Whether you’re still working on a way to get out or you’ve already left, you’ve got a long road ahead of you when it comes to recovery. One of the biggest hurdles is sort of “reprogramming your brain” in order to let go of the poisonous thoughts and beliefs that the narc’s emotional and mental torture have almost certainly left behind.
When you were actively engaging with the narcissist, you probably eventually stopped trying to make choices of your own. That’s because by doing so, you may have found yourself the victim of added gaslighting and other kinds of covert abuse – maybe even less than covert.
But now that you’ve left, or are planning to leave, you’ve got to learn to choose your own path – and that can begin by simply deciding what you want and then taking the steps you want to get there – simple as that.
Still, when things don’t go your way, do you know how to deal? Can you cope with the hard times on your own?
Ask yourself this: When life isn’t going your way, do you empower yourself to make improvements?
Most people are great at getting themselves worked up into a state that’s anything but empowering, and when you’ve been abused by a narcissist, the effects of PTSD can become overwhelming. When things get challenging, we need all of our resources if we’re really going to turn things around.
1. Be assertive. Because we’ve been abused by these toxic people, many of us have become too passive to ever accomplish anything significant. I’ve learned the hard way that sometimes you have to declare what you want. Sometimes you have to say ‘no’ to others. You don’t have to be selfish, but there’s nothing wrong with making a decision and then making it happen.
4. Stop making excuses.Excuses limit you and prevent you from taking charge of the situation. If you can take responsibility, you can change the situation. Excuses give you a justification for being passive. If you believe that something is outside of your control, you also believe that you can’t do anything to change it.
5. Get more sleep. Most people simply don’t sleep enough to be at their best. Studies have shown that most people experience improved mood, clarity of thought, and increased energy if they increase their sleep by one hour per night. Turn off the TV and go to bed an hour earlier.
8. Forget about expectations. The whole world seems to tell us what we should be doing. What would you do if you were free of all of those expectations? Choose for yourself for a change.
9. Figure out what’s holding you back.Why aren’t you already living your life the way you choose? What’s preventing you? What are you afraid of? What can you do to work around these challenges? Develop a plan to get past this resistance.
Few things are as fulfilling as having full control over your life – and for survivors of narcissistic abuse, it can mean the difference between being happy and fulfilled and being completely destroyed.
Take back control of your life NOW! You’ll feel like there’s nothing you can’t do. The world is just sitting there, patiently waiting for you to take control of your life. Get started today by taking the first steps. A few steps each day become quite significant very quickly.
But here’s the thing. Being angry or negative all the time can literally KILL you – but being an optimistic person can pay off in health dividends.
Optimistic people are happier, and that state of mind offers so many health benefits.
Listen, everyone can have a day where we get discouraged and fail to look at the bright side of the situation – that’s normal.
What’s not normal is to live in a state of negative focus.
How can you tell where you stand on the optimism versus pessimism scale? You can take the pessimism test and find out which way you lean – and if you discover that you have more pessimistic traits than optimistic ones, you can learn how to change them.
The Pessimism Test
The test is a test based on psychologically phrased questions that can detect your amount of cynicism, which of course, pessimistic people have in spades.
Your level of happiness is directly related to whether you see things negatively or positively. This doesn’t mean that you automatically think that every single person in the world is good and none of them are out to take advantage of you.
If you’re too trusting, you can leave yourself wide open to all sorts of situations that aren’t good for you – financially or otherwise. You have to strike a healthy balance between the positive and negative outlook.
The focus of the pessimism test is on how you view various situations that occur in life.
For example, say a young friend of yours wouldn’t listen to his father’s advice and ended up buying a clunker of a car that spends more time in the shop than it does on the road.
Would your reaction be A.) He should have listened to his father – he got what he deserved or B.) He’s young, he made a mistake but he’ll learn with experience?
If you chose A for your answer, then you chose a more pessimistic response. The more negative the response, the higher the odds that you’re dealing with some pessimistic traits.
Now ask yourself about your future. Where do picture yourself ten years from now? Are you in the same job? Are you happy? Did you know that pessimism is often considered the opposite of hope?
It kills dreams and chains people to drudgery. If you often don’t see the use in applying for the job you’ve always wanted or taking a chance to change your life in some way, then odds are high that you’re looking at things with a pessimistic view.
Taking a pessimism test can show you what areas of your life you need to fight to keep from being tied to a pessimistic attitude. Don’t look at any situation in your life (no matter how tough) and see only the impossibilities.
Search for the possibilities. Just because you have challenges with something, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. Start today and think, speak and live positively. You’ll be surprised at how much better you’ll feel.
What do you think? Can you be an optimist? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
“What fascinates me about addiction and obsessive behavior is that people would choose an altered state of consciousness that’s toxic and ostensibly destroys most aspects of your normal life, because for a brief moment you feel okay.” ~Moby
It’s a fact of life that some relationships go through the occasional rough patch. In most cases, these are worked out; either through rational discussion or some arguing, but the issues get resolved. But when there’s a narcissist involved, the “rough patch” can be a lot less of a patch and more of a cold, wet, heavy blanket that seems to cover your whole life.
This is often referred to as a toxic relationship – but how do you know the difference between a simple rough patch in your relationship and and a very toxic situation? The differences, sadly, can seem subtle at first.
What it all comes down to is that narcissists (and other types of toxic people) are not healthy, and they’re inevitably on a mission to feel better than the people around them. Essentially, they’re soul poison – and if you stick it out too long, you might find yourself feeling dead inside.
So, how does anybody get into such a relationship, and why do they stay?
Clearly, the easy answer is that nobody would or should, but the reality is that they do.
There are three basic stages: the honeymoon (often includes love bombing), where everything seems good and there is lots of hope for a happier future; the problem stage (often includes gaslighting, devaluing and discarding), this is where the actual problems occur; reconciliation, where the offending party makes up for what they did wrong (often includes hoovering). This then leads right back to the honeymoon stage and it starts all over again.
Well, if you think about it, you can see that they already have proof that their partner can change. This proof comes in the form of the prior reconciliation stage. From the perspective of an “outsider,” that can be hard to believe, but that’s how you tend to see it while you’re stuck in the middle of the relationship.
And, hey – there’s always another honeymoon stage right around the corner.
So, validation is acceptance and recognition that thoughts, ideas or concepts are understandable and worth hearing. When a “normal” person validates someone, it means recognizing and accepting other people and their thoughts, feelings and concerns as legitimate.
It means accepting someone as a person.
And, even though a “normal” person may disagree or have a difference in opinion, he or she can still recognize value in the thoughts and opinions of other people. A “normal” person is likely to see even “abnormal” behaviors in an understandable way. Even someone who wouldn’t classify himself as an empath can display empathy – when we’re talking about your everyday, average Joe, of course.
However, when there’s a narcissist involved, we’re not exactly dealing with “normal,” are we? Instead, we’re stuck with a walking, talking human-like being who seems to have a complete hole in their soul. A narcissist isn’t capable of true empathy, so it only makes sense that you can’t expect them to validate you.
Invalidation is a Hallmark of Narcissistic Abuse
In fact, as it turns out, invalidation is one of the hallmarks of this kind of emotional abuse.
Sadly, there’s a simple reason, in my opinion: the narcissist sees you as a possession, an object – a thing. You are simply an extension of the narcissist, according to them. If they saw you as equal to themselves, it would shatter their grand illusion (the way they deceive themselves into thinking they’re better or more important than everyone else in the world).
That, and because it’s yet another way the narcissist gaslights you and keeps you tightly in place in the narcissistic supply chain.