Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Setting Boundaries for Neglectful Behaviors

Sometimes it is necessary to set boundaries for the things a person does NOT do. Boundaries aren't always just for people who do bad things to you, you may also need to set limits for the things that people do not do that they should be doing. Here are a few examples:
  • Silent treatment
  • Ignoring you
  • Withdrawing
  • Dismissing
  • Devaluing 
  • Discounting
  • Disconnection
  • Minimizing your issues/requests
  • Not being there for you in important times.
  • Not affirming you when you need and request it.
  • Not working out issues that are bothering you.
  • Not giving you credit where credit is due.
  • Failing to give direction when in a position to do so.
  • Withholding information.
  • Not taking your side repeatedly.
  • Not encouraging you in your passions.
  • Not trying to understand your point of view.
  • Not going out of their way to be there for you.
This is a different type of boundary. When someone is not doing the things you need them to do. When they're not returning the love and respect that you're giving them, but instead, allowing you to do all of the giving, and leaving big gaps in the relationship. You are being normal, naive, open and empathetic. They are taking what you're giving and running away with it, not returning in like kind.

Unfortunately, I have found that people who do these things above are toxic people who are envious, who wish to manipulate and control you. They could also be codependent people who are so wrapped up in their other codependent relationships, that your needs are unimportant to them.

The important thing to realize is that YOUR NEEDS MATTER.
  • You deserve to be responded to.
  • You deserve to be understood.
  • You deserve to be heard.
  • You deserve to be given credit.
  • You deserve to have a friend/family member on your side.
  • You deserve to have people who are there for you.
  • You deserve to have people who go out of their way for you.
You deserve to have your needs met by the people in your life with whom you are in relationship. There is nothing wrong with you for feeling hurt that a friend is never there for you when you need him or her. There is nothing wrong with you, but there is something unequal in the relationship--and it's up to you to set a boundary against it. You've got to set boundaries against people who are harming you by neglectful behaviors.

This could happen during the abuse cycle of sweet/mean or the devaluation discard phase of love bombing. No matter who it is, it is your responsibility to yourself to take care of YOU. 

These people only do things on their terms. They will only meet your needs on a very slim level, at their convenience--only if it involves meeting their needs as well. Anything that falls out of bounds of their ease in meeting your needs will have to be taken care of elsewhere, outside the relationship. Meanwhile, you're behaving normally, giving real empathy down the drain. Basically you're keeping the whole relationship alive.

Consider your current relationships. Are you feeling a weird gap in how your being attended to? Do you feel hurt by the disconnection? Are you frustrated when they don't call you for weeks, then pop up wanting to connect without addressing all that has gone on in your life? Are you going overboard keeping a relationship alive that has an essence of neglect?

This article could be an entire book! I have so much to say on the topic. The important thing is that you set boundaries. This can be difficult, because if you're used to be neglected, you may not even realize it is happening. You will have to get super-in-touch with your gut feelings, your intuition to even know there is an issue. Your feelings tell you when a boundary needs to be set.

A boundary can be speaking up for yourself. Saying, hey, I've noticed that you're not there for me when I need you. That's not working out for me. Can you try giving more to this relationship?

Or, I don't like it when you give me the silent treatment by not reaching out to me or returning my calls/texts. Please stop doing that because it makes me feel uncomfortable. I can't be around you if you're giving me the silent treatment.

The hard part is walking away from neglectful people. People who you thought loved you. When you set boundaries and walk away, you realize that the love was very one-sided. You were the one doing all the work, and settling for brokenness and disconnection and unfulfilled needs. That's when you discover that the neglectful person didn't really care enough about you to meet your needs... and that's when you have to ask yourself, have I really lost anything?

I think not. You gain self respect when you walk away from people who are unwilling to engage in an equal, respectful way towards you. Yes, it hurts to lose people in your life, but setting boundaries keeps you safe. It is beneficial and loving to yourself to stop giving, giving, giving and getting nothing (or crumbs) in return. You are a special being. You deserve equal treatment.

