Understanding Today's Narcissist
Understanding Today's Narcissist

Episode 38 · 4 years ago

What You Can Do If Your Teen Seems Narcissistic

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What You Can Do If Your Teen Seems Narcissistic

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... or have finalized your divorce, the tactics are the same. If this sounds like you, you need to know about Christine Hammond's new master class series how to survive a divorce with a narcissist. In this four hour video series, Christine Hammond introduces the toxic tactics that narcissists use to abuse, humiliate and manipulate you and teaches you exactly how to recognize these tactics and navigate through them with mastery and confidence. How to survive a divorce with a narcissist is a deep dive, a master class that I'll show you how narcissists use tactics like bait and switch, scare tactics, roller coaster ride and child's play. It's how to survive a divorce with a narcissist, a four hour recorded video master class with Christine Hammond. For more information or to purchase to day, just go...

...to grow with Christine Dot com forward slash narcissism. That's grow with Christine dot com, forward slash narcissism. This master class will change your life again. That's grow with Christine Dot Com. Forward Slash Narcissism. This is understanding today's narcissist, brought to you in part by Psych Centralcom and now here's your host, Christine Hammond. Today we're going to talk about what you can do if your team seems narcissistic. I'm a share with you a client of mine who was really struggling with this. She was so frustrated one day when she came...

...in to talk to me, telling me that her son was just so arrogant. He was demanding and controlling, he refused to see any wrong that his actions were taking and he insisted that everyone else was to blame for the situation. She was just so exhausted and tired of fighting with him. Her seventeen year old son had was had severely escalating bad behavior over the year. So it started off mild and a kind of grew and grew. At first glance he was very charming to be around and seemed to have plenty of friendships, but he never solidified deep relationships with anyone in particular, and he tended to wear out his relationships with this alarming speed. His teachers had similar experiences interacting with him. At the beginning of the year he was great, but by the end of the year he was pushing all of the boundaries and was frequently in trouble. His grades fluctuated depending on whether or not he believed in an...

...assignment, class or even teacher was worthy of his energy and time. Bunishments didn't seem to work with him. Hayley tried so hard to reason with her son that his argumentative skills easily outmatched hers. She talked to his guidance counselor, who seemed to enjoy spending time with their son, but this only led to even more broken promises. She even reached out to family and friends for help, but her son would only soak up the attention and then change nothing about his behavior. Finally she came to me to talk about the situation. Narcissism can't officially be diagnosed in a person until they're eighteen years old, but there does need to be a previous five year pattern of narcissistic like behavior in order to even justify a diagnosis at eighteen. Yet there's no need to wait for the official diagnosis before doing something to try to minimize any narcissistic tendencies.

Narcissistic personality disorder can be a small part of a person's personality, a full blown disorder, or it can even be mixed with other serious personality disorders, such as borderline paranoid and antisocial. So to minimize the intensity of Narcissism, I gave her ten things to try at home with her seventeen year old. The first suggestion I made was to start family counseling immediately. The best type of therapy in this process is one in which both the parents and the teenager are equal participants. If needed, you can throw some siblings in there for treatment as well, but this allows for a level of accountability for both the teens and parents behavior, because sometimes parents act out in a very poor way...

...when they're met with a narcissistic like child, and this actually helps to mediate between disagreements and provides a safe place for everyone to vent their frustrations. So the first step was they started to engage in family counseling. The next idea was we talked about tracing the roots of the narcissism in our family. Narcissism is part biology, which means it's inherited from a family member, part environment, also modeled by a parent or as the result of abuse or neglect, and part choice, the teen sees the benefits of being narcissistic. Unfortunately, in our current culture there are plenty of high profile people, politicians, musicians, athletes, entertainers and actors, who display the characteristics of narcissism and thereby glorify the behavior because of how successful. They are. By identifying the core...

...of where the narcissistic traits are coming from, localizing treatment and helping to limit the behavior in the future becomes much simpler. Okay, so we trace the roots of the narcissism and found that the roots of the narcissism came from her father and and he was very successful, so that was part of the problem. And he used his success as a way of trying to get her son into to doing things the way that he did it because he didn't have a son of his own. So that was part of the problem. Number three, start using the word narcissism. The best way to introduce the concept of narcissism is to use the term as a new, regularly practiced vocabulary word. Remember when your kid was little and you had to do all these vocabulary words.

It's the same thing here with the narcissism. You just start dropping it in a sentence. You define it when asked, you offer suggestions for what narcissistic behavior looks like. So such as like when a person refuses to apologize or even even after being exposed or proven wrong, when they act superior or above other people, are just a common example. When you start to familiarize the teen with what the Narcissism looks like, it provides them with the ability to start recognizing it in themselves, because they can't recognize in themselves what they can't see happening in someone else. The fourth step that we did was to point out and discuss the narcissism in others. Sometimes the best way to see something is to actually see it and call it out literally in other people. So this began with family members, which was her father, who the trait...

