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When others judge: how we may feel and what we can do to help ourselves

Last week, I experienced a bit of disappointment over an outsider’s judgment.  Several years ago, I came to terms with the fact that some people will understand what we have been through, and others simply will not.  I brought myself to the place where I didn’t really care what anyone else felt or thought about my situation.  I forgave myself for choosing dysfunction and worked through the host of other issues associated with that choice.  Then, I moved forward.

Part of my momentum had to do with the fact that I chose to take other’s beliefs and thoughts out of the equation.  There is a fairly accurate saying about opinions, what they are like, and how everyone has one.  So I came to realize that as long as I clung to what those who were not “in the know” might think, I could not do what was necessary to thrive.  However, because we do not operate in a vacuum, from time to time, regardless of our resolve, the opinions or judgments of others may influence our feelings.

Ultimately, I suppose, whether or not we allow another person to make us feel bad is our choice, but the truth is that there will probably be moments, when perhaps we feel vulnerable or exposed, that another’s words or actions may simply leave us feeling lousy.  When negative feelings strike, they may hit hard because what we encountered was so personal.  Naturally, we have all encountered judgment at one time or another, but there is something about this that is different to me.  We may find the closed minded, often ridiculous, opinions of others highly offensive.

What just happened?    

For some reason, my recent brush with judgment got the best of me.  For a few days after the occurrence, I felt as though I was functioning on automatic pilot, doing what had to be done, but still stunned, almost like a little bird who resumes flying after hitting a glass window.  The incident began innocently enough, I think, with a quick question regarding something I had written about psychopathy.  As I answered, I felt as though I was viewed as being “flawed” for allowing myself to have had such an experience.

Were my feelings accurate?  Who knows for certain.  Perhaps they were.  Maybe they were not.  However, I am able to interpret what is happening around me appropriately, so I say they were.  Initially, I was disappointed in the individual for being unenlightened.  I was also unhappy with myself for allowing someone’s ignorance on the subject to influence me.  Either way, I walked away from the interaction feeling unhappy and a little frustrated.

Within a few days, I brought myself back around to the “good place.”  I reminded myself that we are all different and that not everyone is able to understand psychopathy as we would like.  I thought back to my earlier days, prior to my experience with an individual with psychopathic traits.  Would I have passed judgment if I heard only bits and pieces of a story like mine?  Unfortunately, I may have.  Why is that?  Well, I am positive that my imagination could not have conjured up the facts that became my reality.  It’s not something most can relate to.

Creating good from bad

The more I thought about this, the more I realized that my feelings were probably not unique.  I figured that if I occasionally struggle with such feelings, others may, as well.  As a result, I created a short list of ways that can help remedy such feelings when they arise, or even prevent them from occurring.

Be kind to yourself.  Make every effort not to engage in negative thoughts.

Do something nice for yourself.  Promote wellness by doing things that make you feel good or that you enjoy.

Talk to a trusted friend or therapist.  Try not isolate yourself, but talk to those who understand.

Simply expect to encounter some individuals, from time to time, who believe that your involvement was your choice, thus your fault.  Some cannot comprehend the degree to which these individuals lie, con, and manipulate.

Accept that there will be some individuals who will not ever understand your position.  Protect yourself from their views.

Try to learn something valuable from the experience.  Determine what you learned and create a plan for future situations.  If you walk away from a negative with a positive, then the encounter was not all bad.

Try not to dwell.  Allow yourself to feel, but then release the negative feelings.

Hopefully, these help.

 



Comment on this article

68 Comments on "When others judge: how we may feel and what we can do to help ourselves"

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Linda, AWESOME article and it (as usual) comes at a very opportune time.

I very much appreciate the points that you make, especially “Accept that there will be some individuals who will not ever understand your position.” Protection from THEIR views is vital, and it’s not simply a matter of “not caring what anybody else thinks about (me).” For me, personally, it’s a matter of maintaining my boundaries with everyone, across the board. I keep my mouth shut about my experiences, now, EVEN with close friends who seemed to “understand” my situation and experiences. They’ve become weary of my personal issues, so I keep my “feelings” out of most discussions.

