With the much anticipated release of Fifty Shades of Grey due to hit the movie screens next month I’m interested to see the spectrum of devout followers, to those appalled by the trilogy, right down to those just not that interested. Having read all three books myself and spoken to many friends at length about the series and it’s potential as a movie I’m sure I will be one of the many to choose a boutique theater that serves wine of course and spend a couple of hours deciding if Sam Taylor-Wood and her team have captured the essence of E L Jame’s writing or not.
It’s all about you – Make it fifty shades of what you want.
Whether you love it or hate, it doesn’t really matter. What I see here is an opportunity for us all to learn something, open our minds or maybe just simply accept that it’s different strokes for different folks. You don’t have to be an avid participant of dominant/submissive relationships to have enjoyed the read and I’m betting that many that did read the books might have even taken a few little tidbits from them into their own repertoire. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t.
Love and sex is an interesting arena to navigate. When it comes to sex we all like different things and that doesn’t make us weird so long as we’re not talking illegal or immoral acts. Great sex between consenting adults is fabulous. When we are truly connected and on the same page as each other it can be a mind blowing experience.
Many of us have been conditioned through our upbringing to have a not so open approach to sex in general. Some are in inhibited through shyness, lack of knowledge or experience, unforgivable acts they have endured as children, parental or religious conditioning or other reasons. I once had a friend whose wife was completely frigid. She had simply never learned to let go and enjoy the moment and was conditioned by her upbringing. Sex for her was a chore and an obligation. She was a fabulous mother and he loved her dearly but couldn’t stay forever in a sexless marriage. A sad story for two wonderful people.
So, even if you’re not ready to embrace Fifty Shades of Grey why not think of it as fifty shades of what you want and open you mind just a little more. Don’t be afraid to address your passion, visit your fantasies and communicate your needs with your partner. Sex should be fun, it should be a connection but most of all it should be something you want to do.
Here’s the clip of the gorgeous theme song from Fifty Shades of Grey – “Earned It”. Enjoy.
If it’s time for fifty shades of what you want and you would like some tips in that area let me share with you The Language of Desire. This is a great, affordable program with something for everyone. It’s presented by the wonderful Felicity Keith in a fun but respectful way and will help spice things up a little if that’s what you’re after.
If you are in love or falling in love with a man that’s blowing hot and cold, hold then onto your hat…
Most of us have been there and walked this path before you. You feel this amazing connection and mutual chemistry. Some days are full of passion. Then come the days that you don’t even know if he will call or not. You find yourself calling him out of fear that if you don’t, you won’t hear from him.
Dealing with a man that’s blowing hot and cold
Why do men blow hot and cold? Is he moody? Is it that he loves you but he just hasn’t realized it yet. This is what I see a lot. Women staying with this cold and hot man hoping he will come to his senses and realize how much he truly loves her. Sometimes women have a talk with these temperature sensitive men. Talking doesn’t help for long. Men don’t respond to words, they respond to distance for the most part.
If you find yourself saying “but it was so great last time we were together, how can he just shut me out like that” again wondering what is he thinking. If you have been going through this for a while because, “you love him”, you have even bigger troubles. A man that changes temperatures is not a man in love. A man in love would not dream of taking you on an emotional roller coaster ride.. You won’t be asking why he disappeared with a man that is in love with you.
It is possible he is a bit of a commitment phobic. What keeps you hanging on is the times when he is hot. The fact though is this. A man that can’t be present for you emotionally at all times may not be a man that makes a good long term partner.
Being in love with a man like this is emotionally exhausting. You hold onto how great it was at the start and play how he is now down in your mind. Chances are you are in love with his potential and the man that you hope he is and not the man he actually is. There is no Fairy God Mother that will come along and transform him.
If he was going to become a great partner, he would have done it by now. A man doesn’t usually wake up out of the blue to find himself head over heals in love with you. Men fall in love with you when they think about you and when you stay on their minds when you are apart. A man blowing hot and cold isn’t really doing a lot of thinking about you. If he was he simply wouldn’t go into ignore mode.
More times than not, if he sees you as long term potential and has deep feelings, he won’t be up and down or blowing hot and cold. Sure he may have an off day, but he wouldn’t dream of being this way to the woman he wants to keep around. This is treatment he reserves for his back burner girls or women that allow him to get away with such behavior.
The sad truth for the reason they stay around blowing hot and cold is they are keeping their options open. I can’t tell you how many women have stayed with these men for long periods of time, only to have their dreams shattered when he meets the one, and he treats this new woman like his dream girl.
If He Stopped Calling and He Stopped Texting, Is He Going to Disappear?
It has happened to all of us. We meet a man that sparks our interest, everything seems great and then suddenly he stops calling and he stops texting and he disappears. We are left wondering what did we do wrong. Was it something you said? Why did he disappear?
