Narcissus and Echo: The Heartbreak of Associations with Narcissi…




The poignant myth of Narcissus and Echo crystallizes the tragic problem of associations with narcissists. They were being tragic Greek figures in a story told by the Roman poet Ovid in Metamorphoses. Sadly, both equally companions are locked into a agonizing drama, exactly where neither feel contented or sufficiently cherished. Despite the fact that it’s anguish for them the two, the narcissist blames the lead to on his or her husband or wife, and sees him or herself as irreproachable, and far too usually his or her husband or wife readily agrees.

The Myth of Narcissus and Echo

Narcissus was a handsome hunter who broke the hearts of the numerous women. Inspite of their adore, he remained aloof and arrogant. Pridefully, he held them in disdain.

Meanwhile, the attractive forest nymph Echo had incurred the ire of the goddess Juno, who punished Echo for talking far too a lot by depriving her of free expression. From then on, she could only repeat the last terms of many others. Echo spotted Narcissus and became infatuated. She longed for his consideration, but he was fixated on himself. She tried out to call out to him, but couldn’t.

Just one day, Narcissus became divided from his searching companions and termed out, “Is any one there?” Echo could only repeat his words and phrases. Startled, he reported, “Come here,” which Echo repeated. Echo jubilantly rushed to Narcissus, but he spurned her, declaring, “Hands off! Could I die just before you enjoy my body.” Humiliated and turned down, Echo fled in shame. Nevertheless, her really like for Narcissus grew.

To punish Narcissus for his conceitedness, Nemesis, the goddess of revenge, place a spell on him. When Narcissus following observed his reflection in a pool of h2o, really like overtook him. He believed that he’d lastly uncovered anyone worthy of his love and grew to become totally absorbed with his very own wonderful graphic, not knowing it was in fact himself.

Unable to get Narcissus’ awareness, Echo’s obsession and depression grew. As the many years handed, she lost her youth and splendor pining absent for unattainable Narcissus until eventually she wasted away, only leaving guiding her echoing voice. He sooner or later committed suicide, consumed by his unattainable love, leaving a flower in his spot.

Comprehending Narcissists

Even with their seemingly sturdy character, narcissists are basically pretty susceptible underneath their protecting armor. (See “The Dilemma of Narcissists.”) Command of their inner thoughts and of other individuals is all significant, simply because with out management they come to feel weak and humiliated. They’re drawn to a person emotionally expressive and nurturing, traits they deficiency. Vulnerable thoughts, particularly shame, sadness, and concern, are relegated to their unconscious. They have disdain for them or any indicator of weak point, which arouses fears of becoming controlled or humiliated. Hence, to come to feel unfortunate or lonely evokes their need to have for anyone, which would expose them to hurt, rejection, and experience inferior. They attempt to remove these awkward feelings by demonstrating independence, courage, and strength—ideals with which they identify.

Like the fantasy, narcissists experience remarkable to others, however rely on them to replicate back a beneficial self-impression. Surprisingly, most narcissists are codependent, much too. They’re hypersensitive to any perceived obstacle to their illusion of remaining the best, and usually understand slights wherever none exist. They dread being viewed as a fraud, getting their shortcomings exposed, their views or authority questioned, or their self-esteem or pleasure tarnished. They will do what it takes to prop up their image and block detrimental responses. In their arrogance, they can be dismissive and impolite, like projecting their shortcomings on some others, criticizing and belittling them or unleashing their narcissistic rage. Seeking to you should them feels thankless, like hoping to fill a bottomless pit―their inner emptiness―which they assume some others to fill, but of study course, it’s unattainable.

They may well embarrass relatives and mates with their boasting or obnoxious perception of entitlement, such as monopolizing the conversation and interrupting. To receive what they want, they may possibly exploit some others, no matter of the effects. Their frame of mind compensates for unconscious emotions of deprivation and inferiority, which turn out to be intolerable when they really don’t get their demands met or exclusive privileges.

Being familiar with Echo

Not everybody who falls for a narcissist is like Echo, but those people who continue to be resemble her—a stereotypical codependent who sacrifices his or her possess requires to accommodate many others. Whereas Narcissus is extremely self-absorbed, Echo is extremely other-absorbed. Like Echo, associates of narcissists idealize them. They like and admire their bold, acquire-charge attitude. They, in distinction to narcissists, really do not advocate on their individual behalf and really feel pointless or responsible asserting needs and wishes.

