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General

How to Come Out of the Abuse Fog

It finally hit. After years of wondering what was wrong, who was crazy, and how did this happen, the reality of behavior as abusive hits like a ton of bricks. The insight is simultaneously overwhelming, shocking, frustrating, disgusting, and demeaning. But there it is: the answer that was longed for was never fully considered until this moment. Then everything became clear.

At first, it seems as if a thousand miles can be seen at once...

Exhaustion

10 Ways to Beat Holiday Stress

Instead of the song lyric “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” holidays can be ‘the most stressful time of the year.’  With all there is to do (gifting, decorating, and baking), places to go (cocktail parties, family gatherings, and school recitals), and people to see (friends, family and colleagues), life can feel overwhelming. Here are ten ways to reduce the exhaustion:

Simplify. It is often the addition of things, people, and activities...

Children & Teens

Is My Child A Narcissist?

With the definition and examples of narcissism so prevalent in our culture, it is easy to wonder if a child is a budding narcissist. This is especially concerning when those examples are prominent sports athletes, glorified actors/actresses, or dominate leaders in politics or business that the child admires. So how does a person know if a child is a narcissist?

After reading the definition of narcissism, nearly every two year old will appear narcissistic. Most...

Coping Skills

The Act of Suicide Adds to the Grieving Process

It is generally accepted that there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Following a death, these stages can be done consecutively or in a mixed order. There is no proper way to manage grief other than to go through the entire process and not stay stuck in denial.

However, when the cause of death is suicide, this adds an additional three stages to the grieving process and changes how the...

Children & Teens

7 Types of Parental Abuse

A bruise should not be the requirement for evidence of parental abuse. There are many other ways a child can be harmed. While this list may not be all inclusive, it is meant to expand on the traditional definition of child abuse. Most states recognize some aspects of sexual abuse, physical abuse, or neglect but fail to fully address them while completely disregarding mental, verbal, emotional, financial, and spiritual. This list provides an opportunity...

Family

5 Tips for Tackling your Spouse’s Narcissistic Family

There are some days when the thought of knocking down a relative or in-law seems tempting. This is especially true following an unforeseen passive-aggressive personal attack. But if this person is a narcissist, they seem to have the resilience of a linebacker who takes the blow just to bounce back up again with even more determination to dominate the next time.

Winning in such an environment feels like a lost cause. Many happily settle for...

Work

19 Reasons for Chronic Underperformance

By the mid-40’s certain aspects of a person’s personality become very apparent. One of these things is work productivity. While there can be socioeconomic reasons for underperformance, after twenty years, a person is able to rise above even the most difficult of times. There is a warning however, being productive and being successful are not the same, so this not about accomplishment.

Nor is this about a teenager or someone in their twenties. For them, underperformance...

Coping Skills

The Secret Façade of the Vulnerable Narcissist

At first, they seem so quiet and unobtrusive; a refreshing break from the normal banter of one-up-man-ship that frequently dominates an initial conversation. But then the sly remarks characteristic of inattentiveness began, along with a victimization mentality where the whole world is out to get them, and a hypersensitivity to unintentional disparaging comments. The switch is so dramatic that it is hardly noticeable until it becomes unnerving.

The narcissistic qualities of a vulnerable narcissist (VN)...

Coping Skills

Top 10 Holiday Defense Mechanisms

For many, the stress of the holidays is overwhelming. The anticipation of family gatherings alone can create anxious, tense, and uncomfortable responses. Then there are the personal expectations of gift giving, the lack of appropriate boundaries of friends, and the increased tension of an end-of-the-year work cycle.

Sorting through these conflicting thoughts and emotions can be difficult. Fortunately, Freud identified common coping strategies that many people utilize which he referred to as defense mechanisms. Here is...

Family

7 Tips for Surviving the Holidays with a Narcissist

As if life with a narcissist wasn’t bad enough on a regular basis, add the holidays into the mix and it becomes chaotic. Narcissists want the best-looking house on the block with extreme decorating measures just to outdo the neighbors and relatives. The food is Martha Stewart-worthy (even when it is purchased and made to look homemade), the clothes are the latest fashion trend, the parties are legendary but so are the rants and...