Update & video on Dependent Personality Disorder

Just a quick post to update you on what I am up to at the moment. I am currently studying my first Counselling module with the Open University alongside my work. I am very excited about this and hoping to complete a whole Diploma in Counselling or a full on Bachelors. I am studying separate modules at a time, which enables me to be more flexible in my choices.

I am still making youtube videos on my channel and also still taking on new clients for coaching.

I have a few new coaching options now, which include 30 min coaching sessions instead of hourly sessions. You can find these new options here: https://couragecoaching.net/availabilitycost/

My latest video is based on Dependent Personality disorder.

A lot of survivors of narcissistic abuse can sometimes develop this disorder or at least have a lot of the symptoms present.

Infantilization by parents and/or early loss or abandonment can cause Dependent Personality.

If you can relate, then please feel free to comment or share this video!

Much love to you all!

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here

 

How to outsmart a narcissist once and for all!

Outsmarting the narcissist is important for your sanity and so you can feel in control of your life. Narcissists are experts at controlling your life with different manipulation tactics and they are very skilled at turning empaths into codependents.

This video will help those of you who deal with a covert narcissist, to feel empowered and strong again. The ‘deflect’ technique that I talk about in this video is especially good when dealing with a covert narcissist however isn’t advisable when dealing with a physically abusive narcissist.

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

New assertiveness PDF course-How to communicate effectively & stop being a people-pleaser

My new assertiveness PDF course is finally ready to buy.

Being assertive isn’t something that comes naturally to all of us, especially for those of us who grew up in dysfunctional homes. As I myself, also struggled with this due to my background, assertiveness training helped me immensely. For this reason, I wanted to create a course that would help others as much as my assertiveness training helped me!

Being assertive as a child with narcissistic parents meant that we would get punished or have love and affection withdrawn from us. Protecting ourselves didn’t usually go down well with such disordered individuals.

As adults, we continued having trouble being assertive as we may have felt frightened of peoples’ reactions or we may have at times felt guilty that we were letting people down.

Assertiveness however is important in many ways, especially as it encourages respectful & honest communication and promotes equality in relationships.

Here is a sneak peak of the course cover and its’ contents.

assertiveness front cover

In this assertiveness course, I will include the following things:

  • What assertiveness is and what it isn’t.
  • When & how to be assertive
  • The 4 different ways of communicating
  • What rights we have in our interactions with others
  • The differences between aggressiveness & assertiveness
  • How it feels to be assertive
  • Examples of assertive communication
  • Handing criticism assertively
  • Handling anger assertively
  • Expressing criticism assertively
  • What changes when we become assertive
  • The inner critic and how it affects us
  • Emotional Flashbacks
  • Practicing assertiveness with some exercises

If you are interested in this PDF course,

then please click here: —–>>>>>     ASSERTIVENESS PDF COURSE

The PDF is 30 pages long, so it has enough material to help you become an expert at assertiveness.

This course is ideal if you are an introvert or an avoidant! It is a great first step before you actually attend an assertiveness training class!

The course will be priced at £12.00 but since WordPress doesn’t offer me payment in British pounds, payment can be made in dollars for $16.00.

Thanks so much for your attention and I am very much looking forward to sharing my knowledge with you!

Love Athina ♥♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

 

 

Taking on others’ emotions-Having weak boundaries

When you have grown up in a dysfunctional narcissistic home, taking on others’ emotions becomes the norm. Narcissistic parents teach their children to cater to their feelings & moods and the child learns to ignore their own emotions.

A great book which can help you understand whether you have weak emotional boundaries, is by Charles Whitfield: Boundaries and Relationships: Knowing, Protecting and Enjoying the Self. 

The following statements from his book, can help you identify whether you struggle with taking on others’ emotions and neglecting your own.

Answer with “never,” “seldom,” “occasionally,” “often,” or “usually.”

  • I feel as if my happiness depends on other people.
  • I would rather attend to others than attend to myself.
  • I spend my time and energy helping others so much that I neglect my own wants and needs.
  • I tend to take on the moods of people close to me.
  • I am overly sensitive to criticism.
  • I tend to get “caught up” in other people’s problems.
  • I feel responsible for other people’s feelings.

If you reply mostly with ”often” or ”usually”, then this is something you should consider getting support for. This means that you are extremely affected by the emotions & moods of those around you and aren’t able to focus on your own needs first.

