Episode 109 – Narcissism – Journalist Meehika Barua

In this episode I discuss all things Narcissism with journalist Meehika Barua.  We talk about whether people are born a narcissist, how to spot it in a partner, what to do if you are with someone that is one, and what it may mean if you are called one.


Support the show


Read Full Transcript

Michael 11:02
Joining me today is mihika mihika. Let's just jump right into it wants to tell us a little bit about yourself.

Meehika 11:32
I'm a freelance journalist. I write for magazines like Vogue. Our newspapers like the Guardian, Washington Palace, etc. I cover culture lifestyle, a lot of dating pieces. And yeah, that that's me, in a way.

Michael 11:51
Well, and the reason I reached out is I think you had written an article on narcissism, and I wanted to talk to you about that. today. So let's start off like I'd like to do let's define things. What is narcissism? What is the definition of narcissism?

Meehika 12:09
I mean, to be fair, it's so layered because a person can kind of have narcissistic traits and not be MPD, which is you know, like someone who has actual narcissistic personality disorder. So a lot of people if you actually diagnose them, they will not qualify. For NPD. But that doesn't really mean that they don't have traits that are narcissistic. It just it doesn't list. It doesn't check all of the list that is required to qualify someone at NPD so I guess like that is also the first distinction and there is no textbook kind of item definition of a narcissistic person but I would say someone who is very, you know, like they can never be wrong, who thinks that it's always the other person that's wrong. They, you know, like, they don't have the empathy and this is what a lot of psychologists have said. Even the ones I was talking to that it's basically a lack of empathy in every situation that is just the baseline of narcissism, just a very innate lack of empathy.

Michael 13:41
Do you think it's possible that someone can have some of the traits and and not be a full blown narcissist, and I'd still be an issue. I mean, there are there are some aspects of of having some narcissistic traits that are not terrible, or is it like if you have one of these traits, it's like you're probably really difficult to deal with. Do you think that there's layers or or severity to this thing?

Meehika 14:07
Yes. So I when I did my piece, I was talking to a psychotherapist who works with you know, like the topic as an he teaches about narcissistic traits and just has a module on narcissism. In the university he teaches, and there is healthy narcissism. So you know, when you see entrepreneurs or you see, you know, like, really kind of larger than life intallation influential people, they got there because there is healthy narcissism. And then there is just the very toxic kind of like, lack of empathy can be with narcissism. But now as I said, the distinction is those kinds of people. Some of them could be NPD, but some of them are just people with other issues who have a lot of narcissistic traits. So it's definitely very layered. And I guess like when I was researching a lot about this, my main concern was, Oh, my God, do I have any narcissistic traits? Yeah. Because the more you study about it, the more it's like, oh my god, like I might do I have any tendencies? And so the psychotherapist I was talking to was like okay, this what you just did there. A person who has narcissistic tendencies a person who has NPD will never even get to that point. They will never even say, Do I have a problem? Am I the problem for them? They are perfect and how this word also came about is from the folklore. I don't know if you know about it. So this was like, I don't know if it's in the Bible, or in some sort of like, hex or whatever, but there was this person and his name was Narcissus, or NARS sicko, something like that. That's where the word comes from. 1000s of years back, and he used to look at the reflection of himself in the lake. All the time. And kind of like, I genuinely don't know the exact lore, but he's in a kind of a reflection and just kind of be like, Who is this person and why is he always how I want to fight him and this and that. Why is he copying me? Everything I do, he's just telling me something like that. In the attempt to fire this person. He goes in the lake, or something like that, and drowns. So his narcissism basically killed him. Or something like that. I don't think I haven't, you're exactly correct. But if you Google it, it definitely has to do with a boy with a name narcissists are something looking at himself and the reflection in the lake. So that's where it comes from, where you're so kind of everything is so about you that you destroy everything, you know?

Michael 17:26
No, and so maybe that that's sort of the theme is a lack of consideration, because you mentioned that lack of empathy. So a lack of consideration and empathy for others means that you're focusing only on you. So maybe that's sort of where the distinction lies. is, you know, I think you can look in the mirror and think fondly of yourself or actions that you take or whatever, but as long as you're able to be considerate or empathetic of others, then perhaps that means you aren't a narcissist.

Meehika 17:58
Yeah, I think that ability to even ask yourself that question is, in itself shows that you're not like narcissistic in a dangerous way. Because I'm actually narcissists would not even have the empathy to ask that question.

