You’ve heard the following quotes, haven’t you? Don’t poke the bear? Just let the sleeping dog lie? Well, how about if I add, don’t try to explain it to the narcissist?
I have learned the hard way that a narcissist can hear you, but they can’t listen to what you’re saying, even if you’re using all the right words to explain how you feel. Because when they hear you begin to say anything, even if YOU take the blame and not say it’s the dysfunction of the relationship, they will only hear your criticism of themselves (even if you’re not criticizing them) and they can’t handle that. Name me one person who can handle feeling blamed for anything or not perfect. Yikes, you’ve just stepped on a landmine that is sure to blow up in your face and not in anyone else’s. Because you’ve overstepped into the ugly zone.
As an empath, I tried to explain how I felt to the narcissist in my life. I used the I word repeatedly, talked about my feelings so as not to elicit any reactions or have them feel like I was blaming them, because I really wasn’t. But it backfired like a powder keg full of dynamite.
I knew better. But I couldn’t help myself because I thought I could fix the relationship. I wanted to reveal what I saw that was going on in our relationship and give them the opportunity to tell me as well. I wanted to help them and to help myself. I wanted us to both get what we wanted out of the relationship. I wanted it to improve. I wanted us to connect better. I had good intentions and I didn’t point fingers at them nor blame anyone. And still, I got my ass handed to me. (Sorry for the vulgarity) It wasn’t a pretty scenario and it made things worse, even though my intention and goal was to improve the relationship and the situation.
I learned my lesson the hard way so I’m writing to tell you to NOT CONFRONT THE NARCISSIST because it will only end ugly. Better to slowly add distance to your relationship with them or at least limit the interactions. That’s my best advice.
But hey, I’m open to all advice, so if you’ve got experience in this area, please, share with me! It’s a zoo out there, so any time we can help each other I think we should!