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Tag: narcissist

Reflections on a wild week

rollercoaster

This past Sunday as I made breakfast, I observed myself muttering about my situation at work, and noted that it would be one of my tasks for the day to get myself centered in preparation for the week ahead.

As I mentioned in my last post, when I wondered what I could or should do to create change, my inner guidance was, “Wait and see.” I accepted this guidance, and decided to anchor it by making a SoulCollage card to represent the concept. I spent meditative, creative time doing so that afternoon. When I finished the card, I felt satisfied … I think the card is one of my most artistic, and it’s also been one of the most immediately helpful. I felt completed grounded in and committed to waiting and seeing what would happen next, and really felt at peace with this approach. A 180 since breakfast.

On Monday morning, the wild ride began almost immediately, as meetings were called to discuss changes in executive management. Later in the day, I couldn’t help but hear a loud altercation taking place behind a closed door. Despite all the drama, I felt calm all day.

I didn’t learn about everything that had happened until Tuesday, but what happened that day as it affects me directly is that, in two separate actions, the two people who’ve done the most to make my work life “challenging” (euphemism alert) over the past several years are no longer with the company. Someone passed me a note on a company-logoed Post-it that summed it all up rather well–“Justice … finally!”

Wow. I guess that counts as a twist and a turn. Not to mention a surprise.

As my life now includes one less narcissist, I may be in a bit of danger of losing my expert status on that topic. I can totally live with that.

My sense is that the changes and surprises aren’t finished yet … that there’s more to come. I’m buckled up for the wild ride. I’m completely on board with this wait and see approach.

How to handle a narcissist

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You might assume that the way to come out on top is to focus relentlessly on your own agenda, desires, and needs–but that’s what narcissists do, and narcissists are not effective players in the game of life. Self-obsession will take you only so far. –Phillip McGraw

I don’t like to brag, but I consider myself somewhat uniquely qualified to address this topic, as I’ve been associating with narcissists since the very moment I was born. And for the past year or so, I’ve had one within a few feet of me at the office. I sincerely hope that you, dear reader, find yourself with less expertise on this particular topic.

First, how to identify the species? I was well into adulthood before I realized what was ‘off’ about one of my family members. It may be that you, too, are an expert, and don’t even know it!

  1. The narcissist is deeply engaged with what other people think.
  2. But the narcissist doesn’t care about much else. S/he may tell you that you care too much. (I sometimes wonder if a narcissist coined the term do-gooder, for those who, you know, care so much they actually try to do something about it.)
  3. It is all about the narcissist. Not about you … never about you.

Any questions? (No, it’s still not about you.)

I recommend the following strategies for dealing effectively with narcissists:

  1. Keep your distance. Need I say that a narcissist is never going to improve the quality of your life? So arm’s length is good, and much further away than that is ideal.
  2. The narcissist is likely to attempt to use and/or manipulate you, and will likely be frightened if these attempts fail, because the world isn’t working the way it’s supposed to. Your mission is to ensure that these finely-honed manipulation techniques do not work on you.
  3. To this end, let it be known that you are serene in the face of judgment and insult. Let it be known that you don’t much care what other people think. Let it be known that temper tantrums don’t affect you one way or the other. Let it be known that you do not accept double standards or unreasonable boundaries.
  4. Some experts say that the narcissist may have became one due to an emotional wound. So have compassion for the narcissist, as this cannot be a good way to live, and may in fact be a hell on earth … cut off from others, from caring about all that’s truly important in life, from knowing that we are all one, and that ultimately, love is all there is. Be grateful that you have dealt with your issues (I assume you received your share) more productively.
  5. Remind yourself how truly lucky you are to not be in the narcissist’s shoes, by engaging in one of the many activities unavailable to him or her. Reach out in love and kindness to someone else, expecting nothing in return. Look into the eyes of someone different from you and say to yourself, I am you, you are me. Hug or kiss someone and feel the love flowing between you.
  6. Realize you are truly blessed.

Be kind

New tunes are in rotation on my inner guidance channel the last couple of days.

You have nothing to worry about. Be kind.

After eight years with the company, my manager finally had all she could take from Bob and others, as well as recent policy changes, and yesterday was her last day.

With more responsibility on my shoulders, I’m feeling frustrated with one or two people seemingly giving less than their best effort, with finding urgent tasks left undone that could easily have been completed, with blow-back from the narcissist on our team, and with my own set of well-nigh impossible tasks.

Predict the future with only extremely limited and inaccurate information available? Of course … why not? I’m on it, your estimates are coming right up.

Be kind.

I know that we all have different abilities, that patience, gentle coaxing, well-thought-out strategies, not to mention well-targeted prayers, will bring out everyone’s best. The tortoise and the hare have different gifts, both no doubt essential.

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. –Jesus, as quoted in Matthew 10:16 (King James)

Breathe. Take time out for a cup of tea. Tune in to a helpful mantra. Ask for the help I need. Be grateful for all that’s right in my world. Be willing to be in non-judgment of others. Smile like the sun. These are my baby steps on the path to Zen.

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