Emotional Maturity vs Narcissism, OK I'm Awake, Now How Do I Communicate?

Posted by tonyoverbay

Originally Recorded 12/31/21

Tony reads some listener emails and answers questions around narcissism and the correlation with emotional immaturity. He also addresses why more men exhibit narcissistic traits and tendencies and he dips a toe in the water and then dives all the way in with how to communicate with a narcissist using his "4 Pillars of a Connected Conversation."

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You can learn more about Tony's pornography recovery program, The Path Back, by visiting http://pathbackrecovery.com And visit http://tonyoverbay.com and sign up to receive updates on upcoming programs and podcasts.

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[00:00:08] Hey, everybody, welcome to

[00:00:09] Episode 17 of Waking Up to narcissism, I'm your host, Tony Overbay. I'm a licensed marriage and family

[00:00:14] Therapist and host of the Virtual Couch

[00:00:16] Podcast. So if you haven't checked out that podcast, please go, go find it and check that out. A lot of good feedback from last week's bonus episode on Christmas

[00:00:24] Eve, where I shared a virtual couch episode. Whose life are you living or if you want to? Why does everybody else know more about my own life

[00:00:30] Than I do? And if you haven't checked that one out, that was last week on waking

[00:00:34] Up the narcissism. I want to start today. I've got three or four emails that I think will lead into a really good episode that I want to answer some questions, and I wanted to start by just reading a couple of reviews. And I want you to know I've not been someone who reads reviews

[00:00:49] On

[00:00:49] My other podcast, The Virtual Couch. I love reviews. I think I've mentioned earlier in

[00:00:55] The on this Waking Up The Narcissism podcast

[00:00:57] How much I really appreciate the reviews,

[00:01:00] Especially with this topic, because I feel

[00:01:01] Like if you even go start looking at the reviews or the stars, the ratings

[00:01:05] That it's a little bit funny. It's a little bit like narcissistic tendencies or traits where it's definitely

[00:01:10] All or nothing, or black or white kind of thinking. People are saying things like, and I've got some of the reviews pulled up here where right on the nose, great info. I feel heard. I can't recommend this enough. Or then it's the delivery is withering. Can we get to the info faster and those sort of things?

[00:01:25] I thought it would

[00:01:26] Be a fun place to start, so of course I would love reviews and ratings. Wherever you listen to your podcast, that's a little bit of the lifeblood in the podcasting world.

[00:01:33] But I also am not one who is going to put on a contest.

[00:01:36] Go leave me a review

[00:01:37] And then you

[00:01:38] Might win a shirt or something like that because I know there are ways to bolster those reviews or ratings. But here's what I think is

[00:01:44] Really fascinating, especially because of the content that we're talking about. So one of one of the anonymous reviews said Good

[00:01:50] Content, the delivery is withering. The person said he makes some

[00:01:52] Extremely valid and helpful points, but

[00:01:54] I, my brain, would prefer that he's speaking a more structured, less train

[00:01:57] Of thought style. I wish I could stick with this one, but

[00:02:00] Then, he says. But her delivery style is

[00:02:02] Withering maybe means his delivery style is withering. And here's let me take you on my train of thought when I would get these

[00:02:07] Kind of reviews early on

[00:02:09] Five years ago, my

[00:02:10] Podcasting career, it would really tear me up inside,

[00:02:13] And I realized that was a lack of confidence and it was an

[00:02:17] Insecurity of

[00:02:18] Mine, and I found myself wanting to

[00:02:21] Figure out, OK, how can

[00:02:22] I please this one person who said

[00:02:24] That their brain would prefer me to speak in a more structured, less train of thought style? And over the years,

[00:02:30] One of the things that became this aha moment and I talk about so much in the world of mental

[00:02:35] Health is we have to start with, who are you? You are the only version of you. I say this so often that has ever walked the face of the Earth. You're this three billion mere three billion neurons just walking around, reacting to the world based

[00:02:48] On all of the things that you have been through.

[00:02:50] So is my delivery style rambling? Absolutely. Have I been insecure about it over the years? One hundred percent.

[00:02:57] Do I want to change it now? I love it. I'm interviewing myself, which I used to make fun of as well. Do I want to change it? No, not particularly because if I find

[00:03:04] Myself worrying about what other people will think about my delivery style, then I am

[00:03:08] Not going to deliver the content that is actually the goal of the podcast. So while I'm not trying to sound like I don't know some diva or egomaniac because I will take all the the criticism, be it good and bad, this is

[00:03:21] Where that concept of differentiation comes in. We're going to talk about that a little bit more today of differentiating when you are in a relationship with

[00:03:27] Someone with the narcissistic traits and tendencies. Differentiation really is about autonomy, and it's about being

[00:03:33] Able to maintain a relationship

[00:03:35] With somebody even when you have differing opinions.

[00:03:39] You come from different places, different backgrounds

[00:03:41] And too often

[00:03:42] Because of our own insecurities when we are in conversation with

[00:03:46] Others, if they suggest what they think we should do. And if you just think about that, just step back and think what they think we should do. And then we think, Oh my gosh, I need to do this to please that one person. Then if somebody else says, Well, here's what I think you should do a man, I got to do that instead of looking at the criticism as,

[00:04:03] Ok, from a differentiated standpoint, that's those are words that those people are saying. I'm reading the words that the people

[00:04:08] Are writing and I can take them in. And if it's something that I feel like, man, I

[00:04:12] Really have been wanting to work on being a rambling or this

[00:04:15] Tangential speaking style, then I might

[00:04:18] Read that with a little bit more curiosity and say, OK, man, I'm really hearing this.

[00:04:22] That's and that's something that I really want to change. I want to I want to

[00:04:25] Dig a little deeper into that. But as you grow to be more confident in

[00:04:29] Yourself and you realize that, OK, I need to be authentic, then if that comes

[00:04:34] With a delivery style that may be a little bit more rambling,

[00:04:37] Then here comes acceptance. Acceptance of yeah, that's that's definitely a thing.

[00:04:42] This person is absolutely right. One of the other

[00:04:44] Reviews says, Can we get to the info faster is that they say such great information. It's really needed. I just wish the meat of each episode

[00:04:50] Wasn't buried under 20 to 30 minutes of rambling intro

[00:04:53] And again back in the day, I would take that as criticism. And then what would I do? I would want to defend my fragile ego. We've talked about that on this podcast as well, and that is a

[00:05:03] Narcissistic trait or

[00:05:04] Tendency. It's also a sign of emotional immaturity. If anyone differs with my opinion that I take that as criticism and

[00:05:11] They think I'm a horrible person, and that's some of that stuff that we bring forth from our childhood,

[00:05:16] And this is some of that information that I'm starting to get feedback and emails from people that are saying, Hey, I think maybe I am recognizing my own narcissistic traits or tendencies,

[00:05:26] Which you're going to hear me start moving into the new year into twenty twenty two, really starting to change

[00:05:31] That vibe into understanding what

[00:05:33] Emotional maturity looks

[00:05:35] Like and then

[00:05:36] What we do with our insecurities.