Michael 18:15
So is this something that is an aid in other words, I mean, I know you know what it means, but I'm a simple fellow, I gotta explain things to myself. Is this something that's like you're born with it? Or do you think it's developed due to childhood or whatever?

Meehika 18:31
Honestly, there are so many different views on that some psychologists say that it is something you're born with, while others like Dr. Romani who does a lot of stuff on narcissism. Say it's about narcissistic parents. Creating narcissistic children and that is kind of true as well, because I've seen it My mother has a lot of narcissistic traits. And I kind of see where she gets it from because my grandfather was like the emblem of I guess toxic masculinity and narcissistic, you know, crate so I can see that. But what other psychologists also say is that people with NPD basically have a Cortex in their brain. I know we're like, we're born with three cortexes and so one on the cortex is kind of it's supposed to be a certain kind of size. And in those people with NPD, that cortex is way shorter, and then it's shorter. That cortex is kind of responsible for empathy and because they don't have that they have less empathy for everything. They don't know how empathy works, and it's really weird because I mean, I love this stuff, right? So I've spoken to people who have kind of and this also kind of goes into sociopathy and you know, things like that. So I've spoken to people who have actually duck are diagnosed sociopath like actually diagnosed. And I always ask them, like, how does it feel like what does it look like? And they have said this to me that they genuinely try to mimic other people in kind of a group setting to know what the appropriate responses. For example, the person I was talking to was giving me an example saying that let's say we're also they're gonna grow up and someone got a phone call saying that, let's say someone died. He's like, I have to look around at everyone. Else to see how they're reacting and mimic that, because I don't know what the appropriate response is. to that. He's like any situation. He doesn't have an empathy. And I was when I was having this conversation. I was like, kind of giving him really worst case scenarios. I was like, Okay, what, what happens? When, let's say tomorrow, you get a call, and maybe your parent has been in an accident. Let's just say like, hypothetically What is your response to that? And that person was telling me well, my responses that well, if they're an accident, they're on the road, I'm sure there has been an ambulance that came and I'm sure like someone helped them there is literally nothing I can do. So me rushing to the hospital isn't gonna make a difference. I am not a doctor, so I might just continue watching the Netflix movie I was watching. So exactly. So this is someone who has been diagnosed as like sociopath, it's just that they don't have that empathy and different ways like they can go just therapy and learn how to mimic empathy, but they just don't have it in many in them. But then again, of course, there are other psychologists like Dr. Romani who has said that narcissism is created by you know whether you've had a narcissistic sibling or a parent and something like that, like it's just a chain that goes on narcissistic parents creates a narcissistic child. And I can see that so it's, there is no straight answer to that.

Michael 22:54
Yeah, well, that's not always it's always better if there is but but I think like many things in life, there never is a straight answer. But I do think that it makes me funny enough. It makes me feel some sympathy for these folks, if they truly if they don't have the capacity, like they were born that way, and their brain isn't lined up the way a normal brain is whatever the hell that means. Then they can't behave normally. There's a part of me that will almost feel sad for him. And I wonder and you kind of said like, they go to therapy and they can learn to mimic but I wonder I wonder if there is like, if, if you really wanted to like it, but I guess that goes back to like, if you want to be better than you probably aren't narcissistic. So maybe, I don't know. I'm just trying to sort of wrap my head around. It all and then try and figure out like, is this something that people can change but I think a you have to recognize that you you need to change and if you if you if you do that you're probably not narcissistic and be even if you do somehow someone sit you down and says you need to change but you don't have the capacity Oh, it's just there's that's kind of sad in a lot of ways like there's no matter what you're either so clueless that you it in a way that you you're not going to get help. And even if you want you can't kind of get it anyway, I wonder what the success rate is. If there's any stats of like someone that is sort of forced to work on this, if they can learn to mimic it in a way a which is so crazy to me to think about that they can be sort of successful in that like I'd be curious to I'm not trying to put you on the spot. I just I'd be curious to know if that that data exists or if that sort of scenario exists where someone is able to sort of change themselves in a way when they're not really don't have the capacity. I don't know. I don't know. I mean, I

