Even so, my experiences and my personal research, study and healing have given me a pretty unique perspective - one that not a lot of people have. As someone who has been involved in narcissistic relationships in my life and survived, I feel compelled to share my experiences, at least to the extent that they are valuable to my readers.
I don't always share my darkest moments or specific details because they're not always relevant for my audience, but as a journalist and a seasoned researcher, it's in my nature to learn about things that concern me. And as someone who is always working toward becoming a better version of herself, it's also in my nature to use the information I learn to both understand and overcome the issue in my own life.
I also lost 100 pounds and found myself growing more successful in my career and in other relationships in my life. Yep.
Plus, as so many of my viewers, readers and coaching clients tell me - many people in their lives just don't get it - and they are relieved to find someone who does. Those who work with me one-on-one even tell me their own stories and are visibly and audibly affected when I can relate. They have had so many people tell them they're "just too picky," or that they're just being dramatic, or that they might need to go get some help - and that's because narcissists are so good at fooling people into believing they are honest, kind and generally victimized by their "crazy" source of supply - aka wife, child, parent, partner, etc.
It's because of you. YOU, my viewers, SPAN members, readers and clients, are the reason I do what I do. And since I recently reached the 4000 subscriber point, I want to say thank you, honestly.
I write about narcissism because it is my intention to help other people go from being victims of narcissists to being survivors.
And finally, I'd like to say thanks to those viewers who have offered their opinions, tips and advice for improving my videos and making them much more watchable for you -
I'd say my top viewer advice has included:
1. Show your face! My original videos were straight up slideshows - not so much of "me." I initially didn't really see the point in showing my face - because these videos generally aren't about me, save for sharing my personal (related) experiences. But since so many people asked, I started including this little window in my videos - and it seems to do the trick. 2. SLOW DOWN! Yep. I talk really fast, and this is especially problematic for those who have different accents or who don't speak English as a first language. So, I'm working on that one. 🙂 3. Get rid of the background noise! Put batteries in your damn smoke detector! I have hard-wired smoke detectors and one of them was malfunctioning for a long time. So long that I stopped hearing the "beeP" that rang out every ten minutes or so. This became quite annoying for my viewers and I had to fix that. I guess the point here is really that I needed to clean up my background noise. Done, for the most part, and a very effective change. 4. Dump the music. I used to play background music in my videos, thinking it made them sound more professional. This might be the case for some genres on YouTube, but it wasn't the case for mine. I dumped the music, except the intro an outro, and it seems to have been a positive change. 5. Stop referring to the narcissists as "he" - a LOT of male viewers (and a few females) asked me to stop saying "he" when referring to narcissists. Initially, I didn't take this suggestion because I figured I was talking to mostly women. But as my subscribers increased and my video views grew, I noticed something interesting - a full 25 percent of my viewers are male. And from my calculations, nearly a third of my viewers were dealing with female narcs in some area. So, I made the change in videos that followed.
Oh - and one more - people asked me to get to the point at the beginning of my videos, so now I wait until the end to share info about my websites and stuff.
And then, there are the trolls and haters. They exist, and all YouTubers have to deal with them. Initially, they really bothered me, but at this point, I recognize that haters are unavoidable...in my case, they are often narcs themselves, or they are just trolls who are looking for a reaction. I do my best to acknowledge those who have good intentions (there are a few who simply disagree with my methods and state so a bit rudely) - and to ignore those who don't (those who are just being rude for the sake of it). No point in stressing over something I can't control.
But, to end this video on a positive note, I just want to say thank you to everyone who has subscribed to my channel, and to those who are watching my videos. My goal is to get to 10k subscribers so that I can have access to a YouTube adviser who will help me to better serve you by teaching me more about creating better videos and delivering my information in the most effective way possible!
My plans for the future include coming up with an expanded and more specific lineup of weekly content and possibly adding personal vlogs to the lineup. I'd love to know if you think that would be a positive or negative change, so please share your thoughts on that in the comments below.
Now, I have one more quick question before I go - if you have found value in my videos, or if you have suggestions, tips or thoughts on how I can do better, I'd really appreciate a quick comment sharing your thoughts. Please leave it below - I'd love to know how I can better help you with my videos.
