Once upon a time, I was active within an online community. I very happily took on staff jobs not for power or prestige, but because I loved the community and wanted to make it a better place. There were many unscrupulous members, you see, who would use and abuse other people to build themselves up, and it ticked me off. Nothing made me happier than cutting those folks off at the knees, and I would happily take all their abuse as the end result (well, not happily – it made me physically ill, but I reasoned it was a worthwhile thing). Eventually, things got to a point where I had to pretty much sacrifice myself and my further ability to stop people to take down a specific trio of people. It sucked, I’m still sad about it, but stopping them from threatening to assassinate, harass, and bully people made it all worth my while in the end.
Alas, they just took themselves elsewhere and set up shop, continuing the same scary games. Between those two happenstances, I realized that it wasn’t ever going to be worth my time to try and stop that kind of malignant behaviour; people seemed willing to put up with being poorly used, and all my love wasn’t going to stop them from sitting there and taking it. It is not my policy to tell people who they may or may not be friends with; that is not the action of a friend at all. I would offer my opinion on certain people based on my experiences, but would do my best to celebrate the friendships of my friends, even with those sort of people, if they felt those relationships were valid and sound. What more can a friend reasonably do, after all? Some realized what the truth of their situation was on their own, bringing relief to my heart; they would no longer suffer as a pawn in someones’ ego games. Many others continue to maintain the status quo, however; X and Y are ‘nice’, so might as well put up with them treating me like shit. After all, it’s not all the time… right?
With that in mind, I about jumped out of my skin when I saw a rather concise piece on this subject matter. It was this:
How to Combat Emotional Warfare and Root Out the Manipulative, Abusive People in Your Life
Add that to this, which one of my friends offered up for consideration just this morning:
Malignant Narcissism: A Brief Overview
All in all, it paints a pretty scary picture, but one that is emphatically familiar to me. To see people I love who mean well used and twisted by proximity to narcissistic, abusive people… it’s gob-smacking. Why would person X, who I know to be pure awesomeness, permit themselves to be a stepping stone to make malignantly narcissistic people look good? Why would they submit to being called names and abused because person Y ‘needs’ them? They don’t need you like you think, my friends – they only want you to use you; you have no value to them otherwise. So why put up with it? Why keep these people in your lives and communities? It is not ‘being mean’ to cull them – it is saving the general populace from abuse and torture. You deserve better, everyone deserves better, and those folks need help from professionals.
Take this as you will – I merely put it out there because I have seen way too much of it, and it breaks my heart. And I empathise with how hard it is to cull these folks; it took a lot of strength for me to make such efforts the last couple of years. But it’s done me good, and I feel much happier about me and my life. I can’t make any of you do anything, but if you love yourselves – do think about it. Thank you.
And otherwise, have a lovely Tuesday!