If there’s one thing that I deeply know the experience of, it’s feeling like prioritizing myself and my needs is selfish…narcissistic, even. As a neurodivergent human who is healing from trauma, I have even been accused of being narcissistic.
The way I relate and communicate has been used against me by narcissistic humans, and their establishments, all so that they can maintain control and use my compassionate traits against me (if you identify as neurodivergent, highly-sensitive or traumatized, you may have found yourself in similar situations).
It’s high time I discussed this Dominant Dogma that tells you: “Prioritizing yourself is selfish.” And so this week, on the Live Your Freedom Now podcast, I’m exploring this narrative so you can live more freely and empowered with a belief that offers you more compassion: “Taking care of yourself is needed.”
So let’s begin. In this episode, I share on:
- A practice to attune to your space and come home to your power
- The Dominant Dogma that “prioritizing yourself is narcissistic.”
- 3 reasons why this particular Dominant Dogma exists
- Projection, self protection and growing up in a society that upholds narcissism
- Living into the freedom on the other side of this belief by saying: “taking care of yourself is needed.”
- 3 ways coaching can help you self-tend after narcissistic abuse
- An invitation to receive my free Ecotherapy Meditation and Journal Prompts to support you to embody your power
Listen to the episode wherever you like to listen to your podcasts.
Today I am writing to you from my dining table. For the first time since writing from DC, I have the window open, and a cool breeze is blowing in. After a month of squelching heat, this is a dream come true. I also have my notes sitting to my right, a glass of orange juice to my left, and my feet tucked snuggly beneath me as I’m perched on the wooden dining chair. The hum of the dishwasher is my writing soundtrack, and the laundry basket is waiting by the door for when I complete house tasks later today. I am tired from a weekend of travels and change, but also well supported and grateful for all the ways I choose to take care of myself and ensure that I am nourished.
As I take a moment to pause and notice my inner and outer worlds, I encourage you to do the same. Notice the objects in your space, their colors, and their textures. Notice where the light hits and where shadows fall. Notice how your body feels today, how your heart feels, and if there are any tender or tight spaces in your being. Not judging what you see and are experiencing, simply noticing it. Allowing it. This is a practice of freedom that you can utilize at any time. A practice to attune to your space and come home to your power.
Today, I am discussing the Dominant Dogma that says it’s narcissistic to prioritize yourself. Yes, we’re going there! Unfortunately, due to this external narrative, this Dominant Dogma often takes root internally as shame and fear when you choose to take care of yourself and prioritize your needs.
In today’s episode, I will share three reasons why this Dominant Dogma exists. Freedom on the other side. And how coaching can help you reclaim your freedom after this Dominant Dogma.
First, let’s look at three reasons why this Dominant Dogma exists.
1 – Narcissism does run rampant in our society today
I’m starting off with my longest point, and it’s a doozy.
Due to supremacy culture, patriarchy, and other hierarchical systems in our culture, narcissism is actually cultivated by the dominant culture. Preaching the constructs of classes, races, and roles creates entitled humans who believe they are somehow better, healthier, more beautiful, and more unique. These individuals unknowingly feel threatened when others speak up for their needs, set boundaries, and no longer feed into their egoic superiority. They lash out or creatively maintain their control by convincing truly compassionate humans that they are being selfish and narcissistic for asking for what they need.
This is how our Dominant Dogma finds itself rooted in your world.
However, you are so worthy and deserving of meeting your needs! Meeting your needs is not narcissistic. It’s crucial so that you can live healthy, free, and use your gifts in the world.
Now, because we are talking about narcissism, I think it’s essential to highlight that this personality disorder is often poorly misunderstood.
Due to bite-sized viral social media posts, narcissism is often portrayed sweepingly with overarching traits that can result in perceiving neurodivergent humans, highly-sensitive humans, and traumatized humans as narcissists.
This is not it.
I feel incredibly passionate about clarifying that while neurodivergent humans, highly-sensitive humans, and traumatized humans can, like anyone, be narcissistic, most are not.
In fact, these types of humans are actually the opposite. They often end up as the targets of actual narcissistic humans due to their deep compassion, empathy, and belief that others are primarily well-intentioned.
