There are many ways of creating problems in relationships, but there are two manipulations that are sometimes harder to see than out and out contempt or defensiveness. They are stonewalling, basically “the silent treatment” and gaslighting, when someone tries to undermine your own perceptions to the point where you distrust your own mind. The first is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, or four factors that predict divorce as described by marital researchers Julie and John Gottman. The second is used primarily by those with narcissistic or sociopathic traits in order to gain control. Both are highly toxic but in many ways more difficult to recognize when they’re happening. As always, we’ll talk about “what to do about it” if you’re either participating in such behavior or if you recognize these tendencies in someone you’re trying to love.
Today’s listener email is from someone who’s finding that her anxiety is really masking sadness, and speaks not of having panic attacks, but “panic cries.”
Julie and John Gottman’s work: Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Link to Episode 019 — https://drmargaretrutherford.com/019-selfwork-narcissism-and-how-to-cope-with-it/
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