When we live in a narcissistic society it is essential that we create spaces in our minds, imaginations, our emotional reservoir and physical space that resonate with steadiness, creativity and peace. Learning to cultivate solitude is an essential aspect of living that so many have lost or never discovered. We have a right and a need to be alone and to enjoy our own company. For some, it's like a baby duck racing to the waters edge without prompting from mother. A little wobbly at first---this tiny fluff of living beauty is soon gliding to the rhythm of the river. For others, being alone and feeling secure in one's own company needs to be learned. Taken in small doses at first, without judgment and doing it your own way, individuals discover that the capacity to be alone provides us with immense gifts of the imagination, reverie, fantasies, tales that spin in the mind, reminiscences of the past---sweet and poignant.
Those who live with narcissists are faced with a special challenge. If you are the child of a narcissist, you vividly recall the intrusiveness of the narcissistic parent or the absence of this individual from your life. Those married to narcissists have the great task of keeping their psychological and emotional boundaries intact despite the demands, delusions and manipulations of their partners. Some spouses decide that they will remain married for a variety of reasons and develop and screen off an essential part of themselves they do not share with the narcissistic partner. This is a very tall order since the narcissist is a supreme controller and insists on dictating how everyone else lives---even to the point of monitoring thinking processes. Some of those who remain with narcissistic spouses find peace in spiritual practices, trusted friendships, creative endeavors and driven focus on their professions lives.
For many spouses the decision is to lead a life that is free of a narcissist by divorcing this individual. I have communicated with many former spouses who have re-created their lives after an ugly divorce and now live in narcissist free zones. These individuals feel that they have another chance---a new cycle has begun and they are energized and hopeful. They are unfettered, live in mental and emotional spaciousness, breathe deeply and feel a steady secure sense of well being.
Sometimes, we are faced with narcissists in our daily lives with whom we do business or are required to meet with socially as part of our professions. We use our social skills and treat people appropriately.
Ultimately, in personal relationships, we do the choosing. If we are observing and intuiting that the person who wants to meet with us socially is a narcissist, we can tactfully back away from forming a relationship with this person. Most narcissists announce their presence with all flags flying. Some are the covert type and take more observation and study. Your intuition will tip you off every time if you learn to respect and pay attention to it.
As you create narcissist free zones, you will learn to deepen your periods of solitude and the enjoyment of your own company. In addition, you are making room for authentic relationships that expand your sense of self. Visit my website: www.thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Buy the Book: amazon.com and amazon kindle edition