It’s Narcissist Friday!
Escaping from the dragon can be an exhausting ordeal. You enter the new territory drained, confused, and upset. Everything in your life seemed to revolve around the dragon. Now, you have a chance to breath again.
Shortly into your new journey, you meet someone walking your path. Almost immediately, you are impressed with his gentleness and kindness. He offers to help you as you learn about the new land. He listens to your story and sympathizes with your suffering. He says just the right things to make you feel good about yourself again. He also has suffered. It is good to have someone to walk with.
Until you discover that he is very much like the dragon you thought you left behind.
Through this short series of posts I often use the terms “dragon” and “narcissist” almost interchangeably. Dealing with a narcissist feels like fighting a dragon. You never knew when he/she was going to strike next. Sometimes the attacks were intense and personal. His/her presence loomed over almost every part of your life. It was easy to be confused and afraid.
But after you leave the narcissist, the dragon remains. The dragon doesn’t die or even sleep. You know this. There are dangers in this new life you are entering. Even though you feel used up, weary from the battle, you cannot afford to let your guard down.
But you want to. You want to trust someone. You want a friend. You want someone who will support you, listen to you, walk with you. So, when the new charmer comes to you, the praise and kindness feels good. You want to rest in the relationship.
When it happens to you again, you blame yourself for being gullible. You shame yourself for being stupid. How could you be deceived again?
To be gullible is to desire truth from a relationship. In other words, you want to trust the person. You accept the lie in order to continue or enhance the relationship. To question a person’s honesty is to doubt the person and threaten the relationship. Because you are naturally kind and welcoming, you expect that others are truthful.
But the dragon whispers sweet talk, words designed to touch your heart. The dragon knows that you are vulnerable. He knows what you want to see and hear.
It may not be another lover. Perhaps it is a friend, someone who senses your need to be valued. Maybe it will be a person with a “ministry” to help people like you. Sometimes the next narcissist you meet will not be overt, but a needy user we refer to as “covert.” That person will seem loving and helpful, but you will find yourself used again. The dragon whispers the right things to open your heart to the abuse again.
In our culture, people think of gullibility as being stupid. Fool me once, etc. But the only people who say that are those who don’t know the dragon. They may not have grown up in a family like yours or lived a marriage like yours. They don’t understand. Or they are already so bound to the dragon that they speak his whispers.
Listen: it isn’t your mind and thinking that has opened you again. It’s your heart. And that’s not a bad thing. You want to trust people. You want a good relationship. That’s who you are. It isn’t bad, but it explains why you get hurt.
So, pray for wisdom. Pray that your relationship with Jesus would be so fulfilling that you are not attracted to the dragon’s whispers. Pray that your heart needs are met by Jesus Himself. Then, when your mind and heart are clear, let Him lead you into a good relationship again.