The Trap of Learning About Narcissism

The Trap of Learning About Narcissism the trap of learning about narcissism
Photo by 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

One of the common advices when it comes to healing from abuse or leaving an abusive relationship is learning about personality disorders. It’s one of those advices which floats in most online forums and if you’re not aware, you may find yourself in a rabbit hole of trying to learn more and more about narcissism and those fancy terminologies. There’s no problem with learning about them as it offers insight on who you’re dealing with but the problem arises when your mind latches onto the ‘evilness’ of a narcissist as a form of self-protection. It’s quite understandable to actually spend most times in the early stages learning about them because you’re still in shock and disbelief at how someone can just do those atrocious things. You really want to understand how they could just flip the switch and turn to the dark-side. Learning may also help you with knowing their manipulative ways and lessening the intensity of your self-blame. So, learning has its place in your healing journey but it is also one of those traps which if you’re not careful will keep you stuck. That’s why it’s important to always keep in mind the potential traps of focusing too much on narcissists and their behavior. In this article, I am going to share with you some of the things you not to be wary off before burying yourself with information about narcissism.

1. Emotionally Draining

If you’ve experienced narcissistic abuse from a loved one, it can be so triggering and emotionally draining to learn about narcissistic behavior. This is because you’re becoming aware of some of the things they’ve been doing to you. In the course of the relationship, you’ve probably been watering down or rationalizing some of their lies and abusive ways. But the moment you start learning about them, you now realize that all those things you were pushing aside or all those good things they promised you were all lies.

This is the point where you start seeing yourself as a fool. You believed in the relationship but the more you face and understand the reality of the situation, the more your mind and your inner critic start labelling you as a fool for falling for the ‘cheap’ tricks. You feel so anxious, confused and angry at yourself because your mind is now trying to piece together all the abusive instances you went through all of which you were not aware. Your mind had buried some abusive instances or numbed the pain to protect you in the relationship. So, the more you dig and dig without having a safe channel to process those emotions, the more those traumatic memories and wounds come to the surface which is an emotionally draining and uncomfortable state to be in.

2. Distraction to your Healing Journey

Learning is actually counterintuitive, you might think that the more you learn about them, the more you’re understanding and healing but that’s not how it works. The more you learn about narcissists, the more you’re stuck with narcissists (literally even, instead of living you’re studying them). When you focus so much on them , you get obsessed with them instead of focusing on yourself. It offers this path of least resistance where you mind will just view the narcissists as people who need healing and not you. The mind will choose the easy path and that’s the path with the least responsibility. Instead of taking full responsibility and dealing with the pain they inflicted, you’re wasting your energy on the one who inflicted the pain.

Analogy: — When you’ve been shot and you’re bleeding, the best thing to do is to stop the bleeding and find a hospital. If you chase the gunman, you might bleed to death or the gunman might shoot you again because you’re not strong enough.

Also, you’re in pain on the inside but your focus on the narcissist will provide you with a very good distraction from facing that pain deep inside. When you focus so much on learning, which is an outside circumstance, it may provide a temporary relief from the painful feelings of loneliness, self-blame or worthlessness. Instead of listening to what the pain is telling you, you’re choosing to distract yourself with information and researching about the narcs. You’re suffering on the inside but learning about them is like that band-aid which will end up doing more harm than good. It will keep you in pain much longer because you’re not dealing with the wounds.

Another thing with learning being hindrance to your healing is, the trap of knowing.

Ooh! this is a huge one and it applies in all aspects of personal development.

So, when we learn (or let’s call it accumulate pieces of information), we might really think that we now understand everything. We understand trauma, inner child, narcissism, NPD, abuse, red flags and no one can tell you a thing. The more you learn without really being aware of it, the more you’re feeding your ego. Your ego will get in the way and trick you that you don’t even need to seek any professional help. It’s the point where you’re so full of yourself because you’ve racked up books on psychology and you’re seeing it as a substitute to professional help. If there’s one thing which will keep you from growing is thinking that you’ve healed or the common, “I now understand them and I don’t need to even go for therapy or seek professional help.” When you read so much without really being aware, you will assume that you know everything without really knowing that you can never know everything. You might find yourself going back to the dating scene while using your knowledge as a shield only to find yourself in another toxic relationship. This is because, some aspects of healing are beyond your level of awareness and at times surrendering to the point of, “I don’t know, let me see what therapy can offer” is the greatest puzzle for your healing journey. Your learning is probably just feeding you with logic but complete transformation is going to the unconscious or the things you’ve buried deep within you. Instead of knowledge uncovering your unhealed parts, they’re helping you bury them more deeply.

3. Cynicism

The last trap is learning about narcissism may make you very cynical or develop a very negative attitude towards life. You will be getting more and more entrenched in seeing the evilness in people or how people are never to be trusted. This is because you’re just learning or obsessing about the dark side of hurt people who are hurting other people. You will view the world from the perspective of you (the victim) and the oppressors (narcissists and psychopaths) who are out there to hurt everyone. You will also be on the lookout for narcissistic behavior everywhere you go, even in situations where it may not be present. There’s just a general pessimistic and dystopian attitude towards humanity because that’s what you’re constantly feeding yourself with. You’re not even taking a break to see people who’re making positive changes in life as you’re just focus on how narcissistic everyone is. When you’re used to darkness, all you’ll be seeing is darkness.


We keep saying “healing is a journey” but how do you know if you’re heading in the right direction? You may think you’re really in a journey but yet all along you’re just a donkey tied to a post and all you’ve been doing is just going round in circles. That’s why, the only one who can know if you’re really making progress in your healing is you. It’s you sitting down quietly without any distraction, reflect and just be honest with yourself. In fact, it’s very okay to just say, “Hey, I am stuck” and operate from that point. We need to know that the mind will always seek self-preservation and any attempt to change or to grow will be met with strong forces that seek to take you back to your ‘comfort zone.’ That’s why the best way to get stuck in your healing journey is to continuously learn about narcissism because it looks really okay and helpful. But the more you do it and indulge in the content, you’re just tethering yourself to content on narcissism.

Healing is all about using knowledge to release your restraints but what we mostly do is using knowledge to strengthen our restraints. No amount of focusing on the narcissist or accumulation of knowledge will set you free but when you focus on yourself and your pain, you’ll begin taking the right direction in this journey.

Lastly, there’s no problem with learning but you can rechannel your learning to just understanding your pain, your anxiety, your self-esteem and then you now take the steps to work on that. If you want to seriously learn about narcissism, you can just pick 2–3 books or even binge some article or videos on narcissists but you have to give yourself a timeline (say a month or two). This is how you stop yourself from getting stuck in your journey by just being intentional with your studying. So, no amount of learning will set you free and you’ve got to be honest with yourself. Only you can set you free.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these subconscious patterns for good (in less than 2 months) using Mind Shifting, then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts, experiences and research😊.

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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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