The "Of Course" Method: Neutralizing Narcissistic Abuse
Written by Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC
Self-Love Recovery Institute – President/CEO
Psychotherapist, Educator, Author, Expert Witness
Setting boundaries is an important part of all relationships. It becomes even more important—and potentially life-saving—when you are interacting with a pathological narcissist. Those who are Self-Love Deficient (SLD), which is a new term for codependent, need to learn tools and strategies to set boundaries, even to the point of breaking up with someone.
One of the most effective techniques for setting boundaries and breaking free from a pathological narcissist is the “Of Course Method.” It may seem like a simple turn of phrase, but “of course” are two small words that hold huge power.
We’ll look here at what kind of work SLDs need to put in before adding the “Of Course Method” into their toolbox. We’ll also discuss what it looks like in practice and what the benefits of this technique are.
BUILDING BLOCKS FOR RECOVERY: WHERE TO START
The 11-Stage Self-Love Recovery Treatment Program is designed to help people overcome SLDD and break free from narcissistic abuse. And while all stages are important for people with SLDD, Stage Six and Seven are particularly important in relation to the “Of Course Method.” These are fundamental building blocks that will help you get ready to implement the “Of Course Method.”
THE “OF COURSE METHOD”
To create and uphold boundaries when dealing with a narcissist, you must actively use the “Observe Don’t Absorb Technique”. Once you are in that headspace, pull out this tool made up of two little words that make a stark difference—of course. The “Of Course Method” keeps you focused on “Observe Don’t Absorb.” You can remain an outsider to the conversation rather than being pulled into the fight. It provides a template for how to or not to communicate with a narcissist. It’s a form of self-talk that affirms what you know and fortifies your ability to observe the situation instead of engaging in it.
The narcissist is always trying to pull you into the “wrestling ring” to fight by using their own methods—which you, of course, have already identified by developing predictive awareness. They are using their weapon of “induced conversation” to pull you into their wrestling ring. Every time they engage with you using this method, you say to yourself: “of course.”
The following is an example how of the “Of Course Method” may sound when applied:
- “Of course they would comment on my looks, because they know I’m insecure and will get upset.”
- “Of course they would try to discredit my viewpoints because it used to make me angry.”
- “Of course they would laugh at me, knowing that always made me fight back before.”
- “Of course they would make a comment about that; they know it bothers me.”
- “Of course they would bring up that situation in the past—I’ve heard them talk about it a million times.”
- “Instead of allowing their comments to trigger you as they have in the past, you calmly repeat “of course” in your head, fortifying you to remain as an observer and not engage in the conversation.”
THE “OF COURSE METHOD” IN PRACTICE
These two words are enormously powerful because they affirm what you already know to be true about the narcissist. They allow you to retain your power and not hand it over. Instead of being triggered and activated by what they’re saying, you are remaining in control. The end goal of the “Of Course Method” is to remove yourself from the situation or end the conversation. It is not to engage in the conversation longer or make them upset, but to get out of the conversation.
Keep in mind that using the “Of Course Method” may make the situation funny. It’s just so obvious what they’re doing, and you might get a laugh out of it! While this shows that you have truly mastered the “Observe Don’t Absorb Technique,” do not laugh at that moment—this will only antagonize them and pull you into their wrestling ring.
The “Of Course Method” is a way to remain in an “Observe mode”, or a healthy dissociative mode—you are physically present, but not allowing your emotions to be triggered by what is going on. This makes it a helpful technique in the heat of the moment. But beyond that, the “Of Course Method” is helpful by fortifying what you’ve already learned and mastered. This strengthens you to keep fighting to be free from narcissistic abuse. You will become more confident in your ability to predict their next move, but also remain untouched by their manipulation. You retain your power when you can disengage from a narcissist’s tactics. And it is from a place of power that you set boundaries, leave relationships, and heal yourself.
Don’t hand over your power to a narcissist any longer! Remain as an observer and use the “Of Course Method” to stay grounded in reality and fortified in what you’ve learned and mastered.
Using the “Of Course Method” will fortify your work to heal from SLDD and break free. For more information about all the stages of self-love recovery, visit SelfLoveRecovery.com and check out our educational materials. And, if you want to check out the full video on the “Of Course Method,” make sure to visit our YouTube channel.
The 11-Stage Self-Love Recovery Treatment Program
The Observe Don't Absorb Technique
Ross Rosenberg M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, is Self-Love Recovery Institute’s CEO and primary contributor. His internationally recognized expertise includes pathological narcissism, narcissistic abuse, and attachment trauma. Ross’s “Codependency Cure™ Treatment Program provides innovative and results-oriented treatment.
Ross's expert educational and inspirational seminars have earned him international acclaim, including his 23 million YouTube video views and 236K subscribers. In addition to being featured on national TV and radio, his “Human Magnet Syndrome” books sold over 150K copies and are in 12 languages. Ross provides expert testimony/witness services.
More about Ross and his educational and inspirational work can be found at www.SelfLoveRecovery.com.
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