Who am I in your presence? Often, I am in the presence of another and find myself frustrated or not feeling good about myself when I am with them. What an unpleasant experience. People who present unpleasantness are usually oblivious to it and persist until they discover it is unappealing to others and modify it or risk being abandoned. [Blind Spot]
I frequently hear someone described as having alienated others due to their narcissistic, gaslighting, or manipulative behavior. Let's define these behaviors for clarity. A narcissist is a person who has an excessive interest or admiration for themselves and discounts others. Gaslighting is the psychological manipulation of a person that causes them to doubt their thoughts, perception of reality, or memories. Manipulators exploit or scheme to control someone cleverly or unscrupulously.
These behaviors occur on a continuum from mild to chronic and anywhere in between. A person can be mildly narcissistic, or they can be chronically narcissistic. It is the same with gaslighting or manipulating. Experiencing these behaviors from the ones we love is miserable.
These terms are usually expressed with disdain or some pejorative connotation to describe a person who is challenging to deal with or someone who has verbally or psychologically injured them. People in one or more of these terminologies are complicated to be aro und. It is not okay to suffer from anyone who treats you in these three ways.
Sometimes it is impossible to get away from them, especially if they are family or coworkers. However, to remain in their presence is toxic and usually deteriorates the relationship.
Though it is only natural to wish to affect change in others, keep in mind that we can only change ourselves.
This is where, culturally; we tend to fail. It is easy to distance ourselves from them, blaming their behavior or exercising critical judgment for separating from them. I don't mean to imply that we don't need to separate from them, but rather that we must continue to put our focus on changing ourselves rather than playing the victim and saying, "Poor me."
I prefer setting boundaries in a way that makes my distance from them evident when I voice my unhappiness or disapproval of my experience with them. Blaming others in a relationship is taking the victim's role and ensuring things will not change until the identified perpetrator changes their behavior.
Accepting responsibility for how I allow others to treat me is the emotionally mature way to change the relationship experience. Actions, rather than words, can be a more effective means of conveying the story of discomfort in their presence.
Again, the age-old question, "Am I the victim, or am I responsible?"
I choose responsibly.
Who are you in the presence of others? What do you need to do about any toxic relationships?
Watch for the blind spots.
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Blind Spots in Relationships
What I don't know I don't know about myself
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