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Apologizing doesn't always mean you are wrong and the other person is right. It means you value your relationship more than your ego.

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How stressed someone feels depends on how much damage they think the situation can do to them, and how closely their resources meet the demands of the situation. In today's episode on the Stress, I talk about 3 types of stress response as your first step in understanding stress and its management.

Time Mastery Series

Time Mastery – The Myth of Work-Life Balance THE CRITICAL DIALOGUE – LIFE AT WORK

Having a perfect work-life balance has been touted as an effective action oriented approach towards managing stress. I say that putting a lot of effort towards work-life balance puts additional burden and stress in your life. In this episode of the 'TIME MASTERY' series I will talk about how 'harmony' in life is the way to go and why work-lofe balance is a myth.

Giving And Receiving Feedback – The Art Of GARFing

The do's and don'ts of Interpersonal Feedback". THE CRITICAL DIALOGUE – LIFE AT WORK

In this episode of "The Critical Dialogue" – Life at Work, I invite you to explore with me the critical do's and don'ts of Feedback Giving and Receiving and how it can help you improve the quality of your interpersonal relationships.

An IDIOTS Guide To Success – series


In this episode we explore how NOT taking responsibility and blaming is the IDIOTS way to Success!

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“Learn to get in touch with yourself and know that your life has a purpose.”

I was told that each one of us is born with a life purpose.


Nothing is farther from the truth than this.

If I was already born with a purpose code embedded in myself, where is there a need for me to find it?

The embedded software will anyway perform the way it was programmed to do.  The script as I kept reminding you in all my previous episodes, has already been written, packaged and delivered to this world.

Mind you it has already gone through stringent quality checks and scrutiny of the all powerful being, who created a hardware (called the universe) on which the software ( called you ) has been successfully ported.

Never mind the occasional glitch in the software or a virus attack which could render the software unstable.  Not to forget all the malware and bloatware (in the form of people in your life) who are ever present to slow you down or make your performance sluggish.

In “An IDIOTS Guide To Success” I am going to today tell you, how the quest for finding your “life purpose” is a sheer waste of time and energy.  Stay away from this ‘malware’ which could slow you down in life.

Let me give you an example.  In today’s digital world, you cannot imagine yourself without a digital device which helps you perform various tasks.   Your mobile device comes with a set of embedded software, called the operating system (OS) which helps you along the way.  You have various application software pre-loaded on top of the OS which have been programmed already to help you perform some tasks.

Does the mobile device try to find out it’s purpose?  Does it try to go inward to know the source code of its OS and various other applications? 

If you truly believe that “you are born into this world to fulfil some purpose”, then your IDIOT guide says, you are no different than the mobile device.

Don’t waste your energy in finding your source code.  It’s already written and programmed.  You just have to play along.

Unfortunately, many of you have been misguided in believing that you will find true happiness only when you discover who you are and the purpose for which you have arrived on this planet.

It is the biggest distraction, which could cost you endless hours in expending cognitive, physical, mental or emotional energy.

It will side-track you from your journey, get you to wander and drift and accomplish little.

Like a mobile device, you are a programmed living device (we call ourselves human) and you must just react / respond to requests in the moment.

Your IDIOT Guide asks you to be wary of the bloatware and malware who could gate-crash or completely take control of your OS – the embedded code which you were born with.

You will be truly natural and lead your life happily when you learn to respond to people in the moment, become aware of your available resources in the moment, react to the opportunities which come your way – in the moment.

The world benefits too, as you act in complete alignment with your hardware and software applications.  That’s when all your actions will be automatically serve your life’s purpose.

If you are a person who likes to enjoy a life free of the thoughts on ‘purpose’, then you are welcome to a membership to the IDIOTS club.

And, if you are still seeking and searching within for your life’s purpose, then beware – you are already carrying a malware.

Until next time your IDIOT says Ciao!


