Tag Archives: pathological narcissism

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

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DON’T USE MY BOOK TO FIGHT A NARCISSIST! You Will Lose, I Promise.

 

Male hand holding a fake pistol with red flag isolated on white background.

DON’T USE MY BOOK TO FIGHT YOUR NARCISSIST!  You Will Lose, I Promise. 

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

I am so grateful to the many people who have told me that my book 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 the dysfunctional 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 to 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 of discovers or is told that their partner is reading my book, they react in one of two manners

  1. They exhibit various forms of vindictive and indignant rage, which compels them to openly intimidate, manipulate, and consequently sabotage their partners 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 dis-empowerment, which may include gas lighting, mind-manipulation, and continued brainwashing.

The latter is more dangerous, as the PNarc is allowed to maintain their victim role, while manipulating their partner to believe 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 client’s PNarc 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)[i]—results in the loss of it. Once in a relationship with a PNarc, any attempts to control or coerce[ii] 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

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

                  

“EMPATHS” ARE DIFFERENT FROM CODEPENDENTS

EMPATHSEMPATHS ARE DIFFERENT THAN CODEPENDENTS

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

Empaths Are Different from Codependents
Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CACD, CSAT

I have to be honest, I do not like when the term “empath” is used interchangeably with “codependent.” “Empath,” which has its origins in the spiritual and metaphysical world, was never intended to be a replacement term for codependency. An empath is defined as a person with the paranormal ability to intuitively sense and understand the mental or emotional state of another individual. According to empaths I have spoken to and the information available on the Internet, they are highly sensitive to the emotional and metaphysical energy others. If, indeed, this extra-sensory phenomenon exists, it is definitely not the same thing as codependency.

Since “empath” has mostly positive connotations and “codependent” does not, it makes sense why it is a preferred moniker for the more serious psychological problem of codependency.
Misrepresenting codependency, or what I now refer to as Self-Love Deficit Disorder (SLDD), only adds a layers of denial to a problem that is already shrouded in shame. In addition, it casts a serious problem in a positive light, while perpetuating the myth that SLD’s or codependents are victims, instead of willing participants in their dysfunctional relationships with narcissists.

Who can argue that being empathetic is bad? Well, it isn’t. The idea that empaths are vulnerable people, just because of a certain personality type, is an excuse, which offers no solution to the problem. Being empathic is good! However, being empathic and allowing yourself to be hurt by people you choose to be with, or are unconsciously attracted to, is not.

But one could argue that being overly empathetic while choosing to be in harmful relationships with narcissists is dysfunctional and self-destructive. “Empath” should, therefore, not be a replacement term for “codependent,” When we admit we struggle with SLDD, we are honestly and courageously confessing our pain, while describing what we need to do in order to find loving, respecting and mutually caring relationships.

I have worked with SLD’s/codependents my whole career, and I, myself, am a recovering SLD. I have learned that we can only recover from our secret hell – our magnetic attraction to narcissists – when we understand that we are willing participants or dance partners in a very dysfunctional relationship dance. We choose narcissistic “dance partners” because we have a “broken (relationship) picker.” We fall prey to our own belief that the chemistry we experience with new narcissist lovers is a manifestation of true love or a soulmate experience.

Adding insult to injury, when the cracks of the soulmate’s façade surface and we start to experience the isolating and humiliating pain of loneliness and shame, we are, once again, powerless to break free from another narcissist lover. Inevitably, our soulmate transforms into our “cell mate.” This is not the problem of an empath, but of someone with Self-Love Deficit Disorder.

The only way SLD’s get better (recover) is to understand that they freely participate in their dysfunctional relationships with narcissists. As a reminder, SLDD is a symptom that manifests through the Human Magnet Syndrome. It is an addiction that results from one’s need/desire to self-medicate (detach, numb or escape) the pain of pathological loneliness, which is fueled by the core shame resulting from childhood attachment trauma at the hands of a pathologically narcissistic parent.

self-love deficit

Admitting we have a problem that we cannot, or never could, control, is the first and most important step in SLDD (codependency) recovery. Yes, we can stop the madness! We can take the big step towards sanity, peace and fulfillment by admitting our powerlessness over our SLD and need to recover from its inherent addiction – the compulsion to be everyone’s lover, friend, confidant and caretaker, while ignoring our own needs for the same.

