7 Signs of a Healthy Relationship

Relationships are an important part of our everyday life. Whether it’s at work, at home, at school, wherever we are, we need to interact with other people. Relationships help us to develop and mature as social beings. They can make us they can also break us. There are some relationships that can have a negative or positive impact on our lives.

Here are 7 signs of a healthy (romantic) relationship:

Reciprocity. A healthy relationship should be give and take on both sides. Each partner contributes and benefits equally in the relationship. If you find that you seem to be always sacrificing and spending more time/resources than your partner and it makes you feel overstretched, then you should begin to evaluate your relationship. There are some people who are naturally very giving and compassionate, that’s their gifting and they don’t having a problem contributing more than their partner. But if you’re in a relationship and you feel taken advantage of and imposed upon, then you need to have a discussion about a more healthy reciprocal balance.

You are Valued. Each person should feel respected and important to the relationship. Each partner should feel special by the other. Their feelings concerns and opinions are respected and valued. They do not feel ignored or neglected. Each partner is allowed to be themselves. No one feels like they are being controlled or being forced to be someone they’re not. Both partners should respect and understand that they can not change the other by force or continual fault finding. Each partner should be appreciative of the others contributions and gestures (gifts/acts of kindness).

Boundaries are Respected. Every healthy relationship should have boundaries. Boundaries are basically our personal limits of demarcation for privacy, confidentiality etc. Your partner should be aware of your boundaries and respect them and vice versa. If your partner is always breaking your boundaries (e.g. opening your letters or taking your personal things) even though you’ve called them out on it several times, you need to reevaluate your boundaries or relationship with them.

Good/Effective Communication. You should be able to express yourselves without fear of being ridiculed or ignored. You should feel comfortable in the relationship and that your partner will not ignore or invalidate your feelings/emotions or opinions, but respect the difference of opinions even if there’s no agreement. You should be able to converse without it ending in an argument most of the time. If there is conflict or a grievance, you don’t both avoid discussing it and just ignore one another indefinitely but are able to resolve it in a timely and respectful manner. Listening is considered one half of communication: you feel that you are being listened to and you are also a good listener.

Empathy/Love. I believe this is essential for every relationship. In order for a relationship to be healthy, there should be empathy. Empathy is the awareness or identification with others thoughts, attitudes, and needs. There are genuine feelings for one another, each is emotionally invested in the other. When one partner is hurt or is going through some trauma (emotionally or physically) the other partner exhibits genuine compassion for their feeling/emotions and vice versa. There is a willingness to try to alleviate any pain they’re going through and provide comfort. Each partner is ready to give up their time to take care of their partner’s needs because they genuinely care for them.

Forgiveness. Your partner is able to forgive and let go of any grievances they have against you. They are not bitter and resentful and keep bringing it up at every opportunity, making you feel guilty over and over again. They are not vengeful and looking for the opportunity for ‘payback’. But they look for opportunities to repair the relationship.

Honesty/Trust. There should be a level of trust and honesty in a healthy relationship. As the saying goes, ‘Honesty is the best policy’. Dishonesty undermines the relationship and breeds mistrust. Constant lies and deceit will damage and destroy the relationship. The relationship becomes shallow and false because you can not trust the others actions or words. A healthy relationship is when you both can tell each other everything and anything.

Why the Narcissist uses Gaslighting and How to Deal with it

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What is Gas lighting?
Gas lighting is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or members of a group, hoping to make targets question their own memory, perception and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilise the target and delegitimise the target’s belief (wikipedia.org).

The term was taken from a 1944 film by the same name, about a woman whose husband manipulates her into believing that she is going insane. In the movie, the woman’s possessions would go missing and the husband would tell her she removed them, however she had no recollection of doing so, she would hear footsteps coming from upstairs and the gaslight dim and brighten but her husband would claim it was her imagination. He continued to gaslight her as his plan was to have her declared insane and committed to an asylum.

Gas lighting is a tactic that the narcissist and manipulative abusers use to cause you to question your sanity and reality, its also used to break down your will to fight and resist. You’re left doubting and questioning and wondering about your own perception of situations and circumstances. The narcissist purposely denies things they have done, and makes out like you are going crazy. He does this so convincingly, you almost begin to believe that you’re wrong, and he is right. It starts of little by little, one small thing here, another there. Gas lighting is designed to break you down mentally to the point where you cannot trust your own judgement or reasoning. You’re always confused and you’re always second guessing yourself (did I get it wrong…is he right…am I going crazy?). Gaslighting occurs in relationships, in the workplace etc.

