The Secret to Love and Success

What is Self Soothing?

Self Soothing is the most powerful skill you can learn to become more attractive and more successful in every aspect of your life.

What do you habitually reach for when you become emotionally upset?

A drink? 
A cigarette? 
The phone to call a friend?
A tranquiliser?
A friend on a forum or on Facebook?

Self Soothing is the ability to calm down and regain your composure after you become emotionally upset. It is probably the most vital skill you can master if you want more love and respect in your life.

In the short movie above I have shared some of what I have learned about self soothing; including mistakes even “experts” make when learning this important life skill. I know self soothing is not easy to master and so today I will share my self soothing ‘secret weapon’ with you as well!

Some people make the mistake of thinking self soothing is about never getting upset or losing your temper - but this is not the case at all. It is normal to get angry when people disrespect us.

However, if you are always dependent on your partner for apologizing and making up with you to feel better after you have become angry or upset, you will unwittingly become a kind of emotional vampire that comes across as very dependent and needy. This is very unattractive and will damage the love connection between you, while also giving all of your power away to your partner’s bad behavior, just when you need your power the most.

Maybe you feel that staying angry or upset with your partner is the only way to have any influence over them and that someone making you feel better when you are upset is what love is all about?

There is much more about this in my e-books, but really, nothing could be further from the truth ...

Learning to be in charge of your own emotional stability and peace of mind is the first step on the road to becoming more attractive and earning people’s respect. Learning new ways of responding to your own emotional upsets is the path to healing all of the relationships in your life.  

Another mistake people often make is thinking that calming down after an upset means ignoring what happened or pretending everything is okay and denying your feelings or ‘pushing them down.’ But again this isn’t true.

Learning to take note of what made you angry or upset - as soon as possible after you notice you have become emotional*- then going back and dealing with that issue again a few days later, once you are calm and right within yourself, is just as important as you being able to soothe yourself and get back on track with your own goals after you have become upset.

This is emotional intelligence and my e-books offer much more to help you understand what your emotions are telling you. Needing someone else to soothe you - and especially the person who upset you in the first place - will leave you as vulnerable as a baby; unable to set effective boundaries in your life. 

Now I know that in your heart you might want to be loved like a baby - but I will tell you straight up, you are the only person who can give that part of yourself the love it needs. No one wants the responsibility of caring for an adult who has the emotional needs of a baby or child. Wouldn’t you rather be loved as an adult? Isn’t that what respect is all about?   

This will not be easy at first and you will not learn this new response overnight, but I assure you that you CAN give yourself all the soothing and love that you need when you become upset. You will make mistakes too and that is OK. It will also take time for this new response to change your circumstances ...                                                                                            

Only last week I allowed a confrontation before work to leave me rattled for most of the day. When I finally realized I was still off balance 6 hours later I took 15 minutes to sit down and listen to a Wellness Audio stress relief track on my iPod while I calmed myself and found my center again.   

I then apologized to the person I had been working with for being scattered. The situation that had first upset me continued that night when I got home and on through the week - so although I left it 6 hours to see I needed to center myself again - at least I did this before I had to deal with that same person again.   

So ‘better late than never,’ and wow! am I glad I did eventually realize I needed to get grounded and calm again. 

I say this because the situation arose with a teenager Steve and I are helping out right now who no one else wants to take on because he is so emotionally volatile.

It is because Steve and I both know how to find that solid place in ourselves that we have the confidence to love and help this boy who we never would have been able to reach out to before. Because, if you don't know how to center yourself again if someone gets you into a spin, you lose your ability to help. 

Is there conflict in your life that leaves you feeling rattled? Talking to someone is not usually helpful at calming you down when this happens and I am sure you know that drinking or drugs are really only going to make your anxiety worse.

You may need to talk to people to get help and support in setting boundaries to prevent the situation happening again, but that will go 100% better if you soothe yourself first and find your inner balance again before you talk to anyone else.   

