What is NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming)?

What is NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming)?

If you’re struggling to recover from narcissistic abuse, you might be interested in learning about Neuro-Linguistic Programming or NLP. 

It’s a surprisingly simple yet highly effective treatment for symptoms of complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) related to narcissistic abuse.

Even better, you can implement the strategies at home, on your own – and it’ll help your healing in ways you might not expect. 

On a very basic level, NLP is just a way to manage your head – it helps with communication, processes, and procedures to help improve your life. Here’s what it is and how it works.

What is Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)?

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a practical and effective way to create change by modeling successful people’s language structure and behavior. NLP can help you change your behavior, way of thinking, and communication with yourself and others. NLP has also been used to treat various problems—from phobias to schizophrenia.

And, of course, survivors of narcissistic abuse can use it to recalibrate after abuse and change their lives for the better.

Basic NLP Principles

The two biggest principles of NLP are that the map is not the territory and that life and mind are systemic processes. Any technique you learn in NLP is built on these principles, which allow us to understand better how the brain works—and thus change undesirable behaviors into more desirable ones.

1. The map is not the territory.

  • The map-territory metaphor illustrates how our mental constructs differ from the reality they attempt to describe.
  • For a map to be useful, it must contain enough detail that we can use it even when traveling through unfamiliar territory.
  • This means that, as people, we have no way to understand reality. Instead, we understand our perceptions of that reality, and those perceptions may be flawed.
  • We use our senses to map what we believe is there.
  • These maps are what determine our behavior, not reality itself.
  • So, if your map is skewed, you’ll behave in kind.

2. Life and mind are systemic processes.

  • This means that the things going on inside your mind and body, and between you and your environment, are connected and can’t be isolated. Trying to do so won’t result in success.
  • In other words, your mind and life are interconnected, so you can’t separate the mental from the physical, social, or emotional aspects. How people treat you and your environment influences your feelings about a situation.

How does NLP work for a survivor of narcissistic abuse?

  • As a survivor of narcissistic abuse, NLP can help you change your life and offers highly effective personal development and growth tools.
  • It’s also highly effective for survivors of narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships during their healing and beyond.
  • NLP techniques focus on feelings and emotions, which are core aspects of narcissistic abuse. This is why NLP works so well for survivors of such relationships—its emphasis on these concepts makes dealing with trauma possible.
  • NLP applies to all aspects of life, from representing information and making decisions to interacting with others.

Why should you try NLP in narcissistic abuse recovery?

Sometimes it’s hard to know what’s best for us when we can’t see a way out. It may seem impossible to get away from the toxic person, but you can use NLP to change your life. (And then plan your escape!)

NLP offers healing for the trauma of narcissistic abuse in a way that can help you move forward with your life with confidence and clarity.

It can give you insight into your unconscious mind and tap into your deep-seated emotions, which can help you develop the power, confidence, and self-esteem narcissists often damage in their partners.

So, by using an anchoring technique to set off powerful feelings in yourself when you think about past experiences with your abuser, you can learn to control your reactions—and stop yourself from feeling bad about what happened.

Basic NLP Technique for Narcissistic Abuse Recovery: Anchoring

By applying an anchoring technique, you can learn to set off positive feelings in yourself and others at will—and eliminate negative emotions associated with past experiences.

Anchoring allows you to associate a feeling with a device, an object, a certain color, or even a specific type of music. When you experience the object again, it triggers the same feelings.

This can be helpful for survivors of narcissistic abuse because it allows them to create positive associations in their minds around the things they love and eliminate negative feelings associated with past experiences.

How to Quickly Create an NLP Anchor in 4 Easy Steps

1. Choose a goal.

  • Decide what problem you want to solve. For example, maybe you want to feel more confident to set better boundaries with the toxic people in your life.
  • Imagine how it will feel to achieve the goal you have set for yourself. (So, maybe you’ll feel stronger, happier, more sure of yourself, and more confident overall.)
  • Remember when you felt close to how you want to feel when you achieve that goal. It might just be an ordinary moment when you felt good about yourself or a more significant moment in your life.

3. Choose and configure your anchor device.

  • For instance, you can touch your thumb and forefinger together or make a fist to help keep yourself in the present.
  • Put yourself back in that moment. Take all the time you need to remember all the details of what you saw, heard, smelled, and felt when it happened.
  • Allow yourself to relive the experience as if you were there—don’t think about it objectively. You won’t feel better if you ignore your feelings.
  • Repeat the memory until you can vividly recall it.

