Ways to Improve Your Voice Projection

In the world of business and education it is quite a common practice to give a speech in front of colleagues or contemporaries. Either while climbing the business ladder or as part of the learning curve in these situations, giving a speech and expressing a point of view is a necessary part of life. To some it comes quite naturally and they enjoy the limelight, but to others being the focus of everyone’s attention is a living hell.

Effective communication during a speech can depend on quite a few factors, of course knowing your subject matter helps a great deal with confidence but knowing how to control your voice in these situations while maintaining good posture and body language can certainly set you ahead of the rest.

When speaking in public it is easy to feel like everyone is judging every word, but they are probably not. You have to remember the audience has probably heard people speaking in public a lot – you’re not doing anything out of the ordinary. Although some say you should imagine everyone is naked to overcome your fear, or might help to look at the back of the room, not at the faces looking at you this isn’t always a good practice and what works for one person might not for another.

Always try and sound up beat about what you are saying – don’t mumble or ramble. Be clear and positive, without using terms like “and erm” or “you know what I mean” and don’t apologize for what you’re saying.

If you have done your research, or perhaps you are talking about your own work then you can rehearse your presentation several times beforehand so you know what you’re going to say, how and when.

Speech giving techniques to remember.

1) Stand Tall
It is best for voice projection to stand up while speaking feet hip distance apart, with your weight equally distributed.try to avoid rocking, swaying, tapping, or pacing. Movements such as this distract listeners from your message and it is a sign of nervousness.
Stand tall and mighty as if you are in command now, excellent posture conveys confidence before a single word is spoken.

2) Project Your Voice
Fill the room with your voice project your voice by speaking from the diaphragm and not the throat. This ensures that your voice is on the low end of its natural range and is grounded. A grounded voice allows you to project without straining or becoming hoarse.
It is a good idea to speak quite loudly, in fact speak louder than you think you should. It’s nearly impossible to be too loud. A booming commanding voice is difficult to ignore and in the situation of listening in large groups or meeting it is all too easy for your audience to switch off after a while.

3) Smile
Show your teeth and let them know you are not afraid. Smiling not only makes your voice more pleasing to listen to, it also conveys confidence. Even if you are anxious and terrified of public speaking, no one will realize if you have a smile on your face. You will appear friendly, approachable, and composed.

4) And… Breath
Use… long… pauses. A lot of people turn sentences into run-ons and fill time with junk words, such as “um,” “ah,” “you know,” “kind of,” “like,” “so,” and “well.” These habits make speakers sound unprofessional. Its as if their brain cannot keep up with their mouth. If you suffer from this, you should start correcting yourself in all conversations and ask the help of friends, family members to point out when you slip up.

If you do lose your train of thought, don’t apologize, this will only draw attention to your mistake. A brief pause to find your place in your notes or taking a sip of water to regain composure can often just add more conviction to what your saying if you do it confidently. The Actor Christopher Walken is well known for his charismatic pauses while acting, he has turned it into an art form.

5) Focus your attention
Make lasting eye contact with an audience member for five to seven seconds-perhaps longer than you think you should. Then move on and hold your gaze on someone else in a different part of the room. Lingering eye contact builds rapport by giving audience members the feeling that they are engaged in an intimate one-on-one conversation.

Avoid scanning the audience without stopping to look directly at anyone and don’t make selective eye contact with the two or three people in the room who are paying close attention. Ignore the suggestion of looking at the back of the room rather than your audience to reduce nervousness; it might make it the easiest speech you ever delivered, but it also will make it the least engaging. Audiences want you to speak to them, not at them.

Remember these five tips for confidence and delivery. Master these and you’ll have the confidence to speak up and stand out in any situation.

Online Schooling Benefits

Online schooling can benefit anyone who wants to learn something new. By taking the initiative to join any type of class, you are engaging in something that puts your mind to good use. Increasing mind power also equals increasing your skill set, outlook upon related ideas, and many times, monetary gain. Who wouldn’t like to earn more money? By improving your education, you are now much more marketable with the skills you learn.

What types of classes are offered online? So many that there is not room here to write them all! You can take a variety of courses online to work towards a college degree, but that is also not necessary depending on your situation. Many people just looking to learn something new might take a business class for free on an open ware course list. Others may just want to learn how to speak a foreign language for an upcoming international vacation. Many professionals who have various credentials regularly take online classes just to continue their wealth of knowledge.