I often also see women who read too much into it too fast. They begin talking to a guy and they haven’t even met him yet and he just stops contact. They then ask what can they do to get it started up again. Then there is the one or two date wonder. It’s a couple dates and she is already setting her expectations higher than he is ready to commit too.
Once a man disappears, often the women who he disappeared on feels confused. She feels he led her on. He was calling, maybe even spending time with her. In her mind he was relationship material and things were progressing. The fact usually is this. In his mind he wasn’t there yet. A guy doesn’t want a relationship with every woman he dates.
Men often justify this disappearing act to themselves by telling themselves they never made any promises. They were just casually dating and there was no commitments. It’s easier to disappear than to face the woman and tell her the truth. He is just not into you. It’s an easy way out and we can scold him all day long, but it’s just the way it is.
When you are wondering why he disappeared, it could be many things. Maybe you gave him signals of neediness or acted like a girlfriend too soon. If you started calling him, asking him questions, or expecting him to justify things to you such as where he was etc…, they you were acting like a girlfriend before he was ready to have you in that role. Guys really like a challenge and if you just fell into this role, this may be why he disappeared and stopped calling.
Another thing to remember is that often men have several options. You may not be the only girl he is showing his attention to. Often men will keep you on the back burner so to speak. They call you, text you, spend time here and there with you. This is to keep you interested enough so that you will remain an option. He is just buying time and having something to do until the one that knocks his socks off comes along. When he thinks he found her, he leaves you in the dust.
This is sad but true. If you think about it, you may have done the same thing. Or perhaps you liked one guy above all the others that were showing you interest. It makes it difficult to focus on the men you aren’t so taken with when there is one that has you captivated. This happens to guys too. There is sometimes someone else on his mind that you have no idea about. It’s not your fault. He disappears and he stops calling and he stops texting because in his mind, you aren’t her.
The best thing to do when a guy stops calling or he disappears is nothing. There is no point in going after him or asking him why. If he isn’t investing in you, there is no sense in investing in him. If you go after him and want or demand an explanation, you will just push him further away. Let him go. Most men resurface in time and then perhaps you can have another chance, or chances are, you won’t want him anymore.
Also if you have only had one date or a few or maybe haven’t even met him yet and he stops calling and he stopped texting, it’s because in his mind there was really no relationship started yet. When you begin dating a guy, don’t always think that it is going to progress into a relationship, because more times than not, it doesn’t. Women often go on one date and start behaving as if there is a future. This is insane, at this point you don’t really even know the guy, so why start planning a future with a stranger you just met.
Need more help getting your head around Why He Disappeared? Get straight to the source with the fabulous Evan Marc Katz. He’ll give you a blow by blow explanation from a guys perspective that will help you see and avoid the same pitfalls in the future.
“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score”
We talk a lot here at Love Girl Talk about getting ourselves dating or relationship ready. We all know the detriment of taking baggage from one relationship to another as well of the benefits of allowing ourselves time to heal. So with this in mind let’s think more about the work we can do on ourselves that will see us living a fabulous life before we even think about adding a relationship to that equation. Now we all have different levels of motivation and ambition but I really want to help you push forward to have a fabulous year, personally and professionally.
Is Living a Fabulous Life Just a Dream?
When it comes to goal setting strategies there are always naysayers out there that will tell you what a waste of time goal setting is. Take a look at their lives for a moment. Are they happy? Are they living the dream? Do they have a happy and healthy balance of love and life in general? I bet they don’t. These are the people that will rain on your parade especially if it looks like you might be attempting to improve yourself or your situation. These are the people that want to keep you down where they are so they have ally, someone to moan with about the state of the nation and everything that’s wrong and unfair in the world and in life in general.They live life in their comfort zone.
Nothing outstanding is ever going to happen to any of us if we stay in our comfort zone because it’s outside of this zone where the magic happens. Many people refuse to step outside of their zone as they hate change, fear failure or simply have no aspiration to do anything different. If you are one of these people then you probably won’t read any further… that’s okay, stay where you are comfortable but don’t expect others to stay with you.
If you want to move forward, experience the thrill of achieving and living a fabulous life then get motivated and make some changes. You know my dear Mum used to always say “Don’t put off til tomorrow what you can do today dear”. These wise words have crafted me into the motivated creature that I am now. I have a tick list in my head everyday of what needs to be done and if I can tick everything off that’s great as I can then let it leave my head and I can relax.
The amount people I know that feel overwhelmed by life, imprisoned by their situation, wandering aimlessly around in circles with a huge weight on their shoulders astounds me. These poor souls feel like they are caught in quick sand unable to move forward. They know they have some many things to do and can’t clear their heads as they are not taking action and getting through stuff. That’s not a fun way to live your life.
