They say that the best way to predict a person’s future behavior is to take a look at his or her past behavior – and when it comes to a toxic narcissist, this is almost unconditionally true.
If you think about how you and your narcissist got together, do you remember how he treated you at the time? Do you remember the things he told you about past relationships?
And, if you’re in the process of leaving or you’ve already left, you may be dealing with watching him romance a new love – and it’s probably killing you inside. But maybe not for the same reason as everyone thinks.
Standard Breakups: Behavior and Relatable Anger
In most cases, when a couple breaks up or divorces and one of the two moves on with a new love, it can cause a lot of stress and trouble for the one left behind.
You wonder: is she better than me? Prettier? Smarter? Thinner? Better in bed?
And part of you kinda hates her guts; maybe even wishes horrible things would happen to her.
That’s pretty common – but obviously, most healthy people wouldn’t act on those feelings, outside of maybe a snide remark here and there.
In some cases, you might even see ex-couples trying to “get revenge” on one another by contacting new partners and trying to sabotage the relationship.
Why It’s Different for a Narcissist’s Ex
When it comes to a former narcissistic supply, there’s a whole new element involved when it comes to her feelings toward the narc’s new victim…er…”love.”
And yes, this ex might also feel the need to get in touch with the narc’s new potential supply – but for a very different reason than a pissed off “normal” person would.
See, what most people don’t know is that when you’ve experienced toxic mental and emotional abuse from a narcissist, you have a different agenda when it comes to getting in touch with his new girl – and, unless they’ve experienced narcissistic abuse, most people wouldn’t even believe you if you told them your reason.
If you’re currently or formerly involved with a narcissist, you already know what I’m going to say.
Narcissists tend to be attracted to empaths because we are hard-wired to directly respond to the emotions of others, especially when we love them (and/or live with them).
And in addition to falling among the HSP (highly sensitive people) type, we also FEEL for other people – and mostly, we’ve struggled so hard to get out from under what the narcissist did to us that we really don’t want to see another person go through the same kind of suffering and upset we did.
So, our reason for wanting to reach out to the narcissist’s new supply is different because it’s GENUINELY an attempt to help another person.
But, when it comes down to it, should you really try to warn the new supply about what she’s REALLY getting herself into? Does she deserve a warning?
Yeah, maybe she does. But should you say anything to her about it, or not?
When that happened, part of you probably resolved to never let that happen to him again, or to be the one who is “different” and makes him believe in love again (or whatever it was that you had to “save” him from).
You may have felt the need to protect him, even, and to build up his confidence – and to be his EVERYTHING.
So, let me ask you something – and I want you to be really, really honest with yourself here.
If one of those “crazy exes” had come to you back then and explained what she’d been through, how do you think you might have reacted?
Do you think you’d have hugged her and thanked her? Would you just ignore her, or would you have even told the narc all about it and sought some kind of validation that she was full of it?
I think we could probably agree that none of us (with the exception of someone who’d been previously involved in a romantic entanglement with a narc) would have hugged her and said thanks.
How to Deal with the Narcissist’s New Supply (and Why)
Obviously, you CANNOT tell the new love what to expect with the narcissist – because she won’t believe you, and because he will simply use it to further attach himself to her (and to make you look like a nut job – confirming all the crap he’s probably already said about you anyway).
So what do you do if you really like the new supply and you truly just don’t want to see her get hurt?
You suck it up, and you deal with it. You focus on yourself, your life, making it better.
Of course, if you’re REALLY worried, you can try to just be her friend and allow her to reach out if she’s got questions or concerns. (But remember – she’s YOU from the beginning of your relationship with this person. So what would you have done if the ex tried to be your friend?)
(Example: your best friend dies and your spouse focuses on how upset he or she is, rather than on supporting you emotionally in any way, shape or form. And then he/she gets angry at you because YOU can’t support HIM/HER when your best friend just died.)
And often, you hear those little sticky phrases – the ones that are repeated over and over until they become unintentional guides of your own self-perception.
“These are the choices that you have made…”
(Implied: I told you so. And now you will be punished for disobeying me or ignoring my advice.)
This phrase stuck in my head for years. Every time I’d ask my narcissistic parent to support me emotionally (which I specifically and stupidly did, over and over again), that phrase would be repeated, and it would be the reason that I didn’t deserve to be comforted.
The fact that I didn’t take the “advice” or direct orders given me made me wrong and deserving of my pain.
It made me not worthy of comfort, and it made me worth less respect and concern.
The only way to prove myself worthy again would be months of following orders, doing as I was told, becoming the person I was “supposed” to be, according to the narcissist. It was a process, earning back a narcissist’s trust.
And under no circumstances could that process be sped up. It was all part of the narcissistic game.
Living with a narcissist is like living with your own personal psychological terrorist. You feel me?
You already probably know what my first and preferred answer is: you go no contact if possible. But, since life is as it is, we know that isn’t always an option, at least not in the short-term.
So, how do do you survive co-existing with a narcissist? Start here.
