4 Shades of Crazy
Inspired by the song “99 Shades of Crazy” by JJ Grey on my run this morning, I came up with four shades of crazy which, really, is more than anyone needs. Crazy-makers will cause your head to spin, make your life miserable, and destroy your self-worth. While there are plenty of people out there who were raised well, make good choices, and trust their instincts, if you’re like me that’s not the case. I had horrible role models, made terrible decisions, and am learning by experience. Read this, print it out and carry it with you. You will want to get as far away from these people as possible because once you’re involved, getting out is nothing short of miraculous.
The Narcissist: This person has a really big ego (think celebrities and politicians.) How else can you succeed big if you’re not 100% full of yourself? In some ways it’s an art form. When in a relationship with a narcissist, it’s all about them. You are there to make them look good, feel good, and cast a better light on them. Nothing for you except the occasional nugget they’ll throw you to string you along. Beware! It’s an effective strategy because it works. You’re so beaten down you lack the judgement to run.
What they say: “You like to talk about yourself a lot, don’t you.” This is pure projection and is only stated to get the attention back on them.
What they do: Always late. They have no sense of time because a) can’t be bothered and b) it’s a total control thing. How they love to make a grand entrance into a room.
What they do when they get up from the table: Does not push the chair in after getting up from the table. That's for someone else to take care of.
The Gaslighter: This person can’t face up to anything. They’ll deny any wrongdoing. Everyone makes mistakes but a gaslighter will make you think that you are the cause. The term came about from the old move “Gaslight” with Audrey Hepburn where the male protagonist works his charm to get her to marry him and then manipulates her into thinking she’s going crazy so that he can get her inheritance. Today’s more modern gaslighter may not be so strategic. But they will make you think you’re going crazy nonetheless.
What they say: “Don’t worry about it.” If you’re in a relationship with someone and ask them a question, you have every right to expect a response. “Don’t worry about it” is utterly dismissive and an instant connection breaker.
What they do: Plead the 5th. They will deny any wrongdoing, end of story. The more upset you become, the more distant they’ll be.
What they do when they get up from the table: What chair? It was like that.
The Liar: Liars are very busy people. They function on so many different levels it’s a wonder their own head doesn’t spin off. But yours will if you stay with them long enough. They’re like acrobats, doing flips and prancing along all over the place while at the same time either resting up or doing yardwork, supposedly, when they’re actually out on a date with another person. Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to date more than one person, as long as your honest and upfront about it. Substance abusers are renowned liars, foraging to get their next fix. So even if someone is in recovery, just because they’re stopped using doesn’t mean they’re not still lying. It’s already ingrained in their lifestyle. Red alert: If they don’t accept your Facebook friend request in a timely manner and they are active on Facebook, run. There’s a reason they’re ignoring you.
What they say: “Everyone tells little gray lies now and then.” This is a ploy to distract you from the blatant black lie they just told.
What they do: They will not engage with you in conversation so as to avoid creating a connection and also don’t want to give you too much factual information. And if the conversation gets heady, they’ll change the subject. Watch for it.
What they do when they get up from the table: I didn't do that.
The Man-child: This fun-loving adorable creature will win your heart but make you wonder if you just added another child into your family. Not only do they not contribute emotionally, but you’ll be picking up after them as well. You’ll spend so much time validating their existence you’ll forget about your own, while you clear their dishes from the table and push the chair back in.
What they say: “I got praised at work today!” That’s great, happy for you. But how many times do you need to tell me?
What they do: Leave messes for others to clean up. Blame others for their situation.
What they do when they get up from the table: "Um, I'm supposed to do what?"
One key characteristic all four of these traits have in common is a lack of emotional maturity, or EQ. On the surface this isn’t a big issue. We all deal with people in our daily lives who have a low EQ. But when you’re involved with someone with a personality disorder and you’re alone together, it becomes risky. If they were to become angry enough they could lash out physically and hit you or worse. For your own sake, do your homework before you get involved. There’s a reason they’re single. If they blame the other partner for the downfall of the relatitionship, have a criminal record, are an addict or in recovery, or on the other end seem too good to be true, think twice before getting involved.