Most of us at some stage have either read or been touched in some way by The Secret. Whilst I felt the book missed a key component of the need to take action I really did get the fact that what we attract what we focus on. For example, if you focus on your sadness you attract more sadness; if you focus on how badly people treat you, you inadvertently attract more bad behavior; the list goes on but I’m sure you can see what I mean. So, how do we change things up?
8 Simple Strategies For Living A Fabulous Life:
1. Be more motivated – If you have always been directed by others ie: at work, at home seek autonomy and freedom and find ways to get vitality back in your life. Take back your life.
2. Don’t be a passive bystander – Drop the “someone else will do it” attitude and jump right in and help when help is needed. Don’t hide in the shadows observing – get out there and live.
3. Unlock your full potential – Find your hidden talents and focus on your passion. Without a clear focus your life can often lack stability and purpose.
4. Follow your instincts – Rather than hesitating when an opportunity presents itself for fear of failure focus on a positive outcome and the good that can come from that. Move outside your comfort zone!
5. Don’t be afraid of change or afraid to make a decision – A decision is simply a choice ie: do I want chocolate or vanilla? See, it’s easy; just make a choice. Don’t be trapped in a mundane life just because your fear change or making a choice.
6. Get off auto pilot – Routine in life can be good but don’t forget along the way to seize the moment. Every single day you should do something you have always wanted to do but have been putting off. Have a wish list, small goals or projects and work towards getting them done.
7. Don’t pigeon hole yourself; Be open minded – Don’t let a routine life define you. Remove “I can’t” from your vocabulary and give new things a try.
8. Have a sense of urgency – Procrastination achieves nothing; the big zero. Even if there’s no rush, why wait? Why put your life on hold when you can act now?
If you want to turn a dull sheen into a sparkle and live a full and memorable life then take a look at Steve Harvey’s Act Like Success; Think Like Success.
Here’s to living a fabulous life!
Here’s a wonderful blog that I’m fortunate to share from one of our talented members here at Love Girl Talk. Latha’s blog Next Step to Nirvana is inspirational and in respect to George and Amal I couldn’t have said it better myself. Sometimes good things really do take time. Thanks Latha for the opportunity to share. Don’t forget to check out her blog at Next Step to Nirvana.
How To Marry Like George Clooney: Advice For Successful Women
All of us and our uncles (not mine, they couldn’t care less about Hollywood) now know about George Clooney’s terrific Golden Globes speech. All the girls went, ‘awwww!’ and the boys, “grunt, okay, whatever, ohgoshdarn, I don’t remember when I last told her I loved her, lest in public. ”
The love of my life (LOL) cannot take it. Not that he doesn’t love me as much as Clooney does Amal. But my man is a typical midwestern gent who shows his love by putting garbage and recyclables out late at night after a busy day even if he needs to catch an early morning flight the following day. Because he wants to make my life easier. My LOL couldn’t even bear Ray Romano’s ill-timed proposal in Parenthood. No, he doesn’t watch Parenthood. I do. He saw that clip when he was taking the said garbage out and slinked away to screw a new LED light bulb in our bathroom. That is his love language. The garbage lay next to me like an orphan who no one wanted to adopt.
Anyway, Clooney waited 53 years to find someone to love (I beat him by a decade, take that Georgie!). But Clooney’s love story is the story to tell because dammit, he is George Clooney! Lots of people say that finding the right partner/spouse is the biggest decision in your life. So what can you learn from Clooney-Amal love story?
1. Do not despair. Keep the hope alive. You think you are too old? Look at George Clooney. Some cultures believe that your partner is being born when you least expect it or something like that. Don’t settle if you are not hungry for a baby. If you are hungry for a baby, find another way. No, stealing babies is illegal. And do not eat babies.
2. Follow your own passion and build your resume. Although he waited 53 years for Amal, Clooney didn’t lose sight of his own goals. He had been working on various projects and establishing himself as a credible actor since 1978. He didn’t stop his life because he was looking for someone to love. He produced, directed and acted in movies, volunteered for different causes, and made friends with a number of A List celebrities. Live your own life.
3. Make the looking for love process fun. Stop and smell the roses. Kiss the supermodels. If you find any, that is. Seriously, date a lot. You will learn how not to screw up when the right one comes along.
4. Be humble and open when you find the right person. Do not make it a power struggle. Love is not a game. He may just be an actor, a musician or a carpenter while you may be a scientist or academic or architect or writer or heck, even a renowned human rights lawyer. But when you find them, be humble.
5. When you find the right person, celebrate it! Celebrating your relationship and your partner is a good thing anyway. At every opportunity. In public, preferably. Because you story will give hope to everyone that they too can find a gorgeous, intelligent, thoughtful and ideologically aligned partner! Just like George Clooney did in Amal. You owe it to the rest of the world. Of course some may be jealous.
PS: I think both George Clooney and Amal are awesome. It is f*cking amazing actually that people find and fall in love. BTW, Clooney, I loved your speech. May both your love flourish. My very best wishes.
