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User Topic: Narcissistic Tendencies
KBeguile
Member
Member # 38348
Default  Posted: 9:49 AM, May 31st (Friday)

I thought I was doing better with regard to my narcissistic tendencies (I definitely agree with my IC that I have them, and I am beginning to understand why I have them), but my recent actions have just exposed that I haven't done a great deal to shake them or get rid of them; they've just materialized in a different part of my life. I've been focusing on putting out the fire in one room of a big, old house while it spreads, and once I felt confident about the room I saved, I declared the house to be rescued.

I definitely have a problem in being accepted by large social communities. It's as though I have an equation with "number of people" on one side and "energy to be noticed" on the other, and as the number of people variable increases, so does my energy output. It's a completely wrong-headed equation, but it's the one that's been operating (consciously or not) ever since I can remember.

stilllovinghim said:

What has me concerned also & I'm not sure if this has been approached yet, is how you got to the point where you're at now. Were you abused as a child? Did you witness abuse as a child? I feel that you must have at some terrible point and I just want so say, "I'm sorry. I'm so terribly, deeply sorry. You're worth all the love in the world and you never deserved this." I would wrap that child up in the biggest hug and take him far away from all that hatefullness.

Yes. Psychologically, for sure, for both my younger sister and myself. Part of how I learned to deal with it was to get away from my mother and seek the comfort and (undivided) attention of my grandparents who didn't judge me nearly so harshly or punish me as severely.

I was also heaped with praise for my intelligence. Any time I got validated with that external praise, I gobbled it up. I suppose it happened so frequently that I became a glutton of sorts. It kept me going because motivating myself didn't come naturally/easily enough for me.

It scares me to let go of that, I guess, simply because it has been a driving force in my life for so long. It's almost a part of my core, and I'm afraid too much else of myself will fall apart without it.

So ... how have any of you managed to knock out severe pride issues and/or narcissistic tendencies?


Me: fWS 32
Her: BS 35 (HeartInADustpan)
DS: 4yo
M: 7 years
DDays: 2012/11/14, 2013/02/05, 2013/03/09
-
"Everything that happens now is happening 'now.'"
"What happened to 'then'?"
"We passed 'then.'"

Posts: 801 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: St. Louis
wifehad5
Moderator
Member # 15162
Default  Posted: 9:54 AM, May 31st (Friday)

I was also heaped with praise for my intelligence. Any time I got validated with that external praise, I gobbled it up.

Do you think you're smart?


FBH - 42
FWW - 43 (BrokenRoad)
2 kids 7&12

The people you do your life with shape the life you live


Posts: 37370 | Registered: Jun 2007 | From: Michigan
KBeguile
Member
Member # 38348
Default  Posted: 10:07 AM, May 31st (Friday)

wifehad5 said:
Do you think you're smart?

At times. Part of the psychological abuse was that, at times, according to my mother, I wasn't. To this day, being referred to as "stupid" is a trigger for me.

Part of it could really easily be a never-ending search to find people who say that I am. I know that was the case with my LTEA/former boss; she exhibited NPD also, and our world views aligned, with hers taking precedence because I was seeking external validation from her (I also now realize how dangerous and destructive two NPD-types can be when this happens, like two wrecking balls welded together swinging out of control). I feel more appreciated at my current job than the one immediately prior in part because I'm recognized more for my contributions and analytical insights.

Since it came up in the original thread, the part of me I feel smartest about is my artistic side. I love to draw, to write, to sing, and to perform (radio, acting, improv). However, another thing that my mother did was absolutely unleash full cannons on me any time I did anything artistic, telling me that I needed to do something else with my life because art was never going to get me anywhere (she has since tried to retract some of that sentiment upon seeing some of the work that I have posted on my Facebook, but the damage is already done).


Me: fWS 32
Her: BS 35 (HeartInADustpan)
DS: 4yo
M: 7 years
DDays: 2012/11/14, 2013/02/05, 2013/03/09
-
"Everything that happens now is happening 'now.'"
"What happened to 'then'?"
"We passed 'then.'"

