Category Archives: Relationships

Long-Lasting Change

Five factors are necessary for long-lasting change.

We must:

• accept that we have a problem;

• want to solve the problem;

• identify a solution that works;

• implement this solution–do the work; and

• perform the necessary maintenance.

All of these factors must be in place before any long-lasting change will occur in anyone. For our self, we must honestly assess the problem and acknowledge the full repercussions it is causing in our life; then we must develop a sincere desire to change. This acceptance and “want to” are great starting points but accomplish little or nothing unless followed with proper action. We must find a solution that has been proven to solve this specific problem and do the work necessary to make that solution active in our life. And there is always maintenance; the old habits and things that caused the original problem are deeply rooted and do not simply disappear; we only acquire the new and more desirable traits with conscious, persistent practice.

These five factors also clarify why we cannot make another person change. When facing a true problem, the person with the problem must accept the reality of the problem and develop a genuine desire for change. If we recognize a problem affecting the life of a person we love, we examine our motives to see if it is really any of our business; if so, we try to objectively explain the situation and the facts as we see them but always realize that each person must find his or her own acceptance of the problem and the desire to find a solution. We cannot do it for them.

Prayer: Dear God, help me to clearly see what I must change so that I can live the life you want for me. Grant me the strength and guidance to make these changes.

Three Approaches to Marriage
· Casual approach—Marriage is just a piece of paper.
· Contractual approach—Marriage is a contract.
· Covenantal approach—Marriage is a holy covenant established by God.

Marriage is more than a piece of paper or temporary commitment that should be ended based on minor or even major differences or problems. Marriage is hard and takes work on both sides. Two becoming one is not easy, but very rewarding.

Words Matter

Never say mean words out of anger. Your anger will pass. But your mean words can scar a person for life. So use kind words or be silent.

We have all gone through some obstacles at a certain point of our lives in the name of survival. We often tend to deny them as they are difficult to deal with. However, as difficult as they are to bear, it is imperative if we want to live a fulfilling life.

Happiness is based on embracing and accepting the negative aspects of life. Denying them turns a blind eye to reality.

#1 Worrying is useless

Worrying is created in the mind and really doesn’t offer any value to our lives. Will worrying change what’s going to happen? If not, then it’s a waste of time.

“Worrying does not accomplish anything. Even if you worry twenty times more, it will not change the situation of the world. In fact, your anxiety will only make things worse. Even though things are not as we would like, we can still be content, knowing we are trying our best and will continue to do so.

If we don’t know how to breathe, smile, and live every moment of our life deeply, we will never be able to help anyone. I am happy in the present moment. I do not ask for anything else. I do not expect any additional happiness or conditions that will bring about more happiness.

#2 If we want to be happy, we must see reality for what it is

We need to see reality for what it is. We need to be open minded and open to the truth, instead of focusing on our own unrealistic opinions. Many people choose to remain positive by avoiding negative situations, but what we need to do is to confront them.

#3 We need to accept change actively

We always have to remember that change is the only constant. The most basic example of this saying is the change from day to night and night to day on a daily basis. There is nothing that remains unchanged in the world, which is why it is only painful when we hold on to things as they are and cannot find the strength to accept change as it happens.

As we grow up, one also has to find the maturity to be secure enough to embrace change because of its unavoidable nature.

#4 The root of suffering is pursuing temporary feeling

Most people crave feelings of happiness, such as joy, euphoria, and excitement. However, these feelings are temporary and the pursuit of them turns into suffering. True happiness comes from inner peace and it is based on a feeling of being satisfied and happy with your true self. Yuval Noah Harari explains that people can stop suffering only when they understand the impermanent nature of their feelings and stop craving them.

#5 A relationship with our creator and savior is the path to reducing suffering

Reading the Bible, praying, and studying the ways of Jesus, which emphasize love and acceptance of others, compassion, honesty, and the ability to forgive. The Bible teaches us everything we need for a for filling life of love and connection to others. My faith has been a life line and source of strength in my suffering through trichotillomania, bipolar depression and mania, and anxiety.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder vs. Autism Spectrum Disorder


A result of such a rendezvous would be the feeling that one was unworthy, invisible and, somehow, “less than “.This is exacerbated by the unexpected nature of the insult received. It would be safe, under these circumstances, to guess that one has been in contact with someone who is detached from the feelings that would be expected under normal circumstances.

It can be problematic to discern if one was slighted intentionally or accidentally. The issue of volition is what necessitates the effort to understand the difference between NPD and ASD. A narcissist is well aware of the offense that has been delivered. Someone on the autism spectrum doesn’t have a clue.

