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Critical Readings For Separation and Divorce

Separation and Divorce Considering ending your marriage? Going through a divorce? Let us know!

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Old 27th July 2013, 6:11 PM   #16
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As request dear Yas x

This made me MIDLIFE For Dummies

This has thrown me a mental life line

Midlife Club: About

SS x

“Love yourself first and everything falls into line.”
Lucille Ball quotes
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Old 12th August 2013, 10:25 AM   #17
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Help for betrayed men: Women's Infidelity by Michelle Langley

I'm not in the habit of suggesting books for betrayed husbands. The main reason for this stems from what I consider various society and religion-driven agendas serving as motivation. This is, of course, not true in every case. I have not (nor has anyone) read every self-help guide for spouses dealing with infidelity, separation and divorce, but it is a common issue.

Langley's two-part series is in both ebook and paperback form. The link is found here. Many have been helped by just reading the introduction page; shocked at the same exact pattern of behavior by their spouses that Langley describes in her introduction. This pattern is clear, common, and the very reason why Langley's book helps so many people.

A sample of the introduction:


Women's relationships today follow
a very predictable pattern:

-They push men for commitment

-They get what they want

-They lose interest in sex

-They become attracted to someone else

-They start cheating

-They become angry and resentful

-They begin telling their partners that they need time apart

-They blame their partners for their behavior...and eventually, after making themselves and everyone around them miserable for an indefinite, but usually, long period of time, they end their relationships or marriages


Langley offers no guarantee or advice for reconciliation. The information published in her book series informs and empowers the betrayed spouse and is designed to give him understanding. The language can be quite direct (even crude) in spots, so be warned. Langley pulls no punches in her writings. This direct approach often irritates wives and women involved in infidelity, and for that reason Langley suggests caution when sharing.

Highly suggested for betrayed men with decisions to make.

Last edited by Moderator; 12th August 2013 at 10:31 AM.. Reason: Linking is sufficient
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Old 16th August 2013, 1:06 PM   #18
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Thought this video is a great piece on the topic... New Way of Divorce - Getting A Clean Break Without Costly Litigation - YouTube
What do you think?
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Old 23rd August 2013, 10:38 PM   #19
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Speaking of help book that helped me a couple of years ago to heal my heart. Mars and Venus Starting Over: A Practical Guide for Finding Love Again After a Painful Breakup, Divorce, or the Loss of a Loved One: John Gray: 9780060930271: Books

We don't always heal the same way, but at the end of things, we want to know that we can open our hearts eventually to better things and move on with our lives.
~ Trippi ~
"....but the struggles make you stronger, the changes make you wiser, and happiness has its own way of taking its sweet time. Life isn't always beautiful but it's a beautiful ride."

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Old 1st September 2013, 8:41 AM   #20
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In hopes of reparing your damage marriage / relationships

"Romance 101"

"1001 Way To Be Romantic"

"1001 More Ways To Be Romantic!"

"Light Her Fire!"

"Light His Fire!"

"How To Light A Fire When The Kids Are Driving Us Crazy!"


"Why Men Don't Get Enough Sex and Women Don't Get Enough Love!"

"Why Men Don't Have A Clue and Women Need Another Pair of Shoes!"

"You Just Don't Understand!"


"Growing Up Divorce!"

"Second Chances!"

"Men Are From Mars and Women Are From Venus!"

"How To Satisfy A Woman Eveytime and have her beg for more!"

"How To Be A Long Distance Parent!"

"Long Distance Parenting!"

"Passages" Critical Read!

"Life Code" by Dr. Phil McGraw Critical Read!

"Why Women Worry!"

"Why Women Cheat!"

"The Game"
Parts of me are awesome, the rest I'm working on!
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Old 27th November 2013, 3:48 AM   #21
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The following are resources for those who believe they are in abusive relationships, or suspect they may be. Emotional or psychological abuse is often as damaging or more so than physical abuse. Abuse can feel like a prison, and abusers are at their worst when their victim attempts to leave. Please recognize that there are resources available to you. Emotional abuse is considered a form of domestic violence. Avail yourself of the resources out there for DV

Admitting to oneself that they are in an abusive relationship can be very difficult. Abusers tend to isolate their victims from the outside world. This, coupled with an environment that is so psychologically damaging, can leave one with a tenuous grasp on what is "normal" or "ok". This is why talking about what is going on, openly and honestly, with others is so important. The resources outlined below are just a few of the many available to people. If you need further assistance please feel free to PM me as this is a subject that I take very seriously.

