The only reason anyone does anything, is they believe it will help them feel better. So at it’s core, everyone is self-interested and thus narcissistic. There are two types of narcissists: Unconditional and conditional.
Unconditional (Positive) Narcissist: They care more about what they think of themselves. They don’t need anyone to change to know they can change how they feel. They see the value in everything even if it’s not preferred. People love to be around them because they’re so kind and generous.
Conditional (Negative) Narcissist: They care more about what people think of them. They feel insecure about being judged because they believe others’ opinions equals their self-worth. They can put an emphasis on material items believing they need them to feel accepted. They may withhold their truth from you because they withhold it from themselves (i.e. not true to themselves). They do things that don’t bring lasting happiness, so ironically what they’re doing is not fulfilling the intended narcissistic purpose which is serving self.
Some people’s view towards narcissists is, “You’re acting in ways that don’t take my feelings into account. Stop being selfish and do what I want.” You needing them to be different, so you can feel good, makes them narcissistic?
Do you think someone who is a narcissist love themselves? Pure self-acceptance? No. So is there any surprise why there’s no love left over for others? (Conditional) Narcissism = lack of self-love. They’re judged for not loving themselves, which causes them to be more narcissistic. If they look down on others it’s because they look down on themselves because they feel others look down on them. This cycle goes ‘round and ‘round until it appears that is who they are, when that is the only version you have focused into being.
“They only talk about themselves and never ask about my life.”
You believe this is who they are, so you attract it, so they keep being that way, reinforcing your belief they only care about themselves. You not caring about yourself is creating a reflection from them not caring about you. They are not the cause of your annoyance, merely the byproduct.
“They have a double standard. ‘I can criticize you, but if you do it you hurt my feelings.’”
If you’re criticizing someone for criticizing you, you’re doing the same thing. If you care, you have the same double standard.
“They think they’re right and I’m wrong. But I’m right in thinking they’re wrong to think like that.”
You’re doing the same thing acting like it’s completely different. If you’re annoyed they don’t validate you, you’re not validating their perspective of invalidating yours. Seeing their perspective as having value (because you don’t take it as a diminishment of your value) allows them to be more open to seeing your perspective.
“They think the world revolves around them.”
And they’re right. Everything that comes into their life is the result of the energy they put out. Their world revolves around them and your world revolves around you.
“They believe they’re superior.”
They don’t. And, you would only be offended by their grandstanding if you didn’t believe you were equally worthy. Someone who feels worthy sees equality, thus no interest in appearing superior or feeling inferior. You only feel inferior when you’re in fear. If they knew their greatness, they wouldn’t need to make it known. If you’re truly a narcissist, then you’re not. That’s the paradox of being one.
“Their selfishness hurts other people’s feelings.”
If people focus on what they don’t want they hurt their own feelings.
“Their selfish behavior bothers me.”
It’s not their selfish behavior that bothers you, it’s your unselfish behavior. The more selfish you are about how you feel, you feel better unconditionally which allows the relationship you want.
“Why do I need to change when they’re the one who’s selfish?”
You don’t. But they helped you expand more into acceptance and if you don’t, you won’t feel good. If you don’t want to feel good, you don’t need to change.
“They disapprove of me, I don’t disapprove of them. I accept them as they are.”
Then… why do you care? Someone who doesn’t disapprove wouldn’t use labels to create separation. When you give others the job of loving you, they will fail, and you get upset for giving them a job they were never capable of doing. When you make your emotional stability founded on another’s opinion, you’re going to be let down. Disappointment is inevitable. And you think they’re the cause with not meeting your expectations of what a good parent, friend or co-worker is supposed to look like.
They are frustratingly (understatement) powerful teachers. An immovable boulder. They. Will. Not. Budge. And because they won’t, you think they’re the issue. When they’re the solution. Them being (seemingly) unchangeable is a gift because when you’re faced with what you can’t control, you look at what you can. People choose to move away from them; and sometimes, yes, that is the better option. But what is of even greater value is letting go of the concept people need to care about how you feel.
If you didn’t care about the relationship you wouldn’t feel hurt. It doesn’t matter if they’re resisting the connection, what matters is you are. You don’t have to a have relationship with them, but you can if you want to. As you come up, you allow the other person’s desire for an improved relationship. Then you go, “After all these years now you care? It’s too late.” But the reason they’re open is because you are. They didn’t necessarily have an awakening; you did. So you’re upset with them, for you finally letting in what you wanted. They would have changed a lot sooner had you known how attraction works.
This is not to excuse their behavior; you decide what is best for you. This isn’t saying you have to like them. If they’re a family member, you don’t have to invite them to dinner if you don’t want to. But every time you judge, you send a handwritten invitation to hang out some more. Maybe not with them, but someone who feels like them.
People only have an issue with negative narcissists, or at least they’re perception of one. People could have an issue with a positive narcissist who doesn’t do what they want because the unconditional narcissist is being true to themselves. Then others may say, “You need to stop caring about yourself and do what I want.” Why are they a conditional narcissist because they refuse to be the way other people think they should?
People can become conditionally narcissistic because they originally wanted to help someone, but learned no matter what they did it was never enough to make others happy, so they stopped trying. For all you know your parent or partner was once very giving, but let themselves be affected by conditional narcissists (their parents or partners), and the cycle trickles down throughout humanity, until someone decides to be unconditional. It’s like in stories, where the bad guy was once good, but lost their way, and the protagonist helps them remember who they are.
When you remember all of your emotions come from you, you take your power back, and accept people for who they are, which allows the fulfilling relationship you want.
“You gave me the greatest gift, in that the only consistent place I can look for love is myself. I don’t rely on you for my satisfaction because I can’t. You won’t change. You support me with your stubbornness. Thank you for showing me how to truly be narcissistic, so I am free to see the brilliance of people as they are.”
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Great post, thank you for sharing!
Brian have you written any books yet? Ive been waiting :)
In the future. Just focusing on one topic at a time.
Reading this again! You're such a perfect coach!
Thank you, Dorothy. Very kind.
I've been reading some of your discussions with interest so thank you for all of this and helping many.
It helps quite a lot.
Thank you, and I’m happy it helps.
Narcissists suck the life's energy out of the people around them at alllllll times! So this thread's premise I wholeheartedly disagree with.
I dont believe this is true. An empath for example isnt a narcissist.
i think you and Brian are both right, both perspectives are very valid for me.
anyway when i feel a "narcissist" is destroying me i remember these words:
Do not disempower yourself by saying that person has the ability to yank you out of the Vortex - that's not even close to being true. That person does not have the ability to yank you out of the Vortex - you were yankable; you were teetering on the edge, you were leaning in the direction of it, you were dangling, gravity was pulling you in that direction. In other words, you were a cooperative component or it would not have happened.