“The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress.” ~Joseph Joubert
Ever been stuck in the middle of an argument between two people? If so, you know exactly how gut-wrenching it can be for all involved.
There are times when a well-placed nugget of wisdom can literally fix a problem someone’s having with another person.
That’s when it helps to offer insight and advice when you see what could help (as is often the case when you’re connected but not directly involved, a third party perspective can often be useful).
But sometimes, especially with smart, stubborn people like narcissists, you have to stay out of a situation and let people deal with it on their own.
See, in general, most narcissists just aren’t receptive to advice unless they choose to be.
You might say they work on pure energy and emotion, so when the energy and emotion aren’t entirely positive, they cannot focus on what’s really happening and everything becomes clouded, distorting their thoughts and sense of being present.
Their every interaction becomes tinged by the negativity and they begin to see it spill into other parts of their lives – most notably, their relationships.
So if you push them to fix their issues, you’ll simply become part of that negative energy they feel and they’ll direct it to you as well.
And you know what happens then? Triangulation – the narcissist begins to play you and the other person off each other and then it gets even worse: you become a source of narcissistic supply.
But if you take a different road and literally refuse to get involved, you actually do the narcissist and his current victim a favor.
If the issue is resolvable and if resolving it matters to the narcissist, they’ll get through it, one way or another. This is even more probable if the relationship is important for him or her.
It might be painful to watch but you’ve got to just look away while they work through it – even if you are certain that your advice could really change things. By choosing to let go of stuff and work through it on their own, their relationship becomes stronger and better than it was before, and your own nose stays clean.
I don’t know – that sounds like a win-win to me. How about you?
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Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.