Tag Archives: narcissism expert

The Holy Church of the Gaslighter. Gaslighting is Everywhere! Webinar Video Excerpt

Holy Church of the Gaslighter.  Gaslighting is Everywhere! Webinar Video 

From my 4 hour seminar, “Gaslighting Is Everywhere, which is available at the Self-Love Recovery Institute’s website: www.SelfLoveRecovery.com
 

 

Gaslighting = Narcissist Glue
This is a 9 minute excerpt from Ross Rosenberg’s 4 hour video seminar entitled “Gaslighting Is Everywhere!” In this video Ross explains how and why gaslighters use “religion” to manipulate, brainwash and gaslight thier victims.

The complete seminar contains original content created by Ross Rosenberg. The 4-hour gaslighting training has a great deal of information. Below are the titles of each PowerPoint slide that specifically illustrate the content of the seminar

1. Gaslighting Definition
2. Gaslighting History
3. Gaslighting In Movies
4. Who Told the Tin Man He Didn’t Have A Heart?
5. Gaslighting and The Human Magnet Syndrome (My Book)
6. The “Perfect Storm” For Gaslighting
7. Gaslighters (GL’s) Deplete Resources/Wear Down the GLV (Gaslit Victim)
8. GL’s Create Dependency
9. GL’s Manipulate the Environment
10. Gaslighting Creates or Exacerbates:
11. Gaslighting Creates Real Medical/Psychiatric Disorders
12. Gaslighting Potentiates Co-Occurring Problems
13. Caught in The Gaslight Catch-22 Trap
14. The Duluth Power and Control Wheel And Gaslighting
15. The Secrecy Requirement
16. Gaslighting Distortions
17. Isolation
18. Inculcation of Narratives
19. Inculcation of Narratives
20. The “Original Self-Narrative”
21. The “Self-Narrative” – Our Story of Who We Are
22. The “Self-Relational Narrative”– Our Story of Our Value In A Relationship
23. The “Other’s Self-Narrative” – The Gaslit Story of Ourselves
24. The “Others Relational-Narrative” – The Gaslit Story of Our Relational Worth
25. The Self-Love Deficit Disorder SLDD (Codependency) Narrative
26. SLDD and Pathological Narcissists Are the Perfect “Dancing” Partners
27. Implanted, Supplanted, and Indoctrinated Narratives
28. Gaslighting Is Brainwashing!
29. Exponentiating The Narrative
30. Narratives Are the Stories That Define Us
31. Swapping the Photo On The Mirror Trick
32. Stockholm Syndrome
33. Orchestrating Fake Attempts at Helping
34. “Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte Syndrome”
35. Married to A Gaslighting Physician Vignette
36. Triangulation
37. The Circular Brainwashing Tactic
38. Sabotaging GLV’s Faith in Professional Abilities
39. Attacking the Accuser/Focus Shifting
40. The Invisible Fence/Shock Collar Phenomenon
41. Conditioned to Have No Hope
42. GLV’s Protect the GL’s Denial Systems
43. False IQ Comparisons
44. The Holy Church of The Gaslighter
45. GL’s Are Pathological Narcissists
46. Gaslighters Are Either ASPD, NPD, or BPD
47. ASPD Gaslighter
48. NPD Gaslighter
49. The Covert Narcissist Gaslighter
50. The Malignant Narcissist Gaslighter
51. The Borderline Personality Disordered (BPD) Gaslighter
52. Attachment Trauma Pre-Grooms GLV’s
53. Gaslighters Are Like Pedophile Child Molesters
54. Societal Gaslighting
55. Political Gaslighting A-Z Recipe
56. Implant These 26 (Beliefs) & Secure Your Election!
57. Came Up The Hard Way
58. I’m A Victim Just Like You
59. I Am Altruistic And Empathetic Because I Said So
60. I’m Just Like You (Look At My Family Photos)
61. Legitimacy Through Fame
62. Everyone Changes (Chameleon)
63. You Manipulated My Statements (My Lies Are Your Fault)
64. You Must Be Hearing Impaired (I Never Said That)
65. We Are Powerless (When We Are Not)
66. My Opposition Is Your Enemy
67. Anyone Who Is on Our Side Is A Patriot
68. Blame the Country’s Ills on The Opponent
69. Shift Responsibility to Another Country
70. Blame the Victim (They Did It to Themselves)
71. Our Enemy Is Ruthless, Wicked, and Evil
72. Our Enemy Is a Compulsive Liar
73. We Must Hold the Enemy Accountable (Punish The Enemy)
74. Facts That Hurt Me Are Fake News
75. I Have Secret Connections to The Truth
76. Science Is Flawed (Neutralizing Facts)
77. Stealing Is Sometimes Good (Robin Hood)
78. Build A Wall (Isolationism)
79. Immigrants/Foreigners Will Hurt Us
80. Turn Lemonade into Lemons (Lie About Progress)
81. Protectionism (We Are Being Ripped Off)
82. We Don’t Kowtow to Bullies (Justify A War)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwYCubcqk24

The Holy Church of the Gaslighter. Gaslighting is Everywhere! Webinar Video Excerpt

From my 4 hour seminar, “Gaslighting Is Everywhere.”
 

The Holy Church of the Gaslighter.  Gaslighting is Everywhere! Webinar Video  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwYCubcqk24

Gaslighting = Narcissist Glue
This is a 9 minute excerpt from Ross Rosenberg’s 4 hour video seminar entitled “Gaslighting Is Everywhere!” In this video Ross explains how and why gaslighters use “religion” to manipulate, brainwash and gaslight thier victims.

