3 Reasons We Recommend ALL OR NOTHING (No Contact) with a Narcissistic Person
The all or nothing advice we give about avoiding a narcissist altogether, isn’t because we’re unhealthily encouraging black and white or either / or type of thinking or advocating that healthy boundaries can’t be used with general run of the mill people who “irritate” you.
This advice is given because the bottom line is that a narcissist ISNT run of the mill and with a narcissist there is NO HALF WAY. The common “get along” tactics that are useful and helpful with healthier people will not only not work with a narcissist, but will likely BACKFIRE; ALWAYS leaving you in a position that if you make the decision to have any interaction whatsoever with a narcissist, the entire interaction will blow up in your face and cause emotional distress.
The narcissistic personality disordered psychopath is the first “throw away” person I’ve encountered in my life. By throw away, I mean, the only person that I would not consider salvaging, giving an inch to, or letting remain in my life. I entirely throw them away, lock the door, and block their re entry in all ways possible.
Let’s consider why we must be so absolute when it comes to setting such a permanent boundary with a narcissist:
1. They lack empathy
Without having experienced what it’s like to deal with someone without the capacity to empathize, we take for granted that we possess this much needed human trait and we’re somewhat naive that other human beings could possibly be void of this sign of being “human”. We underestimate the danger of a sociopath and/or psychopath, we extend benefit of doubt when it isn’t deserved, we employ fairness when that’s not reciprocated, due to decreasingly poor boundaries we get our wires crossed. We take too on much responsibility (forced codependency of narcissism) and repeatedly doubt and blame ourselves when these empathy problems show themselves, instead of realizing the problem exists in the other person and will try to fix it; not knowing we’re dealing with a lack of empathy and are inexperienced as to how to handle ourselves when confronted with this information.
Empathy problems present themselves in a number of ways:
a. We dont feel listened to or more importantly “heard”
b. Lack of feeling heard or seen creates “intimacy” issues
c. Intimacy issues along with the realization emotionally that the narcissist refuses or can’t empathize with us, causes us to feel insecure in the relationship
d. The insecurity in the relationships drive conversations regarding trust that are again not listened to, heard or responded to (thus there is no resolution)
e. Lack of resolution leads to frustration and expression of feelings and acting out on the part of the target that allows the narcissist to use and shift the focus and blame (deflection) back on us which causes….
f. An anxious feedback loop. This cycle of lacking empathy is at the core of EVERY argument with the narcissist because the arguments themselves exist due to the narcissist’s lack of empathy.
Sound confusing? Imagine LIVING it. We chase our tails in these relationships. No wonder we end up feeling crazy and confused. It is crazy and it is confusing. It’s just the narcissist who introduces this and continues this throughout the entire relationship which includes the time period FOLLOWING the actual cessation of the relationship.
If people dont respect us or are not willing to show us respect, then there’s just not much more we can do.
2. Their negativity will bring us down instead of our positivity lifting them up
They say, “Misery loves Company” well I say, “Narcissists love to bring happy people down.” What BETTER type of power trip to a narcissist’s ego than to take a naturally happy person and by their own “amazing abilities” turn them into a shell of their former selves while walking off “wearing their skin”? You know that they WANT to see you laying on the sidewalk, crying out in pain because you’re “nothing” without them; just as they told you (or insinuated many times).
Once your boundaries are eliminated, you become a narcissists free for all playground. Whatever good things they want to pick out about you to use, enjoy, toy with, show off, and just as rapidly and intensely abhor us for them is just another HUGE reason to not have to deal with these shenangigans on an ongoing basis.
They’ll take what the like about us and discard the rest, treating us as a cafeteria plan of THEIR choosing instead of a person with a whole and complete identity.
They’re always complaining about something. They’re always at odds with someone whether a family member, co worker or someone in the general public. So many opportunities for the narcissist to whine and stir the pot with never ending chaos. These people would be unhappy at Disneyland! The happiest place on earth!
Their personalities are dark clouds of accumulated shame, addictions and perversions. They feed their thoughts of power, sex, worldly success, vanity, who’s who, delusional dreams of unlimited popularity and/or beauty or money. Blech! They actually are the people among us who boast about how their life would be a GREAT REALITY SHOW! Uhm…Says WHO? Oh yes, the narcissist. The one person self hype machine.
Narcissists are vapid and one dimensional. They lack emotional depth and context. They aren’t fun conversationalists. They’re draining, negativity will feel like a smudge left on your world when they walk away. I personally think, smudge itself is easier to clean away than a narcissist.
LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO LET A NARCISSIST SUCK THE JOY OUT OF YOU WHILE DUMPING ALL THEIR TOXIC NEGATIVITY INTO YOUR SOUL
3. ITS FUTILE TO CONSTANTLY DEFEND YOUR BOUNDARIES AGAINST SOMEONE WHO CANT RESPECT THEM
Narcissists are the ONLY ones allowed to have rules in limits in the relationship. They dictate. They speak for “US” whether we agree or not. They bulldoze. They refuse to respect the demarcation lines between ourselves and them. They view us as possessions owned, not wonderous additions to their lives. They can’t be truly grateful because they feel entitlted to it all. Yek!
Our boundaries are the ones that even if existed upon meeting a narcissist, surely will NOT once we’ve spent enough time in their company.
Personally, I was able to tell many romantic parnters no, or express my desires and opinions in prior relationships. The narcissist however, just beats us down. Exhausts us. The constant drama, arguments, disrespect, demands, ego games, silence……I can easily see why just acquiescing (waiving the white flag of surrendering your boundaries) seems like a “peacekeeping” decision.
Even if you learn to establish healthy boundaries and that’s a Sign of Health but you are engaged in constant battle with a person who whole heartedly believes it is their right to not only challenge those boundaries but to destroy them if they want, It’s a sign of health to recognize futility, know when to throw in the towel, and refuse to participate in any relationship that isn’t reciprocal and/or enriching to your well being.
There’s a certain emotional intelligence in being able to recognize when things are a losing battle. Our responsibility is not to teach another adult how to respect our boundaries. That’s up to the narcissist. Since the narcissist is heavily invested, in fact lives to blame others, this is a no win situation. We will constantly have to repeat ourselves about what we can’t tolerate and theyll continue to ignore us.
This is the same premise as “fool me once, shame on You, foo me twice, shame on me”. The first time they ignored our saying, “Please don’t speak down to me.” or “Please don’t call us names” was their one chance to show us they respected our need to not be called names. The second time, they do it is an indication that they will continue to do this, and if they do, we are ALLOWING it.
Establish just ONE BOUNDARY and walk away for good!
Just say, ‘NO!’
Because that means:
NO MORE MANIPULATION
NO MORE DRAMA
NO MORE GAMES
NO MORE ARGUMENTS
NO MORE PUT DOWNS
NO MORE NARCS