When you date a narcissist, they can be very charming and this is a trap. It’s really up to you to avoid this trap because the narcissist can’t help it. This is an incurable untreatable personality disorder. If you run across a spider who bites you, you can’t blame the spider. It’s your job to avoid the spider as best you can. It’s extremely difficult to avoid a charming narcissist because this is their one huge talent. In the beginning of a relationship, few people are as compelling as a narcissist. It will look as if all your dreams are coming true. Look beyond the charm. How many times has the narcissist been married? How many hearts has this person broken in the past? What are the reasons for the break ups? Question closely, and listen even more closely. In the end, only you can protect yourself from the trap a narcissist will lay. Just remember, once you enter a relationship with a narcissist, you will never get out unless that narcissist gets tired of you. Since you don’t really exist for the narcissist as a human being, it will be nothing for this person to drop you like a stone without looking back even once. No ties, no money, no children, no history, certainly no begging or crying will get this person back. This person will view you with nothing less than contempt and annoyance. You are less than nothing to a narcissist and in danger of becoming less than nothing to yourself.
So many times it seemed like
there were chances to stop things
before they started. Or even
stop them in midstream.
But it was even worse when
you knew in that very moment
that there was still time
to save yourself, and yet
you couldn’t even budge.
One thing you will need to spot a person, who is incapable of love, is some experience. The inexperienced person who falls in love for the first time is capable of being blind sided. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you won’t know when you see it. A person who can’t love can be charming, beautiful, even generous. But we will dissect those qualities so you see what they mean in such a person A person who is charming wants you to like them. It’s not about you. A person who is beautiful, is just fortunate, or spends a lot of time taking care of them selves so they can look good on the outside. Again, it’s not about you. A person who is generous gives for a variety of reasons. Generous people can give because they genuinely care about others. But sometimes it’s because they want to feel good about themselves. It has been said that narcissists can’t love others because they are too in love with themselves. This is actually not true. Narcissists don’t love themselves. They hate themselves but they also have huge egos, which are damaged egos. Narcissists require love from others in order to feed off that love, so they can tolerate themselves.
fall in love
with nice people.
Every individual is diverse and complex and carries with them a unique set of baggage from their past that impacts and informs their close relationships. Given this complexity, one is often left to wonder, “Why do I keep choosing the same partner? Why, no matter how many new criteria I mentally create, do I keep winding up in a slightly varied version of the same, not-so-great relationship?” The answer for every person is to first look at ourselves. The experiences that make us who we are also influence who we look for in a partner. While most of us claim to be looking for true love, real compatibility and no drama, there are often unconscious influences — thoughts and behaviors leading us to just the opposite. One influential factor is that many of us seek partners who help us stay within our comfort zone, even if that zone turns out to not be all that desirable. People seek what is familiar. If our past were filled with feelings of rejection or inadequacy, we are likely to seek scenarios in which we feel the same way as adults. Often, we look for partners who reinforce existing views we have of ourselves. For example, if we had a parent who was not always emotionally available to us, or who was inconsistent in offering us warmth and affection, we may think of ourselves as unlovable on some level. When we look for a partner, we may be initially drawn to someone whose attention makes us feel good about ourselves. Eventually, we may start to notice that this person is resistant to getting close and can be disregarding. Even as we are tormented by feelings of rejection, we often fail to realize that the very reason we were so drawn to this person may be because we sensed that they support those all-to-familiar feelings of being inadequate and undeserving. Dr. Lisa Firestone
Humans have a knack
for choosing precisely
the things that are
worst for them.
J. K. Rowling
When a Codependent starts a romantic relationship they tend to put too many eggs in that one basket. They invest their whole lives in a guy/girl who ultimately turns out to be an addict, a betrayer, a little boy/girl, a rager, a controller, weak, lost, little, and otherwise not coming as originally advertised. Early on the Codependent is way too emotionally dependent way too quickly. Before too many years go by Codependents learn that the relationship they have arranged for themselves does not include a whole lot of goodies for them. Prince charming who put the full court press on to secure her generally is only interested in her these days to try to extract some sex from her. He is too busy and important to take the time and energy to really get to know her on an intimate and daily basis. That simply isn’t who he is. Codependents also tend to arrange their worlds so that they are financially dependent on a man. Mom is taking care of the kids so that Superman can go out and take over the world. In the mean time each year that passes by is another year that she is out of her career field, not developing her earning power and many times feeling not good enough because they aren’t earning their own money directly. Codependents have big hearts – too big. They rescue men, children, puppies, strangers, neighbors and friends. Their first thought is ‘what does my spouse or my kids need, what will work best for them’. They do not think about their own needs enough. A huge part of their Recovery process is learning to take good care of their own needs. Codependents get lost for decades in the meeting of others needs while ignoring what their own hearts were trying to say to them. Codependents many times don’t have much going on in the hobby department. They have no time devoted to what makes themselves happy. Their lives aren’t really about them. They are rest starved, fun starved and inspiration starved. They need to learn to be selfish in a healthy way. They are parched ground lacking in color and joy.
