When you are dealing with a narcissist, there will be moments when you will struggle with cognitive dissonance. Do you feel like your losing your mind? At times, the answer will be yes. A narcissist knows how to mess with your mind and spin reality upside down. When you are struggling with cognitive dissonance, you will question your thoughts, actions, beliefs, and attitude. The manipulation can be so slight of hand. You can be talked into doing things you never would consider or take a risk because of a dare. Either way, when you are dealing with someone narcissistic, it can feel like you are losing your mind. Here are six signs of cognitive dissonance.
- Feeling pressure, forced or obligated to do something while making a decision
- Feeling mental and emotional distress without any clear reason
- Feeling confused and lacking clarity
- Feeling ashamed and embarrassed
- Being mistakenly identified as a hypocrite by others (Mainly the narcissist is projecting and accusing you or getting others to blame you)
- Experiencing inner conflict and contradictions while deciding about a debatable topic
Here is another example that many smokers face around the subject of cognitive dissonance.
- Your belief and actions do not match (Belief – Smoking cigarettes is unhealthy. Action – I smoke cigarettes.)
- Your belief and actions conflict, causing cognitive dissonance. (You experience unpleasant tension, guilt, and embarrassment. You are aware that your beliefs and action are inconsistent and not congruent with one another.
- The solution is to change the action or change the belief. You can decide to no longer smoke cigarettes because it is unhealthy. You stop the action of smoking. Or you could stay with the belief that you are too young to get lung cancer and will continue to smoke until it becomes a severe health concern.
Now we live in a world of polarity. When we enter this world, we are educated and taught the differences between…
- Black and white
- Hot and cold
- Devil and God
- Hell and Heaven
- Open and closed
- Tall and short
- Win or lose
- Young and old
- Male and female
- Love and hate
- Good and evil
- Bitter and sweet
- Light and dark
I could go on and on with examples of extreme polarity. The question to ask yourself right now is, where do you live in the playground of polarity? Most people do not think in black and white. Many people like to explore all the colors of the rainbow and then find their perfect blend. Yet, why are we not taught or educated at such a young age about human polarity? We are humans, after all. Shouldn’t we be informed on how to co-exist in a place of harmony and peace? Wouldn’t it be helpful if we were all given a road map to better understand and support one another? We are born connected, and we are here to connect. I feel it would benefit everyone on this planet if we all learned more about mental health. I know some people dislike the word “Mental Health.” It can appear to be a negative word. Still, everyone at least once in their lifetime might experience a mental health breakdown or witness another person struggling with some mental health issue. There is the polarity of life and death. Struggling with a mental health issue does not mean you are broken. For some, it could be temporary and others long-term. Either way, we are humans, and I feel this subject needs to be addressed. Therefore, I want to break down my logic.
When we grow up and leave home, the world is exciting. There are so many different opportunities and adventures to explore. If you want to dive into the deep end of the ocean, wouldn’t you like a life vest, raft, boat, scuba gear, or surfboard? We are preparing young minds to embrace and accept that all lives matter. All sexual preferences and genders are welcome. We were able to rise above the hatred and anger around these topics and teach people how to embrace one another as perfectly imperfect. These young minds are walking out into the world in the dark regarding mental health, personality disorders, communication skills, and trauma. These young adults will experience these four complex dynamics without a road map, life vest, or oxygen tank. Some will learn the hard way, and others will learn the easy way. Attitude is everything. What matters most to me is those who will learn the hard way because people around them choose not to educate and inform them. The subject matter was too scary and undesirable for a fine dining establishment. These bright and shining young people can get wounded, traumatized, rejected, confused, or blindsided, impacting their self-esteem and self-worth. They might want to shut off from the world and society. It can change their personality and view of the world. They were not given a choice to make an informed decision when they encountered someone with mental health issues, narcissism, or experiencing trauma. They might have made the best-informed decision at the time, but it could have backfired. They did not understand the complexities of human nature because they were expected to learn by walking in the dark. Therefore, I want to hand these young minds a flashlight. I want to teach and show them the polarity which makes us all unique human beings. We do live in a world of good and evil. We teach about the good but can no longer ignore the bad. And in my opinion, the bad is not all bad. It is just misunderstood and mislabeled, like gender roles and sexual preferences. We can live in a world where everyone is accepted at a neutral level instead of being stuck in polarity. So, you are not losing your mind.
