If you think back to the beginning of your relationship with your narcissist, do you recall all the big promises (actual or implied) that were made to you – and how many of them didn’t seem to pan out the way the narcissist promised? Future faking is a manipulation tactic in which the narcissist makes promises to you about an amazing future you’re going to have, but never delivers. Often employed during love bombing and hoovering, future faking is one way that narcissists get and keep us hooked.
Chronic stress and anxiety can wear you out. However, self-care can be a powerful remedy that restores your mind and body.
Try these self-care techniques to find relief for your stress:
1. Make your health a priority. You may have stress coming from multiple directions such as work, school, family, kids, neighbors, or others. However, it’s important to establish your health as a top consideration. Find a balance between taking care of others and taking care of yourself.
2. Understand the fundamentals of self-care. Self-care is a conscious effort to put yourself first. It requires you to take time for activities that nourish and sustain your body, mind, and spirit.
* When you make it a priority to take care of yourself, you build a lifestyle that focuses on healthy choices. Build self-care into your daily habits, such as eating a healthy breakfast and exercising.
3. Start with one healthy habit a day. If self-care isn’t a normal part of your life, it may be difficult to get used to it. However, you can start with one small habit and you’ll see positive changes.
* By implementing one healthy habit each day, you’ll begin your journey of taking better care of yourself.
* The habit can be a tiny change, such as eating oatmeal for breakfast or having a salad for lunch. The key is to pick something small that is easy to do. Then, you can build from this foundation and add other habits.
* If you try too many activities at once, you’re likely to get overwhelmed or discouraged.
4. Find your own path. It’s easy to get caught up in the self-care practices that others use. However, it’s more effective to find your own path to wellness.
* Find the tips and habits that work best for your lifestyle. You may not have time to eat a healthy lunch or exercise every day. There are other ways to take care of yourself. Be willing to experiment with different ideas to figure out which self-care practices work well for you.
5. Continue growing. It’s not enough to add one self-care habit and move on. Stress will continue to be a factor as long as you’re on this planet. It’s important to discover new self-care habits to alleviate your stress.
* Over time, the stress may come from different directions. For example, if your job is going well, you may suddenly discover issues at home. If your family life is fine, you may be worried about getting laid off.
* You may feel overwhelmed at times and as if you’re taking steps back. Nevertheless, continue forward and make self-care a top priority.
* As your life changes, your self-care habits will also change. You might find that oatmeal for breakfast starts causing stomachaches, or injuries prevent you from exercising every day. Self-care can come from multiple channels. You can change things up and still find success.
Self-care has an important role in the battle against stress. It’s a vital part of staying healthy and maintaining wellness.
If you know that feedback is good for you, why do you sometimes respond defensively when you hear it? It’s natural to want to protect your feelings, but cutting yourself off from useful input interferes with learning and growth.
Fortunately, defensive mechanisms are learned behavior that you can train yourself to overcome. The next time you feel like you’re under attack, keep these points in mind.
Accepting Feedback – Understanding Your Defense Triggers
1. Examine your past. Feeling like you’re being judged unfairly can dredge up unresolved issues from earlier years. Ask yourself if you’re responding to the immediate situation or still caught up in trying to justify yourself to a parent or ex-spouse.
2. Consider the source. Maybe you’re okay with feedback in general, unless it comes from a stranger or someone you don’t get along with. Keep in mind that strangers and adversaries may bring up valuable information your loved ones tiptoe around.
3. Keep it private. It’s more uncomfortable being lectured in front of an audience. Let others know that you’d appreciate talking one-on-one.
4. Reframe conflicts. Airing grievances has its upside. You bring disagreements out into the open where they can be resolved instead of festering into something worse. Plus, the process of collaborating on solutions tends to deepen the connection between colleagues, friends, and family.
5. Shift your mindset. Look at feedback as an opportunity to grow instead of a sign you flunked some big test. You’ll feel empowered rather than threatened.
6. Affirm your value. Shore up your self-esteem so you’re ready for your next performance review or family meeting. Remembering your accomplishments as a top salesperson or gourmet cook will give you the confidence you need to brush up in a few more areas.
Accepting Feedback – Working on Communication Skills
1. Slow down. Pausing for a deep breath will give you time to calm down and hear what’s being said. That way you can decide how to respond instead of automatically shutting down or lashing out.
2. Listen to your body. If being defensive has become a habit, you may need to watch closely to notice the symptoms. Check whether your pulse is racing or your jaw is clenched.
3. Face your feelings. It can be hard to look at ourselves honestly and navigate a sensitive conversation. Acknowledging that you’re stressed or uncomfortable makes it easier to deal with your emotions.
