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Are You Codependent?

February 17, 2017 Leave a comment

are-you-codependentAre you codependent? If so, there are probably some things you have a tough time accepting about human nature and relationships. On the other hand, perhaps you’re not sure what codependent means, in which case, let’s begin with some basics.

Codependents need to be needed. They believe making oneself invaluable to another is the pathway to love. It isn’t. It’s the pathway to becoming a doormat, to being taken advantage of and to becoming a target of abuse. When someone loves you and you love them, you want to be with each other (interdependence). You don’t need to be with each other (dependence). The former is a mutual coming together. The latter is tinged with urgency and desperation.

Codependents may have difficulty being alone, feel unworthy of being loved and a fear of abandonment. A codependent will often sacrifice his or her needs and well-being to take care of others. However, they usually have a hard time asking others for help and support in return. READ MORE.

Say Goodbye to CrazyWant to Say Goodbye to Crazy? Buy it HERE.

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

Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD provides services to help individuals work through their relationship issues via telephone or Skype, particularly men and women who 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, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for professional inquiries.

Relationship Boundaries, Part 2

February 16, 2017 Leave a comment

relationship-boundaries-02Do you have a pattern of dysfunctional and toxic relationships? Don’t despair. If you’re codependent and not personality disordered (e.g., narcissistic, borderline, histrionic, sociopathic or psychopathic) you can break this pattern. It probably won’t be as easy or fast as you’d like, but it can be done. Change, even when it’s desired, is often painful and difficult. That’s why it’s called growing pains.

Basic Relationship Boundaries, Part 1 discusses the importance of reciprocal relationships, personal boundaries and not enabling other people’s abusive behavior. Before you can have a healthy relationship, it’s helpful to understand how and why you’ve gotten yourself into trouble in past and present relationships.

Most people who have unhealthy relationship patterns can trace it back to their childhoods. If your parents didn’t teach you to take care of yourself and have healthy boundaries, which is true of many codependents, then you need to begin with the basics. Again, don’t beat up on yourself. How are you supposed to know how to do something if no one ever taught you? Or, worse yet, taught you to ignore your own needs and well-being in order to take care of them instead? How are you supposed to know what a functional relationship is when your parents modeled toxic and dysfunctional relationships?

If you were expected to take care of your mother’s and father’s emotional and physical needs as a child it was a role reversal. It’s called parentification and is a form of child abuse. Adults are supposed to take care of their kids, not the other way round. If you’re codependent, you basically have to learn how to care for and love yourself as an adult in the ways your parents did not and could not when you were a child. READ MORE.

Say Goodbye to CrazyWant to Say Goodbye to Crazy? Buy it HERE.

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

Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD provides services to help individuals work through their relationship issues via telephone or Skype, particularly men and women who 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, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for professional inquiries.

Relationship Boundaries, Part 1

February 14, 2017 Leave a comment

14231328 - back to the village  abstract rural backgroundsSo many of the men and women I work with become hyper-focused on being able to detect personality disorder warning signs or red flags after being in a relationship with an abusive narcissist, borderline or psychopath once they’re ready to begin dating again. This is perfectly natural and normal at this stage of the healing process. After you’ve been burned that badly, of course you don’t want to go through that kind of soul sucking, gut wrenching, heart breaking mindfuckery ever again.

It makes perfect sense that you’ll be especially sensitive to any indication of Crazy in a potential date or mate. Like after getting sick from bad shellfish, you want to be certain the next plate of oysters isn’t poisonous. While being able to identify bullies, selfish jerks, the emotionally immature, emotional vampires, the pathologically entitled — however you refer to these individuals — is important, it’s only half the equation.

At the risk of sounding like a broken MP3 file, you have to have boundaries.

Even if you miss a red flag or two, boundaries are your ultimate protection against narcissistic, borderline, histrionic and psychopathic men and women. Boundaries are your garlic necklace, wolf bane and crucifix. They’re your invisible fence. And remember, “Good fences make good neighbors” (Robert Frost, Mending Wall). READ MORE

Say Goodbye to CrazyWant to Say Goodbye to Crazy? Buy it HERE.

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

Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD provides individual services to help individuals work through their relationship issues via telephone or Skype, particularly men and women who trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. Her practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for professional inquiries.

Emotional Toddlers: Narcissists, Borderlines and Psychopaths, Part 1

February 13, 2017 1 comment

emotional-toddlerSince beginning Shrink4Men in 2009, I’ve frequently referred to narcissists, borderlines, psychopaths, histrionics and sociopaths as children in adult bodies or emotional toddlers. That’s because they frequently think and act much younger than their physical age. In other words, they exhibit a persistent and chronic lifelong pattern of emotional and psychological immaturity.

