Defeating Narcissists, Emotional Independence

5 Ways To Disarm a Narcissist And Save Your Sanity

The best way to disarm a narcissist is to be in complete control of your emotions – far easier said than done but it can be done. 

There is no doubt that each of us has a narcissist in our life; that person that just can’t seem to see past the end of their nose. While many of us are able to experience the world around us and find a way to deal with the ups and downs handed out, narcissists tend to keep their surroundings very well controlled. Whatever they can’t control they blame others for.

This is what makes narcissists so difficult to work with. Even if you have a good argument and viable solution the narcissist will use his repertoire of ammo to put you down and make you the person at fault. It might be easy to think that we can just drop kick that person and move on with life but sometimes it is far easier said than done.

Narcissists aren’t people we choose to be in our lives they are just there. Quite frankly, sometimes we are stuck with a narcissist and, therefore, we must learn how to deal with him.

In order to do that, you need to know how to disarm the narcissist to make them a bit more tolerable.

Here are a few ideas to help you do just that…

1. Don’t fall for the temptation to sink to their level. Narcissists love a good fight and not because they are any good at arguing but they know how to push your buttons. By pushing your buttons you are tempted to verbally protect yourself. The narcissist needs for you to fight back because then you are the one who lost control. You are the bad guy. When he throws the first verbal judo chop it is on you, right? How do you get around that? Be cool. Don’t react to the emotions in the room. If you are not familiar with emotional intelligence get familiar with it. That will be your first defense in disarming your narcissist. It is important that you remain in control of your emotions, as the narcissist will not!

2. Don’t feed the ego. Surely, you have been to the zoo and see the signs to not feel the “wild” animals? Well, narcissists are much like those encaged wild animals. They seem fine behind a fence and that fence gives you a false sense of security. Don’t be fooled. You don’t feed the zoo animals because they can be quite unpredictable just as much as the narcissist except his “wild” side in his ego. Remember, narcissists have an impressive sense of self and when you throw numerous verbal praises at that ego you empower that unstable weak mind. As you feed his ego, he doesn’t hear praise; he hears how much better he is over you. If you don’t feed the bear, he won’t have the energy to attack your confidence later.

3. Don’t take responsibility for his emotions. If he is pissed let him be pissed. He will try to make you the martyr for his negative emotions. After a while, it might be a hell of a lot easier to accept that blame because it encourages him to stop but it tears at you from the inside out. Before you know it, you are offering to take the blame for him his emotions by doing everything he wants. Let him get happy in the same pants he got mad in – he will always get over it.

4. Don’t use ultimatums. No relationship should ever include an ultimatum – it is a form of control, which is why he will use them over and over again. If you don’t like something he is doing or you feel the need to use this to gain control you might have become just as toxic as he is.   Remember, your actions and words provide him immediate permission to do the same to you – even if that coin doesn’t flip both ways.

5. Don’t give him negative attention. Like emotional teenagers, narcissists enjoy attention. Positive attention is great for the narcissist but negative attention is crucial to their ability to hold you accountable. It is the unhealthy part of their thinking. Once you give them that negative attention they will hold it over your head. They need you to give them that negative attention as a means of lashing out and targeting you. If you are the closest person to the narcissist you are the consistent, most reliable target for receiving negative attention. It is this reason the narcissist will work for to make sure you stick around. After all, who else would put up with such…nonsense?

Narcissists rarely take responsibility for their emotions and yet they expect you to be accountable for yours. Your narcissist has worked hard to know what makes you tick, how to push your buttons and then how to convince you to stay. The best way to deal with a narcissist is to be in complete control of your emotions – far easier said than done but it can be done.   Give your emotional intelligence a quick look over and figure out how to use that to control yourself. The most important trick to disarming the narcissist is to control your emotions. Once you do that, you remove much of his armor and he is left to his own devices – which he knows the least about.

Self-Care

6 Thoughts On Keeping Those 2017 New Year’s Resolutions

It’s that time of year where we head down that same ole path of “New Year New Me”.

Come February, we both know it will be back to “I really need to work out” but maybe it doesn’t have to be that way.

I have seen articles about how to write resolutions and how to follow them. I have seen articles on how to let go of the need to make resolutions and instead do what feels right for you. These are all great and you should get excited about making some life changes in the New Year provided you are ready and not just trying to follow the crowd.