4. Avoid retaliation. Your first impulse may be to strike back by pointing out the flaws in others. If you resist that temptation, you’re more likely to have a productive discussion.
5. Offer validation. Let others know that you respect their opinions and want to understand their point of view. Repeat back what you heard in your own words. It will give you time to think and show that you’re sincere about collaborating on solutions.
6. Search for truth. Sometimes feedback is off base and delivered without much skill or good intentions. Before you dismiss it entirely, remember that there may still be some valid insights buried in there. Think it over or ask someone you trust to help you sort it out.
7. Suggest alternatives. Receiving feedback skillfully doesn’t always mean acting upon it. That decision is up to you. You may want to explain your position and express your willingness to work things out some other way.
Constructive feedback helps you to enjoy more happiness and success. Being open to comments and criticism will strengthen your relationships and put you on the path to achieving your potential.
You may have heard the debates about sugar and salt. Which one is worse for your body and more important to avoid, The key is moderation for both sugar and salt, but research shows that sugar may be slightly worse than salt.
Learn more about sugar and salt:
1. Why you crave sugar and salt. Many people find it hard to stop eating sugary or salty food.
* Salty pretzels and chips or sugary soda and candy can be hard to avoid. They’re both tempting and delicious, but they can wreak havoc with your diet.
* You may be craving sugar and salt for several reasons. If you’re dehydrated, you may crave salt. Your muscles may also be craving salt. On the other hand, if you haven’t eaten in hours or are starving, you may crave sugar. The brain can crave sugar too.
2. Why sugar is dangerous. An excess amount of sugar increases the risk of obesity. It’s also tied to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other health issues.
* Kidney failure, strokes, and heart attacks are possible from eating excess sugar.
3. Why salt is dangerous. Too much salt is usually associated with the risk of high blood pressure. If you’re blood pressure is too high, the risk of heart attacks and strokes increases significantly.
* An excess amount of salt may also cause fluid buildup in the body.
4. Is sugar more dangerous, Some experts believe that sugar is more dangerous because it can cause more issues and lead to more serious long-term health concerns.
* Although some believe that sugar is worse for you than salt, it’s crucial to remember that both can cause issues if you eat too much. It’s important to consume both salt and sugar in moderation and monitor your levels.
5. Look for hidden sources of sugar and salt. You probably don’t add extra sugar to your food all the time. The same thing may be true for salt. However, you may be getting both of them from hidden sources.
* Prepackaged meals and snacks tend to be filled with high levels of sugar and salt. Manufacturers add them to improve the taste and flavor, but your health is affected. Before you buy a processed food, take time to read the label to see how much sugar and sodium is inside.
* Beverages are another common source of too much salt and sugar. Have you stopped to consider what’s inside your favorite drink, Vegetable juices such as tomato juice tend to have a lot of sodium. On the other hand, fruit juices can be loaded with sugar.
* Restaurant and fast food meals also have a huge amount of salt and sugar. The companies do this to make you love their food and come back for more. You may not realize how much is in the food because you can’t always get the ingredient list or see the full menu. Go ahead and ask them what’s in your food! You’ll be more informed.
Limiting your sugar and salt intake is essential for your health. However, eating too much sugar may hurt you even more than having too much salt. If you’re worried about negative health effects from the amount of sugar and salt you consume, consult your doctor for safe amounts.
Have you ever noticed how, when you start to succeed at, feel happy about, or get excited about…well, almost anything, the narcissist starts to hate you for it? And if other people notice your success and comment on it, the narcissist becomes enraged, offended – generally slighted. They minimize you, they tear you down – they focus on what you’re NOT doing in order to achieve that success.
Why do narcissists hate your success?
So, you’ve got a big project going, or you’ve started a business. Or you are the PTA president, or your company just gave you a big promotion. You’re excited! You’re taking action, you’re making things happen. Maybe you’re getting a lot of positive attention for it, right?
But then, the narcissist notices that you’re not giving him or her the same amount of attention you used to. Or that YOU are getting way more attention than you used to from other people. People are taking notice of the big thing you’re doing, and they’re saying nice things to you, and about you.
The narcissist feels threatened by your success and by the fact that you’re getting attention, no matter how small.
Whether you’re making money or not, the narcissist finds ways to say that your little project is causing problems in your relationship. You didn’t cook dinner last week, or you did not do all the stuff he or she requires of you because you’re too focused on it.
The narcissist starts arguments and attacks you and you become paralyzed – failing to take action. If you aren’t making money, the narcissist talks about how stupid you are for letting yourself be taken advantage of. If you are, the narcissist says you only care about the money, or they minimize the amount of money you are making – teasing you and trying to mentally beat you down.
