Beating overwhelm is a necessary part of getting things done. While overwhelm can have a variety of causes, for narcissistic abuse survivors, it can feel like you’re absolutely paralyzed. In most cases, the task that needs to be completed isn’t enjoyable. Or you lack inspiration. Mowing the grass when it’s 90 degrees outside is a good example of both.
Dealing with laziness is an important self-management skill. Getting things done when you don’t feel like doing them is practically a superpower. You’re unstoppable.
Beat laziness and accomplish more each day with the 15 tips I’m sharing in today’s video.
Take frequent, short breaks. Tell yourself that you’ll work for 25 minutes and then take a quick break. Focus with all your might for those 25 minutes, and then relax for five.
Be tough with yourself. Getting started requires the most willpower. Once you’ve gotten started, it’s easy to keep going. Grind your way through the first few minutes and then use the momentum to your advantage.
Stand up straight. Slouching and laziness go together. Stand up tall and straight. You’ll feel better and more motivated.
Monitor your inner dialog. Say positive things about the task at hand. Negative talk will stall your progress.
Stop thinking about it. When you think about doing an undesirable task, you feel uncomfortable. That’s the reason you won’t do it. So, don’t think about it. Keep your mind on something else and get started.
Keep it short and intense. Change your physiology, and your thoughts will change, too.
Use a timer. See how long it takes you to complete the task. Make a game out of it. Another option is to set a timer for five minutes and see if you can perform the task for those five minutes without having even one negative thought. Timers are great for increasing focus.
Get rid of the distractions. Get away from the TV and lock your cell phone in your desk.
Keep your mind on a single task. Ironically, when you have a lot to do, it can be hard to do anything at all. Keep your mind on one task and forget about the rest. When this task is complete, the others will still be there.
Think about how great you’ll feel when you’re done. Thinking about how dreadful the task will be is the best way to ensure that you won’t do it anytime soon.
Be proud of getting your tasks completed. Most of us hate performing a task, and then feel neutral about getting it done. Get excited about completing these annoying tasks. Give yourself a pat on the back when they’re completed.
Start with something easy. When faced with several things you don’t want to do, start with the quickest and easiest. The sense of accomplishment will keep you going.
Make a to-do list.Cross the items off as they’re completed and enjoy the progress you’re making. There’s something satisfying about marking items off a list.
Consider the benefits of the task. Will you get to keep your job? Get a date? Have a freshly manicured lawn? Consider the benefits of the activity. Focus on these benefits and get started before your attention drifts.
Plan a reward at the end of the day. If you get everything completed, do something enjoyable. Meet a friend for dinner or rent a movie.
Laziness is a common dilemma. It occurs when the motivation to do a task is insufficient. There are several causes for this, but the cause isn’t important. Choose a few workable strategies to get you going and put them into action. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at your results.
When you figure out that you’re dealing with narcissistic abuse in a toxic relationship, you learn quickly that not only is the narcissist unlikely to change, but that your best bet for a safe and happy future means ending the relationship and moving on. This is a scary but often necessary step that survivors of narcissistic abuse need to take to fully recover from the abuse and trauma they’ve suffered.
But no amount of planning will give you the courage you need to finally get the strength to leave the narcissist, will it? What will?
Justified Rage Propels You Forward
Justified rage or anger is sort of like fear with a little courage thrown in, sometimes. And if I’m being honest, ending my relationship with my narcissist was sparked by anger – I had to get angry before I could get away.
There is such a thing as constructive anger, and it is this kind of anger that causes you to stand up and to create positive change in both yourself and your life circumstances.
Sometimes, anger can help neutralize your fear and power up your gumption to get you through the hard transitions – the things you might just be afraid to conquer without that little push of emotion. Leaving a narcissist is one of those things. But why?
There’s the trauma bond factor to consider, but then there’s also the fact that when you’ve been through narcissistic abuse, you often don’t trust yourself, and for a lot of us, it’s only justified anger that will get us out.
A lot of people think that anger is all bad – but that’s not always the case. And while I’m sure someone will disagree with me, I think that, sometimes, for those of us who have been stuck in narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships, we need something big to get us to take real action.
