10 signs that you are dealing with a narcissist

by Avnie Garg, freelance contributor 

Narcissism is basically a personality disorder comprising of a distended sense of self-importance, a need for entitlement, preoccupation with grandeur, lack of empathy, intolerance for criticism etc. In this sense, narcissism is very different from self-love, self-esteem and self-care. Some of the signs of a narcissist are:

 

1) Controller

A narcissists want people and situations to be under their control. They like things going their way to avoid experiencing feelings of anxiety (yes, narcissists suffer from anxiety).

 

 

2) Self-admirer

 

Most narcissists are their own favorites. They surmise that nobody in the world can match their standards. Nevertheless, they view some really successful and rich people as their ideal; but their list may include anyone from Adolf Hitler to Elon Musk.

 

 

3) Apathetic

They are indifferent to emotions of others. They care the least if anyone is crying before them. They don’t even mind using people emotionally for their own benefit. Egotism is their slogan.

 

4) Feels superior to others

Arrogance is their swagger. They experience feelings of grandiosity and thus cannot handle criticism. They place themselves on the top of the ladder.

 

5) Needs validation

A narcissist wants others to validate his/her standpoint. The phrase “you are (always) right” is music to their ears. Even if you disagree with their opinion, they’ll make sure that you are convinced with what they say before the discussion gets over.

 

6) Irresponsible and blaming 

They do not accept responsibility for anything. Even if they do and the results don’t go their way, they give enough excuses to justify themselves. They may even resort to generalized or specified blaming. Example- a narcissist might say, “yes I got angry but that is because you made me so.”

7) Interrupts conversations

Narcissists cannot really bear anyone going against them or their viewpoint. During a conversation, they‘ll interrupt you the moment you speak something opposite to what they believe in. They expect you to comply with whatever they say.

 

 

8) Belittles others

Many narcissists are sadists; most of them get a kick out of disparaging others. They are pretty confident about themselves and don’t hesitate to criticize others at their face.

 

9) Thinks she/he is not a narcissist

Most of the narcissists, shy or outgoing, have a hard time believing the fact that they actually are narcissists. Ironically, a narcissist often believes that she/he is really good at heart and empathetic towards others.

 

10) Has a history of bad relationships

They have had romantic relationships which ended up as a disaster. Also, their professional life would have been quite messy. Simply, they cannot handle any kind of relationship well.

 

 

After you identify that the person you are dealing with is a narcissist, you need to accept his/her limitations and try to be compassionate. Devise some ways to express your own self-worth. Give only sincere compliments and comply only when you want to.

 

 

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7 lessons I learnt by looking back at my teenage

by Komal Sharma, Freelance Contributor

 

Quite early in our life, based on hit and trial encounters with our environment we subconsciously start to settle ourselves on a particular approach towards dealing with situations we face in life. More often than not, it becomes our default system in how we manage ourselves in contextually similar situations. there are 7 such patterns that I have identified which help me to take a step-back from the situation I am in and look at it objectively. I use this to reflect, and to address it later;  in a healthier and more progressive manner.

 

1. Attachment style

All of us either have a secure or an insecure pattern in which we inter-personally attach to our family, partner, authority figure, subordinate etc. Every time we feel fearful, anxious, overwhelmed to an extent that it shuts down our normal functioning, it is time to be conscious of rapid changes in our bodily and psychological dynamics. Mostly we will find ways of dealing with this in the retrospective analysis of situations that aroused similar emotions within us in the past.

Mantra I follow: Identify problem area -> Detach from your maladaptive approach -> Critical identification of a better response –> And finally; mindful responding

2. Teach them how to love you and learn how to love them

“I don’t think it’s their mistake, maybe I cannot be loved”
“My partner is trying so hard but I don’t feel loved”
“We are happy, but not in love, not like ‘it was before”

We all have been there with our parents, friends, partners and others in our inner circle. It is a two-way process – come a little closer to them, try to reveal your held-back ways of receiving  love, hold out your arm when you need their re-assurance, the chances are that you will end up feeling better about your relationship with them. To have a ‘childish’ conversation of what you need and how you need it is radical in creating foundation of a secure relationship. Let there be nervousness of how they might react, but for that conversation to culminate into a fruitful conclusion, both the sides must yearn to know, share and cultivate the bond.

