But I do know that you will need to set a firm limit with them if they don't agree to open up a therapeutic dialogue. Ben sniffed and asked, Set a limit? What's that? Like an ultimatum? Ashley chimed in. Oh, I remember, like the four steps of being blunt? Patty asked, That's on the back of your business card, isn't it? Dr Matt stood and strode to his desk, where he retrieved a stack of business cards. Even worse, what had once been said behind closed doors goes public, usually in front of family and friends. This pattern of growing hostility and verbal abuse continues to grow until it becomes the primary way the narcissist interacts with their partner. Cruelty becomes the norm, fighting escalates, and physical abuse becomes a real possibility. Anyone can suffer from narcissistic abuse syndrome. Women, men, adults, children, young, old, it doesn't matter. Nor does it matter how smart you are, how grounded you think you are, or how well you think you can read people. Why? Because narcissists are masters of deceit and manipulation, anyone can be made a victim and suffer abuse at their hands. Those that do are likely to develop some level of Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome. In any abusive relationship, it's not unusual for the victim to suffer fear and anxiety over the relationship, what the narcissist is doing, and what they could have done differently. They also contain declarative information, causal information about how components of a system interact and procedural information about how to operate the system to achieve the desired outcome. Mental model structures are typically organized as a network with information bits that are interlinked representing interconnected concepts of a larger system.
The structure of the mental model provides the foundation for behavior to be established. Mental models are predictive in nature and create simulations that arise from the underlying knowledge and information contained in the structure of the model. These simulations give possible outcomes based on possible scenarios. Organized knowledge is easier to recall and put to use hence mental models also facilitate recollection of information. Construction of a mental model normally occurs in stages, Identifying the components of a system. Inter grating the components of the system based on their interactions Testing and running the model. It is. `The Four Steps of Careful but Complete Communication' are printed on the back of my cards because it's so important and so often needed, I got tired of writing it down. He grinned at that bit of lazy efficiency. Ben snapped, Well, what is it? The doctor handed a card to each person as he explained, It's one of the communication skills often needed in life, but--since communication is so difficult--especially when one is in the midst of high emotion. I think it may be better to use a `fill-in-the blank' structure rather than trying to remember in real time, under the gun, all you want to say. So, there are four steps in formulating each message. First, say what you think or feel; second, say what is happening to make you feel that way; third, say what you think the other person thinks or feels; The victim might start believing that they are the cause of the trouble and even suffer from mood swings and a deterioration of their self-image and self-esteem, all the while being unable to break away. These are the hallmarks of narcissistic abuse syndrome, which is a type of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Intense Loneliness. Sure, the narcissist is there with you, in the house, in your bed, but you still feel utterly alone. They are with you, and yet you feel abandoned and completely disconnected. They don't seem interested in spending time with you, learning about you, or even making you feel safe. When you interact with the narcissist, you feel frustrated, as if they don't hear you, and they simply want to use you as a tool. The narcissist will go out of their way to make you feel like a loser, no matter how successful you've been, how intelligent, kind, creative, even good-looking you are. It doesn't matter what it is, the narcissist will pointedly pay no attention, and if they do, their response is a mockery. It's a very effective tactic, and victims are sometimes too broken to carry on and lose everything from families to careers to finances and homes. Mental model structure development has been found to differ based on the level of experience. In highly experienced individuals, there is a high level of linkages within the networks that make up the mental model. Subnetworks are also common in highly experienced individuals' mental models. The level of abstraction in these mental models is also higher with associations and a concept is based on abstract information rather than surface features as is the case in amateurs or individuals with little experience. In individuals with more experience, sub-groupings and interactions are based on frequently used procedures. When it comes to language, the associations are based on the meaning of words in the context of the domain of the system. The structure in amateur individuals' mental models differs from the structure in the models of experts or highly experienced individuals. The models in this group have a lower level of abstraction with concepts being based on surface characteristics rather than abstract concepts. The mental models in amateurs have fewer interlinkages between concepts and the networks within the model are not as dense as those in the mental models of experts. The language used is also a key difference between the structures of the two types of mental models. and fourth, say what you want the other person to do. Dr Matt returned to his seat.
Sometimes, `filling in the blanks' can be the structure that makes it easy to remember: I feel ______ when you do ______. I realize you must feel ______. But what I want from you is ______. Ben fidgeted with the business card. Wow. That would be intense with my parents. Dr Matt nodded. It's hard to express to you how powerful such direct communication is, Ben. You find that your relationship with the narcissist completely consumes your world from the barrage of calls, texts, and emails, the displays of excessive jealousy, the wedge placed between you and your friends and family, even demands placed on how you dress, style your hair or eat. As if that's not bad enough, you find yourself in a constant state of anxiety, fearful of accidentally setting off the narcissist. This leads to constant second-guessing, but you never really know what will do it, and that leaves you drowning in feelings of hopelessness. You no longer stand up for what you believe in. Instead, you've stopped doing things that made you feel good, like donating time and money to worthy causes, or you've started to tolerate or even take part in activities that would have once been deal-breakers for you. Why? Because this is what your narcissist wants, and you want to show them how much you love them, hoping that it will turn them around and they'll treat you the way they did when you were first together. If you have to turn away from things and people who are important to you in order to prove your love to someone, that's abusive. Like bullying, name-calling isn't confined to the schoolyard. Narcissists use it to demean you and undermine your self-esteem. In amateurs, the meaning of words is based on natural language rather than the language of the system in question. In these mental models, the concepts are not arranged in a procedural format unlike in the mental models of people with more experience.
The principle of accumulating mental models is instrumental in improving our thinking capacity and our ability to see situations from multiple perspectives. When we rely on a fixed number or set of mental models, we in effect limit our range of thought, our capacity to generate new ideas and the aptitude for finding solutions to problems. To improve ourselves we must first change the way we think and how our thoughts influence our actions. This is only possible if we are willing to expand our set of mental models. By considering mental models as tools that we can use to facilitate effective thinking we can comprehend that the more mental models we have at our disposal, the better the decisions we are able to make and to best utilize our knowledge when interacting with different systems. Our attitudes, values, beliefs, actions, and behavior are shaped by our thoughts. To achieve something, we must first conceive it in our minds before we can bring it into reality. The importance of mental models can thus not be stressed enough. It's intense. Many times, others find the directness too blunt, and it can backfire. Ben folded the business card in half and folded it again. He looked scared. Backfire. What do you mean? Well, the initial reaction when such a blunt message is sent is to perceive it as an attack on the person to whom it is said, but if your goal is to set a limit, that's one way to do it. Would you like to practice it? Well, yeah, but what do I say? Ben leaned forward. It will erupt during fights, but the narcissist will other times as well and claim they were only joking or that you are being too sensitive. These names are used intentionally to hurt you and undermine your confidence.