[00:05:38] So if someone is saying I wish that he would get to the meat of each episode,

[00:05:43] That it wasn't buried under 20 to 30 minutes of rambling intro, I absolutely respect that because that

[00:05:47] Is that person's opinion based on all the experiences that they've been through in their life and whatever that looks like to them. If I were to say, OK, can you script out the podcast for me so I can get to the meat?

[00:05:57] Whatever the meat is that

[00:05:58] You believe the meat would be and in what time frame you would like it delivered? And again, I'm not saying this as if I'm some egomaniac, but I just want to.

[00:06:06] I just want to really share that this is a foundational principle that we're going to get to when it

[00:06:09] Comes to communication and communicating in particular with someone with narcissistic traits or tendencies, a.k.a. someone that is maybe a little bit more emotionally insecure. So if they

[00:06:19] Don't like what they're hearing, then they

[00:06:21] Feel like, OK, then I want to

[00:06:23] Feel better about what I want to hear. And here comes that need for external validation.

[00:06:27] So they want me to change so that they

[00:06:29] Feel better so that

[00:06:31] They feel better about themselves. But if I'm now trying to to

[00:06:35] Change in order to get the feedback that I want to hear that will make me feel better, then we're all

[00:06:41] Kind of playing off of this. This I don't know

[00:06:43] This game board that is

[00:06:44] That is going in all different directions that doesn't really have a solid set of foundational principles or rules. This is and this is what's funny too. This is probably sounding like rambling to some people.

[00:06:55] And I feel like for a lot of other people, then they're feeling like, OK,

[00:06:57] This makes sense. And I think that's

[00:06:59] You're going to hear things based on where you are in your relationships, where you are in your life. Because here's this

[00:07:04] Foundational what a foundational principle that I want to start with, and it's going to get into a couple of the

[00:07:09] Emails that I've received is that remember, we

[00:07:12] We exit the womb as

[00:07:15] Little needy creatures that if we do not

[00:07:17] Get our needs met, then we will die.

[00:07:20] That is the inner most, deepest programing.

[00:07:23] As a matter of fact, if you really look at some,

[00:07:25] Some deep attachment work, I

[00:07:26] Remember one psychologist talking about that

[00:07:28] When a baby is born, they don't

[00:07:30] Even know that they exist. They don't know that they are an entity until they interact with someone, something the

[00:07:35] World when they enter their first cry and then they feel touch and then they are fed. Then they realize I exist because there is someone else there, because if no one else is there, then I don't

[00:07:46] Even know if I exist. And if I don't exist, I'm certainly not going to get my needs met now. A baby is not thinking all of these things, but this

[00:07:51] Is our primal

[00:07:52] Survival instinct. So then as we go

[00:07:54] About our childhood and we're trying to figure out how to get

[00:07:57] Those needs met, this

[00:07:59] Is what we do. We try to show up in a way that will get our needs met. We try to

[00:08:03] Be the class clown. We try to be the the scholar, the student athlete.

[00:08:08] We may be the peacemaker. We may end

[00:08:10] Up taking on that role as

[00:08:11] The scapegoat in our family and whatever it is, even if it's good or bad, our brain is is programed at its core to

[00:08:19] Say that

[00:08:20] That any interaction is interaction. And if

[00:08:22] There's interaction, then that means that I exist and if I exist, then I will get my needs met

[00:08:27] And therefore I will live. And that's really what we're looking at.

[00:08:29] So that need for external validation is when I start to feel like I don't feel good about myself and I want someone else to make me feel better about myself. And that is that is what we do

[00:08:41] Again by nature. But that is putting the power or

[00:08:45] Control into someone else's hands.

[00:08:47] So when if I were to really say, Hey, I want to hear all of your

[00:08:50] Feedback so that I can make all these changes in my podcast, then I'm saying, Hey, I

[00:08:54] Feel insecure,

[00:08:55] So I want you guys to make me feel better. And then I'm probably only going to read the ones that say, the ones that say right on the

[00:09:01] Nose are great info

[00:09:03] Or love. The fact that Tony rambles waffles and get sidetracked, goes on tangents, uses analogies, makes them come across as real and authentic.

[00:09:09] So I'll look for

[00:09:10] Those and then I'll get angry about the ones that say, Can we get to the info faster? Or The content is good, but

[00:09:16] The delivery is withering.

[00:09:17] But if I was, if I begin to feel more confident in the the things that I want to deliver, then I'm going to

[00:09:25] Put that out to the world

[00:09:26] And I absolutely want the feedback and I'm going to look at it from a differentiated place where if it's something that I really am interested in or want to take a look at, then then

[00:09:34] I feel secure enough to

[00:09:36] Take a deep dove into the information that people are presenting. So I want you to keep that with

[00:09:41] You as we start talking about what it looks

[00:09:44] Like to show up in relationships with narcissistic individuals because we've been doing a lot

[00:09:48] Of work in

[00:09:49] The first 16 episodes to hopefully

[00:09:51] Help you feel like you are not, hopefully help you feel heard as you hear other people's

[00:09:56] Examples. There are so many of them. And also then that leads to one of the most common questions I get. Is it

[00:10:02] Possible for the narcissist to

[00:10:03] Change? And also, can

[00:10:05] You give more examples of what it would look like for healthy?

[00:10:07] Communication with someone with narcissistic traits and tendencies, so I really want to start getting to that. And we're going to do that by answering a few questions today reading some some emails. So let me pull up the document that

[00:10:20] I am now rambling because I did not have it ready. Here we go.

[00:10:23] One of the emails that I received, and I'm just pulling from the ones from a couple of days and I still am continuing to get emails and please keep sending them. And a lot of people say, Hey, I know you're busy. I don't know if you'll ever read this, and I

[00:10:33] Know we're all busy. And if it's therapeutic for you to write out what your

[00:10:36] Situation is, then please, please do and just know that I'm reading all the emails and all the examples, and I'm starting to compile them and changing some details and that sort of thing.

[00:10:46] People have really resonated with

[00:10:48] Other people's examples, and I'm not exactly sure what to do with that because there are so many of them. But I'm starting to categorize them and have an assistant of mine that is starting to

[00:10:57] Just really put some order together of the most

[00:10:59] Common examples that we're receiving. And and so we're

[00:11:02] Going to do

[00:11:02] More with that in the coming year. So this person just said they said I recently started listening to the Waking Up the Narcissism podcast and wanted to

[00:11:10] Thank you for bringing light

[00:11:11] Into a difficult subject. They said that my only request is that it seems the mail is frequently the narcissist

[00:11:16] In the story stories. That's not the case for them. After a long period of marriage, they

[00:11:19] Say, they say I finally have some answers, and as they look back, all the signs were there the love bombing, the constant interrupting of conversations, the lack of long lasting relationships,

[00:11:27] The never ending need for drama, the

[00:11:28] Comparisons, the jealousy, the unattainable expectations, the delusions, the constant need for attention, the pathological spending and then in

[00:11:37] Their scenario, unfortunately, finally an affair.

[00:11:39] They said they're still in the relationship and trying to find what to do next. And this podcast provides hope. And then I appreciate them saying they also see the narcissistic traits in themselves and

[00:11:50] Wonder if they truly are there or if they just are the result of their spouses.

