There are several ways that you can recognize whether or not you’re having feelings and desires for long-term purpose and change. Dissatisfaction is one way to pinpoint it and it’s common in anyone who may be turning toward a spiritual awakening.
Usually the first step in this feeling is that you realize that you don’t really like the way you handle certain things. It used to be that you could do or say or act however you wanted and it never mattered to you.
But it’s no longer good enough because it doesn’t feel true to you anymore. Now, you feel dissatisfied with your actions and thoughts – and you want to become a better person because you feel the change coming from deep within.
That desire to change is a very telling point on whether you’re feeling an openness for a spiritual awakening. Anything that even looks like it’s not true to who you are and the new beliefs you’re beginning to establish makes you turn away.
You’re no longer interested or invested in denying your true self. You lose the desire to act like you’re someone or something that you’re not. Trying to one up anyone or keep up with the Jones’s loses all appeal and you crave a purpose that has a deeper meaning than simply striving to accumulate wealth or material possessions.
You see all of the goods and the financial wealth that you may have amassed through new eyes. Instead of seeing them as something that gives you pleasure and can help you, you wonder how you can use what you have to help others and you’re no longer interested in “stuff.”
You discover that you’re finding peace and happiness by having less rather than more. The desire for purpose and change can manifest itself when you feel that everything in you is telling you that there’s more to life than the way that you’ve been living.
You find yourself on a quest within you – a deep hunger – a search that there’s something more out there and you just can’t stop until you find it. When you have a desire for purpose and change that goes unfulfilled, you’ll experience such a deep dissatisfaction that it can begin to affect you emotionally.
You’ll feel restless – like there’s a journey that you want to go on but you don’t know which direction to take. You only know that movement is coming from within and that something has to give because you can’t go on another day the way things are.
The desire for change can lead to you taking steps and maybe you’re not even fully aware of why you’re doing them, but you want to make those changes. You feel compelled to find what your purpose is in life.
It can be something like suddenly feeling like the job or career you have now doesn’t match what you feel is a purpose you’re supposed to fulfill. You have a feeling that there’s something else that you’re supposed to be doing besides what you currently are.
It’s not a desire that you can shut off and you may even feel that are tons of reasons not to make changes – but that true inner desire keeps quietly prodding you forward.
It’s only when you surrender the resistance to what you feel your purpose is that you’ll be able to quiet that little voice urging you to make a change and to go after what your life’s purpose truly is.
While you’re experiencing the desire for purpose and change, you’ll go through a stage where you’ll feel very aware of what’s going on around you as well as what’s going on in the lives of other people around you.
Instead of focusing on how unkind a person you encounter might be, you may instead pick up on how sad they look. You’ll find that rather than getting angry, your heart feels in tune with their feelings.
You might find yourself reading a news article or seeing something on television about someone else going through a difficult situation and you suddenly burst into tears and you feel heartbroken because of what they’re dealing with.
Their hurt feels more real to you and you experience a deeper level of sympathy and the desire to help them. You feel moved to take action. Once you recognize that what you’re feeling is the desire for a purpose in life, you’ll be able to find the freedom to allow change to occur both within you and in your external world.
Are you feeling emotionally numb after narcissistic abuse?
This might be why!
This video was made in response to a request from someone in a recent weekday morning chat who asked why she felt completely detached from the world, including herself.
My response? I think she’s dealing with a C-PTSD complication called dissociation – two symptoms of which include depersonalization and derealization. This can be accompanied and even partially caused by depression and anxiety.
On a metaphorical level, dissociation looks like being a passenger in a car rather than the driver. Like, you’re seeing all of the turns and the journey, but you’re just along for the ride. The ride is happening TO you rather than you choosing the route.
Plus, I’ll tell you how dissociating is your brain’s way of saving itself during the trauma of physical and psychological abuse. Plus, I’ll start explaining how you can begin to deal with it so that you can stop feeling the painful emotional numbness that comes with it and start living your life again.
Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today
Communication as we all know is incredibly important in any relationship, but when we’ve been involved with narcissists, even the most skilled communicators can feel helpless and handicapped when it comes to being understood – narcissists will inevitably refuse to understand us, especially when what we’re saying is not something like “OMG, you’re so amazing.”
For example, try telling a narcissist exactly how you feel about the way they belittle and invalidate you – and watch how they twist the conversation around. In some of the most extreme cases, you will end up apologizing for not thinking they’re perfect and for having the nerve to even suggest otherwise.
And, when we go through years of this, not to mention that narcissists often isolate their victims from others who might actually offer some support, we sort of forget HOW to communicate – in a way. We stop feeling like we can (or even should) talk about OURSELVES, and we stop trying to make valuable contributions to conversations, in part because we’ve been conditioned to believe that we have nothing of value to say and nothing to offer.
We believe that we’re not good enough and that no one wants to hear what we have to say anyway. When we do speak up, we tend to keep it short and to the point when it relates to ourselves or our own opinions or beliefs.
There was a time in my life when, if you asked me a question about myself, I might not even know WHAT to say, or even if I did, I’d feel awkward saying it and wanted to get the attention off me as soon as possible.
This was because I had been conditioned to think that nothing about me was interesting or even worth hearing about.
We might also develop other issues – various compulsive behaviors, or an eating disorder or substance abuse problem, because sometimes, we try to sort of ‘self-medicate” to deal with our issues.
We could have flashbacks or panic attacks, and we will most definitely deal with a certain amount of self-doubt. Some of us experience suicidal thoughts – and in the worst cases, some people find themselves seeking or even carrying out the abuse they experienced as a child. On the flip side of that, you may go so far in the other direction that you are a different kind of unhealthy – for example, an abused child who grows up to be a doormat parent (as in, allowing your kids to become spoiled and run the show). It’s a fine line, isn’t it?
But back to communication.
There are certain issues that can directly affect our ability to communicate after this kind of abuse – and as always, I’m going to tell you that I believe knowledge is power – and the first step to power is to realize there’s a problem. We’ve got to first discover it and then admit it if we’re ever going to heal.
So, after abuse, the issues that might affect your ability to communicate are multifaceted. The first one I’d like to outline is our heightened reactions to various common relationship issues – we may become triggered over something small, such as an innocently-used phrase that used to mean something awful. Example from one of my clients: her narcissist would always say “Who are you trying to impress?” So when she was later in a healthy relationship, this same phrase uttered by her new partner triggered her and caused her to revert for a moment to her “former self,” the abused self.
This leads to my next point: emotionally-fueled disagreements. When we’re healing, we don’t always know how to deal with conflict and we may get overly emotional when we don’t mean to. Going back to the client I just mentioned, in that situation, her trigger led her to an emotionally-fueled discussion with her new guy – but in his healthy state, he actually calmed her down by validating her and reminding her that it was okay to be emotional sometimes, and then by comforting her and HEARING her (IMAGINE!).
We may also withdraw and become unresponsive when triggered by our old issues, which obviously affects our ability to communicate, and we almost always feel a serious aversion to conflict. This can lead to an inability to talk through our issues especially if we feel judged or like the person we’re communicating with is somehow not on our side.
We may always have a lingering doubt about how our partners in the future feel about us and sometimes doubt their faithfulness, especially when our narcissists include romantic partners in the past.
And thanks to the fact that many of us have never felt loved unconditionally, we often find ourselves having difficulty accepting any love at all – we are suspicious of people who try to offer it to us and we often need repeated reassurance of the fact that someone cares about us.
This of course can push people away from us and isolate us even further, which will make communication even harder.
So how can we get over this? What can we do to improve our ability to communicate after abuse?
First of all, you have to let go of the fear and start with the basics. Let me ask you a few questions.
