Womenlines takes pleasure to welcome Lynn McIntosh, as a guest contributor at Womenlines. Lynn has shared a very interesting article on an understanding of a Narcissist’s attitude-
Let’s take an inventory regarding the attitude that a narcissist has towards you.
Do you ever get the idea that the narcissist in your life is unimpressed by you? That this individual has low regard or low level of respect for you. Do you ever get the sense that they are really dismissive towards you and all the many ways you like to think and do? Do you ever think that person has a condescending attitude towards you or is using you?
The above happens almost every time you are in the narcissist’s presence because that is how they think. There is one simple phrase that summarizes the narcissist’s attitude towards you and it’s “you’re not me.” They think that is a good way for them to think.
The narcissist has their set of standards and you just don’t meet up to them. There is that sense of haughtiness and it reflects their need to be in control over you because they have such an inflated understanding of who they are. There are implications spilling over from that statement “you’re not me.” It’s also their way of implying you don’t think like me (and you should) or you don’t prioritize like me, you don’t have the same skills like me, you don’t have the same connections as I do, you don’t have the right beliefs like I do.
They have this need to build themselves up by saying “you’re not me” that gives them the opportunity to think “well if you look at me, you are going to see what an enlightened person looks like.” When they say “you’re not me” it implies insults. Insults such as you’re defective, you’re inadequate, you’re inferior, you’re unenlightened and furthermore you’re a nuisance too. You’re confused and you’re probably wrong. You have baggage, you can’t be trusted, you’re emotionally imbalanced.
When they think “you’re not me” you’re thinking “what did I do to deserve this?” “Why do you think so poorly of me?” There is one simple answer to that and its “you showed up.” When you are in the narcissists’ presence and after a while when they realize you’re not going to fit into that mould that they have for you, here comes that notion “you’re not me” and all of the insults that go along with it.
I have clients coming to me saying “I’m never going to be able to please this person.” This individual is constantly in a bad mood. What does that statement “you’re not me” tell us about what is going on in the interior of the narcissistic person?
- Narcissists are highly self-impressed. Part of the defining feature of narcissism is that they have an inflated view of who they are to the extent that their egos are much larger than is really necessary and frankly their ego is so large, there is not much left in the equation for you. They have to have that superior position, so they view the world in such a way that allows them to maintain that bias. Narcissists are empty souls. This implication that “you’re not me” and you’re defective, I’m better than you – all this is part of their grand design to maintain a false self. Way back in their younger years and throughout their adult years and interactions, they’ve realized there are people that may not like them, people that have differences and they’re going to ask for some adjustment and the narcissist is thinking “Well, that means you’re rejecting me” and they put all sorts of interpretations on differences that are actually false so what they do is they build a persona around the notion that says “I’m impenetrable.” There is nothing wrong with me, there is nothing that needs to be changed.
- Narcissists will almost always, sometimes subconsciously, assign the role of “loser” to you. As I mentioned, all you have to do is show up, and you are already in second place and sinking fast. They think “because I’m superior you have to be inferior.” That’s the way they think.
Narcissists truly don’t understand the commonalities that all people have. When a narcissist thinks “you’re not me” it’s their way of saying “I’m truly unique. The truth is we all have unique skills, ingredients and traits. That’s part of what’s built into human nature. Diversity and variety. But then we have a whole lot of commonality as well and they don’t like to acknowledge that. We all have insecurities, we all have moments for anger, we all have the potential for good, we all make blunders, we each have likes and dislikes, we are all the same in many kinds of ways. Narcissists don’t like to say, yes, you are my fellow companion on this road of life and we are all in this together.” The narcissist says “No, I’m apart.” They can’t understand our commonality and interconnection. To them, that’s almost something that brings them down into a lower place.
Narcissists are users. When they are saying “you’re not me” the implication is “I wish I could turn you into a mini-me so that you can make me feel better and do all sorts of things that are going to give me pleasure.” Narcissists have questions in their minds, “What have you done for me lately and what are you going to do for me next?” They are users, exploiters in search for narcissistic supply. “You’re not me” implies you’re not giving me the supply and complying with my regulation
They cannot or will not see your positive traits. When a narcissist is thinking “you’re not me” they overlook the fact that you’ve got some good characteristics.” “Why don’t I slow down and appreciate that.” In fact, when they see what you consider to be your positive characteristics they say “Its fake.” If you show some positive characteristics they say “oh, you’re just manipulating” (which is their projection). If you show your positive characteristics, it’s like “unimpressed” because you’re not me.
It is exasperating. When you are around these individuals, that theme permeates so much of their interaction style.
So what is going to be your response when the narcissist says “you’re not me.” The first response is “That’s correct.” “I’m not you and I gladly embrace it.” Your rejection doesn’t threaten me. In fact, your rejection stimulates me to become a better person. Knowing that you’re not like me, and you knowing you are going to find that a big huge blight against me, my response as I continue will be I’ll cease hiding my real self. I’m going to cease appeasing and justifying who I am. I’m going to cease arguing. What’s the point? I’m going to cease worrying or fretting what you’re attitude might be next. I’m going to cease changing my good plans just to get along with you, when in fact, you are never going to be pleased anyway. I’m also going to cease wondering if you’re going to be in a good mood today. So the next time you realize you’re in a situation and you realize that the narcissist is over there thinking “you’re not me”, there is one ultimate response I’m going to have towards that and that is “thanks for the compliment
Relationship Coach and author