… it’s a lot easier to be lost than found.
It’s the reason we’re always searching,
and rarely discovered…
so many locks, not enough keys.
It is always striking when a bright, attractive and otherwise accomplished person cannot maintain an intimate relationship. Most of the time the person appears in my office as the bewildered half of a distressed couple. Their spouse’s/partner’s complaints are legion: the offending partner doesn’t listen, they’re in their own world, they have little or no interest in sex, they prefer to be alone, they are unable to intuit or understand emotion. The spouse complains that the marriage consists of two people sharing the same living space, splitting chores. The person’s childhood usually provides clues to the problem. Sometimes, people tell terrible stories of abuse and neglect: in these cases one can easily understand why intimacy is avoided. But other times people depict a non-eventful childhood, devoid of conflict or even moments of common unhappiness. When pressed they remember few specific details positive or negative–and this is the rub. When their full story is revealed, it becomes clear the person dulled the abrasive experience of day-to-day family life by paying little attention. In doing so, they successfully pushed people away and retreated to the safety of their own inner world and preoccupations. This unconscious strategy reduced conflict and guaranteed their emotional survival. From “Why Can’t Some People Maintain Intimate Relationships?” by Richard A. Grossman, Ph.D.
It is not a lack of love,
but a lack of friendship
that makes unhappy marriages.
You feel that you’re responsible for her, and it’s your job to make her happy and solve her problems. You suppress your emotions and avoid confrontation. You have the sense of sacrificing the life you want so that you can be with her and take care of her. You feel trapped at times, and have the sense that you are planning an eventual escape. You feel tremendous guilt at the thought of abandoning her She is extremely jealous and makes it difficult for you to interact with other females or have female friends. She has an intense fear of rejection and abandonment. She lives her life in way that depends on you for many of her needs, as opposed to being independent and having a variety of fulfilling relationships. She has expressed that she wouldn’t be able to live her life if you betrayed or abandoned her. She depends almost exclusively on you as her source of happiness and validation. She dominates and manipulates you through her emotional response, which is often too extreme. Being in a codependent relationship makes for a stressful and unhappy lifestyle. And yet, your avoidant tendencies may keep you from following through with a break up or separation. You may be planning to break up for a long time, but you just keep holding off — many men wait years, or even a lifetime, remaining in such a relationship. It’s important that you don’t dwell on planning, and you take certain actions, fast. If you feel ready to begin the separation process, DO NOT hesitate: The longer you wait, and the more time you both invest, the more difficult it becomes.
We are not trapped by our thoughts.
What we generally do, however,
is create thoughts that trap us.
