Narcissists and Psychopaths know how to make themselves very attractive to you.
And if you have a habit of becoming romantically involved with them, it is very likely indeed YOU know how to make yourself attractive to THEM.
Yes, it’s a dance.
You are dancing too, but it’s unlikely you’re aware of it.
That is the bad news.
The good news is that you can learn to stop dancing, take back the power, and become attracted to the kind of person who’s actually likely to make you very happy, for the long term.
YOU LEARNED EARLY IN LIFE
The first thing to know is that if you have a pattern of falling for narcissists, it’s very possible at least one of your close family members is/was narcissistic. You probably learned this dance when you were young, in order to survive emotionally.
So, you believe that in order to be loved, you must:
- Constantly boost her ego
- Indulge his selfishness
- Give her/him access to your money
- Believe everything s/he says without question
- Ignore her constant manipulations
- Allow him to blame you for his misdoings
These are the behaviors that helped you survive when you were a child, but now they’re keeping you from the happiness you truly deserve.
BEGIN THE CHANGE
Here’s an exercise I teach many of my private coaching clients. Almost everyone loves it, and it really can lead to major “Ah Ha” insights. It’s very simple:
- Make a list of the important personality characteristics you’d find in your ideal partner. If you’re like most of us the list will probably include: Kind, Caring, Nurturing, Trustworthy, Loyal.. Now, keep going. Write them down under the heading “My Ideal Partner”. Take a few days or even a couple of weeks to do this. Really think about it.
- Now list the personality characteristics of narcissists you’ve known.
- Compare. Read the lists one after the other, and really think and feel into the experience. Many people report sobbing uncontrollably when they see so clearly what they’ve missed out on in their relationships. And for many, it’s enough to set them on the road to “recovery”.
DO YOU DESERVE SOMEONE WONDERFUL?
Narcissists have a way of extinguishing their victims’ self-esteem. After all, if you have to do all the giving and put up with abuse and neglect in return, it’s unlikely to make you feel good about yourself, is it?
Here’s another exercise I often use with my private clients. It can be a challenge because it involves asking, and those who don’t feel good about themselves often don’t like to ask for anything. But please try – it can be enormously healing.
- Ask the people who know you best to tell you something they like/love about you. Or their favorite thing about you. Ask only your non-narcissistic friends, of course! Try to ask at least six people.
- Make a list of those things – write them down as your friend tells you. And later add anything else nice they said that you didn’t manage to capture in writing at the time.
- Read the list last thing at night, every night. Feel the truth of those lovely words, find the knowing within you – the part of you that can see and feel that truth. Allow yourself to feel the joy and the gratitude. Be really grateful for the wonderful person you are.
YOU CAN DO IT!
Real change requires commitment, determination, and designation of resources. But it is really, really worth it. Relationships with N/Ps – after the initial seduction stage – are emotional torture, and incredibly damaging. A happy, healthy relationship with someone who truly respects, loves and cares about you, will be the centerpiece of your life – the joy of your existence.