3. Sometimes give, give, give, and let go

Are you chasing a void of never realizing the outcome you ferociously set out to achieve?
Are you feeding the void with a lack of self-esteem born out of already having put in so much without having anything to show for it?
You are attached to a void that does nothing but disturb your mental peace
This void may be because of a person, desire, any interest or pursuit for which you have not only extended your abilities but also stretched yourself off limits; but without giving it enough time to give you back. Relax. Let go of your troubles. Let life unfold.

4. Pay attention to your emotions

Emotions need expression but more than that, they need articulation. If suppressed, they eventually leak through cracks; jeopardizing our work, relations, health and more.
Have you not had a moment when a friend starts talking in an odd and unexpected manner, and you’re just wondering what went wrong at your end?
It may be just that they had a heated exchange at the office, or they are just plain hungry. A psychological exercise as described by Dan Siegel may be helpful in such a situation– ‘name it to tame it’. If you are able to sit with the emotion and pass it through you while expressing through verbal, written, or kinesthetic modes, you have mastered your mind!

5. To be sensitive is bold

Only brave-hearts can endure paying detailed attention. It understates that they care and are willing to go an extra mile to understand. From slight changes in the immediate environment to energy draining human personalities, they are alert. This helps them to stay away or foresee a conflict and develop meaningful relationships which serve growth at both ends.
A sensitive person naturally evaluates the mood and accordingly, in a non-taxing manner is able to put forth their response. It is a skill highly regarded if you’d like to make most of ‘now’.

6. To be assertive is freedom

We often find difficult to communicate what we want or think is right, and it is arduous to even do that when we are not used to standing up for our needs. To be assertive is to put your own will with due respect and consideration which is critically reasoned well.
Assertiveness is the wisest of personal qualities any person can develop to express effectively. It is an integral element of communication style which improves relation to self (confidence & satisfaction for being heard) and others (self-worth & earned respect for managing emotions). The most powerful assertion is to say ‘No’ without pulling wrong chords.

7. Develop your night time routine

We all have heard about morning routines but little to no emphasis is given to a night routine. We wake up with the mood we sleep with – why not develop a regime that works for us?
It’s natural to witness events in our life beyond our control when there is awfully much to absorb all the time. A night routine which can be combination of few activities like reading novel or quotes, meditating, sipping an organic drink, reflecting on the present day, or reckoning to-do list for next day and more. You are a winner if you bring the agency of your life back before tomorrow starts-off!

8 Ways to stop overthinking

By Kritika Joshi, Freelance Contributor 

 

“To think too much is a disease.”
– Fyodor Dostoyevsky

What is holding people back from the life they truly want to live and enjoy? That one very common and destructive thing is that they think too much. Overthinking is equally deliberate as it is common. Here are 8 ways to stop overthinking-

Notice when you are overthinking-

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Before you understand how to cope with your habit of overthinking, you need to learn to be aware of when it is
happening. Awareness is the seed of the change you want to make. Once you notice that you are overthinking you can stop yourself from getting lost in the thought.

Keep yourself busy-

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One main reason you overthink is that you have the time to do so. Keep yourself busy. Be active throughout the day and tire your body out, so that you have no time left for the over analysis. Not one day can be fruitful if more time than necessary is allowed for aimless thinking.

Change your mind-

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Distract yourself into happiness once you feel that you are falling prey to overthinking. Sometimes it is helpful to have a way to distract yourself with happy, positive, healthy alternatives. Things like meditation, dancing, exercise, learning an instrument, drawing, painting can distance you from the issues enough to shut down the over analysis.

Sleep-

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Sleeping is like pressing the reboot button on your mind. When you haven’t slept you become more vulnerable to overthinking. Get plenty of good quality sleep. Sleeping leads to a fresh mind which disrupts the complex web of overthinking. Listening to some good music may help to get a good sleep.

Practice mindfulness-

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It is an activity where one focuses on the present moment without judgement. As the obsessive, worrying thoughts come in; you acknowledge them and then let them go, energetically release them clearing your space. One of the biggest struggle is the ability to live in the present moment. Control what you think.

