Tolerating Toxic Behavior
Written by Randi Fine, Narcissistic Abuse Expert
“There is no virtue in the tolerance of toxic behavior.” ~Dr. Phil McGraw
Narcissistic abuse victims often tell me that they cannot understand how someone could treat them, such a kind, understanding, accepting, and generous person, so badly. My answer is a simple one. Those with narcissistic personality disorder never target those who are unkind, disagreeable, intolerant and selfish. Why would they? There is no supply there.
Being kind, understanding, accepting, and generous are wonderful virtues to have, but these virtues can become detrimental to our happiness when offered to those who wish to exploit, use, and abuse us.
It would be wonderful to live in a world where everyone has goodness within them; where everyone has redeemable qualities. Unfortunately that is not the nature of the world we live in. There are millions of people walking this earth who, for whatever reason, do not possess the emotional response of affective empathy—the ability to share the emotions of others and/or relate to what the other person is experiencing.
For the sake of survival, those lacking affective empathy must learn to adapt and blend in. Imagine what it would be like to study human behavior every moment of every day for decades. The only possible outcome would be mastery. That is what makes the behavior of one with narcissistic personality disorder so difficult to recognize, and once recognized so difficult to come to terms with. They have mastered the affect of human behavior to the degree of flawlessness. Rational minds are virtually blind to the camouflage.
Rational thinking is useless when dealing with these people. What we see with our eyes or hear with our ears is not indicative of what is true or real.
Kindness and understanding shown towards them is misconstrued and obscured. Virtuous behavior is seen as vulnerability and weakness.
Virtue is a beautiful thing. We should all be kind, loving, and generous—but wise. We must require more from the people who enter our lives. Don’t trust words, always question actions, and never doubt patterns. Narcissists will show and tell you exactly who they are; what their motives are. Believe them. Trust your intuition. It is never wrong.