The complete seminar contains original content created by Ross Rosenberg. The 4-hour gaslighting training has a great deal of information. Below are the titles of each PowerPoint slide that specifically illustrate the content of the seminar

1. Gaslighting Definition
2. Gaslighting History
3. Gaslighting In Movies
4. Who Told the Tin Man He Didn’t Have A Heart?
5. Gaslighting and The Human Magnet Syndrome (My Book)
6. The “Perfect Storm” For Gaslighting
7. Gaslighters (GL’s) Deplete Resources/Wear Down the GLV (Gaslit Victim)
8. GL’s Create Dependency
9. GL’s Manipulate the Environment
10. Gaslighting Creates or Exacerbates:
11. Gaslighting Creates Real Medical/Psychiatric Disorders
12. Gaslighting Potentiates Co-Occurring Problems
13. Caught in The Gaslight Catch-22 Trap
14. The Duluth Power and Control Wheel And Gaslighting
15. The Secrecy Requirement
16. Gaslighting Distortions
17. Isolation
18. Inculcation of Narratives
19. Inculcation of Narratives
20. The “Original Self-Narrative”
21. The “Self-Narrative” – Our Story of Who We Are
22. The “Self-Relational Narrative”– Our Story of Our Value In A Relationship
23. The “Other’s Self-Narrative” – The Gaslit Story of Ourselves
24. The “Others Relational-Narrative” – The Gaslit Story of Our Relational Worth
25. The Self-Love Deficit Disorder SLDD (Codependency) Narrative
26. SLDD and Pathological Narcissists Are the Perfect “Dancing” Partners
27. Implanted, Supplanted, and Indoctrinated Narratives
28. Gaslighting Is Brainwashing!
29. Exponentiating The Narrative
30. Narratives Are the Stories That Define Us
31. Swapping the Photo On The Mirror Trick
32. Stockholm Syndrome
33. Orchestrating Fake Attempts at Helping
34. “Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte Syndrome”
35. Married to A Gaslighting Physician Vignette
36. Triangulation
37. The Circular Brainwashing Tactic
38. Sabotaging GLV’s Faith in Professional Abilities
39. Attacking the Accuser/Focus Shifting
40. The Invisible Fence/Shock Collar Phenomenon
41. Conditioned to Have No Hope
42. GLV’s Protect the GL’s Denial Systems
43. False IQ Comparisons
44. The Holy Church of The Gaslighter
45. GL’s Are Pathological Narcissists
46. Gaslighters Are Either ASPD, NPD, or BPD
47. ASPD Gaslighter
48. NPD Gaslighter
49. The Covert Narcissist Gaslighter
50. The Malignant Narcissist Gaslighter
51. The Borderline Personality Disordered (BPD) Gaslighter
52. Attachment Trauma Pre-Grooms GLV’s
53. Gaslighters Are Like Pedophile Child Molesters
54. Societal Gaslighting
55. Political Gaslighting A-Z Recipe
56. Implant These 26 (Beliefs) & Secure Your Election!
57. Came Up The Hard Way
58. I’m A Victim Just Like You
59. I Am Altruistic And Empathetic Because I Said So
60. I’m Just Like You (Look At My Family Photos)
61. Legitimacy Through Fame
62. Everyone Changes (Chameleon)
63. You Manipulated My Statements (My Lies Are Your Fault)
64. You Must Be Hearing Impaired (I Never Said That)
65. We Are Powerless (When We Are Not)
66. My Opposition Is Your Enemy
67. Anyone Who Is on Our Side Is A Patriot
68. Blame the Country’s Ills on The Opponent
69. Shift Responsibility to Another Country
70. Blame the Victim (They Did It to Themselves)
71. Our Enemy Is Ruthless, Wicked, and Evil
72. Our Enemy Is a Compulsive Liar
73. We Must Hold the Enemy Accountable (Punish The Enemy)
74. Facts That Hurt Me Are Fake News
75. I Have Secret Connections to The Truth
76. Science Is Flawed (Neutralizing Facts)
77. Stealing Is Sometimes Good (Robin Hood)
78. Build A Wall (Isolationism)
79. Immigrants/Foreigners Will Hurt Us
80. Turn Lemonade into Lemons (Lie About Progress)
81. Protectionism (We Are Being Ripped Off)
82. We Don’t Kowtow to Bullies (Justify A War)

On Surviving the Potholes of Self-Love Deficit Disorder Recovery

 

On our healing journey, sometimes we hit potholes in the road. Such surprises may cause us to temporarily lose control of our “vehicle.”  In an adrenaline filled moment of terror, we contemplate the end. Because of our newfound healing instinct, we tightly grab hold of the “wheel” and muscle our car back on to the road. This is when we steer our fate back to self-love
Worry not; you are moving in the right direction! Hold tight onto your courage, as the road to self-love abundance is fraught with risk. When you do arrive, and you will, you will realize that no destination as sweet as this can ever be achieved on a road free of obstacles and dangers. Therefore, self-love is not only the antidote to your driving dilemma, it’s also the destination you have always deserved.

Ross Rosenberg

 

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT
Clinical Care Consultants Owner
Self-Love Recovery Institute Owner
Psychotherapist, Author & Professional Trainer
Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome

Creator of “The Codependency Cure: Recovering from Self-Love Deficit Disorder” seminar (and upcoming book)

SELF LOVE RECOVERY INSTITUTE                         

When Selfish Is Actually Self-Love.

 

WHEN “SELFISH” IS REALLY GOOD

It is GOOD for SLD’s (Self-Love Deficients or codependents) to be selfish. It is like learning to ride a bike. Doing something for yourself and not caring what people think is a dangerous proposition.  “Selfish,” therefore is good.

The problem is the voices in your head have been lying to you; telling you that you are being bad, when you are just trying not to drown anymore.These voices have never been yours. Rather, they are covertly implanted narratives that were designed to confuse you, turn you against yourself, and break you down. It is time to break the gaslighting spell and regain the true voice in your head…your own! Fall a few times, brush off the pain, and get back on the “bike.”

Learning to love yourself will frighten people, who have only one way to get you to quit the nonsense of SLDD (Self-Love Deficit Disorder or codependency) recovery. They will call you a “narcissist” and try to make you feel ashamed and guilty for your moments of self-care. Scoff at the projection, this is more about them than you. Ride your bike all the way out of their life!

