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Top 10 Holiday Gifts for the Narcissist in your Life


It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Unless you’re involved with a controlling, abusive narcissistic, borderline and/or histrionic woman, in which case it’s a nail-biting, high anxiety time of year. Many downtrodden husbands and boyfriends dread the annual quest for the perfect holiday, the perfect family and the perfect gift for their insatiable, never-satisfied wives and girlfriends.

Why do these women seem to be hellbent on making sure it’s a miserable holiday?

There are several possible reasons:

  • Control. It’s just another way for her to control everyone. On special occasions, these women tend to act out even more than usual, which gets you to jump through more hoops than usual—double-time.
  • Party Pooper. This kind of woman likes nothing better than to keep others from having a good time. It’s not enough for her to be sullen and angry; all the Whos in Whoville need to be miserable, too. In fact, it warms her 2 sizes too small heart to ruin holidays and other special occasions.
  • Center of Attention. Everything’s always about her. By escalating her typical bad behaviors during the holidays, she becomes the center of attention. Everyone walks on eggshells to please her and make sure everything is to her liking, which is never going to happen, by the way.
  • Isolation. Many of these women wreck the holidays to avoid spending time with your family and/or keep you from seeing your family. This is also about controlling you and spoiling what could be a warm and loving occasion.
  • Unhappy childhoods. Perhaps some of these women have horrible memories of the holidays from their childhoods and for their own twisted reasons are compelled to continue the painful tradition in their adult lives.

It doesn’t matter how much you spend or how much thought you put into selecting a present; you’re going to fail. Why not go down in flames with a laugh? Here are some suggestions for what to give the Narcissist, Borderline and/or Histrionic in your life this year:

1. The Disney Princess Magic Talking Mirror Set. This enchanted mirror allows your self-appointed princess to gaze at her reflection and be told, “You look too lovely today!” and “You’re the fairest in the land” and You’re the most beautiful princess in the whole world.”

It’s a must-have for every Narcissist on your gift list this year. Plus, if you buy her a bulk package of batteries from Costco, it will save you some time and energy in the undying adoration department. She’ll be thrilled with her new never-ending narcissistic supply and you’ll be a hero for 5 minutes—until she starts to compare you to the mirror. Why can’t you be more like my Magic Mirror? SIGH. . .

2. The Green Hornet Hot Shot Electric Cattle Prod. Think of the endless hours of fun your wife or girlfriend will have zapping you when you least expect it. If she had any friends, they’d all be “green” with envy. . . “How dare you criticize me!” Zap. “Who do you think you are to question me!” Zap. “Stop being so sensitive.” Zap. “I shouldn’t have to tell you what I want; you should know.” Zap. “I’m bored.” Zap. Dance monkey!” Zap.

3. A Box of Applause. I was going to write my own snarky description, but I don’t think it’s possible to build upon the sales blurb at Sky Mall:

Craving a little recognition? Someone who gets your jokes? Open the Box of Applause and be greeted with the sounds of cheering and clapping from a very enthusiastic crowd. Close your eyes and imagine yourself accepting that Oscar, Nobel Prize or Best Comedy Emmy.

Yes, this is the real product description. I’m pretty imaginative, but I can’t make up stuff like this.

4. The Personalized Insult Ringtone. It’s the perfect gift to allow your Narcissist to “reach out and abuse someone;” namely you. You’ll know exactly whose on the other end of the line when the insults begin. It’s guaranteed to cause a Pavlovian fear response whenever you hear her dulcet tones. . . all from beemp3—free of charge! (Click on the links to sample.)

5. The Husband/Boyfriend GPS Tracking System. Tired of her endless interrogations? Where were you? Who were you with? Who did you talk to? Where did you go after work? You were gone too long to just have been at the store?

Indulge her controlling nature and put her pathological jealousy to rest with this handy dandy GPS tracking system that records everywhere your vehicle has traveled during the day. All she has to do is attach it securely to your vehicle and then pop it into her computer’s USB port (or you can do it for her). Sure, it’s restrictive, but it’s less invasive than a microchip embedded in your molar.

6. Retractable Leash and Collar. It’s the perfect gift to show who’s really in charge. She likes to “yank your chain,” so why not give her the real thing? Why a retractable leash instead of a basic leash? All the better to screw with your head, of course.

