What does it mean when narcissists give you the fleas?
Fleas comes from the adage “He that lieth down with dogs shall rise up with fleas”, which has been attributed to Benjamin Franklin. According to Wikipedia, the quote has an almost universally agreed meaning of “You should be cautious of the company you keep. Associating with those of low reputation may not only lower your own but also lead you astray by the faulty assumptions, premises and data of the unscrupulous”
When a victim has the fleas, it means that they have picked up behaviours of the narcissist. This is mainly because they have been exposed to the narcissist’s behaviours for a prolonged period of time and have ended up feeling helpless and hopeless.
The victim will look for ways to escape and sometimes will resort to behaviours which are not characteristic but serve as a way to demonstrate their anger and alleviate the powerlessness they have been feeling.
The good thing is, that victims that use narcissistic behaviours against their abusers, quickly back down and feel ashamed and remorseful. This shows that they don’t need to be afraid of turning into a narcissist themselves.
Some examples of getting fleas can be when a victim shows passive aggressive behaviours when feeling cornered or triggered by someone close to them.
They could also at times become aggressive towards a narcissistic partner or parent.
Lastly, they may even shout at their parent or partner and even end up calling them names.
These are just maladaptive behaviours that can be changed by being self-reflective and by asking a therapist for support. Victims of narcissistic abuse live with C-PTSD so they will not always be able to cope in a healthy way. They just need the right guidance to makes changes by turning unhealthy coping mechanisms into healthy ones.
Thanks for reading!
Love Athina ♥
© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.