 

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT
Clinical Care Consultants Owner
Self-Love Recovery Institute Owner
Psychotherapist, Author & Professional Trainer
Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome

Creator of “The Codependency Cure: Recovering from Self-Love Deficit Disorder” seminar (and upcoming book)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hitting Bottom: When The End Greets the Beginning (Poetry by Ross Rosenberg)

I wrote this twenty years ago, when I had hit what I thought was the bottom of my life.  The poem helped me put into words the trauma i had endured while in a relationship with a very abusive woman.  It served as a catalyst to understand and eventually heal the highly traumatic abuse I had endured.

Although the trauma of the relationship seemed to have ended, the impact of it was embedded in my psyche.  Writing the poem helped release some of this toxic energy welling up inside of me.  Writing  it also helped me create a clear boundary from where I was and where I needed to go.

 

When The End Greets the Beginning

The Fist clenched, balled tight
Waving high in the sky
Like a tattered flag of war
Firmly declaring the message of hard fought freedom

The Arm stretched higher than its length
Wanting to go even higher
But held back by its physical limitations
Desiring to support the rage of its neighbor hand

The Body tense with anxious exhilaration
Energized by the wave of spontaneous emotion
Reacting – wanting to release
Neither knowing nor understanding the electric energy

The Mind, racing with scenes of the past
Remembering the torrent of pain
Memories frozen in time – razor sharp
Unable to understand, but finally able to feel

The Heart embattled and tired
Once protected by walls made of carefully controlled rage
Cracking, crumbling, disintegrating under their own volition
Heralding the light to pass through

The Soul, confused and bewildered
Like the newborn’s terror at birth
Interpreting the beginning as the end of safety
But all the while willing to open his eyes and greet what lies ahead

Ross Rosenberg
9/22/97

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT
Clinical Care Consultants Owner
Advanced Clinical Trainers Owner
Psychotherapist, Author & Professional Trainer
Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome

Creator of “The Codependency Cure: Recovering from Self-Love Deficit Disorder” seminar (and upcoming book)

SELF LOVE RECOVERY INSTITUTE                         

 

Did You Vote for An Iceberg. The Danger that Lurks Ahead. The Trump Presidency

DID YOU VOTE FOR AN ICEBERG?

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT

TITANIC TRUMP

Most, if not all politicians are inherently self-serving, dishonest and moderately to patho- logically narcissistic. Successful ones win elections because they are able to create a praiseworthy image while secretly stowing away and hiding their truer ambitions and secrets. Often, the public is informed about factual (not contrived) secrets, lies, private affairs, or even mental health issues, is when a person with an agenda publishes, reports, or leaks it to public. Whether it is a news organization wanting to raise ad revenue or individuals or groups who are motivated to create a smear or propaganda campaign, most of this “fake news” has just one purpose: to manipulate us to believe one candidate will cure the ills of our society, while instilling doubt, fear, paranoia that the other will hurt us. Such propaganda peddlers are successful because they craftily prey on our emotions, especially fear, so that we believe their guy will be our savior and the other, the devil incarnate. To solve this scourge, we must vigilantly discern truth from fiction while taking the time and expending the energy to critically think about the “news” that is fed to us. Let us not forget that shiny, sparkly and harmless seeming chunk of ice, may actually be a Titanic sinking iceberg.

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT
Clinical Care Consultants Owner
Advanced Clinical Trainers Owner
Psychotherapist, Author & Professional Trainer
Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome

Creator of “The Codependency Cure: Recovering from Self-Love Deficit Disorder” seminar (and upcoming book)

                         

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT

www.AdvancedClinicalTrainers.com

donald trump, trump, narcissist narcissism, pathological narcissism, npd, malignant narcissism, narcissistic personality disorder, ross Rosenberg, narcissism, expert, human magnet syndrome, codependency, codependiente, codependent, codependency expert, fake news, propaganda, political lies, lying politicians, president trump, Hillary Clinton, crook Clinton, bill  Clinton,

Nine Stage Recovery Model for Self-Love Deficit Disorder (Codependency). Ross Rosenberg’s “The Codependency Cure”

This  is the model that I  will be writing about in my upcoming book, The Codependency Cure: Recovering from Self-Love Deficit Disorder.

nine-stage-model-final-copy

Stage 1: Hitting Bottom (Introducing Hope)
Stage 2: Human Magnet Syndrome Education: Breaking Free from the “Dance”
Stage 3: Withdrawing from SLDD Addiction: Battling Pathological Loneliness
Stage 4: Setting Boundaries in A Hostile Environment. Courage and Commitment
Stage 5: Maintaining Safe and Secure Boundaries. Protection, Security and Self-Care
Stage 6: Resolving / Integrating Unconscious Trauma: Healing Attachment Trauma

Stage 7: Discovering Self-Love. Building an Internal Self-Love Foundation
Stage 8: Building an External Foundation of Self-Love. Achieving Self-Love Driven Relationships.
Stage 9: Shedding Self-Love Deficit Disorder. Becoming Self-Love Abundant

Stop Trying to Change the Malignant Narcissist (Why You Should Never Give A Narcissist My Book).

Stop Trying to Change the Malignant Narcissist

malignant narcissistI am so grateful to the many people who have told me that my book The Human Magnet Syndrome was life-changing. Having such a positive impact on the human condition is my teenager “gonna change the world” dream come true. I couldn’t be happier!

My book was written to inspire and motivate people to understand their part in thedysfunctional dance they have been irresistibly drawn into their whole life. It WAS NOT written to be used as a defensive or offensive strategy in dealing with harmful pathological narcissists (PNarcs).