[00:11:54] And again, this person had said, Can we can we address the fact that I mentioned so often the male is the narcissist. So it's a little bit more obvious that he's saying my wife's crazy making as no one else on the planet accuses me of the things she does, and I don't act the way I

[00:12:06] Do with her. To anyone else, it would be great at this topic. Got more airtime.

[00:12:10] And he says it would be even greater

[00:12:12] If nurses could change things for the great work. So much good information there, and I appreciate the honesty.

[00:12:17] And see, this is one where I know that if I was again looking at this from a standpoint of criticism, then I would defend my fragile ego. But I am looking at this from a

[00:12:26] Differentiated place, and I'm very grateful that this person has shared the information and the way that they did. I had to look back

[00:12:32] And I could not remember if it was. I think it's maybe episode two

[00:12:36] Where I did address a little bit of why I talk about male males in

[00:12:42] The role of the narcissist.

[00:12:43] And so I pulled up the article that

[00:12:45] I had talked about in that episode. It's from

[00:12:47] The observer from twenty

[00:12:48] Eighteen, and it's called

[00:12:49] Women are more narcissistic.

[00:12:51] And then it says the subheading is and how to get them in check, which is adorable. I'm not trying to say that dismissive, but it's not as easy as it says just in a subheading.

[00:13:01] But this is where this

[00:13:03] Information comes from.

[00:13:04] The University of Buffalo condensed thirty one years of research on

[00:13:07] Narcissism and involving over four hundred and seventy five thousand participants. And they put that

[00:13:12] All into a report that concluded that even taking on board differences of age and background that men are more likely to be

[00:13:18] Narcissistic than women. And in the article, they say, So what you might say, having bosses and leaders

[00:13:24] Always been brash show offs, and surely these character traits make them better at what they do, and they say there is some truth here. But the real picture is more complicated. According to the researcher Emily

[00:13:31] Griswald, assistant

[00:13:33] Professor of organization and human resources at the

[00:13:35] University of Buffalo School of Management. Narcissism is associated with various interpersonal dysfunctions, including an inability to maintain healthy, long term relationships, unethical

[00:13:43] Behavior and aggression, they say. In other words, our narcissism could

[00:13:46] Be a sign that something is deeply

[00:13:47] Wrong, both in our relationship with ourselves and therefore our relationship with the world.

[00:13:51] And then the article goes on to say, in fact, it's not

[00:13:54] Hard to explain why more than women are more likely to be

[00:13:56] Narcissistic. Just look at how we're socialized. So many boys grow up in families

[00:14:00] Where both their assertiveness and desire for power are praised.

[00:14:03] And meanwhile, some traits the

[00:14:05] Same traits are discouraged for girls.

[00:14:06] So this is where I go into that concept of attachment. So if

[00:14:11] We want our needs met, our only desires to get

[00:14:14] Our needs met so that we will live. That's the abandonment and attachment issues in childhood, then we really

[00:14:19] Will start to gravitate toward the things that are praised in our childhood. The things that we are rewarded for

[00:14:25] Because that becomes the

[00:14:26] Way that we are confident will

[00:14:28] Get our needs met. And so the article

[00:14:30] Says that this starts practically at birth. Note how adults

[00:14:33] Interact with the baby.

[00:14:34] Is it a boy or a girl?

[00:14:35] Is often the first question out of our mouths, and then we play an act with that child. Accordingly, we affirm so-called masculine traits for boys over those seen as feminine, such as all the different ways that a person can display sensitivity. How many of

[00:14:47] Us have heard real boys don't cry from our parents

[00:14:49] As we grew up, not just once, but many times over? It's like an instruction

[00:14:53] To cut that part of ourselves

[00:14:55] Off. So for some of us who grew up in this kind of

[00:14:57] Culture, we found that our fear, sadness and vulnerable feelings weren't acknowledged or even allowed.

[00:15:01] And this may have led to the development of what psychologists call a false self. And the false self is this mask.

[00:15:07] To protect us from hard to admit

[00:15:08] Feelings that are shameful, unmanly, difficult to process, and in fact, we may be so cut off from our feelings that we don't even know

[00:15:15] That they're there at all and we feel ill at ease without ever

[00:15:18] Even knowing exactly why. So the article says we mask this discomfort by becoming the captain of the football team, dominating others,

[00:15:24] Being bullish loud and perhaps even cruel.

[00:15:27] But deep down, we feel fraudulent and empty inside because we are disconnected from

[00:15:31] The person who we really are. And that person of us contains all of our feelings, including our fear and our vulnerability.

[00:15:37] And I love this because in this article and again, I think

[00:15:40] I referred to this maybe early on episode two or three, they say we all have these levels of narcissism. It's part of being human. But if you're worried yours is a little

[00:15:46] Outsized, then they go into ways that you can. You can take a look at that. But this is where I really want to start talking again about again, a small percentage of the population has absolute

[00:15:55] Malignant, malicious, narcissistic personality disorder. And then I feel like the majority of the rest of us

[00:16:01] Are on some narcissistic scale in that narcissism has such a bad connotation to it that

[00:16:06] I really like talking more about

[00:16:08] Its emotional

[00:16:09] Immaturity.

[00:16:10] So what does it feel like

[00:16:12] When you are arguing

[00:16:13] With someone that will not

[00:16:13] Take ownership or accountability for their actions? It feels like you're arguing with the 10 year old kid or I've sat in meetings with people before where we're all adults, but one other one adult is telling another adult what

[00:16:25] They need to do based on some

[00:16:27] Situations that occurred in this other adults life that occurred based on 30 or 40 years of their meta programing or all of the things that they've been

[00:16:34] Through that caused them to show up the way that they did. And now someone else is now telling them, Well, here's how I feel that you should behave. And then that person is saying, OK, I'll do it because we still have this deep seated need to be loved

[00:16:47] And to be appreciated.

[00:16:48] Because again, if we don't have that

[00:16:50] And we are afraid to stand in

[00:16:51] Our own confident self or our own confident sense of self or that confident ego,

[00:16:56] Then we worry that we will be abandoned. And ultimately, at our core, abandonment equals death. And another immature response

[00:17:02] That we often have is that when someone disagrees with us and when someone even it can be a slights us, even if they say,

[00:17:10] Oh, you're wearing that, if we feel immediately

[00:17:12] Criticized again, that's an immature

[00:17:13] Response or a.k.a. a narcissistic trait or tendencies response where we view

[00:17:18] Criticism, we view any negative emotion feeling or even any question at times as criticism,

[00:17:24] Then we're already going to this place

[00:17:26] Of they think I'm a bad

[00:17:27] Person or they think I'm doing everything wrong.

[00:17:29] And so I'm going to defend my fragile ego. And the way I'm going to defend that is I'm going to make sure that they feel bad. That's the

[00:17:35] Gaslighting. Or I'm going

[00:17:37] To get extremely emotional and sad so that I will go into a victim mentality so that then they will rescue me and say, No, no, no, it's OK. I'm sorry. Instead of just standing confidently in this differentiated stance and saying, OK, that's their opinion,

[00:17:51] So tell me more. But at the core, at

[00:17:53] The end of the day, I have to find myself and that as I do that then and as I find myself, then I will show up more confidently in my relationships with this concept of differentiation. It is just it becomes so evident. I think when you do start to wake up to this concept in general that I still find myself in sessions even where I preach authenticity on a daily basis and somebody says something about, you know, name it, anything. Some of something about they

[00:18:19] Are they have a political opinion that differs from mine or they're talking about a vaccine status or a parenting tip or whatever. And if it differs from mine,

[00:18:27] I will still find myself as a fifty two year old man who is trying to be as authentic as possible, sometimes feeling hope. They don't ask me that they don't ask for my opinion when I'm sitting here telling them, You must be confident in your opinion. It's not like we we become awoken

[00:18:42] To this and then we're perfect at it.