Use the energy that you used to use for feeling like a victim of this person's behaviors to empower yourself to find and open up to more reciprocal relationships. They are out there, you just have to stop putting up with neglect.

Much love. You can do it.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Dont Feel Guilty for Setting Boundaries


Don't feel guilty for setting boundaries. Don't feel obligated to be nice to everyone. Be firm. Be assertive. Don't be a doormat. Don't react to people who are violating your boundaries. Just use the broken record technique. Don't let people come into your life and take over. Set boundaries and keep new people set back until they prove themselves; that they are worthy to be in your life. Don't worry about their feelings. You're not responsible for how other people feel.  

If someone feels bad because you have boundaries and limits, that is not your problem. Don't over empathize because that will destroy your identity.

BE IN AWE OF NO ONE. Don't idealize. Nobody is worth losing yourself. Even if they seem super-nice and seem to be willing to meet your needs. That doesn't give them the right to override your truth. People who are unwilling to respect your boundaries, or who feel entitled to special treatment will not hang around long. Self respect and boundaries repels toxic people.

Don't feel guilty for setting boundaries. Don't feel obligated to be nice to everyone. Be firm. Be assertive. Don't be a doormat. Don't react to people who are violating your boundaries. Just use the broken record technique.

Don't let people come into your life and take over. Set boundaries and keep new people set back until they prove themselves; that they are worthy to be in your life. Don't worry about their feelings. You're not responsible for how other people feel. You are a separate person who deserves to have rights and who deserves to be respected.

Make sure the people you let in are givers, not just takers. Make sure you have equal engagements with people who know how to respect you. This takes time to determine. A person unfolds over time. Watch for red flags. Don't just roll over and abandon yourself. Take your post! Guard your heart.

People who are unwilling to respect your boundaries, or who feel entitled to special treatment will not hang around long. Self respect and boundaries repels toxic people. 

Make sure the people you let in are givers, not just takers. Make sure you have equal engagements with people who know how to respect you. You matter. Don't let anyone walk over you like you don't exist. You can be kind, sweet, generous and wonderful to those people who deserve it. Don't give yourself away. Stand up for what's important to you. Protect the value that you have to offer.

Friday, June 9, 2017

How the Covert Narcissist Stabs You with Negative Comments

Negative comments that are intentionally made by an abusive person are hurtful. These little jabs, which can be seemingly small can destroy your self esteem and even damage your physical health without you realizing it. These covert soul-destroying comments are done by manipulative people who wish to make you to doubt yourself and to invalidate your experience. It's important to steer clear of negative comments meant to stab you by going no contact, having limited contact, or setting boundaries by speaking up for yourself.

Sometimes it is not so easy to notice negative comments, but they do still stab you and they do still hurt. If you're dealing with a sneaky, sly, intelligent covert narcissist, they will couch these negative comments in clever ways. The higher you get along your healing journey, the more educated you become, the more you rewire your brain to self love, the easier it becomes to detect these negative jabs and not take them personally.

When you know it's happening, you can externalize the insult, which is to not take it personally. When you know it's happening, you can take up for yourself... or at least know that it's not about you. It's about the narcissist and his or her need to tear you down because they need to feel superior. The toxic person NEEDS to make you feel bad because they are not embodied. They are driven by their false self to gain power and control. They have no true self so they want to snuff yours out like a vampire.

Here is a list of ways people can make covert negative comments that are meant to stab you, without doing it directly.

Making a negative comment about another person that you intuitively sense the person also feels about you. 

This happened to me for years until I finally realized it at the age of 41. There was a certain person in my life whom I loved and trusted dearly, and she would make negative comments about other people that related to my weakness or perceived weaknesses. She would also make positive comments about others related to my perceived weaknesses. This is negative validation; when a person validates areas of your own negative self esteem.  Not all negative comments are obvious, but they always jab you and bring you down

Turning on the light and seeing the truth for the first time is astounding. It's like you're living in the movie "The Truman Show." Suddenly you figure out that all these sweet and smiling people were manipulating you into a false reality. When you can see clearly in one relationship, it opens your eyes to abuses in other relationships as well.