4. Activate your anchor.

  • In this step, you link your anchor from Step 3 with the feeling created here to make a new association as strong and vivid as possible.
  • For example, touch your thumb and forefinger together as the confident feeling increases.
  • Release your thumb and forefinger when the feeling begins to subside.
  • If you’ve done this well, the anchor has been activated, and you’re ready for the next step.

5. Test your anchor.

  • For example, touch your thumb and forefinger together as you did while activating your anchor.
  • This time, pay attention to how you feel.
  • You should notice a change in your feeling.
  • If you don’t, repeat the process until you do.
  • If you’ve been successful, it should feel like the anchor has been activated and is ready to use whenever necessary.

And, if you used the example I gave, you can now trigger your confidence by touching your thumb and forefinger together anytime you like.

Need help with narcissistic abuse recovery? 

 

How Psychopathic Gambling Addicts WILL Ruin Your Life

How Psychopathic Gambling Addicts WILL Ruin Your Life

Do you know a psychopath who has ruined their life and/or someone else’s life thanks to a serious gambling addiction? If so, you aren’t alone.

SHOCKING (?) Research Proves Psychopath Gambling Addicts Ruin Lives.

This isn’t shocking news if you’re a survivor of narcissistic abuse.

Apparently, not only are psychopaths and malignant narcissists the most likely people to develop a gambling problem, but they’re also more likely to take gambling to a dangerous, life-destroying level. 

Study links gambling addiction to psychopathy. 

In a recent study, researchers linked gambling addiction to psychopathy.

Study authors, including Matthew P. Kramer, Roselyn Peterson, Angelina V. Leary, Dexter D. Wilborn, Tatiana Magri, and Robert D. Dvorak, published their findings in their recent paper entitled Psychopathy and Occurrence of Gambling Problems: The Role of Gambling Protective Strategies and Urgency.

What makes psychopaths so different from other people?

The study suggests that psychopaths may process language differently from other people, likely due to both genetic factors and early exposure.

Psychopaths often have trouble understanding sarcasm and metaphors, which suggests that they may have difficulty with language processing.

The study authors point out previous research that leads them to believe this may explain why psychopaths differ from others. They also speculate that this could be a reason for the high number of psychopaths in prisons, where gambling games are common.

Psychopathic traits that lead to addiction to gambling

The traits most commonly associated with psychopathy that also lead to addiction to gambling include an inability to feel guilt or remorse and a tendency toward impulsive behavior.

The psychopath’s lack of empathy is confusing for many people since they can appear to understand how you feel.

But that’s because psychopaths experience only cognitive empathy, in which they can deduce logically what you might be feeling.

However, psychopaths do not have emotional or compassionate empathy like others do.

That means they can logically understand what you’re saying, but they don’t care and aren’t moved to help or stop hurting you. 

How are psychopathy and gambling addiction issues connected?

While we know that psychopathy has been linked to many negative outcomes, the authors say they’ve found a new direct link between psychopathy and pathological gambling.

Researchers examined the relationship between primary psychopathy, secondary psychopathy, and problem gambling.

Primary psychopathy vs. secondary psychopathy (FYI)

  • Primary psychopaths tend to be more socially adept, whereas secondary ones are usually aggressive and impulsive.
  • Psychopaths who were high in urgency also used fewer harm-reduction strategies.
  • Primary psychopathy is thought to result from genetics, while secondary psychopathy—which results from trauma and their environment—can appear to manifest as high anxiety, the study authors said. 

Study Conditions

  • In the study, college students who gambled were asked how they would deal with situations in which their gambling might cause problems and what protective behavior strategies they used to prevent such things from happening.
  • They also answered questions to detect whether they might be prone to psychopathic behavior.
  • The assessment included questions about financial problems for the household and mental health issues such as stress or anxiety caused by gambling.
  • Researchers considered whether a person suffered from gambling addiction and the extent of such addiction.

Study Findings: Psychopaths are more likely to ruin their lives with gambling addiction.

Ultimately, they determined that people more likely to gamble away their money also tended to score higher on a psychopathy test and were more likely than other gamblers to have financial problems for their household and mental health issues caused by gambling.

And people with higher levels of primary psychopathy are less likely to stop or protect themselves when gambling, making their addiction worse.

