The narcissistic mother (1)

The narcissistic mother

Many ot my patients have one or both parents with more or less narcissistic features. I will write a small story about narcissistic mother so that you can get an idea of how she behaves towards her children. In some cases narcissists can include their children in their narcissism but my experience is that most of the time that does not happen. Instead the parent steps on their child too in order to take care of his/her own needs.
Here comes the case example:
Vanessa had four daughters. She often braged about the fact that she was so good at taking care of children that she would have had six children if she hadn´t had the bad luck of meeting a man with alcohol problems. She was divorced from him and made people do favors for her making them feel sorry for her because she was alone with four children. While complaining about her bad marriage and that she had to do everything herself, she didn´t mention that her exhusband paid for everything concerning the children.
To be continued…

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell
www.kbtemanell.se

The narcissistic mother

Many ot my patients have one or both parents with more or less narcissistic features. I will write a small story about narcissistic mother so that you can get an idea of how she behaves towards her children. In some cases narcissists can include their children in their narcissism but my experience is that most of the time that does not happen. Instead the parent steps on their child too in order to take care of his/her own needs.
Here comes the case example:
Vanessa had four daughters. She often braged about the fact that she was so good at taking care of children that she would have had six children if she hadn´t had the bad luck of meeting a man with alcohol problems. She was divorced from him and made people do favors for her making them feel sorry for her because she was alone with four children. While complaining about her bad marriage and that she had to do everything herself, she didn´t mention that her exhusband paid for everything concerning the children.
To be continued…

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell
www.kbtemanell.se

The childhood of the narcissist 2

I will reapeat the essence of what makes people narcissists. So it´s a combination of genes and a childhood where the child usually is spoilt in some area for example financially. Instead the child never or seldom hears that he/she is good and worthy of love just the way he/she is. Often the mother is cold many times she can get attention herself from her child. For example she tells her child she is pushing him/her to do well in school because of the child´s good when in fact it is because she wants to shine herself. She gets the chance to brag that her child does well in school and often she can make it sound as though she is the main reason why her child has become a lawyer for example. I want to point out again that not everyone with a narcissistic mother will become a narcissist. Some people will become people pleasers instead and continue to please people in their adult life.
Many of my patients with difficulties to say no to others or who please others in order to feel good about themselves have had parents with narcissistic features.

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell
www.kbtemanell.se

I will reapeat the essence of what makes people narcissists. So it´s a combination of genes and a childhood where the child usually is spoilt in some area for example financially. Instead the child never or seldom hears that he/she is good and worthy of love just the way he/she is. Often the mother is cold many times she can get attention herself from her child. For example she tells her child she is pushing him/her to do well in school because of the child´s good when in fact it is because she wants to shine herself. She gets the chance to brag that her child does well in school and often she can make it sound as though she is the main reason why her child has become a lawyer for example. I want to point out again that not everyone with a narcissistic mother will become a narcissist. Some people will become people pleasers instead and continue to please people in their adult life.
Many of my patients with difficulties to say no to others or who please others in order to feel good about themselves have had parents with narcissistic features.

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell
www.kbtemanell.se

The childhood of the narcissist

The childhood of the narcissist

So what makes people become narcissists?

The child who later becomes a narcissist usually gets something superficial reinforced instead of getting his/her emotional needs fulfilled. So instead of hearing that you are good and loved the way you are, you get high standards for example regarding shoolwork, a sport, beauty etc. So for example a small girl with good looks can hear that she is beautiful and her mother will make her compete in beauty contests. The problem is that the mother of the small future narcissist will not make her daughter feel loved the way she is, she will only give the daugther attention when it comes to looks. So the daughter will learn that she is worthy of love only when others think she is beautiful.

I want point out that genes are also important in developing different kinds of problems. So not everyone with the above described environment will become a narcissist. Usually in a problematic environment you either become a person thinkning low of yourself less or more, or you become a person with more or less narcissistic features.

Now back to the development of narcissism.

