I See Narcissists
It’s here!!! The very first episode of Jaime Primak Sullivan’s advice podcast has finally arrived! So grab your popcorn (and your notebook) because Jaime is on fire answering listener questions about everyone’s favorite topic: narcissism! From dating to co-parenting, identifying one to becoming one(?!), Jaime is here to tell us what to do.
FYI: Tell Me What To Do contains mature language and themes that may not be suitable for all listeners.
Please note, this show is hosted and produced by a team that does not have any clinical or other mental or physical health training. If you are having a health or mental health crisis or emergency, please contact 911. For non-emergency mental health and addiction needs, try https://www.samhsa.gov/ for national and local resources.
Do you have a question for Jaime? Call 833-4LEMONADA (833-453-6662) and leave her a voicemail. You can also email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did you know that this show is supported by listeners like you? It is! You can become a member, get exclusive bonus content, and discounted swag at www.lemonadamedia.com/membership.
- For the sake of your beauty sleep, go to www.helixsleep.com/tellme to get $200 off your first helix mattress (plus two free pillows)
- For Tell Me What To Do swag, go to www.lemonadamedia.com/shop
To follow along with a transcript, go to www.lemonadamedia.com/show/tmwtd shortly after air date.
If you aren’t already a devoted Jaime fan, follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @JaimePrimak
Stay up to date with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @LemonadaMedia.
[00:36] Jaime Primak Sullivan: Hey, guys, you’re listening to Tell Me What To Do. I’m Jaime Primak Sullivan. Some of you may know me from my daily digital series Coffee Talk, or my Bravo TV show Jersey Belle. Some of you may not know me at all, but you’re in luck because I’m really cool. I’m just kidding. I’m falling apart. You guys too? Great. This is a show where I answer your questions and tell you what to do. But sometimes I’ll have a guest on because, let’s be honest, I also need someone to tell me what to do. This is really exciting for you thirsty chicks at home, those of you who have been quarantining either by yourself or with the same man over and over and over and over again. Saltines are good. But by the 15th day, just a Saltine. You’ll hear me talk to Kyle, my beloved assistant, creative executive. He’s with me for another six, hopefully seven weeks. Oh, the horror. He’s the best. So let’s talk about what’s going on inside my head this week. Well, we can start with the fact that parenting is so fucking hard.
[01:53] Jaime Primak Sullivan: You buy a TV and they give you a manual with so many pages in so many different languages that literally, if the TV should find itself possessed, get off the wall, walk through your house, take a knife and try to actually assault you, there is a section of the manual that will talk you through what happens if your television becomes possessed. But when you give birth to a human being, they hand you this child, send you off into the world and go, “make sure your car seat’s buckled in properly.” That’s it? That’s all I get? A car seat check. That’s it. You’re not going to tell me how to handle night terrors. You’re not going to tell me how to handle mysterious rashes that pop up out of nowhere. Food allergies, mental health issues, bullying, heartbreak, rejection. You’re just gonna hand me this kid and tell me to make sure the car seat’s installed properly? That’s great. Anybody want to tell me when I’m supposed to go from a level one to a level two nipple? Or should my kid just continue to suck until his face turns blue? Or on the alternative, if you give them the faster flow nipple too soon, they’ll just drown in the breast milk or formula. And that’s a whole other conversation. Breast milk, formula. Then you got the new people who are like breast milk is like the cure all. And then you got people like my mom who are like, “what? I gave you formula and drank and smoked. You all turned out fine.”
[03:32] Jaime Primak Sullivan: I don’t know if we turned out fine, Susan, but here we are. Also, it would really be helpful if we could get on one collective page about masks. It’s kind of like underwear. It’s a protectant. Like, can we just agree that, like, it’s probably better for us to wear a mask than not? And not try to pretend that masks are up for debate as far as like civil liberties go? Because the pendulum that swings on the things that we find some way to politicize is amazing to me. Could you just wear a mask, a soft piece of cloth covering over your face? “My civil liberties!” All right. I don’t know. I don’t know what to do. You’re probably the person who doesn’t wear a condom during sex. You probably don’t wear your seat belt or underwear, for that matter. I’m not shaming people who don’t wear masks, I’m just letting them know they’re selfish. That’s kind of how I feel about that. Anybody else want to talk about the fact that we haven’t had solid poop since the first week of March?
