Halsey, Without Me, and Narcissism

Halsey. Don’t get me wrong, I like her music. Plus, she’s cute. But this song is complicated. Actually, that might be an understatement. Let me explain.


When I first heard Halsey sing “Without Me” in a beats (headphones) commercial, I was instantly hooked. It was catchy, and the beat was good. Sometimes, that’s all I need.

However, once I downloaded it and started listening to the lyrics, it was a whole other story. It became a trigger. (Triggers are real, whether you like it or not). Because the song is about someone putting someone else above them on a kind of pedestal, and no matter how hard you try, the other person is in the relationship is never satisfied.

Narcissists will try and make it sound like they are the ones putting all the energy into the relationship. They love the refrain of this song:

Tell me, how’s feel, sittin’ up there

Feeling so high but too far away to hold me

You know I’m the one who put you up there, name in the sky

Does it ever get lonely?

Thinking you could live without me.

Narcissist love to make another person feel that they can’t live without them.

But wait, there’s a flip side!

If you think about the refrain a bit more, it becomes clearer that the song can also be about the non-narcissist in a given relationship. The “non-narc”, so to speak, spends so much energy trying to please the narcissist. Trying to figure out what they can do to try and avoid an explosive argument about something trivial. Never knowing when the narcissist will throw out a hurtful comment as if it’s nothing and they say they’re “just kidding”. Doing their best to hide all the things they care about because they know that if the narcissists finds out, the things that make them happy will be ruined. So much so that happiness normally associated with what makes them happy won’t seem real.

In other words, Halsey’s “Without Me” is a kind of validation that toxic relationships exists. It gives me hope.