She’ll give you just enough lead to let you momentarily experience a sense of freedom. Then with the mere push of a button—click—your feet fly out from underneath you and you’re flat on your back wondering what the heck happened. Changing the length of the leash at will gives her the added bonus of the element of surprise and the inability to predict when she’ll jerk your chain.

And as long as we’re on a canine theme. . .

7. Your Very Own Dog House. It’s the perfect gift for when you disappoint her, displease her or try to do something nice for her. Yes you did all the laundry, but you didn’t fold the towels the way she likes. Yes, you took her car to get serviced on your lunch hour, but you didn’t bring it back with a full tank of gas. You were breathing to loud. You looked at her the wrong way. You didn’t respond to her quickly enough. What can you do? Where can you go? Why your very own dog house.

Many abusive women think there’s no greater punishment than giving you the silent treatment and/or banishing you from their presence. Your very own dog house gives you a place to go until she thinks you’ve suffered enough. *DirectTV hook-up ready.

8. Stigmata Costume. It’s the perfect gift for your favorite martyr/professional victim! Nothing quite says, “See how much I sacrifice for you! I do everything around here. You never lift a finger to help me—Hey! Stop mopping the floor when I’m talking to you! And that’s another thing—you NEVER listen to me. You don’t love me. The only person you think about is yourself!” than some nice oozing stigmata wounds.

Abusive Cluster B personalities (narcissists, borderlines, histrionics and sociopaths) are notoriously lazy. Wearing fake stigmata will save your martyr precious time from her “busy” do-nothing schedule by allowing her to “shorthand” her usual victim shtick. Instead of her “me, victim—you, bastard” routine, a simple hand gesture will do. *Wooden cross not included.

9. The Boyfriend/Husband/Ex Punching Bag. This is the perfect  gift no matter the time of year. Think of this inflatable man as your stunt double and let “Pinky” take some of the heat.

The plastic photo pouch allows your wife/girlfriend/ex to personalize her psychotic rage episodes or cold silences when you’re not available. She can yell at and/or ignore Pinky whenever it “strikes” her fancy. The best part is that your “better half” can unleash her demons with zero damage to you! He can also act as a stand-in for when she starts one of her pointless, endless grievance sessions right before bedtime after you’ve had a hard day at work.

As an added bonus, when you’re finally ready to end your abusive relationship, your ex will have “someone” on whom to take out her frustrations. *Air pump sold separately.

10. Fukitol for You. Because sometimes the best thing you can do is pour yourself a pitcher of heavily spiked eggnog and say, “F—– it all.”

Happy holidays, everyone!

by Dr Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

Shrink4Men Coaching and Consultation Services:

Dr Tara J. Palmatier provides confidential, fee-for-service, consultation/coaching services to help both men and women work through their relationship issues via telephone and/or Skype chat. Her practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Shrink4Men Services page for professional inquiries.

Donations

If you find the information I provide free of charge helpful and valuable here on Shrink4Men, please consider making a donation via PayPal to help me maintain the site.

Photo credits:

Disney Magic mirror at Amazon.

Electric prod at WholesaleMidwest.

Applause box at Sky Mall.

GPS at GPSspousetracking.

Man on a leash at yumsugar.

Dog house at JillsHideout.

Stigmata costume at Costumestore.

Inflatable man punching bag at perpetualkid.

Fukitol at Fukitol.


An Unconventional Approach to Surviving the Holidays If You’re Recently Single


Are you freshly divorced, separated or broken up? Does the sight of holiday decorations at the local drugstore, shopping mall, grocery store and every other surface from which people can drape twinkle lights make you groan inwardly at the thought of forced mirth? Has your ex-wife or girlfriend alienated your children from you? Are you feeling lonely, angry or depressed? Do you grit your teeth when well meaning friends and family tell you that you should be happy and count your blessings at this time of year?