Remember that, just like a leopard, a narcissist never changes his spots.
So, you’ll need to focus on both educating yourself and using the facts that you know about narcissists to your advantage. And, while I may joke on occasion that it’s possible to control a narcissist or to beat the narcissist at his own game, the truth is that in the end, you’ll always be a loser if you stick around to find out the score.
Understand that any emotion you direct at or express near the narcissist must be either in praise of or defense of the narcissist’s thoughts, ideas, appearance, possessions and/or general existence. If you can’t figure out a way to express your thoughts and feelings in that fashion, it may be best to keep them to yourself, if you want to keep peace and your sanity in tact. The fact is that if you go outside of those boundaries, the narcissist will quickly make you wish you hadn’t – so save yourself the trouble and talk to someone else – even if it’s just a private journal.
If you absolutely need to express something to the narcissist that isn’t within his spectrum of tolerance, you need to do it in a way that makes him feel like he’s the one in control. So, if you need him to be at home to meet the plumber on a day you can’t, you have to tell him something like, “I’m just not as smart as you are about this stuff – you’d totally be my hero if you’d help me out on this one. Can you keep an eye on the plumber today and make sure he’s not screwing us over on his bill?”
This puts him in a position of both authority and control and lets him know that not only are you not “as good as” him, but that you are aware of it and willing to beg for his help (in his narcissistic perception).
Quit Your Stressing and Take Back Control of Your Mind (And Your Life)
So you’ve been stuck to the narcissist for awhile now, and maybe you’re becoming someone you don’t even recognize (much less like). From your perspective, you occasionally wonder if maybe the narcissist IS right and maybe you’re really a total screwup, after all. Maybe you are a little crazy, huh?
No, you’re not. If you’re dealing with a narcissist, you already know all his tricks – and he knows this. That just causes him to keep at it, always looking for new ways to fool you and/or control you into doing what he wants.
If you find yourself constantly complaining about what is happening TO YOU, thanks to your narcissistic relationship, that means that you must believe you have a real need to complain and your life isn’t where you would like it to be – and that means you have got t change your thinking if you want to change your situation.
Even if you don’t complain to anyone out loud, you probably know someone who does and it makes everyone feel uncomfortable. And there’s a reason that happens – most people are naturally pushed away by negative energy – and those who would be drawn in by it probably aren’t people you really want to be connected to anyway, you know?
So what can be done to correct it and get back to positive living that leads to the life you really want?
Complaining and focusing on things you don’t love can become a really a bad habit. A habit, whether good or bad, is an urge to adopt that action no matter what the consequences. The more you feed the habit the more it will take control of your life and the harder it is to kick.
Complaining typically stems from negative thoughts you’ve created. You realize you’re the cause of your thoughts so you blame yourself and vent it with complaining. Refuse to let those negative thoughts become you. We become what we think just like we become what we eat, drink or do. If we put good into our body and mind then good will come out. Of course, if we put bad things into our body and mind such as drugs and negative thoughts then bad will come out. It’s inevitable – and it’s up to you to correct.
Negative thinking and complaining can be just as addictive as a drug.
Whatever your mind is used to thinking that’s what it craves. Admit you have negative thoughts and that you are their creator. Realize too that these thoughts lead only to more negativity and more addiction. You know what you’re doing but can’t help yourself until you admit to your problem and let it go.
Relax and let your negative thoughts disappear. It may take a while but it can be done and when negative thinking is stopped so will your complaining.
You didn’t become what you are overnight and you can’t expect to become what you desire overnight either. If that were the case we would all be perfect in mind and body. It’s a fight that can be won with constant dedication and awareness.
Don’t doubt yourself.
Believe in yourself. We choose what we think and we choose what we are and can become.
Accept responsibility for your actions and let it go. Then take positive steps to accept what needs to be done to achieve your goal. Dedicate yourself to getting it done. This will disrupt your mind’s pattern of thinking and it will be easy to fall back into the old ways.
Surround yourself with positive energy, people and things and these will seep into your mind until they become you and your new habit is formed. Whatever was bad in your environment that caused you to complain get rid of it. Each step toward a positive emotion gives you confidence to continue.
We all tend to blame others for stuff that goes wrong in our lives. And even though you probably have some very legitimate complaints, thanks to your narcissist, the truth is that only politicians can do that and get away with playing the blame game.
If you don’t like the life your living or the thoughts you’re thinking then change it. Take responsibility and take control today and discover a new you tomorrow – feel me?
Living with a narcissist is a lot like living with your own personal psychological terrorist – and while this is obviously a situation no one wants to be stuck in, sometimes life puts us in the place to remain challenged.
If you can’t leave your narcissist and/or go no contact for some reason, you’re going to have to figure out a way to survive the narcissistic abuse and gaslighting without losing your mind – if you value your sanity, anyway.
This video offers you the solution you’re seeking.
Being in a good frame of mind helps keep one in the picture of health. ~Unknown
You know all about toxic families and toxic friends, but have you ever considered that your own thoughts can become toxic?
