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You Might Be in a Relationship with a Narcissist If . . . You Apologize to Inanimate Objects


Shrink4Men_You might be in a relationship with a narcissist if_You apologize to inanimate objects when you bump into themIf you’ve been in a relationship with a narcissist or other abusive personality, you’ve probably become conditioned to preface many of your spoken and written statements with, “I’m sorry.”

I’m sorry to bother you.

I’m sorry I have feelings and needs.

I’m sorry you had to cheat on me.

I’m sorry I can’t read your mind.

I’m sorry I ruined your life.

I’m sorry I got blood on your sleeve when you hit me.

I’m sorry I made you behave badly.

I’m sorry for breathing too loudly.

I’m sorry for taking too much room on the bed (as your ass hangs over the edge of the mattress.)

I’M SORRY.

A fundamental diagnostic criteria of the Cluster B disorders (i.e., narcissists, borderlines, histrionics, sociopaths/psychopaths) is a lifelong pattern of blaming others for their problems — particularly the self-created ones — and a refusal to hold themselves accountable. Oftentimes, their partners, children, employees, etc., will learn to reflexively take the blame and apologize in an effort to avoid or minimize the tantrums, rages, pout outs and silent treatments. This typically ends up backfiring on you, however.

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Dr Tara J Palmatier_Shrink4Men_02Counseling with Dr. Tara J. Palmatier

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 abusive relationships, coping with the stress of abusive relationships or healing from abusive relationships. 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.

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

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How Narcissists Use and Twist Words

May 15, 2018 1 comment

how narcisissists borderlines use and twist wordsCommunicating with narcissists . . . why do we bother? I’m exhausted just thinking about it. Between their penchant for tossing word salad, pathological lying, broken promises, deliberate provocations, pretzel twisting words, putting words in your mouth that were never there — it’s both pointless and exhausting. Unless, of course, the narcissist or borderline is making your divorce/custody case arguments by kindly documenting their crazy for you, in which case there’s some value in communicating. But only if you’ve got your emotions in check and know how to practice BIFF communication (brief, informative, firm, friendly business civil). And only if you’ve broken your JADE habit (justifying, arguing, defending, explaining).

It’s important to be deliberate and precise with the words we use. Words have meaning. It’s how we facilitate comprehension and avoid misunderstandings. It’s how we negotiate getting our wants and needs met. It’s how we share ideas, teach and counsel others. One of my instant credibility breakers is when someone, say a visitor to the Shrink4Men Facebook page, posts a false or just plain wrong statement about me and my work and, when challenged, becomes indignant and accuses me of splitting hairs over their use of words. How many people reading this have had a narcissistic or borderline partner, ex or parent snap at you, “I know what I said, but it’s not what I meant!” when you call them on their BS?

Everyone uses words to communicate, including narcissists, psychopaths and borderlines. However, narcissists et al frequently use words differently than normal people (i.e., non-disordered) do. Not all narcissists, psychopaths and borderlines do the following things all of the time. But enough of them do often enough, which is why we write books and articles about these topics using generalizations. In my personal and clinical observations, there are five primary differences in how narcissists and other immature and unstable personalities communicate.

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 Dr Tara J Palmatier_Shrink4Men_02Counseling with Dr. Tara J. Palmatier

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 abusive relationships, coping with the stress of abusive relationships or healing from abusive relationships. 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.

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

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Circular Arguments, Emotional Reasoning and JADE

April 28, 2018 3 comments

circular arguments with narcissists and borderlines.jpgIf you’ve been in a relationship with a narcissist or other emotionally unstable, immature personality, you’re probably well-acquainted with the hell that is a circular argument. What’s a circular argument? An argument that causes your brain to spin round in circles. Kidding aside, a circular argument is an argument in which the conclusion is used to support the premise. In this respect, it’s a backwards argument. In a rational argument, premises based on facts (not opinions and feelings) are used to support a conclusion. People who engage in circular arguments tend to do so out of ignorance or if they can’t logically defend their positions and behaviors to themselves or others.

