Are You In a Relationship
With a Narcissist?
Your idea of a narcissist is probably not broad enough! Most of us, when we think of a narcissist, we think of a MAN who is full of himself, overbearing, controlling, manipulative and generally behaves like an a-hole to his wife or romantic partner. Or one of those "Wolf of Wall Street" types with no significant relationships and an obsession with money, status, and outward appearance. And you'd be right, but you'd also be missing a whole lot of people!
Narcissists can be men, women, husbands, moms, friends, bosses, co-workers, literally anyone that you might have any kind of relationship with. It's true that the majority of clinically diagnosed narcissists are men, BUT I would argue there are just as many female narcissists, but because they present much differently than a man they fly under the clinical radar. I mean have you ever watched an episode of "The Real Housewives."? Full of female narcissists!
Male and female narcissists have the same basic traits but there are differences in how they're exhibited. For example when a male narcissist is angry he might get aggressive, but when a female narcissist is angry she's more likely to withhold attention and affection (think a mom and her child). A male narcissist's primary target is usually his romantic partner, but a female narcissist generally targets her children or "friends". A male narcissist might present as overbearing where a female narcissist might present herself as a martyr.
As a therapist I dealt with narcissists, but it wasn't until I had a friendship with a female narcissist that I truly came to understand what that relationship felt like and how it affected my mental, physical, and spiritual health AND my other relationships. It was a painful experience for me and I hope that in this episode I can help you recognize the signs faster than I did, so you don't have to go through it too.
I'll go over:
- traits of a narcissist
- how that looks in real life and in your relationship
- my own experiences with narcissists
- what to do if you're in a relationship with a narcissist
- what is about ME (and YOU) that may have invited this type of relationship
Being in a relationship with a narcissist is extremely damaging to your emotional health and will ABSOLUTELY impede your progress toward your health and wellness goals. The purpose of this episode is not for you to go around "diagnosing" people as narcissists, but more to help you see your relationship more clearly and act accordingly. Friend, you deserve so much better!
Full transcription available at the bottom of this post
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Welcome back to the no nonsense wellness podcast. This relationship focus of this podcast in the month of August would not be complete without talking about relationships with a narcissist. It's way more common than you might think. And I bet every single one of us has had a run in at some point with a narcissist. As a former therapist, I came across this, of course, but it wasn't until I went through it as an adult myself, that I realized how common it really is. And how narcissists, especially female ones, don't always present the way we think they're going to. So we don't always recognize it for what it is. But the damage to your emotional and physical health and your other relationships can be just as real. So today, I'm going to help you recognize if you're in a relationship with a narcissist, and then what to do about it. Let's go!
Welcome back to the no nonsense wellness podcast, the place for women who are trying to do all the things and stay healthy, sane and actually enjoy life in the process. Hey, I'm Tara, a trained therapist, a life coach, a nutrition coach and a fitness instructor. And I'm on a mission to help you take back control of your mind, health and life. Each week, I'll be cutting through the nonsense and getting real with you. I'll bring you the insight and information you need to take control of your weight and health. Find food freedom, and finally break free from the thoughts that are sabotaging you and holding you back. You, my friend, are powerful, and the world needs you to start showing up in a bigger way. It's time to get unstuck and start moving forward.
So let's pop in those earbuds, tie up those shoes. Let's walk and talk.
How about a little Storytime with Tara? What I thought were my first run-ins with a narcissist was as a therapist. And there were two particular couples that I had worked with in my career where the male presented in what you would typically think of as a narcissist in a marriage relationship and the wife presented with what you would typically think of as a wife in that sort of situation just kind of emotionally abused. I'll talk about that more a little bit later. But it wasn't until I was an adult and I had a relationship with a narcissist female friend, that I truly understood what it was like to be in a relationship with a narcissist. And that relationship also opened my eyes to the fact that in college, I had a boyfriend who was a narcissist. And I didn't really recognize it at the time for what it was. I also realized that as a therapist, I had dealt with several parents, especially moms who were narcissists, and didn't really realize that at the time, either they kind of slipped past my radar because they didn't present the way I thought a narcissist would present. I also in that process, realized some things about myself that made me sort of a desirable target for a narcissist. That particular friend relationship was a real learning experience for me. So I hope that in this episode, I can spare you some of the heartache that I went through to help you recognize if you're in a relationship with a narcissist and what you can do about it.