I would like to start by pinning the blame squarely on Edison for having quoted “I have not failed, I know of 10,000 ways in which it won’t work”

Don’t you get it.  Your results don’t lie, and the easiest way to get demoralized or get stuck is to pay attention to the outcome!

It is for me the easiest and fastest way to NOT enjoy your journey and get all tangled up with the weight of your failures or success.  When you fail you wallow in pain and when you succeed you get drunk into slumber.

In episode 4 of  “An IDIOTS Guide To Success” I am going to tell you how paying attention to the outcome is a sure way towards a stressful life.


I’ve heard people telling me that “failure is a steppingstone to success”.  I must tell you I never believed in taking those flights of the stairway to success.  If I had, I would have been dead depressed by now.  Thank god, I am forgetful and don’t remember my failures.

Imagine if you were overweight, what use is it to keep on paying attention to that if it’s not going to help you lose some?  The problem with most people is that they pay so much attention to their weight that they just don’t anymore have the motivation to move forward.  They succumb to stress eating disorders.  Now let’s say they join a gym and set themselves some goals – one look into the mirror and the outcome they see around them will be an instant dampener for many.  That’s probably the reason why most give up and get back to their old ways and find themselves heavier on the scale than before.

Those around you will make you believe by showing you photos and videos of the way people like you have transformed themselves after many failed attempts.  Don’t succumb to their sales pitch.  They are all trying to make a quick buck out of your situation.

Can’t you see, “Your failure is in fact a stepping stone for others success!”

The first person I would like to blame therefore is Edison for having quoted “I have not failed, I know of 10,000 ways in which it won’t work”

I wish you good luck.  I don’t have the patience nor the energy to fail 10,000 times before I find my way.  I would rather forget my first failure and just move on.  In the process if I fail a million times so be it.  I still have the ability to forget and move on.

In fact, Edison with this one quote has contributed immensely to the mental health, fitness and success coaching industry.  Not to mention, even your IDIOT Guide has benefited from this largesse.

Mind you it’s not just about failures, do not pay attention to successful outcomes as well.  Keep moving forward as if nothing happened.  If you were good enough to succeed then, you will be good enough to succeed now as well.

By the way, the successful people don’t waste their time telling you how to be successful, as they are busy doing what they have to do in the moment.

Let me take the example of the Belgium soccer team in the recently concluded world cup played in Russia.  They were touted to be the team to beat.  The golden generation of Belgium football. What do you think happened to the team which was till then bull-dozing its way to the final by defeating some of the heavy weights of soccer? 

In the final they had to taste defeat at the hands of the French and it was quite a shameful score line as well.

The team just was paying too much attention to the ‘outcome’ or the result.

They started to imagine themselves on the podium long before they took the field on the day of the final.

Paying attention to the outcome is a sure way to freeze all action.  Isn’t it the case with an athlete, a speaker, a writer, an artist, and many other professions you can think of?

Results don’t lie

So, your IDIOTS Guide tells you that in order to be successful, don’t bother or pay attention to the outcome!

Please don’t KID yourself!  Enjoy this moment! Start Living!


I was part of a program where the speaker was asking the following questions to the audience;

  1. What do you want to achieve?
  2. What would you like to acquire as possessions?
  3. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now, 10 years, 15 years?
  4. What does success look like for you?  Can you visualize and narrate that to me?

When it came to my turn, I said, I don’t know and I don’t want to bother about it as well.  I am happy the way I am.

The success coach took offense, as my fellow participants started to laugh at my response.  He felt a little threatened, that I could potentially derail the entire process he had set out for himself and the audience.

He didn’t want to let me go and followed up “Can you explain why you feel that way?”

I set out to explain to him and the rest of the audience thus;

I asked him “If GOD comes and gives you just one wish and you have exactly 3 seconds to answer, what will you ask?”  By the time he gathered himself, I said time over, GOD has moved on to the next person and your chance will come again after he is done with 7.8 billion people.

That is if you are lucky to survive, it would be approximately 248 years when you get another shot at a wish.

