Narcissists – Identifying and Understanding Them

I spend a lot of time in my life coaching sessions helping clients understand and cope with Narcissists, which made me realize that we need a greater understanding, as a whole, on this topic. The term “Narcissist” is used loosely and frequently, without necessarily knowing if a person truly fits the proper definition. In fact, Narcissists are omni-present and their numbers are on the rise.

Recently, a nationally representative sample of 35,000 Americans found that 6% of Americans, 1 out of 16, had experienced Narcissistic Personality Disorder at some point in their lives. Most of us know at least one Narcissist; some of us are related to one; some of us married one and some of us are or were friends with one.

What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder? Although mental health professionals are the best ones to diagnose this condition, here are some markers for identifying a Narcissist.  A Narcissist is an individual who:

  • Has a very low self-esteem but who appears to mask it well
  • Needs constant external validation; they crave admiration and validation
  • Is always trying to prove they are superior to others; their desire to win at all costs is all encompassing
  • Is extremely self-centered
  • Is very one-minded; they can only see things from their own perspective
  • Is hypersensitive to feeling slighted or mistreated in any way; they feel insulted and criticized when no insult or criticism was intended and they are always on the defensive
  • Always believes they are the innocent victim and that others are hostile perpetrators
  • Is willing to de-value and humiliate other people
  • Feels no pain when they hurt others; if they do feel pain, it’s a lot less than others would feel
  • Has hierarchical thinking, meaning that every person or object (they are very materialistic as well) is placed on a scale. They have troubles believing anyone is their equal.
  • Have disproportionate anger; they get very angry at things that seem quite minor to others
  • Uses extreme language; they refer to others as “perfect” , “the best” or “the absolute worst” and there is nothing in between
  • Uses cruel and inappropriate language; they say things out loud that others might think but don’t voice for fear of hurting others i.e. “That is the dumbest waitress I’ve ever had.”
  • Have an inability to genuinely apologize or admit mistakes; they do not have a stable enough self-esteem to admit their mistakes and feel if they admit their mistakes, their facade of perfection will end or another will humiliate them
  • Has a difficult time sustaining serious, intimate relationships

What is THE key to understanding Narcissists?

When a child experiences a lot of pain and their self-esteem is destroyed, Narcissism can be the result. When one does not receive the love they need, they can become “selfish” and spend the rest of their lives trying to meet their own needs in unhealthy ways. And certainly, our celebrity culture, media and the internet are contributing to the rise in this self-centered way of thinking.

When we understand that a Narcissist is simply coping with their pain, it can help ignite compassion within us. Having this information can help us refrain from taking a Narcissist’s actions or words personally and assist us in dealing with them effectively. The key to healing from Narcissism is becoming aware of the situation and then taking the steps to coming to love oneself (outlined in my book “The Resourceful Mother’s Secrets to Emotional Health”). Taking these steps teaches an individual how to increase their self-esteem, so that they can internally validate themselves, as opposed to seeking external validation.

Sources Used: “The Truth about Narcissistic Personality Disorder” by Elinor Greenberg PhD, CGP in Psychology Today and “Narcissism Epidemic: Why There Are So Many Narcissists Now” by Lindsay Lyon, Staff Writer, US News.

Start Living the Life You Dream Of

Here is some video coverage of me talking about how to stop sabotaging ourselves and start living the life we always dreamed of. This was one of my favourite seminars. Thank you to Marguerite Mantha (@mantha_manth) for asking me to join her on that special evening.

I want to tell you about a man who never knew how amazing a parent he truly was – my father

My father was the first father in Oakville to be awarded sole custody of his children….I was four years old and my brother was only one. My dad made every weekend an absolute delight. We hiked, biked, canoed, camped, and skiied regularly. We spent hours and hours at the library, Ontario Place, Harbourfront, Bronte Park, Algonquin, Grandview ..and so many other incredible places. We travelled all over Canada. He took us to meet Eskimos in the Yukon, went panning for gold and it was there that I caught my first fish with a smaller fish inside…

He made us tiny pancakes, cut all sorts of incredible shapes out of apples, made us ice cream cones with delicious candies embedded inside. We watched “Emergency”, the “Beachcombers” and Disney movies every Sunday night. He took us to the variety store where he taught us how to spend money wisely; he also taught us how to save. He converted an old tv into a puppet theatre. He watched every show my brother and I put on for him. He converted boxes into robots. We made forts with him in the snow and the leaves, as well as in our blankets and chairs inside. When it was a special occasion, he cut footprints out of paper and we had to follow them around the house to find our presents. He bought us big helium balloons and special, meaningful gifts. He went to a lot of work every April Fools’ Day. And Christmas was so abundant. When I only received one toy but a lot of clothes one Christmas, I cried. My Dad comforted me and explained that I was growing up and I didn’t need that many toys anymore. When we got home from visits with our mom, we found newspaper clippings on our desks that he thought would interest us, small items he thought we would like, and notes he had written us.

When my father put my brother and myself to bed, he told us wonderful stories that he made up all by himself. We spent hours each night in an even more beautiful world than this one. I used to have many nightmares. One night, my dad picked me up from my bed in my nighty and took me to the end of the driveway and set a fire there for me. We roasted marshmallows together.
My dad called me “Twinkle Toes” because of my zest for life. He told me I was brave. He told me I was important. He told me I could do anything and I knew he believed it. He told me when I made smart decisions. He helped me sort the lies out from the truth; I could always count on him to always be honest with me. He taught me values. He modelled integrity and hard work. He helped me with my school work, explaining the tricky concepts to me. My brother and I respected him so much that we never misbehaved. And we both knew how much love our father had for us; his eyes said it all.

When I reached the age of ten, my dad remarried. Our whole world turned upside down. My father put my stepmom in charge of raising us. We hardly saw him after that. He climbed to great positions in the corporate world. Years later, I came to realize that my Dad never knew his importance in our lives. He never knew what an incredible father he had been to us. My mother, nanny and then stepmom caused such pain for us that subconsciously he felt he had failed us.

My dad no longer speaks to me. He lives across the country from me. I never was able to convince him of what an amazing father he was. He has other children with my stepmom and they are a big part of his life now that he is retired: I am happy he is not alone. But I believe he hurts every day because he feels he failed my brother and me. I will always love my dad and be grateful for those first 10 years of my life with him. I hope that whatever my dad is doing today, he has a good Father’s Day.

Lens of the Heart

Here are some excerpts from the hour long talk I gave at the Mindful Parenting conference last fall. You can see that there are many simple steps one can take to improve their relationship with their child and themselves. 🙂

I help parents understand this material in one-on-one sessions as well.

A Letter to My Daughters This Mother’s Day

When I met the father of my girls, I told him that having children would be the most important thing I ever did with my life. This baffled him because I was such a corporate girl, at the time. Shortly after we were married, I even went so far as to tell him that I thought we should apply for adoption, in case we were never able to have children. That’s how important having children was to me.

Giving birth and raising my girls has been the greatest pleasure of my life. And having my girls led me to my calling. Because of what they taught me, I get to be a “mother” to many individuals, through my company “The Resourceful Mother”.

I am dedicating this blog post to my girls, Taylor and Paige. Oh boy, the tears have already started welling up in my eyes…

Dearest Taylor and Paige,

Your bodies taught me the value of eating healthily and we can see the results of doing so in all aspects of our lives. Your emotions have shown me the value of truly feeling, then encouraged me to learn how to process those emotions properly and, in turn, allowed us to always find the perspective we needed to heal from any situation. Your minds have challenged me to find greater wisdom, guiding us to learning unique information about this world. Your spirits caused me to probe deeper into what lies beyond that which we are able to see and, as a result, we know that we are never alone on this planet and that there are a multitude of beings that help us each and every day. Your hearts, open wide right from the start, pried mine wide open, which then allowed us to keep our hearts wide open, as we navigated the trials of being human.

I was not truly living until the two of you entered my life. I owe my energetic body, my deep joy, my unique wisdom, my deep connection to spirit and my great love and respect for myself and others to the two of you. And I now know that this is an opportunity that EVERY parent has when they give birth and raise a child.