So the first thing we probably need to talk about then is what is a narcissist and here's the tricky thing, because there are things that define a narcissist, but they present very differently in different people. A narcissist can be a man or a woman, it could be your friend, a co-worker, a parent, a spouse, it could be any person that you were in any kind of relationship with. It's not just what we typically assume narcissism to be that narcissistic husband and that kind of romantic or marriage relationship with a wife. It is not just that, so think about it on a spectrum. There isn't anyone who fits like every single thing about it. You could fit some and not others. And it's also part of a sort of group of personality disorders. So it's just one of many personality disorders. Narcissism is a clinically diagnosed disorder. And it's typically characterized by someone having a real inflated sense of their own importance. That would also be called grandiosity, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration and troubled and difficult relationships with a lack of empathy towards other people.
Now, there's a lot of reasons why someone might be a narcissist, but I want you to tap into your empathy just a little bit. And understand that narcissists aren't born, they're made something happened, they've gone through something. Now that doesn't excuse their behavior. And that doesn't mean that I want you to try to stick with them and work this out. We'll talk about that in a little bit. But I do want to not blame and shame, that's something I'm always trying to really be careful of. narcissists are created. And so we need to recognize that and have a little bit of empathy for that.
Generally, men are diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder NPD. More often than women. However, I think that that has a lot to do with the idea that men present in this way that we expect narcissism to look like. And women often present very differently. And so I think women tend to get diagnosed less, even though I suspect it's just as prevalent in women as it is in men. It just shows up differently. So males tend to be more aggressive, maybe more angry, more manipulative, in utilizing their power as a man as a form of control. Now, women on the other hand, even though they all even though men and women share the same narcissistic traits, they display them very differently. Women tend to be more withholding of affection or attention, utilizing guilt or neglect as a form of control. Usually, women exert this power over their children, or their social group, so their friends, so a man is going to exert a narcissistic man is going to exert his power generally over a romantic relationship, a woman is not going to do the same thing a woman is going to exert her power and control over her children or her friends more often than a spouse. Okay? It's a really important distinction to make, because that doesn't look the same. Even though what's going on is the same, it doesn't always look the same.
Being in a relationship with a narcissistic person can be extremely harmful to your own mental health and will no doubt impede any sort of progress you're trying to make with your own health and wellness goals. It's going to impact your mental health, it's going to impact your physical health, your spiritual health, it's going to mess with your self esteem, it's going to impact other relationships and is going to leave you feeling very confused and very hurt. I can tell you from personal experience, I went down a very deep hole for quite a while because of this relationship. And it was really hard to first realize that I was in the hole and then dig myself back out of it. I absolutely did not trust myself. I didn't trust any decisions that I made, anything that I said, anything that I did, my self esteem was completely tanked. My other relationships were absolutely impacted. I was very confused. I was feeling very hurt. I was definitely feeling all of these things. And it was by design. Okay, I want to be really clear. It was not necessarily because of anything that I was doing. It was because of being in a relationship with a narcissist. This is all by design.
Here's what the Mayo Clinic is going to define further narcissism, like what is this actually going to look like in practice in real life? What does this actually look like?
A narcissist will generally have an exaggerated sense of self importance. So in talking to them, they might really exaggerate their achievements or talents and really kind of puff themselves up a lot. Whenever I talk about Narcissits one thing that I just if you've ever watched Real Housewives of like basically any city, any single one of them, there's a lot of narcissists on that show like a lot on every single one of them. So if you want to understand what a female narcissist looks like, act like talks like watch that show, and then you will have a much better understanding of what that actually looks like in practice.
Narcissists often will have a preoccupation with fantasies about unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or the perfect mate or perfect love. So they are very obsessed with their success, their power, their brilliance, only surrounding themselves with those things and those types of people having the perfect marriage, the perfect looking child, the perfect behavior. Perfect, perfect, perfect.