PS2: As much as I believe that not rushing to find the right mate is good, don’t wait until 53 if you want a baby and you are a woman.
PS3: Don’t wait too long for the mythical soulmate. It is possible to fall in love if you create the right conditions.
PS4: Do whatever you want. It is your fricking life. Don’t let strangers tell you what to do.
So, with all that in mind what are you doing to attract real, go the distance love into your life? If some work on this is needed then click here and discover how to be the woman men adore.
In reference to Latha’s story about the LOL (or love of her life) I can highly recommend a quick read called The Five Love Languages. Understanding where each other is coming from and how we communicate our love is a must for all relationships to thrive.
Texting is a great way to connect with guys but many of us get stuck with what to say. It’s a fine line between sounding witty but not smart and sexy but not slutty. I’ve outlined six simple things to think about when you text a guy that you may not even be aware that you are doing. Here’s some of the major complaints or turn offs that may affect your communication with the object of your desire.
# 1 Thing not to text a guy
The very first rule of engagement when you text a guy is one you really need to get your head around. Men DO NOT have nearly as many words as women. This relates primarily to speaking but will translate into texting too. Women go into much more detail than men do so just bear that in mind when texting. A huge long text is going to put him off and make him put you into the ‘too hard’ basket in no time at all. Keep things a little shorter and you will keep his attention. Save your long winded texts for your girlfriends as they will ‘get it’!
# 2 Thing not to text a guy
A one line or one word response like lol, ok, or a smiley isn’t going to cut it. That will leave your man feeling like you are shutting him down or wanting to end the conversation. Most of us use these tactics when we are bored or simply don’t know how to carry on the conversation. He can’t work with this kind of reply as texts like this really don’t require a response. If something made you smile tell him “that made me smile”, don’t send a smiley face please. If it made you laugh, tell us we made you laugh. Save the one word texts for a guy you are trying to get rid of or that won’t stop texting you.
# 3 Thing not to text a guy
Hey __________. Filling in the blank with sexy, sweetie, or whatever and not adding anything else. Again this leaves him nothing to work with. Seriously, I recently had a man that sent me a good morning, it’s a beautiful day text every single morning. It got to the point where I was just rolling my eyes at that. There was nothing to engage me at all and it’s just downright lazy. He didn’t have to even think about what he was sending. It was just like auto replay. Get creative or just don’t text him. Most men are simply not that desperate to hear from you.
# 4 Thing not to text a guy
Guilt tripping texts – These will turn a guy off instantly. A guilt trip text is one where you say something like “why are you avoiding me?” or “you can’t text me back?”. Guilt texts usually occur when your ego has been wounded and you are reacting in a not so attractive manner. It shows men the needy side of you that has little self control. Just don’t do it. If you can’t send something to make him feel good, don’t send anything. If he isn’t responding, please don’t react, it just shows how desperate and dependent you are.
# 5 Thing not to text a guy
The controlling text – this is where you step into masculine energy and try to take charge. It’s a little different if you have been together for a long time but in a new relationship this won’t work. It’s a guy’s job to take charge and pursue so don’t step into that masculine role right from the start. Let your man pursue you and enjoy the feeling that he’s got it sorted. Your man will back away if you take his job off him.
# 6 Thing not to text a guy
Naked or near naked pictures. Come on girls this is a no brainer. If you’ve just met a guy and you are already sending him pictures with little or no clothing on there is really only one message you are sending him. That message is – I don’t respect myself and I don’t expect you to either. Just tone it down a little. You can be sexy and suggestive without going over the top. Remember guys ARE visual creatures so if you want his attention in a fun way why not send a photo of your favourite lingerie? However, please take care with any photos that might leave you in a compromising situation. You never know where they could end up so think carefully before you hit ‘send’.
If you only want some uncomplicated sex with a cute guy you may chose to ignore these tips and that’s absolutely fine but your fun will be short lived. To get a man’s attention you need to understand his attraction buttons and they are his mind and how you make him feel. These 6 things and many more not on the list just don’t hit those buttons. Want to find out what does?
Click here for Men’s Attraction Buttons.
My thanks to Robin Cockrell for her version of 6 Things Not To Text A Girl which she has given permission to model this on. So if you’re a guy looking for advice on texting women make sure you check out Texting Tips For Men
Christmas is almost upon us and of course along with a visit from Santa and his helpers comes the temptation to over indulge in rich food and alcohol.
You know, being on a diet in the Christmas season has got to rank up there on the list of things you just don’t want to do. If you’re anything like me you are probably thinking “wasn’t I doing this last year too”?
So, how do you enjoy the season without being left at the end of it with extra weight and a severe attack of the guilt’s?
I’ve battled through many a Christmas season, some better than others, and have learned a few good old fashioned survival tips that have me keep on track.