The “codependent” and “narcissistic” designations in The Human Magnet Syndrome were designed to identify a very serious personal and relational problem so the reader would be motivated to get help to disconnect from it. The book was never intended to be used as a retaliatory weapon to be used by angry, vindictive and/or controlling codependents, or what I now refer to as individuals with Self-Love Deficit Disorder (SLDD). Similarly, it wasn’t written to be used as a countermeasure against narcissistic harm.

The mere mentioning of my book to a PNarc is almost always counterproductive, as it will ALWAYS trigger a negative reaction, no matter how much you believe otherwise. I strongly suggest that you never give a copy of my book to PNarc. Never! It will always trigger a narcissistic injury and set up a dysfunctional interaction, or dance, where the PNarc has complete control and the person with Self-Love Deficit Disorder does not.

If a PNarc learns or is told that their partner is reading my book, they will react in one of two manners:

  1. They will exhibit various forms of vindictive and indignant rage, which compels them to openly intimidate, manipulate, and consequently sabotage their partner’s attempt at SLDD recovery.
  2. This is the more insidious and harmful reaction that is common with Covert and Malignant Narcissists. In this scenario, the PNarc covertly executes a plan of sabotage and disempowerment, which may include gaslighting, mind manipulation, and continued brainwashing.

The latter is more dangerous as the PNarc is allowed to maintain their victim role, while manipulating their partner into believing that they have the problems, not them. In these cases, some of my clients, in the beginning of therapy, are convinced that they are the PNarc and their significant other the SLD. Believe it or not, a few of these clients’ PNarcs read my book, and then gave it to their partner with the continued brainwashing narrative that they are the “codependent” and their partner the “narcissist.”

Plain and simple, any suggestion that the narcissist is at fault will elicit a narcissistic injury. Giving them my book, or referring to it, while telling them you are SLD or codependent, is and will cause them to react in one of two ways. One, they will project onto you that you are the narcissist and they the codependent; or, two, they will be triggered with a narcissistic injury, and subsequently rage against you for the comment or suggestion. You will be the target of their unmitigated fury and vitriolic criticisms, and they will punish you.
The following excerpt from the Human Magnet Syndrome exemplifies the predictable negative response that PNarcs have to my work.

“According to their verbal and/or written feedback, they feel the seminar is offensive, ill-conceived, biased and even absurd. In particular, they are quite bothered by what they perceive as prejudice. These participants hear me say that codependents are the victims and emotional manipulators are the perpetrators of their dysfunctional relationships. Nothing could be further from the truth, as the training (and this book) specifically details how both the codependent and the emotional manipulator are equally willing magnets in their dysfunctional “dance.” The codependent’s tendency to find harmful partners and remain with them cannot and should not be blamed on emotional manipulators, or vice versa.

It would appear that the severe reactions from my audience are likely products of a narcissistic injury, which occurs when the narcissistic individual felt criticized, judged or defeated.

Anger and defensiveness are the common reactions of a narcissistically-injured emotional manipulator, as they feel offended, degraded and/or humiliated when confronted about their wrongdoings.” (Rosenberg, 2013).

Depending on the PNarc’s sub-type or diagnosis, their narcissistically prompted rage will be either delivered directly (“in your face”) or passive aggressively/covertly, which is the common strategy by Covert Narcissists and Malignant Narcissists. The covert and passive aggressive form of the narcissistic injury is more harmful than the reactions from the garden variety overt narcissists. They deliver maximum damage to the triggering (activating) SLD because of the invisible, secretive and manipulative nature of their counter-attack. Examples include triangulation of family, friends or co-workers, in order to promote their victim narrative.

Sadly, and ironically, the mere fact of fighting for what SLDs most want and need — unconditional love, respect and care (LRC) — results in the loss of it. Once in a relationship with a PNarc, any attempts to control or coerce the narcissist into loving, respecting and caring for the SLD are quickly offset by a dizzying array of self-serving manipulative countermeasures. These come in various forms, depending on your PNarc’s subtype. Unfortunately, as long as codependents fight for LRC in a manner that renders them powerless and ineffectual, they are virtually guaranteed never to receive it.

I learned 22 years ago that setting boundaries, resolving conflict, and defending myself from a PNarc was a complicated and dangerous endeavor that left me feeling worse than I felt before the ordeal. I was surprised to learn that my repeated and unsuccessful attempts to control my PNarc’s neglectful and harmful treatment were the primary interactional components of our relationship. My behavior was so automatic and reflexive that I was completely oblivious to it. Adding insult to injury, the only predictable outcome of my control compulsion was feelings of shame, loneliness, anxiety, and anger.

We must learn that PNarcs are never the primary problem. Instead, it is a SLD’s distorted and delusional belief system that compels them to keep trying to change and control their PNarc partner, who has a great deal riding on not letting you succeed. Despite ample evidence that SLDs can rarely effectively and consistently control their PNarcs, they blindly continue.
In conclusion, please do not use my book or other works to wage a battle against your PNarc. In the words of George Bernard Shaw, I beseech you to Observe and Don’t Absorb your PNarc into oblivion!

I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig.
You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it!
– George Bernard Shaw

About Ross Rosenberg, MEd, LCPC, CACD, CSAT

Ross is the author of the Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us.

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT © 2016
Clinical Care Consultants Owner
Advanced Clinical Trainers Owner
Psychotherapist, Author & Professional Trainer
Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us

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Why Opposites Attract: Introducing The Continuum of Self Theory

Why Opposites Attract: Introducing The Continuum of Self Theory

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT

Originally appeared in Counseling Today at http://wp.me/p2BxKN-3Vv

The most potent of love potions, “romantic chemistry,” draws lovers into a trance-like experience that results in a steamy dance of infatuation, intrigue and sexual desire. Romantic chemistry, or the “urgeOpposites_smallto merge,” typically controls our rational mind, so much so that lessons learned and pledges made are neutralized in an instant. Although conscious desires, choices and preferences are crucial to the pairing of a romantic partnership, they play a secondary role to the forces of the unconscious mind. No matter how we try to fight our relational destiny, we still fall prey to our reflexive urges.

