“Your job on this earth is not to rescue another capable adult. That responsibility lies on them.” ~ Dr Ramani Durvasul
Dr. Ramani and Narcissism
When it comes to narcissism, there isn’t a person more qualified than Dr. Ramani Durvasul to point out the many shocking ways narcissism can infiltrate in our relationships, taking over our lives and robbing us of our sanity, dignity, safety, peace of mind, health, and well-being. And today I will share with you some of her most powerful lessons on narcissism in the hope that they will educate and liberate all those who might have fallen prey to narcissism.
25 Shocking Lessons on Narcissism from Dr. Ramani Durvasul
1. Narcissists barrel through life, using relationships and people as objects, tools, and folly.
“Narcissists are precisely that: careless. They barrel through life, using relationships and people as objects, tools, and folly. While they often seem as if they are cruel or harsh, that is in fact giving them too much credit.
They are simply careless.
And they do expect other people to clean up their messes. But carelessness is cruel. Frankly, the motivation for their behavior does not matter; what matters is the outcome. And that outcome is damage to other people’s well-being, hopes, aspirations, and lives. Carelessness captures it, but it is not an excuse.” ~ Dr. Ramani Durvasula,
2. Relationships with narcissists are held in place by hope of a “someday better.
“Relationships with narcissists are held in place by hope of a “someday better,” with little evidence to support it will ever arrive.” ~ Dr. Ramani Durvasul
3. The phrase “I never feel like I am enough” is the mantra of the person in the narcissistic relationship.
“The narcissist is like a bucket with a hole in the bottom: No matter how much you put in, you can never fill it up. The phrase “I never feel like I am enough” is the mantra of the person in the narcissistic relationship. That’s because to your narcissistic partner, you are not. No one is. Nothing is.” ~ Dr. Ramani Durvasula
“Each time something more interesting than you turns up— at work, a person, an opportunity—he will ignore you again. The disappointment each time this takes place can be paralysing. I presented the idea of being “enough.”
Always remember, you are more than enough, always have been, always will be.
The narcissist also never feels like he is enough, so he is always seeking attention and affirmation from the outside. If he is never enough, then no one else is either, but he is not aware of this dynamic.
It would be an entirely different experience if he sat with you and said, “I am very empty, and I will never feel like I am enough, so I know that I will always treat you like you are not enough, even though you are.” If your partner had that level of insight, then he would not be narcissistic.” ~ Dr. Ramani Durvasula
4. If you do not have to listen to their verbal abuse and invalidation, then you have won.
“If you no longer have to deal with them, then you have won. If you have found a way to keep your distance, then you have won. If you do not have to listen to their verbal abuse and invalidation, then you have won.” ~ Ramani S. Durvasula
5. The best narcissist repellant is indifference.
“In fact, the best narcissist repellant out there may not be yelling or screaming or revenge but simply indifference.” ~ Ramani S. Durvasula,
6. Narcissism is very much a “disorder of superficiality.”
“Narcissism is very much a “disorder of superficiality.” Given that the entire world is trending towards greater superficiality in all endeavors—work, school, parenting, and love—the narcissists’ propensity toward superficiality no longer seems that unusual.” ~ Dr. Ramani Durvasula
7. The stance of sticking it out in hopes of redemption is an old story that has wasted many lives.
“When relationships have outlived their shelf life, people often realize that at some level, they are sticking it our because they once thought in the light of their divine love that the other person would change.
Sorry for breaking the poetic hope here, but that doesn’t happen.
People are like rubber bands. They may be able to stretch from time to time and do some amazing things, but in general they are who they are. If manipulation and machinations on your side get them to behave the way you want, I will set my clock on the fact that they will return to their previous way of behaving, or they will keep faking it.
To be in a relationship with someone who is not really there doesn’t make sense. People who aren’t cooperating feel like a project to us, like something for us to rescue or fix. Rescuing is the province of firefighters and fairy tales, but it’s not real life. The stance of sticking it out in hopes of redemption is an old story and one that has wasted many lives.” ~ Dr. Ramani Durvasula
8. “What starts like a fairy tale ends up as a psychiatric case study.” ~ Dr. Ramani S. Durvasula
9. If most of us were in a relationship with ourselves, we would break up with us, given how badly we treat ourselves.
“The fact is, many people do not know how to treat themselves and are experts at putting themselves down. In fact, if most of us were in a relationship with ourselves, we would break up with us, given how badly we treat ourselves.” ~ Dr. Ramani Durvasula
10. “Narcissism is, indeed, the new world order.” ~ Dr. Ramani Durvasula
11. Narcissists outsource their sense of self.
“Narcissists have poorly regulated self-esteem, so they are chronically vulnerable. If they are vulnerable then there is the threat that they may get found out, so they often maintain a grandiose exterior.Because they always measure themselves by other people, they also measure themselves against other people.
