Some important thoughts about moving on and forward by creating new personal boundaries in your present and future relationships with ‘those important things’ to look out for.
Some important thoughts about moving on and forward by creating new personal boundaries in your present and future relationships with ‘those important things’ to look out for. For those already out of their relationship, use the lessons from your past experiences with a Narcissist in your NEW relationships and always trust your intuition because this is about you and your well-being! These ALSO apply to people that are QUESTIONING their present relationship.
From my Book: Greg Zaffuto – Author – From Charm to Harm and Everything Else in Between with a Narcissist
The charming, wonderful, but illusory façade of the emotionally abusive Narcissist usually rears its ugly face into the relationship GRADUALLY, which is why so many targets/victims have minimized, overlooked, denied and/or excuse the abusive behaviors once they started. They seemed so amazing and that is what is imprinted on our minds and then there is an attack out of nowhere. A relationship is an investment of our time and love and sometimes we do not always see the clearest picture because our emotions become a little clouded by this thing called love! As with the cycling of this abuse things go back to normal for a few weeks and then there is another incident and another and another and another. The future is only going to get worse as far as these attacks go and the period of time between abusive episodes becomes shorter and shorter. Mine were daily rages at the very end. Run like you are an athlete going for a gold medal in the Olympics.
Be somewhat of a spy and utilize some undercover interrogation tactics about their past relationships, if and why they did not work out – look for patterns. Does this person blame every ‘ex’ and make them out to be the source of every problem in their past relationship, or say that they have ‘mental health issues’ – you know the ‘blame and shame’ or the Narcissist’s creed? Remember relationships do end, some badly and some because two people have fallen out of love, etc. You want to hear a potential boyfriend/girlfriend or love interest take some responsibility for the demise of their past relationships. If they seem to take responsibility for their choices and hold themselves accountable it is a good indication that you are probably dealing with a healthy grown-up. However, if he/she trashes an ‘ex’, puts them down and blames them for the complete failure of the relationship, get out while the getting’s good. I made this mistake BIG TIME and supported what basically amounted to chaos and ridiculous lies.
Red Flags waving! Beware of an inexplicable, instant, ‘come on strong’, instant BEST friend, lustful, ‘love of your life’ and overwhelming attraction to this new person – is it too good to be TRUE? Yes, there is such a thing as instant chemistry, and ‘love at first sight’, and this new person might be as awesome as they appear to be, but GO SLOW, GO SLOW, GO SLOW!
OK an example, the two of you meet and he/she is great. A few weeks go by and he/she has their first rage episode in which you are accused of being insensitive or selfish or something equally unfounded. You are bewildered and left wondering AND sensitive because you want to give this relationship a chance, but you are thinking “What the heck just happened?” This is when you should go on red alert and pay very close attention to what he/she does next.
If there was an argument or disagreement, ask yourself, does he/she pretend like it did not happen? Does he/she minimize or deny that it happened? This is ‘gas lighting’ and it is one of the tools from the Narcissist arsenal of ABUSE tactics. Get out now. Does he/she apologize in a BACKWARD MANNER using more excuses and blaming whatever he/she can to be able to squirm out of accountability like he/she was having a horrible day at work and his/her boss yelled, or maybe a flat tire, an earthquake, a flying saucer abducted him/her, etc., and then when you didn’t call at the exact minute they were expecting your call they couldn’t take it anymore and snapped? This is not really an apology because how could you have known all of that because you are not a mind reader, etc. He/she is not taking responsibility for their bad behavior, instead he/she is blaming their boss, the car and the aliens and do not forget YOU too for not calling EXACTLY at the time when YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO. Everyone has a bad day from time to time and maybe you want to give them the benefit of the doubt – well go ahead and be a saint and do so once or twice but when it happens a third time, they are not just having a bad day, this is who they are.
Does he/she blatantly blame you for their bad behavior without even the smallest apology? There is no gray area here, they are an abusive personality, and you need to get out. I remember that during my abuse I would be raged at out of the blue for things I did not do. After all was said and done and I TRIED TO USE MY VOICE to get to some sort of understanding there was no reasoning/accountability for these outrageous temper tantrums from this Narcissist. I would tell this Narcissist that they had horrible anger issues and that would only cause more rage. Let me make a little point here – these were diversions for this smart Narcissist to sneak out and have some weekly supply on the side. THEN after a weekend or so of silence WHAM – the next paragraph will explain the ‘WHAM.”
Does he/she cry and beg you not to leave them with so much high drama, saying things like “I don’t know what I’ll do if you leave me. No one has ever made me feel this way. I do not want to go on without you. Please do not leave me! I have never loved someone like I have loved you!” Run again, call the National Guard, get a restraining order, change your identity through the secret service, change your phone number and get a new email account, maybe even volunteer to be the first person to set up housekeeping on Mars. Believe me I wish I had known and validated these early warning signs.
Beware of extreme selfishness. If he/she expects you to take care of everything, make all the plans, cook, clean up after them, entertain them, pay for everything, and doesn’t reciprocate, be very alarmed. These are strong signs of their inappropriate boundaries or coming from the angle of “you owe them” and you will always end up doing everything for them and getting nothing in return except complaints and criticism about what you have done for them, you are obsessed, or you do everything you do with strings attached. Nothing will ever be good enough for this critter (Narcissist) so do not waste your time, energy, love or anything on them – especially opening your wallet because they will empty that out for sure!
Are they getting too close to your friends, family, co-workers, etc., and way too fast? This is seriously an invasion of your personal space, a lack of normal BOUNDARIES and big trouble down the road. It is a strong warning signal if he/she pushes himself/herself into your other relationships and personal space too quickly. Believe me they will move right in on your personal space to glue themselves to your life like a tick after blood from its host! When a person CHARGES into your life at the speed of light it is evidence that they have zero boundaries and it only snowballs into a major avalanche from there because their familiarity with others ALWAYS breeds contempt as it concerns their way of triangulation, back-stabbing and the big ‘smear campaign’. They use all that familiarity they gained to ‘be in the know’ with bits and pieces of personal information that they will use against you when it is time for the big discard.
Most of this stuff you probably already know coming out of an abusive relationship, but the point is that we must be so clear about the small signs we ignored that took us to this dark place with a Narcissist. When you meet a kind, loving and healthy person, it will probably feel a little strange to you post abuse. That is perfectly normal after the attack you had on your life from a Narcissist. Consciously make the decision to be open to it with proper boundaries and you will get there. Relationships are meant to be mutually rewarding and satisfying.
OK, you deserve a gold medal and you really are a survivor because you have already undertaken two of the most difficult steps in your recovery from this abuse; you extracted yourself physically and psychologically from the Narcissist AND from the cycle of this abuse. You own and have an incredible amount of education, awareness, and maturity now from your past experience. Now apply it all and exercise good judgment and open yourself up to being treated well. Give yourself the opportunity of a life filled with love and NEVER let anyone define your thoughts or actions ever again. This was a horrendous experience that cost you a great deal of personal loss and time. Do not forget that life has its own trials and tribulations but don’t allow abuse to cloud your life with total disparity, fear, mistrust, etc., so that you don’t move forward because that is ambient abuse. Greg