I am honored to have my work published and featured on The Urban Howl!
Ever since there has been a Little Red Riding Hood, there has also been a wolf hunting her. Wolves cannot get past our red armor unless they disguise themselves. So they do so with glaring ease: they disguise their big, hungry eyes with eyes of soulful empathy. They cover their gaping mouths with words so sweet and slick they taste like sugar coated candy. They mask their fangs with promises for the future.
They devour us with their disguises, each one crafted masterfully to ensnare and charm us. If we want a long-lasting partnership, they pretend they are searching for the love of their lives, all while their real partners pine away for them at home. If we want a fairy-tale romance, they bring out the glass slippers, hoping we won’t notice the precarious glass houses upon which their lies are built. If we want the ravishing allure of a lover, they seduce us and abandon us. Their touch is heroin and poison, a drug they know we won’t want to detox from.
The survey for adult children of narcissistic parents is now open to the public. If you are the child of a narcissistic parent(s) and are interested in sharing your experiences for an upcoming book, you can fill out the survey by clicking here.
Your data will be used and individual responses will be considered for publication in my upcoming new book to help other survivors. You may use a pseudonym if you’d prefer at the end of the survey.
Also, please do pass on the survey to other adult children of narcissistic parents as well.
Thank you for your contribution!
How Society Gaslights Survivors of Narcissists, Sociopaths, and Psychopaths (A Guide for Therapists, Law Enforcement and Loved Ones)
by Shahida Arabi for Psych Central
“There is a class of individuals who have been around forever and who are found in every race, culture, society and walk of life. Everybody has met these people, been deceived and manipulated by them, and forced to live with or repair the damage they have wrought. These often charming—but always deadly—individuals have a clinical name: psychopaths. Their hallmark is a stunning lack of conscience; their game is self-gratification at the other person’s expense. Many spend time in prison, but many do not. All take far more than they give.” – Dr. Robert Hare, The Charming Psychopath
As an author who writes for abuse survivors, I’ve communicated with thousands of people who have been affected by malignant narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths as partners, friends, family members, co-workers or even bosses. Throughout the course of my work, I’ve noticed a common theme: the societal invalidation and gaslighting of survivors.
This form of secondary gaslighting and invalidation is incredibly painful, especially when it comes from the very professionals, friends and family members who are meant to help support the survivor on their healing journey. Not only does secondary gaslighting from other people further isolate the survivor, it actually hinders the healing process. I can’t tell you the number of times a survivor has reached out to me to tell me the retraumatizing effects of being invalidated by a friend, a family member, a spiritual leader or even a therapist who dispensed ill-informed, sometimes even victim-blaming ideas.
This also contributes to a global Gaslighting Effect in which speaking out about abuse by covert manipulators is met with some form of backlash, victim-blaming, and victim-shaming by enablers of abusers and abusers themselves.
I am so excited to announce that I will be publishing an upcoming new book for adult children of narcissists! This has been a book that has been a long time coming. I have written countless articles, made numerous videos and spoken in multiple interviews about what it’s like to be raised by a narcissistic parent and how these experiences affect us in adulthood due to the trauma repetition cycle. In this essay collection, I explore not only the impact of this type of toxic upbringing but how we can heal as adults.
Those who have had a narcissistic parent can testify to how damaging it can be to one’s psyche. Narcissistic parents lack empathy, show a severe sense of entitlement to micromanage the lives of their children and often subject their children to neglect, as well as emotional, psychological and physical abuse.
From the unique challenges daughters of narcissistic fathers face to the ways in which adverse childhood experiences affect our brains, Shahida Arabi’s insightful essays resonate deeply with those who have been raised by narcissistic parents.
In this new essay collection, Arabi explores how narcissistic abuse in childhood can set us up for trauma repetition in adulthood, affecting how we navigate relationships, the self, and the world. She pinpoints the toxic traits and behaviors of narcissistic mothers and fathers, exposing how covert abuse insidiously plays out in these specific dynamics. She offers the essential tools, skill sets and healing modalities for survivors who have undergone a lifetime’s worth of abuse, helping them to break the cycle once and for all for future generations.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Shahida Arabi is a summa cum laude graduate of Columbia University graduate school, where she studied the effects of bullying across the life-course trajectory. She is the #1 Amazon bestselling author of three books, including Becoming the Narcissist’s Nightmare: How to Devalue and Discard the Narcissist While Supplying Yourself, featured as a #1 Amazon Bestseller in three categories and as a #1 Amazon bestseller in personality disorders for seventeen consecutive months after its release. Her most recent book, POWER: Surviving and Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse, was also featured as a #1 Amazon best seller in Applied Psychology.
She is the founder of the popular blog for abuse survivors, Self-Care Haven, which has millions of views from all over the world. Her work has been shared and endorsed by numerous clinicians, mental health advocates, mental health professionals, and bestselling authors.
For her undergraduate education, Shahida graduated summa cum laude from NYU where she studied English Literature and Psychology. She is passionate about using her knowledge base in psychology, sociology, gender studies, and mental health to help survivors empower themselves after emotional abuse and trauma. Her writing has been featured on Salon, Psych Central, Bustle, The National Domestic Violence Hotline, The Huffington Post, MOGUL, The Meadows, Thought Catalog, The Rebelle Society and Harvard-trained psychologist Dr. Monica O’Neal’s website.