Posts: 801 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: St. Louis
hardlessons
Member
Member # 35025
Default  Posted: 10:08 AM, May 31st (Friday)

I definitely have a problem in being accepted by large social communities

That isn't the issue. The issue is when the large community takes its eyes off the boy with narcissistic tendencies.

but my recent actions have just exposed that I haven't done a great deal to shake them or get rid of them

That's because you used your usual thought patterns to dazzle the SI group with golden boy BS. Unfortunately for you this place is crawling with people who see you a mile away because they have either been in your shoes or involved with someone like you. To me that is what the "fog" is, trying to use our usual patterns to fit into the new healthy way we are trying. Never works well.

It isn't a pride issue, it is being comfortable in your own skin without validation from others. I know I needed it as my self esteem was crap, learning new coping mechanisms has been the biggest thing for me in that regard, that and being honest with myself about who I am, what I am. That last part has been tough. Good luck


Me WH
Wife Tired Girl
3 adult sons
"a wayward...annnnd just a tad betrayed."

Posts: 880 | Registered: Mar 2012 | From: Arizona
KBeguile
Member
Member # 38348
Default  Posted: 10:15 AM, May 31st (Friday)

hardlessons said:
That isn't the issue. The issue is when the large community takes its eyes off the boy with narcissistic tendencies.

That's because you used your usual thought patterns to dazzle the SI group with golden boy BS. Unfortunately for you this place is crawling with people who see you a mile away because they have either been in your shoes or involved with someone like you. To me that is what the "fog" is, trying to use our usual patterns to fit into the new healthy way we are trying. Never works well.

Both very good points. I think the first is more what I intended to say, but that's not the point. You said it better, and I defer to those words as being apt and correct.

How do you fix this kind of broken, though? I don't know where to start.


Me: fWS 32
Her: BS 35 (HeartInADustpan)
DS: 4yo
M: 7 years
DDays: 2012/11/14, 2013/02/05, 2013/03/09
-
"Everything that happens now is happening 'now.'"
"What happened to 'then'?"
"We passed 'then.'"

Posts: 801 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: St. Louis
hardlessons
Member
Member # 35025
Default  Posted: 10:39 AM, May 31st (Friday)

I am no expert, but first thing is to take your eye's off everyone else to see if they are paying attention and focus non stop on you. When we are sooo jacked up in our unhealthy thinking it is hard to take that first step.

For me, to make it easier and take that step, I assumed my first thought in any given situation was wrong. Sounds stupid I'm sure but what it did was break the pattern and that break is where I could start to beat another path(thanks UO). A healthy path. Make sense?


Me WH
Wife Tired Girl
3 adult sons
"a wayward...annnnd just a tad betrayed."

Posts: 880 | Registered: Mar 2012 | From: Arizona
KBeguile
Member
Member # 38348
Default  Posted: 11:12 AM, May 31st (Friday)

hardlessons said:
I am no expert, but first thing is to take your eye's off everyone else to see if they are paying attention and focus non stop on you. When we are sooo jacked up in our unhealthy thinking it is hard to take that first step.

For me, to make it easier and take that step, I assumed my first thought in any given situation was wrong. Sounds stupid I'm sure but what it did was break the pattern and that break is where I could start to beat another path(thanks UO). A healthy path. Make sense?

I guess part of my problem also lies in semantics, because I'm getting confused: I'm told to focus on myself first and foremost, and yet focusing on myself (at least, in my mind) was what got me into this mess in the first place, compounded further when I chose to ignore Heart and DS in favor of my own life. I get that you're specifically referencing "working on changing my mode of thinking, etc." as opposed to "self-medicate and pacify myself," but I worry, too, that if I take time to do that, something else in my life that has already suffered enough will start to suffer again.

I have convinced myself I'm looking at too many spinning plates. It may not truly be the case, but that is the impression I'm getting.