Narcissists often believe that they are special, they are unique, they are superior, and they can only be understood or associate with equally special or very high status people. They often insist on having the best of everything. For instance, the best car the best office, the best dressed, the best kids, the best dressed kids, the best schools, the best best best. They will be very obsessed with only having the best looking In a certain way, dressing a certain way, being seen a certain way by the world. Again, think about the Real Housewives. That's very much what you see when you see those shows. It's all about who you know, right? It's all about what circles you travel in who you know what you have, how big your house is, how fancy your car is, how big your diamond is, right?
Narcissists often have a sense of entitlement and require constant excessive admiration. Tell me how great I am. Tell me again. narcissists often have a sense of entitlement, so they expect to be recognized as superior even without achievements that actually warrant that recognition. They expect special favors, they expect unquestioning compliance with their expectations, so expecting to be recognized as superior without any achievements that weren't it.
A narcissist often take advantage of others to get what they want. And again, that's because they lack empathy, they have an inability or even an unwillingness to recognize the needs and the feelings of other people. So they have no problem stepping on people to get up to the next rung of the ladder, that is seen as hustle, right? It's not always seen as a bad thing, but it is about stepping on other people to get ahead is always going to be a bad thing.
You might see a narcissist person being envious of others, but I see more often them being believing that other people are envious of them. So she's jealous of me because of this, that or the other, or the male might be like he's jealous of me. They're jealous of me. Right in the workplace. They're jealous of me in a marriage. It might even sound like he's jealous of me because my hot wife or my awesome car or my this my that right? Sometimes narcissists are very envious of other people. Oftentimes they are but you don't hear that from them. What you actually hear from them is how others are so envious and jealous of them. That was something I heard a lot from that a friendship relationship with a narcissist. There was a constant running talk about how this girl's jealous of me and this girl stalking me online. And this girl stalking me and she's just jealous of me there was a lot of that talk did not pick it up. At the time, I understand now.
And from a narcissist, there's also maybe a lot of arrogant behavior they might come across as conceited or boastful or pretentious, you know, the type. The boyfriend that I realized later was a narcissist. I called him a douchebag because that's how we came across. I didn't see it then I didn't want to see it then. Right. But he was very arrogant. He came across as conceited. He came across as pretentious. I went after I broke up with him called him a douchebag. Because that's what he was. But I didn't realize that I was dealing with narcissist at the time. So anyone you might want to call that they're probably a narcissist.
Okay, I just caveat here. Please don't go around self diagnosing everyone in your life. That's not what this is about. I don't go around diagnosing people, I, if I don't see you within a therapy practice, I am not diagnosing you. I just want you to start recognizing some traits, I want some light bulbs to start going off for you. So that you can hopefully be saved from going through some of the things that I have been through.
Now what does this look like in real life? What might being in a relationship look like?
In actuality so one of the things that's going to be almost universal to all narcissists is this idea of love bombing. Now love bombing happens at the very beginning of a relationship, they come on super strong. So there might be lots of compliments and texts and messages and if it's romantic relationship, maybe love notes or flowers sent to your office, right like there's just a lot right up front. Love bomb, it is exactly what it sounds like. They're gonna be talking a lot about how compatible we are and how much we have in common and how good we are together. And they're gonna make really forced this sense of compatibility. This is not about you. And this is not about how great they actually think you are. This is about making themselves feel better about their association with you. Remember, narcissists believe they are the best and they deserve the best and they only can be associated with the best therefore, in the beginning of a relationship with you, they're going to make sure that you are the best and they're going to do and say whatever it takes for them to believe that you are the best and worthy of them. It has nothing to do with you and your goodness and whether you're the best for them or not. It has everything to do with them. Okay, and I want to that's going to be something we're going to reiterate here a lot. It is almost never about you. It's always about them in every way. Once they have convinced you about how good the two of you are together, a narcissist will try to then shape your role into a member of sort of their supporting cast, quote, unquote, was what I would say. So at the beginning, they're putting you up on this pedestal, you're amazing, and we're so amazing together, and this is going to be awesome. And then as soon as you're hooked, they demote you to a level beneath them, there is never an equal, they put you up on a pedestal above them at the beginning. They love bomb you. And then they demote you to a level below them. That's how it works almost every time. So watch out for that. If you're getting love bombed, put your radar up. Okay? Because remember, this is not just men in a romantic relationship. Love bombing this is any kind of relationship with a narcissist often starts with love bombing.