Now, this doesn’t mean that people still don’t say things that are cutting and intrusive, “Well, how come you didn’t DO something about the frauds?” Those remarks are spoken in total, utter ignorance of the Law and legal consequences. I could certainly have sued the exspath in a Civil suit, but he simply would bankrupt himself, AND the judgement. So, what good would that accomplish in the long run?

I feel that your suggestions are 100% spot-on, and I appreciate your sharing this recent experience. What this article says to me is that I will be “in recovery” for the rest of my life, and there will come those times and events that trigger me to re-act – I need to accept this with some dignity and your suggestions will be a substantial assist when those situations and events occur.

Many thanks and brightest blessings

Linda, I agree with Truthy, AWESOME article and one that I think everyone can relate to. It came at a particularly good time for me as recently when I was asking friends and family to write letters of protest for Patrick’s parole, people I had considered CLOSE friends and FULLY BELIEVED they understood my problems and what I had been through, and that my literal life may be on the line refused to be bothered. I was crushed and when it happened more than once I was literally hurled back to the “summer of chaos”

I’m climbing out of the abyss now and doing the things I know to do to take care of myself (all the things you suggested) but I am still feeling the ill effects of the adrenaline surge and the grief, yet again, of people not “understanding” and especially when you EXPECTED them to, when you THOUGHT they DID understand.

In the end though, we must validate our on knowledge and not allow the opinions and judgments of others to put us into the spin cycle. Thanks for a great article.

For me, WHO the person is, is what matters the most. I don’t share my story with everyone, except on a need to know basis.

So when someone that means a lot to me, judges me, it can throw me into a tailspin.

Most of the time, though, I really don’t care what others think. And I am a judgmental person myself, so I have to watch that. I will say this: the next time you are in a conversation and talking about someone, notice that you are only discussing the person for about two minutes. Then the conversation will naturally move on to someone or something else. You will be astounded!

My decision for myself, I am NOT going to live my life or worry about anyone else talking about me or judging me, for two little minutes! I can’t control what they think or say about me anyway. Life is too short.

Recovery, everyone!

Newlife43, I STILL find myself in “defense-mode” in that I’m compelled to EXPLAIN myself. A recent example was when a long-trusted friend said, “Why haven’t you done anything about your weight?” This was on the heels of my expressing my anxiety and fear about the upcoming trial, and it caught me way off-guard, and I didn’t know how to respond other than, “Well, I’ve dropped a whole shit-ton, already. I’m working on it.” What I SHOULD have said was, “Really, I don’t believe that’s open for discussion.”

What drives these types of responses? Fear of rejection, abandonment, or disapproval? Why can’t I set the BOUNDARY of what is, and is not, appropriate or acceptable for me? It’s not that my friend asked an inappropriate question – people do that all of the time. It’s how I responded to it that matters.

So, I’m obligating myself to setting boundaries. No – that topic is NOT open for discussion, and that’s it. If someone wants to judge me, that’s their choice. But, I don’t have to ALLOW judgement, and I’m doing some serious work on this. Additionally, unless someone presents repeatedly inappropriate behaviors, I must avoid judging THEM, too.

Brightest blessings

It’s great that you posted thus because I have been through it and recently. The way I dealt with it was asking those that loved and cared about me to read Donna’s book, Lovefraud the 10 Signs of Dating a Sociopath. This would allow them to truely understand how we got sucked in and why it is not so easy to get over quickly. One of them us reading it now and really is starting to understand what I went through so they are not passing judgement on me anymore. They really understand how a sociopath enters the life if an innocent good person, destroys them, and leaves to find their next victim because they are done with you. The person reading the book said wow he was like a casebook study exactly what the book describes fit him exactly. It is scary to think that this sociopath never read a book on how to be a sociopath yet is a poster for what a sociopath is naturally.