If this is something you relate to and need support for, then please leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

Giving unsolicited advice-Why do people do it?

When we ask for advice from someone that is very knowledgeable in certain areas or from someone whom we admire, this can be very useful both in the short term and long term.

On the other hand, unsolicited advice from close family or even from complete strangers can be an annoying and sometimes insulting behaviour.

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It could be done in a well meaning manner by some people but in most cases unsolicited advice is self-serving.

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The more well meaning reasons someone gives unsolicited advice are firstly because they are trying to be friendly, secondly they are just excited to share something that worked for them or thirdly they are just completely altruistic.

Some other motivations that might be harder to spot however are listed below:

Helplessness & wanting to solve your problems: If you are sharing some thoughts on how you are struggling in a certain situation, the listener may think that you need them to fix your problem rather than just validate what you are saying. They think that by giving you some sort of solution you will feel happier. This isn’t the case though in most situations.

The need to be needed:
Some people just have an intense need to be needed and to feel important. It’s as simple as that.

Narcissistic tendencies: People who may have a Narcissistic Personality, think that what they have to say is very important and they tend to be in the role of ‘teacher’ very often. They think that they are better than you and that their opinions are of high value, so they tend to offer advice all the time.

Dominance: This is similar to the behaviour of a Narcissist. Being dominant in a conversation is very important to some people. They want to be the most influential person and they have difficulty understanding why somebody might not want to hear what they have to say.

Being judgemental: If someone doesn’t like the way you are doing something, then they will give you advice so you can change it. This is when unsolicited advise becomes insulting.

So how do you respond to someone giving you unsolicited advice?

This can be rather tricky. If your reply is too detailed then this might encourage more unsolicited advice. If your reply is too agressive or defensive, then this may cause an argument or even damage your relationship with this person.

Simple, clear and short responses are the best. It is important to set clear boundaries and to be assertive when necessary.

”I will think about it”

”That’s an interesting point of view. I will consider if this is right for me”

”Thank you but I would rather do it this way” or ”I would rather stick to my plan”

”I am not looking for any advice right now”

”That doesn’t suit my values”

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What are your experiences with unsolicited advice?

If you liked this post then please feel free to share & comment.

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

 

 

Mental Health Awareness week

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Ending the stigma of mental health is still proving to be a challenge, although in the UK we are getting ever closer to our goal of a deeper understanding, tolerance & acceptance of the importance of talking about our mental health.

As somebody who has never known what life is like without mental health problems, I know how difficult it is to be open and honest about it..People are still uncomfortable with knowing what to say or not say..Even if they try to be understanding, deep down you can sense whether they get it or they don’t..

Every single one of us is touched by stress or anxiety at some point in our lives, whereas others live with it every day…I am one of those people who lives with chronic mental health problems..Complex PTSD isn’t something to be taken lightly..There are still so many moments in my life at the age of 34 that I still learn new things about myself that I am not able to do, that others would find incredibly easy to complete. The hypervigilance and overwhelm never goes away..The chronic fatigue never goes away..The low mood is always lingering in the background..The voice that says ‘you are just not good enough’, pops up a lot when I am working alongside others…

Self-care is so important in these moments and remembering to accept ourselves when we are struggling can make a world of difference!

Walking the same path as others with mental illness really helps people feel less alone..

All the wonderful people who ran the London Marathon raising money for Mental Health are simply incredible..

If you think about how much these runners must have battled with those nasty little voices inside their head, it makes you feel incredibly inspired. The voice of depression or the voice of anxiety is not an easy task to manage..but yet they did it, and in what an admirable way!

I am also blessed to have many friends & fellow bloggers who do so much to raise awareness about mental health! They have all been personally affected however and live with debilitating conditions themselves..

The most crucial part in my opinion of raising awareness, is to also hear more people talking about mental health that don’t have any personal experience with it..People that feel concerned about someone they know but just don’t know how to respond..People that are lucky enough to live with good mental health and are surrounded by people who aren’t that lucky..

If you have experience with ill mental health, stigma or intolerance, then please feel free to comment.

Lastly, I would also like to share my latest information video on defence mechanisms. I was having a bad day yesterday and couldn’t face the camera to film myself talk, so I came up with this instead.

Thanks so much for reading & watching!

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

 

Why & How to stop over-explaining

Following on from my post Are you a chronic over-explainer? , I now want to address why & how to actually stop over-explaining.

