EVERYTHING You Need To Know About the Narcissist [MedCircle Masterclass]Aug 30, 2022
We've talked to Dr. Romney before about narcissism, but we've never gone this deep. Welcome to the medical circles series. Narcissistic personality disorder. Secondhand smoke from mental health. You were one of the first people to come to the medical circle. it had such a big impact. I am very happy, yes, millions of people are receiving a lot of emails. It's so important that's why I'm on it. I'm going to help people almost like helping people save themselves and move on to a much brighter future. yes, yes, we made a video on this topic. I don't even
knowhow long it lasted. like 10 minutes something like that and now we're devoting a whole series to the I think it's good because I think it will help a lot of people who have a lot of questions and hopefully I can allay some of them. of that, yes, and create a little more understanding.
Finding out before I sat down with you the first time that I didn't
knowthat narcissism was a personality disorder, narcissism isn't actually a personality disorder and that's already one of the big misconceptions out there and why people get they go crazy if narcissism is a pattern, I don't know if I call it a trait as much as a collection of patterns or traits,
narcissistic personality disorder is a disorder and if you look at existing epidemiological studies, one to three percent maybe mainly because these People don't go into treatment because they don't believe there's anything wrong with them, so it's very hard to get meaningful statistics about what the actual rates of
narcissistic personality disorder are in the population.
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everything you need to know about the narcissist medcircle masterclass...
Narcissism is another much more endemic game. It's a pattern that people say well. that doesn't label people i'm like that it's no different than saying it's nice it's sweet it's funny it's narcissistic it's patterns the first video we ever made on na rcissism millions and millions of views keep growing by the time we film this every day why does this topic resonate with so many people it is the topic of our time there is no two ways about it it is the topic of our time it is misunderstood and it is absolutely destroying people the fact is that people don't understand it they don't understand that they are not even it's almost like you're in it's like you have a disease and you don't know why you're getting more and more tired every week and then you finally go to see a doctor and the doctor says oh you have pa pa or you're open to doubt and thank you for the explanation the number of people I've worked with who told me I had I didn't come and consult with you clinically and I understood what this pattern was, I would have stayed living like this forever and probably entity would end in an early grave. i'm living in someone so it's the problem of our time and this is where it gets tricky in fact we have rewarded it in our society we say how to misbehave misbehave throw people under the bus let's reward you for behaving in a way that it's uncivilized and cruel and mean and we'll give you your own TV show so that's what's going on you said something to me and I don't remember if it was on camera or off camera but you said the book on narcissism could be titled what to be a man in the world today and to succeed yes absolutely and it would be exactly the same it would be the same i would
needa rule book i actually had a student once come up to me after class and said he knew i was trying to succeed at business and after learning about narcissism, I now realize that if I do all these things, I will be really good at sales. you teach someone how to play not really i'll be blunt with you i'd be doing a lot better financially quicker a little more narcissistic indeed and they'll make a lot of money oh they do the research it's actually quite clear a trick called kindness which is actually quite opposite of narcissism people who are nice are friendly warm open sociable helpful to others people make significantly less income than people who are more antagonistic and narcissistic yeah i mean it costs think about it you know oh no ok , you don't
needto pay me for that, you know that kind of thing. the doctor who takes your pay in pies instead of money you know it's like that just a nice thank you we'll do it i'll have a cherry pie once in a while you're not a narcissist huh what can you still be strict and successful and aggressive and earn a lot of money and all these things without being a narcissist i'm not sure even that answer is a really strong answer you're not yes i'm not sure i haven't seen much evidence of what i've seen some people really get it but even they will concede that i had to play a little hardcore i had to put my needs before someone else's and not stop to think how this could hurt them i mean there was definitely a relative empathy deficit compared to a much nicer person i'm just not saying business in generally be a zero sum game, yes, and I think when you work in a corporate structure and you have to answer to people as shareholders and there they don't care about the kind of grassroots employee that was when the game changed i still think when you had company towns and the guy running the factory still knew about other people's lives there was a little more empathy that's kind of gone add other social trends like social media, where it's about who can do some kind of social comparison, who can look better, that kind of thing becomes more superficial, I think all of that is a collusion that we don't value empathy anymore. we really in fact it's especially in boys and men we're not teaching our boys to be empathic we're actually saying that empathy is a weakness in boys and men and that's really one place we can really see a correction if we could do that but we're actually going in the opposite direction i mean empathy has really gone the eight track way like not cool not modern you said one to three percent of the population has been diagnosed with nurses, yeah that's what the research studies show and you know what I think we get caught up in things like people say he's my boyfriend he's my husband he's my wife when you really open up that net to mothers and fathers brothers and sisters bosses and coworkers aunts uncles whatever you'll see I really don't.
I know of only one human being whose life has truly been untouched by pathological narcissism. What's interesting is that for some people it comes late in life, so they had great parents, a good husband, good friends, but then his sister marries a narcissist and that's real. ly worse like when your first meeting is when you're a full-fledged adult because then you don't really know what to do it's like trying to learn to speak french when you're 50. like good luck with that you do know while other of us starting out early in this training actually in this new book that i'm writing i say who was your first narcissist for some people it was mom how you met her on day one for some people versus narcissist because there's going to always be first to surprise people people who don't know who you are why should they listen to you when it comes to narcissism? you know they should listen to me because actually my way of getting into this area was through multiple avenues the research in my lab at california state university of los angeles we focused on personality disorders there and narcissism was the only pattern where we saw it but it didn't behave consistently but at the same time in my private practice I was amazed at the number of people coming in and literally saying the same thing and I was like okay there's something going on here and I really did investigate and said these these partners of theirs they're all narcissistic people these people are so frustrated they keep trying
everythingtheir partners don't change they wake up everyday thinking and hoping it's different it's not devastating so i did my research and said wow this really isn't very treatable than our person with narcissistic personality disorder and Even the pattern really wasn't that changeable and that made me take a deep dive. thoroughly in literature.
I interviewed people from all over the country, in fact, from all over the world about their experiences with narcissistic husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends and then that culminated. in my second book, which is titled Should I Stay or Should I Continue to Survive a Relationship with a Narcissist? and then it was like it was a race from then on, I think some things changed. d in our world and narcissism became more and more of a topic and it amazes me how many smart people just don't get it and it's such a pattern that I said I should almost be quiet a lot of people say narcissists are unpredictable I said unpredictable are the most predictable person in the room we know exactly what they're going to do and they say jekyll hyde i said jekyll hyde it's kind of predictable you know they're going to be bad and then they're going to be good so that's what you know once you put that pattern in their place and you know and you know what you're dealing with i think our problem is that it's about second chances we give them we're a little too heavy handed with forgiveness and hopefully we can help people navigate those waters in a way make it healthy for them and their families so we know what people who are in a relationship with a narcissist or know a narcissist will get out of this series oh yeah it's hope it's education n are actionable steps if there is a narcissist who stumbles upon this video because everyone in their life has told them you are a narcissist and they have even a little bit of self awareness maybe i am what do you think they will gain? from this this has become the question of the year because i get emails almost every day from a person some of them are angry some of them are downright threatening and some of them are really sorry where they say i am this person and i dont want to anymore be this person and i've hurt people give me that person and we could have some hope now here's the problem a person let's say a lifelong narcissist they are 30 40 50 years old this is how they are i have always treated people is a hard solution it's almost like trying to take someone who's really sweet and make them mean it's not easy to do it's the same thing we're trying to change in the other direction taking a narcissist and turning them into someone who is more self aware and friendly.