Maybe the New Year is a good time to work towards a new you but if you are not ready to commit to the process of making changes then the timing may not be good. Timing is a big factor in change but the biggest factor to making any change is making sure you are on board. If you have not sincerely bought into making any changes (be it New Years’ or any other time of year), the changes you are contemplating won’t ever be anything but a nice thought. Harsh, I know, but hang with me here.

So, how do you know if you are ready to make changes for the New Year?

Ask yourself the 6 following questions…

1. Are you being honest with yourself?

Have you chosen resolutions that you can realistically accomplish? Are you asking a lot or a little? Are you giving yourself the amount of time you need to be focused or lazy? Or are you jumping on the “New Year” bandwagon because that is what everyone else seems to be doing?

2. Have you done any research?

Just as technology changes and improves so does information – from weight loss to nutrition to psychology to fashion! Know what you are getting yourself into and do your research to learn about the changes you are taking on. Don’t “learn” from others as they may understand information differently than you.

3. Who will be impacted by your changes?

This is important. Your changes don’t just make a difference in your life but in the lives of those around you particularly those in your immediate inner circle – you know, those people that are allowed within 18 inches of your personal space. Your changes, be they physical or at a deeper level, have the ability to affect more than just you. If your changes are going to impose a great deal of change upon others you’ll need their buy-in as well. Your loved ones may not be looking to make changes for themselves though they should be willing to support you. Additionally, the sacrifices they may need to make for your changes should be reasonable.

4. What kind of support system do you have in place?

Your support system should be hand-picked friends or family who are aware of your goals AND your timeline. They should also know what is okay and not okay to say to you in order to help you be successful. Verbalize the words you need to hear from them and how they can approach you. Develop code words or some sort of system for when you need that extra kick in the rear to maintain your focus. 

5. What are you willing to sacrifice?

Depending on what you are looking to change you might have to be willing to sacrifice certain things or people in your life. This is a HUGE thing because this can turn emotionally unpleasant very quickly and make it hard to follow through on your resolutions. Making changes, taking on serious resolutions or accomplishing goals does not come without its losses along the way. This goes back to being honest with yourself and this may be when you learn more about you than at any other point in your journey. If you are not willing to give up this, that or, the other thing then you are not going to succeed. 

6. Can your income support the changes you want to make?

This seems silly to ask BUT depending on what your resolution is you may need to think about budgetary restraints and plan accordingly. Maybe your budget won’t be affected but you need to know this right off the bat. Don’t expect to dress like a Kardashian on a Ramen Noodles income or to acquire the body of a full-time athlete with only 30 minutes a day to workout.

Asking yourself these questions will help you determine how successful you will be at keeping your New Year’s resolutions. They may even help you define your goals further which can only increase your potential for success. As you venture down your New-Year-New-Me journey or any journey, remember to have compassion for yourself. Not only are you your biggest supporter but you can wind up as your own worst enemy. In order to avoid that, you will need to know how to forgive yourself for your failures and be willing to focus on your goal.

You can do it!

Emotional Independence, Self-Care

Trust

Yeah, well, Rose, I mean, you shouldn’t trust anyone completely.” – Dorothy Zbornak, Golden Girls

Trust seems like a simple concept: you either trust or you don’t. Right?

Recently, my son asked me if I trusted him.  We were in my car and he was at the wheel.  Perplexed, I asked him why he would me such a thing.  He said he just wanted to know.  So, I stopped and thought for a minute.  I looked at my son as he was driving my car.  After a few moments, I gave him an answer.  I told him that I trusted him in different ways.  I told him that I didn’t trust him to drive my car by himself, as he only had a learner’s permit and was still new to driving.  I told him that I trusted him to watch his younger sister overnight, if the need came up.  I told him I trusted him to manage his own homework and I trusted him with my finances.  I told him I didn’t trust him to perform surgery as he has a weak stomach.

He took a moment before telling me how much sense that made. 

Trust, like a diamond, has many sides that are not equal nor identical; this is what makes trust unique for each person. We may trust a colleague to review our work but not to have drinks with.  We may trust our significant other to be a financial partner but not load the dishes into the dishwasher.  We may trust ourselves to pick out a great pair of shoes but not with the box of sweets in the pantry.

The idea that trust can be so complex and multi-faceted is what makes it so difficult.  This can be why so many try to minimize trust to “do” or “don’t” categories.  Attempting to track all the layers of trust can make one crazy with anxiety.

