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Sophia's Children

Living and Leading the Transformation.

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Self-Honoring and Self-Respect

Appreciation to the Tribe of Invisible Mothers

Yes, Mother's Day, and a happy one, with best wishes, for traditional mothers everywhere. There is another tribe of mothers, though ... ... probably several ... that go unseen and unsung in our culture. It's this tribe -- my tribe... 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 →

Strong at the Broken Places

"The world breaks everyone, and afterward many are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway (This is an update and re-feature of a post I wrote in 2008, in my previous Engaged Spirituality, Mystic Activism blog. It seemed ripe for... Continue Reading →

Empath-Sensitives and Psychic Pollution

"Just as there is physical pollution, so there is a type of psychic pollution in the world. And that is the psychic soup in which we live." "The more open and the more sensitive and the more evolved you are,... Continue Reading →

On Our Worthiness to Receive, and Be Loved.

This 'Sophia Message' got stirred through some imagery work I did last night, and then a related dream image I was given just before waking this morning. As I jotted the notes in my journal during morning tea-time, I was... Continue Reading →

Ignore the Nattering Naysayers, and Hold to a Higher Vision.

Former Vice President, Spiro Agnew, called them "nattering nabobs of negativism." I've used the term "diminishing mirrors." But we all know what that is, and we know too well the effect it can have. This can apply to chronically discouraging... Continue Reading →

Deconstructing Bully Culture: Shaming Class, Poverty, and Difference; and Those Who Stand

"But human beings are not trash. We are the civilizing force on the planet." ~ Chris Offutt, "Trash Food" I came across a couple of articles this morning that stirred the fire-pot ... you know, that liquid lava center that... 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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Energies of Now: Spaced Out and Cracklin’ with Insight

“I relate to the firing synapses willy nilly ... I am wildly alert, yet kinda stunned or something …” quipped one Aqua'd wayfarer just this morning. Sounds familiar. My mind has been going at warp-speed, as my Aquarius Sun,  Saturn,... Continue Reading →

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 →

Just. Be. You. What a Relief.

Julia at Painted Path writes this in her recent post, Falling Apart: “Imagine dropping, really setting down, who we think others want us to be, who we think we should be, and just being who we are. Who we already... Continue Reading →

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