I could see my coach fuming already as the whole class burst out laughing at his predicament.

“Does that mean we should not have goals?” he shot back angrily.

I don’t wish to tell you more about what happened subsequently, but I had left enough doubts in the minds of the coach and his audience about what he was talking about.

I want to you to reflect on how you were as a baby?

You wanted food when you felt hungry – you got it!

You wanted attention – you got it!

You wanted to be left alone – you got it!

You wanted to be lifted and cuddled – you got it!

Now all these were done in the moment and as your ‘needs’ arose.  As a baby you didn’t sit around thinking what you wanted to accomplish for the next 5 years – did you?

You also now will be able to recall, that as you grew older, while you wanted a lot of things and dreamt of accomplishing greatness, most of it got buried under by your parents, teachers, coaches and other adults around you.

The bloody problem is that you were dependent on these adults for your food, clothing, shelter, education and finances.  By the time you finished your education, you would have learnt that no matter what you want, there are guys who are going to bury that underneath their dreams and expectations of you.

You became a people pleaser and that helped you live in this world without much stress and pull from others around you.  You became flexible, adaptable, accommodative and accepting of the lemons life threw at you, and yes, you made a nice lemonade up until the time some success coach came along and said, “You can accomplish what you want, only if you can imagine it in your minds eye”

Sorry, I don’t want to wait for 248 years for my turn.  I would rather live in the here and now!

Don’t forget the script has already been written and passed the censors.

Hope by now you understood what an IDIOT would do to succeed? 

So please for god’s sake literally speaking, please save him the trouble of making another visit to ask you the same question – “You have 3 seconds, ask me one thing you want”

So your IDIOT Guide To Success says, learn to live in the moment and react to here and now!

If you liked this episode please do subscribe and share, and yes welcome to the IDIOTS club!

If you didn’t, let me tell you that I will meet you after 248 years.


Don’t Give Up On Justifying, Blaming And Whining!

Hello and welcome to the second episode of your “AN IDIOTS GUIDE TO SUCCESS”.

Today I am going to talk about 3 most powerful tools in your arsenal Justifying, Blaming and Whining.

God! Imagine how you would have survived in this chaotic world without the power of these 3 tools!

For me, they have been always a life-saving companion on road to success.


In the last episode we spoke about NOT taking responsibility.  Is that enough.  No! – you have to back it up with powerful justifications of why you cannot accomplish something and how others are to blame for your condition. 

Remember, you must master your story-telling abilities to weave convincing ‘victim stories’.

You have to always take the position that you never ever had the power to make things different for yourself.  That it was some higher power which had already confirmed the results you are going to get.

You must consciously choose ignorance, lack of awareness, fear and needing to feel safe as a way to justify your present.

If something doesn’t turn out as you expected, then ask “Why does it always have to be me?”, “Why did I not choose one action over the other?”, “Why do people treat me that way?”, “How can I learn ‘choosing not to choose’?”

I have been reading up a lot on the need to ‘respond’ and not ‘react’ to events.  I was told that it will change the outcome. 

Damn!  How am I expected to ‘respond’ when I do not have the knowledge nor the skills to comprehend what is happening?  The only thing in such situation I could do is ‘react’ – fight or flight! 

I choose to ‘react’ and you could too.  Forget all the semantics and just goddamn react to situations.  Don’t complain if you get eaten up by a Lion in your pursuit to ‘pause’ and respond as some would make you believe.

Use blame to cover your failures and the lack of results.  It will give you great comfort and a stress free life.  You can blame the economy, the lack of money, your lack of education, gender bias, the government, your wife or husband, your boss’s attitude, the lack of support and so on.  See how much power it gives you.  One’s the blame is done, you can focus on what you need to do – here and now!

Being a sportsman myself, I have learnt to use blame to motivate myself to face another day, another game and keep moving forward without getting depressed.  When we used to lose a game of hockey, we would collectively blame the referee for his bias, blame the pitch for not being fit for play, the opposition for cheating, the weather not being conducive to a game, our kit which did not arrive before the start of the match, lack of warm-up facilities in the stadium, being away from home and playing in front of partisan and hostile spectators.