Look at your learning needs before deciding where to go to find your course. Review where you want to go, along with your previous educational background. If you get a handle on where you currently are, and where you would like to be, you can then chart a course of action. Find out what type of credential you need to have to reach your goal. Do you need a certificate or degree? Or do you just want to learn how to speak in public? Or be a better gardener? You need a formal school for the first, and maybe a community college for the second, while the third only requires you o do some internet searching.

Now that you know where you stand, where you want to go, and the format for your journey, begin researching the avenues to find the best choice for you!

What Is Business Knowledge Management?

If there is only one thing you take from this article let it be this: “the natural state of knowledge is decay.” After fifteen years of working information systems management and specializing in knowledge management I can think of no greater truth on the subject. No matter what your opinion is on my work or my advice, I hope that the one truth I can give you is that knowledge is forever in decay.

Knowledge management is the practice of cultivating, sustainable, reliable, accurate information for the purpose of decision making, prosperity and further cultivation.

Without proper cultivation of knowledge, knowledge is lost either by time, bias, or poor organization. The purpose of a knowledge manager is to cultivate knowledge within a confine safe nurtured ecology that prevents decay and encourages growth.

To paint a clear picture of how important knowledge management is to your business, allow me to write briefly about history. Man has been on this earth for about 20,000 years, give or take a few years based on lots of different scientific evidence…

Wait! Why don’t we know how long man has been on the Earth?

Because no one wrote it down. The knowledge of what man was doing for more than 3/4 of his existence is literally lost. There was no form of writing, no form of organization with meaning, there is some expression a pictures on walls, but that is nearly worthless without some key to indicate how to interpret the data.

Because of a lack of communication protocols and methods, our understanding of early man begins with great civilizations that not only developed means of recording data but the means of organizing and filtering that data into information that could be expressed and interrupted by others through systems of communication, such as hieroglyphs and alphabets.

One of the first great civilizations to take knowledge management seriously was Egypt. It is one of the most recognizable civilizations on earth spanning 3000 years; all of which were painstakingly recorded by scribes, an honorable profession during that time. We know from their records that they invented papyrus to record knowledge, invented an alphabet to record knowledge and created books to record knowledge, they even had a myth of a god who came to them taught them how to write for the purpose of documenting knowledge, Thoth.

The Egyptians were some of the first knowledge managers. Not only did they painstakingly record almost everything, they built entire languages, protocols, and display methods beyond their alphabet as standards for organizing their knowledge for proper deployment in the correct order, for the correct occasion, to the correct people with the correct biases in check for the audience and their comprehension.

You are probably wondering why I am talking about Egypt, thinking that I am reaching for the connection, or maybe not. Maybe you realize I am mentioning them because due to their diligence in knowledge management we know more about their history and culture than probably 80% of all other human cultures. Honestly, think about this for a moment: you probably know more about Egypt’s history and government than your own state’s history or government. Honestly, what do you know about the last CEO at your company, what were the achievements, what systems and process were put into place and where do you find how to do these processes?

Recently while sitting around in the open social area at my office I heard two people from another department debating the sudden technological advancement of mankind over the past fifty years. They were in agreement that there “had to be outside influences on man,” you know, aliens. They agreed on this alien influence idea, but could not agree on the history as to how aliens influenced humanities advancement. They used ancient Egypt’s advancement as their example of alien influence. You might be familiar with the notion that no cultures of man at that time could have built the pyramids. I couldn’t help myself, I had to interrupt, being that I actually find western alien mythos fascinating but I find the idea that aliens from Area 51 are the reason our culture has had recent advancements, “just like Egypt,” a fallacy.

“You’re wrong and I think it’s kinda insulting to humanity and to those who invented the technologies that you won’t credit them for their work” I told them.

Honestly, they got kind of annoyed, if not insulted, by my brash, tactless, remark and asked me to explain why I was so passionate about my statement.

“We have had sudden advancements in technology due to better communication and archiving of our knowledge. The thing that caused our sudden jump in technology for the last few years wasn’t aliens it was the telephone, followed by better travel technology, followed by the necessity of war technology advancement, followed by an enlarging geographic networking, followed by tele-broadcasting, followed by the internet; all of these advancement building on the last advancement is allowing humanity the ability to grow on the knowledge as a community.”

One of them got quiet, and the other started to ask over and over “well how do you explain… ” This is a form of linear extrapolation bias that I often find annoying and I answered each of his questions with, “Google it.”