Someone with ASD may appear to be normal and may excel in certain of life’s tasks. What they lack is an understanding of anyone else’s emotions. As an example, if someone with ASD parented a child, he/she would not be able to figure out that when a baby cries it is in need. This ASD parent would believe that the child is crying just for the sake of crying.

An individual on the Spectrum suffers from what is called “mindblindness”. This is the inability to empathize. He/she does not understand that others do not see the world through his/her( the person on the Spectrum’s )own particular lens. So, when the baby is crying and the ASD parent feels well-fed and comfortable it is beyond the parent’s capacity to get it that the baby may be cold or hungry.

The narcissist understands the sensitivities of others all too well. The narcissist is a master manipulator who does not care when his/her actions are hurtful. In fact, the narcissist can, intentionally, be a dangerous enemy. Beneath the arrogance that is displayed when no one “important” is around, is an ego that has been depleted of feelings of safety and self-regard.
When it comes to intimate relationships the narcissist can launch an attack that is especially hurtful. The reason for this is that the narcissist is so vulnerable to feelings of shame that he/she may, literally, wish to destroy the person who tapped into that shame.

The individual with NPD uses his/her understanding of human nature (which, of course, is cynical) to curry favor on one side of the equation and to insult and depersonalize on the other. This person is a skilled seducer who becomes furious when his/her efforts fail to produce the desired outcome. Whoever becomes intimately involved with someone with NPD is certain to be bruised. Love and interest will be offered and withdrawn as the NPD strives to enhance his/her own life. There is no genuine concern for the welfare of others.

While the NPD uses his/her expertise deliberately, the ASP has no comprehension as to why others behave the way they do. While the ASP may appear to be arrogant and rude, he/she lacks any sense of self-awareness and cannot grasp the meaning of behaviors that he/she encounters every day.

What makes social interaction particularly difficult for the ASD is that he/she doesn’t know what he/she doesn’t know. Remember, an individual on the spectrum has no idea that another has a mind of his/her own. The ASD does not wish to inflict harm. It is helpful when offended by someone on the Spectrum, to remember that the intent was not to misuse. Rather, mindblindness kicked in and the individual with ASD has no idea that he/she may have left behind hurt feelings.

For someone on the Spectrum, friendships are about shared interests not about emotional connection. Emotions are inexplicable to the ASD individual. The vocabulary is extremely limited and very basic. For many, their interests are confined to a particular subject and are intense. The ASD will happily perseverate on a topic of interest.

Another aspect of spending time with someone on the Spectrum is that he/she has no understanding of symbolism and metaphor. It has been reported that a mother told her child, who was on the Spectrum, that she did not believe what he was telling her. She illustrated this by saying, “You can tell me this until the cows come home and I still won’t believe you.” Her son’s reply: “ I don’t care about cows”.

An individual on the Spectrum cannot draw inferences or make predictions about the outcome. Therefore, this individual may be quite unprepared for the negative feedback or consequences of his/her behavior.

While there have been many theories as to the cause of ASD, the answer remains elusive. Some have theorized that children on the Spectrum have at least one parent who has NPD. There is no evidence that supports this premise.

There is evidence, however that the offspring of those with either NPD or ASD bear a number of traits in common. Because these children have been raised by parents who are incapable of empathy, they often grow up believing that they are inherently damaged and that, somehow, it is their own fault. There is a term for those who hold these damaging and intractable beliefs: Ongoing Traumatic Relationship Syndrome — OTRS. The lack of parental validation can cut deeply into a youngster’s soul and may prove to be incurable even with ongoing psychotherapy. The child of a parent on the Syndrome is frequently ashamed of the parent, which reinforces the child’s personal shame.

The person with ASD is frequently a victim. The individual with NPD is likely to be a victimizer. It is fortunate when there is a so-called “normal” individual who can look out for the welfare of the person on the Spectrum. Those with ASD are sitting ducks for exploitation.

