My publsher is offering a sale on all of my print books. They’re 15% off until June 2, 2023. Simply enter code MAKERS15 at checkout. My books can be found at this link:
My publisher is having a sale on my print books. To get 10% off, use code MOTHERSDAY10 at checkout until May 12, 2023.
My print books can be found at the link below:
No matter how careful you may be, it’s likely you’ve come across at least one narcissist in your life. They will do anything they can to make sure they always have control of their victims.
The most helpful thing I have found to do in these situations is to pray. Asking God to help me remain calm, think logically rather than emotionally & have creative & effective ways of dealing with their manipulation has been incredibly helpful.
Simple acts such as providing too much personal information, strong emotional reactions, & tolerating control & manipulation can all contribute to narcissists having the power. To take your power back, you need to do the opposite of those things. Don’t share personal information. When the narcissist provokes you, remain calm even when you have every right to be angry or hurt. Instead of giving the narcissist their way when they try to control you, act as if you don’t notice what they are trying to do.
It is also so important to practice self-care. Take the time to keep yourself grounded & pay attention to your feelings & thoughts. Allow yourself to be honest & real with yourself, & reject any guilt that may influence you to stay with a narcissist or tolerate their abuse just because they make you feel you should do such things. Listen to yourself & understand that your feelings are valid & important. You never deserve to feel guilty or ashamed of being upset over how they treat you.
It is also important to recognize your own strength & power. Remind yourself that with God’s help, you are capable of getting through anything, & you have every right to take control of your life! Make sure that you are fully aware of how you are feeling & staying true to yourself.
One important step in taking back your power from narcissists is to recognize their behavior & know when it is happening. It’s vitally important to be aware of those times when their behavior turns manipulative, controlling, or abusive & be willing to take steps to protect yourself.
Another step in taking back your power from narcissists is to be willing to set boundaries. It can often be difficult & ineffective to stand up to a narcissist & tell them no, as you do with those who aren’t narcissists. Narcissists are notorious for barreling over healthy boundaries &/or portraying themselves as innocent victims when someone tries setting boundaries on their abusive behavior. This often makes victims give up their boundaries rather than deal with the narcissist’s abusive protests. But it’s important to remember that you have the right to have boundaries, to be respected & treated fairly. If a narcissist continues to disrespect you, it is important to protect yourself however you need to do. Changing the topic of conversation, hanging up the phone or leaving can be subtle ways to do this. If all else fails, find a way to turn the conversation back to the narcissist somehow. They almost never pass up an opportunity to tall about themselves.
Being aware of your own reactions to them also helps to take your power away from narcissists. Narcissists view strong emotional reactions in their victims as a sign of weakness, & use these reactions to control & manipulate. It’s best to stay in tune with your emotions to make sure you are not giving them power when you respond to their behavior.
Lastly, a great way to help yourself in these situations is to practice mindful reflection. This can be done through activities such as praying & journaling to help you become aware of how their words &/or actions are affecting you. Self-care is important anyway but it can also be helpful in recognizing the narcissist’s manipulation & how you can best manage your responses to their behavior.
Taking back your power from narcissists is ultimately about recognizing their tactics & having the willingness to protect yourself. It’s not easy but it can be done. The more you do it, the better you will become at it.
Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Narcissism
My publisher is having a sale on my print books. To get 10% off, use code INBLOOM10 at checkout until April 28, 2023.
My print books can be found at the link below:
Some people are known as Dark Empaths. They are often described as someone who uses their ability to recognize what others are going through & use it for their benefit. They have only one of the three types of empathy, what is known as cognitive empathy. According to researchers Paul Ekman & Daniel Goldman, this means someone can identify with what someone is experiencing & feeling, yet their own emotions aren’t affected. There is no desire to help or support someone struggling.
Dark Empaths also can be prone to gossiping, bullying, manipulating or intimidating others & being vindictive. They also can be prolific with gaslighting, love bombing & portraying themselves as the victim. If you’re thinking their behavior sounds narcissistic, you would be absolutely correct. The difference between them & narcissists is that they have some empathy, as damaged as it may be, unlike narcissists who have none.
I learned some time back about a variation on the Dark Empath that is quite different than this standard definition. In fact, it’s very empowering to people like me!
This alternative definition says that Dark Empaths are champions for humanity. They want to protect & educate people. Often, they are victims of narcissistic abuse, & learned from their experiences. They can spot a narcissist & recognize their manipulations easily. They also can outwit narcissists easily. Narcissists hate these Dark Empaths because they see behind the mask, recognize exactly what they are, won’t hesitate to call them out on their behavior & warn others about them.
