Why Am I Drawn To Toxic Behaviours?
You are an empath.
There are many great things about being an empath.
However, there are downsides and a significant one is that you are drawn to Toxic Behaviours more than other people.
Why is this?
This material will assist you in understanding, in clear and concise terms the following :-
The distinction between Toxic Behaviour and Toxic People
Who engages in Toxic Behaviours
Understanding the Empath-Narcissist Spectrum
Understanding the nature of narcissistic and empathic traits within this spectrum
Understanding the position of Emotional Empathy on the Empath-Narcissist Spectrum
Understanding the concept of Proxy Narcissism
How this operates to draw you to Toxic Behaviours
Why other people are not drawn to Toxic Behaviours
How your involvement with Toxic Behaviours pans out
As part of building your Logic Defences, understanding the impact and reason why you an an empathic person are drawn to Toxic Behaviours is fundamental.
Access this unique material through an audio file provided by email.
36 thoughts on “Why Am I Drawn To Toxic Behaviours?”
Jordan Peterson indeed likes the sound of his own voice. People flocked to his (paid) appearances and he is a bestselling author. His influence is far-reaching and his views wildly controversial. He has a huge (divided) following. He was off radar for a bit and resurfaced with a story of near death and addiction that he has attributed to taking medication for anxiety. His website offers (for a discounted fee of 90 dollars) a course to understanding yourself and others based on his “Big Five” model of personality. He also has an official merchandise store.
Saviour or Support Forum Fraud?
For this reason (as an example/study of Saviour vs Support Forum Fraud) I believe he would make a great candidate to be put under the Tudorscope, (but I also know that list is long). At the very least he should be put on your Empath or Narcissist list for confirmation if he is thought to be a possible influence on your views or someone close to you.
Interesting comment and thoughts, NA. I don’t find Jordan Peterson disingenuous at all, and he has all the marks of an empath from my perspective, which doesn’t mean, of course, that he doesn’t have narcissistic traits. His book, “12 Rules on Life” is currently still at #6 on Amazon’s best seller list (I came across it last night while I was looking for the Duchess of Cambridge’s listing) and his work obviously resonates with very many people, men and women included. He has most definitely courted controversy with his point of view and paid a very high price for doing so. There is definitely a Saviour element to his personality. So, from my perspective, he is not a Support Forum Fraud, but no doubt HG will have his own perspective on that. We also have the understanding, given by HG, that narcissist’s can work for the greater good and that empaths can sit on both sides of almost any divide in supporting narcissists, most not having an awareness of the fact they are dealing with a narcissist. They are definitely a mixed bag and we can’t discount empaths will at times do bad things, much the same as narcissist’s sometimes do good things.
Anyway, my vote goes to Saviour Empath with regard to any possible outcome.
“There are many great things about being an empath” – Well said, HG.
Absolutely. Words of Empowerment.
Don’t mean to gush, but this guy has saved my life (maybe even literally). He’s given me or helped me to understand a mindset which is the absolute core of protecting yourself and removing yourself from toxicity. What I really like is that I’ve retained all my lovely squishy empathy, rather than becoming bitter, which I often see with people who have suffered from toxic relationships. I know how to keep my empathy safe, only letting it out for those who “deserve” it instead of laying it out on a plate for any ol’ passing narcissist to gobble up 🙂 Another great thing I’ve discovered is that it’s a mindset which I can apply to all areas of my life – goodbye silly emotional thinking and hello hard facts (keeping a bit of silly emotionalness for the trusted inner circle :)) Thanks HG
Good to read and you are welcome
IN, it was inspiring to read your comment. I liked “keeping a bit of silly emotionalness for the trusted inner circle” and I agree 🙂
Jordan Peterson tells people to stop being so damned nice. He says you have to be a monster sometimes. He points out that all super-heroes such as Batman appear mild-mannered but they are also capable of being monsters when necessary. He isn’t promoting dealing with people through physical violence but explains bunnies are nice and they are prey. You can’t be a bunny. You have to expose your monster to keep narcissists and other toxic people at bay. Makes sense to me. But it also shines a light on how we socialize young people. We tell them to be polite, don’t be rude, don’t speak your mind, don’t disagree, be civil at all costs…We should be telling them how to recognize toxic people. We should tell them normal non-toxic people will accept and respect their boundaries. If they appear rude, disagreeable, or frank, in getting others to respect their boundaries, who cares. Normal people get over that and will even accept it might be necessary to behave that way once in a while.
Hello, I appreciate what you shared but I disagree. Having strong boundaries doesn’t mean you have to be a monster. I think it’s best to just be ourselves. I am honestly suspicious of people who think that being a monster or abusive to someone is equivalent to asserting strong boundaries. My husband is a normal and even though it’s so effortless and natural for him to assert and maintain boundaries I have never seen him be a monster to anyone. The most he does to people that he cannot tolerate anymore is avoid them. He can articulate very well a wrongdoing but he never becomes abusive or be a monster to anyone.
