My books have helped thousands to step back, and away, from the damaging effects of a narcissistic person, whether it’s a present-day relationship or one that has haunted them from the past. Now, they may help you, too.

Narcissist ruining your life?

Maybe you love one. Or work for one. Maybe you’re related to one. Or were raised by one. Whatever the relationship, you’ve likely been hurt by the narcissist in your life.

Surviving the Narcissist: 30 Days of Recovery–Whether You’re Loving, Leaving, or Living With One is on sale.

My newest book includes 30 days of guided meditations to help get you through the crucial first thirty days of recovery from the narcissist. Here is an excerpt from the section titled:surviving-final-300

A Meditation on Recovery From the Effects of Narcissism

“Tell yourself this: For the next thirty days, I will take small steps to educate myself about narcissism. To try to be objective about what I learn. I will give myself time to absorb what’s new and I will not rush to act. My goal will not be changing the entire world, or even changing my relationship. Rather, I will commit to changing myself.”

Buy the new ebook here, and check back for more thoughts on surviving the narcissist as well what’s next in the “Surviving Narcissism Series.”

 

The term narcissist has become somewhat diluted. We call people narcissists who are rude or pushy, and those who blather on about themselves without asking about anyone else. Sure, they might ultimately be “narcissists” but true narcissistic personality disorder is rare. What’s not rare, however, is the manifestation of narcissistic traits.

A critical mass of these narcissistic traits adds up to full-blown narcissistic personality disorder. However, these narcissistic traits, when taken individually, can (and do) wreak havoc. What’s more, a little of these traits goes a long way in causing pain and suffering to people unlucky enough to be at the receiving end of the narcissist’s wrath.I recently found this website in which the author, the late Joanna Ashmun, beautifully parses the meaning (and the corresponding) behaviors of the term narcissist. So helpful and so well done.

Read the post here: http://www.halcyon.com/jmashmun/npd/dsm-iv.html

I read the story. I shook my head. Then I nodded. Then I shook my head again.

If you ask, will a narcissist tell you he or she is a narcissist?

According to a new article in the journal PLOS ONE titled Development and Validation of the Single Item Narcissism Scale (SINS) that is comprised of eleven studies, the authors conclude that narcissists, when specifically asked the question, “Are you a narcissist” will tell you they are narcissists. However, the researchers also conclude that:

“A number of longer measures currently exist to assess narcissism, and many of them are have high reliability and validity.Thus, we believe that this single item measure should only be used when it would be difficult or impossible to include a longer narcissism scale.”

The researchers do say that there were limitations to the study.

“We note, however, that our scale is more face valid than longer narcissism scales, and therefore, impression management concerns could potentially play a larger role. Indeed, we found that people who score high in social desirability have lower scores on the SINS, suggesting that those who worry about pleasing others are less likely to agree that they are narcissistic.”

That last sentence, to me (bold type) says a lot. Image control is a huge part of the narcissistic personality matrix. In which case, a narcissist might reveal they are a narcissist if they sense they will receive approval. Perhaps if they don’t sense the possibility for approval, the answer might be otherwise. And what about shy narcissists? It’s hard to image them bragging about being narcissists.

And as the researchers conclude:

“Researchers who are interested in detecting fine differences in narcissism levels should also use a longer measure.”

 

How does narcissism look in a love relationship? What does it feel like? How do we know if what we are feeling are the effects of narcissism?

New York Times Best Selling author and creator of the award-winning marriage blog, Project: Happily Ever After (with a memoir of the same name) and I discuss the topic and Narcissism: Surviving the Self-Involved. We did this interview when my book first came out about two years ago. What fascinating is that the discussion on Alisa’s blog is still going strong, all these years later.

A few of her questions include:

Just about everyone thinks they know someone who is a narcissist. I’m guessing, however, some of the people that we think of as narcissists are just your common everyday jerks. How can you figure out if you’ve accidentally married a narcissist?
and
Why can people seem so great in the beginning, but soon everything falls apart?
and
I have a friend who is dating a narcissist. He’s really good at convincing her that she’s the problem. It takes an army of friends like me to prove to her that it’s the other way around. Do you have advice for people who are probably married to narcissists but who blame themselves for their failed marriage?
Click HERE to read the entire interview.

In Surviving the Self-Involved, I write about cultivating (in ourselves) compassion for the narcissist. The person with narcissism is ill. And, if we are in relationship, we have been affected, and may be contributing to the uneasy patterns of behavior.

With all the pain they inflict on others, it can be easy to forget that they–the n–are, too, wounded. This knowledge, however, does not negate the pain they cause. We must remember this pain so as not to keep opening ourselves up to it. At the same time, we want to step away and let it go. This is compassion for the self.

The song Numb, by Linkin Park, I feel, touches on a certain compassion for the n, as the narrator is awakening to his own need for self-preservation. For example, these lyrics:

And I know
I may end up failing too
But I know
You were just like me with someone disappointed in you

Linkin Park – Numb

 

Patt Morrison of the Los Angeles Times did a terrific interview titled: Dr. George Woods on what went wrong in Isla Vista, and what we can do to curb such shootings.

He is a forensic and neuropsychiatrist who next year will become president of the International Academy of Law and Mental Health.

An excerpt:

Patt Morrison asks: Are some people overdiagnosed with mental illness and others undiagnosed?

 

Last year, The New York Times ran a series about social media and narcissism in its “Room for Debate” column. The question was centered around whether or not social media makes people narcissistic. The title: You Like Me! You Really Like Me! Is Facebook turning us into narcissists?

I’ve been asked this exact question (and also as it relates to Instagram, MySpace and Twitter). Many of us have. In the Times article, eight individuals weighed in, from university professors, social media strategists, authors, online personalities and therapists. I found what the author of The Wizard of and Other Narcissists, Eleanor Payson, said to be helpful in understanding the relationship between narcissism and such online sites mentioned above. Here’s an excerpt:

“To be clear, if we are using the word narcissist as shorthand for narcissistic personality disorder — the answer is no, Facebook is not turning us into narcissists because narcissistic personality disorder is a true pathology that originates in deep and early childhood wounding. However, if the word narcissist refers to an inclination toward self-absorption, then the use of social media can clearly worsen this tendency in a person. In fact, social media can become the perfect drug for individuals with any narcissistic tendencies, and it will almost certainly exacerbate them.”

Read the seven other replies from the Times debate on narcissism and online behavior here.

I have a parenting blog over at PsychologyToday.com. When Narcissism: Surviving the Self-Involved came out, I put together a post that addressed the issue of difficult parents. From the post titled: “Is the Carpool Swimming With Narcissists”:

“I’ve overheard conversations and spoken with parents who indicate that dealing with the parents of their kids’ friends seems to be as complex, perplexing and aggravating as the situations their kids (of all ages) are dealing with: competitiveness, one-upmanship, snubbing, over-anxiousness that leads to being cold and terse, broken promises, self centeredness–the list goes on. The more forgiving parent might call the other parent “intense” (wink, wink); the less forgiving might label the other parent a narcissist.”

In that post I asked several parents to weigh in on how they deal with those adults who annoy and aggravate. Click here to read the responses o:

•Monica Bhide-food, travel, parenting writer, chef and cookbook author www.monicabhide.com

•Barbara Bietz-educator, writer, blogger, and book reviewer who has served on the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee www.barbarabietz.com

•Hollye Dexter-mom of three, author of two memoirs and co-editor of Dancing at the Shame Prom Theshameprom.com

•Marian Henley-creator of comic strip Maxine, and author of three books http://www.marianhenley.com/

•June Sobel-award-winning children’s book author http://www.junesobel.com/

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