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Photo Image Credit Twenty Choices You Can Make to Increase Happiness Written by Randi G. Fine, Narcissistic Abuse Counselor and Author of Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivor’s Guide to Healing and Recovery In our pursuit … Continue reading...
Twenty Choices You Can Make to Increase Happiness
Written by Randi G. Fine, Narcissistic Abuse Counselor and Author of Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivor’s Guide to Healing and Recovery
In our pursuit of happiness we must first realize and accept that being happy is a deliberate choice; a choice we make every moment of every day. There are many strategies to help make attaining that goal possible. Following is a list of twenty:
Have a Positive Outlook
The first and most obvious way to increase happiness in our lives is to have a positive outlook. For the most part, being happy is less about circumstances and more about attitude. What we think about most we become. If positive thinking does not come naturally, and it doesn’t for most of us, this will take some effort. The good news is that optimism becomes easier the longer we apply it in our lives. Rather than complaining or ruminating over things that go wrong, we should put our energy into doing whatever we can to make things better; adopt the “this too shall pass” and the “everything happens for a reason” attitude. It may sound idealized, but trying to find the silver lining in everything that happens really does work.
Believe in Yourself
Another way to increase happiness is through self-belief. Get to know yourself; and when you do, always stay true to yourself. It is wise to take what others say into consideration, but don’t be an approval seeker. What other people think of you does not matter. There is no right or wrong way to be as long as no one else gets hurt. Focus less on impressing others and more on trying to be authentically you.
Accept and Celebrate Your Reality
It has been said that “The difference between the images you have had for your life and the reality of your life is the amount of unhappiness in your life.” Accept and celebrate the reality you are living. If you don’t like that reality and it is possible to change it, change it. Just don’t hold yourself to an unattainable image. If you do that you will never be happy.
Take Charge of Your Life
Be the one in charge of your life. Don’t allow others to dictate the standards for you to live by. When we are in charge of our lives we gain great satisfaction and happiness from the things we do.
Take Responsibility For Your Life
Take responsibility for your life. This is different than taking charge of it. Those who take responsibility for their lives do not play the blame game. They don’t make the problems in their lives the fault of others. They don’t make excuses or blame others for their failures. They just accept what is and are sure to do things different or better the next time. Taking responsibility for ourselves and our lives gives us a feeling of empowerment. When we are empowered we are happy.
Set and Pursue Goals
Another way to achieve happiness is to figure out what we are looking for, what we truly want for ourselves. It is about setting goals and pursuing them. Research shows that the achievement of goals is not what matters; it is the pursuit of them and the focus toward them that increases one’s sense of well-being.
Focus on Your Strengths and Talents
Identify your personal strengths and use them to their fullest. Each of us has a unique set of personal resources. We each possess talents and skills. We should use these gifts as tools for obtaining personal achievements. We often see people with disabilities doing this. Someone may be wheelchair bound and still be a champion athlete. Someone else may be blind, yet be a phenomenal musician. Focusing on success by utilizing our strengths and talents is another great way to achieve happiness.
Give of Yourself
Finding opportunities to give of ourselves is a very important way to bring authentic happiness to our lives. When we engage or volunteer in causes or organizations that we are passionate about or believe in; religious organizations, community or civic minded causes, charitable causes, or social clubs, we gain great fulfillment. Endeavors that allow us to unselfishly give of ourselves to others bring tremendous meaning, and therefore happiness, into our lives.
Live in the Present
The only moment that we have any control over is the present one. Regretting the past and worrying about tomorrow only distracts us from the happiness that exists right now. The past already happened; it is only a memory that we can’t change. What we can do is extract the lessons from the things that have happened; we can learn from hindsight. And, just as living in the past keeps us from living a happy life, so does worrying about the future. Events we fear will happen may never happen. If or when they do they probably won’t happen the way we imagined they would. Happiness doesn’t exist in the past or the future; it exists in the now. Living in the present moment is the only way to be happy.
Don’t Allow Fears to be Obstacles
We all have fears—fears of what might or might not happen, fears of failure, fears of being judged by others. These fears hold us back from fulfilling our dreams, starting a new business, changing careers, embarking on a new relationship or ending one. Our fears keep us stuck in places we don’t want to be and with people we should move on from. We can’t let our fears become obstacles. We can’t cling to the safe and the familiar just because we are afraid to venture out. It is easy to put things off, to wait for the perfect moment, but when we do that time is wasted; days, months, and years pass us by. We don’t have to take huge leaps; only tiny steps in the right direction. As we let go of our fears we can embrace the happiness we deserve.
