I wish I’d known my ex was a narcissist growing up – that is probably a bit kind – but let’s go with narcissists for the sake of this blog.
I thought he was supportive because I had no idea that he was purposely undermining me. I felt it was me that was out of sync. So I tried harder, worked to become what I thought they wanted.
Yet no matter what I did I always felt like I was not enough. It undermined my confidence until I felt uncertain who I was and even what I enjoyed or was good at.
He once told me, after we had attended a party, that all my friends said I talk too much and am always the centre of attention and sometimes they wish I wouldn’t turn up. This made me lose faith in myself and trust in my friends. But it was all said as if he was hurt for me and he was trying to look after me. When in truth he was trying to control me, by making me break ties with my support network.
I found out years later he was subtlely undermining me to my friends and slowly but surely we started seeing less and less of them.
Being covertly undermined is confusing and creates a situation where I turned negative thoughts on myself.
I hear stories like this play out over and over again in workplaces, people being undermined, disrespected, having their ideas stolen or blocked. But it is all done covertly so it is:
1, Hard to understand what is happening
2, Difficult to report because of this lack of understanding
3, Creates a lack of self-confidence and low self-esteem
On top of this, the narcissist (aka bully) can often pit colleague against colleague without them even being aware of the narcissist’s input.
Being covertly bullied has a detrimental effect on mental health. As the bully keeps moving the goal post and leaves their target feeling of not being able to trust or validate their experience.
This brings me back to my wish. If I had known he was a narcissist that were purposely playing mind games with me, I would not have blamed myself for so much of what was done to me.
Now I want to teach others about what I call The Narcissist Effect. Because what you see is often not what you get with a Narcissist. Often the person your know isn’t the same person their seniors know. They live to win and if that means you lose – they don’t care
It changes the game if you can see behind the Narcissists mask!