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Your Self-Talk, Taking Back Your Mind From Crippling Lies of Narcissist

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When women share their experiences of being in a relationship with a narcissist, they discover that, while the details of each relationship differ — the words and tactics that narcissists use are all so bizarrely the same!

It’s as if they consult one another, work from the same playbook, share game plans. The stuff that comes out of their mouths is, well, the same.

It’s like a secret language, except it’s not a secret anymore.

They use words that target another’s confidence, to make them feel bad, hopeless, to get them to compare themselves to others, so that they always come up short, feel inferior, small, immoral.

Why? Narcissists feel most powerful when cruel.

The kinder or more innocent the persons they prey on and exploit, the better. They regard the kind-hearted as crazy fools deserving to be abused and exploited, hardened, made bitter.

They speak words with intent to make a woman (or a person from the group they define as “weak” or inferior depending on the particular supremacist ideology they hold), feel crazy, confused, small, irrelevant, and invisible.

These are not just the regular “cruel” things persons tend to say to one another when one or both get upset. Working things out in a relationship can last a lifetime, with many upsets along the way; and most all of us have spoken words, when upset, that hurt others. Hurt people hurt people.

The difference between a narcissist and regular humans is that, whereas most human beings feel bad afterwards when they cross the line, though they may hate to admit it. They know certain words they spoke were wrong, beneath their own and the other’s dignity, and they feel sorry, and wish they’d take a few breaths before saying things they really didn’t mean.

In contrast, narcissists speak words with intent to be cruel and demoralize the other. They feel no remorse, may deny any wrong as imagined by the other. They not only feel entitled to tear down another’s sense of self, this also excites them, to prove superiority and rightful dominance is their drug of choice.

There is no communication with a narcissist! They gaslight everything to derail any normal attempts of the other to have a real conversation, to get them to listen to reasoning or explanations of the other — to talk in common sense ways that build mutual understanding.

In short, they instill damaging self talk in your head on purpose. The words they speak intend to break the others will to any power or presence of their own.
Those feelings don’t go away after leaving the narcissist, at least not on their own. The narcissist intentionally recorded a stream of thoughts to drive you out of being and feeling human so that they can control you — even when they are not around.
(Remember there is nothing a narcissist hates and has worked harder to eliminate that his true-self-inner-human! And this is why he attacks your inner-true-self! He doesn’t want this to exist. He believes in an alter reality in which if you keep denying human-heart-connection exists, that somehow it will.)
This toxic mindset — of feeling bad and blaming yourself and trying to explain yourself and to “help” them “get” you or how wrongful or hurtful their actions are —  needs to be replaced!
Anything can trigger those old feeling-bad feelings at any time, and re-open those old wounds again.
It’s unhealthy for you! And it’s enabling the narcissist! To hear you explain how hurt you are and how terrible they’ve been is affirming to a narcissist! It’s data letting them know they’ve been effective!

And by the way it’s all about language, words, patterns, syntax.

Why observe language patterns?

It’s how it works with humans. We create language, and the language we use, wittingly or unwittingly, turns around to create who we are, reinforce our habits, good or bad, set limits on who become. In short, our regular thoughts shape the direction of our lives. Wow!

As the latest findings in neuroscience shows, we are continually creating ourselves by what we think and believe. What makes our thoughts so powerful, however, is that they fire and wire the neuropathyways of our brains, which literally start and, or stop behaviors, forming behavioral sequences, patterns, habits.

The cells of your body are on a 24/7 intelligence mission, constantly eavesdropping on the ongoing conversation you have with yourself.

The messages can be liberating truths, or crippling lies.

Your thoughts shape your life. They can cause depression or free you to be happy regardless  challenges. The reason they’re powerful has to do with how thoughts, and words, activating emotion-releasing images, that directly affect the autonomic nervous system of your body, with the release of either fear-based or calming neurochemicals into the bloodstream.

Does the narcissist know?

Yes, the narcissist knows what they do. It’s also a science perfected in today’s world by research that has been conducted from the beginning of the 20th century. That’s nearly 100 years of evidence in the use of tactics of thought control, all of which operate on releasing high levels of fear, with intent, to cripple the (otherwise amazing) capacity of the frontal cortex, to the point, where one (supposedly) “gladly” hands over their will (thus, ability to do their own thinking, to adapt the narcissistic might-makes-right ideology).

Though the use of these methods in warfare and military maneuvers is not at issue, the increasing number of soldiers trained in psychological warfare, who return and use the methods on their partners, or share their knowledge on the internet, is fast becoming a social problem.

In less extreme form, these methods are not unfamiliar to most of us in some ways. For thousands of years, parenting methods have relied heavily on the use of shame and intimidation by authority figures to instill obedience without questioning. For soldiers, it’s what boot camp is about, that is, using methods that suppress or traumatize the “real thinking” areas of the brain.

