Narcissistic abuse takes away your confidence on every level. And often, redeveloping your self-confidence can feel completely impossible after going through such intense ongoing trauma. Many survivors of narcissistic abuse also find themselves struggling with social anxiety and even agoraphobia.
How do you rebuild self-confidence after narcissistic abuse?
Okay, so we know that life is more fun and a lot easier if you feel confident around others. And when you’ve been through a toxic relationship that has completely wiped your self-esteem out, it might feel really difficult to make it happen. But the good news is that the skills that make this possible are well-known but can be uncomfortable to develop. And, if you’re willing to be a little bold, you can start rebuilding confidence immediately. To start, watch this video, which offers tips on how to develop rock-solid self-confidence after narcissistic abuse.
Want additional self-confidence tips for narcissistic abuse survivors? Watch these videos, and read the following additional tips on how to do just that.
Level-Up Your Post-Narcissistic Abuse Confidence
Talk to people.
You become more comfortable with something when you do it a lot. Most confidence issues are based on fear – ESPECIALLY for narcissistic abuse survivors. By talking to a lot of people, you’ll show yourself that there’s nothing to be afraid of. Fortunately, there are people everywhere.
Tip: Consider getting a part-time job that involves speaking to people. You could be a waiter, salesperson, customer service rep, or any other job that requires interacting with others. You’ll earn some extra money, too.
Schedule your social life.
Be sure you have a few hours of social activity planned into your life each week. Get out of the house and have a little fun with others.
Study confident, powerful characters in movies.
Look at movies with strong characters and note how they stand, move, and use eye contact. What is it that makes them appear so in control and formidable? Which movie character do you wish you could be like? Study them. Check out this list of best movies for narcissistic abuse survivors if you need a little inspiration.
Have controlled emotional reactions.
Think of James Bond. You could tell him he has mustard on his shirt and a satellite was about to fall on the building. He might wink at you, say something funny, and then take another bite of his hotdog before taking any action. The most confident people underreact. You might also recognize this as a version of the gray rock technique.
Maintain confident eye contact.
Look everyone in the eye with great confidence. You’re not in a staring contest, but you can’t lower your eyes in deference if you want to be viewed as a powerful person. Practice your eye contact with everyone that crosses your path.
Stand up straight!
Slouching and appearing smaller than you really are can make you feel less confident than you need to feel. Seriously! Imagine you are a famous person walking among your greatest supporters. How would you stand? Try to maintain that same posture whether you’re addressing the masses or taking your trash cans to the curb.
Create social opportunities for yourself.
There are many ways you can make yourself the center of attention (in a good way!). For example, the following.
Have a party.
Start a meetup group, or join one. Check out meetup.com for ideas!
Inform your peers of one of your goals, such as losing weight.
Attend networking events.
Get a group of people together to go out to the movies or to dinner.
Get some friends together for a poker night.
Expect success, nothing less!
Remind yourself of your successful social interactions in the past. Visualize success in the future. Have high expectations for interactions in all social situations. Imagine entering a room full of strangers and boldly speaking with the most attractive or influential person there. The world would truly be your oyster. That confidence would overflow into other parts of your life.
As you continue your recovery from narcissistic abuse, developing your self-confidence will be an important way to level up. When you get a handle on this important part of your life, it will change everything – in a very good way.
Happy Holidays to all of my QueenBeeing readers and subscribers! I know how crazy this time of year can be for those of us who have to keep an eye on our figures, so I put together a little something for you, with the help of my friend and fitness expert Jamie Paretti! (more…)
“Family traditions counter alienation and confusion. They help us define who we are; they provide something steady, reliable and safe in a confusing world.” ~Susan Lieberman
Family traditions can give comfort and build stronger relationships. Whether you’re just building your own traditions or you’re sticking with the ones your family has been following for generations, it’s important to preserve them, so they don’t fade over time.
So what can you do to preserve the traditions your family enjoys?
Try these strategies to sustain your family traditions.
1. What are your traditions, anyway? Recognize and define your family traditions. The first step to keeping them alive is to find them.
Each family has a unique set of traditions. Ask yourself these questions if you’re having trouble defining yours.
What were the traditions you noticed as you grew up?
What were the traditions you heard your grandparents and parents discuss?
How did you handle holidays, special occasions, and other events?
Tip: Traditions can come in many forms and vary greatly from family to family. They can include favorite meals, different ways to celebrate the holidays, special gifts for unusual events, or vacations to the same spot.
2. Carve it in stone! Write it down. Make a list of your family traditions. To help keep the traditions going, you can make a written record that can be passed down from generation to generation.
Family traditions can fade and change over time. They can be completely forgotten after the death of a loved one. They can also be replaced with new ideas that matter to the family.