We spend so much time being afraid, sad, alone – and feeling not good enough – that being angry can wake us up and propel us into action.
How do I stop feeling scared and take action to leave my abuser?
Here, I’m responding to a question from a viewer and a member of my online support group for narcissistic abuse survivors.
THE QUESTION – A SPANily Support Group Member Asked: “HOW DO I GO FROM FEELING SCARED, ALONE AND SAD TO FINDING THE ANGER I NEED TO TAKE ACTION AND LEAVE OR GET OVER THE NARCISSIST?”
In this video, I’ll give you the bottom line on anger, and I will explain what I mean by starting with a story from my own life.
Your turn: after you watch the video – tell me what you think.
Have you experienced this need to stop being sad and start getting mad – and take the action you need to get safe and back to your true self? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below. Let’s discuss it!
“What are some things that only victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse will understand?”
And they came up with 101 of them!
1. Constantly being put down and told I am crazy
2. Knowing someone is a threat but no one taking you seriously because you do not have a cut lip.
3.Having someone say, “but they look normal”
4. Losing most of what you owned
5. Not being taken seriously by a domestic abuse shelter because you did not fit their picture of abuse
6. Being lied to
7. Triangulation or constantly being dragged into the drama.
8. Knowing no one has your back because they are either flying monkeys or blame you for being in the situation in the first place
9. Being the problem child worker spouse when the narcissist just smiles and knowing you have been set up
10. Not knowing your power, worth, or rights.
And not even understanding that you get them from yourself and your higher power
11. Maybe explaining basic human compassion to your N. I mean not even about his treatment of you but having to explain to an adult why his behavior in a certain situation might be inappropriate. E.g. the death of this person’s father is not about you. It is the other person’s grief and your only role should be to be there for that person and this behavior would be selfish and hurtful to the other person. I felt like I was talking to a child trying to explain why it’s not nice to hit other kids or something.
12. Ongoing fear and anxiety of moving forward to have the N pull you back in…losing yourself in it all…coping skills needed..nothing is working.
13. The tantrums. Like a 3-year-old.
14. For me it’s hard to explain to ANYONE how deeply rooted the pain goes when it’s done covertly. No outwardly scars. I have a very hard time putting my finger on it myself.
15. It is difficult because from the outside looking in the covert narcissist is a saint. This was my father and my most recent experience. People don’t want to hear it and they are condescending and make me feel as if I am damaged and crazy (which I am, but not how they think!). I have been with and known other narcs as well, but the covert narc is the worst!
16. Covert narcissists are skilled manipulators. The proverbial Street angel and house devil. Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde.
17. Whenever I speak to someone, I am hyper-aware of the words I chose because I don’t want them to take what I’m saying as an insult. One of the ways my ex sister in law battered my self-esteem was to twist anything I said into an insult and she was good at it. It made me feel like not talking at all and then thinking and rethinking everything I wanted to say… I ended up coming off as a freak and completely unnatural.
18. Feeling like you are addicted to a substance, but it’s a person so you cannot go to detox.
19. Going into a relationship with a narcissist is great at the beginning. I thought I found the love of my life. Just recently I discovered I’m addicted to him. He’s doing it on purpose with the silent treatment. I wish there was a detox for this!
20. Constantly battling feeling like no one wants to hear what I have to say…worrying that I have no social value and that people think I’m a bitch.
21. Anxiety and fear of moving forward…coping skills and desperately needed support.
22. People thinking I’m crazy when I try to explain my situation.
23. Being told that you are “falling apart” without them holding you together. Without them you are pathetic. They are so much stronger than you….when the entire time you are thinking how incredibly strong you are to handle this abuse!
24. The “You know what you did” stare. It makes you feel guilty when you have no idea why.
25. Constantly being emotionally and mentally exhausted.
26. Feeling unsafe and always doubting your perception of reality
27. Never wanting to trust anyone with your heart again
28. Not wanting to waste my precious time and life on another person that doesn’t value the gift.
29. The rapid beating of the heart when the phone rings and it’s your Narc.
30. The triggers and the need to reprogram them after the abuse ends.
31. That they can not accept love from never having a single hug, kiss…and they are so damaged – it is sad.
32. The fear of authentically expressing yourself and knowing that some form of punishment will follow.
33. Never feeling safe in the relationship because the kind person that you are dealing with is fragile and will flip in one second flat. When that happens and you were already low about something to begin with, the pain you feel can be almost unbearable. You end up not trusting yourself or the universe to bring anything good to you.
