We often expect a lot from the people closest to us. We want our children to always listen the first time, our spouses to know what we need without having to tell them what we need, our friends to anticipate when we’re having a bad day, and our family to listen to us without judgment.
But is that realistic? Of course not!! No one is a mind reader or can anticipate our every need, not even those who love us the most in this world. Part of having our expectations met depends on our own efforts to communicate effectively and with care.
Your child doesn’t listen? Repeat yourself but leave the angry tone behind. Don’t call your child stupid or any other name you wouldn’t want someone else calling him. He’ll eventually get it! Patience.
Your spouse keeps ignoring something that needs done around the house? First, ask yourself if you mentioned the issue to your spouse in the first place? We all need direction. We all need to know that we’re needed. Ask your spouse if he’ll help you instead of demanding that he do something. Your spouse loves you and wants to help you. Patience.
Your friend didn’t call you that day your cat died? Did you ask her to call you? Or did you post it to Facebook and expect her to call you? We all have unexpected stuff going on in our lives every day. No one is ignoring you. They’re just paying more attention to their own lives. Sometimes we need a bigger nudge than a status update to realize a friend needs us. Call her yourself. Email her yourself. She loves you. She’ll take the time to talk. Patience.
Your mother keeps giving you advice that you don’t want or need? Remember, parents worry. Even when we become adults, they don’t stop worrying. If you had something unfortunate happen to you and you want to share it with your mom, explain you want to share because you want her to know how you feel. You don’t need advice this time. You just want her to understand and listen. Your mom will sit there and say nothing (even though she may be dying inside to tell you how to fix the situation). Patience.
I realize that everything I have suggested is contingent on all of these people in your life being healthy and non-disordered mentally. If any of these people are narcissists, regardless of your approach, you’ll fail.
The narcissistic child will curse you, throw things, and tell you it’s all your fault he doesn’t listen.
The narcissistic husband will curse you, throw things, and tell you it’s all your fault everything is broken and nothing is getting fixed.
The narcissistic friend will curse you, throw things, and tell you it’s all your fault your cat is dead.
The narcissistic mother will curse you, throw things, and tell you it’s all your fault bad things keep happening to you.
At least narcissists are predictable at any age, huh?*
*If you are reacting to this post and thinking, “None of this will work. These people don’t love me, because they never listen to me or do what I want them to do,” YOU might be the narcissist.