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Showing posts from November, 2017

Strategies to break “Holiday Stress Syndrome”

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By: Dwight Bain, LMHC

A recent USA Today poll asked this question, “Which best fits your holiday emotional state?”
Relaxed  - 18% Joyful  - 31% Stressed -  27% Depressed -  24%

Why do people feel so overloaded with additional problems during the holidays? I believe the majority of the pressure they feel is from trying to live up to unrealistic expectations of creating a ‘perfect’ Christmas.
Remember Clark W. Griswald from the movie ‘Christmas Vacation?’ He is the laughable, but best illustration of a guy who tries to do everything right, only to have literally everything go wrong. Dysfunctional relatives, one blown bulb derailing all of the decorations, the Christmas tree goes up in flames, the turkey is dry, the check for the swimming pool is going to bounce, add in a crazy cousin kidnapping the hateful boss, while the dog destroys the house chasing a rabid squirrel and a senile senior citizen sings the national anthem and you have the whole 9 yards of Christmas chaos.
The movie makes us laugh …

How To Keep Yourself Grounded Around Dysfunctional People This Holiday Season

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By: Megan Muñoz IMH
Spending time with family and friends over the holidays can trigger a long string of emotions that feel like they jump out and surprise you all at once. This can be especially true if you are anticipating spending the holidays with a person who struggles with relational dysfunction. One minute you’re chatting with a family member in the kitchen while putting a dish into the oven and the next you find yourself triggered by a statement or comment they made. Or you might start the day on high alert because you’re already anticipating the hurtful behavior and words you will encounter. Sometimes these words and behaviors are covert, other times they take place right in front of your face. Either way, it can turn a holiday of celebration and thankfulness into a social and emotional minefield.
Often times, we spend our mental and emotional resources focusing on the person who is causing the dysfunction. However, one of the best ways to cope with dysfunctional people over th…

Wise Words for Those Living with a Narcissist

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By: Christine Hammond LMHC

Shortly after their marriage, Jack became aware of the narcissism in his wife. At first, he thought it was immaturity but after their child was born, things escalated. Unable to fully attach onto their child, she became more demanding and self-absorbed. There were times when life seemed to be a series of competition over who would get more of Jack’s attention.
Twenty years later and now divorced from his wife, Jack’s relationship with their child was solid. His attachment to their adult child was strong but not over-powering. During the road to recovery from being married to a narcissist, Jack overcame the destructive verbal abuse that he silently endured. His newly found freedom allowed him to discover fresh personal interests as he began to embrace life with zest and passion.
It was at a work convention that Jack met Steve, a young inspiring manager. At this point in his career, Jack had achieved success and in his desire to give back to others, he was looki…

The Obsessive Narcissist: Stopping the Suffocation

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By: Christine Hammond LMHC
Certain professionals such as attorneys, surgeons, and pilots are highly valued for their persistence, myopic focus, and single-minded determination. These traits enable a person to be very successful in environments that not only encourage but reinforce this behavior. After all, no one wants a surgeon who is easily distracted while performing open-heart surgery.
But when this behavior is directed onto a spouse or child, it can become suffocating. Relationships require a bit of finesse, a give and take mentality, and a freedom of choice in order to thrive. All of these elements are counterintuitive to the obsessive narcissist who cannot separate their efficacious work behavior from home life. They believe that the same level of intensity that they bequeath at work will also be equally productive at home.


It is not. Frequently, it has the opposite effect. The family member becomes overwhelmed by the excessive attention and tries to run away instead. This usuall…

10 Hidden Ways a Group Abuses an Individual

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By: Christine Hammond LMHC

Some abuse is obvious: a punch to the face, name calling, guilt-tripping, physical isolation, and neglect. But others are done in a more calculated, secretive manner. Yet, they can be just as damaging. Even more significant is when the abuse is conducted within a coordinated group setting. This causes the target to feel like it is them against the whole organization.
The individual verses the large unit could be a variety of settings. For instance, it could be a new employee entering into an established team, a spouse coming into their in-law’s home, or a new believer approaching a church. Whatever the environment, the unit is pre-established with their own set of rules and standards. However, instead of welcoming the newcomer, they are met with unreasonable expectations and abusive treatment designed to demonstrate that the new person is not part of the group. Here is how it is done:
1.Indifference. It didn’t matter what Susie said, her comments were returne…