While I’m less than thrilled with the original, recognized definition of a Dark Empath, I do identify well with this alternative definition. I just wish it was the original definition, because it fits what I thought when I first read the term Dark Empath so much better than the original definition. When I first began reading about empaths, everything seemed to portray them as almost mystical, sometimes with psychic powers & cheering up people who were sad. It seemed to me empaths were all “unicorns & rainbows”. I found something silly for quite some time, so I stopped reading about them. Over time, I learned I have a great deal of empathy, but I’m far from the unicorns & rainbows type. I’m too realistic for that. If something is bad, I will admit that just as quickly as I’ll admit something is good. So for me, I thought of myself as a Dark Empath. Later reading what psychologists refer to as a Dark Empath was rather shocking. Finding the alternative definition felt so much more accurate. And, realizing what I was reading described me well was pretty empowering!
Today I thought sharing this with you might be as beneficial for you as it was for me. So many people I’ve spoken to who follow my work also fit this alternative description of a Dark Empath. If it describes you, then I hope you find this as empowering as I have. Don’t let society’s desire for only light, happy things dissuade you from what you feel you must do. It’s ok & even necessary to talk about more serious, deep things like narcissism. Narcissists are out there & hurting people every single day. Everyone needs to be aware of what they’re capable of & how to protect themselves from these monsters.
Not everyone is capable of speaking openly about narcissism & narcissistic abuse because of the backlash, but if you feel called to do this, you have the ability to handle that backlash with dignity. I can promise you that. I’ve been attacked more times than I can count from people I know & strangers alike for discussing it so openly & you know something? It no longer upsets me, because I know people like this only want to shut people like me down because of their own selfish desires, & usually are narcissists themselves. Dark Empaths are realistic & understand people enough to know this, which means the insults of such people don’t affect them or deter them from their path.
If you too are a Dark Empath in the alternative definition of the phrase, be encouraged! What you’re doing is helping people, even changing their lives. Keep on your path! God has given you a very unique calling & equipped you to handle it!
It’s natural for us to feel defensive sometimes when someone criticizes us. However, this doesn’t mean we’re incapable, stupid, or a failure. It simply means that the other person wants something done differently or is trying to help. This post is for anyone who struggles with constructive criticism due to growing up with narcissistic parents.
Growing up with narcissistic parents can make it challenging to receive criticism. Narcissistic parents often criticize their children excessively & make them feel like they’re never good enough. As a result, children of narcissistic parents usually struggle with low self-esteem, anxiety, depression & C-PTSD. They also may view any criticism as a personal attack & become defensive or shut down entirely. If you grew up with narcissistic parents, it’s essential to recognize & acknowledge how their behavior affected you. This awareness can help you start to change your mindset & respond to criticism more realistically.
It’s also important to differentiate between constructive criticism & destructive criticism. Constructive criticism is feedback that’s intended to help you improve. It’s not meant to tear you down or make you feel badly about yourself. Destructive criticism is the opposite, & is meant to hurt you & make you feel bad about yourself.
Changing your mindset takes time & effort, but it’s very possible. Start by recognizing that not all criticism is meant to be destructive. Some is constructive criticism, & it’s an opportunity to learn & grow. It’s not a personal attack.
Try to approach criticism with an open mind & a willingness to improve. Remember that no one is perfect. We all make mistakes sometimes & have room to grow.
It may also be helpful to practice self-compassion. Treat yourself with kindness & understanding, in particular when you make mistakes or receive criticism. Remind yourself that no one is perfect, & that’s ok! Also remember that you’re doing your best, & that’s all anyone can ask of you.
When someone asks you to do something a different way, take a deep breath & try to remain calm. Again, remember that not everyone is attacking you personally; they may just want something done differently.
Listen carefully to their feedback & ask questions if you’re not sure what they mean. You’ll be able to identify if their criticism is constructive or destructive rather quickly. If it’s constructive, thank them for their feedback & let them know that you’ll do your best to make the requested changes. If you need more time or support, don’t be afraid to ask for it. If it’s destructive, remind yourself that people who use this tactic don’t mean what they say. They are critical as a way to gain control over someone by damaging their self esteem.
It’s important to set boundaries with people who criticize you excessively or destructively. You have the right to protect your mental health & well-being.
If someone’s feedback is hurting you, let them know that their criticism is not helpful & ask them to stop. Sometimes people become excessively negative & critical when stressed or going through a particularly difficult time. People like this are likely unaware of their behavior & will make appropriate changes. If they continue to criticize you & excuse their behavior, it may be a sign of a toxic person, & necessary to limit or end contact with them.
Changing your mindset & responding better to criticism takes time & effort. It’s a process, not a quick fix. Be patient with yourself & celebrate your progress along the way. Always remember that you’re not a failure or incapable just because someone asks you to do something differently. Viewing constructive criticism as an opportunity to learn & grow is a very healthy thing to do.
It’s not uncommon for people to want to help others, whether it’s lending a hand or a shoulder to cry on. Unfortunately, some individuals take on this role for purely selfish reasons, & covert narcissists are people who do exactly that.
Covert narcissists often behave in this way. They act like they are doing something to help other people, but in reality, they are only doing what they are doing as a way to benefit themselves. They often easily manipulate or control their victims by appearing meek & helpful when the truth is that they are anything but. Today, we will discuss this particular behavior of the covert narcissist & how to recognize them.