Do you see, by the time I finished my quota of blame, I could go back to bed with a clear mind and look forward to another day with enthusiasm?

I was never one for over analyzing after a lost game.  Mind you, with all this blaming, whining and justifying, we did get a podium finish in a national level tournament.  I learnt, it pays to do that all the time and remain sane.

Against my coaches advice, I went ahead with my team for a drink and smoke after the match, didn’t waste much time educating myself about the opponents – as that would have clouded my mind and stopped me from ‘reacting’ on the field.  I never shied away from ‘gossip’ as it gave a good release from the stressors of the day.  I never tried to save for the future and enjoyed the present, indulged in the food I liked which as prescribed might not have been healthy to eat.

If things went wrong, I didn’t hesitate to blame everything on external events and circumstances.  It’s a key skill and never ever let go of it.  Have an excuse ready for everything.  You will be happy that you did.

Who you are today, is the result of the choices you made in the past!

Thank god, I have a poor memory.  I never had a good memory of the choices or actions of my past.  But you know what, it always helped me to react to the situations just being in the present.  Imagine you remembered that you made a huge loss on a stock, you may resist investing in the markets again and stop reacting to what is required today – here and now.  The very stock in which you incurred losses would be on an all time high and you would rue the fact that you bloody remembered your past choices. 

I am sure most of you have experience with this feeling, especially if you are in the market for stocks.

Keep doing what you do as you will be consistent!

I have always been given good feedback from friends, colleagues and family for not changing.  “hey sree you have not changed a bit – I like that” is a common refrain I have heard.  So please for god’s sake, don’t change.

There are spin-doctors who are constantly telling you to change, continually improve, manage change process blah blah blah.  Please don’t.  You have already seen the disastrous impact of the virus mutating.

Complaining is actually very positive.

When do you complain?  Have you every pondered over it?  You complain only when you are sure that there is something or someone better which exists.  Otherwise why would you in the first place?

If you didn’t believe that there was something better, like more money, bigger house, great job, a caring spouse – you couldn’t complain isn’t it?

A complainer always has a ‘vision’ a better image of something.  You are powerful as if you are compulsive complainer you are a person with a strong belief that you have power over what you are complaining about.

So complaining is actually very powerful.  Keep complaining folks!

Don’t look inwards as some may suggest! – blame!

When things go wrong, please for god’s sake don’t look for answers within you.  That’s the worst you could do to yourself.  It can more often than not lower our self-confidence and self-esteem.  It can make you feel vulnerable and powerless.  You may start to think of yourself as an incapable person.

Blaming keeps the wheel of your happiness fortune running.  If your spouse complains about you coming late from work, blame your boss and download all the hate you can on how he is ruining your life and how he is not having a great life himself and so on….

If your boss complains about your lack of focus, blame it on your spouse.  Tell your boss how your spouse is making life difficult for you at home and that the only place where you feel better is in the office.  Narrate horror stories of how, not being blessed to have an understanding spouse is impacting your work-life.

Watch your boss quickly change into an ‘ally’.  Enjoy blaming!

Be in the flow – allow everything which happens to you

In order to be powerful you need to be in the flow.  Allow everything which is happening to you and don’t try hard to go against the tide.  It’s stressful.  Did you know that the biggest stressors in life comes when you try and do something different or go against the tide.

“No Pain No Gain” – some will make you believe.  I was never for it.  You may gain something but did you know the damn pain remains.  For example, imagine you worked tirelessly day after day, week after week, year after year to become the most successful business person in the world.  The pain you took was that you had to be away from your family, children, spouse, friends and broken relationships.

While you might have gained success, wealth and recognition, did the pain go away?  Sorry, it won’t!

So the IDIOTS Guide is “Prefer no pain to gain!”  – It will save you your life.

