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Title: 5 Types of People Who Can Ruin Your Life: Identifying and Dealing with Narcissists, Sociopaths, and Other High-Conflict Personalities

Author

Bill Eddy is a psychotherapist, lawyer, mediator, and the co-founder and president of High Conflict Institute (HCI) in San Diego. Bill has been studying high-conflict personalities from many perspectives for the past thirty years.

The Theme

Learning to recognize warning signs that most people ignore or don’t see—and then overriding your natural responses with actions based on your newfound wisdom about High-Conflict Personality (HCPs).

Never tell someone they are a high-conflict person, or that they have a personality disorder, no matter how obvious this may seem. They will see this as a life-threatening attack—and a valid reason to make you their central Target of Blame, perhaps for years to come. From their viewpoint, it will be as if you’d said, “Please do everything you can to ruin my life.

“For the same reason, never use your belief that someone is an HCP as a weapon against them.”

“Sometimes, the only way to discover who you are or what life you should lead is to do less PLANNING and more LIVING — to burst the double bubble of comfort and convention and just DO stuff.”

Author and cultural critic Daniel Pink addressed the 2014 graduating class at Northwestern University’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences; Pink is a 1986 linguistics graduate of the University and holds a J.D. from the Yale Law School.

“It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?” – Henry David Thoreau

The Big Rock Theory is a productivity concept popularized by author Dr. Stephen R. Covey. In his book First things First, Covey stated that the key to getting things done is not to prioritize your schedule but to schedule your priorities.

To live a more balanced existence, you have to recognize that not doing everything that comes along is okay. There’s no need to overextend yourself. All it takes is realizing that it’s all right to say no when necessary and then focus on your highest priorities. 

He describes the big rock theory with this story:

Essentialism by Greg McKeown is one of my favorite productivity books, which explored living by design, not by default. The book goes in-depth on how to relentlessly pursue less and concentrate on what really matters. Effortless offers actionable advice for making the most essential activities the easiest ones, so you can achieve the results you want, without burning out.  

Essentialism was about doing the right things; Effortless is about doing them in the right way.

Effortless

It’s about a whole new way to work and live. A way to achieve more with ease—to achieve more because you are at ease. A way to lighten life’s inevitable burdens, and get the right results without burning out.

Self-Esteem is an individual’s subjective evaluation of your own worth. It is your overall opinion of yourself, how you feel about yourself, your abilities, and your limitations. Healthy self-esteem makes you feel good about yourself while low self-esteem leads to self-criticism, anxiety, and low self-confidence.

 Canadian–American psychotherapist Nathaniel Branden defined self-esteem in his book- The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem:

Self-esteem, fully realized, is the experience that we are appropriate to life and to the requirements of life. More specifically, self-esteem is:

1.   confidence in our ability to think, confidence in our ability to cope with the basic challenges of life; and

2.   confidence in our right to be successful and happy, the feeling of being worthy, deserving, entitled to assert our  needs and wants, achieve our values, and enjoy the fruits of our efforts.

Title: Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents
Author: Lindsay C. Gibson PsyD 

Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents describes how emotionally immature parents negatively affect their children, especially children who are emotionally sensitive, and shows you how to heal yourself from the pain and confusion that come from having a parent who refuses emotional intimacy. Clinical Psychologist Lindsay Gibson exposes the destructive nature of parents who are emotionally immature or unavailable.

By focusing on your own self-development, you can get on the road to freedom from emotionally immature relationships

“People who engage in self-discovery and emotional development get to have a second life—one that was unimaginable as long as they remained caught in old family roles and wishful fantasies. You really do get to start over when you open to a new consciousness of who you are and what’s been going on in your life. As one person said, “I now know exactly who I am. Others aren’t going to change, but I can change.”

Favourite Takeaways – Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents

“There are three Things extremely hard, Steel, a Diamond and to know one’s self.” – Benjamin Franklin

Know Thyself is one of the Delphic Maxims and was the first of three maxims inscribed in the pronaos (forecourt) of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. The Delphic Maxims are a set of maxims inscribed on the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. The two maxims that followed “Know Thyself” were  “Nothing to excess” and “Surety brings ruin”.

Knowing oneself requires becoming more self-aware of ones strengths and weakness. As American clergyman Henry Ward Beecher once said “Greatness lies, not in being strong, but in the right using of strength; and strength is not used rightly when it serves only to carry a man above his fellows for his own solitary glory. He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own.”

 “To know that one does not know is best; Not to know but to believe that one knows is a disease.” – Lao Tzu

One of the ways to know thyself is to have the humility that you do not know yourself as much as you think. To know yourself requires radical humility and recognizing your ignorance of yourself. Most of us are putting up a front/ a mask, our life is based on living up to other peoples expectations and opinion of us. To get to the root of who you are, requires understanding yourself, reflecting on your childhood because that is where you got domesticated like we do to cats and dogs. We got sociallly and mentally conditioned with rules, fears, obligation, guilt and belief systems.