Back when Steve and I were our own and each others worst enemies, I used to feel that I would almost die when he did not reach out to soothe me after we had been fighting. The healing in our relationship began when I realized that I had to overcome this feeling because my natural instincts were impaired. Of course he could not help me feel better because he did not even know how to feel better himself. He also had no interest in resolving the conflict because it helped cover the lies he was telling me. Me staying angry wasn't going to help the truth come out and it wasn't going to make him feel bad and apologize. Quite the opposite - he would use my anger as an excuse for his bad behaviour. 

I had to learn to be strong and get back on my feet again quickly and how to start being an adult instead of a baby if I was going to be able to help get our lives  back on track.

I will never forget it when he first saw that he could no longer emotionally control me. Far from making me a push over it actually scared him and impressed him all at the same time. He knew that his old games were not working anymore and for the first time ever he started having to look at himself. 

I want you to find that strength in yourself and to discover that you can be in charge of your moods and your state of mind. It takes training and patience - but mastering this will undoubtably change your life. 

Hang in there!

Kim Cooper
PS. Being angry at someone is a very ineffective way of setting boundaries, for better ways to do this please check out Back from the Looking Glass and The Love Safety Net Workbook.

PSS. If someone has upset you it is not urgent that you get back to that person right away after you self soothe and calm down. If you are right back there trying to make up with them it means in reality that their bad behavior is still controlling you. After you self soothe using the Wellness Audio Institutes recordings it is much better (and more attractive) if you can then get back and focus on your own plans and goals that do not include the person that upset you. 

* Our emotional brain triggers much faster than our ‘thinking’ brain can keep up with. Learning to stop and notice that your emotional brain has been triggered and that you need to stop and think about what caused this (and not just blame the first thing that your emotional brain yells at you) is the first step to becoming emotionally smart and ending your days of being a push over.


  1. Very useful and helpful advise. Self soothing can come in many forms and as you show, not all of them healthy or productive.
    I use Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping) as one way of dispersing or distress.
    Your point about our own anger being used against us had been my experience. My NPD husband had repeatedly instructed me not to be angry until it erupted out of me. It briefly put him on the back foot and for a short while, it did appear that he understood I had a right to be angry. Then, he began to be provocative then say "Look, here I am, all calm, and it's you who'se shouting, so it must be you who
    starts it". I found being assertative rather than aggressive restored the balance in my favour.
    He did say two days ago he'd been fearful I was going to leave him. It put a lot of his behaviour into perspective. He'd been playing victim and cast me in the role of persecutor so if I did go, he wouldn't have to face the shame of his behaviour contributing to the 'failure' of the marriage. It explained to me, why, instead of setting to and getting help for himself, he was self soothing in his way, protecting his NPD image of himself. Thank you for the article and video. Sue

    1. I do the same thing. EFT is really good for emotional health. I'd like to try her advice too. But EFT alone is very helpful.

  2. Thank You for everything Kim and Steve. I have used your products and have taken all of your advice, although still in practice. My life has already changed drasticly for the better especially with my N husband. Self soothing is a skill I wish more people would learn about and use. Our world would be so much better place. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart! sc

  3. Very useful advice, I'm sure it will take practice to implement! I just don't think of doing this after an argument because I am so hurt and I just want to lash out. I've weighed up the pros and cons of terminating the relationship so many times, but I stay because of the good things in our life. And love, of course.
    Essentially what you're saying is: manage yourself, because that is the only person you can manage.
    I find music is the best means for me to self soothe. It calms me, helps me find that inner peace again.

  4. Hi everyone and Thanks Sue - I think EFT is great if it is an old habitual response that isn't working for me now, but sometimes I don't want to simply 'pull' the emotion and eliminate that response but instead get it's message and then calm down. I also find EFT is not so easy to do in public without drawing attention!

    And to Lisa, yes it is managing yourself but it is also much more than that. You see our emotional and rational brains hardly have any connections between them. When we are emotional in a way it is like we become another person and these 2 people inside us often don't know each other very well. People for example are very bad at predicting how things will make them feel. The practice I am suggesting here will actually help you start to be aware of these different states and help you identify them more easily and also help these sides of yourself get to know each other better. It is very powerful but is certainly something that takes practice.

