Is It Boasting And Bragging?
Often we DONMs are so scared of being like our NMs that we go to the opposite extreme, but that's not healthy
either. And one example of this is when we have a success in any field.
Is it boasting and bragging and (terrifying thought) narcissistic to tell people how well we did?
I've thought a lot about this and here is what I have concluded:
It is NOT narcissistic to celebrate our successes. It's all in the intent and the subtext.
Ns have no innate sense of self-worth and so are constantly trying to bolster it. And so they tell you how well
they did in order to feel better about themselves, and (they hope) make you think better of them. Their message is
always, "I did X and therefore aren't I WONDERFUL! I'm just such an AMAZING person to do so well. etc etc"?
In effect, what they are doing is bragging and boasting.
(This same dynamic is why they will never acknowledge or own their mistakes or failures because they think those
devalue them, so they can never admit, even to themselves, that they happened. )
Healthy people, on the other hand, know that they have innate worth and value, just by existing, and that so do
other people so they, themselves, are not better than the other people. The dynamic is, effectively, "I have value,
and so do you."
And then, successes and failures are a totally separate issue from their self-worth. (For Ns, they're totally
intertwined, for healthy people, they're totally separate.)
So successes don't make the healthy people value themselves more, nor do they expect you to value them more for
their success. Their success can stand alone without all that weight or baggage. They want to acknowledge and
celebrate their successes - of course they do! And that's totally appropriate. But it's a stand-alone issue.
(Likewise their failures and mistakes are a stand-alone issue, and so can be dealt with on their own merits. The
healthy person can own these failures/mistakes without it devestating their self-worth.)
And so, if somebody is sharing a success with you, listen for the subtext. This will give you a good clue as to
whether they're N or not.
And for you, as a DONM, don't be scared to own and celebrate your successes. Doing so doesn't make you N, it
really doesn't. Your successes are hard-earned (especially since most of us have to overcome so many emotional
obstacles before achieving that success) and so SHOULD be celebrated.
And make sure to acknowledge, even to yourself, every success. Having the courage to phone that potential client
or gallery owner is a success, even if they turn you down, for example. Finishing that novel or painting or garden
is a success, just by the fact that you did it!
We're so used to having our successes being invalidated and run down and ignored by our NMs. Let's not do it to
THE JOY OF BEING WRONG
We see from the trap the Narcissistic Mothers find themselves in that there is a huge price to pay for making
sure you are always right - or at least, that there is the appearance of you always being right. It must be
exhausting for them, always terrified of being wrong. No wonder they get so frantic about it and go into
Narcissistic Rage when challenged.
But yet, we DONMs can have issues about always being right too. Not in a narcissistic way, but I know from my
own experience and that of so many of my forum members, that the message from our mothers was that we had to be
perfect to be loved. Of course, this was a false message, because even if we were perfect, we'd never have been
loved. But we didn't know that - we were forever chasing that carrot that was dangled. And of course, whenever we
were less-than-perfect (which of course happened - we're HUMAN!) they would use it as a stick to beat us with. So
we are terrified of being wrong, not because our sense of self rests on being right as it is with the Ns, but
because it was never safe to be wrong.
And so, it is important for us to become comfortable being wrong, and knowing it's safe to be so. (The EFT
resource, 'Tap Away Always Scared Of Getting Into Trouble' is
designed to help with that.) We're human, we're allowed to be wrong!
And in truth, in order to achieve anything in life we need to allow ourselves to make mistakes, to be wrong as
it were. Creation is messy; it's a process of elimination and trial and error. And the word 'error' is exactly that
- mistakes and being wrong. And that's okay! The more we can be comfortable with that, the more powerful we
And this all leads on to my header for this article - the joy of being wrong. Because sometimes it's WONDERFUL
to be wrong! As DONMs we were told, and believed, so many wrong things. And so we ARE wrong about a lot of stuff.
The joy comes from realising it, and knowing that we can let those wrong beliefs go and allow new, better, truer
ones. And so we can delightedly know that we were wrong about being unloveable, for example. That was one of the
lies the NM told us.
And so, why not spend the next little while asking yourself, "What else am I wrong about?" or "what else might I
be wrong about?" and see what comes up. You can journal on it if you find it useful.
Let me know how you get on!