Okay, something else to look out for in real life is that a narcissist again, just really lacks empathy. So they lack the skills to help you feel seen, or validated, or to help you feel like you're really understood or accepted. So if you are in a relationship, where you are not feeling seen or validated or understood or accepted, you might be in a relationship with a narcissist. For example, do they care if you had a bad day at work? If you come home from work? And you're like, oh, this, I'm gonna miss out on that? Do they quickly, like, change the subject to talk about them somehow? Or just anything else? Are they listening to you at all? Are they just waiting until you stop talking? So they can ask you what's for dinner? Like? Do they care? Be honest with yourself? Do they get bored while you're trying to explain something that you're going through or what upset you? Now this is a tricky one. Because sometimes they engage in a way that it seems like they're being empathetic, but really what they're doing is collecting ammo. Okay, so this looks like they're asking you what your fears are, how you're feeling what's going on for you let me in. And then they turn that around and use it against you. That's going on for you. You're probably in a relationship with a narcissist, have an understanding about how they're showing up for you? How does this person show up for you? Or do they at all?
And I have a note here, I want you to be really careful in the world of coaching and self help. Because there are a lot of narcissists in the world of coaching and self help the coaches out there who are like closet secret narcissists, maybe Is that a thing it's going to be Now, the reason they're in that position, the reason they decided to be coaches was because they think they know best, they're better than you, you need them, or you'll fail. Unless they help you, you will fail because they're better than you and they know everything. Okay, now, I am a coach. So I'm certainly not saying all coaches are like this far from it. But I want you to have your radar up. When you're out there in the world, seeking out coaching, make sure the person who you're talking to is not approaching coaching from that way, what on the outside might look like helping behavior is really just feeding their narcissism and the more you defer to them as a client, the more power they exert over you. And that's not just coaching, that's friends and relationships as well. A coach does not tell you what to do and doesn't have the mindset that you need them. A good coach is going to bring out the awesomeness that they believe is already within you. So really make sure you understand where that coach is coming from. If their intention is that you need them and you can't do this without them, run away. If their intention is that you’reamazing, you're awesome. Let's just tweak some things so your awesomeness can shine, sign up. Okay? So really just make sure you know what you're getting into in terms of coaching and any sort of professional relationship really not just coaching.
Another thing that a narcissist will do is gaslighting.
Gas lighting is a form of manipulation and emotional abuse like Bam, end of story. It's manipulation and emotional abuse. So if you are being gaslit, you will often feel like you don't feel like the person you used to be. I can attest to this in that friendship. I lost the person that I used to be. I doubted everything about myself. You might feel more anxious and less confident than you used to check. I totally felt like that.
You might wonder if it's just you. Are you being too sensitive? You might be thinking, How come no one else sees this? How come no one else sees this version of this person that I see. Am I crazy? Is it just me? Am I being too sensitive? Are they really trying to help me and I'm just taking it wrong? You really, if you're being gaslit, you start doubting everything. And like I said, anything that I would say would then be used as ammo against me. So things were being said to me, like, no one likes you people are only nice to you because they feel like they have to be. You don't have any friends. But if you let me help you, you'll have friends, I can help you, I can make that change, but you're nothing without me. And that wasn't a friendship. So that wasn't even in a marriage, or like a romantic relationship. So, so my confidence tanked. Right? My self esteem tanked. I kept wondering like, is this just why am I the only? Why do I feel like I'm the only one who is experiencing this person in this way? You might be feeling like that, too.
You might feel like everything is your fault when something goes wrong, because guess what you're being told that it is your fault, right? If you're dealing with a narcissist, it's always your fault. So you might be feeling I thought you might also be constantly apologizing, trying to make it better, or trying to smooth it over. I'm sorry, I did that. I don't really know what I did. But I'm sorry that I did that. And you're always making excuses for the narcissistic person and their behavior. And so this is not necessarily their behavior towards other people. You're making excuses for their behavior towards you. Oh, they had a bad day. Oh, they're stressed out or they're having a tough time with this. Oh, they didn't get enough sleep. Oh, I forgot their favorite food. Oh, I did whatever it is, right. You're constantly making excuses about number one, why it's your fault. Number two, why you should apologize for it. And number three, why it's not their fault. Oh, it's some other reason that they're treating me this way.