Just to clarify, when I said it makes me suspicious I was not referring to you but I’m referring to the guy that you said we should be a monster sometimes. I’m not saying he’s a narcissist, I don’t know anything about him, but I wonder why he chose the word “monster”. A monster to me is unhinged and a healthy person doesn’t go into “monster mode” to assert boundaries. Just my opinion.
MP, my impression of this one is he’s being expressive in using the word “monster” and not suggesting people go full bore nasty or aggressive towards others. If someone is testing our boundaries then we need to be firm at times and certain situations will call on our “super hero” to appear (since he is making the comparison to a super hero I’m assuming he means Saviour type). It could mean a dimming of empathic traits and allowing narcissistic traits to shine as in a Supernova event. That’s the way I would take it, but I don’t know the context in which it was said. I do know many people find Jordan Peterson challenging. I have seen him speak. He also tends to waffle … a lot!
Well he does like the sound of his own voice.
Haha, HG. I guess that explains it!
If my radar serves for anything, dude’s a raging narcisisst. His arrogance makes my skin crawl. My guess is UMR cerebral. I’d love him roasted. That shit would go viral!
Thank you LT, that makes more sense to me now. The word monster still feels wrong to me but I understand he’s using it to be expressive and probably his way of getting people to pay attention to what he is saying. I think for people who were raised in abusive environments it is unnatural and difficult to assert boundaries and sometimes learning to speak up can feel like letting that monster out which can be awkward, uncomfortable and unnatural. But the more we practice the more natural it becomes and we don’t have to go off the deep end to protect ourselves. I think that the healthier we become the more consistent and balanced our behaviors become as well. And being healthy to me means getting to the point of knowing ourselves solidly well and being able to resolve inner issues inside us.
In terms of kids I also struggled at first when my son for example came off a little rude to another kid in the playground that was violating his boundary and I told my son to just ignore etc. And it felt wrong to me so I talked to my husband about it and he said that it’s good that our son is standing up for himself. And he explained that kids are learning all the time how to socialize etc. so it’s best to just let them learn on their own and figure it out. So I stopped intervening and just let them be as long as it doesn’t get physical. Although from what I learned, a lot of empath’s difficulties with maintaining boundaries come from how our parents treated us more than what they taught us.
What I also didn’t like about the comparison with monsters is that some unaware narcissists sometimes get really nasty or abusive at someone and they justify it by saying the other person deserved it. A Karen for example can believe that she is just asserting her boundaries when the truth is she was just asserting control or lashing out because she was wounded. So the word monster bothered me because I think that we should still try to have some control with out behaviors even as we assert our rights and boundaries and not go on full attack to destroy someone.
MP, what a great explanation and insight. I think you’ve explained it better than Jordan Peterson, at least for me. And I think what you’re saying was probably what he was getting at in his own roundabout way.
I’ve just remembered when I was a child and playing in a sandpit at our local playground, some kid threw sand at me which got into my hair. My mother had just washed my hair. I went home and when my mother found out she marched me back down to the playground made me pick up a handful of sand and told me to throw it in this kid’s hair! She was p*ssed. I was scared. If I retaliated it might start WWIII. I’m not sure if in the end she relented, and maybe the other kid got the message, but that felt very uncomfortable to me at the time. I did not like to be confrontational. And probably learned in my home that to be confrontational or stand up for yourself was dangerous. It certainly wasn’t accepted or encouraged.
That might be where the message of the “monster” comes in. I should have stood up to that kid, like your husband is encouraging your son to do. I would have been within my rights. There’s also the element of picking your battles. That kind of discernment probably only comes with maturity and sometimes it is OK, even recommended, to walk away. As we know from our learning here. A Supernova event might bring out the “monster”, but it’s a short term dimming of empathic traits and a rare event when it comes to the narcissist. And not everyone is up for the fight. Much depends on your opponent, but acknowledging the narcissistic side to our nature and utilizing it as necessary (in defense of ourselves or others) is probably a very healthy thing to do. And as you suggest, much of it is also about getting the balance right.
Hello LT, I have a reply but I will not be able to write my thoughts for a few days. I wanted to reply to both of you tonight but I ran out of time. I just don’t want you to think I ignored you. 🌸🦋
No worries, MP. Appreciate your thoughtfulness in responding re: any delay. It’s not necessary as I understand it can take some time to gather thoughts and sometimes just a ‘like’ will suffice 🙂
Or not … depending on how you are feeling 😉
Hello LT, thank you so much for your understanding. I have listened to some of Jordan Peterson’s videos and I needed a quiet time to gather my thoughts which is hard for me to get lately.
