Tag Archives: people

Your Perceptions Of People Aren’t Always Accurate

People can have very strange ways of looking at things.  They clearly look at things through their own experiences, which of course is to be expected.  Many times though, people also forget that there are other perspectives.

Many of my family members have made it very clear that they think I was spoiled by my parents, & have led an easy life without a care in the world.

What these people saw & what the truth was are VERY different things.

My family saw me barely allowed to leave my mother’s side at family gatherings, & assumed this meant we were close.  They had no idea that meant she controlled my every move & I was afraid to protest.  They saw me dressed in clean, decent clothing & assumed that meant all of my needs were met.  They didn’t realize there are more needs that parents should meet than food, clothing & shelter.  It was those needs that were neglected in my life.  They also saw me as a quiet child who didn’t complain about anything, so they assumed all was right in my world.  Obviously they didn’t understand that abused children don’t usually complain.  They know that if it was discovered that they said anything derogatory about their abusive parent, they would face that parent’s wrath, so they keep complaints to themselves.  They also didn’t know I was afraid to say anything that could be met with my mother’s disapproval.

This is typical of many people.  They see things & make assumptions based on their own experiences or even fantasies rather than keeping an open mind. 

This is going to happen to you at some point as it has me, & when it does, please remember that what other people think isn’t necessarily important.  You were there, you lived the situation.  They were not.  They saw appearances only, not the truth behind the façade.  Don’t let these people downplay anything traumatic or treat you badly because they have made foolish assumptions about you. 

I have found that people who make snap judgments are often unsafe people or at the very least, very wounded people who aren’t trying to heal from their wounds.  Some distance may be the best option for you when you learn someone behaves this way on a regular basis.

Please also remember not to behave the same way as the judge-y people!  When you have been exposed to the horrors of narcissistic abuse, it can be very easy to see everyone as a potential threat.  Not everyone is a narcissist!  Sometimes people act in selfish or very inconsiderate ways because they are going through a tough time.  They are so caught up in their difficult situation that their preoccupation with it is making them behave thoughtlessly.  And, not everyone is a victim of similar circumstances to yours just because they show some similar behavior to yours.  That person who is dealing with terrible anxiety or depression may have a rather good life.  Their problem may be that they survived a brain injury that created problems with anxiety or depression even though they show no other outward signs of brain damage. 

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

Being Judgmental

Some years ago, I used to sell bath & beauty products I made from all natural ingredients.  I got an email one day about my products.  I was surprised that this wasn’t the usual email asking if I could make some specialty product or make a unique scent for some perfume that the buyer wanted.  Instead, the person emailing asked if I practiced witchcraft.  Apparently because I used natural products & openly discussed my preference for herbal remedies over man made, this person assumed I was a practicing witch, not a Christian.

Several years after that, I had met someone online.  We shared a love of crocheting, so we discussed it often.  One day, she shocked me by saying, “I know why you don’t have kids.  It’s because of your mother!  You shouldn’t let her make you feel that way!”  Since we never discussed children in depth other than I had none & she had a son, her saying this was astonishing.  She also didn’t know me well enough to make such a judgment, but she then scolded me for feeling the way she assumed I felt.

Not long ago, someone my husband & I have known for years thanked my husband for doing something for her, then told him to thank me for “letting” him help her out.

I’m sharing these strange little stories because I wanted to show just how utterly foolish judgmental people can be.  People other than witches like natural things.  Consider how many people of all religious backgrounds like a cup of chamomile tea to help them sleep.  The second person assuming my mother is why I don’t have children isn’t any better.  My mother had nothing to do with my feelings.  And as far as me “letting” my husband do things for someone else, that is simply laughable.  Having been subjected to controlling people in my life & being very aware of how awful it is, why would I do that to anyone, let alone someone I love?  Yet, in spite of the ridiculousness of these assumptions, these & equally stupid ones happen to people every day, all the time. 

While it can be easy to judge someone, that doesn’t make it right.  The Bible tells us not to judge each other.  We are only supposed to judge in a discerning way.  John 7:24 in the Amplified Bible says “Do not judge by appearance [superficially and arrogantly], but judge fairly and righteously.”  In other words, appearance isn’t everything!  Judge by the things a person does.  Their actions dictate their heart, & the heart is so much more important than appearance!  Some of the kindest people you can meet are covered in tattoos & piercings while some of the cruelest people you can meet wear modest clothing, volunteer or attend church every Sunday. 