  5. Well said, as usual, Kim. All the comments are great, as well. I have been working on this for over a year now. It is still a work in progress. The important thing is that I do see progress, and I am no longer distracted by the consequences of my leaving. I have no plans to leave the relationship and am continuing to work on it. It can be frustrating, but I have seen so many results that I continue to be hopeful. Hope is an amazing feeling and I am a much happier and calmer person.

  6. I have really enjoyed reading your articles. It has helped me TREMENDOUSLY at work - where I have eventually worked out that I am working with someone who is a narcisist. At first I was going to leave - but now I am getting on heaps better.
    My son has Bipolar disorder, which I know is different, but it has helped me a lot to deal with problems with him too.
    It has helped me a lot to change myself and how I react to people. I have always been very sensitive - and STILL AM - but don't allow people to push me around half as much.
    Really good info. Thank you.

  7. Thank you Kim for this wonderful segment on Self Soothing. I use to just quietly walk away and stew...sometimes for hours. Little did I know that the quiet stewing caused health problems later.

    Over time, I did learn to go to my mental happy place, use lavendar scented cream to massage my feet, drink some warm calming tea, hug a hot water bottle, or even watch a 1950s comedy.

    It was just recently that I was introduced to breathing & light meditation exercises. Most importantly, being kind to myslef. I wish I learned this earlier!

    I visited the website suggested and I LOVE the samples that I listened to! I look forward to adding these recordings to my stress "medicine bag"!

    I've just begun Back from the Looking Glass and I'm very grateful for all these wonderful resources.
    Thank you again!

  8. I'm new to all this, I'm not sure I'm getting it yet. What? I'm not supposed to feel like smacking my husband in the face and throwing him out because he went and picked up another girl in a bar (again) and had sex with her? So far as I know, adultery is the number one cause of divorce worldwide. Add to that the 24 hour narcissistic daily insults, lies etc.. It just doesn't stop.. How often am I supposed to "self-soothe"? In my case, I would have to be doing it 24 hours a day... Help!!

    1. Obviously you have to make your own decision but I have left many relationships in which respect was not shown me and I felt peace of mind immediately. Later you might miss the person and feel sad but you have inner peace of mind and control over your own damn life. I would rather have NO relationship than one in which I am constantly critisized or attacked or condescended to etc. There is great peace in being alone.

  9. Hi anon,

    Self soothing is just part of what we recommend. If you want to throw him out and you are up to doing that by all means go ahead - I am sure no one here would blame you! Our advice is for people who do not want to leave and also for those who cannot because perhaps they fear for their children visiting their (ex) partner without them around.

    Self soothing is important because it is about finding your happiness within yourself and not you partner (so they no longer control you) and is also important so that you can begin to learn to set better boundaries that will be more effective once you are calm. One example is separating your finances but in our books we offer many more.

    Hang in there and keep reading!

    Kim Cooper

  10. I have to admit I am really enjoying your articles, I wrote to you on the other blog regarding V and I am 303, I wont reveal my name. I have just began to take control of my life and my surroundings. I have just began to start loving myself and putting myself first which is a good thing and it has been a long time coming. The other day V had the biggest meltdown I have ever seen in public, I couldn't understand why and the verbal abuse was horrifying. He wanted to disconnect from me and delete me off social pages. I just took a deep breathe and said listen I cannot stop you and if you feel you want to do that then it is ok with me in a very calm manner. I didn't shout or bring my emotions in the field I spoke to him in a calm way.

  11. Afterwards he stormed out and said he never wants to see me again. I just said ok then. Are you sure you dont want a lift home? he looks at me with horror and mystified. I gather he was having a bad day and really I put the barriers up and didnt let his words affect me. I am not too sure but I think he is losing control over me and my thoughts. I understand he will be going through a tough time with his interferon treatment soon and that may really scare him. However there is so much I can take and by me being strong for myself and healing myself that comes first. Normally I tell him things and what is on my mind, today I signed papers for my new place and normally he is the one I tell. But I think distance and me creating my sanctuary comes first as I am preparing to go to hospital soon.
    I have a long way to go but it is coming sooner than i think and the strength that I will have will blow me away.
    I still have not heard from V since Saturday... not too sure whether to ring him or let him come to me when he is calm...

