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3 fingers pointing back at you

MustardSeedFaith posted 1/6/2020 14:00 PM

I put this comment in a post reply but just wanted to get it out here for people like me (narcissist) and anyone else who might need it. The last few weeks I've really seen the light on some things, one of which is me. Yep, the narcissist that always think they can do it better than everyone else. Or my way is better. Turns out that's completely false! I'm the person that criticizes everyone else. Take for instance, how they drive and how they talk or walk, etc. My BS (BeingheldbyJesus) hit me with something the other day and now it hits me everytime I start to do something like that. She said, "remember, everytime you point your finger at someone else, there are always 3 pointing back at you. Pay attention to the person that the 3 are pointing at!"
I'm still mess up and go there but it's cut down and I'm determined to cut it out!
I see a lot of good thoughts posted on SI, I just wanted to share this one because it was so worthy of being repeated.

[This message edited by MustardSeedFaith at 2:04 PM, January 6th (Monday)]

MustardSeedFaith posted 1/6/2020 14:05 PM

Well, still being new at this I forgot to take the stop sign off. Anyone know how to get it removed??

MangledHeart posted 1/6/2020 14:33 PM

The stop sign has been removed.

MustardSeedFaith posted 1/6/2020 14:37 PM

Thank you MangledHeart

hikingout posted 1/6/2020 14:49 PM

Are you a diagnosed Narcissist? The reason I ask is because often a Narcissist will never come to terms with that. They won't recognize it. I just want to make sure - because while many of us can display some of those tendencies and most of us have acted very selfishly above and beyond the affair. The term gets used a lot so thanks for clarifying.

Hippo16 posted 1/6/2020 15:11 PM

While you are teaching yourself to not point at people - just for fun look up "things Americans do" in foreign countries that are totally socially unacceptable. Finger pointing is only one of many.

I used to have to visit foreign countries and made a point to study "things to not do" that we in the US don't bother to think about. Sometimes I would have to keep a note in my pocket to rehash "crap not to do."

Language was a whole other big problem. "American/English" is rife with idioms that are not very translatable and are often very offensive when literally translated.

Believe that a big tip is offensive? Yep - some places VERY much so.

landclark posted 1/6/2020 17:07 PM

Hippo16, I work for a company where immigrants are the majority, and the pointing thing is so true. There are a lot of things you can learn by studying other cultures. For instance, some cultures it is considered rude to look somebody in the eye, where in America we find it rude if people donít, and teach our kids they should do it.

The whole three finger thing is a good rule of thumb in general, but I think there are legitimately sometimes when three fingers shouldnít be pointed back at you. However yes, itís something to pause and think about.

[This message edited by landclark at 5:07 PM, January 6th (Monday)]

MustardSeedFaith posted 1/6/2020 18:09 PM

Hikingout, yes I have been diagnosed. My BS and I have been in marriage counseling for 4 years now. Our counselor says that I am his first who actually comes to counseling and is trying to conquer it. Evidently most donít want to admit it, as I surely didnít but now I can. I hate the tag and definitely want to shed myself if all that is a narcissist. The first step is admitting. I want to be the ďwinĒ story.

EvolvingSoul posted 1/6/2020 18:34 PM

Mustard, what have you learned so about the nature of Narcissism? How long ago were you diagnosed?

MustardSeedFaith posted 1/6/2020 21:35 PM

EvolvingSoul, I was basically diagnosed right after we started MC after D-Day in 2015. What have I learned? That narcissist are very selfish, point fingers, are never wrong and think itís everyoneís fault but their own. Our way is not the best way, itís the only way. We are controlling and lack empathy. Itís the worst thing ever. I canít stand who I was and that I was ever part of that group of people. That being said, I still have many of the tendencies and am working daily to rid myself of everything that is narcissism.

EvolvingSoul posted 1/6/2020 21:50 PM

You've been dx'd for 4 years.

Have you actually studied Narcissism to see what you (and the people in your life) are up against in terms of being able to affect real change?

Are you actively taking steps to rewire your brain? What are they?

If you are serious about change, you can't just say "Oh I see the problem is that I'm a narcissist, I'm going to try to not be one any more." You have to get down to the nitty gritty of what narcissism is, how narcissists operate, see the places in your own life where that is happening and then make DIFFERENT choices over and over. While your doing that, get yourself into IC and start digging down on how and why you developed this kind of thinking.

It takes years to unravel it all.

Are you in IC?

straha20 posted 1/7/2020 09:13 AM

Are you a diagnosed Narcissist? The reason I ask is because often a Narcissist will never come to terms with that. They won't recognize it. I just want to make sure - because while many of us can display some of those tendencies and most of us have acted very selfishly above and beyond the affair. The term gets used a lot so thanks for clarifying.

My ex-wife is clinically diagnosed NPD, and from the process to get that diagnosis, it seems unlikely that a marriage counselor could adequately make it, or to direct the strategies to mitigate the impact.

