How to get over a narcissist Part 3

Life Coaching

In two previous articles we discussed 1. grieving the persona and 2. choosing a life of truth or a life of lies.

The first point was realising that the person who seduced us does not really exist they were merely a construction tailor-made to gain our favours, to please us, a mask. The good memories we had therefore were a lie. And the bad times actually showed the true colours of the person hiding behind the mask. Those bad times are the future that awaits us if that person is in our life.

The second point was that once we realise the person we cared for does not exist, we can choose to let that persona into our life and attempt to live out a lie, or we can accept the truth and choose to move on, care for and respect ourselves and those around us.

If we choose that, how do we do so? That is what this article discusses. You can contact me for assistance.

Yes, you can’t expect someone else to respect you more than you respect yourself. Respecting yourself is a choice. What will you gain by respecting yourself more? What will you loose by respecting yourself more? Sometimes, we find comfort in feeling like a victim. It can be reassuring to feel as though we have no agency over our life. Because agency means responsibility. And we do often shy from responsibility, especially when we talk about our “rights”. Just remember, narcissists do not care about rights. So, how to respect ourselves?

In an article I list many ways in which we can respect ourselves. In short, what can we do that gives us more energy? What can we stop doing that takes away our energy? Are we getting enough sleep? Are we feeding ourselves real food, i.e. mainly vegetables and protein with minimal carbs and little to no sugar? Are we avoiding substances and toxic people?

As Jordan Peterson says, “what incredibly stupid things am I doing in my life that I can stop doing now to improve it?”. Conversely, “what little things could I start doing in my life that would help it improve?”. By working on both fronts, we can make substantial changes that, little by little, that add up significantly over time.

  1. Wake up at the same time every day and get out of bed. This has been proven to help massively with depression. Aim for waking up early. 5-7 am is quite good.

  2. Aim for 8 hours of sleep every night. If you go to bed late, still get up at the same time and catch up on sleep later in the day. If you want to go to bed late because you go out or watch TV, maybe that is more important to you than reclaiming your life. Something to think about.

  3. Eat a high fat and low sugar breakfast: eggs, meat, cheese, avocado, nuts, these are some examples of food that give us enough constant energy throughout the day and avoid sugar spikes. This too helps massively with depression.

  4. Limit or eliminate your intake of stimulants, including coffee, black tea, sugar(s), sodas, fruit juices, even limit fruit, carbs, processed food and substances. Stimulants… stimulate us, and then detract from our energy levels, so we have an energetic seesaw effect throughout the day – and this impacts our mood too.

  5. Avoid anything that produces dopamine (sugars, alcohol, substances, gambling, video games, social media, adult content, shopping) because dopamine (produced when we feel pleasure) prevents the creation of serotonin, which makes us feel happy. That’s right, every time we say yes to pleasure, we’re saying no to happiness.

  6. Limit your screen time and aim for keeping all screens off for at least one hour before sleeping and one hour after waking up. Giving yourself YOU time is sending a signal to the world that you are not always at random people’s beck and call.

  7. Exercise a bit every day. It doesn’t have to be much. One pushup is better than none. 1 minute of stretching is better than 30 seconds. Try to increase it a little bit every day. In the worst of cases, we’ll simply be a bit fitter – and that isn’t bad, all else being equal.

  8. Drink LOTS of water, ideally over 2 litres per day (I start my days with 1.5 litres with a pinch of salt and lime, it works wonders).

  9. Write down how you spend your time: it helps you feel accountable to yourself and avoid wasting it – it is our most precious ressource. Indeed, unlike energy and ressources, we can’t get it back, we have a limited quantity and… we don’t know how much is left.

  10. Meditate – even for only 10 minutes. Or 5 minutes. Or even 2 minutes. It’s better than 0 minutes. We all deserve some time off, so quiet time, just to let our brains relax.

  11. Journal on paper. Writing on paper is soothing, it’s a form of drawing, it helps us listen to ourselves. If we don’t listen to ourselves, how can we expect someone else to?

  12. Do something make makes you feel good: work out, draw, cook, doodle, listen to music, play music, go for a walk, call a loved on and ask about them, read a book you enjoy.

  13. No contact with the narcissist. If you are dying to contact the narcissist for whatever reason (closure, validation, anger), instead write a letter on paper and DO NOT SEND IT. Next time you feel like contacting them, write another one AND DO NOT SEND IT. You can choose to read the letters and then burn them, or simply burn them. Getting your thoughts out of your system and mind is very important. And doing so without contacting the narcissist does bring some closure as once we have written the words, they exist outside of our head.

  14. Clean your room. As Jordan Peterson says, your room is the one part of the world you can actually control. Keep it in order. Tidy it. Make your bed. Once you have done this, your world will be a little bit better. Navy SEALS too say that the once thing you can control in your day is whether you get to return to a nicely made bed or not. If you reduce the chaos in your life, that itself is a change for the better. Regardless of if your heart is in it, choosing to make a change for the better does make a difference.

  15. Write down what we know we are good at. Probably the narcissist at first complimented us on something we enjoyed and are good at, then tore us down. How could this make sense? Perhaps they were correct in their criticism? Or perhaps they knew how to kick us where it hurt the most. Was it cooking? Humour? Photography? Music? Knowledge? Remember that we know roughly how good we are and others consider we are. Remove the narcissist’s opinion as they lie to hurt, what they say is as irrelevant as they really are. Pick who you listen to. If you’re not sure, see who you’d recommend to a friend in need.

  16. Write down what we enjoy doing: there probably will be an overlap with the point above. Possible we will have stopped doing what we enjoyed (and were good at) because of the narcissistic abuse.

  17. Give ourselves the freedom and right to do again that which we enjoy. Whether for yourself or for others. Invite close friends for a private concert. Invite them for a dinner you’re cooking. Select a photo of yours, print it out and gift it. See again the joy you can bring into others’ lives and how much you enjoy that. The narcissists wanted to suck the joy and fun out of our lives? Let us reclaim it and share it with worthy people, this time.

  18. Plan something fun and meaningful: a trip, a hike, a weekend away, a concert, an exhibit, something non-material that will possibly produce a memory we will cherish. And maybe invite a family member or a long term friend to join us. Or invite ourselves for some alone time. Whichever feels right.

There is a powerful verse in the Bible “do not cast pearls in front of swine”. On the one hand, this really does mean we should not waste that which we have of value on people who are not worthy. It also means that we should not deprive those who are worthy because of the swine.

Remember that narcissists are not worthy. They tricked us through lies and deceit into believing they were worthy. Then they usually fooled us into believing we are not.

Using this image, let us realise:

  1. Narcissists are swine.

  2. We have pearls.

  3. We are worthy.

  4. Some others are worthy too.

  5. We enjoy sharing our pearls with the worthy.

  6. Even the worthy can be deceived. However, when we choose to repudiate deception and fearlessly seek the truth, liars exit our lives. Indeed, the truth does set us free.

I hope you can take these suggestions, adapt them to your life and your needs, regain strength, courage, resilience, confidence and reclaim your life by respecting yourself more, or even more, than you currently do.

If you prefer improving faster rather than experimenting through trial and error, contact me for personalised assistance. We can turn our lives around in a matter of days with the appropriate help – should we truly choose to.

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