Posted by: Judy | April 23, 2015


As mentioned yesterday, chatting with my friend (she also deals with an N), we bounce ideas back and forth… okay, we vent and endeavor to help each other figure out how to survive the madness. The first one sounds nicer… sanitized. Working on not doing that so much.

We’ve both expressed how the Ns in our lives have compared their lives to ours. Their life was worse. They’ve guilted us for having it so much better. Sorry, but life isn’t easy, and no one escapes unscathed. Anyway, we are expected to be grateful for everything they did for us to help make our life better, regardless of whether or not they actually did much of anything. In their mind, we owe them.

This popped into my head, and yes, I’m interested in your thoughts:

They’re jealous, an emotion I think is an intricate part of the “you owe me” perspective. They see something in us they want and can’t have. It may be something as simple as our innocence or love or the way people interact with us and like us.

What I actually said word for word: “She wants to be you. Since she can’t be you, she can’t let you be you either.

Rather than protect the good they see in us, they feel the need to destroy it. Sort of an “If I can’t have it, neither can you.” Elaborating, I wondered if perhaps it’s a case of “I want the goodness of you, but I can’t, so I can’t let you be you either because then you’ll have everything, and I’ll have nothing.” Does that make sense?


  1. Yes it does. Sad but it makes sense.

    • Thanks, Ruth.

  2. I’ve heard that. Jealousy, wanting what you have, and not wanting you to have it. Envy, wanting what you have, but also wanting you to have it. Envy seems the better of the two. If I’m feeling so strongly that I add spite to what someone has, not wanting them to have it, then I know I have some work to do on myself. Jealousy sounds very mean spirited. Yet we all have it sometimes. It might open a door in that if I’m feeling that way, what am I not giving to myself? What is it I need?
    But the person you describe does not seem to be going that deep which is unfortunate for them and more so, the person they attempt to tear down if that person isn’t strong enough to stay unaffected by such scorn.

    • Great questions. I do a lot of internal checking: Am I truly jealous? Do I want what they have? The exact same thing? Every single time, I’ve come to realize that I don’t want to take away what they have; I don’t even want exactly what they have. I want something similar. I want to be successful. I want to be loved. I want to travel, etc. And following your questions, what do I really need and how do I go about it? Thank you!

      • I think the questions you ask yourself are why those emotions exist and are very healthy. Envy serves a purpose – to reassess what do we really want and need and making adjusts to resources to obtain it.

        • Yes!

  3. This makes sense and I have pondered this too, especially when it comes to copying behaviors. I have felt the same way regarding your last quote. And I wondered if it was driven by an emotion like jealously or envy and it then becomes a perceived threat: another persons’s sense of self. So whatever you have, whatever you do will always be seen as a threat b/c their sense of self is false and based on external?

    • That makes sense. It would explain why an ACoN or partner of a narcissist can never be perceived as winning, even when it has absolutely nothing to do with the N in their life. The N somehow doesn’t comprehend or perhaps willfully refuses to see that as they diminish others they don’t build themselves but actually diminish themselves even further. A vicious circle. Thanks, TR.

  4. It took me a long time to realize my mother was jealous of me. Partly because I can’t imagine why anyone would be jealous of me! But it slowly dawned on me that I was a threat to her self-image. The only role for me that worked for her is if I am serving her image. If I am being an individual, forget it.

    My younger brother is in a similar position, but he figured out better how to appease her. Plus I think it helped that he is male. My poor sister in the middle kind of got the short end of the stick in this regard. It didn’t help her much either. When the child of a narcissist, you can’t win for losing.

    • Exactly. The only way to win is not to play.

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