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Sophia's Children

Living and Leading the Transformation.

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Right Relationship

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 →

Wisdom, Dignity and Courage Shine Amidst the (Senate) Circus.

"The hateful, the aggressive, the truly, truly awful manner which with so many are acting now has got to end. This is not who we are. This is not who we should be. This is not who we raise our... 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 →

Are We Living Through a Crisis of Touch? An Article FYI.

In intrapersonal reflections and personal conversations, I've been thinking and exploring an observation for quite awhile now: we've slowly been moving, on some level, to a fear-centered culture-norm of depersonalization, desensitizing, and "high-tech, low-touch" -- or, as this article suggests,... Continue Reading →

Dehumanizing Abuse of Power. And Rehumanizing …

“When power is used in a non-consensual situation, it is a wrong. Men who improperly harass or assault do not do so because they are gay or straight — that is a deflection. They do so because they have the... 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 →

Love, Belonging, Home, and Presence – John O’Donohue

There's a Fiery Phoenix (and Phoenixing update) musing brewing -- stay tuned. The recent and current 'energy weather' is fiery, and as we know (yawn), that always amps up the Hissy Fit, Tantrum Yoga & Psychic Spew potential. On a... 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 →

MuseWorthy Quotation: On True Friendship and Being the Space

"A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself – and especially to feel. Or not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That's what real love amounts... Continue Reading →

Venusian Mysteries: The Garden of the Feminine

I originally wrote this musing in April 2016, when the Taurus Mysteries were rising on the wheel of the year. Then I revisited the Venus-Rising theme, when the Libra Mysteries -- the other zodiac archetype ruled by Venus - were... Continue Reading →

The Power of Graceful Receiving – #Blesstival

"Life is infused with spirit. When we receive deeply we’re receiving not just from an individual but from spirit itself."~ Sobonfu Somé Receiving deeply. Sounds so simple, doesn't it? And yet in a culture where we're taught in many ways,... Continue Reading →

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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