[04:48] Jaime Primak Sullivan: Or am I the only one with anxiety-induced Hershey squirts? Because I am at my breaking point on loose stools. And I know that sounds funny because poop is irreverent and kind of silly, but I think if I watched this Oprah one time with Dr. Oz, poop is supposed to be solid, and it’s supposed to come out in like an S shaped form, like super poop. But instead, I just get really bad stomach pains, almost like I’m giving birth, but then I’m not. And I just have a crap attack. And it’s because I have lost my ability to practice the pause, because every time I want to take a beat, something else happens. There’s some other death or ventilator or riot or protest or murder of an innocent black man or Karen calling the cops on someone for breathing or some fucking electric slide video that people are annoyed by or, I don’t know, some joke that’s become offensive or somebody I respect saying something stupid. You know what I want? I want a fucking cherry Slurpee from 7-Eleven.
[06:16] Jaime Primak Sullivan: And somehow I have agreed to let the man I love move me to a place where there are no 7-Elevens, not even like the generic six and 12. There’s nothing here for me to get a Slurpee. Oh, God. What I would do for a fucking cherry Slurpee. All right. But also, I did find my favorite red lipstick, and I feel like that’s a win. I cut my hair. That was fun. And honestly, I got on top during sex the other night, and I just want to remind you all that sometimes taking charge of your own destiny, and by destiny, I mean orgasm, is like long overdue. It’s kind of hard to get into sex, though, when you haven’t got a solid poop since March. But whatevs. Anyway, so that’s my brain. I feel like anybody listening right now can relate to at least one part of that. Most likely it’s the mask, or it’s the poop.
[07:19] Jaime Primak Sullivan: All right. So a couple of weeks ago, I did this like call-out for you guys on narcissism, because I know it’s a topic that everybody gets off on in Coffee Talk. And also like it’s the subject of nine million books, articles, you know, memes and all of those good things. But I lived it and breathed it. So I was in a relationship, an abusive relationship. And make no mistake about it, narcissists are abusers. A lot of times they are not physical. So we don’t define them as abusive. But being in a relationship with a narcissist is abuse. Let me first define narcissism for you: narcissism is a disorder where the person has an inflated sense of self-importance. Now, I’m not talking about somebody who has self-confidence and, you know, looks in the mirror and is, like, “yas, bitch, yasss, you’re amazing!” Like, that’s cool. We all need to do that. I’m talking about somebody who allows their sense of self-importance overshadow their ability to find value in anybody else. It’s a totally different situation. What are some symptoms? I’m so glad you asked. These are just a few that I have dealt with. There are so many symptoms of narcissist, because they’re all different kinds of narcissists. But these are some that I have dealt with. Excessive need for admiration, disregard for other people’s feelings, inability to handle criticism, sense of entitlement, se of your insecurities or silence as a weapon.
[09:18] Jaime Primak Sullivan: Narcissists develop this disorder to avoid feeling deep feelings of insecurity. It is either taught to them because they are raised by a narcissist, or they develop the disorder over time to avoid deep feelings of insecurity. For many people in a narcissist’s life, honestly, it’s just easier to go along with their demands than deal with the silent treatment or the outrage. So they just give in to the narcissist. And what you don’t understand is narcissists are a lot like toddlers. If you continue to give in to them, then you become enslaved to their demands. Emotional, mental, physical. I have a friend whose husband insists that she give him a blowjob before she leaves the house any time she wants to go out to socialize. Almost as if to assert his control or authority over her to say, “you know what needs to be done if you want to go on a girls night. You know what needs to be done if you want to go meet friends for drinks, or you want to go to the beach with your girlfriends,” or whatever it is, it’s almost like, look what I can make you do. And she makes a joke about it and says, oh, it’s just easier than having to listen to his mouth. And I think to myself, is it? Is it really easier than you saying, hold on, let me tell you what’s not going to happen. I don’t work for you, you don’t own me, I am not owned by you. I am your wife. And you will respect me or I will walk out the door to go meet my friends and not come back. And then you know what you can do? You can suck your dick.