You may think that you aren’t a judgmental person, & I hope you aren’t.  But please look honestly at yourself.  If you see a homeless man, do you deliberately avoid giving him money because you assume he will use it for drugs or alcohol?  He may use money for drugs or alcohol, that is true, but he may use it to feed his dog or get a pair of shoes since his are worn through.  He may be struggling with mental illness or lost his job then his home.  Such things don’t make him a bad person.  They make him a person with a problem.  You may be his answer to prayer, but you won’t be if you judge him by his appearance.  Whatever his story may be, if you don’t try to offer him at least a little help, that says more about the condition of your heart than it does about him. 

I just wanted to encourage you today to take a look at your behavior, & if you recognize you can be unfairly judgmental sometimes, then please change that about yourself.  Not only is being judgmental ungodly behavior, but it also steals your peace.  There is no point in weighing yourself down with opinions of people & things that aren’t even any of your business in the first place.  Focus on what you need to, & don’t worry about the things that aren’t your concern.

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Enjoying Life, Mental Health

Showing Appreciation To The People In Your Life

Entitlement runs rampant today.  Granted, narcissists lead the way with their ridiculously overdeveloped sense of entitlement, but even people who aren’t narcissistic can be too entitled sometimes as well.  This can lead to failing to appreciate people in your life, because it can feel like there is no need to show appreciation for something someone is just supposed to do.

Failing to appreciate people in your life can lead to being taken for granted, resentment, anger, depression & ending relationships.  Why let this happen when it is so simple to avoid?

Start by showing people you are grateful for the things they do for you.  When someone does something for you, no matter how small, thank them.  Make that into a habit that you do constantly.  I don’t care if the task was something small like passing the salt at dinner.  Thank the person who did that!  Your husband put gas in your car because he knows you dislike that task?  Thank him for thinking of you & saving you that trip to the gas station.  Did your best friend call to tell you that your favorite movie comes on TV at 9 tonight?  Thank her for remembering that you love that movie & for thinking to let you know about this.  People like being thanked for what they do, even for such small things.  It makes them feel appreciated & like you don’t take them for granted.

While you’re at it, return the favor to people who bless you by being a blessing to them.  Doing thoughtful little gestures for them will make them feel the relationship is balanced, & they aren’t just doing things for you.  If you aren’t sure what to do, pay attention to people.  If someone mentions wanting to read a new book, buy them the book.  If they like coffee, surprise them with a cup of their favorite coffee periodically.  If they complain about having too much to do, then offer to help them complete some tasks or at the least accompany them when they run errands.

Tell those in your life often that you love them.  Say the words often.  Growing up, my wonderful grandparents always ended conversations with, “I love you.”  I don’t remember all of the details of our final conversations before they passed on but I can promise you our last words to each other definitely were, “I love you.” 

Complement people & do it often.  Tell your loved ones how much you admire their intelligence, kind heart, fashion sense.. anything & everything you admire about them!  A sincere complement can make even a very bad day better.

Be a cheerleader!  When someone you love is struggling, encourage them.  Let them know you believe in them & why.  And, when they accomplish the thing that was originally a struggle, celebrate with them for a job well done.

In fact, celebrate whatever accomplishments they do that bring them joy no matter how big or small.  Tell them you’re proud of them or happy for them or whatever is appropriate in the situation.

Don’t just be there in the good times either.  Be there to help them through the tough times.  Listen non-judgmentally to them while sharing a pint of ice cream, offer to clean their home or go to the grocery store for them. 

Normalize showing love to every person in your life that you love.  Normalize making people feel like a priority in your life rather than an afterthought.  Normalize checking in just to say hi & see how someone is doing.  Normalize talking about your dreams & innermost, private thoughts together knowing there won’t be judgment or criticism.  Doing things like this will enrich the relationships in your life immensely & bring both you & the other people in your life great joy.

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Enjoying Life, Mental Health

Helpful Routines For Highly Sensitive People

In case you haven’t heard the term, highly sensitive people, or HSPs, are people who are especially sensitive, just as the name implies.  They also are known to have a high sensory processing sensitivity.  This means HSPs can be very sensitive to all sorts of things such as textures, loud noises, & bright lights.  They also are very in tune with other people, & are often easily stressed by tense situations & violence.  Due to their sensitivity, highly sensitive people can become overwhelmed very easily.  There are very good parts of being a highly sensitive person though.  They tend to be very creative & empathic people with good quality relationships & a deep appreciation for beauty in all its forms. 

In my experience of talking with many people who have been abused by narcissists, many victims of narcissistic abuse are highly sensitive people, which is why I have chosen to discuss this topic.