The Recent Increase in Psychopathy Research Leads to New Insights

Because psychopaths are so difficult to deal with and tend not to form meaningful relationships, we’ve always been fascinated by their behavior.  

But perhaps due to the increased awareness around psychopathic, sociopathic and narcissistic abuse, recent years have seen more and more research into cluster B personality disorders, which include psychopathy

This study sheds new light on the relationship between psychopathy and gambling addiction-related problems by identifying certain personality traits that may lead to addiction.

Takeaway: Psychopathy and Gambling Addiction

Simply put, people who lie, cheat and act without empathy are more likely to get into gambling problems. And because they also tend not to use strategies that would keep them safe from such problems, those issues are made worse.

All of that makes them more likely to ruin their own lives and the lives of anyone unfortunate enough to be close to them, including their closest sources of narcissistic supply

Do you know a psychpath with a gambling addiction? Here's how they will ruin your life, according to research.

Reference:

Kramer, M. P., Peterson, R., Leary, A. V., Wilborn, D. D., Magri, T., & Dvorak, R. D. (2021). Psychopathy and Occurrence of Gambling Problems: The Role of Gambling Protective Strategies and Urgency. Psychological Reports. https://doi.org/10.1177/00332941211022998

Related:

Video: Dark Core of Personality Defined: New Study Exposes the D Factor in Dark Triad Qualities – Psychologists define ‘the dark core of personality’ – D-FACTOR Egoism, Machiavellianism, narcissism, psychopathy, sadism, spitefulness, and others are among the traits that stand for the malevolent dark sides of human personality.

As results from a recently published German-Danish research project show, these traits share a common ‘dark core.’ So, if you have one of these tendencies, you are also likely to have one or more of the others. Read the full study.

Resources for Psychopathic, Sociopathic & Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

Why Are Narcissists So Abusive and Why Do They Get Away With It?

Why Are Narcissists So Abusive and Why Do They Get Away With It?

Narcissists make you feel like you’re worthless and act like they’re better than you and everyone else. They emotionally and psychologically abuse you and then pretend you’re crazy when you react like a normal human. Sound familiar? 

If so, you’re not alone – narcissists have a way of keeping you around for decades and still abusing you. 

Consider the following facts about narcissists. 

  • Narcissists can be charming, but they hide a sadistic and aggressive nature.
  • They aren’t as confident as they seem.
  • Narcissistic personality disorder manifests in grandiosity, selfishness, and lack of empathy.
  • Narcissists are manipulative, egotistical, and often cruel. 
  • They get a feeling of superiority by making others feel inferior.

Why do narcissists often get away with their abuse?

Narcissists are experts at using emotional and psychological manipulation to get you to do what they want and to gain control over you. This makes them feel more secure, and when you become their primary source of narcissistic supply, it gives them a sort of emotional dumpster. 

When you consider the typical narcissistic abuse cycle, it’s laser-focused at getting you “addicted” through trauma bonding. 

Narcissists use cognitive empathy to make you feel special –  like you are the most important person in their world. But they don’t have any emotional or compassionate empathy, so they have no problem tearing you down. 

They also know how to make you feel unimportant – like you’re worthless, insignificant, and unimportant. 

Intermittent reinforcement leads to trauma bonding

They will alternate their “good” treatment with their “bad” treatment – and this leads to you constantly striving to get the “good” treatment. It becomes your primary focus in the relationship. 

So, the narcissist has your full attention, and anytime they’re bored, or you don’t do what they want, they attack you (the devalue phase) and often discard you repeatedly.

And the moment they think you’re about to give up on trying to get their “good” treatment, they will give you a little bit of validation to keep you hooked. 

You’re elated and committed to staying longer as a result.  This is called intermittent reinforcement – and it’s exactly why and how narcissists often get away with their abuse.

Sound like your life? Here’s help. 

Here’s Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery 

 

When You Feel Stuck in a Rut After Narcissistic Abuse

When You Feel Stuck in a Rut After Narcissistic Abuse

Ever feel like you’re stuck in a rut, or like you’re just spinning your wheels? I know the feeling – and so do most other survivors.

Sometimes, in narcissistic abuse recovery, we get stuck and feel frozen, like we can’t do anything. We might even have bouts of dissociation.

Watch this video for additional information.

The Painful Transition From Narcissistic Abuse to HAVING a Normal Life

After being involved with a narcissist, you may feel depressed and uncertain about your future.