I think that you did perfectly fine as a kid. You could have been correct too and maybe not picking that battle at that time was actually the best decision. Sometimes little kids make better decisions than adults. My husband actually didn’t encourage our son to stand up for himself. I have never seen him do a pep talk about that to our kids. I was just having anxiety at that time if it was ok that I told our son to just ignore the other kid and I was worried that our son may develop a bad temper. My husband just told me the positive side that our son stood up for himself even though he was not eloquent yet or diplomatic about it, he was just 5 or 6 at that time so he is still learning. Also before that I was telling my husband that I was worried that our son is too nice and wouldn’t learn to stand up for himself because so my husband pointed out that he did stand up for himself. I basically worry no matter what haha! My husband’s approach is more like just let the kids figure it out on their own. My husband had an alcoholic and possibly a narcissist dad who hated him so my husband was outside the whole day and he only went home for dinner because that’s the only thing their mom demanded or expected from them, that the whole family be together for dinner. So he told me that if he was able to figure it out on his own how to socialize our kids will too and I have nothing to worry about. He said our main job is to protect our kids and that’s when it’s important to step in. It released a lot of stress for me and I noticed the kids are still doing well with less intervention. Sometimes I have to talk to them on our way home if they were impolite but for the most part they are doing ok.
I had a similar experience when I was in first grade. My mom saw shoe prints on my uniform skirt and she made me tell her who kicked me repeatedly. Nobody kicked me but I played with some kids and the shoe prints may have transferred onto my skirt while we were playing. So with her badgering me I named a boy because he was the most rowdy and hypothetically if someone did kick me it would be him except he never did. She told me to hit his head with the heels of my wooden shoes during our national costume week. The shoes was a traditional costume and made of thick wood and it would have really hurt and even make someone’s head bleed. I could never do it so I just lied to my mom and told her that I did it and she was satisfied. So I started lying to her a lot to avoid trouble.
Regarding Jordan Peterson, I listened to some of his videos and interviews and I partially agree with some of his thoughts but wholeheartedly disagree with some of them too. He said that harmless people are not virtuous, they are just harmless. They’re like rabbits and rabbits are just harmless because they don’t do anything except get eaten. This analogy makes me feel his dislike for what he thinks as weakness. He said that heroes are monsters who control themselves and do not behave monstrously. He said that they are the real virtuous people because they are monsters and dangerous but they choose to not behave monstrously. He basically said that people who are harmless should not get credit for being good or virtuous because they are just cowards and if they had the ability to be predatory they will be predatory. He even said that people ask him about the perpetrators of Nazi Germany, what kind of people are they and he tells them they are just like you. He said that if they disagree then it means they don’t understand people and they don’t understand life. While I agree that people should learn to stand up for themselves I disagree with the terminology “monster” and I don’t agree that harmless people don’t do anything. One of my impactful movies is Hackshaw Ridge where a religious person refused to kill during WW2 and yet he saved 75 lives. He was not a monster and he was harmless, but he did something. And it was a real story. Listening to him gave me an impression of someone who knows he has a monster in him but controls it and has disdain for what he perceives as weakness. It raises many red flags for me. He said that he has many clients that are too agreeable and compassionate and he trains them to get in touch with their monster. I think it’s good to train ourselves with how to be assertive and have self compassion and stand up for our principles but to turn us into something that we are not like monsters is not helpful. I admire the hero in Hackshaw Ridge because he taught people real self integrity, strength and bravery. I love the meme that I saw: Please don’t teach your sensitive or empathic kids to “toughen up” for the world. Teach them how to adapt to the world in a way that honors how they are made. The world needs their empathy.
I think that can apply to us adults too. There are many ways to assert boundaries while still being nice and true to our nature and that is GOSO and choosing people to allow access to us. 🌸
MP, massive apologies for the fact I hadn’t seen your comment before now. Mea culpa.
There is a lot to respond to and I will do it as succinctly as possible.
I did not confront that child in the playground because I was afraid to confront him. If I did, there may have been a retaliation, and I did not want to get hurt. After all, if he was precocious enough to throw sand in my hair, he was probably precocious enough to put a fist in my face. I did not feel equipped to deal with that. My mother, on the other hand, figured with her standing over me I would do what I perhaps should have done in the first place. It did nothing to convince me that I should retaliate because it was not in my empathic nature to do so. In that instance, I was an extension of her and she was upset he had messed up my freshly washed hair. I really don’t think it was anything to do with me per se.
My narcissistic ex-husband did not understand or appreciate the empathic nature of our son either and became quite brutal on one occasion in trying to force him to confront another child. I think both you and your husband are achieving a nice balance with your son in terms of allowing him to work things out for himself, but being prepared to intervene as necessary. That was my stance for the most part, and I would not encourage my children to fight apart from when they had no choice. My son is very articulate and I put far more emphasis on communication in terms of trying to resolve things.
Your own husband’s experiences sound horrific and he was probably glad to only have to return home for dinner. He is right that kids will often work things out for themselves, but there is definitely a time and place for adult intervention. Lots could be added to that, and your story about coming home with footprints on your coat is an interesting, and in many ways sad one. That you felt forced to tell your mother what she wanted to hear, and she, much like my own mother, demanded you attack the other child in retaliation. I’m glad you were able to avoid doing that, even if you had to lie to protect yourself, and I’m pretty sure I never let loose with that handful of sand either. My mother would have thought I was weak and pathetic, and no doubt the other child got the message either way. She would have felt she made her point.
