Supply and Demand


It’s Narcissist Friday!     

 

I just listened to an excellent message on how the Law is based on demand, while grace is based on supply. According to the Law, God demands our obedience and service. Under grace, God supplies everything that is expected of us.

It struck me that this idea of supply and demand is a core problem in narcissistic relationships. The narcissists demand, and we are supposed to supply. But that isn’t what they think is happening. They think they are the ones who are giving. That’s why they demand.

Think about it. How many times have you heard your narcissist say something like, “After all I have done”? (Never mind that he/she hasn’t done much of anything.) The narcissist sees most relationships as deals. He may only be blessing you with his presence, but you are supposed to keep your side of some kind of bargain.

Narcissists almost always believe they deserve our attention, praise, service, generosity. Somehow, they think they have provided something for us. If we fail to reciprocate, they become angry. Part of the nearly constant anger of the narcissist is this feeling that he/she deserves more and is being slighted.

This allows the narcissist to see what is yours as his. This allows her to take your position, your secrets, your kindness—to use for her own purposes. After all, look at what she has done for you. You owe the narcissist. This is the way the narcissist reasons.

Now, I know. You can’t see anything he/she has done for you. Or anything you think of has long ago been “paid back.” But remember that the narcissist doesn’t see us as individual people with value and needs. The narcissist only knows that he/she feels cheated—all the time. He might be angry with the boss, but you are supposed to supply his needs. She might be angry with her parents, but you are supposed to take care of her.

This is why you always lose. You give a gift and the narcissist thinks two things: “It’s about time!” and “What am I expected to do now?” A simple gracious “thank-you” seems to be foreign to a narcissist. Instead, the gift somehow fits into this business deal mentality. The narcissist always knows the cost of a gift. It will either be less than he/she deserves, or it will require something from him/her. The narcissist hates feeling like he is in debt, yet always believes others owe him. So, even when you give the supply he/she demands, you still lose.

There is no choice in a business deal. If you take something out of a business deal, you are required to put something in. Buying groceries means you spend money. Simple. Being with the narcissist means serving. Simple—to the narcissist. The formality and “law” of the deal help the narcissist feel better about himself. Anything he receives from others is only what is expected.

Frankly, I think this is a terrible way to live. Always angry. Always hurt. Always looking for more. Never satisfied. Never truly grateful. Yes, that’s what it’s like to be the narcissist.

Of course, we all want our contributions to be noticed and valued. It hurts when they are not considered worthy. But most of us don’t do things for the sake of return. We don’t think in terms of supply and demand. Life is not a business deal for us, nor are our relationships. We give because we love. The narcissist knows nothing of that.

Narcissist relationships are like one-sided agreements. Like the harsh and cruel god of the legalists, they demand and we must supply. Under grace, there is no demand, just need—and love supplies. Get your head around that!

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Are there more Narcissists?

 

It’s Narcissist Friday!     

 

I often get asked if there are more narcissists today and, if so, why. That’s a difficult one to answer because the diagnosis of “narcissist” keeps changing. Many psychologists now believe that the narcissism we see in our relationships is simply a personality type, rather than a disorder. They reserve the label of narcissism for only extreme cases, those who commit gross crimes or who are sociopathic.

I suspect that the reason for this change is that we seem to see narcissism everywhere. Churches, politics, entertainment, even in small organizations and in our families. Most of us are simply more aware of narcissism and see it more, as when you are told that there are a lot of pregnant women in your community and you begin seeing them more and more. We are talking about narcissistic behavior and abuse more today than ever, and we are seeing it all around us.

Yet, I think the simple answer is: Yes, there are more narcissists today. At least there is more narcissistic behavior. I think there are more abusers, more cruel and manipulative people, and more attention seekers.

Of course, there are more of almost every kind of person today. In 1980, there were over 32,000 100-year-olds living in the US. In 2014, there were over 72,000. Not all of this is because we are living longer. There are just more people. We added nearly 100 million people to the US population during that same time.

