Posted in Adultification, Borderline Personality Disorder, Dark Triad, Empath, Enabler, Machiavellianism, Oedipus Complex, PERSONALITY DISORDERS, Projection, Psychopath, PSYCHOPATHIC TRAITS, Sociopath

Boundaries and Dysfunctional Family Systems

A boundary is a barrier; something that separates two things. Walls, fences and cell membranes are examples of physical boundaries. Psychological boundaries can be said to exist too, even though such boundaries have no physical reality. Psychological boundaries are constructed of ideas, perceptions, beliefs and understandings that enable people to define not only their social group memberships, but also their own self-concepts and identities. Such boundaries are the basis by which people distinguish between “We” or “I” (group members; insiders; part of “Us”) and “Other” (outsiders and examples of what is “not-self”). Each person can be said to have a psychological identity boundary around themselves by which they distinguish themselves from other people. Like other boundaries, this identity boundary both separates people and also defines how they are linked together. This is to say that the act of drawing the boundary itself provides the basis for saying that one person is separate from another psychologically, but does so only by drawing a distinction between those two people, which implies a relationship, never the less. Self cannot exist without also “Not-self” existing, just as figure cannot exist without ground against which to contrast. Identity necessarily includes social relationships which are built into the self to varying degrees.

https://www.mentalhelp.net/psychotherapy/boundaries-and-dysfunctional-family-systems/

Posted in Adultification, Alienation, Borderline Personality Disorder, Dark Triad, Machiavellianism, Malignant Narcissism, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), Oedipus Complex, Pathological Lying, PERSONALITY DISORDERS, Projection, Psychopath, PSYCHOPATHIC TRAITS, Sociopath

Anger: An emotional driver of revenge

Aggression often occurs in response to some frustration (Berkowitz, 1989). However, aggressive revenge, more specifically, is thought to be driven by negative affects such as anger in response to some transgression (Harmon‐Jones & Sigelman, 2001). Anger is experienced as an unpleasant emotional state often associated with the approach motivational system (Harmon‐Jones, 2004; Harmon‐Jones, Schmeichel, Mennitt, & Harmon‐Jones, 2011; Threadgill & Gable, 2019a). Approach motivation, or the impetus to move toward some goal or object, is a fundamental dimension of affective states (Gable, Neal, & Threadgill, 2018; Gable, Threadgill, & Adams, 2016; Harmon‐Jones, Harmon‐Jones, & Price, 2013; Pizzagalli, Sherwood, Henriques, & Davidson, 2005; Ridderinkhof, 2017; Threadgill & Gable, 2018a2019b). Much research has associated anger with approach motivation (for review, see Carver & Harmon‐Jones, 2009). For example, anger is associated with approach‐motivated urges (Dollard, Miller, Doob, Mowrer, & Sears, 1939; Harmon‐Jones, Price, Peterson, Gable, & Harmon‐Jones, 2013), approach‐oriented patterns of physiological responses (Jameison, Koslov, Nock, & Mendes, 2012) and relates to more approach‐motivated traits such as self‐assurance, strength, and bravery (Izard, 1991; Lerner & Keltner, 2001). Moreover, neural regions associated with approach motivation are activated during situational anger (see Gable & Poole, 2014; Gable, Poole, & Harmon‐Jones, 2015; Harmon‐Jones & Gable, 2018, for a review).

Past work has suggested that retaliatory aggression can be approach‐motivated. Harmon‐Jones and Sigelman (2001) found that, after an insult, participants who had greater left frontal alpha asymmetry, a neural correlate of approach motivation, engaged in more aggressive behavior. In contrast, participants who were led to believe that they could not act on their anger by taking actions to resolve an anger‐inducing event showed less left frontal alpha asymmetry than those who did expect to be able to resolve an anger‐inducing event (Harmon‐Jones, Sigelman, Bohlig, & Harmon‐Jones, 2003), suggesting that the ability to rectify an angering‐situation is approach‐motivating.

Other work has shown that participants rate aggressive responses after being provoked as more pleasurable than unjustified aggression (Ramirez, Bonniot‐Cabanac, & Cabanac, 2005). Chester et al. (2016) found that greater sensation‐seeking mediated the relationship between dopamine receptor gene polymorphisms (which is associated with reward seeking behaviors) and previous history of aggression. Additionally, retaliatory behaviors are associated with activity in the ventral striatum, a key component of the reward system in the brain (Chester & DeWall, 2018). Together, this work suggests that approach‐motivated anger is related to both aggressive behaviors and the experience of positive emotions, such as pleasure after aggression.