Due to the nature of being highly sensitive, life easily can become overwhelming sometimes.  Highly sensitive people need to develop healthy routines to maintain good mental health & prevent burn out.

I firmly believe a close relationship with God to be vital.  The closer you are to Him, the more peaceful you naturally feel because you know He is in charge.  He also will help you figure out ways you can avoid burn out.

Getting rest is essential.  HSPs need more rest than most people, due to their senses working so hard.  While it may not sound it, that really can be exhausting.  It’s important to get good sleep, so investing in a comfortable bed with good quality linens is money well spent.  You also may want to listen to soft music or nature sounds to help you fall asleep.  Pillow speakers can be a great investment for those who sleep with a partner.

Part of getting rest is prioritizing down time.  After a long day, it’s very important to take time to relax & decompress.  What can you do to enjoy your down time?  Pray?  Read?  Listen to music?  Knit?  Think about what helps you feel calm & participate in that often, preferably daily.

Reevaluate your schedule.  While being busy is valued in today’s culture, that doesn’t mean it’s healthy.  Being too busy reduces the ability to enjoy down time, can interfere with sleep & cause a plethora of mental & physical health problems.  What can you eliminate from your schedule?  Are there ways you can at least cut back on certain activities?  Is there anything you do that you can get help with doing from your spouse, kids or coworkers?

Reevaluate your boundaries.  Many highly sensitive people are so in tune with the needs of those around them, they ignore their own needs.  This clearly is an unhealthy habit!  While it’s great to be there for those you love, it’s also important to take care of yourself.  There is nothing wrong with limiting what you do for other people.  In fact, doing so is a very loving thing to do for you as well as them.

Consider your home.  Home should be your sanctuary, away from all cares of the world, where you can relax & be at peace.  Does that describe your home?  Clutter can create anxiety so if you have clutter, clear it out & your anxiety should diminish greatly.  If you aren’t happy with how it looks, make changes to turn your home into your personal sanctuary.  Those changes may be as simple as decluttering or as drastic as repainting every room.

Start journaling.  Journaling is a wonderful thing.  There are no hard & fast rules to it.  Your journal can be as fancy or as plain as you like.  It can be online only or a physical book.  You can write as much or as little as you like, as often as you like & in whatever style you like.  Some people write as if they are writing a letter to a friend when they journal or they write out their prayers.  Others draw pictures or cut out pictures from magazines & such then paste in the pages of their journals.  There are also countless journaling prompts available online to help if you get stuck. 

If these suggestions seem too much, then don’t try to do them all at once.  Start by doing one.  Add another when you feel ready.  The changes you make will help you physically & mentally.

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

When Healthy People Vent vs When Toxic People “Vent”

I have had more people come to me with their problems during my lifetime than I can remember.  It just seems to be a fact of my life.  Most of the time, I find people usually just want someone to validate them & say things like, “I understand” or, “I’m sorry that happened to you!”  It can be draining, but I can handle that. 

Then there are the emotional vampires like narcissists who only want a listening ear.  Unlike other more functional people, they don’t want validation.  They don’t want advice.  They want to treat someone as their emotional trash can, dumping all of their negativity onto that person in order to make themselves feel better with no regard to that person’s feelings.

For a long time, I didn’t realize one of these two types of people was just using me & being toxic.  Eventually I figured out some ways to tell the difference & I hope sharing them will help you.

If someone needs to vent, often they have respect for your time.  They will ask if you have a few minutes because they need to vent.  You are free to say not now & their feelings won’t be hurt.  The more toxic the person, the less likely they will do this & the more likely they also will take up a LOT of your time.  As an added “bonus”- they won’t apologize for taking up your time when they realize they have been talking for hours.

Someone who is venting wants a solution.  If there isn’t one, they are frustrated about that fact.  A person who is toxic has no desire for a solution.  Instead, they simply ramble on & on about their issue, & every time a possible solution is offered, they offer reasons why that solution won’t work. 

Similarly, the toxic person also isn’t open to constructive criticism.  If they have done something wrong in the scenario they are discussing, they don’t want to hear about it.  They get defensive or make up excuses as to why what they did was ok & the other person was all wrong.  Healthy people are open to constructive criticism & will own up to any mistakes they have made.

If you are the listener & you try to show the speaker in this situation the perspective of someone else, a healthy person is willing to consider that.  A toxic person isn’t.  They don’t care about the other person’s perspective in the slightest, only about their own.