This is bleeding into a problem of taking personal time to deal with issues. For one, it does, as you pointed out, force me to take my eyes off of other people and things for a while, which freaks me out. A good analogy might be "unable to swim because I can't see the sides of the pool."

The other aspect is that I've seen the destruction I've caused by focusing solely on myself, and I don't want to run the risk of doing it again. I'm flip-flopping between extremes (being the sole focus of my attention vs. making everyone else in my life the focus of my attention), rather than investing time in trying to determine if there's any middle ground to be had. Not healthy, and I can consciously/logically determine that, but it doesn't get much further than that before the emotions decide to swing things wildly out of control.

A further big fear, as I tried to voice before, is that changing this aspect of myself will completely change who I am as a person. In this forum, I see some people changing who they are as people, but my mind makes me see this as an elimination of diversity and variance. I shy away from doing something possibly healthy because I see it as conforming, which I tend to dislike, especially since it seems to be a paradigm of human being that I didn't specifically decide I wanted to emulate (i.e., I'm being shown a movie of a well-adjusted individual that looks nothing like me and being told that I have to become this individual or I will be a societal failure and be expunged).

And, in the same breath, I'm told not to worry about what other people think. Perhaps I'm building some kind of fallacious argument in which the fundamental mistake is eluding me, but that's the error that I'm getting as I try to parse all of this.


Me: fWS 32
Her: BS 35 (HeartInADustpan)
DS: 4yo
M: 7 years
DDays: 2012/11/14, 2013/02/05, 2013/03/09
-
"Everything that happens now is happening 'now.'"
"What happened to 'then'?"
"We passed 'then.'"

Posts: 801 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: St. Louis
hardlessons
Member
Member # 35025
Default  Posted: 11:23 AM, May 31st (Friday)

I've seen the destruction I've caused by focusing solely on myself

Focusing on yourself to heal is WAY different that focusing on you to feed the huge gaping hole you have inside you. Don't be confused, they are two very different things. If you are digging deep and making changes that will be a help to Heart.

A further big fear, as I tried to voice before, is that changing this aspect of myself will completely change who I am as a person. In this forum, I see some people changing who they are as people, but my mind makes me see this as an elimination of diversity and variance. I shy away from doing something possibly healthy because I see it as conforming, which I tend to dislike, especially since it seems to be a paradigm of human being that I didn't specifically decide I wanted to emulate (i.e., I'm being shown a movie of a well-adjusted individual that looks nothing like me and being told that I have to become this individual or I will be a societal failure and be expunged).

And, in the same breath, I'm told not to worry about what other people think. Perhaps I'm building some kind of fallacious argument in which the fundamental mistake is eluding me, but that's the error that I'm getting as I try to parse all of this.

We will file this in the "Baffle them with bullshit file"

You are unhealthy and need to get healthy for you, Heart and DS period. When you start in with the mind gymnastics that is just your way of avoiding the issues.

We protect ourselves 24/7 it's human nature, our FOO issues add exponentially to that. Bottom line, how you think and feel is jacked up and it needs to be fixed. How will you end up? Who knows, but if your healthy more than likely you will be at peace for the first time in your entire life. Imagine that and you might move forward. Or worry about what you might become and you will go no where.


Me WH
Wife Tired Girl
3 adult sons
"a wayward...annnnd just a tad betrayed."

Posts: 880 | Registered: Mar 2012 | From: Arizona
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 11:25 AM, May 31st (Friday)

So ... how have any of you managed to knock out severe pride issues and/or narcissistic tendencies?