Stay tuned for updates for news about the release. Join our mailing list here.
For a limited time, get 90% off a paperback copy of my poetry collection for survivors using the promo code light at checkout. Purchase here.
I am excited and honored to announce that my article on narcissism was published recently on Mamamia, Australia’s #1 women’s media company! You can read the article here.
I am honored to announce that I was recently interviewed and quoted as an expert on Bustle regarding self-care tips I would share with trauma survivors!
Be sure to check them out on the full article at Bustle:
It’s common knowledge that manipulative personalities tend to engage in a great deal of pathological lying and deceit. Yet there are common lies narcissists and sociopaths tell their victims that, if translated to the truth, would expose the reality behind their actions. When expressed by a predatory personality in the context of manipulation, the following statements carry a far different and darker meaning.
Here are twelve of the most common lies narcissists and sociopaths tell us, translated into what they actually mean.
READ THE ARTICLE ON PSYCH CENTRAL:
Have you ever encountered a dating partner who swept you off your feet, courted you persistently and made over-the-top declarations about the way they felt about you – only to discover they had a girlfriend or boyfriend all along? How about the ex who kept “checking in” with you over text while in bed with their spouse? Or the shady significant other who always seemed to disappear for days, only to return with excuses about their whereabouts?
You may have come across a narcissistic or sociopathic personality type. Narcissists and sociopaths are notorious for engaging in both emotional and physical infidelity. Not only are narcissists players and pick-up artists in the dating world, they are also serial cheaters in relationships. In fact, a wealth of research suggests that narcissism is positively correlated with having extramarital affairs and more sexually permissive attitudes towards infidelity, even when there is satisfaction in the present relationship.
Have you ever wondered why a toxic ex tried so fervently to win you back, remain friends or keep in contact after a break-up? And why you felt so drawn to them when they did? Research has discovered the darker reasons why narcissistic partners specifically tend to stay in touch with their exes. Hint: the real reasons are not as romantic as we might think.
READ ON PSYCH CENTRAL: Why Narcissists Hoover and Remain Friends With Exes
It’s not always easy to spot narcissists. They can be very charming and alluring at the onset, presenting a false mask to the outside world. Research indicates that narcissism is rising in the population, especially among the younger generation. With the rise of dating applications connecting us to people we wouldn’t normally have access to, it’s even more likely that at some point you will encounter someone on the narcissistic spectrum.
Yet how can you tell in the early stages of dating that you’ve met someone toxic? Although there is no foolproof way to immediately confirm whether someone is a narcissist, there are red flags of toxic people that we often mistake for intimacy.
These dating myths can cause us to believe that our dating partner is the soulmate we’ve been looking for, when in reality, they can indicate someone who lacks empathy, exploits others and feels superior to those around him or her.
Female sociopaths and narcissists are dangerous precisely because their manipulation operates underneath the radar. Although there is an ongoing debate about the definition of “sociopath” versus “narcissist,” it’s safe to say that both types exhibit the following:
- A callous lack of empathy.
- A tendency to manipulate and con others for their own gain.
- A sense of egocentrism and excessive entitlement along with blatant disregard for the rights, needs and feelings of others.
Sociopaths and narcissists on the high end of the spectrum take it one step further. Those who meet the criteria for the Dark Triad (narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism) often lack remorse for their destructive actions. They use cognitive empathy to assess their target’s vulnerabilities but they lack the affective empathy to truly care about the welfare of others. They are often sadistic in provoking and deceiving others, feeling pleasure at the sight of another’s pain. Studies show that these toxic types experience positive feelings when seeing sad faces (Wai & Tiliopoulos, 2012).
The reality of their malice becomes darker when we consider that females are socialized by our society to be covertly aggressive. As a result, they are more likely to bully others through underhanded methods such as relational aggression – abuse through sabotage of someone’s social relationships and reputation – all while mastering the guise of a sweet exterior.
Here are six signs you are dealing with a female sociopath or narcissist on the high end of the spectrum:
READ ON PSYCH CENTRAL: 6 Dark Traits of The Female Sociopath
Looking for an easier way to read about narcissism and narcissistic abuse? Check out Thought Catalog’s new Narcissism page, which features many of my most popular articles on this type of covert abuse. Be sure to share it with other survivors who might need this important information as well!
READ AND SHARE: All About Narcissism – The Red Flags and How To Heal
A narcissist is not just someone who is vain or self-absorbed. True narcissists cause actual emotional harm to their friends, partners, family members, colleagues and loved ones due to their callous lack of empathy, excessive sense of entitlement and their unwillingness to change their abusive behavior.
True narcissists control you, manipulate you, coerce you, belittle you, isolate you and sabotage you. But first, they charm and ensnare you into their toxic web, presenting a false mask that bears little similarity to their true selves.
Although this article specifically refers to male narcissists, please note that female narcissists also exhibit these same behaviors.
Here are five things you don’t realize he is doing because he’s a narcissist.