May 10, 2006

Can You Say “NARCISSIST”?

Hello Again, my loves, from the Riviera, where Count Babbalallapaloozo and I are enjoying all the amenities of home (his) on his yacht. Gold fixtures in the bathrooms the size of Beth Anderson’s entire house, a few new hot-and-cold running Elloras Cave-type waitstaff, which the Count hired while I was back in Chicago helping my other, more serious half, Beth, finish THE SCOUTMASTER’S WIFE, outside temps in the eighties, plenty of sun for enhancing my suntan, and we now have a hairdresser on call twenty four hours a day in case the Count messes mine up, which he does. But now it can stay gorgeous, in stark contrast to Beth’s, which certainly needs something, probably a complete overhaul.

But enough about me. Among all the emails I’ve received since I started my off-again-on-again Advice to the Love Crazed blog entries, the one below from someone we’ll call Terry is the most interesting AND the most serious–not that I’m into serious, as you know–but oh, man, is this young woman Hooked On Unrequited Love or WHAT. Give this recent email a look-see:

“Dear Hotclue,
I’m very much in love with a man but I’ve noticed a lot of things lately that don’t seem quite right to me and I thought I’d ask you about them, since you seem to know so much about men.”

(NOTE: Well, she’s right about that. I love them. I’ve made a lifelong study of them.)

“For one thing, he never, ever seems to hear anything I’m saying, unless it’s about him. Whenever anything happens to me or my family, it’s like he distances himself from it and in fact, he doesn’t even hear it no matter WHAT it is. It’s as though nobody but him exists, actually. EVERYTHING is about him, and only him.

“When he’s upset it’s because someone else did something to him. Nothing is ever his fault, according to him, even if it is. He never apologizes about anything, no matter how much he’s hurt my feelings or anyone else’s. Everyone else has to apologize. If I even try to get emotionally close at all, he shies away and I don’t hear from him for a while and in fact, when I do, he’s cold and downright nasty. I don’t understand that.

“I’m so frustrated all the time because nothing I ever say means anything to him. As I said before, he doesn’t even hear it. It’s as though I never opened my mouth. He’s very harsh to the outside world, everything is black and white to him, there’s never any in-between, he has no sympathy for anyone, whether it be just that they’re overweight, or have no money, or have run into what seems to me normal life problems. Everyone has to be perfect in his eyes, but his idea of perfection is almost impossible to attain.

“The problem is, I’m head over heels in love with him. I really am. I keep taking blame for things he causes by his own actions and lies, and I keep apologizing to him just to keep him happy. But nothing really makes him happy unless people all around him are telling him how handsome and wonderful and talented and smart he is. Still, I love him. I don’t see how I can live without him. He’s on my mind day and night. He’s terribly good-looking and I’m terribly physically attracted to him. I CAN’T keep away from him. What can I do to make him appreciate me more?”
=============================

Dear Terry:

Nothing.

He’s never going to appreciate you or any other woman for long. He sounds to me like a classic narcissist.

I could be wrong. You could drag him to a psychiatrist and have him tested, which he’d never stand still for. They seldom ever admit anything could be wrong with THEM. It’s always somebody else.

These people cause everyone around THEM to go to shrinks, sometimes for years, trying to find out why they’ve got such low levels of self-esteem, which is often caused by years of having had their spirits broken by a narcissistic parent. Even shrinks don’t like to deal with them. Ask one if you don’t believe me.

Most of us have some narcissistic traits, but the difference is, the normal person, when you ask them to please lighten up, please try to understand you and have some compassion for your side of things, they’ll respond by trying, at least.

Not this guy. The narcissist only gets worse. Much worse.

They LIKE to make you unhappy. They don’t want to lighten up and they seldom, if ever, do anything they don’t want to. If they do have to, and you were part of the reason, they’ll make your life unbearable because of it.

There’s a lot to be learned about this guy and I encourage you to learn as much as possible about this type of person, because in order to save yourself and your happiness, you need to put this person out of your life. No if’s, and’s or but’s about it, no matter how much you may feel you love him.

