Growing up, I felt that MY emotions were the most important to deal with, however, I was always put down and easily made to feel my feelings were stupid! As a child, of course, my feelings were the most important, right? Don’t most children have the “me, me, me” focus? I remember I was always frustrated during a disagreement with my Mom because I wanted her to understand how I felt but the fight was futile! No wonder I didn’t learn healthy conversational or listening skills. I am sorry to say I didn’t learn any of the healthy habits until much later in life, which means my children were raised with my bad habits. It’s time for ALL of us to spend our efforts learning healthy relationship skills which include strong listening and communication abilities.
The damage of being raised by a narcissistic parent has caused me as a child, now as an adult to realize I have been taught to be a conversational narcissus (by Celeste Headlee) I lived with parental narcissism for so long I learned to hide my emotions. I developed conversational narcissism because I was uncomfortable with anyone’s emotions because I didn’t know how to handle mine. Mine was undervalued so I reflected that onto others. It was painful for me when others felt bad. This article on grief was eye-opening for me because I recognized I usually drew focus away from others’ hurt and painful emotions by turning the attention back to me in many conversations, which is a narcissistic trait. I know I don’t have the disorder because I didn’t communicate with the intent I was better than them, it was my way of letting them know they were not alone. How sad to say I simply I didn’t know what else to do. Living with a Narcissistic parent, you learn quickly that your thoughts, feelings or ideas mean nothing. So, today, I am publically admitting I have been a conversational narcissist, up to this point. I apologize to my sister, my children, my husband, my friends, and anyone else who has crossed my path! If you ever felt devalued by me, I ask you to please forgive me!
I know now that I am NOT a narcissist but I did learn and picked up narcissistic tendencies. I am grateful for awareness because now I can begin to understand, one step at a time how to undo my bad habit and relearn a new one!
If you ever wonder what the long term damage is, just look up divorce statistics and notice all the broken relationships. IF you have picked up unhealthy conversational habits and are now ready to learn healthier ways to speak, listen and connect with others, there is hope! It’s never too late to break a bad habit, right?
One of the greatest quotes I picked up along the way was from Stephen R. Covey, “SEEK to understand before seeking to be understood.” Can you see how this could eliminate any narcissistic tendencies? Can you feel the powerful difference listening to another person simply to understand versus to just be heard? Learning what they are seeking to tell you by asking questions offers clarification versus jumping to conclusions? Healthy relationship skills are empowering! Let’s begin today, together with becoming the best version of ourselves. Sound good?
We each have needs and emotions to feed and if you believe you may be a conversational narcissist, your relationship may be in danger! If your companion feels like their needs are not the most important because you feel yours are, then the break down is just a matter of time. What if you believe your partner is a narcissistic listener? That becomes more difficult because one major trait of a narcissist is they are always right and do everything right. Which means you don’t know what you’re talking about! They also assign motives to how you are feeling. Susan Heitler Ph.D. shared this red flag to pay attention to, “It’s only when narcissists begin to ignore their partner’s concerns and dismiss what their partner says that narcissistic listening disorder becomes a source of distress.” I promise there is hope to undo this messy situation!
The blind side of being a conversational narcissist is you feel to be heard the other person must agree! IF they loved you, they would see your intelligence and agree! Does being heard mean everyone must agree with you? Remember, because a person didn’t agree with you doesn’t mean they didn’t hear you.
It’s truly mind-blowing to watch and the most difficult personality to live with if a child, parent, boyfriend, spouse, or a person of authority in your life has this. This is a personality disorder and I tried all of my life to make sense out of this, questioning if was there something I could do differently? The most impactful statement a counselor made to me was, “Please remember, a personality disorder IS a Mental illness and it will never make sense!” That statement allowed my brain to stop questioning and begin a process of understanding that I did not create this difficult personality and this personality disorder has no more power over me.
If you are unfamiliar with this personality disorder, consider yourself lucky. Narcissistic people have a few major things going on … 1. They are steeped in being right and everyone else is wrong. 2. Pride is a staple emotion, one that elevates them above anyone else. They are better, smarter, more right than anyone else on the planet. 3. They are masters at power-plays. Now, these are difficult to win because the game itself is the power source. 4. It’s also a coping skill that covers up some of the deepest hurt you can imagine. You see, IF they are ‘top-dog’ or dominate in any way, it’s a protective behavior to avoid any more hurt. It’s not effective because this behavior alone serves up loneliness, or thinking no-one likes me all because people avoid them like the plaque; all confirming the deepest recesses of inadequacy and worthlessness at their non-conscious level, unconsciously driving to be bigger, stronger, or more powerful!
It’s time to stop the pride, the hate, the discontent within relationships.
It IS time to find healing!
The buck stops here. Decide today to stop unhealthy relationship patterns.
IF you are ready, you found the right place. Give me a call and let’s talk about how you can be the best version of yourself and find the happiness you deserve!
Love ya all tons,