Do you feel like everyone around you is a narcissist in some shape or form?

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#1 Sep 18 - 1AM
Puzzle's picture

Do you feel like everyone around you is a narcissist in some shape or form?

Since returning from overseas after a 6 week break from reality I felt like I had finally moved forward. During this time away I have realised that I am now able to make decisions, have direction and feel strength now that the narcissist is no longer in my life.
I had the complete inability to make simple decisions for myself when I was with him, I would consult him constantly and doubt myself, it was like I had to seek his approval first.

Since I have been gone I have felt independent enough to navigate my way around strange countries, foreign languages and in difficult situations that are normally encountered when travelling.

I came back two days ago feeling confident, happy and encouraged. Since I have been back I have realised that everyone wants to put me back in the victim box and morph into my old persona.

I caught up with a friend yesterday who works with my ex Narc and has always encouraged me to leave him. She seemed a bit unhappy that I was feeling so positive and a little bit miffed. She carried on about the fact that if he changed would I get back with him, and whether I would ever consider it.
For the first time I answered without hesitation....Hell fucking NO!!!!

She replied "that's really sad, and looked miserable."

WTF???? We have been broken up for almost 5 months (God, has it been that long....)
and she comes out with this now?

I felt like saying, "I don't feel sad, so don't."

I walked away at the end of the meeting and felt I should feel people want me to be sad. I thought to myself, haven't I been sad long enough? For the past 5 years spent with him I have been lost and sad. Haven't I suffered enough?

Then another friend called me, and instead of asking about my trip she lunged straight into how I was feeling, as though I had just returned from a therapy retreat. The tone she used was almost patronising.

To top it off my brother, own flesh and blood who I normally have a great relationship with....unleashed fury on me out of nowhere, talking down to me....word for word like the ex Narc did. "What are you doing with your life", "you need to get your shit together", "you shouldn't just turn down work because he works at that school (I just turned down a 3 week contract at his work place and in effect $3,000 which I desperately need), "you're being irresponsible, shouldn't you be focusing on getting a job." (I have been back all of 2 days and it is the weekend here)
"You party too much, you're not young anymore and need to get serious about life." (I have been serious and stressed about life for far to long and haven't had fun in ages.)

He went ballistic...I fell to my knees like I did so many times in the same scenario with the Narc and sobbed, excused myself for my weaknesses, and blamed myself for my existance being a hindrance to someone else.

It was as though he had envoked the spirit of the Narc, his words cut like a knife, and I felt like the abused girl I once was.

I thought to myself screw this I'm going out to try and have fun and regain the great feeling I had a few hours earlier. During that time a friend texted out of the blue. "Hey are you ok?" Not "Hi how was your holiday?".....then I said back "I'm good how are you?" She wrote back "You don't sound convincing and to call her tomorrow."

So my question is, WTF is wrong with people?

I never knew that the people in my life wanted me to remain sad and helpless. It is like walking back in to someone else's world and looking at everyone with a new pair of eyes.

I now realise it wasn't just the Narc who allowed me to maintain a victim mind set, but the people who I thought loved and cared for me, in fact supported it. They don't want me to move forward and change, because that would mean I'm not the go to girl anymore when their life is crap, so that they can compare it to my misery and make themselves feel better.
I'm no longer the weak girl, the sad girl.......why can't they be happy for me. Instead I feel like I am being treated like a threat. Like my behaviour is somehow strange and abnormal and that I should feel like shit for the rest of my life.

I now relaise it is not only my Narc who abused me and made me feel helpless and incapable but those nearest and dearest to me.

It is such a hard thing to face, but I feel like for the first time in my life I can see clearly. I just never imagined I would see this.

Sep 18 - 10AM
ordinarycourage's picture

Roles We Play

What an enlightening post! Yes, we definitely play multiple roles when we have been in relationship with an N. And when we get healthy, it stirs the pot and puts people off balance. I went through a major depression during and after my divorce from my exN, but now I am feeling much better. I made the mistake of telling my mother that I was no longer on meds and she feels the need to constantly remind me that I could slide down into depression again. Words have such power. I wonder if she isn't projecting her own feelings onto me. My mom's mom was an n.
Sep 18 - 10AM
Winter's picture

It is a puzzle... not an easy one...

