Prayer for My Integrity and Dignity

Prayer for My Integrity and Dignity

Author Unkown

Let me find myself in the beauty of the world when I open my eyes.

Let my soul be refreshed when I view the new day.

Let me look at each day as a new beginning, a chance to be kind, to do good, to offer inspiration, to be strong, and to strengthen my resolve to live my life with dignity.

Let me always know my blessings.

Let my life be enriched by the new life that surrounds me, and wisdom garnered from the lessons of the past.

Let no person be allowed to destroy my dignity.

Let me find the resolve to live my life with self-respect and let no person divest me of this purpose.

Let me have faith in times of despair and in my times of joy, always mindful that they are on the same continuum, that no life is free of either.

In despair, let me never close my eyes to my blessings. In joy, let me not forget that others are despondent and may need help.

Let me value my life and treat myself with the dignity and respect that was the purpose of my creation.

Let me experience the love that surrounds me in this world and know that I have never been alone.

Let me consider the road I have traveled but not ponder it too much. I know the reasons for the oppression I have endured.

Let me forgive myself for not having had the courage in the past to live my life in freedom.

Let me honor myself now for the courage I had to leave a life that divested me of my dignity.

Let me live in the present and build hope in the future.

Let me for all my remaining days live my life authentically.

Let me have the courage to face my fears, and know that challenges are an opportunity for growth. Problems have solutions and stretch one’s soul.

Let me never again compromise my integrity.

Let me maintain my direction and self-discipline, and use these gifts. I realize that my purpose on Earth is still unfolding.

Let me persevere to fulfill this purpose. Let me allow myself to flourish and become the person I was meant to be.

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Toxic Narcissistic Leadership in the Workplace

The Mantra of Toxic Leadership

Article Written by Martin Ward

“You’re in my world now”.

Five simple but emotionally charged words that were fired at me by a senior colleague I worked with many years ago, during a debate on some point I can’t now remember. The words sent a chill down my spine and for good reason, as time would reveal, since this was to prove my first glimpse into the inner workings of a highly narcissistic mind.

We are told that the opposite of success is not failure, but failure to act. I can buy this. Likewise, I believe the opposite of positive leadership is not negative leadership per se, although this runs a close second; it is actually narcissistic leadership. Why? Because even with negative leadership it is still essentially all about the team, just with unhelpful tactics thrown in the mix. With a highly narcissistic person at the helm it is all about the leader themselves, and only them; the team are simply pawns in the narcissist’s game.

So what’s the issue with a narcissistic leadership style?

Firstly, narcissistic leaders create a toxic culture that is literally a ‘cult of personality’ that pays scant attention to the needs or well being of other team members. Narcissistic leaders are also unlikely to solicit or accept any critical feedback on their chosen course or direction, which can spell disaster if they get it wrong. Finally, and most importantly, narcissistic leaders can cause real damage to the mental and physical health of people whom they target, which will typically be anyone who challenges them, positively or otherwise, or in any way makes them feel threatened. Paradoxically, the individuals targeted for such abuse are oftentimes the very ones who, through their experience or talents, are best placed to offer positive and constructive support; but the narcissistic leader wants none of this.

Broken careers, failed health, long periods of sick leave, nervous breakdown, complex stress disorders and, in extreme cases, even worse. Often these people will have had no real idea what was happening to them until it was too late, leaving them reeling from extreme behaviors that they could not have hoped to understand, let alone reconcile or begin to manage.

So, what is narcissism and how do extreme narcissistic leaders behave?

Just like most psychological traits, narcissism exists on a continuum and we all have an element of it in our make-up; this ‘healthy narcissism’ helps to protect us and ensure our personal needs are met. In fact, narcissism is a natural stage of human development that all infants pass through – speak to anyone with a two-year-old child for confirmation!

