Getting to know yourself again after a narcissist relationship.
You may have come out of the relationship completely lost as to who you are, no longer knowing who they were or who you’ve become, most question if we are the narcissist if you don’t feel entitled to exploit others with a lack of empathy to care your behaviour affects those around you. You are not a narcissist.
You may have entirely changed after been with a narcissist, you may have changed everything about yourself for them, and now you no longer know you are. You can not let other people define who you are, which is what happened with the narcissist. You may not have indeed known who you were before you got into the relationship. Now is the time for you to create yourself, and only you define who you are.
So now it’s time to work on you. Define who you indeed are. Once you achieve this, which you will, this will also help you move forward with your life.
The best relationship you can have is the one with yourself. So when you enter any relationship, from friendship to personal relationship, what you bring to those is who you are, this all beings with how you want to think for yourself, narcissistic people do all they can to gaslight your thought process, you have the power to regain it.
1. Stop people-pleasing and being who they want you to be. You’ll never be able to please everyone, so start with pleasing yourself, yet still be kind and helpful to others. Just make sure you stick with your values and beliefs to create those boundaries to what you will and will not accept from those around you. When you say no, mean no. Explain to those who understand and listen, not to those unwilling or unable to comprehend your no.
A circle of small genuine true friends where you’re there for them and they’re there for you is far better than pleasing a big group of people who are only interested if they can get something from you. All relationships are about giving and taking, compassion, compromise. Just don’t compromise your own values, beliefs, integrity and self-worth.
Don’t feel like you have to do something you don’t want to do to feel accepted or approved. So long as you’re not hurting others. The only approval you need is your own.
2. Upgrade your old belief systems, starting today. Ask yourself, who are you? What do you desire to be? What are my values? Even if you don’t know the answers straight away, you will get them.
You are the person who defines who you are. No one else gets to decide that. You’re the one that has to live with yourself 24/7. Stop looking at other people to define that for you. Start looking at yourself and what makes you happy. Yes, you can take advice, but only use the information that is relevant to you and who you want to be. If you look to others to tell you who you are, you’re not going to like who you are. You’ll know during a narcissistic relationship. You completely lost your sense of self. You can build it back up to a better you. When you were with the narcissist, you probably put them and their needs above your own. Yes, a lot was down to their manipulative gaslighting ways. Because of the narcissist manipulative ways, you put their needs, thoughts, and version of reality before your own. The narcissist expected you to do that for them.
You might have been the one to stand your ground and not let them manipulate you, in which case you’ve already started your journey of rediscovery. That’s probably why they left, or you finally left.
If you didn’t, don’t worry, you are looking now, so you’ve also taken the first steps to a better, happier you.
3. Ask yourself. Who am I? Not defining you by your job, your children, your nationality or religion, just who am I.?
Who you are is what you decided and who you want to be. If you went and asked 50 people that know you, you’d probably get 50 different opinions back, as everyone is entitled to an opinion. Just because someone perceives you one way that doesn’t define who you are.
4. Work on your sense of self. What are your values? What are your beliefs? Create those boundaries. You need these boundaries to protect your values, to protect what’s important to you and what matters to you. If you’re not clear about what matters most to you and what’s your values, work on yourself to find them. Once you know within yourself what your values are and set up boundaries when someone comes at you with “you’re overreacting” or “ you’re too sensitive “ or “you are not good enough”, you’ll recognise the problem is with them, their envy of you because you know your boundaries and your self-worth. What they think is not your problem. Negative people are just not your problem. Do not let them define you. If you look deep inside and think to yourself, “ you know what, yes, that’s not a good quality within me”, then go change that. Personal development is a good thing. We’re all here to grow. Developing a greater sense of self-awareness.
5. Give yourself a positive mindset. Talk kindly to yourself always, and positively, always look to find the positive in all situations. If you look hard enough, you may just find it, cut negative out of your life and surround yourself with positive people. That’s not saying negative thoughts or situations will not. That’s saying find your own personal way to handle them with a positive outlook.
6. Your values and your beliefs are what define you.
So ask yourself, “ who am I “ and “ what are my values” if you don’t have the answer, that’s fine. We don’t all have the answers straight away, and with a growth mindset, we may shift and change these when we do, as new data comes in, new information, new ideas, new perspectives. It’s ok not to have a clue right now. It’s ok to have no idea how you are right now. But keep asking yourself, “who am I?” until you do. It also helps if you ask yourself. “ what do I love? “ what do I want to do?” “what do I want to experience?” “what contribution do I have to offer the world” “what do I find interesting?” What makes me happy?” keep asking yourself, believing in yourself because you will get there.
Listen to your intuition. It knows what it’s on about even when you don’t.
Remind yourself you are enough. Those who tell you that you’re not remind yourself whatever you do, it’ll never be good enough for those who are no good for you.
Self-care isn’t selfish. Self-care is to be at your best to give your best. Selfish is lacking consideration for others, only doing for your own gains.
Remember, with good intentions. There’s no wrong way or right way to live your life, only your way.
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Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach, She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with BetterHelp (Sponsored.) where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.
Click here for Elizabeth Shaw’s Recommended reading list for more information on recovery from narcissistic abuse.