How to Get Your Stuff Back After a Narcissist Steals It
RETRIEVAL: Set relationship goals for yourself
Rather than see yourself as a victim or someone who doesn’t have agency, you will heal and recover more quickly if you take a proactive stance and set relationship goals for yourself. The work of Charles Carver and Michael Scheier has shown that setting abstract goals rather than highly specific ones, especially after the end of a relationship. will yield more productive results and allow you to explore possibilities that you might not otherwise. Rather than think “I want to meet someone who’s not a narcissist” (Yes, DUH!), you think instead “I want to meet someone who displays his sense of caring” or “I want to meet someone who is looking beyond his own needs.” This not only refines your own sense of what you’re looking for in a relationship but opens up where you might meet such a person outside of conventional meet-ups—in a volunteer group, in a community mentorship program, etc. Alternatively, think about what you want from an intimate relationship in broader, abstract terms such as “close companionship based on open give-and-take and discussion,” “a partnership based in equal standing and mutual respect,” “a commitment to a shared life with each person’s needs addressed.” You will note that had these been your relationship goals at the time, the chances are good that the narcissist wouldn’t have made it into your life in the first place or, if he had, you would have taken your leave much sooner, provided you didn’t make excuses for him (which, truth be known, is what I did).