The irresistible and hypnotic allure of romantic chemistry creates what I call a “soul mate conviction.” What seems so perfect in the beginning often unfolds into a disappointing, dysfunctional relationship. In my book The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us, I explain why, for so many people, the soul mate of their dreams often ends up becoming the cellmate of their nightmares.

Although the human magnet syndrome is an intuitive explanation for the ubiquitous forces that bring partners to and keep them in dysfunctional romantic relationships, it lacked a theoretical foundation. To account for these irresistible and predictable attraction forces, I was compelled to create the continuum of self theory. I believe it explains why all people, not just individuals who are labeled as codependents and narcissists, are predictably drawn to a certain type of partner who is their “opposite” match.

In a nutshell, the continuum of self theory offers an intuitive explanation for why so many people remain in relationships despite feeling lonely, frustrated or resentful. Similarly, it explains why some people tend to repeat their dysfunctional relationship choices despite wanting something different. Additionally, it describes why relationships become fragile and often terminate when one of the partners independently achieves greater emotional or mental health.

The self-orientation concept

The continuum of self theory rests on the self-orientation concept, which represents a distinctly human and universal personality characteristic — we all have one! Self-orientation is defined as the manner in which a person expresses or does not express his or her emotional, psychological and relational needs when in a romantic relationship. There are only two self-orientation types: “other” and “self.”

The “other” self-orientation (OSO) manifests as a natural and reflexive predisposition to be more oriented toward the emotional, personal and relational needs of others than for oneself. On the other hand, the “self” self-orientation (SSO) is the natural and reflexive predisposition to be more oriented toward one’s own emotional, personal and relational needs and desires than those of others.

Both self-orientation types are represented as dichotomous and inverse personality characteristics on the continuum of self. As opposite self-orientations, they land on opposite sides of the continuum of self. The most severe manifestations of both self-orientations are placed at the farthest ends of the continuum.

The most severe form of an OSO is codependency. The most severe form of an SSO is pathological narcissism, which is exhibited in narcissistic, borderline and antisocial personality disorders or an addiction. People are considered codependent or as having a severe OSO when they are hyperfocused on the relational and personal needs of others, while neglecting the same needs for themselves. Conversely, people who are considered pathological narcissists or who have a severe SSO are almost completely focused on their own relational and personal needs, while neglecting the same in others.

The middle of the continuum represents individuals whose self-orientation compels them to equally fulfill their “other” and “self” needs. The continuum of self, therefore, represents the full range of self-orientation possibilities, from healthy to dysfunctional.

Relationship math

The continuum of self is a qualitative construct because it can predict a relationship’s degree of healthiness or dysfunction. It is also a quantitative construct because it demonstrates relational compatibility and stability through the use of interacting numerical values. Through “relationship math,” or simple addition and subtraction of single-digit numbers (the continuum of self values), it is possible to identify relational compatibility and stability. The term stable is used to describe relationships that are enduring and resistant to breakup. Conversely, an unstable relationship is likely to either not progress beyond the initial courtship stage or end when frequent conflict or discord is present.

As a whole, the continuum of self measures the full range of self-orientation pairing possibilities. It is designed to measure only interacting self-orientations; it does not purport to measure any other personality construct.

The continuum of self theory suggests that all people are consciously and unconsciously attracted to romantic partners who have an opposite, but proportionally balanced, self-orientation. It predicts that OSOs and SSOs will be attracted to each other while experiencing feelings of relational compatibility. Like an award-winning dance couple, because the care “needer” (SSO) leads the dance and the care “giver” (OSO) follows, the dance is perfectly coordinated; neither steps on the other’s toes. The resulting bond of opposite yet balanced self-orientations may not be happilyconnected, but it will likely endure hardships and be resistant to change.

By definition, people who are codependent (severe OSOs) are prone to focus on the love, respect and care of others, while dismissing, devaluing or being afraid of seeking the same from others. Conversely, people who are pathological narcissists (severe SSOs) are disposed to satiating their own love, respect and care needs, while devaluing, ignoring or neglecting those same needs in their romantic partners. As opposite but balanced personality types, they almost always experience immediate and intense feelings of romantic chemistry.

Continuum of self values

In total, there are 11 values on the continuum of self, representing the full range of self-orientation possibilities. Continuum of self values increase or decrease in a series of single digits. (Examples of each continuum of self value can be viewed at http://goo.gl/gT1dMD.)

Because individuals who are codependent and individuals who are pathological narcissists have diametrically opposite self-orientations, they are represented on the farthest ends of the continuum of self (-5 and +5, respectively). As a person’s relational health improves, so does his or her self-orientation, which is represented by a lower positive or negative continuum of self value. The middle value is zero, which represents an equal balance of love, respect and care given and taken in a relationship. The positive or negative designation does not imply that one self-orientation is better than the other but merely that they are on opposite sides.

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The farther the values pairing moves away from zero on the continuum of self, the less mutuality and reciprocity are evident in the relationship. In other words, higher negative and positive values pairings (for example, -4 and +4) represent a relationship that lacks a fair distribution of love, respect and care. Conversely, lower pairings on the continuum of self represent an increased mutual exchange of love, respect and care. The former represents a dysfunctional relationship, while the latter represents a healthy relationship.

According to the continuum of self theory, romantic relationships remain viable or endure because the matching opposite self-orientations create a sense of relational equilibrium. If one partner becomes healthier, as evidenced by a shift in his or her lowered continuum of self value, then tacit and direct pressure is placed on the other partner to respond with similar positive movement and growth. If the partner of the healthier individual does not want or is unable to change and grow, then stress is placed on the relationship. The stress will either lead to a breakdown of the relationship or create pressure for the healthier partner to regress to former levels of dysfunction. Failure to maintain a balanced inverse bond may result in the failure of the relationship. It should be noted that family systems theory influenced the conceptualization of the continuum of self theory.