Covert narcissists often try to help people for all the wrong reasons. They want to make themselves look good or feel better about themselves by helping others. It’s important to recognize the subtle signs of covert narcissists so you can protect yourself from their toxic behavior.
Some of the most common signs of a covert narcissist include but are not limited to always talking about themselves in a humble way, a complete lack of genuine empathy, being very self centered, expecting others to be grateful for their help even when it isn’t truly helpful or needed, subtly manipulating conversations such as frequently interrupting, & always trying to be the hero.
I’ve been around quite a few covert narcissists in my life. My ex husband & my late mother in-law were covert narcissists, as was my father. One thing they all had in common was saying that they wanted to help me, but their motives were anything less than unselfish. They wanted to be the hero in an attempt to make me dependent on them. My father in particular always wanted to be the one to fix things for me, & he clearly didn’t care if I could solve the problem or not.
It was difficult to recognize this behavior at the time, but looking back, I can see how manipulative this behavior was. My father & ex often tried to control the situation & make me reliant on them. Their actions were clearly selfish, & they didn’t care about helping me, but only about how it would make them look or feel about themselves.
It’s important to recognize these signs of a covert narcissist & protect yourself from their manipulation. If you suspect that someone is a covert narcissist, be wary of their intentions when they try to help you, & don’t let them control the situation by “rescuing” you. If you recognize that they constantly are trying to help you when it is unnecessary & unasked for, thank them for their effort, remind them that you can handle the situation, & don’t allow them to participate in solving your problem. Any small access they have to your situation, they will use to their advantage, & they will use it to hurt or control you. They probably will be offended that you don’t want their help, but it is better than allowing such toxic people into your personal life where they can hurt & control you.
Covert narcissists are cruel, heartless people who try to appear as good, caring people by helping others. They will manipulate or control their victims at any opportunity, & don’t truly care about helping them. It’s important to recognize the signs of covert narcissists & protect yourself from their toxic behavior. It’s also important to recognize that not everyone who helps others is a covert narcissist, & to be open to genuine acts of kindness.
If you’re a victim of narcissistic abuse, remember that you are not alone. Reach out to supportive people in your life, such as family or friends. I also have a group on Facebook full of supportive, kind, caring people who have experienced all matters of narcissistic abuse. It’s a safe place to communicate with others who have experienced similar situations to yours. Feel free to connect with it if you like!
Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism
Many people say things absolutely wrong from the perspective of responsibility. Think of how narcissists apologize, for example. They say things like, “I’m sorry you feel that way,” which basically makes the victim feel judged & badly for being upset about the abuse that was inflicted on them. It subtly removes responsibility off the narcissist for being abusive & puts it on the victim for overreacting or being too sensitive.
There are also other less glaringly obvious examples of this behavior that are very common.
When you apologize, saying, “I’m sorry about that” is pretty vague. Instead, saying, “I’m sorry I hurt you when I forgot our anniversary” is much better. Why? Because it acknowledges the wrong done as well as accepts responsibility for the behavior. That kind of apology stands a much better chance of gaining forgiveness than a vaguer one does.
It’s also important to use language that isn’t minimizing when discussing abuse. If you’re confronting your abuser, it makes an impression to tell them, “Screaming at me is unacceptable. Until you can calm down, talk to me in a normal tone of voice without calling me stupid, I won’t listen to you.” Saying something like, “You hurt my feelings when you yelled at me & called me names” sounds more like whining, & most abusers won’t listen to that. It minimizes the abuse & the claims sound vaguer, which give the abuser room to further minimize his or her actions, deny they even happened or even turn the conversation around to you, saying you’re over sensitive or similar nonsense as a way of removing the focus off of them.
Even if you aren’t confronting your abuser, it’s still not a good idea to minimize anything when discussing abuse. Saying things like, “What happened to me” glosses over the abuse. It sounds not so bad. It also sounds like you have some responsibility it it. Using phrases like, “What was done to me,” or “What they did to me” place the responsibility for what happened to you where it belongs – on your abuser. This is very important! Not only does it help people who weren’t abused see that the abuser was responsible for the abuse, but it helps victims as well. When victims sugar coat the abuse by saying things like, “I was abused” makes them minimize the severity of the events in their mind. They basically invalidate themselves. Victims need to be very aware that what happened was terrible & it wasn’t their fault.
If someone tells you that they were abused, then please don’t say things like, “I’m sorry that happened to you.” That too can be very minimizing. Instead, say, “I’m so sorry that person did that to you! That was terrible & wrong, & you didn’t deserve to be treated like that.” By saying the latter option, you have empowered the victim. You basically said, “That person did something pretty terrible to you that they shouldn’t have done. It wasn’t your fault!” You acknowledge the severity of the situation, & sometimes, victims really need that. When we see someone other than us is horrified when they find out some of the things done to us. It helps us to take what happened more seriously. It’s harder to downplay trauma when someone else sees it as traumatic & terrible.
You must be logged in to post a comment.