One of the things you’ll notice about a narcissist is not only their weird priorities but how they switch from forceful entitlement to hands-up-in-the-air helplessness.
As I shared in an earlier post, my dd’s father will force her to watch documentaries that distress her. They have nothing to do what she’s studying at the moment in her academics. They’re just stuff he wants to watch and for some bizarre reason, believes she should, as well.
However, he can’t see to it that she takes a shower when she’s with him. “She doesn’t want to”, he’ll say.
Well, she doesn’t want to watch well produced documentaries of people’s gross inhumanity to one another either, but that doesn’t stop him from enforcing his will upon her.
Certainly, my dd is the kind of kid who would go for a year without taking a bath if it were her choice. But guess what? It’s not!
As a parent, we have the responsibility to get our children to do things they don’t want to if it’s in their best interest. We have the responsibility to teach them self-discipline and good life skills.
How is it that he can suddenly become so helpless and a victim to her whims, when it comes to a for real parental responsibility, and yet he can draw up his over 6 foot tall height, call on his father authority and say with impassioned conviction, “She’s going to watch what I want.” As if her not wanting to is outrageous and he’s just not going to put up with it anymore!
But he can’t make her take a shower and when I get her, her hair is dirty and her scalp smells, because she hasn’t showered or bathed in the three nights and four days she’s been with him. She hasn’t reached puberty yet, but when she does…hopefully, she will have more respect for her hygiene at that time than he does.
You know, this has nothing to do with him giving in to what she wants or doesn’t want. He can’t teach her self-discipline, because he lacks it himself. And he’s lazy. It’s that simple.
And selfish. He takes his showers. He wouldn’t think of going four days without them. He wouldn’t step out of the house or let himself become that grungy. He takes care of himself.
But isn’t that what narcissism is about?