This agenda may be a part of your own agenda. Narcissists are good at picking up your areas of weakness or self-concern, and turning this into their agenda for your life. They figure out what bothers you most, what they have that you don't have, then they shape the conversation to insinuate that you're lacking in the meeting up to the expectations of this pie-in-the-sky agenda that they have for you.
Narcissists that do this are most likely to give unsolicited advice on how to achieve a goal that you're already working on. In an area they know you're heading to achieve already, they will offer advice to help you achieve your existing goals in a way that makes you look inferior and them look superior.
They will offer advice in your area of interest, and this seems quite innocent. However, the advice that they give you is offered in a condescending way, all the while they're bragging to you about their achievements in the same area. This creates a wide hypothetical gap between how you are perceived by yourself compared to this narcissist. The worst thing is, this agenda hijacking is done on purpose, with the intent to one-up you.
It's crucial to look at your relationships and interactions, and to make sure that this is not going on. Having someone hijack your agenda, make you feel less than, make you feel like they are better than you cannot happen. You must look at your engagements from a higher perspective and begin positioning yourself in these situations as an equal person with your own agenda.
Here are a few tips you may want to consider:
- Shut down unsolicited advice. There is no reason a casual acquaintance should be giving you advice about achieving your goals at happy hour. Please! Happy hour is to be happy and chit chat. If someone starts advising you on who to date, how to get a date, how to get a better job, or how to do your current job better or how to make more money, without you asking for it. Shut them down with a boundary. If they won't stop, leave their presence, ignore them, or move. If they can't seem to stop cutting you down by acting like you're not meeting the expectations of their agenda--you can always leave.
- Confront the Agenda. You can confront the agenda hijacking plan directly. You can ask them why they're bringing that up? You can ask them if they're doing okay according to the agenda they're implying that you're failing to meet.
- Bring Your Whole Self to the Table. Remind yourself at all times of your accomplishments. You are likely prey for narcisssists because of childhood conditioning. Your past may have taught you to go one-down in the presence of people who are acting as if they're better than you. The solution is to recognize when this is happening and make better friends. And always remember who you are. Keep a list of your accomplishments, your goals, your plans in your mind at all times. Be prepared to back yourself up with validating self talk when someone starts dishing out unsolicited advice and tries to get you in the net of their agenda.
- Interrogate their Weaknesses. When all else fails and you can't walk away from the conversation, try interrogating their weaknesses and reminding them of their flaws in order to divert their attention away from you and onto themselves (where it belongs). This is a form of reverse manipulation that is premeditated on your part. You have to stand back and think:
- "What would be an upsetting aspect of this person?" or
- "What do I have that this person doesn't have that I can bring up and remind them about to deflect from this conversation they are trying to have about my weaknesses?"
- My friend was trying to tell me that I need to be in a relationship.
- My other friend was trying to give me unsolicited advice about a guy who was interested in me.
- My friend who was telling me where I need to live.
- My family members who set the agenda of my entire life.
The more a narcissist feels intimidated and threatened by you, the more supply they receive when a wounded codependent person takes on the agenda that is not their own.
These agendas I've noticed have to do with something I don't have yet that they do have. Examples of agendas narcissists trap you in when you are wounded and lacking an I AM include:
- Your choice of career.
- Your choice of mate.
- Your lack of mate.
- Your lack of financial support.
- Your lack of children.
- Your lack of a business.
- Your lack of time freedom.
- Your lack of education.
- Your lack of the proper physical address.
- Your lack of popularity.
- Your lack of health and well being.
- Your lack of proper English.
- Or whatever!!!
- Ensnare you into their control
- Build them up
- Tear you down
- Make you feel inferior
- Drain your self esteem
The AGENDAs of narcissists are a trap. It is a form of manipulation and gaslighting in attempt to drain you of self worth and self esteem. You could be going happily on your way, just fine where you are, then the disordered person makes a suggestion that who yo are and what you are doing is not enough, or somehow triggers one of your own perceived failures. Then, you are easily led down the shame spiral conversation that you suck and they are as good as god.
Narcissists remind you of your flaw and exploit your perceived weaknesses to build themselves up and tear you down. Once they trigger you, they don't stop there, but continue to lead you around by the dog collar through the labyrinth of their agenda for your life. Untangle yourself by being aware, setting boundaries, validating yourself and living to the beat of your own heart.