Generally, a person with true NPD is missing the capacity for self awareness to actually recognize their condition or its impact on others because, for lack of a better way to put it, they live in a different reality than everyone else, a reality that permeates to their core being. They cannot become self aware. It is completely absent. They can mimic acceptable behaviours, and keep the mask in place, but it is never genuine.

That said, it is also not uncommon for a true narcissist to outwardly and publicly present acceptance of their diagnosis because it is yet another way to elevate, and draw the focus back on themselves. The diagnosis is nothing more than another tool for them to obtain supply.

deephurt posted 1/7/2020 15:06 PM

I am pleased to hear that you are trying to rid your narcissistic ways. Good on you. i also think your BW is right, before you point out someone elses wrongs, look at your own.

My WH has on many occasions, been quite critical of my sister and her husband. He doesn't like them, thinks they are hypocrites and one specific days went on and on about them being liars-nothing I have ever caught them in nor has he. I told him that I had to bit my tongue before I said anything more.....he got it finally. He was calling my sister and her husband liars and hypocrites and he lied and betrayed me for a decade. UMMM who is the liar and hypocrite?

I have wondered if my WH was a narcissist but I don't think he ticks enough boxes.

BeingheldbyJesus posted 1/7/2020 15:58 PM

Well, I thought I would put my 2 cents worth here. MSF and I have been going to MC for 4 years now. MSF is so terrible with facts that I know I will never get the full truth. I don't believe he is lying, he just doesn't remember well. His diagnosis of narcissism has just been within the last 2 years.

I've read quite a bit about narcissism and I can see why he has done so much of what he has done in the past and after d day. It has been heartbreaking for me to discover that he has been such a fake all of these years and really won't be able to be who I thought he was. We have been together since I was 13 and he was 14. I used to feel that he was just so easily swayed by the people he hung around with. Now I see he was just mirroring. When we dated, he seemed perfect. He claimed to believe everything I believed. After we married, I can see instances of the mask falling.... I also see why I always felt I was the only adult in our family and MSF always seemed like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum. As he climbed the "corporate ladder," he grew into someone who disgusted me. He was so full of ego. It hurts to know now that he never really loved me because he doesn't get love. When he began to believe he wasn't the center of my life, he became vulnerable. He never thought to talk to me about his feelings of unhappiness. I see this is very common with wayward though. I cannot understand the thought process. If you love someone, how can someone else just easily step in and replace that person? How do you not do everything to fight for your spouse instead? How can someone just step in and give you ridiculous compliments (ego kibbles) and they are suddenly the love of your life? Loving him is what I did. Long before the A, he treated me horribly. He didn't spend time with me. I was very lonely. I tried talking to him many times. It never went well. He watched tv all night. I went to bed alone. Our bedroom was dead for 3 years. He would try to start something when he came to bed after I had been asleep. There was no foreplay. I didn't want to be used. And, he had some ED issues. I took that personally. He was not doing anything to make me feel wanted or loved. I look at it all and I could have used his excuses and had my own A. But, instead, I did the only thing I knew to do- pray and wait. I kept his house clean, did his laundry, cooked his meals, took care of his kids, etc. I got cheated on.

As my name indicates, I am a follower of Jesus. I truly believe that HE can transform even the worst people if they will just surrender. I've seen it. I know what He did in me. I believe only He can transform a narcissist. I do not believe a narcissist can change alone. The problem is that a narcissist is so controlling that they typically cannot/won't surrender. MSF saw what Jesus did in me and how it separated us. He was very angry at God during that time yet he pretended to be on the same page as me..... His name on here should be "the great pretender". I don't know why he chose MSF except it is what I named our farm that we bought 2 years before the A. I thought he wanted the farm and wanted to build our house on it like I did because he pretended to be on board with me. He didn't tell me the truth. In reality, he didn't want to sell his ego house and move so it is interesting to me that he chose this name. That farm, a place of peace and joy, has become a trigger for me. We were building a beautiful barn on it during his A. We fought over the barn because he hired a friend as the contractor and it took about 3 months to build. If I complained, MSF took it personally, of course.

It seems that MSF truly wants to change... He has been working on empathy. I see his struggle. Our MC has never seen a narcissist change or even try to change but he has truly tried to help MSF. I feel we are on uncharted waters but I believe in our MC. 2 sessions ago, he asked me to leave the two of them together for the last 5 minutes. He heard something in MSF during the session and thinks he has finally gotten to a point where he was waiting for him to get to. He is trying so hard to work with him on empathy. He gave him something to think about.

MSF says it is hell in his head. He has been so critical and negative of everyone around him. He seems to look for the bad in others and points it out. I told him he is a hypocrite and needs to quit pointing fingers at everyone and think about how many more of his fingers are pointing back at him. Pretty much every night, he has to comment on me sleeping on the edge of the bed. "That can't be comfortable." "You are hanging off." I'm not hanging off and I am comfortable, well, as comfortable as I can be sleeping with my Judas. I still cannot get over the fact that this man pretended to love me and climbed into bed with me every night knowing what he had been doing at work with her. uuuuggggghhhhh! It is crazy making!

