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What It’s Like To Be Raised by a Narcissistic Parent

What It’s Like To Be Raised by a Narcissistic Parent

Have you ever felt the irrational anger of someone who felt you came short of their expectations or just misunderstood you? Or someone who just want to take the glory for your successes without considering you at all or just see your achievements as a threat to their value or respect? This is exactly what we will be looking at as we go further.

Anyone can be a narcissist but that could be more tolerable than having a parent who is one, let alone being raised by such parent. This context is not about blaming but simply exposing the hidden things about some parents you may not have known.

Generally, people define a narcissist as someone with a high sense of value for him or herself alone and care less about others or their feelings.

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However, experts define narcissism as a high sense of self-importance, a deep need for self-admiration and complete lack of empathy for others.

Children who are raised by narcissistic parents may not be aware of the fact that their parents are narcissistic.

Every child wants to hear these words;

  • I love you.
  • I’m proud of you.
  • I’m sorry.
  • I forgive you.
  • I’m listening to you,
  • This is your responsibility so, go for what it takes.

But with Narcissistic Parents, this is just a nightmare and the fun of it is, they often appear so loving and concerned about their children and could manipulate them to believe what they are doing is actually a show of love or just a display of parental authority over their children.

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Here’re some ways to tell if a parent is narcissistic.

Well, most NP behaviors may often seem like normal difficult personalities but only a closer look and observation will reveal it’s entirely an abnormal behavior or simply a psychological problem. There are many ways you can tell if someone is a narcissistic parent.

1. They’re always right.

How parent reacts to criticism is simply a trait that they are a narcissist too. Because they possess a delicate self-esteem, a slight criticism gets them off the hook and that could make their children their worst enemy. Whatever they say or do is the best and their children aren’t just thinking right . Their children could become a subject to total domestic violence and abuse. All their children’s life choices are wrong except those they have approved; friends, school, career, finance or anything else.

2. They hardly have time for their children.

My child, it’s late already, can we talk tomorrow? But he just came in late. And by tomorrow, there would be another tomorrow and that tomorrow never came. Most of the time it’s either I’m going out with friends let’s talk when I’m back or I’m just so tired from work and can’t talk now. A narcissistic parent will always have one or more excuses to avoid a conversation because they don’t want to listen to what you have to say.

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3. They may see their children’s achievements as threats.

Because narcissists adore themselves and simply put their self-value ahead of everything else, they either take the glory of your accomplishments or see you as a competitor. If they can’t take the glory of their children’s achievements, they would rather leave them alone.

Growing up with a narcissistic parent affects their children in many ways.

  • The children may lose their self-esteem and have difficulty measuring up with friends. Their friends may not understand their situations and leave them helpless.
  • Narcissistic parents may take away their children’s rights as part of the family and leave them feeling invalidated.
  • The children will be clouded with feelings of vulnerability and worries in their future relationship life.
  • Because narcissistic parents often use emotional blackmail to get what they want, their children may find it very difficult to trust anyone around them even with other people’s sincere intentions.
  • Since they’re always right and ahead of their children, the children will hardly appreciate themselves enough for anything they do. They may become a perfectionist.

Living with a narcissistic parent is not easy, but there’re ways to maintain a better family relationship.

There’s one fact you can’t take away from this and that’s you’ll always remain a family. However, you must deal with this fact. So, a good counseling session is required to handle this situation.

  • Always think about “what you want to happen” instead of being worried about “what will happen”. This helps you make better plans to stand or avoid anything that may come after.
  • Think about the times the narcissist behaviors already happened and how you let them roll by. This will give you a little strength to overcome and move on.
  • If you keep no contact with your narcissistic parent, always try to be in the company of friends who understand your current situation and are ready to help you.

Decide for yourself whether it’s best to remain in contact or stay away from a narcissistic parent.

This is totally your answer depending on the circumstances surrounding you and your parent. For instance, if you see yourself go no contact for a while after a tough argument and not too long you feel like going back again after the rage comes down. Going no contact may be impossible for you.

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But decide for yourself to go no contact if the rage never come down. Don’t forget that narcissistic parents are simply suffering from psychological problems and this could really make the whole situation difficult for you. So, you should know when your options are exhausted and all your efforts fruitless. This is the time to cut ties and move on.

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

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Last Updated on October 30, 2019

How the Stages of Change Model Helps You Change Your Habits

How the Stages of Change Model Helps You Change Your Habits

Change is tough, there’s no doubt about it. Old habits are hard to shift, and adopting a new lifestyle can feel like an uphill battle!

In this article, you will learn about a simple yet powerful model:

Stages of change model, that explains the science behind personal transformation.

You’ll discover how and why some changes stick whereas others don’t last, and how long it takes to build new habits.

What is the Stages of Change Model?

Developed by researchers J.O. Prochaska and Carlo C. DiClemente over 30 years ago[1] and outlined in their book Changing For Good, the Stages of Change Model, also known as the Transtheoretical Model, was formed as a result of the authors’ research with smokers.

Prochaska and DiClemente were originally interested in the question of why some smokers were able to quit on their own, whereas others required professional help. Their key conclusion was that smokers (or anyone else with a bad habit) quits only when they are ready to do so.

Here’s an illustration done by cartoonist and illustrator Simon Kneebone about the different stages a smoker experiences when they try to quit smoking:

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    The Stages of Change Model looks at how these conscious decisions are made. It emphasizes that change isn’t easy. People can spend a long time stuck in a stage, and some may never reach their goals.[2]

    The model has been applied in the treatment of smoking, alcoholism, and drugs. It is also a useful way of thinking about any bad habit. Social workers, therapists, and psychologists draw on the model to understand their patients’ behaviors, and to explain the change process to the patients themselves.

    The key advantages to the model is that it is simple to understand, is backed by extensive research, and can be applied in many situations.

    The Stages of Change Model is a well-established psychological model that outlines six stages of personal change:

    1. Precontemplation
    2. Contemplation
    3. Determination
    4. Action
    5. Maintenance
    6. Termination

    How are these stages relevant to changing habits?

    To help you visualize the stages of change and how each progresses to the next one, please take a look at this wheel:[3]

      Let’s look at the six stages of change,[4] together with an example that will show you how the model works in practice:

      Stage 1: Precontemplation

      At this stage, an individual does not plan to make any positive changes in the next six months. This may because they are in denial about their problem, feel too overwhelmed to deal with it, or are too discouraged after multiple failed attempts to change.

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      For example, someone may be aware that they need to start exercising, but cannot find the motivation to do so. They might keep thinking about the last time they tried (and failed) to work out regularly. Only when they start to realize the advantages of making a change will they progress to the next stage.

      Stage 2: Contemplation

      At this stage, the individual starts to consider the advantages of changing. They start to acknowledge that altering their habits would probably benefit them, but they spend a lot of time thinking about the downside of doing so. This stage can last for a long time – possibly a year or more.

      You can think of this as the procrastinating stage. For example, an individual begins to seriously consider the benefits of regular exercise, but feels resistant when they think about the time and effort involved. When the person starts putting together a concrete plan for change, they move to the next stage.

      The key to moving from this stage to the next is the transformation of an abstract idea to a belief (e.g. from “Exercise is a good, sensible thing to do” to “I personally value exercise and need to do it.)[5]

      Stage 3: Preparation

      At this point, the person starts to put a plan in place. This stage is brief, lasting a few weeks. For example, they may book a session with a personal trainer and enrol on a nutrition course.

      Someone who drinks to excess may make an appointment with a drug and alcohol counsellor; someone with a tendency to overwork themselves might start planning ways to devise a more realistic schedule.

      Stage 4: Action

      When they have decided on a plan, the individual must then put it into action. This stage typically lasts for several months. In our example, the person would begin attending the gym regularly and overhauling their diet.

      Stage 4 is the stage at which the person’s desire for change becomes noticeable to family and friends. However, in truth, the change process began a long time ago. If someone you know seems to have suddenly changed their habits, it’s probably not so sudden after all! They will have progressed through Stages 1-3 first – you probably just didn’t know about it.

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      Stage 5: Maintenance

      After a few months in the Action stage, the individual will start to think about how they can maintain their changes, and make lifestyle adjustments accordingly. For instance, someone who has adopted the habit of regular workouts and a better diet will be vigilant against old triggers (such as eating junk food during a stressful time at work) and make a conscious decision to protect their new habits.

      Unless someone actively engages with Stage 5, their new habits are liable to come unstuck. Someone who has stuck to their new habits for many months – perhaps a year or longer – may enter Stage 6.

      Maintenance can be challenging because it entails coming up with a new set of habits to lock change in place. For instance, someone who is maintaining their new gym-going habit may have to start improving their budgeting skills in order to continue to afford their gym membership.

      Stage 6: Termination

      Not many people reach this stage, which is characterized by a complete commitment to the new habit and a certainty that they will never go back to their old ways. For example, someone may find it hard to imagine giving up their gym routine, and feel ill at the thought of eating junk food on a regular basis.

      However, for the majority of people, it’s normal to stay in the Maintenance period indefinitely. This is because it takes a long time for a new habit to become so automatic and natural that it sticks forever, with little effort. To use another example, an ex-smoker will often find it hard to resist the temptation to have “just one” cigarette even a year or so after quitting. It can take years for them to truly reach the Termination stage, at which point they are no more likely to smoke than a lifelong non-smoker.

      How long does each stage take?

      You should be aware that some people remain in the same stage for months or even years at a time. Understanding this model will help you be more patient with yourself when making a change. If you try to force yourself to jump from Contemplation to Maintenance, you’ll just end up frustrated. On the other hand, if you take a moment to assess where you are in the change process, you can adapt your approach.

      So if you need to make changes quickly and you are finding it hard to progress to the next stage, it’s probably time to get some professional help or adopt a new approach to forming habits.

      The limitations of this model

      The model is best applied when you decide in advance precisely what you want to achieve, and know exactly how you will measure it (e.g. number of times per week you go to the gym, or number of cigarettes smoked per day). Although the model has proven useful for many people, it does have limitations.

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      Require the ability to set a realistic goal

      For a start, there are no surefire ways of assessing whereabouts in the process you are – you just have to be honest with yourself and use your own judgement. Second, it assumes that you are physically capable of making a change, whereas in fact you might either need to adjust your goals or seek professional help.

      If your goal isn’t realistic, it doesn’t matter whether you follow the stages – you still won’t get results. You need to decide for yourself whether your aims are reasonable.[6]

      Difficult to judge your progress

      The model also assumes that you are able to objectively measure your own successes and failures, which may not always be the case.[7] For instance, let’s suppose that you are trying to get into the habit of counting calories as part of your weight-loss efforts. However, even though you may think that you are recording your intake properly, you might be over or under-estimating.

      Research shows that most people think they are getting enough exercise and eating well, but in actual fact aren’t as healthy as they believe. The model doesn’t take this possibility into account, meaning that you could believe yourself to be in the Action stage yet aren’t seeing results. Therefore, if you are serious about making changes, it may be best to get some expert advice so that you can be sure the changes you are making really will make a positive difference.

      Conclusion

      The Stages Of Change Model can be a wonderful way to understand change in both yourself and others.

      While there’re some limitations in it, the Stages of Change Model helps to visualize how you go through changes so you know what to expect when you’re trying to change a habit or make some great changes in life.

      Start by identifying one of your bad habits. Where are you in the process? What could you do next to move forwards?

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Psych Central: Stages Of Change
      [2] Boston University School Of Public Health: The Transtheoretical Model (Stages Of Change)
      [3] Empowering Change: Stages of Change
      [4] Boston University School Of Public Health: The Transtheoretical Model (Stages Of Change)
      [5] Psychology Today: 5 Steps To Changing Any Behavior
      [6] The Transtheoretical Model: Limitations Of The Transtheoretical Model
      [7] Health Education Research: Transtheoretical Model & Stages Of Change: A Critique

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