One of the worst things a narcissist tries to do is label you.
She/he might try to define you to yourself,
your friends and family members.
This is part of the gaslighting treatment and
while the only person you have any control over is yourself,
you must diligently refute such lies.
When I was a young adult, I began to feel uncomfortable when the narcissist told me how to spend my money and what music to listen to and how to dress and what foods to eat. I was young and starting out and yet I already felt something wasn’t right about the way I was being treated. I hated to be controlled, but this was not a saga of teenage rebellion against parental authority––this controlling happened far into my adult life. I actually wrote a poem when I was thirty-four years old about it. It was a vague and shaky beginning to my awakening, but it would take me another ten years to fully wake up.
What was so weird about this poem is that I shared it with one of my sisters who told me it was a very selfish poem. She said it was all about me—
Me wanting to listen to whatever music I liked,
Me choosing to spend my own money,
Me eating whatever I liked,
Me dressing or wearing my hair however I liked,
And me worshipping God the way I felt led.
What’s really lame is I actually believed her. I felt ashamed for being so selfish that I tore up the poem and threw it away. I don’t blame my sister, she was only repeating the narcissistic things phrases taught to us while we were growing up. This is the way we were raised–-to sacrifice all of ourselves to please the family. It took me a couple decades to realize no one was sacrificing back and the giving whether material things or relationship kindness was all coming from my side. No one else was reciprocating or contributing to the friendship account. I don’t buy into that scheme anymore. It was all part of the game I could never win.
When my sister called me selfish for wanting to live my own life, she was only being a flying monkey and repeating what our parents had told her on multiple occasions. We were taught that self care is selfish. We were complimented and told we were “thoughtful” if we did whatever they wanted.
Whenever I did things the narcissist didn’t approve of, the narc tried to define me as selfish or rebellious. Maybe this has happened to you. Have you found yourself feeling ashamed for being human and having human needs like desiring respect, fun and love? Don’t let the narcissist lie to you.
Any intelligent and mature person knows we all have choices and God himself gave us these choices. He doesn’t stop people from making even harmful decisions. Any form of control over another’s life choices by one adult toward another adult reveals a lack of God’s Spirit.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.
The heart of the problem in every dysfunctional family is someone trying to define someone else and trying to box them into their expectations. And it doesn’t go away when we grow up.
When we care about social causes, they call us liberals.
When we tell the truth and it exposes their lies, they accuse us of lying.
When we refuse to let them walk all over our boundaries, they peg us as controlling.
When we stop allowing them to use us, they call us stingy and selfish.
When we find a grace-filled picture of God, they call us heretics.
The bottom line is even if we do everything the narcissist wants and sell our souls to please them, they won’t appreciate it and they’ll still be looking for some way to judge us. That’s because narcissistic people will use people until they suck them dry.
Perhaps you have been pushed into a corner by a narcissist who wants to control you. When you speak the truth, they lie and try to make you look bad so no one will listen to your stories or want to hang out with you. The narcissist wants to scapegoat and banish you from the camp. If this has happened to you, relax, there’s still hope.
Remember the scapegoat is the lucky one who gets away. Others might continue this group fantasy because they want to feel better about themselves and they can only do this by finding someone they deem worse. Of course we can’t control what they do, they will have to wake up on their own someday, but you can refuse to be defined by the narc.
We are now living in a time people refer to “post-truth.” This is a sad development. People are now confused between fake news and truth and the lies keep spinning in social media on the news feeds every day. Narcissist people, whether world leaders, religious leaders or family members have no scruples about telling the truth.
If you are a survivor of narcissistic abuse, you will need to stand tall in your truth. It’s okay to let other people know the flying monkeys are swarming and will lie about you. You have just as much right to tell your story as the narc does to tell his–only you aren’t lying. Let your closest friends and coworkers know what’s going on. You won’t seem like a long winded, complaining nag if you simply say,
“The narcissist (insert name, ex, brother, sister, father, mother, etc.) is talking to everyone about me, so if you hear anything you wonder about please ask me to verify it before you believe anything you hear.”
You have the right to tell your own story. You have the right to decide what you like or don’t like or who you hang out with or stay away from. You get to define who you are by how you treat other people and in time the contrast between you and the narcissist will become obvious to the wise.
Don’t let the narc define you. You are not the sum of whatever the selfish narc wants to make you look like. I love this quote that Mother Teresa put on her wall,
“In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.”