The reason our society couldn’t explain how the ancient Egyptians built such marvels like the Pyramids isn’t because humans couldn’t build it, it was because without the knowledge documented somewhere in a place where we could find it or interpret it, it was lost. It does not mean aliens did it, it just means we have had to recreate the knowledge to understand it and unlike the Egyptians who had 1400 years dedicated to a culture development for the purpose of building such marvels and the knowledge foundations, such as recorded data and information of each attempt before to build up their technology, we only had the final product and a few hundred years of thinking about it at our leisure with our imaginations running wild.

If you are still in the dark about how Egyptians built the Pyramid and what meaning the Pyramid has, Google it! You might be surprised that there are some pretty definite answers that are recent and widely accepted. However the answers are so ordinary compared to aliens, they haven’t had a lot of fan-fare because they are not nearly as sensational as what shows like Ancient Aliens makes them out to be.

As our ability to record and share data at greater distances and faster speeds with better forms of exposition than just text has grown, we have advanced faster and faster with innovation based on recorded innovation. Technological advancement rests on layers of previous technological advancement.

This rapid growth of technology in great civilizations is due to trade of knowledge through various forms of communication and archiving. Great civilizations are remembered because we have data and information presented to us that they created through the practice of recording history.

Advancements in tech were written down by scribes and then became foundations. Inspired or societies within a culture that were in need researched their ideas and found the existing foundations which allowed them to make further progress than they would have if they had to spontaneous recreate the foundations on their own. Later their progress was added to the documentation and then became part foundations for the next, creating cycle of events that becomes exponential. Had there not been a person who documented, archived, and organized the findings so that the archive of its success, or failure, could be found and used as a basis for advancement the progress would have stalled, just as it did in the “dark ages.”

Phone networks, later fax, and now the internet are better methods of sharing data to allow humanity to work more and more as a community and less as individuals. New computer systems with near unlimited amounts of electromagnetic memory allow us to store more and more of what we know and share. Newer better methods of organizing, referencing, searching, storing and deploying the information we collect and share over these faster networks from these nearly unlimited silos of knowledge are what we should be attributing our advancement to.

A lot of data and information that is written gets lost; sometimes in plain view. There was once mountains of Egyptian text sitting around as unrefined data that we could never understand and it was not until the discovery of the Rosetta stone that we were able to understand the codecs and convert the data into information and re-record the translation tables into our own modern archival systems.

One of the key functions of knowledge management is recording how to understand your knowledge management system and the Rosetta stone is a perfect example of a culture that understood that. Knowledge is nothing but data and utterly useless if the key to unlocking the knowledge is hidden, lost or destroyed.

Take all of what I said into some perspective and look at your company and its needs. What do you really know about your company’s operations? If you work in sales, do you know how to do the day to day tasks of the fulfillment team? If you don’t do you know who does? If you don’t do you know who you can ask to find out? If you have only one fulfillment person and they leave, or die suddenly, how does someone take their place? If you lead the customer facing teams and your agents tell you that customers are complaining about an shipping issue, where do you find the process? If one of your agents finds a process how do you verify it, how do you share it? If your company shut down for a year and re-opened with you the CEO in charge with all new staff how long would it take to get started again, could you get started again?

We can almost completely recreate the day to day life of the average Egyptian during any of that civilizations ages because their culture support an ecology that constantly documented their needs, think about that while you ponder whether or not knowledge management is something you should invest in and take seriously for your company.

There are countless sites and books that will explain to you the process of the “knowledge spiral” or review the case studies of HP and BP. They will all teach you the practice of gathering and archiving, and all of them will help educate you on how to teach your business to learn a culture of valuing the knowledge that it collects. In an age where the products our companies sell are often combinations of other businesses physical products and systems, the modern business’s only real product is the service that it sells with the resale of these products, which should mean that the greatest value a business has is not the hardware that it shares with its competitors as a product but the knowledge of their resold products and the knowledge the obtain from their customer communications about their needs.

Knowledge is the modern business’s product and competitive edge, not their hardware.

Child Learning Game – Are Educational Games Online Any Good?

A lot of parents make the mistake that any educational games online are good for their children. However, most of these parents underestimate how much money children plow into internet websites, simply by virtue of browsing and clicking. With this in mind, you should be aware that many websites simply put any old game up in order to get people to click their ads.

