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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.

Self-Care

Health and healing

Nick and I take a deeper look at how Covid-19 has changed our world and what it has given to us all.

Nick

One thing the Covid19 pandemic has taught or reminded us is the profound relationship between physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual and relational wellbeing. People across the world have barricaded themselves in (or, at times, been instructed to self-isolate – or else) to avoid the physical threat of a potentially deadly virus. The media hype that has accompanied the crisis has created an ever-more terrifying drama in which existential anxiety has turned to outright panic. ‘How can we find God in this?’, ‘Will our economies collapse?’, ‘What about my job?’, ‘Are we all going to die?’

The effects have been worst for the poorest people and communities in the world. The lockdown may have created a risk of real starvation that outweighs the risk of infection. For such people, life means hanging on by a thread. Reaching out to God is a daily, essential, way of solace, sense-making and survival. It puts our worries about empty supermarket shelves into humbling and challenging perspective. The recovery post-virus will take time, care and support. Many have faced their darkest fears and find themselves weakened, damaged and hurting. Healing at all levels will be needed soon.

Tara

Sadly, for some, the isolation posed by Covid-19 has further-darkened domestic prisons. Since the order to self-isolate, we hear of an increased number of cases of suicides, domestic violence and child abuse. Experts say the cause is a lack of access to social provision and support systems. Even access to the help of loved ones was reduced by efforts to ‘flatten the curve’. Others experienced little change to their daily activities, other than rolling out-of-bed to walk a few feet to their home office. Some didn’t have to roll out of bed at all, if they were on furlough. Amazing how an event can impact on billions in such a way that its identity can be recognized everywhere by a single name.

As the push to re-open the global economy begins, we must know that our personal experience with this pandemic is distinctive in its physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, and relational impacts – yet it’s collective ashes we all must rise from. How we heal from the viral setback will depend on our own identity and locus of power. For some, healing cannot be done alone. We must be willing to help each other heal by extending a hand to those in need.  We must continue to connect in ways that may feel far-fetched, or old-fashioned.  If Covid-19 has given anything positive, it is a new appreciation of how we need one-another to withstand such forces and thrive, despite the pain.

Nick Wright is a psychological coach, trainer and organisation development (OD) consultant, based in the UK (www.nick-wright.com). Tara Parker is a change agent, organization development (OD) consultant and soft skills coach, based in the USA (www.elegantdiscourse.net).

Uncategorized

Healing: The Overlooked Process

As I sit here, a recently experiencing major surgery, I realize how interesting the healing the process is and how it is overlooked.  The process I am going through reminds me how much we underestimate the time needed to completely heal before moving on to a new normal.  Think of the last time you skinned your knee and the event that caused it.  Did you pay mind to the amount of time it would take for the wound to heal?  Or did a simple bandage make everything better allowing you to continue along your merry way?  Surely the trauma from falling was minute posing no mental concern resulting in a minor injury that would heal quickly, quietly, and on its own.

That is the best experience when it comes to healing: “quickly, quietly, and on its own.” Turns out that may not be the best thing for all injuries.  Not all wounds are the result of child’s play. As emotional humans we take on different levels of injury. Some of these injuries we seek out such as a scheduled major surgery.  Some injuries are out of our control but pose no less danger to our health or life.  Other injuries we just don’t seem to know how to avoid because mentally, we’re not healthy enough to know what to look out for.  What’s worse?  We don’t know our mental health is slightly compromised because we generally look “okay” – though, deep down, we may suspect otherwise.

As I sit here at my desk, you would not know that I am injured. You would not know the injuries I have are from a scheduled surgery.  You would not know I am healing and working rather hard to do so (ouch, by the way!).  I am presenting myself as I do any other day.  One could say I have applied the bandage that makes everything “better”.  However, inside, I am sore.  I am incredibly tired.  I am incapacitated to a degree that prevents me from household chores due to my medical restrictions.  To look at me though, I look as healthy as a horse until you see my eyes.  To look at my eyes it would be easy to see something is not right.  I need help.

Upon this observation one might be tempted to ask if I am okay.  This is where I would tell you that despite the level of the procedure I had, “I am fine.”

You should take that statement with a grain of salt no matter who says it.