When the speaking person was clearly wronged, you can see the difference easily between a toxic person & a healthy one.  The toxic person will not only be upset about what happened, but will play the victim.  In other words, they will accept no responsibility for any wrong they have contributed to the situation, they will claim life is so hard & unfair for them, claim they had no other option but to be in this painful situation & more.

Toxic people in these situations also are notorious for dumping a barrage of issues at once on their listeners.  They don’t seem to notice that the listener has become overwhelmed, either.  They just keep on talking.  Healthy people don’t do this.  They vent about one issue, sometimes two, but that is all.  They also notice if their listener is feeling overwhelmed.

If you have the misfortune of one of these toxic types treating you as their trash can, my heart goes out to you!  Just remember, you have every right to set boundaries.  You can leave the room or hang up the phone.  You can refuse to take their calls if they call you often.  And yes, you even have the right to end the relationship.  Protect your mental health!

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

For The People Pleasers

Those abused by narcissists, in particular raised by narcissistic parents, tend to be people pleasers to an extreme.  Under the abusive influence, you learn that you are to have no needs & never to burden anyone with your so called “trivial” wants, needs & feelings. You also learn that love is conditional & if you want love, you must do everything right.  It’s the perfect recipe for becoming a people pleaser.

Finally comes a time when you realize you are exhausted & depressed.  This people pleasing thing is extremely hard work & incredibly unrewarding.  Instead of people loving you & appreciating all that you do for them, they expect more & more from you.  They also expect you to do for them no matter what is happening with you.  You could be sad or busy or sick, & they still expect you to do whatever pleases them with no regard to you.  The unfairness of it all makes you mad.

You also realize that no matter how hard you try, pleasing people is impossible to do all of the time.  Being a mere human being, you will fail sometimes.  You will miss the mark.  Those who expect you to please them have little patience for your failures, & can be very cruel.  This adds to your anger & depression.

You also realize you can’t spend all of your life trying to make other people comfortable & happy.  It’s not your job!  Besides, many of the people you worry about making comfortable & happy don’t care about making you comfortable in return, so the relationship is very one-sided.  This unfair burden is maddening.

You also reach a time of being fed up with other people’s expectations.  You will become very angry that people expect so much of you while giving you little or even nothing in return.  You finally realize that it’s detrimental to your mental & emotional health to make pleasing others a priority while ignoring yourself. 

One day you are going to be furious that you lost your identity while trying to please other people.  You will realize that you have no idea who the real you is & that too will make you angry.  That realization is scary & painful.  It leaves you feeling completely lost. 

You also will become fed up with constantly having to defend yourself.  When you can’t do something that is expected of you by the ungrateful, using types, they get angry & say & do the cruelest things as a way of punishing you for not doing what they think you’re supposed to do.  That gets old!

The life of a people pleaser is not an easy one.  It also isn’t the one that God wants anyone to live!  The purpose of this post today is to help inspire you to break free of that extremely dysfunctional role!

Stop worrying about pleasing everyone!  It’s impossible anyway.  Instead, worry about pleasing God, yourself, & those safe & wonderful people closest to you!

Learn who you are, & embrace that person.  Psalm 139:14 says that you are fearfully & wonderfully made.  In other words, God doesn’t make trash.  He made you into the special, wonderful person that you are.

You deserve the same happiness you’re trying to give other people.  Don’t be afraid to help yourself to some happiness for a change!

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

If Someone Hasn’t Proven Themselves Safe, They May Be Proving Themselves Dangerous

I was thinking about something not long ago. In October, 2017, my father died. His final twenty days, he was in the hospital, connected to a ventilator. We were no contact by this time, so my “family” decided that not only did they need to tell me this, they needed to harass & try to bully me into saying goodbye multiple times a day, every day.


I deleted & blocked access to the worst of the worst of my relatives, the ones who constantly bothered me. Some others I left the door open for contact. We remained Facebook friends & I didn’t block their phone numbers back then. Not one of them contacted me during that time or after my father’s passing.


At the time, I thought their behavior meant they were safe, but I later realized something. Although they hadn’t proven themselves to be completely toxic & unsafe, they also hadn’t proven themselves safe either.


In situations where you are unsure about whether or not a person is safe, it’s very important to figure the issue out!


Sometimes you simply don’t know a person very well, so they don’t feel comfortable discussing certain topics with you. In all fairness, that could have been the situation with my relatives. I never was very close with most people in my family, so I didn’t know them terribly well. Anyway the closeness or lack thereof in the relationship should be taken into consideration when attempting to decide if a person is truly safe or unsafe.


