Coping with a toxic relationship — that is, with a person with narcissistic personality traits who makes their partner feel emotionally stifled, lost, hopeless, stuck and damaged — has not been the easiest in the best of times. It becomes even worse in Covid times as quarantined quarters can be too close for comfort, says author, life coach and pranic healer Kalpana Nair who has suggested a series of tools in a new book to help those affected cope better and even turn the tables around.
“Before Covid-19, when there was the luxury of space and privacy in the lives of narcissists; they worked their partners the way they wanted. Carried on affairs, love-bombed other unsuspecting victims, gaslighted those they lived with and felt the self-importance that they so craved, any way they wanted,” the Mumbai-based Nair told IANS in an interview.
However, confined by Covid-19, narcissists may have found their mask dropped, their cover blown and life being difficult to manage when under constant observation and scrutiny by their partner or spouse.
“This would, in turn, increase their feelings of not being in control as well as aggravate the discomfort they feel within themselves. They subsequently inflict this anger on their partner in an emotionally or physically violent manner. Either way, if the partner of this abuse has to heal, the reasons for this behaviour have to be processed with a different set of rules and tools than other relationships,” Nair explained.
Noting that these are “high functioning people, in good positions and carry on this toxicity in the confines of their relationships”, she added: “Any relationship with a narcissist (covert or overt) is unmistakably malignant and causes deep psychological pain. A lack of awareness of this specific variety of toxicity may lead many unsuspecting people to confuse it with garden-variety personality traits of selfishness, thoughtlessness, casual self-centredness or the need for control.”
The nature of this toxic relationship, Nair said, “is to confuse and control. The narcissistic partner causes intense psychological harm to their partner and this is the ultimate goal of the narcissist. They have been done unfairly by the world and they believe that the world owes them and the one that pays is their partner”.
The usual attempts to self-correct and do self-work (when in a relationship with a narcissistic partner) do not yield results and this leaves the affected person trying everything and still not finding peace and it leading them down a weary path of brain fog, self-harm, self-doubt, low self-esteem, altered sense of self and crushing emotional wounds. The path to healing from narcissistic abuse is slow and partners have to be guided at each step of this recovery process to see not just healing but triumph, Nair said.
One of the tools Nair suggests in her book, “Life ManYOUal” is for the weakened partner to “Activate Your UI Protocol” and thereby muster the strength to reconnect with their sense of self, set boundaries and exert the weight of their own values.
“In this technique, the fragments of the abused partners’ sense of self are addressed by the UI or Universal Intelligence and they are made to do role plays or write down reflections of themselves as Source sees them — as whole and as one with the consciousness of its Creator. Not as the broken or separate parts that have been left in the wake of the wreckage caused by the narcissist. The abused partner writes about the possible reasons for this struggle and emotional pain and understands the force of UI to propel them to their true values and purpose in life,” Nair writes.
Another tool is “Your Magic Formula” is to match the victims’ Dominant Thought with Their Life Force Energy.
“Despite all the struggles, fears and lacks — when they write about acknowledging these emotions and working to undo each layer of psychological harm done to them by the narcissist and reconnecting them to their core, this helps them recognise their patterns of wanting to be loved and approved by someone outside, evaluating the reasons behind that behaviour and then working to develop that innate sense of worthiness, value and meaning within them,” Nair maintains.
Another technique is to do a Stacking Self-Critique Exercise where the victims identify their ‘Lack Statements’ and their ‘Being Statements’ and see how the two stack-up. They will realise that they internalise a lot of the abuse.
So, starting with a Lack Statement on the left that says “I am not enough, and stacking it upward with: I am not loved, I cannot live without him, I feel lost, I only knew this, I do not know what to do now, I feel low, I’m lethargic” — leads to an increased intensity of false ‘I’ statements and a very high stack.
Seeing that, when you can change your filter and layer it with the ‘Ability to Deserve,’ the slight belief in you then will stack on the right side — “I will try and not take his statements personally, It is not about me, I have been strong when that happened, I displayed strategic skills in that office presentation, I am able to look after myself, I look after mom, send money home, I am a good person, I believe, I will try”.
In this way, victims are able to see what they are ‘Being’ and this stack on the right side pushes them to be more of the things they have written about.
“It helps them in tuning back with themselves and strengthening their relationship with themselves so that they can protect their emotional space even though their physical space is limited and invaded by the narcissist,” Nair explained.
“These exercises can be used for any toxic relationship and distressing thought or challenge faced by people during these tough times,” Nair concluded.