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Sophia's Children

Living and Leading the Transformation.

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Conscious Communication

Dealing With Sanctimonious A**es (And What We Can Learn From Them)

Yes, I do mean what you think I mean by "sanctimonious a**es." It made sense to get right to it, rather than hedge with more gentle, round-about language, since I noticed a theme arising. 'Tis the season, in line with... Continue Reading →

It’s Time For Uncommon Skills and Islands of Sanity. Again.

"I know it is possible to create islands of sanity in the midst of disruptive seas. … And I have studied enough history to know that such leaders always arise when they are most needed. Now it’s our turn." ~... Continue Reading →

A Less-Mentioned (but Huge) “Ism.”

Jeff Japp, in his Stuff Jeff Reads blog, muses about another of the super-insidious yet not as often mentioned "isms" ingrained and "toxic-normalized" into our culture, alongside racism and sexism/misogyny, linking what we see now with what Shakespeare wrote about in... Continue Reading →

How Can HeArtful Inquiry Be a Powerful Practice? (The Question Holds the Lantern)

Mindful inquiry. Sacred inquiry. Transformative inquiry. Affirmative inquiry. All of these point to a particular way of working with questions that's a little different from the same old, same old. This was one of the topics (or themes, or skill... Continue Reading →

Fault Vs. Responsibility – Insights from Will Smith

Here's an insight from Will Smith about how essential it is that we switch from a default mode of fault and blame to responsibility. Things like this add up to greater empowerment, agency, and a more skillful ability to relate... Continue Reading →

Savor the Moment, Deepen Intimacy

“You see, there is a tendency to talk about the moment, more than to savor the moment.” ~ Debra K. Fileta, The Effect of Social Media on Relationships, Relevant Magazine It's not just about technology, of course; "Smart Phones" and... Continue Reading →

Indie-Spirit FYIs, Nuggets + Recommended Reads

Wild times, eh? And it's Independence Day (or week, or year?) here in the U.S. In such a large (just shy of 322-million people) and very diverse population as we have in many parts of the U.S., 'holidays' like this... Continue Reading →

The Evidence We Gather (and the Gifts of Appreciation & Gratitude)

Something that a mentor once said to me, years ago now, really stayed with me. He said: "Isn't it amazing how we humans find it so much easier to gather 'evidence for suffering' than we do to 'gather evidence for... Continue Reading →

From Feeling Invisible and Unheard, to Deeply Seeing and Listening

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ~ Leo Buscaglia... Continue Reading →

Just Mercy and Compassionate Communication: An Elegant Message from Bryan Stevenson

"... if you're a teacher your words can be meaningful, but if you're a compassionate teacher, they can be especially meaningful. If you're a doctor you can do some good things, but if you're a caring doctor you can do... Continue Reading →

The Harm of Overheated Talk

“I’ve been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us. Yes it mobilizes supporters—but by mobilizing them with hysterical accusations and pseudo-information, overheated talk has made it impossible for representatives to... Continue Reading →

Oh Those NarciPaths – Shahida’s “20 Narci Tactics”

I'd usually just reblog this one, but the reblog format is funky. So I'm just going to say this: Shahida Arabi, via her Self-Care Haven blog, recently posted an excellent summary of 20 often-used Bully and NarciPath tactics. I shared... Continue Reading →

Relationship Alchemy vs. Dreary Bickering

"The possibilities that exist between two people, or among a group of people, are a kind of alchemy. They are the most interesting thing in life." ... "When relationships are determined by manipulation, by the need for control, they may... Continue Reading →

Listening, Empathy and Shouted-Down Doubt

" ... it’s just a clear example of people not listening. They are just not listening. I want to say, “Read my lips. This is how I feel, and it is my experience. And it is my own, and it’s... Continue Reading →

The Beauty Way of Relating

Are you feeling an growing call towards greater harmony, beauty, and social artistry? Or are you noticing, or even mired in, their opposites -- disharmony, conflict, relational dysfunction -- which are seemingly over-abundant in the world right about now? I'll... Continue Reading →

The Power of Inquiry: Loving the Questions Themselves

I'm always amazed at the seeming magic of replacing a period with a question mark. Know what I mean? If you've explored the power of inquiry -- the art of asking the good questions -- you've likely found, as I... Continue Reading →

Placebo Nocebo: Prediction and Word-Power

"Time-based prophecies that kept me from living, in the moment I am struggling to trust the divinity ... " ~ Nahko Bear This is a wee bit of a rant, though mild as possible rant-ampage can go. In recent weeks,... Continue Reading →

Angry People. Stay calm and keep on walking.

Mabel Normand in the 1914 Chaplin film, Mable's Strange Predicament. Image is public domain and courtesy of Wikipedia.
Mabel Normand in the 1914 Chaplin film, Mable’s Strange Predicament. Image is public domain and courtesy of Wikipedia.

This is a good reminder from Laurie Rohner, since the Energies of Now may well stir up the ol’ Hissy Fits and Tantrum Yoga outbursts, and the drama-drama-conflama moments.

Full moon, lots of zap-zone energetics buzzing around, and the ups-and-downs potentials of fiery and watery, yang and yin astro-energies (a.k.a. the energy field we live, breath, and interact in!).

Stay present, stay cool, and have your ‘soothing remedies’ at the ready!

(Head to the Sophia’s Children Empaths & Sensitives Series for other timely tips on ‘Hissy Fitters’ and ‘soothing remedies’!).

Big Love, Deep Breaths, and and a nice cup of cucumber, lavender and peppermint tea!
Jamie

watercolor illustration by Laurie Rohner Think of a peaceful place and let the anger go.

