The co-dependent feeds on the narcissist's need to be served and adored. First, she continued to put a lot of effort into being good, not bothering others, and fending for herself: efforts that were frequently stressful. Then, whenever she saw anyone in a rage--a customer yelling at a waitress or a mother at the park scolding her children--Michelle felt some of the same terror she had felt as a child. To make matters even more challenging, Michelle found herself repeating her mother's pattern with her own children. The guilt and shame she felt after losing it with them only added to her stress. Outwardly, then, Michelle behaved like a calm, competent mother. Inside, though, she often felt like a terrified little girl. These anxieties added another layer of stress to Michelle's situation, helping to keep her stress alert permanently on. If Michelle was going to rebalance her sex hormones, she would need to calm her stress hormones first. When I talked with Michelle about the possibility of coping with her current and historical stress, she looked at me as though I were crazy. I barely have time to be here now, talking to you! You can use a chair, gomden, mat, or bed. The important thing is to be comfortable. Follow your breathing. Pay particular attention to the pause after exhalation. This pause is an important entranceway into the healing spaciousness of your own self. Breathing exercises help you cultivate the conscious intention to transcend yourself and to enter into the flow of consciousness. If you are interested in something, you will focus on it, and if you focus attention on anything, it is likely that you will become interested in it. Many of the things you find interesting are not so by nature, but because you took the trouble of paying attention to them. Sit and inhale powerfully through your nose while lifting your arms straight over your shoulders.

Powerfully exhale through your nose while bringing your hands back next to your shoulders. The narcissist feeds on the co-dependent's quest for purpose and satisfaction by way of taking care of others. Of course, once the co-dependent recovers and turns from their people-pleasing ways, the disappointed narcissist will leave. Just like a drug pusher on the street can make their addicted clientele do anything for the next fix, if the narcissist is the one supporting the addiction, the addict will slavishly do or say whatever will keep them on good terms with their supplier. This relationship ends one of two ways: The addict gets clean and no longer needs what the narcissist provides, or the addiction worsens, and the narcissist cuts them off because they get too needy. The narcissist loves this one because the dependent makes them feel so superior because in addition to obedience they either include the narcissist in every decision they make or leave the decision entirely up to the narcissist. These relationships rarely if ever end. Here, the narcissist is useful to the Sociopath, who will use the outrageous behavior of the narcissist to veil their own nefarious deeds, orchestrating everything while allowing the narcissist to think they are the one running the show. These relationships tend to end when circumstances change, and it benefits the sociopath to get rid of the narcissist. It can manifest naturally when the narcissist is disappointed, much like the tantrum of a spoiled child; but it usually shows up when the victim claps back at them and either threatens to expose the frightened little child that lays at their core or worse, actually do expose it. I really understand, I told her. But let's see if we can find some things that you do have time for--just a few minutes can make a big difference. Let's try to come up with a plan that will work for you. One tool I've found very helpful is the emWave, a little device that gives you immediate feedback on your heart rate. Another possibility is to meditate for just two minutes at a time, twice a day, and work up to five to ten minutes. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and try to empty your mind--for just 120 seconds. Taking that tiny bit of time to release tension before, say, moving clothes from the washing machine to the dryer, can make a surprisingly big difference in your overall stress levels. Going outside for a walk with the kids has a calming effect, too, and it teaches them the value of spending time outdoors. We must always remember that the lasting impressions we make on our kids come from what we do, not from what we say they should do.

Another creative solution that I used to rely on was arranging a playgroup with other young mothers I knew. The more powerfully and rapidly you do each breath, the more effect you will feel. Take one last deep breath and hold it for as long as you can. When you release this breath, you will feel the new energy that is in your mind and body. Krama means step or stage and this breathing method can enhance your sense of self by peacefully and gradually filling your body with fresh life force. Sit and focus on your tailbone, with your spine as straight as possible, like a string is pulling you up. Inhale the first third of the breath from your tailbone to the top of your pelvis, then hold. In the second phase, feel your breath moving from the top of your pelvis to the space behind your heart and hold lightly. On the third part of the inhalation, sense your breath moving from your heart to the crown of your head and hold again. Exhale, releasing the breath in a wave from the crown of your head to your tailbone. Imagine yourself in front of you and become aware of your own stress, suffering, and dissatisfaction. It can also be used as a carefully orchestrated way to intimidate their victims into compliance. When it comes to anger, there are two types of narcissists we need to consider. The Grandiose narcissist, with their inflated ego and sense of entitlement, and the Vulnerable narcissist, who is covering up their inadequacies. Under normal circumstances, when we are disappointed in something, we either tackle the problem (Problem-focused Coping) or we deal with our emotions (emotion-focused Coping). Either way, we cope with the disappointment, put into some perspective, and move on. That, however, is not necessarily how narcissists react. It would be easy to say that the typical malignant narcissist's reaction is rage, especially at those they believe have managed to block their plans. It is an emotion-focused coping mechanism that might make the narcissist feel better for a while, but it doesn't solve anything, and it alienates the people who have to deal with the narcissist and may, actually, be able to help the situation. That said, it is a tad more complex than that.

