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Being in Narcissism Relationships Is Like Playing With Fire. It Is Risky.

Being in Narcissism Relationships Is Like Playing With Fire. It Is Risky.

If you’ve ever fallen in love, you would know how good it makes you feel. It’s an exciting and at the same time terrifying sensation. You might be falling hard for the person and expect the relationship to lead to the beginning of your fairy tale. But be aware, it may not be what you think it is, but a fake love trap with a malignant narcissist.

Narcissists are everywhere. It is no surprise that we encounter such self-serving individuals at home, at work and in our everyday life. In reality, all of us have some degree of narcissistic traits. Some individuals, however, are over the top in serving themselves and cause emotional harm to others. In fact, Narcissist Personality Disorder wasn’t categorized as a disorder by the American Psychiatric Association until 1987 as too many people share some of the traits and it’s very difficult to diagnose.

“Yes” to these questions? Chance is you may have a narcissistic lover.

First, ask yourself the following questions to see if you would recognize some of narcissistic signs in your toxic lover.

  • Do they have issues with his mother or father?
  • Are they emotionally immature?
  • Are they more of a taker than a giver?
  • Do they have grandiose tendencies?
  • Do they have questionable moral standards?
  • Are they perpetual liars or manipulators?
  • Do they lack empathy towards others?
  • Do they blame everybody for their problems and never take responsibility for their life?
  • Are they argumentative?
  • Are they control freak?
  • Do they show a lack of remorse?
  • Do they have anger issue?
  • Does being around them make you feel confused and chaotic?
  • Do they often say hurtful things to you and then accuse you of overreacting or being too emotional?
  • Do you feel worse emotionally now than you started dating?
  • Do they make you feel bad, worthless or critical of you?
  • Do they seem to be exceptionally attractive?

If you answer YES to some or all of the above, you’re in love with a narcissist. Not only are you in a relationship that can be more than painful but also downright dangerous. If you are not convinced yet, read on and RUN before they destroy your precious self and your life.

24/7 with your lover doesn’t mean thorough understanding. Check these signs:

Additionally, here are 8 signs that you should look out for in them to understand who they truly are.

I am the best (not really).

You might think they love themselves. Actually, they dislike themselves immensely. Their inflated self-flattery, perfectionism, and arrogance are merely covers for the self-loathing they don’t admit usually even to themselves.

Instead, it’s projected outwards in their disdain for and criticism of others. This is why they don’t want to look at themselves and have intense need for admiration to fill very low self esteem. They’re too afraid, because they believe that the truth would be devastating. Actually, they don’t have much of a Self at all. Emotionally, they’re dead inside.

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They believe that they are special and unique, and can only be understood by, or should associate with other special or of high-status people. They unreasonably expect special and favorable treatments to feed their false ego.

You can’t catch me.

It’s easy to fall in love with narcissists. Their charm, talent, success and charisma cast a spell. They’re often super-attractive. They also tend to want to move fast in the relationship. They may appear charming on the surface but the emotion runs very shallow. They simply manipulate you to lower your guard and allow attachment to occur.

Because the relationship starts out so well, and because the ugliness seems to come out of nowhere, even the most grounded people can get caught by surprise. They might later admit to having seen plenty of red flags but because the illusion of the narcissist’s great qualities is so vivid, they tend to be ignored.

They even watch porn and cheat as they think they’re god’s gift to the world. They’re known to make their partners go without sex as a way to frustrate, punish, and even humiliate them out choosing porn over sex with them or just to hurt you.

Thus, pace the relationship in such a way that your dating partner’s true self comes forth gradually so you are well aware of who you are dating and what they are capable of. This honeymoon phase though ends quickly as they reveal their true self and being with a narcissist soon turns from loving, devoted and committed to cold, critical and most heartbreaking, unfaithful. None of it make sense, does it?

You just listen to me, okay?

It’s all about them and never a two way communication. They don’t like to hear No and have difficulty with compromise. Setting boundaries threatens them. They’ll manipulate to get their way and to make sure you feel guilty if you’re bold enough to risk turning them down. If you give in, they mistake kindness for weakness.

Should you challenge a narcissist or call them out on their bad behavior, you’ll instantly be confronted with narcissistic rage. Underneath the narcissistic exterior is a rage and disgust most people couldn’t fathom.