They are chronically reliant on the opinions of others to form their own sense of self and are always comparing themselves, their status, their possessions and their lives to other people to determine their sense of worth and self-esteem (in a way, narcissists outsource their sense of self).” ~ Dr. Ramani Durvasula
12. “You can teach a narcissist to show up on time, but you can’t train them to listen once they get there.” ~ Dr. Ramani Durvasula
13. Accusations can be about the narcissist’s own vulnerabilities and weaknesses
“When an accusation is thrown at you that does not fit you, when it doesn’t capture what you know to be true about yourself or your behavior, mentally flip it back on your partner. He is likely accusing you of what he is doing or feeling.
Accusations can be about the narcissist’s own vulnerabilities and weaknesses (accusing you of being overly ambitious when he is ambitious, criticizing you for being unsuccessful or not making enough money when he is not feeling successful in that space)” ~ Dr. Ramani Durvasula
14. A relationship cannot be “hoarded”, just like a meal cannot be prolonged by taking home the leftovers.
“Relationships, like all human experiences, are transient; they change every day and are meant to be enjoyed in the present. When I hear people say you need to “work” at a relationship, what that often really means is just seeing through the day-to-day; listening to another person, listening to yourself, not getting stuck on hurts from the past, and not getting lost in what might come.
To be in a relationship with someone you respect, care about and value is a gift, and when you take that in the day-to-day, you honor yourself and your partner each day. Eating is no different in that you can honor yourself at each meal.
So much time in relationships is spent hashing the past, and arguing about things that haven’t yet happened. A relationship cannot be “hoarded”, just like a meal cannot be prolonged by taking home the leftovers.” ~ Dr. Ramani Durvasula
15. It’s the narcissist’s tendency to blame other people for their difficulties and engage in projection.
“Many people in narcissistic relationships find that they start becoming more anxious and even less able to regulate their own moods, because they feel as though they are living in chaos—and there was nothing they could do about it, because they were unable to soothe, comfort, or cheer up their partner. Interestingly, because of the narcissist’s tendency to blame other people for their difficulties and engage in projection, they will often blame you for being unreliable and inconsistent, when it is in fact their moods that are all over the map.” ~ Dr. Ramani Durvasula
16. “If you are going to go to the trouble of choosing healthy food for your plate, shouldn’t you also choose healthy people for your life?” ~ Dr. Ramani Durvasula
17. People are wearing themselves out over decades, trying to create a fire where there was no possibility.
“The emotionally cold or distant trait also rears its head during arguments when one person is experiencing and expressing significant emotion and the narcissistic person just checks out and does not respond—or does so in a cold and clipped manner.
At such times you may find yourself spinning—and actually feeling as though you are “going crazy”—because the coldness of the response makes it even more difficult to regulate yourself in that moment.
The emotional coldness can be confusing for you and may result in attempts to jump through hoops to generate warmth and connection with your partner. I have observed people wearing themselves out over decades, trying to create a fire where there was no possibility.” ~ Dr. Ramani Durvasula
18. Gaslighting qualifies as a form of emotional abuse.
“Gaslighting qualifies as a form of emotional abuse that involves denying a person’s experience and making statements, such as “that never happened,” “you’re too sensitive,” or “this isn’t that big a deal.” ~ Dr. Ramani Durvasula
19. The best way to choose the wrong door, is to let fear run the show.
“The best way to choose the wrong door, or never even open the door, is to let fear run the show. When you reflect on any big-ticket decision you have made on the basis of fear and anxiety, you can almost guarantee you made the wrong decision.” ~ Dr. Ramani Durvasula
20. Narcissists do not tolerate anything that feels like abandonment.
“Narcissists do not tolerate anything that feels like abandonment. The reaction to narcissistic injury is typically narcissistic rage and revenge. Many people who endure a narcissistic breakup will say that they had to start anew— and learned who their real friends were.
