So, Aunt Alex was with a narcissistic old flame the other day, making out with him in the back seat of a flames-embellished, spoiler-bedecked Hyundai, when….
Hm. Got your attention there, didn’t I.
And now, let’s leap right to the point here: Life is complex, feelings are complex, and relationships are complex, but when it comes to narcissists, simple is your friend. Bare-bones, reduced-to-the-elements points are your friends. Straight-talk is your friend.
I’ll bet dimes to doughnuts that you’ve bought into the BS of a narcissist before. You’ve done this not because you’re dumb, or weak, but because you’re emotionally generous. You give the benefit of the doubt. You allow for some wiggle-room. But, boy, would the straight talk ever sound different:
Wiggle-room: “I’ll just hear him out and see what he has to say.”
Reality: “I’ll just give him MORE attention and give myself MORE hope, when the truth is I’ll only end up hurt and depressed.”
Wiggle-room: “It’s OK if we spend a little time together. I won’t let things go too far.”
Reality: “Things absolutely will go too far, because he’s a scammer and a liar, but I won’t see it coming until it’s too late.”
Wiggle-room: “I’m a kind person and I believe in people who want to change.”
Reality: “I want him to change, and want to help him change, but he hasn’t yet, is all talk now, and isn’t putting up an ounce of effort other than the blathering about it.”
Wiggle-room: “We were only talking. We missed each other.”
Reality: “We were making out in his car, while his fiancee waited for him to come and pick her and their new baby up at the hospital.”
See how that works?
It’s the narcissist who is damaged goods, and he can plow a path of emotional sewage and destruction without any help from the rest of us. When we give a narcissist so much as a micron of wiggle-room, you can bet your doughnuts he’ll use it to shove through your personal boundaries and wreak further havoc on your life. Second chances, second-guessing, letting his abuses go, forgiving and forgetting — none of these approaches have a role in dealing with a narcissist. It’s like adopting a rabid dog who’s already bitten you and your family members multiple times, because you think he might be OK now. It’s just not a safe, or likely, or worthwhile bet.
Narcissists are liars and phonies who will never change, ever; not soon, not later, not a lot or a little. Cut your losses, and you’ll be glad you listened to your own straight-talk.