Understand That Pleasure is Momentary
Pleasurable moments are just that—moments. They are temporary—they will come and go. And they will never be as exciting or intriguing the second, third, or fourth time around. We need to allow ourselves to enjoy the pleasures of life without feeling the need to cling to, capture, or cage the things that bring us pleasure. No one can be happy when they are waiting for the next thing to make them happy. We will never be fulfilled with what is if we are always waiting for what will be.
As the popular quote says, “The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.” Be someone who practices gratitude. Be someone who expresses appreciation for the simplest of things. Make time each day to reflect on what you have to be thankful for. Look at life from the perspective of what you have rather than what you don’t have. Contentment comes when we count our blessings, not when we focus on what we don’t have.
Reflect on Positive Outcomes
Compelling research shows that reflecting back to the enjoyable aspects of our day can significantly boost our feeling of well-being. Our natural tendency may be to focus on all the things that went wrong or frustrated us, but when we do that we leave little room for reflection of the positive things that happened. It’s fine to reflect on ways to correct what went wrong or think about how we can do things better next time, but if we want to be happy we should give equal time to the reflection of the positive outcomes of our day.
It has been psychologically shown that time affluence, “the feeling that one has sufficient time to pursue activities that are personally meaningful, to reflect, and to engage in leisure,” is a factor in achieving happiness. We are never happy when we are rushing or under the gun. So it is important that we allow enough time to do whatever we need or want to do; that we under-schedule instead of over-schedule, under commit rather than over commit.
Don’t Try to Control Everything
We are much happier when we don’t have the weight of the world on our shoulders. To accomplish that, we need to give up trying to control everyone and everything in our lives. We have to let go of the beliefs that we are the only ones who know what is right and that we are the only ones who know how to do things. Engage competent people in your life and then hand off some of your responsibilities.
Set Yourself Up For Success
When the challenges in our lives are attainable success is a realistic, predictable outcome. And along with success comes contentment. What this means is that when seeking challenges for ourselves we shouldn’t set the bar unreasonably high. We cannot be happy if we are constantly stressed and overwhelmed. We should always set ourselves up for success, not failure.
Find Joy in Simplicity
Joy can be extracted from the most basic things in life; simple pleasures and breathtaking moments. As the expression goes, “the best things in life are free.” Happiness comes from quality not quantity, simplicity not complexity, and moderation not excess. When our lives and our surroundings are cluttered with too much stuff it stresses us out. The less we have the freer and happier we will feel.
Create Closure Whenever Possible
The way we end an experience greatly influences our perception of that experience. If we want to create positive, happy perceptions of all our experiences we should do our best to end everything on a positive note rather than a sour one. We should create closure whenever possible rather than leaving loose ends untied. It’s difficult to be happy when we have nagging thoughts about what we have left undone. When we clear away that unnecessary debris we free our minds, and happiness is the byproduct.
When I tell you that conflict brings negativity and unhappiness into our lives, I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. But being aware of the part we play will help to reduce the amount of conflict we willingly subject ourselves to. When others try to goad us into arguments we need to take a deep breath and think before we speak. Conflict takes two people—we don’t have to be one of them. People often quarrel over trivial, unimportant matters. Learning to listen well, communicate well, and let things roll off our backs will keep us from being sucked into that nonsense. And when conflict does arise, we should always practice forgiveness.
And last but not least, probably the easiest ways to keep happiness in our lives are to lighten up, not take ourselves so seriously, and to laugh often. Life is painful enough. We don’t have to be so serious. We don’t have to make things harder for ourselves. We can be deliberate when choosing how we view and react to everyday occurrences. Realize that every moment is exclusive, every moment should be cherished. Once it is gone it is gone. Asking ourselves if something problematic will matter in a year from now will help us put things into perspective. So laugh at yourself and laugh at life. There is no better stress reducer or formula for happiness.
The Sorrow of Unrequited Love Posted Aug 15, 2017 on Psychology Today by Randi Gunther Most people will eventually heal after a relationship ends, especially if both partners mutually agreed to separate. With helpful guidance, they learn from their mistakes, … Continue reading...