Caretaking and satisfying give them a perception of goal and worth. Due to the fact they feel undeserving of getting appreciate, they really don’t be expecting to be beloved for who they are—only for what they give or do. Without an impartial voice, they’re commonly passive, compliant, and self-effacing and believe that what is mentioned to them is correct. They crave currently being wanted, accepted, supported, permitted of, necessary, and loved. They may not consider they have any rights and naturally go along or set others’ wants and inner thoughts initially, often self-sacrificing at terrific lengths to you should. Like, Echo, this makes them dependent on the narcissist, even when their requires aren’t remaining crammed. It also permits a narcissist to easily manipulate, abuse and exploit them. Narcissists need associates they can control, who will not obstacle them and make them really feel weak. Commonly, their associates settle for the blame and check out to be far more knowledge. They stay to stop their biggest fear—abandonment and rejection and dropping hope of locating lasting love―and for the reason that periodically the charm, pleasure, and loving gestures that initially enchanted them return, in particular if a crack-up is imminent.

In vain makes an attempt to win approval and remain connected, they thread on eggshells, fearful of displeasing their companion. They stress what he or she will consider or do, and come to be preoccupied with the partnership. They have to fit in to the narcissists’ chilly globe and get applied to living in an emotional desert.

The Narcissistic Marriage

It is quick to slide in love with narcissists. Do not judge oneself for succumbing, simply because investigate showed that strangers’ first impressions of narcissists for the very first seven meetings are constructive. They are seen as charming, agreeable, self-confident, open up, properly-altered, and entertaining. Their alluring efficiency is made to acquire have faith in and really like, implicitly promising that their attentiveness will continue on. Only later did the exploration topics see by way of the narcissists’ likable façade.


Troubles and conflict come up in more time narcissistic relationships. At dwelling, narcissists may well privately denigrate the human being they have been just publicly entertaining, and right after a romantic prelude, they act fully unique. When you are hooked, they lack the enthusiasm to keep a charismatic façade. As the enjoyment of romance wanes, narcissists turn out to be disappointed in their partner. Their criticisms escalate, and they may possibly act distant and dismissive. The marriage revolves all around the narcissist, while others are considered simply as objects to use in order to control the narcissist’s wants and fragile self-esteem. E

Embarrassed associates look at their mate flirt with a cashier, slice to the entrance of the line, or castigate a clerk or waitress. They have to contend with demands, judgments, and self-centeredness. They are predicted to recognize the narcissist’s specialness, meet up with his or her wants for admiration, DC escort service, really like, or purchases when essential, and are dismissed when they really do not.

Narcissists set them selves initially, and their codependent associates place them first, too. Equally concur that the narcissist is terrific and that his or her mate isn’t and really should sacrifice! This would make their connection function . . . in the starting. Eventually, the companion feels drained, hurt, resentful, disrespected, and lonely.

The children and companions of narcissists share Echo’s expertise of feeling turned down, invisible, and unheard. They prolonged to be noticed, to have their desires fulfilled, and their like returned. A lot of companions of narcissists unfortunately pine absent for many years longing to sense respected, important, appreciated, and cared about. Their self-esteem suffers in excess of time. They threat turning into vacant shells of their former selves. Narcissists put up with, far too, because they are never happy. Even even though Narcissus and Echo both equally extended for really like, Narcissus can neither give love nor receive the enjoy Echo features.

You have additional electrical power than you feel. Learn How to Elevate Your Self-Esteem, locate your voice, and how to decide whether your partnership can strengthen. There are many points you can do to significantly superior your relationship with anyone remarkably defensive or abusive, as described in Working with a Narcissist: 8 Methods to Elevate Your Self-Esteem and Set Boundaries with Hard Persons. This workbook incorporates a quiz for narcissism and also sets forth requirements that can help you determine if you are taking into consideration ending a romance with a narcissist. See my author bio, underneath for my web site and inbound links associated.

© DarleneLancer 2017

This article was at first released on WhatIsCodependency.com and is republished here with the author’s authorization.

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Narcissus and Echo: The Heartbreak of Associations with Narcissi…