Based on this past work, an important next step in understanding revenge is to examine how anger impacts the experience of winning the opportunity for revenge. It seems likely that simply winning the opportunity for revenge may elicit emotional responses similar to the pleasant feelings elicited by partaking in revengeful behaviors. No past work has examined how anger impacts the rapid neural reactions to winning the opportunity to partake in revenge‐seeking behaviors. Therefore, we conducted two studies in which participants were made angry by an ostensible aggressor. Participants then engaged in a novel aggression paradigm where, on some trials, they were able to seek revenge against the offending individual, while, on other trials, participants simply beat their opponent in a reaction time game. The present studies sought to shed light on transitory reactions to winning the opportunity to seek revenge against a transgressor. To examine these momentary reactions to winning the ability to get revenge toward an angering situation, we examined the reward positivity (RewP), an ERP component that evaluates outcomes as either positive or negative.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hbm.25177

5 Ways Narcissists Project and Attack You

Whenever a narcissistic person feels threatened, they will call you the things that they themselves are as or are afraid that others see them as. And then they will try to stalk you, slander you, or discredit you. They will try to sabotage and destroy you. They will start a smear campaign and attempt character assassination. In their mind, frighteningly, you have become their mortal enemy.

They also have no problem doing all of it preemptively and calling it defense.

So if you privately call them out, set healthier boundaries, or end the relationship, they may be afraid that you can see their flaws, or that you will tell others what kind of person they are. Whether you do that or not is not important to them. Because in their mind the mere possibility of it is a good enough excuse to label you as an enemy. And because a narcissistic type of person has little or no empathy, they may imagine that you will behave as they would in these situations. If they would lie, or more likely are already lying, they will accuse you of lying.

And so they will do all these things just because they think you are somehow trying to or might hurt them. They also will accuse you of the very things they themselves are doing.

Source: 5 Ways Narcissists Project and Attack You

Projective Identification: How Narcissists Project Their Identity Onto Others | The Exhausted Woman

Twisted Perception. The distorted perception of reality that narcissists possess allows them to be the stars in a world that are centered on their wants and desires. Everything they see is colored by that viewpoint. Narcissists have a limited picture of life as they are the superior ones in beauty, knowledge, power, or influence. It is easier to think of it as seeing the world through 50 shades of yellow. Yellow because they are the bright shining stars in a world that caters to their demands.

This client viewed herself as perfect with an imperfect husband who needed to be fixed. She would play the victim card when backed into a corner of realization for her contribution to the marital issues. There was no acknowledgment of her wrongdoing, a complete lack of remorse, and no empathy for anyone but herself.

Unhealthy Coping. This twisted perception is the perfect stage for utilizing denial, projection, and intellectualization as coping mechanisms. In order to maintain their perfect world, narcissists need to cope with anything that poses a threat to their reality. They usually start with simple defense mechanisms: denial (refusing to acknowledge the existence of a problem), projection (taking their negative emotional responses and assigning them to others), and intellectualization (distancing through overthinking so as not to feel). If those fail, they escalate to abusive measures.

Within the first hour of the meeting, all of these defense mechanisms were exploited. She denied any issues with her children, which is impossible with a narcissistic parent. She showed text messages from her husband that were mild in nature and claimed instead that he was furious. When asked how she felt about an incident, she dodged the question by talking about her thoughts on the matter. When pressed for any signs of abusive treatment, she insisted that he could be violent but lacked any explanation of how or when.

Projective Identification. Taking projection one step further, a person assigns an aspect of his or her personality onto another person. In the case of narcissism, all of the narcissistic traits may be splintered off and attributed to a spouse. This is done at an unconscious level where the narcissists are not even aware of what they have done. In some cases, it may be malicious but for the most part, it is due to their twisted perception of reality where the narcissist must remain perfect.

While it appeared in our first encounter that my client was doing this to her spouse, it was further confirmed by meeting her husband. He had zero signs of narcissism and instead was extremely co-dependent. His natural tendency was to enable the narcissism as he adopted the viewpoint that she was perfect and he was the one with the problem. He even agreed that she was right and he was narcissistic.

It took many sessions to reveal the actual narcissist. The projective identification was so integrated and well managed that it required much convincing to expose the real narcissist. The unraveling of the truth was painful at first but then it transitioned into healing as the husband was able to see the multiple colors of reality instead of only yellow narcissism.

Source: Projective Identification: How Narcissists Project Their Identity Onto Others | The Exhausted Woman

Posted in Alienation, Malignant Narcissism, Narcissism, Narcopath, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), Projection

Narcissists Use Projection to Manipulate You

If nothing else works, a narcissist is more likely to “go for the jugular” by assassinating your character and making you seem like the lowest of the low. And if you’ve ever experienced this before, then you might know just how bad the side-effects can be. When a narcissist partakes in this, it could be out of vengeance or to impress and win over others who might not be positive towards you. The important thing is to not panic. You didn’t work so hard on being the best version of yourself just to be taken down by a person with low self-esteem themself.

5. They drop the act the moment they have you where they want

The moment you look to them for guidance or validation, their whole nice, sweet person act will just drop. They know now that you’re dependent on them for all of your emotional needs and they see that as the reins to hold you hostage. It’s when you try to resist that the situation might become dangerous for you. When they are caught in the act, they won’t just leave quietly. They might just confuse you enough to make you keep them around. That is why it is essential for you to be firm in your decision about cutting them out of your life. Continue reading “Narcissists Use Projection to Manipulate You”

How Narcissists Use Projection And What You Can Do

1. Narcissists Use Projection To “Call You Out”

Usually, narcissists will use this tactic to either get you to do something they know you’ll be hesitant about, to attack you, or both. They’ll call you out, for example, not having tea ready for them after a long day at work – even though you worked the same hours. This usually entails guilt-tripping. If that doesn’t work, they’ll escalate to verbally attacking you.

Dealing with projection and blame: It’s hard not to fall for this kind of malignant narcissism. You’ve probably been around your narcissist long enough to recognize a trap when you hear him/her getting started. It’s just a way to assert power manipulate your feelings and actions. Can you step it down or take a time out.

2. Narcissists Mimic Emotions

Narcissists have the emotional range of a thimble. But they’re intelligent. They know how important emotional displays are to others and they know how to mimic them to manipulate their victims. Don’t let those crocodile tears fool you. They’ll pretend to understand your feelings or want to help you. It’s not true.

What you can do: You’re onto them now, right? Be aware. Sooner or later, you will find ways to evade, and even escape.

3. Narcissists Will Attack Your Personality

No one likes to be verbally attacked – but when the question of your personality and character are brought into the mix, you know the narcissist means business. It’s getting personal. This is usually done for revenge.

What you can do: This is always designed to make you defensive and need to explain yourself. You don’t have to. Remember that narcissists are toxic people and almost always engage in toxic behavior and abusive relationships. They will lie and say anything to manipulate those around them.

4. Narcissists Use Projection To Play The Victim

Narcissistic projection makes you feel sorry for him. It’s never his or her fault that terrible things happen. You can’t blame a victim – right? They’re the ones who were wronged. The narcissists believes they’re perfect, so clearly anything wrong in their relationships isn’t because of their behavior. They love to be the victim. On top of projecting blame onto someone else, they also grab the spotlight while others help them.

Dealing with narcissistic projection of victimhood.  If you’re an empath, pay special attention to the kind of people you choose to help. Look for the lies and gaps in a narcissist’s story. Empaths and narcissists tend to be attracted to each other, and empaths are always the losers.

5. Narcissists Know When To Drop The Act

When narcissists know they have their target-turned-victim under their thumbs, they drop their charming acts. And quickly. This allows narcissists to assert dominance and really display their narcissistic traits. At this point, the victim will have a last, slight chance to escape and expose a narcissist before having to deal with even greater damage if choosing to stay in the abusive relationship. Continue reading “How Narcissists Use Projection And What You Can Do”

The “No, you!” defense

The “No, you!” defense

If you call them out on their crap or if they suspect you can see through their smoke and mirrors, they will say that it’s you—or others—who are all these things. Or that all of it is false and nonsense. They may even say that they are honest, caring, and authentic, and that you don’t understand these things, you are projecting, you are pretending, you are triggered, you are gaslighting, you are narcissistic—you are whatever buzzword they have learned!

Because people with narcissistic tendencies can be interested in human psychology, too. A lot of them actually work in the helping, teaching, and medical fields or pretend to be experts and intellectuals on social media. Some of them are really smart, eloquent, and popular, which makes their statements more believable to an unaware audience.

