When I started my NO CONTACT period (name of separation period in narcissistic slang) I decided to become strong. What a bald thing to do! Still many people get this message to be strong, even to learn to fight alone! Both these messages make a lot of harm to people who are in emotionally difficult times.
I’ve become strong!
I did, many times in my life. I have become the fighter, the warrior, I felt myself to be ready to defend myself. And that was it, I was sending out the message to the world: I’m ready to defend myself, I’ve become strong! And you know what? The world understood my message and sent me many to fight with, I had to defend myself always. And all these were self-fulfilling actions as I was defending myself more, it made me think that this was life, I was on the right path, as I was always busy with defending myself.
But I tell you that this is a normal stage of self development, the important is to arrive to the recognition that being strong is not necessarily a virtue, but it might be a self-abusive notion. We are not born to be in the fighter or in the defensive mode always, we are born to live in peace and love.
When you get out of a narcissistic relationship, or toxic friendship or family, this is probably the first reaction you have: be strong in order to be able to defend yourself from those who already hurt you, or are about to hurt you. You try to cut with your emotions, you want to leave them out of your life as they have already caused you a lot of trouble. You want to leave out a lot of habits you had, because you identify their weakening features. You are trying to transform yourself into the Terminator, a machine that is not bothered by emotions and people.
And you fail.
Why? My reasons:
ONE: you try to become someone you aren’t. One of the biggest lessons in life is that you cannot be anyone else than you. And to reach to your Self, you don’t have to build a fake personality, but you have to pull down all fakeness that has been attached to your real Self. It’s a job proceeding inwards and not outwards. It’s a job of demolition and not construction.
Your narcissistic ex, or father, or brother has done the same, built himself a nice shell, a mask, he has become someone else he isn’t, and now he doesn’t know how to operate the whole machinery, and he is stuck in it. He has become frustrated, and as he isn’t able to reach to his emotions – those are for pussies and out of safety he had decided never to deal with them – he projects his anger, frustration and hatred on you. If you decide to become someone you aren’t, you’ll become self abusive, as you abuse your real self, so you become a self narcissist. And you will project this on your environment, so you will become a narcissist. Sounds awful, right?
TWO: strong things break easier than flexible things. Think about a tree and a bamboo. A huge wind does more harm in a tree than in a bamboo, even it destroys the tree, while the bamboo moves with the wind.
When you decide to become strong, you try to stand against the wind, you concentrate your powers on survival. There is always wind in your life, it means that you are on guard always. That requires a lot of energy that you take away from other parts of your life. If you live a preventive, defensive way, you might leave out a lot of experiences, because you want to keep yourself safe.
When you act like a bamboo, you let things happen to you and you learn to handle them. That will make you a stronger character than resisting everything. that will make you actually weaker, as you will have experiences to learn from – more on this later on.
THREE: you see enemy in every person, you don’t trust in anyone, so you push people away from you.
In my life it was explicitly true. During a three-year period of my life I had 3 narcissistic emotional affairs, and a really emotionally draining friendship. When it was over and my power-period began, I had no friends, I suspected enemy in everyone. And so everyone became my enemy, I was alone – I separated myself from humanity – and I was feeling super-powerful, because no one attacked me. Of course not, because I had pushed them away.
Feeling strong and powerful might bring you the feeling of loneliness and separation too, however people are stronger together than alone! If you distance yourself from people emotionally, you don’t help yourself to gain trust in them, and in yourself either. You don’t trust yourself that you can handle people in your life, so you push them away.
FOUR: if you expect enemies, the universe will respond to your wish and it will send you some.
My approach was: I’m not afraid of you, I give you no chance, I’ll hurt you before you hurt me. So this unfriendly behavior either rushed people away from me, or they were in the same power-period, so we hurt each other. And the easier and most relevant that we hurt those who are around us! That’s the reason why narcissists hurt their environment, they come handy and are available. So when you do the same, you act in a narcissistic way.
FIVE: you try to show how strong you are, and people cannot just play with you. This is the most common mistake what victims do.
“I’ll show him that he can’t play with me, I’ll show him that I’m stronger and I’ll shake his world” – I read it on a blog of a woman who has been complaining about her awful marriage since years, but she is getting nowhere.
This is a battle-cry, and it is followed by battle – that’s why it’s not gonna work. In a dysfunctional relationship where both parties are wearing masks, acting fake and trying to run the other down by their egos, they want to win. What kid of relationship is that where the lovers are trying to win at the expense of the other one? It’s not a relationship, it’s a battlefield.
Most importantly: you cannot be happy at the expense of another one. You can be happy for yourself, and not because you want to show it, prove it to your ex that you can be happy without him. You can be happy without him, if you are really without him, even in your mind, and your goal is no longer to prove him anything.
SIX: you decide to leave your emotions out, a Terminator has no feelings after all!
One of my dearest friends divorced and because of their common daughter, he meets his ex regularly. They talk about their daughter and everything that is involved with her, and he still experiences a lot of negative impacts on his emotions when talking to his ex. He told me once: It’s enough. We divorced, I’m done with her feelings, I don’t want to listen to the same victim mentality, I don’t want to take part in this constant crying and complaining. I want to switch my emotions off!
I had victim mentality all in my life, looking back I know how tiring it was for my environment – for those who don’t have victim mentality of course. For the rest, who had also victim mentality, it’s normal, comfortable, acceptable to cry and complain about everything.
So we discussed this with my friend. I told him that when he switches his emotions off, he not only refuses to let the awful emotions in, but all of them. When you put yourself behind a wall, you separate yourself from people, from ALL KINDS of people. And this way you separate yourself from complains and compliments, emotional storms and loving approach too. When you decide to leave your emotions out, you will block yourself from learning how to deal with emotions, and you will become emotionally numb. And you’ll be scared of people and their approach even more.
When you dare to become vulnerable, you learn to deal with your emotions. You will become stronger – controversially – than by avoiding emotions, because you’ll have experience with feelings. You will know your reactions, you will know what makes you happy, sad, broken or elevated, and so you will know what you allow other people to say or do to you.
The fact that people don’t dare to be vulnerable is because they have no clue how to nurture themselves in emotionally painful times. I have already made a video and a post on this, so feel free to read and watch them.
Controversially emotionally strong people are those who dare to be vulnerable. This way they learn a lot about their emotions, their reactions on emotions, and they learn how to nurture themselves in case.