We can conquer pathological loneliness, soul-searing shame and our repressed or suppressed childhood trauma if we choose the difficult but healing path of trauma resolution and the pursuit of self-love. Seeking this healing and self-loving path will ultimately compel us to cast away all relationships that are exploitative and narcissistic, while moving towards those that enhance our pursuit for self-care, self-respect and self-love. The courage to recover from Self-Love Deficit Disorder is within your reach. Stop being a delivery mechanism for everyone else’s need for love, respect and care!
In conclusion, if you identify with Self-Love Deficit Disorder (codependency), rejoice in your emotional and, perhaps, spiritual empathetic gifts. But, at the same time, make the life-changing decision to take the challenging but healing path of SLDD recovery. The following excerpt from Robert Frost’s celebrated poem, “The Road Not Taken,” illuminates the importance of this resolution:

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

© Ross Rosenberg, 2016
trademark-logo.png.pagespeed.ce.eY15aM7wLY Self-Love Deficit Disorder (SLDD)

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: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us

Register for Ross’s 2/26/16 Skokie IL (Chicago suburb) Codependency Cure Seminar

co no mo trng

                  

 

Codependency Anorexia: Are You Starving Yourself from Love

Codependency Anorexia:

Are You Starving Yourself from Love?

10 Steps to Vulnerable but Healthy & Safe Love

Sundown in desert.

 After relationship trauma, some people shut down love. Ross Rosenberg outlines 10 steps for finding love that is vulnerable but also healthy and safe.

Codependency Anorexia occurs when a codependent surrenders to their life-long relationship pattern to destructive pathological narcissists. I define codependency as an individual psychopathology that manifests within relationships. The codependent habitually finds themselves in relationships with pathological narcissists, with whom they give the lion’s share of love, respect and care (LRC), while being denied the same. Although they are consistently on the short end of the receiving stick, they stay in the relationship because they are both afraid of being alone and believe that if given enough time, they will be able to change or control the narcissist’s selfishness and entitlement.

Codependency Anorexia occurs when they hit bottom and can no longer bear the pain and the harm meted out to them from their malevolent pathological narcissists. It is paradoxical in a sense, as it occurs during a moment of clarity, when the codependent realizes that they are completely powerless to stop their attraction to lovers who, in the beginning, feel so right, but shortly thereafter, hurt them so badly. In an effort to protect themselves from the long line of “soul mates,” who unexpectedly convert to “cellmates,” they flip their vulnerability switch to “off,” which results in a complete shutdown of their emotional, relational, and sexual machinery.

Although their intention is to avoid getting pummeled again by the next narcissist, they unknowingly insulate themselves from the very human experience of intimate romantic love.

This defense mechanism serves to protect codependents from the cascade of resulting consequences of their debilitating codependent love choices. Although their intention is to avoid getting pummeled again by the next narcissist, they unknowingly insulate themselves from the very human experience of intimate romantic love. By denying their human need to connect and love passionately, they are, in a sense, artificially neutralizing The Human Magnet Syndrome. Or in other words, they are removing themselves from any possibility of close romantic love, healthy or not.

To maintain their codependent anorexia, codependents ultimately have to divorce themselves from their emotional and sexual selves. As a result, they “starve” themselves from the very human need to connect romantically, intimately, and sexually. Such deprivation often leads to long-term mental and relational health problems.

In the codependent anorexic state, the codependent is hypervigilant of any person or situation that would lead to a potentially harmful and dangerous intimate relationship. They often over compensate in social situations to avoid either showing interest in someone else or accidentally reacting to someone else overtures. To that end, they also deprive themselves of everyday social events, in order to not accidentally bump against a vulnerable or threatening situation or person. And if a person or event does threaten the codependency anorexic barrier, a shock of extreme anxiety uncomfortably steer them back onto their self-depriving but safe course.