What you can see is that you can get some small fixes from them, but I think all is not lost. I think if someone is a narcissist and is willing to make things difficult and put their head down, commit to a good therapist. mindfulness every day you could get someone that way you could make enough of a change that their family notices a difference they could become better parents they could become better companions i mean i think you will ever make them sweet and nice bear teddy I probably don't think what I see is when narcissists go into treatment and become self-aware what they become aware of and this is where it gets painful is the emptiness and how insecure they really are and that's one really look. hard in the mirror that's what they're avoiding all the time that's why they're so great i don't want to see the void so when we lifted that veil and i've worked with many clients where we finally got to the core of the insecurity they actually got depressed like frankly wow and that's what they were trying to avoid all along so it's a very complex and nuanced long term treatment plan but listen if you're self aware and that's how i want to change this i think compromise is most of the variance that's where it's at i think something can be done just slowly dr romini describes narcissism as the secondhand smoke of mental health, but why and why is narcissism more dangerous than just being? self confident what exactly is narcissistic personality disorder what is ok all people with narcissistic personality disorder are obviously narcissistic ok not all people are narcissistic they can have narcissistic personality disorder so which is a good point but it's an important point since everyone is throwing this word around these days right you know it's no different than other diagnoses that have a different meaning to them this kind of this is like character assassination , TRUE?
So when we talk about narcissistic personality disorder, there's a long list of patterns and you must have five out of nine on that list. It has to be something we call pervasive, which means it goes through situations with a variety of people at work at home. it's not just that they're narcissistic only to you and they're nice to everyone in the world tends to be ubiquitous, but here's the rub: it has to involve what we call social and occupational impairment and subjective distress, that's a fancy way of saying it's screwing up that person's life, they're aware that it's ruining their life and they're uncomfortable with that and that's where you don't see as many people with narcissistic personality disorder so if your style of not having empathy you're entitled to be great wishing arrogant and superficial and
everythingthat isworking they're not going to go around saying I have a problem they're not going to go around saying this is causing me problems so if they don't recognize that part of it then they really are narcissistic which is kind of a clinical term for being a jerk and we can't diagnose people for being a jerk we may not like them but that's not a condition we diagnose we diagnose people because they are they are bringing something they are uncomfortable with or that is causing them problems prime example What can I give you is let's say someone has been using drugs for two years and their drug use results in duis and other problems in their lives, is it okay when that happens? they can tell themselves i dont have a drug problem but i have five dui and they found me in the gutter and at my moms house so i guess mom maybe theres a problem with narcissism they can recognize it yeah yeah Clear. i got in trouble at work k and i got called out for this and that problem and i cheated on my wife multiple times but i am finding it distressing this is being a jerk so Dr Alan Francis is actually one of the architects of this diagnosis originally. in the dsm and he himself came out very clear and said we can't diagnose someone because we don't like that diagnosis it's not for that it's for someone who actually has discomfort and anguish because they are behaving in this narcissistic way that's a good point but it's an important point and here at med circle I really want to be careful when we use these two terms because I think a lot of listeners don't know if their friend or family member or boss has the diagnosis and they may never find out unless that person that other person goes into treatment and his friend, the family member, the boss, he could be an idiot, there could be an idiot and they could say why I should go and get a diagnosis, nothing is wrong with me and if they go around saying that nothing is wrong with me and that I'm fine then according to the dsm they are not they are not they are not an art they do not have mpd no that's all and such and that's where people get upset i get emails every day would you talk to me wives Or would you tell him that he has narcissistic personalities?
I'm like no please no please, I'd love to do that, not win there. that and you know what the pattern of narcissism is it's horrible it might be okay with them but you as the recipient of that pattern it's not you you're going to struggle with it it's uncomfortable it's one of those patterns that's not healthy for the people around you i call it psych second hand smoke like being around a person who is a narcissist is just as unhealthy as doing it yourself wow thats a great metaphor npd is second hand smoke hand of psychiatry and I would say that narcissism is second hand. smoke of our time of our time you're close enough If you're going to get sick, even that's a big deal for people because someone might not get the diagnosis, yes, but there's still all these toxic behaviors that are affecting, oh absolutely, and you know that in a way the diagnosis is irrelevant because everyone is all you are doing is saying that the person is in trouble because of it, but if they are lying, manipulating, exploiting, getting mad at you, who cares if they have a diagnosis that is not good for you and then it brings us back to that? more critical questions why people are this way or this way because they are insecure and that makes people feel guilty okay if he is insecure and that is why he is doing this and that is what we are going to have to get to the core of when it's normal self-confidence crosses the line into greatness self-confidence is a healthy state and people who are self-confident don't need to blast their achievements off all the roof tops and social media platforms people who are truly self-assured No need to talk about other people and their achievements.
People who are self-confident don't require their achievements to be front and center and ahead of others. People who are confident in themselves are so confident in their sense of self and their accomplishments that they can actually keep quiet about it in another video in this series we'll talk about the different types of npd nurses yeah but i'll give you everyone a preview of the original video we did the communal narcissist the communal narcissist when you said she's that person who goes and volunteers on saturdays but takes selfies all the time and has the perfect face and makeup.
I go, oh, I know that person you know and he's also the person you tell to do a gala and you. i like her but the girl is going to cost 10,000 and you're only going to make 500 for charity why don't you write the full 10,000 for charity i like her but i need the gala they need gallows they need catalyst they need parties they need celebrations and you know what i'm smiling when you say that because i think smiling is one of my coping mechanisms by the way like laughing and smiling because these are very deep and heavy topics and it's affecting a lot of those in a relationship with a narcissist, which is almost everyone, which is almost everywhere and in many cases there are narcissists or in people with mpd who are suffering, well I think if you want to get to the bottom of it, they are suffering. because they are deeply insecure, yes, and that's where you know what I mean, but do they experience it as suffering? to layer 10 and you start looking into the gaping hole its not comfortable for them and you do so your heart aches because there is such an almost childlike emptiness in them i am not saying i would like to be in a relationship with them although i can tell you that in this Right now I mean I can handle it for an hour at a time, but my gosh, for a person who really has to live with it day in and day out, it's a nightmare.
Are there common co-occurring disorders with people? with mpd people having narcissistic personality disorder or even narcissistic traits there are several co-occurring patterns that we can see that all forms of substance use disorders are more likely to happen you know a lot of times it's to fill the gap or to get better grandiosity so alcohol use cocaine use a stimulant use that kind of thing then you'll see some of that depression um interesting narcissism and depression can hang out together a lot is that insecurity and that emptiness it's not unusual to see those two types of hang out together but they are diagnosed with depression, sometimes they are diagnosed with depression because they can be very irritable, we will see that in men what will happen is that sometimes they combine the two as well because the type of narcissism that we are going to talk about today is called covert narcissism people who are covert narcissists are a bit like eeyore from winnie the pooh is like oh my! no one understands me how we're going the world is so unfair to me and they seem so downtrodden they seem down and then we'll all treat them like they're down and not moving on at all and then one day your dawn is in your like oh this isn't depression at all so frankly often we treat the depressed we think they are depressed before we think they are but wrongly but wrongly so yeah again just highlighting how important it is to get the right diagnosis Because these personality patterns also make treating other mental health conditions, for example, it's not unusual for narcissism to also be found co-existing with bipolar disorder, which is also a very complicated type of problem to treat because the great la divinity of mania and grandiosity of narcissism often collide so you'll see that too and me when I've worked with families of um when they have adult children Those who are substance abusers and the adult child goes to rehab I will also know that the adult child has narcissism and I will hurt for them because they are thinking that their child will go to rehab they don't just get sober but sweet they get sober but they are still so irritable crippling as they have always been that part is not going to go away that's the narcissism maybe even more so and you see this a lot in substance abuse treatment circles you see a lot yes exactly because the substance use helped them bolster your defenses and therefore can make treatment much more complicated, you'll also see a greater likelihood of, for example, patterns that are sometimes labeled as love and sex addiction, such as compulsive compulsive sexuality.