As a neurodivergent human who is healing from trauma, I have been accused of being narcissistic.
The way I relate and communicate has been used against me by narcissistic humans and establishments so they can maintain control and use my compassionate traits against me.
To explain this unique perception of neurodivergent humans, I want to mention the lead character from the show Bones: Temperance Brennon.
I recently started rewatching this show only to find that, of course! Temperance is 100% on the autism spectrum! Due to her unique way of showing empathy, she sometimes appears narcissistic on the surface. However, at her core, she is driven by a passion for her work, justice, and truth. So much so that it almost physically PAINS HER to sugarcoat the truth for others’ feelings.
She wants the truth to be known.
She wants justice for those who have been wronged.
She wants those who are hurting to be seen.
Truly and deeply seen.
This is an excellent example of how you can notice your differences, whether you are neurodivergent, highly-sensitive, and healing from trauma or not, from a genuinely narcissistic individual or establishment.
- Truly narcissistic humans will likely appear fabulous at first, magical in fact, and they will pour love and compliments on you.
- Truly narcissistic humans will surround themselves with ego-boosting humans. If anyone crosses them, they are cut out entirely (unless they apologize and repent).
- Truly narcissistic humans will throw others under the bus for their own gain without thinking about it.
- Truly narcissistic humans perform acts of justice, but behind the curtain, they expect you to serve them, take care of them, and tend to their every need.
- Truly narcissistic humans will use your compassion against you so that they can maintain their power, control, and place in society.
Neurodivergent, highly-sensitive, and traumatized humans may show their empathy uniquely, however:
- These humans tend to care SO profoundly that they may find themselves being the ones thrown under the bus.
- They are often brutally honest, even if that means you do not like them.
- They desire true justice for those who are hurting.
- They will often go to great lengths to help further the causes they are passionate about.
- They are often incredible space holders because they understand everyone has a unique experience on this planet.
- And so much more.
Yes, narcissism runs rampant in our world today. And, the term is sometimes wielded as a weapon causing the kindest, most compassionate humans in our society to feel they cannot invest in themselves without feeling selfish.
However, taking care of yourself is not narcissistic. In fact, taking care of yourself is needed. There is no shame in that.
2 – Projection
My second point on why you feel like “it’s narcissistic to prioritize yourself” is projection.
Projection is a term used in psychology to describe projecting one’s thoughts and feelings onto another person. Essentially, assuming you know what another person is thinking without REALLY knowing.
In the case of this Dominant Dogma, this goes both ways.
Sometimes, you may be projecting your fear of being perceived as narcissistic onto others, assuming they see you that way when they really don’t.
In other cases, others may be projecting their fear of taking care of themselves onto you, assuming that you are narcissistic for taking care of yourself.
Yikes!! That’s quite a web to be caught in!
To combat this Dominant Dogma and this unhealthy pattern, remember that you are your own responsibility. You cannot be sure of what anyone else is thinking or feeling, and it’s not your responsibility.
The only thing you can control is yourself.
This in mind: It’s YOUR JOB to take care of your needs.
If others see you as selfish and narcissistic for doing this, that is actually their stuff to process on their own time.
Taking care of yourself is not narcissistic. Taking care of yourself is needed. There is no shame in that.
3 – Self-Protection
My last point on why the Dominant Dogma that says, “it’s narcissistic to prioritize yourself” exists is self-protection.
Because of all the external narratives and perceptions prioritizing yourself can have, it can sometimes feel easier to buy into this narrative and NOT take care of yourself.
This choice can be your body and mind’s way of protecting you amidst the truly narcissistic society that we live in. It may even be a coping mechanism that you took on as a child to keep yourself safe from unsupportive caretakers, school bullies, or other humans and situations in your world that made it unsafe for you to take up space growing up.
Not wanting to be gaslit, invalidated, and shamed by those around you, your body and mind may have convinced you it’s safer to play small, not meet your needs, and just try to survive.
At times, especially for young children who don’t have a lot of control, this may be an effective coping strategy, but it will only work for so long. At some point, you will HAVE to take care of yourself. Your needs will have to be met, and if you keep pushing them to the side, they may become more difficult to tend to.
