Why Do Narcissists Cheat?

February 24, 2018 2 comments

why do narcissists cheat?Narcissists cheat. Yes, they cheat on their husbands, wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, but it goes way beyond that. It’s been said that narcissists and other Cluster B disordered individuals lie, consciously and unconsciously, to survive. For many narcissists, cheating isn’t a one time aberrant behavior; it’s a way of life.

Narcissists cheat on their taxes. They cheat on school exams. They plagiarize other people’s work. They persuade or bully their girlfriends or boyfriends to write their term papers for them. They cheat their neighbors (e.g., planting trees 6-inches over the property line.) They cheat their way out of obligations (e.g., getting out of military service by using well-placed connections or bogus medical excuses; remaining unemployed or underemployed to pay less child support or get more child or spousal support).

Narcissists cheat their business partners, scheming to get a bigger piece of the pie or by taking credit they’re not due. Narcissists cheat strangers by jumping the queue at a concert or Starbuck’s. Why should they have to wait like everyone else? My narcissistic ex used to wear a knee brace from a years old surgery in order to board planes before the elderly, young children and military service people. This is a man who always flew business class, by the way. They cheat systems by leap frogging steps or rules us ordinary folk follow. They skip classes, prerequisite qualifications and look for other short cuts to the brass ring or monetary rewards.

These are the introductory paragraphs to a longer and complete article. To read this article in its entirety click on WWW.SHRINK4MEN.COM.

Dr Tara J Palmatier_Shrink4Men_02Counseling with Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. Coaching individuals through high-conflict divorce and custody cases is also an area of expertise. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for more information.

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Spotting Red Flags vs. Determining What’s Important in a Relationship Partner

February 21, 2018 6 comments

toxic relationship red flags narcissists borderlines psychopaths abusive womenSometimes in life and relationships, it’s just as important to know what you don’t want as it is to know what you do want. Sometimes, we’re only able figure out what we want after figuring out what we don’t want. Sometimes, it’s a painful matter of trial and error. Not the poisonous berries this time, please.

Sometimes, and this is a really bizarre thing many human beings do, we see the danger signs or red flags and proceed full steam ahead anyway. Instead of heeding the warning signs, we want to determine if the red flags really are that red. Maybe they’re crimson, scarlet, ruby, rose, brick, madder or maroon. Call these hues whatever you like, they’re are all shades of red. We tell ourselves we’re doing due diligence and want to be sure, but is that really the reason? Or, are we still hoping we can enjoy the love bombing and avoid the nuclear fallout?

Poison is poison. Identifying the type of poison is only important if you swallow it and then require an antidote. Or, you can bypass the whole becoming violently ill and needing an antidote thing by accepting that the bottle with the Mr. Yuk sticker is indeed hazardous to your health. For those of you who don’t remember, Mr. Yuk was a public safety program that began in 1971 to educate and decrease incidences of children being poisoned by ingesting household chemicals. Windex isn’t blueberry juice.

Recently on the Shrink4Men Forum, a new member asked if his girlfriend’s behaviors are red flags and, if so, what he should do.

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Counseling with Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. Coaching individuals through high-conflict divorce and custody cases is also an area of expertise. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for more information.

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Lies Codependents Tell Themselves to Stay with an Abusive Wife or Husband

February 16, 2018 2 comments

Shrink4Men_Codependents keep trying and only make themselves better targets for narcissists and borderlines Codependents are people who enable and care take others (in ways that are often harmful to themselves) in the hopes of receiving love for their efforts, sacrifices and willingness to tolerate abuse. These counterproductive beliefs and behaviors are usually learned in the codependent’s dysfunctional family of origin. If you identify as codependent, perhaps one or both of your parents are personality disordered (narcissists, borderlines, histrionics and psychopaths), mentally ill (schizophrenic, bipolar, chronically depressed), codependents and/or alcoholics or addicts. If so, you may have grown up believing abuse and other dysfunctional behaviors like enabling, lying, avoidance, making excuses for others, etc., are acceptable or normal.

These behaviors and beliefs are neither normal nor acceptable. They’re defense mechanisms you developed in childhood that helped you to cope, to avoid or minimize abuse and helped you to get some of your needs met — albeit in unhealthy and indirect ways. If you want healthier relationships as an adult, you’ll need to identify these old beliefs and defense mechanisms that no longer serve you. They no longer serve you because they contribute to keeping you stuck in a pattern of unhealthy and abusive relationships.

In order to be in a relationship with a partner who’s similar to a narcissistic, borderline or alcoholic parent(s) or other family member, you need to continue to believe that their toxic and abusive behaviors are normal, justifiable or that you’re responsible for them in some way. In other words, you need to keep avoiding, rationalizing and tolerating abuse. As a child, you couldn’t choose your parents. Children don’t have the power or resources to say, “Screw this noise! I’m getting outta this loony bin!” Kids are utterly dependent on their parents, even if they’re unstable and abusive. So kids adapt to, compensate for and accommodate their parents’ pathology. As an adult, you have resources and agency you didn’t have as a child. You don’t have to do this anymore. You can choose health. You can choose healthier partners. You don’t have to adapt to, compensate for or accommodate another adult’s crazy anymore.