Surviving the Festive Season
1. Exercise – Just because you are on holiday it doesn’t mean you don’t need to exercise. Exercise is good for the mind as well as the body so it’s important to incorporate something into your day as often as you can. Obviously if you are traveling a lot or over committed there will be days when it doesn’t happen but try not to let it lag. I actually look forward to a gentle jog on Christmas morning while it’s still quiet so I can enjoy a few naughty indulgences later in the day!
2. Water – Keep your water intake up to speed every day. It’s easy when you are traveling or staying away from home to forget to drink enough water so keep a sipper bottle handy or a glass at the ready. I carry water with me when traveling so I don’t break the habit.
3. Alcohol – Now naturally it ’tis the season to be jolly’ so if you enjoy a few drinks don’t feel bad about it. Try to balance your alcohol intake with water by going one alcoholic drink followed by a glass of water. This will help you through the day or evening and keep you hydrated so you feel a million dollars the next day.
4. Non Alcoholic Drinks – There are a huge variety of non alcoholic drinks in the market but to be totally honest not many of them will do you any good. I tend to steer away from juice, sodas and all diet drinks so it really doesn’t leave very many options. When you are socializing water just doesn’t always cut it so you need to get creative with ways to spice things up. I like to add mint, fruit slices, lemon squeeze and even cucumber to my water to make it more appealing. I also enjoy the fun of bubbly water so have a soda stream on hand at home to make that easy. Adding bubbly water to cranberry juice makes a refreshing option but make sure your juice portion is the 1/4 to 3/4 bubbly water as with any other juice replacement.
5. Pay Attention To What You Are Eating - This is an absolute biggie! Hindsight is a wonderful thing but honestly if I had the knowledge that I have now years ago I wouldn’t have had a battle with weight all my life. It’s vitally important to understand what certain foods do to your body. Now I’m not an expert, nor a nutritionist, doctor or scientist so I’m going to let this one speak for itself with a fabulous product I have found. It’s explained way better than I could do it so take a little time and have a read. It has honestly made me rethink all my meals and for the best too!
Remember the festive season is meant to be a fun time so if you do over indulge just try to incorporate some of my tips to minimize the damage. Have a fun and happy Christmas
Christmas and many other festive or celebratory seasons usually bring with them an element of dread for those of us that aren’t loved up or looking forward to sharing that special time with our significant other. So, with a visit from the jolly round man in the red suit looming I thought it was appropriate to share some tips for surviving Christmas on your own.
Christmas on your own
Firstly, we all know that yes we will survive. After all, Christmas on your own is not a life threatening condition despite feeling like that at times. Having someone really special to wake up with and share you day is what most of us wish for, dream about and hopefully work towards. Unfortunately many of us have times in our lives where the planets just don’t seem to align and the dreaded day rolls around to find us on our own. Now, I’ve spent more than my fair share of Christmas’s as a single and over the years I’ve created a few ways to banish any negative thoughts and really enjoy myself.
Don’t be afraid to tell people you are having Christmas on your own
Sometimes through fear of what others may think we keep a lot of things like this to ourselves. After all, who wants all their married or attached friends feeling sorry for them. Well, guess what, it’s not usually like that. You should never be afraid to tell friends you are having Christmas on your own and here’s why:
1. You may get an invite to join a great group of people.
2. Your friends have probably got other friends in similar situations. Wouldn’t it be so cool if you were invited to an event and they had someone else there in your situation that you connected with.
3. You might be surprised who else is in the same situation and this opens the door to arranging fun things to do together.
How to handle Christmas on your own
For many years prior to meeting my beloved I rallied around friends and acquaintances prior to the big day and put out an invitation for brunch at my home. Everyone contributed in some fashion with food or drink and everyone helped cook and clean up. It was a fabulous start to Christmas Day and gave all of us single folk a chance to have a laugh, enjoy each others company and most of all, not feel left out. Most of us had family arrangements to participate in so making it a brunch gathering worked for just about everyone. We were having so much fun we often had couples coming along too.
My favorite tip for surviving Christmas on your own though is to treat yourself. If you don’t have a significant other to buy for or spoil then why not spoil yourself. Decide prior to Christmas how you want to treat yourself. Since everyone else will be opening presents on the day why should you miss out. Make it something special that really means something to you or choose something you have been admiring for quite sometime.
If you really can’t handle Christmas on your own
In life there are choices and as adults we are free to make the choice that best suits us and our situation at the time. If enduring the annual rounds of “why aren’t you married” from well meaning relations on Christmas Day is simply too much to bear then book a fabulous holiday and leave everyone to it. It can be anything from a remote log cabin with a good stack of firewood and some great books to a tropical getaway to really help you get over the Christmas blues. Why not ask around as you may have another friend willing to join you. It’s always great to know you are not the only one having Christmas on your own.
So, as the day looms closer don’t leave your planning until the last minute. Get yourself sorted and have fun making plans so you can enjoy the big day just as much as everyone else!
