- 6/29/17 (How is June already almost over??)
- Art by Jack Vanzet (check out more right here)
- 10:26 A.M.
- Mood: mildly disrupted, but mostly neutral.
People have been afraid for me because of my relationship.
I know what you’re probably wondering just from that description: “ARE YOU OKAY?? WHAT THE HELL, WHY ARE THESE PEOPLE AFRAID FOR YOU???” Actually, it was probably nothing to that extent, but maybe a light surge of brief concern. It’s chill, though. That comes with the territory of being an insecure, sheepish individual in her very first relationship. However, there’s a twist: I’m in a relationship with a narcissist.
If you were lightly concerned before, you’re probably at least mildly concerned now. From the outside looking in, that DOES look like a tragedy waiting to happen.
I mean, let’s look at the traits of both personality types right now, and tell me this doesn’t seem sketchy as hell upon first glance:
You’ve got your insecure, dependent person, who’s scared of her own damn shadow. She’s afraid to even make decisions on her own accord because she always feels like she’ll fuck something up, and not be able to handle the consequences. She’s uncertain of herself, where she stands in life, and even the ground she stands on (people do tell me I walk like the ground’s about to crumble around me). She hates saying no to people, because she also hates looking less favorable to others. She’d even be willing to do things that she didn’t particularly want to do because she doesn’t want to let anyone down, or potentially lose anyone. She’s always giving, whether out of want or obligation, and she’s likely to wring herself dry trying to meet everyone else’s expectations. She feels that’s what she deserves.
Then, you’ve got your narcissist. He already knows he’s the shit, and doesn’t need anyone to tell him (but still low-key welcomes it, because who doesn’t love a good ego-stroking?). He’s convinced that he knows best, and that what he says should normally be what’s set in stone. He’s content with what he has, but knows that he could have bigger and better things at the snap of his fingers if he wanted. He’ll be positive, upbeat, and charismatic as all get-out….until you say something that goes against what he believes, or threatens his character. You’ve just lit yourself on fire if you do that, and he’s damn sure not about to put you out. He has the potential to take personal jabs at you, your intelligence, or your character at this point. Because he’s also the more dominant personality, he has the potential to do what he can to put you back in your place (whether it be becoming manipulative, or emotionally/physically abusive). He’ll make you question how you feel, and what YOU may have done wrong to cause the confrontation in the first place.
So, now, you’re probably afraid for me, too. However, you shouldn’t be.
People often assume that this sort of relationship dynamic is absolutely destined to either fail, or end in someone getting seriously hurt (particularly the insecure individual). And, to be honest, it most certainly can. You’ve got two people on completely opposite ends of the personality type spectrum, after all. One is extremely submissive, and one is extremely dominant (which is okay if it’s consented in sexual activity, but not always the best in relationship dynamics). But, it doesn’t have to be that way, and it isn’t that way for us.
You wanna know the two things that truly make the difference for our relationship? The ability to self-reflect, and to communicate. These two things not only help us to keep each other in check, but to keep ourselves in check, as well. Through self-reflection, we’re able to see how our actions and emotions affect others, and decide for ourselves if they’re appropriate or not. Because we’re both pretty rational people in that regard, we’re able to make some pretty safe judgment calls there. Through communication, we’re able to more accurately express how we make one another feel (I’m still having to work more on not being as sheepish about this, though), and make compromises that we can both be content with.
That motherfucker knows he’s a narcissist, anyway. So, he tries his best to tame it because he knows that’s what will be the best for us both. And as he does that, I try my best to become more comfortable with going against the grain a little, and being honest about what I want and don’t want. He’s actually been really good to me, and his dominance and self-certainty makes me feel safe and secure. I’m, in turn, really good to him, as I have no issue with reminding him how awesome he is, and I fulfill his need to be a protector. I could actually list all the reasons why our relationship is so great and complex, but it would take an entire novel to explain.
What people tend to forget is that people with unhealthy personality traits or mental illnesses can still get along great in a relationship. There will be difficulties due to these things, but there are difficulties in any relationship, no matter the dynamic. A couple is not denied their right to a happy, fulfilled relationship because they each have their own issues, and it’s harmful to think this way.
Relationships are only in harm’s way when the people in them are unwilling to work on themselves or make compromises, in spite of it hurting others.
In the words of Rasputia, “Now, how YOU derin’?”