Posted Aug 15, 2017 on Psychology Today by Randi Gunther
Most people will eventually heal after a relationship ends, especially if both partners mutually agreed to separate. With helpful guidance, they learn from their mistakes, find comfort from friends, and ultimately commit to a new relationship. Sadly, it is a very different story if one partner walks out when the other is still deeply attached. The anguish of being the rejected partner can be devastating. Some people experience unending, grief, ruthless pessimism, and a deepening fear that love might never happen for them again. I have spent many hours with deeply saddened, abandoned partners who cannot get past their losses. I have listened to their stories and to their confusion over why they cannot seem to make love last.
If people are repeatedly abandoned in sequential relationships, others often judge them harshly. These consistently rejected lovers too often find themselves on the other end of well-meaning friends who push them to “just get over it,” or imply that they are somehow responsible for their relationships not working out. That is rarely true. Most who suffer prolonged grief have usually tried everything they could to make their relationships work. When they are once again left behind, they are in understandable confusion and sorrow, wondering if the pain will ever go away.
In the years I’ve worked with such individuals, I’ve been able to help them see how the way in which they approach relationships may have something to do with why they end. Armed with that knowledge, they are better able to understand what they might have done differently.
Following are 10 of the most common personality characteristics and behaviors that many of these patients have shared with me, shared with the hope that they will be able to help those who still live in prolonged suffering after being rejected by someone they still love.
1. Innate insecurity. It is natural for people to feel insecure when threatened by the loss of something that matters deeply to them. If their comfort is disrupted by an unpredictable threat, most people have mastered defense mechanisms that help them overcome their legitimate feelings of sadness and fear. Over time, they are able to move on.
Sadly, there are people who suffer deeper levels of anxiety and may also have had multiple losses from the past. As relationship partners, they may have more difficulty rebalancing when abandoned by a once-trusted partner. They feel significantly more helpless and hopeless, as though they will never be able to trust love again. Sometimes, almost unable to function, their pain overcomes any hope that they will ever get better.
2. Topping out. If people feel that they have finally found the “perfect relationship,” and their partners then walk away, they may despair that they will never find a love this wonderful again. Relationship partners who have experienced these kinds of one-way abandonments may have always dreamed of having a special, reliable, and loving partner. Yet, upon finding someone who seems to fit the bill, they may become too fearful to inquire as to whether or not their partners have had the same desires or expectations.
When they believe they have found that perfect partner, they put everything they have into the relationship, hoping against hope that it will never end. Any warning signs from the other partner are often ignored until it is too late.article continues after advertisement
3. Childhood abandonment trauma. Children are too often helpless pinballs in a life game that tosses them from relationship to relationship, usually unable to affect the outcome. These early experiences make them more likely to either distrust relationship partners or try too hard to over-trust them. Their insecure attachments to their caretakers in early life too often cause them to become overly-fearful adults, unable to let love in for fear that inevitable loss will occur.
People with these kinds of fears of attachment may believe that they are fully in the game of love, but instead are self-protective and unable to risk genuinely committing to a relationship. They see security as elusive and out of their control, but earnestly continue to fully commit without careful discernment.
That underlying fear too often frustrates the people who try to love them. They often end up discouraged and have to leave the relationship, recreating childhood abandonment trauma in the person they leave behind.
4. Fear of being alone. If a person is fearful that love will never happen, he or she will often tolerate neglect, abuse, or disingenuous behavior just to stay in any relationship. If their relationship partners continue to participate in these uneven investments, one of two things will happen: the other partner will begin to feel too guilty to stick around, or will stay in the relationship while simultaneously searching elsewhere for a better deal.
5. Relying only on a partner for self-worth. It is dangerous for any intimate partner to allow the other to be entrusted as the sole definer of that person’s basic value. Like putting all one’s eggs in the same basket, there is bound to be total devastation if that belief does not result in a positive response.article continues after advertisement
If that partner chooses to end the relationship, the rejected partner has only that one person’s negative self-image to rely upon. They can only find fault in who they’ve been, what they’ve done wrong, and that they may always be unlovable to anyone else.
6. Fear of failure. There are people who are literally terrified of failing at anything, and relationships are just one piece of the puzzle. They give their all to whatever they pursue, and can’t face that their efforts might not bear out in something as important as a love relationship.
