Where Narcissists And Codependents Share Common Ground

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Much of the content available online paint narcissists as monsters and codependents as victims. As most of the personal blogs that carry this content are seemingly written by people who have had a relationship with a narcissist that went badly, it is hardly surprising that they feel hard done by. The word narcissist is too easy to use as a label for selfish and self-centered people who may or may not be one and I do truly have the feeling that anyone who ends a relationship badly is quickly ordained with this moniker. By doing this, people are putting themselves in victim status and suggesting that they were “caught” or “had” or “deceived” and in many cases, that could be the truth but is it the whole truth? Are we too quick to use the Narc label to avoid responsibility for own failings?

While it is quite likely true that there are men, narcissist or not, who prey on vulnerable women, it is too simplistic to suggest this is all that is happening. We have to look at people’s motives for getting into a relationship in the first place and this is where codependency and narcissism can share some common ground. Shared issues but different approaches to the problem.

While we can be very comfortable alone, we are all looking for “the one”, who will help us navigate this difficult world. Humans by nature, are not solitary beings and we all prefer to be with someone who cares about us and loves us, even if most of us have no idea what love is. In the adulation phase of the relationship, namely the first six months, we tend to lose our heads somewhat in the euphoria of a new relationship. Boundaries and limits and some might say common sense, go out of our minds in the process of attraction. I am reminded of an experiment held on the BBC concerning how our brains work during this process. Full of hormonal leanings, the couples highlighted who were attracted to each other started to mimic facial gestures, body language and even opinions that they admitted they didn’t hold before. Oh, how our brains trick us.

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Dr. Nicholas Jenner, a therapist, coach, and speaker, has over 20 years of experience in the field of therapy and coaching. His specialty lies in treating codependency, a condition that is often characterized by a compulsive dependence on a partner, friend, or family member for emotional or psychological sustenance. Dr. Jenner's approach to treating codependency involves using Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy, a treatment method that has gained widespread popularity in recent years. He identifies the underlying causes of codependent behavior by exploring his patients' internal "parts," or their different emotional states, to develop strategies to break free from it. Dr. Jenner has authored numerous works on the topic and offers online therapy services to assist individuals in developing healthy relationships and achieving emotional independence.

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. I enjoyed reading this Dr Jenner.

    I think it’s fair to say that I’m made of both narcissistic and codependent traits.

    I am familiar with the seductive power of this narcissistic psychopath (with the dark triad) has on the Internet.

    It should not be underestimated the lengths this predator will go to either. He is not your average narc.

    This person is extremely determined, dangerous and skilled at what they do, and has the means and power to do what he wants done.

    Being a nobody in the world has its advantages, and mostly staying out of his spheres of influence will protect you.

    If you have slighted or criticised him though, (even if you are unaware) you would have wounded him, and unfortunately, sad for many, wounding him always will have its consequences. It is the ones who actually have a close intimate relationship with him in real life though that face the most severe and gravest of danger.

    There will always be another victim to take the place of the most recent one, as this person’s “needs” are out of control I believe.

    The fact that he manages to do what he does without culpability, consequence, or conscience, really speaks for itself.

    And its not because many have not tried to take him and his empire down.

    This is not just a legacy he is creating.
    This is “very” personal to him.
    It is like his own child.
    And he will fight tooth and nail for it!

  2. Marty

    I think you should have a much bigger voice on this subject

    I find us codependents trying to control the narcissist with our behavior interesting

    Never thought of my behavior that way

    As a child I considered myself a pure victim to my violent narcissistic father

    In relationships with women
    I picked the female version of my dad or they picked me

    Has taken a while to see my culpability

    We stay way to long and feel helpless
    A failure when divorce arrives

    It feels like failure not liberation

    Until much later

    Thanks for your insight