If the person in question is a relative, I feel it can be important to know their immediate family & the relationship they have with them. That can be very telling. In my situation, the people were part of a branch of the family that was pretty enmeshed with each other. No one spoke up to their mother. Whatever she wanted, thought or believed was right, period. In fact, I saw only one person stand up to her one time about what I thought was a trivial matter & oddly, she never said anything in return. The incident did show me how much anger this person had inside, though, which unsettled me.


If the immediate family of the person in question is dysfunctional, you can guarantee the person also will be. The type of dysfunction is very important. Someone can be dysfunctional but trying to heal & change while also being kind & gentle. Yet, other dysfunctional people can be oblivious to just how dysfunctional they are, & they live their life out of that dysfunction, causing pain & chaos to others. This is how my family members are. They think they are functional & pretend any past trauma never happened. They live in their dysfunction in a self righteous manner. A person who doesn’t face their own dysfunction like this is going to be toxic to others to some degree. They may be invalidating to someone who mentions past trauma, saying things like it wasn’t so bad or it’s in the past so you need to let it go. Or, they may be outright cruel & say or do whatever they can to shut that person down. Clearly, people like this are unsafe & need to be avoided!


Another thing to consider.. if the person in question is close to someone who is actively abusive to you, it’s a very safe bet whatever you say to them will get back to the active abuser. It may simply be said in passing without ill intent, or it may be very deliberate on their part. Either way, abusers have absolutely NO need to know anything whatsoever about the people they abuse. Chances are they will use the information to cause suffering to their victim. Even if they don’t, I believe their toxic behavior has caused them to lose all right to know anything about their victim. So, even if the person doesn’t show obvious signs of being toxic, at the very least, it is likely they will mention you to your abuser.


I hope these tips will help you to surround yourself with only safe, good people! xoxo

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Mistreating Cats Is A Huge Red Flag Of Narcissists

I’ve always loved cats deeply.  Unlike my human family, my cats are kind, gentle, love unconditionally, offer support when I need it & so much more.


I realize not every person feels this way about cats.  The good part of that is most of those people offer no judgment.  They simply agree to disagree with me.  They also like animals, & many don’t have any pets because they realize they don’t have the time, money or energy to devote to being a good pet parent.  I completely respect these people. 

Those I don’t respect are the people who blatantly hate animals & have no problem showing it. 

It’s a known fact in the psychological community that many who hate animals may one day turn their hatred on people.  Jeffrey Dahmer tortured cats & other small animals & collected their corpses as a child.  Most everyone knows what atrocities he did in his adult life.

I have found through my own experiences & those of others I’ve spoken with that many narcissists, although not serial killers, dislike animals, & often in particular cats.  I have no scientific evidence to confirm this, but in my observations, I came up with a few ideas why this happens. 

Cats’ brains are similar to human brains.  They often are able to sense manipulation & abusers quickly, & they ardently avoid abusers.  It must be incredibly frustrating for a narcissist that they can rule some people completely, yet they can’t conquer a 10 pound animal.  How insulting that must be to a narcissist!

Some people don’t believe this, but cats understand civility.  Many times, my parents would be getting along fine with one of my cats, then they would say something insulting either to me or the cat.  That cat would either leave the room or scratch my parent.  Every time, they were stunned.  They never understood that cats want civility & basic respect for themselves & their parents.  Not receiving those things or seeing their parent mistreated makes them rightfully angry, & they can act out.

Cats come across as aloof & as if they don’t need people.  Cat parents know this is only how they may appear… they love & depend on their parents a great deal yet aren’t often friendly to many others.  Narcissists often take this behavior as a personal insult rather than a cat simply being a cat.  How dare this cat not shower them with affection!  Something clearly must be wrong with that cat!

If you’re a cat parent & wondering if someone in your life is an unsafe person or even a narcissist, let your cat help you figure it out!

Anyone who comes into your home & insults your cat knowing how much you love him or her is unsafe.  A normal person would keep their negative thoughts to themselves because they wouldn’t want to hurt or offend you.

Anyone who comes into your home & complains because you allow your cat on your sofa or bed is showing signs of control issues.  It’s your home- why would anyone care what your cat does within it?  What happens in your home doesn’t affect them so it’s really no one’s business what happens there. Control freaks think what they want to happen is all that matters, even in someone else’s home.

