This is an exciting one for us this week, as Nawal Houghton from Your Divorce Coach has kindly written our first ever guest post on TheBreakingDad.co.uk on a subject I think many people will be interested in – particularly those who are going through separation.
If you’d like to feature as a guest blogger drop me an email.
Ah yes this word “Narcissism”, it’s everywhere isn’t it? And certainly for me as an expert at divorcing/separating from narcissists, it’s the main reason my clients come to me seeking clarity and strategy in their divorce process.
Some of you may have heard some horrific stories about people having narcissistic parents, members of family, co-workers, bosses and even partners. I am willing to bet that for the most part, all you’ve heard is the bad stuff, I mean all you have to do is Google Narcissism and it’s all bad, bad, bad.
Just in case you don’t know what we are talking about here, Narcissism is a personality disorder where a person has an exaggerated sense of self, a deep need for attention from others and a total lack of empathy amongst a long list of other traits.
I am going to pivot slightly here now.
Narcissism isn’t always bad. There is ‘Healthy Narcissism’.
So hear me out and this may shock you. The vast majority of us are Narcissistic to some degree.
If we weren’t we wouldn’t brush our teeth, go to the hairdresser, go clothes shopping for the latest trends, and other run-of-the-mill daily tasks that we have come to accept as perfectly normal.
This is good, healthy Narcissism.
Healthy Narcissism is related to self-esteem and self-worth.
Narcissism needs to be identified looking on a spectrum.
On one end, you do have the malignant, covert Narcissists who will manipulate, gaslight and abuse you in order to achieve total control over you.
At the other end, there is healthy Narcissism. This is what we need to be conscious of when we talk about Narcissism.
We need to be careful about branding the word around and really try to understand what arena we are talking in and where on the spectrum this Narcissism that you are experiencing is falling on.
We almost need to be Narcissistic in everyday life.
Let’s talk real life. We are currently living in a pandemic. After a shocking rise in mental health cases around the world, the need to feel good is key.
If we are able to experience feeling joyful at these difficult times, then this is an example of when Narcissism is a good thing.
People have come to realise that Narcissism is acceptable to some degree in most aspects of our lives. For example, the need to big ourselves up a bit when we are in job interviews; my goodness we’ll even do this on a date.
Does this mean we are narcissistic? Again, it’s all about where they fall on the spectrum.
If Narcissism allows you to be more self-confident about certain things then again depending on how it is being used, that’s no bad thing.
We can spend hours scrolling through images and videos on the likes of Instagram, TikTok and Facebook, is everyone on there Narcissistic?
No, not everyone.
Yes, their selfies are exhausting, the display of perfect faces, bodies and lives hitting us at our core and causing us to come to realise the difference between Real life vs Insta life.
But, what do we know of their stories?
What do we know of their struggle?
There are so many factors we need to consider.
Perhaps what you may consider Narcissism is someone’s personal battle with their self-esteem and what you are seeing is their expression of gratitude.
Maybe if we were grateful about ourselves, would we have the ability to see their actions for something else other than egoism?
So how do I tell the difference?
If we think that we are dealing with someone narcissistic, what do we need to ask ourselves when we are trying to identify if we think we are dealing with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
Consider the traits that you are looking at.
When trying to identify whether someone is Narcissistic, look at their behaviour.
What are the traits that you are seeing?
- Are they verbally abusive? Are they mentally abusive?
- Are they unable to understand the consequences of their actions?
- Do they project?
- Do you feel manipulated?
- Do you feel unsafe?
- Do you feel controlled?
- Does it feel like you are walking on eggshells all the time?
These are all strong red flags and warning signs that you are dealing with a narcissist – And this where I help my clients.
Divorcing a Narcissist is harder than being married to one.
If you need help divorcing or separating from a toxic personality and/or Narcissist, then please feel free to contact me at [email protected]
Nawal offers a free 15 minute discovery call and you can check out her Instagram for free daily content.
You can also download of her ‘Top 20 Phrases to use when communicating with a Narcissist’ on her website: www.yourdivorcecoach.org.uk.