If so, you’re not alone. Oftentimes the typical upbeat prescriptive advice professional caregivers and loved ones have to offer doesn’t help. In fact, it makes many people feel worse. Therefore, here’s some offbeat advice to help get you through the holiday season with a certain style, joie de cynicism and unabashed malcontent-ed-ness. Sometimes you have to “go through the dark” in order to “lighten up:”

  • Distract yourself and keep busy. Call, visit or e-mail friends who dislike and dread the holiday season as much as you do this year. Surround yourself with misanthropes who avoid dysfunctional family gatherings like Progressives avoid Tea Bagger rallies. Get together for martinis and carbohydrate-laden hors d’oeuvres. Don’t worry about the caloric damage now; you need to come up with New Year’s resolutions in a few weeks anyway—at least you’ll be prepared. [*Please note: If you actually are experiencing a bout of depression, please avoid alcohol and other known depressants as they will only exacerbate your feelings of sadness.]
  • Find non-traditional ways to pass the time during the holidays. Is your family too difficult to deal with? Begin an annual, multi-denominational holiday dinner party. Years ago when I was having a tough time, I started an annual “Very Gay Jewish International Christmas Dinner” for all of my local friends who were far away from their families or felt left out of the typical holiday cheer for whatever reason and who clearly appreciated my sense of humor. We became a family of choice and had a great time, albeit, the heavily spiked mulled cider didn’t hurt.
  • Self-care. Only do what’s good for you. Period. Does your family put the “fun” in “dysfunctional?” Don’t be guilted into attending family parties that will leave you feeling depressed and desperate. If they don’t understand your choice; too bad. You’re an adult. They have another 364 days in which to make you feel guilty about not attending the family festivities. They’ll just have to content themselves with that. Eventually, it will blow over. If not, that’s why Caller ID was invented.
  • Missing children. On a serious note, if you’re separated from your children for the first time this year, my heart goes out to you. I understand how painful it must be. The beauty of being non-traditional means that you can celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, etc., any day of the year you choose—it doesn’t have to be the arbitrarily chosen calendar date. Plan to celebrate with your kids on another day. They’ll feel pretty lucky two have two holidays and a dad who loves them enough to put up a tree or light a menorah in January or April. If your ex is really vile and you don’t know when you’ll see your children next, buy them a gift anyway and save it for them. Even if it takes years, your children will be touched to know that you’ve always had them in your thoughts.
  • Dark humor heals. Watch your favorite dark comedies. Anything that helps you laugh at the absurdity of it all is perfect. Personal recommendations include: The War of the Roses, The Ref and Very Bad Things; preferably something with a body count at the end.
  • Subversive holiday cookies. Make a batch of anatomically correct gingerbread men or gingerbread women cookies and name them after your exes (Molasses Honey Ginger Cookies). If you’re not handy with the icing decorations, some well chosen candy (e.g., Tic-Tacs vs. Good-n-Plenties; mini-marshmallows vs. nonpareils) is just as effective, not to mention a time saver. After you’ve named and decorated the little lasses or lads, pour a frosty glass of ice cold milk and ENJOY. I think you’ll find this takes “comfort food” to a whole new level.
  • Holiday housekeeping. Weed your garden. Rid yourself of anyone or anything that is toxic, draining and unhealthy. Do so with neither remorse nor regret. There are those among us who are energy-joy vampires. They will suck you dry until nothing is left. If you can’t rid them from your life entirely, at the very least, minimize contact.
  • This too shall pass. Look to the future. Remember that in the grand scheme of things, this year is just another bump in the road. You will heal and get past this in time. Decide what you would like to be different in the year ahead and then pursue it with purpose and determination. Think of where you’d like to be this time next year and make it happen.

Sometimes what works for most people doesn’t work for everybody and that’s okay. March to the beat of your own rhythm section and don’t worry what others think. Smile and know you’re having fun (or not) while living life on your terms. Besides, the road less traveled is a hell of a lot more interesting.

by Dr Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

Shrink4Men Coaching and Consultation Services:

Dr Tara J. Palmatier provides confidential, fee-for-service, consultation/coaching services to help both men and women work through their relationship issues via telephone and/or Skype chat. Her practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Shrink4Men Services page for professional inquiries.

Donations

If you find the information I provide free of charge helpful and valuable here on Shrink4Men, please consider making a donation via PayPal to help me maintain the site.

Photo credit:

Merry Christmas to you all by prakashdaniel on flickr.