We have spent almost 18 years learning from one another. This fall, you head off to university, Taylor. I don’t feel any pulls at my heart strings because I know I have done my job and you have done yours; I have full confidence that you have everything you need to venture forth in this world. And Paige, you will enter grade 11, and through your co-op, you will decide the direction you will take in venturing forth in this world. I have full confidence that you will make the right decision for you. Whether or not either one of you makes the large contribution to this world that you plan to make, our souls have evolved in the direction they were meant to go in.

I am infinitely grateful for the two of you. I thank you for the depth of our connection and for the profound joy and never-ending love that we experience. I thank you for giving me the family I always wanted so badly. Thank you for allowing me to celebrate the gift of YOU each Mother’s Day and every day of my life.

All my love and appreciation,

Mama

Easter – A Time to Love and Respect Ourselves

In Part One of this blog, we learned how to forgive another.

How do we know when we have forgiven another?

We have forgiven another when we can be around them or speak to them without being negatively affected by them. We no longer let what they do or say to us control our self-respect or well-being. The state we reach is called “detachment”. When we are detached, we can disagree with another but still love them. We no longer feel that we have to defend ourselves nor do we fear that they will trigger our old hurts. We see their pain or suffering, often coming to the realization that they don’t love themselves. And we know that their lack of love for themselves has NOTHING to do with us. As I say in my second book “If we can eventually reach the point where we no longer blame another but say instead, “I don’t believe the part of you that hurt me is who you really are,” then we know we have forgiven.”

It is important to know that once we forgive another, we don’t need to remain in a relationship with them. If they continue to disrespect us or refuse to act with love in their heart, the relationship can safely end.

In Part Two of this blog, we learned how to forgive ourselves.

How do we know when we have forgiven ourselves?

We have forgiven ourselves when we replace self-rejection with self-acceptance. When we don’t like ourselves, we attract people and events that reflect those negative feelings about ourselves; we see this turning around once we have forgiven ourselves. When we start taking responsibility, we start feeling worthy of receiving what we desire; we let go of our unhealthy patterns and decrease the frequency and intensity of the negative experiences in our lives. This results in greater self-control and a calmer existence. The forgiveness leads to accepting, respecting and eventually loving ourselves – even when we act crazy or feel jealous or sad at times! When we can truly love ourselves for who we are, that is the beginning of our freedom as humans and that is when everything good comes into our lives; we literally reprogram our future. We can refer to this stage of our lives as our “rebirth”.

On this Easter Sunday, I want you to have a glimpse into what it means to experience rebirth from an emotional standpoint. Our rebirth means we have come to love and respect ourselves like never before and have let go of our biggest unhealthy patterns. Throughout our lives, we work on loving and respecting ourselves more and more.

What does our rebirth feel like?

I provide a many-page description of this in my second book but I want to give you a glimpse of this stage of our lives for it is truly incredible, once we reach it. When we love and respect ourselves, we have taken responsibility for our actions and words, worked with our emotions and set healthy boundaries with others. Because of taking these steps over and over, we feel safe and others feel safe with us. We move away from conflict and drama, no longer needing it to fill our egos, and our lives become more peaceful. Our happiness and peace are no longer attached to people behaving in a certain way or things going our way. We are happy, peaceful and in a state of grace, even if things don’t go the way we want them to. The amount of peace we feel becomes our measure of accomplishment. We don’t become immune to pain but we become better equipped to handle it. When we love ourselves, we apply love to each situation and get faster at seeing the gift in every circumstance. We see life as a gift; we are grateful for that gift and life delivers. We luxuriate in the richness of life because we know we deserve it.

If you need help with any of the steps to forgiving others or yourself or experiencing your rebirth, I am here for you. Helping others heal physically and emotionally is my BIGGEST passion and I truly know how to do it. Wishing you the happiest of Easters and sending each of you an Easter bouquet of love, compassion, peace and joy! Your Easter Egg hunt of reading my three blogs and taking your inner journey over this important weekend is now officially over…. or is it?

Easter – A Time To Forgive Ourselves

Sometimes forgiving ourselves is more difficult than forgiving others but there is nothing more crucial to our overall well-being than making peace with ourselves. If we do not forgive ourselves, we continue to use our past to beat ourselves up and we sabotage our biggest dreams.