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Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for professional inquiries.

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Narcissist Club Rule #4: Facts Are Meaningless

February 7, 2018 3 comments

Shrink4Men_Narcissists borderlines psychopaths are liarsIf you’ve been in a relationship with a narcissist, borderline, psychopath or histrionic, you’ll understand why these personalities are also referred to as high-conflict. It’s because there’s generally an over abundance of conflict, chaos and drama manufactured by these individuals. The arguments and conflicts are typically pointless, circular, mushrooming and unresolved. Old unresolved grievances are then recycled and rehashed with each new conflict.

Conflicts with narcissists and borderlines adhere to certain rules. Narc Club Rules. Narc Club Rules are the opposite of fighting fair. The narcissist dictates the rules and gets to fight dirty. Their opponents do not. You’re expected to take it, fall on your sword, apologize and then pretend like it never happened. Or, you can try to discuss what happened after things calm down, but then you risk going back down to Crazytown and the only one who enjoys that is the narcissist because they have home court advantage. Unlike healthy conflict, which focuses on resolution and compromise, unhealthy conflict is about winning and keeping you engaged.

NARC CLUB RULE #4

When fighting with a narcissist, borderline, histrionic, psychopath or other abuser, facts are meaningless. Logic is incendiary. Emotional reasoning trumps critical thinking. Reality is determined by the narcissist (image management) or borderline (maintaining victim status) and is subject to endless, self-serving revisions. Pointing out their contradictions elicits accusations of not being able to let go of the past, even when the past was 10 minutes ago. More like they’re angry you’re accurately remembering what they’ve said or done. When they demand you tell them the truth, if it isn’t the truth they’ve predetermined they accuse you of lying. Thus, demanding that you accept their lies as truth and reality. It’s crazy-making.

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Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for professional inquiries.

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Fed Up: Gemma Hartley Doesn’t Understand What Emotional Labor Actually Is

February 6, 2018 Leave a comment

Gemma Hartley_We shall overcomeI keep thinking about that self-absorbed, self-indulgent, self-pitying, navel-gazing Gemma Hartley piece of bourgeois privileged women’s faux-oppression porn, Women Aren’t Nags — We’re Just Fed Up published on Harper’s Bazaar. It’s really bothersome. In my opinion, it’s an offense to both reason and reasonableness.

Gemma Hartley: Don’t Call her a Whiny Nag — She Has Emotional Labor Trauma! is my first reaction to the labors of hair braiding, hiring a maid and one’s spouse not being able to read one’s mind. Not kidding, read the original article and my response. The concept of emotional labor as it’s been co-opted and misapplied by Gemma and two PhDs, isn’t just bothersome; it’s downright disturbing. The fact that it’s been viewed 880.4k times and counting and shared who knows how many times on social media with a #metoo fou de joie is, frankly, terrifying. And I finally realized why.

First, let’s understand what the concept of emotional labor was originally intended to explain. I missed the meaning of it, too, during the sustained brain implosions from reading Gemma’s whinery. To quote Inigo Montoya (The Princess Bride), “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” The concept of emotional labor was not intended to apply to intimate or family relationships. According to Wikipedia:

Emotional labor is the process of managing feelings and expressions to fulfill the emotional requirements of a job. [1][2] More specifically, workers are expected to regulate their emotions during interactions with customers, co-workers and superiors. This includes analysis and decision making in terms of the expression of emotion, whether actually felt or not, as well as its opposite: the suppression of emotions that are felt but not expressed.

Roles that have been identified as requiring emotional labor include but not limited to those involved in public administration, flight attendant, daycare worker, nursing home worker, nurse, doctor, store clerk, call center worker, sex worker, teacher, librarianship, social worker; most roles in a hotel, motel, tavern, bar, pub, and restaurant; and jobs in the media, such as television and radio.[3] As particular economies move from a manufacturing– to a service-based economy, many more workers in a variety of occupational fields are expected to manage their emotions according to employer demands when compared to sixty years ago.

Gemma feels exhausted “suppressing” her feelings of resentment, frustration, anger and guilt toward her husband, young sons and being a stay at home parent. (Just my clinical opinion, she’s not suppressing anything.) She doesn’t seem to enjoy the daily grind of housekeeping and parenting. Fair enough. If I’d made similar choices and were similarly disenchanted, I’d like to think I’d have a heart to heart with my spouse about re-entering the work force instead of seething with resentment and blaming my partner and opposite sex children for my dissatisfaction with my life choices. (*Gemma writes fondly of her daughter who does what she wants her to so without being told and without expecting praise or encouragement — seriously, read the article).

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Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for professional inquiries.