Google “narcissist” and start reading all the websites and see if you don’t find his description over and over again. You’ll soon see you can’t help him because he doesn’t want to be helped.

Why would he? He’s perfect, right?

He thinks he is.

There is no happiness in store for you with this type of person, ever. They’ll make sure you’re never happy for long.

Real love is a give and take thing, and this person never, ever gives anyone real love. He’ll take yours and everybody else’s, but he does not have love to give you, because his love is all for himself.

These people make the decision very early in life NOT to love, for whatever reason, and they stick to it. Whether this is caused by lack of love in infancy, or an overabundance of it by doting parents who cater to his every whim, nobody’s really sure.

But understand this now. He does not want to love you back. He will never love you back. He cannot love you back.

He may SAY he loves you at the beginning, but the minute he’s done with that game, he’ll toss you out of his life and never give it another thought. In fact, you can expect him to say very bad things about you to everyone else who knows you, once he’s done with you, because this is one of the traits of the narcissist. This guy will make SURE everyone knows the whole thing was your fault.

They use, then you’re gone and they feel nothing because they don’t see what they do. They’re entitled, you see, and you’re wrong if you object.

I’ve known two narcissists myself and they’ve done nothing but make people unhappy. Don’t ever expect anything resembling compassion or feeling from him because he doesn’t have it to give. You have to treat him like the infant he is, emotionally, and that get old fast, as you’ve discovered.

My advice would be to get him completely out of your life and move on. It won’t take as long as you think to get over him, because you’ll find the relief you’ll feel, once you’re out from under his thumb, will amaze you and make you wonder what you ever saw in him in the first place.

I promise you, this will happen. So get rid of him. Now. Don’t expect him to beg and plead for you to come back, either. He’ll never do it. He has too much pride. He’ll be viciously angry that you dared leave him and he’ll never, ever forgive you, because YOU did something to HIM.

Let him be. You can’t help him. Years of therapy, even if he did agree to have it, won’t help him. Again, ask a shrink if you don’t believe me. I asked one about this. He told me he hates trying to treat narcissistic personalities because they never hear anything but their own words and ideas.

Also, don’t expect him to get better as he ages, because he won’t. Narcissists get worse as they age, because the big thing they cling to is their looks and outward charm–when they want to be charming, which is usually during the seduction process.

But we all know looks deteriorate as we age. This is one thing the narcissist can’t stand, because I’m sure you’ve noticed he thinks right much of his good looks, and brags about how good he looks for his age, and that nobody believes he’s as old as he is. Strangely enough, this is usually true and it happens, according to psychiatrists, because he doesn’t have the same worries the rest of us do.

So put this guy behind you. You’re already more than aware something’s wrong, and you’re right. There is something wrong and there’s not one thing you can do about it except step back and watch the train wreck–unless you want to be in the wreck with him.

Good luck, Terry. You deserve better.

Back in a few days, folks. The Count and I are heading off to London to see a few shows and do some shopping at Harrods while Beth stays home and empties the dishwasher and feeds the cats and…well, those things are really too sordid for The Hotclue to dwell on, aren’t they. Thank God I’m the happy-go-lucky half. 😉

Toodles, and Loads of Love to Y’all,
The Hotclue

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Comments

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  1. So true, Hotclue. The problem with a lot of women is, they think they can change a man. You can change a diaper when it’s smelly and wet, but change a man!! I don’t think so. Sometimes, a woman will ‘think’ they’re in love, cause the idiot looked in their direction and asked for help as they talk about themselves. Women interpret that as being part of the man’s life. There’s no room in that man’s life for anyone other than himself. So, while you’re shopping in London, pop on over to Paris and pick me up some Louis Vuitton luggage. I’m good for paying you back – on an installment plan of course.

    Reply

  2. Will do, Jasmine! I’ll have it delivered by special messenger, and don’t worry about paying me back. The Count says any friend of mine is a friend of his. 😉

    As for the man-woman thing, isn’t it amazing what we’ll put up with. But this young woman was fighting a completely losing battle, I thought.