[11:07] Jaime Primak Sullivan: How amazing is that? But she’s not quite there yet. So, you know, with people dealing with narcissists, a lot of times if you’ve had the experience and you’ve come out the other side — which we will get to leaving a narcissist at some point in this podcast. But once you’ve left and you see clearly what it was, and you see it for other people, when they’re in it, they’re surviving. They’re not thriving, they’re just surviving. And they say things like it’s so much easier than the alternative, or easier than listening to his mouth. And I’m like, you would literally rather get on your knees than just say “uh, no. Going to meet my friends. See you later. You and your dick will be just fine.”
[14:35] Jaime Primak Sullivan: So the other thing that I experienced in my relationship was he wasn’t so much in a constant need for praise and admiration like a lot of narcissists are. He was a different kind of narcissist. He didn’t seek praise and admiration so much as he sought my smallness. That was how he inflated himself. So he didn’t want me to lavish him with attention and compliments like some narcissists do. He wanted me to shrink myself, make myself as small as possible, because the smaller I was, the larger he felt. And I fell for it hook, line and sinker. The big key with narcissists, whether they want you to shrink yourself, or they require a constant need for praise and admiration, is if there is an interruption in the behavior, meaning if you stop lavishing them with praise, you stop admiring them or you stop shrinking yourself by any stretch, in any capacity, if you speak up for yourself, if you stand up a little taller, if you assert yourself. If you say, I’m not going to suck your dick before I go meet my girlfriends for a drink. If you do anything, it is deemed as an act of betrayal and you must be punished. If you assert yourself, if you find happiness, if you smile, if you have a conversation that build you up outside of them, it is deemed an act of betrayal and you will be punished. And then you go like, why would I ever be attracted to someone like that? Why would I be attracted to a narcissist?
[16:20] Jaime Primak Sullivan: Because we are attracted to their apparent confidence, whether it’s loud confidence, and they have big dreams and they’re going to include us and take us with them. And we don’t have that level of confidence yet, so we’re super attracted to that. Or it’s their quiet confidence that almost feels seductive, so we get attracted to that, too. That’s what I fell for. And as our own self-esteem diminishes in the relationship, the more alluring they appear. Because they appear to have so much more confidence than we do. It’s almost like we feel lucky to be with them. And that’s part of their agenda. And so when I was in this relationship with him, I mean, I don’t have a small personality. When he met me, he pretended that this is exactly what he wanted. But what he really wanted was to think of it like an energy transfer. Jaime’s got this big personality. She’s powerful. She can move the masses. She can encourage people, pour into them, love them. She lights up a room. And so first they tell you all the things they love about you. It’s called love bombing. “Nobody can light up a room like you. Nobody can make people feel as good as you. You make people feel seen and loved.” So you go, oh, my God. They see me. They love me for who I am. And then they slowly begin to eat away. They start to de-thread all of the things that make you you. Suddenly the “I love your energy” becomes “Why are you always so fucking loud?”
[17:56] Jaime Primak Sullivan: “It’s like you walk into a room and people go, ugh, here she comes again with that mouth.” And you start to think, wait, really? Because I thought people loved my energy, I thought they loved my spirit. And they have such a way of speaking that makes you feel like what they’re saying is true, that your own self-esteem goes, “they’re probably right. You should dim your light, lower your volume.” And this is how a narcissist gets control over you emotionally. And like I just remember hearing a voice inside of me going, how did you get here? And realizing that I had been celebrating milestones with someone who was slowly killing me. And I saw all of the red flags, but my self-esteem made me feel like I had planted them. Like I had earned them. They were my fault. That is what people don’t understand about being in a relationship with a narcissist, is it’s abuse that you begin to feel is your fault.