So, please friends, your IDIOT Guide informs you to continue, whining, blaming and justifying.  They are not bad.  Be happy.

Hope you liked this episode on whine, blame and complain for success?  If you did not, then I blame you for not understanding my point.  And I don’t hold myself responsible.

If you liked this episode – then hey welcome to the “IDIOTS CLUB”

Have a great day!


An IDIOTS Guide To Success!

Yes, you heard that!  I am and have been called on numerous occasions an idiot. 

Should I call them perceptions, judgments, or facts as evidenced by my actions?

Hmm… I don’t know.

What I know for sure is that as an established idiot, I can help you in many ways.

Ways to be highly successful in life.

Ways you would have never ever thought of or imagined.

Ways, if not guaranteeing success will surely help you avoid pitfalls which could come your way in life’s journey.

Hello there, this is your host Sree Kumar with #thecriticaldialogue series “An Idiots Guide To Success”, where I share with you my secrets to success which you could never possibly learn from successful people.


In this episode we explore how NOT taking responsibility and blaming is the IDIOTS way to Success!

Today, I tell you how? It is absolutely fine to NOT take any responsibility for your life!

I always believed that I was entitled to a great life – that there is someone, somewhere (certainly not me) who is responsible for guiding my life.  A higher power which already knows my story and has written about it in detail.  That no matter how much I try, I cannot change the script.  Mind you, it is copyrighted. 

It is that power which is completely responsible for the quality of life I lead.  It is responsible for my happiness, my career, my family and my personal relationships.  So much so that it also manages all my financial resources.

I trust that power very much and have been brought up and conditioned to believe in it.  It’s such a wonderful feeling to have believed in that power all my life you see.  I don’t have to lift a finger to get things accomplished in my life. 

All I need to do is to pray and believe in my destiny and let that power take care of me.

So today’s lesson from the ‘idiots guide’ is that in order to be successful, you don’t have to take any responsibility for everything you experience in your life. 

Remember, you are not responsible for your achievements as it is already preordained.

You are not responsible for the quality of relationships as no matter what you do, others have their script too.

You are not responsible for the results you produce as they have already been defined and delivered into your book called life.

You are not responsible for the state of your health and physical fitness as no matter what you do or how much you try – death is inevitable and that is the only truth.

You are not responsible for your income and debts as it is entirely dependent on those who pay or lend you the money.  I say that once again, they too have their script to follow.

And lastly you are not responsible for your feelings as they are always guided by the happenings around you.

It’s so easy! Isn’t it?

You have been given the power to blame!

Please use that for your own well-being. 

I have led all my life using this unique gift of blame which the supreme power has armed me with.  It was comforting to blame my parents for the lack of a comfortable upbringing;

Blame my bosses for not knowing my worth

Blame my friends for not being there when I needed them

Blame the media for all the negativity in this world

Blame my clients for not being intelligent enough to understand the utility of my products and services

Blame my spouse for not being understanding

Blame the weather for staying indoors

Blame the economy for my financial state

Blame the astrological chart for the way my life has turned out to be.

Go ahead and pin the blame on anything and everything which bothers you.


Remember, the script has already been written.

I hope you have by now got the first lesson from my “Idiots Guide To Success”?

In the next episode, we will explore this idiosyncrasy in a little more detail

By the way, if you didn’t like this first episode, I blame you for not getting the hang of what I am trying to tell you.


Signs Of Abuse In A Toxic Workplace

S1:E7 – Promote Yourself – The new normal for success THE CRITICAL DIALOGUE – LIFE AT WORK

  1. S1:E7 – Promote Yourself – The new normal for success
  2. S1:E6 Road to Resilience – Beginning and beyond

Have you found yourselves with a heightened sense of anxiety going to work each day?

Do you stress yourselves trying to please others at work?

Have you found yourselves being the subject of gossip at workplace?

Have you found yourselves behaving in ways that don’t fit your nature or personality?