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Having a daily relationship with a narcissist takes a lot of mental work to figure out the motives or intentions. There’s never a dull moment in a relationship with a narcissist, which can be exciting in the beginning but ultimately feels draining and infuriating.

I need no rules (I don’t follow them anyway).

One of the most frustrating experiences with a narcissist is that rules are broken and boundaries trespassed, but they will never take accountability for it. They can’t bear the thoughts that they are wrong. Their ego is so inflated that they truly believe they’re perfect. In reality, it’s quite the opposite. Instead, it’s that a narcissist’s true ego or sense of self is so incredibly fragile and insecure that they cannot tolerate any hint of criticism. They can’t take accountability for any hurts or boundary-crossings because they aren’t internally sturdy enough to synthesize and integrate complex feelings.

The narcissist is so averse to criticism and accountability because he sees the world through a lens of entitlement. Narcissists feel entitled to indulge any thought, feeling or whim they happen to have in a given moment, and automatic compliance from others is expected and even demanded.

I am the boss.

They target people to use as narcissistic supply to fuel their ego. They are out to get intelligent, self-sufficient, empathetic individuals as partners. They tend to lack core identity and need narcissistic supply to fill their empty psyches. They feel a sense of challenge in targeting highly successful, attractive individuals who may already be in other relationships or who express a sense of vulnerability.

Narcissists are masters of love bombing which is an attempt to influence a person by lavish demonstrations of attention and affection. They do this to make you dependent on them, while also testing your boundaries. Once they discover that you are not perfect after all, you’ll not only be told the opposite, but you’ll be punished for your imperfections, which are often exaggerated and sometimes nonexistent projections.

Punishment often includes terrible statements meant to degrade, demean, humiliate or stonewall you. They withhold affection and may even spread nasty rumors about you behind your back.

I am charming and gentle outside, rude and ruthless inside.

Ahhh, these three little words can change your life. But when a narcissist says it, those words take on an entirely different meaning than what you’d expect. It’s the act of tempting you with those things you will never get that keeps you with them.

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In public, narcissists switch on the charm that first drew you in. People gravitate towards them and are enlivened by their energy. You’re proud to bask in their glow, but at home, they’re totally different. They may privately denigrate the person they were just entertaining. You begin to wonder if they have an outward double personality.

Ever since they were denied genuine love and support as a child, they cowardly take it out on you with hurtful words and manipulative tactics under the guise of love. But we all know it’s not real and can see through the mask. Eventually their masks are coming off and be ready to jump off the ship when it happens.

You most likely won’t be the only one.

They are unable to form healthy attachments with other human beings. So even though they may say they are in love, they always have their eye out for the next best thing. And there is always a next best thing.

Even if they are in what appears to be a committed relationship, rest assured they are dabbling on the side. If there is the opportunity to get more attention and adoration from a potential love interest, the narcissist will take it. Anyone who thinks that their narcissist is capable of being faithful is fooling himself/herself. They are always on the lookout for something better no matter what they say to the contrary.

You should just be as good as me.

You begin to doubt yourself and worry what they will think. After a while, you start to lose self-confidence. Your self-esteem may have been intact when you met, but your narcissistic partner finds you coming up short, and doesn’t fail to point it out. Most narcissists are perfectionists, and nothing you do is right or appreciated. Talking about your disappointment or hurt gets turned into your fault or another opportunity to put you down.

Narcissists have no boundaries and see you as an extension of themselves, requiring that you’re on call to meet their needs. You might get caught up in trying to please them. This is like trying to fill a bottomless pit. They expect you to know without having to ask. You end up in a double-blind – damned if you displease them and damned when you do.

Most individuals are emotionally traumatized by their toxic encounter with a narcissist. They are not only grieving the loss of the relationship, but they are also processing the unreality of a fake relationship.

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People with narcissistic characteristics may be prone to causing harm by invading personal boundaries, lying about almost anything and everything, engaging in abuse, and exhibiting no empathy or remorse for emotional harm they have done.

What you must learn about a narcissist.

There is no way to fix or improve the behavior of a narcissist.

If you find yourself in a relationship with a narcissist, it is in your best interests to get yourself out of the relationship as quickly as possible. Pick up the shattered pieces of your life, take them with you and never turn back.

However, with a narcissist is that making a clean break is almost impossible. By the time a break up is on the horizon, the partner of a narcissist is has been so beaten down psychologically they are unable to move on. Besides you’re likely to be unpleasantly surprised to see the narcissist partner to react with rage, insult you, hurt you in any way possible, lie about you or half-apologize and to explain themselves. SO, keep the contacts at minimum and create solid boundaries.