Meljrocks, you know, you’ve offered a phenomenal suggestion with regard to Donna’s book. When we are “speaking” about our experiences with other people, it’s often “heard” as someone who is bitter, vengeful, or obsessed. Seeing our experiences IN PRINT via Donna’s work puts them into perspective as being “valid” to people that don’t yet “get it” about spath experiences.

Excellent suggestion!

Brightest blessings

Truthy, your post above about flipping into defense mode, and feeling compelled to explain…..I think what your friend said was not only highly inappopriate, but also a power play. She was vying for dominance and she reached into her bag of tricks and pulled out something she knew you felt defensive about. She took you off guard, and cloaked it in concern……
To me, it’s not so much about erecting a boundry around a vulnerability, but healing the vulnerability…..empowering it, loving it, accepting it, or, if need be, changing it. If you hadn’t been touchy about the issue, you would have hardly noticed what she said, and you wouldn’t have had to build a boundry around it.
I know, all this sucks. It really does. And it is so scarey and hard. But, it’s so worth it, in the end. It really is “learning about ourselves” isn’t it?

Kim, for me, this has been the “wonderous” aspect of all of the spaths experience: yes, “they” did things that were reprehesible. But, it’s not so much about what “they” did, anymore. It’s all about learning about myself: why, and HOW, I presented such a perfect target.

Yeah, I get it about the weight remark, and it was uncharacteristic of her – she NEVER made any reference to my weight, before, and I guess she got a loose tongue after a few glasses of wine. And, she’s never referenced it, since, either.

Thanks for the insight!

Brightest blessings

I don’t know why it effected me, in such a powerful way, but at one point someone said (or I read) “What other’s think of you is none of your business”.

It was an aha moment for me. It sort of said to me that what they thought of me was, of course, their business and not mine. But why?

Well, it said to me that someone elses opinion about my life, when they were NOT ME, could not truly fathom what I had gone through, made their opinion about their ‘perception’ of me and my experience, and not really about me at all. So, I couldn’t invest too much feeling about those opinions.

When I told my therapist about this she said absolutely. If I felt wounded, scared, misunderstood, etc..about someones thoughts about me and my situation, then that was a perfect time to remember that what they think of me is none of my business. And that what I think of ME is really THE most important piece of work to focus on.

She felt it was a reminder that each of us, no matter how badly we want to feel a part of a community that is safe, and family that perfectly understands, we are ALONE in our journey. And she went on to say even people mirroring our thoughts about ourselves needs to be put into perspective, so that we can continue to grow, and not get stuck in other’s need for us to be who they think we are.

Wow! When I read what I just wrote it doesn’t come through very clearly.

But this has helped me let go of lots opinions about my life, and become more of the primary agent in my life.

Slim

Slimone, yeah it DID come across quite clearly!!!

I can’t control what someone else thinks about me. Plain and simple. I CAN control what I think of myself, and I don’t have to base my self-perceptions on what someone else thinks. Convoluted, to be sure, but it makes sense.

Brightest blessings

EDIT ADD: I seriously appreciate when other readers post their own therapists’ insights. No one person has all of the answers, and we can never learn enough from one perspective, even if it is a professional perspective.

Slimone, your post above iis GREAT and ought to be on the refrigerators of us all!!!

kim frederick
your reply above to Truthy fit just what i needed today. you gave me a perspective that i was missing. i had a productive insight day yesterday after a couple of months of feeling like i was just getting by (had a REALLY BAD trauma at Christmas).

sometimes people write a couple of sentences but those few words are a lifesaver to someone who feels like they are almost drowning. maybe i do sound like i am too dramatic but it is what it is, to lose someone close to me who was my dearest love left me floundering, desperate to find a reason to live. i exist but that’s not good enough is it.

just wanted to acknowledge the wisdom in your words and to thank you for providing me a perspective that feels real and empowering. i have been feeling SO beaten down.

you were my blessing today. katy

Truthspeak

I’d like to have about 5 copies of Donna’s book 10 Signs You are Dating a Sociopath. I loaned my copy to a friend to read. She is single and knows my story but, still doesn’t get it. She actually thought I should be happy for the good things I got from the 4 year relationship with it. Really? She dates and I want her to be informed about spaths. I don’t think she has read it yet. That’s the problem. A lot of people are not interested and don’t want to take the time to read about it. Even my own siblings aren’t interested to read about it and they know a lot of the history.