That’s okay! You’ve done the hard part by recognizing that you need help getting out of the relationship and healing from it.

All that’s left is to figure out what support system and resources will work best for you.

What is dissociation as it relates to narcissistic abuse?

Dissociation is a process by which the individual disconnects from their body and feelings.

This can make it difficult to experience and remember the abuse and process and grieve the experience.

If you’re struggling with dissociation in your recovery from narcissistic abuse, this video is for you! We’ll discuss the symptoms and how to overcome them so you can start rebuilding your life.

Dissociation is a common symptom of narcissistic abuse. We’ll discuss its causes and effects and share tips on overcoming it in narcissistic abuse recovery.

This episode is for you if you’re struggling with dissociation in your recovery from narcissistic abuse. We’ll discuss the causes of dissociation, its effects on your life, and how to overcome it.

By the end of this video, you’ll know more about this common symptom of narcissistic abuse and how to overcome it!

The Key to Overcoming Feeling Stuck

Some of us struggle with clutter, so I will use this as an example of how we get stuck.

Clutter can be a highly stressful and destructive problem for some survivors because they feel stuck and unable to function.

Maybe you can relate? If so, you’re probably feeling many things: overwhelmed, confused, stressed, and embarrassed, not to mention depressed. 

And who could blame you for feeling this way? I’ve been there myself, and I’ve felt exactly like you do.

Read this next sentence carefully: It is NOT your fault. 

Clutter can literally be a symptom of your abuse. YES. 

If this sounds like something you struggle with, you might want to look at my free 30-day home makeover challenge

Coach Tip: One Thing

I came up with a little hack that has helped me whenever I felt stuck – and I still use it today.

It is so simple you probably won’t even believe me – but try to do one thing.

Yes, I know, it sounds like it’s TOO simple.

But hear me out. When I felt stuck over the years, I’d eventually permit myself to STAY stuck.

And then I’d tell myself I just had to do ONE thing – that if I wanted to, I’d be able to stop right after that one thing. (For example, if my house were messy, I’d make myself clean off just one table).

And even though I allowed myself to stop at that point, often, that was enough to keep me going – that feeling of accomplishment would push me forward to do the next task, and then the next, and so on.

How to Begin Healing After Narcissistic Abuse

It’s hard to ask for help when you’re feeling so lost and alone, but here are some steps to help you get the kind of narcissist abuse recovery support you need.

Step 1: Consider Your Support System

When you’re trying to recover from narcissistic abuse, it can feel like there’s a giant hole in your life where your support system used to be.

Now it’s time to look at the resources that are available to you right now.

  • Do you have friends or family who can support and encourage you?
  • Do they know about your experiences with the narcissist?
  • If not, do they want to know more?
  • If so, what would they most want to learn about?
  • What do they already know?
  • Is there anything else they need to understand?

Step 2: Ask Yourself

The second step is to talk through the following questions with someone who is safe and supportive and who will listen without judging or criticizing.

  • “What am I feeling right now?”
  • “How long have I been feeling this way?”
  • “What is contributing most strongly right now?”
  • “What do I need?”
  • “What would help me move forward?” 

Step 3: Skip the Sugar-Coating.

The next part is difficult: you’ll have to be brutally honest with yourself here.

This might be hard to swallow, but you’ll be lucky to have a good support system when you finally realize what you’re dealing with.

The truth is that you’ll be among the majority of survivors if your support system isn’t up to snuff.

Why? Because narcissists are good at isolating us during the abuse, which leaves many survivors with no one (or almost no one) to support them effectively when all is said and done. 

Don’t worry, though. I’ve been there, and because of that, I have done my best to make it possible for you to recover with the kind of support I WISH I’d have had back then. 

In other words, my team and I have you covered, no matter your budget.  The following list of free and lower-cost support options might help you as you embark on your narcissistic abuse recovery journey.

Here’s Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery 

How to be Cool, Calm and Collected When Narcissists Push Your Buttons

How to be Cool, Calm and Collected When Narcissists Push Your Buttons

“You could be a really great and fabulous person, but if your method of communication with a woman doesn’t trigger her physical attraction by “pushing the right buttons,” you will only ever be “just a friend” in her eyes.” ~Sahara Sanders

If you have ever dealt with a malignant narcissist, whether diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder or not, you already know they’re especially skilled at pushing your so-called buttons.