In their fear of failing, they too often either overreact when something seems to be going wrong or miss crucial cues because of their hyper-vigilant focus.
When their partners leave the relationship, they often take all of the blame, feeling that they should have done more or better. Often that self-denigration makes each succeeding partnership more susceptible to failing for the same reasons.
7. Romantic fantasizers. Relationships that thrive are not “romantic” in the storybook sense. Though they begin, as all new relationships do, with mutually seemingly unconditional acceptance and forgiveness, they must eventually work out the differences and challenges that all long-term commitments create.
Those who are dedicated to holding on to romantic fantasy, however, represent a different breed. These partners want to be all things to their lovers, as if in a cloud of intensive and ongoing rapture. When the normal disruptions of life intervene, romantic fantasizers see them as only temporary obstacles and don’t take them seriously.article continues after advertisement
When a romantic fantasizer wants to hold onto bliss at any price, the other partner often feels unseen and unknown, and eventually will seek a more realistic encounter.
8. Undying love. There are people who believe that loving someone until the end of time is a virtue and pride themselves on never giving up loving a partner, even if the relationship is over. They truly hold onto the belief that a love once so beautiful can never die, and commit to waiting forever for the other person to come back. For them, the unswerving commitment to stay loyal to a partner who has abandoned the relationship stops them from embracing any new love. The lost love is continuously eulogized so that any other partnership pales by comparison.
9. Unmatched hole fillers. Occasionally a partner finds another who is perfect in some crucial areas. The rest of the relationship may not be as rewarding, but the experience of total satisfaction in that one place is overwhelmingly fulfilling. Once they have that experience, they feel they can never again go without it, and so they significantly narrow their future options. When rejected, they become hyper-focused on getting their partners to return, offering any sacrifice to make that happen.
10. The truly agonized stalkers. Sadly, there are people who cannot give up their romantic partners, no matter how clearly they know that the relationship is over. Even when the other partner avoids, ghosts, or even humiliates them, they still won’t, or can’t, give up.
There are many reasons why people hurt themselves this way. They might feel they have no other place to go. Or they feel they will never find someone so right for them again. Perhaps they choose partners who can never love them the same way in return, and yet can’t accept that finality. Maybe they watched a parent continue to sacrifice without reciprocity, believing that it was a noble way to behave.
If the pain is great enough, they might stalk, punish, or intrude, unable to stop pursuing that broken relationship. No amount of self-degradation or humiliation seems to ease their pain or keep them from trying to reverse their fate.
Unrequited love is painful and demoralizing. It is only human to try to alter the aftermath of lost hope.
Many relationship seekers who experience repeated rejection become weary cynics, risking less and less in every succeeding partnership. They stop believing that relationships can ever work, because they can’t afford to be hurt again.
Once understanding why these situations happen, many can learn to choose better partners, face the realities of what relationships offer and cost, and increase their capacity for resiliency if loss is inevitable. Only then can they understand that the more one loves, the more painful the loss. There is no other possibility.
Every individual must decide how much to risk when seeking true intimacy. To achieve the most beautiful outcome, he or she must give up the prior goals of holding on to love at any price, and create in its place an authentic and real relationship, regardless of what the outcome might be.
My free advice e-newsletter, Heroic Love, shows you how to avoid the common pitfalls that keep people from finding and keeping romantic love. Based on over 100,000 face-to-face hours counseling singles and couples over my 40-year career, you’ll learn how to zero in on the right partner, avoid the dreaded “honeymoon is over” phenomenon, and make sure your relationship never gets boring: www.heroiclove.com
We all wonder who or what narcissists really are. Their despicable behavior is so foreign to our way of thinking, we wonder if they are aliens or demons. In this video you will learn the truth about who they really … Continue reading →
We all wonder who or what narcissists really are. Their despicable behavior is so foreign to our way of thinking, we wonder if they are aliens or demons. In this video you will learn the truth about who they really are from Nanci Danison. Nanci was given this wisdom directly from Source while in the midst of a near death experience. You have never heard anything like this before. It is mind-blowing!
What is The False Self? Article by Randi Fine, Narcissistic Abuse Expert and Author of the book Close Encounters of the Worst Kind © 2017 Narcissists feel no more love for the people they have relationships with than they do … Continue reading...
What is The False Self?