As far as the boundary things

I know in the past I have let people get away with things said so I wouldn’t “rock the boat”. After all girls in my day were raised to make things all right so we had a habit of keeping our mouths shut when things were said to us that made us feel wronged. I still do this so I won’t look like a “bitch”. I am working on opening my mouth and not letting people walk all over me. If they continue do do so I say goodbye. Everyone steps on toes every now and then but, if it is pointed out to them (or me) they (or me) should say they are sorry and mean it. If the behavior continues then I have to part company. Boundaries. Oh, and the quote” What people think of you is none of your business ” was just on facebook. I have several animals on my property (more than one cat) and people judge me all the time. The only person I have to look at and be happy with is the one in the mirror.

Kmillercats, my “take” on that is that there will come a day when you WILL have a sense of gratitude, but not today. And, not because someone says that “you should.”

When people CHOOSE to remain ignorant when they have an opportunity to learn, it’s a pathology and I slowly and carefully step away, lest they become startled and charge!

SO, these people don’t want to know, and that’s THEIR problem. You DO know, and you are the only person that matters in your own recovery.

Brightest blessings to you!

Truthspeak
A funny (not haha funny) turn on your words about chosing to remain ignorant occurs to me. It sure is hard to get educated. I PURSUE learning and trying to find insights and solutions and they remain elusive. Small wonder how easy it is to choose to remain ignorant, esp for those few who have no immediate need to understand.

Katy

KatyDid, people deliberately choose to remain ignorant even when there is documentation (books, research, etc.) that clearly could provide them with information that they NEVER knew. These are the people who truly believe that they don’t NEED to learn, or are impervious to any harm.

And, the thing about this is that I can’t (and, WON’T) align myself with anyone that believes that they have all of Life’s Answers. Nobody does. That’s why I come to this site. I need the perspective of my “betters” who have moved along in their recovery. I NEED it because I don’t know everything. LOL

Brightest blessings

The late Mayor Ed Koch had a quote I LOVE,

he said “I can explain it to you, but I can’t comprehend it for you.”

If that doesn’t express what we have with many people I don’t know what does.

Linda,
the only people who have questioned or doubted my story, have turned out to be spaths themselves, who didn’t like my ability to explain the red flags. They didn’t like the fact that their cover could be so easily blown.

Even the narcissists never questioned what I told them. These are men who hate women – but pretend to be my friends. They initially just nodded their heads and pretended to be concerned. They are the type that abuse women but by showing concern, they hoped to lure me into their webs. In their minds, my ex-spath, was just like them and I was the perfect victim. As I continued to explain the murders and sabotage that my ex-spath committed, I could see the change in their faces. It went from fake-concern, to real fear, because my ex-spath was killing wealthy MEN. They all made a mention regarding their guns.

Then there are people like us, who could not imagine falling for “the con”, until it happened to us. I think the best example for these people, is the example of AIG, because AIG is the con that happened to everyone already. We ALL got taken on the “too big to fail” con.

AIG con, has all the elements of what happened to us. First AIG provided “insurance”, “protection”, “safety”, “trust”. AIG was “strong” and “dependable”. Remind you of anyone?

Suddenly AIG needed help. “How much?” we asked. And the answer blew us away. We had to think about it. Well, after much thinking and much pressure because “the end was imminent”, we caved and dug deep into our pockets to save AIG. And it wasn’t just because “we cared”. It was because we were so deeply wrapped up in the ponzi scheme that AIG’s failure was going to negatively affect us as well. AIG convinced us that WE should take responsibility because THEY were TOO BIG to fail.

