Narcissists like to hurt people. They want to drag you down, and they will tell you lies about yourself to try to make you feel bad. Like the typical bullies, perhaps they think this will make them a little “better,” but they are wrong.
I’ve noticed through the years, that narcissists often like to degrade my talents and good features even more than they attack my bad qualities. In fact, they usually attack the things about me that are “better” than them.
For example, when I was married to my first narcissist husband, he used to get mad at me for reading too much. He said I had too many thoughts. I’ve always been smart…gee, I thought that was a good thing! But now, this spouse was telling me I read too many books. Then he told me I should drink more and party more because I was too smart. Bizarre! That’s normally a quality people would value. In fact, doing well in school and college was one of my strengths. Why would he want to drag me down in one of my strong areas?
Later, after I divorced him, I dated a man who lived in a trailer with his mother. He didn’t work for a living. Now, I have nothing against manufactured homes. They can be really nice these days! But his was the not-so-nice kind that was quite old. He was over 40, refusing to work, living off his mom…. One day, he helped me out at a house I owned–that I had bought just fresh out of college. It’s not the fanciest house ever, but I bought it at a very young age, so I’d say that is an achievement. But, he walked in, sneered and said “you actually paid for this?” Let’s just say I didn’t date him much longer. Don’t make fun of my attempts to get ahead when you haven’t tried for yourself.
The second abuser I married was the worst of all. He was very much an underachiever, but would attack all of my strengths and achievements in areas that he couldn’t match. It was as though, since I had done more than he had in those areas, he wanted to knock me down so I’d feel like I wasn’t good enough. But, this is what bullies do. They want to make other people suffer.
A few years ago, after I became a parent, I began to struggle with holding a demanding professional job and being a mom. It got harder after two kids. So, I started working lower level jobs for the flexibility. This was on purpose because I wanted to put my family needs first. I can’t count the times the narcopath ex has made fun of me and called me a loser, as well as having his flying monkeys do it. (This from a guy who hasn’t worked in a couple years because he got fired so often he destroyed his reputation in his field!) As I have been working with the elderly and loving my job–lower wages and all–the insults have increased. I recently applied to go back to school for a full nursing program because I enjoy this work so much. I realize I will have to start at the bottom and work my way up, but I think it’s an important and meaningful career goal. I have also been trying to figure out how to pay to go back to school, because it sure isn’t free! Just a few weeks ago, one of the flying monkeys was mocking me and calling me a failure for being so stupid that I wasn’t sure how to pay for a return to college, and for not being farther along in a career at my age. He was trying to insult me, but I was more annoyed. Seriously? I have a life goal to help people and make the world better, and I make choices in my family’s best interests, and that makes me a failure? I don’t think so! This person has a job that actually harms people. (Selling cigarettes that cause cancer.) I thought he really didn’t have room to insult me.
I just got some more jabs tonight, and it makes me roll my eyes. When bullies strike, they want to strike my best qualities to try to make me feel like my good points aren’t good. Sorry narcissists, I’m not falling for that. Years ago in grade school, I learned that bullies try to dim our lights so theirs will look brighter by comparison. Obviously grade school bullies never change.