“You Can Get More Stinkin’ From Thinkin’ Than You Can From Drinkin’, But To Feel Is For REAL! And I mean Really Feel!!” — Joe Miller
Joe Miller was The Man, and probably still is 😉 I was very fortunate to experience him in person many times, along with his wonderful wife Guin, but I was so shy and self-conscious at that time in my life (my twenties) that I was tongue-tied around them. I did get up the courage to play the piano at one of their salon sessions (“Music Night”) but it didn’t go all that well haha (I was nervous). I’m glad I did it, though. It’s usually good to stretch one’s self beyond one’s comfort level.
It isn’t recommended to write a letter like the one below to a true Narcissist. Remember, Narcissists cannot change and there are usually quite negative repercussions that can last a very long time. My former friend, who reacted negatively to my letter (accusations thrown back at me, no capacity to look at herself) is in the habit of engaging in too much stinkin’ thinkin’.
Stinkin’ thinkin’ never works. Take it from someone who used to do it quite frequently! Sarcasm and jadedness and other types of sulking temporarily make you feel more powerful, but they actually make you weaker and non-productive.
I’m very glad that I’ve always had an indomitable spirit, knowledge of right and wrong, insight and developed better will power and more. (Not to mention I had two pretty decent parents who raised me properly even though my mother was a Narcissist due to Narcissistic Injury, and had a hellaciously N mother). Because that’s what it takes, and more. There’s a point where you have to draw a line/set boundaries and prevent complicit exposure to that thing called stinkin’ thinkin’.
My former spiritual guide, personal secretary par excellence to one of the most amazing spiritual teachers there was back in the sixties, used to chide me gently about “memos.” Well my dear W.A., “memos” often do work quite well. Love you! 🙂
January 9, 2012
Dear (former friend),
Last night I drove home from your place feeling very depressed and upset, and I woke up in the same condition. When you came home from your trip last night you were in a tizzy. I felt I should leave, and I wish I had. Do you have any idea how your attitude and your treatment of me last night felt to me? I was appalled at how you were jerking me around: you wanted to talk, you didn’t want to talk; you wanted to fix dinner, you didn’t want to fix dinner, etc. etc. etc.
You just needed to be alone. Once more I mentioned that I should probably leave but you didn’t want me to. So why the heck was I even there? So you wouldn’t have to feel alone? So you could whine and complain to an audience and intimidate the heck out of me, making me extremely uncomfortable and upset?
I ended up staying and listening to you rant on for 2-1/2 hours about this and that. You were all over the map. You challenged me, criticized me, harangued me, and complained to me about your various friends. (Although you certainly treat them far better on the phone than you do me — in other words you actually listen and converse back and forth with them instead of dominating the conversation and telling them you don’t want to hear whatever they’re saying.)
I just can’t understand how a friend could treat another friend like that. I certainly don’t treat my friends like that, and I certainly haven’t treated you like that, even when you’ve been nasty and intimidating which was quite frequent. I have always been accommodating and sympathetic to you, ignoring your extremely alpha behavior and negative attitude toward me. I don’t deserve that kind of treatment. I haven’t done anything to deserve it, and I’m not going to tolerate it. I have not treated you the way you treat me. Twice in one year I have gone off in a big way, once about you and once about losing my camera. That’s it.
It’s become clear to me once and for all that you don’t respect me or you wouldn’t treat me the way you do. You question my life, my thoughts, my motives, my interests, what I choose to talk about, etc. Well why the heck are you my friend then?? For an audience? Because that is what it’s long felt like to me. Last night I was walking on eggshells the entire time, feeling like a little kid with a headmistress barking at me about this and that. The reason I didn’t help you in the kitchen was because I was avoiding being chided for whatever — who the heck knows?
Don’t deny it ________, you know your attitude toward me is bad and that it has been for a very long time. All you had to do last night was say “thanks so much for helping with the dog, I really need to be alone right now after such a long week” instead of piling on: criticizing my choice in movies, telling me you don’t want to hear the basic plot while watching the ending with me, berating me for monitoring the Carbonite update on my computer (which I explained more than once to you but you just didn’t seem to get it), etc. etc. etc.