Some people ask cat parents to lock their cats in another room while they visit.  To me, this is the epitome of selfish & entitled behavior.  The equivalent to this is asking a parent to lock up their human child in a room while visiting.  Most people would agree that would be completely unacceptable & offensive.  Why would it be ok to do this regarding an animal yet not a human?  It isn’t.  It’s a sign of selfishness & someone who wants to be in control.

I firmly believe that how someone treats animals can be a very good indicator of that person’s true character. 

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Characteristics Of Unsafe People

Not all unsafe people are narcissists.  Unfortunately, those of us who have experienced narcissistic abuse can be so focused on spotting & avoiding narcissists that we don’t notice traits in your garden variety unsafe people.  It can be all too easy to overlook some unsafe qualities because if you compare them to narcissistic traits, they don’t seem all that bad.  That doesn’t mean that these people are ok, however.  It just means they aren’t as unsafe as narcissists.  They still can cause frustration, hurt & pain.

Below is a list of traits of unsafe people I have compiled.

Unsafe people can come on too strong.  Granted, narcissists do this, so it is at the very least a sign of an unsafe person, if not a narcissist.  Watch out for anyone who says, “You’re going to be my best friend!” about as soon as you meet, or someone you date who starts discussing marriage almost immediately.  Being so clingy simply isn’t normal.

Unsafe people also avoid facing their own problems, & will do about anything to avoid it.  When my father was dying, my family & even strangers came out of the woodwork to attack me for not being there to say good bye, as I’ve said before.  It went on for months but happened daily for his final three weeks when he was in the hospital.  I asked God why this was happening & He told me something interesting.  Some people were in deep denial.  They didn’t want to face their own past abuse.  Me not being there threatened their denial.  I have been open about the abuse in my past, & me having the strength to face it made them feel bad for not doing the same.  They felt they had to shut me down & make me do what they felt I should do so they could continue that denial.  Rather than face difficult issues, many people will go even to such extremes to maintain their denial.

Unsafe people have no interest in improving themselves.  Safe people want to learn & grow, lose bad habits, & other good things.  Unsafe people couldn’t care less about such things.

Unsafe people act like they know everything.  You can’t tell an unsafe person anything, because they know it all.  They aren’t open to any knowledge, not only knowledge about how to improve themselves.

Unsafe people also become defensive at constructive criticism.  Constructive criticism can help a person learn, grow & improve him or her self.  Naturally this is a huge turn off to unsafe people since they have no interest in doing any such things.

When an unsafe person hurts another person, chances of accepting responsibility for their actions, a genuine apology & changed behavior are very, very slim.  If you tell someone that something they said or did hurt you, & they act this way, it is a huge red flag saying this person is unsafe.

Unsafe people also demand trust rather than accepting the fact trust is earned.  So many people say, “You can trust me” that it isn’t often noticed.  It’s something that needs to be noticed, however!  A healthy, safe person knows trust is earned, not given on demand.

Unsafe people can be very selfish.  I don’t mean in a narcissistic way, where every single thing has to come back to them & they rage if it doesn’t.  Not all selfish people are malicious, they are simply thoughtless.  Even so, their selfishness can hurt you.  If this happens & the person accepts responsibility, apologizes & their behavior changes, this is a very good sign that this person is safe.  If none of that happens, however, this person is unsafe.

Unsafe people can be demanding of your time.  Part of the selfishness factor, unsafe people want to monopolize your time.  Naturally, not everyone who wants to spend time with you is unsafe.   Good friends & loved ones naturally want to spend time with each other.  Extroverts love to spend time with people.  The key to recognizing an unsafe person in this area is someone who pretty much demands you spend time together when they want, & either acts offended or gives guilt trips when you are unavailable.

I believe these tips can help you to recognize unsafe people easily.  And, when you come across them, always remember to keep your boundaries firmly in place, & be ready to enforce them as needed.

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Warning Signs Of Those Who You Shouldn’t Tell About The Abuse In Your Past

Finding the courage to set boundaries on being abused & even to end a toxic relationship isn’t easy.  It takes a tremendous amount of courage & strength to do such things.  One of the few things that is even more difficult is to tell other people your story.  Part of the reason for this is the victim blaming & shaming that is so common in society.

Many people simply don’t want to hear anything negative.  They are so obscenely positive it’s just ridiculous.  If something is less than positive, they don’t want to hear it, & will shut that person down quickly when they can.

Even more common is those who have been abused themselves, yet refuse to face their pain.  When they see someone facing their pain & conquering it, it makes them feel uncomfortable for two reasons.  First, it reminds them of what they are trying so hard to forget.  Second, it makes them feel inferior for not doing the same thing.