Meehika 24:50
was though asking more of videos that Dr. Romani who is like she's got like PhD and she works with law classes who come in and want to change. Sometimes there are very few I mean, what she says is, most of them it doesn't last long. You can try but there are like like one out of 10 or two out of 10 cases where they're very committed to it. And it's just that practice makes you perfect. So when you practice this every day and you're so committed to it, it becomes a lifestyle. That it's like learning French isn't dead, like you know, I mean, you can give up or you can just be so committed to learning that it becomes a lifestyle but I genuinely This is so I mean nowadays there's so much content as well about like, narcissistic parent. And the more you look at it, the more I realize especially because I see so many narcissistic tendencies and my mom they don't they kind of don't change, but you just kind of need to sort of have the tools and the mechanisms have a call to deal with it. But changing them or trying to get them to change is just such a lost hope and Lost Cause like you should never that should never be the aim of dealing with anyone who you think has narcissistic tendencies. I wonder

Michael 26:32
if we kind of talked about this, I think during the pre interview a while ago, I wonder if and I think it's true if this word this sort of diagnosis is thrown around a lot nowadays and it is right and I wonder how helpful and or harmful that is like because I see it a lot in I run a Facebook group. It's got 7000 men in it at this point that are going through divorce or been through or whatever. And then on occasion that word narcissist gets thrown around like it's like everybody on the planet has or is a narcissist. I wonder how helpful and or hurtful, that type of mentality is and I think therapy speak and you're starting to see some of these things that you know, I think are mainly positive but could could clearly be you look at this Jonah Hill thing and I'm not going to comment on whether or not I believe it or whatever it is what it is I don't I'm not choosing sides here. Just saying there. You could see that people are sort of using this therapy speak stuff. I mean, shit we're gonna hear it really in an hour wonder how helpful and or hurtful it is.

Meehika 27:42
I mean, it's definitely there. It's so difficult because there really are people who have no idea about these words. And for them, it's really helpful to educate themselves. Like I know people have been with narcissists in relationships for like five years or a decade and they had no idea about any of these terms and gaslighting and, you know, just all the glossary of terms and I think with social media, it's coming to awareness now, whereas earlier, these terms were only kind of like a secret code language that psychologists and therapists talked about. It was not known to the general public. But with that, obviously now everyone's self diagnosing everyone else. You have a bad day. You just leave without any context. And so that's definitely like, I don't think diagnosing anyone helps. And this is what I have spoken to, you know, with the therapists about, what do we do? It's mostly about how a person makes you feel, and not as to will mostly make you feel a certain way, which is, you know, putting you down to elevate themselves, making jokes at your expense. So she's not funny having no empathy for you're, like, you know, they're sort of like those checkboxes and when someone's making you feel like that, there is no point even trying to diagnose them just be like, okay, they have a few narcissistic tendencies, that just make me feel constantly on edge. You know, or whatever and just maintain your distance and just kind of don't react do not justify don't explain it to them. There's like a textbook guidance of how to deal with narcissistic people. Because the thing is, you can't avoid them even if you're not in a relationship with them. You might have a narcissistic boss or a co worker that you have to put up with. So it's, it's not like there is no point diagnosing anyone. It's just you need to develop tools to know how to protect yourself, and how to literally have the tools to deal with them because it's a very textbook kind of, you know, gray rocking those kinds of techniques.

Michael 30:26
So well to that point we want to look at like how do you know if if someone is is someone you're in a relationship with how do you know if they are a narcissist what are some of the telltale signs that they will? And again, not to necessarily diagnose, but just to understand what you're dealing with? What are some of those signs that you should look for?

Meehika 30:45
The number one sign which is which everyone kind of agrees on this? is just the only thing I feel like everyone in the narcissistic space like all the experts agree on is the bath the love bombing phase, that dark and it it's like it goes like this and then dips down like that so the first few weeks is like extreme affection and this time kind of you know, it can be in the form of gift. It can be in the form of literally someone telling you they love you on the third or the fourth date, you know, things like that. I mean, of course the recently Netflix shows like The pandas and LAN and you know, things like that about like, if you want to actually see how it works, but it starts very good. Like really good and you're like oh my god is a Faraday this a dream everything is like perfect. And then should start going down but when should start going down in the same pace when it went like up. It's like they will give you small doses of that high that you used to get. But it's like a few weeks of like, a really great high and then it's just bad, but it's like, it's like a drug, you know? So you get withdrawal symptoms, but then you just get a little bit of a hit and then you're like, oh, it's the same high. It's actually not the same high. And then this cycle continues and can continue for years. But also like there was gaslighting which is like invalidating everything you're saying your reality if you get into any conflict, it's like the narcissist like it's not me all of its you like this is all you this is your doing? And every conversation happens like that and this is not even just in a relationship context. But even like if you have a narcissistic parent or if you have a narcissistic sibling. If you look at every single time you've had any conflict, I mean, literally every time I address something with my mom, I realize I have spent three hours sitting down or sometimes more addressing every single thing. And she has either a justification, or she she she blames it on to me you were to the to the level child you you know I had to discipline you this and that. Or it's something or the other it's everything else but not her. Yeah, you know you it's like there is no accountability. There is no concept of accountability. So, you know, like it's just like if you and you're having a conversation or a conflict and you say that okay, you did this and this hurt me. I will be I will be okay. Of course. It's human nature to be defensive and I'll be like, Oh, maybe I did this because XYZ but I am really sorry. I did not know you know that with narcissist. It's just doesn't exist. There is no owning and there is no apology. There is now kind of like it's just deflecting as wherever they can deflect. GLORIA