Okay, if you are doing any of those things, there's probably gaslighting going on, you're probably dealing with a narcissist.
The other thing to think about if you're dealing with a narcissist, or maybe you are is do they ever apologize?
A narcissist hardly ever apologizes. And if they do, they really don't mean it. Okay. So you cannot argue with a narcissist, because a narcissist is always right. There's no debating. There's no compromising there, right. So they don't see anything as a disagreement. You might see this as a disagreement. They don't see anything as a disagreement. They see it as them teaching you what the right way is. Because they're right. You don't get it. You're just wrong. They're smarter than you. They need to teach you the right thing. That's how they see disagreements. That is a lose-lose proposition for you. You can't win that argument. You can't even be a part of that argument, because it's them telling you why you're wrong.
And that is why therapy most often does not work, especially for couples trying to come to therapy to like fix their relationship with our marriage. What you see in therapy all the time is this, the man comes to therapy, he only agrees to go because he wants to fix his wife. She's the problem, okay? The narcissistic man has not come because he's like, Oh, my marriage, I want to fix it. What can I do? Ah, he's in therapy, because my wife is the problem. And if she wants to fix this marriage, she's going to have to make some changes. And then that husband is asking you, the therapist, fix my wife. And I can tell you from experience, it doesn't work. It never works. It absolutely isn't gonna work.
Another thing to think about to gauge if you are in a relationship with a narcissist is does that person have any real friends? Do they have a lot of people in their life that they think are jealous of them? So they only have just a few friends? That is something I can say that was a topic of conversation a lot, right? Like this person's jealous of me. She's stalking me online. She wishes she was me. Blah, blah, blah, right? There was a lot of that.
Do they talk trash about other people? Do they have more enemies than friends? Do they talk about people that hate them more than the people that they are friends with? That's a problem. You might be dealing with a narcissist. Just because people trash talk does not mean they're a narcissist. But narcissist often trash talk. So I'll just put that out there for you.
Another thing to think about is that a narcissist might not have very many of their friends, but they don't want you to have a lot of other friends. So especially like in that marriage scenario, the husband is not going to want the wife to have a lot of outside activities with other friends. So what they will do then is they'll talk a lot of crap about those friends. Oh, so and so I don't know about her. She's this and that. They're going to make you feel guilty for spending time with those friends and settings instead of spending time with them. Or, in the case of female narcissists, they might actually try to infiltrate those friend groups. And there's a couple of reasons they do that one would be to have more control over you When, who you're talking to and what you're talking to them about, and also, because remember, it's about status. It's about who you know, being in the best social circles being seen having more influence. It's about that social status again, refer back to the Real Housewives show. That's what they're all in for. They don't care about deep, meaningful friendships. They care about being seen with the right people and having the right social status. So you might be dealing with a narcissist, if you are dealing with someone who doesn't seem to have a lot of real deep friendships, but has a lot of need to be seen with the right people in the right places.
So you're probably at this point thinking, Oh, crap.
I think I'm dealing with this or I definitely have dealt with this before. All of us, I would wager that every single one of us has dealt with a narcissist at some point. Hopefully, you're not dealing with them right. Now. Hopefully, you're out of that situation. But maybe you are. And I hope that I just opened your eyes a little bit to what you're actually dealing with this. So what do we do?
When we're in a relationship with a narcissist, the number one thing that you are going to try to do is just get out of the relationship, like immediately.
Listen, you cannot change this person, you need to realize that you cannot make them happy by loving them enough, you cannot change yourself enough to make them satisfied or to make them change themselves. You usually cannot get them to go to therapy, because they don't think there's anything wrong with them. And again, even if you do, all they're going to talk about is how you're the problem and you're needed, you need to change and keep you the focus, you might benefit from therapy, you might benefit from going to a therapist alone. But if you're trying to get your narcissistic spouse to go to therapy on their own, or as a couple telling you, there's a very low chance that you will have a good outcome from that. Go ahead and try it. But I'm just being really honest with you. The efficacy of that is not real great. There's a lot of modalities of therapy that are tried with people who are narcissist The thing is, the narcissist in order to change has to realize that they are a narcissist and they have to realize that they want to change they have to realize that they don't have any true meaningful relationships and they want something else like truly deep in their bones want something else at hardly ever happens. a narcissist hardly ever gets to that place which so then therapy won't work.
