Understanding Today's Narcissist
Understanding Today's Narcissist

Episode 72 · 5 years ago

E01: What Is Narcissism?

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Narcissism is not going away- we see in our political environment and in society in general. In this episode you'll discover what narcissism is, the origin of the term narcissism and what motivates a narcissist. 

For more information, visit www.growwithchristine.com 

Welcome to understanding today's narcissists, where we will explore how you can better relate and manage the narcissist in your life. I am your host, psychotherapist and author, Christine Hammond. We be talking about narcissism today. Narcissistic personality disorder maybe something that's difficult to understand, but we can break it down at a very practical level so that it is a lot easier for a person to be able to pick out just about in any circumstances. Narcissism is something that's not going away. We see it all the time in our news, in our political environment, in sports figures, you can see it in bosses, you can see it in doctors. It is rampant and many people believe that our next generation is also very narcissistic. But understanding what the word means and how...

...that impacts you as a person is a whole other story. So let's talk about just the absolute basics of narcissism. First of all, we're in the world does that name come from, and is it a new concept? And the answer is no. It has been around as long as Greek mythologlogy has existed, so around eight a d we have the first written recording of narcissism. Narcississy was actually a beautiful hunter. He was revered for his good looks, but he was also very, very proud and, in order to reveal his arrogance, his nemesis. That sounds kind of funny right all by itself. The name Nemesis is an enemy of you. But NARCISSISSI's nemesis was named Nemesis, drew him to a body of water and, upon seeing his reflection and realizing that it was his own image, narcississy actually became so attracted that...

...he refused to leave his image and died there. Thus we have the name narcissistic personality disorder. Now, just because you have somebody has a personality disorder doesn't mean that they are full blown over the top. You can have narcissistic traits without the disorder in and of itself. There's a whole spectrum of that and we'll talk about that later in a different segment, but for right now let's talk about what a practical definition of narcissism looks like. The biggest part about narcissists is that they have this arrogance about themselves and believing that they are better than other people. It's a level of superiority that they feel they have over others. They also have a tendency to fantasize a lot about powers, success and being very attractive. So that fantasy may be something that is vocalized or also internal because we'll see a covert narcissists internalize those things we're over.

...narcissists are very outward about it. That will be a whole nother segment by itself. narcissist also have a tendency to exaggerate their own achievements, meaning that they'll take something that they have done and blow it up way out of proportion to what it really was in order to get others to think that they are better or have accomplished more than what they really have. In return for all of these achievements, they expect this constant praise and admiration. So they're looking for people to look up to them and admire them, and they need this like this isn't just a I like to have it kind of showy thing. It is more of a I have to have this in order to survive. NARCISSIS believe that they're very special people. That they can only be understood by other people who are of their same status. So they look for people that are same status or above their status, and this could be a socio economic...

...group, it could be in a profession, it could be in a wide range of spectrum from that area. They have no empathy for other people. Some cases there's a teeny tiny bit of empathy. Some narcissists know how to successfully make others think that they do have empathy, when actually they do not have it. So they can fake it pretty good, but there's no real empathy for what other people are going through. They expect other people to go along with their plans and their ideas. So regardless of whether the plan or idea is good, they expect automatic compliance, meaning that you have to completely go along with it wholeheartedly, regardless of what you think. They don't really listen too much to what other people have to say. They also are known for taking advantage of other people, and this isn't in like a sociopathic kind of take advantage of other people. This is more in a I see that you might be down and I'll kick you while you're down kind of thing.

They also express disdain for others they feel that are inferior to them. So when you go to a restaurant, a narcissist might express disdain for the best boy, for instance, because they're not at their level. They believe that other people are constantly jealous of them, and sometimes they're actually jealous of other people, especially people who have a higher status or make more money or have had more success. There's a long, long history of troubled relationship and ships for narcissists. They do not do well in other relationships, interpersonal relationships, especially with people that are their spouse. They also have a tendency to not do well in relationships with their own children. However, if the relationship is productive, meaning that it can gain them success or power, they are amazing in that relationship and will actually shine in those areas, but then they will be sorely deficient in others. NARCISSISTS also, I have a tendency to set...

...very unrealistic goals for other people. Interestingly enough, like they will set reasonable goals for themselves, and sometimes their goals are a little bit lofty at times, but then they always believe that they can achieve anything and everything and if they don't achieve something, they just blame other people for it. And the last but at least, they are easily offended. So they look for offenses at places where there might not actually be an offense and are easily embarrassed. The Achilles heel of a narcissist actually is just that is embarrassment. They cannot stand to be embarrassed at any point in time. So it may seem like all of these people have just this unbelievable, huge ego that's over the top and be very, very confident. And ironically it is the exact opposite, because at the heart of all narcissists is this deep rooted insecurity and it is this insecurity that drives them and motivates them to cover it up with this boastfulness on top of it. So they are over the top trying to cover up...

...and hide their deep insecurity. And where does that insecurity come from? Well, that's different for different people. It could come from something that happened in childhood. It could be some kind of failure that they achieved. It could be nothing at all. Their childhood could have been fine. It could been the result of very poor parenting, either a neglectful parent or a parent who was a helicopter parent. We'll talk about that at a different session, just the roots of narcissism and exactly what that looks like, but for right now I want to just give a rough understanding of just where it appears and how it shows up. So, for instance, you can tell somebody's a narcissist because they are going to be very selfish and very overthetop and their conversation is all about them. They use a lot of eye statements when they speak and they're very concerned with how they think or feel. So what they might be doing is when you're in a conversation with them and they might ask you, so, how's your day going, and you might start to answer them and...

...then you're quickly interrupted very short time period with them talking about themselves. So the biggest telltale sign of a narcissist is how much time and effort they spend talking about themselves and how little time they spend talking about other people. That is probably the biggest tell tale when you're around a narcissist. They can't help it. They have to talk about themselves and lift themselves up. And the other big telltale sign, of course, is a trail of devastating relationships everywhere that they go. So they will have relationships people that they have literally cut out of their life for good for very arbitrary reasons. Maybe that person did admire them enough, didn't look up to them enough, didn't appreciate them enough. You'll hear a lot of that. They didn't appreciate me, so I had to get rid of them. It isn't that the narcissists felt unsafe around a person. That would be a whole different scenario. It is that they lacked appreciation, attention, affection or affirmation from somebody and that is the reason...

...why they have cut that person out of their life. When they cut somebody out of their life, it is for good. They are not interested in having a relationship with them going forward at all. But even though you can hear all of these negative comments that I have set about narcissists, I also want to make sure we're very clear that not a lot of narcissists are very successful people. They do well in life because they're able to project themselves, they're able to talk about themselves or able to sell themselves to other people. They have very high expectations for not only themselves but other people around them. And therefore have a tendency to do quite well in the job force. There are a lot of narcissists that are leaders of companies and corporations, so they exist pretty much everywhere, which is the last point that I'm going to make, because narcissism is not something that we want to avoid. You can't avoid it. Everywhere you go you're going to run into a narcissist. So what...

I want to help you learn how to do is learn how to work with a narcissist, not against a narcissist. So we'll spend some more time talking about that in the future. I'm Christine Hammond. Have a great day. Thank you for listening to understanding today's narcissist. If you've enjoyed the episode, please subscribe to the podcast on Itunes to make sure that you don't miss another one. If you'd like to learn more, you can visit us at grow with christinecom. Thanks so much for listening and we'll be back next time with a new episode.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (91)