This is me, signing off for today in gratitude and love. Thank you for watching. Thank you for your support. And thanks for being your amazing self. Hugs and love to you all!
July 6, 2016, something kind of unexpected happened to me - I accidentally found a connection with a whole bunch of other people across the world, who, luckily, included my kids.
In fact, I was far from alone - and within 24 hours of the game hitting the US app stores, the game had more active users than freaking Tinder!
Yeah, I'm talking about Pokemon Go, the app that has taken over your Facebook news feed and has already changed the lives of millions. But this one's different than Candy Crush and all kinds of other games I never managed to get addicted to - it's a whole other thing.
See, the way the game is played, it almost forces you to go out and move your butt a little, and to do so in places in the community around you.
You're a Poke trainer and you are tasked with a few different things - including collecting/catching/hunting these little Pokemon creatures (monsters?) who you can then train and use to battle other players at the Pokemon gym.
But here is the reason I'm talking about this today - I believe that this app could literally change our society.
I've met neighbors I didn't know before. I've run into all kinds of people that I couldn't have or wouldn't have ever run into - and I've got a whole new way to connect with my kids.
And what's better is the latest news: apparently, people are reporting lots of benefits - in addition to the obvious benefits (moving your ass and getting into the community more often), there's the whole mental health factor.
(Not to mention that local landmarks and businesses are seeing more traffic than ever - our St. Louis Zoo seeems to find itself busier than ever since that date).
And, while I'm brimming with ideas on how this app could change the whole world, I'm even more excited about the mental health part.
"In terms of the phenomena of people expressing the benefits of playing the game to their real-world mental health status, I think that's very unique and it's the first time I've ever seen anything like that," Dr. John Grohol, the founder of Psych Central, told Engadget.
"The research is really, really clear on this, that the more you exercise, the more it would help decrease feelings of depression," he told the tech news site. "It actually works as an anti-depressant and it has a really, pretty strong effect. It's probably one of the most beneficial things a person with depression can do, especially if they're not accessing other types of treatments, such as psychotherapy or medication."
"That way of taking a break and letting the mind think about something different is better than smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol, which is what a lot of people do to de-stress," he said.
And, he added, in addition to making people less isolated, an augmented reality game like Pokemon Go does force people to go outside and exercise.
Maybe even better, if you're hanging out at a Poke-stop and there are 10 or 20 other people there all catching Pokemon, guess what? You've got something to talk about.
Of course, it's a well-documented fact that physical exercise is one of the best ways to combat depression, and almost every other mental health issue. And in addition, the social aspect and the whole changing your scene deal are also standard practice when it comes to getting through the tough times.
Some users say that the game has actually become a better treatment than anything their doctors could prescribe and anything their therapists recommended.
So that's what I've got for today - how about you - are you playing? What do you think about this phenomenon? What other unique ways have you found to get through the hard times? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section and let's discuss it.
This morning I was just sitting down to work when I heard my daughter screaming. I ran out of my office and found her and my son standing over our cat who we'd had ten years - she had died.
Now, this was my cat - and my kids can't remember life before her. In fact, she was older than my daughter and younger than my son by two years each way.
But then I was left with a problem - I had gotten a bit behind on work yesterday because sometimes, life goes that way. And today was supposed to have been my day to catch up. Of course, all I wanted to do was sit and cry and mourn my little kitty who had become such a significant part of my family.
I felt so awful since yesterday I'd been dismissive of her. She had practically begged for my attention and I'd been so busy that I just halfway ignored her. And you know where that can take you - right to "regret town," that lonely place where everything hurts and nothing seems to soothe the pain.
So, I'm gonna make this quick. Here's what I did to get through it - and what I've used for a few years now when I feel emotional pain that stops me from living my life.
Quick Emotional Pain Coping Technique: Two Minutes to Self-Soothe Extreme Emotional Pain
What do you do when you can't stop crying? When it hurts so much you just can't function? How do you stop focusing on emotional pain you can't control?
This technique can be used to self-soothe almost any kind of emotional hurt - at least enough to allow you to get back to the business of functioning normally enough to keep going.
