One of the striking indicators that you are compromising and becoming ensnared with a toxic narcissist involves a lingering, persistent sense, deep inside, that you are not listening to your instincts and intuition.
Your instincts may be screaming from the inside to gain your full attention. You may have been conditioned to ignore these red flags.
You may be denying the deliberate actions of the toxic other or minimizing the behaviors to justify behaviors that are not “sitting right” with you.
You may be dazzled by the shiny objects and glittering persona that distract victims and create confusion and doubt.
Were there signs early on before and after my marriage? Of
Many times our brain does not want to acknowledge these clear indicators because these signals are contradicting some deep held beliefs. We think we have met our “soul mate.”
It is literally painful for the brain to acknowledge that “I am partnered with someone who criticizes me regularly and I am choosing to stay.” or “I am with someone whose behavior is over the line and I am not setting boundary lines to protect myself.”
It is so difficult to recognize and label with clarity that what we are experiencing is abuse. We are caught up in a fog and stressed out habitual reactivity. We “forget” how to regard ourselves with respect, kindness, and compassion. We “forget” what normal is and how freeing peace and calm can feel.
So instead of saving ourselves we justify and deny what is right in front of us so we don’t have to confront the truth and deal with a difficult reality.
It can start subtly and slide into a dizzying decline before turning into an unending cycle. Ask yourself the following questions:
Do you fear the angry outbursts?
Do you feel drained and confused hoping, wishing and praying for his/her “moods” to pass?
Do you get the silent treatment if you dare to disagree?
Do you endure harsh name calling and punishing comments and yet still attempt to appease this person?
Are you criticized for your outfits, your weight, your choice friends, your pursuits (unless of it makes him/her “look good”), and the new recipe you tried?
Do you feel that the toxic other is indifferent to your personal losses and disappointments and has limited empathy towards what you are going through?
Is there unpredictable behavior and a near constant state of chaos surrounding your life?
Is every move and waking moment unconsciously fine-tuned to the moods and actions of the toxic one?
Are you controlled by this person and his moods, affection (or lack of it)?
Does he refuse to take responsibility for anything? Does he make excuses and blame others?
Do you find that everyone else is the cause of all his/her problems? The booze, the job, the boss, his childhood, your friends, your family – you name it. Everyone and everything else is to blame.
If you answered yes to even one of these questions, you need to take a long, clear, conscious look at your relationship.
Write down the actions of the toxic other so you don’t forget and share the information with a close and trusted friend. Watch their reaction. Get into counseling. Consult an expert mentor.