Honestly, the best way for you to help a narcissist is pray for them. I don't mean to sound facetious, but they need Jesus like, that's the only way this can change. If someone has a spiritual awakening, I truly think that's the only way that a narcissist will truly, truly change. You can't do that only Jesus can do that you can pray for them. But you can't do it sister. So I just need you to hear that really hard truth. You can't love them enough to change them, it won't happen.
So the best thing that you can do is remove them from your life. Like cut all ties, no explanations, no second chances, no warnings just done. Leave the situation. So if you can make a clean, quick break, that is the easiest way to deal with this situation.
Now, when you do this, there's going to be different ways that different people who are narcissists will react to you cutting them off leaving being done with this relationship, they may lash out and try to draw you back in because in ending that relationship you have hurt their ego, like how dare you try and take control of this. I'm in control of this. So if that's a friend, that person might talk trash about you around town to mutual people that you know, again, they're trying to save face because their ego was hurt and they're trying to make it your fault just like they did in the relationship. Make it all your fault. They're gonna make it your fault after the relationship too. So they might go around talking trash, here's what you're gonna do nothing. Shut your mouth and move on with your life.
They might completely ignore you like you never existed, like poof, you're gone. This is still maintaining control for them, right because that's what this is all about. Save face, save ego, maintain control. So poof, you're gone. Well, I'm just going to pretend like you never existed. And that's an attempt to make you feel guilty or sad or regretful
and to draw you back in right, don't let it work. If they want to poof disappear you then poof disappear. They might start love bombing you again. So they might do all those things they did the beginning to love bomb you to bring you back in. And usually they're just gonna be When you back in so they can dump you. Okay? Because they don't get dumped, right, they don't get broken up with they do the breaking up. So they might love bomb you bring you back in all in an effort just so they can dump you. So don't get sucked back in, resist, resist, resist, cut off all conversation, stop following them on social media, don't look at any of their stuff, don't respond to their calls and respond to their text, don't respond to anything, block everything possible, get out of their life immediately cut all ties, zero contact with that person.
In my situation, I was actually blocked on social media, so I didn't have to do any blocking. I was the poof You're dead to me a situation. So that was fine with me, I but one thing that I had to do was bow out of some mutual friend groups, because I had to cut off everything related to that relationship. That was the only way that I felt like I could move forward with my own life and my own healing. And it was a hard choice, but it was a choice that I had to make. And so you might have to make tough choices like that. And I'm going to encourage you to make them because on the other side of that is a lot of growth and healing that you will miss if you don't cut off the relationship and just be done with it.
Now sometimes, in a relationship with a narcissist, there might be a threat of violence. And if that is the case that we're doing, that's a whole other situation. But I want to give you some quick ideas. Do not tell them in advance that you're leaving. Don't give them any warning. But before you do leave, make sure that you have a plan you have a support team of trusted friends and family in place are ready to go ready to help make sure you have created this plan in advance. Getting money together documents together paperwork, whatever a place to go make sure you have all of that strategized planned in advance. So when you leave, you are gone. Okay? When you're out, get legal help if you need it. Law enforcement if you need it, delete all your passwords, delete all your saved information on mutual accounts or devices. a narcissist, husbands especially, can be very controlling in that way. So if this is your situation, again, this is way bigger than what I am giving it credit for and giving it time for right now. But I just want to make sure we touch on this really quickly.
The other thing that you're going to do is stay away, do not reengage under any circumstances no matter what they say no matter how nice they are, no matter they draw you back in, matter what happens stay away. No second chances when it's done. It's done. Draw a hard line, okay?
