Especially if you’re trying to heal after a relationship with one
Everyone makes mistakes.
All people are inherently good.
He/she didn’t mean to hurt me.
He/she didn’t know what they were doing.
In an ideal world, all of the above would be true. In an ideal world, every single human would be good at their core.
In an ideal world, there wouldn’t be any narcissists.
A girl can dream.
See what I did there? I was projecting my beliefs onto the world around me, which is exactly what I used to do and how I found myself in an abusive marriage to a clinically diagnosed narcissist.
This “projection” is what narcissists count on when they’re sizing us up as their next target. And it’s what makes us stick around and endure more pain and suffering at their hands.
Here’s how it works:
You believe everyone is inherently good at their core because you are inherently good at your core. You know no one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes, so you put everyone on a level playing field and expect them to all follow the rules of being a good human.
You have empathy and compassion; therefore you assume everyone does.
You experience feelings of love and loss, regret and remorse; thus the same must be true for all.
A narcissist knows this about you.
They know you’re standing in front of a mirror, believing you’re looking at the world when in fact you’re only seeing yourself: your kindness, your goodness, your ability to forgive, to love without condition, and to believe the best in people no matter the cost.
They know this about you, and they use it against you.
But for your health, for your healing, for your emotional well-being, it’s time to put the mirror down and see narcissists for who they really are.
To see the truth.
And the truth is…
1. Narcissists don’t think like you
You look at them with love and hope and promise. A narcissist looks at you with motive, intent, and a self-serving desire to take from you what they need. They use words as ammunition: “I love you” is their greatest weapon. While you’re planning your future, they’re scheming your downfall. While you’re singing their praises, they’re smearing you behind your back.
And while you’re rowing your little heart out trying to keep afloat, a narcissist is drilling holes in the bottom of the boat.
2. Narcissists aren’t sorry
Sure, they may say “I’m sorry” (though some never apologize at all), but you’ll never get a true apology from a narcissist. Instead, you’ll get deflection, lip service, or false empathy — all designed to invalidate your feelings and manipulate you into thinking you’re the one in the wrong.
If a narcissist offers an apology (and that’s a big IF), there is a motive behind it, and it has nothing to do with them being sorry.
3. Whatever you suspect a narcissist of doing, they’re doing that and more
There’s a saying that if you see one mouse, you can bet there are twenty more hiding in the walls. The same is true for narcissists. Think a narcissist is cheating? Lying? Hiding money? Badmouthing you? Your suspicions are on the right track, though chances are you’re grossly underestimating the extent of their crimes.
Want to know what a narcissist is capable of? Think about the absolute lowest thing a person could do…a narcissist will go lower.
4. Narcissists don’t want you back for the reasons you think
When a narcissist makes promises of change, or they profess their undying love, or they reach out to you after the relationship has ended and begs you to come back, it has nothing to do with you. They simply want you because of what they can get from you, which is why if you do return or give them another chance, their abuse will get worse.
Think of it like fishing. A narcissist will continue to throw a line to you if they think there is a possibility you’ll bite (and they use the most charming of bait to do it). Then, once you’re hooked and reeled in, proving they still have power over you, they’ll return to their true selves and leave you begging to be released.
The way a narcissist holds power over you is by exploiting your projection of how you believe the world must be.
So don’t do it.
Don’t see your own reflection as a measure for anyone else.
Instead, use the mirror as a reminder of the beauty, kindness, empathy, and love in you that makes you who you are.
Then make sure to put that mirror down to see the truth about the narcissist standing in front of you.
Thank you for sharing this article, Suzanna!