Some injuries are not visible to the naked eye.  Some are not visible on the body, at all.  Some traumas are such that they cause injury to the mind where healing can be the most difficult. The issue is that mental sores are not the easiest to talk about much less ask details for.  Which is why sometimes when we are uncomfortable with the trauma others have experienced, we avert our eyes to “not get involved”.   I find this interesting as most would rather look on or get involved with a physical trauma than a mental one.  I suppose it is difficult to receive the designation of “hero” if others cannot see you assess the trauma.

This is why it is important to realize the healing process, at the mental level, takes no less time than a physical one.  While the injury cannot be immediately seen nor is there obvious signs of trauma such as bandages, the injury is there all the same.  It should receive the same level of care and time as any other injury. This is not to say mental injuries, such as divorces, abuse, or failures should be milked until all parties are exhausted but there could be a level of exhaustion experienced from maneuvering yourself through the emotions you feel even if you have a guide, like a counselor, to help you.  This is what makes the healing process a learning process, as well.

Give yourself time to heal no matter the trauma or the injury.   The healing process is designed to allow yourself the space to explore the feelings (mental or physical) associated with the stress so that you can get past them.  If not, expect them to rear their ugly head repeatedly until you do.  If you don’t allow yourself to heal completely you hold yourself back postponing any opportunity to get better and be better.

What injuries were the hardest to heal from?  Are you completely healed?

Defeating Narcissists, Emotional Independence, Self-Care

6 Things That Happen When You Love a Toxic Person

A toxic person will maneuver themselves quickly to earn your trust and obtain your personal power. This is why you allow the abuse, compromise yourself, and forsake yourself – because to them that’s what love is.

 

Finding a partner in life can be a pretty daunting process.  With so many options out there the possibilities seem endless.  This is what makes dating so stinkin’ stressful.  And to boot, we all think we have a “type” and we look endlessly for it.  Undoubtedly, this can lead to choosing the wrong people to get involved with!

Whether you believe that you have the power to determine who you are attracted to or not you ultimately have the final say in who you date. The problem is not necessarily our “picker” but having the ability to spot toxic people. They don’t have signs or tags that label them as toxic. They walk among us in our neighborhood, at the grocery store, at work, and even within our own families. They are everywhere in our daily lives. So, by the time we spot one we are usually knee-deep in a seriously unhealthy relationship with them.

It is not as though we want to be involved with toxic people but it does happen. They may not come with signs but the impact they have on you does have raging red flags.

6 Ways a Relationship With a Toxic Pereson Can Impact You

1. You Forsake yourself

Toxic individuals are selfish and insecure so rather than taking accountability for who they are they will put the burden of their happiness on. They don’t see happiness as a choice they make for themselves with but the result of your actions.  For this reason, all of your attention is to be focused only on them. Any attention you give yourself or any recognition that you earn they are quick to accuse you of being selfish or (da da da daaaaa) a narcissistic. The expected irony? They’re not responsible for your happiness. This form of manipulation builds guilt within you. You quickly forget how to take care of yourself or feel guilty for doing so and that’s just how they like it.

 

2. You Compromise Yourself

The toxic person in your life will push you and bully you to get you to do things you don’t want to do. They will use persuasive traits to “help” you see things their way. They may even try to push you to do things that you really don’t want to do but by pulling the “if-me-love-me-you-would-do-this-for-me” card. But, again, that doesn’t work both ways as they don’t have to compromise themselves to show you love.  They continue to be who they are while they mold you into the vision they have for you.

3. You Become Alienated From Friends and Family

Toxic people know in order to control you they must eliminate their competition, which is your support system. In order for the toxic person to be effective, they need to be the one and only  influence in your life. Using their manipulation and charm, they’ll be able to create doubt in your mind specifically when it comes to your friends and family. They, cleverly and cunningly, will drive wedges in the healthy relationships of your life convincing you that only they have your best interests at heart.  Its a form of gaslighting where they force their truth onto you making you question yourself and everyone around you.   