They can learn all these fancy terms and phrases, yet they often don’t understand or even care about how to apply them correctly. Here, it’s another tool for manipulation. For them, learning means finding ways to justify all of their disturbing thoughts and behaviors, or use the knowledge as a tool against others for personal gain.

They will do anything but accept reality and become a decent person—yet they can play one quite well.

Source: 5 Ways Narcissists Project and Attack You

5 Ways Narcissists Project and Attack You

Whenever a narcissistic person feels threatened, they will call you the things that they themselves are as or are afraid that others see them as. And then they will try to stalk you, slander you, or discredit you. They will try to sabotage and destroy you. They will start a smear campaign and attempt character assassination. In their mind, frighteningly, you have become their mortal enemy.

They also have no problem doing all of it preemptively and calling it defense.

So if you privately call them out, set healthier boundaries, or end the relationship, they may be afraid that you can see their flaws, or that you will tell others what kind of person they are. Whether you do that or not is not important to them. Because in their mind the mere possibility of it is a good enough excuse to label you as an enemy. And because a narcissistic type of person has little or no empathy, they may imagine that you will behave as they would in these situations. If they would lie, or more likely are already lying, they will accuse you of lying.

And so they will do all these things just because they think you are somehow trying to or might hurt them. They also will accuse you of the very things they themselves are doing.

Source: 5 Ways Narcissists Project and Attack You

Posted in Alienated children, Alienation, Parental Alienation PA, PERSONALITY DISORDERS, Projection

It was never your fault

Many of us child abuse victims grow up believing it was our fault.

We were just “rebellious” or “bad” and therefore deserved the abuse.

Some of us will believe we were never abused but loved.

We will make excuses for our parent such as “Oh, she was a single mom so that’s why she acted like that”.

And some of us will compare our abuse to other horror stories and say it wasn’t that bad.

For many years I minimized my parents’ behavior and compared it to children being tortured and locked in closets.

I just thought I was the blame for the sexual violence, constant belittling and hitting.

Abusive parents can make us feel at fault for their actions.

They can make us feel guilty and responsible for how they treated us.

If we hadn’t done that one thing then they wouldn’t have acted like that.

The reality is that it is never your fault.

You were simply a kid responding to your environment. Continue reading “It was never your fault”

Posted in Adultification, Borderline Personality Disorder, Dark Triad, Empath, Enabler, Machiavellianism, Oedipus Complex, PERSONALITY DISORDERS, Projection, Psychopath, PSYCHOPATHIC TRAITS

Types of Personality Disorders

DSM-5 groups the 10 types of personality disorders into 3 clusters (A, B, and C), based on similar characteristics. However, the clinical usefulness of these clusters has not been established.

Cluster A is characterized by appearing odd or eccentric. It includes the following personality disorders with their distinguishing features:

Overview of Cluster A Personality Disorders

Cluster B is characterized by appearing dramatic, emotional, or erratic. It includes the following personality disorders with their distinguishing features:

  • Antisocial: Social irresponsibility, disregard for others, deceitfulness, and manipulation of others for personal gain

  • Borderline: Intolerance of being alone and emotional dysregulation

  • Histrionic: Attention seeking

  • Narcissistic: Underlying dysregulated, fragile self-esteem and overt grandiosity

Overview of Cluster B Personality Disorders

Cluster C is characterized by appearing anxious or fearful. It includes the following personality disorders with their distinguishing features:

  • Avoidant: Avoidance of interpersonal contact due to rejection sensitivity

  • Dependent: Submissiveness and a need to be taken care of

  • Obsessive-compulsive: Perfectionism, rigidity, and obstinacy

Overview of Cluster C Personality Disorders

Symptoms and Signs

According to DSM-5, personality disorders are primarily problems with

  • Self-identity

  • Interpersonal functioning

Self-identity problems may manifest as an unstable self-image (eg, people fluctuate between seeing themselves as kind or cruel) or as inconsistencies in values, goals, and appearance (eg, people are deeply religious while in church but profane and disrespectful elsewhere).

Interpersonal functioning problems typically manifest as failing to develop or sustain close relationships and/or being insensitive to others (eg, unable to empathize).

People with personality disorders often seem inconsistent, confusing, and frustrating to people around them (including clinicians). These people may have difficulty knowing the boundaries between themselves and others. Their self-esteem may be inappropriately high or low. They may have inconsistent, detached, overemotional, abusive, or irresponsible styles of parenting, which can lead to physical and mental problems in their spouse or children.

People with personality disorders may not recognize that they have problems.

Continue reading “Types of Personality Disorders”