I don't know about you, but emotional pain in general can really slow me down. Whether you're involved in a toxic relationship with a narcissist or not, this quick two-minute technique will help you to relieve your emotional pain - and fast.
Narcissistic abuse can lead to its victims becoming paralyzed in life - they stop being able to function like a "normal person," and this is especially true during times of great stress and emotional pain. When you feel the kinds of emotions that make your stomach hurt, your throat tighten and the tears pour, you won't be much good to anyone - especially yourself.
When you're dealing with a narcissist, that pain is generally magnified and extreme - in part, due to the narc's inability to handle the lack of attention and validation that comes along with your pain.
This coping technique has worked for me in the worst of times - and today, I'm demonstrating it for you in this quick video . Watch as my own emotional pain is soothed right between your eyes.
If you aren't sure that you're dealing with a toxic person, it'll help you to know how to identify a narcissist. This quick video will help you to understand if know a narcissist - and to understand that you're REALLY not crazy.
In those cases, narcissists will do everything from attempting to use social media to publicly and personally humiliate their victims to generally spreading rumors and lies about them - and then some.
For example, when a victim goes no-contact with a toxic narcissist, he or she may first put on a really good "poor me" show for his/her connections. They may ask for advice - "how do I deal with this crazy person" - or they may flat-out make false claims about their target to the world.
In addition to the fact that it often connects to literally everyone you know, social media bullying can be the ultimate platform for life-destroying passive-aggressive behavior - and we all know that's a narcissist's comfort zone.
We have so much technology now that’s supposed to streamline our lives and make it easier to connect with the people that we care about.
It’s supposed to make it easier to do business and make good things happen for our careers. But strangely, the technology that was supposed to be the key to our happiness, comfort and success has the potential to backfire.
Instead of helping, especially in toxic situations, the use of technology has led many people to deeper levels of stress, feelings of discontentment and lives so busy that they’re hardly living at all.
First, people who aren't clued into the situation will offer the narc sympathy and say nasty things to or about his/her target. This gives the narc some good "supply," and also helps him/her to accomplish their goal of making you look crazy (hello gaslighting!).
Essentiallly, a toxic narcissist will use social media to target his or her various sources of supply (and/or anyone who makes him/her feel bad about themselves). This might include ex-spouses, ex-boyfriends or girlfriends, current partner, new wife or girlfriend of an ex, colleagues, friends and even people the narcissist never met. I've personally had this one happen quite often, doing what I do, as I'm sure you can imagine.
Others will go so as as to use social media to perpetrate parent/child alienation (especially with divorced and/or step-parent situations) and to stalk and harass their targets while simultaneously portraying themselves as the much maligned victim, superman/woman and/or mother/father of the year.
Listen, these aren't new behaviors for narcissists in general - it just allows them to reach a bigger audience. It's the whole smear campaign thing times a million.
So how do you deal?
You start by not getting involved. If you see it happen, immediately block the narcissist so they don't have access to your profile and can't tag you in their drama.
Even though it's complete bullshit, you have to stand firm by not getting involved. If you DO fire back publicly through social media, the narcissist will only use it to cement his/her case - "see, I told you she/he was crazy!"
Even if you’re just an online bystander to someone else’s drama, if you experience that, your mind will register the same type of anxious response as if you had been involved and your feelings will follow the lead of your thoughts.
When you see how wonderful someone else’s life appears to be online, it can lead you to become discontent and irritable. It can make you focus on the negative instead of looking at the positive.
Awareness of Your Thoughts is Key
Online interaction can also make you feed yourself negative self talk - especially when you see others who are better looking, richer, have nicer homes, easier looking lives and appear to be having more fun.
Not only will you feel bad about yourself, but your stress level will go up. When you practice mindfulness in associating with your technology use, you’ll discover that your happiness level will increase.
You can do this by setting limits on when you’ll be online and how much time you’ll spend online. Refuse to keep your cellphone with you 24/7. When you are on social media or online, find ways to use it to do something positive such as encourage someone else.
Let go of the things online that are irrelevant to your life or that make your negativity or stress level rise. When you do go online, make sure that you have a defined purpose and a time limit and stick to that.
So, if you're there right now, or if you've been there before, tell me about your experiences. How did you deal? What tips would you offer another survivor in the same situation?