Seeing if and when it is possible to change an "I" into a "we". But in order to do that, we have to make sure that what we're saying or doing really can come from "we". So that means connecting with and checking in with our partner or whoever else is included in "we" and making sure that's really accurate. Which in turn means listening and empathizing, and more than listening *hearing* what someone else is saying, and then acknowledging and empathizing with another person's feelings. Once you begin to think from the "We" perspective instead of the "I" perspective, your reality changes because you actually have to be careful and considerate of the others in your group (it also helps to not assign roles to the group like leader - everyone in the group is equal). Like with many things, it's something you build. But it's something you have to choose to build. Just try sitting and listening to Heart or your son or someone without thinking of what to say back. Not even listening for what they're saying that applies to you. Just listen to what is inside of their heads or hearts. It is a very peaceful experience once you let go of yourself.

[This message edited by silverhopes at 11:28 AM, May 31st (Friday)]


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 3905 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 11:34 AM, May 31st (Friday)

In this forum, I see some people changing who they are as people, but my mind makes me see this as an elimination of diversity and variance.

For some of us, it is because we have chosen to adopt new values - because the new values seem healthier than the old ones. Sometimes change is a good thing. This is why the process is difficult; we're evaluating what's healthy to change, and then acknowledging the things that we already have that are healthy and that we want to keep. It's not black and white. We're not all completely healthy or completely unhealthy; we're a mix.


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 3905 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
KBeguile
Member
Member # 38348
Default  Posted: 12:26 PM, May 31st (Friday)

silverhopes said:
For some of us, it is because we have chosen to adopt new values - because the new values seem healthier than the old ones. Sometimes change is a good thing. This is why the process is difficult; we're evaluating what's healthy to change, and then acknowledging the things that we already have that are healthy and that we want to keep. It's not black and white. We're not all completely healthy or completely unhealthy; we're a mix.

Okay. This was a puzzle piece I was missing. Thank you. This helps.

I also think one of the problems I was having was that I was extrapolating to a much, MUCH better me because I already showed some progress. Kind of reminds me of the commercial with the golfing guy whose buddy starts giving him "gimmies" on sequentially more difficult shots/holes, thereby setting a course record (that he didn't actually earn).

hardlessons said:

You are unhealthy and need to get healthy for you, Heart and DS period. When you start in with the mind gymnastics that is just your way of avoiding the issues.

We protect ourselves 24/7 it's human nature, our FOO issues add exponentially to that. Bottom line, how you think and feel is jacked up and it needs to be fixed. How will you end up? Who knows, but if your healthy more than likely you will be at peace for the first time in your entire life. Imagine that and you might move forward. Or worry about what you might become and you will go no where.

Yes. I feel capable of applying a bandage to the problem in a variety of ways, though such an application does not fix the underlying problem.

In this instance, I have moved from a place of "conflict avoidance" with this particular issue once it reared and was identified to wanting to steel myself against this kind of behavior by placing lynchpins into place so that I recognize when I start to behave this way again in the future.

However, that just kicks the can down the road a little ways, as they say. Yes, I might have garnered enough sense to recognize when I do it in real life, and I might garner enough to recognize when I start doing it on an Internet forum, but that just deals with the symptoms.

How do you deal with the underlying causes of seeking external validation so that you're not having to walk around, constantly (or nearly so) reminding yourself how to behave with every step?


Me: fWS 32
Her: BS 35 (HeartInADustpan)
DS: 4yo
M: 7 years
DDays: 2012/11/14, 2013/02/05, 2013/03/09
-
"Everything that happens now is happening 'now.'"
"What happened to 'then'?"
"We passed 'then.'"

Posts: 801 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: St. Louis
hardlessons
Member
Member # 35025
Default  Posted: 12:37 PM, May 31st (Friday)

How do you deal with the underlying causes of seeking external validation so that you're not having to walk around, constantly (or nearly so) reminding yourself how to behave with every step?

That depends on you and whatever FOO issues you need to deal with, strongly recommend IC. What do you think drives your need?

My suggestion isn't a band aid, changing the patterns your mind takes can heal many issues. Understand that you can still be a messed up bird with FOO issues, but that doesn't mean that you can't learn to process and treat yourself and those around you better.


