How Far is Far? – I

If you are in a relationship, then you had better read this! 

There are all kinds of people. Sometimes we fall head over heels in love with one. All well until the fall does not take its toll on us. There are many researches as to what makes us get attracted to a person and why we fall in love and what dynamics operate later. My intent for this post is not those researches. It is a plain urge to share a bit of knowledge and experience that might be life-saving to someone who might land upon on this page. Well, no drama there, when I say ‘life-saving’, I mean life-saving.

At the outset I wish to draw the difference between a personality issue and a personality disorder. Most of us have personality issues that are fine when we are alone but create problems when we get together with someone who has an incompatible personality. Say for example I am fixated on being organised and I fell in love with someone who can live comfortably in a pigsty, then we are bound to have issues sooner or later. I grow up believing that All husbands must be like my father/ all wives must be like my mother. But there is no way two human beings are ever going to be alike. There, we have a disappointment now. These are issues. And these will be there in any union. That ideal man or woman who you have sculpted in your head does not exist and it can come as a rude shock when you wake up to reality.

But believe me, these issues can be settled if you go a little easy on your ego, learn some psychology, do some negotiation, compromising mutually and by and large through working on yourself. You can live a life of love and joy inspite of the issues if you valued the relationship enough. But then there is another category of relationship issues that arise out of a personality disorder in one of the partners. This is the bermuda’s triangle of relationship, the zone of no return. These are so devastating on the partner with no disorder that you are, for all practical purposes ruined after the contact.

Now, why would I want to put a post on people who are obviously sick?  Why not focus on normal people. That precisely is the problem. These are perfectly normal people for all outward appearances. Infact most of them are super successful people who are veritable angels as long as you are in the outer circle. But once you step over into their inner circle, after the initial euphoria, begins a direct personal experience of hell. And in today’s fast paced world the occurrence of these personalities are not rare.

These are broken people, so broken, that in a way you and I will never understand the personal hell they suffer in getting to feel whole again through their partners. It is actually very sad to contemplate the inner state of these people but then before we get to that, let’s look at self-protection first.
Of all the complex personalities to deal with, one that wrecks a maximum damage is a narcissist. Now, we all have some narcissistic traits in us. Being conceited, arrogant, selfish sometimes and even controlling, especially in matters that mean a lot to us. Having these traits does not amount to a disorder. A disorder is a cognitive malfunction. A long time thinking anomaly, feeling and attitude, which in all probability, are well masked, because this fellow/woman is very, very shrewd.

So what is it and who are these people?

  • You have a feeling of walking on egg-shells all the time, because you do not know what will trigger the next episode of fights…
  • These fights can be classified as 12 hr dramas, 24 hr, 36 hr, and so on… there are no easy solutions to these problems which seem so trivial to you
  • Anything and everything you do is seen as personal insult.
  • Cannot brook criticism of any kind, even if it is only a perceived criticism
  • intent on proving that you do not deserve them but still they hang around because they are giving you a life
  • A grandiose sense of self and self entitlement: “What is mine is mine, what is yours is also mine”
  • Total and inflexible authoritarians
  • Contemptuous of everyone else, except maybe a care-giver (mom, Pa, nanny)  who was probably vicious and vulgar but who acquires a halo of nobility in their distorted world view
  • Strange work habits and strange eating habits
  • Very difficult to have simple, uncomplicated good times with them without a mood-spoiler
  • A total lack of empathy and feeling for your needs, every single time, in fact cannot comprehend you as a person at all
  • Terribly impulsive, this level of impulsiveness is actually not in sync with the over-all intelligence and rationale these people display.
  • Cruel

God help, if you have such a person as your father, mother, friend sister or worst of all as your partner in love. Maybe you have experienced their tantrums many times either as stony silences or never ending arguments. This is termed as a narcissistic rage which can be so disorienting and brutalizing  It may range from physical abuse to even worser verbal abuse making you feel so bad  and which  doesn’t seem to have an end at all.

Issues can be settled. Disorders cannot be settled without therapeutic help. unfortunately the chances are highly unlikely that a person with a disorder is ever gonna admit they have one.
And a contact with a narcissist leaves you in such total confusion, agony and a feeling that it has all been a total waste of time. And You will realise it when it was anyways useless to have realized  It is all a horrible mess and you can hardly even be coherent about it.

Life with a narcissist is like a bad dream that you can never seem to wake up from. And when you try to narrate what goes on in the private world of the narcissist you are disbelieved because, the stuff is so weird that you can hardly believe it yourself or that you withstood it for so long. In the sheer narration of the problem, in the mere naming of the problem, you become the problem, a person who gets branded as overly ‘emotional’, ‘sentimental’, ‘could have been adjusting’ and so on. To add insult to injury they call you over-reacting.

So folks, You really don’t want to get into this mess further if you are in the middle of this already or if you are on the verge of a fresh relationship. I would n’t want a life ruined because you did not know where to draw the line in a relationship and got sucked into an abyss of emotional whirlpools. I will do a series on these personality issues over the coming few days.  Please follow the sequels of this post carefully and leave a word for me if you have any thoughts on the subject. Also if you know any friend going through tough relationships ask them to have a visit here. Likely, the coming blogs will really have them feeling loads better! :)

The next one will focus on dynamics of these complexes in intimate relationships.

7 Comments

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Good initiative Kirtanya. Interesting observations. I’ve mixed feelings about this, no matter how explicitly you put it, some readers might possibly confuse a personality issue with disorder. Would this not frighten them or make them more cautious in their approach, which might have a counter effect? Could I request you to also write on how to develop immunity towards dealing with these partners.

Thanks vasu, for your thoughtful reminder. Yes, I hesitated a long time in penning down these thoughts precisely for that reason. But of late I have been encountering too many broken marriages(because of issues such as this) and most of them with traumatized children and babies. So my genuine thought was, while some people might mistake the blog for its intent or confuse with the content, there are many more who will save too much of a heart-ache, in fact their whole lives. Will share some of these experiences when we meet. So I am planning it as five or six blogs and excepting the extreme cases, all of it will orient towards resolving the issues. I firmly believe “There are no victims in relationships” so it will make the individual take responsibility rather than pushing the blame on to the partner. But, yes, I will be extra-cautious in presenting the content now that you have pointed the peril as well! :)

Its a good initiative nevertheless.. good analysis.. But correct me if I am wrong, this post is subjective enough to give a skewed perspective for the readers. See from what I believe, you will change the nature of order just by trying to explain it.. That should not stop us especially when the stakes are this high. But then the shift has to be towards the Readers’ world which is not at all possible. My word, take out the subjectivity. You can will kill.. :) and by subjectivity, you know what I mean. i.e narcissists alone ?? shoving off my asshole self, this is a clearly articulated nobly intended piece .. Good Job.. Kudos.. I hope I will get to read the maintaining a Healthy relationship very soon :)

@vellaikaran… :) (Nice name incidentally…) I agree. Everything in this world is subjective. I also agree that not only the narcissist everyone of us can and will kill for the right stakes. I don’t want to address issues at the fundamental level of ‘self”.. I am merely trying to address the grosser issues.

“…You will change the nature of order just by trying to explain it…”

That is precisely what I am hoping to achieve. Though I am not sure if I can do that. It is an attempt from my side to change the nature of things.

“… the shift has to be towards the Readers’ world which is not at all possible…”

That is a again a subjective view. According to me it is possible that the shift can be to the reader.

Thanks again for the compliment and will soon update the sequels to give a enhanced perspective. :)

Good useful one pls mail ur contact details

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