So the money gets transferred and what happens next? Well anyone who has ever “rescued” a spath knows that he heads off on a luxury vacation and the bright lights of the casino! And that is exactly what they did. All the CEO’s and top guns went off to enjoy the money.

They got caught though, as so often happens with spaths. And what did they say when confronted? “That wasn’t the money you lent me, that was “other money” “. WTF??

Our heads went spinning. If AIG had other money, then why didn’t they use it to bail themselves out!? Too late, the deal is done. That’s in the past, why are you always bringing up the past?

The story doesn’t end there. Recently I read that AIG was thinking of suing the US government for making the conditions of the bail out loans, too harsh. WTF? Just like a spath, you lend a hand and they sue you in court for it.

So next time someone says it’s hard to believe what happened to you, explain to them that it has already happened to them and it happens all the time, they just aren’t aware of it. But eventually they will be.

Skylar, precisely and well-said. Nobody’s bailing ME out of a fraudulent situation! ROTFLMAOTMNR!!!!!!!!!

OxD…superb quote!

Truthspeak:

I like the idea of your practicing ahead of time different responses to inappropriate questions, such as the one your friend asked you. Practice does make perfect, so I will put that tool in my belt and start using it.

Maybe as a group we could come up together with responses that we could all use and then let each other know what the results were when we used them. Unfortunately, most of us are here because of our inability to set boundaries. So we need to help each other do that. I don’t want to run out of people in my life, I CAN’T avoid everyone, since everyone at some time or another hurts my feelings and I don’t know how to respond to their rude or cruel remarks.

Even a slow stare or just ignoring them, not answering their question at all sometimes works. But others are too dense and will keep on till we give them an answer. So we need witty comebacks to practice and share with each other.

I’ll go first:

This one is from a column from Ann Landers, like 30 years ago and I always loved it!
“Well, maybe you have a point, but if you wear a hat, it wouldn’t show!”

Or another one to men: “You know, you’re pretty perfect. I think your only shortcoming is covered by your zipper!”

I’ve used both of these recently. See, this could be fun!

Newlife,

Ann Landers also had another one for people who ASK QUESTIONS that are none of their business and it was

“Now WHY on earth would you ask THAT?”

This is a good article. I have always felt so ashamed for being me, the black sheep of the family. I was dreading attending my mother’s funeral because I knew I would get lot’s of stare’s and snubbed noses.. And I did.
I was telling a friend about this and she said ‘yes you are the black sheep to alot of shit people’ hmm I pondered on this and started thinking of who these people really are and how unimportant it is what they think of me.

MD I am SOOOO proud of you and proud FOR you for realizing that your brother and these other folks who “look down on” you are pieces of shiat…they may have more money than you, but they do NOT have a conscience, they are UNABLE to love or be loved, and they are POSes so what they think about anyone is a MOOT POINT.

I know if I describe my experience it will taint me in the average person’s mind. Years ago I read a comment here from someone who stated that they just don’t reveal their story because they know they will be taken as delusional.

I think this is peripherally related to the article:

One thing a lot of people who “don’t get it” like to do is to tsart characterizing you as defective because you have mentioned something more than once. Sometimes it’s relevant, sometimes, something related and upsetting has come up, you are still living some of the aftermath, or it’s just a discussion about the past or what put you where you are, whatever…

You might hear comments about dwelling on things, you need to let go, or even oh look she needs to tell her story again. Like it shouldn’t be brought up in any context since you got it out in front of that person or someone else already once.

The viper-tongued response is “So are you saying that because someone relates a true story it erases historical fact? What is it that you know about physics that I don’t?”

I don’t think I have ever actually said that for real. Does anyone know this situation I am describing and have a stock response?

MoonDancer you are on my handful-mental list of nicest people here. What that person said to you sounds right.

thank you ox and raggedy.
raggedy not sure how to respond to your comment, but how many people really want to take the time to hear our story? I think most people are busy living their own story.
When we worry about what other’s think of us we are delusional I think, because truth be known there aint that many people thinking about us~!
Life’s to short to stay all gnarled up about what other’s think. And I know what some other’s think of me, but they dont know me, they have judged me by their yardstick..