However, adults with extreme narcissistic traits have very low self-esteem and a shaky sense of self, which causes them to invent a ‘perfect’ false self as a defense mechanism. Their entire existence is then geared towards maintaining the ‘image’ of this false self. In this pursuit they will bully, lie and cheat without remorse. Any perceived challenge will be met with ‘narcissistic rage’, an explosive anger designed to protect their fragile ego from damage. Other people are used as ‘narcissistic supply’ to validate the narcissist’s false self, and then discarded when they no longer serve this purpose.

In the workplace, all of this can be disastrous. A leader with extreme narcissistic traits will show little empathy for others. They will exhibit a strong sense of entitlement to whatever special treatment they feel they deserve. They will say and do whatever gets them to their desired goal, whether it be true or false, right or wrong, fair or unfair. They will use any, and every, tactic of manipulation to ensure they exert total control over their environment.

So how do you spot an extreme narcissist before it’s too late?

When you know what to look for it’s actually quite easy. There are formal diagnostic criteria that define extreme narcissism which you can find through a simple Google search, but it’s probably more valuable here to focus on some practical pointers to the typical behaviors you might witness. Here’s my watch list of the extreme narcissist’s mantras:

#1: I’m right, you’re wrong. Extreme narcissists have to be right, always. Their very sense of self depends on this being the case. They are never wrong.

#2: I win, you lose. Extreme narcissists have to win at all costs. But this isn’t enough. They also have to prove that you lost, hands down.

#3: Challenge me and I’ll destroy you. Extreme narcissists cannot accept any form of challenge, whether real or perceived, to their authority, ideas or goals. They will rage against anyone who dares to do this, irrespective of that person’s motives or the merits of their arguments.

#4: The truth is whatever I say it is. Extreme narcissists will say whatever they need to in order to reach or precipitate a particular outcome they wish to achieve. Aside from direct lies, they will re-write history if it suits their purposes.

#5: You are there to serve my needs. Extreme narcissists have a strong sense of being special and entitled to commensurate treatment. They will not care if their actions cause additional work, inconvenience or problems for you.

#6: The rules don’t apply to me. Extreme narcissists will not be held accountable for their actions under any circumstances. Rules are for other people and they play by their own personal and private set at all times; these will change to suit the circumstances.

#7: You are required to adore me. Extreme narcissists crave adoration. This is what keeps their fragile sense of self intact. If you don’t deliver this adoration on cue, you are liable to be treated as an enemy.

#8: It’s dog eat dog. Extreme narcissists believe that everyone thinks the same way they do and is ‘working an angle’ to gain an advantage. Hence, it’s fine for them to behave the way they do. Ironically, this cynical world view often precipitates the very behaviours in others that they imagine are there in the first place, creating a negative, self-fulfilling prophecy.

#9: I’ll decide what you get to know. Extreme narcissists use information as a tool to control others. By ensuring they are the only one with the full picture they are able to manipulate situations to their advantage, play people off against each other and remove the likelihood of others questioning them. Lack of transparency is the hallmark.

There are other mantras for sure, but you get the picture.

Armed with the above insights, if you do find yourself working with someone for whom these behaviours ring true, and you’re in the firing line, you have two clear options. You can unconditionally accept the behaviours and take whatever comes your way, which is of course incredibly hard to do over an extended period. Or, you can pack your things and slip away, drawing comfort from the fact that you recognised the warning signs and had the good sense to remove yourself from harms way.

The reason is because, for the extreme narcissist, it will be a fight to the bitter end and they will win; they have to win in order to protect their very sense of being. It is a fight you simply cannot win and one you will be ill-equipped to pursue. They, on the other hand, will almost certainly have been fighting, and winning, such battles most of their life. It just will not be worth the toll on your well being.

The golden learning point

Over my career, I’ve encountered a handful of extreme narcissists. In most cases they have been very capable people, but without exception they have left a trail of human carnage in their wake. As I have researched what makes these people tick, the critical learning point for me has been quite unexpected and, in many ways, counter-intuitive.

Extreme narcissists are essentially ‘messengers’ who can shine a torch into your soul and ensnare you by the lure of a promise to meet your deepest needs. Once you actually hear that message and understand this lure, you will be equipped to chart a new course for yourself that is hugely more positive than any the extreme narcissist could ever put in front of you.