I think narcissism and selfishness are a part of any personality. We all may feel envious and jealous at time, we all may want to feel “superior” at time. I think it is a part of human nature. If we ask ourselves what is behind this desire of having “last word”, to “win”, to get revenge with our narcs? Why do we care “what NC does to them?” Why are we envious of their new supply? Why do we need to know that “he does not treat the OW better than he treated us?” Why on earth does it reassure us? Sometimes we even do not acknowledge that we are guided by those traits. Same with our friends, family, coworkers, etc... I can tolerate those traits to some extent. Especially when I see that a person recognizes those traits and tries to fight with them. I think that is the case of your friend. She did admit her insecurities to you? it is huge and it deserves respect. She is trying the best she can and, while trying, makes some mistakes from time to time? I would encourage and invest in this friendship. It is not easy to find the fine line, I know. On the other hands, after being with narc, we feel especially vulnerable and we see those traits in people better than ever. We are too hurt to “take it easy” and I do believe we are even triggered by them, because they remind us what we have been through. Maybe it is good idea to stay away for a while from people who exhibits those traits? Just the time to heal, so that we can see more clearly and being able to distinguish later what we can tolerate and what we cannot.
Sep 18 - 9AM
Nemesis's picture


I remember going through something similar when I first realised that my ex was a narcissist/psychopath. I could finally see that I had been putting up with abuse for years, not just from him but from other so-called friends who were basically putting their negative stuff on me. It was like a sudden moment of clarity that was both upsetting and reassuring at the same time. My ex-boyfriend was a psychopath/narcissist. I know this for sure now (he has nearly all of the traits on the psychopath checklist) and I know for sure that I never want to have anything to do with him ever again. However, what I have also had to come to terms with is that, with some people in life, it is not as black and white as this. Some people may have just one or two of the traits of narcissism which may mean that in some ways they are a good person and in other ways they are not. I will give you an example of what I mean. I have a friend who I have known all my life who is very self-centred, has a sense of entitlement and gets very jelous of the success of others. My fortune is her mis-fortune and vice versa. In this respect, she finds it hard to be happy for me when something good happens to me that she perceives as better than what she has got. e.g. When I got a new boyfriend who (in her perception) was better-looking than her boyfriend she reacted to this by being angry with me, looking for logical reasons to criticise me for going out with him and generally being unpleasant to me. She did this because she is an insecure person who measures her success by comparing herself to others. Therefore, in her world, if someone else is winning then she is losing. It did not seem to cross her mind that I had been treated badly by various different men prior to meeting this boyfriend and that I really did deserve a bit of good fortune to come my way. All she could perceive was that my "winning" meant that she was "losing". This made her feel angry and so she took her anger out on me by being horrible and making me miserable. I put up with this friend's bullying for years until one day I just snapped and told her that I was fed up of the way she was treating me and that if it didn't stop I would fall out with her for good. Suddenly, there was a dramatic change in her. She admitted to me that she was really insecure and that she had been jelous. We talked it over and came to an understanding. I have remained friends with this woman and there are still occasions when she will get insecure and jelous and will try to bully me. I believe that, to some extent, she can't help it as it is a part of her personality. Sometimes she says things thet are hurtful. e.g. The first time she came round to see the brand new house that I had just bought the first thing she said about it was a criticism. I ignored this comment, knowing that it was born out of her own insecurity - she could not bear to think that maybe my house was better in some way than hers. Occasionally, I have to rein her in and tell her she is being out of order. If I do this, she will stop, but it will not necessarily prevent her from doing the same thing another time. You may be asking yourself why I am still friends with this person. The answer is that, in other ways, she is a good friend. She is reliable, she is great with giving advice about practical problems (although not so good with emotional ones) and she makes an equal effort to maintain the friendship. We have shared some similar interests for many years and, by and large, I do enjoy her company. My friend is not what I would call a full-blown narcissist. She has just a couple of the traits and these are what sometimes make her a difficult person to be friends with. However, whilst she does have her faults, she is consistent. Ultimately, I know what I am getting and I accept the friendship for what it is with all its limitations. What I am tring to say to you is, I think maybe the time has come for you to make some important decisions about what YOU want from life and what behaviour you are willing to accept from others. Perhaps there are certain people in your life who are being selfish at the moment but who may improve their behaviour if you stand up to them and insist that they treat you with respect. Perhaps there are certain people in your life who are trying to dominate you who are unavoidable family members or co-workers, so you will need to come up with some strategies in how to "manage" them when you are forced to be in their company. Perhaps there are certain people in your life who you think will never change and you can now see that you are better off being completely without them and their negative impact on your life. Look at each relationship individually and, in each case, make a decision that is best for you, your life and your well-being. xxx
Sep 18 - 9AM (Reply to #6)
onwithmylife's picture


there is a wonderful book, called Get Rid Of Him, in paperback and reading what you wrote about your friendship with the woman with self esteems issues, the author said be happy when someone you care about meets with success in any form and say to yourself your day will come as well.People do let their self esteem issues come in the way of their living a happy, satisfying life and look at the narcs and their total lack of self esteem and where it got them, miserable, pathetic,envious, creatures
Sep 18 - 5AM
uk lady
uk lady's picture