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Why do Narcissists do this and what are the effects?
Its all about control, just about everything the narcissist does is about controlling you. They want to control the way you think, the way you talk, who you associate with – your whole life. It’s a power trip for them. They want to fill you with shame and guilt.
They’re jealous of you, and hate all that is good about you and your character. Deep down inside they know there’s something wrong with them (they just don’t want to admit it)and they’re not willing to change and be better human beings. They know they can’t be like you so they want to break you down, make you crazy( “I can never be as good as you – so I will destroy you!”). They want to mess you up so that you’ll be of no use to anybody when they’ve finished with you.
Gas lighting is also a way of protecting themselves against feelings of shame which is what they try to avoid at all costs. They don’t want to carry the shame of being wrong so they want to project the fact that they are wrong on to you ( I’m not wrong, you are, I’ve not made a mistake, you have made a mistake).

Gaslighting destroys your self confidence, and self esteem, you’re always thinking everything’s your fault. You’re overly sensitive and anxious and people who are close to you will have noticed the change in you. Even you yourself will know that something is not right, but you won’t be able to identify what it is.

My Experience with Gaslighting
The Narcissist in my life would discuss some issue with me and decide a course of action, (of course he would not carry it out) then because he hadn’t done anything the following week, he would deny we ever had a discussion or came to any decision. He mostly does this to cover up his inaction. I’m left wondering whether we actually did decide or had the discussion.
I was accused of not doing things properly and generally made to feel like I was crap, it really affected my self confidence and self esteem, which I’m only just recovering from. The funny thing is , when he was left to do the same tasks, he was worse than I was. When I pointed this out to him, he claimed that he never insinuated that I was not good at my job, that it was my imagination or I was lying.
He would tell me some thing very personal about his childhood and then when in conversations with him, I would bring it up, he would adamantly claim he never told that, it must be my imagination because that was definitely not true and he never told me anything like that. That was when I realised he was lying (I didn’t realise it was gaslighting at the time) because there is no way I would have imagined the details of his life like that. It’s just crazy and so devious how they behave, it just reveals how mentally messed up they are.

It got to the point where everything that went wrong in any situation, I was at fault. I was supposed to have done this or this and I would question whether we had a discussion about it, and he would give the time and place we discussed it. And I would have no idea what he was talking about! Sometimes he would go on a rant and say things like, ‘ do you think that you are good, well, you’re not because you did this or that”. He made me question myself, my character.
I didn’t realise all this until I read about gas lighting, then I realised I wasn’t going mad and that it was all him.

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How to protect yourself from Gaslighting
Here are some tips to deal with and protect yourself from gaslighting:

Just understand and realise that it’s not about you at all. There is nothing wrong with you and everything wrong with them. They’re the ones who are mentally and emotionally unbalanced and they’re trying their best to mess you up too.
If you’re in a situation where you’re feeling confused or unsure about details of certain discussions/ events, or you have no recollection at all ( and you know you have a good memory) then you’re probably being gaslighted. Trust your intuition. Don’t accept what the other person is saying as absolute truth unless it can be proven.
If you’re in a relationship with the person, if it is a friend, you should consider cutting all ties with that person at least for your own peace of mind. You should really think about whether you want such a toxic person in your life- a person who makes you feel like you’re going crazy. If the person is your boss or co-workers you should also seriously consider whether you want to continue working in that environment, find out if you can transfer to another department or team.
If possible, try to keep a record of any private conversations in a diary . With the narcissist in my family, I make sure I record conversations with him on my phone, just for private use, of course(ideally you are required to inform a third party if you’re recording them) just so I can refer back to the conversation again if I’m in doubt.
Don’t argue with them, that’s what they love and you’ll never change their perspective. They are master manipulators, you’ll never win an argument with them. They live in their own little world where they are always right and everyone else is always wrong. Just get as far away from them as possible.

8 ways a Narcissist behaves like a Child

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If you are or have been in a relationship with a narcissist you will have noticed that they behave very much like children. In many ways, narcissists process information and the world around them the way children do. The reason behind this is because at a certain age (probably between ages 0-6) their emotional development was stunted and they never matured with appropriate emotional intelligence. This was probably often to do with some trauma suffered through neglect or abuse. So they were never able to mature emotionally.

Here are the following ways that Narcissists behave like children:
1. Toddlers and babies are unable to take care of their emotional and physical needs. They cry and act up if their needs are not met. Babies will cry and will not stop, if they’re hungry, angry or uncomfortable, they don’t care if you’re busy, or you’re sick, they want attention right now. Babies lack empathy and compassion because they have not the emotional capability to discern/understand this and act on it. This is the same with a narcissist. They want their needs met now, just like children, they don’t care whether you’re busy or unavailable or sick. Narcissists do not recognise, understand or consider other people’s needs, only their own, just like little children.