You either become a narcissist to compensate for feeling deprived and defective or for becomeing spoiled.

The most common case though is that meanwhile you get spoiled your caregivers don´t make you feel loved and competent the way you are, instead they try to change you.

I think a very important thing to remember here if you have children is that there is a big probability that you won´t get a child exactly the way you want him/her to be. But istead of forcing him/her to change in order to fit you picture of the perfect child, try to analyze what your child likes and push her/him in that direction.

For example, your son is not good at sports which is important for you, instead he loves reading and likes learning things. So instead of critisizing him for not being good at things you like, reinforce his reading and studying. So if you have thoughts that he is too weak and clumsy, keep that to yourself and reinforce his strong sides. In the long run your new behavior will make you happier too even though you can´t feel that at the moment.

To be continued…

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell

www.kbtemanell.se

The third mode of the narcissist- the self-soother mode

The third mode of the narcissist

I have mentioned earlier in my articles that the narcissist flips unconsciously between three modes. Two modes that I have written about are the lonely child mode where the narcissist does not like to be since in this mode he/she is aware of feeling lonely, small and unimportant. When she flips into the lonely child mode, he/she tries to flip into the self-aggrandizer mode where he/she likes to be. Here the the behavior is bragging, stepping on others , competing etc. In this mode, the narcissist drains energy from pthers like a a parasite. In the short run he/she feels good, but in the long run this modes makes the narcissist feel even more lonely emotionally.

The third mode the narcissist can slip into is the detached soother mode. (Read more in Reinventing your life by Jeffrey Young). Here the narcissist  runs away from all kinds of feelings by overconsuming work, sex, drugs, alcohol, food etc. These activities give the narcissist excitement in the short run but in the long run the consequence is a feeling of emptiness and loneliness. If the narcissist is conscious that he/she is for example overeating because of feelings of loneliness and emptiness, the he/she usually blames someone else or sometning else with the consequence that the destructive behavior continues. A central probpem overall for the narcissist is that he/she  blamesg other people or other situations for everything which leads to the fact that he/she never starts dealing with any problem.

