All posts by selfcarehaven

Shahida Arabi is a summa cum laude graduate of Columbia University graduate school and a four-time bestselling author. Her bestselling books include The Smart Girl's Guide to Self-Care and Becoming the Narcissist's Nightmare: How to Devalue and Discard the Narcissist While Supplying Yourself, featured as a a #1 Amazon Bestseller for 16 consecutive months after its release, and POWER: Surviving and Thriving, featured as a #1 Amazon Bestseller in Applied Psychology. Her writing has been featured on Salon, Psych Central, The Huffington Post, The National Domestic Violence Hotline, MOGUL, Yoganonymous, Elephant Journal, Dollhouse Magazine, The West 4th Street Review, Thought Catalog, the Feministing Community blog, and Harvard-trained psychologist Dr. Monica O'Neal's website. Her interests include psychology, sociology, education, gender studies and mental health advocacy. She studied English Literature and Psychology as an undergraduate student at NYU, where she graduated summa cum laude and was President of its National Organization for Women (NOW) chapter. Her viral blog articles, "Five Powerful Ways Abusive Narcissists Get Inside Your Head," and "20 Diversion Tactics Highly Manipulative Narcissists, Sociopaths and Psychopaths Use To Silence You" have been shared worldwide and her work has been endorsed and shared by numerous clinical psychologists, mental health practitioners, bestselling authors, and award-winning bloggers.

5 Shocking Behaviors That Expose Narcissists On The First Date

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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. 

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My Bustle Interview: 7 Self-Care Strategies For Survivors of Abuse and Trauma, According To Experts


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:

7 Self-Care Strategies To Help Manage Trauma According to Experts.

12 Of The Most Common Lies Sociopaths And Narcissists Tell – Translated

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:

12 Of The Most Common Lies Narcissists and Sociopaths Tell, Translated Into Truth

5 Surprising Signs Of A Cheating Narcissist

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.

Read the five surprising signs you’re dating a cheating narcissist here.

The Real Reasons Why Narcissists Remain Friends With Their Exes and Hoover – And Why You’re Addicted

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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 

5 Early Signs of Narcissists In Dating

 

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.

READ: 5 Dating Red Flags of Narcissists We Mistake For Intimacy

6 Dark Traits of The Female Sociopath

 

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

Narcissism Page: Where You Can Find My Most Popular Articles On Narcissistic Abuse


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

5 Things You Don’t Realize He’s Doing Because He’s A Narcissist

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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.

READ THE ARTICLE HERE: 5 Things You Don’t Realize He’s Doing Because He’s A Narcissist

The Dollhouse: 5 Roles You Play In A Narcissist’s Harem or Love Cult

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Narcissists are fickle creatures; they love shiny objects and they love to replace them just as swiftly as they’ve obtained them. They pit people against one another, they manufacture love triangles to make people jealous and to cause people to compete for the narcissist’s attention and approval. They become easily distracted by new victims who can heighten their status, reputation and wealth.

In a narcissist’s eyes, all victims are replaceable and interchangeable, depending on what they can do for the narcissist. All victims are in a never-ending competition to prove their worth and value to the narcissist. They are dolls in a narcissist’s playhouse of horrors.

The “love cults” that narcissists build to stroke their egos aren’t actually exclusive to romantic relationships. They can exist in families, friendship circles, the workplace and various organizational hierarchies.

Love-bombing is a technique that cult leaders use to groom and indoctrinate their members; it consists of showering someone with constant attention and praise to get the cult’s own needs met. When members are sufficiently love-bombed and indoctrinated into the group, they are then expected to cater to the narcissist’s every desire in return.

Contrary to popular belief, the role you play in a narcissist’s harem isn’t always a fixed one. It can change and fluctuate based on how the narcissist perceives your usefulness and their needs.

Here are five roles you may play if you unwittingly become part of a narcissist’s harem.

READ THE ARTICLE: The Dollhouse: 5 Roles You Can Play In A Narcissist’s ‘Harem’ Or Love Cult