How can I improve my self-esteem?

I often get this question from people who come for therapy. My answer is that in order to get a grip of your low self-esteem you need to track how your low self-esteem is expressed. In other words, take you calender and write down your behaviors during a week. Write down, what you do and with whom. Also, write down your feelings connected to the different behaviors (1-5 in how stong the feeling is). After the week has passed you can see what kind of situations trigger you to feel bad about yourself. Also start observing that the behavior you want to do when you have a negative feeling, usually is a behavior that will give you some kind of relief in the short run, but more of the negative feeling in the long run. In other words you need to start planning what kind of behaviors you can start training on next time you are in a difficult situation. That behavior will probably make you feel bad in the short run, but it will make you feel better in the long run.

Also, remember that if you run over your needs, you signal to your psyche that you have low thoughts about yourself and then your psyche gives you back portions of negative feelings. If you do caring things to yourself, you signal that you have nice thoughts about yourself and then your psyche, in the long run will give you more positive feelings.

It´s not enough to force yourself to “think” that you are good if you at the same time show with your behaviors that you don´t respect yourself.

Good Luck!

(Svenska) Narcissistens olika personlighetstillstånd- det ensamma barnet

Narcissistens olika personlighetstillstånd- det ensamma barnet

Narcissisten pendlar mellan olika personlighetstillstånd beroende på i vilken situation han/hon befinner sig. Jeffrey Yonug beskriver detta på ett jättebra sätt i sin bok “Lev ditt liv som du vill och inte som du lärt dig”. (Rekommenderar den varmt).
De olika personlighetstillstånden är:
1. Det ensamma barnet
2. Den grandiosa (när man höjer sig själv till skyarna)
3. Den avskärmade (försöker må bättre via t.ex. olika typer av missbruk som alkohol, mat, dreoger, sex, spel etc.)

De olika tillstånden består av olika scheman eller inre övertygelser (det innersta man omedvetet tycker om sig själv). Du kan spåra dina scheman genom att analysera eller i terapi få hjälp med att analysera dina beteenden i situationer som inte riktigt fungerar som du vill i ditt liv. Ett exempel är om du t.ex. har ångest i situationer där du har konflikter med din partner och om du anpassar dig till allt han/hon vill för att inte bli lämnad, så har du antagligen ett övergivenhetsschema. Nu går vi tillbaka till narcissisten och hans/hennes scheman.
Det första personlighetstillståndet, det ensamma barnet består av ett schema som kallas känslomässig försummelse. Du kan ha det schemat om du under din uppväxt känt dig oviktig.
Det behöver inte betyda att dina föräldrar tydligt har sagt att dina behov är oviktiga, men genom sina handlingar eller brist på handlingar har de fått dig att känna så. I och med att du kände dig oviktig så utvecklade du tankesätt och beteenden för att hantera situationen. Vissa försöker vara duktiga och snälla hela tiden för att deras föräldrar ska tycka om de mer (och de fortsätter med detta mot andra människor när de är vuxna), medan andra agerar ut och blir jobbiga att ha att göra med. Poängen är att du i slutändan hamnar i situationer där du känner dig oviktig. Det här är ett av de scheman som narcissisten oftast har. Innerst inne känner han/hon sig ensam och oviktig. Problemet är att de strategier narcissisten använder sig av för att känna sig mindre ensam kommer leda till att han/hon blir ännu mer ensam i slutändan.

Fortsättning följer…
Monica Emanell, leg. Psykolog, leg. Psykoterapeut
www.kbtemanell.se

(Svenska) Mer fakta om narcissism

Mer fakta om narcissism
Som jag tidigare sagt så uppfyller inte de flesta som har drag av narcissism kriterierna för narcissistisk personlighetsstörning. Det är dock svårt nog att ha någon nära som “bara” har drag av narcissism.
Jag vill i alla fall skriva ner kriterierna för narcissistisk personlighetsstöning och du kommer sannolikt att känna igen en del av det som skrivs hos människor som du känner. Jag tycker att det är bra att känna till hur narcissistiska drag ser ut för att du lättare ska kunna se att felet inte ligger hos dig vilket narcissisten gärna vill påskina. Kom ihåg att människor med narcissistiska drag är experter på att få dig att känna dig som en misslyckad nolla som inte klarar av saker tillräckligt bra. De kommer att känna sig berättigade att berätta allt du behöver ändra hos dig själv. Det är vanligt att narcissister är tillsammans med en partner som är bra på att se fel hos sig själva. Därför är ni ofta två som ser fel hos dig. Det är vanligt att du inte reagerar därför att du från början är van vid att se fel hos dig själv vilket gör att den destruktiva relationen kan pågå länge.