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell

www.kbtemanell.se

(Svenska) Hur otrygg anknytning påverkar dina vuxna relationer

Hur otrygg anknytning påverkar dina vuxna relationer

Otrygg anknytning leder ofta till olika ångesttillstånd eller depressioner senare i livet. Den påverkar även ofta vilken typ av kärleksrelation du väljer som vuxen. Om du har en undvikande anknytning är det vanligt att du lämnar din partner efter att ha varit i relationen ett tag. Du kanske är väldigt förälskad i början men efter ett tag börjar du tvivla på att din partner är rätt för dig. Du kanske inte känner dig lika attraherad längre och du börjar se brister som du inte såg i början men som du nu inte kan sluta tänka på. Om du känner igen dig i detta, försök analysera om du pratar om dina känslor och om du tillåter dig att vara sårbar inför din partner. Det är  viktigt att du tillåter dig att vara sårbar för att kunna få en känslomässigt länk till din partner. Analysera även om du själv är bra på på att identifiera vad du känner, annars behöver du även jobba på det.
Om du tenderar att vara klängig i en relation och fokuserar all energi och tid på din partner, har du antagligen också otrygg anknytning. Det här beteendet är vanligt om du har ambivalent anknytning. Om du känner igen dig själv i detta, försök tvinga dig själv till att ägna dig åt sådant du i vanliga fall brukar ägna dig åt; tex. träffa vänner, träna, etc. Försök motstå lusten att avboka saker med andra för att din partner vill träffas i sista stund, försök även motstå att inte boka något alls i hopp om att din partner kanske eventuellt får lust att hitta på något med dig. Jag är, genom min erfarenhet av arbete med klienter helt övertygad om att det bästa sättet att få en partner intresserad är att visa att du har god självkänsla. Min uppfattning är att god självkänsla är det mest attraktionsframkallande som finns. Med andra ord ska du visa din partner att du gärna vill träffas men att du även har annat i ditt liv och att du inte är tillgänglig dygnet runt. Jag vill poängtera att det här inte handlar om att du ska spela oåtkomlig utan om att du tar hand om dina behov och inte går med på att bli överkörd. Kom ihåg att ju mer du kör över dina behov, desto större är sannolikheten att dina rädslor besannas, dvs att du blir övergiven.
Om du har desorganiserad anknytning är det sannolikt att du inkonsekvent använder dig av alla nämnda destruktiva strategier. Om du känner igen dig i detta bör du gå i terapi och tillsammans med terapeuten gå igenom dina relationer och hur du kör över dina behov för att sedan börja ändra på det. Du kanske inte har någon överblick av hur du kör över dina behov eller att du kör över dem, du kanske bara är medveten om att du lever i ett moln av ångest. Du kan lära dig att bete dig bra mot dig själv genom att titta på specifika situationer och relationer i ditt liv. Nästa steg är att välja några situationer där du vill börja öva dig på att bete dig bra mot dig själv och därpå göra det trots att du inte känner för det. Du kan i början inte vänta dig att det ska kännas rätt, du måste börja bete dig bra mot dig själv länge för att det sedan ska börja känna rätt. Om din partner beter sig illa, börja med att säga att hans/hennes beteende är oacceptabelt och du inte kommer att tolerera det längre. Om detta inte hjälper, försök lämna relationen. Jag vet att det är jättesvårt men det är nödvändigt! Om det känns omöjligt, försök först börja jobba på att utöka antal beteenden under dagen då du gör saker som får dig att må bra långsiktigt, t.ex. träna, träffa vänner etc. När du har fler trådar i ditt liv att ägna dig åt än din partner, försök då ställa krav igen, om det inte hjälper, försök lämna honom/henne. När du går igenom dina tidigare val av partner och är mer medveten om vad som attraherar dig hos en partner kommer du att bli bättre på att i ett tidigt stadium känna igen vilka typer du ska undvika att ens gå på date med. Tänk på att inte ge efter för impulsen att gå på date med någon som är spännande bara för att du just då känner kontroll över dina känslor. Går du ut på för djupt vatten kan du plötsligt känna att du har tappat kontrollen och då är du inne i karusellen igen, med ångest som konsekvens. Gör du det i alla fall är det bra att vara medveten om varför du har ångest och att du ska försöka göra det bästa av situationen för dina behov. Försök att inte börja kritisera dig själv utan fokusera i stället energin på hur du kan hantera situationen utifrån förutsättningarna och hur du kan undvika att göra om samma misstag nästa gång.

Monica Emanell, leg. Psykolog, leg. Psykoterapeut

www.kbtemanell.seHow insecure attachment affects your adult relationships

Insecure attchment often leads to problems with anxiety and depression later n Life. It often affects what type of relationship you select as an adult. If you have avoidant attachment, it is common that you leave your partner after a while. You might be very much in love in the beginning bur you start beng hesitant about the relationship after a while. May be you are not so in love as you were in the beginning and you start seeing flaws in your partner that you did not see in the beginning and now you cannot stop thinking about them. If you recognize yourself in this, try to analyze if you talk about your feelings and if you let yourself be vulnerable when you are with your partner. It is important that you let yourself be vulnerable since it will serve as emotional glue to you partner. You also need to exercize on identifying your own feelings and on expressing them.

If you on the other hand tend to get clingy in relationships, you also probably have insecure attachment but then it is ambivalent attachment. f you recognize yourself in this, try to focus on something else that only your relationships. Try to focus on exercizing, meeting friends or something else that you usually like to do when you do not have a relationship. Try to work on your self-esteem, I think that good self-esteem is what most attracts other people to you so if you try to hold on to your beliefs and if you model self-respect, you maximize the possibility that your partner wants to be with you. It is not about playing unavailable, it is about having self-respect and that you are care for yourself.