Do you dread talking to strangers or those you barely know? Some people seem to be born with the gift of gab. They talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime, about anything. By understanding a few strategies and putting in a little practice, you can talk to anyone with ease, too. You don’t have to be mesmerizing. You just have to convince the other person they are.
A successful social conversation puts the emphasis on your conversation partner. It’s also a highly effective way to sell products and services.
You can become an excellent conversationalist, even after narcissistic abuse. Try these tips.
1. Make a good first impression. People make a lot of conclusions about you before you ever open your mouth. Conveying the message that you’re friendly, confident, and relevant provides a huge advantage. People will naturally want to engage with you and will listen to what you have to say.
* Stand or sit up straight. Put on your best confident smile. Look them in the eye.
2. Pay attention. Everyone wants to matter. By giving your conversation partner your full attention, you can accomplish that with ease. Avoid looking at your watch, your phone, or scanning the room. Keep your attention on the other person.
3. Avoid worrying about what you’ll say next. This could easily fall under the previous point, but deserves specific attention. Are you one of those people that’s viewed as socially awkward? That’s because you’re worried about what you’re going to say next. You’re not listening intently to the other person.
* When your mind is furiously working to think of something to say, you become fidgety, your eye contact wavers, and your anxiety is obvious. It makes others uncomfortable. Just listen, and the other person will give you plenty of material to move the conversation forward.
4. Turn the spotlight on the other person. You’ll find that your most successful conversations will be about the other person. People love it when you show an interest in them. Keep turning the conversation toward the other person, their interests, and opinions. Your new friend will greatly enjoy the conversation.
5. Worried about running out of things to say? Repeat the last few words of your conversation partner.
* “So, you went scuba diving on the great barrier reef?” Then just sit back and relax.
6. Always have something interesting to say. You will have to contribute something interesting to the conversation on occasion. Be prepared. You wouldn’t blindly reach into a dark closet and wear the first thing your hand touched. There’s no reason to blurt out the first thing that comes to mind. Be prepared.
* Watch the news before you head out the door and be aware of the latest global and local happenings.
* Have a story or two prepared.
7. Expect success. Your expectations and results match more often than not. Expect to have a good conversation. Believe that you’re a great conversationalist. Visualize conversational success.
8. Give one sincere compliment. Avoid making a direct compliment, because it can be potentially awkward and begs for a response.
* “You’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen” is too much.
* “Wow, you obviously work out. What type of exercise do you do?” is very complimentary without going too far.
* One sincere compliment is enough.
Even after abuse, you can learn conversation skills – or re-learn them.
When you’ve experienced narcissistic abuse, it can follow you around in your life, even after you’ve left the situation – and that can seriously damage your quality of life, to say the least. In this video, I’ll offer you a quick overview on what you need to do to write, acknowledge and release your abuse story – plus, I’ll offer tips on how to start dreaming up your new one.
Here’s the 10-Sheets Method Mentioned in the Video:
Take 10 sheets of paper and on the first one, write “my abuse story” and add a byline.
Then number the second page 1 through 8.
In each spot, write down a major point in your abuse story.
For example, #1 might be the years leading to the abuse, if you think you’ve got some background that contributed to your current situation.
Or it might be meeting the narcissist. The next point might be the “honeymoon phase,” maybe, and then you might go forward with something like the first time you started to see a problem.
Maybe the red flags started early, but you didn’t notice – or maybe it just came on suddenly and shocked you. Either way, write down those points.
Then, on each of the following pages, number the top to correspond with the points in your “table of contents: page.
On each page, write down three questions or statements about the time in your life that you’re covering – and when you’re done, you’ll have a good outline for your abuse story.
Read it back to yourself and allow yourself to feel the feelings one last time – because after today, you’re going to move forward. So cry if you need to. Scream. Yell. Have regrets – go ahead. But LIMIT yourself – give yourself a specific amount of time to get through this part. I usually like to do 24 hours – but you might choose to go up to 7 days, if you need it. Don’t do more than seven days though – anything else is counterproductive for you.