Corresponding zero values do not signify an absence of self-orientation. Instead, they represent an exact balance of love, respect and care being given and received. Although having a zero value would be ideal, in reality, the vast majority of people fall somewhere on one side or the other of the continuum of self.

The lower inversely matched couples are able to ebb and flow because of the reciprocal and mutual nature of their well-matched self-orientations (continuum of self values). They are able to ask for what they need — and even disagree with each other — without experiencing resentment or conflict. However, higher inversely matched couples create a dysfunctional relationship. With polar opposite higher continuum of self values, the two are unlikely to reconcile their vast differences in self-orientation. In particular, the person who is a pathological narcissist is an unlikely candidate for any substantive personality change.

Except in the case of a pathological narcissist, who may have a personality disorder, a person’s self-orientation and continuum of self value are neither fixed nor permanent. A person’s continuum of self value typically rises and falls throughout his or her lifetime. It is even possible, albeit not usual, for a person to move from one side of the continuum to the other. In the case of a switch in self-orientation (from SSO to OSO, for example), the person usually begins with a lower positive or negative continuum of self value. In addition, this person has likely participated in some form of long-term or regular mental health service. With motivation, emotional fortitude and good counseling, most OSOs and SSOs are capable of learning to practice a mutually satisfying level of give-and-take in the areas of love, respect and care.

The zero-sum relationship

Relationship stability is achieved when the negative and positive continuum of self values of each partner equal a zero sum. In other words, zero-sum relationships occur when two partners have an exactly opposite self-orientation.

Note that the zero-sum relationship describes the quantitative state of a relationship, not the qualitative state. To illustrate, a -5 continuum of self value, or someone who is codependent, will likely form a stable and lasting dysfunctional relationship with a +5 value, or someone who is a pathological narcissist. On the contrary, a mildly giving and overly empathetic person with a continuum of self value of -2 would make an ideal partner for a mildly self-centered person with a value of +2. Therefore, a zero-sum relationship isn’t necessarily healthy or stable. It is just balanced.

Consider this vignette of a healthy -2/+2 zero-sum relationship. Sandy (-2) is a mother and wife who enjoys her role as a busy stay-at-home mom. She stays busy caring for her family and serving in several volunteer positions. She is married to Dan (+2), who is a successful corporate executive. With the support of Sandy, Dan works long hours to build his status and reputation in the family business. Although Dan likes the attention that being in the public eye brings him, he still makes himself available for the personal and emotional needs of others, especially when it comes to his family. Sandy and Dan’s lower opposite continuum of self values result in mutual feelings of love, respect and care. When Sandy is sick and can’t care for the children, Dan doesn’t hesitate to take a few days off work to cover her domestic responsibilities. If Dan needs help, Sandy steps up in any way she can to help him.

Now consider this vignette of an unhealthy -5/+5 zero-sum relationship. Ken (-5) works two jobs to care for his wife, Allison (+5), and their three children. Ken harbors deep resentment toward Allison because he has to work multiple jobs to make ends meet for the family. Allison has been largely unresponsive to and, at times, unaware of Ken’s unhappiness. Although Ken is highly bonded to his children, his work schedule keeps him away from many of the quality moments with them. When they got married, Allison unilaterally decided to quit her successful accounting career because she wanted to be a stay-at-home mother. Despite Ken’s repeated assertions that they needed two incomes, Allison insisted that she needed to be at home with their kids and that Ken was being unreasonable. Ken’s fear of conflict and fear that Allison might leave him resulted in the suppression of his resentment. Allison’s narcissism prevents her from understanding Ken’s need for mutuality and reciprocity in the relationship. They are likely to stay married but remain miserable (particularly in Ken’s case).

Relationship categories

Continuum of self values are categorized into three groups: healthy/balanced, problematic and unhealthy/dysfunctional. Lower values pairings illustrate healthier relationships that are characterized by higher levels of mutuality in the exchange of love, respect and care. Higher continuum of self values pairings demonstrate less healthy relationships that are characterized by a lopsided exchange of love, respect and care, with more going to the SSO and less to the OSO. Couples who fit into a specific category can move forward or backward on the continuum of self as they either evolve or devolve relationally.

  • Healthy/balanced: 0/0, -1/+1
    and -2/+2
  • Problematic: -3/+3
  • Unhealthy/dysfunctional: -4/+4
    and -5/+5

Unhealthy/dysfunctional relationships

According to the continuum of self theory, individuals who are codependent have a severe OSO, which is numerically represented by a continuum of self value of -5. When in romantic relationships, they focus almost completely on the needs of a pathologically narcissistic partner, while ignoring, diminishing or neglecting their own similar needs. Although unhappy and resentful, they remain in this relationship.

In contrast, pathological narcissists have a severe SSO, which is numerically represented by a continuum of self value of +5. When in a romantic relationship, they predominantly focus on their own needs, while ignoring, diminishing or neglecting their partners’ similar needs. They seem oblivious to their partners’ resentment or unhappiness about the relationship. Therefore, they have no investment or interest in changing the relationship.

The unhealthy/dysfunctional range for relationships is -4/+4 to -5/+5. Although “balanced” and “stable,” these dysfunctional pairings result in one-way “narcicentric” relationships. The +4 and +5 SSOs receive the lion’s share of love, respect and care, while the -4 and -5 OSOs are typically on the short end of the receiving stick. As such, the OSOs suffer in the relationship significantly more than their SSO partners do.

In an effort to avoid upsetting the narcissistic partner, the -4 and -5 OSO partner tolerates and, consequently, adapts to the SSO partner’s narcissistic ways. Because the OSO partner is neither adept at nor comfortable with communicating anger, displeasure or resentment, he or she is likely to suppress these feelings. In addition, the OSO partner may have learned that communicating resentment or anger is likely to result in rejection, conflict or harm (personal or relational), all of which he or she actively avoids. Therefore, the OSO partner perpetuates or enables the dysfunctionally balanced relationship by adjusting to the other partner’s narcissistic behaviors.