Sometimes you can't leave the situation. So maybe you are in a relationship with a parent of yours. Maybe your parent is a narcissist or maybe it's like your ex husband who's a narcissist, but you still have to co parent with him, like you still have to have some kind of interaction with this person. So there's a few things that I want you to really work on in that situation. Number one is respond don't react. So we're going to just keep everything very black and white or taking the drama and the emotion out of everything. So your reactions to what the narcissist says or does feed them. Okay, so stick to the facts keep it very black and white, set very firm boundaries around your conversations and remove all emotion. So we're not having any emotional conversation whatsoever. It is literally just I will be at the elementary school at four o'clock to pick up Billy goodbye. Like, keep it as absolutely black and white as possible.
Again, you really want to have super clear concrete immovable boundaries, like the Great Wall of China of boundaries. Okay? narcissists are notorious boundary crossers, it is what they do. Because rules do not apply to narcissists, boundaries are rules about interaction and rules don't apply to narcissists. If you give them an inch, they will take a mile so set your boundaries and maintain them girl that is on you. You have to be strong in this.
And then you got to focus on yourself a little bit right? Break the pattern of your interaction with this person by focusing on your own needs. What do you need, what makes you happy? What will be spiritually fulfilling for you? What will be emotionally fulfilling for you? What do you need, take the focus off of this person who has been sucking the life out of you for however long and start focusing on the growth and the healing that you need to go through. So here's what I learned about myself in being an are in a narcissistic relationship.
And I want to say this because I hope that it will help you recognize some of these things in yourself as well. One of the things that I realized why I got into this relationship is because I tend to just always see the good in people, I don't have like a really good radar of like, Oh, I'm getting bad vibes, like, I'm always really willing to overlook the red flags and only see the good in people and I really got burned by that. And I'm not telling you to be like a jaded person, I am telling you that being super willing to overlook red flags is not always going to work for you, it's not always going to work out for you.
One other thing I did is that I got too invested too fast. And so then it was really hard to remove myself, I fell for the love bomb, right? I was all in on the love bombing, I didn't understand that that's what was going on. I just soaked it up. I liked the attention. I liked being compatible. I liked all the things that I was hearing, I soaked it in. And I got really invested really fast. And then it was really hard to get out later.
I have a lot of blame and shame around how I could let this happen to me. So it wasn't so much that I was blaming other person. Why are you like this? Why are you horrible? Why are you treating me like this? There was some of that, but it was mostly how could I let this happen? Why didn't I see this? How can I let this go on for so long, I had to do a lot of healing. For myself, I had to do a lot of forgiving of myself, I had to really reconnect with my own self worth and really work on that for a long time to build it back up.
Now I'm a whole lot more guarded about letting people in for better for worse, that's just where I'm at now, I do have a bit of a wall up, it might take you a little while if you're a good person to knock that wall down. Sorry. That's just where I’m at right now.
In that relationship, I was not good at setting boundaries. I tried to pretend like everything was fine. I tried to just smooth it over and make excuses, right, I did all the typical things. And I didn't stand up for myself and I didn't address problems when they happened. And that was a real problem. And that's hopefully a mistake that I will not repeat with anyone else.
And I realize now that it was that the person that I was I was easy to exploit for my insecurities. My insecurities made me sort of a target, if you will, because I had a lot of insecurity about really needing to be liked by people, really pleasing people, really wanting to have other people's approval of me, and really caring a whole lot about what other people thought of me. And that was used against me. And that was used as a power play and a control method against me. And I realize now that that is what happened, but because I had those insecurities, that's what allowed it to happen.
So I just want you to understand that there might be traits about you that invite this kind of person into your life. Does that make sense? I'm not trying to blame you for this in any way. Because you cannot control a narcissist's behavior. But I do want you to understand that there may be traits about you that attract this kind of person into your life. So if this has happened more than once, you should really start self examining there. Because truly friend, you deserve so much better.
You deserve a good relationship, you deserve a mutual relationship on an equal playing field on an equal footing. And if you are currently in a relationship with a narcissist, I encourage you to get out. The faster you get out. The faster you heal. The faster you learn, the faster you move on, and the faster you can reach all the other goals that you're trying to reach. If you have any questions about this or you want to talk further about this, I am an open book. I am here for you. I will talk to you about all the things, all my experiences and anything that I know that I think that might help. You can reach out to me in the Facebook group. So hop on and find no nonsense women and hop in that group and ask me all the questions. Okay, until we talk again, my friends, Be Well.
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