Circular arguments are fueled by emotional reasoning (i.e., confusing feelings for facts) and perpetuated when the opposing party engages in JADE or justifying, arguing, defending and explaining. JADE is a concept that has its origins in Al-Anon literature. Justifying, arguing, defending and explaining oneself is a common mistake made by codependent, trauma bonded victims in an effort to avoid or end pointless conflicts and circular arguments with narcissistic and borderline personality disordered abusers. Of course, people who are neither codependent nor trauma bonded also justify, argue, defend and explain themselves during a conflict, but it’s different. Specifically, non-codependents will typically make their case and then leave it at that if it falls on deaf ears or if the other party becomes nasty and willfully irrational. Who’s crazier? The crazy person or the person who’s trying to win an argument with the crazy person?

TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE VISIT WWW.SHRINK4MEN.COM

Dr Tara J Palmatier_Shrink4Men_02Counseling with Dr. Tara J. Palmatier

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 abusive relationships, coping with the stress of abusive relationships or healing from abusive relationships. 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.

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

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Relationships with Narcissists: When the Empathy Well Runs Dry

April 5, 2018 Leave a comment

65558326 - old water well at thailand.For those of you reading this who are parents, imagine caring for a child who stays 3-years old or 13-years old forever. How draining would that be? Twenty years of tantrums and bad attitudes. Fifteen years of, “I know you are, but what am I!” Ten years of, “I hate you! You’re ruining my life! I don’t need you! I should just kill myself! Nobody in this family cares about me!”

Maybe some parents find these childhood developmental stages rewarding. If you’re like me, you’d rather have a root canal sans Novocaine or pick your form of torture. Many parents don’t especially enjoy these childhood stages, despite the sweet, funny and adorable moments. Good enough mothers and fathers soldier through the trying phases trusting that, with parental guidance, their kids will mature and become responsible, decent human beings. That’s not to say parents get it right all the time, but often enough so that their kids feel loved and secure, even when being disciplined.

Typically, personality disordered individuals, like narcissists, borderlines, histrionics and psychopaths, don’t grow up (even with treatment). They remain emotionally and psychologically arrested somewhere between the Terrible Two’s and the Troubled Teens. Codependent people have difficulty growing up, too, but in a different way. Codependents frequently have extreme difficulty letting go of the wish that mommy and daddy will miraculously change and care for and love them in healthier ways. This is the juncture where the childhood wounds of narcissists and non-disordered codependents dovetail. Ultimately, the goal for codependents is to recognize the childhood wish is futile, set it aside and begin the work of loving and caring for themselves. Essentially, you become your own parent as an adult and do the work for yourself that your actual parents weren’t capable of doing for you in childhood.

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Dr Tara J Palmatier_Shrink4Men_02Counseling with Dr. Tara J. Palmatier

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 abusive relationships, coping with the stress of abusive relationships or healing from abusive relationships. 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.

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

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Why Do Narcissists Enjoy Conflict and Drama?

March 29, 2018 2 comments

Mother cleaning up after baby throwing food on floor. Image shot 2013. Exact date unknown.Why can’t she just stop? Why does he keep doing this? I don’t even know what the arguments are about half the time anymore. We keep going around and around in circles. Just as things seem to be calming down and we’re getting to a good place, she or he starts back up again. I’m just so damned sick and tired of this.

I’ll bet your tired. Being in a relationship with an emotional toddler, which is how many adult narcissists, borderlines, histrionics and psychopaths behave, is exhausting. You’re in High-Conflict Hell. That’s where narcissists, borderlines, histrionics, psychopaths and other toxic, emotionally immature and unstable personalities never seem to tire of pointless arguments, tantrums and the weekly Dramapalooza. Do you know why you’re tired?

