Friday, September 7, 2012

Breaking the "Another You" Habit

John Mayer croons beautifully on his song ‘Another You’ detailing the heartbreak of being tossed aside. He goes on to declare that he’ll find someone just like the woman who dumped him with the exception she’ll be twice as cute.  Adele tells her former boyfriend in the popular ‘Someone Like You’ song that she still misses him, thinks about him all the time, and will find someone just like him. Adele and John will probably find someone exactly like their previous lovers, and that will be a mistake. Think for a moment. There was something there that caused them to break up. Apparently, the lover thought it was in them. If they insisted on going with the same type of person, isn’t it inevitable that it will happen again?

Einstein, considered one of the smartest men who ever lived stated that “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Why do we this then? Better yet, how can we stop? Dating someone who looks different than your previous lover doesn’t mean you’ve really moved on as far as the type of guy. Trust me, I’ve been guilty of that too. I do a post analysis of the breakup. Only to realize, I had the exact same problem in a different package. I read self-help books, and even sought counseling, which helped some. I was still picking out emotional bullies with narcissistic traits. Why?

They seemed rather like nice guys at first because they told me how special I was.  I was, for a short time, since a narcissist believes he is entitled to the best. Over months, I noticed we never did anything I wanted to do. If I had problems, he didn’t want to listen to them. Even tears had no effect because narcissists have no empathy. Are you dating a narcissist? Here’s a short checklist.

* No empathy-he not only doesn’t want to hear about your boss cussing you out, he doesn’t care either.

*Expects special treatment- His wants trump everyone else’s. He sees absolutely nothing wrong with this. He’ll keep the waitress hopping bringing him additional condiments.

*Feeling of entitlement-People should do stuff for him. I usually blame this on his mother who thought her son was so much better than other children. He believes it.

*Inability to admit that he or she is wrong- It doesn’t work to use reference books, experts or websites to show his error, he’ll only claim they’re wrong.

*Inability to receive criticism- You won’t make the mistake of criticizing him more than once.

*Unexpected, irrational strong bursts of rage- This may be due to criticism, not receiving his special treatment, or perceived victimization.

*Does not react to tears-If  the other person starts crying due to the cruel behavior of the narcissist, he’ll yell at her to stop, even stomp out of the room. Simply ignoring her tears is another response.

*Perceives oneself as omnipotent, superior individual-he is so much better than everyone. He often enjoys ridiculing others, especially those in authority. He could do things so much better.

*Strong need for admiration-Simply put, he needs all the attention all the time. He is a social animal, often the life of the party. He needs to have all eyes on him. He usually makes it happen too. He also likes to perform favors or services in the public eye to receive admiration. This guy will never do anything anonymously or for the common good.

*Is often envious and mocks other people (often behind their back.) He feels other people’s good fortune or honors belong to him.

*When you meet him—you’re wonderful. He’s in love. He can’t spend enough time with you. As the relationship develops, his attention drops off, as does your wonderfulness. He often turns cold, uncaring and cruel, making you wonder why he even married you. Never make the mistake of expecting compliments, praise, or support from him.

*Is often untruthful and as no comprehension of fairness-he lies about things because he doesn’t want any negative feedback about his actions. He’ll often break the family budget buying big ticket items because he’s entitled. 

*Double standards: A narcissist can be king or queen of the double standard. He buys a new car on impulse because he deserves it. His spouse may do the same thing after careful consideration only to be declared a selfish, greedy person out to ruin the entire family. These standards apply to everything.  A good example of this is the governor who used public funds to romance a South American cutie. He told the state and his wife that he was in love…he thought that was a good enough reason because he’s narcissist.

Looking back, I can see a narcissistic man draws people to him. He works on this ability because he needs attention. He views himself as superior, so being by his side elevates you too. He tells you that you are lucky to have him, and at first, you believe.

You may be living with a narcissist right now. It is a cold relationship. You’ll seldom do things together unless you’re doing what he wants to do. He doesn’t understand compromise. If made or maneuvered to do something he doesn’t want to do such as visit your family, he’ll pout through the whole visit. He wants everyone to know he’s not pleased because everyone should be catering to him.

How did I get out of dating the same type of man? It wasn’t easy. Narcissists will approach you faster since they believe they are so superior. This time I stopped dating the guy when I saw the characteristics start emerging, but even that is hard. A narcissist doesn’t deal well with breakup. My experience is they refuse to accept it, and try to continue the relationship. Changing phone numbers, even moving is helpful. If they want to end the relationship—that’s a different story.

I looked for the opposite of a narcissist, someone who didn’t need to be the life of a party. Think twice before you hook up with one of these guys or gals. If you think your dating a clone of your old lover, you are. Expect the same results too.

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