Then it is a sure sign that you are working in an environment which is ‘toxic’ to say the least.  The psychological harm that you are put to eventually will begin to have a negative consequence on your mental and physical health.

Many organizations and business leaders would not be willing to acknowledge that their workplace could potentially be toxic, just so that they can present a clean image to the outside world.

In such workplaces it is most often the complaining victim who is forced to look inward to self-reflect whether their complaints are indeed valid or they are being too touchy and sensitive.  In such workplaces, the spotlight quickly shifts from the toxic individual who is perpetrating the problem to the victim.  It’s like a rape-victim who is forced to prove that it was not consensual, that she is of high morals and is not using the complaint as a slander against the perpetrator.  Sad!

Most victims or let’s call them survivors of toxic workplace environments do not get to even bring to attention the abuse they are being subjected to at workplace.  I would not be surprised that maybe over 90% of workplace harassment by narcissistic abusers doesn’t even get out in the open or get reported.  Well that’s a high percentage to work with isn’t it?

Speaking of narcissistic abusers, it is time that we not just recognize but take a serious look at the fact that abuse, harassment, depression, suicidal thoughts are as much a part of today’s workplace as it is at home.

So how would you go about identifying if you are part of a ‘toxic workplace environment’? 

Let me present a few tell-tale signs of a toxic workplace.  They may not be necessarily in any order of importance.

  1. Gaslighting – The abusers in this case blatantly deny their own manipulative behavior and ignore evidence when confronted with it. They become dismissive and critical if you attempt to disprove their fabrications with facts. Instead of them actually addressing their inappropriate behavior, it always becomes your fault for being overly sensitive or touchy. Toxic people try and make you believe that the problem isn’t their abusive behavior, but instead your reactions to their abuse.

2. Gossiping and Smearing – You will find that narcissistic abusers often use gossiping and smear campaigns against their victims.  They plant little seeds of poison, whispering about everyone, praising them to their face, and then complaining about them behind their backs. You will be surprised that you find yourself disliking or resenting people you’ve never even met before. You can quickly identify a potential narcissistic abuser when you join an organization or a team.  They are the people who approach you first to feed you what they claim as important information about people and the culture etc.  They will bait you into believing that you have a special place in their so-called inner circle as they also share purportedly some dark truths about your work environment.  Most victims fall for such a bait as they feel they have an ally who will protect them in case of any future problems at work.  Unfortunately it’s too late before the victim realizes that he has been caught in the quick-sand of this abusive relationship. You will find that they will be the same people who will lament to the very same people who they complained about, as to how stupid or crazy you are.

3. Eroding confidence – In an abusive workplace you can identify people who criticize you with a condescending, joking sort of attitude. They present a smirk when you try to express yourself. Teasing and sarcasm becomes the primary mode of communication in your relationship. They subtly belittle your intelligence and abilities. If you try to point this out by giving them feedback, they call you sensitive. You might begin to feel resentful and upset, but you learn to push away those feelings in favor of maintaining the peace.

4. Covert methods – Toxic people in the workplace often use very covert methods to undermine your success. For example an abusive boss who does not give you all the information needed to complete tasks, and then goes to embarrass you in front of your team when the tasks are not done as they should have been.

5. Negative competition – If you find yourselves as a victim of others jealousy and see a clear and present rivalry in the team then you are in a toxic team environment.  The abusers in such teams provoke rivalry and jealousy by first excessively focusing their attention on you by praising and promoting you and then suddenly withdrawing to focus their attention on others. You end up feeling confused as to what you would have done for getting this treatment.

6. Hypocrisy – In a toxic workplace you will find the exact opposite of what is stated and propagated as values and culture.  You will also find that abusive bosses in these workplaces expect others to “do as they say” and not “as they do”.  You will find that they have high expectations of you but will exhibit none of this to you.  It starts to then frustrate you immensely.

