How Narcissism Taught Me Radical Self Care

I love, love. I love loving people. I love being in love with my loved ones- family and friends. I love expressing and exchanging love with my loving partner. It’s just a magical feeling that makes me feel fully alive. But, one thing I’ve learned about myself in recent months (that’s right, I’m still learning about myself all the time) is that sometimes the way I love others is a reflection of a self-importance that has at times created inner tension, occasional overwhelm and some distancing from others in my intimate relationships.

I’m not sure if you’re familiar with narcissism but what a lot of people don’t recognize is how much narcissism is engrained in our self-concept from early childhood. It is through acts of kindness at times that we find ourselves with a savior’s complex that involves overextending ourselves for the sake of “being a good person” or helpful.

It was after a breakup and several years of going in and out of touch with people involved in my previous relationship that I recognized how invested I still was in my former partner’s life, though at the time I was in a new relationship. My ex-lover was someone I cared deeply about. They had a long history of trauma, something I’m quite familiar with on both a personal and a professional level. I thought, “this person needs help. They need understanding and patience” yet I wondered had I forgotten why I was no longer with them? For clarification, when you’re healing trauma you must remove yourself from the people and places that caused it.

Asha Tarry
Asha Tarry, Life Coach

After a few attempts at trying to assist my ex-partner with some healing I had a talk with myself and asked myself very honestly why I was directing my attention there when I had an amazing new love in my life. Why did I need to center myself around this man’s healing when he had a very capable family who could do what I was doing? I needed to be told (and I told this to myself) that the best friend I can be is to myself. I looked at my behavior and my pattern of being “everything to everyone” so often that I forgot how important it was to me to be present to myself, to my new relationship and to all the prosperity coming my way.

My idea about who I was and how I was conditioned earlier in my life to be ever-present for adults who centered themselves was a valuable lesson to learn, and that is, that I am nobody’s superhero! I am not so important that other people with talents, smarts and capabilities don’t have the same figureoutable  attitude that I’ve gained through my life experiences.

Narcissism isn’t as bad of a word as I once thought. It has helped me heal some injuries I didn’t know I was wounded with, starting with the one that began with thinking of others before I think of myself, my wants, my needs and my goals, first.

Are you involved in a relationship or multiple relationships where you’re the go-to person for everyone? How does that feel most of the time? Is there anything different you want to change about that? What exactly do you believe your role is in other people’s lives? I recommend creating a mental spreadsheet of your closest relationships. Ask yourself how you got involved in each one of them. Then, look at the balance of input vs. output. Is it reciprocated? Is it fair?

Let me know what you’ve discovered…

*This blog is about becoming free. It’s a reflection of introspective thoughts and experiences that have crossed miles of self-discovery. I created this blog to inspire others to live life with less self-criticism, judgment and openness to new experiences. May you find that you learn how to live a life by design and on your own terms!*

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