Stop Explaining Yourself to a Narcissist

In parenting and relationships I’ve often given this advice: See how few words you can use to talk to the other person. Endless explaining is a power giveaway. If your narcissistic partner is not negotiating in good faith and seeking to understand your position, it really won’t matter how much you explain. Your attempts to make him understand you will never overcome his need to NOT understand you.

Do You Feel Guilty When You Don’t Feel Guilty?

Some people are so well practiced at feeling guilty that they feel guilty when they don’t feel guilty. What do I mean by this riddle?  Let’s consider a scenario of a young woman, Charlotte (fictionalized account) who has been estranged from her grandfather for years....

How to Identify Low Self-Worth in Children

 Would you believe that I can spot low self-worth and poor shame tolerance even in a child as young as three?  It’s true. Sometimes it is obvious. I have worked with three- and four-year old children who say things like: “I’m no good,” and “I’m a bad kid.” These...

How to Really Improve Communication in Your Relationship Through Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples

Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples uses a paradigm of negative communication patterns that most couples engage in. Couples learn to identify triggering behaviors or words, secondary emotions of anger and withdrawing, and primary or deeper emotions, such as shame, hurt, disappointment. Attachment fear of being rejected, unloved or unwanted drive the patterns. In EFT, we try to get couples to notice this pattern and to become aware of their own deeper emotional responses as part of that pattern.

Emotional Contagion: How We “Catch” the Feelings of Others

Our brain contains mirror neurons, designed to pick up on the emotional status of our companions and react to emotions. This ability to read, attune to, and respond to emotions of others is called emotional contagion. While this system is very helpful when we are in relationships with kind, fair, calm, and emotionally balanced people, it can go haywire if we spend time with people who are insecure, anxious, depressed, narcissistic, or angry.