[00:18:44] So that to that email, that is

[00:18:46] Why I still refer primarily to the

[00:18:48] Narcissist as the male. And I think that's

[00:18:50] A great email to

[00:18:51] Get because I

[00:18:52] Think it'll be important for me to go back to that every few

[00:18:54] Episodes and just do a reminder that I know that there are. If you look at it as emotional immaturity, then needless to say, men and

[00:19:00] Women both carry these narcissistic

[00:19:02] Traits and tendencies. But we know now that that that gives us a

[00:19:05] Little better idea of why more men

[00:19:07] Have those narcissistic traits and tendencies than women do. So again, thank you so much for that, for that email.

[00:19:13] And there was more in that email or in that email

[00:19:16] As well that I wanted to address. Let me just pull that up again. Ok. Then he said, long lasting narcissistic traits in myself.

[00:19:21] Oh, here we go. I wonder if there there's my

[00:19:23] Mind going OK, he says. Unfortunately, I see narcissistic traits in myself as well,

[00:19:28] And I wonder if they are truly there or if they're just the result of my

[00:19:31] Wife's crazy making. I don't know this person. I don't know their wife, but the answer is yes. When he says no one else on the planet accuses me of the things she does, and I don't act the way I

[00:19:39] Do with her to anyone else,

[00:19:41] And I struggle with the way to to

[00:19:44] Conceptualize or

[00:19:45] Early on. In my practice, I used to say this thing that I realized only made sense to me. I wanted it to be sound so clever and say It's the I know you

[00:19:52] Are, but what am I? Theory, which

[00:19:54] Absolutely doesn't make sense, but the example I give is talking with a woman at one point just to kind kind woman had been through a lot in her life, a great mom, and she would talk about how that she would yell. She would yell at her kid. She would yell at her her. And her husband would say, Man, I don't like the way you

[00:20:09] Are when you're yelling, but when we would really break

[00:20:12] Down the game film and step back and say, OK, what led to that situation?

[00:20:15] It was her not feeling her, not feeling supported by her spouse.

[00:20:19] So then and then, with the inconsistency

[00:20:21] Of the parenting

[00:20:23] Model that was going on between the couple, that then she would find herself feeling crazy and then

[00:20:27] She would react. But she was not a yeller by nature, and you took her out into other environments where she felt heard and understood, and there were mature conversations

[00:20:36] Happening and she didn't just all of a sudden go off the handle and yell. So I do feel like one of the easiest tests, and that's why I love this email is

[00:20:43] If you take yourself and put yourself into other, do you just randomly yell, Do you? And do you

[00:20:49] Take ownership of things

[00:20:50] Outside of the relationship? Do you? Yeah. Do you admit fault? Do you? You're aware, and I even feel like the people.

[00:20:56] This is where my number one rule is. When somebody says, Man, am I the narcissist? And I typically say that if you're asking yourself that, then the answer is no. It's because you have the awareness enough to even question this. And that is what I feel like is going to help you on recognize maybe these narcissistic traits or tendencies. But I think it's a little bit easier to swallow when we say the emotional immaturity. Am I standing up confident

[00:21:17] Or do I need others

[00:21:19] To back up my

[00:21:20] Point? Or do I even need to build a big case

[00:21:22] Before I even ask a question to my spouse? Because that's going to be a little bit

[00:21:26] More of the emotionally

[00:21:27] Immature way to show up in a conversation? And that's going to lead to my four pillars of a connected conversation, which I've gotten a lot of to do an episode on that, and I'm going to go into a full episode on that. I think either

[00:21:37] Next week or the week after, but in a brief overview. When I do couples counseling, I'm there to help couples learn to communicate more effectively.

[00:21:46] Couples come in and they often just say, Can we just

[00:21:48] Air out our dirty laundry?

[00:21:49] In essence, you say, who's right and who's wrong? And again, do not give me that power because if something goes south in the relationship, then, well, it was the therapist. So no, there's a lot of work to be done in a couple's relationship. So my four pillars of a connected conversation

[00:22:04] Are based off of the therapeutic modality

[00:22:06] Called emotionally focused therapy EFT, which is amazing. Founded by Sue Johnson, a Canadian psychologist, and Sue Johnson is one who says that

[00:22:14] We we are truly

[00:22:15] Designed to deal with emotion in concert with another human being. And if you want to go deep, dove on this. Then again, it's so funny. Now I find myself wanting to justify it so I can get that external validation.

[00:22:26] But saying this is a part where if somebody is just listening

[00:22:28] Right now and they maybe this doesn't jive with them that I can imagine they're going to feel like, well, I don't even know what he's saying. He's rambling, but this is I'm about to spend some gold friends. So these four pillars of a connected conversation, the when I get couples in my office and they want to air

[00:22:44] Out their dirty laundry or when

[00:22:46] I did not

[00:22:47] Have the EFT framework

[00:22:49] In my

[00:22:49] As a couples therapist, you're taught these basic skills as a therapist to help people reflectively listen. I'm hearing you say that you're frustrated. And then the therapist sits back and says, OK, that's great, but you're not getting

[00:23:01] Anywhere with that. So when I learned EFT

[00:23:04] And then after working it for well over a decade, well over a

[00:23:06] Thousand couples now, I devised this.

[00:23:08] This framework with the help of a friend of mine named Preston Quagmire. But these four pillars of a connected conversation, the first

[00:23:14] Pillar is the assumption of good intentions that no one wakes up in the morning and thinks, How can I hurt my spouse?

[00:23:18] And here's the asterisk. This can be really difficult when you're talking about

[00:23:22] Relationships that have emotionally

[00:23:24] Immature people or narcissistic,

[00:23:26] Narcissistic traits, tendencies, someone on the heavy side of the narcissist scale because it will absolutely

[00:23:32] Feel like there are

[00:23:33] No good intentions behind what they're saying. So if somebody wakes up and they are angry and that's how they come at you or they present to you that

[00:23:41] It is hard, I recognize it's hard to say, Well, I have to assume that there's there are good intentions here. So when I am working in the

[00:23:47] World of narcissism, then I have a caveat a one b which

[00:23:51] Is or there's a reason why they're doing what they're doing. And I think

[00:23:55] This is where we can slip into that because

[00:23:57] Either they

[00:23:58] They did have some sort of childhood trauma, and that doesn't mean that it has to be necessarily physical abuse or sexual abuse, but it can be. They had the trauma of not

[00:24:07] Having parents who

[00:24:08] Modeled communication

[00:24:10] Or not having parents who ever took ownership of things that they did, who never apologized, who put everything back on their

