Anti Narcissist series – Part one (Narcissism defined)
The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it. (Proverbs 22:3)
To avoid a narcissist in your life, you must first know what a narcissist is and take your actions. That’s the difference between a prudent one and those are simpletons or gullible people.
At times, I encounter to people who face issues on being in love with a narcissist. Their sufferings are odd but what’s more odd is that these people can’t seem to keep away from their narcissist fiancé whom they intend to marry. They allow themselves to be the proverbial doormat to their oppressive fiancé. Some of these despite my warnings to cease and desist from continuing with such vile ‘sweethearts’ went on with the relationship, lost a lot of their emotional and physical health. And then they came back to me saying that the fiancé now is not interested in marrying them and how to win back their fiancé. I’d then say to them, good riddance for you, now please go and thank God for this, but the people whose hearts were broken by their narcissist ‘loved’ one were still in disbelief that the break up happened. I late understood this weird attachment as a soul tie.
Narcissism is not limited to only a couple who intend to marry. It could be a vile boss, a despotic dictator, traitors, serial stalkers etc. They don’t just seem to care about whom they have to hurt, just so that it inflates their self image to the clouds.
For those who wonder as to what a Narcissist is, here are two most appropriate definitions:
1. Excessive preoccupation with or admiration of oneself.
2. A personality disorder characterized by self-preoccupation, need for admiration, lack of empathy, and unconscious deficits in self-esteem. (source: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/narcissist)
Now for those who still don’t get my point, maybe due to fact they could be with only genuinely nice people, let me make it real to you; bad people do exist. About a few years ago, I encountered once such Narcissist. We due to some reason had to be in the same vehicle. And she kept yelling at her fiancé over the phone. Now all of a sudden she was speaking kindly to him. Initially I was not one bit interested in what she was saying, I was more bothered as to why she became polite without dropping a hint. She then told her fiance that, for two minutes they are to be off the phone and he must not call her and only after the actual time is over to call her back. This is the bit that provoked my interest. She held her mobile phone in her hand and also kept looking at her watch to see if two minutes passed by.
Her boyfriend or fiancé I suppose, called her a few seconds before the stipulated two minutes were done with. Immediately, this vile woman unloaded the worst possible insults to her boyfriend and kept asking him to apologize for calling before the two minutes were over. Even after the boyfriend once said sorry to her, she kept demanding that he keep saying sorry over and over again. Finally, she said the only sorry that she will accept is if she given a ‘treat’ of shopping for her whatever she wishes, provided the boyfriend pays the bills.
I was shocked at such behaviour. A gentleman in the same vehicle, once the girl got off, remarked as to once the girl and her fiancé get married it’s going to be an emotional riot in their marriage. I later pondered on the situation and realized that the girl was indeed a narcissist. Suppose if her boyfriend could think of how his actual future would be with her, he could either tactfully correct her or just leave her. Both ways it would set up a non oppressive future for him with her.
I believe that since the Bible warns of narcissism it didn’t do so only for the sake of our reading. It’s something we must pay attention to and also act on.
Does the Bible speak of narcissism?
– Yes it does and elaborates on narcissism very clearly. Here’s what it says:
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. 9 But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men. (2 Timothy 3:1-9)
Name a few in the Bible are known to be narcissists?
– I’ll mention four such men. Here we go:
- Judas Iscariot
God himself got these four punished in various forms and as per the degree of their sin. At times he did it through his servants on earth, at times by the angels, at times by the narcissists own actions and at times even one on one. (I’ll cover these four in detail in next post of these series) If the Lord knows how to recognize narcissists, shouldn’t we keep guard against such types? Yes, and like I mentioned we need to know what as narcissist is and then take decisive action.
Just because someone looks neat and beautiful doesn’t mean that you should say he or she is a nice person. Understand what their words and actions mean, and you’d know the kind of person they truly are.
Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.” (John 7:24)
Christ be with you!
Faulty listening and rash speaking can affect marriages
At time’s people who are married feel very unhappy with each other. And this has even resulted in marriage problems and even divorce as the last resort. I’m not talking about adultery or illegitimate affairs which causes such things. It’s something that’s seems even more basic; listening and speaking to each other.
Yet after hearing and speaking up their wedding promises to each other, certain couples forget the very same skills. I mean they don’t lose their senses. They still can go to work, ride a vehicle, chat with friends and attend church too. The only difference is that they become strangers, rude strangers to each other. Such an afflicted wife would say, ‘this is not the same man I married’. And any such husband would say, ‘she’s someone else now’.