It’s okay not to be okay.

Feel your feelings. You will have good days and not so good days. You might feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster at times. Openly discuss your feelings. Join a support group. The support of people who understand exactly what you are experiencing is vital to healing and recovery. Take an honest self-inventory. Were you at a low point in your life when you met the narcissist? Was your self-esteem compromised? Were you lonely or did you just come out of a bad relationship? Do you lack good boundaries? Do you have childhood wounds, perhaps an unavailable or narcissistic parent?

Don’t dwell on what-ifs.

Breaking up with a narcissist is painfully harder than a normal breakup. One of the many reasons for this is they pummel us with manipulation, assault our self-worth, and stealthily erode our self-esteem. Then when the relationship is over, we beat ourselves up for the things we did or did not do, and berate ourselves for staying longer than we should have, and for the signs we failed to recognize.

Accept that the narcissist as who they are. They are totally incapable of love and deep connection. Nothing you did or didn’t do would have changed the outcome. You were not loved for you as a person. You were used for the perks you were able to provide. You were their human helium tank that maintained their inflated view of themselves. I know it sounds harsh, and it’s a very painful realization to accept. But the acceptance of this fact is also the very thing that will accelerate your healing and set you free.

Blessings often come in disguise.

Narcissistic abuse is a betrayal of the heart, soul, mind, and spirit, and often the wallet too. It corrupts and completely shatters what we thought was reality and tarnishes our faith in humanity. For this reason, it takes a while to restore our equilibrium and process the trauma of our experience. Putting the pieces of your life back together and rebuilding yourself is not an easy, painfree process, but it is worthwhile in the end.

You will be strengthened and move on. You will come to view the breakup as a blessing. You will realize that through your relationship with the narcissist, you were given the gift of self-discovery, transformation, and renewal. You will never be the same again but you will be a better, stronger, wiser and an infinitely happier version of your old self.

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

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Kris Lee

Emotional health and communication writer

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Last Updated on September 30, 2020

How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Future

How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Future

We often hear people talk about the importance of living in the present and the different ways it will benefit us. It all sounds wonderful, especially the lower levels of stress and anxiety, but how exactly can we live in the moment when our mind is constantly worrying about the past or plans for the future?

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the benefits of living in the moment you may not be aware of. Then, we’ll look at some of the obstacles and why we worry. Finally, and most importantly, I’ll show you how to live in the moment and stop worrying using some simple practices that you can easily incorporate into your busy schedule.

The result: a happier and more fulfilling life.

The Importance of Living in the Moment

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” -Buddha

While it can be difficult to live in the moment, it has innumerable benefits.

Here are just a few that will enhance your life tremendously:

Better Health

By reducing stress and anxiety, you avoid many of the associated health consequences, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity. Studies have shown that being present can also improve psychological well-being[1].

Improve Your Relationships

Have you ever been with someone who is physically present, but mentally s/he’s a million miles away?

Being with unavailable people is a struggle, and building relationships with them extremely difficult.

How about being with someone who is fully present? We enjoy being with her/him because we can make a much deeper connection.

By living in the moment, you can be that person other people enjoy being with, and you make relationships much easier.

Greater Self-Control

You have greater control over your mind, body, and emotions. Imagine how much better your life would be if it weren’t at the mercy of a racing mind and unpredictable emotions. You would certainly be more at peace, and much happier[2].

Why Do We Worry?

Before we answer this question, it’s important to distinguish between worry and concern.

When we are concerned about something, we are more likely dealing with a real problem with realistic solutions. Then, once we do whatever we can to address the problem, we’re willing to live with the outcome.

Worrying, on the other hand, involves unrealistic thinking. We may worry about a problem that doesn’t really exist, or dwell on all the bad things that can happen as a result. Then, we feel unable to deal with the outcome. Either way, we have difficulty dealing with uncertainty, which is a normal part of life.

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Certainly, some of our problems may not have desirable outcomes, such as a serious health issue. Some problems may be beyond our control, such as civil unrest or economic downturn. In such cases, it can be hard to avoid worrying, but not impossible.

3 Steps to Start to Live in the Moment

Step 1: Overcome Worrying

In order to overcome worrying, we need to do two things:

Calm Your Mind

When you calm your mind, you are able to see more clearly.