You can’t have an adult relationship with a child nor can you have a functional adult relationship with a child in an adult’s body. Individuals with these characterological deficits simply lack the capacity to build stable adult relationships.

Sure, they might have friendships that go back 10 years or more, but consider the nature of the friendships. These friends aren’t friends, they’re useful tools. And that’s what you are to your narcissist or psychopath — a useful tool. Until you’re not. Then you’ll be devalued, discarded and replaced.

If you’re the adult child of a narcissist or borderline, you were probably parentified as a child. You grow up fast when you have a personality disordered parent. You have to — mommy or daddy needs you to take care of them. In which case, you probably developed some codependent caretaker traits and have chosen adult partners who are just as emotionally and psychologically underdeveloped as your parent(s).

READ MORE.

Say Goodbye to CrazyWant to Say Goodbye to Crazy? Buy it HERE.

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

Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD provides individual services to help individuals work through their relationship issues via telephone or Skype, particularly 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. Her practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for professional inquiries.

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Winning an Argument with a Narcissist, Part 1

February 9, 2017 Leave a comment

59121090_sI learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.” (George Bernard Shaw)

In case there’s any question, the narcissist, borderline, psychopath, histrionic, paranoiac or garden variety bully is the pig in this equation. There’s one simple rule to winning an argument with these personalities: Don’t argue with them. At least, don’t fight with them on their terms. You simply won’t win.

In other words, fighting with a narcissist is “A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.” (War Games, 1983)

Conflict in a relationship can be healthy and productive. If handled well, it can strengthen a relationship via reaching mutual solutions, resolutions or compromises between two reasonable and emotionally mature people. Emphasis on reasonable and emotionally mature. If you’re having conflict with a narcissist, borderline or psychopath that person is anything but reasonable and emotionally mature. READ MORE.

Say Goodbye to CrazyWant to Say Goodbye to Crazy? Buy it HERE.

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

Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD provides individual services to help individuals work through their relationship issues via telephone or Skype, particularly men and women trying to break free of abusive relationships, coping with the stress of abusive relationships or healing from abusive relationships. Her practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Services page for professional inquiries.

Categories: Uncategorized

Winning an Argument with a Narcissist, Part 2

February 9, 2017 Leave a comment

winston-churchill-1943-the-famous-victory-saluteIn Part One, I explained why it’s  impossible to win an argument with a narcissist, borderline or psychopath if you engage with them on their level (i.e., an irrational, petulant, belligerent, emotional reasoning, self-absorbed, poo flinging toddler). So how do you really win an argument with a narcissist?

Don’t argue. Don’t trade insults, no matter how tempting. Don’t JADE: justify, argue, defend or explain yourself. Don’t hurl psychiatric labels at them. Don’t send them links to Shrink4Men or CrazyBusters. Don’t try to give them a taste of their own medicine. And don’t try to out-narcissist a narcissist or out-borderline a borderline or out-psychopath a psychopath. If you aren’t personality disordered yourself, you simply cannot out-crazy Crazy. You could try, but it will require you to operate outside of your integrity and then you have to live with that.

In order to win an argument with a narcissist you must first redefine what winning means. READ MORE.

Say Goodbye to CrazyWant to Say Goodbye to Crazy? Buy it HERE.

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

Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD provides individual services to help individuals work through their relationship issues via telephone or Skype, particularly men and women trying to break free of abusive relationships, coping with the stress of abusive relationships or healing from abusive relationships. Her practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Services page for professional inquiries.

Categories: Uncategorized

Emotional Toddlers: Narcissists, Borderlines and Psychopaths, Part 2

February 6, 2017 Leave a comment

emotional toddler woman 3.jpgEmotional Toddlers: Narcissists, Borderlines and Psychopaths, Part 1 discusses similarities between personality disordered adults and children, particularly toddlers. That’s basically what a personality disorder is; an individual who is arrested at an early age of emotional, cognitive and moral development typically between toddler-hood and adolescence. Unlike actual toddlers, tweens and teens, narcissists, borderlines, histrionics and psychopaths don’t grow out of it.

The forms of abuse and manipulation may shift and evolve with time and age, but they don’t mature into emotionally healthy persons of integrity. They become more efficient abusers and manipulators with time and practice. Or, they have to change tactics due to the physical aging process. For example, Nancy the Narcissist or the Bob the Borderline lose their looks and physical strength, so have to employ tactics like guilt trips and professional victimhood instead of seduction and brute physical force.

READ MORE…

Say Goodbye to CrazyWant to Say Goodbye to Crazy? Buy it HERE.

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

Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD provides individual services to help individuals work through their relationship issues via telephone or Skype, particularly 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. Her practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Services page for professional inquiries.

Categories: Uncategorized