Making a comment about another person who has let others down, and then later attributing the same characteristic to you.

I have found that covert manipulators will say snarky things about other people in your presence, and then later on--sometimes during the same conversation, will mention that you are the same way. If you're in a covert narcissistic relationship dynamic and you're the victim, you may experience cognitive dissonance and feel uncomfortable. However, you may not catch what is happening.

You may just go away from the conversation feeling poorly. Or you may bring this discomfort and self doubt to the narcissist herself, seeking validation. Then the covert narcissist has you under her control. She can choose to build you up (love bombing) or refuse to meet your dependency need (discarding you). Either way, you're the one who ends up with the deficit. As you heal, you learn to validate yourself and steer clear of this manipulation and control.
 
Yawning or showing body language of disinterest or boredom. 

This implies that you are boring and not worth listening to. If you have empathy, you will relate with the person and shut down your conversation. It is a subtle hint that what you have to say is not important. I understand tired, but if you're sharing your heart in a deep way and someone yawns or acts bored, you're sharing with the wrong person. This person could be covertly trying to insinuate that you don't matter. The opposite is true. Your feelings matter a great deal and what you have to say is very important and meaningful.

Don't fall for this ruse and think you don't matter. Validate yourself and remind yourself that the problem is with the apathetic, toxic person, not you. The person who is tuning you out and giving vibes that you're not worth hearing has an issue with you. He feels that you ARE TOO important, and therefore he needs to bring you down a notch. Combat this tactic with internal validation and affirmations such as, "MY FEELINGS MATTER. I AM WORTHY OF BEING HEARD. THERE ARE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD WHO WILL LISTEN TO ME INTENTLY."

Making negative comments about themselves that could potentially be an issue or soft spot for you.

Beware of someone who degrades himself or herself to you. This almost always has a covert, underlining purpose. A toxic person will actually comment negatively about himself or herself in order to get you on the same bandwagon about yourself. We are wired to connect and mirror one another. If you're not careful, you can go into a spiral about how bad you are based on someone else's comment they've made about themselves. You have to stay aware and validate yourself against such comments. I also try to say something to stop it if possible, though this one is hard to detect.

Overcoming this tactic is about recovering from codependency. This is about creating space inside your own psyche that allows other people to have their issues without enmeshing and merging your feelings about yourself with their opinion of themselves. However, when the toxic person pushes your buttons by bringing up things that truly bother you about yourself, it's difficult to separate yourself from their stinging comments. It feels uncomfortable. Trust your intuition.

Telling you the negative things that someone else says about you.

There is a time when it's important for you to know that another friend is being two-faced. But when you have a so-called friend telling you detailed accounts of the negative things that someone else has said about you, you are encroaching upon abuse. This is not okay. Do not tolerate anyone telling you the negative things someone else says or is saying. Just shut it up. You don't need to know! This is about that toxic person, not you. Set a boundary. Hang up the phone. Leave the conversation. This is a red flag. No true friend would wax on about negative comments made about you. Good friends want to lift you up and make you feel amazing, not tear you down and make you feel worthless.

Figuring out what your weaknesses are, and then sharing their strengths which are your weaknesses. 

A toxic person may interrogate you, question you to find out personal information about you. If you are a trusting and empathetic person without good boundaries, you may be inclined to share too much information with someone you don't know well enough to trust. People take time to unfold. You may end up giving personal information about what bothers you to someone too early in the relationship, before you find out that this person is dangerous. When you do this by accident or unconsciously or consciously, the toxic person uses this information against you by bragging about their own thin body, great career, loving relationship or close bond with their siblings. The toxic person uses your weaknesses to further pull you down and make you feel insecure about your own self doubts by playing up their superiority.