You may want to gather the thoughts and memories of grandparents, parents, cousins, and others to fill out the list.
3. Consider the future generations! Create a guidebook to your family celebrations. Don’t be afraid to use visual media to your advantage. Your list doesn’t have to be limited to words. Photos and videos add a visual element that helps keep the traditions alive. They can help family members understand important events that contribute to the traditions.
Tip: The various types of media can be a growing project with new additions each year. You can ask other family members to share their photos and videos that add interest and memories to your traditions. Consider a website that an be printed yearly into a family almanac!
4. Hang loose! Stay flexible. It’s important to keep traditions flexible enough to work with your lifestyle. It’s fine to change traditions over time to make them realistic.
* You may admire your grandmother’s tradition of cooking an eight course meal from scratch every Thanksgiving without help. However, you don’t necessarily have to follow the exact procedure. Traditions should enhance the family’s experience. Don’t feel guilty about letting others help.
* The ideal family traditions will help your family members bond and make cherished memories together. They aren’t meant to feel like challenges or annoyances.
5. Build your own traditions to add to the list. Consider creating new traditions. Saving old traditions is only one part of the process. You can build new ones, too, as your family grows and changes. The old traditions can be adjusted or set aside as needed.
Tip: If you would like to create a new tradition, experts recommend starting slowly and asking other family members to get involved. Try out your ideas together. If the plan adds to your family’s enjoyment and succeeds in bringing your family members closer together, you might just have a wonderful new tradition!
Family traditions can help build stronger connections among family members and help keep the family together, even during difficult times. You can enjoy these traditions and preserve them for future generations by following simple steps. Your grandchildren and great-grandchildren will thank you for keeping these traditions alive.
Your Turn! Tell me in the comments about your family traditions! What are your favorites? Which ones would you like to add? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” ~Maya Angelou
Do you have your own personal mission statement? How about a professional one? What IS your mission, exactly?
Personal mission statements guide you towards your goals. If you sometimes feel like you’re floundering, chart your course by putting your purpose into writing. Try these suggestions for applying personal mission statements to your professional and personal life.
Understanding the Basics of Personal Mission Statements
1. Perform an inventory. Your personal mission statement encompasses who you are and what you want out of life. Consider your core values and beliefs. Review your past accomplishments. Look for common themes that suggest your strengths and priorities. Ask yourself what you want your legacy to be.
2. Seek inspiration. One of the major benefits of mission statements is the motivation they provide. When you toil away at a tedious task or run into an obstacle, you can remind yourself of why you’re making the effort.
3. Write it down. Putting your thoughts down on paper makes them more concrete in your mind. It’s easier to see how you’re doing and hold yourself accountable.
4. Keep it brief. While there may be a lot of thought behind your mission statement, keep the final product short and powerful. That way you can pinpoint the values that matter most to you and measure your success.
5. Gather feedback. Welcome input from others as you create your mission statement and carry it out. Your friends and coworkers may notice factors that you tend to overlook.
6. Evaluate your progress. Mission statements evolve over time. Your goals may change when you switch careers or turn 40. Advances in technology sometimes automate the tasks that used to take up your time, giving you a chance to pursue a new passion.
Using Mission Statements in Your Professional Life
1. Rewrite your job description. Take a fresh look at your position. Your personal mission statement may suggest new tasks that you want to take on and old ones that you want to phase out. Maybe you’ll continue your current duties but approach them with greater meaning and commitment.
2. Talk with your supervisor. Let your manager know that you’re trying to align your work more closely with the company mission statement. They may appreciate your initiative and offer helpful ideas.
3. Coach yourself. While support from your supervisor is valuable, you can also train and drill yourself. Construct a plan of action for integrating your mission statement into your daily routine.
4. Assess your fit. Addressing fundamental issues may raise bigger questions about your future. You may decide that you’re in tune with your company or you may decide to move on.
Using Mission Statements in Your Personal Life
1. Enhance your health. Fulfilling your mission depends on keeping your body strong. Cherishing your health can keep you on track with managing your weight, eating nutritious foods, exercising daily, and sleeping eight hours each night.
2. Strengthen your parenting. If you have children, it’s natural to think about what you’re passing on to them with each decision you make. Focus on raising your sons and daughters to be kind and responsible.
3. Deepen your relationships. Your mission statement affects other relationships too. You may find that your marriage and friendships help you to develop the qualities you treasure.
4. Practice your spirituality. If faith is the cornerstone of your life, your mission statement can help you to translate your beliefs into practical actions. Designate a percentage of your time for volunteer work with your church or sign up for classes with a spiritual guide whose teachings touch your heart.
