One surprisingly easy way to deal with gaslighting? Start a journal. Yes! Just put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and let it all out. If a problem is plaguing you, sometimes just getting it out of your head and on paper is enough to allow you to understand it and move forward. If the problem you have is with another person, you can even write that person a letter expressing yourself--even if you never mail it, the therapeutic benefits are tremendous. For me, journaling and letter writing have long been my go-to tool for getting inside my head and figuring out how to handle the world effectively. I call it free therapy.
Have you ever been told that you’re too hard on yourself? What about toward others? No one appreciates negative criticism, even if you believe you’re being helpful. Believe it or not, your inner self doesn’t appreciate it when you criticize yourself, either.
Luckily, you can learn to have a more positive attitude toward yourself and others, and it isn’t as hard as you might think. With a simple action here and altering a habit there, you’ll soon find your outlook changing.
Try these strategies:
Give compliments. When you feel compelled to criticize or judge someone, use your willpower to say something nice instead.
You could even keep your compliment to yourself and simply think it. However, you’ll be surprised how much your relationships improve if you’re willing to speak your kindness aloud.
Think about your positive attributes for a few minutes each day. Catch yourself when you start to speak negatively to yourself. Say something positive instead.
Consider the difference between giving advice and being critical. Advice is helpful and has a positive intention. Criticism has a negative intent and isn’t helpful.
Think carefully - what are your true intentions? What are you honestly trying to accomplish?
Do you criticize yourself? Why? Imagine someone you cared about was in the same situation. What advice would you give them?
Start your day with a positive attitude. By getting your day off to a positive start, you’ll be less likely to be critical of yourself or others.
Consider what makes you feel Is it music? Reading inspirational quotes? Remembering your favorite vacation? Making a list of things that fill you with gratitude?
Start your day with positive thoughts and energy. Carry that feeling for as long as you can each day.
Spend more time thinking about what you want, rather than what you don’t want. Thinking about what you don’t want is addressing life from a negative perspective. Keep your thoughts focused on what you do want. Your mood will be lighter and you’ll treat yourself and others more kindly too.
Allow situations and people to be as they are. One of the easiest ways to make yourself unhappy is to believe that everything is supposed to be a certain way. You might believe that others should thank you for a compliment or offer you their seat on the bus, but they might not feel that way.
In reality, everyone views the world differently, and your views aren’t any more correct than anyone else’s. If you think that everyone else should automatically see things through your perspective, you’re likely to be critical and miserable.
Understand the situation. Ensure that you have a complete and accurate understanding before jumping to conclusions. The most critical people in the world are often operating with insufficient information. Before you say something negative, make an effort to get the whole story.
Perhaps the most important issue is self-esteem. Those that are critical of others often do so to make themselves feel more important, superior, or dominant.
It’s also possible you’re using criticism as a way of preventing others from getting too close to you.
Consider why you’re critical of others and yourself. The solution becomes more apparent if you correctly identify the cause.
If you have a tendency to be critical, you can enjoy your life more by making a positive change. Learn to be kind and patient. It just takes practice. Be kind to everyone you meet. Be kind and patient with yourself, too.
Before you know it, this behavior will become a habit and you’ll discover that you’ve acquired a new, positive outlook regarding yourself, others, and life itself.
Warning Signs of Narcissism in Toxic Relationships with Kim Saeed - Identifying Codependency and Narcissism in Relationships
What are the red flags of narcissism? Today Kim Saeed and I will cover them for you in detail. As you might expect, codependency is also a common phenomenon among people who are in relationships with narcissists. This is because the narcissist has such unreachable standards in any relationship that the “supply” is treated as an extension of the narcissist’s self when it’s convenient – and as nothing, when it’s not. Does that make any sense?
The narcissist and the codependent have no sense of self – so they need to have a connection to someone else (the narcissistic supply) in order to sort of siphon off their energy and personality.
Are You in a Codependent Relationship with a Narcissist?
When two people have a very close relationship, it’s natural and mentally healthy to depend on each other for certain things. However, if one of you loses sight of who you are, in order to please only the other person, the relationship can become very unhealthy. One of the most troubling relationship elements is codependency. Not sure? Watch this video and go through the warning signs of narcissism in toxic relationships we will share with you - and be very honest with yourself. This will help you understand if you’ve fallen into a pattern of codependency in your relationship.
Disagreements are common between even the best of friends. There are also people in the world that seem to enjoy being difficult. It can be challenging to assert yourself without creating additional drama.
Most of us are so uncomfortable in contentious situations that we either walk away or become angry and escalate the level of disagreement. What if you could resolve it instead?
Whether your disagreement is with a spouse, coworker, or neighbor, there are strategies you can use to find a resolution or at least avoid an all-out war.
Resolving disagreements is definitely a skill worth learning. Try these techniques to defuse disagreements and arguments:
Seek to clarify. Sometimes, what seems like a disagreement is simply a miscommunication. Ensure that you clearly understand what the other person is saying. Ask questions and clarify the situation. Also, be certain that the other person understands your position.
Take a break. Get a cup of coffee together or an ice cream cone. Spend some time together doing something enjoyable. You both might forget all about your argument while enjoying a hot fudge sundae.
Ask yourself if it’s important to agree. Reaching an agreement on child-rearing might be important. Agreeing on which political party is better might not be as important. Many differences are okay and need not impact a relationship. Be sure that the disagreement is worth continuing.
Avoid taking the disagreement personally. Once your ego is involved, it’s much more challenging to resolve the conflict. Likewise, avoid attacking the other person on a personal level. Stay on task and lower the stress levels.
Keep the volume under control. As you get louder, the other person will become more agitated and increase their volume as well. Maintain a calm, reasonable tone of voice.
Put on your listening ears. The most common thing to do while someone else is speaking is to think of what you’re going to say the second they stop. You can’t formulate an appropriate response and listen effectively at the same time. Focus on what the other person is saying while they talk.
Be aware of your non-verbal communication. You might not realize the message you’re inadvertently sending to the other person. A large part of communication is nonverbal, so your gestures and facial expressions are meaningful.
Walk away if the situation spirals out of control. You don’t have to stand there and take verbal abuse. Be willing to walk away and resume the conversation at another time when cooler heads prevail.
Be willing to admit you’re wrong. No one is right 100% of the time. If you realize that you’re wrong, admit it and move on. Apologize. Offer a solution to the situation.
Any disagreement can quickly get out of hand, potentially damaging your relationship with the other person.
Having a productive disagreement is a skill. Take the time to ensure the disagreement is worth continuing. Listen carefully and clarify what you say and hear. You might find that you don’t have a disagreement at all!
Disagreements are part of life. Learn how to handle them effectively. Place your focus on finding common ground and discovering a resolution that you both can move forward with.
Kim Saeed is a motivational self-help author specializing in recovery and rebuilding after toxic love. In 2013, she founded Let Me Reach, a life transformation company that teaches people to flourish after narcissistic abuse.
Her writing has been featured on Selfgrowth.com, Thought Catalog, The Mind’s Journal, MOGUL, and EverythingEHR. She has also been a guest expert on several radio shows including Mental Health News Radio, The Overwhelmed Brain, and Codependency No More. In 2016, Kim founded The New Life Academy, which is an online school dedicated to helping survivors of narcissistic abuse to restore and redesign their lives. Kim holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education and has a multidisciplinary background in teaching, organizational development, HR training, and research. Her blog, Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed, has reached 195 countries. Her work has been shared in non-profit women's shelters and has been lauded by therapists and mental health experts.