MoonDoggieDancer
“most people are busy living their own story”

so true.

it’s why healing isn’t so they like us, it’s so WE like us.

RaggetyAnn,

If there is someone who says something that is abusive, hit the “report abusive comment” link and Donna will take care of it.

If someone says something you don’t agree with, you can respectfully say why you disagree. If they still don’t agree with you, I advise you to just drop the subject and say “well I think we can agree to disagree about that” and then move on.

Not everyone here agrees with everyone else here on lots of subjects, but we treat each other with respect and if we see someone isn’t going to change their mind, we don’t keep harping on it.

MD,
I think the first time I experienced that kind of talk was when someone saw me explain why I xyz to a person who didn’t know my story at all. The person who made the remarks knew some or most of the story already. Actually it wasn’t even my “personal spath story”, just the reason I was defending a proposed idea.
Perhaps that line of reasoning occurs more often when the person needs to deflect from the account, like they themselves are soemwhat implicated in it.

Where I worry about what people think is my superiors at work. Two bosses up, my last spath did about three years worth of duping.

Just yesterday, I mentioned to someone who knew the story that I had just learned that the spath was about to be honored with a professional designation by a the Society of Such and Such. The very fact that he is still employed and accomplished the studying to get his designation because I was asked to shelter him rather than having him fired/arrested. I was wondering if I should clue the Society in about certain things. I was failry conflicted about the situation. The response I got was somewhat tinged with the tone I mentioned before. So this attitude I described earlier was very fresh on my mind. Definitely a variant of not getting it.

Ox Drover says:
“RaggetyAnn,

If there is someone who says something that is abusive, hit the “report abusive comment” link and Donna will take care of it.

If someone says something you don’t agree with, you can respectfully say why you disagree. If they still don’t agree with you, I advise you to just drop the subject and say “well I think we can agree to disagree about that” and then move on.

Not everyone here agrees with everyone else here on lots of subjects, but we treat each other with respect and if we see someone isn’t going to change their mind, we don’t keep harping on it.”
Oxy,
Sorry — I responded to MD before I saw this. I don’t know if you have an issue with that.

But I was not referring to anybody here in the scenarios I was describing, if you were responding to my post in this thread. Zero connection to this forum.

I absolutely disagree with you as to what goes on here regarding “respect” but that is something we can certainly agree to disagree about, as you put it.

Ah, well, when I feel a blog doesn’t (in general) show respect, I “vote with my fingers” –I leave it. Sorry you feel disrespected here.

raggedy
if one of your employers has done something to you that could get them arrested and you have not already done something about it, it may be to late or it may bite you in the butt…if this person is a spath, be careful because they can be relentless when it come’s to revenge. and also be careful what you say to whomever because whomever may not be your friend.

MD, thanks for the reminders. It’s years too late for sure for arrest. That window was probably one week, although cops were definitely involved. I ultimately sheltered the person. Very very messy story. And you are right: I don’t know how probable it would be if I acted with this society, but experiencing revenge of various kinds would be a risk. And the question of whether my primary drive is wanting to serve my own cold revenge to that person is another reason to forget it. I would be undoing what I had chosen years earlier to try to do: save this human being and give him his chance to become a more civilized citizen/member of society/human being with a job and health insurance. I may have accomplished that, or I may have failed to recognize my opportunity or even obligation to shorten the lifespan of a sociopath. And I was with him while already reading here! He did not match many of the standard attributes or patterns discussed here. I will probably never know if he might have left less damage if not for a more classically cold and amoral father directing/emboldening him. Much of the apparent goodness in him imo was real, including to me.
Situation is NC now except for occasional information that mostly floats in precisely via people who *don’t* know the story and just mention news.

RaggedyAnn? I haven’t read all your posts but thought I read one where you revealed being diagnosed NPD. Am I wrong?