In my second book, I explain “It is easy for us to dwell on our regrets, the things we lack, the things we missed out on and the things we could have done differently. (Forgiving ourselves) means letting go of blaming (judging or disliking) ourselves; none of us deserves blame. It means being sensitive to our own suffering and coming to understand why we are the way we are, why we have certain beliefs, why we feel the way we do and being okay with all of it. It is only when we can accept our stories (whatever happened to us in the past) and forgive ourselves entirely that we can obtain the wisdom that our stories hold for us.”

Each of us is good at our core. You might insist that someone you know is truly BAD at their core but you could never convince me that this is the truth. Even if you told me that you had murdered twenty people, I would simply know that you were in ridiculous pain. I would look at you with eyes filled with love, just as I did before you told me of the horrible crimes you had committed.

You see, as I said in my prior blog, we each have this internal gauge of what’s right and what’s wrong. For obvious reasons, we need that gauge. What we don’t need is the constant punishment we inflict upon ourselves. But society makes us think that it’s not okay to make “mistakes” and that when we do, we deserve to be punished. Society does not see us as normal, unless we are continually aware of what we did wrong and perpetually beat ourselves up for it. I will say it again – each of us is good at our core. WE ARE MEANT TO LEARN FROM OUR “MISTAKES”, NOT PUNISH OURSELVES CONTINUOUSLY. Religions and their talk of our daily sins do not help us understand this concept. “Mistakes” are simply learning ground; they provide us with feedback as to what works and what doesn’t work.

In addition to understanding the above, something else is required in order to forgive ourselves. If applicable, we need to take responsibility for the times in which we under-performed, behaved without integrity or failed to be grateful for the people or things in our lives (or that were once in our lives and are no longer). We take responsibility by apologizing to those we hurt by our “mistakes”. Making things right, in this way, helps us make peace with our stories and subsequently feel better about ourselves. Lastly, after we apologize, we need to begin treating others with love and respect and living our lives with integrity. The more we forgive ourselves for our past, the easier time we will have of this.

I invite you to make a list of the “mistakes” you have made for which you have not forgiven yourself. I invite you to make a list of the lessons each “mistake” taught you; take your time with this. Then, make a list of the ways in which you are punishing yourself for your past “mistakes”. Finally, write down one unhealthy pattern you are going to let go of i.e. lack of exercise, smoking, excessive shopping etc starting this week. This is how we slowly begin the process of forgiving ourselves. And this is how we slowly begin living the lives we are all meant to live.

For two decades now, any time something hasn’t gone well for me in my life and I turn it around, I think to myself “How will I use this to teach others?” I encourage you to share your insights, as a result of reading this blog, so that others might learn from YOU.

And watch for Easter Sunday’s blog describing rebirth and exactly what that feels like!

Pleeease tell me you are enjoying your Easter Egg Hunt, making your personal discoveries!

Easter – A Time of Forgiveness and Rebirth

It is Easter – a time of forgiveness and rebirth, if we so choose. I have come to realize that there are three main reasons why many of us are reluctant to forgive:

  1. We think that forgiveness means that we condone the actions of another or agree with their incorrect thoughts on something.
  2. We think that we need to tell another that we forgive them, essentially rewarding them.
  3. We don’t have the information we need i.e. the truth to forgive them.

Forgiveness does NOT mean we condone the actions or agree with the thoughts of another. It does not mean that everyone suddenly gets along and lives happily ever after! It does not mean we are weak or lacking in principles or intelligence. Why our society has been led to believe this is beyond me and we have been so inhibited by this incorrect definition of forgiveness.

In my second book, I explain that “Forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves.” Forgiveness means that we consciously decide that we are not going to let another take over our lives or our thoughts. We are not going to remain angry or seek vengeance nor are we going to act like a victim, as a result of the actions or thoughts of another. And we DON’T need to tell another that we have forgiven them; we can if we want – it is our choice! I further explain in my book that “Forgiveness is the only way we can heal; we need to forgive for our own health and well-being…the gift of forgiveness is emotional freedom. It gives us peace of mind. If we hold onto our resentment, we give control over our emotional well-being to the person who hurt us…when we hold grudges, our love for ourselves cannot grow. We remain victims and we deprive ourselves of healthy, fulfilling relationships, allowing unhealthy patterns to take hold.”