I suspect that there are several factors in what we see as a rise in narcissism. One of the more influential factors could be the increased difficulty of being noticed when so many people are involved in our lives. If you consider just the memorable history of an older adult today, you will see the changes that have happened. Farm families spent most of their time apart from other people except for church or social gatherings. When the children started going to school, class sizes were small, just the local kids. When rural kids began to be bused into town, the schools were still smaller and class sizes allowed the teachers to actually know the kids. Today’s schools are consolidated and student bodies often number in the thousands. How does one kid stand out?

How do you get noticed in school today? Achievements that might stand out are already eclipsed by the trophies in the hallway case. Even bad behavior today has accelerated beyond anything that could have been imagined 60 years ago. How does a kid stand out?

How do you get your resume to stand out today? It used to be that you could drop in on a local store to see if they have any openings. Today you are told to send your resume through their website. You will probably join 200 others who have done the same thing. Almost all employers report the difficulty of sorting through the hundreds of resumes and applications they receive.

There’s lot of pushing going on out there. You see it when you drive. You see it when you try to buy a certain popular product. You see it when you want to advertise your skill or organization. Everybody is pushing to be seen and heard.

Some people respond to life’s pressures by developing a need and a will to push themselves into the limelight. Do you realize that only nine out of 10,000 high school football players in the US will eventually play in the NFL? Even if the student stands out in his school, how can he stand out later? Yet, those who must will find ways.

Today’s students and workers do not compete against those who do well. They compete against those who push hard. Who pushes to become the boss? Who pushes to become popular? Who pushes to make more money or get the more attractive spouse or enjoy the attention of others? Well, the narcissists certainly do.

And, because they have to push, they justify the abusive and manipulative behaviors of the narcissist. If you want to become the supervisor at work, you can’t let the work of others be considered better than yours. You have to draw attention to yourself, and you will probably be more willing to push others down to do it. The tools of the narcissist become the tools of advancement: lying, cheating, manipulating, belittling, using.

Most of us will refuse to stand out if that means we have to hurt others. But the narcissist doesn’t care about hurting others. The narcissist doesn’t recognize the personhood of others. The narcissist only wants to get ahead, to be noticed. Since that seems to take more these days, the narcissist is the one who can win.

Who gets the job or the scholarship or the position on the team? We all know that good people who are more capable are often pushed aside so the narcissist can get the prize. The company hires the one who pushes, rather than the faithful employee who knows the job so well. The school honors the one who “did what it takes” to get noticed, rather than the most qualified. The team uses the loudest and most outgoing player, rather than the one who practices diligently and works best with the other players. We see this all the time.

So we see narcissists more, I think. Narcissistic behavior is rewarded more. We may even be creating more narcissists by requiring that behavior to get ahead of others.

How does this change? I don’t think there is an easy answer, except on a personal level. Tell your daughter that the flashiest guy might not be the best, that the regular guy who is kind and thoughtful might make a much better life partner. Help your church to find the pastor who will serve and love, rather than mold the church to his will for his own benefit. Again, avoid the flashy pusher. If someone gives you good service, send a note to the boss as a thank you. If someone is kind, be sure to tell others. These things do make a difference.

If the game is set up to use the skills of the narcissist, we will see more narcissists. People will begin to use narcissistic behaviors to get what they want. The only way to overcome this, I believe, is to value the kindness and patience and service we have learned to take for granted.

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Feeding Trolls


It’s Narcissist Friday!     

 

According to the Urban Dictionary, a troll is:

“One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument”

 

I was commenting to my sons that I recently entered into a discussion on Facebook. One of them said, “Don’t feed the trolls, Dad.” We had an interesting discussion on what it meant to feed trolls.

Basically, these are people who drop comments intended to get your goat. (See what I did there?) They don’t care what your opinion is or what the purpose of the post was. Nor do they care if you argue with them. They just want you to get angry or upset. Their “food” comes from your emotional responses. If they can get you to say something stupid or something you might not normally say, they win. They feed on your regret and embarrassment.

