COVID-19: The Ultimate Narcissist
For the past eight years, I have been working with women and men stuck in toxic relationships at home or at work. I have taught them how to reconnect with their inner power, feel more confident, and attract more success and love. Many had been victims of narcissistic partners or bosses and reached out feeling stressed, anxious, and powerless. Before that, I worked as a biochemist, and I realized that the line between health science and the science of emotions is an easy one to cross.
During this pandemic, many describe feeling fear, depression, and stress. I have realized that COVID-19 displayed the exact same qualities of any toxic interaction. The way to survive, or at least respond to it, is similar to how you would respond to any toxic relationship. Here are 11 insights that I found in this correlation:
1. COVID-19 doesn’t care about who you are and what you want. It cares only about itself and doing what is best for it. In this case, finding a host, establishing a relationship with the host, entering the host’s space, and growing inside, even if it means hurting or killing the recipient of the interaction. Narcissists don’t care about you or how you feel; they only care about themselves.
2. COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate if you are wealthy or poor, educated or not, young or older. No one deserves to get sick. The virus infects anyone equally, and if you are infected, it is not your fault. In a similar way, don’t feel guilty for not recognizing a toxic partner. They don’t advertise and sometimes don’t even realize that they are hurtful. Blaming yourself won’t help, and being kind and loving to yourself in those moments goes a long way. You don’t have to stay in the relationship, though.
3. You might become a carrier of the virus and not know it for a while until the toxicity expresses itself. You can be in a relationship with a narcissist and you won’t recognize any red flags until the narcissist shows their true colors.
4. The only way you can protect yourself from COVID-19 is by sheltering in place and avoiding contact with the virus. The only way you can avoid toxic relationships is by not entering into relationship with a narcissist, which is difficult because, as just stated above, there is nothing that helps you to recognize them at first. Once you recognize them, don’t excuse their behavior—and run away if you can.
5. The healthier you are, the better you can fight back an infection of COVID-19, but if your immune defense is already compromised, it is harder to respond. Clients who become caught in a relationship with a narcissist have often been in a pattern of toxic relationships that can be traced back to childhood, when they grew up with emotionally unavailable or abusive parents. Those early interactions created some emotional scarring that makes the subject more vulnerable to physical or emotional hurt.
6. If you have to go out in the world, the only way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to wear protective gear or to establish some safe distancing until you know if the person you are interacting with is at risk of carrying the virus. In the same way, you put yourself at risk each time you enter a new relationship, whether at home or work. Take it slowly and give yourself the time to know the person before making yourself totally vulnerable.
7. Only a small (but unfortunately, too large) percentage of the population will get infected. Not everyone is a carrier, not everyone is contagious, not every surface is contaminated. Actually, even though we mostly notice those who become sick, the majority of the population will have few or no health consequences from this pandemic. In the same way, most relationships are safe and most people are nice, loving, and kind.
8. If COVID-19 enters your system, there is a chance you will become ill. Fortunately, most of us will be able to fight the virus and recover on our own. For that, you will have to rely on the strength of your immune system. If you enter a relationship with a narcissist, you will have to reconnect with your inner power and fight for your life.
9. People who are infected by COVID-19 and display symptoms describe a dreadful and long battle. They feel miserable one day and better the next, only to become even worse the following day. Recovering from COVID-19 takes courage and patience. Until your system gets rid of the virus fully and completely, you have to rest and be kind to yourself. You may also have to rely on friends and family for help. When in a relationship with a narcissist, you might feel abused and hurt one day, and the next day wonder if you overreacted. As soon as you relax, the abuser might come back, more toxic than ever. Tap into your courage and resilience, and don’t forget the hurtful moments because of an instant of kindness. Reach out to your loved ones for support. You don’t have to do it alone.
10. COVID-19 is dangerous, and in some cases, deadly. Its short- and long-term effects should not be ignored. A toxic relationship can also have long-term consequences. It can even kill in extreme cases of deep depression. Please don’t ignore or dismiss the symptoms and their impact on your life.
11. Even though the majority of the people infected in this pandemic will recover on their own, some will need help from a medical specialist. Whether it’s just getting fever or antiviral medicine or going to the hospital to be placed under a ventilator, it’s important to reach for help when you can’t do it on your own. Emotional health is very similar to physical health, and it’s okay to reach out to a professional to recover or remove yourself from a toxic interaction.
Some of you might think that the toxicity of a virus like COVID-19 has nothing to do with relationships. But actually, staying as safe and as aware as possible, loving yourself in the ups and downs of this pandemic, being cautious and patient, finding your inner strength to fight whatever toxic element is coming your way, and acknowledging the symptoms and reaching out for help if you need to are effective solutions to respond to any type of virus, whether we are speaking of a physical virus or a toxic emotional one.
Be safe, stay physically and mentally healthy, and be kind and caring to your fellow humans—because you don’t know what fight they are fighting. And of course, don’t forget to love. At the end of all this, love will be more powerful than fear and we will all be able to go out and play again.Previously published here.