  12. I shouldn't feel anxious yet... or should I ? Maybe the source has run dry for him? This is all new to me and it is hard doing this baby steps too.

    1. You will need to face the fact that if he has other women to run to, you becoming stronger may drive him away. You must understand however that it is still the right thing to do for yourself and for him.

      If you contact him I would suggest that it is only to make sure he is okay and let him know that you are too. You will need to be very calm and grounded in that conversation and be prepared that he may still be rejecting you. I would have something planned to do after that call (that you really enjoy) and no matter how it goes still make sure you stick to your plan.

      In the end this work is really about you getting better - because if you are not grounded and strong how could you ever help him?

  13. Agreed, I did hear from him and it was very unexpected. He went to the hospital today to start his psych session today for the interferon treatment and he had positive reviews about his new doctor. I didn't ask any questions I just let him talk. If he wants to talk about it to me then by all means but he doesn't have to open up as this is between him and the doc.

  14. Strange I am learning my boundaries and kept my distance at bay. Bear in mind he hates all things medical especially the mental health system so to hear this was very pleasing. This is going to be a long journey for the both of us. I am going to keep pressing on with things i have to do and to regain my health and strength. 303

  15. hi kim, i have been reading your articles faithfully. i admit that i have been loosing my temper with my partner (at this time i don't think he wants to be together), but the reason is that i do not get the respect i deserve from him. he lives in MY home. Yes, he pays the bills, but the emtional support isn't there anymore. i, myself, think it's his daughter that has had great influence on him. my partner and i have been together for almost 2 yrs. but, you have hit home when you say that you have to self soothe and go on. it's something that is new to me and it will take some time to get into the swing of things. the daughter is so controlling. she is only 19. no, she (thank goodness) doesn't live with us. but she started acting like a jilted lover when her dad announced that he wanted to marry me. O boy, did that start a chain reaction. she has told lies to the extended family to where i am not allowed on the property, but grampa has a whole another issue. she has plotted to break us up, threatened him that she would not have much to do with him unless he left me, she has dis-respected me in my own home (which he permitted), and she has told me that she hates me. she has put a wedge in between us. but i say if she wants to act that way that is her problem, not mine. i feel for him, cuz he is caught in the middle, but he needs to see for himself that she is just using him for money and manipulating him for love that isn't healthy. i don't speak of her around him. i don't care is she ever shows her face at my door again, but i would bend only if she respects me. none of his kids live here with us. 1 daughter lives out on her own and is doing very well. she and i had a wonderful relationship, but her sister and dad have destroyed that. the boy? well, he is completely lost. he is 17 and is facing criminal charges in a week. which he expects his dad to buy his way out. but i know, that probation will be in effect, and this boy will not follow the rules and will be in trouble within a few months. i have made myself available to the boy, but dad seems to step in. he says he wants everyone to get along, but i have never shut my door on any of his kids, nor have i said that i hate any one of them. i have never called them vulgar names (like the 1 daughter has called me right in front of her dad and i). i will keep the ritual up of self-soothing and pray that i can find strenghth in all of this. thank you again. keep the articles coming! i need all the help i can get.

  16. Thanks for this article, this has come at a perfect moment, I have just been emotionally upset, and tried talking about it with my narcissistic husband, big no no because it involves him.

    It's just so hard to get the feeling to go away. I made the mistake of being tender and vulnerable to him, and it just seems like he sabotaged our connection that has been slowly growing back, and now we're back at square one. I know I have to let it go. But I am so resentful now at his selfishness. Maybe I'll go reread Back from the Looking Glass.