4. You Become Conditioned to be Abused

Toxic people are mentally and emotionally (and often physically) abusive. They use their impressive power to manipulate you and get you to come back for more. The abuse is so stealth-like you really don’t recognize it as it happens. The abuse, also, doesn’t happen right away.  You get sucked in by compliments, sweet nothings whispered in your ear, fancy dates, or the thoughtful “little things”.  Before you know it, you’ve been taken as an emotional hostage while they re-condition you quickly and re-program you efficiently. Soon enough, you’re a willing participant and enabling their behavior.

5. You Relinquish Your Power

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” She was referencing the personal power that we all have. The worst thing about personal power is that we are we slow to embrace it but very quick to give it away – and usually to the wrong person. A toxic person will maneuver themselves quickly to earn your trust and obtain your personal power. This is why you allow the abuse, compromise yourself and forsake you – because to them that’s what love is.

6. Eventually, You’ll Become Toxic Too

It might be an unintentional coping mechanism or an unrealized defense but you’re likely to become toxic the more time you spend with a toxic person. This is the ultimate empowerment for the toxic one because now they have what they need to hold you accountable for anything that goes wrong. That fight that you use to react to them is what they use to continue to control you. The more fight, or toxic, you become, the more of the superior victim they get to play. 

Realizing that you’ve become toxic doesn’t mean you have become them.  Its a coping mechanism, a mode of defense necessary for personal preserverance.  As long as you are in the relationship you will likely continue to become more toxic. Once free of the toxicity, you can work to re-program yourself by re-building healthy relationships in your life starting with you.

No matter your mental strength or weakness breaking away from the toxic person takes desire, forgiveness and time. It may be uncomfortable and unfamiliar to take care of you once you pull away from the toxic person but it is worth it.

You can do it.

(This article was originally published on divorcedmoms.com.  The author, Tara Parker, has edited and updated the article for relatability purposes.)

Defeating Narcissists, Emotional Independence, Self-Care

6 Things A Narcissist Will NEVER Do

There are certain things that we are willing to tolerate from certain people. You know, those quirks or goofy mannerisms that develop over time with a personality. Some of those things are really rather cute and then there are some things that we could just do without. Sometimes, those personality quirks or mannerisms can be changed and shifted into something that is tolerable.

Then there are certain things that are just intolerable yet are difficult to identify when dealing with a difficult person – like a narcissist.

The term “narcissist” seems to have found its way into daily conversation on social media. It’s everywhere. The term has become so easy to say that even those who are not narcissists are being labeled as one. While there are definite jerks, mindless screwballs, and idiots out there not every thoughtless moron is a narcissist.  Actually, there are certain, very specific things a real narcissist will NOT do that reveals them everytime!

A few things a narcissist will NOT do:

1. Don’t choose to be happy: The happiness of a narcissist is based on you, your actions, and your words. It is your mission to make them the one and only in your life. There is no other way and there is no compromise. When you don’t live up to their expectations they are not happy and it is YOUR JOB to make them happy.  More times than not, they may even count (and recount) the things they “do” for you to get you on board in “making” them happy.

2. Don’t Collaborate: There is no working together but there is their way and then there is the highway (which is their highway). If you don’t choose their way, they will wear you out until you give in. After a while, you condition yourself to give in sooner because it is easier than dealing with them….psst, this is part of their strategy. 

3. They deny they play the victim: Despite their past emotional injuries, they will not admit that they suffer from a mental health issue.  They always “one-up” others by claiming they have had it worse than anyone else while claiming to have their crap together.  (We both know they don’t.)

4. Don’t see themselves as anything but SPECIAL: In spite of their low self-esteem, they cannot see themself as anything other than special. They view themselves as the best at anything they attempt from being a partner/spouse to employee to person or what have you. To do this effectively and, often covertly, they will devalue your accomplishments. This feeds into their feeling of superiority.  They own the spotlight and it is your “job” to shine that light on them.

5. Don’t take accountability: You know this trait as it exposes itself with the statement: “If you had not done ‘this’ I wouldn’t have had to do ‘that’.” So few things are their fault; however, every so often, they will take the blame. This is to balance out the number of times they blame you or others. Because they don’t take accountability often it can be a pretty impressive when they do!  This will give a false sense of security that they can change. Don’t fall for this!