If you like relationship patterns, you'll find that it coexists with narcissism and makes everything much more difficult to deal with. Yeah, that's because you don't tend to feel as much emotion. There's a lot more defensiveness. doctor, there is a lack of empathy, there is a lot of projection, all of this really makes it difficult to do really deep psychotherapy with someone. I once said that there are nine possible symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which means there are thousands and thousands of possible combinations, but if we were to look at five patterns that I have broken down in my book and this is based on theory to work on narcissism from other people's work when we talk about the types of narcissism, it's not really subtypes of narcissistic personality disorder but there are different types of patterns that we see of narcissism and I think it's important to see the differences because it shows us that this it doesn't look the same on everyone and then some people say that's not narcissism the person I know acts like this and I'll say oh but it's a similar pattern let's cut to the chase what all narcissists look like in all narcissism we tend to see a lack of empathy, grandiosity, entitlement, shallowness, chronic validation seeking outside of them, uh, arrogance, and a real tendency toward anger, as well as a tendency ance to manipulate or exploit other people which you tend to see across the board to varying degrees so let's start at the top with what I consider to be the most serious and problematic narcissistic pattern and that is the malignant or the toxic one. narcissistic these are the people who almost look like psychopaths they are will exploit other people take advantage of other people lie cheat they work the system in your favor they can often be quite successful you may be wondering why I don't call them psychopaths, a Sometimes they can feel remorse for what they're doing, they're like that, it's not right, but I just have to understand this. partly done and I'll get it right whereas the psycho wouldn't need to get it right so they just have a really manipulative and mean edge which can be very unsettling but when you first meet them they are extraordinarily charming. charismatic confident successful so that's your evil toxic type you'll often see these people running big companies you know head of government all that stuff like they don't really have a working system wow next in the group he's what i call kind of a classic grandiose narcissist and that's what most of us think of the person who's a braggart he's really entitled i'm special i deserve special treatment he's almost like your famous narcissist that's what you grand narcissist brag a lot brag a lot look at my new car look at my new this look at my new girlfriend it's a lot of show and she says they suck all the oxygen out of the room all the usual traits but they don't they tend to be just as exploitative and petty as the malignant narcissists, but they are sort of the classic narcissist.
The next narcissist on the list and this is probably the most mysterious and perhaps the most revealing to listeners in the medical circle is the covert or vulnerable narcissist these are the issues it's me narcissists you know if the world could see how cool I am, I would be one of the greats, but no one understands me because I am ahead of my time and they often will. you find them right at home huddled in front of their computer being like a troll or thinking of their next big plan but they hardly get to boot most of the time they can often seem depressed they actually seem vulnerable because i almost feel like the The world doesn't understand they are hypersensitive to criticism but they lack empathy and can be very entitled like I deserve special treatment because you know the world doesn't know this but I'm the best, the interesting thing about that is I hear that. and when you first meet someone like that you think oh they just have low self esteem yeah bingo but all narcissists have low self esteem that's why they're doing exactly that so covert narcissists lead with that but it seems like if it's almost like they feel they have this kind of weird thing i always say covert narcissist has this kind of weird pause they'll say i did go to that college but i guess nobody cares and they'll make that weird thing you're in okay, it's kind of a weird pause, but it's unson like yeah, i read that book already, but why do you care? you know it's like one of those wow there's an upside it's almost like you're sticking your hand in a bucket of barbed wire it doesn't feel right it's like even with those examples though they were just, you know yeah random examples still I feel pain for that person, oh they are, they feel the world passing by, yes, but I don't feel the same way about a great Both the narcissist and the covert narcissist will eventually reach the point where they feel the world owes them something that the world owes me and there will be a real advantage for them, sinceyou know because they seem so sad and often try to help them and you will wonder why they are so ungrateful that's why it can feel really awkward for other people who sympathize with them and they will wonder why they never say thank you or acknowledge all we did yea now number four. is the communal narcissist issist communal narc can be very confusing because they are there as volunteers and they fly all over the world and do their own personal rescue missions and after every hurricane they post hurricane targets online with hurricane targets hashtags and since we're going to raise enough money and he submits a bunch of stuff to the hashtag they're the narcissist of the hashtag but like it's all about their goals to help the world and as you'll see them I mean no you know about people from animal rescue like them. always carrying their rescue dogs but then they go home and they're so mean to her husband yeah and they love going to galas and they want buildings named after them and if they donate they have to have 20 shovels of gold and have a lot. of photos taken like it's all about doing all these things to get validation that's their tool to get validation they are often really nasty to people who are immediate family or people who work under t eg they can be absolutely horrible to them and people say oh my gosh you're so lucky to work with him he's so charitable and people say oh no that's one of the many characteristics he is so communal narcissist is a very, it takes a while to peel that layer off and then that's why I always say pay attention to how a person treats the person who doesn't have as much power as they do in that situation because that's I'll teach you a lot to be very nice to him recipient of the charity dollars, but really mean to the person who works with them and that doesn't add up.
The ultimate narcissist is kind of good-natured. I'm going to call them the benign narcissist the benign narcissist is like this kind of clueless person who just says really tasteless very superficial things just cares like all I want is like a fast car and you know you're driving a piece of junk how are they going to be as dismissive of other people that It sounds like every 16 year old I've ever met in a lot of ways if there's an adolescence there's an immaturity but they're really not that petty and you can actually say it's not good to say that they are like that yeah i guess so but then they'll come back and say it the next day i always say it's nice to have a few benign narcissists on deck because it's fun to have them at a party you know keep them on that list but never ever turn to them in a time of need just because i'm curious and i can ask questions you know someone put me in charge to do this who would you like to be in a relationship with that's your five oh mom you know and just loneliness and the cabin ain't because I'm going to take if solitude in the cabin is my choice I'll take that one okay so it's not an option I prefer I don't think any of those are okay you have to choose one you have to choose you have to choose one could pick the communal narcissist and be glad they're doing nice things for other people, they're nice to me, yes, but I have to tell you, that can be exhausting because when everyone says you're so lucky, he's so charitable like, oh, My God or, she hasn't said a nice thing to me in 15 years, they're all hurtful, maybe the benign one, but even you feel like you're forever in a relationship with your high school boyfriend, that's not good, right? as if the cabin for me alone for the rest of my life is a possibility.
I will be communal. I get it with therapy. I can have a cabin of yours like two acres away, yeah, and then we can meet up whenever we want to hang out. I do not recommend any of these guys for a relationship, well what about my idea? I will have a cabin an acre away from yours yes that will do that ok because you were shaking your head. No no no no no you couldn't I know a narcissist so we have to be that's true after me before if you don't know what we're talking about go watch the previous episode ok out of those five guys is there one who is more common?
I would have to say probably the grand, the classic narcissist, okay yeah that's why he's classic because that's yeah that's okay. it is defined from understanding it that I should ask you that you know that all the patterns I gave you are what you see of the nine features that a diagnostic manual like the dsm would require what is really interesting is that our diagnostic manuals are now taking a kind of a new direction in the way we think about these personality patterns and for the most part i don't mean to make 2 2 a bit bookish but the dsm now sees narcissism and all personality disorders as through a new kind of lens and looks at, for example, how a person sees their own identity and the narcissistic identity is very much caught up in the way other people see them so they don't have a core sense of self their sense of itself is completely ruled by the world outside of them which is actually a scary feeling like the only way I'm okay is if everyone tells me I'm okay today that's very unstable too hen we discuss goal setting, how do they do it?