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2. Children are proficient liars. They can be caught red handed with chocolate all over their mouth and they will flat out lie that they never took the chocolate or that their sibling/friend made them do it. The narcissist will do the same thing. Narcissists are pathological liars, they will lie to get what they want and also to avoid blame at all costs. Sometimes their lies are so blatantly obvious, but with a poker face they will convince you that they are telling the truth. They will lie, even when the truth would be make them look better.
3. Children love being the centre of attention and can became very jealous if they feel attention is on another child. That’s why parents when they’re having another baby are encouraged to engage their child in the process so they do not feel jealous of the newborn baby. Children believe and behave as if the whole world revolves around them and everyone has to fit into their world and their world view. They view the world as one dimensional and believe that their parents/caregivers are extensions of themselves. This is the same with narcissists, they believe that their partners are extensions of themselves and not separate individuals with their own needs and feelings. Narcissists are attention whores and and have an obsessive need to be acknowledged at all times.

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4. Smear campaigns, gas lighting (lying), flying monkeys are all behaviour that children display in the playground. They scheme and manipulate friends to stop talking to someone they don’t like at that particular time. Children engage in manipulation, blame shifting, projection, entitlement, etc in order to survive and interact with their world because emotional intelligence in a child hasn’t developed and neither has a narcs. Narcissists, of course are masters of these tactics, as they have never grown out of it.
5. Children are naturally impulsive and will do things without thinking about the consequences, they will do things they feel good about. Narcissists are the same, they exhibit very reckless behaviour, they will do things that make them feel good regardless of the consequences, irrespective of the feelings of others. They often display a total disregard for social laws and morality and have no respect for boundaries.
6. Children will sulk or go into tantrums if they don’t get want they want. Narcissists will do the same, I’ve actually seen a narcissist jump up and down in a rage and go into a hissy fit! Absolutely hilarious if it wasn’t so disturbing!

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7. Children are great at creating and inventing fairytale stories about themselves, with imaginary friends and worlds, they do get quite engrossed in it. Narcissists whole life is a fantasy, a false reality, they are delusional, and their whole life is a fabrication of which they are the lead actor/hero, which again is very much like children.
8. Young children can’t tell, the difference between wants and needs. The child believes that he needs some chocolate but really he just desires or wants some chocolate. They narcissist cannot tell the difference between want and need, and just like children, they get very angry when they don’t get what they want. They erupt into a rage when they believe that their needs have not been provided for. They cannot wait for something, they have to have it immediately whether they can afford it or not. They want instant gratification just like a child and are often involved in ‘get rich quick’ schemes. Children will take things that are not theirs and claim it as their own, narcissists will do the same. Narcissists don’t understand boundaries either just like children.

Narcissists are simply unable to view the world as normal people do. Like a child, no matter how much you logically explain there is no boogie man in the closet, they will still have that fear (delusion of reality). This the way a narcs mind works. The difference between the narcissist and a child is that a child will grow out of these childish stages and acquire emotional intelligence. The narcissist never does. So basically, narcissist are just toddlers in adult bodies. They are like emotional toddlers living in an complicated adult world they cannot relate to.

Promote Your Blog in 2018

Here’s a great way to share and promote your blog!

MakeItUltra™

Hi Everyone,

In 2017 I started a blog post called “Promote Your Blog” where fellow bloggers could share and promote their blog with the MIU community. This post resulted in 25,000+ views and 4,000+ bloggers sharing the who, what and why behind their blog.

I want to create a new directory to even out the playing field for newcomers to the blogging community. If you shared your blog in 2017, please feel free to share it again. To the newcomers, please leave a description about what readers might find if they visit your site. Also, remember to include a link to your blog.

Hopefully this will create some positive synergy for our very special blogging community. Let’s make 2018 the year of less perfection and more connection. Also, feel free to reblog this post so we can get more people involved. Happy blogging everyone!

Kindly,
Dr. Perry

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How to Overcome Failure and Disappointments

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There was an experiment conducted by scientists where 4 monkeys were put in a cage. In the middle of the cage was a pole going upwards with bananas at the top of the pole. The more ambitious of the monkeys climbed up the pole but were met with an electric shock when they reached the top. However, because they were hungry, they kept on trying to climb the pole, only to be met again and again with electric shocks. In the end those who had been shocked a few times stopped trying and retired to one corner of the cage.
One of the monkeys was taken away and was replaced with a new monkey who did not know about the shocks. After a while, each time, they brought a new monkey in, the others will pull him down and indicate to him what the perils were -“We’ve been there, done that, worn the t-shirt. Electric shocks at the top. Don’t even try it.” The original monkeys that had received the shock, eventually were removed from the cage. None of the new monkeys had ever experienced the electric shock themselves. Meanwhile, the electric shock had been removed. The original monkeys failed to achieve, the monkeys left failed to achieve.