[19:06] Jaime Primak Sullivan: Have you ever, like, met someone who is in a physically abusive relationship, and their spouse or their significant other hits them, and they say, like, “if I had just not started with him, if I had just been asleep when he got home, if I had just not said this, I know not to start with him when he’s been drinking.” It’s almost like they assume the responsibility of the abuse. Narcissism is the same way. So I have a lot of experience being in a relationship with a narcissist. Two years may not seem long to other people, but two years is a fucking lifetime when you are in that kind of abuse. Bottom line is, if you’re being emotionally abused or you’re in a relationship with a narcissist. Get the fuck out. I don’t care who it is or what it is. I’m going to tell you now, the only way through is out. We can talk about every step I took to get out. We can talk about what it was like to get out. We can talk about how hard it was to get out. We can talk about what it looks like on the other side. But I am telling you now: there is no way to change a narcissist. No way. There is no way. And I know people go, but there has to be a way because he’s my husband. There is no way. But there has to be because she’s my mother. Let me say it again.
[20:20] Jaime Primak Sullivan: There is no way to change somebody who truly lives with narcissism disorder. There is no way to change it. None whatsoever, because they are incapable, by definition of their disorder, to see anything wrong with their behavior. You cannot fix what you do not acknowledge. Period. So if you are listening to this and you’re going like, please, Jaime, tell me how to fix this. You cannot fix it. All you can do is decide whether you want to continue to live with it. That is it.
[21:07] Jaime Primak Sullivan: I think we have some questions. And this is my favorite part of Tell Me What To Do, because now we get to have the real promise of the premise, as we call it in Hollywood. Let’s get to the meat and potatoes of this thing. Question number one.
[21:29] Stacey: OK. My name is Stacey. What I want to know about narcissists is I’ve dated two, and the lies that they’ve told me or the way they made me feel still kind of lives in me, even though I know logically that they’re narcissists. And then part of me also wonders am I attracting this to myself? What if I am a narcissist? They say you attract what you are. so what if that’s really me? But I don’t think so. And is this my type? Why do I like them? Maybe you can’t tell me why I personally like them. But why do we keep going after the same one? Like we see it. Oh my God, I’m Carrie Bradshaw. OK. Why are we attracted to narcissists? Why do we keep going towards them in romantic relationships? They literally can’t love you back. I don’t know. OK, thanks. Bye.
[22:28] Jaime Primak Sullivan: OK, Stacey. First of all, thank you so much for calling. And if I’m hearing you correctly, you’re essentially saying, what is it about you that attracts narcissists? Also, 10 points for the Carrie Bradshaw reference. OK. First, I’m going to say this: it is most likely not that you are meeting more narcissistic people than others. It is probably more that you are keeping more narcissistic people than others. You are continuing down roads with narcissistic people after you see the red flags. So the issue is not so much that you’re meeting them. Because we all meet narcissists along the way at work, friendships, romantic relationships, family, whatever. What is separating you from somebody who is not attracted to those relationships is there is a part of you that requires what narcissists bring in what I call their “first fix.” When you go out on a date with somebody and they seem very into you, super into you, very complimentary. They’re perfect gentlemen, they pay for the drinks. They pay attention to detail. They listen when you speak. They notice your eyes. All of those things are things we should normally want on a date. So far, so good. Now we leave. When that person begins to love bomb, the texts start coming in a lot more frequently than, say, normal behavior.
[24:11] Jaime Primak Sullivan: Somebody with healthy boundaries is going to go, whoa, I went out with this guy and he seemed really great, but I think 15 texts in the first week is a lot. He can’t stop thinking about me, two days after we went out? That feels weird because healthy men don’t behave that way. This is where you, Stacey, and someone who is not attracted to pursuing narcissistic relationships draws a boundary and says, this is a boundary for me, so I am not interested. When you have low self-esteem or you have empty cups in your hand, you will allow a narcissist to fill that. You will allow yourself to get swept up because part of you wants to believe that you are the one that deserves this treatment. And the thing is, you do deserve to be seen and heard and valued and loved in a healthy way. What you are saying is see me, value me and love me by any means necessary. And that is the difference. So it is not that you are meeting more narcissists, you are continuing on with more narcissists. And that is a Stacey issue. That is a boundary issue. And that is a self-esteem issue. So if you want to know why you keep going back to them, it is because you are in desperate need of that fix, that love bombing place. And when that wears out, and it will every time, you then find yourself in that very abusive, diminishing space that is very hard to get out of. Then you beat yourself up. Why did I do this again? You know, it’s that Carrie Bradshaw scene when she’s in the diner with the girls and she’s like, “why do I keep doing this to myself?” That’s the exact right question. She didn’t say, “why does he keep doing this to me? Why is Big doing this to me?” She said, “why do I keep doing this to myself?” So, Stacey, I ask you, why do you keep doing this to yourself? See ya at the diner, we’ll figure it out.