Forgiveness means coming to see those who hurt us with new perspective. It IS easier to forgive another if we have certain information; for example, if we were emotionally abused by our parent and we learn that our parent was emotionally abused by their parent, our hearts can be filled with compassion more easily. But we don’t need to glean information on another in order to forgive them. We can simply come to understand that a person CANNOT hurt another, unless they are in pain themselves. Every single individual that is unhappy or is acting without integrity is hurting inside. When we know this, we can stop seeing what another did to us and we can look at their pain instead.

On this Easter weekend, I invite you to make a list of the individuals you have not forgiven. I invite you to spend time reading and re-reading the above words to remind yourself as to what forgiveness really is. I invite you to really see the pain those individuals are actually experiencing, every single day of their lives. If you can’t see it, ask someone that knows them well if they can see it. One thing I have learned well from coaching others is that EVERYONE knows when they have done wrong by another, unless they have a mental illness.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog where I will teach you about forgiving ourselves. Easter Sunday’s blog will be all about our rebirth. As you watch a child in your life discover one egg after another on their Easter egg hunt, I will imagine you making your own discoveries, on your own Easter egg hunt, reading my three blogs. For any of you that know me, you know this will be the greatest gift I could receive this Easter weekend.

Happy Easter, Lovelies!

Simple Steps to Transforming YOUR Life

Marguerite has been my good friend of many years. She and I, both being life coaches, are thrilled to bring you this information to help you transform your lives 🙂

When Saturday, April 1, 2017
6:30PM – 9:30PM
Where: The Hartman Gallery
5725 Davis Drive, Mount Albert, Ontario L0G 1M0
(One minute drive east of highway 48 on the south side.
See the Attached PDF for more info!
Transforming Your Life

My Changing View of Women

Many wonder why we celebrate Valentine’s Day, Family Day, Women’s Day and the like… I personally like that we have designated days to celebrate things. I don’t feel that the majority of North Americans celebrate enough. When we celebrate things, we are seeing the positives and we are being grateful. And, you know that anger and fear cannot anchor in the mind of one that is overcome with gratitude.

As a child and a teenager, I couldn’t even say the word “woman”. I did not want to become a woman because the women that were my examples were not the type of people I wanted to become. I refused to carry a purse or wear jewellery and I dressed very plainly. In my twenties, I had female bosses that I was unable to look up to…

It wasn’t until I had my first child, that my respect for women began to take root. We all grow up being told that women are the weaker gender. Why, then are the women slated to go through labour and then perform the hardest job on earth of raising children to become successful adults? As a mother, I began watching all the working moms. They went to work, raised their children, kept their house in order and remained the emotional backbone of the whole family. I watched as their children grew up physically and emotionally and began contributing to the world. I saw the strength in these women as they overcame each challenge one at a time. I noticed that they simultaneously became more and more important in their careers. I watched with awe and wonder at the capabilities of women and one day, began embracing being female.

Today, through my work, I help some of these women. When I see their hair analysis results and when I help them through life coaching, I see the strain that their busy lives have put on their bodies and minds. I see the vitamins and minerals they are lacking in and the systems that are out of balance in their bodies. I have met with a lot of women now and I see the patterns….the majority of them are doing too much for others and not enough for themselves. That is their biggest weakness but I now know that women are far from weak.

One of my most important jobs is to help women see their own importance. I help them get back on track by helping them come to love themselves the way the rest of us love them! I help them learn to nurture themselves and feel grateful for their copious accomplishments.

It was only through writing this blog that I realized that I went from not wanting to be a woman, to loving being a woman, to supporting women in any way that I could because I now revere them so much. Because of International Women’s Day, I was able to have this insight into myself and into women in general. To all the women out there that are reading this blog, I CELEBRATE you; I SEE you; I LOVE you, and I am immensely proud to be one of you.