Being in a relationship with a narcissist on any level can make you feel like you need tools - a strategy, at least - to help you get through it. You'll find yourself researching ways to deal with narcissists and their gaslighting attempts, and you might even manage to become a bit of an expert on the topic.
But what do you do when you are ready to take back your power from the narcissist? Well, you start with these seven steps. You use the law of attraction to your advantage. You combat trauma bonding and CPTSD with strength and focus. You push away manipulation and invalidation from someone who has NPD or another cluster b personality disorder.
Discover. Understand. Overcome. It's how smart people change their lives!
Do you always seem to fall short of success? You might be unconsciously keeping yourself from reaching your goals, even when you think you really want to achieve them!
Learning about self-sabotage - and your reasons for it - can help you to stop this unconscious cycle so you can go on to create a life you desire.
Reflect on these reasons to determine if they might be keeping you from success:
1. Fear of failure. One of the reasons you may not reach for success is because you're afraid to fail. Failure is hard to manage, ignore, or handle. It can eat away at your self-esteem and make you doubt your abilities, so it's not surprising you'll do anything to avoid it.
2. Low self-esteem. If you lack confidence and suffer from low self-esteem, self-sabotage may feel natural for you.You might think you don't deserve success, so you unconsciously destroy any chance you have of getting it.
3. Fear of change. Success is often tied to change, such as a new job, better home, or other things. You may be sabotaging your efforts because you don't want anything to change. You're used to your current lifestyle and don't want to modify it. For example, you may claim that you want a mansion or a private jet, but you don't actually want to pay for these things or be responsible for them. So, you ensure you never have them in the first place.
4. Control issues. You might self-sabotage in order to remain in control. Are you allowing your control issues to prevent you from reaching success, Control and perfectionism are often tied together. If you want everything to be perfect all the time, then you may be losing out on big and important opportunities.
5. Habits. Sometimes your habits can sabotage you without you even realizing it. For example, if you have a habit of always being late to meetings, then you may miss your chance to impress a client and get a raise. You self-sabotage your own success because of an old habit. Habits such as drinking and doing drugs are also extremely sabotaging.
6. Negativity and criticism. The criticism may come from your own internal negative voice, or it may be coming from outside sources such as your family members or friends. Negativity and criticism can be internalized and cause you to sabotage success. If you constantly hear that you're not good enough, smart enough, or talented enough, then you begin to believe this. You feel that you don't deserve to be successful. You may not want to try things that could help you because you don't think you're worthy of them. Family, friends, coworkers, bosses, and others may have you believing that you're useless, dumb, or worthless.
In addition, research shows that your parents can affect you as an adult. If your parents exhibited self-sabotaging behavior, then you may copy it throughout your life. You grew up seeing this pattern and have a hard time breaking out of it. Their insecurities can carry over to your life.
If you're sabotaging your own life and future, you can change. It will require effort and time, but it's possible to reshape your thoughts.
Whenever a thought appears that doesn't support your efforts to achieve your goals, immediately replace it with a positive thought, instead. You'll get better and better at both recognizing unsupportive thoughts and changing them the more you practice it.
Each day, we’re faced with the choice to create peace or create stress. This can be a challenging task on a good day. On a bad day, it feels impossible. The constant ups and downs in life are a given. They’re largely uncontrollable. But you can control your response to them. You can learn to feel peaceful in challenging times.
Find the peace you need to thrive after narcissistic abuse:
Give yourself the advice you would give a friend. It’s difficult to make decisions when you’re emotionally compromised. But the path forward is more obvious to you if someone else is struggling. Imagine that your friend has the same challenge you’re facing. What advice would you give them?
Ask yourself what you’re learning from this experience. Are you learning the importance of saving your money? Are you learning not to overextend yourself? Are you learning how to deal with the death of a loved one?
Every hardship provides a lesson. Determine what you can learn from the experience.
Write in a journal. Let your emotions flow out onto paper. There’s something cathartic about writing. It feels like the emotion is leaving your body and taking residence in a new location.