This is especially true if you love a narcissist–and even more especially if you live with the narcissist.
We’ve talked before about why it’s important to keep an eye on your thoughts–because you bring about what you think about. So, if you’re focused on all good things, then more good things will come your way. But, if your thoughts become toxic, they can and will draw negativity and toxicity into your life, and can even cause physical side effects if left unchecked.
But when we’re feeling negatively and thinking toxic thoughts–like feeling and nurturing rage, holding grudges or wallowing in guilt or self-pity–our bodies release damaging chemicals. This makes us more susceptible to illness and disease.
Narcissistic rage can further complicate the situation, especially because narcissists typically aren’t aware that they have the ability to BE wrong–and if they are, forget about it–you’re going to have a cranky person dealing with a severe narcissistic injury.
Dr. Caroline Leaf, author of the book Who Switched Off My Brain, says that “stress and anxiety harm the body in a multitude of ways; patchy memory, severe mental health issues, immune system problems, heart problems and digestive problems.”
You may not even realize how often you complain or lament about the things in life you don’t love. Maybe you are frustrated because you had to wait in line for a half hour at the grocery store, or the traffic on your way home from work was so terrible that you actually got out of your car and sat on the hood to get a little sun. Perhaps you found out that your kid failed Science or you didn’t get into the college of your choice–or your dog ate your knitting project.
If you’re a narcissist, you’re probably not reading this anyway–but those of us who are dealing with you are likely to get the brunt of your toxic thoughts. So hey, if you love us, why not try to get a brighter perspective? We’ll love you for it.
And honestly, does it really help you to rehash and focus on these negative things? Nope, it actually hurts you. So, while you should absolutely feel comfortable telling the people you care about what happened to you during the day, try to focus on the positive side of things, even when there doesn’t seem to be one.
For example, if you waited in line at the grocery store, maybe you talked to someone who really needed a good conversation. If you sat in traffic too long–maybe you needed the solitude or you heard your favorite song. You get the idea–find the silver lining in every cloud.
How to Stop Toxic Thoughts: Use Mind Control (On Yourself)
I can’t stress enough how important it is to recognize and monitor your thoughts. You may not even realize how often you think negative thoughts. For example, if your friend wins an award that you wanted, you may think “she must be better than me” or “I deserved that award, not her!” But if you can bring yourself to genuinely congratulate and feel happy for your friend, you’ll not only do her a favor, but yourself too.
If you find yourself FEELING negatively, take a minute to listen to your thoughts. You might be surprised to find out that you may be subconsciously thinking toxic thoughts.
Take control of your mind, because you can. All you need to do is mentally cancel those toxic thoughts and replace them with positive and healthy thoughts that reflect your true desires. (Because whatever you think about and focus on is what you’re drawing toward yourself–so why not think about and focus on what you really want?)
Change Your Scene
When I feel like my thoughts are getting a little toxic, sometimes it helps me to just change the scene around me. Maybe that means just going into a different room or taking a walk–or maybe I need to get in the car and go somewhere. But inevitably, if I make the effort to change my scene, it changes my mind pretty quickly.
Try going out for coffee with a friend, taking a walk or a bath, working out–or even busting out the Wii for a little karaoke or golf. Whatever works for you–just get away from the spot in which you started thinking toxic thoughts for awhile.
What do you do to control and eliminate toxic thoughts? Tell me in the comments section, below, or hit me up on Facebook.
You’re at a party and you notice your husband getting a bit too close to another woman. After the party, you confront him. He tells you to stop being so insecure and controlling; that he’s his own man and if you don’t like it, you shouldn’t have acted like that in the first place. After arguing all night, you end up begging for forgiveness and apologize for the trouble.
Maybe it’s your mom – she’s picking on you like it’s a sport. She’s worried about what you’re wearing, what you’re eating – who you’re hanging out with – but it’s unhealthy. Instead of fighting back, you just suck it up and take it – maybe you’re too sensitive, or perhaps you really are crazy after all. Who can’t take a bit of criticism, anyway?
Or it’s your boss, who told you you had his support on your latest project, only to backpedal when it’s time to present it to the team. Suddenly, he criticizes you for your poor choices and he’s jumnped ship – but when you talk to him later, he tells you it was wrong from the beginning and you need to be more careful in the future. You find yourself wondering if your judgment might really be flawed, after all.
Maybe this stuff doesn’t happen in your life, but for many people, it’s an everyday reality. If you think it could never be you, think again! Some of the most intelligent and capable people are living in painfully toxic relationships with narcissists, and they’re plagued by regular bouts of gaslighting, an insidious form of emotional abuse and manipulation that can be crueler than more obvious forms of abuse because it sort of sneaks up on you.
Because of its insidious nature, gaslighting is one form of emotional abuse that is hard to recognize and even more challenging to break free from. Part of that is because the narcissist exploits one of our greatest fears – the fear of being alone.
If you are or have been in a relationship with a narcissist, you know they love to play games. There is only one way you can beat a narcissist at his own game – and in this video, I’ll reveal it to you. (more…)