I hope MSF can change but I still feel it is too late for us. The betrayal was just too much for me.

deephurt posted 1/7/2020 19:14 PM

Reading your lost felt like reading about my wh to a point and now Iím wondering about the whole narcissist thing again. He has been evaluated by a psychiatrist and has general
Anxiety disorder but honestly I heard it from my wh not the psychiatrist. His meds are for anxiety though and he seems better

Iím sorry you are going through this beingheldbyjesus. I know how you are feeling and if itís too much for you there is no reason you have to stay. He is let your problem to fix either. Even if you want to r, his problems are his to fix. You have your own healing to do. Please take care if you and your healing.

MustardSeedFaith posted 1/7/2020 20:11 PM

EvolvingSoul, I hope you have had a chance to see my BS post below. I appreciate her (beingheldbyJesus) participating in this thread. While I think I have made some progress and really see the narcissist tendencies I have, I still ďdonít get itĒ sometimes. I feel like I am really trying and I can admit that I am incredibly frustrated and feel like this whole NPD has handcuffed me and is seriously driving me crazy. I am absolutely serious about change. I have read books about it, listened to my IC/MC, listened to my BS and tried to follow all the help steps I have been give by all of it. I know that I canít do it alone, cannot change without Godís help and I have turned my heart to him and will continue to work toward being a better person, inside and out. Thanks again for your questions and comments. As far as steps I have taken to rewrite my brain, I can only reply that I take each day and try to affect change in me with each situation that comes up. Handle each one better than I would have in the past, learn from mistakes and make better choices and decisions. Remove the self centeredness from me.

RedHeadTemper posted 1/7/2020 22:57 PM


I'm a BS.

Yep, the narcissist that always think they can do it better than everyone else. Or my way is better.†

But I also think I have had strong narsisstic personality traits. I can tell you how I've beat a lot of them.

1. When you're character is questioned. Instead of being defensive, or reacting, pause. Look at yourself and say, is that person right. Do I do that? Typically they are right and you do, do that. Then learn what's appropriate in those situations and rewire your brain.

2. When you think you're right. (I'm going to be honest) you probably are. If someone does something you do not like, realize that for you, it would be better to do it your way, but it might be better for them to do it theirs. Example: I'm driving through the canyon in a blizzard in my 2 wheel drive car. I'm stuck behind a monster truck, with 4 wheel drive and chains on going
10mph with their hazards on. I get pissed at them and drive in 2" of snow on the unplowed lane to get around them. Instead of hating them, or feeling bad for myself, or telling everyone how dumb they were, it's best to think of their situation. They might have had a daughter or a parent die driving in a snow storm, so they think they are using extra caution. Get it. Instead of thinking about yourself and how you're right, think about others and how they are probably right too. There's no one right or even best way to do things.

3. This one's my favorite. Find a handicapped or disabled service group and volunteer. At my high school they had peer tutoring. Really opens your eyes to see how happy you could be if you just love others. And thebkids with autistm, and down syndrome, and Williams syrome will do a pretty good job at teaching you how to love someone.

Wish you the best. Most of us have to learn this stuff on our own when we are teenagers and young adults. It sucks to learn it much later on and realizing the collateral damage you left in your wake. It might be too late for your marraige or just the thing your M needs. But either way if you get it down, you literally will see others and the world to be as great as you see yourself. And that would be a beautiful thing.

[This message edited by RedHeadTemper at 11:10 PM, January 7th (Tuesday)]

BeingheldbyJesus posted 1/8/2020 12:18 PM


I agree with a lot of your advice, however, I have to disagree with the #2, the "you are probably right" advice. I do not believe that to be true. In fact, MSF will argue with me that he is right about something very insignificant but I will show him that he is not right the majority of the time by showing him the proof. Of course, he would get angry with me and say, "You're always right" as if it was a contest. It was never that. But if he said something like, "I know I saw that spatula in this drawer" but then I say, "No, I always keep it in this drawer." Then, he would continue to argue and I would have to go show him. He would be mad about me being right like it was a contest. I did not keep score. He did. Does that make sense?

And if he is not thinking rationally, he is not going to make the right decisions. Having an affair because he was mad at me and didn't think I loved him was not a rational or right decision. I think the best way to approach decisions is to weigh the pros and cons. Try to understand the whys of others. Don't judge.

I do agree with the second part of that advice though that he needs to think about why they might have made that decision for themselves like someone might have died in the snowstorm.

MustardSeedFaith posted 1/8/2020 13:55 PM

Thanks for your advise and comments. #3 makes me think back to when I was first married to BHBJ and my first job was a substitute teacher. I got the elementary special education students for 3 weeks. One of the best experiences of my life. Grew very attached to them and you are right, they can definitely show us how to love unconditionally. I need to go back and reflect on that time. Thanks again for the encouragement.

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