Love And The Soul-Crushing Narcissist

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I’m sure you know that there’s a big dividing line between self-love and feeling that the world revolves around you.  Some people have more than a blurred line in this department.  They are commonly known as narcissists.

With all the new ways to flex your social prowess online and splash out a zillion photos of yourself, never has the idea of narcissism- extreme self-worth & self-aggrandizement- become so big an issue.  Stir in the new trendiness of self-help and the ease of getting more and more of things that you want on demand at the click of a button, and the very dangerous idea that we can be entitled to more or to better than other people, a commitment to perfection, to elitism… to being the best…

It is a very tricky place to be.

A man I was dating once called me a narcissist because I said that I didn’t want to continually have my feelings hurt. I wanted to be acknowledged. He didn’t even like to call me on the phone. I was hurt… but was it something else?   The word stuck with me.  Especially in the context of love.

Was I a narcissist?

Narcissists want to have their cake and eat it too.  They want to be in control and yet they want to be cherished. They want devotion to them while they want their freedom to do as they want without reproach.  They feel there is an ideal that people need to meet in order to be worthy of their love, and yet they can’t really feel for other people very much in this preoccupation.

I found this definition amusing and somewhat of an earthquake:

narcissism

There was no way I was a narcissist. Was there?

First, I took THIS quiz. I was in the middle. Not quite a narcissist at all but high enough to think that it was worth investigating further.  Maybe a bit of the self-help and idealizing of how things should be had pushed me closer to “self “and futher from “love”?

Then I  started looking further into the vast morass of the subject of narcissism.

Learning about narcissism completely changed my views on love, on life and on building successful relationships in every way.  In feng shui, Wisdom directly feeds your Relationships.  If you find you have been in love with narcissists, or if you are a narcissist yourself (!) , you may find this to be the “ah-ha” moment you were waiting for.  It may just be the key to having real love in your life that involves no rules, no strategies, no thinking and no struggles.  

narcissism

Ok, this is a more amusing definition. But lets get into the real stuff that is less about name-calling and more about finding freedom and being a more loving person.

First…

Are you in love with a narcissist? 

If you are, I am pretty sure you spend most of your time unhappy or deeply on edge.

This handy list of traits of a narcissist from PsychCentral is eye-opening for sure:

Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder
In order for a person to be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) they must meet five or more of the following symptoms:

*Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
*Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
* Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
* Requires excessive admiration
* Has a very strong sense of entitlement, e.g., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
* Is exploitative of others, e.g., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
* Lacks empathy, e.g., is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
* Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
* Regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

I don’t include this to encourage you to judge people, but rather to provide a bit of a yardstick to help you see that perhaps this “very special and important” person in your life who may be making you feel like you don’t matter may not be wholly integrated in themselves… yet.  That’s OK. They can get there if they want to get there, and I hope they do.  Its very tricky because narcissists are expert manipulators as a character trait and you may feel far more crazy around them rather than them seeming imbalanced to you.

Narcissistic parents and authority figures are usually deemed as infallable, yet everyone suffers around them, and sometimes seriously suffers.

Are you a narcissist? 

THIS article in Psychology Today breaks down the easiest question to ask to see if you actually are a narcissist:

” Narcissists tend to be entitled with (over)inflated views of themselves and low-empathy.

The “traditional” way to determine if someone is a narcissist was to administer a 40-question survey called the Narcissistic Personality Inventory. You can try it for yourself here.

That inventory measures overall narcissism and values for component traits, but it takes a long time to complete (which you will find if you try it yourself). That can be problematic for researchers, especially when they are only interested in an overall view of someone’s narcissism. Subjects get bored, distracted, and drop out.

But researchers have recently found that, if you just want an overall view of narcissism, you can replace that 40-question inventory with one question: “How narcissistic are you?”

The key insight is that people who are narcissists aren’t embarrassed by it, so they don’t hold back on saying so. People who are not narcissistic would feel ashamed to be seen as such, so they rate themselves low on the scale.

“People who are narcissists are almost proud of the fact. You can ask them directly because they don’t see narcissism as a negative quality — they believe they are superior to other people and are fine with saying that publicly,” says Brad Bushman, one of the study’s co-authors.

Great… so if you discover you are a narcissist or you are in love with one… what do you do?

This is the part that is up to you.  The wisdom part of feng shui is what helps you build your best relationships.  All this information was eye-opening wisdom, and it has guided me away from the morass of narcissism, even if it meant losing a few people along the way.  Having loved many a narcissist, I can tell you that there is no fun that I have had in the frustrating feeling that someone just can’t extend enough empathy to me to care about my feelings.  You will come to your own conclusions.

If you happen to be the narcissist, there are lots of resourses to help you unwind your own patterns, but chances are that you are not a narcissist because, well, most narcissists dont think there is anything wrong with them!

feng shui bedroom

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If you are feeling like your relationships need to shift toward the more solid, open-hearted and mutual, you can definately reinforce this feeling in your home!

Add pairs of objects to your bedroom.

Place your bed as securely as you can in the space (*no perfection exists!)

Get a solid headboard.

Lean into more sage colors, and light blues.

And keep things light, fresh and inviting in your whole home.

There’s nothing really tricky about loving people.  And if it seems tricky, there’s usually more wisdom to be had!  xoxo Dana

 

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feng shui 101And, if you want to dive in to your own personalized feng shui in a modern, practical way, Say hello to Feng Shui 101.  Its the guide I made for you to create your own personalized feng shui at home, in the office, wherever you may be… in 8 weeks.  It’s not filled with strict rules or what you “must” do.  Its filled with information, questions, exercises and even videos and classes to help you confidently create amazing spaces with killer feng shui and live with more flow.   Learn more about the 8-week feng shui adventure & grab your copy to get started right HERE…   And, as always, please let me know what happens!

Erin Jackson September 22, 2014 at 11:40 am

Your posts are so interesting and very helpful, too. Thank you!

danaclaudat September 24, 2014 at 4:37 pm

xoxoxo so glad to hear!!!

Rosie March 26, 2016 at 9:16 am

Wow I read this a few months ago in the midst of a bad relationship and was pretty gobsmacked at how closely the person I was with matched pretty much every description written in your article & also in the psych central link. Now a few months later after ending that toxic relationship and reading this again I’m even more gobsmacked & can see it all much more clearly. Separating myself from a true narcicist was definitely one of the best decisions I ever made & I can completely relate to this article! It’s like a weight was lifted straight away when I ended it and everything in life that didn’t make sense left too. A good lesson to learn though! Thanks for another amazing read xxx

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