The -5/+5 zero-sum relationship is typically resistant to change, mostly because of the pathological narcissist’s inability to acknowledge his or her role in the relationship’s dysfunction. Denying culpability or responsibility for the relationship problems reinforces the narcissist’s position that psychotherapeutic services will be neither personally beneficial nor helpful to the relationship.

The partner who is considered codependent is correspondingly resistant to change because it would potentially result in emotional, psychological or even physical harm or in deep and profound feelings of guilt, shame and loneliness. However, people who are codependent are sometimes able to accept responsibility for their problems and seek help.

Although the -4/+4 relationship also constitutes a dysfunctional relationship, both individuals have some capacity, albeit minimal, to break free of their polarized self-orientation differences. To illustrate, the -4 OSO is minimally capable of setting and maintaining boundaries regarding the love, respect and caring imbalance in the relationship. Likewise, the +4 SSO partner, who does not have a personality disorder, has some limited capability to demonstrate concern and some limited willingness to better meet the partner’s needs. This relationship is still resistant to change because the +4 SSO is negatively reactive and fragile about accepting constructive or critical feedback about his or her narcissism.

Problematic relationships

According to the societal and cultural standards of most developed Western countries, the -3/+3 relationship is often considered problematic because the distribution of love, respect and care is not equally and fairly distributed. In this relationship category, the balance is significantly tilted toward the SSO. Even with the inequity of love, respect and care that is given and received, this couple is still capable of minor to moderate levels of mutuality and reciprocity. For example, the OSO partner is able to set some boundaries and communicate some of his or her needs. Conversely, the SSO partner is capable of minimal to moderate levels of empathy and motivation to meet his or her partner’s needs, while also being open to some constructive and critical feedback.

The delineation between healthy and unhealthy continuum of self values pairings is not always clear. From the vantage point of modern Western culture, a couple with a -3/+3 pairing may be considered unhealthy because of the distinct disparity between the exchange of love, respect and care. However, from the perspective of other societies, cultures or ethnic groups in which the norm is oriented toward an acceptable discrepancy between the giving and taking of love, respect and care, the relationship would be considered healthy and normal. If these romantic partners are satisfied and happy with their relationship and there is no harm perpetrated against the OSO, then their somewhat polarized exchange of love, respect and care may actually constitute a culturally specific healthy relationship.

Healthy/balanced relationships

The healthy values pairings in the continuum of self are -2/+2, -1/+1 and 0/0. Healthy relationships are defined by both a zero-sum balance and an equitable distribution of love, respect and care. Although a -2/+2 couple may not share an exactly equal exchange of love, respect and care, they still experience an affirming, balanced and mutually satisfying connection. This relationship is considered healthy because both partners are content and satisfied with their unique flow. In other words, this relationship works because both partners feel loved, respected and cared for in a manner that satisfies their healthy self-orientation.

An example of such a relationship is a healthy counselor who enjoys helping others but still sets boundaries when feeling ignored, or a healthy writer who lives for affirmation and recognition but can still fulfill his or her partner’s needs for the same.

Maslow’s hammer and nail

As much as the continuum of self theory attempts to identify and quantify human relational behavior, it is neither feasible nor appropriate to rely on just one theory to explain complicated human behavior patterns. There are inherent dangers to having a limited or narrow view of human psychology.

Abraham Maslow, one of the founders of humanistic psychological theory, said, “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.” My hope is that the continuum of self theory can serve as just one of the many tools in a counselor’s toolbox to help understand and change our clients’ or our own dysfunctional relationships.

I would also like to offer some disclaimers. First, because an addiction can mimic pathological narcissism, a significant period of recovery is needed before determining a person’s baseline self-orientation.

The continuum of self only measures a person’s self-orientation. It does not purport to measure more complicated and multifaceted personality or relational characteristics or dynamics. Also, the theory should be applied only in a clinical setting with a competent and qualified counselor who is trained in the continuum of self and other related psychological theories.

Although the continuum of self theory attempts to explain and simplify the complex attraction dynamic, it does not pretend to be bigger and more inclusive than it was designed to be. It is a narrowly focused explanatory paradigm that measures an individual’s self-orientation, while accounting for the attraction dynamic of opposite but compatible personality types. It is not intended to be a stand-alone or comprehensive theoretical explanation. However, it may be useful as an adjunct to other psychological theories.

As a new psychological theory, the continuum of self has not yet met the rigors of scientific scrutiny. However, I hope that it will contribute to the current understanding of human behavior and stimulate further thought and discussion on the topic.

Ross Rosenberg is a licensed clinical professional counselor and professional trainer. He is the author of The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us. Contact him at info@advancedclinicaltrainers.com

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT © 2016
Clinical Care Consultants Owner
Advanced Clinical Trainers Owner
Psychotherapist, Author & Professional Trainer
Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us

                  

Why Internet Dating Apps Have It All Wrong. The Truth Behind “Chemistry”

Why Internet Dating Apps Have It All Wrong

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Ross Rosenberg reveals the hidden truth behind relationship chemistry

Have you been working on your online dating profile? Posing for the perfect selfie? Finding the exact right words to describe your wonderful self? Sadly, and unfortunately, all of the effort in choosing the best photographs, writing one’s personal biography, and positioning oneself in the most appealing personality and lifestyle categories is all for naught; it simply doesn’t matter. Adding insult to injury, it is futile to base your hopes for a happy relationship on the careful reading and interpreting of a potential love interest’s profile, while scanning every pixel of their pics with a magnifying glass looking for potential clues or red flags. Why? Because dating chemistry is not based on your prospective match’s face or body type, musical interests, favorite foods, political leanings, education, religion, or other criteria. Dating chemistry is based on “The Human Magnet Syndrome!”