Michael 34:36
Do you think it's um, I mean, obviously, it's the lack of empathy and stuff but like, I wonder if it's a the the inability to be accountable. I wonder if that that that's also like a brain function where they they can't or if it's just, it's so scary to them to take accountability, because then that would mean like, there's something wrong with them or whatever, or it taps into what they were. Because I think if you were raised by a narcissistic parent, you probably would have to have some pretty crappy feelings about yourself like deep down like like root the root stuff, right? The beginnings right? And so I wonder if that means then you don't take account of Billy so you don't look at yourself and so then you don't feel this negativity, negative emotions, negative things that were sort of put on you by a parent. You know, I wonder so I guess my question is, Are my wandering out laughs I really a question is, I wonder if it's something that is a brain thing where they can't sort of take accountability or they're just so unable to look at themselves because what they see is really, really ugly.

Meehika 35:46
I think they're so conscious of their image that nothing they think they can do can ever be wrong because that would qualify them as like humans, or you know, but they have this very ideal, perfect version of themselves. And so a lot of the times you would also see where narcissists are. And this is something Dr. Romani talks about a lot. They are the most charming people in a room full of people all the time. So if you have a partner or if you have a mother or a sister, and you're telling your friend that this person is so narcissistic and bla bla, and then they need them in a party or something, they're like oh my god, your partner or your sister or your mom is so lovely is so amazing. Because they are so they are the life of the party. They are so conscious and so amazing. At pleasing everyone else, and kind of like maintaining that image. So when you address something, that image kind of shatters and they're like, oh, no, now I made a mistake or I'm human, and that just I don't they just have a very idle version of themselves. They can do no wrong.

Michael 37:16
Yeah, and I wonder if that's because they they do feel deep down so bad about themselves that they have to prop themselves up in this way and sort of put on this facade. I mean, you know, and again, you know, when we think about these things, I am when I anytime I interview anyone about anything I'm always like playing myself against what what's being said and you were kind of talking about it earlier like come on. I a narcissist, and I'm sitting here thinking all these things like shit, I do some of the stuff I do some of that stuff or whatever. And I don't know that means that I might not be but I may not probably have some traits like, and I think it's, it's sort of a weird fine line. I think where you you want to be confident you want to be self assured. But you, you know, I guess you can't take it too far. Or but I guess again, if you're even conscious of it. Like I don't think about it on a daily day to day basis. Like, am I behaving like a narcissist, but when when I do this sort of interview and I'm thinking about well, man, I did some shitty things throughout my time for sure. And there were times where I wouldn't take blame. I'm sure that I'm almost as positive. But then there are times when I when I have I get I don't know, I just, I guess if I'm asking these questions of myself, I'm probably okay. But I think like you were saying earlier like, you know, somebody like Elon Musk is probably maybe not a full blown narcissist, but clearly guy likes himself. And so but is that a bad thing? And so myself sitting here, just thinking about these things, I struggle with it. which I guess means that I'm that I'm not but that doesn't mean that I don't, perhaps sometimes behave poorly. I'm sure I'm sure. I do that for sure. Probably once. A day, I would imagine but but anyway, so I guess, I guess I'm just sort of thinking out loud about sort of my experience because I was called one in you know, and so that makes me go, Oh, am I maybe I am because when you go through the divorce process, you know, at least in a lot of the cases I see it's this is anecdotal. I don't have any studies, but when someone's leaving you, they label you as a very bad person narcissist, borderline personality disorder. I got all the negative stuff that you know, she could think of, and they do that and I understand the mechanism. They do this because they have to right you're not going to lease on and be like, Oh, he is just the best person ever. Like you're not if you're not leaving if you're saying those things, right. So in order to sort of sort of give yourself some fuel, you're going to you know, you're you're going to find all the negatives and I get that but as someone that was called a narcissist, it's it's I look at it and go Well, you know, maybe maybe I am maybe I have these traits but but I guess I guess you can have some of the traits and not be a full blown narcissist right.