34. When you live in a constant state of trying to predict and prevent mistakes, visible signs of failures, messiness, things that could be perceived as laziness, disrespect, or stupidity before the Narc gets home.
35. Hiding small purchases so you don’t get criticized for being frivolous and careless.
36. Cleaning your daughter’s room so she doesn’t get yelled at and criticized.
37. Being hyper-vigilant in all things so that you can try to avoid disappointment and lecture.
38. Looking over my shoulder wherever I go and being afraid that he’s going to be there. Not even going to buy groceries when I don’t have any food because I’m afraid I will see him.
39. The effects of toxic-relationship-induced PTSD.
40. When every six months you are given a list of “improvements” that must be made otherwise the narc is going to divorce you.
41. Emotional blackmail is constant.
42. I have a hard time making choices. And always depend on others to make them for me because it feels safer.
43. Questioning everything and doubting your ability to choose the right path.
44. When you never hear the words: “I’m sorry”, “You look nice”, “How was your day”, “What did you do today”, etc.
45. When your own daughter says “He isn’t very nice to you” or “You know Dad doesn’t like you, right?”
46. My husband and my sons told me so many times to stop talking with my mother. But being a “bad daughter” in other people’s eyes stopped me from doing so. I didn’t want my mother to be right about me. But the support from my husband, sons, family (even her side) and friends totally shocked and encouraged me. They don’t think of me as a bad daughter. But the thing is…their approval though nice isn’t necessary anymore.
47. When your daughter tells you she is afraid to leave you alone with him.
48. The stalking and watching and having decisions made for you…the controlling… you spiral further down wondering where you went.
49. The battering that your self-esteem takes and then when you finally get the courage to leave…there is nobody there to really support you because you weren’t allowed to even have any friends in real life… in other words, feeling DISCONNECTED with other human beings that really do care about you.
50. Your trust of other humans is shattered and your general feeling safe in the world is gone because your abuser managed to destroy that, also…if there was any time in your life for others to step in and say “how can I help?” – it is then….not to just ignore you like you have got the plague.
51. How to divorce a narcissist.
52. Trying to understand how a human being with not one ounce of empathy can actually be classified as a human being.
53. Being discarded with no closure.
54. When your 3-year-old granddaughter sees a smiling Bob commercial and says, “Grandma, I think grandpa needs some of that stuff to fix his smiler.” (She thought it was a commercial for smiling pills).
55. When you want to stop celebrating the holidays because of the stress of spending time with a room full of narcs.
56. When you understand that nothing the narcissists do to hurt or upset you could ever be worse than you getting upset at them for doing it. Being upset at them is unforgivable.
57. Being treated and spoken to like a child. He would come into my home office and say, “The window needs opened” and just do it without asking if I would like the window open. Every time I left the house he would have to walk me out to the car and usually give me a lecture on how to drive even how to get in the car and also warnings about all the bad things that could happen. When I told him this made me feel infantilized, he responded, “You just don’t appreciate my helping you and doing things for you. Plenty of women would be grateful for me.”
58. Whenever I bring up ANY topic I wish to discuss that involves ANY involvement his part, the subject is immediately redirected as a missile in my direction. No matter how far off-topic it may be, suddenly I am the immediate focus of the source of the problem, the reason that the solution cannot be obtained, and the villain of the day. Amazing how he is a master of turning the tables. No amount of reasoning no matter how much logic I throw at him can thwart him. His confidence in his beliefs are unshakable. Its a losing battle but still my sense of incredulity overrides my common sense.
59. Cognitive dissonance. For example, you see obvious signs a narc has been cheating on you and you choose to believe the lies the narc tells you about what’s really happening.
60. Always feeling I have to solve everyone’s problems. Or explain why someone is acting stupid – as if it’s all my fault.
