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What’s the Difference Between Love Bombing and Real Admiration?

January 15, 2018 4 comments

36512049 - flat design of love bombs falling form sky illustration vectorHow do you tell the difference between genuine admiration and appreciation and the false flattery of love bombing?

Think about the people you admire and hold in high regard. Did that happen overnight, or did your appreciation develop over time as you got to know them and observe them consistently behave with kindness, compassion, integrity and intelligence? Anyone who lays the flattery on thick and fast typically has an agenda. They’re most likely looking to manipulate you into something that isn’t good for you. When I hear the term “buttering you up,” I chuckle because it makes me think of lubricant. As in bend over and apply the lubricant. Well, that’s if you’re lucky.

The following behaviors are characteristics of love bombing. They’re also stand alone red flags. This list isn’t exhaustive, but they’re the most common in my experience.

Urgency. It’s hard work pretending to be someone you’re not. Thus, love bombers often try to hurry the relationship along at a breakneck pace in order to secure the attachment. Once that’s accomplished — typically after legally binding yourself to them through marriage, shared property, children or a business partnership — the mask comes off. In the many accounts of love bombing to which I’ve been privy, there’s frequently pressure to “take things to the next level.” They ABC to ABC: Always be conning to always be closing.

Future faking. Narcissists and psychopaths will often casually talk about marriage, having children and other relationship milestones early on, or long before any reasonable person would seriously consider such things. It’s part manipulation and part distraction tactic. If you’re codependent, finding someone who seems to think you’re so special — special enough to consider huge commitments so quickly — can make your heart melt along with your judgment and reason. It’s used as a distraction should you catch a glimpse of the real them before they’re ready, or as a way to keep your hope alive after the devaluation stage begins, but before they’re ready to discard you.

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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.

Want to Say Goodbye to Crazy? Buy it HERE.

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Professional Victim Characteristics of Narcissists, Borderlines and Psychopaths

November 27, 2017 Leave a comment

Narcissists are professional victims_01Does your spouse blame you for everything that’s wrong in the marriage? Does she or he refuse to take responsibility for their actions, especially the cruel and deceitful ones? Do you frequently feel forced into acts of contrition, like you’re forever obligated to make it up to your partner, girlfriend or boyfriend?

Playing the victim is a position of power in interpersonal relationships. How can a victim be powerful? In reality, the professional victim is the aggressor, particularly if they have traits of narcissism, borderline or histrionic personality disorder or psychopathy. They play the victim to manipulate, exploit and control their victims, enablers and/or negative advocates (i.e., flying monkeys who protect and defend the professional victim/aggressor and attack the actual victim). Narcissists and other professional victims hold you emotionally hostage by using abuse tactics such as blame shifting, projection, DARVO (Deny, Attack and Reverse Victim and Offender) and FOG (fear, obligation, guilt).

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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 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.

Categories: Uncategorized

Can Narcissists Change?

October 3, 2017 9 comments

25863412 - saber-toothed tiger isolated on whiteA frequent question in my counseling practice and from website subscribers is “Do narcissists and borderlines get better with age?” Another common question is, “What happens when they get old and are no longer attractive?” These are understandable questions.

People don’t grow out of personality disorders. If that was going to happen, it would’ve happened at the developmentally appropriate time — during childhood and adolescence. As for getting better with age, that depends upon how one defines better.

First, narcissists, borderlines, histrionics and psychopaths don’t get better without psychological treatment. Second, therapy doesn’t cure a personality disorder. The best you can hope for is that the disordered individual will take some accountability for their destructive and pathological behavior and manage the worst of it. Even then, therapy doesn’t guarantee that.

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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.

Calling your Ex Crazy

October 2, 2017 1 comment

36434194 - heap of different kinds of nuts in shellMen’s Divorce website recently published an article, Stop Calling your Ex Crazy, admonishing men who describe their ex as crazy. In many divorces, even divorces with non-personality disordered individuals, emotions can run high. Oftentimes, there’s anger, sadness, disappointment, resentment, bitterness and a desire to hurt one’s former “soul mate.” It’s to be expected, at least initially.

