If you’ve read this far, you have most likely suffered from a relationship with a narcissist. Sometimes I find myself thinking that every time I turn around, I find a new person who has been in a relationship with a narcissist, or has discovered, finally, that they were raised by narcissists. Narcissism is very pervasive in our culture, and it seems to be getting more prevalent.
At this point, if you haven’t checked out my disclaimer page, you might want to do that.
I will remind you that I AM NOT A PROFESSIONAL on the survival of narcissism. I’m not there yet. I do believe that I’m headed in the direction of becoming a professional narcissism survivor.
Surviving with narcissism is a work-in-progress. I am having way more good days than bad days. I guess that means it’s working.
These aren’t magical steps that will cure you overnight. These suggestions will not have you waking tomorrow morning with a plan for how your life will dramatically change. This is a slow and steady process. But because it is slow and steady, it takes. It will last. You will eventually see that you’ve modified your behavior. You will become pro-active instead of re-active. Your kids will see that you possess a power they didn’t know you had. You will respect yourself and know that you are worthy of a healthy life.
I’ve mentioned before that I have little motivational notes and quotes taped to the cupboards in my kitchen and bathroom. I couldn’t do that at my old house. It doesn’t look pretty. Maybe you can’t do that at your house. If that is the case, tape them on the inside of a cupboard. Or if you have your own vehicle, tape them on your dashboard. You cannot write them in a journal, put the journal neatly on the shelf next to all the self-help books, and never refer to them again. You have to read these notes daily. Call these mantras, prayers, pledges or whatever. I call them “my notes”.
I started these notes back when I was still married. I had a little box setting on my office counter. (I collected a lot more than just these three, hence the box.) He wasn’t ever interested in my projects, so I had no need to worry that he might go through my box of notes. Almost every day I would stand at the counter, take the notes out of the box, page through each one and read them to myself. Some days I didn’t have the energy to go through the notes. But I started to see that if I took the time to go through the notes, I felt better. It was something I was doing for me. It was a peaceful few seconds in my day. I’m not gonna go all Oprah on you, but you do deserve a few moments in your day that are all about you.
I’m telling you that this works. Why do you think religions are organized around prayer? I am not a religious person, by any means. I am a spiritual person. I see the value in repeating good words over and over again.
Start today. Say good words to yourself. Be kind to, and about, yourself. You don’t have to look in the mirror when you do this. We can only handle one hurdle at a time. You don’t want to be standing in front of the mirror, saying your good words, and be distracted by the discovery of a new wrinkle or more gray hair. Have a nice tone of voice in your heart when you say your notes.
Here’s the three notes that I use the most. These notes have had the biggest impact on my life.
Health, Harmony and Creativity – My goal is to lead a healthy, harmonic (peaceful, not necessarily musical) creative life. I try to make sure that all my choices point me in the direction of health, harmony and creativity.
Forget the doubts and fears that are creeping into your heart. Quit doubting yourself. Quit being afraid. I know that’s easier said than done. At this point, you are just saying the words. “I don’t doubt who I am. I am not afraid.” Trust me, you will get to the point where you are stronger in your confidence, and you will be less afraid.
I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy. I can’t add anything to that. You may not feel that way today. You probably aren’t going to feel that way tomorrow. Keep saying it. You will get closer to feeling good about yourself.
Put up a couple notes on your cupboard. They (the narcissists) can’t kill you. At most, they might ask you about the notes. Let them be curious. They won’t be curious for long. You’re dealing with a narcissist, remember?