Do they set their goals and do narcissists set their goal in a way that will get the approval of the world so they set their goals unrealistic so they can talk about the big goals they have that they are never going to meet or do they set their goals a little too much low so they know they will always get through but no matter what their goal is again it's based on how they can talk to the world about these things so when we look at other areas we look at empathy and their lack of it, so now dsm is looking at this across all personality patterns and people with narcissism have no empathy they see people as existing to meet their needs what can you do for me and then i will build a relationship with you then thats for what a lot of people say but that narcissistic guy was very nice to me i say yes because i needed you as a sales contact you say oh or they like the fact that you live in the right neighborhood in town. being served and finally DSM is looking at narcissism through the lens of intimacy and that is something narcissists are not good at they are not good at intimacy they are not good at close relationships in general their relationships are superficial and really they get involved for personal gain, so they can get a very attractive partner because it makes them look good to the world; they may get a rich partner because that will ensure they have a lot of money; the world i mean the characteristics where they choose the partner are deeply deeply superficial and that is how a narcissist chooses and when we look at those areas self uh goal setting empathy and intimacy that is not their way of looking at narcissism no matter whatever, it really comes down to that core insecurity that you feel like you can't regulate yourself from the inside out that you don't have a good sense of self and that you really depend on the world to tell you what it's about, which makes you feel quite resentful;
A recent study suggests that one in 16 Americans have been affected by someone with a narcissistic personality disorder, so what causes NPD and can it be forgotten? What causes narcissism? Actually, there is a lot. of roads to this and to the city of oz we call narcissism there are many ways to get there um many people the big question everyone has is were you born this way or are you done it's mostly done but there's a little bit of born and which is the percentage of that i i you know i i if i had to spit ball i would go with an 80 20 or a 90 10 in terms of made versus born i mean the innate part is that because the fact of matter is that we see people coming of invalidating early environments or they overindulge or they overindulge in early environments and they don't become narcissistic so there's got to be something else going on and that's probably where that temperamental piece comes in kids are probably more hypersensitive hyperemotional if you look marsha linehan's work on borderline personality disorder actually talks about that mix between biological vulnerability plus early environmental invalidation, it's likely that something like that also happens and n narcissism but it's mostly done so let's look at it as almost concentric circles and start in the middle circle which is really what happens in the family when the child is first growing up kids who are kids who aren't they get constant emotional mirroring from their parents that is a trap to becoming a narcissist later on because that is how children learn to regulate their emotional worlds they learn to calm themselves r emotions they learn to take responsibility for their emotions they learn to understanding their emotions from how their parents reflect them and if their parents have consistent and appropriate reactions and are available to them this is how the child learns that if a child for various reasons does not have that kind of constant feedback from their parents the parents they are distracted the parents are absent the parents don't care the parents are addicted to drugs and not available that way all of them s could contribute to the parents just being abusive in some way, obviously that can also contribute to inconsistent types of reflexes and then the child doesn't learn, as I said, to regulate their own emotion, they keep looking for validation in the environment because, frankly, they're confused, we also think of narcissism in the early environment as a function of attachment.
Children who have healthy and secure attachments tend to make it into adulthood. d establish more secure and healthy attachments, but children who have more anxious or avoidant attachments that can set the tone for attachment problems in adulthood and are not able to establish such successful attachments in adulthood, therefore that their relationships are really loaded with many things. and back and forth instead of the consistency you would see in a secure attachment with a parent. The other thing I often say is that parents who are nurses parents who create narcissistic children who then become narcissistic adults we see a pattern of simultaneous overindulgence and underindulgence and what I mean by that is these are the children that if they do the sport their parents want or get straight A's or prima ballerina or whatever they make the best violinist whatever they want to take over daddy's business whatever they say they want to do if the parents can get a good public image out of it, they will please the child in such a way that they will take him forever.
In practice, they will do everything they can, but when that child has an emotional need that needs to be met, the parents are nowhere to be found, like if they were interested when their children are on stage, they are interested when their children are on the field. they are interested when the child is honored or does what you want them to do but when that child really needs their emotional needs met it is a completely impoverished environment that is what I mean by being over lenient or under-indulgent it is also what we call modeling is what they see in their environment if they see a father constantly have the right they will learn to have the right if they see a father who does not have empathy they will not learn empathy empathy is learned in childhood you don't know can you teach a 30 year old how to be an empath that's early game so that was my question because if you were saying he taught himself the 80's or 90's of becoming a narcissist we certainly could unteach him later on but we'd like to think without b Because you know, what ends up happening is that ultimately these environments for kids are inconsistent, they're invalidating at worst, they can be abusive and dehumanizing and that's the angst i've worked with more than a few people who are adult narcissists who came from an abusive disability definitely who have narcissistic personality disorder narcissistic personality disorder so their first few years of life were really miserable and that's heartbreaking but still not a get out of jail free card for treating other people bad like me i don't get it i'm not okay with that but now let's take that now we're in the family but we need to get this out of some this is society's fault too we tell kids it's okay on some level for them to behave as long as you win you'll get into harvard junior great whatever it takes to get there as long as we start saying you can let go of important qualities like compassion , kindness, respect, reciprocity, empathy, as long as you tell people that it's okay to put those things down as long as you're successful, our achievement-oriented culture contributes to this. patterns for sure because we almost said empathy is a waste of time as long as you're clear you know who needs kindness when you can write code that's not going to work you know that's the other reason we're seeing more and more of this and thenyou add things like social media and the kind of things that society values into the mix then that's it i mean it's a perfect storm that's what i say we have, you have the family you have the community you have the culture in general and then you have a bit of individual temperament thrown in there, forget it when you hear how narcissistic narcissists are conditioned.
It amazes me that only one to three percent of the population have it r Remember that it is a narcissistic personality disorder that requires the person to have had problems in their life because they are aware of it and feel that it has caused them problems, yes, because narcissism works as a pattern in our society too often, they don't feel much angst. So when you were talking about mirror parents or children marrying their parents, there are certain behaviors that I grew up with, and my parents did until their mid-20s and then I thought I wasn't going to do this anymore, this isn't it. . healthy for me it's not good I'm not going to do it and so I changed so why can I change an undesirable behavior but someone who has a narcissistic personality disorder can't change because they have because the central conflict is that insecurity, that discomfort with themselves , that feeling of emptiness, that's what needs to be addressed, so you may have seen that, but it clearly didn't result in that kind of core insecurity, maybe in you, so when you were doing the yelli. ng is like well that's how it's done and they say maybe this other person feels sad when I yell at them this is not right so you were able to have that correction because you were able to engage in empathy and b you may not have had that insecurity Remember that the narcissist is absolutely dependent on the world for validation at all times when we need someone we get upset with them you know a child doesn't need them but the child grows up you think of a teenager every teenager goes out there um they resent their parents why they are they resent their parents because they still need them they still need them to be moms but since I want you to be my mom I don't want you to be my mom and they go from one place to another and then they hate you, you know, so the resentment comes from need and it's one thing to be five of course you need your parents that's built in but when you're 35 45 and you need people to tell you you're great all the time it might e don't be aware of that need but you are aw are that you depend on the world and that if you have a bad day the only way to get out of it is to get the approval of the world that sucks that's why it's very hard to change it's not just about of modeling empathy and there's an interesting concept out there and it's something that even on my social media someone we've engaged with about this idea of cognitive empathy that you can teach people that's how it feels good you got it do you understand why that it would be like this? feeling bad I have it that's almost intellectualized and it's a little different than being in the emotional simulacrum with someone it's like acting it's not that it's not not acting it's knowing but it doesn't make you see what I'm saying I know I know why it's person would feel upset right now i know yes i might even feel it a bit but i'm not so sorry so it will stop my behavior in the future so it's like half a solution. and when you're really in close intimacy you elate a little bit with someone and the best thing they can come up with is I guess I understand why you feel that way, but they're not like that yet and they're not emotionally with you, that's incredibly unsatisfying, its like when someone says ok im sorry if you feel so narcissistic mantra yes sorry you feel thats not an applause thats not an apology exactly have you been in a relationship with a narcissist myself yes yes of course ok in different areas also intimate relationships family relationships um work relationships but just so all you mystics know he's not my ex-husband he's actually a great father so because I'm curious because if it's taught 80 to 90 percent , are you hyper conscious of raising your children so that they do not raise? a narcissist, my ex-husband and I, when we were raising our kids, the only thing we agreed on is like Romney, we have a lot of things we need to do right, but we looked at each other and said the one thing we love.