If you are alone for the day or intent on changing that why not use that time well and check out Real Women, Real Love and set yourself up for a change of status.
Through the course of our lives some of us are unfortunate enough to get romantically involved with the ‘wrong person’. This can be as simple as being just not a good match right across the spectrum to a controlling, destructive and sometimes violent relationship. So, in the interests of safety and a happy, healthy relationship I would like to share this article from Grace Chatting.
Grace Chatting has a professional background in Social Work with children and families. She is MBACP Snr. Accredited Psychotherapist, Family Mediator, Relationship Coach, Founder of Relationship Academy and Author of the book “Mend It Don’t End It”
This is the first of a series of articles about psychopaths, narcissists and other lovers and the contribution they make to Intimate Partner Violence.
Psychopaths, Narcissists And Other Lovers
Perhaps you are familiar with the story about the frog placed in a pan of cold water on a cooker with the heat turned up gradually. The frog will stay there until it is gradually boiled to death. The same frog, if placed straight into boiling water would immediately leap out.
Unfortunately most people getting involved with Psychopaths and Narcissists are like the frog in the cold water. It is not until it is too late that they discover they are in hot water and unable to get themselves out. Many women after being in a relationship with a psychopath (or almost psychopath) berate themselves and ask, “How could I have been so stupid as to get into that, and stay for so long?” Nobody teaches us this stuff.
According to Professor Robert Hare of British Colombia University, the current expert regarding Psychopathy, in his book called “Without Conscience”, if you don’t know how to spot a psychopath you are doomed to be their victim. Hare has made it his life’s work to study psychopaths, their world and how they operate. The reality is that psychopaths make their own rules and have their own reality.
Confusion has abounded in the mental health field mainly because psychopathy is not a mental illness; it is a personality disorder and as such it is deemed to be untreatable. Furthermore, psychopaths are unlikely to present themselves for therapy since they are perfectly happy with themselves just as they are. The problem is that they leave a trail of carnage, (sometimes literally), in their wake.
Hare points out that the diagnoses of psychopath, sociopath and narcissistic personality disorder are often used interchangeably and the whole issue is marked by a lack of clarity amongst laypeople and professionals alike. Quite rightly, he saw the lack of assessment tools as a crucial issue in assessing the risk of violent behavior.
In a bid to address this issue, Hare created the PCL or the psychopath checklist, not as a diagnostic tool but to provide guidance to those professionals who find it difficult to decide if someone was actually a psychopath or not. One of the reasons for this was that many treatment programmes where scarce resources would have psychopaths as participants when actually the chances of them changing were very slim and they would take up a place using up scare resources. The PCL highlights a number of signs considered indicative of a psychopathic personality disorder. But, what about those who do not meet the PCL criteria?
The Almost Affect
For those who definitely do not fall in the “normal” range, nor meet the PCL diagnostic criteria, there is “The Almost Effect”. This is a concept created by Harvard Medical School that reveals a paradigm shift in the mental health field, recognizing as it does, sub-clinical groups in various areas of mental health arena. A series of books has been launched one of which is by Ronald Schouten and James Silver, “Almost A Psychopath”, which builds on Robert Hare’s work. The authors make the point that there exists a sub category of people who whilst not meeting the PCL full criteria, but whose behaviour is definitely problematic. These they refer to as “Almost A Psychopath”
Their coldness, total self absorption and deceitfulness corrodes every relationship that they touch, from marriage, work or business partnership, while their superficial charm, moral inconsistency and lack of remorse often allows them to climb their way to become very successful in today’s society.
It is estimated 100,000 in New York, and in America there’s about two million psychopaths. In the UK, it is estimated that between 4-11% of the population may be psychopaths, so it’s likely that you or someone you love will be involved with a psychopath at some point in their life. In a recent television series in the UK Reece Shearsmith portrayed Malcolm Webster “The Widower”, described by his second wife Felicity Drumm as a psychopath.
So how can you spot a psychopath? Here are the signs, which Hare highlighted in his PCL with the admonishment not to use this list to label someone as a psychopath. However, I think you can regard them as amber lights. One thing to note is that it is better to avoid getting into a relationship with a psychopath because one feature of these relationships is the difficulty in getting free of them.
Felicity Drumm, speaking of Malcolm Webster, stated,
“I think that one of his skills, and one of the reasons for such success is that he makes a study of the people he’s around, establishes what their interests are and then adopts them so that you find all these things that you have in common.”
One of the main features about psychopaths, apart from their ability to sweep people off their feet with their charm, is their deeply disturbing inability to care about the pain and the suffering of other people. One of the essential ingredients of a successful relationship is empathy, which is that capacity to be able to put yourself in another person’s position.
