One of the most common problems people face after being involved in any context, with someone who is narcissistic (self centred…remember not everyone with selfish tendencies is classified narcissist but they may share some of the issues and create similar problems…resulting in similar fall out for those around them).
A narcissist is unconscious of the value and autonomy of people around them. In many ways their situation is like that of a child trapped in the “terrible twos” – complete with tantrums, deception and a childish belief that the world revolves around them.
Most grow out of this stage. It is the emergence of the Ego and in many ways the beginning of psychological autonomy. So it’s considered and is a natural growth phase. And beyond it the higher faculties are developed – empathy in particular and the ability to identify with others and to know humility.
In the narcissist something internal or external stunts this growth. Narcissistic brains tend to be highly intelligent and the process of maturation takes longer. It may be that certain stages are bypassed and emotional maturity is never achieved…it may be that being treated as an over achiever during their extended formative years means that those with narcissistic tendencies experience a longer period in which things can go wrong; that nature and nurture combine to inhibit the realisation of objective consciousness.
That’s just a theory. But as an autistic I have always found narcissists a curiosity and a proof that the theory about autistic people lacking empathy is not the case. I can only speak for myself in that and with my family members but early on I seemed to overly empathise. I never had tantrums. I never rebelled. And I think autistics with high functioning either develop so quickly through the ego phase or it’s so insignificant to our sense of reality (which is very abstract generally), we are the psychological opposite of narcissists in many ways.
I certainly feel narcissistic people seem to have a problem with me because their usual manipulations or attention seeking/self validating behaviours don’t exert the desired response from me.
Narcissistic personalities can be covert or overt and the abuse they perpetuate depends much on their type. Coverts can be very controlling and manipulative – mind games, martyr complexes and hyperchondria that means they can assume a victim role throughout life. Overts may be more obvious. Talking over you or verbally abusing you. They may even become physically abusive.
But the real damage is caused by the controlling behaviours however they are expressed. The genuine victim of a narcissist often questions their own sanity and wonders if they are the narcissist. And narcissists encourage that kind of blurring of the edges…where they end and you begin.
This kind of manipulation of reality that leaves you wondering just what you’re seeing and doubting yourself is called “gas lighting” and is a deliberate tactic in control and manipulation.
Of all abuses I think this gradual undermining of another’s sense of self and sense of reality has the most insidious side effects. It happens so gradually and is common to all narcissistic types and it casts the longest shadow in victims because of its very nature.
Addressing and removing yourself from s situation of physical or verbal abuse is easy to see. The damage done by the gas lighting really isn’t and it’s more prevalent because covert narcissists do the same thing.
Psychically this leaves the victim with the fear that they are the “bad one”; deficient in some way; unprofessional and to blame. A feeling that can take a very long time to move on from because of its nebulous nature.
Remember, the narcissist doesn’t ever stop to wonder if they are at fault. This is the chasm between the narcissist and others. Their sense of entitlement and lack of consciousness and self awareness. For them, it’s a given that the fault is someone else’s so if you are left doubting yourself, you are not the narcissist.
This kind of undermining of the victim creates problems though. Low self esteem. Anxiety. A tendency to over analyse or take on more responsibility in any given situation than is realistic. But worst I think is the sense of unreality. The victim buys into the narcissist’s view and sacrifices their own and regaining that centering isn’t easy.
On a psychic level this is the real damage of the psychic attack. There are implications on all levels and spiritually it can cause all kinds of ambivalence as the mind swings from idea to idea seeking a truth.
Many clients and students come to me to begin healing this sense of ungroundedness. And energy healing, meditation and certain rituals can certainly help. But it is as if you leave the relationship or connection with an addiction. An addiction to a person or a habit of allowing them to think for you. And that can feel disorientating or terrifying by turns for a long time. It takes time to heal and the first step is acknowledging you are not imagining it.
The psychological damage caused is what we would call a psychic attack and because you’re juggling the other attacks you may not notice it happening.
