We all have core beliefs about what matters; those beliefs shape how we behave. Not good if your core beliefs grow only out of your desires alone.
What really matters? Living in peace, making the world a better place for all. However, that requires sacrifice and loving others as we love ourselves. When we think we are the center of the universe or are the main object of our caring, we are narcissists. Narcissists do not contribute to making the world better for others, any love they give love is self-serving.
As poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning noted love is serves the beloved, “I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out.”
And here’s the kicker, the part love must bring out is love, not fear, doubt, subservience, or destructive behavior. Cults use love bombing to bring you into their fold. On a smaller level, lusting physically often feigns a deeper love. Finally, appeal of many religious is the promise of everlasting love and a place in paradise.
Narcissists can be love bombers. However we all are narcissists to some extent, but some of us less loving than others.
Emotional Fitness Training Tips
Tip one: Follow your heart, but make certain your heart follows your brain. Ask these questions about love in all its levels:
- Are conversations balanced, each person given time to voice their throughts? How often does someone interrupt you and for what reason?
- Does rudeness and rule breaking hold sway? Narcissists break in line, break traffic rules, pilfer office supplies, and refuse to tip or give to charity (unless for show).
- Is criticism responded to with rage? Narcissists are known to fall into a rage when criticized. According to some experts, this is because of hidden shame that the rage tries to ward off.
- Does the person collect trophies at the expense of people? Think “Winning is all that matters” and trophy spouses, houses, cars, jewels, and clothes.
- Is “What you see is not what you get.” Appearance over substance. Fake hair, fake smiles, plastic surgery?
- Is controlling someone a major part of the relationship? Think Gotcha Wars.
- Are other relationships frowned upon? This often takes the form of jealousy and efforts to isolate or keep you from enjoying friends and family.
- Does entitlement predominate? When another person’s needs come before all else and are viewed as rights, no matter what the cost to others; narcissism is at work.
Tip two: Know yourself: The more the above questions point toward narcissism invading a relationship, the more you need to figure out which of your needs are being met in the relationship. Are you the narcissist or the victim of someone else’s narcissism?
Tip three: Rate the extent the narcissism is harmful: Here is a quick three point scale: 1 = No harm; 2 = Positives outweigh negatives; 3 = Negatives outweigh positives.
Tip four: How much will changing partners or living without a partner improve anyone’s life? As the divorce rate for second marriages shows, changing partners is chancy. As therapists know, we tend to marry our needs and that usually means the grass is not greener but much the same whereever you graze. Try another three point scale: 1 = Little improvement; 2 = Some improvement; 3 = Mega improvement.
Tip five: Are you and the other person willing to look critically at the relationship and go for counseling? Again, easily rated. 1 = Both committed and willing; 2 = One commited; 3= No one thinks going for therapy will help.
A lot to think about and the longer the relationship has existed, the more important it is to think about the above.
Children are born narcissistic, and parents can add or decrease how much a child is ruled by his or her own desires. Here are some tips to avoid doing that.
Tip one: Do not worry about spoiling babies.
Tip two: As soon as the child starts walking and talking, worry about the big rules: Safety, respect for other living creatures, respect for property, and respect for reasonable laws. Teach according to age and stage. Safety first; then respect for living creatures and property; and as the teens are entered upon, respect for reasonable laws
Tip three:praise and reward good behavior; condemn and punish unacceptable behavior.
Punishments have gotten a bad name. The actual definition of a punishment is pain after an unwanted behavior. That pain can be a simple as not praising or rewarding or as harsh as spanking.
Tip four: Teach manners, including how to apologize and make amends.
Tip five: As your child grows, stop giving and start emphasizing the value of earning. Start with an allowance; some of the allowance should be for just for love, but most of it should be earned by completing chores.
Tip six: Surround your children with people who share your values. Parents are not the only people who teach a child right from wrong. The more people who share your values and interact with your child, the more your values will be reinforced.
Thank you for all you do. Thank me by remembering sharing is caring; so is liking, or commenting. Your caring keeps me going.
LINKS OF INTEREST
These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.
Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises (www.emotionalfitnesstraining.com
The five components of Emotional Intelligence (www.sonoma.edu)Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)Emotional Fitness Tips for Parents (parentsarepeopletoo.com)
An Emotional Fitness Program for Parents(amazon.com)
Related to this WordPress’s Daily Post Prompt? You decide. Here it is: Safety First: Share the story of a time you felt unsafe.
I do not have one to share, and I hope you do not either. Safey is a must in all things, and particularly in relationships.