However, there are many sites out there where you can find educational games online that are both good for your children, and do not lead them on to dangerous or pornographic websites. I advice you to use parental control software program. It gives you the ability to hold children accountable, and provide security measure to protect them. Young children are impressionable and by being able to see their activities online with PC Tattletale, it helps to know where to aim the conversations and activities.

Educational games online are generally limited by the fact that they must be web-browser based. This is not a problem for math games, word games, or basic activities, but if you want to get a fully-interactive and comprehensive educational game for your computer, you will probably have to walk into a software store. However, educational games online can be an excellent, cheap way of teaching your children important concepts and skills.

At Kidsgames.Org website you can find over 900 educational games online that are all good for developing various skills used in school. These educational games online are suitable for children up to age ten. If your child is over that age, try looking at Nobelprize.ORG website where you can find a few educational games online that are based around the work of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates.

As an elementary school teacher, and a member of the “old school”, I was a little skeptical when children started to play educational games online. Since then though I have realized that as long as the children are guided and watched over properly they can easily find educational games online all by themselves, or with a little nudging. Once you find a good selection of games it is easy to encourage the children to play these games and learn the skills they have to teach. Often these are math or language skills, but there are also social values and ethics embedded into educational games online as well.

Microsoft is on the verge of unleashing a new technology that will allow multiple children to play educational games online at the same time. By using multiple mouses which control multiple pointers, children will be able to work together in groups of up to five – all playing the same educational games online. This will allow greater classroom cooperation and improve group work.

More Minimum Wage Increases on the Horizon

2014 brings a new Congressional election season, and it appears the Federal Minimum Wage will be at the center of the political debate. Since the inception of the FSLA in 1938 under President Roosevelt, it has been debated whether the enforcement of a fair “living wage” should outweigh the negative effects such an enforcement might have on the economy. As the costs of living continue to change, Congress revises the FSLA to accommodate these changes.

The federal minimum wage has held at $7.25 per hour since 2009, when this section of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was last modified by Congress. However, there has been a lot of movement on Capitol Hill to increase that to $10.10 per hour in the coming year.

Political Posturing

President Obama recently defended his pitch for a higher minimum wage at a press conference by stating, “The [employees] spend a little more money, which means that suddenly, businesses have more customers, which means they make more profits, which means they can hire more workers.”

However, a recent survey of 1,213 employers and human resources professionals tells a different story.

  • 54% of employers who are paying the current minimum wage say they would reduce hiring
  • 65% say they would raise their prices on goods and services
  • 38% say they would likely lay off employees

Furthermore, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report last month stating that while increasing the minimum wage would boost the income of millions of workers, it would also mean the loss of approximately 500,000 workers by 2016.

Federal Contractors

While the merits of raising the minimum wage will be debated in Congress in the coming months, President Obama is pushing ahead with his agenda in an area in which he has a direct say – on federal contractors.

In February, Obama signed an executive order increasing the minimum wage for federal contractors from $7.25 per hour to the same $10.10 he is pushing nationwide. Federal contract workers make up an estimated 25% of the entire workforce in the United States – from Boeing to small manufacturers and service providers. As a result, White House officials are optimistic that such actions could spur states or even individual businesses to take the President’s lead to increase their employees’ wages.

And it appears their optimism is paying off – in the past 14 months, fourteen states have raised their own minimum wages. Additionally, dozens more have begun legislative debates on the matter. And activists in an additional eight states are pushing referendums that would increase wages for their lowest-paid workers.

Be sure to stay tuned as this hotly contested topic works its way through Capitol Hill.

A Single Trait of Autism

Parents sometimes ask this question ‘if the child has one trait of autism does that mean he or she definitely has autism?’ This is where I am cautious about making a child eligible for autism based on a single trait. Take for example, toe walking which some parents report as a trait for possible autism. Toe walking is a characteristic of autism, but it may also be related to other disorders. Therefore, the educational team would not want to make a decision based on a single trait or characteristic. This would not do justice in fully describing the child and it would base an eligibility decision on very limited information about the child.

An early childhood assessment for autism may include many things. Often an assessment will look at the child’s cognitive abilities, preschool readiness skills, daily living skills, motor skills, socialization skills and communication skills. A speech evaluation as part of the autism assessment can provide valuable information about how a child communicates with others and reaches out socially with language. An early childhood autism assessment not only includes testing instruments, but also includes notes from the professional’s observation of the child.