7. Comparison trap – If you find yourselves constantly being compared to someone and how that someone can and is doing a great job, you would know that adds to the pressure.  While comparison is supposed to spur growth and performance it actually has an adverse effect on the victim.  Many abusive bosses use it as a method to keep the victim under their control and as a tool for manipulation.

8. Withholding information – In a toxic workplace, information is provided in a selective manner and as per the convenience of the abuser then it is definitely a red flag.  Narcissistic abusers who are in position of power, especially those responsible for performance reviews and appraisal use it as a tool to manipulate their victims.  They would be comfortable revealing information about others (gossip) but not about you and your performance.  They would expect you to figure it out for yourselves.  In such environments you also are not provided with clear role definitions and the abuser in this instance the boss keeps it as vague as possible. This gives him the opportunity to manipulate you based on his needs.

9. Isolation – if you find yourself or any other in the team being isolated from important meetings or events in the organization then surely you are a victim of a toxic environment.  You will find that you are not being included in important decisions regarding not just team matters but that which matters for you to perform your role effectively.  The worst is that any attempt on your part to raise this issue within team or organizational forums will be considered as you being insecure, touchy and disagreeable.

10. Silent treatment – if you find yourself as a victim of silent treatment from any of your team members and especially so from your boss then you are definitely in an environment where you are being subjected to psychological abuse.  The problem is that it is hard to identify, as abusers who use such behaviors increase or decrease the frequency in a way that you will be confused whether they are really wanting some ‘quiet time’ or they are manipulating you using this technique.

11. Overt and aggressive – behavior is also a form of abuse the victims of a toxic workplace have to survive.  Sometimes you will find that you will be yelled at in meetings, publicly mocked, and even physically touched in a manner meant as an act of dominance.

12. Presence of fan clubs – abusers in toxic workplaces always seem to have a fan club of their own.  If you find yourself in a situation where you seem to be the only person who seems to have a problem with the said abuser then it is a clear red flag. The abusers carefully cultivate their fan clubs to brow beat the victim into submission.  They do that without getting their hands dirty.

13. Presence of great actors – you will find that abusers in a toxic workplace present a wide range of emotions and are able to play act so well that the victims are often left to wonder whether their perceptions are real.  If you have turned from a self-confident individual to a self-doubting one then you are definitely surviving in a toxic workplace.

Regardless of how you are experiencing the abuse, the toll it takes  on you physically and emotionally can still be the same.

It’s important that you become aware of the tell-tale signs of a toxic workplace and the narcissist abuser in it.

The Toxic Family Of ‘Counterfeit Niceness’

S1:E7 – Promote Yourself – The new normal for success THE CRITICAL DIALOGUE – LIFE AT WORK

If you’re going to get ahead and be happy with your career, you need to be in the driver’s seat, constantly seeking out opportunities and being persistent. When you do, your manager, your coworkers, and the executives will view you as a valuable asset, and you’ll get those raises and promotions that you’ve been killing yourself to get.  In the TCD Live Weekend Lounge today we are engaged in The Critical Dialogue on how you can use your current job as a springboard to success and use thinking-inside-the-box skill rather than outside-the-box skills to realize your potential, maximize your success, and take your career to a whole new level.

Did you know that a majority of domestic abuse is of the psychological type?

The mainstream seems to be mostly obsessed with calling out the physical abuse, which is easy to identify and communicate and helps increase the TRPs.  It is also the one which the vast majority of drama and thrill seeking audience wants to see and talk about.

Unfortunately, the one type of abuse which often doesn’t get reported and is also the cause of great trauma leading to depression and suicidal tendencies is the one to do with psychological abuse.  Especially in a ‘toxic family space’.

It all starts with parents who lack the basic empathy and selfless nature that loving parenting requires.  They have no problem meeting their own needs before their child’s needs and also justify their actions.  The effects of such domestic abuse lasts in the minds of the adult long after he/she has left home.