[00:24:16] Kid

[00:24:17] Because the parent is the one

[00:24:18] That didn't like that feeling of unease or discomfort,

[00:24:21] Or that parent was showing up as emotionally immature because emotional maturity is being able to

[00:24:26] Say, I am sorry, my bad. You're right, those are signs of maturity. So when a parent, even I did it because I did it and I'm the parent and you need, you don't need you can't question me, then what are we modeling to our kids? Do we think that then when they

[00:24:39] Get older, they'll understand? No, they're

[00:24:41] Going to grow up and say, OK, we don't take ownership of things for some reason, or when I start to feel uncomfortable, then I'm either need to go get the balls out and juggle

[00:24:48] To get everybody to like me, or

[00:24:49] I'm going to just deny, deny, deny. The problem goes away. So that first pillar is that even if someone is in the narcissistic relationship is just the gaslighting is

[00:25:01] What can be so hard is that if you look at that from it, there's a reason why they gaslight. It's because they're emotionally immature

[00:25:07] And abandonment equals death, and gaslighting is a childhood defense mechanism. So they they lack the ability at times, at times until they

[00:25:15] Really start to do the work. They lack the ability to take ownership of their problems because they

[00:25:18] Feel from childhood that if they admit

[00:25:21] That they did something wrong, they're going to hear about it. And if they're going to hear about it, then they may

[00:25:25] Possibly be abandoned and abandonment

[00:25:27] At the core equals death and carry that forth into your adult years.

[00:25:31] And now what's happened is your brain is trying to make sense of the world, and it wants to find patterns. It wants to learn habits. That's why we we talk about habits constantly. So habits can be is positive ones. We learn to tie your shoe.

[00:25:44] We learn to drive a car. For me,

[00:25:46] I can't help but get up and want to go on a run after 25 years of doing that in the morning. So we have these habits

[00:25:51] That form and our brain

[00:25:53] Eventually gets so good at this is what we do that it doesn't take as much electrical

[00:25:59] Activity. Your brain puts these habits or these repetitive patterns of thought and behavior into this little area of your brain called the basal ganglia the habit center.

[00:26:07] And so the

[00:26:08] More things that your brain can do

[00:26:09] On repetition, then the more things it can put in this habit center and the less electrical activity

[00:26:14] That your brain will require because your brain at its core is they don't get killed device. Your brain

[00:26:20] Was designed to live, it wants to live, and

[00:26:23] So your brain is operating,

[00:26:25] I believe. And I have have some really cool data around this that that I've had some personal

[00:26:30] Experience and working with. But your brain is

[00:26:32] Working off of this somewhat flawed Plymouth, a flawed premise that it has a finite amount of electrical activity. So the goal is to conserve electrical. So it wants to make things habitual, it wants to put things in this habit center, and that's why even when we

[00:26:48] When we're in a relationship or and we feel that it isn't good and you hear an episode of waking up the narcissism and you feel heard and understood,

[00:26:54] There's a little bump of dopamine

[00:26:57] That hits to the reward center your brain. It's like, Yeah, no,

[00:26:59] I feel understood I got to do something about this and then just sit back and watch what happens in the brain. Now the Abbotts come, yeah, but

[00:27:07] You married a long time or yeah, but the finances are tight or,

[00:27:10] Yeah, made this commitment

[00:27:11] For eternity or yeah.

[00:27:12] But and so your brain says, Whoa, whoa, that's a new path. And that might require a lot of

[00:27:17] Electrical activity and there's no guarantees.

[00:27:20] How about we sit this one out? Let's just sleep it off. We'll think about it again tomorrow. And that's where the concept of experiential avoidance comes in. And in this day and age, it is really easy. Pull up your phone. You can play a game you can get on YouTube or TikTok. You can watch a movie

[00:27:34] At your fingertips. You can face time your friends.

[00:27:36] You can do anything other than the things that maybe would be best for you in the long run. This is truly a tangent, but boy, I love talking about this stuff, and I love going on these tangents, not going to lie. So if we go back to that pillar one assuming good intentions or there's a reason why people do the things they do because already that's going to set us up to get to Pillar two is that and this is the this becomes so important when you're communicating with someone with emotional

[00:27:59] Immaturity or

[00:28:00] Narcissistic traits and tendencies is that you

[00:28:03] Cannot tell them they're wrong or you don't believe them.

[00:28:05] But listen to this part even if you don't believe them and

[00:28:08] You are absolutely certain that they are wrong.

[00:28:11] And the reason why is if you start looking at these pillars, any one of these, if we all violate these in our conversation and if you are in a healthy relationship

[00:28:19] And you learn these four pillars, oh, there are some good times

[00:28:22] Ahead.

[00:28:23] But if you are in an unhealthy, emotionally immature relationship with your partner, you start to realize

[00:28:28] That they can't play in the sandbox. They can't stick to this framework. And sometimes that is the help or the answers. You need to know that you are not going crazy, but too often if we can then lean in that pillar one, assume good intentions, or there's a reason why they're doing what they're doing or saying what they're saying. And then as much as then, I feel immediately that I want to defend myself and tell them they're wrong with Pillar two. If I do that now, you know how that goes. If you're listening to this podcast, you know how that goes because that person is not going to take ownership. They're not going to listen. They're going to, Oh, OK, here we go again. You've got something different.

[00:28:59] You're the smart one. You've got all the answers, are you? This is a problem. You never listen to me.

[00:29:03] You always tell me that I'm wrong or that sort of thing. And now, what are we doing?

[00:29:07] We're out in the weeds and we're just arguing now we're going to tit for tat or just this back and forth. So this is why this framework is so important.

[00:29:13] I'm assuming good intentions. There's a reason why they're doing what they're saying, what they're saying. I can't tell them they're wrong or I don't believe them. Even when I do feel that that is the case, which that's more of this mindset. It moves into pillar three, which is questions before comments, because oftentimes we can stay in there with pillar one. Assuming the good intentions, then we

[00:29:30] Can be very aware of Pillar two. I'm not going to

[00:29:32] Tell them they're wrong. I'm not going to tell them they're wrong. But then we feel like, OK, check those two boxes now. Let me just let them know why they're crazy.

[00:29:38] But then I want to hear what they have to say.

[00:29:40] So you can see I feel like the wisdom and pillar three is that then I want to ask questions.

[00:29:44] Ok, tell me more about that.

[00:29:45] Take me on your train of thought. And then pillar four is, you cannot go,

[00:29:49] You can't retreat into your bunker.

