One of the most significant roles we can fulfill in our own lives is that of aware witness.
We can not always control and change everything to our liking, of course.
Often, it is not our place to do so.
But, what we can always do is watch and observe with awareness.
This is a gift we give ourselves, because our awareness is our route to understanding ourselves and the dynamics in which we exist.
I have the opportunity to witness narcissistic behavior in a specific dynamic that affects my life.
One of the most startling observations that has emerged for me is simply this:
You are a part of the narcissist’s life. The narcissist has no interest in being part of yours.
This is likely to seem shockingly obvious, but I have missed this for years.
It was not until I saw some examples of my stepchildren and their mother that I thought “Oh my gosh. They are expected to be a part of her life. She feels no true responsibility to be a part of their lives (beyond normal care- clothing, food, some basic engagement, etc.) ”
These children are expected to embrace their Mother’s life. They are to understand what she is thinking, feeling, and why her expectations are what they are. They are to participate in her events and her agendas.
She feels no true obligation to do likewise for them. Sure, she “mothers” to a point. But, she would never think to go out of her way to get to know their friends or extend herself in that way.
Although I do not know her well, I believe this behavior extends beyond her children and I have seen examples in how she treats me.
Never once would it occur to her that I “mother” these children for 1/2 of their lives, that I am busy professional, who also must balance work/”motherhood” and all that being a woman entails.
In a different context, we could maybe bond over our similarities and the difficulties/joys inherent in the dynamic. However, that would require her to engage and participate in an understanding of my life.
This is impossible for someone with narcissistic behaviors.
You exist to be a part of their life. The symbiosis most of us experience in relationships is completely lacking in them.
They see no need to be a part of your life. They don’t even see you have a life, apart from serving them.
Please save yourself the time and energy of trying to get a narcissist to engage in your life and understand you and your perspective.
Other than your engagement in their life, you simply do not exist to them.