The Non-Narcissist’s Pledge

This is a list of promises that (if carried out) might “cure” a Narcissist of many of the more abusive traits of Cluster B personality disorders and other Narcissistic behavior patterns…but it’s a Pledge that no Narcissist would, or could, ever fulfill.

These are undoable for a true Narcissist.  However, non-Narcissists might find this Pledge useful for a couple of reasons:

a) to help identify, control, and remove “fleas” (Narcissistic behavior patterns) in oneself, and

b) to help confirm to oneself (by fulfilling promises in this Pledge) that oneself is, in fact, not a Narcissist.

This Pledge is an aid to self-reflection for everyone except Narcissists.  A true Narcissist avoids self-reflection because, after all, the Narcissist doesn’t have a problem.  Everybody else does.

So, how can one confirm that oneself is, in fact, not a Narcissist–and also avoid falling into Narcissistic behavior patterns?

Try practicing the Non-Narcissist’s Pledge:

1. I will not love-bomb.  If and when I choose to dip my toes into the water of a new relationship, or even if I just go out for coffee with a potential romantic interest, I will not use flattery, gift-giving, or an avalanche of text messages to gain entry into this person’s life.  That’s what Narcissists do, and I am not a Narcissist.

I might “put my best foot forward”, but I will simply be myself, for better or worse.

2. I will take responsibility for my actions.   I will not shift blame away from myself if I do wrong or make a simple mistake.  I will not accuse others of errors I actually made myself.  That’s what Narcissists do, and I am not a Narcissist.

If I do something wrong, I will own it–and own up to it.  I will face the music.  I will apologize…and make amends, if necessary.

3. I will tell the truth.  I will not lie.  I will not tell “little white lies”.  I will not omit details from the truth in order to deceive someone else.  I will not invent clever, “harmless” stories that simply make myself look good or entertain myself.  I will not say things about other people that aren’t true, especially to hurt them.  I will not hide behind “my truth” when it isn’t true to begin with.  That’s what Narcissists do, and I am not a Narcissist.

I will be honest, or I won’t speak.  What can be easier than that?

4. I will not manipulate others.  I will not play tricks on people and act like I didn’t.  I won’t “plant seeds” in people’s minds to get them to do what I want when I ask them later on.  I won’t tell people what I think they want to hear, just so they like me and trust me.  I won’t change plans at the last minute when I didn’t intend to follow through with them in the first place.  That’s what Narcissists do, and I am not a Narcissist.

I will be forthright and sincere.  I will trust that people will like me (or not like me!) because of who I am, not because I can control them.

5. I will be accountable.  I will not dodge or deflect constructive criticism.  I will not sabotage others who disapprove of something I’ve done.  I will not get angry if someone calls me out when I did wrong or hurt someone.  That’s what Narcissists do, and I am not a Narcissist.

I will accept that others are trying to help me when they take their time to help correct my behaviors or actions in some way.

6. I will respect other people and their boundaries.  I will not step all over people and their time and space.  I will not intrude on others or impose on them when they’re clearly involved in something important.  I will not assume that what I want right now is the most important thing happening on Earth.  That’s what Narcissists do, and I am not a Narcissist.

I will ask for consent and gain permission from others before inserting myself into their time, space, or relationships.

7. I will be open to change.  I will not insist that others do everything my way.  I will not demand that things be done the way that they’ve always been done, simply because “I said so” or my family of origin did it that way.  I will not throw a fit until someone else caves and gives me my way.  That’s what Narcissists do, and I am not a Narcissist.

I will listen to what others say they want.  If I can accommodate their wishes, and they’re not Narcissists trying to manipulate me, I will do my best to honor their requests.  I might even learn something new.

8. I will be faithful.  I will not two-time or cheat on my partner.  I will not commit adultery.  I will not promise to do something with no intention of actually doing it.  I will not violate the trust that my loved ones place in me.  I will not dump my partner out of the blue, without talking about the problem first–or at least giving an explanation why.  That’s what Narcissists do, and I am not a Narcissist.

I will respect the relationships I have formed, and if I don’t think I can fulfill the expectations that come with a certain kind of relationship, I won’t form it until I am ready.

9. I will not pretend.  I will not let others believe that I’m something I know I’m not.  I will not deliberately deceive someone else into trusting a mask or a front that I’ve put on.  I will not act like I feel some way other than what I really feel.  I will not insult, slander, or threaten people while smiling at them.  That’s what Narcissists do, and I am not a Narcissist.

I will be genuine in my actions toward others, and I will show them how I really feel in a way that’s appropriate to the person and the situation.

