Excuse away- your sin doesn't go anywhere

Lately, I find it very telling how certain people deal with not only criticism but also questionable actions. A narcissist won't take criticism the same way someone else might. No one likes being criticized- or even feeling criticized. It seems N's have little radars attached to their (hidden) horns that light up whenever they feel targeted for anything but the highest praise.
Criticism is part of being human. It's part of living in the world with others.

Ever notice how some people (N's or those with N-tendencies) can get so incredibly defensive over the tiniest things?

How people will rephrase any comment said or made to them to mean something else- something bad about them?

How there is a cycle of anger-denial-abuse from the N against any perceived threat to their holy little halo they lovingly polish every day?

Excuses after excuses. It's never their fault.

N's are notorious for not owning up to their mistakes. I have never in my life received an apology from an N.

I read this today from Darlene Ouimet on her blog, Emerging From Broken.

"I was called an exaggerator all my life and I finally had to realize that was not about me as much as it was about the way they controlled me! I had to just press on for me. I had to realize that 'exaggerating' wasn't the word for what I was doing. I had to learn to be my own friend and to HEAR myself”."

From this comes an important lesson for anyone living with or near narcs.
-Listen to yourself!-

When you're going through times when you opinion is belittled and emotions are negated as untrue- be your own best friend and listen to the logic in your feelings. Never apologize for them. Feelings are natural and only our deepest expression of what we are going through. If someone says you are exaggerating- are you really? Or are they negating the fact that their own actions or words are bad?

Be your own ally. Be the person you need in your life to say 'it's okay to feel this way- let's find the reason for these feelings'. Listening to yourself can be the first step in actual self-love.


  1. Okay, gotta chime in. Gracie, the topics you post on seem to be pretty much exactly along the lines of the thoughts I have been thinking myself these days. (And I am not exaggerating!) Seriously, one of the things that I have encountered since getting married is being told by my in-laws that I am either exaggerating, mis-interpreting, "hearing things" and/or "seeing things". For the longest time, I did not know what to call it when the in-laws said that stuff to me. Well, it turns out that there is an actual clinical term for this type of toxic behavior. It is called "invalidation". The first time I came across this term in a self-help book a couple of years ago, it was like "ding! ding! ding!" there is a word for what they are doing! (What a relief). So, went on to learn more about the concept of invalidation and what constitutes it. Here is what I have found, but it is by no means an inclusive list. Invalidation is....
    1) When someone denies that you could actually feel a certain way.
    (Example: you tell NMIL that you are sad because of something NMIL did. NMIL then says to you: "That is ridiculous. You could not possibly be sad and that is crazy to even think that way).
    2) When someone tells you that you should not and CANNOT feel a certain way.
    (Example: You tell your best friend that your long-term boyfriend broke up with you just as you discovered he was cheating. You tell the friend you feel shattered. The friend responds with: "Are you kidding? Why would you feel shattered if some loser was out cheating on you? You can't possibly feel sad-- you should be out celebrating at the dance club and living it up."
    3) Actually denying someone the ability to feel a certain way, with the threat of adverse circumstances looming in the background if they do not stop feeling that way. This is especially common in relationships where there is an imbalance in the power between the individuals-- parents and children etc. This particular form of invalidation is also a frequent tactic used by abusers. (Example: Father "belts" his son after the son fails to mow the lawn. Son cries and comes unhinged. Father tells son: "You want something to cry about? There is no good reason to cry and if you don't stop crying, I am going to belt you for an hour each day for the next week.")
    4) Any communication that attempts to belittle, dismiss, berate, or guilt someone for the way that person says they are feeling.

    Just had to get that information out to anyone else who has not heard about invalidation and the myriad of forms it might take.

  2. Great! I'm glad my posts are connecting with someone. :)
    Your third point reminded me of 'why you crying' a stand up by George Lopez

    lol this was how I was raised just reminded me of it hehe

    Back to topic: Invalidation!
    Oh my gosh- yes. I never knew why I hated when 'friends' told me those things til now. Freaking invalidation. Ugh. It's the worst! I always make an effort never to deny someone what they're feeling even if I don't agree with it. Nothing worse than hurting and being upset when someone tells you you shouldn't be! People who do that aren't real friends!
    Negation of everything is a perfect way for N-in laws to succeed. Their adult child doesn't WANT to believe you- doesn't WANT to see what their family is doing. So they will believe their family over you when words like 'making it up' etc are used.
    N: Why would you say that? oh my god- there's no reason for her to say or feel that way- blah blah
    normal person: I'm sorry I hurt her feelings- do you know how I can make it better?
    N's lack the human response of guilt! When I find out I hurt someone's feelings (even accidentally) I can't even sleep at night! Not until I talk to them and make sure they know I am sorry.
    Great points.

  3. Okay, Gracie, Not trying to be offensive or condescending here... but you were raised
    like the George Lopez routine that you linked to? Just watched it and I am truly sorry
    to hear that. (Again, not trying to be condescending) :-( But, have observed there are many
    cultures that practice parenting similar to what George is saying. He has also figured out
    that sometimes it feels better to laugh about it than to cry about it. Laughing and crying
    are both cathartic experiences in their own right and laughing sometimes feels better!!