Let me share a story with you.

Yesterday an email hit my inbox from Etsy. It was for a custom order. I opened the email and found this young women ranting with profanity about how I had sent her a twitter feed and to stop it. Now I admit I don’t know how things work but I do know that this was her issue – not mine. I replied back explaining I had nothing to do with her feed being filled up with my etsy posts – 5 to be exact –  and she was not to contact shop owners through the custom order request. I said I was sorry this happened and wish her a better day. She then shot me another scathing email how she has reported me to twitter – hum don’t understand why – and that…

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Reclaiming Your Power from Unconstructive Criticism

When I saw this article from Rick Hanson, it took all of a nanosecond for me to recognize the pattern he's talking about. It's one that can make me wince just thinking about it, though it's common enough. In the... Continue Reading →

The Ways Narcissists Get Inside Your Head – from Self-Care Haven

My Bad Hair Day, by Anissa Bryant, April 2013. Generously shared in the public domain.
My Bad Hair Day, by Anissa Bryant, April 2013. Generously shared in the public domain.

I linked to Shahida Arabi’s excellent “Five Powerful Ways Abusive Narcissists Get Inside Your Headin my Sophia’s Children post on “When Withholding is a Toxic Tactic” (part of the ongoing Resources for Empaths & Sensitives Series).

But it’s so relevant on a number of levels, reflecting some of the less savory interpersonal dynamics that are considered normal in our interpersonal experiences at home, at work, in the community — and even moreso with a variety of research studies showing a disconcerting rise in Narcissistic behavior over the last 10-15 years.

And Narci (Etc.) tactics are well-honed and very, very effective.

They can leave even the most centered, confident, skillful, aware, and ‘successful’ people feeling spin-cycled, fogged-out, confused, upset, ashamed, and ultimately, a mere shell of themselves (as one Narci-abuse survivor, in our conversation, phrased the effects of being in a relationship with such a person).

As Carrie Barron, M.D., writes in her Psychology Today article aimed at those who were targeted by Narci-Abusers:

“Recent findings indicate they take pleasure in successful manipulations. Putting down unsuspecting, soft-hearted souls in their midst is a sport.”

In hindsight, those who became Narci-prey and were thus Narci-manipulated end up wondering, often with no small degree of internalized self-judgment and shame, “How the heck did that happen?”

Dr. Barron continues: “The transformation of a hopeful, can-do enthusiast into a dismal, wary withdrawer is a form of soul murder. But to those thus violated, take heart. Understanding the complexities of what/who you were dealing with might make you feel better.”

Even people who encounter some of the classic Narci-Abuser behaviors and tactics — if not full-tilt Malignant Narcissists or Socio/Psychopathic types — at work, at home, or in their communities (or online, for that matter), can benefit immensely from recognizing the tactic, becoming more aware, and stepping into more empowered choice rather than unconscious puppet-reaction.

So I wanted to share a couple of other links highlighting Shahida’s work from her Self-Care Haven blog.

She spotlights some of the specific toxic-tactics that, while normalized in a ‘tough love’, bully-centric culture, are actually abusive and harmful.

So it’s wise to have a look and be better able to recognize them as they come up, which gives us the option of practicing into more healthy, self-and-other respecting ways of relating (or choosing to disentangle from chronically disrespectful relationships).

I particularly appreciate that Shahida includes ‘Triangulation’ in her list of toxic-tactics to recognize, along with other common toxic-tactics like ‘gaslighting’ and ‘Hoovering’ (part of the recognized ‘stir and repeat’ Abuse Cycle), as Triangulation a common ploy and yet not as frequently noted.

Find another of Shahida’s Narci-Awareness posts here: 20 NarciPath Tactics to Be Aware of (and awareness is empowering)

https://sophias-children.com/2017/02/24/oh-those-narcipaths-shahidas-20-narci-tactics/

Check out Shahida’s most recent Self-Care Haven post: 5 Powerful Reality Checks for Survivors of Narci-Abuse.

Thanks to Shahida, and to you, my very dear and much-appreciated readers and fellow empaths and Sophia-kindred-spirits!

Big Love,
Jamie

Self-Care Haven by Shahida Arabi

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In popular culture, the term “narcissistic” is thrown about quite loosely, usually referring to vanity and self-absorption. This reduces narcissism to a common quality that everyone possesses and downplays the symptoms demonstrated by people with the actual disorder. While narcissism does exist on a spectrum, narcissism as a full-fledged personality disorder is quite different.

People who meet the criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder or those who have traits of Antisocial Personality Disorder  can operate in extremely manipulative ways within the context of intimate relationships due to their deceitfulness, lack of empathy and their tendency to be interpersonally exploitative. Although I will be focusing on narcissistic abusers in this post, due to the overlap of symptoms in these two disorders, this post can potentially apply to interactions with those who have ASPD to an extent.

It’s important in any kind of relationship that we learn to identify the red flags when interacting with people who display malignant narcissism and/or…

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Empaths+Sensitives Series: When ‘Withholding’ is a Toxic Tactic

That's right. Withholding as a toxic-normal interpersonal tactic. The proverbial simmering silent treatment or cold shoulder that leaves us (or others) wondering what the heck happened, what we did wrong (even if we didn't actually do anything wrong and sort... Continue Reading →

Venus and Iris – the Shamanic Diplomat

Our Venusian selves have just gone Mercurial. Are you sensitive and attuned enough to feel it yet? If not, you'll be able to if you wish. Read on for tips, so you'll be able to create more skillfully with this energy in... Continue Reading →

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