Signs of abusive relationships: Signs of Emotional Abuse | World of Psychology

National (US) hotline: The National Domestic Violence Hotline | 24/7 Confidential Support

The book to read on abusers:

Link to an organization that provides support groups and hotlines: Joyful Heart Foundation

I will try to add resources here as I find them. And if anyone just needs someone to talk to about this, PM me.
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Old 25th January 2014, 7:30 PM   #22
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Realistic Steps For Surviving the End of Your Relationship

Realistic Tips for Surviving the End of Your Relationship

Written by "Oracle"
Pinned Thread in the Breaking Up Forum (Very Good Tips)

Thought I would share my thoughts with you all.. I have been there and still am in many ways.

"Over the last 2 years my friend and I have developed 3 rules that one can apply to pretty much any aspect of life.. Sadly so far I haven't been able to prove them wrong. They seem infaliable, like the pope ;P (sarcasm alert for those of u that are a tad slow)

Anyways, before I get to that.. here is my background....

Was in a monogamous same sex relationship (and stfu all u haters) for 13 years, since we were both 19. In the gay world, thats virutally unheard of -I F***ing feel like I deserve a medal just for that alone. We had a good life - big estate, high end cars, travelled several times a year - blah blah.. all the stuff everyone dreams of but never usually gets. We both worked from home so we were together 24/7 both being guys we were buddies and lovers and we did absolutely everything together. It was always a battle though, never easy and we always fought lots but always stayed together. Anyway I always thought it would go the distance.. we would grow old together. Not wanting to give away to much personal details and drag this out - We came to an end and not for infidelity or the usual 'gay culture' culprits - but not in a clean break kinda way. More like a messy twilightzone want to shoot yourself in the face everyday kinda way. We worked together for almost 1 year after ending while we liquidated the one shared business, and we still live together while we sell our primary residence. Ya, f*cked up i know. We are both stubborn.

The journey to this point has been up and down. At times it could be fairly brutal. This is what I have come to realize in the past two years and I call them the three rules, you can apply them to everything.

Rule 1 - Nothing is as it seems.

- Pretty simple, period. Your happy neighbors next door, your parents, and even your spouse - you really don't have a clear idea of the true reality of things. You build up ideas in your head based on your perceptions of others. People fake it, and your mind takes broad liberties when filling in the blanks. Let me put it this way.. If I pulled up next to you in my hummer with one of my hot female friends, you wouldn't think I like to suck d*ck. Nothing is as it seems. Moving on...

Rule 2 - Possession and desire are mutually exclusive.

- 'Huh?' you say - Ya, ok let me put it this way. The hottest Guy / Girl is usually the one that is waving good-bye. Rule 2 is my favourite, cause its so true. We want what we can't have, and when we have it we tend to not want it is much anymore or take it for granted. That extra hard longing you feel is cause they just kicked ur ass to the curb. You have the blinders on and you are kneeling before that idealized version of them you have placed high up on that pedestal in your mind.

Rule 3 - Expectations are the source of disappointment.

- I know it sounds cynical, but all roads lead here. Im sure you are doing mental gymnastics right now, imagining how he or she is the one and its meant to be and things are gonna be different and you will change etc. etc. etc. Keep doing it.. keep building up the dream cause ur just gonna crash harder when you fall from those lofty heights. And there is NOTHING wrong with that.... there is a process you go thru.. and it sucks ass, but sadly there is no short cut.

Additional doses of reality:

(A) There is no such thing as the one. im sorry.. if you believe that you're.. well.. dumb, and f*cking your self in the long run. Dan Savage puts it best.... there is no "the one." there are "ones"... actually more like .84s and you round up to 1.0, cause you don't settle down without a little settling for. I sold myself on that one bull**** too... then while dating over the last two years, I learned that I could love new people and experience new things. Keep in mind i did this while still living a fairly domestic life with my ex and still loving him as well. I can guarnete you it will never be the same... ever, but it is different. I love my ex and always will, and im sure he loves me still too in his way, but our time is done.

