People have the hardest time breaking up with narcissists because they are very addictive. They tend to be charming and seemingly authentic in their ways. Because of the initial idealization phase, where the narcissist showers you with love and attention, you get “hooked,” and then over time the positive attention wanes to the point that not getting criticized becomes appreciated. Your expectations have been managed down.
And then they leave.
You’re devastated. But, why? Because the illusion originally presented turned out to be just that – an illusion; smoke and mirrors; a mirage. The narcissist presented to you a fantasy person, offering you your deepest heart’s desires. This was a manipulation, a type of “grooming” to get you to trust them.
I am writing this article in hopes to encourage you and remind you of the truth. Following is a list of traits that tend to be common with narcissists that make them terrible friends, partners, bosses, or family members. In fact, when you think about it, you see that narcissists are not even truly likable:
- The are selfish and self absorbed. Because of this they don’t see you for who you are, but only for how you can serve them. They don’t care a single thing about you or what matters to you. Nor do they care about anyone else. The serve one master – him/herself.
- They don’t listen. One of the most loving acts a person can do is listen to another. Listening is one of the most important communication skills a person can possess. Narcissists are terrible listeners. This leaves conversations with them very one-sided and disappointing.
- They don’t value your autonomy. Think of a narcissist as a person who sets the stage and writes the script, and you’re job is to fulfill a role in his/her play. If you step out of your role you will pay dearly. The harsh truth is that you, as an individual, are irrelevant to them.
- They are utilitarian. This means they use people for their purposes. An analogy for this is that you are a tool in the narcissist’s toolbox. He/she doesn’t always need a screwdriver. If you’re not meeting the current needs of the narcissist then you really are of no use and will most likely be treated as such.
- Narcissists are rude. Aren’t you sick and tired of being treated inconsiderately? Don’t you just want to scream when your narcissist bosses you around or acts annoyed by what you say, or when he/she doesn’t say excuse me or please or thank you? The list goes on and on of the insensitive comments and behaviors of narcissists.
- They think in terms of “me” not “we.” It is impossible to work with a narcissist or plan a life with one because he/she only cares about things that impact him, and could not care less about your concerns, wants, or desires.
- They ignore people’s boundaries. You may try to set boundaries with a narcissist, but as you have already discovered, he/she steps right on over them and couldn’t care less how it affects you, or anyone else for that matter.
- Narcissists are ungrateful. No matter what you do for a narcissist to please him/her, they will never appreciate it. You may raise the kids, keep the house clean, pay all the bills, sacrifice every bit of your life for him/her; it will never be enough and it will never be appreciated.
- Narcissists are liars. And cheaters. They create reality to suit whatever the narrative is they need or want you to believe. And if they’re faithful to you, then there is a self-serving motive behind that decision as well.
- They are critical. Even compliments are insulting: “You don’t look as fat as usual.” After spending any portion of your life with a narcissist, you begin to lose your self-esteem. Some people get so depressed from all the put downs that they need to take psychotropic medication or abuse drugs or alcohol just to stay in the relationship.
As you read this list, start being grateful for the fact that this person is gone. Seriously, who wants or needs a selfish, self-absorbed, ungrateful, rude, inconsiderate, thoughtless, lying, cheating person in their life? Better to be alone than subject yourself to this type of person for any length of time.
The person you are missing is not a real person. You are missing a fantasy of what you wanted the person to be. Better to live in reality than to spend your life being treated poorly by a narcissist. Remind yourself that every day without a narcissist is a good day.
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