There are also those who enable abusers.  For whatever bizarre reasons, they pity abusers & hate victims instead of the other way around.  They have no tolerance for anyone who dares to speak out against abuse.  They label these people troublemakers, liars, attention seekers, drama queens & more.

Often, people like this are easy to spot.  They are the loud ones who call victims names, harass them & even send them vicious hate emails, texts & voicemails.  The one plus about these people is you can have no doubt about what kind of awful person you’re dealing with when they act this way.  The problem is when people are much more subtle in the way they try to shame & shut down victims.  Below are some warning signs that someone is not safe to tell your story to.

If someone refers to your relationship as one where both you & your abuser are at fault for its demise, this person isn’t safe.  We all know that no one is perfect.  Everyone makes mistakes.  However, when a person is abusive, it’s not an innocent mistake.  It’s a deliberate choice to harm another person.  Any functional person should recognize that!

All victims need understanding & empathy.  Even if a person hasn’t been in an abusive relationship, anyone should be able to grasp that it’s not a pleasant experience & feel badly that anyone experienced that.  Someone who can’t clearly lacks empathy & is a toxic person.

Avoid anyone who trivializes the abuse.  One of my aunts once referred to the abuse I experienced as, “childhood hurts.”  That truly hurt me & it destroyed our relationship.  Luckily, it happened well into my healing journey.  If it happens to someone new to their healing, an invalidating comment like this can be devastating!

Those who make excuses for abusers should be avoided.  People who do this are as toxic as the abuser!  They invalidate the victim’s pain & suffering, & even make the victim feel ashamed for not being understanding, or being too sensitive & such.  The truth is there is NO good reason to abuse, period.

People who judge a person’s healing are toxic.  Everyone heals differently & at a different pace.  Many toxic people try to rush a victim along with comments like, “You need to let this go.”  “It’s been how many months since you left him?”  “You told me this already.”  This does no good!  To process & heal from abuse, it takes a lot of time, energy & sometimes even telling the same story over & over in an attempt to make some sense of it.  A person who doesn’t understand that is toxic.

Anyone who uses a person’s faith as a reason they should tolerate abuse is incredibly toxic & should be avoided at all costs.  While God didn’t promise this life would be easy, He never said anywhere in the Bible that tolerating abuse is good & holy.  Yet, there are many who think it is the “good Christian” thing to do, tolerating abuse.  I’m no theologian, but I do recognize that tolerating & enabling abuse is not only wrong, it’s not God’s will.

If you come across these kinds of people, remember, not everyone needs to know your story.  Refuse to discuss it with them.  You don’t need to be abused even more than you already have been!

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

Do You Believe People Too Easily?

I was watching one of my favorite shows on the ID channel last night, “Deadly Women.”  It tells stories of women who have killed, many are serial killers.  Interesting stuff when you’re into psychology & crime like I am.  Not to mention, it scares hubby- he swears I watch it to get ideas which entertains me.. lol

One of last night’s stories involved a woman who was married, had a couple of children & her widowed mother lived with her family.  This woman wanted to present the image of being far wealthier than they really were, so she ran up a lot of debt, & continually took money from her elderly mother.  Eventually, her mother stopped giving her money & she ran out of options.  She decided to strangle her mother & attempted to make it look like a suicide.  As soon as her mother was dead, she spent a lot of her mother’s money.  The police figured out what happened & arrested the woman.  The narrator of the story said there was no evidence of mental illness or abuse in this woman’s life.

At this point, my mind was blown. So obsessed with appearances that she murdered her own mother- does that sound like the actions of a mentally stable person?!

I got to thinking… how many people watching that show blindly believed the story as it was told?  How many were shocked by her actions because someone said there was no evidence of mental illness?  Probably a great deal of the viewers.  Most people tend to believe something, anything, when it is said with enough confidence, & that narrator sounded confident in the information she read.

I think that can be a very dangerous thing, believing people so readily.  Not that everyone is a liar or out to get you, naturally, but the truth is some people *are* liars or *are* out to get you.  If you’ve dealt with even just one narcissist in your life, you know that is the truth.  But also, even a well meaning person may inadvertently lie to you or mislead you simply because they have wrong information.  I believe it truly is best always to weigh all information for yourself.

I felt after watching that show last night that I should remind you, Dear Reader, that it’s best to think for yourself!  Don’t blindly take someone at their word, no matter how convinced they are of what they are saying.  Consider Matthew 10:16: “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” (KJV)  While Jesus gave this advice to his disciples, it seems like very good advice to me for anyone.  I have asked God for wisdom & discernment, & I believe it has helped me in this area tremendously.