Hi Puzzle

Yes, yes, yes. Always be on nark alert. It's all about boundaries - your's. I had the same thing happen with my elder sister when another of my sisters passed back in February. She is ten years older than me and we had had a very close bond from childhood - or so I had always thought. But I now see that it was all about her control and manipulation of me. Relatives were arriving from overseas (5 people) for the funeral and my sister was self appointed organiser of accommodation for them but was in effect not offering to do anything herself. She was dumping it all on me at my house but everything had to be funnelled through her - WHY? - if she was not doing anything by way of help with airport runs, house cleaning in readiness and preparing meals etc. WTF? I had recently had a shoulder operation so was understandably worried about the work involved (plus distraught about my sister who has died after a long, hard fought battle with breast cancer)and tried to put in place some boundaries but because I wasn't this one time agreeing immediately with her orders and plans, she turned really nasty and personal and I was shell shocked. She showed so little respect for me that day that I haven't really spoken to her since. And do you know what, I am relieved as finally recognising her and the ex-P as toxic for me, my life is so much calmer and I am free from their constant jabbering and need to control me. So, my point is. Dump the toxic waste. Go NC with anybody who you feel may have N tendencies until you are stronger and feel more able to cope with them, if ever again. You are not responsible for how they feel, just how you feel at this point in time. I have always said that nobody knows how they would feel about any given situation until they have experienced it themselves. And it's a time of crisis that you know who your real friends are. I personally know that I am isolating myself at the moment when I have a choice but, I need some downtime right now to learn more about me and move forward P-free. As we all know, it is not easy learning, processing and healing from our experience. It takes time and a lot of hard work. So be easy on yourself and just do what you feel you ought to do in your best interests. Dee x
Sep 18 - 2AM
freaked's picture


Sep 18 - 2AM
freaked's picture

My dear fellow

My dear fellow answer is YES... when we have just discovered that we have been victim of a narc husband...suddenly other skeletons tumble out of the cupboard. ditto experience with friends and brother.. even i got shot verbal and emotional abuse from my own blood brother...because I wasn't able to find a job at age 50+ my brother is in many ways much worse than nh. i am seeing red flags of N behavior in my brother as well as in longtime 'friends'. YOU MUST DISSOCIATE FROM YOUR BROTHER ASAP. I HAVE TOLD MY BROTHER TO GO AWAY AND NOT CONTACT ME NOW...AS BAD LUCK WOULD BEFALL HIM AND HIS FAMILY DUE TO WHATEVER BAD I AM FACING WITH MY HUSBAND. AT LEAST WITH MY BROTHER OUT OF THE WAY, I NEED TO DEAL ONLY WITH DERANGED HUSBAND. DEALING WITH ONE NARC IS BETTER THAN DEALING WITH TWO NARCS. maybe people like us are targeted by narcs? maybe we were always victimized by various people for various reasons, and only NOW at least we are WAKING UP to various types of abuse we have been subjected to? maybe there is a lot more going on in life?? and lot others who are covertly abusing us? maybe Narc is not the only one trampling us but many others whom we trusted? I hope I am not scaring up other members with this realization? There are many empaths who may be kind to us... i have found them at this forum...hope someday I will come across empaths in my real life too.
Sep 18 - 2AM
Elena's picture

So sorry...

So sorry that you feel this way. The experience with a narcissist is complex, and most people don't quite understand it, or the damage that it has caused in your life. People who are the closest to us have the capacity to hurt us deeper because we care for them, so you need to be careful what you listen to from their mouths, because it has the capacity to hurt you more; by putting some boundaries maybe with some people on what you will tolerate from them, and how much of what they are saying you will listen to. This is a good time to listen to your gut and take your cues from your self, and surround yourself closely only by those who you feel add to your strength, not those who weaken you more. Sometimes people want to continue the "Victim" talk to continue the gossip or "Narc soap opera", but you have the right to say enough is enough, no more, all the talks from this point forward is for me to build a better life and future, no looking back.