If you’ve already looked into the narcissistic personality disorder, you will most likely already know that a narcissistic person deep down has insecurities and vulnerabilities that they try to mask with their false persona and superior ego. They most often don’t feel guilty, yet they do feel shame, which they then blame shift and project onto others to remove their feelings of shame.
As we all have vulnerabilities, after you’ve been entangled with a narcissist, you are most likely left with more insecurities, vulnerabilities and shame, than you started with, this is from things the narcissist projected onto you and things you might have done, at the time with good intentions because you believed their lies. As a good-hearted, kind, caring person, you trusted and believed them.
Vulnerability is having the quality of being a vulnerable person, with the ability to be hurt, attacked, or influenced by someone.
Shame is a painful feeling of being humiliated, embarrassed, distressed by the wrongdoing, foolish behaviour or threats from others to speak your secrets.
Love and connection, humans are hard-wired from birth to connect with others, to form bonds with their primary caregivers. We then grow to form bonds and connect with siblings, friends and partners.
Object consistency, the ability to maintain an emotional bond, usually formed around three years of age and gives people the ability to connect and care for others, even when there are disagreements.
Boundaries, personal guild lines, rules or limits that individuals create to protect themselves from how they will let others treat them.
Shame is something you feel within, usually something someone else has put into your mind.
Guilt is for something you have or haven’t done, something you had to do even if you didn’t want to do it, but knew it was the right thing to do or something you did for someone who wasn’t honest with you, you can usually feel shame when people find out about things you feel embarrassed or guilt about.
Narcissistic people somewhere along their life’s journey either were never told no, therefore live to break down others boundaries for self-satisfaction and self-gain, often left with feelings of shame, to which they never connect to as they project it onto those around them. They might have also never got the genuine connection with their primary caregiver and lived in a home where shame was projected into them, so they never felt worthy or good enough to be loved, feel loved, or truly connect with others, leaving them with deep vulnerabilities, insecurities and shame. Growing up without the attachment to their primary caregiver or someone close and not developing object consistency. They might have grown up with both a lack of boundaries and a lack of attachment. Most narcissistic people under their mask are extremely shame-based. They put on their false persona into the world around them to keep this shame from ever surfacing, with their hidden insecurities and inability to show others their true self. Their actual vulnerability’s this means they are unable to truly, connect with those around them. As narcissistic people deep down have very little belief that they deserve to be loved and to belong, they have low self-worth. So they hide all this place on their mask, run away from heartbreak and pain, hide their vulnerabilities and project onto those closest to them. Even the vulnerable narcissist to the outside world can masks how genuinely vulnerable they indeed are. For people to truly love others and deeply connect to others, they have to be themselves and allow their true selves to be seen.
Unfortunately, those who do show their vulnerabilities to a narcissistic person have them broken down and used against them time and time again, leaving them even more insecure and more vulnerable to others and then end up with little self-worth and full of self-doubt.
We all have insecurities; we all have vulnerabilities; we all have a sense of shame over past mistakes. With genuine people coming together, they can truly love and connect. They show their vulnerabilities and insecurities. They do their utmost to help each other out. They empathise with each other, can feel each other’s pain and support each other, filling each other’s self-worth up, so they can drop their guard and show their vulnerabilities to connect on a deeper level.
As a narcissist is unable or unwilling to show their true vulnerabilities, they blame shift these onto what others did to them, when in reality, it’s usually what the narcissist did to others then projected it into them. Yet as you have a good heart, you open up, only to have the secrets you told the narcissist used against you in the future. The Narcissist walks around life doing their absolute best to numb any and all vulnerabilities, shame, hurt, pain, resentment. The problem then occurs as this means they can no longer feel true joy, happiness, love and connection. They actually temporarily get a quick fix either with the love bombing, but as they are unable to be their authentic selves, they are unable to connect genuinely, they then realise the other person is human and isn’t perfect, and all their negative emotions flow straight out, which is how they indeed are as they can not face up to their own vulnerabilities and their shame. Without object consistency, they can simply walk away without care or thoughts for others feelings. Most narcissistic people are addicts of some form, drugs, alcoholism, gambling which they use to numb their true emotions. They use blame-shifting to lose all their pain and discomfort. They can not say sorry or give a sincere apology as that would mean letting their actual vulnerabilities be seen.
Shame and vulnerability researcher and author Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, has done years of research into vulnerabilities.