And getting back to your story about shoe prints on coats, my own daughter came out of the school gates one afternoon in the middle of winter without her coat. I asked her where it was and she told me she had left it inside. I told her to go and get it as it was cold, and when she brought it out it was covered in shoe prints! It was a brand new coat and I was the one who demanded this time to know what had happened. A young girl with a sad history and a violent temper had kicked her to the ground because my daughter had not kept an expected play date. She was about 9 years old. I went straight back into the school and brought it up with them. How it was not brought to my attention by the school I’ll never know, unless my daughter kept it hidden. Well, now they knew. I wasn’t letting that one get by me. And the other child was suitably reprimanded.
I would need to see the Jordan Peterson video to get a full understanding of what he was saying. I will see if can find it on YouTube. Until I do, I can’t comment on what you have said, MP, except to say that if those were your impressions then I can understand why you might say you don’t agree with him and feel he exhibits some red flags. Just want to validate your experience in relation to that. I personally have not sensed red flags from him even though he can be forceful and passionate in his speech. Which is why I say I may need to watch the video before commenting further.
I have seen Hacksaw Ridge, and I greatly admire that man for the stand he took and how that eventually played out. As an individual he stood his ground and did what he thought was right. If no one ever took up a gun, or refused to, the world could or would be a much different place. The only difficulty around that is the struggle for power and dominance forms part of the human condition, and unfortunately we are forced to confront it whether we like it or not.
There are a couple of movies related to the American Civil War which form a commentary on the desire to remain neutral. One of those movies is Shenandoah. James Stewart refuses to allow his family to become embroiled in the war, but it comes to his doorstep anyway. The war turns him in some ways after his youngest son is captured by the Yankees and taken prisoner. He is a father protecting his son and in the movie we see all the heartache that entails. His “monster” comes out as he confronts different people in the search for his son.
The world will not always give us a choice about whether we need to toughen up or not. Some people become narcissists because their world didn’t give them a choice to become an empath. And Jordan Peterson is offering a warning, I think, in his message about Hitler. Given the right circumstances, we could potentially all become like him, and if we don’t know that then we have no way of avoiding it.
I will come back when I have a chance to find that video, MP x
Well, I’ve found the video (in fact multiple videos!) and tried to wade through some waffle to get to the point. Dr. Peterson processes his thoughts as he is speaking, and you can literally see him grasping at ideas at times with his hands. It’s all very esoteric in some ways, but if you hand in there you can usually pull something out of what he is saying, and a surprising number of people seem able to do this. What I also chose to do was watch a further video he did about “integrating” the monster within. It provided a much clearer explanation of his ideas and created a different impression for me from the one you had, MP. As I’m not a spokesperson from Jordan Peterson (ha!), and this is HGs blog (kudos to him for allowing us to have this conversation), I’m going to leave it at that. If HG ever puts him under the Tudorscope, I’ll be interested to see his conclusions.
Thanks for a very interesting conversation, MP. I actually hadn’t followed him in quite a while xox
Hello LET, I totally understand what you are saying. Maybe I’m just in a different point in my life that’s why I had a different impression. I also didn’t know who he was until I saw Lea’s comment and I just binge listened to three videos really fast while I was driving. I didn’t even watch him. One of the videos was his chat with Jocko Willink whom I also like from the very little information I know about him. I bought two of his children’s books for my son because he’s an anti-wimpy kid guy and I want my boy to be inspired by boy characters that are not wimpy. It is highly possible that I was reading too much and was hyper critical. ThE word monster also didn’t sit well with me as it makes me think of unhinged and destructive people. It would definitely be interesting to see Peterson on Tudorscope and see a real detailed analysis on him and not just my gut feeling.
Regarding a Saviour monster, I also love the Liam Neeson’s character in Taken. That is so true about what you said about if everyone refused to use guns. But I think it depends on what feels true to us and for some like my dad and majority of people it was their nature to bring arms and there were the ones who sincerely would violate their core beliefs if they used a gun. I personally wouldn’t hesitate to shoot someone who invades our house because I have to protect my loved ones and it really is a very efficient way although I’m sure my hands would be shaking and I will end up shooting multiple times out of fear of missing the shot. But thankfully the likelihood of that is close to zero because of other preventative steps we do. Which if translation to narc entanglements would be boundaries and paying attention to red flags and a narc detector and GOSO as soon as we find out.
Thank you for your lovely thoughts about my ACON experience. I wanted to ask if your mom is a narcissist when you shared that story but I was afraid to offend you. It sounds like you are seeing the possibility of it too. My mom was a Middle Lesser so she was very much into physical fight back. It wasn’t the only time she tried to toughen me up, it was like one of her life goals and a lot of times she saw me fail and she just couldn’t believe it. It didn’t bother me because I was never interested in a career as a criminal 🤪. So I was kind of ok that she thought I was pathetic and weak.