People who aren’t crazy eventually regain control of their emotions and consciously decide not to piss away their money on attorney’s fees and dial down the animosity for the sake of the children. In my work, the exes who are labeled crazy usually exhibit personality disorder characteristics (e.g., narcissists, borderlines, psychopaths, histrionics, dependents and paranoiacs). These are also the personality types that are commonly the driving force in high-conflict divorces.

High-conflict personality disordered people don’t regain control of their emotions. They go on a scorched earth campaign and deliberately try to inflict as much pain and damage as possible. They’re not just angry with their exes. They want to annihilate their exes.

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Say Goodbye to CrazyDonate to Shrink4Men HERE.

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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.

Categories: Uncategorized

Allowing the Narcissist to Determine your Worth: Don’t Do It

August 8, 2017 2 comments

Shrink4Men_Narcissistic behavior says more about the narcissist than their targetsRemember the childhood adage that was supposed to make us feel better when we were bullied? Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me. Our parents tell us that when we’re kids, but it’s cold comfort at the time. Name-calling hurts when you’re a kid. It can also hurt as an adult.

There’s another childhood adage meant to make us feel better about being bullied, but directed at our tormentor. I’m rubber. You’re glue. Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you. I don’t know about you, but it didn’t have much effect on the bullies in my childhood. Nevertheless, I carried it with me like a paper shield.

If we said either of these expressions now to a nasty colleague or an abusive narcissistic, psychopathic or borderline spouse or ex, they’d most likely think we’re our rocker. Even so, there’s wisdom in these simple, sing song childhood talismans. Sticks and Stones encourages emotional detachment from those who would hurt us. Rubber and Glue is a basic primer for returning cruel projections back to their rightful owner.

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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.

How to Know When a Narcissist is Lying

August 8, 2017 1 comment

Shrink4Men_Narcissists_Words are noises they make with their mouthsWhen their lips are moving! Har-dee-har-har!

A Shrink4Men forum member once shared an explanation about narcissists, psychopaths and borderlines’ propensity for dishonesty and the confusion it creates in their victims. It’s stayed with me ever since, one, because it’s funny and, two, because it’s true. When it comes to narcissists and other abusive personalities:

Words are just noises they make with their mouth.

On Monday she said she loved me and couldn’t imagine being with another man. On Thursday she was posting Facebook pictures of herself with her new soulmate, our neighbor from three doors down. Why? Who does that? Have you ever heard of something like that? How could she change so quickly?

He looked into my eyes and said he’d never met anyone as amazing as me. He said he’d call and that we’d go out over the weekend and then I never heard from him again. Why? Who does that? Have you ever heard of something like that? How could he change so quickly?

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Donate to Shrink4Men HERE.

Want 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.

Having Healthy Boundaries Ends the Relationship with a Narcissist or Borderline

August 1, 2017 1 comment

CrazyBusters_Narcissist CodependentWhy do victims of narcissists, borderlines, histrionics and psychopaths stay in abusive, toxic relationships well past the point of expiration? Even when they’re checked out, shell-shocked and empty? My clients often say they feel trapped in the relationship. Sometimes it has to do with children, and children do create logistical, albeit not insurmountable issues. So what’s the real trap?

You’d like to have boundaries and a healthier relationship, but here’s the rub. You can’t have a healthy relationship with someone who is personality disordered. That’s like trying to get sober while chugging Jack Daniels. If you decide to work on your codependency and become healthier, the narcissist or borderline’s dysfunction will seem more extreme.

This is due to the contrast between health and pathology. It’s also due to actual decompensation and escalation triggered by the borderline or narcissist’s perceived loss of control. The healthier you become, the less tolerable the narcissist and the relationship will become. In other words, you getting healthy most likely means the end of the relationship, which causes FOG — feelings of fear, obligation and guilt.

Fear. You’re afraid to be alone. You’re afraid you’ll never meet someone else, or that you’ll meet someone far worse. You’re afraid you won’t feel that same ZING! with emotionally stable women and men. If healthy, stable adults seem boring to you, that means you need to do some work on yourself. This is entirely within your power to do.

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Donate to Shrink4Men HERE.

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.