[00:29:51] You have to stay present. And that can be really difficult, especially when your body is saying this isn't safe. And I know that this is why this is such a process, and sometimes I will not. Sometimes I just want you to know

[00:30:01] That I want you to be aware of this framework, and we just start thinking in terms of this framework, even before you start implementing it in your relationships or your

[00:30:07] Conversations. Because what happens to us is, then again, we can hang in there. Pillar one, assume good intentions. There's a reason why they're doing what or saying what they're saying. Pillar two, I'm not going to tell them they're

[00:30:15] Crazy or they're wrong, even if I think they are. And pillar three, hey, tell me more about that. And then pillar four, I

[00:30:20] Have to stay present because too often we do those first three and then we go into the bunker, we go into victim mode and we say,

[00:30:26] Ok, we are going to do whatever you're going to do. Or I guess nobody really appreciates

[00:30:29] My opinion because now we go into victim mode and we want that person to come rescue us. And here's what happens. And then and then again, the goal would be once they feel

[00:30:38] Heard, even if they're wrong, or even if they're the one that has the emotional maturity that

[00:30:44] You did not go off into

[00:30:45] The weeds, arguing the back and forth, the tit for tat, the pursue the withdrawal, the fight or flight, the freeze

[00:30:51] And flee all of these things that are in the world of emotionally focused therapy. They call them the demon dialogs, but you've stayed present and they have actually expressed themselves and nobody went off into the weeds. And let me give you a really good example. There's an amazing person I'm working with right now that has been

[00:31:05] The what's the word they have

[00:31:07] Received some of the most consistently insane financial abuse that

[00:31:11] I feel like I've ever worked with.

[00:31:13] And right now, the husband is wanting to make a very large purchase, and he's into his gaslighting behaviors, and he is now claiming that he has no money, that he has no money. She knows that they have money. She absolutely knows that they have money. And so here's the thing where when he says, OK, you know, I can't you can't continue to spend money because I have I've got this large purchase that we must make.

[00:31:36] I feel called from God that we must make this large purchase,

[00:31:38] But we have no money. So if she. Immediately said, OK, that's ridiculous. We have plenty of money. Now he can get out in the weeds and say, Oh, really, have you looked at the finances

[00:31:47] Lately or OK? You spend a lot of money and now we're going to argue.

[00:31:51] So if she assumes the good intentions are, there's a reason why he's coming on strong, even though she knows how much they make. She knows how much is in the bank account, so she's OK. You look at this like with curiosity, interesting. Why is he coming to me saying we have no money? When last week we talked about how much money we had literally so pillar one, assuming the good intentions, there's a reason why he's saying this pillar two. I cannot say he's wrong or I don't believe him, even though in this scenario, both of those

[00:32:16] Happen to be correct.

[00:32:17] Pillar three Then she jumped into the Well, take me on your train of thought. Tell me about why you don't feel like we have enough money right now. And then he just said some pretty hollow things about, Well, we're just spending a lot and we have all these kids and you never

[00:32:29] Know my job stability or you

[00:32:31] Just don't know because he's trying to make this case in an emotionally immature way to say, I want to spend money and I don't want you to have an opinion. And then pillar four, then she just stayed present. She didn't say, OK, no, I didn't know that stuff. You're right. You go ahead and do whatever you want to do because then he's going to if he if she does that, then that gives him the opportunity. Ok? I'm glad you understand now and then he gets to take that one up position. So she stayed present and then he

[00:32:56] Then there was no argument. There was no getting out of the weeds. There was no tit for tat. And here's the beauty of those four pillars.

[00:33:02] Now you stay in the I

[00:33:04] Feel and I worry and I wonder

[00:33:05] Statements, because remember, we've got this psychological reactions that instant negative reaction of being told what to do. So how often do we find our spouses telling us you need to stop spending or you need to understand that I'm not? We don't have a money tree in the backyard and you need to clamp down and we hear that and we're like, OK, no, that's not who I am. And matter

[00:33:25] Of fact, I probably need to even be more aware of the things

[00:33:29] That I need to do because you can't tell me what to do. That's in our nature. So then after after this woman had listened to her husband and he in essence felt heard, then she was able to say,

[00:33:39] Man, that would be hard. That would be really hard if you feel like we have no money.

[00:33:42] And so I appreciate you sharing that.

[00:33:44] I feel like the conversation we had last week where we talked

[00:33:46] About half a million dollars in the bank. So to me, I guess I'm operating from that place. And so staying in this, I feel and I worry statements or. And so then she's saying, Man, so

[00:33:55] I just I worry that how

[00:33:57] One week we can feel like we have a lot of money in the next week, it sounds like we don't. And man, I was under the assumption or I was under the impression that when we had the conversation

[00:34:05] About the raise that you got recently and how excited you were about how much more

[00:34:08] Money was coming in. So in my mind,

[00:34:10] I hear that and I hear the phrase more money,

[00:34:12] Because now she's not saying you, you don't understand you're wrong and put him in reactants mode. And this is the way to get to accountability. Because now at that point,

[00:34:22] Now we're

[00:34:23] Somewhat stepping into the world of an adult immature or an adult mature conversation. Now, I am not saying that the narcissist then all of a sudden has the AHA moment or the awakening or the epiphany and says, Oh my gosh, you're right. But I feel like this helps the person who is trying to set boundaries or get out of the crazy making of the narcissistic relationship

[00:34:41] Or the

[00:34:41] Narcissistic conversation style is able to

[00:34:44] Finally have a framework where they

[00:34:46] Feel like I don't have to jump in and defend myself, and I will listen from a differentiated standpoint. And now I have the tools that then state my opinion. And that is just the beginning, because if that's a place where it's just a matter of people not knowing what they didn't know, because no one has this communication style from the factory

[00:35:04] Because of our insecurities and because of our attachment

[00:35:06] Issues. And this is why in my office, when I get a

[00:35:08] Couple in here and I may be sniffing around

[00:35:11] Narcissistic traits and tendencies from the get go just based on their

[00:35:14] Intake paperwork. But the goal the reason why I want to jump into a framework like these four

[00:35:19] Pillars of a connected conversation is because so often people then just embrace those, and all of a sudden they have this

[00:35:25] Framework, this

[00:35:26] Tool, and they feel like there's

[00:35:27] Hope. And now they're going to work on this together. They're going to talk about, OK, can we have a four pillar conversation? Can we jump in there?

[00:35:33] And really, I have people that literally have a handout that they follow

[00:35:36] Or the other version of that is

[00:35:38] If the person is experiencing those narcissistic traits or tendencies, then at times, then that's the person that's saying, I don't want to do that. I don't really. This is different. And this is where we start to joke about the narcissist is the special flower. Because if they're saying, OK, I know I came to this therapist and it's couples therapy, I know he's talking on and on about

[00:35:54] The three or four pillars, whatever they are.

[00:35:56] But I just need him to understand this is different and I'm paying him good money and I need him to hear me. And that's why I often.

[00:36:04] Then you start to see the narcissist exit therapy or that sort of thing because they're like, Wait a minute, I couldn't manipulate the therapist. I need to

[00:36:10] Find another one. I don't like that guy. And then they'll typically say to their wife that, yeah, that is this isn't

[00:36:14] Working or you like him

[00:36:15] Because he's just backing up

[00:36:16] You or that sort of thing. That's those four pillars of a connected conversation.

[00:36:20] And I just want to continue to give those some

[00:36:22] Airtime because we're going to really start talking more and more into the new year about how to show up and try to stay

[00:36:28] Present in these relationships. Because again, I've talked about

[00:36:31] This in the trailer. I've talked about this in earlier episodes, but for most people, when they

[00:36:36] Wake up to the narcissistic traits and tendencies of someone in

[00:36:39] Their family, their spouse. Their parents, their in-laws, their siblings, their adult kids, whatever it is, then typically if you start Googling it, it does.

