9 thoughts on “Common Sense, Humor and Other Lessons Narcissists Don’t Teach their Children

  • March 29, 2019 at 4:37 am

    No need at all to apologize that your article is “longish”. Every word is “worth its weight in gold”, and many more would also have been.

    Like you, I was an only child of parents who were both intense narcissists. I also experienced everything you did, even to that passing, jocular reference to your “poor thyroid” – before I was 25 I was suffering from such burn-out, that it was feared I might not survive. (Never fear – I did, and am 73 now, even after a heart attack).

    Also, that nothing could happen to me to make me unable to be there for them every minute they wanted me to do something for them, which, of course, could be something completely trivial but had to be done immediately, even if it was at the most inconvenient time for me. If they thought anything at all was wrong with me – a bit of flu, e.g. – it was off to the doctor with me at once, but my father, even when it was clear there was plenty wrong with him, would never admit it and made certain no therapist of any kind could get near him.

    Every word of advice which you give is spot-on, such as the fact that victims of narcissists’ upbringing need to “reparent” themselves. That, to me, is the biggest insult of all which they inflicted on me.

    In your article, you frequently ask “why?”. I think it would be valuable to know and I am sure you could tell us, so I very much look forward to a follow-up article on that subject.

    Reply
    • March 29, 2019 at 10:56 am

      What a lovely comment! Thank you for taking the time to read and respond. The heading that I thought was the most weird – “Nothing Must Ever Happen To You…You’re Our Security Blanket” is the very one you validated for me and I really appreciate it!

      By George, you’re right. I did ask “why” a lot in that article. Hmmmmm. I’ll do something thinking about that. I think part of it has to do with narcissists’ impatience with being forced to spend their valuable time on the minutiae of humble things like repairs, shopping, etc. They’re quite happy for us to do everything for them!

      Thanks again and have a great weekend.

      ~ Lenora

      Reply
  • March 29, 2019 at 11:04 am

    Hi Lenora,

    I always enjoy notification that you have posted something because it’s always so validating. Thanks for this great article !

    It’s so timely that you mentioned the lack of humor because I was just thinking this morning how lack of humor is almost a red flag. It’s not completely foolproof though because I have noticed the rare case where a cluster b has a gift for comedy but, as you point out, it’s certainly not the norm.

    All the things that you cite are so so accurate. I especially LOVE LOVE LOVE the quote ” Life is a Series of Oopsies, Mistakes and Regrets. Get over it!”. Awesome quote!

    It’s funny that you mention that because the heavily narcissistic types can’t seem to accept that in themselves or others. I was a little more prone to this myself when I was young but not so much anymore . I think maybe its partially an attempt to want to fit in and maybe a fear of revealing weaknesses that can be used against you. It takes a lot of security and a fairly enlarge world view to be able to laugh at oneself. I’m a believer in the Bible so it came as a big relief to apprehend that mankind is not “good” by nature since the fall of Adam. Even when they appear to be doing good, thing they are generally acting from a place of enlightened self interest. Another words, they know how to behave to appear to be good or to get what they want. We tend to call this the “covert” narcissist.

    In M. Scott Pecks book “People of the Lie” he cites the “People of the Lie” as precisely those people who really can’t grasp their own inner ugly and therefore deny and tend project it ESPECIALLY onto people who tend to be less meticulous about keeping up the perfect image.
    When I completed his book I wrote on the back cover; ” The Bible essentially points to the fact that we are all People of the Lie, Mr. Peck….just to different degrees”. Which is something the author himself never fully grasped.

    And it’s something that we in the recovery community also need to grasp. Life is a constant unfolding of new levels of awareness. The great thing about living a Christ centered life is that when we compare ourselves to the Glory of God we can see how small and flawed we ourselves truly are . But when we compare ourselves to “The Narcissist” theres more of a temptation to feel self deceptively enlarged.

    I don’t attend any Church and I don’t belong to any denomination . But I haven’t found any other teacher that compares to the God of the Holy Bible (and I’ve explored many spiritual traditions and false teachers the world over)…. so I just tag along with the Lord through the scriptures and through prayer like a lost puppy. lol I’m always surprised that he allows me to do so and is always so willing to teach me stuff ?

    Thanks again for sharing your insightful thoughts.

    Reply
    • March 29, 2019 at 11:16 am

      Hi Lisa,

      Thank you for the wonderful comment!!! I thought yesterday’s article would surely “bomb at the box office” so I’m pleasantly surprised at the good reaction to writing about “common as muck” topics. 🙂

      I particularly loved how you described your faith: “…I just tag along with the Lord through the scriptures and through prayer like a lost puppy.” I’ve never heard someone define Christianity in a way I liked until you did just now. Michael and I don’t belong to a church either, but like lost puppies we cling to the Cross. What other hope have we!?