Sound familiar? I continue to marvel at how narcissists seem to connect with every manipulative tactic and mean-hearted behavior out there. This one is particularly made to order. Narcissists love throwing their victims off center, making them upset enough to say or do something embarrassing. I have known narcissists who will knowingly say inaccurate things just to get someone angry. They will argue a point they don’t even believe just to keep an argument going and watch their opponent. Argument for the sake of argument.

Some of you know this behavior all too well. She enjoys saying unkind things about your friends just to get you to defend them. He accuses you of something he knows you didn’t do just to get you riled. The narcissist doesn’t care how bad he acts, he just wants to see how uncomfortable he can make you.

Why? Because when you are uncomfortable, you are vulnerable. If you say something you will regret, he wins. If you go a little too far with your defense, she won’t let you forget it. Anything that can be used to control you or make you look bad, the narcissist will use.

Internet trolling is almost everywhere. We have had trolls here, challenging people and “teaching” them. They disagree or accuse or belittle, just to get that response. They love the response.

We learn something about trolling and narcissistic arguing on these social media discussions. First, they are addicting. There is something about the adrenalin rush that comes when you try to slap down the troll. They say something provocative. You respond. They say something else, probably a little cutting. You respond. They write some insinuation or outright negative statement about your intelligence or parentage. You respond. Why do you respond? Because you have the dream of slapping them down. You begin to long for the right words that will force them to run in fear and hide in their holes. But they don’t. Almost always you have to be the one to stop. They could keep it up for much longer than you are willing.  I know you want to find that perfect response for your narcissist.  You might even find it, but it won’t work.

Another thing you learn is that these exchanges almost never end well. By the time you have to quit for your own sanity, you are writing in all caps and cussing and envisioning yourself with your hands around the troll’s neck. Your blood pressure is up, and you are angry. Not what you wanted when you started up your computer to check Facebook. You yell at the kids, kick the cat, and drive like a maniac on the way to work. And the troll knows this. Not the specifics, of course. The troll only knows that your emotions supplied his habit.

No one knows who first said it, but we have something of an Americanism that applies here. It has been used in American politics for as long as they have existed.

“Never wrestle with a pig. You both get muddied, and the pig loves it.”

The only part of this that doesn’t seem quite right to me is that the narcissist never seems to be dirtied in the exchange. The reason, of course, is that you are so aware of the mud on you that you can’t focus on the mud on her. And, she’s so busy pointing at the mud on you that she doesn’t let you or others see herself.

So, don’t feed the trolls! When the stupid statement is made, just let it go. When you are accused, shrug it off. When the narcissist tries to rattle you, don’t say anything. Remind yourself that the needling has one purpose, and it doesn’t benefit you to play along.

Yes, I know this can be hard. If you do get rattled, catch yourself and relax. Don’t give the narcissist the satisfaction of making you angry. Say as little as possible as soon as you realize what’s happening.

Need practice? Read some of the political posts on Facebook. Force yourself to stay out of the comment thread.

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Sin

It’s Narcissist Friday!     

 

Okay, so it wasn’t a mistake. It was a choice. Yes, a bad choice, but you made it willingly. You knew it was wrong and you did it anyway. You wouldn’t do it again, but you did it. As a Christian, you call it a sin. It wasn’t an accident or an error. It was a sin.

And the narcissist knows about it.

At best, he/she will keep it until a comparison or some manipulation is needed. At worst, you are open to blackmail. Either way, you know it will be used against you. At some point, when you are vulnerable, it will come out. The narcissist will laugh and remind you of your sin. She will call you “Goody Two-shoes” and then bring it up. Or he will threaten to tell someone who doesn’t know, who doesn’t need to know, just to get you to do something. You know it’s coming.

