Stop Doing This if You’re with a Narcissist

00:00 Stop Doing This if You’re with a Narcissist
00:40 Defining Echoism (Take the test!)
01:47 Don’t do this with a Narcissist!
03:27 Where You Learned the “Figuring Out” Strategy
04:39 Seeing the Problem More Clearly
06:52 Do this Instead 🙂

One trap for #echoists when it comes to leaving bad (narcissistic) relationships is a species of self-blame: the figuring out response. “I wonder if s/he meant it? Does s/he have NPD? Was that real?” The reality is that echoists learned this strategy in their family of origin. Rather than being encouraged to trust their gut, they’re often pushed to try to think about what their narcissistic caregiver is thinking or doing or feeling–in other words what makes them tick. But in healthy loving relationships, if someone does something upsetting or disappointing, we’re not expected to think about why or try to prevent future hurts by understanding the psychology of the person we’re close to. Healthy intimacy involves saying “ouch” when hurt.

If your son or daughter was hurt by a friend, you likely wouldn’t ask them “Why do you think they did that? or What do you think they were thinking? Or do you think they did it on purpose?” You’d say, I’m so sorry. That must have really hurt.” And comfort them. But #echoists had to survive experiences by hoping that if they figured out their narcissistic caregivers they, themselves, could prevent being hurt. And as adults they often do the same with their partners. I

It’s not your job to figure anyone out but yourself. And doing so is often a well-cultivated habit, to protect yourself from attack after simply saying ouch–and protect narcissistic friends and partners from feeling hurt simply because you dare to say “I didn’t like that.”

Recognize the *figuring out* response as what it is– and always was: yet another way of shouldering responsibility for someone else’s bad behaviors.

For more on echoism, see: