Be Emotionally Prepared this Holiday Season

I have some exciting news today. Our best-selling eBook, Back From the Looking Glass
is finally available in Paperback! It has been such an enormous job getting finished 
in time for the holiday season and this is part of the reason I haven't written much 
here for sometime now.

All of my other ebooks will be in print soon too - hopefully in time for Christmas.  

If you want to buy a paperback copy of Back From the Looking Glass- now is a great time, because we have a Thanksgiving special on where you will not only receive the book but 
also a whole package of free bonuses along with it to help you emotionally prepare for the holiday season.

It is easy to think that all the work you put into cooking and shopping etc will make 
your family love and appreciate you, but how many times has that proven itself false 
in the past? 

I know I used to work like a slave through the holiday season, often to find myself on 
the 'outside' of the festivities, feeling hurt and alone.

If you can relate to what I am saying - please check out our holiday special here; 

Be Emotionally Prepared this Holiday Season

The beginning of the PDF included in this package follows here; 

Be Prepared This Thanksgiving and Christmas

I am going to share an exercise with you that might hopefully help you avoid a few
holiday season pitfalls. To understand the reason this exercise is necessary I want to 
first explain a little about what I call our ‘two brains’.

Do you know that there are very few connections between your emotional brain and
your upper cortex? These two areas of your brain tend to be active at different times 
(when one ‘switches on’ the other will tend to ‘switch off’) and they each see the world 
very differently. This lack of connection also gives them very little ability to communicate
with one an other effectively.

One symptom of having ‘2 brains’ is that we tend to be very bad at knowing how
things are likely to make us feel. Are there things you can look back and remember
planning many times over, always forgetting that they only bring you suffering and pain?

When we have bad feelings we can be in such a hurry for the feelings to go away that
later when our upper cortex has switched back on and we are happy again we like to
forget the bad feelings ever happened at all.

I like to think of these two brains as the rabbit and the turtle. Your amygdala (emotional
brain) is very fast and small compared to your upper cortex but your upper cortex is a better
problem solver (and is definitely turtle shaped!).

While your rabbit (amygdala) tends to be more reactive and can say things you might
later regret (or leave you with nothing to say when you should have spoken up), it tends
to be more intuitive than your upper cortex and knows a lot about you and is very good at
sensing opportunity and danger.

Your turtle (upper cortex) on the other hand is more socially skilled and logical and is
more prone to be cautious and not ‘over react’.

If you can learn to get your upper cortex to start taking note of what your amygdala is
telling it and using your emotions as a guide in the plans you make, you may find it
possible to avoid some of the mistakes you have made in the past. This is tricky however
because of the limited connections between these ‘two brains’ and so taking a few notes
when you become upset can be very useful later to look back on what really triggered the

This is different than listening to all the stuff your amygdala is telling you when you
are upset. This part of our brain was great at dealing with lions and tigers (when we were
not at the top of the food chain) but these days you can ignore most of the advice it will
give you. It is that voice in your head that will tell you extreme actions may be necessary
when later on you may be wondering what on earth you could have been thinking. So keep
the notes you make when your amygdala is firing pretty general such as when ------ happened
I felt angry, disrespected, uncomfortable or unsafe.

Unfortunately the mistake we often make is to think that the emotional reaction we
had when our amygdala began firing (and we perhaps became offended or upset) was the
whole problem and once the upset is over we just think to ourselves that we won’t over
react like that again. The rabbit is always much faster than the turtle however and so no
matter what good intentions you might have ‘next time’ the same thing will of course
happen again.

Pre planning is the only solution for this and also learning to take note of strong
feelings when you have them and then calm down and let your upper cortex think about
solving the problem later rather than ‘acting out’ in the heat of the moment.

There is no more important time for this than at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Do you
have relatives that always get the better of you when they make comments you find
offensive or belittling? Or do you disagree with some members of your families politics or
other beliefs and too often end up in arguments? Or maybe there are members of your
family who put you down to make themselves feel more important? Swearing that you
will not let them ‘get to you’ next time just won’t work. You need to remember that the
rabbit will always be faster! So this year plan ahead and practice better responses you can
have ready for situations you can already guess might be coming.

See our holiday special here;  

Be Emotionally Prepared this Holiday Season

Thinking you will magically know what to say next time just won't work. Because not only 
is your emotional brain much faster at responding (Remember that feeling of not knowing
what hit you?) but you also probably do not even have the scripts you need yet in these

Preparation and practice makes perfect - so get in and work on these exercises and don't 
let these holidays get you down!

Be Emotionally Prepared this Holiday Season

Kim Cooper


  1. Thank you this really helped me this holiday season.

  2. My NPD mother in law would turn up and stay for two weeks from before Christmas to right up to New Year, unnvited and completey taking over. She would spend the two weeks being throroughly nasty and rude, particularly to me, treating me like a live in home help, in my own home!
    About 5 years ago, I made a stand and told her I was going to spend Christmas with my family. She was invited but I knew she wouldn't like it because she couldn't throw her weight around. I planned everything instead of 'letting it hapen' to me. I'm glad I did, it was the last Christmas when my mum was well enough to enjoy a family get together and it broke the routine. MiL hasn't spent Christmas with us
    since! In fact, in making a stand over that holiday, it's caused a whole shift in her power base. I'm sure it was because I put my brain into gear and thought it through. Plus, not being moved bt her historonics or sulks.
    Planning and preparing, practically AND emotionally is the key.

  3. Hey thanks for such a perfect example! I hope this Thanksgiving was peaceful and enjoyable for everyone.

    Kim Cooper

  4. After 22 years of living with a Narcissistic Husband and dreading every holiday because I knew what was coming from his destructful and demeaning behavior. I was hopeful that this year being away from him would be a positive change for me. I was disheartened that as I was trying so hard to make it better this Thanksgiving, all of those feelings of saddness came pouring back over me. It's true that living and (hopefully surviving) a relationship with someone like this can have a huge impact on your life. I will definitely be better prepared for Christmas! Thank you for your knowledge and much appreciated wisdom.

  5. Thank you for caring about me more than I care about myself! I thought my faith was enough! my 30th anniversary is nov,28th. I am done! I am freaking out I have given all I have!

  6. This was really helpful, Kim, I have done this myself in the past and it works. I have also done it with my children. Instead of going into a situation or place that in the past has become troublesome, tell them immediately beforehand what is expected of them, for example, how they are to behave or what they are to say or not say. They tend respond exactly as you have defined to them.
    It also works with my narcissistic husband. By telling him what you will or will not do next time a particular situation arises acts like a boundary to him. He then knows what to expect from you when he acts up. It seems to build trust.
    Don't worry if you fail at your resolve the first few times, just be determined to get it next time round. Also take little steps. Don't expect to be perfect right away. When I decided to overcome what my husband calls my 'psychotic temper tantrums' I did it in stages: instead of 'losing it' and screaming and yelling, I got into my car and drove away to cool off. Next step was instead of driving off I walked off down to the creek to cool off. Next I stayed at home but went up the back yard. Next I stayed under the house praying, singing or reading my Bible out loud. That proved to be the last step necessary coz I don't 'lose it any more! Now I work on other undesirable reactions and behaviours.

  7. Wow this is such amazing stuff - I too have been married a long long time - my husband managed to make me cry on every birthday - I gave up on anniversaries a long time ago and Christmases have been wrecked by the emotional climate.
    I try now to organise my own Mother's day celebration - usually go somewhere with the kids and leave hubby right out of it. Same with my birthday go out with friends - get out of the house. it's therapy to read your insights Kim and to hear of others plights similar to mine

  8. Kim, thank you for putting your experiences with NPD and other info out there. My ex-husband has NPD, and I have been struggling, trying to make it through the past two years of his trying to obliterate me, and the effect that it has had on our children.. You are a lifesaver! Happy Holidays!

  9. I did like your last advise on the in-laws, but my problem is the gossip starts a week later and then my NPD husband starts repeating the gossip. He always gets nasty. I am very nervous about confronting my NPD mother in law to stop this gossiping because she will over react making matters worst. His family is coming here for the holiday- how do I let them know to stop gossiping about me. Thanks.

  10. This is going to take the full range of strategies we offer. I highly suggest that you purchase our holiday special and read through all the advice there. It will take courage and you may feel you are doing the wrong thing sometimes but as you start growing stronger you will begin to feel things change.

    Hang in there!

    Kim Cooper


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