Clarify your purpose by developing and updating your personal mission statement. Understanding your individual definition of success brings you closer to reaching your goals.
This, for some survivors of narcissistic abuse, leads to a bit of a dopamine deficit, which can lead to depression. Depression can often leave you feeling lifeless – and after all the ups and downs of the toxic relationship you’ve been living in, the lack of drama can literally become…sort of lackluster…leaving you feeling plain old bored. Does any of that sound familiar to you? If so, you might be interested in taking this online depression test (it’s free).
First of all, let me be clear. If you’re bored and you’re not feeling lifeless and depressed, it’s possible that you need to consider getting back out there and living your life again Maybe you’ve done enough of the healing and, dare I suggest it? Maybe you’re ready to date? If you’re not sure, you can take this quiz to find out.
But, if you’re not quite up to getting back into the dating pool, or if your toxic relationship was not a spouse or partner, there are a lot of things you can do to manage and even eliminate excessive boredom in recovery. Whether you’re occasionally frustrated by standard stuff – such as finding out that your flight is delayed or you’re barely staying awake through each workday, you can retrain your brain to prevent boredom – or, at the least, learn a few coping skills to minimize it.
Are you feeling stuck or trapped?
Sometimes the thing that’s keeping us from living our best life is just that we feel trapped. You may not even know why it is you feel this way, but you know you’re not where you want to be. The key to getting unstuck is to take stock of your life, your wants, your goals, and your values. You can’t find a way out of the trap if you don’t understand what’s holding you back and where you want to go. So, let’s take a look at some ways you can widen your perspective in order to get unstuck. It’s not that difficult once you get started.
What’s your ‘why?’
Why are you doing what you’re doing? Really, ask yourself that question. To figure it out, think about why it is you want to make some change in your life. What is driving you? Then figure out the type of change you may wish to make. What do you want to be, do, have, or achieve? Take time to examine your deepest feelings and fears in order to determine what it is you may desire. What do you really, really want? What is the purpose you want your life to have? Then brainstorm some ways you might attain that purpose in order to begin living differently. Remember, you don’t have to know everything all at once. Taking small steps can make a big difference.
What scares you?
You’ve got to face your fears in narcissistic abuse recovery, and once you do, you can become fearless! And you know what they say – once you’re fearless, you’re also powerful. (I believe that was Mary Shelley in the book Frankenstein who wrote, “I am fearless, therefore powerful,” one of my favorite quotes!).
Understand that there will be fear and uncertainty in this process. That’s probably why you haven’t undertaken it before now. It’s scary to think about moving forward in a new direction. Even though a rut may be uncomfortable, it’s what you know, and it feels safe. You’ll need to acknowledge and face your fears in order to make change.
What can you do differently?
It can help to switch things up! Ask yourself, what can you change right now? Remember, though, baby steps are always an option. Start practicing by doing something small to switch things up on a regular basis, maybe even every day. Drive a new way home from work. Sign up for a class that interests you. Talk to someone you see on a regular basis but have never approached before. You’ll soon see that stepping outside your routine doesn’t have to be so scary.
Are you listening to your gut?
Your intuition is your friend, and during narcissistic abuse, you may have learned to stop listening to it. You’ll need to really get to know yourself again if you want to leave your comfort zone. Typically, doing so involves making waves among the people you know. When you make big changes in your own life, those things tend to affect the people who are close to you. They may not always be supportive. Therefore, it’s important that you listen to your instincts and know yourself well when you set out to leave your rut behind. Doing so will help you to prepare for any resistance you encounter from others and from yourself.
What are your triggers?
You’ve got to identify your triggers here. I’m talking about your boredom triggers, in this case. So, what triggers you to get bored? Jobs that are too hard or too easy can bore you because your mind starts to wander. You have difficulty concentrating and you want to do something else. Once you know what sets you off, you can create solutions like playing music while you vacuum the stairs or rewarding yourself with a frozen yogurt after you complete your expense reports.
What’s your body telling you?
Body language is more powerful than you might think. They say you can change your feelings by changing the way you hold your body. It’s true, in my experience. So give it a shot! Look in a mirror. Are you slouching? Are you frowning? You know what to do. Smiling and sitting up straight will liven you up instantly.
What can you stop doing?
Prioritize and delegate your responsibilities where possible. Stop doing stuff that doesn’t interest you for a couple of (planned) days. Take a weekend and rest – or do something crazy and fun. And hey – maybe you can eliminate some of the chores that make you yawn. See how much your dry cleaner charges for hemming pants or other simple tailoring. Order groceries online instead of spending your weekends in overcrowded supermarkets.
What is your personality type?
