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.
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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