We just need to make sure we focus on everything else because we only have one chance to get it right is empathy. We didn't care how they did in school. We didn't care if they didn't eat their vegetables. We didn't care if they were watching TV 10 hours a day we just needed them to be empathic and there was a good day when they were about eight or nine years old oh my gosh we got it wait it was your control I have so many questions it was your ex husband. uh, a mental health professional, okay, so yeah, not that these kids have two, yeah, as world-renowned mental health experts who raised them and the two of you agreed that empathy was number one, the empathy is everything this is huge for parents to get huge because i'll tell you it's at the core of why kids bully all the problems we have with kids has to be about empathy am i telling you my kids have had the smoothest ride? to me because they are teenagers but i will say i can see in their my face when they cross the line when they are teenagers and they say something mean and they see my face change immediately the empathy overcomes them faster than their words their face changes i have seen let my daughters interact with people and i will look at how quickly their face will change when they feel another human being needs it and at those points i sigh with relief whatever path they take i know they are hyperaware not hyperware as of a neurotic way but they're very aware of other people's needs and feelings and they will shape their behavior that way and that was the only thing that mattered because i wanted to put two kind and decent human beings in the world that is really beautiful good looking What if I lined up with a hundred parents and asked them if I could only give their child one thing, what would it be?
Turns out she d or good in school but if I had to pick if someone said you can let your kid get into a top college or something and trade that for empathy it would be like hell no she could walk away no I care what she does, but I wouldn't let her give because the parents are worried because they're sharing, you know, kindness, being honest, diligent, hardworking. I'm like I'm going to look at them face to face I'll never get distracted as much as I can in the middle of the night I'd fall asleep I'd look at it face to face like I started that early I'm like I'm reflecting on these kids that it was so important to me that it was important it was so important to me guys this is huge for parents to understand that because this is the leading expert on narcissism and a lot of other mental health issues and her ex-husband has this shared goal which had to be narcissism i mean yeah right , it had to be empathy, wow because I think that this is to return the favor that will make them better mothers it will make them better companions it will make them better workers it will make them better leaders is I'm going to make them better friends, they win everywhere in that which is the only one quality to me that matters in a human being and from there all other things would build whatever I do now you briefly mentioned that around the age of eight or nine hu there was a moment where you said oh what was that actually i was watching my daughter play with another kid and then something happened that the kid was eating or interacting with and that kid didn't have that thing anymore and my daughter still had could have been like ice cream or something that fell off a plate and on her face you could see she almost got it she expected she experienced that person's feelings before child experienced her feeling and you could see the pain on her face and then she says that we have to help them we have to help them and I'm like oh honey don't worry I think she was worried about the cost and she was even being empathetic she knew I was struggling a little bit financially at the time and buying another ice cream was going to cost money and she said would it be ok to get them another one i said of course darling and then we made things better and got a new ice cream but she cared about me having enough money that kid suffering was like that she really knew it's just that she wasn't like she should cut mine in half but i already put my germs on it you know the way a kid thinks that's the way it was absolutely automatic for her and we were so lucky our kids went to daycare infant actually at ucla where empathy was the main thing talk to them all day so you can turn this into models of care you know and i think she started in babysitting she was in her preschools she was in her k even i mean me I mean high school gets harder but you know we'll see how they do like I said as teenagers it doesn't always feel like empathy but I see it with their friends everyone but me and I'm fine with that for now yeah they will convert in your friends later, um, so at eight or nine years old you saw this empath, these empath traits before, but then it was clear that they knew it was automatic for them. when you are?
When do people start exhibiting signs of narcissism? this is where we need to be careful almost by definition all teenagers seem narcissistic yes they have a lot of right they are arrogant they think they know they are the uh uh what kind of narcissist i compared them to david would you call them maybe one of the benign nurses the benign narcissist and I think that's what's more of benign narcissism and I think that's why I would hate to use that term within adolescence I always say that adolescence is like wearing a sweater that's too big for them they're just growing in their personalities they're trying to figure out how their bodies are changing the world treats them like adults for an hour like kids for another hour so it's hard to say we're teenagers it's really hard to interact with a teenager so that combination means we're just trying to put a label, i'm also saying don't even use that word with adolescence even though the pattern seems to fit, no I would really start to say that this pattern makes me feel very uncomfortable, probably until I was in my 20s, like I'm really in their shoes and they haven't gotten over it, whether they've gone to college or military service or like trained in a job or some of that should be correcting at that point and that's why I would really seriously look into it but I would still look into some of the key issues being empathic as teenagers when they need to be they may not be to parents but they need to be with their friends and other people under their responsibility, you know, do they really have a right, do they really think they deserve special treatment, or do children make noise in a restaurant? child who walks up and says, "hey, why do I have to wait in line? narcissist, let's go through them one by one, what's the first one?
So, the first one is lack of empathy, okay, and that that's a defining characteristic that's a defining characteristic of narcissism in fact if I see someone has retained empathy very well I'm like nah it's not even happening so for me it's almost the requirement it's the basis of this pattern, the second is right, right is that sense is that someone should deserve special treatment in some way, even if it is to the detriment of other people who are in some way different from others, again a little special in identifying their existence the third is grandiosity it's kind of unrealistic assessment of one's ability or abilities or they talk about a great world that they don't have they don't even live in the things they can someday do you know someday Am I going to climb Mount Everest?
So they talk about it like it's something they're actively doing or have already done. a very unrealistic almost fantastic version of the world they will often talk about one day having the greatest love story or the best love story or the best wedding or the best career everything is just bigger and larger than life number four It's superficiality there's a very bland quality to narcissism, they're really only concerned about appearances, how a person looks, what a person owns, where they live, what they drive, what they wear, their shoes on their feet, it's very, very superficial in to the detriment of other features someone might say oh but i love fashion but you are a very sweet and kind person that is not what we are talking about we are talking about superficiality with absolutely no depth behind it or judging people solely on superficial characteristics and qualities number five is the chronic search for admiration or validation is the constant need to receive praise recognition and today that is really amplified icated because of social media that they have to get likes and they have to get a lot of traction on their social media page and they need a lot of followers and stuff so it's constant but it never stops if you're even around them like you're their child or your partner, you have to be constantly telling them how wonderful they are and how great they are and beyond And what they have done is almost a nuisance to receive a gift from a narcissist becauseyou have to thank him so many times that it would have been easier to buy it yourself.
Number six is your tendency to get angry. They do not do it. they don't have good control of their emotions they tend to be all over the map and the emotion they tend to manifest most often is uncontrolled anger which is often because they are very frustrated and very insecure and don't have good ways to deal with their feelings, so it's not unusual for them to just come out when things don't go their way. seven, I would really say it's arrogance, it's um, I'm better than you and in a way, that's based on grandiosity that derives from entitlement, but it can come across as snobbery, dismissive, devaluing, invalidating other people they just like to sweep them away and those are s Some of the seven key character traits in my book I actually lay out what I call 31 traits it's like I think they're a lot more than just the seven and cover a lot more territory the jealousy, envy, taking pleasure in other people's misery, um, lying. cheating, you know, a lot of things, a lot of really negative interpersonal patterns, people who are narcissistic often engage in projection, make their faults and shortcomings yours, like if I didn't say I didn't do that, they'll accuse you of something. you did and they will blink, often you will be quite confused, they will engage in dynamics like gaslighting where they question your reality and make you feel like you are literally losing your mind like never before. i know but he did but he did and then you start to question yourself well and people who spend enough time with narcissists find themselves plagued with doubts because narcissists question themselves so often they deny their reality so with those seven they have to have all seven of those you know the mds has a list of nine which includes most of them you only need five of the nine plus this idea that life is not going well that heartbreak to get you on the dsm i'm often a little more generous, I say you need to have, if you have everything, if you have five of those seven, you're in trouble, but the requirement is a lack of empathy. for me oh everything so it's like that plus four or five more and a big takeaway for me was in our last episode when you talk about empathy and how it relates to parenting so if you haven't seen that episode, be sure to go. step back and take a look in there because that was absolutely phenomenal for me, phenomenal, how quickly if i'm just at a party and meeting people, can i find out if someone is a narcissist?