Narcissistisk personlighetsstörning
Människor med narcissistisk personlighetsstörning har ett mönster av grandiositet (i fantasin eller i sitt beteende), ett mönster av att vilja bli beundrad och ett mönster av brist på empati. Personlighetsstörningen kan ses i olika situationer och kontext från tidig barndom och består av minst fem av följande drag:

1. Han/hon har en grandios känsla av att vara en viktig person (t.ex. överdriver talanger, framgång, förväntar sig att bli behandlad bättre än andra utan att ha förtjänat respekten via beteenden.
2. Han/hon är upptagen av fantasier om framgång, makt, skönhet och perfekt kärlek.
3. Han/hon tänker att han/hon är en speciell och unik person som bara kan bli förstådd av andra personer eller institutioner som är speciella eller har hör status.
4. Han/hon kräver beundran.
5. Han/hon har en känsla av att vara berättigad till speciell behandling av andra människor eller att andra automatiskt borde uppfylla hans/hennes behov.
6. Han använder andra människor dvs. utnyttjar andra för att nå sina mål.
7. Han/hon har brist på empati och är inte uppmärksam på andras känslor och behov.
8. Han/hon är ofta avundsjuk på andra människor och tänker att han/hon är föremål för andras avundsjuka.
9. Han/hon har arroganta beteenden och arrogant attityd.

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

(Svenska) Fakta om narcissism

Fakta om narcissism
Jag kommer att skriva flera artiklar om narcissism eftersom många av mina patienter har en partner eller familjemedlemmar som har narcissistiska drag. Narcissistiska personer söker sällan själva terapi eftersom de tycker att alltär alla andra människors fel och att de därför inte behöver jobba med sig själva. De kan dock söka terapi för att de upplevt något jobbigt, t.ex. en separation. Då har de oftast behov av att få stöd och hjälp att hantera sina känslor i samband med det jobbiga de varit med om, de har inte behov av att ändra något hos sig själva.
Jag kommer att gå igenom kriterier som krävs för att få diagnosen narcissistisk personlighetsstörning. Människor har oftast drag av narcissism, men ca. 1% av befolkningen uppfyller kriterierna för an narcissistisk personlighetssörning.
En relation med en narcissist innebär antingen att du har jobbiga konflikter större delen av tiden eller att du går med på att få dina behov överkörda. En narcissist känner sig berättigad att ta för sig mer än “medel”. vilket leder till att han/hon tillfälligt bara kommer känna sig nöjd om du låter dig köras över. Jag poängterar tillfälligt då du nästa gång kommer att ha krav att låta dig köras över ännu mer. Med andra ord är det ingen bra strategi. Narcissiten får aldrig “nog” av att ta för sig.
Ofta hittar narcissisten en partner som är van att få sina behov överkörda. Paret hittar varandra som två perfekt passande pusselbitar och ofta uppstår starka förälskelsekänslor.

Fortsättning följer…
Monica Emanell, leg. Psykolog, leg. Psykoterapeut
www.kbtemanell.se

More explanations to why people develop narcissism

More explanations to why people develop narcissism

I have mentioned before the reason why you develop different conditions is due to a combination between you genes and your upbringing. In the case of narcissism Jeffrey young discusses three factors as crucial.

1) Genes make some children acting out more, they have more aggression than others so in an emotionally not giving environment they are more prone to become demanding when they are adults to compensate for not feeling important and seen when they were children.

2) Another factor is that in some families where the parents can´t see to the child´s emotional needs they let child be demandind in some other way.

3) A third factor is that the child has a special feature; it´s beautiful, smart, gifted in a sport etc. These children will compensate for not getting their emotions fulfilled by demanding attention for this feature.

People who genetically have a lot of anger can develop narcissism to compensate for having been treated in an emotionally unfair way.

Narcissism is often developed as a compensation for not feeling important and seen as a child. Instead these people want to show that they are special and important than other people.

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell

www.kbtemanell.se

Three forms of entitlement- Impulsivity

 

 Impulsivity

Some people with narcissism have problems in controling their impulses. They act on their impulses without thinking about consequenses (read more in Reinventing your life, Jeffrey Young). These people have a hadr time dealing with things they find boring and when discipline is required. They postpone things they have to do and when they finally do them it is often in a passive aggressive way (it´s when you do things while you are angry and often you don´t do them in the right way so your aggression comes out in a diffuse not straightforward way). Sometimes it is hard endure even if they are interested in what they do. People with this kind of narcissism often abuse alcohol, food, drugs, gambling, sex or something else. I want to point out that in order to be narcissism it´s not only the abuse present, it´s together with the lack of control and impulsivity. Often people with this kind of narcissism have problems controlling their emotions mostly anger. Often the anger is expressed in an immature way, like you see in a child that is angry. They feel entitled to express their anger and they don´t care how it affects other people. They almost never seek therapy themselves since they don´t think they have a problem but often their partner get exhaustedand seek therapy. They can see that they have to change things only if something emotionally devastating happens; they lose important jobs, they are on the verge of being left by their partners after 15 years of marriage etc.