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Narcissists, Borderlines, Phones and your Right to Privacy

February 6, 2018 Leave a comment

Shrink4Men_Not Normal_Right to privacyIn an era of social media over-sharing, data mining by Silicon Valley vultures, government agencies, hackers and bot farms, it can be easy to forget that we have a right to privacy. We also have a right to privacy in our intimate relationships — even if we “have nothing to hide.” I hear that quite a bit from clients and the occasional friend who have surrendered their phones and passwords to their partners. “I don’t have anything to hide.” That’s not the point, folks.

If your abusive narcissistic, borderline, histrionic, paranoiac, psychopath spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend has demanded your passcodes and logins, that’s not normal. It’s controlling and tyrannical. If you’re in an abusive relationship, you don’t have to be “hiding anything” for them to have a rage episode or make wild accusations about infidelity or anything else they can manufacture out of thin air.

Your sister could text you to invite you for coffee and the borderline or narcissist control freak-abandonment fear switch is activated:

Why does your sister want to have coffee with you?! Why wasn’t I invited?! Why can’t I be there?! What are you hiding from me? If there’s nothing to hide, why wasn’t I invited? Your sister is being disrespectful to me! She should’ve asked me if I could go at that time before she asked you! You love your sister more than me! Is there something going on with you two?!

Push back all you want. Before you jump down my throat because, “My husband/wife cheated on me and they have to PROVE to me that I can trust them again!!” please know, I’ve been there, too.

My narcissistic ex cheated on me with a mullet-haired, buck-toothed, bisexual former child actress. (I giggle each time I use what’s become one of my literary devices – lemons –> lemonade.) The betrayal was awful and I understand the compulsion to have access to texts and email. Really, I do, but it isn’t healthy.

It comes down to how you want to live your life. This goes for relationships in which there’s been no infidelity as well. If you don’t trust your partner or your partner doesn’t trust you to the point phones and computers are expected to have an all-access pass, you don’t have much of a relationship. Especially if these demands are coupled with unfounded accusations of cheating or perceived abandonment. “I know you’re going to break up with me!!! You and your friends are discussing it!!! Oh no? Then let me see your phone!!!”

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Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for professional inquiries.

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Gemma Hartley: Emotional Labor Sufferer or Whiny Martyr?

February 6, 2018 Leave a comment

Gemma Hartley_We shall overcomeGemma Hartley, freelance stay at home blogger and mom, penned an article that went viral in September 2017 titled, Women Aren’t Nags — We’re Just Fed Up, under the category gender equality. If you don’t feel like reading the whole thing, here’s a succinct summary: Upper-middle and upper class white women — we have it rough!

As best as I can tell, Gemma seems to be trying to avoid the guilt she experiences for feeling frustrated and resentful at the drudgery of motherhood and stay at home parenthood. She does this by applying spurious theories from spurious academic departments at fourth tier universities to her anger and guilt, claiming it’s a form of gender inequality and a heretofore undiagnosed psychological phenomenon, “emotional labor.” As Gemma describes her husband as “a good man and feminist ally,” one presumes the decision to stay home and be unemployed-underemployed was her choice and his financial responsibility.

Harper’s Bazaar published the piece. Wikipedia describes Harper’s as, “an American women’s fashion magazine, first published in 1867. Harper’s Bazaar is published by Hearst and, as a magazine, considers itself to be the style resource for ‘women who are the first to buy the best, from casual to couture.’ Aimed at members of the upper-middle and upper classes, Bazaar assembles photographers, artists, designers and writers to deliver perspectives into the world of fashion, beauty and popular culture on a monthly basis.”

Harper’s is hardly a publication for the oppressed masses, or at least what most consider oppression, for example, voter suppression, affordable healthcare, a living wage, predatory lending practices, biased and corrupt Family Courts, upward mobility for lower socioeconomic groups, the boy’s education crisis, racial inequality and injustice, police brutality, etc.

Gemma’s article begins with a serious complaint, so ACLU take note. She asked her full-time employed outside the home husband to gift her with a house cleaning service for Mother’s Day. Part of the gift request was that husband do the legwork and vetting of procuring a maid. Not only does Gemma want to do less housework, she didn’t want to do the work of finding a maid to do the housework for her. She claimed the emotional exertion or “emotional labor” of asking friends for maid referrals, calling housekeeping agencies, checking references and interviewing the potential maid would be too exhausting.

Since Gemma would likely be the one supervising the maid, wouldn’t it make more sense for her to find someone she likes and trusts? Unless she expected husband to manage that from his job, too? She also said looking for and hiring a maid herself would make her feel guilty about the added expense of farming out the work she elected to do when she chose to be a stay at home parent. As Gemma controls manages the family finances, I’m not sure how she’d avoid seeing that expense indefinitely, but emotional reasoning.

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Dr Tara J Palmatier_Shrink4Men_02Counseling, Consulting and Coaching with Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for professional inquiries.

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