I think what you did was totally appropriate and what I would have done too. The big difference is that you didn’t make your little child do something she was uncomfortable with. You as a parent took the steps to protect her and it also showed your daughter that she is safe which is as we now know a very important factor to avoid the development of narcissism.
My husband’s dad was very violent and even broke his mom’s thumb and then blamed his mom for making him do it. I believe he was a Lesser. My husband didn’t know why out of all of them he was the one that his dad hated except maybe because he was the only one who looked like their mom. His mom really loved him though and treated him like her favorite he thinks because she felt bad for him because of how his dad hated him. He said that he wish his mom left his dad because his whole life she was always sad and it makes him sad to look at her pictures where in all of them she looked sad and exhausted from life.
MP, your comment did not appear in my feed and I’m so sorry for not having seen it sooner. I appreciate your reply and want to respond.
The word “monster” is no doubt a triggering word because of the connotations we put on it. That’s why I thought it was important to get the context and why I waited to view a video about Peterson’s take on it. I completely understand the negative impression the use of the word could give, but having studied Jordan Peterson a little more closely, having read his first book and also attended one of his talks, I had difficulty accepting he was literally encouraging people to become monsters. I’m glad we could get to the bottom of that as it could easily create misunderstanding.
Guns can be a hot topic issue and many people will see them as a form of protection and defense, also to be used that way. I think the point you made about boundaries is indicative as to how they view the issue, and how you might utilize a gun in a given situation. God forbid you would ever go through that experience, but they serve a purpose and either having them or using them does not always mean you are a monster. Just that you are aware dangers exist and sometimes there is a need to respond. There will always be another side to the argument, too, and that is as it should be.
Yes, my mother is a narcissist, and it’s likely my father was one, too. I’ve come to a tentative conclusion that I was my father’s NISS, which doesn’t mean I was his golden child in any way shape or form – I was quite terrified of him due to the element of domestic violence that existed in our home – but he used me quite effectively to bridge the gap between himself and my mother. As in, I was likely a triangulated child in the situation and likely placed myself in that position as ‘peacemaker’ as well. My mother thought I was weak because I was an empath. She despises weakness of any kind and empaths are seen by narcissists as being weak and pathetic. Cold, hard, fact. I don’t let it bother me now, but I got a general sense from my mother that I was not approved of and she made my brother and sister the golden children. I think they are normals, but they are definitely not empaths. I became the target, the scapegoat, and I’m sure my triangulation didn’t help. Sucks to be an empath in a home where there are no other empaths in sight. She threw me to the wolves many times, but I endured. I’m not sure she was ever trying to toughen me up. She just didn’t care if I sank or swam, and only cared at times when it was to manage her facade.
Funny, I’ve spoken of safety in another comment today before I saw yours, but I did want my children to know they were safe. Forcing a confrontation between my child and another child was not in any way, shape or form going to help her feel safe. Ensuring the other child suffered consequences for her actions would. It would mean adults were there to protect her until she could do it for herself. If it had happened outside of school I would have brought it to the young girls family’s attention. I say family because she was not living with her parents. Her sad story entailed the fact her mother had murdered her father in a domestic violence situation and was currently sitting in prison. I had empathy for the child, but not to the detriment of my own child. My daughter didn’t deserve the treatment that was handed out to her and I wasn’t going to overlook it. Having said that, and many months after this incident had taken place, I encouraged my daughter to invite the child to her birthday party. The reason being the party was being held in our home and the child had a literal visual of our house from her own. I said I did not want this child to feel excluded in the circumstances, and with adult supervision accepted she would behave more or less appropriately, which she did. I could not fathom how that type of exclusion might have caused her to feel otherwise. And it was necessary for the development of empathy.
That is a very sad story about your husband and his experiences with both his father and mother. She obviously tried to make up for the deficit, and perhaps her doing that kept your husband from becoming a narcissist, too. As HG says, the intervention of another can divert a child away from developing narcissism, and may even have helped him as a child if someone had actively intervened. Sadly, for HG, it seems his father chose not to intervene and I, for one, will never understand how you could leave a child to their own devices in the face of what HG suffered. I know his dad was an empath, but under his mother’s spell he doesn’t seem to have been able to rescue HG from her clutches. He’s a little like a sacrificial lamb in that sense 🙁
Got sidetracked there as I mull over narcissistic parents, but they impact empaths and narcissists alike. It’s almost like a toss of the coin as to who is impacted and how. I’m just happy to know you have a stable, loving home and your son has two wonderful parents to raise him. He is a very fortunate little boy <3 xox
Thank you Lickemtomorrow. I still have struggles and actually the reason I felt bad when I told my son to ignore the boy was because I realized I may have extended my own trauma/conflict response to my son which means my instruction for him to just ignore the boy was more about me than about what is best for my son. It gets murky sometimes for me and I don’t want to hold him back because of my personal issues. So I was able to feel relieved when my husband told me it isn’t my biggest responsibility to teach our kids how to deal with social situations. We talk to them about what we believe are good values and answer their questions regarding that when they saw something on TV or while we are reading a book but we try to not indoctrinate them. But naturally they get to hear our perspectives more.