(B) Nothing is meant to be. There is no master plan.. its all f*cking random. You aren't entitled to anything, you aren't suppoed to be living a better life, there isn't a purpose or a specifically designed lesson for your current suffereing... it just is. Im sure a lot of you religious folk are coming off the ground right now... save me the sermon I really don't care. All one has to do it look around at the world.... there are millions of people who got the real short end of the stick when they turned up on this planet; Severely handicapp, raped and brutally killed as children.. things along those lines - so If there is someone with some "master plan" for us all, well he either is completely incompetent, or just really doesn't give a f*ck. And don't give me the 'free will' talk, that is a lazy cop-out blanket excuse that is the arguement of last resort invoked by the pious.

(C) People don't change. They don't. People can alter their behaviour or beliefs, but they don't change their core personality traits. Understand these do evolve with age, but they don't drift very far from where they started.

So there we go.

What you are feeling now really comes down to attachment. Its a natual human experience that is necessary for the survival of our species. Its part of us all and its a force to be reckoned with.. Letting go is hard, what can I say. But thats life. Nothing lasts forever - not you nor I.

Things do get better. You won't wake up one day having turned a corner and everything is smooth sailing from there on in. I still have my dark days now and then but it improves.

I don't care if you like what I have had to say or don't. Its my experience and what I think. Its not right, its not wrong. Its just some guy thats come thru lifes a** hole, and sharing his take on it all.I haven't gone into a lot of detail about the events that unfolded for me, but rest assured its made for tv movie worthy. Luckily most of you arent going to have to endure what I did. So I can assure you... you are going to be ok.

You are stronger than you think, and with enough time you can get used to anything. Seriously..... Breathe, cause sh *t gets better... apparently."
"Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
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Old 25th January 2014, 7:40 PM   #23
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The Grass is Greener Syndrome

"The Grass Is Greener" Syndrome
(AKA; itchy feet, quarter life crisis, early-twenty-itus)
Pinned Thread by Homebrew in Breaking Up Forum

"I thought I would put together a thread here to provide some information on and a place to discuss this particular type of break up. I've had relationships end because of it along with a few of my friends. In addition, I've had friends be the ones stricken with this 'syndrome', so I've seen how it plays out from both sides. Hopefully, I can provide a little insight to help those of you going through this type of breakup. The more we understand something, the more comfortable with it we become and the less scary it seems.

In my opinion, outside of infidelity, this is one of the toughest types of breakups to go through. It seemingly comes out of nowhere, seems to have no rhyme or reason behind it, and it can strike even the best of couples. In your 'run of the mill' break up, there's usually an identifiable reason or set of reasons that led to the split, such as personality conflicts, fighting, different life goals, etc. These breakups are also difficult, but I've always found them a bit easier to cope with because you can identify a cause to the effect. Not so with the grass is greener syndrome. It's like going through a root canal even though your teeth are perfectly healthy.

This syndrome usually tends to fall on women within the age range of 20-25 (it happens to men, too, but seems to be less often). It usually happens in a long term relationship (maybe two or more years) when the couple is about to make a much larger commitment to each other, such as an engagement or marriage. It's as if the mixture between the person's young age and the thought of making such a huge commitment almost makes them want to go on the relationship equivalent of the Amish's Rumspringa.

Some of the classic symptoms of this are as follows:

• Reasons for the break up are contradicting or sound like the dumper is grasping at straws for reasons. As if they are trying to convince themselves of it, too.

• Not much warning that something is going on before the actual break.

• An extreme change in lifestyle, such as suddenly starting to drink a lot, party a lot and hang around people they normally wouldn't.

• Wishy-washiness on the part of the dumper. They love you, but aren't IN love with you. They say that this doesn't mean you two are over forever and maybe someday down the road you'll be together again. At the same time, they'll tell you to move on.

• Quickly entering new relationships with people they aren't very compatible with.

One of the biggest problems with these sorts of breakups is that the dumpee will be more likely to want to stick around in the dumpers life. Due to the dumper's extreme mixed signals and the fact that they'll try harder than usual to keep the dumpee around as a friend, the dumpee will make all sorts of excuses to stay around. They'll say things such as "She's just confused, so we're going to remain friends and see what happens". These sorts of breakups need to be treated like any other kind of breakup. Give the dumper as much space as possible and gracefully bow out of their life.

The thing to keep in mind is that in these sorts of breakups, the dumpers themselves don't have any sort of answers to give. They're usually just as confused about the situation as the dumpee. This often adds more pain to the dumpee because they're just looking for some sort of reason as to why they're being hurt so badly and get completely frustrated when the dumper can't give them one. They think the dumper may be acting cruel or like the dumper is hiding something from them. This is usually not the case. The dumper isn't giving any answers because they don't have them.

