From a spiritual perspective, everything happens for a reason, including the people we encounter. But what if you’ve encountered a narcissist? Are there lessons in that encounter?
Or worse, what if you’re stuck in a relationship with one, and they’re making your life a living hell?
This may be a tough pill to swallow, but a narcissist is in your life for a reason. They’ve appeared on your path because they have lessons to teach you.
If you start seeing them as a mentor instead of a tormentor, you will learn a great deal about yourself, and emerge a more resilient, mindful, and happy person.
Here are some of the lessons your narcissist *unintentionally* teaches you.
The lesson of SETTING BOUNDARIES
Are you emotionally sensitive? Do you tend to shy away from conflict? Do you want everyone to just get along?
If you’ve answered “yes” to these questions, you might find it extraordinarily difficult to set boundaries with a narcissist.
Yet this may be the very lesson they are teaching you — speak up, establish boundaries, take charge of your life.
It takes two to tango. If you’ve never set boundaries because you didn’t want to rock the boat, is it at all surprising that they overstep them?
The lesson of HUMILITY
One of the hardest spiritual lessons to learn in life is that you’re not the center of the universe.
If you learn this lesson, it will allow you to stop taking on other people’s burdens, guilt trips, projections etc. It will allow you to create an experience of co-existence instead of enmeshment.
What a narcissist says or does is not about you; it’s about them.
They’re expressing their (in)ability to give or receive unconditional love, or whether or not they feel fulfilled, happy, important etc. They’re revealing the unhealed pain of their inner child.
Remember: people who don’t love themselves don’t know how to love others. Because even though it appears that narcissists love themselves, deep down they don’t.
That’s why they require so much love and admiration from other people, i.e. “narcissistic supply.”
Similarly, if they “love” someone, their love is conditional, judgmental, fragmented. So don’t take it personally.
The lesson of COMPASSION
It may be hard to believe at times but a narcissist is human. A deeply flawed human. They’re not perfect, and neither are you.
They can feel insecure, scared, or lonely. They make mistakes. And they have a deep need for love and appreciation, like all of us.
That is to say, they deserve some compassion on a human level.
But beyond that, have compassion for them because narcissism is a sickness of the soul. It prevents the sufferers from experiencing true love and connection, and blocks any real spiritual growth.
They are blinded by their ego, unable to look away from their own reflection, like the original Narcissus from a Greek myth.
The lesson of FORGIVENESS
Spoiler alert: a narcissist is not sorry.
They don’t believe they did anything wrong, they will never ask for forgiveness, and quite frankly, they probably don’t deserve it.
That’s OK. Forgive anyway.
Animosity, hurt, blame, grudges, victimhood create an emotional entanglement that perpetuates suffering. It quite literally “ties” you to a narcissist, so they can continue hurting you and feeding off of you.
Forgive and move on. There’s nothing more to it. You’ll feel lighter, happier, healthier.
And you’ll learn a valuable lesson: to forgive is to detach.
The lesson of SELF-LOVE
Forgiveness is important, but it doesn’t mean that you give your narcissist a free pass to emotionally abuse you. That’s where self-love comes in.
When you love yourself, you value yourself and your energy. You have a clear sense of dignity and self-respect.
When you don’t love yourself, you tend to let people walk all over you. You aim to please them by trying to be what they want you to be. And as a result, you give your poweraway…
Perhaps, a narcissist is teaching you to love yourself enough to stand up for yourself.
And in some cases, if the relationship has become too painful, to say goodbye.
The lesson of SELF-AWARENESS
If you pay attention, you will find that a narcissist’s most unattractive qualities are the very same ones that you don’t like within yourself.
Therefore, these “bad” tendencies that you deny need to be brought to light and healed in order to grow. This is your Shadow Self.
On the other hand, a narcissist may be triggering your childhood traumas.
Do you feel mistreated and rejected by them, or like nothing you do is ever good enough?
Does it seem like they ignore or underplay your accomplishments while constantly criticizing every tiny mistake?
Do you often feel bad about yourself after seeing them?
If that sounds true, there may be someone else in your life who made you feel that way. A parental figure, perhaps.
You’re looking for love and validation from a narcissist the same way you were looking for love and validation from your difficult parent, or someone else close to you.
The narcissist just triggers those parts of you that feel insecure, unloved, and unworthy. The parts that need healing.
A narcissist may trigger the feelings of insecurity and rejection you experienced as a child.
The lesson of GRATITUDE
Gratitude may be the last thing you feel towards a narcissist, and that is precisely why you need to challenge yourself to feel grateful.
Be thankful for the many precious lessons they have to teach you.
A narcissist teaches
kindness by being unkind
tolerance by being judgmental
unconditional love by being withholding and punishing
honesty by being deceptive.
If it weren’t for them, you wouldn’t be the person you are today.
And if you don’t feel grateful at the moment, it’s OK too. Give it time. Let yourself feel whatever you feel.
And know that you are loved – endlessly, unconditionally, eternally.
This article 7 Spiritual Lessons A Narcissist Can Teach was published on Toxic Ties: https://toxicties.com/spiritual-lessons-narcissist/ and it is re-posted here with kind permission and attribution to the author’s bio.
Find out about upcoming workshops, events and other happenings by signing up for our e-newsletters here: