Updated: Nov 18
Tale as old as time, Song as old as rhyme,
… Empath and the Narcissist
For all of you unfamiliar with the story of Beauty and the Beast, it’s a ridiculous fable about how a beautiful empath restores the light in a narcissist.
Now we can safely assume that Disney has produced a palatable version of the real tale of events as this one is clearly bullshit. A narcissist will change the same day an elephant can fly. However, there is an intricate detail we overlook in the plot.
There are two running parallel love stories, Belle and the Beast, Gaston and Lefou. The Beast and Gaston are classic Narcissists. Self involved, emotionally manipulative, controlling, insincere and most of all, are wrongly the centre of power and attention.
Now if we take a look at Belle and Lefou, we can see that they are very different but have a lot in common. They are painted as meek and weak as characters, or at least this is how society at the time would have perceived them to be. Lefou's heart belonged to a man, and Belle is an educated woman, these archetypes would have been revered, they stuck out as a complete misfits. The difference between the two characters and the success of their relationships comes down how they allow their narcissist to treat them, and how they set boundaries. Lefou acted like a lap dog and allowed Gaston to chase after other women, control him, abuse him, and demean him. Gaston was allowed to blame everyone around him for the drama that he himself created, and Lefou clung to him adoringly like a bad smell. Now as a comparison, Belle was able to walk away from Gaston and cut him out of her life. This is usually prescribed by psychiatrists and friends of victims. But sometimes, life’s not that easy. If you are a victim of a narcissist it is a whirlwind of emotional turmoil. Often your situation is misunderstood from an outsider and their advice is usually ‘cut ties and do not engage’. There is however another option, one which is not so commonly discussed. Belle was able to have a successful relationship with the Beast. How? She was trapped in a tower and unable to leave... not great! ...but here’s the clever part.
If you can’t change your situation, change how you react to your situation. Dealing with a narcissist is much of the same. You can’t change them, so don’t even try. They will drag you down and beat you with experience, and they wont feel sorry about it. What you can do is learn how to recognise them early on and set your boundaries. Change your reaction to them and don’t play their games, it’s an extremely powerful tool. They are people too at the end of the day, and everyone deserves love. Love will always trump hate. With everything in life though, you have to set boundaries to protect yourself. This is like putting on sunscreen to protect yourself from harmful uv rays of the Sun. Narcissists feel that the world revolves around them so this simply makes sense! Belle didn’t change the Beast. She simply didn’t let him walk all over her. She refused to play his games. She refused to let him destroy her peace. It takes a strong person to not only understand how a narcissist works, but it takes a stronger person to love one for who they are in their entirety. It’s extremely hypocritical to 'well wish' everyone and send 'love and light' but then single out certain people for traits that are undesirable. Accept someone for who they are and love them anyway. Love has no bounds. First and foremost though, you must love yourself. To love yourself means that you are not prepared to put yourself in a harmful situation. There are so many complexities to relationships and our interactions with people. But what we have to ask ourselves is: ‘is that our problem or theirs?' How you chose to let people and their actions affect you is entirely your own accountability. It takes two to tango. However, you get to chose how to dance to the music in your own life. —————————————————————
~ The Wild Healer ~
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