Worse, since narcissistic abuse involves gaslighting, the narcissist often INSTALLED said buttons – or at least solidified them and rearranged them.

So, a narcissist who is your parent likely did the so-called installation of your buttons – also known as your triggers.

And if you’re dealing with a narcissistic partner or close friend, this person became aware of the “buttons” or the triggers you had initially and then exploited them.

By doing so, they also learned the “layout” of your buttons; by now, they can push them in their sleep. 

Why Narcissists Push Your Buttons

Narcissists become very knowledgeable about who we are and what makes us tick. They also know what to do when seeking a reaction from us – and perhaps more frustrating, they get narcissistic supply from driving you crazy. 

They NEED narcissistic supply to feel alive; they are emotional vampires

For the record, emotional vampires are incredibly toxic people who drain us of our energy. Not all emotional vampires are narcissists, but they’ll all leave you feeling empty and emotionally exhausted.

They are like parasites who intentionally provoke our emotional reactions, allowing themselves to feed off our emotions, energy, and resources.

So, until you can finally go no contact and end the relationship with the malignant narcissist in your life, you’ve got to learn some new techniques to deal with it.

What to Do When the Narcissist is Pushing Your Buttons

So, how does a person with a reasonable amount of emotional intelligence deal with a narcissist?

Start with these tips on what you can do to remain cool, calm, and collected when the narcissist pushes your buttons and is waiting for a reaction.

1. Try Ross Rosenberg’s Observe, Don’t Absorb technique.

Learn how to use the technique from Rosenberg himself in this video

2, Use the gray rock method. 

Maybe you already know how to use the gray rock method, but if you don’t, watch this video for tips, techniques, and best practices.

3. Treat Them Like a Toddler.

3, Treat them the same way you’d treat a toddler who needs a nap. Yeah, I’m serious. Narcissists tend to have the emotional capacity of a toddler, so treat them in kind. This video will explain exactly what I mean and how to deal with narcissists with toddler-level emotional intelligence

 Please note: These techniques are meant to be temporary measures to get along – and most survivors can only tolerate this behavior for so long before it causes longer-term damage.

On the plus side, when you regain control of your feelings, something else happens: you’re no longer being manipulated by the narcissist. Instead, it’s as if those buttons now activate themselves—you’ve re-wired them!

If you don’t have a plan to leave the narcissist, you might want to start thinking about it. Here’s a resource to help you start planning your escape

More Resources for Dealing with and Understanding a Narcissist

These resources might also interest you if you struggle with a difficult narcissist.

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today

Intermittent Reinforcement: #1 Way Narcissists Control and Manipulate You

Intermittent Reinforcement: #1 Way Narcissists Control and Manipulate You

If you’re in a toxic relationship with a malignant narcissist, you probably feel like you’re on an emotional roller coaster.

Do ever feel like you can’t control your emotions, or are you worried because your feelings have been all over the place for years?

You might be dealing with intermittent reinforcement as a form of manipulation from the narcissist in your life.

What is intermittent reinforcement?

Intermittent reinforcement is a pattern of callous treatment mixed in with random bursts of affection. This behavior may lead you to believe the narcissist loves you, but in reality, it’s just another way they manipulate you.

In other words, the narcissist (whether they’re a grandiose or a covert narcissist) gives you the illusion of being loved and cared for by behaving in a loving way between intermittent bursts of abuse.

Worse, intermittent reinforcement can leave you confused and disoriented since it’s unclear why the narcissist has “rewarded” you. This devastates your self-esteem as you realize that can never do or say enough to please the narcissist.

It’s part of the cycle of trauma bonding and why we get so stuck in toxic relationships. If someone in your life has NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) or at least recognizable traits, you might be used as narcissistic supply.

The narcissist might be generous with gifts, compliments, or praise to get their victims to trust and depend upon them.

Unpredictable and random acts of affection are followed by cruel behavior, but the cycle continues as though nothing has happened.

In this episode, Angie Atkinson will explain how to recognize signs of intermittent reinforcement in a toxic relationship with a narcissist and what you can do to deal with it.

Above all, remember this: We’re all humans. We all make mistakes, and we all hurt each other at times; it’s what makes us human, but that doesn’t excuse how someone treats you.!

If you find yourself in a cycle of abuse, do something about it. You don’t deserve to be treated like this!

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today

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