At the end of the day, they are not hurt by another pathological narcissist. But, they also live their life in a barren desert of loneliness and fear.

The anorexic codependent is unable to recognize that their disconnection or disassociation from their vulnerable relational and sexual self is harmful, if not debilitating. Notwithstanding, they continue the path of intimacy deprivation so that they are able to maintain their distorted and deluded sense of power and control over real and invisible threats. At the end of the day, they are not hurt by another pathological narcissist. But, they also live their life in a barren desert of loneliness and fear.

So what is the codependent anorexic supposed to do? The moment of decision is best summarized in Anaïs Nin’s famous saying, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” The following is a list of 10 must do’s if one is suffering from Codependency Anorexia.

  1. Get evaluated for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), as the mistreatment from pathological narcissists may have caused this disorder.
  2. Get into therapy with a practitioner who is experienced and successful in treating codependency, PTSD, and who understands the Human Magnet Syndrome.
  3. Actively participate in Codependency Anonymous (CODA.org).
  4. Stop or curtail any substance abuse, especially if it is self-medicating in nature.
  5. Start talking about your loneliness and fear of getting hurt with safe friends or family, therapists, and/or recovery group peers.
  6. Expand platonic relationships by subtly and progressively sharing more intimate or personal information about yourself.
  7. Participate in group activities that have no fix-up agenda.
  8. Practice being courageous and vulnerable: disclose to a safe friend that you have Codependency Anorexia.
  9. Practice or rehearse a conversation during which you disclose to a potential romantic interest that you are frightened of getting hurt and need to go very slowly in the relationship.
  10. DO NOT use Internet dating sites, even if you feel ready to do so.

 

anais nin

copyright-symbol-for-web-2 2015, Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT

Ross Rosenberg, LCPC, CADC, CSAT

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

                  

Continuum of Self Values (CSV) Personality Type Breakdown / CSV Sheet

Continuum of Self Values Examples / CSV Sheet

From The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us

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

COS udated for Narc copy

The following list matches each of the 11 Continuum of Self Values (CSVs) with a general personality description.  These examples are only intended to illustrate the range of general personality possibilities according to the Continuum of Self Theory’s self-orientation concept.

-5 CSV:  A codependent is completely absorbed with the love, respect, and care (LRC) needs of others, while completely ignoring and devaluing their own.  This category of individual is often powerless, unable and/or unwilling to seek LRC from his romantic partner.

-4 CSV:  A person with codependent tendencies.  He is almost always focused on the LRC needs of others while only intermittently seeking to have his own LRC needs reciprocated or fulfilled.  This person is able, albeit unmotivated, fearful and/or inexperienced in seeking LRC from his romantic partner.  He often chooses not to ask others to fulfill his LRC needs, as he doesn’t want to upset others or cause conflict.  If asking for some semblance of LRC from his partner, he does so nervously and with distinct feelings of guilt or neediness.

-3 CSV:  A person who identifies with his caring and giving nature.  He is predominately focused on the LRC needs of others, while often diminishing, delaying or excusing away the fulfillment of his own needs.  This person’s identity and reputation is fused with his helping and caretaking nature.  He is typically in relationships in which there is an imbalance between his partner’s and his own LRC needs – giving much more LRC to his partner than receiving.  This individual is capable of setting boundaries in relationships while also asking for what he needs, however, he tends to feel guilty or needy when setting such boundaries or when asking for help from others.

-2 CSV:  One involved in relationships in which his caretaking identity is valued and appreciated, but not exploited.  He enjoys relationships with others in which he provides ample amounts of LRC, without wanting equal amounts reciprocated.  He is able to ask for what he wants or needs from others, although is slightly uncomfortable doing so.  He is comfortable with a partner who needs more LRC than he is willing to give in return.  He is able to set boundaries and ask for what he needs when the LRC balance goes beyond his comfort level.  He might experience mild feelings of guilt or neediness when asking his partner to meet his own LRC needs.  As much as is possible, he avoids individuals who are narcissistic, exploitative or manipulative.