After unloading your negative emotions, use your journal to make a list of possible solutions to your dilemma. What resources do you have available? Whom can you contact for help or support?
What are you afraid of? If you’re feeling out of sorts, you’re afraid of something. What is it? Defining your fear will make it a little less scary. Ask yourself what is the worst thing likely to happen.
Practice mindfulness. We make our challenges more challenging by continuously churning through them. You think about your issue while you’re in the shower, driving to work, eating lunch, talking with friends, or watching TV. You never get a break.
Mindfulness is simply paying attention to your environment and the task at hand. If you’re eating dinner, your mind should be on eating, not thinking about your difficulties. It’s challenging to control your thoughts, but the peace you experience can’t be beat.
Tame your mind first. It’s a common mistake. You focus on solving your challenge first. Then you believe you’ll feel better. This is logical, but slow and challenging. Get your mind under control, and then your problem is easier to solve. You’ll also feel better more quickly. Quiet your mental noise first and then search for solutions.
Remember all of your previous issues that turned out okay. Think about the challenges you’ve faced in the past. You survived and moved on. You’ll get over this, too. Believe that everything will work out for the best.
What was the worst thing that happened to you during your elementary school years?
Look for the helpers. Whether there’s a fire, an earthquake, or a homeless family, there’s always someone helping. There are people available to help you, too. Look for the helpers and you’ll find them.
Feeling stressed is a typical response when life takes an unexpected turn. Our responses to hardship are habitual. Habits can be altered or broken. New habits can be created. Avoid the belief that your negative feelings are happening to you like bad weather. You can choose your focus and manage your thoughts. Find peace first and then solve your challenge.
With the right treatment, you can find healing. One of the emerging popular forms of treatment that can help with healing is EMDR. This practice was once used primarily for people who struggled with problems related to post-traumatic stress disorder.
But EMDR is now successfully used for anyone who suffers from the effects of any type of traumatic event – from an abusive marriage to an assault or accident. There are many uses.
What Is EMDR?
The initials for EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It’s a type of psychotherapy treatment. Its purpose is one that’s intended to relieve stress and other negative feelings that can be caused by traumatic memories.
This can be living through a traumatic event yourself or witnessing it happen to someone else. There are three different parts to the EMDR therapy that can be a help to people.
The first part is dealing with the events and memories that are responsible for the emotional problems you’ve been experiencing. In this first part of dealing with the events, you’ll learn how to create new links that you can associate with the events and memories.
EMDR therapy works in that it can have you feeling safe and in control in your environment rather than afraid and feeling like the world is not a safe place for you to be in.
The second part that can help people who use EMDR techniques is targeting the present situations that might provoke your distress. During the sessions, while you’re going through the phases, you’ll be doing work designed to desensitize any external and internal triggers you may have.
Many people have certain triggers that will cause them to feel as powerless and scared as they were at the time the actual event took place. The person can feel like he or she is actual back in the event or seeing it again.
EMDR can help you overcome the emotions and issues that are connected with that. The third part involves using imagery. This imagery consists of picturing possible future events that can help you to obtain the skills necessary for reconstructing how you want to react to situations.
EMDR therapy helps you learn how to cope with a trigger that brings up old emotions. For example, if you were the victim of a fire, and the feel of heat from any kind of flame on your skin scares you because of that past experience, EMDR therapy can teach you how to cope with the feeling of terror that you may have when you feel heat in the present.
Working through triggers is a big part of healing with the use of EMDR therapy. It involves dealing with the past, with the present, and also with the future. This part of EMDR can help you so that the problems that you’re experiencing currently won’t always be with you.
If you have several triggers, make sure to mention them all to your therapist. It’s important that you learn to work through each one so they don’t bring on the painful or terrorizing emotions any longer.
When you’re in an EMDR session, the therapist will lead you in various sets of eye movements. During this session of eye movements, what you’ll be doing is focusing on the traumatic event.
At the same time, you’ll also be focusing on any emotional problems or thoughts that are associated with the event. This back and forth eye movement will help you learn to alter your responses to memories or triggers associated with whatever it was that you went through.