You are an adult now, you have more control and choice than you had when this coping mechanisim of self-protection was developed. You can honor your present version of self, and your younger version of self by choose a new path forward.
Taking care of yourself is not narcissistic. Taking care of yourself is needed. There is no shame in that.
And that leads us to the freedom on the other side of this Dominant Dogma: Taking care of yourself is needed. Prioritizing yourself is part of your job as a human, and ultimately it results in deeper freedom for you and others.
Meeting your needs, prioritizing yourself, and leaning into self-care is crucial to do the work you desire in the world. Moreover, it’s actually required, so you have the energy and capacity to take care of your family, be there for your friends, and pursue your dream life!
You must take care of you.
If this SOUNDS great, but you’re unsure how to live this out, keep listening and let’s dive into 3 ways coaching can help you reclaim your freedom after this Dominant Dogma.
3 Ways Coaching Can Help You Self-Tend After Narcissistic Abuse
1 – A Supportive Place To Land
So often, after navigating an experience with a narcissistic narrative and/or human, it can be so hard to tell what direction is up. Narcissistic humans often invalidate your reality and question your character to maintain power. Before you know it, you have forgotten who you are and what is real.
Are you a good person? Are you fun to be around? Or are you a selfish *bitch* who only thinks about themselves…Yikes!
Through a Coaching series, I can offer you a supportive place to land where I deeply listen to your experience, provide loving honesty, and deeply see you.
This can be life-changing after narcissistic abuse. Being seen as your best self, having validation you are not broken, and learning to stand up for yourself, are crucial as you reclaim your freedom and autonomy.
2 – Develop Self-Trust
Because of the external invalidation from a narcissistic society and narcissistic humans in your world, self-trust can be entirely lost.
Through powerful coaching and psychology techniques, I can support you to slowly grow your self-trust again. Finally, you can begin to remember the core parts of who you are, what you love, what you value, and how you desire to live your life.
You get to reaccess your essence and develop unshakable inner stability so those old Dominant Dogmas won’t take hold of you again.
3 – Learn to live free!
Sometimes, after narcissistic abuse, the narratives and patterns of abuse become so ingrained in your psyche that your brain doesn’t even know how to BE FREE.
As your coach, I will teach you how to BE free. No more hustling for peace. No more earning your worth. Simply BEING free. Because you are worthy of a thriving, healthy, and free life. Not only that but your giftings are needed in the world. When you take care of yourself first, you can offer the overflow to others in a sustainable and regenerative way.
That’s what I call freedom!
Before we close this episode, I have one free tool to support you. My FREE EcoTherapy Meditation!
This meditation and journal guide is a tool to help you hand back Dominant Dogma, develop self-trust, and claim your freedom. You can learn more and access the meditation at my website: megscolleen.com.
And that is what I want to leave you with today!
Taking care of yourself is needed. Taking care of yourself is part of your job as a human, and taking care of yourself results in deeper freedom for you and others.
If you listened to today’s episode, I would love to know! Please tag me on Instagram @megscolleen or shoot me a dm and fill me in on how this episode landed with you! Additionally, if you want support on your Freedom Journey, I would love to invite you into a one-on-one coaching series.
If deep in your spirit you want to feel empowered, share your creativity, live with freedom, and finally feel joyful again, then you’re in the right place! My goal is to help you integrate the parts of you feeling afraid and unsupported, hand back outdated cultural stories, and guide you to rise as your most free self.
This is your time to embody the freedom you crave.
Your next step: Book a FREE Clarity Call with me at megscolleen.com! I hope to see you on a call soon!
Freedom is yours,
Mentions & More:
- My FREE (& brand new) EcoTherapy Meditation and journal guide that you can use as you release unsupportive conditioning, calm your nervous system, and reclaim personal power.
- My 1:1 coaching series. Book a FREE clarity call with me to get started: https://megscolleen.com/book-a-free-call/
- My Instagram. If you use the offerings in this episode or feel compelled by what was shared in this episode, please feel free to connect with me there.