Use positive daily affirmations for anxiety-

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Affirmations are statements that help you overcome negative thoughts. Some good affirmations for anxiety are- “I have the power to decide what I will think about. My thoughts do not control me”; “I refuse to allow my imagination to show me disastrous future.” Use these affirmations daily to stop negative thoughts of overthinking.

List your thoughts down-

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Make a list of things that are troubling you down. Keep a diary of things that are troubling you. Jot down all the things on your mind every day. Go over what you have written; try to deal with the thoughts yourself. Ask for advice if you are finding it difficult to deal with things by yourself. Ask for advice if needed.

Realise that no good can be achieved by overthinking-

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Overthinking may lead to excessive worrying, anxiety, panic, fatigue, inability to concentrate, muscle tension, digestive disorders etc. There are more cons of overthinking than its pros. Overthinking leads to no good and may lead to severe health issues. Nothing can be achieved by overthinking. You cannot predict the future, and thus should not waste your efforts on stressing about things.

7 ways in which we delude ourselves

 

by Ridhi Murari, Freelance Contributor

 

Resistance stems from a deep and intense struggle between wanting to change and wanting to hold on to our habitual patterns of reacting, emoting and behaving; more often than not in a desperate attempt in protecting ourselves from facing our demons. When we actually confront a problem which is seen by us as unmanageable or difficult we fall into a pattern of deluding ourselves; here are 7 ways in which we do that:

 

 

  1. Publishing Odd Future GIF-downsized_largeREPRESSION When we forget things we find unpleasant, it is called repression. We all have incidents that shake our core from within, hitting us with the impact of a physical blow. This is where repression comes in. The thoughts that flow through our minds in this stage are typically, “Oh, I’m so mad at her that I can actually pick up a matchstick and burn her in hell, oh God, how did I become so violent? Let me not think of her this way. “

 

 

 

  1. sad love and hip hop GIF by VH1-downsized_large            SUPPRESSION- When one is aware that a particular feeling, thought, or want has made way into ones consciousness and yet they make a deliberate effort to not dwell on it―one, by not thinking about it (internally) and two, by not acting on it (externally). for eg a wife may be peeved about her husband’s behavior but because of some guests around her, she may control her reaction at that time. But one should also be aware of the possibility that these impulses and thoughts might make way again, and that they will need to be dealt with at the time that they do.

 

              

 

               

  1. world series no GIF by Brett Eldredge-downsized_large           DEPRIVATION- He has it and I don’t and the endless discourses on how the world is an unfair place to live in which follow; such comparison is inevitable, someone has the intangibles we want. This deprived state leads to complaining, resenting, and dwelling in a spiral of negativity and eventually, being exhausted by the process, seeking refuge in a sea of optimism through any means possible. PS- Beware of over-enthusiastic people, it’s often a reversal of the deprived state that makes them overjoyed.

 

 

 

  1. Brendan Fraser What GIF-downsized_large                   AMBIGUITY INTOLERANCE- “But you have to tell me what do I do next?” “If I knew what to do why would I come to you?”; to avoid those uncomfortable situations of awareness, reflection and introspection, we would do anything in the world for another being to dictate the steps of our life so I can later blame them for all of it. The degree to which an individual is comfortable with uncertainty, unpredictability, conflicting directions, and multiple demands. In essence, tolerance for ambiguity is manifest in a person’s ability to operate effectively in an uncertain environment.

 

                                                                                                                                                                              

  1. like GIF-downsized_large                                         INERTIA- “Okay, let’s do one thing since I’ve tried everything from my end, there is nothing more I can do so let it be. This is my fate and destiny, so what’s the point?”. This is the world of the inertia, of people who have given up and entered the realm of learned helplessness. The psychological meaning of the word “inertia” implies an indisposition to change – a certain “stuckness” due to human programming. It represents the inevitability of behaving in a certain way, to the extent that it may have been indelibly inscribed somewhere in the brain.
  2. routine GIF-downsized_largeROUTINE SEEKING- There are, among us, people who need to know what to do at each step. Bound by routine, they are beings who hate stepping out of their comfort zones. Change is uncomfortable for most of us, even if this resistance does not manifest itself in the form of an incessant need to stick to a staunch routine. Not that all routines are bad. We need routines, but the question is: who is the master? us or the routine.

