I'm a Listener
I blog. I write. I talk. But, generally, I prefer listening to people. I can listen all damn day to people talk about their problems. Their addictions, their sadness, their mental health, their recovery...you get it. I listen to people talk about their stuff and it helps me with my stuff. What would I never do? Tell someone what their problem is.
Here is where my listening today took me to tears. I listen to podcasts. I won't mention the name of the podcast, because I am not talking about them, they're just people talking about their life and that is their lane. I am talking about my reaction I experienced to the content. It got to me. Apparently, I have huge issues with throwing the label narcissist out there into the narci-sphere.
I listened to the whole thing and cringed about every 10 seconds. Labels hurt. I hate someone labeling me-and it happens all too often. Because this was public it was labels turned libel. There were a lot of "he is a narcissist" statements. Actually, that was the entire topic, her declaring her ex was a narcissist. The podcast actually was the ex boyfriend's name. And, then she talked about how much of a narcissist he is. I believe we should all be about using the "I words" and never about using "you words." This actually has happened to me a lot as a woman. When I post a selfie and think I look pretty, "you are vain." As a woman who expressed emotion, "you are bipolar." As a woman who set boundaries for what she would and would not accept in a relationship, "you are a bitch or a sociopath." As a girl who cried too much, "you're crazy." I could go on and on and on with the labels. Oh yeah, the best one. Because I am a bit bubbly, "Pollyanna." And, from my ex of a decade when we disagreed, "you are a narcissist." Boom. There is what caused the reaction. My past. My PTSD. My life.
Why is tossing out labels bad?
Labeling somone to excuse behaviour or condemn someone without defense detracts from the actual problem at hand. Our priority is to protect ourselves. We excuse our behaviour of not nurturing our own wellbeing by saying the other person has an innate personality disorder. Labels degrade someone to excuse our lack of responsibility. It lays blame. To do this publically on a podcast gives the person being labeled no defense. We've all had it done to us at some point. Or, we've labeled someone at some point.
I am a creature of love. Love means love of all people. I am probably going to write more about this because life is tricky and there is a huge issue that this "narcissism" labeling distracts from and it is actual abuse. I kept waiting for this recovery podcast to take a turn into revision and them to say, "I excused my behavior by labeling a man publically because I am hurt." I would have immediately said, "That makes more sense, I have faith in the world again." But, it never happened. And, as a self-labeled "empath," I took the negativity and anger with me because I feel seriously bad for the people speaking about what seemed like a bad relationship. We all know what those feel like. Shitty. What else did this empath take? I took the pain and hurt from the defenseless victim. And, it wasn't the person claiming victim status.
*update. The podcast changed from calling the podcast the ex-boyfriend's name to calling it something else. Faith restored that people make mistakes and grow. Still not healed from my things though.