Author Archives: alexandra nouri
This week’s Friday Five: Five Songs You’ll Never Hear in the Aunt Alex’s Army Commissary, Because The Lyrics Are Way Too Codependent.
1. Stand by Your Man — Tammy Wynette
2. Tainted Love – Soft Cell
3. Help Me – Joni Mitchell
4. Jolene — Dolly Parton
5. Black Coffee — Peggy Lee
Feel free to add your own in the comments section. When you’re dining in the Army commissary, no one wants you to gag because of the music.
:: Because Aunt Alex gets mail.
Dear Aunt Alex:
The flaming narcissist ex has a new girlfriend, and she seems (from a distance) to be a nice person. I feel like I should warn her. How should I do this? Write her a letter, give her a call? And when is the right time?
Well, aren’t you an altruistic dear. Aunt Alex loves that about you.
However, come on over here and sit in this chair, Dear, and let the Army cadets wrap this rope around you until these helpful feelings of yours pass.
Nothing about this is a good idea, and here’s the worst part of this not-good idea: You’re staying engaged. You’re staying involved, and I do daresay that your wanting to stay involved in his life is the main reason you want to warn this poor woman about the mess in which she’s finding herself.
But, we needn’t rank your motives in any order, or even look at them more closely than that. How should you do this? You shouldn’t. When is the right time? Never. She won’t listen and has to find out for herself. You need to detach, mourn the loss of your hopes, and put all of this love and concern into your own life and future.
Now, you let me know if those ropes are too tight, and I’ll go get you some nice rice pudding with cardamom.
Sitting on the doorknob, acting like he owns the place, waiting for someone to come along and let him in. Isn’t that just like a toad?
(I’m not making this up. There was a toad on Aunt Alex’s doorknob. I took him and gently put him down in the garden. I didn’t do what I want you to do when a toad shows up at your door, Friends, which is call the cops and ask for a restraining order.)
(Actually, it’s a frog. But Aunt Alex is exercising her blog-given right to be a drama queen.)
So, Aunt Alex was with a narcissistic old flame the other day, making out with him in the back seat of a flames-embellished, spoiler-bedecked Hyundai, when….
Hm. Got your attention there, didn’t I.
And now, let’s leap right to the point here: Life is complex, feelings are complex, and relationships are complex, but when it comes to narcissists, simple is your friend. Bare-bones, reduced-to-the-elements points are your friends. Straight-talk is your friend.
I’ll bet dimes to doughnuts that you’ve bought into the BS of a narcissist before. You’ve done this not because you’re dumb, or weak, but because you’re emotionally generous. You give the benefit of the doubt. You allow for some wiggle-room. But, boy, would the straight talk ever sound different:
Wiggle-room: “I’ll just hear him out and see what he has to say.”
Reality: “I’ll just give him MORE attention and give myself MORE hope, when the truth is I’ll only end up hurt and depressed.”
Wiggle-room: “It’s OK if we spend a little time together. I won’t let things go too far.”
Reality: “Things absolutely will go too far, because he’s a scammer and a liar, but I won’t see it coming until it’s too late.”
Wiggle-room: “I’m a kind person and I believe in people who want to change.”
Reality: “I want him to change, and want to help him change, but he hasn’t yet, is all talk now, and isn’t putting up an ounce of effort other than the blathering about it.”
Wiggle-room: “We were only talking. We missed each other.”
Reality: “We were making out in his car, while his fiancee waited for him to come and pick her and their new baby up at the hospital.”
See how that works?
It’s the narcissist who is damaged goods, and he can plow a path of emotional sewage and destruction without any help from the rest of us. When we give a narcissist so much as a micron of wiggle-room, you can bet your doughnuts he’ll use it to shove through your personal boundaries and wreak further havoc on your life. Second chances, second-guessing, letting his abuses go, forgiving and forgetting — none of these approaches have a role in dealing with a narcissist. It’s like adopting a rabid dog who’s already bitten you and your family members multiple times, because you think he might be OK now. It’s just not a safe, or likely, or worthwhile bet.
Narcissists are liars and phonies who will never change, ever; not soon, not later, not a lot or a little. Cut your losses, and you’ll be glad you listened to your own straight-talk.
1. Peaceful, nourishing, enjoyable celebrations are so BORING, and thoughtful gifts are SO overrated. Give me disappointment and disillusionment ANY day.
