The Non-Narcissist’s Pledge

By Kim Saeed | Contemplating No Contact

May 14
Abusive traits narcissism

This is a list of promises that (if carried out) might “cure” a Narcissist of many of the more abusive traits of Cluster B personality disorders and other Narcissistic behavior patterns…but it’s a Pledge that no Narcissist would, or could, ever fulfill.

These are undoable for a true Narcissist.  However, non-Narcissists might find this Pledge useful for a couple of reasons:

a) to help identify, control, and remove “fleas” (Narcissistic behavior patterns) in oneself, and

b) to help confirm to oneself (by fulfilling promises in this Pledge) that oneself is, in fact, not a Narcissist.

This Pledge is an aid to self-reflection for everyone except Narcissists.  A true Narcissist avoids self-reflection because, after all, the Narcissist doesn’t have a problem.  Everybody else does.

So, how can one confirm that oneself is, in fact, not a Narcissist–and also avoid falling into Narcissistic behavior patterns?

Try practicing the Non-Narcissist’s Pledge:

1. I will not love-bomb.  If and when I choose to dip my toes into the water of a new relationship, or even if I just go out for coffee with a potential romantic interest, I will not use flattery, gift-giving, or an avalanche of text messages to gain entry into this person’s life.  That’s what Narcissists do, and I am not a Narcissist.

I might “put my best foot forward”, but I will simply be myself, for better or worse.

2. I will take responsibility for my actions.   I will not shift blame away from myself if I do wrong or make a simple mistake.  I will not accuse others of errors I actually made myself.  That’s what Narcissists do, and I am not a Narcissist.

If I do something wrong, I will own it–and own up to it.  I will face the music.  I will apologize…and make amends, if necessary.

3. I will tell the truth.  I will not lie.  I will not tell “little white lies”.  I will not omit details from the truth in order to deceive someone else.  I will not invent clever, “harmless” stories that simply make myself look good or entertain myself.  I will not say things about other people that aren’t true, especially to hurt them.  I will not hide behind “my truth” when it isn’t true to begin with.  That’s what Narcissists do, and I am not a Narcissist.

I will be honest, or I won’t speak.  What can be easier than that?

4. I will not manipulate others.  I will not play tricks on people and act like I didn’t.  I won’t “plant seeds” in people’s minds to get them to do what I want when I ask them later on.  I won’t tell people what I think they want to hear, just so they like me and trust me.  I won’t change plans at the last minute when I didn’t intend to follow through with them in the first place.  That’s what Narcissists do, and I am not a Narcissist.

I will be forthright and sincere.  I will trust that people will like me (or not like me!) because of who I am, not because I can control them.

5. I will be accountable.  I will not dodge or deflect constructive criticism.  I will not sabotage others who disapprove of something I’ve done.  I will not get angry if someone calls me out when I did wrong or hurt someone.  That’s what Narcissists do, and I am not a Narcissist.

I will accept that others are trying to help me when they take their time to help correct my behaviors or actions in some way.

6. I will respect other people and their boundaries.  I will not step all over people and their time and space.  I will not intrude on others or impose on them when they’re clearly involved in something important.  I will not assume that what I want right now is the most important thing happening on Earth.  That’s what Narcissists do, and I am not a Narcissist.

I will ask for consent and gain permission from others before inserting myself into their time, space, or relationships.

7. I will be open to change.  I will not insist that others do everything my way.  I will not demand that things be done the way that they’ve always been done, simply because “I said so” or my family of origin did it that way.  I will not throw a fit until someone else caves and gives me my way.  That’s what Narcissists do, and I am not a Narcissist.

I will listen to what others say they want.  If I can accommodate their wishes, and they’re not Narcissists trying to manipulate me, I will do my best to honor their requests.  I might even learn something new.

8. I will be faithful.  I will not two-time or cheat on my partner.  I will not commit adultery.  I will not promise to do something with no intention of actually doing it.  I will not violate the trust that my loved ones place in me.  I will not dump my partner out of the blue, without talking about the problem first–or at least giving an explanation why.  That’s what Narcissists do, and I am not a Narcissist.

I will respect the relationships I have formed, and if I don’t think I can fulfill the expectations that come with a certain kind of relationship, I won’t form it until I am ready.

9. I will not pretend.  I will not let others believe that I’m something I know I’m not.  I will not deliberately deceive someone else into trusting a mask or a front that I’ve put on.  I will not act like I feel some way other than what I really feel.  I will not insult, slander, or threaten people while smiling at them.  That’s what Narcissists do, and I am not a Narcissist.

I will be genuine in my actions toward others, and I will show them how I really feel in a way that’s appropriate to the person and the situation.

10. I will get to know myself.  I will not occupy all my time with people, places, and things so I don’t “get bored”.  I won’t make a spectacle out of other people’s weaknesses in order to avoid seeing my own.  I won’t reflexively accuse others when they point out some flaw in myself.  I will not frantically seek company all the time so I’m never alone.  That’s what Narcissists do, and I am not a Narcissist.

I will make time and space to be quietly by myself, and I will pay attention to my own thoughts and feelings at all times.  I will acknowledge things about myself, to myself, even if I don’t like them.  I will learn what I like and don’t like–about myself, as well as my experiences–so that I can pursue more of what I want…and leave behind more of what I don’t want.

I will be my True Self, to the best of my ability, not some “false self” that isn’t really me.

That’s what Narcissists do, and I am not a Narcissist.

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Copyright © 2016 Ven Baxter and Let Me Reach. All Rights Reserved

Ven Baxter lives in Florida, where he works as a canoe outfitter, teaches, writes, and enjoys being father to his three children.  You can find this article on his blog, Ven Baxter – Go deep into the nooks and crannies of life and the human experience…

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