I’m so sorry you had to deal with two N parents. Your dad using you must have contributed to your development of codependency and your mom challenging you constantly may have contributed to your development of SE. I’m glad none of you became narcs. In my husband’s family, I believe the eldest is a Normal, the second who was my husband’s bestfriend was an empath, the brother whom my husband followed is a narcissist (UMR) and the youngest and only girl who followed my husband is a Codependent. It’s weird I think but my husband actually got along with his N brother than the normal. The normal pretty much wasn’t interested in my husband and didn’t have a relationship with him. My husband thinks it may have been the age gap. The N brother enjoys one upping my husband and also they are just one or two years apart and they even shared a bedroom so they have always been pretty close. But my husband tells me his brother has always been full of shit even though he loves him. He just doesn’t take his brother that seriously.
I agree about HG’s childhood. I believe HG has said that he doesn’t remember having empathy and that he has always been tough for as early as he can remember and I think that may have made his dad think that HG can handle his mom. HG said his dad protected his siblings and he has a brother that was sensitive and his dad protected that brother. I think that it is a lesson for parents because sometimes we can have too much faith in a child because we know they are innately strong or dominant but we have to keep in mind that they are still just children. My two kids have had different personalities from birth up to now and sometimes I over-estimate something about them and then when I catch myself I remind myself that they are just children still. HG may have also exhibited some traits that maybe his dad felt he would let his dominant N wife control or nip the bud etc. Not realizing she was doing more harm than good. Sometimes a less dominant parent feels intimidated in controlling a strong willed child and surrenders that to the other parent. I catch myself doing that and my husband even reminds me that he cannot be the only disciplinarian because we both have to be consistent together so I make myself also do the dirty work of disciplining. There can be many reasons but since his dad was an empath he obviously didn’t intend for HG’s mom to abuse HG. One of the things I agreed with Jordan Peterson was his explanation of harmless people not doing anything when something violates their conscience and then another thing that violates a little bit more and they decide to just allow it again and then a little bit more again and before we know it we are allowing something really bad or evil to go on. He was describing salami slicing. And with parenting it can be like that when one of the parents is a narc and the none N is not that vigilant regarding protecting the child.
I still vacillate about Jordan Peterson but even if he really is a narcissist it doesn’t mean that everything he says is wrong. Some narcissists are brilliant and make excellent points but I think narcissism can taint his outlook and therefore the information he conveys to people. When he said that the Nazi perpetrators are just like us and it’s possible for us to be predatory like them, that was a red flag for me of projecting. There were psychopaths in the Nazi who tortured and experimented on people and I there were even some instances of cannibalism. Most people are not capable of that kind of evil. There were people who were misguided but the people leading and directing the atrocities are not like most people and most people will never be like them because of empathy and moral compass. But like I said, I have not followed what J Peterson teaches and I can still be completely misunderstanding what he was saying so there is definitely a big possibility that I am wrong. I also think that he has dead eyes but dead eyes don’t automatically mean narcissism.
I think that it was very kind of you to encourage your daughter to invite the girl. You definitely encouraged your daughter to have compassion while at the same time knowing to value and keep herself safe. Hopefully that was also a lesson that the girl learned from your daughter’s example. What a horrible life that girl has and I think it’s good for her to know that she’s not cancelled because of her mistake. I hope that she doesn’t spiral down to be a narcissist because of her life experiences and situations. And I think it was very magnanimous of you to think about that girl in spite of what she did to your daughter. ❤️
The summer Narc loved him. I had not heard of him prior to that. His drug issues speak to a lot, in my mind.
His drug dependency issues are fairly recent, AV, and I’d say were caused by an enormous amount of pressure in his family life, on top of his professional career. Not to mention the level of hate that has been directed his way due to his outspokenness on certain issues. In effect, Jordan Peterson stood on a landmine. He may never fully recover. And I’m not sure he is the same man now as he was prior to his drug dependency. He appears to have suffered greatly in light of his addiction.