Now for the good news. If the dumpee does completely exit the dumpers life and resist the temptation to remain friends, the chance that the opportunity for reconciliation will arise is actually quite good. If the relationship was a good one, the dumper will find out eventually that the grass isn't greener, it's just different grass and may even be a little worse than the pastures they left. However, that doesn't mean that a reconciliation will happen. Due to the hurtfulness of this type of breakup, the dumpee will most often refuse the offer for reconciliation when it eventually comes up (which can be months or over a year down the line). Since the breakup happened out of nowhere and for no real good reason, it can be difficult for most people to get the trust back in the relationship. The fear that they'll suddenly be dumped out of nowhere will hinder the relationship from developing into anything. This is why I said the "opportunity" for reconciliation is a lot higher and not that actual reconciliations are common for these types of breakups.

So, my heart goes out to all of you enduring this particular type of breakup. Just remember, it's not your fault and it's not the dumper's fault, either. It's just due to human nature and unfortunate sets of circumstances. No amount of picking your ex's brain will result in any sort of meaningful answers to the questions that plague you. Just remember that this is a phase and it doesn't last forever. So, as long as your ex is in this phase, all you can do is go about living your own life and making yourself a better person.

If anyone has any questions, I'll be happy to give you my opinion on the matter.

Good luck, everyone."
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Old 25th January 2014, 8:07 PM   #24
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Readings on GIGS (Grass is Greener Syndrome)

More Articles on GIGS

1. Grass is Greener Syndrome, written by Nathan Feiles, LCSW. Published: Relationships in Balance.

2. Why the Grass is Never Greener and How to Be Happy Today, written by Katy Cowen. Published: Tiny Buddah: Simple Wisdom For Complex Lives.

3. Living With the 'Grass is Always Greener' Syndrome, written by Sheryl Paul. Published: Your Tango: Your Best Love Life, Expert Blog.

4. Are You Suffering From "Grass is Always Greener" Syndrome in Love? written by Sheryl Paul. Published: MindBodyGreen.

5. Avoid the Greener Grass Syndrome, written by Nancy C. Anderson. Published: Family Life Today.

6. All You Need To Know About GIGS, Blaze1'S Blog. Published: Relationship Talk.

7. Mythbusters: The Grass is NOT Always Greener on the Other Side of the Fence, written by Jennifer Kunst, Ph.D. Published: Psychology Today.

8. Overcoming the "Grass is Always Greener" Syndrome, written by Shannon Symonds. Published: Familyshare.

9. The Grass is NOT Always Greener!. No author cited. Publihed: Creating Your Health.

10. Enjoy Your Midlife Crisis: The Grass is Greener Syndrome. No author cited. Published by Mid-Life Ladies, this one might tick you off, but it does lend insight.

If you would like to post a reading on this thread, and are having dificulty - please feel free to PM me or the moderators for instructions. Hope all of you are well. Yas

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Old 30th January 2014, 7:39 PM   #25
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passive aggressive

thought I might share this on here, hope it helps others as it has really helped me. My situation what I thought was a classic "Mid life crisis" wasn' is in fact this.

the sad thing is that I could see these behaviours in his brother but not in my H... I cant believe I didn't recognize this before. The first link was given to me by a friend that thought it sounded very much like my ex...turn out she was 100% correct. The second I found interesting as it explains a little more and why a person marries a PA.

Interesting read for those dealing with a PA...hope it helps other too

Divorcing a Passive Aggressive Spouse - Passive Aggressive Spouse

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Old 4th March 2014, 6:32 PM   #26
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Women's Infidelity: #1 Source for Information @ Female Infidelity

Women' Infidelity: #1 Source For Information About Female Infidelity

"Find Out the REAL Reasons Women Cheat, the Specific Pattern They Follow in Their Affairs and Why Now...They're Cheating as Much as Men"

This article identifies four specif stages women go through when they are cheating or having affairs. The article is also within a website with many other reading materials on the topic of Women's Infidelity.

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Old 28th May 2014, 1:01 PM   #27 Moderator Moderator
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Noting a proliferation of postings with direct external links to commercial content, like businesses with stuff for sale, whether that be legal advice or books, I'm going to close this up and queue it for processing. If there's any doubt why, simply read the moderator's note at the top of the thread when it was begun. We normally permanently ban members who post commercial links but I'll give some leeway here, prior to this posting. Once processed, because it is taking up moderation's time, enforcement will be more strict.