She separates people into wholehearted people who have the courage to love with their whole heart. ( Brene Brown names this wholeheartedness.) Meaning they have the courage to show themselves and others that they are imperfect. Courage to be kind to themselves, before being kind to others, and the courage to be authentic. They embrace vulnerability and are able to connect with others truly. They have the willingness to put themselves out there and fail or succeed. The willingness to live and love with their whole heart and if they get hurt to go again.
Shame and vulnerability researcher and author Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW,
“vulnerability is the core for shame, fear, struggle for worthiness, but it’s also the birthplace of joy, creativity, belonging, and of love. ”
Meaning when you enter a narcissistic relationship, you might or might not have, being kind to yourself first. If you were raised by narcissistic parents or had a narcissistic partner before, most likely, you were kind to the narcissist before being kind to yourself, meaning you never wholeheartedly loved them. You loved them. You were a kind person that then became addicted through the trauma bonded and attached on a different level to true love. Still, the addiction makes it increasingly hard to break free.
If you entered the relationship being kind to yourself first, with all the narcissists, gaslighting, silent treatment, blame-shifting, false promises, projection of their real qualities into you, it wouldn’t take long for you to become extremely vulnerable and full of shame, if the narcissist isolated you from others, so you only had the narcissist to go to for reality checks, leaving you full of negative emotions such as low self-worth, guilt, shame and fear. Often why most of us will have opened up our attachment system, completely falling madly in love with them, then the trauma bonding begins, often making it incredibly hard to break free.
So how do you become wholehearted again?
Deal with any inner shame, that inner feeling of not being good enough, not being worthy, not feeling like you belong and feeling like no one would ever love you.
Not dealing with shame can often leave you with narcissistic traits such as addictions, violence, self-destructive, depression, eating disorders and possibly becoming a bully to others to protect yourself, taking some of the narcissist’s traits with you long after the relationship is over, not always. However, if you do or you don’t, you still need to heal.
Bringing the shame and vulnerabilities out.
Remember, always we are all flawsome.
1. Shame and vulnerability researcher and author Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, describes shame as “the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging.” Which is why one of the last things most people want to do is talk about it.
2. The best approach is to talk about our Shame. The more you keep it hidden, the longer it will eat away at you. You’re far from alone in feeling shame. Just make sure you talk with the right people. Talking with those people who have empathy will help bring any shame into perspective. Don’t let shame own you, don’t bury it deep, instead bring it up, let it out and let it go.
3. Shame isn’t something you should be feeling, and shame usually means I’m wrong. Seeing yourself as being bad means you feel unworthy, and you can work on this. Guilt often means you did something terrible, and shame means you need to take control of your own pride and ego when you speak out about things you might feel humiliation or embarrassment about. Those with empathy will do their best to relate and help you work through they’ll also understand. Being humiliated by someone else can feel like shame, and you’re not worthy. This is untrue. Take some time to analyse what you are feeling and why.
4. Separate what you do and who you are. If someone else’s judgment is filling you with shame, Remember that’s their problem, not yours. Be who you truly want to be. Good people will love you for who you are and not bring you down.
5. Recognise any triggers. Write down what made you feel, vulnerable, insecure or shame. Embrace who you are from the inside and not from the outside.
6. Make connections with good understanding people who bring out the best in you, realise you are not alone in things you’ve been through or in how you feel at times. In fact, you are far from alone.
7. Don’t give your power away, don’t people please to fit in, instead please who you are first, then please others if you feel comfortable in doing so, if you don’t want to do something, don’t do it just to be liked.
8. Lose the woe is me, truly and honestly. Who else would you want it to be, lose any victim mindset you have. You have greatness, strength and power deep within to become a survivor and a thriver. Staying in woe is me mode allows it to grow, manifest and develop further. Turing into what can I do mode and survivor mode will lead you into a happier life.
9. Work on “who am I.” Develop your core self, not from how others have treated you, start treating yourself and speaking to yourself how you want to be treated and spoken to, be kind on yourself. If someone you loved or cared for was telling you how you are feeling, what advice would you give them? Use this advice to help you.
10. Work on your vulnerabilities. Can you change the perception within yourself for yourself? So when toxic people use them against you, the wounds have been healed, and they can no longer open them.
Keep working on yourself and baby steps all the way until you’re up and running, the person you want to be, the person you deserve to be, creating a much happier life for you, always be kind and forgiving to yourself first.
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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.
Putting yourself first.
The narcissist’s shame.