Lately, I can’t scroll through Medium or Instagram without seeing articles about avoiding narcissists, the top ten signs of narcissists, or how to safely burn a sage circle around your home after a narcissist discards you. The overabundance of information is starting to drain me. Having had several relationships with narcissists, I applaud the easy access to resources available today. It helped me understand some of the behaviors; it directed me to the right therapist, turned some lightbulbs on, and connected dots to mysteries of the bizarre, toxic behaviors and double lives I’ve seen and experienced.
But as it is true with anything, is it too much of a good thing? In my case, I felt like I had gotten stuck reliving a relationship. I noticed that amid the constant churning of narcissistic posts, whether on Instagram or Medium, I was sent back to a place I was desperately trying to leave far behind. While the posts were initially validating, later on, the continuous cycle of them was weighing me down. It was causing me to ruminate more instead of breaking away. I decided to unfollow a lot of narcissistic-type accounts and publications. In doing so, I opened up ample space in my mind, and however “woo-woo” it sounds, I started to feel more at peace and focus on the future. It also allowed me to think about what we can do differently besides “damage control” after victims have been left in the hospital, financially broke, or worse. How can we get ahead of this game being played out over and over all around the world?
I’m starting to see Narcissists as trending. My fear is this is an added source of supply for them. Are they the new rock stars? I certainly hope not. And I don’t want to set up future generations to dive headfirst into a dating pool of sociopaths. As a society, how can we start to shut down these types of relationships from forming and spreading?
A starting point could be changing Sex Education to Relationship Education. Maybe schools start to devote time studying toxic behaviors, including the intricate feelings that go along with sex. With the wealth of knowledge available to us as adults, we can educate teens about the complexities of young love and breakups, not just the mechanics of sex.
Focusing on emotional growth as it changes throughout teen years, is just as critical to sexual health as are rolling condoms onto wooden bananas. Future generations depend on us to help guide them to make mature decisions about who they let into their lives spiritually and physically — which I can’t convey deeply enough how important this is. A syllabus that includes discussions on setting boundaries, communication skills, coping strategies, and talking to family and peers; needs to become normalized. Students ages 13 -18 could benefit from having a required course like this once a year. The fact remains that teens will have sex, and we need to continually educate them about the bigger picture; help teens feel confident to nourish their lives, bodies, and souls with healthy decisions that draw in healthy people.
We need to take some of the power away from narcissists and other toxic people by rewriting the narrative. I want to see fewer essays like 10 Toxic Traits All Narcissists Have in Common and more publications like 30 Days of Saying Yes to Help Deprogram a Bad Relationship. Because if you have had as much therapy as I have, you will know a true narcissist will read these articles to learn how to prey on their victims. They are empty and need to gather intel to make sure they can survive. Let’s stop giving this to them so quickly!
Although I am not a doctor or therapist, I understand the personalities discussed here have deep emotional and psychological issues that prevent them from seeing their behavior as unhealthy or understanding why they do it. This is another reason to start working on this earlier; maybe we reach some of those who have these traits while they are more malleable and open to making changes, thus contributing to a healthier society.
Let us focus on mental health and personal growth, NOT the narcissist. Let’s help people stop spinning so they can slowly make new memories. It’s time to empower our youth, along with ourselves, to move forward with confidence, and tools needed to create a lifelong pattern of healthy decisions leading to healthy relationships in all areas of life. Maybe this can kick off a chain reaction of positivity versus the toxic webs we see woven so densely throughout the fabric of our society today.
This post was previously published on Hello, Love.
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