If left to operate subconsciously, crippling lie-talk can turn a normal mind into its own prison, a topsy-turvy world in which lies are truth, and vice versa.

Crippling lie-talk in the form of thought patterns and limiting beliefs act like a bogus treasure map. They can cause you to spend years or a lifetime looking for love and happiness, for example, where it cannot be found.

It’s called addiction, and whether it’s to a substances or activity, it’s what happens the neuro-chemical information system of the body when fear-activating lie-talk jams and cross-wires the attra, deceived into regarding a quick-fix feel-good as a source of personal fulfillment and happiness, when in fact it is a high risk of harm, perhaps even deadly trap.

In most cases, limiting beliefs are subconsciously learned. The beliefs you adopted in formative years of childhood have the greatest impact. If you were exposed to a narcissist or two, as a child or adult, you may need some double doses of truth-talk, at least in the beginning, to break free of the paralyzing effect of these lies.

The good news is that your amazing brain is ever ready, and hungry to break free! If you learn, resolved to practice, how to turn on your “magic” lamp inside, you’ll discover that you come equipped with your own dream-come-true genie.

These cells do not do their own thinking. Like an inner genie, your body-mind, or subconscious, responds to your wishes, beliefs and values, as if saying, “Your wish is my command.”

It is critical to understand the difference between transforming truth-talk versus crippling lie-talk. Your thoughts, words and beliefs literally create your life. Your best protection from a narcissist is to develop a mature and healthy love for your self, and it starts with understanding that need to transform your self-talk with high doses, at least at first, of truth-talk to break the power hold of limiting lies and crippling illusions over your mind and body states of mind in triggering situations.

Dr. Deepak Chopra, best selling author and physician, in an episode of The Best of The Oprah Show, notes that self-talk, for example, can have a transformative power even in preventing illness or disease. In his words:

“There are receptors to these molecules in your immune system, in your gut and in your heart. So when you say, ‘I have a gut feeling’ or ‘my heart is sad’ or ‘I am bursting with joy,’ you’re not speaking metaphorically. You’re speaking literally.”

That means that if you’re feeling unhappy on a consistent basis, it is likely rooted in any limiting thought and belief patterns you hold. Beliefs are limiting when they cause you to look for evidence, that the love you bring matters, where it cannot be found, for example, if you depend on another person to say or do such-and-such before you can feel loved and accepted, valued and deserving of love and happiness — inside, where it matters.

Got your own self- love and acceptance?

The reason that loving your Self is critical is, not because it’s more important than loving others, rather that it is the only source of love that you control 100%.

It’s the way you and the world of relationships, with self and others, are designed to work.

The cells of your body — and you — may be at cross purposes if you believe your feeling loved and happy depends on something or someone outside of you.

Beliefs are limiting when they cause you to look for evidence, that the love you bring matters only when another person says or does such-and-such.

However, your happiness is an inside job, and your own self-love and self-acceptance is prerequisite. Love is action, and the only place you feel it is inside you. Therefore, you must: Never assign to anyone the power over your life regarding whether and when you can feel loved, accepted, valued or deserving of love and happiness.

This dependency on a source external to you is a trap. It has always been. As women, we’ve been conditioned to focus on making others feel heard and important. This is good of course, however, this is exactly one attribute a narcissist looks for, and then methodically grooms, overtly and covertly, to lead their prey deeper into a trap.

Consider the following: If you do not love yourself for all you are (and are not), is it reasonable that another can do so?

Imagine the billions of cells in your body listening to you talk to yourself this way. Picture them receiving commands for a job they are totally capable of completing. See that these cells are totally dedicated to your success and realization of your goals. Feel them carefully listening…thoughtfully following your orders.

In contrast, in the past, limiting thoughts kept you stuck, in fear. High levels of fear, mostly irrational fears intentionally instilled by a narcissist to keep you where they can exploit you, produced a survival-love state of mind and body, which predictably activates the fight or flight response and keeps you in protective mode. In survival mode, the body-mind is not open to learning, growing, changing, and, in fact, it automatically blocks change, regardless how positive, with automatic protective strategies. That’s because, in survival mode, to your body’s subconscious mind, change is perceived as a threat.

This literally shuts down access to your higher thinking capacity and stupendous abilities for creative thoughts, powerful emotional states of hope, belief, gratitude, curiosity, enthusiasm … and the like!

In defensive state, your cells are solely focused on survival. They do not take orders from parts of you that engage in creative or possibility thinking.