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell

www.kbtemanell.se

Three forms of narcissism- entitlement based on dependence

Entitlement based on dependence

This form of narcissism is based on that the narcissist expects other people to take care of him/her. I find it more common in women. They find their victims in people who want to be nice and who may be sometimes have been emotionally deprived themselves so they want to help even at the cost of their own needs if they can feel liked and get feedback that they are nice. These kind of narcissists see themselves as weak and needy and expect other people who are strong to take care of them (Read more in Reinventing your life by Jeffrey Young). They feel that other people have to help them and that they are entitled to get the help. When they don´t get what they want, they become victims and complain in a passive aggressive way (that is when you are angry but you don´t say it openly, instead you create a bad atmosphere and/or you express your anger in a diffuse way through irony, ignoration etc.). These people often try to adapt to other peole´s needs but they feel entitled to be taken care of.

Case example:

Vanessa was a single mother and she was friends with a couple who lived close to hear. She often talked about how she had managed to raise two children alone and that she had had bad luck in her life. She said she had been married to an alcoholic and she told tear dripping stories about how hard it was to manage to raise the children herself even when she was in the marriage. She said that she had managed to get free from her husband and that she had sacrified her own private life in order to be able to be there for her children. John helped Vanessa to fix things in her apartment or when she needed a ride somewhere. After a while John´s wife, Linda thought that Vanessa wanted favours too often. John on the other hanf felt sorry for her and also he had been emotionally deprived in his childhood so he felt good by all the admiration Vanessa showed. She told him that he was great at fixing things, that his wife was lucky to have him etc. After three years Linda told Vanessa that she was using them and that she would didn´t want anymore contact with her. Vanessa got angry and defensive because in her world she was entitled to be taken care of and wondered how Linda could be so mean. She said she felt sorry for John who had such a dominant wife.

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell

www.kbtemanell.se

Three forms of narcissism- lack of limits in childhood

Three forms of narcissism

There are three forms of narcissism (Jeffrey Young in Reinventing your life). The first one is seen in people who have had a lack of limits in childhood. They have in other words not been told that they have to respect other people. By not getting limits, they are taught that it is ok that they only think about themselves and in other words they are taught to feel entitled to have more than other people.

If you have a partner with this kind of narcissism he/she will often tell you what to do and be persuaded that the only right way to do things is his/her way. You can for example get comments like “I have told you this 100 times and you never remember anything”, “you should be grateful that I tell you how to do this, I would be happy if I had someone telling me how things are”, “You can´t do anything right, I will do this one more time and make sure you learn this now”, “you wouldn´t be able to function without my help”, “Eat this food, it´s impossible not to like it when it tastes good”, “I am wasting my important time by telling you how to do things and you should be grateful for that”.

This kind of narcissist will not show any empathy towards other people´s needs since he/she is convinced that you should feel grateful and special since you get the opportunity of being told “how things should be done in the right way”. The narcissist have rules about how things should be done but these rules are not for him/her.

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell

www.kbtemanell.se

The narcissistic mother (5)

Vanessa´s other three children became people pleasers to an extent that they totally run over their needs. This was mostly seen in the second child that was controlled both by their mother and her oldest sister who spilled out her anger for being run over on her siblings. It is pretty common that children who are treated badly take out their anger on younger siblings.

The second child, Missy, was formed to adjusting to other people´s needs so she didn´t attend to her own needs. Actually she didn´t even reflect of having any needs. She did everything her mother other people wanted her to do. Her mother used to say that they breathed from the same lungs. When Missy grew up she found partners who only attended to their own needs and they behaved badly towards Missy. She was the perfect target for a narcissist or a psychopath. Finally when she was 40 years old Linda got in touch with her anger and then the anger spilled out in all directions. Since this was new to her, she didn´t know how to react so she just followed her impulses which often drew her to the other extreme which also was destructive. Missy had to go to therapy for a long time to form her own identity.

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell

www.kbtemanell.se

The narcissistic mother (4)

I want to write some more about my case example so that you can get a better picture of the behavior of the narcissistc mother.

Vanessas´s four children of course got consequences because of their mother´s behavior. In short she made them feel grateful that she had gicen them shelter and food (when in fact she did that with monwy from her exhusband), when in fact the children helped her feel the emotional hole she had herself. So in other words their existence made her feel better althoguh she pointed out the contrary. The daughers got different problems depending on their different personalities. The eldest was very good looking from a young age and she got compliments about her good looks throughout her teenage years. She was pretty socially avoidant and in relationships she took over her mother´s way of critisizing other people´s flaws which made her a lonely person. On top of the critisizing she had very high thoughts of her looks and this made it even harder to form relationships. She often talked bad about other people´s looks and she was jealous of women who had husband´s with well paid jobs. She could not understand why other women whom she found not looking as good as herself could have found men with high salaries. She found this unfair, and spent many hours a day obsessing about how unfair things were. She developed into an angry, jealous and anxiety filled person. She hated her mother but could not break free emotionally. She even moved to nother country but continued calling her mother when she felt lonely even though their communication made her feel even more angry and lonely.

Since she had become narcissistic herself she could not break free emotionally. She went to therapy for many years but she never say any problems in herself and her attitude towards others. She was stuch in anger and jealousy and she continued feeling lonely.

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell

www.kbtemanell.se