Do you want to know why I went off on you last May? Do you even care? I doubt it, but I’ll tell you anyway. I went off because at the time I was very frustrated by the fact that every time we talked on the phone I couldn’t get a word in edgewise. It was always about you, you, you… your kids, your money situation, your jobs, this that and the other thing. Then, finally, I started whining because I had realized that I could never get you to listen to me… about what’s going on in my life, my thoughts, my activities, etc., without hearing from you about how you aren’t interested or I’m screwed up in my thinking, or telling me you didn’t want to hear it — whatever “it” was. And have you ever apologized to me?? Not that I recall. You’re no longer the head cheerleader with minions. Just how many people do you think want to be a patsy for a mean girl? This isn’t high school.
Who has listened to you time and again about the weather, the summer heat, your kids, your job situations, your money situations, your feelings about living in (this state), etc. etc.? Who has been nice to you even though you have been quite intimidating, rude and insensitive toward me for a very long time? Who has tried to help you and your daughter and your son in various ways?
Yes, I “went off” last May. As you may recall, I apologized for that without ever getting up the courage to tell you exactly why I went off. And you just assumed, you weren’t really interested in why I was so upset. Ultimately I decided let it go, knowing that was not the right thing to do but I didn’t want what I knew would turn into a nasty confrontation with you. Then, 8 months later, I lost my camera and was again extremely upset. Again, I apologized to you. Do you even realize that? Do you even care? I don’t think you do. It seems that you just want to have a reason to criticize me. It seems that according to you, very little I do is right… very little about me is right.
Actions speak louder than words. You say you only want to be positive and laugh… well then, DO IT. Otherwise you’re just talking out youknowwhere.
To tell the truth ________, I’ve often been uncomfortable around you, whether you’ve been drinking or smoking stuff or not. I don’t think you realize how critical and how intimidating you are. Or maybe you do — because you like having the upper hand? What other reason could it be, other than you plain just don’t like me, but I’ll do in a pinch. It’s probably both.
I should not have confided certain things in you, because clearly you think I’m a ditz or an idiot and need to be corrected all the time. I feel like a pawn on your chess board. What would your friend ________ who recently passed away say if she saw how you treated me, over and over again? Would she still think you’re a “classy lady?” You certainly don’t act classy around me. You’ve complained about your friends to me, every one of them, and I’m certain you complain about me to them.
So go ahead, tell Susan, tell Elaine, tell all your friends what a jerk I am and how glad you are that I am gone. I don’t care what they think because I know the truth. Because you know what, ________? I’m gone. I can only take so much before I blow, and in this case I took a lot. Go abuse someone else (if they’ll let you) because I’m done.
Would you allow someone to treat you the way you treat me? You obviously don’t realize how awful you can get. Last night I was shocked. It was worse than ever before. Instead of being grateful for having grandchildren and children nearby, and FOUR sources of income (one of them completely secure), a nice car, vacations, etc., you bitch about this and that. If you knew what I’m really dealing with you’d realize just how fortunate you are.
You need to get a grip, ________, and figure out your life. Stop obsessing and complaining and deal with it, or change it. I’m tired of rehashing the same old stuff. Make up your mind. I’m not gonna be dragged down by someone who doesn’t respect me and probably doesn’t really even like me all that much.
This letter may seem harsh to you but what about the many times I didn’t say a word to you or fight back? I don’t endlessly analyze stuff anymore. I just take action.
P.S. I, ever the optimist, thought you were calling this morning to apologize for your behavior last night. Since you called twice in rapid succession I now presume that it was about some problem, probably the internet router. I haven’t listened to your voice mail because I don’t want to hear your hard ass voice chiding me yet again for some gaffe I supposedly made.
Reboot the router. Unplug the AC power and plug it back in (where the little plug inserts into the modem itself). I did not ruin your internet connection. Learn the basics finally, so you don’t jump to ridiculous conclusions for pity’s sake.