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Happy Holidays 2017

Happy Holidays 2017

Thank you for all the faith and trust you have put in me in the last year. Wishing you and those you love a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. ~Randi ♥

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Traditional Therapy Ineffective with Narcissistic Abuse Sufferers

Narcissistic Abuse Sufferers Need Very Specialized Counseling

Written by Randi G. Fine, Author of Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivor’s Guide to Healing and Recovery

As a professional counselor specializing in narcissistic abuse I have heard the same frustration expressed over and over by my clients. Nearly everyone who comes to me has first seen a psychologist, in some cases for several years. Many preface the comment by telling me that the therapist was very good, but go on to say that the root cause of their suffering was never addressed.

Though I work with clients both nationally and internationally, they all seem to have the same complaints.

  • The true problem was glossed over
  • They were encouraged to take responsibility for things they had no responsibility for
  • They were shamed and blamed for not seeing their part in problems they did not cause
  • When they didn’t make progress in the time the therapist thought they should they were told it was time to let go of the past and move on
  • They felt as if their therapist thought they were imagining or exaggerating their experiences
  • The therapist focused on finding and practicing strategies to decrease the patient’s symptoms without addressing the problem that caused them. Unable to accomplish the goal, the patient felt worse about themselves, not better.
  • Their suffering never stopped
  • They had no effective way to deal with their abuser

While the symptoms of narcissistic abuse are recognizable to clinically trained mental health professionals, the comprehensive syndrome caused by it, is often not.

All of the following can be symptoms of Narcissistic Victim Syndrome:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Low self-esteem
  • Self-loathing
  • Hopelessness
  • Self-harming
  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Avoidance behaviors
  • Phobias
  • Worry
  • Somatizations
  • Weight or eating issues
  • Signs of physical abuse

Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms such as hyper-vigilance, hyper-arousal, irritability, flashbacks, poor concentration, insomnia, nightmares, emotional numbing, memory loss, and heightened startle responses may also be experienced.

Narcissistic abuse sufferers often describe themselves as:

  • Empty
  • Lonely
  • Torn
  • Confused
  • Suicidal
  • Unable to cope
  • Guilt ridden
  • Angry
  • Lost
  • Unmotivated or uninterested
  • Detached

Involuntary coping mechanisms that contribute to narcissistic victim syndrome are:

  • Dissociation
  • Infantile regression
  • Stockholm syndrome, also known as trauma bonding
  • Cognitive dissonance
  • Magical thinking
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Complex post-traumatic stress disorder

Narcissistic abuse victims cannot be released from the frustrating emotional cycle they are trapped in without first receiving validation that what they experienced truly happened. First time clients always ask me if what they are saying makes sense. Due to the brainwashing and extreme tactics of psychological warfare used against them, they do not know if what they experienced was real or imagined. Narcissists train their victims to distrust their own perception.

As a survivor myself, one who has experienced the same chaos and confusion as those I counsel, I completely understand what they are saying. It makes perfect sense to me. No one can truly understand what it feels like to be victimized this way unless they have experienced it for themselves. This is not something that can be learned in school.

Equally important to their healing is the confirmation that the abuse had nothing to do with them. Narcissistic abuse victims are riddled with guilt. After being conditioned to shoulder the blame for everything they are their own worst enemies.

Narcissistic abuse is no less a victimization situation than any other crime. They were targeted. They didn’t cause it, they couldn’t see what was happening to them, they have no responsibility for it, and they could not have possibly known how to stop it.

Once they receive validation that they are not the crazy ones and understand that they hold no responsibility for what happened to them, they immediately experience a sudden relief. Repressed memories start bubbling up to the surface. Clarity gets restored. Within the next few days the grieving process kicks into gear.

I always prepare my clients for what they will experience in the week between their first session and their second so that when the grieving process begins they will recognize it as such.

In less than a year, often after only six months, my clients are healed and thriving in their lives.