2. His whining about not getting the gift, attention, treats, dinner, or EXACT expression of appreciation he wanted, will make any cranky children look like angelic, mature, serene and wise sophisticates in comparison.
3. Usually they don’t even bother showing up, or calling, or following through on any plans. This means you get his serving of dessert.
4. Having a narcissist in the room means he’ll be desperately sucking ALL the attention his way. NO ONE will notice if the tree is crooked or the turkey is dry.
5. Take him to the office Holiday party, and all the old workplace interpersonal tensions will be forgotten. Your colleagues will be too busy feeling sorry for you for having such a jackass in your life.
6. His laying in the Barca Lounger like a hairy, farting manatee all day means he’ll have LOTS of energy for the three minutes of intimacy he’s got in store for you tonight! Rawr!
7. You didn’t really want help with those decorations anyway. After all, you just have to take them down again in January.
8. Kids LOVE playing the “Guess How Many Half-Siblings We Have That Mommy Doesn’t Know About” game. It’s a narcissist family favorite.
9. Knowing perfectly well he’s going to passive-aggressively ruin your day, you can spend HOURS and HOURS mapping out a reverse-psychology, pre-emptive, out-do-the-narcissist manipulation strategy. Yes, it will consume all your energy and free time, and will fail anyway, but it’ll be SO worth it.
10. And finally, the answers are, “Yes.” Yes, he did pick out that lingerie for you while thinking mostly about how it will look on him. And yes, he did unwrap the store package and try it on before rewrapping it and giving it to you. Enjoy.
1. My cat, who STILL hasn’t been caught trying on my underwear.
3. The Showtime TV series “Dexter”, a heartwarming show where the (admittedly, disordered himself) lead character secretly hunts and kills narcissistic murderers. It’s so touching. *sniff*
4. Every woman who stays with her toady narcissist, which keeps him away from the rest of us.
5. Caller-ID. REALLY cuts into the stalking effectiveness of toads.
6. People who step up and say something, when they think there’s something off about the date or partner of their friends or family. They usually get ignored or even shunned, but they speak up anyway, and don’t just play along. They’re the unsung heroes.
7. Wine, Mother Nature’s lie detector. (Ever watched a drunk narcissist try to keep his lies straight? PA-THE-TIC.)
8. The Internet. Yeah, there’s a lot of crap, and even some dangerously misleading crap, but never before have so many been able to share so much richness with those who want to listen.
9. Nutella. Have you ever tried that stuff? My Lord.
10. And of course Auntie Alex is grateful for you, Dear. The Army’s got your back. Shake off that toad and the nonsense he forced into your head, and you’ll achieve magical and amazing things.
Hello, Friends. Aunt Alex is back from some more time at the front lines. And may I say you’re all looking very strong and radiant today?
There are some very happening things out there, but what I want to share today is some profound wisdom stolen from Twitter:
“Rhinos are just fat unicorns. If we’d give them the time and attention they deserve, as well as a diet: They’d reveal their majestic ways.”
Hallelujan! Someone else noticed the beauty and potential of our friends the rhinos, if only they had a little cleaning up, a little nurturing, and a lot of real, wholesome love!
So, this is for all of you who are investing time and love in a narcissist, knowing he will change. (And Aunt Alex hopes there are a very many of you, because, as you know, if you’re distracting him then that helps keep him away from the rest of us.) I’d like all of you to go out and get yourself a rhino, and bring him home. No, I don’t care where you get the rhino. No, I have no suggestions on how to get him into your trunk to take him home. But once you get that rhino-soon-to-be-unicorn to your place, clean him up, tolerate his toilet habits, social difficulties and utter inability to learn ANYTHING, and love love love him, and you can bet your sweet life he’ll turn into a unicorn.
Note: Yes, it’s a bet you’ll lose. But it’s a whole lot easier on your psyche than trying to do the same exact thing with a narcissist. And the rhino-soon-to-be-unicorn is a whole lot smarter, a better parent and partner, and makes more sense when he talks.
It’s private, it’s protected, and it’s to help us make deep and meaningful steps forward, because we’ll be addressing the cravings. Those cravings are primal and they come from the parents, because the first cut is the deepest.
Meant to supplement, not replace, any forums or supports you’re currently using.