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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