Such parents in the later part of their life complain that their child doesn’t have an authentic relationship with them anymore. Children of such parents have a life full of resentment about the relationship.  These are the parents who pit one sibling against the other, just so that they maintain a strangle hold of control in the relationship.  Unfortunately, the same continues even when their children have grown up to be adults.

If you are in a family which has huge turmoil among siblings and close relatives then you are a victim of such toxic family.  I know it may be hard for you to imagine that a parent can sabotage relationships of their children.  It does happen and is happening all the time around us.  It’s just that it is not reported or victims of such abuse do not find it appropriate to talk about it much. 

Victims are made to believe in the idea of presenting a ‘façade’ of a well-knit family to the outside world no matter how turbulent it is for them inside.

I’ve seen some families use the ‘Us Vs. Them’ philosophy to make the victim believe that they have their best interests in mind.  In fact I have come across parents who have completely isolated their children from relatives and friends by using this technique.  Just so that they remain in control of their lives.

Parents in toxic families continually feed the minds of the child and later the adult child about the ways in which the world has conspired against their family and how they have been at the forefront in keeping their children from harm’s way.

Toxic families present a façade of niceness which is used to mask the inner abusive environment.  So much so that it will be hard for people in the community to even believe any story which is contrary to the well crafted image they put up.  The problems also lies in the fact that it is so difficult for the child to complain against his/her parents.  You will notice that the social framework is such that it is always the parent who is seen as the victim especially when they are pitted against their own children.

How do you then identify whether you are a victim of a toxic family environment?

There are several ways in which toxic families operate and the environment frequently throws up the following indicators;

  1. Constant pressure to please – if you find yourselves under constant pressure to please and appear nice in front of your parents, siblings and relatives.
  2. Silent treatment – if you find yourself as a victim of silent treatment from any of the family members and especially so from your parents then you are definitely in an environment where you are being subjected to psychological abuse.  The problem is that it is hard to identify, as abusers who use such behaviors increase or decrease the frequency in a way that you will be confused whether they are really wanting some ‘quiet time’ or they are manipulating you using this technique.
  3. ‘Us Vs. Them’ discussions – if you find yourself part of discussions which involve the use of ‘us vs. them’ technique then you might find yourself over a period of time isolated from the rest of the world and in complete surrender to the people who use it to their advantage.  I have personally seen this technique being used more by parents in order to keep complete control of their children long after they have turned to be ‘adult-children’.
  4. Excessive gossip – if you find that most of your family discussions involve talking about relatives and siblings who are not present then most definitely you are not in a healthy environment.  The worst is that any complaint against such behavior is brushed off by the perpetrators as the complainant being ‘too touchy’ or ‘sensitive’.  The abusers even justify stating that the people in question wouldn’t have minded it as they know the abusers didn’t mean any real harm.
  5. Divide and conquer – many abusers in families use this technique to victimize people.  Simple acts like keeping a distance from the victim in group situations, making them sit slightly away, calling for a group photograph by leaving out one targeted member of the family, giving compliments or gifts to all except one targeted member and that too in front of the whole group are some examples.  Even parents in toxic families pit one sibling against the other to maintain control.  They act as the arbitration authority.  If you find yourselves frequently going back to your parents complaining about your siblings behavior then more than the said sibling, the parent is actually the abuser.
  6. Isolation – if you find yourself or any other in the family being isolated from family groups and clubs then surely you are a victim of a toxic environment.  You will find that you are not being included in important decisions regarding family matters, you are left out of some family vacations or trips.  The worst is that any attempt on your part to raise this issue with such a toxic family will be considered as being insecure, touchy and disagreeable.

I know you might already be saying that all these are common and prevalent in small amounts in all families and around the world.  You may also want to rationalize this toxic family environment by saying things like “it’s human to have a little bit of friction, conflict and difference when in families and groups”.

And that for me is the problem.  It is difficult to identify psychological abuse in families. 

Healing from toxic families is a slow journey because you have to rewire your deeply held beliefs.

Recovery though is absolutely possible and starts with acceptance.


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