[26:28] Jaime Primak Sullivan: All right. Next question.
[26:31] Amy: Hi, Jaime. My name is Amy and I’m from Florida. My question has to do with co-parenting with a narcissist. I was curious if you could recommend any coping skills. I have about 11 more years of co-parenting with this person, and our child is considered special needs. So it’s quite a demanding parental role that we’re both in. But I know that I have to work with him. So if you could recommend anything, that would be awesome. Tell me what to do.
[27:04] Jaime Primak Sullivan: Well, Amy, I have a friend who is co-parenting with a narcissist right now. And the types of things he does that indicate to me anyway that he’s a narcissist — certainly I’m not a therapist and I’m like not out here diagnosing people — but the kinds of things she has dealt with with him in co-parenting is like no matter what she suggested for custody, or like any kind of like child care arrangements, he always had an issue with it. It was always problematic for him. If she offered him more time, which seemed to be what he was fighting for, he would say things to her like, “you’re such a shit, mom. You never want to be with your kid.” It was like she could never win. He couldn’t be nice or agreeable for the sake of their kids. So what she realized in having conversation after conversation after conversation with me was that her plea to him to be nice, to be agreeable, to “do it for the kids,” would always fall on deaf ears because he, by definition, as a narcissist, cannot care about the needs, wants or desires of anyone else, including his own children. So she stopped pleading with him and started speaking in fact Once she started speaking from the custody agreement, from their legal agreement, simply like cutting and pasting in text. First, she said, you will not speak to me if you can’t be respectful. I absolutely will not allow you to disrespect me. So she took the power away from that. Whenever he goes on tirades on text, just telling her what a piece of shit she is, what a garbage mother she is, he’s so sorry he had kids with her, she would just say, “I’m silencing you.” And that would be that.
[28:50] Jaime Primak Sullivan: With a narcissist, a lot of times you can only speak in fact, not emotion. So what you need to do is stop trying to parent with him through emotion and only in fact. Meaning the doctor said that our child requires this. Are you willing to comply with the doctor? Then what he’ll do is say, “oh, I don’t need a fucking doctor to tell me what my kid –,” then you stick back to the fact. The doctor treating our child says he requires this. Are you willing — and if they continue to try to bait you, to try to drag you, to try to pull you into a space where it’s no longer about fact and it’s about emotion, you say, “please let me know when you are ready to discuss the doctor’s recommendation.” Period. And then you stop responding. They need to be treated like children. It is the only language they understand. Strict boundaries with parenting. You will work harder to co-parent with him than you will parenting your child with special needs. That is a fact. It will take such a toll on you if you are not careful. Because there is nothing more important to us than our children. And when a narcissist knows that that is your Achilles heel, that is your kryptonite, they will use your love of your child against you. And that to me is truly — it’s psychological warfare as far as I’m concerned. It’s psychological warfare. And it all boils down to their need for control. When they can’t control you anymore, they start interfering with your ability to parent, because that is a way of controlling you. I can’t control you, Amy, so I’m going to create so much chaos as a co-parent that you are not going to be able to parent our child the way you want to, and that will be my way of controlling you. Don’t let it happen. Establish a legal, binding parenting plan with lawyers that you can continue to refer back to. That is key.