The Human Magnet Syndrome accounts for one of the most common couplings we see—the pairing of caretaking, empathetic, and altruistic codependents with selfish, arrogant, controlling, and harmful narcissists, who simultaneously fall head over heels in in love while remaining tied together in a long-term dysfunctional relationship.

What we call chemistry between two lovers is the unconscious matching of perfectly balanced opposite personality types. I describe this phenomenon in detail in my book, The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us. The Human Magnet Syndrome accounts for one of the most common couplings we see—the pairing of caretaking, empathetic, and altruistic codependents with selfish, arrogant, controlling, and harmful narcissists, who simultaneously fall head over heels in in love while remaining tied together in a long-term dysfunctional relationship.

When a caretaking woman feels the chemistry bliss over her narcissistic romantic man (or vice versa), it is not because of any similarities she shares with him. Rather it is due to the activation of unconscious psychological attraction mechanisms that recognize a perfect “dancing partner” who makes her heart skip a beat or two. His boldness, charisma, self-confidence, and charm create the illusion that he is the man about whom she has always dreamt. Little does she know that she, a codependent, has chosen, yet again, another in a long list of narcissists.

Human Magnet Syndrome chemistry, of course, goes both ways. Mr. Perfect’s unconscious chemistry machinery has also been activated. His heart is aflutter over this perfect angel of a woman who listens to him, cries for him, and validates all of the “unfair treatment” he has received from his ex-wives who demand child support, the IRS who is auditing him, and the long line of jobs from which he was terminated for “knowing the job better than (his) bosses.” So of course, Mr. Perfect, a.k.a. the narcissist, has also hit the (dysfunctional) relationship jackpot.  At the end of the day, the codependent’s dreams of a soul mate invariably dissolve into a “cellmate” reality.

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Self-orientation is divided into two categories: those who are comfortable with giving away and not receiving LRC, and those who are more comfortable taking LRC while not reciprocating.

The multi-billion-dollar Internet dating industry doesn’t realize it, but despite all those algorithms, all that matching, and all that swiping, they are selling the Human Magnet Syndrome. When two romantic hopefuls meet, whether by chance or the result of an Internet dating site’s heralded selection technologies, they will instantly feel comfortable, familiar, and safe when their self-orientations match up. What, you ask, is a self-orientation? A self-orientation is defined as the manner in which a person distributes or takes love, respect, and caring (LRC) in relationship. Self-orientation is divided into two categories: those who are comfortable with giving away and not receiving LRC, and those who are more comfortable taking LRC while not reciprocating.

Like a dancing partnership, the caretaking and others-oriented person will naturally feel comfortable and instinctively familiar with a “dance partner” who is in need of caretaking and who focuses on his (or her) needs more than their own. The same intuitive feeling of familiarity and comfort is experienced by the other “dance partner.” Like opposite sides of a magnet, these two “human magnets” are unconsciously drawn to each other because of the way their self-orientations match up, not because of the compatibility of their Internet dating profiles or the allure of their attractive photos. It’s simple chemistry at work!

This magnetic love connection predictably begins like a fairy-tale, but quickly morphs into a painful “seesaw” of love and hate and hope and disappointment.  The Human Magnet Syndrome Chemistry phenomenon is almost always this way.  Just ask your friends, think about your own family, or analyze your own dating history. You will discover that chemistry, or that intuitive feeling of relational and romantic perfection, exists because of the connection of opposite self-orientations, not because of a well thought out list of similarities, likes, and dislikes.

Consider your own chance encounters and skillfully matched dating setups, which seemed perfect “on paper” but wouldn’t elicit the smallest of romantic sparks or chemistry.

Consider your own chance encounters and skillfully matched dating setups, which seemed perfect “on paper” but wouldn’t elicit the smallest of romantic sparks or chemistry. You will likely conclude that, when self-orientations are similar, shared feelings of disappointment and frustration are experienced, especially if there are areas of conscious compatibility. To illustrate, the smoldering sexy man with six-pack abs and the drop-dead gorgeous woman who sports a perfect set of lips and long beautiful legs just might not be a good match. If these seemingly well-matched romantic hopefuls have a similar self-orientation, then Mr. Smoldering will never connect with Ms. Gorgeous. Or, if entranced by lust, the lack of chemistry will surely be the bucket of cold water that tears these two apart.

It’s my theory that the folks at the helm of the big Internet dating companies either don’t know about the Human Magnet Syndrome, or shy away from negative and complicated “blame your parents” psychological explanations. I am sure the promise of the perfect match or soulmate sells more subscriptions than the uncomfortable truth: the bonding of similarly lonely and unhappy personality types—codependents and narcissists. It is difficult to imagine Match.com, eHarmony, or Tinder embracing the Human Magnet Syndrome explanation over their multi-million-dollar marketing and advertising campaigns that offer the promise of finding a soulmate through patented scientific matching algorithms.

Everything in my life, both personally and professionally as therapist, confirms the causal connection between The Human Magnet Syndrome and romantic chemistry. Moreover, my clinical work, personal dating, and relationship experiences along with the thousands of testaments from clients, readers, social network connections, and YouTube subscribers, all validate the codependent/narcissistic chemistry connection.

So here’s the bottom line: the romantic relationship that is brought together by an interminably strong magnetic force will survive the test of time as it adheres to the human instinct to find and stay with a partner who is uniquely compatible and familiar. According to the continuum of self theory, compatible romantic partners tend to stay true to their uniquely opposite relationship orientation. The same applies to the human magnet syndrome: We are attracted to and maintain relationships with individuals whose “magnetic polarity” differs and, therefore, is compatible with our own.

Does all this mean you should stop swiping or inputting your interests on your dating profile? No. It means you should start thinking so you can understand the underlying basis of attraction as you try to find lasting harmony with a romantic partner.

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT © 2016
Clinical Care Consultants Owner
Advanced Clinical Trainers Owner
Psychotherapist, Author & Professional Trainer
Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us

                  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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