I was having a conversation with my friend the other day about what narcissism is and breaking it down.
She then started listing people and trying to figure out if they were a narcissist or not.
This put me on alert because it was almost as if she was deciding if they were toxic, if they were worth her energy, based on her assumption of them being a narc or not.
We broke this down some more and I reminded her that just because someone isn’t a narcissist doesn’t mean they’re not toxic. In fact, they could just be straight up horrible people.
This was a realization moment for her and she asked me to do a podcast episode on this.
I’m so incredibly grateful to not only have been trusted with this vulnerable conversation but to know that I’m able to create content that educates you on things that you truly need to know. Without that conversation, I wouldn’t have realized how important this is.
Are they only toxic if they’re a narc? Are they only awful if they have a diagnosis?
The answer is absolutely not.
I’ve experienced abusive relationships with men who, looking back, they definitely have the traits of a narc. I’ve also experienced relationships with men who don’t fit the narc description but who were definitely just awful people.
As humans, we want to compartmentalize things. Our brain is always trying to make sense of the world around us. Because of that, we tend to see one or two things that cause us to categorize someone and put them in a box. If we learn something new, we tend to pick up that box and put it in another box.
This can cause us to fall into the trap of allowing abuse to happen because we put someone in a specific box. In this case, they’re in the “well they’re not a narc so they’re not abusive” box.
But just like physical abuse isn’t the only form of abuse, narcissism isn’t the only explanation for abuse.
Don’t get caught up in this.
Become aware. Stay alert. Stay safe.
You’ve got this, boo.
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