Is it important to understand those layers?  After all, isn’t it just easier to put people into the “trust” or “don’t trust” box?  When we are talking about trust, aren’t we all talking about the important things?

It is easier to put people into the two types of trust boxes.  And some of us may only be referring to the important things when it comes to trust. The problem is that not all of us embrace the important things the same way. We often misunderstand communication or motives based on how those two polarizing boxes of trust are defined.

Bottom line, trust can be a scary and uncomfortable thing. The first person we need to be able to trust is ourselves. If we don’t trust ourselves, we will look to others to help with making decisions.  A lack of trust in ourselves can also lead to repetitive unhealthy behavior (we can talk about that more later).

So begs the question? Should you not trust anyone completely as the quote stays above?  Well, that is really up to you.  Do you honesty trust anyone completely?  Can you look at the layers of a relationship in your life and say with 100 percent confidence that you trust at least one person completely. 

You’ll need to define what trust means to you and how it interfaces with your emotions to answer that.

But, you can do it.

Emotional Independence, Self-Care

The Review of an Independent Woman

The independent woman is an interesting phenomenon. 

The complexity of her confidence and emotional stamina is highly attractive.  Some want to be her despite their fears. Some want to learn from her while others want to limit her.

The independent woman has failed to let her experiences define her.  She can speak to her past without the tears because she has faced her feelings.  She recognizes her flaws. 

She doesn’t subscribe to social constructs nor does she fit into any box. 

She is her own person with her own thoughts.  She is unique. She is confident and respects herself.  She is driven by the love she has for herself.  She is unapologetically herself.

  She knows her ‘why’. 

She seems to be a pro at being independent, but she was not always this way.  While she embraces her flaws and mistakes there are plenty out there who would be all too happy to share her bad decisions with anyone who will listen, and she won’t stop them.

She is the kind of woman that doesn’t seem to “need” anyone.  She seems to be able to not only manage her own problems but that of others.  She is heavily relied upon by those around her.

She motivates others with her perseverance. 

She inspires others with her words.  She attracts many on various levels, but she honors personal boundaries in order to preserve relationships. 

It is not the independent type doesn’t need others – we all need others in one fashion or another.  But the independent type knows how to make space for others, so they feel wanted.  They understand the value of relationships and the boundaries the bind them. 

The independent woman doesn’t lack need.

She has needs.  This is not to say that she is impersonating her independence.  But the independent woman know how to find the grove or momentum to pursue her goals.  She has found the light to shine on her path even when the direction is not clear.  And when the light is not so bright, she will feel her way through.  She has learned enough about herself to know when she needs to rely on herself and when she should rely on others.

The independent woman has a sense of self and has assigned it a specific value.

We all have this sense of self but to love and nurture it is a specific discipline.  Most will abuse, neglect, or ignore themselves in order to fit into a box created by others.  The independent woman doesn’t have a box and without the box there are no instructions. This can make troubleshooting with her more difficult when times get tough but she just becomes that much more intriguing. 

So, what do you do with the independent woman? 

How do you help her when you can see she is struggling even if she is not voicing her struggles? Ask her. Ask her the questions you think you know the answer to.  While you might know her independence you can still learn her needs.  There is a difference.

Emotional Independence, Helping Friends, Self-Care

Truths: How can we build an understanding of exchanging truths

It is a tough time.  No single person has all the understanding for everyone.  This is why forgiveness is important.  Doesn’t mean anyone should forget, we’ll never learn that way. 

I’m not talking about forgiving crimes, necessarily.  I am talking about forgiving when others don’t understand.  There is surely a lot we don’t understand about one another and truly, that is okay.  There are so many who want to be empathetic and sympathetic and compassionate and caring.  Those are the ones to focus on and build relationships with.  

It is said, and I often preach it, toxic relationships should be let go of; dismissed.  They bring no joy to life but do tend to steal life.  They cause incredible stress, anxiety, and depression. These are the people to remove from your life.  These are the relationships to avoid. 

Understanding what others have been through when you don’t witness it is really difficult. Ultimately, personal experience is a truth, though it may not be your truth it makes it no less real for others.  The understanding may not come now but that doesn’t mean acceptance is out of reach.  It doesn’t mean support is withheld.  We can have our truths. We can share our truths. We can build an understanding from exchanging truths.

You can also decline a truth but we see what that has yielded