Thinking back to some writing I did on a blog that was necessary for a time in my life; a blog about healing from the abuse of a narcissistic parent (which is still online because the information is helpful to others.) I was venting anger, rage and a full range of other emotions after figuring out that I’m NOT crazy…but my mom is pretty sick and she did a lot of damage to me, my siblings and all the relationships throughout our family.
Plus the fact that both my parents are narcs and had the fun habit of marrying other narcs…7 marriages between the two of them. I stopped writing on a regular basis on that blog because after a while one either heals and moves on with a new life outlook…or stays stuck in the anger, sadness, and toxic emotional abuse living pattern.
The post I wrote on that blog was about a woman who sucker punched me in the emotions and caused me to make up a term: “the victim narcissist.” They are not overt like arrogant S.O.B. types (60% of narcs are men according to one study) but instead are usually female and come at me all helpless and needy. (Trust me, there are S.O.B. women narcs too…the malignants. Ugh.)
And I cannot ever see them coming…I am apparently completely unable to see red flags through my rose-colored glasses!
I have learned to walk away quickly but it frustrates me to no end that I get caught, even for a brief moment in time, in their sickening, sticky web of lies, manipulations, and put-downs. In retrospect, I saw all the red flags and I actually did try to walk away from the woman who sucker-punched me in just two short days (alas, she was also very malignant and came after me and caused a lot of hurt in my life.)
So I’m digging around in my computer and reading back over past writing trying to see if I want to put anything on this blog and I ran across my personality type which is ENFP.
Extraverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiver (ENFP) personality commonly referred to as “The Social Philosopher.”
You believe life is abundant, love is plentiful, and creativity is always within your grasp. If God combined the bouncing energy of a cocker spaniel with the enthusiasm of a couple on their honeymoon, God would still be only halfway to duplicating your insatiable zest for life.
Social Philosophers enjoy stimulating conversation and interesting people, and, like the Idealistic Philosopher and Mystic Writer, favor activities that revolve around psychology, philosophy, the arts, and helping others.
Putting two and two together, I suddenly realized that I don’t SEE red flags because I’m pretty much looking for the best in people and the world; for better or worse I view the world through rose-colored glasses.
Red flags look rosy and pretty—instead of the alarm-bell-red-color they really are! This has caused me to withdraw to a great degree over the last couple of years.
I’m sick of being told I’m too hyper…I’m in my mid-fifties so guess what? My energy level, passions, talkative nature, and high-speed speech patterns are most likely not going to change. And then I figure out the people that usually tell me that I talk too much are narcissists…victim or otherwise…another reason I’ve withdrawn from society.
I’ve read that mental health professionals say that this is the most narcissistic generation in the history of the world. Facebook proves that to me and it’s really hard for me not to go bonkers with (some) people’s endless “me, me, me” focus on Facebook. I saw this graphic once and it says it all for me.
I have a big RED target on my forehead that draws narcissists like the proverbial moth to a flame. And I do not know how to remove the flippin’ target because I can’t change my basic nature. Narcs are always on the lookout for caring people, those with the gift of encouragement and those who enjoy helping…and they like the extroverts, especially if you’re smart and creative.
It’s more fun for a narc to try to take a smart person down several pegs (to make themselves feel better) sooooo….the more interesting you appear to them, the more interested they are in crushing you into dust and rubble to make themselves feel more powerful. They get added bonus points if you’re creative since they can criticize your creation which, as every creative person will admit, has a bit of your soul attached to it. Extra fun and jollies for narcs.
In my case, they come in, quickly engage my extroverted, caring nature and immediately start planting seeds of pity and neediness to draw me into their web. For those of us who are ENFP’s…the social philosophers who want to change the world and help others…it’s a heady brew that we don’t realize is poisonously toxic!
Ygggahhhhargh! I get sucker punched every time and I’m just so sick of it that I avoid most people like the plague anymore. In addition, I was “groomed” to accept narc crap by my mother so 50 years of conditioning makes me a really attractive target for narcissists of all types (I walked away from my mother at 50…she just moved onto the next person in the family who will cater to her.)
I do know how to listen (I practice, remind myself to shut the heck up, fold my lips in on themselves and even keep a finger curled near my lips when in conversation to remind myself not to interrupt…or to quickly put over my mouth.) I have no problem with a two-way conversation but I find that when I get excited I want to dump it all…and that annoys most people.
I’ve read the most humans don’t really listen to others anyway; that we are so self-focused that while in a conversation we are only half-listening because we’re too busy thinking what we’re going to say in response…and we often then interrupt the person talking with our response.
