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Photo by Ferart88

Twenty years ago, I’d been three years on crutches and unable to walk, not knowing if I ever would again. Gazing at my closet floor, I thought…

Too many shoes, all laden with dust. There they sit, frozen in time from when they last felt the warm moist aliveness of human tissue breathing inside their leather skins — leather that has begun to harden and crack.

I’d long needed a shoe organizer. I bought a metal shoe rack, but it helped little. The tennis shoes have no heels to hold them in place. The red, the black, the white and suede dress boots, hiking boots, rain boots, and cowboy boots are too large to fit. …


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To some degree, most of us desire to improve our social status and acceptance, but narcissists feel compelled to. A recent study concluded that it’s their constant concern. More than most people, they look to others for “self-definition and self-esteem regulation; inflated or deflated self-appraisal…,” according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Their self-esteem fluctuates between exaggerated inflation and deflation.

Narcissists are preoccupied with managing their self-esteem, image, appearance, and social rank. They see the world and themselves in terms of hierarchical status, where they’re superior and others are inferior. In their mind, their presumed superiority entitles them to special privileges that others don’t deserve. Their needs, opinions, and feelings count, while those of others don’t or only do to a lesser degree. …


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By Jaime Garcia

Across town is an unassuming storefront in a corner shopping mall. A couple of male Latinos hang around having a smoke. They step aside as you enter, looking you all over. The door opens to another world … Floridita.

Mirrors on three walls reflect the band—the piano, congas, drums, cowbells, horns. The music irresistibly pulls you in, and a rhythmic wave pulsates throughout your body. Every cell in your body is smiling, yes, yes.

Salseros are already moving on the dance floor. Hips gliding effortlessly in Cuban motion. Couples swaying and twirling. …


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Codependency is more than a relationship problem. It wounds our psyche and individual development. Make no mistake. It’s to no fault of our own. The wounds of codependency is adaptive and helped us survive growing up in a dysfunctional family system. But that adjustment cost us our individuality, authenticity, and our future quality of life. The beliefs and behaviors we learned then led to problems in adult relationships. In fact, they tend to recreate the dysfunctional family of our past.

Wounds of Codependency Begin in Childhood

Codependency is both learned and passed on generationally. It starts in childhood, usually because of codependent parenting, including being raised by an addict or mentally or emotionally ill parent. To survive, we’re required to adapt to the needs, actions, and emotions of our parents at the expense of developing an individual Self. Repetitious patterning shaped our personality style with supporting beliefs, which were both learned and inferred from parental behavior. They were formed by our immature infant-toddler mind in the context of total dependency on our parents. …


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By Lassedesignen

Narcissists can be charming, charismatic, seductive, exciting, and engaging. They can also act entitled, exploitative, arrogant, aggressive, cold, competitive, selfish, obnoxious, cruel, and vindictive. You can fall in love with their charming side and be destroyed by their dark side. It can be baffling, but it all makes sense when you understand what drives them. That awareness protects you from their games, lies, and manipulation.

Narcissists have an impaired or undeveloped self. They think and function differently from other people. They behave as they do because of the way their brain is wired, whether due to nature or nurture. The severity of narcissism varies. Some people have more symptoms with greater intensity, while other narcissists have fewer, milder symptoms. …


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Codependents often wonder what is normal. They feel insecure and wonder how others perceive them. Many tell me they don’t really know themselves. They’ve become people-pleasers, editing what they say and adapting their behavior to the feelings and needs of others. Some sacrifice themselves―their values, needs, wants, and feelings―to someone they care about.

For other codependents their behavior revolves around their addiction, whether it’s to a drug, a process, such as sex or gambling, or to pursuing prestige or power in order to feel secure. Eventually their achievements feel meaningless. Both types of codependents suffer from self-alienation―an alienation from their true self. They’re disconnected from their true, authentic self. This is the emptiness we feel when a relationship ends, success is achieved, or during withdrawal from an addiction. …


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Has setting limits not worked? Despite your efforts, are your boundaries often ignored? It’s frustrating, but it’s not always the other person’s fault. Here’s why and what to do.

There are several reasons why boundaries don’t work. As I wrote in Codependency for Dummies and How to Speak Your Mind — Become Assertive and Set Limits, assertiveness is a prerequisite to setting effective boundaries, and it isn’t easy.

“Setting boundaries is an advanced form of assertiveness. It involves risk and entails taking a position about who you are, what you’re willing to do or not do, and how you want to be treated and respected in your relationships. It first requires awareness of your values, feelings, and needs, plus some practice in making “I” statements about them.” …


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By Nicoleta Ionescu

You won’t realize you’re dating a narcissist. Narcissists are exceedingly skilled at making you like them. They can be alluring, charming, and exciting to date. In fact, in one study, it took seven meetings for people to see through their likable veneer. In a dating situation, a narcissist has a greater incentive to win you over — sadly, sometimes all the way to the altar.

Narcissists are never boring. They’re often physically attractive, charismatic, and sexually appealing. We’re drawn to their intelligence, entertaining personality, special talents, or professional success.

Dating as a Game

Although some narcissists seek long term relationships, others are expert game-players. To them, “The chase is better than the catch.” Their objective is to receive admiration and get their sexual needs met with little emotional investment. Relationships are considered transactions and work for them as long as they’re getting their narcissistic supply. The closer you get, the more they equivocate. They want their options open with multiple sources to meet endless needs for supply. …

About

Darlene Lancer

Therapist-Author of “Codependency for Dummies,” relationship expert. Get a FREE 14 Tips on Letting Go http://bit.ly/MN2jSG. Join me on FB http://on.fb.me/WnMQMH

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