If a person looks at autism from just one trait, there is a likelihood that other traits (which may be appropriate or inappropriate) are overlooked in the child. I have also noticed that some professionals are a little more skillful than others in their ability to bring a child out of shyness, help a child warm up to a new situation and get the child to communicate his or her wants or needs (especially with interesting toys). A single trait may be noticed by one professional, but not observed at all by other professionals. This is the time when professionals must communicate information with each other to see if these differences require further observation or testing.

The professionals working with the child should collect enough information to make a well documented decision about autism. Parents should think about autism in relation to a child’s communication and socialization deficits and not only on one unusual, atypical or quirky behavior or trait. Multi-team assessments are usually looking for an abundance of autism characteristics in the child and not just one specific trait. When an eligibility of autism is based on a single trait it provides a very limited picture of the child. Autism is a spectrum type of disorder that entails a broad range of characteristics and traits.

Tips For Choosing the Best Online Schools

Statistics reveal doubling of the number of students joining online schools from 2003 to 2007, which touched 3.9 million. It is a 12% increase over the corresponding conventional college enrollment growth. This leap is attributed to benefits of online schools, which include:

* Flexibility to learn at different paces. For instance, accelerated learning programs enable students to complete their course faster than at conventional colleges.

* Faculty with exhaustive first-hand experience in their specific industry

* Accredited online universities typically have faculty with exceptional academic qualifications

Popular programs include career and vocational courses, language courses, business and marketing courses, and health and medicine.

Choosing Online Schools: Criteria

The best way to gauge the reliability of online schools is to visit them personally and ask some important questions. Here is a list:

* Accreditation: Check whether the school is accredited by a recognized educational body. If not, enquire whether they plan it done.

* Courses offered: Ask whether the school offers the course that you are looking for.

* Expenses: If money is a deciding factor, opt for institutions that provide financial aid or charge low tuition fee. Fees at these institutions are typically lower than that in regular universities.

* Flexibility: Opt for accelerated programs if you wish to finish your course quickly. Else, opt for slow-paced ones.

* Teachers’ experience: Check whether the college has faculty with educational credentials that are comparable to regular university professors.

* Student-teacher ratio: As the number of students assigned per teacher increases, individual attention for students decrease, thus diminishing the quality of education delivered.

* Prestige: If you are conscious about studying at an elite institution, seek prestigious colleges. Else, you can opt for any accredited college with competitive course content.

* Hardware/software: Ask for additional computer hardware or software that may be necessary for taking the classes.

* Assistance: Ask whether help is available for addressing student queries and questions. Several colleges schedule time for student-teacher interaction over the Internet.

Also consider the number of enrolled and graduated students, and the mode of communication (phone numbers).

Free Online Schools

One of the most common questions with regard to online schools is how you can attend one for free. The online learning industry currently has both free and commercial online schools. The free types of online schools include:

  • Online charter schools
  • State Departments of Education Online Schools
  • Public School District Online Schools

Which kind of school is the right choice for you can vary.

Online charter schools

A charter school is an educational organization that does not have to follow all of the rules of more traditional schools. They are, however, still public schools and must accept students provided they have space available.

Charter schools were established, in part, to be able to innovate. One of the innovations that a number of charter schools is to take their program online. Because they are a public school, they must be free.

State Departments of Education Online Schools

Several state departments of education have established online schools. Typically, though, these are not full-time endeavors for students, but are ways to take online courses for free (or at a greatly reduced rate).

Usually, the courses offered are Advanced Placement, foreign languages, more advanced mathematics. The reason for these particular courses has to do with providing access to college preparation courses for students who live in small towns. Think, for example, of Georgia which has just a few larger cities and many, many small towns. The likelihood of finding teachers for those sorts of courses can be challenging. Offering these courses online gives students great access to college.

Public School District Online Schools

Increasingly, public schools are offer full- and part-time online programs. Because they are a public school, the courses must be free. The reasons vary for why offer online programs, but it often relates to being competitive with the many free online schools out there (and the fact that those free online schools are pulling their students over to their schools).

What are the rules?

There are two basic rules with regard to being admitted to free online schools. They are:

  1. Are you the right age for the school; and
  2. Do you live in the right geographic region?

With traditional public schools and state departments of education, the maximum age is around 18 and is tied to the traditional K-12 system. More importantly, it can be tied to the grade. If you have completed twelfth grade (whether you actually passed the grade or not), you are likely done and need to look at other options.