Me WH
Wife Tired Girl
3 adult sons
"a wayward...annnnd just a tad betrayed."

Posts: 880 | Registered: Mar 2012 | From: Arizona
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 12:45 PM, May 31st (Friday)

How do you deal with the underlying causes of seeking external validation so that you're not having to walk around, constantly (or nearly so) reminding yourself how to behave with every step?

What are your values? And of those, which are your biggest values?

How do you want to behave, and how do you actually? Sometimes it helps to look at your destination, both to determine how to get there and to make sure it's a healthy one.


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 3905 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
KBeguile
Member
Member # 38348
Default  Posted: 1:09 PM, May 31st (Friday)

hardlessons said:
That depends on you and whatever FOO issues you need to deal with, strongly recommend IC. What do you think drives your need?

No clue. I really am struggling to find the particular bottom of this well that seems to just want to give and give. I'm so fortunate...

But, in all seriousness, everyone (including IC) has identified this as a FOO issue, possibly related to the detachment from my mother as an abuser. It would certainly make sense - I would lend myself to seeking replacements for older figures in my life that don't treat me with the same disrespect and confusing mixed signals, just as I would be predisposed to seek out younger friends as a substitute for recapturing lost youth.

If I only knew how to go about working on that particular bitter pill, I might be able to make some progress, but I feel like I'm just spinning my wheels. Part of it is that, much like a BS doesn't want to let the WS get away with what they've done scot-free, I don't want to let my mother get away with how she's treated me and held me under to my own detriment. I don't know how to forgive, but I realize in so saying, I don't think I've ever really known how to forgive, either myself or someone else.

silverhopes said:

What are your values? And of those, which are your biggest values?

How do you want to behave, and how do you actually? Sometimes it helps to look at your destination, both to determine how to get there and to make sure it's a healthy one.

I used to have three occupations that I wanted to be most in life:
1. Santa, so I could be beloved by all and give presents to children;
2. God, so I could grant prayers (and I imagine that the omnipotence probably wouldn't have been all that great in my hands);
3. The Doctor, so I could save people throughout time and space regularly.

The common thread behind my wanting these professions was both [A] a drive to want to help everyone (something I am starting to appreciate now as something that cannot, should not, and does not own my concern) and [B] a desire to be loved (external validation).

I'm working to make the revised list: Dad, Husband, and Starship Captain. Since we still don't have starships, that pretty much restricts my list to "Dad and Husband," which I have been putting a good amount of effort toward.

The person I've most wanted to emulate is one of my cousins. I was golfing with him once, and I realized that there was not an angry word that ever came from his lips. He was polite, jovial, funny, and kind. The more I thought about it, the more I realized he was exactly the kind of individual I wanted to be, and then I looked at myself: sarcastic, petty, and vindictive.

I have been putting in effort toward being more positive, and I am seeing the results of that labor. As Heart has told me, "positive makes positive," and even though that wasn't my exact intent when I decided to change my behavior, it has been a nice bonus.

It's just that I need to recognize and re-shape how it interacts with other facets of my life as well.

ETA: formatting problems

[This message edited by KBeguile at 1:13 PM, May 31st (Friday)]


Me: fWS 32
Her: BS 35 (HeartInADustpan)
DS: 4yo
M: 7 years
DDays: 2012/11/14, 2013/02/05, 2013/03/09
-
"Everything that happens now is happening 'now.'"
"What happened to 'then'?"
"We passed 'then.'"

Posts: 801 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: St. Louis
hardlessons
Member
Member # 35025
Default  Posted: 1:52 PM, May 31st (Friday)

Positive built on a lie is negative.

KB, you sound like if you can't fix the whole thing in one foul swoop then where to start or lets just keep bringing up different issues. This is deflection and keeps you going no where.

Ever see a movie called "What about Bob?" It's all about baby steps.

Look at some of your issues:
1. Boundaries - The one thing that is the MOST important thing for a Wayward. Clear defined boundaries that you set and are communicated between you and your BS. These are non-negotiable and must be actively defended by YOU no one else can maintain your boundaries.