Understanding your personality can help you to remain safe and happy while you seek excitement. Here’s something fun to do! Take the Myers-Briggs Test and see what your personality type happens to be – you can do so for free at this website. (Note: this is not a sponsored link – I just really like that website and recommend it to my clients often. It has been highly accurate for pretty much everyone I know who has tried it!)
What’s happening in your head?
Mindfulness is a powerful tool. It’s sort of like intentional vibration management, and it can really help you to build up your self-awareness. Practice monitoring your feelings and describing them. It’s the first step to accepting them. Let go of expectations. Appreciate the present moment without rehashing your last conflict at the office or anticipating how slow rush hour traffic will be. These are behaviors you may have sort of forgotten during your narcissistic abuse due to your sole focus being on pleasing the narcissist for so long. You kind of lost yourself, right? Mindfulness can be one powerful tool in your healing.
What do you enjoy doing?
One of the most difficult parts about feeling bored is that often, the stuff that bores you is also the stuff you have to do every day. If you want to improve your focus, you need to strengthen your ability to concentrate. You can start to do that by finding ways to enjoy yourself more often. So, to start, you can look around and find activities that give you a flow experience where time just sort of flies by. Schedule it if you have to! And then get a little timer (or ask your Alexa to time you) and tackle the most tedious jobs against the clock. Make a game of it. It really does make the boring stuff less boring – sometimes, anyway.
What should you slow down on doing?
Going out with friends, dancing, and partying can be a fun way to feel less bored, But it is also a fun way to find yourself looking down the barrel of a massive and dangerous addiction. One of the most common reasons survivors of narcissistic abuse find themselves dealing with addiction is that after the end of their toxic relationships is boredom and/or a need to numb out from the pain of the grief they won’t allow themselves to feel. And, speaking of grief…
Have you mourned the relationship?
See, even though narcissistic abuse is horrible and traumatic, you still need to grieve the relationship, despite what most people think. You still spent a good portion of your life with this person as part of your normal. That is not something you can just “get over,” regardless of how toxic it was. You have to mourn the relationship you thought you were getting into – the person you thought you were signing up for – if you’re ever going to heal. But you don’t want to find yourself in the grip of addiction before you do – so be careful and remember that the downside of sensation seeking is that you may put yourself at risk for overeating, drinking too much, drug abuse, gambling, or other excesses. Think before you surrender to impulses so you’ll make constructive choices. Or at the very least, be intentional about how often you’re “numbing out.”
Most of all, just take some action. Each step will become easier as you go and will build upon the last. Keep going. Follow your plan, and you’ll figure out the details as you go along.
Where can you find support?
Don’t try to do it all alone. Surround yourself with supportive family and friends you can trust. And join a support group if you need someone who gets where you’ve been. Here are some resources to help you find support in your own narcissistic abuse recovery.
The QueenBeeing SPANily, Official – We consider this to be the best narcissistic abuse recovery support group on the web. Offers several subgroups and features a vigilant, compassionate admin team full of trained coaches and survivors, supporting more than 12k members. SPAN is an acronym created by Angie Atkinson that stands for Support for People Affected by Narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships.
Other Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups– We also have separate groups for each stage in your narcissistic abuse recovery, as well as some for those who have moved past recovery and are evolving into the next stage of their own life. Survivors have unique and individual needs, even when they’ve moved on – so we’re still here for you.
One-on-One Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Coaching – If you prefer to get more personalized support in your recovery, you might like to schedule a session with one of our coaches to plan and execute your own narcissistic abuse recovery plan.
Find a Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Therapist – If you’re looking for a therapist for narcissistic abuse recovery, either because you cannot afford coaching and want to use your health insurance or because you have additional issues you need to address that do not fall within the realm of coaching, you will want to find the right therapist for you – and as far as we’re concerned, that therapist must understand what you’ve been through. This page offers assistance to help you do exactly that.
What’s your purpose? Engaging in meaningful activities fights fatigue and increases your satisfaction with life. Ask yourself how your profession or your hobbies contribute to your health and wellbeing. Maybe you could use a little focus on finding or indulging your passion? (Here’s my free “Passion Planner” to help you out a little!)
How much screen time are you allowing yourself?
Limiting screen time can be a huge help when it comes to overcoming boredom. It won’t hurt you to step away from the screens for an hour or two a day, at least. Some experts speculate that hours of scrolling Instagram and Netflix binges may interfere with our ability to entertain ourselves. Take a break from the computer each day to play the piano or bake a cake. Or go outside and breathe a little, you know.
“If there is any great secret of success in life, it lies in the ability to put yourself in the other person’s place and to see things from his point of view – as well as your own.” – Henry Ford(more…)