OK, moving forward, I'll ask members to review their links and, if they see any materials/products/services for sale on the linked page, or if the page is a competing interpersonal relationships site, do not hyperlink it, instead quote search terms and a relevant quote to support the resource. Reason? LoveShack's owner does not like providing competing services with free advertising for their wares or to drive their internet search engine placements on his nickel. Pretty basic business 101. We're non-profit here so no supporting for-profit competition.

Those are the rules. Posting direct links, if determined to be advertising, leaves the poster subject to suspension or ban. Posting of 'critical readings' is encouraged. Thanks!

Last edited by William; 23rd June 2014 at 12:43 PM.. Reason: Thread re-opened
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Old 4th September 2014, 5:02 PM   #28
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Am I Attention-Seeking? Do I play the Rescue Role? Do I Have Victim Syndrome?

Have I falsely accused, harassed, ignored, purposely distorted information? Have I written hate mail? Have I manipulated someone? Have I deliberately harmed someone - even with just psychological games? Read this.

My Personal Intro:

We don't mean to, but sometimes, under deress, in my opinion, it is possible to develop some bad personality habits within ourselves. I know for a fact, that I was an "attention seeker" with my marital problems for many years. As I look back on it, perhaps the outlet and feedback was soothing to me - and helped me cope (as I had no intention of leaving my marriage at that time). But "attention seeking" did not solve my marital problems, however, my stories never failed to raise eyebrows (everything was true - but did I need to broadcast it?). Therefore, I think it is fair to say that I enjoyed being "The Center of Attention," when I told my "Poor Me" stories. Could be a sign of Victim Syndrome too. I told these stories to my professional colleagues, and I think that was very unwise, but was many years ago. I never acted on the advice I was given. This dimension of the marital problem was more about something empty inside of me, clearly. I certainly came from a hidiously dysfunctional family, to be sure.

I think this is a good article to help one recognize the possibility of a personality trait they may want to work on. And to, this article can assist us in identifying some unusual personality traits in others as well.

The need for attention

Human beings are social creatures and need social interaction, feedback, and validation of their worth. The emotionally mature person doesn't need to go hunting for these; they gain it naturally from their daily life, especially from their work and from stable relationships. Daniel Goleman calls emotional maturity emotional intelligence, or EQ; he believes, and I agree, that EQ is a much better indicator of a person's character and value than intelligence quotient, or IQ.

The emotionally immature person, however, has low levels of self-esteem and self-confidence and consequently feels insecure; to counter these feelings of insecurity they will spend a large proportion of their lives creating situations in which they become the centre of attention. It may be that the need for attention is inversely proportional to emotional maturity, therefore anyone indulging in attention-seeking behaviours is telling you how emotionally immature they are.

Attention-seeking behaviour is surprisingly common. Being the centre of attention alleviates feelings of insecurity and inadequacy but the relief is temporary as the underlying problem remains unaddressed: low self-confidence and low self-esteem, and consequent low levels of self-worth and self-love.

Insecure and emotionally immature people often exhibit bullying behaviours, especially manipulation and deception. These are necessary in order to obtain attention which would not otherwise be forthcoming. Bullies and harassers have the emotional age of a young child and will exhibit temper tantrums, deceit, lying and manipulation to avoid exposure of their true nature and to evade accountability and sanction. This page lists some of the most common tactics bullies and manipulators employ to gain attention for themselves. An attention-seeker may exhibit several of the methods listed below.

Attention seeking methods

Attention-seeking is particularly noticeable with females so I've used the pronoun "she". Males also exhibit attention-seeking behaviour.

Attention seekers commonly exploit the suffering of others to gain attention for themselves. Or they may exploit their own suffering, or alleged suffering. In extreme forms, such as in Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy, the attention-seeker will deliberately cause suffering to others as a means of gaining attention.

The sufferer: this might include feigning or exaggerating illness, playing on an injury, or perhaps causing or inviting injury, in extreme cases going as far as losing a limb. Severe cases may meet the diagnostic criteria for Munchausen Syndrome (also know as Factitious Disorder). The illness or injury becomes a vehicle for gaining sympathy and thus attention. The attention-seeker excels in manipulating people through their emotions, especially that of guilt. It's very difficult not to feel sorry for someone who relates a plausible tale of suffering in a sob story or "poor me" drama.