[00:36:48] It says, just go just run. And I know that I'll get some feedback from this too, because it can be really emotionally abusive. And I want none of that.

[00:36:57] For the listeners, for my clients, for people in my family, I want nothing more than them

[00:37:02] To be in healthy relationships.

[00:37:03] But the reality is the person that is in the relationship. There are so many more variables

[00:37:08] They want to feel like they can

[00:37:10] Make this work. Typically, they're the pathologically

[00:37:12] Kind person that is feeling, OK, no, it must be me. There must be something going on that I can, that I can do to help.

[00:37:18] And so I feel like part of my whole journey as a therapist has been. Let me try to create some

[00:37:23] Tools that will help that person understand that there is a healthy way to communicate. And so if that is not working, even when you

[00:37:31] Find this framework, then maybe that is helping you get the clarity that you need that you aren't the crazy

[00:37:36] One, which is pretty phenomenal. Let me go through

[00:37:38] Two more emails, then we're going to wrap this thing up

[00:37:41] Today. I like this one, the person said. You're waking up. The Narcissism podcast came up as a suggestion and my Apple podcast app. I listen to the intro and the first episode and felt

[00:37:48] Like I've been hit with a firehose of information.

[00:37:50] I do get that drinking from a firehose comment often, they said. Some of it I had heard and consciously knew, but much of it I was

[00:37:55] Unaware of or I had suppressed. And so like many others, I started

[00:37:58] Listening to the episodes multiple times and I looked I took notes

[00:38:00] To get my bearings. And each week I've eagerly awaited

[00:38:02] The release of the next episode and I've listened to most several times, which again, thank you so much for doing that. They said, I'm still waking up to what all this information means to me. They had a father who had narcissistic tendencies and and they go on to say that if anyone had the full blown narcissistic personality disorder that it would most likely be him. But they've spent years

[00:38:19] Coming to awareness of healing

[00:38:20] And reconciliation. And this is where I think this email is so beautiful, where they say that they've had to have reconciliation with the fact that the father that they crave is not the father they have. And a couple of weeks ago, I did, though welcome to Holland episode, and I feel like that is that can be difficult. And again, we call it narcissistic

[00:38:37] Awareness, grief at times where when we have craved a type of relationship, whether it's in our marriage or in our parental relationship,

[00:38:44] And then we recognize that isn't

[00:38:47] Necessarily the relationship that

[00:38:48] We have. Again, if we jumped on

[00:38:50] The plane and we're I think in that poem, we

[00:38:53] Were going to go to Italy and then we

[00:38:54] Get out of the plane and we're in Holland. Yeah, we're going to feel like we got gypped because our whole life we were dreaming of Italy.

[00:38:59] And now all of a sudden we got to wear wooden shoes.

[00:39:01] And maybe we're not a big fan of windmills or the food there, but

[00:39:05] Acceptance is a pretty powerful thing. Acceptance doesn't mean that you

[00:39:09] Then are done and dead

[00:39:11] Forever, but with acceptance now it's what do we do with that information? And so when

[00:39:15] People start to become more aware of that, they are not going to have that relationship that they really craved. I feel like that's starting

[00:39:23] To help them recognize that this isn't about it isn't about them, because oftentimes they've been the one that has been trying to

[00:39:30] Continually craft or create the scenario,

[00:39:34] The almost dreamlike scenario to then have that connection with the person that they so desperately, always wanted to connect with. And there's nothing wrong with wanting

[00:39:43] Healthy, mature adult

[00:39:44] Conversations and to feel like you have a person, somebody that

[00:39:47] You can turn to that is there for you, that has your back,

[00:39:50] That loves you. And so absolutely nothing wrong with that. And it doesn't mean that then when you if you recognize that that isn't the relationship you have that, then you need to just settle in and say, Well, this is it. No, because who are you to to not rise to the occasion or not to lift yourself so that others around you will be lifted as well, especially when you have kids? And sometimes we step back and say, OK, you know, I just need to, I just need to hang in there for the kids. But the more and this is really difficult to talk about because I

[00:40:16] Haven't been through divorce. My parents weren't divorced and but I work with plenty of divorce.

[00:40:20] And so it is difficult when somebody says I need to stick in there and stay together for the kids, but we've got enough data now that shows. But what are you modeling? Are you modeling that? You just tough it out? And hey, you win some, you lose some and this one didn't

[00:40:34] Turn out so well. Or do you model that when you're not connected with another person and when you feel like that other person is making you feel crazy, you do all the work you can

[00:40:44] To understand the situation and then you make decisions that can be really difficult or tough decisions. But they

[00:40:50] Are so

[00:40:51] Often the right decision, OK, the person. They also said that they've been astonished how common narcissistic traits and tendencies were and how many people that they recognize have and had them. And and so I just again, I appreciate that feedback. Another one, they said, I just started bingeing your podcast. At first, it was overwhelming.

[00:41:07] I've been married to

[00:41:08] And they talk about a borderline spouse for twenty six years and happily for the first six. I'm going to get back to that when listening to each episode. It's like reliving the trauma of the past 20 years condensed into thirty to forty five minutes. I finally reached the point that my fear

[00:41:21] Of continuing, like we are, is greater than the

[00:41:23] Fear of the trauma that I know will coming will come from just discussing divorce.

[00:41:27] And I appreciate the way that they framed that because it is, it's a process. It really is, they said. I appreciate your clear light, lighthearted approach to this really heavy topic.

[00:41:34] I wish I could get to the good part, which I do like that trend. But right now, I don't even know what that might look like. And they said, I just. Be happy being alone for a while. Thanks for advocating for us and helping me see narcissistic tendencies even in myself. So maybe you can see why I'd really that one in just a couple of paragraphs was so full of just powerful information. So again, narcissistic traits or tendencies, or maybe the emotional

[00:41:54] Immaturity that we all carry with us until we do the work, until we are aware. And then part of that,

[00:42:00] Then this is why I want to strip away the narcissistic traits and tendencies label and maybe talk about

[00:42:05] Maturity, emotional

[00:42:06] Maturity, because maybe that concept of emotional maturity

[00:42:09] Sounds a little bit more powerful when we

[00:42:11] Realize that I need to show up as an adult and say it's OK for me to want and have the desires that I want of a conversation of a connection of being able to not be the brunt of someone's attack because they're the ones that feel insecure about themselves. And so and it is a process and it does take time. But I really this is one that just hit me the last couple of weeks. Honestly, at the beginning, when this person said

[00:42:34] That they were, they've been married for twenty six years, happily for the first

[00:42:37] Six.

[00:42:37] And here's where I'm going to float

[00:42:39] Out to Tony's unsubstantiated, anecdotal, unscientific fact of the day. And if my My

[00:42:47] Virtual Couch podcast, I have three hundred and

[00:42:49] One episodes and I've tried

[00:42:50] To have every one of them be

[00:42:52] Based off of some evidence based data. So it's funny for me to even say that, hey, let me just throw out a random thing that I think. But I had somebody

[00:43:00] Talking to me earlier and they were saying that they really did have a good first few years of their marriage.