 

 

 

7. hd GIF-downsized_largeENTITLEMENT– We all want things. But some people feel they are entitled to whatever it is they want, and they feel they deserve it all now. That can make for very difficult relationships, a lot of disappointment, and never receiving what is most important in life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 psychology terms that’ll help you make sense of the world

by Ishaan Kumbkarni, Staff Writer

1. Availability Heuristic

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It states that we tend to base our evaluations, judgments and perceptions of the world around us on the basis of the information that is easily available to us which means that more often than not, our conclusions are based on incomplete, or in some cases, irrelevant information just because it happened to be in front of us.

2. Mere-Exposure Effect

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It is a psychological principle which states that people tend to rate things, people or places positively when they are familiar with them, often disregarding actual qualities or drawbacks for familiarity. This is interesting because it has no basis in logic. In studies of interpersonal attraction, the more often a person is seen by someone, the more pleasing and likable that person appears to be.

3. Social Loafing

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In social psychology, social loafing is the phenomenon of a person exerting less effort to achieve a goal when they work in a group than when they work alone. This is seen as one of the main reasons groups are sometimes less productive than the combined performance of their members working as individuals.

4. Learned Helplessness

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It is a phenomena wherein repeated negative experiences of individuals lead to implanting of pervasive and enduring negative beliefs regarding their abilities within them. Research also shows that a single positive experience has the power of arresting this downward spiral.

5. Spiral of Silence

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This theory that draws from political science says that individuals have a fear of isolation, which results from the idea that a social group or the society in general might isolate, neglect, or exclude them due to their opinions. This fear of isolation consequently leads to remaining silent instead of voicing opinions.

6. Pluralistic Ignorance

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Pluralistic ignorance occurs where the majority of individuals in a group assume that most of the others are different in some way, whilst the truth is that they are more similar than they realize. They thus will conform with supposed beliefs of other individuals and the supposed beliefs will become the group norm rather than actual beliefs of that group.

7. Cognitive Dissonance

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Discomfort or tension that arises from holding two or more psychologically incompatible thoughts at the same time. Research posits that people are motivated to avoid or minimize cognitive dissonance whenever possible.

8. Conformation Bias

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A tendency to search for and weigh information that confirms one’s preconceptions more strongly than information that challenges them.

9. Counterfactual Thinking

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Imagining alternative scenarios and outcomes that might have happened, but didn’t.

10. Deindividuation

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A loss of self-awareness that occurs when people are not seen or paid attention to as individuals (for example, when they become absorbed in a role that reduces their sense of individuality or accountability, or when they become part of a crowd or a mob).

 

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7 things you can do in the moment to tackle Anxiety

by Kritika Joshi, freelance contributor |

Anxiety is an emotion we address in our everyday lives. It is a part of everyone’s experience, whether it is exam anxiety, social anxiety or specific phobias etc. Anxiety is associated with alterations in our mental state experienced as worry or apprehension and physical symptoms such as raised heart rate and adrenaline. It is likely to affect us temporarily until the source of our anxiety has passed or we have learnt to cope with it.
The following are 7 things one can do in the moment to tackle anxiety:

1. DISTRACT YOURSELF
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It is important to think clearly when you are flooded with anxiety. Take time to calm down and try your best to distract yourself from whatever it is that has you on edge. Taking a walk, a bath, noticing the environment, listening to your favourite song are activities that could help.
If you get anxious regularly, engage yourself in a hobby which you could turn to during those trying times.

2. PHONE A FRIEND
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Sometimes all you need, is to hear a familiar, friendly voice or to just know that you have a human soundboard to bounce ideas off of. Surround yourself with people that are a good influence on your life. Discussing your problems with others can help you feel less alone. Socializing stimulates the production of hormone oxytocin, which has an anxiety reducing effect. So next time a freak out happens grab your most trusted pal and sit with him/her.

3. SMILE
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It sounds like the most obvious advice imaginable; but clichés are clichés for a reason, so just put up a happy face.
A recent study claims that smiling does actually help us feel better and reduce anxiety. When you are feeling anxious try forcing a smile on your face. There will be something oddly satisfying watching the anxiety monster crumble at the sight of your smiling face.