Charter schools can be a different story. Some charter schools are able to accept students up to the age of twenty-one, but this does vary widely. You will need to contact your local online charter school to find out its age limits.

In terms of right geographic region, in order to qualify for public schools and state DOE schools, you will likely need to live in the correct school district and most certainly in the right state.

Again, charter schools are somewhat different. Charter schools can often accept students from within their own counties and adjoining counties. This gives them much more latitude with who they can accept.

What if you don’t meet the guidelines?

With most things, there always seems to be a work-around. That is not the case in these situations. Funding is usually tied to the type of school. The age requirement is an absolute. Living in the right place is an absolute.

That being said, if it is possible to move, this could qualify you for one of those free online course seats. This may be easier than you think. If you live one county too far from an online charter school, the possibility exists of living with another family member or friend. Granted, you should actually live there and not be attempting to scam the system. Sooner or later, you will get caught.

Purpose Of A Resume

It is quite commonly said that the resume should be your selling point to an employer or the person reading it.

A resume is an accurate and concise document which gives information about your education, skills, experiences and achievements.

The purpose of a resume is to demonstrate your assets in writing to an employer, like providing a sample of your written communication skills. This means your resume should indicate your language skills without any grammar errors or typos.

An exceptional and outstanding resume is one which has all the important details listed as per the job position you are applying for.

But before writing a resume, it is necessary to know, what should be written in a resume to make it distinct from other applicants?

Here are a few things highlighted to help you in writing a resume-:

*Your Resume is an “impression” of you with the intent of emphasizing interests. Write about your qualifications as it can establish your credibility.

*Write about your achievements and personal qualities.

*Write in chronological order about your employment, volunteer work or extra-curricular activities.

*Writing short sentences and it should be very precise.

*Leave space in between the lines and headings to enhance readability.

*Your resume should be one or two pages long and giving only relevant information which is required for the job position.

*Develop a theme to have a positive impression on the employer.

*Objective statement is highly recommended as it indicates your job goal which should be specific.

*Write about the awards, or if you were recognized for community involvement, as it tells a lot about you.

* Now a days since resumes are emailed online mostly, so that is fine but if you are sending the paper resume to an organization then make sure that high quality paper is used for printing.

*The most common typefaces for writing text is courier, times new roman, bookman, using these fonts can make your resume look more readable and professional.

These are some of the suggestions that are helpful when writing a resume, before writing a resume make a rough note of the list given above and when you are sure that important details are written, then you can make the original of it.

This can help you to organize your resume properly and when you are writing the final copy, you will be sure about what to include and what is irrelevant to your job position.

All The Best!

Do You Practice Victim Mentality?

Author Rebecca L. Norrington writes in her soon-to-be-published book, RealitySpirituality: The Truth About Happiness (April 2014), that even Superman had his kryptonite. She’s right. And there may be a larger number of us who are not immune to this feeling and practice of victim mentality than are immune, including those who are otherwise quite strong emotionally, mentally, and spiritually (in fact, it’s the strong ones who hang onto dysfunctional relationships longer, because they aren’t quitters). However, let’s keep victims of crimes out of this conversation and focus solely on those who live with a victim mentality in everyday life and what this means.

First of all, it means that when you practice victim mentality, there must be one or more oppressors (though one is enough, thank you) in your immediate vicinity and or farther afield who are more than ready and able to “assist” you with that experience. You can’t have one without the other. Now, either the oppressor does not have a victim mentality or does and has grasped the opportunity to become an oppressor of anyone who also has a victim mentality and therefore will put up with that treatment.

Anyone with a long-held victim mentality more than likely grew up with at least one person who had some form of personality disorder in their midst, such as a narcissist, sociopath (though narcissists are sociopaths), or some other disorder, diagnosed and treated or not. The patterns of these behaviors and their effects became so familiar and ingrained (and “effective”) in childhood that those with a victim mentality continue to attract other narcissists (or those with other disorders) into their life-to help them to choose and learn how to release victim mentality taken on as a result of their early-years experience.

This article will focus on narcissism for a few reasons: 1) all of us express some of the characteristics from time to time (especially if we are or have been in a relationship of any kind with a narcissist), so we want to be aware of their expression forms; and 2) there are likely far more narcissists out there than known about since they typically don’t seek assistance or aren’t accurately diagnosed and treated (they are consummate actors who deflect attention from them onto others who they say are the “problem”), or end therapy early on, so can’t be accurately or approximately counted in statistics.