It's okay for people to be proud of themselves. It's okay for people to share about their accomplishments and good attributes. This is healthy, and it's good for you to be able to validate in your relationships and give credit where credit is due, HOWEVER, if there is a weird pattern going on of them bringing up specific things that bother you about yourself but that they excel, then you can tell you're dealing with someone who is toxic. Toxic people will purposefully say things to make you feel less-than them because they feel so worthless themselves, they can't afford for you to have an ounce of affirmation, validation or connection.

Becoming your advisor on an area in which you are lacking and they're succeeding, without you asking for any advice. 

I am single, so it's irritating to me when a married woman sits down with me and tries to become my advisor for catching a man. This is super toxic! People who are harmful to you assume that you need advice, without finding out anything about you. They have a need to appear superior to you and feel that they need to take the one-up role of advisor. You know these people are toxic because they never share their own vulnerabilities. They act like their lives are perfect. You can catch these types in lies if you're skilled. They put on a mask of perfection, while giving you advice to "help" you in an area in which they feel you feel you are lacking, without even finding out where you're really at and/or what really matters to you.

Reminding you of the time they let you down.

A covert narcissist takes pleasure in your pain. Your pain is the narcissist gain. A toxic person gets a thrill out of harming you and hurting your feelings. Why? Because it makes them feel superior, and if you're being controlled and manipulated by them, then it makes you feel like shit, which is a double win for the toxic personality type. This poisonous person likes to remind you in subtle ways of the time they let you down, almost as if to rub your face in it. They mention it in casual conversation... It's very difficult to detect this one, but it happens and it is there. These little digs are like hammers nailing you lower and lower, taking your dignity down with it.

Reminding you of how ____ you are.

This is a hard one to recognize too, especially if you've been abused by a covert narcissist person or family system (Snake Pit) your entire life. These toxic people are always covertly, slyly reminding you of how annoying you are, ridiculous you are, outlandish you are. Insert your own word for the blank: crazy, selfish, inconsiderate, stupid, needy, suicidal, sensitive, abused, single, depressed, ugly, fat, thin, frail, poor, broke, just about any adjective you can think of. They try to label you and keep you in a role in order to control you and break you down.

CONCLUSION 


These are just a few ways a narcissist stabs you with negative comments. Watch out for these behaviors. If you notice these behaviors, it is a red flag that you're dealing with a covert narcissist. You can go for years and years without realizing that you're dealing with a very toxic person. It is dangerous to stay around such toxic people because it damages your self esteem and keeps you in a downward trajectory, away from your true passions and purposes. Go No Contact with negative people. Keep your distance. Protect your heart and stay safe. You are valuable and you need to be treated with love and respect. Find people who build you up, not tear you down. Good people are out there. Keep growing.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Listening to Your Intuition

INTUITION: The ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning. (Google)

It's vital that you learn to listen to your intuition. Your intuition is your number one defense against abuse from others. Your intuition speaks to you loudly and clearly, but you cannot hear it unless you've been taught to hear it.

You are born with instincts. You are born with an intuition. Along the way, you can lose track of this vital tool that is yourself, that protects and guides you in myriad ways. You are born with feelings. Your intuition IS your feelings. Your feelings tell you exactly where you are at all times, however, many of us are dismantled from our intuition as children in our development.