-1 CSV:  A person with a healthy balance between loving, respecting and caring for self and others.  He typically seeks life experiences and relationships in which he is able to satisfy his own LRC needs.  He tends to participate and appreciate relationships that are based on a reciprocal and mutual distribution of LRC.  Although he derives meaning and happiness when helping and caring for others, he does not tolerate a selfish or self-centered romantic partner.  He often enjoys caring for others, but does not identify himself as a caretaker or helper.  He do not experience guilt or feelings of neediness when asking for LRC from others.

0 CSV:  A person who participates in relationships where there is an equal distribution of LRC given and received.  They easily ask for what they need from their partners, while being open to their partners LRC needs.  With their LRC-balanced relationships, they easily fluctuate between being the recipient and giver of LRC.

+1 CSV:  A person with a healthy balance between loving, respecting and caring for self and others.  They tend to participate and appreciate relationships that are based on a reciprocal and mutual distribution of LRC.  This individual values personal and professional goals and ambitions, which they confidently pursue.  Although they derives meaning and happiness through the pursuit of his own goals and ambitions, he is also cognizant of the necessity to love, respect and care for his romantic partner.  He effortlessly provides LRC to his romantic partner when necessary or requested.  He may identify with both the role of a caretaker or helper while wanting to fulfill his own goals and ambitions.

+2 CSV:  A person who prefers to be involved in relationships in which the pursuit to fulfill his own ambitions, desires and goals is encouraged and supported.  In a romantic relationship, he actively seeks attention, appreciation and affirmation.  Although he is a go-getter and may be consumed with “getting the spotlight,” he is willing and able to fulfill his partner’s needs.  He is neither exploitative nor selfish.  As an individual who is more oriented toward his own LRC needs, he periodically forgets about the inequity of LRC distribution in the relationship.  He responds favorably and non-reactively when his partner asks for higher levels of LRC.  Although he can be comfortable in a caretaking role, he doesn’t maintain it.

+3 CSV:  A mildly selfish and self-centered individual.  He is predominately focused on the LRC needs of self, while often diminishing, delaying or excusing away the fulfillment of his partner’s needs.  This person’s identity and reputation is fused with his need for attention, validation and recognition.  He identifies with the persona of the go-getter and success-driven individual.  He is typically in relationships where there is an imbalance in the distribution of LRC needs, expecting or taking more LRC than giving.  If confronted about the LRC inequality, he may get defensive, but will be able to make corrections.  He can modulate or control his self-centered and seemingly selfish attributes.  Although he may be perceived as self-consumed and self-centered, he is willing and able to love, respect and care for his partner; they just need frequent reminders.

+4 CSV:  A narcissistic individual.  This individual is absorbed and preoccupied with the LRC needs of self, while rarely seeking to fulfill the LRC needs of others.  He comes across as being entitled, self-absorbed and self-centered, as he are driven to seek LRC from others, while giving very minimal amounts of the same in return.  He is comfortable with the LRC disparity, believing his needs are more important than his partner’s.  Although this person is overtly narcissistic, he is still able to give nominal levels of LRC to others.  If confronted about the LRC inequities, he will characteristically get angry and defensive and are quick to justify his actions.  He, however, does not experience a narcissistic injury or exhibit narcissistic rage when confronted.

+5 CSV: An Emotional Manipulator.  Unable and unmotivated to love, respect and care for others.  He is consumed with fulfilling his own LRC needs with no intention of reciprocating.  He has great difficulty in exhibiting empathy, unconditional positive regard or love.  When he does give LRC to others, it is typically conditional, with strings attached.  He is not able to comprehend or accept his pathological levels of narcissism.  When confronted about the LRC imbalances, he will often strike back with either direct or passive aggression.

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Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT
3325 N. Arlington Heights Rd., Ste 400B
Arlington Heights, IL  60004

Owner of Clinical Care Consultants and Advanced Clinical Trainers