In contrast, when your self-talk energizes optimal states of mind and body, it calms your body-mind. When you respond to life events with a sense of confidence, you are more likely to come up with creative solutions and actions to do whatever needs to be done to optimize your health and realize your topmost goals. In this state of mind, your subconscious is an amazing partner that loyally supports you, and you alone, to fulfill your highest goals … and of course, to realize happiness, and live a fulfilling, meaningful life. This state of mind is also one in which you’re more likely to take actions that promote your growth, happiness, emotional fulfillment.

Since you have your own built-in genie inside, what you want, believe and feel you deserve to have in your life, your health, your relationships, etc., is the most important determinant of what outcome you produce.

The cells of your subconscious mind make sure that your energies are redirected and fortified to align themselves to your master commands. Your thoughts, words and beliefs can make you weaker, or stronger everyday! You decide.

What if you had thoughts, for example, such as:

  • “I choose to love, value and accept myself just as I am.
  • I choose to feel unstoppable love for myself, my life, loved one, my talents and abilities.
  • I choose to feel deep gratitude and appreciation for all I have in my life.
  • I choose to see, more and more, all the ways even painful experiences support me to grow and become a stronger, better, more confident person.
  • I choose to achieve all I put my mind to do and realize.
  • I choose to enjoy the access I have to inner resources for strength and courage.
  • I choose to feel energized and motivated with unstoppable momentum to heal, grow, and be transformed in optimal ways.
  • I choose to feel energized to grow and transform every obstacle or challenge into an asset.

In other words, the cells of your body listen to your self-talk around the clock, and accordingly interpret your self-talk, that is, your thoughts, words, beliefs as master commands.

So imagine what would happen if you started to think and talk and act like a person who has a built-in genie, which in a manner of speaking, you do.

You have the ability to heal from your experience with a narcissist. The same ability supports fight off physical illness and disease with your self-talk and imagination. This is a built in capacity.

The only “power” the narcissist had was an illusion-of-power through the use of science-based tactics of thought control.  You have the ability to break free of toxic, addictive patterns. You have the ability to realize your dreams and goals. It may not turn out perfectly, or exactly the way you want, however, if you’re really in tune, and ready to trust and let go, things will turn out more amazing than you would have ever imagined. It’s practically a guarantee.

When you have thoughts that make you feel super confident, the cells of body activate neuro-peptide chemicals, or molecules of emotion, that promote feelings of power and well being and elation.

You can afford to walk with confidence when you hold an indisputable belief that who you are, your worth and value, is between you and the Universe — and no one else has a say! Being human, you’ll always at some level want and enjoy being appreciated or esteemed by those you most care about; however, esteem from others is also always a nice to have addition — it’s not the main course. The only love and respect, esteem and belief you need, like water and oxygen, is your own.

When you understand this, you realize you’ve been in charge of your momentum all along. The only power the narcissistic has lies in their use of tactics to make you believe otherwise! In truth, apart from infancy and early childhood, you’re the only one who’s been in charge of how you feel about yourself and life. No one can make you feel less than the amazing miracle-making being you are … not when you choose to own the reins of your mind that have always only belonged to you.

It may not be easy, but it’s worthwhile. Choose to take back your mind and heart, literally, your body and sense of self, optimally to transform your life and relationships by transforming your thoughts, the words you speak, the beliefs you hold. It’s the only way.

To the extent you cultivate this ability, it will serve you as a shield from being pulled down by persons who are really the sick ones, there’s perhaps no greater malady that could befall a human being than to hold beliefs so dehumanizing that they regard feeling no remorse for crippling another’s sense of self, agency and confidence as a strength!!!

If happiness and success, confidence and health are your life aspirations, then start with a mindful practice of observing and being consciously aware of your thoughts. The habitual ones in particular.Regardless the area in your life you want to heal and grow in, your habits determine 95% of your outcomes. Every aspect of your life is a direct result of your habits, and this includes your habitual thoughts and responses to yourself, and key others closest to you.

Happiness is the way to heal. Feeling good about yourself and life, even as you stretch to become an ever better version of yourself — is prerequisite.

Photo by Erwss, peace&love

Photo by Erwss, peace&love

Your Self-Talk, Taking Back Your Mind From Crippling Lies of Narcissist

Athena Staik, Ph.D.

Relationship consultant, author, licensed marriage and family therapist, Dr. Athena Staik motivates clients to break free of anxiety, emotion reactivity, and other addictive patterns, to awaken wholehearted relating to self and other. She is currently in private practice in Northern VA, and writing her book, What a Narcissist Means When He Says 'I Love You'": Breaking Free of Addictive Love in Couple Relationships. To contact Dr. Staik for information, an appointment or workshop, visit, or visit on her two Facebook fan pages DrAthenaStaik and DrStaik

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APA Reference
Staik, A. (2018). Your Self-Talk, Taking Back Your Mind From Crippling Lies of Narcissist. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 2, 2020, from


Last updated: 4 Feb 2018
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