10. I will get to know myself.  I will not occupy all my time with people, places, and things so I don’t “get bored”.  I won’t make a spectacle out of other people’s weaknesses in order to avoid seeing my own.  I won’t reflexively accuse others when they point out some flaw in myself.  I will not frantically seek company all the time so I’m never alone.  That’s what Narcissists do, and I am not a Narcissist.

I will make time and space to be quietly by myself, and I will pay attention to my own thoughts and feelings at all times.  I will acknowledge things about myself, to myself, even if I don’t like them.  I will learn what I like and don’t like–about myself, as well as my experiences–so that I can pursue more of what I want…and leave behind more of what I don’t want.

I will be my True Self, to the best of my ability, not some “false self” that isn’t really me.

That’s what Narcissists do, and I am not a Narcissist.

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9 Responses to The Non-Narcissist’s Pledge

  1. This is a great article. 🙂

  2. Amy Marie says:

    I’ve been no contact for 7 days (today) so this article was very helpful. I’m in a sort of denial stage, “was he really that bad?”. The fact that he did every. single. one. of these things brought me back to reality. Hopefully at some point I won’t just remember the good stuff and start missing him again without a wake up call….

    • venbaxter says:

      Hi. Amy! I hopr you learn all you can about Narcissism and Narcissistic abuse. Learn about codependency, too. There’s lots of info out there! Knowledge is power, and the truth makes us free. ❤

    • Amy Marie says:

      Ugh, it’s only been six days (I made my decision to go no contact last Tuesday). I’m even celebrating an achievement too soon 😦

      • venbaxter says:

        Go easy on yourself. You deserve it. 🙂

        If you’ve been with a Narcissist, and if it’s been for very long, you’ve learned to doubt yourself, second-guess your thoughts and decisions (and even your words), cave in to someone else’s pressure when you disagree, and deal with all sorts of games, manipulations, and schemes to keep you off-balance and questioning everything about yourself, all the time.

        If you’ve been with a Narcissist, you’re still wondering if YOU were the problem, and if you had ONLY done more/less of [fill in the blank with one of many complaints from the ex], then MAYBE the relationship would have worked.

        This is why I suggested that you learn all you can about Narcissism and Narcissistic abuse (and recovery!). Comparing your own experiences with what other people have to say can be very validating and healing. It can also help us to avoid getting entangled with a Narcissist (and abused by one) again…even if it’s the same one as before.

        Six days! That’s an achievement, whether it feels like it or not. And tomorrow will be seven.

        Go easy on yourself. ❤

  3. Amy Marie says:

    Thank you again! It’s been two weeks now, and some of the fog has started to lift. Now if I could just stop crying, that would be great. I keep remembering…how I let him hurt me physically (pulling my hair, being “rough”, hugging me so hard that I couldn’t breath), mentally (calling me a “stupid bitch” as a “pet” name, etc), but I am so lucky that I got out when I did. I will be OK. My father left my mother and me when I was three. He would come visit occasionally, never on time, often not showing up at all, but when he did visit I would run to him and jump into his arms. My step-father was an angry and violent man that was annoyed by my presence, he told me Every Day that I was stupid, lazy, etc., my uncle was molesting me and then when I became a teenager my father tried to french kiss me and spoon with me while I was visiting him. The whole time, my mother was just there. I tried to ask her for help so many times in the indirect way a child speaks, but she did nothing to help me. I was 18 the last time I saw my father. I got married when I was 19 to a man I had no sexual attraction to, he was very timid and shy. Once we were married he wanted to have sex all of the time. I told him that “my first sexual experience wasn’t voluntary, so could he please be patient with me” so he did something to me he said would help me “break through”. I divorced him. The story of my life continues from there, but I don’t want to think about any more of it right now.
    WOW, this is the first time I have written any of this out, so I guess the horrible Narcissist that I had a “relationship” with brought so many things to the surface that I have kept hidden inside since forever. Now to deal with them. I am trying Inner Child work and Chakra work, and reading, and sleeping, and trying to take care of myself. Sometimes I can’t believe there is so much evil and love in the same world.

    • venbaxter says:

      This is a marvelous comment, Amy. Strength seems to have come to the surface along with the other things you mentioned. 🙂

      It can seem like there’s no end to tears. I don’t know if there’s an end, but I know there’s a BOTTOM. When tears come, I dive into them deeply.

      (I’ve written about this elsewhere on this blog.)

      There are pearls down there, deep inside, at the bottom of the well of tears, and one of them is called “peace”.

      I admire your courage, Amy. You’re doing great. Thank you for sharing! ❤

  4. […] were all receiving basically the same instruction or guidance from the same source.  This is why survivors of Narcissistic abuse can legitimately refer en masse to “Narc(issist)s” or […]

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