them and the cycle continues round and round until oneday day you say enough is enough.
  10. Mentally & Physically Abusive. Aswell as playing mind games a narcissist may also become physically violent in order to have control over you. When this happens do not hang around and have an exit plan to get away. In my case I stopped my abuser visiting me and changed the locks, I also showed him all the evidence I have collated and what I will do with it should he ever try to come near me again. So far touch wood it has worked. If you live with your abuser you must make an exit plan where you can grab a bag and run. Make a list of people you can confide in, set up secret codes. Fill your bag with important documents passports, money etc. Just take the essentials so that you can escape to somewhere safe. Or wait for them to leave and change the locks and call the police. For me my abuser is out of my life and I have seen he has moved on as he is in a relationship with someone else, which means he no longer has any use for me.

A narcissist will only move on when they find someone else they can prey on.

That is why narcissists are not loyal and are more likely to play the field. A narcissist can never find love as they are never satisfied with what they have and will always be looking for something better.

Why People Do Not Care.

Why do people not care?

There are various reasons why someone does not care.

  1. The person has had parents that have not showed any love or affection
  2. This applies to men, where their social upbringing tells them that crying makes them weak and to man up if they are hurting and not to be a big girls blouse. Hence men may not show emotion.
  3. A person may have built a defence mechanism to shield themselves from harm.
  4. A person maybe brainwashed by political or religious groups.
  5. The person has been abused, physically, mentally or both (domestic violence).
  6. The person was raped.
  7. The person was traumatised by grief of losing a loved one.

People only care if they are directly affected by something or someone. This could be their beliefs in which they would be advocates or for people that they know such as family, friends and sometimes even co-workers. It the social connection people have with one another that allows them to show emotion to another person.

The only other times people will care is they are on the job and must, i.e. Doctors & Nurses, Firefighters, Care-workers (who are doing good for society as a whole rather than getting personal) or if a person randomly witnesses someone that needs their help like for example if someone was injured or dying. Volunteering is an act of kindness but does not mean necessarily you care about an individual but more so about a cause.

However if you are doing good does not always mean you care it is how you want to be perceived by others. Doing good for soiciety can only be praised and its out acts of kindness without getting personal that helps us be a better person and make a difference in the world. By helping with a cause, one could be passionate about something and may want to make a mark in society that they have tried to do good, call it a legacy if you will. Our emotitions should not be confused with our acts of kindness (we do not have to care to be kind, it could be our moral duty to be kind). Kindness is an act of compassion which relates to wisdom, confidence, and courage. Kindness is a strength we have to help others. Being compassionate is an attitude we have to dealing with a problem.

People that show no emotion at all or are controlling are called narcissists. However not everyone is without empathy.

Most people care about their family and friends but will not extend to strangers. That is why there are so many homeless people because if society cared they would try to help or take them in. Not all homeless people are junkies and even if they were, there are rehab centres and shelters they can go to if people took a moment to help them out of their busy life rather than walk on by.

How many of us have thrown a penny or two at a homeless person or thought “get a job”? (Before you say anything this has never crossed my mind but I bet you bottom dollar it has to so many people). How many of us have stopped to ask if that person is ok or bought them hot food or a drink ( I know I have) or even given them something warm to wear.

Small acts of kindness will go a long way.

“I for one will show empathy to someone less fortunate than myself rather than an abled bodied person. The reason for this is I have built a barrier round myself and an extremely careful who I am associated with. I have trusted so many people in th past that have betrayed me and caused me harm. I am now extremely cautious who I let in. I find keeping myself to myself is the best form of practice”. I will sooner help a vulnerable person because they need my help not because I care but because it is my moral duty as a human being to help someone less fortuante than myself.

It does not say much about a person that walks on by and does nothing.

Mother Theresa once said “If I look at the mass I will never act. If I look at the one, I will.” These are the words of a woman whose acts of charity and kindness earned her sainthood.

For some people a single death can seem like a tragedy, however we cannot connect to amass loss of life unless we are somehow associated with that loss. Most often than not, the deaths of many simply becomes a statistic, something that happened to someone else, elsewhere.

For me I have be stricken by grief 3 times, never mind all other bad things that have happened to me, which I will be writing in my book”.

Seeing millions of lives lost through natural disasters, wars or to famine is just news that happened somewhere else and did not affect us directly hence we cannot associate ourselves with it.