Reasons We Ignore Our Intuition
  • We are taught that our feelings don't matter.
  • We were fooled into believing the illusion that other people know what is best for us.
  • We continue to act as though our feelings don't matter.
  • We ignore our feelings as unimportant, stupid, crazy, wrong. 
  • We seek out the advice of others because we don't trust ourselves. 
  • We don't want to rock the boat. 
  • We have negative core beliefs about our worth and value.
  • We were invalidated as children and we continue to invalidate ourselves today.
  • We invalidate our gut feelings. 
  • We need love so much, we're willing to abandon ourselves. 
  • We were taught that our intuition is wrong, faulty, incorrect.
  • We were taught to put the feelings of others ahead of our own.
  • We were unplugged from our intuition by people who wanted us to serve their needs.
  • We were taught to disregard our intuition by parents who wanted to control us.
  • We were taught to disregard our intuition by an abusive upbringing.
  • We were taught that our feelings are stupid, shameful and should not exist.
  • We were taught to put the intuition of manipulative people ahead of our own.
  • We were taught by our culture that we should follow the group. 
  • We were taught by the church to think our feelings are bad and that we are sinful.
I am sure there are other reasons why you may have unplugged from your intuition. That's all I can think of right now, and you get my gist. I'm saying that your intuition is like an alarm system, a guidance system rolled into one. Your intuition is who you are and without it, you can't function properly.

Typical Advice to Ignore Your Intuition
  • Get over it. (Total selfish disregard of your need for understanding of your feelings)
  • You're too sensitive. (Gaslighting you in effort to make you question your truth)
  • You're too needy. (Blatantly shaming you for your feelings)
  • It's not about you. (Trying to guilt and shame you for your feelings)
  • I don't know where this is coming from. (Like your feelings are alien)
  • You live in the past. (Like 5 minutes ago when you were bashed, doesn't matter anymore)
  • I don't know what you're talking about. (Gaslighting, denial of truth)
  • Don't cry or I'll give you something to cry about. (Emotional Abuse)
  • I'm sorry you took it that way. (Invalidation of your feelings) 
Reconnecting with Your Inner Truth

Getting in touch with your intuition is about getting in touch with your feelings. This requires work for most of us. Because in the way of getting in touch with your feelings, there may be a lot of grief work that needs to be addressed. You will also need to deal with loads of toxic shame that took the place of your true self as you were being denied a voice.

Your intuition is the backbone of your voice. Your ability to speak up for yourself and set boundaries and limits with others is guided completely by your intuition. You have to learn, or re-learn how to attune to your intuition if you were abused as a child, or treated improperly, or neglected in any way, or if you failed to properly move on to autonomy through your developmental years. You will have to attune to your intuition by knowing your true feelings, and then taking action to protect yourself.

Your intuition is your first line of defense in this world. It will tell you IMMEDIATELY when something or someone is not right for you. Your intuition will protect you from abusive people. It will keep you safe and keep you on the right track; helping you progress to your highest potential.

What I've learned about my intuition throughout my healing journey is to heed it. No matter what, I've learned to go with my intuition above all things I see, hear with my senses. No matter how good something seems, if my intuition is ruffled, I know that the situation is not for me. I've learned to listen to my intuition and set boundaries around myself when my intuition feels a certain way.

When you get to know yourself, you start learning how you feel when things aren't right. You track your experiences, your inner feelings through the mindfulness process. You track what's going on... And you protect yourself by walking away from a situation, or doing a fire drill, bringing out extra security officers (in your head) and really sitting back and slowing down.

Example: I was intrigued by an opportunity to go on a nice trip to Costa Rica with a relatively well known speaker. It was to be a fabulous trip with daily yoga, workshops, site seeing, and a room with an ocean view. I was very interested and seriously considering going on the adventure. However, when I contacted the organization, the woman who served as the intake person was rude, dismissive and arrogant towards me. She was talking down to me and she was unhelpful and unfriendly. I could feel anger welling up in my otherwise peaceful heart. I'd had an amazing day... Yet, this woman's series of emails were getting increasingly disrespectful. She was pressuring me and failing to answer simple questions.

BOOM. That was all the information I needed to know. My intuition told me. STOP. Do Not Go! I realized that I could complain to her superiors. However, I intuitively knew that this was my own heart giving me warning to stay away from this organization altogether. It is my internal guidance system telling me that this is the wrong way to go. Period. I've probably saved myself a lot of grief, disappointment and abuse.

