There’s a common misunderstanding that narcissists are confident people who love themselves. The truth is the opposite.
Narcissists are stuck in a desperate cycle of seeking validation and egotism because deep down they feel like sh*t about themselves.
I know, because I’m a narcissist.
It’s not as fun as it sounds, in fact it often leads to being badly hurt due to being overly vulnerable and hungry for validation.
Here’s how to break the cycle.
How to not be a vulnerable narcissist
The most important thing to understand about how to not be a vulnerable narcissist is that being a narcissist is not “bad.”
It doesn’t mean you’re flawed like a broken product that comes off the assembly line.
It means you are stuck in fear and a deep frustration over feeling inadequate.
If you struggle with narcissism as I do, then you know that this kind of tunnel vision overtakes you where it just feels borderline impossible to take into account the emotions and perspectives of others.
Yet at the same time as you walk around with this kind of entitlement that others are there to fulfill what you need and what you care about, the pendulum doesn’t swing the other way.
You crave, even need validation from others, yet you find it hard to give it out, because the amount that you care about the wellbeing of others is minimal.
Sure, you care.
But you don’t stay up nights worrying if your rudeness ruined someone’s day yesterday, you stay up nights wondering why you don’t have the house, car, partner and respect that you deserve.
This leads to immense vulnerability.
You’re walking around with a sign begging for people to like and approve of you. But what you’re offering in return is…basically nothing.
It’s a trade that most undamaged people won’t go for.
But here’s the good news.
Being a narcissist is not all bad.
There is actually something very good about being a narcissist which I’m going to get to next, and it also holds the key for how to not be a vulnerable narcissist.
Find your purpose
The idea that we all have a purpose in this world can be controversial just as is.
But we do.
And a big reason why people get stuck in being a vulnerable narcissist is a desire for someone else to “show them the way.”
Unfaithful partners, sleazy gurus, cheating business partners, creepy perverts and disappointing breaches of trust.
The solution is actually simple: find your own purpose and then pursue it like a barn on fire.
What would you say if I asked you what your purpose is?
It’s a hard question!
And there are far too many people trying to tell you it will just “come to you” and to focus on “raising your vibrations” or finding some vague kind of inner peace.
Self-help gurus are out there preying on people’s insecurities to make money and selling them on techniques which really don’t work for achieving your dreams.
Sage burning ceremonies with some vaguely indigenous chanting music in the background.
The truth is that visualization and positive vibes won’t bring you closer to your dreams, and they can actually drag you backwards into wasting your life on a fantasy.
You can end up trying so hard and not finding the answers you need that your life and dreams begin to feel hopeless.
Maybe you’re just broken, insecure, stuck in a pattern of insufficiency and emptiness inside.
Maybe you should just try some kind of hard drug or stay in bed all week.
I’ve been there!
You want solutions, but all you’re being told is to create a perfect utopia inside your own mind. It doesn’t work.
So let’s go back to basics:
Before you can experience a real change, you need to really know your purpose.
I learned about the power of finding your purpose from watching Ideapod co-founder Justin Brown’s video on the hidden trap of improving yourself.
Justin used to be addicted to the self-help industry and New Age gurus just like me. They sold him on ineffective visualization and positive thinking techniques.
Four years ago, he traveled to Brazil to meet the renowned shaman Rudá Iandê, for a different perspective.
Rudá taught him a life-changing new way to find your purpose and use it to transform your life.
After watching the video, I also discovered and understood my purpose in life and it’s no exaggeration to say it was a turning point in my life.
I can honestly say that this new way of finding success by finding your purpose actually helped me to see that my narcissism was actually a coping mechanism to not having found my purpose rather than my real personality.
It was a massive breakthrough and this video is going to bust down many of the lies we all tell ourselves.
Face your demons
I won’t lie to anyone here. If you’re trying to figure out how to not be a vulnerable narcissist, you will need to face your demons.
It may be a cliche but let’s face it:
Most of these demons exist in early childhood and the formative experiences that were difficult or f*cked us up in various ways.
Facing these demons is not some process light a like switch.
There’s no hideous before picture and angelic after picture. Save that sh*t for the sleazy gurus.
No, it’s a process.
And most of all, it’s a process of learning to use the pain and trauma to become an effective and action-oriented person rather than a self-centered and approval-craving person.
There are far more “nice guys” out there who are actually vulnerable narcissists than many people realize.
If they’re kind and understanding they must be a very compassionate and authentic person, right?
Anybody who is pretending to be something they’re not or curating their interactions to be liked is being fake.
Being fake is the signature move of a narcissist.
My point here is that the narcissist is not necessarily some jerk saying rude things, he’s often an overly polite guy striving desperately to be liked and seeing life through the lens of how it helps him or not instead of what his or her purpose is.
Fix your relationships
Behind almost every insecure and vulnerable narcissist there’s a trail of social destruction and broken relationships.
I’m talking busted up friendships, broken romances, neglected family members and even colleagues and former associates who dislike this person for being an insecure d*ckwad who craves approval and attention.
Sooner or later, if you want to know how to not be a vulnerable narcissist, you will have to fix your relationships.
Some may be salvageable, others may not. The key here is not to think you’re superhuman and can go resuscitate your failed marriage or a friend you stole from or something like that…
The key is to repair and fix what you can and reflect back and gain understanding from what you can’t fix. What happened, and what went wrong?
How can you avoid it next time?
This can be especially difficult in romantic relationships and dating, which I know about all too well.
If you’re experiencing problems in love I have a message for you:
Firstly, you are not alone. So much of the world is walking around heartbroken and f*cked up beyond belief because of love gone wrong.
I’ve dated a few of them, in fact (didn’t go well).
Secondly, there is advice and help out there which can really help cut through a lot of the nonsense advice and crap that society tells us. The best resource I’ve personally found is a website of online professional love coaches called Relationship Hero.
These guys seriously know what they’re talking about, and they are a big part of the reason I was able to overcome my vulnerable narcissistic ways and get on with my love ilfe in a more productive way. This also ended up branching out into more improvements in my family relationships and life as a whole as I broke through a lot of the barriers and lies I’d been telling myself about love and connecting with other people.
It was a huge step.
I owe a lot to these guys, and I highly recommend them to anyone else looking for answers about narcissism and love as well.
Loving yourself too much
Loving yourself is crucial. But just like someone who becomes overly defensive when denying wrongdoing, loving yourself too much is a classic tell.
It’s a bluff.
It’s like going all in in poker on a 2 and a 7 with nothing in the dealer’s flop.
The more you try on someone else’s shoes and walk around in them a bit, the more your narcissism will wear off and the vulnerability will begin to disappear.