[31:04] Jaime Primak Sullivan: Do not think because on Tuesday, your narcissist co-parent who seems to be in a good, happy, charming mood and says, “absolutely, I’ll pick her up Friday. No problem. Oh, you need a day early? Not a problem.” He will not be the same person on Friday. They never are. And the second you put them in a position of power by letting them know you need them, you are fucked. Period. But bravo to you, Amy, for getting out of a relationship with a narcissist. So you get to come to the diner with Stacey and I.
[31:39] Jaime Primak Sullivan: OK, guys, we have one more voicemail and I’m about to get to that. But before I do, I have to tell you two other very cool things. OK, so first, I’m so excited to tell you guys that we already have fun show swag. And I love fun show swag. Go to LemonadaMedia.com/shop and shop. We have mugs. You can use your mug for Coffee Talk if you want. We have T-shirts and tote bags for the show. And I can tell you now that knowing me, I’m probably going to want to swap out the swag in a few months, so we should call this like a limited edition. Tell Me What To Do first-generation swag. Get in on the shop, folks. OK. Second, making this show isn’t free. Nothing is. And we want to give you uncut bonus content. If it’s possible for me to swear more, it’ll be on our membership page. And you can even get discounted or free swag for becoming a member. Membership starts as low as 99 cents a month. That’s like nothing. And you can show your support for me and the team in getting this project off the ground. Go to LemonadaMedia.com/TellMe to become a sustaining member of our show. And thank you in advance for your support. OK, now we’re going to hear from another listener. And remember, if you have a question, you can also get an answer. Call me at 1-833-4-LEMONADA, and leave a voicemail. And remember, be sure to end each voicemail with “Jaime, tell me what to do.”
[33:16] Jaime Primak Sullivan: All right, question number three.
[33:19] Samantha: Hi. I guess my question is, when does a line between, like somebody who’s very selfish, kind of turn into somebody who has, like, narcissistic personality disorder? I don’t really know where that line is. It’s sort of the same line of like when somebody is abusive, or when somebody is just kind of an a-hole. So I have somebody in my life that I thought was narcissistic and has those traits, but I guess I just didn’t ever really know where that line was.
[33:53] Jaime Primak Sullivan: Well, I really appreciate that. I wish that you told me your name, but I understand that I said you didn’t have to, so I’ll just call you Samantha. Samantha, I think that’s a very good question. How do I know if somebody is a narcissist or if they’re just a jerk? To me, narcissism is an actual disorder. It’s a survival disorder that people develop from a young age to protect them from severe insecurity. So you will see it in every single part of their life. Your average like run-of-the-mill garden jerk is typically someone who acts like an ass from time to time. Or they act like an ass with you, but they have genuine love and empathy for their family, for their friends. Like you recognize empathy, you know what that looks like. A narcissist is void of empathy for anyone. So if the person you’re dealing with treats you like they treat everyone in their life, if they are self-serving with everyone in their life, they are most likely a narcissist. If the friend or family member or loved one you’re dealing with is just a jerk to you, then they just don’t like you. That’s a jerk/ A narcissist, it’s clear across the board. So that would be for me, and that is for me, how I tend to figure out what I’m dealing with, I can deal with a jerk because I believe people are inherently good. So if you have one shitty quality, I can push past that. We can figure it out. We can talk about it, because jerks have empathy so they can a lot of times they want to improve their behavior or they don’t realize they’re acting that way. And they say like, hey, I want to do the work.
[35:45] Jaime Primak Sullivan: A narcissist would never. If you continually tell them about the behavior and they don’t do anything to change it. Get out. The calls are coming from inside the house. You’ve got to get out. So that is my answer to that question. And thank you to everybody who called in to Tell Me What To Do. It really means so much to me. If you’re listening to this and you have a question for me, call me at 1-833-4-LEMONADA and leave me a message.