    1. I myself have just had an emotionally upsetting situation. two years ago my husband and I were in front of the judge who was about to hand us a divorce when we asked for her to stop. I thought we were both going to make an honest effort to make this marriage work. We both confessed to each other that neither of us wanted a divorce and longed for the other in our year of separation. Day by day since then we have grown apart. He just now told me that he did not care. That hurt. But after reading this article, I realize I am looking for other people - him- to soothe me and love me. He can't forgive me for the struggles that we went through two years ago and brings up every aspect of the divorce. I really don't know how he can remember all the detail! If someone can't let go and forgive you,and forgive the hurt caused by both of us, how can this marriage go on? debi

  17. Thanks so much. It was so self defeating to stay angry all the time, because of what he was or was not doing. Taking care of my emotional needs was what I thought he was suppose to do. But I can see the empowerment in learning to self soothe yourself. You take some of your power back from the narcissist and you are able to be productive again in your own life. I can easily go back to that angry, off the beam, disquieting, disturbing place. But today I can come out of it in less time. I get the picture, but it is still a work in progress. Before meeting you and Steve (whom I respect a great deal for be willing to be honest and open with you) there was no where I could find to get help and I tried everyplace I found or heard about. Keep doing what you're doing, you're helping a lot of people including myself.

  18. I am single, with three different women I'm working on, but I know I've been narcissistic all my life since being abandoned at age 3. Is there any hope for me? Because I only care about myself and others occasionally, and even then it's quite dim.

  19. Darn, I just lost everything I typed due to needing to log in first! Oh well, here goes again... My problem is not with needing to learn about self-soothing, or being able to remain calm under pressure. I learned that from classes I took at Scientology (their Success Through Communication class takes about 3 weeks part-time and most people are amazed at how it raises their ability to confront life and to remain calm under stress). However, my problem, if it is a problem, is in being motivated to continue trying to make it work with a narcissist, despite how much I care about him and love him. I admit, after the 3rd time he abandoned the family (although still paying the bills), I have lost motivation. Each time, he leaves apparently to intimidate and control me, and to teach me to NEVER discuss or question his behavior. I finally decided to take a stand and let him suffer the consequences of his behavior... and not be afraid of losing him. Therefore, I didn't try so hard to get him back, because part of me felt like he doesn't deserve me anymore and I just wanted to end the pain. Eventually, after he saw I wasn't trying (because I was waiting for him to take some initiative) he filed for a divorce. Now I'm about to lose what I used to think had potential for a great marriage and could have been fixed with counseling. I wonder if there is anything else I should do at this point, or just accept my fate.

    1. He could just be pushing you to see when you crack. If you tell him to stay he's just won a big battle. What will happen next time? He knows you will crack! If he goes through with the divorce sounds like good riddance! You win either way :)

  20. Interesting that letting someone go and not trying to win them back can lead to divorce. I feel I am in similar spot. My NPD husband is also brain-sick, so it's tricky knowing what's brain--temporal lobe epilepsy, lack of blood flow to temporal lobe and too much fight or flight in frontal lobe--and what's pychological/spiritual from his abusive mother-enmeshed background. I'm taking a stand on the lack of physical intimacy in 20 years of marriage and asking him to go for counseling and prayer at church, turn over finances to me as I'm better at paying bills, and allow more freedom in putting kids in school as home-schooling with adrenal fatigue and bedrest pregnancy. He's taking his own stand, and this time I'm not getting frantic or mean or angry. Taken a long time to get here :) Thanks Kim and Steve. Human beings are so frail aren't we :) We need Jesus, and we need to rest in Him and not get so wound up about everything and so demanding of others to meet our needs! Praise God for self-soothing, or prayer, or resting in Jesus--it's all about letting go of anxiety isn't it. Thanks, MB

  21. You all sound so grounded! How in the hell do u maintain composure when u are being blamed for their indiscretions? Things are being thrown in my face, words are twisted, and my family is being turned against me! I am the ONE person doing ALL the right things and I am being villified. What do u do with that? And how do u stay grounded through it all?

    1. In my opinion leave.

    2. In my opinion, leave.


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