The reason some problems seem so daunting is that our mind is racing so fast that we cannot see things as they truly are. Then, we make up a bunch of possible scenarios in our mind, most of which are unlikely to come true.

In addition to seeing more clearly, a calm mind will help us think more realistically. Unrealistic thinking is fueled by confusion and uncontrolled emotions. Calming your mind will reduce confusion and calm your emotions, allowing you to live in the present.

Focus on Solutions Instead of Problems

Some people tend to be more solution-oriented, and others more problem-oriented. Some of the factors that may determine this are gender, upbringing, and education.

People with more education tend to be problem-solvers. That is what their years of education train them to do. In addition, their jobs probably reinforce this way of thinking.

If you’re not problem-solving oriented, don’t worry. You can train yourself to worry less. We’ll discuss that soon.

Step 2: Identify Obstacles to Living in the Moment

In today’s busy world, it can be a challenge to live in the moment. The reasons revolve around how our mind works, as well as outside influences.

Racing Mind

Many busy people have a racing mind that never seems to slow down. Their mind gets so agitated from too much sensory stimulation.

You see, anything that stimulates any of our five senses will trigger a thought, and that thought leads to another, and then another, and so on.

If you have a busy life, all your activities will overstimulate your mind and make it seemingly impossible to slow it down.

Unpleasant Situations and a Troublesome Past

None of us want to be in unpleasant situations, or remember those of the past. They can bring up painful emotions, which we don’t want to feel.

So how do most people cope with painful emotions?

By doing whatever we can to avoid them, we can take our mind to another place and time where things are more pleasant.

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In other words, we avoid living in the present moment.

Some people resort to things that stimulate sensory pleasure, such as food, alcohol, or sex. Others will consume substances that dull their mind and keep them from thinking about unpleasant or stressful situations.

A Wandering Mind

From the moment we are born (likely sooner) until the time we die, our body and mind are active performing some function. Therefore, it’s natural for our mind to have some level of activity, whether conscious or unconscious.

Generally, a wandering mind is unproductive. One thought starts an endless chain of thoughts, and this process can go on until we need our mind to perform a specific function or get distracted with something else.

Now, there are times when a wandering mind can be productive, such as when creating works of art, or trying to find creative solutions to problems. In such cases, we need our mind to explore different possibilities[3].

Outside Influences

Most of us are not fully aware of how our environment and social norms influence our thinking and behavior. People and institutions are constantly competing for our attention. The media draws our attention to the past, and advertising usually to the future[4].

Many people around us who dwell on the past or future try to draw us to their way of thinking. Even the whole concept of the American dream is geared toward the future. It tells us that if we acquire things like a good career, family, and house, then we’ll be happy.

Step 3: Practice Mindfulness

So how can we live in the moment in a world that is constantly trying to draw our attention to the past and future?

Before we get into concrete actions you can take, it’s important to understand what mindfulness is. You’ve probably heard the term before, but may not fully understand what it means.

Understand Mindfulness

The concept of mindfulness is actually quite simple. To be mindful is to live in the moment.

When you are mindful, your attention is focused on what is happening in the present moment, and you are fully in touch with reality[5].

You are aware of what is happening in your body, mind, emotions, and the world around you. This is different than thinking about these things. To develop greater understanding, you don’t have to think about them so much, but rather just observe them.

This may be counterintuitive to many people, especially intellectuals, because they’re so used to using logic to develop greater understanding. With mindfulness, we calm our mind and emotions so we can see clearer. Then, much of our understanding will come from simple observation. When we develop mindfulness, we literally expand our awareness.

To develop mindfulness, we need to train ourselves to observe things more objectively, that is, without our emotions or preconceived ideas influencing our views.

If you’re ready to live a better life, read on for some simple mindfulness practices that you can incorporate into your daily routine to help you live in the moment.

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You don’t have to do all of them, but rather choose the ones that appeal to you and suit your lifestyle.

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is the mainstay of developing mindfulness and living in the moment. To practice mindfulness meditation, all you really have to do is sit quietly and follow your breathing. When your mind wanders off, just bring it back to your breath.

Notice how your lungs expand with each in-breath and contract with each out-breath. Let your breathing become relaxed and natural.

You don’t have to do it perfectly. The idea is to start spending time away from the constant sensory stimulation of all your activities, and just allow it to settle down naturally. Start with about 5 to 10 minutes per day and work your way up to about 20 minutes or longer.