I mean I'm a pro and I'm in and out in 15 seconds like I have this I have this like before wait wait so it's a fight r depression our session is going to be 15 seconds you can tell what's in a partying is almost easier right because i know its a bit bad i probably like to throw out some it might take me longer some people if there are narcissists you are going to be able to figure it out quickly sometimes it will take a little longer if its a little more subtle or covert or something like that, but it can happen pretty quickly, you know, watch the back and forth of the conversation, is there a genuine curiosity about you? you walk up to them and say hi nice to meet you i'm romini and you'll say hi i'm kyle and then it's the kyle show and by the time this conversation is over there's no sense of anything about me and not even a chance for me to have offered you know which could also be the way they behave in that way they just keep talking about themselves and only in these kind of unrealistic and brilliant terms they almost seem too but that the other end can also be a bit too sly and too soft as You know, maybe not like they're getting close to you, but like you're too charming.
I find charming people terrifying because I know that they are often like the soft signal that psychopathy or narcissism is coming their way. corner so lovely people i actually like unlovely people like the more socially awkward you are the more i like this could be really cool yeah wonderful sign me up so if i meet someone and i suspect they're a narcissist because they're just talking of themselves they are not interested in me at all they are very great on their uh the content they are posting is there any questions i could ask them that could give me an instant answer you know what you can do is ask them something that has more than the stay away from talking about your job, like let's say they're talking bragging about work, work, work, it's like they're only talking about one thing, try changing it to something. otherwise what are the things that bring you joy like really asking them a sensitive question and they feel like they just go like um feeling like I'm going to go get another martini like they run away it's probably a sign like it's some kind of game for me at a party if i think i have met a narcissist i will say can you tell me a little bit about your inner world because i know what you do now and will do it often. get people look at me like i'm just speaking in tongues and often they'll say i see someone there i have to go and often they'll cut the conversation off people will be very nervous when they meet you at a party now like hey by the way i'm not a narcissist i know i'm telling you i'm not sure like i'm out um that's also a show where i would definitely see you with a hidden camera just to meet people yeah yeah in los angeles It's actually a blood sport here because it's good it's dynamite fishing well it's like growing up it's like a crying seashell yeah at the end of a party you've got enough you've got it I mean I know we joked about how narcissistic she is but it's really true, it's really true, yes we live here, we work here, it's crazy. really is yes but here's one thing you want to be i mean again i don't want people to write people off in the first 15 seconds that they need them let's say someone talks about themselves a lot the other thing yes you want is to be attentive.
They may be socially anxious, so they may have trouble accepting it and moving on. they know they're drinking or something special they might be wearing with but making them make it more special not like good this is designer etiquette but try to make it about the moment what's personal and see where they can go with that to share a little about you also starts ta Talking a little about you, they have done their whole dog and pony show. Watch what happens when you start talking about yourself. If they glaze over or start using their phone at that point, it's not a good sign if I find myself in a situation I'm in a relationship, romantic or otherwise, with a narcissist, what can I do?
Wait, well, that's what you know. Here it is. if we're lucky they don't have children together because that can start to get complicated if the relationship goes bad because a custody battle with a narcissist is a war it's one of the most painful things I've ever witnessed if you feel like that's where the things you need to get into therapy right away and you want the couple to get into therapy the challenge with couples therapy with a narcissist is unless you have a very skilled therapist that the narcissist can rea. Play the therapist and I've seen that happen many times.
You want to be really, really careful. How do they play the therapist? partner and they will charm them again they will charm them you have to be someone who doesn't like charm to not really love it so they will really play with them work with them and flatter them and narcissists actually. they're pretty good at sniffing out how to validate another person because they need it so much that they're really good at administering it when they need to amaze so they can really work the game but it's important that you get therapy that you consider getting get into therapy pay attention to patterns and really have to take a hard look in the mirror to see if this is as good as it ever will be, which it probably is, can they live with this forever?
That's the question and if you don't like it, then you have one of two paths, either you have to adjust your expectations, this is how it's always going to be, or you have to turn out well and those two paths are what we'll discuss next, you mentioned to me off camera that there are people in a relationship with a narcissist and they don't even realize they are being abused yeah explain there are a couple of reasons why it could happen one is which I call the historical reason why they can having come from a family where one or both parents or someone important in a family system was narcissistic or abusive, so for them abuse and relationships go hand in hand.
Even like everyone is going to be everything I deserve, that's how they treat me, and therefore they are often easy prey to mess with a narcissist, while other people might be done with the narcissist they were with. they finish, they stand firm. because It's almost a feeling that they were raised on it and they don't even think they deserve more or they just don't question it and they're used to saying, well maybe if I try harder they'll love me maybe if I try harder so I can it becomes a feeling that it's self-blame the focus on self it's my fault they're telling me they're yelling at me because I didn't keep the house clean or I don't look good or the kids were noisy or I don't make enough money or I pass A lot of time away from home or whatever the reason and they actually blame themselves they keep thinking if I fix this this and this then maybe this will change and in what types of relationships do you find narcissism as a problem I would say where do you know, listen to the two sets of relationships where I think it's most problematic is in an intimate relationship like a husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, nice. of thing or a parental relationship when it is your father because the parental relationship is if you have a narcissistic mother or father or maybe a stepfather that sets a tone that you will adopt in adulthood and will influence how you choose a partner, what you put up with in a job its just your own sense of self worth so many things in the long run can be harmed by having a narcissistic parent its by no means a sentence and i have seen many people have had brutally narcissistic parents leading a happy life so It's not like you're doomed but it's definitely a vulnerability, so on the other hand, obviously it's when you meet someone and you think you've fallen in love with that person and you try to make a life with that person and they spend days dehumanizing you, invalidating you. and yelling at you putting you down disrespecting you that's miserable and you could really put up with it because you feel like you have to or i'm not loving them enough it's what i call the beauty and the beast fantasy maybe if i love the beast enough we'll become a prince and there are a lot of people who fall into that bucket and those are the two relationships where I see it being the most damaging, but you know, listen, if you have a narcissistic boss, they can get rid of you. career if you have a narcissistic sibling you may feel like you don't have confidence but I think parents partners that's really where the rubber meets the road what triggers narcissistic narcissistic abuse well what triggers narcissistic abuse is the narcissist's insecurity and ego being threatened and they explode with narcissistic rage the problem is that for a while you can't figure out what is triggering this narcissist it can often be the smallest slight it could be that they had a bad day somewhere else place and they're taking it out on you is like coming home and yelling at a pet because you can't yell at your boss that kind of thing so you don't know what triggered it but all you know for sure is at some point during the day his ego was injured. they felt out of control, their insecurity spilled over, and it's the people closest to them who often feel like they're the easiest targets, especially if you keep forgiving them and giving them second chances, then they say, oh, this is great, I can keep going. returning home. and doing this drives me nuts this person is still cool Would a narcissist date someone for, say, five years, then get married, and then the abuse begins?
