Have you ever had that ‘punched in the gut’ feeling?  Yes?  Me too.  As I reflect back on those times in the past when I felt like someone hit me square in the belly, temporarily taking my breath away and leaving a lingering heaviness that never sleeps, it occurs to me that the common thread of these incidents is a betrayal.  And the perpetrator of the act is either a narcissist or a master manipulator.

The good news is, it has been years since I have felt this way.  The bad news is, that monster raised its ugly head this past week and those dreaded emotions came storming back setting up shop in my ‘punched in the gut’, gut.  The details and the circumstances that surround this situation are irrelevant, but the lessons learned are paramount, and I want to share those with you now.

  1. Always trust your gut:  Your intuition is one of the most powerful tools you have and it can be trusted.  If your gut tells you NOT to do something, then don’t do it.  You are blessed with this sixth sense of awareness and it is truly a gift.  Use this amazingly accurate tool to your advantage.
  2. Forget what people say, watch what they do: If someone tells me that they are ‘all that and a bag of chips’ I immediately become concerned.  People who are really good at what they do don’t have to tell you about it, they simply show you.
  3. People get defensive when they are feeling guilty: This is a prominent trait of the master manipulator.  They despise being found out so their immediate reaction is defensiveness as well as attempting to make you feel like the one who has done something wrong.  They also get angry quickly and do their best to make you feel like the bad guy.  Don’t fall for this shitty behavior.  It is a sure sign of guilt and a lack of self-esteem.
  4. Take note of what people unintentionally teach you: Narcissistic and manipulative people can teach you a lot.  Pay attention.  Careful study of their actions are ultimately your gifts.  Instead of being astounded by what they do, put systems and processes in place that will eliminate the possibility that this type of behavior will cause challenges in the future.
  5. Enough is enough: Don’t give this person a second chance to ‘punch you in the gut’.  Whether you encounter this personality type in your personal or business life, break up with them!  You will probably have some damage control to do with family or employees depending on the situation.  Once you have done that and the dust has settled, move on.

The great thing about being human is that we are given copious opportunities to step into our authenticity and to be who we truly are.  This path can be rocky with twists and turns that tumble us around a bit.  However, I have come to learn that everything that shows up in our life brings us to the next level of personal evolution.  Eventually, we learn that life isn’t nearly as difficult as we like to make it.  All I can say is that approaching these times in our life with the courage to be vulnerable and to act with pure integrity will get us to the other side to a place we are meant to be, with the people we are meant to be with, and the lessons we needed to learn.  Onward!

Stay true and be you —


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