The narcissist does not care about the damage left behind. The person on the Spectrum does not understand that the damage has occurred. An important piece of knowledge to hold on to when one encounters a personal interaction that is breathtakingly obnoxious. It is wise to protect oneself from the narcissist. It is equally judicious, as well as kind, to allow an individual on the Spectrum some latitude. Intent makes all the difference



Asperger’s vs Narcissism. (n.d.). Retrieved July 18, 2017, from refulgentcoleman.blogspot.com Heitler, S., Ph.D. (2014, June 11). Do You Think of Narcissism as an Autism Spectrum

Heitler, S., Ph.D. (2014, June 11). Do You Think of Narcissism as an Autism Spectrum Disorder? Retrieved July 11, 2017, from psychology today.com

Koenraadt, M. (2016, May 18). Raised By Emotionally Immature Parents. Retrieved July 11, 2017, from koenraddt.info

Marshack, K. (16, January 18). Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Asperger Syndrome — Can You Tell The Difference? Retrieved July 11, 2017, from kmarshack.com

Rodman, S. (2016, August 28). Aspberger’s: When Narcissism Just Doesn’t Explain Your Partner’s Inability to Empathize. Retrieved July 11, 2017, from drpsychmom.com

About the Author

Ruth GordonRuth Gordon, MA/MSW/LCSW

I bring with me +30 years of experience as a clinician. My Masters degrees are from: Assumption College, Worcester, MA, Master of Arts in Psychology & Counseling/ and Boston University School of Social Work, Boston, MA, an MSW in Clinical Social Work. This is the 11th year I have written a monthly newsletter that is sent to approximately 500 individuals. The archive can be found on my website, http://www.foreverfabulousyou.com.

Office Location:
The OC Building, 11983 Tamiami Trail, N., Naples, FL 34110
Naples, Florida
34110
United States
Phone: 239 293-4314
Contact Ruth Gordon

Ruth Gordon has a clinical practice in Naples, FL

Professional Website: www.foreverfabulousyou.com

50 Devious Habits Of Highly Toxic Narcissists


50 Devious Habits Of Highly Toxic Narcissists (And Why They Do What They Do)

Many malignant narcissists, for example, use most, if not all of the behaviors listed and more to diminish their victims.

Whether you’re dealing with a garden-variety jerk or a predatory psychopath depends on the frequency of the behaviors as well as the ways in which that person approaches accountability. If you find that they are unwilling to change their toxic behaviors and actually take pleasure in engaging in them, you might be dealing with someone who is character-disordered. Here are fifty signs you’re dealing with a highly toxic person:

1. They criticize to nitpick and demean you, not to empower you. Highly toxic people don’t give constructive criticism as a way to help you – they throw nuggets of disdain rather than wisdom your way in order to make you double your efforts to please them. They stage personal attacks on your character or develop a hyperfocus on irrelevant things, sometimes even fabricated flaws, to evoke insecurity in you.

2. They give unsolicited advice, especially in situations where it is inappropriate to do so or about matters you’ve made clear are none of their business. Giving unsolicited advice enables a toxic person to feel in control and smug. Most of their unsolicited advice is usually not even helpful, and is doled out as a way to distract you from your progress.

3. They enjoy raining on your parade. Toxic people like bringing little tempests of debasing comments whenever they see you’re that you’re proud of yourself or feeling especially happy. It’s usually because they’re envious. 

4. They frequently play devil’s advocate especially when it’s unnecessary.They tend to do this with regards to issues that are deeply personal to you and touch on your core values, belief systems, life experiences and moral codes. For example, a highly toxic person might try to dismiss a trauma you’ve gone through by arguing that it’s not really a trauma at all. They may get into useless discussions about whether everyone should have equal rights and whether proven facts are truly legitimate. This is not done with the intention of adding to the discussion, but to provoke you and warp your sense of security about your perspectives.

5. They copy your mannerisms, your work, your behavior, anything they covet. In this context, imitation is not the highest form of flattery, because they do it so often you feel like a part of you is being “stolen.” They are identity thieves in that they steal facets of your personality for their own. They are always “watching” to see what other attribute they can take from you. They have no core sense of self, so they’d prefer to mimic the qualities they know make you likeable and victorious.

6. They rage excessively when challenged. When done by a pathological person, this is what is known as narcissistic rage. It occurs when a person feels slighted or when they feel their sense of superiority is negated in any way. Raging at the perceived offender allows the toxic person to reclaim some measure of control and reaffirms their sense of superiority.

7. They guilt you when they don’t get what they want. Since they feel excessively entitled to everything, they feel they need to coerce you into getting the outcome they desire.

8. After mistreating you, they try to get you to feel sorry for them. These pity ploys are a way for them to skirt responsibility and have you work hard to please them instead.

9. They rarely take accountability for their actions or say sorry. Apologizing would mean sharing in the consequences for their behavior or taking part in evolving from it. That’s why toxic people rarely do it.

10. If they do apologize, it’s usually to get you to forgive them. There’s no change in their behavior accompanying the apology. In fact, they may even continue the same behavior with even more force after you’ve pointed it out.

