Friday, June 28, 2013

Paternal Relatives: Narcissists or Just Behaving Badly? Part 1

     I'm not sure if any of my paternal relatives are narcissists, but I do think that the ones with whom I cut communication do engage in behaviors which ultimately make them toxic people with whom to have relationships.  The telling behaviors that I have observed are : Gossip/One-Sided Storytelling, Toxic Criticism, and Adopting the Role of Caregiver. I am going to do this entry in three parts, the first being about Gossip/One-Sided Storytelling.


Gossip/One-Sided Storytelling

     My paternal relatives are information gatherers, specifically my AM, my SGm, and my AJ to a lesser extent.  My relatives have average, run-of-the-mill lives, and I think that knowing information about others provides entertainment for them. They will ask a lot of questions about even the most trivial of matters just so they can obtain information about you.  When conversing with people who do not use information like they do, casually sharing mundane details about your life, such as what you like to eat for breakfast, wouldn't seem like a big deal, but to my paternal relatives, all information is a big deal.   
     Once they know something about someone that can be used as fodder for gossip, they relay that information in such a way as to exaggerate the actions and pathologize the people involved.  They are always sizing people up according to their own standards and sense of morality, which comes out in their  judgment laden storytelling.  I think that the way in which they choose to present information has a lot to do with them not fully understanding or wanting to accept the fact that not everyone does things in the same way that they would, because of such things like differences in personalities, preferences, and perspectives. As a result,  the way that other people choose to go about their lives is outside of the limited range of what is considered normal and acceptable, and as such is meant to be ridiculed. Once I started to recognize the close minded mentality of my relatives, I learned to take most of their words with a grain of salt, otherwise they would have had me believing that everyone they talked about was engaging in some ridiculous behavior or other.
     
     
   

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