Hello LET, I wrote about the statements J Peterson made that I disagreed with and felt could be red flags for me. But it’s also possible he made those statements because of the experiences he had that you are referring to. I don’t know his back story but in his videos there were also some things he said that I agreed with. I looked at the comments section and a lot found him helpful but I saw one which is another reason I didn’t agree with his approach. The commenter said that now he realized that he wasn’t really a good person; he is just a coward. I just think that being an empath doesn’t mean we are cowards or we are only good to be eaten like rabbits. A lot of us went through things that are very difficult and we have been brave through the years to keep on going and sometimes it takes time for us to reclaim what we’re taken from us by the abusers we had. 🦋
Hi MP, I’m totally on board with being on the look out for red flags, and as empaths it’s especially important for us to do that. Lea mentioned Jordan B. Peterson and his use of the word “monster”. What we don’t have around that is context. I think we have taken the use of the word in different ways, and I have not gone to the literal meaning of the word, but accepted it as a euphemism for standing your grand, fighting for what is right, etc. You’ve highlighted that fact that as empaths we neither want to become monsters nor see ourselves as cowards. The fact that a commenter interpreted Peterson’s words to mean he was a coward is unfortunate, but it could also mean he has had a breakthrough in terms of his thinking. We often hold ourselves back without even realizing it and rather than think worse of ourselves, the challenge is to think better. I can’t possibly interpret just from what Lea has posted, but I do not believe Peterson is directing or encouraging people to turn into literal monsters. Which is where I think we have a different interpretation on what was said. And it can take years to reclaim what was taken from us. Unleashing our “monster”, from my perspective, can help us to do that.
Thank you LET,
I think my older comment explaining what I felt were red flags just got moderated and showed up.
With the videos I have listened to, J Peterson said he has clients that are too compassionate and agreeable and he puts them in situations where they can be trained to get in touch with their inner monsters. This is personally a red flag for me because an unaware narcissist might think that everyone is like him or her that has a ever present inner monster that they are constantly controlling where they make a choice or a decision to not act monstrously. Non narcissists do not have that and the only possible inner monster is the inner rage bottled up during the abuse or disrespect for our boundaries.
Another red flag I learned was when he said we shouldn’t raise our kids in a way where we will end up disliking them. When the focus of raising our kids becomes “us” or pleasing us or our expectations, it feels like a red flag for me.
I do agree with some of what he said especially some of the stuff about supporting men and also his point of view with capitalism. I remember in my home country the president of our college who happened to be a nun was teaching us feminism where we also encourage the men in our lives to be a part of the lives of our kids instead of just the traditional role of being the provider in my home country’s culture. She said when fathers help with raising kids, changing diapers, picking them up from school, feeding the kids etc. then their lives also become full because they do not miss out on the parts of them being a dad. I don’t like the kind of feminism that comes from the perspective of hating men because every strong daughter also needs a strong father figure and boys should be raised in a way that highlights what they could uniquely contribute to society as men.
Hi LET, I don’t know much about him, he struck me as arrogant but I only saw a couple of videos, last summer because of SN. What was the landmine he stood on, if you can tell me easily, or direct me to a place to learn of it. The SN kept pushing him because I had a boy becoming a man with no father. I am also curious about the addiction, that can often go on for a very long time unbeknownst to others. But maybe he has clarified that it was short-lived, in which case I am glad for him and his family.
I can’t remember how I became aware of Jordan Peterson, but he came up on my radar at some stage and I was interested in how he applied philosophy to his thinking as well as to current events. He suffered an enormous backlash for that which is what I meant in terms of standing on a landmine, especially once combined with family health issues. He makes a strong call to men, which is probably what the summer narc was responding to, but also one that draws women to the side of men in wanting to support them as well as feel supported themselves. Such thinking is generally not considered popular at the current time, but resonates with many people who feel that men are being forced to withdraw. This, again, is from my perspective, but I also have a son who has grown up without a father and there are many young men just like him who have had few, if any, role models to support them into their growing manhood, and even fewer to enable them to feel good about themselves as men. I don’t want that for my son, and I don’t want that for men in general. So that is from my perspective as a woman and a mother. If you look him up online you will get a decent history and explanation from Wikipedia, which also includes his drug use related initially to a medical condition. Withdrawal from the same has caused him enormous suffering.
Thank you, LET, I will check him out online, for some reason that didn’t occur to me. Probably because of the summer narc.
MP & Lea,
I agree with what you have said about being a ‘monster’ and also about boundaries.
On being a monster, it makes me think of lyrics from U2’s song ‘Peace on Earth’:
“And you become a monster,
So the monster will not break you”.
It also makes me think of a storyline in the UK fictional TV series about world war 2 called ‘World on Fire’. In this storyline, a group of Polish civilians worked together to secretly lure German soldiers into a secluded place before shooting and killing them. The Polish civilians were actually pro-social and peaceful people who saw their family and friends killed by the invading German army. They then progressively became desensitised and decided to fight back resulting in them deliberately and coldly murdering young German soldiers.
There are obvious monsters who lash out visibly with heated fury. They can become angry or violent and it’s obvious. Then there are also the monsters who operate more secretly or coldly. They may be self-aware or very careful about not appearing to be ‘monsters’. On the surface, they appear charming and friendly, however, underneath, they are actually devising their destructive plans. These ‘plans’ can be self-serving or vengeful, like smearing someone or stalking them, etc.
Becoming a ‘monster’ is quite interesting. There may be times when it’s justified. ‘Fighting back’ is necessary sometimes.
When it comes to a narcissist, they don’t recognise limits and can’t stop themselves through empathy or conscience. Their motivations are destructive, so some form of limitation to their destructiveness is necessary.