61. I used to be the person who would say that every child needs both parents. After narcissistic abuse, I see exactly why some children must never see the narcissist parent. Now people ask me the same question. They are where I used to be and probably think I am cruel for fighting so hard to keep the little one from him.
62. Going to sleep in fear and waking up in dread every day. With no resolution in sight. Feeling stuck. A living nightmare that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.
63. The Gaslighting.
64. Flying monkeys.
65. Being isolated from people who actually care about you.
66. Getting married or romantically involved with a narcissist and realizing that you were also raised by one.
67. Being disgusted with yourself for not taking action to leave.
68. Repeated attempts to leave and repeated hoovering and love bombing episodes to keep you hooked.
69. Being shocked by the consistently outrageous behavior they display in private.
70. Smear campaigns.
71.The constant”loop” …that hooks & holds your brain’s thought patterns on a repetitive “rewind/record button” that plays over & over & over again making you trapped with the”what if’s” ??? Why didn’t I do this? Why wasn’t I smart enough, before after the fact? If, I had only? IF, IF, IF??!!
72. The narcissistic flip – when the narcissist gets mad at you for being upset or disappointed in him/her.
73. Never feeling good enough.
74. Feeling like you’re not a “real person”
75. Being treated like property instead of a person.
76. Always putting the narcissist’s needs before your own because you don’t want to make him/her angry.
77. Narcissistic rage and narcissistic injury.
78. Hearing the narcissist’s car in the driveway and warning your kids so they can hide out and avoid the wrath.
79. Becoming so numb that you don’t even feel joy anymore.
80. Dissociation that becomes toxic.
81. Using the gray rock method to survive.
82. The horrible unsympathetic attitude of ‘why are you still with him? You must enjoy it’ (even my narc said this to me, which later would change to “How dare you even think of leaving me?!?”)
83. The long and repeated silent treatments you’re subjected to.
84. You understand what it’s like to be the constant source of criticism and blame that turns you into a frightened, mentally paralyzed version of your former self that you have to bring back to life. Only your youth is gone, your looks are fading, your energy is drained and your hopes and dreams are crushed.
85. Always being told you are weak. So you stand up for yourself and then you are told you are crazy and full of drama.
86. The triangulation and smear campaigns that the Narc perpetrates against the target. Including; using your own family and children of all ages.
87. You understand what it’s like to carry the emotional weight for someone you love only to be told that it’s your fault that they have emotional problems in the first place.
88. Fight and/or flight
89. Walking on eggshells
90. Feeling manipulated and intimated no one seeing it but you
91. The one-sided, manipulative phone calls.
92. Love bombing.
93. Narcissistic altruism – the gift that keeps on taking. The narcissist is not selfless. Whenever the narcissist “does” for you, they expect to be “paid back.”
94. Wondering if the narcissist is right about you.
95. Wondering if YOU are the narcissist.
96. Feeling lonely and like everyone in your life is a narcissist.
97. Being homeless.
98 Believing that you were loved and learning that the narcissist isn’t capable of love.
99. Always feeling like you are dead inside.
100. Wishing you could just talk to someone who understands – and having no one in your life who fits the bill.
101. Dealing with flying monkeys
Would love to hear your thoughts – and your own experiences – in the comments!
Being in a good frame of mind helps keep one in the picture of health. ~Unknown
You know all about toxic families and toxic friends, but have you ever considered that your own thoughts can become toxic?
This is especially true if you love a narcissist–and even more especially if you live with the narcissist.
We’ve talked before about why it’s important to keep an eye on your thoughts–because you bring about what you think about. So, if you’re focused on all good things, then more good things will come your way. But, if your thoughts become toxic, they can and will draw negativity and toxicity into your life, and can even cause physical side effects if left unchecked.
But when we’re feeling negatively and thinking toxic thoughts–like feeling and nurturing rage, holding grudges or wallowing in guilt or self-pity–our bodies release damaging chemicals. This makes us more susceptible to illness and disease.
Narcissistic rage can further complicate the situation, especially because narcissists typically aren’t aware that they have the ability to BE wrong–and if they are, forget about it–you’re going to have a cranky person dealing with a severe narcissistic injury.