We can become numb to the news that we hear, and our compassion can be consumed by our day to day living.

Paul Slovic, a psychologist at the University of Oregon who has studied psychic numbing for decades said “One is that it doesn’t deal with numbers in magnitude very well. If we’re talking about lives, one life is tremendously important and valuable and we’ll do anything to protect that life, save that life, rescue that person. But as the numbers increase, our feelings don’t commensurately increase as well.”

Paul Slovic’s research suggests that as statistical numbers associated with a tragedy get larger and larger, we become desensitised show less empathy. Therefore, this can make is less likely to act. Global disasters make people disassociate themselves from the atrocities and they start to become complacent that because it did not affect them there is little they can do and simply carry on with their lives like as if it never happened, even going on to say that they “feel bad” about what has happened but what can they do. Feeling bad which is showing sympathy is different to showing empathy.

Empathy is the ability to understand other people’s feelings just as we have experienced ourselves. Sympathy on the other hand is the ability to take part in someone else’s feelings, mostly by feeling sorrowful about their misfortune, in which we can dissociate.

The same goes with the Coronavirus Covid-19 Pandemic, because we have not been affected by it directly only indirectly some people will have a blasé attitude and may not take it as seriously as it is meant to be. This leads to a kind of apathy that is makes people complacent about hand washing or wearing masks.

People who say they care in one breathe but do nothing to help a person in need in another breathe are false. The ones that say “I would if I could, but I can’t” are simply making excuses, because everyone can help if they tried.

If say someone has financial problems and the other person cannot help them out as they too have financial problems of their own, one still can help the person out by problem solving and researching the best options available.

I wonder next time you ask someone to help you how many will come forward….

Further reading: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200630-what-makes-people-stop-caring

How to React When Someone Blanks You.

How to Deal With Someone Who has Blanked You.

So how do you deal with people who blank you?

Being ignored hurts.

Deciding how to react can be difficult especially if you are not bosom pals.

  1. Try to evaluate the situation and consider the implications if you do confront the person and their reaction. They may be false and give you a half hearted apology. Try to think back to the last time you spoke to them (which in my case apart from the text was most probaby at the beginning of the year for my daughters birthday dinner). The situation was strained as I always think there is an ulterior motive to meeting up once a year when you do not bother with that person for the rest of the 364 days. Think of a time perhaps where they have been angry or hostile toward you? Did you say something to offend them? If so, they are probably still stewing over whatever it was set them off in the first place. On the other hand, if you had a great time with them last time, there’s probably a vey good reason they have blanked you. They could have been busy and not had the time to reply or simply forgotten. In my case and I have many people that contact with me on a daily basis I always find time for them and will not blank them as it does not say much about me if I did. Blanking is simply being rude.
  2. Ask another person that knows the two of you, why you’re being ignored. In some cases if you know the persons friends or realtives you could ask them. If the person ignoring you is a friend or coworker, ask a mutual friend or coworker who may know why you’re being ignored. Perhaps you have upset the person inadevtently and they have decided to just ignore you to avoid escalting any conflict. A third party might be able to assess the situation more objectively and help you figure out why you’re being ignored. In my case I could possibly ask me ex-sister in law from my other brothers marriage as this person does speak to her more often than I do. I personally think Madam has got too big for her boots.
  3. Confront the Bull by the Horns. Ask the person ignoring you directly why they are behaving this way. Confront the person ignoring you directly face to face and ask them what is upsetting them. If they are true they will give you an honest answer but if they are false they will be cowardly and say there is nothing wrong just to get you off the scent. Contront the person in a private and quiet place away from any distractions or send them an email or letter and calmly ask why they have chosen to ignore you. Express your feelings in a calm and courteous manner. Present evidence that they’ve been ignoring you, such as not returning your calls or emails, or not responding when you speak to them. Listen attentively to their explanation.

Final Thoughts.

Depending on the circumstances and situation it may be easier said than done and may prove to be awkward to tackle. If you are in a work place and you are being ignored during work time, confront the person or persons individually. Confronting them as a group may cause them to gang up on you. If that does not work then go to your superiors. If however it is during break times, again you can confront the person or persons one by one but tread with caution. You need to find the instigator and get to the bottom of why this is happening to you.

This is simple advice to be a better person, do no blank people, make time for people and consider peoples feelings.