6. Never gives you what you need: This is the most difficult thing to remember or realize about a narcissist because as their prey, you have seen that softer, gentler side when the relationship was new. You know they can be  good because you’ve been on the receiving end of it. That is what has made you the well-conditioned enabler. This makes for an unrealistic hope that drains you of your life force and individuality. It is what mentally anchors you down to them.

Not all narcissists are developed equally. They have their own cycles and balances.  It can be difficult to identify these things before they become a priority in your life. Knowing you can’t change the narcissist can be a challenge to embrace and it won’t come without a painful realization. Once you learn that the narcissist won’t change for you, you find the power you need to leave the relationship. In the end, you’ll recognize your needs and follow your instincts. They may not change, but you can.

You can do it.

(This article was original published on divorcedmoms.com and later divorcedmag.com.  The author, Tara Parker, updated the articled based on her experiences, expert knowledge, and for relatability purposes.)

Defeating Narcissists, Emotional Independence, Helping Friends

The Addictive Traits Of The Narcissist: 3 Tips For Breaking Free

There is something about them that keeps you around. No matter the difficult times there is still something that you hold on to. What is “it?” What is that force that keeps you going back for more and more? Why can’t you just leave? Why are narcissists so damned hard to get rid of?

It is kind of creepy to think that narcissists can be so addictive.

They are inconsiderate. They are often times ruthless. They are mean. They are thoughtless. They are insensitive. They are hardly the “knight in shining armor” we thought they were in the beginning. Take off all the hardware and what you really have is the tail end of the white horse versus that stud of a rider. They are narcissists.

And yet, here we are in our restless sleep waiting for that kiss that will wake us up to our happily ever after. Waiting and waiting, and more waiting. The problem is that we are waiting for the wrong guy to make the right choice. The real problem is that we will wait until we feel as though we are trapped. We put the right faith into the wrong guy.

It’s complete shenanigans to waste so much of our time, but, it is easy to become so deeply involved with a narcissistic person that getting free seems to be more of a dream than an achievable goal. A narcissist will either exploit your co-dependent side or create one within you making you dependent upon them. This is a form of conditioning and it is key to ensuring you don’t leave once you are locked in. It makes no sense because you know, at first, it is wrong, until they gaslight you enough that you believe everything they do is normal or your fault.

It can be really difficult to break free from the narcissist.

It can be even more difficult to explain to others why breaking away from them is so hard. There’s just no explaining it. For someone to understand they have to have been there and know it takes a lot of time to become so worn down to uncover that hidden strength to leave.

 

In the meantime, your support system gets frustrated with your inability to see the narcissist for what he is. They stop trying to talk sense into you, which makes the desire to leave, sometimes, that much more difficult. That is, of course, if you still have friends. Most narcissists will work hard to turn you against your support system. So, if they are still around listen to them. If they have since left, maybe these tips will help you.

How do you survive a relationship with a narcissist when you’ve worn out your support system? Here are 3 Tips.

1. Trust yourself. When you feel alone trusting your gut, even when it leads you to make the most uncomfortable decisions, is going to be more right than wrong. You know yourself better even if you are not aware of it and that is why you have instincts. When you have no one to talk to you are left with yourself and if you listen closely, you will hear those instincts telling you exactly what to do. This means being honest with yourself and forgiving yourself.

2. Be okay to be alone. Freeing yourself from the narcissist may look like a road to loneliness and quite honestly, it likely will – at least, for a while. The narcissist typically only wants you to have them to focus on, rely on, and depend on. If they have succeeded then your leaving them looks like a one-way ticket to lonely-town. Being alone is not going to hurt you, though. Actually, once your support system finds out you have left your narcissist they may re-enter your life if you welcome them. Remember, to isolate you takes your cooperation even if you don’t realize it. If your support system was made up of healthy people, welcome them back.

3. Expect the panic. This might be the most difficult of all. As the unknown emerges and change begins to take place it can be easy to psych yourself out, telling yourself that you are making the wrong choice or invite the narcissist back into your life. If you expect yourself to panic, to be scared, to be afraid, to feel all the negative things you can possible imagine (including unloved) you can prepare yourself for them. By preparing for all that panic has to offer, you can recognize it as it is happening and prevent you from sabotaging your freedom. Being healthy and alone is far better that being imprisoned by a narcissist.

