Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Our experience of what it is like to be human – our very humanness – depends largely on our self-knowledge and on our experience of our selves. In other words: only through being himself and through experiencing his self – can a human being fully appreciate the humanness of others.
But what happens when the self-love goes to a level of narcissism?
Narcissism is a psychological condition which is simply defined as a total obsession with self. This condition is characterized by a lack of empathy for others, sadistic or destructive tendencies towards other people and a compulsion to satisfy personal needs without regard for others.
There are two differences between healthy self-love and pathological narcissism: (a) in the ability to tell reality from fantasy, and (b) in the ability to empathise and, indeed, to fully and maturely love others.
The narcissistic personality is disorganized yet rigid. These people find solace in certainty, what they are familiar with and what they anticipate. This balances their inner instability and volatility.
The narcissist is described as being excessively preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power, and prestige. Narcissistic personality disorder is closely linked to self-centeredness.
Infact the narcissist knows little about him and finds what he knows to be unacceptable. The narcissist has precious little experience of his self. Instead, he lives in an invented world, of his own design. He, therefore, possesses no tools to enable him to cope with other human beings, share their emotions, put himself in their place (empathise) and, of course, love them – the most demanding task of inter-relating.
If we keep living in a world of fantasy – how could we notice the very real people around us who ask for our love and who deserve it? The narcissist wants to love. In his rare moments of self-awareness, he feels ego-dystonic (unhappy with his situation and with his relationships with others). This is his predicament: he is sentenced to isolation precisely because his need of other people is so great.
This concept of excessive selfishness has been recognised throughout history. In ancient Greece the concept was understood as hubris. The name "narcissism" is derived the from the Greek mythology of Narcissus.
Narcissus was a handsome Greek youth who rejected the desperate advances of the nymph Echo. As a punishment, he was doomed to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. Unable to consummate his love, Narcissus pined away and changed into a flower that bears his name, the narcissus.
I don't think any actor feels comfortable watching themselves in movies. You must be very narcissistic. The problem with your own opinion of yourself is that contrary to the normal spectators, when you watch a film you are in, you only watch yourself.
Omar Sharif, Egyptian actor
Narcissistic rage is a reaction to narcissistic injury (when the narcissist feels that he/she is degraded by another person, typically in the form of criticism). When the narcissist's grandiose sense of self-worth is perceivably being attacked by another person, the narcissist's natural reaction is to rage and pull-down the self-worth of others (to make the narcissist feel superior to others). It is an attempt by the narcissist to soothe their internal pain and hostility, while at the same time rebuilding their self worth.
Narcissistic rage should not be confused with anger (although the two are similar), and is not necessarily caused by a situation that would typically provoke anger in an individual.Narcissistic rage can be explosive or passive aggressive.
Narcissistic parents demand certain behavior from their children because they see the children as extensions of themselves, and need the children to represent them in the world in ways that meet the parents’ emotional needs.(For example, a narcissistic father who was a lawyer demanded that his son, who had always been treated as the "favorite" in the family, enter the legal profession as well. When the son chose another career, the father rejected and disparaged him.)
These traits will lead overly narcissistic parents to be very intrusive in some ways, and entirely neglectful in others. The children are punished if they do not respond adequately to the parents’ needs. This punishment may take a variety of forms, including physical abuse, angry outbursts, blame, attempts to instill guilt, emotional neglect, and criticism. Whatever form it takes, the purpose of the punishment is to enforce compliance with the parents' narcissistic needs.
NARCISSICTIC PERSONALITY DISORDER
Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, need for admiration, extreme self-involvement, and lack of empathy for others. Individuals with this disorder are usually arrogantly self-assured and confident. They expect to be noticed as superior. Many highly successful individuals might be considered narcissistic. However, this disorder is only diagnosed when these behaviours become persistent and very disabling or distressing.
• An oversensitive temperament at birth
• Overindulgence and overvaluation by parents
• Valued by parents as a means to regulate their own self-esteem
• Excessive admiration that is never balanced with realistic feedback
• Unpredictable or unreliable caregiving from parents
• Severe emotional abuse in childhood
• Being praised for perceived exceptional looks or talents by adults
• Excessive praise for good behaviors or excessive criticism for poor behaviors in childhood
Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Relationships
The attitude of a narcissist towards others is one of superior contempt. Narcissism also makes people envy the accomplishments of others; the success of others is perceived as stealing the narcissist's "rightful" rewards or possessions.
People with narcissistic personality disorder demand that others provide them with comfort, gifts, and other desires, but refuse to acknowledge any indebtedness. Rather than offer thanks, the narcissist will mock and degrade both gift and giver.
This contempt for others is also expressed towards intimate partners and children. When narcissists feel family members are not meeting their needs, they may resort to emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. Sexual abuse of children is also a danger with severe narcissist personality disorder, as the narcissist sees his children as extensions of his self with no real individual identity or rights.
Narcissism treatment must overcome a number of challenges. People with narcissistic personality disorder often resist treatment; their self-concept refuses to accept that their narcissism is abnormal, and they consider mental treatment "beneath them," or "demeaning" and they adopt adversarial attitudes towards mental professionals.
Antidepressants may be used to treat anxiety and depression in the narcissist, but as with many personality disorders, the patient must be monitored carefully for signs of non compliance or substance abuse.
Psychotherapy, both individually and in group settings, can help the patient with narcissistic personality disorder identify and change his or her symptoms. The goal of treatment is to help the narcissist become more sensitive to others' rights and emotions. Treatment outcomes are dependent on the severity of the disorder — the less willing the narcissist is to view others with any degree of empathy, the more likely treatment will fail.
Narcissists are difficult ones to be dealt with and if you're near them, you're the mirror if you give them the slightest attention to reflect back an image they have just created of themselves. Don't reflect back the image they have created. You can do this by giving them little attention and slipping away from their attention field...
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Everybody has emotions. Emotions let you know how you feel about things - happy, angry, sad, excited, and jealous. And they don't lie. These instant, instinctive responses of your body to the world are always truthful. But not always right!
You'll notice that the word 'emotion' contains the word 'motion', that is, movement. Emotions are there to induce action.
We live our lives on an emotional spectrum which varies constantly from hour to hour, day to day, and when our lives are in reasonable control it moves in a balanced way.
When our lives are not satisfying in a balanced way, and we are also under additional pressure in life and we call this stress.
Then if our situation worsens, we become emotionally distressed and we call this anxiety, depression, panic, rage, tearfulness when we cannot concentrate or make decisions, may be irritable or angry, weepy or sad, do not sleep well, lose interest even in enjoyable things. We despair and lose hope.
That’s when we need to gain good control over our emotions.
Emotional control is the ability to direct the emotional expression of oneself or of another.
DISCOVERING YOUR EMOTIONS
The first step in discovering how to gain a sense of emotional control is to learn what it is your emotions are trying to tell you. Once you understand that your feelings are there to make you aware of your needs, wants and desires, then you will not consider any feeling as "bad." Rather, you can come to appreciate the guidance that they offer you. You are on the way to gaining emotional control
Even those emotions that are labelled negative by many people have a purpose. The problem is that most of us have not learned to speak the language of our emotions. We remain deaf to their messages and end up suffering instead of learning and growing from our life experiences
A FULL CUP.
In these cases, our "emotional cup" of anger/sadness/guilt etc. that we are carrying within ourselves is full. It does not take much of a situation to cause that cup to spill over completely.
We need a way to empty our emotional cup if we are to gain emotional control and wellbeing. When we do that we find that we are nowhere nearly as bothered by situations that previously caused us (and often those around us) an immense amount of grief and stress.
Certain irrational thoughts that can interrupt your peaceful emotional state which leads to uncontrolled emotional break outs..:
- I must be perfect in all respects in order to be worthwhile:
Nobody can be perfect in everything that we have to do in life. But if you believe that you're a failure unless you are perfect in every way, you are setting yourself up for a lifetime of unhappiness.
- I must be loved and approved of by everyone who is important to me. :
Sometimes you just can't help making enemies, and there are people in the world who bear ill will to almost everyone. But you can't make your own life miserable by trying to please them.
- When people treat me unfairly, it is because they are bad people:
Most of the people who treat you unfairly have friends and family who love them. People are mixtures of good and bad.
- It is terrible when I am seriously frustrated, treated badly, or rejected:
Some people have such a short fuse that they can are constantly losing jobs or endangering friendships because they are unable to endure the slightest frustration.
- Misery comes from outside forces which I can’t do very much to change:
Many prison inmates describe their life as if it were a cork, bobbing up and down on waves of circumstance.
- If something is dangerous or fearful, I have to worry about it :
Many people believe that "the work of worrying" will help to make problems go away. "Okay, that's over. Now, what's the next thing on the list that I have to worry about?"
- It is easier to avoid life’s difficulties and responsibilities than to face them: Even painful experiences, once we can get through them, can serve as a basis for learning and future growth.
- Because things in my past controlled my life, they have to keep doing so now and in the future:
If this were really true, it would mean that we are prisoners of our past, and change is impossible. But people change all the time -- and sometimes they change dramatically!
- I can be as happy as possible by just doing nothing and enjoying myself, taking life as it comes:
If this were true, almost every wealthy or comfortably retired person would do as little as possible. But instead, they seek new challenges as a pathway to further growth.
Learn to avoid the cognitive distortions which make things look worse than they really are.
Most of us have heard the expression, "looking at the world through rose-colored glasses." But when you use cognitive distortions, you tend to look at the world through mud-colored glasses! Here are some examples.
A single negative event turns into a never-ending pattern of defeat. "I didn't get a phone call. I'll never hear from anybody again."
o Disqualifying the positive.
If somebody says something good about you, it doesn't count. But if somebody says something bad about you, you "knew it all along."
o Jumping to conclusions.
You make a negative interpretation even though there are no definite facts that convincingly support your conclusion.
o Mind reading.
You think somebody is disrespecting you and don't bother to check it out. You just assume that he is.
o The Fortune Teller Error.
You think that things are going to turn out badly, and convince yourself that this is already a fact.
o Emotional reasoning.
You assume that your negative emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are: "I feel it, therefore it must be true."
o Labeling and mislabeling.
This is an extreme form of overgeneralization. When you make a mistake, you give yourself a label, such as, "I'm a loser." When someone else's behavior rubs you the wrong way, you attach a negative label to him, "He's a louse." Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded.
You believe that you were the cause of something bad that happened, when you really didn't have very much to do with it.
One very valuable tool in emotional control is the ability to pause. While there are no pause and play buttons in real life, people have the capability to stop themselves, and take a break in certain situations that usually cause emotional outbursts
Before shouting and screaming out of a disappointing occurrence, you should first take a break to think and reflect. Pausing in itself is a form of emotional control. At this point, you can think if letting go of the emotions is indeed necessary.
You should also think of the consequences that the emotional explosion would entail. If the emotions involved in the situation are too strong to withhold, you can think of reasonable emotional expressions such as crying instead of screaming when you are depressed, or smiling instead of jumping around when you are elated.
The problem with most people who are unable to control their emotions is that they dwell too much on the present situation. It is undeniable that the height of emotions experienced in certain circumstances could be overwhelming. However, these are also the times when you are vulnerable to do things that you might regret later on. To avoid this, it is important to examine how things would go in the future.
Emotional control is indeed difficult to master. But with will power and determination, it can be possibly achieved. You just have to be aware that emotions do not really have the power to overcome people. On the contrary, people have the ability to watch over their emotions and control them to what they think is necessary…….
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Are you just the same despite the changes in you? To make it clearer, could you maintain a relative stable level of happiness despite a change in fortune or the achievement of major goals?....As you know a treadmill is an exercise machine for running or walking while staying in one place.Hedonic treadmill works when one remains the same in the pursuit of happiness just like how a person on the tread mill constantly works out staying in the same place for the reduction of weight.
Hedonic treadmill is a perfect descriptor for when you experience life as the kind of person who is never satisfied – no matter what your accomplishments are. You view the glass as upside down, i.e. unfillable, starting from square one even if you just completed a major task.
The word “Hedonism” refers the doctrine holding that behaviour is motivated by the desire for pleasure and the avoidance of pain.The concept “Hedonistic Treadmill” was designed by Michael Eysenck, a British psychology researcher during the late nineties, to refer to the hedonic treadmill theory which compares the pursuit of happiness to a person on a treadmill, who has to keep working just to stay in the same place.
Despite the fact that external forces are constantly changing our life goals, happiness for most people is a relatively constant state. Regardless of how good things get, people always report about the same level of happiness.
The theory supports the argument that money does not buy happiness and that the pursuit of money as a way to reach this goal is futile. Good and bad fortunes may temporarily affect how happy a person is, but most people will end up back at their normal level of happiness,,
"The trouble is, if nice things happen to you, your expectations go up." With no escape from the hedonic treadmill, reducing expectations becomes the key to happiness.
—T. Lott, "Happiness: Three academics look for life's biggest secret," Sunday Herald, April 15, 1990
Running on the hedonic treadmill should not be confused with the selfish excess of pure hedonism. A poorer person with significant financial debts may feel just as satisfied with his or her life as a wealthy person.
Studies show that lottery winners and others who have come into sudden wealth only experience a temporary surge in personal happiness levels. Once they have satisfied their essential list of desires and have become financially solvent, many lottery winners report feelings of disappointment that their wealth did not make them feel any different about their lives.
Hacking the Treadmill:
So before we conclude, let’s check how to apply this theory to maximize your happiness?
Break up long-term goals into a series of short-term goals that can be accomplished on a daily basis. Not only does this have the benefit of increasing your incremental happiness gained from completing these “mini-goals” , but the process of breaking them up into smaller goals helps to clarify the path you need to take towards achieving the end goal….