Yes. By one clinician. Carried that label into my hospitalization, and it lingered as I did follow up there. Psychotherapist BF thought i had elements of it, but he resented me so much for my lack of infatuation with him that I think that very much colored his perception. Since then mental health people have dismissed the NPD altogether. I showed elements of borderline in some long quiz test for a study, but not the actual thing. It was expected, though, because it’s more common among people abused as kids.

all I have now officially as a Dx is the classic BP II. That’s been it for many years. Some of the clinicians since the NPD insist that it was simply wrong.

I am curious. Do you ask because my account in this thread reads as NPD??? I’m definitely not seen that way on the job, and wasn’t by the now NC guy.

does your account in this thread as NPD? I did not know that. I just remembered your post and thought how hard it would be for you to consider other people. I had the thought that if you were NPD, it might go a long ways to explain your dilemma here.

It’s my opinion that when i accepted myself, i had to also accept the stuff that came with it. For instance, I am a sentimental person. I have family members who are not. So, I can’t get upset at them for giving me unsentimental birthday presents and I can’t look to them for empathy either. But I can look to them for social activities. By knowing myself, I can set reasonable expectations, or at least try b/c I confess I am still working on my blind spots.

Just my observation that perhaps you should give yourself some grace. You are clearly highly intelligent but you have your own blind spot. I think it might be easier to identify a blind spot when someone is as intelligent as you are. I think when we know ourselves, then it follows that we know what we connect/disconnect with.

Sorry, I edited my post before your post appeared, because that sentence/question of mine that you repeated made no sense as i’d written it (merged “thread” and “reads”). Can you explain the connection to NPD and my dilemma?

I’m not following at all.

Thank you for the compliment.

Hi everyone 🙂

Hope everyone is well! I wanted to ask you all if you guys had any good book recommendations along the lines of dealing with toxic people. Thanks

Oh wait, KatyDid, my dilemma means my situation on this forum?

Dear Dancing nancies, welll HELLO STRANGER! Good to “see” you.

My book recommendations are first off Red Flags of Love Fraud if you haven’t read it already.

Of course: Without Conscience, The Psychoopath next door, Betrayal Bond, and The Gift of Fear….pretty much in that order. You can search on LF for Book Reviews and see some reviews of lots of great books here depending on what your choice is.

RaggedyAnn
From your posts, I had the thought that you felt disrespected here (the dilemma). I am NOT saying it doesn’t happen, that would be illogical. But it might bother an NPD more than it does another member who has very little empathy connection.

A comparison example:
I am a sensitive person so when someone does to me what my spath did (corrects me about what I think, substituting their angst for mine, and INSISTS they know my spaths intent/behavior when they have never met either of us), well, I feel that emotional pain most acutely; but other people who are not so sensitive/caring/empathetic might be totally nonplussed by such trespass.

I was trying to be helpful with a different perspective. Perhaps my intent didn’t work.

Nancy,
Meaning from Madness by Richard Skerritt..

Wow – thank you Linda – a powerful post for me…and the comments and insights added by others.

Kim Frederick…..I think what your friend said was not only highly inappopriate, but also a power play. She was vying for dominance and she reached into her bag of tricks and pulled out something she knew you felt defensive about. She took you off guard, and cloaked it in concern—

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I have been stumped over and over by these comments and found my self freezing to understand and figure out how to respond.

Slimone….”What others think of you is none of your business”.
I struggled with this…how do I protect myself from what they think…(and so how they act)….you answered that for me, in part…I have some more processing to do.

So many great posts and insights….definitely an ‘aha’ moment for me……..a sense of finally understanding and release.

Thanks all.

KatyDid, I am sorry, I find your words confusing. I thought NPD were part of the population having “very little empathy connection.” And “totally nonplussed by such trespass” is hard for me to interpret.