But despite the nightmare of it, if you choose the right tools to help you through, you can gain great insight into yourself and a unique perspective of the world and of life.
It creates an opportunity where you have to start again because you can’t go back to a point before happened. Starting from scratch with experience and wisdom means you have access to a greater potential happiness than you had in the past. It won’t be easy! But I can personally vouch for the fact that energy work, meditation and magick can make it easier!
Gratitude is often cited as an essential part of the process of manifesting. When we talk about manifesting there is always a contingent that thinks it’s wishful thinking. Perhaps even delusional.
There is a contingent of people who believe in hardship and suffering – considering these things more “real” than positive experiences, happiness and a sense of wellbeing. Not realising the effect their focus has on their perception. And on their life experience. As they say – there is no good wind for a ship that doesn’t know where it’s going!
Defining your intentions isn’t necessarily easy. We are often ambivalent about the things we think we want and create our own resistance to achieving them. For example, you want to lose weight but you don’t want to give up fast food. You want to become a manager but you don’t want to lose the connection you currently have with your co-workers.
Writing a list of pros and cons to help you decide if what you think you want is what you really want can be emotionally tough. Admitting some things to yourself…like an intense fear of failure…can make you feel less confident and less capable before it makes you feel better! But developing our self awareness is sometimes hard. It also may take time to feel right in yourself when you call yourself to account.
I remember a long time ago…ending a long term relationship that was essentially abusive, was difficult in a personal way because I felt so guilty for putting myself through it and for ever holding myself in such low esteem that I let things slide that I shouldn’t have. Far more than the change in my circumstances or ideas of missing what I was used to in my life, I was really consumed by guilt about my own bad treatment of myself in allowing the relationship to continue when I should have ended it years back.
So self awareness that allows objective and precise definition of your goals and intentions is a process. It is something you learn to do better the better you know yourself.
Which is why I advocate a focus on Gratitude as a primary means of achieving your goals…and here’s why…
Developing a habit of being grateful means shifting your perspective and allows you to see the good in the bad; the opportunity in knock back; the potential in the struggle. And approaching development of self awareness with an “attitude of gratitude” makes the process far less painful. Seeing the good in the bad even while you’re experiencing something challenging, turns the tables!
On my channel www.youtube.annalouisemay.net I recently recommended some exercises to assist in embracing gratitude. And one that I think is a real eye opener to the potential of “counting your blessings”, is to push yourself to do it!
You might choose any number for this challenge…if you keep a gratitude diary and every day write down the things you are grateful for – even on days that seemed predominantly bad, you may find you remember being grateful for small things…enjoying the smell of the rain…having a long hot bath…your home…the things you take for granted you might be able to fill a page with if you decide to do it.
But what about if rather than count your blessings, you challenge yourself to find 100…200…500. List the numbers and at the start of the exercise you will tend to list things like friends and family. Pets. Your home. Your job. Once the big things are covered you being to list the small things…your first coffee of the day…the falafels you had for lunch…etc.
And then it becomes harder…you have so many numbers to fill. You’re wracking your brain. And pretty soon you’re writing good aspects of bad experiences. Once it begins your mind ferrets through your whole past looking for potentially good things in the negative experiences of the past. If you keep at it, you can’t help but fall into a mindset of gratitude and a feeling that nothing bad ever happened to you…there were challenges but they turned out to be good things later.
That’s the mindset that aligns you with your goals, ambitions and hopes and dreams; with no inner conflict or resistance to good things coming into your life you don’t just attract good things because you resonate with good things – your mind is focused in a way that means you see opportunities – you look for them and so you see them just as surely as people looking for problem are absolutely guaranteed to find them.
It’s a choice. We can’t choose everything that happens to us. But we can choose how we interpret it and respond to it.
So I absolutely recommend starting any manifesting work with actively pursuing and cultivating an attitude of gratitude. Everything naturally follows from decision.