If you’re not familiar with narcissistic characteristics, here’s what is taken from Doreen Virtue’s book, Assertiveness for Earth Angels, which she obtained from the Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) that says a person who has this disorder has at least five of these characteristics.

1. A grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., the individual exaggerates achievements and talents and expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements).

2. A preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.

3. A belief that he or she is special and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).

4. A need for excessive admiration.

5. A sense of entitlement (i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations); interpersonally exploitative (i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends).

6. A lack of empathy (is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others).

7. Envy of others or a belief that others are envious of him or her.

8. A demonstration of arrogant and haughty behaviors or attitudes.

Doreen also states that “A narcissist surrounds him- or herself with people who agree with him or her, and anyone who dares to raise questions will be removed. A narcissist is terribly insecure and jealous, and views people and animals as objects to stroke his or her ego.” This can be challenging behavior to be around for anyone. For an Earth Angel, it’s even more so because they see what’s really going on, but their spiritual, mental, and emotional aspects are to be nice and to play nice: they are genuinely kind and caring. These angels, or anyone whose nature is genuinely caring, is like nectar to a narcissist: narcissists, who feel emptiness of Self all the time, need to “feed” off of others’ energy continuously.

Melanie Tonia Evans finally removed herself from a relationship with a narcissist and reinvented herself and her life; and she makes it clear that her information applies to anyone who is a narcissist, not just a life partner or spouse. She also states that those with strong narcissistic tendencies can be helped, whereas those with severe narcissism cannot. In her online article titled “Narcissism Understood,” which I highly recommend you read, as well as her two free e-books, if you suspect or know you’re in a relationship of any kind with a narcissist, says, “A narcissist feels terrorized at the thought of vulnerability (being emotionally honest), and develops a pathological false self to guard the unresolved emotional wounds… Have you loved a person who is never wrong, never sorry and believes it is always someone else’s fault? Have you ever experienced an individual who’s non-accountable for their behaviour and doesn’t learn despite the mayhem and pain they produce? Have you witnessed an individual who has no tolerance for the slightest criticism, even when given constructive advice…

“The most massive (and initially devastating) realisation that’s necessary to assimilate, in order to pull away and create authentic love, is that the narcissist is incapable of genuine love and empathy. His purpose for creating a love relationship is for two reasons. Firstly, to secure narcissistic supply (attention), and secondly, to have an outlet to project his internal pain and torture onto. Relationship partners who are hooked and ‘hang on’ make the perfect subjects to abuse… Have you ever been in a relationship with an individual who demands your attention incessantly and becomes depressed, sulky and even full of rage if your attention goes elsewhere? This is one of the earliest warning signs of a narcissist. Please understand healthy adults do not behave in such a way.”

And here’s where anyone with a victim mentality comes in: “Compliant co-dependants believe in unconditional love. They will tolerate being damaged and feel sorry for the other person, yet in reality co-dependents are terrified about laying boundaries and taking control of their own lives. Boundary function is imperative protection against a narcissistic individual. Co-dependents love so much it hurts; whereas their self-development lies in learning to love themselves enough to stop the pain. When a co-dependent teams up with a narcissist (and many do) they will have their scant boundaries disintegrated and end up tolerating behaviour and abuse that they never thought they would. They will try again and again to prove their love, devotion and loyalty to the narcissist, all the way to their self-demise. Why is this exercise futile? Because the narcissists who cannot accept themselves (and have deep self-loathing) can’t accept love, intimacy and commitment from another, and are powerless to grant and sustain these commodities with another. It’s an impossibility to give inner resources that simply don’t exist… Narcissists are angry children in adult bodies.” She added that narcissists detest those they fool and control; they detest everyone, especially themselves. You cannot win with a narcissist; you can only stop being an energy source for them. This is terribly sad to realize, but an important fact to be aware of.

If you have experienced victim mentality, or still do, you may have noticed that “opportunities” to confront this unresolved matter increase in energy and severity over time. It’s as though the Universe is asking you what it will take for you to pull yourself out of this mentality or how big of a “stick” will you have to be whacked with before you get angry enough to say, “Enough!” If you shift the pattern of victim in your mind to no-longer-a-victim, you’ll stop attracting such types to you. I’m not saying you’ll never bump into such types again, but if you do, you’ll be better able to recognize the signs early on and deal with them sooner and better, or know to walk away and not feel bad about it: You will have saved yourself years of agony and given yourself the chance to have a loving, fulfilled, and joyful life. You won’t get lost in feelings of inferiority or believe that you deserve such treatment. You don’t deserve it.