Actually, it has probably already happened. Narcissists scour the lives of others looking for “indiscretions,” then store the knowledge away as weapons or tools. They remember everything and aren’t afraid of making things sound even worse than they were. If you told your secrets when the narcissist pretended to be a safe person, if you connected your narcissist to someone who knew, or if you just couldn’t keep it hidden—now the narcissist thinks he/she has power over you.

Is it true? Does the narcissist have power over you? What if he tells? What if she lets it out? As long as those questions cause terror in your heart, the narcissist has power. The power disappears when you no longer fear the exposure.

Remember that no one fears exposure like the narcissist. The reason she collects dirt on others is to keep attention away from herself. The narcissist has secrets and weaknesses he never wants to be revealed. They see power in the knowledge of your sins because they fear the power others could have over them. While it can be risky, many narcissists are held in check by counter-threats. In other words, they don’t dare tell your story because you will tell theirs. That may sound disgusting, but some situations call for such a strategy.

It would be even better to take the power away from the exposure altogether. If the fear could be removed from your heart, there would be no power over you. So, let’s look at how to do that.

First, go to the Lord. Yes, He hates your sin. He hates it so much that He has paid the extreme price to remove it from you forever. He hates the pain it causes you and the separation you feel from Him because of it. But He always has loved you. That did not change when you sinned. He has always been ready to forgive you.

If you have come to Him, He has washed your sin away. That means no more guilt on your account—so no more shame. Yes, you did it. You did many other things also. That’s why you needed a Savior. And that Savior has fully forgiven you. You are free from that sin’s power over you.

Second, if there is unfinished business involved with your sin, you may have to finish it. Pay back the money, confess the crime, admit to the deed. If the narcissist is already using it against you, threatening exposure, you may have to deal with it yourself to take that power away. Pray about this and be careful. You may need to talk with someone for advice. Remember to keep the circle of your confession as small as possible. Not everyone needs to know.

Don’t be afraid to apologize. I am increasingly convinced that the person who can sincerely apologize is both rare and strong. The other person does not have to forgive you. That’s up to them. But you will want to communicate regret for the pain you caused. You may not be able to do more than that. Once you do, however, the narcissist can’t threaten you with exposure.

If these two steps are done—dealing with God and dealing with those you hurt—then move on with your life. No more shame. No more guilt. No more looking back. If the narcissist wants to make you look back or tries to bring shame on you, you are free to reject it. Every time the narcissist brings it up, you can shrug it off. You are not defined by what you did in the past. The fact that you sinned and needed a Savior is not shameful. That’s true of all of us.

But it’s embarrassing. It might be embarrassing for him to bring out pictures or for her to tell your story. We all understand that. There are things in all our lives that we would find embarrassing. Many of those things are not sins at all. Embarrassment comes when we believe our actions or decisions make us somehow lower than we want to be. No one wants to be embarrassed.

Listen: humility is a good thing. We don’t have to be better than others. God already loves us, fully knowing everything about us. We are cleansed, accepted, welcomed, and valued by Him. That’s the best anyone can achieve. The height of human accomplishment and honor is bowing at the feet of the Lord who loves you.

So, when the narcissist teases you about your sin, don’t respond with either anger or pain. The fact that he/she brings it up exposes far more about him/her than it does you. It only comes up because the narcissist feels threatened. You are the strong one.

And when the narcissist brings up your secret in front of others, you have the right to feel betrayed and devalued. That was the purpose of the narcissist. But you are also welcome to tell the others that this was something shared in confidence and it has been fully dealt with by God and the people you hurt. The blame for any embarrassment you feel is the fault of the narcissist. Your friends will see that and understand. Others will simply see a strong person trying to move on.

This is a hard post because it touches places that are already sore. I understand that some of this is easier said than done. But, please, know that sin is not forever and has no power over you that you don’t allow. Jesus has made it easy for us to deal with our sin as far as He is concerned. You may be surprised at how He prepares the way with others as well. The narcissist has no right to use your pain against you. Take the power out of sin and away from the narcissist.