Meehika 40:08
I what I've actually learned from my other friends, I mean, one of my friends she's the one who introduced me to this whole plethora of narcissism talk is because she has she had me she has a narcissistic mother and she always always chose narcissistic partners, which is kind of true for myself as well. And so the more I was talking to her about my dating life, and the more she directed me do all of these people, experts, Dr. Romani, there's not but I had the same conundrum as you do. And I was like, a minor narcissist because he called me one he literally called me one. And she was like, That is a textbook narcissism one on one thing they do because deep down they know that they have the traits. They will call you one this is like mirroring. So you know, you hold a mirror to exactly what they're doing. And it's like, she's like all of my partners who were like completely narcissistic called me one. So she was like, this is textbook like and this was something Dr. Romani talks about as well. Because yeah, it's basically using therapy talk now to just say that you're the problem. Yeah. And yeah, so that's that's very textbook kind of person calling you Narcissus

Michael 41:53
wonder like some of the people that sort of, because I again, I see it on occasion. I don't know the frequency but the guys in the group will be like, Oh, she was absolutely a narcissist and there was a part of me going I wonder if he's really the narcissist here because because, I mean, there are certain guys who post constantly about it. All they post is about narcissism and how to look out for and I'm thinking, Gosh, I wonder if this guy is really, really the narcissist I mean, I can I don't know I don't I'm not trying to diagnose anyone. But I always often wonder like the person that's screaming the loudest about it. I wonder if it's actually, like you said sort of mirroring like we're, you know, projecting or whatever you want to call. So so if you find yourself in a relationship with one how do you get out of that with minimal damage? What's the best way to sort of extract from a toxic relationship with a and especially one with a narcissist

Meehika 42:51
I guess it's like, it doesn't happen overnight, because they're gonna make it really difficult for you. And this is the thing this is why people find themselves with a narcissist for like, five years, 10 years because they make it impossibly difficult. So you need to have an exit strategy and you have to kind of do it in you know, kind of like stages so you start Gray, rocking them a little bit. It's, it's really hard, but you they will because even after you have actually gotten out of that, or even when you're in the process, they will try to Hoover you. And hoovering is another time which you know Narcissus to do. It's like hoovering the victim back in with that exact same kind of like dose, giving them that pie. It's like how people you know, don't who are addicted to drugs. Don't leave it for years and years and years. It takes them ages to get clean. It's the same thing. It gives you the same head so the narcissist is gonna kind of do everything and now this is why it's a bit tricky because there are so many different kinds of narcissists. Out there or like people narcissistic tendencies you've got like the covert narcissist, you have got the raging like ultra, you know, whatever masculine or just a raging narcissist you know, there are very different kinds of them. And I remember one of my friends, she was in the cycle for I guess like three years three or four years every single time she got the courage to leave and she's like, this is like I'm leaving. He would say everything that she wanted to hear. Like she wanted to move in with a boyfriend really badly. She wanted to probably get married to someone you know. He knew exactly what she wanted. So he would give her her back end with these words saying, I want to live with you like we can just move in together and this and that. Like literally when she's leaving. He would say these things just to Hoover her back and you know like even you can even start looking at faces and this and that from next month on blah blah and then she would go back to their real life is all of that gone in literally like it last a few days. Not even though we're weak. And it's back. It's back to how it was. And she I think she repeated the cycle every two or three months. Until one day she was like, This is bad. The whole thing took three or three years I guess she was with him for like one year and three years was trying to break up with him. Well, I mean, it's it's really important that this Why say like, obviously this is important to educate yourself about these times, like what's Uber and what do they do? And things like that because they're gonna you will need to know what's happening when you're in the middle of it. It's really hard. And because even when I was with a guy who was like, I mean, I can't obviously diagnose them as MTD, but I'm pretty sure he clearly already had like, most of the narcissistic tendencies to qualify as one that it was the same thing. The entire relationship. The first half was great, whatever No, it was first half like 1/3 of this was forever and the rest of it was just constant shooting at that he would just give me doses of that hi I initially got and that is usually enough. Because when I was talking to a psychotherapist about this like what what what is this? Why do people stay in this? Why did I send this? He was giving me an example of I don't know if you've heard of that study that's conducted with rats, where it's like, positive reinforcement and you know, like when you feed a rat food in like you don't know when it's there is no like schedule. It's not like it's everyday at 1pm or it's everyday there is no schedule. So the rat actually doesn't know when you're going to see him next. So it's like they would do everything to please you all the time, not knowing when the next dose is coming. But similar to that like you will go through a long period of shittiness because you don't know when that next fix is coming. On when they give you that very small dose of that you're happy for a long time or whatever. And then again, the relationship is shit but you stay. It's just the same. It elicits the same hormones in us as humans. As it does in that graph. And the same ideology is also used when you're trying to train a puppy. You know, when he when the puppy does something good. You treat the puppy, right? That's positive reinforcement. But when you know now the puppy knows if you're going to do something good you're going to treat him so now he's going to behave he's going to pee where you asked him to pee. He's gonna, you know, with humans and that's what the experiment was the you don't know when that you know fixes coming to you're always waiting for it and kind of you know, on your toes trying to please the nurses nurses never impressed. And then every now and then we'll get that six and there's also it's the same dynamic read like children dealing with narcissistic parents, it's like you will spend your entire life trying to please that parent but they will never using the bar is here and you achieve it. And the next thing you know the bar is here again you achieve it and the next thing you know the bar is there. A very good example of it is succession. It's a very raging narcissistic parent. I don't know if you've seen succession have you? That