My book Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivor’s Guide to Healing is the most comprehensive, most well researched, and most up-to-date book on this subject. One of my primary goals for writing it is to teach mental health professionals how to recognize and treat this syndrome so they can help the hundreds of thousands of people currently suffering from it.

If you are a mental health professional you owe it to your patients to gain this crucial knowledge.

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Close Encounters of the Worst Kind

Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivor’s Guide to Healing and Recovery

Written by Randi G. Fine

Now Available in Paperback and Kindle

Please leave glowing reviews on Amazon about this book so others who need it will feel confident in purchasing it. Let’s make this a global bestseller so everyone around the world can get the help they need!

Watch the Book Trailer Here

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Narcissistic Abuse on Mental Health News Radio

The Many Facets of Narcissistic Abuse

Randi Fine’s November 17, 2017 interview about narcissistic abuse on Mental Health News Radio with fabulous show host Kristin Sunanta Walker.

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Free Gifts for Narcissistic Abuse Survivors

FREE GIFTS

For Narcissistic Abuse Survivors!

Declare That YOU Have Survived Close Encounters of the Worst Kind with this Free Pen and Bookmark!

IT’S SIMPLE:

  1. Go to Amazon.com and purchase the Paperback or Kindle version of Close Encounters of the Worst Kind.
  2. Leave a positive review.
  3. Send an email to loveyourlife@randigfine.com. Provide the name you used on your review, as well as your true name and mailing address.
  4. VOILA! In a few days your gifts will arrive in the mail.

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Rising Above Narcissistic Victimization

Pain is Mandatory, Suffering is Optional

Article Written by Randi G. Fine

Author of Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivor’s Guide to Healing

Most of us have been, victimized many ways in our lives; emotionally, mentally, physically, financially, spiritually. Our response to what happens to us is voluntary.

Narcissistic abuse is sheer victimization. But there is a huge difference between being victimized against our will, and choosing to respond to the victimization by living the rest of our lives with a victim mentality. When hardship strikes it is entirely optional whether to proceed as thriving survivors or miserable martyrs. One empowers us, the other dis-empowers us.

To be empowered is to be hopeful, progressive, transformative, resilient, solution oriented, and happy. To be dis-empowered is to be hopeless, stagnant, disengaged, weak, needy, and unhappy. Those who choose dis-empowerment have no one to blame for their undesirable status except themselves.

I do not mean to suggest that it is easy to rise above adversity, setbacks, tragedy. Only that the efforts put toward it are worth it. And once we rise above our pain, our life becomes easier. Contrarily, succumbing to the negative outcome of whatever happens to us may be easy at first, but highly destructive in the long run. We can either choose to reap the benefits of our undertaking or be handicapped by our neglect.

Often, after tragedy strikes, we find ourselves stuck in a bewildered, stagnant emotional state.  The amount of time we remain in this state of mind is not set; it is different for each of us. Before deciding how to move forward we need time to process our shock and grieve our losses. Once done we are faced with choices on how to deal with residual feelings. Sometimes we need professional help, sometimes we don’t. If you have been narcissistically abused, you definitely do.

Sometimes the pain in our lives is so deep and has been there so long, we don’t know where to begin. We feel emotionally paralyzed. Choosing our position as victor or victim from a healthy minded standpoint may be impossible. That inability to make clear, healthy choices for ourselves signals the need for the compassionate intervention of a mental health professional, trusted clergy, or legitimate spiritual healer.

Ultimately we “volunteer” or choose whether to rise above our problems, or wallow in the misery of them. We choose whether to take responsibility for our lives or blame others. We decide if we want to be characterized by our fortitude or by our weakness.

There is no clear-cut path through life. Whatever our destiny we all have free-will. Life is all about making personal choices. Choose wisely.

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How to Heal From Narcissistic Abuse

Groundbreaking new book for narcissistic abuse survivor’s
Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivor’s Guide to Healing and Recovery

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Happy Thanksgiving 2017

Happy Thanksgiving 2017
May your Thanksgiving be filled with Peace, Love, and Harmony

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