Some of us are growing. Some of us are changing.
A few excerpts today.
From The Atlantic…
‘Psychotherapist and Atlantic contributing writer Lori Gottlieb demystifies one of the vital components of a happy life: enjoyment. Gottlieb believes that we not only find it challenging to make time for day-to-day enjoyment, but also struggle to identify what it should feel like.’
There’s a part where older people in their 80s who are happy are described as having had rough times in their younger years. Gottlieb says, ‘I think that the reason that they’ve been through so much is because they engaged in life. So the people who want to protect themselves from pain or discomfort are the people who never really engage in life because they’re so busy protecting themselves to make sure that they’re not going to experience anything that feels bad, right? And so then they never put themselves out there. They never take any risks.
‘And when you take risks, sometimes, you know, there’s going to be pain involved. And sometimes there’s going to be great joy involved. But if you are protecting yourself the whole time you didn’t really live; you’re not fully alive. And so maybe you think you protected yourself, but you end up feeling very unsatisfied, very kind of empty and lonely.’
‘I think it needs to be specific, not just “have fun.” It’s getting in touch with how you have fun. A lot of people don’t even know how they have fun anymore. As adults, they grow up. They forget what fun looks like, because they’re so busy with all of their responsibilities and then all of the things they think they need to be doing. And they don’t realize, first of all, how they’re spending their time.’
Today I read a few things by Anna LeMind who made this website about self-improvement and things related to that. It’s fun browsing the article titles and seeing what people think about as what’s going on with them, and how the authors of the site address those things. Not scientific or anything, it seems, but here are some things I found curious.
‘What our materialistic society doesn’t want us to remember,’ writes LeMind, ‘is that genuine happiness is in simple pleasures*. It doesn’t matter how many stars your hotel has or how expensive your outfits are if your life is unfulfilling and dull… The need to own stuff is based on our natural tendency to compare ourselves with others. We don’t want to be worse and less accomplished than those around us, and society skillfully uses our insecurities to encourage us to make unnecessary expenses.’ Says who, exactly?
Ex-journalist’s qualms with the fact-stating of opinions aside, I rather liked some of the things I found on this post. For example, I do believe that people get overinvested in what other people think. Narcissists, looking at all of youuuuu.
Elsewhere on LeMind’s blog, the same author writes, ‘We often throw a monkey wrench into our own progress in life.’ Do we, now? ‘We create obstacles and frames in our own minds. Sometimes it happens as a result of social conditioning or a lack of self-belief, but the rigidity of our thinking can also be to blame. I’m talking about people who perceive life in extremes; as if there are only black and white sides to everything. They will usually have a very fixed mindset about work, success, relationships, and life in general… [but] when you never re-evaluate your views and refuse to learn from your mistakes, you don’t evolve.’ Needs citation here.
Sure, I know plenty of people who just follow the treadmills without questioning anything are kind of like, ‘Huh?’ when I ask them why they don’t design the life they want. I mean, I get it. It’s hard. It’s hard to look inside and see what’s there and suddenly have to do something about it if it’s not right. I mean, there was this girl once who said, when I told her I make SELF the workshop online, ‘I don’t want to ask myself those hard questions because I’m just going to get stressed!’ So, there it is. The way I moved away from workshop-making began with that reaction. Who cares if she doesn’t want to improve herself or her life? Not me. That was 2014.
Here’s what happened next.
Hint: Lá lá lá…
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The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
The question is too vague to answer. Few people are qualified to make such a diagnosis. There is more then reading a few articles on the internet and reading the Wikipedia on the subject required before we all get to go accusing people that don’t give us what we want a narcissist. There are people, men and women that make poor decisions in relationships and that is not right. Assuming the purpose of the question is to learn rather or not their loved one is a narcissist, my simple answer would be
It seems it has become such a popular trend for people that don’t get their way particularly in relationships to play the “poor-me” victim card, and rally all their support around, fill them all with a one-sided “poor-me” victim story and then use it in a deliberate attack on someone. Just because a person begins to pull away, withhold affection, or ends a relationship that wasn’t working for them does not make them a narcissist. Maybe they need space to reset their frame so they can assess the relationship, or they have a personal issue going on that is distracting them and they aren’t ready to share it, or they want to end the relationship because it’s just not what they are looking for and don’t know how because they don’t want to hurt the person, or maybe they are just bad and are hiding something. Most of these examples are not narcissistic qualities.
However, often times the “victim” fails to share with all their “support group” (either out of ignorance or sheer manipulation to set the table in their own favor) is that they couldn’t respect reasonable boundaries and space of the other person. Examples: over clingy, pushy, early predetermined outcomes of a fairy tale relationship are a few common examples. In relationships with longer timelines the same apply as one persons EQ outgrows their partner.
At the end of the day relationships sometimes end.
Emotional maturity is the key. People who act on their insecurity from prior relationships, or any negative and inappropriate emotional attachment to similar situations will always be the “victim”.
At any time this person crosses the line of desperate selfish manipulation just to get something they want, that, at the end of the day they really don’t deserve because they still have not taken the time to do the work on themselves to heal from their past failed toxic relationships, or possibly some childhood abuse (sexually, physically, mentally, or all) will slowly start to reveal themselves.
These insecurities unfortunately drive people away that have done the work. This drives people that are whole away because they have done the work on their past, because we all have one. They don’t want or need a person or relationship in their life because they NEED it, or because it makes them feel better.
People don’t come into our lives to fill voids or pay the toll for past toxic relationships. New people we date, or friends we make don’t owe us anything. That is a bond and trust that takes time to build and must be earned. If a person feels a relationship just isn’t working for them, they aren’t a narcissist by pulling away and not showing enough affection. They might be just being polite to not lead the person on further since they feel differently, but might want to take their time to be sure before making such a decision. Maybe they are just normal, emotionally stable people that understand who they are and what they want, and It’s not a deliberate narcissistic act. The person with the story could be a desperate insecure person that drives everyone away and are great at, portraying the victim to gain sympathy from others with no regard for anyone’s feelings but their own. Could be the real narcissist may be staring right back at them in the mirror. Every relationship I have had to end with people like this have always followed the same pattern. The second an insecurity is triggered, a toxic relationship dynamic has been inserted into what may have to that point been great. Once this happens, the person who is the more emotionally stable will attempt work through the situation, but if it becomes a toxic, negative repeating behavior, [with] excuse[s], and puts an unreasonable emotional strain on the other, they will eventually withdraw and end the relationship. This is when the “victims” facebook will change from “the man/woman of my dreams” one day, to “he/she is a narcissist…” the next. Sometimes when a “victims” person ends the relationship, that “victim” may even stalk and relentlessly pursue their person behind the backs of their poor support group that is trying to help them. These are scary and dangerous people and you should be very careful when dealing with them. So are there bad people out there that play games and treat the people that love them badly, yes. I feel terrible for those victims, but be careful before you pick sides, because a true narcissist can just as easily portray the victim. They usually disappear from friend status quickly when they get into a new relationship, and other than to brag bout how amazing the new person is, they are to busy with that to be your friend when you need them.
So be cool open and work on yourself. We all have a past. That’s where it belongs, but unless you leave it there, it’s going to destroy relationships, and if your person really is a narcissist, you’re better off without them. Let them go, get help, heal, and be good with yourself before you put the chips back on the table.