No, a lot of people say they became narcissistic after we got married. no they didn't that's good to know on the first date it was there narcissism is a pattern that's what you carry from early adulthood I mean it was developing all along but it's there from the jump and when we kind of post-mortem on the relationship and really go back to the beginning they'll say yeah I guess she was late for all our first dates and there were a lot of really poor boundaries and I got yelled at once because I ate her order of fried rice by mistake or whatever the bosses were there they were just romanticizing it because he wanted to spend all this time with me he wanted to be with me 24 7. that's an amazing alarm that's really driving this thing this series deals with narcissism as an overarching theme huh, however i watch this a lot like the series to see if you are going to start dating amen knowing this information having this power having this education allows you to avoid 5 10 15 20 maybe 40 years of disaster you better than Do you think that prevention in this case is the best cure if we could prevent people from having theserelationships in the first place because what you have to remember is that I have known people who were actually well organized kind empath relatively sure they would enter into a relationship with a narcissist 15 years later they are a shell of their former selves they are riddled with self doubt they have completely lost self esteem they don't know whose side is up they think completely they don't deserve it i mean it really affects them from the inside out so if we could just stop it from the start because what ends up happening is once you a person is in people will often fight for a relationship so that's where you want to keep them from getting in in the first place and especially if you have kids oh once you are especially if you are financially dependent on that and a lot of narcissists try to get you their partner is financially dependent on them, ensure they quit their jobs or do so because that is one way they can ensure I know that person doesn't leave them and allow them to control them because control is a big part of the narcissistic dynamic, yes that's me.
I'm so grateful that I'm learning all this, um, if you find yourself being abused by a narcissist in romantic relationship, what is your advice for that person if you are being abused in a narcissistic relationship, first of all, I will always say especially to the listeners in the medical circle. If you are being physically abused or any other abuse that puts yourself or other children or other dependent adults in that environment in danger, you should get help and hopefully Med Circle can even make a connection to the national. domestic hotline because you have to get help right away um that's that's a danger in a risky situation beyond that we're really also getting into psychological abuse which and emotional abuse which to me are just as harmful as physical abuse that you need to make sure that he is receiving the appropriate mental health services, perhaps even through a support group that others affected by this narcissistic abuse such as children are receiving mental health services because they are seeing this happen , be sure to take care of it because it is very easy for your health to fail when you are in a relationship with the narcissist.
I have seen people get very sick from a variety. of stress related illnesses and I had to wonder how much of this was really due to years of being in a relationship with a narcissist cultivating other support networks people who are narcissistic often try to isolate their partners because they don't want them to get the support and validation from other people so get out of that isolation if you are friends at work friends in your spiritual community your church your temple whatever you know but find a way to get those people to someone at the gym in somewhere make friends in other spaces so you can don't go too far down the rabbit hole family members just to get that fix of reality that kind of thing all those things become important you need a reality check a lot of times people it's almost like you w Ant people want to see you with that person, but this is the problem.
Many times, narcissistic people do not verbally abuse their partners in front of other people. locked doors or in the car or whatever yeah that's what i was thinking is first have the courage and the education and the means to know that i'm in this scenario yeah this is bad this is hurting me and it's probably because of this, yes, I think people are afraid to admit that they are very ashamed there is a lot of shame it is very sad I have worked with many people who are in a relationship with a narcissist and they were terribly ashamed and embarrassed that they let it go up to here and i said do you know what it is not how it went from this to this in one day no this has been happening over time and almost sadly you have been slowly adjusting to this change in weather and now you are here and yes it looks scary since here but this d It didn't happen overnight and we're not going to be able to undo it overnight.
Yes, it's the frog. It's the frog. im trying to catch people before that yeah we are what about people who are in a working relationship huh and their coworker is narcissistic and abuses them how do they handle that when you have a coworker who is he behaving like that? I really have to protect your interests because most HR departments can't do much without documentation. I tell people that when you're in that situation, as soon as you start a new job, you create little email folders for everyone you work with and save everything. hopefully you never need it and 40 years from now you've had the most wonderful run in exams and they just empty your account and it's done now it's not going to be most people so you put everything away and it starts to get a little shaky and you have That will be very important because if it's a company server, you may need to print hard copies of these emails that you may not have access to, you may not be able to do things with it at work, make sure you create files when you work with difficult coworkers save all emails save texts i mean we're talking about everything um when you try to avoid meeting them one on one only if that's possible if you can have someone else in the room with you and you know it might sound strange no you don't have to make it hostile but try to make other people present because that gives you another set of ears to know again s.
However, if you can't have that, I recommend people who have a narcissistic coworker. are concerned about creating a memo after the meeting send the memo say i just want to make sure this is a very clear review of what we just learned use quotes whenever possible put a read receipt on the email to let me know they received the memo and then keep that as a keep these things as records so you really want to make sure you have that because you can't do much in terms of HR or with a lawyer until you have all of that but we also know the stress in the workplace is actually the type of stress most associated with the development of physical illness, so it is really important that we manage your stress in the workplace once again consider getting therapy have a safe and confidential space do not this about workplace gossip it's so easy to have those whispered conversations then you're the one who might end up getting in trouble you can't publicize your words it's not going to attract anything it's not going to fix anything don't put your work conflicts on social media if you have a narcissistic coworker and they don't don't go and they decide to go there.
Don't get in the mud with them. You have to play a fair game when it comes to this type of situation. you feel like the writing is on the wall lets say this narcissistic coworker has outlived everyone yeah maybe the company culture is that they are not going to get rid of this person maybe he is exactly the boss and, if it's the boss, you have even more problems, same rules but you. you may need to start working on an exit strategy unfortunately we know there is some interesting research that has come out that when people work on a narcissistic like with a toxic narcissistic boss you will sometimes find they come together and get a job done interesting. together can actually cause like when united around a common enemy that can create something interesting the boss is narcissistic and coworkers workers can band together so sometimes it can be a nice after effect make sure you have allies at work, you know? people you can turn to, not for gossip, but just to make sure you're protecting yourself, but also to realize you may need to cut your losses; it may be your dream job but it is not your dream job if you are working with toxic colleagues slowly come up with an escape strategy and do it quietly because in some places they can be vengeful enough to keep you from trying to get a job new post it can get very very very dark fast i hope people get their pen and paper out for that because that was a lot of amazing how to tips what about support Well I have a friend who is in a relationship with a narcissist.
How do I help that number one friend? Do not call your partner because that person will feel the need to defend your partner it is not okay do not call do not call the partner under any circumstances do not definitely point out patterns and behaviors and listen without judging it can be very overwhelming it is very difficult because means here's my text right now and to say you really mean it hurts to hear this needs to be listened to even more to experience it that's good you know so when someone you love tells you they're being hurt in a relationship suppose their temptation is just to go rip out that person's throat be with their friends pain but don't give them an unrealistic plan say right now let's go to their house let's get their stuff let's go out they may not be willing to do that and it might scare them even to talk to you more listen listen without judging them tell them this doesn't feel good this feels like abuse to me are you ok and then ask them the question of l dollar how can i help, we all want to give advice, we all want to get in there and fix it, how can i help your friend?
You might say you know what you're helping just listen you know and I'll call you in the middle of the night and say I'm here instead of saying okay let's rent you an apartment right now let's do it right now you know it's overwhelming and that a person can be really scared so when our loved ones are having a hard time we often want to get in there and do what I call casserole like someone died here's a tuna casserole I'm like I don't know they want that maybe they just need you to listen to them and if they want a tuna casserole trust me i'll say yes so ask them how i can help conduct all these interviews with you and many other experts the power of asking someone you love a question is probably the best way to show support if you do it non-judgmentally yes if you do it sincerely and if you do it without trying to get something out of them I don't like it Well do you think moving would help?