4. PLAY AROUND:
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Playing with a dog can decrease cortisol (stress producing hormone) whereas increase oxytocin production (stress reducing hormone). Why not have access to natural anxiety killers that have the added advantage of being super cute, if you can.

5. DRINK WATER
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Studies show that water is a great ‘anxiety quencher’. When body is dehydrated it can induce anxiety and nervousness. Our brain needs sufficient water to function properly. Experts recommend drinking 2-3 litres of water daily.

6. SIT WITH YOUR BODY FOR 10 MINS AND JUST LISTEN TO IT
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Take 10 seconds out and collect some fresh oxygen. Have a silent conversation with yourself. When you are anxious your breathing becomes faster and shallower. Bring your breathing and mind together. Listen to the movement of your lungs. Try deliberately slowing your breath. Count to 3 as you breathe in slowly then count to 3 as you breathe out slowly. This’ll calm you down.

7. SAFE PLACE MENTAL IMAGERY:
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Take a moment to close your eyes and imagine a place of safety and calm, visualise a happy place. It could be any happy memory from childhood or any other happy incident, to soothe you until your anxiety lowers.
Try not to pay attention to current anxious mental state just focus on the feeling of smooth sailing through the storm.

 

7 most common negative thought patterns and how to handle them

by Avnie Garg, Freelance Contributor

All of us in life go through failures, doubts, criticisms which make us think negatively. These thought patterns can prove to be dangerous for our mental health and eventually may negatively affect our personal and social life. It is important to realize your negative thought patterns to live a peaceful and happy life. Following are some examples that you may like to go through:-

  1. Only bad things happen to me:

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Many of us generalize the life events and think that this is how things have happened till now and this is how they will continue to be. We start pitying ourselves and create the thought that things might never get better.
How to handle: realize that you may be only considering negative aspects of all that happens to you. Try some gratitude exercises which will help you to thank all the good things in life.

2. What if this happens? :

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We may overthink many trivial things which do not even require our attention. We tend to think the most extreme consequence of a particular situation that we are going through in life. This muddles our thought process and we end up taking undue stress.
How to handle: realize that this is doing you a lot of harm. Train yourself to ‘go-with-the-flow’. Engage in useful stuff that prevents you from overthinking.

3. “What could have been”:

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Some people contemplate a lot about what could their lives have been, had a particular thing not happened. They delve into the past just too much. This keeps bad memories intact and creates emotional and professional problems.
How to handle: ask yourself if your thoughts are really true! You may think that other alternative in life would have been better but you are ignoring the cons related with it. Try being happy in the present and work hard for things to happen your way from now on.

4. I can’t do it :

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Questioning one’s abilities creates feelings of self-doubt. We start losing faith in ourselves. This thought is a big obstacle in achieving success in life.
How to handle: practice self- compassion. Be kind to yourself and think instead of your accomplishments. Find out what you are good at and hone your skills in that area.

5.’must/should’ statements:

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“Everyone should love me”, “I must be present there” etc. are some of the unrealistic thoughts we create in our mind. It is essential to refrain from such thoughts. It affects the way you think about yourself and the world.
How to handle: flexibility rules the world, rigidity does not. Counter question yourself next time you think of such statements. For instance, “why should everyone love me?” tell yourself that you loving yourself after all is the most important thing.

6.All-or-none thinking:

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It happens when you think at the extreme ends. Example- “there is nothing good about my job” or “Leela is worst person I’ve come across in life”. So you think no in-between. It is also called black and white thinking.
How to handle: try thinking the pros and cons of everyone and everything you get extreme thoughts about. This will help you to balance your viewpoint. And take some time before you make judgments about others.

7.I’m so unlucky:

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This thought may be the outcome of the people around you (your mom tells she has been unwell since she gave birth to you) or you might have created them in your head(I’ve never won a lottery in my life). Incidents taking place now and then reinforce this thought.
How to handle: realize that luck is just a probability. Try affirmations like “I am fortunate to have a so and so thing”, “I am really lucky for myself”.

The most important thing is to firstly identify your negative thoughts, know that they are not permanent and then distort them one by one. You can also write them down on a piece of paper and destroy the paper after that. This can help relieve you!