In Doreen’s book she talks about how Earth Angels don’t like conflict and confrontation-because that’s not their true nature. If you’re an Earth Angel, this is why you find yourself with a victim mentality: You don’t like to hurt anyone (it hurts you to do this) and you want everyone to be happy. But this can be carried too far, and at your expense (and a narcissist, or person with another disorder, will “eat you alive” until there’s nothing left, if you let it go that far). Two outcomes are feared by Earth Angels: Your suppressed anger and frustration will explode out of you one day and you’ll say or do things you can’t take back and know will make you feel un-angel-like or you’ll become apathetic (also un-angel-like), because you are exhausted on all levels. And soon you, just like anyone else, find yourself feeling miserable and unable to figure out what to do to “fix the other person,” which is not only impossible, but also not your job, and also entraps you in judgment, which is another mind-prison.

Maintaining the practice of victim mentality causes you to hold anger and depression in your energy field. You wear frustration like a heavy wool coat in summer. That energy has to go somewhere, and it will likely go into your body and manifest as some form of imbalance or illness: physical, mental, spiritual, or all three. The extreme of this is when someone practices victim mentality with themselves more than anyone else does it to them. To get into the frame of mind that starts you on the path out of victim mentality, you have to ask yourself some uncomfortable questions, such as: What do I really get out of this? Why do I believe I deserve this? Why do I hesitate to take care of myself in the right way, despite what anyone says or does, or might?

Doreen talks about being assertive, because anyone who practices victim mentality needs to practice assertiveness, not aggressiveness, which would only feed the narcissist as much as being silent. If you’ve been in a long-term relationship with someone who has a disorder, you may need extra, qualified assistance to get past victim mentality. Understand that it may take a while to clear yourself of the long-held toxic beliefs that have kept you in this mentality. But this is a learned mindset that you can unlearn. And, please keep in mind that victim mentality is really only a practice, because all of us are powerful expressions of the One Consciousness: Victim is not who we really are.

You have to get to the point where you are no longer willing to not speak up for yourself, but you also want to be as balanced and as objective as you possibly can. Find a way to say what you need to say to make your point, while causing as little emotional pain to yourself as possible; but don’t be afraid of the pain a person might choose to feel if you speak your truth with assertiveness and integrity. It’s to your benefit to do so. And in some instances, you may have to walk away from the relationship, although, Evans says no contact or modified contact is the only way to deal with a severe narcissist. Be clear about this: if you’re dealing with a narcissist (or some other disorder), any attempt to rationalize with them about better behavior is a form of feeding them: they’ve still got you dancing to their tune and giving them nearly all or all of your attention and life force.

To get out of victim mentality, you have to be done with being a doormat. This can be frightening, if not terrifying, in some situations. What helps is to realize you don’t have to do it all at once. You can do it in small steps, small steps of speaking up for yourself and or taking action on your behalf in an assertive way. If you tremble or can barely get your voice to work, say what you need to say or do what you need to do anyway. Establish and honor your boundaries. Each time you do this you’ll get stronger and stronger.

Victim mentality holds you back. There’s no way it can’t. You can’t be and live as your authentic self if you practice victim mentality. You can’t take necessary, calculated risks that take you higher and higher in life or into your purpose. You can’t feel whole and good, especially about yourself, when you practice victim mentality. You can’t be true to yourself or truly yourself with others. You may also give more mental and emotional attention to the oppressor(s) in your life than to you and your own life. This practice must shift, and you want to research the best ways to do this because it will be tempting to stay fixed in blame about the oppressor(s) or rehashing in your mind over and over what they’ve done, which is still not the focus and energy on your life and mind patterns that are needed.

Grasp the Truth that your worth is not dependent on anyone-it is a given as an expression of the One Consciousness that you are. You are especially not to believe what a narcissist or anyone with a disorder tells you about yourself: They’ll tell you negatives in order to keep you jumping and asking how high to jump next in order to satisfy them, which is impossible. Afraid or not, begin to speak up for yourself and or take right action. Begin to honor your right to be and to be treated appropriately, and to be in the company of those who demonstrate healthier behaviors and genuine love and caring. It’s the way to be your authentic self and express your true gift and divine light in the world. It’s a good practice, one you’ll appreciate.

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer

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