Don’t be influenced by other people’s failures. I know that we need to learn from other people’s mistakes but just because they could not do it, doesn’t mean that you won’t either. If God has put a dream in your heart, that means there is a plan in place to pursue it. You just need to find the right timing and season for your dreams to become reality. Learn from the monkeys. The shock was removed but no one attempted to retrieve the bananas, because of the past, even the monkeys that had not experienced the past failure still did not go for the bananas. Even though it was the right season, right timing (the shock was removed), they were crippled by others experiences. I know what I’m talking about because it has happened to me. I had a dream of starting something new and I attempted to start the project but everything fell apart. I was discouraged by some people to continue to pursue it. I was so upset and discouraged, I just became depressed and I didn’t try anything again. Even to try anything new, I just thought, “been there, done that, worn the t-shirt”. I had to shake myself out off it. I said to myself, “ I will not be another casualty of depression, I’m not going to be part of another statistic, I’m checking myself out off that!” But that dream is still in my heart and I am determined to move forward.

The past, or past failures, if you allow it, will keep you from the best God has for you.  Do not let your past define who you are. Everybody fails in life, it’s what you do with failure that will determine who you are and who you will be. You need to learn from it, what you did wrong, what you can put right. Learn from your mistakes and failures. I made mistakes and I’ve learnt from them. Your past does not determine your future. The electric shock was removed and the new monkeys would not attempt to climb to get the bananas because the old monkeys discouraged them from doing so. They meant well, they didn’t want them to get hurt, but they stopped them from trying and attempting to achieve. Just because you may have failed at something, doesn’t mean you will continue to fail at everything.
Sometimes persistence is the key,  keep on hoping, keep on trying, keep on believing you can make it.

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Abraham Lincoln is rated as one of America’s greatest presidents. His image is on Mount Rushmore among the other great presidents of America. Did you know he had many failures in his career before he was elected as president in 1860?
Here is a list of his achievements and failures:

1831 – He lost his job
1832 -Defeated in run for Illinois State Legislature
1833 – Failed in Business
1834 – Elected to Illinois State Legislature
1835 – Sweetheart died
1836 – Had a nervous breakdown
1838 – Defeated in run for Illinois House Speaker
1843 – Defeated in run for nomination for Us Congress
1846 – Elected to Congress
1848 – Lost re-nomination
1849 – Rejected for Land Officer position
1854 – Defeated in run for US Senate
1856 – Defeated in run for nomination for Vice President
1858 – Defeated again in run for US Senate
1860 – Elected President

http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/education/failures.htm

He never lost hope, he kept on believing and he was able to achieve his goals despite the obstacles that came his way.  They did not deter him and neither should they deter you. Everyone has their own journey and trials they have to through.  You can make it just as the old adage says, “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.”

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Thomas Edison who invented the light bulb, when interviewed about his failures said, “ I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that don’t work”. I believe that’s the attitude we need to have especially in this new year.

Orville and Wilbur Wright invented the aeroplane, they failed on numerous occasions, but kept on experimenting. It was their failures that made them successful. Today we are enjoying the result of their persistence and determination. Sometimes persistence is the key to success. For example, we continue to fill in applications for a new job, even though we may fail , at the application or interview stage, we continue in the hope that eventually we will get a new job. At times also, it’s good to ask for feedback from companies ( what did you did right, what did you did wrong) so that changes can be made to your interview techniques going forward.

Walt Disney was told by a movie executive earlier on in his career that he lacked imagination and had no good ideas. It is alleged he was turned down 302 times before he got financing for his dream of creating Walt Disney World. Today he holds the record for most Oscars won by an individual.

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Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player of his time, has said, ““I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

A Chinese proverb says that, “failure is not falling down, but refusing to get up”. Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid of failure. So many do not try because they’re afraid they’ll fail. I was in that position I was afraid to try again. Failure is refusing to try again.

Don’t let the past determine your future. God has said this concerning you, “ For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not evil, to give you a future and a hope”. Jeremiah 29:11. When God puts a dream in your heart, he will give you all you need to pursue it. You may receive some resistance, you may receive some hate, but you keep pressing on and pressing in  until your dream becomes a reality .

Be wise and know your time and your season!

Happy Holidays!

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Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings, Merry Christmas! However you want to celebrate this season, I hope you have a great time with friends and family. Looking forward to the new year and all it represents. Thank you to the readers and followers of my blog, when I started this blog I was really insecure about sharing my experiences. But now I feel so encouraged by the comments and support.

Hopefully, in the New Year, I want to continue with the ‘overcoming series’ and also want to write a lot more on narcissistic abuse and how to overcome it. So please stay tuned and once again Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!