 Most of us do not get the chance to know who we are because we get sucked in survival mode. We believe the lie that we are here to pay bills, drop 2 or 3 kids, pay mortgage for 25 years, work in a shitty job till retirement, try to impress colleagues and bosses you despise at work, put  on the mask with your family and friends day in day out. We tiptoe towards our graves not discovering who we are, what we were put here for and we die with our music still in us.

The graveyard is said to be richest place on earth. As motivational speaker Les Brown once quipped: “The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.”

Who am I?

Author Eckhart Tolle, writes in his book: A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose:

Know Thyself: What those words imply is this: Before you ask any other question, first ask the most fundamental question of your life: Who am I?

Unconscious people – and many remain unconscious, trapped in their egos throughout their lives – will quickly tell you who they are: their name, their occupation, their personal history, the shape or state of their body, and whatever else they identify with. Others may appear to be more evolved because they think of themselves as an immortal soul or living spirits. But do they really know themselves, or have they just added some spiritual-sounding concepts to the content of their mind? Knowing yourself goes far deeper than the adoption of a set of ideas or beliefs.

Spiritual ideas and beliefs may at best be helpful pointers, but in themselves, they rarely have the power to dislodge the more firmly established core concepts of who you think you are, which are part of the conditioning of the human mind. Knowing yourself deeply has nothing to do with whatever ideas are floating around in your mind. Knowing yourself is to be rooted in Being, instead of lost in your mind.

You may not want to know yourself because you are afraid of what you may find out. Many people have a secret fear that they are bad. But nothing you can find out about yourself is you. Nothing you can know about you is you.

Most people define themselves through the content of their lives. Whatever you perceive, experience, do think, or feel is content. Content is what absorbs most people’s attention entirely, and it is what they identify with. When you think or say, “my life,” you are not referring to the life that you are but with the life that you have, or seem to have. You are referring to content – your age, health, relationships, finances, work and living situation, as well as your mental-emotional state. The inner and outer circumstances of your life, your past and your future, all belong to the realm of content – as do events, that is to say, anything that happens.

Self-Awareness is Key

In his book, Emotional Intelligence, author and psychologist Daniel Goleman shares a zen parable to illustrate the importance of self-awareness. He writes:

A belligerent samurai, an old Japanese tale goes, once challenged a Zen master to explain the concept of heaven and hell. But the monk replied with scorn, “You’re nothing but a lout—I can’t waste my time with the likes of you!

His very honor attacked, the samurai flew into a rage and, pulling his sword from its scabbard, yelled, “I could kill you for your impertinence.

“That,” the monk calmly replied, “is hell.”

Startled at seeing the truth in what the master pointed out about the fury that had him in its grip, the samurai calmed down, sheathed his sword, and bowed, thanking the monk for the insight.

“And that,” said the monk, “is heaven.”

The sudden awakening of the samurai to his own agitated state illustrates the crucial difference between being caught up in a feeling and becoming aware that you are being swept away by it. Socrates’s injunction “Know thyself speaks to this keystone of emotional intelligence: awareness of one’s own feelings as they occur.”

Self-awareness is not an attention that gets carried away by emotions, overreacting and amplifying what is perceived. Rather, it is a neutral mode that maintains self-reflectiveness even amidst turbulent emotions.

“Psychologists use the rather ponderous term metacognition to refer to an awareness of thought process, and metamood to mean awareness of one’s own emotions. I prefer the term self-awareness, in the sense of an ongoing attention to one’s internal states. In this self-reflexive awareness mind observes and investigates experience itself, including the emotions.”

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde

Be Yourself

In his book, “What You Do Is Who You Are” cofounder and general partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, Ben Horowitz writes:

In 1993, the professional basketball player Charles Barkley famously said, “I am not a role model. Just because I dunk a basketball doesn’t mean that I should raise your kids.” Many people thought this statement was clever, and it led to a Nike ad campaign. After the campaign became wildly popular, a reporter asked Barkley’s teammate Hakeem Olajuwon if he, too, was “not a role model.” Olajuwon replied, “I am a role model.

Olajuwon explained that Charles Barkley was one person in private and a totally different person in public. As maintaining a dual personality was extremely stressful, he said, Barkley was constantly looking for a way out. Because he did not feel he was really the person the NBA wanted him to be, when he went out partying, he did it to the extreme. Olajuwon said that he himself was the opposite: exactly the same in public and private. As a result, he was indeed a role model.

This interview revealed a key to leadership: you must be yourself. Other people will always have ideas of what you should be, but if you try to integrate all those ideas in a way that’s inconsistent with your own beliefs and personality, you will lose your mojo. If you try to be someone else, not only will you be unable to lead, but you’ll be ashamed to have people emulate you. In essence, Charles Barkley was saying, “Don’t follow me. Even I don”t like me.”

If you know others and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know others but know yourself, you win one and lose one; if you do not know others and do not know yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.

In his classic text, Art of War, Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu noted:

So it is said that if you know others and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know others but know yourself, you win one and lose one; if you do not know others and do not know yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.