Psychopaths tend to be glib and superficial, and very plausible in their conversation. They talk “at” people like they are cardboard cutouts. They tell a lot of funny stories usually about themselves in some kind of a hero scenario, or sometimes they give a hard luck story. They are very egocentric and grandiose. Hare says,
“Psychopaths often come across as arrogant, shameless braggarts, self assured, opinionated, domineering, cocky. They love to have power and control over others and seem unable to believe that other people have valid opinions different from theirs.”
Also they lack remorse or guilt. This is connected to their lack of empathy and their inability to put themselves in another’s position and their view that to be weak is to ask for it. They are deceitful, manipulative and considered to lie as easily as breathing. If they ever admit to lying, it is usually in the hope that this will make other lies appear to be more treatable.
They tend to lack emotional depth or awareness and they don’t have what would be considered normal affect. Other than extreme anger, their emotions tend to be shallow because fundamentally they just don’t care about anything.
Another trait exhibited by psychopaths is their impulsivity and according to Hare they dislike any kind of delay in gratification and they tend to not weigh out the pros and cons of their behaviors and actions. They are likely to be reactive to any perceived slight and to take offense very easily. Their behavior control is poor and they see their aggressive displays as natural responses to provocation.
They have a need for excitement and are easily bored and have low tolerance for any kind of monotony or routine. They also tend to be unreliable and unpredictable and will tend to do what they think they can get away with. They will lie, cheat, steal and when you’re no longer of any use to them, they will move on probably without saying goodbye.
It’s estimated that 20% to 30% of prison inmates are psychopaths and a study on the treatment programmes for perpetrators of domestic violence showed that 25% were psychopaths, although it’s been found that the behavior of psychopaths is highly resistant to change and often when they engage in therapy or treatment programmes they simply learn more ways to deceive by learning the language of therapy and the jargon and also because of their grandiosity they tend to be very disruptive in groups.
Hare and his colleague Bob Babiak wrote the book Snakes in Suits about psychopaths who managed to not only avoid prison but are actually highly successful in the corporate world, mainly by means of greed, bullying, emotional abuse and other unscrupulous behavior which violates conventional, ethical behavior.
Where I come from there is a saying that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure and in the case of those with psychopathic behavior this couldn’t be truer.
Psychopaths do not present looking like mad axe men. They tend to be intelligent, charming and always on the lookout for opportunities to enhance self interest. People simply represent resources or objects to achieve this. To this end, they will frequent places where lonely and vulnerable people, particularly singles, are to be found such as singles clubs, cruise ships and airports. They are predatory and can spot the lonely and vulnerable, who are sitting targets for a charming and helpful companion. So if you find yourself travelling alone or at a singles club, consider these to be high-risk situations and be on your guard for charming, helpful strangers. This is particularly the case if you happen to have money and disposable assets and wealth of any kind.
Normally I would advocate openness and honesty as an essential ingredient for successful relationships and psychopaths certainly give the impression of this. They appear to be open and honest. I constantly bang on about the importance of self-awareness and self-acceptance. It is important to know your own particular weak spot and until you really get to know someone, don’t disclose it because psychopaths tend to want to suss out your areas of vulnerability often by disclosing their own which may be entirely made up.
For example, they may tell you a hard luck story of a very unfortunate and difficult childhood and the struggle that they’ve had. This has a number of hooks. Firstly, it engages your empathy (which they know about to exploit, but don’t possess themselves) and secondly it makes you more willing to be open.
Don’t ever disclose too much too soon to anyone in one of these high-risk situations. Psychopaths can use this information to take advantage of you in ways you never would have dreamed of. Be wary of anyone who zeroes in your areas of vulnerability.
Also be very wary of flattery that goes beyond a few compliments. Psychopaths will often after a couple of dates start to talk about how they’ve never met anyone like you in their whole lives and they also start to talk about when we are married.
They’ve never met anybody like you before so be very wary if someone starts to talk to you along these lines because it’s a bit like sitting in the sun for too long, you’ll get burnt, in particular, as I’ve said before, if you have money or assets. These are very high-risk situations because psychopaths will probably manage to relieve you of most or all of it.
Already in a relationship?
If you have already become involved with a psychopath (or almost a psychopath), it is as well to cut your losses and get out but you’ll probably need some support to do that. See my article on “How To Leave An Abusive Relationship”. Seek out professional help but first of all ascertain that whomever you consult knows about and understands how psychopaths operate. This is vital.
Often in couple relationship work the psychopath can put on such a good show and charm the therapist so much that the partner, (usually the wife), is not believed because the psychopath convinces the therapist that they are actually the victim. If the person you’re in a relationship with has all or most of the traits mentioned above, whatever label you give them, it’s unlikely that they will ever change.
If you are involved or have been involved with any of the above this is a must to help regain your self esteem and self confidence –
This quote closed one of my favorite TV shows the other night and really got me thinking…
“Forgiveness does not change the past but it does enlarge the future.” – Paul Boose.