Michael 49:38
only only a few episodes?

Meehika 49:40
Yeah, so it's literally a narcissistic parent dangling a carrot in front of all of his three children. And every time they achieve it or one of them dad, he's like yeah, whatever, blah, just like at the higher bar. So it's it's that kind of like, you know, they're never pleased with you, but at the same time, they don't want to let you go. They just want to like play with you. Kind of I don't know. It's a great question.

Michael 50:09
I I think when I hear things like that some sometimes and I don't know what this says about me but sometimes I think regardless of what a person does or how they behave, and I get this easier said done and all that but to me there you should have enough self worth. And I'm not saying I'm there either, but you should have enough self worth. And I'm not trying to put it on the person I mean, but if you're not being treated well walk away, right it if you have an innate sense of like, confidence or and I know that's tough. For everybody but but sometimes when I hear these things I'm like why? And I'm not trying to call anyone out and and I'm not trying to blame the victim. I am not but but if if you can't walk away from something that's clearly not healthy, but maybe you don't realize that it's not healthy. I don't know. To me, there's a part of me that says because I see again, I see this all the time. Guys are like, Oh, she was narcissist and she did all these things. And I'm like, well, but you tolerated that like and again, I'm not maybe maybe it sounds like victim blaming. I'm not trying to but but there's a part of me that says if you did work on yourself, then you will be able to walk away from something. And I'm not I'm not saying domestic violence and that kind of stuff. You know, that's a whole other conversation. And, you know, that's that's not what I'm talking about. But but there's a part of me that when we talk about accountability, right, it's hard for me not to think that a person rates nonsense or whatever. I don't think I mean, it's not I'm not again, I'm not trying to blame on price sound like that, but I'm really not but but I think if you tolerate some some beat, yes, whatever that means, then then you need to figure out how to not right. I mean, isn't there some accountability there as well.

Meehika 51:54
And to be honest, the main reason for that is a lot of these people. And that's true for what happened with me as well had either a narcissistic parent or a sibling and all their lives throughout their childhood so that treatment is normalized. Do you think that is normal? Which it's not right? You don't know. It's not normal. I did not know this until my friend who had a history of now she's obviously married. To who she's married for like over a decade, but she has a narcissistic mother and she had a history of dating narcissistic people. And then she saw me doing it and then the more I started talking about my mother, she was like this is you're doing exactly what I did 20 years ago. And that opened up an entire block off like, oh my god, like even if I'm not saying all of my exes were NPD or something, but 80% of them had very high narcissistic tendencies. And I the thing is these like, I choose them and they choose me. So narcissists, people with narcissistic tendencies. Literally choose a particular type of victim. So now it's like I come across because now I know better. A narcissistic person cannot choose me now because it's like, it won't work. Like literally I can spot it. The dynamic will not work. But earlier I was the perfect victim. And I was also searching for the same thing. I always like because that treatment was so normalized for me that none of the other guys who showed me otherwise and like who were nice, they didn't stand a chance with me. I wasn't with them. Like I mean, I would be with them and then I would break up with them because that was just totally not normal to me.

