Ask Brit and your NBG! team
Expert Advice from Bridgette Morris and Lisa West
You've got Questions, We've Got Answers.
Are you living with, working for, or otherwise required to deal with a Narcissist? You’re not alone, and you probably know that you can get advice, support, and information on this website, in our private coaching, in our e-course, through our NBG! narcissist playbook, on the Time Out! Podcast and NBG!’s other tools.
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You can check out all of the questions that have been answered before here on this page!
Previous Questions and Answers
A: With the coronavirus there is a lot of chaos and confusion. The markets are crashing; the grocery stores are empty; there are concerns about the elderly, young children, and those who have compromised immune systems. This is all causing panic and causing fear. That’s exactly what ends up happening when you’re in a relationship with a narcissist. If you’re in a relationship where there’s just chaos and it’s just a lot of stuff going on, you can’t focus on your daily needs. This Chaos Conflict Creator play is one of the primary plays that the NARC engages in. This type of fear and panic that you see going about with the coronavirus, that type of fear and panic a lot of times is what the target of the NARC goes through every day. We understand that and we are here to help you overcome that.
What you can do right now during the coronavirus and everything that’s going on – the same thing you can do if you’re in a relationship with someone with narcissism – is self care. Really take that time to be intentional, to pause, and to think, What do I need to be focusing on right here?
One of the things we want people to focus on is taking care of yourselves and checking on your elderly neighbor if they’re alone. With the coronavirus affecting primarily elderly people, they’re probably fearful to go out to the grocery store to get their grocery needs. So check on them and see if you can help them, if you can provide those grocery needs for them. There are also many children whose only meal is the one they get at school. So with the schools being closed, you have a lot of children who are not going to be fed. They’re going to go hungry. So one way to help yourself, because research shows that when you are generous and when you help others, it actually has a physiological positive effect on your health and emotional health. So a way to help you is to help someone else.
A: Emotional distancing is as critical as social distancing. For one, you start to become in control of your own emotions, of your emotional health. You realize you need to be mentally strong; you start to take accountability of what’s important in your life and having your life reflect that. Just like how we’re learning the social distancing, we’re having to be mindful of the people around us and we’re protecting them of germs. That’s what emotional distancing is: you realize, you know what, just because I’m frustrated I’m not going to project that onto someone else. My words really do matter. They really can impact someone.
A personal story I [Britt] want to share with you is – and I asked them if I could share this and they said that I could – my father had a cardiac arrest two years ago. For him and my mom, their life changed in an instant. Thankfully he has become healed and has become stronger. But for two years their new norm became really kind of social isolating. They had to be very mindful of what they were eating, taking care of themselves, exercising and what they did and what they weren’t doing. And so even though the world was going on around them, they had to adjust to a new norm. So while we right now as a country, are adjusting to this new norm, it feels awkward. It’s hard. But I think it’s a great time to learn what emotional health is. To understand that I can be in the same physical space as someone else and still allow them to have their opinions, allow them to have their thoughts and not engage and/or act with that.
One of my mom’s friends, who was really struggling, had asked my mom, How do I do this? And my mom wrote back to her and said, when my dad had had the cardiac arrest years ago, their lives changed by social distancing and cleaning everything they touched, because his immune system was so low. And interestingly while they were making the changes, the world was continuing as normal. So she can tell you that it was challenging, but now it’s their new normal.
Her prayer, and our prayer, is that we will see good come out of this, that there is a shift. That people start to understand what narcissistic abuse is. It’s an invisible abuse that affects 160 million people in United States. People are not educated about it. And so by us slowing things down emotionally and learning this emotional distancing, learning this emotional pause, hopefully we’ll be able to highlight this. Our other prayer, and I think some of the good that can come out of the social distancing is, our lives matter and who we spend time with. The five people that you surround yourself with, that’s who you’re going to become like. Are those people that you’re around caring, are they loving? Is your community? If it’s not, and if you’ve been with the NARC, they will isolate you. And so that’s one of our hopes with creating this community, is that we’re going to come alongside you and help you learn how to emotionally distance in a really healthy way.
A: First and foremost, put yourself in this person’s shoes. They are struggling with the Negative Narcies. They’re struggling with self-doubt. If they’re reaching out, then do a couple of different things. One, just make sure you’re being nonjudgmental. Focus on the person’s behavior. And then direct them to our website, have them take the quiz. If they’re with a NARC, I would ask them, How do you feel about the behavior that’s occurring? Or if they’re not saying anything and you see someone that’s in a harmful relationship and you want to do something, ask them if they’re okay. Tell them if they want to talk at any time, you’re always available. Make sure that you are not coming off as judgmental because, that person is being judged and blamed and shamed and everything else by the NARC. So you don’t want to come off that same way. You want to make sure that they feel that the door’s open, that they can come to talk to you at any time.
The second thing would be to make sure you’re shifting the focus on them and not shaming what the NARC is doing. Because to get the NARC to change or try to acknowledge their behavior is a big struggle. Often you have this hope each morning, that you can change your behavior and the NARC will change, or you’re trying to make sense of their behavior. You can’t. And the likelihood of someone with the narcissistic personality disorder of going and getting diagnosed, that has to happen with a therapist and it’s next to zero. That’s why we’re focusing on behavior. Just because we say someone is a narcissist, that doesn’t mean they suffer from the narcissistic personality disorder. The behavior is what we try to get. I wouldn’t go and say, I think the person you’re involved with is a narcissist. I would just say, this behavior does seem a little off. Does it to you?
And of course, direct them to our website and advise them to join a community.
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