During a time with people who ask for help to find and understand the answer to this question, I ask some questions about progressive points in their life. Early childhood, middle school, teenage years, relationships etc. In the space of about thirty minutes I find there is a remarkably similar thread in most people’s response to these questions. Generally, this does not have a lot to do with the presenting issue but is to some degree a reminder for the person to see how things can come about in forming a lifestyle. I am not a counsellor; however, I have been to many people a go to person for those who are ready and willing to spend time to review possible ways they arrived at this point in their life. Finding themselves in a difficult situation has raised the question. I resemble you (readers) in that I am trusted with someone’s darkest secrets. When someone comes to you and is ask for help… then consider yourself it. They have come to you because they feel they can trust you. You may not be sure of that at first, but agree to help, especially when you realise where the resolution to the issue is going to come from is ourselves.
So, the big question is “…how did I get to be this way…?” and “would anybody actually choose to be this way…?”
If we are looking at narcissism, which is about believing that being in control is the way to go, want to be superior and have become manipulative and
There are reasons a person becomes the way the narcissist keeping in mind that they operate with the presumption that being the one in control is the way to go and tend to have low levels of empathy, they want to be superior and to get to that place they become manipulative, exploiter with an attitude of entitlement in order to get there. They do not receive input well and are ridiculously thin skinned and defensive.
There are reasons a person becomes the way that this narcissist pattern directs them. Many times, the question is Nurture or Nature? Nature is something that is inborn. Nurture is something that is trained into them. Well it is a combination of both bring involved of course in the development of a lifestyle.
Be a better alternative
Here seven reasons for this pattern forming and although, deeply entrenched, and two responses as an alternative to being controlled. Keep in mind that so much was set in place before you had any contact with this person.
An Inborn Disposition
Born with elements that are wired, in something that resembles family traits or by nature and have a natural disposition to be gentle, others may have a natural disposition to being hard, intense… etc, but still can be smoothed out.
Extremes in expectations
Looking into the development years, being guided in life skills that need to be given attention to like file skills or social responsibilities. Narcissist have a strong extreme one way or the other. Narcissistic tendencies have one extreme way or the other. Either strong insistence and expectation that life has to be “this is the way” or another would display an extreme lack of attention to expectations that they just do what they want. Overt v’s Covert.
Over emphasize superficial means of acceptability
Many have been trained that the beautiful person is to aspire after, wealth status acclaim or power broker, athleticism, sexual prowess, seductive activities to be the ones to follow or watch to be able to call the shots or be someone which of course feed into the narcissus pattern of behaviour.
Patterns of inconsistency from care givers
Intermittent reinforcement where the care giver being available and then not available. Kind until they are not, interested until they are not. Just back and forth. So, the narcissist cannot depend on them and it becomes all about them. This built in inconsistency leads to a determination to be the one in control of those around them.
Exposure to improper anger
Exposure to irritability, annoyance, impatience that has come from their authority figures. Passive aggressive anger like the silent treatment
Emotional and relational themes are not explored
How to handle conflict was not discusses, nor life style responsibility, moral standing, how to handle insecurity, where peace comes from or a sense of meaning comes from. Probably not having these when growing up, although these can be caught up on in adult years, the narcissists tend not to do so. The narcissists tend not to have these discussions at all and have a very low interest in growing.
Narcissists take notes from all kinds of others behaviors. They learn that busting the system gets you what you want, are influenced by TV and Movies, takes on extremes of harshness that are part of the social scene. The narcissist thinks, by forcing other into their mold manipulating and overwhelming other, they are winning. Narcissists are there for a reason.
Two Ways to resolve…
- When engaging with a narcissist you have a natural inclination to think… “how can I make that person be different or make them see the light”. Don’t think that it is wrong to talk to that person about some of the better ways that you see life might be, but understand that that so much of this behavior was set in place long before you showed up on the scene. They are going to have to want to do it from the inside out, and you can not superimpose your style because these patterns are deeply entrenched.
- After observing some of the patterns mentioned you might be thinking “ I had some of that in my development years too” then you can observe some on the solutions and take the better alternative and join team healthy. Take your understanding of the making of the narcissist and use it to resolve to be the better alternative. Be the person that is committed to your own personal growth. That is a good way to respond and let the narcissist know they are not winning in your life.