11. They act superior to you and treat you with contempt, as if you were below them in some way. Toxic people believe that others exist to serve them and that they deserve to be the center of attention. They do not like seeing the success of others nor do they want to feel as if someone could possibly surpass them in any way. When they see someone with qualities and strengths that threaten to take the attention away from them, they do not hesitate in humiliating, shaming or tearing down that individual to put him or her back in “their place.”

12. They use chronic, vitriolic sarcasm. This form of sarcasm is notemployed as a way to playfully build rapport as some people use it, but as a way to demean you and make you feel small.

13. They attempt to sabotage you in areas where they know you’re flourishing. Whether it’s creating chaos before a major job interview or ruining a celebration, toxic people are always on the lookout for how they can prevent you from achieving a level of success and joy that could threaten to overtake their power over you.

14. They call you names and verbally abuse you. These are traumatic shortcuts to control your behavior. Toxic people know that if they repeat something long enough, you’ll start to internalize it. Verbal abuse acts as a portal to erode your identity and self-esteem.

15. They attempt to micromanage your life.  They may try to control where you go and who you see. They might try to place undue pressures or demands that take up your time so that you’re unable to pursue the dreams or support networks that they know are outside of their psychological jurisdiction.

16. They take over your finances, your career and demand a portion of what you’ve earned for themselves. Agency, independence and the ability to thrive on your own terms is very threatening to a toxic individual. Toxic people require that their victims be isolated; success, economic empowerment and a solid support network all threaten this, so they feel they have to take back the reins on the parts of your life that grant you a sense of stability and self-actualization.

17. They compete with you rather than celebrate your accomplishments. At first, toxic individuals may exhibit a starry-eyed admiration of your achievements. However, these same achievements come under extreme scrutiny as they work to use them for their own agenda or diminish them as a way to feel superior.

18. They project their own shame into you. If you evoke in them a sense of inadequacy – even without meaning to – they’ll suddenly go into an epic rant and rave, defending themselves with an excessive amount of force. You’re left dumbfounded as to why they’re so invested in proving themselves and why they’re so intent on attacking you, when in reality, their reactions have little to do with you and everything to do with their own egotistical delusions.

19. They project their own malignant qualities onto you. Everything that makes them toxic (their rage, their envy, their selfishness) is assigned to you as they try to paint you as the unhinged one.

20. They gaslight you. They make you believe that you are unable to see your own reality clearly. They deny abusive things they’ve said or done. This sudden “abuse amnesia” works to undercut your perceptions and make you doubt yourself.

21. They engage in pathological lying and infidelity. Lying comes easily to them and so does betrayal. They engage in a number of indiscretions and affairs, all while leading a double life. Their public image and facade rarely match the person they really are behind closed doors.

22. They exaggerate your flaws to the point of absurdity. This is meant to leave you feeling hopeless and worthless so that you are unable to self-validate. When you’re too busy feeling unworthy, you’re also too busy to realize that you deserve better.

23. Meanwhile, they dismiss your good qualities and all you’ve done to help them. You only seem to get “credit” for what the toxic person thinks you’ve done wrong. You feel as if you can never quite measure up to whatever arbitrary standards or expectations they’ve set for you. That’s because they’d never want you to feel sure of yourself – they want you to keep trying to please them so that you’ll never work to please yourself.

24. They don’t take ownership over their own problems; they expect you to clean up after them and fix their lives. Highly toxic people never want to be held responsible for being adults; they want to be coddled like children. If they made a mistake, they’ll inevitably scapegoat you and claim you’re the problem.

25. They blame you for parts of their lives that theyare responsible for taking care of. Their various addictions, failures, shortcomings all get served on your plate – along with the check. It’s as if they expect you to pay the price for their own omissions and struggles.

26. They are hypersensitive to any feedback you give them, even if it’s done gently. Meanwhile, they have no problem giving you plenty of “feedback” in terms of what they perceive is wrong about you.

27. They exhibit hot and cold behavior. One minute they’re love-bombing you with excessive praise, and the next they’re withdrawing from you as if you were the plague. These intermittent periods of kindness mixed with cruelty are a set-up to get you addicted to the crazymaking cycle of their abuse.

28. They subject you to the silent treatment (and there’s no good reason for it). They subject you to unpredictable periods of silence where they do not interact with you at all; it’s as if you cease to exist, even if you’re in an intimate relationship. The silent treatment is harmful because it affects the same area of the brain that registers physical pain. The silent treatment allows them space to commit whatever treason they’re engaging in behind your back while making you feel undesirable – it also helps them to evade any discussions about their unacceptable behavior.

29. They show no empathy for you when you’re suffering. These sadistic individuals are indifferent to your suffering; they lack empathy and some even take pleasure in seeing you suffer. The most malignant of narcissists even drive their victims to suicide.

30. They abandon you in times of illness or when you need them – even though you’ve always been there for them. This is done with a cruel and callous indifference that is unsettling. They show little to no concern for your welfare or your basic needs. They are too inherently selfish to look after you like the way you’ve looked after them.

31. They attempt to fast-forward intimacy with you without getting to know you – physically and emotionally. Whether it’s sex or your deepest secrets, toxic people try to push you to divulge and disclose early on so they can take inventory of your weak spots and exploit you.

32. They’re the fair-weather friend who’s always there when things are great but never when you need their support. When life is going well and you have everything going for you, they always seem to come around to leech off your newfound resources. When you want them to help out in an emergency or just need a listening ear, however, they’re nowhere to be found.

33. They piggyback on your success and take credit for your ideas. Toxic individuals feel they don’t have to work hard for what they want. They’d prefer to take it from others who’ve already done the work.

34. They judge your life decisions. This is done in a way that is vicious, cruel, unhelpful, excessive and unwarranted. If you feel uncertain about making decisions, you’re unable to trust yourself. Negating self-trust acts as leverage for a toxic person to step in and exercise their power over you.

35. They rarely provide emotional validation – every word out of their mouth tends to pick at your emotions. They question why you’re feeling the way you are rather than accepting it and creating space for it. By invalidating and pathologizing your emotions, they ensure that you never learn to listen to your inner guidance.

36. They cry crocodile tears when they need something or as faux remorse. Otherwise, they’re rarely emotional. In fact, most of the time, you can’t even sense fear, anxiety, or empathy from them.

37. They “hoover” you after mistreating you. Like a hoover vacuum, they suck you back into their toxic vortex even after the ending of the relationship, friendship or partnership. They do so by contacting you out of the blue just when you’re finally moving on. Once they get what they want from you, they leave and you may not hear from them from quite some time. At least, not unless they need you for something else, in which case, they tend to come crawling back.

38. They use you for your resources but are stingy with their own. Money, shelter, sex, social networks – they want access to all of yours. However, when it comes to their own resources and connections, they tend to be a lot more reserved.

39. They withhold acknowledgment and appreciation. You could bend over backwards fulfilling each and every one of their requests, and still not feel appreciated by them. They don’t appreciate what you do for them, but they keep you around to keep tapping into whatever it is you’re providing.

40. They’re conversational narcissists, constantly talking about themselves and rarely asking how you’re doing. When you finally try to get a word in, suddenly they’re cold and unresponsive. Or, they turn the conversation back to themselves.

41. They gossip about people and engage in relational aggressionThey enjoy pitting people against one another. They like spreading rumors. They thrive off of excluding people and socially ostracizing those they feel threaten their power or evoke their envy. They assassinate your character both publicly and privately (the latter ensures you don’t catch on). They want to feel like they are the ones in control of managing everyone’s image so that they come out on top.

42. They recruit allies or flying monkeys to enable their behavior and carry out some of their dirty work for them. They wouldn’t want to get caught – so they keep their hands clean and allow their harem members to support them instead.

43. They spread misinformation about you and spread smear campaigns to undercut your credibility. This way, if you ever speak out about their behavior, fewer people would believe you.

44. They covertly and overtly insult you. This includes harsh remarks disguised as “jokes,” backhanded compliments, and needless comparisons that diminish you. Victims of toxic people tend to struggle with self-doubt and ruminations over these insults, and it’s no wonder why. These insults become ingrained in your psyche and lead to self-sabotage.

45. They withhold affection – for no apparent reason. Most people withdraw from being affectionate due to some sort of conflict. Toxic people do it so they can play puppeteer to your emotions.

46. They use sex to degradeobjectify and control you rather than as a way to connect with you. Sex is a power play to them, another instrument to feed their grandiose fantasies.

47. They stonewall you and shut down conversations before they’ve even had the chance to begin. That way, you never get to have a voice in the relationship. Your desires or basic needs never even enter the picture.

48. They idealize youputting you on a pedestal, only to devalue the same qualities they once praised. Throwing you off the pedestal has the effect of making you work hard to get back on it. Meanwhile, they sit back, relax, and enjoy the show of making you pine for their approval.

49. They discard you once they’re done with you and quickly move onto another replacement, triangulating you with others to make you feel unworthy – and to compel you to compete for their attention.

50. They constantly shift the goal posts so what you do or who you are is perceived to never be enough.