I don't want to give up despite reading so much advice to protect from further narcissistic abuse and move on, I want to believe....
and the mirroring usef to really annoy me and feel like they are/were "stealing" from me, and I am chilling out about that now because I realize how fragile their false self is and that their true wounded Inner self is in so much pain and suffering deep down
6 Keys for Narcissists to Change Toward the Higher Self
Self-aware narcissists have the potential to change.
A recovering narcissist needs to be cognizant of where the self ends and another human being begins.
Engaging the "observer self" can help a person remain authentic when narcissistic tendencies flare up.
Once a narcissist develops self-awareness, they can avoid repeating past mistakes and create healthier relationships.
The causes of pathological narcissism are complex and deep-seated. Many narcissists are oblivious to their negative and often self-destructive behavioral patterns, which typically result in them experiencing life lessons the hard way. Negative consequences as the result of chronic narcissism may include some of the following:
Loneliness and isolation. Few healthy, close, and lasting relationships.
Relationship cut-offs from others feeling let down, disappointed, lied to, used, manipulated, violated, exploited, betrayed, ripped-off, demeaned, invalidated, or ignored.
Missed opportunities from a lack of true substance and/or connectedness.
Financial, career, or legal trouble from rule breaking, gross irresponsibility, careless indulgence, or other indiscretions.
Damaged personal and/or professional reputation.
However, for narcissists who have a degree of self-awareness, there are ways to liberate oneself from the illusion of falsehood, begin the process of inner healing, and progressively move towards manifesting the real, Higher Self.
For the purpose of this post, elements of realizing the Higher Self include self-acceptance, substantive success, and the capacity to feel and engage in truly healthy, loving, and lasting relationships.
Below are six keys for narcissists to progressively move toward the Higher Self, excerpted from my books, including How to Successfully Handle Narcissists. This information is general and introductory only. One should consult with a qualified mental health professional for individualized guidance and support. For the purpose of conveying immediacy, the following passages are written as if they’re reaching out directly to a narcissist, even if the present reader may not be one.
1. Be Aware of Boundaries and Practice Consideration
Benefits: Reduce work and personal relationship fallouts due to boundary violation. Normalize and improve relationships.
Perhaps the single most important idea to keep in mind for a recovering narcissist is to be cognizant of where the self ends, and another human being begins. Exercise greater consideration for other people’s existence, thoughts, and feelings. Practical tips on how to achieve this include:
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Address people by their names, both in speaking and in writing.
Listen at least as much as you talk.
Express genuine interest in and curiosity about people in your life. Ask appropriate questions to learn more about what’s new and important to them.
Be careful not to thoughtlessly intrude upon others’ personal space, use their personal property, or take up their personal time without permission. When making requests, ask instead of giving orders or presuming that you know best. Awareness and vigilance are necessary here, for narcissists are often good at asking manipulatively to get what they want. Ask not with leading but open questions. Give space for the other person to exercise free choice. Respect the choice, even if it’s not what you want every time.2. Develop and Deliver Substance
Benefits: Reduce the stress, anxiety, and moral conflict (“inner nagging”) that may come with having to pretend, lie, cheat, manipulate, exaggerate, demean, malign, cut corners, take shortcuts, or break promises, knowing deep down that you are not whom you make yourself out to be. Increase the possibility of enjoying genuine, more durable personal as well as professional relationships. Enhance your reputation as a person who is solid, reliable, and dependable. Build trust from which many long-term personal and professional connections, opportunities, and successes emerge.
“In all things—substance! substance! substance!” is an excellent mantra for many recovering narcissists, to repeat daily during decision points. Practical tips on how to achieve this include:
Do what you say you’re going to do. Keep promises, agreements, and appointments.
Conversely, avoid making any promises you can’t keep.
When not able to follow through, be accountable and take responsibility. Importantly, be proactive and identify what you will do to rectify the situation going forward. Build trust with your honor and integrity.
Focus on making a measurable difference in your work and relationships. Avoid actions and decisions that will cause others to feel short-changed, cheated, used, belittled, manipulated, and correspondingly disappointed. A good way to measure is whether people are as happy after receiving what you deliver as when you initially promised and whether they like your substance enough to repeat the interaction again.3. Use Your Observer Self to Increase Mindfulness
Benefits: Reduce friction, conflict, and misunderstandings. Increase positive and constructive social interactions.
The Observer Self is a useful psychological resource that helps increase awareness in many situations. It is the part of your consciousness that exercises mindfulness and helps you make intelligent, considerate decisions. For example, if you’re speeding on the freeway in heavy rain, you can either do so obliviously, or you can “observe” your driving, make a mental note that you’re driving way too fast in bad weather, and consider whether it would be safer to slow down. This mindful process is your Observer Self in action.
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In your relationships with people, when you suspect that your narcissistic tendencies could get the best of you, elicit the help of your Observer Self by asking one or more of the following questions:
“How is what I’m about to say or do going to come off?”
“How might someone feel on the receiving end of my communication and behavior?”
“Could the other person feel used, slighted, looked down upon, or ignored on the receiving end of my conduct?”
“Are my words and actions intended to show how ‘great,’ ‘unique,’ ‘special,’ and ‘superior’ I am?
Whenever we elicit the help of our Observer Self, we’re taking a healthy look in the mirror, which may help us come across as more authentic human beings.