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As I mentioned in my previous post, many individuals who suffer from low self-esteem or people-pleasing, have an almost compulsive need to over-explain. Others do it, because they have been misunderstood many times in the past when talking.

Using more words should not be a go-to for clarity. It is better to try and use the right words the first time instead of all the words in a stream-of-consciousness style.

Being nervous of what others think of you, will make it hard for you to make simple statements about things you like or don’t like. For example, a new friend of yours who has cats may ask you if you like cats. Instead of your response being ”I don’t really like them” you end up saying ” I am not too fond of cats because I don’t like that they are selfish, although I am not saying that your cats are selfish, I just mean that I prefer dogs to cats because they are more communicative” etc……

It is important to remember that when you over-explain to others, you may at times make them feel stupid. They might think that you are over-explaining things because you are sure they just ‘dont get it’! Over-explaining also makes you look stressed, because you aren’t able to get to your point simply. This will then end up stressing your listener out. It may also make others think you are confused, which will then create confusion in them and eventually lead to even more over-explaining.

The key to stop over-explaining is to just tell yourself ”It is not that important”. If others think of you in a negative way after you state ‘a dislike’ or a particular way of doing things, then that reflects on them, not you.

Another good way to stop it is to try and be precise in the way you communicate. Try and limit your use of words by practicing beforehand (if for example you need to explain things to an intern at work or to someone you have assigned work to).

Thirdly, try and be mindful about whether you are over-thinking. If you are a worrier or an over-thinker, it will come naturally to you to want to over-explain. If you are thinking ”I hope they get what I am saying. I hope they don’t think I am selfish, cruel, stupid etc”. Try and let go of the worries by telling yourself ”So what if they think I am selfish? or ”so what if they get it wrong?”.

By taking time to try and listen more to what the other person is saying, this also helps you to avoid over-explaining, especially if you see that the other person completely ‘gets’ where you are coming from.

Lastly, ask yourself this when explaining ”Am I explaining or am I talking for my own benefit?” If it is the latter, then you are over-explaining!

Thanks for reading

If you like this post, then please like, comment or share.

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

 

Approval seeking

Approval seeking is a very common behaviour that all of us are guilty of at some point in our life. It might be that we are trying to impress someone we like, make a new friend or make a good impression on our new boss. It is perfectly normal to seek approval in others occasionally.

Approval seeking only becomes a problem when we do it chronically. When we constantly seek to be validated externally because we don’t feel comfortable to accept ourselves as we are.

This is the topic of today’s video, which I felt was very important for those of you who are people-pleasers and/or codependents.

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here

Infantilization

You might have heard of the term infantilization but you may not realise how incredibly abusive it is when a parent does this to their child.

It is only natural for a growing child to start developing independent thoughts, actions and opinions. For a narcissistic parent this can be very threatening, as they want to continue controlling their child and use them for narcissistic supply.

Check out my video for an explanation of what infantilization is.

Some examples of infantilization are as follows:

A parent stops a teenager from socialising with friends or doesn’t allow them any privacy in their bedroom. The parent may still treat them as if they are a young child whereas a teenager needs growing independence and privacy.

A parent buys their child age-inappropriate clothing and/or arranges age-inappropriate activities.

A parent might not allow the child to speak for themselves, when they are asked a question directly by somebody else.

A parent might discourage the child from pursuing new interests as they don’t want the child to become more skilled at new things than they are.

If a parent isn’t able to have healthy relationships, they may try to influence the child against their choice of partner. They can’t allow their child to leave the family nest. The parent wants to continue their enmeshed relationship for as long as possible.

The effects of infantilization are as follows:

  • The adult child ends up having chronically low self-esteem
  • The adult child has difficulties academically
  • The adult child may find getting a job difficult
  • The adult child learns helplessness and enabling
  • The adult child may self-harm
  • The adult child may have poor social skills
  • The adult child may self-sabotage
  • The adult child may become avoidant

If you can relate to any of what I have written or said in the video, then please re-blog so it reaches more people.

Knowledge is power and with knowledge comes healing. To also further promote healing on a larger scale, I have recently signed up to patreon to further support my creations of videos, pdfs & hopefully in the near future, e-books.

Patreon is a platform that enables creators to reach new goals by having their followers & supporters fund their work.

If you find my videos & blog posts helpful, then please check out my patreon page.

It would mean the world to me to be able to reach more people and help them on their journey of recovery.

https://www.patreon.com/AthinaEhlen

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Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.