      I’ve come to realize that part of the reason my narcissists were able to pigeon-hole me as a lower-class citizen was because I didn’t have the gall to assume to know what God thought about me (i.e. claim eternal assurance/born again). One of them admitted when I was in my mid-twenties that they were never actually born again (til then, supposedly) while the other behaved less and less in Christian ways, even threatening to tear Song of Solomon out of my new Bible. My humility allowed them to project so much onto me. Now I realize I didn’t grow up in a Christian home at all. It looked and talked like it, but it wasn’t really it. Still processing this!

      Thank you again for reading and have a good weekend!

      ~ Lenora

      Reply
  • May 7, 2019 at 7:48 am

    Oh, God, yeah, I was brought up in a family with string religious beliefs that were focused on there being a right or wrong way. black or white. very rigid. and if we were were sick, we were to blame. I struggled with a mild learning issue at school, was not allowed to get tested for it because that was against our religion, it was a demon that had to be exorcised or some sin i had committed. Both my sister and i had sucidal issues, self harm depression=- she had depression as a teenager, i was developing what would become BPD/EUPD and OCD. His response was to say things like “if you feel that low, just kill yourself and be done with it then” “stop looking for attention” “you’re destroying our family reputation in our church and with our friends” “it is because of you my ministry failed- they know i had loony daughter etc” I came down with ME/CFS in my early teens after a virus. I was shamed, disbelieved, called a faker by my dad. it went on for years and by age 18 after finishing education my dad told me to get a job and contribute or leave saying i had to snap out of this fantasy that i was sick. A few years later, within the same year i recovered, my father came down with a milder form of what was diagnosed as ME/CFS after contracting a bout of pneumonia. My father now was blaming himself for the “sin” he had committed of having this illness and did not want anyone outside family knowing he had this “shameful, sponger’s disease.”

    my father does not have an actual diagnosis of NPD- he is capable of being kind to us and has great empathy for others at times, so I doubt he is full on narc. But i relate to so many of these articles and he was obsessed with family appearances and like d to gaslight and whitewash reality. If he is a narc then it certainly casts doubt on the popular assertion that Narcs love themselves. my father is extremely self loathing and has a massive inferiority complex. same as me and same as my sister had at one stage.

    Reply
    • May 7, 2019 at 10:29 am

      My heart is bleeding for you! You’ve been to Hell and gone! I know you struggle w/ narcissism yourself but I think you’re incredibly honest and self-aware and you’re doing a great job of reverse engineering what went so terribly wrong so early in your innocent, young life.

      I’m flattered you’re reading my stuff. There’s a ton about religious narcissists in my blog and your father/upbringing are textbook narc/religious/spiritual abuse. I’m so sorry.

      Hoping you find healing as we all bumble our way thru life and thru narcissistic abuse. There is light at the end of the tunnel. A childhood friend recently contacted me and said, for the first time in her life, she is “flourishing”! So it can be done! 🙂

      Take care!

      Lenora

      Reply
      • May 8, 2019 at 6:51 am

        Thank you! yeah i had been told that with BPD/EUPD often comes Narc traits so it is something I have learned to be aware of in my dialectical behaviour therapy at the hospital. i am now in trauma therapy but i am still at the stage of needing validation for what i went through so am really pleased by your comment. bless you

        Reply
      • May 8, 2019 at 10:27 am

        Validation is THE most important thing in healing. It means the world just to have someone else say, “Oh my goodness! Your [person/relationship] was horrible to you!”

        Reply
    • May 7, 2019 at 11:13 am

      Hello there,
      I’m always saddened to hear that someone has had a negative experience with religion. I myself had attended Catholic schools as a young person so I’m no stranger to religious hypocrisy.
      I know that you all are probably already well aware of what I’m about to say but I thought I’d mention it anyway just for others who may be reading.

      I Just wanted to mention that most of the unfortunate testimonies related to “religion” that we hear about have nothing to do with the character of God or the Holy scriptures. They are testimonies of hypocritical flawed humans who never knew God and were not truly ever converted and for whom no spiritual rebirth ever occurred. But they don’t realize this because they look around at other earthly Christians who are in the same boat and conclude that this type of “Christianity” is the norm . I think it’s important to mention this because modern worldly religious institutions tend to undermine the good news of the Gospel and incline people to want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Most people who think they are Christians or who participate in corporate religion are not at all disciples of Jesus Christ and have not surrendered their lives to the Holy Spirit for sanctification. These are “Christians” in name only who are like children playing Church and imposing their ideas of what they think it means to be “religious”. It tends to turn people off and make people skeptical to believing that any real relationship with a Holy and trustworthy God is even possible. Most people who identify as Christians have no idea that that a supernatural relationship with the Lord is actually available .
      I too was completely turned off to the idea of Jesus for decades because I figured that any Jesus who was associated with the Church can’t be a real God. I didn’t realize that many Ungodly men and “Churches” are wolves in disguise and have nothing to do with Jesus at all. They are total deceivers. Please don’t allow these negative experiences with religion turn you off to seeking the Trinity God of the Bible . There is a real God represented in the scriptures and there is a true Gospel that can be trusted which is real and it does not require attendance at Church. You can trust and place your faith John 3:16. without ever setting foot in a modern church. May God continue to reveal himself to all who believe.
      Amen

      Reply
 

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