 

 

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Don’t forget!  You can still get Walk with Me, a 30-day grace devotional, as an ebook on Amazon for only $6.99.  And if you purchase the paperback, you get the ebook for free!  Just click the images to access the links.

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Power

It’s Narcissist Friday!     

 

We live in an age of fantasy. Magical powers, superpowers, evil powers—there seems to be a fascination with having special power, something to make you better than others. We have probably all been asked what we would do if we had special powers, perhaps lots of money or high authority or persuasive abilities. Most of us would consider such a question to be playful. If we were serious at all, we might decide to stop some evil or fill some need. But that kind of fantasy is a game for us.

Fantasy about having power is not a game for the narcissist. If you look through the list of nine characteristics that define narcissism, you will see that nearly all of them have to do with power. The narcissist wants power over others. The narcissist wants others to see him/her as powerful. The narcissist believes himself to be powerful. The narcissist thinks he has a right to power. The narcissist wants you to respect her power.

If I were to ask you what you would do if you had the power, your mind might go to self-serving things. But after more serious thought, you would almost certainly want to use that power to help others. For most of us, power would be about what we could give or do for others.

For the narcissist, power is about what you can get, rather than what you can do. The narcissist isn’t going to think about all the good he can do to solve the suffering or struggles of others. The narcissist is going to think about what he can have on the basis of his power. In fact, he will consider that power to be a tool for achieving the fantasies he has always had.

We often wonder about those who misuse the trust of others for their own gain. Politicians and entertainment industry people have been in the news lately, not just because of their sexual escapades but, because of their abuse of power. They take advantage of people who come to them for help. How can they do this? Well, it is no secret that narcissists are drawn to these vocations because of the opportunities for power.

If you see a position of power, watch for narcissists. Whether it is high-level politicians, or wealthy entertainers, or pastors of churches, or even leaders in your own small organizations—wherever power seems present, there will be narcissists.

In fact, you might be surprised at the places narcissists find power.  Small organizations, church groups, neighborhood associations, even (as we know) the family.  If the narcissist cannot achieve power in a big place, he/she will seek it in a small place.

Power gives control. Power brings privilege. Power provides attention. All of these are things the narcissist craves. The fantasy of the narcissist is to be surrounded by servants fully yielded and very generous. The narcissist wants love, but will take groveling. In fact, groveling will seem better than real love, because the narcissist doesn’t understand real love.

We have talked before about how the narcissist sees people. “Tools, toys, or obstacles.” In other words, “Serve me or get out of my way.” There is no time for the needs of others, no time for treating others as real people. The narcissist only has time for meeting his/her own needs.

But… you say. Some narcissists have organized great charities and have authored great legislation and have given great speeches in support of good causes. Even your narcissist is kind and generous at times. If all they think about is themselves, why do they do these things? The answer is in another question: What does the narcissist get out of it? If the narcissist uses power to give to others, it will always be to get something for himself.

We are shocked and amazed when the great charity effort doesn’t quite reach the people it was meant to help, when the leaders prosper instead. But we shouldn’t be surprised. We notice the adoration and attention the generous narcissist gets, even though he hasn’t really given anything that cost him. Loyalty can often be purchased through kindness, as can admiration. It wasn’t about the giving, but the getting.

Good people are often shocked by the abuse of power. We are disgusted to see how some use others. But we should not be puzzled. That’s the way of the narcissist.

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Mistakes

 

It’s Narcissist Friday!     

 

I hate mistakes. I hate making mistakes. I can spot a misspelling on a sign or a grammatical error in a document in seconds, unless I wrote it. For several years I read long theological documents able to catch minute doctrinal errors, but sometimes the things that come out of my own mouth are just dumb. I would never consider myself a perfectionist because there is nothing about me that is perfect.