Narcissists feel no more love for the people they have relationships with than they do for strangers. They may use the word “love” to express their feelings, and they may at times demonstrate appropriate loving behavior, but it is a ruse. They are emotionally unequipped to love anyone but themselves. Even that love is distorted.
With all their perceived power and specialness, one would think narcissists have very high self-esteem and great self-love. That is not so. They actually have poorly defined senses of self, frequent episodes of self-loathing, and constant feelings of inadequacy.
By “they” I mean their true selves. That is a side of narcissists no one ever gets to see. It tells them they are unlovable, inferior, worthless, ugly, and powerless. Feeling that way about themselves is unbearable, so starting in childhood they disown that part and replace it with a facade they are proud to show the world. This facade is known as the “false self.”
The false self is an impenetrable suit of armor that once conceived is there for life. Its job is to absorb the narcissist’s pain, hurt, fragility, and all perceived attacks from the outside world. It keeps him or her from excruciating self-examination and introspection; from having to face terrifying fears that he may be less than perfect.
If anyone tries to expose the narcissist for who he or she really is, the false self lashes out with rage so terrifying, no one wants to cross the person again.
The false self is everything the true self isn’t; grandiose, superior, and entitled. It tells narcissists that everyone likes them, everyone envies them, everyone wants to be like them, and because of their superiority, the rules that apply to others do no apply to them.
Once the false self takes over, the true self is virtually unreachable by the outside world. The persona you see is one of an imposter, capable of morphing into whatever personality it needs to in order to capture the most narcissistic supply. Narcissists don’t have relationships. They take hostages to guarantee reliable source of narcissistic supply.
With the false self running the show, it is impossible for narcissists to see their own imperfections. That is why they cannot admit anything is wrong with them, hence there is a lack of validation of victim’s experiences and an inability to acknowledge their wrongdoings. It is also why they cannot be helped. The false self keeps them blind to the truth.
If you are clinging to a “relationship” with a narcissist with the hopes of it getting better, please understand that it never will. They see no reason to change and resent even the slightest insinuation that they should.
Narcissists look and, for the most part, act like everyone else, but their brains don’t function in the same way as those without the same pathology. They are toxic, abusive, vindictive individuals with no redeeming qualities. Don’t let them fool you into believing otherwise.
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Do you suspect that you are suffering emotional abuse from someone who has narcissistic personality disorder? Here are twenty of the most common behaviors you may be experiencing: Does he rage when his opinion, point of view, or idea is … Continue reading...
Do you suspect that you are suffering emotional abuse from someone who has narcissistic personality disorder? Here are twenty of the most common behaviors you may be experiencing:
Randi G. Fine, Narcissistic Abuse Expert, Counselor, Author
Randi Fine is a dedicated pioneer in the narcissistic abuse movement and a narcissistic personality disorder abuse expert. She is a radio show host, author, and Life Issues Counselor living in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Through her wealth of experience, insight, and wisdom, she offers hope, compassion, and healing to others. Randi is the author of the groundbreaking new book, Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivors Guide to Healing and Recovery.As a Life Issues Counselor, Randi specializes in (but is not limited to) helping others work through issues relating to relationship codependency, narcissistic personality disorder abuse, emotional boundaries, letting go of the past, and letting go of unhealthy guilt. Love Your Life is an online journal she writes to spread light, love, and healing to the world. Her blog is read in 180 countries around the globe. She hosts the blog talk-radio show, A Fine Time for Healing: A Sanctuary for Your Emotional Wellbeing. On her popular show she interviews the top people in their fields, discussing self-help and spiritual life-skill topics that heal and enhance the life experiences of others.
Want to know more? 100+ Articles on this site about Narcissistic Personality Disorder Abuse. Find them in the search box on the right side of this page.
Is Codependency a Problem in Your Life and Relationships Written by Randi G. Fine, Narcissistic Abuse Counselor Take The Quiz To find out if you are suffering from relationship codependency, please answer yes or no to the following twenty questions: … Continue reading...
Is Codependency a Problem in Your Life and Relationships
Take The Quiz
To find out if you are suffering from relationship codependency, please answer yes or no to the following twenty questions:
If you answered yes to five or more questions, it is likely that codependent issues are responsible for the relationship problems you are having. This test is for screening purposes only. It is not a formal diagnosis. Please see a qualified therapist or counselor to further evaluate and diagnose you.
More about Codependency
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