While the same techniques are used, there can be slight variations. Some therapists will use music during EMDR sessions while some choose not to. The reason that music is used is because music is another way to stimulate your senses and help guide you to being able to alter your responses.
Other therapists will also teach certain body movements, like having you drum your fingers or tap your toes because these movements work to stimulate your senses. If you’ve lived through several traumatic events, the therapist will target each one of these separately to work through them.
By focusing on helping you with one at a time, you won’t feel overwhelmed with emotion or receive a trigger overload. The therapist will then help you work through the remaining traumas.
When anyone experiences a trauma, it can cause several different emotional responses. What EMDR can help you do is process these events. By processing them, you gain a better way to deal with these different emotions.
EMDR therapy doesn’t use the homework and other techniques used by other therapies. The purpose behind EMDR techniques is to help you leave the sessions feeling empowered by the traumatic events rather than terrified or afraid to face them.
The length of the sessions and treatment plan will differ by clients because of the wide range of emotional responses to different events.
What Problems Can Be Helped by EMDR?
There are several problems and symptoms that can be handled by using the teachings of EMDR. Extremely traumatic events such as sexual and physical abuse can be successfully treated.
There are other traumatic events that can require the need for a treatment like EMDR. If you witness a terrible trauma or the abuse of someone else, it can affect you emotionally.
So can going through a natural disaster or even watching it unfold on television. Going through a short term event can have long term emotional consequences. An example of this would be having a house fire or being in a car accident.
When you go through something like that, these events can bring on feelings of loss of control and fear. In some cases, if you experience a trauma that leads to the death of someone else, you can develop survivor’s guilt.
These feelings can be worked through during EMDR. Emotional issues - such as depression, anxiety, overwhelming fears, phobias, and low self-esteem can also be treated with EMDR.
The problems you have don’t have to be extreme to use EMDR for treatment. You can seek out EMDR if you’re dealing with problems like a bad temper or excessive worrying. You can find help for working through relationship problems.
You can also learn how to overcome things like test anxiety or panic attacks. If you feel that you have something that’s holding you back in your personal or professional life, you can contact an EMDR therapist about it.
With these, you might feel a lack of motivation or have a fear of being alone. EMDR can help you deal with these issues. Many people find that EMDR is successful in helping deal with the underlying issues that can lead to eating disorders.
Part of what makes EMDR so effective for those suffering from difficult events is the way that it explores positivity versus negativity. During EMDR treatment, you’ll learn how to look at yourself through a different light.
What Are the Phases of EMDR Therapy?
EMDR focuses on treatment through the use of phases. These phases that EMDR focuses on are the past, the present and the future. The overall treatment plan has a total of eight phases.
Each one of these phases is uniquely designed to help you work through the problems and symptoms you’re dealing with. The first phase that you’ll learn how to deal with involves your past.
You’ll meet with your therapist and have an in-depth discussion about your problem and what caused the problem to occur. The therapist will also determine if you’re ready for EMDR and what the best possible plan is to work with you.
A lot of the focus during the first phase is on any troubling and frightening memories you have and on any present situations that are triggering these memories. The age that you were when the trauma took place will be taken into account.
If you’re a victim of an adult trauma rather than a childhood trauma, your treatment plan may be slightly different. If you’re a victim of multiple traumas instead of just one, your treatment plan may be longer.
For the second phase of EMDR treatment, the therapist will teach you different techniques to help you deal with stress and external and internal triggers. These techniques will then be used in further sessions and you can use them in between sessions whenever you need them.
The third phase deals with assessing and reprocessing. Part of the assessing involves the therapist asking you to verbalize how you feel about the traumatic events. You may also be asked about how your body reacts to external and internal triggers.
The fourth phase that you’ll go through is desensitization. During this phase, the therapist will focus on disturbing sensations or emotions you have related to the traumatic events or your sensations and emotions with internal and external triggers.
You’ll be asked to rate how you feel about current situations and past traumatic events on a scale of one to ten, also called the Subjective Unit of Distress Scales (SUDS). During this phase, the therapist will teach you to use eye movements that have changes in focus or shifts until you can positively lower your rating from a ten to a one or zero.
