4-5 years ago I had a relationship with a girl who is a year older than me. We were together for 2 years until we broke up. I believe I truly loved her and we had a very emotionally close relationship. When she went to college things started to change. We are both introverted people and tend to not make friends very well or be actively social even though we are both very capable when the situation forces us to. I believe she hated that side of her while I was content and accepted it. She would often try to change my behavior, and I was very unwilling to at least try to change or even acknowledge that it was necessary. I was also very arrogant at that age and with a chip on my shoulder. I looked down on people and criticized things and others often. This is not because I felt superior but because I held people to the same standard as I did myself. Which was very high. I believe I have changed since then. But after an argument with her one night I could tell that she wanted to break up. I did not want to but I decided that I had to accept that she wanted to leave me. I told her I agreed. We had a rough break up period where we were still somewhat a couple in ways. Eventually things got sour and we eventually stopped seeing each other. I will admit that I still love her and I’ve loved her all this time. I acted foolishly after we separated with desperate attempts to socialize with her. After an embarrassment with her two years ago, I deleted her on facebook in order to save her from myself. It has become increasingly apparent that I acted in a narcissistic manner to her. I have heard that she joined a group for narcissist abuse a few months ago. I feel so horrible. I had no idea that I made such a lasting impression on her life and I’m restless because I don’t know what I can do to make amends. We are not on speaking terms because she got upset that I deleted her on facebook and I don’t know if bringing it up is appropriate. My only contact with her is through birthday cards. What should I do? Thank you.
You may be making several assumptions. You described your behavior as narcissistic and abusive, but this may or may not be true. For instance, you stated that you were often critical of others but not because you felt superior to them. Narcissists notoriously feel superior to everyone.
You’re also assuming that she joined a narcissist abuse group because of you. She could have joined because of a friend or a family member. You could have been the impetus but unless you ask her, you simply don’t know.
What is your motivation for wanting to write to her? Are you simply wanting to apologize? Are you trying to rekindle the relationship? What is your goal?
Whatever your goal, you can try sending her a letter or an email. Explain why you wrote the letter.
Finally, be prepared for the possibility that she might not reply. Will it matter to you if she doesn’t reply? If your goal is to apologize and to be sincere in your apology, then it would not matter much if she replied or did not reply. At least you’ll know that you did everything you could to express your remorse. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle
Guilty for Possibly Inflicting Narcissism Abuse
Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW
Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.
APA Reference Randle, K. (2018). Guilty for Possibly Inflicting Narcissism Abuse. Psych Central.
Retrieved on September 17, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/04/19/guilty-for-possibly-inflicting-narcissism-abuse/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.