When you know others, then you are able to attack them. When you know yourself, you are able to protect yourself. Attack is the time for defense, defense is a strategy of attack. If you know this, you will not be in danger even if you fight a hundred battles. When you only know yourself, this means guarding your energy and waiting. This is why knowing defense but not offense means half victory and half defeat. When you know neither the arts of defense nor the arts of attack, you will lose in battle.

Knowing oneself is a lifelong journey of introspection, reflection and relentlessly trying to get better. You need to be patient with yourself, listen more to the whisper of your intuition, follow your bliss and have the courage to live life on your terms.

All the Best in your quest to get Better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

Title: Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts
Author: Annie Duke

In Thinking in Bets, former World Series of Poker champion turned business consultant, Annie Duke, shares strategies from the world of poker, business, sports, politics; on how anyone can embrace uncertainty and make better decisions. Professional poker players are comfortable with the fact that great decisions don’t always lead to great outcomes and bad decisions don’t always lead to bad outcomes.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain.” – Vivian Greene

Life is not a bed of roses; it is a roller coaster of challenges, sometimes you are up, and other times you are down. You are either heading into a storm, going through a storm, or coming out of a storm. The storms in our life come in different shapes and forms- Job Loss, infertility, self-destructive addictions, depression, poverty, death, accident, health issues, domestic violence, emotional and physical abuse, childhood trauma, personality disorder, etc. It is not a matter of if; it is a matter of when. As British writer Vivian Greene once quipped, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain. Whatever would go wrong would go wrong (Murphy’s Law). The key to navigating the roller coaster of life is never letting success get into your head and never let your failures get to your heart.

  The Valley of despair is a point we get to in a project, endeavor in life, in which we get bogged down or stressed due to our inability to achieve our goals yet. American Author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn called these periods the winter of life a metaphor for the valley of despair or the tough times. Anyone who has started a new project, be it a blog, new business, workout regimen, or any new challenge, can relate to the valley of despair.

Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart: Thirty True Things You Need to Know Now is a collection of thirty common sense wisdom by the celebrated psychologist and military veteran Dr. Gordon Livingston. He reflects on the lessons learned from his patients, time in the US Army, and most importantly on the roller coaster of life.

Favourite Takeaways -Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart

Self-awareness is how individuals consciously know and understand their own character, feelings, motives, and desires. Self-awareness is the key to understanding yourself, your environment, and dealing with people around you. Know Thyself is one of the Delphic maxims and was the first of three maxims inscribed in the pronaos (forecourt) of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi .

The only thing more unthinkable than leaving was staying; the only thing more impossible than staying was leaving. – Eat, Pray, Love

In No Visible Bruises, journalist Rachel Louise Snyder examines how domestic violence is a pressing social crisis and is at the root of other crimes such as mass shootings, familicides, homicides, etc. Despite the World Health Organization deeming it a ‘global epidemic’. In America, domestic violence accounts for 15 percent of all violent crime, and yet it remains locked in silence.

In America, domestic violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.

Our family and friends easily oversimplify domestic Violence; the common response to emotional and domestic abuse by our loved one is usually: “If he hits you, just leave,” “why did you stay?”. Rachel shares many stories of domestic violence, the complexity, societal stigma, and tools to deal with domestic violence issues.

American Journalist Annie Lowrey examines the Universal Basic Income (UBI) movement, the challenges the movement faces: contradictory aims, uncomfortable cost, and the belief that no one should get something for nothing. She delves into the history of welfare programs, the coming of the machines, and the inherent technological unemployment, the need for policies that would prepare us for a world with mass unemployment.

As Lowrey notes – a UBI—giving people money—is not just a solution to our problems, but a better foundation for our society in this age of marvels.

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.’ – C.G. Jung

I have often been fascinated about why we act the way we do, why we comply or settle for less than we can become, and how people influence us consciously or unconsciously. In my research, I have found that the 3 major tools used for influencing people or emotional blackmail include Fear, Obligation, and Guilt. The people that easily influence us and know the buttons to press are the people closest to us, our family members, parents, siblings, spouse, and friends.

Emotional Blackmail occurs when someone uses your empathy and care against you. It is a state of haze and confusion, emotional deregulation, you can not see things clearly because of the manipulation and control of the abuser. The favourite tools of the emotional blackmailer include Fear, Obligation and Guilt (FOG), threat, future faking, love bombing, or withholding, triangulation, gaslighting, projection, crazymaking etc

They use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to influence, emotionally blackmail, gaslight, project, split, triangulate and get their way with us. It all started in childhood, we get domesticated the same way cats, and dogs get domesticated. We are handed scripts that influence our worldview about almost anything from finance, health, religion, marriage, etc. Our caregivers were masters at using FOG to cover up, mentally/socially condition and program us. We do not question these belief systems. Hence they continuously direct our lives.

“They fuck you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do. They fill you with the faults they had And add some extra, just for you. But they were fucked up in their turn By fools in old-style hats and coats, Who half the time were soppy-stern And half at one another’s throats. Man hands on misery to man. It deepens like a coastal shelf.” –  Philip Larkin, High Windows