Sound familiar? Most of us have been carefully trained to focus on our mistakes. Remember school? You handed in a paper with your most careful work. You received the same paper back covered with notations about your mistakes. Red circles, black check marks, harsh comments. Out of 100 points, you got 92. And, instead of noticing the A-level work, you wondered what you did wrong. Everything was focused on what you did wrong.

Many years ago, I worked for a man who seemed to take delight in pointing out my mistakes. He actually used the word “failed.” I failed this way and that way. I sat with him through my final assessment for three or four hours while he told me how I had failed. It took me a long time to get over that.

We learned to judge others and ourselves by our mistakes. The media loves to point out the mistakes of politicians they disagree with. The fans talk about the mistakes of the players and the referees. The error at the store is much more memorable than the many times we have had good service.

Teaching students without focusing on mistakes is a very delicate and difficult job. It takes more time and caring. Instead, teachers usually just hand the criticisms and judgments back and tell them to do better. And the students learn to hate their mistakes. Mistakes bring pain. Mistakes bring shame. Mistakes mean failure.

But we all know in our hearts that mistakes are basic to human life. Not one of us goes through life without making mistakes. It isn’t possible! Let me emphasize that: IT ISN’T POSSIBLE! And not only do we all make mistakes, we all make roughly the same number of mistakes.

The conventional wisdom is that the only way to avoid making mistakes is to do nothing. In other words, the people who are doing something are making mistakes. That means that the people who are doing more are making more mistakes. The most successful people are those who are making the most mistakes. For many years Babe Ruth was known as the “Sultan of Swat” for making so many home runs and the “King of Strikeouts” for missing so many balls. Making mistakes is part of living.

So what’s the difference between those of us who focus on our mistakes and live in fear and shame and those who seem to be able to move past their mistakes? If we all make mistakes, why does it seem like there are people who make none? And why does it seem like I make so many more than others?

The answer is: MAGIC!

What? You don’t believe me? Well, it’s true. How does the magician do his or her wonders? Is it because of mystical powers? Of course not. The key word to understanding magic is “misdirection.” And that explains how people seem to go through life without making mistakes.

Think about this: If others make mistakes just like you and I do, why don’t we see them? Probably because we are too busy looking at something else. The magician tells you where to look mostly by looking there himself. While his hands are doing the trick, his eyes are focused on the place he wants you to look. You look at his right hand, for example, while his left hand is doing the trick. You look at his assistant, just like he does, while he works his “magic.”

The successful person has his or her eyes on the next success. You don’t see their mistakes because they aren’t focused on them. I learned this early and have taught it to my family: if you don’t focus on your mistakes, the majority of people around you will not even know they happened. We have all listened to a singer or musician who stopped to correct a mistake we didn’t notice. If the singer had not called attention to the misspoken lyrics or error in music movement, most of the audience would have either missed or ignored the mistake. The successful performer keeps moving forward drawing the audience along.

The narcissist, on the other hand, gets you to miss his mistakes by causing you to focus on your own. He watches you and collects your errors to use as distractions when he makes his own mistake. By presenting you with your error, which you are ready to accept and consider, you don’t have a chance to see his. And, even if you did see his mistake, you can’t focus on it because you have to defend yourself against your own.

But suppose you have already moved past your mistake. Suppose you have learned whatever you needed to learn and left the fact of your error behind. Then, when the narcissist tries to distract you, you would see his attempt at distraction. You would not have to defend yourself, and you could keep your focus on his error.

Now, I am not suggesting that you focus on the mistakes of others, even of narcissists. What I am suggesting is that you learn to lose sight of your own. The fact that you make mistakes will never go away. You should accept that as the simple truth of an active life. But your mistakes have no purpose in your life other than to help you learn as you move forward. And like good housekeeping, when something has served its purpose, get rid of it. If someone else digs around in your trash and finds something you threw away, don’t take it back.

Here’s an interesting tidbit: In Texas, the things you have put out in the trash no longer belong to you. The courts have ruled that you have transferred ownership of those items to the waste-hauling company, the people with the job of getting it away from you.