    So, invalidation... it's true that we should never deny people their genuine feelings.
    But, ever notice how N's use this tactic to guilt good people? That is, a good person
    like you would never deny someone their feelings and bend over backwards to
    apologize and make the other person feel good. However, if you are dealing with an
    N, the N happens to know that you are a good person and that in good faith you
    will try to empathize with the N's stated (or feigned) emotions. Therefore, the
    N actually "fakes" feeling bad and then puts on false tears in order to put up
    a smokescreen around the truth of what they are doing-- which is manipulation.
    An example of this would be: you tell the N that they cannot come and visit
    every weekend. The N bursts into tears, tells you that you are responsible for
    their sadness, and then expects you to do something about it. Since you are a
    good person, you will likely automatically empathize with the N and their
    sadness and try to make things better. During this process the N will "manipulate"
    you with the tears until the N gets what he wants, which is to visit every weekend.

    So one of the things that I am trying to figure out for myself is when to allow
    people to have their feelings and when to realize they are faking tears or anger
    in order to manipulate me. Prior to getting married, I would always allow people
    to have their feelings and also wrongly take responsibility for another's feelings.
    One of the biggest and most FREEING things that someone said to me once was
    that we are not responsible for the feelings of others, Then, she also told me that
    we CANNOT, to a large extent, "make" someone feel a certain way. Many times
    people who are emotionally abusive will lash out at their victim verbally and
    then tell the victim that they are responsible for the abuser's acting out. N's
    also like to use this tactic when they are caught in the act of behaving badly
    and do not want to take responsibility. They will often times tell you that you
    "made" them do whatever it was they did that was bad. Oh, and men who cheat
    also like to say that when they get caught. They like to tell their girlfriends,
    "you made me cheat because you were not pretty enough/available enough/seductive
    enough/sweet enough..." and/or any other thing they can think of at that moment.

    So that is where I struggle-- is determining when a person is being genuine
    about their hurt and when they are feigning hurt for the purpose of manipulation.
    Any ideas?

  4. No need to be sorry at all. I'm actually glad of the way I was raised as it prepared me for a tough life, and boy has it been tough. I do understand there's a lot of tough love in most Hispanic homes that may be hard to understand not coming from one. I wouldn't change anything about the way I grew up though as it made me who I am today.
    To answer your question (good one too, by the way):
    My answer would be that you are only responsible for your actions. You alone. The same goes for anyone else with the ability to control what comes out of their mouth - N's have this ability but they don't use it- whereas others with maybe severe mental disorders do not. To me, that's the biggest difference. No capable person should ever have the excuse of 'you made me do it'. Unless the other person had their hand forcing them to actually do something, pull a trigger, etc.
    Going back to the Bible the first classic example of this ever recorded was before humanity even left the garden of Eden. 'the serpent made me do it' or 'the woman you gave me made me do it'. God saw clean through that lie and everyone knew it was BS. We are all held responsible for our own actions. N's included. One shouldn't have to apologize for their feelings- as long as they don't say that their feelings made them do such and such action as that's a lie.
    On being genuine, I lived all my life believing I HAD to trust someone until proven guilty. I know now that isn't the case. It's okay not to trust someone, trust is earned- not given. Hope that helps. <3 Gracie.

  5. Hello Gracie!
    Sorry for not posting for several days. This past week has been one those weeks where it seems everything goes wrong at the same time. First, a relative passed away, then my older child became very ill with the flu-- then at the height of his illness, our family dog, who we had for many years, developed a fatal pneumonia and passed away. It has been a terrible past couple of weeks.

    By the way-- wanted to say something about Hispanic homes. Should have said this before. Even though some of them may have incidents that look more like the George Lopez routines, there are many things that I have really admired my whole life. When I was growing up, we lived in a mixed WASP and Hispanic neighborhood. Had may Mexican friends and really loved the idea that their families were really tight. They really seemed to look out for family and friends and had a sense of Honor with a capital "H". Also liked the fact that they spoke their mind and were straightforward. There was no mincing words and they said what was on their mind. I have always preferred direct people who say what they think rather than becoming all passive aggressive about everything. But, my favorite thing was that the Mexican families I knew were passionate people. I do not only refer to their passion in the sense of romance, although there was that too. What impressed me the most was the folks I knew were passionate about life. They spoke passionately, showed genuine emotions, felt deeply, and loved to have a good, old time just hanging out with friends. Of course, this was in direct contrast the the WASP families in the area that were very passive-agressive and subdued. My folks are not true wasps since they are a mix of many nationalities. I chose to hang with my Mexican friends mostly because I could relate to their families better and they were not so uptight.

    Love your example of Adam and Eve in the Bible. By the way, ever noticed that some Christian churches dwell too much on the idea that women are the downfall of humankind and it all goes back to Eve? I have always found that to be complete BS and also a VERY harmful idea to propagate.

    Okay, gotta run... love your new posts!

  6. Oh I'm so so sorry to hear all that D: Big hugs to you! Aw man. I'll be keeping you in my prayers for sure. :/ How hard.
    Thanks for sharing. Yes! I've also been fed up with the woman's fault mentality found in so many sermons. IMO that lie is one of the lies satan uses to detract from the otherwise powerful message women could offer to the world. Mute a Godly woman and you're halfway to wrecking a family/church.


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