I think you are saying I may have blind spots about other people? I know I do. We all do. I’m known in real life as the opposite of “failing to consider” though [even got called a case of ‘excess empathy’ here by somebody at one point]. I definitely have failed at least once in this forum. But part of my trouble has been “considering” the WRONG people for other posters’ tastes. Either pariahs, damaged people, or people too abtracted for some other person’s consideration or carefulness or interest. Empathy, delicacy, ability to consider are exactly why I never say out loud many of the things I’ve seen other say here [or heard of, in case of of some deleted things]. And in my disagreements, it has at times been the other parties to a disagreement that seemed to me to be exhibiting narcissism. I definitely do not want to get into it though, and doubt that you do.

As for respect, respecting a stranger is a civilized person’s default mode. Often that ends up quickly forfeited by a person’s words or deeds. Clearly there are some folks with zero respect for me. There are some folks who do not have mine or whose statements or attitudes don’t. Some people’s demonstrations of their disrespect have been pretty free-wheeling. Or instead, almost fixated. And the assembled constructions to support it also weak or plain dishonest.

I have done something along Oxy’s suggestion at this point.

I should clarify something, though. I spoke of the NPD thing because I experienced an example of how much damage can be done when a diagnosis is misapplied, possibly incorrect. Or even causes terrible destructive misinterpretation of something happening. (the hospital story) It’s something to be extremely mindful of on the internet and here. Human nature: Our beliefs in our insights can trick us. Our arrogance about it can trick us. Amateur diagnosing of people, especially on line! can have awful results or just wrong ones. And the temptation to pathologize what challenges us, what hurts our feelings or scares us, what interferes with thinking highly of ourselves, or what is simply new to us is something I try not to get lead into without the data to justify whatever conclusion. But as you have implied, a truly intelligent person is constantly considering other perspectives, different possibilities, not declaring immediately that he “knows.” When one’s reach exceeds one’s grasp, watch out.

I do very much appreciate your intent, and hopefully I got your point, even if I don’t think it applies to me fully.

Nancy,
It’s nice to see you again.
For understanding N’s, I recommend,
“Why is it always about you? The seven deadly sins of narcissism” By Sandy Hotchkiss.

Another one is
“Freeing yourself from the narcissist in your life. At home, at work, with friends.” By Linda Martinez-Lewi

How to flush the WTF bucket by kim frederick. The main premise is just do it. WOOOOOOOOOSH.

RaggedyAnne
I observe that many have blind spots about ourselves. I assume I have one too. Logically, the best way I can uncover my blindspot is if someone else discloses it to me. Therefore when I see someone struggle with their blind spot, I want to help them see it, just as I would hope they would reciprocate for me. But since it does not apply, I have wasted your time.

I think NPD are VERY sensitive to slights against themselves. That’s their blind spot b/c they are limited in being aware when they perpetrate those same slights against others.

However I still think you have higher expectations from others than they can or are willing to offer you. Perhaps what you seek is not the purpose of this blog and that’s why the disconnect in meeting your needs?

KIM! Where do I place my order? Can I pay with 3 low monthly payments of $9.99?

It sounds like a good book to have in the bathroom!

Skylar, Back when spath and I were leaving Pa, and I was just waking up to spaths infidelities, in denial, still, but so confused, realizing he was a stranger, but hoping against hope, we could recover our initial state of inlovedness…I was in recovery for alcoholism, for two years, meetings, therapy, codependancy treatment, ACOA stuff…..I had a dream I was in the bath tub, and their was a turd floating around in it…..I took a wash cloth and tried to grasp the turd so as to remove it, and the turd turned into mush and poluted my clean bath water with a shitty kind of mud. How does anyone get clean in that? After studying Jung, and other dream anylists, I realize that water symbolizes spirit, and the connection with the true self, via the unconscience. My water of life was being systematically shittied by a turd who needed to be removed. Later, I realized I was trying to get clean in a toilet.

Kim,
ewww…

That is so interesting. I get it, you were trying to cleanse yourself with AA and ACOA. Always working on fixing yourself, but the problem was the turd in the bathtub kept sliming you.

Amazing. Dreams are so powerful and intuitive. It’s the right brain trying to tell us what it knows. It always knows.

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