That’s a great question, Michelle!
One of the clues that you’re not the narcissist (but the co-dependent) in the relationship is that you ask yourself this question. Of course, you can never truly know if you’re the narcissist or not, but you can pay attention to some pretty major clues:
- Are you open to being the narcissist? (narcissists are not open to it)
- Are you willing to question whether you’re the narcissist? (narcissists are not willing)
- Are you willing to take responsibility, especially for your actions and your emotional reactions? (co-dependents like me automatically jump to taking 100% percent responsibility for everything)
- Are you willing to go to therapy? (narcissists are usually only willing to go to therapy with therapists that they can manipulate and control)
- Are you able to apologize? (or do you find yourself apologizing for everything, like me)
- Are you able to maintain relationships with others? (narcissists tend to lack healthy relationships but claim that it’s all because of how other people are, despite the fact that they are the common denominator in their isolation).
- Do you truly care about the wellbeing of others? (or are you overly concerned about the wellbeing of others to the detriment of your own wellbeing, as I am).
It’s not better to be a narcissist or to be a co-dependent (an inverse narcissist, a narcissist-enabler, like me). Narcissism is just a lens to learn more about how you relate to others, a tool that you might use to increase your enjoyment of life through learning to take more appropriate responsibility.