    Big hugs,
    The Hotclue

    Reply

  3. THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO TERRY, WHO ASKED ABOUT THE NARCISSIST MAN IN HER LIFE. IT IS SO TRUE. I HAVE BEEN IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH A MAN I LOVE SO MUCH WHO IS A NARCISSIST AND IT WILL NEVER GO ANYWHERE. HE IS SO GOOD AT MAKING ME BELIEVE THAT HE LOVES ME AND THINGS WILL CHANGE, BUT AFTER A FEW MONTHS HE DISCARDS ME LIKE A PIECE OF TRASH AND FORGETS I EVER EXISTED UNTIL HIS NEW SOURCE OF ATTENTION GETS WISE AND LEAVES HIM, HE ALWAYS COMES CRAWLING BACK TO ME, MAKING ME THINK EVERYTHING WAS MY FAULT AS TO WHY WE BROKE UP. I DON’T KNOW WHY I KEEP HIM IN MY LIFE. THEY ARE MASTERS AT DECEPTION AND NOTHING IS EVER THEIR FAULT, ALWAYS OURS.
    HE DRAINED ME FINANCIALLY BEFORE I KNEW WHAT WAS HAPPENING. I KNOW HE IS NO GOOD, BUT I CAN’T SEEM TO GET MY HEART TO BELIEVE IT. IT MAKES ME FEEL ANGRY AT MYSELF FOR LETTING HIM DO THIS TO ME FOR SO MANY YEARS. I THINK I HAVE LET HIM GET ME SO DOWN I FEEL AS IF NO ONE ELSE WILL WANT ME. IN EIGHT YEARS HE ALWAYS SAID NEVER TO EXPECT FLOWERS OR LITTLE GIFTS, THAT HE JUST DOES NOT DO THAT STUFF. ONE OF THE TIMES HE SUDDENLY DISCARDED ME, I FOUND OUT HE SENT HIS NEW GIRLFRIEND FLOWERS AFTER JUST KNOWING HER FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS.
    THAT HURT MORE THAN I CAN TELL YOU! HE TRIED TO EXPLAIN IT TO ME, BUT THERE ISN’T ANYTHING IN THE WORLD THAT WILL MAKE ME UNDERSTAND THAT ONE. IT WAS A TURNING POINT FOR ME, THOUGH, MY HEART HARDENED ALOT TOWARDS HIM OVER THE FLOWERS, AND I THINK THAT MAY BE THE THING THAT GETS ME PAST ALL THE LOVE I THINK I FEEL FOR HIM. SOMETHING WILL SNAP FOR YOU, TOO, SOMEDAY AND OPEN YOUR EYES TO WHAT HE IS TRULY LIKE, AND YOU WILL WONDER WHY YOU EVER THOUGHT YOU LOVED HIM. IT IS HARD, AND IT TOOK ME A LONG TIME TO GET THIS POINT. I AM STILL NOT WHERE I NEED TO BE, BUT GETTING CLOSER EACH TIME HE HURTS ME AND SHOWS NO REMORSE OR THE SLIGHTEST REGARD FOR MY FEELINGS. GOOD LUCK. NANCY E.

    Reply

  4. And Nancy E, one day soon you’ll cut him out of your life forever and yes, it’ll take a while, but after some time passes, you’ll find your heart is harder than you ever thought possible toward him and you’ll be able to turn away and never look back. Love like you’ve described is usually just physical attraction anyhow, and that never lasts. I’d be mad about the flowers too, and he deserves not to have you to come back to. In fact, you need to take the final step yourself. You will recover and someone else WILL find you attractive. That’s the worst thing about these guys. They make you feel so ugly and worthless somehow, when in reality, they’re the ugly ones inside and out. Thanks for writing, Nancy. I hope it helps a lot of other people stuck in a relationship like this one.
    Hugs, Hotclue

    Reply

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