...was inherited from. Then she moved to TV characters, people in the movie, sports figures, to demonstrate that this is what narcissistic behavior looks like. By casually introducing the trait of narcissism as common in people who are easily identifiable, gives context for the teen to examine the narcissism in different aspects of their own life and even what it looks like. So that was number four. Number five is a little bit of a diversion from this, but it's something that is really important that all parents taken to consideration when dealing with somebody who might be narcissistic. Number five is to be strong as a whole. narcissist respect strength and laugh at weakness or vulnerability. So keep this in mind when talking to the potential teen narcissist. Don't be surprised by their lack of empathy or unwillingness to see or value things from others perspective. Rather, expect this...

...reaction and then work within the confines of it. Attempting to get a response from them with an emotional appeal will only lead to nowhere. In other words, you don't go to I ask my client not to go to her son crying about something because of how insensitive he had been over the treatment of his sibling. That does not work at all. Strength Works, not crying. A narcissist will see that as weakness nearly every time. Number six, use the hamburger method. Talked about this in other podcast. So one of the best ways of confronting a narcissist is the hamburger method, which is complement, confront and compliment, by seeing which, in a confrontation, in between the two compliments, the likelihood that it will be heard and understood is going to greatly increase. Confronting head on is never ideal with anyone who has the potential to be a narcissist. This makes the narcissists feel attacked and they become defensive...

...and it is impossible to reason with that in the moment. They will come back at you very strongly. So the sixth thing I asked her to do was to do the hamburger method. Number seven, again, this is a little bit of a different perspective, and that it was to do a mission trip. This doesn't need to be some overseas adventure. There are plenty of local organizations that need volunteers and offer multiple ways for people to help within the community. Sometimes seeing how difficult life is for others can reduce a sense of entitlement that the narcissist has. We're not doing this to try to generate empathy. That's maybe not likely to happen, but what we are trying to do is get them to realize that they aren't entitled to things anymore so than other people. So that is the point of volunteering and helping out at other organizations. That was number seven. Number eight this is for the parent. Remember...

...the serenity prayer. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Any time a person is dealing with a narcissist, this is a great reminder of accepting what can't be changed, which unfortunately, is the narcissism itself, and instead changing your expectations of the narcissist and knowing when to do both. I was number eight. Remember the serenity prayer. Number nine again a little bit odd, but it is effective. Limit TV and video games. Bear with me, I know this might be painful. This might not be possible for some older teens, but it most definitely is possible for younger ones. By limiting exposure to TV shows which celebrate narcissistic behavior, and believe me, there is an absolute ton of them out there, this...

...reduces the likelihood that it will be seen the narcissism will be seen in a favorable light. Similarly, by limiting video games that generate a false sense of superiority and domination and escalate that fantasy like living, the desire for similar environments also declines because they're not looking for chances to be superior in other environments. So while this might be difficult and this is probably the hardest step for somebody to incorporate, they can be very effective if you can limit some TV and video games. That was number nine. Number ten encourage face to face interaction. A lack of good social skills can perpetuate a type of narcissism known as covert narcissism. This type of narcissist uses silence and isolation to manipulate others into...

...submission. By encouraging face to face interactions instead of using electronic devices, this increases their social skills and decreases the potential of the covert narcissism. So this number ten was for a specific type of narcissists. But even the ones that are overt narcissists, which are the ones that are just kind of in your face about their narcissism, face to face interactions and seeing people respond can sometimes reduce some of that as well. It is a lot easier to send a tweet and not see somebody's response than it is to do it to their face. There's a whole different thing that happens when you say something to someone's face versus just tweeting it. So those were the ten things, and even though my clients son was close to the age of being officially diagnosed as a narcissist,...

...she used the these techniques as much as she could in order to be able to help her son out. Her unwillingness to give up on him made a lasting impact in as an adult, his narcissism was actually on the lower end of the scale instead of being on the higher end of the scale. Parents, you have the unique opportunity to truly make a difference in the development of your child, a chance that should not be passed up nor taken for granted. I hope this was useful to you. These are the ten different things that you can do if you're thinking that your teen is narcissistic, and I do hope that this helps you. It gives you at least a place to start, which is mostly what I hear from everyone. They're struggling with this, where do I start? What do I do? How can I make a difference? Here? You have it and I wish you the best.

Thanks for listening to understanding. Today's narcissist with Christine Hammond brought to you in part by Psych Centralcom. For more information, visit grow with Christine dotcom.

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