How wude! (Jar Jar Binks version of “rude” for those who missed the movie.)
But it’s the really, really self-absorbed people—who secretly want all conversations to be about them—who love to tell me I’m a motor mouth. In my case, it’s usually a narcissist because they find me even when I’m hiding under a rock…until they realize that I want an exchange of ideas and that I don’t exist to be their captive audience. Then they like to try their newest mental shredding toy out on me…plus tell me I talk too much! Grin.
I do listen and I enjoy it when someone else dumps all their stuff too…exchange is exciting for me! Fudge, this is all so darn depressing. How can you have a happy life with deep relationships if: 1) you draw negative narcissists, and 2) you like to talk a lot to a world that only really wants to hear their own voice?
Which of course, I also do…so I’m guilty as well.
Life sucks sometimes, and sometimes it sucks to be me.
But I don’t know how to change my basic personality (and trust me, my family has been trying to pound me into a different shape and stuff me in a non-JB shaped hole since I was born.)
Maybe I should start Over Talkers Anonymous. We could all commiserate (interrupting each other no doubt) about how the world thinks we talk too much. Bet those meetings would go well over an hour…smirk.
Joyce Meyer said something along the lines of the following at one of her events:
“Why is it that people who have “quiet gifts” like to come after those of us with “loud gifts” and criticize us? They tell us we talk too much, we’re too outgoing, too loud and need to calm down. How do you think those same people would react if I looked at them and said, ‘You are too quiet, you bore me, you need to be more outgoing, wake up and stop being such a drag!’ They wouldn’t like it much would they?”
Okay, so I’m depressed thinking I’ll never find others like me (searching for other birds with 300 brightly colored feathers and rose-colored glasses…visions of Dr. Seuss creatures pop into my mind but I found a pic I like and added the words…)
So to gain deeper insight into the “short version” of the ENFP personality type that I’d found on my computer, I go online to the Kiersey Temperment website and grab the “extended” version (bolded text mine):
Portrait of the ENFP – Keirsey’s Champion (view source: )
“Like the other Idealists, Champions are rather rare, say three or four percent of the population, but even more than the others they consider intense emotional experiences as being vital to a full life. Champions have a wide range and variety of emotions, and a great passion for novelty. They see life as an exciting drama, pregnant with possibilities for both good and evil, and they want to experience all the meaningful events and fascinating people in the world.
“The most outgoing of the Idealists, Champions often can’t wait to tell others of their extraordinary experiences. Champions can be tireless in talking with others, like fountains that bubble and splash, spilling over their own words to get it all out. And usually this is not simple storytelling;
Champions often speak (or write) in the hope of revealing some truth about human experience, or of motivating others with their powerful convictions.
“Their strong drive to speak out on issues and events, along with their boundless enthusiasm and natural talent with language, makes them the most vivacious and inspiring of all the types.
“Fiercely individualistic, Champions strive toward a kind of personal authenticity, and this intention always to be themselves is usually quite attractive to others. At the same time, Champions have outstanding intuitive powers and can tell what is going on inside of others, reading hidden emotions and giving special significance to words or actions. In fact, Champions are constantly scanning the social environment, and no intriguing character or silent motive is likely to escape their attention.
“Far more than the other Idealists, Champions are keen and probing observers of the people around them, and are capable of intense concentration on another individual. Their attention is rarely passive or casual. On the contrary, Champions tend to be extra sensitive and alert, always ready for emergencies, always on the lookout for what’s possible.”
Okay, so I feel a little better now. Not that many of us around and we apparently all talk like babbling brooks and darn near read other people’s minds! Yay, I feel vindicated. But what the ENFP profile DOESN’T say is that we get hurt easily and the 96% to 97% of the world that ISN’T like us tries really hard to quash us, reshape us and get us to stop being enthusiastic, bubbly and talkative.
They don’t mind that we can often perceive their pain or problems…or our willingness to help…but when they feel better, too many times they turn and burn.
I’m throwing my rose colored glasses away…most people are selfish and don’t give a flying kahootie about anyone but themselves.
The only way I’m shutting up and changing personality types is when I’m dead and buried. And even then my bubbly, talkative, intuitive and caring soul will go on…so I better get used to being me.
I do need to remove the glasses when I get that hinky feeling about someone though…stop right away and probe what the feeling is. If the flag is red, I’ll do the charging bull move…in the opposite direction as fast as I can run!