It’s Narcissist Friday!

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

How long have we known that little rhyme? If you haven’t heard the rhyme, you certainly understand the message. The people that trick us use our trust against us. That’s their shame. But when we let them trick us again, when we know their character, that’s our shame.

No wonder victims of narcissists feel so much shame. Narcissists trick us over and over and over. They promise and don’t deliver, they entice and then abuse, they weasel into our hearts and hurt us. That’s just what they do, again and again. After a while, we should know better.

Well, after a while, we begin to learn. But it is hard to trust some people and not others. Instead, we begin not to trust anyone. We begin to doubt the motives and the kindness of all the people around us.

This loss of trust is a mark of the abused. Some just wait for the evil to happen. People are kind, at first, then they bite. Better to prepare yourself for the pain than to open yourself to disappointment again.

After the narcissistic relationship, it is normal to distrust others. Especially if you have been part of a narcissistic organization or family. You know how kindness is used to get inside your life. The generosity and love people share always come with ulterior motives, you think. Believe me, distrust is normal.

And how in the world do you rebuild trust? Well, first, you don’t want to rebuild your naivete. The narcissist taught you to be careful. Some people go from one narcissistic relationship to another and to another, as though they learned nothing. Innocence is precious, and naive trust seems innocent, but you don’t want to be hurt over and over. You might as well learn from life’s hard lessons.

While we are called to be kind and loving toward people, I don’t see where we are called to trust them. Instead, we extend our friendship and open our hearts with a certain caution. Proverbs 4:23 tells us to protect our hearts (keep, guard). We shouldn’t open ourselves to others easily. Teach that to your children. Trust is a gift to give, but not something to spend foolishly.

Is that harsh? I don’t think so. There are predators of all kinds in this world. We used to trust people on the television. We used to trust the people who called us on the telephone. We used to trust all kinds of people. Now the abusers are taking advantage of that trust. It is time to be wise.

At the same time, you and I can love others. We can be kind and compassionate, understanding and patient, without opening ourselves quickly to abuse. We can enter relationships without pushing people away or making them jump through hoops. We can extend a hand of trust without yielding a heart of trust.

So, will you ever be able to trust again? Yes. Some people will convince you of their right motives. That will feel good. You will find good people in your circles, people who respect you as a person and don’t want to use you. People who need who you are as much as you need who they are.

And, yes, you will probably get hurt again. Relationships are tough. Even the best people let us down sometimes, just as we let them down sometimes.

But listen: the next person who weasels into your life to use you should at least have to work a lot harder! Maybe they will see your strength and feel your boundaries and give up before they get what they want.


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11 responses to “Trust

  1. Batya Ahul

    Thank you for your now bi weekly wonderful support through Him.
    Thank you also for your prayers. I am walking toward His light, I know He won’t put me through more than I can bear. I have so much to be thankful for but yet that sometimes feels like a stick to beat myself with.
    Thank you pastor Dave and thank you Jesus for what you did for all of us😌

  2. Kim Botner

    My oldest daughter and I are especially dealing with the second paragraph of this post. My mother has NPD, I’m an only child, so I became the all good and she is the all bad. We feel we continue to dream of the ideal mother/grandmother relationship and keep returning to the relationship hoping for a different outcome (I know, insanity). Thank you for the post.

  3. This was so encouraging. I know what it like to l=have lost trust in people in general after being abused as a child. Thanks for reminding me that is actually ok to guard my heart.
    God bless
    Carol Elliott

  4. A friend

    Proverbs 4:23 starts with “Above all else” that means above everything and its not just your heart it includes your mind and your will. I went no contact with my narc on July 20, 2019. I used to allow the abuse to “keep the peace”. I’m 60 and its been going on my entire life. Lord forgive me and thank You for saving me. Thank you Pastor Dave!

  5. Jeff

    “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

    I am unable to state the fact any better then our Savior. Been taking Psychology in pursuit of self healing, a degree, and the ability to facilitate healing in other victims of abuse. God willing, it will come to pass…

    We live in a world consumed by deception that is always looking to make us a victim of some kind and we are especially vulnerable because we have been groomed for that. Boundaries are essential. I say this to myself as I say it here, we are not supposed to wall ourselves off as victims of abuse tend to eventually do but there needs to be initial footwork to becoming as whole a person as we can be. Let us work on healing ourselves from all that was taken away from us. There will always be the initial loss, whether short term or over 50 years as in my case. At least we are no longer asleep to other’s manipulation and lies. And with that “aha moment” comes hope.

  6. rodney hickman

    great comments there…keep an open mind and a guarded heart! love it!

  7. sue

    Dear Dave, yay terrific post. Yeah, come to think of it, i can’t recall anywhere in the Scriptures where we’re expected to trust anyone else but Jesus Christ. Hhmm, how did i live these 60-some years, and your post is the FIRST time i ever heard this Biblical fact-of-life preached!

  8. Another ACoN

    Covert narcissists are the most deceptive and hard to detect. Unfortunately they abound in church. I think it is a good idea to become familiar with the red flags of narcissism. After many years of studying narcissism I start to notice them earlier. When I notice one or two, I look out for more. If I then notice a pattern, I tread very carefully, regardless of whether the person professes to be a Christian or not. With narcissists you never know when they are going to pull out their knife and stab you in the back!

  9. Pastor Dave, so true. BUT God has been so gracious to me to bring me together with a man who’s loved Jesus since he was four (like me), saw the same fan with a picture of Jesus holding a lamb in the pew back in front of him and knew Jesus was speaking to him, a man who walked away from a $200K a year job to come out to Arizona and take care of his widowed mother in the last seven years of her life, loves to do home repairs and NOT charge the going labor rate for widows and people who need help and don’t want to hire a crook, was an officer in the Marine Corps over 500 men, and came out with his compassion, goodness, respect and kindness intact because, as he says, “I knew who my REAL commanding officer is!” Gosh, God demonstrated His love for me in bringing Daniel and me together! And we both know God connected us for a ministry reason. I can’t ever hate my first NPD husband (37 years), because I know the early home life that distorted his brain development and made him a narc, but I also know I can’t ever be with him again because it wouldn’t be safe for me. Boy, do I have a protector now! Don’t give up on God’s goodness FOR you!

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