I’ve got you under my skin, a classic Frank Sinatra song depicting the act of falling in love or falling prey to someone’s emotional advances. Funny though telling someone your under my skin could be a wonderful compliment or a cry for help.
Another analogy is the Seinfeld episode where the main tag line was “ These pretzels are making me thirsty“. A line with out any context has multiple meanings.
My thought from the Front Porch is, I knew someone in my life who has pushed my level of friendship and decency. I have learned from experience that when a situation is difficult or unpleasant you must change at least 1 if not all of the following:
People, Places or Things . These 3 things affect the environment and balance of our lives.
Well , I have changed the People, I am no longer associated with this person. I have changed the Place , as we do not travel in the same circles. I am now changing the Thing, as this person has continuously disparaged me, harassed my associates and has puffed up their own ego with an unrealistic iconoclastic view of themselves.
Some People, Places or Things in our lives are Narcissistic and Emotional Vampires .
They have a self absorbed energy that takes control of people and robs them of their ability to love or care about anyone else. I know this person, I have not confronted them because , I know that they know who they are. I truly believe that this behavior comes from a place of social anxiety and oppressed behavior. A true insecurity. This Vampire takes,takes,and takes without humility or knowing when to give or be humane. They try to portray that they are humanistic , but just look at them. They are alone and if they admitted it to them self they would know they are not liked or respected.
Have you heard the story of the frog and the pot of boiling water? If you put a frog in a pot of boiling water it will jump out, however if you put a frog in a pot of cool water and slowly heat it to boiling it will die.
Being with a narcissist is the slow boil! We are not aware that the temperature is ever so slowly increasing and we build up a resistance to it.
The result is the feeling of having just been raped on a very deep level. It is a soul rape!
As Chazz Palminteri said in a “Bronx Tale” is it better to be loved or feared”
I would think is better to be loved. Sometimes being feared will help one get what one want ,but along with fear , there exists feelings of resentment and hate. It also can initiate or nurture subversive thoughts of revenge and other malicious intent. Fear must be used in a tightly controlled and insistent fashion or it will fail.
At this point in life I fear little, I try to meet every situation head on and look at it pragmatically.
To be loved, however, intiates or nurtures caring, compassion, loyalty, creativity, magnanimity, kindness, self sacrifice and other positive binding and giving emotions.
It may also spawn jealousy in some. Which I believe insecure people find in their hearts on a daily basis. But overall, it is a much better relationship to have with other human beings. It seems obvious, but this is not always the case in both business and personal relationships. Business is often driven by those who rule by fear. But that is not a good example of good leadership.
It is a good example of an oppresor.
Not to make this religous, but every religion that is monotheistic prays to a loving caring and compassionate god. there must be a reason why that quality is the lead description.
So when someone says that I got you under my skin. Think first about what they mean. If you find yourself in any of this you can be helped. You can change. The fact that you are questioning your “self” suggests that you can be critical of who you are, narcissists defend these critical thoughts by using a myriad of defense mechanisms (denial, projection, devaluation) as well their exaggerated ego, hypersensitivity , grandiosity, and preoccupation with being admired and idealization. Narcissists, as well as with other personality disorders, lack two things, adaptability to situations in general, they approach every situation the same and react the same, and a lack of an “observing ego”, or the ability to be self critical since none of us are perfect. It is true that we all have “self love” or narcissism (the word coming from, I believe, Narcissus, who fell in love with his own mirror image in the water). The problem arises when it becomes pathological and we carry around depressive symptoms because nothing is ever good enough or we do not think well of ourselves, we project this sense of inadequacy onto others and make them feel as lousy as we are feeling and they, in turn, place these feelings and reactions back onto us (hence getting “mirrored”). There are a few ways of working through this.
1. Many narcissists are secretly depressed, sometimes medication can help with this, but it is by no means a cure, in my opinion.
2. Attend therapy, someone who specializes in self psychology or psychodynamic psychotherapy-both focus on the relationship and help to offer corrective emotional experiences and uncover unconscious issues/material. Sometimes, CBT helps, however, someone who is narcissistic is not going to do well with someone telling them what to do, as CBT relies on the assumption that the “therapist is expert”.
I cannot say that you truly suffer from this struggle, however, it might be good to explore this with someone who is objective. If other people are saying that you have some of these traits, it might be important to listen to this; if it looks like a duck, talks like a duck, it’s probably a duck. Being diagnosed with this is not a life sentence, you can do something about it if you are willing to change for yourself, not others. Just a few thoughts to chew on.
May the road rise up to meet you. Todd Glassberg will be viewing this from his Front Porch.