Have you ever wondered what the difference is between narcissistic personality disorder and self-confidence? What is it that makes a person a toxic narcissist versus the qualities that appear with simple self-confidence? Covering NPD and the mental health of the unfortunate souls connected to narcissists in relationships, including signs of narcissism and the psychology of narcissists, among other things.
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My greatest joys in life are (hands down) my children. Since the day each was born, my entire focus was making sure they were nurtured and FELT loved and valued. I was determined that they would have the ego I always wanted for myself. Name the activity and they did it. I had a simple plan: I was going to be THE BEST PARENT EVER!!
Enter the narcissist.
By the time I realized what kind of relationship iIwas dealing with, certain unintentional, unwanted behavioral changes began to rear their ugly heads.
In my case, my son (who had more exposure to the narc than my daughters) is definitely more introverted than my daughters. He struggles in the area of self esteem and confidence.
My ex had a bully side to him (shocking right?) and while he would often verbally abuse my son, I always thought I was protecting him (and thus wiping out any negative impact of his words) by telling the narcissist, “don’t talk to him like that.” But looking back now, I realize that “sticking up” for my son was not a replacement for zero exposure.
My three daughters, on the other hand, are the complete opposite. They’re three very strong, very self aware women who don’t need validation from others. I’m guessing this may be because they saw the toll this has taken on me and have decided they want better for themselves (thankfully).
For years, I was wracked with guilt over all this. After all, I brought this mess and chaos into their lives.
With the help of therapy and the lifting of the fog, I can now see that, yes they’ve been changed, but he never touched their spirit; he never touched their hearts. For that I am grateful. As parents, we do the best we can given our circumstances. Probably one of the hardest parts of parenting that no one tells us is learning to forgive ourselves.
Thankfully, my children forgave me long before I forgave myself. Have you noticed a difference in your children pre or post toxic relationship?
- “I thought narcissism was about self-love till someone told me there is a flip side to it … It is unrequited self-love.” ~ Emily Levine
- “Narcissus weeps to find that his Image does not return his love.” ~ Mason Cooley
- “You may have been so relentlessly tortured by the gaslighting and other forms of narcissistic manipulation that you have literally lost yourself – you don’t even know where to begin to remember who you once were (or who you could be now). This is almost always true in the case of someone who has served as narcissistic supply for someone they lived with, such as a spouse or parent.” ~Angie Atkinson
- “Narcissism and self-deception are survival mechanisms without which many of us might just jump off a bridge.” ~ Todd Solondz
- “No one has probably helped me more with my narcissism than my dog.” ~ Tucker Max
- “Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm, but the harm [that they cause] does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.” ~ T. S. Eliot
- “Narcissism falls along the axis of what psychologists call personality disorders, one of a group that includes antisocial, dependent, histrionic, avoidant and borderline personalities. But by most measures, narcissism is one of the worst, if only because the narcissists themselves are so clueless.” ~Jeffrey Kluger
- “I think a lot of self-importance is a product of fear. And fear, living in sort of an un-self-examined fear-based life, tends to lead to narcissism and self-importance.” ~Moby
- “Self-awareness is not self-centeredness, and spirituality is not narcissism. ‘Know thyself’ is not a narcissistic pursuit.” ~Marianne Williamson
- “For some especially charismatic narcissists, that blind self-faith becomes pretty contagious. That’s because we’re programmed to only detect lies that are blatant – and since most narcissists actually BELIEVE their own bullshit, they can be very convincing. To them, their twisted perceptions have become real – so real, that they seem to be actual truth.” ~Angie Atkinson
- “The silent killer of all great men and women of achievement – particularly men, I don’t know why, maybe it’s the testosterone – I think it’s narcissism. Even more than hubris. And for women, too. Narcissism is the killer.” ~James Woods
- “Parents are supposed to give the child back to herself with love. If they’ve got duct tape over their eyes because of narcissism, it doesn’t happen.” ~Jane Fonda
- “When challenged about harmful behavior, a narcissist struggles to maintain a very inflated self-image. Even though you can see right through them, they need to appear to feel good about themselves. It’s part of their game.” ~Angie Atkinson
- “The main condition for the achievement of love is the overcoming of one’s narcissism. The narcissistic orientation is one in which one experiences as real only that which exists within oneself, while the phenomena in the outside world have no reality in themselves, but are experienced only from the viewpoint of their being useful or dangerous to one. The opposite pole to narcissism is objectivity; it is the faculty to see other people and things as they are, objectively, and to be able to separate this objective picture from a picture which is formed by one’s desires and fears.” ~Erich Fromm
- “Being in a relationship with a narcissist puts you on a sort of scary rollercoaster ride of emotions. The highest of highs and the lowest of lows might alternate so quickly that you start losing your grip on what you used to call reality. Your ability to reason is called into question so often that instinct kicks in and you go into survival mode.” ~Angie Atkinson
- “Stay away from lazy parasites, who perch on you just to satisfy their needs, they do not come to alleviate your burdens, hence, their mission is to distract, detract and extract, and make you live in abject poverty.” ~Michael Bassey Johnson
- “Withhold admiration from a narcissist and be disliked. Give it and be treated with indifference.” ~Mason Cooley
- “Nobody can be kinder than the narcissist while you react to life in his own terms.” ~Elizabeth Bowen
- “This pattern of constant mind games and manipulation leaves you feeling used up, empty and lost. And often, you fall into the narcissistic FOG (fear, obligation and guilt) pattern that many of us have been guilty of – and this leads to you eventually retreating and apologizing and begging for forgiveness yet again.” ~Angie Atkinson
- “There is a difference between supporting someone and feeding someone’s narcissism. One is support and the other is not.” ~Fathom