The fifth phase works to help you replace negative beliefs you have about yourself with positive ones. Because of the desensitization in the previous phase, you will be able to look at the traumatic event from a different point of view.
For example, if the traumatic event happened to you when you were a child, you’ll be able to look at it from the perspective of a strong adult instead of the helpless child you once were.
After the positive beliefs have been instilled, the sixth phase will have you revisiting the traumatic event again. You’ll be asked to determine if your body has any tension or residual negative feelings associated with the event.
If you do, you’ll go through more EMDR therapy. If you don’t, you’ll move on to the next phase. The seventh phase is closure. This takes place over a few or several therapy sessions.
Your therapist may teach you more techniques, especially ones dealing with ways that you can practice self-calming. During this phase, your therapist will help you remember that you’re in control - both in and out of the sessions.
You may be asked to keep a journal during this time, depending on the treatment plan that you and your therapist have worked out. The eighth and final phase is reevaluation. Your therapist will ask you at the beginning of each session about residual feelings you have about the traumatic event and will ask you to rate your feelings about the event.
It’s important that you’re honest about your ratings. If they start climbing up again, you’ll need more therapy. You should leave the sessions feeling better than you felt when you walked into them.
How Does EMDR Work?
EMDR helps you work through traumatic events and process them in a new way. For many people who experience a trauma, they don’t actually deal with it. Instead, what they do is to compartmentalize the traumatic event or events.
This is a method of survival and people do this in order to be able to cope at that moment. Often, during a traumatic event, shock will set in that will prevent the person from being able to process the event.
It isn’t until after the event is over that the person has the time to realize what happened and how traumatic the even or events actually were. Those who are victims of childhood abuse will sometimes repress those emotions and feelings of worthlessness and powerlessness.
It isn’t until they’re adults and have the freedom to explore these feelings that they’re suddenly faced with having to learn how to cope with them. EMDR works by going back into the past and learning how to deal with those emotions and feelings on a better level.
You’re able to access your traumatic memories in a safe environment and the treatment allows you to forge new links between the memories and your present environment. The ultimate goal of EMDR is to help those who have been through traumatic events to lead healthier and more positive lives.
It works to help eliminate stress associated with the traumatic event and teaches you how to overcome triggers and negative thoughts and feelings you have about yourself. You can use EMDR in conjunction with traditional talk therapy to help you live a better, more fulfilled life without anxiety.
Are you self-aware? After you've been through narcissistic abuse, you might not be as self-aware as you think.
The definition of self-awareness is having a high degree of knowledge about yourself. It's awareness of your habits, emotional tendencies, needs, desires, strengths, and weaknesses.
Having a high level of self-awareness is a powerful tool. It allows you to change your life more effectively, since you know how you tick.
People who lack self-awareness find life to be frustrating, quite often - so right now, that might include you - and it most definitely includes a lot of narcissists, believe it or not. I know that sounds confusing, but stick with me.
1. Notice your thoughts. Unless you've been meditating for years, your mind is constantly churning through ideas and endlessly providing commentary. You can't just look at a tree and admire it, your mind has to comment, "That's a beautiful tree."
Notice your thinking patterns.
What are you thinking when you're feeling nervous?
Walking down the street?
Notice that similar situations result in similar thought patterns.
Do you judge people and situations?
Do you spend a lot of time thinking about the past or the future?
Do you expect the worst to happen or the best? Or do you adopt an attitude of, "Let's just see what happens" instead?
2. Notice your feelings.
What are you feeling throughout the day?
What do you feel while you're eating?
Driving to work?
Lying in bed?
Waiting in line?
Once you've notice your emotion, question it.
What am I feeling? Why?
What do I need right now?
How do I normally react in this situation?
Is that smart?
3. Understand how you deal with frustration or emotional discomfort. A huge chunk of your time is spent trying to make yourself feel better. If you feel slightly frustrated or uncomfortable, then you may spend a tremendous amount of time and energy trying to change the situation or the others around you to resolve those negative feelings.
