When you’ve been abused, letting go of all the pain, suffering, betrayal and hatred can seem impossible. But the truth is we will never gain anything by holding to these difficult emotions. Your narcissist will NEVER apologize for hurting you. They won’t even admit they were wrong. They will act as if they don’t need your forgiveness.
But you don’t forgive them because they deserve it. No. You forgive them for yourself. Unconditional forgiveness will liberate you from all the negative emotions and help you reach the next level in your spiritual growth.
A 2017 study has found that “greater forgiveness is associated with less stress and, in turn, better mental health.” The more you hold on to your suffering, victimhood, and grudges, the more you will find yourself entangled in negativity. Forgiveness will allow you to let go and move on to build a better, happier version of yourself.
#4. What you can learn: Expansion of self-awareness
Awareness is the core of spiritual development. By closely observing your narcissistic mentor, you will realize that most of their negative aspects represent something you need to “fix” within yourself. The narcissistic person may reflect certain childhood traumas or drawbacks that you may need to address and heal.
The unhealthy attachment style and toxic relationship that you share with your narcissist is a reflection of the same toxic attachment style you share with someone else in your life, which in most cases are your parents. Our narcissistic partners are often an extension of our toxic parents as we portray the same needy behavior around them, desperately seeking validation, love, and approval from someone who is reluctant to give it.
Being with a narcissist can help you become aware of such tendencies and help you cope with your innermost feelings of being unworthy, insecure, and unloved. Consultant Tchiki Davis, Ph.D. writes “Self-awareness involves monitoring our stress, thoughts, emotions, and beliefs. It is important because it’s a major mechanism influencing personal development.”
#5. What you can learn: The strength of compassion
As I said earlier, narcissism is a personality disorder that requires treatment, guidance, and support. A narcissistic person is not necessarily a manifestation of evil. They are still human beings, even though they may be highly selfish, insensitive, abusive, and deeply flawed.
But then again none of us are perfect. We are all coping with our imperfections trying to get through another day, desperately hoping no one notices our flaws. Narcissists have mental health issues and are constantly struggling with intense insecurities, loneliness, fear, anxiety, and weak self-esteem. They are desperate to seek love, admiration, validation, and appreciation and this desperation force them to make some serious mistakes.
By making you aware and realize this, narcissism teaches you compassion. Author & research scientist Emma Seppälä Ph.D. explains “compassion is defined as the emotional response when perceiving suffering and involves an authentic desire to help.”
Compassion is closely related to empathy and altruism which enables us to enrich our souls by helping others. Having compassion for a narcissist means helping them seek the right treatment, building healthy relationships, and seeking internal validation instead of external approval. Altruism and compassion can clear all blockages in your spiritual growth.
However, compassion often begins with yourself. It starts by realizing that you are not responsible for anyone’s behavior and accepting yourself, despite your flaws and failures.
Positive psychology Coach and author Taylor Kreiss, MAPP explains “studies show that people who score higher in self-compassion tend to experience less depression, increased motivation, more optimism, greater happiness, and higher life satisfaction.” Self-compassion also means not allowing anyone to abuse or bully you simply because you’re trying to help them.