Joshua David Stone
I’ve known numerous men who have been in relationships with clingy, needy, overly emotional, jealous, and controlling women. These men are frustrated with what they perceive as their girlfriend’s flaws. They often don’t realize that their own behavior is contributing to the unhealthy relationship and allowing it to persist. These men are often stuck in codependent relationships. The term “codependent” is commonly used to refer to individuals who are overly reliant on their partners, using them as a crutch and not wanting to leave their side. However, it can apply to any unhealthy emotional dependency. When a man stays in a relationships with a clingy, jealous, critical partner, he feels dependent on her approval. Any man with a high level of self-esteem and healthy attitude towards relationships would not tolerate such a relationship. He’d either take action to stop the pattern, or simply leave. Men who get stuck in a codependent relationship, on the other hand, end up pursuing an endless pattern of trying to please their partner, and feeling frustrated when their desire for freedom conflicts with their partners need for rigid conformity to her needy patterns of behavior. All relationships should have plenty of mutual acceptance, space to be alone, time with friends (of both genders), and respect. Often, codependent relationships are lacking these things. There are two dynamics going on in such relationships: 1) Her issues (often revolving around low self-esteem) prompt her to be controlling, jealous and overly sensitive. 2) Your issues (often involving shame and the desire to please) prompt you to stay in an unhealthy relationship — despite the stress and dissatisfaction — for fear of disappointing her. By Michael S. Freeman
I’ve been burdened with blame
trapped in the past for too long…
In order to avoid her fears of being alone the woman may make efforts to keep her man close. It might be a criticism for going out with the boys for an evening. By discouraging him to do other things she is increasing their time together. If a woman engages in such efforts and is successful in controlling her man she will have influenced his behavior by her emotional reactions. With influence over his emotions she will have influence over what he does with his time. He will learn to avoid the activities that bring emotional reactions and criticism and do the things that she approves of. They will spend more time together which will help her to feel solid in the relationship. It also distracts herself from the fear of being alone. In one part of her mind she has helped their relationship, but she has unknowingly created a separate feeling of not being safe. When a woman sees that she can modify her man’s behavior she might perceive him as not being as strong. She will see him as someone that gives up his interests, runs around trying to make her happy. He has stopped being his authentic self and started being what she wants him to be. At some level she perceives him as no longer being his own man. She could perceive him as having weak character and could lose respect for him. More importantly she will not feel safe with a man she sees as having a weak character. Some women will conclude that if they can influence or control their man then other women will also be able to control and influence him as well. All of this adds up to losing respect and trust in the man. One assumption sometimes deep in the mind is that the stronger person controls the weaker person. If she can direct him then he must be weaker than her. This image of weakness is amplified if the woman already considers her self as weak to begin with. The loss of trust in her man’s strength may not be conscious to her, but at some level it affects her feeling of safety with him. From “Emotional Security”
Consider how hard it is to change yourself
and you’ll understand what little chance
you have in trying to change others.
The tendency to fall in an obsessive kind of love can almost always be traced back to one’s childhood and early adolescence. Factors like abandonment issues, mental or physical abuse, being neglected, being compared to one’s siblings and similar situations which may lead to the feelings of being ‘inferior’ or unworthy in a child may lead to the emergence of an emotional void in him/her. It is this void that they are trying to fill with the acceptance and love of the other person. It has also been observed that usually it is people with a low self-esteem who develop the tendencies of obsessive love. In case the other person is not a part of their lives anymore, they convince themselves that their return will automatically solve all their problems and make them happy again. They thus create an illusion for themselves and move farther and farther away from the truth. Also, the way a person learns to love is conditioned during his/her childhood. For example, a child who is not shown healthy love and affection during his formative years, may go on to have dysfunctional relationships later in life just to gain attention. Psychiatrists also believe that children from alcoholic families may be at a greater risk of developing love disorders and addiction. Other reasons for why this obsession makes way is that there is a lack of self-confidence in the person. This leads to insecurity, feelings of vulnerability and a perceived failure in their relationships. By Parul Solanki
Staying silent is like a slow growing cancer
to the soul and a trait of a true coward.
There is nothing intelligent about
not standing up for yourself.
You may not win every battle.
However, everyone will at least know
what you stood for—YOU.
Shannon L. Alder
… being able to “open your heart” to someone who has caused you tremendous pain is… not a test of your spirituality. Many people deliberately put themselves in company with family and “friends” who are profoundly painful for them to be with, in an effort to develop forgiveness or compassion, and because they feel they “should.” And yet, if your heart is not open, and the desire to be with this other is not emanating from a place of true compassion, it does you no spiritual good to do what you “should.” Pushing harder does not create more compassion. Like getting through a grueling spin class, there is a sense of accomplishment, of being able to stay in the room without collapsing or fleeing, but this is not the same thing as spiritual growth. The choice to exclude a person or experience from your life can be the more compassionate choice — for yourself. And indeed, when your heart opens to your own suffering, and your own well-being, that compassion for yourself can open wide enough to include even the one who caused you suffering. But this is something that your heart will tell you — not something that your mind can decide or force. Spirituality is not a test. Being spiritual is about being with what is. If you feel toxic when in the company of someone who has hurt you, then you earn no spiritual points by forcing yourself to be there, and enduring that toxicity. We behave with spirit when we accept our experience the way it is. Deciding to not be with someone who makes you feel terrible, even if that person is your family or “friend,” is an act of courage — honoring yourself and the truth. By Psychotherapist, interfaith minister, writer and public speaker Nancy Colier “Letting Go of Toxic People: When Staying in It Is Not More Spiritual”
Just remember, there’s a right way
and a wrong way to do everything
and the wrong way is to keep trying
to make everybody else do it the right way.
Spoken by Colonel Potter
on TV show M.A.S.H.