So here’s what I would suggest. When you make a mistake, acknowledge it and learn from it. Then get rid of it. Give it to the Lord, and thank Him for His love and acceptance. Then it belongs to Him. He will remove it from you, and you will not be identified by your mistake. Tell anyone who tries to bring it back to you that it belongs to God now. They have no right to it.

Stop focusing on your mistakes. They are normal. Everybody makes them. Move forward with your life.

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Resolution

It’s Narcissist Friday!     

 

I know I am a few days late to address New Year’s resolutions. Most of the ones we made (if we made any) are already broken or seriously bent. I am not big on resolutions anyway. If any of us really wanted to change things, we could begin anytime.

But there is one resolution I would strongly suggest. It’s simple. It’s difficult. It’s life-changing. It’s necessary. It’s right. So, whether you make any other resolutions, make this one. If you hate the idea of resolutions, still make this one.

Ready? Here you go:

 

I resolve to think and speak positively about myself.

 

Like I said, simple. Narcissists and other abusers get by with their cruelties and manipulations because we let them. We let them because we believe their negative assessments of us. They see us as weak and inferior, so they use us.

We can stop most of this simply by seeing ourselves in a positive light. When the narcissist says something negative, it should sound like screeching on the chalkboard or breaking glass or clanging metal. In other words, it should be disharmonious.

Remember LP records? Remember the sound of your favorite music interrupted by the scratching of the needle sliding across the record? The simple pleasure and affirmation of your favorite music attacked by the painful sound of the scratch. That’s what the narcissistic criticism should sound like.

When the narcissist seeks a victim, he/she will choose someone who has strength and competence. That always sounds wrong to people at first hearing. But that strong and competent person is usually not confident. Somehow, the abilities grew without awareness. I suppose that makes sense. People who lack confidence often try harder and work more carefully. They remember their mistakes, and they work smarter to avoid those mistakes. But they forget their successes as they focus on their mistakes. And, as they focus on their mistakes, their confidence weakens even more.

So the “under-confident achiever” sings a negative self-song. “I am stupid. I am lazy. I make mistakes. My mind is hazy.” That song plays in the background throughout the day, dragging down self-esteem and confidence. Along comes the narcissist. He knows that song is playing. So, he sings something positive that feels good—and something negative that feels right. “You did better than I expected; here’s what needs to be corrected.” It seems to be an affirmation, but still fits with your negative self-song.

I don’t know the words to your song. What I know is that it is vital to your health to speak and sing positive words about yourself. What I also know is that those positive words are true.

You are loved.
You are valuable.
You are able to make changes.
You have strength.
You have a contribution.
You can learn.
You can make a difference.
You have hope.
You have promise.
You have a future.
God loves you
God has invested in you.
God is not disappointed with you.

 

I could go on and on. Look into your heart. What affirmation has been hiding in there, afraid to come out because of the negative all around you? Say that word to yourself. Say it and others over and over. Believe those words—because they are true.

Yes, the old song is familiar. You will hear yourself singing it in the days to come. But just stop yourself and speak the positive words. Don’t dwell on the negative, even to try to explain why those things are not true. Just speak positive about yourself. Over and over and over and over. Every time you do, you will be making an offering to the Lord who loves you. Every time you do, you will become just a little stronger and a little more confident.

I plan to write on this more. This is important. The opening the narcissist/abuser found that enabled him to hurt you was probably there already. Time to close it!

He has put a new song in my mouth– Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD. Psalm 40:3

 

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If you want to build your positive self-talk, this devotional will help.  Reaffirming (or learning for the first time) how God feels about you and what His grace means to you can truly be life-changing.

You can still get Walk with Me, a 30-day grace devotional, as an ebook on Amazon for only $4.99.  The paperback is also available.  This would be a great way to start the New Year!  Just click the images to access the links.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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