And too often, the game works. The narcissist verbally and psychologically abuses you back into submission, and you retreat into your head. You stop talking about your project or your job or your business or your PTA work – and if the narcissist has anything to say about it, you’ll eventually quit doing that thing you love and spend your life focusing on him or her instead.
Why do narcissists need you to fail?
Why do narcissists seem to hate it so much when you succeed?
Reason #1: They are jealous of your success.
It doesn’t matter if they are equally or more successful than you – they feel almost offended by the fact that whatever you’re doing is getting attention from other people. Naturally, people will be excited for you sometimes – and you’ll get hate from some people. That’s life.
But when your own spouse, parent, friend, or coworker can’t be happy for you, it’s difficult to deal with, right?
The narcissist is resentful of your success because they think you don’t deserve it, or that they do deserve it and that it should be them. Or both. They feel more entitled to success than you, and they conveniently ignore the fact that you’ve worked your ass off to get there. All they know is that you got something they didn’t – and they certainly do not like it.
Reason #2: They feel threatened by your success – or they think you’re trying to make them look bad.
Or that you’ve encroached on their ever-so-specific comfort zone. Narcissists only like change when it’s about them getting more attention and more of what they want. They don’t want you to break out of that little box they’ve created for you, and they’ve got no problem with trying to push you back into it. You might be making them feel uncomfortable with your success because they feel like you’re somehow doing it to spite them or to challenge them. They’re so focused on being the center of their universe, and if you have the nerve to have a life outside of them, they are insulted: you’re no longer making them #1 in YOUR life.
Reason #3: They see you as an extension of themselves; therefore, you don’t deserve the success you’ve achieved.
After all, you have built your success on lies, according to the narcissist. All they know is that, in their eyes, you’re not even a real person, and that means that you must be pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes. You are faking it, they say, and pretty soon, people are going to find out. In their minds, there is a certain vision of success – and a certain type of person who deserves it. And despite your obvious achievements, the narcissist does not believe that you’re worthy. You don’t match their very narrow profile of what success is supposed to be – how dare you succeed at anything at all? If you ask me, this is all about projection. The narcissist projects his or her own insecurities onto you and is offended when you don’t manifest them.
Reason #4: They have an opinion of you and it doesn’t fit the image of the “you” that you have become due to your success.
This makes them feel like you’ve wronged them somehow – like you’ve gone outside of the little box they built for you in their heads. They feel betrayed – like you’ve done this TO them. They have decided long ago that you are inferior to them. And any other idea is absolutely not acceptable.
Reason #5: They feel like you’re stealing the spotlight – and that’s where THEY are supposed to be.
Since you are clearly inferior to the narcissist, according to him or her, you are wrong to attain the spotlight. The narcissist always needs to feel superior to you. He or she needs to control you – and you need to remain inside their little box for you. If you get compliments on your work, or your looks, or your kids, or your house – they’ll figure out a way to either take credit for those things, or they’ll straight up attack you. They may say that you’re dressing too slutty or being too flirty if someone compliments you on your looks – or they may rage against you for “trying to get attention” from “everyone.”
The narcissist will do anything possible to regain your attention, including STOPPING giving you theirs. They may also pull away emotionally or feel personally attacked if you have been successful. They will deny that they have a problem with you, and they will absolutely trivialize your efforts, your opinions – your thoughts and actions are considered “less than” or “fake,” somehow.
They will actively attempt to sabotage your success by putting you down, emotionally and psychologically abusing you, and even directly attacking you so that you’re so focused on their drama that you almost feel like you cannot succeed.
You have to remember that the narcissist, no matter how secure he or she seems, is the most insecure person you probably know. It’s all a front – in reality, they are pathologically envious, rage-filled, and emotionally abusive. They cannot stand to see you happy and successful, because any amount of success you achieve feels like a huge betrayal to them – and because they secretly wish it were them. But since they can’t see it or admit it to themselves, they simply focus on how they can take you down a notch or two.
How do you deal with a narcissist who is trying to bring you down?
You consider the source – and you remember that when someone insults you, it’s really a reflection of them, not you. You remember that you are worthy of your success and you shut them down by not reacting to their bad behaviors. You succeed despite their attempts to make you fail and you keep going. You don’t give in and you don’t give up.
You become a force of nature, and you eventually learn to use their abusive tendencies to drive you to become even more successful – and you don’t allow them to hurt you. Each time they try to take you down a notch, you use the feelings that come with it to push you to the next level. You don’t keep playing the game – you get off the crazy-ass merry-go-round that is a toxic relationship, and you fly as you’ve never flown before.
You win, and you don’t look back.
And now it’s time for the question of the day: can you relate to having a narcissist stop you or try to stop you from success in some area? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below and let’s discuss it.