Studies have shown that grandiose narcissists and vulnerable narcissists deal with disappointment differently. Sometimes just being with other grown-ups helps reduce stress for moms, especially while the children are young. Sometimes you can trade off so that each woman gets a couple of hours to do something for herself. Perhaps you can pool resources to find a low-cost sitter through your local college or university. Here is my best suggestion for busy women, with or without children: take a few moments right now to shut your eyes and ask yourself, If I had a free two hours, what would I like most? If two hours seems like too much to imagine, ask yourself what you would like for an hour, or half an hour. Then see what comes to mind. Is it time by yourself, with a friend, or with your romantic partner? Do you want to read, take a bath, go for a walk, see a movie, or have a fabulous cup of coffee in a local cafe? Imagine what weekly treat would make you feel happy and relaxed--and then see what you can do to work toward it. Throughout this article I've suggested ways to let go of what doesn't work: a sweet, starchy diet, missed meals, lack of exercise, insufficient sleep, and excessive stress, including historical stress. Feel compassion for yourself. On the inhale, breathe in suffering and take it into your heart's sphere of light. Breathe out soothing, compassionate energy. Feel the energy pass through your entire body. Complete this exercise for the stress and the dissatisfaction in your life. Substitute stress and dissatisfaction with compassion each time you do the exercise. In whatever position is comfortable, try to sense your whole body involved in breathing. Find a position that is comfortable for you. When you are in this position, try to sense your whole body involved in the act of breathing--not just your diaphragm or throat, but your entire body.

As you inhale, you may feel a sensation in your feet bubbling up through the tissues and organs, moving to the top of your head. The grandiose variety, with their over-inflated egos and heightened self-esteem, cope with disappointment better, adapting to changing situations in ways that vulnerable narcissists, with so much of their energy going to covering up their own sense of inferiority and low self-esteem, simply cannot. When self-esteem is threatened, which type is likely to react aggressively? On that question, studies show that it's the vulnerable type, with its wide array of resentments and defensiveness, is by far the more aggressive of the two. In the studies, grandiose narcissists, while they tend to exploit other people, are not inclined to be violent or aggressive. On the other hand, vulnerable narcissists, who have an underlying defensiveness and resentment, are more likely to react violently when their self-esteem is threatened. Those whose narcissism reflects a feeling of self-importance tend to exploit other people, but they are not inclined to act aggressively or violently toward others. Those whose narcissism reflects feelings of defensiveness and resentment feel shame when their self-esteem is threatened and tend to react to those threats with anger and aggression. That's what the song says, and even the most malignant of narcissists will agree with it, but do they really? An even more important question is whether they can feel the kind of love for their family and spouses that normal people feel, especially given the confusion that partners of these people feel like the feelings that the narcissist expresses vacillates between love and hate, appreciation and disdain. While dating, the narcissist will show a great deal of passion, energy, and engagement, and they are likely to do things to win over their love interest's heart and mind. I also want to suggest letting go of the insufficient treatments that most conventional practitioners commonly prescribe: antidepressants and birth control pills. I'm all for antidepressants if a woman is moderately or severely depressed and needs biochemical support to balance her neurotransmitters. Even in that case, though, it's remarkable how much progress many women can make with diet, exercise, herbs, nutritional supplements, and the psychological support they need. Antidepressants can be less effective for mild depression, let alone for hormonally induced mood swings. A recent study claimed that for treating mild depression (as opposed to moderate or severe depression), antidepressants were no more effective than placebos! Yet far too many practitioners are influenced by the pharmaceutical industry, which sends armies of sales representatives to educate practitioners about the virtues of a particular medicine. I can see why in some cases antidepressants might be effective. Most antidepressants that are prescribed for hormonal issues are SSRIs, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. This type of antidepressant basically keeps more serotonin in your system, enabling you to benefit from this key hormone.