I took a look back into my past relationships and had a think on how they had shaped my future. Did they have a positive or negative impact on me and how much of the bad energy did I pack up and carry around with me? In some cases there was quite a lot! When we are hurt by someone either physically, mentally or emotionally it’s incredibly hard to play the forgiveness card, let go and move on even though we know we should. We live in a lot of ‘what if’s’, we often carry a lot of anger and sadly as well as finding it difficult to forgive them, we often fail to forgive ourselves.
All we end up doing is perpetuating torment and anguish and that stops us from healing and moving on to enjoy a fabulous life. Forgiveness doesn’t have to mean that you agree with what someone has done and it certainly doesn’t have to give approval to their actions. Forgiveness allows you to let go and until you let go you are stuck in a negative place going round and round just like a hamster on a wheel.
Choosing to forgive someone doesn’t mean you need to accept that person as part of your life again. If you have chosen to remove them from your life then stick with that choice but do it graciously. Work at surrounding yourself with people who enhance your life and whose lives you can enhance in return. All good relationships should have an equal amount of give and take.
William Ward once said, “Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the handcuffs of hate.”
It’s not unusual to sometimes need some help to move yourself from a bad space so you can embrace a better future which is why I have researched The Breakup Cleanse. Letting go of hurt and resentment no matter what kind of relationship it has come from is your key to enlarging your future. Without forgiveness your future will be as closed and insular as your past and you won’t be allowing any room for new and greater experiences.
If you are struggling to let go, forgive and/or just move on why not take a look at The Breakup Cleanse.
This is my special name for something so simple that has been around for ages but helped my healing process no end and went on to help change my perspective on life as I thought I knew it.
It started when I was at an all time low, struggling to get back into my groove after a nasty break up. I’m normally a fairly positive person so this situation had really knocked me around. Any of you who have been there realize how important it is to focus on the positive when you are in this space but also understand how easy it is to dwell in ‘negative city’.
Well, I was there, fully ensconced in ‘negative city’. Gosh it felt like I’d bought an apartment and moved all my stuff in. Maybe it was just a long-term lease but whatever it was I knew I had to get out there and really quick.
So, what are vision boards?
If any of you have read “The Secret” you will be familiar with positive affirmations, positive thoughts and vision boards. Since I’m a project type of person the vision board theory seemed like a fun thing to me and if it helped get me out of my slump then I was up for that. For those of you unfamiliar with vision boards let me explain…
A vision board is a board you create with pictures or items relating to places you want to go, things you want to do and what you want for your life. You might prefer to think of it as your goal or aspiration board. Your board can be created on a strong piece of cardboard or a pin board. Creating the board is fun and easy. I waded through magazines and books to find pictures that resonated with me and represented what I wanted to achieve. As time went on I added more to my board and best of all I started ticking things off. That was the biggest buzz.
Your vision board gives you focus. It takes your mind away from your negative situation and helps you look towards better things. When you dwell with your negative thoughts you keep attracting more negative energy into your life and that is why tuning into positive thoughts is so important. It doesn’t mean you don’t hurt and you block everything out it’s just a way of turning a bad situation into a better one.
Here are four points to consider about your vision board:
Visual. Your subconscious mind works in pictures and images, so make your vision board as visual as possible with as many pictures as you can. You can supplement your pictures with words and phrases to increase the emotional response you get from it.
Emotional. Each picture on your vision board should evoke a positive emotional response from you. The mere sight of your vision board should make you happy and fuel your passion to achieve it every time you look at it.
Strategically-placed. Vision boards should be strategically placed in a location that gives maximum exposure. You need to constantly bath your subconscious mind with it’s energy in order to manifest your desires quicker than you hope.
Personal. Negative feelings, self-doubt, and criticism can damage the delicate energy that vision boards emit. If you fear criticism or justification of your vision board from others, then place it in a private location so it can only be seen by yourself. I chose to keep mine in my bedroom but I shared it with people I knew were on the same journey as I was.
Your vision board is yours and yours alone. It’s about you, about your dreams and aspirations and should not be influenced by anyone else. As it’s your board you are free to add to it, to change it and to create a new one. It’s all about you. Remember too, it’s use is not limited to the times we are low and need to re balance ourselves. It’s a fabulous tool to keep focus on your dreams and aspirations even when life is going well.
I am blown away by how many good things have manifested since I created my vision board. When I look back to the sad, broken person I was I am so pleased I made the effort and gave it a try. I’m onto my second one now to create lots more wonderful experiences, memories and achievements.
So, have some fun and see what you can create in your life. If you are struggling through a break up like I was I can also recommend The Breakup Cleanse
Trying to come to terms with life after you have lost someone your were truly invested in is hard at the best of times so Dr. Brit Brogaard and Catherine Behan M.S. have created The Breakup Cleanse to help get you through your hurt and out the other side.