In my work with victims of narcissistic abuse I am more often than not asked the same question: “How do I know I’m not the Narcissist?”
When I asked my own therapist this question so many years ago she answered “If you were the narcissist you wouldn’t be asking that question, because narcissist’s won’t see that the problem is with them.” They are too busy projecting the issues onto those around them.
However our own narcissism is an issue worth exploring in more detail. For example: Why do we ask that question to begin with. What is it that makes us feel we are the narcissist?
In talking to a client today I had a big realization. She was telling me how she was always disappointed in her previous boyfriends or partners. They just didn’t measure up to her expectations. As we dug a little deeper she explained how she has wavered between feelings of superiority and feelings of inferiority. She has built her own illusion or idea of who she was which in her own reality placed herself upon a pedestal. So in a sense she was doing the same thing a narcissistic personality would do. She sheltered herself from her feelings of inferiority by placing herself upon a pedestal. That pedestal created a false confidence.
So when the narcissistic personality comes into her life her false confidence is initially mirrored by the narcissist who reflects to her the image worthy of the pedestal she has placed herself upon. But as the relationship progresses her feelings of inferiority…