I tell you this even about my writing- never blindly listen to what I say!  While I try to provide accurate & helpful information, I can be wrong,  Or, sometimes what I write about may not work for you or you simply disagree with something I write.   There are no one size fits all solutions in life, & especially when dealing with the main topic of my writing- narcissism.  So please, when you read what I write, consider it & how it relates to your individual situation.  Hopefully it helps you, but if it doesn’t, don’t try to make it work for you.  Find another solution that does work for you.

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Showing Compassion To Strangers

Many of us who have been abused in some way have learned that other people, even strangers, like talking to us.  I’ve had people in the grocery store or laundromat strike up a conversation & tell me their entire life stories.  (One lady caught me twice in two different stores about six months apart- she apparently didn’t remember me from the first time)  It’s strange to say the least, but I think it’s because some people are so desperate for some compassion, they’ll try to find it in a stranger.

 

Since many of you are also introverts like me, I know this can be uncomfortable.  You probably want to just duck into a place, do what you came to do & leave quickly with minimal human interaction.  (I even use the self-checkout lanes to eliminate interaction with one more person.)   When a person decides to chit-chat, it can be annoying, especially if you’re in a rush.

 

I have begun to think a bit differently about this “annoyance.”  I believe when this sort of thing happens, it is God putting you in a place to be a blessing to someone.  Just listening to someone talk for a little while may make their day better or lighten the burden of the problem they discussed with you.  Why not let the person talk for a while?

 

One evening recently, I saw my parents.  I wasn’t in a good mood after leaving them.  On the way home, I went by the post office to mail something out after hours yesterday using the machine in the lobby rather than dealing with people during regular business hours.  A lady came in & dropped off a package while I was at the machine.  Out of the blue, she told me about her day at work, which sounded very frustrating.  The conversation lasted maybe five minutes, but it seemed to help her mood a bit.  It also helped mine some because I had a distraction from my own situation for a few minutes.  It was a small one, but I think a blessing for both her & I.  And, as I’m writing, I also remembered to pray for her- I may not know her needs, but God does.

 

The next time you are in that somewhat awkward position of listening to a stranger, then why not just go with it for a while?  You may be helping that person more than you know.  You might even help yourself.

 

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What’s On The Inside Shows On The Outside

Have you ever read the Oscar Wilde book, “The Picture Of Dorian Gray”?  It’s an incredible story of Dorian Gray, who commissions a painting of himself.  The painting ages while Dorian stays young.  Also, Dorian is known for being an exceptionally handsome young man.  The painting grows ugly as well as old, because all of the evil inside Dorian doesn’t manifest on himself, but on the painting instead.  Every time Dorian does some horrible deed, the painting grows more & more grotesque.

The story is beautifully written & among my favorite books ever.

This book came to mind recently.  This got me to thinking about how what is on the inside shows on the outside.  We aren’t as fortunate as Dorian, having a picture of ourselves age & show the ugliness inside while we stay attractive.  What is in the inside truly shows on the outside.

I remember my maternal grandmother.  Her eyes were stone cold & I think quite unsettling.  Her smile always had a forced look to it.  She was a narcissist & a very cruel person.  Yet, my paternal granddad, who was a kind, loving, giving, Christian man had very warm eyes & an equally warm & easy smile.

I believe knowing that what is on the inside shows on the outside is a good thing.  It can help you to figure out who is a good person & who isn’t.  Words aren’t always a good indicator of what someone is like, because people can (& do) lie.  Actions can be done out of obligation, desire to make a good impression or other selfish motives.  Body language & facial expressions are a very good indicator, I think the best, of a person’s heart.

I look for people with a very easy, ready smile.  Fake smiles are a big red flag with me.  A smile that looks like the person smiling is in physical pain or hates to smile always tell me something is amiss with them.  (Granted, we all have off days & smiling isn’t easy, but that is not usually the norm.)

If someone’s eyes are so cold that you have trouble making eye contact, that is another good indicator something is wrong.  Have you ever noticed the eyes of a serial killer?  Check it out sometime.  John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer & The Green River Killer (his real name escapes me at the moment) all had very dead eyes.  Their eyes creep me out!  People with a little sparkle in their eyes & who gladly make eye contact are who I want around.  Those people tend to be kind & honest, which are two very important qualities.

I know this post is very different than my usual ones, but I hope it helps you anyway.  🙂

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