Do you try to control others?
Do you attempt to distract yourself?
Is your first instinct to leave the situation?
Do you surf the internet or eat a big bowl of ice cream?
4. Examine your friendships.
Where do you find your friends?
Are most of your friendships long-term or short?
When your friendships end, what is the common cause?
What types of people do you prefer to be friends with?
What types of people do you avoid?
5. Examine your intimate relationships.
Do you see a pattern in the type of people that you've been involved with?
What are the negative characteristics they all share?
Why do you think those people appealed to you?
What were your shortcomings in your relationships?
Are you clingy? Jealous? Too focused on work?
Failed to communicate your needs?
Think about how you contributed to the failure of your relationships. Have you changed your approach from relationship to relationship, or do you continue to repeat your mistakes?
6. Keep a journal. There's no better way to learn about yourself than to record your thoughts, feelings, and experiences each day. Studies have shown that we don't remember our past very accurately, so record it while it's still fresh in your mind. Be sure to include your high and low points for the day. Note how well you ate and slept, too. You might find some useful information. * Create a habit of writing in your journal for at least 15 minutes each day. You'll start to notice patterns and learn a lot about yourself. Understanding yourself might be the most important piece of your self-development puzzle. If you don't understand yourself, it's difficult to apply all the great information available today. Maintain an awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Examine and question them. You'll be surprised by what you find.
Often, my clients who are recovering from narcissistic abuse tell me that they don't even know who they are anymore - and even if they do, they all think they're too old to start something new.
Still, sometimes life forces you to start over - and that's especially true when you leave a toxic relationship. So lemme ask you....
Do you feel like it's too late to achieve a significant amount of success? Many of the most successful people did start at a young age. It can be disheartening for the late bloomers among us. But many of the most successful people you know didn't get started until much later in life. If you think you missed the boat because you're middle-aged, you couldn't be more wrong. You're wrong even if you're 80. Success often isn't achieved until later in life.
1. Samuel L. Jackson didn't get his first big role until the age of 43. Prior to that he was a struggling actor with little future. Now he's known by people all over the world for his acting. How many movies, TV shows, and video games has he been in since that first big role in Jungle Fever? 140!
2. Sam Walton founded Wal-Mart at the age of 44. He had been successful in the retail environment in his younger years, but nothing out of the ordinary. Wal-Mart went on to become one the biggest companies in the world, and Walton become one of the world's richest.
3. Stan Lee. Known to everyone as the creator of Spiderman and the X-Men, Stan Lee didn't experience success until the age of 39. And his most well-known work didn't occur until several years after that. Who says it's too late to do something incredible with your life?
4. Ronald Reagan never held a political office until the age of 55! He became one of the most popular presidents in modern history.
5. Colonel Sanders didn't invent his famous chicken recipe until he was 50. His famous chain of restaurants is still doing well today. His likeness has been used to market KFC since the very beginning.
6. College students everywhere owe a debt of thanks to Momofuku Ando. At the age of 48, he created those Ramen noodles that poor students rely on for life itself. How many times have you had Ramen noodles in your life?
8. Taikichiro Mori became a real estate investor at the age of 55. He was a professor before that. He was the richest man in the world in 1992 with a net worth $13 billion. He inherited his first building from his father. The rest he accomplished on his own.
9. Grandma Moses started painting at the age of 78. If you have the gumption, you can still make an impact after 70. One of her paintings sold for over a million dollars.
10. Laura Ingalls Wilder didn't publish her first novel until she was 65-years old. She wrote an additional 12 novels after that. A successful television series was built around her series of books. Older children still read her books today.
11. Peter Roget created the first thesaurus when he was 73-years old. He was trained as a medical doctor but had an obsession with words, especially words that had the same meaning. He quit his medical career to focus on the creation of the first thesaurus. The most popular thesaurus in the world still bears his name.
It's never too late to leave your mark on the world! But time is constantly passing, so it's time to start making it happen. Spend the later portion of your life pursuing something you love. There's still time to do something amazing!