The saviour: in attention-seeking personality disorders like Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy (MSBP, also known as Factitious Disorder By Proxy) the person, usually female, creates opportunities to be centre of attention by intentionally causing harm to others and then being their saviour, by saving their life, and by being such a caring, compassionate person. Few people realise the injury was deliberate. The MSBP mother or nurse may kill several babies before suspicions are aroused. When not in saviour mode, the saviour may be resentful, perhaps even contemptuous, of the person or persons she is saving.

The rescuer: particularly common in family situations, she's the one who will dash in and "rescue" people whenever the moment is opportune - to herself, that is. She then gains gratification from basking in the glory of her humanitarian actions. She will prey on any person suffering misfortune, infirmity, illness, injury, or anyone who has a vulnerability. The act of rescue and thus the opportunities for gaining attention can be enhanced if others are excluded from the act of rescue; this helps create a dependency relationship between the rescuer and rescued which can be exploited for further acts of rescue (and attention) later. When not in rescue mode, the rescuer may be resentful, perhaps even contemptuous, of the person she is rescuing.

The organiser: she may present herself as the one in charge, the one organising everything, the one who is reliable and dependable, the one people can always turn to. However, the objective is not to help people (this is only a means to an end) but to always be the centre of attention.

The manipulator: she may exploit family relationships, manipulating others with guilt and distorting perceptions; although she may not harm people physically, she causes everyone to suffer emotional injury. Vulnerable family members are favourite targets. A common attention-seeking ploy is to claim she is being persecuted, victimised, excluded, isolated or ignored by another family member or group, perhaps insisting she is the target of a campaign of exclusion or harassment.

The mind-poisoner: adept at poisoning peoples' minds by manipulating their perceptions of others, especially against the current target.

The drama queen: every incident or opportunity, no matter how insignificant, is exploited, exaggerated and if necessary distorted to become an event of dramatic proportions. Everything is elevated to crisis proportions. Histrionics may be present where the person feels she is not the centre of attention but should be. Inappropriate flirtatious behaviour may also be present.

The busy bee: this individual is the busiest person in the world if her constant retelling of her life is to be believed. Everyday events which are regarded as normal by normal people take on epic proportions as everyone is invited to simultaneously admire and commiserate with this oh-so-busy person who never has a moment to herself, never has time to sit down, etc. She's never too busy, though, to tell you how busy she is.

The feigner: when called to account and outwitted, the person instinctively uses the denial - counterattack - feigning victimhood strategy to manipulate everyone present, especially bystanders and those in authority. The most effective method of feigning victimhood is to burst into tears, for most people's instinct is to feel sorry for them, to put their arm round them or offer them a tissue. There's little more plausible than real tears, although as actresses know, it's possible to turn these on at will. Feigners are adept at using crocodile tears. From years of practice, attention-seekers often give an Oscar-winning performance in this respect. Feigning victimhood is a favourite tactic of bullies and harassers to evade accountability and sanction. When accused of bullying and harassment, the person immediately turns on the water works and claims they are the one being bullied or harassed - even though there's been no prior mention of being bullied or harassed. It's the fact that this claim appears only after and in response to having been called to account that is revealing. Mature adults do not burst into tears when held accountable for their actions.

The false confessor: this person confesses to crimes they haven't committed in order to gain attention from the police and the media. In some cases people have confessed to being serial killers, even though they cannot provide any substantive evidence of their crimes. Often they will confess to crimes which have just been reported in the media. Some individuals are know to the police as serial confessors. The false confessor is different from a person who make a false confession and admits to a crime of which they are accused because of emotional pressure and inappropriate interrogation tactics.

The abused: a person claims they are the victim of abuse, sexual abuse, rape etc as a way of gaining attention for themselves. Crimes like abuse and rape are difficult to prove at the best of times and their incidence is so common that it is easy to make a plausible claim as a way of gaining attention.

The online victim: this person uses Internet chat rooms and forums to allege that they've been the victim of rape, violence, harassment, abuse etc. The alleged crime is never reported to the authorities, for obvious reasons. The facelessness and anonymity of the Internet suits this type of attention seeker.