[36:24] Jaime Primak Sullivan: I want to leave you with a couple of takeaways when it comes to narcissists. This is a page out of my actual journal. My secret narcissist journal. Remember The Notebook with Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams? This is the opposite of that. This is a page from the worst relationship in history. Remember, narcissists are not looking for partners, only admirers. Only people that will shrink themselves to inflate their sense of self. Your desires, needs or feelings will never matter. Never. They do not want a partner. So do not marry, go into business with or befriend a narcissist, because you will be in the partnership alone. Number two, look at how they treat others. Do not believe that you will be spared from their behavior. If somebody said to you, this is a piece of land where numerous homes have stood, and they have all been destroyed by a tornado, would you build your house on that land? No. When somebody tells you that the person you have met, the person you are going to go into business with, you are going to befriend, you are going to romance or sex or love or whatever, has abused other people, believe them. And do not believe for a second that you are special enough to be spared from that because the tornado will come, and when it does, it will tear your house down. Another thing, when you speak up, when you speak out, or when you pull away or pull back from a narcissist, whichever your personality is, and sometimes it’s both. Some of us are more comfortable speaking up. Some of us just want to walk away. Be prepared for them to retaliate. There is always retaliation. You will not be spared from this. Narcissists do not go off quietly into the night. They go to your friends, your coworkers, your loved ones, and they try to diminish you belittle you, say things that are fucking so insane. And if you don’t have a firm grasp on your self-worth, you will believe it. They will say things about you and you will go, “wait, what, am I? Oh, my God” And you will just feel like you need to run around and tell everyone that you’re not X, Y and Z
[39:17] Jaime Primak Sullivan: Expect the retaliation. It may be anything from silence and blocking you everywhere to full-on bullying, where they make videos or leave voicemails or send text messages. Say bad things about you. Make implications about you. I’m talking about full emotional warfare. This is where knowing yourself comes in. You have got to know who you are, because if you truly know yourself, the insults, the emotional warfare that is thrown at you won’t matter. It won’t bring your house down. And I’m going to leave you with this last thing, and this is the most important piece of advice I can give you about narcissists, whether you love them, whether you friend them, whether you work for them or with them. Leaving a narcissist is the only way. Ending abusive relationships is never easy. It’s always scary because you don’t recognize yourself. And understand that you have been gaslit by this person into loyalty. They will love bomb you to a place where you feel like you really matter to them, so the thought of leaving them makes you feel guilty. It’s not real. It was never a partnership. They don’t really love you. The love bombing, the attention, the comments, the pictures, the likes. That was all for their own sense of inflated ego. It was never about you or a meaningful relationship. It was about see me. The attention needs to be on me. And when you say I’m done, I’m leaving, they will retaliate. But leaving is the only way. Do not give it any attention.
[41:12] Jaime Primak Sullivan: Do not acknowledge it. Do not acknowledge them because you will doubt your own judgment if you do. Write down the reasons you are leaving, like I did in this journal, and go back to them when you waver. When you encounter the next narcissist, and you will, go back to the piece of paper and write down the reasons why you can’t ever let that in your life again. And the last, last, last, last, last thing I will say is don’t make empty threats. They are meaningless to a narcissist. It will not get you any change or anything, and they will only use it against you. So when you are ready to leave, just leave.
[42:02] Jaime Primak Sullivan: All right. I love you guys. I’m so glad that you were with me for this episode of Tell Me What to Do. We have a long road ahead. Hopefully hundreds and hundreds of episodes. So give us a call, leave us a voicemail and ask all of your burning questions. You can call me at 1-833-LEMONADA. Or you can email us at email@example.com. And also, my producers want you to know that they really want you to call or send an email so they don’t have to listen to me talk the entire time. That doesn’t hurt my feelings because I sound like The Nanny or Janis from Friends. So I totally get it. So thank you guys so much, as always, for listening. Please make sure you subscribe and tell all of your friends to listen, because that’s the only way we get to continue doing this. Bye!
[43:07] Jaime Primak Sullivan: Tell Me What To Do is a production of Lemonada Media. The show is produced by Kryssy Pease, and associate produced by Claire Jones. It’s edited by Ivan Kuraev. Music is by Dan Molad. Jessica Cordova Kramer, Stephanie Wittels Wachs and Jaime Primak Sullivan are executive producers. Rate and review us, and follow us @LemonadaMedia on all your favorite social platforms. Of course, you can follow me at Jaime Primak Sullivan on Facebook or at Jaime P. Sullivan on Instagram.