This practice is highly effective, and can have both short-term and long-term benefits.

If you want to learn more about mindfulness meditation, take a look at this article: What Is Mindfulness Meditation? 7 Ways to Start Meditating

Mindful Breathing

While this may sound the same as mindfulness meditation, all you’re really doing is taking short breaks occasionally (10 to 15 seconds) to observe your breathing. Stop whatever you’re doing, and take a few mindful breaths, then resume your activity. That’s it.

You can do mindful breathing at any time of the day during your busy schedule. What it does is interrupt the acceleration of your mind. It is like taking your foot off the accelerator while driving. It’s a nice refreshing break you can take without anyone noticing.

Here’re some breathing exercises you can try to learn: 5 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety (Simple and Calm Anxiety Quickly)

Mindful Walking

Walking is an activity that you perform several times throughout the day. We often think we’re being productive by texting or calling someone while walking. But are we really?

Instead of getting on your cell phone or letting your mind wander off, why not use your walking to train yourself to live in the moment and focus on the task at hand?

Mindful walking is similar to mindful breathing, but instead of focusing on your breath, focus on your walking. Pay attention to each footstep. Also, notice the different motions of your arms, legs, and torso. When your mind wanders off, just bring your attention back to your walking.

You can even make a meditation out of walking. That is, go walking for a few minutes outside. Start by slowing down your pace. If you slow down your body, your mind will follow.

In addition to paying attention to your walking, notice the trees, sunshine, and critters. A mindful walk is enjoyable and can really help your mind settle down.

You can discover more benefits of walking in nature here.

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Mindful Eating

Eating is an activity that most of us perform mindlessly. The reason is that it doesn’t require your attention to perform. Therefore, many of us try to multitask while we eat. We may talk on the phone, text, watch TV, or even hold a meeting.

The problem with not eating mindfully is that we don’t eat what our body and mind need to perform at an optimal level[6]. We may eat unhealthy foods, or too much. This can lead to various health problems, especially as we get older.

Live in the present with mindful eating.

    Mindful eating has many health benefits, such as reduced food cravings, better digestion, and even weight loss[7].

    So how do you eat mindfully? Start by slowing down, and avoid the temptation to distract yourself with another activity. Here are 3 different aspects of eating where you can practice mindfulness:

    • Eating itself: Focus your attention on choosing a portion of food to insert into your mouth. Notice the smell, flavor, and texture as you chew it; then finally swallow it. As with following your breath during meditation, pay close attention to every aspect of eating.
    • Choice of foods: Although you’ve already chosen your food before you have begun eating, you can still take the opportunity to contemplate your choices. Think about the nutrients your body needs to sustain itself.
    • Contemplating the sources: Most of us don’t think about all the work it takes to provide us with the food we eat. While you’re eating, consider all the work by the farmer, shipping company, and the grocery store. These are real people who worked hard to provide you with the food necessary for your survival.

    You can find more tips about mindful eating here: 7 Simple Steps to Mindful Eating

    Mindful Activities

    Choose an activity that you perform regularly, such as washing dishes. Focus all your attention on this activity, and resist the temptation to let your mind wander,. When it does, just bring your attention back to washing dishes.

    Notice some of the specific movements or sensations of washing dishes, such as how the soapy water feels on your hands, the circular motion of scrubbing the dish, or the rinsing. You’d be surprised at how such a mundane activity can truly expand your awareness.

    You can choose any activity you like, such as ironing, folding clothes, mowing the lawn, or showering. Over time, you will begin doing all these activities with greater mindfulness.

    Final Thoughts

    Practicing mindfulness is like regularly putting small amounts of change in a jar. They will all add up over time, and this will add up to greater peace and happiness, as well as get you closer to achieving your goals.

    Remember, you don’t have to do the mindfulness practices perfectly to get the benefits. All you have to do is keep bringing your mind back to the present moment when it wanders off.

    Practicing mindfulness may be a bit challenging in the beginning, but I can assure you it will get easier.

    The benefits of living in the moment are well within your reach, no matter how much your mind is racing. If you stick with these mindfulness practices, you too will learn how to live in the moment and stop worrying. When you do, a whole new world will open up for you. This is what Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh calls the ultimate reality.

    More About Living in the Present

    Featured photo credit: Smile Su via unsplash.com

    Reference

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