If you have disorganized attachment you are likely to have all the strategies above. They are inconsistent and you unconschiously you cannot make up your mind how to behave, you feel confused. You probalbly have no Control over what you feel, even less how to express your feelings and you probably are not aware of all the times you run over your needs or let someone else run over them.

In therapy you need to learn to recognize what you feel and then try to analyze in what situations you do not feel well and then analyze why. You also need to find out needs you have and then try to take care of them.

If you have a pattern of getting attracted to people that are not good for you, you need to find out why. First you need to see the smilarity between your childhood attachment pattern and your relationships in the present. If you suffer emotional abuse from your partner you first need to see the pattern and then try to plan how you want to set limits so that your partner cannot run over you anymore. If that does not work and you cannot leave your partner, you need to start focusing on things outside the relationship that make you feel good or that made you feel good Before you lost your self-esteem and knowledge of what you like and do not like.

You will notice after some time that you will feel stronger from getting energy outside the relationship and that might help you to finally leave the relationship if your partner refuses to treat you well.

Monica Emanell, Licensed Psychologist, Licensed Psychotherapist

www.kbtemanell.se

(Svenska) Effekten din anknytning har på hjärnan och hur du kan bli fri och lyckligare

Den effekt din anknytning har på hjärnan och hur du kan bli fri och en lyckligare människa

Om du har en omhändertagande omgivning är det troligt att den gen som producerar kortisol receptorn i hippocampus (där minnet ligger i hjärnan) är dubbelt så aktiv än om du inte har en omhändetagande omgivning. Det här gör dig mer motståndskraftig mot stress (läs mer om detta i Rewire your brain av John Arden).
Du kommer med andra ord om du har en otrygg anknytning att ha en hjärna som ger dig låg självkänsla. Det här påverkar även dina relationer på ett negativt sätt.
Den goda nyheten är att du kan träna din hjärna så att du får en bättre självkänsla och bättre relationer. Du måste dock vara beredd på att förändring kräver träning. Försök ha samma attityd mot “hjärnträningen” som du har inför att träna din kropp på ett gym. Du ställer in dig på att träna regelbundet, helst så att det blir en del av din livsstil.
Exempel:
Du har som mål att börja prata med med människor du inte känner och du kommer få tillfälle till det i kväll då du är bjuden på en fest som du först pga. social ångest tänkte tacka nej till.
– Gör en plan och skriv ner olika ämnen som du kan prata om med en ny person.
Gå igenom potentiella frågor som du kan ställa och även vad du kan berätta om dig själv.
– Du kan även visualisera dig själv att du pratar med någon (detta stimulerar samma neuroner i hjärnan som du använder i en social situation.
– Försök att inte skriva en hel uppsats, ditt psyke måste få chans att få grepp om det allra viktigaste annars är risken att det känns alldeles för oöverstigligt.
– Om du upplever att det ovan nämnda känns för jobbigt, tänk att du bara behöver vara på festen en timme och sedan gå hem.
– Om du är rädd för att hamna i samtal med någon utan möjlighet att fly, ha alltid en flyktplan, t.ex. att du behöver gå på toaletten.
– Observera andra när du pratar med dem. Du kommer antagligen att märka att du får mer ångest av vissa än av andra. Antagligen får du mer ångest när någon är tyst pga. att du lägger allt ansvar vad beträffar samtalsämnen på dig själv. Fundera på vad du tycker om den andra personen. Du kanske tycker att den andra personen är tråkig, arrogant etc. och att du kanske inte har lust att prata med honom/henne.

Monica Emanell, leg. Psykolog, leg. Psykoterapeut
www.kbtemanell.se 

 

(Svenska) Har du desorganiserad anknytning?

Har du desorganiserad anknytning?

Den desorganiserade anknytningen är en anknytningstyp som du kan få om du har haft en mycket traumatisk uppväxt. Barn med den här anknytningstypen stelnade till eller började gunga när de såg sin mamma under studien. De här barnen har ingen stabil copingstrategi. Mammor till barn med desorganiserad anknytning tenderar att vara impulsiva, deprimerade och misshandla sina barn.