The victim: she may intentionally create acts of harassment against herself, eg send herself hate mail or damage her own possessions in an attempt to incriminate a fellow employee, a family member, neighbour, etc. Scheming, cunning, devious, deceptive and manipulative, she will identify her "harasser" and produce circumstantial evidence in support of her claim. She will revel in the attention she gains and use her glib charm to plausibly dismiss any suggestion that she herself may be responsible. However, a background check may reveal that this is not the first time she has had this happen to her.

In many cases the attention-seeker is a serial bully whose behaviour contains many of the characteristics listed under the profile of a serial bully, especially the Attention-Seeker. The page on Narcissistic Personality Disorder may also be enlightening, as may be the page on bullies in the family.

Feigning victimhood is common to serial bullies and this aspect comes to the fore in most cases once the bully has been held accountable and he or she cannot escape or rely on their support network. The tactic of denial followed by immediate counterattack followed by feigning victimhood is described on the serial bully page.

Attention seeking and narcissism

Like most personality disorders, narcissism occurs to different degrees in different people and reveals itself in many ways. Many business leaders exhibit narcissism, although when present in excess, the short-term benefits are outweighed by long-term unsustainability which can, and often does, lead to disaster.

The need for attention is paramount to the person with narcissistic personality disorder, and he or she will do anything to obtain that attention. Over the last two years, the fastest growing sector for calls to the UK National Workplace Bullying Advice Line has been from the charity / voluntary / not-for-profit sector. In most (although not all) cases, the identified serial bully is a female whose objective is to demonstrate to the world what a wonderful, kind, caring, compassionate person she is. Bold pronouncements, a prominent position, gushing empathy, sitting on many committees for good causes, etc all feature regularly. However, staff turnover is high and morale low amongst those doing the work and interacting with clients. In each case, the relief of other people's suffering changes from an objective and instead becomes a vehicle for gaining attention for oneself. In some situations, more money is spent on dealing with the consequences of the serial bully's behaviour (investigations, grievance procedures, legal action, staff turnover, sickness absence etc) than is spent on clients.

Lynne Forrest's article The Faces of Victim about the drama triangle (persecutor, rescuer, victim) makes excellent reading.

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Old 5th September 2014, 10:40 AM   #29
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The "Poor Me" Syndrome and Self-Pity

Albert Ellis Institute

This article comes to you from the well known Albert Ellis Institute (AEI), a world-renowned psychotherapy training Institute established in 1959. The institute sponsors an academic, peer reviewed, scientific journal, the “Journal of Rational Emotive and Cognitive Behavior Therapy,” published by Springer. Under the guidance of an editorial board consisting of acknowledged leaders in the field, the journal disseminates current, valuable information to researchers and practitioners in psychology, psychotherapy, psychiatry, counseling, social work, education, and related fields. In 2013 the journal merged with the Journal of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychotherapies, and continues to be published under its original name. AEI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization chartered by the Regents of the University of the State of New York.

Category: The "Poor Me" Syndrome

By Haley Elder, M.A

Upon first thought, self-pity sounds like a good idea–an effective means of comforting oneself when no one else around seems to “understand” what one is going through. Some individuals might say that verbally explicit statements of self-pity allow them to meaningfully “vent” their problems, perhaps finding solace as others become more aware of their plight. For instance, the following statements might be viewed as therapeutic to the individual who sees himself as under attack by the world and those “evil” constituents who make it up:

“I’ve been in school for 25 years and cannot find a job. I’ll never have money to support myself, even after all these years of education. Life is unfair and lousy, and it shouldn’t be like this for someone who has worked so hard.”

“I cannot make friends because others are more social than me. I don’t get the respect I deserve for being the quiet, creative type. Others don’t understand how I like solitude and reject me because of it, and therefore, they are mean and inconsiderate and should try harder to get to know me.”

The common theme of these self-piteous cognitions and verbal declarations can be described as the “poor me” phenomenon, where one globally labels others as well as life/the world at large as harsh, cruel, unfair, or bad for treating them unjustly. While some might believe that vengeful statements about the malevolence of other individuals and situations external to self help protect them from the unforgiving world, this is wholeheartedly inaccurate. By stewing in hatred of others and life, one is in fact perpetuating their own misery, inflicting further harm on the very individual whom they are trying to protect the most. One’s chronic insistence that life circumstances change and others behave differently towards them as well as the whiny rehearsal of self-talk like “others and life are bad because they don’t give me what I want” do nothing but self-defeat and propagate negative, unhealthy states of being. Chronic depression and unremitting rage flourish within this frame of mind.