Michael 54:02
So it speaks to a feeling or a thought or an idea I have everybody should be in therapy, and I know there are therapists to go around but we all need it work and and and you're right I guess I didn't think of it in that way. And that it's that was normal. That's what you knew. And I guess in some ways if if I hadn't been in therapy and hadn't done any kind of work, and I really only only got into therapy because my father died when I was 22 and that really rocked my world. So I was able to examine myself and look at myself I have a lot of work to do on the fucked up individual but but I think if you've never been in that space of sort of like working on yourself that maybe you wouldn't realize or with a an unbiased third party or whatever to sort of help you see some of these things that maybe you never would because you're right it's it's it's it's natural. It's normal. This is the way your mother treated you so it's going to feel familiar and like and normal. Yeah, I suppose I didn't think of that. Well, listen, this has been awesome. Thank you so much for doing this. I really, really appreciate it. The last question that I asked everybody is what words of wisdom would you impart to a man just starting his divorce process?

Meehika 55:16
Just tarping as in those just like Have they left the past and have they come to that decision?

Michael 55:26
They're there all the above. I think probably the big one, I think is is she has either served the papers or she's left or or you've left whatever, like whatever the scenario is, but you're you're clearly separated.

Meehika 55:43
Um, well, I think there is no point kind of trying to blame who was wrong but also kind of see that what you could have done and what led to this just kind of like I guess introspect. And I see a lot of men who immediately get into like new relationships and or are like immediately getting engaged and things like that. And I think that is really scary because then you're just trauma bonding, haven't really dealt with all of the trauma and you're just like you know, looking for a quick fix, and some validation. And also another thing I see a lot of couples who recently divorce is that they see it as a competition as an to get a better looking partner soon. So that is like the ultimate game that oh my god, I cannot let my ex win. So I have got to find a new partner a good looking one. Post them on my social media. And a lot of people also do it because they want to show to their friends or their Mutual's that I am on the problem. Look, I got shiny passes in an instant. They are the problem but you're actually kind of not portraying that it's just the fact that you've taken no time to reflect and just replace this pattern quickly is just you you kind of are showing that you are the problem. So yeah, I mean, honestly like there is no point trying to find blame. There's no point trying to find another person to show the words something else, I guess just take time to reflect and make sure that you learn from that and then you don't repeat them because you don't want to be a person who's been divorced two or three times and that's the thing like if you keep repeating the pattern, you're just going to end up being that person who's been divorced three times. Every day is it doesn't work for normal human.

Michael 58:06
No, I can't I don't know who could afford that shit. It's expensive to be honest with you, but yeah, I agree. I mean, I try to preach it all the time. It's take take time, at least a year and some people like everyone's different. Yeah, but you're not going to die if you spent a year alone. You know, I think honestly it takes it can take a lot longer. I think it does but a year at least for goodness gracious sake. I think you know, I'm coming up on year four, actually, two days will be four years since she left and I still have work to do and still have struggles, you know, and it's compounded, I think, because we have kids and so I have to deal with her. And so it makes sort of a clean break. It's not possible. And so then I think then that delays the healing because you still have to see and interact it's a lot easier if it's, you know, out of sight out of mind. It's a very truth. But when you have to deal with them, especially if you have to go to court or all these things, it just it allows the wound I think to never really truly I wouldn't say truly heal but but it takes longer because it's it's it gets keeps getting poked, you know, again, if you were the one that was left and didn't make the decision, so I agree wholeheartedly. You got to take the time to heal to work on yourself to reflect so thank you so much for doing this. What's the best way people can find you? How do they get in touch with you and your work and the things that you do and the articles you write? What's the best way to find your stuff?

Meehika 59:29
My social media handle as Gabriella that's MEHIPABA Are you a that's the same for Instagram as Les Fatah. I post all of the articles I write so yeah, it should be on my social

Michael 59:43
media. Awesome. I'll make sure to put it in the show notes. Thanks again so much for doing this. I really appreciate it.

Meehika 59:49
Of course. Thank you so much.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *