Archives for Addictive Relating

Addictive Relating

Codependency and Narcissism: 10 Similar-Yet-Distinct Patterns

On the surface the dance of narcissism and codependency seems to be between two complete opposites; and, in many ways, they are. To see what's really happening in a couple relationship with these dynamics, however, it helps to look at 10 similar yet distinct patterns in their dance steps.

An awareness of these patterns gives us a glimpse of what is really going on to keep both addicted, and stuck repeating the same old dance...
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Addictive Relating

What Draws Partners to a Dance of Codependency and Narcissism?


The dance of codependency and narcissism begins when two opposite, distinctly off-balance behavior patterns, attract one another.

At first, it seems a perfect union.

When they pair up, initially, there is an illusion of a dance team that would put Fred and Ginger on the sidelines. Each feels they’ve found a suitable dance partner that most promises to help them realize the fulfillment they each seek from the relationship, that is: to feel worthy and alive.

While these innermost yearnings are realistic and healthy, their expectations...
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Addictive Relating

What It Means When a Narcissist Says “I Love You”

Dear Codependent Partner,

What I'm about to say is not something I'd ever say or admit (to you), because to do so would end the winner-takes-all-game that is my main source of pleasure in life -- one that effectively keeps you carrying my load in our relationship.

And that's the whole point.

When I say “I love you” I mean that I love how hard you work to make me feel like your everything, that I am the focus of your life,...
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The Neuroscience of Divisive Labels: One Poet’s Protest — “I’m NOT Black, You are NOT White”


Really moved by this video clip (on Oprah's network OWN) of a poem, I Am NOT Black, You Are NOT White by Prince Ea (a spoken word artist who is drawing millions of visitors, with his rap on topics of  social relationships, politics, environment, and life in general).

While an invitation to "not see race" is typically a position associated with the group promoting status quo (hierarchical) relations, in this spoken masterpiece, Prince Ea brings us a fresh perspective on labels, reflecting on their intentional use to install limiting "we versus them" beliefs.

It has "worked perfectly," he notes,...
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Addictive Relating

The Neuroscience of Why a Child is a Model Citizen, 2 of 2

Luis Sarabia via Compfight

In Part 1 we looked at better understanding the behavior of a child who is a model citizen everywhere but home by examining what inner strivings, or emotion-drives, the child is attempting to meet in each situation. In this post, the two areas below pertain to questions of how thoughts drive behaviors.
2. What beliefs (or thoughts) does the child's behavior say the child has learned to hold regarding how to best fulfill their core...
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Addictive Relating

The Neuroscience of Why a Child Is a Model Citizen — Everywhere But Home, 1 of 2

Patrick via Compfight

It can be baffling. How can the same child who is a model citizen at school or when visiting friends, etc., be so explosive or difficult to handle at home?

One client described this as follows:
"My 9 year old daughter gets angry at the drop of a hat. She yells, screams, throws things, slams doors, and accuses me of being mean, selfish, or hating her, or all of the above. When I try to explain why...
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Addictive Relating

20 Situations in Which a Man Tends to “Gaslight” a Woman (To Get Her to Think She’s Crazy)


It's not usual for a woman to hear the words "you're crazy" from the man in her life.

Don't believe it for a moment, says Bashar Ali in a recent article, A Message to Women From a Man: You Are Not “Crazy."

Of course most women know it's not “crazy" to want closeness or to express hurt feelings, at least deep down; it's refreshing however to read an article written by a member of the male sex talking about his own...
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Addictive Relating

Tactics of Stonewalling and Gas Lighting, What Are They? How Do They Differ? 1 of 2

As defensive approaches to communication, stonewalling and gas lighting share a few common traits.

They both: (1) block healthy communication between two persons; (2) are indirect attempts to gain the love or cooperation or attention of the other; and (3) erode or prevent the couple from deepening their connection to one another.

They are distinctly different, however, although one may use stonewalling without gas lighting, gas lighting often includes stonewalling elements.

What distinguishes one from the other is their...
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