That isn’t to say that life and others are not capable of unfairness at times and that they never deal us a ****ty hand. Quite the contrary. Life is hard and people do behave contemptibly, and these are some of the unfortunate truths of being alive. But that is not to say that you have to make it worse by catastrophizing about bad events and the unsettling behaviors of others, and you surely do not have to demand that things outside of your control be different. Instead, tell yourself that life at times can be a complex, challenging series of adversities and that others have, are, and will continue to treat you poorly at times. However, also remind yourself that you have control over your own emotional well-being regardless of the injustice that occurs around you. Tell yourself that life circumstances and maltreatment by others could always be worse, that at least some aspects of your life and relationships with others are positive, and that NOBODY, including Mr. Life, HAS TO give you everything you wish for.

One of my favorite Dr. Ellis quotations encapsulates this final point most perfectly:

“The universe doesn’t care about you, it’s not for or against you, it just doesn’t give a sh*t.”

Well put.

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Old 5th September 2014, 11:04 AM   #30
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Challenging "Self-Talk"

Challenging Negative Self-Talk

Written by: Ben Martin, Psy.D.

(April 27, 2010 at 12:13 pm).

Most people don’t realize it, but as we go about our daily lives we are constantly thinking about and interpreting the situations we find ourselves in. It’s as though we have an internal voice inside our head that determines how we perceive every situation. Psychologists call this inner voice ‘self-talk‘, and it includes our conscious thoughts as well as our unconscious assumptions or beliefs.

Much of our self-talk is reasonable — ‘I’d better do some preparation for that exam’, or ‘I’m really looking forward to that match’. However, some of our self-talk is negative, unrealistic or self-defeating — ‘I’m going to fail for sure’, or ‘I didn’t play well! I’m hopeless’.

Self-talk is often skewed towards the negative, and sometimes it’s just plain wrong. If you are experiencing depression, it is particularly likely that you interpret things negatively. That’s why it’s useful to keep an eye on the things you tell yourself, and challenge some of the negative aspects of your thinking.

You can test, challenge and change your self-talk. You can change some of the negative aspects of your thinking by challenging the irrational parts and replacing them with more reasonable thoughts.

With practice, you can learn to notice your own negative self-talk as it happens, and consciously choose to think about the situation in a more realistic and helpful way.

Challenging the Self-Talk

Disputing your self-talk means challenging the negative or unhelpful aspects. Doing this enables you to feel better and to respond to situations in a more helpful way.

Learning to dispute negative thoughts might take time and practice, but is worth the effort. Once you start looking at it, you’ll probably be surprised by how much of your thinking is inaccurate, exaggerated, or focused on the negatives of the situation.

Whenever you find yourself feeling depressed, angry, anxious or upset, use this as your signal to stop and become aware of your thoughts. Use your feelings as your cue to reflect on your thinking.

A good way to test the accuracy of your perceptions might be to ask yourself some challenging question. These questions will help you to check out your self-talk to see whether your current view is reasonable. This will also help you discover other ways of thinking about your situation.

There are four main types of challenging questions to ask yourself:

1. Reality testing

What is my evidence for and against my thinking?

Are my thoughts factual, or are they just my interpretations?

Am I jumping to negative conclusions?

How can I find out if my thoughts are actually true?

2. Look for alternative explanations

Are there any other ways that I could look at this situation?

What else could this mean?

If I were being positive, how would I perceive this situation?

3. Putting it in perspective

Is this situation as bad as I am making out to be?

What is the worst thing that could happen? How likely is it?

What is the best thing that could happen?

What is most likely to happen?

Is there anything good about this situation?

Will this matter in five years time?

When you feel anxious, depressed or stressed-out your self-talk is likely to become extreme, you’ll be more likely to expect the worst and focus on the most negative aspects of your situation. So, it’s helpful to try and put things into their proper perspective.

4. Using goal-directed thinking

Is thinking this way helping me to feel good or to achieve my goals?

What can I do that will help me solve the problem?

Is there something I can learn from this situation, to help me do it better next time?

Recognizing that your current way of thinking might be self-defeating (e.g., it doesn’t make you feel good or help you to get what you want) can sometimes motivate you to look at things from a different perspective. You can conquer your negative self-talk today by challenging yourself with these questions every time you catch yourself thinking something negative to yourself.

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