Because they engage in projection (taking what they are feeling and projecting it onto someone else), and because they do not take responsibility for anything or anyone, they blame. Meet his behavior with dignified silence.” ~ Ramani Durvasula
21. Love never dies a natural death.
“Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.” ~ Dr. Ramani Durvasula
22. Narcissists are manipulative and masterful at twisting the situation and working the rules to get what they want.
“Narcissists are manipulative and masterful at twisting the situation and working the rules to get what they want. Even more frustrating, they will turn things around in such a way that you may ultimately give them what they want and exhaust yourself in the process.
Early in a relationship, the manipulation is most often emotional (“I had a tough childhood, so sometimes I say things I do not mean” or “I am under a lot of stress, so I blew up—I didn’t really mean it”) and financial (masterfully getting you to take on disproportionately more financial responsibility, finding yourself spending money you do not have to keep your relationship going and your partner happy.” ~ Dr. Ramani Durvasula
23. To the narcissistic person the only point of reference is theirs.
“Narcissism is about dominance, power and control… To the narcissistic person the only point of reference is theirs… ‘How dare you go succeed and be happy? I’m going to wreck this for you’… In a healthy relationship both partners support the success of the other.” ~ Dr. Ramani Durvasula
24. They don’t care what you have to say.
“Don’t go deep. Don’t defend. Don’t engage. Don’t explain and don’t personalize… They are not listening to you. They don’t care what you have to say. They don’t view you as a separate human being with separate needs and wants. They don’t care!” ~ Dr. Ramani Durvasula
25. Your boundaries are never going to work in a narcissistic relationship.
“Your boundaries are never going to work in a narcissistic relationship. Because when you set boundaries you’re exerting an equal amount of power and there’s no room for that in narcissistic relationships.” ~ Dr. Ramani Durvasula
“Even if you try to teach them how you want to be treated, they ain’t listening because they have no empathy. They don’t care. You’re merely an object to get them what they need.” ~ Dr. Ramani Durvasula
A relationship with a narcissist can be one more source of chaos in your life.
“The emptiness of the narcissist often means that they are only focused on whatever is useful or interesting to them at the moment. If at that moment it is interesting for them to tell you they love you, they do. It’s not really a long game to them, and when the next interesting issue comes up, they attend to that.
The objectification of others—viewing other people as objects useful to his needs—can also play a role. When you are the only thing in the room, or the most interesting thing in the room, then the narcissist’s charisma and charm can leave you convinced that you are his everything.
The problem is that this is typically superficial regard, and that superficiality results in inconsistency, and emotions for the narcissistic person range from intense to detached on a regular basis… Sadly, a relationship with a narcissist can be one more source of chaos in your life, rather than a place of comfort and consistency.” ~ Dr. Ramani Durvasula
Be mindful as he shares the story of his life
“When someone never takes responsibility for anything—words, actions, feelings—it is a challenging if not impossible way to maintain a relationship. They make up complex excuses and can rationalize anything. Be mindful as he shares the story of his life. Does he take ownership of past mistakes or missteps? Or does he share his history as though it were blameless and free of any errors on his part? Does he always seem to blame others for any negative situations in his life?” ~ Dr. Ramani Durvasula
Having a narcissistic parent is an early manifestation of “co-narcissism.“
“Having a narcissistic parent is an early manifestation of a phenomenon termed by some as “co-narcissism.” Alan Rappoport describes this as unconsciously adapting to and supporting the narcissistic patterns of another person. He argues that this pattern starts in childhood, with the child having to adjust and calibrate to the narcissistic parent.
Narcissistic parents are not tuned into their children, and the narcissistic parent largely views the child as an object with which to satisfy his or her needs. Narcissistic parents will be overly indulgent and intrusive about some things and detached and uninterested in others.
Children in these situations often believe life is unpredictable and strive hard to please “unpleasable” and distracted parents. If you grow up like this, you learn that you are valued for what you did, but only if it was aligned with your parent’s wants and needs. It can be a confusing way to grow up and also the perfect set-up for accepting narcissistic behavior as “normal” and then tolerating it from a partner or in other close relationships.” ~ ~ Dr. Ramani Durvasula