How these ‘limits’ are exercised can either be by responding as a ‘monster’ or through using practical approaches learned from greater awareness and knowledge. Self-protective boundaries don’t need to be violent or abusive or ‘monstrous’. No contact is one effective approach that asserts limits without being abusive.
All in all, responding to a ‘monster’ by being a monster results in a reinforcement of the destructive behaviours, which are based on fear, rigid thinking, and a lack of ‘real’ control. It makes the destructiveness even more ‘acceptable’. There are then two monsters instead of one.
Hello WN, very well said, especially the last paragraph.
Personally I don’t see a person with empathy fighting back as being a monster. My dad, I don’t know if he was an empath, I believe he was as he had a very big heart, killed people during WW2. He was a sniper and one of the medals he got was because he killed a German sniper. He even had a funny story where his best friend since childhood was jealous of my dad’s hole because of the amazing view my dad had. They were the first Mountain X division and they were in the Italian Alps. My dad was trying to kill the German sniper shooting at them and the sniper was inside a small house and my dad was trying to figure out which window he was. So my dad told his best friend to run in zigzag form to his hole. His best friend understood that he was going to be a bait but he wanted to see the view from my dad’s so he did it and the German sniper shot at his best friend repeatedly and that was how my dad killed the sniper and then it became quiet. I told my dad that it was really cool and he got a little sad because he said the sniper was just a kid too. My dad did really well in life after the war but he was very sensitive when it comes to war stories. I remember he always had tears forming in his eyes when he saw soldiers die in the news. I brought Saving Private Ryan with me for us to watch together and he couldn’t watch it. He said he cannot watch war movies. When the war ended they offered my dad a high military position which he declined because he said being in the military is not for him. I cannot in my heart of hearts consider my dad a monster for killing people during the war. I believe that when people with empathy do something bad it is for some necessity such as defending ourselves. There’s sometimes revenge but I doubt that it will be in a degree where we can be considered a monster. My dad had captured a German soldier alive and a letter opener that he used which I now have was actually a knife that he found hidden inside the soldier’s boot. My dad asked one of his men to bring the POW somewhere where they were supposed to be held. Then they heard gun shots and the guy came back and told my dad that the POW tried to escape and kill him so he killed the German POW. My dad had a strong feeling that the POW was murdered but he couldn’t prove it. He was always bothered by it. I think a monster wouldn’t be bothered by that. HG describes a Super Nova as: “ But, if you find that you are exhibiting such traits and you are deploying them against the narcissist, what has happened is that you are allowing your inherent narcissistic traits to have greater prominence. You keep them under control and you are not allowing them to harm or hurt innocent parties, but rather you are applying them against the narcissist in order to strike back.” So I take note that there is still control when a Super Empath has Super Nova and they do not become monsters which in my definition is being unhinged and destructive. I can only relate monsters to people with no empathy which as you have perfectly described as having no limits except maybe for a Mid Ranger and Greater the maintenance of a facade.
I personally think that it’s best for empaths to stay as authentic to who they are as possible. I don’t think it’s healthy for a rabbit to try to be a predator when it’s body and system was designed to not be a predator. I think that the best way for us to stay safe is to know our enemies and stay away from them. Also to know ourselves very well so if a narcissist tries to redefine us, we know it’s just bullshit.
Hello MP, and thank you for your reply.
From what you have said, I can see that your dad was very brave and skilled during the war, doing what he did. He was also empathic, with regard to his later reactions and thoughts about his experiences and about war in general. He was a resilient man to experience all that and still remain empathic and to do well after the war. I can also see that you are very proud of him.
It sounds to me like your dad had very healthy self-worth and also healthy self-efficacy too. From the books and articles I have read, both of these traits in healthy and adequate amounts are necessary to ‘bounce back’ from adverse experiences. Perhaps it helped your dad that he experienced both adversity as well as success during his time in the war.
After I read your comment, I could see that contexts as well as perspectives are important when we consider things like empathy and narcissism. Living through a war is something that’s very different from normal life during peaceful times. I can imagine that war would really test and challenge a person’s innate beliefs and also make them do things they would not ‘normally’ do. Being a soldier in action compared to being a civilian in peace are like being two different people in completely different worlds, so the definitions or values we place on either one depend very much on the context and situation and how those things are framed or considered.
It makes me think that it’s unfair or inappropriate to judge or blame without learning more about the context and history behind the actions of a person. In your dad’s case, he was an empathic man who had a job to do as a soldier during a war. His actions alone are not enough to tell the whole story.
It also makes me think that when talking about what makes a ‘monster’ – or even when using the word ‘monster’ – there is a lot more to each particular example or situation than what a single word can conjure up in a general way.
Thank you for sharing your dad’s experience MP.
Thank you WN, I totally love my dad and very proud of him. I hope that ai will be able to pass on his legacy to my kids even though they never met him and they could find inspiration and good examples from his life. He was not perfect or a saint but my kids can learn so much from him. I’m so thankful I got to spend some time with him and got to know him in person.