Dr. Caroline Leaf, author of the book Who Switched Off My Brain, says that “stress and anxiety harm the body in a multitude of ways; patchy memory, severe mental health issues, immune system problems, heart problems and digestive problems.”
You may not even realize how often you complain or lament about the things in life you don’t love. Maybe you are frustrated because you had to wait in line for a half hour at the grocery store, or the traffic on your way home from work was so terrible that you actually got out of your car and sat on the hood to get a little sun. Perhaps you found out that your kid failed Science or you didn’t get into the college of your choice–or your dog ate your knitting project.
If you’re a narcissist, you’re probably not reading this anyway–but those of us who are dealing with you are likely to get the brunt of your toxic thoughts. So hey, if you love us, why not try to get a brighter perspective? We’ll love you for it.
And honestly, does it really help you to rehash and focus on these negative things? Nope, it actually hurts you. So, while you should absolutely feel comfortable telling the people you care about what happened to you during the day, try to focus on the positive side of things, even when there doesn’t seem to be one.
For example, if you waited in line at the grocery store, maybe you talked to someone who really needed a good conversation. If you sat in traffic too long–maybe you needed the solitude or you heard your favorite song. You get the idea–find the silver lining in every cloud.
How to Stop Toxic Thoughts: Use Mind Control (On Yourself)
I can’t stress enough how important it is to recognize and monitor your thoughts. You may not even realize how often you think negative thoughts. For example, if your friend wins an award that you wanted, you may think “she must be better than me” or “I deserved that award, not her!” But if you can bring yourself to genuinely congratulate and feel happy for your friend, you’ll not only do her a favor, but yourself too.
If you find yourself FEELING negatively, take a minute to listen to your thoughts. You might be surprised to find out that you may be subconsciously thinking toxic thoughts.
Take control of your mind, because you can. All you need to do is mentally cancel those toxic thoughts and replace them with positive and healthy thoughts that reflect your true desires. (Because whatever you think about and focus on is what you’re drawing toward yourself–so why not think about and focus on what you really want?)
Change Your Scene
When I feel like my thoughts are getting a little toxic, sometimes it helps me to just change the scene around me. Maybe that means just going into a different room or taking a walk–or maybe I need to get in the car and go somewhere. But inevitably, if I make the effort to change my scene, it changes my mind pretty quickly.
Try going out for coffee with a friend, taking a walk or a bath, working out–or even busting out the Wii for a little karaoke or golf. Whatever works for you–just get away from the spot in which you started thinking toxic thoughts for awhile.
What do you do to control and eliminate toxic thoughts? Tell me in the comments section, below, or hit me up on Facebook.
You’re at a party and you notice your husband getting a bit too close to another woman. After the party, you confront him. He tells you to stop being so insecure and controlling; that he’s his own man and if you don’t like it, you shouldn’t have acted like that in the first place. After arguing all night, you end up begging for forgiveness and apologize for the trouble.
Maybe it’s your mom – she’s picking on you like it’s a sport. She’s worried about what you’re wearing, what you’re eating – who you’re hanging out with – but it’s unhealthy. Instead of fighting back, you just suck it up and take it – maybe you’re too sensitive, or perhaps you really are crazy after all. Who can’t take a bit of criticism, anyway?
Or it’s your boss, who told you you had his support on your latest project, only to backpedal when it’s time to present it to the team. Suddenly, he criticizes you for your poor choices and he’s jumnped ship – but when you talk to him later, he tells you it was wrong from the beginning and you need to be more careful in the future. You find yourself wondering if your judgment might really be flawed, after all.
Maybe this stuff doesn’t happen in your life, but for many people, it’s an everyday reality. If you think it could never be you, think again! Some of the most intelligent and capable people are living in painfully toxic relationships with narcissists, and they’re plagued by regular bouts of gaslighting, an insidious form of emotional abuse and manipulation that can be crueler than more obvious forms of abuse because it sort of sneaks up on you.
Because of its insidious nature, gaslighting is one form of emotional abuse that is hard to recognize and even more challenging to break free from. Part of that is because the narcissist exploits one of our greatest fears – the fear of being alone.