There comes a time when you can feel it happening. Little by little, reality chips away at your patience revealing what you are truly worth. So, don’t give up. Even when others seem to have given up on you, they really haven’t – they just don’t know how to be there for you. So keep going. You’re worth more than you are getting and the only way to get what you are worth is to get it for yourself. You can do it.

Emotional Independence, Self-Care, Uncategorized

8 Ways To Make Yourself Irresistible To Men

Being irresistible to a man is a matter of knowing yourself and loving every inch of you – inside and out.

 

There are few things that feel as incredible as that sensation of being sexy, desired…irresistible! Walking down the street receiving inappropriate cat-calls or shopping in the mall and watching heads turn…yeah, maybe we call them out as pigs but quite honestly, you know it is a pretty good feeling to be rubbernecked.

There is a lot to be said about being irresistible. Course, many women might have more to say about not being irresistible and this is where is I may be able to help. After being divorced a time…or two…I have figured out what it is about women that others find irresistible.

Let’s start from the top!

1. Confidence! Men, the secure ones who are not easily threatened, are attracted to women who have confidence. Being proud of you – flaws and flawlessness! If you don’t have a problem with you that will grab his attention and make you interesting! Men, real men, love a secure woman.

2. Positive Attitude! Guys are not into the Negative-Nancy types out there. Guys find happiness an irresistible trait. Life sucks sometimes but when you can take the rollercoaster like a champ, rather than be that “woe is me” type, you will attract the kind of partner that will want to ride that roller coaster beside you!

3. Accept Your Body! We don’t all look like Victoria’s Secret models and most men realize that there are better chances of playing for their favorite NFL team than scoring a Vic’s Secret wiry beauty. (Many guys are happy just to see a girl naked and I cannot tell you how many guys have shared this with me.) Most of the guys you know don’t have a perfectly ripped bod either – so you have nothing to worry about. Work with what ya got and you’ll wrap him up in it!

4. Be Yourself! Guys have a “bullsh*t meter” that works like a charm and he will listen to it.  If you are putting on a show he will see right through you and be disappointed.  We all enjoy a good first impression but be genuine about who you are.  You don’t have to introduce your struggles within minutes of meeting but you don’t have to hide them as though you are ashamed. There is a good place and time to share your past and you’ll know it when it shows up.

5. Check Your Emotions! Men do like to see the vulnerable side of you and they want the opportunity to provide you with that feeling of security and safety. This means it is okay to show them when you are hurting or having a hard time; just don’t milk it because you are getting his attention! There are few things sexier than an occasional damsel in distress but when you are the one putting yourself in that emotional tower repeatedly he will stop asking for you to throw down your hair,

6. Respect him! Be snarky, quick-witted, clever and witty – that is hot! BUT, don’t turn your jokes and snippy whip-its in his direction all the time!!! After a while, he will read them as you talking him down and you lose points in irresistibility. Take your shots but take them wisely and when he has earned them. It is one thing if you are keeping up with him, and the boys, but when he is the constant “big butt” of your “small” jokes you open yourself up as a similar target losing that irresistible edge.

7. Don’t Become the Ball and Chain! Give him some space to be with his buddies and expect the same in return. He is into you because you are an individual with your own interests. Don’t be the girl he complains to his buddies about rather be the girl he has to brag to his boys about. Don’t be the girl he has to babysit or be involved with every moment of every day. Space is sexy because as the saying goes, “Distance makes the heart grow fonder.” Which leads to the final thing that will make you irresistible…

8. Play Hard To Get!!! Men are hunters. They like the chase. They like to work for their goals. They like to feel accomplished when they win you over, repeatedly. This is where the work comes into play because you have to know what works for him and what works for you. Don’t ignore him but respect yourself enough to continue to be you and leave him wanting more.

Being irresistible to him is a matter of knowing yourself and loving every inch of your body – inside and out. Healthy relationships are made of two individuals that enjoy one another – not become the other. If you feel you have to become him to gain his attention he is not into you…he is into him. Respect yourself and he will too – if he is the right one.

You can be irresistible – the moment you choose to be! Trust me, I know.

(Originally posted on divorcedmoms.com a few years ago.)
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.