If you’ve ever spent time with babies and toddlers, you’re sure to have played the isn’t-it-so-much-fun-for-toddler-to-throw-their-toys-spoon-food-or-plate-on-the-floor-and-watch-grown-ups-scamper-on-the-floor-pick-it-up-and-give-it-back-so-toddler-can-throw-it-on-the-floor-again-until-the-grown-ups-decide-that’s-enough-of-that-game. It’s so much fun! Well, it’s fun if you’re 29-months old. It’s not so much fun if you’re an adult. Sure, it’s fun to watch the child’s excitement as they learn about cause and effect. Baby throws spoon to the floor; mom picks up spoon. Toddler throws food on the floor; dad cleans up the mess and gives toddler more food. Baby throws toys out of the pram; Auntie T-T says, “Hey [insert friend’s name], it’s time for you to take your kid back!”

Kids of a certain age don’t tire of this game. Typically, they’ll keep it going until the adult stops handing the toy back or decides baby is done eating and out of the highchair they go. Nevertheless, it’s fun for baby each and every time. Most adults, on the other hand, get tired of the drop it-pick it up-drop it game fairly quickly. Why do babies and toddlers get a thrill out of this? One, it’s a form of interaction and engagement. Your eyes are on them and you’re giving them your attention. Two, they’re experiencing cause and effect. “I do this and it makes the big person crouch down and pick up my toy, so I can throw it again.” Wheeeeeee! This is one of the first ways kids are able to exert power and control, that is, when the adults participate in it. Some toddlers, once mom or dad (or Auntie T-T) decide they’ve had enough, may become pouty, angry or cry.

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE 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.

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

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Narcissist Dictionary: Friend

March 22, 2018 Leave a comment

Shrink4Men_Narcissist Dictionary_FriendAs discussed in Translating Crazy: Narcissist and Borderline Buzz Words and Phrases, even though narcissists, borderlines and other toxic personalities speak the same language and use the same words as you, they often mean something quite different to the narcissist. If you operate under the belief that narcissists and other abusers use language as defined by most reasonable people and the Merriam Webster Dictionary, you’re setting yourself up for misunderstanding and hurt. It’s generally a mistake to assume good will or intention to a narcissist’s words, promises and declarations.

Words are typically a smokescreen the narcissist employs to confuse and deceive. Narcissists study and observe their prey. They know your hopes, dreams, fears and sources of shame. They know what you want to hear and, when in seduction mode (love bombing), they’ll shamelessly play to that. They’re often such masterful liars, how can you know what’s fact and what’s fiction?

#narcissistdictionary

READ THE FULL ARTICLE 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.

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

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How a Relationship with a Narcissist Ends

March 20, 2018 3 comments

Businessman with trash can on headHow does  a relationship with a narcissist end? How does the once Disney fairy tale romance that’s gone Grimm conclude? How does a relationship with a person who’s chronically emotionally immature and unstable, self-absorbed, entitled and integrity-challenged play out?

Generally, not good.

These relationships start with a love bomb and end with a bang. As in, you bang your head against the wall of their pathology. You bang your head against the wall of your denial and cognitive dissonance. The narcissist or borderline bangs the door shut in your face. They cheat or have serial affairs. Or, a blood vessel bursts in your brain and bang you drop dead of a stroke. Sometimes they end with a disappearing act. The narcissist or borderline disappears. Your money disappears. Your dog disappears. Even children you share with the narcissist may disappear.

Like I said, not good.

Once you understand how narcissists work, their seemingly unpredictable behaviors become predictable. Ending a relationship with a narcissist or other toxic personality also follows some predictable patterns. As painful and crazy-making as the relationship was during the beginning and middle stages, the break-up often mirrors and intensifies their behaviors, emotions and attitudes.

And remember, they supposedly loved you during the marriage. Once you file for divorce or separate, you officially become the enemy. In reality, the narcissist has been your enemy throughout the relationship. It’s just more obvious once everything implodes as you’re vilified and smeared. After a Wagnerian soap opera of low notes, it’s extremely rare for these relationships to end on a high note. If you’re very lucky, it may end quickly if the narcissist or borderline has locked and loaded on their next victim and wants to legally secure the new relationship through marriage. Otherwise, a long, drawn out high-conflict battle that hemorrhages legal fees typically ensues.

CLICK THIS LINK TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE 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.

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

Categories: Uncategorized