So, let me give you a massive example of when everyone around the globe was losing their minds. If you recall the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial, it was televised crazy making. We could all see the polarity of the relationship/marriage. There was love and then there was bat shit crazy love. An expert in intimate partner violence was called in April 2022, to give evidence in Johnny Depp’s defamation lawsuit against Amber Heard. None of us knew that Johnny was dealing with a woman with borderline personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder. I am sure he did not know either, but once he was no longer in the dark and given a flash light, everything changed.
So, let’s unpack this information. If you want to take a test to see if you have Borderline personality disorder , just click on the link. Both borderline and histrionic personality disorder are in the Cluster B category (dramatic and erratic behaviors). Here are the symptom of someone struggling with borderline personality disorder.
- Mood swings that last for hours or days
- Unclear or shifting self image
- Unstable interpersonal relationships
- Impulsive and self destructive behaviors
- Fear of rejection or abandonment
- Self harm and suicidal tendencies
- Explosive rage
- Feelings of emptiness
- Loss of touch with reality
- Depression and impulsivity
- Early trauma and brain chemistry are associated with BPD
- Hypersensitive and paranoid
- Dissociation and disconnection
Imagine falling in love with someone and not knowing these facts about them? You would most likely take their roller coaster behaviors personally. You would be confused, frustrated, scared, questioning your reality and your heart.
Now let’s unpack histrionic personality disorder. If you want to take this quiz, click here. Here are the symptoms.
- Need to be the center of attention
- Seductive and provocative behavior
- Rapidly changing and shallow emotions
- Uses appearance to draw attention
- Impressionistic and vague speech which lacks details
- Suggestible (Easily influenced by others)
- Thinks relationships are closer than they are
- Poor tolerance for frustration
- Highly sensitive to criticism and disapproval
- Excessively focused on personal appearance
- Sudden mood swings
- Attracting attention through provocative dressing and sexuality
- Theatrical behaviors and overdramatized emotions
- Feel discomfort when they fail to attract expected attention
Now that we unpacked both personality disorders, can you see how these traits and behaviors apply? If Mr. Depp knew of these two different personality disorders, would he have been able to see the signs, or would her beauty and sexuality cloud his better judgment? Would he have left the marriage sooner? Would he have gone to marriage counseling and had her diagnosed earlier? There are so many questions, but I think if he knew the warning signs listed above, he might have been spared further pain, trauma, sadness, and heartache. He must have felt like he was losing his mind once all her traits and behaviors were exposed.
And the sad truth is that many women are groomed into believing or thinking that the only way to catch a man is to use your body, good looks, sexuality, and provocative behavior. Women are saturated with images, billboards, magazines, movies, music videos, and clothing stores, saying that this is what a man wants from you. This is what a man expects from you. Well, the reality is that not everyone can look like a Victoria’s Secret model. And if you do, you can be groomed into playing that role or taught to believe that your looks and body are all you have. You have no brains, so use what God gave you. There is help out there for everyone. Therefore, you are not losing your mind. You might just be confused and need a flashlight. That is why I wrote the book, The Undetected Narcissist. I wanted to shine my light onto a subject nobody likes to address. I wanted our story to be a road map into what it is like to be in a relationship with a covert narcissist and how they can seek revenge even years after you parted ways. I wanted to protect people, especially children. I wanted to stop the ways these individuals get away with child abuse and from committing a crime. That is why this work I do is so important to me. If I want to see a world filled with cooperation, equality, kindness, and peace, it must start with me. Now it starts with you just by spreading the word and sharing my work, please. It can spare so many lives.
So, the best way to not lose your mind is to become educated and informed. You can still love someone with a personality disorder. You will no longer take their behaviors, words, and actions personally. You will be able to see them as wounded little children just projecting their insecurities upon you. It has nothing to do with you, and you can now support them better when they are losing their mind.
Music by Emeli Sande – Highs and Lows (The Wild Mix)