I just walked over to the dining room table intending to write “chicken” on my grocery list. I wrote in block letters and put a box around the word, but when I put down the pen, I realized I’d written the word “convictions.”
Have you heard the one about the husband sitting at the dinner table? He intends to say, “Please pass the salt,” but instead he blurts out, “You’ve ruined my life.”
Those messages rise to the surface for a reason.
Our convictions define us. Our convictions are part of the compass that helps us maneuver life. Without our convictions, who are we?
Perhaps our subconscious sends up a message to get our attention and say, “Hey, you’re losing sight of who you are! Knock it off!”
Not everyone will agree with your convictions, but that’s a beautiful thing. We all get to come up with our own.
If you’ve had experience with a narcissist, you know that their convictions center on what it takes to keep them at the top of the heap. Those convictions change with the weather. What once kept them at the top, may have to change to meet a new circumstance, but the goal is always to be at the top.
And when it comes to the narcissist having any respect for your convictions… I can hear some of you laughing. If your convictions also have to do with keeping the narcissist at the top, however, you probably aren’t laughing.
It starts out as an innocent conversation.
It sounds like, “Well, why do you think that? Have you considered this?
Wouldn’t it be better if _________________________.” (Insert the thing that would make their life easier.)
And because you have a history of working at creating harmonious relationships, you might be inclined to cave – just a little. I mean how important is your, say, need to set boundaries on the types of programming you allow into your home? How strong is your conviction to never eat poultry? So what if there’s a few bits of diced chicken in the salad. What could it hurt? It’s not like you’re setting a precedent. Or are you?
And when the next issue comes up, you give an inch, because no one was really hurt the last time you gave an inch.
Only after several inches have been given, you notice that you are uneasy. You’re agitated with yourself. You lost sight of your convictions and that started to change you.
And then all the reasons that person had for loving you have been whittled away, because you caved on your convictions. You have become a downsized version of who they fell in love with. In the case of the narcissist, that’s probably what they would prefer, but that’s not the way to present yourself in a healthy relationship.
You don’t have to watch that one show.
You don’t have to eat the chicken salad.
There is a time to compromise. There are many moments when we ought to agree to meet in the middle. Digging our heels in the sand rarely works.
But it’s perfectly okay to stick to your convictions. In fact, you should. :)