The situation: You are confident in the safety of a relationship. Your partner has calmed all of your concerns leaving you feeling safe and comfortable in a relationship that willl last the rest of your life. Then one day, they suddenly come to you and break it off. You find out within a very short amount of time they have already moved on. You're left heartbroken churning for answers as to how the perfect relationship could end and also how the partner who had kept you feeling safe seemed to be completely unphased by the loss of your company.
You have experienced the narcissist. Narcissism is the condition of an individual being caught up in their own world. There are different levels of narcissism and some aspects are soul versions related to self esteem. The condition described in the previous paragraph is a condition on the darker side. This situation in psychological terms is a narcissistic disorder.
This article is to help one affected by this situation by articulating the mind of the narcissist and the perspective on grieving this situation. This article isn't to evilize the perpetrator, but to offer understanding to the affected. The question should always remain to the affected party, "why did I require the service of a narcissist?" We are not victims, right!
The inner world of the narcissit revolves around their own self. The considerations of other people's feelings and perspective are quite limited. They create the world they expect and then more relationships and people around to make this inner world complete. The genuine connections to people they draw into their life are very limited. The connection they receive is more of projection of their own wants rather than an appreciation of others.
There you are heartbroken and lost at the loss of a relationship. The type of grieving necessary to recover is quite different in the narcissistic pop out scenerio, rather than a typical relationship.
When grieving a death, the griever grieves the loss of the person. In a narcissistic pop out, a new type of death has occurred. The narcissist truly believes they love you. But this is mostly projected love, when the affected doesn't fit their ideal world they release this lower level of connection easily. The projected love disappears quite quickly. The projections are simply replaced by the new "ideal" world. The affected becomes a "person non grata", or simply non existent to the narcissit. The affected is literally dead to the narcissit.
In a literal death scenerio we grieve the loss of another person. In the narcissit pop out, the affected must grieve the loss of themself within the other person. The affected must understand this death to walk into the grieving process. A deep acceptance of the loss of themselves within the other person is required.
Did I miss the signs? In dating we often lose our own awareness. It is in retrospect that we can learn where our awareness was lost. In property management, I have to look at the history of a prospective tenant. It can be the same practice to listen to the stories of past relationships. They will often be the person who does the breaking and they will also blame the other person.
I've received an incredible amount of feedback from this article. I received some that this article would be taken as a way to blame their ex. As with ANY article I write, it will never be about blaming another person. How each of you read this article comes with your own filter. It is written in the 3rd paragraph not to take this article from a victim standpoint. There is healing in articulating what is happening in our experiences. Articulation should always be followed by introspection.
All of my work is based in asking questions. When one finds new information, its time to see how this pertains to our own experience. Why did I require a narcissist? What do I do to grieve this type of situation? Where am I guilty of narcissism? All possible questions. It is about opening the world to more possibilities.
I received other requests to add to the article. My workshops and coaching are always available. wink wink.
I had a friend share a story with me that allows observation of narcissistic blindness.
He had a neighbor knock on his door.
Neighbor: Your dog pooped on my doorstep
Friend: Ok, I'll put my shoes on clean it up right now.
Neighbor: He pooped right in front of my doorway and it smells really bad.
Friend: Ok, I'm grabbing my shoes and I'll clean it up.
Neighbor: There's poop directly on my doorstep that your dog made.
Friend: I'm picking it up right now.
Neighbor: It's really stinky and its right in front of my door
Friend: Ok, I'll pick it up.
Neighbor: Your dog pooped right in front of my door and it really stinks.
Friend: (shuts door as neighbor keeps talking)
We've all been privy to some form of this conversation. This is a great example of narcissistic blindness. The neighbor was so consumed by her own thoughts, she couldn't even hear that my friend was offering to fix her problem.
We have these conversations all the time with people on differing levels. There is a point where narcissistic blindness becomes a daily practice for some people. In psychological terms, its called a narcissistic personality disorder.
The whole process to deepening is to understand why these situations come into our lives and how we might do the same thing. My friend could share this story and make it an ongoing judgement toward the neighbor. However, where is this energy going? When someone has narcissistic blindness, they can't see or understand their behavior. The practice is ours to understand all angles of this. How might I come into doing a version of this same thing? What would be an indicator so that I know I'm in the experience.
What might I do if I were in the above situation? A great question in an argument or something like this situation is to ask what the person wants. My friend assumed what it was that they neighbor wanted. He might have asked, "what would you like me to do?" or how can I help? The right words come in the experience.
This topic has touched a lot of people. Please add your concerns, comments or questions below. It is by sharing your stories we pass consciousness forward and open space for people to deepen. (I don't use your email address for contacting you. It is to make sure the questions aren't spam bots. Run a website for any length of time and you'll know what I mean)