Monica Emanell, leg. Psykolog, leg. Psykoterapeut
www.kbtemanell.se

(Svenska) Har du ambivalent anknytning?

Har du ambivalent anknytning?

Ainsworth´s studie visade att barn som hade ambivalent anknytning reagerade på ett ambivalent sätt mot sin mamma. De uppvisade tecken på oro när hon lämnade rummet, därpå närmade de sig främlingen varpå de sedan när mamman återvände, uppvisade ilska och kyla. Mammaor med barn med ambivalent anknytning beter sig på ett inkonsekvent sätt, de är ibland varma, ibland omhändertagande och ibland likgiltiga.

Monica Emanell, leg. Psykolog, leg. Psykoterapeut
www.kbtemanell.se

The narcissist ends up lonely emotionally

The narcissist ends up lonely emotionally

I want to say again what I said in my last article and that is that my definite belief after having heard many, many life stories in my work is that narcissists get back for what they have done to others. So, if you have a hard time letting go of the fact that someone has for example reached success by stepping on others, or that a parent still seems to have a good life in spite of having harmed your self-esteem, try to think that there is a huge possibility that when the narcissist grows old and can´t move around as much anymore, he/she will get in touch with the feelings of emptiness and loneliness. Some narcissists include their children in their narcissism, but my experience is that most don´t. Instead they step on their own children in order to feel better about themselves. For example a narcissistic mother who pressures her child to win beauty contests, achieve academic success, excell in some sport in spite of the child´s unwillingness to compete, does it for her own needs. This kind of mother is not interested in her child´s emotions, she is interested in bragging about the child so that she can shine herself. Many times she will say that she pressures the child for his/her own good, so that the child can have a better life as an adult but that statement itself is selfish I think. You can´t decide what´s best for someone by following a book or rules that you have set up yourself. In order to know what is best for your child you have to find out what kind of a personality your child has. I mention children as an example and I will talk more about this,because I have many patients who have problems with a narcissistiv parent. The more children you have, the less probablity that you get a copy of yourself who will like and not like the same things as yourself. So the more you force your child to be the way you want and not the way he/she is, the more problems this child will have as an adult. This can also lead to the fact that the child does not want close contact with the parent as an adult, or no contact at all. This in turn will even more lead the narcissist in the direction of loneliness. In some cases the children continue pleasnig the narcissistic parent, but the parent who is not capable of close a close relationship finds no or superficial interest in their children and grandchildren which again lead them to an emotional loneliness.

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell

www.kbtemanell.se

The narcissist´s fear comes true in the end

The narcissist´s fear comes true in the end

The narcissist hates being next best or in the middle, that is the same as being a nobody which is one of the core beliefs the narcissist has about himself/herself. Therefore the narcissist is critical of others and very competitive. Losing a competition in getting something sought after makes the narcissist feel defective and the defectiveness schema is another crucial schema that the narcissist has (a schema is the innermost unconscious beliefs you have about yourself).

Winning is extremely important for the narcissist since he/she as a child only got attention for something well accomplished. It can be winning beauty contests, being best at tennis, being best academically etc. The point is that the child who later becomes a narcissist doesn´t get attention for being the person he/she is, but for the different accomplishments. So, in adult life the narcissist feels that if he/she is not the best, nobody will like him/her and the result will be loneliness which unconsciously is a something the narcissist fears.

As I have mentioned in many other articles when you have an issue with something you unconsciously act towards what the state you fear. What I notice is that narcissists, who fear loneliness become lonely when they grow old. I think it´s because when you are young you can suppress fears by working much and get validation there, having many partners and get validated, working out much etc. But when you grow old your body can´t keep up woth all the avoidant behaviors and then you get stuck with the feeling you have fought all your life to avoid, in this case – loneliness.

To be continued…

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell

www.kbtemanell.se