Now, there is a chance that this organization will contact me with niceties and try to start over with me again, however, I will not accept anything from them. My intuition has already given me the warning. I've learned the hard and long way that when I get that gut reaction about something, or involvement with someone, that I need to listen to my heart and STAY AWAY. Even if it means passing up an opportunity for growth, even if it means passing up a relationship, even if it means walking away from someone or something. If my intuition speaks like that--so clearly, I know it's time to walk away and focus on something more fruitful.

What a wonderful gift it is to be cued into your intuition!

What a wonderful gift it is to be able to walk away from anyone, anytime who is disrespectful to me!

What a wonderful gift it is to be myself and follow my own path!

I think this is a valuable lesson. I am learning more every day to stop, feel, listen and take action on my gut reactions, even when I'm being Love Bombed, even when it may seem inappropriate for me to not attend an event. It's valuable that I please myself, and live by my own values and truth. May you do the same.

Affirmations:
  • My feelings matter.
  • My feelings are correct.
  • My feelings deserve consideration.
  • My feelings guide me along my path.
  • My feelings need to be experienced.
  • My feelings need to be considered.
  • My feelings need to be expressed.
  • My feelings are who I am.
  • My feelings serve as a fire alarm for my life.
  • My feelings will never lead me astray.
  • My feelings are right.
  • My feelings are worthy of my trust.
  • My feelings deserve room to exist.
  • My feelings are normal.
  • My feelings are my intuition. 
Your feelings protect you from abuse. Your feelings warn you. Your feelings keep you from being a doormat if you listen to your own heart and take action. Taking action involves first becoming aware of your true feelings, and then validating your own feelings. You have to back yourself up and believe in your own feelings before you can trust your intuition. Your gut feelings will always tell you when someone or something is wrong for you--even if it seems so right. You know the truth--you just need to listen to it.









Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Abandoned Baby Racoon


I rescued a baby racoon today. I was running around the lake prepping for a triathlon near my home in Dallas and there it was. A riveting baby racoon. An abandoned, alone, terrified, petrified, hungry, desperate baby racoon was there in front of me. I didn't know what to do. I videoed it to get advice from my Facebook friends. I was empathetic, yet scared of this wild animal. Why? I don't know. That's not my point.

Anyway, the point I want to make in this post is that this is a baby. All alone in a scary world. All it has is its cute face and adorable noises to get by and survive. I could have been anyone. I could have been a predator. This baby was wide open for harm. No one was there to protect it. It had no shelter. It had no adult racoon by its side. It had no dignity.

All this baby knew is that it needed me. It needed me and it didn't matter. It didn't matter that I'm not a racoon. It didn't matter that I can't raise it and teach it what it needs. It didn't matter. This baby needed love and protection. It came to me, not like a wild animal trained in the wild, but like a breath of life, in need of love and protection. It didn't do anything to deserve to be abandoned.

I was on foot with 4 miles left to go to reach my car. I was in no condition to care for a suckling racoon. I was flabbergasted and aghast by the way people were glancing at it and passing it by. I made some noise. I made a big deal, and finally some cyclists with heart stopped.

The one cyclist who helped the most wasn't afraid of the animal. The baby ran to him as he sat on the ground. He says the baby was looking for milk. He had knowledge of the age by the tongue. He seemed knowledgeable, he was taking control, he was calling help, so I left. I had no power to do anything. The baby was being cared for, that's all that mattered to me.

I was a voice for that baby all alone on the trail. I did my job, and my spirit tells me that baby is more than safe now, even though I don't know how things turned out.

The point of this post is the desperation of this baby racoon. How vulnerable and needy it was. How it needs protection. How it needs love. How this wild animal will come to anything for shelter.

This leaves my heart broken. That this baby racoon will have no mother. Will not get to experience the life it is supposed to live. And here we are on Mother's Day, and I find a baby with no mother.

Profound. I know how this baby feels.