[00:43:05] And so then it only leads them to think, what did they do? That then caused the marriage to split, because then the next two decades were not good. And I just I said, Man, I've been thinking about this a lot, and

[00:43:18] I really feel like

[00:43:19] There's a concept. If I go back to

[00:43:20] That, what differentiation looks like that we're trying to work toward this mature version of the relationship where you are

[00:43:26] Two autonomous individuals. Both have your own experiences, your own thoughts, dreams, hopes, your own talents and abilities, your own values based on the lives that you've each individually lived. But then we get into relationships a bit codependent and enmeshed just because that's what we do, because we're so afraid of abandonment that we do show up in the

[00:43:46] Dating world and we try to be the

[00:43:48] Person that will

[00:43:50] Be liked

[00:43:51] Or loved. And so when we get in a relationship,

[00:43:53] Everything's pretty euphoric because, well, yeah, no, I agree, and we're doing good

[00:43:57] Old confirmation bias.

[00:43:58] We're looking for things that we agree with. And if there are things that we feel like,

[00:44:02] Whew, that's that one seems a little odd that he just said that then we often just think, you know what? But I don't know.

[00:44:07] Maybe I'm misunderstood, or I'm sure it will get better after we get married. And so then I feel like the first few years of marriage for a lot of people are some

[00:44:16] They jump right in. And as soon as honestly, I hear this one more than I ever thought I would. But as soon as the ring is on and the honeymoon begins, then the person, the narcissist, the narcissistic traits and tendency person, then all of a sudden now they realize, OK, who?

[00:44:30] That was a lot of work to be this

[00:44:32] Person that was going to get my spouse. But now

[00:44:35] That we're married

[00:44:35] Now, I just want to do whatever I want to do. I want to have a ton of sex and I want to watch the shows I want to watch and I'm going to do what. I'm going to go play golf, I'm going to work, I'm going do whatever I'm going to do and they'll be fine. And I do

[00:44:46] Hear a lot of that. But more often than not, the first few years aren't bad because it

[00:44:49] Feels as if it is a

[00:44:52] Good marriage where both people are differentiated because both people are doing their thing and you're sharing experiences.

[00:44:58] And but I think what's fascinating about this is the more I think about it, the narcissist is

[00:45:02] Having their experience, so they're not having a shared experience. They are

[00:45:07] Selfishly but unconsciously at times just doing the things that they want to and not listening or not hearing

[00:45:13] Or not

[00:45:13] Understanding their spouse and but their spouse is typically this pathologically kind person that's just going along because this is what you do and we are having fun. There's a lot of times that things fall

[00:45:22] Off, but overall things are OK. And then as you go through life and you start to have kids and you

[00:45:27] Start to have jobs, you start to have financial pressures and you start to accept responsibilities in

[00:45:31] Your community or your church. Now, now you're going through life and you're starting to realize what really

[00:45:37] Matters to

[00:45:37] You and what's important to you. You're starting to

[00:45:39] Have your own experiences. So then when you try to communicate that to the emotionally

[00:45:44] Immature or narcissistic

[00:45:45] Person, now they view that as criticism. Wait a minute. Now you're saying

[00:45:49] And acting different and you're not

[00:45:50] Wanting to just do the things I want to do.

[00:45:52] And now we start that pattern of gaslighting. Well, why would you want to do that? No, you never told me that before.

[00:45:59] Yeah, I wouldn't want to do that. All of these things that are

[00:46:01] More about the

[00:46:02] Narcissist than the person that's now going through life as well and trying to have

[00:46:06] A connection or share experiences

[00:46:08] In hopes that that

[00:46:10] They're saying these things to their person, that they are going to be able to

[00:46:13] Communicate effectively. So then when they run into these

[00:46:15] Situations over and over again, where that didn't go well,

[00:46:18] Trying to

[00:46:18] Communicate, then over time again, the body keeps the score. The brain likes

[00:46:22] Patterns. So it's I know that I can't open up about this. I know I can't really talk about this. And so we find that all of a sudden we're walking on eggshells, just trying to figure out what

[00:46:31] Is it worth it to bring this up right now? I know what that's

[00:46:33] Going to bring and we're about to go on vacation or it's

[00:46:35] Christmas or

[00:46:37] I don't want this to affect the kids, and so I'll just continually kick the can down the road. Because and then

[00:46:41] There becomes more and more things that

[00:46:43] You feel like you can't discuss or can't bring up because you are not dealing with someone that is coming at you with curiosity, and it doesn't take everything as criticism until then. At some point, when you really start to state your own opinions and have your own feelings and emotions, then that's when we are often met with the Ooh, now you don't let

[00:47:00] Things go or you're acting really different. Or Boy, why all the anger? And we've talked about that in previous

[00:47:06] Episodes, where that's when the nurses starts to feel like they're losing control. So it's just fascinating. Ok. I have gone a long time on this episode. This one, I will lean in and love and accept the rambling the tangents, and I'm grateful for the people that have sent me the emails today.

[00:47:21] What do we learn? We talked a little bit more about emotional immaturity. I went pretty

[00:47:25] Big on the four pillars of a connected conversation, and I hope you can see that the

[00:47:28] Direction that we're moving toward in the new year is going to be one. We're going to be talking a lot more about

[00:47:33] The concepts of emotional immaturity and what that looks like to show up with this calm, confident energy differentiated using these four pillars of a connected conversation to

[00:47:41] See if you're in a relationship where it's just a

[00:47:43] Matter of the things that people don't know that people never grew up with, and they don't know. And are they capable? Because the number one question I seem to get is,

[00:47:50] Are our nurses is capable of change.

[00:47:53] And if you look at that narcissistic personality disorder diagnosis and you look at the data says that they're most likely not going to change. And I hesitate often on even talking about again, I jokingly call them the unicorns that I get in my office. But it's the people

[00:48:08] That, for whatever reason, are here and committed to therapy, committed

[00:48:13] To this introspection. And it takes quite a while to start to recognize, Oh my gosh, I'm waking up to my own narcissistic traits and tendencies. And then even then being able to continually look at any situation and the way that I'm expressing myself or showing up and saying, Whoa, OK, what am I doing here? I'm wanting to feel better then, or I feel insecure, so I want them to tell me I'm amazing, so I'm going to tell an

[00:48:32] Even more grandiose story or one of

[00:48:34] Somebody. There are so many levels of awareness that start to happen when somebody can take ownership that the fact that they may have these narcissistic traits and tendencies.

[00:48:43] But when you're in

[00:48:44] A relationship with someone that is not going to be a safe place to be vulnerable and open up,

[00:48:48] And then they're going to take that information and then they're going to they're going to use that. They're going to say, Well, you are the narcissist or you do gaslight me again, that that parent parenting that

[00:48:57] I talk about so often. Hey, check out that tangent after I already said that I was going to wish you a wonderful new year and head out. So have an amazing new year. Have an amazing weekend. Again, please send me your questions. Those sort of things. If you're interested in the private women's Facebook group, you can shoot me an email then that is just continuing to thrive.

[00:49:13] I'm grateful for all the people that are helping there and next year really big

[00:49:17] Things with waking up the Narcissism podcast, the group, community and nonprofit, all those things are coming up and it's because of the support and the what I get, the feedback from all of you listeners. So have

[00:49:28] A Happy New Year

[00:49:29] And we'll see you next year on waking up in our system.

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