Ugly words can easily lead to an ugly marriage and God forbid even an ugliest divorce in the making. And in the court of law, the judge, jury and executioner’s of civil law are very known to extract retribution pound for pound. If abuse is proven, the divorce becomes painful and the outcome very much pathetic.
So how does one get correct on the speaking front? It does require a lot of effort and will power. This involves a thing that usually precedes speaking, which is called as ‘listening’.
If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame. (Proverbs 18:13)
Most people do not listen with the intent to understand. Most people listen with the intent to reply. – Stephen R. Covey
Listening to the spouse
For any good relationship between the husband and wife it’s vital that they communicate with each other. It’s not about only telling one’s views to the other person. A two way communication is needed. By this I mean the speaker must be fine with being spoken to. Obviously this includes hearing the spouse and actively trying to understand what’s being spoken instead of blindly nodding the head.
It’s vain, to pretend to hear the spouse for the sake of it, because you may later find yourself in an uneasy spot. Let me make it real to you, a woman tells her husband about her dear friend losing her favorite bag in the state of Ontario, Canada. Plus its the very same bag the wife had gifted to that friend. Now the husband was pretending to hear but was not paying attention to her words. Suddenly if the wife asks him, ‘what do you think about this incident in Ontario?’ to which he replies, ‘O they always do that in Canada. Hey wait is that some place in Brazil?, I mean Ontario sounds like Rio de Janeiro?’. The wife gets upset and asks him if he even cares about the things she buy’s. To which he says, ‘what thing?’ Clearly, the wife now realizes that the husband has no clue what she’s been talking about all that while. If his wife’s in a bad mood, it may result in a huge argument but the husband will still be wondering what went wrong. Eventually the wife by the time she’s calmed down, will again narrate how her friend ended losing the very bag she gifted her, while in Ontario, Canada. Then the husband will respond with either a sorry or will continue the fight depending on his temperament.
Another example, a man tells his wife that he walked all the way up from the bottom to the 17th floor of his work office along with his colleague named Pete. And that was due to some weird fitness challenge that’s being run in their office. Now the man’s been loud and clear. But the wife asks him a few questions, ‘who went up with you?’ and her husband says its was Pete. Then she asks him why did they both go up and he says its due to the company fitness challenge. Now here’s what becomes extremely stupid, she then asks him what did the company ask him to do as part of the fitness challenge. The husband gets annoyed and tells her that wasn’t she told very much clearly that he had to walk up to the 17th floor. Now that wife is not willing to admit she was not hearing him right. She responds saying that she was not told that he walked 17th floors. By now the husband’s very angry and says ‘What? Why did you then ask about who went up with me?’ Again depending on the temperament of the couple this could drag into a series of arguments for weeks. Basically, the husband only a wanted to show how tough a task he got for fitness. His wife got it all wrong only because of not listening well enough. (The 17th floor challenge, I hope is only an example of a challenge. I don’t recommend anyone to try that.)
By both these examples you’ll realize that hearing and listening are different. Hearing is physical. While listening is physical, mental, intellectual and emotional.
Then Jesus said, “Anyone who has ears to hear should listen!” (Mark 4:9)
Even Jesus had to face people who heard him preach the Gospel but then never bothered to truly listen to what he spoke. Knowing this Jesus would say, “Anyone who has ears to hear should listen!”
If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination. (Proverbs 28:9)
Some people are even more extreme. Leave the bit about listening, they don’t even want to hear the spouse. All they want is to talk. What happens if such a person has the same attitude towards the Word of God. Obviously, then even their prayers to God would be profane.
Putting that in a couple’s relationship, if one only wants to talk but not listen, then such person has acted worse than an unbeliever. The spouse who is not allowed to speak is often filled with fear and hate towards their spouse. Don’t be surprised if you hear of rebellion in such a case. I categorically don’t recommend divorce nor rebellion in such cases. Though one’s got a valid right to indeed get things sorted, it must be done by dialogue between the couple or a discussion with skilled mediators from the couple’s family or their local church. Never seek vain romantic solace with another person just because one’s spouse is an irritant. Hell awaits adulterers to torment them! I’m not saying this to make anyone feel bad but I don’t want people to seek vain happiness out of marriage and have a nasty afterlife in hell.
For those who think, let’s suffer later but now enjoy with an illegal companion for romance, let me share a few things. There’s no guarantee that such foolish actions will make you truly happy. You never know what plans are in the minds of such illegal ‘lovers’. They might be after money. Some are only for lustful motives and will dump immediately. Other’s are carry tales and manipulators. Better to be away from two faced people.
So what’s my advice. Its very simple; listen sincerely well so that you can speak to bless and encourage your spouse.
Christ be with you!