hatetodate Posted January 26, 2020 Share Posted January 26, 2020 Something I have been thinking about and struggling lately, (and through the course of my life), with is how to deal with narcissism, both internally and externally. I am a very sensitive person who is very self-critical and has a narcicisstic side which craves affirmation and attention from others and which can be cold and sometimes manipulative and exploitative. Part of me wants to feel special, and I can be very self-absorbed and selfish. I can also be the opposite of these things (I think). I am becoming less in denial about this narcissism part of my personality and I want to change it. I feel like I have a fractured personality to a degree and that is scary. At the same time, I have a very pushover, people pleasing side to my personality and I've struggled with setting boundaries with people and feeling that I am entitled to do that without guilt. I'm getting better at this and it creates such a sense of relief. I'm a person who historically can be manipulated with guilt. I used to be very sensitive to other's suffering, I am not dead to it now but often I don't feel the appropriate emotion or empathy. I'm too self-preocupied. Sometimes I am in touch with feelings of compassion and caring for others and sometimes that feels good and healthy. However it can also be of an extreme type (like I can't bear the thought of a person's suffering - particularly with family members or anyone who touches a certain part of me. I feel it's not healthy to be too overwhelmed by other's feelings (and I'm not in that state most of the time). I feel like I sometimes detach, and that scares me a lot and makes me wonder who I really am and if I'm pathological in some way. It's not just that I detach, it's that I feel I have a narcissistic side which is absolutely demented but it's like an addiction/buffer against feeling like I'm going to disintegrate or something. A buffer against feeling like I can't face the world. But it's not something I'm proud of, it disgusts me and makes me feel worthless. I had some childhood trauma and emeshment and have always struggled with self-esteem and toxic shame. I have a hard time holding onto a sense of self. I know my ideals but worry I'm not up to the task of putting them into practice due to my damaged side. If I get really in the grip of that I can feel suicidal ideation. I'm trying to re-parent myself and develop self-love. I have made a lot of progress with this, especially in the past months. It is what is allowing me to be more aware of the darker side of my personality and own it. So I usually feel a sense of optimism and hope and sometimse I reallly feel peace. Other times I feel the opposite, but I think it's gradually getting better. I'm in therapy. I'm also someone who constantly strives to see the world through other lenses and perspectives which I think is a strength, but taken too far it leaves me to feel a lack of courage of conviction in what I believe and stand for and what I perceive as reality. (It's so easy for me to step into a point of view which opposes mine (like sexism) and then my brain will identify with that point of view to the point that I question my own values (equality). Or, the same sort of thing can happen when I'm in conflict with someone. Due to the fact that I don't trust myself and my own motives (due to the character flaws I have), understanding reality and other people's intentions and knowing when I'm justified to set boundaries and speak up is challenging. I think I'm making progress with this but sometimes I question all the progress I have made because of the weak sense of self and the knowledge of my shortcomings which feel so big. And it's hard for me to distinguish between healthy self-esteem and narcissism and easy for a sense of healthy self-esteem to snowball in to narcissistic feelings and desires. I'm trying to address this by re-parenting myself. I'm pleased with the results but am not where I want to be and worry that I am a toxic person that people should avoid. The thing I'm struggling with is setting boundaries with others who are dysfunctional. I don't know if they or I are right because I know that we are both dysfunctional. I deal with people at work who are very narcissistic and sometimes I feel exploited/abused (subtly often). I don't want to feel controlled by these people. I can be paranoid though. I can also be very trusting and gullible. Ugh. I need some outside perspective on how to set boundaries with toxic people (who are not necessarily bad people) when I know I am a toxic person (striving to be healthy). I would appreciate your feedback and insights. It's terrifying to think that I'm an irrideemably bad person or to think I'm causing suffering on innocent people (or anyone unless it has a constructive purpose). It's also really awful and scary to feel l like I'm being abused. (I've been in abusive relationship(s) and sometimes feel the situation at work is super dysfunctional. Sometimes I 100% blame myself and my toxicity (which is hopefully a crazy distortion). Sometimes I feel like a victim of these people. Sometimes I think nothing is really wrong, and I should stop worrying so much. But toxicity can be normalized and I don't want that and I don't want to be enabler or a victim (or a perpetrator). Thank you! Link to comment
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