Do you have boundaries? People in your position usually don't. What are you doing to fix that? If you need a book recomend let me know.

2. Need external validation -
Don't go looking for it or draw it out of others. Overtly friendly conversation with the opposite sex is not only a Boundary crossing but a way for you to try and draw validation out of someone.

These 2 things you can focus on and recon is a good possibility. If you can't get these 2 right then all the rest is bull shit.

So, what are your boundaries with others?


Me WH
Wife Tired Girl
3 adult sons
"a wayward...annnnd just a tad betrayed."

Posts: 880 | Registered: Mar 2012 | From: Arizona
KBeguile
Member
Member # 38348
Default  Posted: 4:38 PM, May 31st (Friday)

hardlessons said:
So, what are your boundaries with others?

Let's see:
1a. Since D-Day, I have only been out of the house one (1) time with a male friend - who is a friend of the M - to see a movie without Heart for longer than a few minutes. Otherwise, I have only been to work (which can be validated by my continuing to receive a paycheck) and to short runs to places like restaurants, get donuts, and take DS to karate. I have always been willing to photograph myself at these locations if necessary, but so far, it has not been required of me.

1b. There have been two work-related trips that I have had to go on with women, but I have remained in constant contact with Heart while I was on those trips.

2. I have instigated NC with all necessary parties, changed my email address and my cell phone number, and have avoided reinstating contact with anyone who has not been a friend of the M. All non-friends have been summarily removed from things like Facebook/Twitter.

3. I have not been to any extraneous activities (gaming, etc.), especially ones that include women that do not include Heart.

4. Any activities where I feel that I have to look over my shoulder to keep other people from seeing what it is I'm doing have been abated (the feeling in the pit of my stomach at the thought of discovery has been a major cue, and I have not done anything remotely objectionable in a long time). I do not do anything on a computer at home that I would not want my DS to come hop in my lap and see. This has had the unforeseen benefit of giving me the ability to discipline DS more effectively, since my expectations of myself equivocate to my expectations of him (things like not cursing, cleaning room, not backtalking, and so on).

If there were to be any request for a private audience with me by a woman outside of work, it would be denied (there haven't been). Private audiences with men are run past Heart before any decision is made. Our communication on a daily basis is twentyfold what it used to be, so she gets a lot of (probably useless) information about my work day and where I am all the time.

I have utilized the "windows/walls" metaphor for contact with people, and I definitely run daily checks to make sure the correct apertures are in place for anyone in my life. I have also gotten in the habit of looping conversations a few times in my head to make certain that I won't be saying anything offensive before I say it. I guess I haven't been as successful in this regard in typed form.

I have also made efforts to read with Heart, read on my own, lurk SI (I read a lot of what people have to say, I just don't post much in non-"fun" threads), attend IC/MC, and devote myself to serving my family first.

Since switching ADs (as well as a bunch of other changes to my life at around the same time), my desires for social contact have severely shifted (I don't leave the home without reason, I don't invite people to the house often, and I generally have been very satisfied just reconnecting with Heart and DS), as have my sexual interests (apologies for TMI).

If this answers your question, I shall move on.

Don't go looking for it or draw it out of others. Overtly friendly conversation with the opposite sex is not only a Boundary crossing but a way for you to try and draw validation out of someone.

Hence, why I run all the conversations I plan on having with individuals (including posts/PMs made to this forum) past Heart before I initiate them. I have yet to bring up a conversation I've had and get the response, "Oh? When did you talk to them?"


Me: fWS 32
Her: BS 35 (HeartInADustpan)
DS: 4yo
M: 7 years
DDays: 2012/11/14, 2013/02/05, 2013/03/09
-
"Everything that happens now is happening 'now.'"
"What happened to 'then'?"
"We passed 'then.'"

Posts: 801 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: St. Louis
Topic Posts: 16