That's not the right question, but how can I help you? I'm sorry you're going through that. That must be difficult. Those questions, I mean, they're so simple, they're so easy, they're huge and also. don't guess a person in a narcissistic relationship is being questioned and questioned 100 times a day the last thing you want to do is say are you sure that is happening that is cheating on your friend and that is you now that you are participating in the abuse yes you know i mean you listen to your final friend why is your friend going to lie about this and if this is his history of lying about these things?
I come here and tell you this, it's been going on for a while, yeah wow I loved everything you posted here because it just gave me a huge sigh of relief that there's hope that people are dealing with a narcissist, you know? what happens to people who are in narcissistic relationships is a phenomenon we call learned helplessness, you know the theoretical model that emerged in the 1970s, but when it's played out here, a person in a relationship with a narcissist feels like nothing that does help, no matter what anyone says. they do how they communicate how they look anything always changes something so they start to feel powerless and paralyzed and then stuck and oftentimes they can also become depressed because learned helplessness is considered part of the developmental model of depression so which is a feeling that nothing I do works when you are in a relationship with someone and you feel like nothing. what you are doing is working, which could be a true indication that you are in a relationship with a narcissist.
Fortunately, we provide a lot of advice, a lot of practical steps for people to take, but the question remains whether there is hope for the narcissist, Dr. Romney. well first of all you need to get him into the therapy room so most narcissists don't go into therapy saying hello I'm a narcissist yes and I need some therapy yes I had a person in my career who did that . and he literally walked in the door that's what he said I'm a narcissist and I want therapy I said have a seat let's see what we can do and wait and he was a narcissist what a narcissistic personality disorder yes and what kind of health he got is a long term insight oriented job but it's slow it's really really slow and he's very committed to growing to do it better he wants this and it's an incredibly slow process and this is a guy who wants it so when people say yes there is a treatment model that works well with them i would say we usually learn that a person is a narcissist in therapy because they came in with some other problem i am having problems with my girlfriend it could be substance use i have been feeling sad the work is not going well i don't get along with my boss i'm mad at my mom so they'll come up with somethingmore and then they'll tell you their story and maybe in the first or second session it'll already be like oh I'm getting this you might even notice it in the first session because there will be real antagonism from them to you sorry but we mentioned in a previous episode very quickly that you can spot if someone is a narcissist, specifically you. if you're at a party in a therapy session it takes you one more time because they're protected they're protected and we're having a very careful conversation we're getting a history and all that, you might take some of the higher notes pretty quickly like them .
I'll talk about all his accomplishments and once someone said you want to know how many cars I have let me tell you how many cars I have a person said he could buy and sell you 20 times and I was thinking more like 40 but hey um you know some of that is like you're out there, like really what's your reaction when someone says you know I mean total humility I'm like that you know it's very interesting but I don't really care. Let us know, okay, you said you didn't care, so what do they say? They'll say they'll be offended and I'll say you know I'm actually trying to learn your inner world, the other stuff, that's all fluff. for me, you know, so please tell me that we are going to work on this inside and that, of course, is terrifying. because those shelves are so much emptier yeah that's why they have exactly 20 cars that's right 20 cars but you know there's nothing but space at the end so that's the struggle but i have to say you they often end up working on what they came to therapy with the relationship problem the substance use problem whatever is fine but then you start working backwards on the other you know we go deeper into how childhood was like how it was you know how they handle the frustration.
How do you manage anger and rage? Much of the work of therapy in working with a narcissistic client is to build a trusting therapeutic alliance. You have to like them and I have to tell you that I have worked with some people. I really liked them I could say wow I see the vulnerability and I will even say I will say I see the beautiful child and I am so sad that the world has missed this and they I will cry and cry a lot you know how and I will see it as what's up and they're not playing it doesn't make sense to get paid the same whether I'm saying nice things or you don't know what I'm saying like it's not like I get paid for a compliment right so you're trying to make yourself want you want have them come every week because something is going on sometimes i try to play faster or tease you and tell you i know more things than you and i said you know what i am always i am always a student so teach me so what i I don't do is get into the mud with them, I don't defend myself, you know if they don't feel, you know if they.
I don't feel like I'm good enough and I've heard you know you're not that good I'll say that's absolutely important they feel I'm good and I have a list of references and I pull it out of my desk and say I actually highly recommend these therapists also, so they're used to people going, you know, wow, face to face with them, I don't play that game and I think good therapists who work with narcissists don't, so it really is that you work in the current problem, you work backwards, you try to create a strong and consistent empathic therapeutic alliance when told a sad story, you genuinely feel sadness, you'll say, oh my gosh, that's so sad and you know what I'll often get is that I never thought of it like that and I'll say really because I actually feel that inside and then we'll break it down wow the difference in our two emotional experiences so you learn the minute I try to deal going down into mindfulness techniques with them, for example, how do they stop before they say hurtful words, how do they handle anger, how do we ask them what the source of the anger is, so it's really about their cognitive-behavioral work , but his humanistic work is a lot, there is something good there and my work is almost like being a prospector, we are going to find it, yes, we are going to show it to him and we are going to cultivate it and so I It is part of his existential work.
Can they learn to start taking responsibility for the hurts they inflict on other people and maybe try to find another way next time? If you're willing to do that kind of deep work, we could get you somewhere. but it's baby steps, let's say a solid high-functioning empathetic person is sitting here, the kind of person who will take care of you if you're sick and is there for you and doesn't need validation all the time. time is right and a narcissist is down here it's okay or even down here we won't bring them here okay we won't bring them here we'll bring them here and maybe that's enough that might be enough to say it's okay I will stay in the marriage.
I realize that it is not satisfying or someone is fine. I will try to nurture a relationship with my father but realize it may not be what I wanted or yes ok as you know I can try to continue working with this person if getting them from here to here is herculean this is not possible and if this is the standard, it will not work. One of the characteristics of a narcissist is that he lies and one of the keys to successful therapy is honesty. lying about it depends on what they're lying about they can lie about certain ridiculous types of achievements they can exaggerate the carat weight of a diamond ring or the price of a handbag it's just nonsense i wouldn't know you know what i am saying tell me the bag or car cost so much it's irrelevant it's really things like are they lying about using substances or not being honest about something that we made an agreement to be honest about and we're making that a high gambling game like if it was almost like a contract you make with them say this is only going to work if you are honest with me the confidentiality brought on by therapy helps a lot because you can't say hello i'm going to call all your friends and they say blah blah blah yeah you're having an affair or something that's not i'm not going to do it right so it stops there and um then it's about creating that becomes an honest space lying there's really no in cent for them. they're not trying to date me so i'm not going to be impressed by their car you know what i'm saying because none of that is happening so somehow you might have to catch them in their patterns like omg You come here a lot and you talk a lot about all the things you have and even though I'm sure you enjoy it and even though I'm sure it's beautiful, it's really not relevant here and it prevents me from getting to know you, you know, so you're taking away their usual tools. um, your usual tools, there are medications that can work, it depends on what else an artistic person with narcissism lives with.
Everyone wishes there was a magic pill. something i could take no pill for idiots yeah like there would be Big pharma would make more money than they already have just me ok so sometimes people try things like antidepressants on people with narcissism because they have a kind of irritable advantage. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes people use anti-anxiety drugs with narcissists because they have anxiety about a specific situation in their life, usually because they don't get enough validation, sometimes it will be drugs that are used to manage addiction related issues, but that's much more specific. for addiction and it's I'm not going to address narcissism, but it would be the other things, hanging out with narcissism, that I would use medication for. a couple is in therapy or couples you've had personally have you ever suggested to the non-narcissist and in the couple i'm leaving if i'm working g with a couple i've never done that but god i've been tempted i mean like if You almost want to pass them a note like you're dating, ethically, that's not how I deal with a domestic violence case.
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