Psychiatrist Carl Jung said, “Neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering.” He was describing the process by which we develop dysfunctional behaviors as a way to avoid emotional pain, yet seem to wind up in far more torment and confusion than when we originally started. Instead of solving one problem we often simply add another. The true problem is one of unrealistic expectations; that a life well-lived can somehow be accomplished without difficulty or discomfort.
The first thing people often say to me when we begin a session is, “I’m confused.” They then may proceed, with razor-sharp clarity, to articulate their feelings, thoughts, and circumstances. With great sophistication and ability to connect cause and effect they will outline their own problematic patterns of behavior, why they are concerned about a relationship, or what decisions they believe they should make. After these impressive and startlingly astute perceptions so many people will then slump in their seat, defeated, and say, “But I’m so confused.” Confusion becomes the self-constructed yet hollow wall that prevents them from moving forward.
Narcissism is a spectrum of personality traits that are characterized by a grandiose sense of self, lack of empathy for others, and an extreme sensitivity to criticism. Narcissists wreck havoc in their intimate relationships and their partners are often left feeling bewildered, powerless, and demeaned. Narcissistic traits tend to be quite “fixed”, and most narcissists […]
Narcissistic parents have great difficulty adequately loving their children. They are self-absorbed, critical, lack genuine empathy, and often feel threatened by or jealous of their own children. In essence, they care much more about themselves than they do their child and therefore send the message through both words and actions that their child “isn’t good […]
Secure, confident people are rarely perfectionists. They have no need to control everything around them, and they don’t make futile attempts to prove their value through unobtainable goals. Instead, they accept their humanness with humility and patience. “Perfect” people tend to be anxious people. They are secretly afraid that they aren’t good enough, and that […]